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the study of man. Lavalette says that this personage left France in 1792, as Bishop of Autun, and returned in four years afterwards a republican. The directory readily grasped at him as being a man who, from his birth, station, and fortune, had an interest in the permanency of the old regime, but who sacrificed these advantages, and professed the principles of republicanism.
• When M. de Talleyrand,' says Lavalette, 'entered the ministry, dissension was at its greatest violence. He gently discarded his old friends, who were struggling in the councils against the majority of the directory, by feigning to believe that they all wished for the return of the Bourbons, and he remained a cool spectator of their disasters. The chief point he had in view was to keep his place and re-establish his fortune, which had been destroyed by former disorders and public events, He quickly obtained his aim, from which nothing could divert him, neither the clamour raised by his enemies nor the reproaches of his masters, to which he constantly offered a calm, patient, and I may almost say, a careless resignation. Í witnessed some instances of it, and I felt that ambition cannot fail to create disgust when bought at such a price.'-vol. i. p. 262.
The account of the war in Italy, and of the expedition to Egypt, is given in a very lively manner by Lavalette, but we have gone over the same ground too often to think of tracing it again, even with so pleasant a guide as our author. The details of sanguinary battles and of the operations of the plague, are now and then interspersed with remarks on customs and manners, or by singular anecdotes. Lavalette states that when Buonaparte left Cairo, he himself was directed by the general to traverse the city in all directions, in company with the police Aga or Cadi, to see if all were quiet. The Aga at the time was a Greek, and his name was Berthelemi. In going the rounds of the city together, Lavalette saw that they were accompanied by the guards of the Aga, as also his servants—but what
gave him most surprize was that the executioner appeared also as one of the retinue. It was strange to behold how the crowd of pedlars, and all others whose consciences declared against their conduct, retired at the approach of the solemn procession. In one of the streets the Aga stopped opposite a coffeehouse, when his stick-bearer seized a man who was by, and dragged him along with great force. A few questions were put to the unfortunate prisoner, when after a short pause, the Cadi made a horizontal motion with his hand, after which the party continued their walk. They had proceeded about thirty paces, when Lavalette turned round, and was struck at seeing a crowd still collected before the coffee-house. He returned, and found the executioner in the coolest possible manner, turning the head of the unhappy prisoner into his bag, whilst upon the ground, he beheld the decapitated corpse. “What's the meaning of all this?” exclaimed Lavalette. "! Oh," answered the Cadi, with the most perfect indifference, “that fellow had a share in the rebellion of Cairo, and escaped my vengeance.”
Buonaparte, in following Kleber from El-Arisch to Kanjonnes, was accompanied only by his staff, and fifty guides. They approached a village which the general thought he might pass with perfect safety, as he believed it had been just traversed by Kleber. In this expectation he was disappointed. Two of the horsemen forming his vanguard were seen, as they were about to enter the village, to turn their horses' leads, and ride back in consternation. The truth was, that the camp and cavalry of Abdallah Pasha were observed on the opposite side of the village. Buonaparte shewed instantly his usual presence of mind. He drew up his men in a single line, so as to make the enemy think that they were inore numerous than they really were. The stratagem succeeded, and the enemy raised his camp, and retired.
We pass over all that portion of Lavalette's memoir which traces the subsequent career of Napoleon from his return to France, after the expedition to Egypt, to his last abdication. We are induced to make this extensive bound over a world of events, because they are already sufficiently before the public, and particularly that we may have room for a few particulars of that critical incident in his life, which has given rise to all the interest and importance that he has excited amongst us.
