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“all on the reflection, that he owes it en
“tirely to the love of the French people,
“ and he has no other wish than to repay “such affections no longer by the trophies “ of v AIN AMBIT1o N, but by all the ad“vantages of an honourable repose, and “ by all the blessings of a happy tran“quiility.” Now, Sir, who would suppose, in reading this passage, but that the Emperor Napoleon, penetrated with compunction for his past errors, had been led to confess, through his Minister, that he had been heretofore stimulated by “vain ambition,” the vice so currently attributed to him by the prostituted press of England 3–Their point in truth was thus accomplished. They had for years accused Bonaparte of disturbing the world by his “vain ambition;” and here they give it under his own hand, or, which is the same thing, under the hand of his confidential Minister. Doubtless you and the public at large have been struck with this extraordinary confession, made in the face of a thousand facts, which give it the lie direct, it being most notorious to every one who has lived with his eyes open since the year 1799, that Bonaparte's career began by the restoration of a general peace, and has been uniformly marked by endeavours to remain at peace with all those who chose to be at peace with him; his overtures and solicitations in favour of peace savouring of pusillanimity, and sometimes leading to war, by affording grounds for a charge of weakness on his part. I was led, therefore, to notice this passage in the French original, as presented to the Houses of Parliament, when, to my utter astonishment, I found nothing about “vain ambition,” or any sentiment which justified the use of this fawou rite phrase of our war faction 1 No man, Mir, Cobbett, understands the French language better than yourself; behold then the original phrase of M. de CAULAIN court's letter, “Sa Majesté s”ho“nore sourtout de la de voir uniquement “a l'amour du peuple Français, et elle “ne forme plus qu'un désir, c'est de “payer tant d'affection, non plus par des “ trophées d’une trop infructuese gran“deur, mais par tous les avantages, d'un * honorable repos, par tous les bienfaits “ d'une heureuse tranquillité.” Here, £very person who understands French, or who is competent to consult a French dictionary, will find that a moral sentiment,
expressible by the English words UNPR oFITABLE GREATN Ess, or FRUITLESS GRANDEUR, is insidiously and dishonestly per
verted into the criminal passion of “vain ambition,” to serve the purposes of cor
ruption and craft, and to delude the very. numerous readers of this interesting State
Paper, who have not the opportunity to
compare it with the French original. Can
a “good cause” stand in need of such
I am, Sir, your constant reader,
London, May 28, 1815.
To THE THINKING PEoPLE of ENGLAND,
My FRIENDs.--It might be well for you to consider the terrific scene, which is pendant over your country, and over Europe. The moments are few, but they may yet serve for the public expression of popular opinion against a war with France, which your Regent and a large proportion of your Aristocracy has determined on-. Consider how similar the occasion and commencement of this war is to that of the first one, which arose out of the French Revolution. It is the dread of the success and of the ultimate spread of that spirit, of that Revolution which has alarmed the feelings, and aroused the indignation of our trembling Aristocracy.—The expulsion of one dynasty, and the popular adoption of another; the extinction of old titles, the forfeiture of property, the dissolution of a powerful church establishment, the amelioration of the condition of the great mass of the people, who then became independent; these are too formidable objects to be viewed with complacency by those of this country, whom similar events might place in similar situations. This is the dread, this causes the panic, and this, this only, is the reason why you are to be engaged in a war, of which no man can calculate the conclusion or the consequences.—To make this war palatable, to make it appear necessary for your interest, the base hirelings of every description are using every species of deception and falsehood. One hour we are told, that Bonaparte can never take the
field because the late King, good man, (after he had packed up the Crown jewels we suppose) ordered all the powder and powder-mills to be destroyed. Now is it to be believed, when Soult had the direction of the war department, aided by other Marshals who were planning Napoleons return, that such an order would have been executed at the last moments of the Kings authority; and had it really happened, is it for. gotten how in the earliest periods of the Revolutionary war, upon a scarcity of powder, how quickly the men of sāence, when directed to turn their attention to the preparation of this article, supplied the want. The same falsehood, the same delusion is practiced in a thousand forms. In nothing more than in the impudent statements of desertion from the French armies. I wish the issue of the question of war or peace could be rested upon the truth or falsehood of this fact, whether from the heur of Bonaparte's landing in France, up to this moment of time, they could or could not shew a list of authenticated names of one thousand French soldiers, who had served with him, and who have quitted his standard to join the Allies. The chance would be a poor one for the friends of war.