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Title: The Tragedy of St. Helena

Author: Walter Runciman

Release Date: March 3, 2005 [EBook #15246]

Language: English

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Napoleon I., Emperor of the French.
Napoleon I., Emperor of the French.
(From a miniature by Mrs. K. R. Sellers.)


In my early sea-life, I used to listen to the eccentric and complicated views expressed by a race of seamen long since passed away. Occasionally there were amongst the crew one or two who had the true British hypothetical belief in the demoniacal character of Napoleon, but this was not the general view of the men with whom I sailed; and after the lapse of many years, I often wonder how it came about that such definite partiality in regard to this wonderful being could have been formed, and the conclusion that impresses me most is, that his many acts of kindness to his own men, the absence of flogging and other debasing treatment in his own service, his generosity and consideration for the comfort of British prisoners during the wars, his ultimate defeat by the combined forces of Europe, the despicable advantage they took of the man who was their superior in everything, and to whom in other days the allied Kings had bent in homage, had become known to the English sailors.

How these rugged men came to their knowledge of Napoleon and formed their opinions about him may be explained in this way. Hundreds of seamen and civilians were pressed into the King's service, many of whom were taken ruthlessly from vessels they partly owned and commanded. Indeed, there was no distinction. The pressgangs captured everybody, irrespective of whether they were officers, common able seamen, or boys, to say nothing of those who had no sea experience. Both my own grandfathers and two of my great uncles were kidnapped from their vessels and their families into the navy, and after many years of execrable treatment, hard fighting, and wounds, they landed back into their homes broken men, with no better prospect than to begin life anew. It was natural that the numerous pressed men should detest the ruffianly man-catchers and their employers, if not the service they were forced into, and that they would nurse the wrong which had been done to them.

They would have opportunities of comparing their own lot with that of other nationalities engaged in combat against them, and though both might be bad, it comes quite natural to the sailor to imagine his treatment is worse than that of others; and there is copious evidence that the British naval service was not at that period popular. Besides, they knew, as everybody else should have known, that Napoleon was beloved by his navy and army alike. Then, after the Emperor had asked for the hospitality of the British nation, and became its guest aboard the Bellerophon, the sailors saw what manner of man he was. And later, his voyage to St. Helena in the Northumberland gave them a better chance of being impressed by his fascinating personality. It is well known how popular he became aboard both ships; the men of the squadron that was kept at St. Helena were also drawn to him in sympathy, and many of the accounts show how, in their rough ardent way, they repudiated the falsehoods of his traducers. The exiled Emperor had become their hero and their martyr, just as impressively as he was and remained that of the French; and from them and other sources were handed down to the generation of merchant seamen those tales which were told with the usual love of hyperbole characteristic of the sailor, and wiled away many dreary hours while traversing trackless oceans. They would talk about the sea fights of Aboukir and Trafalgar, and the battles of Arcola, Marengo, Jena, Austerlitz, the Russian campaign, the retreat from Moscow, his deportation to Elba, his escape therefrom, and his matchless march into Paris, and then the great encounter of Waterloo, combined with the divorce of Josephine and the marriage with Marie Louise; all of which, as I remember it now, was set forth in the most voluble and comical manner. Some of their most engaging chanties were composed about him, and the airs given to them, always pathetic and touching, were sung by the sailors in a way which showed that they wanted it to be known that they had no hand in, and disavowed, the crime that was committed. As an example, I give four verses of the chanty "Boney was a Warrior," as it was sung in the days I speak of. It is jargon, but none the less interesting.

"They sent him to St. Helena!
Oh! aye, Oh!
They sent him to St. Helena,
John France Wa! (François.)
Oh! Boney was ill-treated!
Oh! aye, Oh!
Oh! Boney was ill-treated,
John France Wa!
Oh! Boney's heart was broken!
Oh! aye, Oh!
Oh! Boney's heart was broken!
John France Wa!
But Boney was an Emperor!
Oh! aye, Oh!
But Boney was an Emperor!
John France Wa!"
—and so on.

Although at that time I had, in common with others, anti-Napoleonic ideas, I was impressed by the views of the sailors. Later in life, when on the eve of a long voyage, nearly forty years ago, I happened to see Scott's "Life of Napoleon" on a bookstall, and being desirous of having my opinion confirmed, I bought it. A careful reading of this book was the means of convincing me of the fact that "Boney was ill-treated," and this in face of the so-called evidence which Sir Walter Scott had so obviously collected for the purpose of exonerating the then English Government.

The new idea presented to my mind led me to take up a course of serious reading, which comprised all the "Lives" of Napoleon on which I could lay my hands, all the St. Helena Journals, and the commentaries which have been written since their publication. As my knowledge of the great drama increased, I found my pro-Napoleonic ideas increasing in fervour. Like the Psalmist when musing on the wickedness of man, "my heart was hot within me, and at the last I spake with my tongue."

I may here state in passing that there is no public figure who lived before or since his time who is surrounded with anything approaching the colossal amount of literature which is centred on this man whose dazzling achievements amazed the world. Paradoxical though it may appear now, in the years to come, when the impartial student has familiarised himself with the most adverse criticisms, he will see in this literature much of the hand of enmity, cowardice, and delusion and, as conviction forces itself upon him, there evolve therefrom the revelation of a senseless travesty of justice.

I offer no apology for the opinions contained in this book, which have been arrived at as the result of many years of study and exhaustive reading. I give the volume to the public as it is, in the hope that it may attract in other ways to a fair examination of Napoleon's complex and fascinating character.


December 3, 1910.





In Clause 2 of his last will, dated Longwood, April 15, 1821, the Emperor Napoleon states: "It is my wish that my ashes may repose on the banks of the Seine, in the midst of the French people whom I have loved so well."

At London, September 21, 1821, Count Bertrand and Count Montholon addressed the following letter to the King of England:—

"SIRE,—We now fulfil a sacred duty imposed on us by the Emperor Napoleon's last wishes—we claim his ashes. Your Ministers, Sire, are aware of his desire to repose in the midst of the people whom he loved so well. His wishes were communicated to the Governor of St. Helena, but that officer, without paying any regard to our protestations, caused him to be interred in that land of exile. His mother, listening to nothing but her grief, implores from you, Sire, demands from you, the ashes of her son; she demands from you the feeble consolation of watering his tomb with her tears. If on his barren rock as when on his throne, he was a terror of the world, when dead, his glory alone should survive him. We are, with respect, &c, &c,



In reply to this touching act of devotion to their dead chief the English Ambassador at Paris wrote in December, 1821, that the English Government only considered itself the depository of the Emperor's ashes, and that it would deliver them up to France as soon as the latter Government should express a desire to that effect. The two Counts immediately applied to the French Ministry, but without result. On May 1, 1822, a further letter was sent to Louis XVIII., by the grace of God King of France and Navarre, concerning the redepositing of the ashes of Napoleon, Emperor, thrice proclaimed by the grace of the people.

On the accession of Louis Philippe to the throne the rival parties were each struggling for ascendancy. The glory of the days of the Empire had been stifled by the action of the European Powers and their French allies, but the smouldering embers began to show signs of renewed activity, and a wave of Napoleonic popularity swept over the land. Philippe and his Ministry were not indifferent to what was going on, and in order to distract attention from the chaos which the new condition of things was creating, the plan of having the "ashes" of the illustrious chief brought to the country and the people whom he "loved so well" was suggested as a means of bringing tranquillity to France and security to the throne.

M. Thiers, the head of a new Ministry, entered into negotiations with the English Government, and M. Guizot addressed an official note to Lord Palmerston, who was then Secretary for Foreign Affairs.

This precious communication is embodied in the following document:—"The undersigned, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of His Majesty the King of the French, has the honour, conformably to instructions received from His Government, to inform His Excellency the Minister of Foreign Affairs to Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, that the King ardently desires that the mortal remains of Napoleon may be deposited in a tomb in France, in the country which he defended and rendered illustrious, and which proudly preserves the ashes of thousands of his companions in arms, officers and soldiers, devoted with him to the service of their country. The undersigned is convinced that Her Britannic Majesty's Government will only see in this desire of His Majesty the King of the French a just and pious feeling, and will give the orders necessary to the removal of any obstacle to the transfer of Napoleon's remains from St. Helena to France."

This document was sent to the British Embassy in Paris, and the wishes of M. Thiers and his Government were conveyed in orthodox fashion to the British Foreign Secretary by the Ambassador, in the following letter, dated Paris, May 4, 1840:—

"MY LORD,—The French Government have been requested, in several petitions addressed to the Chambers, to take the necessary steps with regard to the Government of Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain, in order to obtain an authorisation for removing the ashes of the Emperor Napoleon to Paris. These petitions were favourably received by the Chambers, who transmitted them to the President of the Council, and to the other Ministers, his colleagues. The Ministers having deliberated on this point, and the King having given his consent to the measures necessary to meet the object of the petitioners, M. Thiers yesterday announced to me officially the desire of the French Government that Her Majesty's Government would grant the necessary authority to enable them to remove the remains of the Emperor Napoleon from St. Helena to Paris. M. Thiers also calls my attention to the fact that the consent of the British Government to the projected measure would be one of the most efficacious means of cementing the union of the two countries, and of producing a friendly feeling between France and England.—(Signed) GRANVILLE."

So that this King of the French and M. Thiers realise, after a quarter of a century, that the hero who was driven to abdicate, and then banished from France, did defend his country and make it illustrious, and that the removal of his ashes to France was the "most efficacious means" of cementing the union of the country that forsook him in his misfortune with the country that sent him to perish on a rock. His ashes, indeed, were to produce a friendly feeling between these two countries. What a burlesque!

Napoleon's motto was "Everything for the French people." He seems to have predicted that after his death they would require his "ashes" to tranquillise an enraged people. Of the other contracting party he says in the fifth paragraph of his will:—"I die prematurely, assassinated by the English oligarchy and its deputy; the English nation will not be slow in avenging me."

Well, it is requested that his ashes shall be given up to France so that peace may prevail. And now follows the great act of condescension:—

"MY LORD,—Her Majesty's Government having taken into consideration the request made by the French Government for an authorisation to remove the remains of the Emperor Napoleon from St. Helena to France, you are instructed to inform M. Thiers that Her Majesty's Government will with pleasure accede to the request. Her Majesty's Government entertains hopes that its readiness to comply with the wish expressed will be regarded in France as a proof of Her Majesty's desire to efface every trace of those national animosities which, during the life of the Emperor, engaged the two nations in war. Her Majesty's Government feels pleasure in believing that such sentiments, if they still exist, will be buried for ever in the tomb destined to receive the mortal remains of Napoleon. Her Majesty's Government, in concert with that of France, will arrange the measures necessary for effecting the removal.

—(Signed) PALMERSTON."

One of the chief features of this State document is its veiled condition that in consideration of H.B.M. Government giving up the remains of Napoleon, it is to be understood that every trace of national animosity is to be effaced. Another is, now that his mortal remains are in question, he is styled "the Emperor Napoleon." Twenty-five years before, when the atrocious crime of captivity was planned, Lord Keith, in the name of the British Government, addressed a communication to "General Bonaparte." The title of Emperor which his countrymen had given to him was, until his death, officially ignored, and he was only allowed to be styled "General" Bonaparte—the rank which the British Government in that hour of his misfortune thought best suited to their illustrious captive. He was, in fact, so far as rank was concerned, to be put on a level with some and beneath others who followed him into captivity. Well might he "protest in the face of Heaven and mankind against the violence that was being enacted" towards him. Well might he appeal to history to avenge him. There is nothing in history to equal the malignancy of the conquerors' treatment of their fallen foe. We shall see now and hereafter prejudices making way, reluctantly it may be, but surely, for the justice that should be done him.

Three days after the gracious reply of the British Government, May 20, 1840, the French King signified his desire to carry out the wishes of the Chambers by putting the following document before them:—

"GENTLEMEN,—The King has commanded Prince Joinville [his son] to repair with his frigate to the island of St. Helena, there to receive the mortal remains of the Emperor Napoleon. The frigate containing the remains of Napoleon will present itself, on its return, at the mouth of the Seine; another vessel will convey them to Paris; they will be deposited in the Hospital of the Invalides. Solemn ceremonies, both religious and military, will inaugurate the tomb which is to retain them for ever. It is of importance, gentlemen, that this august sepulture should not be exposed on a public place, amidst a noisy and unheeding crowd. The remains must be placed in a silent and sacred spot, where all those who respect glory and genius, greatness and misfortune, may visit them in reverential tranquillity.

"He was an Emperor and a King, he was the legitimate sovereign of our country, and, under this title, might be interred at St. Denis; but the ordinary sepulture of kings must not be accorded to Napoleon; he must still reign and command on the spot where the soldiers of France find a resting-place, and where those who are called upon to defend her will always seek for inspiration. His sword will be deposited in his tomb.

"Beneath the dome of the temple consecrated by religion to the God of Armies, a tomb worthy, if possible, of the name destined to be graven on it will be erected. The study of the artist should be to give to this monument a simple beauty, a noble form, and that aspect of solidity which shall appear to brave all the efforts of time. Napoleon must have a monument durable as his memory. The grant for which we have applied to the Chambers is to be employed in the removal of the remains to the Invalides, the funeral obsequies, and the construction of the tomb. We doubt not, gentlemen, that the Chamber will concur with patriotic emotion in the royal project which we have laid before them. Henceforth, France, and France alone, will possess all that remains of Napoleon; his tomb, like his fame, will belong solely to his country.

"The monarchy of 1830 is in fact the sole and legitimate heir of all the recollections in which France prides itself. It has remained for this monarchy, which was the first to rally all the strength and conciliate all the wishes of the French Revolution, to erect and to honour without fear the statue and the tomb of a popular hero; for there is one thing, and one thing alone, which does not dread a comparison with glory, and that is Liberty."[1]

The appeal is generous and just in its conception and beautifully phrased. It was received with enthusiasm throughout the whole of France. Louis Philippe and his Government had accurately gauged what would, more than anything, for the time being, subdue the rumbling indications of discord and revolt. The King had by this popular act caught the imagination of the people. He had made his seat on the throne secure for a time, and his name was immortal. The great mass of the people and his Government were behind him, and he made use of this to his own advantage. Napoleon's dying wish is to be consummated. "The blind hatred of kings" is relaxed; they are no longer afraid of his mortal remains; they see, and see correctly, that if they continue to "pursue his blood" he will be "avenged, nay, but, perchance, cruelly avenged." The old and the new generation of Frenchmen clamour that as much as may be of the stigma that rests upon them shall be removed, threatening reprisals if it be not quickly done. The British Government diplomatically, and with almost comic celerity, gravely drop "the General Bonaparte" and style their dead captive "the Emperor Napoleon."

Louis Philippe, overwhelmed with the greatness of the dead monarch, bursts forth in eloquent praise of this so-called "usurper" of other days. He was not only an Emperor and a King, but the legitimate sovereign of his country. No ordinary sepulture is to be his—it is to be an august sepulture, a silent sacred spot which those who respect glory, genius, and greatness may visit in "reverential tranquillity." Henceforth, by Royal Proclamation, history is to know him as an Emperor and a King. He is to have a tomb as durable as his memory, and his tomb and fame are to belong to his country for evermore. The legitimate heir of Napoleon's glory is the author of one of the finest panegyrics that has ever been written; a political move, if you will, but none the less the document is glowing with the artistic phrasing that appeals to the perceptions of an emotional race.

But the real sincerity was obviously not so much in the author of the document as in the great masses, who were intoxicated with the desire to have the remains of their great hero brought home to the people he had loved so well. It may easily be imagined how superfluously the French King and his Government patted each other on the back in self-adoration for the act of funereal restoration which they took credit for having instituted. If they took too much credit it was only natural. But not an item of what is their due should be taken from them. The world must be grateful to whoever took a part in so noble a deed. At the same time the world will not exonerate the two official contracting parties from being exactly free from interested motives. The one desired to maintain domestic harmony, and this could only be assured by recalling the days of their nation's glory; and the other, i.e., the British Government, had their eye on some Eastern business which Palmerston desired to go smoothly, and so the dead Emperor was made the medium of tranquillity, and, it may be, expediency, in both cases.

In short, Prince Joinville was despatched from Toulon in feverish haste with the frigate Bellespoule and the corvette Favorite. These vessels were piously fitted out to suit the august occasion. Whatever the motives or influences, seen or unseen, that prompted the two Governments to carry out this unquestionable act of justice to the nation, to Napoleon's family, his comrades in arms who were still living, yea, and to all the peoples of the earth who were possessed of humane instincts, yet it is pretty certain that fear of a popular rising suggested the idea, and the genius who thought of the restoration of the Emperor's ashes as a means of subduing the gathering storm may be regarded as a public benefactor.

But be all this as it may, it is doubtful if anything so ludicrously farcical is known to history as the mortal terror of this man's influence, living or dead. The very name of him, animate or inanimate, made thrones rock and Ministers shiver. Such was their terror, that the Allies, as they were called (inspired, as Napoleon believed, by the British Government—and nothing has transpired to disprove his theory) banished him to a rock in mid-ocean, caged him up in a house overrun with rats, put him on strict allowance of rations, and guarded him with warships, a regiment of soldiers with fixed bayonets, and the uneasy spirit of Sir Hudson Lowe.

After six years of unspeakable treatment he is said to have died of cancer in the stomach. Doubtless he did, but it is quite reasonable to suppose that the conditions under which he was placed in an unhealthy climate, together with perpetual petty irritations, brought about premature death, and it is highly probable that the malady might have been prevented altogether under different circumstances. At any rate, he was without disease when Captain Cockburn handed him over, and for some time after. But he knew his own mental and physical make-up; he knew that in many ways he was differently constituted from other men. His habits of life were different, and therefore his gaolers should have been especially careful not to subject this singularly organised man to a poisonous climate and to an unheard-of system of cruelty. Yes, and they would have been well advised had they guarded with greater humanity the fair fame of a great people, and not wantonly committed acts that have left a stigma on the British name.

Sir Walter Scott, who cannot be regarded as an impartial historian of the Napoleonic regime, does not, in his unfortunate "Life of Napoleon," produce one single fact or argument that will exculpate the British Government of that time from having violated every humane law. The State papers so generously put at his disposal by the English Ministry do not aid him in proving that they could not have found a more suitable place or climate for their distinguished prisoner, or that he would have died of cancer anyhow. The object of the good Sir Walter is obvious, and the distressing thing is that this excellent man should have been used for the purpose of whitewashing the British Administration.

The great novelist is assured that the "ex-Emperor" was pre-disposed to the "cruel complaint of which his father died." "The progress of the disease is slow and insidious," says he, which may be true enough, but predisposition can be either checked or accelerated, and the course adopted towards Napoleon was not calculated to retard, but encourage it. But in order to palliate the actions of the British Government and their blindly devoted adherents at St. Helena, Gourgaud, who was not always strictly loyal to his imperial benefactor, is quoted as having stated that he disbelieved in the Emperor's illness, and that the English were much imposed upon.

Why does Scott quote Gourgaud if, as he says, it is probable that the malady was in slow progress even before 1817? The reason is quite clear. He wishes to convey the impression that St. Helena has a salubrious climate, that the Emperor was treated with indulgent courtesy, and had abundance to eat and drink. It will be seen, however, by the records of other chroniclers who were in constant attendance on His Majesty, that Sir Walter Scott's version cannot be relied upon.

If the statements in the annexed letter are true—and there is no substantial reason for doubting them, supported as they are by facts—then it is a complete refutation of what Scott has written as to the health-giving qualities of the island.

Here is the statement of the Emperor's medical adviser (see p. 517, Appendix, vol. ii., "Napoleon in Exile"):—

"The following extract of an official letter transmitted by me to the Lords of the Admiralty, and dated the 28th October, 1818, containing a statement of the vexations inflicted upon Napoleon, will show that the fatal event which has since taken place at St. Helena was most distinctly pointed out by me to His Majesty's Ministers.

"I think it my duty to state, as his late medical attendant, that considering the disease of the liver with which he is afflicted, the progress it has made in him, and reflecting upon the great mortality produced by that complaint in the island of St. Helena (so strongly exemplified in the number of deaths in the 66th Regiment, the St. Helena regiment, the squadron, and Europeans in general, and particularly in His Majesty's ship Conqueror, which ship has lost about one-sixth of her complement, nearly the whole of whom have died within the last eight months), it is my opinion that the life of Napoleon Bonaparte will be endangered by a longer residence in such a climate as that of St. Helena, especially if that residence be aggravated by a continuance of those disturbances and irritations to which he has hitherto been subjected, and of which it is the nature of his distemper to render him peculiarly susceptible.

—(Signed) BARRY E. O'MEARA, Surgeon R.N. To John Wilson Croker, Esq., Secretary to the Admiralty."

It is a terrible reflection to think that this note of warning should have gone unheeded. A body of men with a spark of humane feeling would have thrown political exigencies to the winds and defied all the powers of earth and hell to prevent them from at once offering their prisoner a home in the land of a generous people. What had they to fear from a man whose political career ended when he gave himself up to the captain of the Bellerophon, and whose health was now shattered by disease and ill-usage? Had the common people of this nation known all that was being perpetrated in their name, the Duke of Wellington and all his myrmidons could not have withstood the revolt against it, and were such treatment to be meted out to a political prisoner of our day, the wrath of the nation might break forth in a way that would teach tyrants a salutary lesson.

But this great man was at the mercy of a lot of little men. They were too cowardly to shoot him, so they determined on a cunning dastardly process of slow assassination. The pious bard who sings the praises of Napoleon's executioners—Wellington and his coadjutors—and whose "History" was unworthy of the reputations of himself and his publishers, will have sunk into oblivion when the fiery soul of the "Sultan Kebir"[2] will seize on the imagination of generations yet unborn, and intoxicate them with the memory of the deeds that he had done.

Napoleon has said, "In the course of time, nothing will be thought so fine nor seize the attention so much as the doing of justice to me. I shall gain ground every day on the minds of the people. My name will become the star of their rights, it will be the expression of their regrets."[3] This statement is as prophetic as many others, more or less important, made by Napoleon to one or other of his suite. It is remarkable how accurately he foretold events and the impressions that would be formed of himself.

Had the warning given so frequently to Sir Hudson Lowe been conveyed to his Government, and had they acted upon it, there is little doubt that a change of climate would have prolonged the Emperor's life. But in going over those dreary nauseous documents which relate the tale, one becomes permeated with the belief that the intention was to torture, if not to kill. Dr. Antommarchi, who succeeded Dr. O'Meara as medical attendant to the Emperor, confirms all that O'Meara had conveyed so frequently to the Governor and to the Admiralty. The Council sent for him to give them information as to the climate of St. Helena. They express the opinion that at Longwood it is "good." Antommarchi replies, "Horrible," "Cold," "Hot," "Dry," "Damp," "Variation of atmosphere twenty times in a day." "But," said they, "this had no influence on General Bonaparte's health," and the blunt reply of Antommarchi is flung at them, "It sent him to his grave." "But," came the question, "what would have been the consequences of a change of residence?" "That he would still be living," said Antommarchi. The dialogue continues, the doctor scoring heavily all the way through. At length one of the Council becomes offended at his daring frankness, and blurts forth in "statesmanlike" anger: "What signifies, after all, the death of General Bonaparte? It rids us of an implacable enemy."

This noble expression of opinion was given three days after George IV. had deplored the death of Napoleon. It is not of much consequence, except to confirm the belief of the French that the death-warrant had been issued. The popular opinion at the time when the Emperor gave himself up to the British was that had he come in contact with George IV. the great tragedy would not have happened.

We are not, however, solely dependent on what the two doctors have said concerning the cause of his untimely demise. All those who knew anything about Longwood, from the common sailor or soldier upwards, were aware of the baneful nature of its climate. Counts Las Cases, Montholon, and Bertrand had each represented it to the righteous Sir Hudson Lowe as being deadly to the health of their Emperor. Discount their statements as you will, the conviction forces itself upon you that their contentions are in the main, if not wholly, reliable.

But the climate, trying and severe as it was, cannot be entirely blamed for killing him, though it did the best part of it. Admiral Sir George Cockburn, while he acted as Governor, seems to have caused occasional trouble to the French by the unnecessary restrictions put upon them, but by the accounts given he was not unkindly disposed. He showed real anxiety to make the position as agreeable to them as he could, and no doubt used his judgment instead of carrying out to the letter the cast-iron instructions given to him by Bathurst. The Emperor spoke of him as having the heart of a soldier, and regretted his removal to give place to Sir Hudson Lowe, who arrived in the Phaeton on April 14, 1816.

The new Governor's rude, senseless conduct on the occasion of his first visit to Longwood indicated forebodings of trouble. He does not appear to have had the slightest notion of how to behave, or that he was about to be introduced to a man who had completely governed the destinies of Europe for twenty years. Napoleon with his eagle eye and penetrating vision measured the man's character and capabilities at a glance. He said to his friends, "That man is malevolent; his eye is that of a hyena." Subsequent events only intensified this belief.

Perhaps the best that can be said of Lowe is that he possessed distorted human intelligence. He was amiable when he pleased, a good business man, so it is said, and the domestic part of his life has never been assailed; but it would be a libel on all decency to say that he was suited to the delicate and responsible post he was sent to fulfil. In fact, all his actions prove him to have been without an atom of tact, judgment, or administrative quality, and his nature had a big unsympathetic flaw in it. The fact is, there are indications that his nature was warped from the beginning, and that he was just the very kind of man who ought never to have been sent to a post of such varied responsibilities. His appointment shows how appallingly ignorant or wicked the Government, or Bathurst, were in their selection of him.

He was a monomaniac pure and simple. If they thought him best suited to pursue a policy of vindictiveness, then their choice was perfect, though it was a violation of all moral law. If, on the other hand, they were not aware of his unsuitableness, they showed either carelessness or incapacity which will rank them beneath mediocrity, and by their act they stamped the English name with ignominy. And yet there is a pathos at the end of it all when he was brought to see the cold, inanimate form of the dead monarch. He was seized with fear, smitten with the dread of retribution, and exclaimed to Montholon, "His death is my ruin."[4]

Forsyth has done his utmost to justify the actions of Hudson Lowe, but no one can read his work without feeling that the historian was conscious all through of an abortive task. He reproduces in vain the instructions and correspondence between Lowe and his Government, and the letters and conversations with Napoleon and members of his household, and deduces from these that the Governor could not have acted otherwise than in the manner he did. It is easy to twist words used either in conversations or letters into meanings which they were never intended to convey, but there are too many evidences of cold-blooded outbursts of tyrannical intent to be set aside, and these make it impossible to regard Sir Hudson Lowe in any other light than that of a petty little despot.

He had ability of a kind. Napoleon said he was eminently suited to "command bandits or deserters," and tells him in that memorable verbal conversation which arose through Lowe requesting that 200,000 francs per annum should be found as a contribution towards the expenses at Longwood: "I have never heard your name mentioned except as a brigand chief. You never suffer a day to pass without torturing me with your insults." This undoubtedly was a bitter attack, and the plainspoken words used must have wounded Lowe intensely. Probably Napoleon himself, on reflection, thought them too severe, even though they may be presumed to be literally true, and it may be taken for granted that they would never have been uttered but for the spiteful provocation.

A more discerning man would have foreseen that he could not treat a great being like the late Emperor of the French as though he were a Corsican brigand without having to pay a severe penalty. An ordinary prisoner might have submitted with amiable resignation to the disciplinary methods which, to the oblique vision of Sir Hudson Lowe, seemed to be necessary, but to treat the Emperor as though he were in that category was a perversion of all decency, and no one but a Hudson Lowe would have attempted it. It is quite certain that the dethroned arbiter of Europe never, in his most exalted period, treated any of his subordinates with such airs of majesty as St. Helena's Governor adopted towards him.

Lowe seems to have had an inherent notion that the position in which he was placed entitled him to pursue a policy of unrelenting severity, and that homage should be paid as his reward. He thirsted for respect to be shown himself, and was amazed at the inordinate ingratitude of the French in not recognising his amiable qualities. It was his habit to remind them that but for his clemency in carrying out the instructions of Bathurst and those who acted with him, their condition could be made unendurable. He was incapable of grasping the lofty personality of the persecuted guest of England.

The popular, though erroneous, idea that Napoleon was, and ever had been, a beast of prey, fascinated him; his days were occupied in planning out schemes of closer supervision, and his nights were haunted with the vision of his charge smashing down every barrier he had racked his intellect to construct, and then vanishing from the benevolent custody of his saintly Government to again wage sanguinary war and spill rivers of blood. The awful presentiment of escape and the consequences of it were ever lacerating his uneasy spirit, and thus he never allowed himself to be forgotten; restrictions impishly vexatious were ordered with monotonous regularity. Napoleon aptly described Lowe as "being afflicted with an inveterate itch."

Montholon, in vol. i. p. 184, relates how Lowe would often leap out of bed in the middle of the night, after dreaming of the Emperor's flight, mount his horse and ride, like a man demented, to Longwood, only to be assured by the officer on duty that all was well and that the smitten hero was still his prisoner. When Napoleon was told of these nocturnal visitations, he was overcome with mirth, but at the same time filled with contempt, not alone for this amazing specimen, but for the creatures who had created him a dignitary.

The tragic farce of sending the Emperor to the poisonous plateau of Longwood, and giving Lowe Plantation House with its much more healthy climate to reside at, is a phenomenon which few people who have made themselves conversant with all the facts and circumstances will be able to understand. But the policy of this Government, of whom the Scottish bard sings so rapturously, is a problem that can never be solved.

To a wise body of men, and in view of the fact that the eyes of the world were fixed upon them and on the vanquished man, their prisoner, the primary thought would have been compassion, even to indulgence; instead of which they and their agents behaved as though they were devoid of humane feelings.

Lowe's ambition seems to have been to ignore propriety, and to force his way to the Emperor's privacy in order that he might assure himself that his charge had not escaped, but his ambition and his heroics were calmly and contemptuously ignored. "Tell my gaoler," said Napoleon to his valet Noverras, "that it is in his power to change his keys for the hatchet of the executioner, and that if he enters, it shall be over a corpse. Give me my pistols," and it is said by Montholon, to whom the Emperor was dictating at the time of the intrusion, that Sir Hudson heard this answer and retired confounded. The ultimatum dazed him, but he was forced to understand that beyond a certain limit, heroics, fooleries, and impertinences would not be tolerated by this terrible scavenger of European bureaucracy.[5] Lowe, in very truth, discerned the stern reality of the Emperor's piercing words, and he felt the need of greater caution bearing down on him. He pondered over these grave developments as he journeyed back to Plantation House, there to concoct and dispatch with all speed a tale that would chill his confederates at St. Stephen's with horror, and give them a further opportunity of showing how wise they were in their plan of banishment and rigid precautions, and in their selection of so distinguished and dauntless a person as Sir Hudson Lowe, on whom they implicitly relied to carry out their Christlike benefactions.

Cartoonists, pamphleteers, Bourbonites, treasonites, meteoric females, all were supplied with the requisite material for declamatory speeches to be hurled at the Emperor in the hope of being reaped to the glory of God and the British ministry. The story of the attempted invasion of Longwood and its sequel shocks the fine susceptibilities of the satellites by whom Lowe is surrounded. They bellow out frothy words of vengeance. Sir Thomas Reade, the noisiest filibuster of them all, indicates his method of settling matters at Longwood. This incident arose through Napoleon refusing to see Sir Thomas Strange, an Indian Judge. Las Cases had just been forcibly removed. The Emperor was feeling the cruelty of this act very keenly, so he sent the following reply to Lowe's request that he should see Sir Thomas: "Tell the Governor that those who have gone down to the tomb receive no visits, and take care that the Judge be made acquainted with my answer." This cutting reply caused Sir Hudson to give way to unrestrained anger, and now Sir Thomas Reade gets his chance of vapouring. Here is his plan: "If I were Governor, I would bring that dog of a Frenchman to his senses; I would isolate him from all his friends, who are no better than himself; then I would deprive him of his books. He is, in fact, nothing but a miserable outlaw, and I would treat him as such. By G—! it would be a great mercy to the King of France to rid him of such a fellow altogether. It was a piece of great cowardice not to have sent him at once to a court martial instead of sending him here."[6]

This ebullition of spasmodic courage entitles the Deputy-Adjutant-General to special mention in the dispatches of his chief. O'Meara relates another of many episodes with which the valiant Sir Thomas is associated. Further attempts were made to violate the privacy of the Emperor on the 11th, 12th, 13th, and 16th August, 1819, but these were defeated by the fastening of doors. Count Montholon was indisposed, and the Governor, refusing to correspond with Count Bertrand, insisted upon having communication with the Emperor by letter or by one of his officers twice a day. So the immortal Sir Thomas Reade and another staff officer were selected to effect a communication. But "the dog of a Frenchman" that the deputy boasted of "bringing to his senses" refuses admittance, and Sir Thomas, who has now got his opportunity, evidently has some misgivings about the loaded pistols that are kept handy in case of an emergency. The Emperor, in one of his slashing dictated declarations which hit home with every biting sentence, reminds the Governor again what the inevitable result will be should indecorous liberty be taken. Sir Thomas would be made aware of this danger, so contents himself by knocking at the door and shouting at the top of his voice: "Come out, Napoleon Bonaparte. We want Napoleon Bonaparte."

This grotesque incident, which is only one of many and worse outrages that were hatched at Plantation House, reflects a lurid light on the delirium of antagonism that pervaded the dispositions of some of England's representatives. The hysterical delight of manufacturing annoyances was notorious on the island, and Sir Hudson and his myrmidons shrieked with resentment when dignified defiance was the only response.

Lowe failed to recognise the important ethical fact that a person who acts a villainous part can never realise his villainy. So oblivious was he of this fundamental law that he never ceased to assure the exiles that he was not only good, but kind. Here is a note that bears out this self-consciousness: "General Bonaparte cannot be allowed to traverse the island freely. Had the only question been that of his safety, a mere commission of the East India Company would have been sufficient to guard him at St. Helena. He may consider himself fortunate that my Government has sent a man so kind as myself to guard him, otherwise he would be put in chains, to teach him how to conduct himself better."

To this the Emperor answered: "In this case it is obvious that, if the instructions given to Sir Hudson Lowe by Lords Bathurst and Castlereagh do not contain an order to kill me, a verbal order must have been given; for whenever people wish mysteriously to destroy a man, the first thing they do is to cut him off from all communication with society, and surround him with the shades of mystery, till, having accustomed the world to hear nothing said of him, and to forget him, they can easily torture him or make him disappear."

What a dreadful indictment this is against Bathurst, Castlereagh, and Lowe, and how difficult to think of these men at the same time as of Napoleon, whose name had kept the world in awe! Surely their dwarfed names and those of all the allied traitors and conspirators will pass on down the ages subjects for mockery and derision, while his shall still tower above everything unto all time. His faults will be obscured by the magnificence of his powerful and beneficent reign, and overshadowed by pity for his unspeakable martyrdom.

But what of the Commissioners representing Russia, Austria, Prussia, and the Most Christian King of France? How shall they fare at the hands of posterity? Their crime will not be that they acquiesced in being sent to St. Helena by their respective Governments, but that they allowed themselves to be completely cajoled and influenced by the crafty allurements of Lowe. The representative of Austria is said to have been a mere cipher in his hands, while the attention of Count Balmin was wholly taken up in making love to Miss Johnson, the eldest daughter of Lady Lowe by a former marriage. He eventually married her and became one of the family. This young lady's charm of character and goodness had captured the affections of the Longwood colony, and her tender solicitude for the sorrows of the Emperor caused him to form an attachment for her which was evidenced by his gracious attentions whenever she came to Longwood.

The Marquis de Montchenu (who on landing at St. Helena found himself in the midst of a group of officers attending on Sir Hudson, and called out, "For the love of God, tell me if any of you speak French") is not much heard of in his official capacity. Afterwards he appears to have been enamoured of the Governor's good dinners, but though he was always hospitable, kind, and glad to see his compatriots at his breakfast table, the Emperor never would receive him, though he always showed appreciation of his promptitude in forwarding to him French papers or books. The Marquis would naturally find it difficult to assert himself when he heard of the wrongs committed by his host.

The restrictions imposed on the Emperor were by this time having an ominous effect. O'Meara reported that this was so, and the Commissioners, whose instructions from their Governments were merely formal, thought it their duty to bestir themselves, and requested the Governor to remove the causes in so far as it was "compatible with the security of his person," lest the result from want of exercise should be of serious consequences to his health. Sir Hudson was angry at the turn affairs were taking, as the Commissioners had always accommodated themselves to his plans. He found, however, that in this instance humanity had been aroused, and as it would not suit his purpose to run against his hitherto complacent friends, he thinks to appease their anxiety in the following extraordinary manner:—

"I am about to arrange in such a way as to allow him to take horse exercise. I have no wish that he should die of an attack of apoplexy—that would be very embarrassing both to me and to my Government. I would much rather he should die of a tedious disease which our physicians could properly declare to be natural. Apoplexy furnishes too many grounds for comment."[7]

This insensate mockery of a man is always asserting himself in some detestable fashion or other.[8]

At one time his benighted mind would swagger him into droll ideas of attempting to chastise his Imperial prisoner, at another, his childish fear of the consequences of his chastisement was pathetic, and when one droll farce after another broke down, he shielded himself with manifestations of aggrieved virtue.

The Emperor received Lord Amherst, who was a man of some human feeling, and the noble lord offered to convey to the precious Prince Regent certain messages. Then Napoleon, aroused by the recollection of the perfidy which was causing him such infinite suffering, declared that neither his King nor his nation had any right over him. "Your country," he exclaims, "sets an example of twenty millions of men oppressing one individual." With prophetic utterance he foreshadows "a terrible war hatched under the ashes of the Empire." Nations are to avenge the ingratitude of the Kings whom he "crowned and pardoned." And then, as though his big soul had sickened at the thought of it all, he exclaims, "Inform your Prince Regent that I await as a favour the axe of the executioner." Lord Amherst was deeply affected, and promised to tell of all his sufferings and indignities to the Regent, and also to speak to the saintly Lowe thereon. "Useless," interjects the Emperor; "crime, hatred, is his nature. It is necessary to his enjoyment to torture me. He is like the tiger, who tears with his claws the prey whose agonies he takes pleasure in prolonging." The audience then closes and the sordid tragedy continues.

