Front Matter
 Half Title
 Title Page
 Publisher's Note
 Table of Contents
 Biographical notice
 Memoirs of Joseph Fouche, Duke...

Group Title: The memoirs of Joseph Fouche, duke of Otranto, minister of the General police of France
Title: The memoirs of Joseph Fouchâe, duke of Otranto, minister of the General police of France
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00076569/00001
 Material Information
Title: The memoirs of Joseph Fouchâe, duke of Otranto, minister of the General police of France
Series Title: Historic memoir series. 6th issue
Physical Description: 2 v. : fronts. (ports.) ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Fouchâe, Joseph, 1759-1820
Beauchamp, Alph. de, 1767-1832 ( ed )
Publisher: H.S. Nichols
Place of Publication: London
Publication Date: 1896
Subject: History -- France -- 1789-1815   ( lcsh )
Court and courtiers -- France   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: translated from the French ...
General Note: "Edition strictly limited to 500 copies."
General Note: "Original edition was published in Paris in 1824, and was compiled by A. de Beauchamp. The translation appeared in 1825, and this issue is a reprint of the same without any alteration.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00076569
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 03493945
lccn - 12021840

Table of Contents
    Front Matter
        Front 1
        Front 2
    Half Title
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Title Page
        Page v
        Page vi
    Publisher's Note
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
        Page xi
        Page xii
        Page xiii
        Page xiv
    Table of Contents
        Page xv
        Page xvi
        Page xvii
        Page xviii
        Page xix
        Page xx
        Page xxi
        Page xxii
    Biographical notice
        Page xxiii
        Page xxiv
        Page xxv
        Page xxvi
        Page xxvii
        Page xxviii
        Page xxix
        Page xxx
        Page xxxi
        Page xxxii
        Page xxxiii
        Page xxxiv
        Page xxxv
        Page xxxvi
        Page xxxvii
        Page xxxviii
        Page xxxix
        Page xl
        Page xli
        Page xlii
        Page xliii
        Page xliv
        Page xlv
        Page xlvi
        Page xlvii
        Page xlviii
        Page xlix
        Page l
        Page li
        Page lii
    Memoirs of Joseph Fouche, Duke of Otranto
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
Full Text

i."' ', t.

:I(~I~~i'~.";~' ;~4~f;


: -El


A, I


VOL. 1



1, -

Uniform with the present volume :

2 vols.




Edition strictly limited to 500 copies.
Five extra copies have been printed on Japanese vellum, but
are not offered for sale.

, /./ / //

,,A 7> 2 47 stY] ~J/1 '
rI (







I;,. T ii COLUMES-i'OL i


.....-. ..'.. ..

...: -.. .:: .- -. ...- .- '..*'.
'.*.* -.. :- ..'.. ..* ..-- :.
'... i.. i i** **---. :". '".:-


F 7b'3 /


Pint i,i and Ptu.'lihJhd by
AT 3 ',OHO 4QO. ,RE, LNDON '.

** *.*

S .. ,

. ** *,.
.-'*: .'... .." :/


THESE Memoirs of Fouch6 form the sixth issue
of my Historic Memoir Series. The original edition
was published in Paris in 1824, and was compiled by
A. de Beauchamp. The translation appeared in 1825,
and this issue is a reprint of the same without any
The Biographical Sketches at the end of Vol. II.,
of personages contemporary with Fouch6, and who
played a part in the French Revolution, are an
addition, and it is hoped will increase the interest of
the book. The Biographical Sketch of Fouch is an
abridged translation from the "Biographie Universelle"
(Michaud), Paris, 1856.
The next issue of this series will be the Life of
Henry IV. of France and Navarre, with an Introduc-
tion describing the state of France in the previous
reign, and also Biographical Sketches of all persons
mentioned in the book.

LONDON, May 8th, 7896.



THESE Memoirs have neither been produced by
party spirit, hatred, nor a desire for vengeance, and
still less that they might afford food for scandal
and malignity. I respect all that is deserving of
honour in the opinions of men. Let me be read,
and my intentions, my views, my sentiments, and
the political motives by which I was guided in the
exercise of the highest duties, will then be appre-
ciated; let me be read, and it will then be seen if,
in the councils of the Republic and of Napoleon, I
have not been the constant opponent of the extrava-
gant measures of the government; let me be read,
and it will be apparent whether or not I have
displayed some courage in my warnings and remon-
strances; in short, by perusing me, the conviction
will follow, that I owed it as a duty to myself to
write what I have written.
The only means of rendering these Memoirs


advantageous to my own character, and useful to
the history of those eventful times, was to rest them
solely upon the pure and simple basis of truth; to
this I have been induced, both by disposition and
conviction; my situation also made it an imperative
law to me, for was it not natural that I should
thus charm away the ennui attendant upon fallen
power ?
Under whatever form, the Revolution had accus-
tomed me to an extreme activity of mind and
memory; irritated by solitude, this activity required
some outlet. It has been, therefore, with a species
of pleasure and delight that I have written this first
part of my recollections.1 I have, it is true, re-
touched them, but no material change has been
made, not even during the anguish of my last mis-
fortune, for what greater misfortune can there be
than to wander in banishment, an exile from one's
country !
France, thou that wast so dear to me, never shall
I see thee more! Alas! at what a cost have I pur-
chased power and grandeur? Those who were once

1 This preface was prefixed to the first part, which was
published at Paris separately.


my friends will no longer offer me their hand. It is
clear they wish to condemn me even to the silence
of the future. Vain hope! I shall find means to
disappoint the expectations of those who are already
anticipating the spoils of my reminiscences and revela-
tions, of those who are preparing to lay snares for
my children. If my children are too young to be
on their guard against the artifices of the designing,
I will ensure their preservation by seeking, far from
the crowd of selfish and ungrateful men, a discreet
and faithful friend. But what do I say? This
other self I have already found, and it is to his
discretion and fidelity that I confide these Memoirs.
I constitute him the sole judge after my decease of
the propriety of their publication. He is in possession
of my ideas upon the subject, and I am convinced
he will only place my work in the hands of an
honourable man, one who is equally superior to base
intrigue and sordid speculation. This is assuredly
my only and best guarantee that these Memoirs
shall remain free from the interpolations and gar-
blings of the enemies to truth and sincerity.
In the same spirit of candour I am now preparing
the second part of them. I do not blind myself


to the fact that I have to treat of a period of
peculiar delicacy, of one presenting innumerable and
serious difficulties, whether we consider the times,
the personages, or the calamities which it embraces.
But truth, when not deformed by the malignancy
of the passions, will ever command the attention of


A PERUSAL of the author's preface will show that
I might indulge some degree of self-satisfaction in
the fulfilment of his intentions relative to the pub-
lication of these Memoirs. Pecuniary advantages had
no share in the selection of myself as editor, and I
dare affirm that in accepting the office I was actuated
by equal disinterestedness. To all persons but my-
self, such a publication would have been a great
desideratum, and they would only have considered it
as a source of profit, perhaps after all ideal. On the
contrary, I only saw in it a duty; this I have fulfilled,
but not without hesitation: I will even confess that
it became necessary to strengthen my own opinion
by that of others. The title of the work, and the
subjects of which it treats, appeared but too well
calculated to create uneasiness in my mind. I was
anxious neither to trespass against the laws, shock


public decorum, nor offend the government of my
country. Not daring then to confide in my own
judgment, I consulted a gentleman of considerable
experience, and his assurances have removed my
apprehensions. If I requested him to favour me with
a few notes, it was rather to confirm my own
opinions than to present a contrast between the text
and the commentaries. Although these notes were far
from being numerous, they had, however, nearly de-
prived me of the publication of these posthumous
Memoirs. At length the person commissioned to
fulfil the author's intentions yielded to the force of
my reasons, and I am now enabled to announce to
the public that no time shall be lost in bringing out
the second part of the Memoirs of the Duke of
Otranto. As to the intenseness of their interest,
and their authenticity, I shall merely say with the


The author introduces himself
Disclaims the responsibility of the Revolution .2, 3
The higher classes accused of the first aspirations for democratic
independence-Who fired the train ?-Reflections on the
Revolution .. 4-7
Affair of the ioth of August ascribed to the Austrians and
Prussians 8
Early career--Elected to the National Convention- Offends
Robespierre-Repudiates the Girondins-Excuses his vote
for the execution of the King .. 9-13
Robespierre His hatred of Fouch6 Tallien determines to
assassinate Robespierre Fouchd's advice against such a
course............ 14-16
Fouch6 publicly defies Robespierre-His fall-The turn of the
reactionists-Fouche expelled the National Convention .17-19
First interest in Bonaparte-The "whiff of grapeshot 20
Establishment of the Directory-Fouch6 in disgrace-Barras-
The Babeuf faction Fouch6 obtains a share of the
contracts 21-24
Review of events of the period-Bonaparte's military clubs-
Military subjection of the capital- Fouchs's advice to
Barras. 25-28
Appointed ambassador to the Cisalpine Republic-Treaty of
Campo Formio 29, 30
Bonaparte's designs upon the supreme government-Egyptian
campaign planned to get rid of him-Success of the ex-
pedition-Disaster of the Nile 31, 32
Preparations for war-Forced loans-First military conscription 33
Directory of Milan deposed-Brune-Soprensi forcibly removed. 34, 35
Cisalpine Republic declared an independent power-Terms of
treaty .....36
Disapproval of the French Directory-Deposition of Brune-
Joubert Fouchd recalled His address to the Cisalpine
Directory 37-40

Directory of Milan forcibly restored-Rivaud-Fouchb in hiding. 41, 42
Continental troubles Difficulties of the Directory French
reverses 43
Rewbel expelled the Directory-Plots-Sieyes appointed 44-49
Joubert appointed commandant of Paris-Fouch6 becomes am-
bassador to Holland-Conversation with Sieys 50-52
Bonapartist faction endeavour to limit the power of the Directory
-Siey&s' plans-Joubert made commander of the army in
Italy 53-55
Appointed minister of police-Reforms and methods 56-58
Sieyes' policy in the Directory 59, 6o
Obtains carte blanche to suppress the clubs and regulate the press
-Opposition-Hall of the Manege closed 61, 62
Lefevre replaces Marbot as commandant of Paris 63
Jacobin club closed-Measures against the royalists-The law of
hostages 64, 65
French reverse at Novi-Suspicious death of Joubert 66, 67
Suppresses eleven journals and arrests the authors-Suppression
of the ministry of police demanded-Moreau 68
Jourdan's gloomy picture of the political situation-Bernadotte
appealed to and removed 69-72
Stormy debate-Lucien Bonaparte hastens his brother's return
from Egypt 73
Mass6na gains the battle of Zurich 74, 75
Fouch6 and Josephine-Her great extravagance 76
Victory of Aboukir announced-Bonaparte's sudden return to
Paris-His effusive welcome 77, 78
Bonaparte resolves to seize the chief authority-His first council
-Opposition of Lucien 79-81
Fouche's reason for not bringing about the failure of the revolu-
tion of St. Cloud 82
Bonaparte's attitude before the Directory-Hesitates between
Sieyes and Barras-Fouch6's advice to him regarding Barras
-Bonaparte decides for Siey&s 83,84
Rapid development of the conspiracy-The loan of two millions 85
Dubois de Crance, minister of war, reveals the plot, but is dis-
credited-Lucien and Madame Recamier 86, 87
Subscription banquet to Bonaparte-A chilling function 88
Secret arrangements for the 18th of Brumaire-Gohier, president
of the Directory, escapes a snare 89, go
The legislative corps transferred to St. Cloud-Bonaparte in-
vested with the chief command of the troops-Gohier and
Fouch. .. 91-94
Barras compelled to resign 95,96


Bonaparte's troops invest the public establishments 97, 98
Tumultuous proceedings at St. Cloud-" Down with the Dictator!"'
-Bonaparte addresses the council of the Ancients and de-
clares the government at an end-His agitation-Enters the
Assembly with a platoon of grenadiers-Danger of Bonaparte
-Rescued by the soldiers-His outlawry demanded-The
soldiers disperse the Assembly 99-10o4
Act of the Igth Brumaire-The Directory abolished-Bona-
parte, Siey&s, and Roger Ducos appointed consuls-Avarice
of Siey&s 105, Io6
The new ministry-Fouch6 retains his office-Siey&s plots
against him 107-110
Fouch6's clemency towards the emigrants-His instructions to
the bishops and prefects II, 112
History of Irma" 113
The legislative commissions-Lebrun-Sieyes' project of social
organisation-The "grand elector "-Bonaparte's reception
of the scheme .. 114-118
Proposal to limit the consular power-Bonaparte's rage-Siey&s
resigns his consulship-Cambacdres and Lebrun appointed
consuls-Siey&s' rewards 119, 12
Ratification of the new constitution-Bonaparte declares him-
self First Consul-Assumes the reins of government and
occupies the Tuileries. 121, 122
Judicial system reorganised-A rude awakening-Execution of
Toustain and the Count de Frotte-Poverty of the adminis-
tration-Bonaparte's aversion to bankers and brokers 123-125
Fouche's delicate position with Bonaparte 126
Bonaparte writes to the King of England-Declares his ability
to reconquer Italy 27
Royalist league-The King of France asks Bonaparte to restore
him to the throne-Similar desire of the Count d'Artois-
Chagrin of Fouch 128-130
Rumoured disaster to the French arms near Alessandria-
Plans to reorganise the government and depose Bonaparte
-Victory of Marengo-Triumphant return of Bonaparte-
His suspicion of Fouch 131-134
Jealousies of Bonaparte-Difficulties of Fouche's position. 135-139
Cisalpine republic re-established-Preliminaries of peace signed
between France and Austria. 140, 141
Plots to assassinate Bonaparte-Carnot resigns-Mock attempt
on the life of the First Consul at the opera-Its results 142-145
Lucien's designs on the government-His pamphlet: "Parallel
of Cromwell, Monk, and Bonaparte "-Its circulation sup-
VOL. I b

pressed-Quarrel between Bonaparte and Lucien-Lucien
sent to Madrid as ambassador 146-149
Embarrassment of Austria-M. de St. Julien imprisoned-Pre-
parations for war-Moreau: Bonaparte's jealousy of him 150
Plot to blow up the "Little Corporal "-Chevalier-Experi-
ment with a bomb-Plots of Georges Cadoudal-Explosion
on the way to the opera-Narrow escape-List of wounded
who received pecuniary assistance-Bonaparte's rage against
Fouch--Unravelling of the plot 151-160
Bonaparte becomes military dictator-Act of deportation-Trial
and execution of the conspirators 161-163
Moreau victorious at Hohenlinden.. 164
Police dictatorship established 165
Peace of Luneville-New boundaries-Recall of Massena. 166
Treaty of peace with Naples-Advantages to France-Bonaparte
pleased with Talleyrand 167
Bonaparte's amour with Signora G.-Rode, the violinist-
Bonaparte's contemptible revenge 168, 169
Designs against England-The Northern League-Battle of
Copenhagen-Assassination of Paul I. of Russia-Bona-
parte's gloomy fears-Bernadotte suspected and recalled-
Reconciliation .. 170-174
Convention signed at St. Petersburg between England and
Russia-Resignation of Pitt-War between Spain and
Portugal-Preliminaries of peace signed at Badajoz-
Bonaparte exasperated with Lucien-Treaty concluded at
Madrid 175,176
English land in Egypt-Menou defeated at Alexandria-French
evacuate Egypt-Russia, France, and England at peace
once more 176,177
New treaty of commerce completed between France and Russia
-The Tribunat object to the word subject-Secret articles
of the treaty treacherously sold to England-The police
baffled 177-179
Marquis of Cornwallis-Disastrous expedition to St. Domingo-
Public opinion concerning Bonaparte and Moreau i8o-i82
Bonaparte elected president of the Cisalpine Republic-Peace
of Amiens-Foucht's advice regarding Malta 183
Fouch6 advises Bonaparte on the subject of the interior
establishment of peace-Project of the poet Fontanes and
his party-Cardinal Gonsalvez 184-187
Ceremony of the promulgation of the concordat on ecclesiastical
affairs-Opposition of the military officers-Berthier's scheme 188, 189
Amnesty granted to the emigrants-Legion of honour instituted 19o




