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And for the moment the stroke of pol- | these memoirs. Madame de Rémusat icy seemed successful; but it brought a " sincerely believed that, until the death liselong and ample retribution even as of the Duc d'Enghien, it would have been policy, besides the stain which, as South- possible for him to legitimate his power ey wrote long ago, “incarnadined his by conferring upon France benefits of a memory with a deeper dye than that of kind which would have pledged the nation the purple for which he committed it.” | to him and his forever.” But she was Madame de Rémusat rightly marks this equally convinced that, in the latter part crime as the turning-point at which Na- of his career, neither the repulse of his poleon entered on the downward path, combined enemies, nor the acceptance of long before he attained the outward cli- the still mighty power offered him by
of success. The Royalists were their terms of peace, nor even a decisive cowed, and the friends of order who had victory at Waterloo, could have restored taken part with him were committed by a the opportunity; for he would only have baptism of blood; but for that very rea- held it under the same self-destructive son they began to revolt from him in necessity of perpetual novelty in dazzling heart.
achievement and ever-widening conquests. By the death of the Duc d'Enghien, Bona. Thiers on another ground, which forms a
The same opinion was expressed by M. parte succeeded in compromising, first ourselves, then the French nobility,'' finally the striking testimony to the value of heredi.
'In a curious conversawhole nation and all Europe. Our fate was tary monarchy. united with his, it is true — this was a great tion, recorded in the posthumously pubpoint for him; but when he dishonored us, he lished papers of Sainte-Beuve,* which lost the right to devotion and adherence, and took place shortly before the revolution of he claimed them in vain when the hour of his 1848, Thiers, who was one of the interlocuill-fortune came. How could he reckon on a tors, moralized as follows on the fall of link forged, it must be owned, at the cost of the first Napoleon :the noblest feelings of the soul? Alas! I judge by my own case. From that time for. It has been said that if Napoleon had won ward I began to blush in secret at the chain the battle of Waterloo he would have kept his I wore ; and this feeling, which I suppressed ground, and might have transmitted the impewith more or less success at different times, rial sceptre to his son. Not the least in the afterwards became the general sentiment. world !' There is nothing like hereditary de
scent to secure duration. That is what men With the Jacobins he had achieved a respect; and it is very lucky they do respect success only too great; for, while com- it, since, but for that, there would be nothing promising the moderate party with him- but perpetual instability. It is a great thing self, he had committed himself to them. to be fils de famille. On the day after the murder, M. de Look at the great Frederick. In the first Rémusat arrived at Malmaison with the half of his reign he committed every extrava. news that, while the general feeling of gance, every coup de tête imaginable ; whereas, Paris was revolted by the deed, the in the second half, he showed himself an accom
He was, at the outset, chiefs of the Jacobin party were saying, nothing more than a great captain. The Aus
plished statesman. “Le voilà des nôtres !” And on his own trians took his capital twice, the Russians part he added the prophecy, which his
Do you really believe that, if he had wife often afterwards recalled to mind : not been a fils de famille — the son of a king " The first consul is launched upon a – his enemies would not have found some path in which, to blot out this recollec- pretender to set up against him? Instead of tion, he will often be forced to turn aside that, they contented themselves with laying from the real, and to dazzle us by the Berlin under contribution, and took their deextraordinary. ... Above all, he con-parture thence as soon as they learned that he tracted the obligation to us of being of his capital. Napoleon said an admirable
had broken up his camp to come to the relief always successful, as success alone could word in 1815: "If I had but been my own justify the means he used to gain it.” grandson, I should have rallied again even from How he was driven headlong on that the foot of the Pyrenees. downward path in which every new achievement, performed at an ever-grow
But the truth is that he had been de. ing cost of blood and misery to his peo- throned in the public opinion of France ple, became less effective in proportion long before he succumbed to foreign eneto its greater necessity, - this well-known mies; and these memoirs are especially story is set in the light, not indeed of valuable for the signs by which they trace new facts, but of vivid illustration from the sources we have already indicated, in * Les Cahiers de Sainte-Beuve, p. 65.
