That corruption, seduction, and menaces seconded the intrigues and bayonets which convinced the Ligurian Government of the honour and advantage of becoming subjects of Bonaparte, I have not the least doubt; but that the Doge, Girolamo Durazzo, and the senators Morchio, Maglione, Travega, Maghella, Roggieri, Taddei, Balby, and Langlade sold the independence of their country for ten millions of livres—though it has been positively asserted, I can hardly believe; and, indeed, money was as little necessary as resistance would have been unavailing, all the forts and strong positions being in the occupation of our troops. A general officer present when the Doge of Genoa, at the head of the Ligurian deputation, offered Bonaparte their homage at Milan, and exchanged liberty for bondage, assured me that this ci-devant chief magistrate spoke with a faltering voice and with tears in his eyes, and that indignation was read on the countenance of every member of the deputation thus forced to prostitute their rights as citizens, and to vilify their sentiments as patriots.
When Salicetti, with his secretary, Milhaud, had arranged this honourable affair, they set out from Genoa to announce to Bonaparte, at Milan, their success. Not above a league from the former city their carriage was stopped, their persons stripped, and their papers and effects seized by a gang, called in the country the gang of patriotic robbers, commanded by Mulieno. This chief is a descendant of a good Genoese family, proscribed by France, and the men under him are all above the common class of people. They never commit any murders, nor do they rob any but Frenchmen, or Italians known to be adherents of the French party. Their spoils they distribute among those of their countrymen who, like themselves, have suffered from the revolutions in Italy within these last nine years. They usually send the amount destined to relieve these persons to the curates of the several parishes, signifying in what manner it is to be employed. Their conduct has procured them many friends among the low and the poor, and, though frequently pursued by our gendarmes, they have hitherto always escaped. The papers captured by them on this occasion from Salicetti are said to be of a most curious nature, and throw great light on Bonaparte’s future views of Italy. The original act of consent of the Ligurian Government to the incorporation with France was also in this number. It is reported that they were deposited with the Austrian Minister at Genoa, who found means to forward them to his Court; and it is supposed that their contents did not a little to hasten the present movements of the Emperor of Germany.