Bonaparte aims at perpetual power-Counter plot of Fouch--
Shall Napoleon Bonaparte be consul for life ? "-Excite-
ment-Threat to shoot him-Arrests-Appointed consul for
life-The fifth constitution 191-199
The right of presiding over the senate granted to Bonaparte
-Goes in great pomp to the Luxembourg-Chilling reception 200, 201
Fouch6 has a presentiment that he will be dismissed-His enemies
-The poet Fontanes' secret missives to Bonaparte 202, 203
Ministry of police abolished-Fouch6 praised by Bonaparte-
Final report and advice to Bonaparte on the government
of the nation-Bonaparte's generosity-Fouch6 returns to
private life 204-209
Civil war in Switzerland-Military occupation of that country
by Ney-Bonaparte as mediator-Conference of the opposite
factions-Swiss federalists victorious 210-214
Germanic confederation to be demolished Commission at
Ratisbon ..215
Caution of the English cabinet-Bonaparte complains of the
English press-Reprisals-A newspaper war 216-218
Decree of 22nd May, 1803, ordering arrest of all Englishmen
then in France-Bonaparte seizes the electorate of Hanover
-Preparations to invade England .. 219
Bonaparte seeks to become Emperor-Offer to Louis XVIII. for
rights of succession-Louis' noble declaration 220
Conspiracy of Georges Cadoudal-Arrest of Pichegru, Georges,
and Moreau-Murder of the Duke d'Enghien 221-224
Trial of Moreau-Military sympathy-Bonaparte's fear-Fouche's
advice-Moreau acquitted-Fouch6's successful negotiations 224-226
Bonaparte advised to declare himself Emperor-Vote of the
Tribunat-Plan of Napoleonic succession 227, 228
Josephine's scheme for providing an heir to the throne-Bona-
parte's intrigue with Hortense-Marries Hortense to his
brother Louis-Birth of a son-Bonaparte's affection for
the child 229
Bonaparte's elevation to the imperial dignity received with
coldness Military government Imperial difficulties -
Fouch6 re-established .230-235
Hostility of the people-The Emperor advised to travel 236
Sir George Rumbold arrested and imprisoned 237
The Pope's presence desired at the Emperor's coronation-The
Czar not well disposed-The coronation-Spectators silent 238-240
Bonaparte crowned King of Italy 241
Proposed invasion of England fails-Admiral Bruix disgraced 242
Russian minister insulted-Demands of his government 243, 244


Austria invades Bavaria-The European league-Military suc-
cesses of the Emperor Disaster of Trafalgar The
Emperor's agitation 245-247
Fouch6 assumes power in the Emperor's absence 248
Peace of Presburg-The Emperor master of Germany and
Italy-Seizes the kingdom of Naples-The public dazzled
by his victories-Royalist association of Bordeaux dispersed 249-25I
Fouch6 appointed regulator of public opinion-" Essais de
Morale et de Politique"-A history of La Vendee 252
Consequences of Austerlitz and Presburg-The Emperor dis-
penses honours and rewards-Fouch6 becomes Duke of
Otranto 253, 254
Confederation of the Rhine-Death of William Pitt-Succeeded
by Charles Fox-War with Prussia-Jena 255, 256
Death of Charles Fox-The Continental system-Battle of Eylau 257
The English cabinet attempts to tamper with Fouch6-Count
Dach6 .. .258-260
Victory of Friedland-Treaty of Tilsit 261
Return of the Emperor-Ministerial changes 262
British attack on Copenhagen-Treachery suspected in the
cabinet-Rage of the Emperor 263
The Emperor's power begins to decline-Designs on Spain-
The Peninsula invaded-French troops enter Rome-The
Pope threatens the Emperor-Massacre of Madrid-The
Peninsula ablaze-Violence of public opinion in France-
Sudden return of the Emperor-Fouch6 taken to task by
Napoleon. .. 264-270
Interview between the Emperor and the Czar 271
Death of the heir-The Emperor's grief. 272, 273
First hints of divorce-Josephine's plans foiled by Fouche 274-276
Second Peninsula campaign-Adverse public opinion-The Em-
peror again suddenly returns 277, 278
Victories in Austria-Tann, Abensberg, Eckmiihl, Ratisbon 279
Vienna occupied-Reverses at Essling-Death of Lannes-
Massena saves the army 280
Roman states annexed-Napoleon excommunicated-Pius VII.
seized and made prisoner 281, 282
Victory of Wagram-Armistice of Znaim-An English expe-
dition-Fouche levies a national guard-Bernadotte, de-
prived of command at Wagram, accepts command of the
national guard. .. 283-285
Arrest of Philadelphians-Massacre of Oudet and his staff 286
Napoleon narrowly escapes assassination at Schbnbrunn 287
Treaty of Vienna-Return of the Emperor 287, 288


Fouch6's confidential report-Marriage with Josephine dissolved
-Negotiations with Russia and Austria for a consort-
General Narbonne-Marriage with Maria Louisa of Austria
decided upon .. 289-295
Fouch6 expects to be dismissed 296, 297
Duel between Lord Castlereagh and Mr. Canning-Marquis of
Wellesley recalled from Spain 298
Marriage of the Emperor-A sad catastrophe 299, 300
Napoleon and Fouche, unknown to each other, approach the
Marquis of Wellesley with overtures of peace-Discovery-
Fouche disgraced and supplanted by Savary .. 30, 302


JOSEPH FOUCHE, Duke of Otranto, born at Nantes
on the 29th of May, 1763, was one of the most remark-
able men of the Revolution, and at the same time
one of the most difficult to appreciate. His life may be
divided into three very distinct epochs. In the first
he is simply a student and teacher at the school of the
Oratory; in the second he appears to us during some
years as the Seide1 of crime and anarchy; and in the
third one only sees the man of power pursuing with
perseverance and some dignity the self-imposed task of
remedying the evils that he and his accomplices had
brought upon France. In these two latter phases of
his public life he did right and wrong with ability and
calculation a propos. Through all these variations the
man showed himself privately as of good and simple
manners, sensible of friendship and the domestic affec-
tions, always full of aminiti, and treating frivolity with
consideration. Whilst not pretending to an extra-
ordinary amount of seriousness, he proved master of

1 A character in the tragedy of Mahomet," by Voltaire.
["Sectateur devou6, capable de commettre un crime par zele


himself not only in the lightest affairs of life, but also
in the most serious crises.
His ability was best displayed in controlling events
whilst appearing to submit to them, because he knew
how to appreciate them. No less discretion did he
show in the selection of the men he employed.
The account of his life during the first of our three
periods is very simple. Son of a captain in the mer-
chant service at Nantes, Fouche was at the age of
nine years confided to the care of the fathers of the
Oratory, who had a college in that town. At the
commencement his success in his studies was small.
To a mind slow to develop itself he joined a gaiety of
temperament which the masters mistook for want of
aptitude. His intelligence showed itself rebellious to
the generally accepted rules of grammar and of Latin
and French versification.
He was about to be classed as a wretched scholar,
when one of the tutors noticed that he preferred the
most serious books, amongst others the Pensies de
Pascal. Everything was done by this sensible in-
structor to cultivate agreeably the disposition of one
who departed from the usual groove.
Fouch6 was intended for the navy, but his delicate
appearance caused his father to give way to the repre-
sentations of the Oratorians, and the favourite pupil
of M. Durif, the tutor, was consecrated to the public
instruction in this learned association. Having made
some progress in mathematics, he was sent to the In-

; _I ~___~



stitute of Paris. Here the first books put into his
hands were Jansenius' commentaries on the Gospels
and the catechism of the Council of Trent. Fouch6
avowed to his confessor what a dislike he had to these
books, and the wise director conducted him to the
library, where he permitted the young man to choose
his own books. Fouch6 passed with distinction in
philosophy and mathematics. All those who knew
him at this peaceful time of his life give him credit
for the regularity of his manners and zeal for his work.
During the time that Fouch6 was at Arras he became
acquainted with Robespierre, and when the latter was
elected to the Constituent Assembly lent him several
hundred francs for his journey and his establishment
in Paris.
When Fouch6 was twenty-five he was appointed
inspector of studies at the college of Nantes, when
the ardour with which he embraced the new ideas
threw him into the political storm. Not having taken
orders he married, and founded the Popular Society
of Nantes. He was not eloquent, but he distinguished
himself by his manner of exaggeration, which at that
time led to popularity. His election as deputy of the
Loire-Inf6rieure in September, 1792, showed that he
had calculated shrewdly.
During the first few months of the session of the
Convention he was little remarked; he was biding
his time, however. His acquaintance with Robespierre
was renewed, but the disparity of their characters and

*.... .. :" .. ..
'.. .** .. '* -
... .S ". ....
S e ee ** e 3



the diversity of their political views were not long in
causing a misunderstanding between them. Fouch6
was too much of an egoist to submit to Robespierre, and
joined the Danton faction. From his first arrival in Paris
he frequented the Jacobin club, and appeared to have
a good understanding with Marat. At first he also
seemed to join Condorcet and Vergniaud; but already
the fight had commenced between the Girondists and
the Mountain, and Fouch6 was too well advised to join
the former party. Members of both parties were still
in the habit of meeting each other. Coming from
Fouch6's house on one occasion, where they had
just dined, Robespierre was vehemently attacking Ver-
gniaud, when Fouch6, addressing the former, remarked,
"With such violence you may certainly gain the pas-
sions, but never esteem or confidence." Robespierre
never pardoned this remark, but the author, having be-
come a person of importance, was pleased to repeat it.
At the trial of the King, Fouch6 was as violent in
his denunciation of royalty as was any member of the
Mountain whose revolutionary reputation was well esta-
blished. He voted for death without appeal or respite.
As member of the Committee of Public Instruction,
Fouch6 at the sittings of i4th of February and 8th of
March, 1795, caused a decree to be issued for the sale
as national property of all the establishments of public
instruction except the colleges. On the Committee of
Finances he was not idle. He caused a decree to be
issued by which all property which had been kept in

.... .. .. ...
..". ." :
S .-. : .:, -.:

-'" S. : ..

:. *



hand by the fiscal authorities for any reason what-
soever should be taken possession of by the govern-
ment. All notaries and other officials were to give
an account of all property conveyed by them since
Ist of January, 1793, under a penalty of 20,000 francs.
Ten years' imprisonment was threatened to any official
conserving the property of an emigre.
Soon after, upon the proposition of Marat, Fouch6
was sent to the department of the Aube, where recruit-
ing had been difficult, and was successful in raising a
young and numerous militia simply by his persuasion.
Sent afterwards to Nievre to put into practice the
decrees of the Convention with regard to religious ser-
vice, he only took four days to accomplish his purpose.
He made atheism the order of the day, decreeing that
the dead should be buried in twenty-four, or at the
latest forty-eight, hours, and the only inscription over
them should be, Death is eternal sleep.
He caused all the churches to be pillaged, and sent
the valuables to the Convention; for this he received
high praise. In one of his messages was included this
phrase: "You will see with pleasure two beautiful crosses
of ornamented silver, and a ducal crown in red. The
gold and silver have done more harm to the Republic
than have the fire and iron of the ferocious Austrians
and cowardly English." Chaumette, who was in the
department at the time, sent a most laudatory letter
to the Convention concerning Fouch6.
The Convention were so well satisfied with Fouch6's



conduct in the Nievre that they sent him with Collot-
d'Herbois to Lyons in November, 1793, to put into
execution against that town the decree of destruction.
This decree was carried out in all its horrors. It was
at the time that this terrible work was being carried
out that Danton was executed.
Fouch6 returned to Paris, and was elected president
of the Society of Jacobins on 6th of June, 1794. This
growing popularity offended Robespierre, who had not
forgotten the incident at the "Fete of the Supreme
Being," when Fouch6 had predicted to him his ap-
proaching fall. Fouch6 was summoned to appear be-
fore the Jacobin society on the charge of persecution
of the patriots. He declined to attend, but requested
the society to defer its judgment until the report of the
committees had been published. An individual from
Lyons, having made certain charges against Fouch6,
the latter was expelled the society. He had a narrow
escape from Robespierre's vengeance, his head being
demanded. Tallien pursued him mercilessly. Denun-
ciations continued to arrive from all the places where
Fouch6 had been in power, and especially from Lyons.
The inhabitants of Gannat also demanded his head,
making the most terrible charges against him. The
denunciations were overwhelming. His orders to the
administrators of the departments were sent to the
Convention. Laurenceot, the representative of Nevers,
accused him of not having rendered any account of the
taxes, which amounted to more than two million francs



in the commune of Nevers alone. In an attempt to
turn aside these attacks, Fouch6 attempted to again
make friends with Tallien and the Thermidorians, whom
he had not approached since Robespierre's fall. He
found them willing, but weak. The result of this
universal dechainement was that Fouch6 was arrested,
but he was soon released. He then lived partly in
disgrace, until intrusted by the Directory with a mission
to the frontier of Spain.
About this time Fouch6 made the acquaintance of
Barras. Fouch6, being in the secret of the Babeuf
conspiracy, disclosed it to Barras, and was in return
offered employment. He preferred, however, to have a
share of the army contracting, and thus build up an
immense fortune. At the i8th Fructidor (September
4th, 1797), Fouch6 again rendered Barras and his party
assistance by his timely warning and counsel. Barras
now rewarded Fouch6, as desired by him, by sending
him as ambassador to the Cisalpine Republic. In
consequence of Fouch6's conduct there, the Directory
caused him to be replaced. Relying on Barras' in-
fluence, he was tardy in leaving Milan, but was
obliged at last to return to Paris. Fouch6 was the
gainer by this arrangement, he being accorded an in-
demnity for displacement, the power of his opponents
(Merlin and Rewbel) being then on the decline.
Fouch6 was next sent as ambassador to Holland,
but had hardly arrived there when he was appointed
minister of police (July 31st, 1799). Fouch6 on his



