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that he had been in Paris. But the conspirators waited, in order to effect their plans with a legitimate prince at their head; and it is very probable that the scruples of Moreau demanded this, and obliged the others, unfortunately for their scheme, to tarry for it.
In the interval between their arrest and trial, occured the blackest deed that history imputes to Napoleon, of guilt inexcusable, and of truth undeniable, even by himself—the murder of the due d'Enghien. This noble youth, a grandson of the prince of Conde, and heir of that illustrious house, extinct by his death, was of course an emigrant, and attached to the fortunes of his house. He inhabited a place called Ettenheim, in the duchy of Baden, only a couple of leagues distant from the French frontier, aware that a revolutionary movement in favor of royalism was planning in Paris. Bonaparte was at this time besieged not only by the emissaries of his minister of police, but also by those of Fouche. As there really was a plot hatching, the first consul paid more attention than he otherwise would to these reports, by which he was eternally harassed and irritated. Fouche represented the conspiracy to have assassination for its principal object. "The air is full of poniards," wrote he to Bonaparte. Then it appeared, from the depositions of some of the accused, that they "only waited for the arrival of a French prince to commence." The due de Berri was expected at the time to land secretly near Dieppe. Savary was sent to lie in wait for him: for Bonaparte, maddened by Fouche, felt the Corsican spirit of revenge stir within him, and was eager to spill the blood of the family which, he imagined, aimed at his life as well as his power. The old Jacobin party, and Fouche, its representative, were anxious to be for ever secured against the return of the Bourbons, and on this condition promised all fealty to Bonaparte, their future emperor. An act of terrorism, the judicial murder of a Bourbon, was just the pledge they sought; a pledge he was not unwilling to give, if the due de Berri could be caught on French ground. That prince, however, came not. Bonaparte was disappointed; and in order to make up in every way for the disappointment, he resolved to seize on the due d'Enghien, a Bourbon also, and expectant of the royalist insurrection. He was on neutral territory, to be sure; but Bonaparte had learned to slight international as well as moral law; feeling himself, as a high-priest of policy, above such "beggarly elements." He accordingly gave orders that a body of troops should surprise the castle of Ettenheim, and carry off the duke. This was put in execution on the 15th of March; and the illustrious prisoner was, without dday, 804. BANISHMENT OF MOREAU. 181
; Mrried to the castle of Vincennes, near Paris. He arrived rit nine o'clock in the evening, much wearied. He was nevertheless brought'on that very night .before a military commission, and accused of the crime of bearing arms against France. Instead of denying the charge, the young prince avowed and gloried in it; and the commissioners, like a jury, returned a verdict of guilty, and even that reluctantly, but still with a belief that a punishment so atrociously severe in his case as death could not follow it. Besides, the duke made a request to see and speak with the first consul. Savary, however, who had orders to see judgment executed, and who had learned in Egypt implicit and oriental obedience to the word of a master, interfered. Under his direction, the prisoner was made to descend about daybreak into the fosse of the chateau, where he found a newly-dug grave, and a company of gendarmes drawn up. The prince saw his fate, and submitted to it with a soldier's courage. A murder worthy of the worst days of the revolution, was perpetrated; the heir of Conde had ceased to live; and Bonaparte, endeared by this pledge to the regicides, was assured of their support in mounting the imperial throne.
In this latter view, the death of the due d'Enghien was not so bootless a measure as has been imagined. Moreau had not yet been brought to trial. The military were attached to him; the populace believed him honest; and, at such a moment, the resurrection and exertions of the Jacobin faction might have turned the scale against Bonaparte. Some time after this catastrophe, Pichegru was found strangled in his prison; and Wright, an English captain, who had landed Cadoudal from his vessel, and who had been taken prisoner, was discovered with his throat cut. Suspicion could not but fall upon Bonaparte. Yet, why should he not have brought Pichegru to trial as well as Moreau 1 On, the other hand, it is not probable that these men fell by their own hands. Savary inculpates Fouche. The circumstance must remain matter of mystery and conjecture. Georges Cadoudal, and the most guilty conspirators, were next dealt with. They were brought to trial, condemned, and exec*: ted. The Polignacs were, however, spared by the first consul. Moreau was next arraigned; there existed no proofs whatever against him. The tribunal was inclined to acquit him. But, by a kind of negotiation betwixt the judges and the government, Moreau was condemned to two years' imprisonment; a sentence that the first consul commuted to exile. Moreau retired to America. Fouche, as the price of his information and activity in these affairs, was reinstated as minister of poMce.
Whilst the royalist plot for overthrowing1 the first consul's government thus failed utterly, which it needed not have done, had it been a mere purpose of assassination, the French police were long and artfully engaged in attempting to implicate the diplomatic agents of England, and to raise ground of accusation against them. Subordinate envoys were first circumvented. Numbers of adroit emissaries introduced themselves to Mr. Drake, and to Mr. Spencer Smith, English residents at the courts of Munich and Stuttgardt, revealing plans, and making promises of royalist insurrection, of betraying towns, &c. "These bulletins," M. Bignon admits, "were all fabricated by the French police; the promises, only so many chimeras, with which the prefect of Strasburg fed the credulity of Mr. Drake." Poor Mr. Drake was indeed taken in. Some letters of his, in which he exulted over the speedy accomplishment of these designs, were intercepted; his folly, rather than his guilt, proclaimed; and, unfortunately, the story, garnished with unblushing falsehood, gave Bonaparte, what he so much loved, a pretext for declaiming against the Machiavelism of England. In all countries, the enemies of France of course rallied, as far as they were permitted, around our ambassadors, as the only points of independent power and resistance; and these personages certainly required a great degree of prudence and courage. Bonaparte made war on thern by all means. He seized Sir George Rumbold on the neutral territory of Hamburgh, and only released him to avert the indignation of all Germany. Lord Elgin was singled out amongst the English detained in France, and tempted to implicate himself by the demons of the police. To catch a British ambassador tripping, was what Bonaparte most loved. The artifices used with Lord Elgin form a perfect sample of the mode; whilst Bonaparte's declaration in the Moniteur, "that the British envoy at Madrid had asserted to the Prince of the Peace the right of a country to cause the assassination of sovereigns with whom it was at war," gives at once the measure of his veracity.
