DEPARTURE OF BONAPARTE.
We must premise that we copy from The Courier Ministerial Paper, the following particulars relative to the departure of Napoleon. This will account for the garbled and partial manner in which the most interesting scenes are slurred over:-
Teignmouth, August 8.
Yesterday, at two o'clock, p.m. I saw Bonaparte taken from on board his Majesty's ship Bellerophon, accompanied by Admirals Lord Keith and Sir G. Cockburn, two French Ladies, and two French Generals, and sent on board the Northumberland.
>His Majesty's ship Tonnant, with Lord Keith, red flag flying at the main, was stationed in the centre, to superintend the transhipment, and supported by his Majesty's ships as below. A schooner and a cutter kept sailing about to keep off boats that had come from the shore:-
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Plymouth, August 8.
The Tonnant, Bellerophon, Eurotas, and Myrmidon, have just returned to port after transferring Bonaparte to the Northumberland. The latter ship, attended by the Ceylon and Bucephalus frigates, and the Morgiana sloop of war, are now off the Start Point waiting for the Weymouth store-ship.
The Bellerophon and Tonnant put to sea from Plymouth Sound on Friday; and her we must contradict the statement that they sailed to avoid the service of a writ of Habeus Corpus.
The facts of the case are, that the concourse of boats in Plymouth Sound, and the loss of some lives which had already taken place, induced the Government to remove the Bellerophon to a greater distance; and the writ which is spoken of was no more than a common subpœna from the Court of King's bench, obtained by some person who has some cause pending in that Court, in which he fancied he wanted the evidence of Napoleon and Jerome Bonaparte, and Admiral Villanmez.
The Northumberland sailed from Portsmouth on Friday last, and on nearing Torbay on Sunday, perceived two line of battle ships approaching her, which proved to be the Bellerophon, with Bonaparte on board, and the Tonnant, with Lord Keith. In a few hours the Northumberland hailed them, and asked after Bonaparte, who, she was informed, had not come out of his cabin for some days. The ships came to an anchor off Torbay.
General Bertrand went first on board the Tonnant, where he dined with Lord Keith and Sir George Cockburn. He is a man of about 50 years of age, and extremely well-behaved. At dinner Sir George gave him a general explanation of his instructions with respect to Bonaparte; one of which was, that his baggage must be inspected before it was received on board the Northumberland. Bertrand expressed his opinion strongly against the measure of sending the Emperor (as he and all the suite constantly style him) to St. Helena, when his wish and expectation were to live quietly in England under the protection of the English laws. Lord Keith and Sir George Cockburn did not enter into any discussion upon the subject.
After dinner Lord Keith and Sir George Cockburn, accompanied by Bertrand, went on board the Bellerophon. Previously to their arrival, Bonaparte's arms and pistols had been taken away from him- not without considerable altercation and objections on the part of the French officers.
Those who were not to accompany him were sent on board the Eurotas frigate. They expressed great reluctance at the separation, particularly the Polish officers. Bonaparte took leave of them individually. A Colonel Pistowski, a Pole, was particularly desirous of accompanying him. He had received seventeen wounds in the service of Bonaparte, and said he would serve in any capacity, however menial, if he could be allowed to go with him to St. Helena. The orders for sending off the Polish Officers were peremptory, and he was removed to the Eurotas. Savary and Lallemand, however, were not amongst those sent on board the frigate- they were left in Bellerophon.
When Lord Keith and Sir George Cockburn went on board the Bellerophon on Sunday afternoon, Bonaparte was upon deck to receive them, dressed in a green coat with red facings, two epaulets, white waistcoat and breeches, silk stockings, the star of the Legion of Honour, and a chapeau bras, with the three coloured cockade. His face is remarkably plump, and his head is rather bald upon the top. After the usual salutations, Lord Keith addressing himself to Bonaparte, acquainted him with his intended transfer from the Bellerophon to the Northumberland.
Buonaparte immediately protested with great vehemence against this act of the British Government- he did not expect it- he did not conceive that any possible objection could be made to his residing in England quietly for the rest of his life.
No answer was returned by either Lord Keith or Sir George Cockburn. A British officer who stood near him observed to him, that if he had not been sent to St. Helena, he would have been delivered up to the Emperor of Russia.
Buonaparte-"Dieu me guard des Russes!" (God keep me from the Russians!) In making this reply he looked at Gen. Bertrand, and shrugged up his shoulders.
Sir George Cockburn- "At what hour to-morrow morning shall I come, General, and receive you on board the Northumberland?"
Buonaparte, with some surprise at being styled merely General- "At ten o'clock."
Bertrand, Madame Bertrand, Savary, Lallemand, Count and Countess Montholon, were standing near Buonaparte.
