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friend on the head. We must forestall such favours. "

The event proved my sagacity. The same day Junot
related to the First Consul all that had passed between
his sister and me, taking care, as may be supposed, not to
throw in too strong a colouring. As for the picture
itself, with all its subordinate attributes, the First Consul
knew his sister too well to suppose the relative situation
of the parties exaggerated. Three days afterwards he said
to Junot with a smile : " You are bent, then, on going to
Saint Domingo ? " Junot replied only by a bow and a
corresponding smile. " I am sorry, but you cannot go at
present. I want you here, as I have given General
Leclerc to understand, who wanted to persuade me that
you would be more useful to me at the Cape than in
Paris. " Junot assured me that it was amusing to
observe the countenance of the First Consul as he spoke
this ; it exhibited a rapid succession of novel impressions,
recalling images of the past.

Yet the whole affair passed over Madame Leclerc 's
mind without penetrating beyond its surface, for she pos-



MADAME LECLERC'S REQUIREMENTS. 157

sessed no solidity, and all her conceptions were as uncer-
tain and fugitive as her head was incapable of methodiz-
ing any plan. The next time I saw her she had forgotten
ever}'thing but the bandana. She had been that very
morning to my poor mother's to have her turban arranged
by her hands, and my mother, though in extreme pain,
had taken a sort of pride in setting it off to the best ad-
vantage round a head which in this dress was one of the
prettiest imaginable.

The squadron at length set sail in the month of Decem-
ber, 1801. The dresses, hats, caps, and other frivolities
which Madame Leclerc took out with her, were innumer-
able. Thirty-five ships of the line, twenty-two frigates,
and an immense number of gunboats followed the vessel
which bore the lovely Cleopatra, and which had been
furnished with every appurtenance of luxury, elegance,
and utility, that the fair voyager might have no desire
ungratified. The General was disposed to refuse admis-
sion to so many useless indispensables ; but Madame Le-
clerc, at the first sound of objection, assumed a tone that
instantly reduced her spouse to silence for the sake of
peace during the exile to which he was condemned.
This was a singular match — I could never compre-
hend its inducements — for the reason ascribed by report
was absurd. Madame Leclerc treated her husband pretty
despotically, and yet was afraid of him, not, indeed,
properly of him, but of the First Consul. She required
from him observances that would be very amusing in the
relation.

The expedition to Saint Domingo encountered in its day
plenty of approbation and plenty of censure. The cen-
sures alleged that it was folly to oppose the entire popula-
tion of a distant colony, whose savage disposition refused
all quarter to their adversaries, thus exposing our troops
to the double perils of a murderous warfare and no less



158 MEMOIRS OF THE DUCHESSE D'ABRANTfeS.

murderous climate. They were grieved to see so fine an
army despatched to America before the remnant of that
which the deserts of Africa had nearly engulfed was
restored to us. They contended that, in spite of his
profound ambition, in spite even of his cruelty, it was
necessary to guarantee to Toussaint-L'Ouverture the
government for life which had been conferred upon him
by the colonists. He had very considerable military
talents, a political address, or rather an ingenious cun-
ning, which had saved Saint Domingo from the English
yoke, and, above all, from its own passions. They were
therefore of opinion that the First Consul should leave
Toussaint-L'Ouverture at liberty still to call himself, if
he so pleased, the first of the blacks,^ and that he should
be acknowledged Governor of Saint Domingo, subject to
the dominion of France — terms to which he would most
willingly have agreed. But the First Consul justly
observed that Toussaint was a hypocrite, who, while
protesting his devotion to the Consular Government, was
meditating the liberation of the French Antilles from the
authority of the Eepublic. " I am the Bonaparte of Saint
Domingo, " said he ; " the colony cannot exist without
me. I must be preserved to her. "

Such language on the part of such a man must have
excited alarm for the future fate of the island and its
dependencies, especially considering the character of his
two Lieutenants, Christophe and Dessalines. A cousin
of mine in the marines, who, having arrived at Saint
Domingo, served as a volunteer in the army, and was
prisoner to Dessalines, has told me anecdotes of this
monster — for he does not deserve the name of man —

1 Wlien acknowledged by the Consular Government Commandant of
Saint Domingo, he had written a letter to the First Consul with this
superscription : " Toussaint, the first of the blacks, to Bonaparte, the first
of the whites."



TOUSSAINT-L'OUVERTUEE. 159

which surpass in sanguinary horror all the most tragical
conceptions of the most gloomy and terrific imagination.
Bonaparte knew the character of these men of blood, but
he was desirous of restoring peace and abundance to that
fine colony, and it could only be accomplished by main-
taining the blacks. In the short interval between the
submission and the second insurrection of the island (that
is to say of the blacks) for which the re-establishment of
slavery at Guadeloupe was the pretext. Saint Domingo
recovered its prosperity ; the lands were cultivated, and
commerce revived. But Toussaint, who, on the submis-
sion of the colony, had ostensibly retired to live peaceably
on one of his estates, soon began to contrive and organize
another massacre of the whites.

England was no stranger to these new projects of Tous-
saint; she excited them, and, more than once, English
gold paid the price of our blood. Toussaint-L'Ouverture
was carried of!" in the middle of the night, transported on
board a vessel, and brought to France. He was consigned
to the Castle of Joux, and thence removed to the citadel
of Besangon, where he died suddenly, which gave rise
to an absurd rumour ; for if the death of Toussaint was
violent, as some voices have proclaimed, there should
have been some actuating motive for the deed ; but where
can such motive be found ?

Although General Kochambeau has been much censured,
because none could venture openly to blame the First
Consul's brother-in-law, it cannot be denied that one prin-
cipal cause of the loss of Saint Domingo, and the destruc-
tion of that immense expedition which had sailed from
Brest, L'Orient, and Toulon was the unskilful and impru-
dent administration of General Leclerc.

Before we hastily decide on Eochambeau's errors, we
should take all the circumstances into account, and, judg-
ing candidly of his situation, consider what he could have



160 MEMOIRS OF THE DUCHESSE D'ABRANT^S.

done without resorting to arbitrary measures, which the
unhappy state of affairs drove him to the hard necessity
of employing. Pressed on one side by the blacks, who
thus irritated by the faults of his predecessor had raised
the standard of revolt with more frantic fury and sangui-
nary rage than ever, he was hemmed in on the other by an
English fleet, to whom he surrendered with the six thou-
sand men that remained to him. Death seemed to have
brandished his sickle with ambitious eagerness through
the ranks of that army but two years ago in so flourishing
a condition. Sickness, assassination, battle, had afforded
him an ample harvest ; the means of destruction multi-
plied around this devoted army, and only a very small
remnant ever set foot again on their native soil.

Madame Leclerc returned to Europe bearing the corpse
of her husband, which she had enclosed in a coffin of
cedar, and then, cutting off her beautiful hair, affected
the Artemisia. Her parade, however, of immoderate grief
and ostentatious despair made but little impression; the
First Consul himself, when told that his sister had sacri-
ficed her hair to the manes of her husband without pre-
serving a single lock, answered with a significant smile :
" Oh, she knows full well it will only grow the more
luxuriantly for its cropping. "



CHAPTEE XV.

Peace with England was definitely signed. The Treaty
of Amiens had confirmed the preliminaries of reconcilia-
tion with our great rival on the 25th of March, 1802.
On this occasion, which terminated all the differences
of Europe, Joseph Bonaparte was again our messenger of
peace. The temple of Janus was at length closed, and
France exalted to a higher pinnacle of glory and real
power than she has ever since attained, for she had
emerged from a struggle with united Europe victorious,
aggrandized, and respected. The colonies captured by
England were restored to us. The course of the Scheldt
was left in our hands, as well as the Austrian Nether-
lands, part of Brabant, Dutch Flanders, and a number of
cities, as Maestricht, Venloo, etc.

A noble speech of the First Consul to the Belgian depu-
ties is connected with this point of our history. On the
opening of the conferences of Luneville they waited on
the chief of the Eepublic to offer him their thanks for
having supported the rights of a people who would accept
no other protection than that of France. " It was in
justice to ourselves," replied the First Consul to the
deputation ; ^ " the treaty of Campo-Formio had already
recognized the position of Belgium. During the years
which have elapsed since that treaty our arms have suffered
reverses, and it was supposed that the Eepublic, less
favoured by fortune, would weakly yield ; but this was

1 See the Moniteur of the month of October, 1 800.

VOL. III. — 11



162 MEMOIRS OF THE DUCHESSE D'ABRANTfeS.

a serious mistake. Belgium, like all other territories
acquired by treaties solemnly guaranteed, forms as inte-
gral a part of France as the most ancient of her provinces,
as Brittany or Burgundy, and were the Faubourg Saint
Antoine in the occupation of an enemy, France

COULD NEVER ABANDON HER RIGHTS." Such Were the
words of Napoleon, addressed to the Belgian deputies.

Yes; France was then resplendent in glory. Inde-
pendently of the northern possessions, forming that
national boundary for which it is the duty of every
Frenchman to contend with his life, she was mistress of
the German territory on the left of the Ehine, as well as
of Avignon and the Venaissin, Geneva, and almost the
whole bishopric of Basle, Savoy, and Nice. The Kepublic
founded and protected States ; she erected the Grand Duchy
of Tuscany into a kingdom ; Austrian Lombardy was
transformed under her auspices into an Italian Eepublic ;
Genoa rose into a sovereignty under the name of the
Ligurian Eepublic; and all these States sheltered them-
selves beneath the spacious folds of the tricoloured banner,
relying on the vigour and vigilance of the Gallic cock.
The Eepublic extended her protection to aquatic Batavia.
By her recent treaties with Spain and Portugal she had
recovered colonies capable of reviving her preponderance
in another hemisphere. By the secret treaty of Saint
Ildefonso, and the care of Lucien Bonaparte, her flag
waved once more over Louisiana, that fine and fertile
province, surrendered to Spain by the disgraceful and hu-
miliating peace of 1793, but the possession of which now
placed us in an imposing attitude in the Gulf of Mexico,
and would prove a formidable point of attack against the
American Unionin case of a rupture. She had wrested
from the Portuguese sceptre territories which, with their
broad deserts, formed an impenetrable barrier for French
Guiana. In short, the Eepublic, at this period of the



PARIS THE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD. 163

Consular Government, was greater even than the Empire
ever was. Napoleon's orb of glory was then, indeed,
immensurable.

Paris now realized the vision of the First Consul for
his great city ; it had become the capital of the civilized
world. Such was the concourse of foreigners that exor-
bitant prices were charged for the most inferior lodgings,
and paid without hesitation. My situation as wife of the
Commandant of Paris introduced me to all strangers of
any celebrity, and I confess my most interesting recollec-
tions belong to this portion of my life. Eussians and
English were the principal actors on this scene. The
English, greedy of travelling, and so long shut out from
their European tour — for Italy, Switzerland, and part of
Germany had, since 1795, been as inaccessible to them as
France — gave loose to their joy with all the frankness
and sincerity of their national character, which is so
totally in opposition to the sophistry and artifice of their
Cabinet. They flocked in crowds to Paris, and entered
with ardour into the pleasures which France offered them
in abundance, which they felt too happy in repaying with
their gold. Society, too — the best society — then begin-
ning to reorganize itself, presented attractions which their
acute and judicious perceptions were equally capable of
appreciating.

Among the English arrivals of that day were some
names whose undying reputation fills the memory nearly
to the exclusion of all others. Mr, Fox, for example,
was one of those beings whom it is impossible to see,
though but once, witliout remembering forever, as a
happy epoch in one's life, the day of introduction. His
fine talents and noble character were the adoration of a
majority of our countrymen. I shared with others in
admiring the high feeling of Mr. Fox, when, seconded by
Grey, and I believe by Sheridan, he summoned Mr. Pitt,



164 MEMOIRS OF THE DUCHESSE D'ABRANXfeS.

the IVIinister of the day, to adopt a course not menacing,
but conciliatory; in short, to make an attempt, by
entreaties addressed to the Convention, to save the life
of Louis XVI. " In the name of English honour, " said
this great man, " however vain your efforts, however use-
less your endeavours, try them at least, and show the
world that kings do not stand by unmoved to see a
brother sovereign murdered. Why do you talk of arma-
ments ? " he added with warmth, in reply to Mr. Pitt.
" By what right would you immolate a thousand heads
to revenge the fall of one, when a few decisive words
might prevent the sacrifice ? " What a contrast do these
admirable arguments offer to the proceedings of the in-
flexible Minister, who by arming England, exciting
Spain, and making a clamorous display of hostility, did
but too probably accelerate the fate of the unfortunate
Louis !

Mr. Fox's aspect did not at the first glance seem to
justify his prodigious fame — his demeanour was even
ordinary — and the first time that I saw him, dressed in
a dark gray coat, and with his head somewhat inclined,
he gave me the idea of a good Devonshire farmer — a man
incapable of any pretension. But how rapidly were these
opinions put to flight when the course of conversation
brought the energies of his mind into view. His coun-
tenance became animated with the first sentence of inter-
est that passed his lips, and gradually brightened with
increasing intelligence till it was absolutely fiery and
sparkling. His voice, subdued at first, rose in modula-
tion till it burst upon the ear like thunder; and the same
man, who but a few minutes before had appeared the most
commonplace of mortals, was now an object of intense
admiration.

I first saw him at a distance ; he was next introduced
to me at the Tuileries, where, in the midst of a multi-



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CHARLES JAMES FOX. 165

tudinous and noisy throng, it was impossible to put in
operation any of the plans I had concerted for drawing
forth the sentiments of one of the most distinguished
and most justly celebrated men of the eighteenth century.
At length he dined at my house, and the conversation,
having first been of a general kind, turned afterwards on
such topics as were more especially adapted to the illus-
trious stranger. The entire concurrence of opinion be-
tween Mr. Fox, Junot, and some of his other guests,
precluded debate, but the affairs of England and the
Ministry which had replaced Mr. Pitt were long under
discussion, and the conversation, though tranquil, was
of a remarkable character; when one of the company,
who had been of the Egyptian expedition, and had re-
turned with his mind violently exasperated, brought for-
ward the awkward subject of the events in that quarter,
freely indulging his rancour against England. Mr. Fox's
countenance changed with a rapidity it is impossible to
describe ; we no longer beheld the leader of the English
Opposition, but the advocate of Mr. Pitt, defending him
with his eloquence amidst a circle of enemies. The con-
versation grew warm, and Junot soon took an unfortunate
part in it. He had been made prisoner on his return from
Egypt by a Captain Styles, conducted to Jaffa, and intro-
duced to Sir Sidney Smith, who was negotiating there
with the Grand Vizier the Treaty of El-Arich for the
evacuation of Egypt ; thence he accompanied Sir Sidney
on board the Tiger to Larnaka, in Cyprus ; here Junot, as
I have before observed, contracted for Smith one of those
chivalrous friendships which he was very capable of
feeling and the brave English Commodore well calculated
to inspire. He had more than once laid lance in rest as
the champion of his friendly foe; and now, believing
him compromised in something that was said respecting
the infamous infraction of the treaty which he had



166 JIEMOIRS OF THE DUCHESSE D'ABRANT^IS.

guaranteed, and satisfied in his own mind that his gal-
lant friend was the most honourable of men, " It was not
his doing ! " cried Junot, animated by a sentiment of
truth and justice , " he would never have said, with Mr.
Pitt, * The destruction of that perfidious army is a
matter of rejoicing; the interests of human nature re-
quire its total annihilation. ' No. Sir Sidney Smith
would be incapable of uttering such a libel on his profes-
sion and on human nature. " Mr. Fox turned crimson,
then pale as death ; passed his hand over his eyes, and
made no immediate answer; at the end of a minute that
striking voice, which, with its sonorous tone, could over-
power all others, murmured rather than articulated : " I
beg your pardon ; Mr. Pitt never used such words. No, "
answered the statesman, to whose upright and patriotic
soul the imputation was truly painful ; " those terrible
words never fell from the lips of Mr. Pitt ; they are Mr.
Dundas's."i

1 The following anecdote illustrative of Fox's character was communi-
cated to me by an Englishman. At a time when he was imuch em-
barrassed in his pecuniary circumstances, a note of hand of his for three
hundred guineas was presented for payment. There were no funds to
meet this, and the unlucky creditor made repeated but useless application
to get the bill cashed. By a stratagem he succeeded at last in seeing Mr.
Fox, who was actually employed at the time in counting out several
hundred guineas. The creditor's hopes of a satisfactory settlement of
his claim were now very sanguine, especially as Mr. Fox showed no signs
of embarrassment at being discovered in the employment he was engaged
in. His dismay may therefore easily be imagined when he was calmly
told that, in spite of the display of wealth before him, Mr. Fox had not
ten guineas at his own disposal. In fact that the whole of the money on
the table — about eight hundred guineas — was destined to discharge a
debt of honour — a gaming transaction of the previous evening. When the
creditor remonstrated upon the injustice of passing by his own legitimate
debt in favour of one so much less pressing. Fox appeared astonished,
and endeavoured to show that the debt oflwnour had a much higher claim
U])ou his immediate attention, in so far as there existed no other security
for its liquidation than his verbal assurance ; whereas the holder of the
bill possessed his signature, which would be ultimately honoured. " If
this be a just mode of discrimination," dryly remarked the creditor, " I



LADY CHOLMONDELEY. 167

Paris was also at this time the rendezvous of a multi-
tude of English, who, though less celebrated than Mr.
Fox or his brother, proved very agreeable acquaintances.
Those whom I chiefly preferred were Lord and Lady
Cholmondeley, Mrs. Harrison, a young widow from
India of most simple, unaff'ected, and fascinating man-
ners, the Duchess of Gordon and her daughter Lady
Georgiana, Colonel James Green, and Lady E. Foster,
afterwards Duchess of Devonshire. Lady Cholmondeley
had considerably the advantage of me in years, but her
manners and those of her lord were courteously polished.
She talked to me of the glory of the First Consul and his
companions in arms in a tone of perfect sincerity and
good-will — she blended so amiably with unqualified
respect for the dignity of her own nation a just ap-
preciation of the qualities of those I loved — that I was
almost attached to her. The First Consul, who received
every morning circumstantial intelligence respecting the
English in Paris, had a high esteem for the Earl and
Countess Cholmondeley. The Duchess of Gordon is
assuredly not forgotten by those who had the supreme
happiness of seeing her in Paris in 1802. When I wish
to divert my thoughts I call to mind her burlesque
appearance and manners, which, as is well known, were,
notwithstanding her duchess mania, very far from ducal.

The general aspect of society in Paris at that time de-
serves a place in contemporary memoirs. The First Con-
will instantly convert my claim into a debt of honour," at the same time
tearing the bill into pieces ; " and you will allow that, as my demand now
stands upon an equal footing -with your last night's loss, as being simply
a debt of honour, I have the advantage of priority, at all events." He
well judged his man. Fox was too generous and right-minded to hesi-
tate ; he accordingly took the necessary sum from the heap before him, and
satisfied the creditor whose debt, in justice, required immediate payment ;
and cheerfully resigned himself to fortune, in the hope of discharging the
mere debt of honour.



168 MEMOIRS OF THE DUCHESSE D'AERANTfeS.

sul required all the pixiicipal authorities to maintain not
only a creditable, but a splendid establishment. Noth-
ing could exceed (and this fact will be attested by all
living persons who knew Napoleon as I did) his extreme
and rigid economy in all his private concerns, though
when circumstances required it he could equal in mag-
nificence the most sumptuous sovereign of the East ; the
liberality of Aboul-Cazem then presided over every
arrangement. I remember his once admonishing Duroc
for neglecting to transmit an order regulating the private
breakfasts at the Palace which he had given him the
evening before ; the order, therefore, had been delayed
but a few hours. " But an additional day's expense,"
said the First Consul, " is too much. "

A few minutes afterwards one of the Ministers arrived.
The First Consul immediately entered into consultation
upon a feU that was to be given the following week on
the 14th July, the anniversary of the destruction of the
Bastille, which was observed till the re-establishment of
royalty ; the Tuileries were illuminated, and, as far as I
can remember, the theatres were opened gratis. " Jose-
phine, " said he, with the tone of kindness he generally
adopted towards her, for he was tenderly attached to her,
" I am going to impose upon you a command you will
have much pleasure in obeying. I desire you will be
dazzling ; make your preparations accordingly. For my
part, I shall wear my fine suit of crimson silk embroi-
dered with gold, presented to me by the city of Lyons ;
I shall then be superb!" This dress was, as he said,
presented to him by the city of Lyons on the occasion of
the Helvetic ConsuUa in the month of January preceding ;
and, to say the truth, he had already worn it and made
a most singular appearance in it, which instantly
occurred to my recollection when he talked of his fine
suit, and I could not suppress a laugh. He perceived



BONAPARTE'S DISLIKE OF DANDIES. 169

it, for nothing escaped his observation, and, coming up
to me, said as he surveyed me with a half-angry and
half-smiling air : " What do you mean by that sarcastic
smile, Madame Junot ? You think, I suppose, that I
shall not be as smart as all those handsome Englishmen
and Eussians who look so sweet upon you and turn all
your young heads. I am sure I am at least as agreeable


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