« ElőzőTovább »
from persons in public situations to send home | as I had been in the habit of obeying those reaccounts of what is passing here, and the ap- ceiyed from the Board of Admiralty, under whose probation given to his letters at the Board as orders I naturally was, I hnd not thought it confidentially communicated to him by Mr. improper to communicate to them such informaFinlaison.
tion and anecdotes as I thought they might be
pleased with, and concluded with submitting to To which the author has appended these him that it would be much better for me to notes :
resign the situation, which I was ready to do. The following extract from the postscript to a
To this he replied, he was far from desiring such
a step, and said that the subject altogether letter from O'Meara to Mr. Finlaison, written on the 14th of October, this year, will show the required some deliberation, and thus the matter persevering efforts made to send this letter from you not to correspond, I will continue to do
rests. Until, however, I have received directions clandestinely to England, and also the necessity for the closest vigilance on the part of the so, or will, as I told him, resign a situation governor. It proves also that, after all, O'Meara always delicate, and now peculiarly and embar
rassingly so. did send to England a copy of Montholon's letter. “ This letter De Las Cases and Montholon have Let us recapitulate the startling revelations been endeavoring by all means in their power to of this clandestine correspondence. 1. In the send to England. De Las Cases showed it and Preface quoted before, Mr. Forsyth vouches explained it to Captain Shaw of the Terma- for the genuineness the Finlaison and gant,' and, I believe, offered a copy to Captain O'Meara, or what some would call the Wilson Gray of the Artillery, and Lieutenant Louis of Croker, correspondence. 2. That O'Meara, the Northumberland, to whom also a copy was in violation of professional confidence, wrote offered, which he refused taking, as Sir Hudson to the Admiralty his notes on the sayings expressed his earnest wish to me that it should and confidential thoughts of Napoleon. 3. not be sent even to the Admiralty; as, he said, That his letters were • a feast to very great he had not given the admiral a copy of it, per- folk” in England. 4. That Mr. Wilson haps it would be as well not to allow it to come to his knowledge that I had sent it, though I
Croker encouraged O'Meara to provide ample
5. That this conceive it a duty incumbent on me to furnish provender for the “ feast.” Dr. Croker with all the intelligence possible clandestine correspondence, this espionnage, through you, and which I shall not fail to do in was carried on without the knowledge of Sir every one of my letters.” It was a mistake of Hudson Lowe, who was very angry when he Sir Hudson Lowe to suppose that O'Meara cor- found it out. responded with Mr. Croker, then the secretary This is certainly one of the most serious of the Admiralty. The latter merely received revelations” that have appeared amongst and communicated to the cabinet the letters our copious historical memoirs of the last few which Mr. Finlaison put into his hands.
years. It is fortunate that Mr. Wilson Croker What mere special pleading it is for Mr. cast further' light upon the whole subject.
is still living, as he will doubtless be able to Forsyth to say that O'Meara did not corre- What is very curious in the matter is, that spond with Mr. Croker ! Surely it ought not to though the government of the day suffered be necessary for laymen to remind a lawyer sorely from the effects of O'Meara': "Voice of the maxim, “Qui facit per alium facit per from St. Helena,” with a word of the revela
But the scandal gets deeper at every tions in this work they might have destroyed step. The following passage from a letter to their antagonist's character. But his destrucFinlaison tells very favorably for Sir Hudson tion by such a process would have been most Lowe, while it puts parties nearer home deeper dangerous to his enemies. His reviewer in the in the mire :
Quarterly assailed him in all the moods and I told Sir Hudson, this day, that Montholon tenses of vituperation — but he took special had done so, and that he had given me the letter. care to avoid the name of Finlaison, and the He was very much displeased at the idea of its previous services in which O'Meara had been being made known, and also with me for having used. Though in the power of the governread it, so that I was obliged, in my owu defence, ment, O'Meara wrote with great audacity, as to make known to him thint I was authorized to he knew well that he had government also in make communications respecting Bonnparte to his grasp, and that official people could not the Admiralty. He appeared surprised and blast him without awfully scorching themannoyed at this, and said that it was not proper ; selves. If such scandal as this had oozed out. that the Admiralty had nothing to do with what in those days, what invectives would have took place respecting him ; that he did not communicate it to the Duke of York ; that it ought of scorn from Lord Althorp
come from Henry Brougham, and quiet bursts
to say nothing. not even to be made known to any of the cabinet ministers, except the secretary of state, with of emphatic rebukes from young Lord John. whom he corresponded himself, and that he Russell and the leaders of the Opposition of would make some arrangements accordingly. that time! What a brilliant political satire He added, that my correspondence ought to go the author of “ Tom Crib's Memorial to Conthrough him. I replied, very respectfully, that, Igress” and “The Twopendy Post-Bag” would
have written on a theme so fertile in sugges- present publication. On them do part of the tion !
