Joseph Bonaparte - John S. C. Abbott

Diplomatic Labors

It was the year 1793. On the 21st of January the unfortunate and guilty Louis XVI. had been led to the guillotine. The Royalists had surrendered Toulon to the British fleet. A Republican army was sent to regain the important port. Joseph Bonaparte was commissioned on the staff of the major-general in command, and was slightly wounded in the attack upon Cape Brun. All France was in a state of terrible excitement. Allied Europe was on the march to crush the revolution. The armies of Austria, gathered in Italy, were threatening to cross the Alps. The nobles in France, and all who were in favor of aristocratic domination, were watching for an opportunity to join the Allies, overwhelm the revolutionists, and replace the Bourbon family on the throne.

The National Assembly, which had assumed the supreme command upon the dethronement of the king, was now giving place to another assembly gathered in Paris, called the National Convention. Napoleon was commissioned to obtain artillery and supplies for the troops composing the Army of Italy, who, few in numbers, quite undisciplined and feeble in the materials of war, were guarding the defiles of the Alps, to protect France from the threatened Austrian invasion in that quarter. He was soon after named general of brigade in the artillery, and was sent to aid the besieging army at Toulon. Madame Bonaparte and the younger children were at Marseilles, where Joseph and Napoleon, the natural guardians of the family, could more frequently visit them. On the last day of November of this year the British fleet was driven from the harbor of Toulon, and the city recaptured, as was universally admitted, by the genius of Napoleon.

In the year 1794 Joseph married Julie Clary, daughter of one of the wealthiest capitalists of Marseilles. Her sister Eugenie, to whom Napoleon was at that time much attached, afterward married Bernadotte, subsequently King of Sweden. Of Julie Clary the Duchess of Abrantes says:

"Madame Joseph Bonaparte is an angel of goodness. Pronounce her name, and all the indigent, all the unfortunate in Paris, Naples, and Madrid, will repeat it with blessings. Never did she hesitate a moment to set about what she conceived to be her duty. Accordingly she is adored by all about her, and especially by her own household. Her unalterable kindness, her active charity, gain her the love of every body."

The brothers kept up a very constant correspondence. These letters have been published unaltered. They attest the exalted and affectionate character of both the young men. Napoleon writes to Joseph on the 25th of June, 1795:

"In whatever circumstances fortune may place you, you well know, my dear friend, that you can never have a better friend, one to whom you will be more dear, and who desires more sincerely your happiness. Life is but a transient dream, which is soon dissipated. If you go away, to be absent any length of time, send me your portrait. We have lived so much together, so closely united, that our hearts are blended. I feel, in tracing these lines, emotions which I have seldom experienced; I feel that it will be a long time before we shall meet again, and I can not continue my letter."

Again Napoleon writes on the 12th of August: "As for me, but little attached to life, I contemplate it without much anxiety, finding myself constantly in the mood of mind in which one finds himself on the eve of battle, convinced that when death comes in the midst, to terminate all things, it is folly to indulge in solicitude."

In these letters we see gradually developed the supremacy of the mind of Napoleon, and that soon, almost instinctively, he is recognized as the head of the family. On the 6th of September he writes from Paris:

"I am very well pleased with Louis. He responds to my hopes, and to the expectations which I had formed for him. He is a fine fellow; ardor, vivacity, health, talent, exactness in business, kindness, he unites every thing. You know, my friend, that I live for the benefits which I can confer upon my family. If my hopes are favored by that good-fortune which has never abandoned my enterprises, I shall be able to render you happy, and to fulfill your desires. I feel keenly the absence of Louis. He was of. great service to me. Never was a man more active, more skillful, more winning. He could do at Paris whatever he wished."

None of the members of the Bonaparte family were ever ashamed to remind themselves of the days of their comparative poverty and obscurity. "One day," writes Louis Napoleon, now Napoleon III., "Joseph related that his brother Louis, for whom he had felt, from his infancy, all the cares and tenderness of a father, was about to leave Marseilles to go to school in Paris. Joseph accompanied him to the diligence. Just before the diligence started he perceived that it was quite cold, and that Louis had no overcoat. Not having then the means to purchase him one, and not wishing to expose his brother to the severity of the weather, he took off his own cloak and wrapped it around Louis. This action, which they mutually recalled when they were kings, had always remained engraved in the hearts of them both, as a tender souvenir of their constant intimacy."

