As he was so near the field of Marengo the Emperor did not fail to visit it, and to add to this solemnity he reviewed on the field all the corps of French troops which were in Italy. Rapp told me afterwards that the Emperor had taken with him from Paris the dress and the hat which he wore on the day of that memorable battle, with the intention of wearing them on the field where it was fought. He afterwards proceeded by the way of Casal to Milan.
There the most brilliant reception he had yet experienced awaited him. His sojourn at Milan was not distinguished by outward demonstrations of enthusiasm alone. M. Durszzo, the last Doge of Genoa, added another gem to the Crown of Italy by supplicating the Emperor in the name of the Republic, of which he was the representative, to permit Genoa to exchange her independence for the honour of becoming a department of France. This offer, as may be guessed, was merely a plan contrived beforehand. It was accepted with an air of protecting kindness, and at the same moment that the country of Andrea Doria was effaced from the list of nations its last Doge was included among the number of French Senators. Genoa, which formerly prided herself in her surname, the Superb, became the chief station of the twenty-seventh military division. The Emperor went to take possession of the city in person, and slept in the Doria Palace, in the bed where Charles V. had lain. He left M. le Brun at Genoa as Governor-General.
At Milan the Emperor occupied the Palace of Monza. The old Iron Crown of the Kings of Lombardy was brought from the dust in which it had been buried, and the new Coronation took place in the cathedral at Milan, the largest in Italy, with the exception of St. Peter's at Rome. Napoleon received the crown from the hands of the Archbishop of Milan, and placed it on his head, exclaiming, "Dieu me l'a donnee, gare a qui la touche." This became the motto of the Order of the Iron Crown, which the Emperor founded in commemoration of his being crowned King of Italy.
Napoleon was crowned in the month of May 1805: and here I cannot avoid correcting some gross and inconceivable errors into which Napoleon must have voluntarily fallen at St. Helena. The Memorial states "that the celebrated singer Madame Grasaini attracted his attention at the time of the Coronation." Napoleon alleges that Madame Grassini on that occasion said to him, "When I was in the prime of my beauty and talent all I wished was that you would bestow a single look upon me. That wish was not fulfilled, and now you notice me when I am no longer worthy your attention."
I confess I am at a loss to conceive what could induce Napoleon to invent such a story. He might have recollected his acquaintance with Madame Grassini at Milan before the battle of Marengo. It was in 1800, and not in 1805, that I was first introduced to her, and I know that I several times took tea with her and Bonaparte in the General's apartments I remember also another circumstance, which is, that on the night when I awoke Bonaparte to announce to him the capitulation of Genoa, Madame Grassini also awoke. Napoleon was charmed with Madame Grasaini's delicious voice, and if his imperious duties had permitted it he would have listened with ecstasy to her singing for hours together. Whilst Napoleon was at Milan, priding himself on his double sovereignty, some schemes were set on foot at Vienna and St. Petersburg which I shall hereafter have occasion to notice. The Emperor, indeed, gave cause for just complaint by the fact of annexing Genoa to the Empire within four months after his solemn declaration to the Legislative Body, in which he pledged himself in the face of France and Europe not to seek any aggrandisement of territory. The pretext of a voluntary offer on the part of Genoa was too absurd to deceive any one. The rapid progress of Napoleon's ambition could not escape the observation of the Cabinet of Vienna, which hegan to allow increased symptoms of hostility. The change which was effected in the form of the Government of the Cisalpine Republic was likewise an act calculated to excite remonstrance on the part of all the powers who were not entirely subject to the yoke of France. He disguised the taking of Genoa under the name of a gift, and the possession of Italy under the appearance of a mere change of denomination. Notwithstanding these flagrant outrages the exclusive apologists of Napoleon have always asserted that he did not wish for war, and he himself maintained that assertion at St. Helena. It is said that he was always attacked, and hence a conclusion is drawn in favour of his love of peace. I acknowledge Bonaparte would never have fired a single musket-shot if all the powers of Europe had submitted to be pillaged by him one after the other without opposition. It was in fact declaring war against them to place them under the necessity of breaking a peace, during the continuance of which he was augmenting his power, and gratifying his ambition, as if in defiance of Europe. In this way Napoleon commenced all the wars in which he was engaged, with the exception of that which followed the peace of Marengo, and which terminated in Moreau's triumph at Hohenlinden. As there was no liberty of the press in France he found it easy to deceive the nation. He was in fact attacked, and thus he enjoyed the pleasure of undertaking his great military expeditions without being responsible in the event of failure.
During the Emperor's stay in the capital of the new kingdom of Italy he received the first intelligence of the dissatisfaction of Austria and Russia. That dissatisfaction was not of recent date. When I entered on my functions at Hamburg I learned some curious details (which I will relate in their proper place) respecting the secret negotiations which had been carried on for a considerable time previously to the commencement of hostilities. Even Prussia was no stranger to the dissatisfaction of Austria and Russia; I do not mean the King, but the Cabinet of Berlin, which was then under the control of Chancellor Hardenberg; for the King of Prussia had always personally declared himself in favour of the exact observance of treaties, even when their conditions were not honourable. Be that as it may, the Cabinet of Berlin, although dissatisfied in 1806 with the rapid progress of Napoleon's ambition, was nevertheless constrained to conceal its discontent, owing to the presence of the French troops in Hanover.
On returning from Milan the Emperor ordered the erection, of a monument on the Great St. Bernard in commemoration of the victory of Marengo. M. Denon who accompanied Napoleon, told me that he made a use less search to discover the body of Desaix, which Bonaparte wished to be buried beneath the monument and that it was at length found by General Savary. It is therefore certain that the ashes of the brave Desaix repose on the summit of the Alps.
The Emperor arrived in Paris about the end of June and instantly set off for the camp at Boulogne. It was now once more believed that the project of invading England would be accomplished. This idea obtained the greater credit because Bonaparte caused some experiments for embarkation to be made, in his presence. These experiments, however, led to no result. About this period a fatal event but too effectually contributed to strengthen the opinion of the inferiority of our navy. A French squadron consisting of fifteen ships, fell in with the English fleet commanded by Admiral Calder, who had only nine vessels under his command, and in an engagement, which there was every reason to expect would terminate in our favour, we had the misfortune to lose two ships. The invasion of England was as little the object of this as of the previous journey to Boulogne; all Napoleon had in view was to stimulate the enthusiasm of the troops, and to hold out those threats against England when conceived necessary for diverting attention from the real motive of his hostile preparations, which was to invade Germany and repulse the Russian troops, who had begun their march towards Austria. Such was the true object of Napoleons last journey to Boulogne.
I had been some time at Hamburg when these events took place, and it was curious to observe the effect they produced. But I must not forget one circumstance in which I am personally concerned, and which brings me back to the time when I was in Paris. My new title of Minister Plenipotentiary obliged me to see a little more of society than during the period when prudence required me to live as it were in retirement. I had received sincere congratulations from Duroc, Rape, and Lauriston, the three friends who had shown the greatest readiness to serve my interests with the Emperor; and I had frequent occasion to see M. Talleyrand, as my functions belonged to his department. The Emperor, on my farewell audience, having informed me that I was to correspond directly with the Minister of the General Police, I called on Fouche, who invited me to spend some days at his estate of Pont-Carre. I accepted the invitation because I wanted to confer with him, and I spent Sunday and Monday, the 28th and 29th of April, at Pont-Carre.
Fouche, like the Emperor, frequently revealed what he intended to conceal; but he had such a reputation for cunning that this sort of indiscretion was attended by no inconvenience to him. He was supposed to be such a constant dissembler that those who did not know him well looked upon the truth when he spoke it merely as an artful snare laid to entrap them. I, however, knew that celebrated person too well to confound his cunning with his indiscretion. The best way to get out of him more than he was aware of was to let him talk on without interruption. There were very few visitors at Pont-Carre, and during the two days I spent there I had several conversations with Fouche. He told me a great deal about the events of 1804, and he congratulated himself on having advised Napoleon to declare himself Emperor—"I have no preference," says Fouche, "for one form of government more than another. Forms signify nothing. The first object of the Revolution was not the overthrow of the Bourbons, but merely the reform of abuses and the destruction of prejudices. However, when it was discovered that Louis XVI. had neither firmness to refuse what he did not wish to grant, nor good faith to grant what his weakness had led him to promise, it was evident that the Bourbons could no longer reign over France and things were carried to such a length that we were under the necessity of condemning Louis XVI. and resorting to energetic measures. You know all that passed up to the 18th Brumaire, and after. We all perceived that a Republic could not exist in France; the question, therefore, was to ensure the perpetual removal of the Bourbons; and I behaved the only means for so doing was to transfer the inheritance of their throne to another family. Some time before the 18th Brumaire I had a conversation with Sieyes and Barras, in which it was proposed, in case of the Directory being threatened, to recall the Duke of Orleans; and I could see very well that Barras favoured that suggestion, although he alluded to it merely as a report that was circulated about, and recommended me to pay attention to it. Sieyes said nothing, and I settled the question by observing, that if any such thing had been agitated I must have been informed of it through the reports of my agents. I added, that the restoration of the throne to a collateral branch of the Bourbons would be an impolitic act, and would but temporarily change the position of those who had brought about the Revolution. I rendered an account of this interview with Barras to General Bonaparte the first time I had an opportunity of conversing with him after your return from Egypt. I sounded him; and I was perfectly convinced that in the state of decrepitude into which the Directory had fallen he was just the man we wanted. I therefore adopted such measures with the police as tended to promote his elevation to the First Magistracy. He soon showed himself ungrateful, and instead of giving me all his confidence he tried to outwit me. He put into the hands of a number of persons various matters of police which were worse than useless. Most of their agents, who were my creatures, obeyed my instructions in their reports; and it often happened that the First Consul thought he had discovered, through the medium of others, information that came from me, and of the falsehood of which I easily convinced him. I confess I was at fault on the 3d Nivoise; but are there any human means of preventing two men, who have no accomplices, from bringing a plot to execution? You saw the First Consul on his return from the opera; you heard all his declamations. I felt assured that the infernal machine was the work of the Royalists. I told the Emperor this, and he was, I am sure, convinced of it; but he, nevertheless, proscribes a number of men on the mere pretence of their old opinions. Do you suppose I am ignorant of what he said of me and of my vote at the National Convention? Most assuredly it ill becomes him to reproach the Conventionists. It was that vote which placed the crown upon his head. But for the situation in which we were placed by that event, which circumstances had rendered inevitable, what should we have cared for the chance of seeing the Bourbons return? You must have remarked that the Republicans, who were not Conventionists, were in general more averse than we to the proceedings of the 18th Brumaire, as, for example, Bernadotte and Moreau. I know positively that Moreau was averse to the Consulate; and that it was only from irresolution that he accepted the custody of the Directory. I know also that he excused himself to his prisoners for the duty which had devolved upon him. They themselves told me this."
