« AnteriorContinuar »
deavour to obtain a decision from him. The General at last answered, that" if he were to answer him officially, he should say "build a new house;' but as that must take five or six years, and as he knew that in two or three years either the Administration in this country would be overturned, or a change would take place in the Government of France, and in either case he should be released, he was privately of opinion that additions should be made to Longwood.” In compliance with this suggestion Sir Hudson Lowe proceeded to make alterations in the present house. General Buonaparte then objected to this, though it was done by his own desire, and for the purpose of lodging his attendants. I do not object to General Buonaparte's choice either of the new house or the old one, or between alterations and no alterations, but I object to this that every attempt to render his residence convenient is made the foundation of a charge against the Governor, and that he watches the moment when an attention is paid to his wishes, to make that very attention a source of complaint.' - Nothing of this should be done, 110 change should be made, no further expense incurred, and Buonaparte should be taught to understand that Longwood, Longwood as it is, and nothing but Longwood, is to be his residence for the remainder of his days.--He will not be satisfied with it--we are aware of that: but what would satisfy him?-he had St. Cloud and Fontainebleau, and yet he could not rest without the Escurial and Schönbrunn. If he had been contented with the palaces of the ancient sovereigns of France, he would not now be reduced to make comparisons between the houses of the Governor and Deputy Governor of St. Helena-nay, if he had been satisfied with his castle at Porto Ferrajo, and his villa at San Martino, he would not now be afflicted with the cold warmth and dry wet which he has discovered at Longwood; and we think we may venture to assure him that, even though the administration should be changed, his situation would not be altered, and that he would find Lord Holland, if he became Secretary of State, acting, to the best of his abilities, on the principles of Lord Bathurst.
He says, that Sir Hudson Lowe has aggravated his unfortunate situation.'—He is mistaken :—Sir Hudson Lowe seems only to have executed regulations which he found established, and which are proper and necessary. But it is the mind of the man himself which is getting more exasperated—his hopes are declining -his patience is wearing out—ibe vigilance of the Governor affords no prospect of escape,-and it is therefore that from day to day he feels his situation more irksome ;-every
peace in Europe is an age of misery to him, because it increases the chances of solid and universal tranquillity.
But we really think that Sir Hudson Lowe would be perfectly justified in taking some measures of additional precaution when we perceive that Buonaparte fancies he is in a condition to tamper with the troops.-He presunies to say, in the style of one of his old bulletins,
The Emperor has every reason to be satisfied with the spirit which ani mates the officers and men of the BRAVE 53d.'
That the officers and men of the 53d regimentare brave, we did not want the obliging evidence of his majesty to authenticate; their bravery was proved, by rather more satisfactory evidence than his, at Talavera, Salamanca, and Thoulouse; but we beg to ask, what spirit it is which animates them with which he has every reason to be satisfied ?-He complains with vehemence of the restrictions under which he is placed-of the camp formed near his residence -of the sentinels placed around him. If the officers and men do their duty with alacrity, he cannot surely be pleased at that spirit which executes exactly the regulations of which he complains; he might perhaps respect, or forbear to complain of, them for fulfilling their duty as soldiers; but it is not possible that he should applaud the spirit whịch animates them, unless he wished to have it understood that this spirit is at variance with their orders. We know very well, that neither the officers nor men of this excellent regiment care a farthing for these cajoleries; but we insist that this passage affords an additional reason for restricting Buonaparte. Absurd as his evident design is, it is sot the less atrocious; and his ignorance of the British character—which leads him to suppose that we are to be seduced by the epithets of great, free, and brave, whenever he shall condescend to honour us with them—ought not to relieve him from the consequences of his criminal intentions.
In concluding his Manifesto, Buonaparte, who, as we haye seen, fancied himself some years ago Julius Cæsar, intimates that he now looks upon himself as Cato of Utica, and modestly applies to bimself the compliment which was paid to the adversity of that republican, who died on his own sword rather than acknowledge an emperor.
Are not your ministers aware that the spectacle of a great man struggling with adversity is the most sublime of all others are they ignorant that Napoleon, at St. Helena, in the midst of persecutions of every kind, to which he opposes only the firmness of resolution, is GREATER, more SACRED, and more veneRABLE than when he was seated on the first throne in the world, where he was so tong the arbiter of kings What shall we think of the man who could dictate such sentences of self-adulation!
Our final observation on this Letter, so characteristic of its authors, is, that it seems to have been dictated by Buonaparte, written by Las Cases, and signed by Montholon, (triformis Chi. mæra,) in order to divide, or, rather, elude, the responsibility of such infamous falsehoods. Buonaparte will protest that he did not write
it - Las Cases will swear that he declined to put his name to it; and Montholon is ready to make affidavit that it is none of his Jetter.---And so the very outward form and manual preparation of this precious document are exactly of a piece with its internal composition.
Next we have Signor Santini, who is so good as to inform us that he is, like bis Emperor, a Corsican; and that at the age of thirteen he entered (he omits to say as a drummer) the battalion of Corsican sharp-shooters. This fellow details his history with great complacency: it will suffice our readers to know, that, previously to his becoming AUTHOR of an Appeal to the English Nation, he was a private soldier, a courier, and at last a huissier, (porter) to Buonaparte; and that on a reduction of the establishment at Longwood, he, two grooms, and an under-butler, were dismissed. This fellow, who has been, we know not why, permitted to land in England, brought a copy of Montholon's Manifesto, which he has printed with a preface and appeal, purporting to be his own. This preface and appeal must have been written for him : the preface probably in England; the Appeal, or notes on which it has been made, lie obviously brought with him from St. Helena. "The style and spirit are much the same as those of Montholon's letter; and if they are not both by the same hand, we have only to say, that Buonaparte has infected his porter with the same style which he has taught to his secretary—the same complaints, calumnies as atrocious, and falsehoods as impudent, only a little more in detail. We should not insult our readers by entering into any discussion with such a person as Sautini; but as he is the ambassador and representative of Buonaparte, and has been so received by some persons in England; as his story has obtained what countenance Lord Holland could give it by his motion in the House of Lords, and as Lord Bathurst condescended to observe on it, our readers will excuse our amusing them with some of these statements which charge Sir H. Lowe with a design to starve Buonaparte.
