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"Nogent, Feb. 8, 1814, 6 P. M. My Bro tinued to advance-Blucher down the ther: Let this letter be delivered to the empress Josephine in person. (She was residing
Marne, Schwartzenberg down the Seine, at Malmaison, close by Paris.] It is to tell her
while an immense Cossack cavalry, deto write to Eugene. (Probably Napoleon feared tached from the enemy's front and that Eugene might imitate the example of Mu flanks, carried terror everywhere, and rat, whose treaty with Austria bad been signed scarcely anywhere encountered any reon the 11th of January.) You will ask her to send her letter to you, which you will dispatch
sistance. Some further reinforcements by an express."
were expected from the Spanish fronThe same day, at midnight, Joseph tier; but, without waiting for them, Nawrote to Napoleon, deprecating a reli- poleon deemed it necessary to enter at gious intercession which the empress
once upon some decisive operation. proposed to make at the church of St. Leaving Oudinot and Victor, with Geneviève. He added at the close : something more than half his forces, to * The empress is in better spirits to-day. I
hold Schwartzenberg in check, he made have passed the day in sustaining the hopes an oblique movement northerly, with of people who have much less self-possession some thirty thousand men, to attack the than belongs to her majesty.”
army of Silesia, which was advancing in Napoleon wrote the next day: four divisions, under Sacken, York, * I am of your opinion about the prayers at Alsufief, and Blucher, by two roadsSt. Geneviève; I think that it would do no
one down the Marne, the other across a good; it was only a piece of devotion on the part of the empress. Tell Demazis to re
difficult and marshy country, more to move from Compiègne and Fontainebleau the
the south-which advance had forced plate, and everything that might serve as a Macdonald, with some eight or ten trophy. There are portraits of all my minis. thousand men, to fall back to Meaux. ters and of my family at Compiègne. This must be done without noise, or attracting at
On the 9th, the same day that Napoleon tention."
left Nogent, he met and defeated Sacken At four in the morning of Feb. 9th,
at Baye; on the 10th he beat Asufief Joseph replied to Napoleon's sharp at Champ-Aubert; on the 11th he again letter of directions, already quoted at
routed Sacken at Montmirail; on the length:
12th he defeated York at Chateau"Your majesty may be assured that, so far Thierry; and on the 14th beat Blucher as depends on me, your wishes will be com with great loss and drove him back to plied with Circumstances may occur in Chalons. which this expression of them may contribute
But, meanwhile, Schwartzenberg had to such a result. My letter may thus have been useful by eliciting this written manifesta advanced on Nogent, and pushing Viction of your will, which will decide the con tor and Oudinot, whom Macdonald had duct of inany persons now unresolved." also joined, before him, had reached
The same day, at 11 A. M., Joseph within twenty-five miles of Paris. The wrote :
three marshals, greatly alarmed, and * The minister of war has written to me a
unable to agree as to who should comletter, which I send to your majesty; you will mand, invoked, as did also Joseph, Nasee that our muskets are reduced to six thou. poleon's immediate presence.
Thus band. It is, therefore, useless to expect to form a reserve of from thirty to forty thousand men
summoned, he set off on the 15th, a in Paris. (That was a scheme which Napoleon few hours after his defeat of Blucher's had been strongly urging for two or three days division. He joined his marshals the past] Things are stronger than men, Sire; next day. On the 17th, his guard havand when this is clearly proved, it seems to me that true glory consists in preserving as
ing come up, he drove the Russians, much as possible of one's people and one's
under Count Phalen, out of Mormant, ein pire; and that to expose a precious life to and on the 18th the Prince of Wirtemsuch evident danger is not glorious, because it berg out of Montereau ; when the allied is against the interests of a great number of men whose existence is attached to your own.
sovereigns and Schwartzenberg, alarmed .... At this juncture, I see no dishonor for at these unexpected attacks, retired with your majesty unless you abandon the throne, precipitation towards Langres. In nine because in this case you would ruin a number of individuals who have devoted themselves
days Napoleon had made nine marches, to you. If it be possible, then, make peace at
most of them over cross roads, deep with aný price; if thut is impossible, when the hour mud, had gained seven battles, and had comes we must meet death with resolution, as driven or frightened away two armies, did the last emperor of Constantinople.”
each much larger than his own. It had become plain that Napoleon's In the next seven days, from the resources, in arms, at least, if not in 19th to the 26th of February, Napoleon men, were exhausted. The enemy con advanced upon the retreating enemy,
first to Nogent, then to Chartres, and
less the natural limits of France are admitthence to Troyes. The only fighting
ted. was an accidental skirmish at Mery, horrors in every direction. The minister of
" The enemy have committed all sorts of with Blucher. Napoleon was waiting, war must send good reporters to the towns not only to rest his troops, but for the which they have occupied, to draw up narraresult of negotiations. Previous to
tives of the atrocities which they have com.
