Emperor of the French Napoleon I.

New letters of Napoleon I, omitted from the edition published under the auspices of Napoleon III online

. (page 14 of 34)
Online LibraryEmperor of the French Napoleon INew letters of Napoleon I, omitted from the edition published under the auspices of Napoleon III → online text (page 14 of 34)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 153

Wellesley, with 30,000 English, has been thoroughly beaten,
about three days' journey from Madrid, and that, as a con-
sequence, the English will be driven into the sea. As for
Flushing, I consider that expedition a piece of good fortune,
because it gives me the best excuse for asking for 8o,oco
men (which I have done by my message of the 1 6th August),
which 8o,oco men will remain in hand after the re-embarka-
tion of the English, which, I conclude, will have taken place
before the end of the month. The Austrians must know its
object better than we do. Doubtless it was to seize the
squadron ; but the English would appear to have false in-
formation as to Antwerp and Flushing. 1

Let Mons. Gardanne know that 1 his letter of the I7th August
has been placed before me, and that I have found it full of
faults, and ignorance of his duty. Just as an Ambassador
cannot speak without orders, he cannot return without orders,
more especially when the Ambassador is leaving an Embassy
which has already cost me more than a million of money,
and is endangering relations of such great importance, from
every point of view. Thus, in any case, his return to France,
without orders, would be a crime. But, as your letter of the
1 7th of July from Toulouse, which he quotes, contained
orders to remain at his post as long as possible, it was a
clear intimation that he was to stay until the Court of Persia
drove him out. And, far from driving him away, the Court
of Persia was in despair at his departure, and did everything
it could to keep him. I cannot help perceiving that this
conduct shows little zeal for my service, and is a manifest
infraction of his duty. But all his despatches, indeed, are so
incoherent, that it seems to me something must have gone
wrong with his brain. Send me a report which will show
what Frenchmen remain in Persia, and which went there
with Mons. Gardanne. I send you back the Emperor of
Persia's letter. Draw me up an' answer, which you will
send by the shortest route. You will say that I have re-
primanded and disgraced General Gardanne, for having left
his Court, that I have ordered my Charge d'Affaires to return
to his capital, and that I will immediately send him another
Ambassador; that his letter shows me he has thoroughly
understood my position, just as I have understood the

1 The Comte de Champagny was then at Altenburg, for the peace negotia
tions with Austria.



154 NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I

reasons which obliged him to reopen momentary and osten-
sible relations with the English.

Write to Mons. de St. Marsan that the Berlin Ministry
still appears to be on a false scent ; that those simpletons
fancy the French army here does not number more than
70,000 men. Let him know the real facts, so that, if necessary,
he may make them understand that the army numbers more
than 300,000 men, and that the ideas at present prevailing
at Berlin had better be compared with those current before
the battle of Jena, when they also believed the French army
had disappeared.

I desire to cultivate my relations with Persia ; I consider
them of great importance.



ccxv

TO COMTE FOUCH, MINISTER OF POLICE.

SCHONBRUNN, 22nd August 1809.

You ask how the Pope is to be treated at Savona. Give
orders that he is to be allowed every liberty ; that he is to
give benedictions, and say masses, as much as he chooses ;
that the people are to be prevented from coming about him
in too great numbers ; that all arrivals are to be watched ;
and that no letter from, or addressed to, him, or any member
of his suite, is to be allowed to go or come. Make arrange-
ments as to this, with Mons. de Lavallette, and the Minister
of Finance. See Mons. Aldini, and have the necessary
measures taken in Italy. Forbid any Cardinal to come to
Savona, except the Cardinal of Genoa, to whose coming there
is no objection, as he belongs to the neighbourhood ; but do
not give this permission to any other. Have the Pope's
former confessor, who is a rascal, arrested at Rome, and shut
up at Fenestrelle. I have given Prince Borghese orders to
send a Colonel of Gendarmes to Savona, and to keep a
garrison of from 500 to 600 men in the citadel. Thanks to
these precautions, the Pope will be safe, whatever happens.
I am having him lodged in the Bishop's Palace, where he
will be very comfortable. Write to the Prefect that he is
not to let him want for anything he may wish for.

Postscript. Write everywhere, so that it may not be
mentioned in the Gazettes.



NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 155

CCXVI
TO COMTE FOUCHfi, MINISTER OF POLICE.

SCHONBRUNN, 2nd September 1809.

I HAVE your letter of the 29th. Nobody can deny that
General Monnet 1 has behaved like a vile coward.

