Emperor of the French Napoleon I.

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

. (page 8 of 34)
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 8 of 34)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

you must have my letter, and the protest, printed. You will
declare that you recognise Charles IV., and the protest will
be sent to all the Ministers, by my Charge^ d'Affaires. But I
hope that will not happen ; I hope the Prince of the Asturias
will come to Bayonne, and that I shall be able to direct
everything, which I greatly desire, because of the extreme
delicacy of the circumstances, which call for so thorough a
knowledge of my position.

I learn, by your letter of the I2th, that King Charles IV.
left the Escurial on the I4th; he will therefore be at Burgos
to-day or to-morrow. I shall be very glad to see him here.

If it should come to a rupture, you would make known,
through the newspapers, that the French army had come to
Spain for the purposes of an African expedition, which I


was to have directed myself, from Madrid ; that the Prince
of Peace, thinking I desired to advise his King, and perhaps
advise him against himself, had taken flight ; and that this
had been the cause of everything that had happened.



BAYONNE, 2ist April 1808.

THE Publiciste, and the Journal des Dtbats, take pains to
print all the most atrocious and vilest, and even the most
silly calumnies, against the Prince of Peace. The Prince's
enemies have all these printed in Spain, as extracts from
French newspapers. Have a quantity of articles written,
which, though showing no great consideration for that
Minister, will point out the meanness of these accusations.

The facts are, that not a halfpenny has yet been discovered
of his immense fortune ; that he had no correspondence
whatsoever with the English, that the fleet he was said to
have sent them, had really been despatched to Toulon, and
that, though he may have governed the two Spains badly,
it is fair to say they are still intact, while most of the
European States have diminished in size, and suffered losses.
I say this less out of political interest, than because I think
it a horrible thing to inveigh against people in misfortune.
I desire the newspapers shall not be allowed to be used
as the instruments of these low calumnies. The Journal des
Drtats makes itself particularly remarkable by its perpetual
insertion of absurdities.

If the man Pillichadi, mentioned in your report of the I4th,
comes to Paris, have him arrested, and keep him in prison.
The case of the Neufchatel bookseller should teach you what
Swiss spies are. You must not be taken in by them a second



BAYONNE, 25^ April 1808.

THE Journal de r Empire still goes on badly. What
business has it to insert Mr. Canning's speech in the Copen-
hagen intelligence ? Had the editor that speech before him ?


Ought he to have inserted it without knowing that it suited
me? That young man is either an ill-disposed person, or
a fool ; tell him so from me. If he does not change his
ways, I shall change the editor. I conclude him to be a
fool who allows himself to be swayed by the Clique.

The difference between the Journal de Paris, and the
Journal de I* Empire, clearly appears in the manner in which
the Copenhagen news is edited in each. The Journal de
Paris avoids saying anything objectionable. Make that
clear, and send me Mr. Canning's speech.

Mons. Etienne is the cause of the present agitation in
France, about Roman affairs, Pray have all the old editors,
who are so hot against the present Administration, turned

I had also forbidden the newspapers to refer to priests,
sermons, or religion. Does not the Journal des Debats give
extracts from sermons, homilies, and other things of that
kind? Will the police be good enough to do my will at
last? Is it not absurd, and contrary to the nature of sacred
subjects, to see them called into question in newspapers full
of falsehoods, and idle matters ?

Cause the newspaper articles which assert that 400 millions
were found in the possession of the Prince of Peace, to
be turned into ridicule. Let it be known that not a half-
penny was found ; that if the Government found all that
money, we wish it joy ; that, in that case, it will be able to
give its troops their pay. The real truth is, that the Prince
of Peace has nothing, either in England, in Italy, in France,
or at Genoa ; and that not a million's worth of diamonds
and current cash was found in his house.



BAYONNE, z6th' April 1808.

I HAVE just seen the Prince of Peace, with whom I con-
versed for an hour. It will be necessary for you to send
him his children, the other members of his family, and his
personal effects, to Bayonne. I have received him kindly,
because he is unfortunate, and has been abominably treated.


I wrote to you to-night.

