Some New Light on Napoleon

THE personality of Napoleon still overshadows Europe. We see plainly enough now that he was not the champion of the principles liberated by the French Revolution. If the course of democracy, of representative government, had been regular in France, there would have been no Consulate and Empire. The system which Napoleon erected was a personal system through which his Titanic egotism might operate. That he swept away many old abuses, that he decreed reforms which had a constitutional, or even a democratic tendency, was because he thought thereby to make his autocracy more sure. Sentiment in politics never governed him; nay, he never acknowledged any principle save self-interest. Of this he made no secret.

As early as 1797, in speaking of France to Melzi at Milan, he said scornfully, “ A republic of thirty million souls, with our customs, our vices, — how is it possible ? That is a chimera with which the French are infatuated, but which will pass, like so many others. They need glory and the gratification of vanity ; but liberty, — they know not what it means.” Three years later, shortly after he became First Consul, he frankly told the Council of State, “ My policy is to govern men according as the greatest number wish. . . . By turning Catholic I put an end to the war in the Vendée, by turning Mussulman I established myself in Egypt, by turning Ultramontane I won over the priests in Italy. If I were to govern a Jewish population, I would reëstablish the Temple of Solomon. So, too, I shall talk liberty in the free part of San Domingo; I shall confirm slavery in the He de France, and even in the slave part of San Domingo, — reserving to myself the right to soften and limit slavery wherever I maintain it, to reëstablish order and to uphold discipline wherever I maintain liberty. That, I think, is the way to recognize the sovereignty of the people.”

Self-interest being thus bluntly proclaimed the guiding motive of Napoleon’s career, it is idle to search his acts for proofs of philanthropic or reforming intentions. What amelioration France and Europe enjoyed through his agency was incidental, and not due to any recognition on his part of abstract rights or duties. He adopted such methods as, he believed, would conduce to the realization of his dream of world-empire ; that they pleased or aggravated the peoples of Europe was wholly immaterial to him. His dictatorship was a great interruption in the process of democratization, an interruption so stupendous that democracy has not yet recovered from it. Therefore the personality of Napoleon exceeds in significance that of any other modern ruler, perhaps of all other rulers except Cæsar ; and though he has been dead threescore and twelve years, the world still catches up every detail, no matter how trivial, which may throw further light on his character. For from his egotism, from what, in current scientific dialect, would be called his psychology, sprang those purposes, desires, whims, which became embodied in a new system of government and in a new combination of kingdoms.

There has recently appeared in Paris the first volume of a series of memoirs 1 which promise to be among the most valuable ever published concerning the Napoleonic period. Readers familiar with Taine’s mosaic portrait of Napoleon will remember that he quotes often from the unedited manuscript memoirs of “ M. X., a young magistrate under Louis XVI., high functionary under the Empire, a great political personage under the Restoration and under the July Monarchy,” and “ probably the best informed and most judicious witness for the first half of our century.” This “ M. X.” turns out to be Étienne-Denis Pasquier, who was born of a noble family in 1767, rose to be Chancellor of France, and died a duke in 1862, the last conspicuous survivor of the generation which beheld the French Revolution and the rise and fall of Napoleon. His own life was of uncommon interest. In his twentieth year he was appointed a councilor to the Parliament of Paris ; he witnessed the assembling of the States-General, the trial and execution of the king; proscribed as a Royalist, he concealed himself for some time, till, through betrayal, he fell into the hands of the Terrorists, and was locked up in the prison of St. Lazare on the 8th Thermidor, whence he and his wife would speedily have been sent to the guillotine but for the counter-revolution of the following day which overthrew Robespierre. Under the Directory and Consulate he lived aloof from public affairs, but not from intimacy with many prominent men of various shades. When the Empire was established, he deemed it more patriotic for the late Royalists to accept office under government, in order that they might, by their conservatism, counterpoise the Radicals, rather than to encourage, by the withdrawal of their influence, the latter in their constant revolutionist purposes. The Empire, though despotic, had at least put an end to anarchy and civil war; it offered a large measure of justice; and if it was despotic, it nevertheless opened the way to ambition, and shed upon France a flood of glory peculiarly fascinating to the French heart.

Pasquier had no difficulty in securing an appointment, for Napoleon welcomed every Royalist to his service. From master of requests, Pasquier rose to be procureur-général, and, in 1810, prefect of police for Paris. This last position unlocked to him many secret doors, through which he explored not only the immediate intrigues which it was his business to baffle, but also those which had been woven during the earlier years of Napoleon’s domination. Besides examining at first hand many confidential documents relating to important affairs, he had, further, the verbal testimony of many men who had been engaged in those affairs, and whose association with him led them to speak freely. Add to this his own qualities, — clearness of vision, integrity, common sense, and candor, — and it will be seen that both fortune and temperament fitted him to be “ a well-informed and a judicious witness.”

We shall have space to give his version of only a few of the matters which directly illustrate Napoleon’s methods of thought and action; but before doing this we cannot forbear quoting this description of the fall of the Bastille, on July 14, 1789. If Pasquier’s memory is exact, what shall we say of those tragic, lurid descriptions which historians of the first order have given us of this event ?

“I was present,” he says, “at the taking of the Bastille. What has been called the combat was not serious; the resistance was absolutely nil. There were neither provisions nor munitions in the place; there was not even need to invest it. The regiment of French Guards which undertook the attack appeared from the side of Rue Saint - Antoine, before the principal door, closed by a drawbridge. A few gunshots were fired, to which there was no response, and four or five cannon-shots. It has been asserted that one of the cannon-shots cut the chains of the drawbridge. I did not perceive it, although I was placed very near the point of attack. What I saw perfectly was the action of the soldiers, invalides or others, ranged on the platform of the high tower, raising the butts of their guns in the air, and expressing, by all the means used in similar circumstances, their willingness to surrender.... The truth is that this grand combat did not for an instant frighten the numerous spectators who had gathered to see its result. Among them were many very elegant ladies, who had, in order to approach more easily, left their carriages at some distance. I was leaning on the end of the barrier which shut in, on the side of the Place de la Bastille, the garden skirting Beaumarchais’s house, and on which was put, a few days later, the following inscription : This little garden was planted the first year of liberty. Beside me was Mademoiselle Contat, of the Comédie-Française. We waited till the conclusion, and I gave her my arm to her carriage, which was in Place Royale.”

How must our conceptions of history be revised, if we are to think of the capture of the Bastille as a holiday spectacle, which many elegant ladies drove out to see, as they might drive out to a tennis match or a meet of the hounds !

Pasquier has little to say about Napoleon before he became First Consul. Incidentally, we learn that the Egyptian expedition was considered at the time a mad enterprise, and that, contrary to Bonapartist historians, Napoleon’s return from Egypt was not eagerly awaited by any large portion of the public, for his genius was not yet widely understood. But he gives full credit to the skill with which the young general compassed the overthrow of the Directory on the 18th Brumaire, a stroke in which Napoleon first displayed on a large scale that art, in which he had no peer, “of making the most contrary opinions march side by side to his end.” The following fragment of the harangue in which he overwhelmed the partisans of the Directory needs no comment. The young military adventurer who could thus address the established government he was about to strangle might well fire the enthusiasm of Parisians, and justify almost any prediction as to his own future. “What have you done,” he demanded imperiously,— “what have you done with that France I left you so brilliant? I left you peace; I find war. I left you victories ; I find defeat. I left you the millions of Italy; I find everywhere despoiling laws with misery. What have you done with the hundred thousand Frenchmen, all of whom I knew, my comrades in glory ? They are all dead ! This state of things cannot last; it would lead us to despotism. We desire liberty, seated on the bases of equality.”

From the moment when his dictatorship, under the thin mask of a plebiscite, was confirmed, Napoleon, as Pasquier testifies, wished to forget the past, and to treat as enemies only those who persisted in opposing the new government. He adroitly erased all but the ringleaders of the emigration from the proscription lists; he enticed Royalists to him by honors and offices ; he struck a bargain with the Church, — all with a view to securing the support of that part of the community which, whatever the form of government, is by instinct conservative. And France benefited by this respite from civil war.

The explosion of the infernal machine gave Napoleon the chance he had been looking for to intimidate both camps of his opponents. Suspicion fell at first on the Jacobins, a goodly number of whom he had arrested ; but when the real culprits were discovered to be Royalists, he did not release the former. Odium settled upon both, with the consequent increase of Napoleon’s popularity. In the trial of Georges Cadoudal, Pichegru, and Moreau, sufficient evidence of guilt was produced to warrant the execution of Cadoudal. Nevertheless, as Pasquier remarks, it would have been more politic to have pardoned Moreau, in view of his recent military successes ; the victor of Hohenlinden was too deeply involved to have been dangerous afterwards to the victor of Marengo; but Napoleon, in pushing the proceedings, seemed to be actuated by the desire to get rid of a possible rival, and thereby he aroused sympathy for Moreau. Pasquier does not hesitate to affirm that Pichegru killed himself in prison. Had Napoleon wished to remove either of the conspirators by assassination, Moreau, and not Pichegru, was evidently the man. Pichegru was no longer to be feared. So far, then, as concerned this affair of the infernal machine, Napoleon, by Pasquier’s showing, failed to be magnanimous where magnanimity would have been the shrewdest policy, but he was guilty of no crime.

This cannot be said of his action in the execution of the Duke d’Enghien, which Pasquier describes with great minuteness and with apparent frankness. No crime since the Reign of Terror had so shocked France and Europe as this; it was the first serious blot on Napoleon’s reign; and though he disavowed it, his contemporaries and posterity have fixed the blame on him. The horror it excited was out of all proportion to any advantage that he could derive from it. How did it happen that he was so blind as not to foresee this ? Pasquier, with free access to the police archives, and with information given to him by the participants in this affair at a time when they had no reason to lie, gives the following account.

During the trial of Georges Cadoudal and his accomplices, it was learned that an unknown stranger had come to Paris to confer with the plotters. That he was a personage of high mark could be inferred from the caution taken to conceal his name and movements, and from the deference paid to him. The police conjectured that he must be one of the royal family ; by a process of elimination they concluded that it could only be the Duke d’Enghien; by means of a secret agent they learned that the duke had indeed made a mysterious journey at the time indicated. Persuaded by this evidence, Napoleon decided to seize him, despite the fact that he had taken refuge beyond the French frontiers, at Ettenheim, in Baden. The foreign territory was violated ; the duke was arrested, and hurried to Paris as fast as the post could travel.

Before his arrival, Napoleon held a council to determine what should be done. Besides himself and the two other consuls, Cambacérès and Lebrun, were present Talleyrand, minister of foreign affairs, and Fouché, late minister of police. Lebrun and Cambacérès urged that the duke be held as a hostage ; Talleyrand, on the contrary, recommended extreme rigor, and Napoleon agreed with him. When the meeting broke up, Cambacérès followed Napoleon into bis cabinet, and again earnestly pointed out the immense imprudence of this step; but Napoleon repelled every plea. The duke’s death, he said, would seem to the world a just reprisal for Bourbon conspiracies against himself; the Bourbons must be taught that he could overmatch them at their own weapons ; he wished, finally, to open an unbridgeable chasm between his partisans and the Royalists. " It fits you well,” he added, in a burst of sarcastic fury, “ to be so scrupulous, so miserly of the blood of your kings, you who voted for the death of Louis XVI! ”

On the morning of the day when D’Enghien was expected, General Savary — always the willing instrument of Napoleon’s basest deeds — had a personal interview with the First Consul, and was ordered to take command of the garrison of Vincennes; further instructions he would receive from Murat. He reached Murat’s just as Talleyrand was leaving; was informed that a military commission was convoked to try the duke that very night, and that he, Savary, should carry out without delay the verdict of the commission. When he came to the fortress of Vincennes, he found the commission, composed of officers who had been summoned without being told the object of their summons, already at work.

Meanwhile, the duke, weary after long travel, had reached the fortress. The commission went to the chamber where he was in bed, and startled him by announcing that he was under trial for his life. He formally demanded to be taken to the First Consul. Some one proposed that a note should be sent to Napoleon for permission, but Savary vehemently objected, and the commissioners, after long demur, submitted to him, with the thought that their intercession might avail later. Then the duke was brought before them and subjected to many questions. Two, at least, of the judges made him understand the necessity of disavowing the charges against him ; but, with reckless candor, he confessed that he wished to serve in the English army against France. He denied, however, any participation in the plot to assassinate Napoleon, and again demanded an audience.

The judges declared the charges established. “What shall be the penalty ? ” asked the presiding officer. The commissioners were in favor of imprisonment, but, remembering the tenacity with which the young prince had expressed his wish to fight in a foreign army against France as long as the usurper governed France, they at last pronounced the sentence of death. Within half an hour he was shot in the fosse of the fortress, just as the gray March day was breaking. Whether the verdict was just or not, the haste of the execution was illegal; for the death sentence, after being read to the condemned, ought to have been countersigned by the general of division. So little did the commissioners expect that the immediate reading of the sentence would lead to its being at once carried out that General Hulin, the presiding officer, was writing a letter to Napoleon, which they all intended to sign, asking that the duke’s request for an audience might be granted, and that clemency would be shown, when Savary brusquely interrupted them with, “ Messieurs, your business is done; the rest concerns me.” A few minutes later they heard the volley of musketry.

His work finished, Savary started for Malmaison to inform his master. At the city barrier he encountered Réal, a councilor of state, driving in the opposite direction. “ Where are you going ? Savary called to him, as their carriages stopped. “ To Vincennes, by the First Consul’s orders, to interrogate the Duke d’Enghien,” replied Real. “ What ! ” exclaimed Savary, “ does n 't the First Consul know that the Duke d’Enghien was to be tried at midnight? He has just been condemned and executed.”“How is that possible?” exclaimed Réal. “I had so many questions to ask the prince ; his examination could have discovered so many things. Here s another affair missed, of which we shall know nothing. The First Consul will be furious !

Savary went on to Malmaison ; but, as Pasquier asks, would he have returned with such confidence had he been unaware that his mission would commend itself to Napoleon ? It is impossible, as Pasquier concludes, that Napoleon did not wish and command the execution. During the preceding day lie had shut himself in his cabinet, refusing to see any one; apparently wishing to guard himself against any arguments such as Cambacérès had urged. Josephine, however, saw him, and begged him to reconsider ; but he retorted curtly, “ Go away ; you are a child ; you do not understand the duties of politics. " Awaking at five the next morning, he said to her, “At this hour the Duke d’Enghien has ceased to be.”

And what of Réal’s tardy visit ? What of the letter of instruction, four pages long, dictated by Napoleon himself ? We are led, with Pasquier, to surmise that they were to serve as a blind, behind which Napoleon might, in some fashion, escape the direct responsibility for the crime. The only other explanation is that he sent Réal on the chance that the order for immediate execution had not been obeyed. Against this militates the fact that he was not accustomed to brook lagging obedience, and that he knew his man when he chose Savary for such work. Certain it is that Savary suffered no eclipse; after Friedland he was made a duke, although the members of the military commission had to wait several years for their promotion. Moreover, Napoleon never expressed contrition. In his last testament he wrote, “ I had the Duke d’Enghien arrested and tried, because it was necessary for the safety and interest of the French people, when the Count d’Artois [Charles X.] maintained with his consent sixty assassins at Paris ; in a similar circumstance I should act likewise.”

Nevertheless, the recollection of the crime, or of what, in Fouché’s words, was worse than a crime, a blunder, rankled in spite of Napoleon’s effort to forget it ; and whenever any allusion was made to D’Enghien, his face darkened and his anger rose.

Pasquier’s account of the Empire, its pomp and tyranny, its apparent strength, its hidden weaknesses, and its beneficent provisions, is surely one of the best that any contemporary has left us. Only a very just and intelligent man could describe as he has done the great events in which he participated. Of all the legacies of the Revolution, Napoleon, he says, defended only one with complete sincerity,—the guarantee given to the particular interests which the Revolution had created. But, although Napoleon diverted the other revolutionary bequests to his own use, the majority of Frenchmen accepted his sovereignty, and the system by which he supported it, as a preventive of something worse. The dread of a relapse into anarchy made his autocracy tolerable, and he gilded it by furnishing spectacular pomp and plenty of glory for that part of the French nation which craved both. Pasquier declares over and over again, however, that France as a whole desired peace, and that, if she exulted in the swift triumphs, her most earnest hope was that each campaign would be the last, till the time came when she realized that Napoleon’s ambition made an enduring peace impossible.

We have not space to set forth Pasquier’s narrative of Napoleon’s relations with the Jewish Sanhedrim and with the Pope. He strangely underestimated the subtle power of the Roman hierarchy. Outwardly, of course, he could easily crush it; a single platoon of the Guards was more than a match, physically, for the entire Conclave. But though Pius VII. was under lock and key at Savona, and refractory cardinals were in exile or in custody, at the autocrat’s will, his material blows did not reach the spiritual things of which those old men were the guardians. The Pope bent, but he did not yield ; his compliance always had a reversible attachment. Yet we cannot but feel that, had Napoleon used more tact instead of coercion, he might have got the very real advantages he sought, without the loss of any of his own prerogatives. Once, at least, during the session of the Gallic Council, the end was in sight; but he dropped the reality to clutch the shadow.

The negotiations over the second marriage, as told by Pasquier, illustrate that mingling of finesse and self-will which stamped much of Napoleon’s diplomacy. Having reluctantly decided to put away Josephine,—whose age now precluded the hope of her bearing him an heir, — Napoleon looked about him for another wife. An alliance with the royal family of Saxony would have been possible, but it would have brought little lustre; so he turned his eyes to Anne, second sister of Czar Alexander. Caulaincourt, French ambassador at St. Petersburg, was therefore authorized to make a formal demand for her hand. After delays over matters of detail, Caulaincourt, on January 21, 1810, sent a dispatch announcing a favorable answer. The dispatch reached Paris on February 5. In the mean while, Metternich, the Austrian premier, alarmed at the prospect of a union which would make allies of the French and Russian empires, instructed some of his diplomatic agents to hint that had Napoleon asked for an Austrian archduchess, he would not have been refused. The affair was conducted adroitly on both sides, so that, in case of failure, the vanity of neither would be compromised. On the day after the arrival of Caulaincourt’s message, Napoleon had secretly determined to accept the Austrian, Marie Louise.

“ Russia doubtless offered him,” says Pasquier, " a stronger alliance, and one which put a greater weight in the political scales of Europe; but his chief end was to enter the family of kings, and, in this great family, the House of Russia was new in comparison with the House of Austria. In choosing an archduchess, he united himself to the oldest sovereign race, after that of France. He married a granddaughter of Maria Theresa, whose daughter Louis XVI. had married. In France, there was no doubt that this alliance, wholly unhoped for, would make a much deeper impression than the Russian alliance could.”

Not to appear too precipitate, Napoleon summoned an extraordinary council to discuss his intention. Talleyrand argued for the Austrian marriage. Austria, he said, was the only European power whose cabinet survived from reign to reign, and could consequently plan and pursue a fixed policy. In Russia, on the other hand, all depended upon the will of one sovereign. Engagements contracted with this Czar might be annulled by his successor. The council, as was to be expected, confirmed Napoleon’s decision. Champagny, minister of foreign affairs, had the unpleasant duty of informing the Czar that his sister would not be Empress of France. The reasons he gave were not calculated to soothe that autocrat. The delay in accepting Napoleon’s offer was, he said, more insulting than a downright refusal. Russia should have immediately grasped the honor tendered to her. The stipulation that the grand duchess should maintain her Greek form of worship might be regarded as implying that the Roman service, which Napoleon patronized, was inferior. Finally, the grand duchess being but fifteen, it was improbable that she could bear the Emperor an heir for several years. All the reasons were flimsy enough, but to the last the Czar might pertinently have rejoined, “ Why did you not think of that before ? ”

Archduchess Marie Louise was escorted to Paris, and married with a degree of state which even her Hapsburg traditions could not find fault with. It seemed as if at last Napoleon’s ascendency in Europe could not be shaken. Nevertheless, events soon justified the anxiety of Cambacérès, who had said to Pasquier, on coming out from the council at which the marriage was decided upon, “I am morally sure that before two years we shall have war with that one of the two powers whose daughter Napoleon does not take. Now, a war with Austria causes me no disquietude, but I tremble at a war with Russia; its consequences are incalculable.” In the following year, the birth of the King of Rome was attended by such serious complications that it seemed at one moment as if the life of either the mother or the child must be sacrificed. When the court surgeon, Dubois, announced this danger to Napoleon, he replied. “ Act, sir, as you would in the case of a peasant’s wife.” When we measure the eagerness with which he awaited the birth of a son, we shall not be wrong in deeming this the most generous and humane of Napoleon’s recorded utterances.

Pasquier gives several examples of Napoleon’s violent temper, which used to explode the more easily when he knew that he was unjust, as in the dismissal of Portalis. On that occasion, the Council of State quailed ; but though Pasquier had the courage to point out to the Emperor that Portalis had done nothing to merit his displeasure, he stormed on, and Portalis was cashiered. Two or three years later, however, Napoleon quietly took him back into his service. That was his method of seeming infallible.

To two men of much greater influence he behaved in similar fashion. Fouché, minister of police, was caught secretly corresponding with the English. In open council at Saint-Cloud Napoleon berated him, adding, as a sting to his rebukes, “ You think yourself very shrewd, but, for all that, you are not. It is Talleyrand who is shrewd ; and on this occasion he has fooled you like a child, he has made you his tool.” The sarcasm was the more bitter because Talleyrand was already in disgrace, and Fouché prided himself on having learned the art of staying permanently in office.

