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Napoleon I--Fortescue, Hugh, Viscount Ebrington
"INTERVIEW OF LORD EBRINGTON WITH BONAPARTE AT ELBA WRITTEN BY MR HORNER FROM LORD EBRINGTON'S DICTATION"
detailing wide-ranging conversation by Napoleon during two interviews on 6 and 7 December 1814, including the unsatisfactory terms of the peace that followed the Treaty of Fontainebleau, European rulers from Tsar Alexander - with whom he discussed philosophy during the negotiations at Tilsit - to Prussian King Frederick William II (“...without an idea beyond the dress of a soldier..."), his campaigns in Egypt (he "described humorously enough his conversion and that of his army, to the Mahometan religion") and Russia, the great differences between Britain and France (“...John Bull is steady & solid, & attached to ancient establishments...”), his plundering of Italy and public works in Paris and elsewhere, and the abolition of the slave trade ("...in his opinion the best mode of at once tranquilising and civilizing the colonies wd be by the encouragement of intermarriages between whites & blacks; & for that purpose he would allow every man to have two wives...”), in the hand of Francis Horner, English and French, 33 pages, 8vo (chiefly on paper watermarked with a Dutch Lion, countermarked "D & Co 1813"),

loose in a bundle of papers, comprising: notes by John Allen for Gaspar Melchior de Jovellanos on reform of the Spanish political system, 1809; "Anecdotes and Papers relating to the proposed changes of administration on the death of Mr Percival", 1812; copy of correspondence between the French Interior Minister and the Chamber of Commerce, 1810; transcripts of letters by Newton and others to John Locke; transcripts of letters by David Hume to Hugh Blair on the Ossian controversy; transcripts of two letters by Princess Charlotte; letter by George Skene Keith to T.W. Kennedy, on poverty in Aberdeenshire, 7 May 1816; file of miscellaneous "Political notes & anecdotes" of Francis Horner, including memoranda and copy letters, chiefly 1810s; most items either in the hand of or addressed to Francis Horner, altogether c.200 pages, chiefly 8vo, 1810s

"...The best thing for England wd have been perhaps the partition of France; but, whilst you left her amply the means of being formidible, you have, by what you have taken away, mortified the vanity of every Frenchman, & produced feelings of irritation, wh if not employed in foreign contests must break our into revolution or civil war!...” 


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Catalogue Note

A CONTEMPORARY COPY OF ILLUMINATING INTERVIEWS GIVEN BY NAPOLEON TO A SYMPATHETIC ENGLISHMAN DURING THE HUNDRED DAYS. Hugh Fortescue (1782-1861), titled Viscount Ebrington until his succession as Second Earl Fortescue in 1841, was an MP on the radical wing of the Whigs. A small number of contemporary manuscript copies survive from the papers of Whig grandees such as Lords Holland (BL Add. MS 51525) and Grenville (sold Christie's, 1 December 2015, lot 36). The interviews were published in 1823 under the title Memorandum of Two Conversations between the Emperor Napoleon and Viscount Ebrington. The printed text had omissions, notably Napoleon's comments on Talleyrand ("the greatest of rascals") and Lords Lauderdale and Yarmouth.

This copy is found in a bundle of political papers of Francis Horner (1778-1817), a leading Scottish Whig and vociferous opponent of the peace settlement and Bourbon restoration.

 

English Literature, History, Science, Childrens Books and Illustrations

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London