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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MINISTER OF WAR.

ST. CLOUD, $vthfuly 1811.

EXPRESS my displeasure at General Caesar Berthier's
having had the priests, deported to Corsica, to dine with
him. This is an impropriety. He must not ill-treat them,
indeed, but he must not ask them to dinner, nor go to any
house where they are invited. Such conduct is inconsistent.



CCCLXV

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

ST. CLOUD, ist August 1811.

THE Trappists at Cervara might be sent to the Island of
Capraja. It will suffice to deprive them of their habit, give
them ordinary frocks, and lodge them in the tower at
Capraja.

CCCLXVI

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

ST. CLOUD, qth August 1811.

COMTE LAVALLETTE has just informed me of your de-
cision to re-open correspondence with England, so that all
letters sent to the police, no matter what ship brings them,
will be sent back to the postal authorities to be taxed. The
Berlin Decree is explicit : every letter sent to, or out of,
England must be burnt. Have this Decree strictly carried
out, and do not follow up your decision in any way. Repeat
your orders to the Police Commissaries as to the strict
execution of my Decree. Forbid the licensed ships to carry
any letters; the only one they are to have, is that authorising
the ship to sail.

As for the prisoners' letters, they, too, must be burnt,



244 NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I

unless they pass the Morlaix Challenge. In that case, they
will be sent to the police, if they only refer to matters
unconnected with politics, and even then, the thing must be
done quietly, and as a concession. Prisoners writing to
their families about themselves may, as a concession, send
letters by Morlaix, but as a matter of principle, all letters
coming from England must be burnt. This is the Berlin
Decree. Its terms are positive.



CCCLXVII

TO GENERAL CLARKE, DUG DE FELTRE,
MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

ST. CLOUD, $tk August 1811.

I AM informed that a great number of refractory con-
scripts are confined in the Citadel of the He de Re, and that
they are dying from overcrowding. I do not see why they
should not be allowed to move about the town. The Island
itself must be guarded by the Custom-house authorities, and
besides, I will not have men shut up in a manner detrimental
to their health. Send an officer to verify these facts, and
remedy them. I get a large number of fine conscripts in
those islands. They must be well cared for.



CCCLXVIII

TO M. MARET, DUG DE BASSANO, MINISTER FOR
FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

ST. CLOUD, $th August 1811.

THERE is no object in M. de Moustier's being in the
Queen of Sweden's company. There is no doubt whatever,
that if he cannot avoid meeting her, and is obliged to
address her, he must call her ' Your Majesty.' The title is
hers, because, if the position itself is lost, the title, according
to custom, remains. A Dowager Queen keeps the title of
Majesty. If Gustavus Adolphus should return to the
country, he must avoid seeing him.



NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 245



CCCLXIX

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

PARIS, i$tk August 1811.

I HAVE a letter you have sent me, from General
Puthod, which proves that officer's want of sense and
capacity. Recall him forthwith. You have doubtless sus-
pended him from duty. Give him leave to go home, and
point out to him the indecency, and want of principle, evident
in his letter. He has no right to arrest any French citizen,
much less one of the Emperor's officers, travelling through
his command. General Nansouty's commission, and all the
other proofs of his quality, put forward by Mortemart, were
ample evidence of his rank as an orderly officer. This
officer carried no orders to General Puthod, and had nothing
to say to him. His sole mission was to look on, and observe ;
but General Puthod had no right to arrest him, just as
he would have no right to arrest the meanest French
drummer passing through his command.

General Hogendorp, on the contrary, is travelling for an
avowed object, which gives him a command in the Division,
and it is quite right that his position should be formally
notified, and that the General of the Division should be
informed as to his mission. This is always done when an
aide-de-camp takes up command of a flying column, or
any other duty which involves his being employed in a
Division.



CCCLXX

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

ST. CLOUD, 2oth August 1811.

I HAVE been assured that the Spanish Crown diamonds
have been carried off by Frenchmen, and that they could be
tracked, if certain jewellers' shops, especially those which
supply the Court of Naples, were searched. Follow this up
skilfully, so as to get at the truth.



246 NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I

CCCLXXI

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

ST. CLOUD, 22nd August 1811.

