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“ he had been informed that when Grouchy telegraphed the capture of the Duke D'Angoulêsme, an order was instantly returned that whatever property was found in his possession should be instantly restored to him.
Who, in short, after all these convincing testimonies respecting this calumniated good man can help, if he is an Englishman, and has a single spark of patriotism in his bosom, lamenting that “ the enjoyment of the field sports in England,” which Mr. Warden tells us was anticipated by him with so much pleasure, should have been denied him by a narrow and timid policy. What a pattern of a country gentleman we have thus lost for ever! To have admitted such a denizen amongst us would certainly have diverted the minds of the people from the distresses which succeeded to the war, and if it did not diffuse through all ranks a new spirit of loyalty and love of their country, would at least, in a very short time, have found ample employment for the poor at this season of commercial stagnation. However, the opportunity has been lost; and the loss is only perhaps to be repaired by the means so properly adopted by Mr. Warden and others for restoring the character of this injured man to its just estimation, and thus presenting to their countrymen a specimen of human excellence, so entirely worthy of their study and imitation.
That “ Buonaparte was the most decided sleeper on board the Northumberland” is one among the numerous collateral proofs of the repose of his spirits, and his untroubled conscience, and puts us very much in mind of those long and tranquil sleeps which appear to be enjoyed by the unfortunate gentlemen who have arrived at the last scene of their lives and labours in the cells of our prisoils.
Of the religion of Buonaparte Mr. Warden gives us to understand that it was of the most liberal and tolerating character. Of this, indeed, he gave an extraordinary proof when in Egypt, where he manifested, in the way we have above hinted at, the surprising versatility of his tact on this subject; and the probability is that he would have discovered, had he completed the subjugation of that country, the great neutral reconciling medium in which all religions might float at ease.
As the want of a proper spirit of gallantry had been imputed to this hero, we are told, on the authority of soine of his zealous champions, that this was a most groundless aspersion, as he was not only fond of his young wife, but gave her occasion to suspect his fondness for other women also; and Mr. Warden tells us that it was very well known that he admired the English ladies whom he saw from the gangway of the Bellerophon, and exclu- . sively the daughter of General Brown.
takes it up
: “Our great man,” says Mr. Warden, “seldom suffered a day. to pass without inquiries respecting the health of the crew.” Oh the tender-hearted man! to whom the happiness and lives of human beings were so precious! Even that sanative blood-letting, of which Mr. Warden appears to be so fond, he being as it should seem attached to the “Sangrado System,” had, to the ears of the gentle Ex-Emperor, a disagreeable sound. And yet how does the love of his kind appear to lord it over every other sentiment in the mind of this philanthropist, when, after being convinced by Mr. Warden “ of the good effects of the practice which he had so forcibly reprobated and ridiculed,” we find him exclaiming, whenever any of his own people were indisposed, “Oh bleed him, bleed him !” showing, in this instance, the admirable rapidity of his changes of sentiment, that could at once transport hinı from a decided objection to parting with blood in any case, to the consideration of this fluid as little better than a burdensome superfluity, and the practice of taking it by pounds from the system as of universal use. It is thus that these great men dispose of difficulties, and of their fellow creatures. There is no mediocrity in medicine when one of these heroes
If he lets blood he does it effectually, and, like the famous Dr. Last, applies his lancet to the jugular vein, or goes at once to the fountain-head and pricks the left ventricle of the heart. For what reason it is impossible to say, this sanguinary topic appears to be a very favourite one with Mr. Warden and Buonaparte. “I must beg leave to return to the subject of blood-letting,” says Mr. Warden, and he forthwith relates to us the substance of a pretty long conversation, in which his hero gives additional “ proof of his curiosity or anxiety, or perhaps both of them, respecting it.” In this conversation the surgeon recommends the bloody work so strongly to the Ex-Emperor that one shudders lest, upon a principle of humanity, carried to that excess into which such minds are apt to run, should he ever regain his
power, he may be for practising phlebotomy on rather too large a scale. We cannot help remembering on this occasion the prophecy of the witches in the play of Macbeth, “ he must, he will, he shall spill much more blood ;-and become worse to make his title good.”
