Emperor of the French Napoleon I.

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296 NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I

you will take every means of preventing his coming to Paris ;
but if he should reach Morfontaine, he must neither see the
Empress, nor any one else, nor receive any visitors, and no
State arrangements must be disturbed. Send a confidential
officer to make him aware of my intentions ; you will go to
the Queen yourself. Employ Count Roederer, or any other
person, to make him understand what my will is, with all
proper regard and consideration.

It is my intention that no Spanish officer about the King
of Spain, etc., shall cross .the Garonne. All the refugees will
be collected in some town, such as A gen or Auch, which you
will select, after having consulted the Grand Chancellor, and
the Minister of Police.

All the follies which have taken place in Spain are the
result of the mistaken consideration I have shown the King,
who not only does not know how to command an army, but
does not even know his own value sufficiently to leave the
military command alone. I am not yet sufficiently informed
as to the state of things, but, short of an absolute necessity,
and for purposes of frontier defence, you must not make any
alteration in the orders I have given for the march of the
troops. If the worst comes to the worst, I will defend my
frontiers. If the Duke of Dalmatia should think proper to
dismiss Marshal Jourdan, he will remain at Bayonne, await-
ing my orders. I need not tell you to have Bayonne, and
the other frontier fortresses, armed, and provisioned.

Everything regarding the King is extremely secret, and
even the Duke of Dalmatia himself is to know nothing of it.



CCCCLVI

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

DRESDEN, istfttly 1813.

THE Grand Chancellor and the Minister of War will make
you aware of my intentions as to the King of Spain. Take
pains to have them carried out considerately, but, at the
same time, with all necessary decision. There are plenty of
persons in Paris, who might be employed to inform the King
of my intentions.



NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 297

Give orders that no provincial, or Parisian, newspaper, is
to mention Spanish affairs, or the King of Spain.

If the King should have left Pampeluna, St. Sebastian, or
Bayonne, without my orders, and if he should have crossed
the Loire, which would be contrary to my intention, he
must instantly, without sleeping in Paris, retire to Morfon-
taine, there to remain until I have made known my orders,
and that without any attention being attracted.

CCCCLVII

TO GENERAL CLARK^, DUG DE FELTRE,
MINISTER OF WAR.

DRESDEN, yd July 1813.

I HAVE your letter of the 28th. I do not understand the
Spanish business yet. I do not know whether it is a battle
that we have lost, nor what troops were present, nor where
the King and the army now are. I conclude the Duke of
Dalmatia will have left Paris, when you receive this letter.
I confess it is difficult to understand that such things should
happen, with an army like that in Spain. I can only ascribe
them to the excessive ineptitude of the King, and of Jourdan.

ccccLvm

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

DRESDEN, $rd Jufy 1813.

I HAVE received the news sent you by the Bayonne Com-
missary. It is hard to imagine anything so inconceivable as
what is now going on in Spain. The King could have col-
lected 100,000 picked men ; they might have beaten the
whole of England. The Duke of Dalmatia must have
passed through. I hope he will retrieve matters.

CCCCLIX

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

DRESDEN, bthjtdy 1813.

YOU will see, by the enclosed despatch from Consul Seguier,
that the poor Duke of Abrantes is almost out of his mind. I



298 NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I

am writing to the Viceroy to give him orders to retire to his
home in Burgundy. The capital must not be vexed by such
a sight. Give his wife notice, so that she may go and meet
h>m, and remain in Burgundy with him. I will consider as
to who is to replace him, and meanwhile, the Comptroller
will perform all administrative functions. I have ordered a
superior officer, or a general, to be sent to command the
country.

CCCCLX

TO MARSHAL DAVOUT, PRINCE D'ECKMUHL, COMMANDING
THE I3TH CORPS OF THE GRANDE ARM&E.

DRESDEN, tyhjuly 1813.

A DEPUTATION from Hamburg has waited on Comte
Daru, and the Master of the Horse, to request an audience of
me. I have refused to receive it, until the forty-eight millions
are fully paid, and I have ordered it to leave Dresden in the
course of the day.