—Such then are the causes of the war, and such the vile means resorted to to induce your-hearty concurrence in it, that you may pay for it in taxation and bleed for it, with slaves from Russia, changelings from Germany, and subsidised soldiers from all quarters of the Continent. They tell you, it is to be but a summer's business ; that the Bourbons, the nobles, the priests, the tythes, the forfeited estates, the virtues, the blessings, and the comforts of the old Regime, and of all the Feudal System, will then be restored in full and original authority; as an example to all nations and all people who dare to exert the rights of nature, and windicate their freedom against the tyranny of old institutions, and the feebleness and wickedness of the few who lord it over and trample on the many. As agriculturists, I think, you have sufficiently felt and seen the difficulties you now labour under; how taxation prevents your being able to meet the foreign corn grower in the market. As manufacturers, you now see, that by war you have driven all nations to become your rivals; that in the iller goods you are undersold; and that
even the demand for coarser articles is so diminished that trade languishes, and employment in many instances is not to be found. Will an addition of taxes better either of these respective conditions : will not rather increased causes produce increased offects —Englishmen! “ arise, “awake, or be ever fallen.” The war is not your war; the objects of it are not your advantage; and the continuance of it must produce a crisis, the horrors, the evils, and ultimate safety from which no man can calculate. The fall of those who occasion the evil will not be alone, or the just retribution of Heaven might cause few tears from the survivors. But around us would hover numerous people, whom we have by our subsidies enriched and ranged in arms; whom we have taught that interference in the internal Government of other countries, is in some causes a duty; and whom their own experience has taught, that in others it may be an advantage, inasmuch as sometimes they may end as conquerors where they pretended to come as mediators and friends. Would, my friends, what I have said might rouse you to the exercise of all legitimate means to stem the tide of war, with which the weakness and wickedness. of some men would overwhelm us. The cause is your own, and as is your apathy or your vigour you must abide and remain. CIv1s.
June 7th, 1815.
THE CHAMP DE MAI.
In introducing to the notice of my readers, the most impressive and important proceeding which Europe has witnessed since the commencement of the French Revolution, few comments are necessary. It is a ceremony which speaks for itself, and which ought to overwhelm with confusion all the base efforts of the vile hireling press, who stigmatise it with the silly epithet of “a farce.” I fear its effects will not be found farcical; and certainly if our besotted war faction continue their industrious efforts, one of the first effects will be the renewal of those principles of liberty, which may possibly shake the thrones of the Allied Autocrats to their soundation. I do not say that it will ; but it is, at least, possible that it mayBut there is one circumstance, connected with the celebration of the Champ de Mai,
so strikingly important, that I cannot forbear noticing it. The dotestablo Billingsgate calumniators of the French Emperor, have unformly stated, as their decided and conclusive conviction, that he dared not app ar in public; that when he went out he was either shut up in a close carriage or rod his horse at full gallop. What do these foul mouthed hirelings say now : What do they say to his placing himself, unarmed and without guards, on an elewated throne, surrounded not only by the people from all parts of the immense Fr. ach empire, but also by the whole population of the prodigious city of Paris : And yet not a single assassin could be found in spite of all the proclamations of the “ legitimate proprietors of the human raco,” to do the so much desired deed of putting an end to the only really elected monarch in Europe.— Would any of the Emperors or Kings who have proscribed Napoleou venture so to expose themselves? I doubt much whether any of them, shining as they are in all the great qualities that adorn human nature, would choose to call about them the population of their States.—At least, it would not perhaps be considered the most wise experiment, unless a body guard was previously provided to protect their sacred persons.—After this new proof of the attachment of the French people to Napoleon, let us hear no more of the vile attempts of the Times and the Courier to persuad us, that Napoleon has not been elected by the free and unbiassed suffrages of the French nation. This event is pregnant with the most important consequences; but it is unnessary for me to say more upon the subject to such men as compose the readers of the Register.—s give them the text; they will make their own commentary :—
Paris, June 2,-Never did a festival more national, never a spectacle at once so solemn and touching, attract the attention of the French people as the Assembly of the Champ de Mai. Every thing that could interest and elevate the soul—the prayers of religion—the compact of a great people with their Sovereign—France represented by the select of her Citizens, Agriculturists, Merchants, Magistrates, and Warriors, collected around the Throne—an immense population, covering the Champ de Mars, and