Bonaparte Family


On the 6th of March, 1796, Napoleon was married to Josephine Beauharnais. "Thus vanished," writes Joseph Bonaparte, "the hope which my wife and I had cherished, for several years, of seeing her younger sister Eugenie united in marriage with my brother Napoleon. Time and separation disposed of the event otherwise."

A few days after Napoleon's marriage he took command of the Army of Italy, and hastened across the Alps to the scene of conflict. After the victory of Mondovi, Napoleon, cherishing the hope of detaching the Italians from the Austrians, sent Joseph to Paris to urge upon the Directory the importance of making peace with the Court of Turin. General Junot accompanied Joseph, to present to the Directory the flags captured from the enemy. The astonishing victories which Napoleon had gained excited boundless enthusiasm in Paris. Carnot, one of the Directors, gave a brilliant entertainment in honor of the two ambassadors, Joseph and Junot. During the dinner be opened his waistcoat and showed the portrait of Napoleon, which was suspended near his heart. Turning to Joseph, he said,

"Say to your brother that I wear his miniature there, because I foresee that he will be the saviour of France. To accomplish this, it is necessary that he should know that there is no one in the Directory who is not his admirer and his friend."

The measures which Napoleon had suggested were most cordially approved by all the members of the Government. One of the most important members of the Cabinet proposed that Joseph Bonaparte should immediately, upon the ratification of peace, he appointed ambassador of the French Republic to the Court of Turin. Joseph, with characteristic modesty, replied, that though he was desirous of entering upon a diplomatic career, he did not feel qualified to assume at once so important a post. He was however prevailed upon to enter upon the office.

From this mission, so successfully accomplished, Joseph returned to his brother, and joined him at his head-quarters in Milan. Napoleon pressed forward in his triumphant career, drove the Austrians out of Italy, and soon effected peace with Naples and with Rome.

Having accomplished these results, Napoleon immediately fitted out an expedition for the reconquest of Corsica, his native island, which the British fleet still held. The expedition was placed under the command of General Gentili. The troops sailed from Leghorn, and disembarked at Bastia. Joseph accompanied them. Immediately upon landing; the Corsicans generally rose and joined their deliverers, and the English retired in haste from the island. Joseph gives the following account of his return to his parental home:

"I was received by the great majority of the population at the distance of a league from Ajaccio. I took up my residence in the mansion of Ornano, where I resided for several weeks, until our parental homestead, which had been devastated, Was sufficiently repaired to be occupied. I could not detect the slightest trace of any unfriendly feelings toward our family. All the inhabitants, without any exception, hastened to greet me. In my turn, I reorganized the government without consulting any other voice than the public good. A commissioner from the Directory soon arrived, and he sanctioned, without any exception, all the measures which I had adopted:

"Having thus fulfilled, according to my best judgment, the mission which fraternal kindness had intrusted to me, and leaving our native island tranquil and happy in finding itself again restored to the laws of France, I prepared to return to the Continent, having made a sojourn in Corsica of three months."

On the 27th of March, 1797, Joseph was appointed ambassador to the Court of Parma.

He presented to the duke credentials from the Directory of the French Republic, containing the following sentiments:

"The desire which we have to maintain and to cherish the friendship and the kind relations happily established between the French Republic and the Duchy of Parma, has induced us to appoint Citizen Bonaparte to reside at the Court of your Royal Highness in quality of ambassador. The knowledge which we have of his principles and his sentiments is to us a sure guarantee that the choice which we have made of his person to fulfill that honorable mission will be agreeable to you, and we are well persuaded that he will do every thing in his power to justify the confidence we have placed in him. It is in that persuasion that we pray your Royal Highness to repose entire faith in every thing which he may say in our behalf,. and particularly whenever he may renew the assurance of the friendship with which we cherish your Royal Highness."

The Duke of Parma had married an Austrian duchess, sister of Maria Antoinette. She was an energetic woman in conjunction with the ecclesiastics, who crowded the palace, had great control over her husband. But the spirit of the French Revolution already pervaded many minds in Parma. Not a few were restive under the old feudal domination of the duke and the arrogance of the Church. One day Joseph was walking through the gardens of the ducal palace with several of the dignitaries of the Court. He spoke with admiration of the architectural grandeur and symmetry Of the regal mansion.

"That is true," one replied, "but turn your eyes to the neighboring convent; how far does it surpass in magnificence the palace of the sovereign! Unhappy is that country where things are so."

