Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

boured under a strong feeling of pere obsequiously adopted, James turned to plexity. After a short pause of death-like the Advocate, and said, silence, he was about to speak, when “ You will be pleased, Mr Lawyer, to Lauderdale, distrustful of his intention, keep a better tongue in your head, and officiously anticipated him.

not attribute intrigue or injustice to those “ His Royal Highness, in distributing who despise it. There was no use in impartial justice, will not take counsel of making all this noise about what a simple a hired pleader of a man who refused representation would have induced the to take the oaths to the crown,” cried he Court at once to concede. Take an inbitterly. “ Keep your fond speculations demnity for your witnesses, and let the on that subject to yourself, Sir ; and be- trial proceed." ware how you throw out seditious insi. nuations against his Majesty's Govern

are favourable ment. Your mouth will be stopped if specimens of the author's manner, you persist in this line of conduct." « Let them have their rattle," whis.

and occasional power of description. pered James in Lauderdale's ear.

On the whole, however, the work is

What harm can it do? We have still the ball languid, a fault which is owing partin our own hands."

ly to a want of that faculty which As your Royal Highness pleases,”

seems every day to be becoming returned Lauderdale sulleniy;

more rare, namely, the power of arare giving them the ball instead of the ranging a series of events in a narattle."

tural, and, at the same time, original After consulting a few moments with and ingenious order, and partly, to the rest of the Bench, or rather com- the selection of a subject which has municating his will to them, which they been already exhausted.

These passages

but you

NARRATIVE OF THE SURRENDER OF BUONAPARTE *.

For all the interest and pleasure person of ordinary feelings without derived from the perusal of this curiosity, or perused without exciteNarrative, and we have enjoyed ment of the highest kind. In its much of both, we are indebted, as pages we have all the facts connected Captain Maitland tells us in his with the surrender of him who ruled Preface, to the “ Wizard of the the destinies of France for twenty North." There the Captain very years, and at whose bidding thrones modestly declares, he had no inten- were raised and tumbled down, tion of bringing his Narrative for- brought before us with such authenward, until, by accident, it fell into ticity, as, even at the distance of the hands of a most celebrated liter- eleven years, to create interest of no ary character, who strongly recom- ordinary sort. We have all the inmended its publication. Under the teresting occurrences connected with sanction of this high authority, Cap- this great historical event in their tain Maitland was, it seems, induced original freshness, while the lapse to gratify the public curiosity, re- of years, and the increased means garding the circumstances attending of information now within our reach, one of the most extraordinary events enable us to estimate their truth recorded in history. And we, in and value, as historical materials common with all those who look into of the greatest importance. the Captain's book, must tender him are also enabled, by this Narrative, our thanks for the high gratification to refer many of the statements he has afforded us.

with which the Press teemed at the Though published at such a dis- time to their true source the fiction tance of time from the occurrence of of the narrators. It is, in short, a the singular events it records, this work of great historical and personal volume cannot be opened by any interest, and will, to a certain ex

We

• Narrative of the Surrender of Buonaparte, and of his Residence on Board H. M. S. Bellerophon ; with a Detail of the principal Events that occurred in that Ship, between 24th May and 8th August, 1815. By Captain F. L. Maitland, C. B. 8vo. London. 1826. Colburn.

sea.

tent, afford the very best means of We find the following recorded as estimating the true character of one one of the stratagems proposed to be of the most extraordinary men the resorted to, to elude our seamen : world has produced, under circum- Among the rest, * it was the the in. stances well calculated to exhibit his tention of Buonaparte to escape from real feelings. The volume, too, con- Rochefort in a Danish sloop, concealed in tains numerous anecdotes and traits a cask stowed in the ballast, with tubes so of the ci-devant Emperor of France, constructed as to convey air for his which have never before been pub- breathing. The plan had been thought lished.

of, and the vessel in some measure preWhile Captain Maitland's Narra- pared ; but it was considered too hazard. tive carries along with it a most per

ous : for had we detained the vessel for fect conviction of the truth and ac

a day or two, he would have been obli. curacy of the facts be relates, it con- ged to make his situation known, and tains complete and triumphant evie thereby forfeited all claims to the good dence of the honourable conduct, as

treatment he hoped to insure by a volun.

tary surrender." well as the good sense and judgment of the Captain himself, in a situa- Besides the Bellerophon, there tion of great responsibility, and un- were so many cruizers in the Channel, der circumstances of almost anpar- in the latitude of Ushant, off Cape alleled delicacy and difficulty. There Finisterre, and along the whole is likewise a full vindication of the coast, that it would have been imgallant Captain, from a charge often possible for Napoleon to have put to made at the time, that the British It was when their stratagems officer had broken faith with his had failed them, that various negofallen foe, and betrayed him to the ciations were attempted by the attendEnglish Government, in violation of ants of Napoleon, in which the crafty the terms of his surrender.

Las Cases was the chief actor, to The Government of this country elude the penetration, and overcome seem to have been well informed as to the skill of the British seamen,,but Napoleon's movements subsequent to in vain. The Captain was too much his departure from Paris. Their of a statesman, to be betrayed by the plans to defeat, what was understood hollow dexterity of the Frenchman. to be his purpose, of going to Truth was disregarded, and the America, and for intercepting the file most barefaced attempts were made, gitive on whose captivity they ima- with authority and show of truth," gined the repose of Europe depended, to impose on the ingenuous mind of appear to have been judiciously laid, the British officer. The following and most effectually seconded by the may be taken to prove what we have vigilance and activity of the com- been saying:manders of the cruizers in the Chan

During the above-mentioned conver. nel, and along that part of the coast sation, I asked Las Cases where Buonafrom which it was thought he would parte then was ? he replied, " At Rochetry to effect his escape. Napoleon's fort, I left him there yesterday evening." object in fleeing from Paris to Roche- General Lallemand then said, “ The Emfort evidently was to escape by some peror lives at the hotel in the Grand vessel to America. It is beyond Place, and is now so popular there, that doubt, that it must have been for an the inhabitants assemble every evening opportunity of this kind he was wait- in front of the house, for the purpose of ing, when, by circumstances beyond seeing him, and crying, Vive r°Empe. his control, he was forced to adopt reur!" I then asked how long it would the basty resolution of going on

take to go there. Las Cases answered, board the Bellerophon, and throwing

“ As the tide will be against us, it will himself under the protection of the require five or six hours.” Why these

false statements were made I cannot preEnglish. The fallen Emperor's fole tend to say, but it is very certain that lowers had recourse to many schemes Buonaparte never quitted the frigates or and stratagems to secure the flight of Isle d'Aix, after his arrival there on the their master. The watchful activity, 30 July. General Lallemand took occa. however, of the British cruizers ren- sion to ask me if I thought there would dered any attempt to venture to sea be any risk of the people who might ac. either dangerous or impracticable. company Buonaparte, being given up to

on

the Government of France : 1 replied, particular in stating it, as Buonaparte • Certainly not ; the British government has been described, in some of the public never could think of doing so, under the journals, as having taken possession of it circumstances contemplated in the pre. in a most brutal way, saying, “ Tout og sent arrangement."

rien pour moi"-all or nothing for me. Defeated in all their attempts at

I here, therefore, once for all, beg to

state most distinctly, that, from the time negotiation for a safe conduct to

of his coming on board my ship, to the Napoleon, or to have him received period of his qui her, his conduct on board under conditions as to his

was invariably that of a gentleman; and reception in England, no alternative in no one instance do I recollect him to reinained for his followers or himself have made use of a rude expression, or but to act as circumstances required. to have been guilty of any kind of ill. At this time, it was the 13th of July, breeding. the white flag was once more hoisted We will now present to the reader, allover Rochelle; the gathering storm in the words of the narrator himself, was thickening round Napoleon, the account of the reception of Nathe blockade most closely kept up poleon on board the Bellerophon:at sea, -his enemies shore fast increasing both in power and in

At break of day, on the 15th of Jaly, strength--The fate of Napoleon was

1815, l'Epervier French brig of war was sealed. To avoid falling into the

discovered under sail, standing out to. hands of the friends of the

Bourbons, and at the same time the Superb, bear.

wards the ship, with a flag of truce up; which he had reason to fear mighting Sir Henry Hotham's fag, was seen happen by the detention of the fri.

in the offing. By half-past five the ebbgate in which he then was, Napoleon tide failed, the wind was blowing right was forced to seek an asylum in an in, and the brig, which was within a mile English man-of-war. This line of of us, made no farther progress; while conduct, one not of choice but of ne- the Superb was advancing with the wind cessity, it has since been ascertained and the tide in her favour. Thus situa. was determined on, in a council held ted, and being most anxious to terminate on the night of the 13th July, when the affair I had brought so near a conclu. the desperate state of Napoleon's sion, previous to the Admiral's arrival, I circumstances rendered this the best sent off Mr Mott, the First Lieutenant, policy he could adopt.

in the barge, who returned soon after six Captain Maitland appears to have o'clock, bringing Napoleon with him. been laudably anxious in making he was received without any of the ho

On coming on board the Bellerophon, due preparation both for the comfort and security of Napoleon, while he rank; the guard was drawn out on the

nours generally paid to persons of high was to be on board the Bellerophon. break of the poop, but did not present The following passage will illustrate

His Majesty's Government had this, while at the same time it serves

merely given directions, in the event of to refute, what was often repeated, his being captured, for his being removed that Napoleon behaved rudely, and into any one of his Majesty's ships that even brutally, while on board the might fall in with him, but no instrucBellerophon

tions had been given as to the light in

which he was to be viewed. As it is not I said to Monsieur Las Cases, I pro. customary, however, on board a British pose dividing the after-cabin in two, that ship of war, to pay any such honours bethe ladies may have the use of one part fore the colours are hoisted at eight of it. “ If you allow me to give an opi. o'clock in the morning, or after sunset, nion," said he, “ the Emperor will be I made the early hour an excuse for better pleased to have the whole of the withholding them upon this occasion. after.cabin to himself, as he is fond of Buonaparte's dress was an olive colourwalking about, and will by that means ed great-coat over a green uniform, with be able to take more exercise." I an. scarlet cape and cuffs, green lapele turned swered, “ As it is my wish to treat him back, and edged with scarlet, skirts bookwith every possible consideration while he ed back with bugle horns embroidered in is on board the ship I command, I shall gold, plain sugar.loaf buttons and gold make any arrangement you think will be epaulettes, being the uniform of the Chas. most agreeable to him." This is the seur a Cheval of the Imperial Guard. only conversation that ever passed on the He wore the star, or grand cross of the subject of the cabin ; and I am the inore Legend of Honour, and the small cross of

arms.

that order, the Iron Crown and the Union, with a rapidity that at first made it difficult appended to the button-hole of his left to follow him ; and it was several days be. lapel. He had on a small cocked hat, fore I got so far accustomed to his inan. with a tri-coloured cockade, plain gold. ner of speaking, as to comprehend his hilted sword, military boots, and white meaning immediately. waistcoat and breeches. The following

No sooner on board, than Napoleon day he appeared in shoes, with gold buckles and silk stockings—the dress he alla displays that activity of disposition ways wore afterwards while with me.

and inquisitive nature which must On leaving the Epervier, he was cheer. have so strongly characterised him at ed by her ship's company as long as the one period of life.

He minutely boat was within hearing ; and Mr Mott examines all parts of the ship, informed me that most of the officers and at once discovers wherein its conmen had lears in their eyes.

struction and management differ General Bertrand came first up the from those of the French ships. ship's side, and said to me, “ The Em. Having discussed with Captain Maitperor is in the boat.” He then ascended, land the subject of naval tactics, in and, when he came on the quarter-deck, which Napoleon displays much skill pulled off his hat, and, addressing me in and judgment, he proceeds to state a firm tone of voice, said, “ I am come bis opinion on the comparative merits to throw myself on the protection of your of English and French seamen, and Prince and laws." When I showed him shews that the topics bad previously into the cabin, he looked round and said, employed his active and penetrating “Une belle chambre,” (this is a hand

mind. some cabin.) I answered, “ Such as it is, Sir, it is at your service while you re

Napoleon appears to have indulged main on board the ship I command.” the hope that he was to find an He then looked at a portrait that was

asylum in England, and very soon hanging up, and said, “ Qui est cette after coming on board, he endeavours jeune personne ?” (Who is that young to impress on Captain Maitland the lady ?) " My wife," I replied. • Ah! belief that his (Napoleon's) underelle est très jeune et très jolie,” (Ah! standing was, that England was to she is both young and pretty.) He then be his future home :asked what country-woman she was, beg

We had breakfast about nine o'clock, ged to know if I had any children, and put a number of questions respecting my coffee, cold meat, &c. He did not eat

in the English style, consisting of tea, country, and the service I had seen.

He next requested I would send for much, or seem to relish it: and when, the officers, and introduce them to him :

on inquiry, I found he was accustomed which was done according to their rank. inediately ordered my steward to allow

to have a hot meal in the morning, I im. He asked several questions of each, as to the place of their birth, the situation he he might invariably be served in the

his maitre d'hotel to give directions, that held in the ship, the length of tiine he

manner he had been used to do; and had served, and the actions he had been in. He then expressed a desire to go fashion, as far as I could effect that object.

after that we always lived in the French round the ship; but as the men had not

During breakfast he asked many quesdone cleaning, I told him it was custoinary to clean the lower decks immediately tions about English customs, saying, " I after breakfast, that they were then so em. them, as I shall probably pass the re

must now learn to conform myself to ployed, and, if he would defer visiting the ship until they had finished, he would

mainder of my life in England." see her to more advantage.

A right and honourable feeling At this time I proposed to him to marks the whole tenor of Captain allow me to address him in English, as I Maitland's conduct to Napoleon had heard he understood that language, while on board the Bellerophon :and I had considerable difficulty in expressing myself in French. He replied

When dinner was announced, Buona. in French, " The thing is impossible ; I parte, viewing himself as a royal person. hardly understand a word of your lan. age, which he continued to do while on guage :" and from the observations I had board the Belleropbon, and which, under an opportunity of making afterwards, I am the circumstances, I considered it would satisfied he made a correct statement, as, have been both ungracious and uncalled. on looking into books or newspapers, he for in me to have disputed, led the way frequently asked the meaning of the most into the dining-room. He seated him. common word. He spoke his own language "self in the centre at one side of the table, requesting Sir Henry Hotham to sit atracteristic of superior minds, which h is right hand, and Madame Bertrand enables them to bend and subdue all on his left. For that day I sat as usual inferior natures to their own ends, at the head of the table, but on the fol.

was never more strikingly exhibited lowing day, and every other, whilst than by Napoleon. Buonaparte remained on board, I sat, by tain Maitland says,his request, at his right hand, and Genea ral Bertrand took the top. Two of the

To such an extent did he possess the ward-room officers dined daily at the power of pleasing, that there are few peo. table, by invitation from Buonaparte, ple who could have sat at the same table conveyed through Count Bertrand.— with him for nearly a month, as I did, He conversed a great deal, and shewed without feeling a sensation of pity, allied no depression of spirits ; among other perhaps to regret, that a man possessed things, he asked me where I was born ? of so many fascinating qualities, and who I told him, in Scotland, “ Have you

had held so high a station in life, should any property there ?” said he. “ No, I be reduced to the situation in which I saw am a younger brother, and they do not him. bestow much on people of that descrip. The following extract will still tion in Scotland.” " Is your elder bro further illustrate the character of the ther a lord ?" “ No, Lord Lauderdale very singular man Captain Maitland is the head of our family.” “ Ah! you had under his charge :are a relation of Lord Lauderdale's! he is an acquaintance of mine; he was sent During the time we were heaving the ambassador from your King to me, when anchor up, and setting the sails, BuonaMr Fox was prime minister : had Mr parte remained on the break of the poop, Fox lived, it never would have come to and was very inquisitive about what was this, but his death put an end to all hopes going on. He observed, “ Your method of peace. Milord Lauderdale est un bon of performing this manquvre is quite garçon,” adding, “ I think you resemble different from the French,” and added, him a little, though he is dark, and you

« what I admire most in your ship, is are fair."

the extreme silence and orderly conduct

of your men : on board a French ship, The latter part of this extract is every one calls and gives orders, and they singularly curious, and exhibits Na- gabble like so many geese." Previous poleon in a new character. Most of to his quitting the Bellerophon he made our readers will, we are of opinion, the same remark, saying, “There has be disposed to think with us, that in been less noise in this ship, where there the prophetic allusion quoted in

are six hundred men, during the whole italics, the Emperor's usual sagacity time I have been in her, than there was and skill had gone from him. It

on board the Epervier, with only one will be very apparent to every one,

hundred, in the passage from Isle d'Aix who knows any thing of the history deck all the time the ship was beating

to Basque Roads." He remained upon of the period, that though the dis

out of the Pertuis d'Antioche. Having tinguished Statesman, whose name

cleared the Chasseron shoal about six p. he mentions, had been spared to his m., dinner was served. He conversed a country, it must have been impossi- great deal at table, and seemed in very ble for him to have recommended any good spirits, told several anecdotes of peace which Napoleon, while Em- himself; among others, one relating to Sir peror of France, would have agreed Sidney Smith. Knowing that I had to; his whole system of continental served under that officer on the coast of policy being diametrically opposed to Syria, he turned to me and said, '“ Did the views and interests of this coun

Sir Sidney Smith ever tell you the cause try.

of his quarrel with me?” I answered he Napoleon's tact, in adapting him. had not. “Then,” said he, “ I will

. self to every diversity of situation in

When the French army was before St. which he might be placed,,his skill Jean d'Acre, he had a paper privately in buying golden opinions by the diers, tending to induce them to revolt judicious but hardly-perceptible . and quit me, on which I issued a proclaunction he laid to the mind of every mation, denouncing the English com. one who approached him, winning manding officer as a madman, and prohithem to his favour,--are finely illus- biting all intercourse with him. This net. trated by his conduct on board the tled Sir Sidney so much, that he sent me Bellerophon. That power, the cha- a challenge to meet him in single combat,

« НазадПродовжити »