Fouche entered further into many details respecting his conduct, and the motives which had urged him to do what he did in favour of the First Consul. My memory does not enable me to report all he told me, but I distinctly recollect that the impression made on my mind by what fell from him was, that he had acted merely with a view to his own interests. He did not conceal his satisfaction at having outwitted Regnier, and obliged Bonaparte to recall him, that he set in motion every spring calculated to unite the conspirators, or rather to convert the discontented into conspirators, is evident from the following remarks which fell from him: "With the information I possessed, had I remained in office it is probable that I might have prevented the conspiracy, but Bonaparte would still have had to fear the rivalry of Moreau. He would not have been Emperor; and we should still have had to dread the return of the Bourbons, of which, thank God, there is now no fear."
During my stay at Pont-Carry I said but little to Fouche about my long audience with the Emperor. However, I thought I might inform him that I was authorised to correspond directly with his Majesty. I thought it useless to conceal this fact, since he would soon learn it through his agents. I also said a few words about Bonaparte's regret at not having children. My object was to learn Fouche's opinion on this subject, and it was not without a feeling of indignation that I heard him say, "It is to be hoped the Empress will soon die. Her death will remove many difficulties. Sooner or later he must take a wife who will bear him a child; for as long as he has no direct heir there is every chance that his death will be the signal for a Revolution. His brothers are perfectly incapable of filling his place, and a new party would rise up in favour of the Bourbons; which must be prevented above all things. At present they are not dangerous, though they still have active and devoted agents. Altona is full of them, and you will be surrounded by them. I beg of you to keep a watchful eye upon them, and render me a strict account of all their movements, and even of their most trivial actions. As they have recourse to all sorts of disguises, you cannot be too vigilant; therefore it will be advisable, in the first place, to establish a good system of espionage; but have a care of the spies who serve both sides, for they swarm in Germany."
This is all I recollect of my, conversations with Fouche at Pont-Carre. I returned to Paris to make preparations for my journey to Hamburg.
Capitulation of Sublingen—Preparations for war—Utility of commercial information—My instructions—Inspection of the emigrants and the journals—A pamphlet by Kotzebue—Offers from the Emperor of Russia to Moreau—Portrait of Gustavus Adolphus by one of his ministers—Fouche's denunciations—Duels at Hamburg—M. de Gimel —The Hamburg Correspondent—Letter from Bernadotte.
I left Paris on the 20th of May 1805. On the 5th of June following I delivered my credentials to the Senate of Hamburg, which was represented by the Syndic Doormann and the Senator Schutte. M. Reinhart, my predecessor, left Hamburg on the 12th of June.
The reigning Dukes of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Brunswick, to whom I had announced my arrival as accredited Minister to them, wrote me letters recognising me in that character. General Walmoden had just signed the capitulation of Sublingen with Marshal Mortier, who had the command in Hanover. The English Government refused to ratify this, because it stipulated that the troops should be prisoners of war. Bonaparte had two motives for relaxing this hard condition. He wished to keep Hanover as a compensation for Malta, and to assure the means of embarrassing and attacking Prussia, which he now began to distrust. By advancing upon Prussia he would secure his left, so that when convenient he might march northward. Mortier, therefore, received orders to reduce the conditions of the capitulation to the surrender of the arms, baggage, artillery, and horses. England, which was making great efforts to resist the invasion with which she thought herself threatened, expended considerable sums for the transport of the troops from Hanover to England. Her precipitation was indescribable, and she paid the most exorbitant charges for the hire of ships. Several houses in Hamburg made fortunes on this occasion. Experience has long since proved that it is not at their source that secret transactions are most readily known. The intelligence of an event frequently resounds at a distance, while the event itself is almost entirely unknown in the place of its occurrence. The direct influence of political events on commercial speculations renders merchants exceedingly attentive to what is going on. All who are engaged in commercial pursuits form a corporation united by the strongest of all bonds, common interest; and commercial correspondence frequently presents a fertile field for observation, and affords much valuable information, which often escapes the inquiries of Government agents.
I resolved to form a connection with some of the mercantile houses which maintained extensive and frequent communications with the Northern States. I knew that by obtaining their confidence I might gain a knowledge of all that was going on in Russia, Sweden, England, and Austria. Among the subjects upon which it was desirable to obtain information I included negotations, treaties, military measures—such as recruiting troops beyond the amount settled for the peace establishment, movements of troops, the formation of camps and magazines, financial operations, the fitting-out of ships, and many other things, which, though not important in themselves, frequently lead to the knowledge of what is important.
I was not inclined to place reliance on all public reports and gossiping stories circulated on the Exchange without close investigation; for I wished to avoid transmitting home as truths what might frequently be mere stock-jobbing inventions. I was instructed to keep watch on the emigrants, who were exceedingly numerous in Hamburg and its neighbourhood, Mecklenburg, Hanover, Brunswick, and Holstein; but I must observe that my inspection was to extend only to those who were known to be actually engaged in intrigues and plots.
I was also to keep watch on the state of the public mind, and on the journals which frequently give it a wrong direction, and to point out those articles in the journals which I thought censurable. At first I merely made verbal representations and complaints, but I could not always confine myself to this course. I received such distinct and positive orders that, in spite of myself, inspection was speedily converted into oppression. Complaints against the journals filled one-fourth of my despatches.
As the Emperor wished to be made acquainted with all that was printed against him, I sent to Paris, in May 1805, and consequently a very few days after my arrival in Hamburg, a pamphlet by the celebrated Kotzebue, entitled 'Recollections of my Journey to Naples and Rome'. This publication, which was printed at Berlin, was full of indecorous attacks and odious allusions on the Emperor.
I was informed at that time, through a certain channel, that the Emperor Alexander had solicited General Moreau to enter his service, and take the command of the Russian infantry. He offered him 12,000 roubles to defray his travelling expenses. At a subsequent period Moreau unfortunately accepted these offers, and died in the enemy's ranks.
On the 27th of June M. Bouligny arrived at Hamburg. He was appointed to supersede M. d'Ocariz at Stockholm. The latter minister had left Hamburg on the 11th of June for Constantinople, where he did not expect to stay three months. I had several long conversations with him before his departure, and he did not appear to be satisfied with his destination. We frequently spoke of the King of Sweden, whose conduct M. d'Ocariz blamed. He was, he said, a young madman, who, without reflecting on the change of time and circumstances, wished to play the part of Gustavus Adolphus, to whom he bore no resemblance but in name. M. d'Ocariz spoke of the King of Sweden's camp in a tone of derision. That Prince had returned to the King of Prussia the cordon of the Black Eagle because the order had been given to the First Consul. I understood that Frederick William was very much offended at this proceeding, which was as indecorous and absurd as the return of the Golden Fleece by Louis XVII. to the King of Spain was dignified and proper. Gustavus Adolphus was brave, enterprising, and chivalrous, but inconsiderate and irascible. He called Bonaparte Monsieur Napoleon. His follies and reverses in Hanover were without doubt the cause of his abdication. On the 31st of October 1805 he published a declaration of war against France in language highly insulting to the Emperor.
Fouche overwhelmed me with letters. If I had attended to all his instructions I should have left nobody unmolested. He asked me for information respecting a man named Lazoret, of the department of Gard, a girl, named Rosine Zimbenni, having informed the police that he had been killed in a duel at Hamburg. I replied that I knew but of four Frenchmen who had been killed in that way; one, named Clement, was killed by Tarasson; a second, named Duparc, killed by Lezardi; a third, named Sadremont, killed by Revel; and a fourth, whose name I did not know, killed by Lafond. This latter had just arrived at Hamburg when he was killed, but he was not the man sought for.
Lafond was a native of Brabant, and had served in the British army. He insulted the Frenchman because he wore the national cockade—A duel was the consequence, and the offended party fell. M. Reinhart, my predecessor wished to punish Lafond, but the Austrian Minister having claimed him as the subject of his sovereign, he was not molested. Lafond took refuge in Antwerp, where he became a player.
During the first months which succeeded my arrival in Hamburg I received orders for the arrest of many persons, almost all of whom were designated as dangerous and ill disposed men. When I was convinced that the accusation was groundless I postponed the arrest. The matter was then forgotten, and nobody complained.
