« PreviousContinue »
The members of this court had received the notice to attend not more than an hour before the appointed time, and they did not, with the exception of the president, know for what purpose they were summoned. Nor was it necessary they should; the sentence was ready drawn before they arrived, and the grave wus actually dug before the court wus assembled !
Worn out with fatigue, the victim was asleep on a soldier's bed on the floor of his dungeon, when he was called to attend the court.' He was awakened with great difficulty, and he entreated to be allowed to sleep again; but as soon as he was made to understand that his hour was come, he shook off his fatigue, and prepared with a dignified alacrity for the last scene of his agony. He was introduced into the room where the court was sitting. He was asked his name: he told it. He was asked whether he had not borne arms against France': he answered that he had served the King; but when they were about to propose some other questions, he said he supposed he had told enough for their purpose, and that he would answer no more. He was then led away, and Hulin produced the sentence ready drawn up, and laid it before the astonished members for their signature. The whole scene had been so sudden-their ignorance of what they came for of whom they were to try—the name of the young victim, which fell like a thunderbolt amongst them; all contributed to disorder their minds, and the ferocious threats of Hulin, 'the organ of Buonaparte and Murat, the latter of whom was present in the castle to execute them, overwhelmed their consciences,' and they signed the fatal paper. We do not pretend to excuse their meanness, but we know that some of them set no bounds to their self. reproaches, and to the remorse with which they 'recollected that terrible scene.
The bloody Ilulin said, with atrocious sands froid, 'if the Prince had not told us his name we should have been prettily puzzled what to do, as there was no one who could iden tify him. This wretch was soon after, as the price of blood, rewarded with the office of governor of Paris, vacated' by Murat's promotion to an imperial principality.
"! ) to 7101 In this pretended trial, no witnesses were produced,' or any evidence but some papers, which are stated in the sentence to have been secretly read to the court before the prisoner was 'introduced.
பப) - I The moment the sentence was signed, the Duke was led down to death.
Toonviqa 110 bar The night was pitch dark; the executioners' could not see their victim, nor their own leaders, nor one another. The Duke asked for a priest, it was refused ;--he then knelt down téar'a square stone which happened to be there, 'crossed' his artos, bent
From ad' shil
his head, and was for a few moments absorbed in devotion. Ile then requested that a lock of his hair, which he had cut off and folded up, might be delivered to the Princess de Rohan-10 answer being made, he exclaimed--- Is there no French soldier who will perform this last office to a dying comrade?' One of the guard cried, I will; he received the little parcel;--but neither that nor the generous soldier was ever heard of more!
During all this time, two persons stood on the rampart above the ditch, leaning over the parapet; to them the Duke's demands were referred, and they, from time to time, directed the operations of the people below—these two persons are supposed to have been Murat and Savary—MURAT- the hour came when he must have remembered this dreadful scene with bitter syinpathy!
At last, a little before midnight, the duke was placed in the ditch, with his back to the wall—he asked to give the fatal word of command-he was refused. At ten paces the soldiers could not see him; a lantern was therefore brought, which he himself tied to his button-hole. At the word fire, the duke rushed forward on the muzzles of the musquets, and fell dead at the feet of his executioners. The body was immediately taken up-unstripped and even unexamined—and flung carelessly into the grave, which had been dug before the trial. A stone was thrown into the grave near the prince's head. It has been said that this was the cowardly vengeance of one of the executioners, whose cruelty was not assuaged even by the victim's blood; but the person who filled the grave declared, that he had himself thrown in the stone as a mark to know the body hereafter. A little dog of the poodle kind had accompanied the duke; in the confusion of the trial and murder he was not thought of, but on the return of light he was found howling on the grave of his master. The poor creature was with difficulty removed from the spot; a gentleman purchased him from the man who had taken þim, and protected him for many years out of affection to the memory of the unhappy Prince.
Our readers will excuse us for adding to this melancholy story a few words descriptive of the finding the remains of the duke.
On the 20th March, 1816,-the twelfth anniversary of the murder-a commission, appointed by the king of France, attended at Vincennes to search for the
man who had been employed to dig and fill it up was still alive, and several persons who had visited it shortly after the event, recogpized the spot. After digging about four feet deep, the boot of the right leg was discovered, and then the rest of the body successively, and lastly the head, and the stone which, before the grave was opened, the labourer stated that he had throwo in.' All the bones were found. Their position shewed that the body had been carelessly thrown in. It was lying rather on the face, with the head downwards, the left leg and arm bent under the body, and the right leg extended and the right arm elevated. It had been stated, by the labourer, before the search began, that the body had not been rifled; and in consequence of this information, the Chevalier Jacques--(who had been aide-de-camp to the prince and accompanied him to Strasburg, but had been then separated from him and brought to Paris alone, where he suffered a long and rigorous imprisonment) --declared what the Duke had about him when they parted, and what of course ought to be found in the grave; and it is impossible to describe the deep interest, the solemn impatience in which the commissioners, who stood around the trench, awaited each successive report of the surgeons who stood in it, and who examined every thing as the earth was turned up.