the steady progress of popular alienation. I them his own by compromising and de Even his military success ceased to dazzle grading them, and to keep them in confrom (at least, if not before) the climax stant uneasiness, that they might never which it reached at Austerlitz; and the feel for a moment out of his power. With deepening sense of its cost in blood, mis- them, as in his relation to the whole world, cry, and national distress, was no longer we might apply to Napoleon what Thucydcharmed away by victories which more ides makes a Corinthian orator affirm of and more failed to surpass or equal ex- the Athenians: “If any one were to say pectation. This was confessed by Napo- that he was born never to be quiet him. leon himself at the very moment when self nor to let any one else be quiet, he the peace of Tilsit seemed to have made would say right." A touching vein runs hiin master of the world. “Military through the memoirs of the constant glory,” he said, “soon palls upon modern effort of the writer and her husband to nations. Fifty battles produce little more serve the emperor without losing self-re. sensation than five or six. To the French spect, gradually becoming impossible, and I shall always be the man of Marengo, then punished by loss of favor. Of this rather than of Jena or Friedland.”
Madame de Rémusat once ventured to Perhaps the most remarkable utterance complain to Josephine. of Napoleon's self-analysis is that in which he summed up his own career, not manner, and I avowed to her quite frankly the
The empress received me in a most friendly in the legends woven for a last appeal trouble that was on my mind. I expressed from St. Helena to the opinion of the my surprise that no past proof of devotedness world, but in one of his moments of frank or disinterested service could avail with her self-judgment. “One day, when at the husband against a sudden prejudice. She rezenith of his power, he asked those about peated my words to him, and he well under. him what would be said of him after his stood what they meant; but he persisted in death. They all hastened to answer in his own definition of what he called devotedphrases of compliment or of flattery.
ness, which was an entire surrender of one's But he interrupted them by exclaiming; being, of all one's sentiments, and of all one's • What! you are at a loss to know up all our former habits, in order to have only
opinions, and repeated that we ought to give what people will say? They will say, one thought, that of his interest and his will. OUFIN
He found men to serve him thus : like We have but small space left to glance Savary, who stified the better side of his at the highly interesting revelations of character (for “the emperor sedulously Napoleon's life amidst his court, and at cultivated evil passions in the men who the new light thrown by the memoirs served him, and they fourished abunupon all the members of the Bonaparte dantly in his reign"), or from a true spirit family: He once defined a statesman of devotedness, like Duroc, on whose as a person completely out of the regu- death Napoleon wrote, “It is the first lar orbit (parfaitement excentrique); al. time, for twenty years, that he has not most alone on one side, with the world divined what would give me pleasure.” on the other: and his friends and servants And yet we learn from M. Charles de Ré were treated as unscrupulously as his vic- musat that even this devoted friend did tims. The horror of the great crime of pot like the emperor, or at any rate judged his life is mingled with disgust at the un- him with severity. In later times he was speakable mcanness with which he used wearied out by. Bonaparte's temper, and Caulaincourt as the blind instrument of still more by his system of government, entrapping the poor young duke; and and on the day preceding his death, he when he learnt how this vicarious treach- let this be perceived, even by the emery was aggravated by the fact that Cau- peror. laincourt had been in the household of
Bonaparte encouraged cunning and taleCondé, the duke's father, he only said: bearing among his courtiers, and resorted "I didn't know that; and besides, what to the meanness of opening their letters, does it matter? If Caulaincourt is com- and the De Rémusats ultimately lost bis promised, there is no great harm; he will favor through a correspondence thus in. serve me all the better!"
