Being Secret Letters from a Gentleman at Paris to a Nobleman in London
The present work contains particulars of the great Napoleon not to be found in any other publication, and forms an interesting addition to the information generally known about him.
The writer of the Letters (whose name is said to have been Stewarton, and who had been a friend of the Empress Josephine in her happier, if less brilliant days) gives full accounts of the lives of nearly all Napoleon’s Ministers and Generals, in addition to those of a great number of other characters, and an insight into the inner life of those who formed Napoleon’s Court.
All sorts and conditions of men are dealt with—adherents who have come over from the Royalist camp, as well as those who have won their way upwards as soldiers, as did Napoleon himself. In fact, the work abounds with anecdotes of Napoleon, Talleyrand, Fouche, and a host of others, and astounding particulars are given of the mysterious disappearance of those persons who were unfortunate enough to incur the displeasure of Napoleon.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
At Cardinal Caprara’s
Episode at Mme. Miot’s
A Grand Dinner
SECRET COURT MEMOIRS.
The court of st. Cloud.
Paris, November 10th, 1805.
My lord,—The Letters I have written to you were intended for the private entertainment of a liberal friend, and not for the general perusal of a severe public. Had I imagined that their contents would have penetrated beyond your closet or the circle of your intimate acquaintance, several of the narratives would have been extended, while others would have been compressed; the anecdotes would have been more numerous, and my own remarks fewer; some portraits would have been left out, others drawn, and all better finished. I should then have attempted more frequently to expose meanness to contempt, and treachery to abhorrence; should have lashed more severely incorrigible vice, and oftener held out to ridicule puerile vanity and outrageous ambition. In short, I should then have studied more to please than to instruct, by addressing myself seldomer to the reason than to the passions.