Emperor of the French Napoleon I.

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twaddle. You are in a conquered country, and you behave
as if you were in Burgundy ! I have no inventory, either of
the Artillery or of the fortified towns. I know neither their
number nor their situation. I do not even know if you are
holding them. You have not yet sent the Minister the list
of your halting-places from Bayonne to your first fortified
town, nor any report on the condition of the country.

Yet I had strong reasons for desiring this. Indeed, I am
inclined to believe my troops have not yet entered Almeida.
If anything were to happen you would find yourself block-
aded by the Portuguese. There is an extraordinary want
of foresight about the whole thing.



LXXXVI

TO GENERAL JUNOT, COMMANDING THE ARMY OF
OCCUPATION IN PORTUGAL.

PARIS, 2S//& January 1808.

I HAVE fixed the salary of the Administrator-General of
the Portuguese Finances at 100,000 francs, and I have
granted him 50,000 francs for preliminary expenses. I
have read his report. He proposes two things :

First, Not to divide the kingdom. That is my full
intention. I have already informed you, and I now repeat
it, that the administration is to be single and undivided



66 NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I

until circumstances permit of the publication of the Treaty,
and the partition of the country. You will therefore take
measures for the strict execution of this arrangement.

Second, He calculates the consolidated debt at 160,000,000
francs, and the unconsolidated debt at 80,000,000 francs. My
answer to that is, that not a halfpenny must be paid, without
however repudiating anything ; but, until the fate of Portugal
is decided, no attention must be given to this matter, any
more than was done in the case of Vienna and Berlin.
When the fate of the country is settled, we will see what is
to be done about the debt. If the interest on the 160,000,000
francs is at 5 per cent, you are making a saving of 8,000,000.
You have expenditure for the Portuguese army, on the
civil list. Send all those troops to France, and reduce
these expenses to a very small figure. Home expenses must
always be reduced in time of war. By stopping the ex-
penditure on the Public Debt, on the army, the navy, and
internal affairs, the payments must be reduced to something
very small, and you will have almost the whole of the
revenue to feed and support my army.

I have no news of you since 9th January. Article 9 of
my Milan Decree fixes the rate of the gratuities I allot
to my army. Nothing has been paid in Poland, for a long
time. It never was anything but a momentary payment,
and only to certain corps.

I have sent a Commissary-General of Police, according to
your wish.

I suppose you have not lost a moment in thoroughly
organising your artillery, and putting your transport and
your cavalry on the best possible footing.

I have not yet received the Engineer Officers' report on
Abrantes, Almeida, Santarem, and the other fortresses.

Make up your mind to be worried and disturbed in your con-
quest, this spring. You will be absolute ruler for these two
months. If you do not take advantage of them, you will
repent your negligence ; the mischief will be irremediable.
Disarm the country do it thoroughly ; occupy the for-
tresses, turn batteries of mortars upon the towns. Arm and
provision the fortresses, so that any one may be able to
defend them. Get rid of the prominent men ; punish the
smallest faults with severity. You will be free to do all
that during February and March. If you wait for a landing



NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 67

to be effected, it will cost you bloodshed to quiet things
down.

General Dupont is at Valladolid. I have no return of
your army. Send it me when the orderly-officer, Turenne,
returns. Acquaint me fully, at the same time, with the
condition of the country, of the fortified towns, of the
artillery, and send me a description of the roads. Have
the battalion of army service waggons horsed. Get them into
good condition, and send a portion to General Dupont.

If I wanted two divisions of 5000 men, with twelve guns
horsed, one to march on Badajos, the other on Alcantara, could
you furnish them, during the winter, without interfering with
the tranquillity of the country? If you could not furnish
two, could you furnish one, of 6600 men ? How many days
would they take to reach their destination ? How many
troops are there at Oporto ? and in the lower part of Spanish
[Galicia] ? l

If unexpected events arose in Spain, what would you fear
from the Spanish troops ? or could you easily rid yourself of
them ? You would, on that supposition, have the natives of
the country on your side.

Do not be weak and idiotic enough to allow your de-
partments, and your troops, to be short of money. Have
several hundred thousand biscuits, either in your rear, or at
your front. Double your artillery teams. There were Swiss,
and other foreigners, in the Portuguese service, who might be
useful to you in this matter. You might even employ some
of the native battalions.



LXXXVII

TO JEROME NAPOLEON, KING OF WESTPHALIA.

PARIS, l6th February 1808.