The Commissioners are to have bulletins, but no communication with the Imperial abode. O'Meara is asked to prepare inspired bulletins, and to report what he hears and learns from the Emperor, and in a general way act the spy. He refused, and as Lowe required willing tools, not honest men, he was ultimately banished from the island. The Emperor embraces him, bestows his benediction, and gives him credentials of the highest order, together with messages of affection to members of his family and to the accommodating Marie Louise, who is now mistress to the Austrian Count Neipperg. He is charged to convey kindly thoughts of esteem and gratitude to the good Lady Holland for all her kindness to him. The King of Rome is tenderly remembered, and O'Meara is asked to send intelligence as to the manner of his education. A message is entrusted to him for Prince Joseph, who is to give to O'Meara the private and confidential letters of the Emperors Alexander and Francis, the King of Prussia, and the other sovereigns of Europe. He then thanks O'Meara for his care of him and bids him "quit the abode of darkness and crime."[9]

Before O'Meara left the island, news of the diabolical treatment of the Emperor had filtered through to Europe in spite of Lowe's precautions. The Edinburgh Review had published several articles exposing the Governor's conduct, and when these were delivered at St. Helena (addressed to Longwood) a great commotion arose at Plantation House. Reade had orders to buy every one of the obnoxious publications, but determined men of talent are not easily thwarted in their object, especially if it is a good one, so the Governor had the mortification of seeing himself outwitted. O'Meara was confronted and charged with securing for Montholon the objectionable Edinburgh Review. The articles gave the Emperor great pleasure, and when this was made known to Lowe it was intolerable to him. O'Meara gets official notice to quit on July 25, 1818.

Napoleon thought it a bold stroke on the part of the British Ministers (whom he regarded, and spoke quite openly of, as assassins) to force his physician from him. The doctor took the precaution to reveal the place of concealment of his journal to Montholon, who found a way of having it sent to him in England. This document was read to the Emperor, who had several errors corrected, which do not appear to have been of great importance, except one that had reference to the shooting of the Duc d'Enghien.[10]

On the day following his exit from Longwood O'Meara sent a report on the exile's illness and his treatment thereof. The report is an alarming account of the health of the Emperor, who, notwithstanding, is deprived of medical aid for months. He justly adhered to the determination of having none other than his own medical attendant. Lowe sees in this very reasonable request a subtle attempt at planning escape, and will not concede it. An acrimonious correspondence then takes place. Letters sent to him by Montholon or Bertrand are returned because Napoleon is styled Emperor. Montholon in turn imitates Lowe, and returns his on the ground of incivility, and it must be admitted the French score off him each time.

Lowe whines to Montholon that Bertrand calls him a fool to the Commissioners, and accuses him of collecting all the complaints he can gather together, so that he may have them published. The newspapers, particularly the Edinburgh Review, have slashing articles holding him up to ridicule and denouncing him as an "assassin." He whimpers that it is very hard that he, who pays every attention and regard for the Emperor's feelings, should be pursued and made the victim of calumnies. These expressions of unctuous pharisaism are coldly received by the French, who ask no favours but claim justice. Their thoughts are full of the wrongs perpetrated on the great man who is the object of their attachment and pity. They will listen to none of Lowe's canting humbug. They see incontestable evidences of the Destroyer enfolding his arms around the hero who had thrilled the nations of the world with his deeds. Their souls throb with fierce emotion at the agony caused by the venomously malignant tyranny. The meanest privileges of humanity are denied him, and if they plotted in order that the world might learn of the hideous oppression, who, with a vestige of holy pity in him, will deny that their motive was laudable? Let critics say what they will, these devoted followers of a fallen and sorely stricken chief are an example of imperishable loyalty. They had their differences, their petty jealousies, and at times bemoaned their hard fate, and this oft-times caused the Emperor to quickly rebuke them.

Gourgaud was the Peter of the family, and a great source of trouble. He may justly be accused at times of lapsing into disloyalty. He was guilty both on the island and after his arrival in England of committing the same fault, but in this latter instance he may have had a purpose, as he was asking favours from men who were bitterly hostile to his benefactor. He knew they would be glad to hear anything from so important an authority as would in any degree justify their action. Gourgaud, in fact, was more knave than fool, as his subsequent beseeching appeals on behalf of Napoleon to Marie Louise and other personages in France very clearly prove.

But take these men and women as a whole, view the circumstances and conditions of life on this rock of vile memory, inquire as minutely as you may into their conduct, and you see, towering above all, that their supreme interest is centred on him whom they voluntarily followed into exile. He is their ideal of human greatness, their friend, and their Emperor.

They view Sir Hudson Lowe as they would a distracted phenomenon. The introduction of new and frivolous vexations is occasionally ignored or looked upon with despairing amusement. At other times, when their master's rights, dignity, and matchless personality are assailed, they resent it with fierce impulse, and this gives Lowe further opportunities of reminding them of his goodness. But during the long, weary years of incessant provocation, criminal retaliation was never thought of except on one occasion, when some new arbitrary rules were put in force.

Santini, a Corsican, and one of the domestics, brooded over his master's wrongs. He was generally of a cheerful temperament, but since the new regulations were enforced it had been noticed that his whole disposition had changed. He became thoughtful and dejected, and one day made known to Cipriani his deliberate intention to shoot the Governor the first time he came to Longwood. Cipriani used all his influence to dissuade him from committing so rash an act, and finding that Santini was immovable, he reported the matter to Napoleon, who had the devoted keeper of his portfolio brought to him, and commanded him as his Emperor to cease thinking of injuring Sir Hudson. It took the Emperor some time to persuade Santini, and when he did give his promise it was with marked reluctance. Santini is spoken of as being as brave as a lion, an expert with the small sword, and a deadly shot. He was subsequently sent off the island, the Emperor granting him a pension of £50 per annum.

Santini was the only one who refused to sign a document put forward by Lowe in which all the officers and domestics pledged themselves to conform to the new regulations, which were, as usual, senseless and severe. They insisted on the words "Emperor Napoleon" being inserted, but Lowe, with inherent stupid pleasure, would have none other than the words "Napoleon Bonaparte," and the penalty for refusing to sign was banishment from the island. Sir Hudson got it into his malevolent brain that he had pinned them at last. He affirmed that their reason for not signing what they pretended was their Emperor's and their own degradation was to give an excuse for being "sent off." Whereupon, as soon as the Governor's crafty insinuations became known, they all signed except Santini, who refused to have Napoleon described by any other term than that of Emperor.

Santini's loyalty to his illustrious master cost him the anguish of being torn from his service and sent to the Cape of Good Hope in the English frigate Orontes. He stayed there a few days, but returned almost immediately to St. Helena. He was not, however, allowed to land; and, having spent some days at the anchorage, sailed on February 25, 1817, for England.

These refractory captives of the British authorities seem to have been a source of great perplexity to them, to say nothing of the cost to the nation caused by the hopeless incapacity displayed in dealing with them. The business grows so farcical that the English guardians become the laughing-stock of the most menial creatures on the island.

Immediately on his arrival in London Santini issued a touching appeal to the British people, laying naked the St. Helena atrocities, the main facts of which have never been contradicted. Any exaggerations which may appear in the pamphlet, coming as they do from a soldier whose adoration for his Emperor amounted to fanaticism, may be excused; but, whatever his faults, the ugly facts remain unshaken.

There is no evidence in all the voluminous publications concerning Napoleon at St. Helena that there would have been a shred of mourning put on by the best men and women of any nationality residing on this inhospitable rock had Santini or any one else despatched the petty tyrant who was carrying on a nefarious assassination by the consent, if not the instructions, of an equally nefarious Ministry. Perhaps his Imperial victim would have been the only person outside his family and official circle who would have deplored the act. It is pretty generally admitted that Lowe was detested by all classes who knew of the villainous methods adopted by him to give pain to Napoleon and to any one who showed the slightest sympathy towards him.

Letters from and to his wife, "the amiable Austrian Archduchess," his mother, and other members of his family, were not allowed to pass unless scrutinised and commented upon by this insatiable gaoler. Letters written to the Ministry and to well-disposed public men outside it were not forwarded, on the pretext that the title of Emperor was used. A marble bust of the Emperor's son was brought to St. Helena by T.M. Radowich, master gunner aboard the ship Baring. It was taken possession of by the authorities, and had been in Lowe's hands for some days when he intimated to Count Bertrand that, though it was against the regulations, he would take upon himself to hand over some presents sent out by Lady Holland and some left by Mr. Manning. A more embarrassing matter was the handing over of the bust. The mystery and comic absurdity of some Government officials of that time, or even of this, is amazing.

Lowe's dull perceptions had been awakened. He realised that he might be accused of having committed an exceedingly dirty trick. He thinks it in keeping with the dignity of his high office to become uneasy about the retention of these articles, especially the statue of the King of Rome. So with unconscious humour he asks the Count if he thinks Napoleon would really like to have his son's bust. The Count replies, "You had better send it this very evening, and not detain it until to-morrow." Lowe is aggrieved at the coldness of the reply. He presumably expected Bertrand to gush out torrents of gratitude. But the French code of real good taste and humane bearing put Sir Hudson Lowe beneath their contempt. To them he had become indescribable.

To all those who had access to Napoleon, the burning love he had for his son was well known, and in one of those outbursts of passionate anguish he declares to the Countess of Montholon that it was for him alone that he returned from Elba, and if he still formed some expectations in exile, they were for him also. He declares that he is the source of his greatest anguish, and that every day he costs him tears of blood. He imagines to himself the most horrid events, which he cannot remove from his mind. He sees either the potion or the empoisoned fruit which is about to terminate the days of the young innocent by the most cruel sufferings, and then, after this pouring out of the innermost soul, he pleads with Madame to compassionate his weakness, and asks her to console him.

This learned warrior-statesman was also a poet, and but for the solitude of exile we should probably never have seen that side of this versatile nature. The lines which he writes to the portrait of his son are painfully touching. For some reason they were kept concealed, and found some time afterwards. Here they are, but the English translation does not do them justice:—

Delightful image of my much-loved boy!
Behold his eyes, his looks, his smile!
No more, alas! will he enkindle joy,
Nor on some kindlier shore my woes beguile.
My son! my darling son! wert thou but here,
My bosom should receive thy lovely form;
Thou'dst soothe my gloomy hours with converse dear,
Serenely we'd behold the lowering storm.
I'd be the partner of thine infant cares,
And pour instruction o'er thy expanding mind,
Whilst in thy heart, in my declining years,
My wearied soul should an asylum find.
My wrongs, my cares, should be forgot with thee,
My power Imperial, dignities, renown—
This rock itself would be a heaven to me,
Thine arms more cherished than the victor's crown.
O! in thine arms, my son! I could forget that fame
Shall give me, through all time, a never-dying name.

Here is another version of the same thoughts:—

O! cherished image of my infant heir!
Thy surface does his lineaments impart:
But ah! thou liv'st not—on this rock so bare
His living form shall never glad my heart.
My second self! how would thy presence cheer
The settled sadness of thy hapless sire!
Thine infancy with tenderness I'd rear,
And thou shouldst warm my age with youthful fire.
In thee a truly glorious crown I'd find,
With thee, upon this rock, a heaven should own,
Thy kiss would chase past conquests from my mind
Which raised me, demi-god, on Gallia's throne.

Perhaps the Emperor did not wish to show all the anguish by which he was being hourly devoured, but who can read these lines now without a pang of emotion? The overpowering conviction that his much-loved boy would be destroyed haunted him. Many people to this day believe that he was right, and that his son's health was sedulously undermined. But if that be so, the Imperial House of Austria will have to answer for it through all eternity. Napoleon knew that this much-treasured bust was at Plantation House, and said to O'Meara, if it had not been given up he would have told a tale which would have made the mothers of England execrate Lowe as a monster in human shape.

But the Governments of Europe, as well as individuals, were spending vast sums of money on pamphleteering, and probably those who wrote the worst libels were the most highly paid. Therefore the women of England and of other countries were continuously having their minds saturated with poisonous statements. Many of them firmly believed Napoleon to be the anti-Christ, and it is only now that the world is beginning to see through the gigantic plot.

It was stated that the bust had been executed at Leghorn by order of the faithless Marie Louise. In Hooper's "Life of Wellington," the statement that "she was grateful to the Duke for winning Waterloo, because in 1815 she had a lover who afterwards became her husband, and she was not in a condition to return with safety to her Imperial spouse," is hard to believe. This mother of the son the poet-Emperor sings about was deriving pleasure in playing cards for napoleons with the Duke who was regarded by her husband as one of his most determined executioners. Her supposed connection with the statue naturally gave it a larger interest, so the Emperor expressed a desire to see the gunner, and ordered Bertrand to get permission for him to visit Longwood.

The Governor, after examining the gunner on oath, and having had him carefully searched, gave him leave to see Napoleon, but Captain Poppleton was ordered not to allow him to speak to the French unless in his presence. This arbitrary condition was resented with quiet, scornful dignity, and the gunner was asked to withdraw. It is hard to believe that a man could be so perversely crooked as Sir Hudson Lowe. How human it was for the exile to long to hear a message from the lips of one who was credited with having seen and spoken to the mother of his son, and how inhuman of Lowe to put any obstacles in the way of his desire being gratified!

The incident became common talk, and in proportion to its circulation, so did Lowe's reputation suffer. It is questionable whether he could have found any one unfeeling enough on the island to justify so despicable an act, except perhaps Sir Thomas Reade, whose baseness in this and other transactions cannot be adequately described, and whose nature seems to have been ingrained with the daily thought of achieving distinction by excelling his master in some form of cruelty.

It is a piteous reflection to think of these two plants of grace, the one at all times imbued with the idea of some sanguinary plan of punishment, while the other varied the plan of his doubtful transactions, at the same time telling the exiles that he was actuated by the sweetest and purest of motives.

In contrast to Lowe and Reade, the chroniclers speak in the highest praise of Major Gorriquer. The officers and soldiers of the garrison, as well as the men of the navy, extended their touching sympathy to the hero who described his imprisonment as being worse than "Tamerlane's iron cage." Captain Maitland, in his narrative, relates a story which indicates the magnetic power of this great soldier. Maitland was anxious to know what his men thought of Napoleon, so he asked his servant, who told him that he had heard several of them talking about him, and one of them had observed, "Well, they may abuse that man as much as they please; but if the people of England knew him as well as we do, they would not hurt a hair of his head." To which the others agreed.

There are many instances recorded where sailors ran the risk of being shot in order that they might get a glimpse of him, and there is little doubt the poor gunner-messenger was subjected to inimitable moral lectures on the sin and pains and penalties of having any communication whatsoever with the ungentle inhabitants of Longwood. This good-hearted fellow was as carefully shadowed as though he had been commissioned to carry the Emperor off. Lowe was infected with the belief that he had some secret designs, and if he were not kept under close supervision he might take to sauntering on his own account and really have some talk with the French, and then what might happen? This episode was brought to a close by the Emperor directing that a kind letter should be written to the enterprising sailor, and that a draft for £300 should be enclosed. O'Meara says, "By means of some unworthy trick he did not receive it for nearly two years."

The reason so much is made of the bust affair is accounted for as follows:—

Lowe, on first hearing of it being landed, intended to have it seized and thrown into the sea. He afterwards took possession of the article, with the idea of making Napoleon a present of it himself. This idea did not pan out as he expected, and in consequence of public indignation running so high, he had the bust sent to Longwood immediately after his conversation with Bertrand. While Las Cases was waiting at Mannheim in the hope that the pathetic appeals he had made to the sovereigns on behalf of Napoleon would bring to him a favourable decision, the Dalmatian gunner heard of him. He was passing through Germany to his home after a fruitless attempt in London to get the money Napoleon had enclosed in his letter. The reason given was that the persons on whom it was drawn were not then in possession of the necessary funds. Las Cases paid him, and received his appropriate blessings for his goodness. Imprecations against Lowe were lavishly bestowed by the gunner. He had been prevented from landing at St. Helena on his way back from India, and but for this spiteful act of Lowe's the money would have been paid at once.

Meanwhile the touching appeals of Las Cases to the sovereigns were unheeded. Even Napoleon's father-in-law, the Emperor of Austria, who had given his daughter in marriage to the arbiter of Europe, did not deign to reply, though only a brief time before he had received many tokens of magnanimity from the French Emperor. So, indeed, had other kings and queens of that time, not excluding Alexander of Russia; but more hereafter about these monarchs who had once clamoured for the honour of alliances with Napoleon and with his family, but who now were conspirators in the act of a great assassination.

Some three years before, Lord Keith was horrified when Captain Maitland informed him on board the Bellerophon, in Torbay, that the Duke of Rovigo, Lallemand, Montholon, and Gourgaud had said that their Emperor would not go to St. Helena, and if he were to consent, they would prevent it, meaning that they would end his existence rather than witness any further degradation of him. Lord Keith is indignant, and replies to Sir Frederick Maitland, "You may tell those gentlemen who have threatened to be Bonaparte's executioners that the law of England awards death to murderers, and that the certain consequence of such an act will be finishing their career on a gallows." Precisely!

The noble lord's fascinating little speech is quite in accord with justice, but did he ever raise a finger to prevent his colleagues and their renowned deputy from committing the same crime at St. Helena, and after this same Bonaparte's demise, were any steps taken to call to account those whom the great soldier had consistently declared were causing his premature death? Lord Keith, with his eyes uplifted to heaven, had said, "England awards death to murderers," and in this we are agreed, but there must be no fine distinction drawn as to who the perpetrators are or their reason for doing it. Whether a person for humanity's sake is despatched by a friendly pistol-shot or the process of six years of refined cruelty, the crime is the same, the only difference being (if life has to be taken) that it is more merciful it should be done expeditiously.

The French revered their Emperor, and could not bear to witness his dire humiliation at the hands of men so infinitely his inferiors, hence the thought of unlawfully ending his existence. On the other hand, members of the British Government were swollen out with haughty righteousness; they regarded themselves as deputies of the Omnipotent. They determined in solemn conclave that the man against whom they had waged war for twenty years, and who was only now beaten by a combination of circumstances, should be put through the ordeal of an inquisition. If he held out long, well and good, but should he succumb to their benign treatment, their faith would be steadfast in their own blamelessness. They were quite unconscious of being an unspeakable brood of hollow, heartless mediocrities. Why did Lord Keith not give them, as he did the devoted Frenchmen, a little sermon on the orthodoxy of the gallows? They were far more in need of his guiding influence.

The British public were deceived by the most malevolent publications. The great captive was made to appear so dangerous an animal that neither soldiers nor sailors could keep him in subjection, and the stories of his misdeeds when at the height of his ravishing glory were spread broadcast everywhere. Nothing, indeed, was base enough for the oligarchy of England and the French Royalists to stoop to.

For a time the flow of wickedness went on unchecked. At last a few good men and women began to speak out the truth, and as though Nature revolted against the scoundrelism that had been and was now being perpetrated, a sharp and swelling reaction came over the public. Men and women began to express the same views as Captain Maitland's sailors had expressed, viz.: "This man cannot be so bad as they make him out to be."

Las Cases had been sent to the Cape, but his journal, containing conversations, dictations, and the general daily life of the exiles since they embarked aboard the Bellerophon, was seized by Lowe, so that he might pry into it with the hope of finding seditious entries. (It may be taken for granted that no eulogy of himself appeared therein.) The poor Count and his son on arrival at the Cape were confined in an unhealthy hovel, and treated more like galley-slaves than human beings. After some weeks of this truly British hospitality under the Liverpool-Bathurst regime he determines to make a last appeal to Lord Charles Somerset, then Governor at the Cape, to be more compassionate. He had been told that nothing but a dog or a horse attracted either his sympathy or his attention, and frankly admits that he found himself in error in thinking so harshly of his lordship, as his appeal met with a prompt and generous response.

The Governor, in fact, expressed his sorrow on learning for the first time of the Count's illness and the conditions under which he was living. He immediately put at his disposal his country residence, servants, and all else that would add to his comfort, and thus earned the eternal gratitude of a much persecuted father and son. Lord Charles Somerset, for this gracious act alone, will rank amongst the good-hearted Englishmen of that troublesome time. It would appear that the Cape Governor's subordinates were entirely responsible for the ill-treatment complained of.

It is a puzzle to know for what purpose this gentleman and his son were detained at the Cape. The Count had frequently pointed out the folly of his detention, and begged Lord Charles to allow them to take their passage in a small brig of 200 tons that was bound to Europe. This request was agreed to, a passport granted, and the captain of the craft that was to be carried "in the sailors' arms" three thousand leagues was given stern instructions that should he touch anywhere, his passengers were to have no communication with the shore, and on reaching England they were not to be allowed to land without receiving orders from the Government.

Whatever other charge may be brought against Las Cases, the lack of courage can never be cited. The act of taking so long a passage in this cockleshell of a vessel is a sure testimony of his devotion and bravery. The food and the accommodation were of the very worst, and though the account given of the low thunder of the waves lashing on the decks is not very sailorly, there can be little doubt that so long a passage could not be made without some startling vicissitudes.

At length, after nearly one hundred days from the Cape, they are safely landed at Dover, and make their way to London to apprise the immortal Bathurst of their arrival and of their desire to see him, so that he might listen to some observations about St. Helena matters. This man of mighty mystery and dignity does not deign to reply, but sends a Ministerial messenger to inform the Count that it is the Prince Regent's pleasure that he quits Great Britain instantly. Las Cases tells the messenger that it is a "very sorry, silly pleasure" for His Royal Highness to have, but he has to quit all the same, as England is now governed by "sorry, silly pleasure." Another batch of papers is taken from him, and he is bundled away to Ostend and from thence to other inhospitable countries, and ultimately lands at Frankfort.

The Count writes many clever, rather long, but disturbing letters to noble lords in England, to members of Governments in other countries, and to every crowned head interested in the little community they have in safe and despotic keeping at St. Helena. He sends a petition to the British Parliament stating in clear, clinching terms another indictment against the British Ministry and their agent. This document was sent from the deserts of Tygerberg, but like much more of a similar kind, not a word was said about it. The author, however, was not to be fooled or driven from the path which he conceived to be his duty to his much wronged Emperor, so the petition was published, and created a great sensation.

This had to be subdued or counteracted, and as the Government were unaccustomed to manly, straightforward dealing, they fell back on their natural method of intrigue and the spreading of reports that were likely to encourage and create prejudice against their captive. It was imputed to them that while the Congress was sitting at Aix-la-Chapelle they got up a scare of a daring plot of escape. This was done at a time when the monarchs were touched with a kind of sympathy for the man who had so often spared them, and whom their cruelty was now putting to death.

No wonder that this Ministry of little men were suspected of tricks degrading and treacherous. The recitals of their distorted versions of their woes affected the public imagination like a dreary litany. Vast communities of men were beginning to realise that a tragedy was being engineered in the name of sanctity and humanity.

Every agency composed of cunning, unscrupulous rascals was enlisted to picture the Emperor as a hideous monster who should not be allowed to enjoy the liberty so charitably given him, and who, if he got his proper deserts, should be put in chains. He was depicted as having a mania for roaming about the island with a gun, shooting wild cats and anything else that came within range. Madame Bertrand's pet kids, a bullock, and some goats were reported to have fallen victims to this vicious maniac. Old Montchenu and Lowe became alarmed lest he should kill some human being by mistake; they perplexed their little minds as to the form of indictment should such an event happen. Should it be manslaughter or murder? This knotty question was submitted with touching solemnity to the law officers of the Crown for decision, and it may be assumed that even their sense of humour must have been excited when they learned of the quandary of the Governor and the French Commissioner. The shooting propensity set the ingenious Lowe a-thinking, and in order to satisfy it he evolved the idea of having rabbits let adrift, but, as usual, another of his little comforting considerations is abortive, and the plan has a tragic finish. Shooting is off. The Emperor's hobby has changed to gardening. The rabbits become an easy prey to the swarms of rats that prowl about Longwood, and soon disappear.

It is quite probable that Napoleon did have a fancy for shooting, but it is well known he was never at any time a sportsman in the sense of being a good shot—indeed, everything points to his having no taste for what is ordinarily known as sport, and that he ever shot kids, goats, or bullocks is highly improbable. That he occasionally went shooting and got good sport in killing the rats and other vermin which made Longwood an insufferable habitation to live in is quite true. It is also quite true that Lowe became demented with fear in case the shooting should have sanguinary and far-reaching effects. Hence the foregoing communication to the law officers.

There is little doubt as to the use that was made of the ludicrous inquiry by Lowe. It must have been handed over to the army of loathsome libellers—men and women who were willing to do the dirtiest of all work, that of writing and speaking lies (some abominable in their character) of a defenceless man, in order that their vindictiveness should be completely satisfied. Vast sums were annually expended for no other purpose than to put their afflicted prisoner through the torture of a living purgatory.

Napoleon did not heed their silly stories of shooting exploits, though he knew the underlying purpose of them. It was the darker, sordid wickedness that was daily practised on him that ate like a canker into mind and body until he was a shattered wreck. It was the foul treatment of this great man that caused Dr. Barry O'Meara to revolt and openly proclaim that the captive of St. Helena was being put to death. As an honourable man he declared he could behold it no longer without making a spirited protest. He knew that this meant banishment, ostracism, and persecution by the Government. He foresaw that powerful agencies would be at work against him, and that no expense would be spared in order that his statements should be refuted, but he hazarded everything and defied the world. He came through the ordeal, as all impartial judges will admit, with cleaner hands and a cleaner tongue than those who challenged his accuracy.

Make what deductions you may, distort and twist as you like the unimportant trivialities, the main facts related by O'Meara have never been really shaken. What is more, he is backed up by Napoleon himself in Lowe's personal interviews with him, and more particularly by his letters to the Governor—to say nothing of the substantial backing he gets from Las Cases, Montholon, Marchand, and Gourgaud—that shameless, jealous, lachrymose traitor to his great benefactor.

And then there is Santini, whose wish to kill the Governor was not altogether without good reason, and who was deported from the island for this and other infringements of the regulations. The publication of his pamphlet, previously mentioned, created a great sensation, and it sold like wildfire. It was said to be fabrications, but it was not all fabrications. Montholon reports that Napoleon criticised the work, and remarked that some one must have assisted him. Well, so it was. The story was related to Colonel Maceroni, an Italian, by Santini, and put into readable form by him, but this does not detract from that which is really true in it, and a good deal of what O'Meara contends is confirmed therein.

Then O'Meara's successor, Antommarchi, has even a worse story to relate. These chronicles vary only in phrase and detail, and even in these there is wonderful similarity. But when we come down to the bedrock foundation of their complaints, i.e., the policy and treatment by Lowe and his myrmidons, incited by the Home Government and their followers, each record bears the stamp of truth—the indictment is the same though it may be related differently.

Some writers have cast doubt on the authenticity of the St. Helena chroniclers without having a peg to hang their contentions on. The answer to all this is, that if never a line had been written by these men, the State papers, cunningly devised and crafty though most of them are, would have been ample evidence from which to draw unfavourable conclusions. Indeed, without State papers being brought into it at all, there is facing you always the glaring fact of a determined assassination perpetrated in the name of humanity, and if I felt any desire to be assured of this, I would take as an authority William Forsyth's three volumes written in defence of Sir Hudson Lowe. No author has so completely failed to prove his case. Moreover, no valid reason has ever been given, or ever can be, for doubting the veracity of O'Meara and other gentlemen of Napoleon's suite who have written their experiences of the St. Helena period.

In the first place, those sceptical writers who deal with the different books that have been published relative to this part of Napoleon's history were not only not there to witness all that went on, but some of them were not born for many years after Napoleon and his contemporaries had passed on. So that it really narrows itself down to this: the knowledge the sceptics have attained is taken from documents or books written for the most part by the very men who they say are not to be relied on as giving a true version of all that took place during their stay at St. Helena. It cannot be disputed that these gentlemen were in daily and hourly contact with England's prisoner, and, as they aver, jotted down everything that passed in conversation or that transpired in other ways between themselves and the Emperor, or anybody else.

The history of the St. Helena period, as written by authors who were on the spot, is, in the present writer's opinion, singularly free from exaggeration, let alone untruths. Besides, what had any of them to gain by sending forth distorted statements and untruthful history? No one knew better than they that every line they wrote would be contested by those who had relied on the rigid regulations suppressing all communications except those which passed through the hands of Sir Hudson Lowe. Certainly O'Meara cannot be accused of having ulterior motives, nor can any of the others—not even Gourgaud, who acted alternately traitor and devoted friend. Gourgaud alone seems to have had a mania for sinning and repenting, writing down during his childish fits of temper about his supposed wrongs on his shirtcuffs, and not infrequently his finger-nails, some nasty remark or some slanderous thoughts about the man whose amiable consideration for him was notorious amongst the circle at Longwood, and even at Plantation House. These scribblings were intended for precise entry in his diary, and if the peevish temper lasted until he got at this precious book, down they went in rancorous haste.

Yet this hot-headed, jealous chronicler, guided by blind passion and never by reason while these moods were on him, has been held up as an authority that may be relied upon as to the doings and sayings of Napoleon and his immediate followers at the "Abode of Darkness." It is a well-known axiom that persons who speak or write anything while jealousy or temper holds them in its grip may not be counted as reliable people to follow, and that is exactly what happened in Gourgaud's case. He was the Peter of the band of disciples at St. Helena, and it may be considered fairly reasonable to assume that those who have written up the General as a sound historian have done so with a view to backing up prejudices, big or small, against the Emperor.

But surely they have committed a very grave error in singling out as their hero of veracity a man who, in his more normal and charitable moods, pours out praise and pity for his Imperial chief in astonishing profusion.

O'Meara's position was very different from any of the other diarists or writers. He was well aware that if he wrote an honest history it meant his complete ruin, yet he faced it, and defied the world to controvert his statements. "In face of the world," he says, "I challenge investigation," and "investigation" was made with a vengeance worthy of the Inquisition. If a word or a sentence could by any possible means be made to appear faulty, a scream of denunciation was sent forth from one end of Europe to the other, but the crime had sunk too deeply into the hearts of an outraged public for these ebullitions to have any real effect. There might be flaws in diction and even matters of fact, but the sordid reality of the documentary and verbal story that came to them was never doubted. The big heart of the British nation was beginning to be moved in sympathy towards the martyr long before his death, and of course long before O'Meara's book appeared, though the doctor's advent in Europe was made the occasion of a vigorous exposure of the progress of the great assassination.

A wave of public opinion was gathering force; the Government, stupid and treacherous as they were, saw it rising, and renewed their silly efforts to stem it by causing atrocious duplicity to be instituted at home and on the martyr rock. Indeed, nothing was beneath their dignity so long as they succeeded in deceiving an agitated populace and accomplishing their own evil ends.

But notwithstanding the tactics and the deplorable use made of the traitor Gourgaud, sympathetic feeling increases. Questions are frequently asked in the House of Commons, to which evasive answers are given, but reaction is so obviously gaining ground that Lords Liverpool, Castlereagh, and the immortal Bathurst become perturbed. They saw in the accession to power of Lord Holland's party a complete exposure of their maladministration, and a reversing of their policy (if it be not a libel to distinguish it as a "policy"). They knew, too, that once the public is fairly seized with the idea of a great wrong being perpetrated, no Government, however strong numerically or in personality, can withstand its opposition. Had the Emperor lived but a little longer, the vindictive men who tormented him to death would have been compelled to give way before not only British, but European, indignation. Public opinion would have enforced the Administration to deal out better treatment to their captive, have demanded his removal from the island of sorrow, and probably his freedom. The public may be capricious, but once it makes up its mind to do anything no power on earth can stop it, because it has a greater power behind it. Luckily, or unluckily, for Bathurst & Co., the spirit of the great captive had passed beyond the portal before serious public action could be taken.

Three years previous to this the Colonial Secretary in writing to Lowe says:—"We must expect that the removal of Mr. O'Meara will occasion a great sensation, and an attempt will be made to give a bad impression on the subject. You had better let the substance of my instructions be generally known as soon as you have executed it, that it may not be represented that Mr. O'Meara has been removed in consequence of any quarrel with you, but in consequence of the information furnished by General Gourgaud in England respecting his conduct."[11]

In reading through these State letters, one is struck with the diplomatically(?) cunning composition of them. There does not seem to be a manly phrase from beginning to end. Trickery, suspicion, cruelty, veiled or apparent, and an occasional dash of pious consideration and bombast sums up these perfidious documents. A few extracts will convey precisely the character of the men who were carrying on negotiations which should have been regarded as essentially delicate.

In February, 1821, Bathurst writes to Lowe:—

"Sufficient time will have elapsed since the date of your last communications to enable you to form a more accurate judgment with respect to the extent and reality of General Bonaparte's indisposition. Should your observations convince you that the illness has been assumed, you will of course consider yourself at liberty to withhold from him the communication which you are otherwise authorised to make in my despatch No. 21," &c.

On April 11, 1821, Lowe writes to Bathurst:—"The enclosed extract of a letter from Count Montholon may merit, as usual, your lordship's perusal." (This, of course, is intended as wit.) "It may be regarded as a bulletin of General Bonaparte's health, meant for circulation at Paris."

Dr. Antommarchi, in writing to Signor Simeon Colonna on March 17, 1821, after dilating on his master's health, the climate, &c., bursts out in a paragraph: "Dear friend, the medical art can do nothing against the influence of climate, and if the English Government does not hasten to remove him from this destructive atmosphere, His Majesty soon, with anguish I say it, will pay the last tribute to the earth"; and in a postscript he adds: "I offer the undoubted facts stated above, in opposition to the gratuitous assertions in the English newspapers relative to the good health which His Majesty is stated to enjoy here."

On March 17, 1821, Montholon writes to Princess Pauline Borghesi: "The Emperor reckons upon your Highness to make his real situation known to some English of influence. He dies without succour upon this frightful rock; his agonies are frightful." At the time Napoleon was suffering thus, letters were published in some of the Ministerial newspapers purporting to have come from St. Helena and representing him to be in perfect health.

On May 6, 1821, Lowe writes to Bathurst announcing the death of the Emperor. It is a long rigmarole not worth quoting, except that he condescends to allow the body to be interred with the honours due to a general officer of the highest rank. Then follows the majestic reply of Bathurst. He says, "I am happy to assure you that your conduct, as detailed in those despatches, has received His Majesty's approbation"; which indicates that Lowe did not feel quite happy himself as to how the effusions would be regarded by his employers, now that the Emperor had succumbed to their and his own wicked treatment. In his despatches of February and April, 1821, he had mockingly referred to Napoleon's indisposition as being faked, and in May he is obliged to write himself as an unscrupulous liar, but notwithstanding this, his action meets with the approval of the chief of the executioners, which is very natural, seeing that this person was regarded as one of the most prominent scoundrels in Europe. But Sir Hudson Lowe craved for approbation, and was so mentally constituted that he believed he deserved it by committing offences against God and man.

"Every good servant does not all commands, no bond but to do just ones," but Lowe, in his anxiety to please his employers, went to the furthest limits of injustice. How void of human understanding and what Mrs. Carlyle called "that damned thing, human kindness" this wretched man was!

As will be hereafter shown, he had not long to wait after Napoleon's death and the receipt of tokens of friendliness that had been sent to him through the Colonial Secretary, before he was made to feel that the Government was not disposed to carry any part of his public unpopularity on its shoulders. He had done his best or worst to make that portion of the earth on which he lived miserable to those he might have made tolerably happy, without infringing the loutish instructions of a notoriously stupid Government. Instead of this he made himself so despised that the Emperor, almost with his last breath, called all good spirits to bear witness against him and his murderous confederates.

The great soldier had slipped his moorings on May 6, 1821, and on the 7th or 8th, after much ado with the Governor, a post-mortem examination was held by Dr. François Antommarchi in the presence of Drs. Short, Arnott, Burton, and Livingstone. Lowe was represented by the Chief of Staff. The examination disclosed an ulcerous growth and an unnaturally enlarged liver, which may be assumed as the ultimate cause of death, though Antommarchi's report assuredly points to the fatal nature of the climatic conditions.

The French were anxious to have the body of their Emperor embalmed, but Hudson Lowe insisted that his instructions forbade this. Napoleon had commanded that his heart should be put in a silver vase filled with spirits of wine and sent to Marie Louise. When Sir Hudson Lowe heard that this was being done, he sent a peremptory order forbidding it, stating that no part should be preserved but the stomach, which would be sent to England. Naturally such wanton disregard of the Emperor's wish was violently resented by the French, and by the best of the English who were there. A long and heated discussion seems to have ensued on this question, which ended in the Governor having to give way—not altogether—but he was compelled to a compromise, viz., that the heart and stomach should be preserved and put into the coffin.

The Governor was then confronted with what to him was another knotty point. The Emperor had desired that a few gold coins struck during his reign should be buried with him. After serious consideration this was graciously allowed, but not without forebodings of trouble arising therefrom! What the British Government or their idiotic Governor wanted with Napoleon's stomach, or why they refused to allow his body to be embalmed, or his heart preserved and sent to his wife, Heaven only knows. They had monstrously violated all human feeling by ignoring appeals made to them from all parts of the world to be merciful to a much afflicted man. They were well informed by the best medical authorities on the island that the climate was deadly to a constitution such as his. They ignored reports of his declining health even up to a few weeks of his death, and then when the Arch-enemy claimed him, they flooded Europe with the intelligence that he had succumbed to the malady from which his father died, and that their tender and benevolent care for him was unavailing. The progress of his inherited disease could not be checked.

The world is fast beginning to realise the infamy of it all. Not a thought ever entered their heads but that of torture, veiled or open, and the appalling clumsiness of their endeavours to conceal their Satanic designs, so that they might appear in the light of beneficent hosts, shows that they cowered at the possibility of public vengeance. Happily for them, Napoleon's death came too near to the terrific commotion caused by the French Revolution.

Tumult raged round the Emperor during the whole of his public career, and powerful agencies were constantly proclaiming against him and his methods. His advent had brought with it a new form of democracy, which cast down oligarchies and despotisms everywhere. His system destroyed and affected too many interests not to leave behind it feelings of revenge, but this revenge did not exist among the common people. Those who persecuted the common people felt his heavy hand upon them. The populace entered into his service in shoals, only to betray him when the time of trial came. He knew the risk he ran, but did not shrink from it. He hoped that he might bring them to adopt the great principles he held and the plan he had in view.

His ambition was to seek out all those who had talent and character and give them the opportunity of developing their gifts for the benefit of the race. Humble origin had no deterrent effect on him. His most brilliant officers and men of position sprang from the middle and lower middle class, and taking them as a whole, their devotion never gave way, even during the most terrible adversity that ever befell mortal man. One small instance of admiration and sympathy is evidenced by the beautiful reverence shown by the officers and men of the English army and navy, who defiled before the dead hero's remains and bent their knees to the ground.

Montholon says that "some of the officers entreated to be allowed the honour of pressing to their lips the cloak of Marengo which covered the Emperor's feet." Lowe must have felt a pang of remorse when he saw these simple men pouring out in their sailorly and soldierly way tokens of profound sorrow. Everything that could had been done to cause their captive to be regarded as a menace to human safety, and to be forgotten altogether; but how futile to attempt such a task while the world of civilisation is swayed by human instinct and not by barbarity!

The report of Napoleon's death did not relieve the anxieties of the European Cabinets. They knew the danger of being overwhelmed by a revulsion of feeling, and the difficulty of stopping the masses once they are set in motion, and there were strong manifestations of the popular indignation breaking loose, with all the terrible consequences of a reign of terror. The feeling of grief was universal and intense. A spark might have caused a great conflagration. Lord Holland declared in Parliament that the very persons who detested this great man had acknowledged that for ten centuries there had not appeared upon earth a more extraordinary character.... "All Europe," he added, "has worn mourning for the hero"; and those who contributed to that great sacrifice are destined to be the objects of the execrations of the present generation as well as to those of posterity.

Just at the time the great spirit of the hero was passing on to the Elysian Fields, there, as he used to fancifully foreshadow, to meet his brave comrades in arms who had preceded him, a tempest of unusual severity broke over "the abode of darkness and of crimes." Houses were shaken to their foundation; the favourite willow-tree, where he had often sat and enjoyed the fresh breezes, was torn up by the hurricane, as indeed were the other trees round about Longwood. This terrible disturbance of the elements was characteristically interpreted as being the voice of the living God proclaiming to the world that the Emperor was being thundered into eternity to meet his Creator, and to be judged by Him for the wrongs his political and other opponents said he was guilty of towards themselves and the human race generally. In true British orthodoxy, the Great Judge is always claimed as a fellow-countryman, and Sir Walter Scott is not singular in attributing this phenomenal disturbance as an indication of coming vengeance against England's prisoner. The Scottish bard is not altogether impartial in the send-off of the exile. He associates another colossal personage with the great Corsican. The Lord Protector, we are reminded, was similarly borne from time into eternity on the wings of a devasting tornado. Poor Oliver! whose war-cry was "The Lord of Hosts," and who never doubted that he was the high commissioner sent by the Almighty to clean the earth of mischievous Royalists, traitors, Papists, and other ungovernable creatures in Ireland and elsewhere.

It does not appear to have struck these gentlemen, with their thoughts centred on Holy Writ and finding comfort in the support it gave to their contention, that the Great God, instead of making nature break out with such terrible violence to indicate His displeasure against this wonderful man, made in His own image and sent by Him to serve both a divine and a human purpose, was using accumulated natural forces to show His wrath at the culmination of the most atrocious tragedy that had ever been perpetrated.

The good Sir Walter and the unctuously pious biographer of Sir Hudson are obviously overcome by the coincidence of the storm and Napoleon's death coming simultaneously. To them it is the voice of God shouting forth gladness that the enemy of the British race is being made to pay the penalty of all the evil he has wrought. This is a very comforting conclusion to arrive at after having kept your victim on the rack for six years and made war on him for twenty, but did it never occur to them that the greatest sacrifice ever offered culminated in just such natural disturbances and that at the same time "the veil of the temple was rent in twain"?

Happily for the fair fame of human rights, many writers of Napoleonic history have got over national prejudices and timidity, and are chronicling very different views from those of Sir Walter and the uninteresting defender of Lowe; and the more impartial the minds who inquire into the first as well as the last phase of this extraordinary career, the more will it appear that he was not an enemy, but a powerful reforming agency of mankind. He vowed over and over again that he "never conquered unless in his own defence, and that Europe never ceased to make war upon France and her principles." And again he asserted: "One of my grand objects was to render education accessible to everybody. I caused every institution to be formed upon a plan which offered instruction to the public, either gratis or at a rate so moderate, as not to be beyond the means of the peasant. The museums were thrown open to the canaille. My canaille would have become the best educated in the world. All my exertions were directed to illuminate the mass of the nation instead of brutifying them by ignorance and superstition." These ideals are in striking contrast to the policy of the oligarchy of Europe, who were fighting to suppress knowledge and to re-establish the worst form of superstition and despotism.

It is a deplorable thought that the nations (and especially Great Britain) who allied themselves against this man of the people and sent him to an inhuman death might have saved themselves the eternal condemnation of future ages had they made their peace with him, as the sagacious Charles James Fox would have done had he lived. Had they been wise, they would have made use of his matchless gifts and well-balanced mind to help forward the regeneration of the human chaos which was both the cause and the result of the Revolution. Above all, had the "Liberty loving" British nation been true to her declared principles, she would either have kept aloof from the conflict that was raging or found some honourable means of co-operating with him, and thereby earned a share of the glory that will be eternally attached to his name in the great effort of extinguishing thraldom and ameliorating the condition of the masses.

Instead of this, she basely linked her destiny with the traitors of France and the allies of Europe to dethrone the monarch elected by the French people, and to place in his stead a king who was forced upon them by the Allies, and not the people of France. This is a strange travesty of "Liberty loving" government. Had the great Quaker been kept in power, instead of Pitt, who was always in a chronic state of scare and whining that he could never survive the downfall of his country, the rivers of British blood that were shed and the eight hundred million pounds sterling of debt need not have been squandered. All this was done at the bidding of a few men who were entrusted with the government of a great nation, and either by odious deception, or sheer incapacity to judge of the fitness of things, caused it to be believed that they were bound to maintain the balance of power or status quo which was endangered, and that the one man who had upset their nerves and incurred their hatred should be removed at all costs.

It is pretty certain that England could easily have kept out of the continental embroil had the Government been composed of men of talent and free from oligarchal prejudices, whereas all we got out of it, plus the loss of life and treasure, was a share in the questionable glory of Waterloo, the custody of the great figure who was betrayed by some of his own subjects, "the odium of having his death bequeathed to the reigning family of England," and the fact that Louis XVIII., by his own admission to the French nation, was put on the throne by our own precious Prince Regent.

These are only a few of the results that should not make us proud of that part of our history. But we have travelled far since those days of vicious actions. Nothing approaching the perfidy of it could happen in the present age. It is unthinkable that either the sagacious, peaceloving, peacemaking monarch on the throne or his Ministers and people would lend themselves to committing the senseless blunders that disgraced our name at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Even allowing that it was inevitable we should wage war against the head of the French nation, nothing can ever blot out the stain of having refused him the asylum he asked for, after we had taken so large a share in bringing about his downfall. He asked in the following letter to the Prince Regent to be the guest of England, and England made him its prisoner. Here is the document:—

"The sport of those factions which divide my country and an object of hostility to the greatest Powers of Europe, I have finished my political career, and come, like Themistocles, to sit down by the hearth of the English people. I place myself under the protection of their laws, which I claim from your Royal Highness as the most powerful, the most constant, and most generous of my enemies." Had it been left to the English people instead of to the Government and His Royal Highness, I do not think this dignified appeal would have been altogether ignored, as Napoleon's quarrel was not with the people.

They knew that it was the oligarchy that feared and detested him. It has been said that even His Royal Highness would have granted hospitality, and it would have saved the nation over which he ruled the blight of eternal execrations had he been strong enough to stand against the blundering decision of a revengeful Ministry.

No impartial student of the part played by Napoleon during twenty years of warfare will deny that the institutions he founded, the laws that he made, and his mode of government wherever established, were beneficent, and entirely aimed at the adjustment of inequalities that had culminated in a great national uprising. His dictatorship was wielded with a wholesome discipline without unnecessarily using the lash. He had no cut-and-dried maxim of dealing with unruly people, but his awful power made them feel that he distinguished between eternal justice and tyranny. He knew, and he made everybody else know, that under the circumstances too much liberty would be like poison to some people. When he said, "No more of this," the aggressors realised that the doctrine of fraternity as they understood it must not be stretched further.

Notwithstanding his methods of reproof and restraint, he was idolised by the masses, even by those he led his armies against and so often conquered. Even in our own country, where enmity against him was assiduously nursed by the press and other agencies, there was an important section who believed we were putting our money on the wrong horse. This idea was not confined to the poorer classes. Many of our best and wisest statesmen were strongly opposed to this policy of hostility against him.

He had starved in the streets of Paris, sold his precious books and other belongings to provide the means of buying bread to sustain himself and his much beloved brother Louis, who in after years behaved to him with base ingratitude. He suffered dreadful privations during the keen frosty nights, owing to the want of fire, light, and sometimes sufficient clothing. No wonder that he thought of ending his woes by plunging into the Seine.

But a glimmering of light came and lifted him out of a numbing despair. He was made to see in his hour of trial that lassitude must cease, and that he was meant for other things, and in order to accomplish them he must be strong and audacious. Fate, fortune, and a mysterious Providence found in him an indomitable chief whose genius was intended to change the face of Europe. Like all big men who spring from obscurity and the deadliness of poverty, and are launched on the scene to create order out of tumult and chaos, his enemies, in the nature of things, were both numerous and prolific. At the outset he adopted the method he so often thundered into his soldiers when on the eve of battle, viz.: "You must not fear Death, my lads. Defy him, and you drive him into the enemy's ranks."

One of the charges made against him by serene critics who have been desirous of showing his weak points is that he was too careless and forgiving towards the squabbling nest of paid and unpaid murderers who prowled about in disguise, thirsting after his blood. It is certain that he carried clemency to a fault in many instances, and this no doubt contributed to his undoing; but at the same time there is ample proof that he knew well enough where his foes were to be found, and whenever the dignity and safety of the State were imperilled, he was not slow to punish. His habit was not weakness, but only a too careless regard for his own personal safety.


[1] Montholon, "History of the Captivity of Napoleon," p. 326. The editor says he is indebted for these details to the official accounts published at the time by the French Government.

[2] This was the name given to Napoleon by the Arabs. "Kebir" means "great" (Montholon, vol. iv. p. 245).

[3] These words were dictated to Las Cases by Napoleon at St. Helena in 1819 (p. 315, vol. iv., of his Journal).

[4] See p. 183, vol. i., "Captivity of Napoleon."

[5] O'Meara, in his second volume, p. 134, states: "The Emperor was so firmly impressed with the idea that an attempt would be made to forcibly intrude upon his privacy, that, from a short time after the departure of Sir George Cockburn, he always kept four or five loaded pistols and some swords in his apartments, with which he was determined to despatch the first who entered against his will."

[6] See p. 299, Montholon's "Captivity of Napoleon," vol. i.

[7] See p. 301, vol. i., "Captivity of Napoleon."

[8] See pp. 57-62, bust incident.

[9] The easygoing Joseph had been careless of the letters, which would have further proved the infamy of the oligarchy. These letters were in many cases applications for territory. He had intrusted them to a base friend, by whom they were offered to the various Governments for £30,000. The Russian Ambassador is reported to have paid £10,000 to get hold of those concerning his master. His Majesty of Prussia appears to have had a covetous eye on Hanover. He always entertained a paternal regard for that country. The sovereigns in general seem to have compromised themselves deeply in their efforts to secure territory.

[10] See "Montholon," vol. iii p. 37.

[11] This is an impudent lie. The quarrel was with Lowe because the doctor refused to be his accomplice.



On May 9, 1821, the mortal remains of the Exile were interred at a spot called the Valley of Napoleon. He had selected this spot in the event of the Powers not allowing his remains to be transferred to France or Ajaccio. Lowe desired to put on the lid of the coffin "Napoleon Bonaparte," but his followers very properly disdained committing a breach of faith on the dead Emperor, and insisted on having "Napoleon" and nothing else. The Governor was stubbornly opposed to it, so he was buried without any name being put on the coffin.[12]

Perhaps one of the most terrific passages of unconscious humour is related by Forsyth (vol. iii. p. 288), where Lowe is made to say to Major Gorrequer and Mr. Henry, as they walked together before the door of Plantation House discussing the character of Napoleon, "Well, gentlemen, he was England's greatest enemy and mine too; but I forgive him everything. On the death of a man like him we should only feel deep concern and regret." Forsyth thinks this splendid magnanimity on the part of his hero.

It is not recorded what the gallant Major thought of it, but it may be taken for granted that if Mr. Henry and Gorrequer had any sense of humour at all, Lowe's comment must have sounded very comical, knowing what they did of the relations between the dead monarch and his custodian, though it must be said that Henry seems to have been the only person who could work up a sympathetic word for Sir Hudson. Forsyth, in vol. iii. p. 307, says: "No one can study the character of Napoleon without being struck by one prevailing feature, his intense selfishness." This is a remarkable statement for any man who professes to write accurate history to make, and proves conclusively that Forsyth had not "studied" Napoleon's "character," or he would have found, not only his closest friends, but some of his bitterest enemies doing him the justice of stating the very opposite of what this writer says of him.

Mr. Henry, who took part in the dissection of the corpse, says that Napoleon's face had a remarkably placid expression, and indicated mildness and sweetness of disposition, and those who gazed on the features as they lay in the still repose of death could not help exclaiming, "How beautiful!" After this very fine description from Sir Hudson's friend, Forsyth adds a footnote: "It may interest phrenologists to know that the organs of combativeness, causativeness, and philoprogenitiveness were strongly developed in the cranium"! In order to prove the charge of selfishness he brings in the old familiar story of the divorce: "A memorable example of this (i.e., selfishness) occurs in his treatment of the nobleminded Josephine."

This outburst is obviously intended for effect, but Forsyth does not score a success in bringing the amiable Empress to his aid; for, whatever virtue she may have possessed, authentic history reveals her as the antithesis of "nobleminded." Those who knew the lady intimately speak with marked generosity of her graces, but they also record a shameless habit of faithlessness to her husband at a time when he was pouring out volumes of love to her from Italy. And she seems to have let herself go without restraint during his stay in Egypt. The wayward, weak Josephine had many lovers, who were not too carefully selected.

From the time of her marriage with Napoleon until she heard of him being on his way from Egypt to France, her love intrigues were well known, and her lovers were certainly not men of high public repute. In short, Josephine was anything but "nobleminded." She was a confirmed and audacious flirt until the stern realities of the dissolution of her marriage brought her to her senses, and from that time until the great political divorce took place, she appears to have kept free from further love entanglements. Napoleon's attachment to her was very genuine, and remained steadfast up to the time of her death, and even at St. Helena he always spoke of her with great reverence. Forsyth does not enhance Lowe's reputation or damage Napoleon's by the popular use he makes of the annulment of the little Creole lady's marriage, the merits of which may be referred to at greater length hereafter, as it is a subject of itself and this reference to a momentous incident of her husband's history is only by the way.

Meanwhile the Emperor's remains, in layers of coffins composed of wood, tin, and lead, were hermetically sealed, and the tomb, having been securely battened down with cement and slab, was substantially railed in to prevent the intrusion of a sympathetic and curious public. His tomb was left in charge of a British garrison, and the heroes who followed him to his grave, and shared his martyrdom and exile on that fatal rock for six mortal years, were shipped aboard the Camel and conveyed to England, there to be received by a set of mildew-witted bureaucrats smitten with suspicion that the exiles may have brought with them the spirit of their dead master, with the object of invoking a sanguinary reaction in his favour by disturbing the peace of Europe—as though Europe had experienced a single day of real peace since the downfall of the Empire!

These exemplary men had faced and borne with magnificent fortitude hardships well-nigh beyond human endurance. Their mission was to carry out the dying command of the hero whom they adored, and who had succumbed to the hospitable treatment of Bathurst, Castlereagh, Liverpool, and Wellington, and their accomplices. These guilty men, whose names, strange to say, are as undying as that of their victim, would fain have made it appear that had he not died of cancer of the stomach, it were not possible that he could have died of anything but robust health, owing to the salubrity of the climate they had selected and the unequalled care they had taken of his person through the immortal Lowe.

It is a remarkable thing that these men had no conception of the great being they were practising cruelty upon. It is indeed a strange freak of nature that makes it possible that the human mind can think of Napoleon and these bureaucrats at the same time, but that is part of the mystery that cannot at the present stage be understood. Time may reveal the phenomenon, and in the years to come the spirits of the just will call aloud for a real vindication of the character of the man of the French Revolution, and, forsooth, it may be that a terrible retribution is gathering in the distance. Who knows? Waterloo and St. Helena may yet be the nemesis of the enemies of the great Emperor. Obviously, he had visions, as had his compatriot Joan of Arc, who suffered even a crueller fate than he at the hands of a few bloodthirsty English noblemen, who disgraced the name of soldier by not only allowing her to be burnt, but selling her to the parasitical Bishops with that object in view. It is not strange that the Maid of Orleans, who suffered martyrdom for the supernatural part she took in fighting for her King and country, should, on April 18, 1909, become a saint of the Roman Catholic Church throughout the world, nor that the Pope should perform the ceremony. The English sold her. An ecclesiastical court, headed by the infamous Bishop of Beauvais, condemned her to be burnt as a witch, and when the flames were consuming her a cry of "Jesus" was heard. An English soldier standing by was so overcome by the awful wickedness that was being perpetrated by the Anglo-French ecclesiastical alliance, that he called out, "We are lost! We have burnt a saint!"

The soldier saw at once that the child of the Domremy labourer was a "saint," but it has taken five centuries for the Church to which she belonged, and whose representatives burnt her as a witch, to officially beatify her. True, this stage has been gradually worked up to by the erection of monuments to her honour and glory. Chinon distinguished itself by this, presumably because it was there that Joan interviewed the then uncrowned Charles, and startled him into taking her into his service by the story she told of hearing the heavenly voices at Domremy farm demanding that she should go forth as the liberator of France.

The recognition of Napoleon's claim, not to "sanctity," but as a benefactor of mankind, will also surely come, but in his case the demand will come from no Church, but with the irresistible voice of all Humanity.

Joan's country had been at war for one hundred years. Ravaged by foreign invaders and depopulated by plague, it was foaming with civil strife and treason to the national cause, many of the most powerful men and women, both openly and in secret, taking sides with the enemy. The crisis had reached a point when this modest, uneducated, clear-witted, fearless maiden was launched by her "voices" to the scene of battle, there to inspire hope and enthusiasm in the hearts of her people. In a few weeks she had established confidence, smashed the invader, and crowned the unworthy Charles VII. as King. Twenty years after they had burnt her, there was scarcely a foreign foot to be found on French soil.

There is a further similarity between the peasant girl and Napoleon. She was brought to the aid of her country by the voices of the unseen, and four hundred years after, when her country was again in dire trouble, he was found in obscurity and in an almost supernatural way flashed into prominent activity to save the Revolution. It was the voices of the living, seen and unseen, that called aloud for the little Corporal to lead to battle, conquer, and ultimately govern. It was some of the self-same voices that intrigued and then burst forth in declamation and demanded his abdication on the eve of his first reverse. The Church, which owed its rehabilitation to him after he had implanted a settled government in France, had no small share in the conspiracy for his overthrow. He said, "There is but one means of getting good manners, and that is by establishing religion." He believed it, and did it in spite of a storm of opposition that would have hurled a less resolute man from power, but he knew full well his strength, and was sure then, as he ever was, of his opinions.

The Church and those of the people who become allied to its material policy are prone to destroy those who have been of service to their cause. There is indeed no society of men and women who are so vindictive, nay, revengeful, once they are seized with the idea that they are being neglected, or their interests not receiving all the patronage they think they deserve, and then, after a few generations of reflection, they become overwhelmed with unctuous sanctity and remorse, and proceed to make saints of the victims of their progenitors in order that the perfidy they are historically linked to shall be whitewashed and atoned for.

Napoleon believed that "No physical force ever dies; it merely changes its form or direction"—and could we but get a glimpse behind the veil, we might see his imperishable soul fleeting from sphere to sphere, struggling with cruel reactionary spirits who forced him into eternity before the work he was sent to do was completed.

Wieland, the German writer, had an interview with him on the field of Jena. He says:—"I was presented by the Duchess of Weimar. He paid me some compliments in an affable tone, and looked steadfastly at me. Few men have appeared to me to possess in the same degree the art of reading at the first glance the thought of other men. He saw in an instant that, notwithstanding my celebrity, I was simple in my manners and void of pretension, and as he seemed desirous of making a favourable impression on me, he assumed the tone most likely to attain his end. I have never beheld anyone more calm, more simple, more mild, or less ostentatious in appearance; nothing about him indicated the feeling of power in a great monarch; he spoke to me as an old acquaintance would speak to an equal, and what was more extraordinary on his part, he conversed with me exclusively for an hour and a half, to the great surprise of the whole assembly."

Then Wieland goes on to relate what the conversation was. Napoleon "preferred the Romans to the Greeks. The eternal squabbles of their petty republics were not calculated to give birth to anything grand, whereas the Romans were always occupied with great things, and it was owing to this they raised up the Colossus which bestrode the world.... He was fond only of serious poetry, the pathetic and vigorous writers, and above all, the tragic poets."

Wieland had been put so much at his ease (so he says) that he ventured to ask how it was that the public worship Napoleon had restored in France was not more philosophical and in harmony with the spirit of the times. "My dear Wieland," was the reply, "religion is not meant for philosophers! they have no faith either in me or my priests. As to those who do believe, it would be difficult to give them, or to leave them, too much of the marvellous. If I had to frame a religion for philosophers, it would be just the reverse of that of the credulous part of mankind."[13]

Müller, the Swiss historian's private interview with him at this period is quite remarkable, and shows what a vast knowledge and conception of things the Emperor had. Nothing shows more clearly his own plan of regulating and guiding the affairs of the universe for the benefit of all. He tells Müller that he should complete his history of Switzerland, that even the more recent times had their interest. Then he switched from the Swiss to the old Greek constitutions and history; to the theory of constitutions; to the complete diversity of those in Asia, and the causes of this diversity in the climate, polygamy, the opposite characters of the Arabian and the Tartar races, the peculiar value of European culture, and the progress of Freedom since the sixteenth century; how everything was linked together, and in the inscrutable guidance of an invisible hand; how he himself had become great through his enemies; the great Confederation of Nations, the idea of which Henri IV. had; the foundation of all religion and its necessity; that man could not bear clear truth and required to be kept in order; admitting the possibility, however, of a more happy condition, if the numerous feuds ceased which were occasioned by too complicated Constitutions (such as the German) and the intolerable burden suffered by States from excessive armies.

These opinions clearly mark the guiding motives of Napoleon's attempts to enforce upon different nations uniformity of the institutions and customs. "I opposed him occasionally," says Müller, "and he entered into discussion. Quite impartially and truly, as before God, I must say that the variety of his knowledge, the acuteness of his observations, the solidity of his understanding (not dazzling wit), his grand and comprehensive views, filled me with astonishment, and his manner of speaking to me with love for him. By his genius and his disinterested goodness, he has also conquered me."[14] The remarkable testimony of Wieland and Müller, both men of distinction, is of more than ordinary value, seeing that they were not his countrymen, but on the side of those who waged war against him. Müller admits that he conquered him, and the world must admit that he is gradually, but surely, conquering it in spite of the colossal libels that have been spoken and written of him for the ostensible purpose of vindicating the Puritans and making him appear as the Spoliator and Antichrist whose thirst for blood, so that he might attain glory, was an inexhaustible craze in him. To them he is the Ogre that staggers the power of belief, and yet he defies the whole world to prove that he ever declared war or committed a single crime during the whole carnival of warfare that drenched Europe in human blood.

Up to the present, the world has lamentably failed to do anything of the sort. His opponents, libellers, and progeny of his mean executioners, are all losing ground, and he is gaining everywhere. There is an unseen hand at work revealing the awful truth. This dignified, calm, unassuming man, while surrounded by a crowd of Kings and Princes, who were competing with each other to do him homage and show their devotion, startles them by telling a story of when he was "a simple Lieutenant in the 2nd Company of Artillery." Possibly some of his guests were observed to be putting on airs that were always distasteful to the Emperor, and this was his scornful way of rebuking them. Or it might be that he wished to take the opportunity of informing Europe that he had no desire to conceal his humble beginning, though at that time he was recognised first man in it. Historians, when he was at the height of his power, ransacked musty archives assiduously to find out and prove that he had royal blood in him. They professed to have discovered that he was connected with the princely family of Treviso, and the comical way in which he contemptuously brushed aside this fulsome flattery must have lacerated the pride of courtiers who sought favours by such methods.

Bearing on the royal blood idea, Gourgaud in his Journal relates that the Emperor told him the following stories:—

"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,'" and then with fine humour he adds:—"I had only to say the word and everybody would have believed the fable."

He never forgot that he was Napoleon, hence never said the word.

His insincere father-in-law has been industriously searching for royal blood too, and this is what his son-in-law says of him:—

"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 suppose 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 nobility dates from Monte Notte. Return him these papers.' Metternich was very much amused."

Francis of Austria must have felt confounded at the rebuke of his unceremonious relative, who was always the man of stern reality—too big to be dazzled by mouldy records of kingly blood. Neither did pomp or ceremony attract him, except in so far as it might serve the purpose of making an impression on others. Bourrienne, a shameless predatory traitor, has said in his memoirs that when the seat of government was removed from the Luxembourg to the Tuileries, the First Consul said to him, "You are very lucky; you are not obliged to make a spectacle of yourself. I have to go about with a cortège; it bores me, but it appeals to the eye of the people."

Roederer in his memoirs relates pretty much the same thing, only that it bears on the question of title, and presumably the researches for confirmation of his royal descent.

Here again, his strong practical view of things, and his utter indifference to grandeur or genealogical distinction, are shown. He says: "How can anyone pretend that empty names, titles given for the sake of a political system, can change in the smallest degree one's relations with one's friends and associates? I am called Sire, or Imperial Majesty, without anyone in my household believing or thinking that I am a different man in consequence. All those titles form part of a system, and therefore they are necessary." He always ends his ebullitions of convincing wisdom by making it clear precisely where he stands.

The writer might quote pages of eulogies of him from the most eminent men of every nationality. There is no trustworthy evidence that he ever sought the flattery that was lavished on him; indeed, he seems to have been alternately in the mood for ignoring or making fun of it. On one occasion he writes to King Joseph, "I have never sought the applause of Parisians; I am not an operatic monarch."[15]

Seguier says:—

"Napoleon is above human history. He belongs to heroic periods and is beyond admiration."[16]

A notable Englishman, Lord Acton, says (like Müller) that "his goodness was the most splendid that has appeared on earth." And there are innumerable instances which prove that his sympathies and goodness to those who were notoriously undeserving was a fatal passion with him. But there is no opinion, blunt though it be, that so completely touches one as that of the plain English sailors who said at Elba that "Boney was a d——d good fellow after all." "They may talk about this man as they like," said one of the crew of the Northumberland, "but I won't believe the bad they say of him," and this view seems to have been generally held by the men who composed the crew of the vessel that took the Emperor to St. Helena. It is noteworthy that English man-of-war's-men, and also merchant seamen of these stirring times, should have formed so favourable an impression of Napoleon, especially as the Press of England teemed with hostility against him. Articles attributing every form of indescribable bestiality, corruption, gross cruelty to his soldiers, subordinate officers, and even Marshals, appeared with shameful regularity. In these articles were included the most absurd as well as the most serious charges.

I include the following story as a specimen, and take it in particular as being quoted quite seriously by certain anti-Napoleonic writers in the endeavour to bolster up a feeble case. Prejudice and distorted vision prevented them from seeing the absurdity of such attempts to blacken the character of Napoleon. Let the reader judge!

It is related that, at the time of the Concordat, Napoleon remarked to Senator Volney, "France wants a religion." Volney's courageous (!) reply was, "France wants the Bourbons," and the Emperor is thereupon supposed to have been attacked by a fit of ungovernable fury, and to have kicked the Senator in the stomach!

The more serious charges included incest with his sister Pauline and his stepdaughter Hortense, and the poisoning of his plague-stricken soldiers at Jaffa.

His palaces were said to be harems, and his libertinism to put Oriental potentates to the blush. So industrious were these foes to human fairness that they manufactured a silly story just before the rupture of the Treaty of Amiens, to the effect that Napoleon had made a violent attack on Lord Whitworth, the British Ambassador. So violent was he in his gestures, the Ambassador feared lest the First Consul would strike him. Even Oscar Browning is obliged to refute this unworthy fabrication as being absurd on the face of it, but it has taken ninety years to produce the authentic document from the British Archives which disproves the scandal. Napoleon was too much absorbed in things that mattered to take notice of the stupid though virulent stories that were constantly being concocted against him. When he was appealed to by his friends to have the libels suitably dealt with, he merely shrugged his shoulders, as was his custom, and said, "All this rubbish will be answered, if not in my time, by posterity. It pleases the chatterers and scandalmongers, and I haven't time to be perturbed, or to meddle with it."

It ill became the subjects of George IV. to attack Napoleon on the side of morality. It is well enough known that the French Court during the Empire was the purest in Europe. In his domestic arrangements, the one thing that Napoleon was jealous of, above all others, was that his Court should have the reputation of being clean. He took infinite pains to assure himself of this. His private amorous connections are fully described by F. Masson, a Frenchman, and a staunch admirer of his. But to accuse him of libertinism is an outrage. He had mistresses, it is true, and it is said he would never have agreed to the divorce of Josephine had it not been that Madame Walewska (a Polish lady) had a son by him. (This son held high office under Napoleon III.) But even in the matter of mistresses he was most careful that it should not be known outside a very few personal friends. As a matter of high policy it was kept from the eye of the general public, and he gives very good reasons for doing so. Not merely that it would have brought him into serious conflict with Josephine, but he knew that in order to maintain a high standard of public authority food for scandal must be kept well in hand.[17]

His enemies, however, were adepts at invention, and although the moral code of that period was at its lowest ebb, they pumped up a standard of celibacy for the French Emperor that would have put the obligation under which any of his priests were bound in the shade. So shocked were they at the breaches of orthodoxy which were written and circulated by themselves without any foundation to go upon, that they advocated excommunication, assassination, anything to rid the world of so corrupt a monster. But the moral dodge fell flat. It was not exactly in keeping with the unconventionalities of the times, and, in fact, they had carried their other accusations and grievances to so malevolent a pitch, the straightforward and rugged tars aboard the Bellerophon and Northumberland were drawn in touching sympathy towards the man who had thrown himself into their hands in the fervent belief that he would be received as a guest and not as a prisoner of war.

We know that he had other means of escape had he chosen to avail himself of them. He had resolved after his abdication to live the time that was left to him in retirement, and believing in the generosity of the British nation, he threw himself on their hospitality. He had made his way through a network of blockade when he returned from Egypt and Elba, and looking at the facts as they are now before us, it is preposterous to adhere to the boastful platitude that he was so hemmed in that he had no option but to ask Captain Maitland to receive him as the guest of England aboard the Bellerophon, and it may be taken for granted that the resourceful sailors knew that he had many channels of escape. They knew the Bellerophon was a slow old tub, and that she would be nowhere in a chase.

Besides, it was not necessary for Napoleon to make Rochefort or Rochelle his starting-point. The troops and seamen at these and the neighbouring ports were all devoted to him, and would have risked everything to save him from capture. He knew all this, but he was possessed of an innate belief in the chivalry of the British character, and left out of account the class of men that were in power. He knew them to be his inveterate foes, but was deceived in believing they had hearts. Their foremost soldier had taken an active share in his defeat, and he acknowledged it by putting himself under the protection of our laws. The honest English seamen who were his shipmates on both ships were not long in forming a strong liking to him, and a dislike to the treatment he was receiving. They felt there was something wrong, though all they could say about it was that "he was a d——d good fellow."

Lord Keith was so afraid of his fascinating personality after his visit to the Bellerophon that he said, "D——n the fellow! if he had obtained an interview with His Royal Highness, in half an hour they would have been the best friends in England." In truth, Lord Keith lost a fine opportunity of saving British hospitality from the blight of eternal execration by evading the lawyer who came to Plymouth to serve a writ of Habeas Corpus to claim the Emperor's person, and the pity is that an honoured name should have been associated with a mission so crimeful and an occasion so full of illimitable consequences to England's boasted generosity. Except that he too well carried out his imperious instructions, Lord Keith does not come well out of the beginning of the great tragedy. The only piece of real delicacy shown by Lord Keith to the Emperor was in allowing him to retain his arms, and snubbing a secretary who reminded him that the instructions were that all should be disarmed. This zealous person was told to mind his own business.

Napoleon asks the Admiral if there is any tribunal to which he can apply to determine the legality of him being sent to St. Helena, as he protested that he was the guest and not the prisoner of the British nation; and Keith, with an air of condescending benevolence, assures him that he is satisfied there is every disposition on the part of the Government to render his situation as comfortable as prudence would permit. No wonder Napoleon's reply was animated, and his soul full of dignified resentment at the perfidy that was about to be administered to him under the guise of beneficence.

Scott describes the interview with Keith as "a remarkable scene." He says: "His (Napoleon's) manner was perfectly calm and collected, his voice equal and firm, his tones very pleasing, the action of the head was dignified, and the countenance remarkably soft and placid, without any marks of severity." That is a good testimony from the author of the "Waverley Novels," who was anything but an impartial biographer. Not even the novelist's most ardent admirers (and the writer is one of them) can give him credit for excessive partiality towards the hero who was the first soldier, statesman, and ruler of the age, who not only knew the art of conquering men as no other (not even Alexander) had ever known it, but had the greater quality of knowing how to conquer and govern himself under conditions that were unexampled in the history of man.

I say again, that apart from the violence of the treatment of the Powers towards him (and they all had a shameful share in it), it was a fatal blunder to send this great mind to perish on a rock when, by adopting a more humane policy, his incomparable genius might have been used to carry out the reforms he had set his mind on after his return from Elba. The tumult which surrounded his career had changed; he saw with a clear vision the dawn of a new era, and at once proclaimed to Benjamin Constant and to the French nation his great scheme of renewing the heart of things. He knew it would take time, and he foresaw also that a combination of forces was putting forth supreme efforts to destroy him. They were out for blood, and he was in too great a hurry.

In one of his day-dreams at St. Helena he exclaimed, "Ah! if I could have governed France for forty years I would have made her the most splendid empire that ever existed!"

His demand on fortune was too great, and notwithstanding the knowledge he had of human nature, he could not check the torrent of treason that had been sedulously nursed against him by his enemies until it ignited the imagination of those whom he had a right to expect would stand loyally by him in an hour of tribulation such as no other man had ever experienced.

It is true that he made history (brilliant history if you like) in those latter days, but oh! the anguish and the baseness of it all.

Cæsar made history too; neither did this ruler succeed altogether. Brutus, his friend, forsook and dispatched him, and possibly that was the most enviable finish to a great career. Did Napoleon fare better than his prototype, inasmuch as he was not the victim of the assassin's dagger? Intoxicated with the spirit of charity, his conquerors decreed that he should be deported to a secluded place of abode on a barren and unhealthy rock, there to be maintained at a cost to the nation of £12,000 a year, and succumb as quickly as possible like a good Christian gentleman.

The presumption of Lord Keith in observing to Napoleon that it was preferable for him to be sent to St. Helena than to be confined in a smaller space in England or sent to France or Russia, and the Emperor's supposed reply—"Russia! God preserve me from it!"—is almost unbelievable, and in the light of what he constantly asserted while England's captive, this expression may be regarded as a fabrication.

Whether it was an innate belief that Alexander of Russia was his friend, or the fact that Francis of Austria was his father-in-law, he certainly avowed—according to the St. Helena chroniclers—that if he had surrendered to either of them he would have been treated, not only with kindness, but with a proper regard as befitted a monarch who had governed eighty-three millions of people, or more than the half of Europe. But even if he were merely soliloquising, or wished to convince himself and those he expressed this opinion to, it is hard to think that any of the continental Powers would have risked the certain consequences of having him either shot or ill-treated, and it is extremely doubtful whether even in France there could have been found a soldier that would have obeyed an order to shoot his former Emperor, who had been requisitioned to return from Elba, and who so recently, with only six hundred soldiers, made war against Louis with his two hundred thousand and defeated and dethroned him.

Nothing so magnificent has ever been known. This great man had complete hold of the imagination and devotion of his common people and soldiers. Even in the hour of defeat their loyalty was amazing.

Various instances are given of this deep-rooted loyalty and affection. Some of his Imperial Guards who were wounded at Waterloo killed themselves on hearing that he had lost the battle, and many, who had been thought to be dead, when brought to consciousness shouted "Vive l'Empereur." The hospitals were full of dying men who uttered the same cry. One was having his leg amputated, and as he looked at the blood streaming from it, said that he would willingly give it all in the service of Napoleon. Another, who was having a ball extracted from his left side near the heart, shouted, "Probe an inch deeper and there you will find the Emperor."

The story of the old woman whom he and Duroc met during the second campaign in Italy, and while climbing Mont Tarare, is a striking illustration of how he was regarded by the poorer classes. She hated the Bourbons and wanted to see the First Consul. Napoleon answered, "Bah! tyrant for tyrant—they are just the same thing." "No, no!" she replied; "Louis XVI. was the king of the nobles, Bonaparte is the king of the people." This idea of the old woman was the universal feeling of her class right through his reign. No writer has been able to give proof that it was withdrawn, even when he was overwhelmed with disaster which drained his empire of vast masses of its population. No cruel inhuman despot could magnetise with an enduring fascination multitudes of men and women as he did. It was not his incomparable genius, nor his matchless military successes in battle. He was loved because he was lovable, and was trusted because he inspired belief in his high motives of amelioration of all down-trodden people. He ruled with a stern but kindly discipline, and put a heavy hand on those who had despotic tendencies.