. It is not, however, economy which the new Governor has introduced into the household of the Emperor, it is absolute want.'-p. 13.
. It has often happened that, on finding himself without any butcher's meat for the Emperor's table, the steward has sent me to purchase a sheep, for which I have paid four guineas, and often could only procure pork for making soup.'
“Captain Poppleton, of the 53d regiment, appointed to guard the Emperor, if he is the man of honour I believe him to be, will not fail to bear witness that he has often lent candles to lighten this abode of desolation, as well as bread, butter, poultry, and even salt. I was even, from necessity, in the habit of repairing sêcRETLY to the English camp to purchase butter, eggs and bread, of the soldiers' wives, otherwise the Emperor would often have been without breakfast, and even without dinner!
Signor Santini overshoots his mark a little-he proves rather too much. · The Governor, it appears, has personally nothing to do with the supply of Buonaparte's establishment; it is managed by a purveyor, chosen, we believe, by the Emperor himself;-and the miserable pittance to which the purveyor is to contine his expenses is 1000l. a month. This, Lord Bathurst states, is the very sum allowed to the Governor of the island, who has a family and a staff to maintain--who is obliged to keep a table at which he receives the Commissioners of the Allied Powers, strangers who happen to arrive, and the principal inhabitants of the island:--but it is insufficient, it seems, to furnish Buonaparte with eggs and salt. What follows is still better: for it seems that but for Santini himself the Emperor would have starved altogether.
I used to rise at break of day, and when I did not succeed in shooting a few doves, in the neighbourhood of our dwelling, the Emperor frequently had nothing for breakfast. The provisions do not reach Longwood until two or three o'clock in the afternoon, and when they were of so bad a quality that the house-steward had to send them back, the Emperor subsisted entirely on the produce of my shooting.'
We really are in pain for poor Buonaparte--for now that Santini has been torn from him, he must go without his breakfast, unless indeed necessity should teach him to do as we generally do in England, namely, to make his breakfast out of the provisions which come in the preceding afternoon.
But this famine is tolerable in Mr. Santini's opinion when compared with the extremities they are made to suffer from thirst.
" It is a fact, which will appear incredible, but which is not the less true, that the emperor is limited to a bottle of wine per day! Marshal and Madame Bertrand, General Montholon and his lady, General Gourgaud and Count de las Cases have also each their bottle.'-p. 17.
We differ very much from Signor Santini in thinking this fact incredible. We should, on tlie contrary, have thought it very probable, and that seven bottles of wine per day to five men and two women, was a reasonable allowance. It appears, however, unluckily for Signor Santini's credit, from Lord Bathurst's speech, that the fact, however credible, is not true: il
! In order to ascertain the expenditure of, any establishment, it was usual to calculate on a certain quantity of such things as were used for each individual, per day. It was by no means intended, that the same quantity should always be drank by each individual. With respect to the calculation of one bottle per day, for each person, it was one which would be considered in this country as not an unfair one-this was the allowance for the King's table. A bottle a day, for each person, was considered by the officers of the British army as sufficient for the supply of their messes--sufficient for themselves, and for such company as might be invited to their mess: it was not usual to allow more, one day with another, to any person in the prime of life. But to shew how liberally the allowance to General Buonaparte was calculated, he should read to their Lordships an extract from the estimate for his table, in which this very article of wine was minutely specified. There was an allowance of strong and of weak wine. The quantity of weak wine was 84 bottles in the course of the fortnight; but he should put that out of the question, and merely state the quantity of the other description of wine. Of that better sort of wine, there was no less than 266 bottles in one fortnight, applicable, wholly and entirely to General Buonaparte. and his attendants. The particulars .were
7 Bottles of Constantia (or 14 pint bottles).
In all 266 Bottles. The number of persons connected with General Buonaparte, excluding those of tender age, amounted to nine, so that there was an allowance of nineteen bottles in one day for ten persons; and taking one day with another, the allowance might be considered two bottles a day for each grown person. In addition to this quantity of wine, forty-two bottles of porter were allowed every fortnight, being at the rate of ihree to each individual.'
Upon all this we cannot help repeating that we think our government has done and is still doing too much. Why should they allow twelve, why even eight thousand a-year for this establishment-why is General Buonaparte to have a suite of fifty* persons ---why is he to have twelve men-servants, and General Bertrand four, and Mr. Montholon three, &c.—why are two, or three, or four tables to be kept for all these people, according to the fancied gradations of their imperial character and offices? If these generals and their wives choose to live at St. Helena with Buonaparte, we have no great objection; but let them live, as they must do any where else, at their own expense, and not at ours. It is stated in Montholon's Letter that our government has called upon Buonaparte to make up all the expense of his establishment beyond £8000, or (as it would now appear to be settled) £12,000 per annum. This seems to us to be all wrong and inconsistent with our whole course of proceeding. We might have treated Buonaparte altogether as a common prisoner, given him no establishment at all, and made him only the usual prisoners' allowances; but as we did not take that course, and as we are pledged to treat him as a general officer, we are bound to furnish him a convenient habitation, a decent table, and
* So stated by Santini.