Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne

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BOURRIENNE, Louis Antoine Fauvelet de, the

early friend and biographej of Napoleon, was born at Sens in 1769. His friendship with Napoleon began at the military academy of Brienne, where they were class-fellows, but they did not meet for some time after leaving school, as Bourrienne s humble birth precluded him from military service. In 1789, having embraced the career of diplomacy, he was sent as attache" to Vienna, and thence proceeded to Leipsic where he studied for some time. In 1792 he returned to Paris and renewed his close acquaintance with Bonaparte. Towards the close of the same year he was sent as Secretary of Legation to Stuttgart, but the fall of the monarchy a few months later threw him out of office. He was imprisoned for a short time by the Saxon Govern ment as an adherent of the Revolution, and did not return to Paris till 1795. In the following year, after a slight coldness between the friends, Napoleon invited Bourricnne to become his private secretary. The offer was accepted, and for six years the two lived on the most intimate and friendly terms. It was during this period that he accompanied Napoleon to Egypt. In 1802 implication in the disgraceful failure of the army-contractors Coulou caused his admissal. Three years later, however, he was sent as charge d affaires to Hamburg. There he was ac cused of peculation, and was in consequence recalled and compelled to pay one million francs into the public treasury. Bourrienno never forgave this ; ho became one of Napoleon s bitterest enemies, and after the first abdication held office for a short time under Talleyrand. In 1815 he was specially excluded from Napoleon s amnesty and fled to Belgium. After the fall of the emperor he sat for some years in the Chamber of Representatives, but his official salary could not support his extravagance, and in 1828 he took refuge from his creditors in Belgium. There he occupied himself in drawing up the Memoires of Napoleon, which were published in 1829 and 1830. The revolution of 1830 and the discomforts of his private life so preyed upon his mind that his reason became unhinged, and he had to be removed to an asylum near Caen, where he died in 1834. Bourrienne s Memoires , 10 vols. 8vo, 1829-31, contain much interesting information regarding Napoleon, but while lively and entertaining, they are in many points to be received with caution. Some of the inaccuracies were pointed out by Boulay de la Meurthe in Bourrienne et ses

erreurs, 2 vols. 1830.