« IndietroContinua »
this treaty, the guarantee of every thing which good taste or common sense (to say nothing of retributive justice) should have denied him.
Let us recal to our readers' recollection some of its principal provisions.
ist. He is permitted to treat as an equal with the Emperors of Russia and Austria, and the King of Prussia; and his name is even allowed to precede theirs in the enumeration of the contracting parties.
2d. After the defeat of his armies, the capture of his capital, the disavowal of his power by the French nation itself, Buonaparte is permitted to renounce for himself and his descendants the throne of St. Louis :—this was an admission that, though no longer de facto sovereign of France, (for the senate and people had deposed him on the 2d April, 1814, and this treaty is dated the 11th,) he was so de jure, and had therefore a right to dispose of the crown: for it is plain, that he who has a free right to renounce, has also, if he will, à free right to retain.
Sd. He and his second wife are not only to keep their titles as long as they live, but his mother, dame Letzia Raniolini; his brothers, Mr.Joseph, Mr. Louis, Mr. Jerome Buonaparte; his sisters, the widow Le Clerc, Mrs. Bacciochi, and tutti quanti, are to preserve, in all circumstances, the rank and titles of the imperial family.
4. The Emperor Napolione chooses the island of Elba for his residence, as a separate and sovereign principality. This article exceeds all the rest-before this, the treaty only acknowledges Buonaparte as rightful monarch of France; but here he seems to be the Sovereign of Europe, selecting out of the vast possessions which he condescends to renounce, an island which did not belong to France, and creating it, by his posthumous power, into a sovereign state..
5. But, as he was so modest as to choose an island, whose revenues do not exceed £20,000 a year, be retains for himself a portion of the revenues of France, to the annual amount of £200,000, and for the princes and princesses of his august family, a further siim of £350,000. Thus, without the consent of the French nation, without the concurrence of the French King, their Majesties the Einperors Napolione, Francis, and Alexander, and the King of Prussia, dispose of above half a million per annum of the revenues of France. This goes still farther to prove that Napolione was considered not as the late, nor merely the then sovereign of France, but as having claims and powers which extended over the future ; for, it could only be by the authority of Napolione that France was required to pay the said sum during the life of the said Napolione and his wife and family, and for such payment, this expression of the will of the said Napolione was to be the King of France's sufficient warrant.
6. But, 6. But, as if the treaty would be imperfect if it only recognized his imperial character and made provision for his financial concerns, some doubtful transactions of bis domestic life and moral character are sanctified in this precious document; and bis repudiated wife, her Majesty the Empress Josephine, ci-devant Madame Buonaparte, ci-devant Madame Barras, ci-devant Madame Beauharvais, ci-devant Mademoiselle Josephe-Rose Tascher, is recognized by her highest titles, and is gratified with an annuity of an hundred thousand pounds sterling, to be paid (nolens voleus) by Louis XVII. over and above all the property of all kinds which the aforesaid lady bad before carefully appropriated to her own use. We believe that the barefaced profligacy of recognizing, in a public document, two wives living at the same time, is unexampled. Captain Macheath himself, at the conclusion of the Beggar's Opera, is more modest, and in his engagement before the public contents himself with one.
7. The Emperor Napolione, of his good grace and generosity, cedes to his Majesty the King of France (who is no party to the treaty) all the property, whether in lands or diamonds, &c. which is attached to the crown of France; in other words, Buonaparte consents to create Louis Capet, King of France.
Such are the chief articles of this monstrous treaty, which, by legitimatizing usurpation, sanctioning plunder, prostituting imperial rank and sovereign dignity to grooms, billiard markers, and filles de joie, by recognizing an impious divorce, and by setting at defiance, in the heart of France, the due authority of the French king and French nation, has done more inischief than any single act in which Buonaparte was ever before engaged, and was, in fact, the first if not the sole cause of the second invasion, and of that lamentable expenditure of blood and treasure in the year 1915, and of the consequent distressed and impoverished state of the greater part of Europe.
