On the sailing of the French expedition for Egypt, from Malta, under the orders of Bonaparte, the fleet was intentionally dispersed in order to arrive without being noticed; they had no sooner, however, left Malta, than they learned that Nelson had penetrated their design, and was in pursuit of them. Expecting every hour to be come up with, and being too weak to risk a combat, it was the resolution of Bonaparte and the rest of the illustrious persons on board the Orient to blow her up, rather than be taken prisoners; but, that the memory of those who perished might be preserved, and their features known by posterity, Bonaparte caused the portraits of eighteen to be taken on two sheets of paper, which were to be rolled up, put in bottles, and committed to the waves: the names of the persons are,—

First Drawing.

  • Desaix,
  • Berthier,
  • Kleber,
  • Dalomieu,
  • Berthollet,
  • Bonaparte,
  • Caffarelli,
  • Brueys,
  • Monge.

Second Drawing.

  • Rampon,
  • Junot,
  • Regnier,
  • Desgenettes,
  • Larrey,
  • Murat,
  • Lasnes,
  • Belliard,
  • Snulkanski.

The portraits were executed in medallions, with India ink; they were carefully preserved by the famous surgeon, Baron Larrey; and they adorned his study at Paris till his death.