I think it right to make you aware of my intentions on
this occasion. I mean to have the full forty-eight millions,
without reducing them by a single sou. It appears that
these gentlemen assert, in the memorandum they have
brought with them, that they do not possess forty millions.
This is my reply : So long as the forty millions still owing
are not paid, all warehouses will remain under sequestration,
for I suppose you have placed, and kept, all the great ware-
houses, and even the shops, under sequestration. This mea-
sure must even be extended to the large warehouses in the
Second Military Division, to all buildings used for commercial
purposes, and all dwelling-houses, which will be held for my
benefit All these buildings and dwelling-houses will belong
to me; the merchandise also will belong to me, and will be
sent to France, or to other places in Germany, for sale. Now
there is certainly more than forty-eight millions' worth of
merchandise in Hamburg, and besides that, there is the land
itself, which is worth a good deal more than a hundred
millions, and which, if necessary, I will have awarded to the
Crown.

I have ordered Comte Daru to answer in this sense, and
you yourself must take the same tone.

The crime they have committed of rebellion and felony



NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 299

has deprived them of all their property, and all their civil
rights. The war contribution is their ransom. They have
paid ten millions in money, and ten millions in merchandise.
Make them sign bonds for another ten millions, and they
will still owe eighteen millions. They can easily raise a loan
on their own security, as they have done before. They have
credit in every market, they can very well draw ten millions'
worth of bills on exchange. This will complete their pay-
ment. In consideration of the payment, I will release their
goods from sequestration, 1 will restore their civil rights, and
each man will regain possession of his property.

As to the Amnesty, you knovy very well I have given you
carte blanche. I make no difficulties on that head. I would
far rather make them pay ; it is much the best way of punish-
ing them. You must try and reach the rabble, and make it
bear part of the war tax, by doubling or quadrupling the
poll-tax, and that on doors and windows, by increasing the
Octroi duty, and that on the sales in the wine-shops. This
would only bring in two or three millions, but it is well to
strike at the lower class too, and let it see we are not afraid
of it. It must also be touched by taking as many men as
possible, and sending them to serve with the troops in
France, and also by laying hands on all the firebrands, and
sending them to the galleys, or to French prisons.



CCCCLXI

TO PRINCE CAMBACRkS, GRAND CHANCELLOR OF
THE EMPIRE.

WlTTENBURG, \\th July 1813.

I HAVE your letter of 6th June.

I have no information, as yet, -as to the position of my
armies in Spain, nor any details concerning them. I have
ordered the Minister of War to suspend Marshal Jourdan, to
send him to his country residence, and keep him there till
he has accounted for what has happened. I have also de-
sired the Minister to demand an account from the Officers
Commanding-in-chief, from the Commanding Officers of
Engineers and Artillery, and from the Paymaster-General.

I have found fault with the Minister of War, for having
been complimentary in his letter to the King of Spain. I



300 NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON 1

may have sufficient consideration not to admit the public
into the secret of my extreme displeasure ; but it is ridicu-
lous, and improper, that the Prince should not be made clearly
aware that it is to him I ascribe the fault of everything that
has happened in Spain, for the last five years. He has not
shown either military talent, or care in government. I
therefore desire you will inform the Minister, that the Prince
must not deceive himself as to my opinion with regard to him.
He did not know how to command himself, and he has
committed the great fault, in my eyes, of not leaving the
command to those who knew how to use it.

Put pressure on my Ministers of War, and Army Admini-
stration, to make them show a little more energy. It is
perfect madness to have recrossed the Bidassoa.

I am writing to the Minister of War that, as there may be
objections to the King of Spain's presence at Bayonne, my
intention is that he should proceed, incognito, to Morfontaine,
and be supposed to be remaining there, until further orders
from me. This would put an end to all difficulties.



CCCCLXII

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

WlTTENBURG, \\tkjllly 1813.

I AM as full of surprise, as of indignation, at having no in-
formation as to the position of my armies in Spain. I am
still unaware of the reason why no junction was effected with
General Clausel. I do not know how many men we lost,
and I have received no account of the battle. Express my
displeasure to Marshal Jourdan, suspend him from his
functions, and give him orders to retire to his country-house,
where he will remain, suspended and without pay, until he
has accounted to me for the campaign. His first duty was to
put you in possession of facts, and send you an account of
the battle. Desire each General-in-chief, also, to send you a
report, and make the King aware of my displeasure at his
not having sent me one, and at his not having informed me
of the reasons which led him to abandon General Clausel.

