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vaded the inmost recesses of the heart—the sighs of the distressed, and the silence of thought could find no sanctuary. Performing by turns the office of informer, judge and executioner, this perfidious cameleon combined in his own person all the various classes of society.
Placemen and characters of distinction, pamphleteers, mountebanks, mechanics and husbandmen, were secret members of this association. Our legislators had skilfully calculated every gradation of human life, and well knew how to make the greatest advantage of each. The silver locks of age inspired respect and confidence; and it could hardly be suspected that a man on the brink of the grave would act the part of a malicious spy and informer this consideration was an additional motive for the employment of such characters. Every description of people, and of both sexes, from infancy to decrepitude, were comprehended in the list of spies.
As Monsieur T was amusing himself on a pleasant afternoon, with a walk in the shades of the Luxembourgh, he was met by one of his old acquaintances, who, perceiving him to be in trouble, seated himself on a bench beside him and kindly inquired the cause.
“ I had two sons,” he replied, “the only solace and hope of my old age-one of them was killed in the bloody field of Eylau; the other, as I have just learned, in the battle of Bautzen."
While he was yet speaking, an interesting child about five years of age, came running with signs of trepidation to the two friends.--He said he had just fled from his nurse who was angry with him; and pointed to a woman in the middle of the walk, who was holding another child by the arm. The loveliness and engaging manners of the child, highly interested the old men, one of whom, placing him upon his knee, endeavoured to comfort him, and promised to make his peace with his nurse, who continued her walk without turning back for the child. Mons. T-, over. whelmed with grief for the loss of his children, resumed the conversation. “ Alas!" he exclaimed," my children are no more-0, God of goodness, how long wilt thou delay to avenge their death on the monster who dragged them to the field of slaughter!"
“I feel,” replied his friend,“ the whole force of your griefI too have cause to weep—but how many thousand families in
Europe, have to deplore the like misfortunes and calamities? You imprecate the thunder of heaven on the guilty author of our afflictions--Your wishes, will, I trust, ere long be accomplishedAlready has the perfidious Corsican been struck by the hand of the Almighty, and his inventive and daring genius can no longer prevail in opposition to the powers now leagued against him."
The little boy lost not a word of this conversation. He quickly disengaged himself from the old gentleman who had caressed him on his knees-His pretended nurse marked his motions-she pursued and overtook him, and both shortly disappeared.
The agents of the secret police kept in their service about a dozen children who were always selected for their talents and personal accomplishments. These young creatures were artfully trained and disciplined- They were cunningly introduced into the company of persons suspected by the police of the government of disaffection-Their childhood prevented all suspicionNo one hesitated to express his sentiments without reserve in their presence. Nothing of the conversation overheard by them escaped their memory-it was all reported to their employer, who knew how to use the information thus obtained for the destruc. tion of the unhappy object of his suspicion. It was often the case that these youthful agents of the secret association of spies and informers, being unable to get admittance to the persons designated by their einployers, posted themselves in the evening at the doors of individuals, whose interest and attention they excited by the most piercing cries of distress. The child had lost his
in the dark, and was in search of his home. A false name was readily furnished, but the place of his residence was never remembered. At break of day, he was nevertheless sure to return home. What man, on such an occasion, could repulse an interesting child of six years old? He kindly receives him into his family.
Of this description was the little viper, unsuspectingly caressed by Mons. T— at the Luxembourgh. The pretended nurse was a skilful agent of the police.
Two days after this occurrence, the unfortunate father was arrested in the market place of St. Roche, and privately conducted to the Conciergerie. His examination did not take place till five days afterwards, during which time he wearicd him
self with fruitless conjectures as to the cause of his arrest. I have, it is true, said he to himself, an unfavourable opinion of the government, but my sentiments I have never expressed but before friends of whose fidelity I cannot indulge a suspicion.
He was at length brought before V- His astonishment may well be imagined, when he heard that inquisitor detail to him, word for word, the conversation betwixt himself and his friend in the Luxembourgh gardens. Notwithstanding his confusion, he obstinately persisted in denying all the charges preferred against him.
“ Dare you deny the facts!" said the formidable examiner." I will, in a moment, produce a witness who will force you to confession.”
He then gave orders for the friend of Mons. T, and his companion in misfortune, to be brought in. On seeing his friend, Mons. T— exclaimed in a tone of despair: “Oh heavens! I am ruined— Traitor! how couldst thou, whom I supposed my best friend, thus cruelly have betrayed me?"