appointment at once rose to the occasion and grasped
the situation, having for some time coveted the position.
Fouch6's first actions tended to give offence to his
old friends the demagogues, who flattered themselves
that they would find nothing but complaisance in the
pro-consul of the Commune affranchie. He obtained
carte blanche from the Directory, which enabled him to
limit the license of the journals as well as the audacity
of the popular societies. Fouch6 saw that to show
weakness would be to lose all, and, therefore, when
attacked by the Manege Society, their club was closed.
He also closed the Jacobins' Hall. The laws against
the relatives of the emigres were mitigated ; and by
this means he gained some royalist agents, and was
enabled to finish more quickly the civil war. Shortly
afterwards he was bold enough to suppress, at a single
blow, eleven of the most important journals of the
Jacobins and Royalists. Fouch6 was attacked by Briot
in the Council of the Ancients, the latter declaring that
Fouche was preparing a coup d'etat, and after having
recalled the atrocities of the missions of the deputy of
Nantes, demanded the suppression of the ministry of
police. On the morrow the Directory inserted in its
journals a eulogy of their minister.
Briot would not own himself beaten; but returned
to the charge. The situation was becoming strained.
Joubert had been killed at Novi, and thus all the plans
of the Directory had been reversed, as they had looked
to Joubert for support. They were casting about for


a successor to him when Bonaparte disembarked on
the coast of Provence. Fouch6 was already in indirect
communication with the new dictator. Judging from
the state of affairs that the Directory could not sustain
itself, he took care not to hinder the conspiracy of
Bonaparte. There is no doubt that though he was
ready to agree if it were successful, he was none the
less ready to strike if it failed. All precautions were
taken. Had Bonaparte failed, his head and those of
his accomplices would have been in jeopardy. Fouche
told the intimates of Bonaparte that the latter should
lose no time, for if the Jacobins were allowed to
rally, and he were decreed, all would be lost. Fouch6
kept himself so well informed of all that transpired at
Saint-Cloud that, when the orders were brought from
Bonaparte not to allow the fugitive deputies to return,
those who brought the orders found themselves antici-
pated. Fouch6 hoped by this action to win the favour
of the new victor. He used his power with discretion,
doing his best to calm the fears of the nervous and
restoring to liberty those who had been arrested. By
acting in this way he came into conflict with Sieyes-
"le haineux Sieyes qui ne revait que proscriptions."
Finally, Fouch6 was successful, and his administration
was such that the general police earned a character for
justice and moderation. He was also successful in
obtaining better treatment for those of the emigres who
had been shipwrecked at Calais; and when he found
that the ameliorating orders were not properly carried



out, he did not rest until he had obtained the release of
the unfortunate emigres, who were commanded to quit
the territory of the Republic.
One result of the improved state of affairs was that
the priests who had been expelled were allowed to re-
turn and exercise their calling. Under the Directory
the filles publiques had been made use of as spies,
thus obtaining indefinite license. The scenes in the
Rue St. Honor and the Palace Egalit6 were scandalous
every evening. By Fouch6's orders these women were
arrested. They demanded their release on the ground
that they were police agents. This demand being sent
to Fouche, he answered that their arrest had been
appreciated by the public, and that he could not order
their release, also saying that the good they did was
counterbalanced by the evil, and that it would be a
disgrace to the law if such agents were necessary.
Confirmed as consul with Cambac6res and Lebrun,
Bonaparte took care to keep Fouch6 near him; not
that his confidence in the latter was so great-on the
contrary, but the extent and power of the revolutionary
secrets of which the minister had made himself master
rendered his services indispensable. His presence in
power rallied to the First Consul the revolutionary
interests which had been alarmed at the dangers with
which the Republic was threatened. Fouch6 also ren-
dered himself useful by efficacious measures relative to
the troubles in the departments of the West. During
all this time he did not neglect to increase his own



fortune by permitting gambling, and became one of
the richest men in France. It is said that he was paid
3,000 francs a day by one establishment alone for his
goodwill. This immense revenue enabled him to make
presents to members of the Court and to the Bonaparte
family, who were able to furnish him with information.
It is thus that he continued to have as pensioners
Bourrienne and Josephine, and to the latter he is said
to have given i,ooo francs a day. Lucien and Joseph
Bonaparte were inimical to Fouch6, and did all they
could to disparage him to their brother, who, having
a penchant for the details of police, organised several
rival systems. So commenced a play of ruse against
ruse between Fouche and his emulators. Informed by
Bourrienne or Josephine, he often caused the Court
police to fall into the snare they themselves had laid
for him. Fouch6 was amused at this little war, seeing
that he always obtained the advantage; but he showed
so much mystery in the means he took to combat the
plot against the Consul's life, that sometimes Bonaparte
thought his police had the advantage of those of the
minister. The latter had smothered, just before its
execution, a project of this kind formed by Juvenot
and about twenty Jacobins. While these were under
arrest, news came of a fresh plot to murder the Consul
at the opera. During the time that Fouch6 had the
plotters under supervision, one of them, a cashiered
officer named Harrel, revealed it spontaneously to
Bourrienne. He, by desire of Bonaparte, did not



mention it to Fouch6, and acted in concert with the
commander of the guard of the Consuls in order to
follow the progress of the plot. Bourrienne, through
the agency of the denouncer Harrel, furnished the
conjures with the money necessary to purchase the
arms. The gunsmith refused to supply arms without
the authority of the police. Thereupon Fouch6 gave
his permission. The First Consul, thinking to take his
minister unawares, reproached him bitterly. Fouche
endured his reproaches with his accustomed calm, his
answer being to cause the man from whom he obtained
his first information to appear. This was Barere, then
charged with the political part of the journals written
under the ministerial influence. Fouch6 and Bonaparte
now united to allow this affair to proceed to a certain
extent. Bonaparte went to the opera, and the police
agents arrested Diana, Ceracchi, and their accomplices.
This affair caused an unpleasantness between Bona-
parte and Fouch6, which was soon augmented by the
courtiers inimical to the latter. After the explosion of
the infernal machine, the courtiers openly accused the
Jacobins and their protector Fouch6. Different accounts
are given of the scene that occurred on the morrow of
this attempt. Bonaparte is said to have approached
Fouch6 with the question, Well, do you still say this
was the work of the Royalists? Yes, I will say it,"
remarked Fouch6. Bourrienne states that Bonaparte
remarked that he did not rely upon the police of
Fouch6, but kept his own police. One of the zealous



courtiers of the consular power, Rcederer, approached
Josephine and said, The days of the First Consul
should not be left at the disposition of a man surrounded
by scoundrels." Josephine answered, "The most danger-
ous men are those who wish to give Bonaparte ideas
of an hereditary dynasty, of divorce, and of marriage with
a princess." The explanation of this is that a pamphlet
had just appeared, entitled "Parallel of Cromwell, Monk,
and Bonaparte," the aim of which was to re-establish
the hereditary monarchy. It was Lucien, minister of
the interior, who had caused this pamphlet to be dis-
tributed. Fouch6 hastened to Malmaison and placed
the pamphlet before Bonaparte, with a report on the
inconvenience of an initiative so badly disguised. Bona-
parte pretended to be annoyed, and demanded why
he had allowed such a dangerous publication to appear.
When told that the delinquent was his brother Lucien,
"Then," said he, "your duty as minister of police was
to arrest him." This appeared the more strange to
Fouch6, seeing that he had seen proofs of the pamphlet
with corrections in Bonaparte's own hand. Lucien and
Bonaparte quarrelled concerning this affair, the former
being dismissed; and so, to all appearances, Fouch6
had triumphed. Bonaparte appeared to be grateful to
him for the precautions taken to insure his safety.
Bonaparte insisted upon the proscription of some of
the Jacobins, although Fouch6 contended that it was
not they but the Royalists who were the authors of
the 3rd Niv6se. When Bourrienne ventured to plead



also for the revocation of the proscription, agreeing
with Fouch6 that the Jacobins were not the guilty
parties, Bah! said Bonaparte, "at any rate, I have
got rid of them."
It was about this time that the Abb6 de Montesquiou,
on the part of Louis XVIII. and the Duchess de Guiche,
charged with a mission from the Count d'Artois, suc-
ceeded, firstly, in placing before Bonaparte a letter, in
which the King demanded his crown from this second
Monk, and secondly, in procuring an interview with
Josephine, who was the friend of the emigrds. Fouch6
was informed by Josephine of what was taking place,
and was annoyed that he had not received any orders
from Bonaparte with regard to it. He then represented
to the latter that he was the man of the Revolution
and could be only that. This, with other representa-
tions, made a deep impression upon Bonaparte, and
the duchess received orders to quit.
After the peace of Amiens, Bonaparte caused his
secret agents to propose for him the consulate for life.
Fouch6 opposed this, and soon found that a certain
reserve was shown towards him, and that mysterious
conferences were held at the house of Cambac&res.
Always well served by his spies, Fouche informed his
numerous friends in the senate, the result being that
this body only prolonged the power of the First Consul
for ten years (znd of May, 1802). Bonaparte exhibited
great irritation at this, but the other consuls decreed
that the voice of the people should be taken. Bona-



parte was elected for life, and proceeded to the Luxem-
bourg with a magnificent cortege, but he was much
annoyed at the silence of the people on the way, and
complained of it to Fouche, who replied that he had
not been ordered to provide an enthusiasm. At this
interview Bonaparte finally turned his back on Fouch6,
which was supposed to predict the latter's near dis-
grace. Since the treaties of Luneville and Amiens
the First Consul had been annoyed by the English
journals representing him as under the tutelage of
Talleyrand with regard to foreign affairs, and Fouchd
for the affairs of the interior. The latter wearied
Bonaparte by his persistent counsels and his general
opposition to this budding tyrant. Fouch6 had taken
advantage of his position to interfere not only with
affairs of state, but also with those of the family of
Bonaparte and the Court. He often represented him-
self as being the repairer of the errors of the executive,
and thus sang his own praises at the expense of the
chief of the state. What Bonaparte forgave still less
was that Fouch6 sought not only to be useful, but to
render himself necessary. The First Consul looked
upon the police force organised by Fouche as being
a power outside the government, and at a critical time
very likely to be dangerous, seeing the versatile character
of the minister. Often when the latter was publicly
attacked by Bonaparte with regard to his conduct of
affairs, Fouch6 kept silence, not caring to excuse him-
self by divulging that which was then secret. This



silence irritated Bonaparte, although he understood the
motive of it. The enemies of Fouch6, with Bonaparte's
brothers at their head, took advantage of this feeling.
Bonaparte hesitated for some time, but finally, after
working with Fouch6 in the forenoon, as usual, charged
Cambac6res with the mission that he dared not carry
out himself. Anxious to attenuate the disagreeableness
of the disgrace as much as possible to a man who,
though dismissed, retained a deal of influence, Bonaparte
thus wrote to the senate: "The citizen Fouche has
responded by his talents, by his activity, and by his
attachment to the government to all that has been
required of him. Placed in the midst of the senate,
should other circumstances redemand a minister of
police, the government will not be able to find one
more worthy of its confidence."
Fouch6 was appointed chief of the senatorship of
Aix, which added a revenue of 30,000 francs to the
36,000 that he received as senator. In presenting his
report to the First Consul at the final interview, Bona-
parte remarked that there was a reserve of 2,400,000
francs, and he gave half of this sum to Fouche.
Fouch6 was thus enabled to retire to private life in
comfort. His enemies were disconcerted at this.
Amongst those who assisted most at the fall of Fouch6
was Regnaud de Saint-Jean-d'Ang6ly, who afterwards
said, "Fouch6 conspires against the Emperor even when
he is still. Each of his dreams is a plot. I shall
distrust him even after his death."



Josephine saw with regret the dismissal of this
minister, with whom she had an understanding, imagin-
ing that he would be able to turn Bonaparte's thoughts
from the idea of a divorce. The duties of the minister
of police were united to those of the minister of justice
in the hands of R6gnier under the title of chief justice.
During the summer of 1802 Fouch6 spent some peace-
able days on his estate at Pontcarrd. He came but rarely
to Paris, where he received at his superb hotel in the
Rue du Bac all the distinguished personages of the
Revolution, keeping up a political activity inseparable
from his existence. In the month of November he
was called upon to transact some business with the
deputies from the Swiss cantons. He was, therefore,
on the eve of taking again the reins of power, which
the incapacity of his successor and new plots caused
Bonaparte to repent ever having taken from him. The
ex-minister several times said of R6gnier, He is too
gullible and too foolish to manage the police well; he
will allow the First Consul to fall into the first snare."
This was what did happen, so that the enemies of
Fouch6 have stated that it was he who fomented the
conspiracy of Georges and Pichegru. The First Consul
hastened to call upon Fouch6 for advice. The issue
of the above-mentioned conspiracy was the assassina-
tion of the Duke d'Enghien, of which Fouch6 remarked,
"It is much worse than a crime; it is a fault." At
the time of Moreau's arrest, Fouch6 opposed the arrest
of his wife, an act of violence which might have aroused



the people. The ex-minister obtained a promise of
clemency from Bonaparte, and prevailing upon Moreau
to ostracise himself, gained the thanks of Bonaparte.
Fouch6 now saw that it was necessary to agree to
the crowning of Bonaparte, as he was the only man
able to control events. Fouch6's assistance was now
considered more necessary than ever, and by a decree
of the Ioth of July, the ministry of police was re-
established. By a thoroughly complete system, Fouchd
managed to relieve himself of the details of business,
and reserved to himself alone the direction of the
superior police. In the cabinet of the minister were
collected all the foreign papers which were prohibited
elsewhere. By this means he held the most important
threads of foreign politics, and, with the Emperor,
was able to control or balance the minister of foreign
The police of Fouch6 acquired such a reputation that
he was able to count amongst his agents many persons
of high rank-some diplomatists, senators, councillors
of state, some of the great lords who had emigrated,
and people of letters. He caused it to be imagined
that where three or four persons were gathered to-
gether, someone was present to report. Informed of
all, he was able to advise Bonaparte of any public
sufferings, and was able to prevent many evils and to
resist the passions and violence of the Emperor.
During the absence of Bonaparte, Fouch6 maintained
a profound peace at home, which surprised even the


conflicting parties themselves. One of the causes of
his success was that he never failed in his engagements,
and when he had promised his support to anyone, he
always kept his word. The most surprising conquest
that he made was over the Royalist chiefs, whom he
had caused to be arrested because of letters being
found implicating them. Fouch6 would entertain him-
self for hours together among them, and they were
known to admit that, though they had been vanquished,
they had never before been subjugated.
The letter that Fouch6 addressed to the bishops
was a remarkable one. It is too lengthy to insert here,
but in it he claimed a connection between his functions
and theirs.
Fouch6 saw that public opinion would not be entirely
favourable to Bonaparte, unless the latter destroyed by
his presence and his personal efforts the unpleasant
feeling engendered by, among other incidents, that of
the assassination of the Duke d'Enghien. He, therefore,
counselled Bonaparte to travel, and the journey to the
camp at Boulogne, to Aix-la-Chapelle, and to Mayence
was the result. Fouch6 was not responsible for the
fate of Wright in the Temple, he not having super-
vision of that prison.
The brilliant campaign of Austerlitz and the peace
of Presburg had reinstated Napoleon in public favour.
Frankly, Fouch6 was able to congratulate him upon the
amelioration of public opinion. Sire," said he, "Aus-
terlitz has shaken the old aristocracy. The Faubourg


