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band, perhaps, also for her indiscretions. But their prejudices had a deeper source, when they began to reflect, after the elevation of Napoleon, how essential an heir had become to the continuance of his power, and the perpetuation of the greatness of his family. Hence, they instigated him perpetually to annul his marriage, and aggravated every cause of displeasure which his thoughtless partner had ever afforded him.
After making every allowance for her goodness, her levity and indiscretion were almost inexcusable. During the absence of Bonaparte in Egypt, such were the rumours of her conduct that reached him, that be returned with a firm determination of separating from her, and nothing but his attachment to her children, particularly to Eugene, appears to bave prevented it. On graver subjects, she gave afterwards no cause for dissatisfaction, but her extravagance was incorrigible, and her profusion perpetually leading to feuds with one who, though fond of splendour and magnificence himself, was yet of an exact and calculating temper, and was harrassed by the complaints of her creditors. On his return from Egypt, whilst his fortunes were still uncertain, he found her overwhelmed with debts to the amount of 1,200,000 francs, and although she only acknowledged one half, and her friend. M. Bourrienne, contrived with 600,000 to pay the whole, such had been the exorbitant and apparent extortion of the charges, yet Bonaparte suspected the hidden truth, and understood perfectly the evasion. It may give some idea of the nature of these debts, to mention that
the charges, were inserted thirty-eight costly hats in a month; plumes at 1800 francs, and essences at 800. Yet no sooner was she extricated from one difficulty, than she plunged into new
“ You sometimes see my, wife," said Bonaparte to Bourrienne, in one of their latest interviews, "go to her, and endeavour to reason with her about her foolish expenses. Every day I hear of new ones, this puts me to the torture. When I speak to her about them, I am disturbed, I get angry; she weeps, I pardon her, I pay her debts, she makes fine promises, but the next day the same aets are repeated, and the same scenes are forever renewed.”, “How can I help it, is it my fault?” exclaimed the good lady, when the subject was introduced, with a naiveté, says M. Bourrienne, that was at once touching and comic. “They bring me fine things, they shew them to me, they praise them before me. I buy then, they never ask for the money, and then demand payment when I This reaches his ears, and he gets angry.
When I have money, Bourrienne, you know what I do with it. I give the
greater part of it to the unfortunate who come to ask it, to poor emigrants. Is it not my duty to give as much as possible!”
The following anecdote may amuse some of our readers, and shew how difficult it is even for the great and good to tread in the thorny path of truth and integrity.
“At the period of the marriage of Murat, Bonaparte had not much money; he, therefore, gave his sister a portion of only thirty thousand francs. Feeling, however, the necessity of making her a wedding present, and not having the means of purchasing one suitable for the occasion, he took a diamond necklace from his wife, and gave it to the bride. Josephine was by no means pleased with this arrangement, and set her head to work to devise the means of replacing her necklace.
“ Josephine knew that the celebrated jeweller, Foncier, had a magnificent collection of fine pearl, which had, as he said, belonged to Marie-Antoinette; she had them brought, and found that they would make some very beautiful ornaments; but to purchase them required two hundred and fifty thousand francs, and how could these be raised. Madame Bonaparte had recourse to Berthier, who was the Minister of War. Berthier, biting his nails as usual, proposed to close promptly a settlement of the credits for the hospitals in Italy, and as the contractors, whose accounts were liquidated, had, in those days, much gratitude for their protectress, the pearls passed from the shop of Foncier into the hands of Madame Bonaparte.
“The set of pearls were thus acquired, but there was another small difficulty of which Madame Bonaparte had not at first thought. How could she make use of a necklace bought without the privity of her husband. This was so much the more difficult, as the First Consul knew well that his wife had no money, and as he was, if I may use the expression, a great meddler, he knew, or supposed that he knew all the jewels of Josephine. The pearls remained then for more than fifteen days in the possession of Madame Bonaparte, without her daring to make use of them. What a punishment for a woman! One fine day, however, not being able to restrain herself any longer, Josephine said to me, 'Bourrienne, there will be to-morrow a great concourse. I must absolutely wear my pearls; but you know him, he will grumble and scold if he observes them. Keep by me, Bourrienne, I pray, and if he asks me whence my pearls came, I will answer, without hesitation, that I have had them a long time.
"Every thing happened as Josephine feared and hoped. Bonaparte, seeing the pearls, did not fail to exclaim, Hey, what have you there. How fine you are to-day! What do these pearls mean. It appears to me that I do not know them.' My God! yes you have seen them ten times. It is the necklace which the Cisalpine republic gave me that I have put in my hair.' 'It seems to me, however — Oh hold your tongue, ask Bourrienne, he will tell you so.' : Well, Bourrienne, what do you say to that-do you recollect them ?' · Yes, General, I remember perfectly well that I have already seen them.' I did not lie, for Madame Bonaparte had actually shewn them to me, and besides, Josephine had received a necklace of pearl from the Cisalpine Republic, but they were incomparably less beautiful than the pearls of Foncier. Madame Bonaparte acted her part with a charming dexterity; I did not perform badly the part of god-father which was assigned me in this little comedy, and Bonaparte suspected nothing. In seeing the assurance of Madame Bonaparte, I recalled involuntarily, the reflection of Susannah' on the facility with which honest women can lie without betraying themselves."