WHEN the Duke of Otranto was dismissed from the
Ministry, I gave orders that he was to retire to a distance
from Paris. A year having now gone by, you can inform
him that he is at liberty to come and spend the autumn
at his country house.



CCCLXXII

TO M. MARET, DUG DE BASSANO, MINISTER FOR
FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

ST. CLOUD, 24^ August 1811.

WRITE in cipher to Comte Laforest, that he is to see
the King of Spain, and inform him, that having reason to
believe that from fifteen to eighteen millions' worth of
diamonds had been stolen by certain persons from the
Spanish Crown jewels, and having learnt that a certain
Ayme" was implicated in the matter, I have had the man
arrested and imprisoned, until he shall have confessed all he
knows of the business ; that he has already acknowledged
having seen very fine diamonds, and amongst other jewels
the Per la peregrina ; that when King Charles left Madrid,
these jewels were left there under the care of five Spaniards ;
that I request these five Spaniards may be examined, and the
report of their examination sent to Paris ; that the said Ayme
has told us that the Perla peregrina passed into the hands
of a jeweller who is now at Naples ; that I have ordered my
Minister at Naples to have this jeweller questioned, and to
collect everything which may throw light upon this subject,
my intention being that the fifteen or eighteen millions'
worth of diamonds shall be found, and their value sent to the
King, as such help will be of essential use to him in present
circumstances ; that very valuable articles were stolen from
the house of the Prince of Peace ; that investigation must be
made, that this will be done in France also, and that very
considerable sums of money will be recovered.



NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 247

You will write in cipher to Baron Durand, that he is to
have the Neapolitan Court jeweller, who is now in Naples,
and in whose possession the pearl was seen, questioned ;
and to cause inquiry to be made as to what has become of
this pearl, and of the other Spanish Crown jewels ; that he
is to carry on all his inquiries with the utmost secrecy, and
that in the present position of Spain, it is necessary to
recover these valuables.

CCCLXXIII

TO COMTE MOLLIEN, MINISTER OF THE PUBLIC
EXCHEQUER.

COMPIEGNE, yd September 1811.

I SEND you a letter from Hamburg, with reference to
Mons. Bourrienne. I beg you will have a summary made of
it, for me. Collect your information without the police being
aware of it, because Mons. Bourrienne is well acquainted
with the workings of the police. Try to find out about this
address

' Madame Jouannet,

No. 6 Cloitre St. Mederic,
Paris/ 1

who lives there, and what it all means? Is it customary
for you to have your accountants arrested, and their papers
seized, without appealing to the police ?



CCCLXXIV

TO M. RGNIER, DUG DE MASSA, CHIEF JUDGE, AND

MINISTER OF JUSTICE.

COMPIEGNE, yd September 1811.

THE Mayor of Cahors, and the recruiting captain of the
Department of the Lot, are accused of dishonesty, in
connection with the conscription. They are said to have
received more than 300,000 francs, within the last six years.
Give the Imperial Procurator orders to open an inquiry on
the subject an official one, and of the strictest nature.

1 On the same day an order was issued to the Director- General of the Postal
Service to lay hands on all letters directed to Mme Jouannet.



248 NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I



CCCLXXV

TO M. REGNIER, DUG DE MASSA, CHIEF JUDGE, AND
MINISTER OF JUSTICE.

COMPIEGNE, 6th September 1811.

ALL American ships captured in the Baltic are our lawful
prizes, for they all sail under English convoy. The Decree
must run, that they have been taken and confiscated, as being
under English convoy. They really are English in disguise.
Have all this business settled on the spot ; there can be no
doubt about the matter.

Let me know the number of American ships taken else-
where than in the Baltic, by what privateers they have been
captured, the place of their capture, and the ports in which
they now lie, so that everything may be settled at once.

There is no difficulty whatever as regards the Baltic, and
I intend that before the loth September, the Prize Committee
shall have made them over to the privateers.



CCCLXXVI

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

COMPIEGNE, *]th September 1811.
I AM astonished that a man of honour, like General D-



should desire to marry the daughter of a notary who has
been disgraced, and driven out of the professional body.
The very idea is dishonouring. If the General should
persist in such a choice, he must be turned out of the
artillery.

CCCLXXVII

TO MARSHAL BESSIERES, DUG D'lSTRIE, COMMANDING
THE IMPERIAL GUARD.

