It is reported that the two maids of the Princesse Louis, when before Fouche, first denied all acquaintance with the officers; but, being threatened with tortures, they signed a ‘proces verbal’, acknowledging their guilt. This valuable and authentic document the Minister sent by an extra courier to the Emperor, who showed it to his stepdaughter. Her generosity is proverbial here, and therefore nobody is surprised that she has given a handsome sum of money to the parents of her maids, who had in vain applied to see their children; Fouche having told them that affairs of State still required their confinement. One of them, Mariothe, has been in the service of the Princess ever since her marriage, and is known to possess all her confidence; though during that period of four years she has twice been in a state of pregnancy, through the condescending attention of her princely master.
Paris, September, 1805.
My lord:—When preparations were made for the departure of our army of England for Germany, it excited both laughter and murmuring among the troops. Those who had always regarded the conquest of England as impracticable in present circumstances, laughed, and those who had in their imagination shared the wealth of your country, showed themselves vexed at their disappointment. To keep them in good spirits, the company of the theatre of the Vaudevilles was ordered from hence to Boulogne, and several plays, composed for the occasion, were performed, in which the Germans were represented as defeated, and the English begging for peace on their knees, which the Emperor of the French grants upon condition that one hundred guineas ready money should be paid to each of his soldiers and sailors. Every corps in its turn was admitted gratis to witness this exhibition of the end of all their labours; and you can form no idea what effect it produced, though you are not a stranger to our fickle and inconsiderate character. Ballads, with the same predictions and the same promises, were written and distributed among the soldiers, and sung by women sent by Fouche to the coast. As all productions of this sort were, as usual, liberally rewarded by the Emperor, they poured in from all parts of his Empire.
Three poets and authors of the theatre of the Vaudevilles, Barrel, Radet, and Desfontaines, each received two hundred napoleons d’or for their common production of a ballad, called “Des Adieux d’un Grenadier au Camp de Boulogne.” From this I have extracted the following sample, by which you may judge of the remainder:
THE GRENADIER’S ADIEU
TO THE CAMP AT BOULOGNE
The drum is beating, we must march, We’re summon’d to another field, A field that to our conq’ring swords Shall soon a laurel harvest yield. If English folly light the torch Of war in Germany again The loss is theirs—the gain is ours March! march! commence the bright campaign.