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of Hartwel for the police of Paris. The pay of this
lady was, I believe, a thousand francs a month. I do Commodore Sidney Smith, in his pamphlet on the not know how much the court of Hartwel gave her; subject of the death of Captain Wright, proved that the but if she received but little from that quarter, her sergrief which the capitulation of Ulm caused the prisoner, vices were afterwards more generously paid: she has had been completely dissipated by the news of the vic- at the present time five or six hundred thousand francs tory of the English fleet at Trafalgar. Agreeing on of revenue, gained during the first ten years of the this point with M. de Polignac, the Commodore admits restoration. that the news of the capitulation of Ulm and the battle In a conference which the Duke of Rovigo had, after of Trafalgar were known at Paris the same day--the his return from exile, and his acquittal by the council of 25th October, 1805.
war of the first military division, with Louis XVIII, The capitulation of Ulm was inserted in the Moni. this Prince was informed of the means employed by teur of the 25th of October; the combat of Trafalgar the police of the imperial government to ascertain what took place on the 21st. Could it have been known at passed at Hartwel during his residence at that place. Paris the 25th ?—and could Captain Wright have shown "Monsieur le Duc,” said he to the former Minister, himself, the evening before his death, joyous and trium- how much did the police which you kept at Hartwel phant, in consequence of having learnt the defeat of the cost you ?" French fleet?
“Sire, it cost us from 120 to 150,000 francs.” The combat of Trafalgar, however, was known in “That was not too much ; it is very near the calcuFrance much sooner than it naturally would hare been, lation I had made. The Duke d'Aumont was in your but not until some time after the 25th of October. The interest, was he not ?" news was received in this way: When the combat was “That is a secret of state which I cannot reveal, ended, the Admiral, who succeeded Nelson in command, without a formal order from your Majesty." immediately despatched several light vessels to carry to “Speak frankly; I know almost as much on this England the news of the victory. One of these vessels, subject as you do." a brig, driven by tempestuous weather, was wrecked on “Since your Majesty seems so well informed, I will the coast of France, about a league from the little har- not deny that the Duke d'Aumont wrote to us about bor of Saint Valery. The sea was so rough, that all twice a month." the exertions of the sailors of the port to extend assist “And for that you gave him ance to the shipwrecked vessel, were, for a long time, “As well as I remember, 24,000 francs a year.” fruitless. The hull of the vessel sunk below the sur “Twenty-four thousand francs! See, Monsieur le face; the officers and sailors, seeking refuge in the fore Duc, how necessary it is to distrust men !-he always and main tops, could only look forward to certain death. told me 12,000 francs. It was probably to avoid payTwelve hours had elapsed before the English brig, of ing my services as an author; for the letters that you which nothing could then be seen but the tops of the received were all written by me.” masts, could be boarded. But one person was saved; he was a midshipman in the royal navy, who, having succeeded in climbing to the top of the mainmast, fastened himself there, and remained in that position six
GENERAL BONAPARTE, hours, in spite of the wind and the waves which broke over him at every moment. This unfortunate young man was laid on the shore almost dead, while every one When Emperor, Napoleon was a protector of all busied themselves in striving to restore him. After a classes of the Institute, and preserved with as much half hour, during which all sorts of remedies were ap- anxiety as ever his title of member of the class of phy. plied, he came to himself-his ideas and memory re- sical and mathematical sciences, section of mechanics, turned-his eyes lighted up with great brilliancy--and which he had obtained when only a general. suddenly assuming an attitude full of pride and exulta He was elected the 5th Nivose, 6th year, (26th Detion, he addressed his liberators these words, with an cember, 1797,) when, having returned from the army of accent which it is impossible to describe:
Italy, after the treaty of Campo-Formio, he submitted “ The French nary has been annihilated at Trafalgar." to the Directory his plan of the Egyptian campaign.
