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French people, stating that Napoleon had resigned, and that his son had been proclaimed; calling on the nation for exertions, sacrifices, and unanimity, and promising, if not an actually new constitution, as had been usual on such occasions, yet such a complete revision and repair of that which was now three weeks old, as should make it in every respect as good as new.
This address had little effect. It was soon evident, that the soldiers and federates partook of Labedoyere's sentiments concerning the abdication of Napoleon, and the slight and evasive manner in which the succession of his son had been treated. The federates assembled in arms, having green boughs for a mark of distinction. The soldiers compelled the passengers in the streets to cry Vive l'Empereur. A party of the rabble of the suburbs entered the court of the palace of Bourbon-Elysée with the same shouts. They menaced and insulted a strong detachment of the national guard, (about five hundred men) stationed on the Place Beauveau, rather in appearance to blockade the palace of Buonaparte than to guard it. Napoleon had a detachment from the reliques of his Old Guard, so devotedly attached to his person, under arms within the garden and the courts. But neither party came to acts of absolute violence. Buonaparte appeared to the federates, to acknowledge their zeal, and there was a distribution of provisions and liquor. Two bands of these ruffians, one marching by the Rue des Augustine, the other by the Rue des Saints-peres, attempted to storm the hotel of Fouché, who was justly regarded as the most formidable, though unavowed, enemy to the dynasty of Napoleon. They were surprized by the gens d'armes, and some made prisoners. The federates at tempted also to seize the posts of the
national guards at the Mint, at the Palace Royale, and elsewhere. In short, every thing intimated that either the imperialists must be conciliated, or a grand convulsion expected. It was said, that Napoleon agreed with difficulty to leave the Chambers a day to decide upon acknowledging his son, with the determination, that if this, which he affirmed to be the condition of his resignation, were still evaded, he would march to the Chambers at the head of his guards, and settle the matter by military force. On the other hand, thirty thousand of the national guards were under arms at their posts, and strong patroles, assisted by the gens d'armes, dispersed all groupes which assembled in the streets, and arrested those who seemed disposed to excite tumult. Each party prepared their strength for the struggle of the ensuing day.
A very warm debate took place next day in the Cham- June 24. ber of Deputies, on the question of acknowledging Napoleon II. It was urged, on the one hand, that the same circumstances of external danger which had led the Chamber to accept, if not to solicit, the abdication of the father, concurred, with his foreign residence and his non-age, to oppose the succession of the son. The other party declared, that leaving the throne vacant at this moment was, in fact, soliciting the foreign powers to fill it; and some members declared with vehemence, that the delay was an artifice of the Bourbon, or Orleans party. Manuel, who was considered as the organ of Fouché in the Chamber of Representatives, contrived to get rid of this debate in a singularly ingenious manner. He made a long speech, the bearing of which was, that there was no occasion for formally acknowledging Napoleon II., since, by the constitution, his reign was already begun, and he was actually in posses
sion of the throne in which it was proposed to place him. Amid shouts of Vive Napoleon II., the assembly passed to the order of the day, upon the proposal to proclaim the new sovereign, because he was, in fact, Emperor of the French by virtue of the constitution, and they, at the same time, declared, that the appointment of a provisional government was only to procure the nation a necessary guarantee, in its present circumstances of unparalleled difficulty, for its liberty and repose. This declaration concerning the right of Napoleon II., made, as it were, incidentally, and by reference, was sufficient, it would seem, to satisfy, or to silence at least, the partizans of the imperial dynasty. But when it was proposed to swear allegiance to the new sovereign, a general cry of "No oaths, no oaths," seemed to intimate, that the members had been already too prodigal of these ill-redeemed pledges, and were disgusted at the thoughts of commencing a new course of perjury.
The provisional government, having thus ostensibly complied with the condition on which Napoleon resigned, were entitled to exact from him the farther measures which were necessary to render his abdication effectual. He consented, therefore, to issue a proclamation to the army, stating the fact which they were so averse to believe from any other authority. It was in these words: "Soldiers! while obeying the necessity which removes me from the French army, I carry with me the happy certainty that it will justify, by the eminent services which the country expects from it, the praises which our enemies themselves have not been able to refuse it. Soldiers! I shall follow your steps though absent. I know all the corps; and not one of them will obtain a single advantage over the enemy, but I shall give it credit for the courage it may
have displayed.-Both you and I have been calumniated. Men very unfit to appreciate our labours have seen in the marks of attachment which you have given me a zeal, of which I was the sole object. Let your future successes tell them, that it was the country, above all things, which you served in obeying me; and that, if I had any share in your affection, I owed it to my ardent love for France, our common mother. Soldiers! some efforts more, and the coalition is dissolved. Napoleon will recognize you by the blows which you are going to strike. Save the honour-the independence of the French! Be the same men which I have known you for these last twenty years, and you will be invincible."
