Life of Napoleon Bonaparte. Volume III


Sir Walter Scott

Series: Historical Figures
BISAC: BIO008000

Sir Walter Scott first published his biography on Napoleon in 1827. The work represents an important contribution to the study of France during the Napoleonic Era. The book provides an honest and thorough account of the man and the society in which he lived.
(Imprint: SNOVA)



Table of Contents

Chapter I—Increasing Jealousies betwixt France and England—Encroachments on the part of the former—Instructions given by the First Consul to his Commercial Agents—Orders issued by the English Ministers—Peltier’s celebrated Royalist Publication, L’Ambigu—Peltier tried for a Libel against the First Consul—found Guilty—Angry Discussions respecting the Treaty of Amiens—Malta—Report of Sebastiani—Resolutions of the British Government—Conferences betwixt Buonaparte and Lord Whitworth—Britain declares War against France on 18th May, 1803,
Chapter II—St. Domingo—The Negroes split into parties under different Chiefs—Toussaint L’Ouverture the most distinguished of these—Appoints a Consular Government—France sends an Expedition against St. Domingo, under General Leclerc, in December, 1801—Toussaint submits—He is sent to France, where he dies—The French are assaulted by the Negroes—Leclerc is succeeded by Rochambeau—The French finally obliged to capitulate to an English squadron—Buonaparte’s scheme to consolidate his power—The Consular Guard augmented—Legion of Honour—Opposition formed against the Consular Government—Application to the Count de Provence (Louis XVIII.),
Chapter III—Renewal of the War—England lays an Embargo on French Vessels—Napoleon retaliates by detaining British Subjects—Effects of this unprecedented Measure—Hanover and other places occupied by the French—Scheme of Invasion renewed—Napoleon’s Preparations—Defensive Measures of England,
Chapter IV—Disaffection begins to arise against Napoleon among the Soldiery—Purpose of setting up Moreau against him—Character of Moreau—Causes of his Estrangement from Buonaparte—Pichegru—The Duke d’Enghien—Georges Cadoudal, Pichegru, and other Royalists, landed in France—Desperate Enterprise of Georges—Defeated—Arrest of Moreau—of Pichegru—and Georges—Captain Wright—Duke d’Enghien seized at Strasburg—Hurried to Paris—Transferred to Vincennes—Tried by a Military Commission—Condemned—and Executed—Universal Horror of France and Europe—Buonaparte’s Vindication of his Conduct—His Defence considered—Pichegru found dead in his Prison—Attempt to explain his Death by charging him with Suicide—Captain Wright found with his Throat cut—A similar Attempt made—Georges and other Conspirators Tried—Condemned—and Executed—Royalists Silenced—Moreau sent into Exile,
Chapter V—General Indignation of Europe in consequence of the Murder of the Duke d’Enghien—Russia complains to Talleyrand of the Violation of Baden—and, along with Sweden, Remonstrates in a Note laid before the German Diet—but without effect—Charges brought by Buonaparte against Mr. Drake and Mr. Spencer Smith—who are accordingly Dismissed from the Courts of Stuttgard and Munich—Seizure—Imprisonment—and Dismissal of Sir George Rumbold, the British Envoy at Lower Saxony—Treachery attempted against Lord Elgin, by the Agents of Buonaparte—Details—Defeated by the Exemplary Prudence of that Nobleman—These Charges brought before the House of Commons—and peremptorily Denied by the Chancellor of the Exchequer,
Chapter VI—Napoleon meditates a change of title from Chief Consul to Emperor—A Motion to this purpose brought forward in the Tribunate—Opposed by Carnot—Adopted by the Tribunate and Senate—Outline of the New System—Coldly received by the People—Napoleon visits Boulogne, Aix-la-Chapelle, and the Frontiers of Germany, where he is received with respect—The Coronation—Pius VII. is summoned from Rome to perform the Ceremony at Paris—Details—Reflections—Changes that took place in Italy—Napoleon appointed Sovereign of Italy, and Crowned at Milan—Genoa annexed to France,
