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joined the party of the Ultras, and treated the whole revolution as an atrocious rebellion--and a very clear and masterly view of the policy by which that great commander subdued the greater part of continental Europe. But we can afford no room now for any further account of them. As a General, she says, he was prodigal of the lives of his soldiers --haughty and domineering to his officers--and utterly regardless of the miseries he inflicted on the countries which were the scenes of his operations. The following anecdote is curious - and to us original.
• On l'a vu dans la guerre d'Autriche, en 1809, quitter l'ile de Lobau, quand il jugeoit la bataille perdue; il traversa ie Danube, seul avec M. de Czernitchef, l'un des intrépides aides de camp de l'empereur de Russie, et le maréchal Berthier. L'empereur leur dit assez tranquillement qu'après avoir gagné quarante batoilles, il n'étoit pas extraordinaire d'en perdre une ; et lorsqu'il fut arrivé de l'autre côté du fleuve, il se coucha et dormit jusqu'au lendemain matin, sans s'informer du sort de l'armée françoise, que ses généraux sauvèrent pendant son sommeil.' II. 358.
Mad. de S. mentions several other instances of this facility of sleeping in moments of great apparent anxiety.--The most remarkable is, that he fell fast asleep before taking the field in 1814, while endeavouring to persuade one of his ministers that he had no chance of success in the approaching campaign, but must inevitably be ruined !
She has extracted from the Moniteur of July 1810, a very singular proof of the audacity with which he very early proclaimed his own selfish and ambitious views. It is a public let. ter addressed by him to his nephew, the young Duke of Berg, in which he says, in so many words, . N'oubliez jamais, que vos premiers devoirs sont envers moi-vos seconds envers la France
-ceux envers les peuples que je pourrois vous contier, ne viennent qu'après.' This was at least candid--and in his disdain for mankind a sort of audacious candour was sometimes alternated with his duplicity.
• Un principe général, quel qu'il fût, déplaisoit à Bonaparte, comme une niaiserie ou comme un ennemi. Il n'écoutoit que les considérations du moment, et n'examinoit les choses que sous le rapport de leur utilité immédiate ; car il auroit voulu mettre le monde entier en rente viagère sur sa tête. Il n'étoit point sanguinaire, mais indifférent à la vie des hommes. Il ne la considéroit que comme un moyen d'arriver à son but, ou comme un obstacle à écarter de sa route. Il n'étoit pas même aussi colère qu'il a souvent paru l'être : il vouloit effrayer avec ses paroles, afin de s'épargner le fait par la menace. Tout étoit chez lui moyen ou but; l'involontaire ne se trouvoit nulle part, ni dans le bien, ni dans le mal. On prétend qu'il a dit : J'ai tant de conscrits à dépenser par an. Ce propos est vraisemblable, car Bonaparte a souvent assez méprisé ses auditeurs pour se complaire dans un genre de sincérité qui n'est que de l'impudence.- Jamais il n'a cru aux sentimens exaltés, soit dans les individus, soit dans les nations; il a pris l'expression de ces sentimens pour de l'hypocrisie.' II. 391, 392.
Bonaparte, Mad. de S. thinks, had no-alternative but to give the French nation a free constitution; or to occupy them in war, and to dazzle them with military glory. He had not magnanimity to do the one, and he finally overdid the latter. His first great error was the war with Spain; his last, the campaign in Russia. All that followed was put upon him, and could not be avoided. She rather admires his rejection of the terms of fered at Chatillon; and is moved with his farewell to his legions and their eagles at Fontainebleain She feels like a Frenchwoman on the occupation of Paris by foreign conquerors ; but gives the Emperor Alexander full credit, both for the magnanimity of his conduct as a conqueror, and the generosity of his sentiments on the subject of French liberty and independence.