tercepted. He claimed to hold even their That this was no half-jesting cynicism, reputations at his mercy to sport with but the deliberate system of all his rela- them himself, though, from a selfish mo tions with his servants, is the constant tive, he forbade others to do the like. theme of bitter reminiscence throughout The despotism of his will grew in propor: the memoirs. It was his plan to make I tion to the enlargement the circle with which he surrounded himself ; it is a fact that rather enjoyed in secret the little constraint he wanted to be the sole arbiter of reputations, occasioned among us all by the new court to make them and to unmake them at his ceremonial. Madame Murat was in despair, pleasure. He branded a man or blighted a and when she heard the emperor name repeatwoman for a word, without any kind of hesi. edly the princess Louis, so utterly lost all comtation, but he was much displeased that the mand of her emotions that she could not republic should venture to observe and to com- strain her tears. She drank glass after glass ment on the conduct of either one or the other, of water, to seem to do something to recover if he had placed them within the rays of the her self-possession ; but her tears always again aureole with which he surrounded himself. got the better of her. Madame Bacciochi, who
was older and more mistress of herself, reMadame de Rémusat illustrates this by frained indeed from weeping, but assumed a a strange scene at court, in which Napo- rough and trenchant manner, and treated all leon, after putting the ladies to the blush round her with marked hauteur. by telling each in turn the scandal people Next day there was a dinner en famille at said of them, flew into a violent passion the Tuileries, where a family scene occurred at the audacity of those who dared to of still more violence (reported by the empress
to Madame de Rémusat, who, of course, was utter a word against his court and family; upon which one of the ladies said to Jose in complaints, tears, and reproaches, demand
not present). Madame Murat broke out afresh phine, “ Let the emperor only go on de- ing to know the reason why she and her sisters fending us in that fashion, and we are were to be condemned to obscurity — to conlost."
tempt - while strangers to the family were, This spirit of licentious mischief was forsooth, to be loaded with honors and dignioften indulged at his court balls.
ties. Napoleon answered with extreme haugh.
tiness, that he was the master to distribute He accosted the ladies freely, and was often dignities at his pleasure. On this occasion he very unscrupulous in his remarks to them; let fall a sharp saying, which has been retained and if he was answered, and unable at once to in memory, “One would really think, ladies, recognize who it was that spoke to him, he to listen to the pretensions you put forward, would pull off the speaker's mask, revealing that we hold the crown from the late king our himself by this rude act of power. He also father.” took great pleasure in seeking out certain
The finale of the scene was that Madame husbands, under cover of his disguise, and Murat fell on the floor in a fainting-fit. Natormenting them with anecdotes, true or false, poleon at once softened, and the end was that of their wives. If he afterwards learned that she got for herself and husband all the dignithese revelations had been followed by uno ties she wanted. The whole spectacle gave pleasant consequences, he became very angry; for he would not permit the displeasure which me a new and strong impression of the overhe had himself excited to be independent of powering effect which
ambition is capable of
producing on characters of a certain sort. bim. It must be said, because it is the truth, there is in Bonaparte a natural badness, which And so in small things, as well as great, makes him like to do evil in small as well as Napoleon showed his disregard for the in great things.
feelings of those about him and contempt He took a mischievous delight in giv- for the “minor moralities” and small ing annoyance and irritation, and then observances, which have been styled the laughing at the pain he had caused, which politeness of kings. Thus at his recepreminds us of nothing so much as the tions," he never remembered a name, and recklessness of a boy making mischief his first question almost invariably was, “ for the fun of it.” His sisters were : What do you call yourself ??” But here often the butt of this propensity, for he met his match in the composer Gréwhich, it must be owned, they gave him try. ample provocation. Take, for example,
As a member of the Institute he frequently the scene at the great family and court attended the Sunday receptions, and it hapdinner, on the day when the Senate de-pened more than once that the emperor, who creed the establishment of the empire: had come to recognize his face, approached
him almost mechanically, and asked him his Just before we sat down to table, the govo name. One day, Grétry, who was tired of this ernor of the palace, Duroc, went round to perpetual question, and perhaps a little anapprise us all, one after the other, of the titles noyed at not having produced a more lasting of prince and princess, which we must give to impression, answered to the emperor's rudely Joseph and Louis Bonaparte, and their wives uttered “And you ! who are you?”in a sharp, respectively. Napoleon's sisters, Mesdames impatient tone, “Sire, I am still Grétry.” Ever Bacciochi and Murat, seemed thunderstruck afterwards, the emperor recognized him perwith this distinction of rank between their fectly. sisters.in-law and themselves. The emperor himself looked gay and serene, and, I fancy, No parts of the memoirs are
striking than those which depict the court | always appeared to me as one of the purest of a military adventurer, who gloried in and most unfortunate of women.