A title, or a rank in foreign service, was a safeguard against the Paris inquisition. Of this the following is an instance. Count Gimel, of whom I shall hereafter have occasion to speak more at length, set out about this time for Carlsbad. Count Grote the Prussian Minister, frequently spoke to me of him. On my expressing apprehension that M. de Gimel might be arrested, as there was a strong prejudice against him, M. Grote replied, "Oh! there is no fear of that. He will return to Hamburg with the rauk of an English colonel."
On the 17th of July there appeared in the Correspondent an article exceedingly insulting to France. It had been inserted by order of Baron Novozilzow, who was at Berlin, and who had become very hostile to France, though it was said he had been sent from St. Petersburg on a specific mission to Napoleon. The article in question was transmitted from Berlin by an extraordinary courier, and Novozilzow in his note to the Senate said it might be stated that the article was inserted at the request of His Britannic Majesty. The Russian Minister at Berlin, M. Alopaeus, despatched also an 'estafette' to the Russian charge d'affaires at Hamburg, with orders to apply for the insertion of the article, which accordingly appeared. In obedience to the Emperor's instructions, I complained of it, and the Senate replied that it never opposed the insertion of an official note sent by any Government; that insults would redound against those from whom they came; that the reply of the French Government would be published; and that the Senate had never deviated from this mode of proceeding.
I observed to the Senate that I did not understand why the Correspondent should make itself the trumpet of M. Novozilzow; to which the Syndic replied, that two great powers, which might do them much harm, had required the insertion of the article, and that it could not be refused.
The hatred felt by the foreign Princes, which the death of the Duc d'Enghien had considerably increased; gave encouragement to the publication of everything hostile to Napoleon. This was candidly avowed to me by the Ministers and foreigners of rank whom I saw in Hamburg. The King of Sweden was most violent in manifesting the indignation which was generally excited by the death of the Due d'Enghien. M. Wetterstadt, who had succeeded M. La Gerbielske in the Cabinet of Stockholm, sent to the Swedish Minister at Hamburg a long letter exceedingly insulting to Napoleon. It was in reply to an article inserted in the 'Moniteur' respecting the return of the Black Eagle to the King of Prussia. M. Peyron, the Swedish Minister at Hamburg, who was very far from approving all that his master did, transmitted to Stockholm some very energetic remarks on the ill effect which would be produced by the insertion of the article in the 'Correspondent'. The article was then a little modified, and M. Peyron received formal orders to get it inserted. However; on my representations the Senate agreed to suppress it, and it did not appear.
Marshal Bernadotte, who had the command of the French troops in Hanover, kept up a friendly correspondence with me unconnected with the duties of our respective functions.
On the occupation of Hanover Mr. Taylor, the English Minister at Cassel, was obliged to leave that place; but he soon returned in spite of the opposition of France. On this subject the marshal furnished me with the following particulars:
I have just received, my dear Bourrienne, information which leaves no doubt of what has taken place at Cassel with respect to Mr. Taylor. That Minister has been received in spite of the representations of M. Bignon, which, however, had previously been merely verbal. I know that the Elector wrote to London to request that Mr. Taylor should not return. In answer to this the English Government sent him back. Our Minister has done everything he could to obtain his dismissal; but the pecuniary interests of the Elector have triumphed over every other consideration. He would not risk quarrelling with the Court from which he expects to receive more than 12,000,000 francs. The British Government has been written to a second time, but without effect. The Elector himself, in a private letter, has requested the King of England to recall Mr. Taylor, but it is very probable that the Cabinet of London will evade this request.
Under these circumstances our troops have approached nearer to Cassel. Hitherto the whole district of Gottingen had been exempt from quartering troops. New arrangements, tendered necessary by the scarcity of forage, have obliged me to send a squadron of 'chasseurs de cheval' to Munden, a little town four leagues from Cassel. This movement excited some alarm in the Elector, who expressed a wish to see things restored to the same footing as before. He has requested M. Bignon to write to me, and to assure me again that he will be delighted to become acquainted with me at the waters of Nemidorff, where he intends to spend some time. But on this subject I shall not alter the determination I have already mentioned to you. —Yours, etc., (Signed) BERNADOTTE. STADE, 10th Thermidor (29th July, 1805).
Treaty of alliance between England and Russia—Certainty of an approaching war—M. Forshmann, the Russian Minister—Duroc's mission to Berlin—New project of the King of Sweden—Secret mission to the Baltic—Animosity against France—Fall of the exchange between Hamburg and Paris—Destruction of the first Austrian army—Taking of Ulm—The Emperor's displeasure at the remark of a soldier—Battle of Trafalgar—Duroc's position at the Court of Prussia—Armaments in Russia—Libel upon Napoleon in the Hamburg 'Corespondent'— Embarrassment of the Syndic and Burgomaster of Hamburg—The conduct of the Russian Minister censured by the Swedish and English Ministers.
At the beginning of August 1805 a treaty of alliance between Russia and England was spoken of. Some persons of consequence, who had the means of knowing all that was going on in the political world, had read this treaty, the principal points of which were communicated to me.
Article 1st stated that the object of the alliance was to restore the balance of Europe. By art. 2d the Emperor of Russia was to place 36,000 men at the disposal of England. Art. 3d stipulated that neither of the two powers would consent to treat with France, nor to lay down arms until the King of Sardinia should either be restored to his dominions or receive an equivalent indemnity in the northeast of Italy. By art. 4th Malta was to be evacuated by the English, and occupied by the Russians. By art. 5th the two powers were to guarantee the independence of the Republic of the Ionian Isles, and England was to pledge herself to assist Russia in her war against Persia. If this plan of a treaty, of the existence of which I was informed on unquestionable authority, had been brought to any result it is impossible to calculate what might have been its consequences.
At that time an immediate Continental war was confidently expected by every person in the north of Europe; and it is very certain that, had not Napoleon taken the hint in time and renounced his absurd schemes at Boulogne, France would have stood in a dangerous situation.
M. Forshmann, the Russian charge d'affaires, was intriguing to excite the north of Europe against France. He repeatedly received orders to obtain the insertion of irritating articles in the 'Correspondent'. He was an active, intriguing, and spiteful little man, and a declared enemy of France; but fortunately his stupidity and vanity rendered him less dangerous than he wished to be. He was universally detested, and he would have lost all credit but that the extensive trade carried on between Russia and Hamburg forced the inhabitants and magistrates of that city to bear with a man who might have done them, individually, considerable injury.
The recollection of Duroc's successful mission to Berlin during the Consulate induced Napoleon to believe that that general might appease the King of Prussia, who complained seriously of the violation of the territory of Anspach, which hernadotte, in consequence of the orders he received, had not been able to respect. Duroc remained about six weeks in Berlin.
The following letter from Duroc will show that the facility of passing through Hesse seemed to excuse the second violation of the Prussian territory; but there was a great difference between a petty Prince of Hesse and the King of Prussia.
I send you, my dear Bourrienne, two despatches, which I have received for you. M. de Talleyrand, who sends them, desires me to request that you will transmit General Victor's by a sure conveyance.
I do not yet know whether I shall stay long in Berlin. By the last accounts I received the Emperor is still in Paris, and numerous forces are assembling on the Rhine. The hopes of peace are vanishing every day, and Austria does everything to promote war.
I have received accounts from Marshal Bernadotte. He has effected his passage through Hesse. Marshal Bernadotte was much pleased with the courtesy he experienced from the Elector.
The junction of the corps commanded by Bernadotte with the army of the Emperor was very important, and Napoleon therefore directed the Marshal to come up with him as speedily as possible, and by the shortest road. It was necessary he should arrive in time for the battle of Austerlitz. Gustavus, King of Sweden, who was always engaged in some enterprise, wished to raise an army composed of Swedes, Prussians, and English; and certainly a vigorous attack in the north would have prevented Bernadotte from quitting the banks of the Elbe and the Weser, and reinforcing the Grand Army which was marching on Vienna. But the King of Sweden's coalition produced no other result than the siege of the little fortress of Hameln.
Prussia would not come to a rupture with France, the King of Sweden was abandoned, and Bonaparte's resentment against him increased. This abortive project of Gustavus contributed not a little to alienate the affections of his subjects, who feared that they might be the victims of the revenge excited by the extravagant plans of their King, and the insults he had heaped upon Napoleon, particularly since the death of the Due d'Enghien.
On the 13th of September 1805 I received a letter from the Minister of Police soliciting information about Swedish Pomerania.
Astonished at not obtaining from the commercial Consuls at Lubeck and Stettin any accounts of the movements of the Russians, I had sent to those ports, four days before the receipt of the Police Minister's letter, a confidential agent, to observe the Baltic: though we were only 64 leagues from Stralsund the most uncertain and contradictory accounts came to hand. It was, however, certain that a landing of the Russians was expected at Stralsund, or at Travemtinde, the port of Lubeck, at the mouth of the little river Trave. I was positively informed that Russia had freighted a considerable number of vessels for those ports.
The hatred of the French continued to increase in the north of Europe. About the end of September there appeared at Kiel, in Denmark, a libellous pamphlet, which was bought and read with inconceivable avidity. This pamphlet, which was very ably written, was the production of some fanatic who openly preached a crusade against France. The author regarded the blood of millions of men as a trifling sacrifice for the great object of humiliating France and bringing her back to the limits of the old monarchy. This pamphlet was circulated extensively in the German departments united to France, in Holland, and in Switzerland. The number of incendiary publications which everywhere abounded indicated but too plainly that if the nations of the north should be driven back towards the Arctic regions they would in their turn repulse their conquerors towards the south; and no man of common sense could doubt that if the French eagles were planted in foreign capitals, foreign standards would one day wave over Paris.
