Emperor of the French Napoleon I.

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PARIS, 2$th PZuvidse, Year viu.
(I4/.4 February 1800.)

You have already given orders at Orleans to send 400 or
500 men to Nogent-le-Rotrou. Order General Bethencourt


to add to these 400 or 500 men, all the available troops in
the Department, to divide them into as many columns, of
400 men each, as possible, and to sweep the Department of
the Sarthe so as to disperse all the armed bodies he may
meet. He will inform the General in command at Le Mans
of this movement, so that he, on his part, may take similar
action with the troops under his command. Make General
Bethencourt aware that there is to be no question of parley-
ing, but simply of falling, at the double, on every armed
gathering. Tell him I rely on his zeal for the prompt dis-
persal of all the bands infesting the Department of the
Sarthe. Inform him that to fulfil this duty thoroughly, he
must, after the bands are dispersed, employ good spies, make
night marches, and surprise the rebel chiefs at dawn, in the
country houses where they take refuge.



(Dictated by the First Consul to General Clarke, head of the depdt of
the War Department.}

PARIS, 2nd Ventdse, Year vm.
(21 st February 1800.)

IT is by order of the First Consul that I reply, as I am
about to do, to the letter you did me the honour to address
to me on 2/th Pluviose, and which, in accordance with my
duty, I communicated to him.

The doubt as to Bourmont was probably caused by a
letter written by him to General Brune, Commanding in
Chief, which he signed with the title of Count, and which he
sealed with a seal bearing the three fleurs de Us. Indepen-
dently of these points, which are in manifest contradiction
with the established Government, and the (terms of) pacifica-
tion, Bourmont has ventured to threaten General Brune.
This act was taken by the Government, and necessarily so,
as one of rebellion. By virtue of the pacification, Bourmont
retired into the condition of a private individual. But his
letter to General Brune was not the letter of a private
citizen. It was simply the letter of a Chouan leader. The


Government was obliged to take measures to check this
audacity. Hence the order sent to you, which you received
on 27th Pluviose. I have the honour to transmit you a copy
of Bourmont's letter. I cannot believe your judgment of it
will be more indulgent than mine.

Before receiving the First Consul's orders, you had decided
to authorise Bourmont to proceed to Paris. He has arrived.
I presented him to the First Consul, who spoke to him very
frankly, and advised him to conduct himself like a peaceable
citizen. Bourmont appeared to me resolved to conform to
this advice, and to settle here. But none the less is it in-
dispensable, whatever his private intention may be, to make
it impossible for him to re-organise civil war in the district he
has commanded ; and the future tranquillity of that country
depends on its complete disarmament. Without disarma-
ment, the Chouans' present submission offers no guarantee of
any kind for the future. Is not their organisation, indeed,
still quite intact? May not a summons from their chiefs
call them to arms, just when the absence of our troops,
marched against some foreign enemy, would enable them to
repeat all their former excesses ? I transmit a copy of a letter
from the Chouan leader Henry, and you will see that the
Government cannot really consider a country where such
addresses are circulated, to have thoroughly submitted.
The First Consul, then, desires you will specially apply
yourself to the disarmament. Bourmont has promised to
behave himself well. The death of Frotte and his accom-
plices cannot have failed to make a great impression on
him, and the punishment of that desperate leader will
doubtless contribute to the complete pacification of the
Western Departments. If any of what those gentlemen
denominate ' Chefs de Legion ' still exist, who have refused
to submit to the laws of the Republic, it is urgently im-
portant that all necessary measures should be taken for their
immediate arrest. The same thing" applies to all vagabonds.
The First Consul's intention is, that as soon as a certain
number have been collected, they shall be sent, under good
and safe escort, to Brest, where orders have been received
to enrol them in the St. Dominguan troops. As for the
leaders who have surrendered at discretion, he desires you
to inform them that as they have trusted themselves to the
Government, they shall experience its generosity. The


First Consul directs you to demand, from each in succession,
his word of honour to avoid the Departments infested by
Chouans, while the war lasts. You will invite them to name
the town where each proposes to reside. They will be
under surveillance, and provision will be made for the
support of such as have no private means. You will do
well to inform the First Consul as to the towns they mention
to you, and he requests you, meanwhile, to watch them

When these measures have been taken, you will still have
to send in the conscripts to their depot at Versailles, and to
raise the battalion of irregulars which I have discussed with
you in my previous letters. The moment is a favourable
one for completely stamping out this war : the First Consul
is convinced you will not let it slip.



