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  • Napoleon Bonaparte, Life and History of Part Eight
    was pardoned by Napoleon The cabinet noir as the department of the post office which did this work was called was in existence when Napoleon came to the Consulate and he rather restricted than increased its operations It has never been entirely given up as many an inoffensive foreigner in France can testify The theatre and press were also subjected to a strict censorship In 1800 the number of newspapers in Paris was reduced to twelve and in three years there were but eight left with a total subscription list of eighteen thousand six hundred and thirty Napoleon s contempt for journalists and editors equalled that he had for lawyers whom he called a heap of babblers and revolutionists Neither class could in his judgment be allowed to go free The salons were watched and it is certain that those whose habitues criticised Napoleon freely were reported One serious rupture resulted from the supervision of the salons that with Madame de Stael She had been an ardent admirer of Napoleon in the beginning of the Consulate and Bourrienne tells several amusing stories of the disgust Napoleon showed at the letters of admiration and sentiment which she wrote him even so far back as the Italian campaign If the secretary is to be believed Madame de Stael told Napoleon in one of these letters that they were certainly created for each other that it was an error in human institutions that the mild and tranquil Josephine was united to his fate that nature evidently had intended for a hero such as he her own soul of fire Napoleon tore the letter to pieces and he took pains thereafter to announce with great bluntness to Madame de Stael whenever he met her his own notions of women which certainly were anything but modern As the centralization of the government increased Madame de Stael and her friends criticized Napoleon more freely and sharply than they would have done no doubt had she not been incensed by his personal attitude towards her This hostility increased until in 1803 the First Consul ordered her out of France The arrival of this woman like that of a bird of omen has always been the signal for some trouble he said in giving the order It is not my intention to allow her to remain in France In 1807 this order was repeated and many of Madame de Stael s friends were included in the proscription I have written to the Minister of Police to send Madame de Stael to Geneva This woman continues her trade of intriguer She went near Paris in spite of my orders She is a veritable plague Speak seriously to the Minister for I shall be obliged to have her seized by the gendarmerie Keep an eye upon Benjamin Constant if he meddles with anything I shall send him to his wife at Brunswick I will not tolerate this clique But when one compares the policy of restriction during the Consulate with

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  • Napoleon Bonaparte, Life and History of Part Nine
    Fifty thousand men were put to work at the stupenduous excavations necessary to make the ports large enough to receive the flotilla Large numbers of troops were brought rapidly into the neighborhood fifty thousand men to Boulogne under Soult thirty thousand to Etaples under Ney thirty thousand to Ostend under Davoust reserves to Arras Amiens Saint Omer The work of preparing the flat bottomed boats or walnut shells as the English called them which were to carry over the army went on in all the ports of Holland and France as well as in interior towns situated on rivers leading to the sea The troops were taught to row each soldier being obliged to practise two hours a day so that the rivers of all the north of France were dotted with land lubbers handling the oar the most of them for the first time In the summer of 1803 Napoleon went to the north to look after the work His trip was one long ovation Le Chemin d Angleterre was the inscription the people of Amiens put on the triumphal arch erected to his honor and town vied with town in showing its joy at the proposed descent on the old time enemy Such was the interest of the people that a thousand projects were suggested to help on the invasion some of them most amusing In a learned and thoroughly serious memorial one genius proposed that while the flotilla was preparing the sailors be employed in catching dolphins which should be shut up in the ports tamed and taught to wear a harness so as to be driven in the water as horses are on land This novel power was to transport the French to the opposite side of the Channel Napoleon occupied himself not only with the preparations at Boulogne and with keeping Nelson busy elsewhere Every project which could possibly facilitate his undertaking or discomfit his enemies he considered Fulton s diving boat the Nautilus and his submarine torpedoes were at that time attracting the attention of the war departments of civilized countries Already Napoleon had granted ten thousand francs to help the inventor From the camp at Boulogne he again ordered the matter to be looked into Fulton promised him a machine which would deliver France and the whole world from British oppression I have just read the project of Citizen Fulton engineer which you have sent me much too late he wrote since it is one that may change the face of the world Be that as it may I desire that you immediately confide its examination to a commission of members chosen by you among the different classes of the Institute There it is that learned Europe would seek for judges to resolve the question under consideration A great truth a physical palpable truth is before my eyes It will be for these gentlemen to try and seize it and see it As soon as their report is made it will be sent

