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Napoleon Bonaparte by John S. C. Abbott

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Napoleon, finding his proffers of peace rejected by England with
contumely and scorn, and declined by Austria, now prepared, with
his wonted energy, to repel the assaults of the allies. As he sat
in his cabinet at the Tuileries, the thunders of their unrelenting
onset came rolling in upon his ear from all the frontiers of
France. The hostile fleets of England swept the channel, utterly
annihilating the commerce of the Republic, landing regiments
of armed emigrants upon her coast, furnishing money and munitions
of war to rouse the partisans of the Bourbons to civil conflict,
and throwing balls and shells into every unprotected town. On the
northern frontier, Marshal Kray, came thundering down, through the
black Forest, to the banks of the Rhine, with a mighty host of
150,000 men, like locust legions, to pour into all the northern
provinces of France. Artillery of the heaviest calibre and a
magnificent array of cavalry accompanied this apparently invincible
army. In Italy, Melas, another Austrian marshal, with 140,000 men,
aided by the whole force of the British navy, was rushing upon the
eastern and southern borders of the Republic. The French troops,
disheartened by defeat, had fled before their foes over the Alps,
or were eating their horses and their boots in the cities where
they were besieged. From almost every promontory on the coast of
the Republic, washed by the Channel, or the Mediterranean, the eye
could discern English frigates, black and threatening, holding all
France in a state of blockade.

One always finds a certain pleasure in doing that which he can do
well. Napoleon was fully conscious of his military genius. He had,
in behalf of bleeding humanity, implored peace in vain. He now,
with alacrity and with joy, roused himself to inflict blows that
should be felt upon his multitudinous enemies. With such tremendous
energy did he do this, that he received from his antagonists the
most complimentary sobriquet of the one hundred thousand men .
Wherever Napoleon made his appearance in the field, his presence
alone was considered equivalent to that force.

The following proclamation rang like a trumpet charge over the
hills and valleys of France. "Frenchmen! You have been anxious for
peace. Your government has desired it with still greater ardor.
Its first efforts, its most constant wishes, have been for its
attainment. The English ministry has exposed the secret of its
iniquitous policy. It wishes to dismember France, to destroy its
commerce, and either to erase it from the map of Europe, or to
degrade it to a secondary power. England is willing to embroil all
the nations of the Continent in hostility with each other, that she
may enrich herself with their spoils, and gain possession of the
trade of the world. For the attainment of this object she scatters
her gold, becomes prodigal of her promises, and multiplies her

At this call all the martial spirit of France rushed to arms.
Napoleon, supremely devoted to the welfare of the State, seemed to
forget even his own glory in the intensity of his desire to make
France victorious over her foes. With the most magnanimous superiority
to all feelings of jealousy, he raised an army of 150,000 men,
the very elite of the troops of France, the veterans of a hundred
battles, and placed them in the hands of Moreau, the only man in
France who could be called his rival. Napoleon also presented to
Moreau the plan of a campaign in accordance with his own energy,
boldness, and genius. Its accomplishment would have added surpassing
brilliance to the reputation of Moreau. But the cautious general
was afraid to adopt it, and presented another, perhaps as safe, but
one which would produce no dazzling impression upon the imaginations
of men. "Your plan," said one, a friend of Moreau, to the First
Consul, "is grander, more decisive, even more sure. But it is not
adapted to the slow and cautious genius of the man who is to execute
it. You have your method of making war, which is superior to all
others. Moreau has his own, inferior certainly, but still excellent.
Leave him to himself. If you impose your ideas upon him, you will
wound his self-love, and disconcert him."

Napoleon, profoundly versed in the knowledge of the human heart,
promptly replied. "You are right, Moreau is not capable of grasping
the plan which I have conceived. Let him follow his own course. The
plan which he does not understand and dare not execute, I myself
will carry out, on another part of the theatre of war. What he fears
to attempt on the Rhine, I will accomplish on the Alps. The day may
come when he will regret the glory which he yields to me." These
were proud and prophetic words. Moreau, was moderately victorious
upon the Rhine, driving back the invaders. The sun of Napoleon soon
rose, over the field of Marengo, in a blaze of effulgence, which
paled Moreau's twinkling star into utter obscurity. But we know
not where, upon the page of history, to find an act of more lofty
generosity than this surrender of the noblest army of the Republic
to one, who considered himself, and who was deemed by others,
a rival--and thus to throw open to him the theatre of war where
apparently the richest laurels were to be won. And he know where
to look for a deed more proudly expressive of self-confidence.
"I will give Moreau," said he by this act, "one hundred and fifty
thousand of the most brave and disciplined soldiers of France, the
victors of a hundred battles. I myself will take sixty thousand
men, new recruits and the fragments of regiments which remain, and
with them I will march to encounter an equally powerful enemy on
a more difficult field of warfare."

