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not is too honest a man to hear our secrets.' | his guest for the last news from Versailles. The conversation thus interrupted, Beug- What news?' replied Maury, where do not was sent home in Madame de Lamotte's you live then? There is news which ascarriage, accompanied by the tall young tounds all Paris. The Cardinal de Rohan, lady, whom he dropped on his way at the High Almoner of France, was arrested last Rue de Cléry. That young lady was Made- Tuesday, on Assumption Day, in his ponmoiselle Oliva, who had personated the tifical robes, at the door of the King's clos Queen in the scene when she gave a rose to et.' 'Is the cause of so violent a measure it the Cardinal in the bosquet de Versailles. known?' 'Not exactly; but they say The trick had been played that very even- is about a Diamond Necklace he was to ing, and by this strange accident Beugnot have bought for the Queen, and did not had supped with the actors. From that mo- buy. It is strange for such a trifle that ment the mystification of the Cardinal was they should have arrested the High Almocomplete, and the Diamond Necklace was ner of France.' in the grasp of the gang.
We continue the story in M. Beugnot's words:
Strangely enough, after the extraordinary success of the plot, the Lamottes not 'No sooner had this news reached my ears, only did not leave the country with their plunder, but they had the folly and audaci- than I looked at Madame de Lamotte, who had droped her napkin, whilst her pale and moty to return to Bar-sur-Aube, where they tionless face hung over her plate. After the were well known, to exhibit it. They first effort, she sprang up and rushed out of openly displayed enormous wealth. Wag- the room. One of the Abbot's attendants folgons loaded with splendid furniture came lowed her, and I shortly rejoined her. She had down from Paris. Two complete services already ordered her carriage and we started toof plate glittered on the sideboard. They gether. "Perhaps I was wrong to come away even exhibited a casket of diamonds of so abruptly," said she, "especially in presence "Not the least. Your great value, and a multitude of costly arti- of the Abbe Maury." cles of jewelry. All this was set down to the infatuation of the Cardinal, but it created distrust, and in the better houses of the province Madame de Lamotte was in very
She still succeeded, however, in pushing herself into society, and on the 17th of August 1785 she was even received by the Duc de Penthièvre at his seat at Châtauvilain, with honours only paid to persons of high rank. Beugnot was staying at that moment at the Abbey de Clairvaux, with Dom Rocourt the Abbot, a very strange successor of St. Bernard; the Abbè Maury was to preach next day the annual commemoration of that great saint at the monastery. Dom Rocourt was so good-looking that when he was presented at Versailles, the Queen called out, Ah! le beau moine !' and he was in other respects a well-ap-pointed gentleman, having 400,000 francs a year, and never travelling without four horses and an outrider. With this gay abbot, in his abbey, Madame de Lamotte, on her way back from Châteauvilain, came to dine, and in her avowed character of the mistress of a Prince of the Church, she seems to have thought she had a claim to figure at its ceremonies. This the Abbot declined, but he invited her to supper; and to this same supper arrived fresh from Paris the preacher of the morrow's feast. They sit down at once to table, and the Abbot, impatient of .news from Court, challenges
relations with the Cardinal are known, and almost avowed. His life may be in danger; your part is to anticipate the letters, the couriers, the news. But what is the cause of his arrest?" "I can't conceive, unless it be some trick of Cagliostro's. The Cardinal is infatuated with that man, though I have never "Very well: but what ceased to warn him.” "All Caglios is this affair of the necklace?"" tro." "But you received the fellow at your house,, Are you sure he has not compromised "Not at all. I am sorry I left the supper. But there is nothing that fellow will "Madame de Lamotte," rejoined I, you have already said more than I care to hear; but I still offer to render you a last service. It is now ten o'clock. Your husband can join you in an hour with your valuables. You can reach Châlons to-night, whence you may gain the coast, and get a boat for ten louis to "Nonsense," she recarry you to England." plied, "I have nothing to do with this affair." "At least," I added, after a silence of half an hour, as soon as you get home, burn every paper which might compromise the Cardinal. You owe that to his honour and to your own safety." To this she assented, and on arriving at her apartment we at once opened a great box of sandal-wood filled with papers of every size and every colour. I asked her whether they contained any bank notes, and on her answering in the negative, I proposed to throw the whole into the fire. This she refused to do, and insisted on our going through all the papers. Then it was that I saw what ravages the delirium of love, rendered more intense by the delirium of ambition, had wrought in this unIt is fortunate for the memory of happy man.
