Friday, October 5, 2007

Bonaparte Executes Uncooperative Local Leader

From: Copies of original letters from the army of General Bonaparte in Egypt, intercepted by the fleet under the command of Admiral Lord Nelson. With an English translation (London, J. Wright, 1798-1800, 3 vols.), vol. 2, pp. 199-200


Alexandria (18 Fructidor), September 4th.

The inspector of the Marine, to Citizen PUPET, Commissary of the Marine, at Havre.

HAVE any of my former letters reached you, my dear comrade?--I am afraid not; and unfortunately I have received none of yours. If you are sinking under the weight of business, I am no less so.--Without means, without resources, I have every thing to create as it were,-- and under what circumstances?--under those of having been almost an eye-witness of the dreadful catastrophe of the 1st of August.

Allow me to put you in mind of your promises respecting my family; I look for the execution of them from your friendship, and your readiness to oblige. Have the goodness, my dear comrade, to present my compliments to your fellow labourers, and accept, for yourself, the assurance of my inviolable attachment.


P.S. We have lost our comrades Jaubert(1), Peret, and the first physician to the fleet, Citizen Renard. The other distressing events you will hear of, before my letter reaches you.

[British Translators' Notes]

(1)Our conjecture then was right(Part I. p. 36.) and Jaubert perished in the explosion of the L'Orient.

How many of the writers of the First Part of this Correspondence, and of those who are mentioned by them, have perished since their letters reached us! For the French themselves we feel little regret.

--'tis the sport to see the engineer
Hois'd with his own petar.

They came to destroy, and they have been destroyed!--But we deeply lament the fate of the innocent victims of their barbarity. The Cheriff Coraim (of whom the reader will find some mention in the First Part, p. 193) has, we see, been barbarously put to death at Cairo, and had his hoary head paraded round the streets, in the true style of Parisian expeditions.

When it is considered that the crime of this man (according to the French themselves) consisted in his not being seduced by a "tricoloured scarf," to assist in the destruction of his brethren; and that he was only removed from Alexandria, as a temporary measure of security,--his being dragged to Cairo, and murdered by Bonaparte, without evidence, (for that, Loyer says, was left behind) must furnish the admirers of the General's justice and humanity, and, above all, the Reverend Mr. Wakefield, with fresh topics of "consolation and triumph!"

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