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Copyright, IQIO 
By George W 7 . Jacobs &* Company 

Published October, 1910 

All rights reserved, including that of translation 
into foreign languages. Printed in U. S. A. 

The illustrations in this volume are 
fully protected by copyright 



This book is a sequel to my works on Mira- 
beau, Danton, and Robespierre and their part in 
the French Revolution. The Revolution made 
Napoleon. He was its embodiment, its natural 
sequence ; it culminated in him ; he stood between 
its chaos and a Bourbon restoration and ahhough 
a usurper and a despot he saved the salient prin- 
ciples of that great political upheaval and pre- 
vented an immediate and a permanent return to 
the abuses of the ancient regime. He brought 
order out of chaos, organized the government 
upon a stable basis, re-established the church, 
fostered a spirit of religious toleration, and com- 
piled a Code which secured equality before the 
law. His ambition carried France to a tran- 
scendent glory and at last left her humiliated, 
exhausted, and stripped of her conquests; but he 
had given to her people a better form of govern- 
ment and a more beneficent rule than they had 
ever enjoyed and this made it impossible for his 
successors to restore the offensive features of the 
Bourbon monarchy. 

" The Revolution is planted," he declared, " on 
the principles from which it proceeded. It is 
ended/' The^gpvernment did not emanate from 
thp^nverf ignty of the people, but was created and 
bestowed upon them by an autocrat; it was not 


liberty in its broad sense, but in the reaction that 
followed the Revolution when society was escap- 
ing from the violence of that great upheaval and 
was likely to run to extremes in the opposite 
direction, Napoleon held in check the mob on one 
hand and kept the Bourbons at bay on the other. 
The illustrations are from the very valuable 
collection of engravings and etchings belonging 
to Mr. William J. Latta, of Philadelphia. Many 
of them are original sketches made by artists con- 
temporary with Napoleon, and have never be- 
fore been published. I take this occasion to 
thank him for his kindness in allowing me access 
to his portfolios and aiding me in making the se- 



Napoleon Bonaparte Birth Parentage Corsica 
Charles Bonaparte Childhood of Napoleon En- 
ters School of Brienne His Studies and Reading- 
Enters Military School of Paris Appointed Lieu- 
tenantDeath of Charles Bonaparte Napoleon Vis- 
its Ajaccio His Writings 15 


French Revolution Bonaparte Visits Ajaccio Dedi- 
cates His History of Corsica to Paoli Bonaparte 
Rejoins His Regiment Death of Mirabeau Bona- 
parte Relieved of His Commission Day of the 
Black Breeches August the Tenth Bonaparte Re- 
stored to His Position as Captain Revisits Corsica 
Flees with His Family from Calvi Overthrow of 
Girondins Supper of Beaucaire 33 

Toulon Thirteenth Vendemiaire 45 


Robespierre Barras Josephine Tascher de la Pagerie 
Viscount Beauharnais Desirie Clery Madame 
Permon Bonaparte Meets Josephine Beauharnais.. 62 


Bonaparte Woos Josephine Bonaparte Weds Jose- 
phine Character of Josephine Bonaparte Departs 

for Italy 72 



Bonaparte in Italy 84 

Bonaparte in Italy Continued 98 

Invasion of Egypt 122 

Invasion of Egypt Continued 139 

Nineteenth Brumaire 155 

Marengo 168 


The Consular Government The Code The Concor- 
dat Napoleon's Religious Views Legion of Honor 
* Education 176 


Conspiracies to Assassinate Napoleon San Domingo 
Toussaint L'Ouverture Contention over the 
Treaty of Amiens Lord Whitworth Declaration 
of War by England Louisiana 193 


Count de Provence Urged by Napoleon to Renounce 
his Right of Succession Execution of due d'En- 
ghien Coronation of Napoleon as Emperor 204 



Threatened Invasion of England Eugene Beauhar- 
nais made Viceroy of Italy The Crown of Lom- 
bardy 219 

Ulm Trafalgar Austerlitz 231 

Jean Atierstadt Berlin Decree Orders in Council.. 242 

Eylau Friedland Treaty of Tilsit ' 258 


Junot Enters Lisbon Murat Enters Madrid Charles 
IV of Spain Abdicates 268 


War with Austria Wagram Treaty of Schonbrunn 
War in Spain 282 


Napoleon's Divorce from Josephine His Marriage 
with Maria Louisa Spain Abdication of Louis, 
King of Holland Commercial War with England 
Birth of King of Rome 292 

Invasion of Russia 309 

The Retreat from Moscow 328 


Napoleon's Return to Paris Battle of Liitzen Bat- 
tle of Bautzen Armistice 345 



Battle of Dresden Battle of Leipsic ................ 353 

Napoleon Returns to Paris The Frankfort Proposals 

Invasion of the Allies ......................... 364 

Napoleon's Departure for Elba His Residence in Elba 

His Return to France New Constitution Champ 

de Mai .......................................... 376 

Ligny Quatre Bras ................................ 392 

Waterloo .......................................... 401 


Napoleon's Second Abdication Boards the "Bellero- 
phon" Sails for St. Helena ...................... 415 

St. Helena Sir Hudson Lowe Death of Napoleon.. 426 

Napoleon Bonaparte ................................ 437 

Napoleon Bonaparte Con tinned .................... 447 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. From a portrait by Dela- 
roche Frontispiece 

From an original drawing by Lefebre. From the 
Joseph Bonaparte Collection 22 

NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. From an original drawing in 
black and white by Guerin. Portrait came to present 
owner through Pierre Morand, a well-known 
Frenchman living in Philadelphia some years ago.. 30 

NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. From an original sketch in 
red crayon by Guerin 58 

drawing by R. Lefebre. Joseph Bonaparte Collec- 
tion 64 

NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. From an original by Ledru, 
1797. From the Joseph Bonaparte Collection 76 

MURAT. From an original drawing in colors. From 
the Joseph Bonaparte Collection 90 

NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. From an original water color 
in brilliant colors by Victor Adam. From the 
Joseph Bonaparte Collection 102 

NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. From an original drawing by 
Dubrez 124 

NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. From an original drawing in 
blue by an unknown artist 140 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. From a painting by Gerard; 
engraved by Richomme 160 

NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. The painter and engraver of 
this portrait (R. Lefebre and A. Desnoyers) are two 
of the best known artists in the Napoleon and sub- 
sequent periods. Considered one of the best por- 
traits of Napoleon ever made 170 

NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. From an original water color 
drawing by L. David, 1803. From the Joseph Bona- 
parte Collection 198 

NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. From an original drawing in 
crayon by Vallot. Came into the possession of the 
present owner through Godefroy Meyer of Paris. . 210 

JOSEPHINE. After the Isabey Portrait 216 

NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. From an original drawing by 
Vallot. Formerly in the collection owned by Car- 
dinal Bonaparte of Rome, a nephew of the famous 
Emperor. Came into the possession of the present 
owner through Godefroy Meyer, of Paris 222 

NELSON. Painting by L. F. Abbott. Proof before 
letters 236 

WILLIAM PITT. From a portrait by Owen, engraved 
by H. S. Goed 244 

NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. From a rare portrait in bright 
colors engraved by Levachez 250 

NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. From an original drawing by 
Guerin, 1810. Came to the present owner through 
Pierre Morand, a well-known Frenchman living in 
Philadelphia some years ago 272 

MARIA LOUISA. Representative portrait made in 
Vienna by well-known Austrian artists 296 

NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. From a portrait in colors by 
G. Hemmerle 312 



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. From an original drawing 
made in the Waterloo period by Rouguet, 1815. 
Came into the possession of the owner through 
Pierre Morand, a well-known French resident of 
Philadelphia 348 

BLUCHER. From an original drawing in colors, by an 
unknown artist 368 

DUKE OF REICHSTADT. From a portrait made in 
Vienna. Proof before letters 372 

NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. From an original portrait 
drawn and engraved on the island of Elba by D'Al- 
bon in 1814 382 

WELLINGTON. From a portrait by Sir Thomas Law- 
rence 404 

MARSHAL GROUCHY. From an original drawing in 
colors by Biard 410 

MARSHAL NEY. From an original drawing by Guerin 418 

NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. From an original water color 
by Coquette made at St. Helena in 1816. Came into 
possession of owner through Pierre Morand, a well- 
known French resident of Philadelphia 432 

English, Spanish, Danish 442 

ian, French, United States, Swedish 452 











_No man in the history of the modern world 
has so dominated by his commanding personality 

the period in which he lived as Napoleon. He 
looms up out of the stirring events of his era as 
the one great central figure, like a mighty rock 
around which surged and lashed the waves of a 
tempestuous sea. JHe was the greatest individual, 
intellectual fnrre of the century, mjnany respects 
ol.all time. The story of his life is an epic, his 
dazzling and unparalleled career reads like a 
romance; he makes fact seem but fiction, reality 
but the figment of imagination. 



He was unique ; he has no exact counterpart in 
history. His genius was transcendent, univer- 
sal. His executive ability and powers of organ- 
ization werej^ejiojmenal. His., plans and proi- 
ects appear^ impossible r but while men were 
predicting failure he accomplished success. HTi 
audacity was sublime, his will inflexible, his 
energy prodigious. " There are no Alps," he 
cried when he intended to cross their snowy 
summits and pour his army like an avalanche 
upon the sunny fields and fertile valleys of 

He changed the geography of Europe at his 
will, he drew the boundary lines of nations with 
the point of his sword. With the exception of 
London, he entered in triumph every capital in 
Fnrnpe. At his command great armies marched, 
and the earth shook beneath the tread of his 
mighty legions, capitals fell, thrones crashed and 
dynasties that seemed secure for all time, were, 
in the twinkling of an eye, overthrown and de- 

The world has stood in amazement marveling 
at his career, almost bewildered by its intensity 
of action and its rapidly changing scenes; and it 
still marvels, for time and distance do not dim 
the greatness of his character but only delineate 
its features in sharper outline and bolder relief. 
A man who could raise himself from obscurity to 
a throne, whose power of action seemed at times* 
almost superhuman, whose will made nations 
bend and the terror of whose name sent a thrill 
through continents and across seas possessed a 



superiority of talent and an ascendency of genius 

Whence came this man of phenomenal power? 
On the 1 5th day of August, 1769, Madame Le- 
tizia Bonaparte, while in attendance upon her 
devotions in a church at Ajaccio, Corsica, ;felt 
coming upon her suddenly the pains of. labor. 
She hurried home and barely reached her bed- 
room in time to give birth there to a male child. 
The story that the boy was born on a tapestry 
representing battle scenes from the Iliad, no mat- 
ter how pleasing to the imagination, must be 
consigned to the realm of fiction. The mother 
herself in after years when questioned positively 
denied the story. 

During the greater part of the mother's preg- 
nancy, Corsica was shaken by war, and the child, 
it may be said, first saw the light of day amidst 
the clash of arms. " I was born," said Napo- 
leon, " while my country was dying. Thirty 
thousand French vomited on our shores, drown- 
ing the throne of liberty in waves of blood 
such was the horrid sight which first met my 
view. The cries of the dying, the groans of the 
oppressed, tears of despair, surrounded my cradle 
at my birth." 

Corsica, an island in the Mediterranean Sea 
about one hundred miles in length and fifty in 
width, with a population of one hundred and 
twenty-five thousand had been rocked by 
almost incessant war for centuries. Using again 
the language of her most illustrious son, " She 
has been a prey to the ambition of her neighbors, 
2 17 


the victim of their politics and of her own wilful- 
ness." Her people, untamed, vindictive and 
courageous, were imbued with a spirit of inde- 
pendence, but had been conquered successively 
by Carthaginians, Romans, Germans, Byzantine 
Greeks, Moors, Goths, Vandals, Longobards, the 
Popes, Pisans, Genoese and French. : ' We have 
seen her," quoting once more from the same au- 
thority, " take up arms, shake the atrocious 
power of Genoa, recover her independence 

. . but then pursued by an irresistible fa- 
tality fall again into intolerable disgrace. For 
twenty- four centuries these are the scenes which 
recur again and again ; the same changes, the 
same misfortune but also the same courage, the 
same resolution, the same boldness. . . . If, 
led by a natural feeling, she kissed, like a slave, 
the chains of Rome, she was not long in breaking 
them. If, finally, she bowed her head before the 
Ligurian aristocracy, if irresistible forces kept 
her twenty years in the despotic grasp of Ver- 
sailles, forty years of mad warfare astonished 
Europe and confounded her enemies." 

Sampiero, w r ho had endeavored to shake off 
the yoke of Genoa, and Pascal Paoli were patriots 
of a high type whose fame filled the universe, but, 
after years of glorious effort to gain a national 
independence, Corsica passed into the control of 
France, Genoa releasing her hold in 1768 upon 
the payment by Choiseul of two million francs. 

When this infamous pact, by which the island 
had been sold under their very feet, was made 
known, the Corsicans sprang to arms against 



their new masters, but France, with overwhelming 
forces, defeated Paoli, who was a better statesman 
than soldier, at Ponte Nuovo on June 12, 1769, 
and the heroic Corsicans were compelled to lay 
down their arms. Embittered by the treatment 
they received at the hands of their conquerors, the 
islanders once more rose in rebellion, but were 
crushed by a savage brutality. These were the 
prevailing conditions at the time of Napoleon's 
birth; the new-born child "breathed air that was 
hot with civil hates." 

The inhabitants of Corsica were a primitive and 
an imaginative people, with a rich folk-lore. It 
was the land of the unwritten code. The deadly 
vendetta existed here in its full development, a 
slight, an injury done to a neighbor would inau- 
gurate a bloody feud which in many instances 
would drag its dreary, tortuous way through in- 
trigue, conspiracy and murder from generation 
to generation, until, the principals having been 
destroyed, the collateral branches would continue 
the strife and the man who would not avenge the 
family honor would lose all caste and be looked 
upon by his neighbors, clansmen and countrymen 
as a coward beneath contempt. 

It was in this atmosphere of war, strife, impas- 
sioned effort, vendetta, legend and romance, that 
Napoleon first opened his eyes, and it was under 
these circumstances his temperament was molded 
and his character formed in preparation for his 
extraordinary career; fitting conditions for the 
development and training of such a life. 

In due course of time the infant was christened. 


"The bell," says Dumas, "which sounded his 
baptism still quivered with the tocsin." 

There has been much controversy over the 
question as to the year of Napoleon's birth. At 
the time of his marriage to Josephine he was en- 
tered in the registry as having been born in Feb- 
ruary, 1768, but this was done obviously for the 
purpose of lessening the disparity in their ages. 
While not a vital or important matter, it is never- 
theless an interesting one, for it defines Napo- 
leon's nationality. If born in the earlier year he 
was a Genoese, for at that period Corsica be- 
longed to the republic of Genoa ; if, however, his 
birth occurred in 1769 he was French, for in the 
early part of that year the island was annexed to 
France. The weight of evidence is altogether 
with the later year. An extract from an original 
baptismal certificate in the archives of the French 
war department gives the date of Napoleon's 
birth as August 15, 1769, while the same date 
appears in the application made by his father 
for admission to the school of Brienne and also 
in an autograph paper written by Napoleon in 
his early youth. Further than this, investigation 
has shown that Joseph, the eldest son in the 
Bonaparte family, was born in 1768. His bap- 
tismal name was Nabulione, which is Italian for 
Napoleon, and this name was subsequently pre- 
fixed by Joseph. This fact, doubtless, aided also 
in giving rise to the controversy. In any event 
he was very close to not being born a French- 

Charles Marie Bonaparte, the father of Napo- 



Icon, was a lawyer by profession, whose family 
had for centuries been prominent in the social 
and political life of Corsica. The house pos- 
sessed a proud coat-of-arms and an ancient title 
of nobility bestowed by the Genoese government 
and also another granted by the Grand Duke of 

The Bonaparte family was an honorable one, 
but after Napoleon rose to distinction and power 
the ingenious heralds began to trace its genealogy, 
and some of them, giving full play to their fancy 
and imagination, to win, no doubt, the favor and 
tickle the pride of the emperor, ran the line back 
into the dim and cloudy vista of the past to the 
Roman csesars and the Byzantine emperors. One 
master of his art traced it to the Borgias, while 
another made the " Man with the Iron Mask," 
the brother of Louis XIV, the progenitor of the 
family. In spite of all these romances, careful 
research has shown that it was both ancient and 
honorable, being easily traced back to the middle 
of the thirteenth century, the founder, one Wil- 
liam, having been an active and influential Ghibel- 

Charles Bonaparte was a member of the Council 
of Corsican Nobles, and had been a supporter of 
the patriot Paoli, but after the French possession 
had abandoned his cause. It was for this de- 
sertion that Napoleon time and again in bitter 
terms reproached his father. " Paoli was a great 
man," he exclaimed, " he loved his country ; and 
I will never forgive my father for his share in 
uniting Corsica to France/' 



In 1764, when he was eighteen, Charles mar- 
ried a beautiful girl of fifteen, Letizia Ramolino, 
from a respectable if not noble Florentine family. 
She was a woman of no education but of great 
force of character Napoleon declaring that she 
had a man's head on a woman's shoulders. 
Time and again he admitted : " It is to my mother 
and to the principles she instilled into me that I 
owe my fortune and all the good I have ever 
done." She lived to an advanced age, dying in 
her eighty-fifth year. Often she predicted that 
her great son would not be able to maintain his 
elevation and she wisely made provision for a 
rainy day. She bore thirteen children, five of 
whom died in infancy. Napoleon was fourth in 
order of birth, and the second in age among the 

Charles Bonaparte studied law at the Univer- 
sity of Pisa, a famous institution of learning in 
that day, and received his degree of doctor of 
laws in 1769. He could have lived comfortably 
on the income from his own and his wife's estate, 
eked out by the returns from his practice, but a 
man in his position was required to discharge his 
social obligations which were necessarily a heavy 
drain on his purse. He was handsome in both 
form and feature, most genial in manner, con- 
vivial in his tastes and especially fond of the 
pleasures of the table. He entertained exten- 
sively, lived beyond his means, and in consequence 
was constantly in debt and greatly harassed by 
duns and importuning creditors. Besides this he 
had inherited a suit-at-law, to maintain which 


Copyright, 1910, by George W. Jacobs & Co. 


From an original drawing by Lefebre 
From the Joseph Bonaparte Collection 


was not only annoying but expensive. One of 
his ancestors, on his death-bed under clerical per- 
suasion, gave away by testament his estate to 
the church, which gift was in direct violation of 
the provisions of a prior ancestor's will. The 
church having secured the land upon what it con- 
tended was a good and sufficient consideration 
the repose of the donor's soul refused to relin- 
quish or surrender it. A suit-at-law was insti- 
tuted to recover possession, but after long years 
of litigation and the expenditure of large sums 
of money in fees and court charges it ended 
fruitlessly for the plaintiff. The Jesuits retained 
the property. This litigation so incensed and em- 
bittered Charles Bonaparte against the church 
that on his death-bed he is said to have refused 
the consolations of religion and the rite of abso- 
lution at the hands of a priest. 

Napoleon's childhood was passed without spe- 
cial incident. He was not remarkably precocious ; 
he gave no pronounced signs of his future great- 
ness. He was not the wise child that promises 
so much and realizes so little. He was in no 
sense a prodigy. 

The story of his early life is very obscure. It 
is made up of detached incidents. One little 
romance is that while at school he formed an 
attachment for a girl about his own age named 
Giacominetta ; so attentive was he that he pro- 
voked the ridicule of his companions ; but to their 
gibes he replied with sticks and stones and tor- 
rents of abuse. Even at this early age he was 
not tidy in appearance, his stockings as a rule 



were about his heels and one of his little school- 
fellows, taking for his subject Napoleon's sloven- 
liness and youthful courtship, indited a couplet 
which became the song of the school : 

" Napoleon di mezza calzetta 
Fa I'amore a Giacominetta'' 

At St. Helena Napoleon delighted to refer to 
his childhood's scrapes and escapades, and painted 
himself in the darkest colors as a very madcap. 
He described how he would abuse Joseph, beat 
him, scratch him, and when his mother appeared 
make her believe it was his brother's fault. The 
statement that his mother likened him to a little 
imp and predicted a sad end is without substan- 
tiation. The fact seems to be that Napoleon as 
a child was gloomy, morose and solitary, but 
with a high, uncontrollable temper. On the other 
hand he was generous, grateful, most susceptible 
to friendship, and easily won by kind treatment. 
" Ah, Bourrienne/' he said at Brienne, " I like 
you; you never make fun of me." 

The Bonapartes had a country seat called Mil- 
leli not far from Ajaccio, situated on the coast. 
To this estate the family would repair during the 
summer months, and Napoleon spent much of 
his time while here in a grotto from which could 
be had a magnificent view of the sea. Here alone 
he would spend hours day after day in study and 

In 1779, when nine years of age, he left home 
after a sad parting with his mother, and journeyed 
with his father to Brienne to enter the military 



school located in that town, his father, through 
the influence of some French friends, having 
secured for him a cadetship in the institution. 
For a pensioner the requisites were that he should 
be without fortune, but have four degrees of no- 
bility. The father had made application for the 
admission of both Joseph and Napoleon, but the 
authorities had so long held the matter under ad- 
visement that Joseph passed his tenth year, which 
made him ineligible. 

On his way to Brienne, Napoleon spent two 
or three months in a school at Autun, where 
Joseph was studying for the priesthood. This 
was done to acquire the use of the French tongue, 
for up to this time, he had spoken nothing but 
Italian. He soon became sufficiently familiar 
with French to carry on an ordinary conversa- 
tion, but with a most pronounced foreign accent, 
and to write short letters. After this prepara- 
tory study he journeyed to Brienne, which insti- 
tution he entered April 23, 1779, a few months 
before his tenth year. 

Here at once his troubles began; his foreign 
birth and the fact that he was a child of a con- 
quered race made him an object of derision. 
Shy and diffident in manner, but with an innate 
pride, he suffered in spirit, but would brook no 
insolence. His shabby clothes, lack of money, 
and the position he occupied as a pensioner drew 
a line between him and the rich, well-dressed sons 
of the aristocracy, while his broken tongue ex- 
cited the merriment if not the ridicule of his com- 



" Your father is nothing but a wretched tip- 
staff," said one of the haughty nobles address- 
ing Napoleon; and the hot-headed young Corsi- 
can sent a challenge to his insulter. For his 
temerity, he was imprisoned in the school dun- 

Each boy at Brienne was given a small piece 
of land to cultivate as a garden. Napoleon 
made his a retreat where he might retire to read 
and study. His companions in a spirit of fun 
would occasionally interrupt his seclusion, but he 
would sally forth and bravely repel any attempt 
at intrusion. 

In this institution he was reported as " taci- 
turn, fond of solitude, capricious, haughty, ex- 
tremely disposed to heroism, seldom speaking, 
energetic in his answers, ready and sharp in 
repartee, full of self-love, ambitious and of un- 
bounded aspirations/' 

In his studies he excelled in history, geog- 
raphy, geometry and mathematics, but made little 
progress in the languages and mere accomplish- 
ments, or the humanities, as they were called in 
those days. He never could acquire grammar 
and orthography, and to the latest day of his 
life neither wrote nor spelled correctly, although 
few men have ever equaled him in the clear, terse 
expression of thought. 

He did not confine himself to his curriculum 
alone. He was a close student of the works of 
French and other writers. Two of his favorite 
authors were Plutarch and Ossian; Caesar's Con- 
quest of Gaul also gave him great delight. He 


studied the lives and the campaigns of famous 
commanders such as Frederick the Great, Tu- 
renne and Marlborough, and read with zest the 
philosophical treatises of Raynal and Rousseau. 

Although in early life much impressed by the 
teachings of the last named author, he subse- 
quently discarded him for Voltaire. In an after- 
dinner discussion with Roederer, in 1803, he said : 
" The more I read Voltaire the more I like him ; 
he is always reasonable, never a charlatan, never 
a fanatic, he is made for mature minds. Up to 
sixteen years of age I would have fought for 
Rousseau against all the friends of Voltaire. 
Now it is the contrary; I have been especially 
disgusted with Rousseau since I have seen the 
East. Savage man is a dog." 

In the severe winter of 1783-4, the students at 
Brienne amused themselves by building snow 
forts and indulging in sham battles. According 
to Bourrienne Napoleon directed the construction 
of the walls, and also the methods of attack and 
defence. This story in itself contradicts many 
of the statements made concerning the shabby 
treatment he received at the hands of his school 
fellows. He must, since his early admission to 
the college, have grown into favor. Even in 
their games boys do not give the supreme com- 
mand to an unpopular member of the class. An 
incident occurred which revealed in the boy the 
character of the soldier and the disciplinarian : 
One of his comrades, while the fight was on, re- 
fusing to obey a command was knocked down by 
Napoleon with a piece of ice. The story goes 



that in after years the unfortunate youth in seek- 
ing the Emperor's aid showed the scar on his 
forehead and recalled the occasion when the 
wound was given. His petition was forthwith 

Towards the close of his term an officer who 
inspected the school made the following report 
as to Bonaparte : " Constitution : health excel- 
lent. Character: submissive, sweet, honest, 
grateful. Conduct : very regular, has always dis- 
tinguished himself by his application to mathe- 
matics, knows history and geography passably, 
very weak in accomplishments. He will be an 
excellent seaman. Is worthy to enter the school 
of Paris." 

On this recommendation, in September, 1784, 
he passed as " Cadet-gentilhomme " into that in- 
stitution. No sooner had he entered this college 
than he drew up a plan of reform which seriously 
reflected upon the management and in conse- 
quence brought down upon his head the censure 
of his masters. He saw to it, however, in after- 
life, that his suggestions were put into operation. 

In February, 1785, his father died in the house 
of Madame Permon at Montpelier, where he had 
taken refuge when overcome by a sudden illness. 
He passed away at the comparatively early age 
of thirty-eight, with the same disease that after- 
wards caused the death of his illustrious son. 
He left his family penniless, but they loved him, 
for he had been a kind and an indulgent parent 
and had struggled hard to get his boys well started 
in life. His death was sincerely mourned by all 


of them. Little did he believe that one of his 
sons would be an emperor, three of them kings, 
one daughter a queen and the others princesses. 
Napoleon at his coronation turned aside for a 
moment and whispered in the ear of his brother 
Joseph : " What would father say if he were 

Napoleon remained in the school of Paris for 
a year and graduated in August, 1785, being 
forty-second in his class, surely not a high stand- 

During his short sojourn in Paris after his 
graduation and before his assignment as sub- 
lieutenant, he suffered from poverty and truly, 
it may be said, ate his bread in the salt of his 
tears. The two hundred francs given to him 
when he left the college was soon exhausted, and 
at times without a sou in his pocket, he had to 
depend for a meal upon the bounty and charitable- 
ness of his acquaintances. Napoleon never for- 
got in his prosperous days those friends who 
helped him in his adversity. Some writers try to 
trace in his Corsican blood the spirit of the ven- 
detta, but they signally fail, he was not vindicti^e^. 
nor was he_harsh or at heart cruel, but on the 
other fianjTjhe^was one of the most grateful of 
men; he^never forgot a real service or favor 

At this period of his life Napoleon was de- 
scribed as " dark, swarthy in feature, short in 
stature, poor physique, head large, full and in- 
tellectual." He wore immense " dog's ears," as 
they were called, a style of wearing the hair then 



in vogue. His long lank locks fell over his ears 
and the sides of his face and almost, if not quite, 
reached his shoulders. He was exceedingly thin, 
and his legs did not fill out the tops of his mili- 
tary boots. He presented rather a ridiculous 
appearance until the gaze of the beholder met 
the searching and thoughtful expression of his 
deep-set eyes. 

In September, 1785, he was appointed junior 
lieutenant, but did not receive his commission 
until the close of October. He set out, at once, 
to join his regiment of artillery called La Fere, 
stationed at Valence on the Rhone. He left 
Paris with a young friend named Des Mazis. 
They reached Lyons on the way, and here indulg- 
ing in the gayeties of that seductive southern 
town spent all their money and in consequence 
had to go afoot the remainder of the distance. 

While in Valence Napoleon had entree to the 
best society; although provincial it was refined 
and intellectual. He had brought a letter of 
introduction from the Bishop of Autun to the 
Abbot of St. Ruffe. His social duties, however, 
did not interfere with his course of reading and 
study. During his stay here he met a young 
woman, Caroline Colombier, for whom he formed 
a close attachment. It was, however, only a 
passing devotion, but in after years at St. Helena 
he recalled with pleasure the delightful strolls 
he had taken with her at dawn and the eating of 
cherries together. 

It was at this free and joyous time of his life 
that he made an effort to acquire the art of 


Copyright, 1910, by George W. Jacobs & Co. 


From an original drawing in black and white by Guerin 

Portrait came to present owner through Pierre Morand, a well-known 

French resident of Philadelphia 


dancing, but he met with no success; he never 
could waltz with ease and grace. 

In 1786, having secured a furlough, he returned 
to Ajaccio to see his mother and sisters and to 
visit the scenes of his early childhood. General 
Marbeuf, who had been the French commandant 
of the island, and who had been a great friend 
of the Bonapartes, often relieving them financially 
when in an exigency, was dead, and the family 
had to depend upon the meagre salary of Napo- 
leon, 1125 francs per annum, as the principal 
means of their support. 

In October, 1787, he was back in Paris, and 
in the following year was again in Ajaccio. In 
1788 he reluctantly rejoined his regiment at 
Auxonne and in 1789 he secured another fur- 
lough, and on his way home stopped at Mar- 
seilles to pay his respects to the Abbe Raynal. 
Although neglecting his military duties or rather 
avoiding by leaves of absence the monotonous 
routine of camp, barrack or garrison life, he de- 
voted himself assiduously to his literary labors. 
He wrote a story entitled the " Count of Essex," 
and another one called " The Masked Prophet," 
but his principal work was a " History of Cor- 

Napoleon was an ardent patriot; he loved his 
native land, every foot of her soil was dear to 
him. Her past history and heroic effort for lib- 
erty and independence aroused the enthusiasm of 
his soul, while her heroes created in him a spirit 
of emulation. iKwas the dream of his youth to 
be her savior, to secure for her freedom from 


oppression. She was to be the theatre of his 
efforts, from boyhood his blood tingled at the 
mere mention of her name, and he was ever ready 
to resent any aspersion cast upon her fame or 
her people. It is, at times, touching to read of 
the love and pure devotion he gave to his native 
isle. But time gradually effaced his early attach- 
ment, and his activities and ambitions found for 
him ultimately a field that, instead of being con- 
fined within the coast lines of a Mediterranean 
island, was circumscribed only by the limitations 
of the universe. 











Napoleon Bonaparte was in his twentieth year 
when the States-General met at Versailles, in 
May, 1789. 

D'Israeli, in one of his dazzling phrases, de- 
clared that there were only two events in history 
the Siege of Troy and the French Revolution; 
and perhaps there is more truth in this appar- 
ently paradoxical assertion than at first appears. 
Surely the second event he names was the most 
important and all-absorbing of modern times. 
It was the culmination of centuries of misrule, a 
cataclysm that swallowed up dogmas, doctrines, 
creeds, titles, privileges, and abuses, and distinc- 
tively marked the beginning of a new social and 
political era. 

The great philosophers had so impressed the 
3 33 


age with their teachings that France, oppressed 
for centuries, demanded reforms, and in an effort 
to obtain them inaugurated the greatest political 
convulsion of all time. 

Prior to the Revolution, France was ground 
down by a despotism that had well nigh exhausted 
her revenues and resources in maintaining the 
extravagance of a dissolute court, and in the 
prosecution of expensive and useless wars. 

To be sure, during the past century, notwith- 
standing these adverse conditions, France had 
made advancement in commerce, wealth and gen- 
eral enlightenment. Although the peasant, a 
mere serf, was still bound to the soil, a strong, 
prosperous, educated middle class had come to 
exert an influence on public thought. It was this 
class that formed an audience for the philosoph- 
ical and political teachings of Voltaire, Rousseau 
and their confreres, and that was determined to 
secure, if possible, the needed reforms. To their 
ranks must be added a number of the gentry and 
nobility who entertained enlightened views and 
had compassion for the miseries of the poor. 
1 This effort for reformation did not mean a change 
in the form of government, nor did it even con- 
template the grasping of political power; but it 
aimed at relief from an intolerable oppression 
and gross inequalities in social, economical, and 
political conditions. The delegates comprising 
that portion of the States-General known as the 
Third Estate were chosen from these upper and 
middle classes. The peasantry and the proleta- 
riat could not read or write, they were steeped in 



ignorance; books were closed to them, but they 
soon appreciated the fact that the struggle was 
being made against their oppressors, and the very 
air became charged with revolt. The absolutism 
of the king, the insolence and arrogance of the 
nobility, the oppression and exactions of the 
church, had created a feeling of resentment in the 
hearts of all the people. 

But France was not worse off than her neigh- 
bors ; in fact, in some respects she was much more 
fortunate. Everywhere on the continent the so- 
called privileged classes, consisting of the nobility 
and the higher ecclesiastical functionaries, were 
exempt from taxation, and not amenable to the 
laws. Russia, governed by the czar, was a hope- 
less despotism; so it was with Austria, Prussia, 
Spain, Portugal, the smaller German states, and 
the republics of Venice and Genoa. The king, 
the nobility, the church, received all the benefits 
of government while the unprivileged classes, the 
common people, bore all the burdens and had no 
voice in the direction of public affairs. 

The doctrine of the divine right of kings ob- 
tained in its full rigor sanctioned by the argu- 
ments and precedents of centuries, until this im- 
passioned struggle was entered upon to secure, in 
spite of this theory, the rights of man. 

That Bonaparte was impressed by the stirring 
events of the Revolution, there can be no doubt. 
With his clear and deep political insight he was 
enabled to read the signs of the times, and to 
anticipate events. He saw from the beginning 
the drift towards popular rule, and was deter- 


mined if possible to secure under this movement 
the independence of his native isle. Like all lib- 
eral Frenchmen he had long been disgusted with 
the ancient regime and had personally suffered 
from its taunts. 

In the latter part of 1789, he was again in 
Corsica on furlough, and urged his compatriots 
in Ajaccio to espouse the popular cause and don 
the tri-color cockade. He further appealed to 
them to form a club, republican in character, and 
to organize a National Guard, as had been done 
in Paris. The French Governor of Corsica, hav- 
ving royalist affiliations, or fearing that such a 
programme might give the island an opportunity 
to effect a severance from France, ordered the 
club to be closed, and by force dispersed the Na- 
tional Guard. Bonaparte denounced this action 
and signed a remonstrance which was addressed 
to the National Assembly in Paris, but that body 
gave it a mere passing notice. 

Bonaparte's ardor seemed to cool after this visit 
and his antagonism to France to subside. There 
were several reasons for his change of heart. 
The great Mirabeau, by his eloquence in the 
Assembly, succeeded in having a decree passed 
which allowed the Corsican exiles who had fled 
the country in 1768 to return and enjoy the full 
rights of citizens. So tolerant a spirit did much 
to soften the heart of Bonaparte towards the con- 
querors of his native isle. 

About the time of the arrival of Paoli in Cor- 
sica with the banished patriots under the new dis- 
pensation, Bonaparte had finished writing his 



history of the island and had dedicated it to the 
famous patriot, but when the manuscript was sent 
to Paoli for his revision and approval the sturdy 
old man tartly replied that he had faithfully 
served his country, and that his glory did not 
need to be extolled by Bonaparte's panegyric and 
further that the distinguished author was too 
young to write history. The manuscript not hav- 
ing been returned to Napoleon, he addressed a 
letter to Paoli through his brother Joseph, re- 
questing him to send it forthwith, but the answer 
came back that it had been mislaid and he had 
not time to search his papers. After treatment 
so shabby Napoleon desisted from paying further 
homage at the shrine of the old man. Perhaps 
it was the remembrance of Charles Bonaparte's 
desertion of his compatriots that induced Paoli 
to treat the son with such discourtesy. It seems 
hardly possible that anyone without some substan- 
tial reason could have treated another so disdain- 

Notwithstanding his rebuff, Napoleon worked 
most industriously on his history, wrote and re- 
wrote it, cast and recast it and in its latest form, 
after dedicating it to Necker, submitted it to 
Raynal and to one of his old tutors, both of whom 
criticised it severely; but the author in a measure 
adopting their suggestions persevered in his com- 
position until he finished it to his own satisfac- 
tion. Not being able to make arrangements with 
a publisher, it was never put upon the market. 

After remaining away from his post far beyond 
the limits of his furlough on the ground of ill 



health, Bonaparte rejoined his regiment at Aux- 
onne in the winter of 1791. 

In the spring of this year Mirabeau died, and 
all France went into mourning. At this time 
Bonaparte was in Valence and it is said he as- 
sisted in decorating the cathedral where the me- 
morial services were held and made a public 
address eulogizing the great statesman. 

He paid another visit to Corsica in August of 
this same year with his brother Louis, whom he 
had been supporting and educating. He became ) 
at this time involved in all kinds of political quar- \ 
rels, made a reputation for trickery, shiftiness, / 
double dealing and unscrupulous self-seeking. X 
Remaining four months over his time, he got into 
a coritroversy with the War Department in Paris, / 
and was relieved of his commission, and it was-' 
not until the latter part of May, 1792, that he 
returned to the capital. Without money, without 
position, without influential friends, he wandered 
about the city, sleeping in the cheapest lodging 
houses, and eating in the cheapest restaurants, 
compelled to pawn his watch to obtain the bare 
necessaries of life. 

While wandering through the streets of Paris, 
occasionally visiting the Palais Royal, the hot- 
bed of rumor and sedition, he had an opportunity 
to breathe the very atmosphere of the Revolution 
and to w-itness the scenes that marked the gradual 
fall of the monarchy. 

On the " Day of the Black Breeches," the twen- 
tieth of June, 1792, he watched with his old school 
companion, Bourrienne, the rabble to the number 



of thirty thousand swarm around the palace of 
the Tuileries, overcome the guard and penetrate 
to the very chamber of the king. Bonaparte's 
blood boiled with indignation as he witnessed the 
humiliation of the amiah]e rn r m Qr rh r " whom Na- 
ture, framed/' says Rns^ " for a, farm house and 
Fate tossed into a revolution. " Napoleon de- 
clared that with a few pieces of artillery he could 
scatter the mob to the winds, but when he saw 
Louis appear at the window wearing complacently 
the red cap of the Jacobins, his disgust at such 
pusillanimity was expressed in a sneer. 

Then again on the tenth of August when the 
Marseillais and an armed mob attacked the royal 
palace and compelled the king with his family to 
take refuge in the bosom of the Assembly, Bona- 
parte witnessed the scene from the windows of 
a furniture shop in the Tuileries, kept by an old 
school friend named Fauvelet. He saw the brutal 
slaughter of the Swiss Guards and by his own 
intercession saved one of these loyal fellows from 
murder. He_was disgusted with the savagery 
and obscenity of t He rioters and so expressed him- 
self. The scenes he witnessed, however, were 
important lessons, which taught him how to act 
on the very same spot in a time not far distant. 
In a letter to his brother Joseph describing the 
affair, he declared that if Louis had mounted a 
horse and led his forces he could have won the 
fight. ' 

The story that Bonaparte on this memorable 
day was a leader of the mob at the barricades is 
without any proof whatever. It is likely true, 



However, that he was stopped by a gang of hood- 
lums who were bearing aloft a gory head upon a 
pike, and compelled to take off his hat and hurrah 
for the nation. 

Following the attack upon the palace of the 
king came the domiciliary visits and the dreadful 
massacres of September. 

Napoleon was restored to his position as cap- 
tain on August 30, 1792, and his commission and 
pay were made to date from February 6, 1/92. 

War had already been declared against Austria 
on April 21, 1792; yet notwithstanding this fact, 
Napoleon obtained another leave of absence in 
September of that year only a few days after his 
reinstatement, for the purpose of escorting his 
sister Elise home to Corsica. The school of St. 
Cyr was a royal institution of learning for indi- 
gent young ladies of aristocratic blood. It was 
originally founded in the reign of Louis XIV and 
was under the special direction and care of 
Madame de Maintenon. It was maintained at 
the expense of the state and was charitable in its 
features, the young ladies at graduation being 
entitled to a dot to enable them to form a respect- 
able alliance. Such an institution of course fell 
under the disapprobation of the radicals, and the 
Assembly abolished it by special decree, gallantly 
providing, however, a fund for the payment of the 
traveling expenses of young ladies who lived some 
distance from the capital. Here was a chance 
for Napoleon once more to visit Corsica, and 
although he had been as we have seen but recently 
restored to his rank and pay as an officer, he 



made application for leave, was released from 
duty, and sailing from Marseilles reached Corsica 
on the seventeenth of September, 1792. 

The fact that he could obtain so many fur- 
loughs, remain away beyond the dates of their 
limitations and escape punishment shows that he 
must have had great influence or else military dis- 
cipline must have been very lax. 

No sooner had Napoleon landed on the island 
than he became involved in a controversy with 
Paoli. He also took part in the unfortunate 
expedition directed by the French government 
against Sardinia. Paoli had no sympathy with 
the Revolution ; its violence to him was abhorrent, 
and he advocated annexation to England if Cor- 
sica could not win her separate independence. 
The Jacobins because of these views openly de- 
nounced him as a traitor and at last, in April, 
1793, the old man was summoned to the bar of 
the Convention for trial, but refused to attend. 
Napoleon defended Paoli in his course, but after- 
wards deserted him. In the struggle between 
the French Commissioners and the followers of 
Paoli, Napoleon took sides with the former, and 
after several attacks upon the citadel of Ajaccio 
the French were driven off and Napoleon nar- 
rowly escaped with his life. He joined his fam- 
ily at Calvi, to which town they had fled for 
safety, and on June n, 1793, under cover of 
night they embarked upon a vessel and sailed 
straightway for France. Jerome and Caroline 
were left behind, sheltered by the Ramolinos. 

It is pleasing to escape from these Corsican 


imbroglios. It is hard to fathom, at times, the 
real intention or purpose of Napoleon. He 
seemed entirely inconsistent in his conduct. He 
displayed the spirit of the agitator, the self- 
seeker, the mere adventurer. " You see that lit- 
tle fellow ? " said Paoli, pointing to Napoleon. 
*' Well ! he has in him the making of two or three 
men like Marius and one like Sulla." 

Napoleon had departed for Corsica just before 
the dethronement of the king and the establish- 
ment of the Republic. Then followed the trial 
and execution of Louis, and afterwards occurred 
the expulsion of the Girondins from the Conven- 
tion, and their political overthrow. 

The Girondins had clamored for war, believ- 
ing that it would arouse the patriotic ardor of 
the people and hasten the creation of the Repub- 
lic. They were right in this, but after plung- 
ing the country into a conflict with a foreign 
power, they failed to conduct it successfully, be- 
cause of their factional dissensions and inefficient 
methods. The men of " the Mountain," who 
had from partisan motives opposed the declara- 
tion fearing that their adversaries would profit 
by it, now by extraordinary energy having over- 
thrown their opponents, organized victory un- 
der the able direction of Carnot, and put into 
the field a military force that imbued with patri- 
otic fervor and led by Hoche, Pichegre, Kleber, 
and Moreau, became the nucleus of the Grand 

During this period it was Danton, with his 
marvelous energy, courage, and audacity, that 



dominated the events. He had planned and urged 
the attack on the Tuileries on the tenth of August, 
he was responsible for the domiciliary visits and 
the dreadful massacres of September, he aided 
in the establishment of the Republic, and voted 
for the death of the king. He fain would have 
saved the Girondins, but they spurned his offers 
of assistance, and in his wrath he wrought their 
ruin. Although at first opposed to the declara- 
tion of \var, he afterwards urged the enlistment 
of troops, and aroused the patriotism of the na- 
tion by his stirring and eloquent appeals. 

Napoleon doubtless was impressed by the tre- 
mendous energy displayed by the radicals, and 
although disgusted with the violence of the rab- 
ble gave his adherence to the Jacobins. 

The first actual sendee he rendered the Re- 
public \vas at Avignon, which town, being in pos- 
session of the Girondins, had arisen in insurrec- 
tion against the Convention. Bonaparte had 
been sent from Nice, where his regiment was 
stationed, to Avignon, to secure necessary stores, 
and Carteaux in command of the Republican 
forces appointed him to take charge of a battery. 

It was in August, 1793, that the young author 
published his well-known pamphlet entiled : " The 
Supper of Beaucaire," one of the brightest politi- 
cal brochures of that day. Two merchants of 
Marseilles, a citizen of Nimes, a manufacturer 
of Montpelier, and an officer, Bonaparte himself, 
meet by chance in an inn in the little town of 
Beaucaire and while at supper indulge in a gen- 
eral discussion on the political conditions of the 



hour. The officer contends that all good and 
patriotic citizens should support the Jacobin gov- 
ernment because it has shown energy and capacity 
in a contest to the death against the despots of 
Europe; that so long as a foreign foe threatens 
the Republic or has a foot upon her sacred soil, 
there is but one duty for Frenchmen. All per- 
sonal and political differences should be dismissed 
for the time being, at least. It would be better 
to submit to the tyranny of " the Mountain " than 
to suffer the vengeance of the emigrant nobles. 
Even Tacobin mob rule and despotism should be 
condoned if they save the Republic. The officer 
urges united action, and argues that any one who 
opposes the government gives aid and comfort 
to the enemy and is guilty of treason. 

These views, doubtless, reveal the thoughts 
of Napoleon on the current questions; and as a 
patriot, without endorsing all the acts of the Jaco- 
bins, he gives his support to them in their struggle 
to save France. 

This book was shown to Augustin Robes- 
pierre, and so cordially endorsed by him that it 
was published at the expense of the state. Na- 
poleon in after years, during the Consulate, when 
charged with his early Jacobinism, did every- 
thing in his power to destroy the copies extant. 
His publisher's widow living at Avignon, where 
the brochure had been first printed and sold, was 
paid a good round sum for destroying all the 
copies remaining in her possession. The views 
expressed by Bonaparte in his pamphlet were the 
views of the men who saved France. 




The expulsion and overthrow of the Girondins 
sent a feeling of indignation through the land, 
and aroused a spirit of resentment among their 
followers and supporters in the southern prov- 
inces whence they had been sent as delegates or 
representatives to the National Convention. 

Several towns, notably Lyons and Marseilles, 
rose in revolt against the tyranny of the consti- 
tuted authorities, Girondins and Royalists joining 
forces and making common cause against the 

Charlotte Corday, a beautiful and refined girl, 
granddaughter of the great Corneille, journeyed 
alone from Caen to Paris to avenge the overthrow 
of the Girondins. Reaching the capital, she ob- 
tained an audience with Marat, to whom she 
ascribed all the evils of her country, and while 
the monster was in his bath stabbed him to the 
heart. Her heroic deed thrilled all France; it 
revealed the spirit of the South. But instead of 
making a victim of Marat, her fanaticism created 
a martyr whose murder was to be avenged in 
torrents of blood. Charlotte went to the scaffold 
and in her wake followed the Girondins. 

Toulon, one of the principal cities in the south 


of France, raised the standard of revolt. The 
Moderates and the Royalists, being in the major- 
ity, united their forces and flung to the breeze the 
white flag of the Bourbons, proclaimed the son 
of Louis XVI, who was lying in prison in Paris, 
as king of France under the title of Louis XVII, 
opened the harbors to the entrance of the Eng- 
lish and Spanish fleets, surrendered the arsenal 
and magazines to the British, and then began an 
indiscriminate slaughter of the Jacobins. 

The republicans under General Carteaux, a 
painter of some renown but a soldier without 
training or experience, beleaguered the city with 
a large army and made preparations for a 
lengthy siege. 

About the middle of September Bonaparte 
arrived at Toulon. Whether he was a mere vis- 
itor or had been assigned to the post as he claimed 
by the War Department is a mooted question. 
Suffice it to say he was there, and it was for- 
tunate for the government that he arrived in 
time. He was assigned at once to take charge 
of the artillery. So much ability did he display 
that two weeks after his arrival the Commission- 
ers of the Convention recommended his promo- 
tion to a majorship. 

Upon inspection he found a few field pieces, two 
or three siege guns, and a couple of mortars. By 
arduous effort after weeks of ceaseless toil 
" when he needed rest," wrote Doppet, " he lay 
on the ground wrapped in his cloak ; he never left 
the batteries " he succeeded in securing heavy 
guns, mortars and ammunition sufficient for his 



purpose. He made requisitions for horses, tim- 
ber, gabions, fascines and whatever he needed to 
perfect the siege, like an experienced soldier, in- 
stead of a stripling who had never been under 
fire. His first step was to place his guns in so 
commanding a position as to force the withdrawal 
of the allied fleets. " The moment they leave 
the harbor," he explained to a council of war, 
" the town will be at the mercy of the besiegers." 

Carteaux, the artist, having proved his inef- 
ficiency, was succeeded in the command by a phy- 
sician named Doppet. The doctor had won dis- 
tinction at the siege of Lyons, but when he saw 
the difficulties that confronted him at Toulon he 
requested to be transferred to an easier post. He 
was succeeded by a professional soldier, General 
Dugommier, as commander-in-chief, and Duteil 
was made general of artillery. 

Napoleon's plans were put in writing, submitted 
to the war department in Paris, and approved. 

He had ordered a battery to be posted almost 
within pistol shot of the English guns. The British 
engineers realizing the strategical importance of 
the position which Napoleon was anxious to gain 
had strongly fortified it as a redoubt and had 
named it the Little Gibraltar. So fierce was the 
English fire on the exposed position where was 
planted Napoleon's battery that to work the can- 
non meant almost certain death. Even the brav- 
est men flinched from exposing themselves to 
so great a danger. It was all important, how- 
ever, to hold this position, for it was the key to 
the situation, and Napoleon appealed to the sol- 



dierly spirit of his command by calling it " the 
battery of men without fear." After this when 
a cannoneer fell there was never wanting a recruit 
to take his place. 

Junot, afterwards Napoleon's aide-de-camp, 
won his stars at Toulon for cool and consummate 
bravery. When requested to make a recon- 
noissance it was suggested that he go in civilian's 
dress. " No ! " he replied, " I will run the risk 
of being shot as a soldier, but I will not be hanged 
as a spy." When he brought in his informa- 
tion, Bonaparte directed him to put it in writing ; 
while complying with this order a shell burst close 
at hand, and covered his report with sand. 
" Clever," he coolly remarked as he shook the 
paper, " for those British gunners to send me 
just what I needed." On one occasion when an 
unexploded shell fell into a tent in the midst of 
a group of officers he rose with glass in hand and 
proposed a toast to those about to die. When 
the shell burst and killed a comrade, Junot still 
standing with glass in hand drank a toast : " To 
the memory of a hero." 

The English, feeling the lines closely drawn, 
stormed the works of Bonaparte on November 
thirtieth, but they were repulsed with great loss, 
and their commander, General O'Hara, was taken 

In the columns of the " Moniteur " of Decem- 
ber seventh the name Buona Parte appears for 
the first time anjd_Jie is mentioned among the 
most distinguished _officers in the action. 

On December seventeenth, between" midnight 


and dawn, while a heavy rain storm was raging, 
the French began their assault on the English 
works; at first the assailants were driven back, 
but afterwards rallied and in the final charge 
swept everything before them. Toulon and the 
vessels in the harbor were now at the mercy of 
the French guns and the fleets at once made prep- 
arations to depart. While the French batteries 
poured shot and shell into the doomed town, 
thousands of the inhabitants, men, women and 
children, rushed through the streets to the quays 
to be taken aboard the vessels that were already 
weighing anchor and spreading sail. Fourteen 
thousand citizens found refuge in the British and 
Spanish ships. To add to the confusion and ter- 
ror, the arsenal, store-houses, and docks were set 
on fire and the magazines filled with great quan- 
tities of powder were blown up with a noise and 
concussion that shook the earth. 

The night was hideous beyond description, but 
the days that followed were even more ghastly, 
when the Jacobins, under the direction of Barras, 
Freron, and Fouche, inaugurated a reign of 
butchery, until the gutters ran red to the s\a. 
The guillotine was erected in the public square, 
but not working fast enough, platoons of soldiers 
were drawn up in line and poured volleys of mus- 
ketry into crowds of terrified and cowering citi- 
zens while the cannon mowed them down in 
swaths. Groups of men, frantic with liquor and 
rage, ravaged homes and ravished women. It 
was as if the lower regions had let loose all the 
demons at once. 

4 49 


V Marmont declares that Bonaparte pleaded for 
clemency, but in vain. It must be borne in mind 
that the man who sought mercy or even expressed 
sympathy for the aristocrats in those bitter days 
was likely to fall under the suspicion of the Con- 
vention and not only lose a chance for promotion 
but also his head. 

" Leave not a single rebel alive," cried the 
brutal Freron. Fouche, who had been at Lyons, 
went down to Toulon to witness its destruction, 
and in a letter to his friend, Collot d'Herbois, 
wrote a description of the manner in which they 
were celebrating the victory. " This night we 
send two hundred and thirteen rebels into hell 
fire. Tears run down my cheeks and fill my soul 
with joy." This is the language of a man who 
subsequently became chief of police and the Duke 
of Otranto under Napoleon, and held high posi- 
tion under the Bourbons after the restoration. 
The fury and hate of the Revolution had trans- 
formed men into fiends, but in the heartless 
Fouche was found a ready subject. 

The scenes witnessed in Toulon were hardly 
surpassed in fiendish cruelty by the fusillades and 
noyades of the infamous and ferocious Carrier at 

f Barras in his Memoirs tries to dim the glory / 
Ny of Bonaparte as the victor of Toulon by alleging S 
[that the young captain simply carried out a plan } 
I of campaign designed by others. f 

I Dugommier, it is true, in his report to the Con- 
vention made no mention of Bonaparte's services, 
but Duteil in a letter to the Minister of War 



speaks of him in the highest terms. " great 
deal of science, as much intelligence, and too much 
bravery; such is_.ajaint sketch of the virtues of 
this rare officer, It-rests. .jadfe...: you, Minister, 
to retain jthemJoxJth^ 

From the moment of his arrival Bonaparte had 
inspired confidence ; he pointed out the vulnerable 
point in the enemy's position, and from that time 
the attack converged on that point and its ulti- 
mate capture resulted in the surrender of the 
town. It unquestionably was the opinion of that 
day that the fall of Toulon was due to his energy 
and skill, and shortly afterwards, February 6, 
1794, in recognition of his services he was ap- 
pointed by the War Department general of 
brigade of the Army of Italy. 

During the assault on the French works by the 
English General O'Hara, Bonaparte was wounded 
in the thigh by a bayonet thrust and afterwards 
claimed to have had three horses shot under him ; 
he also in that same engagement caught the itch 
by seizing a rammer in the hands of a fallen 
soldier, who was troubled with the affliction, and 
it was not until he became Consul for life that he 
succeeded in getting rid of that annoying disease. 

At the time of the capture of Toulon France 
was in a frenzy. The " Reign of Terror " was at 
its height with the guillotine as its right arm. 
The Revolution had become a factional struggle. 
Hebert, a ribald scoffer who set at defiance every 
moral precept of God and man, had inaugurated 
the worship of the goddess of Reason, and by 
his dangerous teachings was undermining the very 



foundations of society. Arousing the indignation 
of Robespierre, he was brought to trial, con- 
demned and on the twenty-fourth of March, 1794, 
sent to the scaffold. Danton, who had evinced 
a desire to moderate the violence of the Revolu- 
tion, provoked the opposition of the radicals and 
paid for his temerity by the loss of his head. 
This left Robespierre as the leading dominant 
figure of the Revolution. There can be no ques- 
tion that he was anxious to check the slaughter 
and to establish the Republic upon a strong foun- 
dation of law and morals, but becoming arbitrary 
in his conduct and exciting the fear and apprehen- 
sion of his enemies by the passage of an infamous 
measure known as the law of the 22nd Prairial, 
which made possible the condemnation of his ene- 
mies upon mere suspicion, a conspiracy was 
formed for his overthrow. He had also given 
offence to both Atheists and pious Christians by 
indulging in a silly pageant incident to the estab- 
lishment of the worship of the Supreme Being. 

In a long speech delivered in the Convention 
on July 26, 1794, he used language that alarmed 
his foes, he threatened without striking. Sud- 
denly and unexpectedly on the 9th Thermidor, the 
day after the delivery of his remarkable oration, 
Tallien, Barras, Fouche, Carrier, Vadier, Collot 
d'Herbois and Billaud Varennes turned the Con- 
vention against Robespierre, outlawed him and 
sent him to the guillotine. 

Bonaparte, who was classed as a Robespierreist, 
was arrested and thrown into prison at Fort Carre 
near Antibes. It was fortunate for him that he 



was not taken to Paris, for in the wild excitement 
of the hour he doubtless would have gone to the 
scaffold. Junot and some of his friends were 
much distressed at his misfortune and offered to 
rescue him and carry him away to Genoa, but he 
advised them not to attempt such an exploit as it 
would only tend to compromise him. He opened 
at once a correspondence with some influential 
friends in Paris, protesting his innocence and 
avowing his loyalty to the Republic, which for- 
tunately met with a favorable response. After 
an imprisonment of two weeks he was released, 
but in the meantime had been deprived of his 

After the fall of Robespierre a reaction set in 
at once. Collot, Billaud, Vadier, Barere and 
men of that class, not appreciating the fact that 
a change had taken place in public sentiment, 
endeavored to keep alive the Terror, but they were 
soon placed under arrest and banished. During 
the trial of these men the rabble rose, but the 
authorities acting promptly, order was restored 
without bloodshed. 

Paris emerging from the gloom of the " Reign 
of Terror," gradually resumed its former gayety. 
Crowds of young men called the " Gilded Youth " 
armed with loaded canes paraded through the 
streets and drove from the highways the sans- 
culottes. Girondins and Royalists returned to the 
capital. Fashionable society resumed its sway 
in the social world, splendid equipages once more 
appeared on the avenues. Aristocratic receptions 
and what were called " Balls of the Victims," 



most exclusive in character, were held in the fash- 
ionable quarters of the city. At the latter were 
assembled only those who had lost a relative on 
the guillotine. One feature of the dance at these 
ghastly entertainments was the rocking of the 
head, simulating its fall into the basket. The 
participants wore the style of dress and affected 
the cool and nonchalant manner of those who had 
gone to the scaffold. 

On the 2Oth of May, 1795, another uprising 
of the Sections took place. The mobs poured 
out of the faubourgs clamoring for bread, and 
for the Constitution of 1793. They invaded 
the Convention, killed a brave young deputy 
named Feraud, brought his head on a pike into 
the hall and pushed it into the face of Boissy 
d'Anglas, the presiding officer, who coolly and de- 
liberately took off his hat and bowed respectfully 
as if paying obeisance to the dead. 

This was one of the most terrible days of the 
Revolution, for the mob never before had been 
in so supreme a control of the Convention, not 
only interrupting the sessions but at the close of 
the day calling the delegates of " the Mountain " 
together and dictating legislation. Towards mid- 
night the mob withdrew, like a wild beast slunk 
to its lair and for the time being ceased even 
to growl. 

The authorities at once exerted themselves, 
and six members of the Convention who were 
charged with having incited the riot were tried 
and condemned; three of them cheated the 
guillotine by committing suicide. The murderer 



of Feraud was arrested, but was rescued by the 

After his release from prison Bonaparte vis- 
ited his family at Marseilles and found them 
in the deepest distress. His brothers, like him- 
self, were out of employment. With the fall of 
the Robespierreists Bonaparte had lost his most 
influential friends. 

While in Marseilles he had secured an appoint- 
ment to the Army of the West but afterwards was 
determined not to accept the position, believing 
it would remove him far away from every avenue 
~ of promotion. 

On May second he set out from Marseilles to 
Paris with his brother Louis and his friends 
Marmont and Junot. They arrived at their desti- 
nation on the tenth and took cheap lodgings in 
a house called the Liberty Hotel. 

Upon reaching the capital Bonaparte induced 
the War Department to grant his request to re- 
main in Paris until a general reassignment of 
officers took place. 

Wandering through the city without employ- 
ment and poor in purse, he became at times almost 
desperate. Lack of proper food reduced him to 
a skeleton, his figure was emaciated and his face 
wan. Madame Permon, at whose house he fre- 
quently called, described him as having " sharp, 
angular features ; small hands, long and thin ; his 
hair long and disheveled; without gloves; wear- 
ing badly made, badly polished shoes; having 
always a sickly appearance, which was the result 
of his lean and yellow complexion, brightened 



only by two eyes glistening with shrewdness and 

The following description of Bonaparte about 
this time in his life given by the Duchess d'Abran- 
tes is vivid and most interesting : " When Napo- 
leon came to see us," she writes, " after our re- 
turn to Paris, his appearance made an impression 
upon me I shall never forget. At this period of 
his life he was decidedly ugly; he afterwards 
underwent a total change. I do not speak of 
the illusive charm which his glory spread around 
him but I mean to say that a gradual physical 
change took place in him in the space of seven 
years. His emaciated thinness was converted 
into a fullness of face and his complexion, which 
had been yellow and apparently unhealthy, be- 
came clear and comparatively fresh. His features, 
which were angular and sharp, became round and 
filled out. As to his smile, it was always agree- 
able. The mode of dressing his hair, which had 
so droll an appearance, as we see it in the prints 
of the passage of the bridge of Arcola, was then 
comparatively simple; for the young men of 
fashion whom he used to rail at so loudly at that 
time, wore their hair very long. But he was 
very careless of his personal appearance, and his 
hair, which was ill combed and ill powdered, gave 
him the look of a sloven. His little hands, too, 
underwent a great metamorphosis. When I first 
saw him they were thin, long and dark; but he 
was subsequently vain of their beauty and with 
good reason. In short, when I recollect Napo- 
leon at the commencement of 1794, with a shabby 



round hat drawn over his forehead and his ill- 
powdered hair hanging over the collar of his gray 
great-coat, which afterwards became as celebrated 
as the white plume of Henry IV, without gloves, 
because he used to say they were a useless lux- 
ury, with boots ill-made and ill-blacked with 
his thinness and his sallow complexion in fine, 
when I recollect him at that time and I think what 
he was afterwards I do not see the same man in 
the two pictures. " 

Napoleon when at St. Helena, upon one occa- 
sion while in a reminiscent mood, referring to 
this distressed period of his life, told the following 
remarkable story: Strolling along the banks of 
the Seine one evening, tempted to throw himself 
into the river, he met unexpectedly an old friend, 
Des Mazis, who noticing his despondency asked 
him the cause of it. Napoleon unreservedly made 
a full confession. " Is that all ? " said his gen- 
erous friend, at the same time unbuttoning his 
waistcoat and unstrapping a belt, " take this," 
handing Napoleon 30,000 francs ; " it may relieve 
your wants." Napoleon was so overjoyed at his 
good fortune that he dashed away to send his 
mother the news without even taking time to 
thank his benefactor. They did not meet again 
until after the establishment of the empire, when 
the emperor, who never forgot a favor, repaid the 
sum many times over and provided for his old 
friend a lucrative position under the government. 

On the 22nd of August, 1795, the Convention 
decreed the new Constitution. The republican 
members, fearing the results of a general election 




and desirous of controlling the Convention, dis- 
gusted the entire community by decreeing that the 
provision of the Constitution which required the 
election of one-third of the deputies every year 
should apply to the existing Convention. And 
thus by a legislative enactment in contravention 

of the Constitution the Convention imposed itself 

\on France for two years longer. 

The Constitution was the work of the conserva- 
tive republicans, and vested the executive power 
in the hands of five directors and the legislative 
in two chambers, a Council of Ancients and a 
Council of Five Hundred. It was not democratic 
enough to meet with the approval of the red 
republicans, and not aristocratic enough to suit 
the Royalists. Accordingly on the fifth of Oc- 
tober, 1795, or in the republican calendar the 
thirteenth of Venclemiaire, Year IV, a mob of 
40,000 men, including 20,000 of the National 
Guard, with the Lepelletier section as the rallying 
point, marched against the Convention, which was 
holding its sessions in the Tuileries. It threat- 
ened to be a second Tenth of August, the govern- 
ment was to be overturned by mob force as was 
the monarchy. The battle ground was the same. 
On the fourth of October, the Convention had 
placed Barras, a strong man in an emergency, in 
command of its forces- and while planning a de- 
fence he said to Tallien: " I know just the man 
for our purpose. A little Corsican officer who 
will not stop on ceremony." During that even- 
ing diligent search was made for Bonaparte, at 
the direction of Barras, who was exceedingly 


Copyright, 1910, by George W. Jacobs & Co. 


From an original sketch in red crayon by Guerin 


anxious to secure his services, but he could not 
be found in any of his usual haunts. Later in 
the night he strolled into the Tuileries, and 
Barras induced him after some persuasion, to 
accept the commission. The young general en- 
tered upon his task with his usual energy and 
before the morning dawned had converted the 
palace into a veritable fortress; it bristled with 
cannon and every avenue of approach was 
guarded. Hearing that a number of pieces of 
artillery were at Sablons, he dispatched Murat 
with a troop of 300 horse to bring them at once 
to the Tuileries. The cavalry arrived just in 
time to save the guns, which were about to be 
seized by the Insurgents, and under their very 
eyes Murat whirled them away to the palace. 
The total force under Napoleon consisted of 
5,000 regular troops, 1,500 volunteers, and 200 

General Thiebault, in speaking of Bonaparte 
at this time, says : " From the first his activity 
was astonishing; he seemed to be everywhere. 
He surprised people by his laconic, clear, and 
prompt orders, imperative to the last degree. 
Everybody was struck also by the vigor of his 
arrangements and passed from admiration to con- 
fidence and from confidence to enthusiasm." 

On the morning of the thirteenth Vendemiaire, 
the Insurgents were confronted at every point by 
a complete defence. The crowd set up a shout 
but hesitated to begin an attack. The day wore 
away without a movement being made on either 
side. At last, about half past four o'clock in 



the afternoon, a musket shot was fired, and at a 
signal from General Danican, commander of the 
Sections, the attack upon the palace began. The 
mob showed some courage, but could make no 
headway against so formidable a defence. The 
cannon swept every avenue and at six o'clock 
the battle was over. The total loss was estimated 
at about two hundred on each side. The actual 
loss of the Insurgents must have been much 
greater than this number, but it was evidently 
minimized, doubtless out of political considera- 

This " Day of the Sections," as this episode 
was designated, was the first time in the Revolu- 
tion when the army defended the constituted 
authorities against the people. It was the ending 
of the era of mob rule and in the dim vista 
could now be seen approaching " the man on 

On October 12, 1795, Napoleon was restored 
to his position as general of artillery. A few 
days later, by the resignation of Barras, he was 
made commander-in-chief of the Army of the 
Interior. While in this position there were fre- 
quent difficulties and disturbances in the sections 
and faubourgs which he attempted in many in- 
stances to allay by pacific means. One day while 
he was addressing a crowd, a fat woman inter- 
rupted him by calling upon his hearers to pay no 
attention to these " smart officers who so long as 
they keep fat on eating the best and richest food 
do not care for the poor and starving." Bona- 
parte, who was very thin, turned the tables quickly 



on his interrupter by comparing his shadow of a 
figure with hers. " Look at me, good woman," 
he said, " and then tell me which of us two is 
the fatter." The mob good-naturedly dispersed. 






During the " Reign of Terror," when Bona- 
parte was stationed at Toulon, he cultivated the 
friendship of Augustine, the brother of Maxi- 
milien Robespierre, who had been sent to the 
army as the representative or commissioner of 
the Convention. Augustine showed to Bonaparte 
several letters he had received from his brother, 
and Bonaparte was much impressed with their 
contents. He looked upon the elder Robespierre 
as a man of high ideals and believed it was his 
purpose to end the " Reign of Terror " and estab- 
lish a government upon a strong foundation of 
law and morals. Bonaparte, too, believed that 
Robespierre was the coming man in the politics 
of France, and the young soldier, with an eye 
for the main chance, was anxious to secure so 
valuable a patron. 

The events of the 9th Thermidor, as we have 
seen, resulted in the complete overthrow of Robes- 
pierre and his party, ushered in a new era, and 
brought other men to the front. Among them 



was Paul Jean, Comte de Barras, one of the 
leaders in the conspiracy to destroy Robespierre. 
Barras was to become in time a valuable patron of 
Bonaparte, was to open up a career for the young 
Corsican's ambition and to introduce him to Jose- 
phine Beauharnais, who subsequently became his 

Josephine Tascher de la Pagerie was a beau- 
tiful Creole, born in 1763 on the island of Mar- 
tinique. She was taken by her father in 1778 
to visit an aunt in Paris, by whom she was subse- 
quently adopted. Josephine developed early into 
a charming, voluptuous woman and her hand was 
sought in marriage and won by Viscount Beau- 
harnais. She bore him two children, a boy and 
a girl, named respectively Eugene and Hortense. 
Before the birth of the daughter, the viscount and 
his wife had domestic disagreements, which re- 
sulted in an action for divorce, instituted by the 
husband, who lost the suit and was ordered to pay 
alimony. It is not known what was the cause 
of the trouble, but gossip, as usual, putting the 
worst construction on the case, whispered that 
it was the wife's infidelity. If this were so the 
order of the court, after a full hearing, that the 
plaintiff should pay alimony for the respondent's 
support, is a strong presumption in favor of her 
innocence. After separating from her husband, 
the wife went back to Martinique. 

When the war for independence broke out in 
America, the viscount sailed to that country with 
the army of Bouille, where he remained until 
the opening of the French Revolution. Upon his 



return to France he warmly espoused the popular 
cause, and was chosen a delegate of the Third 
Estate to the States-General. Having taken up 
his residence in Paris, he opened a correspondence 
with his wife, and requested her to return to his 
home. She seems to have complied willingly 
with his wishes, for she came at once, and they 
lived together, under the same roof, as " brother 
and sister." Having been appointed commander 
of the Army of the Rhine, he went to the wars 
and served efficiently, if not brilliantly, the cause 
of the Republic. 

During the " Reign of Terror," his title of 
nobility bringing him under the suspicion of the 
Great Committee, he was arrested, haled before 
the Revolutionary Tribunal, and sentenced to 
death. He went to the guillotine with composure 
and courage. In a farewell letter to his wife, 
he feelingly acknowledged his fraternal affection 
for her, and committed to her care the children 
that had blessed their union, hoping that in their 
companionship she would find that consolation 
that in some measure would reconcile her to 
his death. 

At the time the viscount was guillotined Jose- 
phine herself was in prison, having been arrested 
as a " suspect," but she was released almost im- 
mediately after Robespierre's execution. 

Had Robespierre, to whom Bonaparte was anx- 
ious to attach his fortune, lived, Josephine doubt- 
less would have gone to the scaffold and the same 
fate would have overtaken Barras. These two 
persons were important factors in the career of 


Copyright, 1910, by George W. Jacobs & Co, 


From an original drawing by R. Lefebre 
Joseph Bonaparte Collection 


Napoleon and their demise might have changed 
the whole current of his life. 

" There's a divinity that shapes our ends, 
Rough hew them how we will." 

During her incarceration Josephine had formed 
an acquaintanceship with Therese Cabarrus, 
known as " Notre Dame de Thermidor," because 
love for her had inspired Tallien to assail and 
overthrow Robespierre. Therese was a most fas- 
cinating and accomplished woman, but of doubtful 
reputation; for a time she was the mistress of 
Tallien though subsequently she became his wife. 
She was of Spanish blood, ravishingly beautiful 
and the leader of the gayest and most fashionable 
set in Paris. 

After her release from prison, rinding herself 
in straitened circumstances, Josephine took her 
children from the care of Madame Egle, an aunt 
in whose house they had been living during the 
imprisonment of their parents, and apprenticed 
them to trades. Eugene was indentured to an 
upholsterer, and Hortense to a dressmaker. The 
widow having placed her children at useful em- 
ployments, formed an alliance with Barras, that 
enabled her to indulge in a life of ease and lux- 
ury. Seemingly indifferent to her own fame, and 
to the reputation of her husband, and at the same 
time forgetful of the duty she owed her children, 
she plunged into a career of gayety and dissipa- 
tion, and became one of the reigning beauties of 
the court of Barras, where she divided the honors 
. with her friend Madame Tallien, both women, it 
5 65 


is said, living on his bounty and sharing his affec- 

Paul Barras was born in Provence. He was 
tall and commanding in appearance, pleasing in 
address, most gracious in manner, and versed in 
all the arts of polite society. These gifts and 
accomplishments, however, were but a veneer that 
covered a nature that was both mean and ignoble. 
He was a sensualist, a voluptuary. As a poli- 
tician he was of moderate ability, although in an 
emergency he displayed at times great energy and 
decision of character. Morally he was utterly un- 
scrupulous : his fortune having been acquired by 
bribery, extortion and corruption. His influence 
was always on sale to the highest bidder; at one 
time it was purchased by the Venetian ambas- 
sador for 500,000 francs. 

He early advocated the cause of the people 
in the Revolution and was elected a delegate to 
the Convention. He became prominent as a mem- 
ber of the Jacobin Club, and allied himself with 
the faction of the Dantonists. 

The Convention sent him during the " Reign 
of Terror " as a commissioner to Toulon, and 
his conduct while there was so infamous, that it 
required, upon his return to Paris, all the influ- 
ence he could command to prevent an investiga- 
tion. His administration in that doomed city 
had been not only corrupt but cruel. The guillo- 
tine was set up in the public square, and blood 
flowed like water, many of the rich citizens pur- 
chasing safety by the payment of large sums of 
money; even the innocent, if well to do, against 



whom no charges could be justly preferred, found 
it to their interest and ease of mind to pay trib- 
ute. The commissioner returned to the capital 
enriched by his infamy. Robespierre was espe- 
cially bitter in his denunciation of Barras, and 
openly designated him as a rascal. St. Just de- 
scribed him in his characteristic style as one of 
those men who make Liberty a harlot. 

Barras, having come into great prominence as 
one of the leaders in the revolt against Robes- 
pierre, was chosen a member of the Directory, 
when that executive department was organized 
under the Constitution of 1795, and thus became 
one of the actual rulers of France. 

Barras's hand, as we have already observed, 
had always been open for contributions ; but now, 
being one of the chief executive officers of the 
Republic, he had a broader and a richer field for 
his operations. Notwithstanding his reputation 
and vile practices, he was not the meanest nor 
cheapest thief in the Directorate, for it is related 
that one of his colleagues, Rewbell by name, 
filched something every day for his purse and 
" would have pocketed the candles if he had not 
been watched." 

The rooms of Barras in the Luxembourg were 
the centre of all that was gay in the social world. 
He endeavored to establish a court, known as that 
of the Directory, after the style of the old regime, 
and he succeeded in keeping close to the original 
in so far as a reproduction of its extravagance, 
luxury, licentiousness and vice were concerned. 
His receptions were so brilliant and magnificent 



that they excited even the envy of Saint Ger- 
maine, the fashionable quarter in Paris, where 
the nobles and the aristocracy had resided before 
the Revolution, and to which many of them now 
were returning from exile, and restoring their 
exclusive social functions. 

Barras, after the fall of Robespierre, was the 
man of the hour, and Bonaparte, a soldier of 
fortune, a young artillery officer, full of ambition, 
but out at the elbows, early courted his favor. 
Bonaparte, in referring to this matter afterwards, 
and offering a sort of excuse for his association 
with this demagogue, for he was rather ashamed 
of it, said : " I lived in the Paris streets, without 
employment. I was well received at the house 
of Barras. I went there because there was noth- 
ing to be had elsewhere. Robespierre was dead, 
Barras was playing a role : I had to attach myself 
to somebody or something." 

But Bonaparte, after his success at Toulon and 
his victory over the rabble on the I3th Vende- 
miaire, developed into a man of the world. He 
had no need now to haunt garrets, patch his 
clothes, mend his stockings, pawn his watch or 
eat his dinners in a six sou restaurant. He was 
no longer the shy and reserved youth who, in his 
shabby uniform, had induced the laughter of the 
gay circle that met in Barras's parlors, but had 
become far more particular in his dress and had 
suddenly acquired the arts of the beau and man 
of fashion. Besides by speculation or otherwise 
he had accumulated quite a fortune, some friends 
possibly having given him pointers on the stock 



market. No matter, however, what the cause he 
underwent a complete change in dress and deport- 

Thinking it was about time to choose a wife 
and to form a union that would give him an 
influential social position, he began by proposing 
for the hand of the rich and beautiful Desiree 
Clery, the sister of his brother Joseph's wife; but 
after some correspondence, in which he com- 
plained that the young lady was too coy, the 
negotiations were broken off and he was rejected. 
Then he was presumptuous enough to pay his 
addresses to Madame Permon, the lady in whose 
house his father had died. She was a woman 
of great wealth, exceedingly vain of her ancestry, 
of most exalted dignity and old enough to be his 
mother. She did not know, so surprised was she 
at his conduct, whether to smile at his audacity or 
to rebuke his impudence. 

He was living in a gilded, sordid age. A great 
revulsion in public feeling followed immediately 
upon the death of Robespierre. France, escap- 
ing from the influence of his puritanism, weary 
of the gloom that prevailed during the rule of this 
ascetic and virtuous dictator, plunged straightway 
into gayety and dissipation. Extravagance ran 
riot; bankers, brokers, speculators, successful 
bourgeoisie, came to the front. On every side 
there was seen an ostentatious display of wealth. 
" The riches of those who had made fortunes in 
the Revolution," says Lacretelle, " began to shine 
with unprecedented lustre. Splendid hotels, 
sumptuously furnished, were embellished by mag- 



nificent fetes." The hoarse roar of the mob, the 
terrifying voice of the Revolution, had tempora- 
rily subsided and was fast dying out into an echo, 
and Paris, recovering from her fright, began to 
assume the gay appearance that distinguished her 
in the days of the old regime. 

Bonaparte saw that money was the " sesame " 
that opened every door. Perhaps in no heart 
ever burned more fiercely the fires of ambition and 
doubtless he thought that the great wealth of 
Madame Permon, together with her high and 
influential social station, would secure the op- 
portunity he sought. That he was in earnest 
in his suit there can be no doubt. Evidently, he 
was not fascinated by the beauty of a woman 
twice his age, but he may have been induced to 
lay siege to her heart in order to secure her 
influence and dower as stepping stones to his 

At the time of the fall of "the Mountain," 
Madame Permon had concealed in her house Sal- 
icetti, a fellow countryman of Napoleon and a 
prominent Robespierreist, and fled with him in 
disguise, his identity being concealed under the 
garb of a lackey. In June, 1795, Bonaparte wrote 
a letter to Salicetti in which he treats him as a 
rival, stating : " I could have denounced thee but 
did not, although it would have been but a just 
revenge so to do." To Madame Permon he com- 
plainingly declared that although she had not 
taken him into her confidence he knew all the 
while that she was harboring Salicetti. The let- 
ters evince the spirit of a disappointed lover. 



About this time, however, he met a woman who 
fairly bewitched him and whose life, it may be said, 
became interwoven with his destiny. It is gen- 
erally believed that it was in Barras's house that 
Bonaparte first saw Josephine. There is a story, 
thought to be somewhat apocryphal in character, 
that the initial meeting between them came about 
in the following fashion: Eugene Beauharnais, a 
beautiful boy, called on General Bonaparte the day 
after the disarmament of the Sections, and with 
tears in his eyes requested the return of his 
father's sword. His request having been granted, 
Madame Beauharnais called on the general, 
shortly afterwards, to thank him for his courtesy 
and kindness in the matter. It was then, so the 
story goes, that he was won by her grace and 
charm of manner, and lost his heart at first sight. 

This is a very pretty little romance that Bona- 
parte himself loved to relate, for he was naturally 
very chary about admitting his association with 
Barras in this matter, knowing full well it was 
common gossip that he had received Josephine 
as a gift from the Director, and that he had agreed 
to accept the siren, under the inducement of his 
appointment as commander-in-chief of the Army 
in Italy. 




When Bonaparte met Josephine he began at 
once to lay siege to her heart, with such ardor 
and " with so violent a tenderness " that he ter- 
rified her. This woman of the world, who had 
made commerce of her love, did not understand 
such devotion and earnestness of purpose. She 
hesitated to accept him, for fear so intense a 
passion would soon burn itself out. In a letter 
to a friend asking advice as to whether or not she 
should receive the attentions of her ardent suitor, 
she admits that she does not understand him, and 
though she does not love him she feels no repug- 
nance. " I admire," she writes, " the general's 
courage, the extent of his information about all 
manner of things, concerning which he talks 
equally well, the quickness of his intelligence, but 
I confess I am afraid of the power he seems anx- 
ious to wield over all about him. His piercing 
scrutiny has in it something strange and inex- 
plicable, that awes even our directors : think, then, 
how it frightens a woman." 

Josephine still retained much of her beauty, 
although she was in the early autumn of her 



womanhood. She had fine brown or chestnut 
hair, large full expressive eyes, a small retrousse 
nose, a pretty, sensuous mouth, and though she 
was slightly under the average size, her figure was 
so well proportioned as to give the impression of 
height; she seemed taller than she really was. 
She dressed with exquisite taste, and studied every 
art that added to the attractiveness of her person. 
She was six years older than Bonaparte. She 
had neither wealth nor social station, although 
she must have made him believe she had both, 
else how could she have accounted for her extrav- 
agant and luxurious mode of living, especially in 
view of the fact that she was residing in one of 
Barras's houses. 

At this time her beauty had lost some of its 
early bloom, her teeth were beginning to show 
signs of decay, but her elegance of manner still 
retained its charm. " She possessed," said Bona- 
parte, " the calm and dignified demeanor which 
belongs to the old regime," but what impressed 
him the most was her sweet and gentle voice. 
Upon his entryjnto Paris after his Italian cam- 
paign, when the streets were ringing with the 
cheers and plaudits of the people, he turned to 
Bourrienne and remarked : " That greeting is 
almost as sweet to my ears as is the voice of 
Josephine.'"' Time and again he referred to the 
music of its tones and it seemed ever to ring in 
his memory, even relieving the solitude of his im- 
prisonment at St. Helena. 

That Bonaparte was in love with Josephine 
there can be no doubt ; at the same time, however, 



he was not the man to lose any of the advantages 
that might go with the alliance, and Barras having 
promised to secure for him, in lieu of the bride's 
dower, an appointment as commander of the 
Army of Italy, he took care to see that the agree- 
ment was carried out to the letter. 

Bonaparte was not blind; he did not offer his 
hand in marriage to this woman with his eyes 
shut ; nor was he lured to destruction by a siren, 
for he did most of the wooing himself. He must 
have known Josephine's character. He was in- 
formed of her past history; the very house she 
occupied was shady in reputation; she was sus- 
pected, and there was every reason for the sus- 
picion, of being the mistress of Barras; and her 
companions were women of the world. Although 
these Aspasias considered themselves far above 
the demi-monde, they moved in a circle that was 
higher only in the social, not in the moral scale. 
Madame Hamelin, whose reputation was noto- 
rious, was one of the leaders in this fashionable 
set, as was also the clever and bewitching Madame 
Recamier. Therese Cabarrus, Josephine's boon 
companion, was a woman of easy virtue; her 
drawing-room receptions were most brilliant and 
crowded with men of the highest distinction, 
whose wives, however, insisted upon remaining 
at home. 

This coterie of women who surrounded Barras, 
like moths around a candle, set the modes and 
fashions of the hour. On one occasion Therese 
appeared upon the streets in a costume that was, 
to say the least, vulgar and immodest, even for 



that period when the dress of women was most 
suggestive. The under garment was of pink or 
flesh-colored silk, which closely fitted the body 
and limbs. Over this was worn a robe that fell 
in graceful folds, and was so diaphanous that it 
revealed the beautiful contour of the figure it was 
used simply to cover not to conceal, and so trans- 
parent and fine was it in texture that it did not 
dim the lustre of the jewels in the bracelet that 
encircled the thigh. Crowds of hoodlums fol- 
lowed and jeered her until at last she had to 
seek safety in a milliner's shop. Of course it may 
be said that Josephine was not responsible for the 
conduct of her friend, but it shows the character 
of the women with whom she associated. 

When Napoleon became First Consul he 
dropped the names of Madame Tallien and many 
of her gay and charming companions from his 
invitation list, declaring, much to the disgust and 
chagrin of his amiable wife, that such women 
should not cross the threshold of St. Cloud. 

Finally, Josephine, after some hesitation and 
delay, accepted the hand of her devoted lover and 
on February 9, 1796, their bans were pro- 

A short time -before the wedding, on motion 
of Carnot and at the instance of Barras, Bona- 
parte, who had seen but little actual service in 
the field, whose military experience, in the 
main, had been the scattering of the mob by " a 
whiff of grapeshot " in the streets of Paris, and 
who knew nothing but what he had learned in 
books of the handling of large masses of infantry 



and cavalry, was given the command of the Army 
in Italy. 

Carnot, " the organizer of victory," did not act, 
however, without reason in this matter, for he 
had studied with much care a plan of campaign 
for the Army in Italy as prepared and submitted 
by Bonaparte, and was greatly impressed with its 
clearness and simplicity and especially with its 
handling of detail. The plan was forwarded to 
General Scherer, then commander of the Army 
in Italy, whose tart reply was that the man who 
had prepared the plan should be sent to the seat 
of war to carry it out. Carnot, taking the crab- 
bed soldier at his word, had Bonaparte appointed 
in his stead, Barras with his influence as a member 
of the Directory, doing of course all in his power 
to aid in the matter. 

If this appointment was the dowry brought by 
Josephine to Bonaparte, it was indeed a rich one, 
for it gave an opportunity to the young soldier 
to open a career of military glory that was to 
dazzle the world and to immortalize his fame. 

The marriage by civil contract took place March 
9, 1796. The bride gave her age as three years 
younger than she actually was, and Bonaparte, 
with a gallantry that under the circumstances was 
to be commended, had himself registered one year 
older than his real age, so as to make the disparity 
appear less noticeable. It was because of the 
actual difference between the ages that the gos- 
sipy old ladies of both houses predicted the union 
would be barren. 

The wedding was without ceremony ; a pair of 

Copyright, 1910, by George W. Jacobs & Co. 


From an original drawing by Ledru, 1797 
From the Joseph Bonaparte Collection 


peasants could not have had one simpler. There 
was no member of either family present. There 
were no groomsmen, nor bridesmaids; only the 
subscribing witnesses attended. There was noth- 
ing to suggest that in eight years the contracting 
parties, who in a notary's office were being so 
plainly united in wedlock, would be crowned in 
the cathedral of Notre Dame, amidst the greatest 
splendor, emperor and empress of the French. 

Josephine signed her name to the record as 
Detascher, ignoring Beauharnais altogether, while 
the groom wrote Bonaparte instead of Buona- 
parte, thus dropping all trace of his Corsican and 
Italian origin. 

After indulging in a honeymoon of two days, 
Bonaparte, on March eleventh, took his departure 
for Italy. 

Josephine, a born coquette with her light and 
frivolous nature, did not really appreciate the 
intellect, the great force of character, the genius 
of Bonaparte, and at times appeared to be an- 
noyed by his attentions. 

After he left for Italy, his letters, so warm 
with affectionate longings, simply worried her and 
failed to excite her love. There may have been 
a reason for this, for during his absence she re- 
newed acquaintance with her old friends, and led 
a life of gayety and pleasure. Under such cir- 
cumstances letters so ardent as Bonaparte's must 
have to such a woman seemed only a rebuke 
rather than a consolation for his absence. 

"I awake full of thee," he wrote; "thy por- 
trait and yester eve's intoxicating charm have 



left my senses no repose. Sweet and matchless 
Josephine, how strange your influence upon my 
heart ! Are you angry, do I see you sad, are you 
uneasy, my soul is moved with grief, and there 
is no rest for your friend ; but is there then more 
when, yielding to an overmastering desire, I draw 
from your lips, your heart, a flame which con- 
sumes me? Thou leavest at noon; three hours 
more and I shall see thee again Meantime, mio 
dolce amor, a thousand kisses ; but give me none, 
for they set me all afire." 

This surely was ardent enough for the warm- 
est nature, and should have induced a loyal devo- 
tion, but it failed to secure the fervid response 
to which it was entitled. 

When Bonaparte was in Italy winning victories 
and covering himself with glory, his chief thought 
was for Josephine, and he sent his fiery love let- 
ters to Paris one after the other by the swiftest 

While at Tortona, in June, he received word 
that his wife showed symptoms of pregnancy. 
The delighted husband was overwhelmed with 

" I care for honor/' he writes, " because you 
do, for victory because it gratifies you, otherwise 
I would have left all else to throw myself at your 
feet. Be sure that I love you, above all that can 
be imagined persuaded that every moment of 
my time is consecrated to you ; that never an hour 
passes without thought of you; that it never 
occurred to me to think of another woman; that 
they are all in my eyes without grace, without 



beauty, without wit ; that you you alone, as I 
see you, as you are could please and absorb all 
the faculties of my soul ; that you have fathomed 
all its depths ; that my heart has no fold unopened 
to you, no thoughts which are not attendant upon 
you ; that my strength, my arms, my mind are all 
yours; that my soul is in your form, and that 
the day you change, or the day you cease to be, 
will be that of my death ; that nature, the earth, 
is lovely in my eyes, only because you dwell within 
it. If you do not believe all this, if your soul is 
not persuaded, saturated, you distress me, you do 
not love me. Between those who love is a mag- 
netic bond. You know I could never see you with 
a lover, much less endure your having one: to 
see him and to tear out his heart, would be for 
me one and the same thing, and then, could I, I 
would lay violent hands on your sacred person. 
. . . No, I would never dare, but I would 
leave a world when that which is most virtuous 
had deceived me. ... A child, lovely as its 
mother, is to see the light in your arms. Wretched 
man that I am, a single day would satisfy me. 
A thousand kisses on your eyes and on your lips. 
Adorable woman! what a power you have! I 
am sick with your disease : besides, I have a burn- 
ing fever. Keep the courier but six hours, and 
let him return at once, bringing to me the darling 
letter of my queen." 

It was unfortunate for both Bonaparte and his 
wife that the signs of motherhood disappeared. 

Again he wrote: "Adieu, my adorable Jose- 
phine ! Think of me often. When you cease to 



love your Achilles when your heart grows cold 
towards him you will be very cruel, very un- 
just. But I am sure you will always continue my 
faithful mistress as I shall ever remain your fond 
lover. Death alone can break the union which 
sentiment, love, and sympathy have formed. Let 
me have news of your health. A thousand and a 
thousand kisses." 

In another letter, still writing from Italy, just 
on the eve of battle, he says : " I am far from you, 
I seem to be surrounded by the blackest night; 
I need the lurid light of the thunderbolts which 
we are about to hurl on our enemies to dispel the 
darkness into which your absence has plunged me. 
Josephine, you wept when we parted; you wept! 
At that thought all my being trembles. But he 
consoled. Wiirmser shall pay dearly for the 
tears which I have seen you shed." 

It indeed would be strange if her " Creole non- 
chalance," as she was pleased to designate her 
indifference, did not yield to such rhapsodies. 
Her lover threatens to shed torrents of blood to 
avenge her tears, tears which were wiped away 
and succeeded by smiles so soon as he was out 
of sight. 

The warrior surely was in love, his letters were 
aflame with passion, but in them can there not 
be traced an undercurrent of fear, of doubt that 
Josephine may not be altogether true ? The lines 
" You know I could never see you with a lover 
or endure your having one " and the threat " to 
tear out the heart " of the intruder and " to lay 
violent hands on her sacred person " would 


scarcely have been written by Bonaparte if he had 
had implicit confidence in the integrity of his wife. 

While Bonaparte was in Italy a glass in a frame 
covering the portrait of Josephine was accidentally 
broken; his face at once turned as pale as death 
and, addressing Marmont, he exclaimed : " That's 
a bad omen; Josephine is either dead or false." 
This dread of his wife's treachery seemed ever 
present to his mind. 

He knew her light, frivolous and coquettish 
nature, her love of admiration, and, recalling her 
past history, there was perhaps a reason for his 
doubts, and his absence from her only increased 
his jealousy, especially in view of the fact that 
her letters were as cold as steel in comparison 
with his. 

While Bonaparte was in Egypt, Josephine lived 
in open adultery with one of her former admirers, 
Captain Hippolite Charles, till her conduct be- 
came the talk of the town, and a common scandal. 

When Bonaparte returned to France, having 
already heard of his wife's infidelity, he hurried 
to Paris. Josephine with her son started forth 
to meet him on the road, but unfortunately by 
some mishap took the wrong direction and missed 
him. Bonaparte reached his house in the rue 
de la Victoire before his wife returned, and when 
she arrived he refused to see her, retired to his 
room, and closed the door in her face. For 
days she lay on the floor outside of his chamber, 
plaintively sobbing and crying : " Mon ami ! 
Mon ami ! " until that voice which once charmed 
him with its sweetness revived his old-time love. 
6 81 


Bonaparte had held a family conference on 
the question of her conduct, and had decided to 
institute divorce proceedings; but when his 
brothers, after the consultation, returned to advise 
further upon the matter, they found that Bona- 
parte had relented, for Josephine was in his arms 
and both husband and wife seemed to be as happy 
as children. 

Bourrienne, in his Memoirs, relates, that in 
after years when he and Napoleon were walking 
along a boulevard in Paris a carriage hastily drove 
by in which was seated the former paramour of 
Josephine, Captain Charles. Napoleon caught a 
glimpse of his rival, but the only sign he gave 
as to the fact of recognition was a spasmodic 
clutch of Bourrienne's arm. 

It would seem impossible after this flagrant in- 
fidelity upon the part of Josephine that Napoleon 
should ever have had for her the same regard 
and affection as of old, but nevertheless it is true 
that she wielded an influence and exerted a fasci- 
nation over him to the last that no other woman 
ever did. 

They gradually grew to understand each other, 
and lived agreeably together. Her extravagance, 
however, gave him great annoyance, for her 
expenditures were most lavish and her pre- 
varications when he asked her as to the amount 
of her indebtedness greatly angered him, but 
this seemed to be their principal cause of dis- 

Even subsequent to his divorce and his mar- 
riage to Maria Louisa, he frequently inquired after 



the welfare of Josephine, and sometimes called 
on her at Malmaison, and she was one of the first 
to whom he sent news of his good fortune when 
the king of Rome was born. During his impris- 
onment at St. Helena she was the only woman, 
the mention of whose name revived the affection 
of his heart and Josephine was the last \vord on 
his dying lips. 



Prince Metternich uttered the truth in a sim- 
ple phrase when he said : " Italy is only a geo- 
graphical expression and can lay no claim to 
national existence." And yet nature seems to 
have drawn her boundaries with the idea specially 
of creating her a national unit. A high range 
of snow-peaked mountains separates her from 
the continent of Europe, and she lies in the em- 
brace of two seas. Like a great spur from the 
mainland, she extends far out into the Mediter- 
ranean, while her eastern shores are washed by 
the waters of the Adriatic. 

"// bel paese 
CtiApenmn parte, il mar circonda e I'AIpc." 

But even mountains and seas could not pro- 
tect her from foreign and hostile invaders. Her 
fair plains became the battle fields of Europe, 
and her states the booty of contending armies, 
peace congresses mapped out her geographical 
divisions, and her so-called commonwealths and 
republics existed alone by royal sufferance. Al- 
though her people were of one race, speaking 
virtually the same tongue, and having a common 
literature, they, nevertheless, could not be welded 



into a homogeneous mass, and the country was 
broken, politically, into fragments. 

In his Memoirs, written at Saint Helena, Napo- 
leon, looking into the future with a prophetic 
vision, said : " Italy, isolated within its natural 
limits, separated by the sea and by very high 
mountains from the rest of Europe, seems called 
to be a great and powerful nation. . . . 
Unity in manners, language, literature, ought 
finally, in a future more or less remote, to unite 
its inhabitants under a single government. . . . 
Rome is beyond doubt the capital which the 
Italians will one day choose." A remarkable 
prophecy, spoken at a time when nothing seemed 
so far distant as the unity of Italy, a prophecy 
which reached its fulfillment only in a compara- 
tively recent period. 

In 1796, Genoa and Venice proudly laid claim 
to the title of republics. Naples and the Mil- 
anese groaned under the yoke of foreign masters. 
Parma, Modena, and Lucca were petty states, 
the courts of which were nests of intrigue, con- 
spiracy and corruption. The Duchy of Tuscany 
was ruled by a member of the reigning house of 
Austria; Piedmont and Sardinia were governed 
by a prince of Savoy ; the southern portion of the 
peninsula and Sicily were ruled by a descendant 
of the Spanish Bourbons. The Papal States 
were steeped in ignorance and dominated by the 

It was in this land of the Caesars, in this land 
where Rome, seated on her seven hills, had been 
the mistress of the world, in this land so rich in 



historic association, so fertile in example and 
illustration, so reminiscent of glorious effort and 
deed, that Bonaparte was to find a stage upon 
which to begin his marvelous career, and a fitting 
theatre for the portrayal of his genius and power. 
The entry of this great actor in the world's his- 
tory had a most dramatic setting. 

Just before his departure from the capital, on 
taking leave of a friend, he said : " In three 
months I shall be either at Milan or back again 
in Paris," intimating his resolve to succeed, and 
that quickly. 

When Bonaparte reached Nice to take com- 
mand of the army, he issued the first of his 
famous bulletins which rang in the ears of the 
troops like a blast from a trumpet. " Soldiers ! 
you are naked, barely fed. The government owes 
you much, it can give you nothing. Your en- 
durance and the courage you have shown among 
these crags do you credit, but gain you no advan- 
tage, reflect upon you not a ray of glory. I will 
lead you into the most fertile plains in the world; 
rich provinces, great cities will be in your power, 
and then you will find honor, glory, and riches. 
Soldiers of Italy, can you be found wanting in 
courage and constancy ? " 

Heretofore the republican army, animated by 
the purpose and spirit of the Revolution, had 
been fighting for principle, for the liberation of 
men and states from tyranny and arbitrary rule; 
but now it was to fight for glory and booty. Such 
a proclamation made by a general in command of 
the armies of the Revolution, before the over- 



throw of Robespierre, would have sent him to 
the guillotine; then there was a repression of 
individual effort, a leveling of the mass. Such 
language would have created suspicion, and would 
have revealed the spirit of the dictator. In that 
period of Jacobin rule a general could but carry 
out the orders of the Great Committee, and any 
assumption of authority upon his part would have 
stripped him of his command, and placed him 
under arrest. 

The days of reaction had changed all this, and 
the people, breaking away from the rigid and 
austere principles of democracy, were going- 
just as far in the other direction. Wealth and 
individual power, after a long interval of 
suppression, were asserting themselves, and 
ostentatiously making a display that during 
the " Reign of Terror " was called incwism 
and would have brought the offenders to the 

Bonaparte represented the reaction, and the peo- 
ple, no longer frightened by the spectre of dictator- 
ship, hailed with joy his victories, in spite of 
his assumption of authority. No wonder that a 
keen observer, who had been impressed by his 
audacity and genius, remarked : " His career will 
end either on a throne or a scaffold." Did not 
he himself, upon one occasion say, while tapping 
his sword hilt : " This will carry me far " ? At 
this time, any clever politician could easily have 
discerned, looming up above the horizon, " the 
man on horseback," the military dictator with his 
legions behind him, his shadow already falling 



athwart the pathway of the Republic and threat- 
ening its integrity. 

The proclamation aroused, as was natural, the 
greatest enthusiasm among the troops and sent 
despair into the hearts of the inhabitants of Italy, 
for it announced plainly that the army of in- 
vaders if victorious would lay waste the land, 
despoil the cities and compel the payment of 

Before Bonaparte started from Paris to take 
command of the army he was informed by the 
Directors that the country invaded would have 
to pay the expenses of the campaign, for the 
government was without money. The Directory 
gave him 47,500 francs in cash and good drafts 
for 20,000 more, which, however, was a very 
small sum for the undertaking in hand; yet to 
get even this amount they almost emptied the pub- 
lic coffers. With this meagre sum to carry on 
the extensive operations in contemplation there 
was nothing apparently left to do but to forage 
and loot; but be it said to the credit of Bona- 
parte that, although he exacted heavy tribute from 
conquered states and provinces, there was only 
one town he surrendered to pillage and that was 
Pavia. In this instance he was induced to yield 
to the clamors of his troops but he stopped the 
robbery after three hours' duration. 

In the year 1796 the Republic was in deep 
distress; the treasury was empty, business stag- 
nant, and labor unemployed. The paper cur- 
rency, because of the vast overissues of assignats, 
was almost worthless, it had hardly any purchas- 



ing value, and in consequence the necessaries of 
life rose to exorbitant figures. It was a common 
saying among the housewives that it took a bas- 
ket of assignats to purchase a purse full of food. 
The administration of the government was cor- 
rupt and inefficient. Speculation ran rife, bread- 
stuffs were cornered. The army contractors, 
hand in glove with the public officials, were reap- 
ing fortunes at the expense of naked and starving 

The army of the Sambre and Meuse was com- 
manded by Jourdan, that of the Rhine by Moreau, 
and that of the West by Hoche. Scherer, who 
had been in command of the Army of Italy be- 
fore the appointment of Bonaparte, had in the 
latter part of November, 1795, beaten the com- 
bined forces of the Austrians and Piedmontese at 
Loano; but, not following up his victory, had in 
consequence given great offence to the Directory. 
Sulking in his tent and complaining of the neg- 
lect of the home government he was but adding 
to the discontent of the army. The soldiers were 
in dire want; they had neither food nor clothing 
in sufficient quantities. The commissariat, for 
some time past, had furnished them with nothing 
to eat but dry bread. For months they had re- 
ceived no pay, and during the winter had under- 
gone the greatest suffering and privation. It 
was this poor scarecrow of an army, half naked 
and half fed, preferring to cling to the crags and 
the passes of the Alps, rather than venture out 
into the open plains and give battle to the enemy, 
that Bonaparte had promised to lead into fertile 



fields. His cheering words electrified the army, 
and aroused it from its stupor. Through the 
camps where there had been only lethargy and 
discontent now rang the hum and noise of prepa- 
ration. There had been some doubt expressed 
as to how this pale-faced stripling, a mere aca- 
demic, book soldier, without military experience 
save in fighting the rabble in the streets of Paris, 
would be received by the army; but all doubt 
on this point was soon dispelled, for the very 
presence of the young commander seemed to 
charge the air with enthusiasm. 

Upon his arrival at Nice he had to suppress 
mutiny, and he did it with a firm hand ; he found 
it necessary to disband a battalion for insubordi- 
nation. He seized his command with an iron 
grip, and so boldly asserted his power that he in- 
spired confidence in the superior officers as well 
as in the rank and file. 

From the moment of his appointment as com- 
mander-in-chief, his manner and conduct under- 
went a change. He received his old friends, even 
Decres, with an air of coql reserve, with a bear- 
ing of marked superiority /\ He knew that many 
of the older generals, like Massena, Augereau, 
Serurier, La Harpe, Kellermann and Cervoni, re- 
sented at first his promotion and sneeringly re- 
ferred to him as " le general Vendemiaire " or 
" general of the boulevards," and that they would 
be presumptuous at the first sign of weakness or 
dependence upon his part. So he asserted his 
power at once, and they soon felt and acknowl- 
edged his masterly skill, self-assurance, and over- 
go . 

Copyright, 1910, by George W. Jacobs & Co. 


From an original drawing in colors by Ledru, 1797 
From the Joseph Bonaparte Collection 


powering genius. Even the blatant and bluster- 
ing Augereau, one day after an interview with 
Bonaparte in his tent, came out remarking: 
" That little devil makes me tremble all over." 

The French army in Italy consisted of 37,000 
men stationed along the coast of the Mediterra- 
nean in the neighborhood of Nice, and in the 
passes of the lower Alps. 

On the other side of the mountains were two 
armies. One, the Sardinian army, numbering 
20,000 men, under the command of General Colli, 
watched the passes and protected the roads run- 
ning towards Turin, which city was its base of 
supplies. The other, the Austrian army, under 
the command of General Beaulieu, of 35,000 men, 
had its line of communication on Alessandria. 
This last army occupied Genoa and stretched from 
that city, until its right joined the Sardinian left. 
The whole distance covered by the extended line 
of the two armies from Genoa to the passes of the 
Ligurian Alps was about sixty miles. 

To meet these conditions Bonaparte concen- 
trated his forces, and at once began the offensive. 
He took the road as if marching to Genoa, thus 
inducing Beaulieu to strengthen his line at that 
point, when suddenly turning to the left he drove 
his army like a wedge between the widely sepa- 
rated divisions of the enemy and fought a number 
of battles, in each instance winning a decisive vic- 
tory. The principal engagements were Monte- 
notte, fought on April I2th; Millessimo, on the 
1 3th, and Mondovi, on the 22d. Montenotte is 
interesting in that it was the first battle fought 



by Bonaparte in the campaign. At this town 
Colonel Rampon, with a force of 1,200 men, 
seized a redoubt and held it against all odds, 
thus preventing the Austrian General Argenteau 
from attacking the main army on the flank. The 
Austrians made charge after charge, hurling them- 
selves with desperate fury against the little band, 
but without avail. In the midst of the conflict, 
so the story goes, Rampon called upon his sol- 
diers to swear with uplifted hands on their can- 
non and colors that they would die rather than 
surrender. Against such devotion, resolution and 
courage, the Imperialists fought in vain. Night 
fell upon the combatants, and the Austrians slept 
upon their arms, eager to renew the attack the 
next day; but in the meantime Bonaparte hurried 
to the relief of the devoted band of defenders and, 
in the first rays of the morning sun, the Austrians, 
at a glance, saw that they were all but completely 
surrounded by a superior force of the French. 
They fought desperately to break through the 
net that the masterly skill of Bonaparte had woven 
around them, while they slept, but they were 
turned back at every point, until their defeat be- 
came a rout. Their loss was 1,000 killed, 2,000 
taken prisoners. 

Unfortunately for the truth of this thrilling 
incident, in so far as it relates to the taking of 
the oath by the soldiers under Rampon, the rec- 
ords show that there were no cannon and flags 
in the redoubt upon which the men could have 
sworn, that the commander of the force was 
an officer named Fornesy, and not Rampon, and 



that the words of the former were simply: 
" C'est id, mes amis, qu'il faut vaincre oil 
mourir." " My friends, it is here we must con- 
quer or die." Although the matter has given 
rise to considerable controversy, there is, after 
all, not much difference between the two versions 
after the correction is made as to the names of 
the officers. 

Having separated the forces of the ?r^rm w i 
Bonaparte now turned his back on Beaulieu, re- 
sistlessly drove the army of tlie Sardinians away 
from its ally, and defeated it in every encounter. 
The king of Piedmont asked for an armistice, 
which Bonaparte refused, all the while, however, 
pushing the Sardinians so fiercely that he did 
not give them time to rest, and kept them almost 
constantly on the run. So closely did he follow 
them that often as the rear guard of tne TetreaP 
ing army left a village the vanguard of the French 
entered it.. 

Turin was not far distant and the Sardinians 
were endeavoring to prevent the cutting of the 
lines of communication and to cover the roads 
leading to that city, but Bonaparte was deter- 
mined to force if possible its capitulation. The 

being con- 

vinced, at last, that further resistance to so per- 
sistent and indomitable a pufsuer as Bonaparte 
was useless, agreed to surrender, and on April 
28th, at Cherasco, a treaty of peace was signed 
which was mos favorab o fo 

The conference arranging the preliminaries 
was a long one. Bonaparte met the envoys in 



a manner that was coldly polite, and, growing 
impatient because the negotiations were proceed- 
ing so slowly, took out his watch about noon 
and said in the most nonchalant manner : " Gen- 
tlemen, I warn you, that a general attack is 
ordered for two o'clock, and if I am not assured 
that Coni will be put in my hands before night- 
fall the attack will not be postponed for one mo- 
ment. It may happen to me to lose battles, but 
no one shall ever see me lose minutes either by 
over-confidence or sloth." The terms were forth- 
with signed. By the treaty Victor Amadeus 
yielded up Savoy and Nice and renounced the 
alliance with Austria. The Imperialists upon 
receipt of this information waxed wroth, and their 
camp rang with denunciation of their cowardly 
and traitorous ally. 

The young soldier was^no\v_J:he jdpj_o_his 
army. Strategy so"TSrTllIant,"vlcfories so glorious 
aroused the greatest enthusiasm and elicited the 
warmest admiration, not only in the army but 
throughout all France, and Bonaparte was hailed 
everywhere as the first captain of his times. 
" Hannibal," he said one day to his staff, " took 
the Alps by storm; we have turned their flank." 

Yet Bonaparte had fallen into disfavor with 
the home government. He had unquestionably 
violated his orders, in that he had entered into a 
treaty of peace without the authority or even the 
sanction of the Directory, and he had given 
offence in many quarters because he did not de- 
stroy utterly the kingdom of Piedmont and Sar- 
dinia and annex the territory to France; but he 



was on the ground, and knew how far he could 
go better than those who were hundreds of miles 
away from the seat of war. -1[n waste tirrjs in 

advising \A^J^--^^^tor^--s^^'^''wh3kt - terms 
should be enforced would only have given an 
opportunity to delay the settlement and have en- 
abled the Austrians, with whom he yet had to 
battle, to strengthen their forces and provide 
means of defence. It must be borne in mind that 
itf took the swiftest courier about seven days to 
cover the distance between Nice and Paris. 

He had also been directed to destroy the Aus- 
trian army before advancing against the Sardin- 
but these orders he had absolutely ignored, 
and, following his own bent, had proceeded first, 
after separating the two armies, to bring the Sar- 
dinians to terms. Such conduct of course pro- 
voked the opposition of the Directory and to break 
his power it was suggested to him to share 
his command with another officer; but he soon 
killed that project by threatening to resign. 

In his communication to Carnot on this matter 
he wrote : " Kellermann would command the army 
as well as I; for no one is more convinced than 
I am of the courage and audacity of the soldiers, 
but to unite us together would ruin everything. 
I will not serve with a man who considers him- 
self the first general in Europe; and it is better 
to have one bad general than two good ones. 
War, like government, is decided in a great de- 
gree by tact." 

In answer to this letter Carnot wrote : " The 
Directory has maturely considered your argu- 



ments; and the confidence which they have in 
your talents and republican zeal has decided the 
matter in your favor. Kellermann will remain 
at Chamber ry, and you may adjourn the expedi- 
tion to Rome as long as you please." 

So strong had he grown in public favor that 
the matter of dividing his authority, as will be 
seen by Carnot's letter, was hastily and quietly 

He was his own press agent, and the dazzling 
bulletins he sent home announcing his victories 
and praising the valor of his troops set the Pari- 
sians wild with excitement. After the campaign 
was over he dispatched Murat to Paris with a score 
of flags captured from the enemy. At the sight 
of such trophies of victory the joyous acclamations 
of that glory-loving people soon silenced the 

Soldiers ! in a fortnight," said Bonaparte, ad- 
dressing his victorious army in one of his famous 
bulletins, "you have gained six victories, taken 
twenty-one pairs of colors, fifty-five pieces of can- 
non, several fortresses, and conquered the richest 
part of Piedmont ; you have made fifteen thousand 
prisoners, and killed or wounded more than ten 
thousand men ; you had hitherto been fighting for 
barren rocks, rendered glorious by your courage 
but useless to the country ; you now rival by your 
services the army of Holland and of the Rhine. 
Destitute of everything, you have supplied all 
your wants. You have gained battles without 
cannon, crossed rivers without bridges, made 
forced marches without shoes, bivouacked without 



brandy, and often without bread. The republican 
phalanxes, the soldiers of liberty, alone could have 
endured what you have suffered. Thanks be to 
you for it, soldiers ! Your grateful country will 
owe to you its prosperity, and, if your conquest at 
Toulon foreboded the glorious campaign of 1793, 
your present victories forebode one still more 
glorious. The two armies which so lately 
attacked you boldly are fleeing affrighted before 
you; the perverse men who laughed at your dis- 
tress and rejoiced in thought at the triumph of 
your enemies are confounded and trembling. 
But, soldiers, you have done nothing, since more 
remains to be done. Neither Turin nor Milan 
is yours; the ashes of the conquerors of Tarquin 
are still trampled upon by the murderers of Basse- 
ville. There are said to be among you some 
whose courage is subsiding, and who would prefer 
returning to the summits of the Apennines and 
of the Alps. No ; I cannot believe it. The con- 
querors of Montenotte, Millessimo, Dego, and 
Mondovi are impatient to carry the glory of the 
French people to distant countries." 




Bonaparte had yet another enemy to meet be- 
fore his victory was complete, and he straightway 
set about the task. 

After the TneaJyjDf^Cherasco, which was signed 
April 28th, Beaulieu retreated to the north side 
of the Po, and made preparations to defend Lom- 
bardy and Milan. Bonaparte headed his forces 
directly for thaTriver, and ostensibly made prepa- 
ration to cross it at Valenza. He deployed a 
large force at that point and acted as if he were 
bringing into requisition all the boats he could 
find in that vicinity to be used in the transporta- 
tion of his troops. The rusejsucceeded even be- 
yond his expectations^ for Beaiitieu" never sus- 
pected that while these extensive preparations 
were going on at Valenza the French army with- 
out molestation was crossing the river at Palenza. 
fifty miles away. Beaulieu, finding that he had 
been outwitted and that his line of communication 
was threatened, abandoned the defence of Milan, 
and hastened to Lodi. Marching hurriedly, Bo- 
naparte reached that town only a few hours after 
the arrival of Beaulieu. The Adda, a branch of 
the Po, a shallow but rapidly flowing stream, was 
crossed here by a wooden bridge 200 yards in 



length, which bridge the Austrians had not had 
time to burn, so quickly had the French come 
upon them. It was, however, strongly defended, 
and swept by Austrian artillery. Bonaparte had 
placed behind the town, concealed from the Aus- 
trians, a large body of grenadiers, about 6,000 
in number. He had given orders to the cavalry 
to ford the river, and after reaching the other 
side they were to attack at once the flank of the 
Austrians while the grenadiers would charge over 
the bridge and assail them in front. Bonaparte, 
seeing that the horsemen had safely crossed below, 
hurriedly, but just in the nick of time, marched 
his grenadiers out from behind their shelter and 
ordered them to charge. They responded 
promptly and with a cheer; but when half way 
over the bridge, so fierce was the hail of missiles 
from the Austrian musketry and artillery, that 
for an instant they faltered and began to recoil. 
At this moment Bonaparte, Lannes, Massena, and_ 
Berthier rushed upon the bridge in the face of 
almost certain death, steadied the column, and J 
led the charge. The Austrians, attacked in front^ 
and on the flank, gave way, and were routed at 
every point. In the charge across the bridge 
Lannes was the first and Bonaparte the second 
man over. 

The young commander had shown his skill as a 
strategist, and in that he had won the confidence 
and reliance of the troops, but they had never 
before seen him under fire, and they did not know 
whether he had that personal courage that so 
commands the admiration of the common soldiers. 



/Now they knew the quality and spirit of the man, 

( and he was endeared to them more than ever. 

) Besides his bravery on the bridge, he had shown 

A superb courage by coolly sighting a cannon under 

/ a terrific fire during the artillery duel, before the 

/grenadiers charged. 

It was his almost miraculous escape from death 
at Lodi that induced him to believe that he was 
" destined to accomplish great things." " Ven- 
demiaire and Montenotte," he said, " never in- 
duced me to look on myself as a man of a superior 
class; it was not till after Lodi that I was struck 
with the possibility of becoming famous. It w^s 
then that the first spark of my ambition was kin- 

In the evening after the battle, a number of 
sergeants of the regiments of grenadiers called 
at his tent and informed him that they had elected 
him ff le petit caporal" He evinced the greatest 
pride and satisfaction in being honored, by the 
conferring of so distinguished a title, for he looked 
upon it as a term of endearment. It was proof 
that he had won the hearts of his soldiers. After 
the ceremony the camp rang, far into the night, 
with shouts of " Long live the little corporal." 

Lombardy belonged to Austria and was nomi- 
nally governed by Duke Ferdinand, who lived in 
great state in Milan, maintaining a court that 
equaled in magnificence that of Vienna. It was 
one of the richest fiefs of the house of Hapsburg 
and one of the brightest jewels in its crown. 
This was the fertile land to which Bonaparte had 
promised to lead his troops, and every step of 



the way had been marked by victories. It was a 
region rich in harvests of grain and fruit, its 
barns were bursting with fulness. A valley in 
the highest state of cultivation, watered by streams 
flowing from the Alps and the Apennines and 
enriched by an alluvial deposit almost as fruitful 
as that of the Nile, it was a province of great 
wealth and a storehouse of art. 

The duke and his court fled at the approach of 
the French, and at once Bonaparte, without the 
loss of a man or a gun, entered the city in tri- 
trrrrprr amidst the acclamations of the people. 
Nev'tfl did richer booty fall so easily into the 
hands of a conqueror. " Fortune is a woman," 
exclaimed Bonaparte to Marmont as they rode 
side by side through the gates of the city; " the^ 
more she does for me the more I shall exact from J 
her. ... In our day no one has conceived T 
anything great; it falls to me to give the exam- V 

The French did not present the fine military 
appearance of the Austrians. The latter marched 
in regular order, were well drilled, and hand- 
somely uniformed; while the former, in shabby, 
often ragged clothes, the officers in many in- 
stances not wearing boots, swung along with a 
swaggering air, the fifes playing and the drums 
beating the wild strains of the " Qa ira " and the 
soldiers at intervals singing in chorus the inspir- 
ing words of the Marseillaise, the battle hymn 
of the Republic. Their air of abandon diffused 
on all sides the spirit of freedom, independence, 
and patriotism, the result of a new birth of lib- 



erty. They were the children, the proud heirs, 
of the Revolution. At their head rode a young 
commander, boyish in appearance, with long lank 
hair falling over his temples and ears and reach- 
ing to his shoulders, with a cold, impassive face 
and with eyes deep set and searching and as im- 
penetrable as those of the Egyptian Sphinx. 
With hat off and bowing to the people, the young 
Bonaparte was the centre of attraction; every 
finger pointed him out, every lip mentioned his 

He had led a half-starved, half-clothed army 
from the cheerless, barren passes of the Alps into 
the sunny, fertile fields of Italy; he had scattered 
the armies of Piedmont and Austria, driving the 
former out of the field, had revolutionized the 
science of war, had won for himself immortal 
fame, and had covered France with a lustrous 
glory. " He knows nothing, this boy general of 
yours, of the regular rules of war," said a Hun- 
garian officer, taken prisoner by the French ; " he 
is on the front, next moment on the rear, then 
on either flank. You know not where to look 
for him; such violation of rules is intolerable." 
War up to this time had been conducted by stiff 
and starched martinets in accordance with rules 
as precise as those laid down in a dueling code, 
but Bonaparte had changed all this ; he was a law 
unto himself. He planned his battles to meet 
conditions. He did not move his men as a player 
would his pawns in a game of chess. 
S On May twentieth, Bonaparte issued another 
/ one of his famous proclamations to the army. His 


Copyright, 1910, by George W. Jacobs & Co. 


From an original water color in brilliant colors by Victor Adam 
From the Joseph Bonaparte Collection 


force had been considerably reduced by the deser- 
tion of soldiers who, forming marauding parties, 
were scouring the country and despoiling it. 
"Soldiers!'' he said, "you have rushed 
torrent from the summit of the Apennines; 
have overthrown, dispersed everything that op- 
posed your progress. Piedmont, delivered from 
Austrian tyranny, has returned to her natural 
sentiments of peace and friendship for France. 
Milan is yours, and the republican flag waves 
throughout all Lombardy. The Dukes of Parma 
and Modena owe their political existence to your 
generosity alone. Your families at home, your 
fathers, your mothers, your wives, your daugh- 
ters and sweethearts, are rejoicing in your 
achievements and boasting with pride that you 
belong to them. Yes, soldiers, you have done 
much; but is there nothing more left for you to 
do? Do not let posterity reoroaqh us for having 
found our Capua in Lombardy. feorne is yet to 
beliberated ;lHe eternal'tity is to renew heTybuth 
and show again the virtues of her worthy sons, 
Brutus and Scipio. Then, when France gives 
peace to the world and each of you at his own 
hearthstone, under his own vine and fig tree, will 
be enjoying the prosperity won by your valor, 
your fellow-citizens will point at you with affec- 
tionate and patriotic pride and exclaim : ' Be- ~ 
hold ! he was of the army of Italy/ ' 

Las Casas says that "on reading over this 
proclamation one day at St. Helena, the emperor 
exclaimed : ' And yet they have the folly to say 
that I could not write/ " 



'Bonaparte had exacted the payment of large 
sums of money from the Italian states, and had 
replenished the coffers of the Directory and the 
chests of the armies on the Rhine and the Sambre. 
He was already beginning to adorn the capital 
with the paintings of the old masters. Whether 
it was a Caesar embellishing Rome or an Attila 
despoiling Italy depended entirely upon the point 
of view taken by the observer. " The Republic 
had already received and placed in its Museum," 
says Thibaudeau, " the masterpieces of the Dutch 
and Flemish schools. The Romans carried away 
from conquered Greece the statues which adorn 
the capitol. The principal cities of Europe con- 
tained the spoils of antiquity, and no one had 
ever thought of imputing it to them as a crime." 

Nor must we forget that Lord Elgin, under 
the sanction of the English government, tres- 
passed on the sacred precincts of the Acropolis 
and despoiled the Parthenon, and that the friezes 
sculptured by the immortal Phidias are to-day on 
exhibition in the British Museum. 

"he walls of the Italian churches, museums, 
private palaces and public galleries were stripped 
of the priceless and incomparable paintings of 
Leonardo da Vinci, Michel Angelo, Raphael, Cor- 
reggio and Titian. The Duke of Parma offered 
Bonaparte 1,000,000 francs if he would relin- 
quish his hold on the famous painting of Jerome 
by Correggio, but Bonaparte declined to consider 

ic offer. Ancient manuscripts, books of ines- 
timable value, were packed away in the holds of 
frigates and shipped to France. Learned men, 


scholars of the first rank, were brought from 
Paris to examine the collections, both scientific 
and literary, and make selections for the museums 
and libraries of the French capital. IXmng^all 

period Of 

fingers clean. He of course was entitled to vast 
sum's 1 " 61 "prize money but from no other source 
did he derive any personal profit. The Duke of 
Modena sent him a present of 4,000,000 francs, 
which munificent gift he promptly declined to 

Some of his officers were not so particular 
as their chief, and lined their purses with ill- 
gotten wealth, and many of the soldiers of the 
rank and file let no opportunity pass to help them- 
selves, carrying heavy treasure in their knapsacks, 
at great personal inconvenience, during the entire 
campaign. The big army wagons that at the 
beginning were as empty as a beggar's wallet now 
fairly groaned under the weight of the rich booty 
they contained, and were guarded with as much 
care as if they carried the ark of the covenant. 

For a week and more the army rested in Milan 
and then, after the establishment of a provisional 
republic, Bonaparte moved his troops forward to 
begin the invasion of Austria. He reached Lodi 
on the 24th. During this time insurrections broke^-v. 

out in several of the cities, and Bonaparte had to 
adopt desperate measures to suppress them, hos- ^ 
tages chosen from the distinguished and wealthy ^L 
citizens resulted in restoring order and securing 
the peace. 

An incident happened about this time that might 


have had a serious ending. Bonaparte, while at 
Valeggio, stopped in a cottage to take a foot-bath 
in order to relieve a headache. The Austrian 
horse reconnoitring in the neighborhood sud- 
denly appeared in sight ; an alarm, none too soon, 
was given, and Bonaparte hastily beat a retreat 
through the garden, with only one boot on, leaped 
into the saddle of his horse and galloped away 
with all speed, followed by the Austrians in full 
chase, until he reached the camp of Massena. 
After this adventure a bodyguard was chosen 
for his personal protection and placed under the 
command of a brave young officer, Colonel Bes- 
sieres, which organization ultimately became the 
Imperial Guard of the Grand Army. 
X On the 30th of May, 1796, Bonaparte forced 
/ the passage of the Mincio, where Beanlieu had 
^^ taken up his position. The Austrians, thinking it 
^ wise not to give battle, retreated into the Tyrol, 
and the French began the siege of Mantua, which 
town had been strongly garrisoned and provi- 
sioned by Beaulieu. 

Between the Po and the Adige is a vast tract 
of land known as the Quadrilateral, marked at its 
four corners by the towns of Legnago, Verona, 
Peschiera, and Mantua, all of which were strongly 
fortified and made together at that time the most 
famous strategical position in Europe, no doubt 

to command the ap- 

proaches to Austria and to be in a position to 
oppose successfully any relieving army sent to 
Mantua, had seized three out of the four towns 
forming the Quadrilateral which were located in 



Venetia and had done this in direct violation of \ 
neutrality laws. _i 

Beaulieu, having shown himself utterly unable-^ 
to cope with Bonaparte, was succeeded in com- ^ 
mand by General Wurmser, a brave and valiant C 
officer but a soldier of the old school. 

In the space of about six months, from the sum- 
mer of 1796 to the winter of 1797, Austria sent 
out four armies under the command of her most 
skilful and experienced officers to dislodge Bona- 
parte and raise the siege of Mantua. 
* Before the first Imperial army took the field, 
however, Bonaparte made an incursion under the 
order of the Directory into the Papal States, and 
seized Bologna. The relations had been strained 
between the Republic and the Papacy since 1793, 
when the French envoy, Basseville, was brutally 
assassinated in Rome, and it was upon this ground 
that the attack was made. The matter reached 
a speedy solution, for the Pope had no military 
force sufficient to repel the invaders, and the 
anathema was a poor weapon with which to fight 
a man like Bonaparte. The terms of the treaty 
were that the States should be closed against the 
commerce of England and that a French garrison 
should guard the port of Ancona. Besides this 
the Pope consented to deliver to the French Com- 
missioners, as they should determine, " one hun- 
dred pictures, busts, vases or statues, among which 
were specially included the bronze bust of Junius 
Brutus and the marble bust of Marcus Brutus, 
together with five hundred manuscripts." The 
raid cost the Papal States in money and kind 



about 3^000,000 frajic& The murder of Basse- 
vjlle wasavengeT*" 

A visit to Leghorn brought Tuscany to terms, 
and a heavy requisition was made on her wealth 
and treasures. 

The first army sent forth by Austria to relieve 
Mantua and to recover Lombardy, advanced in 
two divisions, one led by Wurmser and the other 
by Quosdanowich. Bonaparte at once concen- 
trated his forces, and after skilful manoeuvring 
completely outwitted his opponents, kept the divi- 
sions apart, and defeated them in a number of 
brilliant engagements, one after the other, Cas- 
tiglionc, fought on August the fifth, being "the 
most important; in fact, it was the decisive battle 
.of the campaign and resulted in the loss of Italy 
to the Austrians. 

The second victory at Lonato was won without 
firing a gun. The French troops had massed at 
Lonato and had defeated the Austrians at that 
place on the 3ist of July. Bonaparte follow- 
ing up his victory was anxious to bring the enemy 
to an engagement on the plain of Castiglione, 
and had pushed his troops forward as rapidly as 
possible, leaving a force in Lonato of only a thou- 
sand men. He had galloped in post haste across 
the country to give final instructions and reached 
Lonato about midday, when, greatly to his sur- 
prise, an Austrian messenger bearing a flag of 
truce entered the town and summoned the French 
to surrender. Bonaparte was put to his wits' 
end. He had not time to fight a battle with so 
small a force of the enemy as confronted him, in 


view of the great preparations he had made at 
Castiglione to bring Wiirmser to an engagement, 
and so he resorted to an artifice and succeeded 
in his trick by sheer audacity. He immediately 
ordered all the officers about him to mount their 
horses, and then directed that the eyes of the 
messenger be uncovered. " Wretched man," said 
he, " do you not know that you are in the presence 
of the general-in-chief and that he is here with 
his whole army ? Go to those who sent you here 
and tell them that unless they surrender at once 
I shall put them to the sword." The messenger, 
believing it was as Bonaparte stated, hurried back, 
and four thousand Austrians laid down their 
arms. During this period, that is from July 3ist 
to August 5th, inclusive, Bonaparte neither took 
off his boots nor lay on a bed. His energy was 

After the battle of Castiglione there was a ces- 
sation of active hostilities for about a month. 
The armies then were put in motion, and, on the 
8th of September, met at Bassano, where the 
Austrians again suffered a severe defeat. Wiirm- 
ser was now in a desperate situation; his army 
was almost surrounded by the French, while the 
Adige cut off his retreat; a bridge, however, 
which should have been destroyed, gave him a 
chance to escape and after defeating some French 
forces that attempted to intercept his march he 
reached Mantua. 

The Republic was not so successful elsewhere 
as in Italy, for the young Archduke Charles, who * 
was just beginning his military career, defeated 



Cthe armies of the Rhine under the command of 
^Moreau and Jourdan. His victories gave great 
encouragement to the Imperial government in 
Vienna and preparations were at once made to 
begin another campaign to wrest Lombardy from 

Wiirmser was sent out with a new army and, 
although he took a different route from that in 
his first campaign, his tactics were about the same. 
,Ie advanced in two divisions. Bonaparte, vir- 
/tually abandoning the siege of Mantua, gathered 
j all his available forces and after a most brilliant 
/ campaign in which his genius as a soldier was 
/ never displayed in a higher degree, inflicted dis- 
astrous defeats on both divisions. Marching and 
countermarching, striking unexpectedly in one 
quarter and then in another, covering in eight 
days 114 miles, Bonaparte at last drove Wiirmser 
with a remnant of his army, shattered and de- 
feated, into Mantua. In this brief campaign the 
Austrians lost in killed and wounded half their 

The Emperor of Austria, still determined to 
recover Lombardy, if possible, sent out another 
army, this time under the command of General 
Alvintzy, who advanced, as was characteristic of 
tl^Ttustrians, in two widely separated divisions. 
The wise military maxim : " March in separate 
columns; unite for fighting," did not seem to 
have a place in the rules of Austrian tactics and 
warfare of those days. 

One division of the advancing army was under 
the command of Alvintzy and the other under 



Davidowich. Bonaparte at first was not so suc- 
cessful in this campaign as in the others; on the 
1 2th of November he sustained a severe defeat 
at Caldiero and it looked as if he could not pre- 
vent the junction of the two Austrian divisions. 
But with superb audacity and with marvelous 
skill, he extricated his army from its perilous 
position and without the loss of an hour, while his 
adversaries were studying plans for his capture, 
f7e~crosseH"and recrossed the Adige and suddenly 
appeared on the flank and rear of Alvintzy's 
troops. The key to the situation was the town 
of Arcola, which was desperately defended by the 
Austrians. Bonaparte here, as at Lodi, rushed 
upon the bridge with colors in hand to lead the 
charge, but a counterstroke by the Austrians threw 
him into a swamp up to his waist in water 
and it was with difficulty and only after a rally 
by his troops that he was extricated from his 

It was not until November ijth, after three 
days of the bitterest fighting, that a passage was 
forced and then Alvintzy, seeing that his lines of 
communication were threatened, decided to re- 

The emperor, still persistent in his attempts 
to relieve Mantua, launched forth another army 
under the command of Alvintzy. The combat- 
ants met at^Riyoli on January 14, 1797, where 
the AustriafTS^iustained a crushing defeat after 
the loss of 13,000 men. Bonaparte forthwith 
marched to the Adige just in time to intercept 
Provera, who was about to enter Mantua, and 


compelled him to surrender with a force of n nine 
thousand men. After reverses so terrible there 

was nothing to do but capitulate, the gates of the 
city were thrown open to the besiegers, and 
Wurmser's force of twenty thousand men laid 
down their arms on February 2, 1797. Bona-""^ 
parte, with a noble-mindedness that did him credit, ^> 
declined to be present at the surrender so as not V 
to add to the mortification of the old Austrian ^j 

After the fall of Mantua a new army of fifty 
thousand men took the field under the command 
of Archduke Charles, and so relentlessly did Bo- 
naparte push forward his columns and so skillfully 
did he manoeuvre his troops, outgeneraling the 
youthful duke at every point, that on the 7th 
of April, 1797, he reached I^pben^Jess than a 
hundred-miles from Vienna, wn^rTa 

was agreed upon. 

At this lime, while negotiations were pending 
with Austria, the inhabitants of Venetia rose in 
insurrection to expel the French invaders. Bo- 
naparte repaired at once to Venice, entering that 
city on the loth of May, and the ancient repub- 
lic, its rich treasures falling as booty into the 
hands of the despoiler, ingloriously ended its 
career. The Lion of St. Mark and the famous 
Corinthian horses were carried to Paris. 

During the summer Bonaparte spent his time in 
the castle of Montebello near Milan, negotiating 
with the Austrian commissioners or envoys the 
terms for a treaty of peace. The chief concern 
of the representatives of the court of Vienna at 



the preliminaries was to settle the all-important 
question of etiquette. According to time-honored 
custom it was contended that the emperor had 
precedence before the kings of France, and that 
he was always named first in the preamble of 
treaties or conventions. The two envoys of the 
house of Hapsburg would deign to acknowledge 
the French Republic if this ancient etiquette were 
preserved : " The French Republic," proudly an- 
swered Bonaparte, " has no need to be acknowl- 
edged; it is in Europe like the sun above the 
horizon; so much the worse for those blind 
wretches who can neither see nor profit by it." 
It was agreed finally that France and the emperor 
should stand on an equality and take turns in 

While at Milan Bonaparte established a court 
and was eager to have Josephine adorn it with 
her presence. His letters to her were afire with 
love, and he dispatched courier after courier, on 
an average about eight a day, begging her to 
come to his side at once, but her replies were few, 
short, and far apart, and as cold as ice when 
compared with his passionate epistles. 

After his great victories, when he was recog- 
nized everywhere as the coming man of the Re- 
public, Josephine's society was sought and courted 
by the most fashionable and aristocratic classes 
in Paris. She was feted and feasted and was the 
centre of attraction and attention at every recep- 
tion, her easy, graceful, and charming manner 
winning admiration on all sides. This was just 
the kind of life that suited her gay and frivolous 
8 113 


nature and she was loath to leave Paris for what 
she supposed would be but a dull routine in Milan 
and what some of her friends intimated would be 
accompanied by the inconveniences and hardships 
of camp life. Bonaparte, however, became im- 
portunate, and at last his wife, after an outburst 
of weeping, started for Italy. Upon her arrival 
in Milan she found, much to her surprise as well 
as delight, that the court established by her hus- 
band was brilliant enough to satisfy even her 
fastidious taste, and would afford her every oppor- 
tunity for the display of her charms, and so well 
did she play the role of hostess that her victories 
in the salon were as great as her husband's in the 

'his haughty pro-consul of the Republic sur- 
rounded himself with almost regal state. Three 
hundred Polish soldiers in brilliant uniforms 
guarded the approaches to the castle. His gen- 
erals and staff officers formed a superb and bril- 
liant retinue. Foreign envoys and ambassadors, 
Italian nobles, scholars and artists crowded his 
ante-chamber, waiting for an audience. 

The following interesting pen portrait of Bona- 
parte at this period was drawn by the Comte d' 
Antraigues, who was a close and critical ob- 
server : " Bonaparte is a man of small stature, 
of sickly hue, with piercing eyes and something 
in his look and mouth which is cruel, covert, and 
treacherous; speaking very little, but very talka- 
tive when his vanity is engaged or thwarted; of 
very poor health because of violent humors in his 
blood. He is covered with tetter, a disease of 


such a sort as to increase his vehemence and activ- 
ity. He sleeps but three hours every night and 
takes no recreation, except when his sufferings 
are unendurable. This man wishes to master 
France and through France Europe. Every- 
thing else even in his present successes seems to be 
but a means to an end. Thus he steals without 
concealment, plunders everything, but he cares 
for his gold and treasures only as a means. This 
same man who will rob a community to the last 
sou, will without thought give a million francs 
to any person who can assist him. This man 
abhors royalty; he hates the Bourbons. If there 
were a king in France other than himself he would 
like to have been his maker and would desire 
royal authority to rest on the tip of his own 
sword, that sword he would never surrender but 
would plunge it into the king's heart should the 
monarch cease for a moment to be subservient." 
While the conferences over the treaty were 
dragging their slow length along, while experi- 
enced and adroit diplomats were resorting to sub- 
tlety, finesse, and all the arts of their profession, 
Bonaparte grew very impatient at what he consid- 
ered needless delays, and the story goes that upon 
one occasion he jumped from his chair in the 
midst of a conference and exclaimed in a furious 
rage : " Very well, then ! Let the war begin again, 
but remember, I will shatter your monarchy 
in three months as I now shatter this ornament," 
the irate soldier at the same time dashing to the 
floor a precious vase that stood on a table close 
at hand. It was a rare and valuable piece of 



porcelain highly prized by Cobentzal, one of the 
Austrian ambassadors, for it had been given to 
Jiirn personally by Catharine II of Russia. 

While the negotiations were pending in Italy, 
the political situation in France was reaching an 
acute stage. The elections of 1797 had returned 
lany royalists as members to both chambers of 
the Councils, so that, forming a combination with 
tlie moderates, they controlled a majority of votes 
in each chamber and on joint ballot. The pre- 
siding officers were pronounced royalists, and it 
was the open boast that an effort would be made 
to overtjjfow the Directory and restore the Bour- 
bons. i General Pichegru, the conqueror of Hol- 
land, having abandoned his Jacobinism, was deep 
in the conspiracy and was scheming with a club 
of royalists which met at Clichy near Paris, and 
was also in correspondence with Austria.! Qirnot 

Barthelemy, two of the Directors;' "went over 
to the opposition. Barras, Rewbell and Lareveil- 
liere-Lepeaux remained united and called on Bo- 
naparte for assistance. The young and ambitious 
general saw it was greatly to his interest to balk 
every attempt made to effect a Bourbon restora- 
tion and so, without showing his hand too openly, 
he responded promptly by sending Augereau to 
the capital while he himself kept in the back- 
ground by stating in a note to the Directors "that 
Augereau had requested leave to go to Paris, 
" where his affairs call him." No one would sus- 
pect under this cover that Augereau came as the 
instrument to carry out the wishes of Bonaparte 
and to effect the coup d'etat. 


This burly, blustering soldier made known his 
purpose at once by declaring that he had come 
" tc kill the royalists." He organized the govern- 
ment forces, surrounded the Tuileries, seized the 
malcontents, threw them into prison and broke 
up the conspiracy. This was the famous coup 
d'etat of the eighteenth of Fructidor (September 
4th), 1797. 

the" LuxembcJurg Pichegru was also appre- 

hended. His secret correspondence with Austria 
was capturecl by General More'a'U before Ms 

( Pichegru' s) arrest, but for reasons never fully 
explained Moreau did not make it known until 
some time afterwards. Great numbers of the 
conspirators were transported to the poisonous, 
pestilential swamps of Cayenne in French Guiana. 
On October 17, 1797, the Treaty of Campo_ 
Formio was signed. It gave to France the Rhine < 
as a frontier. Austria^.rp.cogmzed the Ligurian 
and Cisalpine republics: Genoa, Lombardy, Mo- 
dena_and Bologna. For the loss of Lombardy, 
Austria was given Venice and her Adriatic prov- 
inces. San Marino, one of the oldest and small- 
est republics in the world, perched aloft in its 
mountain home on the Apennines like an eagle in 

1*1 J*\ r 

its eyry, was not disturbed. JJne interesting fea- 
ture of the negotiations was that Bonaparte in- 
sisted upon and secured the release of General La 
Fayette from the prison of Olmutz, where he 
had been confined since his arrest in 1792. 

Thus ended the campaign in Italy, one of the 
most brilliant in the annals of war either in ancient 



or in modern times. Perhaps Napoleon in his 
whole military career never displayed greater 
genius as a soldier. He was in the heyday of his 
youth, his energy was tireless, his enthusiasm and 
ambition were keen, and the confidence he h'ld in 
himself was superb. The skill in his strategv^the 
certainty of his combinations, the rapidity of his 
movements were never surpassed by him at any 
later or more experienced period of his life. Had 
his career ended here, his reputation as a soldier 
would have been secured and his name enrolled 
among the greatest and most successful captains 
of the world. s 

Briefly to recapitulate : ^He took command of 
an army, discontented, and impoverished, and re- 
vived their enthusiasm and courage./' He had two 
armies to meet the length of whpfee line covered 
a distance of sixty miles, he concentrated his 
troops and struck suddenly and with force the 
point where the two armies joined and after sev- 
eral decisive victories hurled them back upon 
their respective bases of supply. These bases 
being divergent and far distant from each other, 
the two armies were drawn further apart the 
closer they approached them ; in other words, the 
Sardinians retreated towards Turin and the Aus- 
trians towards Alessandria. When the allied 
armies were thus separated so as not to be able to 
assist each other, Bonaparte left a force sufficient 
to hold the Austrians in check and then turned 
to give his attention alone to the Sardinians. 
He followed them so rapidly, so persistently, so 
relentlessly, that he finally forced them to lay 



i down their arms and renounce their alliance with 

[ the Austrians. 

One army having been destroyed, Bonaparte 
united his forces and again assumed the offensive. 
By a clever piece of strategy, he crossed the Po, 
invaded Lombardy and inflicted at Lodi a crush- 
ing blow on the Austrians who, having abandoned 
the defence of Milan, gave an opportunity to 
Bonaparte to enter that city in triumph without 
firing a gun. Having rested his army for a week, 
he again took the field, crossed the Mincio and 
laid siege to Mantua, one of the fortified ap- 
proaches to Austria. Four armies, as we have 
heretofore seen, were sent against him, which he 
defeated in order, one after the other. Mantua 
having fallen and the road now being open 
to Vienna, he proceeded towards that city, 
when he was intercepted by an Austrian army 
of 50,000 men under the command of Arch- 
duke Charles, whom he quickly defeated and com- 
pelled to sue for peace at a town called Leoben 
about ninety miles from Vienna. The world 
stood in amazement and marveled at the signal 
power and genius of so consummate a captain. 
Not only had Bonaparte shown his ability as 
a soldier, but also as a politician, diplomat, and 
statesman. He modeled and constituted the 
Cisalpine and Ligurian republics, erected and 
organized the kingdom of Lombardy, inaugurated 
a system of public improvements, introduced ad- 
ministrative reforms in all the departments of 
government, fostered a spirit of religious toler- 
ance, created a sentiment of patriotism and a 



desire for progress and enlightenment. Although 
he spread liberty throughout Northern and Cen- 
tral Italy, his ceding to Austria of Venice, that, 
as a republic, had enjoyed her independence for 
a thousand years, awakened profound indignationA 
The provisional government of Venice earnestly 
remonstrated against the transfer, but Bonaparte 
declared that the necessities of the case compelled 
the abandonment of the ancient republic, that 
France no longer could be expected to shed her 
best blood in merely a moral or sentimental cause. 
A converted Venetian Jew, who had assumed 
the name of Dandolo and who was a man of 
great wealth and influence in his community, was 
sent for by Bonaparte and urged to persuade his 
fellow-citizens to submit with resignation to the 
conditions. But the Venetians, unwilling to have 
the heavy hand of Austria laid upon them, sent 
secretly three envoys, among whom was Dandolo, 
with deep purses of gold to bribe the Directors in 
Paris to reject the Treaty of Campo Formio. No 
doubt the envoys would have been successful with 
the corrupt home government had Bonaparte not 
captured them. When he heard of their depar- 
ture, he sent Duroc in hot haste to overtake them 
and they were caught before they crossed the 
Maritime Alps. When brought before Bonaparte 
at Milan, he upbraided them for their conduct, 
declaring that if they had succeeded in securing 
the rejection of the Treaty it would have frus- 
trated all his plans and humiliated him in the face 
of all Europe; but they maintained a dignified 
silence under all his reproaches until Dandolo, 



appealing to his generosity, moved his heart to 
compassion. The patriotic envoys were dis- 
missed, but Venice fell, 

der that marred the phenomenal career of Bona- 
parte in Italy. 

In his first proclamation he declared that he 
came to free the country and yet his final act was 
to abandon a sister republic to the oppression of 
a foreign despot. The sigh of the dying republic, 
however, was not heard amidst the jubilant accla- 
mations of the French people nor did the sur- 
render, at the time, dim the glory of the young 
general who now turned his face homewards 




When Bonaparte after his Italian campaign 
returned to Paris in November, 1797, he received 
a great ovation, a triumphant reception. The 
Directory, to show him honor, changed the name 
of the street on which he lived from rue Chan- 
tereine to rue de la Victoire and made him a 
member of the Institute. He had won a score 
of pitched battles and forty-seven smaller engage- 
ments, had captured 170 colors, 1,500 cannon 
and 150,000 prisoners. Besides this he had en- 
riched his capital with incomparable masterpieces 
of art taken from the churches, galleries, and 
museums of conquered cities. No Caesar ever 
brought to Rome richer booty than Bonaparte 
brought to Paris or was entitled to a greater tri- 

Lwho was this boy who, disregarding the scien- 
c tactical rules of warfare, had overthrown 
the armies of renowned and grizzled veteran gen- 
erals and startled all Europe with the originality 
of his tactics ? j "What meant this splendid ig- 
noramus," says Victor Hugo, " who, having 
everything against him, nothing for him, without 
provisions, ammunition, guns, shoes, almost with- 
out an army, with a handful of men against 



masses, dashed at allied Europe and absurdly 
gained impossible victories ? " 

A new force had arisen in the politics of the 
old world, and like a comet it now flamed across 
the horizon, blinding in its brightness, illuminat- 
ing, dazzling, scorching, burning. It was yet in 
its early phase, but holding its course steadily. 

Bonaparte, at this time, was but twenty-eight 
years of age. He had clean-cut classic features, 
just the face in profile for a medallion. His hair 
was long and hung loosely over his ears or else 
was plaited at the sides and tied behind in a 
queue or what was called a cadogan. His fea- 
tures were bronzed by exposure to wind and sun. 
His uniform was plain, not adorned with medals 
and resplendent with gold lace, as were the 
uniforms of many of his generals; around his 
waist was wrapped a silk sash about which was 
clasped his sword belt. He wore top boots and a 
cocked hat, on the side of which was fastened, at 
least at the beginning of the campaign, for his 
soldiers were loyal Jacobins, the tri-color cockade 
of the Republic. " This child and champion of 
democracy/' as Pitt delighted to call him, led an 
army whose soldiers were inspired by a spirit of 
patriotism the greatest incentive to victory. 
This was a new sentiment created in the hearts 
of the common soldiers by the Revolution, and 
no one knew better how to appeal to it than Bona- 

This was the man who, at an age when many 
have not even chosen their vocations in life, re- 
turned to France as the first captain of his time. 



This upstart of a Corsican did not lose his head ; 
he held his poise, he knew how fickle the Parisians 
were; that, like children, when they grew tired 
of a toy they threw it aside. So, fearing he 
might grow stale, he took off his military uniform, 
donned the dress of a member of the Institute 
and retired to the seclusion of his home, where 
he enjoyed the companionship of Josephine and 
cultivated the society of scholars, scientists, and 
authors. Even when he attended the theatre he 
avoided all public demonstrations and sat in the 
darkest corner of his box out of the eye of the 
audience. Such retirement and modesty so ap- 
parent only increased his fame and more closely 
endeared him to the people. 

The Directory, shortly after his return, gave 
him a magnificent public reception at the Luxem- 
bourg. On this occasion he appeared carrying a 
scroll containing the Treaty of Campo Formio, 
which in a characteristic speech he presented to 
the government. During this impressive cere- 
mony there stood back of him, in order to make 
the scene more dramatic, a beautiful tri-color flag, 
the standard of the Republic, bearing upon its 
folds in gilt letters the list of his victories. The 
Directors \vere most effusive in their greetings, 
under which they concealed their fears. " Go 
there," said Barras pointing towards England, 
" and capture the giant corsair that infests the 
seas." Their anxiety to find employment for him 
abroad only revealed the dread they felt at his 
presence in the capital. 

The wild enthusiasm of the spectators did not 

Copyright, 1910, by George IV. Jac 


M-orn an original drawing by Dubrez 


turn the young general's head. He took his hon- 
ors meekly and bided his time. He was the idol 
of both soldiers and civilians, but he knew that 
enthusiasm could easily wear itself out when de- 
voted too long to the same object and his seeming 
desire to avoid a demonstration only made the 
people more anxious to give it. He was a good 
judge of human nature and the game he was 
playing was a deep one, requiring both skill and 
wisdom. The politicians tried hard to fathom his 
purpose and they watched him at the turn of 
every card. He was too famous and too popular 
to be safe and they dreaded his rivalry. 

What was Bonaparte to do? Europe was in 
repose, there was no present opportunity for the 
young soldier to win fresh laurels on the field 
of battle. " The cankers of a calm world and a 
long peace " gave his ambition no scope, no 
chance. His appetite had only been whetted by 
his past successes and he yearned for more fields 
to conquer. " The people of Paris do not remem- 
ber anything," he said to Bourrienne. " Were I 
to remain here long doing nothing, I should be 
lost. In this great Babylon everything wears out, 
my glory has already disappeared." At another 
time he exclaimed : " I must get away. Paris 
weighs on me like a leaden mantle." 

There was no political opening, at present, and 
he did not want to lose public favor or waste it 
by bidding for popular support when there was 
nothing to gain by it. His age precluded him 
from membership in the Directory, for one was 
not eligible to that body until he was forty. 



Bonaparte cast his eyes longingly in that direc- 
tion, but, to use his own words " That pear was 
not yet ripe." 