PARIS, i7//z Ventdse, Yearvm.
(%th March iSoo.)

GENERAL MARMONT goes to Amsterdam with a letter
from me to the municipality and leading citizens, to arrange
a loan. We are in want of money. The Vendee is pacified,
and everything is working towards a war worthy of us. I
greatly regret I cannot call you back to the Rhine ; but
your presence is too necessary in Batavia.


ad interim.

LAUSANNE, 2$th Floreal, Year vm.
(i$th May 1800.)

GENERAL PEYROU, who was with the Army of the
Pyrenees under General Dugommier, is a bad officer. I
do not therefore approve of the position you propose to
allot him in the Reserve Army. It is far simpler to give
him his half-pay. He is quite useless.



* * *

PARIS, 2ist Vendemiaire, Yearly.
(13^ October 1800.)

I PERFECTLY recollect, Madame, the touching protesta-
tion sent me by your son, at Douai, almost two years ago.
I resolved, then and there, to let him know, some day, how
much it had struck me. I am very glad you have recalled
it to my memory, and to be able to do something which
may be agreeable to you.


PARIS, i st Nivdse, Year ix.
(22nd December 1800.)

I HAVE received your letters of I2th, i6th, and 23rd
Frimaire. Citizen Talleyrand will have written to inform
you of the desire of the Government that you should at
once send the vessels to Egypt. Arrange so that the first
should start a week or ten days after the receipt of this
letter. Citizen Clement, a senior officer of the Guard, starts
the day after to-morrow, with despatches. You will cause
him to sail by that ship.

Enclosed you will find a note sent me by Berthier. You
will see by it, that several Spanish merchants offer to send
wine to Egypt. There are always Ragusan, Tunisian,
Algerian, or Moorish vessels in the Spanish ports, which
would undertake this transport.

The Government has two objects in view, in sending
these ships to Egypt : 1st. To send European news, guns,
bullets, and medical necessaries into the country twice every
month ; 2nd. To send over large shiploads of wine, brandy,
iron, steel, sulphur, and liqueurs. Although action is being
taken in Italy as well as in Spain, you must none the less
consider yourself as the only person sending ships to Egypt.
I need not enter into the thousand and one reasons we
have for succouring that brave and interesting Army.

I shall not make any definite appointment to the Ministry
of the Interior, until Citizen Alquier returns to Paris.


I still hope you will have war declared against Portugal,
and that you will make peace. Neglect nothing to this end.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs will not have left you
in ignorance of the brilliant victories won by the Army of
the Rhine, and of the satisfactory condition of the Republic.

Let me know, shortly, that several ships are sailing for
Egypt. You can make use of some of the French privateers
which habitually put into Spanish ports. You will offer them
advantageous terms to carry the news and goods above
mentioned to Egypt.

{Autograph Postscript^) Write to the Army of the East in
lofty terms, calculated to kindle it with a sense of its own
importance. Say that Europe, that Spain, takes deep
interest in its greatness and glory.



PARIS, 2$th Nivdse, Year IX.
(i$th January 1801.)

CITIZEN CLEMENT, a former aide-de-camp of General
Desaix, who has already been in Egypt, proceeds to Madrid
on his return thither. See that he does not spend more than
four-and-twenty hours at Madrid, and that he takes ship at

I hope you have already sent off three or four despatch-
boats to Egypt. The season advances, and you know the
importance of this matter. Write by Clement to General
Menou. Inform Citizen Leroy, Maritime Prefect in Egypt,
that he is appointed Commissary-General at Cadiz, whither
he must proceed as quickly as he can.

I am very anxious you should rid us of Mazzaredo ; the
Minister for Foreign Affairs must already have warned you
of this.

Campi was to have started for Madrid. This would have
been a fresh cause of expense to you. I will see to his
being provided for in some way.

The peace negotiations are beginning to take shape. I
am momentarily expecting news of an armistice in Italy.

The great point is to keep up the Egyptian Army.


Hurry on and increase the number of your consignments.
Write by every vessel to Menou, and send each month's
newspapers. For this purpose I give orders that you
should be sent, every day, fifteen copies of the Moniteur,
and fifteen of the Dtfenseurs. I am expecting to hear what
you have arranged with the Barbary Moors, to insure com-
munication with Egypt during the summer.

(Autograph Postscript?) I desire you will behave with
reserve. You must be respected, and that cannot be unless
you are reserved. Talleyrand's despatches explain my plan
of campaign. Communicate it, in my name, to the Prince
of Peace, to whom you will express my satisfaction. Con-
clude the convention of which I send you the basis, with
him, as quickly as possible.



PARIS, 2.*jth Pluvidse, Year ix.
(I6//& February 1801.)

I BEG you will inform General Brune that I am extremely
displeased with the conduct of General Clement at Leg-
horn ; that by his carelessness, he has compromised the
safety of the ship Regulus ; that he has permitted English
officers to enter the Port of Leghorn under a flag of truce,
received them at dinner, and allowed them to remain several
days in the town, which is against all regulations ; and that
I have been pained to see that French Generals could for-
get the outrages with which the English never cease to
overwhelm our prisoners.



PARIS, gth Ventdse, Year ix.
(28M February 1801.)

REAR-ADMIRAL GANTEAUME reached Toulon on 3oth
Pluviose, having taken two English corvettes and one Eng-
lish frigate. Rear- Admiral Dumanoir must have arrived in
Madrid. Whatever it may cost, we must become masters


of the Mediterranean, or force the English to efforts which
they will not long be able to continue.

General Murat. commanding the Army of Observation in
the South, concluded an armistice, on 3Oth Pluviose, with
the King of the Two Sicilies, by the terms of which that
Prince has laid an embargo on all English and Turkish

I have received the treaty you have concluded with
regard to the fortified towns. As a result of Article 4, the
remainder of the Spanish forces are to join the French force
in the Mediterranean. I should like to know how many
ships may be reckoned on.

The five vessels to be furnished by Spain for the American
expedition can sail from Cadiz just as well as from Ferrol.

The Spaniards owe us six ships of war ; and it is im-
portant, that we should have them as soon as possible. If
they gave us three or four of those now at Cadiz, Rear-
Admiral Dumanoir might select them, and take command.
You might then collect all the Frenchmen to be found in
the Spanish ports, and as many sailors as possible should
be sent from Toulon to Malaga, whence they would proceed
to Cadiz overland.

Let me therefore hear shortly, 1st, that the five Ferrol
ships have sailed for Cadiz ; 2nd, that seven or eight other
ships have been fitted out at Cadiz all the ships, in fact,
which the Spaniards are giving us.

We will buy four dismantled frigates from Spain, on the
understanding, of course, that the rigging and equipment
are sold to us at the same time, and that Rear-Admiral
Dumanoir approves their quality.



PARIS, 21th Ventdse, Year IX.
(i8M March 1801.)

THE Corps of Observation is not yet very strong, but
troops are marching to join it. If the news of the peace
with the Emperor and the Empire does not induce the
Portuguese Court to make its own, the vanguard of 4000
men can march, and enter Spanish territory.


A brigade of 4000 men is about to embark at Rochefort,
and can be landed at Ferrol, if that becomes necessary.

The Prince of Parma must not lose an instant about
coming to Paris, however the Duke of Parma's business
may turn out. Let him first take possession of the Duchy
of Tuscany. This is very urgent.

The English have hardly any garrison at Port Mahon.
If the Spaniards would stir themselves a little at Cadiz and
at other ports, the island might be seized, at some moment
when their squadron is engaged in another part of the



PARIS, 26th Floreal, Year IX.
(15^ May 1801.)

THE King of Tuscany will be lodged, in Paris, at the
Spanish Embassy. This custom was established by Joseph II.,
the Comte du Nord, the Kings of Denmark and Sweden,
and all the Sovereigns who have come to Paris.