The eleven Superiors-General of monastic orders, whom I
have sent to Paris, must be sent to small towns.

The person who sends such mischievous reports to the
King of Holland is a certain Mons. Decazes, a judge in the
Inferior Court. He is, I believe, Mons. Muraire's son-in-law.
There is no folly, and no absurd news, to be heard of, which
the man does not write. Is this^ folly or spite ? Put order
into it.

CCXVII

TO THE COMTE DE CHAMPAGNY, MINISTER FOR
FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

SCHONBRUNN, tfh September 1809, 4 P.M.

I SEND you your letters. I have your report on the papers
found in the Vorarlberg, and sent by the Court of Stuttgart.
It shows me that there are culprits to be arrested in Switzer-
land, and in the Baden States. Send the necessary extracts
to my Ministers in Switzerland and Baden, so that all those
persons may be arrested at the same time, and satisfaction
given me. Make my Minister in Switzerland understand
that I shall more especially judge the feeling of the Swiss
Government for me, by its behaviour with regard to this
matter. Demand, at the same time, the arrest of the Bishop of
St. Gall, and his monks. You will have to send my Ministers
copies not the original ones, but signed by your own hand
of all the documents, so that they may follow up the trials of
all these persons.

CCXVIII
TO COMTE FOUCHfi, MINISTER OF POLICE.

SCHONBRUNN, 6tk September 1809.

MARET will send you a collection of all the different kinds
of bank-notes. Enclosed you will find an order on the

1 He had surrendered Flushing.



156 NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I

subject. I desire you will manufacture these notes, of every
amount, until you have reached 100,000,000. You must set
up machinery which will turn out 10,000,000 a month. It
was paper currency which enabled Austria to make war
against me, and with paper money she may be able to do it
again. That being so, it is my policy, both in peace and war,
to destroy that paper currency, and to force Austria to come
back to the metallic currency, which, by its very nature, will
force her to reduce her army, and all that wild expenditure on
her part, which has threatened the safety of my dominions.
It is my intention that this operation shall be carried out
secretly and mysteriously. Yet the object I set before me
is far more a political one, than any advantageous speculation
or gain. This subject is exceedingly important. There is
no hope of peace in Europe, so long as the House of Austria
can obtain advances of 300 or 400 millions, on the credit of
its paper currency.

Send a shrewd and intelligent agent, who will come while
we are here, and collect all the information necessary to give
this affair the scope I desire it to have, and which will cause
it to have so great an influence.



CCXIX

TO M. BIGOT DE PR&AMENEU, MINISTER OF
PUBLIC WORSHIP.

SCHONBRUNN, ^th September 1809.

You will receive a Decree, by which I order that from the
1st July, the sum of 200,000 francs shall be paid monthly,
by the Roman Consulta, to the account of your Ministry.
This sum is intended to provide for the Pope's household,
and for that of the Cardinals, and the Heads of Orders, who
have come to France, such as Cardinal Ruffo, etc. Let me
know who and what these Heads of Orders are, and give them
a suitable income, which will enable them to live creditably.
You will likewise order the Doria Cardinals, and, generally
speaking, all Cardinals who have become French subjects,
and do not reside within their bishoprics, to proceed to Paris.
It is my intention that they shall all receive the 30,000 francs
which I allow the French Cardinals. I have sent Mons.
Salmatoris to the Pope, to organise his household. Take



NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 157

measures that the Holy Father shall lack nothing, and shall
be fully and completely provided. Keep 100,000 francs a
month for this purpose.

CCXX
TO COMTE FOUCHfi, MINISTER OF POLICE.

SCHONBRUNN, 12th September 1809.

THE Prince of Ponte-Corvo, who is going to Paris, will
probably have a conversation with you. You will let him
know that I was displeased with his Order of the Day to the
Saxons, which has a tendency to ascribe a glory to them,
which is not their due for they were in flight during the
whole of the 6th ; that I have been not less displeased
with his Order of the Day to the National Guard, in which
he says he had only 15,000 men, whereas I had 60,000 on
the Scheldt ; that even if he had only 10,000, it is a criminal
act on a general's part, to let the enemy, and all Europe, into
the secret of his numerical strength ; that he has no sense of
proportion ; and that I have been very much dissatisfied,
during the Swedish business, at his having allowed the Swedes
admission, provisionally, and thus compromised me with
Russia ; that he receives letters from a pack of schemers in
Paris ; that I know he is not fool enough to believe their
reports, but that the thing in itself is improper ; that I cannot
endure intrigue ; that it is both his duty and his interest to be
straightforward ; that he must get rid of all this rabble, and
not permit it to write to him, and that if he does not, mis-
fortune will overtake him. The Prince of Ponte-Corvo has
made a great deal of money at Hamburg ; he made money
too at Elbing. That brought the bad business in Poland
and the battle of Eylau on to me. I am tired of schemers,
and I am scandalised that a man, whom I have loaded with
benefits, should lend his ear to a set of wretches whom he
knows and values at their proper worth. You will tell him
that he has never seen a man, nor received a letter, without
my knowledge ; that I am aware how little importance he
attaches to it all, but that to permit such men to write to
him, and to receive them, is to encourage them.

All this is a secret matter. You will make no use of these
details unless the Prince of Ponte-Corvo should speak to
you. If he does not, you will not say anything to him.



158 NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I

CCXXI
TO COMTE FOUCHfi, MINISTER OF POLICE.

SCHONBRUNN, \$th September 1809.

I HAVE read the Pope's letter to Cardinal Caprara. As
that Cardinal is a trusty person, you can have it sent to him,
after having it copied.

The move from Grenoble to Savona has been harmful, as
every retrograde step always is. You have not grasped my
intention. It is this backward step which has kindled that
fanatic's hopes. You see he would fain have us revoke the
Napoleonic Code, deprive us of our liberties, and so forth.
There can be no greater madness. I have already given
directions, that all Superiors-General of Orders, and Cardinals
who have no Bishoprics, or who do not reside within their
dioceses, whether Italians, Tuscans, or Piedmontese, shall
proceed to Paris. And I shall probably end the whole
matter by sending for the Pope himself, and putting him in
the neighbourhood of Paris. It is only proper that he should
be at the centre of Christendom. For a few months, it will
be looked on as a novelty, but that will soon pass.



CCXXII
TO COMTE FOUCH&, MINISTER OF POLICE.

SCHONBRUNN, i$th September 1809.

I SEND you a fresh report on that Mons. Decazes. After
what you have told me, the simplest course will be to send
him to Holland. If he is the King's spy, he can find him
employment at home. The King takes these reports to be
really true. He believes I do not desire peace, because I
insist upon having the whole of the course of the Danube,
and that irritates and vexes him.

That little rascal Decazes must have some source of
information in your office. You see what he says of the
Prussian Minister. I have had occasion to make this remark
several times. Order him to be gone within twenty-four
hours, otherwise I will have him arrested.



NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 159

CCXXIII
TO COMTE FOUCHfi, MINISTER OF POLICE.

BRUNN, i8th September 1809.

YOU have done wrong to alarm all France, and even
Piedmont, by writing everywhere to ' prepare ' the National
Guards. The word ' prepare ' has no meaning, and the whole
Empire is unnecessarily alarmed by it.

You never mention Paris to me. I do not know what
this Mounted Guard can be. People say that there are
sixty of them, and further, that they refuse to leave Paris.
Am I to be turned into ridicule? It appears to me that you
would have done well to tell me about all this. I see clearly
that Rome is not in Paris, but in my good Departments.
Ah ! there they really are French ! As Paris has been quite
useless to me, it must not cause me any present anxiety, nor
oblige me to endure the consequential airs of the National
Guard ; for that would be to give me all the drawbacks of a
measure, without my having enjoyed its advantages. If it
is true that those sixty young men were assured they would
not have to go on active service, and that they enlisted on
the faith of that assurance, they must be quietly disembodied



ccxxiv

TO LOUIS NAPOLEON, KING OF HOLLAND.

SCHONBRUNN, zist September 1809.

YOUR letter of the 8th reached me at Briinn. You speak
to me of a brilliant action fought by the Dutch, to regain
possession of Batz. This strikes me as being very ridiculous.
The English evacuated Batz, as they will evacuate Flushing,
on account of sickness. The greatest harm is done to
soldiers, by heaping praises on them, which they do not
deserve. Lay it down as a principle, that General Bruce's
head must be cut off. That villain has imperilled the safety
of my squadron and my territory. I know he has a strong
backing in Holland, butT insist upon this reparation. The
manner in which your Minister of War has left the Fort of
Batz, and the Island of Walcheren, unprovided, is shameful.

You say, in your speeches, that it is because it was

12



160 NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I

indispensable to win on the Danube, that you have no army.
I do not know what has become of the three regiments you
have in Germany. What are these eight companies, and one
hundred horses, that you have in Spain ?

What can I say to you ? That which I have told you a
hundred times already. You are no king, and you do not
know how to be a king ! Such things would never have
happened in the days of Schimmelpenninck and the Dutch
Republic, which always had 40,000 men in its pay.

I have sent you back your flotilla from Boulogne, that you
may keep it in the Scheldt or in your canals. You have
disarmed it ; you have neither Navy, nor Finances, nor
Army, and you set up to be a free and independent State !
All your difficulties and anxieties are the outcome of your
bad administration, and of your never having listened to my
advice.

Trade with England goes on in Holland, just as in times
of peace, and the partisans of England triumph. I must
inform you, however, that this cannot be allowed to go on.
Four things are necessary to the independence of Holland :
Finances, an army, a flotilla and fleet, and an absolute
prohibition of any communication with England. Short of
that, I shall never have peace. The Customs system ought to
be the same as that of France, so that no change should be
made in the Customs Legislation and Tariff except by
agreement with me. The necessary measures for defending
my dockyards at Antwerp must also be attended to. Batz
and Zealand can certainly not be left in the hands of a
nation which does not know how to defend them.

As for your protestations of attachment to my person and
to France, I desire to believe in them ; nevertheless, the
French have never been worse treated than in Holland. I
have portfolios of complaints from my shipowners, against
your agents, and if you do not put a stop to the vile
behaviour of your Admirals to my Flag, beware lest I put a
stop to it myself. My Flag is sacred no Dutch Admiral
has a right to touch it yet, in your waters, my privateers
are stopped, and my Flag is violated.

I should desire something further. It is that you should
not mention me in your public speeches ; that is a mere
hypocrisy, for you very well know that everything you do is
opposed to my opinion, and that I have often told you I



NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 161

foresaw the changeableness and folly of your action would
ruin your kingdom. Do not, therefore, give any one the
impression that I approve of your measures. I have been
tempted, several times, to affix notes after your speeches in
the Moniteur, so as to make it thoroughly clear that I
disapproved what you ascribed to me. You will realise the
discomfort this will cause you. I beg, then, that you will
neither speak of me, nor of France. It is a constant regret
to me, that I have given you a kingdom in which you have
only used the palladium of my name to serve my enemies,
and to do all the mischief possible to my system, and to
France.

I thank you for the interest" you take in my health. I
should not think it very sincere, if I were to seek its proof
in your speeches, in which you strive to tarnish my glory
if that were possible to a man like you, who has done nothing
at all. The packet you sent me the day after that speech,
is altogether like you, and a type of your ordinary behaviour.
I do not know, indeed, what stories people choose to tell
about my health ; it has never been better.

Postscript. I see a speech in the Moniteur, in which you
say your Guards have saved Antwerp (that is to say, aban-
doned it in the moment of danger), and that the expedition
was easy to foresee. Why, then, did you go to Aix-la-
Chapelle, instead of going to make an inspection of your
coasts, arming the fort of Batz, throwing 6000 men into the
Island of Walcheren, and raising 12,000 in your dominions?
If you had foreseen the expedition, why were not the 200
launches or gunboats I sent you hurried into the Scheldt?
It really is pitiful, that a man who governs a State with
such ineptitude, should also make such unreasonable state-
ments. Your indictment, and that of your government,
are in your own speech. How can any man make game 01
Europe, and show so little respect for the name he bears,
as to assert in public, ' I foresaw the expedition, but I took
no means to oppose it ! ' You say you have no army, because
you have 4000 bad troops in Hanover, where they have
covered themselves with glory, by pillaging the North of
Germany. It was your duty, since your genius was so great,
to provision your forts, to have 200 gunboats in the Scheldt,
and to raise troops to oppose the English invasion. You
have no wise counsellor about you. All day long you are



i6a NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I

writing nonsense that 's the word contradictions and mis-
constructions. I see you told the Amsterdam burghers
that their real duty was to protect their town against
sharpers, and immoral women ; while it is well known that
they refused to march for the defence of their country ! I
should not mention all this to you, but that you implicate
my name in it. You give it to-be understood that the Dutch
have done everything, and are exceedingly energetic. Yes ;
they are very energetic in the smuggling trade ! That poor
Dutch nation is much to be pitied. Its sufferings arise from
the instability of your character, and the folly of your
measures. I repeat once more, it is my will that you shall
never speak of me, directly or indirectly, in your harangues,
and that they shall never refer either to my affairs, or to my
name.

ccxxv

TO COMTE FOUCH, MINISTER OF POLICE.

SCHONBRUNN, 2^rd September 1809.

MARET is sending you what you ask for. I repeat that,
whether in peace or in war, I attach the greatest importance
to having one or two hundred millions' worth of notes. This
is a political operation. Once the House of Austria is shorn
of its paper currency, it will not be able to make war against
me. You can set up the workshops where you please in
the Castle of Vincennes, for instance, from which the troops
would be withdrawn, and which no one would be allowed
to enter. This stringent rule would be accounted for by the
presence of State prisoners. Or you can put them in any
other place you choose. But it is urgent and important
that your closest attention should be given to this matter.
If I had destroyed that paper money, I should not have had
this war.

CCXXVI

TO THE COMTE DE CHAMPAGNY, MINISTER FOR
FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

SCHONBRUNN, %th October 1809.

FIND out from Bourrienne why he has accepted a portrait
of the King of Westphalia without my orders. Write him
orders to send back that portrait instantly. No Minister is



NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 163

to receive a present from a Sovereign without my permission.
Inquire, at the same time, why he has not informed me of
the financial negotiations which the Court of Cassel is carry-
ing on at Hamburg. You will send him a special courier
to fetch his answer, and clear this matter up. Let him hear
of my displeasure at his having allowed the Postmaster at
Hamburg to write to Denmark, about the correspondence
with Sweden, without your authority. And, in short, make
him clearly understand that I insist on knowing everything,
and that I shall hold him responsible for everything he does
not tell me.

Inform Reinhard that if the King employs H he is

to ask for his passports, and fet it be known that he has
orders to make a positive declaration that I will not permit
such a rascal to remain about the King. Tell him to take
steps to have the French Custom-houses protected on the
Osnabriick side ; this is a measure which I take against
England, as Protector of the Confederation.

Write to Switzerland that the man Testa Ferrata, the
Nuncio's brother, is to be arrested, or at all events turned
out of Switzerland.

Inform Prince Kourakin that I have give orders that the
twenty-two Finnish prisoners of war, whom he claims as
subjects of the Russian Empire, are to be given up to him,
and that the Minister of War has orders to that effect.

CCXXVII

TO GENERAL CLARKE, COMTE D'HUNEBURG,
MINISTER OF WAR.

SCHONBRUNN, ivth October 1809.

SEND the enclosed newspaper extracts to Spain. The
French troops there are very muxrh enfeebled. This comes
from the Orders of the Day, and proclamations, which asserted
that the enemy's strength exceeded ours, three or four times
over. By dint of asserting our own inferiority over and
over again, we end, quite naturally, by reckoning Marshal
Soult's troops at 8000 men, those of Marshal Mortier at
10,000, and so on. You will therefore write to the King, that
the art of war consists in exaggerating one's own strength,
and underrating that of the enemy. He, on the contrary,
exalts the enemy's forces, and depreciates his own.



1 64 NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I



CCXXVIII

TO GENERAL CLARKE, DUG DE FELTRE,
MINISTER OF WAR.

MUNICH, 2isf October 1809.

CAPTAIN D'ARGENTON of the Dragoons, who is accused
of treason, and of holding communication with the enemy,
should be arraigned before a Military Court ; you will have
this order carried out, unless the Minister of Police opposes
it, in the hope he may be able to get still more information
out of the man.



CCXXIX
TO M. FOUCHE, DUG D'OTRANTE, MINISTER OF POLICE.

FONTAINEBLEAU, 26th October 1809.

GIVE orders forthwith, that the priest Desmasures, now on
his way to Savona to see the Pope, is to be arrested after he
has seen the Holy Father. His papers will be sent to you,
and his person conveyed to the Castle of Compiano in the
Duchy of Parma, where he will be kept in secret confinement,
without any possibility of holding correspondence with any
one.



CCXXX

TO THE PRINCE BORGHESE, GOVERNOR-GENERAL OF THE
TRANSALPINE DEPARTMENTS.

FONTAINEBLEAU, 26tk October 1809.

I HAVE your letter of 1 2th October. You must write Sal-
matoris that he is not to rush into foolish expense for the
Pope ; that, on the contrary, I should wish a large economy
made on the 1,200,000 frances set apart for his support, so
that if the Pope should have to travel, whether to go to



Online LibraryEmperor of the French Napoleon INew letters of Napoleon I, omitted from the edition published under the auspices of Napoleon III → online text (page 14 of 34)