We have in the ensuing letter a conversation which passed on the Sunday at the Admiral's table on the subject of divinity, between the Chaplain and the Chieftain, beyond measure edifying; in which the part borne by the learned Divine consists of answers to a string of very weighty questions on the tenets and rites of the churches of En Lind and Scotland. The improvement which this interesting personage must necessarily have derived from the alternate instruction of these learned professors of divinity and medicine, makes it a more painful subject of regret that he is destined to consume his valuable life at such a distance from our shores. Among other peculiarities of this extraordinary man,' we are informed by Mr. Warden that when others laughed around him “ he never caught the pleasing infection;" not even the gambols of a large Newfoundland dog 66 ever won a smile from the Ex-Imperial spectator.” In this respect he exceeded the inflexibility of the old Roman, who never laughed but once, and that was at an ass devouring delicacies. The gravity of that man must truly have been great, who could have witnessed the scenes on board the Northumberland without feeling the force of the ludicrous and absurd.
But our readers, who have not read Mr. Warden's memoir, must not infer from this fact respecting this great personage that there was the smallest tincture of severity in his composition: “ from the moment the Northumberland set sail from England, to its arrival at St. Helena,” Mr. Warden never saw any change in the placid countenance and unassuming manners of the distinguished shipmate;' “nor did I hear of a discontented look, or a peevish expression being remarked by any other person in the ship.” The same cheerful resignation marked the conduct and manners of this Christian hero during Mr. Warden's stay on the Island of St. Helena. His very pulse was below the ordinary standard of that of men less composed in their tempers. The natural quiescence of his mind controlled his temperament, and saved him doubtless from many an evacuation of his veins under. the discipline of Mr. Warden's favourite remedy, and perhaps from some kilderkins of hot water. There seems to be on the whole in the temperament of this person rather too little capability of excitement. And, after what we hear from Mr. Warden of his indisposition to laugh, we cannot but feel indignant at the accounts which the newspapers have given us of his peevishness at: cards, when playing with Misses for sugar-plums.
We have not much room for extracts, but we think our. readers will be amused with the account of our author's dining with Buonaparte; and that it will tend also to show the sort of effect which these honours had on the grateful heart of the admiring visitor.
“ A very short time before dinner was announced, General Montholon whispered in my ear, that I was to take my seat at table between the Emperor and the Grand Marshal.—Here are honours for you, and I will give you leave to figure your plain, humble, unassuming friend in his elevated station. I cannot say that my situation resembled that of Sancho Pancha, because every dish was at my service; but a piece of roast beef, or a leg of mutton with caper sauce,' would have afforded a relief to my appetite, which has never been fa:)
miliarised with ragouts and fricassees.-I had Napoleon on my right, and the Marshal on my left; and there was a vacant chair, that had the air of ceremonious emptiness, as a reserved seat for Maria Louisa. A bottle of claret and a decanter of water were placed by each plate: but there was no drinking to each other at dinner ; and if you did not help yourself during the time it lasted, the opportunity would be lost, as the wine vanished with the eatables. The service of porcelain far exceeds in beauty whatever of that kind I have beheld." The silver plate is massive, and decorated with eagles in curious abundance; the gold service appeared in the desert. The entertainment lasted about an hour, and so frequent were the questions of my host, that from the perplexity I suffered in conjuring up answers to them, I scarce knew what I eat or what I drank. - I will endeavour to give you a general specimen of his convivial inquiries.