The members of the Directory were anxious 
to find some military employment for the young 
general that would take him out of Paris, or bet- 
ter still out of France, so that when he suggested 
the practicability of an invasion of England they 
gladly gave him every encouragement. With a 
small staff he inspected the forts and defences on 
the French coast facing the British channel as far 
north as Dunkirk. The result of the inspection 
was that he believed the invasion was not feasible, 
so long as England maintained her command of 
the sea. 

In his report to the government, February 23, 
1798, he wrote: " Whatever efforts we make, we 
shall not for some years gain the naval suprem- 
acy. To invade England without that supremacy 
is the most daring and difficult task ever under- 
taken." He concludes: "If we cannot invade 
England, we can at least undertake an eastern 
expedition which would menace her trade with 
the Indies." 

Being convinced that the invasion and conquest 
of England were next to impossible so long as 
she was mistress of the seas, Bonaparte turned 
his gaze longingly to the Orient. 

" I must have more glory," he said to Bour- 
rienne. " This little Europe does not supply 
enough of it for me. I must seek it in the East ; 
all great fame comes from that quarter." Gigan- 
tic projects were seething in his brain, schemes 



of mighty conquest that would lead to glory far 
beyond the dreams of men. 

The Directory gladly listened to his proposi- 
tions, more than anxious to get rid of so formid- 
able a rival, and at once equipped a large fleet and 
placed under his orders a fine army of 35,000 
men. The invasion of Egypt was considered as 
a flank movement on England. The real pur- 
pose of the expedition was the exclusion of Great 
Britain from all her possessions in the East. It 
was in contemplation to cut the isthmus of Suez 
and to secure the exclusive control of the Red 
Sea to the French Republic. Then, after con- 
quering the East, to overthrow the Turks, seize 
Constantinople, and " take Europe in the rear/' 
A grander and more comprehensive scheme of 
conquest than even Alexander ever contemplated ! 

Great inducements were offered the savants to 
join the expedition and a number volunteered to 
go along, among whom were Monge, Geoffrey 
Saint Hilaire, Berthollet and Fourier, scholars of 
the highest distinction. Science was to open the 
East which, up to that time, had been a closed 
book, to explore its treasures and to study its 
mysticism. In some quarters the enlistment of 
these learned men on such a scheme of conquest 
was greatly ridiculed, but in the end they were 
found to be a very valuable adjunct to the expe- 

Before sailing, Bonaparte carefully selected a 
library consisting of one hundred and twenty-five 
volumes of historical works, among which were 
translations of Thucydides, Plutarch, Tacitus and 



Livy, and books that threw light on the times and 
lives of Turenne, Conde, Luxembourg, Marlbor- 
ough and other famous military commanders. Po- 
etical works also constituted a considerable part of 
the collection. Homer, Virgil, Ariosto, Tasso, and 
the French dramatists were found in the library, 
but the poet who seems to have appealed most to 
the youthful soldier was the so-called Ossian, 
whose turgid and declamatory style is often re- 
flected in the writings of Bonaparte, especially in 
the famous addresses he made from time to time 
to his soldiers. He carried along forty English 
novels, " Cook's Voyages," the Bible, the Koran, 
the Vedas, a book of ancient mythology, and 
Montesquieu's " Spirit of the Laws." 

At last the fleet was ready to set sail, but the 
winds continuing to blow from an unfavorable 
quarter delayed its departure. It was not until 
May, 1798, that the armada weighed anchor and 
sailed out of the port of Toulon bound, as some 
supposed, for the invasion of England. The fleet 
was under the command of Admiral Brueys, and 
consisted of thirteen ships of the line, fourteen 
frigates, seventy-two corvettes and nearly 400 
transports carrying the 35,000 troops. The prin- 
cipal army officers were Kleber, Desaix, Bon, 
Menou and Reynier, under whom served Mar- 
mont, Murat, Davoust, and Lannes. 

Bourrienne says : " During the whole voyage 
Napoleon passed the greatest part of his time be- 
low in the cabin, reclining upon a couch which 
by a ball and socket joint at each foot rendered 
the ship's pitching less perceptible and conse- 


quently relieved the sickness from which he was 
scarcely ever free." In fine weather he would 
occasionally stroll upon the quarter-deck. 

Nelson had sent a fleet into the Mediterranean 
to watch the movements of the French, but it 
kept in the offing and made no attempt to give 
battle, so that the French ships without hindrance 
sailed on their way and appeared before Malta 
on the loth of June. Russia had been looking 
with longing eyes on the island, hoping to make 
it a naval base of supplies in the Mediterranean, 
and had tried, though ineffectually, to make a 
treaty with its owners, the Knights of St. John, 
in order to acquire its possession. Bonaparte, 
fearing the presence of so formidable a rival as 
Russia so close to the shores of France, decided 
to seize the little island and annex it to the French 
Republic. This was the only excuse for its cap- 
ture. The Knights of St. John were the de- 
scendants of those warriors who had, as Christian 
crusaders, fought in Palestine to rescue the Holy 
Land from the hands of the infidels. This beau- 
tiful island, strongly fortified and surrounded by 
the Mediterranean, was looked upon as the out- 
post of Christendom against the Saracen, but the 
knights on guard were a sorry lot of sentinels. 
The order was in its decrepitude, weakened by 
indulgence and luxury; its courage was only a 
memory. It possessed, however, great wealth 
and treasure and Bonaparte easily found an excuse 
for opening hostilities. The fortifications of 
the island were all but impregnable and the 
knights, if they had possessed a modicum of the 
9 129 


courage of their ancestors, could easily have kept 
their assailants at bay. Divided, however, by in- 
ternal disputes, they soon surrendered one of the 
strongest fortresses in Europe without making 
even the show of a defence. After the French 
troops entered into possession, General Caffarelli, 
observing the strength of the fortifications, said 
to Bonaparte : " General, it was lucky there was 
some one in town to open the gates to us." 

Bonaparte, with his wonderful organizing abil- 
ity, set the government upon a new basis, gar- 
risoned the town with French troops, and then 
enriched by the vast treasure of the order sailed 
away to the East. All the gold and silver, 
whether coin, bullion or vessels, in the treasury 
of the order and in the Church of St. John, were 
ruthlessly appropriated and stored away in the 
flagship of the fleet, the Orient. Everything 
was taken but the massive silver doors of the 
church and they were missed only because they 
were painted or colored with some material that 
concealed their real value. 

Nothing further of any moment occurred while 
Bonaparte was on the way to his destination. 
He was fortunate in escaping the pursuit of Nel- 
son, for that old sea dog was following with all 
haste and once almost got upon his heels. The 
two fleets passed each other in the night. His- 
tory perhaps would have had another story to 
tell, and Napoleon's great career doubtless would 
have been out of it, had the French fleet, while 
at sea, been overtaken by the English. Never 
did Bonaparte's star of fortune shine with greater 



refulgence. On July 2, 1798, after a successful 
voyage, but one fraught with great suspense, he 
landed his troops at Marabout, near Alexandria, 
and, marching with all haste to that city, thus 
giving the inhabitants no time to strengthen their 
defences or to prepare for an assault, assailed and 
captured it with but slight loss. From a military 
point of view this unquestionably was a wise 
move. The soldiers were weary from inaction 
and a long sea voyage and the victory gave them 
incentive and aroused their enthusiasm, but from 
moral and political considerations it was a grave 
mistake; for he had violated the law of nations 
by entering upon neutral territory and, without 
excuse or reason, waging hostilities. He re- 
vealed to Europe the spirit of the marauder, the 
buccaneer, the freebooter. In fact, this whole 
eastern campaign was without excuse. The peace 
of the world was disturbed to gratify the inor- 
dinate ambition of a restless adventurer. 

Bonaparte knew how deep-seated were the 
bigotry and fanaticism of the Moslems, and he 
began, at once, to allay their suspicions by assur- 
ing them that their religion would not be dis- 
turbed. So well did he succeed in quieting their 
fears that in a short time the tri-color floated 
over the public buildings side by side with the 
crescent, while the mosques resounded with 
prayers for France as well as for Turkey. 

As a wise politician and statesman Bonaparte 
paid respect to all religions but really without 
having a sincere belief in any of them. Creeds 
to him were the toys of conscience. He could 



with the appearance of orthodox piety and devo- 
tion attend a service in a mosque or a synagogue 
and impress with his reverential air the surround- 
ing worshipers. He made peace with the Egyp- 
tians by promising that in his contemplated war- 
fare with the Mamelukes he would protect and 
defend the Moslem religion. Many stories have 
been told about his appearing in public in oriental 
costume, and about his having repaired to a 
mosque where, sitting cross-legged and swaying 
his body to and fro, he took part in the worship 
of Mahomet like a true Moslem. Although these 
stories, doubtless, were greatly exaggerated, there 
must have been something in his conduct that 
gave rise to them. Bourrienne admits that Bona- 
parte upon one occasion donned the turban and 
the loose trousers of the Turks, but simply for 
the amusement of his friends. " I never/' said 
Napoleon, " followed any of the tenets of the 
Mahometan religion. I never prayed in the 
mosques. I never abstained from wine, nor was 
circumcised, neither did I ever profess it. I said 
merely that we were the friends of the Mussul- 
mans and respected their Prophet, which they 
really believed, as the French soldiers never went 
to church and had no priest with them, for you 
must know that during the Revolution there was 
no religion whatever in the army." 

It was a standing joke among his soldiers that 
to gain the favor and the confidence of the Mos- 
lems he had told their chiefs and priests that he 
had destroyed the Association of the Knights of 
Malta because the Order of St. John had for its- 


purpose the waging of war against the followers 
of Mahomet. 

;*T his man who in after years could imprison 
tHe pope, angrily kick over a chair in his presence 
and force him to sign the Concordat, or who could 
insolently at his coronation seize the crown from 
the aged pontiff's hands and place it on his own 
brow, had not much regard for the church when 
it stood between him and his ambition; and to 
gain his point such a man would flatter, deceive 
or denounce either Christian or Moslem^ 

Shortly after his arrival he issued a proclama- 
tion in which he described the tyranny of the 
Mamelukes and promised to rid the land of these 
marauders. " Are we not true Mussulmans ? " 
the address read. " Have we not destroyed the 
power of the Pope whose declared purpose it is 
to overthrow the Moslem religion ? Thrice happy 
they who are on our side. Happy those who are 
neutral, for they shall have time to understand 
us and shall array themselves with us. But woe, 
thrice woe to those who shall take up arms for 
the Mamelukes. They shall perish." 

Menou and a number of his companions made 
open avowal of the faith of Islam and these 
conversions created a good impression among 
the Orientals who thought it possible, inasmuch 
as the French soldiers had no religion, no serv- 
ices, and no chaplains to proselyte the whole 

Placing Kleber in command of Alexandria, 
Bonaparte on July 4th, only two days after the 
capture of that city, marched with his troops 



across the desert into the interior on his way to 

The sky was cloudless, the sun pitiless, the land- 
scape shadeless. The sand, into which the feet 
of the men sank at every step, was burning hot, 
the atmosphere was like the breath of an oven; 
even the shades of night brought but little if any 
relief, the soldiers were stung by pestiferous in- 
sects and scorpions and consumed by an intoler- 
able thirst, for water was scarce and the little 
that was found in the wells had been polluted by 
the Arabs. The supply of food gave out, for 
it was impossible to keep it fresh in so hot a 
climate. To add to all these miseries, crowds 
of half-naked felaheen assailed the marchers by 
firing from behind the low sand hills, while 
ferocious Bedouins hung on the flanks and rear, 
cutting off the stragglers. Men grew mutinous, 
even officers of high rank, tormented almost be- 
yond endurance dashed their hats to the ground 
in a rage and cursed the day that had brought 
them to this burning hell. " Are we here," sneer- 
ingly asked the common soldiers, " to get the 
seven acres of land promised to us by Bonaparte 
when we were in Lombardy ? " 

When General Caffarelli, a most popular officer 
who had lost a leg in the Rhenish campaign, rode 
down the lines endeavoring to cheer the drooping 
spirits of the troops, a witty soldier in the ranks 
cried out amidst the laughter of his comrades: 
"Ah! he does not care, not he! he has one leg 
in France." 

Through all these trying days Bonaparte pre- 


served his usual composure and suffered with the 
rest without complaint. 

"Well! General!" said one of the soldiers 
addressing Bonaparte, " is this the way you take 
us to India?" 

" No/' was the quick retort, " I would not 
undertake so glorious an enterprise with such 
warriors as you." 

The soldier's honor was stung to the quick and, 
touching his hat, without saying another word, 
he turned aside, mortified and humiliated. 

At last the river Nile was reached, where after 
having quenched their thirst the troops renewed 
their courage and for a time ceased their mur- 
murs. While on their march to Cairo and when 
at Chebreiss, but a short distance from that city, 
they met a troop of Mamelukes, 800 in number, 
which they scattered to the four winds. They 
then pushed their way along the banks of the Nile 
to a small town called Embebeh, opposite Cairo. 
Here the Mamelukes were strongly fortified but 
their army consisted almost solely of cavalry, 
having neither infantry nor artillery worth men- 

Egypt belonged nominally to Turkey, but really 
it was under the rule of the Mamelukes, a mili- 
tary caste that, it is said, found its origin in the 
bodyguard of the famous Saladin. They were 
broken into factions and made constant forays 
which kept the country in a state of fear, sus- 
pense and tumult. They even defied the power 
of the Porte. 

They were superb horsemen, born to the sad- 


die, and the bits in the mouths of their steeds 
were so powerful that the most fiery animals 
were easily checked at full speed. Their stirrups 
were short, which gave them great command in 
the use of the sabre, while the pommel and the 
back part of the saddle were very high, thus pro- 
viding the rider a comfortable seat and enabling 
him while on a journey to sleep without falling. 
They inhabited a burning desert and lived with 
their wives and children in flying camps, seldom 
remaining more than two nights in any one place. 
They looked with contempt upon the French foot- 
soldiers and confidently made preparations to 
sweep them from the plains. 

The battlefield was most spectacular. The 
waters of the mysterious Nile flowed by in sight 
of both armies, the minarets of Cairo in the dis- 
tance glistened in the sun above the walls of the 
city, while the Pyramids to the south, with their 
forty centuries, calmly looked down on the com- 

The French opened the battle by attacking 
the fortifications, which they easily captured. 
The soldiers not engaged in this assault were 
formed in solid squares with the savants, the 
asses, and the baggage in the centre. Suddenly 
from behind the sand dunes came a body of ten 
thousand horsemen. The earth shook beneath 
the tread of these mighty squadrons. The horses, 
the finest of their breed full-blooded Arabians, 
beautifully caparisoned, and the riders in pictur- 
esque costumes, with plumes waving and scimitars 
flashing in the sunlight, presented a magnificent 


spectacle as they dashed against the solid pha- 
lanxes of the French infantry; but it was like 
the sea beating against a rock-bound coast. The 
Mamelukes fought with the desperate courage of 
fatalists, all the while crying : " There is but one 
God and Mahomet is his prophet ; " but when they 
got within musket range of the French they were 
mowed down in swaths. 

Failing to force their horses through the 
squares they would wheel them around and try 
to make an opening by kicking. In despair and 
frantic with rage they threw at the heads of the 
French their pistols, carbines and poniards while 
the wounded crawled along the ground and 
slashed at the legs of the soldiery with their 
curved swords. The dead and dying lay in 
heaps, hundreds of riderless horses were gallop- 
ing in every direction over the plain, the intelli- 
gent beasts neighing and looking for their mas- 

The beys who commanded the Mamelukes, 
crestfallen and dismayed by their unexpected de- 
feat, gathered their shattered and scattered forces 
and hurriedly left the field. 

Such was the famous battle of the Pyramids, 
a battle in which superb courage was shown by 
the Mamelukes against the order and discipline 
of trained soldiers; but it was not war, it was 
mere slaughter. The veterans, fresh from the 
hotly contested fields of Italy, found it child's 
play. In truth, the open battles in this campaign 
in Egypt were so easily won that a victory did 
not seem to be a triumph. 


The losses of the French in this engagement 
were not more than thirty killed and about one 
hundred and fifty wounded, while the Mamelukes 
lost several thousand, many hundreds being 
drowned. The day after the battle the French 
soldiers fished the Nile with bent bayonets for 
dead Mamelukes to strip them of the jewels and 
treasure which it was their custom to carry con- 
cealed about their persons. It is said that each 
body was worth about 10,000 francs to the for- 
tunate finder. 

The battle not only struck terror into the inhab- 
itants of both Asia and Africa, but also created 
great wonder and admiration. The news was 
carried into the interior by caravans and many 
of the people at heart really rejoiced at the defeat 
of the Mameluke cavalry that so long had tyran- 
nized over the country. The flaming squares 
which had destroyed the charging squadrons so 
impressed the imagination of the Orientals that 
they called Bonaparte Sultan Kebir, Sultan of 



While Bonaparte was at Cairo he received news 
of the destruction of his ships in the so-called 
battle of the Nile. It came like a bolt from a 
clear sky. 

Nelson, in his pursuit of the French fleet, had 
for weeks scoured the seas and at last came upon 
it suddenly in Abouker Bay, lying at anchor close 
under a lee shore. The ships were stretched out 
in a line forming a semicircle, one end of which 
was protected by land batteries, under ordinary 
conditions rather a safe bunk. But, after recon- 
noitring, Nelson decided quickly upon a plan of 
battle and although the night was falling orders 
were given to prepare at once for action. Five 
British ships were rammed between the French 
fleet and the shallows, while the other British 
ships engaged the enemy in front on the seaward 
side. The French vessels, thus placed between 
two fires, were swept fore and aft, their decks 
becoming literally pools of blood. During all the 
night, for the battle raged continuously for fifteen 
hours, the carnage was dreadful, and when the 
morning dawned the sun looked down upon a 
scene that beggared description ; it was a ghastly 
sight, death, wreckage, and destruction every- 



where. Two French ships of the line and two 
frigates were the only vessels that escaped. The 
rest of the fleet was burnt, sunk, or captured. 
The Orient had been sent to the bottom by 
an explosion, carrying with it all the spoils and 
treasure that had been taken from the Order of 
St. John at Malta. Admiral Brueys, in command 
of the French, bravely met a sailor's death, going 
down with his flag ship as it sank. 

This famous battle settled the question as to 
naval supremacy. There was a grave contro- 
versy over the point as to who was responsible 
for the disaster. Bonaparte placed the blame 
upon the shoulders of Brueys, but the poor ad- 
miral was under the waters and could make no 
answer. It was, in truth, more a question as to 
the superiority of naval commanders than any- 
thing else. The fight was won by the skill and 
courage of Nelson, and if he had been in com- 
mand of the French fleet the victory doubtless 
would have been with it, for Nelson was on the 
sea what Bonaparte was on land. 

Although much depressed by the news, Bona- 
parte soon recovered his wonted composure. 

All communication with Europe being severed, 
he turned his attention alone to Egypt. " Well ! " 
he exclaimed, " here we must remain or achieve 
a grandeur like that of the ancients." To be 
sure, Europe was cut off, but the way to India 
was yet open and he still conjured in his mind 
the idea of building an eastern empire even sur- 
passing in its greatness the wildest dreams of 
Alexander. The fact that he sent a letter to Tip- 


w, by George W. Jacobs & Co. 


From an original drawing in blue by an unknown artist 


poo Sahib, an Indian prince then at war with 
Great Britain, entreating him to hold out and 
promising him assistance, is a fair indication of 
his ultimate purpose. 

The great power of Bonaparte lay in adapting 
himself to conditions no matter how adverse, and 
never did he display more resolution and forti- 
tude of soul than in this distressing period, a 
period with its difficulties that would have broken 
the spirit of any man with less courage. By his 
example he inspired confidence in the weak and 
revived the spirits of the strong. 

When the soldiers realized how far they were 
from home, now that the French fleet was de- 
stroyed, their murmurs greatly increased. Even 
some of the highest officers complained of their 
lot; among the latter was General Alexander 
Dumas, commander of the horse. Dumas was a 
tall, powerful mulatto, whose complaints were 
loud and deep, whose despondency had become 
contagious and whose example had created a 
spirit of discontent among the troops. " Take 
care," said Bonaparte, addressing the burly negro, 
" that your seditious utterances do not compel 
me to perform my duty: your six feet of stature 
shall not save you from being shot." 

To quiet the discontent Bonaparte offered pass- 
ports to those who were anxious to return to 
France. He was very careful, however, to see 
that those whom he desired to retain did not go. 

He strove to divert the thoughts of his men 
from the great disaster, and on the seventh anni- 
versary of the founding of the Republic, the first 



of Vendemiaire, issued a stirring address, among 
other things saying: "Five years ago the inde- 
pendence of the French people was threatened, 
but you took Toulon. A year afterwards you 
defeated the Austrians at Dego. The following 
year you were on the summits of the Alps. Two 
years ago you were engaged against Mantua, and 
you gained the famous victory of St. George. 
Last year you were at the sources of the Drave 
and the Isongo. Who would then have said that 
you would be to-day on the banks of the Nile 
in the centre of the old world? From the Eng- 
lishman, celebrated in the arts and commerce, to 
the hideous and ferocious Bedouin, all nations 
have their eyes fixed upon you. Soldiers, yours 
is a glorious destiny because you are worthy of 
what you have done, and of the opinion that is 
entertained of you. You will die with honor 
like the brave men whose names are inscribed 
on this pyramid, or you will return to your coun- 
try covered with laurels and with the admiration 
of all nations. On this day forty millions of 
people are celebrating the era of representative 
governments, forty millions of citizens are think- 
ing of you. All of them are saying, ' To their 
labors, to their blood we are indebted for the 
general peace, for repose, for the prosperity of 
commerce, and for the blessings of civil liberty ! ' 

In commemoration of this great festival of the 
Republic, and in order to pay tribute to the valor 
of the dead and to stimulate the courage of the 
living, he had cut on Pompey's pillar the names 
of the first forty soldiers slain in Egypt. " These 



forty names of men sprung from the villages of 
France,'* observes Thiers, " were thus associated 
with the immortality of Pompey and Alexander." 

Upper Egypt showing signs of mutiny, Desaix 
had been sent forth with a body of troops to 
restore order and obedience and he accomplished 
his mission. The country was laid bare as if 
swept by a tornado. " When they make a soli- 
tude they call it peace," was the incisive language 
of Tacitus in referring to the conquests of the 
Romans, which in this instance may truthfully 
be applied to the French. ' To plunder, to slay, 
to harry they miscall empire." 

Accepting his fate and acting as if the East 
were to be the only theatre of his future opera- 
tions, Bonaparte began, at once, to reorganize the 
government. He set up printing presses and pub- 
lished a newspaper, erected foundries and fac- 
tories, planned the construction of canals and 
dams for the purposes of transportation and irri- 
gation, laid out vineyards and extended and im- 
proved the cultivation of corn and rice, built wind- 
mills for the grinding of grain and great ovens 
for the baking of bread. He established a brew- 
ery and manufactured a native beer, which to the 
soldiers in that torrid, sun-beaten land was a most 
refreshing beverage. To provide for the pleas- 
ure and amusement of the officers and men there 
was opened a public resort called the Tivoli Gar- 
dens which in its features resembled the Palais 

The engineers drew plans and began a series of 
surveys; the savants took astronomical observa- 


tions and made celestial discoveries, explored the 
country and studied it archseologically, geologic- 
ally and geographically, established a laboratory 
and organized at the suggestion of Bonaparte 
himself a learned society called the Institute of 

It was about this time that a French officer of 
engineers, M. Boussard, while digging the foun- 
dations of Fort St. Julien near the Rosetta mouth 
of the Nile, found a stone tablet about three feet, 
seven inches long by two feet, six inches wide, 
containing inscriptions in three different charac- 
ters, the Greek, the mystic or hieroglyphic of the 
Egyptians, and the demotic or the writing of the 
common people. This so-called Rosetta stone 
was an invaluable discovery and threw a flood of 
light upon the history of ancient Egypt. It be- 
came the key that enabled oriental scholars to 
interpret the inscriptions on tombs, monuments 
and obelisks that without this aid would have been 

Among other things Bonaparte formed and 
organized a fleet-footed camel corps for the pur- 
pose of making forays across the desert and 
attacking the distant tribes of marauding Bedou- 
ins, camels being able to endure much better than 
horses the hardships of such campaigns. Drom- 
edaries of the finest strains were selected for this 

Never did the genius of this remarkable man 
have a broader or more fertile field for its activity, 
and never did its versatility shine with greater 



Amidst his arduous labors news was brought 
to him of Josephine's infidelity. Captain Hip- 
polite Charles was living with her in Paris in open 
adultery. Her conduct had become a public 
scandal and Junot, the faithful friend of Bona- 
parte, thought it advisable to be the bearer of 
bad tidings and informed him of the condition 
of affairs. Bonaparte was thrown into despair, 
but he soon rallied, and emerging from his de- 
spondency plunged into libertine excesses to such 
an extent that he scandalized the army. Up to 
this period in his life, taking into consideration 
the low moral tone of the times and his tempta- 
tions, Bonaparte had been fairly chaste in his con- 
duct, but now he broke away from all restraint, 
and became openly licentious. In the afternoons 
frequently he could be seen riding through the 
streets of Cairo with his mistress, Madame 

The French, lulled into security by the appar- 
ent acquiescence of the Egyptians in their rule, 
were taken quite by surprise when the natives 
revolted in Cairo. Preparations for an outbreak 
had been going on for some time. The priests 
had been quietly appealing to the fears, supersti- 
tion, and religious prejudices of the people until 
they had been wrought up to an uncontrollable 
fury. Just before the uprising, the muezzins, 
calling from the minarets at the hour of prayer, 
urged the faithful to arms. 

On October 2ist, the French garrison was sud- 
denly and fiercely assailed and for a time was 
in grave danger; but courage, discipline, and 
10 145 


artillery soon quelled the tumult. With no half- 
hearted measures, Bonaparte dealt summarily with 
the insurgents. They were shot and beheaded 
without mercy. Donkeys laden with sacks were 
driven to the public square and when the sacks 
were untied ghastly heads rolled out upon the 
pavement and were piled up in heaps. This 
warning struck the natives dumb with terror and 
insurrection in Egypt ceased. 

The battle of the Nile resulted in effecting a 
coalition between Great Britain and Turkey and 
at once the Porte declared war against France. 
English, Turks, Mamelukes, and Arabs united 
their forces to expel the invaders. 

Achmet, Pacha of Acre, surnamed Djezzar, 
the Butcher, was raising an army in Syria, and 
without delay Napoleon marched against him, 
hoping to overthrow him before he could form a 
combination with his allies. Town after town 
fell into the possesion of the French until Jaffa, 
the ancient Joppa, was reached; here the French 
messenger, who was sent into the town under a 
flag of truce to demand its surrender, was killed. 
The fury of the French soldiers because of this 
cruel assassination was beyond control and when 
they stormed the walls and fortifications of the 
town they butchered the inhabitants, men, women, 
and children, without discrimination. For days 
the massacre continued, when Bonaparte, sick at 
heart, sent a messenger with orders to stop the 
slaughter. Two thousand prisoners that had 
escaped the sword were brought to his tent and 
as he saw them approaching, he impatiently ex- 



claimed : " Why do they bring them here ? What 
do they suppose I can do with them ? " 

When his order was given to stop the mas- 
sacre he intended it to apply to women and chil- 
dren, that was only to non-combatants and not to 
those who were in arms. Under the usages of 
war it was claimed the prisoners who were taken 
in actual battle could be shot down in cold blood, 
if necessity required. A council of officers being 
held, it was decided that as there was no fleet to 
carry the captives away and no means with which 
to provide them with food, they should be shot, 
and the poor wretches, whose only crime was that 
they had stood in defence of their homes, were 
taken to the beach and slaughtered. Bonaparte 
very reluctantly gave his consent to this hideous 
butchery and yielded only after the troops evinced 
signs of mutiny. Many historians have de- 
nounced this massacre as the blackest in the an- 
nals of civilized warfare. The apologists for this 
inhumanity, however, and there are many of 
them, contend that the safety of the army re- 
quired this method, that the invaders could not 
take the prisoners along with them on the march, 
and could not release them on parole, for no 
dependence could be placed upon their promises. 
The question has two sides, however, and we will 
leave it for settlement to the casuists. 

The army of invasion, having wiped out the 
male population of Jaffa, now took up their march 
and laid siege to Acre. This town was more 
strongly fortified than Jaffa and besides the Eng- 
lish were there under the command of Sir Sidney 



Smith to help in its defence. The massacre of 
Jaffa had taught the natives that they might ex- 
pect no quarter at the hands of the French ; made 
desperate by fear, the defenders were determined 
to die rather than surrender. Deeds of valor 
were performed on both sides. Lannes, in lead- 
ing the assaults, displayed a personal bravery that 
was incomparable. The French time and again 
scaled or breached the walls and penetrated to 
the centre of the town, once even reaching the 
palace of Djezzar, the Butcher, but every house 
was a fortress, and from every window and 
crevice blazed the fire of musketry, while the 
streets were swept by the English artillery manned 
by the blue coats. The women, frenzied with 
fear, urged their husbands and sons and brothers 
to the combat. Against such courage the French 
fought in vain. 

An incident, rather amusing than serious, 
occurred during the progress of the siege when 
Sir Sidney Smith challenged Bonaparte to a duel 
for some language the latter had used in the 
correspondence that passed between them. Bona- 
parte replied that if the English could produce a 
Marlborough he would consider the proposition. 

Kleber had been sent out with a small division 
detached from the besieging army to keep at bay 
a large body of Turks and Mamelukes who were 
marching to the relief of Acre. The armies met 
in battle on the plain at the foot of Mount Tabor. 
The Turks had a force of 15,000 foot and 12,000 
horse, while the French numbered only 3,000 



Bonaparte, hearing that his marshal was in 
danger, withdrew a portion of his troops from 
the siege to go to his rescue and as he approached 
Nazareth he saw Kleber's small army enveloped 
in a dense volume of smoke and dust through 
which, as they kept their assailants at bay, flashed 
the incessant fire of their musketry like lightning 
from a storm or thunder cloud. Surrounded by 
an innumerable host of foot soldiers and cavalry, 
the French were fighting desperately against over- 
whelming odds. Bonaparte, taking in the situa- 
tion at a glance, marched on in silence and so 
disposed his troops that in conjunction with the 
small army of Kleber he gradually enveloped the 
enerny, who, finding no way of escape, dashed 
wildly to and fro and were cut down by thousands. 
Murat, posted on the banks of the river Jordan, 
slaughtered the fugitives in great numbers. After 
the battle Kleber embraced Bonaparte, exclaim- 
ing : " O General, how great you are ! " Immense 
booty fell into the hands of the French, including 
the pacha's standard of three tails and four hun- 
dred camels. This defeat left no organized army 
of natives in the field. 

But Acre had not yet fallen, and so long as it 
held out it blocked Bonaparte's road to the East. 
Week after week went by, month after month, 
and still there were no signs of surrender and 4 
Bonaparte at last, after a loss of 5,000 men, was 
compelled to abandon the siege and take up his 
retreat, which began on the night of May 20, 

This was his first real repulse, up to this point 


his whole career had been wonderfully successful, 
virtually without a break in the line of victories; 
but now the charm of his invincibility was broken, 
and this to him was the most disastrous feature 
of the campaign, for it taught the soldiers that 
his star of destiny was not always in the ascend- 
ant. " That miserable hole," he exclaimed in 
disgust, " has thwarted my ambition." " J'ai 
manque ma fortune a Saint Jean d'Acre." No 
longer could he dream the dreams of Alexander, 
no longer could he look upon India as his booty 
and Constantinople as the capital of his new em- 
pire. In after years, even when in the zenith 
of his power, he referred reluctantly to his failure 
to force the surrender of this town. 

The retreat from Acre to Cairo was worse than 
the march from Alexandria to Cairo, if that were 
possible, for in addition to the terrible suffering 
from heat and thirst the army was attacked by 
plague and pestilence. 

To prevent Djezzar from harassing the retreat/ 
the French laid waste the country on all sides, 
every hamlet was fired, every harvested crop and 
every field of standing grain destroyed. Amidst 
such scenes and surroundings, the dispositions of 
the soldiers underwent a change, they grew indif- 
ferent and turned a deaf ear to the appeals of the 
sick and wounded. 

Miot gives a melancholy picture of the indif- 
ference and apparent heartlessness of the soldiers 
on the retreat in regard to the sufferings of those 
who \vere unable to keep up with the march. 
Fearful of falling into the hands of the Turks, 


a man who, forced by weakness and fatigue, bad 
lain down by the roadside would in desperation 
snatch up his gun and knapsack and take his place 
in the line. Too weak to walk steadily, he would 
stagger and stumble along like a drunken man, 
exciting the fear of some of his comrades and 
the ridicule of others. " His account is made 
up;" " He will not make a long march of it," 
were the comments heard on all sides, and when 
at last the poor fellow, unable to go further, 
would sink to the ground the observation would 
be made that " he had pitched his tent for eter- 

Bonaparte ordered all the able-bodied men to 
dismount and go on foot so that every horse, mule, 
and camel could be used in the transportation of 
the sick and wounded. Bonaparte's groom ad- 
dressing him asked : " What horse shall I reserve 
for you, General ? " " Out with you, you 
rascal ! " cried Bonaparte, at the same time strik- 
ing the man with his whip. " Did you not hear 
my order, every man on foot ? " 

When Jaffa was reached, all the hospitals were 
filled with the plague-stricken. Bonaparte vis- 
ited the sick and encouraged them with kind 
words. To inspire confidence and to allay fears 
he even touched the invalids to remove the impres- 
sion that the disease was contagious. He sug- 
gested the advisability of resorting to the use of 
opium to put the victims out of their misery and 
to prevent them from falling into the hands of 
the enemy, but the doctor in charge, Desgenettes 
by name, to whom he made the suggestion, re- 


torted that it was his duty to cure, not to kill. 
And yet there was nothing inhumane in the 
thought of Bonaparte, he was not a cruel man; 
he believed under the circumstances that in those 
instances where death was certain it would be 
merciful to put an end to the suffering of the 
victims rather than have them fall into the hands 
of a cruel enemy. 

Before leaving Jaffa, Bonaparte passed through 
the wards of the hospital and called out in a loud 
voice : " The Turks will be here in a few hours 
and whoever is strong enough to follow us, let 
him do so." 

The line of march was again taken up and after 
dreadful hardships Cairo was reached June 14, 
1799. Bonaparte had set a noble example by 
going the whole distance on foot. Shortly after 
his arrival he received information of the landing 
of Turkish troops at Aboukir. Hastily organ- 
izing his forces, he started forth to meet the 
enemy, taking along with him Lannes and Murat. 
On July 25th he came up to the Turks, who, hav- 
ing formed their line of battle, stood ready to 
receive him with their backs to the sea. Bona- 
parte, seeing the mistake of this formation, began 
the attack at once and when the battle was over 
the Turkish army was almost annihilated, their 
loss being twelve thousand men, thousands of 
riders and horses having been driven into the sea 
and drowned. Their commander, Mustapha, was 
captured by Murat, who in a personal encounter 
almost severed by a stroke of his sabre the Turk's 
hand from his wrist. When taken before Bona- 



parte the general said in the kindest tones : " I will 
take care to inform the sultan of the courage you 
displayed in this battle, though it has been your 
misfortune to lose it." " You may save your- 
self the trouble," was the prisoner's haughty an- 
swer ; " my master knows me far better than you 

Aboukir was the last battle fought by Bona- 
parte in the East. While at Alexandria he re- 
ceived a bundle of English newspapers and a copy 
of the Frankfort Gazette. He sat up in his tent 
all night reading them. They acquainted him 
with the condition of affairs at home. " The 
fools/' he cried, " have lost Italy. I must forth- 
with return to France," and he made arrange- 
ments to start at the earliest possible moment. 
A wind from the southeast, an unusual quarter 
for it to blow from in that locality, at that season 
of the year, seemed an invitation for him to re- 
turn to France and so he set sail August 22, 
1799, taking with him some chosen commanders 
and savants. He also carried along two faithful 
body servants, Roustan and Ibrahim, both Mame- 

His conduct in so suddenly abandoning the 
expedition was pronounced as treacherous by 
those who were left behind; the deserted officers 
and soldiers did not hesitate to stigmatize his act 
as a betrayal. 

After an uneventful voyage, fortunately escap- 
ing the British cruisers, and stopping for a few 
days at Ajaccio, his old home, he landed at Frejus 
on October 8, 1799. 



Thus ended his personal participation in the 
invasion of Egypt, a project that was conceived 
in iniquity and born in sin. It was arranged 
simply to furnish a field for the ambition of Bona- 
parte, and without patriotically considering the 
justice of such a plan, the Directory supplied an 
army and a fleet merely to get rid of an irritating 
and a formidable rival. The laws of nations and 
of humanity were violated, neutral states invaded 
and their rights ignored, dreadful losses and suf- 
fering inflicted upon an innocent people who had 
given no offence to France and against whom she 
had no casus belli. Towns were burned, har- 
vests were destroyed, the whole country was laid 
waste; men, women and children were butchered 
in cold blood ; all this to realize one man's dreams 
of conquest, glory, and ambition. And after this 
great loss of life and treasure the campaign ended 
in failure and disaster and had to be abandoned. 
Kleber made a valiant effort to retain Egypt, but 
both it and Malta were ultimately lost to France. 

Bonaparte in his letters and dispatches had 
dazzled the imagination of the French people by 
his tales of oriental conquest; he had exaggerated 
the victories, minimized the defeats, extolled the 
bravery of his troops and promised to the Repub- 
lic the annexation of an empire, so that when he 
landed on the shores of France his journey to the 
capital was a continued ovation. 




After the Treaty of Campo Formic and the 
departure of Bonaparte for Egypt, the Directory 
by bad management lost about all that had been 
gained in Italy, reversed the peace policy of 
Bonaparte, and withouj:__reaspn provoked the 

Rome and Naples both were occupied by 
French troops, and the inhabitants were urged 
by emissaries of the Directory to overthrow the 
existing governments and establish republics. 
Austria and Russia having formed an alliance 
with England at once took the field, and Suvaroff 
won several battles in northern Italy. Not only 
abroad was the Directory unfortunate, but it was 
equally so at home. The finances were in a 
wretched state; the paper money in circulation 
was worthless, and gold had entirely disappeared 
as a medium of exchange. France in 1798 was 
bankrupt. The administration was inefficient 
and corrupt. The armies were unpaid, and were 
again ill-supplied. It is stated that one company 
used one pipe and one bag of tobacco, and re- 
stricted the number of puffs each man was to 
take. The public roads and canals were out of 
repair, police protection was unprovided, and 



highwaymen held up and robbed the mail coaches 
within a few miles of Paris. 

In this contingency advice was sought of 
Abbe Sieyes, who at this time was occupying the 
post of ambassador at the court of Berlin. He 
had made a great reputation as a philosophical 
statesman in the early sessions of the States- 
General in the French Revolution, and was looked 
upon as one of the ablest politicians in that body, 
but his reputation seems to have gone far beyond 
his real merit. He was witty and learned, and 
in that congress of orators had the exceptional 
faculty of being sententious in expression. He 
looked wiser than he really was. When some 
one in the presence of Talleyrand remarked that 
Sieyes as a thinker was profound, the caustic 
politician and brother churchman replied : " Yes ! 
you are right, he is a cavity, a perfect cavity." 

The abbe, however, whatever else may be said 
of him, was a shrewd and clever man, and man- 
aged to avoid the pitfalls of the Revolution, and 
to escape the guillotine during the " Reign of 
Terror." Bonaparte disliked him, and according 
to Bourrienne declared that " when money is in 
question Sieyes is quite a matter-of-fact man. 
He sends his ideology to the right-about and be- 
comes easily manageable. He readily abandons 
his constitutional dreams for a good round sum, 
and that is very convenient." 

The old directors, keeping a weather eye open 
for squalls, had accumulated a sum of money 
amounting to 800,000 francs, which they put in 
a separate fund and laid by for a rainy day. 




Shortly after the establishment of the Consulate, 

Sieyes blandly proposed that the fund should be / 
divided among the three members, but Bonaparte / 
said to his two colleagues, " You may do with it / 
as you please, but I do not want nor shall I touch 
a sou of it." Bonaparte had no faith in the V 
abbe's integrity or loyalty and frequently referred / 
to him as " that priest sold to Berlin." 

The selection of a man of the calibre of Sieyes 
as a leader to meet a crisis such as was then 
menacing France shows what a dearth of real 
statesmanship there must have been in the Re- 
public at that time. 

Sieyes, however, did not hesitate to assume the 
Herculean task, and until supplanted by Bonaparte ^~" 
was the great protagonist in the drama. He 
undertook to institute methods of administrative 
reform, while General Joubert was to retrieve 
the misfortunes in Italy. The latter was forth- / 
with put in command of the army, but in his first / 
fight at Novi, on August 15, 1799, he was de- f 
feated and killed. This disaster left the frontiers 
uncovered from both Germany and Italy. An 
Anglo-Russian army in Holland and an Austro-^^/ 
Russian army in Italy threatened invasion. The 
future of the Republic looked dark, and the royal- 
ists made ready to aid in the restoration of the 
Bourbon regime. Just at this juncture, however, 
Massena won several brilliant victories in Switzer- 
land, which momentarily dispelled the gloom, re- 
vived the hopes of the people and saved France 
from immediate invasion. It was at this point 
of time that the frigate bearing Bonaparte cast 



anchor in the harbor of Frejus. The general's 
arrival was heralded throughout France as if it 
were a divine dispensation. He could not have 
stepped ashore at a moment more propitious. 
The planets were in auspicious conjunction, and 
again the star of this child of fortune was in the 

The harbor was soon crowded with innumer- 
able small craft of every character and description 
flocking around the little ship to give it welcome. 
The fleet of Bonaparte consisted of four vessels, 
and it was most remarkable as well as most for- 
tunate that it escaped capture while crossing the 
seas, for England's navy was on the lookout and 
Nelson's eye swept the horizon every minute of 
the day. Although the vessels had come from 
an oriental, plague-stricken port, the people, dis- 
regarding all quarantine regulations, crowded 
aboard and overran the decks. Bonaparte him- 
self did not wait for any inspection by the health 
officers, but landed at once and hastened to Paris 
by speedy relays. Couriers already had preceded 
him, carrying the glad news and spreading it on 
all sides, and every step of his way to the capital 
was an ovation. Bells were rung and at night 
villages and towns through which he passed were 
illuminated and people joyfully danced in the pub- 
lic streets. 

When Paris was at last reached he went at 
once to his home on the rue de la Victoire. 
Josephine, whose welcome above all else he would 
have appreciated was, as previously told, not there 
to meet him. For days he kept in seclusion and 



carefully studied the political and military condi- 
tion of affairs at home and abroad. 

The Directory feared his presence, and to get 
rid of him offered him his choice of armies, but 
he declined on the ground of ill health and that 
he needed rest after his excessive labors in the 
East and especially after his perilous sea voyage. 
He had, without first obtaining permission of the 
Directors, abandoned his army in Egypt and at 
the time of his landing in France had violated 
the quarantine regulations, so that he was both a 
deserter and a law-breaker. The question of 
arresting him for these offences was held for a 
time under advisement but was soon dropped, for 
such action would only have increased his already 
great popularity. 

Bonaparte had been absent from France a year 
and" five months all__but_a_few days, and during 
that time he took 'every care to see that thrilling 
and dramatic accounts were given throughjthe 
papers and otherwise of his brilliant victories and 
achievements in the East. The whole campaign 
was ujvered by a halo of romance. It was more 
like an oriental tale, an adventure of knight 
errantry than a simple military invasion. On 
the banks of the mysterious Nile his army had 
marched; in the shadow of the eternal pyramids 
it had camped; and under the eye of the inscru- 
table Sphinx it had fought. Bonaparte had been 
a Caesar on his return from Italy; he was an 
Alexander when he came back from the East. 
Is it any wonder that a people so sensation loving 
as the French saw looming up through this haze 



of glory the figure of the coming man and so 
welcomed him? 

During all this interval Bonaparte acted with 
great discretion. He had been time and again 
invited to review the troops, but he wisely de- 
clined. His reputation up to this time was that 
of a soldier, not an administrator of public affairs, 
and he saw that it would be most unwise to 
reveal even in the most remote way any desire 
to assume a military dictatorship. To rattle his 
spurs and sabre would simply startle the people. 
He emphatically announced that France must 
have peace. 

There was a popular demand for Bonaparte to 
take to the saddle, and retrieve the losses in Italy, 
but affairs were in so deplorable a state in France 
that he declared in addressing Marmont that be- 
fore victories are sought abroad the home govern- 
ment should be placed upon a solid and safe basis ; 
or, to use his own words : " When the house is 
crumbling is it the time to busy oneself with the 
garden ? " 

As we have already seen, the executive and 
legislative branches of the government, under the 
Constitution of 1795, consisted of a Directory 
merribefs and two chamberSjJjie 

Councilof^Ancients and the Council ofFive Hun- 
dred. _ In the last election the Jacobins had been 
successful in returning to the lower or popular 
chamber a majority of delegates. This revival 
of a revolutionary party was used as an argument 
to startle the Conservatives, it being claimed that 
it indicated a return to the violence of the " Reign 


From a painting by Gerard; engraved by Richomme 


of Terror " ; and although a vast majority of the 
people were anxious to avoid such a condition 
they were on the other hand bitterly opposed to 
a Bourbon restoration. The conservative parties 
could not agree upon any man as a leader. This 
gave the opportunity to Bonaparte for a coup 
d'etat; he had been so long out of the maelstrom 
of politics that he was not identified with any 
faction and this made it possible to form a com- 
bination that could unite upon him and seize the 
reins of government. Talleyrand, Cambaceres, 
Roger Ducos, Roederer, Cabanis, the old friend 
of the great Mirabeau, Murat, Lannes, Marmont 
and Macdonald were a few of the chief conspira- 
tors. Fouche, whose services were secured by 
Talleyrand, was a very important acquisition, be- 
cause of his influence with the police. 

The plan agreed upon was to win over to the 
project a majority of the members of the Council 
of Ancients. This was comparatively a very easy 
matter, and was quickly accomplished. At a 
meeting of their chamber they were to decree that 
the two legislative bodies should hold their ses- 
sions at St. Cloud, a suburb of the city, about five 
miles distant from the capital. This was to effect 
a withdrawal of the councils from Paris, where 
the Jacobins were in strength, and to avoid mob 
interference with the plot. Bonaparte was__toj)c 
placed in^jDCUHfRaiKt^oT'tlie troops in Park and. 
after the Directors had been induced__tQ_resign, a 
provisional Consulate was to be" created, consist- 
ing of Bonaparte, Sieyes~an'd~Rogef DucosT TRe 
pTanlnen waslb~wlil over the FiTT Hundred, or 
11 161 


if there were no other alternative to scatter them 
by force. After the passage of the decree by the 
Council of Ancients, placing Bonaparte in com- 
mand of the troops, it was understood that the 
responsibility would be upon him to effect success- 
fully the coup d'etat. 

The Directors at this time were Sieyes, Barras, 
Roger Ducos, Gohier and Moulins. Sieyes and 
Ducos were in the plot with the promise of being 
named in the Consulate, so their resignations were 
forthcoming on request. Barras was loath to 
quit office voluntarily, but after an interview with 
Talleyrand, who either threatened or bribed him, 
or perhaps both, he surrendered. It is said that 
Talleyrand in paying over the bribe kept a por- 
tion of it for himself. This is the last scene in 
which Barras figures prominently. At this very 
time he had in his possession a written agreement 
to aid in the restoration of the Bourbons, and 
had been paid his price. When Bonaparte heard 
of this he declared that if he had known it, he 
would have pinned the paper to the traitor's 
breast and had him shot. It would have been a 
punishment well deserved. 

The two other directors, Gohier and Moulins, 
were weak vessels and were shattered in the 
struggle. Josephine tried to seduce Gohier, and 
invited him to breakfast with her and Bonaparte, 
but he was prudent enough to remain away. To 
show how little he understood the real situation, 
he remarked, even after the Consuls were in- 
stalled, that they could not carry on the govern- 
ment because he had the seals of the Republic, 


altogether. Leaving the hall of the Ancients he 
proceeded, without taking time to cool, to the 
chamber where the Five Hundred were in ses- 
sion. The doorways and aisles were crowded, 
and he had to edge his way in. So soon as he 
was discovered struggling in the mass of people, 
the cry went up from every quarter of the hall : 
" Down with the tyrant ! outlaw him ! " The 
same cry, " hors la loi" had paralyzed the cour- 
age and the energy of Robespierre. Murat, see- 
ing the peril of the general, forced his way with 
a score of grenadiers to the side of Bonaparte 
and rescued him from the crowd. 

When Bonaparte came from the hall his face 
was scratched and bleeding, and his uniform was 
torn. One of the members had seized him by 
the throat and attempted to strangle him while a 
man named Arena had brandished a dagger in his 
face. Still nervous and trembling with excite- 
ment, Bonaparte exclaimed, " Why, the rascals 
would outlaw me." He knew full well the mean- 
ing of those terrible words, and they had brought 
the pallor to his cheeks. " Why do you not out- 
law them?" said Sieyes, seated comfortably in a 
coach to which six horses were harnessed, ready 
to fly in case the conspiracy should fail. This 
admonition revived the courage of Bonaparte, and 
he was again the soldier, the man of action, not 
of words. 

All the while the air rang with the ominous 
and dreadful cry : " Outlaw him," which, had it 
been heard in Paris, might have been his doom. 

It was again fortunate that brother Lucien was 


in the chair, for he refused to put the motion. 
Through all the excitement he kept cool, held the 
Council in check, and sent word to the conspira- 
tors to act at once. Surrounded by a bodyguard 
of grenadiers he was escorted into the courtyard, 
where he harangued the soldiers of the Council 
and declared to them that if his brother " should 
attempt to betray the Republic he would stab him 
with his own hands." 

Bonaparte was now in the saddle, and his call 
" to arms " only increased the impatience of the 
soldiers, who were eager to act. In the midst of 
the confusion some one ordered the drums to roll. 
Murat, Leclerc and the grenadiers appeared im- 
mediately at the door of the Council chamber 
and at once the delegates scampered for their 
lives, most of them jumping out of the windows. 
Fortunately the orangery was on the ground floor 
and no one was seriously hurt. 

In the evening a rump parliament was held at 
St. Cloud, composed of members of both Coun- 
cils, representing the victorious factions, and this 
body voted certain decrees to give the appearance 
of legality to the acts of the conspirators. The 
Directory was deposed and Bonaparte, Sieyes, 
and Ducos were named Consuls. The two legis- 
lative bodies then adjourned for four months. 
The coup was accomplished without bloodshed 
and fhis point distinctively marks besides the over- 
throw of the Directory the""end of the__so-called 
French Revolution. Tne prophecy of Edmund 
Burke, that far-seeing politician and statesman, 
was fulfilled: "The first great general/' he de- 



clared, " who draws the eyes of men upon him- 
self and inspires confidence, will be the master of 
the Republic." 

Many thought the Directory would be over- 
thrown, but few that the revolution would carry 
with it the destruction of the legislature. 

The Consuls met in the Luxembourg and at 
the first meeting Sieyes foolishly asked the ques- 
tion, " Who will preside ? " Ducos, pointing at 
Bonaparte, who had taken his seat at the head of 
the table, replied : " Do you not see the president 
is already in the chair?" In truth he had as of 
right assumed command. It was his revolution. 
Sieyes had been used by Napoleon only as an 
instrument in its accomplishment, and it did not 
take the wily abbe long to find that out. He was 
satisfied to lay down his power in consideration 
of the conveyance to him of a lovely estate at 
Crosne, to \vhich he retired to spend the re- 
mainder of his days in elegant leisure. 

Bonaparte soon became First Consul for life, 
got rid of both Sieyes and Ducos, and had Cam- 
baceres and Lebrun named as their successors. 

The Sections immediately after the coup began 
to show signs of insurrection, but Bonaparte sent 
word to Santerre, the leader of the mob, that if 
the district of St. Antoine made a movement he 
would have him shot. 

The government from the first was a success. 
Confidence was restored and every interest in 
the community felt that a master pilot was at the 




Bonaparte having patched and supported the 
crumbling house now turned his attention to the 
garden. On Christmas day, 1799, he wrote let- 
ters addressed personally to the king of England 
and the emperor of Austria (he had already dis- 
engaged the czar of Russia from the coalition) 
asking them to agree to an armistice in order if 
possible that a treaty of peace might be entered 
into. Austria no doubt would have accepted 
such a proposition, but England was engaged in 
a struggle to wrest Malta and Egypt from French 
possession, and would not release her ally from 
the coalition. So there was nothing to do but 
renew the fighting. 

In the spring of 1800 Massena in Italy with a 
small French force was covering Genoa, while a 
much superior body of Austrians under Melas 
had its centre between that city and Nice. In 
southern Germany General Kray with a large 
Austrian army of 150,000 men, having Ulm as 
its base of supplies, menaced the Rhine. Oppos- 
ing him was General Moreau with a French army 
about equal to the Austrians in numbers and with 
his headquarters at Basle in Switzerland. 

The original intention of Bonaparte was to 


join the army of Moreau, and supervise its move- 
ments. He was, however, as Consul prevented 
by law from assuming command. His plan of 
campaign was to march to Schaffhausen and 
threaten the Austrian lines of communication and 
thus throw the enemy at once upon the defensive. 
But Moreau strenuously opposed so bold a proj- 
ect, and above all he specially objected to divide 
his command with Bonaparte, knowing full well 
that the supreme command would soon be arro- 
gated by the First Consul. About this time Mas- 
sena was driven back by the Austrians, and took 
refuge in Genoa, where he made preparations to 
withstand a siege. On receipt of this news, Bo- 
naparte changed his plans and began with great 
ostentation to mobilize his troops at Dijon in 
France, close to the Swiss border. He personally 
visited the camp, and reviewed the small army 
already massed at that point, and a poor, ragged, 
inexperienced body of soldiers it was. The spies 
from England, Austria, and Russia sent reports 
to their governments that they had nothing to 
fear from an invasion by so insignificant a rabble. 
The army of Dijon became the laughing stock of 
Europe, but this was only a blind, for Bonaparte 
was quietly and expeditiously, for no man ever 
knew the value of time better than he, massing 
his real army of invasion at other points and put- 
ting forth stupendous efforts to equip it. The 
money chests of the Republic were empty, but 
Bonaparte had so inspired public confidence in 
the government that loans were made possible. 
As a Consul was not permitted by law to com- 


mand in person an army of the Republic, Bona- 
parte named Berthier commander-in-chief. Upon 
leaving Paris, May 6, 1800, he publicly announced 
that he would be absent from the capital only a 
fortnight and that in the meantime his diplomatic 
receptions would not be discontinued. 

Upon reaching Geneva he took command with- 
out ceremony, and at once the army entered four 
passes of the Alps, the principal one being that 
of St. Bernard. After a week of hard travel and 
climbing, from the I4th of May to the 2Oth, over 
snow-clad and precipitous mountains, an army 
of 60,000 men with horses and cannon debouched 
upon the plains of Italy. It was a wonderfully 
successful undertaking. Stivaroff had attempted 
it a short time before, but he lost half his force 
and his pathway was marked with wreckage and 

Bonaparte crossed on the back of a sure-footed 
mule that was led at the bridle by an Alpine 
peasant. On his way along, the guide told Bona- 
parte of his love affair and that he would be the 
happiest man in the world if he could only pur- 
chase a cottage, marry the girl of his heart, and 
settle down. It is said that the general, although 
his mind was burdened with a thousand cares and 
perplexities, was so impressed with the simple 
story of the lad that he gave him a purse with 
gold sufficient to gratify his wish. 

After a rest for a day or so, giving time to 
shoe the horses and to mount the cannon, which 
had been conveyed over the mountains in hollow 
logs, the army took up its march. Instead of 



The painter and the engraver of this portrait (R. Lefebre and 
A. Desnoyers) are two of the best known artists in the 
Napoleon and subsequent periods. Considered one of the 
best portraits of Napoleon ever made. 


going at once to the relief of Massena, who was 
now closely shut up in Genoa and suffering all 
the horrors of famine and disease, Bonaparte sent 
word to the doughty general to hold fast and then 
proceeded to Milan, which city he entered amidst 
public rejoicings, and was welcomed with every 
demonstration of joy. Here he indulged in a 
few days of festivities and then took the field in 
earnest. Word reached him, much to his sur- 
prise, that Massena had capitulated, and upon the 
receipt of this unwelcome information he once 
more changed his plan of campaign. The sur- 
render of Genoa released a considerable force 
under Massena that immediately joined the main 
army, likewise a great body of Austrians relieved 
from the siege augmented the army of Melas. 

Bonaparte, fearing that the Austrians would 
escape from the net he had woven around them, 
manoeuvred to bring on a speedy engagement and 
at Marengo, on June 14, 1800, the Austrians with 
greatly superior forces answered his challenge 
by suddenly making an attack upon the French 
centre in order to break through the line. The 
French detachments unfortunately were widely 
separated and could not relieve each other and 
after hours of desperate righting the Austrians 
pierced the French centre, which was under the 
immediate command of Victor, and gradually 
compelled it to give way. Lannes for a time 
steadied the column, but overwhelmed by superior 
forces the retreat soon became a rout. Bona- 
parte stood on the side of the road, swishing a 
riding whip, and calling upon the troops to halt, 



but by this time the flight had grown into a panic, 
and even the presence of the great commander 
could not stem the tide. Melas, believing the 
battle was won, hurried to his headquarters to 
send dispatches to Vienna of his victory, leaving 
General Zach in command. 

Desaix, early in the morning, hearing the boom- 
ing of the distant cannon, believed that both 
armies were engaged and at once hastened to the 
relief of Bonaparte. He came upon the field 
about four o'clock in the afternoon, just in the 
nick of time. Bonaparte at once began to rally 
his forces and made arrangements to renew the 
battle. At the sight of reinforcements the flee- 
ing soldiers halted and the fresh troops of 
Desaix renewed the conflict. Twelve pieces of 
cannon were massed and opened on the Austrians 
who were advancing en echelon along the road; 
the artillery cut their ranks to pieces, and a 
charge of French infantry on the front with 
fixed bayonets, while Kellermann at the head of 
his cavalry assailed the flank, sent them flying in 
every direction. 

The Austrians were without a commander. 
Zach had been taken prisoner, and Melas was 
absent in his tent, sending congratulatory dis- 
patches and letters. The whole battle line of the 
Austrians was shattered, their defeat was com- 
plete. Sixteen thousand were killed, the losses 
being about equal. The brave Desaix, whose 
timely arrival saved the day, was mortally 
wounded while leading the charge. It was truly 
snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. 


Bonaparte looked upon it as one of his greatest 
battles, and always referred to it with the great- 
est pride. The battle was lost until Desaix 
came upon the field with reinforcements, the 
French being in full flight Bonaparte was un- 
questionably taken by surprise, he was not well 
informed as to the enemy's numbers and location, 
his battle line was too extended and it was because 
of this that his weak centre, not within reach of 
support, was pierced and broken by Melas. If 
Desaix had not come in time, the defeat of the 
French would have been overwhelming. It was 
surely a lucky escape. 

It is not contended for a moment that the 
defeat of the French would have brought the 
campaign to an end ; it would only have prolonged 
it, for even if the Austrians had won a victory 
it would not have extricated them altogether from 
their peril. Bonaparte still would have held the 
key to the situation, and with his superior strate- 
gical position he doubtless would ultimately by 
a combination of his forces have overthrown his 
enemy. The Austrians were thoroughly demor- 
alized and Melas sued for peace, agreeing to give 
up Genoa and all the fortresses recently taken, 
and to abandon forthwith northern Italy. 

Bonaparte returned to Milan, reorganized the 
Cisalpine republic, and put himself in touch with 
the Vatican in anticipation of future treaty nego- 
tiations. Massena was placed in command of 
the army. Bonaparte returned to Paris in June, 
1800, having been away from the capital about 
six weeks. He was given a glorious welcome, 



at no time in all his career did he ever receive 
a more joyous or generous one. The city was 
illuminated and the Parisians, all classes, went 
wild with excitement. He afterwards declared 
there was no prouder moment in his life than 
when, seated on his white charger, bowing on all 
sides in answer to the rapturous applause of his 
people, he returned and was honored as the Con- 
queror of Marengo. 

Bonaparte was always fond of producing dra- 
matic effects and he had it so arranged that a 
battalion of the Consular Guard should reach 
Paris on the i4th of July, the national fete day 
held in commemoration of the fall of the bastile. 
These veterans direct from the field of Marengo, 
grim fellows under their tall bearskins, tanned 
with the sun of an Italian summer, covered with 
the dust of their march, bearing proudly aloft 
their tattered and bullet-rent battle flags, keeping 
in step with the roll of the drums, marched 
through the gates of the city, along the boulevards 
to the Champ de Mars, where the people in holi- 
day attire were celebrating the national festival 
of the Republic. Could anything have so aroused 
the patriotic enthusiasm of the people? Tables 
were spread for the soldiers, toasts were drunk 
and the air rang with cries of " Vive Bonaparte" 
" Vive le Consular Guard." 

Austria still kept alive the conflict, but without 
having much heart in it. In September Eng- 
land captured Malta, and on December 3, 1800, 
Moreau gained a decisive victory over Archduke 
John at the battle of Hohenlinden. 


News reached Paris that Kleber, commander 
of the French forces in Egypt, had been assassi- 
nated on June i/j-th, the day on which was fought 
the battle of Marengo. Menou succeeded him in 

The war between France on one side and Eng- 
land and Austria on the other still proceeded, 
but it was very evident that the last named coun- 
try was growing tired of a coalition that was kept 
alive only to enable England to continue its strife 
with France in the East. At last Austria broke 
away from her ally and concluded a treaty of 
peace at Luneville in Lorraine on February 9, 
1801. This left both nations, France and Aus- 
tria, about as they were at the signing of the 
Treaty of Campo Formio. 

England, after a vigorous campaign, having suc- 
ceeded in driving the French out of Egypt, now 
evinced signs of willingness to enter upon peace 
negotiations. The bone of contention between 
the two powers was Malta, which bore on the 
question of the maritime control of the Mediter- 
ranean. Great Britain, at the point when it 
seemed as if the negotiations would come ab- 
ruptly to an end, agreed to withdraw from the 
island in favor of some neutral power, and eventu- 
ally, after much controversy, a treaty was agreed 
upon at Amiens on the 2/th of March, 1802, 
This was the first time since 1792 that universal 
peace prevailed throughout Europe. 






Great as Bonaparte was as a soldier, he was 
i greater, if that were possible, as a civil admin- 
istrator. He came to the task of reorganizing 
the government with an intellectual power that 
was prodigious, with a marvelous constructive 
ability and with an energy that was indefatigable. 
Besides these attributes he already had had great 
experience in state-craft and diplomacy. He had*> 
- organized several republics in Italy, had created J 
local administrations for a number of towns and 
cities, and had negotiated the treaties of Campo 
Formio and Luneville in which he had acquired 
great acquisitions of territory and had, at every 
point, vitally protected the interests of France. 
He had met and successfully parried the thrusts 
of some of the ablest diplomats in Europe, and 
in not a few instances had shown himself superior 
in resources and subtlety to many of them. 
After his return from the battle of Marengo he 
entered as Consul upon the work of reconstruct- 
ing and reorganizing the government of France. 
It was, however, with no fear of failure he un- 



dertook solving the problem, for his confidence 
in himself was supreme. 

It was fortunate for Bonaparte that he was 
not and had not been identified with any political 
faction, for he could now, untrammeled by any 
party obligations, call for the support of all 
classes. It made no difference to him in selecting 
men to do his work whether they were Jacobins, 
Girondins, Feuillants, or royalists; Roman Cath- 
olics, Protestants, atheists or Jews. The simple 
question was: "Can the man do the work?" 
He knew the treacherous, time-serving characters 
of Talleyrand and Fouche, but he used them both. 
Cambaceres, his colleague in the Consulate, had 
voted for the death of Louis XVI; he was des- 
ignated a regicide, as also was Carnot, but that 
made no difference to Bonaparte in the matter 
of their selection as officials. " I cannot -create 
men," he said, " I must take them as I find them." 
Time had brought about a change in the order 
of things. " Brumaire," he declared, " marked 
the beginning of a new era ; it is a brass wall that 
stands between the present and the past." 

Bonaparte was a tireless worker; he toiled 
twelve to eighteen hours a day, and when neces- 
sity required there seemed to be no end to his 
energy. " I have never found," he declared, " the 
limit of my capacity for work." " Come, gentle- 
men," he w r ould say, " it is early yet ; we must 
earn the money the state pays us," and it may 
then have been far past midnight. No question 
was unimportant if it in any way affected the 
interests or the well-being of the state. Agri- 
12 177 


culture, commerce, manufactures, education, in- 
ternal improvements, social reforms, art, science, 
literature, all received his attention and stimula- 
tion. He was equally interested in the cultivation 
of the beet for the manufacture of sugar, in the 
construction of an embankment for the river 
Seine, in the creation of the Legion of Honor, 
in the complaint of a neglected grenadier, in the 
improvement of the waterways, in the establish- 
ment of schools, museums and hospitals, in the 
founding of a national bank, and in the codifica- 
tion of the laws. There was nothing too small 
for his mind to consider, nothing too great for 
his intellect to grasp. 

After the iQth Brumaire the provisional Con- 
suls, assisted by a committee composed of mem- 
bers of the Council of Ancients and the Council 
of Five Hundred favorable to the Bonaparte gov- 
ernment, took up the framing of a new Constitu- v 
tton. The executive department was to be a\\y 
Consulate, comprising three members chosen for ^ 
an official term of ten years. They were to reside 
in the Tuileries and the salary for each was to 
be 150,000 francs per annum. Bonaparte was to 
be First Consul, and he was to name the two 
other members of the body. Further than this 
the new instrument provided that no executive 
act should be undertaken without the First Con- 
sul consulting with his colleagues, but they should 
have no vote and the final decision should rest 
with him. 

There were created a Council of State, a 
Tribunate, a Legislative Body, and a Senate. 


The Council of State, in the nature of a cabinet, 
was to advise the executive in the preparation 
of legislation, on law, finance and administration. 
The Tribunate, a popular body, in a measure rep- 
resenting the tribunes of old Rome, discussed the 
laws but had no voice in their passage. They 
simply stood guard over the interests of the peo- 
ple. The Legislative Body voted on the laws 
without discussing them, and the Senate sat as 
a court to decide constitutional questions raised 
by the Tribunes. The Constitution was promul- 
gated December 5, 1799. A proclamation sub- 
mitting it to the people closed with the following 
language : " Citizens, the Revolution is confined 
to the principles which commenced it. It is 
finished." A plebiscite held in the early days of 
1800 accepted the constitution by an overwhelm- 
ing majority; 3,011,007 votes against only 1,562. 
This would seem to be all but a complete ratifica- 
tion by the electorate of the usurpation. Such 
a ballot, however, is not always a fair expression 
of public opinion because the question is so framed 
that it means either the acceptance of the de facto 
government or no government, which is chaos 
or what is worse than that, civil war. 

" The vain titles of the victories of Justinian 
are crumbled into dust, but the name of the legis- 
lator is inscribed on a fair and everlasting monu- 
ment. . . . The public reason of the Romans 
has been silently or studiously transfused into the 
domestic institutions of Europe, and the laws of 
Justinian still command respect or obedience of 
independent nations. Wise or fortunate is the 



prince who connects his own reputation with the 
honor and interest of a perpetual order of men." 
This pompous and laudatory language of the great 
Gibbon may be used by the future historian of 
the Decline and Fall of the French Empire in his 
reference to Napoleon. 

/ If the First Consul had accomplished nothing 
/ /more during his administration than the compila- 
- / tion of the Civil Code afterwards known as the 

vCode Napoleon, he would have immortalized his 
fame, and through all succeeding generations his 
name would have been linked with the great law- 
givers of the world, with Solon, Lycurgus and 
Justinian. It was due to his stimulating energy 
and intellect that this great monument was 
erected. When the glorious victories of Ma- 
rengo, Ulm, Austerlitz, Jena, Friedland and 
Wagram are but memories, this code will live 
and be the admiration of nations yet unborn, and 

/ the basis of legislation for future civilizations. 
A \l To-day traces of it are found in almost every 
' J system of law from the Baltic Sea to the Gulf of 
Taranto, from the steppes of Russia to the far- 
distant coasts of Spain. Many of its features 
have been incorporated into the laws of the Cen- 
tral and South American states. In portions of 
South Africa and in Louisiana it obtains with the 
same vigor as it does in France. The English 
system of equity jurisprudence derives its prin- 
ciples from the Roman law, the source of the 
French Code. 

It was to his colleague Cambaceres, one of the 
ablest jurists of his day, that Bonaparte assigned 


the task of reducing to order the French laws 
that had fallen into so chaotic a state. The Revo- 
lution had brushed away much of the rubbish of 
the ancient regime and made the work somewhat 
easier for the compilers than it otherwise would 
have been, but it nevertheless was a vast under- 
taking. Atjhe_orjening of the French Revolution^ 
the la. ws were "marT almus I inextricable con- 
fusion. What was Taw in one district, arrondisse- 
ment, or province was not in another ; there was 
no common uniform system of judicature, no 
equality before the courts. Exemptions and priv- 
ileges resulting from the absolutism of the past, 
ecclesiastical rights, and feudalism with its op- 
pressive burdens made a system that was unjust, 
unreasonable, and inconvenient. France was di- 
vided into districts that in many instances were 
as inimical to each other as if they had been for- . 
eign states. Custom houses were located on 
every line separating the provinces from each 
other. A cask of wine from Languedoc or Rou- 
sillon had to pay duties upwards of a score of 
times before it reached Paris, and even when it 
entered the capital it had to give an additional 
sum before it could be placed upon the market. 
" Excessive duties " were imposed at the gates of 
Paris " on hay, straw, seeds, tallow candles, eggs, 
sugar, fish, faggots and firewood." All these 
rights and exactions were fixed by local ordi- 
nances or national decrees. The laws and cus- 
toms of the ancient regime formed a bewildering 
maze and the National Assembly cut its way 
through this thicket, this jungle, by general and 



sweeping repeals, but no attempt was made to 
codify or systematize the new legislation. To 
untangle this mass of ordinances, laws, enact- 
ments, customs, regulations, and decisions and 
r to adjust them in a well-ordered code was now 
the task at hand. 

Bonaparte attended many of the sessions of 
Cambaceres and his associates and took part in 
the discussions. Especially was he attentive upon 
those meetings that were called for final revision, 
and " never did we adjourn a consultation, at 
which the Consul was present," said one of the 
committee, " without learning something we had 
not known before." Although without the tech- 
nical knowledge of a lawyer, his wisdom, his 
unerring sagacity, and his intense practicality 
would intuitively find a solution of many a mooted 
point. His wise and pertinent suggestions mark 
the code with his individuality and intellectuality ; 
it was through his exertions it was compiled, and 
he is entitled to the honor of having it bear his 
name. " I shall go down to posterity/' he 
proudly exclaimed, " with the code under my 

On the questions of the relation of the family 

to the state, of marriage and divorce, he specially 

A impressed his individuality. The Revolution, 

\/.wild on the theory of individual liberty, had made 

marriage a mere agreement, to be dissolved on 

a simple declaration of incompatibility of temper. 

Against all such ideas he sternly set his face. 

The ablest lawyers, such men as Tronchet and 
Portalis, were called into consultation to revise 


the last draft of the code, and then after a com- 
mittee of legislation of the Council of State had 
approved its provisions, it was promulgated as 
the fundamental law of France in 1804.. It had 
2,281 articles, covering the family relation, the 
order of succession, marriage, divorce, last wills 
and testaments, the rights of persons and the 
rights of things. It was followed by commercial 
and criminal codes. 

Bonaparte at an early day opened negotiations 
w i tTrffie Vatican to adjust the differences between 
France and Rome and to re-establish the Roman 
tatholic religion. Of course the pope at first 
treated with him at arm's length, for the Revo- 
lutionjiad stripped the churcrrof her tithes^jmigl- 
uments and privilegesTTiad confiscated her lands, 
had devoted even her cathedrals to a profane use, 
and had compelled her priests, under the threat 
of banishment, tcTtake an "oath to the constitu- 
tion. During his campaign in Italy, Bonaparte, 
as the representative of the Directory, had made 
demands upon the pope which the Holy Father 
had designated as unchristian. But Bonayarte 
kne3^tLe_-^lu^^l_rejjgioji from ji polidciaiis 
standpoint, and jyas deterrniTi^, ;f KffffyK i to 
se^uirjjtsaid_jnr each ing the realization of his 
"The Caesars, the Mirabeaus, the 

Napoleons," Justin McCarthy declares, " seldom 
obey the morals of the porch or the creeds of the 
cloister," but as wise men they appreciate the 
influence of religion on the public mind. The 
ringing of the church bells, a few days after 
the 1 9th Brumaire, had been to Bonaparte a reve- 



lation, for it stirred to a remarkable degree the 
religious and devotional emotions of the people. 
The bells had been so long silent, religious wor- 
ship having virtually fallen into disuse, that their 
tones seemed to awaken and to revive a tender 
sentiment of devotion in the hearts of the people, 
a sentiment that for years had lain dormant. 
The "goddess of Reason" of Hebert and the 
" Supreme Being " of Robespierre were poor sub- 
stitutes for the deep consolations of the Christian 
religion, and the ringing of the Vesperus with 
all its memories and fond associations moved the 
stoutest heart to tears if not to prayer. The 
Jacobins, or the Reds, as they were called, the 
ultra-revolutionists, and the soldiers in the army 
murmured against the unrestricted opening of the 
churches, but the First Consul's bold stand on this 
question in the main increased his popularity. 

Bonaparte was in no sense ofjhe 
of deep religious convictions. He was unfathom- 
able in all things, but in nothing was he more 
enigmatical than in this matter of his faith. He 
was born in the Roman Catholic communion and 
he died in it, although extreme unction was ad- 
ministered when he was insensible. In his last 
will and testament he declared that he died in 
the bosom of the Apostolic Roman Church, and 
yet upon other occasions he said, " As for me, I 
do not believe in the Divinity of Christ. He was 
put to death like any other fanatic who professed 
to be a prophet or a messiah." " I am a Catholic 
because my father was and because it is the re- 
ligion of France." At Elba while talking with 


Lord Ebrington he exclaimed : " We know not 
whence we come, nor whither we go," and more 
than once he scoffed at the popular creed, and 
in a contradictory strain to these expressions he 
told M. Mathues that he had no respect for any 
religion which did not hold out to the faithful a 
promise of eternal life. 