It is time for you to show fitting energy. I imagine you
will not spare the Madrid mob, if it stirs, and that you will
have it disarmed immediately afterwards. I authorise you,
if necessary, to have the Body-Guard arrested and disarmed ;
in any case, it will be necessary for you, if a rising should
occur, to have ten of the chief culprits arrested and shot.

I have just (at midnight) received your letter of the 23rd.
You have commuted the sentence of a soldier condemned
to death, to that of five years in chains. You have no right
to do this. Do not permit yourself such liberties in future.
You may venture on such action amongst the troops of
Berg, but not amongst French troops. Keep the soldier in
prison until the Privy Council makes known its opinion. I
have forwarded his appeal to the Chief Judge.

I have informed you, in my letter of yesterday, that you
are to cause King Charles's protest to the Regency, and the
decision adopted by the latter, to be printed in the Gazette
de Madrid. Your reason for not finding printers is absurd.
I told you to take the government into your hands. When
a man is at the head of 50,000 men, he does not write as you
wrote to the Infant Don Antonio, and he does not resort to
intrigue. King Charles having made a protest, I do not
recognise King Ferdinand. King Charles is the only King
of Spain. Take care that nothing is done or printed, to
disturb the public peace, and make use of the newspapers to
give the proper impulse to public opinion.

Your Order of the Day to the soldiers about the Burgos
affair is a wretched thing. Good God ! where should we be
if I was to write four pages to the soldiers, to tell them not
to allow themselves to be disarmed, and to quote the fact
that a guard of fifteen men fired on the mob, as a trait of
heroism ? Frenchmen are too clever not to laugh at such
proclamations. You never learnt that in my school ! What
are you to do in critical moments, if you lavish proclama-
tions in this way ? Three words were all that was necessary.
' The Madrid mob has risen ; there is an insurrection ; the
first soldier who allows himself to be disarmed, or the
first sentry who is forced, will be declared unworthy to
belong to the army.' And I doubt whether even this would
have been necessary. You have committed an offence
against discipline, by not having reduced the officer who


gave over those two soldiers to the mob. I intended to
degrade him before the whole army, when I arrived at
Madrid, and you have done very wrong to forgive him.
Your proclamation has made me blush. If it was drawn up
by Belliard, you will let him know my displeasure. To
bring order into the city of Madrid, 3000 men, and 10
pieces of artillery, are needed. Three orders of the day like
yours would demoralise an army.



BAYONNE, 26th April 1808, 10 P.M.

THERE was a disturbance on the 22nd at Santander, which
threatened the French. Send an officer there, and warn the
inhabitants that if the meanest Frenchman is touched, they
will pay for it dearly ; that I know all about it ; and that I
have desired you to warn them of the risk they are running,
if they allow themselves to be swayed by the partisans of
England ; and that it would be distressing if honest folk had
to suffer for the good-for-nothing people whom they had not
restrained. I intend, in fact, if I hear of the slightest dis-
turbance, to send a Brigade with cannon, and burn the town
to the ground.

The Archbishop must send me a priest, and the Captain-
General an officer, that they may learn, from my own lips,
the indignation I feel against their town, and that, on the
smallest insurrection taking place, it would cease to exist.



BAYONNE, 28th April 1808, 5 P.M.

I SEND you a thousand copies of the Journal de Bayonne ;
you can circulate them quite naturally, and without attract-
ing attention. It would be well for the Junta to publish a


proclamation on the subject, making known the fact that
King Charles has protested, and that, before leaving the
Escurial, he renewed his protest to the Regency ; that King
Charles must have reached Bayonne ; that the two Sovereigns
have left the decision of this great quarrel entirely in the
hands of the Emperor; that it is the interest of the two
Spains to be at one with France ; that His Majesty the
Emperor has already authorised the Junta to announce, that
the integrity and independence of Spain will be guaranteed,
as well as the preservation of all privileges ; that if the
Spaniards think any changes in their Constitution necessary,
these will only be made as they wish, and according to their
judgment and opinion. If the Junta refuses to make this
proclamation, make it yourself, in French and in Spanish.

