1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Sébastiani, Horace François Bastien, Count
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Sébastiani, Horace François Bastien, Count
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SÉBASTIANI, HORACE FRANÇOIS BASTIEN, Count (1772-1851) French marshal and diplomatist. Of Corsican birth, he was in his early years banished from his native island during the civil disturbances, and in 1789 he entered the French army. In 1793, as a French lieutenant, he took part in the war in his native island, after which he served in the Army of the Alps. He became chef de brigade in 1799. Attached by birth and service to the future Emperor Napoleon, he took part in the Coup d'État of 18th Brumaire (9th November 1799). He was present at Marengo in 1800. Sébastiani next appears in his first diplomatic post, in Turkey and Egypt (1802). Promoted general of brigade in 1803, he served in 1805 in the first of the great campaigns of the Empire. His conduct at Austerlitz (2nd December), where he was wounded, won him promotion to the rank of general of division. Sébastiani soon returned to Constantinople as French Ambassador. As ambassador he induced the Porte to declare war on Russia, as a soldier he directed with success the defence of Constantinople against the British squadron of Admiral (Sir) J. T. Duckworth. But the deposition of the Sultan Selim III. put an end to French diplomatic success in this quarter, and Sébastiani was recalled in April 1807 (see La Politique orientale de Napoleon: Sébastiani et Gardans, by E. Driault, Paris, 1905). He was at this time made Count of the Empire. As the commander of a corps he served in the Peninsular War, but his cavalry genius did not shine in the laborious and painful operations against the careful English and the ubiquitous guerrilleros. In the more congenial grande guerre of Russia and Germany he was in his element, and at Smolensk, Borodino and Leipzig he did brilliant service. He accepted the Restoration government in 1814, but rejoined his old leader on his return from Elba. After Waterloo he retired into England for a time, but soon returned, and was placed on half-pay. From 1819 onwards he was a prominent member of the Chamber of Deputies. He held the posts of Minister of Marine, and, later, of Foreign Affairs. In this latter capacity he was the author of the historic saying “Order reigns at Warsaw.” In 1832 he was a Minister of State without portfolio, next year ambassador at Naples, and from 1835 to 1840 was ambassador to Great Britain. On his retirement from this post he was made Marshal of France. He was a brilliant social figure in Paris. His last years were clouded by the death of his daughter at the hands of her husband, the duc de Praslin. He died at Paris on the 21st of July 1851.
His brother, Jean André Tiburce Sébastiani (1786-1871), entered the army in 1806, served in the Peninsula from 1809 to 1811, and in the great campaigns of Russia, Germany, France and Belgium. He took part in the war of Greek independence under General Maison. In 1842, now lieutenant-general and peer of France, he was appointed to command the military division of Paris. But he proved incapable of dealing with the Revolution of 1848, and the remainder of his life was spent in retirement in Corsica.