Emperor of the French Napoleon I.

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

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Dutchmen take me for their Grand Pensionary Barnevelt?
I do not understand such language. I shall do what is best
for the good of my Empire, and the clamour of the madmen
who will insist on knowing what is right better than I do, only
fills me with scorn. Really, one would fancy you had never
known me ! At all events, you must have swiftly forgotten me !
I have not undertaken the government of Holland to consult
the populace of Amsterdam, and do as other people like.
The French nation has been willing, at various times, to put
its trust in me. Who knows it better than you? I hope the
Dutch will be good enough to show me the same respect.
If any one speaks in a different tone before you, you must
use language which befits my Lieutenant-General. * The
Emperor is doing that which is best for the good of his
Empire, and whatever he plans, he sets his whole soul upon.'
The silly talk you credit seems all the more pitiable to me,
because I spend my time, here, amongst the most enlightened
men in the country, and I consult no interests but theirs.
Let this, then, be the last occasion on which such remarks are
heard in your presence.



CCLXXXIX
TO PRINCE LEBRUN, GRAND TREASURER OF THE EMPIRE,

THE EMPEROR'S LIEUTENANT-GENERAL IN HOLLAND.

FONTAINEBLEAU, z6th September 1810.

I HAVE your letter of the 2Oth. The Minister Secretary of
State sends you the Decree I have issued. [You will see I
am far from approving of your conduct] 1 What is the object
of showing any special interest in the family of a man killed
in an insurrection of which he was a member ? Was it right
of you to cause one of my Customs .officials, who had been
wounded in the performance of his duty, to be arrested ?
[My Decree will inform you of my will.] The inhabitants of
Amsterdam must know [that I am not afraid of them, that I
am strong enough to break up any plots, and] that I am
stronger than the smugglers. Your duty is to give the law
active assistance, and not to let yourself be overawed by a
few smugglers. Any other behaviour would mean ruin. You

1 The passages in brackets have been struck out of the draft.



204 NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I

will not lead the populace by coaxing it. Call together the
magistrates and the municipal authorities [and make them
aware of my intentions]. They themselves should point out
the hidden stores; there are many remaining. You must start
on the principle that I mean to know them all ; that my
Custom-house officers must be supported, and that if the
Amsterdam magistrates desire to escape the discomforts
consequent on a .different line of conduct, they must cause
domiciliary visits to be made, and must discover the where-
abouts of the forbidden merchandise. Energy is what is
wanted. No people which begins by revolt can justify itself.
My Customs officers have been ill-treated, stones have been
cast at them ; it would be a terrible thing for those men, and
a disgrace to the Administration, if it forsook them. The
burghers do wrong when they resist armed force. The
reason given for running down Custom-house officials is quite
inadmissible. You will soon see them casting stones at my
Customs officers as a matter of honour, and honest principle !
If the Superintendent of the Customs employed a person of
bad character, complaint might fairly be made, but that was
no reason for rising in rebellion. The fault, therefore, rests
entirely with the town. Make the magistrates aware of my
views, and inform them, that if they desire to deserve my
favour, and to avoid the occupation of their town by 30,000
of my soldiers, they had better obey me. I will have it thus
do you understand ? and you will let them know it clearly.



ccxc

TO COMTE LAPLACE, CHANCELLOR OF THE SENATE.

FONTAINEBLEAU, i^th September 1810.

I WRITE this letter to inform you that the name of M.
Lucien Buonaparte is no longer to appear on the list of
Senators. He has been absent five years from the territories
of the Empire, and when Rome was added to these, he left
this country to cross the seas, and retired to America. He has
thus resigned his Senatorial duties and dignity. As President
of the Senate, we are bound to consider this resignation
complete.

When the will of the French nation raised us to the
Imperial Throne, we had a right to the co-operation of all -



NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 205

those who, like him, owed us a special duty. But he had
given himself over to a shameful passion for a woman, whose
manner of life had raised an insurmountable barrier between
herself and all decency, and we decided that he could not be
included in our hereditary line. Whereas our brothers were
raised, by us, to a rank befitting their birth, and the interests
of our Crown, he remained a private individual. When, in
later times, we had to overcome great perils, and struggle
with all Europe leagued against us, his duty should have
recalled him to our side, and we had a right to claim the
service of the talents Heaven had given him. He has always
been deaf to our call, and he has sought refuge, at last,
outside the Empire, under the protection of Powers which he
knew had but scant affection for our throne, and has thus
made his renunciation of his duty to ourselves, the Senate,
and his country more utterly irrevocable. He has asked the
Minister of Police for passports for himself, and the object of
his guilty passion, and he has gone far from the Empire,
which he had no right to leave without special authority. It
is necessary to the peace and tranquillity of the State, that
he should not only cease to be a member of any political
body in France, but that neither he, nor his children, should
ever return to our Empire.