Chapter VII—Napoleon addresses a Second Letter to the King of England personally—Answered by the British Secretary of State to Talleyrand—Alliance formed betwixt Russia and England—Prussia keeps aloof, and the Emperor Alexander visits Berlin—Austria prepares for War, and marches an Army into Bavaria—Her impolicy in prematurely commencing Hostilities, and in her Conduct to Bavaria—Unsoldierlike Conduct of the Austrian General Mack—Buonaparte is joined by the Electors of Bavaria and Wirtemberg, and the Duke of Baden—Skilful Manœuvres of the French Generals, and successive losses of the Austrians—Napoleon violates the Neutrality of Prussia, by marching through Anspach and Bareuth—Further Losses of the Austrian Leaders, and consequent Disunion among them—Mack is cooped up in Ulm—Issues a formidable Declaration on the 16th October—and surrenders on the following day—Fatal Results of this Man’s Poltroonery, want of Skill, and probable Treachery,
Chapter VIII—Position of the French Armies—Napoleon advances towards {v}Vienna—The Emperor Francis leaves his Capital—French enter Vienna on 13th November—Review of the French Successes in Italy and the Tyrol—Schemes of Napoleon to force on a General Battle—Battle of Austerlitz is fought on the 2d December, and the combined Austro-Russian Armies completely Defeated—Interview betwixt the Emperor of Austria and Napoleon—The Emperor Alexander retreats towards Russia—Treaty of Presburgh signed on the 26th December—Its Conditions—Fate of the King of Sweden—and of the Two Sicilies,
Chapter IX—Relative situations of France and England—Hostilities commenced with Spain, by the Stoppage, by Commodore Moore, of four Spanish Galleons, when three of their escort were taken, and one blew up—Napoleon’s Plan of Invasion stated and discussed—John Clerk of Eldin’s great System of Breaking the Line, explained—The French Admiral, Villeneuve, forms a junction with the Spanish Fleet under Gravina—Attacked and Defeated by Sir Robert Calder—Nelson appointed to the Command in the Mediterranean—Battle of Trafalgar, fought 21st October, 1805—Death of Nelson—Behaviour of Napoleon on learning the Intelligence of this signal Defeat—Villeneuve commits Suicide—Address of Buonaparte to the Legislative Body—Statement of M. de Champagny on the Internal Improvements of France—Elevation of Napoleon’s Brothers, Louis and Joseph, to the Thrones of Holland and Naples—Principality of Lucca conferred on Eliza, the eldest Sister of Buonaparte, and that of Guastalla on Pauline, the youngest—Other Alliances made by his family—Napoleon appoints a new Hereditary Nobility—Converts from the old Noblesse anxiously sought for and liberally rewarded—Confederation of the Rhine established, and Napoleon appointed Protector—The Emperor of Austria lays aside the Imperial Crown of Germany, retaining only the Title of Emperor of Austria—Vacillating and Impolitic Conduct of Prussia,
Chapter X—Death of Pitt—He is succeeded by Fox as Prime Minister—Negotiation with France—The Earl of Lauderdale sent to Paris as the British Negotiator—Negotiation broken off, in consequence of the refusal of England to cede Sicily to France—Temporizing Policy of Prussia—An attempt made by her to form a Confederacy in opposition to that of the Rhine, defeated by Napoleon—General Disposition of the Prussians to War—Legal Murder of Palm, a Bookseller—The Emperor Alexander again visits Berlin—Prussia begins to arm in August 1806, and after some Negotiation, takes the field in October, under the Duke of Brunswick—Impolicy of the Plans of the Campaign—Details—Action at Saalfeld—Battle of Auerstadt, or Jena, on 14th October—Duke of Brunswick mortally wounded—Consequences of this total Defeat—Buonaparte takes possession of Berlin on the 25th—Situations of Austria and Prussia, after their several Defeats—Reflections on the fall of Prussia,
Chapter XI—Ungenerous Conduct of Buonaparte to the Duke of Brunswick—The approach of the French Troops to Brunswick compels the dying Prince to cause himself to be carried to Altona, where he expires—Oath of revenge taken by his son—At Potsdam and Berlin, the {vi}proceedings of Napoleon are equally cruel and vindictive—His Clemency towards the Prince of Hatzfeld—His Treatment of the Lesser Powers—Jerome Buonaparte—Seizure of Hamburgh—Berlin Decrees against British Commerce—Napoleon rejects all Application from the Continental Commercial Towns to Relax or Repeal them—Commerce, nevertheless, flourishes in spite of them—Second anticipation called for of the Conscription for 1807—The King of Prussia applies for an Armistice, which is clogged with such harsh Terms, that he refuses them,
Chapter XII—Retrospect of the Partition of Poland—Napoleon receives Addresses from Poland, which he evades—He advances into Poland, Bennigsen Retreating before him—Character of the Russian Soldiery—The Cossacks—Engagement at Pultusk, on 26th November, terminating to the disadvantage of the French—Bennigsen continues his Retreat—The French go into Winter Quarters—Bennigsen appointed Commander-in-chief in the place of Kaminskoy, who shows symptoms of Insanity—He resumes Offensive Operations—Battle of Eylau, 8th February, 1807—Claimed as a Victory by both Parties—The loss on both sides amounts to 50,000 men killed, the greater part Frenchmen—Bennigsen Retreats upon Königsberg—Napoleon offers favourable terms for an Armistice to the King of Prussia, who refuses to Treat, save for a General Peace—Napoleon falls back to the line of the Vistula—Dantzick is besieged, and Surrenders—Russian Army is poorly recruited—the French powerfully—Actions during the Summer—Battle of Heilsberg, and Retreat of the Russians—Battle of Friedland, 14th June—An Armistice takes place on the 23d,
Chapter XIII—British Expedition to Calabria, under Sir John Stuart—Character of the People—Opposed by General Reynier—Battle of Maida, 4th July, 1806—Defeat of the French—Calabria evacuated by the British—Erroneous Commercial Views, and Military Plans, of the British Ministry—Unsuccessful Attack on Buenos Ayres—General Whitelocke—is Cashiered—Expedition against Turkey, and its Dependencies—Admiral Duckworth’s Squadron sent against Constantinople—Passes and repasses the Dardanelles, without accomplishing anything—Expedition against Alexandria—Rosetta attacked—British Troops defeated, and withdrawn from Egypt, September, 1807—Curaçoa and Cape of Good Hope taken, by England—British Expedition against Copenhagen—its Citadel, Forts, and Fleet, surrendered to the British—Effects of this proceeding upon France and Russia—Coalition of France, Russia, Austria, and Prussia, against British Commerce,
Chapter XIV—View of the Internal Government of Napoleon at the period of the Peace of Tilsit—The Tribunate abolished—Council of State—Prefectures—Their nature and object described—The Code Napoleon—Its Provisions—Its Merits and Defects—Comparison betwixt that Code and the Jurisprudence of England—Laudable efforts of Napoleon to carry it into effect,
Chapter XV—System of Education introduced into France by Napoleon—National University—its nature and objects—Lyceums—Proposed {vii}Establishment at Meudon,
Chapter XVI—Military Details—Plan of the Conscription—Its Nature—and Effects—Enforced with unsparing rigour—Its Influence upon the General Character of the French Soldiery—New mode of Conducting Hostilities introduced by the Revolution—Constitution of the French Armies, Forced Marches—La Maraude—Its Nature—and Effects—on the Enemy’s Country, and on the French Soldiers themselves—Policy of Napoleon, in his Personal Conduct to his Officers and Soldiers—Altered Character of the French Soldiery during, and after, the Revolution,
Chapter XVII—Effects of the Peace of Tilsit—Napoleon’s Views of a State of Peace—Contrasted with those of England—The Continental System—Berlin and Milan Decrees—British Orders in Council—Spain—Retrospect of the Relations of that Country with France since the Revolution—Godoy—his Influence—Character—and Political Views—Ferdinand, Prince of Asturias, applies to Napoleon for Aid—Affairs of Portugal—Treaty of Fontainbleau—Departure of the Prince Regent for Brazil—Entrance of Junot into Lisbon—His unbounded rapacity—Disturbances at Madrid—Ferdinand detected in a Plot against his Father, and Imprisoned—King Charles applies to Napoleon—Wily Policy of Buonaparte—Orders the French Army to enter Spain,
Chapter XVIII—Pampeluna, Barcelona, Montjouy, and St. Sebastians, are fraudulently seized by the French—King Charles proposes to sail for South America—Insurrection at Aranjuez—Charles resigns the Crown in favour of Ferdinand—Murat enters Madrid—Charles disavows his Resignation—General Savary arrives at Madrid—Napoleon’s Letter to Murat, touching the Invasion of Spain—Ferdinand sets out to meet Napoleon—Halts at Vittoria, and learns too late Napoleon’s designs against him—Joins Buonaparte at Bayonne—Napoleon opens his designs to Escoiquiz and Cevallos, both of whom he finds intractable—He sends for Charles, his Queen, and Godoy, to Bayonne—Ferdinand is induced to Abdicate the Crown in favour of his Father, who resigns it next day to Napoleon—This transfer is reluctantly confirmed by Ferdinand, who, with his Brothers, is sent to splendid Imprisonment at Valençay—Joseph Buonaparte is appointed to the Throne of Spain, and joins Napoleon at Bayonne—Assembly of Notables convoked,