history of Napoleon has made so decp and These revelations are so very interesting a mournful an impression as the sad tale of his chapter in the “ Curiosities of Literature, reverse and his exile. The mysterious secluthat we have taken this rapid survey in our sion of the remote sea-girt prison, the dark desire not to withhold them from the early hints of harsh and ungenervus treatment, and notice of our readers. On the subject of Na- then the death of the emperor, alleged to poleon himself the work is not so interesting be hastened by the cruelty of his gaoler,' as we expected ; but its historical importance struck a horror into the minds of Frenchmen is of the highest value and whether we at the conduct of all who had been in any agree or not with the various conclusions to way accessory to his fate, which no esplanawhich its author would fain lead the reader, tion nor documents will ever be able to mitiit amply deserves and will reward the careful gate, far less to efface. This horror and deperusal" of every person who is interested in testation have been concentrated on him who the subject of Napoleon.
was the instrument of the English govern
ment in the supposed cruelty. It is alınost From the Literary Gazette. part of a Frenchiman's creed to believo all An appeal for justice to an injured man is that is evil of Sir Hudsou Lowe. He is the seldom made to Englishmen in vain. Even bête noire of their imagination. Nor is this when it is too late to redress the wrongs of feeling, confined to. Napoleonists. Victor the living, we are unwilling to let a cloud Hugo, in his philippic against "Napoléon le rest unfairly on the memory of the dead. Petit,” reaches the climas of his invective, Such an appeal is now made in behalf of Sir when he exclaims : " Pire que Hudson Lowe! Hudson Lowe. The larger question of the Hudson Lowe n'etait qu'un geolier, Lłudson policy of the British government towards Lowe v'etait qu'un bourreau : l'honne qui Napoleon as their prisoner is amply illus- assassine véritablement Napoléon c'est Louis trated in these voluwes, but the immediate Napoléon ; Hudson Lowe n'avait tué que sa object is a defence of the personal and official vie, Louis Napoléon tue sa gloire." Our own conduct of the governor of St. Helena. On Lord Chief Justice Campbell, in his " Lives this subject there has always been much dis- of the Chancellors,” in speaking of Lord Elcussion, and, as it now appears, studied and don says : " As things were managed, malignant misrepresentation. It is only to afraid it will be said that Napoleon was be regretted that so long a delay has taken treated in the nineteenth century with the place in the publication of these official re- same cruel spirit as the Maid of Orleans ia ports, and that English bistorians have given the fifteenth, and there may be tragedies on currency to much calumoy and falsehood. the death of Napoleon in which Sir Hudson Even Sir Walter Scott and Sir Archibald Lowe will be the sbirro, and even Lord Eldon Alison, with all their tory prejudices in may be introduced as the stern old councillor behalf of the English ministry of the time, who decreed the hero's imprisonment.” This have given up the defence of Sir Hudson anticipation has been realized. When the Lowe. What has been uniformly asserted accession of Louis Napoleon revived the recolhas come to be universally believed, and lections of the emperor, a piece was produced, while with Frenchmen the name of to the Napoleon in Exile, in which the “ bourreau" gaoler of Napoleon” is the symbol of every- and geolier” was presented to the execration thing cruel and base, Englishmen have been of the angry Parisians. We can hardly be too ready to speak of him with feelings of surprised at this, when we consider the popushame and disapproval. It was no doubt a lar estimate of Sir Hudson Lowe by his own fatal mistake of the governor not to publish countryren. So recently as 1833 an incident during his lifetime a refutation of the charges occurred in the House of Lords which shows against him. He wearied the government the odium attaching to his name. In a debate with applications for redress, when he might, on the Irish Coercion