Marshal Melas had spread his vast host of one hundred and forty
thousand Austrians through all the strongholds of Italy, and was
pressing, with tremendous energy and self-confidence upon the frontiers
of France. Napoleon, instead of marching with his inexperienced
troops, two-thirds of whom had never seen a shot fired in earnest,
to meet the heads of the triumphant columns of Melas, resolved
to climb the rugged and apparently inaccessible fastnesses of the
Alps, and, descending from the clouds over path-less precipices,
to fall with the sweep of the avalanche, upon their rear. It was
necessary to assemble this army at some favorable point;--to gather
in vast magazines its munitions of war. It was necessary that
this should be done in secret, lest the Austrians, climbing to the
summits of the Alps, and defending the gorges through which the
troops of Napoleon would be compelled to wind their difficult and
tortuous way, might render the passage utterly impossible. English
and Austrian spies were prompt to communicate to the hostile powers
every movement of the First Consul. Napoleon fixed upon Dijon and
its vicinity as the rendezvous of his troops. He, however, adroitly
and completely deceived his foes by ostentatiously announcing the
very plan he intended to carry into operation.

Of course, the allies thought that this was a foolish attempt
to draw their attention from the real point of attack. The more
they ridiculed the imaginary army at Dijon, the more loudly did
Napoleon reiterate his commands for battalions and magazines to be
collected there. The spies who visited Dijon, reported that but a
few regiments were assembled in that place, and that the announcement
was clearly a very weak pretense to deceive. The print shops of
London and Vienna were filled with caricatures of the army of the
First Consul of Dijon. The English especially made themselves very
merry with Napolcon's grand army to scale the Alps. It was believed
that the energies the Republic were utterly exhausted in raising the
force which was given to Moreau. One of the caricatures represented
the army as consisting of a boy, dressed in his father's clothes,
shouldering a musket, which he could with difficulty lift, and
eating a piece of gingerbread, and an old man with one arm and a
wooden leg. The artillery consisted of a rusty blunderbuss. This
derision was just what Napoleon desired. Though dwelling in the
shadow of that mysterious melancholy, which ever enveloped his
spirit, he must have enjoyed in the deep recesses of his soul, the
majestic movements of his plans.

On the eastern frontiers of France there surge up, from luxuriant
meadows and vine-clad fields and hill sides, the majestic ranges of
the Alps, piercing the clouds and soaring with glittering pinnacles,
into the region of perpetual ice and snow. Vast spurs of the mountains
extend on each side, opening gloomy gorges and frightful detiles,
through which foaming torrents rush impetuously, walled in by
almost precipitous cliffs, whose summits, crowned with melancholy
firs, are inaccessible to the foot of man. The principal pass over
this enormous ridge was that of the Great St. Bernard. The traveler,
accompanied by a guide, and mounted on a mule, slowly and painfully
ascended a steep and rugged path, now crossing a narrow bridge,
spanning a fathomless abyss, again creeping along the edge of a
precipice, where the eagle soared and screamed over the fir tops
in the abyss below, and where a perpendicular wall rose to giddy
heights in the clouds above. The path at times was so narrow,
that it seemed that the mountain goat could with difficulty find a
foothold for its slender hoof. A false step, or a slip upon the icy
rocks would precipitate the traveler, a mangled corpse, a thousand
feet upon the fragments of granite in the gulf beneath. As higher
and higher he climbed these wild and rugged and cloud-enveloped
paths, borne by the unerring instinct of the faithful mule, his
steps were often arrested by the roar of the avalanche and he gazed
appalled upon its resistless rush, as rocks, and trees, and earth,
and snow, and ice, swept by him with awful and resistless desolation,
far down into the dimly discerned torrents which rushed beneath
his feet. At God's bidding the avalanche fell. No precaution could
save the traveler who was in its path. He was instantly borne to
destruction, and buried where no voice but the archangel's trump
could ever reach his ear. Terrific storms of wind and snow often
swept through those bleak altitudes, blinding and smothering the
traveler. Hundreds of bodies, like pillars of ice, embalmed in
snow, are now sepulchred in those drifts, there to sleep till the
fires of the last conflagration shall have consumed their winding
sheet. Having toiled two days through such scenes of desolation
and peril, the adventurous traveler stands upon the summit of the
pass, eight thousand feet above the level of the sea, two thousand
feet higher than the crest of Mount Washington, our own mountain
monarch. This summit, over which the path winds, consists of a
small level plain, surrounded by mountains of snow of still higher