St. Germain no longer conspires." Bonaparte was en-
chanted, and avowed that in all his battles and perils
he always had in view the opinion of Paris and of the
Faubourg St. Germain. Thus the old nobility came
in crowds to the Tuileries. Fouch6 was now accused
by the old Republicans of protecting the Royalists;
but he did not change his general rule of attempting
to unite all parties in a common interest.
After the peace of Presburg (25th of December,
1805) Bonaparte thought of creating a new nobility,
and consulted Fouch6 on the subject, who had no
objection, and was decorated with the eagle of the
Legion of Honour. He was afterwards created count,
as were also all the members of the senate. In
March, 1806, he was admitted to the first rank as
Duke of Otranto, with a large endowment on the
state of Naples. This high position never dazzled
Fouche, and he was one of the few who always told
the truth to the Emperor. He was totally opposed
to the continental campaign, of which the first decree
from Berlin in 1806 declared Bonaparte to be at war
with all the commerce of Europe. He knew with how
much blood and with what efforts the doubtful victory
of Eylau had been bought. Paris even did not ignore
it; and when Bonaparte wrote to Fouch6 complaining
of his inertia and negligence, the latter sent him letters
from the army which had reached him. After the
peace of Tilsit Bonaparte entertained designs upon
Spain, and Fouche had the good sense to attempt to


dissuade him. Go to Portugal, if you wish," said he,
"that is truly an English colony; but the Bourbons
of Spain are and always will be your humble prefects,
and you have no cause to complain of them." But
Bonaparte ridiculed the fears expressed that he would
find himself between two fires, saying that he was sure
of Alexander. When the knowledge of the invasion of
Spain was made public, the reprobation of it was general.
About this time the son of Hortense died, and
with his death Bonaparte saw the hope of perpetu-
ating his dynasty vanish. This loss prompted Fouch6
and all those whose political existence depended upon
Bonaparte to think seriously, and he submitted his
reflections to Bonaparte in a memorial the subject of
which was the dissolution of his marriage with Jose-
phine and union with one suited to his high position.
Prompted by an excess of zeal or by impatient ambi-
tion, Fouch6, after having consulted certain senators,
warned Josephine. Bonaparte soon learnt from Jo-
sephine of this false step of Fouch6 and censured it,
but would not send him away (le chasser).
Finding himself opposed in the corps legislatif,
Bonaparte complained of it to Fouch6, who advised
him to dissolve that body, saying that if Louis XVI.
had acted thus he would still have been reigning.
" But, Duke of Otranto," said Bonaparte, "I believe
you are one of those who sent him to the scaffold."
"Yes," said Fouch6 coolly, and it is the first service
that I rendered your Majesty."


The result of the battle of Essling caused great in-
quietude in Paris. Fouch6 now seemed at the zenith
of his power. The English had landed at Walcheren,
and all Belgium bid fair to fall into the power of an
enemy who was able to advance to the frontiers of
France, when Fouch6 organised an army, calling upon
Bernadotte to command it, and forced the English to re-
embark. But in this instance Fouch6 gave Bonaparte
offence, firstly, by giving the command to a general in
disgrace, and secondly, by a letter addressed to all
the mayors: "Let us prove to all Europe that if the
genius of Bonaparte can give glory to France by his
victories, his presence is not necessary to repulse our
enemies." Fouch6 now did his utmost to curb Bona-
parte's ambition, saying that after having resuscitated
the empire of Charlemagne, he ought to think of
making it durable.
Fouch6 at this time found himself constantly in oppo-
sition to Bonaparte. A rival police, called the gendar-
merie, were organised and the command given to Savary,
which was a great vexation (diboire) for the minister.
It was against the advice of Fouch6 that the Pope
was dispossessed of his estates. At the marriage of
the Emperor many cardinals absented themselves.
Bonaparte wished to arrest them, and had an alterca-
tion on the subject with Fouch6. Finally it was
agreed that the delinquents should be banished to
different small towns of France, and compelled to habit
themselves in black as simple priests.


Bonaparte wished Holland to bear all the charges
of the continental system. This was opposed by his
brother Louis, and Fouch6 was accused of encouraging
the opposition. Bonaparte, wishing for peace, authorised
Fouch6 to concert with the King, his brother, an
arrangement with the Court of St. James. Fouche
ambitiously thought to make a private arrangement
with the English minister of foreign affairs, and en-
gaged Ouvrard as the go-between. Affairs were pro-
gressing favourably, when Bonaparte himself opened
negotiations through a house of commerce in Amsterdam.
Thus resulted a double negotiation and a conflict of
propositions which annoyed the English minister, and
the envoys were sent home. Bonaparte was furious at
this, and ordered Ouvrard to be arrested. He also
took the portfolio of police from Fouch6 and bestowed
it on Savary, after having accused the former of making
peace and war without his authority. Fouche was
appointed governor of Rome, the Emperor softening
the blow by a very flattering letter. Fouche pretended
to be very humble, and offered to explain Savary's
duties to him, even begging him to stay at the same
hotel under the pretext of putting in order the papers
. he wished to transmit to him. Savary had the sim-
plicity to believe all this, and at the end of three weeks
had some insignificant papers handed to him, the rest
having been burnt. Fouche knew well that it was
never intended that he should be allowed to go to
Rome; but, pretending to be duped, he had all his


household got up in the style of that of a governor-
general, and his equipages bore in large letters,
" Equipages of the Governor-general of Rome." When
he requested his orders and permission for a final in-
terview, he was told to go to his country seat and
await instructions. There he amused himself until
waited upon by ambassadors from Bonaparte, who
requested him to deliver up autograph letters and
papers not found at the ministry. He refused, and
Bonaparte uttered threats, of which Fouch6 was soon
informed. He then went to Florence, but receiving
alarming news from Paris, thought of going to the
United States. He chartered a vessel, but sea-sickness
was too much for him; and although an English
captain promised him an antidote and offered to convey
him to England, he declined to again trust himself on
the ocean. Acting upon advice, he submitted to the
Emperor, offering to give up any letters if a receipt
were given him and permission to go to Aix. There
he was received with extraordinary honour, for a
minister in disgrace, and regularly received news from
the political world of Paris.
Bonaparte was now preparing his expedition to
Russia, and Fouch6 was permitted to present to him
a memorial against the campaign. Nothing could be
done to disenchant Bonaparte. The abdication of
Louis Bonaparte caused Fouch6 to consider the fall
of Napoleon possible. He thereupon thought of a
project for taking the regency from Maria Louisa.


Metternich, with the idea of saving France from inva-
sion, discussed certain affairs which he was enabled to
re-open at a later period. After his defeat at Leipsic,
Bonaparte, fearing the presence of Fouche in Paris,
ordered him to Rome, of which he was yet the titular
governor. In January, 1814, he addressed a letter to
the Emperor, advising him to concentrate his armies
between the Alps, the Pyrenees and the Rhine, and to
declare to Europe that he would not pass his natural
frontiers, this being the only way by which he could
ensure a veritable peace. Some time after he received
orders to evacuate the Roman states. This he did,
but not before obtaining from the King of Naples
arrears of 190,000 francs for his emoluments as
governor-general of Rome, &c. Fouch6 went to Rome,
but his discourses hostile to Bonaparte causing him to
be suspected, he left. He dared not approach Paris,
but at Avignon he addressed the authorities, informing
them of the approaching fall of the imperial govern-
ment. At the news of the events of the 31st of March,
he hastened to Paris, hoping to participate in the new
direction of affairs, and arrived there on the same day
as the Count d'Artois. On the 23rd of April he wrote
to Bonaparte, advising him to leave Elba and go to
the United States. This letter coming to the know-
ledge of Louis XVIII. caused him to consider the
advisability of including Fouch6 in the ministry. The
conduct of the new government all agreed was un-
satisfactory, and Fouch6 at last saw that Bonaparte's



return was possible. At the last moment Loiis XVIII.
authorised Monsieur to offer him the portfolio of the
minister of police, but in an interview that they had
Fouch6 told him that it was too late, that Bonaparte
was bound to return, and that the latter would wish
him to accept that position. He offered to be the
private correspondent of Louis XVIII., his excuse being
that, even if he were serving two masters, he would
be best serving France. He is said to have predicted
that Bonaparte would not last three months, and to
have written to the Duke d'Aumont, "You save the
monarch, and I will save the monarchy."
The day following the interview with Monsieur, the
new prefect of police, Bourrienne, received orders to
arrest Fouche, the carrying out of which order would
have afforded him much pleasure, as by so doing he
would have greatly obliged his friend Savary, who
hoped that if Fouch6 were removed he would receive
the portfolio of police on the return of Bonaparte.
Fouch6, informed as usual, was able to escape the
snare laid for him. Fouch6's purpose was to again
proclaim the Republic with Bonaparte as generalissimo,
but the military party were too strong for any such
arrangement. During this crisis Fouch6 played his
part so well that he was able to appear both as the
patron of the Republicans and the protector of the
Royalists, leaving Bonaparte only the power of
the bayonets. Thus in the famous declaration of the
Council of State there occurred this phrase, inspired



by Fouche, which gave a contradiction to all the
doctrines of the Empire: "The sovereignty rests only
in the people; it -is the only source of power." By
establishing lieutenants of police in all parts of the
kingdom, Fouch6 was able to brave without fear the
tottering Emperor. Bonaparte more than once con-
sidered the advisability of ridding himself of Fouch6.
Once he was inclined to have him shot, but was dis-
suaded by Carnot. It is said that Bonaparte told
Fouch6 that he knew that he had sold himself to the
enemy, and that he ought to shoot him, but he would
leave that task to others, and would prove to him that
he was not able to influence his destiny in the slightest.
After Waterloo Fouchd forced the situation by the
advice that he gave to the different parties. He
advised the Bonapartists to demand the dissolution of
the Chamber, and then warned the opposite party to
be on the alert to oppose it. Bonaparte was compelled
to abdicate, as is well known.
Too enlightened to think that it was now possible
to proclaim a republic, Fouch6 would have been in
favour of the Orleans branch of the royal family, but
was content if it became necessary to accept the elder
branch, on certain conditions being agreed to.
Fouch6 was engaged at this time in various nego-
tiations, and in a famous letter to the Duke of Welling-
ton he inferred that the Duke of Orleans would be
a suitable occupant of the throne. But the latter did
not seem to have that ambition, and retired to his
VOL. I d


villa at Twickenham. It is stated that Wellington
declined to treat with the French nation except upon
the understanding that Louis XVIII. would be re-
Fouch6 has been accused of throwing obstacles in
Bonaparte's way, preventing him making his escape,
and in such a manner that he was likely to be
captured by the English. After Wellington's deter-
mination concerning Louis XVIII., it was necessary
for those who formed the provisional government either
to come to terms or to fight. All agreed that the capital
was not in a state to stand a siege. Fouch6 was de-
sirous that the treaty about to be entered into should
not have the appearance of a humiliating capitulation.
The French army was to take up its position behind
the Loire. Fouch6 and his friends were enabled to
arrange matters as they wished. It is said that Fouch6
and Talleyrand gave reciprocal guarantees-Fouch6 to
Talleyrand on behalf of Bonaparte, and Talleyrand to
Fouch6 with regard to Louis XVIII. Certain con-
ditions were agreed to by the provisional government
to be demanded of the King if he returned. Among
them were these: That the tricolour should be pre-
served, two chambers maintained, and all enjoying
honours and pensions should continue to receive them
as heretofore.
Fouche and his colleagues soon learnt that the allied
powers considered that the authority exercised by
the chambers was illegitimate, and that all they were


expected to do was to proclaim Louis XVIII. king and
then dissolve. Carnot was inclined to protest, but Fouch6
saw the futility of it. Louis XVIII. then re-entered
Paris, and Fouch6 and Talleyrand again became mem-
bers of the ministry. This displeased Carnot, and a
disagreeable scene took place between the latter and
In spite of his election to the chamber by three
departments, Fouch6 resigned in September, 1815, not
agreeing with the royalist reaction which had set in.
He was appointed ambassador to Dresden, but was
affected by the law of the 12th of January, 1816, and lost
his position and right to dwell in France. He retired
to Prague, and became a naturalised Austrian in 1818.
He then went to Trieste, where he died on 25th of
December, 1820. He left a fortune of fourteen million
Fouch6 was twice married, on the second occasion
(August, 1815), after having been a widower two
years, to Mdlle. de Castellane, whom he had known
at Aix when exiled there in 181o. Louis XVIII. and
the princes signed the marriage contract.