After the peace of Leoben Napoleon returned to Milan and established himself, for several months, at the chateau of Montebello. Joseph soon joined his brother there. In the mean time their eldest sister, Eliza, had been married to M. Bacciochi, a young officer of great distinction. He was afterward created a prince by Napoleon. He was a man of elegant manners, and had attained no little distinction in literary and artistic accomplishments.

"We have often been amused," say the authors of the "Napoleon Dynasty," "to see British writers, some of whom doubtless never passed beyond the Channel, speak depreciatingly of the manners and refinement of these new-made princes and nobles of Napoleon's Empire. Those who are familiar with the elegant manners of the refined Italians read such slurs with a smile. Whatever may be the crimes of the Italians, they have never been accused, by those who know them, of coarseness of manner, or lack of refinement of mind and taste. Eliza is said to have possessed more of her brother's genius than any other one of the sisters. Chateaubriand, La Harpe, Fontanes, and many other of the most illustrious men of France sought her society, and have expressed their admiration of her talents."

At Montebello the second sister, Pauline, was married to General Leclerc. Pauline was pronounced by Canova to be the most peerless model of grace and beauty in all Europe. The same envenomed pen of slander which has dared to calumniate even the immaculate Josephine has also been busy in traducing the character of Pauline. We here again quote from the "Napoleon Dynasty," by the Berkeley men:

"No satisfactory evidence has ever been adduced, in any quarter, that Pauline was not a virtuous woman. Those who were mainly instrumental in originating and circulating these slanders at the time about her, were the very persons who had endeavored to load the name of Josephine with obloquy. Those who saw her could not withhold their admiration. But the blood of Madame Mere was in her veins, and the Bonapartes, especially the women of the family, have always been too proud and haughty to degrade themselves. Even had they lacked what is technically called moral character, their virtue has been intrenched behind their ancestry, and the achievements of their own family; nor was there at any time an instant when any one of the Bonapartes could have overstepped, by a hair's breadth, the bounds of decency without being exposed. None of them pursued the noiseless tenor of their way along the vale of obscurity. They were walking in the clear sunshine, on the topmost summits of the earth, and millions of enemies were watching every step they took.

"The highest genius of historians, the bitterest satire of dramatists, the meanest and most malignant pens of the journalists have assailed them for more than half a century. We have written these words because a Republican is the only one likely to speak well even of the good things of the Bonaparte family. It was, and is, and will be, the dynasty of the people standing there from 1804 a fearful antagonism against the feudal age, and its souvenirs of oppression and crime."

On the 7th of May,1797, Joseph was promoted to the post of minister from the French Republic to the Court at Rome. He received instructions from his Government to make every effort to maintain friendly relations with that spiritual power, which exerted so vast an influence over the masses of Europe. Pope Pius VI. gave him a very cordial reception, and seemed well disposed to employ all his means of persuasion and authority to induce the Vendeans in France to accept the French Republic. The Vendeans, enthusiastic Catholics, and devoted to the Bourbons, were still, with amazing energy, perpetuating civil war in France. The Allies, ready to make use of any instrumentality whatever to crush republicanism, were doing every thing in their power to encourage the Vendeans in their rebellion. The Austrian ambassador at the Papal Court was unwearied in his endeavors to circumvent the peaceful mission of Joseph.

Though the Pope himself and his Secretary of State were inclined to amicable relations with the French Government, his Cabinet, the Sacred College, composed exclusively of ecclesiastics, was intent upon the restoration of the Bourbons, by which restoration alone the Catholic religion could be reinstated with exclusive power in France.

By the intrigues of Austria, General Provera, an Austrian officer, was placed in command of all the Papal forces. Joseph immediately communicated this fact to the Directory in Paris, and also to his brother. This Austrian officer had been fighting against the French in Italy, and had three times been taken prisoner by the French troops.

Napoleon, who had lost all confidence in the French Directory, and who, by virtue of his victories, had assumed the control of Italian diplomacy, immediately wrote as follows to Joseph:

"Milan, Dec. 14, 1797.

"I shared your indignation, citizen ambassador, when you informed me of the arrival of General Provera. You may declare positively to the Court of Rome that if it receive lute its service any officer known to have been in the service of the Emperor of Austria, all good understanding between France and Rome will cease from that hour, and war will be already declared.

"You will let it be known; by a special note to the Pope, which you will address to him in person, that although peace may be made with his majesty the Emperor, the French Republic will not consent that the Pope should accept among his troops any officer or agent belonging to the Emperor of any denomination, except the usual diplomatic agents. You will require the departure of M. Provera from the Roman territory within twenty-four hours, in default whereof you will declare that you quit Rome."

The spirit of the French Revolution at this time pervaded to a greater or less degree all the kingdoms of Europe. In Rome there was a very active party of Republicans anxious for a change of government. Napoleon did not wish to encourage this party in an insurrection. By so doing, he would exasperate still more the monarchs of Europe, who were already combined in deadly, hostility against republican France; neither did he think the Republican party in Rome sufficiently strong to maintain their cause, or the people sufficiently enlightened for self-government. Thus he was not at all disposed to favor any insurrectionary movements in Rome; neither was he disposed to render any aid whatever to the Papal Government in opposing those who were struggling for greater political liberty. He only demanded that France should be left by the other governments in Europe in entire liberty to choose her own institutions. And he did not wish that France should interfere, in any way whatever, with the internal affairs of other nations.

While Joseph was officiating as ambassador at Rome, endeavoring to promote friendly relations between the Papal See and the new French Republic, he was much embarrassed by the operations of two opposite and hostile parties of intriguants at that court. The Austrians, and all the other European cabinets, were endeavoring to influence the Pope to give his powerful moral support against the French Revolution. On the other hand there was a party of active revolutionists, both native and foreign, in Rome, struggling to rouse the populace to an insurrection against the Government, to overthrow the Papal power entirely, as France had overthrown the Bourbon power, and to establish a republic. These men hoped for the countenance and support of France. But Joseph Bonaparte could lend them no countenance. He was received as a friendly ambassador at that court, and could not without ignominy take part with conspirators to overthrow the Government. He was also bound to watch with the utmost care, and thwart, if possible, the efforts of the Austrians and other advocates of the old regime.

On the 27th of December three members of the revolutionary party called upon Joseph and informed him that during the night a revolution was to break out, and they wished to communicate the facet to him, that he might not be taken by surprise. Joseph reproved them, stating that he did not think it right for him, an ambassador at the Court of Rome, to listen to such a communication; and moreover he assured them that the movement was ill-timed, and that it could not prove successful.

They replied that they came to him for advice, for they hoped that republican France would protect them in their revolution as soon as it was accomplished. Joseph informed them that, as an impartial spectator, he should give an account to his Government of whatever scenes might occur, but that he could give them no encouragement whatever; that France was anxious to promote a general peace on the Continent, and would look with regret upon any occurrences which might retard that peace. He also repeated his assurance that the revolutionary party in Rome had by no means sufficient strength to attain their end, and he entreated them to desist from their purpose.

The committee were evidently impressed by his representations. They departed declaring that every thing should remain quiet for the present, and the night passed away in tranquillity. On the evening of the next day one of the Government party called, and confidentially informed Joseph that the blunderheads  were ridiculously contemplating a movement which would only involve them in ruin. The Papal Government, by means of spies, was not only informed of all the movements contemplated, but through these spies, as pretended revolutionists, the Government was actually aiding in getting up the insurrection, which it would promptly crush with a bloody hand.

At 4 o'clock the next morning Joseph was aroused from sleep by a messenger who informed him that about a hundred of the revolutionists had assembled at the villa Medici, where they were surrounded by the troops of the Pope. Joseph, who had given the revolutionists good advice in vain, turned upon his pillow and fell asleep again. In the morning he learned that there had been a slight conflict, that two of the Pope's dragoons had been killed, and that the insurgents had been put to flight; several of them having been arrested. These insurgents had assumed the French national cockade, implying that they were acting, in some degree of cooperation, with revolutionary France.

Joseph immediately called upon the Secretary of State, and informed him that far from complaining of the arrest of persons who had assumed the French cockade, he came to make the definite request that he would arrest all such persons who were not in the service of the French legation. He also informed the secretary that six individuals had taken refuge within his jurisdiction. At Rome the residences of the foreign ambassadors enjoyed the privilege of sanctuary in common with most of the churches. Joseph informed the secretary, that if those who had taken refuge in his palace were of the insurgents, they should be given up. As he returned to his residence he found General Duphot, a very distinguished French officer, who the next day was to be married to Joseph's wife's sister, and several other French gentlemen, eagerly conversing upon the folly of the past night. Just as they were sitting down to dinner, the porter informed him that some twenty persons were endeavoring to enter the palace, and that they were distributing French cockades to the passers-by, and were shouting "Live the Republic." One of these revolutionists, a French artist, burst like a maniac into the presence of the ambassador, exclaiming "We are free, and have come to demand the support of France."