The scene here presented is inexpressibly gloomy and appailing.
Nature in these wild regions assumes her most severe and sombre
aspect. As one emerges from the precipitous and craggy ascent,
upon this Valley of Desolation, as it is emphatically called, the
Convent of St. Bernard presents itself to the view. This cheerless
abode, the highest spot of inhabited ground in Europe, has been
tenanted, for more than a thousand years, by a succession of joyless
and self-denying monks, who, in that frigid retreat of granite and
ice, endeavor to serve their Maker, by rescuing bewildered travelers
from the destruction with which they are ever threatened to be
overwhelmed by the storms, which battle against them. In the middle
of this ice-bound valley, lies a lake, clear, dark, and cold, whose
depths, even in mid-summer, reflect the eternal glaciers which soar
sublimely around. The descent to the plains of Italy is even more
precipitous and dangerous than the ascent from the green pastures
of France. No vegetation adorns these dismal and storm-swept cliffs
of granite and of ice. Even the pinion of the eagle fails in its
rarified air, and the chamois ventures not to climb its steep and
slippery crags. No human beings are ever to be seen on these bleak
summits, except the few shivering travelers, who tarry for an hour
to receive the hospitality of the convent, and the hooded monks,
wrapped in thick and coarse garments, which their staves and their
dogs, groping through the storms of sleet and snow. Even the wood
which burns with frugal faintness on the hearths, is borne, in
painful burdens, up the mountain sides, upon the shoulders of the

Such was the barrier which Napoleon intended to surmount, that
he might fall upon the rear of the Austrians, who were battering
down the walls of Genoa, where Massena was besieged, and who were
thundering, flushed with victory, at the very gates of Nice. Over
this wild mountain pass, where the mule could with difficulty
tread, and where no wheel had ever rolled, or by any possibility
could roll, Napoleon contemplated transporting an army of sixty
thousand men, with ponderous artillery and tons of cannon balls,
and baggage, and all the bulky munitions of war. England and Austria
laughed the idea to scorn. The achievement of such an enterprise
was apparently impossible. Napoleon, however was as skillful in
the arrangement of the minutest details, as in the conception of
the grandest combinations. Though he resolved to take the mass of
his army, forty thousand strong, across the pass of the Great St.
Bernard, yet to distract the attention of the Austrians, he arranged
also to send small divisions across the passes of Saint Gothard,
Little St. Bernard, and Mount Cenis. He would thus accumulate
suddenly, and to the utter amazement of the enemy, a body of sixty-five
thousand men upon the plain of Italy. This force, descending, like
an apparition from the clouds, in the rear of the Austrian army,
headed by Napoleon, and cutting off all communication with Austria,
might indeed strike a panic into the hearts of the assailants of

The troops were collected in various places in the vicinity
of Dijon, ready at a moment's warning to assemble at the point of
rendezvous, and with a rush to enter the defile. Immense magazines
of wheat, biscuit, and oats had been noiselessly collected in
different places. Large sums of specie had been forwarded, to hire
the services of every peasant, with his mule, who inhabited the
valleys among the mountains. Mechanic shops, as by magic, suddenly
rose along the path, well supplied with skillful artisans, to repair
all damages, to dismount the artillery, to divide the gun-carriages
and the baggage-wagons into fragments, that they might be transported,
on the backs of men and mules, over the steep and rugged way. For
the ammunition a vast number of small boxes were prepared, which
could easily be packed upon the mules. A second company of mechanics,
with camp forges, had been provided to cross the mountain with the
first division, and rear their shops upon the plain on the other
side, to mend the broken harness, to reconstruct the carriages,
and remount the pieces. On each side of the mountain a hospital
was established and supplied with every comfort for the sick and
the wounded. The foresight of Napoleon extended even to sending,
at the very last moment, to the convent upon the summit, an immense
quantity of bread, cheese, and wine. Each soldier, to his surprise,
was to find, as he arrived at the summit, exhausted with Herculean
toil, a generous slice of bread and cheese with a refreshing cup
of wine, presented to him by the monks. All these minute details
Napoleon arranged, while at the same time he was doing the work
of a dozen energetic men, in reorganizing the whole structure of
society in France. If toil pays for greatness, Napoleon purchased
the renown which he attained. And yet his body and his mind were
so constituted that this sleepless activity was to him a pleasure.