COMPIEGNE, nth September 1811.

THIS report is ridiculous. A crime, which is a disgrace to
my Guard, has been committed. Either the regiment will



NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 249

take its own measures to discover the culprits, or, if they are
not given up within a week, I shall reduce it to a regiment
of the line. The Chef d'Escadron had no right to sell hay,
in order to buy straw, without an order from the Minister of
War. Officers and non-commissioned officers will all be
put under arrest, and if, within a week, I do not know
everything, just as it happened, I shall send the whole
regiment back to the line.

Who is this Chef d Escadront Where has he served?



cccLXxyin

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

COM PI EG NE, \2th September i8ll.

HAVE the wife of Gallet, the pilot who is in the English
service, arrested, and have that sailor written to, that, unless
he comes back to France, or proceeds to some neutral
country, so that we may be sure he is not serving the
English, she and her children will be put in prison, into a
dark cell, on bread and water. Extend this measure to
the wives and children of all pilots in the English service.
Submit a Decree on the subject to me, and have full inquiry
made, as to the pilots on board enemies' ships.



CCCLXXIX

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

ANTWERP, 30^ September 1811.

THERE must be no alteration in the course followed by
persons about the Pope, at Savona. No stranger is to come
to Savona, and there is to be no communication between
Savona and the other parts of the Empire. But for that, I
should have to begin again in a fortnight, which would
cause a shock.



250 NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I



CCCLXXX

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

ANTWERP, 30/4 &/faw4*r iSn.

You are not to mix yourself up with the Queen of Naples*
concerns. Let her do as she chooses. The less you talk to
her the better ; conversation with her must be mischievous,
because you are ignorant of my objects. You will therefore
show her all proper respect, and you will keep quiet.
Generally speaking, all diplomatic conversations are very
harmful. You had one with Campochiaro what good did
it do ? It would have been far better to have had none at
all, or only the very slightest Let this be a rule to you,
the less you talk with Foreign Ministers, and the fewer
Ambassadors you have at your table, the better.

I think I have already informed you, that you did wrong
to write to Switzerland, about the Comte de Gottorp. You
do not know my intentions ; I have not informed you of
them ; and you have therefore exposed yourself to the
danger of giving my Minister instructions opposed to those
sent him by the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Once the
Comte de Gottorp was outside France, he was no business
of yours. You might have warned the Minister for Foreign
Affairs, but you should not have taken anything upon
yourself. When a Minister meddles with what does not
concern him, he upsets the whole Administration. It is
not regular for you to give a single instruction to my
Ministers abroad.

I know that Mme de Chevreuse has passed through Paris.
I cannot conceive how my orders which are that the lady
in question is to remain forty leagues away from Paris
have been disobeyed, nor how you can have permitted such
an oversight I desire this may not happen again. I have
made you aware that my system, as regards the exiles, is to
take no more notice of them, and not to confer importance
on them, by perpetual interference in their business.

As for the licences, I am heartily convinced you are
taken in by schemers. This is the tendency of my M inisters,
whenever they have to do with agents of this sort, who are a



NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 251

disgrace to the Administration. The whole system must be
given up, for, carried on as it is, it offers more drawbacks
than advantages.

I have received the report you have sent me, from the
Police Commissary at Boulogne, as to Dunkirk. I have
never come across so loquacious and bumptious a man as
this Commissary. He has been with me for over an hour,
teaching me all about finance, exchange, general administra-
tion, and wrong at every point. Such an official is very
far removed from a Villiers, and from police agents of the
real sort. Loquacity and presumption are qualities the very
reverse of those necessary to a good Police Commissary. I
believe he is zealous, indeed, but he does his work badly.
The smugglers are not watched at Dunkirk, they are increas-
ing in the town. It is this Commissary's duty to keep order,
but he chattered some story to me, I know not what,
to explain that my orders on this point ought not to be
executed. So stupid is this Commissary, that when I was
anchored at Boulogne, he allowed the smugglers to go out of
Wimereux. When I remonstrated he said very foolish things
to me. Give orders that no smuggler is to leave Wimereux,
without warning Rear-Admiral Baste. The Police Com-
missary at Boulogne has a great deal of power. He should
be a man who unites great prudence with great dexterity,
very different qualities from those possessed by the present
Commissary.