Bill, Lord Teypham, by printing the documents in his possession, after saying that he was willing to 'intrust have fully vindicated his character, Ten extraordinary powers to the then Lord-Lieut,, -years have now passed since his death, and the Marquis of Normanby, yet it was necesthe true state of the case is at length made sary to legislate with reference to those who known from his letters and journals. Al might succeed him -"Now suppose,” conthough it is too late now to atone for much tinued Lord Teynham, “ the noble marquis of the injury that has been done, it is not were to be succeeded in the government of too late to vindicate the memory of an injured Ireland by a Sir Hudson Lowe.” Here the man, nor is it too late for truth and justice to speaker was called to order, and the Dake of correct the errors that have found place in Wellington immediately rose :this memorable episode of modern history. So far as the French are concerned we fear
I do not rise to oppose the motion of the noble that little effect will be produced by the I lord, or to state any objection to the proposition
of the lord-lieutenant being assisted by sis privy | sion to which you refer, in repelling a very gross councillors ; but I do rise for the purpose of de- and marked insinuation against an officer, in his fending the character of a highly respectable absence, for whom I entertained the highest reofficer, not a member of this Hourse, from the spect and regard. The discussion ended in a gross imputation thrown upon him (by implica- way that must be highly satisfactory to all your tion) by the noble lord ; and certainly a grosser friends. Ever, my dear general, yours most one I never heard uttered within these walls. faithfully, When the noble lord pays a tribute of respeci to
“ WELLINGTON. the present lord-lieutenant of Ireland, I have “ Lieut.-General Sir Hudson Lowe." no doubt that all nuble lords concur in the same opinion he has expressed of that noble marquis ;
Having referred to the just and generous but when he says “the noble marquis may he desence of Sir Hudson Lowe by the Duke of succeeded by some Sir Hudson Lowe,” I beg to Wellington, we give along with it a passage know what the poble lord means. I have the froin M. Lamartine’s “ History of the Restohonor to know Sir Hudson Lowe, and I will say, ration,” which Mr. Forsyth quotes, with some in this House or elsewhere, wherever it may be, judicious and honorable comments : that there is not in the army a more respectable officer than Sir Hudson Lowe, nor has his maj- From a French writer we might naturally eresty a more faithful subject.
pect on this subject nothing but panegyric upon Lord Teynham. - Really, my lords, I had Napoleon and invective against Sir Hudson Lowe. no intention of aspersing the private character One author of that nation, however, has honoraof Sir Hudson Lowe. No doubt the testimony bly distinguished himself by the impartial tone in the noble duke bears to it is perfectly correct. which lie has criticized the conduct of the gove But as regards his public conduct while govern- ernor and his captive. Lamartine has done or of St. Helena, I say, and will maintain it as a homage to truth, and, so far as he had the means peer of Parliament, that lie is cried out upon by of 'forming a just judgment, has taken pains to all the people of Europe as a person not fit to be arrive at it. He has fully penetrated the motrusted with power,
tives of Napoleon in keeping up his quarrel with Earl Bathurst. — “Perhaps it is conferring Sir Hudson Lowe, and, if he has fornicd a wrong too much importance on the matter to offer any estimate in some respects of the character of the answer to the noble lord's remarks ; but after latter and misconstrued his actions, we must reó Lis observations on the late governor of St. member that he was obliged to winnow out the Helena, that he so conducted himself in that facts of the case from the heap of calumny and capacity as to have been found fault with in falsehood with which the enemies of that offievery part of Europe ; I deny that such was the cer have loaded his memory, and that he had not case ; the charge is directly fulse. Sir ludson access to the materials which would have enabled Lowe behaved, in his very responsible capacity, him to correct in many points his opinion. In in a manner highly to his credit ; all well-in- the following passage he thus speaks of the govformed persons on the continent of Europe knew ernor of St. Helena and Napoleon :: “He" what his conduct was, and approved it.” (that is the latter)“ pursued slowly and obsti
A day or two afterwards Lord Teynham made nately the suicide of his captivity. The arrival the following apology for his unwarrantable at St. Helena of a new governor, Sir Hudson attack :-“ In rising to present two petitions on Lowe, riveted more closely his voluntary chains. the subject of tithes, I beg to state — what I That governor, whom the myrmidons of Napoleon, should have stated more explicitly on a former and Napoleon himself, attacked with groundless evening (if I had not been called to order, or and passionate charges, such as the hallucinarather interrupted, upon my making an observa- tions of captivity alone could inspire — treated tion in which I mentioned the name of that gal- by them as a petty constable and assassin - had lant officer, Sir Hudson Lowe) – I now beg to neither criminal intent against his captive in his state that it was not my intention to impute thoughts, nor insult towards the unfortunate in improper conduct to, or to make any reflection his heart. But, crushed under the load of reupon, that individual. I merely used the name sponsibility which weighed on him lest he might of that gallant person hypothetically, in order to suffer to escape the disturber whom Europe had show the danger of placing any portion of his given him to guard, narrow in his ideas, jealous majesty's subjects under military power, upon in his regulations, nervously tenacious of forms, an uncertainty into whose hands that power deficient in tact, and odious to his captive from might hereafter fall. I trust, therefore, that the the very nature of his functions, he wearied Nafriends of the gallant general in this House will poleon with restrictions, superintendence, orders, believe — and that through them he may be in- visits, and even marks of respect. He soon imformed — that it was not my intention to bring parted to the duties of the governor of the island any accusation against him."
and guardian of an European hostage the apSir Hudson Lowe wrote and thanked the duke pearance and rudeness of a gnoler. Nevertheless, for his prompt and generous defence, and his although he may be reproached with improprigrace replied in the following note :
ety, he cannot be charged with ill-usage. He
was the occasion rather than the cause of the “ S. Sayo, Feb. 21, 1833.
unhappy end of Napoleon. In reading with at“My dear General — I have received your let- tention the correspondence and notes exchanged ter of the 20th. I assure you that I considered on every pretext between the attendants on Nathat I did no more than my duty, upon the occa- | poleon and Sir Hudson Lowe, one is confoundod
at the insults, the provocations, and the invec-| celebrated Sir George Augustus Eliott, aftertives with which the captive and his friends out- wards created Lord Heathfield. raged the governor at every turn. Napoleon at After having been more than four years upon that time sought to excite by cries of pain the garrison duty, during which time, he says, erery pity of the English Parliament, and to furnish third or fourth night was passed on guard, with à grievance to the speakers of the opposition no other appliances for repose, between the reagainst the ministry, in order to obtain a re- liefs of sentries, than a blanket on boards and a moval nearer to Europe. The desire of provok- pillow resting generally upon a stone, Lieutenant ing insults by insult, and of afterwards exhibit- Lowe obtained leave of absence, and travelled in ing these insults as crimes to the indignation of France and Italy, whereby he acquired a prethe continent, and of making Sir Hudson Lowe ficiency in the languages of those countries, which the Pilate of this Napoleonic Calvary, is plainly was of singular use to him in after life. evident in all those letters."