The appointed hour at last arrived. On the 7th of May, 1800,
Napoleon entered his carriage at the Tuileries, saying, "Good-by,
my dear Josephine! I must go to Italy. I shall not forget you, and
I will not be absent long." At a word, the whole majestic array
was in motion. Like a meteor he swept over France. He arrived at
the foot of the mountains. The troops and all the paraphernalia of
war were on the spot at the designated hour. Napoleon immediately
appointed a very careful inspection. Every foot soldier and every
horseman passed before his scrutinizing eye. If a shoe was ragged,
or a jacket torn, or a musket injured, the defect was immediately
repaired. His glowing words inspired the troops with the ardor
which was burning in his own bosom. The genius of the First Consul
was infused into the mighty host. Each man exerted himself to the
utmost. The eye of their chief was every where, and his cheering
voice roused the army to almost super-human exertions. Two skillful
engineers had been sent to explore the path, and to do what could
be done in the removal of obstructions. They returned with an
appalling recitasl of the apparently insurmountable difficulties
of the way. "Is it possible ," inquired Napoleon, "to cross the
pass?" "Perhaps," was the hesitating reply, "it is within the limits
of possibility ." "Forward, then," was the energetic response.
Each man was required to carry, besides his arms, food for several
days and a large quantity of cartridges. As the sinuosities of
the precipitous path could only be trod in single file, the heavy
wheels were taken from the carriages, and each, slung upon a pole,
was borne by two men. The task for the foot soldiers was far less
than for the horsemen. The latter clambered up on foot, dragging
their horses after them. The descent was very dangerous. The
dragoon, in the steep and narrow path, was compelled to walk before
his horse. At the least stumble he was exposed to being plunged
headlong into the abysses yawning before him. In this way many
horses and several riders perished. To transport the heavy cannon
and howitzers pine logs were split in the centre, the parts hollowed
out, and the guns sunks into grooves. A long string of mules, in
single file, were attached to the ponderous machines of war, to
drag them up the slippery ascent. The mules soon began to fail, and
then the men, with hearty good-will, brought their own shoulders into
the harness--a hundred men to a single gun. Napoleon offered the
peasants two hundred dollars for the transporation of a twelve-pounder
over the pass. The love of gain was not strong enough to lure them
to such tremendous exertions. But Napoleon's fascination over the
hearts of his soldiers was a more powerful impulse. With shouts
of encouragement they toiled at the cables, successive bands of
a hundred men relieving each other every half hour. High on those
craggy steeps, gleaming through the midst, the glittering bands of
armed men, like phantoms appeared. The eagle wheeled and screamed
beneath their feet. The mountain goat, affrighted by the unwonted
spectacle, bounded away, and paused in bold relief upon the cliff
to gaze upon the martial array which so suddenly had peopled the

When they approached any spot of very especial difficulty the trumpets
sounded the charge, which re-echoed, with sublime reverberations,
from pinnacle to pinnacle of rock and ice. Animated by these bugle
notes the soldiers strained every nerve as if rushing upon the
foe. Napoleon offered to these bands the same reward which he had
promised to the peasants. But to a man, they refused the gold.
They had imbibed the spirit of their chief, his enthusiasm, and
his proud superiority to all mercenary motives. "We are not toiling
for money," said they, "but for your approval, and to share your

Napoleon with his wonderful tact had introduced a slight change
into the artillery service, which was productive of immense moral
results. The gun carriages had heretofore been driven by mere
wagoners, who, being considered not as soldiers, but as servants,
and sharing not in the glory of victory, were uninfluenced by any
sentiment of honor. At the first approach of danger, they were
ready to cut their traces and gallop from the field, leaving their
cannon in the hands of the enemy. Napoleon said, "The cannoneer
who brings his piece into action, performs as valuable a service as
the cannoneer who works it. He runs the same danger, and requires
the same moral stimulus, which is the sense of honor." He therefore
converted the artillery drivers into soldiers, and clothed them in
the uniform of their respective regiments. They constituted twelve
thousand horsemen who were animated with as much pride in carrying
their pieces into action, and in bringing them off with rapidity and
safety, as the gunners felt in loading, directing, and discharging
them. It was now the great glory of these men to take care of their
guns. They loved, tenderly, the merciless monsters. They lavished
caresses and terms of endearment upon the glittering, polished,
death-dealing brass. The heart of man is a strange enigma. Even
when most degraded it needs something to love. These blood-stained
soldiers, brutalized by vice, amidst all the honors of battle,
lovingly fondled the murderous machines of war, responding to the
appeal "call me pet names, dearest." The unrelenting gun was the
stern cannoneer's lady love. He kissed it with unwashed, mustached
lip. In rude and rough devotion he was ready to die rather than
abandon the only object of his idolatrous homage. Consistently he
baptized the life-devouring monster with blood. Affectionately he
named it Mary, Emma, Lizzie. In crossing he Alps, dark night came
on as some cannoneers were floundering through drifts of snow,
toiling at their gun. They would not leave the gun alone in the
cold storm to seek for themselves a dry bivouac; but, like brothers
guarding a sister, they threw themselves, for the night, upon the
bleak and frozen snow, by its side. It was the genius of Napoleon
which thus penetrated these mysterious depths of the human soul,
and called to his aid those mighty energies. "It is nothing but
imagination," said one once to Napoleon. "Nothing but imagination!"
he rejoined. "Imagination rules the world."

When they arrived at the summit each soldier found, to his surprise
and joy, the abundant comforts which Napoleon's kind care had
provided. One would have anticipated there a scene of terrible
confusion. To feed an army of forty thousand hungry men is not a
light undertaking. Yet every thing was so carefully arranged, and
the influence of Napoleon so boundless, that not a soldier left
the ranks. Each man received his slice of bread and cheese, and
quaffed his cup of wine, and passed on. It was a point of honor
for no one to stop. Whatever obstructions were in the way were to
be at all hazards surmounted, that the long file, extending nearly
twenty miles, might not be thrown into confusion. The descent was
more perilous than the ascent. But fortune seemed to smile. The
sky was clear, the weather delightful, and in four days the whole
army was reassembled on the plains of Italy.

