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quorum magna pars, &c. He bore the last letter of Maria Louisa to her husband, stopping, on his way, a few days, at Paris, where he remarked, that the individuals whose devotion and enthusiasm for the imperial family he had frequently admired, were precisely those who placed in their hats the largest white cockades; and where he came to the conclusion, that Talley rand contributed more than any man to the downfal of Napoleon, and the re-establishment of the Bourbon family on the French throne. The Emperor, however, was undoubtedly the chief artificer of his own ruin, as he had been the chief architect of his own fortunes. Our Prefect found him at Fontainebleau, “ calm and decided,” and consoling himself with the consideration that the air of Elba was pure, and its population excellent. He talked of the unsuitableness of suicide for one of his principles and career, and repeated to Bausset the proverb_"a living ass is worth more than a dead lion,” with an air which caused his hearer to think that he meant the other adage,-Il n'y a que les morts qui ne reviennent pas. As a last quotation, we shall copy a part of our author's delineation of him, in the concluding chapter of the Memoirs :
“At this period of his life, Napoleon was forty-six years old. He was about five feet five inches in height; his head was large ; his eyes of a clear blue ; his hair dark chestnut; his eyelashes were lighter than his eyebrows; which were like bis hair, of a deep chestnut ; his nose was well-shaped, and the form of his mouth pleasing and extremely expressive ; his hands were remarkably white and beauti. ful; his feet were extremely small, but his shoes were not calculated to show them off to advantage, because he would not endure the smallest restraint. On the whole he was well made and well proportioned. I have particularly remarked a habit which he had of reclining, by a sudden movement, his head and the upper part of his body to the right, and of applying his arm and elbow to his side, as if he wished to make himself taller; this mechanical movement was very slight, and only remarkable when he was conversing as he walked. It did not at all detract from the imposing ensemble of his appearance.
“Genius and power were expressed on his large high forehead. His fore. head alone was sufficient to form a physiognomy. The fire which flashed from his eyes, expressed all his thoughts and feelings. But when the serenity of his temper was not disturbed, the most pleasing smile lighted up his noble countenance, and gave to it an undefinable charm, which I never beheld in any other person! At these times it was impossible to see him without loving him.
“I have already said, in speaking of his tastes, that his only nicety consisted in extreme cleanliness, and that his dress was not at all remarkable. One day, wishing to set the example of a useful encouragement to the manufacturers of Lyons, he appeared at one of Maria Louisa's parties in a dark coloured velvet coat, with diamond buttons. He was not at all himself, and seemed quite uncomfortable in his new dress.
“One day, during the Spanish campaign, at Aranda, he sent for me at seven in the morning, to give me some Spanish papers which he was in a hurry to have translated. He was standing shaving himself near a window ; Roustan held a large glass ; when he had shaved on one side of his face, he changed sides, and Roustan replaced himself in such a manner that the side not shaved was towards the light. Napoleon used only one hand in this operation.”
“Much has been said of Napoleon's passionate taste for women. Appreciat. ing as he did their merit and beauty, it is not to be supposed that he was free from those amiable weaknesses which constitute the charm of life, and to which
all men pay the same homage. It is certain that the young man who is just entering on life, and who trembles at each moment lest his secret should be betrayed, is less reserved on this point than Napoleon was. It was never he, but the women themselves, that made these transitory inclinations public; and I think their number has been singularly exaggerated. His taste for snuff has been equally talked of. I can assert with truth that he lost more than he took. It was rather a fancy, a kind of amusement, than a real want. His snuff boxcs were very plain, of an oval shape, made of black shell, lined with gold, all ex. actly alike, and differing only in the beautiful antique silver medals, which were set in the lid.” . *
“ He said that Frenchmen, naturally chivalrous and warlike, were always led away and even overcome by the splendour of glory; that they forgave every thing when followed by success and victory ; but that it was necessary to restrain them by the unity and dignity of the administration, and by fixed laws.
“He said sometimes that the enthusiasm of others abated his.
“Men, in his opinion, were so many cyphers, which acquired value from their situation alone.
“« Men,' he said, as well as pictures, required to be placed in a favourable light.' °«« « In general,' he added, the fortune of men depends on circumstances.'