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  • Napoleon Bonaparte, Life and History of Part Ten
    began to expostulate You are a good woman he said to plead for him Then he rose from his chair took his wife in his arms and laid her head softly on his shoulder and with his hand still resting on the beautiful head which formed a contrast to the sad set countenance so near it he told us that Lucien had resisted all his entreaties and that he had resorted equally in vain to both threats and persuasion It is hard though he added to find in one s own family such stubborn opposition to interests of such magnitude Must I then isolate myself from every one Must I rely on myself alone Well I will suffice to myself and you Josephine you will be my comfort always A fever of etiquette seized on all the inhabitants of the imperial palace of Saint Cloud The ponderous regulations of Louis XIV were taken down from the shelves in the library and from them a code began to be compiled Madame Campan who had been First Bedchamber Woman to Marie Antoinette was summoned to interpret the solemn law and to describe costumes and customs Monsieur de Talleyrand who had been made Grand Chamberlain was an authority who was consulted on everything We all felt ourselves more or less elevated says Madame de Remusat Vanity is ingenious in its expectations and ours were unlimited Sometimes it was disenchanting for a moment to observe the almost ridiculous effect which this agitation produced upon certain classes of society Those who had nothing to do with our brand new dignities said with Montaigne Let us avenge ourselves by railing at them Jests more or less witty and puns more or less ingenious were lavished on these new made princes and somewhat disturbed our brilliant visions but the number of those who dare to censure success is small and flattery was much more common than criticism No one was more severe in matters of etiquette than Napoleon himself He studied the subject with the same attention that he did the civil code and in much the same way In concert with Monsieur de Segur he wrote De Champagny you must write me a report as to the way in which ministers and ambassadors should be received It will be well for you to enlighten me as to what was the practice at Versailles and what is done at Vienna and St Petersburg Once my regulations adopted everyone must conform to them I am master to establish what rules I like in France He had some difficulty with his old comrades in arms who were accustomed to addressing him in her the familiar second singular and calling him Bonaparte and who persisted occasionally even after he was sire in using the language of easy intimacy Lannes was even removed for some time from his place near the emperor for an indiscretion of this kind In August 1804 the new emperor visited Boulogne to receive the congratulations of his army and distribute decorations His visit was celebrated by a magnificent fete Those who know the locality of Boulogne remember north of the town an amphitheatre like plane plain in the centre of which is a hill In this plain sixty thousand men were camped On the elevation was erected a throne Hereby stood the chair of Dagobert behind it the armor of Francis I and around rose scores of blood stained bullet shot flags the trophies of Italy and Egypt Beside the emperor was the helmet of Bayard filled with the decorations to be distributed Up and down the coast were the French batteries in the port lay the flotilla to the right and left stretched the splendid army Just as the ceremonies were finished a fleet of over a thousand boats came sailing into the harbor to join those already there while out in the Channel English officers and sailors with levelled glasses watched from their vessels the splendid armament which was celebrating its approaching descent on their shores On December 1st the Senate presented the emperor the result of the vote taken among the people as to whether hereditary succession should be adopted There were two thousand five hundred and seventy nine votes against three million five hundred and seventy five thousand for a vote more nearly unanimous than that for the life consulate there being something like nine thousand against him then The next day Napoleon was crowned at Notre Dame The ceremony was prepared with the greatest care Grand Master of Ceremonies de Segur aided by the painter David drew up the plan and trained the court with great severity in the etiquette of the occasion He had the widest liberty it even being provided that if it be indispensable in order that the cortege arrive at Notre Dame with greater facility to pull down some houses it should be done By a master stroke of diplomacy Napoleon had persuaded Pope Pius VII to cross the Alps to perform for him the solemn and ancient service of coronation Of this ceremony we have no better description than that of Madame Junot Who that saw Notre Dame on that memorable day can ever forget it i I have witnessed in that venerable pile the celebration of sumptuous and solemn festivals but never did I see anything at all approximating in splendor the spectacle exhibited at Napoleon s coronation The vaulted roof re echoed the sacred chanting of the priest priests who invoked the blessing of the Almighty on the ceremony about to be celebrated while they awaited the arrival of the Vicar of Christ whose throne was prepared near the altar Along the ancient walls covered with magnificent tapestry were ranged according to their rank the different bodies of the state the deputies from every city in short the representatives of all France assembled to implore the benediction of Heaven on the sovereign of on the people s choice The waving plumes which adorned the

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  • Napoleon Bonaparte, Life and History of Part Tweleve