She is quite satisfied with the declaration made by the King at St Ouen, and even with the charter that followed—though she allows that many further provisions were necessary to consolidate the constitution. All this part of the book is written with great temperance and reconciling wisdom. She laughs at the doctrine of legitimacy, as it is now maintained; but gives excellent reasons for preferring an antient line of princes, and a fixed order of succession. Of the Ultras, or unconstitutional royalists, as she calls them, she speaks with a sort of mixed anger and pity; although an unrepressed scorn takes the place of both, when she has occasion to mention those members of the party who were the abject flatterers of Bonaparte during the period of his power, and have but transferred, to the new occupant of the throne, the servility to which they had been trained under its late possessor.
Mais ceux dont on avoit le plus de peine à contenir l'indignation vertueuse contre le parti de l'usurpateur, c'étoient les nobles ou leurs adhérens, qui avoient demandé des places à ce même usurpateur pendant sa puissance, et qui s'en étoient séparés bien nettement le jour de sa chute. L'enthousiasme pour la légitimité de tel chambellan de Madame mère, ou de telle dame d'atour de Madame saur, ne connoissoit point de bornes ; et certes, nous autres que Bonaparte avoit proscrits pendant tout le cours de son règne, nous nous examinions pour savoir si nous n'avions pas été ses favoris, quand une quand une certaine délicatesse d'âme nous obligeoit à le défendre contre les invectives de ceux qu'il avoit comblés de bienfaits. III. 107.
Charles II. was recalled to the throne of his ancestors by the voice of his people; and yet that throne was shaken, and, within twenty-five years, overturned by the arbitrary conduct of the restored sovereigns. Louis XVIII. was not recalled by his people, but brought in and set up by foreign conquerors. It must therefore be still more necessary for him to guard against arbitrary measures, and to take all possible steps to secure the attachment of that people whose hostility has so lately proved fatal. If he like domestic examples better, he has that of his own Henri IV. before him. That great and popular Prince at last found it necessary to adopt the religious creed of the great majority of his people. In the present
day, it is at least as necessary for a less popular monarch to study and adopt their political one. Some of those about him, we have heard, rather recommend the example of Ferdinand VII.! But even the Ultras, we think, cannot really forget, that Ferdinand, instead of having been restored by a foreign force, was dethroned by one; that there had been no popular insurrection, and no struggle for liberty in Spain; and that, besides the army, he had the priesthood on his side, which, in that country, is as omnipotent as in France it is insignificant and powerless for any political purposes. We cannot now follow Mad. de S. into the profound and instructive criticism she makes on the management of affairs during Bonaparte's stay at Elba ;-though much of it is applicable to a later period--and though we do not remember to have met any where with so much truth told in so gentle a manner.
Mad. de S. confirms what we believe all well-informed persons now admit, that for months before the return of Bonaparte, the attempt was expected, and in some measure prepared for-by all but the court, and the royalists by whom it was surrounded. When the news of his landing was received, they were still too foolish to be alarmed; and, when the friends of liberty said to each other, with bitter regret, “ There is an end of our liber-' • ty if he should succeed-and of our national independence · if he should fail, '--the worthy Ultras went about, saying, it was the luckiest thing in the world, for they should now get property rid of him; and the King would no longer be vexed with the fear of a pretender! Mad. de S. treats with derision the idea of Bonaparte being sincere in his professions of regard to liberty, or his resolution to adhere to the constitution proposed to him after his return. She even maintains, that it was absurd to propose a free constitution at such a crisis. If the nation and the army abandoned the Bourbons, nothing remained for the nation but to invest the master of that army with the dictatorship, and to rise en masse, till their borders were freed from the invaders. That they did not do so, only proves that they had become indifferent about the country, or that they were in their hearts hostile to Bonaparte. Nothing but a feel
ing of this could have made him submit to concessions so alien to his whole character and habits—and the world, says Mad. de S., so understood him. • Quand il a prononcé les mots de Loi 6 et Libırté, l'Europe s'est rassurée: Elle a senti que ce n'étoit
plus son ancien et terrible adversaire.'