While aboard ship on his way to Egypt, over- 
hearing the conversation of a group of officers 
who were discussing the question as to God's 
existence, he interrupted them by asking, while 
pointing heavenwards, if those stars and planets 
were there by chance. This may be taken as 
proof that he was not an atheist, but it in no way 
can be argued therefrom that he was a Christian. 
While at St. Helena he told Gourgaud that he was 
a materialist, that the sight of myriad deaths in 
war made him such, and that he would believe in 
Christianity if it had been the original and uni- 
versal creed, but that the Mohammedans " follow 
a religion simpler and more adapted to their 
morality than ours." He thought that great 
natural intelligences govern the world, but he time 
and again declared that God rights on the side 
of the heavy battalions. At St. Helena the Bible 
was occasionally read aloud, but Voltaire was the 
favorite author, and religious ceremony and wor- 
ship were not observed until towards the close of 
his life, when the Bonapartes sent two priests to 
Longwood, and the dining-room was converted 
into a chapel. It is difficult to define the belief 
or faith of a man expressing so many contra- 
dictory views. But judging from his declarations 



and conduct, it may be said that he gave no posi- 
tive evidences at any time of a devout faith in 
any creed. He was like many other men who on 
the all-important question have their doubts, but 
at last throwing them aside accept the comfort and 
consolation of that faith in which they were born, 
the influence of their early religious teaching still 
lingering in their hearts. 

Bonaparte had all the superstition of his race. 
He believed in omens and would frequently cross 
himself to avert an impending evil. 

In the political testament left for his son's 
guidance, Napoleon wrote : " Religious ideas have 
more influence than certain narrqw-minded^jhikis- 
dphers are willing to believe ; they are capable of 
rendering great services to humanity By stand- 

an influence is stillnain- 

JnineH rnrnr^the rnnsrienres pj a hundred 
~&f men." This language is full of significance, 
_ and shows why Bonaparte was anxious to get 
in touch with the Vatican. .The reason that in- 
duced him to pay respect to the Moslem religion 
when he was in Egypt was perhaps the same that 
prompted him to form a coalition wifh Rprrua, 

] instances were political J~In TOm^eTs^tToirwith the 

""poet Goethe at Erfurt he exclaimed : " Philoso- 

phers plague themselves with weaving systems; 

they will never find a better one than Christianity, 

v ' which reconciling man with himself also assures 

public order and repose." 

The pope, of course, was very cautious at first; 
although at heart he rejoiced at even these faint 


signs of repentance upon the part of an erring 
child this heir of the Revolution. On jthe 
other hand it was no easy task for Bonaparte to 

satisfy the public mind on this question of a Con- 
cordat or an alliance with the church of Rome. 
Out of a population in France of 35,000,000 thexe 
were, according to an estimate made by~Thibau- 
deau, 3,000,000 Protestants. Jews ffltj Then- 
philanthropists, 15,000,000 Catholics and 17,000,- 
ooo infidels or 
belief whatever. 

FreTTcli Revolution in 1790 established 
what is known as tne Civil Constitution of the 

Clergy, which aimed at making the church inde- 
pendent of Rome. The bishops and priests, in 
order to retain their benefices and holdings, were 
required to take an oath of fidelity to the Consti- 
tution. The orthodox or non-juring priests and 
prelates, under a law passed in 1792, were sub- 
jected to a penalty of banishment for non-compli- 
ance with the act. The Constitutionals or state 
clericals were supported by the Republic and alone 
were permitted and authorized to perform mass. 
Under such a system the churches were aban- 
doned, "for the faithful would not attend services 
conducted by non-orthodox priests, many of whom 
had espoused Jacobinical principles and had 
broken their vows by taking to themselves wives. 
In one case even a bishop wore in the chancel 
and the pulpit in place of the mitre the red cap 
or bonnet rouge of the Republic and instead of 
the shepherd's crosier carried the pike of the sans- 
culottes. In time a general unbelief overspread 



the land, the churches were closed, public worship 
was suspended, and Sunday as a day of rest was 
stricken from the calendar. In negotiating an 
agreement with the church, the state had to pro- 
tect the constitutional priests against the ven- 
geance of Rome, for in her eyes they were even 
worse than heretics they were apostates. 
When Consalvi, the papal legate, urged Bonaparte 
to take a stand against the constitutionals, or in- 
truders, as they were called, he smilingly remarked 
that he could do nothing in that direction until 
he knew how Rome stood, for you know " when 
one cannot arrange matters with God one comes 
to terms with the devil." When Rome became 
too exacting or too obstinate he coquetted with 
the constitutionals, and evinced a desire to estab- 
lish a Gallican or national church independent of 
the papacy. He even threatened when sore 
pressed to bolt to Geneva. 

Bonaparte never had a harder task than 
attempting to reconcile these discordant interests. 
To unite a nation half infidel with the unchang- 
ing and inelastic policy of the church of Rome 
required deft handling and all the subtlety and 
astuteness of the master diplomat. The negotia- 
tions were conducted in the main by a priest 
named Bernier, who had shown his aptitude in the 
pacification of Brittany. He had the implicit 
confidence of Bonaparte as well as the Vatican. 

Robespierre had brought upon himself the 
scorn and condemnation of the free-thinkers in 
attempting to set up a Supreme Being, and to in- 
troduce a religious belief by legislative enactment. 



Bonaparte was arousing the scoffs and indignation 
of the same class of men by entering into a com- 
pact with Rome. In his negotiations he declared 
that if he could not come to terms with the Vat- 
ican he would organize a national church; above 
all things he intended to provideji religion forTjis 
peoglel XI last in the" Easter season of 1802 thr*\ 
Concordat was ratified. The French government M 
recognized the Catholic, Apostolic Roman creed I 
as the religion of France. Sixty sees were estab- fl % 
lished, and the First Consul was to exercise the.- ^* 
right of nomination. All clericals were to take 
an oath of fealty to the constitution. The holders 
of the confiscated lands were to be secure in their 
possession. The state was to pay the stipends 
of the clergy out of the public treasury. 

The ratification of the Concordat was cele-' 
brated by an imposing religious ceremony in the 
cathedral of Notre Dame. The rich and pompous 
ritual of the Roman church was never more im- 
pressive; music, the perfume of flowers, and in- 
cense filled the air, everything that could dazzle 
the imagination or appeal to the emotions was 
resorted to in order to express the appreciation 
and thankfulness of Rome upon the occasion of 
the return of a wandering child to the fold. The 
bewildered observer, however, could not forget 
that only eleven years before in the same cathedral 
a like ceremony had taken place at the installa- 
tion of a deity pompously styled the " Goddess 
of Reason," and that the bishop of the diocese 
had taken part in the services. 

The celebration of the Concordat provoked the 


anger and denunciation of the radicals. The sol- 
diers specially were incensed and Delmas, one of 
the marshals, boldly condemned it as " a fine 
piece of monkery, indeed, a harlequinade," and 
told the Consul that " it only lacked the million 
men who got killed to destroy what he was striv- 
ing to bring back."/ But Bonaparte clearly saw 
what he wanted add with a calm demeanor he 
was proof against the sombre jests of his mar- 
shals, the jeers of his troops, the ribaldry and 
blasphemy of the infidels and atheists, and the 
protests of the priests both orthodox and re- 
cusant, for there were remonstrances against the 
alliance by both classes of churchmen. 

With a broad spirit of toleration Bonaparte 
recognized the two Protestant denominations in 
France, the Calvinists and Lutherans. The pas- 
tors were to b^ salaried and paid out of the state 
budget. The government was to approve all 
ecclesiastical nominations and the churches in 
consideration of governmental protection were to 
have no relations \vhatever with any foreign 
power. The Jews also came under his broad 
panoply and in return for paying taxes and per- 
forming military services they were likewise to 
receive governmental protection and their rabbis 
state support. ^ureljMJieJ^ 
pi i shed some_goo$Ljn haying soJtejiej JL _j^vej^if it 
did not totally destroy, the bigotry and intoler- 
ance of the ancient jregiirie72 

In 1802 Bonaparte proposed the formation of 

r ' 

_ hich _ 

inks merTof distinction from every walk in life, 


not only soldiers but savants. Jurists, and authors, 
is aristocratic in its tendency," said Berlier, 
a .distinguished lawyer, " leading France back to 
the ancient regime when crosses, badges, and rib- 
bons were the toys of monarchy." " Well," re- 
plied Napoleon, " men are led by toys. The 
French are not all changed by ten years of revo- 
lution: they are what the Gauls were, fierce and 

fickle. ^^y^havo_jont_issling^^2^^^ We 
must nourish that feeling: they must have dis- 

The oath taken by a new member of the Legion 
of Honor was : " To devote himself to the service 
of the Republic, to the maintenance of the integ- 
rity of its territory, the defence of its govern- 
ment, laws and of the property which they have 
consecrated; to fight against every attempt to 
re-establish the feudal regime or to reproduce the 
titles and qualities thereto belonging." 

It was a mark of the highest distinction to be 
admitted to its circle, and at the time of the 
restoration of the Bourbons, in 1814, one of the 
important stipulations was that the Legion of 

comprehensive system of universal education 
had been roughly sketched by Condorcet and his 
fellow reformers in the Convention during the 
Revolution, but in the multitude of labors that 
commanded their attention they were unable to 
complete their work, and it became the basis for 
the system adopted and put into operation by 

The establishment of the TTnjyf.rsiry_nf Franrp 


in 1808 gave a great impetus to advanced educa- 
tion, but notwithstanding all the efforts made by 
Napoleon to stirriulate literature there was pro- 
duced no great adthor or poet to hymn in lyric 
or epic form the praises of the empire and its 
ruler. Although "science flourished, literature 
languished and it was-soon discovered that Uni- 
versities, Institutes, Legions of Honor, prizes and 
forcing processes could not produce the natural 
poet or the original thinker, and the empire, one 
of the greatest ever erected by the skill and genius 
of a master mind, remained without a panegyrist. 




The Bourbons, unable to interpret Bonaparte's 
purposes, sought his aid to help in their restora- 
tion. Their emissaries went so far as to per- 
suade the pliable and elusive Josephine to use her 
influence with her husband, but all such propo- 
sitions he waived aside; he was not setting up a 
throne for an effete and exiled dynasty, but laying 
plans for the construction of his own. 

The Jacobins and Royalists both formed con- 
spiracies against his life, the former because he 
was too imperialistic and the latter because he was 
too democratic. 

The conspiracy of three men, Ceracchi, Arena 
and Topino-Lebrun, was unearthed by the police, 
and they were condemned and executed. Cerac- 
chi was a sculptor who had modeled a bust of 
Bonaparte; Arena was a Corsican and brother 
of the man who had brandished a knife in the face 
of Bonaparte in the Council of Five Hundred on 
the i Qth Brumaire; Topino-Lebrun was a violent 
patriot and the juryman in the Revolutionary 
13 193 


Tribunal who was bold enough to hesitate to 
render a verdict of guilty against Danton. These 
were resolute, determined men whose plan of 
assassination might have been successful, had it 
not been betrayed. 

The Royalists tried their hand at the game and 
made a most desperate attempt on the First Con- 
sul's life. A barrel of gunpowder was loaded on a 
wheelbarrow or hand cart and placed in the high- 
way, in the rue Ste. Nicaise, at a spot where the 
Consul's carriage had to pass on its way to the 
opera house. That night Bonaparte was a little 
late in leaving the Tuileries, and the coachman, 
who is said to have been tipsy, lashed his horses 
into a run to make up for lost time, so the explo- 
sion took place just an instant too late. The 
report was terrific, it shattered the houses in the 
neighborhood and killed many people, but the 
Consul went unscathed. News of what had taken 
place reached the theatre before his arrival, and 
upon his appearance the house broke into ap- 
plause; he bowed to the audience, took his seat 
with composure, and seemed cool and uncon- 
cerned. Josephine was hysterical, and completely 

These conspiracies and attempts at assassina- 
_tion aroused a great public sentiment in his favor 
and, taking advantage of this, he created a court 
for the trial of political offenders, without the 
intervention of a jury, and without the right of 
revision or appeal. 

He also succeeded in securing the passage of 
a decree giving him the right to banish without 



trial suspected persons as " enemies of the state/' 
Under this law a great number of people were 
transported to the penal colonies. 

A complete censorship of the press was estab- 
lished, and to such a degree was this carried that^ 
the Moniteur, a journal as influential in France 
as the London Times in England, never made 
a single allusion or reference in its columns, at 
any time, to the battle of Trafalgar. Bonaparte 
once declared that he was indifferent to news- 
paper attacks. " If they assail me," he said, 
" they will but gnaw on granite." Yet under all 
this appearance of indifference and bravado there _ 
were few men more sensitive to adverse criticism. 

On August i, 1802, by a plebiscite Bonaparte \\ 
was elected Consul for life, and vested with almost V^ 
autocratic authority. He was empowered to 
name his own successor. He appointed all mili- 
tary and naval officers, ambassadors to foreign 
states, judges in civil and criminal courts, made 
treaties, declared war and concluded peace. The 
Consulship was only one degree removed from 
imperial authority. The Consulate, however, 
even for life with its almost unlimited power, did 
not satisfy the ambition of Napoleon, who longed 
to establish a dynasty. 

Meanwhile important changes were taking place 
in the large and fertile island of Haiti or San 
Domingo, one of the richest colonial possessions 
of France. During the French Revolution the 
blacks, immensely superior in numbers to the 
whites, had risen in insurrection against their 
masters and carried on a campaign of extermina- 



tion. The conflict had all the features of a servile 
war and the most atrocious outrages were perpe- 
trated. The negroes overcame the whites and 
established a black republic over which they made 
Toussaint L'Ouverture the president. This man, 
with really great qualities of mind and heart, was 
born of slave parents. He had received the rudi- 
ments of an education, could read and write, but 
irrespective of these accomplishments was natu- 
rally a born leader of men. His administration 
of public affairs materially advanced the welfare 
of his people and the interests of the island. Tak- 
ing the French consulate as the model of his 
republic, making his tenure of office as governor 
for life with power to appoint his successor, 
declaring the independence of San Domingo and 
proudly calling himself the " Bonaparte of the 
Antilles," he gave offence to Napoleon, who de- 
cided to recover the island and once more annex 
it to France. For this purpose he sent under the 
command of his brother-in-law, General Leclerc, 
the husband of Pauline, twenty thousand troops 
taken mainly from the army of the Rhine. The 
negroes fled in dismay to the mountains before 
the trained and well-armed soldiers of France. 
Poor Toussaint was captured, after being lulled 
to a feeling of security by a promise of peace, and 
was transported to France by the direct command 
of Napoleon, where a year later he died in the 
fortress of Joux among the Jura mountains after 
suffering untold hardships. 

But the mephitic marshes of his native land 
avenged his cruel death. Yellow fever destroyed 


the French army, the survivors having to take 
refuge on English ships. General Leclerc died . 
in the Tortugas and the whole enterprise ended in 
disaster and failure. 

Under the treaty of Amiens England had 
agreed to surrender Malta to the Knights of St. 
John, and to evacuate Alexandria; but neither 
provision had been complied with. When Napo- 
leon insisted upon their observance, or, using his 
own language, demanded " the whole treaty of 
Amiens and nothing but that treaty," the British 
minister, Hawkesberry, answered : " The state of 
the Continent at the period of the treaty of 
Amiens and nothing but that state." Napoleon 
replied that England had nothing to complain of 
in the matter of his intervention in European 
affairs; that having waived her interest in Con- 
tinental matters she could not resume it at will; 
that France had complied with the provisions of 
the treaty and that Taranto had been evacuated. 
This diplomatic controversy was reaching an acute 
stage when Lord Whitworth was appointed min- 
ister to France. He was a proud, reserved aristo- 
crat of the old school, firm and unyielding and 
without that tact and " savoir faire" that were 
required in dealing with a man like Napoleon. 
Shortly after the British envoy's arrival, the 
Moniteur published in full the report of Gen- 
eral Sebastiani, a commissioner who had been 
sent by Napoleon to investigate affairs in Algiers, 
Egypt, Syria, and the Ionian Isles. In this 
famous report he described the wretched state of 
the Turks in Egypt, the fortifications as being in 


a ruinous condition and the Turkish forces as 
beneath contempt. He further reported the Brit- 
ish troops as being encamped near Alexandria and 
numbering only 4,430, while General Stuart, the 
English commander, was on bad terms with the 
Pacha. " Six thousand French troops," he de- 
clared, " would at present be enough to conquer 

The report created a great sensation in both 
France and England. Its warlike tone was taken 
as a threat, and the British government directed 
Whitworth to insist more strenuously than ever 
upon the retention of Malta. " Then upon this 
single question," exclaimed Napoleon, " will hinge 
war or peace." 

The Consul sent for Whitworth, and had a 
long private conference with him to urge England 
to keep her contract, but the minister was coldly 

Afterwards at a public reception of foreign 
ambassadors at the Tuileries on March 13, 1803, 
the Consul in rather a blustering manner thus 
addressed Lord Whitworth : " So you are deter- 
mined to go to war." " No," replied the envoy, 
" we are too sensible of the advantage of peace." 
" Why, then, these armaments? " exclaimed Na- 
poleon. " Against whom these measures of pre- 
caution? I have not a single ship of the line in 
the French ports, but if you wish to arm I will 
arm also; if you wish to fight, I will fight also. 
You may perhaps kill France, but you will never 
intimidate her." " We wish," answered Whit- 
worth, " neither the one nor the other. We wish 

Copyright, /p/o, by George W. Jacobs & Co. 


From an original water color drawing by L. David, 1803 
From the Joseph Bonaparte Collection 


to live on good terms with her." " You must 
respect treaties then/' was Napoleon's reply; 
" woe to them who do not respect treaties. They 
shall answer for it to all Europe." To this last 
statement the minister made no reply, and Napo- 
leon retired to his apartment much perturbed. 
The whole scene was very embarrassing, but it 
was only one of those occasions when Napoleon 
lost his temper. 

The report of this incident to his home govern- 
ment, in which the British ambassador claimed 
he had been grossly insulted, aroused a great war 
sentiment throughout all England. The Ministry 
did not hesitate to exaggerate the facts, and the 
British press assailed Napoleon with the most 
scurrilous abuse, thus adding fuel to the flame. 

Some further negotiations took place without 
bringing about any satisfactory conclusion and the 
British ambassador asked for his passports; but 
receiving word from Downing Street to await 
developments under an ultimatum he delayed his 
departure. On May 16, 1803, England made a 
declaration of war, and on the I7th Whit worth 
crossed the strait of Dover. 

England opened hostilities by seizing French 
vessels in every port or wherever found. In 
some instances the seizures were made even before 
the formal declaration of war, and Napoleon re- 
taliated by arresting thousands of English trav- 
elers in France between the ages of eighteen and 
sixty and throwing them into prison. 

It was unfortunate for the peace of Europe that 
such a man as Whitworth represented England in 



France at so important a crisis. A more genial 
and accommodating diplomat could easily have 
found opportunities to grant concessions and pre- 
serve the peace of Europe, for England had un- 
questionably broken the provisions of the treaty 
of Amiens. To be sure, as she claimed, Napo- 
leon had made aggressions on the continent, but 
these were not in violation of any treaty stipula- 
tions and were no excuse for the avoidance of 
Great Britain's obligations. 

Another grave mistake was the publication in 
the Moniteur of General Sebastiani's report. 
Warlike in tone, with a covert threat to capture 
Egypt, it naturally aroused in England the great- 
est indignation, and fomented a bitter war spirit. 
It is hard to understand the motive that induced 
so inopportune a publication unless it was to scare 
England into a settlement. 

Still another mistake was England's high- 
handed seizure of French vessels before a declara- 
ion of war, and worse than all was the arrest 
and detention of English travelers in France. 
The whole contention was doubtless well ex- 
plained in the language of Talleyrand when he 
said : " The re-establishment of the Order of St. 
John was not so much the point to be discussed 
as that of suffering Great Britain to acquire a 
possession in the Mediterranean." But, after 
all, the first mistake was made by England when 
she insisted upon retaining possession of the 
island of Malta in direct violation of her agree- 
ment under the treaty of Amiens. 

The renewal of hostilities between France and 



Great Britain worked greatly to the advantage 
of the United States. Louisiana, which included 
not only what is now the state of that name but 
the whole of the western half of the basin of 
the Mississippi from the Gulf of Mexico to the 
Canadian lakes, had been in the possession of 
Spain. Bonaparte, having secured its purchase, 
contemplated its immediate occupation in his 
grand scheme of colonial expansion. The United 
States viewed with fear and apprehension this 
transfer of ownership from Spain to France, and 
diplomatically remonstrated against it; but for- 
tunately before any friction occurred between the 
United States and France the declaration of war 
by Great Britain caused Bonaparte to change his 
plans and to abandon his contemplated conquest 
and colonization in America, and after some hag- 
gling he transferred Louisiana to the United 
States for the sum of sixty million francs ($12,- 
000,000), a meagre price for so vast an empire. 
The purchase made the Pacific coast instead of 
the Mississippi river the western boundary of the 
great American Republic. 

Bonaparte's brothers, Joseph and Lucien, called 
at the palace to protest against the sale of this 
vast and important empire at so low a figure, or 
even at any figure. The Consul was in his warm, 
perfumed bath at the time, but ordered that they 
be admitted. The interview grew very animated, 
and Bonaparte in his rage drenched his brother 
Joseph with water from the tub, all the while 
making the room ring with his scornful laughter. 
The poor valet who was present at the scene, not 



accustomed to so violent a family quarrel, 
swooned, and had to be carried from the room. 
This temporarily suspended the contention, but 
after the removal of the servant it was at once 
resumed upon Lucien's declaring that if Bona- 
parte were not his brother he would be his enemy. 
" My enemy! you my enemy," cried the Consul, 
" why, I would break you as I do this box," 
dashing on the moment his snuff box to the floor. 
It did not break, but the glass covering the por- 
trait of Josephine cracked, whereupon Lucien, 
who seems to have had better control of his temper 
than Napoleon, picked up the box and coolly hand- 
ing it to his brother, remarked : " You have not 
yet succeeded in breaking me, but in the mean- 
time you have destroyed your wife's image." 
When Josephine, who was very superstitious, 
heard of this ill omen, she was greatly alarmed, 
for at this time rumors of a divorce were in 

Although many remonstrances were made 
against the surrender, as it was called, of Louisi- 
ana, the iron will of the master could not be bent. 
Sending for Talleyrand he said : " Irresolution 
and deliberation are no longer in season. I re- 
nounce Louisiana. It is not only New Orleans 
that I cede: it is the whole colony without re- 
serve; I know the price of what I abandon. I 
have proved the importance I attach to this prov- 
ince, since my first diplomatic act with Spain had 
the object of recovering it. I renounce it with 
the greatest regret: to attempt obstinately to 
retain it would be folly. I direct you to negotiate 



the affair/' Afterwards in signing the treaty 
with the United States he observed : " This acces- 
sion of territory strengthens forever the power of 
the United States, and I have just given to Eng- 
land a maritime rival that sooner or later will 
humble her pride." 





Early in 1804 the Count of Provence, then 
residing at Warsaw, was urged by Bonaparte to 
renounce his right of succession to the throne of 
^France, and to secure the renunciation of others 
who were in the royal line. " As a descendant 
of St. Louis," proudly answered the prince, " I 
shall endeavor to imitate his example by respect- 
ing myself even in captivity. As a successor of 
Francis I, I shall at least aspire to say with him : 
' We have lost everything but our honor.' ' 

This move on the part of Napoleon was a clear 

./indication that he was paving the way towards 

the setting up of a throne for himself, and the 

mere declination of the count to renounce did not 

for a moment balk him in his purpose. 

London was the nest where all the conspiracies 
against Napoleon were hatched, and whence assas- 
sins were sent forth in quick succession on their 
errands of murder. Picot and Le Bourgeois, two 
rash swashbucklers, were arrested the very mo- 
ment they set foot on French soil as a result of 
the vigilance of Touche. The police also were 


alert and guarded with diligence every inch of 
the coast. Under this system of surveillance 
there was no home free from intrusion and in- 
quisition. Even the domestic circle of Napoleon 
and Josephine was penetrated by the ubiquitous 
spy and its daily occurrences reported. 

Mehee de la Touche had led a chequered life; 
he had been an assassin in the September mas- 
sacres in 1793 and a spy in the days of the 
" Reign of Terror " ; he had fallen under the sus- 
picion of the government, and was committed to 
prison and subsequently exiled. It was intimated 
to him that if he would offer his services to Bona- 
parte and aid in ferreting out the assassins he 
might expect a pardon. His wife assisted in 
these negotiations, and was successful in securing 
his freedom. Fouche, who knew the capability 
of the man as a spy, took him in hand and that 
master craftsman laid out a plan of action. Me- 
hee was successful beyond all expectations. He 
went to London, feigned royalism, mingled with 
the conspirators, and without arousing the slight- 
est suspicion learned their secrets and the names 
of those who were active and even remotely con- 
cerned in the plot. Besides all this he unearthed 
the fact that the British government retained 
many of the conspirators in its pay, and furnished 
the necessary expenses even to the providing of a 
vessel for the transportation of the assassins to 
France. He wormed himself so completely into 
the confidence of the emigres at London that he 
became an intermediary between them and the 
discontented factions in Paris. Going a step 



farther, he interviewed the English ambassador, 
Francis Drake, at Munich, and learned from him 
the details of the royalist plot. So completely 
did he hoodwink the British envoy that the latter 
furnished him with money, gave him a code and 
a recipe for sympathetic ink with which to con- 
duct a secret correspondence. Upon the return 
of Mehee to France he sent several harmless let- 
ters to the credulous Drake, and it is said that 
at the dictation of Napoleon he forwarded news 
that the minister in turn submitted to his govern- 
ment as authentic and which caused the govern- 
ment serious embarrassment. 

The Count d'Artois was living in London, and 
his house in Baker Street was the headquarters 
of the clan. Dumouriez was for a time one of 
the conspirators, but he was so despised and mis- 
trusted by all classes of Frenchmen, for his trea- 
son to the Republic in abandoning his command 
and going over to the enemy during the Revo- 
lution in 1793, tnat ne was soon ignored. 
Pichegru and Bernadotte were suspected and 
even Moreau's name was linked with the con- 

Moreau was a stout Republican who had given 
great offence to Napoleon by boldly criticising his 
conduct, and when the Legion of Honor had been 
created he bestowed the distinction upon his 
poodle and laughingly tied a blue ribbon around 
its neck. Upon hearing of this affront, Bona- 
parte was so incensed that he was on the point of 
sending a challenge until persuaded by cooler 
heads to desist from conduct so unwise. Moreau 


was a brave and an able soldier and as much 
beloved by the army of Germany as Bonaparte 
was by the army of Italy. There is no question 
but that the royalists were anxious to secure his 
aid, and had selected him to be one of the leaders 
of their army in case they succeeded, but there 
is no substantial proof that he ever considered * 
their propositions or that he had any connection 
whatever with the plot. Mehee reported his 
name as one of the conspirators, but his infor- 
mation came from the idle talk of the royalists 
in London. Of course at a time like that every 
personal and political enemy of Bonaparte was 
under suspicion. 

Perhaps there never was a man in European 
politics so hated and so feared as was Napoleon. 
His name was held in execration especially by 
the English people ; he was an ogre and a monster 
who drank blood; he was caricatured and car- 
tooned in every conceivable shape and in his pri- 
vate life was charged with every social vice. 
His palace was described as a den of iniquity, 
and his indulgences were represented as more 
vicious than those of a Turkish sultan. He was 
denounced as a plague, a disturber of the world's 
peace. Every court looked upon him as an up- 
start, and the Bourbons regarded him as a thief 
who had stolen their throne, although they had 
been deprived of it by the Revolution and sent 
into banishment as being unworthy of its occu- 
pation long before he assumed power. He was, 
no matter what else may be said of him, the ac- 
cepted ruler of a nation, and yet notwithstanding 


this fact he was hounded like a wild beast, to be 
stricken down by the hand of paid assassins. 

Georges Cadoudal, an ex-Vendean chief and 
a man of most resolute courage, was conveyed to 
France with a body of desperate royalists on 
board of a British vessel commanded by Captain 
Wright of the royal navy. They landed at mid- 
night on the coast of Normandy and stealthily 
climbed the precipitous cliffs on a rope ladder, 
used by smugglers, and secretly wended their 
separate ways to Paris. Here they adopted a 
code of signs and pass words and kept in touch 
with each other, waiting for a favorable oppor- 
tunity to murder the Consul. The French spies 
had been unable to follow the movements of the 
conspirators; but Bonaparte, guided alone by the 
meagre and unsatisfactory reports he received, 
felt that his life was in danger and in consequence 
had the palace protected as if in face of an enemy, 
the guard and the countersign being some nights 
changed hourly. 

From one of the conspirators who was arrested 
a confession was wrung and the details of the 
plot revealed. A cordon of troops was thrown 
around the city, the gates were closed and 
domiciliary visits or house to house inspection 
made. Pichegru was found in the home of an 
old friend who, after giving him shelter, be- 
trayed him. Georges Cadoudal was brought to 
bay in the street, but after fighting desperately 
was overpowered and carried to prison. Captain 
Wright was captured on the coast and sent to 
Paris. Moreau was also arrested. Bonaparte's 


fury was now aroused. " Is my blood ditch- 
water ? " he exclaimed. " Am I a dog to be shot 
down in the street ? I will teach these Bourbons 
a lesson they will not soon forget." 

At Ettenheim in Baden, close to the Rhine, 
living in quiet seclusion, was a young prince of 
the House of Conde, the Duke d'Enghien. He 
was enjoying the delights of a honeymoon with 
the Princess Charlotte de Rohan to whom he had 
been secretly married. A choice circle of friends, 
many of them French emigres, indulged with 
him in the excitement of the chase and the pleas- 
ures of a quiet and retired country life. The 
spies had brought reports to Bonaparte that the 
duke was one of the leading conspirators ; indeed, 
Mehee had hovered around Ettenheim watching 
Conde's movements and had informed the Consul 
that the young prince was frequently away from 
home for days at a time. Another spy brought 
information that Dumouriez had visited Etten- 
heim. The truth was that the general was not 
outside of London during the duke's stay in 
Baden. The spy had mistaken for Dumouriez an 
old gentleman named Thumery, who was an occa- 
sional caller at the house of the duke. Bona- 
parte denounced Real, Fouche and Talleyrand 
for allowing these conspirators to assemble, with- 
out informing him, almost within a stone's throw 
of the borders of France. Although the duke 
was on German soil, Bonaparte determined to in- 
vade or trespass on neutral territory, seize him 
bodily, and have him shot. Talleyrand, although 
he afterwards endeavored to shirk his share of 
14 209 


the responsibility, was in favor at this time of 
stringent measures and assured the Consul that 
he could soon prevail upon the elector to overlook 
this violation of his territory. After giving or- 
ders for the arrest of the duke, Bonaparte retired 
to Malmaison, leaving to Generals Ordener and 
Caulaincourt, together with Murat and the faith- 
ful Savary, the execution of his command. 

On the morning of March 15, 1804, before 
dawn, a body of French troops, about thirty in 
number, surrounded the house of the duke. 
When first aroused from his slumber he was 
inclined to show fight, but on the advice of his 
friends he agreed to surrender without offering 
any resistance and was whisked away to the 
fortress of Vincennes, a short distance southeast 
from Paris. The duke's identity was concealed 
under the name of Plessis; even the governor of 
the castle was kept in ignorance as to the rank 
and title of the distinguished prisoner. A court- 
martial was held and after the submission of 
some meagre proof he was found guilty and con- 
demned to suffer death. The prisoner bore him- 
self with a quiet dignity, he stoutly asseverated 
his innocence, although he boldly and without any 
reservation admitted that if war had been de- 
clared he would have borne arms against France. 
He asked to have an interview with the Consul, 
but this favor was denied. While General Hulin, 
one of the judges, was writing a letter to Bona- 
parte urging compliance with this last request of 
the condemned, Savary, who was standing back 
of the general's chair, took the quill from his 


Copyright, 1910, by George W. Jacobs & Co. 


From an original drawing in crayon by Vallot 

Came into possession of the present owner through 

Godefroy Mayer, of Paris 


hand, at the same time remarking : " Your work 
is done, the rest is my business." Influence from 
all quarters was brought to bear upon Bonaparte 
to relent and grant the prince a pardon, but with- _ 
out avail, he had made up his mind to make an 

Early in the morning of the twentieth of 
March, 1804, before daylight, the duke was led 
out into the moat of the castle; a few torches 
shed a dim light that only made the scene more 
sombre and grewsome. He asked for a priest, 
but his request was refused. For a few moments 
he bowed his head in prayer, then turning full 
upon the soldiers he begged them to aim straight. 
The officer in charge of the shooting squad quietly 
gave the command to fire, the musketry rang out, 
and the young duke fell dead, shot through the 
heart. A grave had been prepared close at hand, 
into which the body was thrown without cere- 

Napoleon never shirked the responsibility for 
this act. In his last will and testament he wrote : 
" I caused the Due d'Enghien to be arrested and 
judged because it was necessary for the safety, 
the interest and the honor of the French people, 
when the Comte d'Artois by his own confession 
was supporting sixty assassins in Paris. In sim- 
ilar circumstances I would act in the same way 

The execution of the duke aroused the greatest 
excitement throughout Europe, and nothing that 
Napoleon ever did brought down upon his head " 
such condemnation. Chateaubriand resigned from 



the diplomatic service. The royalists, of course, 
could not find language strong enough to express 
/their indignation; every court in Europe rang 
with denunciation. Even many of his friends 
and warmest supporters found fault with his act. 
His mother pronounced his deed atrocious. But 
before denouncing him too severely we must take 

... into consideration the circumstances of the case. 
His life was in hourly peril; a hundred assassins 
were ready and in waiting to strike him down like 
"a dog; the Bourbon princes, the emigres, and the 
British officials were in a conspiracy to murder 
him. He had been informed by his spies that 
the duke was in the plot and there was sufficient 
reason to accept their reports as true. If Napo- 
leon honestly believed that the duke was in a 
combination to take his life, his act was not so 
heinous in character as his detractors would have 
us believe. So far as his violation of neutral ter- 
ritory was concerned, that was an offence that 
most of the rulers of that day were not in a 
position to criticise. Much of the excitement 
and denunciation was due to the fact that D'En- 
ghien was a prince of the blood royal. The exe- 
cution of the humble bookseller Palm was an act 
far more inexcusable. 

As to the fate of the other conspirators, Piche- 
gru was found dead in his cell, Captain Wright 
is said to have committed suicide, Cadoudal was 
shot, and Moreau was exiled to America. 

For a long time past Napoleon had been con- 
sidering the question of establishing a dynasty. 

\X" You are founding a new era; but you ought to 



make it last forever : splendor is nothing without 
duration/' was the fulsome, adulatory language 
addressed to the Consul by a sycophantic, sub- 
servient senate and clearly reveals the imperial- 
istic trend. There was a reason for this. Bona- 
parte had accomplished so much, had brought 
military glory and renown of so high a degree to 
the state, and had shown so great an aptitude _ 
for government that he had won the admiration 
of the conservative men of all parties. The peo- 
ple were blinded by his dazzling successes in the - 
field and at the council board. After the Revo- 
lution he was the only man who gave the state 
force and stability. The Revolution with its 
principles and memories, with its motto of Lib- 
erte, Egalite, Fraternite, was a thing of the past ; 
the voices of the million men who had perished in 
battle in the cause of equality and freedom were ^ 
silent in death, and their survivors and successors 
were as mute as the dead. " I am more sur- 
prised," said La Fayette, " at the submission of 
all than at the usurpation of one man." The 
Council of State, the Senate, the Tribunate almost 
unanimously voted for the establishment of a 
Napoleonic dynasty, and accordingly a senatus 
consultwn of May 18, 1804, decreed to Bonaparte 
the title of Emperor of the French under the * 
designation of Napoleon the First. 

Dignities were showered upon his relatives.^- 
Joseph was made Grand Elector; Louis, Grand 
Constable ; his uncle, Cardinal Fesch, Grand I 
Almoner; his mother was Madame Mere; and; 
his sisters became Imperial Highnesses. Talley- 



rand was dubbed Grand Chamberlain; Duroc, 
Grand Marshal of the Palace ; Caulaincourt, Mas- 
ter of the Horse; Berthier, Murat, Massena, Ney, 
and ten others were made Marshals of the Em- 

The next scene in this grand drama was the 
/coronation, which took place in Notre Dame on 
v December 2, 1804. " Admit, General," said 
La Fayette, " that all you want is the breaking 
of the little phial." At the time this witticism 
was passed, Napoleon was negotiating the Con- 
cordat and in a coarse reply said in referring to 
the oil that it was about as essential as the fluid 
of the stable. Notwithstanding this remark, the 
little bottle containing the sacred oil that accord- 
ing to legend had been brought down from 
heaven and had anointed the kings of the Valois 
and Bourbon houses was now on its way from the 
Cathedral of Rheims to Notre Dame in Paris and 
most religiously guarded. 

Napoleon deemed it of the first importance that 
the pope should grace the coronation with his 
presence, and after some persuasion and much 
coercion, some promises and many threats, the 
Holy Father was induced to journey in an inclem- 
ent season of the year from Rome to Paris to 
crown with religious ceremony the murderer of 
the Duke d'Enghien, as Napoleon was now 
termed in every court of Europe. 

The emperor and the pope met on the road 

between Fontainebleau and Nemours. It was so 

arranged that Napoleon, while out in a hunting 

party, should come suddenly as if by accident 



upon the holy pontiff; this was to avoid all the 
cumbersome ceremony incident to a meeting in 
the palace. The emperor leaped from his horse, 
and hastened with outstretched hands to meet his 
guest. The pope was dressed in white, and wore 
satin slippers, and in order to receive the em- 
brace of welcome from his host had to step from 
his carriage into the mud. 

"During the pope's stay at Fontainebleau, Jose- 
phine thought the time propitious to have him 
solemnize her marriage with Napoleon, for there 
never had been a religious ceremony. This the 
pope gladly consented to do, and Napoleon 
offered no objection. With a woman's intuition 
Josephine felt that the bonds between her and 
her royal spouse were loosening especially be- 
cause of the fact that there was no direct heir 
to the dynasty nor likely to be one so far as she 
was concerned and she was anxious to do 
everything in her power to strengthen the ties. 

A family altercation took place on the eve of 
the ceremony, when Joseph's wife was selected 
to bear the train of the empress. The quarrel 
was finally settled by having her support the man- 
tle of Josephine. 

Napoleon's mother and his brother Lucien were 
not at the ceremony, they were living at the time 
in Rome; she could not be persuaded to attend, 
and Lucien was not on good terms with" his 

On the surface there seemed to be a universal 
approval of the coronation; but on the night be- 
fore it took place, the walls of Paris were covered 


with flaming posters announcing : " The Last 
Representation of the French Revolution. For 
the benefit of a poor Corsican family." 

Nothing was spared to make the pageant 
splendid and imposing, and in Notre Dame there 
never had been presented so brilliant a scene. 
Everything was done to appeal to the imagina- 
tion of the beholders. The sword and insignia 
of Charlemagne were brought to Paris to grace 
the event. The ceremonies incident to the coro- 
nation of the Bourbon princes at Rheims had been 
tawdry and commonplace in comparison. The 
church was filled with handsomely dressed 
women, robed in the attractive gowns of that 
period and emblazoned with jewels, while the 
marshals were resplendent with gold and lace; 
envoys, ministers, and ambassadors, with splendid 
retinues graced the scene. The emperor wore a 
coat of red velvet embroidered with gold, the 
collar of the Legion of Honor, a short cloak 
adorned with golden bees, the symbol of his 
dynasty, white satin knee breeches, silk stockings 
and embroidered slippers brilliant with diamonds ; 
his sword hilt and scabbard were lustrous with 
gems, and on his brow was a wreath of laurel. 
Before entering the cathedral there was thrown 
over his shoulders the long imperial robe of pur- 
ple velvet trimmed and lined with royal ermine. 
The well-known steel engraving by Desnoyers, 
after the painting by Girard, gives a fair idea of 
the emperor's appearance on that auspicious day. 
Josephine with her matchless grace made an ideal 
queen ; her robe was of white satin trimmed with 


After the Isabey portrait 


silver and besprinkled with golden bees; she was 
literally aflame with diamonds, while on her 
shapely head was a diadem of jewels valued at 
more than a million francs. Beautifully dressed 
pages, mantle bearers, and ladies-in-waiting fol- 
lowed in her train. 

The procession wound slowly through the 
streets leading from the Tuileries to the 
cathedral, the emperor and empress riding in 
the sumptuous state carriage in full view of the 
crowds that lined the sidewalks. The reception 
of the people was most cordial, and the cry of 
" Vive I'Empereur " was heard on all sides. The 
critical observer recalled the fact that it was only 
about a decade since Louis XVI passed over a 
portion of the same route amidst a quiet throng 
on his way to the guillotine. 

The wedding party was late in reaching the 
church, and the aged pope was chilled before the 
ceremony began. When the act of coronation 
was about to take place, Napoleon took the im- 
perial diadem from the pontiff and with his own 
hands crowned himself, and then turning to the 
kneeling Josephine at his side placed it on her 
brow. A murmur ran through the church, either 
in admiration of the audacity of the emperor 
or in pity for the humiliation of the priest. 

La Fayette, the moderate royalist, and Carnot, 
the radical republican, seem to have been the 
only two distinguished men in France who pub- 
licly denounced the mummery. Beethoven had 
dedicated his " Sinfonia Eroica" to Bonaparte, 
but so disappointed was he in the man who was 


to establish the principles of the Revolution, that 
in anger the great musician tore the inscription 
from his famous composition and afterwards ded- 
icated it to the memory of a great man. 





In 1804 Napoleon was in the very zenith of 
his power. His civil administration and his mil- 
itary successes made him the greatest executive 
and the first captain in Europe ; but his ambition 
was not satisfied with being the consul of a re- 
public, he must be the ruler of an empire. He 
had changed the form of government so easily 
and the people apparently had so unanimously 
endorsed his act that when he was crowned em-' 
peror, it did not seem as if it were usurpation. 

The most bitter and implacable foe of Napo- 
leon was England. He had made peace with his 
other enemies, but she could be neither cajoled 
nor appeased. His most subtle diplomacy could 
not deceive nor persuade her, and she was the 
only state in Europe with which he had not, at 
one time or 'another, formed an alliance. She 
kept alive the coalitions against him, poured sub- 
sidies into the laps of the allies, and after her 
declaration of war in 1803 never ceased the- 
struggle to overthrow his power and domination 
until she caged him at St. Helena. And yet at 
one time in conversation with the British ambas- 


sador, Whitworth, Napoleon used the following 
significant language : " Why should not the mis- 
tress of the seas and the mistress of the land 
come to an arrangement and govern the world ? " 
But the English envoy was not the man to under- 
stand the full meaning of such a suggestion. 

At this time, while at peace with the rest of 
the world, Napoleon thought the hour propitious 
to cross the channel and make a descent upon the 
shores of England. For years he had had such 
a project in contemplation, but he thought that so 
long as Great Britain ruled the seas such an un- 
dertaking would be futile. Now, however, hav- 
ing greatly strengthened his navy and having 
combined it with that of Spain, an ally of France, 
he believed the success of such an enterprise was 
possible. He had entered in triumph many of the 
capitals of Europe, but the capture of London 
would be the crowning glory of his reign. A 
bronze medal struck at this time, bearing on the 
reverse a profile of Napoleon and on the obverse 
Hercules strangling a Triton, was sufficiently 
significant of his purpose. 

His threats and extensive preparations pro- 
duced the most profound alarm throughout Eng- 
land, and everything was done to put the island 
in a complete state of defence. The army and 
navy were increased by enlistments and new ships 
were ordered to be built. Taxes were increased, 
and a loan of 12,000,000 sterling was authorized 
by Parliament and taken up by subscription as 
soon as issued. A system of signals was estab- 
lished between observation vessels in the channel 


and stations on land. Beacons were ready to 
flame on every hilltop at a moment's warning. 
Every man able to bear arms was drilled, and 
the entire male population, young and old, be- 
came a home guard ready to protect their " dear 
beloved isle " against the haughty invader. The 
whole channel coast bristled with armaments, and 
the French if they had made an attempt to land 
would have been met at every point with a bitter 
and a deadly fire. 

The first thing Napoleon did was to placate his 
foes on the continent lest they should form an 
alliance with his arch enemy. Then he began 
to draw in his armies, and to mobilize them on 
the plains of Boulogne. 

To effect the invasion successfully required a 
combination of his sea and land forces. His pur- 
pose was to manoeuvre his fleet so as to have it 
ultimately command the channel, and then under 
the protection of its guns convey his troops, con- 
sisting of 150,000 to 180,000 men, including in- 
fantry, cavalry, and artillery, from the coast of 
France across the channel in a flotilla of flat- 
bottomed boats and disembark them on the shores 
of England. This was a stupendous task, and 
yet if his plan of campaign had been followed 
closely in all its details, there is reason to believe 
it might have been successful, at least so far as 
effecting a landing in England was concerned. 
There seems to have been no doubt in Napoleon's 
mind as to his ability to make the conquest of 
Britain if he could successfully cross the channel, 
or to use his own words, " leap the ditch." 



" Masters of the channel for six hours," he ex- 
claimed, " we are masters of the world." 

Unfortunately for him, in carrying out his 
project he had to reckon with wind and wave, 
and his commanders on the sea were not in any 
way equal to his commanders on the land. " The 
narrowest strait was to his power," says Macau- 
lay, " what it was of old believed that a running 
stream was to the sorceries of a witch." 

The admiral of the French navy at the open- 
ing of the campaign was Latour-Treville, a sailor 
of ability, courage, and daring; but he died while 
the plans of invasion were in embryo, and was 
succeeded by Admiral Villeneuve, who subse- 
quently proved his utter incapacity. He was 
either too stupid to comprehend the orders of 
Napoleon or else so contumacious as wilfully to 
disobey them. 

Napoleon had fortified every port from Dieppe 
to Antwerp and filled them with pontoons and 

In writing to one of his admirals in reference to 
the matter he said that he hoped to have soon 
on the northern coast 1,300 flat-bottomed boats, 
able to carry 100,000 men, while the Dutch 
flotilla would transport 60,000. 

Strange to say, Napoleon was of opinion, at 
least in the early days of this remarkable cam- 
paign, that keelless, flat-bottomed boats even with- 
out the protection of a convoying fleet could keep 
large attacking vessels at bay in the choppy seas 
of a wind and tide-swept body of water such as 
the English channel. 


Copyright, 1910, by George W. Jacobs & Co. 


From an original drawing by Vallot. Formerly in the collection 
owned by Cardinal Bonaparte of Rome, a nephew of the famous 
Emperor. Came into possession of the present owner through Godefroy 
Mayer, of Paris. 


One of Napoleon's flat-bottomed boats having 
fallen into the possession of the British fleet, the 
sailors ridiculed such a bark and looked with con- 
tempt upon what they termed " a miserable tool " 
that " could not hug the wind, but must drift 
bodily to leeward " and whose main defence was 
a long eighteen-pounder " which could only be 
fired stem on." So ridiculous for the purpose 
intended did such a vessel appear in the eyes 
of the English sailors that they looked with sus- 
picion upon the threatened invasion and thought 
that the gathering of these boats at Boulogne was 
simply to draw the attention of England from 
the real points of attack. The sailors declared 
that if they had half a chance they could in a 
short time make kindling wood of a whole fleet 
of such craft. 

Marshal Ney, who was in command of the 
French troops at Boulogne, had but little confi- 
dence in the staying powers of the flotilla in a 
storm or in a battle and looked upon it as noth- 
ing more than " a gigantic ferry." In fact, the 
only chances for such a multitude of batteaux 
to cross the channel safely with their human 
freight would have been under the darkness of 
night, in a calm when the big vessels could not 
manoeuvre or during the absence of the British 
fleet. One of Napoleon's admirals was bold 
enough to tell him that " no matter how much 
the flatterers might persuade him the expedition 
was possible, it was doomed to defeat, and noth- 
ing but disgrace could be expected." 

About this time Robert Fulton was in Europe 


exploiting and experimenting with his new inven- 
tion, the steamboat, but it does not seem to have 
occurred to Napoleon that he could apply steam 
to his flotilla with any practical or advantageous 
results. It is well known that Napoleon had the 
Fulton invention brought to his attention, but 
he evidently decided to depend upon the oar and 
the sail rather than upon steam as the means of 

In the spring of 1805 everything was in readi- 
ness for the final moves in the campaign. By a 
series of ruses, the French fleet was to draw the 
British fleet as far away as possible from the 
Mediterranean, where it was watching the French 
ports; then double on its course and under all 
sail hasten back to France, command the English 
channel, and under its guns give safe convoy to 
the transports. 

Admiral Villeneuve was with his fleet at 
Toulon and was closely observed in all his move- 
ments by Nelson. Taking quick advantage of a 
favorable wind, the French commander escaped 
from that port, sailed through the strait of 
Gibraltar, and then headed nearly due west. 
Nelson at once started in pursuit, hoping to over- 
take and force him to battle. Villeneuve for a 
while deceived his foe, for the British admiral, 
a rough sea fighter who was not in the habit of 
showing his heels to the enemy, could not divine 
the meaning of such tactics. A^fter a council of 
officers of the British fleet, the opinion was 
reached that Villeneuve was sailing for the West 
Indies and Nelson decided to follow him across 


the Atlantic. Upon reaching those islands the 
British ascertained that the French fleet after a 
few days' stay had again put to sea, headed east. 
Nelson without delay sailed for the Mediter- 

Napoleon's instructions to his admiral were 
to have the French fleet, immediately upon its 
return from the West Indies after leaving the 
British in the rear, liberate the small French fleet 
blockaded at Ferrol, sail forthwith to Rochefort, 
joining the French squadron in that harbor, and 
then with this greatly augmented and combined 
force to fall suddenly upon the ships of Corn- 
wallis, which were blockading Brest, to release 
the French fleet in that port, and then to sail up 
the channel guarding it with all his vessels, while 
Napoleon transported his troops to the coast of 

Instead of carrying out this simple and com- 
prehensive plan in all its details, Villeneuve, on 
the twenty-second of July, 1805, fought an inde- 
cisive battle with a small English fleet at Ferrol 
and, in place of hastening to Brest as he had been 
ordered to do, sailed for Cadiz in a crippled 
condition to make repairs. The plan to be suc- 
cessful had to be carried out in every particular, 
but this was deliberately breaking a link in the 

Believing that his orders had been followed to 
the letter, on August 3, 1805, Napoleon came to 
Boulogne to be in readiness to take immediate 
advantage of the arrival of the French fleet. 
Facing the shores of Albion, seated in an iron 
15 225 


chair said to have belonged to Dagobert, king of 
the Franks, the emperor held a grand review of 
his troops. A line of soldiers nine miles in length 
passed before him and every step of the march 
his ears were greeted with cheers and cries of 
" Vive VEmpereur." In all his campaigns he had 
never marshaled a grander host. There were 
veterans bronzed with service; veterans who had 
marched over the deserts of Egypt and across 
the St. Bernard, climbing the snow-peaked Alps, 
scaling the crags where only the wild birds riest; 
veterans whom the little corporal, clasping the 
standard of the Republic, had led over the bridges 
of Lodi and Arcola; veterans who had snatched 
victory from defeat at the battle of Marengo; 
veterans of a dozen campaigns ready to follow 
his eagles as did the legions of Rome those of 
Caesar in the conquest of Britain. They were 
only waiting to be led to further and greater 
fields of glory. But soon these mighty hosts van- 
ished from the plains of Boulogne like the snows 
of winter. 

On the thirteenth of August, 1805, informa- 
tion was brought to Napoleon of the conduct of 
Villeneuve and his disobedience to orders. Na- 
poleon's anger and indignation were beyond con- 
trol. He poured out his wrath on the head of 
his offending admiral and characterized his con- 
duct as pusillanimous. 

The navy having baffled his designs, Napo- 
v leon now turned his attention to the East. 

It is a grave question as to whether or not it 
really was the intention of Napoleon to invade 


England; if it was his purpose to land on her 
shores, it surely was the most perilous undertak- 
ing upon which he had ever ventured. Some 
contend that Ireland was his objective point and 
if he had landed there Erin would perhaps to-day 
be free and no longer a part of the United King- 
dom. The landing of a French corps would 
have been welcomed by the greater portion of the 

Again some contend that the enterprise was 
so fraught with peril that Napoleon never 
seriously contemplated making an invasion and 
that at the proper time he was well satisfied to 
find an excuse to abandon it, that his threat was 
only to bring England to terms or at least to 
keep her at home and to prevent her from aiding 
in forming coalitions against the empire. If 
these were his purposes he signally failed in all 
of them; for she was not brought to terms, was 
not kept at home, and was not prevented from 
helping to form alliances against him. 

If Napoleon had effected a landing in England, 
could he have maintained a foothold? Would 
it have been Hannibal in Italy or Caesar in Brit- 
ain? Napoleon is said to have remarked that 
he did not consider the means of getting out of 
England, he was so anxious to get in. He was 
like a mountain climber whose only purpose is 
to reach the summit ; the descent being left to take 
care of itself, though that may be the more diffi- 
cult part of the undertaking. If Napoleon had 
penetrated England he might have been caught 
as if in a trap. He had to disembark infantry, 


cavalry, artillery, and military stores and keep 
open his line of communication with France. 
The British navy, in commanders, in numbers, in 
skill and fighting quality, was far superior to the 
French. Even if the English ships came too late 
to prevent the invasion they could with a favor- 
able wind have swept the channel, have cut the 
French line of communication, and gradually 
have destroyed the entire flotilla. England's 
whole population would have been in arms, and 
even the capture of London might not have been 
decisive, for the English heartily despised Napo- 
leon. They would have fought him to the last 
ditch and he might have been compelled to lay 
down his arms in a strange land. 

While France was making preparations for the 
invasion, England was not idle, but was doing 
everything in her power to provoke a continental 
war and with her usual skill was fomenting dis- 
cord in every direction and promising subsidies. 

Ever since the execution of the Duke d'En- 
ghien the young czar had nursed a feeling of 
resentment against Napoleon. The Russian 
court at that time had gone into mourning, and 
Alexander had in the strongest words expressed 
his indignation at the outrage. The czar had 
gone too far in his emphatic protest in view of 
the fact that he himself was supposed to have 
been implicated in the cowardly assassination of 
Paul I, and Napoleon struck back with force 
when he asked if Russia would not have seized 
the assassins had she known they were one league 
beyond the Russian frontiers? The taunt stung 


to the quick, and diplomatic relations were broken 
off with Napoleon in the summer of 1804, 
although war did not break out for nearly a year. 

Napoleon in the mean time was resorting to 
every artifice to prevent the forming of the coali- 
tion, but succeeded only in keeping Prussia out 
of it. 

In January, 1805, he ha(HnigrrnejdJErajncjs_of 

Austria that he 'intended to prqclaimjoseph. Bo- 

riaprrteTc^^oFTtaI^7but tTiis plan was broken 

ntjy J oseph, who wasjno t. _ willing to . forego "his 

rigKf of succession to the French crown by accept - 

Tng'lfaat of Lombardy One o? the ^articles in 

""""the treaty bTTCuneville was that the governments 

of France and Italy should be kept separate, and 

their thrones not occupied by the same ruler. 

After the declination of Joseph, Napoleon sug- 
gested to his brother Louis that he should hold 
the crown of Italy in trust for his son. Louis, 
however, insisted upon an absolute sovereignty, 
independent of any trusteeship, and after a stormy 
altercation the emperor violently thrust his 
brother from the room. To end the matter Na- 
poleon at last announced that he would assume 
the crown himself, and appoint as viceroy his 
stepson, Eugene Beauharnais. In the early sum- 
mer Napoleon with Josephine journeyed to Italy 
and in the magnificent cathedral of Milan, amidst 
the greatest pomp and splendor, placed upon his 
brow with his own hands the famous iron crown 
of Lombardy, repeating in the act of coronation 
the words of the old Lombard kings : " God gave 
it me, woe to him who touches it." It was 



observed that at this ceremony he failed to press 
the iron circlet upon the forehead of his queen. 

After attending to some minor details he hur- 
ried back to Paris from Turin, covering the dis- 
tance in eighty-five hours. 




Austria for some time past had been nursing 
her wrath, but now found a pretext for war, and 
the third coalition, consisting of Russia, Aus- 
tria, England, and Sweden, united their forces to 
overthrow Napoleon, whose ambition seemed 
limitless, and whose purpose it was apparently 
to extend his empire until it was co-equal with 
the boundaries of Europe. 

Early in the autumn of 1805 the allies began 
moving their armies towards the French fron- 
tiers. Napoleon without delay, when convinced 
that he would have to abandon his project for 
the invasion of England, transferred his army 
into the heart of Germany and entered Munich, 
the capital of Bavaria, on October 14, 1805. 

At this time Napoleon was in the full vigor of 
his manhood. He was in his thirty-fifth year, 
the eligible age for the presidency of the United 
States. From a thin, sallow-faced youth he had 
developed into a remarkably handsome man; his 
features, always refined and most delicately 
formed, had filled out, his face, classic in profile, 
had a clear healthy color, neither as sallow as it 
had been nor as pale as it was to become. His 
mouth was firm, his jaw powerful, his chin well 


moulded and prominent, his teeth white and 
sound, his nose perfect in its contour, and his 
eyes, in hue a bluish gray, were searching and 
penetrating, but when in a cheerful mood their 
expression was tender and seductive. His head 
was massive, well-formed, and is said to have 
measured twenty-two inches in circumference. 
The fact of this large measurement, however, is 
not borne out by an examination of Doctor An- 
tommarche's death mask. He wore his hair long 
until he went to Egypt ; then he cut it short, and 
ever afterwards wore it so. His ears, hands, and 
feet were small and shapely. In stature he was 
undersized, being about five feet three inches, and 
as he grew older he developed a slight stoop in 
the shoulders. In attire he was very simple; he 
generally wore the uniform of a colonel of grena- 
diers or of the light infantry of the consular 
guard. He made a picturesque figure in his long 
gray coat, high boots and cocked hat, seated on 
his white horse and surrounded by his marshals 
and aides in magnificent uniforms and resplendent 
with decorations. 

It is generally conceded that the army he was 
about to lead to battle was the finest he ever com- 
manded, and that the campaign upon which he 
was about to enter was in many respects the most 
remarkable he ever waged. 

General Mack, in command of the Austrian 
army, was about the only general among the 
Imperialists who had not suffered great defeat, 
and he was named commander in hopes of re- 
trieving the losses that Austria had sustained ; but 


as we shall find he was no more fitted to cope with 
Napoleon than a child. He was but clay in the 
potter's hands. 

Early in September, not waiting to form a 
junction with the army of Russia, the Austrian 
general advanced into Bavaria, marching in the 
direction of the Rhine, and took up his position 
at Ulm, facing the Black Forest, expecting that 
the French would open their attack from that 
direction. In order to lull the Austrian com- 
mander into a sense of security, Napoleon left 
Strasburg after placing Murat in command of the 
army and then journeyed leisurely to Paris ; here 
he remained as if the last thing in his mind was 
the war in Bavaria, even giving his personal 
attention to so trivial a matter as changing the 
computation of time from the revolutionary 
calendar to that of the Gregorian, and announcing 
by imperial decree that the latter would go into 
effect on January i, 1806. In order further to 
deceive his enemies he directed Talleyrand to 
publish deceptive war news in the Moniteur, 
a semi-official journal, that he might be given 
time, using his own language, " to pirouette 
200,000 soldiers into Germany." The ruses 
worked admirably, for Mack still held his position 
at Ulm in anticipation of French attacks from 
the direction of Basle and Mayence. At the last 
moment Napoleon ostentatiously sent the im- 
perial baggage to Strasburg, and after a great 
flourish over his departure, set out for that city, 
as if at this point he was to concentrate his troops 
and direct his attack upon the enemy. By this 


last ruse Mack was convinced more than ever that 
he was correct in his original conjecture. 

Murat, to carry the delusion further, deployed 
great bodies of cavalry in the passes leading out 
of the Black Forest, as if reconnoitring in ad- 
vance of a battle. 

No ruses ever succeeded better, for behind 
these screens a net was being deftly woven that, 
like the coils of the python, was to strangle the 
imperial army of Mack to death. All the while 
the French troops, called " the army of Eng- 
land," were sweeping to the northwest of the 
Austrians, then covering their right wing and 
marching into the valley of the Danube in their 
rear. On came this mighty host from every 
direction, climbing mountains, fording streams, 
crossing swamps, and cutting their way through 
thickets and forests. Irresistible was their prog- 
ress, like an incoming tide, until at last every 
point of retreat was cut off. Many of the Aus- 
trian officers, seeing the peril of the army, begged 
Mack to fall back before his lines of communica- 
tion were entirely cut, but the madman clung with 
pertinacity to his own notions. Fifteen hundred 
officers and soldiers with Duke Ferdinand at their 
head rode away, refusing to serve under a com- 
mander whose blind policy threatened total de- 

Mack, at last, realized the true condition of 
affairs, but it was too late. Some divisions of 
the Austrians tried to break through the lines, 
but only in a few instances did they succeed. 
Mack surrendered with 20,000 foot-soldiers and 


3,000 cavalry on October 20, 1805. The French 
emperor, backed by his Imperial Guard, consist- 
ing of 10,000 men and eight columns of his 
troops, received the homage of the vanquished. 
The Austrian general, bowed down with grief, 
gave up his sword to the victor, at the same time 
remarking: "Here is the unfortunate Mack." 
At this moment the sun broke through the clouds, 
having been hidden for several days, and flooded 
the field with a golden light. 

" Our emperor," said the exultant French sol- 
diers, " has found out a new way of making war : 
he no longer makes it with our arms, but with our 

Napoleon, to inspire further his troops, issued 
another of his famous bulletins : " Soldiers of the 
Grand Army: In fifteen days we have finished a 
campaign. . . . The army that had so osten- 
tatiously and imprudently placed itself on our 
borders is now destroyed. . . . 

" Of the hundred thousand men who made up 
this army, sixty thousand are prisoners. . . . 
Two hundred guns, the whole train, ninety colors, 
all their generals are ours. Only fifteen thou- 
sand men have escaped. . . . 

" Soldiers ! I had prepared you for a great 
battle; but thanks to the bad manoeuvres of the 
enemy, I have reached equal results without tak- 
ing any risk. . . . 

" Soldiers ! this success is due to your unlim- 
ited confidence in your emperor, to your patience 
in suffering all kinds of fatigue and privations, 
to your splendid valor. 



" But we cannot rest yet. You are impatient 
for a second campaign. 

" The Russian army, drawn by the gold of 
England from the furthest limits of the earth, 
must suffer the same fate. . . . 

"In this contest the honor of the French in- 
fantry is at stake . . . whether it is the first 
or second in Europe. 

" Among the enemy are no generals from 
whom I have any glory to win. My whole anx- 
iety shall be to obtain the victory with the least 
effusion of blood possible: my soldiers are my 

Such an address, at such a time, from such a 
commander, was certain to win the hearts of the 
soldiers and to put on edge their courage and 
enthusiasm. The battle had been won by their 
patience and valor, each soldier was given a share 
in the victory, and the infantry was put on its 
mettle to prove in the next encounter that it was 
the first in Europe. The emperor had no glory 
to win; it was all for his soldiers, who were his 
children. Affectionate, generous, unselfish, and 
appreciative, the address appealed to the emotions 
of his men and won their devotion. 

On October twenty-first, the day after the sur- 
render of Mack at Ulm, Admiral Villeneuve, hav- 
ing sailed out of the harbor of Cadiz with the 
combined French and Spanish fleets, gave battle 
to Nelson at Trafalgar. The allied fleet was 
swept from the seas, but England paid dear for 
her triumph in the death of her great Nelson. 
The French admiral was so overcome by the dis- 


Painting by L. 1<". Abbott. Proof before letters 


grace of his defeat that he afterwards committed 

After his victory at Ulm, one of the most re- 
markable in the annals of warfare, Napoleon 
marched to Vienna and entered that city in tri- 
umph. Without delay he put his army again in 
motion and followed the Russians into Moravia 
until he brought them to a stand at Austerlitz. 
He was now in the enemy's country, 500 miles 
from Paris and far distant from his base of sup- 
plies. A defeat under such conditions would 
have been disastrous. 

The armies were drawn up facing each other 
in two long lines. The field was a vast plain 
in the centre of which was a piece of rising 
ground called the plateau of Pratzen. This ele- 
vation had been occupied by Napoleon, but he had 
fallen back and abandoned it to the enemy in 
order to secure a stronger position. Emperor 
Francis of Austria and Czar Alexander of Rus- 
sia were on the field. The allies had an army of 
85,000 under the command of General Kutusoff, 
while the French numbered 65,000 men. 

The right wing of the French was commanded 
by Davoust, the centre by Bernadotte, Soult and 
Oudinot with Murat in supreme charge of the 
cavalry. Supporting the centre was the Imperial 
Guard commanded by Bessieres. The left wing 
was under the command of Ney and Lannes. 
Great masses of troops were concealed from the 
sight of the enemy behind some houses and a 
piece of rising ground. 

The right wing occupied an exposed position, 


and was the most vulnerable point of the line; 
it was, in fact, made so purposely as a bait to 
induce the Russian commander to begin his attack 
against that position. Davoust, in command of 
this wing, was one of the most dogged and deter- 
mined fighters in the French army and was given 
orders to keep the enemy at bay as long as pos- 
sible and, if compelled to retreat, to retire slowly. 

At four o'clock on the afternoon of the day 
before the battle, Kutusoff began his turning 
movement, and drew forces from his centre to 
strengthen his left preparatory to beginning an 
attack the next morning on the French right. 
Napoleon, who had been watching the movement 
for a long time through his field glasses, at last 
exclaimed, addressing his marshals : " He is 
marching into the trap. That army will be mine 
before to-morrow night." 

In the evening the emperor threw himself down 
on some straw in his tent to catch a few hours 
of sleep. About midnight he mounted his horse 
and started out to reconnoitre in order to see if 
it were necessary to make any change in the plan 
of battle. He ventured too near the enemy's out- 
posts, was chased by some Cossacks, and it was 
only the fleetness of his horse that saved him 
from capture. Upon reaching the French lines 
he dismounted to pick his way and, at once, his 
familiar figure, with the gray coat and cocked hat, 
was recognized by some grenadiers, who set up 
the shout : " Long live the emperor." Remem- 
bering it was the anniversary of his coronation, 
a soldier improvised a torch by lighting a whisp 


of straw; his example was followed by his com- 
rades until the whole camp presented a scene 
of illumination and rang with cries of acclama- 

In the morning, after breakfast, Napoleon 
buckled on his sword and at the same time ad- 
dressing his officers, said : " Come, gentlemen, let 
us go forth to a great day." " The sun of Aus- 
terlitz " was hidden behind the clouds, but just 
before the battle opened it broke through the mist 
and was hailed by Napoleon as an augury of 
good fortune. 

The fight began, as Napoleon expected, by an 
attack on his right wing; the temptation was 
too great to resist and Kutusoff fell eagerly into 
the trap laid for him. Davoust fought stub- 
bornly, and fell back slowly, his position being 
stronger and more tenable than at first was sup- 
posed. At the proper moment the French centre, 
supported by the Imperial Guard and the troops 
concealed by the houses and the rising ground, 
moved forward to the charge, and drove the 
Russians from the plateau of Pratzen. To re- 
cover the lost ground, the Russian Imperial Guard, 
a magnificent body of horse, was hurled against 
the French, but Murat, the ff beau sabreur" one 
of the bravest officers that ever led a squadron 
to battle, came plunging with his cavalry across 
the field. The shock when the two bodies of 
horsemen met was terrific, the front ranks when 
they came together seemed to rise up in the air 
like the waves of the sea; but after some time of 
desperate hand to hand fighting the Russians gave 


way. The French, having taken the plateau, had 
not only pierced and broken the Russian centre, 
but had separated both wings. That wing which 
was fighting Davoust was placed between two 
fires, for the French artillery that occupied the 
plateau opened on its rear. Soon the whole line 
of the allies wavered, recoiled, and fled, and the 
85,000 men, less 35,000 left upon the field of 
battle, in killed, wounded, and captured, were in 
wild retreat, followed by the French cavalry, who, 
attacking the flanks and rear, inflicted upon them 
terrible loss. 

Recent investigation has thrown doubt on the 
story of the drowning of thousands of Russians 
while crossing the frozen lake of Satschan and 
with it must also fall the suggestion said to have 
been made by Napoleon to the gunners who were 
aiming the cannon point blank at the fugitives 
that they should elevate their pieces so as to have 
the balls drop on the ice from a great height 
instead of having them merely ricochet across 
its surface. 

It was one of the best fought battles that Na- 
poleon ever waged and one of the greatest vic- 
tories he ever achieved and at a loss of only 5,000 
men. Some of the French reserves were not 
even brought into action. The army fought 
superbly; it was animated by a strong esprit de 
corps, which had been created upon the plains of 
Boulogne. It was composed almost entirely of 
Frenchmen and was led by Napoleon's ablest 
marshals: Soult, Ney, Murat, Lannes, Davoust, 
and Bernadotte. 



" My people," said Napoleon addressing his 
soldiers, " my people will see you again with de- 
light and if one of you will say, ' I was at Auster- 
litz/ everyone will respond : * Here stands a 
hero.' ' 

The Emperor Francis came personally to Napo- 
leon's tent to sue for peace. 

The treaty of Pressburg was signed on De- 
cember 27, 1805. By it the house of Hapsburg 
lost twenty thousand square miles of territory 
and two and a half millions of subjects. Venetia, 
Friuli, Istria, and Dalmatia were ceded by Aus- 
tria to Italy and Napoleon's encroachments and 
seizure of territory in that kingdom sanctioned. 
An indemnity of 40,000,000 francs was imposed 
on Austria. 

Bavaria, Wiirtemberg and Baden, were given 
rich rewards for their faithful adherence to the 
cause of Napoleon. 

Perhaps after all, with the great victories of 
Ulm and Austerlitz, the year ended more glo- 
riously for the French arms than it would have 
done had Napoleon carried out his intention of 
invading England. 

16 241 




After the treaty of Pressburg Napoleon with- 
drew his army from Austria, and quartered the 
main body of his troops in the southern German 
states that were friendly to him. He did not 
mobilize his soldiers on the plains of Boulogne, as 
he had given up, especially since the destruction 
of his fleet at Trafalgar, all thought of invading 

The battle of Austerlitz was far reaching in 
its consequences. It was a death blow to Pitt; 
it broke his heart and gave him what was known 
as the " Austerlitz look." Passing through the 
hall of his house he noticed hanging on the wall 
a map of Europe. " Roll it up," he said to his 
attendant ; " it will be of no use for ten years to 
come, at least." After his decease he was suc- 
ceeded in office by Charles James Fox, whose 
desire and intention were, if possible, to enter into 
treaty relations with Napoleon, but sentiment was 
so strong in England against any alliance or un- 
derstanding with France that such a plan had to 
be abandoned. Indeed the very fact that Fox as 
a liberal was anxious to change the belligerent 
policy of his predecessor made it impossible for 


him to do so without arousing a suspicion as to 
his motive. A burning and consuming hatred 
against France made England blind to her own 
interests. At this time her finances were at a 
low ebb, streams of money so vast had poured 
out of her treasury into the laps of her allies in 
the way of subsidies that they had been an exhaust- 
ive drain upon her resources. British consols 
were at the lowest price they had ever reached. 
Her commerce and manufactures languished, for 
most of the ports and markets of Europe were 
closed against her. Labor was out of employ- 
ment, and a general depression had settled upon 
the people throughout the entire kingdom. Still 
she was deaf to all propositions coming from Na- 
poleon, and was determined to keep the strife 
alive and oppose his aggressions even if she stood 
alone. One must admire her tenacity even if he 
cannot commend her policy. 

After Austerlitz a great number of changes 
took place in the empire of France. The Bour- 
bons of Naples were deposed, and the Confedera- 
tion of the Rhine, consisting of Bavaria, Baden, 
Wiirtemberg and a dozen smaller principalities, 
was organized. Joseph, the eldest brother of 
Napoleon, accepted the crown of Naples with the 
distinct understanding that he was not to relin- 
quish his right of succession to the throne of 
France ; to which inheritance he would have been 
the next in order had Napoleon died childless. 
So tenaciously did Joseph cling to this shadowy 
right that Napoleon observed sarcastically that 
his brother acted as if he were in danger of being 



deprived or cheated of his birthright. Louis, an- 
other brother, was made king of Holland, while 
Jerome, who, at the instance of Napoleon, had 
abandoned his American wife, Miss Patterson of 
Baltimore, was promised Westphalia. Elise, 
Pauline and Caroline, sisters of the emperor, were 
not forgotten in this family distribution of crowns 
and coronets, although they petulantly complained 
that their brother had slighted them. One of 
them, after entering into possession of her prov- 
ince, actually found a purchaser for it. Lucien 
was the only member of the family neglected in 
the division and he could have had a share of the 
spoils had he been willing to abandon his wife, 
but be it said to his credit he refused all offers 
and gifts that had so dishonorable a consideration 
for their acceptance. 

Lucien had formed a liaison with Madame 
Jouberthon, a beautiful widow of a stockbroker, 
and had by her a natural son. Napoleon did all 
in his power to induce his brother to break away 
from this alliance, promising him, if he would do 
so, the hand of the queen of Etruria. But Lucien 
positively declined, asserting that he was too much 
of a republican to like queens especially ugly 
ones. So desperately was he in love with his 
mistress that he made her his wife without inform- 
ing or asking permission of Napoleon. When 
the news of the marriage reached the Consul he 
was present at a musicale being given at St. 
Cloud and the information was quietly imparted 
to him by his faithful friend Duroc. Suddenly, to 
the great surprise of the company, he jumped 



From a portrait by Owen; engraved by H. S. Goed 


to his feet and strode excitedly up and down the 
room, muttering, " It is treason treason." The 
musicians instantly stopped playing and the select 
gathering of guests was thrown into excitement 
and confusion. " What is the matter ? " anx- 
iously asked Josephine. " Matter ! " cried Napo- 
leon; "matter! why Lucien has married his 
coquine." From that day the brothers never 
were wholly reconciled. 

An empire, if it is to be stable, must have a 
caste of nobility, so Napoleon began to lavish 
titles upon his statesmen and marshals. Talley- 
rand, Bernadotte, Murat, and Berthier were spe- 
cially honored and given duchies in Italy and Ger- 
many. France was an empire resting on military 
glory, and it was but proper that the distinguished 
honors should fall upon the commanders who 
had won her battles. After his coronation, Napo- 
leon assumed a dignity in keeping with his exalted 
station and established a court as precise and 
rigid in its etiquette as that of the old regime. 
Its splendor rivaled even that of Louis XIV. 