The Duchess of Abrantès, who smarted under some severe comments he had made about her husband (Junot), the Duke of Abrantès, while at St. Helena, has been generous enough to say many kind things of him in her memoirs. One of her references to him is to this effect:—"All I know of him" (and she knew him well from childhood) "proves that he possessed a great soul which quickly forgets and forgives." She is very fond of repeating in her memoirs that Napoleon proposed marriage to her mother, Madame Permon, who was herself a Corsican and knew the Bonaparte family well.

Madame Junot relates another story which is characteristic of Bonaparte. Such was the enthusiasm of the people on his march towards Paris after landing from Elba, that when he was holding a review of the National Guard at Grenoble, the people shouldered him, and a young girl with a laurel branch in her hand approached him reciting some verses. "What can I do for you, my pretty girl?" said the Emperor. The girl blushed, then lifting her eyes to him replied, "I have nothing to ask of your Majesty; but you would render me very happy by embracing me." Napoleon kissed her, and turning his head to either side, said aloud, with a fascinating smile, "I embrace in you all the ladies of Grenoble."

That Napoleon made mistakes no one will dispute; indeed, he saw clearly, and admitted freely, in his solitude, that he had made many. His minor fault (if it be right to characterise it as such) was in extending clemency to the many rascals that were plotting his ruin and carrying on a system of peculation that was an abhorrence to him. Talleyrand, Fouché, and Bourrienne frequently came under his displeasure and were removed from his service, but were taken back after his wrath had passed.

Miot de Melito speaks of them as "Bourrienne and other subordinate scoundrels," and, indeed, Miot de Melito does not exaggerate in his estimate of them. Fouché says that Bourrienne kept him advised of all Napoleon's movements for 25,000 francs per month, besides being both partner and patron in the house of Coulon Brothers, cavalry equipment providers, who failed for £120,000.

In 1805, Bourrienne was appointed Minister Plenipotentiary at Hamburg, and during his stay there he made £290,000 by delivering permits and making what is known as "arbitrary stoppages," and besides betraying Bonaparte to the Bourbons, this vile traitor wrote to Talleyrand, a few days after the abdication at Fontainebleau: "I always desired the return of that excellent Prince, Louis XVIII., and his august family." But these things are mere shadows of the incomparable villainy of this thievish human jackdaw.

His memoirs are said to have been written by an impecunious and mediocre penman called Villemarest, who also wrote "Mémoires de Constant" (the Emperor's valet), and both books have been very extensively read and believed. Men have got up terrific lectures from them, authors have quoted from them whenever they desired an authority to prove that which they wished themselves and their readers to believe of trumped-up stories of Napoleon's despotism and evildoings. Certainly, Bourrienne is the last and most unreliable of all the chroniclers that may be quoted when writing a history of the Emperor. Neither his character nor any of his personal qualities imbues the impartial reader with confidence in either his criticisms or historical statements.

Men like Fouché, Talleyrand, and Bourrienne, and political women like Madame de Remusat and Madame de Staël, all of whom were brought under the Emperor's displeasure by their zealous aptitude in one way and another for intrigue, disloyalty, and, so far as the men are concerned, glaring dishonesty in money matters, have assiduously chronicled their own virtues and declaimed against Napoleon's incalculable vices, and this course was no doubt chosen in order to avert the public gaze from too close a scrutiny into their own perfidy. Their plan is not an unusual one under such circumstances; rascals never scruple to multiply offences more wicked than those already committed in order to prove that they are acting from a pure sense of public morality and historical truth. If the object of their attack be a benefactor, and one who has been obliged to rebuke or dismiss them for misdeeds, great or small, then they assail him with unqualified hostility.

This unquestionably was the penalty paid by Napoleon for extending clemency to men who, if they had been in the service of any other monarch in Europe, would have been shut up in a fortress, or shot, the moment their perfidies had been discovered. The pity is that so much of this declamatory stuff has been so willingly believed and made use of in order to defame the name of a sovereign whose besetting fault was in relaxing just punishment bestowed on those who, he could never altogether forget, were his companions in other days.


[12] Montholon wished to have the following simple inscription: "Napoléon, né à Ajaccio, le 15 Août, 1769, mort à St. Helena, le 5 Mai, 1821."

[13] Horne's "History of Napoleon," vol. ii.

[14] Horne's "History of Napoleon," vol. ii.

[15] "Correspondence of Napoleon I."

[16] Ibid.

[17] Madame Walewska bore him two children. This caused him to develop the idea of having an heir.



It seems as though Hell had been let loose on this great man and his family. The crowned heads of Europe and the plutocrats stopped at nothing in order that they might make his ruin complete. They dare not run the risk of putting him to death outright, but they engineered, by means of willing tools, a plan that was unheard-of in its atrocious character. They poured stories of unfaithfulness into the ears of a faithless woman whose name will go down to posterity as an ignoble wife and callous mother. She took with her into Austria the King of Rome, a beautiful child who was put under the care of Austrian tutors. He was watched as though he held the destinies of empires in the hollow of his hand. His father's name was not allowed to fall on his youthful ears, and more than one tutor was dismissed because he secretly told him something of his father's fame. Treated as a prisoner, spied upon by Metternich's satellites, not allowed to have any visitors without this immortal Chancellor's permission, not allowed to communicate with his father's family or with Frenchmen, this pathetic figure, stuffed with Austrian views, is seized with a growing desire to learn the history of his father, who declared in a letter to his brother Joseph in 1814 that he would rather see his son strangled than see him brought up in Vienna as an Austrian prince.[18]

Prince Napoleon in his excellent book—"Napoleon and His Detractors"—refers to the young Prince playing a game of billiards with Marmont and Don Miguel, the former having been one of his father's most important generals. He it was who betrayed him, and now he is become the Duke's confidant and instructor. The Prince says that his cousin asked to be told about the deeds that his father had done, his fall, and exile. There does not appear to be any record in existence as to what Marmont conveyed or withheld from the son of Marie Louise, but there is much evidence to show that the young man was not only an eager student of his father's career, but fully realised his own importance and influence on European politics.

It has been stated that until 1830 he really knew nothing of passing events in the land of his birth. Obenaus, his tutor, states in his diary, January 18, 1825: "During the afternoon walk, the political relations of the Prince to the Imperial family and to the rest of the world were discussed." Count Neipperg advised him to study the French language, and his reply was: "This advice has not fallen on an unfruitful or an ungrateful soil. Every imaginable motive inspires me with the desire to perfect myself in, and to overcome the difficulties of, a language which at the present moment forms the most essential part of my studies. It is the language in which my father gave the word of command in all his battles, in which his name was covered with glory, and in which he has left us unparalleled memoirs of the art of war; while to the last he expressed the wish that I should never repudiate the nation into which I was born."[19] He further adds, "The chief aim of my life must be not to remain unworthy of my father's fame."

His grandfather, the Emperor Francis—who was reputed to be quite devoted to him—said, "I wish that the Duke should revere the memory of his father." "Do not suppress the truth," says he to Metternich (the disloyal friend of Napoleon). "Teach him above all to honour his father's memory." The Chancellor replies, "I will speak to the Duke about his father as I should wish myself to be spoken of to my own son." What irony! Whatever attempts were made at any time to depreciate the Emperor, his son's loyalty to him never flinched. He regarded his father in the light of a hero whose glorious traditions were unequalled by any warrior or ruler of men. He drank in every particle of information he could discover about his father's life, and was by no means ignorant of what would be his own great destiny should he be permitted to live.

A strong party in France longed to have the son of their Emperor on the throne of France. A section of the Poles clamoured to have him proclaimed King of Poland after the Polish revolution, and the Greeks claimed him as their future King. All existing records dealing with the Prince's view concerning his position indicate quite clearly that he never under-estimated his importance. He was fully alive to and appreciated the growing devotion to himself, his cause, and to the great name he bore. We learn from Marshal Marmont that the Prince received him with marked cordiality when the Emperor Francis gave him permission to relate to him his father's history. Marmont, like all traitors, never neglected to put forth his popularity with the Emperor Napoleon. This is a habit with people who do great injury to their friends. They always make it appear that the injured person is afflicted with growing love for them—they never realise how much they are loathed and mistrusted.

The Prince at first received him with suspicion, then he tolerated him coldly, and it was not until Marmont fascinated him with stories of the genius and unparalleled greatness of his father's history that the young man subdued his prejudices and encouraged the Marshal in his visits to his apartments, in order that he might learn all that Marmont could tell him of his father's qualities and accomplishments. The young Napoleon caused the General to marvel at the quick intelligence he displayed in the pointed comments made on his father's career. In recognition of his services Marmont was presented with a portrait of the Prince.[20]

His cousin, Prince Napoleon, son of King Jerome, in his book "Napoleon and His Detractors," obviously desires to convey the impression that all questions, important or unimportant, relating to the Emperor, were studiously kept from his son, and until he arrived at a certain age there can be little doubt that undue and unnatural precautions were taken to prevent the Emperor's name being spoken, but the means used for this purpose must have proved abortive, as everything points to him having been well informed. He appears to have had an instinctive knowledge that nullified the precautions of the Court of Vienna, and especially its culpable Chancellor, Metternich, whose clumsy and heartless treatment is so apparent to all students of history. Probably this is the policy that prevailed up to 1830 which Prince Napoleon complains of. Be that as it may, we are persuaded that the Duke was not only well informed, but took a keen interest in the events of his own and of his father's life, long before the advent of Marmont as his tutor. For instance, on one occasion his friend, Count Prokesch, dined with his grandfather in 1830, and at table the Prince was afforded great pleasure in having the opportunity of conversing with this distinguished man. The young Duke knew that Prokesch had broken a lance in 1818 in defence of his father, and he eagerly availed himself of the chance of saying some very complimentary things to the Count. He informs him that he has "known him a long while, and loved him because he defended his father's honour at a time when all the world vied with each other to slander his name"; and then he continues: "I have read your 'Battle of Waterloo,' and in order to impress every line of it on my memory I translated it twice in French and Italian."[21] Obviously this young man was neither a dunce nor indolent when his father's fame and his own interests were in question.

One of the most remarkable features of this pathetic young life is the intense interest his mother's husband began to take in him, and he probably owed a great deal to the fact that Count Neipperg urged him to make himself familiar with the glory of the Empire and his father's deeds. Strange though it may appear, the son of the Great Napoleon and the morganatic husband of his mother were attached to each other in the most intimate way. If he perceived the immoral relations between Neipperg and Marie Louise, the Duke never seems to have divulged it; but taking into account the passionate love and devotion he had for his father's memory, it is barely likely that he knew either of the amorous connection or marriage having taken place between the Count and his mother, otherwise he would have had something to say about it, not only to Neipperg himself, but certainly to his friends Prokesch, Baron Obenaus, and Count Dietrichstein, and very naturally his grandfather. It may be that the circumstances of his life made him cautious, and even cunning, in keeping to himself an affair that was generally approved by the most interested parties, but it is hardly likely that the spirit of natural feeling had been so far crushed out of him as to forbid his openly resenting a further monstrous wrong being done to his Imperial father.

The young Prince was the centre of great political interest, and the object of ungrudging sympathy and devotion of a large public in Europe, and especially in France, and had his life been preserved a few more years he would, in spite of obstacles and prejudices, have been put on the throne of the land of his birth.

Metternich, the inveterate trickster, does not appear to have had any serious thought of encouraging the project of making the Duke Emperor of the French. His subtle game was to use him as a terror to Louis Philippe when that monarch became refractory or showed signs of covetousness.

The Prince carried himself high above sordid party methods. He was proud of being heir to a throne that his father had made immortal and he was determined not to soil it. If it was to be reclaimed, all obstacles must be removed ere he would lend his countenance to it. There must be a clear, uninterrupted passage. Thirty-four million souls, it was claimed, were anxious for his restoration to France. Amongst the leaders were to be found some of his father's old companions in arms and in exile, amongst whom none were more enthusiastic than the loyal and devoted Count Montholon, Bertrand, the petulant and penitent Gourgaud, and Savary, Duke of Rovigo. These were joined to thousands of other brave men who would have considered it an honour to shed their last drop of blood for the cause, and in memory of him whom they had loved so well. The two first-named were executors to his father's will, in which Napoleon enjoins his son not to attempt to avenge his death but to profit by it. He reminds him that things have changed. He was obliged to daunt Europe by his arms, but now the way is to convince her. His son is urged not to mount the throne by the aid of foreign influence, and he is charged to deserve the approbation of posterity. He is reminded that "MERIT may be pardoned, but not intrigue," and that he is to "propagate in all uncivilised and barbarous countries the benefits of Christianity and civilisation. Religious ideas have more influence than certain narrow-minded philosophers are willing to believe. They are capable of rendering great services to humanity."

These are only a few of the excellent thoughts transmitted to the young man from the tragic rock whose memories will ever defame the name of those who combined to commit a crime unequalled in political history.

It is none the less a phenomenon that this "abode of darkness," so monstrous in the history of its perfidy, should be illumined by the great figure that stamped its fame for evermore with his personality.

One of the last and finest works of genius he did there was to draw up a constitution for his son. It is doubtful whether Montholon ever succeeded in conveying it to the Prince, who passed on before the legitimate call to put it into practice came.

The Powers that made holy war for the last time on the great soldier with 900,000 men against his 128,000 arrogated the right to outlaw and brand him as the disturber of public peace. I have already said this was their ostensible plea, but the real reason was his determination to exterminate feudalism and establish democratic institutions as soon as he could bring the different factions into harmony. He failed, but the colossal cost of his failure in men and money is unthinkable. His subjugation left Great Britain alone with a debt, as already stated, of eight hundred millions, and then there was no peace.

The constitution intended for his son could have been very beneficially applied to some of the nations represented at the Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle by the allied sovereigns who declared him an outlaw, and spent their time in allocating slices of other people's territory to each other. The only nation that came badly out of the Congress was Great Britain.

This terrible despot, who was beloved by the common people and hated by the oligarchy, left behind him a constitution that might well be adopted by the most democratic countries.

The first article—composed of six words: "The sovereignty dwells in the nation"—stamps the purpose of it with real democracy. It might do no harm to embody some of its clauses into our own constitution at the present time. We very tardily adopted some of its laws long after his death, and we might go on copying to our advantage. He was a real progressor, but his team was difficult to guide. Had he been conciliated and allowed to remain at peace, he would have democratised the whole of Europe, but the fear of that, or the legitimacy idea, was undoubtedly the great underlying cause of much of the trouble. The mistrust and animus against the father was reflected upon the son, who was practically a State prisoner.

During childhood the Prince was strong and healthy, and his robust physique caused favourable comment. It was not until 1819 that his health became affected by an attack of spotted fever. This passed away in a few weeks, but the decline of his health, which was attributed to his rapid growth, dates from that period. He died prematurely on July 22, 1832, at Schönbrunn, and the accounts which may be relied upon indicate either wilfully careless or incompetent medical treatment. It is even asserted that this heir to the throne of France, ushered in twenty-one years before as the herald of Peace, was to be regarded as a source of infinite danger, and for that barbaric reason his health was allowed to be slowly and surely undermined until death took him from the restraining influences and crimeful policy of the Courts of Europe. Great efforts have been made to convince a sceptical public that his early death was the result of youthful indiscretions, but this is stoutly denied by Prokesch, who declares that he was a strictly moral youth, and Baron Obenaus, in his diary, justifies this opinion, if there was nothing else to support it. Moreover the same Anton, Count Prokesch was asked by Napoleon III. to tell him the truth as to the alleged love affairs, and he averred that the rumours were without foundation.

The King of Rome died at Schönbrunn in the same room that his father had occupied in 1809. In Paris a report was put about that he had been poisoned by the Court of Vienna. This opinion has been handed down, and there are many persons to-day who have a firm belief in its possibility.

Another common rumour, current in 1842, was that Metternich sent a poisoned lemon by Prokesch, which had done its work, and even this highly improbable story is not without reason believed, because Metternich was known to be the most heartless cunning Judas in politics at that time. He had betrayed the father of the Prince while he was declaring the most loyal friendship. He admits this, nay, even boasts of it, in his memoirs, and his shameful conduct has its reward by having won for him the stigma of wishing for, and hastening on, the death of an unfortunate young man for whom ordinary manliness should have claimed compassion. This moral assassin of father and son declared that he had "used all the means in his power to second the hand of God" by trapping Napoleon into the clutches of the combined moralists of Europe. The Usurper was to be ruined, then peace proclaimed for evermore. That was their pretence, though it could not have been their conviction. If it was, they were soon disillusioned.

I made a long journey in company with a Danish statesman a few years ago, and amongst other things that we conversed about was the reign and fall of Napoleon. This gentleman held up his hands and said to me, "Oh! what a blunder the criminal affair was. Had the Powers beheld the mission of this man aright, what a blessing it would have been to the world!"—and there is not much difficulty in supporting the view of this Danish gentleman. The more one probes into the history of the period, the more vivid the blunder appears.

Metternich has the distinction of being eulogised by M. Taine, who was neither fair nor accurate, and there is not much glory in being championed by a man whose book is made up of libels. Metternich may here be dismissed as being only one of many whose highest ambition was to destroy the man whom the French nation had made their monarch. Their aim was accomplished, but the spirit that evolved from the wreck of the Revolution still lives on, and may rise again to be avenged for the great crime that was committed.

Whether the gifted and amiable son of the Emperor Napoleon was despatched by the cruellest of all assassinations or came by his premature death by neglect, or by natural and constitutional causes, is a matter that may never be cleared up, though the actions of the high commissioners in the nauseous drama cause lingering doubts to prevail as to their innocence. It is certain that several determined attempts were made to take the Prince's life, and large sums were offered to desperadoes to carry out this murderous deed. Then the Court of Vienna were in constant fear of his abduction. His invitations to come to France were perpetual.

A lady cousin—the Countess Napoleone Camerata, daughter of Elisa Bacciochi, a sister of the Emperor, easily obtained a passport from the Pope's Secretary of State, and coquetted so successfully with the Austrian Ambassador, that he gave it a double guarantee of good faith by signing it. This impetuous and eccentric female made her way uninterruptedly to Vienna, found her cousin on the doorstep, made a rush for him and seized his hand, then shouted, "Who can prevent my kissing my sovereign's hand?" She also found means to convey letters to him. There is not much said about this Napoleonic dash, but from the records that are available the incident set the heroes—comprising the allied Courts (including France)—into a flutter of excitement. The fuss created by the enterprise of the pretty little Countess gives a lurid insight into the wave of comic derangement which must have taken possession of men's minds.

This lady received a pension during the Third Empire, and in eighteen years it mounted to over six million francs. She died in Brittany, 1869, and left her fortune to the Prince Imperial.

That there was a determined and well-conceived plot to carry the Duke off is undoubted, but the counter-plots prevailed against the more ardent Bonapartists who were thirsting for a resurrection of the glorious Empire. Prince Louis Napoleon, the eldest son of King Louis, disagreed with the idea of his family. He looked upon the Emperor's son as being an Austrian Prince, imbued with Austrian methods and policy, and therefore dangerous to the best interests of France. This Prince went so far as to hail with pleasure the crowning of Louis Philippe. He died in 1831. In the following year his Imperial cousin passed on too, and his demise was a great blow to the Bonapartists' cause, and it well-nigh killed the aged Madame Mère, who had centred all her hopes in him. Marie Louise announced his death, to his grandmother and asks her to "accept on this sorrowful occasion the assurance of the kindly feeling entertained for her by her affectionate daughter," and here is the cold, dignified, crushing reply from Madame Mère. It is dictated, and dated Rome, August 6, 1832:—

"Madame, notwithstanding the political shortsightedness which has constantly deprived me of all news of the dear child whose death you have been so considerate to announce to me, I have never ceased to entertain towards him the devotion of a mother. In him I still found an object of some consolation, but to my great age, and to my incessant and painful infirmities, God has seen fit to add this blow as fresh proof of His mercy, since I firmly believe that He will amply atone to him in His glory for the glory of this world.

"Accept my thanks, madame, for having put yourself to this trouble in such sorrowful circumstances to alleviate the bitterness of my grief. Be sure that it will remain with me all my life. My condition precludes me from even signing this letter, and I must therefore crave your permission to delegate the task to my brother."

Never a word about the lady's relationship to her son or to herself. Her reply is studiously formal, but every expression of it betokens grief and thoughts of the great martyr whom the woman she was writing to had wronged. There is not a syllable of open reproach, though there runs through it a polite, withering indictment that must assuredly have cut deeply into the callous nature of this notorious Austrian Archduchess who had played her son so falsely.

This wonderful mother of a wonderful family seems to have been the least suspected of political plotting of all the Bonapartists. She was respected by all, and revered and beloved by many. Crowned heads were not indifferent to her strength and nobility of character, but the stupid old King who succeeded her son to the throne of France got it into his head that she was harbouring agents in Corsica to excite rebellion, and he thereupon had a complaint lodged against her. Pius VII., who knew Madame Mère, sent his secretary to see her about this supposed intrigue. She listened to what the representative of the Pope had to say, and then with stern dignity began her reply:—

"Monseigneur, I do not possess the millions with which they credit me, but let M. de Blacas tell his master Louis XVIII. that if I did, I should not employ them to foment troubles in Corsica, or to gain adherents for my son in France, since he already has enough; I should use them to fit out a fleet to liberate him from St. Helena, where the most infamous perfidy is holding him captive."

Then she bowed reverently and left the room.

This was indeed a slashing rebuff both to Pius VII. and the "Most Christian King."

Another very good story is told of this extraordinary old lady by H. Noel Williams. It appears she persisted after the fall of the Empire in using the Imperial arms on her carriage.

"Why should I discontinue this symbol?" she asked. "Europe bowed to the dust before my son's arms for ten years, and her sovereigns have not forgotten it."

On one occasion she was out driving when a block occurred. Two Austrian officers, who were riding past, boldly looked into the carriage. Madame Mère, observing the Austrian uniform, to which she had an aversion, was excited to indignation, so letting down the window she exclaimed to them, "What, gentlemen, is your pleasure? If it is to see the mother of the Emperor Napoleon, here she is!" The officers were naturally crestfallen. They respectfully saluted and rode off. These stinging shots of hers were quite disturbing; they always went home, and reached too far for the comfort of her son's persecutors.

Her letter to the allied sovereigns who met at Aix-la-Chapelle is one of the most trenchant indictments that has ever been penned. Its logic, its brave, though courteous, appeal for justice and magnanimity, and above all the echo of motherly love which characterises it, stamp it as a document worth cherishing. The last paragraph will fascinate the imagination of generations yet to come, and heavy judgment will be laid on those that were committing the crime.

"Reasons of State," she says, "have their limits, and posterity, which forgets nothing, admires above everything the generosity of conquerors."

The allied sovereigns were afraid to answer the letter. Better for their reputations if they had obviated the necessity of writing it. The testimony of Pius VII. is that she was "a God-fearing woman who deserved to be honoured by every prince in Christendom."

A great joy came to Madame Mère in 1830, when they told her that the Government had decided to replace the statue of Napoleon on the Vendome Column. She went into ecstasies over this, but bewailed her lameness (she had broken her thigh that year) and total blindness, which would forever prevent her beholding the statue. She turned away from these painful reflections and comforted herself with a few words of sad humour, remarking that if she could have been in Paris as in former days, God would have given her strength to climb to the top of the column to assure herself that it was there. She refused to separate her lot from that of her children, and would not accept the proposal that the sentence of banishment should be repealed unless it included all her family. This remarkable woman died February 2, 1836, aged eighty-five, and Napoleon III. had the remains of his grandmother and Cardinal Fesch removed to Ajaccio in 1851. Six years later the remains were again removed and deposited in a vault constructed to receive them in a church which was built subsequent to the first interment at Ajaccio.

Pity and strange it is that the Emperor's faithless second wife should be noticed at all in history. Happily, very few even of those historians who are anti-Napoleon have anything very complimentary to say of her. She survived her son the King of Rome fifteen years, and the earth claimed her in December, 1847, her age being fifty-six. Had this amiable adulteress, who wished success to the allied armies against her husband, lived a little longer, she would have witnessed the humiliating spectacle of her father's successor being forced to abdicate his throne in favour of the nephew of her Imperial husband, whose memory all noble hearts revere, and whose sufferings, domestic and public, will ever lie at the door of this woman who allowed herself to be the base accomplice of a great assassination. The most fitting reference to her death appeared in the Times newspaper, which said that "nothing in her life became her like the leaving it." On April 15, 1821, in the third paragraph of his will, Napoleon, with consistent magnanimity, if not wilful indifference to this passive, icy female's abandonment of him, says: "I have always had reason to be pleased with my dearest Marie Louise. I retain for her, to my last moment, the most tender sentiments. I beseech her to watch, in order to preserve my son from the snares which yet environ his infancy." What irony!

It is quite a reasonable proposition to suppose that Napoleon must have had a secret suspicion of his wife's infidelity. It is even hard to believe that he had not a full knowledge of her actual association with Count Neipperg. It will be observed that while his reference to her is dutiful, not to say tender, there is still something lacking, as though he kept something snugly in the back of his head, something like the following:—"I cannot make this historical document without alluding to you for my son's sake, though I know full well you have wronged me and consorted with my enemies and betrayers. I know all this, but I am about to pass on, and true to my instincts of compassion and to my Imperial dignity, I must carry my sorrow and grief with me, and having given you as good a testimonial as I can, I must leave you to settle accounts with posterity as to your conduct towards me and your adopted country. I shall not do by you as you have done. I hope full allowance will be made for all you have made me suffer. Meanwhile, I am about to relieve the digestion of Kings by passing to the Elysian Fields, there to be greeted by Kleber, Desaix, Bessières, Duroc, Ney, Murat, Masséna, and Berthier, and we shall talk of the deeds we have done together. Yes, Marie Louise, I bend under the terrible yoke your father, his Chancellor, and the allied satellites have made for me, and yet I keep these incomparable warriors of Europe in a state of alarm. I wish you joy of your allies, who have behaved so nobly to your husband in captivity. I have often thought in my solitude, Louise, that it would have been a more popular national union had I carried out my intention of taking for my second wife a Frenchwoman. It may be that my marriage with you, consummated by every token of peace and goodwill, was really the beginning of my downfall. Ah! how much more noble of you to have followed me in my adversity to Elba. You might have done great service to France and to your native land, to say nothing of the possibility of breaking up the coalition against me and saving rivers of blood. Waterloo might never have been fought had you emulated your matchless sister-in-law, Catherine of Westphalia, in her attitude of supreme womanhood, and your fame might have surpassed that of Joan of Arc, and been handed down to distant ages as an example of heroic firmness and devotion, and then you would have been beatified by the Church and acclaimed a saint by the people to which you belong. You shared with me the unequalled grandeur of the most powerful throne on earth. I was devoted to you and you betrayed me. Your father insisted that you should break your marriage vow and found in you a willing accomplice in the outrage committed against me. You had shared my throne, and I had reason to expect that every human instinct would call you to my side in my exile, and the thought that burns into my soul is that in the infamy of years, posterity will not be reproached for averting its eye from you as well as from that heartless father who requested you to forsake me. Catherine of Westphalia did better. She defied her father, and clung more closely to her husband when he needed all the succour of a sympathetic being to comfort him in his hour of dire misfortune. These gloomy thoughts are forced upon me by every law of nature, and now that I have but a brief time left, I am impelled to bequeath to you in the third paragraph of my last will and testament some tender remembrance of you. I do this notwithstanding that you, Marie Louise, Empress of the French, prayed to God that He would bless the arms of the enemies of the land of your adoption. And then that letter which I sent you from Grenoble in a nutshell on my way from Elba to Paris to reclaim the throne which treason had deprived me of. I requested you to come to me with my son the King of Rome. You ignored that, as you did other communications which I sent, and which I am assured you received. I make no public accusation against you. That would be undignified and unkingly."

In spite of his apparent unaltered affection for his wife, Napoleon reflectively made occasional remarks during his exile which indicated that her conduct was much in his mind; and the foregoing portrayal of his sentiments towards her may be regarded as a human probability. The remarkable thing is that he should have made any reference at all to this erotic woman in his will. It puzzled his companions in exile, who knew well enough that she was the cause of much mental anguish to him. It afflicted him so keenly on two notable occasions that he drew pathetically a comparison between her conduct and that which would have been Josephine's under similar circumstances. It is an astonishing characteristic in Napoleon that he always forgave those who had injured him most.

In order to emphasise the spirit of forgiveness, he specially refers to a matter that must have taken a lot of forgiving. In the sixth paragraph of his will he says: "The two unfortunate results of the invasions of France, when she had still so many resources, are to be attributed to the treason of Marmont, Augereau, Talleyrand, and La Fayette. I forgive them—may the posterity of France forgive them as I do." Then in the seventh paragraph he pardons his brother Louis for the libel he published in 1820, although, as he states, "It is replete with false assertions and falsified documents." He heaps coals of fire on Marie Louise by requesting Marchand to preserve some of his hair and to cause a bracelet to be made of it with a little gold clasp. It is highly probable that the wife of Count Neipperg would rather not have been reminded of her amorous habits and other culpable conduct by these little attentions.

Neipperg, this foul and willing instrument of seduction, whose baseness insults every moral law, suffered great agony for three years from an incurable disease, and died in December, 1828, aged fifty-seven years. The Kings and regicides in their ferocious fear had made it an important part of their policy that Marie Louise should be the pivot on which the complete ruin of Napoleon should centre, so Neipperg was fixed upon as a fit and proper person to mould the ex-Empress into passive obedience to the wishes of her husband's inveterate enemies. Meneval notes that this man had already amours to his credit. He had indeed run away with another man's wife, and had issue by her. Probably his amorous reputation influenced the oligarchy in their choice.

In order that the plan might be carried out, he adroitly improvised falsehood, poured into her ears stories of faithlessness on the part of her Imperial husband, read books and pamphlets manufactured and exactly suited for the purpose he had in view. His instructions were to carry things as far he could get them to go, and he did this with revolting success.

God's broad earth has not known a more ugly incident than that of carrying personal hatred and political cowardice to such a pitch of delirium as that of forcing a weak woman to forsake her husband, sacrifice the interests of her child, and tempt her to break her marriage vow in order that her husband's ruin might be more completely assured. As a matter of high policy its wickedness will never be excelled.

At the death of her morganatic husband Marie Louise became "inconsolable." She gave orders for a "costly mausoleum to be put up so that her grief might be durably established." In reply to a letter of condolence written to her by the eminent Italian, Dr. Aglietti, in which he seems to have made some courteous and consoling observations, she says "that all the efforts of art were powerless, for it is impossible to fight against the Divine Will. You are very right in saying that time and religion can alone diminish the bitterness of such a loss. Alas! the former, far from exercising its power over me, only daily increases my grief." This "amiable," grief-stricken royal sham, overcharged with expressions of religious fervour, succumbs again to her natural instincts. "Time," she avers, "cannot console," but only increases the depth of her grief for "our dear departed."

Her sentiments would be consummately impressive were it not that we know how wholly deceitful she was without in the least knowing it. But the creeping horror of time is quickly softened by her marriage in 1833 to a Frenchman called De Bombelles, who was in the service of her native land, and is said to have had English blood in his veins. In spite of the loyal effort of Meneval to make her ironic procession through life appear as favourable as he can, the only true impression that can be arrived at is that she was without shame, self-control, or pity.

A strange sympathiser of Napoleon in his dire distress was a daughter of Maria Theresa and a sister of Marie Antoinette—Queen Marie Caroline, grandmother to Marie Louise. She had regarded the Emperor of the French with peculiar aversion, but when his power was broken and he became the victim of persecution, this good woman forgot her prejudices, sent for Meneval, and said to him that she had had cause to regard Napoleon at one time as an enemy, but now that he was in trouble she forgot the past. She declared that if it was still the determination of the Court of Vienna to sever the bonds of unity between man and wife in order that the Emperor might be deprived of consolation, it was her granddaughter's duty to assume disguise, tie sheets together, lower herself from the window, and bolt.

There is little doubt the dexterous and spirited old lady gave Louise sound advice, and had she acted under her holy influence, her name would have become a monument of noblemindedness, a lesson, in fact, against striking a vicious, cowardly blow at the unfortunate. It is moreover highly probable that Queen Caroline felt, at the time, that the political marriage of her granddaughter to the French Emperor was ill-assorted and tragic, but the deed having been done, she upheld the divine law of marriage. Besides, she knew that Napoleon had been an indulgent, kind husband to the uneven-minded girl, and that, whatever his faults may have been, it was her duty to comfort him and share in his sorrow as she had so amply shared in his glory. Hence she urges a reunion with the exile, but the ex-Empress may have made it impossible ere this to enjoy the consoling sweets of conjugal companionship, and her subsequent conduct makes it more than likely that she was too deeply compromised to abandon the vortex and face the penalty of the errors she had committed.

"I could listen," says Napoleon, "to the intelligence of the death of my wife, my son, or of all my family, without a change of feature—not the slightest emotion or alteration of countenance would be visible. But when alone in my chamber, then I suffer. Then the feelings of the man burst forth."

We are not accustomed to think of this strong personality as being overcome with soft emotions. We have regarded him as the personification of strength, and yet with all his gigantic power over men and himself, he had a real womanly supply of human tenderness. Once he was seen weeping before the portrait of his much beloved son, whom he called "Mon pauvre petit chou." "I do not blush to admit," said he on a memorable occasion, "that I have a good deal of a mother's tenderness. I could never count on the faithfulness of a father who did not love his children."


[18] "Correspondance de Napoléon," vol. 128, p. 133.

[19] Quoted from De Wertheimer's "Duke of Reichstadt," p. 330.

[20] See "Memoirs."

[21] See "Memoirs."



It would be an easy task to enlarge on the excellent qualities of this wonderful man. Volumes could be written about this phase of his dazzling career alone, and yet we have miscreants such as Talleyrand proclaiming to the Conference of "Christian Kings" and traitors that the greatest, most powerful, and most humane prince of the age "must be exterminated like a mad dog." The news of his flight from Elba and arrival in Paris, vociferously acclaimed by the French people as their lawful sovereign, threw this band of parasites into apoplectic terror; Talleyrand, of all creatures, dictating to the Conference as to the wording of the proclamation that should be issued outlawing his Emperor, whom he and they styled "Usurper." If it were not so outrageous a violation of decency, we would look upon it as the most comical incident notified in history. Talleyrand, the most accomplished traitor and barefaced thief in Europe, except perhaps Bourrienne, he who could not prevent himself from fumbling in his sovereign's and everybody else's pockets whenever the opportunity occurred, to be allowed to sit in conference with the anointed rulers of Europe is really too comic.

Napoleon was styled "Usurper" by these saintly Legitimists, not one of whom attained kingship so honourably and legitimately as the man whom they had sworn to destroy, even though the whole of Europe were to be drenched in blood by the process of it. They set themselves to disfranchise and usurp the rights of the French people, who had only just again ratified by millions of votes his claim to the throne, and the gallant and heroic response to their requisition that he should leave Elba and become their ruler again. Surely it will never be contended that Napoleon's claims were less legitimate than those of the Prince of Orange, or the Elector of Hanover, or Frederic William the great Elector, whose sole qualification for kingship consisted in having the instincts of a tiger. Of the latter Lord Macaulay says, "His palace was hell, and he the most execrable of fiends." His sole ambition seemed to be to pay fabulous sums for giant soldiers, and he showed an inhuman aversion to his son, afterwards known as Frederic the Great, and his daughter Wilhelmina. He was as ignorant and ill-conditioned a creature as could be found in the whole world, a cowardly rascal who found pleasure in kicking ladies whom he might meet in the street and ordering them "home to mind their brats." No more need be said of the father of the great Frederic, whose "Life" took Thomas Carlyle thirteen years in searching musty German histories to produce. Carlyle says, "One of the reasons that led me to write 'Frederic' was that he managed not to be a liar and charlatan as his century was"; and indeed his adoration for Frederic is quite pardonable. He had spent thirteen years of his life in the supreme effort of making him a hero, and his great work, contained in eight volumes, is a matchless piece of literature; but there is nothing in it to justify anyone believing that Frederic was neither a liar nor a charlatan. It is true Frederic finished better than he began, but truthfulness and honesty were not conspicuous virtues of his. He lied, broke faith, and plundered wherever and whenever it suited his purpose, and some of his other vices were unspeakable. There is no doubt he was both a quack and a coward when he broke the Pragmatic Sanction and began to steal the territory of Maria Theresa. The powers of England, France, Spain, Russia, Poland, Prussia, Sweden, Denmark, the Germanic body, all had agreed by treaty to keep it. Had he been an honourable man and possessed of the qualities Carlyle credits him with, he would have stood by his oath. Instead of defending his ally, he pounced upon her like a vulture, and plunged Europe into a devastating, bloody war, with the sole object of robbery; and all he could say for himself in extenuation of such base conduct was: "Ambition, interest, the desire of making people talk about me, carried the day; and I decided for war."

Truly Frederic was not a good man, and his reputation for being great was mainly acquired because the Powers and circumstances allowed him to succeed after seven long years of sanguinary conflict.

Indeed, there was not a single act in the whole of Napoleon's career that approaches the lawlessness and cruelty of Frederic. He really usurped nothing, and Frederic usurped everything that he could put his hands on, regardless of every moral law; but then he ignored all moral laws. There is no need for comparison, but it is just as well to point out that the plea of legitimacy is very shallow, and the contention of the Allies is an amazing burlesque emanating from the brains of an industrious mediocrity.

These legitimate monarchs, through their Ministers, used barefacedly to inspire journalists to write the doctrine of waste of blood as being a natural process of dealing with the problem of overpopulation. History is pregnant with proof that their cry for peace was an impudent hypocrisy. They might have had it at any time, but this did not suit their policy of legitimacy. Countless thousands of human beings were slaughtered to satisfy the aversion of kings and nobles to the plan of one man who towered above them, and insisted on breaking up the nefarious system of feudalism and kingship by divine right. They loathed both him and his system. They plotted for his assassination, and intrigued with all the ferocity of wild animals against his humane and enlightened government. He trampled over all their satanic dodges to overthrow the power that had been so often enthusiastically placed in his hands by the sovereign people. He constructed roads and canals, and introduced new methods of creating commerce. He introduced a great scheme of expanding education, science, art, literature. Every phase of enlightenment was not only initiated, but made compulsory so far as he could enforce its application. He re-established religion, and gave France a new code of laws that are to this day notoriously practical, comprehensive, and eminently just.