M. Bourrienne speaks constantly with great disrespect of the brothers of Bonaparte-of Louis more favourably than of the others. He considers them with Fouché, as forming a coterie who were constantly instigating to rash aud violent measures, and particularly to a second marriage, in order to obtain a legitimate successor to his power. They seemed conscious, according to our author, that his authority could not be transmitted to them. Between the brothers of Bonaparte and the friend of Josephine, there was of course a constant hostility. Fouché, however, seems to bear the great burthen of Bourrienne's displeasure. Every thing, and almost every person connected with the high police, as it is termed, is most violently and repeatedly as-. sailed, and instances are unquestionably given of its inefficiency at some times, and its misrepresentations at others, and of the caution with which such an instrument ought to be used and trusted, even where it is employed. Fouché seems to have managed this formidable and suspicious machinery with more dexterity than any of his contemporaries. Even when removed from the ministry of police, he kept apparently a secret mastery over its operations, and amused himself by playing on his successors and rivals, and causing them to communicate to Napoleon statements which Fouché was aware his master would know to be absurd or false. Such for instance, as that Bourrienne had been at a secret meeting of the royalists in the Fauxbourg St. Germain, on a night when Fouché was apprised that Bourrienne had been working with Bonaparte in his cabinet until three o'clock in the morning. Bourrienne intimates that he himself had been the victim of the secret police; but we doubt, even from his own statement, whether it troubled itself much with his affairs.
Of one distinguished statesman of his day, our author gives a character that does not accord with the general estimate of the world.
“History will say as much good of M. de Talleyrand as his contemporaries have said ill. When in a great, long and difficult reer, a statesman has made and preserved many faithful friends, and has drawn on himself but few enemies, we must grant him the merit of a conduct wise and moderate, an honorable character, and a profound skill. It is impossible to know thoroughly M. de Talleyrand, without being devoted to him. All who have had this advantage, judge him, without doubt, as I do.” Vol. ii. p. 39.
“ M. de Talleyrand, almost alone among the ministers, did not flatter the First Consul, and was, without question, the one who served most faithfully, and was most useful to the First Consul and Emperor: When Bonaparte said to M. de Talleyrand, write such an order, and send it by a special messenger, this minister had the habit of not hurrying himself, because he understood the character of the First Consul sufficiently well to distinguish between what passion dictated and what his reason would approve; in short, he appealed from Philip drunk to Philip sober. It was for want of making this distinction, that the three ministers I have named above, (Maret, Champagny and Savary) injured him on so many occasions; and he himself was unhappy at having been obeyed when there was no longer an opportunity of reviewing his decisions. When it happened that M. de Talleyrand had suspended the execution of an order, Bonaparte never testified the least displeasure, and I ought to say, to his praise, that such delays were never the cause of the slightest reproach. When on the morning after an order had been given to this minister in a moment of passion, M. de Talleyrand came to transact business with the First Consul, the latter would inquire
Well, have you sent the courier ?' 'I took care not to do it,' replied the minister, “I did not think it proper to despatch him until I had shewn you my letter.' Then, most frequently, the First Consul would add, • Well, on reflection do not send it.' This is the conduct that ministers.ought to have practised with Bonaparte." Vol. v. p. 133.
On every occasion Bourrienne speaks of M. de Talleyrand in similar terms. Savary delineates his character with a very different pencil.
There are many other topics scattered over these volumes, on which we wished to present some of the views of our author, perhaps, to offer some observations, particularly the conspiracy of Georges and Pichegru, the execution of the Duc d'Enghien, and the trial of Moreau, but our limits forbid. We cannot, however, avoid saying, that among the paradoxical opinions which M. Bourrienne has advanced in these Memoirs, no ane appears to us more singular than his suggestion that the conspiracy of Georges and Pichegru was altogether the work of Fouché and his police. That he drew these emigrants and their associates from their retreats, assembled them in Paris, provided for their safety on their journey, and during their residence in the capital, arranged their movements, procured for them interviews with the royalists and the disaffected revolutionists of Paris, managed them like unresisting and unsupecting instruments of his will, and finally, had them arrested when they discovered that they had been the dupes of infamous and complicated intrigues. Such a game continued through some
months, and implicating and involving many individuals of talents and character, seems to us to have required too much sagacity on one side, and too little on the other to be at all probable.
We have read these Memoirs with some pleasure, but not with a high opinion of the author himself. It is easy to perceive that his situation has coloured many parts of his narrative, and it is rather mortifying to notice after his violent declamation against Bonaparte for the execution of the Duke d'Enghein, after his encomium on M. Chateaubriand, for having thrown up his appointments and offices on that occasion, his own anxious solicitude to be again reinstated in his ancient office, the eagerness with which he caught at every report of a favourable expression used towards him by Bonaparte, and the trembling of tbe limbs and the palpitation of the heart he experienced whenever, on any occasion, he was summoned to the Emperor's presence. It is certain that at that period he had no scruples that he would have had no scruples at resuming the confidential post he once enjoyed.
ART. II.-The Miscellaneous Works of Sir Philp Sidney, Knight.
With a Life of the Author, and Illustrative Notes. By · WILLIAM Gray, Esq. of Magdalen College and the Inner Temple. 1829.
The reputation of Sir Philip Sidney as a knight and a gentleman, is familiar to every body, and may be summed up in the following apostrophe to a Preux Chevalier, which is a perfect picture of that old-fashioned character. ' “And now I dare say,” exclaims Sir Bohort in the Morte Arthur, "that Sir Launcelot there thou liest; thou were never matched of none earthly hands. And thou were the curtiest knight that ever bare shield. And thou were the truest freende to thy lover that ever bestrode horse, And thou were the truest lover of a sinful man that ever loved woman. And thou were the goodliest person that