It was at the sitting of the 6th Nivose (27th of De
cember), that General Bonaparte appeared, for the first THE POLICE OF HARTWEL.
time, at the Institute. For his début he was named,
with Monge and M. Prony, member of a committee The Duke of Rovigo, while Minister of Police, was charged to examine a machine of M. Hanin, called a informed of the presence at Paris of a woman of quite typographical seal. a distinguished name, sent by the little court of Hart Napoleon, before he had reached the power which he wel to act as a spy at the imperial court, to make over afterwards attained, prided himself extremely on this tures to certain persons, and to keep open relations nomination. In Egypt, he signed his letters the “Genealready established with others. He caused her to be ral-in-Chief of the army of Egypt, Member of the Instiarrested, and brought to his house. This woman was tute.” handsome, and the Duke of Rovigo found her facile ; When Consul, he often assisted at the sittings of the she had consented very readily to act as a spy at the class of the Institute to which he belonged. These sitimperial court for the princes of Hartwel, and, conselings were then held at the Louvre, to which he used to quently, as readily agreed to act as a spy on the princes go directly from the Tuileries. On his entry, the pre
MEMBER OF THE INSTITUTE.
OF THE COMEDIE FRANCAISE.
sidency was offered him, and the discussion, already “Ah! ah! and does the Academy think that the soil commenced, was resumed without interruption. of France is suited to the cultivation of the red-beet?"
When Emperor, he no longer attended the Institute, To answer that very simple question, M. Cuvier, but desired that his name should continue to figure at like a true man of learning, entered into a geological the head of all the lists of the members of the class of disquisition on soil, from which he passed to the natural physical and mathematical sciences. The annual lists history of the red-beet. When he had arrived at a published from 1805 to 1815, always contained these conclusion, the Emperor was no longer listening: the words:
silence of M. Cuvier recalled him from his abstraction, “The Emperor, nominated a member of the section and he replied: of mechanics the 5th Nivose of the year vi.”
“Very well, M. Cuvier; then does the Academy He required, when at Paris, that the accounting think that the soil of France is suited to the cultivation agent of the Institute, in his French dress, with his of the red-beet ?" sword at his side, should come every month to the M. Cuvier, thinking that some pre-occupation had Tuileries, or St. Cloud, and bring for his signature the distracted the attention of the Emperor, commenced his receipt-sheet, and place on his table the little gray paper dissertation ab ovo, and continued it to its end. Napobag, in which it is usual to send to the members of the leon, who had not requested so long an explanation, set Institute the amount of their monthly pay. The Em- himself to thinking of something else. When M. Cuperor signed the receipt, and gave, as a present to the vier had concluded, he addressed bim in these words: accounting agent, the hundred francs he had brought. “I thank you very much, M. Cuvier. The first time
Napoleon, when Emperor, exacted even of his oldest that I see Berthollet, I will ask him if the soil of France friends, that they should remember the distance which is suited to the cultivation of the red-beet. separated them; and yet he showed himself proud and flattered by a petition which he had just received from a member of the Institute, of the class of sciences,
MICHAUD, who addressed him in these words:
"Sire, and illustrious brother."
It has been said that the Emperor was of the number I have remarked, that Napoleon, when Emperor, did of the members of the Institute, turned out in 1815 by not tolerate the slightest appearance of familiarity even an ordinance of Louis XVIII, countersigned Vaublanc: on the part of those whom he had known and loved at it has been even added that his successor, named by or. an earlier period of his life. He never forgot services dinance, was M. Cauchy. This is a double error. M. rendered him at a time when fortune had not yet favored Cauchy, certainly a sufficiently learned mathematician him; but he was an Emperor, and wished every one to to have been elected by ballot, was named by ordinance, recollect it. Talma, into whose box at the theatre but in the place of Monge; and the Emperor did not General Bonaparte often went, and at whose table, leave his ancient prefect, M. de Vaublanc, the petty while a General, he was often a guest, found his receppleasure of depriving him of his place.
tion by the Emperor the more kind in proportion as he At the sitting of the 10th of April, 1815, M. Lefévre-appeared to forget the past. The Emperor made Gineau, the President, read a letter from Carnot, then Talmas fortune two or three times, without ever letting Minister of the Interior, in these words:
the great tragedian perceive that he found his expenses “It is the wish of his Majesty, that the class should extravagant; but then Talma had formerly opened his name a successor to the place which he occupies in the purse to the young General when out of favor, and section of mechanics. His name will remain at the Napoleon thought it but just to repay, as an Emperor, head of this division, as protector, with mention of the the loans that had been made to himself as a General. date at which he was elected a private member.” Michaud had also known General Bonaparte: I will
The balloting for the successor of the Emperor took not say that he had rendered him any service; a kindplace the 8th of May, 1815. M. Molard obtained the ness generally costs something, and generosity was not majority of votes. His nomination was approved by the distinguishing quality of Michaud; but he was Napoleon the 15th of the same month.