On his return to Gibraltar the war had broken No doubt the portrait of the governor is here out afresh, and he proceeded with his regiment harshly drawn, and some of the particulars are to Corsica, where he was actively engaged in serincorrect. For instance, when Lamartine speaks vice until the 60th was ordered to garrison of Sir Hudson Lowe wearying Napoleon with Ajaccio. The future governor of St. Helena wais visits, he seems not to be aware, or to have for- thus quartered in the same town with the Bonagotten, that during the whole of the six years of parte family, none of whom, however, he seems the captivity the governor had only five inter- to have met. views with his prisoner ; and that Napoleon rudely and discourteously refused, after insult- On the evacuation of Corsica, Lieutenant Loire ing him to his face with the grossest language accompanied his regiment to Porto Ferrajo, in of abuse, to see or have any intercourse with him Elba. In 1795 he was 'promoted to a company ; again. Nor was there anything in his conduct and was soon after appointed deputy judge-idor demeanor, as the reader will see, which can vocate to the troops. From Elba the 50th projustify the application to him of the odious epi- ceeded to Lisbon, and remained quartered nearly that of gaoler. But this question will appear in two years in Portugal, at Fort St. Juliens. At its true light as our narrative proceeds, and we the expiration of that period. it was ordered to need not anticipate here the judgment which Minorca, which was then commanded by Genwill be formed on the facts of the captivity. eral Fox, and to this island flocked a large body
of emigrants from Corsica, who were organized Reserving for another article our remarks into a small corps called the Corsican Rangers. on the general subject of Napoleon's captivity, With this body of troops Sir Hudson Lowe's fate and his treatment by the British government, and fortunes became intimately connected. we at present confine ourselves to the conduct
The charge of the newly-raised corps was inof Sir Hudson Lowe, the true account of which, trusted to him. In August, 1800, being then and the explanation of the false impression Gibraltar for the purpose of joining the expedi
about two hundred strong, they were seut to prevailing concerning it, we can present to tion of Egypt under Sir Ralph Abercromby. The the satisfaction of our readers. A few details command of the corps was given to Captain of the previous history of the governor will Lowe, with the temporary rank of major ; and prepare for the better appreciation of his it formed part of the reserve commanded by character :
Major-General (afterwards Sir John) Moore.
The army landed at Aboukir on the 8th of Sir Hudson Lowe was, as he himself tells us March, and the Corsican Rangers formed on in a fragment of an autobiography which he left, the right of the guards. The corps was warmly born in the army. His father was an English- engaged, and sustained in several conflicts heavy man, a native of Lincolnshire, who obtained a loss. While in Egypt, Major Lowe sent his medical appointment early in life with the troops father, who was then surgeon-major to the that served in Germany during the Seven Years' garrison at Gibraltar, clear and detailed acWar. After the breaking out of the war of the counts of events as they occurred, and they are French Revolution, he was appointed surgeon- too well known to justify relation here. major and head of the medical department in the He was present at the battle of Alexandria, on garrison of Gibraltar, the duties of which he the 21st of March, 1801, and during the camcontinued to discharge until his death in 1801. paign was the means of saving Sir Sidney Sir Hudson Lowe, the subject of the present Smith's life. A picket having mistaken Sir memoir, was born in the town of Galway on the Sidney for a French officer, for his wearing a 28th of July, 1769. Shortly after his birth his cocked hat (the English army then wearing father's regiment, the 50th, was ordered to the round hats), they levelled their pieces at him, West Indies, and he was taken out with it. On when Major Lowe struck up their muskets, and his return to England, and while still at school, saved him. before he had attained his twelfth year, he was He received the first proposals for the surappointed to an ensigncy in the East Devon Mi- render of Cairo, commanded the rear-guard of litia, and actually passed a review in military the escort to the French army on its march to uniform at that age. In the autumn of the year Rosetta, and was present at the advances against 1787 he obtained a king's commission as ensign and surrender of Alexandria. His zeal and in the 50th regiment, which was at that time ability in command of the outposts, on various stationed at Gibraltar, the governor being the occasions, obtained for him that Aattering en
comium from General Moore — “ Lowe, when but Cotonel Lowe positively refused to accept of you 're at the outposts, I always feel sure of a any other conditions than to evacuate his post good night's rest. And the same gallant and with arms and baggage, and after his return to distinguished officer, when writing on the 27th the town he drew up proposals for surrendering of October, 1801, to Major Lowe's father, thus the island, and forwarded them to General Laspoke of the son :- "In Sir Ralph Abercromby marque, who ultimately, and after some hesitalie lost, in common with many others, a good tion and difficulty, accepted them. On the 20th, friend ; but, however, his conduct has been so Colonel Lowe evacuated the town with his troops conspicuously good, that I hope he will meet and marched to the Marina, the place of embarkwith the reward he merits.”
ation, with all the honors of war.
