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for despotism. His partisans especially in Italy, were in general friends of liberty, who had erroneously flattered themselves with obtaining it from him, and who would still prefer any great event to the dejection into which they are now fallen. Without wishing to enter upon the interests of fo– reigners, of which we have determined not to speak, we ma

venture to affirm, that the particular benefits conferred by Buonaparte, the high roads necessary to his projects, the monuments consecrated to his glory, some remains of the liberal institutions of the Constituent Assembly, of which he occasionally permitted the application out of France, such as the improvement of jurisprudence and public education, or the encouragements given to the sciences: all these benefits, desirable as they might be, could not compensate for the degrading yoke which weighed down the general character. What superior genius has been developed during his reign, or will be developed for a long time to come, in the countries where he ruled P. If he had desired the triumph of a virtuous and discreet liberty, energy would have been displayed on every side, and a new impulse would have animated the civilized world. But Buonaparte has not procured for France the friendship of a single nation. He has made up marriages, rounded and united provinces, new-modelled geographical maps, and counted souls, in the manner since received, to complete the dominions of F." but where has he implanted those political principles, which are the ramparts, the

treasures, and the glory of England 2 those institutions which are invincible after a duration of even ten years; for they have by that time produced so much happiness, that they rally all the citizens of a country in their defence? The two principal causes of Napoleon's power in France were, above all, his military glory, and the art with which he re-established order, without attacking those selfish passions to which the revolution had given birth. But every thing was not included in these two problems. It is pretended that, in discussions in the council of state, Napoleon displayed a universal sagacity. I have some doubts of the ability ascribed to a man who is all-powerful ; we plain people in private life earn our celebrit at a much dearer rate. One is not, however, master of Europe during fifteen years, without having a piercing view of men and things. But there was in the mind of Buonaparte an incoherence, which is a marked feature of those who do not range their thoughts under the law of duty. The power of commanding had been given by nature to Buonaparte; but it was rather because other men did not act upon him, than because he acted upon them, that he became their master. The qualities of which he was destitute served his purpose as well as the talents he possessed; and he made himself obeyed, only by degrading those whom he subjected. His successes are astonishing; his reverses more astonishing still. What he performed, aided by the energy of § the the nation, is admirable: the state of torpor in which he left it can scarcely be conceived. The multitude of men of talents whom he employed is extraordinary; but the characters whom he debased have done more harm to the cause of liberty than the service that could be rendered to it by all the powers of intelligence. o him, above all, may be applied the fine image of despotism, in the “Spirit of Laws;” “he cut up the tree by its roots to obtain its fruit,” and perhaps he has even dried up the soil. In a word, Buonaparte, the ablute master of eighty millions of men, and meeting nowhere with opposition, knew neither how to found a single institution in the state, nor durable power for himself. What then was the destructive principle which haunted his triumphal steps? What was it?—the contempt of mankind, and consequently of all the laws, all the studies, all the establishments, and all the elections of which the basis is respect for the human race. Buonaparte was intoxicated with the vile draught of Machiavelism ; he resembled in many respects the Italian tyrants of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries; and as he had read but little, the natural tendency of his character was not counteracted y the effect of information. The middle ages being the most brilliant era in the history of the Italians, many of them have but too much respect for the maxims of government at that period, and those maxims were all collected by Machiavel. e - A general principle, whatever it might be, was displeasing to

Buonaparte, as a thing foolish or hostile. He listened only to the considerations of the moment, and examined things merely with a view to their immediate utility; for he would have wished to o: the whole world in an annuity on his own life. He was not sanguinary, but indifferent respecting the lives of men, considering them but as a means of attaining his end, or as an obstacle to be removed out of his way. He was even less irascible than he often seemed to be : he wished to terrify by his words, in order to spare himself the act by the threat. Every thing with him was means, or end; nothing involuntarily was to be found either in good or evil. It is pretended that he said, “I have so many conscripts to expend by the ear;” and it is probable that he eld that language; for Buonalo had contempt enough for is hearers to delight in a kind of sincerity which is nothing less

than impudence. He never believed in exalted sentiments, either in individuals or in nations; he considered the expression of these sentiments as hypocrisy. He believed that he held the key of human nature by fear and by hope, skilfully presented to the selfish and the ambitious. It must be allowed that his perseverance and activity were never slackened in behalf of the slightest interests of despotism; but it was that very despotism which was destined one day to fall upon his head. An anecdote, in which I happened to have some share, may give an additional idea of the system of Buonaparte relative to the art of governing. - The The duke of Melzi, who was for some time vice-president of the Cisalpine republic, was one of the most distinguished characters which Italy, so fertile in every production, has brought forth. Born of a Spanish mother, and an Italian father, he blended the dignity of one nation with the vivacity of the other; and I am not sure whether even in France, a man could be cited more remarkable for his powers of conversation, and for the more important and essential talent of knowing and appreciating all those who acted a political part in Europe. The First Consul was obliged to employ him, because he had the greatest influence over his fellow-citizens, and because his attachment to his country was unquestioned. Buonaparte did not like to make use of men who were disinterested, and whose principles, whatever they might be, were not to be

shaken; he was therefore conti

nually circumventing Melzi, in order to corrupt him. Having caused himself to be crowned king of Italy, in 1805, Buonaparte went to the legislative body of Lombardy, and informed the assembly that he had the intention of giving a considerable estate to the duke of Melzi, as a testimony of public gratitude towards him ; this, he hoped, would render him unpopular. Being then at Milan, I saw that same evening M. de Melzi, who was quite in despair at the perfidious trick that NapoHeon had played him, without having given him the slightest warning. As Buonaparte would bawe been irritated by a refusal, I