joining in vows for the great object of that magnificent ceremony—all excited the most ardent enthusiasm of which the most memorable epochs have left us the recollection.—We shall not at present enter into a particular description of the buildings prepared for this ceremony, but shall merely state the general arrangements. The Emperor's throne was erected in front of the Military School, and in the centre of a vast semi-circular inclosure, two thirds of which formed, on the right and left grand amphitheatres, in which 5,000 persons were seated. The other third in front of the throno was An alter was erected in the middle. Further on, and about 100 toises distant, was placed another throne, which overlooked the whole Champ de Mars. The Emperor having repaired to the Champ de Mars, in procession, in the order described in the Programme, appeared on his throne amidst universal acclamations. Mass was celebrated by the Archbishop of Tours, assisted by Cardinal Bayanne, and four other Bishops.Mass being concluded, the Members of the Central Deputation of the Electoral Colleges advanced to the foot of the Throne, the steps of which they ascended, in order to have a nearer view of the Emporor, and to be better seen by him. They were about 500 in number. They were presented to his Majesty by the Arch Chancellor.—Then one of the Members of the Deputation (M. Duboys d'Angers, Elector and Representative of the Department of the Maine and Loire), pronounced with a loud voice and much animation, the following Address, in the name of the French peoole:–
SIRE—The French people had decreed the Crown to you; you deposed it without their consent ; its suffrages have just imposed upon you the duty of resuming it.—A new contract is formed between the nation and your Majesty.—Collected from all points of the Empire around the tables of the law on which we are about to inscribe the wish of the people, this wish, which is the only legitimate source of power, it is impossible for us not to utter the voice of France, of which we are the immediate organs, not to say in the presence of Europe, to the august chief of the nation, what it expects from him, and what he is to expect from it—What
is the object of the league of Allied Kings with that warlike preparation by which they alarm Europe and afflict humanity?— By what act, what violation have we provoked their vengeance, or given cause for their aggression : Have we since peace was concluded endeavoured to give them laws? We merely wish to make and to follow those which are adapted to our manners. We will not have the Chief whom our enemies would give us, and we will have him whom they wish us not to have. They dare to proscribe you personally: you, Sire, who, so often master of their capitals, generously consolidated their tottering thrones. This hatred of our enemies adds to our love for you. Were they to proscribe the most obscure of our citizens, it would be our duty to defend him with the same energy. He would be, like you, under the sigis of French Law and French Power. They menace us with invasion 1 And yet contracted within frontiers which nature has not imposed upon us, and which, long before your reign, victory and even peace had extended, we have not, from respect to treaties which you had lot signed, but which you had offered to observe, sought to pass that narrow boundary. Do they ask for guarantees : They have them all in our institutions, and in the will of the French people henceforth united to yours. Do they not dread to remind us of times, of a state of things lately so different. but which may still be re-produced . It would not be the first time that we have conquered all Europe armed against us.
Because France wishes to be France, must she be degraded, tora, dismembered. and must the fate of Poland be reserved for us? It is in vain to conceal insidious designs under the sołe pretence of separating you from us, in order to goe us Masters with whom we have nothing in common. Their presence destroyed all the illusions attached to their name. They could not believe our oaths, neither could we their promises. Tithes, feudal rights, privileges, every thing that was odicus to us was too evidently the fond object of their thought, when one of them, to console the impatience of the present, assured his confidants that he would stn socer to them for the future. Every thing sha}| be attempted, every thing executed, to repel so ignominious a yoke. We de
clare it to nations : may their chiefs hear us! If they accept your offers of peace, the French people will look to your wigorous, fiberal, and paterna' administration for grounds of consolation, for the sacrifices made to obtain peace : but if we are left no choice but between war and disgrace, the whole country will li-e for war, and the nation is prepared to relieve you from the too moderate offers you have perhaps made, in order to save Europe from a new convulsion. Every Frenchman is a soldier: Victory will follow your eagles, and our enemie who rely on our divisions, will soon regret having provoked us.
The energy and the feelings of the speaker gradually extended to all are und, and the whole Champ de Mars resounded with eries of jive le Nation 1 / it'e le . Empereur ! At this moment the ArchChancellor proclaimed the result of the votes, shewing that the Additional Act to the Constitution of the Empire had been accepted almost unanimously; the number of negative votes being 4,206. The Chief of the Heralds at Arms, on the order of his Majesty, transmitted by the Grand Master of the Cereremonies, said,
In the name of his Majesty I declarc, that the Act | Additional to the Constitutions of the Empire has been accepted by the Frencă people.
