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Bonaparte's Review. 211
Darius. His features are small and meagre. His countenance Chap. is melancholy, cold and desperate. His nose is aquiline. His XIX" eyes are dark, fiery, and full of genius. His hair, which he wears cropped and without powder, is black. His figure is small, but very muscular. He wore a blue coat, with broad white facings and golden epaulets (the uniform of his regiment) a small cocked hat, in which was a little national cockade. In his hand he carried a small riding whip. His boots were made in the fashion of english riding boots, which I have before condemned on account of their being destitute of military appearance. The reason why they are preferred by the french officers is on account of the top leather not soiling the knees of the pantaloons when in the act of putting one leg over the other. Bonaparte rode through the lines. His beautiful charger seemed conscious of the glory of his rider, and bore him through the ranks with a commanding and majestic pace. The colours of one of the regiments was stationed close under the window, where I had the good fortune of being placed. Here the hero stopped, and saluted them. At this time I was close to him, and had the pleasure of completely gratifying that curiosity of beholding the persons of distinguished men, which is so natural to all of us.
A few minutes after Bonaparte had passed, I saw a procession, the history of which I did not understand at the time, but which fully explained its general purport. About two years since, one of the regiments of artillery revolted in battle. Bonaparte in anger deprived them of their colours, and suspended them, covered with crape, amongst the captive banners of the
E E 2 enemy,
RESTORATION OF ARTILLERY COLOURS.
enemy, in the Hall of Victory. The regiment, affected by the disgrace, were determined to recover the lost esteem of their general and their country, or perish to the last man. When, any desperate enterprise was to be performed, they volunteered their services, and by this magnanimous compunction covered their shame with laurels, and became the boast and pride of the republican legions. This day was fixed upon for the restoration of their ensigns. They were marched up under a guard of honour, and presented to the first consul, who took the black drapery from their staves, tore it in pieces, threw it on the ground, and drove his charger indignantly over it* The regenerated banners were then restored to the regiment, witha short and suitable address. I faintly heard this laconic speech* but not distinctly enough to offer any criticism upon the eloquence of the speaker. This exhibition had its intended effect, and displayed the genius of this extraordinary man, who,. with unerring acuteness. knows so well to give to every public occurrence that dramatic hue and interest which are so gratifying to the minds of the people over whom he presides. After this ceremony, the several regiments, preceded by their bands of music, marched before him in open order, and dropped their colours as they passed. The flying artillery and cavalryleft the parade in full gallop, and made a terrific noise upon. the pavement, Each field-piece was drawn by six horses*. upon a carriage with large wheels. Here the review closed.
** Farewell, the neighing steed, and the shrill trump,
Bonaparte returned to the palace, where he held a splendid levee, at which the new turkish embassy was introduced.
In the evening I saw Bonaparte and his lady at the opera, where he was received with respect, but without any clamorous acclamation.
Madame Bonaparte appears to be older than the first consul. She is an elegant woman, and is said to conduct herself in her high station with becoming dignity and prudence»
CHAP. CHAPTER XX.
Abbe Sieyes — Consular Procession to the Council Chamber — 10/// of August, 1792 — Celerity of Mons. Fouche's Information—The two Lovers—Cabinet of Mons. le Grand—Self-prescribing Physician — Bust of Robespierre—His Lodgings — Corn Hall — Museum of French Monuments — Revolutionary Agent — Lovers of married Women.
A Neat remark was made upon the abbe Sieyes, to whose prolific mind the revolution and all its changes have been imputed. This extraordinary man has a noble house in the Champs Elisees, and is said to have the best cook in Paris. As a party in which I was, were passing his hotel, a near relation of the abbe, who happened to be with us, commented upon the great services which the cloistered fabricator of constitutions had afforded to France, and adverted to his house and establishment as an unsuitable reward for his labours. A gentleman, who was intimate with the abbe, but was no great admirer of his morals, said, " I think, my dear madam, "the abbe ought to be very well satisfied with his destiny; "and I would advise him to live as long as he can in the *' Champs Elisees; for when he shall happen to experience "that mysterious transition to which we are all hastening, *' I think the chances will be against his finding good accom"modations in any other Elysium."
As CONSULAR PROCESSION.—'TENTH OF AUGUST, 1792. 215
As I was passing one morning through the hall of the Chap. Thuilleries, the great door of the council chamber was xx' opened, and the second and third consuls, preceded and followed by their suite in full costume, marched with great pomp to business, to the roll of a drum. This singular procession from one part of the house to the other, had a ridiculous effect, and naturally reminded me of the fustian pageantry which, upon the stage, attends the entries and exits of the kings and queens of the drama.
I have often been surprised to find that the injuries which the cornice of the entrance, and the capitals of the columns in the hall of the Thuilleries, have sustained from the ball of cannon, during the horrible massacre of the 10th of August, 1792, have never been repaired. Every vestige of that day of dismay and slaughter ought for ever to be effaced; instead of which, some labour has been exercised to perpetuate its remembrance. Under the largest chasms which have been made by the shot is painted, in strong characters, that gloomy date.
In the evening of that day of devastation, from which France may date all her sufferings, a friend of mine went into the court-yard of the Thuilleries, where the review is now held, for the purpose of endeavouring to recognise, amongst the dead, any of his acquaintances. In the course of this shocking search, he declared to me, that he counted no less than eight hundred bodies of Swiss and French, who had perished in that frightful contest between an infatuated people and an irresolute sovereign. I will not dilate upon this painful subject, but