Her only being but the first citizen of a free re- solace was the tender affection she bore to her public, as teeming with those evils, which brother. She enjoyed by sympathy his happi. the writer truly describes as innate in all ness, his successes, the sunshine of his temper.
How often have I heard her utter these touchdespotic courts: the jealousies of fierce ing words, “I live only in Eugène's life!” passions and rival factions; the most chilling social and mental restraint; un- The expression of Madame de Rému. bounded pomp and luxury, and the unbri- sat's feeling for Queen Hortense rings dled license of immorality; with mean extremely like truth, at least for the period submission to the fiat uttered by the ir- of their personal acquaintance and interrevocable sentence, “Je le veuz." The course. Everything worked against Horsuggestion, that the writer's emotional tense - her own inexperienced and rodisposition may have led her to color her mantic views of life - her mother's much pictures too strongly, is well met by the less romantic and not a whit wiser schemes appeal of M. Charles de Rémusat, not for bestowing, her in marriage — and only to the parallel scenes described by finally, her husband's morbidly distrustful Saint-Simon, whose exaggeration is only and morose temper. Louis Bonaparte is in his language, but to the more moderate described by Madame de Rémusat as des judgment of Madame de Maintenon, who fiant et faux. That he was false we see thus described the despotic court in which no evidence. Distrustful he was to an she played so conspicuous a part: “As almost insane excess; and the persecufor your court friends, they are always tions of his wife recorded in these megrovelling on the earth. . .: We witness moirs, especially considering some of the assassinations, envy, rage, treachery, in- occasions he chose for them, were simply satiable avarice meannesses which are brutal. In one of the keen rebukes, disguised under the name of greatness, which he unsparingly administered all courage, etc.; a very summary of a round, Napoleon wrote to Louis : great part of the contents of the memoirs
Your quarrels with the queen are a public now before us.
scandal. Pray have, in your family, that pa. Of the portraits of the Bonaparte fam- ternal and effeminate character which you ily, sketched in the introduction, we can show in your government, and carry into only notice one which later events have affairs that vigor which you show at home. invested with deep interest. The two You treat a young woman like one handling a persons singled out in these memoirs for regiment. You have the best and most virtuous special exception from the repulsive char- of wives, and you make her unhappy. acter of the Bonaparte family and con. The unvarying regard and affection of nections, are Eugène Beauharnais and such a man as Napoleon for the only his sister Hortense, afterwards queen of woman he seems to have both loved and Holland, and mother of Napoleon 111., respected, is a strong confirmation of the only son who survived her. Madame Madame de Rémusat's contemporaneous de Rémusat has drawn the character of testimony: “Hortense,” he said, “ forces Eugène in a few vigorous and discrimi- me to believe in virtue." * native lines, which we have no space left to quote.
It may not here be out of place to make some His sister Hortense is depicted in these passing reference to the doubts which have been thrown
by the enemies of the late French emperor on his legitimemoirs as of an equally happy nature, mate birth. “ The malicious world," said the late Mr. but the world in general has not as yet Senior, in 1860, to Madame Cornu (by her antecedenis
and character a most trustworthy witness)," would call been quite prepared to accept the por- his dilatory and expectative policy a sign of his Dutch trait. Madame de Rémusat regards her blood." "The world," she said, “would talk nonwith the strongest sympathy as
He has not a drop of Dutch blood. In the perhaps
beginning of July 1807, Napoleon effected a reconciliathe unhappiest person of her time, and tion between Hortense and Louis. They met at Montthe least formed by nature to have been pellier, and spent three or four days, as was usually the
case, in quarrelling. She went off in a pet to Bordeaux, so" - as first having been grossly and where the emperor was on his way to begin his seizure groundlessly calumniated by the jealous of Spain. She passed a few days with him, and then hatred of the Bonapartes, and, after their returned, at the end of July, to her husband at Mont
pellier. He has many little bodily tricks resembling fall, involved in the general discredit of those of Louis. Louis never looked you in the face; all who bore their name.