gay, witty, amusing, and, as such, was liked. The Emperor had preserved an agreeable recollection of his
acquaintance with him; and if he did not admit him M. CUVIER.
entirely, as he did Talma, to his intimacy, he, at least, When one understands a subject thoroughly, he loves showed himself generous and kind. to speak about it. M. Cuvier, the most learned man In 1809, the favor which Michaud had enjoyed up to we have had in France for many years, was extremely that time, suddenly ceased. He received, however, on fond of discoursing on scientific subjects, and sometimes many occasions, rich presents; but he never appeared spoke at great length. The Emperor, also well informed, at the Tuileries, except with the actors of the Comédie though in a very inferior degree, was fond of hearing Française, when regularly summoned. This species of scientific discussions, provided always that they were disgrace was attributed by himself to the following cirbrought, without too much preamble, to the solution of cumstance: some problem.
Michaud had been named Director of the theatres of One evening M. Cuvier was at the Tuileries; it was the court, as successor to Dazincourt: in this character immediately after a sitting of the Academy of Sciences. he had superintended the representations given at
“M. Curier,” said the Emperor, “what have you Paris, at St. Cloud, and at Fontainebleau: in this, at done to-day at the Academy ?”
least, consisted the official part of his duties. He had “Sire, we were occupied with the red-beet.” others which were not less agreeable. The princesses
of the imperial family were fond of playing in private "I have never given any lessons in declamation to theatrical representations, and it was Michaud's duty the Emperor; he had no need of them; and, as for my to hear them recite their parts, and to direct the stage part, I have often been very glad to copy his attitudes, management of these exhibitions. The Emperor, when and to profit by his advice. I have played Nero this not too much employed, took pleasure in attending their evening; I have been frequently, and I may say, justly rehearsals: he frequently even consented to fill the applauded. It is a part which I play well-of which I office of prompter. All went off very well if the parts am master : it is to the Emperor that I am indebted for were committed to memory, and the actors ard actresses playing it well. He had come one evening to the redid not show themselves too gauches; but if otherwise, presentation of Britannicus. The next morning I went the Emperor never suppressed his impatience, and, after to the Tuileries; he was pleased to permit me often to a few severe criticisms, generally ended by throwing the approach him. “I saw you play Nero, yesterday,' said pamphlet containing the play at the head of the actor the Emperor, observing me, and I think you are deor actress, who showed any deficiency in memory or ceived in the character. Nero is an Emperor, it is true. propriety of action.
If you had to represent him on a triumphal car, in the One can easily imagine that the imperial court, thus midst of senators, I could well conceive the air of grantravestied to a stage for comic representations, would deur which you attribute to him. But in Britannicus, necessarily lose much of its dignity; and that it would Nero is paying his court to a young woman, and disrequire a good deal of caution for one not to forget the putes with her mother. The scenes are those of prititles of sire, your majesty, or imperial highness. Mi- vate life; and there is no occasion to hoist an Emperor chaud contained himself as well as he could; but he upon a pedestal, to make him utter what you have said did not always succeed in confining himself within yourself a hundred times. An Emperor has not, simthose respectful bounds which the master of the place, ply because he is an Emperor, the less a wife, a miseven then, exacted. Michaud took great quantities of tress, a mother, &c.; and when he wishes to speak to snuff; and snuffers well know how difficult it is for his wife, to his mistress, to his sister, he does not clothe lovers of tobacco to see a pinch taken at their side, himself in his imperial costume, that he may remain without stretching out the hand in the direction of the an emperor; he does not address them a pompous haopen box. In the course of the rehearsals Michaud rangue, to ascertain if they are well. In thus mountfound himself very often near the Emperor, who took ing us on stilts, you would make one believe Emperors several pinches every minute. In a moment of distrae- were not men. Reflect on this, and in ten days I will call tion, and obeying an impulse entirely mechanical, Mi- for Britannicus, and go to see you play. I had long apchaud happened to introduce his fingers into the snuff preciated the justness of these reflections, and I was led, box of the Emperor. Nothing more was necessary. in consequence, to introduce those innovations in the traNapoleon first discontinued his visits to the rehearsals; gic art, which were so long censured, but which are at afterwards the rehearsals themselves ceased, and the length approved. When the Emperor spoke to me, I princesses no longer played their private comedies. still sacrificed to the bad taste of the times; his coun
The imprudent actor thus lost in a moment the best cils were an encouragement to free myself from all hupart of his duties.