The Police Commissary at Flushing is, I think, related to
Real. He is very young, and every one agrees that his lack
of knowledge and activity renders him perfectly useless.

Stir up the police in Paris ; order is very badly kept, and
the public is beginning to notice the loss of Dubois' activity.
Women of bad character crowd the public squares, and fresh
houses of ill-fame have been opened. Put a stop to the bold-
ness of these wretched creatures, and take steps to diminish
the evil, instead of allowing it to increase. Do not leave
Pasquier in ignorance of the fact, that public report in Paris
has it, that the police does not keep such good order as it did
under his predecessor. You need not tell him this as my
opinion, for that would discourage a magistrate for whom I
have a regard ; at the same time, you must warn him, so
that he may use more energetic measures.



252 NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I

CCCLXXXI

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

UTRECHT, "jth October 1811.

I SEE by the Gazette de France, that the Emperor has
promoted a conscript, whose wife came and cast herself at
his feet, to the rank of officer. This is so silly, that I do not
know how the editor of the newspaper can have printed it.

CCCLXXXII

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

UTRECHT, 1th October 1811.

YOU are to give the Prefect of Montenotte, and the Com-
mandant of Gendarmerie at Savona, the following instruc-
tions :

As soon as the deputation of Bishops has departed, the
Prefect will notify the Cardinals that I leave them at Savona,
on condition that they administer no business, keep up no
correspondence, and give no information as to anything
touching the spiritual affairs of Europe ; that they are only
to write to their families, to give them news of themselves,
and that all letters as to Bulls, Dispensations, etc., are to be
made over to the Prefect, until this business is concluded ;
that the smallest transgression will be a crime, and will bring
them misfortune. It would be well, indeed, that the Prefect,
and the officer commanding the Gendarmerie, should act
accordingly, for until everything is wound up, nothing is
changed, and the same watch must be kept upon the Pope,
both from without, and from within.

CCCLXXXIII

TO COMTE DE MONTALIVET, MINISTER OF
THE INTERIOR.

AMSTERDAM, 2Qth October 1811.

I SEND you back the report of the sitting of the Victualling
Council. The increase in the price of bread is regrettable,



NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 253

unless it results from the high price of wheat; flour being
really only a secondary matter. Before putting up the price
of bread, which it would be advisable to delay, it is my
intention that the bakers shall be given a bounty on every
sack of flour they may buy, or have bought, since the 2Oth
October. This bounty will be fixed by the Council at every
sitting. It must not exceed five francs on each sack already
bought, or which may be bought, after the day of the sitting.
So that at the end of November, the same quantity of flour
there may be in hand as now. You will note that I say
each sack of flour which the bakers may buy, or have bought,
after the 2Oth of October, and reckoning from what was in
hand on that day. Note, too, that I do not mean to give a
bonus to the bakers on the batches of bread they bake, for
that would be an imposition, indemnifying them for the flour
they have bought cheap, without giving any guarantee for
their replacing it. Thus, for instance, if the bakers buy their
flour for sixty-nine francs, they can sell the loaf for four sous.
Whether it is worth seventy-two francs on the 2Oth October,
or seventy- four francs on the 25th, we shall give five francs
bounty on every sack the baker may have bought. The baker
can lay in a good store, as no sack will cost him more than
sixty-nine francs, even if he pays seventy-four.

You will point out to the Council, that I have not chosen
to fix a basis, and say, for instance, that the bounty is to be
whatever the flour is worth, over sixty-nine francs, because
then it would be to the baker's interest to drive up average
prices. But the Council, having this latitude, can so in-
demnify the bakers, that it will be to their interest to lay up a
store, at this opportune moment. Supposing the bakers to
buy 40,000 sacks of flour, it will cost us some 150,000 or
200,000 francs, which will save the people of Paris from a
rise in the price of bread, and which will put me in a position
to make some definite decision at the end of November,
when Martinmas will be over, and the new corn will be on
the market.

I choose the 2Oth, and not the 25th, of October, for my
starting-point, because I calculate that my decision should
reach Paris on the 22nd, that the Council will consider it on
the 23rd, and that the Prefect of Police can pay the bakers
the bounty for whatever they have bought, during these four
days, which is preferable to insurances, etc. He will tell the



254 NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I

bakers, that he will give them the same bounty, every day,
for every sack of corn they buy. As I have placed two
millions in the Sinking Fund, at Comte Maret's disposal, he
will advance 100,000 francs out of this sum. And indeed, as
soon as I know what the cost has been, I will credit you
with the necessary funds.