mitted. These reports are to be inserted in crossing the French frontier, the allies
the Moniteur. I wish also the towns of Nohad offered him peace from Frankfort, gent, Provins, Nangis, Bray, Montereau, Sens, on the terms of France with its “na Epernay, Chateau-Thierry, Reims, Soissons, tural limits,” by which were meant the
etc., to acquaint the municipality of Paris with
what they have suffered, and these letters to Rhine, the Alps, and the Pyrenees. be placarded in every direction ; for, in short, These terms he had refused, and the one must not deceive oneself as to the fact allies, since advancing into France,
(and you ought to say so), that the Russians
intended to sack and burn Paris. It can only would grant nothing more than France
do good, if the Parisians hear on all sides : It with its ancient limits—those of 1789. is you who were attacked; it is you whom they Previous to engaging in the late opera
intended to pillage.'” tions, Napoleon had consented to these advanced terms, provided. the allies
The same day, Napoleon, amid all would cease hostilities immediately;
his other cares, sent the following mibut this they refused, insisting that
nute and specific directions as to the military operations should go on till
future position of Jerome : peace was actually signed. Since their "My Brother: These are my intentions with sate defeats, they were willing to accept him to wear the uniform of the grenadier
respect to the king of Westphalia. I allow Napoleon's terms, and asked for an ar guard, and I grant the same permission to all mistice; but this he refused, except on the French princes. (You will inform king condition of their agreeing to the terms
Louis of this.) The king is to dismiss all his of Frankfort-France with its natural
Westphalian household. They are free either
to return home or to stay in France. The king limits. Even Joseph, who had lately will immediately propose for my approbation been so anxious for peace on any terms,
three or four aides-de-camp, one or two equerapplauded the new pretensions. “Every ries, and one or two chamberlains, all French,
and two or three French ladies-in-waiting, for one agrees," he wrote on the 21st,
the queen. She will put off to some future " that your majesty would have done
time appointing her lady-in-waiting: All the wrong in granting a suspension of hos Westphalian pages must be placed in the Ly. tilities. Peace with the natural limits is
cées, and will wear the uniform of the Lycéos. desired by all. No one now would ac
They will be educated at my expense. One
third will be placed in the Lycées of Vercept the ancient limits.” At the same sailles, one-third in that of Rouen, and the retime, however, Joseph confessed that maining third in the Lycée of Paris. The king some passages in the bulletin of the day,
and queen will then be presented to the em
press; and I authorize the king to occupy interpreted as raising doubts as to the
Cardinal Fesch's house (since it appears it besuccess of the negotiation, had not been longs to him), and to establish his housevery well received.
hold there. The king and queen will continue The same day Napoleon wrote from
to bear the title of King and Queen of West
phalia, but they are to have no Westphaliaus Nogent, suggesting that proclamations,
in their suite." signed by the empress, which he thought would be more effective than if signed Notwithstanding Napoleon's recent by himself, be sent to Orleans, which victories, the reports which Joseph sent had been threatened and frightened by him from Paris were by no means enthe Cossacks, to Lille, Valenciennes, couraging. Thus he wrote on Feb. 22d : Cambray, and the other large towns on " The ministers of the interior and of the the northern frontier, calling on them to police and the arch chancellor have just left organize a national guard, and to take me; they have given me a most deplorable measures of defense against the flying picture of the state of things at Toulouse and
at Bordeaux. The spirit of these towns is detachments of the enemy. He also
very unfavorable; a Bourbon appearing there suggested a similar proclamation to the would be well received. Your majesty will be Belgian towns.
astonished at the behavior of the Duke of Dal.
matia, unless he has retreated by your orders. “The empress should acquaint them with my He is the only man in authority whose inten. victories, and tell them that the English wish tions I could venture to suspect." (Joseph could to separate them from France, and place them not get over his old jealousy and dislike of under the yoke of a prince who has always Soult.) beeu hostile to their country and to their reli " Another report, which I annex, lends some gion: and assure them that the enemy will probability to a rumor just communicated to soon find that no peace will be signed un me by the minister, that the enemy has entered
that he is not a traitor, and entreat him to be immediately by the enormous sacrifices which perfectly discreet.”