Napoleon had sent Bertlier forward to receive the division, and to
superintend all necessary repairs, while he himself remained to
press forward the mighty host. He was the last man to cross the
mountains. Seated upon a mule, with a young peasant for his guide,
slowly and thoughtfully he ascended those silent solitudes. He was
dressed in the gray great coat which he always wore. Art pictured
him bounding up the cliff, proudly mounted on a prancing charger.
But truth presents him in an attitude more simple and more sublime. Even
the young peasant who acted as his guide was entirely unconscious
of the distinguished rank of the plain traveler whose steps he
was conducting. Much of the way Napoleon was silent, abstracted in
thoughts. And yet he found time for human sympathy. He drew from
his young and artless guide the secrets of his heart. The young
peasant was sincere and virtuous. He loved a fair maid among the
mountains. She loved him. It was his heart's great desire to have
her for his own. He was poor and had neither house nor land to
support a family. Napoleon struggling with all his energies against
combined England and Austria, and with all the cares of an army,
on the march to meet one hundred and twenty thousand foes, crowding
his mind, with pensive sympathy won the confidence of his companion
and elicited this artless recital of love and desire. As Napoleon
dismissed his guide, with an ample reward, he drew from his pocket
a pencil and upon a loose piece of paper wrote a few lines, which he
requested the young man to give, on his return, to the Administrator
of the Army, upon the other side. When the guide returned, and presented
the note, he found, to his unbounded surprise and delight, that he
had conducted Napoleon over the mountains; and that Napoleon had
given him a field and a house. He was thus enabled to be married,
and to realize all the dreams of his modest ambition. Generous
impulses must have been instinctive in a heart, which in an hour
so fraught with mighty events, could turn from the toils of empire
and of war, to find refreshment in sympathizing with a peasant's
love. This young man but recently died, having passed his quiet
life in the enjoyment of the field and the cottage which had been
given him by the ruler of the world.

The army now pressed forward, with great alacrity, along the banks
of the Aosta. They were threading a beautiful valley, rich in verdure
and blooming beneath the sun of early spring. Cottages, vineyards,
and orchards, in full bloom, embellished their path, while upon
each side of them rose, in majestic swell, the fir-clad sides of the
mountains. The Austrians pressing against the frontiers of France,
had no conception of the storm which had so suddenly gathered,
and which was, with resistless sweep, approaching their rear. The
French soldiers, elated with the Herculean achievement they had
accomplished, and full of confidence in their leader, pressed gayly
on. But the valley before them began to grow more and more narrow.
The mountains, on either side, rose more precipitous and craggy.
The Aosta, crowded into a narrow channel, rushed foaming over the
rocks, leaving barely room for a road along the side of the mountain.
Suddenly the march of the whole army was arrested by a fort, built
upon an inaccessible rock, which rose pyramidally from the bed of
the stream. Bristling cannon, skillfully arranged on well-constructed
bastions, swept the pass, and rendered further advance apparently
impossible. Rapidly the tidings of this unexpected obstruction
spread from the van to the rear. Napoleon immediately hastened
to the front ranks. Climbing the mountain opposite the fort, by a
goat path, he threw himself down upon the ground, when a few bushes
concealed his person from the shot of the enemy, and with his
telescope long and carefully examined the fort and the surrounding
crags. He perceived one elevated spot, far above the fort, where a
cannon might by possibility be drawn. From that position its shot
could be plunged upon the unprotected bastions below. Upon the
face of the opposite cliff, far beyond the reach of cannon-balls,
he discerned a narrow shelf in the rock by which he thought it
possible that a man could pass. The march was immediately commenced,
in single file, along this giddy ridge. .......... And even the
horses, insured to the terrors of the Great St. Bernard, were led
by their riders upon the narrow path, which a horse's hoof had never
trod before, and probably will never tread again. The Austrians,
in the fort, had the mortification of seeing thirty-five thousand
soldiers, with numerous horses, defile along this airy line, as
if adhering to the side of the rock. But neither bullet nor ball
could harm them.

Napoleon ascended this mountain ridge, and upon its summit, quite
exhausted with days and nights of sleeplessness and toil, laid
himself down, in the shadow of the rock, and fell asleep. The long
line filed carefully and silently by, each soldier hushing his
comrade, that the repose of their beloved chieftain might not be
disturbed. It was an interesting spectacle, to witness the tender
affection, beaming from the countenances of these bronzed and war-worn
veterans, as every foot trod softly, and each eye, in passing, was
riveted upon the slender form, and upon the pale and wasted cheek
of the sleeping Napoleon.

The artillery could by no possibility be thus transported; and an
army without artillery is a soldier without weapons. The Austrian
commander wrote to Melas, that he had seen an army of thirty-five
thousand men and four thousand horse creeping by the fort, along
the face of Mount Albaredo. He assured the commander-in-chief,
however, that not one single piece of artillery had passed or could
pass beneath the guns of his fortress. When he was writing this
letter, already had one half of the cannon and ammunition of the army
been conveyed by the fort, and were safely and rapidly proceeding
on their way down the valley. In the darkness of the night trusty
men, with great caution and silence, strewed hay and straw upon the
road. The wheels of the lumbering carriages were carefully bound
with cloths and wisps of straw, and, with axles well oiled, were
drawn by the hands of these picked men, beneath the very walls of
the fortress, and within half pistol-shot of its guns. In two nights
the artillery and the baggage-trains were thus passed along, and
in a few days the fort itself was compelled to surrender.