THE man who, in turbulent and revolutionary
times, was solely indebted for the honours and power
with which he was invested, and, in short, for his dis-
tinguished fortune, to his own prudence and abilities;
who, at first elected a national representative, was,
upon the re-establishment of order, an ambassador,
three times a minister, a senator, a duke, and one of
the principal directors of state affairs; this man would
be wanting to himself if, to answer the calumnies of
libellers, he descended to apology or captious refuta-
tions: he must adopt other means.
This man, then, is myself. Raised by the Revolu-
tion, it is only to a counter one, which I foresaw, and
might myself have brought about, but against which
at the critical moment I was unprepared, that I owe
my downfall.
This fall has exposed me, defenceless, to the
clamours of malignity and the insults of ingratitude;
me, who for a long time invested with a mysterious
and terrible power, never wielded it but to calm the


passions, disunite factions, and prevent conspiracies;
me, who was never-ceasingly employed in moderating
and tempering power, in conciliating and amalgama-
ting the jarring elements and conflicting interests
which divided France. No one dares deny that such
was my conduct so long as I exercised any influence
in the government or in the councils of the state.
What have I, an exile, to oppose to these furious
enemies, to this rabble which now persecute me,
after having grovelled at my feet? Shall I answer
them with the cold declamations of the school, or
with refined and academic periods? Certainly not;
I will confound them by facts and proofs, by a true
exposition of my labours, of my thoughts, both as a
minister and a statesman; by the faithful recital of
the political events, and the singular circumstances
through which I steered in times of turbulence and
violence. This is the object I propose to myself.
From truth I think I have nothing to dread; and
even if it were so, I would speak it. The time for
its consummation has arrived: I will speak it, cost
what it may, so that when the tomb covers my mortal
remains, my name shall be bequeathed to the judgment
of history. It is, however, just that I should appear
before its tribunal with these Memoirs in my hand.
And first, let me not be considered responsible
either for the Revolution, its consequences, or even
its direction. I was a cipher; I possessed no au-
thority when its first shocks, overturning France,
shook Europe to its foundations. Besides, what was
this Revolution? It is notorious that, previous to the
year 1789, presentiments of the destruction of empires


had created uneasiness in the monarchy. Empires
themselves are not exempted from that universal law
which subjects all mundane things to change and
decomposition. Has there ever been one whose his-
torical duration has exceeded a certain number of
ages ? At most their greatest longevity may be fixed
at twelve or fourteen centuries, whence it may be
inferred that a monarchy which had already lasted
thirteen hundred years without undergoing any violent
change, was not far from a catastrophe. Of what
consequence is it, if, rising from its ashes and reor-
ganised, it has subjected Europe to the yoke and terror
of its arms? Should its power again escape, again
will it decline and perish. Let us not inquire what
may be the new metamorphoses to which it is
destined. The geographical configuration of France
ensures us a distinguished part in the ages yet to
come. Gaul, when conquered by the masters of the
world, remained subjected only for three hundred
years. Other invaders are now forging, in the north,
the chains which shall enslave Europe. The Revo-
lution erected a bulwark which arrested them for a
time-it is being demolished piecemeal; but though
destroyed, it will again be raised, for the present age
is powerful; it carries along with it men, parties,
and governments.
You who exclaim so furiously against the wonders
of the Revolution; you who directed it without daring
to face it; you have experienced it, and perhaps may
experience it once more.
Who provoked it, and whence did we first see it
rise? From the saloons of the great, from the


cabinets of the ministers. It was invited, provoked
by the parliaments and by those about the King-by
young colonels, by court mistresses, by pensioned men
of letters, whose persons were protected, and sentiments
re-echoed by duchesses.
I have seen the nation blush at the depravity of
the higher classes, the licentiousness of the clergy, the
ignorant blunders of the ministers, and at the picture
of the disgusting dissoluteness of the great modern
Was it not those that were considered the flowers
of France, who, for forty years, established and sup-
ported the adoration of Voltaire and Rousseau ? Was
it not among the higher classes that the mania of
democratical independence, transplanted from the
United States into the French soil, first took root?
Dreams of a republic were already afloat, while cor-
ruption was at its height in the monarchy! Even
the example of a monarch exemplary and strict in his
morals could not arrest the torrent. During this de-
moralisation of the upper classes, the nation increased
in knowledge and intellect. By continually hearing
emancipation represented as a duty, it at length be-
lieved it as such. History itself can here attest that
the nation was unacquainted with the arts which
prepared the catastrophe. It might have been made
to have advanced with the times; the King, and all
men of intellect, desired it. But the corruption and
avarice of the great, the errors of the magistrates and
of the court, and the mistakes of the ministry, dug
the pit of destruction. It was, besides, so easy to
urge to extremities a petulant and inflammable nation,


one which, on the slightest provocation, would rush
into excesses Who fired the train ? Did the Arch-
bishop of Sens, did Necker the Swiss, Mirabeau, La
Fayette, D'Orleans, Adrian Duport, Chauderlos Laclos,
the Stadls, the Larochefoucaulds, the Beauveaus, the
Montmorencys,2 the Uvailles, the Lameths, the La
Tour du Pins, the Lefrancs de Pompignan, and so
many other promoters of the triumphs in 1789 over
the royal authority-did these belong to the tiers-etat?
But for the meetings of the Palais Royal and Mont
Rouge, the Breton Club had been harmless. There
would have been no i4th of July if on the 12th the
troops and generals of the King had done their duty.
Besenval was a creature of the Queen; and Besenval,
at the decisive moment, in spite of the King's orders,
sounded a retreat, instead of advancing against the
1 For short biographical sketches of the principal personages
mentioned in these Memoirs, see Alphabetical Appendix at end
of volume.
2 This name so truly French, and already so illustrious from
its historical celebrity, has become, if possible, still more re-
spectable, since the Duke Matthieu de Montmorency, to whose
conduct Fouch6 here alludes, has done honour to himself by a
public avowal of his fault. The sincerity and nobleness of his
conduct as a minister and a statesman have likewise gained
him universal esteem. M. Fouch6 cannot injure the reputation
of so respectable a character. The great protector of the old
noblesse under the imperial regime, Fouch6 recriminates here,
in order to reproach that very noblesse with its participation
in the Revolution; it is among the revolutionists a forced re-
crimination. What he says may be true in some respects; but
a small minority of an order is not the whole of it; there will
also always be an immense distance between the follies, impru-
dences, and faults of 1789, and the dreadful crimes of 1793.
Fouch6's subtle manner of reasoning, in order to exculpate
himself, does not appear to us historically conclusive.-Note by
the Editor.


insurgents. Marshal Broglio himself was paralysed by
his staff. These are incontrovertible facts.
It is well known by what arts the common people
were roused to insurrection. The sovereignty of the
people was proclaimed by the defection of the army
and the court. Is it surprising that the factious and
the heads of parties (meneurs) should have got the
Revolution into their hands ? The impulse of inno-
vations and the exaltation of ideas did the rest.
The Revolution was commenced by a prince who
might have mastered it, changing the dynasty, but his
cowardice permitted it to proceed at random and with-
out an object. In the midst of this distress some
generous hearts, some enthusiastic minds, joined with
a few freethinkers (esprits forts), sincerely imagined that
a social regeneration was practicable, and, trusting to
protestations and oaths, employed themselves in its
It was under these circumstances that we, obscure
men of the tiers-itat, and inhabitants of the provinces,
were attracted and seduced by the dreams of liberty,
by the intoxicating fiction of the restoration of the
state. We pursued a chimera with the fever of the
public good; we had, at that time, no secret objects,
no ambition, no views of sordid interest.
Opposition, however, soon inflaming the passions,
party spirit gave rise to implacable animosities. Every-
thing was carried to extremity. The multitude was
the sole mover. For the same reason that Louis XIV.
had said, "I am the state," the people said, "We are
the sovereign; the state is the nation;" and the nation
proceeded quite alone.


And here let us remark a fact which will serve as
a key to the events which will follow, for these events
bear upon the wonderful. The dissentient royalists
and the counter-revolutionists, for want of available
materials for a civil war, finding themselves shut out
from honours, had recourse to emigration-the resource
of the weak. Finding no support at home, they ran to
seek it abroad. Following the example of all nations
under similar circumstances, the nation desired that the
estates of the emigrants should be held as a guarantee
for the motives which had induced them to arm them-
selves against her, and to wish to arm all Europe. But
how could the right of proprietorship, the foundation
of the monarchy, be touched, without sapping its own
basis? Sequestration led to spoliation; and from that
moment the whole fell to ruin, for the mutation of
property is synonymous with the subversion of the
established order of things. It is not I who said,
"Property must go into other hands!" This sentence
was more agrarian than all that the Gracchi could have
uttered, and no Scipio Nasica was to be found.
From that moment the Revolution was nothing but
a scene of ruin and destruction. The terrible sanction
of war was wanting to it, and the European cabinets,
of their own accord, opened the Temple of Janus.
From the commencement of this great contest, the
Revolution, full of youth and ardour, triumphed over
the old system, over the despicable coalition, and over
the wretched and discordant operations of its armies.
Another fact must also be adduced, in order to
draw from it an important inference. The first coalition
was repulsed, beaten, and humiliated. But let us


suppose that it had triumphed over the patriotic con-
federacy of France; that the advance of the Prussians
into Champagne had met with no serious obstacle as
far even as the capital; and that the Revolution had
been disorganised even in its very birthplace: admit-
ting this hypothesis, France would certainly have
shared the fate of Poland, by a dismemberment and
by the degradation of its sovereign; for such was at
that time the political theme of the cabinets and the
spirit of their co-partnership diplomacy. The progress
of knowledge had not yet introduced the discovery of
the European confederacy, of military occupation, with
subsidies. By preserving France the patriots of 1792
not only rescued her from the hands of foreigners, but
laboured, though unintentionally, for the restoration
of the monarchy. This is incontestable.
Much outcry has been made against the excesses
of this sanguinary Revolution. Could it remain calm
and temperate when surrounded by enemies and ex-
posed to invasion ? Numbers deceived themselves, but
few were criminal. The cause of the Ioth of August
is alone to be ascribed to the advance of the combined
Austrians and Prussians. Had they marched later it
would have been of little consequence. The suicide of
France was not yet near at hand.
Undoubtedly, the Revolution was violent, and even
cruel in its progress; all this is historically known,
nor shall I dwell upon it, such not being the object
of this work. It is of -myself I wish to speak, or
rather of the events in which I was concerned as a
minister of state. It was necessary that I should in-
troduce the subject, and describe the character of the



not the generality

of my readers suppose

that I shall tediously recite my private life as a private



it be

to know

the first




career ?

Minute such as these

can only interest

the famished

compilers of contemporaneous biography, or the simple-



to do

common with history, and it
My being the son of the

is to that which I aspire.
owner of a privateer, and

of having

at first destined

for the

can be

of little consequence:

my family was respectable.

can likewise afford

but little interest

to know that

was brought

up among

Peres de


was one myself,

and that


college of Nantes;



at least,


to teaching,

prefect of the
be inferred that

was neither an ignoramus nor a fool.


entirely false that I

was ever

a priest,

or had taken


make this remark to show that I

at liberty

to become

a freethinker

was per-
or a phi-

is that



guilty of






public functions,

and that,

under the


of the




exercising the profession

of a lawyer,

which was much









and to
v what

age was,

the advantage of being


so neither from





is it

no subject



my fellow-citizens,


the employment



artifice or intrigue, a representative of the people at
the National Convention ?
It is in this political defile that the deserters of
the Court wait to attack me. There are no exaggera-
tions, no excesses, no crimes, either when in office or
in the tribune, with which they have not loaded my
historical responsibility, taking words for actions, and
forced speeches for principles; neither taking into the
account time, place, nor circumstance; and making
no allowance for a universal delirium, for the republican
fever, of which twenty millions of Frenchmen felt the
My first introduction into the government was in
the Committee of Public Instruction, where I connected
myself with Condorcet, and through him with Ver-
gniaud. A circumstance relating to one of the most
important crises of my life must here be mentioned.
By a singular chance, I had been acquainted with
Maximilian Robespierre at the time I was professor
of philosophy in the town of Arras, and had even
afforded him pecuniary assistance to enable him to
settle in Paris, when he was appointed deputy to the
National Assembly. When we again met at the Con-
vention, we at first saw each other frequently, but
the differences of our opinions, and, perhaps, the still
greater dissimilarity of our characters, soon caused a
One day, at the conclusion of a dinner given at
my house, Robespierre began to declaim with much
violence against the Girondins, particularly abusing
Vergniaud, who was present. I was much attached
to Vergniaud, who was a great orator and a man of


unaffected manners. I went round to him, and ad-
vancing towards Robespierre, said to him, "Such
violence may assuredly enlist the passions on your
side, but will never obtain for you esteem and con-
fidence." Robespierre, offended, left the room, and it
will shortly be seen how far this malignant man carried
his animosity against me.
I had, however, no share in the political system
of the Gironde party, of which Vergniaud was the
reputed head. I conceived that the effect of this
system would be to disunite France by raising the
greater portion of it in circles (zones) and provinces
against Paris. In this I foresaw great danger, being
convinced that there was no safety for the state but
in the unity and indivisibility of the body politic.
This was what induced me to enter a faction whose
excesses I inwardly detested, and whose violence
marked the progress of the Revolution. What horrors
waited on the names of Morality and Justice! But
it must be admitted, we were not sailing in peaceful
The Revolution was at its height; we were without
rudder, without government, ruled by only one assem-
bly, a species of monstrous dictatorship, the offspring
of confusion, and which alternately presented a counter-
part of the anarchy of Athens and the despotism of
the Ottomans.
It is here, then, that the Revolution and the
counter-revolution are politically at issue. Is the
question to be decided by the jurisprudence which
regulates the decisions of criminal tribunals or the
correctional police? The Convention, notwithstanding


its atrocities, its excesses and its furious decrees, or
perhaps by those very decrees, saved the country
beyond its integral limits. This is an incontestable
fact, and for that reason I do not deny my par-
ticipation in its labours. Each of its members, when
accused before the tribunal of history, may confine
himself to the limits of Scipio's defence, and say with
that great man, "I have saved the republic; let us
repair to the Capitol to thank the gods!"
There was, however, one vote which is unjustifiable;
I will even own, without a blush, that it sometimes
awakens remorse within me. But I call the God of
Truth to witness, that it was far less against the
monarch that I aimed the blow (for he was good and
just) than against the kingly office, at that time
incompatible with the new order of things. I will
also add, for concealment is no longer of avail, that
it then appeared to me, as to so many others, that
we could not inspire the representatives and the mass
of the people with an energy sufficient to surmount
the difficulties of the crisis but by abandoning every-
thing like moderation, breaking through all restraint
and indulging the extremity of revolutionary excess.
Such was the reason of state which appeared to us
to require this frightful sacrifice. In politics even
atrocity itself may sometimes produce a salutary effect.
The world would not now call us to account if
the tree of liberty, having taken strong and firm root,
had resisted the axe wielded even by those who had
planted it with their own hands. That Brutus was
more happy in erecting the noble edifice which he
besprinkled with his children's blood, I can readily


conceive; it was far easier for him to have placed
the fasces of the monarchy in the hands of the aris-
tocracy already organised. The representatives of 1793,
by sacrificing the representative of royalty, the father
of the monarchy, for the purpose of founding a republic,
had no choice in the means of accomplishing their
object. The level of equality was already so violently
established in the nation, that the authority was neces-
sarily intrusted to a floating democracy: it could only
work upon a moving sand. After having condemned
myself as judge and accused, let me, at least, be allowed
to avail myself, in the exercise of my Conventional
duties, of some extenuating circumstances. Being
dispatched upon a mission into the department, forced
to employ the language of the times, and to yield to
the fatality of circumstances, I found myself compelled
to put in execution the law against suspected persons.
This law ordered the imprisonment, en masse, of priests
and nobles. The following is what I wrote, the fol-
lowing is what I dared to publish, in a proclamation
issued by me on the 25th of August, 1793:
"The law wills that suspected persons should be
removed from social intercourse; this law is commanded
by the interests of the state; but to take for the basis
of your opinions vague accusations, proceeding from
the vilest passions, would be to favour a tyranny as
repugnant to my own heart as it is to natural equity.
The sword must not be wielded at hazard. The law
decrees severe punishments, and not proscriptions, as
immoral as they are barbarous."
It required at that time some courage to mitigate
as much as was in one's power the rigour of the


