MAUBREUIL

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MAUBREUIL, marquis de. Connected with the history of this personage, there are some curious circumstances, which have not yet been explained, but which seem to reflect no great credit on the partisans of what is denominated, in politics, the principle of legitimacy. He was born in Brittany, of a noble family, about the year 1780, entered into the imperial army, m which he made several campaigns, and was subsequently taken into the service of the king of Westphalia, who appointed him his equerry. Maubreuil was employed in Spain, as a captain of Westphalian lighthorse, and his bravery gained for him the cross of the legion of honor. He, however, quitted the army to become a contractor; but the ministry having broken some of the contracts entered into with him, he fell into embarrassments, and his property was seized by his creditors. His enemies say that, in 1814, he exulted beyond measure at the downfall of the imperial government, and rode through the streets, pointing out to the passengers the star of the legion of honor, which he had tied to his horse's tail. If this be true, it was probably the cause of his being employed, in conjunction with a M. Dasies, on a very extraordinary mission, by the provisional government. The ostensible purpose of this mission, for which he was authorized to call in the assistance of the armed force and the civil authorities, was to recover the crown jewels, which were said to have been carried away by the family of Napoleon. The marquis and his companion took the route of Fontainebleau, from which place the emperor had just set out for Elba; and they stopped the exqueen of Westphalia, the wife of Jerome Bonaparte, who was travelling to Germany, with a passport from the allies. They seized eleven chests, containing valuables belonging to the princess, and sent a pan of them to Versailles, and a part of them to the king's commissioner at Paris. The chests were claimed by the princess; and, on their being opened, a large quantity of diamonds, and a sum of 82,000 francs, were found to have been stolen from them. Maubreuil and Dasies were accused of the theft. Dasies was afterwards tried and acquitted, but Maubreuil was not al lowed to escape so easily. One of the tribunals declared itself incompetent to try him, and he remained in prison till the 18th of March, two days before the arrival of Napoleon at Paris, when the minister at war set him at liberty. A few days after this, he was arrested by the imperial government, but was soon discharged. He is said to have gone, under an assumed name, to Brussels, and there he was arrested and conducted to Ghent, on suspicion of intending to assassinate Louis XVIII. It does not appear that an iota of proof existed against him. Driven to despair, perhaps, by the persecution which he endured, he opened his veins in prison, but was saved from death. He was next put into the custody of a party of gendarmes, and conducted to AixlaChapelle, to be delivered to the Prussians. He escaped on the road; and it is a singular fact, that he went back to Paris at the same time that Louis arrived from Ghent, and remained unmolested in the French capital for nearly twelve months. In June, 1816, however, the police seized him, on a charge of his having intrigued against the royal government, and formed the project of carrying off the French princes from St. Cloud. This accusation, too, seems to have been calumnious, for it was dropped; but, in April, 1817, he was once more prosecuted for the theft of the money and diamonds. One of the subordinate courts having again refused to take cognizance of the cause, he was sent before the royal court. His patience was at length exhausted: he addressed the judges in strong terms, and disclosed the important secret, that he had not been employed to recover the crown jewels, but to assassinate Napoleon,a mission which he accepted, he told them, only for the pur pose of saving the emperor. From his prison he repeated this avowal, in a very severe letter to the ambassadors of the allied powers. The cause was now referred to the tribunal of Rouen, and from thence to that of Douay. The latter tribunal is said to have been on the point of pronouncing sentence, when Maubreuil escaped from his dungeon for the fourth time. After he had made his escape, the tribunal sentenced him to five years' imprisonment, and a fine of 500 francs. He first went to Brussels, and then passed over to England, where he published a vindication of himself. In 1825, he returned to France, and was again imprisoned until 1827, when, having been released, he made an attack on Talleyrand, whom he beat severely. On his trial for this offence, he accused the prince of having been the cause of all his sufferings, by employing him to assassinate Napoleon. Maubreuil was condemned to five years' imprisonment. Talleyrand has never thought proper to clear up the mystery, and the matter still remains unexplained. Bourrienne, in his memoirs of Napoleon, has some remarks relating to the circumstance of this transaction.