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VICTOR HUGO AND PRINCE NAPOLEON. In the first volume of "l'Histoire d'un Crime, Victor Hugo places Prince Napoleon in a favourable, and in the second in a very unexpected light. On November 15,1851, the author received at midnight a visit at his house in the Rue de la Tour d'Auvergne from the Prince, who made a pretext of coming to talk about some memoirs of his mether, the Princess Catherine of Wurtemburg, which he thought of pub- lishing. The MS. had previously been left with Victor Hugo, who does ample justice to the vir- tues and intellect of the Princess. After he had handed the roll of papers to her son, the Prince suddenly turned round, and, looking into his face, said, The Republic is on its last legs." Almost." That is, if you don't save it." U I? In what way ?" With his accustomed clearness and strength the noc turnal visitor proceeded to describe the situation of parties in the Assembly relatively to each other, the Etysee, and the nation. Their mutual suspicion blinded them to the real danger. Prince Napoleon likened the Red Burgraves and the Burgraves of the Right to a flock of black and a flock of white sheep coming face to face, and too frightened at each other to notice the wolf that was running up to them. This beast of p*ey was his Cousin Louis, who was conspiring to make himself Emperor. Victor Hugo, who belonged to the Sixteen appointed by the Red Burgraves to watch a Vigilance Committee of the Right, could spring a counter-mine under the mine of the Elys6e, and save both France and the glory of Napoleon's name. How ? he asked. Why me more than any of my colleagues ?" Be- cause the Left is without a leader, and your name is well known and popular." But how am I to act ? Simply te arrest the President. Yon, the Police Commissary of the Assembly, is a staunch Republican. He would, I know, obey an order signed by you." I dare say he would, but what of that ?" Why, sign one, and have Louis arrested this very night." This was said in a firm voice, and with a tone of earnest conviction, which I believe was not feigned. Arrest the President!" I cried, "What do you mean?" Tne Prince then ex- plained that the army was undecided, and that the African generals—brethren in arms of Louis Philippe's sons—were not for the President, whilst the National Guard was decidedly for the Republic. Colonels Forestier, of the 8th Legion, Gremer, of the 6th, and Howy, of the 5th, had been sounded, and said they were ready to answer for the obedience of their men if Victor Hugo, or the Committee of Sixteen, gave the order for them to march on the Elyøée at night, sur- prise it, seize the President, and carry him forthwith to prison. The stroke rapidly dealt, the troops would offer no opposition. Vincennes would open her gates in the dead of night to receive Louis Napoleon, and shut them, to hold him a captive, while Paris was asleep. France next morning would learn with joy of her deliverance from the menace of a coup ePitat. If the Assembly did not take the offensive it would be remorselessly crushed. Generals Neumann and Lowcestyne, who were at Lyons, were brave men, and hostile to the President. Victor Hugo only saw objections. He held that it was better to be the victim of a crime than a criminal. Prince Napo- leon thought it better to be a turnkey than a prisoner. He urged Salus populi est suprema lex. The poet told him he placed conscience above public safety, and would not kill a child to eave a people. But Oato would." Jesus would not." "You are in the truth of antiquity. I am in the truth of a higher and a broader revelation." "Yes, but Louis is going to attack you and to crush you out. He is making pre- parations. If you leave him the offensive you must be beaten." Se be it." Hear me, Victor Hugo. I warn you that your combat will end in your death or exile. You opened France to the Bonapartes. A Bonaparte will eject you from it. Death is a small thing—the affair of a moment. Exile is lingering tor- ture. I know what it is, and don't want to return to it." I must get into the habit of it if I can only avoid it by violating law and committing an act worse than housebreaking, which could not but end in bloodshed and rob us of our moral vantage." "That is very grand, but you will not be merely proscribed, you will be calumniated. Do you knew what they already say? That you are against him—(meaning Louis Napoleon)—because he would not make you a Cabinet Minister. I know the contrary is the truth. They will invent worse lies. Be advised by me, and send the order to Yon. I look as though I were a traitor to Louis. I want to serve him by saving him from crime. I have tried every means but this one. I conspire both for and against him; against his power and for his honour. My conscience is at ease, and I want te save my family and my country. I am a Bonaparte, but no Bonapartiat. If I bear the name and respect it, I also judge it. The 18th Brumaire was a stigma on it which faded in the glory of Austerlitz. Napoleon's genius absolved him. In its admiration the people learned to pardon him. He is On the column, and the beat thing is to let him remain there in peace, and not provoke investigation into his career. It would be disastrous for me, of his name, to plagiarise his bad actions. There is a cicatrice in his reputation which it behoves us not to open. In Brumaire Napoleon inflicted this Wound upon his glory, but his name survived it. A second oovpcCftat would be fatal to it. I blame the first Brumaire. I fear the second, which must be despicable, and bury in shame the grandeur of Napoleon. The Bonapartes will become a byword and a reproach. In getting Louis arrested I shall save him from an everlasting pillory, protect my Mole's fame, and save my country from destruction." Victor Hugo persisted in his refusal. The Prince packed up his mother's MS. and took his leave, nltad with dark forebodings, at three in the morn- ing. The poet when the visitor departed sat down to write out the extraordinary conversation which passed between them. He came to the conclusion that he was right in following the dictates of his conscience, but that Prince Napoleon was not wrong in seeking to place his cousin under lock and key.

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