Joseph sternly reproved him for his senseless conduct, and ordered him to retire immediately from the protection of the Embassy, and to take his comrades with him, or severe measures would be resorted to. One of the officers said to. the artist scornfully, "Where would your pretended liberty be, should the governor of the city open fire upon you?"

The artist retired in confusion. But the tumult around the palace increased. Joseph's friends saw, in the midst of the mob, well-known spies of the Government urging them on, shouting Vive la Republique, and scattering money with a liberal hand. The insurgents were availing themselves of the palace of the French ambassador as their place of rendezvous, and where, if need be, they hoped to find a sanctuary. Joseph took the insignia of his office, and calling upon the officers of his household to follow him, descended into the court, intending to address the mob, as he spoke their language. In leaving the cabinet, they heard a prolonged discharge of fire-arms. It was from the troops of the Government; a picket of cavalry, in violation of the established usages of national courtesy, had invaded the jurisdiction of the French ambassador, which, protected by his flag, was regarded as the soil of France, and, without consulting the ambassador, were discharging volleys of musketry through the three vast arches of the palace. Many dropped dead; others fell wounded and bleeding. The terrified crowd precipitated itself into the courts and on the stairs, pursued by the avenging bullets of the Government. Joseph and his friends, as they boldly forced their way through the flying multitude, encountered the dying and the dead, and not a few Government spies, who they knew were paid to excite the insurrection and then to de. pounce the movement to the authorities.

Just as they were stepping out of the vestibule they met a company of fusileers who had followed the cavalry. At the sight of the French ambassador they stopped. Joseph demanded the commander. He, conscious of the lawlessness of his proceedings, had concealed himself in the ranks, and could not be distinguished. He then demanded of the troops by whose order they entered upon the jurisdiction of France, and commanded them to retire. A scene of confusion ensued, some advancing, others retiring. Joseph then facing them, said, in a very decisive tone, "that the first one who should attempt to pass the middle of the court would encounter trouble."

He drew his sword, and Generals Duphot and Sherlock and two other officers of his escort, armed with swords or pistols and poniards, ranged themselves at his side to resist their advance. The musketeers retired just beyond pistol-shot, and then deliberately fired a general discharge in the direction of Joseph and his friends. None of the party immediately surrounding the ambassador were struck, but several were killed in their rear.

Joseph, with General Duphot, boldly advanced as the soldiers were reloading their muskets, and ordered them to retire from the jurisdiction of France, saying that the ambassador would charge himself with the punishment of the insurgents, and that he would immediately send one of his own officers to the Vatican or to the Governor of Rome, and that the affair would thus be settled. The soldiers seemed to pay no regard to this, and continued loading their muskets. General Duphot, one of the most brave and impetuous of men, leaped forward into the midst of the bayonets of the soldiers, prevented one from loading and struck up the gun of another, who was just upon the point of firing. Joseph and General Sherlock, as by instinct, followed him.

Some of the soldiers seized General Duphot, dragged him rudely beyond the sacred precincts of the ambassador's palace and the flag of France, and then a soldier discharged a musket into his bosom. The heroic general fell, and immediately painfully rose, leaning upon his sabre. Joseph, who witnessed it all, in the midst of this scene of indescribable confusion called out to his friend, who the next day was to be his brother-in-law, to return. General Duphot attempted it, when a second shot prostrated him upon the pavement. More than fifty shots were then discharged into his lifeless body.

The soldiers now directed their fire upon Joseph and General Sherlock. Fortunately there was a door through which they escaped into the garden of the palace, where they were for a moment sheltered from the bullets of the assassins. Another company of Government troops had now arrived, and was firing from the other side of the street. Two French officers, from whom Joseph had been separated, now joined him and General Sherlock in the garden. There was nothing to prevent the soldiers from entering the palace, where Joseph's wife and her sister, who the next day was to have become the wife of General Duphot, were trembling in terror. Joseph and his friends regained the palace by the side of the garden. The court was now filled with the soldiers, and with the insurgents who had so foolishly and ignominiously caused this horrible scene. Twenty of the insurgents lay dead upon the pavement.