On the 30th of September 1805 I received, by an 'estafette', intelligence of the landing at Stralsund of 6000 Swedes, who had arrived from Stockholm in two ships of war.
About the end of September the Hamburg exchange on Paris fell alarmingly. The loss was twenty per cent. The fall stopped at seventeen below par. The speculation for this fall of the exchange had been made with equal imprudence and animosity by the house of Osy and Company.
The head of that house, a Dutch emigrant, who had been settled at Hamburg about six years, seized every opportunity of manifesting his hatred of France. An agent of that rich house at Rotterdam was also very hostile to us, a circumstance which shows that if many persons sacrifice their political opinions to their interests there are others who endanger their interests for the triumph of their opinions.
On the 23d of October 1805 I received official intelligence of the total destruction of the first Austrian army: General Barbou, who was in Hanover, also informed me of that event in the following terms: "The first Austrian army has ceased to exist." He alluded to the brilliant affair of Ulm. I immediately despatched twelve estafettes to different parts; among other places to Stralsund and Husum. I thought that these prodigies, which must have been almost incredible to those who were unacquainted with Napoleon's military genius, might arrest the progress of the Russian troops, and produces some change in the movements of the enemy's forces. A second edition of the 'Correspondent' was published with this intelligence, and 6000 copies were sold at four times the usual price.
I need not detain the reader with the details of the capitulation of Ulm, which have already been published, but I may relate the following anecdote, which is not generally known. A French general passing before the ranks of his men said to them, "Well, comrades, we have prisoners enough here."—"yes indeed," replied one of the soldiers, "we never saw so many . . . collected together before." It was stated at the time, and I believe it, that the Emperor was much displeased when he heard of this, and remarked that it was "atrocious to insult brave men to whom the fate of arms had proved unfavourable."
In reading the history of this period we find that in whatever place Napoleon happened to be, there was the central point of action. The affairs of Europe were arranged at his headquarters in the same manner as if he had been in Paris. Everything depended on his good or bad fortune. Espionage, seduction, false promises, exactions,—all were put in force to promote the success of his projects; but his despotism, which excited dissatisfaction in France, and his continual aggressions, which threatened the independence of foreign States, rendered him more and more unpopular everywhere.
The battle of Trafalgar took place while Napoleon was marching on Vienna, and on the day after the capitulation of Ulm. The southern coast of Spain then witnessed an engagement between thirty-one French and about an equal number of English ships, and in spite of this equality of force the French fleet was destroyed.—[The actual forces present were 27 English ships of the line and 38 Franco-Spanish ships of the line; see James' Naval History, vol. iii. p. 459.]
This great battle afforded another proof of our naval inferiority. Admires Calder first gave us the lesson which Nelson completed, but which cost the latter his life. According to the reports which Duroc transmitted to me, courage gave momentary hope to the French; but they were at length forced to yield to the superior naval tactics of the enemy. The battle of Trafalgar paralysed our naval force, and banished all hope of any attempt against England.
The favour which the King, of Prussia had shown to Duroc was withdrawn when his Majesty received intelligence of the march of Bernadotte's troops through the Margravate of Anspach. All accounts concurred respecting the just umbrage which that violation of territory occasioned to the King of Prussia. The agents whom I had in that quarter overwhelmed me with reports of the excesses committed by the French in passing through the Margravate. A letter I received from Duroc contains the following remarks on this subject:
The corps of Marshal Bernadotte has passed through Anapach and by some misunderstanding this has been regarded at Berlin as an insult to the King, a violence committed upon his neutrality. How can it be supposed, especially under present circumstances, that the Emperor could have any intention of insulting or committing violence upon his friend? Besides, the reports have been exaggerated, and have been made by persons who wish to favour our enemies rather than us. However, I am perfectly aware that Marshal Bernadotte's 70,000 men are not 70,000 virgins. Be this as it may, the business might have been fatal, and will, at all events, be very injurious to us. Laforeat and I are treated very harshly, though we do not deserve it. All the idle stories that have been got up here must have reached you. Probably Prussia will not forget that France was, and still may be, the only power interested in her glory and aggrandisement.
At the end of October the King of Prussia, far from thinking of war, but in case of its occurrence wishing to check its disasters as far as possible, proposed to establish a line of neutrality. This was the first idea of the Confederation of the North. Duroc, fearing lest the Russians should enter Hamburg, advised me, as a friend, to adopt precautions. But I was on the spot; I knew all the movement the little detached corps, and I was under no apprehension.
The editor of the Hamburg 'Correspondent' sent me every evening a proof of the number which was to appear next day,—a favour which was granted only to the French Minister. On the 20th of November I received the proof as usual, and saw nothing objectionable in it. How great, therefore, was my astonishment when next morning I read in the same journal an article personally insulting to the Emperor, and in which the legitimate sovereigns of Europe were called upon to undertake a crusade against the usurper etc. I immediately sent for M. Doormann, first Syndic of the Senate of Hamburg. When he appeared his mortified look sufficiently informed me that he knew what I had to say to him. I reproached him sharply, and asked him how, after all I had told him of the Emperor's susceptibility, he could permit the insertion of such an article. I observed to him that this indecorous diatribe had no official character, since it had no signature; and that, therefore, he had acted in direct opposition to a decree of the Senate, which prohibited the insertion in the journals of any articles which were not signed. I told him plainly that his imprudence might be attended with serious consequences. M. Doormann did not attempt to justify himaelt but merely explained to me how the thing had happened.
On the 20th of November, in the evening, M. Forshmann, the Russian charge d'affaires who had in the course of the day arrived from the Russian headquarters presented to the editor of the Correspondent the article in question. The editor, after reading the article, which he thought exceedingly indecorous, observed to M. Forshmann that his paper was already made up, which was the fact, for I had seen a proof. M. Forshmann, however, insisted on the insertion of the article. The editor then told him that he could not admit it without the approbation of the Syndic Censor. M. Forshmann immediately waited upon M. Doormann, and when the latter begged that he would not insist on the insertion of the article, M. Forshmann produced a letter written in French, which, among other things, contained the following: "You will get the enclosed article inserted in the Correspondent without suffering a single word to be altered. Should the censor refuse, you must apply to the directing Burgomaster, and, in case of his refusal, to General Tolstoy, who will devise some means of rendering the Senate more complying, and forcing it to observe an impartial deference."
M. Doorman, thinking he could not take upon himself to allow the insertion of the article, went, accompanied by M. Forshmann, to wait upon M. Von Graffen, the directing Burgomaster. MM. Doorman and Von Graffen earnestly pointed out the impropriety of inserting the article; but M. Forshmann referred to his order, and added that the compliance of the Senate on this point was the only means of avoiding great mischief. The Burgomaster and the Syndic, finding themselves thus forced to admit the article, entreated that the following passage at least might be suppressed: "I know a certain chief, who, in defiance of all laws divine and human,—in contempt of the hatred he inspires in Europe, as well as among those whom he has reduced to be his subjects, keeps possession of a usurped throne by violence and crime. His insatiable ambition would subject all Europe to his rule. But the time is come for avenging the rights of nations . . . ." M. Forshmann again referred to his orders, and with some degree of violence insisted on the insertion of the article in its complete form. The Burgomaster then authorised the editor of the Correspondent to print the article that night, and M. Forshmann, having obtained that authority, carried the article to the office at half-past eleven o'clock.
Such was the account given me by M. Doormann. I observed that I did not understand how the imaginary apprehension of any violence on the part of Russia should have induced him to admit so insolent an attack upon the most powerful sovereign in Europe, whose arms would soon dictate laws to Germany. The Syndic did not dissemble his fear of the Emperor's resentment, while at the same time he expressed a hope that the Emperor would take into consideration the extreme difficulty of a small power maintaining neutrality in the extraordinary circumstances in which Hamburg was placed, and that the articles might be said to have been presented almost at the point of the Cossacks' spears. M. Doormann added that a refusal, which world have brought Russian troops to Hamburg, might have been attended by very unpleasant consequences to me, and might have committed the Senate in a very different way. I begged of him, once for all, to set aside in these affairs all consideration of my personal danger: and the Syndic, after a conversation of more than two hours, departed more uneasy in his mind than when he arrived, and conjuring me to give a faithful report of the facts as they had happened.
M. Doormann was a very worthy man, and I gave a favourable representation of his excuses and of the readiness which he had always evinced to keep out of the Correspondent articles hostile to France; as, for example, the commencement of a proclamation of the Emperor of Germany to his subjects, and a complete proclamation of the King of Sweden. As it happened, the good Syndic escaped with nothing worse than a fright; I was myself astonished at the success of my intercession. I learned from the Minister for Foreign Affairs that the Emperor was furiously indignant on reading the article, in which the French army was outraged as well as he. Indeed, he paid but little attention to insults directed against himself personally. Their eternal repetition had inured him to them; but at the idea of his army being insulted he was violently enraged, and uttered the most terrible threats.
It is worthy of remark that the Swedish and English Ministers, as soon as they read the article, waited upon the editor of the Correspondent, and expressed their astonishment that such a libel should have been published. "Victorious armies," said they, "should be answered by cannonballs and not by insults as gross as they are ridiculous." This opinion was shared by all the foreigners at that time in Hamburg.
Difficulties of my situation at Hamburg—Toil and responsibility— Supervision of the emigrants—Foreign Ministers—Journals—Packet from Strasburg—Bonaparte fond of narrating Giulio, an extempore recitation of a story composed by the Emperor.