It was shortly after the departure of the emperor from Paris, that Lavalette was arrested whilst sitting at dinner with his family. Ile was placed in one of the cells of the prison of the prefecture. Having contracted an inflammatory complaint in this prison, Lavalette was conveyed to the Conciergerie. Here he was placed in a long and narrow room, terminated by a window, which was covered so as to allow very little light into the apartment. He was cut off during the first six weeks from all personal communication with his family. The tremulous hand-writing of his wife, and the interesting condition which she happened to be placed in at that time, added to the sufferings of Lavalette. A few weeks after his imprisonment, he saw Marshal Ney in the prison, and this was the first intelligence he had of the marshal having been arrested. This distinguished general was afterwards placed above the apartment where Lavalette was confined, and amused himself by playing on the flute. Lavalette heard him frequently play a waltz, which remained deeply impressed on his memory, and when he some years after that time heard the same air played at a bal champêtre on the borders of Lake Starnberg, the recollections which crowded in his mind forced him to retire, by the strength of the emotions which they produced. Lavalette did not allow his wife to visit him for some time after she received permission to do so, such was the delicate state of her health and her incapability of bearing the shock of an interview in such a place. He was at a great loss to fill up his time, and sent for Hume’s History of England, in which he read of the calamitous end of so many kings. The contemplation of the misfortunes of such men abated the keen sense which
he felt for his own. Time went on a-pace; Madame Lavalette was delivered of a son, and, as might be expected from the state of her health during pregnancy, the child very shortly died in her arms. Lavalette gives a graphic description of his trial, which, as most of our readers are aware, terminated in a sentence of death against him. The news was brought to Madame Lavalette, and it had a terrible effect on her. She solicited an interview with the king, who promptly received her. She fell on her knees at the feet of Louis, who said, “ Madame, I have received
“ Madame, I have received you immediately to give you a proof of the interest I feel for you.
The lady was then raised, and left the chamber. Every body concluded that Lavalette’s pardon was now certain, but they were disappointed. Repeated attempts were now made by appeals to the king, or by motions in the courts of law, to avert the sentence passed on Lavalette, but all to no purpose ; and on the last day but three before that of the intended execution, Madame Lavalette determined to leave nothing undone in order to save her husband. She repaired to the palace, and after having set at nought all the form of introduction which court etiquette required, she placed an eloquent memorial in the hands of the king, who gave her a firm answer to the effect that he must do his duty. She strove to place another of the same description in the hands of the Duchess D'Angouleme, who effectually evaded the offer. Madame Lavalette went immediately to the apartments of the duchess, where she was refused admission; she then proceeded to the grand vestibule of the Tuilleries, but there she was likewise repulsed. In a state of complete exhaustion, she sat down on the stone steps which lead to the court-yard, where she remained an hour, and finding that there was no chance of her being permitted to see the duchess, with a weary heart she turned her steps to the dungeon where her hus
My wife,' continues Lavalette, 'came at six o'clock to dine with me. She brought with her a relation, Mademoiselle Dubourg. When we were alone, she said, “it appears but too certain that we have nothing to hope; we must therefore, my dear, take a resolution, and this is what I propose to you. At eight o'clock, you shall go out dressed in my clothes, and accompanied by my cousin. You shall step into my sedan-chair, which will carry you to the Rue des St. Peres, where you will find M. Baudus with a cabriolet, who will conduct you to a retreat he has prepared for you, and where you may await without danger a favourable opportunity of leaving France.
• I listened to her, and looked at her in silence. Her manner was clear, and her voice firm. She appeared so convinced of the success of her plan, that it was some time before I dared to reply. I looked however upon the whole as a mad undertaking. I was at last obliged to tell her so: but she interrupted me at the first word, by saying, “ I will hear of no more objections. I die if you die. Do not therefore reject my plan. I know it will succeed. I feel that God supports me.”
Madame Lavalette would listen to no remonstrance, and her hus
band consented to carry her plan into effect, if she would only change that part of the arrangement which placed the station of the cabriolet at such a distance from the prison. This she agreed to alter, and the next day was appointed for the momentous experiment. The same evening, this indefatigable woman called on the Duke de Richelieu, from whom, after the most importụnate perseverance, she obtained a promise that he would lay a memorial before the king the next morning. But she was resolved not to wait the result of this application; and, faithful to her appointment, she visited her husband at five o'clock on the day appointed, accompanied by her daughter Josephine. Madame had on a pelisse of merino, richly lined with fur, which she was accustomed to put on over her light dress on leaving a ball room ; and in her reticule she brought a black petticoat-she then charged Lavalette what he was to do on going out-and enjoined him, particularly as he was passing through the doors, which was very low, to take care and not break the feathers in the bonnet, a circumstance that would have at once given rise to suspicion. “Do," she repeated, “ all I tell you. Remain calm. Give me your hand, I wish to feel your pulse. Very well. Now feel mine. Does it denote the slightest degree of emotion ?” Lavalette perceived that she was in a high fever. She then proceeded to dress her husband, and in three minutes his toilet was complete.
• We all advanced in silence to the door,' continues Lavalette, I said to Emilie," the jailor comes in every evening after you are gone, Place yourself behind the screen, and make a little noise as if you were moving some piece of furniture. He will think it is I, and will go out again. By that means I shall gain a few minutes, which are absolutely necessary for me to get away.” She understood me, and I pulled the bell. “Adieu ,!” she said, raising her eyes to Heaven. I pressed her arm with my trembling hand, and we exchanged a look. If we had embraced, we had been ruined.--The turnkey was heard :--Emilie Aew behind the screen :--the door opened :- I passed first, then my daughter, and lastly Madame Dutoit.'
Lavalette then passed through the various apartments, surrounded and stared at by turnkeys, and officers of all sorts; and when he got beyond the precincts of the prison, no chair, as had been thought provided, appeared. Lavalette concluded that the plan was doomed to fail; but a chair was soon procured-Layalette was raised in itand carried to the Quai des Orfevres, where a trusty friend was in readiness, who conducted him to a cabriolet. He jumped in, was driven over one of the bridges, and it was not until the vehicle had reached the Odeon Theatre, that Layalette recognized in his driver Count Chassanon, who had placed in the cabriolet four double barrelled pistols well loaded. The fugitive was received into a garret in the fauxbourg St. Germain, and was afterwards conveyed out of the kingdom in a manner which is familiarly known to every Englishman. The cruel treatment which Madame
Lavalette met with in the prison afterwards, received the execration of every feeling mind. After six years of outlawry, Lavalette returned to France, where his letters of pardon were registered, and where, by his attentions, he had the happiness of consoling his wife, then occasionally subject, from her long sufferings, to fits of melancholy.
Art. X.- Historical Memoirs of the House of Bourbon. In two vols.
fcp. Dr. Lardner's Cabinet Library. London: Longman & Co. 1831. The design of this work is excellent: its execution wants dignity, and betrays on many occasions partiality, prejudice, and ignorance. The main object of the author, manifestly a Frenchman of the new school, whose manuscript has been done into very prosaic English, is to point out the evils which the house of Bourbon has inflicted upon his country. We wish that the work had come out much sooner, or much later. It looks, at this moment, like heaping fresh insults upon the living members of that devoted race, who are, it must be confessed, already plunged sufficiently deep in the abyss of adversity. No one can read this account of their ancestors, without feeling that they are in some measure .expiating the crimes of those princes, which indeed have been numerous and atrocious enough to demand the penitential sufferings of hundreds of their generations. At the same time, while these victims of past centuries, and of their own follies, remain within the shade of our hospitality, we could have desired that their feelings had been spared, and their misfortunes respected.
But since the author has left us no alternative upon this point, since he has produced his work before the world, it becomes our duty to notice it among the current publications of the day, and to draw from it a few of the Historical Lessons with which it abounds. The times in which we live are times of change. Every thing around us seems preparing to put on a new aspect. The great serpent of the globe appears to be putting off his old skin, and already partially shining in a new one. Amidst these vicissitudes, the voice of history will sometimes teach us how we are to shun great dangers, and to obtain important advantages; it will teach us to call things by their right names, and to preserve ourselves from being imposed upon by false appearances. Above all, it will shew us the influence which has frequently been exercised upon the destinies of nations, by the kings and leading men who have ruled over them, and in disclosing the dreadful scenes of war, plunder, tyranny, and crime, of every description which that unfortunate influence produced, it will warn us to rely more upon ourselves. It will impress more upon our minds the inevitable necessity of abandoning forms, and of looking only to substantial truths; of putting aside the suggestions of vanity, the love of show, the ridiculous delicacies of ancient usage, and of conforming our notions