Puslapio vaizdai

regarded his high estate not as a gift from the Emperor, but as a right. He ruled the land assigned him, if not in his own interest, at least not in that of the Empire, and from the outset filled his letters with bitter complaints of all that entered into his lot, not excepting his wife. Napoleon admonished and threatened, but to no avail. The interests of his own royalty and of the Dutch were nearer to Louis than those of the Empire.

At last the Emperor hinted that the air of Holland did not agree with its monarch, indicating that his policy required it to be incorporated with France. In March, 1808, he offered the crown of Spain as a substitute. A little later the suggestion was made that Louis might have the Hanseatic towns in exchange for Brabant and Zealand. Both propositions were scouted. When we remember who the potentates were by whom such offers were made and refused, we must dismiss all notions of patriotism, uprightness, and loyalty in either, and attribute the result to petulance on the part of the younger. Napoleon was highly incensed. On the failure of the Walcheren expedition, both Brabant and Zealand were occupied by French troops, and Louis was summoned to Paris. His first desperate thought was one of resistance, but on reflection he obeyed. On his arrival he learned that his fate was imminent. Napoleon announced to the legislature that a change in the relations with Holland was imperative. The Minister of the Interior explained that, as being the alluvium of three French rivers, the Rhine, the Meuse, and the Scheldt, that land was by nature a portion of France, one of the great imperial arteries. Louis sought to flee, but was detained. He at once despatched the Count de Bylandt with orders to close the Dutch frontier fortresses and the capital against the entry of French troops. This was done, but Louis's defiance was short. After signing a treaty which bound him, among other things, to open his fortresses, seize all «neutralized » and even all neutral vessels in his harbors, including those of the United States, a document which thus left him only a nominal throne, - he was permitted early in April, 1810, to return to Amsterdam.

Napoleon's subsequent course was dictated by what might appear to be a sudden change of view, but was in reality a revival of his perennial hopes for peace with England. Having in mind the annexation of Holland, it occurred to him that by desisting from that course he might wrench from England the lasting peace which she had thus far refused. Accordingly he ordered his brother to open

a negotiation with that country; he was to represent his kingdom as in danger of annihilation unless the British government would consent to a cessation of hostilities and an enduring treaty of peace. This was done, and though Labouchère, Louis's agent, had so little to offer that his propositions were farcical, yet there was at least the show of a diplomatic negotiation. At this juncture the superserviceable Mephistopheles of the Empire, Fouché, intervened. By an agent of his own he approached the cabinet of St. James with an offer of peace on the basis of restoring the Spanish Bourbons and compensating Louis XVIII by a kingdom to be carved from the territories of the United States!

The agent of Fouché reached London somewhat ahead of the one sent by Louis. He was firmly sent to the right about. Labouchère was then told that before entering further on the question, a proposition for peace must be formulated and presented, not by the King of Holland, but by the Emperor. The failure of the Walcheren expedition had exasperated England, Canning had fallen, and Lord Wellesley, his successor, represented a powerful sentiment for the continuation of the war. Napoleon replied, therefore, by a note suggesting not a definitive peace, but a step toward it. If England would withdraw the orders in council of 1807, he would evacuate Holland and the Hanseatic towns. His note closed with a characteristic threat. If England should delay, having already lost her trade with Naples, Spain, Portugal, and the port of Triest, she would now lose that with Holland, the Hanseatic towns, and Sicily.

Nothing dismayed by his first rebuff, the audacious Fouché again intervened. This time he selected Ouvrard, a friend of Labouchère's and of his own, a man well known as a stormy petrel of intrigue, to operate insidiously through the accredited envoy, who innocently supposed his friend to be representing Napoleon's own views. There was consequently but little sense of restraint in the renewed negotiation. Virtually the entire Continental situation was considered as open, and Fouché's pet scheme of an American kingdom for Louis XVIII was further amplified by the suggestion of an Anglo-French expedition to establish it. Labouchère having returned to Holland, much of the negotiation had been carried on by letter, and Napoleon, getting wind during his Belgian visit of Ouvrard's presence, suspected trickery and called for the correspondence. Its very existence enraged him; that such matters should have been put in writing was compromising

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to his entire policy. Ouvrard afterward declared that he personally informed the Emperor of what was going on, but he could never prove it; the only basis which can be found for his statement consists in the seizure of some hundred and thirty American vessels lying in Continental harbors: but base as that deed was, it proves nothing.