"I entered the palace," Joseph writes in his dispatch to Talleyrand; "the walks were covered with blood, with the dying, dragging themselves along, and with the wounded, loudly groaning. We closed the three gates fronting upon the street. The lamentations of the betrothed of Duphot, that young hero who, constantly in the advance-guard of the armies of the Pyrenees and of Italy, had always been victorious, butchered by cowardly brigands; the absence of her mother and of her brother, whom curiosity had drawn from the palace to see the monuments of Rome; the fusillade which continued in the streets, and against the gates of the palace; the outer apartments of the vast palace of Corsini, which I inhabited, thronged with people of whose intentions we were ignorant: these circumstances and many others rendered the scene inconceivably cruel."

Joseph immediately summoned the servants of the household around him. Three had been wounded. The French officers; impelled by an instinct of national pride, heroically emerged from the palace, with the aid of these domestics, to rescue the body of their unfortunate general Taking a circuitous route, notwithstanding the fusillade which was still continued, they succeeded in reaching the spot of his cowardly assassination. There they found the remains of this truly noble young man, despoiled, pierced with bullets, clotted with blood, and covered with stones which had been thrown upon him.

It was six o'clock in the evening. Two hours had elapsed since the assassination of Duphot; and yet not a member of the Roman Government had appeared at the palace to bring protection or to restore order. Joseph was, properly, very indignant, and resolved at once to call for his passports and leave the city. He wrote a brief note to the Secretary of State, and sent it by a faithful domestic, who succeeded in the darkness in passing through the crowd of soldiers. As the firing was still continued, Joseph and his friends anxiously watched the messenger from the attic windows of the palace till he was lost from sight.

An hour passed, and some one was heard knocking at the gate with repeated blows. They supposed that it was certainly the governor or some Roman officer of commanding authority. It proved to be Chevalier Angiolini, minister from Tuscany, the envoy of a prince who was in friendly alliance with the French Republic. As he passed through the soldiery they stopped his carriage, and sarcastically asked him "if he were in search of dangers and bullet-wounds." He courageously and reproachfully replied, "There can be no such dangers in Rome within the jurisdiction of the ambassador of France." This was a severe reproach against the officers of a nation who were indebted to the moderation of the French Republic for their continued political existence. The minister of Spain soon also presented himself, braving all the dangers of the street, which were truly very great. They were both astonished that no public officer had arrived, and expressed much indignation in view of the violation of the rights of the Embassy.

Ten o'clock arrived, and still no public officer had made his appearance. Joseph wrote a second letter to the cardinal. An answer now came, which was soon followed by an officer and about forty men, who said that they had been sent to protect the ambassador's communications with the Secretary of State. But they had no authority or power to rescue the palace from the insurgents, who were crowded into one part of it, and from the Government troops, who occupied another part. No attention had been paid to Joseph's reiterated demands for the liberation of the palace from the dominion of the insurgents and the troops.

Joseph then wrote to the secretary, demanding immediately his passport. It was sent to him two hours after midnight. At six o'clock in the morning, fourteen hours after the assassination of General Duphot, the investment of the palace by the troops and the massacre of the people who had crowded into it, not a single Roman officer had made his appearance charged by the Government to investigate the state of affairs.

Joseph, after having secured the safety of the few French remaining at Rome, left for Tuscany, and in a dispatch to the French Government minutely detailed the events which had occurred. In the conclusion of his dispatch he wrote:

"This Government is not inconsistent with itself. Crafty and rash in perpetrating crime, cowardly and fawning when it has been committed, it is to-day upon its knees before the minister Azara, that he may go to Florence and induce me to return to Rome. So writes to the that generous friend of France, worthy of dwelling in a land where his virtues and his noble loyalty may be better appreciated."

In reply to this dispatch the French minister, Talleyrand, wrote to Joseph,

"I have received, citizen, the heart-rending letter which you have written me upon the frightful events which transpired at Rome on the 28th of December. Notwithstanding the care which you have taken to conceal every thing personal to yourself during that horrible day, you have not been able to conceal from me that you have manifested, in the highest degree, courage, coolness, and that intelligence which nothing can escape; and that you have sustained with magnanimity the honor of the French name. The Directory charges me to express to you, in the strongest and most impressive terms, its extreme satisfaction with your whole conduct. You will readily believe, I trust, that I am happy to be the organ of these sentiments."