M. d'Araujo is arrived at L'Orient. His passport to Paris
was refused, and he was informed of the ultimatum of the
French Government, the conditions of which are much more
severe than those proposed by the Court of Spain.

Azara is seventy years old. He is worthy of respect, and
for many reasons I desire that the King of Spain shall
keep him in Paris.

Set the Court of Madrid against the Pope, by informing
it, as a certainty, that, at the request of Paul I., and without
consulting any other Power, he has re-established the Jesuits.
The Pope is an honest man, but narrow-minded. He is
surrounded by the old Neapolitan priesthood, which follows
in Busca's steps, and misbehaves itself.

The four Spanish frigates which were to have repaired to
Leghorn have not appeared. Redouble your pressure, so
that they may start without delay. Porto-Longone, which has
been occupied by our troops, will serve as a haven for them.

Admiral Bruix is on the point of starting with five vessels
and five frigates, laden with troops to be landed, and will
appear before Cadiz. I desire the five Spanish vessels shall


be put under his orders. As he will be able to supply 500
or 600 sailors, I trust Dumanoir will be able to furnish
two or three of his ships. Take all necessary measures
for enabling the five ships which are at Cadiz to join the
French squadron which will appear before that place, and
act according to circumstances, either making an incursion
into the Mediterranean, or turning back, if necessary, to
proceed to the East or West Indies.

The five vessels furnished by Gravina are to join six ships
commanded by Admiral Villaret-Joyeuse, and seven Batavian
ships, and proceed to sea, to take action either in America
or in the Indies. Let it be understood that these operations
must be directed by one person only, and are not to be
carried out on any irrevocable plan.

Further, you will keep profound secrecy as to this move-
ment of Admiral Bruix. It is quite unnecessary to inform
Dumanoir of it. It will be sufficient if he fits out two or
three ships, ready to set sail on short notice. At a pinch,
even one month's provisions on board each would suffice.



PARIS, 12th Pratrial, Yea fix.
(istjune 1 80 1.)

THE Count and Countess of Leghorn 1 have been in Paris
for several days. They have been well received. I am very
much pleased with them.

M. d'Araujo has received orders to go to Madrid, and to
disembark at Corunna. Apart from the 8000 men already
in Spain, 10,000 Frenchmen are on the march thither. See
that provision is made for their support. I do not think
there is a moment to be lost. I wish the Prince of Peace
to place 10,000 Spaniards, and the French corps, nder
General St. Cyr's command, and desire him to occupy Oporto,
and the three provinces which it is indispensable for us to
hold, to serve as our indemnity. If, however, the Prince
of Peace has confidence in General St. Cyr, and wishes

1 Louis, Prince of Parma, in whose favour the kingdom of Etruria had just
teen created, and who had married the Infanta Maria-Louisa of Spain.


to keep him near him, to direct the war, this body of men
may be confided to General Leclerc. I earnestly desire that
General St. Cyr may render essential service to both nations.
His great talents, and the confidence I have in him, are
worthy of very high consideration on the part of the Spanish
Court, and the Staff.

You may take it for granted that I will not ratify any
treaty of peace which does not provide (i) That pro-
visionally, and until a general peace is signed, the three
provinces of Minho, Tras-los-Montes, and Beiramar shall be
occupied by the French and Spanish troops. (2) The pay-
ment of twenty millions to France. (3) The vessels which
have blockaded Malta and Alexandria (sic). (4) The ex-
clusion of the English from Portugal.

Take the crews, as many of them as possible, from Cadiz.
Send off the four Spanish frigates to Leghorn.

1 5,000 or 18,000 men, asked for by the Court of Spain,
must by now have entered -Spanish territory, and 5000
more are massing at Bordeaux and Bayonne. If the
English were to send troops to Lisbon, we should send an
equal number into Spain.



PARIS, 2&th Prairial, Year IX.
(\1thjune 1801.)

I HAVE just received your packet of iQth Prairial. I have
not told you what I thought of your treaty of peace, because
I dislike saying disagreeable things. Joseph, who was with
me when I received it, will tell you what a really painful
impression it made on me. You negotiate a great deal too
fast. In such a matter as this, fifteen days' discussion are
nothing at all.