It was in these petty squabbles and machinations that the meanness of Bonaparte appeared. Hitherto his life had been that of a hero; stained, indeed, with the blood of Jaffa; for which, however, he might plead the excuse of stern necessity. In fields of battle, in negotiations, in government, he had shown himself the superior spirit. But now, as he arrives at the height of power, as he doffs the hero's tunic to assume the mantle of the usurper, the vulgar Jacobin appears —rude, ruthless, tricky, envious, mendacious. Finding a worth}' ally in Fouche, >e condescends to make war by eaves£04, BONAPARTE EMPEROR. 183
droppers a*, .he doors of the envoys of his foe, ratner than with armies in the field; and wields the base pen of malignity, rather than the warrior's sword. Absolute power proved fatal to him, flinging" him at once into meanness and into crime. Whiie a victorious commander of the armies of Italy, a crown could not have added to his greatness. When we first look upon him as emperor, we behold chiefly the-murderer and the monarch united. Previous to this epoch, there existed still a feeling of generosity betwixt England and her enemy. But henceforth it was a personal and deadly war,—a war not only of existence, but of honor,—a duel not to be receded from till one or other of the antagonists fell. Unfortunate it was, tliat France was identified in her leader's quarrel. Had she kept her liberties, that even of her press, such foul lies could not have gone forth to the world, nor been credited at home. But Bonaparte, not daring to trust his character and acts to a free press, shows sufficiently the color of both: whilst, by yielding this precious liberty, this sun of the public mind, to a despot, after all the clamors and blood spent in the name of freedom, France becomes answerable for her own credulity, as well as for those crimes, and that injustice, which such credulity allowed him to commit.
This was the epoch of Bonaparte's becoming emperor. The steps of his throne were the supposed projects of Pichegru and Georges; the blood of D'Enghien cemented them. Here instantly appears the great object of representing the views of the conspirators to be those of assassination. For, the life of the first consul being aimed at, it became necessary, according to the logic of the hour, to render the present rule and system permanent; that is, hereditary. And in fact the argument was right; a despotism for life is an absurdity, a complete bonus upon assassination; however, the way of mending the absurdity was to abate the despotism, instead of rendering it eternal. Scarcely twelve months had elapsed since the first consul had declared in council "hereditary right to be an absurdity." The senate now asserted the necessity of declaring Bonaparte hereditary sovereign, "in order to insure the public triumph of liberty and equality without fear of overthrow." This unblushing reason for perpetuating a dictatorship was worthy of the Moniteur itself. The senate having obsequiously given its adhesion, the tribunate was required to discuss the question, not constitutionally, but as if in a "private re* union of citizens." Twenty voted for, seven against Bonaparte's elevation to the sovereignty. To such members were reduced even the mock representation of France. Carnot alone, as a staunch republican, spoke boldly forth his opinion
"Shall freedom, then," said he, "be shown toman, in order that he may never enjoy it 1 Must it be ever offered to his vows, as a fruit tempting indeed, but fraught with death as the consequence of touching if? Nature is then indeed.but a stepmother!" On the 18th of May, 1804, the French senate passed a decree, and presented it to the first consul, styling " Napoleon Bonaparte emperor of the French." The people at large were to be consulted as to the hereditary right implied as belonging to this title; the farce of universal suffrage was never wanting in France to sanction acts of violence or usurpation. Still here a manifest difference was observed. Whilst the" votes for the consulate had been nearly four millions, with a few thousand dissentient voices, the three millions that declared for the empire were counterbalanced by upwards of two millions that protested.
The senatus consultum, instituting the empire, confined the descent to Joseph and Louis; excluding Lucien, who had been most instrumental in elevating his brother to the consulate; and Jerome, who was profligate, and had made a foolish marriage. Court officers, with titles of superlative magnificence, were at the same time created; Joseph was called grand elector, as if in mockery of himself and of Sieyes. Then Louis became constable; Berthier grand huntsman. Three such men, wearing three such titles, must indeed have excited the derision of the Parisians. But sarcasm is shortlived, when allowed merely to vent itself in whispers. And the French, who had at first been ashamed to wear the riband of the legion of honor, soon came to admire stars and orders, and to worship dignitaries. The second and third consuls, Cambaceres and Le Brun, became arch-chancellor and arch-treasurer; whilst seventeen of the principal generals were declared marshals of France.
The year 1804 was spent by Bonaparte in assuming his new title. It was the subject of serious negotiation with all the states of Europe, England excepted. Austria, the weakest, was the first to recognize it. The opportunity was even chosen by her for modifying her own; her sovereign, instead of elective emperor of Germany, styling himself hereditary emperor of Austria. The army, however, was the true basis of Napoleon's power, nor was he contented until his dignity had received their approbation. He accordingly visited Boulogne during the summer, and in a month after his arrival there, or dered a grand review and ceremony on the 16th of August, the day of his fete. He was to distribute crosses of the le gion of nonor to the military. Seated in the midst of his nu merous armies, the shores of En[?Wnd and its fleets hefoi