are exacted of her. They are all convinced Meanwhile, before the date of this
that your majesty will never submit to such
sacrifices, unless driven to them by absolute last quoted letter, important changes necessity, and that your majesty is a better had taken place in the position of affairs. judge of this necessity than any one else can The negotiations for an arinistice having failed, involving also the rejection of
“But they almost unanimously agreed in
thinking that it would be better to accept conNapoleon's offer of peace on the basis ditions, reducing France to her limits in 1792, of the natural limits, he set out on the than to expose the capital. The occupation of 27th of February in pursuit of Blucher.
the capital is dreaded as the end of the present
state of things, and the commencement of Oudinot, Macdonald, and General Ge
great misfortunes. The whole of Europe joins rard were still at Bar-sur-Aube, to resist in wishing to reduce France to what she was Schwartzenberg, whom, in a letter writ in 1792. Let it, therefore, be the foundation ten at 5 P. M. of that day, from Arcis
of a treaty which is rendered imperative by sur-Aube, Napoleon represents as still ated immediately.
circumstances, but let the country be evacufalling back on Langres. That letter “ To sum up: an immediate peace, whatever closes with the following paragraph:
may be the terms, is indispensable. It will
be a truce lasting for two or three years ; but, “I have received some engravings of the whether it be favorable or not, we must have king of Rome. I wish you to change the peace. The emperor will obtain the best terms inscription, 'May God watch over my father that he can. At this juncture it is sure to do and France,' to this, ' I pray God for my father good, as it will enable the emperor to pay exand France; it is simpler. I also wish some clusive attention to the interior, and a wise copies to be struck off, representing the king system of administration may place him in a in the uniform of the national guard."
position to regain what has been unjustly deNapoleon's plan was, to inclose Blu- manded and wisely yielded. The natural limits
would be a real boon both for France and the cher between his own force and a de
rest of Europe : we might then hope for a lasttaebment under Mortier and Marmont ing peace; but impossibility relieves from maneuvering on the north bank of the every obligation. Peace now is indispensable; Marne, and guarding Paris from attack
it may be broken on the day when France is
able to reassert her rights. Make, then, what by way of Reims.
in your breast you will consider as a mere On the 2d of March he was at Jouarre, truce, since the enemy's injustice will not perwhence he wrote to Joseph, directing
mit you to make an equitable peace, and the him to assemble all the high dignitaries,
state of public feeling and of public affairs
does not allow you to hope from France efforts and to lay before them all the papers in proportionate to the end to be attained. relation to the recent negotiations. "Whether your majesty be victorious or * The Duke of Cadore (Champagny],"
not, you must turn your thoughts to peace. so this letter concluded, ** will take down
This is the summary of all that is spoken here,
and thought here." all that each of them says. I do not ask for formal advice, but I wish to While Joseph was writing this letter, know different people's impressions." Napoleon was at Fismes, whence he The same day, the afternoon, he wrote, the same day, as follows: wrote from La Ferte-sous-Jouarre, on
“The enemy has been driven back in every the Marne :
direction. The Duke of Ragusa (Marmont] “We may possibly meet with great success.
must be at Soissons, and my skirmishers beI am preparing to carry the war into Lor fore Reims. The enemy seems to be moving raine, where I shall collect all the troops
towards Saon and Avesnes ; he is in the greatwhich are in garrison on the Meuse and the
est confusion. He has sustained an immense Rhine."
loss in men, horses, and carriages.
“Send one of your officers to Troyes, to tell Here was the first hint of the famous the Dukes of Taranto and Reggio Macdonald manæuvre executed three weeks after, and Oudinot) that I may poseibly maneuvre but which so signally failed in the result by Vitry, St. Dizier, and Joinville, on the
enemy's rear, which will set them free, as the expected of it.
enemy will be forced to abandon the Seine to Of the meeting of ministers, to con fly to the assistance of his rear. One advansider the documents relating to the
tage of this operation will be, the raising the negotiations for peace, Joseph, in a
blockade of my fortresses, whence I shall draw
large garrisons and reinforcements.” letter of the 4th, 6 P. M., gave the following account:
Here is another allusion to the plan of "All the members of the council seemed to action which Napoleon finally adopted. be of one mind : the enemy's proposals were The letter concludes with reiterated considered most unjust, and perfect contidence complaints against General Maison, was expressed in whatever commands your majesty may think fit to give to your plenipo
commanding in Belgium, for want of tentiary, in order to enable France to benefit activity in harassing the enemy by sal
lies from the fortresses, and directing Having failed in an attack (March 6] orders to be sent him to that effect, and on Soissons, Napoleon crossed the Aisne also to Augereau, at Lyons, to press at Béry-au-Bac, and on the 7th attacked hard on the enemy's flank and rear. Marshal Blucher at Craonne, but with But that very day Augereau had given no other result than to drive him back orer his march on Geneva, which had a few miles to the strong position of greatly alarmed the allies, and, in a state Laon. That formidable position Napoof dissatisfaction, was falling back on leon attacked on the 8th, 9th, and 10th, Macon. On the points referred to at but was repulsed, and retreated to Chathe beginning of the letter, Napoleon vignon. was also destined to be disappointed. In the mean time, affairs at Paris Marmont was not at Soissons, and Mac- grew more alarming. Joseph wrote on donald and Oudinot had been already the 8th : driven out of Troyes by Schwartzen
" The news from the Duke of Dalmatia's berg. The two following letters show (Soult's
) army increases our alarm. We how much these events interfered with already see the English at Bordeaux ; nor do Napoleon's plans, and the vexation they we see how their progress is to be arrested, caused him :
unless it be opposed by the Duke of Dalmatia
in the centre of France. The Austrian army Fismes, March 5, 1814. I thought that the [Schwartzenberg's) is on the Seine, and we are Duke of Ragusa (Marmont) would have been uueasy that your majesty should be at such a yesterday at Soissons; but the commandant distance from us. The Dukes of Taranto and basely evacuated the town without firing a Reggio [Macdonald and Oudinot) do not agree: shot. He retreated with all his troops, with no good can come of the combined services of the honors of war, and six pieces of cannon;
these two marshalo. he is at Villers-Cotterets. I have ordered the “ It is most important that your majesty minister of war to have him arrested, brought should proceed instantly to the Seine, and the before a court-martial, and shot. He must be neighborhood of your capital; considering executed in the Place de Grève, with the ut. what is passing on the Garonne, the consemost publicity; the sentence must be printed, quences of the occupation of Paris are to be and its grounds well stated. Five generals must feared.” be appointed to try him. This business has done us incalculable harm. I should have reached The next day, at 11 A. M., Joseph Laon to-day, and I have no doubt that the acknowledged the receipt of Napoleon's enemy would have been routed and cut to pieces. I must now man@uvre, and lose time
letter, giving an account of the battle in constructing bridges. See that, at least, an
of Craonne, and proceeded as follows: example is made."
"I presume that Soissons is ours, and that “Béry-au-Bac(on the Aisne), March 6, 1814,
you are drawing nearer to Paris in that direcnoon. If the Duke of Taranto [Macdonalds
tion. This is indispensable. The Duke of is ill, he must give up the command to the
Taranto's (Macdonald's) army seems to have Duke of Reggio (Oudinot), and place General been ontflanked on the left; detachments of Sebastiani at the head of the 11th corps. I am the enemy have entered Sézanne, and even assured that Troyes has just been evacuated. advanced as far as Coulommiers. The funds [Oudinot and Gérard had been driven out of
fell yesterday to 51. The Duke of Dalmatia's Bar-sur-Aube, after a sharp action on the 27th
inovements cause the greatest anxiety with of February, by the readvance of the grand
respect to Bordeaux, which might easily bearmy uuder Schwartzenberg ; but Napoleon,
come a hot-bed of civil war. After your recent in a letter of the 4th of March, had expressed
victory, you may honorably sign å peace on himself well enough satisfied with their retreat, the ancient limits. Such a peace would restore as Bar-sur-Aube was not a position that could
the prosperity of France after the long strug. be held.) I cannot believe in such incapacity.
gle that began in 1792 ; and there would be There can be no finer position than Troyes, nothing dishonorable to her in it, as she would where the enemy is forced to manæuvre on lose no portion of her territory, and has arboth banks. I am going to drive the enemy ranged her affairs at home as she saw fit." to-day towards Laon, I shall then march upon Chalons and Arcis. It is indispensable This letter closed with an appeal to to hold the Seine for five or six days at Nogent,
Napoleon to return to his “ natural Bray, and Montereau. I could not be worse seconded than I am. I left a splendid army
kindness," and, renouncing his “asand excellent cavalry at Troyes; but the soul sumed character and perp ual efforts," is wanting. I am sure that this army is stronger to "consent to relinquish the part of in the field than any which Prince Schwartzen
the wonderful man for that of the great berg can oppose to it. Consult the minister of war: a sick general is worse than anything."
sovereign." The difficulty, however, was not in
In reply to Joseph's appeals to draw the sickness of Macdonald--Joseph vignon, March 10 :
near Paris, Napoleon wrote from Chawrote the next day that he was perfectly well—but in the overwhelming
“ Paris is in greater danger from this army force of the enemy, and the necessity
(Blucher's) than from that of Schwartzenberg.