Chapter XIX—State of Morals and Manners in Spain—The Nobility—The Middle Classes—The Lower Ranks—The indignation of the People strongly excited against the French—Insurrection at Madrid on the 2d May—Murat proclaims an Amnesty, notwithstanding which, many Spanish prisoners are put to Death—King Charles appoints Murat Lieutenant-General of the Kingdom, and Ferdinand’s Resignation of the Throne is announced—Murat unfolds the Plan of Government to the Council of Castile, and Addresses of Submission are sent to Buonaparte from various quarters—Notables appointed to meet at Bayonne on 15th June—The Flame of Resistance becomes Universal throughout Spain,
Chapter XX—Plans of Defence of the Spanish Juntas—Defeated by the ardour of the Insurrectionary Armies—Cruelty of the French Troops, and Inveteracy of the Spaniards—Successes of the Invaders—Defeat of {viii}Rio Secco—Exultation of Napoleon—Joseph enters Madrid—His Reception—Duhesme compelled to Retreat to Barcelona, and Moncey from before Valencia—Defeat of Dupont by Castanos at Baylen—His Army Surrenders Prisoners of War—Effects of this Victory and Capitulation—Unreasonable Expectations of the British Public—Joseph leaves Madrid, and Retires to Vittoria—Defence of Zaragossa,
Chapter XXI—Zeal of Britain with regard to the Spanish struggle—It is Resolved to send an Expedition to Portugal—Retrospect of what had passed in that Country—Portuguese Assembly of Notables summoned to Bayonne—Their Singular Audience of Buonaparte—Effects of the Spanish Success on Portugal—Sir Arthur Wellesley—His Character as a General—Despatched at the Head of the Expedition to Portugal—Attacks and Defeats the French at Roriça—Battle and Victory of Vimeiro—Sir Harry Burrard Neale assumes the Command, and frustrates the Results proposed by Sir Arthur Wellesley from the Battle—Sir Harry Burrard is superseded by Sir Hew Dalrymple—Convention of Cintra—Its Unpopularity in England—A Court of Inquiry is held,
ChapterXXII—Duplicity of Buonaparte on his return to Paris—Official Statements in the Moniteur—Reports issued by Champagny, Minister of the Foreign Department—French Relations with the different Powers of Europe—Spirit of Resistance throughout Germany—Russia—Napoleon and Alexander meet at Erfurt on 27th September, and separate in apparent Friendship on 17th October—Actual feelings of the Autocrats—Their joint Letter to the King of Great Britain proposing a General Peace on the Principle of uti possidetis—Why rejected—Procedure in Spain—Catalonia—Return of Romana to Spain—Armies of Blake, Castanos, and Palafox—Expedition of General Moore—His desponding Views of the Spanish Cause—His Plans—Defeat of Blake—and Castanos—Treachery of Morla—Sir John Moore Retreats to Corunna—Disasters on the March—Battle of Corunna, and Death of Sir John Moore,
Chapter XXIII—General Belliard occupies Madrid—Napoleon returns to France—Cause of his hurried Return—View of the Circumstances leading to a Rupture with Austria—Feelings of Russia upon this occasion—Secret intrigues of Talleyrand to preserve Peace—Immense exertions made by Austria—Counter efforts of Buonaparte—The Austrian army enters Bavaria, 9th April, 1809—Napoleon hastens to meet them—Austrians defeated at Abensberg on the 20th—and at Eckmühl on the 22d—They are driven out of Ratisbon on the 23d—The Archduke Charles Retreats into Bohemia—Napoleon pushes forward to Vienna, which, after a brief Defence, is occupied by the French on the 12th of May—Retrospect of the events of the War in Poland, Italy, the North of Germany, and the Tyrol—Enterprises of Schill—Of the Duke of Brunswick Oels—Movements in the Tyrol—Character and Manners of the Tyrolese—Retreat of the Archduke John into Hungary,
Chapter XXIV—Position of the French and Austrian Armies after the Battle of Eckmühl—Napoleon crosses the Danube—Great Conflict at {ix}Asperne, when victory was claimed by both Parties—Battle of Wagram, fought 6th July—Armistice concluded at Znaim—Close of the Career of Schill and the Duke of Brunswick Oels—Defence of the Tyrol—Its final unfortunate Result—Growing Resistance throughout Germany—Its effects on Buonaparte—He Publishes a singular Manifesto in the Moniteur,
Appendix No. I—Instructions by Napoleon to Talleyrand, Prince of Beneventum
Appendix No. II—Further Particulars concerning the Arrest, Trial, and Death of the Duke d’Enghien,

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