Your letters, explaining your treaty, clearly prove you
should not have made it ; for if England had permitted
Portugal to make peace, on condition of its offering nothing
in the way of compensation, our policy should have been
the very reverse. As I have often told you in my letters, the
only interest of Portugal to us, now-a-days, lies in the fact that
she may provide us with a guarantee for the general peace.


However, nothing of what M. Pinto assured you will
happen, and once we refuse to garrison Lisbon and the
neighbourhood, the Regency will agree to all we ask. The
fate of the French Bourbons, of the King of Sardinia, and
of the Stadtholder, is a striking example of the danger of
emigration. England will not go to war with Portugal, be-
cause that would oblige us to take possession of Lisbon. It
will think itself very lucky if we only seize certain provinces,
which it will be able to recover by returning a few islands
in America. For the last century, Portugal has really been
nothing but an English province, and the port of Lisbon,
being under English influence, is all-important to that power.

One article of your treaty, which appears quite incon-
ceivable, is that which stipulates that we should guarantee the
Portuguese possessions in other parts of the world. This is
an absolute reversal of the question; we ask for compensation
with regard to England, and you give compensation to that
power, which might take possession of some Portuguese

You ask that the Spanish Treaty should be guaranteed,
and fail to send it. ...

Portugal at one time consented to pay sixteen millions
to the Directory. M. d'Araujo agreed to give twenty millions,
and these are reduced to sixteen, as we have already had
four millions of expenses. Your stipulation that these should
be paid at Madrid causes us a loss of one million on the
exchange, and finally, by arranging for fifteen monthly pay-
ments, you make the transaction perfectly useless to the
Public Treasury. Fifteen millions, paid in one month,
partly in specie, partly in diamonds, and partly in saleable
goods of two or three descriptions, may be of some use to us
for our naval equipment; but spread over fifteen months, the
payments will not only be perfectly useless,they will even have
a parsimonious character which will be hurtful to our credit.

Further, this treaty lacks diplomatic form and style. It
is contrary to custom to say that hostilities will not cease
until ratification is exchanged. It is contrary to custom to
provide, in a definite treaty, that if anything is stipulated
elsewhere, the treaty becomes null and void. The safest
course always is to wait for news. You must surely be
aware that you are not likely to be three days without
knowing the issue of M. d'Araujo's negotiations.


Finally, it is against the order and out of harmony with
the importance of diplomatic business, to sign a definite
treaty without having submitted the draft to your Govern-
ment, unless the different articles have been successively
debated by protocol, and successively adopted by that
Government. Now the treaty with Portugal demanded
fully ten or twelve days, at the least, of discussion by

The wording of the Treaty is frequently faulty : I will only
quote one passage which struck me. The terms ' Portuguese
monarchy ' and * French people ' should not be placed in
opposition. The customary form is ' between the two
Nations, the two States.'

You know that, according to the Treaty signed with
Spain, a fourth part of Portugal is to be under the power
of the two nations, as a compensation for the American
Islands and Trinity Island.

You can, further, communicate the following information
to the Spanish Court :

Negotiations with England are proceeding with a certain
amount of activity. The English do not appear disposed
to relinquish Malta, Ceylon, the States of Tippoo-Sultan,
nor Trinity Island. I have proposed the status quo ante
helium in the Mediterranean and America, with the same
condition in Portugal, and certain compensations in India.
There we are at present. Your treaty with Portugal would
have rendered all this nugatory. As to the war, I am too
far away to be able to prescribe its exact plan, but I have
great confidence in General St. Cyr. I should much like the
first act of the war to be to take possession of the three
provinces we are to occupy, and to draw contributions and
supplies from them. The enemy will probably 'not allow
their Army to be cut, by endeavouring to defend the country
on the right of the Mondego, and. will concentrate their
forces in the Estramadura. Small divisions would suffice to
seize the three provinces, once the Army lay with its left on
the Tagus and its right on the Estramadura. Once you were
in that position, and the Regency was convinced you did
not threaten Lisbon, it would do anything you chose. You
must tell the Portuguese plenipotentiary, and repeat it over
and over again, that we are not making war on Portugal,
but that we treat it as an English province.

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 2 of 34)