He not only re-established religion, but he upheld the authority of the Pope as the recognised head of the Roman Church. He built his "pyramids in the sea," established a free press, and declared himself in favour of manhood suffrage. He included in his system a unification of all the small continental States, and was declaimed against as a brigand for doing it. Wherever his plans were carried out the people were prosperous and happy, so long as they were allowed to toil in their own way in their fields and in other industrial pursuits.

It was the perpetual spirit of war that overshadowed the whole of Europe which prevented his rule from solving a great problem. He, in this, was invariably the aggrieved. The plan which he had carried into practical solution was wrecked by the allies, and in less than a century after the great reformer had been removed from the sphere of enmity and usefulness, Prince Bismarck forced these small States into unification with the German Empire, thereby carrying into effect the very system Napoleon was condemned for bringing under his suzerainty. What satire, what malignity of fate, that Bismarck, a positive refutation of genius in comparison with the French Emperor, should succeed in resurrecting the fabric that the latter had so proudly built up for France, only to be in a few short years the prize of Germany, recognised by the very Powers who fought with such embittered aggressiveness against the great captain and statesman who made not only modern France, but modern Europe; and who at any time during his reign could, by making a sign, as he has said, have had the nobles of France massacred. These bloodsucking creatures were always in the road of reform, always steeped overhead in political intrigue, always concerned in plots against the life of Napoleon, and always shrieking with resentment when they and their accomplices were caught. Some writers are so completely imbued with the righteousness of murdering Napoleon, they convey the impression that when any attempt failed, the perpetrators, instead of being punished, should have had the decoration of the Legion of Honour placed upon them by himself. They are also quite unconscious that they are backing a mean revenge and an awful mockery of freedom when they eloquently shout "Hosanna!"

According to them St. Helena was the only solution of the problem, if it may be so called, and the Powers who sent him there must have had an inspiration from above. They have no conception that the Allies perpetrated another crucifixion on the greatest and (if we are to judge him by reliable records) the best man of the nineteenth century. Ah! fickle France! you are blighted with eternal shame for having allowed these cowardly vindictive conspirators, popularly called the Allies, to besmear you, as well as themselves, with the blood of a hero.

France had resources at her command which could and should have been used to drive the invaders beyond her boundaries. Frenchmen can never live down the great blunder of abandoning their Emperor, forsaking themselves and the duty they owed to their native land. They forsook in the hour of need all that was noble and honourable, and cast themselves into a cauldron of treason, such as has never been heard of in the world's history. They were soon disillusioned, but it was then too late. The poison had done its work, and France was placed under the subjection of traitors, place-hunters and foreign Powers for many years to come.

I have already said that Louis XVIII. was put on the throne, not by the French people, but by their conquerors and their myrmidons. He did not long survive his ignoble accession. Then came Charles X., who had to fly to Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh because he governed so ill. His qualification to rule was in putting down all reform and liberty; after him came Louis Philippe, but even he only governed on sufferance, though on the whole he occupied an onerous position with creditable success. A monarch who rules under the tender mercies of a capricious people, and worse still, a capricious and not too scrupulous monarchy of monarchs, is not to be envied, and this was exactly the position of Louis Philippe. He was beset by the noisy clamour of many factions, besides having to keep a shrewd eye on those lofty men to whom he had to look with perpetual nervous tension for the stability and endurance of his throne. He knew the heart of the nation was centred on St. Helena, and that a wave of repentance was passing over the land. The people wished to atone for the crime they allowed to be committed in 1815.

Louis Philippe showed great wisdom and foresight. Nothing could have been done with more suitable delicacy than the negotiations which caused the British Government to consent to give the remains of the Emperor up to the French. The air of importance and swagger put into it by Lord Palmerston is supremely farcical, but then the whole senseless blunder from beginning to end was a farce, which does not redound to our credit. It is incredible that a nation so thickly stocked with men of ability in every important department should have had the misfortune to have her affairs entrusted to Ministers and officials who were childishly incompetent and ludicrously vindictive. Men of meagre mental calibre, who hold office under the Crown or anywhere else, are invariably fussy, pompous, overbearing, and stifling with conceit. This condition of things was in full swing during the Napoleonic regime and captivity, and that is the period we are concerned about. There does not appear to have been a single man of genius in Europe but himself. The population of France who were contemporary with him during his meteoric leadership remembered him as a matchless reformer and an unconquerable warrior. Their devotion and belief in his great gifts had sunk deeply into their being. A couple of generations had come into existence from 1815 to 1840, but even to those who knew him only as a captive, he was as much their Emperor and their hero and martyr as he was to his contemporaries. The pride of race, the glory of the Empire and of its great founder, was suckled into them from the time of birth, and as they grew into manhood and womanhood they became permeated with a passionate devotion to his cause. They claimed that his deliverance to the people "he loved so well" was a right that should not be withheld. The spirit of sullen determination that he should be given up had taken deep root. They had arrived at the point when the igniting of a spark would have created a conflagration. There was to be no more chattering. They meant business, and were resolved that they would stand no more red-tape fussy nonsense from either their Government or the Government who kept a regiment of British soldiers to guard his tomb, lest he should again disturb the peace of Europe. They let it be known that no more of that kind of humbug would be tolerated without reprisals, and the hint was taken. Louis Philippe grasped the situation, and formed an expedition with his son Prince Joinville as chief, who was accompanied by Baron Las Cases, member of the Chamber of Deputies; General Count Bertrand; M. l'Abbé Conquereau, almoner to the expedition; four former servants of Napoleon—viz., Saint Denis and Noverraz, valets-de-chambre; Pierron, officer of the kitchen; and Archambaud, butler—Marchand, one of the executors, and the quarrelsome and disloyal General Gourgaud, of whom we may have something more to say further on. This same Gourgaud, who lied so infamously about his Imperial benefactor when he landed in London, has said that "he could not express what he felt when he again found himself near that extraordinary being, that giant of the human race, to whom he had sacrificed all and to whom he owed all he was." These thoughts, and many more not uttered, would come to him when he stood beside the sepulchre of the master whom he had so grievously wronged and who was now and henceforth to be recognised as having been the "legitimate ruler of his country."

Count Montholon, the most devoted and most constant follower of Napoleon and his family, was not of the expedition. He was engaged in helping the nephew of his hero to ascend the throne of his illustrious uncle, and the effort landed them both in the fortress of Ham. Louis Philippe and his Ministers were very jealous of anyone sharing in any part of the glory of having Napoleon brought to the banks of the Seine. Hence, when King Joseph and Prince Louis Napoleon offered the arms of the Emperor to the nation, the King refused them, but prevailed upon General Bertrand to give them to him, that he might give them to the nation. Napoleon had given the sword he wore at Austerlitz and his arms to Bertrand when on his deathbed. Prince Louis could not stand the great captain's name being trumpeted about for other people's glory. He claimed that it belonged to him. He was the legitimate heir to all its glory, and this too previous assumption got him imprisoned in Ham for asserting what he protested was his right.

Meanwhile the Bellepoule goes lumbering along, impeded by calms and gales, but anchored safely off Jamestown on October 8, 1840. Of course many formalities had to be carried out, so that the exhumation did not commence until the 15th at midnight. They came upon the coffin at ten in the forenoon, opened it, and found the body well preserved. Thereon everyone was overcome with emotion. After the coffin was deposited with profound solemnity and the national flag placed over it, the honours which would have been paid to the Emperor had he been living were paid to his remains on October 18, 1840.

The expedition set sail, and had only been a few days out when the captain of a passing vessel called the Hamburg informed Prince Joinville that war between France and Great Britain was imminent, and two or three days later this was confirmed by circumstantial information to him by a Dutch vessel called the Egmont. Officers of the two other vessels of the expedition were ordered aboard the Bellepoule, a council of war held, and a determined resistance resolved upon. The decks were cleared for action, guns were mounted, and every form of princely comfort dispensed with. The son of Louis Philippe added lustre to the name of Bourbon by the heroic decision that, whatever the fortune of battle might be, he would sink his ship rather than allow the remains of the Emperor to fall into the hands of the British again. The resolve was worthy of Napoleon himself.

Every precaution was taken to evade capture, but as the information proved to be unfounded, the expedition was not interrupted by hostile cruisers, nor even by contrary winds, and long before it was expected the historic frigate sailed quietly into the harbour of Cherbourg at 5.0 a.m. on November 30, 1840. She had made the passage from St. Helena in forty-two days. Then the great and unexampled triumph commenced.

Europe was a second time in mourning, bowing its head in reverence and shame. Never have there been such universal tokens of condemnation of the captivity and the creatures who engineered it, and never such unequalled joy and homage as were paid to the memory of the great dead. During the eight days the lying-in-state lasted, more than two hundred thousand people came to the Invalides daily. Thousands never got within the coveted grounds, yet they came in increasing numbers each successive day, notwithstanding the rigour of the biting weather.

It may be said that the whole world was moved with the desire to show sympathy with this unsurpassed national devotion and worldwide repentance. His remains are now in the church of the Invalides, where the daily pilgrimage still goes on. The interest in the victim of the stupidity of the British Administration never flags. Each day the dead Emperor is canonised, and his prophetic words that posterity would do him justice are being amply fulfilled.

The Christian Kings that made saintly war on Napoleon, and combined to commit an atrocious crime in the name of the founder of our faith, were dead. God in His mercy had dispensed with their sagacious guidance in human affairs, and it may be they were paying a lingering penalty for the diabolical act at the very time their prisoner's ashes reached the shores of his beloved country and convulsed it with irrepressible joy. They and many of their accomplices were gone. Four Popes had reigned and passed on to their last long sleep. The Spanish nation, which contributed to his downfall, had been smitten with the plague of chronic revolution. They had been deprived of the great guiding spirit who alone could administer that wholesome discipline which was so necessary to keep the turbulent spirits in restraint. Only Bernadotte, whom Napoleon had put in the way of becoming King of Norway and Sweden, remained to represent the galaxy of Kings. A few of the traitor Marshals were left, but Augereau had died soon after the banishment and Berthier had committed suicide a few day before the Battle of Waterloo by jumping out a window. Soult, Oudinot, and the guilty Marmont were in evidence in these days of great national rejoicing. Davoust, Jourdan, Macdonald, and Masséna had passed behind the veil. It was the defection of Berthier and Marmont, whom he regarded as his most trusted and loyal comrades-in-arms, that crushed the Emperor at the time of the first abdication. It was a cruel stab, which sunk deep into his soul, and never really healed, but the most heartless incident in connection with this betrayal was the appointment of Marmont, the betrayer, by the Emperor Francis to be the military instructor of Napoleon's son while he was held in captivity and ignorance at Vienna.

Fouché, whose treason and predatory misdeeds should have had him shot long before the dawn of disaster to the Empire came, joined the Ministry of Louis XVIII., whom he had arduously assisted to the throne, but in 1816 he was included in the decree against the murderers of Louis XVI., and had to make himself scarce. He went to Prague, then to Trieste, and died there in 1820.

Talleyrand died at Paris in 1838.

Both men were unscrupulous intriguers, without an atom of moral sense or loyalty, and both possessed ability, differing in kind, perhaps, which they used in the accomplishment of their own ends. France can never overestimate the great evil these two men did to the national cause. Napoleon's power and penetrating vision kept them in check only when he could grasp the nettle. Even when absent on his campaigns, they knew he was kept in close touch with what was going on. It was not until treason became entangled within treason that their evil designs had fuller scope and more disastrous results. Bourrienne, another rascal already referred to in this book, lost his fortune and his reason in 1830, and died in a lunatic asylum at Caen of apoplexy in February, 1834. It is a notable fact that nearly the whole of the prominent figures in the drama of the Empire and its fall had passed beyond the portal before the great captain's remains were brought back to France. These individuals are only remembered now as uninspired small men, benighted in mind, who had wrought ignobly to bring about the fall of a powerful leader, and to the end of their days were associated with and encouraged a fiendish persecution of the Emperor while he lived, and of his family before and after his death.

But the pious care of his tomb by a regiment of British soldiers, paid for by British taxpayers, from 1821 until the patriotic exhumation in 1840; by stately and solemn permission of the British Government, excels the comic genius of a gang of plethoric parochial innkeepers. If it were not so degrading to the national pride of race, we might regard it as taking rank amongst the drollest incidents of human life. What a gang of puffy, mildewed creatures were at the head British affairs in those days! Indeed, they expose the human soul at its worst, and a curious feature is their ingrained belief in the integrity of all their doings, which beggars the English vocabulary describe. How the people tolerated the drain on human life and the material resources of country is also phenomenal.

Thousands of lives were sacrificed and millions of money squandered, with the sole object of destroying and humiliating one man, who, had he been handled discreetly, would have proved greater public asset than he was. Sir Hudson Lowe would not be known to posterity but for the guilty part he played in the tragedy. He left St. Helena on July 25, 1821, and was presented on the eve of his departure with an address from the inhabitants. It has been said that document was inspired from Plantation House, but that is scarcely credible. Besides, we are not inclined to discount any credit Lowe and his friends and accomplices can derive from it. It does not glow with devotion nor regret at his resigning his command. Indeed, it is nothing more nor less than a cold, polite way of bidding him farewell. Forsyth makes much of this, with the object of proving his popularity with the islanders and the itinerant persons in the service of the Crown. He only makes his case worse by embarking on so hopeless a task. As a matter of fact, this extraordinary representative of the British Government had roused the whole population of St. Helena at one time and another to a pitch of passion and scorn that puts it beyond doubt that no genuine regret could have been consistently expressed by a single soul, except those few composing his staff, who were as guilty as himself and were always ready to lick his boots for a grain of favour; and yet it is quite certain, notwithstanding the heroic fooleries and the care to make Plantation House a sanctuary of guilty secrecy, there was nothing that transpired, either important or unimportant, concerning the inhabitants of Longwood, that was not promptly passed along. Needless to say, these communications relieved the dull monotony of the exiles, and even Gourgaud was driven to cynical mockery by the ridiculous character of some of the piteous stories that filtered through. There never was any difficulty in verifying the truth of them when it was thought necessary or useful to do so. On the authority of Lowe's biographer, we are told that this immortal High Commissioner was presented to his precious sovereign on November 14, 1821, and was on the point of kissing his hand, but His Majesty, overwhelmed with the preeminence of the great man who stood before him, indicated that there was to be no kissing of hands. His services to his King and country demanded a good shake of the hand and hearty congratulations from His Christian Majesty. Lowe's arduous and exemplary task was admitted with tears in the kingly eyes, and so overcome was His Majesty that he took Lowe's hand again, and shook it a second time, combining with the handshake a further flow of grateful thanks and the appointment to a colonelcy of the 93rd Regiment These compliments were well deserved, coming, as they did from a monarch whose will he had discharged with such brutal fidelity. But what of the afterthought, the reaction which began to hum round his ears almost immediately after this fulsome display of enthusiastic approbation? A vast public, never in favour of the Government's vaunted policy of heroism over an unfortunate foe, swung round with a vengeance. The indignation against the perpetrators of this cruel assassination had no bounds. It was not confined to Britain. The civilised world was shocked. The willing tool of the Government got the worst of it, and the perfidy will cling to his name throughout eternity.

O'Meara's book, "A Voice from St. Helena; or, Napoleon in Exile," published in 1822, sold like wildfire. In vain Bathurst, Castlereagh, and Liverpool tried to check the flood of public censure that poured in upon them from everywhere. Sir Hudson Lowe, beside himself with apprehension, appealed to them for protection, but none was forthcoming. Indeed, they were too busy searching out some means by which the blow could be eased off themselves, and with studious politeness left their accomplice to plan out his defence as best he could; and the world knows what a sorry job he made of it. His coadjutors in the great tragedy were not the kind of people to share any part of the public censure that could be reflected on to their gaoler. Pretty compliments had been paid to him by the King and some of his Ministers previous to the realisation of the full force of public indignation. Bathurst sent him a letter in 1823 reminding him that his treatment had been beyond that of ordinary governors, that he was working out an idea of having him recommended to a West Indian governorship, and that he was not to suppose that this gracious interest in him was in order to silence the clamour that was being raised against him. This communication was made in November, and in December Lowe was told that he was to go to Antigua as Governor. For special reasons this favour was refused, and two years afterwards he accepted command of the forces at Ceylon, and was still there when Sir Walter Scott's exculpation of the British Government appeared in 1828. Scott was employed for that special purpose.

The ex-Governor searched the pages of this extraordinary work for a vindication of himself, but never a word that could be construed into real approval was there. He obtained leave of absence from the Governor of Ceylon and made his way to England, ostensibly to vindicate his character. He landed at St. Helena, paid a visit to Longwood, otherwise known as the "Abode of Darkness" since the Imperial tenant named it so when he gave O'Meara his benediction on the occasion of his last parting from him, when he was banished from the island. Sir Hudson was shocked at seeing the place reverted back to a worse state than it was previous to the exiles being forced into it. Then it was a dirty, unwholesome barn, overrun with vermin; now it was worse than a piggery. The aspect touched a tender chord in this man who had been the cause of making the Emperor's compulsory sojourn a sorrowful agony.

Reflections of all that happened during those five memorable years must have crowded in upon him and racked him with feelings of bitter remorse for his avoidable part in the cruel drama; and as he stood upon the spot that had been made famous by England's voluntary captive, it was not unnatural that he should have been overcome by a strange and possibly a purifying sadness. All of that which he had regarded in other days, under different conditions, as unjustifiable splendour had vanished. The Imperial bedroom and study were now made use of to accommodate and give shelter to cows, horses, and pigs. Other agricultural commodities were strewn about everywhere. Nothing was left that would indicate that it was consecrated to fame and everlasting pity. The triumph of death came to it only some six years before. And now Sir Hudson Lowe, we doubt not, filled with pensive regret, looked down on the nameless tomb of the great captain, guarded by sentinels with fixed bayonets, ready to thrust them into any unauthorised intruder into the sacred precincts of the Valley of Napoleon, or the Geranium Valley, which is also known by the name of Punch Bowl.

Ah! what thickly gathering memories must have come to him in that solemn hour on that smitten rock of bitter and brutal vengeance! All we shall ever know of that melancholy visit as it really affected Lowe has been told by his biographer. We are left to imagine a good deal, and therefore must conclude that he would be less than human if he did not realise that the shadow of retribution was pursuing him. If his thoughts of himself were otherwise, he was soon to be disillusioned.

He spent three days on the Rock, and had a good reception and send-off, and ere long made his appearance in London and presented himself to his quasi-friend, Bathurst, who, with an eye to his own and his colleagues' interests, discouraged the idea of publishing an answer to Sir Walter Scott's book. Bathurst, in fact (with unconscious drollery), advised Lowe to hurry back to Ceylon without delay, lest meanwhile a vacancy of the governorship should occur and he might lose his opportunity. He was assured of the Government's appreciation of him as their most trusted and loyal public servant, while as a matter of fact it was ludicrously obvious that his presence was quite as objectionable to them in England as it was to the exiles in St. Helena. He was fully alive to, and did not underestimate, the amount of dirty work he had done for them, and very properly expected to be amply rewarded. It never occurred to him that retribution was over-shadowing them as well as himself, and that they could not openly avow their displeasure at the odium he was the cause of bringing on the Government and on the British name by reason of his having so rigidly carried out their perfidious regulations. Had public opinion supported them, their action would have been claimed as a sagacious policy, but it didn't, so this poor, wretched, tactless, incompetent tool became almost as much their aversion as the great prisoner himself. In fact, things went so ill with them that they would have preferred it had Lowe indulged every whim of his prisoner, granted him full liberty to roam wherever he liked, recognised him as Emperor, and even been not too zealous in preventing his escape; and they must have wished that, in the first instance, they had not thought of St. Helena, but wisely and generously granted him hospitality in our own land. This last would have been the best thing that could have happened for everybody concerned.

Ill-treatment of the most humble prisoner or assassination of the most exalted can never be popular with the British people. Sir Hudson got a cold douche when he obtained an interview with the Duke of Wellington. His Grace in so many words told him that they wished to have nothing to do with him. He could not recommend him for a post in the Russian army. He could not hold out hopes of him getting the governorship of Ceylon should a vacancy occur. He had been hardly used, but there was no help for it. Parliament would not grant him the pension he asked for. Lowe replied that he would stand or fall by its decision, but the Duke snapped him off by stating that Mr. Peel would never make such a proposal to the House of Commons. No other course was open to him now but to return to Ceylon. He did not get the vacancy which occurred in 1830, and returned to England, but never got a public appointment again.

He presented a wordy memorial in 1843, complaining of having been kept out of employment for twelve years. The governorship of Ceylon had been vacant three times, the Ionian Islands four times; he had been Governor there in 1812. In other parts of the Empire appointments that he supposed he could have filled were given to others. Poor creature! He died in 1844, a broken and ruined man.

He lacked every quality that is essential in an administrator, and was utterly void of humour, imagination, or the capacity to manage men. His suspicious disposition and lack of judgment made it eminently impossible for him to fulfil any delicate position, and it was a monstrous libel on the knowledge of the fitness of things to entrust him with the governorship of St. Helena.

Lord Teynham made a violent attack on Lowe in the House of Lords in 1833. The Duke of Wellington was bound to defend his satellite, and did so with some vigour, as the attack was really on him and certain members of his Government. Lord Teynham replies with equal vigour: "He had no intention of aspersing the private character of Sir Hudson, but as regards his conduct while Governor of St. Helena, he maintained, and always would, that Lowe was cried out upon by all the people of Europe as a person unfit to be trusted with power." Lord Teynham a few days afterwards made a sort of apology, no doubt inspired by interested persons, for personal plus international reasons. They were high of heart, these dauntless confederates, in the early and middle stages of the captivity, and, indeed, they bore themselves with braggart defiance of public opinion, until many strong manifestations of inevitable trouble encompassed them, and, like all despots, who are invariably cowards, they lived in mortal terror lest this creature of theirs should break out into St. Helena leprosy again and impose further humiliation upon them. Lowe had talked of actions for libel against Barry O'Meara, and in a whimsical, half-hearted way worried his employers to give battle, and the law officers of the Crown stated a case but advised against taking action, and so it was never brought, though O'Meara kept telling them in so many words to come on. "I am anxious that you should have the opportunity of defending the charges I have brought against you. I am anxious too that the public should know more than I have written." That in effect was the attitude of the gallant doctor, who was the first to call serious attention to the goings on in the "Abode of Darkness." Needless to say, no action was ever taken, and, in face of all the incriminating facts, it was never intended that any should be taken. Even High Toryism became alarmed at the consequences. The Duke of Wellington, brave and gallant soldier though he was, shrank from so impossible an ordeal. The best he could say of him was, "He was a stupid man," "A bad choice," "and totally unfit to take charge of Bonaparte."

Wellington may have been a brave and skilful general, but he did not know how to be generous to an unfortunate enemy who was himself always kind and considerate in the hour of victory. Wellington's expressions about Lowe are more than significant, though his conduct towards the poor cat's-paw is characteristic of a mean, flinty soul. But his behaviour towards Napoleon would have put any French Jacobin to the blush, and has belittled him for all time in the eyes of everybody who has a spark of human feeling in him.

Meneval[22] says that Waterloo was won by the French in the middle of the day of that fateful battle, but a caprice of fortune—the arrival of Bulow's corps and Blucher's army, and the absence of Grouchy's corps—snatched from Napoleon's hands the triumph which was within his grasp. Wellington had even said to General Hill, who came to take his orders at the most critical moment of the battle: "I have no orders to give you. There is nothing left for us but to die here. Our retreat is even cut off behind us."

Wellington's despairing words have been handed down in various forms. Notably he is reported to have said, "Oh! for night or Blücher." When he heard the firing, "That is old Blücher at last!" &c. That he was in a tight place there is little doubt, and many authorities have stated that had Grouchy come up according to orders, the allied forces would have been cut to pieces.

Whether it was "caprice of fortune" or not, Wellington claimed to have won the battle. "Caprice of fortune" had nothing to do with it. It was a hard-fought battle. Treachery and desertion at an important juncture undoubtedly weakened the chances of French success. Meneval adds that "in no encounter of such importance did the French army display more heroism and more resolution than at the Battle of Waterloo." Napoleon at St. Helena attributed his defeat to a variety of circumstances: to treachery, and to his orders not being carried out as they should have been by some of his generals, and often concludes: "It must have been Fate, for I ought to have succeeded." He was accustomed to say that "One must never ask of Fortune more than she can grant," and possibly he erred in this.

Though nearly a century has passed since the catastrophe to France, the cause of it is still controversial. It is certain that the conduct of Marshal Soult, who was second in command, gave reason for suspicion. An old corporal told the Emperor that he was to "be assured that Soult was betraying him." General Vandamme was reported to have gone over to the enemy. It was also reported to the Emperor by a dragoon that General Henin was exhorting the soldiers of his corps to go over to the Allies, and while this was going on the General had both legs blown away by a cannon shot. Lieutenants, colonels, staff officers, and, it is said, officers who were bearing despatches deserted, but it is significant that there is not a single instance given of the common soldier forsaking his great chief's cause. Lord Wolseley declares that if Napoleon had been the man he was at Austerlitz, he would have won the Battle of Waterloo. Wolseley is supported in this view by many writers.

After Lutzen, Bautzen, and Dresden, Byron said that "bar epilepsy and the elements, he would back Napoleon against the field." It is well known the odds he had to battle with, including the vilest treachery within his own circle.

Marshal Grouchy's conduct will always remain doubtful, even to the most friendly critics. High treason bubbling up everywhere must have had a dulling effect on the mind of the great genius, though he battled with the increasing vigour of it with amazing courage. He saw the current was running too strong for him to stem unless he determined to again risk the flow of rivers of blood. This he shrank from, and abdicated the throne a second time. And then the barbarous, crimeful story began.

Sir Hudson Lowe's appointment was a national calamity, but he was the nominee of Wellington's coadjutors, and carried out their wishes with a criminal exactitude, and they should have stood by him in his dire distress, instead of which they allowed him to die in poverty, broken in spirit, and a victim to calumny which they ought to have been manly enough to share.

Whatever may be said in exculpation of them and him, they were undoubtedly too seriously involved to enter upon a fight that would have ended disastrously for all of them, and so, with unusual wisdom, they never got further than threats.

Sir Hudson was dead something like nine years before Forsyth burst upon the public with his eccentric vindication of the unamiable and unfortunate ex-Governor. The zealous biographer's research for material favourable to his deified hero caused him to ransack prints that were written by unfriendly authors and vindictive critics of the great captive. Even the State Papers, the most unreliable of all documents on this particular subject, were used to prove the goodness of Sir Hudson, and when quotations were unavailing, the author proceeded to concoct the most amazing ideas in support of the task he had set himself to prove.

Writers of anti-Napoleonic history who take in the St. Helena period are filled with wonder and contempt of the Emperor, who, according to their refined and accurate judgment of the fitness of things, should have been eternally grateful to the British Government that they did not have him shot. Why should he complain in the fretful way he does of his treatment and his condition? A great man would have shown his appreciation of all the money that was being spent on the needs for his existence and for the better security of his person. It ill becomes him to complain of improper treatment after all the trouble and commotion he has caused at one time and another. Indeed, a great man would bear the burden of captivity with equanimity and praise the men who gave him the opportunity of showing how a great soldier could carry himself in such unequalled adversity.

This in effect is what these high-minded men of letters say should have been the attitude of England's guest. He should have received his treatment, harsh and arbitrary though it was, with Christian fortitude, and ought to have borne in mind that he was in the custody of a Christian King and a Christian people. Dr. Max Lenz, who has written a most interesting and on the whole moderate account of Napoleon, considering his nationality, drifts into the same stereotyped closing phraseology of how Napoleon worried and almost wore out the good Sir Hudson Lowe, who only did his duty, and gave in to Napoleon whenever he could see his way to do so.

But on the authority of Gourgaud, whom Lord Rosebery would appear to regard as the most truthful of all the St. Helena chroniclers, this eulogy is totally unwarranted, for truly there is no reliable contemporary writer who would have risked his reputation by making so reckless a statement that could so easily be proved to be a deliberate fabrication. This is not to say that fabrication was an uncommon trick, but the Governor's reputation in relation to Napoleon was so well and widely known, that no person who claimed to have a clear, balanced judgment could defend his silly, vicious conduct.

Napoleon never altered his opinion of Lowe's perfidy towards him. On one occasion, in conversation with the truthful Gourgaud, he exclaims, "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." Gourgaud reports him as saying on another occasion, "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."

It would be absurd to affirm that Napoleon said these things without sound foundation, and although, when his personal vanity and abnormal jealousy was aroused by some fancied injury to himself, Gourgaud would resort to the most remarkable fibbing, what he relates as to his master's opinion of the Governor may be relied on, being, as it is, confirmed in a more complete form by O'Meara, Las Cases, Montholon, Bertrand, Antommarchi, and each of the Commissioners. The former sacrificed everything rather than be a party to what he termed treatment that was an "outrage on decency."

These are only a few of the men who bear witness against Sir Hudson being termed "good"; and I may add one other to the galaxy, poor Dr. Stokoe, who shrank from having the abominable indignity of inquisitor and spy tacked on to his high office and distinguished profession. He refused, as O'Meara had done, to sacrifice his manhood or his sense of honour. Tricked into a false position by Lowe and the virtuous (?) Sir Robert Plampin, Dr. Stokoe, who had only paid five professional visits to Longwood, was deprived of his position and all its advantages, after twenty-five years' service in the Navy, because he refused to become a sneak and a rascal at the bidding of these two unspeakable Government officials, the one disgracing the service of his country in the capacity of Governor and the other the name of a sailor and an Admiral.

In 1819 Stokoe resigned his position on the Conqueror, and sailed for England. Lowe sent a report addressed to the Lords of the Admiralty by the same vessel, and Stokoe had scarcely landed when he was bundled back to St. Helena. He rejoined the Conqueror under the impression that his conduct had been approved, but was disillusioned by being forthwith put under arrest. A bogus court-martial was instituted in the interests of Lowe, and Plampin and these packed scallywags sentenced him to dismissal from the Navy. The charges against Stokoe were that he failed to report himself to Plampin at the Briars after a visit to Longwood, and that in his report he had designated the patient as the Emperor instead of General Bonaparte. This is a sample of the "good old times" that a certain species of creature delights to show forth his wisdom in talking about. I believe the immortal John Ruskin indulged occasionally in reminding a twentieth-century world of these days that were so blissful.

Forsyth, the self-reputed impartial historian, neglects to insert in his work in defence of Lowe's conduct the following amazing charges, which shall be fully given. They have been published before, but they are so unique, so unmanly, and so perfidious, I think they ought to be given to the public again, so that the amiable reader may know the depth of infamy to which England had sunk in the early part of the nineteenth century. Here is the whole story on which Dr. Stokoe was condemned. His bulletin about Napoleon's health asserted that "The more alarming symptom is that which was experienced in the night of the 16th instant, a recurrence of which may soon prove fatal, particularly if medical attendance is not at hand." The Governor and the worthy Admiral were incensed at such unheard-of arrogance in making a report not in accordance with their wishes and that of the Government and the oligarchy, so the indictment of Stokoe, based on this bulletin, proceeds: "Intending thereby, contrary to the character and duty of a British officer, to create a false impression or belief that General Bonaparte was in imminent or considerable danger, and that no medical assistance was at hand, he, the said Mr. John Stokoe, not having witnessed any such symptom, and knowing that the state of the patient was so little urgent that he was at Longwood four hours before he was admitted to see him, and further, knowing that Dr. Verling was at hand, ready to attend if required in any such emergency or considerable danger. He had knowingly and willingly designated General Bonaparte in the said bulletin in a manner different from that in which he was designated in the Act of Parliament for the better custody of his person, and contrary to the practice of His Majesty's Government, of the Lieutenant-General Governor of the island, and of the said Rear Admiral, and he had done so at the especial instance and request of the said General Bonaparte or his attendants, though he, Mr. John Stokoe, well knew that the mode of designation was a point in dispute between the said General Bonaparte and Lieutenant-General Sir Hudson Lowe and the British Government, and that by acceding to the wish of the said General Bonaparte he, the said Mr. John Stokoe, was acting in opposition to the wish and practice of his own superior officers, and to the respect which he owed them under the general printed instructions." The very idea of any grown man being expected to have "respect" for superior officers who had no more sense of justice, dignity, or self-respect than to produce such a blatant document for the supreme purpose of covering up a sample of mingled folly and rascality, and ruining a poor man who was at their ill-conditioned mercy!

Indeed, we need no further justification for Napoleon's statements as to what the official intention was towards him. Without a doubt Dr. Max Lenz is too reckless in his generosity towards Lowe, for his actions from beginning to end of his career prove that he was a dreadful creature. The thought of him and of those incarnate spiders who kept spinning their web, and for six mortal years disgracing humanity, is in truth enough to unsettle one's reason. Vainly they had ransacked creation in search of persons in authority to support them in the plea of justification, but never a soul came forth to share what is now regarded as ingrained criminality.

Perhaps the virulent treatment of Byron ranks with the meanest and most impotent actions of the militant oligarchists because of his shocking (?) sympathy with England's enemy. The fierce though exquisite weaver of rhymes, who had been the idol of the nation and the drawing-room, was sought after by the highest and most cultured in the land. Byron had fallen a victim to public displeasure partly because he gave way to excesses that shocked the orthodoxy of a capricious public. He had reached a pinnacle of fame such as no man of his years had ever attained, and suddenly without warning he fell, a victim to unparalleled vituperation. His faults, if the meagre accounts that have been handed down are true, were great, but many of them were merely human. His marriage was not compatible, and his love entanglements embarrassing. His temper and habits were very similar to those of other geniuses, and great allowances should be made for personalities whose mental arrangements may be such as to nullify normal control.

It is all very well to say that these men should be compelled to adhere to a conventional law because ordinary mortals are expected to do so, but a man like Byron was not ordinary. In his particular line he was a great force with a brain that took spasmodic twists. It is absurd to expect that a being whose genius produced "Childe Harold" and "Manfred" could be fashioned into living a quite commonplace domestic life. Miss Milbanke, who married him, and the public who first blessed and then cursed and made him an outcast, were not faultless. Had they been possessed of the superiority they piously assumed, they would have seen how impossible it was for this eccentric man of stormy passions to be controlled and overridden by conventionality.

It is possible the serene critic may take exception to this form of reasoning and produce examples of genius, such as Wordsworth, who lived a strictly pious life, never offending any moral law by a hairbreadth; but Wordsworth was not made like Byron; he had not the personality of the poor wayward cripple who at one time had brought the world to his feet, neither had Wordsworth to fight against such wild hereditary complications as Byron. Wordsworth never caught the public imagination, while Byron had the power of inflaming it. But, alas! neither his magnetic force nor his haughty spirit could stem the whirlwind of hatred, rage, and calumny that took possession of the virtuous and capricious public. The story of cruelty to his wife grew in its enormity, his reported liaisons multiplied beyond all human reason. The bleached, white hearts of the oligarchal party had been lashed into fury by his withering ridicule and charge of hypocrisy, but the climax came like a tornado when the poet's sense of fair play caused him to satirise the Prince Regent and eulogise the Emperor Napoleon with unique pathos and passion.

This was high treason! He had at last put himself beyond the mercy of the chosen people. They had twaddled and stormed about his immorality, but his praise of Napoleon sent them into diabolic frenzy. He was proclaimed an outlaw and hounded out of the country. The beautiful and rich Lady Jersey, a leader of society, convinced that he was misunderstood and was being treated with unreasonable severity, defended him with all the strength of her resolute character, but malignity had sunk too deep even for her power and influence to avert the disaster. So intense was the feeling engendered against him that it became dangerous for him to drive out without risking an exhibition of virulent hostility. Had he merely abused the Prince Regent, it is improbable that any exception would have been taken to it; but to praise and show compassion for the Man of the French Revolution, who had fought for a new condition of things which threatened the fabric on which their order held its dominating and despotic sway, was an enormity they were persuaded even God in heaven could not tolerate; why then, should they be expected to do so?—they were only human. Both public and private resentment ran amok, and thus it was that the immortal poet's belauding of the immortal Emperor became linked to the ignominy of being accused of gross immorality. The reaction against this eccentric being was a fanaticism. There was neither sense nor reason in it, and as he said, "If what they say of me be true, then I am not fit for England; but if it be false, then England is not fit for me"; and with this thought thrilling in his mind he left his native land, never more to see it.

Caught without a doubt by the spirit of the great man whose eulogy had given such offence in certain quarters, he embarked on the crusade of emancipating the Greeks, was stricken with fever, and died at Missolonghi.

Adhering to human tradition, the nation which had so recently cast him out became afflicted with grief. Men and women cast reflection on themselves for their misguided judgment of him, and he became a god in memory again, his wife being a singular exception in the great demonstration of national penitence. The incomparable poet had sinned grievously, if rumour may be relied upon, but he was made to suffer out of all proportion to his sinning. His faults were only different from other men's. It may be said quite truly that one of his defects was in having been born a genius, and allowing himself to be idolised by a public whose opinions and friendships were shifty. Second, he erred in disregarding and satirising puritanical conventionalisms. Thirdly, and probably the most provocative of all, was his defiance of the fiery patriotism of some of the ruling classes in lauding him whom they stigmatised as the enemy of the human race and lampooning the precious Prince Regent. His extraordinary talents did not shield him, any more than they did the hero of fifty pitched battles whose greatness he had extolled.


[22] Vol. iii. pp. 451-2.