I WOULD have held my peace as to all your doings :
but my Ambassador at Vienna informs me you have sounded
the Ministry, as to whether you might not send the Abbe" de
Meerfeldt, brother of the Austrian Minister at St. Petersburg,
as your Minister to the former Court. You really have lost
your head. Such a piece of folly is unexampled. France,
and I myself, have no more bitter enemy than Meerfeldt,

1 This word is blank in the original*



68 NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I

and you take this step, at Vienna, at the very moment when
I am demanding his recall from St. Petersburg ! Your hint
has produced the greatest astonishment at Vienna. If you
should have appointed M. de Meerfeldt, I request you will
recall him on the spot. You might really consult me as to
your choice of diplomatic agents. What the devil do you
want with a Minister at Vienna? To spend money? I
have already written to you about M. de Hardenberg's
brother.

You have things notified at Vienna, too, by the Dutch
Minister. I must have your assurance as to this before I
can believe it. It really is too ridiculous.

LXXXVIII



TO M. FOUCHfi, MINISTER OF POLICE.

PARIS, i6th February 1808.

YOUR police work is not as active and energetic as it
should be. How comes it that Prince Esterhazy, Count
Potocki, and others, not belonging to the Austrian Legation,
that a M. Casimir, a Mdme Dufour, and other supposititious
servants of M. de Starhenberg's, land in France from English
packets ? You no longer follow up this matter as you ought.

I have informed my Minister of the Navy of my positive
intention, that every part of the Empire should be watched
by the police. There are to be no favoured spots.

By the same packet a great quantity of letters arrived, all
of which ought either to have been given over to the postal
authorities, or seized by the police.

LXXXIX

TO M. DE CHAMPAGNY, MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

PARIS, 17 'th February i8c8.

THE Argus is a newspaper which public opinion accepts
as official. It is cackling about expeditions to Africa. This
cannot do otherwise than make a bad impression at Con-
stantinople, and will drive all the Regencies to declare war
against us. This newspaper should either be done away
with, or steps should be taken to have it better managed.

In to-day's newspapers I see an article on M. cle Caulain-



NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 69

court's reception, which will do that Ambassador a great
deal of harm. The article is written with so little tact, that
it is easy to see it emanates from the Foreign Affairs Depart-
ment. There is one passage in particular about people
who are punctilious as to etiquette which will offend the
Russians intensely. The whole thing is stupidly done,

XC

TO GENERAL JUNOT, COMMANDING THE ARMY OF
OCCUPATION IN PORTUGAL.

PARIS, 2qth February 1808.

I HAVE your letter of I4th February. Tascher has not
arrived yet. He will doubtless come to-morrow, or the day
after. I conclude he will not make any delay. I note with
pleasure that you have disarmed the town of Lisbon, and the
country, and that you are hurrying on the despatch of the
Portuguese troops into France : but I am distressed to
observe that you have no other means of burning the town
and reducing it, in case of revolt, except that supplied by
your sea-going ships. This is but a poor and sorry resource.
You want a good citadel, which, however weak it may be,
should, when garrisoned by 400 or 500 men, be impregnable
to the populace. It should be provisioned and armed with
mortars. Nothing but the news that such a citadel has been
established, will give me the security and confidence I need.

There is no doubt that you must keep great state at
Lisbon. I have authorised the remittance of a sum of
50,000 francs a month, to be placed at your disposal, for
the expenses of your position, and for secret expenditure,
and another monthly sum of 50,000 francs to be spent on
extra pay, secret-service money, etc., for generals, com-
manding officers, and officers sent on special duty. This
will enable you to supply all your needs.

XCI
TO JEROME NAPOLEON, KING OF WESTPHALIA.

PARIS, ist March 1808.

I HAVE your letter of 23rd. I do not write to you, because
I can have nothing to say to you, you, who in the second



70 NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I

month of your reign, apply to a Dutchman to give hints for
you at Vienna. Is this spite or ingratitude? Is it frivolity,
thoughtlessness? All I know is, that in such circumstances
I have no tongue to speak with !



xcn

TO JEROME NAPOLEON, KING OF WESTPHALIA.

PARIS, 6th March 1808.

I HAVE read the letter you are writing to Beugnot I
thought I had told you you might keep Beugnot and Simeon
as long as you needed them ; but the idea of making
them swear allegiance is ridiculous. None but thoughtless
Frenchmen, who had not concerned themselves about the
result of such a step, can have taken the oath, and I pardon
them, for I believe their heart was not in it. If the oath is
one of fidelity to your person, that is included in the
allegiance every Frenchman has sworn to me. If it is
the oath of a Westphalian subject, you ask a thing which the
meanest drummer in my army would not do. Besides, the
Senators and Councillors of State who are employed at
Naples have taken no oath. The Frenchmen employed in
the King's household have sworn allegiance to him as a
French Prince. And even if these reasons did not suffice, it
is not when you are surrounded by foes and strangers, that
you should insist that men, who may be useful to you, shall
renounce their own country, and make themselves criminals.
I have met few men with so little circumspection as you.
You are perfectly ignorant, and you follow nothing but your
own fancy. Reason decides nothing in your case, everything
is ruled by impetuosity and passion. I do not desire to
have any correspondence with you, beyond what is indis-
pensable as regards Foreign Courts, because they make you
dance steps, and expose your want of harmony before the
eyes of Europe ; which I am not inclined to permit you to
do. As for your household and financial affairs, I have already
told you, and now tell you again, that nothing you do
accords with my opinion and experience, and that your
mode of action will bring you little success. But you would
oblige me by using less pomp and ostentation with respect
to steps, the consequences of which you do not appreciate.



NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 71

Nothing could be more ridiculous than the audience you
gave the Jews. Nothing can be more mischievous than
your attempt to ape the French Moniteur. I have under-
taken to reform the Jews, but I have not endeavoured to
draw more of them into my realm. Far from that, I have
avoided doing anything which could show any esteem for
the most despicable of mankind.

(Postscript in the Emperor's own hand.) I love you, my
dear fellow, but you are terribly young ! Keep Simeon and
Beugnot, without any oath, for another year at least. All
in good time !

XCIII

TO GENERAL JUNOT, COMMANDING THE ARMY OF
OCCUPATION IN PORTUGAL.

PARIS, ith March 1808.

( The following paragraph was suppressed when this letter was published
in the Correspondence, No. 13,627.)

ONE of your divisions must hold (Spanish) Galicia in check.
You will not fail to hint in the course of conversation (but
without divulging anything), that my disagreement with
Spain is caused by my not choosing to divide Portugal, one
half of which Spain would like to give to the Prince of Peace,
and the other to the Queen of Etruria.

If these reports so impress the Portuguese that you think
you might make use of them, you could employ half at Elvas,
and the other half at Almeida, to keep the Spanish part of
Galicia in order. Your communication being cut, you must
act according to circumstances, and whatever news you may
receive.

XCIV

TO PRINCE MURAT, GRAND-DUG DE BERG, THE
EMPEROR'S LIEUTENANT IN SPAIN.

PARIS, loth March 1808.

I HAVE your letter of the 7th, with General Duhesme's
despatch. General Duhesme has nothing to fear, as he is
master of the Citadel of Barcelona. You did wrong to order
him to seize Figuera. You desire him to concentrate his



72 NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I

troops, and then you tell him to take Figuera. These two
orders are contradictory. I intend him to stay in Barcelona,
with all his division massed. He must have a Paymaster,
War Commissaries, and his eighteen pieces of artillery.
Besides, he has his Italian War Commissaries, and one can
get on very well without a Paymaster. Thus he is very
well provided. As for Inspecting Officers for his reviews,
what the devil does he want with them, on active service ?
He must do that duty for himself.

There is no discontent whatsoever at Barcelona. General
Duhesme is a gossip. Some Neapolitans have been stabbed
with stilettos ; that is the local habit. On the whole, the
people are well disposed, and when we have the Citadel we
have everything. I have given orders to the Minister,
Mollien, to send a Paymaster, with funds, to that Division ; he
should have arrived by now. If Generals Dupont and Moncey
had sent in their returns, they would have been given the
officers they are short of, but as they have sent nothing for
the last three months, they are supposed, for that reason,
to be on a satisfactory footing.

You must have received my orders. This letter will find
you just beginning your forward movement, on the I5th.



XCV
TO M. FOUCH, MINISTER OF POLICE.

if

PARIS, loth March 1808.

MAKE known my displeasure to the editor of the Journal
des DebatS) who prints nothing but nonsense in his paper.
He must indeed be a simpleton to say, in an article from
Hamburg, that the King of Sweden could, with the help of
England, raise an army of 100,000 men. Let him write an
article making game of these 100,000 men, for to-morrow's
issue. The King of Sweden could not raise more than 15,000
men ; and the English will not send him any, except a few
regiments of deserters. It is ridiculous, therefore, to draw
attention to such a struggle. Sweden will lose Finland,
that is the clearest point about it. Truly our newspapers
are all very silly, and their folly has evil consequences,
because it gives a certain moral importance to Princes who
are nothing at all.



NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 73

XCVI
TO JOSEPH NAPOLEON, KING OF NAPLES.

ST. CLOUD, nth March 1808.

LUCIEN is misconducting himself at Rome, even going so
far as to insult the Roman officers who take my side, and is
more Roman than the Pope himself. I desire you will write
to him to leave Rome, and retire to Florence or Pisa. I do
not choose him to remain at Rome, and if he refuses to take
this course, I only await your answer to have him removed
by force. His conduct has been scandalous; he is my open
enemy, and that of France. If he persists in these opinions,
America will be the only refuge left him. I thought he had
some sense, but I see he is only a fool. How could he
remain in Rome after the arrival of the French troops ? Was
it not his duty to retire into the country ? And not only this,
but he sets himself up in opposition to me. There is no
name for his conduct. I will not permit a Frenchman, and
one of my own brothers, to be the first to conspire, and act
against me, with a rabble of priests.

XCVII
TO JOSEPH NAPOLEON, KING OF NAPLES.

PARIS, I2th March 1808.

REAR-ADMIRAL COSMAO'S conduct is preposterous. All I
can do is to deplore my sailors' folly. Admiral Ganteaume's
instructions to him were to raise the blockade of Corfu :
he has been master of the Mediterranean for a fortnight,
and he comes and shuts himself up in Tarento. Admiral Gan-
teaume, when he gave him orders to go to Tarento, only did
so in case he should find his strength inferior to the enemy's ;
but finding himself superior in strength, as the Rear-Admiral
did, the first rules of common-sense should have led him to
proceed to Corfu.

I do not approve of your keeping my ships at Baiae, or at
Naples. Once the expedition is over, they must return to
my ports.

The advice you gave Cosmao was not sufficiently clear: you
should have ordered him to start an hour after his arrival



74 NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I

(all the more so because at Corfu he is safe from all
hostile forces) ; to take all the Brindisi and Otranto convoys
under his escort, and to raise the blockade of Corfu ; and if
the Admiral sent him no other orders, to make a cruise, and
then return to Toulon. The long-windedness and indecision
of your letter distressed me. Only six lines were necessary,
and you would have been obeyed. You talk at random
with a set of poor wretches who are dying of uncertainty
and fear. I am sorry you did not consult Saliceti. He would
not have given you such advice.

It is indeed a misfortune that when all the luck was with
him, the stupidity of a naval officer should prevent his
seizing the chance fate offered him. I verily believe that if
a galleon, laden with 30,000,000 of piastres, was to take up
its position in the centre of all the squadrons, they would not
have the sense to seize it.

I conclude that Ganteaume has been at Corfu, since the
24th February. I cannot understand why he has delayed
so long. Certainly there would have been an extra chance
of their meeting, if you had ordered Cosmao to go straight
to Corfu.



XCVIII
TO JOSEPH NAPOLEON, KING OF NAPLES.

PARIS, I6//& March 1808.

I HAVE your letter of the 7th. Rear-Admiral Cosmao's
answer is inconceivable ; a man may be a fool, but, to be
such a fool as that, is too much! Ganteaume's instructions
were that his principal object was to be to raise the blockade
of Corfu ; that no one ship was to touch there independently,
and that if the enemy was in superior force, he was to take
shelter at Tarento. How comes it that Cosmao, who was
stronger than the enemy, did not enter Corfu? It is un-
heard of. Your first letter to Cosmao was worth nothing,
your second is no better. My fine store-ships will be taken.
You should have held a council. There was no objection to
Cosmao's going into Corfu ; four ships together had nothing
to fear.

I do not know what has become of Ganteaume. This is
an expedition that has failed through the greatest folly in



NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 75

the world ! That Cosmao is a wretched fellow. Does he
really not know that the number of ships at Corfu is well
known at Otranto? Those men do not understand the
French language. Ganteaume's instructions might have been
better drawn, but they were sufficient for ordinary common
sense, and, of course, it is impossible to foresee every circum-
stance. I trust Ganteaume will be at Corfu.

xcix

TO MARSHAL BERTHIER, PRINCE DE NEUFCH^TEL,
MAJOR-GENERAL OF THE GRANDE ARMfiE.

ST. CLOUD, ztfh March 1808.

WRITE to Marshal Soult, that he is no longer to say 'King
of Sweden,' but is to use the generic expression ' Head of
the Swedish Government'; that he is to say everywhere,
that since his violation of the Constitution of 1778, we no
longer recognise the King of Sweden ; that we shall not
recognise him until that Constitution is restored ; that,
besides, he is not to accept any letter which does not describe
him as * Marshal Soult, Commanding the Imperial French
Army ' ; and that, as a general rule, he must avoid parleying
of every kind. The supposition is, that no communication,
political or commercial, is held with Sweden. Nevertheless,
no opportunity should be neglected for scattering pamphlets
along the coasts, to disturb the people, and cast discredit on
the King.



TO M. DE LAVALLETTE, DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF
THE POSTAL SERVICE.

ST. CLOUD, 2gtk March 1808.

IT is necessary that all letters belonging to Foreign
Ministers, resident in Madrid, should be stopped in the Post.
They must be kept back for a fortnight, after which delay
they may be allowed to pass.

It is very essential, under present circumstances, that the
despatches of Mons. Henry, the Prussian Charg d'Affaires
at Madrid, should be deciphered.

It is also necessary that all letters coming from Spain,



76 NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I

and addressed to the Spanish Division, commanded by the
Prince of Ponte-Corvo, 1 should be kept back. Take steps
about this, and let me know what you have done. All these
letters must be delayed about twenty days ; they must
be carefully examined, and all those of an evil tendency
suppressed.

CI

TO M. DE CHAMPAGNY, MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

ST. CLOUD, ist April 1808.

You will write to my Minister in Denmark that his
language is not correct ; that there is no change in the
Emperor's arrangements ; that the Expedition has never
been anything more than a plan ; and that it is absurd for
him to want to direct military matters ; that it was his
business to let me know, by official despatches, what Mons.
de Bernstorf was saying, and by reports, what the public was
saying, or what prominent persons had told himself (pro-
vided he gave the names) ; that I do not perceive that
either Mons. de Bernstorf or the Court have complained ;
that the troops, instead of relaxing their march, have
pressed forward, and that if we have arrived at a later date,
it is because the Court of Denmark made up its mind too
late.

I desire you will see Mons. Lacepede, and desire him to
send the Grand Cordon of the Legion of Honour to the
King of Denmark. You will at the same time send a
short letter for my signature, to serve as an answer to the
notification he has made me by his letter, which I shall con-
sider as official. You will also see the Grand Master
of the Ceremonies, and give him my orders about the
Court mourning.

CII

TO PRINCE MURAT, GRAND-DUG DE BERG, THE
EMPEROR'S LIEUTENANT IN SPAIN.

BAYONNE, ifth April 1808.

SAVARY is starting at this moment ; he is going to the
Prince of the Asturias, and brings him the letter of which I

1 In the Baltic Provinces.



NEW LETTERS OF NAPOLEON I 77

enclose a copy. I have desired him to write you everything
that happens, from Vittoria. If the Prince of the Asturias
comes to Bayonne, you will have time to receive orders as
to what you are to do. If the Prince of the Asturias returns
to Burgos, I have given the necessary orders to Bessieres.
If he returns to Madrid, you will send to meet him, and you
will have him arrested, and, if necessary, you will publish
the letter I send you, and King Charles's protest, and you
will force O'Farill and the rest, and the Infant Don Antonio,
to swear allegiance to King Charles. You will cause the
Grand Inquisitor to publish a Proclamation, to the effect
that as King Charles made a protest against his abdication,
he is King. Take vigorous action.

The Governors, the Commissaries, the Bishops, will have
to account for any disorder that may arise in the communes
and villages. You must declare that I recognise King
Charles IV. ; that I guarantee the integrity of the two
Spains ; that the Prince of Peace is banished ; and that I
undertake to help King Charles with my advice, and the
forces of my Empire, to establish good order in his king-
dom ; that the fate of Spain is in the hands of the Spaniards.
You will have pamphlets and newspaper articles written, to
lead the public mind in this direction. If the Prince of
the Asturias remains at Vittoria, with Savary, he will inform
you of what occurs. If communication is open, and nothing
presses, you will await my orders. If the Prince of the
Asturias should come to Bayonne, and communication were
interrupted by brigandage, and the matter became urgent,



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 7 of 34)