There were expressions in these proclamations calculated to offend the Chamber of Representatives, and besides, the presence of Buonaparte in Paris, although dethroned and without power, was still dangerous to the public tranquillity. Soldiers, the straggling relicks of the defeat of Waterloo, were daily gathering under the walls of the capital, maddened with their late defeat, and calling for new battles. Nothing but their disorganized and broken condition prevented him from becoming again the general of a small, but devoted army. To remove him from this temptation, the provisional government required him to retire to the palace of Malmaison, near Saint Germains, so long the favourite abode of the discarded Josephine. Napoleon had not been in its walls a single day, before, surrounded by Fouché's police, he found that he, who, in less than a month before, had disposed of the fate of myriads, was no longer the free master of his own actions. He was watched, and controlled, though without the use of actual force, and now, for the first time, felt what it was to lose that free
he had the means of instantly setting sail. Decres, minister of the marine department, was directed by the provisional government to insist on Napoleon's instant departure, which they grounded upon the most imperious necessity, and even upon the safety of his own person. This discussion, with the messages which Decres was compelled to carry between the Tuilleries and Malmaison, occupied ninety-six hours, during which period of agitation, the minister stated to the Chamber, he had never once slept; so that time, and the space of three nights and days, had become confused in his imagination.
agency, of which his despotism had for so many years deprived so large a portion of mankind. Yet he seemed to submit to his fate with indifference, or only expressed impatience when beset by his personal creditors, who, understanding he was not likely to remain long in France, attempted to extort from him a settlement of their claims. This petty persecution was given way to by the government as one of several expedients to abridge his lingering residence in France, and they had the means of using force, if all should fail. A bold effort might, indeed, have yet broken through the toils which surrounded him like a spell, but Buonaparte's time and spirit for daring seemed to be past. There was no chance that, with few means and many obstacles, he should attempt what he had feared to dare when his chances of success were so much more numerous. He himself was disgusted with the petty part which he now performed. He, in vain, offered the service of his sword to command the defence of Paris, as generalissimo in behalf of his son. The government took care not to accept an offer, which, excepting in name, would have restored to him all his former authority. He felt himself secluded from his friends, useless and impotent as the hilt of a broken sword, and it was on the tomb of Josephine that he gave his consent to become an exile from France.
An application was made to the Duke of Wellington to grant a safe conduct for the passage of Napoleon Buonaparte to America. It was refused, as a point on which the British general had no instructions from his government. The French ministers next proposed to Buonaparte, that he should leave the vicinity of Paris, and go to the sea-port from which he was to embark. He refused, on the ground that he did not wish to go there until
It does not seem that Buonaparte, the party principally concerned, partook of this agony. On the contrary, his resolution of departure once adopted, this singular man, alternately great and contemptible, seemed, after his decision, only to live for the little selfish purposes of his own enjoyment. He expressed great anxiety about providing a supply of petty articles of personal luxury, and his only communication with the Chambers was to request, that some particular books should be placed at his disposal. Wealth a despot rarely possesses, for it is employed in consolidating his power. Of the treasure which Napoleon carried with him to the headquarters at Avesnes, the Prussians were now masters; and had he left France for America, as was designed by the government, it was supposed he would not have possessed above fifteen thousand Louis d'ors of personal property. He had been liberal to his family, and particularly to his sisters, who lavished great sums, which they drained from his privy-purse. But the Great Nation do not appear to have thought upon the probable pecuniary distresses of him who so lately had been termed the Fate and Destiny of France. So far from it, that Count
Mollien, minister of the treasury, was threatened with impeachment, on an allegation that he had placed some small part of the public funds at the disposal of the person who lately commanded all the resources of the empire. The minister denied the charge, but candidly and generously expressed his regret that he had not the means to alleviate the pecuniary difficulties of his old master. Those who now governed were only anxious to accomplish Napoleon's removal from Malmaison and from France, and we transcribe an account of their proceedings from an eminent literary Journal, which we be lieve, in this case, to have had sources of intelligence not generally accessi ble.*
"They," that is the provisional government, "placed near (i. e. over) him General Beker,† a member of the Chamber of Deputies. This gentleman's duties and powers were of a very mysterious nature; he was to accompany Buonaparte every where, yet he had no public character of any kind; he was to guide his movements, yet he had no personal acquaintance with, or influence over him; and he was to guard his person without having any force assigned to him for that purpose.