It is a strange human frailty that cannot stand for long the purgatory of seeing the elevation of a great public benefactor. The less competent the critics, the more merciless they are in their declamation and intrigue. They hint at faults, and if this is too ineffective, they invent them. Men in prominent public positions rarely escape the vituperation of the professional scandalmonger. These creatures exist everywhere. Their vanity is only equal to their incompetency in all matters that count. Their capacity consists in knowing the kind of diversion a certain class of people relish, and the more exalted their prey is, and the larger the reputation he may have for living a blameless life, the more persistent their whisperings, significant nods, and winkings become. They know, and they could tell, a thing or two which would paralyse belief. They could show how correct they have been in consistently proclaiming that so and so was a very much overestimated man, and never ought to have been put into such a high position; "and besides, I don't want to say all I know, but his depravity! Well, there, I could, if I would, open some people's eyes, but I don't want to do anybody any harm," and so on. These condescending ulcerous-minded defamers congratulate themselves on their goodness of heart in withholding from the public gaze their nasty imaginary accusations, which are merely the thoughts of a conceited and putrid mind.

Many and many a poor man, without knowing it, is the innocent victim of unfounded accusations, hatched and circulated in that subtle, insinuating way so familiar to the sexless calumniator. The genuine female traducer is an awful scourge, especially if she be political. No male can equal her in refined aggressive cunning. She can circulate a filthy libel by writing a virtuous letter, and never a flaw will appear to trip her into responsibility for it. And her sardonic smile is an inarticulate revelation of all she wishes to convey. It is more than a mere oration. It emits the impression of a bite.

Madame de Staël showed an aptitude for this ignoble aggressiveness towards Napoleon after she had exhausted every form of strategy to allure him into a flirtation with her. She was frequently a sort of magnificent horse-marine who bounced herself into the presence of prominent individuals, thrusting her venomed points on those who had been flattered into listening; at other times she was feline in her methods. Talleyrand and Fouché made use of this latter phase of her character to serve their own ends. She had a talent which was used for mischief, but her vulgarity and egotism were quite deplorable. She would have risked the torments of Hades if she could but have embarked upon a liaison with Napoleon. She plied him with letters well seasoned with passion, but all to no purpose. She came to see him at the Rue Chantereine, and was sent away. She invited him to balls to which he never went. But she had opportunities given her which were used in forcing herself upon his attention. At one of these she held him for two hours, and imagining she had made a great impression, she asked him abruptly, "Who was the most superior woman in antiquity, and who is so at the present day?" Napoleon had had enough of her love-making chatter, so snapped out in his quick practical way, "She who has borne the most children." The lady's discomfiture may be imagined. It was a deadly thrust.

This very same lady, who had tempted the ruler of France without success, made violent love to Benjamin Constant, who was no friend of Napoleon's at the time. Her letters to him were passionate, and Napoleon told Gourgaud at St. Helena that she even threatened to kill her son if Benjamin would do what she wished him to. This fussy female intriguer suggested to Napoleon that if he would give her two million francs she would write anything he wished. She was immediately packed about her business.

Madame de Staël was not an important personage at all, but she had the power of attracting people to her who, like herself, had grievances to be discussed, and we may without doubt conclude that these gatherings were composed of well-selected intriguers whom she had fixed in her feline eye. Her great grievance was the First Consul's, and subsequently the Emperor's, coldness towards her. He estimated her at her true value. He treated her with the courtesy due to a French citizen, but nothing more, and when she misbehaved in his presence, he rebuked her with due consideration for her sex. When she caused people to talk to him of her, he merely shrugged his shoulders as was his habit, and smiled disdainfully; though occasionally he could not resist the temptation of ridiculing her comic pretensions. But this human curiosity had power for mischief.

She was not only an intriguer, but, subsequent to her failure in love-making, she developed a literary tyrannicide. She condescended to patronise the head of the State by causing it to be conveyed to him that her hostility would cease under certain well-defined conditions. When he became the real Governor of France, Napoleon put a stop to religious persecution, and put the churches into use. He re-established religion, and by doing so brought under his influence one hundred million Catholics. This wise policy created strong opposition from a section of the clergy. Madame de Staël and the friends whom she had whipped up, many of them being the principal generals, were mischievously opposed to it, and brought pressure to bear so that he might be induced to establish the Protestant religion. Napoleon ignored them all. He knew he was on the right ground, and that the nation as a whole was with him. France was essentially a Roman Catholic country, and the head of it gave back to her people what was regarded as the true faith. The exile frequently referred to these matters in conversation with one or other of his followers. Napoleon's disdain for Madame de Staël was well merited, and he never saw or heard of her that it did not set his nerves on edge. She was the "death on man" sort of female who persisted in being, either directly or indirectly, his political adviser. Dr. Max Lenz accuses the Emperor of developing a despotism that caused him to drive a woman like Madame de Staël from land to land, "and trampled under foot every manifestation of independence."

Really, the good doctor lays himself open to the charge of not making himself better informed of the doings of this sinister person, who was steeped in treason, and who refused to accept the laws of life with proper submission. It is merely farcical to assume that Madame de Staël was kept well under discipline because of a whimsical despotism on the part of the man who had fixed a settled government on France, and who was kept well informed of the attempts of the Baroness and her anarchist associates to undermine and destroy the Constitution it had cost France and its ruler so much to reconstruct and consolidate. "Let her be judged as a man," said Napoleon, and in truth he was right in deciding in this way, as her whole attitude aped the masculine. He was right, too, in showing how wholly objectionable she had made herself to him. He had been led to adopt a sort of "For God's sake, what does she want?" idea of her during the early years of his rule, though he never at any time showed weakness in his actual dealings with her. He disliked women who asserted themselves as men, and he disliked the amorous offspring of Necker more because he loathed women who threw themselves into the arms of men; she had surfeited him with her persistent attempts at making love to him. In one of her letters to him she says it was evidently an egregious error, an entire misunderstanding of human nature, that the quiet and timid Josephine had bound up her fate with that of a tempestuous temper like his. She and Napoleon seemed born for each other, and it appeared as if nature had only gifted her with so enthusiastic a disposition in order to enable her to admire such a hero as he was. Napoleon in his fury tore this precious letter up and exclaimed, "This manufacturer of sentiments dares to compare herself with Josephine!"

The letters were not answered, though this had no deterrent effect on Madame de Staël. She continued to pour out in profusion adoration. He was "a god who had descended on earth." She addressed him as such, and his callous reception of her madness drove her into despair and vindictiveness which brought salutary punishment to herself. Her weapons of wit and sarcasm availed nothing. He looked upon her as a sort of gifted lunatic that had got the idea of seducing him into her head. She became so mischievous that he bundled her out of France. "As long as I live," said he, "she shall not return." He advised that she should live in Berlin, Vienna, Milan, or London, the latter for preference. There she would have full scope for her genius in producing pamphlets. "Oh yes," says the "god who had descended on earth"; "she has talent, much talent, in fact far too much, but it is offensive and revolutionary." This poetess-politician, who said brave things and wrote amazing diatribes against her "god," was in truth one of the most servile creatures on earth. She pleaded to be allowed to come back to her native land, and pledged herself to a life of retirement, but the great man's faith in his own sound judgment was not to be shaken.

"Her promises are all very fine," he said, "but I know what they mean. Why should she be so anxious to be in the immediate reach of tyranny?"

Like all eccentric women who desire to play the part of man, she made her appearance before Napoleon in the most absurd, tasteless attire. This woman of genius and folly lacked the wisdom of gauging the taste of Bonaparte, whom she desired to captivate with her sluttish appearance and whirling words.

This man of method and order, who had a keen eye for grace or beauty in its varied phases, was always pronounced in his opinion that women should dress simply but with faultless taste. It improves good looks, and, if need be, it covers up defects; but in any case it is the bounden duty of women to dress with some regard to conventional custom. It gives them much greater influence than they would otherwise have. Most women know the importance of this trick, and do it, and they are amply rewarded for their good sense.

Madame de Staël did quite the opposite. She appeared before the Man of Destiny in a shocking garb, and he regarded it as a piece of impertinence. It stirred up his prejudice openly against her, in spite of his indifferent attempts to conceal it, but her egotism was so gigantic, she actually believed she was making great strides towards curing his callousness towards her. This woman has been used elaborately by anti-Napoleonic writers to prove that he was an inhuman despot and she a high-minded, virtuous Frenchwoman, and a genius in the art of government. They quote her as a great authority. Her knowledge of his evil deeds and mistakes of administration is set forth as being flawless. They bemoan his treatment of this amiable female, and in the midst of their ecstasy of compassion and wrath they hand down to posterity a record of unheard-of woes. There is little doubt Napoleon's remark that "the Neckers were an odd lot, always comforting themselves in mutual admiration," is well merited. The daughter utilised the name of the father with lavish persistence. Her ambition and impudence were boundless, and were the cause of Napoleon bestowing some wholesome discipline upon her, which, like a true heroine, she resented, and sent forth from her exile streams of relentless wailing, adorned by a fluency of venom that would have put the most militant suffragette in our time to the blush.

But suddenly her hysteria subsided, and after a brief repose she switched off the truculent side and sought the pity of the man whose life she had set herself to make one long ache if he did not yield to her arrogant pretensions. She had written in a perpetual scream of his iniquities, and was thrown over by her former associates, who saw clearly enough that no real good could be accomplished by whining about cruelty when stern flawless justice only existed. They recognised that she was a personality, but her antics puzzled them, and well they might. She bewailed her isolation with a throbbing heart, and after committing indiscretions that Robespierre would have sent her head flying for, she was suddenly bereaved of her neglected husband. This event gave Benjamin Constant a better chance, but the Baroness aimed at higher game. She was held in the grip of a delusion that she had it in her power to hypnotise the First Consul and cause him to become her lover. She had an uncontrollable idolatry for this august person, whom she hoped to win over by writing for the consumption of his enemies the many reasons for her aversion to him. Without a doubt the woman was madly in love with the object of her supposed aversion, and was driven to frenzy by his obvious distaste for her.

In 1811 she secretly married a young officer called M. de Rocca, who had fallen desperately in love with her. He was amiable and brilliant; became an officer of Hussars in the French Army; did valiant deeds amongst the hills in Andalusia in 1809; and was awarded the Cross of the Legion of Honour. Subsequently he was shot down by guerillas, badly wounded in the thigh, foot, and chest; had a romantic deliverance; was hidden in a chapel by a young lady, and nursed into consciousness and convalescence by loving care, which enabled him to reach Madrid, and ultimately Geneva, where, in the radiance of youthful infatuation, he rode with reckless energy down a risky steep part of the city, so that he might pass the window of the lady, who was more than old enough to be his mother, and in a few months was to be made his wife. A child was born to them in 1812, and in order to save its legitimacy, she acknowledged the marriage to a few, but it was not generally known until after her death that Rocca was her lawful husband. Conscious, and sensitive no doubt, that it was not quite natural for old women to marry young men, she prudently had the event kept secret. The young husband did not only possess tender affection for her, but he combined chivalrous ambitions which made the romance additionally attractive.

Be it remembered that Benjamin Constant was a former lover of Madame de Staël. The young bridegroom, following a natural instinct, had a great dislike to Benjamin, and took an opportunity of really small provocation to challenge him to a duel, which, owing to wiser counsels, was never fought. There does not seem to have been very much to fight a duel about. Constant had a quarrel with his father in which he involved Madame de Staël, and Rocca resented it like a gallant youthful husband, who was at that stage when it is thought desirable to shoot or otherwise kill somebody, in order to show the extent of his devotion to his enchantress. Rocca had hoped to die (so he said) before her, but fate willed that he should linger on and suffer for six months more. Madame de Staël slept peacefully into her last long sleep on July 14, 1817.

Her career was chequered and restless. She had influence, which she used oft-times recklessly, and led less gifted people than herself into committing needless errors. She wrote and spoke with a wit and sarcasm which charmed all but those at whom it was directed. Her bitter rebuffs and severe trials were mainly of her own making. For the most part she wrote with superficial feeling and without real soul. During the Napoleonic regime, time was a creeping horror to her, but she found pleasure in the thought that it was a torture to her suffering heart. George Eliot knew and used her extraordinary power; Madame de Staël wasted hers. Nevertheless she had many friends who loved her society. Wellington was brought under her influence. Byron, who shrank from her at first, says, "She was the best creature in the world." She had been at some pains to try to bring Lord and Lady Byron together. She was capable of impressing people with her charm, but magnetic influence she had none when living, and has left none behind.

Rocca exclaimed, when he heard that she had passed to the shadows, "What crown could replace that which I have lost!" And the distracted Benjamin Constant, filled with remorse, reproached himself for some undefined suffering he had caused her, and did penance all night through in the death-chamber of his divine Juliet.

This crazy woman seems to have been capricious in everything. She made and broke liaisons with amazing rapidity while undergoing a compulsory sojourn at Coppet. She formed there an attachment for the son of a person named M. Baranti, which very nearly cheated Rocca from becoming her husband, and the faithless Benjamin Constant from being, erroneously perhaps, associated with her name as the author of the manuscript of St. Helen, and she the notoriety of writing "Ten Years of Exile," which was published after her death.

The youthful Baranti found no scope for his talents at Coppet, and being offered an inducement to go to the metropolis so that he might have larger opportunities of advancement, he abandoned the famous authoress, and she, in loving despair, was seized with the impulse to immortalise his severance by attempting suicide, and thereby ending her passion for liaisons, virulence, and fame. The attempt, presumably feeble, left her long years of mischievous mania for attack on the supposed author of all her woes. She readily found amongst his enemies (and thus the enemies of France) those who yearned with her in the hope she freely and openly expressed that her native land should suffer defeats, and in this her desire was fully acquiesced in by the combination of hysterical and purblind Kings, aided by a coterie of irreconcilables, who welcomed the destruction of their fatherland in order that the man who had made it the glory and the envy of the world should be driven from it. Many of these creatures were members of the same Senate who, a few years previously, sent Napoleon a fervent address couched in grovelling language, imploring him to cement the hold his personality had on the national life. The following is what they say, and what they ask him to do:—"You have brought us out of the chaos of the past, you have made us bless the benefits of the present. Great man, complete your work, and make it as immortal as your glory!"

The authors of this whining appeal are worthy to be associated with the traitorous daughter of Jacques Necker, Minister of Finance to Louis XVI., and of those apoplectic monarchs who sought her guilty and inflammatory aid.

Then we come to another female celebrity, though less notable than Madame de Staël, who is regarded by the traducers of Napoleon as a historian because she wrote in her memoirs that which they wished the world to think of him, and because they flattered themselves that it exculpated them from the charge of injustice and mere hatred. Madame de Staël's book, "Considérations sur la Révolution Française," made its appearance. Its violent characteristics inflamed Charles de Remusat to urge his mother to enter into competition with this work, the result being the production of Madame de Remusat's memoirs, edited by her grandson, M. Paul de Remusat. Charles (her son) had reproached her for having destroyed memoirs she had written previously,[23] but lurking in her mind was the thought of all the favours she and her family had received, and her correspondence, teeming with adulation for the man whom she was now induced to declaim against. The knowledge that she was about to expose her perfidy "worried" her, and she wrote to Charles thus:—"If it should happen that some day my son were to publish all this, what would people think of me?" and the son, obviously influenced by the mother's fears, delayed until the fall of the Second Empire the publication of one of the most unreliable and barefaced calumnies ever produced against a great benefactor.

In her memoirs she says that she and her husband excited general envy by the high position the First Consul had given them. She was first Lady in Waiting, and subsequently Lady of the Household, her husband being "attached to Napoleon's household." She says that she was witty and of a refined mind, and though she was less "good-looking" than her companions, she had the advantage of being able to "charm his mind," and she was almost the only woman with whom he condescended to converse. She relates residing in the camp at Boulogne "and having breakfast and dinner daily with Bonaparte." In the evenings they used to "discuss philosophy, literature, and art, or listen to the First Consul relating about the years of his youth and early achievements."

No doubt the young Madame de Remusat became assured in the same way as Madame de Staël that she would one day be raised to heights of glory unequalled in history, and the disappointment embittered her. She admits that she "suffered on account of blighted hopes and deceived affections and the failure of her calculations." Moreover, Josephine had an eye on the lady whose husband in evil times sought her influence with Napoleon to stretch out a helping hand and save them from the poverty by which they were beset. Napoleon's big heart spontaneously responded to the appeal of his fascinating spouse, the result being that favours were heaped upon M. de Remusat and his wife from time to time, and Josephine's goodness was repaid by seeing Madame in feline fashion purring at her Imperial master's affections, and on the authority of Madame de Remusat she "becomes cold and jealous." Finding that Napoleon did not appreciate her love-making, she, like Madame de Staël under similar circumstances, took to intriguing, which got her quickly into disgrace. She is anxious to make her fall as light as possible in the public eye, so relates that he told her that "his desire was to make her a great lady, but he could not be expected to do this unless she showed devotion." But in spite of the wife's defection, as is always Napoleon's way, he does not visit her sins on the husband, but raises him to the important posts of Grand Master of the Robes, High Chamberlain, and then Superintendent of Theatres, and in addition gave him large sums to keep up his status, and notwithstanding Josephine's cause for "cold jealousy," Madame de Remusat was generously kept in her service after Marie Louise had become Empress. M. de Remusat remained in the Emperor's service until the fall of the Empire, and then went over to Louis XVIII. Both of these sycophants were content to accept the favours of the Imperial couple and eat their bread and cringe at their feet while they plotted with the plotters for the Emperor's downfall.

Unhappily for the veracity and probity of Madame Remusat as a history writer, her letters containing notes jotted down day by day as they occurred have been published, and the memoirs put side by side with these throbbings of the heart reveal an incomparable baseness that makes one wonder at the reckless, blind partisanship which induced her descendants to give the memoirs to an intelligent public.

In the memoirs she says:—"Nothing is so base as his soul; it is closed against all generous impulses, and possesses no true grandeur. I noticed that he always failed to understand and to admire a noble action;" and again she goes on to say that "In war he foresaw the means of calling away our attention from the reflections which, sooner or later, his government could not fail to suggest to us, and he reserved it in order to dazzle, or at least to enforce silence on us. Bonaparte felt that he would be infallibly lost the day when his enforced inactivity enabled us to think both of him and of ourselves." "What a relief whenever the Emperor went away! His absence always seemed to bring solace. People breathed more freely."

Now this would have been all very well. It was the stereotyped phraseology of Napoleon's avowed enemies. He knew it, and viewed it with contempt and derision, and until Madame de Remusat and her snuffling, cringing husband became swollen with over-indulgence and smitten with wounded pride, they regarded language such as now appears in her memoirs as mere froth. She practically says that she held the same views in 1818 as she did from 1802 to 1808, but when she wrote this she no doubt relied on her correspondence being kept snugly private or destroyed; but it has been published, and here are some amazing extracts from it:—

"I often think, my dear, of that Empire, the territory of which extends to Antwerp! Consider what a man he must be who can rule it single-handed, and what few instances history offers like him!"[24] "Whilst he creates, so to speak, new nations in his progress, people must be struck, from one end of Europe to the other, by the remarkably prosperous state of France. Her Navy, formed in two years, after a ruinous revolution, and assuming at last a menacing attitude after so long, excited the scoffs of a shortsighted enemy."

"When again I reflect on the peace we enjoy, our wise and moderate liberty, which is quite sufficient for me, the glory my country is covered with, the pomp and even the magnificence surrounding us, and in which I delight, because it is proof that success has crowned our efforts; when, in short, I consider that all this prosperity is the work of one man, I am filled with admiration and gratitude."[25]

"What I write here, my dear, is, of course, strictly between ourselves, for many people would be anxious to ascribe to these feelings some other cause than that which really inspires them; besides, it seems to me that we are less eager to express the praises that come from the heart than those that proceed from the mind."[26]

"Thank goodness, I am at last happy and contented!! What a pleasure it is to see the Emperor again, and how much that pleasure will be felt here! This splendid campaign, this glorious peace, this prompt return, all is really marvellous."[27]

"Like woman, the French are rather impatient and exacting; it is true that the Emperor has spoilt us in the campaign; indeed, no lover was ever more anxious to gratify the wishes of his mistress than His Majesty to meet our desires. You demand a prompt march? Very well, the army that was at Boulogne will find itself, three weeks later, in Germany. You ask for the capture of a town? Here is the surrender of Ulm. You are not satisfied!! You are craving for more victories? Here they are: Here is Vienna which you wanted, and also a pitched battle, in order that no kind of success may be wanting. Add to these a whole series of noble and generous deeds, of words full of grandeur and kindness, and always to the purpose, so much so that our hearts share also that glory, and can join it to all the national pride it arouses in us."[28]

"I used to cry bitterly at that time, for I felt so affected that, had I met the Emperor at the moment, I should, I believe, have thrown my arms round his neck, although I should, afterwards, have been compelled to fall on my knees and ask pardon for my conduct."[29]

So overcome with boundless admiration is she that her soul yearns for the gift of being able to do him full justice by writing a history, a panegyric, a book, in fact, that would show him to be immeasurably above all men living or dead. She fears that people cannot see his nobility and greatness as she does. She is bewildered and acclaims him a god. Here is another outburst of passionate devotion:—

"That undaunted courage, carried even to rashness, and which was always crowned with success, that calm assurance in the midst of danger, with that wise foresight and that prompt resolution, arouse always new feelings of admiration which it seems can never be surpassed."[30]

It will be seen her letters shape well for the fulfilment of the great ambition of her life, i.e., to picture him as he was. The writing is good, the description picturesque, and I believe the impartial mind will also regard it as accurate. She believes "that even persons who are hardest to please must be compelled to admit that he is a most amiable sovereign." She is smitten with the feeling of gratitude, and says it is so sweet that she really regards it as another favour. She wishes her husband could "often secure some of those comforting smiles from the master," and tells him he is "no fool to be fond of those smiles," and promises to congratulate him if he secures some.

She asks God to watch over him (such will always be her prayer) when he is fighting and conquering. Her heart is grieved when he is at a great distance from them. She eulogises his great qualities to her son, and advises him "to study all that she was able to tell him of the Emperor, and write about it when he grew up," and the boy exclaimed, "Mother, what you have told me sounds like one of Plutarch's lives!"

But there comes a time when Napoleon sees that the price he has to pay for adulation is too high, for, like most over-pampered people, Madame de Remusat seems to have got the idea of equality badly into her head. She became waspish, exacting, claiming more than her share of emoluments, seeking for attentions which her "amiable sovereign" saw in the fitness of things it would be folly to bestow. She mistook wholesome justice for tyranny, defied discipline, and not only connived at treason, but prayed for the extinction of him against whom it was directed. Disaster overtook him, he fell, and in her delirium of malice and joy she bethought it an opportune moment to write what are known as her memoirs, refuting therein all her former eulogies and opinions so vividly told in the "Letters of Madame de Remusat." Now that adversity so terrible overshadows the matchless hero of the letters, she throws every scruple aside, and warms to her task in writing unstinted, gross, and manifest libels. Contrast with the "letters" these quotations from the memoirs. She avows that "nothing is so base as his soul. It is closed against all generous impulses; he never could admire a noble action." "He possesses an innate depravity of nature, and has a special taste for evil." "His absence brought solace, and made people breathe freely." "He is devoid of every kind of personal courage, and generous impulses are foreign to him." "He put a feeling of restraint into everybody that approached him." "He was feared everywhere." "He delighted to excite fear." "He did not like to make people comfortable." "He was afraid of the least familiarity." This latter grievance, combined of course with the rest, is quite significant, and we are justified in assuming that the Lady in Waiting has been taking liberties, and has been deservedly snubbed by His Imperial Majesty. It is perhaps necessary to pause here and remind the reader that on the authority of her son, and subsequently of her grandson, these memoirs were written entirely "without malice," and the sole object of writing them at all was that "the truth should be told."

Very well then. Are we to believe the letters or the memoirs, because in the former she over and over again declares that "his comely manners were irresistible"; but in the memoirs with audacious bitterness she affirms "not only is he ill-mannered but brutal."

Such effrontery is beyond criticism. She finds it "impossible to depict the disinterested loyalty with which she longed for the King's return," and describes the hero of her letters as a ruthless destroyer of all worth, and being brought so low, she is straitened by the demands of "truth" and "grows quite disheartened."

It will be observed that it is always truth which is the abiding motive, it matters not whether it is letters or memoirs. She avows it is "truth" she writes. "The love of truth," says the editor in his preface, "gave her courage to persevere in her task for more than two years." That is, it took her more than two years to write the "truths" contained in the memoirs disavowing the "truths" so vehemently given in the letters; the former book pregnant with the bitterness of a writer without heart and principle, and with political and personal motives running through its pages like a canker, while the latter, radiant in luxuriant adulation, gapes at her memory with retributive justice.

The renegade son served the renegade and ungrateful mother ill when he advised her to write what is a barefaced recantation of her former statements. Napoleon has said that "People are rarely drawn to you by favours conferred upon them." He had many examples of this truth, but none more striking than the above. Madame de Remusat and her husband were raised from poverty to affluence by Napoleon, and the memory of all the favours that were showered upon them by the man she declares she loved should have kept them from hate and disloyalty, and forbidden the writing of such unworthy vituperations against him.


[23] Madame de Remusat burnt her original memoirs during the Hundred Days, doubtless because she had in her mind the probability that Napoleon might firmly establish himself on the throne, and the discovery of anti-Napoleon MSS. might have acted seriously against herself and family being appointed to important positions. Moreover, the greater danger of getting herself into trouble was constantly in her mind.

[24] "Letters of Madame de Remusat," vol. i. p. 195.

[25] "Letters of Madame de Remusat," vol. i. p, 196.

[26] Ibid., vol. i. p. 160.

[27] Ibid., vol. ii. p. 2.

[28] "Letters of Madame de Remusat," vol. i. p. 190.

[29] Ibid., vol. i. p. 393.

[30] "Letters of Madame de Remusat," vol. ii. p. 45.



One of the phenomena of human affairs is the part destined for Josephine, daughter of M. Joseph Gaspard Tascher de la Pagerie, sugar-planter at Martinique, and friend of the Marquis de Beauharnais, whose son Alexandre was fated to marry her when she was but sixteen years of age. The marriage took place on December 13, 1779, at Noisy-le-Grand. The pompous young bridegroom speaks of his young bride in appreciative terms in a letter to his father, and in order that his parent may not be disappointed as to her beauty, he explains that in this respect she may not be up to his expectations. He regards the pleasure of being with her as very sweet, and forms the resolution of putting her through a course of education, as this had been grievously neglected.

The father of Alexandre is said to have been charmed with the sweetness of Josephine's character, but then he was not her husband, and it soon became apparent that the union was ill-assorted, and so it came to pass that marital relations were entirely broken off after the birth of Hortense, subsequently dressmaker's apprentice, Queen of Holland, and mother of Napoleon III. Alexandre had gone to Martinique, and it was there the news of his daughter's birth came to him. He knew before leaving France that his wife was enceinte, and expressed his pleasure to her. The Marquis Beauharnais had assured his friend, Joseph Tascher de la Pagerie, that his "son was worthy of being his son-in-law, and that Nature had endowed him with fine and noble qualities." These virtues seem to have been dissolved with remarkable rapidity after his marriage, as it was well known before his departure on the voyage to Martinique that he had been diligently unfaithful to the poor "uneducated" little Creole girl who really thought she loved him. From all accounts, and I have read many, Alexandre Beauharnais was an ill-conditioned cruel prig. This excellent son with "fine and noble qualities" had not been long at Martinique before he associated himself with a lady of questionable virtue, who was much older than he. This person's dislike to Josephine caused her to pour into his willing ears and receptive mind scandalous stories of his childwife's love intrigues before she left her native island. This gave Alexandre a fine opportunity of writing a letter to her, disclaiming the paternity of Hortense, and accusing her of intrigues with "an officer in the Martinique regiment, and another man who sailed in a ship called the Cæsar." He declares he knows the contents of her letters to her lovers, and "swears by the Heaven which enlightens him that the child is another's, and that strange blood flows in its veins," and "it shall never know his shame"; and so the virtuous Alexandre goes rambling on, until he comes to the slashing finish in the good old style that persons similarly situated adopt to those whom they have grievously injured. He soars between elegant politeness and old-time aristocratic ferocity: "Goodbye, madam, this is the last letter you will receive from your desperate and unhappy husband." Then comes the inevitable postscript, with an avenging bite embodying the spirit of murder. He is to be in France soon if his health does not break down under the load she has cast upon him. He warns her to be out of the house on his arrival, because, if she is not, "she will find in him a tyrant." The whole letter is indicative of a low-down unworthy scamp, a mere collection of transparent verbiage, intended as a means of ridding himself of a woman he had nothing in common with, and a cover to his own unfaithfulness.

But whatever may be the interpretation of his motives, on his coming back to Paris he kept his word. Conjugal relations were not renewed. His family were indignant at the treatment Josephine was receiving at the hands of this pompous libertine, and he assures her that of "the two, she is not the one to be most pitied."

M. Masson declares that there was never a reconciliation, and that they lived apart, but met in society, and spoke to one another, mainly about their children's education. Josephine caused him to withdraw before her lawyer the gross and unfounded charges he had made against her and to agree to a satisfactory allowance.

Alexandre, finding soldiering distasteful, embarked upon a political career as an aristocrat Liberal. His rise to position was swift, and after the death of Mirabeau he followed him as President of the Assembly. Before his fall came, he was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Army of the Rhine, and at the head of sixty thousand men failed to relieve Mayence and resigned his command.

His Liberal pretensions did not prevent him being included amongst the proscribed. He was made captive, accused of attempting to escape, condemned to death and guillotined. Josephine's device of reassuring the Revolutionists of her conversion to Republicanism by apprenticing Hortense to a dressmaker and Eugene to a carpenter did not avail. She was suspected and sent to Les Carmes, where frequent conversations took place between her philosophic and abandoned husband and herself, mainly concerning their children's education, and had not the reaction against the regime of blood brought about the fall of Robespierre, she would assuredly have shared the fate of Alexandre; and had the cry of "A bas le tyrant" been heard a few days earlier, Beauharnais would have escaped too, and cheated Josephine of becoming Empress of the French and Queen of Italy. As it was, some of the very same people who but a short time before had harangued the mob to "Behold the friend of the people, the great defender of liberty," switched their murderous vengeance on to their late idol, and ere many hours the widow Beauharnais was set free. The thought of the appalling end and the brevity of time that seemed left to her impressed Josephine with all its ghastly horror. She had shrieked and wept herself into a deathlike illness. The doctor predicted that she could not survive more than a week, and for this reason she escaped being brought before the Tribunal.

A wondrous Providence this, which, with frantic speed, broke the power of a hideous monster, and thereby saved the woman who was to enter upon a new era, and to be borne swiftly on to share the glory of an unequalled Empire.

M. Masson's theory is that Josephine's womanly grief had much to do with awakening the sentiment of Paris, and breaking the Reign of Terror; and, indeed, there is some reason in this view, for tears are not only useful as an indication of sorrow, suffering, or conquest, but an effective means of gaining sympathy. Josephine was an adept at trying the efficacy of weeping, and if M. Masson has gauged the influence of melting the heart of the spirit of massacre aright, then Josephine was gifted with, and made the instrument of, a divine instinct that should claim attention and reverence for all time, even though her subsequent misdeeds occasionally incline us to avert the eye.

But it is likely that the sombre satire of the pure and beautiful Jeanne-Marie Philipon touched the heart of Paris more than the shedding of tears and shrieking lamentations. The wife of Roland, led to the scaffold, faced with the stern certainty of death, asks with calm dignity for pen, ink, and paper, "so that she might write the strange thoughts that were rising in her." The request was not granted. Then looking at the statue of Liberty, she exclaimed with fierce dignity, "O Liberty! What things are done in thy name!" and these throbbing magical words reverberated through France with wonderful effect. The guilty populace, shuddering with superstitious awe at the revolting horrors committed in the name of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, or Death, flashed a thought on the scaffold of the stainless victim, then on the loathsome prisons that were filled with suspects, rich and poor, all over France. Then, in time, the dooming to death of some of the prominent polecats who committed murder in the name of liberty and fraternity brought Robespierreism to an end. Robespierre himself was cursed on the scaffold by a woman who sent him to "hell with the curses of all wives and mothers," and Samson did the rest. And it may be logically assumed that the parting words of Jeanne-Marie Philipon at the foot of the scaffold inoculated the public mind, not only with the horrors that were being committed in the name of Liberty, but what things were cantishly being said in its name. I like to think of the stainless lady's inspired phrase rather than Josephine's tears as being in some degree responsible for the end of the Reign of Terror.

After her release, Josephine's shattered health was a cause of anxiety, but this was soon re-established, and she quickly put her emotions aside and plunged into gaiety with an alacrity that makes one wonder whether she had more than spasmodic regret at the awful doom that had come to her husband, who left a somewhat penitent letter behind, wherein he speaks of his brotherly affection for her, bids her "goodbye," exhorts her "to be the consoler of those whom she knows he loves," and "by her care to prolong his life in their hearts." "Goodbye," says he; "for the last time in my life I press you and my children to my breast."

These posthumous reflections and instructions did not impress the widow with any apparent interest. The picture recorded of their tragic married life is not sweet. Neither lived up to the great essentials which assure happiness.

Before her imprisonment the gossip-mongers were whispering round rumours of violent flirtations, and even when she was in Les Carmes they said that she and her fellow-prisoner, General Hoche, were too familiar, and coupled the name of the ex-Count with that of a young lady suspect. The truth of such accusations seems highly improbable, and they may well be regarded as malicious slander. It is not unlikely that Josephine was on friendly terms with the General before they met in Les Carmes, but that it was more than friendship is a mere hypothesis. Her relation with that unspeakable libertine Barras was especially unfortunate. No doubt she was driven to extremities after her release. Her fate was as hard as it is possible to conceive. She was without the proper means of sustenance for herself and her family, and appears to have lost no time in really becoming the chosen friend of a creature who took advantage of her and then betrayed her to the world. It is he who tells in his memoirs the sad and sickening story of his connection with Josephine, and gloats over the opportunity it gives him of repeating conversations he had with General Hoche as to her love entanglements. He declares that she was "the patient mistress of Hoche in the sight of the whole world."

The editor of the memoirs to some extent tones down the brutal statements of the author. But a man who publicly exposes the relations he has had with a fascinating woman who gives herself to him may not be readily believed when he deliberately involves his own friends in the liaisons. There is no question of what his part was in the degradation of Josephine, but the luxury of dragging other names into the moral quagmire, in order, it may be, to justify his own dealings and to further debase her, could only be undertaken by a person soaked with the venom of indecency, and, in this case, had no other object than that of gratifying his malice against her husband. His assumption of moral superiority is quite entertaining when he, the seducer and corrupter, speaks of the unfortunate woman's "libertinism," and calls her in his bitterness "a licentious Creole."

This representative of the Republic one and indivisible, embodying Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, or Death, at the end of the eighteenth century, will forever disgrace the judgment and moral condition of the France which knew Charlemagne.

"Citizen" Barras repudiates the story of Eugene asking the Commander-in-Chief for his beheaded father's sword. He claims that Napoleon himself invented the story. But it is highly improbable that Napoleon would risk at the beginning of his career having his veracity doubted. In itself, the incident is a small matter. The only real interest attached to it is the touching pathos of the small boy asking for and receiving the sword, which, of course, gave his mother the opportunity of calling to thank the General for his goodness, and in this way it has historic importance, as Napoleon and Josephine were married four months after, i.e., March 9, 1796, her age being thirty-two and his twenty-five.

The quibble is that of a small man searching in every pond for mud to throw at his master's memory. Napoleon gave the facts to Barry O'Meara at St. Helena, and they also appear in the "Memorial de St. Helena." Had the introduction of these two remarkable people not come about in this way, it would have been brought about in some other. But, whether the story has any interest further than the writer has stated or not, it is safer to believe Napoleon than Barras, who boasted after the success of Napoleon in Italy that it was he who had perceived in him a genius and urged the Directory to appoint him Commander-in-Chief. Carnot is indignant at this impudent falsehood, and declares that it was he and not Barras who nominated and urged the appointment of Bonaparte. Certainly Carnot's story is the accepted one. It matters little who the selected spokesman of the inspiration was. France needed a man, and he was found.

On the eve of this obscure and neglected young soldier's departure to spread the blessings of Fraternity in Italy, the voluptuous Barras was commissioned by him to announce to the Directory his marriage with Citizeness Tascher Beauharnais. Then began a period of devouring love and war such as the world has never beheld. In the midst of strife and strenuous responsibility, this young missionary, representing the solacing new doctrine of symbolic brotherhood, neither shirks nor forgets the responsibilities of his instructions to lay Italy at his feet.

Nor does he for a moment forget his wedded obligations. He is in love, nay, desperately in love. The image of Josephine is constantly soaring around him, and he pours forth ebullitions of frantic devotion at the cannon's mouth, in the Canton, anywhere, and everywhere. He is as rich in phrase as he is in courage and resource. He finds time to scrawl a few burning words of passion which indicate that his soul is at once aflame with thoughts of her and the grim military task he has undertaken.

He leads to battle flashing with the spirit of assured victory and inspired by the belief that it has been written that he is the chosen force which is to regenerate misgoverned nationalities. Order out of chaos; moderation in the hour of victory; no interference with any one's religious belief; stern discipline—these were some of the behests of this young Titan, whose startling and victorious campaigns were amazing an astonished world and causing significant apprehension in the minds of the Directory, who decided to check the swift process of ascendancy by giving instructions that he was to give over the command of Lombardy to General Kellerman, and go south to commence raiding other parts of Italy, including Rome and Naples.

To this he promptly sends a vigorous though respectful reply, which is intended to convey that they are to have done with such impractical foolery. It is a world-shaking fight he has on hand. The honour and military glory of France are at stake. It is not for mere theoretic upholders of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity to meddle with such things. He says to them, "Kellerman is an excellent General, and could lead an army as well as I," but then he goes on to plead the superiority of his army, always modestly leaving himself outside the praise he takes care to bestow on others, and adds with fervour, "The command must remain in the hands of one man." "I believe," says he, "that one bad General is better than two good ones." "The art of war, like the art of government, is a matter of careful handling." Then with delicious frankness he flashes out: "I cannot allow myself to have my feet entangled." "A free hand or resignation." That is his ultimatum. This thunderbolt of bewildering audacity sent a flutter through the sanctuary of Fraternity, and in hot haste a message of confidence, coupled with an order that he shall be left in supreme control, was dispatched by a vigilant energetic courier. The Directory were made to see that a great power had arisen which would hold dominion over them.