the Cardinal that those letters were destroyed, | vincial town!' exclaimed the Marchioness though they would have formed a strange page in the history of human passions. But what must that age have been in which a Prince of
the Church would not hesitate to write and to sign letters to a woman, whom he knew so little, which in our days no man with an atom of self respect could even read to the end?
I saw, too, in this box letters from Bohemer and Bossange speaking of the necklace, and of terms of payment; and threw all into the fire. The operation was a long one. When I left Madame de Lamotte her chamber was reeking with the smell of burnt paper and sealing-wax. It was then three in the morning. She promised to go to bed. But at four o'clock she was ar
rested, and at half-past four on her way to the Bastille.' (Vol. i. p. 86.)
Lamotte, the husband, effected his escape to England, no orders having been given to arrest him at the same time. The police, indeed, showed an extraordinay want of vigour in the whole affair. The arrest of the Cardinal took place at noon on the 15th of August. He at once denounced Madame de Lamotte as the authoress of the plot. Yet it was not till the 18th that she was taken at Bar-sur-Aube; and, as the warrant for the apprehension of her husband was sent down five days later, he had ample time to fly to England, and to carry off the diamonds which were the fruit of the robbery. *
'no, M. de Périgord; paysanne tant qu'on voudra, bourgeoise jamais!' whole country took up arms. The fear of brigands put a weapon into every man's hand. The manor-house was to be defended by a few rusty fowling-pieces. game was swept off the country. The fishponds were dragged in front of the château. The tiers-état, in the form of three or four drunken peasants, assumed a sovereign jurisdiction over the roads. M. Beugnot witnessed these scenes with vexation and regret, but he was returned to the Legislative Assembly as the Deputy of Bar-sur-Aube, and played his part in the abortive work of that illustrious body.
His participation in the legislative labours of the Revolution did not, however, exempt him from its dangers. He had rendered himself obnoxious to the hatred of the revolutionary party by moving the decree of accusation against Marat; and early in 1793 he learned that a warrant had been issued for his apprehension. The only alternatives were imprisonment or flight. With patriotic confidence he chose the former, and resolved to abide the worst. He placed his money and his papers in the hands of a couple of friends, who robbed him; and putting Epictetus,' 'Marcus Aurelius,' and Thomas à Kempis' in a bundle Our limits forbid us to dwell on the with a few clean shirts, he prepared for the sketches M. Beugnot has left us of the so- Conciergerie. At the moment of his seizciety of France at the outbreak of the Rev- ure he wished to add a volume of 'Tasso' olution; yet they are extremely character- to his packet, but the title of Jerusalem istic. In spite of all the signs which Delivered' was regarded as suspicious. announced the coming storm, it was impos-Tout ce qui vient de Jérusalem ne sent sible for the country-gentleman to believe pas bon,' said the ruffian who had him in it. Had not the King an army of 150,000 men to maintain order? What could persuade Dom Rocourt of Clairvaux that the Abbey and the Rule of St. Bernard were to be swept from the face of France? What could induce the great lady to believe that she was of less consequence in the vast medley of life than the daughter of an apothecary? When the danger became more apparent, Madame de Brionne, like many others of her rank, prepared to leave the country. The Bishop of Autun (Talleyrand) remonstrated with her, and advised her to take refuge in some small provincial town, where, if she lived quietly, no one would remark her. A small pro
his power, and Tasso' was left behind. As he reached the entrance of the prison, the long steps of the Palais de Justice were crowded like an amphitheatre with ferocious wretches watching for the departure of the death-cart and the arrival of fresh victims. As he got down the whole mass rose screaming, clapping, and vociferating like cannibals. The hapless prisoner was pelted with nameless filth, and he might judge by his entry into the prison of what awaited him on leaving it.
His first three nights were spent in a dungeon with a murderer and a thief. It was by mistake he was placed there, but mistakes were common in the Conciergerie; and perhaps the company of the worst criminals underground was less perilous than that of the political victims up-stairs. Interest had, however, been made for him, and he was shortly transferred to the Infirmary, as the best part of the prison.
Here the sick, the dying, and the dead | the judgment will content them; but the police were thrown pell-mell on some thirty or will keep order." What," said I, were forty wretched beds-no air, no ventila- you deceiving us by the tranquillity you tion, no cleanliness - a brutal doctor gave showed, and the confidence you expressed?" twenty minutes once a day to forty patients, "No," replied Bailly, "but I was giving you and every form of outrage and suffering an example of never despairing of the laws of were heaped upon the miserable inmates of took a cup of chocolate, and afterwards two cups The next morning early he your country.' that den of horror. Yet here, and in an of pure coffee. I expressed surprise at his taking adjoining room, Beugnot found himself once the coffee upon the chocolate. "I took the more in the presence of friends with whom chocolate," said Bailly," because it is nourishhe had sat in the Legislative Assembly, and ing and soothing, but as I have a difficult pasas his imprisonment was, by a rare excep- sage to make, and I distrust my own temperation, prolonged for four months, he may be ment, I took the coffee in addition, because it said to have undergone the Reign of Terror excites and stimulates me, and I hope with this diet I shall reach the end of my journey." At in the very crucible of human suffering. that moment his name was called, and for the last time I embraced him. He wished me a happier fate, and thanked me for the interest I had shown him.' (P. 199.)
First came the Girondins. Seven of them shared his room. At two in the morning, on the 2nd of November, the gaolers entered the cell with torches, to make an inventory of their scanty possessions and sweep these illustrious victims away to judgment and the scaffold. Amongst these men, remarkable for the difference of their characters and the similarity of their fate, was Fauchet, the ex-Bishop of Calvados, who retained his attachment to the Catholic faith with the zeal of a martyr. Every day he read his breviary, a portion of Scripture, and a chapter of the Imitation of Jesus Christ. But his favourite study was the Apocalypse, for in that he fancied that St. John had predicted the Jacobin Club, the reign of Robespierre, the 'noyades' of Carrier, and even the carmagnoles' of Barère. Gensonné and Brissot listened
with amazement to the fervour of his harangues.
Next came Bailly:
He entered the prison with a serenity worthy of one of the lights of the age. No complaint, no reproach, passed his lips in the six days on which he stood before that mock tribunal. He gave his answers to the end with the same coolness, precision, and dignity, though one's blood boils at the questions they put to him. No doubt especial orders had been given to make him drink of that bitter cup drop by drop; for, in the prison, where he had formerly brought the consolations of kindness and humanity, when he stood at the height of fortune and of fame, he was now treated with every refinement of barbarity. When the hour came for his attendance before the Court, his name was called out first, and, as he approached, the gaolers pushed him backwards and forwards, shrieking, Tiens voilà Bailly! à toi Bailly! prends donc Bailly!" he meanwhile moving with gravity through this dance of cannibals.
