March 22 1815: Hobhouse Wants To Go To Paris

On March 22 1815, John Cam Hobhouse, who is trying to go to Paris, writes in his diary.

Ride up to London – buy a barouche carriage of a man in Bond Street for eighty-five guineas. Write to Tavistock and to Byron. Resolve to go, on Sunday next if possible, to Ostend. The news today perrigates. I see Cuthbert, who has left his wife at Paris, but talks as if it is certain Napoleon would go to Paris. The bets here are that he arrives before twelve o’clock at night. Not a shot has been fired against him.

Drouet was led out to be shot at Lisle – the bandage was over his eyes – but the soldiers, instead of firing, made him governor of the fortress, and Mortier was sent to Paris.

Whitbread tells a story that a letter from Lady Bessborough, at Marseilles, mentions that a friend of hers, travelling to see her, met a carriage and four carrying a general, escorted by four dragoons – the general stopped the lady, and in the most polite manner begged her to change horses, his being very tired – he made a thousand apologies, said he would not employ anything but entreaty, he was quite shocked, but perhaps it was more necessary that he should get on than that the lady should proceed with any great speed. When the horses were changed, the lady asked one of the dragoons who that was. “Qui? – c’est l’Empereur!” It was Napoleon. He invades France with 1,100 men, and traverses it in a carriage almost without event.

The Times of today carries his proclamation and the account of his entering Grenoble and Lyons. He gave a ball at Lyons. He accuses Augereau and Marmont by name of the loss of Paris, and is violent against the emigrants. The Bourbons he does not declaim against much, but tells them to finish their reign in England, where they have passed fifteen years of it. He promises a general amnesty. He is at Auxerre, it is now said, but still some reports say it is only a trap, and that he is to be crushed at Melun or under the walls of Paris.

I walk in the park with Kinnaird, dine at the Eumelean. A King’s Messenger arrives at the House of Commons – at the Cocoa Tree it is reported by Cavendish Bradshaw that the King Louis is actually arrived at Calais, but Birch MP says he is gone in an open carriage to fight it out at Melun. I walk the streets and meet with a perfect Uterine fury.

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