Memoirs of the Court of St. Cloud (Being secret letters from a gentleman at Paris to a nobleman in London) — Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 453 pages of information about Memoirs of the Court of St. Cloud (Being secret letters from a gentleman at Paris to a nobleman in London) — Complete.

A man of the name of Ducroux, who, under Robespierre, had from a barber been made a general, and afterwards broken for his ignorance, was engaged by Bonaparte as a private spy upon Fouche, who employed him in the same capacity upon Bonaparte.  His reports were always written, and delivered in person into the hands both of the Emperor and of his Minister.  One morning he, by mistake, gave to Bonaparte the report of him instead of that intended for him.  Bonaparte began to read:  “Yesterday, at nine o’clock, the Emperor acted the complete part of a madman; he swore, stamped, kicked, foamed, roared—­“, here poor Ducroux threw himself at Bonaparte’s feet, and called for mercy for the terrible blunder he had committed.

“For whom,” asked Bonaparte, “did you intend this treasonable correspondence?  I suppose it is composed for some English or Russian agent, for Pitt or for Marcoff.  How long have you conspired with my enemies, and where are your accomplices?”

“For God’s sake, hear me, Sire,” prayed Ducroux.  “Your Majesty’s enemies have always been mine.  The report is for one of your best friends; but were I to mention his name, he will ruin me.”

“Speak out, or you die!” vociferated Bonaparte.

“Well,’Sire, it is for Fouche—­for nobody else but Fouche.”

Bonaparte then rang the bell for Duroc, whom he ordered to see Ducroux shut up in a dungeon, and afterwards to send for Fouche.  The Minister denied all knowledge of Ducroux, who, after undergoing several tortures, expiated his blunder upon the rack.

LETTER XXII.

Paris, August, 1805.

My lord:—­The Pope, during his stay here, rose regularly every morning at five o’clock, and went to bed every night before ten.  The first hours of the day he passed in prayers, breakfasted after the Mass was over, transacted business till one, and dined at two.  Between three and four he took—­his siesta, or nap; afterwards he attended the vespers, and when they were over he passed an hour with the Bonapartes, or admitted to his presence some members of the clergy.  The day was concluded, as it was begun, with some hours of devotion.

Had Pius VII. possessed the character of a Pius VI., he would never have crossed the Alps; or had he been gifted with the spirit and talents of Sextus V. or Leo X., he would never have entered France to crown Bonaparte, without previously stipulating for himself that he should be put in possession of the sovereignty of Italy.  You can form no idea what great stress was laid on this act of His Holiness by the Bonaparte family, and what sacrifices were destined to be made had any serious and obstinate resistance been apprehended.  Threats were, indeed, employed personally against the Pope, and bribes distributed to the refractory members of the Sacred College; but it was no secret, either here or at Milan, that Cardinal Fesch had carte

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Memoirs of the Court of St. Cloud (Being secret letters from a gentleman at Paris to a nobleman in London) — Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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