Postscript to the Ninth Edition




The Public has been of late much interested and not a little bewildered, by the accounts of many strange events, said to have recently taken place in France and other parts of the Continent. Are these accounts of such a character as to allay, or to strengthen and increase, such doubts as have been suggested in the foregoing pages?

We are told that there is now a Napoleon Buonaparte at the head of the government of France. It is not, indeed, asserted that he is the very original Napoleon Buonaparte himself. The death of that personage, and the transportation of his genuine bones to France, had been too widely proclaimed to allow of his reappearance in his own proper person. But “uno avulso, non deficit alter.” Like the Thibetian worshippers of the Dalai Lama, (who never dies; only his soul transmigrates into a fresh body), the French are so resolved, we are told, to be under a Buonaparte—whether that be (see note to p. 56) a man or “a system”—that they have found, it seems, a kind of new incarnation of this their Grand Lama, in a person said to be the nephew of the original one.

And when, on hearing that this personage now fills the high office of President of the French Republic, we inquire (very naturally) how he came there, we are informed that, several years ago, he invaded France in an English vessel, (the English—as was observed in p. 52—having always been suspected of keeping Buonaparte ready, like the winds in a Lapland witch’s bag, to be let out on occasion,) at the head of a force, not, of six hundred men, like his supposed uncle in his expedition from Elba, but of fifty-five,(!) with which he landed at Boulogne, proclaimed himself emperor, and was joined by no less than one man! He was accordingly, we are told, arrested, brought to trial, and sentenced to imprisonment; but having, some years after, escaped from prison, and taken refuge in England, (England again!) he thence returned to France: and so the French nation placed him at the head of the government!

All this will doubtless be received as a very probable tale by those who have given full credit to all the stories I have alluded to in the foregoing pages.

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