when he bowed, it was not like anybody else, it was an
inclination of the body on one side. He kept his bands I have been [she says) in a position to take close to his sides. Louis Napoleon has all these pecul. a very near view of Madame Louis Bonaparte; all her servants to watch her, and often said of Louis
iarities. He (Louis) was jealous of Hortense, bribed I have ended by becoming acquainted with all Napoleon : "Ce n'est pas mon enfant;" but he was the secrets of her interior life, and she has half mad, and I believe only said so to iease his wife. no particular reason. He said to himself
We cannot conclude without reverting, Those who hold that any praise of an for a moment, to the point from which we English minister from abroad marks him set out, the justification given by these as the minister, not of England, but of memoirs to our old-fashioned views of France, or Germany, or Austria, may perNapoleon, especially as bearing upon the haps rather sympathize with Bonaparte's
question of his relation to our own coun- democratic hatred of England, expressed ; try and its politics. Few illustrations of in terms, of which we seem to have heard
our tendency to make foreign politics the echoes nearer home, not so very long battle-ground of party are stronger than ago. the feeling which glorified “the ogre of Corsica” into “the martyr of St. Hele was called the invasion of Continental liber.
Every effort was made to stigmatize what na;
" and in this case also the truth of ties. The English government was compared, history rebukes the morbid indulgence of in its policy, to Marat. “ What did he ever sentiment at the cost of steadfast, patri- do that was more atrocious ?" was asked. otic policy. It is something new to find “The spectacle of a perpetual war is presented a French writer rendering full justice to to the world. The oligarchical ringleaders the character of England's resistance to who direct English policy will end, as all exNapoleon, and that fuller justice which aggerated and infuriated men do end, by earn. the English opposition refused to the ing the opprobrium of their own country and motives of her government and people in the hatred of other nations.” fighting out the conflict to the end. Af- We conclude with a passage, the moral ter describing, in one of her most inter- of which may be the less necessary to esting chapters, the fêtes at Fontainebleau point at a moment when sentimental symin 1807 — when the emperor's fortune had pathy with foreign despotism is brought reached the zenith from which it began to to the test of responsible policy:decline in the ill-omened divorce and the
The Opposition declared against the expediconspiracy against Spain — Madame de tion, and the emperor, in his ignorance of the Rémusat says:
British Constitution, flattered himself that the
Parliamentary debates on this point would be For all this, a worm was gnawing at the useful to him. Little accustomed to opposi. vitals of his glory. The French Revolution tion, he estimated that of a political party in was not a process by which the public mind England by the effect which would have been was to be led to submit to arbitrary power; produced in France, had the same violence of the enlightenment of the age, the progress of | opinion which he remarked in the London sound principles, the spread of liberty, were journals been manifested here, and he believed all against him, and they were destined to the English government was lost on the evi. overthrow this brilliant edifice of authority, dence of the diatribes of the Morning Chronfounded in opposition to the march of the icle. These articles were a welcome aliment human intellect. The sacred flame of liberty to his own impatience, but his hopes always was burning in England. Happily, for the proved vain. The Opposition declaimed, but welfare of nations, that sanctuary was defended its remonstrances came to nothing, and the by a barrier which the armies of Bonaparte government always found means to carry on could not break down. A few leagues of sea the necessary struggle. protected the civilization of the world, and saved it from being forced to abandon the
We have still confidence in that unfield of battle to one who might not perhaps broken tradition of English patriotism, have utterly beaten it, but who would have which will surely make the like stand stifled it for the space of a whole generation. whenever the call to action dispels the
The English government, jealous of so mists of sentiment. colossal a power, and notwithstanding the ill success of so many enterprises, found an un. failing resource against the emperor in the national sentiments. The pride and the industry of England, which was attacked in
HE THAT WILL NOT WHEN HE MAY. both its position and its interests, were equally alarmed, and the people consented eagerly to every sacrifice that was demanded of them.
The day, after Paul's departure for At one time he took possession of Louis Napoleon, London with his lawyer and his uncle, which would scarcely have been the case if he had Mr. Gus left the Markham Arms. By a really doubted his legitimacy."..
Madame de Remusat also distinctly marks the time fatality, Fairfax thought, he too was going when Louis and Hortense were living in apparent hap away at the same time. He had gone piness during the temporary reconciliation at Montpellier, as that which gave the future emperor his up to Markbam in the morning early for existence.
BY MRS. OLIPHANT.