Answer the Duke of Dalmatia, that there is no special
salary attached to the rank of my Lieutenant-General, that



NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 301

he will have his Marshal's pay, and the 10,000 francs a
month for official entertainments, which no one but himself is
allowed ; that my present position necessitates the greatest
economy. Tell him it is impossible for me to take any
measure. I have not the slightest idea. I do not know the
amount of our losses ; I do not know the circumstances of the
battle. Once more, order every officer in chief command to
send in his report, under the severest penalty. I understand
the Duke of Dalmatia's dislike to the King's remaining at
Bayonne. My opinion is, that the best course will be for the
Prince to retire, without delay, to Morfontaine, in the strictest
incognito, and without any one being aware of the fact.

I am not very well pleased with the letter you have
written the King. I see too many compliments in it. When
a man's inept folly has cost me an army, I may indeed show
him sufficient consideration not to take the public into my
confidence, but it is hardly an occasion on which to pay him
compliments. On the contrary, the whole fault of this lies
with the King, who does not know how to command, who
has sent in no reports, and has given us no means of looking
after the army. It would be well for you to take steps to
have my view of matters made known to the King, and
all about him. His behaviour has never ceased bringing
misfortune upon my army, for the last five years ; it is time to
make an end of it. It appears they have blown up the bridge
over the Bidassoa. There is a world of folly and cowardice
in all this. Let Reille know of my displeasure ; tell him I
cannot recognise him. Generally speaking, they are all
behaving like cowardly women.



CCCCLXIII

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

MAGDEBURG, \2thjuly 1813.

AFTER having been anxious about General Clausel, who
was forsaken, in such a ridiculous fashion, by the other armies,
we have heard he has moved towards Saragossa, where he
arrived on the 3Oth, without having been molested. I write
you this for your guidance.



302 NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I

It will be well for you to write a circular to all my
Ministers, to guide their utterances as to Spanish affairs.
You will tell them, that in consequence of the concentration
of all our armies in Spain, to form a reserve, to be drawn on
as occasion makes it necessary, the Northern Army has
moved from Pampeluna on Aragon, and the others, upon the
outlets of Biscay and Navarre ; that the English, noticing
these operations, have taken advantage of them to press us
closely, and that a somewhat brisk engagement took place on
the 2ist, at Vittoria, in which both sides lost equally; that the
army has carried out the movement,and reached the appointed
place of junction : but that the enemy seized about a hundred
guns and military waggons, which were left without teams at
Vittoria, the remains of the immense number in Spain and
Madrid at the time of the evacuation ; and that it is these
which the English are trying to pass off as artillery with full
teams, captured on the battle-field.



CCCCLXIV

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

DRESDEN, i$th July 1813.

I SEND an intercepted letter for your guidance. It would
be well for you to drop a word to Baron Reinhard, for such
indiscretions might have the drawback of embroiling us with
the Swedish nation, and causing the King of Sweden to
think we desire to dethrone him, which is very far from my
intention, ill as he has behaved to me. People would do
very much better not to concern themselves with my policy.
You will say we know about this, by the talk it is making
everywhere, and that everybody believes the King of West-
phalia is commissioned to make overtures. You will further
add, that there is something ridiculous about this reception
of a former Sovereign at Cassel, while the former Sovereigns
of Brunswick and Hesse are still alive. There is an incon-
sistency about the whole proceeding, of which all foreigners
are keenly aware.



NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 303

CCCCLXV

TO PRINCE CAMBACfcRfcS, GRAND CHANCELLOR OF
THE EMPIRE.

DRESDEN, \6thfuly 1813.

THIS letter starts on the i6th: it will reach you on the
2Oth. I desire the Empress may start on the 22nd, so as to
be at Mayence on the 23rd, or 24th. I shall go to meet her
there.

She will bring with her the Duchess, 1 two ladies-in-waiting,
two red serving -women, two black serving -women \deui,
femmes rouges, deux femmes noires\ the Prefect of the
Palace, two chamberlains, two equerries (one of whom will
start twenty-four hours in advance, and go to Metz, so as to
divide the journey), four pages (who will be distributed
along the road, so as to spare the boys' strength), her private
secretary, if he is well enough, and her doctor. Besides
these, she will bring kitchen people, so that her table may
be properly served, for I shall bring nothing with me, and
the German kings and princes may come to see her. It
will not, however, be necessary to bring the silver gilt
service.