advised M. de Melzito appropriate instantly to a public establishment the revenues with which he was thus overwhelmed. He followed my advice, and the next day, walking with the emperor, he told him that such was his intention. Buonaparte, seizing him by the arm, exclaimed, “This, I would wager is an idea of Madame de Staël ; but take my advice, and do not give into the romantic philanthropy of the eighteenth century; there is only one thing to do in this world : that is to get continually more money, and more power; all the rest is chimerical.” Many people will say that he was right; I think, on the contrary, that history will show that by establishing this doctrine, by setting men loose from the ties of honour, every where but on the field of battle, he prepared his partisans to abandon him, according to his own precepts, when he should cease to be the strongest; and indeed he may well boast of having met with more disciples faithful to his system, than adherents devoted to his misfortunes. He consecrated his policy by fatalism, the only religion suitable to this devotedness to fortune; and his prosperity constantly increasing, he ended by making himself the high-priest and idol of his own adoration, believing in himself, as if his desires were pre

sages, and his designs oracles. The duration of the power of Buonaparte was a perpetual lesson of immorality. If he had always succeeded, what should we have been able to say to our children? There would have been left, it is true, the solace of religious resignation ;

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signation; but the mass of the inhabitants of the world would have sought in vain to discover the intentions of Providence in human affairs. Nevertheless, in 1811, the Germans still called Buonaparte the man of fate, and the imagination even of some Englishmen was dazzled by his o talents. Poland and Italy sti hoped for independence from him, . the daughter of the Caesars had become his consort. This signal honour caused him a transport of joy, foreign to his nature; and for some time it might be believed that his illustrious partner would change the character of the man with whom destiny had connected her. Even at this time, Buonaparte wanted but one good sentiment to have become the greatest monarch upon earth; either that of paternal affection, which induces men to take care of the inheritance of their children; or pity for the French who rushed to death for him whenever he gave the signal; or equity towards foreign nations who gazed at him with wonder; or, in short, that kind of prudence natural to every man, towards the middle of life, when he sees the approach of the vast shadows by which hemust soon be enveloped: one virtue, one single virtue would have sufficed to have fixed all human prosperity on the head of Buonaparte. But the divine spark dwelt not in his heart. I was at Moscow exactly a month, before Napoleon's army entered its walls; and I did not dare to remain but a very short time, fearing its immediate apProach. When walking on the

top of the Kremlin, the palace of the ancient Czars, which commands the vast capital of Russia and its eighteen hundred churches, I thought it was the lot of Buonaparte to see empires at his feet, as Satan offered them to our Saviour. But it was when there remained nothing more for him to conquer in Europe, that fate seized upon him, and made him fall with as much rapidity as he had risen. Perhaps he has since learned, that whatever may be the events in the earlier scenes, there is a potency in virtue which always re-appears at the fifth act of the tragedy; as, among the ancients, the knot was severed by a god, when the action was worthy of his intervention. Buonaparte performed, or rather the nation performed for him, a miracle: notwithstanding his immense losses in Russia, a new army was created in less than three months, which was able to march into Germany, and to gain battles anew. It was then that the demon of pride and folly took possession of Buonaparte in such a manner, that reasoning, founded on his own interest, can no longer explain the motives of his conduct: it was at Dresden that he mistook the last apparition of his tutelary genius. The Germans, long indignant, rose at length against the French, who occupied their territory; national pride, the great strength of human nature, again displayed itself among the sons of Germany. Buonaparte was then taught what becomes of allies who have been constrained by force; and that, whatever is not voluntary, is destroyed at the first reverse of fortune. The sovereigns of Germany fought with the intrepidity of soldiers; and it seemed as if the Prussians and their warlike king were animated by the remembrance of the personal insult offered some years before by Buonaparte to their beautiful and virtuous queen. The liberation of Germany had long been the object of the wishes of the emperor of Russia. When the French were repulsed from his country, he devoted himself to this cause, not only as a sovereign, but as a general ; and he several times exposed his life, not in the character of a monarch guarded by his courtiers, but in that of an intrepid soldier. Holland welcomed her deliverers, and recalled that house of Orange, whose princes are now, as heretofore, the defenders of indeendence, and the magistrates of iberty. Whatever was the influence at this period of the English victories in Spain, we shall speak elsewhere of lord Wellington; for we must pause at that name; we cannot take an incidental notice of it. Buonaparte returned to Paris; and even at this moment France might have been saved. Five members of the Legislative Assembly, Gallois, Raynouard, Flaugergues, Maine de Biran, and Lainé, asked for peace at the peril of their lives. Each of those #. might be designated by is particular merit; and the last I have named, Lainé, perpetuates every day by his conduct and talents the remembrance of an action which alone would suffice to honour any character. If the Senate had joined with the five

members of the legislative body, and the generals had supported the Senate, France would have been the disposer of her own fate; and whatever course she had taken, she would have remained France. But fifteen years of tyranny subvert every idea, and change every sentiment; the very men who would expose so nobly their lives in war, are not aware that the same courage, and the same honour, command resistance in the civil career to

the enemy of all despotism. Buonaparte answered the deputation of the Legislative Body with a kind of concentrated fury; he expressed himself ill, but his pride was seen to pierce through his confused language. He said “ that France wanted him more than he wanted France ;” forgetting that it was himself who had reduced her to that state. He added, “ that a throne was but a piece of wood, upon which a carpet was so. and that all depended on the person by whom it was occupied.” In short, he continued to appear intoxicated with himself. A singular anecdote, however, might lead us to believe that he was already struck with that stupor which seems to have taken possession of his character during the last crisis of his political life. A person worthy of credit told me, that, conversing with him alone, the day before his departure for the army, in the month of January, 1814, when the allies had already entered France, Buonaparte confessed in this private interview that he did not possess the means of resisting; they discussed the question, and Buonaparte showed

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