Page:Men of the Time, eleventh edition.djvu/106

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BAZALGETTE.

into the capitulations made during the war brought serious charges against Marshal Bazaine. In consequence of their report, he was handed over to a Council of War organized by a special law, and was imprisoned at Versailles during the preliminary examination in May, 1872. He was afterwards tried at the Grand Trianon of Versailles by a court-martial of general officers, presided over by General the Duc d'Aumale. He was charged not only with military incapacity in allowing himself to be blockaded by a nearly equal force in Metz, and in his ultimate capitulation, but also with a treasonable design of making himself, by the aid of his army, and with the connivance of the enemy, independent of the Government of National Defence, which had been universally acknowledged by France. The trial commenced on Oct. 6, and ended on Dec. 10, 1873. On the charge of political bad faith the court returned no direct verdict; but on the issue whether the Marshal had done all that was required by duty and honour, he was, by a unanimous vote, found guilty. The court condemned the prisoner to degradation and to death, but at the same time recommended him to mercy. Two days afterwards, President MacMahon commuted the punishment of death to confinement for twenty years in a fortress, and remitted the ceremony which, according to law, accompanies the sentence of degradation. He was, however, deprived of all his dignities, dismissed from the army, and sent to undergo his sentence at the Ile Sainte Marguerite, a small island just off Cannes, on the Mediterranean coast. Here Bazaine lived for nine months, enjoying a good deal of freedom, and constantly in the society of his wife and children and of his old aide-de-camp, Colonel Villette. On the plea that the health of the children was affected, Madame Bazaine left the island and sought an interview with Marshal MacMahon, the President of the Republic, in the hope that he might be induced to allow her husband to pass the rest of his days an exile but not a prisoner. But the President declined to interfere; and it is believed that the coldness of his refusal induced Bazaine to try the chance of flight. On Sunday, Aug. 9, 1874, he passed the evening in conversation with Colonel Villette, and on the following morning a rope was hanging down from the parapet of the fortress, and the prisoner was gone. It afterwards appeared that Madame Bazaine and her cousin had been waiting for him in a boat at the base of the rock. They took him on board a ship which was lying near, and he succeeded in escaping to Italy. He afterwards proceeded to Cologne (Aug. 14), spent a short time in England, and ultimately took up his residence in Madrid, where he arrived Nov. 17, 1874. In Sept. 1874, he addressed to the New York Herald an extended and elaborate apology for his conduct when in command of the French army within Metz. In April, 1883, he published a book, dedicated to Queen Isabella II., in which he describes the share he took in the Franco-German war.


BAZALGETTE, Sir Joseph William, C.B., son of the late Captain Joseph William Bazalgette, R.N., was born at Enfield, Middlesex, in 1819. At the age of eighteen he was articled as a pupil to Sir John MacNeil, C.E. In 1845 he was practising on his own account as an engineer in Great George-street, Westminster. In Nov. of the year in which the railway mania commenced he found himself at the head of a large staff of engineering assistants, designing and laying out schemes for railways, ship canals, and other engineering works in various parts of the United Kingdom, and preparing the surveys and plans for