Melas, the Austrian commander, now awoke in consternation to a sense
of his peril. Napoleon--the dreaded Napoleon--had, as by a miracle,
crossed the Alps. He had cut off all his supplies, and was shutting
the Austrians up from any possibility of retreat. Bewildered by the
magnitude of his peril, he no longer thought of forcing his march
upon Paris. The invasion of France was abandoned. His whole energies
were directed to opening for himself a passage back to Austria.
The most cruel perplexities agitated him. From the very pinnacle
of victory, he was in danger of descending to the deepest abyss of
defeat. It was also with Napoleon an hour of intense solicitude. He
had but sixty thousand men, two-thirds of whom were new soldiers,
who had never seen a shot fired in earnest, with whom he was
to arrest the march of a desperate army of one hundred and twenty
thousand veterans, abundantly provided with all the most efficient
machinery of war. There were many paths by which Melas might escape,
at leagues' distance from each other. It was necessary for Napoleon
to divide his little band that he might guard them all. He was
liable at any moment to have a division of his army attacked by
an overwhelming force, and cut to pieces before it could receive
any reinforcements. He ate not, he slept not, he rested not. Day
and night, and night and day, he was on horseback, pale, pensive,
apparently in feeble health, and interesting every beholder with
his grave and melancholy beauty. His scouts were out in every
direction. He studied all the possible movements and combinations
of his foes. Rapidly he overran Lombardy, and entered Milan in
triumph. Melas anxiously concentrated his forces, to break through
the net with which he was entangled. He did every thing in his
power to deceive Napoleon, by various feints, that the point of his
contemplated attack might not be known. Napoleon, in the following
clarion tones, appealed to the enthusiasm of his troops:

"Soldiers! when we began our march, one department of France was
in the hands of the enemy. Consternation pervaded the south of the
Republic. You advanced. Already the French territory is delivered.
Joy and hope in our country have succeeded to consternation and
fear. The enemy, terror-struck, seeks only to regain his frontiers.
You have taken his hospitals, his magazines, his reserve parks.
The first act of the campaign is finished. Millions of men address
you in strains of praise. But shall we allow our audacious enemies
to violate with impunity the territory of the Republic? Will
you permit the army to escape which has carried terror into your
families? You will not. March, then, to meet him. Tear from his
brows the laurels he has won. Teach the world that a malediction
attends those who violate the territory of the Great People. The
result of our efforts will be unclouded glory, and a durable peace!"

The very day Napoleon left Paris, Desaix arrived in France from
Egypt. Frank, sincere, upright, and punctiliously honorable, he was
one of the few whom Napoleon truly loved. Desaix regarded Napoleon
as infinitely his superior, and looked up to him with a species
of adoration; he loved him with a fervor of feeling which amounted
almost to a passion. Napoleon, touched, by the affection of a heart
so noble, requited it with the most confiding friendship. Desaix,
upon his arrival in Paris, found letters for him there from the
First Consul. As he read the confidential lines, he was struck with
the melancholy air with which they were pervaded. "Alas!" said he,
"Napoleon has gained every thing, and yet he is unhappy. I must
hasten to meet him." Without delay he crossed the Alps, and arrived
at the head-quarters of Napoleon but a few days before the battle
of Marengo. They passed the whole night together, talking over the
events of Egypt and the prospects of France. Napoleon felt greatly
strengthened by the arrival of his noble friend, and immediately
assigned to him the command of a division of the army. "Desaix,"
said he, "is my sheet anchor."

"You have had a long interview with Desaix," said Bourrienne to
Napoleon the next morning. "Yes!" he replied; "but I had my reasons.
As soon as I return to Paris I shall make him Minister of War. He
shall always be my lieutenant. I would make him a prince if I could.
He is of the heroic mould of antiquity!"