The Grand Chamberlain caused a table to be brought in front of the throne, on which the Act was placed. The Chancellor déivered a pen to Prince Joseph, who presented it to the Emperor, and his Majesty affixed his signature to the Act for the promulgation of the Constitution. The table being removed, and the Emperor seated and covered, spoke in the following terms:–
Gentlemen, Electors of the Colleges of the Departments and Districts : Gent/emen, Deputies of the Army and Navy, at the Champ de Mai :-Emperor, Consti', Soldier, I derive all from the people. in prosperity, in adversity, on the field of battle, in council, on the throne, and in exile, France has been the sole and constant object of my thoughts and actions. Eike the King of Athens, I sacrificed myself for my people, in the hope of realizing the promise given to preserve to France her natural integrity, her honours and her rights. Indignation at seeing these sacred rights, acquired by 20 years of victory. disavowed and lost for ever; the cry of French honour tarnished, and the wishes of the nation have replaced me upon that throne which is dear to me, because it is the palladium of the independence, the honour, and the rights of the people. Frenchmen, in traversing amidst the public joy the different provinces of the empire to reach my capital, I had reason to rely on a lasting peace. Nations are bound by treaties concluded by their Governments, whatever they may be. My thoughts were then all occupied with the means of establishing our liberty by a constitution conformable to the will and interests of the people. I convoked the Champ de Mai. I soon learned that the Princes who have disregarded all principles, who have trampted on the sentiments and dearest interests of so many nations, wish to make war against us. They meditate the increasing the kingdom of the Netherlands, by giving it as barriers all our northern frontier places, and the conciliation of the differences which still exist among them hy dividing Lorraine and Alsace. It was necessary to provide for war. But, before personally encountering the hazards of battles, my first care has beer to constitute the nation without delay. The people have accepted the Act which I have presented to them. Frenchmen, when we shall have repelled those unjus: aggressions, and Europe shall be convinced of what is due to the rights and independence of 28 millions of people, a solemn law drawn up in the forms required by the Constitutional Act shall combine together the different dispositions of our constitutions now dispersed. Frenchmon, you are about to return to your departments; inform the citizens that circumstances are grand . That with union, energy, and perseverance, we shall return victorious from this contest of a great people against their oppressors; that future generations will severely scrutanize our conduct, and that a nation has lost all when she has lost her independence; tell them that foreign Kings whom I have raised to the throne, or who owe to me the preservation of their crowns; who all during my prosperity sought my alliance
and the protection of the French people,
now direct their blows against my personDid I not perceive that it is the country they wish to injure, I would place at their mercy this existence "...o." they shew themselves so much incaised. But tell the citizens, that while the French people preserve towards me the sentiments of love, of which they have given me so many proofs, the rage of our enemies will be powerless. Frenchmen, my wish is that of the people; my rights are theirs; my honour, my glory, my happiness, can be no other than the honour, the glory, and the happiness of France.
It would be difficult to describe the emotions which were manifested on every countenance by the words of his Majesty, or the prolonged cries which followed his speech. The Archbishop of Bourges, First Almoner, performing the functions of the Grand Almoner, then approached the throne, and on his knees presented the Holy Gospel to the Emperor, who took the oath in the following terms—
I swe AR To observe AND CAUSE TO BE obs ERVED THE ConstituTIONS or THE EMPIRE.
The Prince Arch-Chancellor advancing to the foot of the throne, first pronounced the oath of obedience to the Constitutions and fidelity to the Emperor. The Assembly with one unanimous voice repeated —JWe stcear. The Members of the Deputation remained seated on the steps of the throne, and Te Deum was chaunted, and the Presidents of the Electoral Colleges advanced to receive the Eagles for the National Guards of their departments. The Eagle of the National Guard of the Seine, that of the first regiment of the Line, and that of the first Marine corpo, were carried by the Ministers of the Interior, of War, and the Marine. The Emperor, having laid aside his Imperial, robe arose from the throne, came forward to the first steps, and spoke as follows :
Soldiers of the National Guard of the Empire, Soldiers of the Land and Sea Forces, I entrust to you the Imperial Eagle with the National Colours: you will swear to defend it at the expence of your blood against the enemies of the