"There can be but little doubt that Fouché was now playing, if not the king's game, at least against Buonaparte; and General Beker's orders were to see the ex-emperor soon and safely embarked, in a small squadron which the provisional government had assigned for his conveyance to America. However General Beker contrived it, or whatever were his secret means of persuasion, he performed his mission with great success, and
after several plans, and much hesitation on the part of Napoleon, drove him to the determination of surrendering to the British squadron in Aix Roads.
"General Beker's accounts of his mission, as he gave them in the ministerial circles of Paris, afforded no clue to discover by what invisible thread he had led this terrible creature so quietly to an ignominious end; but it was surmised, that the personal fears of the ex-emperor (which we have already seen are more than becomingly strong) were operated upon. What the general told was, that he had never passed a period of more anxiety, and that there was no success more difficult than that which he had attained.
"He said that Napoleon had treated him, from the first moment, not merely with civility, but even with familiarity. On the day before the journey began, while walking together in the garden of Malmaison, the gene. ral made some observation concerning Maria Louisa, and the conduct of the court of Austria towards him. Napoleon laughed, gave him a little playful slap on the cheek, and said Allez, mon ami, tu ne connais pas ces gens-là! +
"Before Buonaparte's departure, he sent for one of his early friendshe wished to take leave of him. Buonaparte said, I would not go without seeing you; we shall never meet again.' The other, unable to speak, burst into tears. Buonaparte put his hand on his friend's shoulders with an air of affection, and said
Mon cher, ne vous attendrissez pas; dans les grandes crises comme celle-ci, c'est le courage et non pas la sensibilité
* Quarterly Review, Vol. XIV. No. 27. p. 81.
By birth, we believe, a Swiss-by political principle, a Constitutionalist. General Beker had openly blamed the war in Spain, and refused to bear arms in that cause, after which he had been in disgrace with Napoleon, and lived in retirement.
Go, my friend! you are not acquainted with this kind of folks.
qu-il nous faut. In a long conversation which ensued, this person represents Buonaparte as calm, somewhat melancholy, but not abattu.'† Buonaparte allowed that he had committed, in the late transactions, two great faults-the first was, that he had left the army; the other was, the get ting into a discussion with the Chambers, and, above all, with a deputation of the Chambers-the large body might have been divided or dissolved; but the committee was armed with more power than the whole; was not liable to disunion, and not subject to be put off and delayed. According ly,' said he, when I spoke to them of the wants of the country, men, cannon, and money, they answered me with the rights of men and the social contract, and all was lost!'
"On the road to Rochefort, where he was to embark, and while he remained there, Buonaparte received several deputations from the army, ur, ging him to put himself at their head, swearing to die in his cause. • You see,' said he to Beker, that the provisional government mistakes the wishes of the people with regard to me.' On these occasions, he would some times wake up, as it were, into life and spirit, and express a resolution to return to the army, and conquer or die at its head; but these gleams of courage were very short. Indeed, those who approached him, described him as much exhausted, both in mind and body, weak, undecided, and pusillanimous, very attentive to his own little comforts, fond of the table; and though, in general, somewhat lethargic, and inclined to apoplectic seizure, exceedingly alive to all that concerned his personal safety."
In this irresolute state of mind, he continued for some days at Rochefort,
revolving various experiments of escape, from which he repeatedly shrunk when the moment of execution arrived. His train, including the friends and officers who still adhered to his fallen fortunes, might amount in all to about forty persons. He left Paris on the 29th of June, and arrived at Rochefort on the second of the succeeding month. From the time he left Mal maison, his history is that of an individual unconnected with public events, and we therefore postpone it for the present.
While the star of Buonaparte was thus waning, that of his rival again appeared on the eastern horizon. A proclamation, dated from Cambrai, apprized the French, that Louis XVIII., following the track of the victorious allies, was again within his lawful dominions, and demanded their allegi We transcribe at length this important document, and will then offer some reflections on its contents.
"THE KING TO THE FRENCH PRO
"The gates of my kingdom at last open before me. I hasten to bring back my misled subjects; to mitigate the calamities which I had wished to prevent; to place myself a second time between the allied and the French armies, in the hope that the feelings of consideration of which I may be the object may tend to their preservation. This is the only way in which I have wished to take part in the war. I have not permitted any Prince of my fami ly to appear in foreign ranks, and have restrained the courage of those of my servants who had been able to range themselves around me.
"Returned to the soil of my country, I take pleasure in speaking con
Do not give way to your feelings, my friend-in a crisis so difficult we must use resolution, not sensibility.