Research Subjects: Napoleon Himself


TESTAMENT OF NAPOLEON

_____

This day April 15, 1821,
at Longwood, Island of Saint-Helena.

This is my Testament and act of my last will.

I.

1.  I die in the Apostolic and Roman religion, in whose womb I was born there over fifty years ago.
2.  I want my ashes to rest on the banks of the Seine, among the French people that I loved so much.
3.  I have always had to commend my dear wife Marie-Louise.  I kept the most tender feelings for her until the last moment:  I beg her to watch to ensure my son avoids the pitfalls that still surround his childhood.
4.  I recommend to my son never to forget that he was born a French prince and never allow himself to become an instrument in the hands of a triumvirate that oppresses the peoples of Europe.  He should never fight or do harm in any way to France: He must adopt my motto: Everything for the French people.
5.  I die prematurely, murdered by the English oligarchy and its hired assassin. The English people will not delay in avenging me.
6.  The unfortunate results of the two invasions of France, when it still had so many resources, are due to the treason of Marmont, Augereau, Talleyrand, Lauriston.  I forgive them. May French posterity forgive them like me.
7.  I thank my very good and excellent mother, the cardinal, my brothers Joseph, Lucien, Jerome, Pauline, Caroline, Julie, Hortense, Catherine, Eugene, for the interest they held for me.  I forgave Louis for the libel he published in 1820.  It is full of false assertions and falsified documents.
8.  I disavow the manuscript of St. Helena and other works as the Maxims, Sayings, etc.., That one has been pleased to publish for six years: they are not rules that have guided my life.  I did arrest and try the Duke of Enghien, because it was necessary for security, the interest and honor of the French people, at the time ... to keep alive, his confession, sixty assassins in Paris. (In such circumstances, I would do the same.)

II.

1.  I bequeath to my son boxes, orders and other objects such as silverware, camp bed, weapons, saddles, spurs, vases of my chapel, books, linen that were used on my body and for my own use, according to the attached condition, side A.  I wish that this frail legacy is cherished, as he retraces the memory of a father who held the universe.
2.  I bequeath to Lady Holland the cameo that Pope Pius VI gave me at Tolentino.
3.  I bequeath to Count Montholon two million francs, as proof of my satisfaction in the filial care rendered to me for six years, in compensation for the losses that his residence at Saint-Helena has caused.
4.  I bequeath to Count Bertrand five hundred thousand francs.
5.  I bequeath to Marchand, my first valet, four hundred thousand francs: the services rendered to me are those of a friend: I wish that he marry a widow, sister or daughter of an officer or soldier my Old Guard.
6.  Idem for Saint-Denis, one hundred thousand francs.
7.  Idem for Novara, one hundred thousand francs.
8.  Idem for Peyron, one hundred thousand francs.
9.  Idem for Archambaud, fifty.
10.  Idem for Cursor, twenty-five thousand.
11.  Idem for Chandell, idem.
12.  To Abbot Vignali, one hundred thousand francs.  I wish him build his house near the Pente-Nove de Rostino.
13.  Idem for the Count de Las-Cases, one hundred thousand francs.
14.  Idem for the Count Lavallette, one hundred thousand francs.
15.  Idem for Chief Surgeon Larrey, one hundred thousand francs.  He is the most virtuous man I have ever known.
16.  Idem  for General Brayer, one hundred thousand francs.
17.  Idem for General Lefevre-Desnouettes; one hundred thousand francs.
18.  Idem for General Drouot, one hundred thousand francs.
19.  Idem for General Cambronne, one hundred thousand francs.
20.  Idem for the children of General Mouton-Duverney, one hundred thousand francs.
21.  Idem for the children of the brave Bédoyère, one hundred thousand francs.
22.  Idem for children of General Girard, killed at Ligny, one hundred thousand francs.
23.  Idem for children of General Chartran, one hundred thousand francs.
24.  Idem for children of the virtuous General Travot, one hundred thousand francs.
25.  Idem for General Lallemand the elder, one hundred thousand francs.
26.  Idem for General Réal, one hundred thousand francs.
27.  For Count Costa, of Bastilica in Corsica, one hundred thousand francs.
28.  Idem for General Clausel, one hundred thousand francs.
29.  Idem for Baron Meneval, one hundred thousand francs.
30.  Idem for Arnaud, author of Marius, one hundred thousand francs.
31.  Idem for Colonel Marbot, one hundred thousand francs.  I recommend him to continue writing in defense of the glory of French arms, and to confound their detractors and apostates.
32.  Idem for Baron Bignon, one hundred thousand francs.  I recommend him to write the history of French diplomacy from 1792 to 1815.
33.  Idem for Poggi, of Talaro, one hundred thousand francs.
34.  Idem for Surgeon Emmerey, one hundred thousand francs.
35.  These amounts will be taken from the six million that I had left in place in Paris in 1815, and interest at 5 p. 100 since July 1815, the accounts will be settled with the banker by the counts Montholon, Marchand and Bertrand.
36.  All that this investment will generate in excess of the sum of 5,600,000 fr. which was disposed above, will be distributed in gratuities to the wounded of Waterloo, and to officers and soldiers of the battalion on the Island of Elba, on a trust issued by Montholon, Bertrand, Drouot, Cambronne and the surgeon Larrey.
37.  These legacies, in case of death, will be paid to widows and children, and in default thereof will return to the trust.