man respect. I played Nero as I had comprehended
the part-as the Emperor comprehended it. The first A LESSON IN DECLAMATION.
time I was only applauded by him; but the public at
last understood it, and suffered itself to be more affectIt has been said and repeated, that Talma was in ed, in proportion as I appeared to make fewer efforts to the habit of giving the Emperor lessons in declama-obtain that result.” tion, and that he taught him to study his attitudes, and After a momentary silence, Talma resumed—“I have to ennoble his manner, when about to appear in any given, in the course of my life, very few lessons in degreat ceremony. Talma never gave him lessons of any clamation. I have sometimes aided, with my advice, kind; but, on the contrary, received them from him, young players in whom I perceived promising talents. and even in the tragic art. I will state here, by the Moreover, I am convinced that the dramatic art is not way, that Talma loved Napoleon as one loves God; to be taught. To speak accurately, I never gave any he never spoke, without the liveliest emotion, of one such lessons but on one occasion, and it was under who had been his benefactor, after having been his these circumstances : friend. When Talma, at the conclusion of one of “I received, one day, the visit of a young Russian, those parts, which required such profound study, and who was particularly recommended to me; he was of such long meditation, came to rest himself in the dress bigh birth, and possessed a great fortune. After a few ing room of the theatre, he almost invariably fell into words of politeness, he asked me if I would consent to a fit of drowsiness, unless the conversation turned on give him a few lessons in declamation. I replied that the Revolution, or the Emperor ; these two words had it was not my custom, and that I would not have time the power of immediately arousing him. He would to do so. He insisted with much earnestness, and, at then speak, and with a wit and charm that no one can the moment that I saw him about to make me offers of describe.
money, I interrupted him, by saying—I will give you One evening he had played Nero in Britannicus. no lessons, but come and see me, and, if you wish, we The representation was over, and he was resting him- will converse on tragedy, literature, and the art of oraself in the dressing room, waiting the announcement of cory.' his carriage; some one spoke of the famous lessons in “This young man had singularly pleased me; he declamation which it was said he had given the Empe- expressed himself with warmth and energy which ror. Talma replied quickly:
gave me a high opinion of his intelligence. He return
ed, and I commenced by offering to read; I took up a “Come, come, we have not a minute to lose; they tragedy, and read iwo or three scenes. “That is very are about to begin." fine,' he said, “but I wish to hear you recite something “No, certainly, I will not go ; I would dream of it else. My library was open; he went to it, and brought for six weeks.” me a volume of Tacitus, pointing with his finger to a “What a child you are! One should see a little of harangue to a Roman army. “You understand,' he said, every thing in this world. I assure you it is very cu'I do not intend myself for the stage; but I belong to a rious.” country which, a long time enslaved, is beginning to And Lekain, seizing his friend's arm, led him on in break its chains. They have inoculated us with spite of himself. They reached the Place de Grève in liberty, in making us breathe the air of France; sooner company, and at the words, “let this gentleman passor later a terrible revolution will break out in Russia, he is an amateur !” the ranks opened before Lekain, and where heretofore there have been only revolutions of closed against Desfontaines, with whom none of those the palace. With this conviction, a man who feels that employed about the Place were acquainted. he has spirit and energy, ought to prepare himself for Lekain, feeling that he had lost the arm of Desfonhis part, and I am studying mine. I wish to know how taines, turned back, and beheld his friend separated to speak; I wish to obtain from you the secret of from him by a line of soldiers. “Let this gentleman moving the mass.
pass,” said the tragedian, “he is the executioner of “I saw him frequently afterwards; he subsequently Orleans." returned to Russia."