The brief detail I have given in the two or three preceding chapters of the events which occurred previously to and during the campaign of Austerlitz, with the letters of Duroc and Bernadotte, may afford the reader some idea of my situation during the early part of my residence in Hamburg. Events succeeded each other with such incredible rapidity as to render my labour excessive. My occupations were different, but not less laborious, than those which I formerly performed when near the Emperor; and, besides, I was now loaded with a responsibility which did not attach to me as the private secretary of General Bonaparte and the First Consul. I had, in fact, to maintain a constant watch over the emigrants in Altona, which was no easy matter—to correspond daily with the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Police—to confer with the foreign Ministers accredited at Hamburg—to maintain active relations with the commanders of the French army—to interrogate my secret agents, and keep a strict surveillance over their proceedings; it was, besides, necessary to be unceasingly on the watch for scurrilous articles against Napoleon in the Hamburg 'Corespondent'. I shall frequently have occasion to speak of all these things, and especially of the most marked emigrants, in a manner less irregular, because what I have hitherto said may, in some sort, be considered merely as a summary of all the facts relating to the occurrences which daily passed before my eyes.
In the midst of these multifarious and weighty occupations I received a packet with the Strasburg postmark at the time the Empress was in that city. This packet had not the usual form of a diplomatic despatch, and the superscription announced that it came from the residence of Josephine. My readers, I venture to presume, will not experience less gratification than I did on a perusal of its contents, which will be found at the end of this chapter; but before satisfying the curiosity to which I have perhaps given birth, I may here relate that one of the peculiarities of Bonaparte was a fondness of extempore narration; and it appears he had not discontinued the practice even after he became Emperor.
In fact, Bonaparte, during the first year after his elevation to the Imperial throne, usually passed those evenings in the apartments of the Empress which he could steal from public business. Throwing himself on a sofa, he would remain absorbed in gloomy silence, which no one dared to interrupt. Sometimes, however, on the contrary, he would give the reins to his vivid imagination and his love of the marvelous, or, to speak more correctly, his desire to produce effect, which was perhaps one of his strongest passions, and would relate little romances, which were always of a fearful description and in unison with the natural turn of his ideas. During those recitals the ladies-in-waiting were always present, to one of whom I am indebted for the following story, which she had written nearly in the words of Napoleon. "Never," said this lady in her letter to me, "did the Emperor appear more extraordinary. Led away by the subject, he paced the salon with hasty strides; the intonations of his voice varied according to the characters of the personages he brought on the scene; he seemed to multiply himself in order to play the different parts, and no person needed to feign the terror which he really inspired, and which he loved to see depicted in the countenances of those who surrounded him." In this tale I have made no alterations, as can be attested by those who, to my knowledge, have a copy of it. It is curious to compare the impassioned portions of it with the style of Napoleon in some of the letters addressed to Josephine.
VOLUME III. — 1805-1807
Abolition of the Republican calendar—Warlike preparations in Austria—Plan for re-organizing the National Guard—Napoleon in Strasburg—General Mack—Proclamation—Captain Bernard's reconnoitering mission—The Emperor's pretended anger and real satisfaction—Information respecting Ragusa communicated by Bernard —Rapid and deserved promotion—General Bernard's retirement to the United States of America.
I had been three months at Hamburg when I learned that the Emperor had at last resolved to abolish the only remaining memorial of the Republic, namely, the revolutionary calendar. That calendar was indeed an absurd innovation, for the new denominations of the months were not applicable in all places, even in France; the corn of Provence did not wait to be opened by the sun of the month of Messidor. On the 9th of September a 'Senates-consulte' decreed that on the 1st of January following the months and days should resume their own names. I read with much interest Laplace's report to the Senate, and must confess I was very glad to see the Gregorian calendar again acknowledged by law, as it had already been acknowledged in fact. Frenchmen in foreign countries experienced particular inconvenience from the adoption of a system different from all the rest of the world.
A few days after the revival of the old calendar the Emperor departed for the army. When at Hamburg it may well be supposed that I was anxious to obtain news, and I received plenty from the interior of Germany and from some friends in Paris. This correspondence enables me to present to my readers a comprehensive and accurate picture of the state of public affairs up to the time when Napoleon took the field. I have already mentioned how artfully he always made it appear that he was anxious for peace, and that he was always the party attacked; his, conduct previous to the first conquest of Vienna affords a striking example of this artifice. It was pretty evident that the transformation of the Cisalpine Republic into the kingdom of Italy, and the union of Genoa to France were infractions of treaties; yet the Emperor, nevertheless, pretended that all the infractions were committed by Austria. The truth is, that Austria was raising levies as secretly as possible, and collecting her troops on the frontiers of Bavaria. An Austrian corps even penetrated into some provinces of the Electorate; all this afforded Napoleon a pretest for going to the aid of his allies.
In the memorable sitting preceding his departure the Emperor presented a project of a 'Senatus-consulte' relative to the re-organisation of the National Guard. The Minister for Foreign Affairs read an explanation of the reciprocal conduct of France and Austria since the peace of Luneville, in which the offences of France were concealed with wonderful skill. Before the sitting broke up the Emperor addressed the members, stating that he was about to leave the capital to place himself at the head of the army to afford prompt succour to his allies, and defend the dearest interests of his people. He boasted of his wish to preserve peace, which Austria and Russia, as he alleged, had, through the influence of England, been induced to disturb.
This address produced a very powerful impression in Hamburg. For my part, I recognised in it Napoleon's usual boasting strain; but on this occasion events seemed bent on justifying it. The Emperor may certainly have performed more scientific campaigns than that of Austerlitz, but never any more glorious in results. Everything seemed to partake of the marvellous, and I have often thought of the secret joy which Bonaparte must have felt on seeing himself at last an the point of commencing a great war in Germany, for which he had so often expressed an ardent desire. He proceeded first to Strasburg, whither Josephine accompanied him.
All the reports that I received agreed with the statements of my private correspondence in describing the incredible enthusiasm which prevailed in the army on learning that it was to march into Germany. For the first time Napoleon had recourse to an expeditious mode of transport, and 20,000 carriages conveyed his army, as if by enchantment, from the shores of the Channel to the banks of the Rhine. The idea of an active campaign fired the ambition of the junior part of the army. All dreamed of glory, and of speedy promotion, and all hoped to distinguish themselves before the eyes of a chief who was idolised by his troops. Thus during his short stay at Strasburg the Emperor might with reason prophesy the success which crowned his efforts under the walls of Vienna.
Rapp, who accompanied him, informed me that on leaving Strasburg he observed, in the presence of several persons, "It will be said that I made Mack's plan of campaign for him. The Caudine Forks are at Ulm."
—[This allusion to the Caudine Forks was always in Napoleon's mouth when he saw an enemy's army concentrated on a point, and foresaw its defeat—Bourrienne.]—
Experience proved that Bonaparte was not deceived; but I ought on this occasion to contradict a calumnious report circulated at that time, and since maliciously repeated. It has been said that there existed an understanding between Mack and Bonaparte, and that the general was bought over to deliver up the gates of Ulm. I have received positive proof that this assertion is a scandalous falsehood; and the only thing that could give it weight was Napoleon's intercession after the campaign that Mack might not be put on his trial. In this intercession Napoleon was actuated only by humanity.
On taking the field Napoleon placed himself at the head of the Bavarians, with whom be opposed the enemy's army before the arrival of his own troops. As soon as they were assembled he published the following proclamation, which still further excited the ardour of the troops.
SOLDIERS—The war of the third coalition is commenced. The Austrian army has passed the Inn, violated treaties, attacked and driven our ally from his capital. You yourselves have been obliged to hasten, by forced marches, to the defence of our frontiers. But you have now passed the Rhine; and we will not stop till we have secured the independence of the Germanic body, succoured our allies, and humbled the pride of our unjust assailants. We will not again make peace without a sufficient guarantee! Our generosity shall not again wrong our policy. Soldiers, your Emperor is among you! You are but the advanced guard of the great people. If it be necessary they will all rise at my call to confound and dissolve this new league, which has been created by the malice and the gold of England. But, soldiers, we shall have forced marches to make, fatigues and privations of every kind to endure. Still, whatever obstacles may be opposed to us, we will conquer them; and we will never rest until we have planted our eagles on the territory of our enemies!
In the confidential notes of his diplomatic agents, in his speeches, and in his proclamations, Napoleon always described himself as the attacked party, and perhaps his very earnestness in so doing sufficed to reveal the truth to all those who had learned to read his thoughts differently from what his words expressed them.
At the commencement of the campaign of Austerlitz a circumstance occurred from which is to be dated the fortune of a very meritorious man. While the Emperor was at Strasburg he asked General Marescot, the commander-in-chief of the engineers, whether he could recommend from his corps a brave, prudent, and intelligent young officer, capable of being entrusted with an important reconnoitering mission. The officer selected by General Marescot was a captain in the engineers, named Bernard, who had been educated in the Polytechnic School. He set off on his mission, advanced almost to Vienna, and returned to the headquarters of the Emperor at the capitulation of Ulm.
Bonaparte interrogated him himself, and was well satisfied with his replies; but, not content with answering verbally the questions put by Napoleon, Captain Bernard had drawn up a report of what he observed, and the different routes which might be taken. Among other things he observed that it would be a great advantage to direct the whole army upon Vienna, without regard to the fortified places; for that, once master of the capital of Austria, the Emperor might dictate laws to all the Austrian monarchy. "I was present," said Rapp to me, "at this young officer's interview with the Emperor. After reading the report, would you believe that the Emperor flew into a furious passion? 'How!' cried he, 'you are very bold, very presumptuous! A young officer to take the liberty of tracing out a plan of campaign for me! Begone, and await my orders.'"
