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and for this line of conduct he had the author- complain of the choice they had made in the ity of his government. The men he was persons last sent to St. Helena. The count said dealing with were incapable of appreciating that it perhaps was not so much the fault of the generosity ; politeness was of no further use family as of the position in which they were than in smoothing matters and affording them placed, in an ecclesiastical state, where they no handle.
Instead of a plain esposition, could not act with sufficient independence in fullowed by a resolute determination, the making a selection. Besides, they had no relagovernor, if not too good-natured, was too choice. Bonaparte wished, therefore, to leave
tions with Paris to enable them to make a good prone to respond ; which with persons al- it entirely to the decision of the King of France ways“ trying it on” was only playing their and his ministers, as be thought none could gaine. That this opinion is not mere conjec- choose for him better than the French gorernture, is proved by two facts, really involving ment ; the present ministry being composed of the only two points at issue. At the outset persons nearly all of whom had served him in a declaration was to be signed by all the the same oflices, and who so well knew his habresidents at Longwood. This was done, but its and disposition : for instance, there was they substituted “ Emperor” for “ General.” Pasquir, who had been ten years his minister, Sir Hudson, not to create dispute, passed it with whom he confidentially conversed every day over; but Lord Bathurst returned the declar- for hours, and discussed the characters of peo ations, giving them the choice to sign or go. ple; Monier was another who knew him perAfter a world of vaporing, they signed, under fectly, as well as Ségur, Simeon, Daru ; and circumstances as ridiculous as their melodra
Latour-Maubourg, at this time minister at war,
who served with him for twenty-four years up matic refusal. We have seen the obstacles to 1814, who had been his aide-de-camp, had acthrown in the way of ocular inspection : when an order was finally issued directing the resi- had made. There was De Cazes himself, onco
companied him to Egypt, and whose fortune he dent officer to make his way through the his private secretary, who knew him intimately house till he s:lw General Bonaparte, facili- for several years, and who was in possession of ties were contrived.
many secrets known to none but himself. Towards the end Napoleon became some- At a previous period Count Montholon had what more placable. Perhaps he was con- described the new comers in the following flatvinced of the uselessness of resistance ; or he tering terms.
-“ The Abbé can only speak of felt that his disease was mortal, and his life Mexico ; Antommarchi of medicine ; and Vignali drawing to it close. When O'Meara was is perfectly ignorant." sent away, his uncle, Cardinal Fesch, chose With regard to a priest, Montholon said that the new physician, and two priests, one of Bonaparte wanted a man of education and learnwhom Napoleon wished for ; but his emi- ing, a theologian, with whom he could maintain nence chose badly.
arguments in theology, who would answer ail
his questions on religious matters in cases which Bonaparte had no confidence in Antom marchi ; required to be examined and sounded to their who was, in truth, wholly unequal to the situa- depths ; one who was perfectly versed in the tion. In one of the orderly officer's reports this history of religion, and capable of acting as a month (January, 1821) he said that Napoleon guide to him in the perusal of the Scriptures ; had been very angry with the doctor, because able to convince and satisfy his mind upon points the pills which he had been taking for some where he felt doubts. He wished him to be from time past had lost their proper effect. This forty to fifty years of age ; a man of erudition ; might be very hard upon Antommarchi, for the for, as to Buonavita, he was incapable of discusssame result would very probably have happened ing any religious point, and had never studied ; if he had possessed first-rate skill in his profes- he was, in fict, totally ignorant and without sion ; but Napoleon was getting tired of him,, education. Napoleon, the count said, was not and wished to have another physician sent out satisfied without explanations on every point ; in his place. And he was equally dissatisfied he wished to fathom everything, and had lately with the poor old Abbé Buonavita, who was no observed to him, “ Although I feel myself growtheologian, and quite unfit to hold converse on ing weaker and weaker every day, and am exreligious subjects with the keenest intellect of tremely ill, I am not yet brought to bay in a the age, or answer the questions of such a scep- state to require the succor of religion ; still, if tic as Napoleon Bonaparte. The wishes of the I found myself reduced to that plight, is it to a exile on these points were made known to Sir person like that I could address myself to become Hudson Lowe by Count Montholon in the course enlightened and obtain spiritual aid ?
