“Where is it now?” asked Fouche.
“At the Minister’s of the Elector Arch-Chancellor,” answered the artist.
“But where do you intend to show it for money?” continued Fouche.
“In the Palais Royal.”
“Well, bring it there,” replied Fouche.
The same evening that it was brought there, Schumacher was arrested by a police commissary, his model packed up, and, with himself, put under the care of two gendarmes, who carried them both to the other side of the Rhine. Here the Elector of Baden gave him some money to return to his home, near Aschaffenburg, where he has since exposed for money the model of a grand tomb for a little man. I have just heard that one of your countrymen has purchased it for one hundred and fifty louis d’or.
Paris, September, 1805.
My lord:—Those who only are informed of the pageantry of our Court, of the expenses of our courtiers, of the profusion of our Emperor, and of the immense wealth of his family and favourites, may easily be led to believe that France is one of the happiest and moat prosperous countries in Europe. But for those who walk in our streets, who visit our hospitals, who count the number of beggars and of suicides, of orphans and of criminals, of prisoners and of executioners, it is a painful necessity to reverse the picture, and to avow that nowhere, comparatively, can there be found so much collective misery. And it is not here, as in other States, that these unfortunate, reduced, or guilty are persons of the lowest classes of society; on the contrary, many, and, I fear, the far greater part, appertain to the ci-devant privileged classes, descended from ancestors noble, respectable, and wealthy, but who by the Revolution have been degraded to misery or infamy, and perhaps to both.
When you stop but for a moment in our streets to look at something exposed for sale in a shop-window, or for any other cause of curiosity or want, persons of both sexes, decently dressed, approach you, and whisper to you: “Monsieur, bestow your charity on the Marquis, or Marquise—on the Baron or Baroness, such a one, ruined by the Revolution;” and you sometimes hear names on which history has shed so brilliant a lustre that, while you contemplate the deplorable reverses of human greatness, you are not a little surprised to find that it is in your power to relieve with a trifle the wants of the grandson of an illustrious warrior, before whom nations trembled, or of the granddaughter of that eminent statesman who often had in his hands the destiny of Empires. Some few solitary walks, incognito, by Bonaparte, in the streets of his capital, would perhaps be the best preservative against unbounded ambition and confident success that philosophy could present to unfeeling tyranny.