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parte. Bernadotte might always be opposed to him with advantage.
About this time, M. Lavalette, an aid-de-camp of the Conqueror of Italy, arrived in Paris, and soon became very intimate with the Beauharnais family. This young man was exceedingly vain of being the bearer of communications from Bonaparte, and he made quite a stir in Paris. To hear him, one would have supposed that he had been sent on some secret mission to the government. I advised him to be more circumspect; but he was young, vain of his position, and anxious to be thought a person of great importance. Lavalette was, moreover, a most incorrigible gossip; he was shrewd and adroit, and very adequate to sustain his part of Patrocles during the absence of Achilles.
From certain facts that came to my knowledge, I was warranted in concluding that the three Directors, who constituted the majority, were less averse to the royalists than to Carnot, whose inflexible integrity cut them off from all hope. His lofty disinterestedness was a severe censure on their corrupt proceedings. So much the worse did it
prove for him who is now present, and who hears me tell this, added Cambacérès smiling.
As the Prince uttered these last words, I fixed my eyes on Carnot, and I observed that he reddened and looked embarrassed by the compliment pronounced on him. Why did that noble-minded man think it necessary to consent to the unjust and tragical death of the best of Kings? The Prince proceeded:
«Barras left me, and shortly afterwards I saw Ozun, who informed me of Bonaparte's hesitation. Baron Rebecque also called. He came to complain, in the name of Madame de Stael, that I had forsaken her. I immediately went to see her, and she poured forth a torrent of complaints against every one." The Directory did not choose to adopt her plans; M. de Talleyrand insisted on having his own way; and Bonaparte would not admit the fitness of a woman to meddle with affairs which demanded the exercise of masculine energy. I took my leave of her. All things considered, I had good reason to congratulate myself that I was not included in the number of the proscribed of the 18th Fructidor.
Warning of Danger. “Meanwhile, Generals Pichegru and Villot were not slumbering. They were not seconded by their weak and timid colleagues, who were always prating about the letter of the constitution, and who had none of the prompt energy requisite for defeating intrigues. I knew all that was going on; I saw the tardy movements of the royalists. I could not, at the last moment refrain, as prudence would have dictated, from warning the director-Barthélemy-of the danger which threatened him. Chance threw him in my way, for, as I was crossing the Tuileries, I almost stumbled against him. "Good morning,' said he, 'how do you do?' and was proceeding on his way, but I detained him.
“Mon Dieu !” said I, “honest men are unfortunate in these times!'
“ They are, indeed,' replied he.
“May it not be, I resumed, owing to their own blindness? They will not see the wicked plots that are brewing around them. For example, I would lay a wager that you go to bed every night in the confident hope of rising in the morning.
“He looked at me with an air of composure, and said, What do
mean?" “Citizen, I advise you to look to your own personal safety. Danger is at hand.”
6.What have you heard?”
“Nothing at all.... But I know enough to make me pity you. I have no wish to concern myself with your business, but, were I in your place, I would adjourn all those plans of reform, (which ultimately will be accomplished without effort,) and I would seek Barras and Rewbell. Assure them of your determination to unite cordially with them,-tell them that you see the mischief in which the royalists would enthral you, and that you are resolved not to share the ruin into which they would drag you.
“I thank you, citizen, but I cannot possibly follow your advice. The three members of the majority are wretches whom I despise. I would rather incur the chance of falling, than league myself with them.' But your
fall is certain and near at hand." “ •Impavidum ferient ruina ....'
The Notorious Prince de C.
“That is sublime in Horace; but in Paris in the 18th century, it is the maxim .... I paused.
“Go on,' said Barthélemy.
“Well, then, it is the maxim of one who is willing to be duped.”
-- Ah Sir! replied the director, you cannot conceive the disgust-the contempt with which'I regard those odious intrigues which disgrace my colleagues. I know that they are plotting and conspiring. If they seek my life, let them take it; but they shall never have my acquiescence in their designs.
“To-morrow,” said I, "your life may perhaps be the forfeit of your honesty.”
“ To-morrow, that is very short notice!.... Then, if there is to be no longer respite, I must consider my doom as sealed.
To escape is impossible ... God's will be done!'
“With these words, he departed, leaving me in a state of feeling which I cannot attempt to describe.