We have thus manifested our willingness to give the memory of Napoleon all the advantage which can accrue to it from the testimony of such a witness as this Prefect of the Imperial Palace. We are further ready to allow M. de Bausset himself credit for the degree of affection and gratitude which he seems to have retained for his old master, and the warmth and roundness with which he has proclaimed his impressions, under the government of the Bourbons. Almost all his pages, however, which relate to persons of rank, power, or celebrity, bespeak the habit and mood of exorbitant and obsequious admiration and flattery. He was a mere courtier and purveyor, incompetent to decide upon the real character and designs of Napoleon, or their influences and tendencies, good or bad; and always reluctant to find fault with any thing done or said in elevated stations. We infer from some of his confessions, that he was mortally afraid of the Emperor, as well as anxious to please him by any species of service. It is difficult not to feel contempt for one who tells us, that he used every possible endeavour to know the particulars of the first interview at Bayonne between the old sovereigns of Spain and their favourite Godoy, after Napoleon himself had judged it but civil and decent that they should be left alone. “ J'ai fait toutes les recherches possibles pour connaitre les détails de leur première entrevue. Malheureusement je n'ai rien appris. Tout ce que je sais, c'est que dans le premier moment, le roi et la reine se jetèrent dans les bras de Godoï en poussant des cris de joie et de bonheur." Whether this espionage was intended as a contingent to the sys.. tem which he acknowledges to have been pursued with regard to the royal family of Spain, or arose merely from his characteristic inquisitiveness, it must be reprobated equally as inconsistent with the spirit and sphere of a gentleman. Servility and exaggeration are natural concoinitants : M. de Bausset tumefies every property, peculiarity, opinion, and phrase of his idol-he places him, in every situation and act, on the loftiest pedestal: when he finds him at Fontainebleau, after the abdication, studying a book of geography and statistics, in order to learn how far he would be physically and socially comfortable at Elba, he exclaims
"jamais, peut-être, il ne me parut plus grand” —as if real grandeur of mind would not then have been attended with other thoughts and occupations. The Prefect insists that he sustained his character and personal dignity, without ever allowing them to be impaired, whether at the time he was encompassed by the bayonets of Europe, or when he was yielded up unarmed to the outrages of his jailers at St. Helena. Several of the anecdotes related in these Memoirs are utterly irreconcilable with this praise ; and the reference to the scenes at St. Helena is particularly unlucky. If Sir Walter Scott is successful any where in his strictures on the personal deportment of Napoleon, it is in the history of it at St. Helena, in the five last chapters of the Life.
At Dresden, after Napoleon has pronounced some criticisms on Fabre d'Eglantine's Philinte de Moliere, which are not remarkable in any respect, his devout listener observes—“L'empereur avait raison de dire que je l'écoutais. Je trouvai tout ce qu'il disait, dans ces momens d'abandon, si riches d'ideés et d'expressions, que je mettais tous mes soins et usais de toutes les ressources de ma mémoire pour n'en rien perdre.” Napoleon was, doubtless, endowed with uncommon sagacity and force of intellect; but the maxim there is no royal road to geometry, is as true as it is trite, in its widest application: There is no intuition with regard to the sciences, the fine arts, the details of criticism, or complicated jurisprudence ;-a special study of principles, knowledge of facts, and familiarity with models, are, as to them, indispensable for sound opinions and intelligent decisions. Nevertheless, the numberless flatterers of the French emperor, in France, during his prosperity, and the many unreflecting admirers of his genius and energy elsewhere, have represented one whose education was almost altogether military, and whose life was spent in the tumult of camps and the severest toils and cares of military command and restless ambition, as a master-critic in literature, music, architecture, and the works of the pencil and chisel; as a dazzling luminary for all the savans of the Institute ; a sublime philosopher, a victorious theologian, and a profound lawgiver, who instructed, astonished, and surpassed, the most experienced and erudite jurists, in the formation of codes. A splendid conqueror and a puissant ruler, might be pansophical; the pretension cannot be admitted in critical history or impartial reviews.
