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"does not Italy offer a retreat worthy of me? Will you follow me once more across the Alps!" This proposal was received in profound silence. If at this moment Napoleon had quitted his saloon and entered the hall of the secondary officers, he would have found a host of young men ager to follow wheresoever he might lead them! But a step further, and he would have been greeted at the foot of the stairs by the acclamations of all his troops! Napoleon however was swayed by the habits of his reign: he thought success could not attend him if he marched without the great officers whom his imperial dignity had created. He conceived that General Buonaparte himself could not renew his career without his old train of lieutenants. But they had received his summons in silence! He found himself compelled to yield to their apathy, though not without addressing to them these prophetic words :-"You wish for repose; take it then! Alas! You know not how many troubles and dangers will await you on your beds of down. A few years of that peace which you are about to purchase so dearly, will cut off more of you than the most sanguinary war would have done!"*
Napoleon declared himself to have been subdued less by his enemies than by the defection of his friends; and, taking up his pen, he drew up the second formula of his abdication in the following terms:
The Allied Powers having proclaimed that the emperor is the only obstacle to the re-establishment of the peace of Europe, the emperor, faithful to his oath, renounces, for himself and his heirs, the thrones of France and Italy, and declares that there is no sacrifice, not even that of life, which he is not ready to make for the interests of France."
He was now deprived of even the shadow of means to resist the demands of the Allies. They proffered him the treaty to sign, which he refused. At length he consented, and the singular events of the night preceding this last act of his power are thus described:
For several days past he had apparently been occupied with some secret design. He became dull, and his mind was only occasionally roused by the contemplation of the gloomy pictures of history. The subject of his private conversation was the voluntary death to which the heroes of antiquity had doomed themselves, in situations similar to his own; and he coolly quoted and discussed different examples and opinions on the subject. The apprehensions which this turn of mind were naturally calculated to inspire were increased by the following circumstance.
The empress had quitted Bois for the purpose of joining Napoleon; she had arrived at Orleans and was expected at Fontainebleau ; but Napoleon himself stated that orders had been issued to prevent her from carrying her design into execution. He feared that this interview might induce him to relinquish his meditated design.
On the night of the 12th the silence which reigned in the long corridors of the palace was suddenly interrupted by the sound of hurried footsteps. The servants of the palace were heard running to and fro; candles were lighted in the apartment, and the valets de chambre were called up. Doctor Yvan and Grand Marshal Bertrand were also summonded. The Duke of Vicenza was sent for, and a message was dispatched to the Duke of Bassano, who resided at the Chancellery.
*Seven years have not yet elapsed since these words were uttered, and where now are Berthier, Murat, Ney, Massena, Augereau, Lefebvre, Brune, Serrurier, Kellermann, Perignon, Béurnonville, Clarke, and many others?' VOL. I. Nov. 1823. Br. Mag.
these individuals arrived, and were successively introduced into the emperor's bed-chamber. Curiosity in vain lent an anxious ear; nothing was heard but groans and sobs escaping from the ante-chamber and resounding through the gallery. At length Doctor Yvan came out of the chamber; he hastily descended into the court-yard, where finding a horse fastened to the railing, he mounted him and galloped off. The secret of this night has always been involved in profound obscurity. The following story has, however, been related :
During the retreat from Moscow, Napoleon had, in case of accident, taken means to prevent his falling alive into the hands of the enemy. He procured from Surgeon Yvan a bag of opium,* which he wore hung about his neck, as long as danger was to be apprehended. He afterwards carefully deposited this bag in a secret drawer of his cabinet. On the night of the 12th, he thought the moment had arrived for availing himself of this last expedient. The valet de chambre, who slept in the adjoining room, the door of which was half open, heard Napoleon empty something into a glass of water, which he drank, and then returned to bed. Pain soon extorted from him an acknowledgment of his approaching end. He then sent for the most confidential persons in his service. Yvan was sent for also; but learning what had occurred, and hearing Napoleon complain that the poison was not sufficiently quick in its effect, he lost all selfpossession, and hastily fled from Fontainebleau. It is added, that Napofeon fell into a long sleep, and that, after copious perspiration, every alarming symptom disappeared: the dose was either insufficient in quantity, or time had mitigated the power of the poison. It is said that Napoleon, astonished at the failure of his attempt, after some moments' reflection, exclaimed, "God has ordained that I shall live!" and yielding to the will of Providence, which had preserved his existence, he resigned himself to a new destiny.
The whole affair was hushed in secrecy, and on the morning of the 13th Napoleon arose and dressed himself as usual: his objection to ratify the treaty was now at an end, and he signed it without further hesitation.' The departure from Fontainebleau, although it is marked by that melo-dramatic display of which Buonaparte was so fond, is too interesting. to be omitted:
"On the 20th of April, at noon, the travelling carriages drew up in the court of the cheval blanc, at the foot of the fer-à-cheval steps. The Imperial guard formed itself in lines. At one o'clock Napoleon quitted his apartment. He beheld, ranged along the avenues through which he passed, all that now remained of the most numerous and brilliant court in Europe.
Napoleon shook hands with them all, then hastily descending the steps he passed the range of carriages, and advanced towards the Imperial guard. Having signified that he wished to speak, all were hushed in a moment, and in profound silence listened to his last words.