Napoleon was fully aware that a decisive battle would soon take
place. Melas was rapidly, from all points, concentrating his army.
The following laconic and characteristic order was issued by the
First Consul to Lannes and Murat: "Gather your forces at the river
Stradella. On the 8th or 9th at the latest, you will have on your
hands fifteen or eighteen thousand Austrians. Meet them, and cut
them to pieces. It will be so many enemies less upon our hands on
the day of the decisive battle we are to expect with the entire army
of Melas." The prediction was true. An Austrian force advanced,
eighteen thousand strong. Lannes met them upon the field of
Montebello. They were strongly posted, with batteries ranged upon
the hill sides, which swept the whole plain. It was of the utmost
moment that this body should be prevented from combining with the
other vast forces of the Austrians. Lannes had but eight thousand
men. Could he sustain the unequal conflict for a few hours, Victor,
who was some miles in the rear, could come up with a reserve
of four thousand men. The French soldiers, fully conscious of the
odds against which they were to contend, and of the carnage into
the midst of which they were plunging, with shouts of enthusiasm
rushed upon their foes. Instantaneously a storm of grape-shot from
all the batteries swept through his ranks. Said Lannes, " I could
hear the bones crash in my division, like glass in a hail-storm
." For nine long hours, from eleven in the morning till eight at
night, the horrid carnage continued. Again and again the mangled,
bleeding, wasted columns were rallied to the charge. At last, when
three thousand Frenchmen were strewn dead upon the ground, the
Austrians broke and fled, leaving also three thousand mutilated
corpses and six thousand prisoners behind them. Napoleon, hastening
to the aid of his lieutenant, arrived upon the field just in time
to see the battle won. He rode up to Lannes. The intrepid soldier
stood in the midst of mounds of the dead--his sword dripping with
blood in his exhausted hand--his face blackened with powder and
smoke--and his uniform soiled and tattered by the long and terrific
strife. Napoleon silently, but proudly smiled upon the heroic
general, and forgot not his reward. From this battle Lannes received
the title of Duke of Montebello, a title by which his family is
distinguished to the present day.

This was the opening of the campaign. It inspired the French with
enthusiasm. It nerved the Austrians to despair. Melas now determined
to make a desperate effort to break through the toils. Napoleon,
with intense solicitude, was watching every movement of his foe,
knowing not upon what point the onset would fall. Before day-break
in the morning of the 14th of June, Melas, having accumulated forty
thousand men, including seven thousand cavalry and two hundred pieces
of cannon, made an impetuous assault upon the French, but twenty
thousand in number drawn up upon the plain of Marengo. Desaix,
with a reserve of six thousand men, was at such a distance, nearly
thirty miles from Marengo, that he could not possibly be recalled
before the close of the day. The danger was frightful that the
French would be entirely cut to pieces, before any succor could
arrive. But the quick ear of Desaix caught the sound of the heavy
cannonade as it came booming over the plain, like distant thunder.
He sprung from his couch and listened. The heavy and uninterrupted
roar, proclaimed a pitched battle, and he was alarmed for his
beloved chief. Immediately he roused his troops, and they started
upon the rush to succor their comrades. Napoleon dispatched courier
after courier to hurry the division along, while his troops stood
firm through terrific hours, as their ranks were plowed by the
murderous discharges of their foes. At last the destruction was too
awful for mortal men to endure. Many divisions of the army broke
and fled, crying " All is lost--save himself who can ." A scene of
frightful disorder ensued. The whole plain was covered with fugitive,
swept like an inundation before the multitudinous Austrians.
Napoleon still held a few squares together, who slowly and sullenly
retreated, while two hundred pieces of artillery, closely pressing
them, poured incessant death into their ranks. Every foot of ground
was left encumbered with the dead. It was now three o'clock in
the afternoon. Melas, exhausted with toil, and assured that he had
gained a complete victory, left Gen. Zach to finish the work. He
retired to his head quarters, and immediately dispatched couriers
all over Europe to announce the great victory of Marengo. Said an
Austrian veteran, who had before encountered Napoleon at Arcola
and Rivoli, "Melas is too sanguine. Depend upon it our day's work
is not yet done. Napoleon will yet be upon us with his reserve."

Just then the anxious eye of the First Consulespied the solid columns
of Desaix entering the plain. Desaix, plunging his spurs into his
horse, outstripped all the rest, and galloped into the presence of
Napoleon. As he cast a glance over the wild confusion and devastation
of the field, the exclaimed hurriedly, "I see that the battle
is lost. I suppose I can do no more for you than to secure your
retreat." "By no means," Napoleon replied with apparently as much
composure as if he had been sitting by his own fireside, "the battle,
I trust, is gained. Charge with your column. The disordered troops
will rally in your rear." Like a rock, Desaix, with his solid
phalanx of ten thousand men, met the on-rolling billow of Austrian
victory. At the same time Napoleon dispatched an order to Kellerman,
with his cavalry, to charge the triumphant column of the Austrians
in flank. It was the work of a moment, and the whole aspect of the
field was changed. Napoleon rode along the lines of those on the
retreat, exclaiming, "My friends, we have retreated far enough.
It is now our turn to advance. Recollect that I am in the habit
of sleeping on the field of battle." The fugitives, reanimated by
the arrival of the reserve, immediately rallied in their rear. The
double charge in front and flank was instantly made. The Austrians
were checked and staggered. A perfect tornado of bullets from Desaix's
division swept their ranks. They poured an answering volley into
the bosoms of the French. A bullet pierced the breast of Desaix,
and he fell and almost immediately expired. His last words were,
"Tell the First Consul that my only regret in dying is, to have
perished before having done enough to live in the recollection of
posterity." The soldiers, who devotedly loved him, saw his fall,
and rushed more madly on to avenge his death. The swollen tide of
uproar, confusion, and dismay now turned, and rolled in surging
billows in the opposite direction. Hardly one moment elapsed before
the Austrians, flushed with victory, found themselves overwhelmed
by defeat. In the midst of this terrific scene, an aid rode up to
Napoleon and said, "Desaix is dead." But a moment before they were
conversing side by side. Napoleon pressed his forehead convulsively
with his hand, and exclaimed, mournfully, "Why is it not permitted
me to weep! Victory at such a price is dear."