They found about the middle of the skeleton a mass of metallic matter, of the size of a watch, but so decayed, that but for some small iron keys and a seal with the arms of Condé which adhered to it, it would have been hardly recognized;—the seal was perfect. A small red morocco purse with eleven pieces of gold and five pieces of silver. Seventy pieces of gold coin, the contents of a rouleau wbich M. Jacques had handed to him at the moment of their separation—the fragments of the seal of red was on the ends of the rouleau were found, which bore the impression of the seal of M. Jacques. A ring and chain of gold, which M. Jacques declared the prince always wore about his neck, and which was found around the vertebral bones of the neck. In short, no doubt remained that the remains were those of the Duke d'Enghien-they were accordingly placed in a coffin, and deposited, with the usual ceremonies of religion, in the chapel of the castle of Vincennes.
Thus concludes the history of this bloody tragedy-the excurses for the perpetration of which only shew us that Buonaparte's impudence is equal to his cruelty. The whole charge against the Duke was, that he was in league with England in a conspiracy against Buonaparte ;—if it had been true, Buonaparte had no right to violate treaties and the laws of nations to seize him—he liad no right to try him before a packed court, chosen bt Murat-- to condenn him without a single witness being heard against him and to execute him in the depth of night, with no other light to guide the executioners than a lantern fastened to his button-hole. But the alleged fact is altogether false.' It'is well kitoxy that England had no hand in the French conspiracies against Kim, it is equally well known, that the Duke d'Enghien was wholly uncon
nected with, and ignorant of, them; and Buonaparte even makes it a ground of imputation against the Count d'Artois, that when he was about to execute his plot he did not apprize his cousin the Duke d'Enghien, in order that he might have retired to a place of safety: -1Even those who wished to maintain that he was not privy to the conspiracy, have agreed, that his death was to be attributed to the Count d'Artois, (in lact the latter was frequently reproached by the 'un
fortunate Prince's father, the Duc de Bourbon, as having been so,) who, -, at the moment whilst he was planning the overturning of the republic and the assassination of the first magistrate of the republic, left a prince of his blood in the power of that very magistrate.'--pp. 143, 144.
This admission is altogether at variance with the supposition that the Duke was aware of the plot--besides, the motives of the Duke's residence at Ettenhein on an estate given to him by the Cardinal de Rohan, repel the calumny of his having fixed himself there for political purposes; but again we say, if he had had political objects, Buonaparte's cruelty and violence, though apparently less wanton, would not have been less atrocious.
We have reserved for the last place, a circumstance which marks, in the most unanswerable manner, the infamy of this murderÇaulaincourt himself is ashamed of it, and has published a defence, in which, as it was impossible to deny that he had gone at that particular moment to Offenbourg, he strove to prove, poor imocent! that he was not entrusted with the secret.
We are heart-sick at the relation of such repeated horrorsand can write no more. We shall only say that we have this moment heard that the Pole Piontkowski and an Englishman well known in London have fabricated this work between them. Pi. ontkowski may have been (though we do not believe it) the channel by which the materials were conveyed to England; but he is utterly incapable of furnishing them himself-he never spoke to Buonaparte more than once in his life, and that once is doubtful — he
was not even admitted to the company of the attendants at St. Helena--while there is hardly a page of the Letters which does not
convince us that they are made up from Buonaparte's own writ3:tings, or, conversations.
Who the translator or editor is can be of no importance- whether some person at the Cape, whom Las Cases may have bu had an opportunity of employing; or some one in England, to sh whom the manuscript may have been secretly transmitted; but 3. We rather incline to the latter opinion.-Indeed we have heard
one person named as editor, of whom, fallen as he is, we cannot
credit such an imputation. We hope, nay, notwithstanding all -How'vib yule de !!!.3 мм 4
that has passed, we believe, that the person alluded to is incapable of lending liimself to the palliation of crimes which he himself first and most forcibly denounced to Europe-and we cannot but concur'with Sir Robert Wilson in the hope so emphatically expressed by him in his excellent work on Egypt, that in no country will there be found another man of such Muchiavelian principles as by SOPHISTRY 10 palliate these transactions---frightful crimes! which equal any that have blackened the page of history.
pp. 76. 78.
Art. X.-1. Des Colonies et de l'Amérique. Paris. 1316.
Far M. de Pradt. 2 vol. 2. Des trois derniers Mois d'Amérique. Par M. de Pradt.
Ancien Archevêque de Malines, &c. &e. Paris. 1817. 3. Outline of the Revolution in Spamsh e merica. By a South
American. London. 1817. THE THE attention of this country for the last twenty years has been
occupied by events so near in their interest, and so rapid in their succession, that objects at a distance from the sphere of immediate action appear to have lost their due magnitude and proportion. Every political change not directly affecting the contest in Europe passed away as an obscure umderplot in the great drama, of which the catastrophe was still in suspense. The scauty portion of public discussion, which had, until recently, been bestowed on the events which have taken place in the Spanish American colonies, presents a striking illustration of this remark.
From the dars of old Montaigne to those of Montesquieu, a ne volution in South America had been the speculation of successive philosophers, the favourite vision of enthusiasts, the hope and object! even of practical statesmen. To exaggerate its importance would be difficult, if we take as the measure of that importance its neces=;" sary influence on the condition and happiness of a large portion of mankind-suill nore, if we take into account its remoter consequences, and the close connection of the destiny of America with that of Europe, and more especially of England. No wonder then that this subject should have excited a greater degree of interese, smce the return of peace, in this, as well as in other countries.
The publications of which the titles are prefixed to this Article, afford us the opportunity to contribute our humble endeavours to illustrate the nature of a revolution so interesting in its character,' and so complicated in its operations; and to consider what may be the course of political conduct i respect to it, which it best suits the character and the fair interests of England to observe.'uri