" You are mistaken," interrupted V- "This gentleman has not betrayed you—on the contrary he is implicated with you in the same accusation, and detained a prisoner in consequence."
“ Impossible! for he was the only person with whom I had any conversation whatever, at the Luxembourgh, on the day mentioned.”
“ That is of no consequence. Know, sir, that the air transports to us the indiscreet and imprudent observations of individuals, respecting the emperor and the government."
“I am then, in my present situation, one of the most unfortunate of mankind."
“ You are indeed; for you have unjustly accused your best friend of treachery, and have thus made a confession which requires no further proof."
Thus ended the examination, and the two friends returned to their prisons.
What led to the arrest of Mons. T. and his friend, was a strong suspicion entertained by the heads of the police, that both
nemies of the emperor, and hostile to the whole system of
his government. Besides, it was well known to the court that Mons. T-was deeply amicted with the loss of his sons.
But as he was a prudent man, and saw but little company, and was cautious, or rather extremely reserved in conversation; ail the schemes of the police agents to entrap him, had hitherto proved ineffectual—they had been disappointed in every attempt. At length it was observed, that it was his daily custom to walk in the gardens of the Luxembourgh, where he usually seated himself upon a bank, and was seen conversing familiarly with a man who seemed to be his confidential friend.
How could the tenor of their conversation be discovered? Should any one approach and seat himself beside them, they would probably remove or change the subject of their discourse.
What I have related will show that these agents of iniquity spared no means whatever to accomplish their purposes. Lifc and death were by them equally disregarded.
Other snares were spread by the supreme police, which it was very difficult to avoid, because no one could ever suspect them. A number of persons of both sexes whom Bonaparte jestingly called his Cytherian Cohort, all that was most seductive in youth, beauty, grace, and pleasing acquirements, was united and trained in this society. Men of engaging address and fascinating manners, and women of superior beauty and great personal attractions, most of them involved in debt, extravagant in their style of living, and greedy of money, by whatever means acquired; gladly lent their aid without a blush, and without remorse, to further the diabolical machinations of a despot, who himself trembled in the midst of his victims. The following narrative will serve to show the manner in which these nefarious agents were employed by the government,
In the year 1809, a Hollander was preparing at Leipsick, to publish a memorial intended to exhibit in its true colours the extravagant and intolerable ambition of Bonaparte.
Baron D, who was the first to discover this project, thus expressed himself, in a letter concerning it, which he addressed to the emperor.
“ The person who has read the manuscript assures me that he has never seen any thing better and more forcibly written, or
supported by more imposing and ingenious arguments. This appeal to all the crowned heads of Europe, is calculated to produce an irresistible conviction in every breast. It is fraught with more danger in its consequences, than any writing which has ever before'appeared in any language, against the monarch of France."
It will readily be supposed that Bonaparte would not fail immediately to set all his secret agents and emissaries at work. Mons. de M, who was the principal employed on this important occasion, very soon succeeded in taking the unfortunate Hollander in the snare which he had laid for him.
But what was the disappointment of the French inquisitors! They stripped the unfortunate Hollander, searched his clothes, ransacked and broke in pieces his furniture, unripped his beds and mattrasses, and even destroyed a plaister Venus. But after all, no discovery was made-the manuscript could no where be found. Their rage and vexation exceeded all bounds. None but an eye witness could describe their violence. He was roughly asked what had become of the manuscript which he had intended to publish?
“ I have neither written, nor intended to publish any thing," was the answer.
“Sir, you are to know that my government is not to be imposed on. It is a well known fact; but I readily inform you that I have no orders to deprive you of your liberty. My commission is limited to ascertain whether poverty has compelled you to write If that is the case, pul wlrat price you please upon your work. I have bills with me to a large amount, and will immediately pay you the sum you may require for it. Or if you are in want of employment, and are discontented from having been neglected by the new government of Holland, be assured you shall have justice done you. Kings, you see, are not able to discern all objects at the same time.”
“ Your offers,” replied the unfortunate Hollander," are very generous, and I regret extremely that it is not in my power to accept of them. But I again declare to you that I have never written any thing against the French government.—Some one has certainly deceived you."
Mons. de M finding that he was inflexible, and that it