Conventional decrees. I was not so fortunate in my
missions as collective commissioner (commissariat col-
lectif), because the power of decision was not intrusted
to myself alone. Throughout my missions, the actions
which may be considered as deserving of censure will
be found far less than the everyday phrases expressed
in the language of the times, and which in a period of
greater tranquillity still inspire a kind of dread; besides,
this language was, so to speak, official and peculiar.
Let not also my situation at this period be mistaken.
I was the delegate of a violent assembly, and I have
already proved that I eluded or softened down several
of its severe measures. In other respects these pre-
tended pro-consulates reduced the commissioned deputy
to nothing more than a man-machine, the wandering
commissary of the Committees of Public Safety and
of General Security. I was never a member of these
government committees; therefore I never held, during
the Reign of Terror, the helm of power; on the contrary,
as will shortly be seen, I was myself a sufferer by it.
This will prove how much my responsibility was confined.
But let us unwind the thread of these events. Like
that of Ariadne, it will conduct us out of the labyrinth,
and we can then attain the object of these Memoirs,
the sphere of which will increase in importance.
The paroxysm of revolution and of terror was at
hand. The guillotine was the only instrument of
government. Suspicion and distrust preyed upon every
heart; fear cowered over all. Even those who held
in their hands the instrument of terror were at times
menaced with it. One man alone in the Convention
appeared to enjoy an inexpugnable popularity: this was


Robespierre, a man full of pride and cunning; an en-
vious, malignant, and vindictive being, who was never
satiated with the blood of his colleagues; and who,
by his capacity, steadiness, the clearness of his head,
and the obstinacy of his character, surmounted circum-
stances the most appalling. Availing himself of his
preponderance in the Committee of Public Safety, he
openly aspired, not only to the tyranny of the decem-
viri, but to the despotism of the dictatorship of Marius
and Sylla. One step more would have given him the
masterdom of the Revolution, which it was his auda-
cious ambition to govern at his will; but thirty victims
more were to be sacrificed, and he had marked them
in the Convention. He well knew that I understood
him; and I therefore was honoured by being inscribed
upon his tablets at the head of those doomed to
destruction. I was still on a mission when he accused
me of oppressing the patriots and tampering with the
aristocracy. Being recalled to Paris, I dared to call
upon him from the tribune to make good his accusa-
tion. He caused me to be expelled from the Jacobins,
of whom he was the high priest; this was for me
equivalent to a decree of proscription.1 I did not trifle

1 After the death of Danton, of Camille Desmoulins, and
other deputies who were seized during the night at their habita-
tions by a mere order of the committees, delivered over to
the revolutionary tribunal, tried and condemned without being
able to defend themselves, Legendre, the friend of Danton,
Courtois, Tallien, and above thirty other deputies, never slept
at home; they wandered about during the night from one to
another, fearful of sharing the same fate as Danton. Fouch6
was more than two months without having any fixed residence.
It was thus that Robespierre made those tremble who seemed to
oppose his views to the dictatorship.-Note by the Editor.


in contending for my head, nor in long and secret de-
liberations with such of my colleagues as were threat-
ened with my own fate. I merely said to them-
among others to Legendre, Tallien, Dubois de Crance,
Daunou, and Ch6nier--"You are on the list, you
are on the list as well as myself; I am certain
of it Tallien, Barras, Bourdon de l'Oise, and
Dubois de Cranc6 evinced some energy. Tallien con-
tended for two lives, of which one was then dearer
to him than his own: he therefore resolved upon
assassinating the future dictator, even in the Conven-
tion itself. But what a hazardous chance was this !
Robespierre's popularity would have survived him, and
we should have been immolated to his manes. I there-
fore dissuaded Tallien from an isolated enterprise,
which would have destroyed the man but preserved his
Convinced that other means must be resorted
to, I went straight to those who shared with Robes-
pierre the government of terror, and whom I knew to
be envious or fearful of his immense popularity. I re-
vealed to Collot d'Herbois, to Carnot, to Billaud de
Varennes, the designs of the modern Appius; and I
presented to each of them separately so lively and so
true a picture of the danger of their situation, I urged
them with so much ability and success, that I in-
sinuated into their breasts more than mistrust-the
courage of henceforth opposing the tyrant in any
further decimating of the Convention. "Count the
votes," said I to them, "in your committee, and you
will see that when you are determined he will be re-
duced to a powerless minority of a Couthon and a


Saint-Just. Refuse him your votes, and reduce him
to stand alone by your vis inertiac."
But what contrivances, what expedients were neces-
sary to avoid exasperating the Jacobin club, the Seides,
and the partisans of Robespierre! Sure of having
succeeded, I had the courage to defy him on the
2oth Prairial (8th of June, 1794)-a day on which,
actuated with the ridiculous idea of solemnly acknow-
ledging the existence of the Supreme Being, he dared
to proclaim himself both his will and agent, in presence
of all the people assembled at the Tuileries. As he
was ascending the steps of his lofty tribune, whence
he was to proclaim his manifesto in favour of God, I
predicted to him aloud (twenty of my colleagues heard
it) that his fall was near. Five days after, in full com-
mittee, he demanded my head and that of eight of my
friends, reserving to himself the destruction of twenty
more at a later period. How great was his astonish-
ment, and what was his rage, upon finding amongst
the members of the committee an invincible opposition
to his sanguinary designs against the national repre-
sentation It has already been too much mutilated,
said they to him, and it is high time to put a stop to
a proscription which at last will include ourselves.
Finding himself in a minority, he withdrew, choked
with rage and disappointment, swearing never to set
foot again in the committee so long as his will should
be opposed. He immediately sent for Saint-Just, who
was with the army, rallied Couthon under his sanguinary
banner, and by his influence over the revolutionary
tribunal, still made the Convention and all those who
were operated on by fear to tremble. Being confident
VOL. I 2


of the


of the



of Henriot,


of the




of the capital,



he had still adherents

fully sufficient





seat of

his adversaries




was desirous

the general


of making them appear as the sole


of so

many murders, and of delivering them

up to the ven-


a people







and permitted



and timid,



five weeks


the crisis

But, cowardly,








not overlook

his situation

and seeing


a single




his enemies as still adhered to the committee, at least


the artillery from


who were

all de-

voted to

Robespierre and the commune,

Henriot of his command,

or at

and to deprive

to suspend

*of (


who al

forcements of



artillery to the




to the firmness
of sending rein-
As to depriving

Henriot of his command, that appeared too hazardous;

Henriot remained, and

was near losing all

or rather,




he who



of July)


the cause of



the triumph

of which

was for a

short time in





and stupid



What follows is

too well known for me

to enlarge



upon it. It is notorious how Maximilian the First
perished ; a man whom certain authors have been
very anxious of comparing to the Gracchi, to whom
he bore not the slightest resemblance, either in
eloquence or elevation of mind. I confess that, in
the delirium of victory, I said to those who favoured
his ambitious views, "You do him much honour; he
had neither plan nor design : far from disposing of
futurity, he was drawn along, and did but obey an
impulse he could neither oppose nor govern." But
at that time I was too near a spectator of events
justly to appreciate their history.
The sudden overthrow of the dreadful system
which suspended the nation between life and death,
was doubtless a grand epoch of liberty; but in this
world good is ever mixed with evil. What took place
after Robespierre's fall ? That which we have seen to
have been the case after a fall still more memorable.
Those who were the most abject before the decemvir
could, after his death, find no expression strong enough
to express their detestation of him.
It was soon a subject of regret that so happy an
event had not been made to contribute to the public
good, instead of serving as a pretext to glut the hatred
and vengeance of those who had been sufferers by the
Revolution. To terror succeeded anarchy, and to
anarchy reaction and vengeance. The Revolution was
blasted both in its principles and end; the patriots
were for a long time exposed to the fury of the
Sicaires, enlisted in companies of the Sun and of
Jesus. I had escaped the proscription of Robespierre,
but I could not escape those of the reactionists. They


pursued me even into the Convention, whence, by dint
of recriminations and false accusations, they caused
my expulsion by a most iniquitous decree; I was for
almost a year the victim of every species of insult
and odious persecution. It was then I began to re-
flect upon man, and upon the character of factions.
I was compelled to wait-for with us there is nothing
but extremes- I was compelled to wait till the cup
was full, till the excesses of reaction had placed in
jeopardy the Revolution itself and the Convention en
masse. Then, and not till then, it saw the abyss which
yawned at its feet. The crisis was awful-it was ex-
istence or non-existence. The Convention took up
arms; the persecution of the patriots was stopped,
and the cannon of one day (I3th Vend6miaire)' re-
stored order among the crowd of counter-revolutionists,
who had imprudently risen without chiefs and without
any centre of object and action.
The cannon of Vendemiaire, directed by Bonaparte,
having in some degree restored me to liberty and
honour, I confess that I was the more interested in
the destiny of this young general, who was clearing
for himself a road by which he was soon to arrive at
the most astonishing renown of modern times.
I had still, however, to contend with the severities
of a destiny which did not yet seem inclined to bend
and be propitious to me. The establishment of the
Directorial regime, after this last convulsion, was nothing
more than the attempt of a multifarious government,
appointed as the directors of a democratical republic
of forty millions of souls; for the Rhine and the Alps
1 Napoleon's whiff of grapeshot (Carlyle), 5th of October, 1795.


already formed our natural barrier. This was, indeed,
an attempt of the utmost boldness, in presence of the
armies of a coalition, formed by inimical governments
and disturbers of the common peace. The war, it is
true, constituted our strength; but it was attended
with reverses, and it was as yet uncertain which of
the two systems, the ancient or modern, would triumph.
More seemed to be expected from the capacity of the
men intrusted with the direction of affairs than from
the force of events and effervescence of recent passions :
too many vices discovered themselves. Our interior was
also not easily to be managed. It was with difficulty
that the Directorial government endeavoured to open
itself a safe road between two active and hostile factions
-that of the demagogues, who only considered our tem-
porary magistrates as oligarchs easily to be replaced,
and that of the auxiliary royalists abroad, who, unable
to strike a decisive blow, fanned in the southern and
western provinces the embers of civil war. The Direc-
tory, however, like every new government, which almost
always possess the advantage of being gifted with activity
and energy, procured fresh resources, and brought back
victory to the armies, stifling at the same time intestine
war. But it was, perhaps, too much alarmed at the
proceedings of the demagogues; first, because their prin-
cipal rendezvous was in Paris, under the eyes of the
Directory itself; and secondly, because the discontented
patriots constituted their sole power. This difficulty,
which might have been easily avoided, caused a devia-
tion in the policy of the Directory. It abandoned
the revolutionists, an order of men to which it owed
its existence, and preferred favouring those chameleons,


devoid of character and integrity-the instruments of
power so long as it can make itself respected, and its
enemies the moment it begins to totter. Five men
who in the Convention had been remarkable for the
energy of their votes, upon being invested with supreme
authority were seen to repel their ancient colleagues,
to caress the metis1 and the royalists, and adopt a
system totally opposed to the condition of their
Thus, under the republican government, of which
I was a founder, I was, if not proscribed, at least
in complete disgrace, obtaining neither employment,
respect, nor credit, and sharing this unaccountable
dislike for nearly three years with a great number of
my former colleagues, men of approved abilities and
patriotism. If I at length made my way, it was by
the assistance of a particular circumstance, and of a
change of system brought about by the force of cir-
cumstances. This deserves being particularised.
Of all the members of the Directory, Barras was the
only one who was accessible to his former but now
cast off colleagues; he had, and deserved, the reputa-
tion of possessing an amiability, candour, and generosity
peculiar to the people of the south. Without being well
versed in politics, he had resolution and a certain tact.
The exaggerated reflections upon his manners and his
moral principles was precisely what drew around him
a court which swarmed with intriguers, male and female.
He was at this time Carnot's rival; and only maintained
himself in the public opinion by the idea that, in case
of need, he would be seen on horseback, braving, as
1 Mongrels.


on the i3th of Vend6miaire, every hostile effort; he
also affected being the premier of the Republic-going
to the chase, having his packs of hounds, his courtiers,
and mistresses. I had known him both before and
after the catastrophe of Robespierre, and I had re-
marked that the justice of my reflections and presenti-
ments had had its effect upon him. I had a secret
interview with him, through the medium of Lombard-
Taradeau, one of his commensals and confidants.
This was during the first difficulties of the Directory,
at that time struggling with the Babeuf faction. I
imparted my ideas to Barras; he himself desired me
to draw them up in a memorial; this I did, and trans-
mitted it to him. The position of the Directory
was therein politically considered, and its dangers
enumerated with the greatest precision. I charac-
terised the faction Babeuf, which had dropped the
mask before me, and showed him that, while raving
about the agrarian law, its real object was to surprise
and seize by assault the Directory and the supreme
power, which would again have plunged us into dema-
gogy with terror and bloodshed. My memorial had
its effect; the evil was eradicated. Barras then offered
me a second-rate place, which I refused, being un-
willing to obtain employment by mere drudgery; he
assured me that he had not sufficient interest to
promote me, that his efforts to overcome the preju-
dices of his colleagues against me had been ineffectual.
A coolness succeeded, and all was deferred.
In the interval an opportunity presented itself of
rendering myself independent as far as fortune was
concerned. I had sacrificed my profession and my


existence to the Revolution, and by an effect of the
most unjust prejudices the field of advancement was
closed against me. My friends pressed me to follow
the example of several of my former colleagues, who,
finding themselves in the same case with myself, had
obtained, by the influence of the directors, shares in
the government contracts (fournitures). A company
was formed; I was admitted into it, and by the in-
fluence of Barras, I obtained a share of the contracts.1
I thus commenced making my fortune, after the
example of Voltaire, and I contributed to that of my
partners, who distinguished themselves by the punctu-
ality with which they fulfilled the clauses of their
contract with the Republic. I was myself the director,
and in this new sphere found myself enabled to assist
more than once many worthy but neglected patriots.
Affairs, however, still grew worse in the interior. The
Directory confounded the mass of the revolutionists
with demagogues and anarchists, and these latter were
not punished without the former coming in for their
share. Public opinion was permitted to take the most
erroneous direction. The reins of government were in
the hands of the republicans, and they had opposed
to them the passions and prejudices of an impetuous
but superficial nation, which obstinately persisted in
viewing citizens zealous in the cause of liberty as
1 There is always a certain degree of artifice even in what
Fouch6 allows. Let us, however, give him credit for having
spoken the truth as much as it was possible for him to do; it
is not a little to have obtained his avowal of having commenced
his fortune by jobbing in the contracts. It will be seen likewise,
in the course of his Memoirs, whence he drew his immense riches
at a later period.-Note by the Editor.


sanguinary men and terrorists. The Directory itself,
carried away by the torrent of prejudice, could not
continue in the prudent track which had hitherto pre-
served and strengthened it. Public opinion was daily
more and more falsified and perverted by servile writers,
by reviewers in the pay of the emigrants and of foreign
powers, openly recommending the destruction of the
new institution: their principal object was to vilify the
republicans and the heads of the state. By permitting
itself to be thus disgraced and dishonoured, the Direc-
tory, whose members were divided amongst themselves
by a spirit of rivalry and ambition, lost all the advan-
tages which a representative government affords those
who have ability enough to direct it. What. was the
consequence? At the very moment our armies were
everywhere victorious-when, masters of the Rhine, we
were achieving the conquest of Italy in the name of
the Revolution and the Republic-the republican spirit
languished in the interior, and the result of the elections
terminated in favour of the counter-revolutionists and
the royalists. A great schism became inevitable as
soon as the majority of the two councils declared
against the majority of the Directory. A kind of
triumvirate had been formed, composed of Barras,
Rewbel, and Reveillere-Lepaux: three men inadequate
to their duties in so important a crisis. They at
length perceived that the only support of their autho-
rity was the cannon and the bayonet, so that, at the
risk of arousing the ambition of the generals, they
were compelled to call in the armies to their assist-
ance: another serious danger, but one which, not
being so immediate, was the less anticipated.