At this revered name the ranks were again opened, Talma, in this conversation, had pronounced a Rus- and Lekain, seizing hold of Desfontaines, drew him sian name which I forgot almost immediately. After towards the scaffold, and there, like a true cicerone, exwards I received the details of the conspiracy which plained the particular use of each instrument of torture. broke out at St. Petersburgh on the death of Alexan Desfontaines, to his great displeasure, was forced to der; in reading over the names of three superior officers witness all the details of the execution. When termiwho had been condemned to death and executed, one nated, he retired with Lekain, greatly distressed in his of them struck me particularly; in reading it, I ima- mind and feelings. gined that I still heard the word pronounced by Talma. “I am going to play at Fontainebleau," said Lekain,
on leaving him. “They are about to represent a new
piece at the Comédie Française this evening; you will LEKAIN.
much oblige me by writing me, after the performance, Talma was fond of speaking of Lekain, and it was if the play has succeeded. On carrying your letter to from him that I heard the particulars I am about to the carriages of the court, you will find some one to recite.
take charge of it” Lekain was a great amateur of executions. He never “I will do so." omitted any opportunity of seeing a man hung, broken Desfontaines returned home. The words “execu. on the wheel, or quartered. This celebrated tragedian tioner of Orleans," the title which had been so unex: was so well known at the Place de Grève, that the first pectedly given him, could not get out of his head. He of the executioner's assistants, who observed him, was thought of it till night; it followed him even to the thea. accustomed to make a sign to his comrades and the sol- tre: it was with difficulty that he could pay attention diers of the guard, saying—“let this gentleman pass to the performance. he is an amateur !” And Lekain, who could not claim The piece was successful. As soon as the author the privilege of the nobles, of standing on the scaffold was named, Desfontaines hastened to quit the theatre, during executions, was admitted, without difficulty, wrote a note, and carried it to the stand whence the within the enclosure surrounding it.
carriages of the court set off. Only one remained, The Parliament of Paris had condemned a man to be which was intended for the Prince of Condé ; the door broken alive on the wheel. The day of execution had was open, and the Prince was already preparing 10 arrived, and Lekain was going, in great haste, to the enter, when Desfontaines stopped him, and requested Place de Grève, not wishing, as he said, to be absent at that he would, on arriving at Fontainebleau, have a the raising of the curtain, and desiring to see every letter, which he desired to entrust to him, sent to Lekajn. thing, from the first preparations to the final stroke that “Very willingly, sir," replied the prince; “but from the executioner was accustomed to give the patient, whom ?” after he had separately broken all his limbs.
“From his intimate friend.” On the way he met, by accident, one of his most in “ His intimate friend, Mr. .?" timate friends, Desfontaines, a mild, modest man, very The Prince waited for a name, which Desfontaines, much esteemed as a man of letters, and to whom we distracted, sought in vain; at last the unfortunate deare indebted for a translation of Virgil in prose, and signation of the morning again got possession of his two or three tragedies, even the titles of which have mind. been long forgotten.
“His intimate friend,” replied he, “the executioner “Come with me,” said Lekain, “I wish you to see a of Orleans.” very curious exhibition."
He immediately quitted the place. The Prince was “ What is it ?"
at first astonished at this singular intimacy between the “An execution ! a man is about to be broken on the celebrated actor and an executioner; but as he saw wheel; it is a thing that one must see.”
nothing physically impossible in such a friendship, he Desfontaines at first only replied by a gesture of ceased to think about it, until, on his arrival at Fonhorror.
tainebleau, he had occasion to send the letter to its ad
dress. A servant was sent to inform Lekain that the “I ought to inform you, gentlemen, who the person Prince of Condé desired to speak to him. Lekain came is to whom you speak. I am the executioner of Paris. immediately.
I have married my daughter to the son of one of my “Here, sir, is a letter which a person who calls himself professional brethren, and we are celebrating the maryour intimate friend, charged me to have delivered to riage.” you."
At this announcement, the young gentlemen hesi“Ah, yes! I have the honor to thank your highness. tated a moment; but quickly resuming their gaiety, It is in fact from one of my best friends.”
and smiling at the idea of being able to say, in the “Is he, indeed, your intimate friend ?”
salons of Versailles,—"we have danced at the house "Undoubtedly, my lord.”
of the executioner of Paris,” they replied, “Sir, we “Permit me, then, to say that you choose your are delighted to form your acquaintance in this place. friends in singular professions.”
Your tone and manner reconcile us at once to one “But, my lord, he is a very distinguished literary man." whose title, we must confess, cannot always be pro“A literary man! in truth ?”
nounced without shuddering." “Yes, my lord, we are indebted to him for some As soon as they were introduced, the young nobles highly esteemed translations—even for some tragedies.” hastened to engage themselves to the handsomest wo
“ Tragedies! tragedies!—say then that he has exe men in the room, and to commence the dance. cuted the dénouement.”
M. de Lally, affected, without knowing why, remain“Yes,my lord, the dénouement,and the other parts also.” ed alone near the master of the house, and commenced
“The devil! I did not know that France was so interrogating him. happy as to possess a literary executioner.”
“You do not yourself, sir, act as executioner ?" “How! an executioner, my lord ?”
“Not generally-I have aids; I only assist them. “Yes! I asked the gentleman who he was ? he But should the person condemned be a great noble—if replied, the executioner of Orleans."
it were you, sir, for example, I should regard it as a At this moment Lekain recalled the events of the duty, as an honor, to act myself. morning; he was unable to restrain his bursts of laugh M. de Lally forced a smile, and shortly withdrew. ter, and had the greatest difficulty in explaining to the Fifteen years afterwards, almost to the very day, this Prince the circumstances that gave rise to so ridiculous same executioner cut off the head of M. de Lally. a mistake.
Should you at this day go into the street des Marais, The Prince of Condé amused the whole court with in the rear of the Diorama, and knock at the door of a the recital of the adventure.
house of a handsome appearance, without a number,
you will be received by a man whose person very much M. DE LALLY,
resembles that of Louis XVI; he will accost you po
litely, and reply to your questions without the least There are many extraordinary coincidences in actual repugnance. He will show you his library; for he life. M. de Lally, before going to seek in India the amuses himself a great deal with literature. If you command which terminated so fatally for him, was, ask him, he will tell you that he would give half his forwhile at Paris, a young man of elegant appearance, tune, very lawfully acquired, for the abolition of the gallant, thoughtless, devoted to pleasure, and full of punishment of death. riotous mirth, as a great name permitted one to be with Without requiring to be much pressed, he will show impunity.
you his museum,
-a little guillotine in mahogany, and One night, M. de Lally and some boon companions, a large cutlass. The guillotine is the first model of after a drinking frolic, traversed the streets of the capi. this instrument ever made; the cutlass is that with tal, seeking to amuse themselves at the expense of such which the gentlemen, who, under the ancien régime, of the lower classes as they could find at that late hour. enjoyed the privilege of not being hung, were decapiSuddenly, in the little street of Saint Jean, generally tated. After having showed you a large gap at the so quiet, they heard the music of a party of dancers. edge of the cutlass, he will tell you: Looking up, they discover the windows of an apart “In the time of my father, the nobles of the court ment in the third story brilliantly illuminated. There had the right of remaining on the platform of the scafit is, they exclaimed, at the same moment: they are fold during executions. When M. de Lally had his dancing-let us go up and join them. No sooner said head cut off, a young noble accidentally struck against than done. They ring at the door; a man with a frank my father's arm, turned aside the stroke, and the blade and open countenance receives them.
was broken against a tooth." “Sir," said M. de Lally to him, we are gentlemen; we are very fond of dancing. Chance has brought us THE DUCHESS OF C ***** into your part of the city. We heard music, and were
NOW DUCHESS OF D****. unable to resist the wish to ask you to permit us to There lived, about forty years since, an old Duke, join in your amusements. Do not refuse us; I will whose principality, in the event of his dying without guarantee you shall have no cause to repent of your heir, was to revert to the crown of Russia. This old politeness."
Duke had passed sixty years of his life in a state of “Very willingly, gentlemen; but before entering, constant hostility against the Emperor and the Russian you must be informed who it is you visit.”
government. He was without children, and saw with “Of what importance is that! Your language proves despair the moment approach, when his death would that you have been well educated; we think we shall be the means of enriching those he so cordially denot be out of our sphere in your house."
AND THE EXECUTIONER OF PARIS.