We have written you this fully detailed letter, because it
is our intention that it shall be transcribed, under this day's
date, in the records of the Senate, and the copy signed, on
the record, by yourself and the other officers of the Senate.
It is likewise our intention that this letter shall remain secret,
and not be given publicity, until a suitable and opportune
moment, when such publicity may serve the interest of our
subjects, and of posterity.



CCXCI

TO GENERAL SAVARY, DUG DE ROVIGO,
MINISTER OF POLICE.

FONTAINEBLEAU, 2&tk September i8io.

I HAVE sent you back Mme de StaeTs book. Has she
any right to call herself a Baroness? Did she take this
title in the books she has published up to the present?
Have the passage about the Duke of Brunswick suppressed,



206 NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I

and also three-fourths of the passages in which she extols
England. That unlucky enthusiasm of hers has done mischief
enough already.

CCXCII

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

FONTAINEBLEAU, 2nd October 1810.

You will answer the Duke of Reggio that my intention is
that he shall turn all his activity to breaking up the mobs.
Tell him that no excuse can be made for them ; that I have
found fault with the Prince Grand Treasurer's views on the
subject ; that the populace always puts itself in the wrong
when it resists the military ; that the Custom-house officers
are part of the military ; and that, far from being discouraged,
they should be supported and backed up.

The Duke of Reggio must make the Amsterdam populace
understand that no mercy will be shown it. Every soul who
is taken in the act of firing on the military is to be tried by
court-martial, and summarily executed.

CCXCIII

TO JEROME NAPOLEON, KING OF WESTPHALIA.

FONTAINEBLEAU, $th October 1810.

I HEAR from every quarter that my troops are exceed-
ingly uncomfortable in Westphalia. They have no pay,
they receive no civility from the inhabitants, and their
rations have been considerably reduced. Good God ! will
you let me have an end of this ?

CCXCIV

TO COMTE MOLLIEN, MINISTER OF THE
PUBLIC EXCHEQUER.

FONTAINEBLEAU, $th October 1810.

I AM informed that the pay of my Minister at Munich
has been seized [by his creditors]. It is my intention that
no notice shall be taken of any opposing claim. I do not
give my Ambassadors an income for their own use, but for
the purpose of representing me.



NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 207

CCXCV

TO M. DE CHAMPAGNY, DUG DE CADORE,
MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

FONTAINEBLEAU, ^th October 1810.

HAVE newspaper articles published about the late King
of Sweden, so as to let people know the fact that he has
been stopped on the Russian frontier, and to show up all
the wild follies he has committed.



CCXCVI

TO M. DE CHAMPAGNY, DUG DE CADORE, MINISTER FOR
FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

FONTAINEBLEAU, 12th October 1810.

You will write the letter, of which I send you a draft, to
the Duke of Santa Fe :

Draft of an Answer to be sent by the Minister for Foreign
Affairs to the Spanish Ambassador, the Duke of Santa
Fe.

SIR, I have read the document written by the Minister,
Urquijo. This document ascribes terms to me, which I have
never used, and does not, on the other hand, quote one word
of what I did say, when I sought, in conversation with you,
for the possible reasons for the apparent coolness between
the two Courts.

You will allow me, sir, to send you back the document,
the nature of which, as it appears to me, makes it more fit
to figure in an English pamphlet, than to be placed on the
shelves of my Ministry.

If the French Generals behaved -ill during the time when
the King was at the head of the army of the Emperor, his
brother, why did he not have them arrested, and brought
before a military tribunal ? If any cause for complaint still
exists, why is not a clear and exact statement of the subjects
of such complaint sent to the Major-General ? You must
feel that shafts levelled against Generals, without authority,
without proofs, and in a kind of pamphlet, every sentence of
which breathes bitterness and irritation, can hardly be con-
15



208 NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I

sidered as a business document. I have not been able to
submit it to the Emperor, but I shall make it my business
to lay anything before his Majesty, which may be sensibly
written, by cool-headed persons, and supported by facts
warranting an inquiry.



CCXCVII

TO THE COMTE DE MONTALIVET, MINISTER OF
THE INTERIOR.

FONTAINEBLEAU, \^th October 1810.

FALSE reports are too easily put about by evil-disposed
and idle persons, under the influence of England, and even
by means of echoes from foreign newspapers. There are
certain objections to contradictions in our own newspapers,
and besides, such a course is not always sufficiently dignified.
I beg you will send the Prefects a weekly circular, to make
them aware of the real truth as to current reports, and thus
direct their opinions and language. You will order them
to keep your despatches to themselves, and to make use of
them in every way which may influence the public opinion
of their Department.

I should wish the objects of your circular to be first, to
make known our system against England ; that it is not
want of money which dictates these measures to the
Government, but the desire to harm England, and that the
advantage of this system has been proved by experience.
Second, to make known the prosperous condition of French
finances. This year's revenue amounts to over 800 millions,
as is proved by the accounts of the Ministers of Finance, and
of the Public Exchequer, which will shortly be published.
This proves the absurdity of the reports spread in certain
Departments, as to the creation of a paper currency, of mort-
gages, of new taxes, and even of contributions to be levied
on the Funds the authors of which would fain apply the
disastrous measures taken in Austria, Russia, Prussia, and
England, to France.

The third point of the circular should refer to the affairs
of Spain. The French armies there are in the best possible
condition, and abundantly supplied. The army of Andalusia,
which occupies Seville, Grenada, etc., has more than 90,000



NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 209

men fit for active service, under the orders of Marshals the
Dukes of Belluna and Treviso, Count Sebastiani and the
Duke of Dalmatia ; the army of Portugal, under the orders
of the Prince of Essling, the Dukes of Elchingen and Abrantes,
and Count Regnier, has more than 70,000 men under arms.
It has seized Ciudad-Rodrigo and Almeida, and was face
to face, on the 24th, with the English army, which it had
forced to retire for ten marches, and which seemed to be
falling back on its vessels. A battle was imminent, and the
English were reinforcing their army, which amounted, pos-
sibly, to some 36,000 men.

You will say that the reports circulated against the Duke
of Abrantes are calumnious and^ false, that the General in
question is winning the greatest distinction, and that the
most perfect harmony reigns amongst the various Generals ;
that Aragon, which was the most disturbed of all the
Spanish Provinces, is now the most submissive ; that
General Suchet, who has a fine army, numbering 40,000 men,
is besieging Tortosa and threatening Valencia ; that, the
Duke of Tarento having moved towards Tarragona, a few
armed bands have taken advantage of his absence to gather
about his rear, and violate certain parts of the Pyrenean
frontier ; that other strong bodies of French troops occupy
Navarre, the Asturias, Biscay, and other provinces ; that a
few smugglers, and the remnants of the Spanish army, have
formed themselves into bands, which seize travellers hardly
to be wondered at in such a large country as Spain, but
that, on the whole, things are going very well indeed.

If the chief functionaries of the Departments are thus
warned, every week, against the false rumours which are rife,
their tone will be steady, and this will react on Paris itself.
You will submit these letters to me at the business sitting.



CCXCVIII

TO GENERAL SAVARY, DUG DE ROVIGO,
MINISTER OF POLICE.

FONTAINEBLEAU, \^th October 1810.

You have sent me three reports on the newspapers, two
of them to-day, and one some days ago. These reports are



210 NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I

not clear, and do not give me a sufficient idea of the condition
of things.

I request (ist) that you will submit to me everything I
have done, for several years past, as to the newspapers, and
the orders issued by the Minister of Police, when the news-
papers were laid under contribution, and editors appointed
to them ; (2ndly) that you will make me a very full
report on MM. Bertin de Vaux. I have an idea that the
MM. Bertin have been proved to be in correspondence with
England, that their newspaper was founded with English
money, and that they have always been hostile to the
Government. I desire you will furnish me with all the
proofs you must hold against them, so that I may be
thoroughly informed. For if I find my opinion of them
is correct, it is my intention not only to forbid them
holding their newspaper property, without giving them any
compensation, but also to deprive them of all right to print,
and to send them fifty leagues away from Paris. It would
be too scandalous, indeed, if such schemers enemies of the
State, and in the pay of the foreigner should continue to
exercise any literary influence.

CCXCIX

TO M. DE CHAMPAGNY, DUG DE CADORE,
MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

FONTAINEBLEAU, i6tk October 1810.

YOU will send Mons. Malchus back his Note, and you will
answer him very much in these terms :

* I cannot accept the Note you send me, since the King of
Westphalia declares himself freed from a Treaty he made
with France. The consequence of such a liberation would
be incalculable. Nothing but a singular want of thought
could have led the Westphalian Ministry to issue such an
order. The Treaty of Paris must be carried out to the very
letter. The Cassel Cabinet must be aware that treaties
made with the Emperor are not to be trifled with, and that
all engagements made, must be faithfully kept/

In the course of your explanation with Mons. Malchus,
you will make him aware that the pay due to my troops in
Westphalia must be promptly paid, up to the present date ;
that the King had no business to form camps, and be in such






NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 211

a hurry to raise a Westphalian army, on which he cannot
depend, and to spend large sums on internal affairs ; that the
refusal of the Court to pay my troops would be exceedingly
disadvantageous to Westphalia, which country would be no
longer considered, by France, as being bound to her by
Treaty. Write to Mons. Reinhard on the subject. Make
them understand that if my Decree as to English merchandise
is applied to the Hanoverian towns, very considerable sums
of money will be procured ; that Brunswick is full of such
merchandise, and more especially of colonial goods.

Inform Mons. Reinhard, for his guidance, that the King's
correspondence is of no importance, for that I never answer
him on any business matter, and that Reinhard may consider
himself quite certain on this point.

CCC

TO GENERAL SAVARY, DUG DE ROVIGO,
MINISTER OF POLICE.

FONTAINEBLEAU, i^th October 1810.

A GREAT many foolish rumours are rife in Paris, but that
which most needs your attention, and which must be
put a stop to by every means, without allowing it the credit
of a printed contradiction, is one of a supposed marriage
between Prince Ferdinand and an Austrian Princess. I
suppose this story to be put about by a certain Laborie, and
by the other members of a gang connected with the Bertins.
Your report of yesterday mentions this Laborie, in connec-
tion with Mme de Stael's book. 1 No more reference must
be made to that book, nor to that worthless woman, but
you must watch the Laborie gang, and report to me.

CCCI

TO GENERAL SAVARY, DUG DE ROVIGO
MINISTER OF POLICE.

FONTAINEBLEAU, \%th October 1810.

You can release Tavera, the skipper, and his crew, whom
you had arrested in connection with the Senator Lucien's

1 De P Allemagne, all the copies of which book had been seized at the book*
sellers', and destroyed.



212 NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I

business. It would be well to keep all the documents
relating to that affair, in due form.

A positive answer must be required from General Miollis,
as to why he allowed the Senator Lucien to embark, and
why the ship Hercules sailed without my leave. Send him
these questions, which he will do well to answer.

CCCII
TO JOACHIM NAPOLEON, KING OF NAPLES.

FONTAINEBLEAU, i8M October 1810.

I HAVE your letter of 9th October. I desire you will
send part of your flotilla to Brindisi and Otranto, to facilitate
the passage to, and communication with, Corfu. The duty
on silk and cloth may be established in your kingdom, on
condition that you forbid the entrance of the silks and cloths
of other countries. Desire your Minister to come to an
understanding on this subject, with the Duke of Cadore.
Competition is the only thing to be feared. If you only get
them from France, it is little matter whether you impose a
duty or not.

You must now be aware how great a fault you committed
when you sent the ship Hercules to Lucien, since the
poor wretch is a prisoner in the hands of the English at
Malta. As I did not send him the ship, it was because I did
not wish him to start. The Queen will tell you how ex-
tremely displeased I have been by this. Be more circum-
spect in future, and do not interfere in matters which do
not concern you.

CCCIII

TO GENERAL SAVARY, DUG DE ROVIGO,
MINISTER OF POLICE.

FONTAINEBLEAU, 2otk October 1810.

IN the Gazette de France I see an article about a Minister
of the Spanish Junta to the United States, in which Ferdi-
nand VII. is referred to. Who gave the Gazette de France
authority to insert so mischievous an article? Inform the
Gazette de France that the first time such an article is
copied, the paper will be suppressed.



NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 213



CCCIV

TO M. DE CHAMPAGNY, DUG DE CADORE,
MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

FONTAINEBLEAU, 2\St October l8lO.

HEREWITH you will find a letter from General Rapp.
Here is my decision, which you will communicate to the
Prussian Minister. I demand that all these ships 1 shall be
allowed to enter the Prussian ports, and then confiscated ;
that agents of the two Courts shall make an independent
valuation of the cargoes ; that the confiscated property shall
be mine, but that the amount of the contributions due by
Prussia, shall be included in the sum confiscated.



CCCV

TO GENERAL SAVARY, DUG DE ROVIGO,
MINISTER OF POLICE.

FONTAINEBLEAU, 2$th October 1810.

I SEE, by your Police Report, that the blocks of a will of
Louis XVI., which was being printed for a certain Bonneville,
a dealer in engravings, have been seized in the house of
one Farge (No. 2, Cloitre Saint Benoit). Have these two
persons arrested. Write to the Director of the Censure
Department to have their charter revoked, and that they are
never to be allowed either to print books, or sell engravings,
again ; then you will have them shut up in a State prison,
until the millennium. When the Censorship was instituted,
provision was made for depriving any handful of wretches who
might attempt to disturb the public peace, of all right either
to print or sell books. Send, me a statement of the book-
sellers and printers who are known to be evilly inclined, and
cannot be depended upon, so that I may revoke their
licence. Follow this up vigorously ; it is time to make an
end of it. There can be no greater crime than that com-
mitted by these people.

1 Vessels laden with English merchandise.






214 NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I

CCCVI

TO M. DE CHAMPAGNY, DUG DE CADORE,
MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

FONTAINEBLEAU, 8M November 1810.

I AM assured I have signed a decree appointing Mons.
Billiot, formerly Consul at Stettin, to be Consul at Riga.
If this is true, the appointment is an error on my part.
I have never had any intention of appointing that Consul
anywhere, so long as his business with General Liebert
has not come to an end. On the contrary, I have sent for
General Liebert to Paris, to clear up the dispute. You will
therefore submit another name to me for the Riga Consul-
ship. I cannot have thought, when I signed Mons. Billiot's
appointment, that he was the man whom I had just put
under examination as to a contentious matter. It would
hav.e been well to await the end of this inquiry, before sub-
mitting the nomination to me.



CCCVII

TO M. DE CHAMPAGNY, DUG DE CADORE,
MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

FONTAINEBLEAU, gth November 1810.

You will answer the letter from my Minister at Cassel,
dated 3ist October, thus : That the King and his Ministers
are constantly making fresh vows, but that they always
do just as they choose ; that I have told the King, over
and over again, that he ought not to have cuirassier
regiments, because that branch of the service costs too
much money, and the native horses are not adapted for
it ; that besides, it suited me better to have lancers, and
light cavalry, which would be more useful to me, and that,
in short, this would have been an immense economy ; that
the King of Westphalia has taken no notice of this advice
that he is playing at soldiers, and raising regiments of every
kind ; that as for the recruiting of the troops in Catalonia,
I will send no more Westphalians thither, to swell the
enemy's bands ; that of all the German soldiers, they are
the least to be depended upon ; that in consequence of an



NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 215

old-standing hatred, arising from the fact of these troops
having always served with the English, they have more
satisfaction in fighting against us, than any others ; that
when I sent 18,000 men into Westphalia, I did it partly with
the object of preventing the King from having too many
troops, and officers, who might turn against me ; that
Bavaria, Saxony, and Hesse Darmstadt, being old-established
countries, are sure of their troops' fidelity, and that even the
Princes of those countries do not amuse themselves by
creating new corps, but leave their troops to rest in peace ;
that I will not have any cuirassiers ; that it is a great act of
folly to increase troops, whom there is no means of sup-
porting, and which cannot be depended upon ; but that,
indeed, I take no interest in the matter, so long as the
engagements made with me are kept, and my troops given
both their back pay, and that which is now due.

Inform Herr von Wintzingerode, by a Note, that no person
has any right to inspect my troops ; that my army returns
should suffice, so long as the number of troops does not
exceed that fixed by treaty ; that Westphalia is only
dealing in pettifogging trifles ; that this is the way to set
things astray ; that, besides, the treaty does not say that



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 18 of 34)