The crowning circumstance of this treaty was, that the signature of Lord Castlereagh was fraudulently affixed to the copies which were published on the continent, though the British minister was in no degree a party to it; so that it may be truly said to have commenced in folly and ended in falsehood.
We have thought it necessary to recal the circumstances of this treaty to our readers' recollection, because it affords a striking and melancholy lesson of the danger of compromising the great principles of politics or morals for any minor considerations, and of extending, under the specious names of candour and generosity, countenance to fraud, and impunity to crime. But there is another reason still more intimately connected with our present purpose for which we quote this document: this treaty, thus dic
tated by himself, scandalously favourable to all his views, Buonaparte wantonly violated, and has, indeed, always treated with such contempt, that he has never even deigned to apologize for having broken it.
Buonaparte now professes to have finished his political career, and to desire only a peaceful and quiet retirement—so he said at Elba-Why then did he leave that retirement which he himself had chosen ? and is he now niore entitled to credence and confidence than he was then ?-can rivers flow backward ?—can the hyæna be tamed ?--can Buona parte change bis nature, and be bound by ties which he has over and over again broken, or restrained by feelings which confessedly he never felt?—and are the lives and happiness of mankind to be risked upon the empty promises of a bankrupt in honour, whose only distinction is that he has failed so often and to such a frightful amount ?
It is unfortunate for the world that when-after the breach of this treaty, after his new usurpation, and after having occasioned the death of an hundred thousand men—he fell again into the power of his conquerors, it is unfortunate, we repeat, that his life was not the forfeit of his treason and his treachery. His public execution would have been a great and useful act of justice.--More guilty than Ney, Labedoyère, or Murat, his punishment would have had an infinitely greater effect than theirs; and if he, the great cause of all the evil, had been brought to the block, the blood of the other less guilty victims might have been spared Labedoyère might have been permitted to make living reparation to his injured country; and Ney might, perhaps, by a long repentance have atoned for his crime and retrieved his dishonour. The king of France might then have gathered all his subjects (except the murderers of his brother) under the wings of amnesty and oblivion, and the sins of the whole people might have been buried in the GRAVE OF THE GREAT OFFENDER.
But that better and juster course being rejected, we believe every sound head and uninfected heart in Europe will agree that there remained but one alternative to be adopted—that systein of seclusion and safe custody of which Buonaparte now so vehemently complains.
This brings us to a nearer consideration of the works mentioned in the title to this Article: we say nearer-for we flatter ourselves that our readers will see that these introductory observations are intimately connected with the grounds and principles of the subject under discussion.
We shall begin with Montholon's Letter.--To this tissue of falsehood we have reason to believe that Count Montholon has contributed nothing but his signature, and that it is the joint pro
duction of Buonaparte and his ame damnée Count Las Cases, whose name and qualities are not new to our readers-nor is it to be considered as a single document, standing on its own intrinsic demerit-it is part of a system of fraud, intrigue, and (10 use their own term) of mystification, which these worthies—consistent in their objects and their modes of attaining them are carrying on in little at St. Helena, as they formerly practised them in gross at the Tuileries.
