Monday, July 30, 2012

Napoleon Bonaparte's will

NAPOLEON. This 15th April, 1821, at Longwood, Island of St. Helena. This is my Testament, or act of my last will.

1. I DIE in the Apostolical Roman religion, in the bosom of which I was born more than fifty years since.
2. It is my wish that my ashes may repose on the banks of the Seine, in the midst of the French people, whom I have loved so well.
3. I have always had reason to be pleased with my dearest wife, Maria Louisa. I retain for her, to my last moment, the most tender sentiments-I beseech her to watch, in order to preserve, my son from the snares which yet environ his infancy.
4. I recommend to my son never to forget that he was born a French prince, and never to allow himself to become an instrument in the hands of the triumvirs who oppress the nations of Europe: he ought never to fight against France, or to injure her in any manner; he ought to adopt my motto: "Everything for the French people."
5. I die prematurely, assassinated by the English oligarchy and its tool. The English nation will not be slow in avenging me.
6. The two unfortunate results of the invasions of France, when she had still so many resources, are to be attributed to the treason of Marmont, Augereau, Talleyrand, and La Fayette. I forgive them--May the posterity of France forgive them as I do.
7. I thank my good and most excellent mother, the Cardinal, my brothers, Joseph, Lucien, Jerome, Pauline, Caroline, Julie, Hortense, Catarine, Eugene, for the interest they have continued to feel for me. I pardon Louis for the libel he published in 1820: it is replete with false assertions and falsified documents.
8. I disavow the "Manuscript of St. Helena," and other works, under the title of Maxims, Sayings, &c., which persons have been pleased to publish for the last six years. Such are not the rules which have guided my life. I caused the Duc d'Enghien to be arrested and tried, because that step was essential to the safety, interest, and honour of the French people, when the Count d'Artois was maintaining, by his own confession, sixty assassins at Paris. Under similar circumstances, I should act in the same way.
1. I bequeath to my son the boxes, orders, and other articles; such as my plate, field-bed, saddles, spurs, chapel-plate, books, linen which I have been accustomed to wear and use, according to the list annexed
(A). It is my wish that this slight bequest may he dear to him, as coming from a father of whom the whole world will remind him.
2. I bequeath to Lady Holland the antique Cameo which Pope Pius VI. gave me at Tolentino.
3. I bequeath to Count Montholon, two millions of francs, as a proof of my satisfaction for the filial attentions be has paid me during six years, and as an indemnity for the loses his residence at St. Helena has occasioned him.
4. I bequeath to Count Bertrand, five hundred thousand francs.
5. I bequeath to Marchand, my first valet-de-chambre; four hundred thousand francs. The services he has rendered me are those of a friend; it is my wish that he should marry the widow sister, or daughter, of an officer of my old Guard.
6. Item. To St. Denis, one hundred thousand francs.

7. Item. To Novarre (Noverraz,) one hundred thousand francs.

8. Item. To Pielon, one hundred thousand francs.
9. Item. To Archambaud, fifty thousand francs.
10. Item. To Cursot, twenty-five thousand francs.
11. Item. To Chandellier, twenty-five thousand francs.
12. To the Abbé Vignali, one hundred thousand francs. It is my wish that he should build his house near the Ponte Novo di Rostino.
13. Item. To Count Las Cases, one hundred thousand francs.
14. Item. To Count Lavalette, one hundred thousand francs.
15. Item. To Larrey, surgeon-in-chief, one hundred thousand francs.--He is the most virtuous man I have known.
16. Item. To General Brayher, one hundred thousand francs.
17. Item. To General Le Fevre Desnouettes one hundred thousand francs.
18. Item. To General Drouot, one hundred thousand francs.
19. Item. To General Cambrone, one hundred thousand francs.
20. Item. To the children of General Mouton Duvernet, one hundred thousand francs.
21. Item. To the children of the brave Labedoyère, one hundred thousand francs.
22. Item. To the children of General Girard, killed at Ligny, one hundred thousand francs.
23. Item. To the children of General Chartrand one hundred thousand francs.
24. Item. To the children of the virtuous General Travot, one hundred thousand francs.
25. Item. To General Lallemand the elder, one hundred thousand francs.
26. Item. To Count Real, one hundred thousand francs.
27. Item. To Costa de Bastelica, in Corsica, one hundred thousand francs.
28. Item. To General Clausel, one hundred thousand francs.
29. Item. To Baron de Mennevalle, one hundred thousand francs.
30. Item. To Arnault, the author of Marius, one hundred thousand francs.
31. Item. To Colonel Marbot, one hundred thousand francs.--I recommend him to continue to write in defence of the glory of the French armies, and to confound their calumniators and apostates.
32. Item. To Baron Bignon, one hundred thousand francs.--I recommend him to write the history of French diplomacy from 1792 to 1815.
33. Item. To Poggi di Talavo, one hundred thousand francs.
34. Item. To surgeon Emmery, one hundred thousand francs.
35. These sums will be raised from the six millions which I deposited on leaving Paris in 1815; and from the interest at the rate of 5 per cent. since July 1815. The account thereof will be settled with the banker by Counts Montholon and Bertrand, and Marchand.
36. Whatever that deposit may produce beyond the sum of five million six hundred thousand francs, which have been above disposed of, shall he distributed as a gratuity amongst the wounded at the battle of Waterloo, and amongst the officers and soldiers of the battalion of the Isle of Elba, according to a scale to be determined upon by Montholon, Bertrand, Drouot, Cambrone, and the surgeon Larrey.
37. These legacies, in case of death, shall be paid to the widows and children, and in default of such, shall revert to the bulk of my property.
1. My private domain being my property, of which I am not aware that any French law has deprived me, an account of it will be required from the Baron de la Rouillerie, the treasurer thereof: it ought to amount to more than two hundred millions of francs; namely,
1. The portfolio containing the savings which I made during fourteen years out of my civil list, which savings amounted to more than twelve millions per annum, if my memory be good.
2. The produce of this portfolio.
3. The furniture of my palaces, such as it was in 1814, including the palaces of Rome, Florence, and Turin. All this furniture was purchased with moneys accruing from the civil list.
4. The proceeds of my houses in the kingdom of Italy, such as money, plate, jewels, furniture, equipages; the accounts of which will be rendered by Prince Eugene and the steward of the Crown, Campagnoni.
NAPOLEON. (Second Sheet.)
2. I bequeath my private domain, one half to the surviving officers and soldiers of the French army who have fought since 1792 to 1815, for the glory and the independence of the nation, the distribution to be made in proportion to their appointments upon active service; and one half to the towns and districts of Alsace, Lorraine, Franche-Comté, Burgundy, the Isle of France, Champagne Forest, Dauphiné, which may have suffered by either of the invasions. There shall be previously set apart from this sum, one million for the town of Brienne, and one million for that of Méri. I appoint Counts Montholon and Bertrand, and Marchand, the executors of my will. This present will, wholly written with my own hand, is signed and sealed with my own arms.
NAPOLEON. (L. S.) List (A).

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