    poles giving him an illumination as imposing as it was novel It was a happy thought for the day was the anniversary of his coronation The emperor remained in bivouac all night At four o clock of the morning of the 2d of December he was in the saddle When the gray fog lifted he saw the enemy s divisions arranged exactly as he had divined Three corps faced his right the southwest part of the hypotenuse These corps had left a splendid position facing his centre the heights of Pratzen This advance of the enemy had left their centre weak and unprotected and had separated the body of the army from its right facing Napoleon s left The enemy was in exactly the position Napoleon wished for the attack he had planned It was eight o clock in the morning when the emperor galloped up his line proclaiming to the army that the enemy had exposed himself and crying out Close the campaign with a clap of thunder The generals rode to their positions and at once the battle opened Soult who commanded the French centre attacked the allies centre so unexpectedly that it was driven into retreat The Emperor Alexander and his headquarters were in this part of the army and though the young czar did his best to rouse his forces it was a hopeless task The Russian centre was defeated and the wings divided At the same time the allies left where the bulk of their army was massed in a marshy country of which they knew little was engaged and held in check by Davoust and their right was overcome by Lannes Murat and Bernadotte As soon as the centre and right of the allies had been driven into retreat Napoleon concentrated his forces on their left the strongest part of his enemy In a very short time the allies were driven back into the canals and lakes of the country and many men and nearly all the artillery lost Before night the routed enemy had fallen back to Austerlitz Of all Napoleon s battles Austerlitz was the one of which he was the proudest It was here that he showed best the divine side of war The familiar note in which Napoleon announced to his brother Joseph the result of the battle is a curious contrast to the oratorical bulletins which for some days flowed to Paris His letter is dated Austerlitz December 3 1805 After manoeuvring for a few days I fought a decisive battle yesterday I defeated the combined armies commanded by the Emperors of Russia and Germany Their force consisted of eighty thousand Russians and thirty thousand Austrians I have made forty thousand prisoners taken forty flags one hundred guns and all the standards of the Russian Imperial Guard Although I have bivouacked in the open air for a week my health is good This evening I am in bed in the beautiful castle of Monsieur de Kaunitz and have changed my shirt for the first time in eight days The battle of Austerlitz obliged Austria to make peace the treaty was signed at Presburg on December 26 1805 compelled Russia to retire disabled from the field transformed the haughty Prussian ultimatim which had just been presented into humble submission and changed the rejoicings of England over the magnificent naval victory of Trafalgar October 21st into despair It even killed Pitt Napoleon it enabled to make enormous strides in establishing a kingdom of the West Naples was given to Joseph the Bavarian Republic was made a kingdom for Louis and the states between the Lahn the Rhine and the Upper Danube were formed into a league called the Confederation of the Rhine and Napoleon was made Protector At the beginning of 1806 Napoleon was again in Paris He had been absent but three months Eight months of this year were spent in fruitless negotiations with England and in an irritating correspondence with Prussia The latter country had many grievances against Napoleon the sum of them all being that French politics had been the scourge of humanity for the last fifteen years and that an insatiable ambition was still the ruling passion of France By the end of September war was declared and Napoleon whose preparations had been conducted secretly it being given out that he was going to Compiegne to hunt suddenly joined his army The first week of October the Grand Army advanced from southern Germany towards the valley of the Saale This movement brought them on the flanks of the Prussians who were scattered along the upper Saale The unexpected appearance of the French army which was larger and much better organized than the Prussians caused the latter to retreat towards the Elbe The retreating army was in two divisions the first crossing the Saale to Jena the second falling back towards the Unstrut As soon as Napoleon understood these movements he despatched part of his force under Davoust and Bernadotte to cut off the retreat of the second Prussian division while he himself hurried on to Jena to force battle on the first The Prussians were encamped at the foot of a height known as the Landgrafenberg To command this height was to command the Prussian forces By a series of determined and repeated efforts Napoleon reached the position desired and by the morning of the 14th of October had his foes in his power Advancing from the Landgrafenberg in three divisions he turned the Prussian flanks at the same moment that he attacked their centre The Prussians never fought better perhaps than at Jena The movements of their cavalry awakened even Napoleon s admiration but they were surrounded and outnumbered and the army was speedily broken into pieces and driven into a retreat While Napoleon was fighting at Jena to the right at Auerstadt Davoust was engaging Brunswick and his seventy thousand men with a force of twenty seven thousand In spite of the great difference in

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  • Napoleon Bonaparte, Life and History of Part Thirteen
    German peoples What people would wish to return to the arbitrary government of Prussia when it has tasted the benefits of a wise and liberal administration The peoples of Germany France Italy Spain desire equality and demand that liberal ideas should prevail Be a constitutional king Louis in Holland was never a king to Napoleon s mind He especially disliked his quarrels with his wife In 1807 Napoleon wrote Louis apropos of his domestic relations a letter which is a good example of scores of others he sent to one and another of his kings and princes about their private affairs You govern that country too much like a Capuchin The goodness of a king should be full of majesty A king orders and asks nothing from any one When people say of a king that he is good his reign is a failure Your quarrels with the queen are known to the public You should exhibit at home that paternal and effeminate character you show in your manner of governing You treat a young wife as you would command a regiment Distrust the people by whom you are surrounded they are nobles You have the best and most virtuous of wives and you render her miserable Allow her to dance as much as she likes it is in keeping with her age I have a wife who is forty years of age from the field of battle I write to her to go to balls and you wish a young woman of twenty to live in a cloister or like a nurse to be always washing her children Render the mother of your children happy You have only one way of doing so by showing her esteem and confidence Unfortunately you have a wife who is too virtuous if you had a coquette she would lead you by the nose But you have a proud wife who is offended and grieved at the mere idea that you can have a bad opinion of her You should have had a wife like some of those whom I know in Paris She would have played you false and you would have been at her feet Napoleon With his sisters he was quite as positive While Josephine adapted herself with grace and tact to her great position the Bonaparte sisters especially Pauline were constantly irritating somebody by their vanity and jealousy The following letter to Pauline shows how little Napoleon spared them when their performances came to his ears Madame and Dear Sister I have learned with pain that you have not the good sense to conform to the manners and customs of the city of Rome that you show contempt for the inhabitants and that your eyes are unceasingly turned towards Paris Although occupied with vast affairs I nevertheless desire to make known my wishes and I hope that you will conform to them I love your husband and his family be amiable accustom yourself to the usages of Rome and

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  • Napoleon Bonaparte, Life and History of Part Fourteen
    powerful on earth to carry out a vast plan for crushing an enemy who was not their enemy It remained to be seen In the meantime there was the small part of the coast line remaining independent to be joined to the portion already blockaded to the English There was no delay in Napoleon s action Denmark was ordered to choose between war with England and war with France Portugal was notified that if her ports were not closed in forty days the French and Spanish armies would invade her England gave a drastic reply to Napoleon s measures In August she appeared before Copenhagen seized the Danish fleet and for three days bombarded the town This unjustifiable attack on a nation with which she was at peace horrified Europe and it supported the emperor in pushing to the uttermost the Berlin Decree He made no secret of his determination In a diplomatic audience at Fontainebleau October 14 1807 he declared Great Britain shall be destroyed I have the means of doing it and they shall be employed I have three hundred thousand men devoted to this object and an ally who has three hundred thousand to support them I will permit no nation to receive a minister from Great Britain until she shall have renounced her maritime usages and tyranny and I desire you gentlemen to convey this determination to your respective sovereigns Such an alarming extent did the blockade threaten to take that even our minister to France Mr Armstrong began to be nervous His diplomatic acquaintances told him cynically You are much favored but it won t last and in fact it was not long before it was evident that the United States was not to be allowed to remain neutral Napoleon s notice to Mr Armstrong was clear and decisive Since America suffers her vessels to be searched she adopts the principle that the flag does not cover the goods Since she recognizes the absurd blockades laid by England consents to having her vessels incessantly stopped sent to England and so turned aside from their course why should the Americans not suffer the blockade laid by France Certainly France is no more blockaded by England than England by France Why should Americans not equally suffer their vessels to be searched by French ships Certainly France recognizes that these measures are unjust illegal and subversive of national sovereignty but it is the duty of nations to resort to force and to declare themselves against things which dishonor them and disgrace their independence The attempt to force Portugal to close her ports caused war In all but one particular she had obeyed Napoleon s orders she had closed her ports detained all Englishmen in her borders declared war but her king refused to confiscate the property of British subjects in Portugal This evasion furnished Napoleon an excuse for refusing to believe in the sincerity of her pretensions Continue your march he wrote to Junot who had been ordered

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  • Napoleon Bonaparte, Life and History of Part Fifteen