This Letter, purporting to be addressed to Sir Hudson Lowe, the governor of St. Helena, was written for the sole purpose of being printed and circulated in Europe, to keep alive the interest of the Revolutionists about Buonaparte, wbich he supposed to be flagging; and for the same object, and about the same time, other publications in various shapes, under different names, but all having the same object, bave been disseminated throughout Europe. Of these, that which is best known in England are the Letters of Mr. Warden, who has been made (we will not say the innocent, but) the ignorant tool of the cabal. Our readers will recollect that in our review of this man's work, we ventured to assert-)st, that no such Letters were ever written; and 2d, that Mr. Warden only brought home with him certain notes of conversations with Buonaparte and his followers of which the tone and substance were made to fit, not the truth of the facts, but the object which Buonaparte had to accomplish. . These suspicions have been fully realized.--Mr. Warden, though he affects in an Advertisement to a new edition of his work to take notice of our animadversions, * does not venture to affirm that such Letters ever were written. He confesses indeed that he employed a literary man to correct his work, but alleges that this person added nothing of his own: but, we repeat it, he does not and he cannot deny that the character of letters written from St. Helena, which
* This poor man is at once so ignorant and so mulish that he has not been able to correct the errors which we pointed out to him. In his late edition, he still misspels almost all the names he mentions, and in one instance he bas made what he thought a correction, which, besides out-blundering all his former blunders, is such a happy satire on the Buonaparte dynasty that it will at once amuse our readers and sink Mr. Warden, if possible, into lower contempt.
He had stated, p. 212, that Buonaparte had lost at Waterloo a necklace given him by his sister the Princess Hortense. Somebody, skilled in the Almanach Impérial, informed him that Hortense was Buonaparte's step-daughter, and not bis sister, and that as Warden pretended to have heard the story from General Bertrand, so gross a falsehood threw his whole work into utter discredit. To give therefore some degree of consistency to the story, it was necessary that one of the sisters should replace the daughter, and accordingly Madame la Princesse BORGHESE was suggested but Mr. Warden is so profoundly ignorant not only of the names of the family, but even of the French language, that he has, with a delightful stupidity, called this illustrious lady, La Princesse BOURGEOISE! Heaven and earth! her Imperial Highness the Princess Borghese, Duchess of Guastalla and Parma, Vice-Queen of Etruria, a princesse bourgeoise !
was intended to give authority to and to vouch for the authenticity of his work, is false, and that the whole foundation and substance of his apology for Buonaparte (for such it is) was information given him by that person and his followers, and given by them for the purpose of publication.
We have been informed that when Mr. Warden had left St. Helena, it was well known to all the French that he was carrying home potes for publication: and that, on the arrival of a ship from England which brought newspapers and books, Buonaparte heedlessly asked if Ifarden's book was come. Unluckily, Mr. Warden's book was only published in London about the time when Buonaparte asked the question, and was not known at St. Helena for six weeks after. Whether it was by Buonaparte's desire that Warden gave his publication the shape in which we see it, or whether the surgeon acted from a natural tendency to sophistication, we cannot pretend to say,-it is enough for us to repeat, that his book is a gross imposition; the substance of which are the falsehoods of Las Cases and Buonaparte, and the shape of which is the fabrication of the anonymous editor.
Montholon's paper assumes a more formal character: it is rather a Manifesto than a Letter, and must be received less as a complaint of Buonaparte's grievances than a record and register of his pretensions—a word to the wise of both parties, and a plain intimation that he considers himself, de jure, still Emperor of France.
We have already said that the whole of these transactions belong to history, and that it is our duty not to permit misrepresentations and falsehoods, which we have the means of contradicting, to pass by unrefuted. Buonaparte's character is pretty well known at this day; but, hereafter, the system of fraud which this Jupiler-Scapin practises in great and in little—the now mean, now moustrous frauds which he employs on every occasion, will appear almost incredible, and will require, to obtain the credence of posterity, the full weight of contemporary evidence. · The motion in the House of Peers which Lord Holland founded on these publications has done-whatever may have been his lordship’s intention—a great deal of good, by leading to the fullest and most complete overthrow of a fabric which Buonaparte and his followers had been building up for upwards of a year past. .
The speech of Earl Bathurst, in reply to Lord Holland and in refutation of Buonaparte, was equally victorious over both. It was triumphant on every point, and was alike distinguished by good taste, easy pleasantry, and irresistible argument. It overwhelmed this precious Manifesto with ridicule and disgrace, and left its hearers amazed at the folly and disgusted at the falsehood of this great effort of Napolione's genius. It is much to be regretted that