The day before his death, Bailly anticipated what was to happen, and spoke of it without emotion. "The public has been misled about me," he said; "I hope the simple execution of
One of the next victims in this strange group was Madame Roland, whose character and history we have delineated at some length in a recent Number of this Journal. M. Beugnot's impressions of that remarka ble woman correspond with singular precis ion with those we had received from the re-perusal of her own Memoirs. There was much of harshness and extravagance in her devotion to the ideal of antique Stoiodious to Beugnot. But in spite of the uncism, and her revolutionary opinions were favourable prepossessions with which he saw her in that hall of Eblis, the grace and dignity with which she bore her misfortunes and prepared to meet her doom were irre
'The day Madame Roland was to take her trial, Clavières sent me to her on some errand. I would have refused, but Clavières insisted, observing that an interview between her and himself on that day might be injurious to both of them. I went therefore, and watching the moment at which she left her room, I joined her as she passed. She waited at the bars till she was called. Her dress was careful; she wore a gown of white muslin, trimmed with blonde, and fastened round the waist by a sash of black velvet. Her hair was dressed; she wore a light and simple bonnet, and her beautiful locks fell waving on her shoulders. Her face seemed rather more animated than usual; her colour was lovely, and she had a smile up on her lips. With one hand she lifted the train of her gown, the other hand she surrendered to the crowd of women who surrounded her to kiss it. Those amongst them who best knew what awaited her sobbed aloud, and commended her to Providence. No words can describe that picture. Madame Roland answered them all with affectionate kindness; she did not promise them to return; she did not tell them she was going to die; but the last words she spoke to
them were words of tender advice.
She ex-tongue she might have been forgotten, but
While these and a multitude of other similar scenes were passing around him, Beugnot himself had the good fortune not to be brought up for trial. The case against him was not very clear, and a letter written by him to Lafayette some months before, which would infallibly have cost him his head, escaped the notice of his enemies. Meanwhile his wife, who was in Paris and at liberty, was unremitting in her exertions. She came to see him in the disguise of the woman who washed his linen, and at last, at the most critical moment of his life, she succeeded in obtaining his removal to La Force, another prison reserved for persons less gravely compromised. Here he remained for some months longer, not without imminent peril; he was not liberated until after the fall of Robespierre on the 10th Thermidor.
The women's quarter in the Conciergerie exhibited, even more than that occupied by the men, all the varied emotions of that extraordinary time. A corridor was common in the daytime to both sexes, and here there was as much dressing, talking, flirting, and love-making as in the salons of Paris. Most of the women contrived to change their dress three times a day, though in the interval they had often to wash or mend the garment they were about to put on. The tone of conversation was gay and animated, and people seemed bent on proving that though the Reign of Terror might imprison and kill them, it could not make them dull or disagreeable. All ranks of society were blended in this singular promenade, and it sometimes happened that those who had sunk to the lowest grade in life, rose again to dignity and honour at the near approach of death. When the Duc du Chatelet was brought to this prison he was totally unnerved by his position- a rare instance and moreover he was intoxicated. The next day he recovered his senses but not his composure, and stood bewailing himself at At this point a gap occurs in the fragthe bars of the women's chamber. A poor ments that remain of M. Beugnot's Memoirs. girl of the town, named Églé, hardly twenty We pass in a moment from the sanguinary years old, who had been sent to prison be- gloom of the Reign of Terror in 1794, to cause she hated and denounced the Revolu- the active and prosperous career of an Imtion, said to this disconsolate nobleman, 'Fi-perial Minister in 1808. After the 18th donc, Monsieur le Duc! are you crying? Brumaire and the accession of the First know, Sir, that this is a place where those Consul, Beugnot was summoned by Lucien who have no name may gain one; and those Bonaparte, who knew him, to serve under who have a name ought to know how to the Home Department. He filled a prefecbear it.' The ruffian Chaumette had his eye on this girl, and proposed that she should be tried at the same time as Marie Antoinette and sent to the scaffold on the same tumbril. But even the monsters of that day recoiled from this execrable insult; the Queen was executed alone; and Églé was reserved for the next occasion. Three months elapsed, and if she had held her
ture and was named a Counsellor of State then an important post in the government; and upon the creation of the Kingdom of Westphalia he was selected to administer its finances. He remained, however, but a short time at Cassel, and was soon afterwards sent to Dusseldorf by Napoleon to organize and govern the Grand Duchy of Berg, which was eventually to be given to the son
of the King of Holland. In the lottery of crowns which was drawn from month to month by the members and adherents of the Imperial family, it was difficult to foresee in what quarter of Europe a man might serve or reign. The Grand Duke of Berg of one year became King of Naples the next, and Beugnot, who was waiting at Bayonne to rejoin Murat, suddenly found himself on his way to the Lower Rhine. Ere he started he repaired to the Arch-Chancellor (Cambacérès) for his final instructions, which that distinguished gastronomer delivered in the following terms: My dear Beugnot, the Emperor settles the crowns as he pleases. All very well. The Grand Duke of Berg goes to Naples so much the better. But his Highness was in the habit of sending me two dozen hams from his own duchy every year. The hams I must have. Take your measures accordingly.' The hams were of course punctually sent as long as the stability of the French Empire allowed of it. They were not only to be sent, but sent gratis. Cambacérès had secured an arrangement with Lavalette, the Postmaster-General, by which every mail from different parts of the Empire brought a fresh tribute to the ArchChancellor's table, and the fact that he paid nothing for them appears to have given additional zest to these varied viands.