III.

1.  My private estate is my property, including any French law has deprived me, I know this.  The accounts will be asked of Baron de la Bouillerie, who was the treasurer.  It must amount to over two hundred million fr. namely:  1o the portfolio containing the savings I have, for fourteen years out of my civil accounts, which totaled more than twelve million per year: I remember this well; 2 o the interest from this portfolio; 3 o the furnishings of my palace, as they were in 1814.  The palaces of Rome, Florence, Turin, including all the furniture were purchased with money from the civil accounts; 4 o the liquidation of my royal houses of Italy, as well as the money, jewelry, furniture, stables accounts will be given to Prince Eugene and the steward of the Compagnoni crown.
2.  I bequeath my private estate, half to the officers and soldiers who remain of the French armies that have fought since 1792 to 1815, for the glory and independence of the nation (the distribution to be made in proportion to the salary during their activation) : half to the cities and countryside of Alsace, Lorraine, Franche Comté, Burgundy, the Ile-de-France, Champagne, Drill, Dauphine, who have suffered in one or another invasion.  One million of this sum will be allocated for the town of Brienne and one million for the city of Mery.

I appoint the counts Montholon, Bertrand and Marchand my executors.

That this will, all written with my own hand, is signed and sealed by my arms.

Signed NAPOLEON.

State A attached to my will.

1.  The sacred vessels which were used in my chapel at Longwood.
2.  I support the Abbot Vignali keep them and give them to my son when he is sixteen.

II.

1.  My arms, namely: my épée, the one I wore at Austerlitz, the saber of Sobieski, my dagger, my sword (glaive), my hunting knife, my two pairs of pistols of Versailles.
2.  My gold canteen (nécessaire), the one which served me the morning of Ulm, of Austerlitz, of Jena, of Eylau, of Friedland, of the island of Lobau, of Borodino, of Montmirail. In this light, I desired it for my dear son. (Count Bertrand has been the custodian since 1814).
3.  I charge Count Bertrand to care for and preserve these objects and give them to my son when he is sixteen.

III.

1.  Three small mahogany boxes the first containing thirty-three snuff boxes or candy boxes, the second, twelve boxes with imperial arms, two small glasses and four boxes found on the table of Louis XVIII, at the Tuileries, March 20, 1815; the third three snuff boxes adorned with silver and various toiletries.
2.  My camp bed, which I used in all my campaigns.
3.  My telescope.
4.  My dressing box. One of each of my uniforms, a dozen shirts and a complete set of each of my clothes, and generally all that is in my toilet.
5.  My wash basin.
6.  A small clock that is in my bedroom at Longwood.
7.  My watch and chain of hair of the Empress.
8.  I charge Marchand, my first chamber valet to keep these items and return them to my son when he is sixteen.

IV.

1.  My medals.
2.  My plate and my Sevres porcelain, which I used on Saint-Helena.
3.  I charge Count Montholon keep these items and return them to my son when he is sixteen.

V.

1.  My three saddles and bridles, my spurs which helped me at Saint-Helena.
2.  My shotguns (fusils de chasse) five in number.
3.  I charge my hunter Novara keep these items and return them to my son when he is sixteen.

VI.

1.  Four hundred volumes in my library selected among those most used in my practice,               
2.  I direct Saint-Denis to keep them and give them to my son when he is sixteen.

Signed NAPOLEON.


A. STATE

1.  Any effects that I used will be sold. The surplus will be divided between my executors and my brothers.
2.  Marchand will keep my hair, and will make a bracelet with a small padlock in gold to be sent to the Empress Marie-Louise, my mother and all my brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, Cardinal, and a larger one for my son.
3. A small pair of gold buckled garters to Prince Lucien.
4. A buckle collar of gold to Prince Jerome.

On the back of folded sheets and sealed, closing the whole Testament, reads:

"This is my will, written entirely from my own hand."

"NAPOLEON."

 

Placed on the Napoleon Series: January 2010

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