And yet this young and terrible conqueror, who judiciously dominated every will in the process of his achievements, he who defiantly told his masters that he would not suffer his "feet to be entangled" by their amateurish absurdities, was entangled for a time by a rapturous infatuation and allowed a giddy woman with seductive habits and a silken voice to cajole, dominate, ridicule, and ignore him. His imploring theatrical appeals to her to come to him are piteously pathetic. The rational parts of his letters are without example in neat concise phrase, and portray a man possessed of great human virtues. It is when the love-storm attacks him that he flies into extravagances, such as when he writes that "she has more than robbed him of his soul," and that "she is devouring his blood." He writes to his brother Joseph that he loves her to madness, and to Carnot even he does the same thing. Perhaps the most extravagant outburst of all is when he begs that she is to let him see some of her faults, and to be less kind, gracious, and beautiful. "Your tears drive away my reason and scorch my blood." "You set my poor heart ablaze." He complains of her letters being "cold as friendship," and adds, "But oh! how I am infatuated."

Josephine has never been addressed in such consuming language before. She is flattered, and her little head becomes swollen with the idea of greatness. The ridiculous endearments amuse her. She must not allow such opportunities of creating envy to pass, so she shows the letters as they come along to her most intimate friends, amongst whom Barras still continues high on the list, and with an air of dizzy pride she playfully says Bonaparte is "very droll." And really, Josephine was right. Some of his letters are "droll," but they are genuine, and this highly honoured woman, launched into prominence and position, and reaping the laurels of his work disgraced her womanhood by showing his letters, and doubly disgraced herself by ridiculing them.

It was not until Murat, Junot, and Joseph Bonaparte were sent by Napoleon to Paris from the seat of war with important dispatches, and also with letters to her, that it dawned upon her that she had carried her unwillingness to join her husband far enough. Doubtless the gallant commissioners had given her a hint that further refusal meant inevitable reprisals. It is quite feasible that the rollicking Junot, who was always prepared to give his soul for Bonaparte, was frank enough to intimate that there was a risk of driving her husband into the arms of some covetous female, many of whom were angling in the hope of capturing the brilliant and rising General, and that already he was showing signs of jealousy and suspicion of her good faith.

News of fresh victories was coming in, fêtes were held in honour of them, crowds of people congregated, and at the sight of her leaning on the arm of Junot after leaving the Luxembourg they shout, "Long live General Bonaparte! Long live Citizeness Bonaparte!" She is enthralled by the adulation which reflected glory showers upon her. Her spirit rebels against leaving all its pleasures and pomps. But she has exhausted every canon of truth in excuses, even that of being pregnant, and finds herself inevitably driven to abandon the seat of joy and easy morals and set off for Milan with her dog "Fortune" and Eugene, her son. Tears flow copiously at the thought of her wrongs, but these are dried up with the compensating opportunity of commencing a flirtation with Murat, who is soon to become the husband of Caroline Bonaparte.

The popular opinion was that it was Junot who was the object of her designs, but the future Duchess d'Abrantès scornfully repudiates this, and declares that Junot's devotion to his beloved General forbade him reciprocating his wife's indiscretion, so he made love to Louise Compoint, Josephine's waiting-maid, instead, the result being that Louise was requested to leave the service of the offended Josephine.

On arrival at Milan, Napoleon was absent, so the honour of receiving her was deputed to the Milanese Due de Serbelloni, who took her in regal style to stay at his palace. On Napoleon meeting his wife for the first time since their marriage his joy was unbounded. Marmont, who betrayed him and France in later days, says that "at that time he lived only for his wife, and never had purer, truer, or more exclusive love taken possession of the heart of a man, and that a man of so superior an order."

Napoleon had still much work to do, and many hard battles to fight, so that they were frequently separated during the remaining months before he had freed Italy and beaten the Austrians. On no occasion when he was absent from her did he neglect sending letters on fire with the assurance of unabated love, but they frequently indicate not only a conviction of her indifference, but a suspicion that it is more, which is promptly nullified by further explosions such as "kisses as burning as my heart and as pure as you." Poor Napoleon! he is soon to be disillusioned. She is the same old Josephine in Italy as she was in Paris. He pleads with her to send him letters, for she must "know how dear they are to him." "I do not live," he tells her, "when I am far from you." "My life's happiness is in the society of my sweet Josephine." Again he writes, "A thousand kisses as fiery as my soul, as chaste as yourself! I have just summoned the courier; he tells me that he crossed over to your house, and that you told him you had no commands. Fie! Naughty, undutiful, cruel, tyrannous, jolly little monster. You laugh at my threats, at my infatuation; ah! you well know that if I could shut you up in my heart I would put you in prison there!" This playful, gloomy, humorous, and tender quotation does not emanate from the heart of a monster, but from an unequalled lovesick soul confiding the innermost secrets of his mind to an inglorious helpmate, whose follies during the first years of their married life were a cruel humiliation to him.

She courted ruin with cool dissolute persistency. She deceived, lied, and wept with the felicity of a fanatic. She sought and found happiness at the cost of not only self-respect, but honour and virtue. She was not a shrew, but a born coquette, without morals rather than immoral, and, withal, a superb enigmatic who would have made the Founder of our faith shed tears of sorrow. It is by distorting facts that her eulogists make it appear that she was a loving and devoted wife during the early years of her second marriage.

On her arrival at Milan from Paris she had presented to her many army officers, amongst whom was a young Hussar, the friend and assistant General of Leclerc, who became the husband of Paulette, the giddy little schoolgirl sister of Napoleon. Josephine, at this period of her history was famous for her aversion to chastity, so that it is not altogether inexplicable that she should have sought the distinction of making Hippolyte Charles her lover. He was fascinating, witty, dressed with splendour, and was quite up to her standard of moral quality. The friendship grew into intimacy, so that he became a frequent visitor to Josephine during Napoleon's absence.

It was scarcely likely that this love affair, which was assuming dramatic proportions, could be long kept from the knowledge of Napoleon. The mocking critics of the camp and the stern moralists amongst the civilians vied with each other in babbling commentary of the growing dilapidated reputation that the Commander-in-Chief's wife was precipitately acquiring. Wherever she is or goes, so long as Bonaparte is at a safe distance, Charles is hanging on to her skirts. Some writers have said that on the occasion of her visit to Genoa to attend the fêtes given by the Republic he was in attendance, and it is most likely that this clumsy act of strategy on the part of Josephine brought about the climax. Unquestionably her movements were being watched by members of the Bonaparte family. They not unnaturally felt that the scandal was exposing them as well as their brother to ridicule.

But, as frequently happens, great events are brought about in the most unexpected way. The vivacious Paulette had fallen in love with Freron, a man of forty, holding a high position in the Government service. Napoleon was strongly averse to the match, so decided that she should become the wife of General Leclerc, aged twenty-five, who was said to be Napoleon's double. Hippolyte Charles had been the friend of Leclerc, and Paulette resolutely set her mind on inflicting salutary punishment on her sister-in-law for the wrong she was doing her brother. She quickly managed to wriggle confidences out of Leclerc concerning the Josephine-Charles connection, then peached. Charles was banished from the army, and, on the authority of Madame Leclerc, we learn that Josephine "nearly died of grief." The avenging little vixen had put a big spoke in the wheel, although there were other powerful agencies that had no small part in bringing light to the aching and devout heart.

From this dates the fall of Josephine's complete magical divinity over him, and a new era begins. We hear no more of "shutting her up in his heart," or of sending her "kisses as fiery as his soul and as chaste as herself"; though to the end his letters are studiously kind and even reverential.

Meanwhile, the intrepid General, having brought the campaign of Italy and Austria to a successful end, came back to Paris, received the plaudits of a grateful and adoring nation, and the doubtful favour of a jealous Directory. They banqueted him at the Luxembourg with every outward sign of satisfaction. Talleyrand and Barras made eloquent and flattering speeches of his accomplishments and talents, and the latter folded him in his arms as a concluding token of affection. Josephine revelled in the gaiety and honours that encompassed them, while her husband sought the consolation of privacy.

After a short though not inactive stay in Paris, he was given command of the Army of the East, and sailed from Toulon on May 19, 1798, in the Orient (which came to a tragic end at Aboukir), and Josephine waved her handkerchief, soaked in tears, as the fleet passed from view.

Her doings do not interest us until she again came across the young ex-officer Charles in Paris, some time in 1799, and, at his request no doubt, she introduced him to a firm of army contractors, and for the ostensible purpose of showing his gratitude, he called at Malmaison to thank her. This act of grace could have been done with greater propriety by letter, though there may have been reasons for not putting in writing anything that might associate the wife of the Commander-in-Chief with having dealings with army contractors, even to the extent of interesting herself on behalf of a man who was dismissed the service for carrying on an intrigue with his General's wife, who happened to be Josephine herself.

But putting aside the unpardonable breach of faith in allowing a renewal of the intimacy with such a man, the fact of a lady in her position being mixed up with a firm of this character might have seriously compromised Napoleon, and for this reason alone her act was highly reprehensible. Charles was not slow to avail himself of Josephine's hospitality, and became a regular visitor. This further lapse of loyalty to the absent husband was transmitted to Egypt, and very naturally determined him on the necessity of taking proceedings to get a divorce, but although Napoleon had ceased, so far as he could, to be the dreadful simpleton lover of other days, he failed to gauge the grip the old fascination had of him.

He believed the avenging spirit that guided him to definite conclusions was real, and with the thought of "divorce, public and sensational divorce," buzzing in his head, combined with another of State policy lurking in the background, he set sail for France, and created wild excitement in domestic and Directorial circles by unexpectedly landing at Fréjus.

He then made his way, as quickly as the enthusiasm of the cheering populace allowed him, towards his house in the Rue de la Victoire; but the penitent (?) Josephine was not there. She had gone to meet him, taken the wrong road, and missed throwing herself into his arms as was her intention. He asks excitedly, "Is she ill?" and the significant wink of her enemies threw him into paroxysms of grief. His friend Collot calls and reminds him that the hope of the nation is centred on him. His wrath is proof that he is still in love, and Collot fears that the magical effect of her appearance will bring forgiveness. "Never," shouts the irate husband. "How little you know me, Collot. Rather than abase myself, I would tear my heart out and throw it on the fire."

But Collot knew him better than he chose to admit he knew himself, and we shall see that his heart was not thrown "on the fire," but given again to the erring Josephine, who was travelling back post-haste from Lyons. She arrived broken in spirit and wearied unto death. Napoleon, obviously not quite sure of his determination to refuse her admittance, had bolted the door, and was stamping about the room with a glare in his piercing eye as though he were planning an onslaught that was to be furiously contested. Josephine arrives, knocks at the door, implores him to open it, and addresses him as "Mon ami, mon bon ami." There is no response, and in her frenzy of despair she weeps and beats her head against the door, and piteously pleads for the opportunity of justifying herself. But still he holds out. And then her unfailing resource suggests that Hortense and Eugene, whom he loves so well, shall be brought as the medium of compassion to their distracted mother. They come, and the bolts are drawn. Their stepfather admits them to his presence. They kneel at his feet and appeal to him to continue to be the good, kind father he has ever been, and to receive their mother back to his affections.

It is all over now with Napoleon. He is never proof against tears, so sends for their mother, who falls into his arms and faints. She is tenderly laid into his bed, saved from her woeful fate, and when Lucien Bonaparte arrived by command next morning, to take instructions for the impending divorce proceedings, that horror had disappeared from their outlook, and both Josephine and Napoleon were wrapped in a drowsy joy.

Josephine, gifted with irresistible subtlety and skilful in the art and use of hysteria, had rekindled the embers of infatuation that was never more to be totally quenched. In all likelihood she would give a different explanation of her conduct to Napoleon than that given him by Lucien and other members of his family. It is not an undue stretch of imagination to conclude that she assured him that her heart was shared with none other, though the assertion may be regarded as a daring fabrication. She did not gauge calmly, but she gauged well, the supreme power she had over the man who had so abjectly shown her such inflammable love. She knew, too, of his vanity, and hit him caressingly on the spot. The cry of "he and none other," combined with a beseeching wail that he should open his heart to an affectionate and faithful love, was more likely to conquer than any admission of wrong. Could she forget the oft-repeated declaration that his ruling principle was that he would have no divided affection? It must be all or none. The hypothesis is therefore that she played on his vanity, and not on his confidence or judgment, the sequel being the complete surrender of Napoleon.

Josephine, whether from fear of the penalty or the purity of her motives, never again allowed herself to be placed in the same hazardous position. She had been cured of unfaithfulness, and promised that Hippolyte Charles should never be allowed to lead her into such a scrape again. He was put out of her life, and was never more heard of. He was seen but once more by Napoleon, and the sight of his evil face nearly caused the Emperor the humiliation of a collapse.

Josephine's matrimonial transgressions, whatever they may have been, were condoned with exuberant suddenness, and Napoleon rushed into domestic tranquillity. The zealot of freedom forthwith concentrated his wondrous talents with aggressive righteousness on the task of destroying a decadence that was bearing France to her doom. Josephine was enrolled as patron of deliverance from anarchy, and having all the essential attributes which make for success in such an enterprise, she daily filled her salon with men and women who had influence to aid her husband and his friends in upsetting the Government. She had developed into an attractive, graceful hostess, and was endowed with the knack of cajoling which disarmed opposition and enthused supporters, and unquestionably she played the part given to her with unmeasured success, and Napoleon did the rest.

The coup d'état had been dexterously planned, which enabled him to bring about a bloodless overthrow. Josephine was deployed to win over her friend Gohier, the President of the Directory. She invited him and his wife to breakfast on the 17th Brumaire. Gohier wonders why they should be asked so early as six in the morning. He thinks he smells a rat, excuses himself, but sends his wife, who is ushered into the presence of a houseful of officers of the National Guard, and the hostess does not lose time in conveying to Gohier's former cook the meaning of their being there. Bonaparte, be it known, is determined to form a Government, and it grieves her that so good a friend as the President of Directors should have been so thoughtless of his own interests as not to accompany his wife on such an auspicious occasion.

"The inevitable is at hand, Madame Gohier," says Josephine in effect, "and at this very moment Barras is being pressed to resign, and if he disobeys his fate is sealed." Madame Gohier is aghast, stiffens her back, and with as much dignity as her nature will allow, she bows, withdraws, and hastens to the side of her husband, to convey all she has seen and heard.

Meanwhile, events travel swiftly under the direction of the intrepid General. He walks into the Council of Ancients and jerks out with vivid flashes of oratory the object of his visit. The members see at a glance its meaning. They become inarticulate with rage begotten of fear. He thunders out, "I am here to demand a Republic founded on true liberty," and swears that he will have it. In the Hall of the Five Hundred he is met with cries of "Down with the Cromwell!" "No Dictator!" "Outlaw him!" and so forth.

But these are mere futile belchings of exasperated gasbags, on whom he darts a look of withering scorn, which they discern means trouble if they do not conduct themselves with decorum. His guards are close at hand, and he is daring enough to make use of them if there is any resistance to that which he has undertaken. To the Directory, through their envoy Dottot, he says in substance, and not without vigour, "Do not sicken me with your imbecile arguments and lame, impotent conclusions. What I want to know is: What have you done with this France which I left you so glorious? I left you peace; I return and find war! I left you victories; I find reverses! I left you the millions of Italy; I find despoiling laws and misery throughout!" But ere this terrific indictment had been thrust at them, they had become conscious that their dissolute and chaotic regime was at an end, and that Napoleon had become the ruler of the France he had left prosperous and found tottering to pieces on his return from Egypt.

Josephine had played her part in the drama with surprising shrewdness and marked devotion to her husband's cause. He was rewarded by being made First Consul, and she by becoming the first lady of the Republic and the leader of society. They quickly availed themselves of the distinction by removing from their humble habitation, first to the Petit Luxembourg and then to the Tuileries, where she occupied the bedroom of the famous Marie Antoinette and the apartments formerly inhabited by Louis, which were immediately above. They gathered round them men of merit representing science, art, literature, law, politics, military notables, and fashion. They set up, in fact, a little Court, but lived a quiet, unostentatious life, so far as it was diplomatic and permissive.

It was not until the advent of the Empire that gaiety and grandeur began, excelling and putting into the shade every other Court in Europe. Josephine wallowed in it, but Napoleon adopted and encouraged it more from policy than taste. In fact, when in a whimsical mood, he often said it bored him. That is not to say that he did not adapt himself to what he believed was a necessity. An Oriental potentate could not have carried the dignity of splendour more naturally than he. Whilst in his secret heart he loathed its pomp and extravagance, fixed in his memory was the impression of poverty and suffering that he had passed through in his boyhood days, when, in the streets of Paris, he was on the verge of starvation and at one time obliged to sell his meagre possession of books to find food for the mouth of his brother Louis, and went without himself. To his intimate friends he was accustomed to relate the story, not in a whining manner, but with a vividness and pathos that brought tears to the eyes of every one who heard it.

The wilful and false conception of Napoleon's character that existed amongst thousands of those who were contemporary with him, and the persistent efforts to defame him, even now, by a section of the world's community, are extraordinary, when so many convincing proofs are available which show him to have been the reverse of what they say he was. As brother, son, husband, father, or friend, his love, devotion, and loyalty were matchless. He was never once known to upbraid Josephine after the condonement of her infidelities. He paid her colossal debts, not without protest, but rather than make her unhappy he excused her extravagance and overlooked the capricious, peevish way in which she gave her domestic confidences concerning himself to her friends, who were oft-times his enemies, and so forgiving was he of faults which were so glaring to others, that he frequently caressed when he should have chastised.

Josephine played upon his purblindness where she was concerned in most scandalous ways. She had no money sense, and combined with this defect she had no moral sense in money matters. Her debts were chronic, and periodically so enlarged that she adopted the most monstrous methods to reduce them before the balances were put before Napoleon by herself, or an inkling conveyed to him by a wily creditor; but these subterfuges only added to her spending resources. It is said that she actually did not shrink from receiving a thousand francs per day from Fouché as the price of information given him of what was going on in the Tuileries, and also that she received half a million francs from Flachats, the predatory army contractors.

It is unthinkable that Napoleon, whose rigid uprightness in matters of money has never been disputed, could have known that his wife was involved in such shocking financial dealings, or he would have taken salutary measures to put a definite end to them. He knew that he was surrounded by men who were inveterate thieves, and when their defalcations were brought to his knowledge, they were either cashiered or made to disgorge. Bourrienne, Talleyrand, and Fouché, for instance. But there is no evidence to show that he ever suspected Josephine at any time, and let us hope that the Fouché-Flachats transactions were either exaggerated or mere invention, though it is hard to believe that there was no truth in the accusation.

Napoleon was no sooner made Consul than there began to be hints and innuendoes of an heir, and as Josephine knew that she could not bear him one, she was thrown into fits of despondency lest he should be driven by designing persons in and outside his family to listen to a scheme of divorce and remarriage. The alternative was to nominate one of his brothers as his heir. Joseph and Lucien were impossible, so he fixed his mind on Louis. But the plot to assassinate him on the way to the opera, together with the Duc d'Enghien, Cadoudal, Moreau, and Pichegru affair, brought the change from Life Consul to Emperor more quickly. The marriage of Louis to Hortense eased Josephine's mind. She had in view the fact that an heir might be born to them, and the possibility of the inheritance going to him. In due course Napoleon Charles was born, and an attempt made by Napoleon to carry his idea out. Louis was at first in favour of it, but Joseph and Lucien had envious conceptions of what the brothers' rights were. Louis became impressed with their views, and ultimately decided against Napoleon's wishes. The Senate passed a resolution in favour of "direct natural, legitimate, and adoptive descendants of Napoleon Bonaparte, and on the direct, natural, legitimate descendants of Joseph and Louis." The plebiscite supported the resolution of the Senate, and Joseph and Louis had the mortification of seeing that to them the succession was barred.

This decision was regarded by Josephine as highly satisfactory to herself. She made no fuss about it, but was greatly overjoyed at the prospect of the effect it would have on Napoleon, and for a time no more was openly heard of divorce; but the venom was insidiously eating its way to that end all the same, and as he grew in power, so did the conspiracy develop. His own family were eager that she should be put away, but there were influences more powerful than that of Madame Mère and her sons and daughters. Talleyrand and Fouché being the High Commissioners who founded the direct hereditary idea, they persistently worried him with the plea that the State claimed that he should make the sacrifice. They knew that this was the strongest and most effective reason they could put forward to a man who would have given his soul in the service of his country.

The birth of Madame Eleonore Denuelle's son Leon on December 29, 1806, made a great impression on the Emperor's mind. It was well known that he was the father of the child, and now that there was no doubt as to the possibility of him having an heir, it was only to be expected that the advocates of divorce would press their claim that an alliance should be made with one of the powerful ruling families. The advantages to France would be inestimable, and would it not establish himself and his dynasty more firmly on the throne? It is not unlikely that Napoleon pondered over the great possibilities of such a marriage, but he could not bring himself to the thought of divorcing the woman he still loved. He went so far as to seek Josephine's support in the plan of making his natural son his heir, and Masson says that in support of his desire he vigorously used "precedents and invented justifications." Happily he did not stretch the law of hereditary succession further than this.

Leon, when he grew up, became a great source of trouble to all those with whom he was connected. His features and physical make up had a marked resemblance to his father's, but his mind was erratic. He had inherited none of the steady, sane genius of the Emperor, though but for a freak of nature which gave him a mental twist, he would have been as near his prototype as may be. He was always full of great schemes, which in the hands of a normally constituted person would have been fashioned into public usefulness.

Masson gives a vivid and somewhat categorical account of his predilections, which were "gambling, duels, politics, writing pamphlets, the conception of colossal canal, railway, and commercial undertakings that never got far beyond the initial and rocky mental stage." He was one of the chief mourners when his father's remains were brought to Paris from St. Helena in 1840, and in 1848 aspired to the Presidency of the Republic, which fell to the lot of his cousin Louis Napoleon, whose life he desired to take, but who, with great generosity, gave him a pension and paid the legacy left him by Napoleon. He died in 1881.

The birth of Leon gives him a prominent place in the history of the political divorce, though so far as Napoleon was concerned or affected by it, there is strong evidence to show that he really thought it was a way out, and had he been left to his own inclinations, the probability is that there would have been no second marriage so long as Josephine lived. From 1807 to 1809 his brain was racked to pieces with the inevitable shadow he struggled to evade. He could not bring himself to sever the tie that bound them together in strong attachment for nearly fifteen years. He invented every conceivable device to try and find a more congenial solution than divorce.

For two years the Emperor lived in an atmosphere of intolerable anguish which distracted him. The nearer he approached the dreaded theme, the more fascinating his wife appeared to him, and the more tenaciously he clung to the deep impressions that had been made by that youthful passion that swayed his very being in other days. She had frequently recaptured him from the subtle blandishments of an agency that was ever on his track, and then his devotion became more rapturous than ever. Fouché was frequently rebuked with stern severity for his pertinacious advocacy of the separation. At another time we hear of him falling into Josephine's arms, shedding copious tears, and, choking with grief, he sobs out, "My poor Josephine! I can never leave you," "I still love you," and so forth.

Those who pretend to see in these outbursts of devotion nothing but artifice, cannot have informed themselves of the true character of this extraordinary man. In truth, his was a sacrifice of affection forced upon him for the benefit of the State. That is the conclusion the writer has come to after much research. Even after he was persuaded that he would have to submit, the recollections of the glory they had shared together, and of their happy days, and the grief and suffering the parting would cause, filled him with remorse and pity, and then would come a period of wavering which exasperated his family and the upholders of the stability of the Empire. At last he saw clearly that it was an imperative duty that must be fulfilled.

The succession problem had been artfully revived, and the amiable Marie Walewska, who was living close to Schönbrunn, was about to give birth to a child which he knew to be his, and it is not improbable that this double assurance that he might reasonably expect to have an heir if he married again brought him to the definite decision to go on with the divorce; and the Emperor Francis of Austria made haste to form an alliance by offering his daughter Marie Louise in marriage.

At the end of December, 1809, the great political divorce was ratified amid sombre signs of sympathy. Even the Bonapartes were compelled to yield to emotion, and Napoleon himself was profoundly affected. The subdued distress of Josephine pierced through the chilly hearts of those who had looked on with composure while men and women were being led to the guillotine during the Reign of Terror. But even Josephine's tears and grief were graceful and fascinating, so that it was not surprising that the spectators extended sympathy to her in her sorrow. Almost immediately after the ceremony Napoleon became overcome with grief. He allowed a little time to elapse before asking Meneval to accompany him to Josephine's apartments. They found her in a condition of inexorable despair. She flung herself into the Emperor's arms; he embraced and fervently kissed her, but the ordeal was too great. She collapsed and fainted. He remained with her until she showed signs of consciousness, then left her in charge of Meneval and women attendants. The sight of her grief was too much for him to bear.

Napoleon sought a delusive diversion at Trianon after Josephine had taken up her abode at Malmaison. His sympathetic and affectionate attentions from there could not have been more earnestly shown. Nothing that would appease her grief and add to her comfort was overlooked by him or allowed to be overlooked by others. An annual income of three million francs was settled on her for life, which, should he pre-decease her, was to be paid by his successors. She retained the title of Empress and every other appearance of sovereignty.

The negotiations for the second marriage were conducted from Trianon. The Russian alliance fell through, ostensibly on religious grounds. Napoleon did not like the thought of having Russian priests about him, and besides, the Princess Anne was too young to marry, and even if there had been no other difficulty, the Emperor Napoleon could not wait. The Saxon alliance did not appeal to him, so he gave preference to the House of Austria, and on March 11, 1810, His Majesty was married by proxy at Vienna to the Austrian Archduchess, and on the 1st of April the civil marriage took place at St. Cloud, and the following day they were ecclesiastically united.[31]

Better for him and for France had he defied the advocates of royal alliance and stuck to Josephine, or even married Marie Walewska. If it was merely the policy of succession that was aimed at, he could have adopted his natural son, the brilliant Alexander Walewska, whose subsequent career in the service of France would have justified this course.

The desire to unite the French Emperor with one of the powerful reigning families in order to give stability to the Empire and put an end to incessant warfare was a theory which proved to be a delusion, and perhaps Napoleon, with his clear vision, foresaw the jealousies and international complications that would arise through a political marriage of this character. This, and his unwillingness to part with Josephine, is a conclusion that may reasonably account for the vacillation that was so pronounced from time to time.

The flippant attitude (which indicates the scope and summit of an ill-informed mind) that he was the victim of abnormal ambition to be connected with one or other of the royal families is ludicrous. If he had been eager to have such distinction, it was within his reach at any time after he became First Consul. He had only to impart a hint and there would have been a competition of available princesses, the choice of which would have bewildered him. Assuredly he showed no youthful impetuosity in this respect, and it may not be an overdrawn hypothesis to conclude that his marriage with Marie Louise was neither popular with the French people as a whole nor with other nationalities. It excited jealousy and mistrust amongst the larger Powers, and in France itself the memory of the last ill-fated union of France with Austria—that of Marie Antoinette and Louis—had left rankling effects in the minds of the people of the Revolution.[32]

Murat had urged on his brother-in-law and the grand dignitaries the fact that a marriage with a relative of Marie Antoinette, who was an abhorrence to the adherents of the Revolution, would alienate a large public, but Murat's objections were suspected of having personal colour and overruled. It is, however, beyond conjecture that the King of Naples had diagnosed aright; whether from self-interest or not, the warning proved accurate. The most loyal and devoted of his subjects felt that their invincible hero was drifting into a vortex of trouble. They had learned by bitter experience the duplicity of Austrian diplomacy. The remembrance of the cruel wars they had been cunningly trapped into, the bleached bones of Frenchmen that lay on Austrian soil, and the denuded homes that resulted from Austria's odious policy of greed, worked on them like a subtle poison. And the glory of their conquests over her was nullified by the eternal suspicion that she was ever hatching new grounds of quarrel. They thought, indeed, their premonition of Austria's perpetual treachery was clear and definite, and that the new Empress would be a useful medium of their enemies' machinations.

We can never fully estimate to what extent these impressions influenced their minds and actions and the part they played in hastening the great national humiliation. It is a pretty certain conclusion that it was only the colossal successes and magical personality of the Emperor that kept subdued the spirit of resentment which the marriage had caused.

And we have historic evidence before us which clearly shows that the well-balanced mind of Napoleon was torn and tattered between doubt and conviction, and he fell into the fatal error of allowing his judgment to be overruled either by circumstances or pride. Had he relied on his superstition even, the chances are that St. Helena would never have had the stigma of his captivity stamped upon it.

French and Austrian alliances have never, so far as they affected political history, been very successful. The stability of earthly things is governed, not by sentiment or theoretic doctrines, but by facts as hard as granite, and no one knew this more thoroughly than the man who fell a victim to the devices of the Austrians and their French allies.

He was usually reticent about his domestic sorrows while in exile, but when his thoughts were far off, reviewing the great mystery of human destiny, he broke the rule, and with a sort of languid frankness spoke the thoughts that crowded his mind, and it was during these spasmodic periods that he opened his soul by declaring that it was his "having married a princess of Austria that ruined him, and that his marriage with Marie Louise was the cause of the expedition into Russia," and that "he might not have been at St. Helena had he married a Frenchwoman." It is said that he seriously thought of doing this, and had some available ladies put before him with that object. These dreamy utterances reveal that his mind was centred on the causes of his misfortunes, and that he held definite views on the marriage tragedy, and perhaps his sense of pride, the interests of his son (the King of Rome), and the reluctance to admit that he knew he was going wrong at the time, constrained him to withhold much that he thought and knew. The impression we get is that he could not bring himself to utter the whole of the unutterable canker which haunted him.

It is strange that this keen-sighted man should have yielded up his own convictions and sunk under the admonitions of less capable judges. Even so far back as the Directory days, when Bernadotte was insulted at Vienna, he summed up the Austrian character in the following terms:—"When the Austrians think of making war, they do not insult; they cajole and flatter the enemy, so that they may have a better chance to stick a knife into him." He told the Directory they did not understand the Cabinet of 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." His diagnoses were confirmed by Bernadotte, and more than confirmed in after years. The marvel is that he did not allow himself to benefit by his shrewd observations at a moment when so much depended on strength, not vacillation and weakness.

A vivid justification of the opposition to another Austrian princess sharing the throne of France is embodied in the lofty ideals (?) of the Emperor Francis to his daughter Marie Louise at Schönbrunn after she had deserted Napoleon. He said to her:—"As my daughter, all that I have is yours, even my blood and my life; as a sovereign, I do not know you."

The benediction, pure and big of heart, benignly expressed, is promptly qualified with kingly sternness; the orthodoxy being that so long as Napoleon was in power she was his daughter, all that he had was hers, including his life and blood, but now that he has fallen she must not thwart his wishes, and loyally share the fate of him who was the father of her son, who had given her unparalleled glory, and been so merciful to Francis himself. If she elected to be at all wifely and cling to her husband in his misfortune, then he would assert the sovereign, and as readily gore her as he would Napoleon if, in his patriarchal wisdom, he judged national interests were at stake. His spirit-crushing rhetoric had a real ultra-monarchical ring about it. But it was meant for other ears and a purpose other than that of making his daughter shudder. So far as she was concerned, he might have saved himself any anxiety on that score. She bowed her head in conformity, and swiftly cast her amorous eyes on Neipperg, a man after his and her own heart. This was the culminating event that brought her destiny with Napoleon to an end, though he tried to avert it, and the causes are summarised in his own pathetic language, clearly expressed from time to time.

His nephew, Napoleon III., taking a lesson from his folly, refused to be buffeted into political matrimony by any of the matchmaking factions. When his turn came he acted with independence and wisdom by ignoring the blandishments of meddling advisers and royal conventionalism, and elected to marry the lady on whom he had set his affections.

Incidentally, it may be stated that Napoleon III.'s merits have been overshadowed by the greater genius of his uncle, but as time separates the reigns of the two men it will be realised that, though he was not looked upon as a great military general, he had genius of a different kind, and was unquestionably a great ruler, acting under somewhat changed conditions, but subject to the same human caprices, and a time will come when the benefits he bestowed upon the French nation will be appreciated more than they are this day.

In 1812, Europe was in a state of dammed convulsion. The wars, though always successful for France, had brought about no definite settlement of international affairs. Peace was transitory, and the dread of Napoleon's power and genius was the only check on rapacious designs on his dominion.

What direct or indirect share Marie Louise had in bringing about the war with Russia and then the great European struggle will never be wholly known, but as the wife of Napoleon she would have opportunities of hearing from himself and those who were in his confidence remarks and even discussions on the complexities of the political situation. She was in daily communication with Metternich, and constantly corresponding with her father; and even allowing that her intentions were loyal at that time to her husband and to the country of her adoption, she may have unconsciously conveyed something that in the hands of adroit diplomats would reveal the pivot on which great issues might depend. Then, placing the Regency in her hands was an unchecked temptation, and must be counted as one of Napoleon's great mistakes. Imbued with an abundant share of Austrian predilection, and occupying a mechanical or fictitious position towards France and its ruler, and in view of her subsequent conduct, it is a reasonable assumption that during the Regency she conveyed important information of military movements and intentions to the Austrian Court, which it was not slow to take advantage of; and if truth were told, it would be found that the Allies owed much of their success to the Austrian Archduchess. May it not have been part of the subtle policy of Austria in arranging the marriage? Everything certainly points to it.

Instead of making Metternich a present at the Prague Congress of a snuff-box which cost 30,000 francs, as a token of friendship, Fouché, who always had his mind well stored with ideas of corruption, suggested to the Emperor that, if it was intended to buy Austria off, he ought to make it millions. If Napoleon had been a man after his own heart, this might have been a successful solution for a time, but only for a time. Meneval says that the Emperor, who had a horror of corruption, replied to him with a gesture of disgust.

In the early part of 1812, when war with Russia had become imminent, Napoleon carried out a promise that Josephine should see the King of Rome. The meeting took place at Bagatelle. She hugged and kissed the child with motherly affection, and her tears flowed with profusion. The scene was touching, and proved to be the everlasting farewell. Strange as it may appear, Josephine formed an enduring affection for Napoleon's natural son, afterwards Count Colonna (Alexander Walewska), and for his mother, Marie Walewska. She loved the child and treated him with the same indulgence as she did her own grandchildren. The mother was a regular visitor, and no one was more welcome at Malmaison than she. These incidents of magnanimity, characteristic of Josephine, would make her not only attractive but lovable, were it not there are also left on record flaws which show that she was seriously lacking in probity and fidelity to him to whom she owed everything. Her maternal affection and loving care of her children are without reproach, and her generosity to worthy and unworthy people was extraordinary. She loved Napoleon with peculiar eccentricity. His honour and interests were never a consideration. She allowed herself to be surrounded at Malmaison during the Russian campaign with Royalist plotters and treachery of the most implacable character. She poured out her woes to them with acceptable results, and nothing that would damage him and draw sympathy to herself was left uncommunicated. Her whole thought was of herself. She did not intend to be false or cruel to him, and yet she was both cruel and false.

As soon as the Allied Armies had taken possession of Paris, the irrepressible Madame de Staël made a call on Josephine to ascertain how she stood now towards her former husband. She promptly asked her whether she still loved him. Josephine resented the impertinence, so the Duchesse de Reggio relates, and told some of her visitors that she had never ceased to love the Emperor in the days of his prosperity, and it was unthinkable that she should cease to do so in his adversity. Unhappily for Josephine, she adopted a most astounding course of showing her devotion by agreeing to the visits, first, of the Emperor of Russia, and then the other sovereigns and foreign dignitaries. She gave balls and treated the enemies of France, and especially the Tsar, as though they were the real descendants of the builders of the Temple to Jehovah. She and Hortense walked about the grounds linked to Alexander's arms during frequent visits, which was indicative of strongly formed affection.

Had Josephine been possessed of a grain of discernment or a proper estimate of her dignity, she would have seen that this was part of a well-defined policy of striking a blow through her at the man she professed to love still, even with a greater passion now that he was the victim of combined and unrelenting hostility. Hortense, it would appear, refused at first to have any dealings with Alexander, but this sovereign's personal charms, winning manners, and homely ways soon fascinated and captured her. She may be excused, but her mother did not act the part of a nobleminded woman, and her memory must bear the reproach of it.

Apart from the respect she owed to herself, she should have remembered the duty and loyalty she owed to a vast French public, and to the victim of her guests, who had been to her the most forgiving, indulgent friend that ever a human soul was blessed with. He had been a father to her children, and even when he was overwhelmed with the consequences of great disaster, his tenderest and most generous thoughts were sent to her.

A woman who had a high sense of duty and honour would not have accepted a single favour from either one or the other of the inimical sovereigns, even if it had been offered to her; much less would she have cringed and whined indelicately in order that she might receive either their smiles or their favours at so abhorrent a price.

Some writers have endeavoured to give Josephine credit for having influenced Alexander in a way that secured for Napoleon better terms than he would have otherwise got at the first abdication. The suggestion is ludicrous. Presumably the alternative was that he should be shot or confined in a fortress for the balance of his life. Either of these ideas of disposing of his person would have created reaction and public vengeance. The Allies shied at this, though some of the most ferocious, but by no means the bravest, of the set clamoured for shooting, which is always the way with spurious heroes.

The diplomats amongst them devised the more subtle plan of exiling him first to Elba with the title of Emperor, and a pension of £200,000 per annum, never a penny of which was paid, or, in the light of history, was ever intended to be paid.

They had preconceived the notion of masking the St. Helena plan until they thought they had cheated the public into believing that they were inspired by humane motives and the necessity for the peace of Europe. They laboriously studied out the most ingenious plots so that they might be glorified for ridding Europe of a "monster."

Napoleon was kept advised, during his stay at Elba, of their designs on the liberty they had graciously (?) given him (with a pension that was designedly withheld), and, acting on certain specific information, he promptly developed one of his most brilliant achievements—the sudden landing in France, his triumphal march to Paris, and the resultant flight of the Bourbons at his unexpected approach at the head of an enthusiastic army.

