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CHAP. 53,000,000f., the current expenditure to 450, pensions
to 60. The revenue was only sufficient to cover the amount of current expenditure. In each succeeding year, however, the taxes became more productive. The conquered countries were made to furnish their quota. (Italy, for example, a million sterling, and Spain was soon after condemned to furnish two.) And there being no great war till 1805, the first consul was able to appropriate large sums to the completion of roads, to opening of canals, and to a host of necessary public works, neglected or suspended for nigh a quarter of a century. In 1804, the Imperial government re-established that indirect taxation which the revolution had abrogated. Salt, wine and brandy, became again subject to the exciseman. The burdens were cheerfully borne in those localities where industry revived. The severance of France from all colonial trade or foreign supply, gave birth to new manufactures in the great centres, for which the victories of the Emperor procured at least a large continental market. Other parts of the country, the sea-board especially, was depressed by the blockade. If Lyons flourished, Bordeaux fell under a collapse, and the vine growers of the south execrated the exciseinan, against whom the silk manufacturers felt no grudge. The budget of 1804 showed 700,000,000 of receipts. *
These augmented revenues were counterbalanced or absorbed by the prodigality of Napoleon himself, his brothers and dignitaries. Taking a million sterling for his own civil list, the emperor gave 80,0001 annually to each of his brothers. To the grand dignitaries were added eighteen marshals, all largely paid. The senators were well endowed, the ladies of honour equally so. The splendour of large expenditure about his court was what Napoleon looked to. But this obliged the govern
* Mollien, Nirvo, Calmon.
ment to pay out of the taxes the great lords who figured there, as well as the prelates. The state was forced to pay church and aristocracy as well as all else.
These prodigalities, with the sums required for the campaign of Austerlitz, but more especially the habit of supplying the deficiency of French finance by the contributions of dependent countries, led to a crisis and almost to a state bankruptcy, whilst Napoleon was at Vienna. The Spanish government, too poor to pay its subsidy in coin, had given bills or orders for specie in its American ports, the produce no doubt of their customs. It was found impossible to get this coin transported to France through the multitude of English cruisers. And strange to say, when it was at last brought, the transport was effected by a British vessel of war. In the meantime the Treasury in Paris found itself unable either to pay the war contractors or to find money for its own issue of notes. The whole affair forms a long and curious story, down to its development when Napoleon returned to Paris, called immediately a council, and summoning all before him, dismissed his minister, and condemned contractors, including Ouvrard the great capitalist, to have their property seized, till they paid over a certain sum designated by the emperor. This was following the custom of the old monarchy. “You cannot find me guilty of dishonesty," observed the minister, Barbé-Marbois, on receiving his dismissal. “I had rather,” replied Napoleon,“ that you had shown yourself dishonest than a fool. There is a limit to the one, there is none whatever to the other.”
Towards the close of 1807, Napoleon visited Italy. Much as his thoughts and recollections were concentrated on that country, he still does not seem to have considered it for itself. He viewed it as a mere adjunct to France, which it was to furnish with subsidies, whilst its ports and coasts, occupied by French douaniers, were to carry on and enforce that prohibition of all intercourse
with England, which was Napoleon's dominant idea. His first act, on reaching Milan, was, indeed, to issue an aggravation of the Berlin decree. As the English orders in council forced all vessels to touch, and pay duties in their ports, the French Emperor now declared all vessels, that obeyed such an order as piratical, and liable to capture. England alone had the force to execute its decrees. Napoleon had no power at sea, and he could only supply the want of it by seizing and confiscating all merchandise supposed to be English, even in the hands of private individuals, or in use in contitental households. The enforcement of such a law was a kind of inquisition, that rendered the French officials odious, and occasioned far more enmity and weakness to Napoleon than damage to the English. To surround Europe with a dike against the ocean was impossible. The tide of contraband always broke in somewhere, now in the north, now in the south, and the vain attempt of Napoleon to obstruct it only embarked him in new wars and enterprises more and more serious. In fact, this continental blockade was the most efficient ally of England, in stirring up the different powers, especially the maritime ones, against France. Nor did any cause more largely contribute to his down
One of the countries, from which it was very difficult to exclude English merchandise, and English versions of the doings on the Continent, was Italy. The occupation of Sicily by the English, rendered insecure the dominion of France in Italy. This proved the great obstacle to peace with Great Britain, during its Whig administration. l'ox could not give up Sicily, and Napoleon could not leave it in the hands of an enemy. By degrees, indeed, he swallowed up all Italy. The queen and little king of Etruria were packed off, the one to Rome, the other
* See Laffitte's arguments against the blockade in the Memoirs of Rovigo.