The Embargo Act, passed in 1807 by the American Congress, had been entirely to Napoleon's liking, as is proved by the Bayonne decree of 1808, which ordered the seizure and sale in French harbors of all American ships transgressing it; but the Non-intercourse Act of March 1, 1809, enabled a vessel holding both a French and a British license, if provided likewise with «simulated » papers of any neutral state, to trade in British goods almost without restriction. This Napoleon chose to consider as open hostility, and under the Rambouillet decree of March 23, 1810, American vessels, with their cargoes, worth together over $8,000,000, were seized. His dealings with the United States were very irregular: between 1802 and 1811, on one pretext or another, 558 ships flying their flag were seized in French harbors; and the number seized in those of Holland, Spain, Denmark, and Naples was also very large; but during the same period Great Britain seized 917, and there is no proof that Napoleon intended anything more than forcing the transatlantic republic into hostility with England.

For a moment the Emperor of the French contemplated bringing Fouché to trial for his treasonable practices in Holland; but dreading possible revelations, he contented himself with removing the intriguer from office. Savary, who admits that he was dreaded more than the pest, was appointed minister of police. So persistent was Louis in preferring a Dutch policy to the advantage of the Empire, that Napoleon's scorn finally burst all bounds, and after writing an abusive letter he despatched an army to seize Amsterdam. Louis thought of resistance, but his council convinced him how futile such a course would be. The dispirited King abdicated in favor of his son, and fled to Teplitz, in Bohemia. For some days the fugitive's whereabouts were unknown; and to stem the tide of ugly gossip which at once set in, a circular was issued to the French representatives throughout Europe, explaining that the King of Holland must be excused as being a chronic invalid. About the same time Lucien found that domicile in a French department, as Rome then was, might be unpleasant, and set sail for America. His ship was captured by a British cruiser, and he spent the

succeeding years until 1814 in an agreeable captivity in England. On July 9, 1810, a laconic imperial decree was published, stating that Holland was henceforth a portion of the Empire.

Louis had been an admirable ruler, introducing many reforms into Dutch administration. When the people began to suffer under the rigid enforcement of the Continental blockade, his sympathies were with them, and not with Napoleon. To those who were under the influence of the national sentiment now growing so strong everywhere it seemed a dastardly deed to drive him from his throne. But Napoleon could tolerate no independence when his fate depended on the concentration of all his powers. «What was I to do?» he exclaimed at St. Helena. «Leave Holland to the enemy? Nominate a new king?» From his standpoint only one answer can be given to these questions. During the four years of French administration in the country the public debt was scaled from 80,000,000 to 20,000,000 francs, all disorders were suppressed, and by the exercise of rigid economy a certain quiet well-being was assured to the people, which they could never have secured under Louis. The Napoleon brothers and sisters had all come to think and behave like dynastic sovereigns, independent by the grace of God. «Relatives and cousins, male or female, all worthless,» he had said in the previous autumn to Metternich; «I should not have left a throne in existence, even for my brothers.» In pursuance of this policy, Spain as far as the Ebro was annexed to the Empire in March, 1810, and the whole North Sea coast as far as Lübeck in the following December; and the Duke of Oldenburg, the Czar's new brother-in-law, was dethroned. Joseph was furious, Jerome sullen, Alexander more bitter than ever. Valais, too, was transformed into the department of the Simplon, and this, together with the four erected out of the North Sea coast, brought the limits of Napoleonic empire to their greatest extent. The Illyrian provinces and the Ionian Isles were held as military outposts. Biscay, Navarre, Aragon, and Catalonia were also administered by martial law. Murat was made king of Naples; the infant Louis succeeded him as grand duke of Berg; Élise was grand duchess of Tuscany, princess of Lucca and Piombino; Pauline was duchess of Guastalla. These states, together with Westphalia, Spain, Neuchâtel, Benevento, Italy, the Confederation of the Rhine, the Helvetian Republic, Bavaria, Saxony, Würtemberg, and Denmark, with Norway, were all vassal powers. Rome, Genoa, Parma, Florence, Siena, Leghorn, Osna



brück, Münster, Bremen, and Hamburg were capitals of French departments; the total number of such administrative divisions now reached 130.

The mastery of such an empire with such an extent of sea-coast seemed to realize the dreams of the Revolution leaders, who in 1796 had determined to close the Continent to British commerce. By the two decrees of August 5 and October 18, 1810, issued respectively from the Trianon and from Fontainebleau, the system was apparently completed. English wares were seized wherever found, even within a limit four miles beyond the imperial borders in all directions; smugglers were mercilessly hunted down; and the holders of licenses alone could bring in colonial products. Frederick VI, King of Denmark, remembered the English outrage on Copenhagen in 1807, and was Napoleon's ardent supporter, closing the Danish and Norwegian ports against British commerce. He hoped by compliance to secure Sweden for his crown. Charles XIII of Sweden was also Napoleon's friend, but his people had not been exasperated like the Danes, and were independent. Their king being childless, the notables had cast about for a successor likely to please Napoleon, and had fixed upon Bernadotte! Endeared to all the Swedes by his considerate kindliness to the Pomeranians when commander of the French armies in that province, they remembered that he was King Joseph's brother-in-law, and believed that an old associate of Napoleon would, as their ruler, insure them high consideration and delicate treatment by the monarch of the great Western empire. The Emperor was, of course, secretly furious; but Bernadotte was too dangerous, too well informed, to be thwarted, and accordingly he became crown prince of Sweden. Desiring to compensate his new country for her loss of Finland, he asked for Norway; but Denmark could not be alienated, and the request was denied. Thwarted in this, the sometime Jacobin, but now heir apparent to a throne under the style of Charles John, began immediately after his installation at Stockholm to vent his spleen on Napoleon. The jealous and vigilant Czar offered, in December, 1810, the coveted domain in return for Sweden's alliance. Her steadfastness to the French alliance was thus rendered doubly insecure.


It would be idle to suppose that during the winter of 1810-11 the Spanish situation was

not thoroughly appreciated by the imperial bridegroom at Paris, or that he underrated the ultimate effects of what was taking place in the Iberian peninsula. Joseph was totally disenchanted, and, tormenting his brother with querulous criticism of the French troops, insisted upon a more pacific procedure. Napoleon's reply was to prepare an act of abdication for the King of Spain, and to announce that the country was to be made a French department. The Spanish people were thoroughly roused, and England redoubled her energies. Masséna had shown his brilliant qualities in the highest light throughout the Austrian campaign, and as the greatest of the marshals was appointed to take command in Spain. With him went the imperial guard and other reinforcements, which brought the number of French troops in the peninsula to a total, on paper, of 80,000 men, of which about 50,000 were effective. By the arrival of a corps under Hill to reinforce Wellington, and including about 25,000 Portuguese, the latter had approximately the same number. The Peninsular campaign of 1810 opened in June by Masséna's appearance before Ciudad Rodrigo, which, after a stubborn resistance of about five weeks, surrendered on July 10. The French next beleaguered the strong frontier fortress of Almeida, and that also fell about the beginning of September. Wellington conducted his retreat, which was thus enforced, with great skill, defeating an attack made on his rear-guard at Busaco on September 27. Masséna still pressed on, but on October 9 was, unexpectedly to himself, brought to a stand before the impregnable lines of Torres Vedras, long since constructed by Wellington to protect Lisbon.

Soult, having won a decisive victory over the Spaniards at Ocaña on November 19, 1809, had advanced into Andalusia. His orders were to unite with Masséna for an overwhelming effort. But, sullen because superseded by Masséna, he began a weary, ineffectual siege of Cadiz, and remained there until, having received a virtual reprimand from Napoleon, he took half his force and captured Badajoz. Even then he failed to join Masséna. The news that his two greatest marshals had successively come short in their tasks embittered Napoleon to the verge of desperation. But the annexation of the North Sea coast had involved him in a diplomatic conflict with Russia, his domestic affairs occupied him for the moment to the exclusion of everything not immediately pressing, and he failed to reinforce Masséna. Throughout the winter both the French and

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