Who of a long and interesting conversation he had knows? Voltaire himself asked for the consolas with him on the 27th of January. The count tions of religion before his death, and perhaps I said that he was charged to request that the also might find much comfort and relief in the Abbé Buonavita might be replaced by a priest society of an ecclesiastic capable of inspiring from Europe, and that a physician might also in me a taste for religious conversation, who be sent out, as well as successors for Count Ber- might render me devout.” trand and himself ; but that Bonaparte particu- As to the young priest Vignali, Montholon larly desired that his family might be entirely said, when he came out to St. Helena he coula excluded from all interference whatever in the neither read nor write, though he was por choice of any of them. He had great reason to studying very hard, and making great efforts.
With respect to Dr. Antommarchi, he was a | his personal character, and indirectly against good anatomist, and perhaps a good surgeon the government which employed him, would also ; but he was very ignorant. He had not alone give importance to these volumes. even finished his studics wien he came to the “Audi alteram partem” is the general rule island, and had never been in society. As Na- with the British public before opinion finally poleon must know everything, and have his in- settles down into a national verdict on an quiries satisfactorily answered, which Antommarchi could not do, he had taken a dislike to accused party. There have been many perhim. Besides, added the count, his manners
sons who hoped that for the sake of Sir Hudwere too frivolous and presuming; he had son Lowe's memory his biography would clear begun by giving himself a good deal of impor- his character triumphantly. 'We will see tance, and on his arrival believed that the whole how far this hope has been realized – but, island was at his command.
before doing so, we must say a few words on All these arrangements, which were sub
the authorship of the work. stantially repeated in a ninute of Napoleon, fession of which Sir Hudson Lowe's biogra
Without any disrespect to the learned prowere stopped by his death, in the month of pher is a member, we think it injudicious to May following It has been surmised that Sir Hudson custody of a lawyer, himself the author of
have handed over an accused reputation to the Lowe was to some degree a scapegoat of the Hortensius; or, the Advocate."'. Those ministry. There is not a trace of this to be arts by which verdicts are gained in courts found in the proceedings. He was thoroughly of law are not efficacious before the bench of supported in what he did ; what he took upon criticism. The rhetoric of Mr. Forsyth is of himself was confirmed ; and he held greater the forensic school ; his logic is too often that power than he exercised. On his return George the Fourth gave him his hearty ap- last exhibits the partisanship common to
of a special pleader, and his tone from first to probation.
biographers. In justice to him, however, we Sir Hudson Lowe was presented to the king will extract from the preface his own view of on the 14th of November; and, being about to the duties of his office, and of his manner of kiss his majesty's hand, the king took hold of discharging it : liis and shook it heartily, saying, “ I congratulate you most sincerely upon your return, after When Mr. Murray first proposed to place in a trial.the most arduous and exemplary that my hands the papers of the late Sir Hudson perlaps any man ever had. I have felt for your Lowe, in order that I might undertake the situation, and may appeal to Lord Bathurst how present work, after some consideration I declined frequently I have talked to him about you." the task, chiefly on grounds of a professional Sir Hudson Lowe, describing the interview in a nature. Por the law is a jealous mistress, and letter to a friend, says, “ He took my hand a sec- recognizes no half-hearted or divided allegiance. ond time, and again repeated his congratulations But the proposal was again pressed upon me in on the exemplary manner in which I had fulfilled so flattering a manner that I was induced to remy duties ; turning at the time to all the min- consider my decision I was not asked to isters who were present, as if to impress his own make out å case for Sir Hudson Lowe, nor, had sentiments upon them.' And soon after Sir I been asked to do so, would I have consented. ljudson Lowe had the gratification of receiving a I regarded the duty of examining the papers left convincing proof of the approval of government hy him as a solemn trust, for the due and truthof his conduct, by being appointed to the first ful discharge of which I was responsible to the vasant colonelcy of a regiment (the Ninety- public, and a still more searching tribunal, my third) that occurred after his return to Eng- own conscience. land.
In recording the materials at his command,
Mr. Forsyth says : This work has been long looked for – and more than once we have announced its ex- I have had access to a vast number of original pected publication. , Delayed from various despatches of Earl Bathurst, who was secretary causes, it could scarcely have made its ap- of state for the colonies while Napoleon was at pearance at a more seasonable time than now. St. Helena, and to the originals or copies of Increased interest has of late been given to every important document connected with the the character of Napoleon - his nephew has subject. Thirty folio volumes are filled with becoine a ruler of France and we are fresh copies of correspondence and other writings, from the retrospect of the great duke's career. carefully made under the direction of Sir Hudson The brilliancy and moral courage with which Lowe, who seems to have treasured a memorial Lamartine has written on the theme of Napo-nected with that important period of his life.
of almost every incident, however trivial, conleon have also contributed to interest readers In addition to these, there are several large on the subject.
boxes which contain manuscripts, chiefly copies, But the name of Sir Hudson Lowe, loaded relating to the same events, all of which have as it has been with obloquy, and associated been diligently examined for the purpose of the in the public mind with grave charges against present work. Two sets of copies of O'Meara'
TOL. II. 28
From the Athcnaum.
letters to Mr. Finlaison, so frequently quoted in charges against him stand. We took up the the narrative, were placed in my hands ; but I work with feelings inclined to concur in the wish distinctly to state that I have not seen the moderated censure on Sir Hudson Lowe passed originals. One of these sets was made officially by Lamartine. We were ready to make great at the time when the letters were communicated allowances for the peculiarity of his position, through the Admiralty to the cabinet, as will be its invidious and inquisitorial character, and explained in the course of the narrative, and the splenetic despondency of his mighty captheir correctness cannot for a moment be
tive. But, after reading these volumes, in doubted. It only remains that I should make an acknowledgment for the assistance I have re- which a vigorous attempt at literary ablution ceived. The Lowe papers were originally placed, has been made, we feel our prejudices consome years ago, in the hands of the late Sir firmed rather than removed. Taking the case Harris Nichols, with a view to publication as given by his biographer and defender, we under his auspices as editor. He underwent find the following facts on the record. the heavy labor of arranging them, and before It stands admitted here, that Sir Walter his death had proceeded so far as to have a Scott and Sir Archibald Alison, both tories of voluminous mass of documents set up in type, the Castlereagh school, publicly pronounced down to the date of September, 1817. His plan, a verdict against Sir Hudson Lowe; that however, was to print almost every letter and while Napoleon was on the most friendly other manuscript at full length in chronological terms with Sir Pulteney Malcolm, the admiral order, connecting them with a slender thrend of of the station, he abominated Sir Hudson explanatory remark. The consequence would have been that if his plan had been carried out Lowe ; that when Sir Pulteney Malcolm tenthe work must have consisted of eight or nine dered his good services to reconcile the govclosely printed octavo volumes, the price of ernor with his captive, Sir Hudson declined which would have rendered them inaccessible to them; that after not having managed mat
; the public generally.
ters well with the previous admiral (Sir
George Cockburn), the governor then had a - For reasons which our readers will see serious difference with Sir Pulteney Malcolm, afterwards, we have ourselves put a line in one of the most amiable beings that ever italics in the above passage. The_hitherto breathed ; that with each and all of O'Meara, unpublished letters of O'Meara to Finlaison and Las Cases, and Montholon, and Antom(a clerk in the Admiralty) constitute the chief marchi, Sir Hudson (in the words of his biogrevelations in this work — and they will rapher and apologist).“ bad a separate cause excite a great sensation, as they incriminate of quarrel” (p. 2); that O'Meara, with all persons of eminence.