She passes a magnificent encomium on the military genius and exalted character of our Wellington ; but says he could not have conquered as he did, if the French had been led by one who could rally round him the affections of the people as well as he could direct their soldiers. She maintains, that after the battle, when Bonaparte returned to Paris, he had not the least idea of being called upon again to abdicate, but expected to obtain from the two chambers the means of renewing or continuing the contest. When he found that this was impossible, he sunk at: once into despair, and resigned himself without a struggle. The selfishness which had guided his whole career, disclosed itself in naked deformity in the last acts of his public life. He abandoned his army the moment he found that he could not lead it immediately against the enemy--and no sooner saw his own fate determined, than he gave up all concern for that of the unhappy country which his ambition had involved in such disasters. He quietly passed by the camp of his warriors on his way to the port by which he was to make his own escape -and, by throwing himself into the hands of the English, endeavoured to obtain for himself the benefit of those liberal principles which it had been the business of his life to extirpate and discredit all over the world.
At this point Mad. de S. terminates somewhat abruptly ber historical review of the events of the Revolution; and here, our readers will be happy to learn, we must stop too. There is half a volume more of her work, indeed,—and one that cannot be supposed the least interesting to us, as it treats chiefly of the history, constitution, and society of England. But it is for this very reason that we cannot trust ourselves with the examination of it. We have every reason certainly to be satisfied with the account she gives of us; nor can any thing be more eloquent and animating than the view she has presented of the admirable mechanism and steady working of our constitution, and of its ennobling effects on the character of all who live under it. We are willing to believe all this too to be just ; though we are certainly painted en beau. In some parts, however, we are more shocked at the notions she gives us of the French character, than flattered at the contrast exhibited by our own. In mentioning the good reception that gentlemen in opposition to government sometimes meet with in society, and the upright posture they contrive to maintain, she says, that nobody here would think of condoling with a man for being out of powet, or of receiving him with less cordiality. She notices also, with a very alarming sort of admiration, that she understood when in England, that a gentleman of the law had actually refused a situation worth 6000l. or 70001. a year, merely because he did not approve of the ministry by whom it was offered ; and adds, that in France, any man who would refuse a respectable office, with a salary of 8000 louis, would certainly be considered as fit for Bedlam: And in another place she observes, that it seems to be a fundamental maxim in that country, that every man must have a place. We confess that we have some difficulty in reconciling these incidental intimations with her leading position, that the great majority of the French nation is desirous of a free constitution, and perfectly fit for and deserving of it. If these be the principles, not only upon which they act, but which they and their advocates avow, we know no constitution under which they can be free; and have no faith in the power of any new institutions to counteract that spirit of corruption by which, even where they have existed the longest, their whole virtue is consumed.
With our manners in society she is not quite so well pleased; -though she is kind enough to ascribe our deficiencies to the most honourable causes. In commiserating the comparative dulness of our social talk, however, has not this pliilosophic observer a little overlooked the effects of national tastes and habits and is it not conceivable, at least, that we who are used to it, may really have as much satisfaction in our own hum-drum way of seeing each other, as our more sprightly neighbours in their exquisite assemblies? In all this part of the work, too, we think we can perceive the traces rather of ingenious theory than of correct observation; and suspect that a good part of the tableau of English society is rather a sort of conjectural sketch, than a copy from real life; or at least that it is a generalization from a very few, and not very common examples, May we be pardoned too for hinting, that a person of Mad. de S.'s great talents and celebrity, is by no means well quali for discovering the true tone and character of English society from her own observation; both because she was not likely to see it in those smaller and more familiar assemblages in which it is seen to the most advantage, and because her presence must have had the unlucky effect of imposing silence on the modest, and tempting the vain and ambitious to unnatural display and ostentation,
With all its faults, however, the portion of her book which we have been obliged to pass over in silence, is well worthy of as ample a notice as we have bestowed on the other parts of it,