Nevertheless, I will draw near to Soissons, in of falling back in order to cover Paris. order to be more within reach of Paris ; but
until I have been able to obtain another vic. the blame of the repulse at Laon on tory over this army, I can hardly proceed Marmont, whose behavior he described elsewhere. The detachments which Schwartzenberg's army has sent to its rear have con
as “that of an ensign." siderably diminished its strength. and it seems guard, he stated, was melting away to fear to venture to cross the Seine."
“like a snow-ball,” his horse-guard The letter closes with a project for was also disappearing rapidly. The old raising thirty thousand men from among guard was still in good order. Не the masses who had taken refuge in urged all possible attention to the reParis, and the workmen without em mounting of his cavalry, and suggested ployment.
some redoubts at Montmartre, not only Joseph wrote the next day, that the as of use for defense, especially with ministers of the interior and of the po- regard to their moral effect,” but as a lice were of opinion that it was utterly means of charity to the unemployed. impossible to find a thousand men who In reference to these fortifications, he would leave Paris to join the army. He wrote, on the 13th, from Soissons : had written at midnight, on the 9th, that
“Before commencing the fortifications of there were no longer any disposable men Paris, I must see the plan; the one which was in Paris, as they had all been sent to join sent to me seems to me to be very complicated; the army in the field. As early as the
I want something simple. The people com
plain everywhere of the mayors and authori. 25th of February he had noticed the
ties, who prevent them from defending themalmost entire stoppage in the arrival of selves. I see that in Paris it is just the same. conscripts. In the letter of the 11th he The people possess energy and good faith. I enclosed a return, furnished by the min
fear greatly that the difficulty consists in the
unwillingness to fight of certain principal per. ister of war, showing that, so far from sonages, who will be confounded, after the having thirty thousand muskets, there event has taken place, by finding what will be were not six thousand fit for service.
their own fate." This letter concluded as follows: On the 13th, leaving Mortier at Sois“Unpleasant reports, tending to diminish sons, to dispute the advance of Blucher, the popularity of your majesty, are beginning Napoleon attacked and took Reims, to circulate in the capital. For instance, it is which was occupied by a Russian disaid that the Duke of Conegliano (Moncey, vision—a part of the reinforcements liked, is about to be recalled ; that he'is to be lately arrived from Bernadotte's army. replaced by General Sebastiani, who has been On the same day, he wrote from Reims here for the last five days; that the Duke of the following highly characteristic rePadua will shortly arrive; that he is to be employed in Paris, and that Paris is to be de: ply to some of Joseph's recent sugtended. The month of March is slipping away,
gestions : yet the fields are not sown. It is, however, “If it suited me to remove the Duke of superfluous to enter into further details. Your
Conegliano, all the idle talk of Paris woald majesty must feel that there is no longer any have po effect. The national guard of Paris remedy but peace, an immediate peace. Every
is a part of the people of France, and as long day that is lost is mischievous to our personal as I live I will be master everywhere in France. popularity. Individual distress is extreme;
Your character is opposed to mine ; you like and on the day when it is believed that your to flatter people, and to yield to their wishes ; majesty has preferred prolonging the war to I like them to try to please me, and to obey my making even a disadvantageous peace, there wishes. I am as much a sovereign now as I is no doubt that disgust will'incline the public was at Austerlitz. Do not permit any person mind in another direction. If Toulouse or to flatter the national guard, nor Regnaud nor Bordeaux should set up a Bourbon, you will any one else to set himself up as their tribune. have civil war, and the immense population
I suppose, however, that they see that there is of Paris will support the side which promises
some difference between the time of La Fay. io give them peace soonest.
ette, when the people ruled, and the present "Such is the state of opinion; no one can time, when I rule. change it. This being the case, the only way " I have issued a decree for raising twelve is, to submit. If the peace be unfavorable, it battalions in Paris, out of the levée en masse. will be no fault of yours, as all classes here On no pretext must the execution of this meainsist upon it. I cannot be mistaken, as my
sure be delayed. I have written my wishes view is that of all the world. We are on the
on this subject to the ministers of the interior eve of total destruction ; our only hope is in
and of the police. If the people find that, peace."
instead of doing what is for their good, one is In a letter written the same day, they should think that they have the upper
trying to please them, it is quite natural that from Chavignon, Napoleon stated that hand, and that they should entertain but a finding the position of the enemy at
mean opinion of those in authority over Laon too strong to be attacked without
them." severe loss, he had determined on re The same day, in contemplation of turning to Soissons. He sought to lay the movement into the rear of the ene