the perils of the law of libel in those days The work before us has a threefold interest; before John Lord Campbell was a legislator,
first, as it refers to the behavior of Sir gibbeted Sir Hudson Lowe in his " Voice from Hudson Lowe at St. Helena - secondly, to St. Helena ;' that, goaded by the five editions the conduct of the Liverpool cabinet — and, of O'Meara's book, he answered the challenge thirdly, the character of Napoleon during the to the King's Bench; that O'Meara did not closing years of his life. We will take these shrink, but met Sir Hudson Lowe with the subjects in order.
affidavits of seventeen witnesses ; that when It is necessary for us to observe, that, in the King's Bench decided “ too late" on Sir judging of historical characters which have Hudson's claim for redress, he throw the been subjected to much obloquy, it will be blame on his lawyers — none other than well to recollect that grave faults may yet be Copley and Tindal (Lords Lyndhurst and the grievously exaggerated, and that it is very late Chief Justice of the Common Pleas); that important to distinguish accurately between Lord Bathurst then urged him to defend his the actual and the overstated charges pre- reputation by a book in reply to O'Meara, and ferred against individuals. Warren lastings that Sir Hudson declined to do so
- and finally and Lord Castlereagh were two public men left his case to be argued at the bar of poswho were for long periods subject to vast terity by a lawyer ! obloquy with the many, and to severe censures Then, without any reference here to the from the more critical few. Though we withering execration with which Napoleon would not take our opinions of Warren Hast- used to pursue the name of Sir Hudson Lowe, ings from the invectives of Burke, we might | let us see how the Eurl of Liverpool, the Duke yet think he richly merited the censure cast of Wellington, and Sir Robert Peel acted on bim by Lord John Russell in his “ Life of towards Sir Hudson Lowe. Aftor mentioning Fox;" and though not accepting Cobbett or “ the fatal mistake of Sir Hudson Lowe in not Hunt as authorities on the character of Lord publishing a refutation of the charges against Castlereagh, we might concur in unfavorable him," his biographer says: views of that statesman's public fame brought by other parties.
Besides, in another important respect Sir HudApplying these principles to the case of son Lowe suffered. There can be little doubt Sir Hudson Lowe, 'let us see how the real that Lord Liverpool was in some degree preju
diced against him. Lord Bathurst recommended governments the moral courage to support, hin for a pension, which was surely due to him much less patronize, an injured but unpopuas much as to Colonel Wilkes, the governor of lar man. The plea sounds plausibly; but St. Helena whom he succeeded, and who received an impartial historian would say, that whata retiring allowance of 1,5001. a year ; but no pension was granted to Sir Hudson Lowe. Why ish ministers, it is a character of public men
ever may be the faults or the merits of Britwas this ? Nothing could be more full, explicit and leaders of parties to stand by their friends and unreserved, than the terms in which Lord Bathurst conveyed to him the approval of the and
followers when they get into trouble. Of British government at the close of his arduous all men that ever lived, the Duke of Welling. duties at St. Helena. Why, then, was a pecuni-ton and Sir Robert Peel would not Ainch from ary recompense withheld which he had fairly doing justice to a public servant if they thought earned ?
his obloquy wholly unmerited. But we reThere is n large bill of indictment against Sir Hudson Lowe. We will now proceed to
serve our general remarks on the conduct of Sir Hudson Lowe in that “why?" It is im
the possible for any biographer to get over the
Admiralty scandals” revealed in the fact that a pension was refused to him, while present work. It is impossible that they can it had been given to a previous goverror.
be allowed to pass without serious notice.
