The Will of Napoleon Bonaparte
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.
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.
Annexed to my Will.
Longwood, Island of St. Helena, this, 15th April, 1821.
1. The consecrated vessels which have been in use at my Chapel at Longwood.
2. I direct Abbé Vignali to preserve them, and to deliver them to my son when he shall reach the age of sixteen years.
1. My arms; that is to say, my sword, that which I wore at Austerlitz, the sabre of Sobiesky, my dagger, my broad sword, my hanger, my two pair of Versailles pistols.
2. My gold dressing-case, that which I made use of on the morning of Ulm and of Austerlitz, of Jena, of Eylau, of Friedland, of the Island of Lobau, of the Moskwa, of Montmirail. In this point of view it is my wish that it may be precious in the eyes of my son. (It has been deposited with Count Bertrand since 1814.)
3. I charge Count Bertrand with the care of preserving these objects, and of conveying them to my son when he shall attain the age of sixteen years.
1. Three small mahogany boxes, containing, the first, thirty-three sluff-boxes or comfit-boxes; the second, twelve boxes with the Imperial arms, two small eye-glasses, and four boxes found on the table of Louis XVIII. in the Tuileries, on the 20th of March, 1815; the third, three snuff-boxes ornamented with silver medals habitually used by the Emperor, and sundry articles for the use of the toilet, according to the lists numbered I. II. III.
2. My field-beds, which I used in all my campaigns.
3. My field-telescope.
4. My dressing-case, one of each of my uniforms, a dozen of shirts, and a complete set of each of my dresses, and generally of every thing used in my toilet.
5. My wash-hand stand.
6. A small clock which is in my bed-chamber at Longwood.
7. My two watches, and the chain of the Empress's hair.
8. I entrust the care of these articles to Marchand, my principal valet-de-chambre, and direct him to convey them to my son when he shall attain the age of sixteen years.
1. My cabinet of medals.
2. My plate, and my Sevres china, which I used at St. Helena. (List B. and C.)
3. I request Count Montholon to take care of these articles and to convey them to my son when he shall attain the age of sixteen years.
1. My three saddles and bridles, my spurs which I used at St. Helena.
2. My fowling-pieces, to the number of five.
3. I charge my chasseur, Noverraz, with the care of these articles, and direct him to convey them to my son when he shall attain the age of sixteen years.
1. Four hundred volumes, selected from those in my library of which I have been accustomed to use the most.
2. I direct St. Denis to take care of them, and to convey them to my son when he shall attain the age of sixteen years.
1. None of the articles which have been used by me shall be sold; the residue shall be divided amongst the executors of my will and my brothers.
2. Marchand shall preserve my hair, and cause a bracelet to be made of it, with a little gold clasp, to be sent to the Empress Maria Louisa, to my mother, and to each of my brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, the Cardinal; and one of larger size for my son.
3. Marchand will send one pair of my gold shoe-buckles to Prince Joseph.
4. A small pair of gold knee-buckles to Prince Lucien.
5. A gold collar-clasp to Prince Jerome.
Inventory of my effects, which Marchand will take care of, convey to my son.
1. My silver dressing-case, that which is on my table, furnished with all its utensils, razors, &c.
2. My alarum-clock: it is the alarum-clock of Frederic II. which I took at Potsdam (in box No. III.).
3. My two watches, with the chain of the Empress's hair and a chain of my own hair for the other watch: Marchand will get it made at Paris.
4. My two seals (one the seal of France, contained in box No. III.).
5. The small gold clock which is now in my bed-chamber.
6. My wash-hand-stand and its water-jug.
7. My night-tables, those used in France, and my silver-gilt bidet.
8. My two iron bedsteads, my mattresses, and my coverlets, if they can be preserved.
9. My three silver decanters, which held my eau-de-vie., and which my chasseurs carried in the field.
10. My French telescope.
11. My spurs, two pair.
12. Three mahogany boxes, Nos. I. II. III., containing my snuff-boxes and other articles.
13. A silver-gilt perfuming pan.
Here follow lists of Body Linen and Clothes, too minute to claim insertion in this place.
Inventory of the Effects which I left in the possession of Monsieur the Count de Turenne.
One Sabre of Sobiesky. (It is, by mistake, inserted in List (A.) that being the sabre which the Emperor wore at Aboukir, and which is in the hands of Count Bertrand.)
One Grand Collar of the Legion of Honour.
One sword of silver-gilt.
One Consular sword.
One sword of steel.
One velvet belt.
One Collar of the Golden Fleece.
One small dressing-case of steel.
One night-lamp of silver.
One handle of an antique sabre.
One hat à la Henry IV. and a toque. (A velvet hat, with a flat crown, and brims turned up.)
The lace of the Emperor.
One small cabinet of medals.
Two Turkey carpets.
Two mantles of crimson velvet, embroidered, with vests, and small-clothes.
I give to my Son the sabre of Sobiesky.
I give to my Son the collar of the Legion of Honour.
I give to my Son the sword silver gilt.
I give to my Son the Consular Sword.
I give to my Son the steel sword.
I give to my Son the collar of the Golden Fleece.
I give to my Son the hat à la Henry IV. and the toque.
I give to my Son the golden dressing-case for the teeth, which is in the hands of the dentist.
To the Empress Maria Louisa, my lace.
To Madame, the silver night-lamp.
To the Cardinal, the small steel dressing-case.
To Prince Eugene, the wax-candle-stick, silver gilt.
To the Princess Pauline, the small cabinet of medals.
To the Queen of Naples, a small Turkey carpet.
To the Queen Hortense, a small Turkey carpet.
To Prince Jerome, the handle of the antique sabre.
To Prince Joseph, an embroidered mantle, vest, and small-clothes.
To Prince Lucien, an embroidered mantle, vest, and small-clothes.