Some of M. de Bausset's anecdotes prove that his hero was, occasionally, choleric, precipitate, overbearing, callous, and
' of the Meerved severity; int here and there not
even grossly coarse and wittingly unjust. The treatment of M. de Nisas, as detailed in the fifteenth chapter of the second volume of the Memoirs, is a revolting instance of conscious wrong and undeserved severity. In relating such traits as this and others analogous, and making here and there general acknowledgments of a like purport, our author was not, we are sure, aware of the extent to which he invalidated his sweeping and frequent encomiums. Thus the Greeks, and the ancient heathens generally did not, perhaps, perceive how far they desecrated, displumed, and deposed their gods, by the personal annals which they compiled or invented in their theography. Even Jupiter is but a spurious divinity in the personal memoirs; and the demi-apotheosis which Homer may have designed for Achilles, is marred by the epithets, passions, and excesses, which are recorded in the Iliad. We doubt whether the wrathful warrior would have been satisfied with the poet, or Napoleon with the anecdotist, as they are respectively exhibited.
M. de Bausset dwells on the simplicity of his emperor's habits and tastes; and this, because he neither drank nor ate intemperately, nor clothed himself sumptuously in common; and had not lost altogether, some of the plain and familiar practices and manners, which appertained to his early condition, to the military career, and the spirit and fashion of the age. But, in the matters most important in themselves, and for France and all Europe, he was the least simple and abstinent sovereign of his era. He indulged an insatiable thirst for power and glory, both at home and abroad ;-his ambition, and his efforts to gratify that appetite, had no bounds; and, to repeat Shakspeare's figure, "he choaked himself with ambition” at last. He grasped and amassed more riches than any contemporary monarch ;-he is scarcely matched in modern story, for prodigality of public treasure and huinan life, in enterprises of personal propensitythe stomach of war, with its pride, pomp, and circumstance. He took a direct, immediate, fond part, in organizing the most magnificent and ceremonious court of modern times—his regal costume could not be exceeded in costliness and glitter : his imperial expeditions were unrivalled for ostentatious display of sovereign authority and grandeur, and diversified refinement of luxury: he countenanced, if he did not exact, as extensive and fulsome a system of adulation as ever prevailed under any civilized despotism. We might appeal even to M. de Bausset's pages, for confirmation of these allegations. National annals show that there are, for national injury, worse kinds of gluttony, epicurism, vanity, affectation, hauteur, and so forth, than those which are connected with the senses, dress, and social carriage.
But it is not our plan to do more at present, than throw out a few hints to mcet our author's broad and loose estimates of mo
• ral excellence. We must reserve the task of a more special and enlarged investigation of Napoleon's deserts and demerits, for the period when we shall have more of Thibaudeau's volumes in our hands, and can conclude the survey, in which we made some progress in our first and second numbers, of Sir Walter Scott's biography,—a work, which, with all its faults, is still a most valuable accession to literature and history, and distinguished by precious essences and rich beanties, that no other living writer could have imparted.
Art. XI.— Travels of the Russian Mission through Mongo
lia, to China, and residence in Peking, in the years 1820–21. By GEORGE TIMKOWSKI, with Corrections and Notes, by Julius Von KLAPROTH. Illustrated by Maps, Plates, lic. 8.c. London : 1827. 2 vols. 8vo. pp. 468 and 496.
Much of the lasting impression which the relations of Lord Macartney's embassy leave on the mind of his reader, must be ascribed, exclusively of the natural effect of clear, elegant, and able composition, to the number of persons engaged in that business, the variety of their characters, the reputation they already enjoyed, or afterwards acquired; the bustle and stir of a seavoyage; the placidity and success which finally characterized the intercourse of the English with the Chinese; the splendour of the reception the latter gave to their European guests; the picturesque, and almost romantic navigation, upon the Imperial Canal; the walks in the magnificent gardens of the Son of Heaven; and, perhaps, not less, to the interest we feel for every grand enterprise, skilfully prepared, and which proves successful, partly in consequence of the happy choice of the persons, and the means by which it was to be carried into effect. The names of Macartney, Barrow, and the two Sir George Stauntons, are now familiar to every reader. The Emperor Kien Long lives probably in the memory of every impartial European, at the head of the sovereigns of half-civilized nations. Indeed, since Cook's voyages, no expedition to a foreign and distant country, has become so popular as the one of which we speak.
Lord Amherst's embassy, though of a much more recent date, is less remembered, and, perhaps, even less generally known. There is certainly a wide difference between the blame which might be thrown on the scruples of this embassador, and those of the Russian Count Golovkin, by such as hold all sorts of ceremonies to be an idle farce, and a foolish pageantry. Whoever