He was sent out afterwards as governor of An
The name of Barry O'Meara is familiar to
our readers as the author of the “ Voice from tigua, and was subsequently made commander. St. Helena” – in which the Liverpool cabinet in-chief at Ceylon ; but he solicited the gov: was attacked, and Sir Hudson Lowe furiously ernment of the latter island in vain-- and assailed. The work caused a great sensation, what else but an unfavorable impression to- and the author was fiercely vituperated by wards him remains after reading the following some writer in the Quarterly Review. While passage?
we write, we have O'Meara's book and its Before leaving England, Sir Hudson Lowe had review in the Quarterly (vol. xxviii.) before an audience of the Duke of Wellington, and en- us. In that article he is taunted with “ the deavored to obtain from him a promise of his baseness of espionnage” (p. 238). The reinterest in the erent of a vacancy occurring viewer, at p. 237, tries to defend Sir Hudson The duke, however, replied that he never did, Lowe from being desirous of hearing tittleand never would, make any such promise before, tattle," and O'Meara is charged with “exhand ; and that he did not think the colonial posing to all mankind the conversations which secretary, Sir George Murray, would be justified had been confided to the ear of friendship.' in doing so. But he added that, in his opinion, Now, if the facts recorded in the work before the ex-governor of St. Helena had been very hardly used ; and when Sir Hudson observed that the us be true, it is evident that in the first in
l object of his application to government had al-stance O'Meara had been encouraged from the ways been either to obtain a situation corre-Admiralty to play what many persons would sponding in rank to that which he had filled at call the part of a spy on Napoleon's words St. Helenn, or the means of an honorable retire- and thoughts. The name of Mr. Wilson ment, if government, from motives of policy, did Croker is mixed up very strangely in this not think fit to employ him, the duke answered, business -- and before having his counterthat no motive of policy would prevent him from statements it would be perhaps basty to proemploying him (Sir Hudson) where his services nounce on the accusations in Mr. Forsyth's might be useful. On this Sir Hudson Lowe sug- work. There are revelations of very considgested that an opportunity might occur of send-erable « scandal.”. ing him in some capacity to the Russian army,
O'Meara, selected by Napoleon as a surwhich at that time was engaged in a campaign against the Turks ; but the Duke of Wellington of the name of Finlaison at the Admiralty:
geon and confidential companion, had a friend shortly replied, “We have kept out of that ; we have kept out of that." Sir Hudson Lowe then Apparently with a view to advance himself, spoke on the subject of a pension, stating the O'Meara (of course without Napoleon's knowl. circumstances under which he had before ap- edge) wrote a series of letters in which he plied for one ; but the duke made immediate ob- describes the contortions of the caged lion. jections, saying that Parliament would not grant A specimen will suffice ; - it being necessary it. Sir Hudson replied, that he had always to observe that they have been hitherto unbeen desirous to hive the question referred to published : Parliament, and wis ready to stand or fall by its decision. The Duke of Wellington, however, He frequently breaks out into invectives said, it was useless to urge the matter any against the English government for sending him farther, as it was certain Mr. Peel would never to this island, which he pronounces (with some make any such proposal to the House of Com- reason) to be the most detestable spot in the
universe. “ Behold the English government,'
said he, gazing around at the frightful and stu.. The author pleads for his client - that pendous rocks which encompassed him. " This “ Sir Hudson Lowe does not seem to have is their liberality to the unfortunate, who, conbeen aware how seldom there is found in fiding in what he so blindly imagined to be thoir
national character, in an evil hour gave himself in a public letter that, a few hours after the up to them. But your ministers_laugh at your ship's arrival, a letter was inserted in the Portslaws. I thought once that the English were a mouth paper about Bonaparte, and that it had free nation, but I see now that you are the great- been traced that you were the author of it. Mr. est slaves in the world,” said he to me one day ; Croker sent for me, and desired me to request
you all of you tremble at the sight of that man. you to be careful in respect to your private In my greatest power I could not do such things letters to any other person, as everything nowas I have seen done to your sailors and others a-days gets into the papers ; but to me he icsince I have come to this Isle de Brouillard.” peuteil his hopes that you woulil write in full
