Page images

and his officers. She touched at the Cape of Good Hope, for refreshments and water ;—and at St. Helena ; where the ambassador and his suite, impelled by that laudable curiosity natural to inquisitive travellers, witnessed the exhibition of another Constrictor of a different species, of larger dimensions, and with a stomach far more capacious and destructive than that of the Boa which had just died on board the Cæsar;—for the particulars of the exhibition, however, which are by no means devoid of interest, we must reter our readers to Mr. Ellis and Mr. M‘Leod, who were both preseut. Finally, the Cæsar reached England, and landed all her passengers in safety; after escaping the dangers of tire and water, of savage warfare, and imperial indignation.

Mr. M.Leod's little volume has a few plates as unpretending as the book which they are meant to illustrate; Mr. Ellis's more elaborate work is also turnished- |--we cannot say embellished with a map, and a few plates. The former is a copy, and on too small a scale; and the latter are a sad falling off, both in accuracy auid spirit, from those beautiful delineations of similar objects by the late Mr. Alexander. The mention of this most ingenious and amiable man tempts us to ask what is become of those characteristic drawings of Chinese costuine which he is known to have prepared, previously to bis last illness, for publication? They would have admirably served to illustrate the volume of Mr. Ellis, which is very deficient in this respect, and have consoled us in some measure for the reserve of Mr. Havell, who, it appears, was sent out in the character of ' Artist,' and who, with a degree of modesty for which we find it difficult to account, has withheld every specimen of his taste and skill from what may be termed the official account of the embassy.'

Art. IX. Letters from the Cape of Good Hope, in Reply to

Mr. Warden; with Extracts from the Great Work now compiling for publicution under the inspection of Napoleon. Svo. .

pp. £06. London. 1817. IT T is just as we expected—and our readers will have been pre

pared by the Ninth Article of our Thirty-second Number for this publication. We have here another of the series of tricks with which Buonaparte endeavours to keep himself alive in the recollection of Europe. It is, like all the rest, fraudulent in its title, shape, and pretensions; false in its facts; and jacobinical in its object. But it has this claim to consideration beyond its predecessors, that it comes from a source so nearly connected with Buonaparte, as to give it in some degree the authority of being his own apology made by himself. It tells us, indeed, little or nothing in the way of fact that is not familiar to our readers, but it


speaks in a more decisive tone-it shews by the subjects on which it attempts its apologies, whereabout (to use a vulgar phrase) the shoe pinches; and it proves by the futility of them, that Buonaparte is just the miscreant which all the world has long believed hiin to be.

We have said, that the very form of this publication is fraudulent—the author has, in this particular, closely imitated Mr. Warden—It pretends to be a series of Letters: no such letters were ever written—it is addressed to a Dear Lady C-: the Dear Lady C-- is not in existence. It affects to have been originally written in English: it was written in French, and the pretended original is only a translation—and to crown the whole, the author assumes the character of an Englishman, while in fact he is a Frenchman; and no other, we are satisfied, than the notorious Count de las Cases, of whose veracity and honour our readers have already had some tolerable specimens.

We shall not waste much time in explaining the ear-marks by which (in addition to their own solemn and repeated assertions to the contrary) we recoguize these Letters to be a translation from the French :— the most careful and adroit translator cannot always escape the intrusive treachery of gallicisms: but every page of this work abounds with them; half a dozen out of as many hundreds will more than suffice to convince our readers.

• The civil ceremony (of the marriage) was performed at St. Cloud, and the spiritual in the Hall of the Museum Napoleon.'-p. 71.

La Salle du Musée, of which the above is a mis-translation, means the great gallery of the Louvre, the Museum itself. The Hall of the Museum is what the French would call the vestibule, and would be about as worthy of being the scene of such a ceremony as Buonaparte was of being the chief actor in it. The same mistake occurs as to the temporary sulle, or ball-room, erected for Prince Schwartzenburg's famous and fatal fête ;-the translator calls it a hall-he might as well have called it a kitchen.

Again, it is stated that M. de Talleyrandincurred Napoleon's disgrace.”—This, in English, would mean, if it meant any thing, that Talleyrand had shared the fallen fortunes of Buonaparte. The French phrase, la disgrace de Napoléon, means, on the contrary, that he was in disgrace with Napoleon.—(p. 18.)- In the same kind of idiom Napoleon's alliance is substituted for Maria Louisa's alliance or marriage with Napoleon.-p. 71.

The French author had stated that an individual was reconnu, admitted, to be the contriver of a plot; it is translated, that he was recognized as the contriver of the plot; a very different thing.(p. 146.) When the translator wishes to say that the French intended to march into the heart of England, it is rendered with VOL. XVII. NO. XXXIV.



an affectation of English phraseology which betrays itself; · Buonaparte manifested an intention to carry the scene of action into the bosom of old England.”—p. 89. But every page abounds with expressions and sentiments which no English man or woman, however ignorant of their own language, or corrupted in their principles, could have written; we have therefore no doubt that the work was originally composed in French, and nearly as little that the composer is Monsieur de las Cases.

Our only difficulty arises from the Letters being dated from the Cape of Good Hope-Las Cases is at the Cape, and we can hardly account for this solitary scintilla of truth finding its way into the production : but on the other hand, the view which is taken of particular events, nay the words in which they are related, are, to our own knowledge, the same in which Buonaparte has in conversation treated the transactions; and we think there is abundant reason to believe that the passages purporting to be Extracts from Buonaparte's History, written under his own direction by Las Cases, are genuine ; for, not to insist on their agreement with Buonaparte's known sentiments, it is well understood that such a work was in progress, and that Las Cases was in possession of a considerable part of it. Besides, we knew, and informed our readers several months ago, that he was preparing a work for publication, and we very explicitly foretold the materials of which it would be composed. The facts, or rather the falsehoods, might indeed have been put together by Montholon, or any other of the clique; but the style of the pamphlet, and several circumstances connected with Las Cases, leave, as we have said, little doubt in our minds that he is, iinmediately or remotely, the author of it. But, whoever be the writer, it must be considered as coming from Buonaparte himself; and assured, as we are, that it is derived from him, and published, if not with his knowledge, at least in concurrence with his wishes, we shall persist in considering it as the apology of the ex-emperor dictated by himself.