Postscript. The Council will keep all its deliberations
secret, and the Prefect of Police, only, will distribute the
money, and that secretly.



CCCLXXXIV

TO M. GAUDIN, DUG DE GA&TE, MINISTER OF FINANCE.

AMSTERDAM, 2yd October 1811.

HAVE all property at Rome, palaces and other belongings,
formerly in the possession of the King of Naples, sequestrated.
The only thing I gave the King of Naples, was the pictures
in the Farnese Palace. This property is, therefore, mine,
and the Crown Property Office ought never to have given
it up. It must be offered for sale, at once, and the price it
brings incorporated with the public property of this country.
All persons employed by the King of Naples, for the
management of this property, must be discharged.



CCCLXXXV

TO MARSHAL DAVOUT, PRINCE D'ECKMUHL, IN CHIEF
COMMAND OF THE ARMY IN GERMANY.

ROTTERDAM, 26th October 1811.

IT is quite true that Prince Augustus has gone to Basle,
and thence to Erfurt. The truth is, the Prince is over head
and ears in love with Mme Recamier. He has even given
her a promise of marriage. She, who is no fool, laughs at
it, and makes game of him. She did not keep her engage-
ment to meet him at Basle. So you see politics have very
little to do with it all. The young man is senseless and
rudderless a great grief, I am told, to the Prussian Royal
Family,



NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 255

CCCLXXXVI

TO COMTE MOLLIEN, MINISTER OF THE PUBLIC
EXCHEQUER.

WESEL, ist November 1811.

THE Crown Treasury has advanced several hundred thou-
jsand francs, which Mons. Pierlot owed the Empress Josephine
and Queen Hortense. I desire to know when the liquida-
tion of Mons. Pierlot's property will permit of the reimburse-
ment of the Crown Treasury.

You will do well to send privately for the Empress Jose-
phine's Comptroller, and make him aware that nothing will
be paid over to him, unless proof is furnished that there are
no debts ; and, as I will have no shilly-shallying on the
subject, this must be guaranteed on the Comptroller's own
property. You will therefore notify the Comptroller, that
from the 1st of January next, no payment will be made,
either in your office, or by the Crown Treasury, until he has
given an undertaking that no debts exist, and made his own
property responsible for the fact. I have information that
the expenditure in that household is exceedingly careless.
You will therefore see the Comptroller, and put yourself in
possession of all facts regarding money matters ; for it is
absurd that instead of saving two millions of money, as the
Empress should have done, she should have more debts to
be paid. It will be easy for you to find out the truth about
this, from the Comptroller, and to make him understand
that he himself might be seriously compromised.

Take an opportunity of seeing the Empress Josephine
yourself, and give her to understand, that I trust her house-
hold will be managed with more economy, and that if any
debts are left outstanding, she will incur my sovereign dis-
pleasure. The Empress Louise has only 100,000 crowns ;
she pays everything every week ; she does without gowns,
and denies herself, so as never to owe money.

My intention is, then, that from the ist of January, no
payment shall be made for the Empress Josephine's house-
hold, without a certificate from her Comptroller, to the effect
that she has no debts. Look into her budget for 1811, and
that prepared for 1812. It should not amount to more than
a million. If too many horses are kept, some of them must
18



256 NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I

be put down. The Empress Josephine, who has children
and grandchildren, ought to economise, and so be of some
use to them, instead of running into debt.

I desire you will not make any more payments to Queen
Hortense, either on account of her appanage, or for wood-
felling, without asking my permission. Confer with her
Comptroller too, so that her household may be properly
managed, and that she may not only keep out of debt, but
regulate her expenditure in a fitting manner.



CCCLXXXVII

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

ST. CLOUD, i6th November 1811.

I HAVE already informed you of my intention that a
banner should be sent to each army division, with an inscrip-
tion on one side running, 'The Emperor Napoleon to such
and such a regiment,' and on the other side, the battles in
which the regiment has taken part, such as Ulm, Austerlitz,



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 21 of 34)