The Emperor has published his defence, in a pamphlet which
has reached us too late for full notice, but which strikes us on first perusal as rather a confession than a justification. While main- taining that he was forced to war by an excited people—which is entirely false, as the Prefects' confidential reports prove—the Emperor admits that he knew he had only half the number of soldiers whom Germany could produce ; that he knew nothing of his own Army ; that the Army of Metz, instead of 150,000 men, only mustered 100,000, and that of Strasburg only 40,000, instead of 100,000, and that of Marshal Canrobert about half its numbers ; that his original plan failed through these deficiencies ; that the bold initiative of the Germans "caught the French Army in the very act of forma- tion ;" that the action of the Army was "paralyzed by the abso- lute ignorance in which we always remained concerning the position and the strength of the hostile armies ; that the Prussians always concealed their movements, so that it was never really known where the mass of their troops were, nor in consequence where our chief efforts should be directed." The Emperor further admits that after these defeats he gave up his own wise policy of a retreat on Chalons in deference to M. 011ivier's opinion that Paris would not like it, and subsequently his own belief that Paris should be defended, because the Regency ordered otherwise ; that he felt nullified, neither being Government nor Commander-in-Chief ; that he ordered the elevation of the white flag at Sedan to spare blood ; and that he told the King of Prussia the war was the nation's fault. And finally, he affirms that the real fault was that of the Opposition in the Chamber—who numbered 82—and of the Parisian Press. A more marvellous admission of intellectual incompetence was never given to the world.