Our readers will have observed, that the work is entitled 'a Reply to Mr. Warden. We find in the outset a complete substantiation of our charges against that person.

• Not understanding the only two modern languages which Buonaparte speaks, he had no other opportunity of learning what he relates, but through the interpretation of Count Las Casas,* who speaks English very incorrectly, and with considerable hesitation--or of General Bertrand, who possesses the faculty of speaking it in a lesser degree than even the other.—This simple observation would, of itself, be sufficient to enable you to form a correct judgment as to the accuracy of Mr. Warden's relations.'—p. 2.

The translator frequently makes the mistake of calling Las Cuses, Las Casas.


Our readers may ask how this denial of Mr. Warden's accuracy, and this pompous reply to his assertions, are reconcileable with our opinion that Warden's publication was prompted by Las Cases ?-the answer is, that these circumstances are not merely reconcileable with our statement, but furnish full evidence of its justice, and afford a striking proof of the course of trickery with which Buonaparte now conducts his literary operations.

None of these worthies understood enough of English to appreciate Mr. Warden. His ardent curiosity for every thing concerning Napoleon,' (p. 2.) convinced them that he was a man of talent. They therefore confided to him all those fictions which they wished to disseminate in England;- but they mistook their man ;--Mr. Warden, though weak, was vain, and contrived to mix up so many blunders of his own with their elaborate falsehoods, that they found they had failed in their purpose of creating any useful impression through his means. Besides which, even in cases where he had accurately reported their apologies for Buonaparte, (as the defence of the massacre of Jaffa, and the denial of the poisoning of the sick, and of the murder of Captain Wright,) the refutation so quickly, so publicly given (and no where, we say it with satisfaction, more fully than in this Journal) of those miserable pretences, have induced them to try a new version. It as the practice of Buonaparte and his followers to use implements of this sort, and when the public indignation or derision has blasted their reputation, to accuse them of inaccuracy, and disavow them.

But though this work is thus announced as a reply to Mr. Warden, our readers will smile to hear that there is hardly one substantial contradiction of his statements; in fact, the book is merely a postscript to Warden's, repeating all his apologies for Buonaparte, but with greater care and skill-softening down passages which had' excited indignation—strengthening points which had been found weak--reconciling contradictions which had been detected -supplying eulogies and panegyrics upon themselves which had been omitted-and, in short, publishing Mr. Warden's letters as Buonaparte and Las Cases originally intended that they should have been published by him.

The following extract will at once shew the style and intentions of the author, and amuse those of our readers who may like to look at the tiger in his cage.

• When walking on the deck, he generally spoke to the officer of the watch, the master, or the parson. He appeared sometimes desirous of being present while the master was making his observations; he frequently asked questions of Messrs. Warden and O'Meara, respecting the health of the crew, or upon some medical points, upon which he LL2


likes to converse, as being a science of nature. With the parson he discoursed upon the doymas and regulations of the different religious sects in England; and frequently he spoke to the captain of marines, who had been under the orders of Sir Sydney Smith, at Acre, at the siege of that place. So far, the picture which Mr. Warden has drawn of him, is generally correct. From the catastrophe which befel his army at Waterloo, to the period of his arrival off St. Helena, his officers assert that he did not betray the least ill-humour, impatience, or depression of spirits; and I think that his appearance and habits have been very accurately pourtrayed by our countryman. When he speaks, he interrogates, and is much fonder of asking questions than of answering. In consequence of having been so long in the habit of receiving a great number of people of different professions, he is accustomed to talk to every one of that particular profession to which he belongs. I saw him once in St. Helena speak for upwards of half an hour to an old Siamese slave, in whose conversation he even appeared to experience some gratification. His marked attention to return the salute of the lowest classes, and even of the slaves, appeared to me, at first, to be a piece of affectation : but I was informed that such had been invariably his custom, that he had declared it was the duty of a Sovereign to return alike the salute to all men, because, in his eyes, all men had equal rights.'--pp. 12-15.

This is excellent; all Mr. Warden's account is true till he says that Buonaparte seemed to have some of those feelings which belong to ordinary humanity; then the modern Charlemagne rises above this world: not even Waterloo occasions a moment of impatience; and he returns the salute of all men alike, because, in his eyes, (as if he were a Jupiter without the Scapin,) all men have equal rights !

We shall extract the following account of Marshal Ney's defection, which puts out of all doubt-if indeed any one is still incredulous on those points--first, Ney's base treachery;--and, secondly, the hypocrisy of Buonaparte, who condescended to flatter Ney when his infamy rendered him contemptible, and who now sneers at him, when his death would have rendered him interesting in the


of any other man so situated. It is stated, that Ney was sincere in his protestations to the King on the 8th of March, 1815, and that he was entirely ignorant of what was going on at Elba ; and that even until the 13th of March, he was faithful to the King. After that, Ney began to waver, was led away, and his old principles prevailed; so ihat he gave himself up to his former affections.

On the 13th of March he received from General Bertrand (who then performed the duties of Major-general) an order to put his troops in motion, with a letter from Napoleon himself, composed of the following lines, viz. " My cousin Bertrand sends you orders to put yourself in motion. I have not the least doubt, but that the moment you heard of my arrival at Lyons, you caused the tri-color flag to be mounted by


« PreviousContinue »