This, and some other circumstances which I shall have to add respecting Captain Bernard, completely reveal Napoleon's character. Rapp told me that as soon as the young officer had left the Emperor all at once changed his tone. "That," said he, "is a clever young man; he has taken a proper view of things. I shall not expose him to the chance of being shot. Perhaps I shall sometime want his services. Tell Berthier to despatch an order for his departure for Elyria."
This order was despatched, and Captain Bernard, who, like his comrades, was ardently looking forward to the approaching campaign, regarded as a punishment what was, on the Emperor's part, a precaution to preserve a young man whose merit he appreciated. At the close of the campaign, when the Emperor promoted those officers who had distinguished themselves, Bernard, who was thought to be in disgrace, was not included in Berthier's list among the captains of engineers whom he recommended to the rank of chef de bataillon; but Napoleon himself inscribed Bernard's name before all the rest. However, the Emperor forgot him for some time; and it was only an accidental circumstance that brought him to his recollection. I never had any personal acquaintance with Bernard, but I learned from Rapp, how he afterwards became his colleague as aide de camp to the Emperor; a circumstance which I shall now relate, though it refers to a later period.
Before the Emperor left Paris for the campaign of 1812 he wished to gain precise information respecting Ragusa and Elyria. He sent for Marmont, but was not satisfied with his answers. He then interrogated several other generals, but the result of his inquiries always was, "This is all very well; but it is not what I want. I do not know Ragusa." He then sent for General Dejean, who had succeeded M. de Marescot as first inspector of the Engineers.
"Have you any one among your officers," he asked, "who is well acquainted with Ragusa?" Dejean, after a little reflection, replied, "Sire, there is a chef de bataillon who has been a long time forgotten, but who knows Elyria perfectly."—"What's his name?"—"Bernard."—"Ah! stop . . . Bernard! I remember that name. Where is he?"—"At Antwerp, Sire, employed on the fortifications."—"Let a telegraphic despatch be immediately, transmitted,—[by semaphore arms.]—desiring him to mount his horse and come with all speed to Paris."
The promptitude with which the Emperor's orders were always executed is well known. A few days after Captain Bernard was in the Emperor's cabinet in Paris. Napoleon received him very graciously. The first thing he said was, "Talk to me about Ragusa." This was a favourite mode of interrogation with him in similar cases, and I have heard him say that it was a sure way of drawing out all that a man had observed in any country that he had visited. Be that as it may, he was perfectly satisfied with M. Bernard's information respecting Elyria; and when the chef de bataillon had finished speaking Napoleon said, "Colonel Bernard, I am now acquainted with Ragusa." The Emperor afterwards conversed familiarly with him, entered into details respecting the system of fortification adopted at Antwerp, referred to the plan of the works, criticised it, and showed how he would, if he besieged the town, render the means of defence unavailing. The new Colonel explained so well how he would defend the town against the Emperor's attack that Bonaparte was delighted, and immediately bestowed upon, the young officer a mark of distinction which, as far as I know, he never granted but upon that single occasion. The Emperor was going to preside at the Council of State, and desired Colonel Bernard to accompany him, and many times during the sittings be asked him for his opinion upon the points which were under discussion. On leaving the Council Napoleon said, "Bernard, you are in future my aide de camp." After the campaign he was made General of Brigade, soon after General of Division, and now he is acknowledged to be one of the ablest engineer officers in existence. Clarke's silly conduct deprived France of this distinguished man, who refused the brilliant offers of several sovereigns of Europe for the sake of retiring to the United States of America, where he commands the Engineers, and has constructed fortifications on the coast of the Floridas which are considered by engineers to be masterpieces of military art.
Rapidity of Napoleon's victories—Murat at Wertingen—Conquest of Ney's duchy—The French army before Ulm—The Prince of Liechtenstein at the Imperial headquarters—His interview with Napoleon described by Rapp—Capitulation of Ulm signed by Berthier and Mack—Napoleon before and after a victory—His address to the captive generals— The Emperor's proclamation—Ten thousand prisoners taken by Murat— Battle of Caldiero in Italy—Letter from Duroc—Attempts to retard the Emperor's progress—Fruitless mission of M. de Giulay—The first French eagles taken by the Russians—Bold adventure of Lannes and Murat—The French enter Vienna—Savary's mission to the Emperor Alexander.
To convey an idea of the brilliant campaign of 1805 from an abstract of the reports and letters I received at Hamburg I should, like the almanac-makers, be obliged to note down a victory for every day. Was not the rapidity of the Emperor's first operations a thing hitherto unprecedented? He departed from Paris on the 24th of September, and hostilities commenced on the 2d of October. On the 6th and 7th the French passed the Danube, and turned the enemy's army. On the 8th Murat, at the battle of Wertingen, on the Danube, took 2000 Austrian prisoners, amongst whom, besides other general officers, was Count Auffemberg. Next day the Austrians fell back upon Gunsburg, retreating before our victorious legions, who, pursuing their triumphal course, entered Augsburg on the 10th, and Munich on the 12th. When I received my despatches I could have fancied I was reading a fabulous narrative. Two days after the French entered Munich—that is to say, on the 14th—an Austrian corps of 6000 men surrendered to Marshal Soult at Memingen, whilst Ney conquered, sword in hand, his future Duchy of Elchingen. Finally, on the 17th of October, came the famous capitulation of General Mack at Ulm,' and on the same day hostilities commenced in Italy between the French and Austrians, the former commanded by Massena and the latter by Prince Charles.
—[Prince Maurice Liechtenstein was sent by General Mack as a flag of truce to the Imperial headquarters before Ulm. He was, according to custom, led blindfold on horseback. Rapp, who was present, together with several of Napoleon's aides de camp, afterwards spoke to me of the Prince's interview with the Emperor. I think he told me that herthier was present likewise. "Picture to yourself," said Rapp, "the astonishment, or rather confusion, of the poor Prince when the bandage was removed from his eyes. He knew nothing of what had been going on, and did not even suspect that the Emperor had yet joined the army. When he understood that he was in the presence of Napoleon he could not suppress an exclamation of surprise, which did not escape the Emperor, and he ingenuously acknowledged that General Mack had no idea he was before the walls of Ulm." Prince Liechtenstein proposed to capitulate on condition that the garrison of Ulm should be allowed to return into Austria. This proposal, in the situation in which the garrison stood, Rapp said, made the Emperor smile. "How can you expect," said Napoleon, "that I can accede to such a proposition? What shall I gain by it? Eight days. In eight days you will be in my power without any condition. Do you suppose I am not acquainted with everything? . . You expect the Russians? . . . At the nearest they are in Bohemia. Were I to allow you to march out, what security can I have that you will not join them, and afterwards fight against me? Your generals have deceived me often enough, and I will no longer be duped. At Marengo I was weak enough to allow the troops of Melas to march out of Alessandria. He promised to treat for peace. What happened? Two months after Moreau had to fight with the garrison of Alessandria. Besides, this war is not an ordinary war. After the conduct of your Government I am not bound to keep any terms with it. I have no faith in its promises. You have attacked me. If I should agree to what you ask, Mack would pledge his word, I know. But, even relying on his good faith, would be he able to keep his promise? As far as regards himself—yes; but as regards his army—no. If the Archduke Ferdinand were still with you I could rely upon his word, because he would be responsible for the conditions, and he would not disgrace himself; but I know he has quitted Ulm and passed the Danube. I know how to reach him, however."
Rapp said it was impossible to imagine the embarrassment of Prince Liechtenstein whilst the Emperor was speaking. He, however, somewhat regained his self-possession, and observed that, unless the conditions which he proposed were granted the army would not capitulate. "If that be the case," said Napoleon. "you may as well go back to Mack, for I will never grant such conditions. Are you jesting with me? Stay; here is the capitulation of Memingen—show it to your General—let him surrender on the same conditions—I will consent to no others. Your officers may return to Austria, but the soldiers must be prisoners. Tell him to be speedy, for I have no time to lose. The more he delays the worse he will render his own condition and yours. To-morrow I shall have here the corps to which Memingen capitulated, and then we shall see what is to be done. Make Mack clearly understand that he has no alternative but to conform to my will."
The imperious tones which Napoleon employed towards his enemies almost always succeeded, and it produced the accustomed effect upon Mack. On the same day that Prince Liechtenstein had been at our headquarters Mack wrote to the Emperor, stating that he would not have treated with any other on such terms; but that he yielded to the ascendency of Napoleon's fortune; and on the following day Berthier was sent into Ulm, from whence he returned with the capitulation signed. Thus Napoleon was not mistaken respecting the Caudine Forks of the Austrian army. The garrison of Ulm marched out with what are called the honours of war, and were led prisoners into France.—Bourrienne.]—
Napoleon, who was so violently irritated by any obstacle which opposed him, and who treated with so much hauteur everybody who ventured to resist his inflexible will, was no longer the same man when, as a conqueror, he received the vanquished generals at Ulm. He condoled with them on their misfortune; and this, I can affirm, was not the result of a feeling of pride concealed beneath a feigned generosity. Although he profited by their defeat he pitied them sincerely. How frequently has he observed to me, "How much to be pitied is a general on the day after a lost battle." He had himself experienced this misfortune when he was obliged to raise the siege of St. Jean d'Acre. At that moment he would, I believe, have strangled Djezzar; but if Djezzar had surrendered, he would have treated him with the same attention which he showed to Mack and the other generals of the garrison of Ulm. These generals were seventeen in number, and among them was Prince Liechtenstein. There were also General Klenau (Baron de Giulay), who had acquired considerable military reputation in the preceding wars, and General Fresnel, who stood in a more critical situation than his companions in misfortune, for he was a Frenchman, and an emigrant.