It deserves to be mentioned, that, Wien of his subsequent services in Portugal, in General Lamarque required the restitution of Sicily and Naples, full account is given in several of the foreigners who had enlisted in the the memoir which occupies one of Mr. For- British service while prisoners of war, Colonel syth's chapters. The loss of the island of Lowe peremptorily refused. “You may shoot Capri, through the misconduct of the Maltese me, but I will never give up a single man, troops under his command, is the only un- was his spirited reply to the general's demand. toward event in Sir Hudson Lowe's military
Colonel Lowe next served with Sir John But his gallant defence of the fort Stuart at Naples, and was afterwards appointwith the Corsican allies, only eight of ten ed governor of some of the Greek Islands, inBritish artillerymen being in his whole force, cluding Cepbalonia and Ithaca, from which received high official praise, and everything the French had been driven :recorded of his own conduct in the whole affair is of the most honorable kind. When Colonel Lowe framed the provisional governthe French with a superior force had gained ment, and presided over the civil as well as possession of the town
military administration of these islands for
nearly two years, without ever claiming or reNext morning a flag of truce brought a sum- ceiving any remuneration for the extraordinary mons from General Lamarque to Colonel Lowe duties with which he was charged. Those to surrender the forts and batteries of Capri. duties were of a difficult nature, requiring He said
temper, firmness, and administrative talents. “I hold a commanding position, and as soon He was also frequently engaged in correspondas my artillery shall be placed I will destroy ence with the Turkish authorities on the coast Capri, and it will be no longer time to negotiate. of Albanin and with the British Resident at At this moment I may treat you with less se- Yanina. Sir John Stuart placed him in direct
communication with Ali Pasha, with whom ho To this Colonel Lowe gallantly replied had a personal interview, and received an offer
“I acknowledge all the advantages which from him to land thirty thousand Albanians in your present commanding positions afford you. Ituly, to effect a diversion for the purpose of Defence may therefore be more difficult, but it preventing the invasion of Sicily by Murat. is not the less incumbent on me. Your proposi- On the 1st of January, 1812, Lieutenant-Colotions of rigor or favor on such an occasion must nel Lowe obtained the rank of full colonel, and be alike indifferent to an officer whose conduct in the following month was permitted to return will never be influenced by any other considera- to England on leave of absence. “I was then,' tions than those of his duty.”
“ in my twenty-fourth year of service,
and had never been absent a single day from my A close siege then commenced, and the de- public duty since the commencement of the war fence was kept up till a French flotilla with in 1793. I had been in England only, once reinforcements appeared, when another flag during that time, and then only for a period of of truce was sent, with an intimation that six months during the peace of Amiens.” General Lamarque wished to have a personal
In 1813, Colonel Lowe was sent as one of interview with the English commandant:
the British commissioners to the allied armies. Accordingly Colonel Lowe proceeded to meet He joined the Russian army under the Emthe general. The latter demanded the immedi- peror Alexander in Poland. At the battle of ate surrender of the place, and that the garrison Bautzen, on the 21st and 22d of May, he first should become prisoners of war, except only saw his future prisoner. In October he joined Colonel Lowe himself and five or six of his the allied armies under the command of officers, whom he would allow to return to Sioily: Blucher, and was present at the battle of He expressed his astonishment that they had not Leipsic, of which he wrote a long and able quitted the island instead of persisting in main
account. But it is needless further to refer to taining a post which was not tenable against his services until the close of the great contiColonel Lowe replied that no dis
pental war. An honorable record is here tinction could be allowed between the troops and their commander or officers, and that the term given of them, and the letters from distin“prisoners of war” would not be admitted into guished men testify to the estimation in which any convention that might be framed. General he was held. Some of these men still survivo, Lamarque then proposed several modifications ; I such as Lord Cathcart and Lord Hardinge,