Talleyrand held a different language. He referred to what had just taken place at Bayonne in strong terms: Victories,' said he, cannot obliterate such actions as these, for they are base, fraudulent, and tricky. I can't tell you what the consequence will be, but you will see that they will never be forgiven him.'
Dusseldorf was at that time the capital of a small state of about a million inhabitants, which had been formed of the principality recently ceded by the House of Bavaria, with some additions from the territory of German mediatised Princes, and the old ecclesiastical domains of Munster. Nothing could be more purely German, and the manner in which these provinces had been torn from their rightful sovereigns to form an appendage to the French Empire was perfectly characteristic of the age. Count Beugnot (for he had accepted that title) compares his own position to that of a Roman pro-consul.
'It was in those days a position in Europe to be a Frenchman, and a great position to represent the Emperor of the French. Except that I could not with impunity have abused my powers, I was in Germany what the pro-consuls of Rome had been of old. The same respect, the same obedience of the population, the
same obsequiousness of the nobles, the same desire to win my favor and approval. We were still at that time under the spell of the peace of Tilsit. The invincibility of the Emperor was unshaken. I came from Paris, where I had all the memorable deeds and marvels of his spent my life at his Court, that is to say, amidst reign. In the Council I had seen that genius at work which ruled the human intelligence. I thought him born to be the true master of Fortune, and nothing appeared to me more natural than that the world should be at his feet. That seemed to me the future destiny of mankind. The country which fell to my lot augmented this illusion. Germany, ever prone to the mar the Emperor. That admiration was still comvellous, was long in losing her admiration of plete for the hero who had swept away the Prussian monarchy, the armies of Frederic, and the legions of the successors of Peter the Great.' (P. 313.)
These at least were M. Beugnot's own impressions; but we question whether the sentiments of Germany towards Napoleon in 1808 were not embittered by very different emotions. The members of a ruling race are slow to understand, and dull to feel, that hidden hatred which lurks in the heart of a subject people. The French flattered themselves that they were governing Germany, until the war-cry of 1813 placed a musket in the hand of every child of that enduring but avenging people. We readily believe that M. Beugnot did what he could to render the domination of France endurable to the Germans. He was proud of his little duchy. He embellished and improved the city of Dusseldorf. Brought up to the law, he respected the rights of the population; and he had no tinge of that military spirit which was the sorest curse of Imperial France.
'I had an honest confidence in the importance and stability of my position; but my char acter preserved me from the excesses which might have excited the people against me. I love to seek out whatever is honourable and good, and from the bottom of my heart I respected the inhabitants of the Grand Duchy; but there, as at Cassel, I committed the fault of treating lightly what is serious to the Germans, of seeing everything with French eyes, and, more than all, of giving way to my taste for a joke. This last defect was that which was least forgiven, and I should have succeeded better if I had not given way to it.'
of the Cabinet of Paris, with which he corBut he was compelled by the exigencies responded, to drain the country of recruits for the armies of France and of supplies for their maintenance. On all occasions he