    would abandon his position and when Lucien finally went away his face was wet with tears To Meneval who conducted him to his inn in the town he said in bidding him carry his farewell to the emperor It may be forever It was not Seven years later the brothers met again but the map of Europe was forever rolled up for Napoleon The essential point in carrying out the Tilsit plan was the fidelity of Alexander and Napoleon resolved before going into the Spanish war to meet the Emperor of Russia This was the more needful because Austria had begun to show signs of hostility The meeting took place in September 1807 at Erfurt in Saxony and lasted a month Napoleon acted as host and prepared a splendid entertainment for his guests The company he had gathered was most brilliant Beside the Russian and French emperors with ambassadors and suites were the Kings of Saxony Bavaria and Wurtemberg the Prince Primate the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Baden the Dukes of Saxony and the Princes of the Confederation of the Rhine The palaces where the emperors were entertained were furnished with articles from the Garde Meuble of France The leading actors of the Theatre Francais gave the best French tragedies to a house where there was as Napoleon had promised Talma a parterre full of kings There was a hare hunt on the battle field of Jena to which even Prince William of Prussia was invited and where the party breakfasted on the spot where Napoleon had bivouacked in 1806 the night before the battle There were balls where Alexander danced but not I wrote the emperor to Josephine forty years are forty years Goethe and Wieland were both presented to Napoleon at Erfurt and the emperor had long conversations with them In spite of these gayeties Napoleon and Alexander found time to renew their Tilsit agreement They were to make war and peace together Alexander was to uphold Napoleon in giving Joseph the throne of Spain and to keep the continent tranquil during the Peninsular war Napoleon was to support Alexander in getting possession of Finland Moldavia and Wallachia The two emperors were to write and sign a letter inviting England to join them in peace negotiations This was done promptly but when England insisted that representatives of the government which was acting in Spain in the name of Ferdinand VII should be admitted to the proposed meeting the peace negotiations abruptly ended Under the circumstances Napoleon could not recognize that government The emperor was ready to conduct the Spanish war His first move was to send into the country a large body of veterans from Germany Before this time the army had been made up of young recruits upon whom the Spanish looked with contempt The men inexperienced and demoralized by the kind of guerrilla warfare which was waged against them had become discouraged The worst feature of their case was that they did not believe

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  • Napoleon Bonaparte, Life and History of Part Sixteen
    reach the Rhine before Napoleon could collect his forces and meet her At this moment Napoleon could command about the same number of troops as the Austrians but they were scattered in all directions while the enemy s were already consolidated The question became then whether he could get his troops together before the Austrians attacked From every direction he hurried them across France and Germany towards Ratisbonne On the 12th of April he heard in Paris that the Austrians had crossed the Inn On the 17th the emperor was in his headquarters at Donauworth his army well in hand Neither in ancient or modern times says Jomini will one find anything which equals in celerity and admirable precision the opening of this campaign In the next ten days a series of combats broke the Austrian army drove the Archduke Charles with his main force north of the Danube and opened the road to Vienna to the French On the 12th of May one month from the day he left Paris Napoleon wrote from Schonbrunn We are masters of Vienna The city had been evacuated Napoleon lay on the right bank of the Danube the Austrian army under the Archduke Charles was coming towards the city by the left bank it was to be a hand to hand struggle under the walls of Vienna The emperor was uncertain of the archduke s plans but he was determined that he should not have a chance to reenforce his army The battle must be fought at once and he prepared to go across the river to attack him The place of crossing he chose was south of Vienna where the large island Lobau divides the stream Bridges had to built for the passage and it was with the greatest difficulty that the work was accomplished for the river was high and the current swift and anchors and boats were scarce Again and again the boats broke apart Nevertheless about thirty thousand of the French got over and took possession of the villages of Aspern and Essling where they were attacked on May 21st by some eighty thousand Austrians The battle which followed lasted all day and the French sustained themselves heroically That night reenforcements were gotten over so that the next day some fifty five thousand men were on the French side Napoleon fought with the greatest obstinacy hoping that another division would soon succeed in getting over and would enable him to overcome the superior numbers of the Austrians Already the battle was becoming a hand to hand fight when the terrible news came that the bridge over the Danube had gone down The Austrians had sent floating down the swollen river great mills fire boats and masses of timber fastened together in such a way as to become battering rams of frightful power when carried by the rapid stream All hope of aid was gone and as the news spread the army resigned itself to perish sword in hand The

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