The establishment, however, of the empire was 
not in any sense the restoration of the old regime 
with its Bourbonism, feudalism, privileges, exac- 
tions, unjust taxation, farmers-general, and ine- 
quality before the law. The Revolution had 
abolished these abuses and iniquities. The em- 
pire was the result of that great political up- 
heaval and was not Bourbonistic but distinctively 
Napoleonic; it was, too, an empire of the people 
and this was why there was so general an acqui- 
escence in the usurpation. Napoleon was of 


plebeian blood, and his marshals who had brought 
such glory to France were of the common people. 
Murat's father was an inn-keeper; Ney was 
the son of a cooper; Desaix, Lannes, Davoust, 
Massena, Oudinot, all were of humble origin; 
they had won their promotions by personal merit, 
and not by the accident of birth nor the patron- 
age of a king's mistress that was so potential 
in the days of the old regime. Merit, not 
blood nor female influence, was the means 
to advancement. Caste as a barrier to worthy 
plebeian promotion had been broken down. Even 
the grim veteran of the Imperial Guard was a 
child of the Revolution like Napoleon, and prided 
himself upon having by his valor helped to make 
the glory of the empire. 

Paris had become in truth the centre of the 
universe; stupendous public works were con- 
structed, magnificent buildings erected and tri- 
umphal arches, outvying those that had adorned 
the eternal city, spanned the great highways and 
immortalized in marble and in granite the victories 
of the Republic and the Empire. Paris now was 
the art centre of the world, even surpassing Italy, 
for her galleries were rilled with the most re- 
nowned masterpieces of the Renaissance, any one 
of which would have made a city famous. Paris 
too set the fashions of the world, and her designs 
in household furniture of that period, so dis- 
tinctive, delicate and exquisite in style, are still 
to this day designated " the empire." 

It does not seem anomalous at a period such as 
that of which we are writing that a man like 


Napoleon, who had evolved order out of chaos, 
and had brought prosperity to his country, should 
have been accepted as the ruler even though he 
demanded the title of emperor in consideration 
of these blessings. Besides this he had brought 
renown to the arms of France, had added great 
accessions of territory to her empire, had increased 
her revenues, greatly reduced her debt, placed her 
finances on a firm basis, introduced administrative 
reforms in the departments of the government, 
and above all had given a code of laws that was 
of itself a national benefaction. 

Tyrant he was, for he stifled free speech, muz- 
zled the press, and governed arbitrarily; but he 
gave something in return for his usurpation of 
power, and so reconciled men to his authority by 
a just and equitable rule that they did not feel 
the galling of the chain. It was only history 
repeating itself, for when Augustus assumed the 
purple and usurped the power of the Republic 
of Rome, " he artfully contrived," says Gibbon, 
" that in the enjoyment of plenty the Romans 
should lose the memory of freedom/* 

France had grown tired of the slaughter, vio- 
lence, and confusion of the Revolution, and longed 
for a settled government; but at the same time 
she was averse to a return of the Bourbons or 
a restoration, in any of its features, of the ancient 
regime. Out of these conditions was evolved 
the empire of Napoleon. 

It was not long after the signing of the treaty 
of Pressburg before all Europe was again seeth- 
ing with discontent. The peace was only a make- 



shift to secure time to form another coalition. 
" Go home, my children, and rest until we need 
you again," was the significant language of Arch- 
duke Charles when he was disbanding the Aus- 
trian forces after the treaty of Pressburg. 

The potentates of Europe wanted a return 
of the Bourbons. An upstart without a drop of 
royal blood in his veins, a child and creature of 
the Revolution occupying the throne of France 
with an ambition to make an empire equal in 
extent and influence to that of Charlemagne, was 
not only a constant menace, but an abomination 
in their eyes and, in the nature of things, the 
conflict was irrepressible. 

Austria, stung and humiliated by her defeats, 
was only biding her time, for she had lost most 
of her prestige as well as much of her territory 
in the wars that had been waged. She was re- 
duced virtually to a second class power, and her 
empire was confined to its original hereditary 
dominions. The Holy Roman Empire, which 
Voltaire sneeringly had declared was neither holy 
nor Roman nor an empire, had been shorn of its 
strength and ceased to exist August 6, 1806. 

Russia had as yet no intention of leaving the 
field, while Prussia was imbued with a war spirit 
and seemed determined to provoke hostilities. 

In order to keep Prussia out of the last coali- 
tion, Napoleon had dangled Hanover as a prize 
before her eyes, which she accepted, evidently, 
however, with no intention of keeping the peace, 
if we may judge from her conduct, any longer 
than suited her own whim. Just before the battle 


of Austerlitz, when Napoleon was deep in the 
enemy's country and seemed doomed to destruc- 
tion, Count Haugwitz, an envoy from the Prus- 
sian court, submitted to him an ultimatum and 
insisted upon an immediate reply. Napoleon re- 
served his answer, all the while, however, cajoling 
the minister in order to gain time, and acting as 
if he were half induced to accede to the demands. 
After the great victory of the French arms on 
that famous field, the envoy changed his tone and 
became even obsequious in his flattery and con- 
gratulations. Notwithstanding the prestige that 
this victory gave to Napoleon, it was very appar- 
ent that Prussia was still anxious to find a pre- 
text for war. 

A short time before the surrender of Mack 
at Ulm, when Napoleon was manoeuvring to en- 
circle the army of the Austrians, a large detach- 
ment of the French forces marched through 
Anspach in Prussian territory, which trespass 
greatly exasperated King Frederick William, who 
threatened vengeance for so open and flagrant a 
breach of neutrality. Napoleon did all in his 
power to appease the wrath of the Prussian king 
by explaining that it was done with no intention 
to offend, but under stress when time was an 
essential factor in carrying out the plan of cam- 
paign. Napoleon further declared that he stood 
ready to make any reasonable reparation. 

An unfortunate incident occurred about this 
time that aroused the greatest indignation 
throughout Germany and united the patriotic sen- 
timent of the whole country. A respectable book- 


seller named Palm, residing in Nuremberg, was 
arrested under a general order of Napoleon to 
suppress the sale of patriotic German pamphlets. 
The prisoner was taken to Braunau, a town in 
Austria held by the French troops, where he was 
tried by court-martial, convicted and shot. The 
book Palm sold was entitled " Germany in Her 
Deep Humiliation " ; it was in no sense a seditious 
or revolutionary publication and the execution of 
the poor bookseller was an outrage, a crime, and 
so inflamed the temper of the people that it ren- 
dered for a time negotiations between the two 
countries almost impossible. 

There was hardly anything Napoleon could 
have done that would have so united public senti- 
ment against him, not only among German-speak- 
ing peoples, but throughout all Europe. Even 
those citizens in the Rhine country, who, believing 
in the principles of the Revolution, had welcomed 
him as a deliverer, now condemned him as a 

When in contravention of international law the 
Duke d'Enghien was arrested, tried by drumhead 
court-martial, and shot, the cynical Fouche con- 
demned the act by declaring it was worse than a 
crime, it was a blunder. The wily politician no 
doubt would have used the same language had 
his opinion been sought in the matter of the 
unfortunate bookseller of Nuremberg. There 
was some excuse for the execution of the duke, 
but there was absolutely none for that of Palm, 
and no doubt had Napoleon looked into the facts 
of the case he would have avoided the cruel mis- 

Copyright, 1910, by George W. Jacobs & Co. 


From a rare portrait in bright colors; engraved by Levachez 


take. The anxiety on the part of willing but 
injudicious subordinates to show diligence in car- 
rying out the orders of the emperor was no doubt 
responsible for the grievous error. 

The war spirit in Germany was now at fever 
heat, and when the Prussian king demanded the 
immediate withdrawal of the French troops from 
German states he became the champion of Teu- 
tonic unity. The charming and beautiful Queen 
Louisa herself helped to enkindle the flame; she 
reviewed the troops on horseback, dressed in full 
military uniform. So active a part did she take 
in arousing the enthusiasm and the patriotism of 
the soldiers and the people that she provoked the 
resentment of Napoleon, who referred to her in 
his dispatches in language that must be described 
as brutal as well as unchivalrous. A thousand 
sabres were bared vowing vengeance against her 

The young officers who had not yet received 
their baptism of fire clamored for war. They had 
often listened to the stories told around the camp- 
fires by the veterans who had fought under the 
great Frederick, many of whom were still in the 
army, and they were eager to find a field upon 
which to win their spurs. These hot heads inso- 
lently sharpened their swords on the stone steps 
of the French ambassador's residence in Berlin 
and dared him to send word of it to his master. 
When Napoleon heard of this taunt he exclaimed 
as he tapped his sword hilt : " I will show those 
impudent braggarts that ours need no whetting." 
Crowds of excited people gathered in the public 


streets of the Prussian capital and stoned the win- 
dows of the houses of those cabinet ministers who 
opposed a declaration of war. 

King Frederick William was anxious to 
achieve military glory and to immortalize his 
reign by overthrowing the modern Caesar; he 
seems to have had no doubt about his ability to 
cope with Napoleon. He believed that there 
were several generals in his army equal if not 
superior to the French emperor, officers who had 
been trained under the eye of the great Frederick 
himself. At Tilsit, when Napoleon asked Queen 
Louisa why Prussia undertook a war against him 
when so unprepared, she quickly replied : " Sire ! 
I must confess to your Majesty that the glory 
of Frederick the Great misled us as to our real 

The Duke of Brunswick, a septuagenarian who 
should have been on the retired list, was the com- 
mander-in-chief of the Prussian forces. He it 
was that had issued, at the instance of the emigres, 
the famous proclamation of July 28, 1792, during 
his invasion of France in the days of the Revolu- 
tion. In this paper the duke threatened with 
destruction every town and village that should 
oppose his progress, and after all his fury and 
bombast ended, his campaign ingloriously at the 
battle of Valmy. It seems almost needless to 
say that Brunswick as a soldier was in no way 
the peer of Napoleon. Indeed, in justice to the 
aged duke it should be stated that he himself had 
no confidence in his ability to cope with the French 
emperor, and took the position with the hope of 


being able to secure at best a treaty of peace with 
his great antagonist. 

Russia and Prussia having formed an alliance, 
the latter sent its ultimatum to Napoleon; but 
when the courier arrived in Paris the emperor 
had taken his departure and was on the Rhine 
in the midst of his army. The courier overtook 
him, however, and handed him the message from 
Berlin. Having read it the emperor with a sneer 
handed it to an aide. 

Napoleon at once put his army in motion. The 
Prussians were pushing forward their lines which 
formed a semicircle extending from flank to 
flank, a distance of about ninety miles. Their 
army numbered one hundred and ten thousand 
men, while the French army numbered one hun- 
dred and fifty thousand. By manoeuvring, by 
marching and counter-marching, Napoleon suc- 
ceeded in getting in the rear and threatened the 
enemy's line of communication. " If they give 
me three more days of unimpeded marching," 
he exclaimed, " I shall reach Berlin before they 

Notwithstanding the marching and counter- 
marching, the French commanders seem to have 
had no idea of the exact location of the Prussians. 
This shows how inefficient must have been the 
service of the light horse cavalry which are the 
eyes of an army; a careful reconnoissance would 
have fixed the enemy's whereabouts. On climb- 
ing a hill early in October, Lannes discovered so 
soon as the morning mist rose what he supposed 
was the main body of the Prussians and so re- 


ported to Napoleon. He was mistaken, however, 
for what he saw was but the corps of Hohenlohe 
covering the rear of the main army as it retreated 
towards the north. On the tenth of October an 
indecisive action took place between some detach- 
ments at Saalfeld. Here the young Prince Louis 
Ferdinand of Prussia, after refusing to surrender, 
was killed in a sword contest with an officer of 
dragoons. Young, handsome, brave, chivalrous, 
he was a great favorite with the soldiers and his 
untimely death cast a gloom over the entire army. 

Hohenlohe at last decided to make a stand, and 
give battle in front of Jena, feeling confident that 
with his superior force he could defeat Lannes. 
But Napoleon was hurrying forward his divisions 
and coming to the assistance of his marshal. 

An elevation called the Landgrafenberg, at the 
foot of which flows the river Saale, overlooks and 
commands the town. The approaches to this 
height were guarded by the Prussians, but a pri- 
vate road which was deemed too steep to climb 
and had been left unprotected was pointed out 
to Napoleon by a Saxon parson. It appears that 
the clergyman was much incensed at the Prus- 
sians because his country had been forced into 
an alliance against the French and he gladly and 
willingly gave the information. 

The ascent was a steep and difficult one, but 
Napoleon put a great force of engineers at work 
to open the road. A portion of the town of 
Jena had been set on fire, and the blaze enabled 
the engineers to work by the light of torches 
without being observed by the enemy. While 


large detachments of French troops were climbing 
this hill some cannons fell into a rut and blocked 
the way ; men, horses, artillery, wagons, were soon 
a struggling mass. In the midst of the confusion 
the emperor arrived upon the scene. His pres- 
ence was a rebuke to the officers who slept while 
the soldiers toiled, and with lantern in hand he 
ran along the line, directing what should be done, 
and worked far beyond midnight before retiring 
to his tent. It was this personal attention to 
details by night and by day that not only secured 
success but inspired confidence on the part of his 

On the morning of October 14, 1806, the battle 
opened. A thick fog hung over the field, and 
when the sun broke through the mist the Prus- 
sians who had massed their forces on the main 
road leading out of Jena, supposing the attack 
would come from that quarter, were greatly sur- 
prised to see the French troops debouch into the 
plain from the Landgrafenberg and form in order 
of battle. The French greatly outnumbered their 
antagonists and after a short conflict completely 
overwhelmed them. Simultaneously with the 
battle of Jena another was being fought at Auer- 
stadt, only a few miles distant. Here the French 
under Davoust opposed a Prussian army com- 
manded by the king and the Duke of Brunswick. 
The Prussians, who greatly outnumbered the 
French almost two to one were, after des- 
perate fighting, compelled to retreat, and they 
soon ran into great masses of frightened troops 
flying from the field of Jena. The whole Prus- 



sian army, beaten and disorganized, now became 
a panic-stricken mob. Cannon were abandoned, 
caps, coats, knapsacks, sabres, muskets, and every- 
thing that impeded flight were thrown aside. 
Murat with his cavalry and supported by the corps 
of Lannes, Soult and Bernadotte pursued the 
retreating divisions. Thirteen thousand men 
laid down their arms at Erfurt and several for- 
tresses surrendered. This great cavalry officer, 
Murat, galloped in hot chase after the fugitives 
for a distance of three hundred miles from 
Mayence to Liibeck on the Baltic Sea. Here 
Blikher with a remnant of the Prussian army 
made a bold stand, but was compelled in a short 
time to surrender to overpowering numbers. 

The Prussians had been so confident of victory 
that they purposely gave battle to Napoleon be- 
fore forming a junction with the Russians, lest 
they should have to divide with their ally the glory 
and the honors of a triumph. Their pompous 
and boastful assurance of success only made their 
humiliation after defeat tenfold deeper than it 
otherwise would have been. " Pride goeth be- 
fore destruction and a haughty spirit before a 

On October 27, 1806, the Grand Army made 
its entry into Berlin. Davoust, because of his 
victory at Auerstadt, was given the honor of lead- 
ing the first column. The streets, windows and 
housetops were filled with awe-stricken people, 
who sadly and silently watched the marching di- 
visions and expressed their surprise that those 
" lively, impudent, mean-looking little fellows " 


could have overwhelmingly defeated an army that 
boasted of having in its ranks the veterans of 
Frederick the Great. Preceded by the Imperial 
Guard, and surrounded with his marshals and 
staff in magnificent uniforms, the emperor, on a 
white horse, wearing his gray coat and black 
cocked hat, was " the observed of all observers." 
When the bust of Frederick the Great was 
reached, which stood in one of the avenues on the 
line of march, Napoleon gravely saluted it, his 
example being followed by his marshals. 

Count Hartzfeldt had presented the conqueror 
with the keys of the city, and the count was named 
provisionally by Napoleon mayor of the munici- 
pality. Subsequently the count, having been 
detected in sending secret information to. the Prus- 
sians, was forthwith arrested and would have 
been shot had it not been for the tearful inter- 
cession of his wife; Napoleon, even though the 
count should have been summarily convicted and 
punished, could not resist a woman's supplications 
and gave an order for the prisoner's discharge. 

While in the Prussian capital, in November, 
1806, Napoleon issued his " Berlin Decree," 
which closed to neutral vessels the ports of Great 
Britain, and made all British goods seizable wher- 
ever found. England replied with her " Orders 
in Council," which declared the entire French 
coast in a state of blockade. 

No matter how vast became the empire of Na- 
poleon, its influence never did extend beyond low 
water mark, for Britain's fleets swept and com- 
manded the seas. 

17 257 



Russia was still in the field, and Napoleon 
without delay moved his army by way of north- 
ern Prussia into Poland, making Warsaw his 
headquarters. Upon reaching this city he was 
welcomed by the inhabitants with every expression 
of joy; they greeted him warmly as their deliv- 
erer. Tables were spread in the streets and 
squares. Toasts were drunk to Napoleon and to 
the Grand Army. Receptions, balls, and dinner 
parties were given and Warsaw was never gayer. 
It was confidently expected by all classes of the 
population that Napoleon would declare Poland's 
liberation; but alas! that day never came. No 
doubt he would have played the role of emanci- 
pator at the conclusion of the war had it not been 
his desire, after the battle of Friedland, to make 
an ally of Russia ; but while the treaty negotiations 
were pending the czar insisted upon Napoleon's 
giving him an assurance that he would not re-es- 
tablish the integrity of that down-trodden nation. 

" Oh, bloodiest picture in the book of time, 
Sarmatia fell unwept, without a crime." 

Poor Poland had been broken into fragments; 

" her partition/' says Miiller, " had been permitted 



by God to show the morality of kings/' and 
she longed for that day when once more she 
would secure her unity and freedom. She 
thought now her dream was to be realized, but 
unfortunately her hopes took the place of the 
blessings that they promised. 

While in Warsaw Napoleon formed a liaison 
with a beautiful young woman, Madame Walew- 
ski. It is said that he had her brought secretly 
more than once to his headquarters. Josephine, 
hearing of his conduct, was anxious to brave the 
rigors of a northern winter to reach his side ; but 
he would not listen to her appeals, and bade her 
to remain in Paris, where the weather was more 
temperate. Perhaps now she recalled with re- 
gret her repeated refusals to join her husband in 
Italy, when his passionate letters begged her to 
come to his side; and worse than all else was 
probably the remembrance of her love affair with 
Captain Charles when her spouse was in Egypt. 

Napoleon had two sons by the countess and it 
was this fact that convinced him, so it is said, that 
he was not responsible for Josephine's barrenness 
and strengthened him in his desire and purpose to 
procure a divorce. 

The countess was in the bloom of young wom- 
anhood, most fascinating in manner and married 
to an old man. Although she was much pleased 
with Napoleon, she at first reluctantly received 
his attentions; but she was urged by her friends 
not to repulse him, as she might be instrumental 
in securing the freedom of Poland. She yielded 
to this persuasion from patriotic motives. The 



friendship, however, soon ripened into deep mu- 
tual affection, irrespective of the question of 
the sacrifice of her virtue for the good of her 

Autumn was far spent when Napoleon began 
the invasion of Poland and cold weather was be- 
ginning to set in, but he was nevertheless eager 
to cross swords with the enemy before the winter 
season in its severity arrived. So barren and 
sterile was the land through which the French 
troops marched that they asked with surprise 
and with a sneer if it was this wretched and des 1 
olate country the Poles desired to free. 

Bennigsen was in command of the Russians, 
and offered battle at Pultusk on Christmas day; 
but the engagement was indecisive. Both armies 
then went into winter quarters, and did not 
emerge from their hibernation until February, 
1807, when on the eighth of that month was 
fought at Eylau one of the fiercest and bloodiest 
battles of modern times. The fight opened with 
a sharp artillery duel. The corps of Marshal 
Augereau advanced to the attack in the face of a 
whirling snow storm; they lost their way and 
charged diagonally across the field, exposing 
their flank to a murderous fire from the Russian 
musketry and artillery. They were soon sur- 
rounded, and those who did not surrender were 
cut to pieces. The whole corps was virtually 
annihilated. This left a great gap in the French 
line, and the Russians hurled masses of infantry 
against the weakened centre and pierced it, leav- 
ing exposed Napoleon and his staff, who occu- 


pied an elevated plot of ground in a cemetery. 
The emperor, however, refused to withdraw to a 
safer position, and the only barrier between him 
and capture was the Imperial Guard, who hav- 
ing been ordered into action at the critical mo- 
ment, fought with unexampled bravery and kept 
the greatly superior forces of the enemy at bay. 
In the meantime Murat had massed a body of 
horsemen, ten thousand in number, consisting of 
cuirassiers, chasseurs, lancers and dragoons, and 
led them in a charge through a snow squall that 
seemed to increase in fury every moment. These 
thundering squadrons with the matchless leader 
at their head swept everything before them to 
destruction and thus saved the day from sheer 
defeat. The impetus of this thrilling charge was 
so great that it did not spend its force for nearly 
three thousand yards. 

Both armies still fought with desperate resolve 
and when night closed in, each held its original 
position. The thirty thousand dead that lay on 
the field of battle were silent witnesses to that 
courage and desperation with which the com- 
batants fought amidst the snows of that short 
winter day. 

Napoleon was about to give the order to with- 
draw when the practiced ear of Davoust heard 
the distant rumbling of artillery, and interpreted 
it to mean a retreat of the enemy. Putting his 
ear to the ground, his suspicions were soon con- 
firmed and the emperor straightway gave the or- 
der to advance. The Russian position was occu- 
pied by the French, and Napoleon claimed Eylau 



as a victory; but in truth it was not, it was at 
best only a drawn battle, and although it was 
heralded throughout Europe as a French tri- 
umph, this claim could not efface the impression 
that the prestige of the invincible captain had at 
last been dimmed. 

Both armies had been terribly shattered, and 
both willingly sought winter cantonments. Dur- 
ing this period Napoleon was not idle, and he 
brought reinforcements from every available quar- 
ter to strengthen his forces preparatory to open- 
ing the campaign in the spring, but it was not 
until June that the roads and the ground were in 
condition to admit of great and rapid military 
movements. On the tenth of that month an in- 
decisive action took place at Heilsberg, and on the 
fourteenth the armies met at Friedland, where 
was fought one of the most important battles, 
so far as results were concerned, of Napoleon's 
entire career. 

Lannes with a detachment engaged the Rus- 
sians, who were in possession of the town, and 
Bennigsen, believing that Lannes's corps only was 
in front of him, decided to cross the river and 
compel the surrender of this force, small in num- 
bers as compared with his own. But behind 
Lannes, in the surrounding woods, were con- 
cealed the corps of Ney, Oudinot, and other mar- 
shals, together with a large contingent of the 
Imperial Guard. When Napoleon, who from an 
adjoining elevation was closely watching through 
his field glasses the movements of the Russians, 
saw that Bennigsen had so far advanced as to 


put the river between him and his line of re- 
treat, he hurried forward his reinforcements and 
with a force greatly superior in numbers to his 
antagonist almost two to one overwhelmed 
him and compelled him with a mere remnant of 
his army to retreat towards the north. Napo- 
leon followed quickly in pursuit, and after reach- 
ing the Niemen river which marks the boundary 
line between Russia and Prussia, the czar asked 
for an armistice, which was granted. On June 
25, 1807, at Tilsit, on a raft moored in the mid- 
dle of the stream, the two emperors met under a 
sumptuous pavilion to decide the fate of Europe. 
The armies, French and Russian, were drawn 
up on both sides of the river and made a most 
imposing appearance. Frederick William, King 
of Prussia, and Russia's ally, had been invited to 
the conference, and with him came his charming 
wife, Queen Louisa. It was most humiliating 
for so proud a woman to crave a boon from a 
man who had referred to her as an Amazon on 
horseback, and who in some of his bulletins had 
reflected upon her honor, but no matter what he 
had said or what his private opinion may have 
been of her, he treated her majesty with great 
courtesy and consideration, although he refused 
her request. His appearance must have pleased 
her, for she declared : " He had a head like that 
of a Caesar." Her waiting lady, the Countess 
von Voss, evidently a little spiteful, if we may 
judge from her language, could see nothing to 
admire in the " upstart" " He is excessively 
ugly," she writes, " with a fat, swollen, sallow 


face, very corpulent, and entirely without figure. 
His great eyes roll gloomily around, the expres- 
sion of his face is severe; he looks like the in- 
carnation of fate, only his mouth is well shaped 
and his teeth are good. He was extremely po- 
lite, and talked to the queen a long time alone." 
While the negotiations were pending Napoleon 
was most charming and fascinating in manner 
and won the czar's admiration and confidence. 
" I never had more prejudices against anyone," 
said Alexander, " than against him, but after 
three-quarters of an hour of conversation they 
all disappeared like a dream " ; and afterwards 
he was heard to remark, " Would that I had seen 
him sooner." After much parleying, during 
which Napoleon showed a most friendly dispo- 
sition towards the czar, whose assistance he was 
desirous to procure in the commercial war he 
was waging against England, the so-called treaty 
of Tilsit was signed on July 7, 1807. Under the 
terms of the treaty, Prussia recovered Silesia and 
the lands she had once held between the Elbe 
and the Niemen. With these exceptions she was 
shorn of much of her territory, saddled with a 
lieavy war indemnity, and relegated to the rank 
of a secondary power. The Polish lands seized 
in the'second and third partitions were 

to form a new state, called the Duchy of Warsaw, 

and were to~lbe undeFTfie suzerainty of_France. 

Prussia jidnot secur?^Maj[de^ the 

lovely yueerinCouTsa had so earnestly and tear- 

juU}r^gteade3. ^ The czar sanctioned tHeTHolding 

by France of her possessions in Italy and Ger- 



many and he was given jLJrg.hand~tQ-4ak Fin- 
land from Sweden and certain provinces from 
Turkey! The emperor exacted nothing from the 
czar' but the island of Cojj^and_a..4n^mise to 
co-operate with France in her strjjggl^ ag^jngj- 
EnglalidL The result of it all was that Napoleon 
and Alexander virtually divf3ed the continent of 
EulropenbetwejerrtEem". ..... 

''~~y;fir wag sn faR7Jnatpri b the 

of the emperor that he was easily,._won over 

"against^ England, his old and faithful ally that 

isTTaithful in a selfish and diplomatic sense. This 

portion of the treaty was to be kept secret, in order 

to give the czar time to act as mediator between 

France and Engand to secure a general peace, and 

if the latter state did not agree within a certain 

time to enter into a treaty, Russia bpund herself 

-to_a^t._N.ajKilej2ii / s..cQntinental system. 

England was through her spies soon informed 
of the secret provisions, and without waiting for 
the offers of mediation, she at once made such a 
plan impossible by sending her ships to Copen- 
hagen and capturing the Danish fleet in Septem- 
ber, 1807. This overt act was committed by 
England for no other reason than that she feared 
Denmark would join the coalition. 

The treaty of Tilsit marks the termination of 
the first cycle of wars after the establishment of 
the empire, and a brief retrospection of the career 
of Napoleon from this point is interesting, for 
it shows an almost unbroken succession of mar- 
velous victories. He suffered only one defeat in 
pitched battle and that was at Caldiero in his 



first campaign in Italy, which defeat he almost 
immediately retrieved by a great victory. His 
only other reverse was in his Egyptian campaign, 
when he was compelled to raise the siege of St. 
Jean d'Acre and retreat to the coast. At Eylau 
he was fought to a standstill, and although the 
Russians fell back and he occupied their position 
the next morning and claimed a victory, the battle 
must be classed as a draw. 

Napoleon had met the ablest generals in Europe 
and had shown his great superiority over all of 
them. In his first campaign in Italy he had de- 
feated Beaulieu, Wiirmser, Alvintzy, and Arch- 
duke Charles. The last-named was the ablest 
and most brilliant soldier in this group and was 
destined to achieve great fame, but he never con- 
fronted Napoleon without being seized by a super- 
stitious fear. General Alvintzy, to be sure, won 
the battle of Caldiero, but was in a short time 
afterwards, as we have seen, completely over- 
whelmed. Melas was outgeneraled at Marengo, 
Mack at Ulm, Kutusoff at Austerlitz, Brunswick 
and Hohenlohe at Jena, and Bennigsen at Fried- 

In breadth and scope of conception, in certainty 
of execution, in rapidity of movement, in tactical 
and strategical skill, in boldness, audacity, orig- 
inality and resourcefulness, Napoleon was in- 
finitely their superior. It is a nice question 
whether he ever had, when at his best as a soldier, 
his equal among all the great captains in the 
history of the world. It must, however, be ad- 
mitted that the generals he met were not men 


like Frederick the Great or Marlborough or com- 
manders in their class. 

Having formed an alliance with Russia with 
tlie "distinct intention of having that powerful 
state assist Elm in EiT efforts to destroy the com- 
mercial supremacy of England, having .disin- 
tegrate'cT tHe^Holy Roman Empire, having con- 
fined Austria to her origiTalJ[imits77and having 
^erTKr^rr tEe Prussian monarchy, 
to a secondary power, he still in the 
height of his successes had his gaze riveted on 
the East. Taking the island of Corfu as the 
T5ase~of his operations, he was revolving in his 
mind plans to partition Turkey in co-operation 
with his ally and then launch a Franco-Russian 
expedition through Persia to_ India. This vast 
undertaking never materialized, but its concep- 
tion shows what fascination an Oriental conquest 
had for him. In fact, his ambitions were circum- 
scribed only by the world's limitations. " I de- 
sired," said Napoleon to Benjamin Constant, " the 
empire of the world, and who in my situation 
would not. The world invited me to govern it; 
sovereigns and subjects vied with each other in 
bending before my sceptre." 





The victory of Friedland forced the last con- 
tinental foe of Napoleon to admit defeat, and he 
had now reached the very summit of his power. 
He was at that point in his life when he could 
look back upon a career of successes almost with- 
out a break. But from this dizzy elevation we 
can trace the beginning of a decline in his for- 
tunes. True, his successes continued for a time, 
but he had to put forth most strenuous efforts 
to maintain his position, his victories were not so 
pronounced nor so decisive as they had been, 
while his troubles began to accumulate and his 
reverses to occur. 

With the exception of Sweden, Portugal and 
Turkey, every country in Europe was now closed 
to British trade and it did look as if England's 
commerce would be utterly destroyed. In Por- 
tugal, as we have just said, she still found open 
ports, and Napoleon decided to close them, thus 
depriving her of the one really important entrepot 
and outlet she had for her commerce in Europe. 
For this purpose a small army under the command 
of General Junot was sent into Portugal, and, 
meeting with comparatively no resistance, entered 


Lisbon on November 30^ 1807. The royal fam- 
ily fled in haste to Brazil. 

In support of Junot, Napoleon moved a large 
army into Spain and occupied the northern prov- 
inces. Charles IV, who was on the Spanish 
throne, was about as inept and as contemptible a 
monarch as could be imagined. He possessed all 
the weaknesses and vices of the Bourbons with- 
out any of their virtues. He was a royal pimp; 
his wife's favorite, Manuel Godoy, being the 
virtual ruler of the kingdom. Godoy had been 
a common soldier; but as he was a tall, hand- 
some fellow he had ingratiated himself by his 
good looks into the queen's favor. He had 
shown some little ability as an envoy in effecting 
a treaty with France in 1795, and was given the 
flattering sobriquet of " Prince of the Peace." 

For years Spain had been the friend and the 
ally of France and had trooped along at her side 
without receiving any share in the glory and the 
victories of the empire. She had furnished not 
only her quota of troops, but also her fleet, to 
aid in the French naval encounters and warfare; 
but alas! most of her ships were now at the bot- 
tom of the sea, having been destroyed in the 
engagement at Trafalgar, so that in 1807, just 
on the eve of the battle of Friedland, when Napo- 
leon's future was a hazard, Godoy thought the 
time was ripe to break from so burdensome an 
alliance. But the victory of the French induced 
him to change front quickly and bide his time. 

Napoleon, however, for want of a better ex- 
cuse, taking this inclination to break the alliance 



as sufficient cause for action, moved his army, 
which was under the immediate command of 
Murat, in the direction of Madrid, which city was 
entered without any resistance on the part of the 
people. Murat forthwith there established his 
headquarters, thus intimating an intention to re- 
main indefinitely. 

Ferdinand, the crown prince, was much in- 
censed at the conduct of his mother in her rela- 
tions with Godoy, and a family quarrel in the 
royal household culminated in the resignation of 
Charles IV and the installation of his son Ferdi- 
nand as king. A public outbreak nearly resulted 
in the murder of the " Prince of the Peace," his 
house was ransacked, and the mob spared his life 
only at the intercession of his mother, who upon 
her knees begged for mercy. Godoy, when re- 
leased by the mob, at once took refuge with 

Ferdinand entered the capital amidst the great- 
est acclaim, but Napoleon refused to recognize 
him, and without any reservation so informed 
him. Charles IV, repenting of his abdication, 
hastened with his queen to Bayonne to lay the 
facts of his case before the emperor. Ferdinand 
followed in quick order, although he had some 
difficulty in getting over the frontier ; the citizens 
at Vittoria begged him not to go, and tried to 
cut the traces of the royal carriage, fearing treach- 
ery for the young king if he should cross the 
borders into France ; but, beguiled by the promise 
of Napoleon to secure for him in marriage the 
hand of a French princess, he proceeded on his 


journey under the guidance of Savary, one of the 
shrewdest of Napoleon's aides. 

Both Charles and his son appeared before the 
emperor and, after listening to their claims, he 
informed Ferdinand that he must abdicate in 
favor of his father, promising to him at the same 
time as an inducement ,thje,.-thr.on of Etruria. 
The prince declined the offer, and refused to 
resign: Onel)FInTaTviseTs"orFerdinand, Escoi- 
qpfz; warned the emperor not to tamper with the 
throne of Spain, for if he did the Spaniards would 
swear against him eternal vengeance. " Yes," 
said Napoleon, familiarly pulling the ear of Escoi- 
quiz, " you may be right, for you are a clever 
fellow; but do you not know that the Bourbons 
will never let me alone ? " 

Resistance, however, was useless against the 
indomitable will of the master. By cajolery, 
tl^eats^_.aiKL.-prQmises -heat last^onclSIexDan 
agreement with Godoy, whereby Charles IV relin- 
qujsHed all rights to the crown"s~'''o:frgpain and 
the__|ndies, with the understanding that they 
should remain intact, and that theTCatholic faith 
should be maintained ito the ^ "excluBiii of all 

others. In consideraTib^^^was_to receive the 

estates of Compiegne and Chambord, and be paid 

annually an income of seven and a half million 

francs. Ferdinand was induced lQ~Tufrende r his 

jjghts as crown prmcejfor^a_astle and a pension. 

Napoleon intended at first to offer the crown 

of Spain to his brother Louis, king of Holland. 

" The climate of Holland does not suit you," 

wrote the emperor. " Besides, Holland can never 



rise from her ruins." Louis, with the character- 
istic effrontery of his family, replied, notwith- 
standing the fact that he had received the crown 
of Holland directly from his brother, that he 
could not accept the offer, as God had called him 

to his present station. Joseph was then--piacecl 

upon the throne of Spain, and Murat, Napoleon's 
~T5fo!fier-m-law, being offered his choice between 
Portugal and Naples, chose the latter. 

Thejn. vasjoii and occupation of Spain, the arbi- 
^ rar y_ s -^M. I }K B s l^ e f the claims of the contestants 
for the crown, and the placing of his brother 
' Jos^ph'~6n trie Wron^cons^tut^a drama in three 
acts that was tragic in its consequences. ^Evejy 
stegTtaken was in direct violationjof the principles 
of justice and international law. It was alto- 
gether a clear case of spoliation, a political out- 
rage. There were no reasons to justify such con- 
duct and Napoleon lived to rue the day when he 
entered that unfortunate land, which soon be- 
came the battlefield for English victories. " I 
may find in Spain the Pillars of Hercules," was 
his proud and scornful boast, " but not the limits 
of my power " ; yet he lamented at St. Helena 
that it was " the Spanish ulcer " that ruined him. 

While the negotiations were pending at 
Bayonne, the people in Madrid rose in insurrec- 
tion against any renunciation of the throne by 
Ferdinand, and in opposition to French domina- 
tion. So formidable was the uprising that it 
required the strongest efforts on the part of Murat 
to quell it. He severely punished the ringleaders, 
but this did not prevent disturbances in other parts 

Copyright, 1910, by George W. Jacobs & Co. 


From an original drawing by Guerin, 1810 

Came to the present owner through Pierre Morand, a well-known 
French resident of Philadelphia 


of Spain. A provisional government was estab- 
lished by the insurgents, a native army enlisted 
and organized, and on July nineteenth twenty 
thousand French soldiers, under the command of 
General Dupont, were compelled, after their line 
of communication was cut, to lay down their 
arms at Baylen. This great victory was won by 
undisciplined Andalusian peasants, and sent a feel- 
ing of humiliation through France, and a throb of 
exultation into the heart of Spain. 

In a few weeks this severe blow to the imperial 
troops was followed by another disastrous defeat 
in Portugal. Sir Arthur Wellesley, afterwards 
the Duke of Wellington, landed with an English 
army near Lisbon, and on the twenty-first of 
August defeated Junot at Vimiero, which defeat 
was followed by a capitulation at Cintra whereby 
the French evacuated Portugal. 

These sudden and unexpected reverses startled 
Paris. The people had been so long accustomed 
to read bulletins containing flaming accounts of 
glorious victories that these disasters settled like 
a cloud of gloom over the capital. 

Napoleon was beside himself with anger. At 
first he was stunned when he heard the news of 
Dupont's surrender. Then, recovering from the 
shock, he expressed his indignation in bitter 
words. " Is it possible/' he cried, " that Dupont, 
a man whom I loved and intended, one day in 
the near future, to make a marshal, could have 
done this thing? They explain his cowardice by 
saying that he had no other way to save the lives 
of his soldiers. It would have been better, far 
18 273 


better, for them to have died with arms in their 
hands. Their death would have been glorious; 
we should have avenged them." When Dupont 
returned to Paris he was thrown into prison, and 
Junot was not permitted to enter the capital. 

These defeats aroused Napoleon to action, and 
his only desire now was to retrieve the losses 
which he thought could easily be done by a few 
victories; but he did not appreciate to the full 
measure the spirit of the national uprising in 
Spain. The Catalans and the men of Aragon, 
actuated by a patriotic fervor, rose in their might. 
Saragossa held out against the invaders and for 
a time, after a display of indomitable courage, 
and endurance, shook them off. The city finally 
was captured' by the persistent assaults of Lan- 
nes, who fought with the same bravery that sig- 
nalized his conduct at the siege of St. Jean d'Acre. 

The Spaniards opposed the invaders by fighting 
from house to house and made a last stand at 
the cathedral, where the priests urged resistance 
and at the same time, with crucifixes in hand, 
gave absolution to the dying. This siege is one 
of the most famous in the history of warfare, 
and the Maid of Saragossa, because of her cour- 
age and the heroic part she took in helping to 
defend the town, passed into imperishable fame, 
her name being coupled with that of Joan of Arc. 

Napoleon attributed the defeats to the fact that 
the French forces in Spain were made up of new 
levies, soldiers that had not been seasoned by serv- 
ice in even one campaign. Vast bodies of veteran 
troops were hurried to the frontier and Napoleon 


decided to take command in person. By hasty 
relay stages he left the capital and joined the 
army in November. 

He was confronted by raw and inexperienced 
Spanish troops, and he struck them so forcibly 
and unexpectedly that he scattered them in every 
direction. At the pass of Somosierra the Span- 
iards had planted a battery that commanded a 
narrow defile of the mountain. In the face of 
dreadful volleys that swept the pass, Napoleon 
hurled his light Polish horse up hill. The fore- 
most riders and their steeds were mowed down 
in heaps, but the troopers in the rear pressed on, 
cut the gunners to pieces, and captured the can- 
non; after this an unimpeded way was opened to 
Madrid, which city the French entered on the 
fourth of December, 1808. 

The capture of the capital, however, did not 
allay the national spirit. Spain was still aflame 
from border to border. The priests and monks, 
with crosses in hand, which at close quarters with 
the French they used as weapons, exhorted the 
people to oppose with all their might the foreign 
infidels and save from destruction not only their 
hearthstones, but the Catholic faith. Wrought 
up to a fanatical frenzy by these mad appeals, 
the Spaniards fought with the desperation of re- 
ligious zealots. 

Spain, unlike Italy, offered a natural resistance 
to the invading armies; besides this, the country 
was poor and did not furnish sufficient food and 
fodder, which condition necessitated the carrying 
of supplies in large convoys. The line of inva- 


sion was crossed by mountain ranges which served 
as barriers to progress and made the marching 
slow and difficult. It was the dead of winter and 
the mountain passes were covered with snow and 
ice. The peasantry, too, aroused to religious 
frenzy by their priests, were up in arms and 
made sudden and vicious attacks upon the flanks 
and isolated detachments. 

At the moment Napoleon was entering Madrid 
a British army, which had landed at Lisbon, under 
the command of Sir John Moore, was marching 
east, and at Valladolid nearly succeeded in cutting 
the French line of communication. Napoleon, 
hearing of the approach of the English, headed 
his army and started in pursuit. Notwithstand- 
ing the inclement weather and the fact that the 
mountain passes were blocked with snow and ice, 
so sharply and rapidly did Napoleon press for- 
ward to give attack, that the English army, which 
was heavily encumbered with supplies and greatly 
outnumbered, had difficulty in reaching the coast 
and effecting its escape. After sustaining im- 
mense losses, suffering untold hardships and 
fighting, when attacked, with lion-like courage, 
the English succeeded in reaching Corunna, where 
Sir John was killed when engaged in embarking 
his exhausted troops. 

While he was following the retreating army, 
Napoleon received important dispatches calling 
him home at once, and after seeing that Sir John 
would not give battle and that the escape of the 
British was assured, he handed over the command 
to Marshal Soult and hastened to Paris as fast 


as post and saddle could carry him. He reached 
the capital on January 23, 1809. 

There was a reason for his hasty departure ; he 
had received word that his enemies were schem- 
ing. During his absence in Spain, Talleyrand 
and Fouche, who had for a long time been bitter 
enemies and at swords' points, had healed their 
differences, and ostentatiously, arm in arm, to the 
great amazement of all present, entered a public 
reception. They were the best political weather- 
cocks in Paris, and their friendliness started the 
gossips chattering and brought forth the expres- 
sions of many conservative men, who denounced 
as dangerous and destructive the insatiable ambi- 
tion of Napoleon. Talleyrand and Fouche met 
secretly and it was believed that they had an 
understanding with Murat and his ambitious wife 
to seize on power in Paris while Napoleon was 
detained in Spain. It was rumored, indeed, that 
Fouche had stationed relays between Naples and 
Paris to convey Murat and his consort post haste 
to the capital in case the conditions were favorable 
to effect the change. 

The whole matter is involved in obscurity, but 
whatever the truth was, the rumors and the mys- 
terious conduct of these two wily politicians so 
alarmed the friends of Napoleon that they sent 
him dispatches urging his immediate return. 

Napoleon, as may well be imagined, was in a 
towering rage and when he reached Paris severely 
rebuked Fouche and at a public reception repri- 
manded Talleyrand so sharply and upbraided him 
so bitterly that the cynical old diplomat cowered 



under the assault. But after the storm sub- 
sided and Talleyrand recovered his usual equa- 
nimity, he coolly remarked to those standing by: 
:< What a pity that so great a man has been so 
badly brought up." It is said that so vehement 
were the manner and the attitude of Napoleon 
that as he advanced Talleyrand retreated until he 
reached the wall, when the emperor shook his fist 
in the grand chamberlain's face. 

Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord was 
born of a noble family in Paris in 1754. He met 
with an accident in his infancy and in conse- 
quence became an incurable cripple. His lame- 
ness closed many careers against him and finally, 
but reluctantly, he entered the church. In time 
he became Bishop of Autum, a rather fat bene- 
fice. His private life in his young manhood, even 
after he had taken orders, was scandalous ; among 
his minor vices was a passionate love of gambling, 
and he did not hesitate to play for high stakes. 
The celebrated Madame du Barry took a fancy 
to him in his early years and materially aided 
him with her influence. He was a delegate to 
the States-General in 1789 and in the National 
Assembly voted for the confiscation of the church 
property, for which act he was soon afterwards 
excommunicated by the pope. 

He was witty, clever, interesting, and fascinat- 
ing, cool, calculating and unscrupulous. His 
name was a synonym for duplicity and perfidy. 
One of his favorite witticisms was that language 
was made to conceal thought. He was utterly 
unprincipled and without any sense of obligation 


or gratitude. As a diplomat he was shrewd, 
adroit, and resourceful ; as a politician, far-seeing 
and self-seeking. Napoleon used him, but mis- 
trusted him, and described him as a silk stocking 
filled with filth. Mirabeau, in his characteristic 
style, declared the bishop would sell his soul for 
gold, if a purchaser could be found for trash so 

Talleyrand never forgave Napoleon for the 
deep public humiliation to which he had been sub- 
jected, and quietly waited for an opportunity to 
betray him. The wily minister reaped a full har- 
vest of vengeance at the time of the Bourbon 

Another matter that brought the emperor 
home so suddenly was the belligerent attitude of 

In 1808, just before Napoleon went to Spain 
to take command of the army, there was a meet- 
ing between him and the czar at the little old- 
fashioned town of Erfurt. The provisions of the 
treaty of Tilsit had been in many particulars 
loosely observed, as might have been expected 
when two ambitious monarchs were so jealous 
and so fearful of each other. There is no ques- , 
tion that the Spanish uprising awakened the 
dormant spirit of national unity throughout Ger- 
many. The able, patriotic minister Stein, to- 
gether with Scharnhorst and other patriots, was 
in a conspiracy to throw off the Napoleonic yoke. 
One of Stein's letters was intercepted and pub- 
lished in the Moniteur by order of the emperor, 
who straightway directed the sequestration of 



Stein's property in Westphalia. The patriotic 
German for safety fled to Vienna. Austria, too, 
gave signs of warlike preparation. Under all 
these conditions Napoleon thought it important 
to have an understanding with his powerful ally, 
and accordingly he sent an invitation to Alex- 
ander to meet him at Erfurt. Kings and princes, 
envoys and ministers, graced the occasion with 
their presence; soldiers in gay uniforms set the 
narrow streets of the sombre old Thuringian town 
ablaze with color. The emperors at their first 
meeting embraced each other and were most pro- 
fuse in their protestations of loyalty and friend- 
ship. Their entrance into the town was wel- 
comed with salvos of artillery. In the mornings 
and afternoons they met to discuss and consider 
political questions, and the evenings were devoted 
to receptions and the theatre. At one of the 
dramatic entertainments, during the presentation 
of Voltaire's " CEdipe," when the line, "The 
friendship of a great man is a benefaction of the 
gods," was recited, Alexander arose in full view 
of the house and warmly pressed the hand of 
Napoleon, who was sitting at his side, and as 
usual on such occasions, dozing. The fashionable 
audience, to so touching an episode, responded 
with rapturous applause. 

Under this ostentatious display of mutual ad- 
miration and friendship lurked, however, a spirit 
of unrest. Alexander pleaded fojC-th^-trniepend- 
ence of Prussia^ which Jiad. been assured by the 
treaty of Tilsit, and for a reducdonjnjhe_amount 
?Ori pecuniary claims agamsThor. Napoleon 


declined the first proposition and allowed a nig- 
Tgardly reduction in the sum due to France as 
a war" Trilgmnity. THejg wajsf riction too on the 
question of the occupancy of Kiistrin on the~Rus- 
sian border and also as tolne garrisoning of for- 
tresses on the Oder by the French. 

Napoleon, wficT was exceedingly anxious to 
ave'rt a war with Austria, "urged" Alexander to 
join with him in a diplomaticjiienac,against the 
further arming by that state, but this_ Alexander 
declined to do; he promised to help Napoleon, 
However^ in case Austria ^shoukLaltack him, rec- 
ognized Joseph as king of Spain, and joined in 
a note to England summoning her to make peace. 
In some respects the alliance was strengthened, 
but taken altogether the convention was fruitless. 
Its splendor had dazzled Europe, but had not con- 
quered nor even terrorized its warlike spirit 
Spain, Prussia, the German states, and Austria 
were restless and chafing under the yoke. 

The interview of Napoleon with Goethe and 
Wieland was an interesting feature of the meet- 
ing. These two great German poets had been in- 
vited to Erfurt by the French emperor, that he 
might show them extraordinary honor and thus 
soften the feeling of hostility against him in Ger- 
many. He invited Goethe to come to Paris, but 
fortunately for himself the poet could plead old 
age as an excuse. He decorated both Goethe and 
Wieland with the cross of the Legion of Honor, 
and by a singular coincidence this ceremony took 
place on the anniversary of the battle of Jena. 





After the return of Napoleon from Spain, he 
saw that war with Austria was inevitable. The 
meeting at Erfurt had only aroused her sus- 
picions, and she was fearful, for she was the only 
military power of any importance outside of 
France and Russia on the continent, that she 
might ultimately be reduced to a mere secondary 
position in the politics of Europe, as was Prus- 
sia; or, worse than even this, have her emperor 
compelled to abdicate like Charles IV of Spain, 
and a foreigner placed upon the throne as in that 
nation. Because of these fears she began increas- 
ing her army, much to the dissatisfaction of 
Napoleon, who really at this time had no desire 
to embark upon a war. He told Metternich, the 
Austrian ambassador at the French court, that if 
Austria armed it could be for no other purpose 
than to war with France, that he was in no sense 
hostile, and did not desire to see the peace of 
Europe disturbed, but that if Austria continued 
to increase her armaments war would be inevi- 

At last the step was taken when, on the tenth 
of April, 1809, Archduke Charles invaded Ba- 


varia and issued a proclamation calling upon all 
Germans to arise and drive out from their midst 
their arrogant and foreign oppressors. " The 
freedom of Europe," read the appeal, " has sought 
refuge beneath your banners. Soldiers, your vic- 
tories will break her chains ; your German broth- 
ers who are now in the ranks of the enemy wait 
for their deliverance." 

Napoleon hastened to the front to face once 
more the dangers of the battlefield. Upon his 
arrival at headquarters, he found the army so 
widely separated, stretching from Ratisbon to 
Augsburg, a distance of sixty miles, that it re- 
quired all his skill to mass them before the Arch- 
duke struck his blows. The duty of posting the 
troops had been assigned to Berthier, but he had 
managed the matter so badly that Napoleon, in- 
censed beyond measure, turned upon him and 
angrily exclaimed : " If I did not know you to be 
my friend, I should suspect you were a traitor." 

Fortunately for the French, the Archduke did 
not know the value of time as did Napoleon. 
Had the positions of the two commanders been 
reversed, the Austrians would have been suddenly 
attacked before they could have united their forces 
and one detachment after another would have 
been scattered to the winds. By almost super- 
human effort, however, Napoleon got his army 
well in hand and by rapid and successful move- 
ments crossed the Isar and, after winning the 
battles of Abendsberg and Landfurt, brought 
Charles to a standstill at Eckmiihl (April 22nd) 
and administered a severe defeat the next day. 


Ratisbon was stormed and taken, which last en- 
gagement left the road to Vienna open. It was 
at Ratisbon that Napoleon was wounded in the 

In these battles 30,000 Austrians were killed 
and wounded, while vast stores, cannon, guns, 
and ammunition were captured by the French. 
Napoleon believed that his manoeuvres up to this 
point in this campaign were not surpassed so far 
as military skill was concerned during his entire 

The French now pushed on to Vienna, forcing 
the whole line of the Austrians to retreat. When 
that city was reached, it offered some resistance to 
the invaders. The French at once brought their 
siege guns into position and opened fire. During 
the continuance of the bombardment, Napoleon 
was informed that the Archduchess Maria Louisa 
was in the palace so ill that it was not deemed 
safe to remove her; he at once chivalrously 
directed that the guns should cease firing in that 
direction. By this generous act he perhaps saved 
the life of the woman who in less than a year was 
to be his wife and to become empress of the 

The city soon capitulated and on May thir- 
teenth Napoleon again entered in triumph at the 
head of his legions the proud city of the Haps- 
burgs. The royal family fled to Hungary. 

Napoleon, having established his headquarters 
at Schonbrunn, on May seventeenth issued a de- 
cree annexing Rome to the empire; this included 
all that portion of the papal states he heretofore 


had neglected to seize and appropriate. He fur- 
ther reduced the popes to the rank of bishops 
of Rome, stripped them of all temporal power, 
and designated the sum of 2,000,000 francs as 
the annual stipend to be paid to the holy pontiff. 
The pope, Pius VII, incensed at the spoliation, 
hurled in turn a bull of excommunication at the 
emperor, and in consequence was placed under 
arrest by order of Napoleon and hurried away 
from the eternal city to Florence. 

The language of the decree deposing the pope 
was the most pompous ever used by Napoleon 
in a state paper and shows that his elevation was 
making him somewhat dizzy. He referred to 
Charlemagne as his " august predecessor, . em- 
peror of the French." 

The capture of Vienna did not put an end to 
hostilities, as Napoleon was in hopes it would, so 
he sent a communication to Charles suggesting 
an armistice, but that prince, did not even deign 
to reply. 

The Austrian army was on the opposite side 
of the Danube, and Napoleon, after a few days' 
rest in the capital, decided to assume once more 
the offensive, and with this end in view he led his 
army a few miles east of Vienna. Here bridges 
were constructed and the troops at once crossed 
the river. When the French reached the other 
shore the Austrians immediately began the attack 
and severe fighting ensued, lasting during the 
days of the twenty-first and twenty-second of 
May, the battlefield being located in the neighbor- 
hood of the villages of Aspern and Essling. The 



Austrians made a desperate onslaught on the 
French columns and reinforcements were sent 
forward as rapidly as the hastily-constructed 
bridges would permit. While the troops were 
being rushed across the river, a freshet, bearing 
trees and barges on its surface, carried the bridges 
away and thus was cut off the line of retreat. 
With the river back of them the French, under 
Lannes and Massena, held the Austrians at bay 
with dogged tenacity until nightfall, when, bridges 
in the meantime having been constructed, the 
French slowly retreated, leaving 25,000 dead 
upon the field. 

The peerless and dauntless Lannes, the greatest 
vanguard leader in the army, was mortally 
wounded. He was the son of a Gascon dyer and 
enlisted, when a boy, as a grenadier ; he was soon 
promoted for conspicuous bravery and rose rap- 
idly, Napoleon making him a marshal. Frank, 
open-hearted, brave as a lion, he was the idol of 
his troops, and he would send no man where he 
himself was not willing to go. 

He was the first man over the bridge at Lodi, 
led the vanguard across the Alps, and steadied 
the retreating columns at Marengo. He followed 
Bonaparte to Egypt and at Acre led the assaults 
with dauntless courage. Through all of Napo- 
leon's campaigns he was ever in the thickest of 
the fray. He was known as the Ajax and the 
Rolando of the French camp. He is said to have 
been in fifty-four pitched battles and in three hun- 
dred combats of different kinds. At Ratisbon, 
when the soldiers quailed before the withering 


fire, he rushed towards the battlements with a 
scaling ladder, crying out : " Come on ! I will 
show you I have not forgotten that I was once 
a grenadier." 

Napoleon was much shocked when he heard 
that his marshal was wounded, and the meeting 
between them, according to Marbot, who was an 
eye-witness, was most touching. Napoleon leaned 
over the stretcher, embraced Lannes, and wept, 
exclaiming : " My friend, you will not die ; all 
will yet be well." " I hope so," whispered the 
wounded soldier, " if I can be of service to France 
or your majesty." Every day the emperor found 
time to visit him, but on the thirtieth, following 
a painful amputation of his leg, the gallant soldier 

After the battle of Aspern and Essling, the 
French army had retreated to a large island called 
Lobau in the Danube in front of Vienna. Napo- 
leon, apparently not in the least disconcerted by 
his defeat, now brought into play his extraor- 
dinary powers of organization. Reinforcements 
were hastened forward from all parts of Ger- 

No matter what Napoleon, with his usual effron- 
tery claimed, it was known that he had suffered a 
repulse, and all Europe for several weeks watched 
and anxiously waited for the final result. About 
this time news reached the emperor of serious 
disasters in Spain, that a British fleet and army 
occupied the island of Ischia, threatening the 
throne of Murat, and further that Germany was 
on the point of rising. All the French troops 


having been withdrawn from the Tyrol, the brave 
innkeeper, Hafer, began to organize the peasants 
and make arrangements to rise against the op- 

It looked as if all depended upon the result 
of the Austrian invasion and as if another repulse 
would rock the imperial throne of France. It 
was just such an exigency, however, that brought 
forth in their full equipment the marvelous re- 
sources and powers of Napoleon. By his skill, 
coolness, and sagacity, he finally extricated him- 
self from a desperate situation. 

While Napoleon was reinforcing his army, the 
Austrians were throwing up a long line of heavy 

On the night of the fourth of July, during a 
terrific thunder-storm, Napoleon at the north- 
west corner of the island in front of the Austrian 
lines opened a cannonading with his heaviest 
guns, as if he contemplated crossing the bridges 
and making a direct attack on the Austrian de- 
fences. While the enemy's attention was directed 
on this point, bridges were being constructed at 
the southeastern corner of the island, and by sun- 
rise on the morning of the fifth the French army 
had crossed the Danube and gained a foothold 
on the northern bank. The ruse was completely 
successful. By this movement the earthworks of 
the Austrians were outflanked, Archduke Charles 
evacuated his defences, withdrew his troops into 
the open, and fell back to the west a few miles 
from Aspern. On the sixth was fought the 
famous battle of Wagram, in the sight of Vienna. 


The housetops and steeples of the city were 
crowded with people watching the conflict. The 
Austrian soldiers were literally fighting for their 
hearth-stones in sight of their loved ones. If 
there ever was an incentive for an army to show 
its courage it was at Wagram. 

The archduke's right was extended towards the 
Danube and it was strengthened to turn the left 
flank of the French, with the hope of cutting off 
the line of retreat across the bridges. Napoleon, 
with his usual sagacity, divined the purpose of his 
antagonist, and encouraged him to weaken his 
centre by reinforcing his right. Massena was in 
command of the French left wing, with orders to 
hold his ground, if possible, against all odds, or, 
if compelled to retreat, to give way slowly and 
stubbornly. While the archduke's attention was 
directed on the right wing, Davoust suddenly 
made a desperate attack upon the Austrians' left, 
which gradually began to recoil. The centre of 
the Austrian line held its ground, and Massena, 
pressed by superior forces, was slowly but steadily 
falling back. At this critical moment one hun- 
dred and twenty pieces of cannon were massed 
and opened fire at close range on the Austrian 
centre; the fire was overwhelming and deadly. 
The French centre, under Bernadotte and Mac- 
donald, was now pushed forward, and the Aus- 
trians were compelled to retreat, their whole line 
of battle giving way. It was not a rout, the arch- 
duke left no prisoners behind; he kept his forces 
well in hand and withdrew in comparatively good 
order. It was not a triumph for the French so 
19 289 


pronounced and decisive as Austerlitz, Jena or 
even Friedland. It was a victory, however, and 
as such was heralded throughout Europe, and 
once more for a time at least the political atmos- 
phere was cleared. 

Two hundred and fifty thousand men were en- 
gaged in this battle; the total loss on both sides 
was fifty thousand killed and wounded, equally 

To add to the horrors of the battlefield, the 
musketry and cannons set fire to the standing 
grain, and great volumes of smoke enveloped the 
armies and smothered thousands of wounded to 
death. It was sultry midsummer weather, the 
harvests were ripe, and the straw being dry and 
inflammable made a terrific blaze and intensified 
the heat of the atmosphere till it was almost 

The Austrians battled with more skill and cour- 
age than they ever did before; it looked as if 
Napoleon was gradually teaching them how to 
fight. They were taking their lessons in the hard 
school of experience. 

An armistice resulted in a treaty of peace signed 
at Schonbrunn in October, and Austria was forced 
to give up considerable territory, including Trieste 
and Illyria, thus stripping from her every inch 
of coast line, and making her absolutely an inland 
nation. She lost nearly 4,000,000 subjects, 
agreed to exclude British products, and to limit 
her army to 150,000 men. She also had to pay 
an indemnity of 85,000,000 francs, the amount 
that England is said to have given her as a sub- 


sidy to induce her to enter upon the war. The 
worst pang she suffered was to be compelled to 
abandon the faithful Tyrolese. 

After the battle of Wagram the dimensions of 
the French Empire were greater than they ever 
had been. Eighty millions of people paid tribute 
to France and acknowledged her authority, but 
there was no homogeneity or unity in sentiment ; 
the empire was the result of conquest, and was 
held together by force; it contained within itself 
the seeds of disintegration. 

While war was waging in Austria the situation 
in Spain grew desperate. Wellesley outgeneraled 
Soult at Oporto, and compelled him to retreat, 
leaving behind his artillery, ammunition, and 
stores. The French were completely routed, and 
as the stragglers, still armed, came pouring panic- 
stricken into the town of Lugo, they were assailed 
with scoffs and jeers by the soldiers of Ney's 
corps. The two marshals themselves took up the 
quarrel of their soldiers and were on the point 
of drawing swords when wiser and cooler councils 

A few weeks after the battle of Wagram, Wel- 
lesley won a victory at Talavera over Jourdan and 
Victor, which left the road to Madrid open; but 
Soult, having reorganized and reinforced his 
army, threatened by forced marches through the 
mountain passes to cut off the British line of 
retreat into Portugal. The English general was 
alert, however, and thwarted the plan by a timely 
and rapid movement and withdrew his troops in 




After the Austrian campaign, Napoleon was 
more convinced than ever that the empire must 
have a dynasty, and the first essential was a di- 
rect successor to the throne. Josephine had long 
since abandoned all hopes of giving her spouse an 
heir, and with anguish of heart she knew that 
the time was rapidly approaching when she would 
be called upon to make a sacrifice. 

Continually facing the dangers of the battle- 
field, Napoleon felt there was no time to be lost ; 
he must at once secure an heir. " The French 
people," he remarked, " want my successor to be 
born in a palace; none of my brothers will suit 
the case." The wound he received in the foot 
at Ratisbon proved he had no longer a charmed 

An incident, too, occurred in Vienna that made 
a deep impression upon his mind, and convinced 
him more strongly than ever of the uncertainty 
of his life. While the emperor was reviewing 
the troops at Schonbrunn a young student named 


Staps, the son of a Thuringian clergyman, gained 
entrance to the palace yard and acting in a suspi- 
cious manner, enough to attract the attention of 
Berthier and Rapp, was arrested, and upon exam- 
ination there was found concealed under his coat 
a long sharp knife. When asked why he carried 
so deadly a weapon he boldly replied : " To as- 
sassinate Napoleon." Brought before the em- 
peror, he again admitted that it had been his in- 
tention to kill him. " You are an idiot, or an 
Illuminat," said the emperor. " I am neither," 
replied the lad. " I do not even know what you 
mean by the latter, but I wish to kill you because 
you are the curse, the scourge, of my Father- 
land." " What would you do if I were to pardon 
you ? " he was asked. " Wait for an opportunity 
to carry out my purpose," was the prompt an- 
swer. The boy was tried and shot. How many 
more patriots there were of this kind in the 
Fatherland was the question that worried Napo- 

Upon the emperor's return to Paris from 
Vienna his conduct towards Josephine underwent 
a complete change. He did not greet her with his 
old-time fervor, and closed the door of his cham- 
ber against her, virtually in her face. Day after 
day he postponed the bitter task of revealing to 
her his purpose. Her woman's wit, however, 
soon convinced her that the day of doom which 
she had so long dreaded was close at hand. On 
November thirtieth, in an interview in a retired 
room in the palace of the Tuileries, the emperor 
broke the sad tidings to his wife. In phrase as 



tender as possible, he informed her that for state 
reasons he was imperatively compelled to sever 
the tie. Of course to her, a woman, a wife, such 
a reason seemed but a subterfuge; what were the 
needs and requirements of the empire as com- 
pared with her desires? Josephine above all else 
was a woman; she had been a foolish one, and 
by her occasional infidelities had neutralized the 
passionate love that Napoleon once had for her. 
Time had gradually cooled his ardor, but had in- 
tensified her affection. Their relations had 
changed, and now having grown to appreciate 
what she was about to lose husband, station, 
honor, title, crown she piteously begged him to 
relent. Upon her knees, with heart-breaking 
sobs, she pleaded with him to save her from dis- 
grace. Napoleon, who had nerved himself for 
the occasion, was proof against her cries, her 
tears, and her sorrow, and summoning assistance, 
helped to carry her down the staircase to her 
room, where he left her in a half-fainting condi- 
tion in the charge of her waiting-women. Then 
he sorrowfully retraced his steps to his chamber 
and gave way to grief. The agony of Josephine 
continued for days to express itself in sobs and 
lamentations, but finding that her fate was sealed, 
that the will of her imperial consort was inflex- 
ible, she consented to an annulment of the mar- 
riage, and on December fifteenth the divorce took 
place. The pope absolutely and sternly refusing 
liis consent to the severance, a committee of car- 
dinals was coaxed and dragooned into service to 
untie the bonds. 



After the separation, Josephine was pensioned 
and provided with every luxury. 

Through Caulaincourt, his ambassador at the 
court of St. Petersburg, Napoleon almost imme- 
diately opened overtures for the hand of the 
czar's younger sister. At Erfurt when the em- 
peror intimated that the older sister's hand might 
be sought by him in marriage in case of obtain- 
ing a divorce from Josephine, the dowager em- 
press, who greatly disliked Napoleon, quickly 
blocked that game by publicly announcing her 
daughter's betrothal to the Duke of Oldenburg. 
Now that Napoleon sought the younger sister's 
hand, a little time was gained by intimating that 
the tender age of the princess, she being not 
twenty years old, might prove an insuperable 
barrier. Even before the negotiations with the 
czar were finally concluded, Napoleon flew to the 
court of the Hapsburgs, and without further ado, 
aided by the finesse of Metternich, sued for and 
obtained the hand of the Archduchess Maria 
Louisa, daughter of the Emperor Francis. Ber- 
thier was dispatched to Vienna at once to con- 
clude the negotiations. On the fifth of March, 
1810, the French envoy made his entry into 
the Austrian capital; on the eighth he was given 
an audience by the emperor; and on the eleventh 
the marriage was celebrated by proxy. On the 
thirteenth the bride, accompanied by a suite of 
three hundred persons and escorted by eighty- 
three carriages and baggage wagons drawn by 
four hundred and fifty horses, left Vienna for 
Paris. Upon reaching Braunau in Bavaria she 


was virtually on French soil and here the Aus- 
trian suite officially took leave. 

While these events were happening Napoleon 
was in a state of agitation, impatient as a boy, 
feverish as a young lover, although he was forty- 
one years of age. Time and again he would 
ask Lejeune, who had but recently returned from 
Vienna, to describe the appearance, the manner, 
disposition, and character of Maria Louisa. 
Then he would for a long time contemplate her 
portrait and compare it with pictures of the other 
Hapsburgs. He spent hours in the apartments 
of the future empress, directing what changes 
should be made and how the furniture and orna- 
ments should be placed. He sent for the best 
shoemakers in Paris to make his slippers, pumps, 
shoes, and boots, and called Leger, a leading 
tailor who fashioned the resplendent and magnifi- 
cent uniforms of Murat, to advise with him in 
relation to new costumes; and he devoted hours 
to trying on gold-laced coats, mantles, and em- 
broidered waistcoats. 

Daily he would retire into his cabinet with the 
famous Dubois, and after securely closing the 
door against all intrusion, would take lessons in 
dancing, in which art, however, he made but lit- 
tle progress even under the tuition of so skillful 
a master. 

He had sent to his fiancee the most beautiful 
and costly jewels, the packing of which he had 
personally superintended. Every day he dis- 
patched a swift-footed courier to meet the coach 
and give to his consort letters and flowers. This 


Representative portrait made in Vienna by well-known Austrian artists 


was the man who, according to his critics, made 
love like a hussar. 

Before she arrived in Paris he also had pro- 
vided for her an expensive and extensive ward- 
robe consisting of chemises, nightgowns, night- 
caps, dressing sacks, petticoats, handkerchiefs, 
silk stockings and sixty pairs of shoes of all 
shades and colors. Besides these things he pur- 
chased most exquisite laces, magnificent house 
robes, and India shawls of the finest texture and 

It was a short distance from Soissons that the 
imperial bride and groom were to meet. Three 
sumptuous tents had been erected for the pur- 
pose and the ceremony in all its features had 
been carefully rehearsed. On the morning of the 
day fixed for the reception, when the carriages 
were drawn up in the palace yard at Compiegne 
and all the court were ready to start, they were 
surprised to hear that the emperor had disap- 
peared. Early in the morning, accompanied by 
Murat, he had slipped out of a side door unob- 
served, and in a carriage without livery, had 
driven hastily away. It was the twenty-seventh 
of March, and the rain was falling in torrents, 
but the inclement weather did not dampen the 
ardor of the impatient lover. When the car- 
riage reached the village of Courcelles it stopped 
in front of a small church and the travelers, 
alighting, took refuge under its porch, Napoleon 
every few minutes running out from his shelter 
to take a view of the horizon. Here they re- 
mained until the berllne arrived bearing Maria 



Louisa and her traveling companion, Caroline, 
Queen of Naples, the latter having been chosen by 
Napoleon to escort his bride to the capital. The 
emperor quickly opened the door and with hat in 
hand, his garments dripping wet, for the rain still 
continued to pour, mounted the steps of the 
coach. " His Majesty, the emperor of the 
French, my brother," said Caroline, and the next 
moment Napoleon held his young wife in his 
arms. " Your portrait does not flatter you," was 
the first compliment paid by the bride to her 
imperial lover and these timely words set him in 

The programme for the day had been greatly 
interfered with by the disappearance of Napo- 
leon from Compiegne. The meeting under the 
tents at Soissons had been abandoned, the mag- 
nificent banquet prepared by the celebrated ca- 
terer, Bausset, was left uneaten. Napoleon was 
not in the humor to dine, nor did he have time 
to stop at every village and town to listen to the 
wearisome addresses of welcome from commit- 
tees, mayors, and other officials. Two couriers 
on a mad gallop through slush and mud rode in 
advance of the coach crying : " Place ! Place ! " 
Behind them came rolling along the great berime 
conveying the imperial party, drawn by eight 
white horses at full speed. 

At nine o'clock in the evening the carriage 
reached Compiegne. Supper was served in the 
apartments of the empress. A few presentations 
were made of important personages, after which 
Napoleon and his bride retired, occupying the 


same chamber, Napoleon declaring that they were 
already man and wife under the procuratorial 
ceremony at Vienna; to which contention Maria 
herself offered no strenuous objection. As a 
further excuse for his conduct the emperor re- 
ferred to the example of that amorous lover, 
Henry IV of Navarre, who, under like circum- 
stances, had not waited for the sanction of a mere 

The next day the court had an opportunity to 
meet the new bride and they generally were of 
opinion that she was quite pretty, but was want- 
ing in that elegance, ease, and grace so character- 
istic of the women of France and which Josephine 
possessed in so high a degree. 

One could not help contrasting Maria's mild 
inanimate beauty with that of the vivacious and 
spirited princess, Marie Antoinette, who not 
many years before had come to France from the 
same proud house of Hapsburg to marry the 

At St. Cloud, on the twenty-ninth, the civil 
ceremony was performed. On the second of 
April their Majesties entered Paris in great state 
and the religious marriage was solemnized in the 
grand gallery of the Louvre, in the presence, so 
it was said, of the most superb and brilliant as- 
sembly ever seen in France. 

In making preparations for this final and all- 
important ceremony, it was directed by Napo- 
leon that the queens of Naples, of Holland, and 
of Westphalia, the grand duchess of Tuscany, 
and the princess Borghes^ should bear the train 


of the empress. These proud and distinguished 
women at first strenuously resisted the imperial 
order. " Never ! Never ! " declared the princess 
Pauline, " will I consent to this humiliation. I 
will die first! " But she smothered her spirit of 
rebellion when Napoleon coolly remarked that as 
she had formerly carried a basket to market her 
dignity would not have to make much of a sacri- 
fice in bearing the train of the lady from the 
house of Hapsburg. This little family insurrec- 
tion was soon calmed, but a more serious oppo- 
sition was met when the papal authorities refused 
to take part in the ceremony. 

After the seizure of the pope the entire college 
of cardinals had been transplanted from Rome 
to Paris, only those who had pleaded old age or 
physical infirmities were allowed to remain in 
the eternal city. At the imposing ceremony in 
the Louvre the twenty-seven cardinals were not 
present, giving as a reason for their absence the 
fact that the emperor's divorce from Josephine 
had not been sanctioned by Pius VII. Napoleon 
wrought dire vengeance on the offending prelates 
for what he termed their contumacious conduct 
by banishing them, depriving them of their rev- 
enues and forbidding them to wear the insignia 
of their office. They were designated contemp- 
tuously by the people as the " black cardinals." 

For days Paris was given over to receptions, 
balls, festivals, and illuminations. Congratula- 
tions poured in on the emperor from every court 
in Christendom and the event seemed to augur a 
long-continued peace for Europe. 


Metternich, the Austrian ambassador, who took 
the credit to himself of having brought about the 
alliance, carried away by his emotions while 
breakfasting at the Louvre, caught up a wine 
glass and appearing at a window overlooking the 
court yard, where great crowds had assembled, 
proposed in a loud voice a toast to the " King of 
Rome," this having been the title under the Holy 
Roman Empire for the heir apparent, and which 
in this instance the Austrian minister intended 
should refer to Napoleon's issue. The crowd 
caught the meaning of the toast and filled the 
air with cheers. 

Maria Louisa was a buxom healthy girl eight- 
een years of age in the full bloom of her youth, 
and therein she met in the first place the require- 
ments of the union, for this proud " daughter of 
the Caesars " had been chosen to succeed a barren 
wife that a progeny might be raised in order to 
establish a dynasty. She was pleasing and 
comely in appearance, had blue eyes, a fine com- 
plexion, and beautiful luxuriant light brown hair; 
but was commonplace, timid, self-conscious, and 
without those charms which fascinate. She was 
indolent, indifferent, tactless, and without any 
strong sentiment of affection. She grew to be 
most jealous of the ex-empress, Josephine, show- 
ing signs of displeasure at the mere mention of 
her name. It is not reasonable to suppose that 
she could have had any deep affection for Na- 
poleon, a man much her senior in years, in fact 
more than twice her age, and whom she never saw 
until she came to Paris. It was simply a state 


marriage, and without the preliminaries of a 
courtship, it was solemnized only for the purpose 
of obtaining an heir. 