The campaign which followed—ending with the Battle of Waterloo—enabled the Allies, after his defeat, to satisfy the cravings of their savage instincts by carrying out their plan as mentioned above and sending him to martyrdom.

But one of their most brutal acts was in refusing the request that his wife and child should accompany him to Elba. These are the ultimate "better terms" that Josephine is said to have secured by coquetting with Alexander of Russia!

She revelled in grasping at every fragment of wreckage that would be of advantage to herself and her family, and Alexander's crafty friendship unquestionably gave her opportunities to indulge unchecked in complaints of her grievances against the man who had been so foully betrayed. Her mania for the distribution of confidences of the most sacred character was only equalled by her capacity for intriguing and piling up debts, and these attributes never forsook her at any time.

Josephine's moral qualities cannot be accurately judged by her frequent outpourings of admiration and affection for Napoleon to Eugene and Hortense. In the letters to each which are extant, she declares it would be impossible for anyone to be kinder, more amiable, or considerate than he has always been, and even after the divorce she writes that if she loved him less sincerely, he could not show more anxiety to mitigate anything that might be painful to her.

But notwithstanding these declarations, she never failed to gratify her insatiable love of pouring forth to his most inveterate enemies faults and failings that her constitutional moral obliquity indicated he had. It is not an unfair assumption, therefore, that their Majesties and others had conveyed to them in handfuls (unwittingly perhaps) much that was valuable to their pernicious purpose while they were being entertained at Malmaison. It has been said that it was her intention to be presented to the Bourbon King, and though we would fain believe her to be incapable of such perfidy, it is quite in keeping with the by-ways of her complex character, more especially as Eugene had paid him a visit. The promises of the sovereigns that the interests of herself and children would be protected became less reassuring as the few days that were left to her went on. At last she realised they were mere silken verbiage, and gave way to despair. This, and the anxiety of entertaining her royal guests, accentuated the illness she had contracted. Alexander paid his first visit on May 14th, and she died of quinsy or diphtheria on May 29, 1814.

The allied monarchs were all represented at her funeral, and the Prince of Mecklenburg (the Queen of Prussia's brother) was amongst the mourners. It was of him the Court gossipers assiduously circulated reports that he was paying suspicious attention to Josephine after the divorce. Napoleon, on hearing of the flirtation through Fouché, rebuked her with justifiable vigour on the ground of it being a gross violation of dignity to go about with the Prince and others of lower ranks to second-rate theatres, even under the cover of incognito. He does not appear to have thought there was anything more than Josephine's habitual lack of respect for herself and the high position he had preserved for her, though according to the unreliable Madame de Remusat Napoleon suggested to his divorced wife that she should take Prince Mecklenburg as her husband. The same authority (?) asserts that the Prince had written to Napoleon asking his permission, and, further, says that Josephine told her this curious story. It is entirely unsupported by either the words or actions of the Emperor himself, and may be put aside as another of the fabrications of the memoir writer.

That there was a flirtation there can be little doubt, but the Prince's object may have been part of the political intrigue, rather than carnal intercourse with a woman of nearly fifty years of age. Josephine, always sorry for herself, a sieve of the first water, susceptible to flattery, blind to device, yearning for admiration and pity, was rejoiced to find attention extended to her from any quarter, but coming from the Royal House of Prussia or any other royal personage it was a dazzling compliment to the high esteem in which she believed she was held, and enhanced the luxury of feeling that she was the centre of international sympathy.

It was not that she had any malicious intent to do deliberate wrong to Napoleon, or any thought of degrading herself. Her mind did not work in these grooves. She was merely carried off her feet by vain love of self-approbation, which led her far beyond the bounds of honourable prudence. She was interred at Rueil amidst quiet solemnity, and in 1825 Eugene and Hortense erected a monument in her memory.

The legend is that her last articulate utterance was the enchanted name of "Napoleon"—"Elba." Corvisat, the Imperial physician, was piteously asked by the Emperor on his return why he allowed her to die, and the nature of the malady that took her spirit away. He replied that she "Died of grief and sorrow." Her own doctor, Horeau, told him pretty much the same thing, which brought forth the sad reply, she was a "good woman" and "loved me well." The intimation that she had spoken often and kindly of him brought back all the old passion for her and filled him with emotion. He had heard of her death while at Elba, and told Corvisat that it was a most acute grief to him, and although she had her failings she at least would "never have abandoned him"; and possibly this latter expressed opinion, so often repeated, might have been fulfilled had he at once thrown Marie Louise over after her desertion of him.

The popular charges against Napoleon, by those who are either prejudiced or have failed to inform themselves of his history, are that he must have been a cruel and barbarous husband or he would not have divorced his wife, and that, as a ruler, he thirsted for blood. Each of these, as well as many other silly things that are said and believed of him, is palpably false. As a husband, so far as kindness and indulgence goes, he was exemplary. As a soldier, First Consul, and Emperor, his desire at all times was for peace. History has revealed the real man, and in recent years it has been convincingly proved that he was the very antithesis of the monster he has been given out and supposed to be. Now, in the light of more accurate knowledge and calmer judgment, the world is showing a desire to do him the justice he never ceased to believe that it would do him.

His unexampled personality and fame is spreading and inspiring everywhere. His faults are being put in the limelight of public opinion, and the growing desire to treat even these with proper generosity is an indication that reason and knowledge are taking the place of stereotyped international prejudice, political and personal. We are beginning to see more clearly through the fog of enmity that he had rare virtues, besides having unparalleled genius. The divorce of Josephine was unquestionably political, though had he been the ferocious creature he has been made to appear, the opportunities she gave him so frequently would have justified the divorce at a much earlier stage on other than political grounds.

It ill becomes a nation which knew George I., George IV., and Henry VIII. to take such unctuous exception to the gentle and benevolent attitude of Napoleon before and after the annulment of the marriage.


[31] It has been asserted that when Josephine found the divorce to be inevitable she herself suggested the alliance with Marie Louise. One reason for believing that this might be the case lies in the fact that the affection of Josephine's children for Napoleon suffered no diminution on account of the divorce—indeed, Eugene took a leading part in the negotiations for the marriage.

[32] In the notorious "Letters from the Cape," addressed to Lady Clavering and variously attributed to an Englishman, Las Cases, and even Napoleon himself, there is noted a curious coincidence with regard to the two Franco-Austrian alliances. Both marriage contracts were signed under somewhat similar circumstances, and in both cases fêtes were held in honour of the event. At the marriage fête of Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette a calamity occurred which resulted in the loss of about two thousand lives. To celebrate the union of Napoleon and Marie Louise, Prince Schwartzenberg gave a fête, at which a fire occurred, the Prince's wife and some twenty other people being burnt to death. The superstitious drew attention to the coincidence, and it is said that Napoleon looked upon it as an evil omen.



In contrast with members of the oligarchy, who threw all moral restraints to the winds, Napoleon towers above them. Take any grounds—administrative, strategical, religious, domestic—he was preeminent above his contemporaries. On religious grounds alone, those thoughts of his which have been recorded not only disclose the insight of a man of affairs, but reveal the thinking mind of a deeply religious being. His conversations with Gourgaud on religious subjects, some of which are quoted in Lord Rosebery's admirable book, "The Last Phase," are so contradictory that they cannot be taken as authentic beliefs. It greatly depended to whom he was talking as to the line he took.

It is evident that the Emperor took a delight in arguing with and contradicting the devout Catholic for sheer intellectual exercise. At one time he declares to his refractory companion, "If I had to choose a religion, I would worship the sun, because the sun gives to all things life and fertility." At another time he torments the Count, after tying him into a knot and exposing his superficial knowledge, by saying that "the Mohammedan religion is the finest of all." But when his mind seriously dwells on sacred things, he declares "that religion lends sanctity to everything." "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.'"

Montholon is more to the writer's liking than Gourgaud, even though Gourgaud's authenticity is backed by Lord Rosebery, and we shall see later what he says about his Emperor's religious beliefs. It was he who endeavoured to mitigate his master's mental and physical sufferings, and it was he whom he desired should close his eyes in death when the nefarious assassination had been completed. It was he, too, who got himself locked up in the fortress of Ham for seven years by adhering steadfastly to the cause of the great exile's nephew. Gourgaud was loyal and devoted on a sort of sliding scale, which led him to do great injustice to the stricken hero. Montholon's devotion was consistent and abiding under all circumstances, while Gourgaud's fluctuated with his moods.

None of Napoleon's companions in exile were admitted to such close intimacy with the illustrious warrior-statesman as was Count Montholon, not even Bertrand or Marchand. It was he who had won confidence by the most amazing attachment that one human being could give to another, and it was natural that the big soul of Napoleon should respond to what amounted to fanatical fidelity. He was the beloved companion of the Emperor for six years, and during the last forty-two nights of his life he was with him in the death-chamber, and at his request he kept vigil and witnessed, his spirit pass away.

It was to him, when the shadow of death was hovering round the smitten rock, that Napoleon conveyed his most sacred thoughts, domestic, civil, and religious. He made him one of his executors, bequeathed to him a fortune, entrusted him with the custody of precious documents, and to his dying day the recipient of such flattering confidences never betrayed by word or act the faith that was reposed in him, nor did he ever falter in his devotion to the martyr's cause. It is from him we have handed down the famous constitution drawn up by Napoleon for his son, which is pregnant with democratic wisdom and flows with the genius of statesmanship. We get, too, a vivid knowledge of the religious side of Napoleon's versatile character. His talks and dictations on this controversial subject are unorthodox if you like, but nevertheless religious; copious in thought and trenchant in vocabulary, they disclose the magic of a well-stored inspired mind. He indulges in neither puerilities nor conventionalities. He is a vigorous student of the Bible and the Koran; he knows his subject, and speaks his reasonings without reservation, and in the end we see the vision of the omnipotent God fixed in an enduring belief.

In the first clause of his will he declares: "I die in the Apostolic Roman religion, in the bosom of which I was born more than fifty years since." If any other proof were needed that he believed in the divinity of Jesus Christ, this avowed declaration on the eve of the great transformation may be confirmed by the fact that the cardinal doctrine of the Roman religion centres in the divinity of Christ. Again, in the course of his public and private duties, you frequently come across passages in his letters and official documents such as "May God have you in His holy keeping." It may be said that this is a mere form or figure of speech but then unbelievers do not use such phrases.

We find in everyday life a lack of courage to do justice and be generous to one another. But surely, in the interest of political, historical, and personal rectitude, the dying man's message to the world should absolve him from having his lucid, succinct conversations jargoned into a tattered tedium. It is either a perversion of understanding or a misanthropic egoism that can twist Napoleon's discourses on religious topics into meaning that he ever was seriously thinking of giving preference to the worship of the sun, or contemplating becoming a follower of Mohammed, or that he ever showed real evidences of being an unbeliever in the God of his race.

He praised many of the virtues of the Mohammedan religion, such as honesty, cleanliness, temperance, and devoutness, and denounced with scathing sarcasm, not Christ, but professing Christians whose conduct towards himself was beneath the dignity of the pagan. But this in no way detracts from his admiration of the genuine follower of Christ. He says that "religious ideas have more influence than certain narrow-minded philosophers are willing to believe; they are capable of rendering great services to humanity." Again, he says that "the Christian religion is the religion of a civilised people; it is entirely spiritual, and the reward which Jesus Christ promises to the elect is that they shall see God face to face; and its whole tendency is to subdue the passions; it offers nothing to excite them."

There were frequently heated arguments on religion between Napoleon and members of his suite during the dreary hours at Longwood, and on one of these occasions he, Montholon, and Antommarchi are the debaters. To the former he suddenly flashed out: "I know men well, and I tell you that Jesus Christ was not a man"; then he curtly attacks the pretentious doctor by informing him that "aspiring to be an atheist does not make a man one."

Dr. Alexander Mair published in the Expositor, some twenty years ago, a critical study of the authenticity of the declarations imputed to Napoleon when at St. Helena on the subject of the Christian religion, from which I make the following extract:—

"One evening at St. Helena," says M. Beauterne, "the conversation was animated. The subject treated of was an exalted one; it was the divinity of Jesus Christ. Napoleon defended the truth of this doctrine with the arguments and eloquence of a man of genius, with something also of the native faith of the Corsican and the Italian. To the objections of one of the interlocutors, who seemed to see in the Saviour but a sage, an illustrious philosopher, a great man, the Emperor replied:—

"'I know men, and I tell you that Jesus Christ is not a man.

"'Superficial minds may see some resemblance between Christ and the founders of empires, the conquerors, and the gods of other religions. That resemblance does not exist.

"'I see in Lycurgus, Numa, Confucius, and Mahomet merely legislators; but nothing which reveals the Deity. On the contrary, I see numerous relations between them and myself. I make out resemblances, weaknesses, and common errors which assimilate them to myself and humanity. Their faculties are those which I possess. But it is different with Christ. Everything about Him astonishes me; His spirit surprises me, and His will confounds me. Between Him and anything of this world there is no possible comparison. He is really a Being apart.

"'The nearer I approach Him and the more clearly I examine Him, the more everything seems above me; everything continues great with a greatness that crushes me.

"'His religion is a secret belonging to Himself alone, and proceeds from an intelligence which assuredly is not the intelligence of man. There is in Him a profound originality which creates a series of sayings and maxims hitherto unknown.

"'Christ expects everything from His death. Is that the invention of a man? On the contrary, it is a strange course of procedure, a superhuman confidence, an inexplicable reality. In every other existence than that of Christ, what imperfections, what changes! I defy you to cite any existence, other than that of Christ, exempt from the least vacillation, free from all such blemishes and changes. From the first day to the last He is the same, always the same, majestic and simple, infinitely severe, and infinitely gentle.

"'How the horizon of His empire extends, and prolongs itself into infinitude! Christ reigns beyond life and beyond death. The past and the future are alike to Him; the kingdom of the truth has, and in effect can have, no other limit than the false. Jesus has taken possession of the human race; He has made of it a single nationality, the nationality of upright men, whom He calls to a perfect life.

"'The existence of Christ from beginning to end is a tissue entirely mysterious, I admit; but that mystery meets difficulties which are in all existences. Reject it, the world is an enigma; accept it, and we have an admirable solution of the history of man.

"'Christ speaks, and henceforth generations belong to Him by bonds more close, more intimate than those of blood, by a union more sacred, more imperious than any other union beside. He kindles the flame of a love which kills out the love of self and prevails over every other love. Without contradiction, the greatest miracle of Christ is the reign of love. All who believe in Him sincerely feel this love, wonderful, supernatural, supreme. It is a phenomenon inexplicable, impossible to reason and the power of man; a sacred fire given to the earth by this new Prometheus, of which Time, the great destroyer, can neither exhaust the force nor terminate the duration. That is what I wonder at most of all, for I often think about it; and it is that which absolutely proves to me the divinity of Christ!'

"Here the Emperor's voice assumed a peculiar accent of ironical melancholy and of profound sadness: 'Yes, our existence has shone with all the splendour of the crown and sovereignty; and yours, Montholon, Bertrand, reflected that splendour, as the dome of the Invalides, gilded by us, reflects the rays of the sun. But reverses have come; the gold is effaced little by little. The rain of misfortunes and outrages with which we are deluged every day carries away the last particles; we are only lead, gentlemen, and soon we shall be but dust. Such is the destiny of great men; such is the near destiny of the great Napoleon.

"'What an abyss between my profound misery and the eternal reign of Christ, proclaimed, worshipped, beloved, adored, living throughout the whole universe! Is that to die? Is it not rather to live?'"

A more beautiful panegyric on the divinity of Christ has never been pronounced. The thrilling and convincing conclusions evolved from the mind of a great reader, a great thinker—a man, in fact, who had studied and knew the human side of life, and could describe it with flawless accuracy—are a complete refutation of the opinions expressed either from prejudice or personal and political motives. Napoleon conversed about religion with other men in a critical way, not always with orthodox reverence, but certainly with the conviction that he had a thorough knowledge of every phase of the subject. Perhaps he derived pleasure from showing that he did not accept the popular doctrine unreservedly.

His unorthodox view of the Catholic religion is shown by the fact that in 1797 he endeavoured to get Pius VI. to suppress the Inquisition throughout Europe. The Pope, in his reply, addressing the General as his "very dear son," urges him to abandon the idea and assures him that the charges made against the Holy Office are false. He further says that the Inquisition is not tyrannical, and that sooner than remove the Holy Office he would part with a province. Napoleon for a time gave way, and it was not until 1808 that he issued a decree suppressing the institution in France and confiscating its property. This incident is another proof of Napoleon's humane attitude towards his people and his abhorrence of religious intolerance.

The basis for such an attitude towards an accepted institution of the Roman Catholic Church was Napoleon's belief that "Faith is beyond the reach of the law and the most sacred property of man, for which he has no right to account to any mortal if there is nothing in it contrary to social order."

Unquestionably he had pride in impressing his auditors with the vastness of his information, acquired by reading and study. He had, moreover, a kind of childlike vanity in making men feel that he was not only extraordinary, but greatly their superior, even when they got him to talk on their own subjects. This habit was especially pronounced at St. Helena.

But this in no way impairs the evidences of his spiritual character. One of his first acts when his authority was established in France was to face the most hostile declamation against the Concordat, but believing that no good government could be assured without religion, he carried his convictions through in spite of it being a reversion of one of the cardinal doctrines of the Revolution, and there is abundance of proof that when he was faced with the last great problem, he accepted it without a sign of superstitious dread, believing in the immortality of the soul which should reveal all things.



Correspondence of Napoleon.
Last Letters of Napoleon.
Letters and Despatches of the First Napoleon, by Bingham.
Napoleon's Miscellanies.
Napoleon's Own Memoirs.
Napoleon Anecdotes, Ireland.
Talks of Napoleon at St. Helena, by Count Gourgaud.
Napoleon's Correspondence with King Joseph.
Napoleon's Letters to Josephine, by H.F. Hall.
Letters from the Island of St. Helena.
History of Napoleon, by Lanfrey.
Life of Napoleon, by Sir Walter Scott.
Life of Napoleon, by J.H. Rose.
Napoleon, by Phyfe.
Private Life of Napoleon, by Levy.
Life of Napoleon, by Bourrienne.
Short Life of Napoleon, by J.R. Seeley.
Life of Napoleon the Third, by Blanchard.
Life of Napoleon, by W. Hazlitt.
History of Napoleon, edited by R.H. Horne.
Life of Napoleon, by MacFarlane.
History of Napoleon, by George Moir Bussey.
Life of Napoleon, by W.M. Sloane.
Napoleon, by J.T. Bailey.
Napoleon, by Dr. Max Lenz.
Baron de Meneval, Memoirs.
Memoirs of Count Miot de Melito.
Memoirs of General Count Rapp, written by himself.
Memoirs of the Duke of Rovigo.
Memoirs of Madame Junot, Duchess of Abrantès.
Secret Memoirs of Napoleon, by Charles Doris.
Mallet Du Pan, by B. Mallet.
Madame de Staël.
Recollections of Marshal MacDonald.
Memoirs of the Empress Josephine.
Memoirs of Queen Hortense.
Memoirs of the Court of St. Cloud.
Memoirs of the Empress Marie Louise, by De St. Amand.
Memoirs of Joseph.
Memoirs of Madame de Remusat.
Life of Nelson, by Southey.
Life of Wellington, by George Hooper.
Life of Sir Walter Scott, by Lockhart.
Dumourier Memoirs.
Life of Byron.
William Pitt, by Lord Rosebery.
William Pitt, by Charles Whibley.
Memoirs of the Court of the Empress Josephine, by Ducrest.
The Sailor King, by Fitzgerald Molloy.
Marmont Memoirs.
General Marbot Memoirs.
Marshal Berthier, by General Derrecagaix.
Constant, Memoirs of the Life of Napoleon.
Napoleon and Marie Louise, by Madame Durand.
The Women Napoleon Loved, by Tighe Hopkins.
The Marriages of the Bonapartes, by Bingham.
Napoleon at Home, by F. Masson.
Napoleon et les Femmes, by F. Masson.
Josephine, Imperatrice et Reine, by F. Masson.
Love of an Uncrowned Queen, by Wilkins.
The Love Affairs of Napoleon, by Joseph Turquan.
The Women Bonapartes, by Noel Williams.
Las Cases' Journal.
Napoleon at St. Helena and Sir Hudson Lowe, by Forsyth.
Napoleon's Captivity in Relation to Sir Hudson Lowe, by R.C. Seaton.
The Exile of St. Helena, by Philippe Gonnard.
Napoleon, Last Voyages, by J.H. Rose.
The Last Days of Napoleon, by Dr. F. Antommarchi.
Duke of Reichstadt, by De Wertheimer.
Napoleon, the First Phase, by Oscar Browning.
Napoleon, The Last Phase, by Lord Rosebery.
Talks of Napoleon at St. Helena, by Latimer.
The Surrender of Napoleon, by Rear-Admiral Sir Frederick Maitland.
Napoleon in Exile, by Barry O'Meara.
The Drama of St. Helena, by Paul Frembeaux.
History of a Crime, by Victor Hugo.
History of the Captivity of Napoleon, by Count Montholon.
Warden's Letters from St. Helena.
With Napoleon at St. Helena, by Dr. John Stokoe.
Napoleon's Last Voyages, by Sir Thomas Usher.
Napoleon and His Fellow Travellers, by Clement Shorter.
An Exposition of Some of the Transactions that have taken
place at St. Helena since the Appointment of Sir Hudson
Lowe as Governor of that Island, by B.E. O'Meara.
Facts Illustrative of the Treatment of Napoleon Bonaparte
in St. Helena, by Theodore Hook (?).
History of the Consulate and the Empire, by Thiers.
Napoleon's Expedition to Russia, by Count Philippe de Segur.
Napoleon in Russia, by Verestchagen.
Napoleon, King of Elba, by Paul Gruyer.
Cambridge Modern History, Volume IX., Sections by—
Georges Pariset.
T.A. Walker.
H.W. Wilson.
Anton Guilland.
H.A.L. Fisher.
L.G. Wickham-Legg.
E.M. Lloyd.
J. Holland Rose.
August Keim.
C.W. Oman.
Eugen Stschepkin.
Julius von Pflugk-Harttung.
A.W. Ward.
G.P. Gooch.
Napoleon and His Detractors, by Prince Napoleon.
Heinrich Heine's Essays.
France, by J.E.C. Bodley.
Talleyrand, by Lady Blennerhassett.
Napoleon's Marshals, by R.P. Dunn Pattison.
French Revolution, by Thomas Carlyle.
French Revolution, by Lord Acton.
Bonaparte and the Consulate, by Thibeaudeau.
Napoleonic Studies, by J. Holland Rose.
Biographical Sketches, by Harriet Martineau.
From Howard to Nelson, by Mahan.
The Life of Nelson, by Mahan.
A Mariner of England, 1780-1817, edited by Colonel Spencer
Bonapartism, by H.A.L. Fisher.
Bernadotte's Correspondence with Napoleon.


1769. Aug. 15. Napoleon the First born.

1789. July 14. French Revolution breaks out with the
destruction of the Bastille.

1790. July 14. France declared a Limited Monarchy.

July  14. Louis XVI. swears to maintain the Constitution.

1791. June 21. The King, Queen, and Royal family arrested
at Varennes.

Sept. 15. Louis (a prisoner) signs the National Constitution.

1792. July 17. First coalition against France.

Nov.  19. French people declare their fraternity
with all nations who desire to be free
and offer help.

1796. Mar. 9. Bonaparte's marriage with Josephine.
Bonaparte's successful campaign in Italy.

1798. Expedition to Syria and Egypt.

1799. April. European coalition against France.

Nov.  10. Council of 500 deposed by Bonaparte; he
is declared First Consul.
1800. June 14. Bonaparte defeats the Austrians at Marengo.
Dec.  24. Bonaparte's life attempted by an infernal

Bank of France founded by Napoleon.

1802. Mar. 28. Peace of Amiens (with England, Spain,
and Holland) signed.

1802. May 19. Legion of Honour instituted by Napoleon.

Aug.  2. Napoleon made First Consul for life.

1803. April 14. Bank of France established.

May  22. Declaration of war against England.

1804. Feb. 15. Conspiracy of Moreau and Pichegru against

Mar.  21. Duc d'Enghien executed.

May  18. Napoleon proclaimed Emperor of France.

Dec.  2. Napoleon crowned by the Pope.

1805. May 26. Napoleon crowned King of Italy.

Aug.      Third coalition against France.

Dec.  2. Napoleon defeats the Allies at Austerlitz.

1806. Oct. 14. Napoleon defeats the Prussians at Jena.

1807. Feb. 8. Napoleon defeats the Russians at Eylau.

July  7. Peace of Tilsit signed.

Dec.  17. Napoleon issues his Milan Decree against
British commerce.

1808. Mar. 1. New Nobility of France created.

May    5. Abdication of Charles IV. of Spain and his
son in favour of Napoleon.

July      Commencement of the Peninsular War.

1809. April Alliance of England and Austria against

May      Napoleon defeats the Austrians and enters

Oct.  14. Peace of Vienna signed.

Dec.  16. Divorce of the Emperor and the Empress
Josephine decreed by the Senate.

1810. April 1. Marriage of Napoleon to Marie Louise of

July  9. Holland united to France.

1811. Mar. 20. Birth of the King of Rome (Napoleon II.).

1812. June 22. War with Russia declared.

Oct.      The retreat from Moscow.

1813. Mar. Alliance of Austria, Russia, and Prussia
against France.

Oct.  7. British enter France.

1814. Mar. 31. Surrender of Paris to the Allies.

1814. April 5. Abdication of Napoleon negotiated.

May    3. Restoration of the Bourbon dynasty.
Louis XVIII. arrives at Paris.

May    4. Napoleon arrives at Elba.

May  29. Death of Josephine.

1815. Mar. 1. Napoleon escapes from Elba and lands
at Cannes.

Mar.  20. Napoleon arrives at Fontainebleau.

Mar.  22. Napoleon is joined by all the Army.

Mar.      The Allies sign a treaty against him.

Mar.  29. Napoleon abolishes the slave trade.

June  12. Napoleon leaves Paris for the Army.

June  18. Battle of Waterloo.

June  20. Napoleon returns to Paris.

June  22. Abdicates in favour of his son.

July  3. He arrives at Rochefort, intending to
embark for America.

July  3. Louis XVIII. re-enters Paris.

July  15. Napoleon surrenders to Captain Maitland,
of the Bellerophon, at Rochefort.

Aug.  8. Is transferred at Torbay to the Northumberland,
and, with Admiral Sir George Cockburn, sails for St. Helena.

Oct.  15. Arrives at St. Helena, to remain for life.

Dec.  7. Execution of Marshal Ney.

1816. Jan. 12. Family of Bonaparte excluded for ever
from France by the Law of Amnesty.

1821. May 5. Death of Napoleon.

1836. Oct. 29. Attempted insurrection by Louis Napoleon
(afterwards Emperor).

1837. May 8. Amnesty proclaimed for political offences.

1838. "Idees Napoleoniennes" published by
Prince Louis Napoleon.

1840. May 12. The Chambers decree the removal of
Napoleon's remains from St. Helena.

Oct.  15. Exhumation of Napoleon's remains.

Nov.  30. Arrival of Belle Poule frigate at Cherbourg
with remains on board.

1840. Dec. 15. Remains deposited in the Hôtel des Invalides.[33]

Aug.  6. Descent of Louis Napoleon, General Montholon,
and fifty followers at Vimeraux, near Boulogne.

Oct.  6. The Prince captured and sentenced to
imprisonment for life.

1841. Aug. 15. Bronze statue of Napoleon placed on the
column of the Grande Armée, Boulogne.

1846. May 25. Louis Napoleon escapes from Ham.

1847. Oct. 10. Jerome Bonaparte returns to France, after
an exile of thirty-two years.

1848. June 13. Election of Louis Napoleon to the National

Sept. 26. Louis Napoleon takes his seat in the
National Assembly.

1857. Longwood, the residence of Napoleon
Bonaparte at St. Helena, bought for
180,000 francs.

1860. June 24. Jerome Bonaparte (the Emperor's uncle)
dies, aged 76.

1861. Mar. 31. Napoleon's body finally placed in the crypt
of the Hôtel des Invalides.


[33] The ceremony was witnessed by about 1,000,000 persons and 150,000 soldiers assisted at the obsequies. No relatives of the Emperor were present, as at this time the various members of the Bonaparte family were either proscribed and in exile or in prison.


Abrantès, Duke and Duchess of, see Junot
Acton, Lord, 115
Aglietti, Dr., 157
Alexander, see Russia, Emperor of
Amherst, Lord, 48
Anne of Russia, Princess, 268
Antommarchi, Dr., 32, 75, 82, 85, 195, 293
Archambaud, 171
Arnott, Dr., 85
Augereau, General, 156, 176
Austria, Commissioner for, 45, 49
Austria, Emperor of, 49, 55, 113, 124, 133, 267, 274

Baranti, M., 217
Barras, "Citizen," 240, 241, 251
Bathurst, Lord, 34, 35, 45, 70, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 103, 181, 184
Beauharnais, Alexandre, 231, 232, 234, 235
Beauharnais, Eugene, 235, 240, 254, 283, 285
Beauharnais, Hortense, 116, 232, 235, 254, 262, 279, 280, 283, 285
Beauharnais, Marquis de, 231, 232
Beauterne, M., 293
Beauvais, Bishop of, 104
Bernadotte, Marshal, 175, 273
Berthier, General, 153, 176
Bertrand, Count, 15, 34, 51, 57, 139, 171, 172, 195, 290
Bertrand, Madame, 72
Bessières, General, 153
Bismarck, Prince von, 166
Blücher, Marshal, 189
Bombelles, M. de, 158
Bonaparte, Caroline, 246
Bonaparte, Joseph, 49, 115, 172, 244, 245, 262
Bonaparte, Leon, 263, 264
Bonaparte, Louis, 262
Bonaparte, Lucien, 254, 262
Bonaparte, Madame Mère, 146 et seq.
Bonaparte, Napoleon, 15, 19, 32, 35, 37, 40, 44, 48, 50, 58, 73, 75, 83, 84, 85, 105, 106, 108, 116, 117, 120, 121, 122, 124, 126, 127, 128, 139, 155, 160, 162, 172, 194, 201, 206, 207, 210, 213, 221, 240, 241, 243, 247, 250, 252, 253, 254, 257, 259, 261, 265, 267, 271, 277, 281, 284, 286, 288 et seq.;
on the Christian religion, 293 et seq.
Bonaparte, Pauline, 116, 249, 250
Borghesi, Countess Pauline, 83
Bourrienne, M., 113, 128, 129, 162, 177
Browning, Oscar, 117
Brutus, Marcus, 124
Bülow, von, 189
Burton, Dr., 85
Byron, Lord, 191, 199 et seq., 216

Cadoudal, 262
Cæsar, Julius, 123
Camerata, Countess Napoleone, 145
Carlyle, Jane, 84
Carlyle, Thomas, 163
Carnot, 241, 244
Cases, Count Las, 34, 64, 65, 68, 70, 75, 171, 195
Castlereagh, Lord, 45, 80, 103, 181
Catherine of Westphalia, 153, 154
Charles, Hippolyte, 249 et seq.
Charles VII., 105
Charles X., 168
Cipriani, 54
Cockburn, Captain, 27, 34
Collot, 253
Colonna, Count, see Walewska, Alexander
Colonna, Signor Simeon, 82
Commissioners of the Powers, 45, 49
Compoint, Louise, 246
Conquereau, l'Abbé, 171
Constant, Benjamin, 123, 207, 213, 215, 216
Corvisat, Dr., 286
Coulon Brothers, 128
Cromwell, Oliver, 90

Davoust, Marshal, 176
Denuelle, Madame Eleanore, 263
Desaix, General, 153
Dietrichstein, Count, 137
Documents, see Official Documents
Dottot, M., 258
Duroc, Marshal, 126, 153

Editor of Edinburgh Review, 50
Eliot, George, 216
d'Enghien, Due, 51, 262

Fesch, Cardinal, 150
Flachats, MM., 261
Forsyth, William, 36, 76, 91, 99, 100, 101, 179, 192, 196
Fouché, M., 128, 129, 176, 206, 261, 263, 277, 284
Fox, Charles James, 92, 93
France, Commissioner for, 45, 49, 72
Francis, see Austria, Emperor of
Frederick of Prussia, 49, 162
Frederick the Great, 163
Freron, M., 250

George I., 162, 287
George IV., 33, 70, 94, 95, 117, 180, 201, 287
Gohier, M., 256
Gorrequer, Major, 99, 100
Gourgaud, General, 29, 53, 65, 75, 77, 78, 80, 81, 112, 139, 171, 179, 193, 194, 195, 207, 288, 289
Granville, Earl, 19
Grouchy, Marshal, 189, 191
Guizot, M., 17

Hanover, Elector of, 162
Henin, General, 190
Henry, Mr., 99, 190
Henry VIII., 287
Hill, General Lord, 189
Hoche, General, 240
Holland, Lady, 49, 57
Holland, Lord, 80, 89
Hooper, 61
Horeau, Dr., 286

Jersey, Lady, 201
Joan of Arc, 104, 106, 153
Joinville, Prince, 26, 171, 173
Josephine, 101, 118, 155, 210, 220, 231 et seq.
Jourdan, General, 176
Junot, Marshal, 127, 245, 246

Keith, Lord, 21, 65, 66, 120, 121, 122, 124
Kellerman, General, 242, 243
Kleber, General, 153

La Fayette, 156
Lallemand, 65
Las Cases, see Cases, Las
Leclerc, General, 249, 250
Lenz, Dr. Max, 193, 198, 209
Liverpool, Lord, 80, 103, 181
Livingstone, Dr., 85
Louis Philippe, 16, 21 et seq., 120, 168, 169, 171, 172
Louis XVI., 126, 270
Louis XVIII., 94, 168
Lowe, Sir Hudson, 27, 32, 34, 35, 38, 40, 41, 42, 44, 45, 47, 49, 50, 51, 57, 62, 63, 64, 65, 72, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 88, 99, 103, 178, 180, 182, 183, 184, 185, 188, 191, 194, 195, 196

Macaulay, Lord, 162
Macdonald, Marshal, 176
Maceroni, Colonel, 75
Manning, Mr., 57
Mair, Dr. Alexander, 293
Maitland, Captain, 63, 65, 66, 118
Marchand, M., 75, 156, 171, 290
Marie Antoinette, 270
Marie Caroline, Queen, 158
Marie Louise, 49, 85, 131, 137, 146, 151 et seq., 267, 270, 274, 276, 286
Marmont, General, 132, 134, 135, 156, 176, 247
Masséna, General, 153, 176
Masson, F., 118, 234, 235, 264
Mecklenburg, Prince of, 284
Melito, Miot de, 128
Meneval, 156, 159, 189, 190, 267, 278
Metternich, Count, 133, 136, 138, 143, 144, 276, 277
Miguel, Dom, 132
Montchenu, Marquis de, 45, 49, 72
Montholon, Count, 15, 34, 39, 40, 43, 50, 51, 65, 75, 82, 83, 88, 139, 172, 195, 289, 290, 293
Montholon, Countess, 58
Moreau, M., 262
Müller, 109, 110, 111
Murat, Marshal, 153, 245, 246, 271

Napoleon, Charles, Prince, 262
Napoleon I., see Bonaparte, Napoleon
Napoleon II., see Rome, King of
Napoleon III., 118, 142, 275, 276
Napoleon, Prince Louis, 132, 135, 146, 172, 265
Neipperg, Count, 49, 133, 137, 152, 156 et seq., 274
Ney, Marshal, 153
Noverraz, 171

Obenaus, Baron, 133, 137, 142
Official Documents, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21 et seq., 81, 82, 83, 95, 197
O'Meara, Dr. Barry E., 30, 43, 46, 49, 50, 64, 73, 77, 79, 81, 181, 188, 195, 241
Orange, Prince of, 162
Oudinot, Marshal, 176

Pagerie, Joseph Tascher de la, 232
Palmerston, Lord, 17, 20, 169
Peel, Sir Robert, 186
Permon, Madame, 127
Philipon, Jeanne Marie, 236, 237
Pichegru, 267
Pieron, 171
Pitt, William, 93
Pius VII., 148, 150
Plampin, Sir Robert, 195, 196
Poppleton, Captain, 61
Prokesch, Count, 136, 137, 142, 143
Prussia, Commissioner for, 45, 49
Prussia, King of, see Frederick

Radowich, Gunner, 57
Reade, Sir Thomas, 41, 42, 43, 50, 62, 63
Reggio, Duchess of, 279
Remusat, Charles de, 219
Remusat, Madame de, 129, 219 et seq., 284
Remusat, M. de, 220, 221
Remusat, Paul de, 219
Robespierre, 213, 235, 237
Rocca, M., 214 et seq.
Roderer, M., 114
Rome, King of, 49, 57 et seq., 131 et seq., 278
Rosebery, Lord, 193, 288, 289
Rovigo, Duke of, 65, 139
Ruskin, John, 196
Russia, Commissioner for, 45, 49
Russia, Emperor of, 49, 65, 124, 279, 280, 282

Saint-Denis, 171
Samson (M. de Paris), 237
Santini, 54, 55, 56, 75
Scott, Sir Walter, 28, 90, 91, 122, 182, 184
Seguier, M., 115
Serbelloni, Duke of, 247
Short, Dr., 85
Somerset, Lord Charles, 68, 69
Soult, Marshal, 176, 190
Staël, Madame de, 129, 204 et seq., 279
Stokoe, Dr. John, 195, 196
Strange, Sir Thomas, 42

Taine, M., 144
Talleyrand, M., 128, 129, 156, 161, 176, 206, 251, 261, 263
Teynham, Lord, 187
Thiers, M., 17

Vandamme, General, 190
Villemarest, 129
Volney, Senator, 116

Walewska, Alexander (Count Colonna), 269, 278
Walewska, Madame, 118, 267, 269, 278
Wellington, Duke of, 31, 103, 186, 187, 188, 189, 216
Wieland, 108, 111
Whitworth, Lord, 117
Wilhelmina of Prussia, 163
Williams, H. Noel, 148
Wolseley, Lord, 191
Wordsworth, William, 200

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