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The same personage, a high functionary, made the attempt a second and a third time, informing the Count that this would be the last occasion, and that his orders were express. “Make your conditions ; everything will be granted. . . . As to your persisting in your refusal, consider how this may give offence, and may give rise to severe measures being taken.” Even if the resolution of the Count had not been final, this threat would have made it so. . . . The First Consul, on a report of Berthier, . . . caused O'Connell to be arrested and imprisoned in the Temple.'
The coronation of Napoleon is described in these volumes, and the extravagant state of the Court of the Empire—the pomp of the German Cæsars in strange medley with the brilliancy and etiquette of Versailles, with results not pleasing to true or refined taste. But we may pass by a well-known subject. Thiébault condemns the appointments of more than half the marshals :
* Selections like these gave scandal, some not edifying; they tarnished the lustre which the great office of marshal would have had, had they not been made. ... I remember Masséna's answer to my congratulations, made half in anger, half in disdain. He jerked out, “There are fourteen of us !",
These mots of Decrès are new to us :
· He said of Talleyrand and his wealth, “Of course that man is rich; he sold all who bought him.” Fouché, by the orders of the First Consul, had placed spies among the servants of the ministers. Decrès having given a dinner, attended by numerous valets in rich liveries,” Fouché remarked, “Why, you hold the state of a grand seigneur.” “But it must cost you dear.” “Nay,"retorted Decrès, “ for you have to pay for it."
In the memorable campaign of 1805 Thiébault was attached to the fourth corps of Soult. He detested, as we have remarked, the marshal, and has left nothing undone to injure his fame. Like Fezensac and Marbot, he describes the excesses of the Grand Army in the march on Ulm ; he especially charges Soult with giving a free hand to rapine. This is probably true; Soult was a notorious plunderer; Napoleon said, at St. Helena, that he ought to have been shot. Thiébault declares that the marshal displaced his troops in order to prevent them discovering what sums he had levied from the celebrated religious house of St. Polten :
* Next morning General Saint-Hilaire told Morand and myself, or rather confirmed what we thought of this conduct. Saint-Hilaire had not made haste to set off; he had had time to hear the complaints of one of the monks, who, in a state of pitiable fear, had informed him that Marshal Soult had imposed an enormous fine on the abbey.'
Thiébault thus caricatures his commander poring over a map; the marshal was slow in thought, and not quick in conception ; but he, nevertheless, was a very able man:
"He lay stretched on a dinner table with several maps unrolled before him; he fumbled from one to the other, reading over and over again the orders he had received from the emperor. He did not seem to be aware of our presence. Three times, at long intervals, General Saint-Hilaire repeated the question what was to be done; we were fully half an hour waiting before the answer was made; the marshal had not stirred or turned aside his face.'
We need not follow the triumphant march on Vienna, the advance of the Grand Army into Moravia, the precipitate haste of the allies at Olmütz, the profound craft of Napoleon's strategy in assuming a timid defensive attitude, and luring his enemy on to make a disastrous attack. The following interesting and characteristic scene would show that Napoleon did not reveal to his own marshals the true reasons that induced him to fall back before Austerlitz; in fact he always treated his lieutenants as pawns on his board; and the consequences proved in the long run unfortunate-he deprived them of self-reliance and forethought:
· Marshal Lannes' opinion that a retreat was necessary could not be wanting in courage; no one was more frank, no one icre loyal. He took up his pen, and was ending his letter when the emperor came in. “Well, gentlemen, are we in a good position here ? ” were his first words. “We do not think so," replied Lannes, “and I was writing on the subject to your Majesty." The emperor at once took up the letter and read it. What,” he continued, "Lannes counsels retreat ? It is the first time I heard this from him. And what do you say, Marshal Soult?” Soult answered artfully, “ Whatever use your Majesty makes of the 4th Corps it will make a good account of double its numbers.” Lannes broke out into a passion, and exclaimed, “I only knew, as regards our position, what these gentlemen have told me.
The answer of Marshal Soult is blackguardism, and I must have satisfaciion for it." . .. Lannes went on treating Soult in the most offensive way. As for the cmperor, he did not trouble himself about this quarrel; he did not seem to notice it, but having walked up and down a few moments he stopped, and said, “I too am of opinion that in will be imperative to retreat." So saying he hastily left the room.'
Thiébault describes in detail the great day of Austerlitz; but the incidents of the battle are sufficiently known. Lannes had sent a challenge to Soult the evening before; this would hardly have occurred in another army :
"The emperor was on horseback long before day break; at eight he
had collected around him Prince Murat and Marshals Bernadotte, Lannes, Davout, Soult, Bessières, Oudinot, and Berthier. Notwithstanding the gravity of the occasion, and the impropriety of the act, Lannes had challenged Soult after the late scene, and had received no
Finding him present he said, " I thought you wore a sword, and I waited on you." Soult simply answered, “ We have something more important to do to-day.” Lannes retorted, “ You are a miserable coward."