Talleyrand’s expulsion came about through his caustic criticism of the Spanish campaign, and through his intriguing to have Murat proclaimed Emperor, should the news come that Napoleon was overthrown. The wily and despicable diplomat always had his eye on his next possible master, and he succeeded, as we know, in holding office under a Bourbon as easily as under a Bonaparte. On this occasion, the news of his intrigues reached Napoleon’s ears, and he lost no time, after his return to Paris, in letting loose his wrath. For half an hour Talleyrand listened, “ without winking, without replying a word, to a torrent of invectives.” Pasquier remarks, by the way, that Talleyrand was not ready at offhand repartee ; his famous epigrams had usually to be sharpened in his closet, to be shot off at a favorable moment. No wonder that he had nothing prepared to parry the following fulmination, which he had not foreseen.

“ You are a thief, a coward, a man without honor! You do not believe in God ! ” thundered Napoleon. “ During your whole life you have failed in your duties; you have deceived, betrayed, everybody. For you there is nothing sacred ; you would sell your own father. I have loaded you with wealth, and there is nothing you are not capable of doing against me. Thus, for the last ten months, you have the shamelessness — because you suppose, right or wrong, that my affairs in Spain are going ill — to say, to whoever will listen, that you have always blamed my enterprise in that kingdom ; whereas it is you who gave me the first thought of it, and who have persistently pushed me on. And that man, that miserable one [the Duke d’Enghien], — who let me know where he lived ? Who incited me to severity against him ? What, then, are your projects? What do you wish ? What do you hope for ? Dare to say it! You deserve that I should smash you like a glass. I have the power, but I despise you too much to take the trouble.”

Nothing revealed Napoleon’s vast confidence in himself more than the recklessness with which he ousted tools like Talleyrand and Fouché, who had the key to many of his secrets, unless it were the assurance with which, when he saw fit, he reinstated them. He used men as an apothecary uses drugs ; though he might rage because a given drug failed in a given instance, yet he had no hesitation in employing it again when he thought it would serve. There was no question of apology or explanation.

Of only one other of his traits, his obstinacy, have we space to borrow a fresh illustration from Pasquier. No man ever lived who believed more firmly than he that all was possible which he had determined to do. Therein lay his enormous strength ; therein, too, lurked the sources of irretrievable blunders. To accomplish his tremendous scheme, England, Spain, must be subdued. They could be subdued if they were what he imagined them to be ; but, in fact, they were quite different, and he never could be persuaded that his imaginary England, his fictitious Spain, did not correspond exactly to the real ones. Even the forces of nature must obey his law, or be disregarded. Thus, in the winter of 1811-12, there was great dearth throughout France. Early in May, just before leaving Paris to take command of the Russian campaign, he had an audience with Pasquier, who, as prefect of police, had oversight of the provisions of the capital. “ As for the scarcity of food,” said Napoleon, “ it is ended ; we are on the eve of the harvest, and in a fortnight you will have no more trouble.” In vain Pasquier assured him that the harvest could not be garnered before the middle or last of July; that there were, therefore, three months in which want might drive the masses to riot. The Emperor, having in his imagination got rid of that difficulty, would not see that it still existed in fact. Pasquier expressed his anxiety over the dangers of a possible insurrection during Napoleon’s absence. “ When I had finished,” he says, “he kept silence, walking from the window to the hearth, his arms crossed behind his back, as a man who ponders deeply. I was following him with my eyes, when, turning quickly towards me, he uttered these words : ‘Yes, without doubt there is some truth in what you say ; it is one more difficulty added to all those which I must encounter in the greatest, the hardest undertaking which I have yet attempted; but we must finish what is begun. Good-by, prefect.’”

Here we must leave this remarkable book, from which we have extracted some of the more important passages referring directly to Napoleon ; but it will be found rich in other material, concerning the imperial régime, and in portraits of Napoleon’s family and associates. Not the least interesting figure is that of Pasquier himself, a man who could serve under the autocrat without becoming servile, and who regarded his office, not as a license to private aggrandizement, but as a means of promoting the public weal.

  1. Mémoires du Chancelier Pasquier. Premièro partie: Révolution, Consular, Empire. Tome I., 1789-1810. Paris: Plon. 1893.