Sir George Cockburn asked him if he wanted any thing more before they put to sea. Bertrand replied, 20 packs of cards, a backgammon and domino table, and Madame Bertrand desired to have some necessary articles of furniture, which, it was said, should be furnished forthwith.
One of Buonaparte's Officers, the nephew of Josephine Beauharnois, his first wife. complained that faith had not been kept with the Emperor, who expected to reside with his suite in Great Britain.
Buonaparte asked Lord Keith's advice. His Lordship merely replied, that he had to obey the orders he had received from his Government; Buonaparte then desired another interview with his Lordship. Lord Keith declined it, alledging that it could not but be unsatisfactory- he had no discretion- his fate could not be altered.
An officer who stood near him said- "You would have been taken if you had remained at Rochfort another hour, and sent off to Paris."- "Buonaparte turned his eye upon the speaker, but did not speak a word. He next addressed himself to Sir G. Cockburn, and asked several questions about St. Helena.
"Is there any hunting or shooting there- Where am I to reside?"
He then abruptly changed the subject, and burst into more invectives against the Government, to which no answer was returned.
Whether he had any idea of a writ of Habeus Corpus or no, we know not- but he was very solicitous to go ashore.
He then expressed some indignation at being styled General- saying, "You have sent Ambassadors to me as a Sovereign Potentate- you have acknowledged me as First Consul."-He took a great deal of snuff whilst speaking.
After reminding him that the Northumberland's barge would come for him on Monday morning, Lord Keith and Sir George Cockburn retired.
Early on Monday morning, Sir Geo. Cockburn went on board the Bellerophon to superintend the inspection of Buonaparte's baggage; it consisted of two services of plate, books, beds, &c.- They were all sent on board the Northumberland about eleven o'clock.
Buonaparte had brought with him from France about forty servants, amongst whom were a groom, postillion, and lamplighter. Two-thirds of these were sent on board the Eurotas.
At half-past eleven o'clock, Lord Keith in the barge of the Tonnant, went on board the Bellerophon to receive Buonaparte, and those who were to accompany him. Buonaparte, before their arrival and afterwards, addressed himself to Captain Maitland and the Officers of the Bellerephon. After descending the ladder into the barge, he pulled his hat off to them again. Lord Keith received in the barge the following personages:-
- General Bertrand and Madame Bertrand, with their children.
- Count and Countess Montholon and child,
- Count Lascasas,
- General Gorgaud,
- Nine men and three women servants.
Bonaparte's Surgeon refused to accompany him:- upon which the Surgeon of the Bellerophon offered to supply his place.
Bonaparte was this day dressed in a cocked hat, much worn, with a tri-coloured cockade; his coat was buttoned close round him- a plain green one with a red collar; he had three orders- two crosses, and a large silver star, with the inscription Honneur & Patrie; white breeches, silk stockings, gold buckles.
Savary and Lallemand were left behind in the Bellerophon.
Savary seemed in great dread of being given up to the French Government- repeatedly asserting, that the honour of England would not allow him to be landed again on the shores of France.
About twelve o'clock the Tonnant's barge reached the Northumberland. Bertrand stepped first upon deck 1 Bonaparte next, mounting the side of the ship with the activity of a seaman. The marines were drawn out and received him, but merely as a General, presenting arms to him. He pulled off his hat. As soon as he was upon deck, he said to Sir George Cockburn- "Je suis à vos ordres." He bowed to Lord Lowther and Mr. Lyttleton, who were near the Admiral, and spoke to them a few words, to which they replied. To an Officer, he said, "Dans quel corps servez vous?" (In what corps do you serve?) The Officer replied, "In the Artillery." Bonaparte immediately rejoined, "Je sors de cette service moi-meme." -(I was originally in that service myself.)- After taking leave of the Officers who had accompanied him from the Bellerophon, and embracing the nephew of Josepine, who was not going to St. Helena, he went into the after-cabin, where, besides his principal companions, were assembled, Lord Keith, Sir G. Cockburn, Lord Lowther, the Hon. Mr. Lyttleton, &c.
Bertrand- "I never gave in my adhesion to Louis XVIII. It is therefore palpably unjust to proscribe me. However, I shall return in a year or two to superintend the education of my children."
Madame Bertrand appeared much distressed; said she was obliged to leave Paris in a hurry, without clothes or any necessary. She had lived in the house now occupied by the Duke de Berri. She spoke most flatteringly of her husband- said the Emperor was too great a man to be depressed by circumstances, and concluded by expressing a wish for some Paris papers.
Count Montholon spoke of the improvements made by Bonaparte in Paris- alluded to his billious complaint, which required much exercise.
The Countess Montholon is a very interesting woman; she said little.
Bertrand asked what we should have done had we taken Bonaparte at sea?
As we are doing now, was the reply.