.. :...
..- ... ... .. ..
S...'.." .. ..



It was then that Bonaparte, the conqueror of
Lombardy and the vanquisher of Austria, formed a
club in each division of his army, invited the soldiers
to discuss the politics of the day, and represented to
them the two councils as traitors sold to the enemies
of France, and, after having made his army swear upon
the altar of their country to exterminate the brigands
modiris, sent abundance of threatening addresses into
all the departments, as well as into the capital. In
the north, the army did not confine itself to delibera-
tion and the signing of addresses. Hoche, general-in-
chief of the army of Sambre-et-Meuse, dispatched arms
and ammunition on the road to Paris, and marched
his troops upon the neighboring towns. For some
secret reasons this movement was suddenly suspended;
either because there was not a perfect understanding
upon the mode of attacking the two councils, or, as I
have great cause to believe, the object was to procure
the conqueror of Italy a more exclusive influence in
the direction of affairs. It is certain that the interests
of Bonaparte were at that time represented by Barras
in the Directorial triumvirate, and that the gold of
Italy flowed like a new Pactolus into the Luxembourg.
Women took an active part in affairs; they at this
time conducted all political intrigues.
On the 4th of September (i8th Fructidor), a military
movement placed the capital in subjection. This bold
manoeuvre was executed by Augereau, Bonaparte's lieu-
tenant, expressly sent for the purpose. As in all con-
vulsions in which the soldiers intermeddle, the toga
succumbed beneath the bayonet. Two directors, fifty-
three deputies, and a great number of authors and

.. : *** .**

.. .. '* '": :- ...
*.* '.* .
*...:***;* .. : "'.:.
S.. : ::' .. ":. ..
*** o


printers of periodical journals who had perverted public
opinion, were banished without any form of trial. The
elections of forty-nine departments were declared null,
and the administrative authorities were suspended,
previous to being reorganised in the spirit of the new
In this manner the royalists were vanquished and
dispersed without fighting, by the mere effect of a
military demonstration; in this manner the popular
societies were reorganised; thus it was that a stop
was put to the reaction upon the republicans; and
thus the appellation of republican and patriot was no
longer a cause for exclusion from employment and
honours. As to the Directory, in which Merlin de
Douai and Fran9ois de NeufchAteau replaced Carnot
and Barth6lemy, who were both included in the number
of the exiles, it at first acquired some appearance of
energy and power; but in reality it was only a fictitious
power, incapable of resisting troubles or reverses.
Thus the only remedy for evil was violence; an
example the more dangerous, as it compromised the
Previously to the 18th Fructidor, a day which
seemed destined to decide the fate of the Revolution,
I had not remained idle. The advice I gave the
director Barras, my suggestions, my prophetic con-
versations, had contributed in no small degree to
impart to the Directorial triumvirate that watchfulness
and stimulus of which its gropings and irresolutions
had stood so much in need. Was it not natural that
an event so favourable to the interests of the Revo-
lution ought also to turn to the advantage of the


persons who had founded and preserved it by their
intelligence and their energy?1 Hitherto the path of
the patriots had been strewn with thorns : it was
time that the tree of liberty should produce fairer fruit
for those who were to gather and taste it ; it was
time that the high employment of the state should
devolve upon men of superior abilities.
To conceal nothing, however, we were much em-
barrassed by the coalition, by the scourge of civil war,
and by the still more dangerous manoeuvres of the
chameleons of the interior. On the other hand, by
our energy and the force of circumstances, we were
masters of the state and of every branch of power.
The only question now was the insuring entire posses-
sion according to the scale of intellect and capacity.
All other theory at the conclusion of a revolution is
but folly or impudent hypocrisy; this doctrine finds its
place in the hearts of those even who dare not avow
it. As a man of ability, I declared these trivial truths,
till then regarded as a state secret.2 My reasons were
appreciated; the application of them alone caused em-
barrassment. Intrigue did much, a salutary impulse
the rest.
A soft shower of military secretaryships, portfolios,
commissariats, legations, embassies, secret agencies and
commanderies of divisions soon came, like the manna
from heaven, to refresh my ancient colleagues, both

1 An invaluable confession, explaining at once the motives of
every revolution, past, present and to come.-Note by the Editor.
2 As far as I know, none of the heads of the Revolution
have as yet said so much. Fouch6 is truly open and undis-
guised in his avowals.-Note by the Editor.


in the civil and military departments. The patriots,
so long neglected, were now provided for. I was one
of the first in seniority, and my worth was well known.
I, however, resolutely refused the subaltern favours
which were offered me; I was determined to accept
of none but an employment of consequence sufficient
to introduce me at once into the career of the highest
political affairs. I had the patience to wait; and
indeed waited long, but not in vain. This once
Barras overcame the prejudices of his colleagues, and
I was nominated, in the month of September, 1798,
not without many previous conferences, &c., ambas-
sador of the French Republic to the Cisalpine
Republic. It is well known that for this new and
analogous creation we were indebted to the victorious
arms and acute policy of Bonaparte. Austria, how-
ever, was to be indemnified by the sacrifice of Venice.
By the treaty of peace of Campo Formio (a village
of Frioul, near Udine) Austria had ceded the Pays
Bas to France; and Milan, Mantua, and Modena to
the Cisalpine Republic. She had reserved to herself
the greatest part of the Venetian states, with the
exception of the Ionian Islands, which France retained.
It was easily seen that this was only a fresh stimulus
for us, and the revolutionising of all Italy was already
a subject of conversation. In the meantime the treaty
of Campo Formio served to consolidate the new re-
public, the extent of which ensured its being respected.
It was composed of Austrian Lombardy, of the Mode-
nese, of Massa and Carrara, the Bolognese, the Ferrari,
Romania, Bergamasque, Bressan, Cremasque, and other
possessions of the Venetian state on the Continent.


Already matured, it demanded its emancipation; that
is to say, that instead of languishing under the severe
guardianship of the French Directory, it might live
under the protection and influence of the great nation.
In fact, we were more in want of valiant and sincere
allies than of submissive vassals. Such was my
opinion, and likewise those of the Director Barras and
of General Brune, at that time commander-in-chief of
the army of Italy, and who had just removed his head-
quarters from Berne to Milan. But another director,
whose system of policy and diplomacy was decidedly
opposite, insisted that all, both friends and foes, were
to be subjected by power and violence. This was
Rewbel of Colmar, a harsh and vain man. He con-
ceived there was much dignity in his view of the
subject. He shared the weight of important affairs
with his colleague, Merlin de Douai, an excellent juris-
consult, but a very inferior statesman. Both these gave
the law to the Directory, for Treilhard and Reveillkre-
Lepaux were but novices. If Barras, who remained
per se, sometimes obtained an advantage over them, it
was by dexterity and the good opinion they entertained
of him. They thought him a man of sufficient nerve
to be always ready for a coup de main.
But we had now recovered from the intoxication of
victory. My initiation into state affairs took place at
so important a crisis that it will be necessary to give
a sketch of its prominent features, especially as it is
a preliminary absolutely indispensable for the com-
prehending of what follows. In less than a year the
peace of Campo Formio, which had so much deceived
the credulous, was already sapped to its base. With-


out compunction we had made terrible use of the right
of the stronger in Helvetia, at Rome, and in the East.
Not finding kings, we had made war upon the shepherds
of Switzerland, and had even attacked the Mamelukes.
It was the expedition into Egypt in particular which
gave the deepest wound. The origin of that expedition
is sufficiently curious to be noted here. Bonaparte
held a multifarious government in horror, and despised
the Directory, which he called the five kings in routine
(cinq rois a terme. Intoxicated with glory upon his
return from Italy, welcomed with almost frantic joy
by the French, he meditated seizing upon the supreme
government; but his party had not as yet sufficiently
established itself. He perceived-and I use his own
expressions--that the pear was not yet ripe. On its
side, the Directory, who feared him, found that the
nominal command of the English expedition kept him
too near Paris ; and he himself was not much in-
clined to seek his destruction against the cliffs of
Albion. To say the truth, it was scarcely known
what to do with him. Open disgrace would have
insulted public opinion and increased his reputation
and his strength.
An expedient was thus being sought for, when the
old bishop of Autun, a man distinguished for his
shrewdness and address, and who had just introduced
into foreign affairs the intriguing daughter of Necker,
conceived the brilliant plan of ostracism into Egypt.
He first hinted the idea to Rewbel, then to Merlin,
taking upon himself the acquiescence of Barras. His
plan was nothing but an old idea which he had found
amongst the rubbish of the bureau, and which he had


furbished up for the occasion. It was converted into
a state affair. The expedient appeared the more for-
tunate, as it at once removed the bold and forward
general, subjecting him at the same time to hazardous
The conqueror of Italy at first mention entered
unhesitatingly, and with the greatest ardour, into the
idea of an expedition which not only could not fail
to add to his renown, but would also ensure to him
distant possessions, which he flattered he should
govern either as a sultan or a prophet. But soon
cooling, whether he perceived the snare, or whether
he still aimed at supreme power, he drew back; but
it was in vain for him to struggle, to raise obstacle
upon obstacle-all were removed; and when he found
himself reduced to the alternative of a disgrace, or of
remaining at the head of an army which might revo-
lutionise the East, he deferred his designs upon Paris,
and set sail with the flower of our troops.
The expedition commenced with a kind of miracle,
the sudden taking of Malta, but this was succeeded
by the fatal catastrophe of the destruction of our
squadron in the waters of the Nile. The face of
affairs immediately changed. England, in its turn,
was in the delirium of triumph. In conjunction with
Russia she set on foot a new general war, of which
the government of the Two Sicilies was the ostensible
cause. The torch of war was lighted at Palermo and
Naples by hatred; at Constantinople by a violation of
the rights of peace and of nations. The Turk alone
had justice on his side.
So many untoward circumstances coming fast upon


each other produced a deep impression upon Paris;
it seemed that the political horizon again became
cloudy. Open preparations were made for war, and
everything assumed a threatening aspect. The rich
had already been subjected to a forced and progressive
loan of forty-eight millions, with which levies were
enabled to be raised. From this time may be dated
the idea and establishment of the military conscrip-
tion, an immense lever which had been borrowed from
Austria, perfected and proposed to the councils by
Jourdan, and immediately adopted by the placing in
active service two hundred thousand conscripts. The
armies of Italy and Germany were reinforced. All the
preliminaries of war burst forth at once-insurrection
in Escaut and the Deux Nethes, at the gates of
Malines and Brussels; troubles in the Mantuan terri-
tory and at Voghera; Piedmont on the eve of a con-
vulsion; Geneva and Milan torn by the contending
factions and inflamed by the republican fever with
which our Revolution had inoculated them.
It was when surrounded by this gloomy prospect
that I set forward on my embassy to Milan. I arrived
at the very moment when General Brune was about
to effect, in the Cisalpine government, without an
essential alteration, a change of individuals, the key
to which change was in my possession. The object
was to remove the power into the hands of men
possessing greater energy and firmness, and to com-
mence the emancipation of the young republic, in order
that it might communicate the impulse to the whole
of Italy. We premeditated this coup-de-main with the
hope of forcing into acquiescence the majority of the
VOL. I 3


Directory, which held its sittings at the Luxembourg.1
I concerted measures with Brune, I encouraged the
most ardent of the Lombardian patriots, and we de-
cided that the movement should be put in execution,
and that there should be neither proscriptions nor
violence. On the morning of the 2oth of October a
military demonstration was made; the gates of Milan
were closed; the directors and the deputies were at
their posts. There, by the simple impulse of opinion,
under the protection of the French troops, and at the
suggestion of the general-in-chief, fifty-two Cisalpine
representatives send in their resignations, and are re-
placed by others. At the same time the three direc-
tors, Adelasio, Luosi, and Soprensi, chosen by the