Rapp told me that it was really painful to see these generals. They bowed respectfully to the Emperor, having Mack at their head. They preserved a mournful silence, and Napoleon was the first to speak, which he did in the following terms: "Gentlemen, I feel sorry that such brave men as you are should be the victims of the follies of a Cabinet which cherishes insane projects, and which does not hesitate to commit the dignity of the Austrian nation by trafficking with the services of its generals. Your names are known to me—they are honourably known wherever you have fought. Examine the conduct of those who have committed you. What could be more iniquitous than to attack me without a declaration of war? Is it not criminal to bring foreign invasion upon a country? Is it not betraying Europe to introduce Asiatic barbarities into her disputes? If good policy had been followed the Aulic Council, instead of attacking me, would have sought my alliance in order to drive back the Russians to the north. The alliance which your Cabinet has formed will appear monstrous in history. It is the alliance of dogs, shepherds, and wolves against sheep—such a scheme could never have been planned in the mind of a statesman. It is fortunate for you that I have not been defeated in the unjust struggle to which I have been provoked; if I had, the Cabinet of Vienna would have soon perceived its error, for which, perhaps, it will yet one day pay dearly."
What a change fifteen days of success, crowned by the capture of Ulm, had made in affairs! At Hamburg I knew through my agents to what a degree of folly the hopes of Napoleon's enemies had risen before he began the campaign. The security of the Cabinet of Vienna was really inexplicable; not only did they not dream of the series of victories which made Napoleon master of all the Austrian monarchy, but the assistants of Drake and all the intriguers of that sort treated France already as a conquered country, and disposed of some of our provinces. In the excess of their folly, to only give one instance, they promised the town of Lyons to the King of Sardinia, to recompense him for the temporary occupation of Piedmont.
—[In the treaties and declarations (see Martens and Thiers, tome v. p. 355) there is rather a tendency to sell the skin of the bear before killing him.]—
While Napoleon flattered his prisoners at the expense of their Government he wished to express satisfaction at the conduct of his own army, and with this view he published a remarkable proclamation, which in some measure presented an abstract of all that had taken place since the opening of the campaign.
This proclamation was as follows:—
SOLDIERS OF THE GRAND ARMY—In a fortnight we have finished an entire campaign. What we proposed to do has been done. We have driven the Austrian troops from Bavaria, and restored our ally to the sovereignty of his dominions.
That army, which, with equal presumption and imprudence, marched upon our frontiers, is annihilated.
But what does this signify to England? She has gained her object. We are no longer at Boulogne, and her subsidy will be neither more nor less.
Of a hundred thousand men who composed that army, sixty thousand are prisoners. They will replace our conscripts in the labours of agriculture.
Two hundred pieces of cannon, the whole park of artillery, ninety flags, and all their generals are in our power. Fifteen thousand men only have escaped.
Soldiers! I announced to you the result of a great battle; but, thanks to the ill-devised schemes of the enemy, I was enabled to secure the wished-for result without incurring any danger, and, what is unexampled in the history of nations, that result has been gained at the sacrifice of scarcely fifteen hundred men killed and wounded.
Soldiers! this success is due to your unlimited confidence in your Emperor, to your patience in enduring fatigues and privations of every kind, and to your singular courage and intrepidity.
But we will not stop here. You are impatient to commence another campaign!
The Russian army, which English gold has brought from the extremities of the universe, shall experience the same fate as that which we have just defeated.
In the conflict in which we are about to engage the honour of the French infantry is especially concerned. We shall now see another decision of the question which has already been determined in Switzerland and Holland; namely, whether the French infantry is the first or the second in Europe.
Among the Russians there are no generals in contending against whom I can acquire any glory. All I wish is to obtain the victory with the least possible bloodshed. My soldiers are, my children.
This proclamation always appeared to me a masterpiece of military eloquence. While he lavished praises on his troops, he excited their emulation by hinting that the Russians were capable of disputing with them the first rank among the infantry of Europe, and he concluded his address by calling them his children.
The second campaign, to which Napoleon alleged they so eagerly looked forward, speedily ensued, and hostilities were carried on with a degree of vigour which fired the enthusiasm of the army. Heaven knows what accounts were circulated of the Russians, who, as Bonaparte solemnly stated in his proclamation, had come from the extremity of the world. They were represented as half-naked savages, pillaging, destroying and burning wherever they went. It was even asserted that they were cannibals, and had been seen to eat children. In short, at that period was introduced the denomination of northern barbarians which has since been so generally applied to the Russians. Two days after the capitulation of Ulm Murat obtained the capitulation of Trochtelfingen from General Yarneck, and made 10,000 prisoners, so that, without counting killed and wounded, the Austrian army had sustained a diminution of 50,000 men after a campaign of twenty days. On the 27th of October the French army crossed the Inn, and thus penetrated into the Austrian territory. Salzburg and Brannan were immediately taken. The army of Italy, under the command of Massena, was also obtaining great advantages. On the 30th of October, that is to say, the very day on which the Grand Army took the above-mentioned fortresses, the army of Italy, having crossed the Adige, fought a sanguinary battle at Caldiero, and took 5000 Austrian prisoners.
In the extraordinary campaign, which has been distinguished by the name of "the Campaign of Austerlitz," the exploits of our troops succeeded each other with the rapidity of thought. I confess I was equally astonished and delighted when I received a note from Duroc, sent by an extraordinary courier, and commencing laconically with the words, "We are in Vienna; the Emperor is well."
Duroc's letter was dated the 13th November, and the words, "We are in Vienna," seemed to me the result of a dream. The capital of Austria, which from time immemorial had not been occupied by foreigners—the city which Sobieski had saved from Ottoman violence, had become the prey of the Imperial eagle of France, which, after a lapse of three centuries, avenged the humiliations formerly imposed upon Francis I. by the 'Aquila Grifagna' of Charles V. Duroc had left the Emperor before the camp of Boulogne was raised; his mission to Berlin being terminated, he rejoined the Emperor at Lintz.
—[As soon as Bonaparte became Emperor he constituted himself the avenger of all the insults given to the sovereigns, whom he styled his predecessors. All that related to the honour of France was sacred to him. Thus he removed the column of Rosbach from the Prussian territory.—Bourrienne.]—
Before I noticed the singular mission of M. Haugwitz to the Emperor Napoleon, and the result of that mission, which circumstances rendered diametrically the reverse of its object, I will relate what came to my knowledge respecting some other negotiations on the part of Austria, the evident intent of which was to retard Napoleon's progress, and thereby to dupe him. M. de Giulay, one of the generals included in the capitulation of Ulm, had returned home to acquaint his sovereign with the disastrous event. He did not conceal, either from the Emperor Francis or the Cabinet of Vienna, the destruction of the Austrian army, and the impossibility of arresting the rapid advance of the French. M. de Giulay was sent with a flag of truce to the headquarters of Napoleon, to assure him of the pacific intentions of the Emperor of Austria, and to solicit an armistice. The snare was too clumsy not to be immediately discovered by so crafty a man as Napoleon.
—[Metternich (tome ii. p. 346, compare French edition, tome ii. p. 287) says, "Let us hold always the sword in one hand and the olive branch in the other; always ready to negotiate, but only negotiating while advancing." Here is Napoleons system.]—
He had always pretended a love for peace, though he was overjoyed at the idea of continuing a war so successfully commenced, and he directed General Giulay to assure the Emperor of Austria that he was not less anxious for peace than he, and that he was ready to treat for it, but without suspending the course of his operations. Bonaparte, indeed, could not, without a degree of imprudence of which he was incapable, consent to an armistice; for M. de Giulay, though entrusted with powers from Austria, had received none from Russia. Russia, therefore, might disavow the armistice and arrive in time to defend Vienna, the occupation of which was so important to the French army. The Russians, indeed, were advancing to oppose us, and the corps of our army, commanded by Mortier on the left bank of the Danube, experienced in the first engagement a check at Dirnstein, which not a little vexed the Emperor. This was the first reverse of fortune we had sustained throughout the campaign. It was trivial, to be sure, but the capture by the Russians of three French eagles, the first that had fallen into the hands of the enemy, was very mortifying to Napoleon, and caused him to prolong for some days his staff at St. Folten, where he then was.
The rapid occupation of Vienna was due to the successful temerity of Lannes and Murat, two men alike distinguished for courage and daring spirit. A bold artifice of these generals prevented the destruction of the Thabor bridge at Vienna, without which our army would have experienced considerable difficulty in penetrating into the Austrian capital. This act of courage and presence of mind, which had so great an influence on the events of the campaign, was described to me by Lannes, who told the story with an air of gaiety, unaccompanied by any self-complacency, and seemed rather pleased with the trick played upon the Austrians than proud of the brilliant action which had been performed. Bold enterprises were so natural to Lannes that he was frequently the only person who saw nothing extraordinary in his own exploits. Alas! what men were sacrificed to Napoleon's ambition!