to Spain, and Tuscany became a French province, ruled by a sister of Napoleon. There remained the pope,
who was not contented with Napoleon, and consequently could not be expected to be a zealous prohibitionist of British trade. The pope had gone to Paris to crown the Emperor, in the hopes of recovering the Legations, and mitigating some of the ecclesiastical regulations most distasteful to Rome. The pontiff gained nothing by his condescendence. And he retaliated by refusing to consecrate the new bishops, and by other acts indicative of discontent. The requisitions of the French Emperor were by no means couched in gentle language. He told the holy father that he himself was the modern Charlemagne, and that the pope, like another Adrian, would be nothing but through his generosity. Though not an arrogant pontiff, Pius the Seventh refused to accept any such comparison or position, to dismiss from Rome the English or Russian envoys, or declare himself at war with those powers. Napoleon in consequence occupied Ancona, and threatened to destroy the pope's temporal power altogether. From Milan, at the commencement of 1808, he despatched General Miollis to occupy Rome with a body of troops and garrison the castle of St. Angelo. The pope first made passive resistance. But his palace was entered, his guards disarmed and disbanded, his prime minister arrested and carried off. In June 1809 Rome, like the rest of Italy, was declared annexed to France. Pius replied by a bull of excommunication. Upon this Pius the Seventh was arrested in his palace, summoned to abdicate his temporal sovereignty, and on his refusing was hurried off by French officers to Tuscany. Eliza Bonaparte, who governed it, not liking so embarrassing a guest, despatched him to France, and he reached Grenoble, ere Napoleon was aware of the effects of his own orders. Subsequently Pius was removed to Savona, and thence to Fontainebleau.
The later project of Napoleon was to make
CHAP. Paris the residence of the head of the Church, whose
spiritual authority he thought to curtail but did not dare to abrogate. The events which took place in Spain and Russia, however, encouraged the pontiff in his resistance. Nor was it till 1814 that he was released from captivity.
Whilst Napoleon was meditating his enterprise upon Spain, his relations with the Russian government ceased to be marked with the usual cordiality. Alexander was pressed by his brother emperor to complete his design upon Finland, but for the moment to evacuate the Danubian principalities. But the Czar's amibition was much more incited by Turkish than by Swedish spoils, and his disappointment was great at being told to recoil from the Danube. Napoleon saw the necessity of at least flattering this Russian hobby, if he wished to preserve the alliance; and this was indispensable to him whilst engaged in his designs upon Spain. On the 22nd of February, 1808, Napoleon wrote to Alexander to propose nothing less than an expedition to India. An army of 50,000 French and Russians despatched thither, would frighten England out of her wits, as soon as it reached the Euphrates. Napoleon declared he had troops just sufficient in Dalmatia. By the first of May our troops, he wrote, may be in Asia, as well as yours at Stockholm! A boy could not be more delighted with his first gun and sword, than Alexander was at the visionary scheme. He did not pause to think how many of the 50,000 men were to reach the Euphrates, or how many of those who got thus far, would muster on the Indus. The plan of marching across Turkey, implied the previous subjugation of that power, no light task for 50,000 men, and, moreover, a partition of its territory beforehand, between France and Russia, a matter of equal difficulty. The letter, however, answered its purpose, which was to keep Russia contented and quiet, until the monarchs met, which they did in September at Erfurt.