Lord Keith took leave in the afternoon of Bonaparte, and returned on board the Tonnant.
Lord Lowther and the Hon. Mr. Lyttleton now entered into very earnest conversation with him, which continued for two hours. As he was very communicative, and seemed desirous of a very free conversation with these two accomplished young Noblemen, they availed themselves of the opportunity, and entered into a review of much of his conduct. We understand that they asked him how he came to commit the impolicy of attacking Spain- the motives for the Berlin and Milan Decrees- the war against Russia- the refusal of the terms of peace offered him before the first capture of Paris, &c. To all these questions we hear he gave full answers, not avoiding, but rather encouraging the discussion. We hope to be able to give particulars, which ought to be known. They are materials for history.
At the expiration of two hours Lord Lowther and Mr. Lyttleton took leave of him, and went ashore.
His cabin in the Northumberland is fitted up with great elegance. His bed is peculiarly handsome, and the linen upon it very fine. His toilet is of silver.- Among other articles upon it is a magnificent snuff-box, upon which is embossed in gold an eagle with a crown, flying from Elba to the coast of France- the eagle just seeing the coast of France, and the respective distances are admirably executed.
The Valets de Chambre are particularly fine men. They and all about him always address him by the title of Emperor.
The Bellerophon, Tonnant, and Eurotas, returned to Plymouth Sound last Tuesday. The Northumberland was lying-to off Plymouth on Tuesday, though the wind was fair; but it is supposed she is waiting for the Weymouth store-ship, which was taking in stores, &c. and was to complete them by the next day.
Sir Henry Bunbury was the person appointed by the Cabinet to announce officially to Bonaparte that St. Helena was the place of his future destination. He was accompanied when he went on board by the Hon. Mr. Bathurst. Sir Henry was introduced to the Ex-Emperor, and after mutual salutations he read to him the resolution of the Cabinet, by which he was informed of his intended transportation to the Island of St. Helena, with four of his friends, to be chosen by himself, and twelve domestics. He received this intimation without any mark of surprize, as he said he had been apprized of the determination; but he protested against it in the most emphatic manner, and in a speech of three-quarters of an hour, delivered with great coolness, self-possession, and ability, reasoned against the outrageous proceeding. He recapitulated the circumstances under which he had been forced, he said by the breach of the Treaty made with him by the Sovereigns of Europe, to quit the Island of Elba-that he had exerted himself to prevent the renewal of hostilities- but that when they became unavoidable, and that the fortune of war decided against him, he yielded to the voice of his enemies; and as they had declared in the face of the world, that it was against him only that they had taken up arms, he abdicated the Imperial Crown of France, in the full confidence that the Allies would be faithful to their solemn declaration, and leave his country to the settlement of their own affairs; then unarmed, and with the view of seeking an asylum as a private individual in England, he had first sought to be received under the King's allegiance, and under the protection of our laws and had voluntarily put himself into the British power. In this predicament, he felt himself entitled to protest against the measures now announced to him: and in a long argument, in which he shewed himself to be well versed in our laws, he reasoned against the act.
Sir Henry Bunbury and Mr. Bathurst say, that his manner was temperate, his language eloquent, and that he conducted himself throughout in the most prepossessing way. The account they give of his persuasive manner is, we understand, highly interesting. Sir Henry answered to his discourse, that he had no commission, but to make known to him the resolution of his Majesty's Ministers- but said that he should faithfully report the reasons that he had stated against the proceeding.
We are sorry to state that the transferring Napoleon Buonaparte from the Bellerophon to the Northumberland, has been attended with a very serious accident, by which two ladies have lost their lives. The letter which brings this information is from Torbay, and may be relied on. It is as follows:-
"TORBAY, AUG.8.- An accident happened last night off the Berry Head: a boat from Torquay, having on board three ladies, one gentleman, one child, one servant, and two boatmen, went out to witness the transfer of Bonaparte from the Bellerephon to the Northumberland; as she was sailing round the head of the latter vessel, she was met by a King's cutter, and before each were aware of the approach of the other, the boat was run down and instantly sunk. The first Lieutenant of the Northumberland witnessing the distressing scene, leaped into the sea, and happily succeeded saving one of the ladies (Mrs. Harris) and the child from a watery grave. Mr. Harris, husband to the lady just mentioned, was saved by his own exertions, and by the exertions of the cutter's crew. The female servant and the two boatmen were also saved; but the other two ladies (both young), an aunt and niece, sunk to rise no more."
A Plymouth Correspondent belonging to The Times, says- "It was high time that Bonaparte should be removed from this neighbourhood, for it was quite shocking to see the court and attention that were paid to him; but don't blame the west countrymen upon that score; his greatest admirers and adulators have come from distant parts; indeed I may almost say from every part of the country, even from Northumberland and Scotland."
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