I send a hundred copies of the same newspaper to Bessieres,
and desire him to have a proclamation in the same sense
made, by the Captain-General of Old Castile.

Send an officer to Generals Solano and Caraffa, 1 to give
them notice of the Junta's proclamation, or your own, and to
adv.se them to have confidence in the Emperor, and to do
all they can to help on the settlement of good order and
tranquillity in Spain.

I have your letter of the 23rd. I note with pleasure what
you iay in it.

I expect King Charles to-morrow, or the day after. I have
no news of his arrival at Burgos, Bessieres not having written
to me.

You will not fail to induce the Archbishops of Madrid and
Toledo to publish charges, exhorting the people to have con-
fidence in me ; and you will give the leaders of the clergy
and nobility to understand, that the preservation of their
privileges depends on how they behave to me. Write also to
the heads of the Religious Orders, which must exist in
Madrid ; and finally, have newspaper articles written in the
same sense, so that the public may be thoroughly aware that
King Charles has protested ; that this is a quarrel between
father and son ; that the issue of events must be awaited with
confidence ; and that I shall arbitrate, and decide everything
as to the transfer of the Crown.

1 Who commanded the Spanish Divisions in Galicia and Estramadura.




BAYONNE, 29/7* April 1808, 10 A.M.

YOUR letter of 25th April reached me at midnight. King
Charles should have arrived at Burgos on the 27th. I do
not know* whether he will have spent the 28th there, or have
come on to Vittoria.

I do not approve of your scattering your troops. I am
informed that you have sent a regiment from the Escurial, to
a village ; you may detach a regiment for the purpose o
making an example, but it must return instantly. If you
send a regiment, or a battalion, to every rising that occurs, I
shall have no army left. If you accustom the villages to
having garrisons, they will revolt the moment you withdraw
them. You are to send flying columns, which will not be
absent more than a week, and will return the moment their
mission is accomplished.

Write to General Dupont to treat the family of Canon
Escoi'quiz, at Toledo, with consideration.

You are to inform the Junta that it is to stop sending
couriers to Mons. de Cevallos, 1 and that in future it is only
to correspond with Charles IV. ; that I have given orders
that the couriers from Bayonne shall be sent to the Court
of Charles IV,, as I no longer recognise the Prince of the
Asturias as anything but Prince of the Asturias, conformably
with the notification I have this day caused to be made. If
the nation were to be induced, by its fear of Charles IV., or of
the Queen, to press you forward, you must let it have its way.
We are drawing near the denouement. Take the manage-
ment of the Gazette into your own hands, by fair means or
foul, and let it appear every day. ' Make the grandees, and
other influential persons of the country, thoroughly under-
stand that the fate of Spain depends on their behaviour ;
that if Spain is disturbed, and the safety of my troops com-
promised, the country will be dismembered. State positively
that I no longer recognise the Prince of the Asturias.

1 Whom Ferdinand had appointed Minister of State.




BAYONNE, 30^ April 1808, 3 P.M.

KING CHARLES has arrived at I run; I expect him here
within two hours. Berthier has gone as far as the frontier
to meet him. The Prince of Peace is here, and is beginning
to recover.

You have seen, by the Note sent you by Champagny, that
I no longer recognise Cevallos, nor any agent of Ferdinand.
I have stopped a packet sent them from Madrid, which
gives the same account of the state of public opinion
there, as you do. I have stopped another which they were
sending to Bayonne. It contained a letter from the Prince
of the Asturias to the Infant Don Antonio, which will prove
to you what a fool and a hypocrite the man is, for the Em-
press has been enthusiastically received here. You need not
show any consideration. I have written you to take com-
mand of the troops. Send to Caraffa and Solano, to let them
know that this must be so ; you can have Champagny's Note
sent to them. Send off the Queen of Etruria, send off the
children ; they cannot stay at Madrid any longer. Let them
start day or night. You will tell Don Antonio that there is
an order from Charles IV. for him to come at once. There
is no urgency about sending for the Spaniards. All those
who are here are worthless. It is necessary that I should
get all this business settled within the next two days.

My Charge d'Affaires is to stay at Madrid. He will give
an account of himself to Mons. Laforest, who will have the
rank of Minister, without, however, holding any communica-
tion with the authorities, except through my Charge d'Affaires.

I think I have told you this already. Dissolve the Junta,
and let it cease to govern, if it obeys King Ferdinand. Tell
them that to despatch the smallest packet, or report, will be
a crime. Above all, let Don Antonio and the rest of the
family depart.

The moment I have seen the King, I will write to you. I
suppose you to be in possession of the Gazette de Madrid,
and that you have articles inserted every day.

I think it would be a good thing to disarm and dismount
the Body-Guard. King Charles treated those who were at


Vittoria very severely. They had taken possession of his
palace, and he turned them out of it, in a very vigorous

Send an officer to General Junot to inform him of what
is happening, so that he may concur, by every means in
his power, in holding back the Galician troops, and those of
Solano, if they should attempt a movement on Madrid.

(Postscript in Napoleon's oivn hand.) 7 P.M. I have just
seen the King and Queen, who are very glad to be here.
The King received his children very coldly. All the
Spaniards, even the Infantado, etc., kissed his hand, but the
old King seems very much incensed against them.



BAYONNE, %th May 1808.

I AM displeased with the behaviour of the pupils of the
School of Artillery at Metz, and with the weakness of the
Commandant. These young men make scenes in the theatre,
which shock all respectable people. You will have it put in
orders, in my name, that they are to remain under arrest for
a month, without going beyond barracks, and that they are
to be forbidden to go to the theatre for a year. Any seen
there, will be punished for disobedience to a published order.
Express my displeasure to the Colonel, and to the Com-
mandant ; they betray the most extreme weakness. The
pupils, as soldiers, are under the orders of the Commandant,
when they are out of school.

Let me hear no more of this business. I will not allow a
handful of urchins to disturb a whole town. If such excesses
were tolerated, the result would be-that they would be nursed
in insubordination. Have a list of the six most mutinous
sent you, and have them put in the prison of the School, for
two months.

In future, the Colonel will be responsible for any insub-
ordination occurring in the School. You will write to the
police at Metz, so that any pupils who go to the theatre,
whether in disguise or not, during the next year, may be




BAYONNE, gth May 1808.

THE Prince of the Asturias, his uncle, the Infant Don
Antonio, and his brother, the Infant Don Carlos, leave this
on Wednesday, spend Friday and Saturday at Bordeaux,
and will be at Valencay on Tuesday.

Be there yourself on Monday evening. My Chamberlain,
Tournon, is posting there, to make all preparations for
their reception. See they have table and bed linen, and
cooking utensils ; they will have eight or ten persons in
waiting; and as many, or twice as many, servants. I am
ordering the General acting as Chief Inspector of the Gen-
darmerie, at Paris, to go there, and organise the Gendarmerie
Service. I desire these Princes may be received without
external show, but politely, and respectfully, and that you
should do all in your power to amuse them. It will not be
a bad thing, if you have a theatre at Valencay, to bring a
few actors down. You might bring down Madame Talley-
rand, and four or five other women. If the Prince of the
Asturias were to become attached to some pretty woman,
whom we were sure of, it would be no disadvantage, for it
would give us another means of watching him. It is most
important to me that the Prince of the Asturias should not
make any false step. I therefore wish him to be amused, and
occupied. In strict policy, he should have been sent to
Bitche or to some fortress, but as he has thrown himself into
my arms, and has promised me he will do nothing without
my orders, and as everything in Spain is going on as I wish,
I have decided to send him to a country place, and there
surround him with amusements, and keep him under super-
vision. You will keep this up through May, and a part of
June. By that time Spanish affairs will have taken shape,
and I shall know what course to pursue.

As far as you are concerned, the mission is fairly creditable.
To entertain three illustrious personages, for purposes of
amusement, is quite in accordance with the national character,,
and with your rank. The week or ten days you will spend
with them, will make you thoroughly acquainted with what
they think, and will help me to decide what I am to do.


The Gendarmerie companies will be reinforced, so that
you may have forty gendarmes, who will make certain of his
not being carried off, and prevent his flight. You will talk
to Fouche, who will send agents into the neighbourhood,
and among the servants. For it would be a great misfortune,
if, somehow or other, this Prince were to make a false step.

There must be a guard at the castle. I think this might
be furnished by the Departmental Company.

I have undertaken, by the treaty I have made with King
Charles, to allow these Princes 400,000 francs a year. They
have more than that from their Commanderies ; they will
thus have 3,000,000 between the three of them.

If you think, that to do them honour, and for every other
reason, you need a company of Grenadiers or Cavalry of my
Guard, you will speak about it to General Walther, and you
will send them down with post-horses. Herewith is an
order for General Walther.


BAYONNE, 2ist May 1808.

A HEAP of nonsense about Spanish affairs is being circu-
lated in Paris. This is caused by a mischievous article
about Toledo, which has been hawked about in all the
papers. As a matter of fact, no blood was shed at Toledo,
nor even at Burgos. The only place where blood flowed
was Madrid ; there were not twenty-five Frenchmen killed,
and not more than fifty wounded. The Spaniards who
were killed, were all sedition-mongers, or rioters of the
lower class ; not one peaceable man perished, and the
Spanish loss is not so considerable as it was first thought to
be. You must take care that the newspapers do not speak
of Roman and Spanish affairs, except on the lines given by
the Moniteur.

On the 2nd of April, I united the four Legations of
Ancona with the Kingdom of Italy. I have sent the Decree
of the Senate, as to the union of Tuscany with France,
to a Privy Council. This measure is indispensable, on
account of the Gulf of Spezzia, where I intend to have a
great naval establishment. It is necessary that the news-


papers should not mention this, until the Moniteur has
referred to it.

All this idle talk about the divorce does terrible mischief,
and is as indecent as it is harmful ; the police can stop it in
a thousand ways. I do not know why none of these are
resorted to, but it is very necessary to put an end to it. All
well-conditioned men in France are grieved by it ; it dis-
tresses me exceedingly, and the Russian Court, which cannot
understand this gossip, quite as much.



BAYONNE, zyd May 1808, IOA.M.

IT would appear, by a letter from Laforest to Champagny,
that the Council of Castile has refused to have anything to
do with the business, or to ask that the King of Naples may
be made King. This behaviour is neither good nor hand-
some ; try and discover its motive.

In Spain's present position she needs money. What are
the plate, diamonds, and other Crown valuables worth ? They
should certainly be worth 40,000,000. There will be no
difficulty in pawning them for that sum.

When the Minister of Finance arrives, I have no doubt I
shall find resources in the country itself, but we must get on
for another month, without that. Meanwhile, money must
be found, both for the necessities of the sea ports, and to
facilitate administration. Pawn the Crown diamonds ; and
as the sum will be too considerable to be procured in the
country borrow 60,000,000 of reals, and pawn diamonds
and jewels to that amount. This is quite a natural pro-
ceeding ; they will be redeemed later. I am persuaded
money can be had in Spain, but, to get it, we must know
how things are situated ; I await the arrival of the Minister
of Finance for that.

Postscript. I have no money. If I had, I should not
hesitate to lend it, but the Bank of France, when authorised
by me, will make no difficulty about lending 20,000,000 of
francs or 80,000,000 of reals, receiving part of the Crown
diamonds in pledge for the amount.


The Crown has a great number of sheep, which might be
turned into money. In present circumstances it will be
quite correct that all stocks, interest in the Sinking Fund, or
on charitable funds, should wait, and that everything should
be given to the War and Naval Departments.


BAYONNE, 26th May 1808.

I HAVE read in your Report, - in the paragraph headed
Antwerp, the answer given by the smuggler Vieusseux. 1 It
could hardly have been more impudent. Talk it over a little
with the Chief Judge, and with Treilhard, and see if there is
no means of getting those rascals hanged. In any case, an
answer to these arguments should be inserted in the news-

Have these smugglers rigorously prosecuted, and have the
seals put on their goods, furniture, and effects. Write to my
Minister in Holland, and to the Dutch Minister here, to have

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 8 of 34)