The brigade of Thiébault was on the right of the corps of Soult, and felt perhaps the weightiest stress of the fight, for it was attacked by Kamenski and by Kollowrath's troops, the fourth column that had been told off for the great outflanking movement. Thiébault takes credit to himself for detecting a Russian division advancing in Bavarian uniform; he is honourably mentioned by Thiers in his history; he was severely wounded near the close of the battle. An incident connected with his wound may be noticed :
'I was placed on a kind of litter. I saw some unlucky Russians wandering about; I sent for them, and they carried me along. Some grenadiers of my brigade, though wounded, saw this, and, in spite of all I could say, drove away the Russians, took their places, and said it was for them to bear their general.'
Thiébault criticises Napoleon for not having made use of his reserves with more effect in the battle, and for not having pressed the Russians harder; but comments like these on Austerlitz may be passed by.
Chance made Thiébault a guest of Weyrother, the unfortunate officer who planned the attack of Austerlitz, one of the most ill-conceived ever made in war. Weyrother, he informs us, threw the blame on Kutusof; but the old Russian was not to blame; he protested against the turning movement which uncovered the decisive point, the tableland of Prätzen. After receiving the kindest treatment from Madame Weyrother, Thiébault was invalided and returned to Paris, where he found its world exulting in Napoleon's triumphs. He slowly recovered from his cruel wound, but gradually mingled again with the gay life of the capital. He was often a guest at the house of Murat; this anecdote is characteristic of the religious knowledge of the time:
Madame Murat was greatly amused at a question she asked my son ; no one will be gurprised at what was said, for the Revolution was still not long over. “Have you been baptised ?” He replied, “No, madam; but I have been vaccinated.” She added, “That is well; the one purifies the soul, the other the body.")
Napoleon's fortunes had reached their climax, yet think
ing people predicted their decline; indeed even before the campaign of Jena a good observer had said:
"" That youth will reach a throne or a scaffold. He knows how to subjugate; he does not know how to conciliate. His success and his origin will not be forgiven him. There is not a king who is not indignant at seeing him wear a crown, not a nation that forgives him, not a population that is not humiliated at having been trampled under his feet, not a living being who is not exasperated by his pride, and terrified by his ambition. This notion of re-establishing a vast empire, these epithets of the grand army, the great nation, mark as little everything not directly proceeding from him; nothing will stop him; he will not pause, whether in the course of prosperity or in the course of adversity. His enemies have only to wait.”'
Thiébault, though thwarted by Berthier, for a time, was made a general of division after Austerlitz, and was appointed Governor of Fulda after the rout of Jena. These interesting volumes end at this point: if not of great value, they are pleasant reading.
Art. VIII.-The Church of Sancta Sophia, Constantinople : a
Study of Byzantine Building. By W. R. LETHABY and HAROLD SWAINSON. London and New York: 1894. The edifices of Justinian, observes Gibbon, were
'cemented with the blood and treasure of his people; • but these stately structures appeared to announce the . prosperity of the empire, and actually displayed the skill
of their architects. The appeared' is significant. In free states, where the essential power resides with the representatives of the people, the production of great buildings is one of the most invariable results of an efflorescence of national prosperity. But under other conditions of government architectural splendour may be only the measure and the visible expression of the rapacity and ambition of the ruler; and there is a curious irony in the fact that we are indebted for what is, in some senses, the most wonderful architectural monument of the Christian era, to an unscrupulous and avaricious adventurer, whose reign was marked by oppression, pillage, and violence, and who, while dedicating his church to nothing less than “Holy Wisdom,' illustrated his own wisdom and holiness by selecting as the partner of his throne the most lewd and notorious barlot of his time. Mediæval superstition might have been excused for thinking it but a natural retribution that a Christian church founded under such auspices should have been permitted so soon to pass into the hands of the infidel.
Justinian and Theodora, however, are gone, and St. Sophia remains ; not, indeed, in its pristine splendour either of colour effect or of decorative adornment: time has dimmed the one, and the follower of Mahomet has disfigured the other by partial obliteration, by the display of enormous panels of texts in which the 'Arab's wisdom' assumes anything but a decorative form, and by the arrangement of carpeting in oblique lines normal to the axis of the line connecting Constantinople with Mecca. But the great domical structure remains intact, the supreme achievement of the style of architecture since classified as Byzantine;' a building in which the genius of Justinian's architect soared at one bound far beyond all that had been attempted in domed construction previously,* and which, in its own
• The Pantheon, which in its constructive method is really not so much a dome as a gigantic casting, was a comparatively simple con