« ElőzőTovább »
and thrown to the ground. Napoleon's consort, and his sister Caroline, then pregnant (1), followed his carriage at the distance of about a hundred paces, and the machine exploded between them.— General Rapp, who was in the carriage with them, immediately sprang out (2) and endeavoured to quiet the alarm of the ladies, who thought that Napoleon was killed, until assured of his safety a few moments afterwards by the grenadiers of the escort. As soon as the carriage had passed the theatre de la République, Napoleon, being very uneasy about his wife, stopped, and ordered the piquet to go and meet her; he then went on to the Opera; and although all the glasses (3) in the house were immediately pointed at (4) him, it is said that nothing unusual was observed on his countenance.
A few moments afterwards however they were undeceived by the arrival of the women, whose pallid faces, in which consternation was evidently pourtrayed, and a profusion of tears plainly demonstrated that some untoward event had occurred. The explosion of the machine destroyed five or six houses, killed about a dozen of the inhabitants, and wounded thirty.
(1) Pregnant, enceinte, adj.
CONSPIRACY AGAINST NAPOLEON.
Truth is always consistent (1) with itself, and needs nothing to help it out (2). It is always near at hand, it sils upon our lips, and is ready to drop out before we are aware. Whereas (3) a lie is troublesome and sets (4) a man's invention on the rack, and one trick (5) needs a great many more to make it good (6).
CONSPIRACY AGAINST NAPOLEON.
During the reign of Napoleon, a conspiracy was formed at Paris for the destruction of his government. Among the principal conspirators were Pichegru and Georges. They were closely pursued, and even traced to their lodgings; the places where Georges had slept three nights before, and Pichegru two nights before, were known; the police officers had got scent of them, and tracked them like bloodhounds (7) from place to place. The legislative body enacted a law on the 9th of February pronouncing the pain of death on all who afforded them protection.
(1) Consistent, conséquent.
Pichegru was betrayed by a person to whom he had confided his secret, and was sold for one hundred thousand franks. At two o'clock in the morning of the 28th of February, some police officers entered the chamber where he slept, having opened the door by means of a key, which had been furnished to them, and rushed to a small night-lable on which his pistols were lying. Pichegru, who was a man of extraordinary strength and courage, though surprised , defended himself with his fists (1) like a madman (2), so that they were under the necessity of binding (3) and conducting him thence with only his shirt on, to the prefecture of the police, where seeing all resistance fruitless, he submitted and underwent (4) his examination, and was committed to prison.
Until then the public opinion with respect to Moreau's culpability had been suspended; but no sooner was it ascertained (5) that Pichegru was arrested, than he was abandoned by almost every body, and supported no longer, but by the party, Georges, and about twenty more of the accomplices still remained at liberty : fearing that they might escape, Napoleon had recourse to an expedient unexampled , I believe, till then, and which proved to what an extent he was seconded by the sentiments of the capital. He declared Paris to be in a
(1) Fists, poings.
CONSPIRACY AGAINST NAPOLEON.
95 state of blockade or siege; nobody was allowed to go out of it, unless by day, and only through fifteen outlets. The whole guard and garrison were bivouacked round the city, and sentinels on foot and on horseback, posted at every fifty paces round the walls. No one could go out without being examined by men personally acquainted with Georges and his accomplices, whose description was fixed up in every direction (1).
The promenades in the bois de Boulogne and round Paris were prohibited, and the blockade, which lasted six weeks, entirely put a stop to (2) the habits and diversions of the inhabitants , who notwithstanding made no complaints. At last, on the 9th of March, it was discovered that Georges was to (3) cross the Pont Royal in a cabriolet, at four o'clock in the afternoon, in order to (4) seek a lodging near the Pantheon. Precautions were taken in consequence of this information, and two police officers were placed upon the Pont Royal, when, at the time expected, Georges crossed, driving rapidly the cabriolet himself. He was followed by the persons stationed for that purpose. Arrived at the place of the Pantheon, he discovered that the house where he was to lodge, was beset (5); he immediately turned back, and encountered the two officers who had pursued him, one of whom seized the bridle, but was in
(1) In every direction, partout.
stantly stretched lifeless by a pistol , fired by Georges, who then opened the cabriolet, juinped out and wounded the second; the populace however flocked round, and seized him, crying, “ It is Georges, it is Georges. He was then conducted to the prefecture of the police, and thence, after undergoing his first examination, he was committed to prison. All his accomplices were afterwards arrested in succession, and the blockade of Paris was not raised , until the last of them was taken; during which period, men frequently appeared on the walls evidently with a design of leaping from them, but were deterred by the sight of the guards.
HONOUR IS NOT HEREDITARY.
Though an honourable title may be conveyed (1) to posterity, yet the ennobling qualities which are the soul of greatness, are a sort of incommunicable perfection, and cannot be transferred. Indeed, if a man could bequeath (2) his virtues by will, and settle his sense and learning upon his heirs, as certainly as he can his lands, a brave ancestor would be a mighty privilege.
(1) To be conveyed to, passer à, descendre à, être transféré. (2) To bequeath , léguer, laisser par testament.