Is it possible that Napoleon ever imagined in 
his wildest dreams that his great and vast empire, 
the larger portion of which was made up of de- 
nationalized states, could be held together in its 
integrity and entirety after his death merely by 
placing a boy on the throne? Napoleon's sur- 
passing genius had created it. This master 
craftsman, using the army as his tool, had welded 
this mighty mass together and the very moment 
the force that held it intact was removed the 
whole fabric would probably crumble to pieces. 
History shows many instances of great and vast 
empires erected by the genius of a single man, 
from Alexander to Genghis Khan, from Tamer- 
lane to Charlemagne, but in the nature of things 
they were all of short duration. 

On July 10, 1810, Holland by royal decree was 
annexed to the empire. Louis, in a gust of rage, 
had abandoned his throne and gone to Bohemia 
to drink the mineral waters of Teplitz. 

After receiving the crown of Holland from 
Napoleon, Louis insisted upon exercising the pow- 
ers of sovereignty absolutely independent of his 
brother and pompously set up the claim of the di- 
vine right of kings. He was directed by the 
emperor to seize all American vessels lying in 
the Dutch ports, which ships were supposed to 
contain English goods; and upon his refusal 
twenty thousand French troops started on the 
march to Amsterdam to enforce compliance with 


the order. But before their arrival Louis, on 
the night of July first, deserted the kingdom. 
He slipped away so quietly and secretly that for 
several days his whereabouts were not known, 
much to the dismay and mortification of the em- 

Louis had married Hortense, the daughter of 
Josephine, but after the death of their child she 
had separated from her husband and was flirt- 
ing with a handsome coxcomb, the Duke de Fla- 
haut, renowned throughout the fashionable cir- 
cles in France for his shapely legs. 

The family feuds of the Bonapartes had be- 
come a public scandal. Jerome, as king of West- 
phalia, disgusted his subjects by his dissipation, 
luxury, and extravagance. " I never," declared 
Napoleon, " put a relative on a throne that I do 
not have another enemy to watch." Lucien, at 
odds with his brother, was residing in Rome and 
publicly criticising the emperor's treatment of 
the pope. Even Madame Mere, who was living 
with Lucien, felt she had been slighted in the 
distribution of honors and continually upbraided 
her ungrateful son, while his three sisters were 
a constant annoyance in their frequent demands 
and exactions. 

The royal line of Sweden was all but extinct 
and it was necessary to find a suitable successor 
who for the time being would be the virtual 
crown prince. Anxious to secure the favor of 
Napoleon, the Swedes chose Bernadotte, one of 
his marshals. For some reason or other the 
emperor, although disliking Bernadotte, was in- 


duced to sanction the selection, and even fur- 
nished him with a large sum of money, two mil- 
lion francs, to enable him to assume in proper 
state his new dignity as prince royal. 

Bernadotte in several instances had deceived 
and enraged Napoleon; he had conspired against 
him in the days of the Consulate and at Auer- 
stadt and Wagram had signally failed in his 
duty as a soldier, but having married the sister 
of Joseph's wife he was considered a member 
of the Bonaparte family and thus had escaped 
punishment for his derelictions. Napoleon could 
easily have defeated his selection to the Swedish 
succession, but by some weighty influence and 
the loyal protestations of Bernadotte he was per- 
suaded against his will to consent; and he lived 
to rue the day, for he found to his dismay that 
he had only warmed another serpent into life. 

Joseph, in an endeavor to maintain his hold 
in Spain, was incessant in his demand for money 
and troops. The marshals commanding the 
French armies in Spain were so jealous of each 
other that they would not act in concert, and 
Joseph was not the man to bring them together. 
A mere puppet king, he could not win the affec- 
tion nor even the confidence of his subjects, nor 
command the obedience of his marshals. Re- 
duced to bankruptcy and perplexed beyond meas- 
ure by his accumulating troubles, he hurried to 
Paris, and in May, 1811, tendered his resigna- 
tion. Napoleon, to hush up the scandal, strove 
in every possible way to appease his brother, and 
under the promise of paying him one-fourth of 


the taxes levied by the French commanders in- 
duced him to withdraw his resignation and re^ 
turn to his post. 

The war in Spain demanded attention, and it 
is surprising that Napoleon himself did not take 
command of the army and put an end to the 
jealousies existing among the French marshals, 
Massena, Ney, and Soult. Wellington declared 
that " his presence on the field made a difference 
of 40,000 men." 

Some of the troops of the Grand Army had 
been sent into Spain and Portugal, with orders 
from Napoleon " to drive the leopards/' referring 
to the British troops, " into the sea " ; but their 
efforts were neutralized because of the want of 
concerted action. 

Wellington repulsed the army of Massena at 
Busaco and then fell back towards Lisbon, and 
opened the celebrated campaign of Torres Vedras. 
Massena followed in pursuit, with an army 
of 65,000 men, and, failing to carry the British 
redoubts or to induce Wellington to come out 
from his intrenchments to offer battle, was com- 
pelled, in November, 1810, to withdraw. He 
had suffered a great loss from disease and hun- 
ger during a pestilential autumn in a district that 
had been laid waste by Wellington on his retreat. 

Massena, failing to form a junction with the 
army of Soult, abandoned Portugal in the early 
spring of 1811, after a most disastrous cam- 
paign, entailing the loss of 35,000 men. 

The successes fci Portugal revived the cour- 
age of England, although she was still in a de- 
20 305 


pressed condition. At the close of 1810 the 
three per cent. British consols were quoted at 
sixty-five, trade was languishing, manufactures 
had fallen to a minimum, there was lack of work, 
and in consequence wages were low. Foreign 
commerce, the little there was of it, was con- 
ducted by smuggling, and voluntary bankrupts 
averaged nearly ten a day. The ministry was 
incapable and at odds, while the king, George 
III, was mentally deranged. To add to the gen- 
eral distress the harvests of 1809 and 1810 had 
been failures. It looked as if England were on 
the verge of ruin, and that her commercial su- 
premacy was being strangled to death in the 
coils of the Continental system which, like an 
immense serpent, stretched its vast length 
throughout and around all Europe. 

Napoleon promulgated a decree at Trianon on 
August 5, 1810, imposing heavy duties, generally 
half their values, on all imported colonial prod- 
ucts such as cotton, coffee, tea, and cocoa. It 
was further directed that all traders should de- 
clare their possession of these goods under a 
penalty of confiscation for disobedience. Such 
stores if within four days' distance of the fron- 
tiers were liable to seizure. It would seem by 
these extreme measures that Napoleon was deter- 
mined to put a price so high on imported goods, 
that were admitted in spite of the Continental 
system, as to place them beyond the reach of the 
people. His Fontainebleau decree of October 
18, 1810, directed that the manufactures of Eng- 
land found in the hands of dealers should be 


seized and publicly burned. Special tribunals 
were created for the purpose of investigating 
these cases and imposing punishment upon the 
violators of the law, and above all, upon the 
smugglers. Such a rigorous system, however, 
caused a rise in prices throughout the empire. 
Wherever the ports were closed against the im- 
portation of England's home and colonial prod- 
ucts the prices increased enormously. Sugar, 
for instance, rose as high as seven francs, and 
coffee, eight francs per pound. If Napoleon had 
possessed a navy he would have starved Eng- 
land to death or forced her to a peace, but with 
her great fleets she commanded the ocean, and 
conveyed to her own shores without hindrance 
or danger the products of her colonies, including 
corn and wheat. While Napoleon was the arbi- 
ter of Europe, England was mistress of the seas. 

When this commercial war was at its height 
a male child was born to Napoleon, on March 
20, 1811. At one time in the crisis the mother 
was in great peril, and the question arose as to 
which life, hers or the child's, should be saved; 
when the emperor was consulted he unhesitatingly 
said: " Save the mother." 

After the birth of the infant Napoleon ten- 
derly embraced his wife, and when the danger 
was passed considerately sent word of his good 
fortune to Josephine. When the glad tidings 
were announced all Paris went wild with joy, 
steeple answered steeple and the cannon fired one 
hundred volleys because the infant was a boy. 

The child was given the proud title: " King of 


Rome." " Now begins," exultantly exclaimed 
Napoleon, " the finest epoch of my reign," and 
in truth the future did seem on the surface to 
warrant his sanguine assertion. His dynasty was 
established ; his empire, greater in extent than even 
that of Charlemagne, covered Europe, extending 
from Denmark to Naples. Sweden recently had 
taken for its king Bernadotte, a member of the 
Bonaparte family ; his brother Joseph was on the 
throne of Spain; Holland, Naples, and West- 
phalia were ruled by his kinsmen; he was pro- 
tector of the Helvetic and the Rhine Confedera- 
tions; Russia was still his ally; Austria virtually 
his vassal; while Prussia crouched at his feet. 
But on the other hand there could be heard in the 
east the distant rumblings of a coming storm. 
" The Spanish ulcer " was still a running sore ; 
the detention of the pope as a prisoner greatly 
distressed the Catholic world, and the British 
fleets were sweeping the seas. 




The Treaty of Tilsit with its liberal provisions 
was drawn by Napoleon with the intention of 
making the czar of Russia an ally of France, 
and having him assist in the effort that was be- 
ing made to destroy the commercial supremacy 
of England. But it had not worked satisfac- 
torily to that end. The Continental ports were 
still open to British manufactures, and English 
goods were carried in what ostensibly were neu- 
tral bottoms, but which in fact were, in the vast 
majority of instances, ships engaged in the mari- 
time commerce of England and whose home ports 
were London and Liverpool. 

In 1810 Napoleon wrote to Alexander that he 
was not keeping in good faith the provisions of 
the treaty, and insisted upon his seizing the so- 
called neutral ships in the Baltic sea. " No mat- 
ter what flags or papers they sail under, you 
may rest assured," said Napoleon, " that they 
are English." But Alexander refused, and not 
only refused, but in addition issued a decree 
which virtually opened the Russian ports to Brit- 
ish goods in neutral bottoms and at the same 
time imposed restrictions upon French wines and 
silks. In the correspondence that passed be- 



tween the two sovereigns the czar coolly inti- 
mated that Napoleon himself winked at violations 
of the treaty when it was to his interest to do so. 
Doubtless there was much truth in what the czar 
said, for even afterwards when Napoleon was 
making preparations to invade Russia he closed 
his eyes to the fact that many of his supplies 
came from England. The greater portion of the 
2,000,000 pairs of shoes for his men were fur- 
nished by British manufacturers, as the immense 
order could not be filled on the continent. 

So long as Napoleon could not establish a 
universal boycott against England and close the 
continental markets to the entrance of her co- 
lonial goods and products, he could not destroy 
her influence and power. Secure in her island 
home and secure as well in her eastern posses- 
sions, which, since Napoleon's disastrous inva- 
sion of Egypt, were far beyond his reach, she 
could defy the power of the autocrat as could 
no other European nation. To the stability and 
the permanence of the empire and the Napoleonic 
dynasty she was a standing menace, and the 
whole effort of Napoleon was bent upon her de- 
struction. It is a question whether his invasion 
of Russia did not have for its ultimate purpose 
the opening of a grand highway overland to the 
East, as a menace to India, the richest of all the 
colonial possessions of England. Even at this 
time, in the very zenith of his power, he looked 
back with regret upon his failure to reduce Saint 
Jean d'Acre, which had barred his way to India. 
" That miserable hole," he complained, " thwarted 


my destiny." At another time he declared: 
"If Acre had fallen I would have changed the 
face of the world." 

The friendly attitude of Russia towards Eng- 
land greatly irritated Napoleon, and he was heard 
more than once to say that Alexander's conduct 
would, in time, provoke a war; that if he con- 
tinued in his mistaken policy a conflict was in- 

There were other questions besides the viola- 
tion of the provisions of the Treaty of Tilsit that 
created a hostile feeling. Napoleon's occupancy 
of Gallicia and his taking possession of Olden- 
burg, a duchy governed by the duke of that 
name who had married the older sister of the 
czar, gave great offence to Russia, and although 
Napoleon made a diplomatic explanation for his 
conduct, his high-handed acts still rankled in the 
memory of Alexander. The Russian, too, was 
in constant dread that Napoleon would wrest 
Poland from his grasp. 

All the while Russia was quietly making vast 
preparations in anticipation of the coming hos- 
tilities. She strengthened her defences and for- 
tifications and greatly increased her armaments, 
and thus necessarily aroused the suspicions of 

In at least one instance the pride of the czar 
had been grievously wounded. After Napoleon 
had divorced Josephine and was looking through 
the courts of Europe for a suitable bride, he had 
opened negotiations, as we have heretofore 
stated, with the czar for the hand of his younger 


sister. But almost before the negotiations were 
concluded the czar was surprised and mortified 
to hear that Napoleon had been a suitor for the 
hand of Maria Louisa of Austria and had been 
accepted. If there was anything to be gained 
by the alliance the house of Hapsburg had se- 
cured the prize under the very eyes of the Ro- 

The czar took this as a personal affront and 
stored it up in his memory to be avenged when 
the opportunity should arrive. And yet in this 
matter he had no real cause of complaint; he 
could have secured Napoleon as his brother-in- 
law if he had acted promptly, but to temporize 
with a man like Bonaparte in so delicate a matter 
was virtually to reject his addresses, and to hu- 
miliate him in the eyes of all Europe. 

Year after year one thing and another trifling 
in character created friction and discontent be- 
tween the two emperors, but while diplomatic 
relations were strained there was as yet no open 
rupture, no declaration of war. 

England, at this time standing at the ear of 
Russia, constantly urged her to break off all re- 
lations with France and assert her independence 
regardless of treaty obligations. 

During this period Russia and Turkey were at 
war and so long as hostilities continued between 
them it would have been perilous for Russia to 
cross swords with France. England, ever alert, 
here found an opportunity to serve her friend 
effectively, and she induced Turkey to sign a 
treaty of peace under a threat that, if she refused, 


From a portrait in colors by G. Hemmerle 


England might find it of necessity to bring her 
fleet to the Bosphorus and bombard Constanti- 
nople. So fine and subtle was the diplomatic 
skill of the English ministers that Turkey ac- 
tually became an ally of Russia, and these two 
life-long enemies, with an inborn race and re- 
ligious hatred, agreed, under the ministrations 
of England, to unite their forces against a com- 
mon foe. 

Napoleon, when informed of this alliance, 
could not at first believe the report, it took him 
so completely by surprise. But when told that 
Bernadotte, whom he had enriched and virtually 
enthroned, had induced Sweden to become the 
ally of Russia, he was dumbfounded. 

Without further delay he gave the command 
to assemble his cohorts, and at his word a vast 
army of 500,000 men rose up as if out of the 
earth. The emperor, accompanied by Maria 
Louisa, left Paris and journeyed in great state to 
Saxony to assume command. A grand review 
of this mighty host took place at Dresden in May, 
1812. It was the last and most magnificent pa- 
geant that signalized the marvelous career of 
this modern Caesar. 

While in Dresden and before putting himself 
at the head of his army, he received the homage 
of his vassals, and showered precious gifts upon 
his allies. Kings and princes of the blood royal, 
dukes and dignitaries of the highest rank waited 
in his ante-chamber for an audience. The mag- 
nificence of his receptions surpassed anything 
ever seen at Versailles or the Tuileries, even in 


the days of the old regime, but all this splendor 
was only the dazzling glory of a declining dy- 
nasty the brilliancy of a setting sun. 

So happy was he to be once more at the head 
of his army that he tramped up and down the 
floor of his room, the first night he passed at 
headquarters, singing at the top of his voice the 
revolutionary marching song, " Le Chant du De- 
part" So great a noise did he make that he 
aroused from their slumbers the officers of his 

In this vast army there were but 200,000 
Frenchmen, the remainder being composed of 
Germans from the Confederation of the Rhine, 
Austrians, Prussians, Italians, Poles, Switzers, 
Dutchmen, Spaniards and Portuguese. Every 
modern tongue greeted the ear, flags of almost 
every European nation filled the eye. It seemed 
as if all Europe had united its forces in one grand 
scheme of conquest. But this babel of languages 
reminds one of the confusion of tongues at the 
building of a famous structure in biblical times. 
The invasion as well as the erection of the im- 
pious tower were doomed to failure. 

For the support of this vast host supplies were 
stored in immense quantities in the towns of 
Modlin, Thoru, Pillau, Dantzig, and Magdeburg. 
Thousands of heavy wagons, carrying supplies of 
all kinds and drawn by oxen, accompanied the 
army and at times greatly delayed its progress. 
Pontoons and material for bridges were in abun- 
dance, and 18,000 horses drew 1,300 pieces of 
artillery. Everything was provided to anticipate 


the demands, the necessities, and the emergencies 
of this wonderful campaign. At no time in his 
whole career did Napoleon display to a higher 
degree his marvelous organizing ability, for down 
to the merest detail everything passed under his 
direction and supervision. 

Before the order was given for this great host 
to march, Napoleon in every way tried to induce 
Alexander to recede from his position and to 
open negotiations for peace, but these efforts met 
with no success. It must be remembered that up 
to this time no official declaration of war had 
been made by either side ; in fact, there was noth- 
ing really upon which to base a declaration, there 
was no point of contention between the two na- 
tions that ought not to have been settled by 
arbitration. Napoleon would gladly have wel- 
comed at this point the first faint signs of peace. 
Nothing would have given him greater joy than 
to have had a good excuse to disband his army, 
and if this had occurred, thus avoiding the re- 
sults of this disastrous invasion, who can picture 
what would have been the glory of his reign? 

To use a vulgar phrase, the emperor and the 
czar had been bluffing, but unfortunately they 
had gone so far that it was impossible, without 
loss of national prestige, to retreat. 

Alexander declared that he would not begin 
hostilities, and if there was to be war Napoleon 
would have to be the aggressor. 

Napoleon well knew the dangers and hardships 
of such a campaign as he was about to undertake ; 
he no doubt called to mind the advice given to 


him, when in the East, by the old Syrian philos- 
opher : " Never make war on a desert/' He 
himself had at one time said that he would never 
lead an army, as did Charles XII, to destruction 
in the steppes. 

Many of his marshals were opposed to enter- 
ing upon a campaign fraught with such perils, in 
a country where the towns and villages were far 
apart, and where the intervening spaces were 
bleak wildernesses. In answer to their murmur- 
ings, Napoleon exclaimed : " I have made my 
marshals too rich." In truth some of them had 
grown to love the silken dalliance of peace, sump- 
tuous palaces, fine dinners, receptions, and gor- 
geous uniforms resplendent with decorations. A 
Russian campaign had no attractions for them. 
Unquestionably, too, Napoleon himself was not 
the man he had been; his health for some time 
past, although almost imperceptibly, had been 
failing, and he was not in a condition physically 
to undertake so arduous a campaign. He al- 
ready had premonitions of a painful disease 
(dysuria) which was soon to reach its full de- 
velopment. Besides this he had a war on his 
hands in Spain, where 300,000 of his best troops 
under the command of some of his ablest mar- 
shals were fighting the English under Welling- 
ton and meeting with reverses. The Iron Duke 
was proving to the world that the French sol- 
diers were not invincible, for Marmont had been 
sent flying through Spain with his defeated and 
shattered legions to find refuge in Burgos. 

At last all hope of securing peace with Rus- 


sia was abandoned, and at sunrise on June 24, 
1812, the command was given for the Grand 
Army to march. Amid the blare of trumpets, the 
rolling of drums, and the strains of martial music, 
the vanguard crossed the bridges over the Nie- 
men. The standards of the empire were borne 
proudly aloft. The imperial eagles had begun 
their flight. 

When the emperor reached Russian territory 
after crossing the bridge, he put spurs to his 
horse and dashed wildly through the woods at 
full speed as if to give vent to his exuberance of 
spirit. His staff followed in hot pursuit. It 
was like a fox chase, a ride across country with 
the hounds in full cry. He was in the saddle 
for the first time after three years of peace and 
he was once more in his element. 

It would have been better for the enterprise if 
Napoleon had given up his useless parleying and 
had started sooner on his march of invasion; for, 
although it was yet in the first month of summer, 
it must not be forgotten that the campaign was to 
be made in a country that was often visited by 
winter weather in the early autumn. 

After crossing the Niemen, and entering upon 
Russian soil, the vanguard found no enemy to 
oppose their progress. A few horsemen galloped 
away at the approach of the French and were 
soon lost to sight in the distance. 

The Russians seemed to have no plan of cam- 
paign; their armies were scattered and widely 
separated. Napoleon with his old-time decision 
and promptitude, after reconnoitring the posi- 



tion of the enemy, decided to drive a portion of 
his army like a wedge between the separated ar- 
mies of the Russians, to prevent them uniting, 
and then proceed to find them and destroy them 
in turn. But, unfortunately, the enemy kept pro- 
vokingly out of sight, and the Grand Army had 
nothing to do but press forward into the wastes 
of this wild and barren country that was al- 
ready revealing a desolation that was alarming. 
Not only was the land bare and inhospitable, 
but the condition of the inhabitants was rude and 
savage. Captain Gaspard Schumacher, who 
commanded a company of the Royal Swiss 
Guards in the army of invasion, in describing in 
his interesting Memoirs the poverty and misery 
of the Russian peasants, says : " Their houses 
are usually composed of four walls made of 
rough logs, with one door and without chimneys. 
They are covered with roofs made of straw. 
The windows are only small openings and in the 
place of glass they use oiled paper. The peasants 
have no beds, but lie on the floor on straw, and 
in cold weather cover themselves with sheep 
skins. All their farming utensils are rude and 
primitive. In every cabin is a loom upon which 
the peasants weave their own flax, but it is a very 
coarse product. In this material they clothe 
themselves. Their outer garment in winter is a 
coat made of sheepskins. In their houses are 
hand mills which grind the rye out of which they 
make their black bread." It is not easy for a 
stranger, says the captain, to describe fully the 
desolation and miseiy of these poor creatures. 


Napoleon had hoped the down-trodden natives 
would welcome him as their deliverer and flock 
to his standard, but the peasants who gathered 
by the roadside to watch the troops looked upon 
them with surprise and awe, rather than with 
rejoicing. When Vilna was reached the French 
were warmly received; the inhabitants, men, 
women, and children, turned out to greet them, 
and the oldest citizens, in their native costumes, 
came as a delegation to petition the emperor to 
declare the freedom of Poland. Napoleon would 
gladly have granted the request had it not been 
for the fact that by so doing he would have given 
offence to his allies, Austria and Prussia, to 
whom he was bound by treaty obligations not to 
destroy the political status of Poland. 

In this town of Vilna Napoleon lingered for 
nearly three weeks, that is, from June 28th to 
July 1 6th, a loss of time that put in jeopardy 
the success of the expedition, says Lord Wolse- 
ley, in view of the lateness of the season. The 
emperor doubtless was waiting to receive peace 
propositions from the czar. 

The Russian army was divided into two sec- 
tions, one commanded by Barclay de Tolly con- 
sisting of 125,000 men, and the other under 
Prince Bagration numbering about 40,000. The 
plan of campaign as laid out by General Phull, 
a martinet of the old school, was that the larger 
force should oppose the French advance, while 
the smaller should operate on the flanks and rear. 
This plan of operations, for an army on the de- 
fensive, was in strict accordance with the tactical 


rules prescribed, from time immemorial, by mili- 
tary writers of the highest authority. To meet 
this was a regularly prescribed counter move- 
ment, as if war were a game of chess. But Na- 
poleon, who did not fight in compliance with the 
rules laid down in the books, quickly divining 
the purpose of his opponents, manoeuvred to en- 
circle and capture the army of the prince and 
would have succeeded in his plan had Jerome 
carried out his orders. But Jerome failing to 
connect with the forces of Marshal Davoust, who 
was operating with him in this movement, Prince 
Bagration easily slipped out of the net and ef- 
fected his escape. If the original plan had been 
successful, the Russians would have been com- 
pelled to surrender or would have been driven 
into the mephitic marshes of Pripet, where, cut 
off from their supplies, they would have been 
rendered useless as an army. 

Napoleon was greatly enraged at the failure 
of Jerome to carry out his orders, and when the 
brothers met they indulged in so bitter an alter- 
cation that Jerome indignantly threw up his com- 
mand and departed for his little kingdom of 
Westphalia, doubtless glad to find an excuse to 
escape the rigor of what promised to be a long 
campaign and to hurry home to indulge in the 
ease and the delights of his miniature court at 

Barclay did not favor the plan of campaign 
as laid out by General Phull and urged the czar 
to adopt a Fabian policy, and that was to wear 
out the French army by a slow retreat. 


It is a remarkable coincidence that at this time 
the men who were giving the greatest amount of 
trouble to Napoleon were Barclay, of Scotch de- 
scent, in Russia, and an Englishman named Wel- 
lington in Spain. 

As the French advanced their hardships in- 
creased. Torrential storms turned the roads 
into ditches of soft mud, and when the sun shone 
the heat was intense, wagons and cannons sank 
into ruts and blocked the way, men overcome by 
the weather fell dead by the roadside, between 
Kovno and Vilna ten thousand horses died from 
exhaustion. An eyewitness describing the trail 
of the march said : " It looked more like a road 
traversed by a defeated and retreating army than 
one over which had passed a victorious and an 
invading host." 

The country grew more barren as the troops 
advanced. The flying inhabitants had devastated 
their fields, had destroyed every vestige of vege- 
tation, and had burned their barns and hay 
stacks. Food became scarcer day by day, and 
the foragers brought in from their expeditions 
mean and meagre supplies. The country had 
been visited by a failure of crops, and in conse- 
quence the land was unusually bare and barren. 
The horses and oxen, half starved, gorged them- 
selves with the rotten, weather-beaten straw of the 
thatched roofs upon the abandoned huts of the 
peasants and fell down sick and exhausted. 

Still there was nothing left for the army to do 
but to advance. It was hard to keep the enthusi- 
asm of soldiers alive under conditions so distress- 
21 32I 


ing and depressing, where the enemy kept tanta- 
lizingly out of sight, and in a country where the 
further the invaders went the more desolate did 
it become. 

Napoleon, too, grew impatient and chagrined 
at not being able to catch up to the enemy. As 
he approached Vitepsk where the Russian army 
was entrenched, he wrote : " We are on the eve 
of great events," but in the night the enemy 
quietly withdrew. 

Onward pushed the French, already exhausted 
in this fruitless chase, until Smolensk was 
reached. Here, at last, the Russians made a 
stand and offered battle, although it was against 
the advice of Barclay, who still favored a re- 

Napoleon's over-confidence induced him to 
neglect his usual precautions; perhaps he feared 
the enemy would again escape and so without 
delay, not even waiting for his artillery to breach 
the walls, he assailed the ramparts with heavy 
masses of infantry. He made no attempt to cut 
off Barclay's line of retreat or his communica- 
tions with Moscow, nor did he try to turn the 
flanks of the enemy. He seemed determined to 
crush the centre and overwhelmingly defeat the 
main army. His whole campaign in Russia was 
lacking in the tactical skill that signalized his 
prior career as a soldier. 

The conflict lasted throughout the day, and 
the slaughter on both sides was fearful. Not- 
withstanding the terrific onslaughts of the French, 
the town at nightfall still remained in the posses- 


sion of the Russians. In the meantime the 
French cannon, having been brought up, breached 
the walls and set fire to the wooden buildings, 
thus adding to the flames that had already been 
started by the Russians. Napoleon waited im- 
patiently for the dawn to renew the attack and 
to secure what he considered an assured victory. 
But Barclay, having inflicted on the French a 
loss of 12,000 in killed and wounded, withdrew 
his forces, under the cover of night, and unop- 
posed took the road to Moscow. 

It was about this time that the czar sent word 
to Napoleon that if he would retrace his steps 
and recross the Niemen propositions for peace 
would be considered. Of course to such an offer 
Napoleon could give no heed. 

The French army in their march of invasion 
had covered more than half the distance between 
Kovno and Moscow and were now in the very 
centre of the dreary wastes of Muscovy. Napo- 
leon had been lured from Vilna to Vitepsk, from 
Vitepsk to Smolensk, but as yet had gained no 
decisive victory. Eager to bring the enemy to 
a stand and crush them with an overwhelming 
blow, he gave orders, even against the remon- 
strances of his marshals, to continue the pursuit. 

The Russian soldiers, gaining confidence be- 
cause of the brave showing they had made in the 
hand-to-hand conflicts with the French veterans, 
began to murmur against the plan of campaign 
that kept them constantly on the retreat and at 
last to quiet the growing discontent the czar re- 
moved Barclay from his command and appointed 



in his stead General Kutusoff, a brave and reso- 
lute soldier. 

Napoleon was to be given one more chance to 
secure his long-sought victory, for Kutusoff de- 
cided to make a stand at Borodino and after 
throwing up his redoubts and entrenchments 
awaited the attack of the French. Napoleon 
adopted the same plan of battle as he did at 

The fight opened on the morning of September 
.seventh. The Russians fought with the desperate 
bravery of men who were defending their homes 
and hearth-stones, their courage kept alive by 
singing in chorus their inspiring war cry : " God 
have mercy upon vis." Time and again the re- 
doubts were taken by the French, but just as 
often were they dislodged and driven back. Sud- 
denly, when the Russian lines began to waver, a 
vast column of French cavalry charged and 
pierced the centre, column after column followed 
in the wake, like billow on billow. Under this 
terrific storm of hoof and steel the Russians broke 
and fled. Great masses of Cossacks and Musco- 
vite horsemen were led to the rescue and made a 
gallant endeavor to repulse the attack by a coun- 
ter charge. The shock of the impact of the two 
bodies of cavalry was terrific, but Murat at the 
head of fresh squadrons sent the Russians flying 
over the field in all directions. The battle was 
one of the fiercest and bloodiest ever fought in 
the history of the world. A quarter of a mil- 
lion men met in a deadly hand-to-hand conflict; 
40,000 were left dead upon the field, the total 


number of killed and wounded amounted to 70,- 
ooo. Eight hundred cannon were engaged, and 
the roar from these eight hundred brazen throats 
resounded and reverberated through the solitudes 
of Russia and was heard at a distance of seventy- 
five miles from the field of battle. 

For some reason Napoleon refused to use the 
Imperial Guard; if he had launched them forth 
at the critical moment the victory would have 
been more decisive and the total destruction of 
the Russian forces might have been accomplished 
and the czar without an army might have made 
offers of peace. Ney fumed and raged like a 
madman when he heard that the emperor had 
decided that he would not order the guard into 
battle. " Has he forgotten how to fight? " cried 
the fiery marshal. " Let him go back to his pal- 
ace of the Tuileries and we will end the cam- 

Napoleon was loath to waste the lives of the 
soldiers of the Imperial Guard in a battle that 
was already won, fearing, no doubt, that the 
time was coming when he would have greater 
need of their services. " Remember, Sire," said 
Bessieres, commander of the Guard, "you are 
eight hundred leagues from Paris." Napoleon 
certainly made a grave error in hesitating to use 
the Guard; he practised economy in the applica- 
tion of force and thus violated one of the funda- 
mental principles of war. " Generals who save 
troops for the next day are always beaten," was 
one of his favorite maxims, but upon this occa- 
sion he must have forgotten it. 


Marshal Davoust begged for permission to at- 
tack the extended left flank of the Russians, 
promising to roll it up like a scroll, but Napoleon 
refused his assent. 

Ney fought with courage and gallantry so in- 
comparable that, notwithstanding his impulsive 
and contumacious language, Napoleon conferred 
upon him the title, Duke of Moskwa. 

The Russian army was defeated but not de- 
stroyed, and Kutusoff gathered his scattered 
forces and again took the field, though he offered 
no resistance to the French advance. 

The battle of Borodino with its dreadful loss 
of life was not followed by any apparent desire 
on the part of the czar to secure terms of peace, 
and therein Napoleon was greatly disappointed. 

The grand army now pushed on to Moscow 
and at last, on September fourteenth, the spires 
and domes of the three hundred churches of the 
sacred city, glistening in the rays of the morning 
sun, greeted the eyes of the invading host. 
Down the lines ran the glad cry : " Moscow ! 
Moscow ! " Napoleon and his marshals viewed 
the city from an adjoining hill. " It is not a 
day too soon," quietly remarked the emperor. 

Strange to say, the city gave no signs of life ; 
no smoke issued from the chimneys, the hum and 
the noises of a teeming population were not 
heard, the roads were deserted, no people nor 
wagons passed in and out of the gates. The 
hush, the silence, were oppressive, ominous. 
From a distance the city seemed as quiet as the 
dreary wastes over which the invaders had 


marched. This then after all was the empty 
prize that was the reward of so much blood and 
suffering and which was soon to crumble to ashes 
in the victor's hands. 





When on September 14, 1812, the Grand Army 
marched triumphantly through the gates of Mos- 
cow, they found to their amazement and despair 
a deserted city; silence, solitude, and desolation 
reigned everywhere. The martial strains of the 
bands and the roll of the French drums resounded 
through the empty streets, the echoes coming back 
as if in mockery of the triumph. The inhabitants 
had abandoned their homes; men, women and 
children had gone forth to seek refuge elsewhere; 
even the jail doors had been opened, and the pris- 
oners released. Only a few fanatics stood guard 
in the Kremlin, the ancient palace of the czars, 
believing it, according to tradition, to be im- 

After their long and weary march across the 
steppes of Russia, the French soldiers broke away 
from restraint and discipline, in spite of all that 
Napoleon could do, and surrendering themselves 
to dissipation, began to plunder. They despoiled 
the churches of their ornaments and treasure; 
broke into the deserted shops, and loaded them- 
selves with loot ; took possession of the abandoned 
houses and cellars, and gorged themselves with 
food and wine. Crowds of drunken soldiers, 


indulging in an orgy, reeled through the streets 
shouting: " Vive I'empercur" and defying the 
commands of their officers. 

The day after the entry of the French, flames 
burst forth suddenly, at midnight, in different 
quarters of the city, fanned into fury by a raging 
equinoctial storm. In every direction was heard 
the terrifying cry of Fire! Fire! The emperor, 
aroused from his slumber, stood at a window in 
the palace, watching with anxiety the ravaging 
flames. Despite the efforts of the soldiers to 
quench the fire, it devoured everything in its path- 
way and at last enveloped the Kremlin itself, com- 
pelling Napoleon and his officers to seek safety in 
flight. Indeed, if it had not been for the courage 
of the rugged Davoust, who literally snatched the 
emperor from the flames, the latter would have 
lost his life. The dreadful conflagration died 
down on the twentieth, but it was at once kindled 
anew, and again threatened the destruction of 
the entire city, the wooden buildings of which it 
was composed affording an abundance of fuel. 
Great billows of flame rolled forward like an 
engulfing sea, and at night vast volumes of smoke 
rising heavenwards reflected the flames, until it 
seemed as if earth and sky were in one grand 
conflagration. Napoleon afterwards in describ- 
ing the awful scene, said : " It was the sublimest 
sight the world ever saw and one which struck 
terror and consternation into the hearts of all 
those who beheld it." 

It was asserted by the Russians that tipsy 
French soldiers started the fire, but the French 


denied the charge and put the blame entirely upon 
the Russians. It is a well known fact, however, 
that some Russians were caught with torch in 
hand in the act of setting fire to the buildings. 
These incendiaries were tried, found guilty, and 

In some of the cellars, great quantities of in- 
flammable material had been deposited by the 
Russians before their departure, so as to add fuel 
to the flames. Besides this the municipal author- 
ities had removed or destroyed all the appliances 
and apparatuses for extinguishing fires. 

It is not difficult to believe that a people who 
destroyed Smolensk, reducing it to a smoking 
heap of ashes, could also have destroyed the city 
of Moscow, after deserting it and leaving it 
defenceless to the enemy. On the other hand 
it is not reasonable to suppose that the French 
would deliberately have set fire to a city, which 
it was to their interest to save, in view of the 
fact that they might be compelled to make it their 
winter quarters. 

As days wore on, food grew scarce; the sur- 
rounding country had been laid waste, and forag- 
ing parties in order to gather supplies were com- 
pelled to penetrate into the interior as far as 
forty miles from the city, thus often subjecting 
themselves to attacks from large bands of ma- 
rauding Cossacks. An army of 100,000 men 
had to be fed and besides this fodder for 50,000 
horses had to be procured. 

The weather during the French occupation had 
been delightful, " as pleasant as that at Fontaine- 


bleau," remarked Napoleon; but every one knew 
that winter was approaching and that its icy 
blasts would bring death and destruction if the 
soldiers were without shelter, food, and clothing. 
The Cossack prisoners brought in told the French 
soldiers that their nails would drop from their 
fingers when frost came, and they would be 
unable to handle their muskets. Not only was 
this a true prediction, but far worse than this 
happened, for hands fell from the wrists and 
feet from the ankles. 

All this time Napoleon was waiting impa- 
tiently to hear from the czar ; but no word came, 
no messenger arrived. Days and weeks passed 
by, still not even a suggestion to open up negotia- 
tions. The French emperor's communications to 
Alexander were not answered, although he had 
offered to make peace on the easiest terms. 

The silence of the Russians seemed to dumb- 
found Napoleon. For hours at a time he would 
walk up and down his rooms in the Kremlin, not 
speaking a word, but impatiently striking his leg, 
at intervals, with a riding whip ; or else he would 
lie on a sofa, holding a novel in his hand, appar- 
ently reading, the pages of which, however, he 
never turned. In the evening he would occasion- 
ally indulge in a game of cards, and several times 
he attended performances at the theatre, the offi- 
cers and soldiers having mounted some plays at 
the opera house, but he seemed to take no interest 
in these diversions. 

" Moscow is the heart of Russia," he had said, 
" and we will winter there," but now, having 



realized his dream, he was anxious to return to 
France, feeling that his presence was needed in 
the capital. " Paris," he said, " is not accus- 
tomed to my absence," and, in truth, at this time 
his enemies were conspiring to overthrow his 

As the fires had consumed the dwellings of 
the town, it was suggested to him to provide shel- 
ter for the soldiers in the cellars. There was an 
abundance of fuel to keep the troops warm, and 
there were also horses enough, if it came to the 
worst, to furnish them with food until the spring. 
But Napoleon could not abide the thought of 
remaining inactive in Russia during the win- 
ter. Up to this time, the expedition had resulted 
in nothing but disaster; his victory was no tri- 
umph, and he knew that his enemies at home 
would exaggerate his losses. He had beaten the 
Russians in every encounter, but they were still 
unconquered and in the field, and to be successful 
in the eyes of Europe he would have to bring 
Alexander to terms. Winter was too close at 
hand to begin an open campaign, and to remain 
idle two thousand miles from his capital, simply 
waiting for the coming spring in order to renew 
hostilities, would put in grave jeopardy his inter- 
ests at home. 

At a council of officers Napoleon suggested a 
march on St. Petersburg, but his marshals so 
strongly opposed the plan as impracticable that it 
was at once abandoned. 

The autumn weather continued delightful, but 
all the while winter was coming on apace. Still 


Napoleon hesitated. This man of action, this 
man always resolute and resourceful and equal 
to every emergency, was at last outwitted by an 
antagonist who, without offering any effectual 
resistance, had lured him to destruction. 

In his calculations Napoleon had never consid- 
ered it possible that the Russians would desert 
the city, the sacred city of the Muscovites; he 
had made no provision to meet such a contin- 
gency. Ney had predicted, when the invasion of 
Russia was in contemplation, that the army would 
never reach Moscow, but that feat had been ac- 
complished, and Napoleon, as usual, had per- 
formed the impossible; but the victory was an 
empty one in that the Russians were still in the 
field and the city was a mass of ruins. There 
was no enemy in sight, but the blasts from the 
north announced that the Ice King, with his hosts, 
was approaching, and that the French would soon 
be in the grip of a Russian winter. 

Napoleon, at last aroused from his indecision 
and lethargy, gave the order to retreat, and on 
the 1 8th of October the Grand Army began its 
memorable march homewards. The retreating 
army moved in four divisions, the first com- 
manded by Napoleon and the others by Eugene, 
Ney, and Davoust. At the beginning the army 
was accompanied by a vast train of wagons car- 
rying rich booty, the protection of which caused 
much delay in the progress of the march. Later 
these wagons were burned, abandoned, or else 
captured by the enemy. 

It was the intention of Napoleon to take a new 



route, on his way through the Russias, known 
as the Kalouga Road ; but General Bessieres, after 
reconnoitring, brought news that a large army 
under Kutusoff blocked the way. Acting under 
this information, Napoleon abandoned the road 
he was on, and resumed his march over that 
on which the French army had come on its way 
to Moscow. This was a grievous mistake, for 
that route and the surrounding country had been 
laid waste by the invaders. Further than this the 
report that a large army barred the way was 
wrong, for what Bessieres had described as a 
large force well entrenched, was in reality only- 
the rear guard of KutusofFs army covering his 

When Borodino was reached the French were 
horrified to see that the 40,000 men who had 
fallen in the engagement fought on that field still 
lay unburied. When the army approached, vul- 
tures rose from their ghastly feast in such num- 
bers that the great flocks darkened the sun. 

Up to this time the French had not suffered 
intensely from the cold, but on November 4th 
the first storm of winter broke upon this mighty 
host; bleak winds and rain beat into the faces 
of the soldiers, snow began to fall, and the whole 
plain, as far as the eye could reach, was soon 
covered with a white sheet. The troops, still 
wearing their summer uniforms, were benumbed 
by the frost, the cutting blasts chilled them to 
the bone, and men and horses found great diffi- 
culty in marching over the frozen surface, not 
having been shod for such weather. " God has 


made Napoleon forget there is a winter here/' 
exclaimed the Cossacks. 

The cold increased in bitterness from day to 
day; on the gth it was 5 above zero and on the 
1 3th 5 below; food grew scarcer and scarcer, 
the principal ration being a broth made of horse 
flesh thickened with flour; supplies of all kinds 
were captured by bands of plundering Cossacks, 
who hung night and day on the rear and the 
flanks of the retreating army. Savage and in- 
furiated peasants armed with agricultural imple- 
ments such as hoes, scythes, pitchforks and spades 
cruelly beat to death the famished, benumbed, 
and exhausted stragglers. Great flocks of vul- 
tures and birds of prey hovered menacingly above 
the troops ; packs of dogs and wolves fought with 
starving men over the carcasses of dead horses ; 
fuel was scarce, and the cold intolerable; the 
nights, sixteen hours in length, seemed almost 
interminable, and to make matters worse furious 
storms of hail and sleet often extinguished the 
bivouac fires. In the daytime the sun shed no 
warmth, and the soldiers were blinded by the 
fields of glistening snow. Many of them cast 
aside their arms and equipments, while others 
in sheer exhaustion and despair threw themselves 
on the ground never to rise again. Above the 
crunching tread of the troops and the rumbling 
of wains and artillery would frequently be heard 
the wild and incongruous laugh of the maniac, 
showing that under the strain some poor wretch's 
mind had suddenly given away. 

On the Qth of November the army reached 


Smolensk, where it remained until the I4th, when 
it again took up its march, every foot of which 
was blood-stained and marked with torture and 
suffering that were almost beyond human endur- 
ance. The army struggled along without dis- 
cipline, the old guard alone retaining any sem- 
blance of military order. 

" As the season advanced so intense became the 
cold," says Marbot, " that we could see a kind 
of vapor rising from men's eyes and ears. Con- 
densing on contact with the air, this vapor fell 
back on our persons with a rattle such as grains 
of millet might have made. We had often to 
halt and clear away from the horses' bits the 
icicles formed by their frozen breath." 

" During thirty days," says Captain Gaspard 
Schumacher in his Memoirs, " horse flesh and 
snow were almost our only nourishment. . . . 
We believed ourselves fortunate when we found 
a little rye flour in the deserted huts. We boiled 
it in snow water and congratulated ourselves 
upon having a good repast. 

" The cold became more and more acute. 
Often in the evening we would seek among the 
dead for some stiff and rigid corpses and placing 
them in a circle around the camp fires we would 
seat ourselves upon them to avoid coming di- 
rectly in contact with the snow." 

Although under these trying conditions human 
nature was revealed in its most selfish and hideous 
form, the picture at times was relieved by instances 
of the highest heroism, and of the most heroic 
self-sacrifice and devotion. A starving man 


would share his last morsel of food with a dying 
comrade, soldiers almost bare-footed would drag 
over the snow on sleds their wounded compan- 
ions, and nurse them as tenderly as women. On 
the other hand often the wolfish instinct would 
appear, and the strong would snatch from the 
weak a bone or a crust of bread. Soldiers would 
murder each other in a quarrel over a piece of 
wood. There were several instances even of 
cannibalism: De Segur, a reliable authority, 
says that " When a few wretches threw them- 
selves into the blazing heaps of burning wagons 
and baggage, some of their comrades dragged out 
the disfigured and roasted bodies and dared to 
fill their mouths with this revolting food," while 
Sir Robert Wilson states that he saw " a group 
of wounded men lying over the body of a com- 
rade which they had roasted and the flesh of 
which they had begun to eat." 

Although the hardships increased after leaving 
Smolensk, the courage of the troops did not 
abate; never did the Russians make an attack 
even with overwhelming numbers that the French 
did not resist with their wonted courage. 

Napoleon, clad in furs, with staff in hand, 
marched through the snow drifts, facing the bliz- 
zards side by side with his soldiers, and encour- 
aged them by his patience and the endurance he 
displayed. Never did commander have more 
loyal and devoted troops. When his bivouac fire 
was burning low, freezing soldiers would con- 
tribute, from their own scanty store, dry faggots 

to revive it. As he rode down the lines, dying 


soldiers with their last breath would cry : " Long 
live the emperor." 

Murat fought in the van, in resplendent uni- 
form and with conspicuous courage, hurling his 
squadrons in whirlwind charges against the Cos- 
sacks, until there was not a horse left to saddle. 
Then, exhausted by his Herculean efforts and 
having no more cavalry to lead, he rested in the 
emperor's carriage. 

News reached Napoleon by couriers that Vic- 
tor's forces had been defeated on the Dwina and 
to add further to his troubles information was 
brought in that the army in Spain had met with 
severe repulses. 

Ney was in the rear, fighting with desperate 
courage against overwhelming odds. He had 
been separated from Davoust, and it looked as if 
he would be captured, but his reply to an order 
from the Russian commander to lay down his 
arms, was, " A marshal of France has never sur- 
rendered." KutusofT, the Russian general, with 
an army of 60,000, pressed him on all sides; 
hordes of Cossacks in wild charges assailed his 
front, his flanks and his rear; but with dauntless 
courage, that elicited the admiration even of his 
foes, he cut his way through, crossed the Dnieper 
on ice so thin that it bent beneath the weight of 
his soldiers, and hastened on to join the main 

While his marshals were in danger, Napoleon 
made a bold stand at Krasnoi, with compara- 
tively only a handful of men, for the available 
fighting force of the main body of the Grand 


Army had been reduced to a mere shadow of 'its 
former self. So audacious was the stand that 
Napoleon took with his little band against the 
overwhelming forces of the Russians, that 
Kutusoff, fearing it was only to conceal some 
more important movement, withdrew without 
making an attack, and thus fortunately released 
Davoust and Ney from their perilous positions. 

The latter marshal, however, was still far in the 
rear of the main army, and not yet safe from 
attack, and Napoleon was much concerned as to 
his safety and frequently inquired whether any- 
thing had been heard from him or his command. 
The emperor gave orders to announce Ney's ap- 
proach by the firing of cannon. General Gour- 
gaud at last brought the welcome intelligence that 
the marshal was safe and only a few leagues in 
the rear of the main army. " I have in the 
vaults of the Tuileries," exclaimed Napoleon, 
" 3,000,000 francs, and I would gladly have given 
every one of them for Ney's ransom had he been 
captured." It was at this time that the emperor, 
because of Ney's conspicuous gallantry, bestowed 
upon him the distinguished title: "Bravest of 
the Brave." 

Fighting, freezing, suffering, starving, dying, the 
Grand Army, dwindling day by day, staggered 
along until at last it reached the Beresina. The 
river was swollen, and the bridge at Borisoff, 
which Napoleon depended upon, had been de- 
stroyed by the Russians. Oudinot had made a 
desperate effort to wrest it from the enemy, but 
they had driven him back with great loss and 



burned it under his very eyes. Its destruction 
seemed for a time to cut off from the French 
every chance of escape. Overwhelming forces in 
front, on the flanks and in the rear threatened 
with annihilation all that was left of the once 
proud Grand Army of France. So hopeless did 
the outlook appear that Napoleon destroyed his 
papers and burned his eagles to prevent them 
from falling into the hands of the enemy. 

To build a bridge over an icy torrent, in the 
dead of winter, and in the face of an opposing 
foe, was the task that of necessity had to be per- 
formed by the French army. The engineers and 
sappers began, without delay, constructing two 
bridges, many of them at times working up to 
their necks in water; all night long they toiled, 
getting the timbers into place. When the morn- 
ing dawned the bridges were ready for the pas- 
sage of the troops, and strange to say, the Rus- 
sians had entirely disappeared. Hearing that the 
French were preparing to cross lower down the 
stream, they had hastened to intercept them and 
thus gave the French an opportunity to cross the 
river, at first unopposed. The bridges con- 
structed so hastily and under such difficulties were 
not equal to the strain put upon them and they 
began to totter, one of them finally giving away. 
It was quickly repaired, however, for the original 
supports still remained, and the troops in crowds 
again pressed forward, eager to reach the other 
shore. Men, horses, artillery and wagons were 
in an inextricable mass and blocked the way. 
The bridges had no railings, and in the crush 


many were pushed into the river, the drowned 
numbering thousands. In the midst of all this 
confusion, Napoleon at the risk of his life dashed 
on the bridge, seized the horses by the bridles, 
gave his commands and soon had the crowd once 
more on the move and in some sort of order. 

Suddenly the Russians returned and a fight 
ensued between them and the rear guard. Dur- 
ing the night multitudes kept crowding upon the 
bridges, till one of them again went down. Re- 
pairs were hastily made and in the morning 
the battle was renewed. While Victor's rear 
guard was holding the enemy at bay, the Russian 
artillery opened on the fugitives crossing the river 
and swept them into the icy waters. At last, on 
the morning of the 2Qth of November, the 
bridges were burned and a shout of despair went 
up from the stragglers and camp followers who 
were left to perish by starvation or under the 
swords of the brutal Cossacks. 

The passage of the Beresina was one of the 
most dreadful scenes ever witnessed in warfare. 
When the floods subsided and spring arrived, 
12,000 corpses were found on the bottom and 
along the shores of this fatal stream. The Rus- 
sian regulars did not continue their pursuit be- 
yond the Beresina, but the Cossacks like a pack 
of wolves still ruthlessly followed the famished 

At Smorgoni on December 5th Napoleon 
turned over his command to Murat. Then en- 
tering a covered sleigh, accompanied by Caulain- 
court, Duroc, Lobau, and one or two other offi- 



cers, he set out at once for France, to prevent 
the news of the disaster from spreading too rap- 
idly. His desertion called forth the impreca- 
tions of both officers and men. " That is the 
way he treated us in Egypt," cried the veterans. 

When the troops reeled into Vilna they pre- 
sented a sad and pathetic spectacle. " Remove 
all strangers from the city," was the imperative 
order sent by the emperor, "the army will not 
bear inspection." 

A sorry host it was indeed. The men had 
long hair and unkempt beards, their bodies were 
thin and emaciated, their faces haggard and wan, 
their eyes deep sunken, their fingers, toes, ears 
and noses frost-bitten; they were clothed in tat- 
tered garments and worn-out skins and their feet 
were swathed in rags; many of them limped on 
crutches and countless numbers carried their 
arms in slings. Truly they pictured to the full 
the suffering and the agony through which they 
had passed. 

The cold and frost continued, the thermometer 
ranging from 29 to 35 below zero; the stores 
were soon exhausted and the Cossacks still per- 
sistent, so that this trailing army of spectres had 
again to take up its march. The storms in- 
creased in violence; the elements seemed deter- 
mined to waste this poor shivering, frost-bitten 
remnant of the Grand Army. But at last, foot- 
sore and weary, it limped across the bridge at 
Kovno and found food and refuge. 

Begrimed and blackened with powder and 
smoke, his uniform tattered and soiled, Marshal 


Ney made the last stand and fired the parting 
shot, then crossing the bridge that spanned the 
Niemen, enveloped in his great cloak and with 
musket in one hand and sword in the other, 
claimed the proud distinction of being himself 
the rear guard of the Grand Army. 

Of the half-million men who at the beginning 
of the invasion had proudly crossed the Niemen, 
only 20,000 crawled over the bridge at Kovno 
on the return. The Grand Army had been de- 
stroyed by fire and frost and flood. Napoleon 
had at last found his master in the elements. 

It has been estimated that, out of an army of 
500,000 men, 125,000 were killed in battle or 
died of wounds, 132,000 died of disease, cold, or 
exhaustion, and 193,000 were taken prisoners. 

The following official report made by Major 
Carre, commanding the Sixth Regiment of the 
Imperial Guard, will give an idea of the frightful 
losses sustained. The condition of this regiment 
was not exceptional; it was a fair example of the 
others. On leaving Smolensk, on the retreat, the 
officers numbered 31 and the rank and file 300. 
It will be seen that at this point the regiment 
already had lost half its numbers. In the middle 
of December 14 officers answered roll call and 
only 10 privates; all the rest were sick, wounded, 
or dead. 

Murat, too, like Napoleon, had a kingdom to 
defend, and after endeavoring to unite and reor- 
ganize, without much success, the shattered 
forces of the army, turned his command over to 
Eugene Beauharnais and departed. 



So ended the disastrous campaign of the in- 
vasion of Russia, an enterprise that in its con- 
ception was magnificent and in its execution gi- 
gantic. Had it been successful no one can 
measure its possibilities. Its failure marked the 
beginning of the decline of Napoleon's power. 




Napoleon, after leaving his army at Smorgoni 
and fleeing through the wilds of Poland, reached 
Paris on the night of December 18, 1812, and 
taking a hackney coach arrived at the palace of 
the Tnileries about midnight. Wrapped in his 
furs, his face covered with a beard, he ascended 
the staircase, arousing the household with the 
tread of his heavy boots, and went directly to 
the room of his wife, from whom he received the 
first welcome ; then he stooped over the cradle 
and kissed the forehead of the king of Rome. 

The next day he kept indoors, and received 
only a few of his ministers and intimate friends. 
He heard for the first time the details of the 
conspiracy headed by Malet to overturn the gov- 
ernment in his absence, and poured out his re- 
proaches on the officials for not acting with more 

The day before his arrival, Paris had read the 
bulletin announcing the destruction of the Grand 
Army, and all France was stricken with grief by 
the distressing news ; yet there were no murmurs 
against the emperor. The French people had not 
been opposed to the Russian invasion. Capti- 


vated by the marvelous triumphs of Napoleon, 
they believed its success, which in their opinion 
was assured under his leadership, would only 
further enhance the glory of the empire. Their 
imagination had been dazzled by the fetes held 
and the homage paid to Napoleon at Dresden 
and the descriptions of the vast host enrolled 
under his banners. Glowing accounts, too, had 
been given of the march through Russia, the de- 
feat of her armies, and the triumphal entry into 

Despite the dreadful catastrophe that overtook 
the enterprise and the destruction of this splendid 
army of invasion, one of the greatest ever mar- 
shaled by man, the French were willing to re- 
spond once more to Napoleon's call and surrender 
their boys to this insatiable maw of war. So 
great was the drain on the nation's strength that 
many were appalled at this sapping of the young- 
est and best blood of France, but a demand for 
troops met in most of the districts with what 
under the circumstances might be called a hearty 
response. In the peasant sections old men and 
women were left behind to do the work, for the 
conscription had placed an army of one hundred 
and fifty thousand men in the field for actual 
service, and during the year 1813, 1,000,000 were 

The greatest loss from a military consideration 
that Napoleon sustained in the Russian campaign 
was the destruction of his veterans who had won 
the past victories, and who formed the nucleus 
and the strength of his army. Even of the Im- 


perial Guard there was left but a remnant. The 
troops at this critical period when all Europe was 
arming against France were raw recruits who 
had no experience nor seasoning in actual war- 

Prince Eugene, after Murat had thrown up 
the command, gathered and held in hand the 
scattered forces and waited to form a junction 
with Napoleon. The emperor was putting forth 
gigantic efforts to raise and equip an army, but 
unfortunately it was impossible to secure horses 
for the cavalry and artillery service, 50,000 and 
upwards having been lost in the Russian cam- 

Napoleon at this time could have made an 
honorable peace with his foes with but little loss 
of territory, if he had modified his continental 
system, withdrawn his garrisons from Prussia, 
soothed Austria, and made some concessions to 
Russia ; but with his overweening, inordinate am- 
bition and his consuming pride he could not, he 
believed, without loss of prestige let go any por- 
tion of his territory, or yield or modify any point 
in his schemes. In Russia he had not been over- 
thrown in battle, the campaign had not produced 
any great military genius, he was overcome by 
the elements, not by arms, and all he wanted was 
an army and he felt confident he could soon re- 
trieve his losses. He would listen to no over- 
tures for peace but girded himself for battle and 
risked the future of his empire on the chance of 
war. His reverses, however, had broken the 
spell of his invincibility; his name no longer as 


of old carried such terror into the hearts of his 
foes, and they were determined now with over- 
whelming forces to beat him to earth. 

On December 3Oth, General Yorck, who had 
commanded the Prussians attached to Macdon- 
ald's division, deserted the French and entered 
into an agreement with the Russians in violation 
of international law, stipulating that his troops 
should hold as neutral territory the district 
around Memel and Tilsit until the Prussian king, 
Frederick William, should decide upon a course 
of action. The king was apparently ashamed of 
this treachery upon the part of his general, and 
informed the French minister that he did not en- 
dorse the act of his officer. Hardenburg, the 
German chancellor, kept up the deception by pub- 
licly rebuking Yorck, although at the same time 
he sent to him a private messenger commending 
his action. In order to carry the ruse further the 
king was persuaded to go to Breslau under the 
pretext of raising troops for Napoleon's army. 
But, at last throwing off the mask, Prussia at 
Kalisch on February 27, 1813, entered into a 
treaty of alliance with Russia. The Prussian 
realm once more thrilled with enthusiasm, anx- 
ious to retrieve the defeat at Jena. The profes- 
sors and students of the universities, burning 
with a war spirit, rallied to the standard of the 

Austria, under the guidance of Metternich, still 

assumed a neutral attitude, and in spite of the 

proffers of assistance made by England through 

her special and secret envoy, Walpole, to aid in 


Copyright, 1910, by George W. Jacobs & Co. 


From an original drawing made in the Waterloo period by Rouguet, 1815 

Came into the possession of the owner through Pierre Morand, 

a well-known French resident of Philadelphia 


recovering the lost provinces of Venetia, Illyria, 
and the Tyrol, the emperor assured Napoleon of 
his desire to act as mediator to secure an hon- 
orable peace. 

Russia had suffered by the French invasion, 
her lands had been laid waste, many villages de- 
stroyed, and Smolensk and Moscow burned to 
ashes. The army had lost many men in battle, 
and the pursuing troops had suffered from cold, 
hunger, and disease almost as much as the 
French. The czar hesitated to assume the of- 
fensive until aroused to action by the earnest ap- 
peals and arguments of the German patriot, Stein, 
who declared that the overthrow of Napoleon 
was imperative if Russia desired to avoid an 
invasion in 1813. 

There was a broad field for diplomacy at this 
time and the envoys and ministers of all Europe 
were in the game. Austria again pressed home 
her offers of mediation in a way that revealed 
her real purpose. " Come to terms," was her 
language to the emperor, " or we will join the 
allies in forcing a general peace." Napoleon told 
the Austrian ambassador that he could not take 
the initiative; that if the czar wanted peace he 
must ask for it; that if France made the request 
it would be considered by her enemies a capitula- 

The allies were concentrating their forces and 
had already invaded Saxony which was to be 
the battlefield. King Frederick Augustus fled 
into Bohemia and sought the protection of Aus- 



By the month of April Napoleon had a large 
army across the Rhine and taking command 
in person advanced rapidly to effect a junc- 
tion with Prince Eugene, and, this being ac- 
complished, the united forces pressed on to 
Berlin. On May 2, 1813, the Russians and 
Prussians under Wittgenstein and Blikher 
rather unexpectedly attacked the French at 
Lutzen. Ney in command of the south wing 
had strengthened the village of Gros Groschen 
and received the brunt of the Prussian general's 
assault. The fighting at this point was terrific; 
time and again the village was lost and then re- 
taken, but at nightfall it remained in the posses- 
sion of the French. The Prussian cavalry 
charged against the French squares and were met 
with " showers of grape shot and musketry " and 
driven back with great loss. After fighting all 
day long Napoleon gathered his reserves and 
made an attack on the allies' right wing. The 
charge was supported by a fire from advancing 
batteries, and the Russian-Prussian line gave way. 
It was a hard fought field, but the victory re- 
mained with the French. Napoleon, being with- 
out cavalry, could not follow up his success and 
rout the retreating columns. So bravely did the 
young conscripts fight that they elicited the 
praise of their commanders, who encouraged 
them by declaring that Lutzen was a second 
Jena. The allies had lost in killed and wounded 
10,000 men and the French loss was about as 

A few weeks later another battle was fought 


at Bautzen, with about the same results. The 
engagement began on the afternoon of May 2Oth 
by the seizure of the town, where the allies had 
taken up a strong position. Back of the town 
was an amphitheatre of wooded hills, to which 
the Russian-Prussian lines retired. Napoleon 
had a superior force, but the allies had the 
stronger position. On the following day the 
French commander opened fire with musketry 
and artillery on the allies' line, which was about 
six miles in length. Suddenly Ney made an at- 
tack on the enemies' right wing, rolled it up, and 
getting in their rear cut off their communications. 
Driven back, temporarily, he received re-enforce- 
ments, and then once more pressing forward with 
irresistible force encircled the wing and threat- 
ened to intercept the line of retreat. Marmont 
and Bertrand bitterly assailed the centre, which 
was under the command of Bliicher, and forced 
it after desperate hand-to-hand fighting to fall 
back. The battle from this point was lost to 
the allies and although Oudinot's attack on the 
left had been repulsed, the Russian-Prussian 
army gave way at all points. Their rear was 
covered by a large force of cavalry, consisting 
of Cossacks and Uhlans, which kept at bay by 
desperate charges the pursuing French and 
enabled the allies to retreat in comparatively good 
order. They left no prisoners behind and re- 
tained their cannon. The losses in both armies 
were heavy, from twelve to fifteen thousand 
killed and wounded on each side. Duroc, the 
Duke de Friuli, was mortally wounded by a 


cannon ball, and the death of this faithful friend 
deeply grieved the emperor. 

After pursuing the allied armies into Silesia, 
Napoleon agreed on the 4th of June to an armis- 
tice. Taking advantage of this cessation of arms 
he put forth all his efforts to strengthen his army 
with men and horses. He brought 25,000 sea- 
soned troops from Spain, and increased the con- 
scriptions in France. 




During the suspension of hostilities news came 
of disasters in Spain and Wellington's decisive 
victory at Vittoria. Joseph's throne was totter- 
ing and it was not long before he abandoned it 
and hastened to Paris. 

The armistice was continued and resulted in 
the calling of a peace congress at Prague and at 
this juncture Austria put forth her efforts os- 
tensibly to secure, as mediator, the peace of 
Europe, but in reality under the deft manipulation 
of Metternich to compel Napoleon under the 
usual threat of Austria's joining the coalition to 
bend to her behests. This wily minister ever 
since the Russian disaster had determined to take 
advantage of Napoleon's discomfiture and to re- 
store if possible the prestige of Austria. 

Metternich was born at Coblentz in 1773. The 
family was one of influence, his father having 
been a diplomat of some renown; the son was 
carefully trained and developed talents of a high 
order. He was cool, shrewd, resourceful, and 
far-seeing as a politician, plausible in manner, 
accomplished in the arts of duplicity, and had the 
reputation of being the most winsome liar in all 
Europe. Napoleon had formed a high regard 
23 353 


for him when he first came as Austrian envoy to 
the court of France, but soon discovered that he 
was a master of intrigue and perfidious to a de- 

Although unscrupulous as a politician, Metter- 
nich was loyal to Austria and his royal master 
Emperor Francis. His cleverness he devoted to 
the interests of his country. " What rascals we 
would be," exclaimed Cavour upon One occasion, 
when deeply involved in a political intrigue, " if 
we would do for ourselves what we do for our 

After adroitly holding the allies at bay during 
the continuance of the armistice and thus gaining 
time to put Austria on a war footing, Metternich 
finally submitted to Napoleon the following con- 
ditions of peace: The dissolution of the Con- 
federation of the Rhine, the destruction of the 
Duchy of Warsaw, the restoration of the 
boundaries of 1795 to Prussia and the return of 
certain territory to Austria. This left Napoleon 
France, Belgium, Holland and Italy, a pretty ex- 
tensive empire, but he was loath to relinquish his 
hold on any portion of his conquests. He felt, 
and truthfully so, no doubt, that if he once 
yielded there would be no end to the demands 
and he might as well fight for it all as to sur- 
render it piecemeal. 

After numerous interviews and consultations, 
which only revealed the insincerity of both par- 
ties who were playing for time, the negotia- 
tions came to an end on August loth and 
hostilities were straightway resumed. Austria 


gave her adhesion to the allies, and at once put 
in the field an army of two hundred thousand 
men. Napoleon now faced all Europe, Russia, 
Austria Prussia, England and Sweden, for Ber- 
nadotte had induced the last named state to join 
the coalition, and he was in command of her 

During the peace conference the marshals, who 
were tired of war, pleaded with Napoleon to 
accept reasonable terms. Even Murat, believing 
that the tide was rising against Napoleon and 
anxious to save his own kingdom from being 
swept away in the flood, entered into negotia- 
tions with Austria. France having given her 
best blood to gratify Napoleon's ambitions, now 
longed for a cessation of hostilities, but the great 
captain still had confidence in his ability to restore 
his prestige and save his empire in its integrity. 

While the armistice continued he had taken 
advantage of the opportunity to equip, train, and 
drill his new levies and to organize a corps of 
cavalry, the one arm of the service in which his 
army had been sadly lacking, and for want of 
which his victories of Liitzen and Bautzen had 
been incomplete, comparatively fruitless. Murat 
had ceased his vacillating course, and joined the 
army in the latter part of August. When the 
emperor heard of his arrival he exclaimed : " As 
long as I am successful Murat will follow my 

Napoleon's position, with Dresden as its centre, 
was strong strategetically, while his enemies were 
stretched out in a vast semicircle from Prague 


to Berlin. The allied forces numbered half a 
million men, with 1,500 cannon, a far larger force 
than Napoleon imagined, but the armies were, 
as we have seen, widely separated and not under 
the direction of one master mind. Napoleon de- 
cided to adopt his old tactics and by rapid move- 
ments attack the separate detachments one after 
the other. But never before in his career had he 
been confronted by numbers so overwhelming. 

Assuming boldly the offensive, he started in 
pursuit of Blucher, but the Prussian general re- 
fused to give battle and attempted to lure Na- 
poleon towards Silesia to afford an opportunity 
to Schwarzenberg to seize Dresden. Receiving 
a dispatch from St. Cyr that the allies were mass- 
ing their forces in anticipation of assaulting Dres- 
den, Napoleon hurried back, through mud and 
rain, and reached the city just in the nick of 
time. His appearance as he came in sight on the 
brow of the hill with the Imperial Guard created 
the greatest reaction. The troops welcomed him 
with every demonstration of joy and along the 
lines that before his arrival had been wavering 
and murmuring rang the inspiring cry : " Vive 
I' empereur" The gray overcoat and the black 
cocked hat were equal to 40,000 men upon that 
field. It was wonderful the enthusiasm his pres- 
ence could produce. He possessed to a super- 
lative degree a mystic, indefinable power that in- 
spired confidence, courage, devotion and even a 
spirit of self-sacrifice in the hearts of his fol- 
lowers. The cry : " The emperor's eye is upon 
us," made cowards perform prodigies of valor. 


Men were willing to die in his presence, and they 
cheered him wildly on their way to death. " Ave 
Casar imperator, morituri te salutant." 

On the morning of August 26th the fight 
opened. The weather was dark and cloudy, the 
rain falling in torrents. As usual Napoleon had 
the stronger position, with his troops well massed. 
The enemy, on the other hand, although much 
superior in numbers, were stretched out in a long 
thin line, their left wing separated from the 
centre by the river and valley of Plauen. It was 
against this wing that Napoleon directed his at- 
tack, and while Victor was assailing it in front 
Murat with ten thousand horsemen charged it on 
the flank and rear and, after dreadful slaughter, 
10,000 men laid down their arms. The rest were 
put to flight, and cut down by the pursuing cav- 
alry. The right and centre were still intact, but 
much shattered by the heavy and continuous fire 
of artillery, and during the night the whole army 
fled, pursued by the cavalry of Murat. The al- 
lies lost 35,000 men in killed, wounded, and pris- 
oners. Among the killed was General Moreau, 
the hero of Hohenlinden, who had left America 
to join the army of the czar. A cannon ball 
tore off both his legs. 

The battle of Dresden was the last of Napo- 
leon's great victories ; but it was barren in results. 
It did not discomfit his foes; instead of inducing 
a treaty as did Marengo, Austerlitz, Jena, Fried- 
land and Wagram, it incited the allies to greater 
effort. But nothing so testifies to the greatness 
of Napoleon as the fact that it required a com- 



bination of all Europe to beat him down with 
overpowering forces. Never did he display his 
fighting qualities and his marvelous resourceful- 
ness in a higher degree or his great superiority as 
a soldier over the commanders who opposed him 
than when the future was dark and the outlook 
foreboded disaster. 

The victory of Dresden was almost immedi- 
ately dimmed by the destruction of Vandamme's 
army of 40,000 men at Kulm on the 29th. Van- 
damme had been sent to Pirna on the 26th to 
cut off the retreat of the allies, when he was 
attacked and surrounded by greatly superior num- 
bers, and his force fighting to the death and re- 
fusing to surrender, was cut to pieces. 

Some one blundered, but who it was is and 
always will be a mooted question. Military 
critics have discussed the matter from every point 
of view, but without reaching a satisfactory or 
definite conclusion. Whether it was a false 
movement of Vandamme or a failure on the part 
of Napoleon to support him it is hard to say. 
The facts seem to be that for some reason or 
other Napoleon failed to follow with his old- 
time vigor the retreating army of the allies. If 
he had done so they doubtless would have been 
caught between his forces and those of Van- 
damme and annihilated with the chance of cap- 
turing the czar of Russia and the king of Prus- 
sia. But the story goes that Napoleon was taken 
ill suddenly so that, instead of pushing on to 
Pirna to direct the attack, he was carried back to 
Dresden and the pursuit was virtually discontin- 


ued, thus leaving Vandamme to be overwhelmed 
by the vastly superior forces of the allies. 

Napoleon's marshals had within a period of 
two weeks been defeated in five engagements; 
Ney notably at Dennewitz, where he lost 10,000 
in killed and wounded, 15,000 prisoners and 
eighty cannon. To add to the disasters Bavaria 
had deserted and gone over to the allies. 

After days of hesitation, Napoleon decided at 
last to fall back towards Leipsic. On this point 
all the allied armies immediately converged. The 
French at most, for their ranks had been greatly 
depleted, numbered one hundred and fifty thou- 
sand, while the allies, who had received large 
reinforcements, had more than twice that many. 
After leaving Dresden Napoleon divided his army 
into two parts ; one was commanded by him and 
the other by Murat. Napoleon marched north 
in hopes of bringing Blucher or Bernadotte to an 
engagement, while Murat was to hold Schwarzen- 
berg in check to prevent a union of the allied 
forces. Napoleon failing in his purpose to en- 
gage either Blucher or Bernadotte, marched at 
once on Leipsic, where he found Murat already 
in a struggle with Schwarzenberg, who was in 
command of a greatly superior force. Hoping 
to crush the Austrians before the arrival of the 
Prussians and Swedes, the emperor prepared for 
battle, and on the morning of the i6th of October 
the engagement opened with heavy cannonading. 
The union of Napoleon's and Murat's forces gave 
the French a slight advantage in numbers over 
Schwarzenberg's army. Ney and Marmont had 



been posted on the north to keep Bliicher and 
Bernadotte at bay, but the emperor, anxious to 
crush Schwarzenberg with overwhelming num- 
bers, ordered the two marshals to his aid. Ney 
answered at once, but Marmont, who was already 
engaged with Bliicher when the emperor's dis- 
patch arrived, could not respond, and while at- 
tempting to hold the enemy at bay was completely 
overpowered by superior numbers and his corps 
almost destroyed. The timely arrival of Mac- 
donald's corps to Napoleon's assistance saved 
the day from utter defeat. Its attack upon 
Schwarzenberg's flank, while 12,000 cavalry un- 
der the command of Murat assailed the centre, 
shook the Austrian line, but could not break it, 
and after desperate fighting the night closed in 
without an advantage on either side. 

Napoleon clearly saw, however, that the odds 
were against him, and sent a messenger to the 
Austrian general asking an armistice ; but his note 
received no reply. The king of Wurtemberg 
gave notice that he would join the allies ; even 
the king of Saxony renounced his allegiance and 
Bavaria was making preparations to attack the 
French in the rear. 

There was no fighting on the I7th, but on the 
night of that day, rockets in the heavens an- 
nounced the arrival of the Russians, Prussians, 
and Swedes. Blucher, Bernadotte, and Bennig- 
sen had united their forces with Schwarzenberg, 
and the allied army numbered nearly if not quite 
400,000 men. 

On the morning of the i8th of October, 1813, 


the " Battle of the Nations " opened, " the great- 
est battle in all authentic history," in which up- 
wards of half a million men fought with desper- 
ate fury. The French were on the defensive, and 
although confronted by overwhelming numbers, 
two to one, held their ground most valiantly. In 
the heat of the engagement the Saxon infantry 
deserted Napoleon and went over to the enemy. 
Their example was followed by the Wiirtemberg 
cavalry. At nightfall the armies still stood fac- 
ing each other, notwithstanding the desertions, 
but when the news was brought to Napoleon that 
the ammunition was well nigh exhausted, there 
being, according to Marbot, only 16,000 rounds 
left, enough for two hours' fighting, he gave the 
order to withdraw. He refused to burn the 
suburbs of Leipsic to cover the retreat of his 

To take the road to Mayence necessitated the 
crossing of a bridge over the Elster. Through 
some oversight no preparations had been made 
to meet the conditions in case of defeat and the 
existing bridge was too narrow to accommodate 
the retreating army without crowding. Suddenly 
a terrific explosion occurred, which shook the 
country for miles around. The French officer 
whose duty it was to destroy the bridge after the 
army had crossed, set the mine off too soon and 
left 30,000 men on the further bank. Marshal 
Macdonald plunged into the stream and swam 
across, but the brave and noble-hearted Prince 
Pouiatowski was drowned. The rear guard laid 
down their arms. 