1 Fouch6 does not give us sufficient information respecting
this plan of revolutionising all in the exterior, a plan at that
time disapproved by the majority of the Directory, and of which
General Augereau was one of the first victims. Commander-
in-chief of the army of Germany, after the i8th Fructidor, he
was about to revolutionise Suabia, when he was recalled and
disgraced. Bonaparte had part in this, and was furious when
they were already desirous of demolishing his work, the peace
of Campo Formio. After his departure for Egypt, Brune and
Joubert will be seen to share the disgrace of Augereau, on the
same account. This plan, which was renewed by the propa-
gandum in 1792, appears to have had no other defender in the
Directory but Barras: this was but a weak support. Rewbel
and Merlin would not proceed precipitately in the affair; already
alarmed at their excesses in Egypt and Switzerland, they per-
sisted in cradling themselves in a situation which was neither
that of peace nor war. It must be owned that the bold attempt
of universal revolutionising, which they only dared to attempt
by halves, gave to the revolutionists of France a great power
of choice in the operations of the campaign of 1799, which
rushed upon them from within and without. The Revolution
stopped, and assumed a more masculine character.-Note by the


ex-ambassador Trouv6, and confirmed by the French
Directory, are likewise invited to resign, and were re-
placed by three other directors, Brunetti, Sabatti, and
Sinancini. Citizen Porro, a Lombardian patriot, full
of zeal and intelligence, was appointed minister of
police. This repetition of our 18th Fructidor, so easily
effected, was confirmed by the primary assemblies;
thus we rendered homage to the sovereignty of the
people, by obtaining its sanction to the measures
adopted for its welfare. Soprensi, the ex-director, with
twenty-two deputies, came to place their protests in
my hands; all my endeavours to obtain their acqui-
escence to the measure were useless. It became
necessary to issue an order for removing Soprensi by
force from the apartments he occupied at the direc-
torial palace; and I was compelled to receive from
him a fresh protest, the purport of which was that
he denied the general-in-chief the right which he had
arrogated over the Cisalpine authorities. Here the
opposition ended-we surmounted every difficulty with-
out noise or violence. It may be supposed that the
couriers were not idle; the ex-deputies and the mal-
contents had recourse to the Directory of Paris, to
which they appealed.
I, on my part, dispatched an account of the
changes of the 2oth of October, dwelling particularly
upon the experienced judgment of the general-in-chief,
the justice of his views, the example which France
had itself given on the I8th Fructidor, and the still
more recent one, when the Directory found itself under
the necessity of nullifying the elections of several de-
partments, in order to remove several obnoxious or


dangerous deputies. I then launched into more im-
portant considerations, invoking the terms and the
spirit of the alliance entered in between the French
and Cisalpine republics, a treaty approved by the
council of ancients on the 7th of March preceding.
In this treaty the new republic was explicitly acknow-
ledged as a free and independent power, upon these
conditions only, that she should take part in all our
wars; that she should set on foot all her forces at
the requisition of the French Directory ; that she
should support twenty-five thousand of the French
troops, by providing an annual fund of ten millions
for that object; and, finally, that all her armaments
should be under the command of our generals. I
guaranteed the strict and faithful execution of this
treaty, protesting that the government and the welfare
of this nation would find a more certain pledge, and a
still firmer support, in the energy and sincerity of the
men to whom the power had just been intrusted;
finally, I brought forward my instructions, which
authorised me to reform, without tumult or violence,
the vices of the new Cisalpine government, the ex-
cessive and expensive numbers of the members of the
legislative body, the administrations of the depart-
ments, &c., and which recommended me to take care
that the form of the republican government was not
oppressive to the people. From that I proceeded to
guarantee also the existence of immense resources; the
legislative body of Milan having authorised the Direc-
tory to sell thirty millions of national domains, in
which was included the property of the bishops. The
dispatch of General Brune, the general-in-chief, per-


fectly coincided with mine; but all was useless. Pride
and vanity, as well as the lowest intrigues, and even
foreign insinuations, were opposed to us. Besides, the
matter was now to solve one of the highest questions
of immediate policy, of the adoption or rejection of
the system of the unity of Italy divided into republics,
effected by the sudden overthrow of the old corrupted
governments, already tottering and incapable of sup-
porting themselves, a system which we do honour to
ourselves for having made to triumph. This nervous
and decisive policy was not to the taste of the wary
minister who at that time directed our foreign affairs
(Talleyrand); he employed roundabout means to ruin
our plan, and he succeeded. Rewbel and Merlin,
whose vanity was brought into play, exclaimed loudly
against the affair of Milan; we had only on our side
the isolated vote of Barras, which was soon neutral-
ised. A decree made, ab irato, on the 25th of October,
formally disavowed the changes effected by General
Brune. At the same time the Directory signified to
me its disapprobation, informing me that it would
have much satisfaction in seeing all the ex-directors
and deputies reinstated in their places.
I could easily have exculpated myself in this affair,
in which I was thought not to have taken a direct
part, having arrived at my post at the commencement
of the preparations, of which, in strictness, I could
neither know the origin nor object. Such would have
been the conduct of a man anxious to preserve his
situation at the expense of his opinion and honour.
I adopted a more candid and firmer mode of pro-
cedure. I protested warmly against the disapprobation


of the Directory; I pointed out to them the danger of
retrograding; besides, the will of the people had been
declared in the primary assemblies, so that it was
impossible to undo what had been done without the
risk of being guilty of the most blamable frivolity and
inconsistency. I also insisted how impolitic it would
be to displease the Cisalpine patriots, and to risk
exasperating that republic at the very moment when
the hostilities, on the eve of commencing against
Naples, could not fail of being the prelude to a
general war. I announced to them that thirty
thousand Austrians were assembling on the Adige;
but I was preaching to the winds. Brune, upon re-
ceiving the decree of the Directory which annulled
the depositions made on the 2oth of October, received
instructions to leave the army of Italy, and to proceed
to command in Holland. He was fortunately replaced
by the brave, modest, and honourable Joubert, par-
ticularly qualified to calm and repair all. Milan was
in a state of fermentation, and the two rival factions
found themselves again opposed to each other-the
one full of hope at being re-established, and the other
resolved to make a firm stand-when a new decree
from the Directory reached me, bearing date the 7th
of November. It refused to acknowledge the will
of the people, and ordered me to break off all rela-
tions with the Cisalpine directory till that authority
had been reorganised such as it was previous to the
2oth of October. The Directory likewise ordered a
new convocation of the primary assemblies. I was
much hurt at this contempt of the republican prin-
ciples, upon which my first proceedings had been


founded. The servile, vexatious system by which a
republic, our ally, was to be governed, appeared to
me the height of imbecility. In the midst of the
serious circumstances in which the Italian peninsula
was about to be placed, it was nothing less than de-
grading men and reducing them to the situation of
mere machines; it was besides diametrically opposite
to the stipulations and the spirit of the treaty of
alliance. I explained myself-I did more: I in some
degree vindicated the majesty of the two nations by
addressing to the Cisalpine directory a message, of
which the following are the principal heads:
"Vain, citizen directors, is the attempt to infer
that your political existence is transitory, because it
has been accompanied by an act justly disapproved
of and strongly condemned by my government. (Here
a palliative was necessary.) Your fellow-citizens, by
giving it their sanction in your primary assemblies, have
given you a moral power for which you will henceforth
become responsible to the Cisalpine people.
Proudly, then, assert its independence and your
own; hold with firmness the reins of government
which are intrusted to you, without being embarrassed
by the perfidious suggestions of calumny; make your
authority respected by a powerful and well-organised
police; oppose the malignity of the passions by dis-
playing a majesty of character, and confound all the
machinations of your enemies by an inflexible justice.
We desire always to give peace to the world; but
if vanity and the thirst of blood cause arms to be
wielded against your independence, woe to the traitors !
Their dust shall be spurned by the feet of free men.


Citizen directors elevate your minds with events;
be superior to them if you wish to command them;
be not uneasy about the future; the solidity of republics
consists in the nature of things; victory and liberty
shall pervade the world.
Temper the ardent activity of your fellow-citizens,
in order to render it productive. Let them learn
that energy is not delirium, and that to be free is not
to be licensed to do evil."
But the Italian character was little capable of
appreciating these precepts. I everywhere sought for
a firmness tempered by constancy, and, with few ex-
ceptions, I found nothing but wavering and pusillanimous
Enraged at such language, addressed to the Cisalpine
Republic, our routine sovereigns (souverains ii term) sitting
in the Luxembourg, dispatched in all haste to Milan the
citizen Rivaud in quality of commissioner-extraordinary :
he was the bearer of a decree ordering me to quit Italy.
I paid no attention to it, persuaded that the Directory
had not the right to prevent me living as a private
individual at Milan. A sympathetic conformity of
opinions and ideas with Joubert, who had replaced
Brune in his command, induced me to remain there
to await the events which were in preparation. He
was, without doubt, the most intrepid, the most able,
and the most estimable of all Bonaparte's lieutenants;
since the peace of Campo Formio he had favoured the
popular cause in Holland; he came into Italy resolved,
notwithstanding the false policy of the Directory, to
follow his own inclination, and to satisfy the wishes of
the people, who anxiously desired liberty. I strongly


urged him not to commit himself on my account, but
to temporise. The commissary Rivaud, not daring to
undertake anything while I remained at Milan, informed
the committee-men of the Luxembourg of his situation,
and the next courier was the bearer of some thundering
The military authority was compelled to act, whether
willingly or not. In the night of the 7th of December
the guard of the directory and of the legislative body
was disarmed and replaced by French troops. The
people were not allowed to enter the place where the
directory and the two councils assembled. A secret
committee was held during the night, and on its break-
ing up the new functionaries were displaced to make
way for the former ones. Seals were placed upon the
doors of the constitutional circle, and the commissioner
Rivaud ordered several arrests. I think that I myself
should have been arrested, manacled, and passed from
brigade to brigade up to Paris had not Joubert apprised
me in time. I secreted myself in a country house near
Monza, where I immediately received the proclamation
addressed by citizen Rivaud to the Cisalpine Republic.
In this disgraceful memento of political absurdity the
irregularity and violence of the proceedings of the
20th of October were alleged and condemned on
account of their having been promoted by the military
power-a most ridiculous accusation, since it equally
condemned the 18th Fructidor and the late and
humiliating scene at Milan, performed by orders from
Paris, without any investigation.
This parrot of a commissioner, in enigmatical terms,
taxed both Brune and myself with being innovators and


reformers, without character or mission; in short, he
described the excess of our patriotism, which, said he,
caused the popular government to be calumniated.
All this was truly pitiable, from its bad reasoning.
Being informed that I had disappeared, and thinking
that I was concealed in Milan, the Directory again
dispatched an extraordinary courier, the bearer of a
fresh order for my expulsion from Italy. "If you are
aware," wrote immediately poor Rivaud to the Cis-
alpine directory, "that citizen Fouch6 is on your
territory, I beg you will give me information accord-
ingly." I smiled at his perplexity, and at the alarms
of both directories; then, quitting my retreat, calmly
took the road to the Alps, which I crossed. I arrived
at Paris in the beginning of January, 1799. The credit
and influence of Rewbel and Merlin were already con-
siderably on the decline. Intrigues were being formed
against them in both councils, and they began to
lower their lofty tone. Therefore, instead of calling me
to their bar and making me give an account of my
conduct, they contented themselves with announcing
in their official journal that I had returned from my
mission to the Cisalpine Republic.
I now thought myself sufficiently strong to call
them to an account for their vindictive proceedings
towards me, and insisted upon indemnities for the loss
of my employment, which I received, accompanied
with an earnest entreaty not to give rise to any
These details, upon my first failure in an im-
portant political mission, appeared to me necessary
to be known, for the better understanding of the


state of the public mind at this period, and the
ground upon which my first operations were to com-
mence. I had, besides, already penned this expos by
desire of Bonaparte on the eve of his departure for
Marengo; and I own that, upon re-perusing it, re-
collections were brought to mind which gave me no
small degree of satisfaction.
I found the Directorial authority shaken less by
the public disasters than by the underhand machina-
tions of discontented factions, who, without throwing
off the mask, carried on their attacks in secret.
The public testified itself generally disgusted with
the narrow and paltry spirit which actuated our "five
routine kings "; people were indignant that their
authority was only made known by exactions, in-
justice, and incapacity. By rousing the dormant
passions they provoked resistance. A few confidential
conversations with men who either possessed influence
or exercised their powers of observation, and my own
reflections, enabled me to form a right judgment of
the state of things.
Everything announced important events and an
approaching crisis. The Russians advanced, and
prepared to enter the lists. Note after note was
dispatched to Austria to endeavour to stop their
progress; at length, towards the end of February, the
war signal was sounded, without our being in a state
to enter the field. The Directory had provoked this
second coalition, merely by depriving itself of its best
generals. Not only was Bonaparte an exile in the
sands of Africa; not only had Hoche, escaped from
the Irish expedition, ended his days by poison; but


Pichegru' had been banished to Sinnamary, Moreau
was in disgrace, and Bernadotte, who had retired
from diplomacy after the failure of his embassy to
Vienna, had resigned his command of the army of
observation; even the removal of Championnet was
decreed, for having wished to put a stop to the
rapacity of the agents of the Directory. In short,
Joubert himself, the brave and virtuous Joubert, had
received his dismissal on account of his desire of
establishing in Italy a wholesome liberty, which would
have drawn still closer together the ties that united
the two nations, whose destinies appeared to be the
This second continental war, of which Switzerland,
Italy, and Egypt had only seen the prelude, com-
menced on the Ist of March; and by the 2oth
Jourdan had lost the battle of Stockach, which forced
him to repass the Rhine in the greatest precipitation.
This gloomy omen was soon followed by the breaking-
up of the congress of Rastadt, a political drama, the
last act of which was full of horrors. We were not
more fortunate in Italy than in Germany: Sch6rer,
Rewbel's favourite general, lost three battles on the
Adige; these deprived us in a few days of the liberty
of Italy, together with the conquests which had cost
us three laborious campaigns. Till then we had
either invaded or resisted with firmness. The effect
produced by the intelligence that we were retreating
on all sides must be imagined; it exceeds description!
Every revolutionary government, which can only make
malcontents, but cannot command victory, necessarily
1 Succeeded in escaping. (See biographical notice.)


loses its power: upon the first reverses all the am-
bitious assume an hostile attitude.
I was present at several meetings of the discon-
tented deputies and generals, and I concluded that, in
reality, these parties had not all the same intentions,
but that they reunited for the common purpose of
overturning the Directory, that each might be enabled
to further his own ambitious views. I set Barras right
upon this subject, and persuaded him to effect, at any
cost, the expulsion of Rewbel, being very sure that
we should afterwards gain over Treilhard, Merlin, and
Reveillkre, on our own terms. These two last were
particularly disliked, from having favoured the system
of the electoral schisms, the object of which was to
clear the legislative councils of the most ardent re-
publicans. I was aware that Joseph and Lucien,
Bonaparte's brothers, intrusted by him to watch over
his interests during his warlike exile, were manceuvring
with the same intentions. Lucien displayed an exalted
patriotism; he was at the head of a party of dis-
affected with Boulay de la Meurthe. Joseph, on his
side, lived at a great expense, and kept a magnificent
establishment. His house was the rendezvous for the
most powerful deputies of the councils, the highest
functionaries, the most distinguished of the generals,
and the women most fertile in expedients and intrigue.
The coalition being formed, Rewbel, disconcerted
and abandoned by Merlin, to whom he was represented
as the scapegoat, thought himself extremely fortunate
in obtaining his expulsion, disguised by the chance of
the dice, on the principal condition that his retreat in
the council of ancients should be respected.


But who was to fill his place in the Directory?
Merlin, and the other overgrown deputies, his creatures,
determined upon appointing in his stead Duval, of the
Seine Inf6rieure, a man of mediocre talents, and with-
out influence, in other respects a worthy person; he
at that time filled the office of minister of police, but
was too short-sighted for his post. They were per-
mitted to go on quietly, and all their measures being
taken, every effort was made for Sieyes, the ambas-
sador at Berlin, whose hidden abilities had been the
theme of praise for the last ten years. I knew him
to possess some strong and decided revolutionary
opinions, but I also knew that his character was
mistrustful and artificial; I also believed he cherished
sentiments but little compatible with the basis of our
liberties and institutions. I was not his partisan;
but I associated myself with the faction so suddenly
formed in his favour without my being able to con-
jecture from what motive. It was urged that it was
necessary to have at the head of affairs, upon the
commencement of a threatening coalition, a man who
of all others knew how to keep Prussia in a neutrality
so advantageous to her; it was even asserted that
he had shown himself an experienced politician by
giving the first hints of the coalition.
The election commenced: I still smile when I re-
collect the disappointment of the subtle Merlin and
the worthy Duval his creature, who, whilst the council
were proceeding in the election, having established a
telegraphic line of agents from the H6tel de Police
to the Legislative Hall, whose duty it was to transmit
intelligence to the happy candidate, learnt that a party

University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs