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Minister vehemently urged the seizure of the Duke though in a neutral territory. But I still hesitated, and Prince Benevento brought the order twice, and urged the measure with all his powers of persuasion. It was not, however, till I was fully convinced of its necessity, that I sanctioned it by my signature. The matter could be easily arranged between me and the Duke of Baden. Why, indeed, should I suffer a man residing on the very confines of my kingdom, to commit a crime which, within the distance of a mile, by the ordinary course of law, Justice herself would condemn to the scaffold? And now answer me ;-Did I do more thart adopt the principle of your government, when it ordered the capture of the Danish fleet, which was thought to threaten mischief to your coun try? It had been urged to me again and again, as a sound political opinion, that the new dynasty could not be secure, while the Bourbons remained. Talleyrand never deviated from this principle: it was a fixed, unchangeable article in his political creed.-But I did not become a ready or a willing convert. l examined the opinion with care and with caution : and the result was a perfect conviction of its necessity. - The Duke d'Enghien was accessary to the confederacy; and although the resident of a neutral territory, the urgency of the case, in which my safety and the public tranquillity, to use no stronger expression, were involved, JUSTIFIED THE PROCEEDING. I accordingly ordered him to be seized and tried : He was found guilty, and sentenced to be shot.—The sentence was immediately executed ; and the same fate would have followed had it been Louis the Eighteenth. For I again declare that I found it necessary to roll the thunder back on the metropolis of England, as from thence, with the Count d'Artois at their head, did the assassins assail me.”!. pp. 144-149.
Now, we have here, from this most interested witness, some admissions which, so far from exculpating him, increase the presumption against him.
Let it be recollected that the charge relative to Captain Wright was not that Buonaparte had wantonly murdered him, but that he had at first caused him to be tortured, in order to obtain the clue of the conspiracy, and afterwards to be murdered to prevent this atrocity from being discovered.
From Buonaparte's own account, it is evident how great his anxiety was to trace this plot.-His police, he says, were in an ignor perplexity-his life was supposed to be in imminent danger-seventy conspirators were at Paris, but neither their names, persons, nor haunts can be discovered fortunately in this moment of perplexity, Captain Wright is taken the intelligence is instantly transmitted to Paris-instructions immediately returned to interrogate the crew separately, i. e. secretly, and by the police. These examinations, however, produced nothing at first ; but at length one of the crew threw some light on the subject : be stated that the brig had landed several Frenchmen on the coast, and, among others, a merry fellow called Pichegru. To all those who
knew any thing of General Pichegru's mind and manners—to all those who have been accustomed to weigh probabilities, and to reason on evidence, it will be evident that this particular must be false. Picbegru was, by character and habit, sedate-he could never have been the buffoon of the seamen- - he could never have betrayed his name to the gossiping merriment of a ship's crew, who would have repeated it on their return to England, where it would have soon found its way into the newspapers, and through them into France. No-Buonaparte knew mankind too well, and he was well aware that the only one of the creto who was worth interrogating was Captain Wright. The conclusion then to be drawn from all this is inevitable, that the Captain, to be made of use, must be forced to speak. It would be too much to assert positively that Captain Wright would have resisted all the extremities of torture. We must not reckon so confidently on the firmness of human nature; but at least the generous character of that gallant officer induces us to think him as capable as any other man of a noble, resistance :-yet, to prove how uncertain are all deductions of this, kind, Buonaparte afterwards tells us that he found Pichegru was in France, not by one of the crew, but by a surgeon to whom he was miraculously directed, and from whom, because lie was avaricious, he contrives to obtain a confession, not by noney, but by terror! These contradictory statements prove, at least one thing -- that Buonaparte was not telling truth, and that there was some part of the transaction which he chose to involve in obscurity. We have seen his anxiety for information, the vast importance he attached to the capture of Captain Wright, and the necessity in which he was to obtain his evidence: let us now see whether there is reason to suppose he was a man to be deterred from endeavouring to obtain this evidence by torture.
In the first place, he does not deny that, contrary to the laws of rations, he subjected the English crew to secret interrogatories before the Police this is the first step towards torture. In the second place, it is admitted that Captain Wright was placed in solitary confinement in a state prison--this is the next-ay, it is of itself a species of torture. Thirdly, he confesses that he employed the direct and overwhelming terror of immediate death upon the mind of the surgeon. And, finally, he avows and boasts, ihat--for the purpose of defeating the very plot in which Captain Wright was implicated_he seized a prince, no subject of his, in a neutral territory, hurried him from his bed before a military midnight tribunal, and thence to a sudden and ignominious death-Nay, says this monster, the same fate should have followed had it been Louis XVIII.? And he justifies this atrocious violence because We found it necessary to roll the thunder back on the metropolis of
England. This excuse, it is evident, would be as good, for torturing Captain Wright, as for the seizure and murder of the Duke d'Enghien.
For our own parts we had never much doubt that Captain Wright had been tortured and subsequently murdered; nowwif we are to believe that Mr. Warden gives an accurate report of Buonaparte's explanation—we can have none at all.
Our opinion of the natural atrocity of Buonaparte's mind is confirmed by the avowal which he makes to Mr. Warden, and, what is of more importance, which he has made to others, in whose veracity we place more faith than in the Doctor's—that he suggested the poisoning of his owu sick, and the massacre of the garrison of Jaffa. The charge of perpetrating these crimes (which was first made by Sir Robert Wilson, on what we have always thought very sufficient authority) had been vehemently denied by Buonaparte's admirers: they are now set at rest by the confession of Buonaparte himself; a confession accompanied with explavations which take little or nothing from the guilt of the wretch who proposed the one, and executed the other of these atrocities.
On raising the siege of St. Jean d'Acre, the army retired upon Jaffa. It had become a matter of urgent necessity. The occupation of this town for any length of time was totally impracticable, from the force that Jezza Pacha was enabled to bring forward. The sick and wounded were numerous; and their removal was my first consideration, Carriages the most convenient that could be formed were appropriated to the
purpose. Some of them were sent by water to Damietta, and the rest were accommodated, in the best possible manner, to accompany their comrades in their march across the Desert. Seven men, however, occupied a quarantine hospital, who were infected with the plagie ; whose report was made me by the chief of the medical staff; (I think it was Degenette). He further added, that the disease had gained such a stage of malignancy, there was not the least probability of their continuing alive beyond forty-eight hours.
• " I said, tell me what is to be done! He hesitated for some time, and then repeated, that these men, who were the objects of my very painful solicitude, could not survive forty-eight hours. I then suggested, (what appeared to be his opinion, though he might not chuse to declare it, but wait with the trembling hope to receive it from me,) the propriety, because I felt it would be humanity, of shortening the sufferings of these seven men by administering Opium. Such a relief, 1 added, in a similar situation, I should anxiously solicit for myself. But, rather contrary to my expectation, the proposition was opposed, and consequently abandoned.”—p. 156-159.
It is thus put out of all doubt that, of this crime, as far as first suggesting, and being unxious to execute it--which, in fact, are the real constituents of a crime--Buonaparte is guilty. If the men were not poisoned, or, as he and the Doctor gently express it, if,
opium was not administered, it was no merit of his. With respect to Buonaparte's cowardly insinuation that the mind of the chief physician anticipated his deterınination, and waited, with trembling hope, for orders to poison his fellow creatures--it is clear, from his own account, that he suggested, that he pressed, that he insisted on this abomination, and that it was only prevented (if it was prevented) by the courageous and humane resistance of the medical staff of the army.
The massacre of part of the garrison of Jaffa is thus related:
• At the period in question General Desaix was left in Upper Egypt; and Kleber in the vicinity of Damietta. I left Cairo, and traversed the Arabian Desert in order to unite my force with that of the latter at El Arish. The town was attacked, and a capitulation succeeded. Many of the prisoners were found, on examination, to be natives of the Mountains, and inhabitants of Mount Tabor, but chiefly from Nazareth. They were immediately released, on their engaging to return quietly to their homes, children and wives: at the same time, they were recommended to acquaint their countrymen the Napolese, that the French were no longer their enemies, unless they were found in arms assisting the Pacha. When this ceremony was concluded, the army proceeded on its march towards Jaffa.—That city, on the first view of it, bore a formidable appearance, and the garrison was considerable. It was summoned to surrender : when the officer, who bore my flag of truce, no sooner passed the city wall, than his head was inhumanly struck off, instantly fixed upon a pole, and insultingly exposed to the view of the French army. At the sight of this horrid and unexpected object, the indignation of the soldiers knew no bounds: they were perfectly infuriated; and, with the most eager impatience, demanded to be led on to the storm. I did not hesitate, under such circumstances, to command it. The attack was dreadful; and the carnage exceeded any action I had then witnessed. We carried the place, and it required all my efforts and influence to restrain the fury of the enraged soldiers. At length, I succeeded, and night closed the sanguinary scene. At the dawn of the following morning, a report was brought me, that five hundred men, chiefly Napolese, who had lately formed a part of the garrison of El Arish, and to whom I had a fein days before given liberty, on condition that they should return to their homes, were actually found and recognized amongst the prisoners. On this fact being indubitably ascertained, I ordered the five hundred men to be drawn out and instantly shot.'--p. 161--163.
Here again we have two or three remarks to make on the palliative circumstances adduced by Buonaparte.
We will say nothing of the perfidy of the war which he was himself waging ; -- we will not attempt to shew that the poor peasants of Mount Tabor might be supposed to be ignorant of the etiquette of European capitulations and paroles; ----We shall not insist on the impossibility of the French recognizing the men found in
Jaffa as the very individuals who capitulated in El Arish;-we shall not state, aś Sir Robert Wilson states, the massacre to have been of more than as many thousands as Buonaparte confesses hundreds ;
- we shall not urge against Buonapartethat he actually obliged officers to serve against us who had been released from England, on parole, not to serve :-we shall give up all these topics, and only insist upon the plain facts of the case which prove this transaction to be one of the foulest and most inexcusable massacres that was ever perpetrated.
These poor people were taken at El Arish; their homes were Nazareth and Mount Tabor; they were bound to return thither; from El Arish to Nazareth, the high road passes through Jaffa. Buonaparte describes himself as having lost no time in marching to Jaffa; he could not, therefore, be far behind the Nazarites; and must, indeed, have arrived before the town alınost as soon as they entered it: the place was summoned-an atrocity is committed the assault is immediately given-and Jaffa is taken; but in it, on their way home, were found the garrison of El Arish; and, because they were found there—where Buonaparte must have known them io be, if they adhered to the capitulation--he ordered 500 of his fellow-creatures to be drawn out and instantly shot !-and this 100 the next morning after a carnage which exceeded all that this tiger had ever before witnessed. If Jaffa had been ever so little out of the way, or if it had been besieged long enough to allow the poor people to get away from it, or if they had been found in it after a lapse of time which ought to have carried them beyond it, something, though, God knows, but little, might be said in defence of Buonaparte; but as the fact is stated by himself the bloody pertidy is clear, and the whole of Buonaparte's conduct is proved, by his own confession, to have been detestably and infamously base.
We have now done with the · Letters from St. Helena!'-We have felt it on this occasion necessary to enter into minute, and often, we fear, tedious details, because Mr. Warden's pretences and falsehoods, if not detected on the spot and at the moment when the means of detection happen to be at hand, might hereafter tend to deceive other writers, and poison the sources of history. And for the honour of our country, and for the dignity of human nature, we are unwilling that it should be supposed that the falsehood and flatteries of Buonaparte and his followers could obliterate from the minds of Englishmen the atrocities with which he had for twenty years ensanguined and desolated the civilized world.