confidence, and in the utmost possible detail, all In the same letter occurs this passage, the anecdoles you can pick up, resting assured which explains itself — O'Meara alluding to that none but the government ever will see them, his own positiou :
and to them they are and must be extremely
interesting, as showing the personal feelings of In fact, if the government does not choose to your great state prisoner. give me what Bonaparte offered me himself, viz., 12,000 francs, and repeated once in a letter from
There is something that rerolts the mind in General Montholon, which has been forwarded the idea of the “ very great folks” having." a to the Admiralty, I must decline holding the real feast” in a near sight of the writhings situation any longer. If I must be a prisoner, and gnashings of the great captive on the it is only the hopes of emolument which will in
rack “ feast” to which they were adduce me to continue in this cage. You will perceive that the greatest part, if not the whole, of mitted by the continual violation of profesthis letter would be unfit to meet the public eye, sional and gentlemanly confidence. But we perhaps would not be altogether agreeable to the have the letter of Sir Hudson Lowe to congovernment also ; however, of this you are, of firin the Finlaison statement. Referring to course, the best judge. I merely tell you in con- other matters relating to O'Meara, Sir 11udfidence of what really happened — particularly son addresses Lord Bathurst: as Napoleon now is able, with a dictionary, to read the English papers, and, of course, in con- I did not fuil immediately to point out to Dr. sequence of nobody ever having been present O'Mearn all the impropriety of his conduct, and during the greater part of the conversations even the danger, as affecting bis life, by meduling which have taken place between him and me, in such matters. He said Count Montholon had would immediately discover that I was the left the letter in his room without his giving his author, and I know would be greatly offended. consent to it - that a motive of curiosity had It must be evident you that, unless I was on led him not t3 return it — that he had no ingood terms with him, it would be very disagree- tention to give it publicity, but that he should able, if not impossible, to remain as his surgeon. probably have given extracts of it in his letters Therefore may I beg of you to confide this only to Mr. Croker; and he here produced to me :1 to such persons as you know will not put the letter he had received from a dir. Finlaison, who contents in the newspapers ?
holds some office in the Admiralty, marked
“ Confidential and Secret," and therefore, per'But the character of O'Meara (thus self- haps, not furnishing a fit matter for reference, tarnished) is not the question. The conduct in which he is most particularly requested to of much higher persons is involved. Who give all the details possible to Mr. Croker of was it that encouraged O'Meara to pursue everything interesting he can collect respecting this conduct? Let the Admiralty clerk tell : General Bonaparte, and made acquainted that
the letters he may write will not pass beyond Your letters of the 16th of March and 22d of the perusal of the cabinet ministers. Mr. FinApril came duly to hand, and furnished a real laison tells him of the pleasure the perusal of feast to some great folks here. I also received a many of them has afforded to a royal personletter from you on your first arrival, which was age; and Dr. O'Meara is encouraged by every considered very interesting ; not a line of any species of praise to continue his communications thing you have written to me since you sailed was both to Mr. Croker and Mr. Finlaison, the ever made public. The moment your letters official situation of the former of whom may came they were given to Mr. Croker, who con- perhaps afford some grounds for the request, but sidered them extremely interesting, and circu- certainly not that of the latter. The letter from lated copies among the cabinet ministers; and Mr. Finlaison concludes with requesting Dr. he desires me to assure you that they never O'Meara to procure him a scrap of Bonaparte's have been, nor shall they ever hereafter be, handwriting for Mr. Croker, and, on the whole, seen by any other person. I conjecture also manifests a kind of interest in everythiug relatthat your letters have even amused His Royal ing to the extraordinary personage referred to, Highness the Prince Regent; they are written which, if communicated to him, could not fail, I with that discrimination, good sense, and na- think, of proving in a certain degree ilattering äveté, that they could not fail to be acceptable ; to him, and with a person of bis artifice lead, and I am quite sure that they have done you a through Dr. O'Meara, to communications for the great deal of good at the Board, a proof of which ear and observation of the Prince Regent himis, that the other day. Captain Hamilton of the self.
He founds his indication prinHavannah, and Sir E. Thornborough, reported cipally on the strict injunctions he has received