Paris, September, 1805.
My lord:—Hanover has been a mine of gold to our Government, to its generals, to its commissaries, and to its favourites. According to the boasts of Talleyrand, and the avowal of Berthier, we have drawn from it within two years more wealth than has been paid in contributions to the Electors of Hanover for this century past, and more than half a century of peace can restore to that unfortunate country. It is reported here that each person employed in a situation to make his fortune in the Continental States of the King of England (a name given here to Hanover in courtesy to Bonaparte) was laid under contribution, and expected to make certain douceurs to Madame Bonaparte; and it is said that she has received from Mortier three hundred thousand livres, and from Bernadotte two hundred and fifty thousand livres, besides other large sums from our military commissaries, treasurers, and other agents in the Electorate.
General Mortier is one of the few favourite officers of Bonaparte who have distinguished themselves under his rivals, Pichegru and Moreau, without ever serving under him. Edward Adolph Casimer Mortier is the son of a shopkeeper, and was born at Cambray in 1768. He was a shopman with his father until 1791, when he obtained a commission, first as a lieutenant of carabiniers, and afterwards as captain of the first battalion of volunteers of the Department of the North. His first sight of an enemy was on the 30th of April, 1792, near Quievrain, where he had a horse killed under him. He was present in the battles of Jemappes, of Nerwinde, and of Pellenberg. At the battle of Houdscoote he distinguished himself so much as to be promoted to an adjutant general. He was wounded at the battle of Fleures, and again at the passage of the Rhine, in 1795, under General Moreau. During 1796 and 1797 he continued to serve in Germany, but in 1798 and 1799 he headed a division in Switzerland from which Bonaparte recalled him in 1800, to command the troops in the capital and its environs.