"-Have you visited General Gourgond?-Yes, General, I came to Longwood for that purpose.—How have you found him?-Extremely ill.-What is his disorder ?–Dysentery.-- Where is its seat ?-In the intestines.- What has been the cause ?-Heat of climate on a constitution peculiarly predisposed; but remove the cause and the effect
Had he been bled in the first instance, it is probable that the disease would have been less violent. - What remedy is now proposed ?- The functions of the liver and other viscera are deranged: to restore them, therefore, to a healthy action, it will be necessary to have recourse to Mercury.--That is a bad medicine.-Experience has taught me the contrary. Did Hippocrates use it?-I believe not: he had great faith in simples.--Yet, he is considered as among the first physicians.--He might, nevertheless, have derived great advantages from modern discoveries.—Does not Nature endeavour to expel morbific matter ; and may not the present painful struggles be an effort of Nature to rid herself of what is obnoxious ?- I have been taught to assist Nature.- And could not you do so without having recourse to this dangerous mineral?-Experience has convinced me that Mercury, provided it produces salivation, is infallible. Then go on with your Mercury:
“-Have you lost many men on board the Northumberland ?-We have had the misfortune to lose several.—Of what disease? --Dysentery and inflammation of the liver.-Have you examined them after death? -Invariably. What was the appearance ?--Extensive suppurations of the liver in the one disease, and gangrene of the intestines in the other.- What is death, or how do you define death? -A suspension of the vital functions, the organs of respiration, and the action of the heart.-When does the soul quit the body!—That is a question I do not presume to answer with a precision which would satisfy you: for, in cases of suspended animation and in syncope, man is, to all appearance, dead; yet, by artificial means, resuscitation is produced and life preserved. When do you suppose that the soul enters the body?-I am not sufficiently skilled in metaphysics to give a satisfactory reply. The faculty of thought appears to be the dawning of the soul; and to whatever perfection reason attains, then the soul is most perfect, at least then man becomes the most responsible for his actions.-----Here the conversation ended to my great satisfaction, as it seemed to be taking a turn too profound for my philosophy: you will say, perhaps, that part of it was not calculated to whet the stomach of any one at dinner but a medical man. I fancy, however, that, to your appetite, it will prove a savoury dish.” (P. 113–117.)
After dinner cards succeeded, and here the soft and gentle temper of Buonaparte made itself again apparent:-Such was his good humour that it seemed, says Mr. Warden, “ as if he preferred losing his money."
We have next a scene presented to us in which the exalted subject of Mr. Warden's memoir is peculiarly at home;-in the humble and secluded mansion of a farmer, in a deep ravine, poetically named by Buonaparte himself the Valley of Silence. Alas ! how often are the accidents or arrangements of life opposed to the wiser designs and provisions of Nature. Mr. Warden has convinced us, by his relation of what passed upon this occasion between the simple tenants of this Arcadian retreat and the deposed Emperor, that Buonaparte's evil genius, by leading him to camps, sieges, and sanguinary fields, robbed the domestic circle, the social board, and the roof of content and innocence, of one who was by Nature destined and qualified to feel and reflect their virtuous joys. It is confessed, however, by Mr. Warden, that the daughter of the simple owners of this cottage
“ a flower of no common beauty," and that the visits of the great man became so frequent, that it was thought advisable to withdraw the temptation, notwithstanding the general languid state of his pulse.
After this interesting rustic scene, Mr. Warden treats us with a long and rather desultory conversation held by him with Buonaparte, which it is somewhat surprising that his memory should have so circumstantially retained. Upon this occasion Buonaparte enters into a general vindication of himself from all the charges which more particularly affect his character. The deaths of Wright and Pichegru, and-the Duke D’Enghien, and the mortality at Jaffa, all vanish as he successively touches them with the wand of truth; and, after such a complete purification of his character, it was but a confession, which he could well afford, thạt “ he ordered five hundred men of the garrison of El Arish to be drawn out and instantly shot.”.
We will present to our readers one short extract more, from which they will find that a sportive vein of infantine goodhumour was not wanting to complete the sum of the accomplishments of this amiable and interesting, as well as great and excellent man.
“ The carriage drove off at a pretty round pace, and the pleasantry of Napoleon seemed to keep pace with it. He began to talk English;