The Grand Army, dwindling day after day, 
stricken by typhus fever, and assailed on the 
flanks and rear by the allied horse, were in dire 
straits; but when the Bavarians with a force of 
40,000 men attempted to intercept the march they 
were swept ruthlessly aside. When the Rhine 
was reached the army numbered only 70,000 

Murat took his departure at Erfurt and hur- 
ried home to Naples to strengthen if possible the 
foundations of his own throne, which was totter- 
ing, and after some negotiations with Austria, 
signed a treaty with the House of Hapsburg on 
January n, 1814. 

Napoleon was so confident of victory at Leip- 
sic, although confronted by a force numbering 
twice his own, that he had made no adequate 
preparations for a retreat, and this neglect added 
greatly to the losses. It was his over-confidence 
that wrought his ruin. Marbot in his Memoirs 
says : " The emperor's chief of staff was Ber- 
thier, a man of great capacity and devotion to 
duty, but he had so often felt the effects of the 
imperial wrath and had acquired such a dread of 
Napoleon's outbreaks that he had vowed under 
no circumstances to take the initiative or ask any 
question, but to confine himself to executing or- 
ders which he received in writing. This system, 
while keeping the chief of staff on good terms 
with his master, was injurious to the interests of 
the army ; for, great as were the emperor's activ- 
ity and talents, it was physically impossible for 
him to see to everything, and thus if he over- 


looked any important matter it did not get at- 
tended to. 

" So it seems to have been at Leipsic. Nearly 
all the marshals and generals commanding army 
corps pointed out to Berthier over and over again 
the necessity of providing many passages to se- 
cure the retreat in the event of a reverse, but he 
always answered : ' The emperor has given no 
orders ! ' So that when, on the night of the i8th, 
the emperor gave the order to retreat on Weissen- 
fels and the Salle there was not a beam or a plank 
across a single brook." 

Napoleon had at least 200,000 men in the 
fortresses and garrisons of Germany, which he 
could easily have called to his assistance, but for 
some unaccountable reason he made no effort to 
reinforce his army from these nearby sources of 

In the three days' fight at Leipsic the French 
lost 40,000 killed and wounded and 30,000 pris- 
oners. The allies' total loss was about 55,000. 




When Napoleon reached Paris he saw that a 
decided change since his departure for the seat of 
war had come over the people. It was not that 
they were tired of the empire, for it was the best 
form of government France had ever enjoyed, 
but they wanted repose. In the past eighteen 
months the defeats had been so many and the 
disasters so great that there was a universal de- 
mand for peace. France was exhausted ; her life 
blood had been sapped, and an army of half a 
million men pressed upon her borders. " All 
Europe marched with us a year ago," said Na- 
poleon; "to-day all Europe marches against us." 

Virtually the empire had already been dismem- 
bered, shorn of its territory, and could be restored 
only by the same force and conquest that had 
created it. Germany had declared its emancipa- 
tion from Napoleon's domination. Spain had 
been wrested from his grasp, and Italy through 
the defection and treachery of Murat was all but 
lost. Still with obstinate tenacity Napoleon re- 
fused to yield. 

On November 8th and 9th, Metternich met the 
French envoy and after some negotiations the 


Austrian minister submitted what are known as 
the Frankfort Proposals. The allies demanded 
that France should give up Spain, Italy, and Ger- 
many, and retire within her own borders, the 
Alps, the Pyrenees and the Rhine. This meant 
a virtual destruction of the empire. 

Napoleon, although defeated, spurned with in- 
dignation the propositions, and was still loath to 
relinquish his grasp on any portion of his con- 
quests. His adversaries, however, now that he 
was driven to bay, were determined not only to 
disintegrate his empire but to destroy his power 
and if possible restore the Bourbons. " So long 
as he lives," remarked the czar, " there can be no 
security." With parties so antagonistic in pur- 
pose it was all but impossible to effect a compro- 

Napoleon did everything in his power to detach 
his father-in-law, the emperor of Austria, from 
the coalition, but without avail. It was known 
that the allies were jealous of each other, and 
Napoleon endeavored to profit by this condition 
of affairs. The czar himself had no high regard 
for the Bourbons, and really had a personal dis- 
like for the count of Provence, who as next in 
the line of succession was Louis XVIII. All 
these facts were known to Napoleon, and through 
his ministers he tried to take advantage of them. 
But no matter how much the allies might differ 
among themselves, they were all of one mind 
when it came to the question of Napoleon's de- 
struction. Berthier urged him to agree upon 
terms of peace. " Peace ! " he cried, " do you 


not think I want peace? But the more I yield 
the more they demand." 

The negotiations dragged their slow length 
along, Napoleon all the while playing for time, 
and hoping by a change of fortune to release 
himself from his predicament. The allies urged 
a speedy settlement; they had driven the tiger to 
his lair, and they feared that delay would enable 
him to renew his strength. The time to force him 
to terms, they declared, is when he is unprepared 
to offer battle. 

When the allies insisted upon the independence 
of Holland, thus leaving France smaller than 
Napoleon found her, he could no longer restrain 
his wrath, and declared he would rather risk 
by battle the loss of Paris than agree to terms 
so humiliating. But when the dispatch came 
from Caulaincourt, the French envoy, announc- 
ing as an ultimatum that the allies insist upon 
France returning to the limits of 1791, the French 
people denounced such a treaty and were seized 
with a patriotic fervor. The Frankfort Pro- 
posals and the ultimatum were rejected, and once 
more France girded for the fray. The whole 
nation rang with the noise of preparation. The 
seat of war now was not on the Rhine, the Elbe, 
the Danube, or the Vistula, but on the Seine. 

The allies throughout the negotiations had 
affected a spirit of moderation to win the favor 
of the people and before their invasion issued the 
following proclamation : " We do not make war 
on France, but we are casting off the yoke your 
government imposed on our countries. We 


hoped to find peace before touching your soil; 
we now go to find it there." 

Early in 1814 the Austrians, Russians, and 
Prussians crossed the Rhine without resistance 
and in three divisions converged on Paris. Na- 
poleon, with his old-time energy, now quickly 
organized an army of 50,000 raw recruits, a 
beardless legion, many of them from the peasant 
districts, marching into camp without knapsacks, 
wearing blouses and sabots and carrying shot- 
guns. Money was needed, and Napoleon con- 
tributed out of his own private funds 50,000,000 
francs. The rich men of the nation were ap- 
pealed to, taxes were increased and paper money 
was issued. To his wavering marshals the em- 
peror said : " Pull on the boots and the resolu- 
tion of 1793." The invasion of foreign hosts, 
the demands of the allies to reduce France to the 
limits of 1791, thus depriving her of even the con- 
quests of the Revolution, had aroused a spirit of 
patriotism throughout the country of which Na- 
poleon was quick to take advantage. His trou- 
bles, however, were accumulating; his marshals 
were tired of war, and were anxious for peace 
on almost any terms. 

The legislative body under the leadership of a 
royalist, M. Laine, considered the advisability of 
accepting the Frankfort Proposals. Word was 
received that Murat had entered into a treaty with 
Austria, and had promised an army of thirty 
thousand men to co-operate with the allies. Jo- 
seph and Jerome, driven from their thrones, had 
returned to France. 



On January 23d, the emperor left Paris to take 
command of the army. Before his departure he 
addressed the officers of the legions of the Na- 
tional guard : " Gentlemen, officers ! I put un- 
der your protection what next to France are 
dearest to me in all the world my wife and my 
son." Little did he believe that this was the last 
time he was ever to see them. 

The emperor at once put himself at the head 
of his troops, and marching up the valley of the 
Marne struck Bliicher an unexpected blow at St. 
Dizier on January 27, 1814, and scattered the 
forces of that doughty old German soldier. Na- 
poleon followed him up, and again came upon 
him suddenly at Brienne on the 29th, almost cap- 
turing him personally. 

Bliicher was one of the interesting characters 
of those times. He had fought under Frederick 
the Great and had been seasoned in many a cam- 
paign. Defeats did not chill his ardor or weaken 
his determination; routed one day he came back 
to fight on the next. A braver soldier never sat 
in a saddle, but he was no match for Napoleon 
when it came to military skill and strategy. He 
was simply a fighter; although at least seventy 
years of age he was as tough as oak and able to 
endure hardships with the resolution and the 
fortitude of a man with half his years. He was 
a severe, brusque old captain, but the idol of his 

After his defeats Bliicher joined Schwarzen- 
berg, and together they advanced with greatly 
superior forces against Napoleon, who made a 

Copyright, 1910, by George W. Jacobs & Co. 


From an original drawing in colors by an unknown artist 


stand at La Rothiere on February ist. He held 
his own through a long day's fight, but during 
the night he fell back to Nogent. Here Napoleon 
became greatly depressed, and sank into a state 
of utter despondency. Within comparatively a 
few months all his misfortunes had come upon 
him. At the beginning of that time he was the 
autocrat of Europe, with an empire of his own 
creation, greater in extent than even that of 
Charlemagne. Now, hunted down and driven at 
bay, he was fighting in France with a shadowy 
remnant of his once Grand Army to save a rem- 
nant of his once great empire. It was at this 
time that he instructed Caulaincourt to secure 
peace on the most favorable terms. But while 
in his despondent mood, he suddenly saw a chance 
to retrieve the defeat he suffered at La Rothiere. 

Bliicher and Schwarzenberg had resumed their 
march to Paris, the former following the valley 
of the Marne and the latter the valley of the 
Seine. So confident were the Austrian and Prus- 
sian officers of reaching the French capital with- 
out further interruption that in a bantering spirit 
they were inviting each other to dinner in the 
Palais Royal a week hence. 

Napoleon saw the mistake made in dividing 
the armies of invasion and was quick to take 
advantage of it. Leaving a force to hold in 
check the advance of Schwarzenberg, he marched 
across country to the valley of the Marne, along 
which Bliicher's army was trailing, stretched out 
to a great length, there being a several days' 
march between his front and rear divisions. Na- 
24 369 


poleon to the great surprise of Bliicher suddenly 
struck this attenuated line in the centre with solid 
masses of infantry, bent it like a bow, and then 
at the breaking point assailed it with cavalry, and 
scattered it to the four winds ; by rapid marching 
he struck in turn both flanks, and Bliicher's army 
was sent flying in a wild rout. These engage- 
ments took place at Champaubert, Montmirail, 
and Vauchamps, and for skillful strategy were 
never surpassed by Napoleon in his best days. 
His brilliant victories revived the hopes of 
France, and elicited the astonishment and admira- 
tion of the world. With 30,000 men, many of 
them raw recruits, making forced marches over 
snow and icy roads, he had beaten and scattered 
an army of 50,000 men confident of victory. 

Having intercepted and defeated one division 
of the invading army on its way to the capital, 
Napoleon started in pursuit of Schwarzenberg in 
the valley of the Seine to inflict like punishment 
upon him; but that prudent and wily commander 
thought it better to retreat. Napoleon, however, 
overtook him and administered a series of crush- 
ing blows. 

But these victories, great as they were from a 
military viewpoint, only temporarily held the al- 
lies in check. The battles diminished the forces 
of Napoleon, who had no power of recuperation, 
whereas the allies were receiving daily reinforce- 

With his handful of an army, however, Na- 
poleon fought on, giving way step by step ; never 
did he display to a higher degree his qualities as 


a soldier; but the odds were too many, the vast 
host of invaders with overwhelming numbers 
swept on like a tidal wave. The allies now had 
an army in France of 400,000 men. 

Napoleon again attacked Blucher and defeated 
him at Craonne, but at Laon on March 7th the 
French were beaten and had to retire. On the 
2Oth Napoleon attacked Schwarzenberg, believing 
at first it was only a corps of the Austrian forces ; 
but he soon discovered it was the entire army and 
before numbers so superior he was compelled to 

Abandoning the defence of Paris, Napoleon 
marched to the Rhine as if to threaten the ene- 
mies' lines of communication, a defensible piece 
of strategy if there had been an army in front 
of the invaders sufficient to defend the capital. 
Napoleon by his counter-movement could not 
divert the attention of the invaders from their 
purpose and they continued their march on Paris. 
It was his last move in the game ; the ruse was 
not successful, and leaving his army to follow, 
he hastened his steps towards the capital and 
reached Fontainebleau on the evening of March 
3Oth. He intended to continue further, but he 
was persuaded by his friends to remain where he 
was. The long struggle was over. Still his 
proud spirit could not bend, and at times he 
threatened to raise another army. But France 
wanted peace at any cost. Napoleon tried to 
induce the allies to agree to a regency for his son, 
but that proposition was rejected. A provisional 
government was organized in Paris under the 


direction of Talleyrand, and it was alone with 
this government that the allies treated. 

Marmont, one of Napoleon's early friends and 
trusted marshals, abandoned at this juncture his 
master and traitorously with 12,000 men went 
over to the enemy. Crushed and mortified by 
this blow, Napoleon at last signed his abdication 
on April -4th. It was couched in these words: 
' The allied Powers having proclaimed that the 
Emperor Napoleon was the sole obstacle to the 
re-establishment of peace in Europe, the Emperor 
Napoleon, faithful to his oaths, declares that he 
renounces for himself and his heirs the thrones 
of France and Italy, and that there is no sacrifice, 
not even that of life, which he is not ready to 
make for the interest of France." 

The allies decided that he was to retire to Elba, 
a little island off the coast of Tuscany in the 
Mediterranean sea, not far from the island on 
which he had been born, and to receive annually 
two million francs, to be paid out of the French 
treasury and to be divided equally between him 
and the empress. Napoleon and his consort were 
to retain their titles, but their son w r as to bear 
the name the Duke of Parma. To the emperor's 
wife and heir the duchies of Parma, Placentia and 
Guastalla were allotted. It was further provided 
that several hundred soldiers might accompany 
the exile to Elba. 

There was nothing now to do but to make 

preparations for his departure. Abandoned by 

many of his friends and marshals and even by his 

wife; deprived of crown, throne and empire, he 



From a portrait made in Vienna. Proof before letters 


was truly an object of sympathy. He made an 
attempt to take his life, which having failed, he 
declared that Fate had decided that he must live 
and await all that Providence had in store for 

He railed against the Austrians for keeping 
his wife away from him, not knowing, fortu- 
nately for his peace of mind, that she had shown 
no special desire to see him or to accompany him 
into exile. Shortly after her husband's departure 
she was easily persuaded to go to Vienna, where 
she lived the rest of her life. But Napoleon's 
great cause of complaint was that his enemies 
purposely and cruelly deprived him of the society 
of his child, upon whom he had centred the hopes 
and affection of his heart. When Maria Louisa 
went to Austria she took the boy with her and 
he never afterwards saw his father. He devel- 
oped into a feeble manhood, physically, and gave 
no evidences of possessing the genius of his illus- 
trious parent. He was named Duke of Reich- 
stadt in 1818, entered the Austrian army in early 
youth, reached the rank of lieutenant colonel, 
and died near Schonbrunn in 1832. He never 
ceased, notwithstanding his associations, to have 
the deepest affection for his father. 

The deprivation of the society of his boy 
was the heaviest cross the emperor had to bear 
in all his exile. 

Did any man ever stand so high as Napoleon 
and fall so low? If he had wintered in Moscow 
and had brought Alexander to terms, or if his 
Russian invasion had been successful, and he 



had held his empire intact, and had died in the 
zenith of his power, his career would not be so 
interesting a study, or the story of his life so 
fascinating and instructive; it is its lights and 
shades, its contrasts, that make it so picturesque, 
so dramatic, so human and at times so pathetic. 
On April 2Oth Napoleon left the palace to take 
a carriage in waiting that was to bear him to- 
wards the coast. A large body of the Imperial 
Guard, wearing their tall bearskins, was drawn 
up in the courtyard, and as he approached they 
lowered their flags and presented arms. Old 
grenadiers were in the ranks who had been with 
him at Lodi, who had fought at Marengo, Aus- 
terlitz, Jena, Friedland and Wagram. They had 
toiled across the deserts of Egypt, climbed the 
Alps, and marched over the frozen steppes of 
Russia. They had followed his star of destiny 
and with sorrow had watched its decline. Na- 
poleon, turning towards them, said in a voice full 
of emotion : " Soldiers of my old guard, I bid 
you farewell. For twenty years we have been 
together, and I have ever found you on the path 
of honor and of glory. In these last days as in 
those of our prosperity you have always been 
models of bravery and of fidelity. With men 
such as you our cause was not lost but the war 
would have been endless; it would have been a 
civil war and France would have suffered. I 
have sacrificed all our interests for the welfare 
of our country. I go forth ; you my friends must 
continue to serve France. Her happiness was my 
only thought ; it will always be the object of my 


wishes. Bemoan not my fate. I might have 
chosen death. If I have decided to live it is to 
enhance your fame. I will write of the great 
deeds we have done together. Farewell, my chil- 
dren, my good wishes will ever follow you. Bear 
me in your memories. I wish I could press you 
all to my heart, but I will, at least, embrace your 
colors." At these words General Petit advanced 
with the eagle, and Napoleon taking the officer in 
his arms kissed the standard. " Once more fare- 
well, my old companions; may this last kiss 
ever linger in your hearts." Then taking in his 
hands one of the soiled and battle-rent banners, 
he buried his face in its folds and sobbed. 





Napoleon's disasters had befallen him in the 
short space of eighteen months. His retreat 
from Moscow began on October 18, 1812; he 
suffered defeat at Leipsic, October 18, 1813; and 
his abdication took place April 4, 1814. He was 
in the zenith of his power at Dresden, when all 
Europe paid him homage and when he reviewed 
his Grand Army just before the invasion of Rus- 
sia, and nothing seemed so remote as the destruc- 
tion of his dynasty. But now his vast realm had 
crumbled to pieces, and was about to be parceled 
out among his foes. This Caesar, who had 
chained Victory to the chariot wheels of the Re- 
public, had seized the consulate and established 
an empire, had fought and defeated all Europe 
combined, had overturned the thrones of his ene- 
mies, and tossed the crowns to his friends, was 
now stripped of his power, ordered into exile, 
and pensioned by the restored Bourbons. 

After bidding farewell to the old guard, Na- 
poleon entered his carriage, accompanied by 
Bertrand, and fell back on the cushions, his face 
buried in his hands. 



His journey through France revealed the sen- 
timent of the people. In the north he was 
greeted with cheers and tears, but, after passing 
Lyons and reaching the lower districts and such 
royalist towns as Orgon and Avignon, he was 
hissed and denounced; great crowds gathered 
around the carriage and threatened him with per- 
sonal violence. The Provengals had been taught 
to believe that his mother was a loose woman, 
his father a butcher, and that he was a bastard, 
his baptismal name being Nicholas, and while 
shaking their fists in his face they hissed into his 
ears their vile slanders and imprecations. The 
Austrian and Russian hussars that accompanied 
the cortege kept the assailants at bay and fre- 
quently had to draw their sabres, spur their 
horses and ride into the crowd to keep them from 
dragging the emperor out into the road. It is 
said that Napoleon's face grew pale under these 
assaults and he cowered in the corner of his car- 
riage, showing every sign of terror. A man 
who braves the dangers of the battlefield may 
tremble in the presence of an infuriated mob 
threatening to tear him to pieces, for in its aspect 
there is nothing more terrifying. 

Towards the end of the journey the emperor 
wore the uniform of a postilion and mounted one 
of the post horses; subsequently he rode in the 
carriage of the Austrian commissioners and thus 
escaped recognition. After the excitement was 
over and the danger had passed, he felt much 
humiliated at what he called his pusillanimity. 

At last reaching the coast, Napoleon boarded 



an English frigate, the Undaunted, under the 
command of Captain Usher. It was the town 
of Frejus from which he set sail, the very town 
in which he had landed on his return from Egypt 
in 1799. Then his career of glory was but open- 
ing, now it was rapidly drawing to a close. 

The voyage to Elba was uneventful. Na- 
poleon was not accorded the honors due his rank 
as emperor, but was treated simply as an ordinary 
citizen. The British sailors who expected to see 
a monster, for he had been so described and pic- 
tured in the English papers, were surprised to 
meet a short, stout, quiet gentleman of middle 
age, plainly dressed, easy in manner, most agree- 
able and fascinating in conversation. Before 
reaching their destination the sailors with but 
one exception grew to have great respect for 
" Boney," as they called him ; the exception was 
a bluff old tar named Hinton, who would not 
change his views, but in answer to every word 
of approbation spoken of the distinguished pas- 
senger would simply reply by saying, " humbug." 

On the 4th of May the vessel arrived in the 
harbor of Porto Ferrajo and while Napoleon is 
disembarking we will return to Paris. 

The allies had entered the city on March 31, 
1814. The provisional government that had 
been organized by Talleyrand invited the Bour- 
bons to return. To show the allies, especially 
the czar, who personally disliked the count of 
Provence, that there was an apparent public de- 
mand for that prince's enthronement, crowds of 
young aristocrats, wearing the white cockade, 


paraded through the streets at the instance of 
the wily minister, shouting and cheering for 
Louis XVIII. 

It had been twenty years since the Bourbons 
had been dethroned, when Louis and Marie 
Antoinette had gone to the scaffold, and the great 
body of the people feared a return of the detested 
ancient regime. France had escaped from misrule 
and privilege and had experienced the joy of liv- 
ing under a government of equality. The abso- 
lutism of the past with its doctrine of the divine 
right of kings, feudalism with all its iniquitous 
burdens, the privileges and exactions of the 
church and the nobility which had cost such an 
effusion of blood to destroy, were now to be re- 
stored at the dictation of foreign potentates, 
whose armies were encamped in the Bois de Bou- 
logne. How much fairer it would have been to 
the French people if the allies had treated directly 
with Napoleon, who was the lawfully constituted 
ruler of France, and exacted from him, for they 
were in a position to enforce their demands, a 
peace on their own terms, and then had left him 
to settle the final account with his people. But 
these allies, foreign princes, took upon themselves 
the responsibility of changing the government of 

After the return of peace, soldiers came pour- 
ing into the country, released from the garrisons 
and fortresses of Germany and Italy and 
discharged from the prisons of Russia, Aus- 
tria, and Great Britain, and when they found 
their occupation gone became a disturbing ele- 


ment. The Old Guard, which had brought such 
glory to the French army, was disbanded, and in 
its stead was organized a body of 6,000 nobles 
called the " Maison du Roi." Nothing could 
have been more tactless ; but, as some wiseacre of 
that period declared (the saying is attributed to 
Talleyrand), "The Bourbons had learned noth- 
ing and forgotten nothing." The family of 
Georges Cadoudal, the leader in the celebrated 
conspiracy to assassinate Napoleon, was ennobled 
by special decree. 

Among the old soldiers the feeling was most 
bitter against the Bourbons, and they longed for 
the return of " Le Pere Violette," as they called 
the emperor, the violet being his favorite flower. 

The Congress of Vienna met September 20, 
1814, and by its dissensions brought the nations 
almost to the brink of war. Russia's demands 
were so arbitrary that to thwart her threatened 
aggressions a secret compact was made by Aus- 
tria, England, and France on January 3, 1815. 

At this international feast Europe was carved 
up anew and dainty bits distributed. Belgium 
was annexed to the Netherlands, much to the 
disgust of both states. Germany was made a 
confederation, Spain was once more saddled with 
the Bourbons. Italy again was broken into 
fragments and parceled out among her former 
rulers, Austria in the general distribution seizing 
Venice and Milan, while Ferdinand was assigned 
the Kingdom of Naples. France lost besides 
Italy the Rhineland and the Netherlands. 

At Elba Napoleon was watching with a furtive 


eye the events happening in Europe, and waiting 
for an opportunity to take advantage of the condi- 
tions. Upon his arrival on the island, in order 
to occupy his active mind, he had inaugurated a 
system of internal improvements ; he busied him- 
self in the developing of mines, the construction 
of roads and the building of bridges. He also 
effected a fair distribution of the taxes and 
greatly increased the revenues. 

He had a small country seat to which he oc- 
casionally repaired for rest and seclusion, and 
here he could be seen feeding chickens and playing 
the role of a gentleman farmer. According to 
the testimony of a Scotch visitor Napoleon drove 
around the island in an old, dilapidated carriage 
drawn by horses that were in keeping with the ve- 
hicle. Out of mere curiosity thousands of tour- 
ists visited the island, and among them many 
lewd women, who hoped to win the favor of the 
emperor. His mother and his sister Pauline 
joined him to relieve the tedium and the loneli- 
ness of his exile. Some base creatures circulated 
a story that the emperor and his sister Pauline, 
who had separated from her husband, the Prince 
Borghese, had illicit relations, but there is no 
foundation whatever for so cruel a scandal. 
The princess was loose in her conduct and had 
many lovers, as is proved by her intercepted let- 
ters, but there is not a shadow of proof that she 
and her brother were guilty of conduct so vile. 
The rumor was industriously circulated at the 
court of Louis XVIII, and in many quarters se- 
riously affected the reputation of the emperor. 


It is said that the Countess Walewski, with 
one of the two sons she bore Napoleon, paid him 
a visit and after a few days disappeared as mys- 
teriously as she came. 

Napoleon had many just causes of complaint, 
for the agreement under the abdication was vio- 
lated in nearly all of its provisions. The authori- 
ties in Paris neglected to send him any portion 
of his allowance, and when the British envoy, 
Castlereagh, called Talleyrand's attention to this 
matter the latter gave as a reason for the neglect 
that it was not safe to supply Napoleon with 
money. The island was filled with Bourbon 
spies who dogged his footsteps night and day. 
Further than this, his wife and son were pur- 
posely kept away from him. Maria Louisa was 
in Vienna receiving the attentions of a dash- 
ing soldier, General Count Neipperg, whom she 
subsequently married, and by whom she had sev- 
eral children. Even though she had no desire 
to see her husband, she should at least have 
sent his son to comfort him in his banish- 
ment. There could not have been treatment 
more heartless and for it the father of Maria 
Louisa and his minister Metternich were respon- 
sible. The emperor Francis deliberately placed 
his daughter in the way of Neipperg in order to 
obliterate all recollection of her husband. 

Napoleon had been allowed to take with him 
seven hundred soldiers of the old guard, but the 
Bourbon government had made no provision for 
their maintenance, and had it not been for the 
money, five million francs, which Napoleon had 

Copyright, 1910, by George W. Jacobs & Co. 


From an original portrait drawn and engraved on the Island of Elba 
by D'Albon in 1814 


brought with him, it is likely they would have 
been disbanded. 

During the sessions of the Congress of Vienna 
the papers were rilled with rumors that Napoleon 
was to be removed further from the shores of 
Europe, to the Azores or the island of St. Helena. 
It was subsequently denied by the Duke of Wel- 
lington that any such suggestion was made at 
any conference he attended, but at the time there 
was every reason for Napoleon to believe the 
reports were true. 

Agitated by such rumors and embittered by 
the many provocations he had suffered, Na- 
poleon at last decided to risk all on another 
cast of the die, and at once made preparations 
to depart the island and return to France. As- 
certaining that the British war vessel that 
guarded the island, the Partridge, commanded 
by Captain Adye, would be absent on a run to 
Leghorn from the 24th to the 26th, Napoleon 
decided to take advantage of that opportunity. 
On Sunday night, February 25, 1815, the em- 
peror embarked at Porto Ferrajo on the brig 
Inconstant, which had been painted by his 
order to resemble an English ship, and accom- 
panied by seven other vessels, altogether carrying 
1,050 officers and men, set sail for France. The 
little fleet was favored by fair winds and eluded 
the French guard ship Fleur de Lys. Na- 
poleon, after this fortunate escape, ordered his 
vessels to scatter. A French cruiser hailed the 
little brig off the island of Corsica and asked after 
the health of the emperor ; the answer sent back, 


suggested by Napoleon himself, was : " Marvel- 
ously well." On the afternoon of the first of 
March, 1815, the ships sailed into the Gulf de 
Jouan near Cannes, where a successful landing 
was effected. 

" I shall reach Paris without firing a shot," 
was the emperor's prediction as he approached 
the shores of France. Turning aside from the 
royalist towns of Provence, he took the road to 
the north into the mountains towards Savoy. 
When a short distance from Grenoble a body of 
troops under the command of General Marchand, 
who had threatened to scatter the invading bri- 
gands, barred the way. Without hesitation, Na- 
poleon, accompanied by forty of his old guard 
wearing their tall bearskins and carrying their 
arms reversed, came forward. The very moment 
the royalist troops saw the old familiar figure in 
gray coat and little cocked hat, their ranks began 
to swerve. The order by their officers to fire 
was not obeyed. Then Napoleon addressing 
them said : " Soldiers, if there is one among you 
who wishes to kill his emperor, he can do so. 
Here I am." Then throwing open his coat, 
showing his well-known uniform and the ribbon 
of the Legion of Honor, he stood facing the 
opposing lines. It was too much for the soldiers 
to resist, and immediately the cry rang out, 
" Vive I'empereur." The next moment the ranks 
were broken, the white cockades torn from their 
hats were trampled in the dust, and the enthusias- 
tic soldiers were crowding around their idol. 

At Grenoble the garrison troops stood by and 


laughed while the Bonapartists battered down the 
gates of the town. " Before reaching Grenoble," 
said Napoleon, " I was an adventurer. At 
Grenoble I was a prince." Everywhere on the 
road to Paris officers were defied and deserted 
and armies melted away. Colonel Labedoyere, 
a former aide-de-camp of the emperor, ordered 
the drums to be broken open and the regimental 
flags and tri-color cockades were brought forth 
from their place of concealment; the standards 
were thrown to the breeze amidst the wild cheers 
of the troops, and the cockades distributed. At 
Lyons the count d'Artois and Marshal Macdon- 
ald fled, and the soldiers welcomed Napoleon 
with every demonstration of joy, crying out, 
" Down with the Bourbons." Napoleon, now at 
the head of 14,000 men, pressed on to Paris. 
Marshal Ney with a force of 6,000 men was 
marching from Besangon to oppose his progress 
with a wild boast upon his lips that he would 
bring back the Corsican in an iron cage. The 
soldiers under Ney were sullen, and at every 
step of the way evinced signs of dissatisfaction. 
When the town of Bourg was reached one regi- 
ment deserted in a body. Ney, having received 
assurances from his old commander that he would 
be fairly treated, gathered his troops about him 
and in the midst of their acclamations renounced 
his allegiance to Louis XVIII and avowed his 
loyalty to the emperor. 

So great were the desertions that a wag hung 
a placard on the railing of the column Vendome 
in Paris purporting to be a copy of a letter ad- 
25 385 


dressed by Napoleon to Louis XVIII. It read: 
" My dear Brother : It is useless to send me 
any more troops; I have enough." 

As the triumphant army advanced, the whole 
countryside turned out to greet Napoleon; the 
roads were lined with cheering peasants, 'many 
of whom joined in the march. Hearing of the 
desertion of his troops and the cordial reception 
given to the returning hero, Louis XVIII gath- 
ered his effects and left Paris with his court in 
great haste. As the capital was approached the 
emperor entered a carriage with his devoted 
friend Caulaincourt, and together, leaving his 
followers in the rear, they rode after nightfall 
into the city, accompanied only by a few Polish 
lancers. The silence seemed ominous. The citi- 
zens as yet did not realize what was taking place, 
but when the Tuileries was reached the officers 
and soldiers set up an exultant shout; stout and 
loving arms seized the emperor and carried him 
up the staircase to his old apartments on the sec- 
ond floor. Soon the enthusiasm spread through 
the city like wild fire and the streets were crowded 
with citizens hastening to the palace to do homage 
to the returned emperor. 

According to Bourrienne, one of the Paris 
newspapers announced the arrival and advance 
of Napoleon as follows: "The Corsican brig- 
and has landed at Cannes;" the next day: 
" The rash usurper has been received at Gre- 
noble ;" then the tone changed : " General Bona- 
parte has 'entered Lyons;" a few days after: 
" Napoleon is at Fontainebleau ;" and finally : 


" His majesty the emperor alighted this evening 
at his palace of the Tuileries." 

To show how sentiment was affected by the 
return of Napoleon, the following from the 
Memoirs of General Thiebault is a g<?od illustra- 
tion. He had been a soldier through the wars 
of the republic and the empire and after the abdi- 
cation of Napoleon had given his allegiance to 
the Bourbons. While the emperor was on his 
way to the capital after his return from Elba, 
Thiebault's troops deserted him in a body, and 
espoused Napoleon's cause. The general, being 
without a command, withdrew to his home to 
await events. After dinner he took a stroll, pur- 
posely going in a direction other than towards 
the Tuileries, but finding throngs of people hur- 
rying through the streets on the way to the pal- 
ace, he joined them, drawn by an impulse he could 
not resist, and suddenly carried away by the gen- 
eral enthusiasm, found himself, although he had 
never been a zealous Bonapartist, with hat in air 
cheering as lustily as the others. 

It was just as Napoleon predicted in his proc- 
lamation written on board the brig that brought 
him from Elba. " Victory," he said, " will ad- 
vance at the full gallop, the eagle with the na- 
tional colors will fly from steeple to steeple, even 
to the towers of Notre Dame." For days thou- 
sands of people gathered around the Tuileries to 
catch a glimpse of the emperor and whenever he 
appeared at the windows a great shout went up 
which he answered with a smile and a bow. 

Napoleon acted with prudence, declared that 


France needed peace and that it could only be 
disturbed by the action of the allies. He an- 
nounced that the rule of the Bourbons was at an 
end, disbanded the hated corps known as the 
" Maison (}u Roi," which had supplanted the Im- 
perial Guard, sequestered the estates of the Bour- 
bon princes and abolished all feudal titles. His 
ministry was composed of men representing every 
shade of political opinion: Maret was named 
secretary of state, Decres was appointed to the 
navy, Davoust became head of the war depart- 
ment, Mollein took the treasury, Carnot and 
Fouche the departments of home affairs and 
police respectively. 

The Congress of Vienna was still in session, 
reconstructing the map of Europe, when Napoleon 
arrived in Paris. The news at first stunned that 
group of astute diplomats, but immediately recov- 
ering from their surprise they greeted it with a 
roar of laughter. They at once placed Napoleon 
beyond the protection of the law by declaring him 
an outcast, which was virtually an incitement to 

Instead of execrating him and putting a pre- 
mium upon his head the allies should have dealt 
fairly with Napoleon. The Bourbons had shown 
their utter incapacity to rule and they had delib- 
erately broken every stipulation of the agreement 
made with Napoleon at the time of his abdication. 
Austria, too, had violated her part of the com- 
pact by the detention of his wife and child. Be- 
sides this, the enthusiastic and spontaneous recep- 
tion to the emperor upon his return was a fair 


indication of public sentiment, and it should have 
been left to the French people to choose their 
ruler and not to the potentates and ministers of 
foreign powers. The conduct of the allies was 
controlled alone by their fears. 

Napoleon, seeing the attitude of the coalition, 
endeavored to sow dissension in their ranks. 
Among the papers left behind by the Bourbons 
in their hasty flight he found the secret compact 
signed by Austria, Great Britain, and France 
against Russia and Prussia and dispatched it 
forthwith to the czar ; but that monarch, sending 
for Metternich, with whom he had not for some 
months been on speaking terms, consigned in 
the Austrian minister's presence the paper to the 
flames, stating at the same time that all past dis- 
sensions and differences must be forgotten in a 
united effort to overthrow a common foe. 

Murat in a final effort to save his kingdom of 
Naples raised an army of 40,000 men, but was 
disastrously defeated by the Austrians at Tolen- 
tino, May 3, 1815, and fled to France. Here he 
opened a correspondence with the emperor who, 
however, declined to be reconciled. After Na- 
poleon's downfall Murat wandered about for 
some months as a fugitive. In October, 1815, 
in a final effort to recover his kingdom, he landed 
on the shores of Naples with a handful of men, 
but was captured, summarily tried, convicted, 
and sentenced to be shot. When led out to exe- 
cution he would not accept a chair nor suffer his 
eyes to be blindfolded. He stood upright, kissed 
a cornelian ring upon which the likeness of his 


wife was engraved, and turning to the soldiers, 
said : " Save my face aim at my heart 

It was unfortunate for Napoleon that Murat, 
the greatest cavalry officer in the French army, 
was not at Waterloo, for his presence on that 
field might have saved the day. 

When Napoleon reached Lyons after his escape 
from Elba he promised in a public proclamation 
to give a liberal constitution to France. This 
great instrument was drawn up by Benjamin 
Constant under the immediate direction of the 
emperor. It established an hereditary Chamber 
of Peers, the members to be nominated by the 
emperor and a lower Chamber to be elected by 
popular vote. The jury system was to be main- 
tained and the liberty of the press secured. The 
power of appointment of the judges was to reside 
in the emperor. 

On the first of June a great ceremony was held 
called the Champ de Mai. Why it was so desig- 
nated it is hard to tell, but it resembled in many 
of its features the Festival of the Federation. 
Detachments from every corps in the army passed 
in review. Napoleon instead of appearing in his 
familiar military uniform was dressed in a very 
unbecoming theatrical costume. Amidst cheers 
and the booming of cannon, he took a solemn oath 
to maintain the new constitution. One of the 
most imposing features of the pageant was the 
presentation of the eagles. As the emperor 
handed the standards to the different commands 
he addressed to them a few well chosen remarks 


in which he appealed to their sentiments of pa- 

It was vitally necessary to arouse the enthusi- 
asm of his troops, for all Europe was now march- 
ing towards the borders of France. An Anglo- 
Prussian army under Wellington and Bliicher 
was massed near Brussels, Schwarzenberg was 
leading a large Austrian army to the Rhine, while 
Germany and Russia were hastening their col- 
umns forward towards the French frontier. 




Napoleon knew he could expect no quarter 
from the allies. They had refused to treat with 
him as the actual ruler of France at the time of 
his abdication, and now they had declared him 
an outlaw. They had arbitrarily deposed him 
as emperor, and had saddled upon France a gov- 
ernment which the vast majority of the people 
did not want. They had nullified all the results 
of the Revolution and by the restoration of the 
Bourbons had turned back the hands of the clock 
twenty years. 

The allies in dealing with Napoleon, now that 
he had returned to France, did not take into con- 
sideration the fact that they had willfully broken 
every covenant in the agreement made with him. 
In truth what right had they as foreign poten- 
tates to say who should be the ruler of France? 
That was a question for her people to decide. 

Napoleon might have organized an army and 
awaited an invasion of the allies, but he well 
knew that such a plan would result in a long- 
drawn-out war and bring him no personal re- 
nown. Besides he had not the patience to stand 
simply on the defensive; his purpose was to re- 
store by conquest as much of his empire as was 


possible. His ambition was not yet circum- 
scribed by the frontiers of France. To deal a 
blow that would shatter the Anglo-Prussian 
armies before they were reinforced would terrify 
his enemies, restore his prestige, and enable him 
to dictate terms of peace. Accordingly he gave 
orders to mass his army on the frontiers of Bel- 
gium, and on the nth of June, 1815, left Paris. 
He reached Beaumont, and was in the midst of 
his troops on the I4th. 

He was not the man he had been; his intellect 
was as bright, his conceptions were as great and 
his skill as a strategist was not in the least im- 
paired ; but he lacked, as we shall see, that decision, 
promptitude and energy, that indefatigable activ- 
ity that once so signally characterized him. Nor 
could he stand the strain and exposure as in his 
earlier years ; his urinary and hemorrhoidal com- 
plaints gave him much pain and annoyance, and 
he could no longer keep the saddle for eighteen 
or twenty hours at a stretch without exhaustion. 
Besides he was greatly handicapped in that he 
had not all his old marshals around him. Murat, 
as we have seen, was out of favor. Oudinot, 
Victor, St. Cyr, Macdonald, Augereau, and Mar- 
mont remained loyal to Louis XVIII. Junot 
was in a mad house, and Berthier, his chief of 
staff, had retired to Germany and in a fit of 
frenzy had thrown himself from a window of a 
house in Bamberg. Massena was too old to 
enter upon the hardships of a campaign. Da- 
voust, the hero of Auerstadt, one of the greatest 
of Napoleon's marshals, had been named secre- 



tary of war, and although he begged to be given 
a command, the emperor refused to listen to his 
appeal. " I must have some one in Paris whom 
I can implicitly trust to protect my interests while 
I am absent," argued Napoleon. " O ! Sire," re- 
plied Davoust, " if victory comes to your stand- 
ard anybody can protect your interests here, but 
if defeat should be your lot, I nor no one else 
can be of use to your Majesty." Still Napoleon 
could not be persuaded to take his marshal along, 
whose presence on the field of Waterloo might 
have saved the day. Another grave mistake Na- 
poleon made was in selecting Soult as his chief 
of staff; he had been a division commander of 
skill and experience and could have been ap- 
pointed to a much more important position, while 
a younger man could easily and perhaps more 
efficiently have performed the duties to which he 
was assigned. 

Napoleon's sudden appearance at the head of 
his troops took by complete surprise both Wel- 
lington and Blucher. The emperor issued one 
of his stirring appeals, and forthwith gave an 
order to advance, the vanguard of his army 
reaching Charleroi on the fifteenth. The Prus- 
sian outposts were driven in and the main body 
fell back on Ligny. 

When news of the French advance was carried 
to Wellington on the night of the I5th, he was 
at the Duchess of Richmond's ball in Brussels. 
He at once dispatched the Prince of Orange to 
command the troops at Quatre Bras, so called from 
two roads crossing at that point, one running 


north by west from Charleroi to Brussels and the 
other west by north from Namur to Nivelles and 
beyond. Wellington quietly withdrew from the 
ball and taking the Duke of Richmond into a 

private room remarked : " That d rascal 

Bonaparte has humbugged me." Placing his 
hand upon a map lying upon a table, he marked 
with his thumb nail Waterloo as the place where 
the battle would be fought. Officers were hastily 
sent from the ball-room to their commands, or- 
derlies and aides were soon flying in every direc- 
tion with dispatches to the different corps 
commanders to concentrate their troops. 

Napoleon's army consisted of 125,000 men, 
while Wellington and Bliicher had each one hun- 
dred thousand. Together the English and Prus- 
sians were in numbers greatly superior to the 
French, but Napoleon's army was somewhat 
stronger numerically than either. The English 
army stretched from Antwerp, its base, to Brus- 
sels and beyond, until its left wing joined the 
Prussian right between Quatre Bras and Ligny. 
The Prussian line extended as far east as Liege, 
which was its base. It will thus be seen that the 
same conditions confronted Napoleon in Belgium 
as in his first campaign in Italy. The strategy 
he adopted in 1815 was the same as in 1796. His 
plan was to strike these two armies in the centre 
and after dividing them throw each back on its 
base, thus driving them away from each other in 
diverging directions. 

On the morning of the i6th, Napoleon began 
making preparations to attack the Prussians un- 


der Bliicher at Ligny, directing Ney to engage 
at the same time the English at Quatre Bras, 
thus keeping them at bay while Napoleon 
was handling Bliicher. There seems to have 
been some misunderstanding in relation to the 
order given to Ney, as to whether he was to 
attack or seize Quatre Bras, and that there should 
have been a misunderstanding is not surprising 
in view of the fact that it was not until the elev- 
enth that Ney was ordered to the battlefield and 
he assumed command on the afternoon of the 
fifteenth without any knowledge of the plan of 

For some reason never explained Napoleon de- 
layed until half -past eleven o'clock his attack on 
the Prussians, thus giving them time to mass their 
troops and to strengthen their position. 

The battle opened with a severe artillery fire 
and then the corps of Vandamme and Gerard 
simultaneously assailed at different points the 
Prussian line. Charge after charge was made 
by Gerard with varying success, but at last the 
French heavy guns concentrated their fire on 
Ligny. Roofs were torn away, buildings toppled 
and fell, and flames burst forth in different quar- 
ters of the town. Under a pall of smoke the 
French made a furious onset and after a hand- 
to-hand scuffle the Prussians were slowly driven 
back and compelled to give ground. At St. 
Amand, Vandamme fought with desperate cour- 
age but made no serious impression on the Prus- 
sian lines, for after hours of the bitterest fighting 
the combatants still stood face to face. Bliicher 


had weakened his centre to reinforce his left in 
order to repel the fierce onslaughts of Vandamme, 
and Napoleon, quickly taking advantage of this 
condition, massed his troops ready to deliver the 
finishing blow, and at 5.30 the Imperial Guard 
was brought up to strengthen the attack. 

When on the point of giving the word to the 
batteries to open fire before the final charge, Na- 
poleon, sweeping the field with his glass, saw to 
the northwest a large body of troops marching 
to the southeast as if to attack the French left 
wing. Whether it meant that Ney had been 
defeated and the English were coming to the 
assistance of the Prussians or whether they were 
German troops reinforcing Bliicher, was the ques- 

Light-horse cavalry were sent out at once to 
reconnoitre, but before they returned the whole 
body of advancing troops began a counter-move- 
ment and turned in an opposite direction. Word 
was soon brought to Napoleon that it was d'Er- 
lon's corps. 

It appears that an aide, Colonel de Forsin Jan- 
son, had been dispatched to Ney with an order 
to release d'Erlon's corps in order that it might 
strike the Prussians on the right flank while Na- 
poleon pounded the centre. Of course this order 
was not to be carried out unless Ney could afford 
to do without d'Erlon. Although Napoleon sent 
the order to Ney the courier stopped at the head- 
quarters of d'Erlon, who commanded but a corps 
in the army of Ney, and read to him the dispatch. 
Without waiting for further orders from Ney, 


d'Erlon with his force of 30,000 men started to 
carry out the instructions as he supposed of the 
commander in chief, and while groping around 
for the Prussian flank an order from Ney brought 
him back, and it was at that moment that he re- 
lieved Napoleon's anxiety by counter-marching. 
Thus the whole corps like a pendulum swung be- 
tween the armies of Napoleon and Ney without 
being of use to either of them. It was a lost 
force. If the 30,000 men had been in either bat- 
tle, at Quatre Bras or Ligny, the result would 
have been decisive. If it had not been for the 
blunder of the stupid aide, Wellington as well as 
Bliicher doubtless would have suffered a severe 

In the meantime the artillery had been working 
dreadful havoc among the Prussian troops who 
occupied an exposed position on an opposite slope. 
Suddenly a terrific thunder storm broke over the 
heads of the combatants, the rain fell in torrents 
and amidst the crashing of thunder bolts and the 
roar of artillery the French troops, consisting of 
Gerard's corps and the Imperial Guard, charged 
on the run the Prussian centre, the army was cut 
in twain, the line shattered and the whole body 
began a retreat. Bliicher tried to rally his forces, 
but in vain, and in the confusion the stubborn 
old fighter was unhorsed and stunned by the fall, 
while a troop of cavalry charged over him. It 
was through the courage of Nostitz, his faithful 
aide, that he was sheltered and saved from cap- 
ture. The command fell upon Gneisenau, his 
chief of staff, a very able soldier. 


The Prussians never fought better, but because 
of their exposed position, they were terribly bat- 
tered by the terrific discharge of artillery and the 
repeated assaults of infantry and cavalry during 
eight hours of continuous fighting. About 14,- 
ooo Prussians and 11,000 French lay dead and 
wounded on that blood-soaked field. 

Never did Napoleon need Murat's services 
more than at this moment. If he could have sent 
that peerless officer with a body of cavalry after 
the fleeing Prussians, he would have turned the 
retreat into a rout and doubtless the great victory 
of Jena would have been repeated. As it was, the 
Prussians withdrew in comparatively good order. 
Why Napoleon did not follow up his success and 
make it decisive it is hard to tell. " He is not 
the man he was in Italy," remarked Vandamme. 
After eighteen hours of continuous riding he left 
the saddle and sought rest, and it was not until 
the next day that he sent Grouchy with a corps 
of 33,000 men to follow Blucher. 

The Prussians, instead of falling back on 
Liege, their base of supplies, as it was reasonable 
to suppose they would do, abandoned their line 
of communication and retreated north towards 
Wavre. If they had fallen back to the east on 
Namur or Liege every step would have taken 
them further away from the English, but going 
to Wavre brought them closer to their ally. 

At Quatre Bras a terrible conflict had been 

waged while the battle was on at Ligny. Ney 

had delayed his attack upon the enemy until two 

o'clock in the afternoon and by that time the Eng- 



lish troops had been greatly reinforced. Wel- 
lington was in command, his army amounting to 
30,000 men, while the French had but 20,000. 
Ney fought with skill and desperate courage, but 
at nightfall retired to Frasnes, where he was 
joined by the wandering corps of d'Erlon. 

The English loss was about 5,000 killed and 
wounded ; the French loss was not so great. 

Taken altogether the events of the i6th were 
favorable to Napoleon. Blucher had suffered de- 
feat and although his retreat was not a rout the 
victory was complete and had greatly inspirited 
the French troops. Ney after desperate fighting 
had not succeeded in occupying Quatre Bras, but 
he had kept Wellington so warmly engaged that 
the duke was unable to send any reinforcements 
to Blucher, even though he knew the Prussian 
general was being sorely pressed. 

Late in the night of the i6th Napoleon 
organized a corps of 33,000 men and placed 
Grouchy in command to follow the retreating 
Prussians, but the French did not start on their 
errand until the dawn of the I7th. 




Napoleon, after giving his army a rest, united 
with Ney on the i/th and began operating against 
Wellington. Why he was so prodigal of time 
was no doubt due to the fact that he believed 
Bliicher had fallen back towards his base, and 
was quite removed from the present sphere of 
operations. As a prudent general the emperor 
ought to have known what was Bliicher's line of 
retreat, and if Davoust had been in Grouchy 's 
place he would have known. But Grouchy 
moved slowly and with hesitation, whereas the 
Prussian general had a well-defined plan and 
acted with promptitude. 

Wellington and Blucher had a meeting in a 
windmill on the I7th, and the Prussian general 
promised to reinforce the duke with three corps ; 
upon this guarantee of assistance Wellington de- 
cided to give battle. 

As Napoleon advanced, Wellington fell back, 
but on the night of the I7th the British general 
reached Mont St. Jean. It began raining early 
in the afternoon of the I7th, which greatly re- 
tarded the movements of both armies. The po- 
sition chosen by Wellington for a stand was a 
strong, defensive one. The country was undulat- 

26 401 


ing. Directly in front of the English was a slope 
which ran up to a crest, upon which their artillery 
was posted, while the infantry and cavalry were 
sheltered by the rising ground. Back of the Eng- 
lish army was the forest of Soignes, on their 
front to the left was the farmhouse of La Haye 
Sainte, which was strongly fortified. The left 
was further protected by a ravine that ran trans- 
versely and which was the so-called sunken ditch 
or fallen road into which, according to tradition, 
plunged Dubois's brigade of cavalry, men and 
horses rolling in horrid confusion and trampling 
each other to death in the pit. Opposite the cen- 
tre of their right wing was another farmhouse 
called Hougomont, which had been converted into 
a veritable fortress. Mont St. Jean was Wel- 
lington's centre. The English army was de- 
ployed in three lines. The first was in full view 
of the French, the second partially concealed by 
the crest and the third entirely so. 

When Napoleon reached Belle Alliance on the 
evening of the I7th he was surprised and rejoiced 
to see the English army drawn up in line of battle, 
for he had feared that it was Wellington's inten- 
tion to retreat behind the forest of Soignes and 
there await reinforcements from Blucher. 

Napoleon prepared at once for battle. His 
army was formed in three lines. The first com- 
posed of infantry, with cavalry on each wing ; the 
second was shorter, but of the same formation 
as the first, that is, infantry flanked by cavalry; 
the third was the Imperial Guard, acting as re- 
serves. Belle Alliance, a farmhouse, was the 


French centre and in the rear of the army was 
an elevation called Rossomme, where Napoleon 
had his headquarters, and from which elevation 
he had a full view of the field. He wore his fa- 
miliar uniform, long gray surtout and black 
cocked hat. 

The original assignments were as follows : 
General Drouet d'Erlon the first corps, Gen- 
eral Reille the second, General Vandamme the 
third, General Gerard the fourth, and Count Lo- 
bau the sixth and the Imperial Guard. Marshal 
Ney commanded the left wing, consisting of the 
first and second corps ; General Grouchy the right 
wing, comprising the third and fourth corps, 
while the sixth corps and the Imperial Guard 
forming the centre were under the immediate 
command of Napoleon. 

The rain had continued to fall all afternoon 
and far into the night, and the lanes and roads 
were converted into quagmires, entirely too heavy 
for rapid military movements. During the night 
of the I7th and morning of the i8th the French 
troops were rushed forward and reaching their 
position in line slept on their arms on the wet 
ground in sight of the bivouac fires of the British. 

Napoleon was up several times during the 
night reconnoitring the enemy's position. The 
ground was so heavy that he had to receive as- 
sistance frequently to drag his boots out of the 
mud. When morning dawned the rain ceased, 
but it was nearly noon before Napoleon gave the 
command to open the battle. In the meantime 
the armies stood facing each other in grim de- 


termination. It was Sunday morning; the air 
was misty and sultry, the sky was dark with over- 
hanging clouds, there was no sun to usher in the 
day as on the glorious field of Austerlitz. The 
standing grain was yellow, almost ripe for the 
sickle, the wide landscape lay not only in the 
quiet of a Sabbath day, but in the awful hush 
that precedes the opening of a battle and the clash 
of arms. 

Suddenly one hundred and twenty cannon 
roared out in defiance and covered the field with 
smoke. Reille, leading the second corps, made an 
attack upon Hougomont, but the English were so 
strongly entrenched and their fire was so terrific 
that the French recoiled. Four Englishmen by 
sheer physical strength closed the heavy gate 
against the foes ; a few grenadiers scaled the wall 
that surrounded the garden of the chateau, but 
were killed when on the other side. The orchard 
and part of the garden at last were carried, but 
the English retained the chateau and were not 
dislodged at any time during the battle. 

The assault on Hougomont was not successful 
and Napoleon immediately ordered an attack on 
the English left. Infantry and artillery advanced 
to the charge. General Picton, one of the brav- 
est officers in the British army, who had rendered 
signal service in Spain, led a countercharge with 
the bayonet, and drove back the assaulting col- 
umns of the French, but lost his life in the fray. 
Picton's charge was supported by the " Scotch 
Grays," who rushed into battle, shouting, 
" Scotland forever," and they were closely fol- 


From a portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence 


lowed by the Inniskilling dragoons. The head- 
long charge of the British cavalry carried them 
almost within the French lines, but in turn they 
were assailed and driven back. 

Ney now made charge after charge, leading 
squadron after squadron against the British 
squares; five horses were shot under him, but 
the cavalry could not break the English forma- 
tion; the plunging steeds though urged by spur 
until their flanks ran blood could not penetrate 
the bristling breastwork of steel. It was like the 
waves of a storm-driven sea, dashing against a 
rock in mid-ocean; rushing on, they strike with 
tremendous force, break into foam and then 
seething and hissing fall back in all directions, 
only to gather their strength and renew the at- 

The second charge was one of the most famous 
that ever took place on a European battlefield. 
Twelve thousand horsemen, light and heavy 
cavalry, were engaged. The English artillery 
tore great gaps in their massed ranks and checked 
their advance even before the squares were 
reached, but rallying their forces they dashed 
down the slope with a cheer, only to meet with a 
final repulse and to reel back in disorder. 

The English squares were four deep, the first 
line kneeling, the second at the charge and the 
third and the fourth firing over their heads. As 
the cavalry came on the foremost riders were 
swept from their saddles by volleys of musketry 
and in desperation those horsemen who reached 
the squares would discharge their pistols in the 


faces of the kneeling soldiers and then lean over 
and sabre them in an effort to force an opening 
into the solid ranks, but all such attempts were 
futile. The squares stood fast. 

As the French cavalry rode up the slope, the 
artillery on the crest would open fire, the gun- 
ners after the last volley abandoning the cannon 
and seeking refuge in the British lines. For 
some unaccountable reason, perhaps owing to the 
excitement of battle, the French failed to spike 
or disable the English guns and every charge 
of horse had to meet the same deadly artillery 

For two hours these attacks continued in quick 
succession. The soldiers in the squares, sub- 
jected to constant volleys from heavy guns and 
the incessant fusillade of musketry from skir- 
mishers, could not lie down or break their forma- 
tion for fear the cavalry would again suddenly 
assail them and in consequence they suffered 
great losses. 

Ney fought like a madman; at times he as- 
sumed supreme command and made requisitions 
on troops that were not in his division, without 
even consulting with his chief. Napoleon, no 
longer able to keep his saddle, had dismounted, 
and was seated at a table with his maps spread 
out before him. Occasionally he was seen to 
nod, so worn out was he by the terrific strain of 
the past three days. No one can study the details 
of this famous battle and get into its atmosphere 
without being convinced that Napoleon was not 
the man he had been. His apathy was in sad 


contrast to the zeal, activity and energy of Wel- 

Towards five o'clock one more desperate effort 
was made to capture the farmhouse of La Haye 
Sainte. The attack was opened with a furious 
cannonading; then a headlong charge with in- 
fantry led by Ney on foot with a broken sword 
put the garrison to flight, and following in hot 
pursuit the French broke through the English 
centre. Ney, in order to hold his ground, sent 
hurriedly to Napoleon for more men. 

"Where am I to get them?" cried Napoleon 
petulantly; "does he think I can make them?" 
If Napoleon had possessed the spirit and courage 
he displayed at Lodi and Arcola he would per- 
sonally have headed the Guard and led them to 
the assistance of his marshal and won the day. 
This was the last chance he had to retrieve his 

There was no sign nor word from Grouchy, 
but over the hills to the northeast could be seen 
approaching the army of Bliicher, and their ad- 
vance columns under Bulow soon began to 
press upon the right wing of the French. Na- 
poleon had ordered Count Lobau to hold 
Planchenoit and keep the Prussians at bay, 
while he prepared to make one supreme and final 
effort to break the English lines. The Imperial 
Guard was massed and marched with its usual 
confidence and courage to the attack, but by this 
time the English line had been strengthened by 
Prussian reinforcements to the number of nearly 
fifty thousand. Under a terrific fire from mus- 


ketry and artillery the Guard began to recoil. 
Wellington, with the eye of an experienced sol- 
dier, saw the decisive moment had arrived. 
" Up, men, and at them," he cried. In the sight 
of his army he took off his hat and waving it 
towards the enemy ordered an advance of the 
whole line. Bugles and bagpipes, fifes and 
drums, aroused the spirit of the soldiers. Under 
so vast a host the Guard was overwhelmed. Na- 
poleon deployed them so as to form rallying 
points, but when the Guard was seen to wince 
under the galling fire, consternation seized the 
common soldiers, discipline and order were lost, 
and the cry rang through the ranks : " The 
Guard gives way." D'Erlon's corps, overpow- 
ered by superior numbers, broke and fled, and 
the defeat became a rout. Ney, foaming with 
rage, ran among the troops brandishing a broken 
sword and attempted to rally them for one more 
stand; but they swept on without heeding his 
appeals. " Cowards," he cried, " have you for- 
gotten how to die ? " 

The Old Guard stubbornly fell back from posi- 
tion to position, its ranks torn and riddled by 
shot and shell. Cambronne, its commander, 
hatless, blackened with powder and smoke, de- 
fiant to the last, with sword in hand, when sum- 
moned to surrender, made a nasty reply which 
fortunately has gone down into the romance of 
history as " The Old Guard dies but never sur- 
renders." Immediately the valiant soldier was 
shot in the face and fell seriously wounded, but 
his command desperately fought on and doggedly 


held their ground until encompassed on all sides 
by an overwhelming host; then, seeing that 
further resistance was useless, the few that were 
left, one hundred and fifty in number, filed sadly 
and dejectedly to the rear of the English lines. 
So closed the glorious career of the Imperial 

Wellington had prudently reserved for the 
final stroke some brigades of cavalry and at the 
decisive moment they were let loose and sent in 
to make the disaster complete. Anxious to have 
a share in the glory, they responded with a will. 

As night came on the rising moon shed light 
enough to enable the Prussian horse to follow 
the fleeing, panic-stricken host. The carnage 
was dreadful; there was no mercy shown as the 
sabres rose and fell, keeping time with the ex- 
ultant and vengeful cry: "Remember Jena!" 
When the horses became exhausted or the sol- 
diers grew tired of the slaughter, the officers 
ordered the bugles to ring out the charge to 
revive the energy of the men and through all the 
night and far into the next day the chase con- 

When he realized the army was in full retreat 
Napoleon seemed dazed, his looks grew dark, he 
called out to the fleeing troops to halt, but they 
were deaf even to his appeal. Soult took him 
by the arm and led him away. With a small 
command he hastened from the field, Bertrand 
and Monthyon supporting him on his horse as 
they rode along. Charleroi was reached about 
daybreak on the morning of the iQth. Here 


Napoleon left the saddle and continued his flight 
in a carriage. 

So ended the famous battle of Waterloo, so 
called because it was from that village that Wel- 
lington dated his dispatch announcing his vic- 
tory. It has become the synonym for utter de- 
feat. To say that a man has met his Waterloo 
means that he has suffered ruin beyond repair, 
and yet the battle was lost by the greatest captain 
in all history. The allies had from eighteen to 
twenty thousand killed and wounded and the 
French twenty-five thousand. 

Taking all things into consideration Napoleon 
should have won the field. At the start he was 
over-confident; he was careless of details and too 
prodigal of time. On the morning of the i6th 
he began the battle at Ligny too late in the day, 
thus giving Blikher an opportunity to mass his 
troops and strengthen his position, and even 
after the battle was won he did not follow up 
the retreating army and make his victory com- 
plete. " Napoleon is the only man in Europe/' 
declared Czartoryski, " that knows the value of 
time/' and yet it was not until the morning of 
the 1 7th that he sent Grouchy in pursuit of the 
retreating Prussians. Everything depended up- 
on knowing the direction Bliicher had gone, 
whether to Liege or Wavre. It was presumed 
that he had fallen back on his base of supplies, 
but that was a mere presumption, for the truth 
was he had abandoned his line of communica- 
tion and was marching north in the direction 
of Wavre with the intention of reinforcing the 

Copyright, 79/0, by George W. Jacobs & Co. 


From an original drawing in colors by Biard 


English army. No matter what orders may 
have been given to Grouchy, he was told by Soult 
to keep in touch with Napoleon's army and he 
knew or ought to have known that he was to 
prevent at all hazards the junction of the allies, 
or failing in that to hasten to Napoleon's aid, and 
especially should he have done the latter when 
he heard the roar of the guns on the morning of 
the 1 8th. Gerard, one of his officers, bluntly 
told him it was his duty to follow the sound and 
no longer to trail in the rear of the retreating 

Even on the morning of the i8th, at the open- 
ing of the battle of Waterloo, Napoleon did not 
positively know the whereabouts of Bliicher's 
army, and this was owing to the incompetency 
of Grouchy. Even the famous Bertrand order 
dictated by Napoleon, which Grouchy for a long 
time denied ever having received, would not have 
misled a good, clear-headed soldier. " It is im- 
portant to find out," the paper read, " what the 
enemy [meaning Bliicher] is intending to do; 
whether he is separating himself from the Eng- 
lish, or whether he is intending still to unite to 
cover Brussels or Liege in trying the fate of 
another battle." The gist of this order is in the 
first sentence : the instructions are to find out the 
intentions of the enemy. This left authority in 
Grouchy as an independent commander to act 
accordingly. On arriving at Gembloux on the 
evening of the I7th Grouchy wrote the follow- 
ing dispatch, which proves he knew what was re- 
quired of him:. "If the mass of the Prussians 


retire on Wavre, I shall follow it in that direction 
in order that they may not be able to gain Brus- 
sels, and to separate them from Wellington." 
This dispatch reached Napoleon at midnight on 
the 1 7th when he was personally reconnoitring 
the British lines and it must have assured him 
that Grouchy knew at least what should be done. 
Later in the night Grouchy sent another dis- 
patch announcing he had ascertained that 
the Prussians were on the march to Wavre, and 
that he was going to Sart a Walhain, which is in 
the direction of Wavre, but off the main turn- 
pike. By this time he must have been convinced 
that he was too far in the rear of Blucher's army 
to intercept it or to prevent its junction with the 
English, and that his only duty was by forced 
marches across country to reinforce the emperor, 
but in place of doing that he proceeded on his 
way to Wavre; and, instead of separating the 
Prussians from the English, the Prussians sepa- 
rated him from Napoleon. If he had possessed 
the zeal, skill, and energy of Blucher, or had 
acted with the precision that characterized the 
conduct of Desaix at Marengo, the battle of 
Waterloo doubtless would have been another 

Two dispatches sent by Soult to Grouchy on 
the 1 8th have no bearing in so far as 'Grouchy 's 
conduct is concerned, for they reached him too 
late, but it has been contended in some quarters 
that they show that Napoleon himself was some- 
what at sea and approved of Grouchy 's move- 
ments. The first dispatch says that the emperor 


is about to engage the English army at Waterloo 
and then adds: "His Majesty desires that you 
will direct your movements on Wavre in order 
to approach us, to put yourself in the sphere of 
our operations and keep up your communication 
with us; pushing before you those troops of the 
Prussian army which have taken this direction 
and which may have stopped at Wavre, where 
you ought to arrive as soon as possible." This 
dispatch was not received by Grouchy till four 
o'clock in the afternoon, when he was fighting 
the rear guard of Bliicher's army at Wavre, and 
too late in the day for him to render any assist- 
ance to Napoleon. 

The second dispatch dated at one o'clock in 
the afternoon on the i8th, reads : " Your in- 
tention is to go to Corbaix and Wavre. This 
movement is conformable to his Majesty's ar- 
rangements which have been communicated to 
you. Nevertheless, the emperor orders me to 
tell you that you ought always to manoeuvre in 
our direction and to seek to come near to our 
army, in order that you may join us before any 
corps can put itself between us. I do not indi- 
cate to you the direction you should take; it is 
for you to see the place where we are, to govern 
yourself accordingly, and to connect our com- 
munication,-so as to be always prepared to fall 
upon any of the enemy's troops which may en- 
deavor to annoy our right and to destroy them. 
At this moment the battle is in progress on the 
line of Waterloo in front of the forest of Soignes. 
The enemy's centre is at Mont St. Jean; ma- 


noeuvre, therefore, to join our right." A post- 
script states that Bulow's corps is seen on the 
heights of St. Lambert and then adds: "So 
lose not an instant in drawing near and joining 
us in order to crush Bulow, whom you will take 
in the very act." This dispatch reached Grouchy 
at seven o'clock in the evening, when the battle 
of Waterloo was about decided. 

These dispatches, even if they had been re- 
ceived in time to influence the movements of 
Grouchy, ought not to have misled him, nor do 
they indicate that Napoleon had any doubt in 
his mind as to what Grouchy should do. To be 
sure, the first dispatch reads that Grouchy ought 
to arrive as soon as possible at Wavre, and the 
second that Grouchy's intention to go to Corbaix 
and Wavre is conformable to his Majesty's com- 
munications, but these expressions must be taken 
in connection with the dispatches as a whole, 
which direct that Grouchy "must approach us," 
must put himself " in the sphere of our opera- 
tions," " always manoeuvre in our direction and 
seek to come near to our army," and above all 
without indicating the direction Grouchy should 
take he is told " to see the place where we are " 
and to govern himself accordingly. Surely there 
is nothing dim in these dispatches, the instruc- 
tions are almost explicit and reveal no ignorance 
on the part of Napoleon as to what was required 
of Grouchy. 




Upon reaching Philippeville on the day after 
the battle of Waterloo, Napoleon's spirits seemed 
to revive. On arriving in Paris on the 2ist of 
June he went at once to the Elysee palace, and 
at times became much depressed, walking up and 
down the room, excitedly exclaiming at intervals : 
" O my God ! is it possible, is it possible ! " The 
manner of his reception when he reached Paris 
convinced him that Waterloo had eclipsed his 
prestige and past glory. 

The Chamber of Deputies on motion of La- 
Fayette decided to sit in permanent session, de- 
clared that any attempt at dissolution would be 
considered an act of treason, and directed the 
ministers to report to the Chamber. This was 
virtually depriving Napoleon of power. He was 
urged by his brother Lucien to resort to a coup 
d'etat, but failing to strike at once, the oppor- 
tunity soon passed away. While Napoleon was 
hesitating the Chamber was acting with vigor. 
News reached Paris that Grouchy had escaped 
from the Prussians, after a masterly retreat, and 
that the army was rallying at Laon. This gave 
the emperor a faint gleam of hope, but it soon 


disappeared, for the Chamber demanded an im- 
mediate abdication, which after some reluctance 
he consented to give. At first he agreed to make 
it in favor of his son, but at last on the 22nd of 
June, 1815, he surrendered unconditionally. 
" My son," he cried, " what a chimera ! No, it 
is for the Bourbons that I abdicate. They, at 
least, are not prisoners at Vienna." So ended 
the famous reign of " The Hundred Days." 

The Chamber, whose energy was in marked 
contrast to the indecision and supineness of Na- 
poleon, organized without delay a provisional 
government, and Fouche, the political weather 
vane and despicable time-server, was made presi- 
dent of the Executive Commission. The other 
members were Carnot, Caulaincourt, Grenier and 

On the 25th Fouche sent an order to Napoleon 
to leave Paris. The ex-emperor retired to Mal- 
maison, an abode sad with recollections and asso- 
ciations, for it was here that Josephine had but 
a few months before breathed her last. At this 
retreat he was joined by Hortense Beauharnais 
and a few faithful friends. 

The allies were pressing on and the provisional 
government pleaded earnestly for an armistice, 
to which Bliicher replied that he would consider 
the matter if Napoleon were handed over to him, 
dead or alive. If alive he would see that he was 
executed conformably to the declaration of the 
Congress of Vienna. Wellington refused under 
any consideration to agree to an armistice and the 
march of invasion was continued. On the 


the Prussian vanguard had reached Argenteuil 
and Bliicher made an effort to capture the em- 
peror, but fortunately was thwarted in his design 
by the devoted Davoust, who burned or barri- 
caded the bridges crossing the Seine in the vi- 
cinity of Malmaison. 

It was at this point that Napoleon offered his 
services to the government simply as general and 
submitted a plan of campaign to repel the in- 
vaders from France, but the Executive Commis- 
sion declined his proffer. 

Dethroned, shorn of his power, an outcast, 
hunted to death like a wild beast by the savage 
Bliicher, and ordered by the government in Paris 
to move on, Napoleon drank the bitter cup of 
humiliation to its dregs. He who had brought 
such glory to France had not an abiding spot, a 
place of refuge within her borders, for on the 
29th he received an order from Fouche to quit 
the country forthwith. About six o'clock in the 
evening of that day he set out for Roche fort, 
accompanied by Bertrand, Savary, Gourgaud and 
Becker. The last named was a commissioner 
of the provisional government, whose duty it 
was to see that the orders were complied with. 

The party reached Roche fort on the third 
of July. The next day Paris fell into the hands 
of the allies. 

While at Roche fort Napoleon considered a 
number of plans of escape. One was to be con- 
cealed in a hogshead in the hold of a Dutch 
frigate ; another was to go to America in a light 
sailing vessel, but none was feasible in view of 
27 4 i7 


the fact that the bay was closely guarded by 
British cruisers. The government in Paris sent 
another order and imperatively insisted upon his 
leaving France at once, that his presence in the 
country only hindered effecting negotiations with 
the allies. Under this command he boarded a 
French vessel, lying in the harbor, named the 
Saale. The next day he sent Savary and Las 
Casas to interview Captain Maitland of H. M. S. 
Bellerophon, asking if his departure would 
be prevented. The British captain replied that 
his orders were strict and specific to intercept 
Napoleon, and that if an attempt should be made 
to escape he would oppose with force the frigate 
upon which the emperor sailed. 

In the meantime Louis XVIII had entered 
Paris, the provisional government had collapsed, 
and the Bourbon restoration was complete. 

The second downfall of Napoleon aroused all 
the latent energies of the Bourbons, and they 
evinced a determination to create a reaction 
against the further progress of liberal ideas and 
to restore in all its vigor the ancient regime. 
They, too, returned to France in a vindictive 
temper, and at once, that is, so soon as the French 
army evacuated the capital, instituted proceed- 
ings against those officers who had upon his 
return from Elba espoused Napoleon's cause. 
Soult and Grouchy sought safety in flight, rind- 
ing refuge in America, but Ney was ar- 
rested, charged with treason, court-martialed and 
shot. This was in direct violation of the twelfth 
article of the convention of Paris of July 3rd, 

Copyright, 1910, by George W. Jacobs & Co. 


From an original drawing by Guerin 


which provided that no one should be called to 
account for his conduct during the hundred days. 
Ney and many other officers accepted this am- 
nesty in good faith, but were deceived by the 
treachery of the Bourbons. Wellington, who 
had been a party to the convention, should have 
insisted upon the king's respecting to the letter 
the articles of this agreement, but he stood idly 
by, witnessed the flagrant violation of its terms, 
and instead of protesting, made a flimsy excuse 
for the conduct of the king. He had witnessed 
at Quatre Bras and Waterloo the incomparable 
bravery of Ney, and his every instinct as a sol- 
dier should have been to save the life of the 
marshal by making the government maintain the 
inviolability of its parole. 

On the 1 2th Napoleon dictated the following 
letter to the prince regent of England : " Ex- 
posed to the factions which distract my country 
and to the enmity of the greatest powers of Eu- 
rope, I have closed my political career, and I come 
like Themistocles to throw myself upon the hos- 
pitality of the British people. I put myself un- 
der the protection of their laws, which I claim 
from your Royal Highness as the most constant 
and the most generous of my enemies." 

The emperor intrusted this letter to Gourgaud 
and Las Casas, who requested Captain Maitland 
to afford them facilities to present it to the prince 
regent. The captain provided Gourgaud with 
passage to England on a cruiser named the 
Slaney in order that the French messenger 
might convey personally the letter to his royal 


highness the prince regent. This vessel, at once, 
set sail for Torbay. 

Bertrand, at the instance of the emperor, wrote 
to Maitland that they would come on board the 
Bellerophon the next day and further stated 
that "If the admiral of the port in consequence 
of the demand that you have addressed to him 
sends you the passports for the United States, his 
Majesty will go there with pleasure; but in de- 
fault of them he will go voluntarily to England 
as a private individual to enjoy the protection 
of the laws of your country." 

A long and unsatisfactory controversy has 
been waged by partisans on both sides over the 
question as to whether or not Napoleon was de- 
ceived by assurances of protection from Captain 
Maitland at the time he went on board the Bel- 
lerophon. There may have been a misunder- 
standing between Las Casas and the captain, but 
Napoleon was wise enough to know that Mait- 
land could not bind his government unless he 
was authorized expressly so to do, and really 
there is nothing to show that the British officer 
acted beyond the scope of his authority, practiced 
any deception, or held out any false hopes to the 

When Napoleon boarded the English ship he 
was received with respect, but without a salute. 
He was accompanied by General and Mme. 
Bertrand, General and Mme. Montholon and 
their little son, Count Las Casas and his son, 
Maingaud the physician, Marchand the head 
valet, and a group of servants. 


Las Casas had at one time been a sailor, and 
no sooner was he on board than he donned his 
naval uniform and strutted around the deck with 
the air of an experienced navigator, but the voy- 
age becoming rather rough he got so sick that he 
moved the mirth of the English crew and while 
making somewhat of a spectacle of himself, Na- 
poleon told him sharply to go below, change his 
suit and not disgrace the French navy. 

While passing Ushant early in the morning 
Napoleon came on deck and so long as the land 
was in sight stood alone with his hands behind 
his back, watching with sorrow the receding 
shores of France which he never was again to 

On reaching Torbay, Gourgaud rejoined the 
party and informed the emperor that he had not 
been permitted to land, and that in consequence 
he had been unable to deliver Napoleon's letter 
to the prince regent. 

The Bellerophon on the 26th received or- 
ders to proceed forthwith to Plymouth. After 
reaching this port on July 3ist, Sir Henry Bun- 
bury, secretary to the Admiralty, and Lord 
Keith, admiral in command of Plymouth, came 
aboard and informed the captive, breaking the 
news gently, that the government had decided to 
send him to St. Helena. Napoleon, when the 
truth was made known, drew back in horror 
from the very thought of spending the remainder 
of his days on a barren, cheerless rock in mid- 

It does seem cruel to have passed so severe 


a judgment upon a man who had held so lofty a 
position in the world's politics, but we must trans- 
port ourselves to that period and breathe the 
atmosphere of those times to appreciate the pub- 
lic feeling and sentiment in England. To her na- 
tional debt Napoleon had added 600,000,000, 
he had been her inveterate and uncompromising 
foe, he had banded all Europe in opposition to 
her in his war to destroy her manufactures and 
commerce, closing almost every port in Christen- 
dom against the entrance of her goods. An 
army of two hundred thousand men had been 
marshaled by him upon the plains of Boulogne 
to invade her shores, till she trembled in fear 
and apprehension. Her people were taught to 
believe him a monster, and looked upon him as 
a public enemy, as a disturber of the world's 
peace ; his very name to them was a terror. " I 
know full well," was his contemptuous com- 
parison, " that London is a corner of the world 
and that Paris is its centre." Yet in view of all 
these facts England dealt more leniently with 
him than any other power would have done. 
Blucher, as we have seen, openly threatened to 
shoot him if he captured him, and, no doubt, if 
they had dared, the Bourbons would have dealt 
with him in the same way ; he could not, without 
suffering the greatest humiliation, have sought 
a sanctuary at the hearthstone of his father-in- 
law, and as for Russia he himself cried out: 
"Oh, God! keep me from that." 

If he had been allowed, as he requested, to 
settle down in one of the middle counties of 


England far from the sea, as a quiet, retired 
citizen, it would have kept him in the public eye 
and made his home the centre for conspiracy, 
and a rallying point for the political malcontents 
of all Europe. Further than this, his life doubt- 
less would have been in daily peril from the at- 
tacks of assassins. 

Even if it had been his honest wish to remain 
secluded and to spend his years in literary work, 
he himself with his active temperament could 
not have resisted the temptations. Rest and re- 
tirement would have renewed the vigor of his 
exhausted frame for he was yet in the prime 
of life, only forty-six years of age and with 
his returning strength his ambitions would have 

But England with her allies having unfairly 
compelled him to abdicate in 1814, she had now 
the unpleasant task of sending him into exile. 

While Napoleon was on board the Beller- 
opJwn in the harbor of Plymouth several ef- 
forts were made by his friends to get him 
ashore in order to test the efficacy of a writ of 
habeas corpus, but every such attempt was frus- 
trated by the vigilance of the naval authorities. 
One man came down from London with a sub- 
poena for Admiral Keith and Captain Maitland, 
commanding them to produce the person of Na- 
poleon as a witness in the court of King's Bench 
to testify in a pending libel suit. The messen- 
ger from the court in a hired boat chased Keith 
all over the bay to get service of the writ, and 
the admiral had to depend upon the lusty rowers 


of his barge to escape him, while Maitland to 
avoid him had to hoist sail and put out to sea. 

During the time the Bellerophon lay at 
anchor in Plymouth harbor with Napoleon on 
board, shoals of river craft of all descriptions 
crowded with people came out every day to catch 
a glimpse of the great captive. It was as much 
as the guard boats could do to keep the motley 
fleet from crossing the line. In the excitement 
several persons were drowned. So great was the 
enthusiasm among the people whenever Napoleon 
appeared that the authorities feared an attempt 
would be made at rescue. 

At last the day of departure arrived. Na- 
poleon bade his friends farewell, and in the 
admiral's barge was transferred from the Bel- 
lerophon to the Northumberland, which ves- 
sel under the command of Admiral Sir George 
Cockburn was to bear him to his new home far 
across the seas. As he reached the deck of the 
vessel the crew which was drawn up to receive 
him gave a salute to which he replied, and then 
turning to the commanding officer said, in a firm 
voice : " Here I am, sir, at your orders." 

The voyage was uneventful, but lasted sixty- 
seven days. Napoleon won the regard and re- 
spect of the sailors as well as of the officers. 
There was some little friction as to the observ- 
ance of conventionalities, but except for this 
everything passed off agreeably. Napoleon oc- 
cupied his time in reading and conversation. 
Occasionally he indulged in games of cards; one 
of his favorite amusements was chess, which he 


played badly and at which he cheated, as he did 
at all games. 

At last St. Helena appeared in view like " a 
black wart rising out of the sea," grim, gaunt 
and desolate a dungeon in mid-ocean it gave 
no sign nor sound of welcome to the stranger. 




On the I7th of October, 1815, Napoleon 
landed at Jamestown, and shortly afterwards, 
under cover of the night so as to elude the ob- 
servation of the people, went to a house in the 
town prepared for his reception. Here he re- 
mained until he took up his residence temporarily 
at a little bungalow called " The Briars," owned 
and occupied by an elderly English gentleman 
named Balcombe. He lived in this abode for 
seven weeks while his permanent home at Long- 
wood was being enlarged and improved for his 
accommodation; which work was being done by 
the carpenters of the Northumberland. Mr. 
Balcombe and his wife treated the great captive 
most hospitably, and their two daughters, four- 
teen and fifteen years of age, amused his even- 
ing hours with games of whist. Upon one 
occasion he indulged with them in a play of blind- 
man's buff and entered into the spirit of it with 
all the zest and enthusiasm of a boy. 

On the Qth of December, 1815, Longwood was 

ready for occupation, and Napoleon and his suite 

moved in at once. " The magician's wand was 

broken, and his magnificent theatre of action had 



sunk into a little house and garden far out in the 
tropic sea." 

St. Helena is an island in the South Atlantic 
rising to the height of 2,700 feet above the ocean 
and contains forty-five square miles of territory. 
It is frequently covered by mist and fog and 
although in the tropics its climate is equable and 
healthful, but at times enervating; its heat is to a 
considerable degree assuaged by the southeast 
trade winds. Its shores are deep and precipitous. 
Its port of entry is Jamestown and it has a mixed 
population, whites and negroes, of about two 
thousand. Longwood, situated in the centre of 
this great rock, was a substantial farmhouse and 
stood upon an elevated plateau, two thousand feet 
above the sea. In this habitation five rooms 
were reserved for Napoleon, three for the Mon- 
tholons, two for Las Casas, and one for Gour- 
gaud. The Bertrands lived about a mile away, 
at a place called Hutt's Gate. 

Admiral Cockburn retained charge of the dis- 
tinguished prisoner until the arrival of the newly 
appointed governor, Sir Hudson Lowe, on April 
14, 1816. This officer was about Napoleon's 
age. He was an intelligent man, had had con- 
siderable experience in the world and spoke sev- 
eral languages fluently, among them French and 
Italian. He carried the news of Napoleon's first 
abdication to England and was knighted by the 
prince regent for his services. He was five feet 
seven inches in height, spare in figure, abrupt in 
manner, of great firmness and decision and punc- 
tilious to a degree. He was not facile nor tact- 


ful, nor did he possess those social qualities 
that make men agreeable ; he was altogether want- 
ing in that urbanity that under the circumstances 
would have counted for so much. He was a 
trained soldier, a martinet, and carried out his 
instructions to the letter and in a manner that at 
times was offensive. He was a mere bureaucrat, 
a commonplace man who had no real apprecia- 
tion of the greatness of Napoleon. He was no 
match in skill, strategy, and intrigue with his 
distinguished prisoner, and often was put to his 
wits' ends to circumvent his plans. It would 
have been hard to find two men better calculated 
to annoy and worry each other; the friction be- 
tween them was irritating and constant. 

Lowe had an English prejudice against his 
prisoner to begin with, and besides this having 
served as a British attache on Bliicher's staff had 
imbibed under the influence of that old soldier 
his hatred of Napoleon. He was not the man 
to have been named as governor of the island 
and custodian of the emperor, for in addition 
to his prejudice he possessed too much of the 
spirit of the gaoler. It must be borne in mind, 
however, that the position imposed upon him a 
great responsibility, for if his prisoner had es- 
caped there is no telling what his punishment or 
degradation would have been. 

The restrictions placed upon Napoleon in his 
island home were many, and to a man of his 
temperament were of course most annoying and 
irritating. In the first place, in mere spleen, with- 
out any reason, England ignored his title of 


emperor and addressed and recognized him only 
as General Bonaparte. This was a very foolish 
and most unchivalrous thing to do, in that it 
wounded without accomplishing any good. He 
unquestionably had been the emperor of France; 
that fact was proved and admitted by the allies 
themselves when in 1814 they insisted upon his 
act of abdication. Sir Hudson Lowe, upon all 
occasions and under all circumstances was par- 
ticular to address him by his military title. In 
fact, letters or parcels addressed to Napoleon as 
emperor were not delivered to him by the exact- 
ing governor. One day Napoleon, ascertaining 
that a book had been sent to him under his 
imperial title, asked the governor why it had 
been detained. The reply was because it was 
addressed to the emperor. " Who gave you the 
right," cried Napoleon, "to dispute that title?" 
and then launching forth in a tirade, he ex- 
claimed : " In a few years your Lord Castle- 
reagh and you yourself will be buried in the dust 
of oblivion; or if your names be remembered at 
all it will be only on account of the indignity 
with which you have treated me; but the Em- 
peror Napoleon will continue forever the subject, 
the ornament of history and the star of civilized 
nations. Your libels are of no avail against me. 
You have expended millions on them ; what have 
they produced? Truth pierces through the 
clouds; it shines like the sun, and like the sun it 
cannot perish ! " To which outburst Sir Hudson 
Lowe merely replied, " You make me smile, sir." 
Napoleon was restricted in his walks and rides 


to within a space of about twelve miles in cir- 
cumference; beyond these bounds if he desired 
to go he had to be accompanied by a British offi- 
cer and if a strange ship hove in sight he was 
required to return at once within the prescribed 

Sentinels were posted in the daytime six hun- 
dred paces from Longwood, at night the cordon 
was drawn closer, and the officer on guard had 
to be convinced twice in every twenty-four hours 
by actual observation of the presence of the 

The governor had the right to open and read 
all letters and communications. 

Four ships of war guarded the island, and no 
vessels were allowed to touch except the mer- 
chantmen of the East India Company, to which 
company the island belonged. The exceptions 
were in case a ship was overtaken by stress of 
weather or was in need of water. 

Napoleon of course chafed under these re- 
strictions, limitations and regulations. He was 
not in temperament an amiable philosopher, and 
he could not reconcile himself to such condi- 

His life had become a monotonous routine. 
Suddenly deprived of power and transported as 
a prisoner of war to a dreary and barren island 
in mid-ocean, living in a house that was com- 
modious enough but in sad contrast to the lux- 
urious palaces of the Elysee and the Tuileries, 
it is no wonder that he complained of his lot. 
Like a wild beast he chafed at times against the 


bars of his cage, and longed for the power and 
freedom he once enjoyed. 

We perhaps may take it for granted that many 
of his complaints were trivial and unfounded, 
but it goes without saying that Longwood was 
far from being a suitable abode for such a man; 
it was at best only a patched-up house without 
the comforts and conveniences to which the in- 
mates had been accustomed and if the accounts 
be true was infested with rats. Lord Roseberry 
says : " It was a collection of huts which had 
been constructed as a cattle shed. It was swept 
by an eternal wind; it was shadeless and it was 
damp. Lowe himself can say no good of it and 
may have felt the strange play of fortune by 
which he was allotted the one delightful resi- 
dence on the island with twelve thousand a year, 
while Napoleon was living in an old cow house 
on eight." From a throne and the luxury of 2. 
palace to so humble a habitation was a wide step. 
Napoleon at times derived some little satis- 
faction from his banishment, for in a conversa- 
tion he once said to O'Meara: "Our situation 
here may even have its attractions. The uni- 
verse is looking at us. We remain the martyrs, 
of an immortal cause; millions of men weep fot 
us; the fatherland sighs and Glory is in mourn, 
ing. We struggle here against the oppression 
of the gods and the longings of the nations are 
for us. ... Adversity was wanting to mj 
career. If I had died on the throne amidst the 
clouds of my omnipotence, I should have re- 
mained a problem for many men : to-day, thanks 


to my misfortune, they can judge me naked as I 

The mornings were devoted to literature and 
conversations with O'Meara and Gourgaud, who 
were writing those memoirs that were yet to 
create such contention and contradiction. It is 
fortunate for the world that the sayings of Na- 
poleon are embalmed in these memoirs, for they 
reveal his thoughts, his views and opinions 
on the men and public questions of that day. In 
describing his battles and the events of his career 
he no doubt made many mistakes and has been 
charged by bitter partisans with absolute men- 
dacity and willful perversion of the facts. But 
when we consider that in recalling the innumera- 
ble incidents of his active life he had to depend 
alone upon his memory without an opportunity 
to refresh it by an examination of records and 
official documents or even by conversation with 
his officers, the ungenerous charge of falsehood 
falls to the ground. Take a common street oc- 
currence, and the testimony is so varied and con- 
tradictory that at times it is almost impossible 
to ascertain the real facts, and yet the witnesses 
giving their impressions and recollections may 
have no purpose to do aught but to tell the truth. 

He wrote monographs on Elba, the Hundred 
Days and Waterloo, on the " Art and History 
of War," on " Fortification," on " Army Organ- 
ization," and analyses on the wars waged by 
Caesar, Turenne and Frederick the Great. 

The afternoons were given to exercise and 
amusements; the games indulged in were cards, 

Copyright, K)io, by George W. Jacobs & Co. 


From an original water color by Coquette, made at St. Helena in 1816 

Came into possession of owner through Pierre Morand, a well-known 

French resident of Philadelphia 


chess, and billiards; in the last named Napoleon 
used his hands instead of a cue. 

In the evening the hours were spent in read- 
ing aloud, the favorite authors being Voltaire, 
Corneille and Ossian; chapters from the Bible 
were occasionally read. If any one dozed while 
the emperor gave a reading he would administer 
a sharp rebuke, but he would at times slumber 
most contentedly while some one else edified the 

In his later years Napoleon took an interest 
in gardening, and often could be seen lightly clad 
and wearing a broad-brimmed hat, digging up 
the ground with a spade. He also constructed 
a fish pond in which he seemed to take special 
delight. As time wore on, however, he indulged 
but little in outdoor exercise, even abandoning 
in a great measure horseback-riding, and in con- 
sequence he grew sluggish and corpulent. He 
ate sparingly at the table and his sleep was dis- 
turbed, and irregular; he often complained of 
the nights being " so long." 

His health was fairly good for about four 
years after he landed on the island, but then 
symptoms that gave warning of his approaching 
end began to appear. . 

Las Casas intrusted to a negro servant two 
letters, sewn up in a waistcoat, which he desired 
transmitted to Europe. The matter was brought 
to the attention of the governor and Las Casas 
was shipped forthwith to the Cape. The next to 
leave the little colony was Gourgaud, and in turn 
he was followed by O'Meara, who was dismissed 
28 433 


by Lowe in the autumn of 1819 for facilitating 
the secret correspondence of Napoleon. 

Shortly after the departure of Surgeon 
O'Meara, Dr. Antommarchi arrived at James- 
town, accompanied by two priests. 

Napoleon's strength gradually diminished. 
He knew the end was close at hand, but he faced 
death with courage. His pains at times were 
very acute and it took all of Antommarchi's skill 
to assuage them. The sufferer thought his 
trouble came from a disordered liver, and fre- 
quently placing his hand on his abdomen would 
cry out in anguish, " Le foie, le foie." It 
was not until Dr. Arnott, an English physician, 
was called in that the true nature of the mal- 
ady was known. After a careful diagnosis he 
pronounced it cancer of the stomach, the same 
disease which had caused the death of Napoleon's 

The emperor had already drawn his will, and 
generously remembered in its provisions all those 
who had befriended him in the past, especially 
in his youth and days of adversity. France un- 
der the Bourbons had confiscated the imperial 
estate and the executors were not able in final 
settlement to collect more than three and a half 
million of francs with which to pay bequests 
amounting to nine and a half millions. In his 
will he spoke in the tenderest terms of his wife, 
who, he must have known, had utterly abandoned 
him. He did this doubtless for the sake of his 
son, whom he devotedly loved. 

In the codicil Napoleon remembered a man 


named Cautillon, who was tried for an attempt 
to assassinate Wellington. It was unfortunate 
that in his last will and testament he should have 
shown so vindictive a spirit, but he believed that 
Wellington, if he had spoken a word, could 
have saved him from his banishment, or at least 
from being sent to so desolate a spot. Indeed, 
the Iron Duke had not much sentiment nor gen- 
erosity in his soul, and he did not treat Napoleon 
with that consideration and compassion that a 
brave man should show to a fallen foe. 

Napoleon's last request in his will was to be 
buried on the banks of the Seine among the 
French people he had loved so well. 

On the 5th of May, 1821, early in the even- 
ing, while a terrific thunder storm was raging 
and while a furious gale of wind was tearing up 
the trees he had planted, even his favorite wil- 
low, the patient passed away. The last words 
on his lips were, "France arniee tete 
d'armee Josephine." 

Clad in his familiar gray uniform, the coffin 
covered with the cloak he had worn at Marengo 
and surmounted by his sword, the body was 
borne to the grave, and laid to rest in the spot 
where had stood his favorite willow. The Eng- 
lish soldiers lowered their flags in honor, salvos 
of artillery and musketry were fired, awakening 
the echoes of the desolate rock, and announcing 
to the world, to the uttermost ends of the earth, 
that the greatest warrior and administrator of 
all the ages had at last surrendered to the arch 



Twenty years afterwards, in compliance with 
the wish expressed in his will, France under a 
Bourbon king opened her arms once more to 
receive him. His body was disinterred at St. 
Helena, brought across the sea to Cherbourg, and 
then floated along the Seine in a pompous barge 
with every mark of honor and respect. The na- 
tion he loved so well turned out in great hosts to 
greet him, and when Paris was reached, sixteen 
black horses, sable plumed and richly caparisoned, 
conveyed on a tall funeral car the coffin to the 
church, at the great doors of which a herald 
called out, " The Emperor." The vast congre- 
gation, rose at the announcement and stood in 
deep silence as the pallbearers approached the 
altar. After a requiem mass for the repose of 
the soul the body was at last deposited in the 
Invalides in a tomb fit for a Caesar. 




It is hard to delineate truthfully, accurately, 
the character of Napoleon. Possessing attributes 
that were generous, noble, chivalrous, humane 
and patriotic, he on the other hand displayed, at 
times, a spirit that was mean, vulgar, selfish, 
cruel and tyrannical; it may be said, however, 
that in this matter of inconsistency he did not 
differ from the vast majority of mankind. In 
mere wantonness, while stationed at Tenda, sim- 
ply to show a lady companion an actual phase 
of warfare, he ordered the advance guard of the 
French to charge the Austrian pickets, a little by- 
play which resulted in bloodshed. Yet at another 
time he severely reprimanded an officer on his 
staff for negligently allowing his horse's hoof to 
strike a wounded Russian soldier. One day at St. 
Helena while strolling with Mrs. Balcombe and 
some friends, a number of slaves came toiling up 
the hill with heavy loads upon their backs. Mrs. 
Balcombe in rather an angry tone ordered the 
negroes to step aside, but Napoleon, making room 
for them, softly said to the lady : " Respect the 
burden, madame ! " 

He could most unchivalrously smirch the char- 
acter of the lovely Queen Louisa of Prussia, and 


then when they met charm her with his fas- 
cinating manner. He could freeze with his cold, 
penetrating look or bewitch with his smile. Few 
men could pass under the spell of his power 
without yielding to its influence. He intoxicated, 
fascinated, persuaded, insinuated, ingratiated, 
dominated. His unbending will would brook no 
contradiction; it broke down all opposition. His 
temper was despotic and he was given to sudden 
and violent ebullitions of rage. He scolded, he 
wept, he commanded, he resorted to every artifice 
to gain his point. In his great schemes men to 
him were but puppets. In the language of 
Madame de Stael : " II regarde line creature 
humaine comme un fait on une chose, et non 
comme un sembldble" " Soldiers," he cried, " I 
need your lives and you owe them to me," and so 
positive was he in his assertion that he impressed 
it as a truth upon his troops, and they were will- 
ing to make every sacrifice, going into battle with 
the exultant cry upon their lips of " Vive I'em- 

"A being like him, wholly unlike anybody 
else," observes a well-known author, " neither 
feels nor excites sympathy; he was both more 
and less than a man." " He was an experiment 
under the most favorable conditions," says Emer- 
son, " of the powers of intellect without con- 
science," or as has been tersely said : " He was 
as great as any man could be without virtue." 
His ambition was boundless, overwhelming, and 
it is true he was not particular in his choice of 
means in reaching his ends ; but the Caesars never 


have been scrupulous or restrained by moral con- 
siderations; if they had been they would not 
have accomplished what they did. In other 
words, they would not have been Caesars. 

One of the most remarkable features of Na- 
poleon was his versatility. He had the instincts 
not only of a soldier but of a statesman as well, 
an unusual combination; besides, he was a poli- 
tician, a diplomat, a public administrator, and an 
orator of great power. If the purpose of ora- 
tory is to persuade, to convince, to arouse the 
emotions, then it may be said that his eloquence 
was superb, notably in the addresses to his army. 
In fact, all his talents were of the highest order. 
Charles James Fox referred to him as " the beau 
ideal of greatness." "I am no panegyrist of 
Bonaparte," said Canning, " but I cannot shut 
my eyes to the superiority of his talents, to the 
amazing ascendancy of his genius." 

As a soldier the records of Alexander, Hanni- 
bal, Caesar, Charlemagne and Charles the Fifth 
pale before the glare of his marvelous achieve- 
ments. " Although too much of a soldier among 
sovereigns," observes Sir Walter Scott, " no one 
could claim with better right to be a sovereign 
among soldiers." He was a born leader; his 
supreme audacity and his abounding confidence 
in himself gave him courage to attempt even what 
apparently was impossible. Obstacles to him 
were but means to an end. Time and space were 
mere items in his calculations. Deserts, moun- 
tains, floods that threatened destruction to enter- 
prise were but highways to success. He planned 



his battles in his head before he fought them in 
the field. Victory did not come to him by 
_ chance ; he won it by energy, attention to details 
and skill. He seemed intuitively, instinctively to 
detect the weak spot in the enemy's line of battle 
and upon this point he hurled squadron after 
squadron until he overwhelmed it by superior 
numbers and repeated blows. In the days of 
his prime he was never late; punctuality was 
an element in his plans. The enemy might 
potter, but he never did, and he seldom 
struck a blow until he was ready to deliver 
it. He knew the value of a strategic position 
before he took it, and he massed his troops 
while the enemy were guessing. He was 
a master of strategy and was both ingenious and 
original in his conceptions. No soldier of his 
day, in fact few if any of the world's famous cap- 
tains, equaled him in this particular. His one 
1 great defect was to neglect to provide for retreat 
in case of defeat, so confident was he of victory. 
Lord Brougham in his interesting sketch of 
Napoleon describes him during the progress of a 
battle as sitting on the ground with his maps 
spread out before him, his face sometimes buried 
in his hands, sending aides and orderlies with 
dispatches in every direction, but uttering barely 
a word except in the way of instruction. With 
watch in hand he waits for their return, oc- 
casionally taking a pinch of snuff. One by one 
the messengers report, but at last the all impor- 
tant information is brought in that a certain posi- 
tion is occupied. Further explicit instructions 


are given, and sent as how to follow up the ad- 
vantage, Napoleon rises from the ground, rub- 
bing his hands gleefully; the fight is virtually 
over, the victory is won. War seemed to be his 
element and on the battlefield he was cool and 

No commander ever knew better than he how 
to win the regard and affection of his troops. 
He shared with them his glory and the humblest 
soldier could obtain from him a hearing. The 
following incident is in point: A sentry had 
been placed on guard at the entrance of a re- 
cently paved road with instructions to let no one 
pass over it on horseback. General Vandamme, 
a brave but a rough, coarse soldier, came riding 
along and was about to trespass on the guarded 
road when he was halted by the sentinel. " I 
am General Vandamme, and I go everywhere," 
was the reply to the challenge, but the soldier 
kept him at bay at the point of the bayonet, when 
Vandamme in anger brutally slashed him over 
the face with a whip. The captain, Jollivet by 
name, in whose company the sentry was a pri- 
vate, sprang forward, seized the musket from 
the soldier and aiming it at the breast of Van- 
damme said : " General, if you advance another 
step I will shoot you down like a dog." Van- 
damme, seeing the captain meant what he said, 
without further ado rode away. Instead of com- 
plimenting the captain and the sentry for their 
soldierly and courageous conduct, Vandamme 
sought an opportunity publicly to upbraid and 
insult the captain, telling him in the presence of 


his company that instead of commanding troops 
he was not even fit to herd hogs. Language so 
brutal aroused all the anger in the soldier's na- 
ture and Captain Jollivet at once asked permission 
of his commanding officer, General Oudinot, to 
challenge Vandamme, but his request was turned 
down without ceremony. Knowing how accessi- 
ble Napoleon was, the captain at once sought an 
audience at headquarters and laid the whole mat- 
ter before him. Napoleon told the captain to at- 
tend a meeting of officers, which was to be held the 
next day at a certain hour ; that in the meantime 
he would investigate the facts, and if Vandamme 
were in the wrong he would insist upon his mak- 
ing a public apology. On the morning of the 
meeting the captain was present, but because of 
his inferior rank he kept in the background. 
When the conference was over and the officers 
were about to disperse, the captain stepped for- 
ward and reminded Napoleon of his promise. 
Napoleon at once addressing Vandamme said : 
" General, I have looked into the facts of a com- 
plaint made to me by Captain Jollivet and I 
find that without reason you publicly insulted a 
brave and worthy officer and I insist that you 
make an apology to the captain for your con- 

Vandamme immediately replied, saying: 
" Sire, I admit with much regret that, car- 
ried away with anger, I spoke rudely to the 
captain, but these gentlemen " 

Before the general could speak another word 
the captain interrupted him by saying: " Sire, 

After du Geoffrey portrait 
engraved in Madrid 

Portrait by Baerentzen, Copenhagen 

Engraved by Hepple 

A. Grauvok. Strasburg 




that is all I ask; I am satisfied. I thank you," 
and with a voice full of emotion added, " I am 
yours for life." 

News of this incident, and it was not the only 
one of its kind, spread through the army, and con- 
duct so fair endeared Napoleon to the common 
soldiers. He endured with them the rigors and 
hardships of a bitter campaign without complaint,' 
he gave up his horse for the transportation of 
the sick and wounded and marched side by 
side with his troops over the sands of burning 
deserts and the frozen passes of the Alps. He 
who in times of peace had his hat padded, his 
boots lined with silk and his garments of the 
softest material, and who could sleep only on 
down in a room without light, could patiently 
submit to the inconveniences and discomforts of 
a camp life, eat a soldier's ration of bread and 
cheese with relish, and sleep soundly on a pallet 
of straw close to a bivouac fire. 

A grenadier, stepping out of the ranks one day 
and saluting the emperor, said : " Sire, I shared 
my loaf of bread with you in the last campaign 
and you promised me promotion, and you told 
me that if you forgot it I should remind you of 
the fact." 

" I will see," said Napoleon, smiling kindly, 
" that the promise is kept." 

One day when Napoleon and a group of 
friends and guests were amusing themselves play- 
ing barriers in the garden at St. Cloud, two rough- 
looking men stood at the railing and closely 
watched the party, apparently out of mere curi- 


osity, much to the displeasure of the ladies pres- 
ent. Some young gallants were about ordering 
them away, when Napoleon was informed that 
one of the men was a wounded soldier and that 
without any intention of giving annoyance, he 
stopped with his brother at the railing simply to 
get a glimpse of his old commander. Napoleon 
immediately put his arm around the waist of 
Josephine and together they went over to greet 
the veteran. Kindly the consul spoke to him, 
introduced the two men to Josephine, and then 
put them under the care of Eugene, with in- 
structions to take them into the house and have 
them drink his health in a glass of wine. 

He knew well how to reprimand, and a rebuke 
to his soldiers would send consternation into their 
ranks. During the first Italian campaign the 
39th and 85th demi-brigades had while under fire 
fled in a panic and he resolved to give them a 
lesson and to make an example of them in the 
presence of the whole corps. ' You have dis- 
pleased me," he said. " You have shown neither 
discipline, nor constancy nor bravery. You have 
been driven from positions where a handful of 
brave men might have held in check a large army. 
You are no longer French soldiers." Then turn- 
ing to one of his aides he said : " Let the words 
be written on their colors : They are not of the 
army of Italy ! " Groans and supplications filled 
the air. " We have been misrepresented," they 
cried. " We were overwhelmed by a superior 
force, three to one. Place us in the vanguard in 
the very brunt of the battle and we will show 


our valor." Bonaparte, changing his tone and 
evincing a conciliatory spirit, left them, after re- 
lieving, in a measure, their mortification, and in 
the next engagement they fought with amazing 
courage and covered themselves with glory. 

On the other hand, a word of commendation 
from him was equivalent to the bestowal of a 
medal of honor. He described one regiment be- 
cause of its desperate fighting as " the Terrible 
42nd," and straightway it inscribed the words 
on its banners. " I was not afraid, I knew the 
45th was there," he said addressing a regiment 
after a battle, and his praise created at once a 
spirit of emulation in the whole army. 

By his troops he was affectionately called " the 
little corporal," " the little monk," and " General 
Violette." He was the idol of his army, and his 
presence on the field of battle was an inspiration. 

Even when his reverses came thick and fast 
after the disastrous invasion of Russia, the love 
of his soldiers turned into a tender sympathy. 
In a hospital filled with wounded soldiers a visitor 
remarked in the hearing of a lad who lay in a 
cot close by, that it was a blessing that Napoleon 
had at last been overthrown. 

"Of whom do you speak," said the boy, " of 
our emperor? If you do you are wrong," and 
mustering all his strength, he cried out at the top 
of his feeble voice, for he was sorely wounded, 
" Vive I'empereur" and instantly the whole ward 
rang with vivats for Napoleon, and it was some 
time before the nurses could calm the patients 
and restore quiet. 



The armies of Continental Europe were com- 
posed of hirelings ; there was nothing in common 
between them and their aristocratic officers; but 
the soldiers of Napoleon had by the Revolution 
been made patriotic citizens of the Republic and 
like their warlike Gallic ancestors had raised upon 
their bucklers their leader. It was their victories 
that had exalted him and created the empire and 
with him they enjoyed the honor in common. 
Their glory was reflected in him and his glory in 

Yet, strange to say, great soldier as Napoleon 
was, he made no improvement of any kind in 
the arms of war. A Prussian inventor submitted 
to him a model of the needle gun, but after an 
inspection was made the emperor abandoned all 
idea of its introduction, and from the beginning 
to the end of his military career he used the old- 
time cannon and the flint lock muzzle-loading 
musket. When at Boulogne while making 
preparations to invade England he remarked: 
" We must have shells that will shiver the wooden 
sides of ships." Yet he took no steps to put his 
suggestion into practical effect. With his great 
skill as a soldier if he had made the implements 
of war more effective he would have been in- 




The French Revolution in its violence had 
rocked every throne in Europe. It had incul- 
cated principles that menaced the absolute su- 
premacy of kings, and as its force subsided every 
crowned head was anxious to destroy its influence 
by the restoration of the Bourbons. When Na- 
poleon therefore as the heir of the Revolution 
aspired to imperial degree the royal potentates 
claiming to rule by divine right looked upon him 
as an upstart, as an intruder into sacred precincts, 
as one of plebeian strain without the sanction of 
heredity, and consequently in the estimation of 
those monarchs he was unfit to wear a crown. In 
answer to their boast of royal blood he proudly 
declared: You are but descendants, whereas I 
am an ancestor, the builder of an empire, the 
founder of a dynasty. He was of the people, the 
common people, without a drop of royal blood 
in his veins. " Emperor, consul, soldier/' he ex- 
claimed. " I nw_fi everything to Jthjejjgpjgle. My 
title of nobility dates from the battle of Mon- 
tenotte." This was a strange, an unusual, an 
anomalous admission coming from the lips of a 
sovereign. It was a distinct echo of the Revolu- 
tion, an enunciation of the principle of popular 


sovereignty against the doctrine of the divine 
right of kings. 

" They seek to destroy the Revolution by attack- 
ing my person," he declared. " I will defend it, 
for I am the Revolution." He was in truth its 
sequel, its embodiment, its culmination. ./That 
great social and political upheaval after destroy- 
ing abuses and effecting many reforms left 
France in a chaotic condition, bleeding at every 
pore, and to save from this mighty wreck the 
benefits that this colossal struggle had accom- 
plished required a man of almost superhuman 
energy, of constructive intellect and of organizing 
ability. Like Athena, full armed, Napoleon 
sprang forth to meet the occasion. ( France in 
the reaction that was setting in was rapidly drift- 
ing towards the reefs of a Bourbon restoration. 
The people, tired of the confusion and disgusted 
with the cruelty of the " Reign of Terror," were 
ready to accept any change that promised peace, 
repose. A pilot was needed who could steer the 
ship of state once more into smooth waters. Na- 
poleon was the man of the hour. Despot he 
may have been, but it required a despot to save 
liberty by temporarily suspending it. He curbed 
the wild spirit of the Revolution, remoulded the 
government of France and gave to the people a 
freer and better system of rule than they had 
ever enjoyed. " Compare," said Canning, " the 
situation in which he found France with that to 
which he has raised her." The privileges, the 
unequal taxation, the inequality before the law, 
the burdens, exactions and abuses of the ancient 


regime were done away with, the claims of mere 
heredity were ignored, merit was made the step- 
ping stone to promotion. " It is not liberty," 
said Napoleon, " that France needs so much as 
equality," and he handed her the code. 

" Democratic France owes much to the em- 
peror," says Guizot. " He gave her two things 
of immense value: within, civiLar4er, strongly 
constituted; without, national independence, 
firmly established." 

As a character perhaps he was not what may 
be termed either great or good in the exalted 
meaning of those words; that is, he did not rise 
above self and act alone for the public welfare, 
nor was he controlled at all times in his conduct / 
by moral or conscientious scruples. No one 
thinks of classing him with Washington and 
Lincoln'; but considering him from a purely in- 
tellectual standpoint as an original and a con- 
structive genius, as a soldier and a civil adminis- 
trator, he has not in the history of the world had</ 
his equal. The social and political conditions 
needed such a man, and he met the requirements. 
He may not in the broadest sense have given 
liberty to France, but by his example and his 
reforms he made it impossible for the Bourbons 
upon their return to revive, in their full vigor, / 
the abuses of the ancient system. 

Every nation annexed to France or in any 
way connected with the empire felt the benign 
influence of his rule; his government was both 
liberal and enlightened; he laid broad and deep 

the foundations of a new political life in Italy, 
29 449 


Switzerland and Germany. " To have the right 
of using nations/' he said, " you must begin by 
using them well." Even in Spain he abolished 
the Inquisition and doubtless would have accom- 
plished more for the welfare of that mediaeval 
and intolerant state had it not been for the upris- 
ing of her people. 

As a public administrator he was unexcelled; 
his plans were broad and comprehensive. In 

- Paris he built sewers and introduced sanitary 
regulations and improvements, straightened 
crooked and widened narrow streets, opened new 
avenues, spanned the highways with triumphal 
arches, and the rivers with bridges, and con- 
structed an embankment on the Seine long before 
the great improvement on the Thames was even 
contemplated. In Venice he enlarged and deep- 
ened the Grand Canal and improved the whole 
system of lagoons, and in Milan completed the 
magnificent cathedral, that exquisite sample of 
Gothic art, which for centuries had remained 
unfinished. Every land that came under his rule 
felt the impress of his genius. Even in Egypt 
to this day as well as in Elba remain traces of 

y his great internal improvements and adminis- 
trative reforms. 

The Bourbon princes built sumptuous palaces 
and laid out magnificent gardens, spending fabu- 
lous sums of the people's money for their own 
selfish purposes, but Napoleon constructed public 

/ works for the comfort, convenience, health and 
happiness of the community. Louis XIV, sur- 
named the Great, was the model of a Bourbon 


king, a monarch of the ancient regime, aptly 
proclaimed by Bolingbroke as " the best actor of 
majesty that ever rilled a throne." It is only 
necessary to compare such a ruler with Napoleon 
if one wants to appreciate the real greatness of 
the latter. 

The Bourbons under the old system extrava- 
gantly, recklessly, squandered the public funds, 
but Napoleon economically expended the money 
of the people and carefully supervised the ac- 
counts and woe to the contractor or official who 
attempted to defraud the government. 

The reputation of Napoleon as a soldier is so 
great and his wars were so frequent and impor- 
tant that one wonders when he found the time 
to devote to civic administration. A period of 
twenty years covers his really active and distin- 
guished career, that is, from his first Italian cam- 
paign to the date of his second abdication. To 
the casual observer it may appear as if the greater 
portion of this time had been spent by him away 
from Paris, in actual warfare or on the field of 
battle, whereas most of his campaigns with the 
exception of the first one in Italy and his expedi- 
tion to Egypt were comparatively short. 

On March n, 1796, he left Paris to take> 
command of the army in Italy and returned in 
November, 1797, having been absent from the 
capital about a year and eight months. He re- 
mained in Paris until he sailed for Egypt in May, 

1798, and returned to France on October 9, 

1799, after an absence of a year and five months. 
One month after his arrival from the East oc- 



curred the coup d'etat of the iQth Brumaire, 
and on the 6th of May, 1800, he left Paris for 
the army of Italy, fought the battle of Marengo 
on June I4th, and returned to the capital after 
an absence of about six weeks. During the re- 
mainder of 1800 and during the years of 
1801, 1802, 1803, 1804, and until he took 
the saddle in the autumn of 1805, he remained 
in Paris. On October 2Oth of this last 
named year he compelled the surrender of 
Mack at Ulm; continuing at the head of his 
army, he fought the battle of Austerlitz Decem- 
ber 2nd, which resulted in the treaty of Press- 
burg December 26th. Returning to Paris he re- 
mained there until he put himself at the head 
of his army in October, 1806, and fought the 
battle of Jena on October I4th of that year. He 
kept the saddle until the battle of Friedland on 
June 14, 1807, and after the treaty of Tilsit, 
July 7, 1807, he returned to Paris. Here he 
remained until he joined the army in Spain in 
November, 1808, and after a short campaign 
again returned to Paris, reaching that city on 
the 23rd of January, 1809. In April of that 
same year he again joined the army, fought the 
battle of Wagram July 6th, and after conducting 
a treaty of peace at Schonbrunn, October 14, 
1809, returned to Paris, where he remained until 
he invaded Russia in June, 1812. After his 
disastrous retreat from Moscow he reached Paris 
inT)ecember of that same year. In April, 1813, 
he again took the field, fought a number of 
engagements and finally suffered a defeat at the 


Engraved in Philadelphi 

about 1800 

By Jugel 


An ideal portrait 
from proof of Mazzard's Medallion 



Very early portrait engraved by 
Clemens at Stockholm, 1797 

Painter, Falconi. Engraver, Zignani. 



battle of Leipzig on October 18, 1813; re- 
treated t@ France and continued the war until 
his abdication on the 4th of April, 1814. On 
the 2Oth of that month he left for Elba, where 
he remained in exile until February 25, 1815, 
when he set sail for France and reached Paris 
March 2Oth. In June he was again at the head 
of his army and on the i6th defeated Bliicher 
at Ligny and in turn was beaten on the i8th by 
Wellington at Waterloo, and finally abdicated on 
the 22nd. 

In this brief resume it will be seen that he was 
personally in actual warfare or in the field at 
the head of his army six years and six months 
approximately during the period extending from 
March, 1796, to June, 1815. Three years and 
one month were consumed by his first Italian 
campaign and his expedition to Egypt and this 
left during the consulate and the empire three 
years and five months in which he was absent 
from the capital at the head of his armies. Tak- 
ing out of consideration the time he spent at Elba 
this gave him nearly twelve years to devote to 
civil affairs in Paris after his election as consul. 

Immediately subsequent to the downfall of the 
emperor there was a revival of the notions that 
had prevailed under the old regime; legitimacy 
and privilege were restored temporarily in their 
full vigor. The deadening influence of the re- 
actionaries was felt in every direction; the peo- 
ple being deprived of all voice in government, 
the courts of St. Petersburg, Vienna and Berlin 
were again dominant. France was ruled by a 


Bourbon prince, who had regained the throne 
after years of banishment, and had returned to 
it with the rancor and vengeance of an exile who 
had been embittered but not made wise by his 
experience. The Holy Alliance was formed to 
check the advance of liberalism in politics and 
to destroy toleration in religion. An effort was 
made to put Europe in the position she would 
have occupied and the condition she would have 
been in had there been no Revolution and no 
Napoleon, but the influence of both could not 
be destroyed. The years from 1789 to 1815 had 
been fruitful of change and reform, notwith- 
standing their violence, strife, abuses and blood- 

Stanislas Girardin in his Memoirs relates that 
Bonaparte on his visit to the tomb of Rousseau 
said : " ' It would have been better for the 
repose of France that this man had never been 
born/ ' Why, First Consul? ' said I. ' He pre- 
pared the French Revolution/ * I thought it was 
not for you to complain of the Revolution.' 
' Well/ he replied, ' the future will show whether 
it would not have been better for the repose of 
the world that neither I nor Rousseau had ex- 
isted/ ' He was right, perhaps, in so far as 
the mere repose of the world was concerned, but 
repose may be stagnation. 

Time has shown that he saved the salient prin- 
ciples of the Revolution, that he accomplished 
much for popular government, for religious 
toleration, for man's emancipation from the 
tyranny of both church and state, for equality 


^before the law and for general enlightenment, 
His ambition carried him beyond the possibili- 
ties and the pathos of St. Helena closes the story 
of a life that in its features is an epic, heroic 
and sad. His career was one of the most re- 
markable in the history of the children of men, a 
career marked by colossal successes and prodi- 
gious failure, but the net result of which was and 
is for the world's advancement. 




Abendsberg, 283 

Aboukir, Battle of, 152 

Abrantes, Duchess cT, description of Napoleon, 56 

Achilles, 80 

Achmet, Pacha, 146. 

Acre, 147 

Adda, 98 

Adige, 106 

Adye, Captain, 383 

Ajaccio, 17 et seq. 

Ajax, 286 

Alessandria, 91 

Alexander, 159, 302 

Alexander, Czar, 228, 237; at Erfurt, 280; 309, 3iS 331, 


Alexandria, 131 
Algiers, 197 
Alps, 365 

Alvintzy, General, no, 266 
Amiens, Treaty of, 174, 197, 200 
Ancona, 107 

Antommarchi, Doctor, 232, 434 
Antraigues, Comte d', description of Napoleon, 114 
Antwerp, 222 
Arcola, in 
Arena, 165, 193 
Ariosto, 128 
Arnot, Doctor, 434 
Artois, Comte d', 206, 211, 285 
Aspern, Battle of, 285 
Atheists, 177 



Atilla, 104 

Auerstadt, Battle of, 256 

Augereau, 90, 116, 260, 393 

Augustus, 247 

Austerlitz, Battle of, 237, 238, 290, 357, 452 

"Austerlitz Look," 242 

Austria, 35 ; war declared against, 40 

Autun, Bishop of, 30 

Auxonne, 31 


Babylon, 125 

Baden, 241, 243 

Bagration, Prince, 319 

Baker Street, 206 

Balcombe, Mrs., 437 

" Balls of trie Victims," 53 

Baltic Sea, 180, 256 

Bamberg, 393 

Barclay, de Tolly, 319, 320; retreat from Smolensk, 323 

Barere, 53 

Barras at Toulon, 49, 52, 58, 63 ; his character, 66, 124, 162 

Barthelemy, 117 

Bassano, 109 

Basseville, 107 

" Battle of the Nations," 361 

Bausset, 298 

Bautzen, Battle of, 350, 355 

Bavaria, 241, 243, 359 

Bayonne, 270 

Beauharnais, Eugene, 63; viceroy of Italy, 229, 347 

Beauharnais, Hortense, 63, 416 

Beauharnais, Viscount, marries Josephine, 63 ; sails for 

America, 63; returns to France beginning of French 

Revolution, 64; guillotined, 64 
Beaulieu, General, 91, 98, 106, 266 
Beaumont, 393 
Becker, 417 
Beethoven, 217 
Belle Alliance, 402 



" Bellerophon," the, 48, 421, 424 

Bennigsen, 260, 360 

Beresina, crossing of the, 339, 340, 341 

Berlin, 453 

Berlin Decree, 257 

Bernadotte, 206, 237, 289; crown prince of Sweden, 303; 
359, 360 

Bernier, 188 

Berthier, 98, 164, 170, 293, 295, 365, 393 

Berthollet, 127 

Bertrand, 351, 409, 417 

Bertrand, Madame, 420 

Bertrand, Order of, 411 

Besangon, 385 

Bible, The, 128, 185 

Billaud-Varenne, 52, 53 

Bliicher, 255, 350, 359, 360, 368, 391 ; at Ligny, 396, 397, 
398, 401 ; wounded, 416 

Boissy d' Anglas, 54 

Bologne, 107 

Bon, 128 

" Bonaparte of the Antilles," 196 

Bonaparte, Caroline, Queen of Naples, 298 

Bonaparte, Charles, marriage of, 22; death of, 28 

Bonaparte, Elise, 40 

Bonaparte, Jerome, King of Westphalia, abandons Rus- 
sian invasion, 320 

Bonaparte, Joseph, 201; made grand elector, 213; declines 
throne of Italy, 229; named king of Spain, 304; aban- 
dons kingdom and comes to Paris, 353 

Bonaparte, Madame Letizia, 17 

Bonaparte, Louis, king of Holland, abandons throne, 302 

Bonaparte, Lucien, 163, 165, 201, 244 

Bonaparte, Napoleon, see Napoleon 

Bonaparte, Pauline, 300 

Borghese, Princess, 299 

Borisoff, 329 

Borodino, Battle of, 326, 334 

Bouille, 63 

Boulogne, 225, 446 



Bourg, 385 

Bourrienne, 24, 38, 82, 125, 126, 128, 132, 156, 164, 386 

Boussard, 144 

Branau, 395 

" Bravest of the Brave," 339 

Breslau, 348 

Brienne, 24, 25, 26, 368 

Brougham, Lord, 440 

Brueys, 128, 140 

Brumaire, nineteenth of, 163, 173, 183, 452 

Brunswick, Duke of, 252, 266 

Biilow, 407 

Bunbury, Sir Henry, 421 

Burgos, 316 

Burke, Edmund, 166 

Busaco, 305 

Cabanis, 161 

Cabarrus, Therese, 65, 74 

Cadiz, 225 

Cadoudal, Georges, 208, 212, 380 

Caesar, 159, 227, 432 

Caesar's Commentaries of Gaul, 26 

Caffarelli, General, 130, 134 

fa ira, 101 

Cairo, 135; outbreak in, 145 

Caldiero, Battle of, 265 

Calvinists, 190 

Cambaceres, 161, 167, 177, 180, 182 

Cambronne, 408 

Campo Formio, Treaty of, 117, 120, 124, 155 

Cannes, 384 

Canning on Napoleon, 439, 448 

Carnot, 42, 76, 95, 117, 177, 388, 416 

Carre, Major, 343 

Carrier, 50, 52 

Carteaux at Toulon, 43 

Castiglione, 108, 109 

Castlereagh, Lord, 429 



Catharine II, 116 

Caulaincourt, 210, 295, 341, 369* 386, 416 

Cautillon, 435 

Cavour, 354 , 

Ceracchi, 193 

Cervoni, 90 

Champbaubert, 370 

Champ de Mar, 390 

Charlemagne, 216, 248, 302, 308, 369 

Charleroi, 394, 409 

Charles, Archduke, 109, 112, 248; invades Bavaria, 252; 

at Wagram, 288, 289 
Charles IV of Spain abdicates, 269, 282 
Charles, Captain Hippolite, 81, 82, 259 
Charles XII, 316 
Chateaubriand, 211 
Chebreiss, 135 
Cherasco, Treaty of, 93 
" Child and Champion of Democracy," 123 
Choiseul, 18 
Cintra, 273 

Cisalpine Republic, 117, 173 
Clery, Desiree, 69 
Cobentzal, 116 
Coblentz, 353 

Cockburn, Admiral Sir George, 424 
Code, The, 178, 180 
Colli, General, 91 
Colombier, Caroline, 30 
Compeigne, 297, 298 
Concordat, 187, 188, 189 
Conde, 128 

Confederation of the Rhine, 354 
Congress of Vienna, 380, 388 
Coni, 94 
Consalvi, 188 

Constant, Benjamin, 267, 390 
Constitution of 1795, 58 
Consular Guard comes to Paris, 174 
" Cook's Voyages," 128 



Copenhagen, 265 

Corday, Charlotte, 45, 47 

Corfu, 267 

Corneille, 433 

Correggio, 104 

Corsica, 17, 18, 19 

Council of Ancients, 58, 160, 163, 164 

Council of Five Hundred, 58, 160, 163, 164 

Council of State, 179 

Courcelles, 297 

Craonne, 371 

Dagobert, 226 

Dandolo, 120 

Danican, General, 60 

Danton, 42, 52, 194 

Dantzig, 314 

Danube, 285 

Davidowich, in 

Davoust, 128, 237, 240, 246; made Duke of Auerstadt, 256; 

261, 289; named Secretary of War, 388, 393, 417 
" Day of the Black Breeches," 38 
"Day of the Sections," 60 
Decres, 388 
Dego, 97 
Denmark, 308 
Dennewitz, 359 
Desaix, 128, 172, 173, 246, 412 
De Segur, 337 
Desgenettes, 151 
Des Mazis, 30, 57 
Desnoyers, 216 
D'Herbois, Collot, 50, 52, 53 
Dieppe, 222 
Dijon, Army of, 169 
Directory, 85, 159 
D'Israeli, 33 

Djezzar the Butcher, 146, 148, 150 
Dnieper, Ney crosses the, 338 


Doppet at Toulon, 46 

Downing Street, 199 

Dresden, 313; review of troops in, 313; 346; Battle of, 


Du Barry, Madame, 276 
Dubois, 296 

Dugommier at Toulon, 47, 50 
Dumas, 20 

Dumas, General Alexander, 141 
Dumouriez, 206 
Dunkirk, 126 
Dupont, General, 273 
Duroc, 214, 244, 341 ; death of, 351 
Duteil, General, 47 


Ebrington, Lord, 185 

Eckmiihl, 283 

Egle, Madame, 63 

Egypt, 155, 450 

Eighteenth Fructidor, coup d'etat of, 116, 117 

Elba, 373, 376, 432, 450 

Elgin, Lord, 104 

Embebeh, 135 

Emerson on Napoleon, 438 

Enghien, Duke d', 209 

England, 200, 210 

Erfurt, 256; meeting at Erfurt, 279, 362 

Erlon, General Drouet d', 397, 403 

Essling, Battle of, 285 

Ettenheim, 209 

Eylau, Battle of, 260, 266 


Fauvelet, 39 

Feraud, 54 

Ferdinand, crown prince of Spain, 270 

Ferdinand, Duke, 100, 234 

30 465 


Ferdinand of Prussia, death of, 254 

Fesch, Cardinal, 213 

Feuillant, 177 

Finland, 265 

Fontainebleau, 214, 215; decree of, 306 

Fornesy, Colonel, 92 

Fouche at Toulon, 49, 52, 177, 205, 209, 388, 416 

Fourier, 127 

Fox, Charles James, 242; on Napoleon, 439 

France, 35, 155 

Francis of Austria, 237, 241 

Frankfort Proposals, 365 

Frasnes, 400 

Frederick Augustus, 349 

Frederick the Great, 27, 257, 266, 432 

Frederick William, King of Prussia, 252, 263 

French Revolution, 33, 34 

Freron at Toulon, 49 

Friedland, Battle of, 262, 263, 290, 357, 452 

Fulton, Robert, 223 

Gallican, 311 

Gallican Church, 188 

Gembloux, 411 

Geneva, 188 

Genghis, Khan, 302 

Genoa, 35, 85, 91, 168, 169 

Geoffrey, Saint Hilaire, 127 

Gerard, General, 396, 408 

Giacominetta, 23 

Gibbon, Edward, 247 

Gibraltar, 224 

" Gilded Youth," 53 

Girardin, Stanislas, 454 

Girard, 216 

Girondins, 42, 177 

Gneisenan, 399 

Goddess of Reason, 184, 189 

Godoy, Manuel, 269, 271 



Goethe, 186; at Erfurt, 281 

Gourgaud, 185, 417, 4*9 

Grand Canal, 450 

Grenier, 416 

Grenoble, 384, 35 

Gros, Groschen, 350 

Grouchy, 400, 401, 43 4O7 4, 4*5 

Guastalla, 372 

Guizot, 449 

Gulf of Mexico, 201 


Haiti, 195 

Hamelin, Madame, 74 

Hannibal, 94, 227 

Hardenburg, 348 

Hartzfeldt, Count, 259 

Haugwitz, Count, 249 

Hawkesberry, 197 

Hebert, 51, 184 

Heilsberg, 262 

Henry IV of Navarre, 299 

Hinton, 378 

Hoche, General, 42 

Hofer, 288 

Hohenlinden, 174 

Hohenlohe, 266 

Holy Alliance, 454 

Holy Roman Empire, 248, 267 

Homer, 128 

Hougomont, 404 

Hulin, 210 

"Hundred Days, The," 416 

Ibraham, 153 
Illyria, 290, 349 
Incivism, 87 
"Inconstant," the, 283 



India, 310 

Inniskilling dragoons, 405 

Ionian Isles, 197 

Ireland, 227 

Iron crown of Lombardy, 229 

Ischia, 287 

Italy, 84 

Jacobin Club, 66, 123 

Jacobins, 161 

Jamestown, 427 

Janson, Colonel de Forsin, 397 

Jena, Battle of, 255, 290, 343, 357, 452 

Jerome, painting of, 104 

Jews, 177, 187 

John, Archduke, 174 

Jolivet, Captain, 441, 442 

Joppa, 146 

Josephine, born at Martinique, 63; marries Viscount 
Beauharnais, 63; committed to prison, 64; meets Bona- 
parte, 70; her character, 74; marries Bonaparte, 76; 
goes to Milan, 114; 158, 162, 193, 202, 205; coronation, 
215, 216; 229, 292, 295 

Jouan, Gulf of, 384 

Joubert, General, 157 

Jouberthon, Madame, 244 

Joux, 196 

Junius Brutus, 107 

Junot at Toulon, 45, 53, 55 ; enters Lisbon, 268, 393 

Justinian, 179, 180 

Kalisch, 348 

Keith, Lord, 421, 423 

Kellermann, General, 90, 96 

King of Rome, birth of, 307 

Kleber, General, 42, 128, 133, 148, 154; assassination of, 




Knights of St. John, 129, 197 

Koran, 128 

Kovno, 323, 342 

Krasnoi, Napoleon makes stand at, 338 

Kray, 168 

Kremlin, 328 

Kulm, 358 

Kutusoff, General, 237, 239, 266; at Borodino, 324 

Labedoyere, Colonel, 385 

Lacretelle, 69 

La Fayette, 117, 217 

La Fere, regiment of, 30 

La Harpe, 90 

La Haye, Sainte, 407 

Landfurt, 283 

Landgrafenberg, 254 

Lannes, 99, 128, 152, 161, 237, 246; at Marengo, 274; death 

of, 286 
Laon, 270 
La Rothiere, 369 
Las Casas, 103, 418, 419, 420, 433 
Lebrun, 167 

"Le Chant du Depart," 314 
Leclerc, 166, 196; his death, 197 
Leger, 296 
Leghorn, 383 

Legion of Honor, 190, 191 
Leonardo da Vinci, 104 
Le Pere, Violette, 380 
Liberty Hall, 55 
Liege, 395, 399, 410 
Ligny, Battle of, 396 et seq. 
Ligurian Republic, 117 
Little Corporal, 405 
Little Gibraltar, 47 
Little Monk, 445 
Liverpool, 309 
Livy, 128 



Lobau, 134, 403, 407 

Lodi, bridge of, 99 

Lombardy, 100, 117, 400 

Lonato, 108 

London, nest of conspirators, 204, 309 

Long wood, 426, 431 

Louis XIV, 245, 450 

Louis XVI, 177 

Louis XVIII, 365, 379, 381, 385, 386-393, 418 

Louisa, Queen, 252, 263, 437 

Louisiana, purchase of, 201 

Liibeck, 256 

Lucca, 85 

Lugo, 291 

Luneville, Treaty of, 175 

Lutherans, 190 

Liitzen, Battle of, 350, 365 

Luxembourg, The, 128, 167 

Lycurgus, 180 

Lyons, 45, 390 

Macdonald, 264, 314 

Mack, General, 252, 266 

Madame Mere, 213, 303 

Madrid, 272, 275 

Magdeburg, 264, 314 

Mahomet, 132 

Maingaud, 420 

Maintenon, Madame de, 40 

Maison du Roi, 380 

Maitland, Captain, 418, 423 

Malmaison, 417 

Malta, capture of, 129, 130; 168; England captures, 174 

Mamelukes, 132, 135 

Mantua, 106, 108, 109, no, in et seq. 

Marabout, 131 

Marbeuf, General, 31 

Marbot, 326, 361 

Marchand, 420 



Marcus Brutus, 107 

Marengo, 171, 357, 452 

Maret, Secretary of State, 368 

Maria Louisa, 82, 312, 373 

Marie Antoinette, 299 

Marius, 42 

Marlborough, 27, 128, 267 

Marmont, 50, 55, 101, 128, 152, 161, 316, 351, 359; betrays 

Napoleon, 372; 393 
Marseillaise, 101 
Martinique, 63 
"Masked Prophet, The," 31 
Massena, 90, 98, 99, 157, 168, 169; surrender of Genoa, 


Mayence, 256, 361 
McCarthy, 183 
Mediterranean, 200 
Mehee de la Touche, 205 
Melas, 168, 171, 172, 266 

Menou, 128, 133; succeeds Kleber in Egypt, 175 
Metternich, 84, 282, 295, 301, 348; his character, 353, 364, 


Meuse, array of the, 89 
Michel Angelo, 104 
Milan, 100, 113, 114, 171, I75 45O 
Milleli, 24 
Millessimo, 91, 97 
Minsio, 186 
Miot, 150 

Mirabeau, 36; death of, 38 
Mississippi, 152 
Modena, 85 
Mondovi, 91 
Monge, 127 
Moniteur, 48, 195, 197 
Montebello, 112 
Montenotte, 91, 97 

Montesquieu's " Spirit of the Laws," 128 
Monthyon, 409 

Moreau, 42, 89, 117, 168; Hohenlinden, 174 


Moscow, 326, 327 ; burning of, 329 

Moulins, 162 

Mount Tabor, 148 

Munich, 231 

Murat, 58, 128, 152, 161, 165, 166, 210, 234, 246, 256; en- 
ters Madrid, 270; 206, 325, 343; at battle of Dresden, 
357; 362, 389; defeated at Tolentino, 389; his execution, 


Nabulione, 20 

Naples, 155, 243 

Napoleon, 15, 16; controversy over date of his birth, 20; 
leaves home for Brienne, 25 ; stops at Autun, 25 ; enters 
Brienne, 25 ; his studies, 26 ; leads sham battle at Brienne, 
27; enters school of Paris, 28; suffers from poverty, 
29; description of his appearance, 29; appointed junior 
lieutenant, 30; meets Caroline Colombier, 30; visits 
Ajaccio, 31 ; writes history of Corsica, 3j^_Jmpressed 
by events of French Revolution, 35 ; in Corsica on fur- 
lough, 36; denounces action of governor, 35; reports to 
National Assembly in Paris, 36; submits his history of 
Corsica to Paoli, 37; rejoins his regiment, 37; again 
visits Corsica, 38; deprived of his commission, 38; 
returns to Paris, 38; reduced to poverty. 38; witnesses 
^scenes in the Revolution, 39; restored to command, 40; 
escorts tlise to Corsica, 40; flees with family from 
Calvi, 41 ; renders service at Avignon, 43 ; publishes 
"Supper of Beaucaire." 43; at siege of Toulon, 46; ap- 
pointed general of brigade of the Army of Italy, 51; 
imprisoned in Fort Carre, 52; released from prison, 55 ; 
goes to Paris, 55; defends convention on I3th Ven- 
demiaire, 58; friendly with Barras, 68; addresses De- 
siree Clery and Madame Permon, 69; meets Josephine, 
76; appointed general of Army 'of Italy, 76; reaches 
Nice, 86; assumes command, 86; issues stirring address 
to the troops, 89; suppresses mutiny, 90; wins battles 
of Montenotte, Millesimo and Mondovi, 91 ; signs Treaty 
of Cherasco, 93; offends Directory, 94, 95; threatens to 
resign his command, 95; refuses to divide his command 


with Kellermann, 95; issues another strong address to 
the troops, 96; crosses the Po, 98; wins the battle of 
Lodi, 98 ; enters Milan in triumph, 101 ; issues another 
proclamation, 102; enriches Paris with art works of 
Italy, 104; forces the passage of the Mincio, 106; be- 
sieges Mantua, 106 ; wins battles of Castiglione and Lo- 
nato, 108; wins battle of Bassano, 109; suffers defeat at 
Caldiero, in; wins battle of Arcola, in; defeats Al- 
vintzy at Rivoli, in; armistice of Leoben, 112; sends 
Augereau to aid in coup d'etat of eighteenth Fructidor, 
117; signs Treaty of Campo Formio, 117; returns to 
Paris, 122; given reception by Directory, 124; contem- 
plates invasion of England, 126; sails for Egypt, 128; 
captures Malta, 129; lands at Marabout and captures 
Alexandria, 131 ; marches to Cairo, 135 ; wins battle 
of the Pyramids, 136, 137; his fleet destroyed at the 
battle of the Nile, 139 ; addresses the army, 142 ; marches 
into Syria, 146; lays siege to Acre, 147, 148; marches to 
relief of Kleber, 149; abandons the siege of Acre, 149; 
defeats the Mamelukes at Aboukir, 153; returns to 
Paris, 153; effects the coup d'etat of nineteenth Bru- 
maire, 155, 165; deposes Directory, 166; seizes the Con- 
sulate, 166, 167; takes command of army in Italy, 170, 
171; battle of Marengo, 171, 172; signs Treaty of Lune- 
ville, 175; signs Treaty of Amiens, 174; returns to 
Paris, 175; effects concordat with the Pope, 176 et seq.; 
compiles the Code, 178 et seq.; establishes Legion of 
Honor, 190 ; founds University of France, 191 ; orders 
arrest and execution of Duke d'Enghien, 211; pro- 
claimed Emperor, 213; coronation, 216, 217; threatens 
invasion of England, 220, 221 ; crowned King of Italy, 
229; alliance of Russia, Austria, England and Sweden, 
231; compels surrender of Mack at Ulm, 233, 234; wins 
battle of Austerlitz, 237, 238, 239, 240; signs Treaty of 
Pressburg, 241 ; organizes Confederation of the Rhine, 
243; makes Joseph King of Naples and Louis King of 
Holland, 243, 244; war with Prussia, 255; wins battles 
of Jena and Auerstadt, 256 ; enters Berlin in triumph, 
256; wins battle of Friedland, 262; signs Treaty of 
Tilsit, 263; invades Portugal, Junot enters Lisbon, 268; 


invades Spain, Murat enters Madrid, 269; forces abdi- 
cation of Charles IV of Spain, 271 ; induces Ferdinand 
to renounce his rights to the throne, 270; offers crown 
of Spain to Louis, 271 ; induces Joseph to ascend the 
Spanish throne, 272; takes command of the army of 
Spain, 275, 276; Austria having declared war against 
France, he takes the field, 282 ; enters Vienna, 284 ; sus- 
tains defeat at the battle of Aspern and Essling, 285, 
286; wins battle of Wagram, 288, 289; signs Treaty of 
Schonbrunn, 290; contemplates divorce, 293, 294; se- 
cures divorce from Josephine, 294; sues for the hand 
of Maria Louisa of Austria, 295 ; marries Maria Louisa, \ 
299; wages commercial war with England, 306; birth; 
of the King of Rome, 307; prepares for invasion of' 
Russia, 314, 315; invades Russia, 317; enters Moscow^, 
326, 327; orders retreat, 333; leaves army at Smorgona, 
342; wins battles of Liitzen and Bautzen, 350, 35!; 
wins battle of Dresden, 357; defeated at Leipsic, 3^9; 
retreats from Leipsic, 361/362; returns to Paris, 3^4; 
leaves Paris to take command of army, 368; suffers de- 
feat at La Rothiere, 369; victories at Champaub^rt, 
Montmirail and Vauchamps, 370; suffers defeat, at Lapn, 
371; retires to Fontainebleau, 371; abdicates, 372; de- 
parts for Elba, 373, 376; returns to France from Eljba, 
383 ; lands at Jouan, near Cannes, 384 ; marches ,- to 
Paris, 385, 386; arrives in Paris, 386, 387; leaves P^ris 
to take command of the army, 393; arrives at Bqau- 
mont, 393 ; pushes on to Charleroi, 394 ; wins victory; of 
Ligny, 396, 397; defeated at Waterloo, 404, 405; a^>di- 
cates the throne, 415 ; goes on board the " Bellerophdin," 
420; is carried to Plymouth, 421; is transferred to the 
" Northumberland," 424 ; reaches Jamestown, St. 
Helena, 426; takes up residence at Longwood, 426; his 
death, 435; his remains taken to Paris, 436; his charac- 
ter, 437 et seq. 

Neipperg, Count, 382 

Nelson, 129, 130, 139, 140, 224, 225; death of, 236 

Nemours, 214 

Ney, 223, 237, 246, 262, 305, 325 ; named Duke of Moskwa, 
326; called the "Bravest of the Brave," 329; at the bat- 


tie of Bautzen, 351; 359, 360, 385; at Quatre Bras, 399 ; 

at Waterloo, 405, 407; his execution, 418 
Nile, battle of the, 139, 140, 159 
Ninth Thermidor, 62 
Nogent, 369 

" Northumberland," the, 424 
Notre Dame, 189, 216 
Nuremberg, 250 

" CEdipe," Voltaire's, 280 

O'Harra, General, taken prisoner at Toulon, 48, 51 

Oldenburg, 311 

Old Guard at Waterloo, 408, 409 

O'Meara, 431, 433 

Oporto, 291 

Orange, Prince of, 394 

Ordener, General, 210 

Orders in Council, 257 

" Orient," the, 130, 140 

Ossian, 26, 128, 433 

Oudinot, 237, 246, 351, 393 

Pagerie, Josephine Tascher de la, see Josephine 

Palais Royal, 143 

Palm, 249 

Paoli, Pascal, 18, 19, 36 

Paris, 156, 246 

Parma, 85 

Parma, Duke, 372 

Patterson, Miss, 244 

Pa via, University of, 22 

Permon, Madame, 28; description of Napoleon by, 55, 

69, 70 

Peschiera, 106 
Petit, General, 375 
Phidias, 104 



Phull, General, 319, 320 

Pichegru, 42, 116, 206 

Picton, General, 404 

Piedmont, 85 

Pirna, 358 

Pitt, William, 123, 242 

Pius VII, 285, 300 

Placentia, 372 

Planchenoit, 407 

Plateau of Pratzen, 237 

Plauen, 357 

Plebiscite, 179 

Plessis, 210 

Plutarch, 26 

Po, 98, 106 

Poland, 258, 311 

Pompey's Pillar, 142 

Poniatowski, death of, 361 

Ponte Nuovo, Battle of, 19 

Portalis, 182 

Porte, the, declares war, 146 

Porto Ferrago, 3?8, 383 

Portugal, 35, 268, 305 

Pressburg, Treaty of, 241 

" Prince of the Peace," 269 

Protestants, 177 

Provence, Count of, 204 

Provera, in 

Prussia, 35 

Pultusk, 260 

Pyramids, Battle of the, 136 

Pyrenees, 365 

Quatre Bras, 394, 395, 396 
Quadrilateral, the, 106 
Quinotte, 416 
Quosdanowich, 108 



Ramolino, Letizia, 22 

Rampon, Colonel, 92 

Raphael, 104 

Rapp, 293 

Ratisbon, 284 

Raynal, 27, 31 

Real, 209 

Recamier, Aladame, 74 

Red Sea, 127 

Reichstadt, Duke of, 373 

Reign of Terror, 62 

Reille, General, 403, 404 

Rewbell, 67 

Reynier, 128 

Rheims, 216 

Richmond, Duchess of, 394 

Robespierre, 52, 62, 64, 184, 188 

Robespierre, Augustin, 44, 62 

Rochefort, 417 

Roederer, 27, 161 

Rohan, Charlotte de, 209 

Rolando, 286 

Roman Catholics, 177, 187 

Rome, 155, 183 ; annexed to empire, 284 

Rome, birth of king of, 307 

Rosetta stone, 144 

Rossomme, 403 

Rousseau, 27, 34, 454 

Roustan, 153 

Russia, invasion of, 317; description of its inhabitants, 

Saalfeld, 254 

Sablons, 59 

Salicetti, 70 

Salle, 363 

Sambre, Army of the, 89 



Sampiero, 18 

San Domingo, 195 

San Marino, 117 

Sardinia, 85 

Sart a Walhain, 412 

Savary, 210, 417 

Savoy, 94 

Schaffhausen, 119 

Scharnhorst, 279 

Scherer, General, 89 

Schonbrunn, 284; Treaty of, 290, 292 

Schumacher, Gaspard, 318, 336 

Scotch Grays, 404 

Scott, Sir Walter, 439 

Senatus consultum, 213 

Serurier, 90 

Sicily, 85 

Siege of Troy, 33 

Sieyes, Abbe, 156, 157, 161, 162, 165, 167 

Silesia, 264 

Smith, Sir Sidney, 148 

Smolensk, Battle of, 322, 349 

Smorgoni, 341, 345 

Soignes, forest of, 401 

Soissons, 297 

Solon, 180 

Soult, 237, 276, 291, 305 ; made chief of staff, 395 ; 412 

Spain, 35 

Sphinx, 159 

St. Amand, 396 

St. Antoine, 167 

St. Cloud, 161, 164, 166, 244, 299 

St. Cyr, 356, 393 

St. Dizier, 368 

St. Germaine, 18 

St. Helena, 427 

St. Jean d'Acre, 266, 310 

St. Jean, Mont, 401 

St. Just, 67 

St. Lambert, 414 



St. Petersburg, 322, 450 

St. Ruffe, Abbot of, 30 

Staps, 292, 293 

Stael, Madame de, on Napoleon, 438 

States General, 33, 34 

Stein, 279 

Stuart, General, 198 

Sulla, 42 

Sultan Kebir, 138 

" Supper of Beaucaire," 43 

" Supreme Being," 184 

Suvaroff, 155 

Sweden, 268 

Swiss Guards, 39 

Syria, 197 

Tacitus, 127, 143 
Talavera, 291 

Talleyrand, 156, 161, 162, 177, 202, 209, 213, 277; his char- 
acter, 278; 378 
Tallien, 52, 58, 65 
Tamerlane, 302 
Taranto, Gulf of, 180 
Tasso, 123 
Tenda, 437 
Tenth of August, 39 
Themistocles, 419 
Theophilanthropists, 187 
Thibeaudeau, 104 
Thiebault, 59, 387 
Thiers, 143 
Third Estate, 34 

Thirteenth Vendemiaire, 58, 59, 60 
Thorn, 314 
Thucydides, 127 
Thumery, 209 

Tilsit, 252; Treaty of, 263, 309 
Tippoo, Sahib, 140 
Titian, 104 



Tivoli Gardens, 143 

Tolentino, Battle of, 389 

Topino-Lebrun, 193 

Torbay, 421 

Torres, Vedras, 305 

Toulon, siege of, 45, 46; capture of, 49, 66, 128 

Toussaint L'Ouverture, 196 

Trafalgar, 195 ; Battle of, 236 

Trianon, Decree of, 306 

Tribunate, 178 

Trieste, 290 

Tronchet, 182 

Troy, Siege of, 33 

Turenne, 27, 128, 432 

Turin, 91, 230 

Turkey, 268 

Tuscany, Duchy of, 85 

Tyrol, 349 

Tyrolese, 291 


Ulm, 233, 452 

Uprising of 2Oth of May, 1795, 54 

Ushant, 421 

Usher, Captain, 378 

Vadier, 52, 53 

Valeggio, 106 

Valenza, 98 

Vandamme, 358, 359, 399, 4<>3, 441 

Vatican, 188 

Vauchamps, 370 

Vedas, 128 

Vendemiaire, thirteenth, 58, 59, 60 

Vendome Column, 385 

Venetia, 107 

Venice, 35, 85, 117; * al1 of > I2I > 349, 45 

Verona, 106 


JUL 4 - 


Vesperus, 184 

Victor Amadeus, 93, 94 

Victor Hugo, 122 

Victor, General, 191 ; at Dresden, 357 ; 398 

Vienna, 284, 288, 453 

Villeneuve, 222, 224, 226 

Vilna, 319, 342 

Vimiero, 273 

Vincennes, 210 

Violette Le Pere, 445 

Virgil, 128 

Vitepsk, 322 

Voltaire, 27, 185 

Von Voss, Countess, 263 


Wagram, Battle of, 288, 291, 452 

Walewski, Countess, 259; visits Napoleon at Elba, 382 

Walpole, 348 

Warsaw, 258; Duchy of, 264, 354 

Waterloo, Battle of, 395, 432 

Wavre, 410, 412 

Weissenfels, 363 

Wellington, 273, 291, 305, 316, 391, 395, 401; at Waterloo, 

408, 409, 419, 435 
Westphalia, 244 
Whitworth, Lord, 197, 199, 220 
Wieland at Erfurt, 281 
Wilson, Sir Robert, 337 
Wittgenstein, 350 
Wright, Captain, 208, 211 
Wiirmser, General, 80, 107, 108, 261 
Wiirtemberg, 241, 243 


Yorck, General, 348 


Zach, General, 172 

31 481