“He had not given me time to inform him that the Prince de C an offshoot of the old régime, having been informed of the conspiracy by his father, the principal minister of Louis XVIII., was about to sell his information to the Directory. This wretch intended, on the following night, to crown by a horrible act of treason, the many crimes of his life. Who has not heard of the notorious Prince de C- -?"
“I have seen him several times,” observed M. VivantDenon. “On one occasion, I was standing at the lower end of the Rue Richelieu, conversing with Count de Roche -d'Al when we saw a hired cabriolet driving towards us with great speed. The horse, dashing his foot into the gutter, covered my interlocuter with mud, upon which a voice from the inside of the vehicle, which we immediately recognized as that of Prince C-called out:
« «Ah, my dear Monsieur de Roche .... I am very sorry for having splashed you. You are covered with mud. Now, any wag passing by, might say that you wear the insignia of the order of the mire, of which they have made me grand master.'
“Well," we exclaimed, if you do not embellish the story he certainly designated himself very correctly."
“I assure you it is literally true," pursued M. VivantDenon. "On another occasion, I was entering the Tuileries. I heard some one call me by name, and, looking round, who should I behold but the Prince de CHe was fashionably dressed, and looking uncommonly well, for he was a handsome fellow. He was walking, not with a grisette or a female of the lower class, but with a common street-walker. I looked at him with amazement, and he smiled at my surprise.
“My dear fellow,' said he, this lady is thirsty and I wish to procure her a glass of beer. Can you lend me a
. . Anger and impatience quite overcame me. I could not trust myself to give him an answer; so I walked off and left him.
“And this fine gentleman,” said Prince Cambacérès, “presumed on the
sixteenth or seventeenth Fructidor to write a letter to Barras of which I happen to possess a
The Prince opened a closet, and, after turning over some papers, took out a letter which he read to us, and which he afterwards permitted me to transcribe into my memorandum-book, where I now find it. It is in the following terms:
«Citizen Director, “My position is not calculated to inspire you with confidence. I am an emigrant, not yet finally erased, and a son of the minister of the individual who styles himself Louis XVIII., and King of France. My father, whose services and integrity have been called in question by that individual, is in complete disgrace. I have his cause to avenge, and I wish to save the Republic. Will you hear me? But it must be immediately; for there is no time to be lost. The delay of a single hour may be fatal. I am so confident of the importance of the disclosures which I am about to make that I am willing you should detain me as a hostage until you satisfy yourself of my sincerity, and of the accuracy of the documents which I have to lay before you. I am in the Rue Vaugirard, under the portico of the Particulars given by Carnot.
Odéon, awaiting your answer. Reflect well; for the existence of the present order of things depends on your attention to this. “(Signed)
“Barras, roused by this missive, assembled Rewbell and La Réveillère, together with Sottin and Merlin de Douai. Sottin was minister of the Police, and Merlin de Douai was minister of Justice. It was determined that Barras and Sottin should that night have an interview with the informer. They accordingly sent for Prince Cwho, for the promise of a handsome sum, revealed the whole plot of the royalists, and with a degree of circumstantiality which left no doubt of the truth of his statement. It was soon ascertained how to defeat the conspiracy, and where to seize the conspirators. The coup d'état was hurried on, and it was accomplished on the night of the 17th Fructidor. The succeeding events are known to you.
M. Carnot can inform us how he escaped.”
“The narrative is in my Memoirs,” observed Carnot.
However, I may relate some particulars which I deemed it necessary to withhold at the time I published
Memoirs, but which I have now no reason to keep secret. I was in fear both of the royalists and the jacobins; consequently, I turned a deaf ear to the multiplied representations of the members of the right in both councils. My fear was the return of the Bourbons. Could I have imagined that they, being restored, would leave me unmolested, whilst the jacobins, when in the possession of power, employed it to persecute me? The world seems to be turned upside down. Early on the morning of the 17th Fructidor, at a sort of public audience, to which I allowed any one to be admited who wore a uniform, I observed a young officer about twenty years of age, making his way through
. the crowd. He advanced to me and presented his hand, which I took. He then made certain signs of the higher orders of free-masonry, denoting that I ought to treat him with more respect than that which was merely due to his uniform of sub-lieutenant. He led me to the recess of one of the windows, and there, after cautiously looking round him, he thus addressed me: