On the day of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin, a company of gendarmes d’Elite, headed by their officers, received publicly, and by orders, the sacrament; when the Abbe Frelaud approached Lieutenant Ledoux, he fell into convulsions, and was carried into the sacristy. After being a little recovered, he looked round him, as if afraid that some one would injure him, and said to the Grand Vicar Clauset, who inquired the cause of his accident and terror: “Good God! that man who gave me, on the 2d of September, 1792, in the convent of the Carenes, the five wounds from which I still suffer, is now an officer, and was about to receive the sacrament from my hands.” When this occurrence was reported to Bonaparte, Ledoux was dismissed; but Abbe Frelaud was transported, and the Grand Vicar Clauset sent to the Temple, for the scandal their indiscretion had caused. This act was certainly as unjust towards him who was bayoneted at the altar, as towards those who served the altar under the protection of the bayonets.
Paris, August, 1805.
My lord:—Although the seizure of Sir George Rumbold might in your country, as well as everywhere else, inspire indignation, it could nowhere justly excite surprise. We had crossed the Rhine seven months before to seize the Duc d’Enghien; and when any prey invited, the passing of the Elbe was only a natural consequence of the former outrage, of audacity on our part, and of endurance or indifference on the part of other Continental States. Talleyrand’s note at Aix-la-Chapelle had also informed Europe that we had adopted a new and military diplomacy, and, in confounding power with right, would respect no privileges at variance with our ambition, interest or, suspicions, nor any independence it was thought useful or convenient for us to invade.
It was reported here, at the time, that Bonaparte was much offended with General Frere, who commanded this political expedition, for permitting Sir George’s servant to accompany his master, as Fouche and Real had already tortures prepared and racks waiting, and after forcing your agent to speak out, would have announced his sudden death, either by his own hands or by a coup-de-sang, before any Prussian note could require his release. The known morality of our Government must have removed all doubts of the veracity of this assertion; a man might, besides, from the fatigues of a long journey, or from other causes, expire suddenly; but the exit of two, in the same circumstances, would have been thought at least extraordinary, even by our friends, and suspicious by our enemies.