Comte Caffarelli will travel with the Empress, to look
after her escorts.

The Empress will spend the first night in the house of
the Prefect of Chalons, the next, in the house of the Prefect
at Metz, and the third, at Mayence. Notice of her journey
will be given in these three towns, so that all proper
honours may be paid her.

The first part of her travelling cortege will consist of four
carriages, and the second and third, of four each, twelve
carriages in all. The escorts wi-11 be furnished, as far as
possible, by the military authorities along the road. The
gendarmes on the route will also be under arms, and in full
dress. Full regulation ceremony will be observed. The
General commanding each Division will accompany her
through his Division.

On the day of her departure you will have the following
notice inserted in the Moniteur : ' Her Majesty the Empress-
Queen and Regent has proceeded to Mayence, to spend a

1 The Duchess of Montebello, lady-in-waiting.

21



304 NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I

week there, in the hope of seeing His Majesty the Emperor.
Her Majesty will spend to night [the 22nd] at Chalons,
to-morrow night [the 23rd] at Metz, and will be at Mayence
on the 24th. Her Majesty will return early in August.'

You will let me know the day of the Empress's departure,
and the day and hour of her arrival at Mayence, by telegraph.
I will arrange my own departure accordingly. If the Ministers
had anything pressing to say to me, which made them desire
a personal conference, they might take advantage of my
stay at Mayence, where I expect to be from the 23rd to the
ist August; and come there to meet me.



CCCCLXVI

TO MARSHAL DAVOUT, PRINCE D'ECKMUHL, COMMAND-
ING THE I3TH CORPS OF THE GRANDE ARM&E.

DRESDEN, ibthjuly 1813.

I HAVE authorised you, by my letter of this day, 1 to
arrange the war-tax with the Hamburg merchants, so as to
have ten millions paid down, and twenty millions in bills,
payable within ten months, between October 1813, and the
ist of August 1814. Each bill to be for one hundred
thousand francs, and to be considered, if we choose, as a note
payable by the Bank. Each bill to bear the date of pay-
ment. These two hundred bills should be delivered to the
Treasury before the end of August.

By this means, thirty millions will be paid off. Of the
eighteen millions remaining, fifteen may be paid in
necessaries for the army, and three millions, by requisitions
within the 32nd Division.

I approve your appointing a Commission to receive these
necessaries. I approve your including the value of the
houses in the fifteen millions payable in goods. I approve
of your accepting no manufactured articles. As Comte
Chaban points out, manufacture costs money, and the town
cannot be called upon to give more than the raw material,
as it is warehoused. I think this answers Comte Chaban's
memorandum. You will therefore make the necessary
changes in the requisitions for which I have given orders.

1 We do not give this letter, as all its details are more fully reproduced in
the one now before the reader.



NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 305

You will cut out (ist) all manufactured goods, and (2nd)
anything the town does not possess. Send me a fresh detail
of the requisition for the fifteen millions.

After corn, wine, rice, brandy, vinegar, salted meat, cows
and bullocks, cheese, salted fish, all of them necessary for
army and siege supply, either for the town of Hamburg,
or for Magdeburg there are the necessary articles for
clothing and equipping the men : cloth, kerseymere, linens,
boot and shoe leather, saddle and harness leather, felt for
shakos ; and besides, there are saddle and draught horses,
medicines of every kind, wood and iron for the artillery
and army waggons ; sail-clothj hemp, timber, masts, and
spars, for the navy. Of course you will not include anything
belonging either to Russians or Prussians. To all these objects
of immediate utility to the army, you will add the value of
those houses about to be pulled down, and those which are
to be used for naval and military purposes. You must be
careful, however, to leave out the houses of absentees, or of
men who are not in the country, and to remember the law
that the value of these houses is not to exceed three or
four millions. You may thus close this business of the war-
tax, by an agreement with Comte Chaban, and the merchants.
As for the draft of the Amnesty Decree, I have authorised
you to grant it. Have it made public.

I do not think it correct that you should serve on the
Commission with your subordinates ; but you will give
orders for its formation, according to the rules of Article II.
The Commission will submit its conclusions to you, and
you will decide. All the other Articles will do. You have
my authority to settle them. Get this business finished ;
the chief point is to lose no time about making up our
minds.

CCCCLXVII

TO THE PRINCE DE NEUFCHATEL, MAJOR-GENERAL OF
THE GRANDE ARMfiE.

DRESDEN, itykfuly 1813.

I BEG you will select four officers who have been wounded,
exceedingly clever men, who know German ; you will send
two to the waters of Toplitz, and two to those of Carlsbad.
They will receive extra pay. They will remain at these



306 NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I

places, to act as spies, and report everything that occurs.
They will be supposed to be taking the waters for their own
benefit.

CCCCLXVIII

TO PRINCE CAMBACRS, GRAND CHANCELLOR OF
THE EMPIRE.

DRESDEN, 2othjuly 1813.

I HAVE your letter. I let you know, from Wittenberg,
that it was my intention that the King should retire to
Morfontaine, and there remain, in strict incognito. I do not
intend you to see him. If he should ask for an interview,
you will reply I have forbidden it. I do not intend him to
see any of my Ministers. If he should ask to see them, the
same answer must be given. The President of the Senate,
the Ministers of the State, and the Presidents of Sections,
are not to see him. You will inform the King, in the most
positive manner, that my intention is that he shall not see
any one, until after my return.

He has just written me a letter, in which he makes
accusations against the Minister of War, and every one else.
The whole fault is his. The English report shows, clearly
enough, how incapably the army was led. There never was
anything like it, in the world, before. The King is not, of
course, a soldier, but he is responsible for his own im-
morality, and the greatest immorality that can be com-
mitted is, to exercise a profession of which you know
nothing. If there was one man lacking to that army, that
man was a General, and if there was one man too many in
its ranks, that man was the King. So I will have no jesting
on the subject. If you were to show weakness, and not
make my intentions clearly known, the King would receive
visitors ; he would become the centre of a network of
intrigues ; and that would drive me to the necessity of
arresting him, for my patience is worn out. I have found
fault with the letter written him by the Minister of War,
because the King would easily be taken in by it. He must
be made aware of my real feelings, and be convinced, that if
he does not fall in with them, the Minister of Police has
orders to arrest him. This is absolutely the only way
of restraining him.



NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 307

I am surprised, after what I wrote to you, that you should
have had any further doubt as to how you should behave to
the King. The whole arrangement is only to be provisional.
It is therefore very natural that he should remain in the
country, and rest himself, until I can bring him to account
for his bad conduct. I do not know what you have desired
Roederer to tell him, but, if you have not spoken frankly,
and shown him my letters, you will have missed your aim.
I hear Roederer is coming to me. I am very glad of it.
I shall be able to tell him all my mind, and that I do not
any longer intend to risk the success of my undertakings,
out of consideration for simpletons, who are neither soldiers,
nor politicians, nor administrators.



CCCCLXIX

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

DRESDEN, zvth July 1813.

I THINK I have informed you of my positive intention
that the King of Spain shall not go to Paris, nor even near
it. He is to stay at Morfontaine. If he were to come to
Paris, or to St. Cloud, you would take measures to have him
arrested, and he must not be left in ignorance of that. My
intention is, that no one belonging to my household, no
high dignitary, none of my Ministers, no President of any
Section of the Council of State, nor the President of the
Senate, shall see him ; and that, in fact, he is to remain in
the most complete incognito^ until I arrive. He may only
receive his wife, Madame, his own family, a few of his
intimate friends among the Spaniards, and Roederer, but
that without attracting any remark. As you will have seen
by the English newspapers, the misfortunes in Spain are all
the greater, because of their absurdity. That is England's
own opinion of them. But this is no disgrace to the army.
The army in Spain had a General too little, and a King too
much. When I look at it closely, I cannot help seeing that
the fault is mine. If, as it occurred to me to do, just as I
was leaving Paris, I had sent the Duke of Dalmatia back to
Valladolid, to take up the command, this would not have
happened. Of course you must not allow anything to be



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 25 of 34)