"Soldiers of my Old Guard," said he, "I bid you farewell. During twenty years you have been my constant companions in the path of honour and glory. In our late disasters, as well as in the days of our prosperity, you invariably proved yourselves models of courage and fide
*It was not opium alone; but a preparation described by Cabanis, and he same which Condo rcet made use of to destroy himself.'
lity. With men such as you, our cause could not have been lost: but a protracted civil war would have ensued, and the miseries of France would thereby have been augmented. I have, therefore, sacrificed all our interests to those of the country. I depart: you, my friends, will continue to serve France, whose happiness has ever been the only subject of my thoughts, and still will be the sole object of my wishes! Do not deplore my fate if I consent to live, it is that I may still contribute to your glory. I will record the great achievements which we have performed together!...... Farewell, my comrades! I should wish to press you all to my bosom let me, at least, embrace your standard!"..... At these words General Petit took the eagle and advanced. Napoleon received the general in his arms, and kissed the flag. The silent admiration which this moving scene inspired was' interrupted only by the occasional sobs of the soldiers. Napoleon made an effort to subdue the emotion by which he was powerfully agitated, and then added, in a firm tone of voice, "Farewell once more, my old comrades! Let this last kiss be impressed on all your hearts!" ... Then rushing from amidst the group which surrounded him, he hastily stepped into his carriage, where General Bertrand had already taken his seat.
The carriages instantly drove off. They took the road to Lyons, and were escorted by French troops. As he drove along, Napoleon every where received the most affecting testimonies of love and regret.... "Praise may be doubted; but I am not aware that sorrow has hitherto been questioned; and when a people weep for their sovereign, they may be believed to be sincere."
We conclude our notice of this volume by expressing our opinion, that, worthy of notice as it is on account of its mere contents, it becomes still more so in consequence of the author's character, of whose fidelity it is an honorable monument.
LINES ON THE DEATH OF ROBERT BLOOMFIELD.
THE Morning, in her youthful mirth,
The stirring scenes and sounds of morn?
O'er hills of heath and vales of corn-
The peasant does not see him pass-
The woodbine wreathes around the gate
His garden-walks are desolate :
The rose looks in, and smiles, in vain !-
Say-does he slumber carelessly,
Or journey over land and sea?
Ah! he has wander'd far away--
All through the long, bright, summer-day,
Through the long convent-echoes sighing:
To morning bright and ev'ning fair—
Yet mourn not for him! When the ray
That glorified his lowly way,
And made this earth almost a heaven-
Fair Spring, with her green buds, was past-
And chilly blew the Autumn blast,
Flinging the damp leaves on his head-
The green grass canopy.
Soft be thy resting through the night,
THE LIFE OF WILLIAM DAVISON.
BY NICHOLAS HARRIS NICOLAS, ESQ.
THIS volume, although evidently the production of an author of no inconsiderable talent, must fail to prove interesting to the general reader. It is an attempt to rescue from the obloquy which rests upon
it the reputation of Davison, Queen Elizabeth's secretary, the instrument unquestionably, and, as some historians have believed, the immediate cause, of the death of the ill-fated Queen of Scots. The author of the volume before us has bestowed much pains and research upon his task, without affording any remarkable elucidation of the events in which his hero was so intimately concerned, or at most without doing more than proving that Davison was honest by halves, and therefore, of all men, the fittest tool for that sanguinary despot and those dishonest ministers under whom he acted. He wished the death of Queen Mary-he did not scruple to obey Elizabeth's commands in attempting to persuade the gaolers of the former to become her assassins ;-but his fears were so much stronger than his honesty, that he would not take a step unless he was protected by the royal warrant. His cunning mistress deceived and sacrificed him; and, while it is apparant that honesty and firmness would have exempted him from the fate he encountered, we can see no reason for pitying him, and must therefore think that Mr. Nicolas's pains have been strangely thrown away.
The following extract exhibits the characters of Elizabeth and her secretary in a light too plain to be mistaken:
The next morning (Saturday, February 4) Mr. Davison went to court, and on entering her Majesty's private chamber he found her in conversation with Mr. afterwards the celebrated Sir Walter Raleigh; but when she perceived him, she called him to her, and, as if she had understood nothing of these proceedings," smiling, told him that she had been troubled that night by dreaming that the Queen of Scots was executed, and that she was so greatly incensed against him on learning it, that in her passion she could have done any thing to him." Elizabeth related this in "so pleasant and smiling" a way, that he only answered "it was fortunate he was not near her so long as that temper continued ;" but on reflection he earnestly asked her what it meant, and whether, having proceeded so far, she had not a full and resolute intention to execute the sentence agreeably to her warrant ? Her answer was 66 Yes," confirmed with a solemn oath in some vehemency; "but that she thought it might have been done in another way, because this threw the whole burden on herself." Davison replied that the form prescribed by the warrant was such as the law required, and that it could not be altered with any regard to "honesty or justice," or with safety to those who were appointed to execute it; and then repeated his former argument, that as she was the Sovereign Magistrate, who was invested by God with the sword of Justice, without her authority the life of the poorest wretch in her kingdom could not be touched. She then told him that there were wiser men than himself who were of a different opinion; and he properly remarked that he could not be responsible for the sentiments of others, but that he was sure that he had never yet heard any man give a sound reason to prove it either honorable or safe for her Majesty to follow any other course than that which was consonant to law and justice. To this Elizabeth made no answer, and, without any thing farther being said, she left him. In the other statements he tells us that this conversation occurred two or three days after, which must have been either on Sunday, the 5th of February, or Monday, the 6th, and in the gallery of her palace at Greenwich; and that she informed him