The following is the story of the Bridge of Thabor as I heard it from Lannes:—
—[I was one day walking with Murat, on the right bank of the Danube, and we observed on the left bank, which was occupied by the Austrians, some works going on, the evident object of which was to blow up the bridge on the approach of our troops. The fools had the impudence to make these preparations under our very noses; but we gave them a good lesson. Having arranged our plan, we returned to give orders, and I entrusted the command of my column of grenadiers to an officer on whose courage and intelligence I could rely. I then returned to the bridge, accompanied by Murat and two or three other officers. We advanced, unconcernedly, and entered into conversation with the commander of a post in the middle of the bridge. We spoke to him about an armistice which was to be speedily concluded: While conversing with the Austrian officers we contrived to make them turn their eyes towards the left bank, and then, agreeably to the orders we had given, my column of grenadiers advanced on the bridge. The Austrian cannoneers, on the left bank, seeing their officers in the midst of us, did not dare to fire, and my column advanced at a quick step. Murat and I, at the head of it, gained the left bank. All the combustibles prepared for blowing up the bridge were thrown into the river, and my men took possession of the batteries erected for the defence of the bridge head. The poor devils of Austrian officers were perfectly astounded when I told them they were my prisoners.]—
Such, as well as I can recollect, was the account given by Lannes, who laughed immoderately in describing the consternation of the Austrian officers when they discovered the trick that had been played upon them. When Lannes performed this exploit he had little idea of the, important consequences which would attend, it. He had not only secured to the remainder of the French army a sure and easy entrance to Vienna, but, without being aware of it, he created an insurmountable impediment to the junction of the Russian army with the Austrian corps, commanded by Prince Charles, who, being pressed by Massena, hastily advanced into the heart of the Hereditary States, where he fully expected a great battle would take place.
As soon as the corps of Murat and Lannes had taken possession of Vienna the Emperor ordered all the divisions of the army to march upon that capital.
—[The story to told in much the same way in Theirs (tome vi, p. 260), Rupp (p. 57), and Savory (tome ii. p. 162), but as Erreurs (tome i. p. 814) points out, Bourrienne makes an odd mistake in believing the Thabor Bridge gave the French access to Vienna. The capital is on the right bank, and was already in their power. The possession of the bridge enabled them to pass over to the left bank, and to advance towards Austerlitz before the Archduke Charles, coming from Italy, could make his junction with the allied army. See plan 48 of Thiers' Atlas, or 58 of Alison's. The immediate result of the success of this rather doubtful artifice would have been the destruction of the corps of Kutusoff; but Murat in his turn was deceived by Bagration into belief in an armistice. In fact, both sides at this time fell into curious errors.]—
Napoleon established his headquarters at Schoenbrunn, where he planned his operations for compelling the corps of Prince Charles to retire to Hungary, and also for advancing his own forces to meet the Russians. Murat and Lannes always commanded the advanced guard during the forced marches ordered by Napoleon, which were executed in a way truly miraculous.
To keep up the appearance of wishing to conclude peace as soon as reasonable propositions should be made to him, Napoleon sent for his Minister for foreign Affairs, who speedily arrived at Vienna, and General Savary was sent on a mission to the Emperor Alexander. The details of this mission I have learned only from the account of it given by the Duc de Rovigo in his apologetic Memoirs. In spite of the Duke's eagerness to induce a belief in Napoleon's pacific disposition, the very facts on which he supports his argument lead to the contrary conclusion. Napoleon wished to dictate his conditions before the issue of a battle the success of which might appear doubtful to the young Emperor of Russia, and these conditions were such as he might impose when victory should be declared in favour of our eagles. It must be clear to every reflecting person that by always proposing what he knew could not be honourably acceded to, he kept up the appearance of being a pacificator, while at the same time he ensured to himself the pleasure of carrying on the war.
My functions at Hamburg—The King of Sweden at Stralsund— My bulletin describing the situation of the Russian armies—Duroc's recall from Berlin—General Dumouriez—Recruiting of the English in Hanover—The daughter of M. de Marbeof and Napoleon—Treachery of the King of Naples—The Sun of Austerlitz—Prince Dolgiorouki Rapp's account of the battle of Austerlitz—Gerard's picture— Eugene's marriage.
I must now relate how, in conformity with my instructions, I was employed in Hamburg in aiding the success of the French army. I had sent an agent to observe the Russian troops, which were advancing by forced marches to the banks of the Elbe. This agent transmitted to me from Gadbusch an account of the routes taken by the different columns. It was then supposed that they would march upon Holland by the way of Bremen and Oldenburg. On the receipt of thus intelligence the Electorate of Hanover was evacuated by the French, and General Barbou, who had commanded there concentrated his forces in Hamelin.
On the 2d of November 1805 the King of Sweden arrived at Stralsund. I immediately intimated to our Government that this circumstance would probably give a new turn to the operations of the combined army, for hitherto the uncertainty of its movements and the successive counter- orders afforded no possibility of ascertaining any determined plan. The intention seemed to be, that all the Swedo-Russian troops should cross the Elbe at the same point; viz., Lauenburg, six miles from Hamburg.
There was not on the 5th of November a single Russian on the southern bank of the Elbe.
The first column of the grand Russian army passed through Warsaw on the 1st of November, and on the 2d the Grand-Duke Constantine was expected with the Guards. This column, which amounted to 6000 men, was the first that passed through Prussian Poland.
At this time we momentarily expected to see the Hanoverian army landed on the banks of the Weser or the Elbe, augmented by some thousands of English. Their design apparently was either to attack Holland, or to attempt some operation on the rear of our Grand Army.
The French Government was very anxious to receive accurate accounts of the march of the Swedo-Russian troops through Hanover, and of the Russian army through Poland. My agents at Warsaw and Stralsund, who were exceedingly active and intelligent, enabled me to send off a bulletin describing the state of Hanover, the movements of the Russians and Swedes, together with information of the arrival of English troops in the Elbe, and a statement of the force of the combined army in Hanover, which consisted of 15,000 Russians, 8000 Swedes, and 12,000 English; making in all 35,000 men.
It was probably on account of this bulletin that Napoleon expressed to Duroc his satisfaction with my services. The Emperor on recalling Duroc from Berlin did not manifest the least apprehension respecting Prussia. Duroc wrote to me the following letter on the occasion of his recall:
MY DEAR BOURRIENNE—The Emperor having thought my services necessary to the army has recalled me. I yesterday had a farewell audience of the King and Queen, who treated me very graciously. His Majesty presented me with his portrait set in diamonds. The Emperor Alexander will probably depart to morrow, and the Archduke Anthony vary speedily. We cannot but hope that their presence here will facilitate a good understanding. (Signed) DUROC.
Whenever foreign armies were opposing France the hopes of the emigrants revived. They falsely imagined that the powers coalesced against Napoleon were labouring in their cause; and many of them entered the Russian and Austrian armies. Of this number was General Dumouriez. I received information that he had landed at Stade on the 21st of November; but whither he intended to proceed was not known. A man named St. Martin, whose wife lived with Dumouriez, and who had accompanied the general from England to Stade, came to Hamburg, where he observed great precautions for concealment, and bought two carriages, which were immediately forwarded to Stade. St, Martin himself immediately proceeded to the latter place. I was blamed for not having arrested this man; but he had a commission attesting that he was in the English service, and, as I have before mentioned; a foreign commission was a safeguard; and the only one which could not be violated in Hamburg.
In December 1805 the English recruiting in Hanover was kept up without interruption, and attended with extraordinary success. Sometimes a hundred men were raised in a day. The misery prevailing in Germany, which had been ravaged by the war, the hatred against the French, and the high bounty that was offered enabled the English to procure as many men as they wished.
The King of Sweden, meditating on the stir he should make in Hanover, took with him a camp printing-press to publish the bulletins of the grand Swedish army.—The first of these bulletins announced to Europe that his Swedish Majesty was about to leave Stralsund; and that his army would take up its position partly between Nelsen and Haarburg, and partly between Domitz and the frontiers of Hamburg.
Among the anecdotes of Napoleon connected with this campaign I find in my notes the following, which was related to me by Rapp. Some days before his entrance into Vienna Napoleon, who was riding on horseback along the road, dressed in his usual uniform of the chasseurs of the Guard, met an open carriage, in which were seated a lady and a priest. The lady was in tears, and Napoleon could not refrain from stopping to ask her what was the cause of her distress. "Sir," she replied, for she did not know the Emperor, "I have been pillaged at my estate, two leagues from hence, by a party of soldiers, who have murdered my gardener. I am going to seek your Emperor, who knows my family, to whom he was once under great obligations."—"What is your name?" inquired Napoleon.—"De Bunny," replied the lady. "I am the daughter of M de Marbeuf, formerly Governor of Corsica."—"Madame," exclaimed Napoleon, "I am the Emperor. I am delighted to have the opportunity of serving you."—"You cannot conceive," continued Rapp, "the attention which the Emperor showed Madame de Bunny. He consoled her, pitied her, almost apologised for the misfortune she had sustained. 'Will you have the goodness, Madame,' said he, 'to go and wait for me at my head-quarters? I will join you speedily; every member of M. de Marbeuf's family has a claim on my respect.' The Emperor immediately gave her a picquet of chasseurs of his guard to escort her. He saw her again during the day, when he loaded her with attentions, and liberally indemnified her for the losses she had sustained."
For some time previous to the battle of Austerlitz the different corps of the army intersected every part of Germany and Italy, all tending towards Vienna as a central point. At the beginning of November the corps commanded by Marshal Bernadotte arrived at Saltzburg at the moment when the Emperor had advanced his headquarters to Braunau, where there were numerous magazines of artillery and a vast quantity of provisions of every kind. The junction of the corps commanded by Bernadotte in Hanover with the Grand Army was a point of such high importance that Bonaparte had directed the Marshal to come up with him as speedily as possible, and to take the shortest road. This order obliged Bernadotte to pass through the territory of the two Margravates.