The French now made the welkin ring with shouts of victory.
Indescribable dismay filled the Austrian ranks as wildly they
rushed before their unrelenting pursuers. Their rout was utter and
hopeless. When the sun went down over this field of blood, after
twelve hours of the most frightful carnage, a scene was presented
horrid enough to appall the heart of a demon. More than twenty thousand
human bodies were strewn upon the ground, the dying and the dead,
weltering in gore, and in every conceivable form of disfiguration.
Horses, with limbs torn their bodies, were struggling in convulsive
agonies. Fragments of guns and swords, and of military wagons
of every kind were strewed around in wild ruin. Frequent piercing
cries, which agony extorted from the lacerated victims of war,
rose above the general moanings of anguish, which, like wailings
of the storm, fell heavily upon the ear. The shades of night were
now descending upon this awful scene of misery. The multitude of
the wounded was so great, that notwithstanding the utmost exertions
of the surgeons, hour after hour of the long night lingered away,
while thousands of the wounded and the dying bit the dust in their

If war has its chivalry and its pageantry, it has also revolting
hideousness and demoniac woe. The young, the noble, the sanguine
were writhing there in agony. Bullets respect not beauty. They tear
out the eye, and shatter the jaw, and rend the cheek, and transform
the human face divine into an aspect upon which one can not gaze
but with horror. From the field of Marengo many a young man returned
to his home so multilated as no longer to be recognized by friends,
and passed a weary life in repulsive deformity. Mercy abandons the
arena of battle. The frantic war-horse with iron hoof tramples upon
the mangled face, the throbbing and inflamed wounds the splintered
bones, and heeds not the shriek of torture. Crushed into the bloody
mire by the ponderous wheels of heavy artillery, the victim of
barbaric war thinks of mother, and father, and sister, and home,
and shrieks, and moans, and dies; his body is stripped by the
vagabonds who follow the camp; his naked mangled corpse is covered
with a few shovels-full of earth, and left as food for vultures and
for dogs and he is forgotten forever--and it is called glory . He
who loves war, for the sake of its excitements, its pageantry, and
its fancied glory, is the most eminent of all the dupes of folly
and of sin. He who loathes war, with inexpressible loathing, who
will do everything in his power to avert the dire and horrible
calamity, but who will, nevertheless, in the last extremity, with
a determined spirit, encounter all its perils, from love of country
and of home, who is willing to sacrifice himself and all that is
dear to him in life, to promote the well being of his fellow-man,
will ever receive the homage of the world, and we also fully believe
that he will receive the approval of God. Washington abhorred war
in all its forms, yet he braved all its perils.

For the carnage of the field of Marengo, Napoleon can not be held
responsible. Upon England and Austria must rest all the guilt of
that awful tragedy. Napoleon had done every thing he could do to
stop the effusion of blood. He had sacrificed the instincts of pride,
in pleading with a haughty foe for peace. His plea was unavailing.
Three hundred thousand men were marching upon France to force upon
her a detested King. It was not the duty of France to submit to
such dictation. Drawing the sword in self-defense, Napoleon fought
and conquered. "Te Deum Laudamus."

It is not possible but that Napoleon must have been elated by so
resplendent a victory. He knew that Marengo would be classed as the
most brilliant of his achievements. The blow had fallen with such
terrible severity that the haughty allies were thoroughly humbled.
Melas was now at his mercy. Napoleon could dictate peace upon his
own terms. Yet he rode over the field of his victory with a saddened
spirit, and gazed mournfully upon the ruin and the wretchedness
around him. As he was slowly and thoughtfully passing along, through
the heaps of the dead with which the ground was encumbered, he met
a number of carts, heavily laden with the wounded, torn by balls,
and bullets, and fragments of shells, into most hideous spectacles
of deformity. As the heavy wheels lumbered over the rough ground,
grating the splintered bones, and bruising and opening afresh
the inflamed wounds, shrieks of torture were extorted from the
victims. Napoleon stopped his horse and uncovered his head, as the
melancholy procession of misfortune and woe passed along. Turning
to a companion, he said, "We can not but regret not being wounded
like these unhappy men, that we might share their sufferings."
A more touching expression of sympathy never has been recorded.
He who says that this was hypocrisy is a stranger to the generous
impulses of a noble heart. This instinctive outburst of emotion
never could have been instigated by policy.

Napoleon had fearlessly exposed himself to every peril during this
conflict. His clothes were repeatedly pierced by bullets. Balls
struck between the legs of his horse, covering him with earth. A
cannon-ball took away a piece of the boot from his left leg and a
portion of the skin, leaving a scar which was never obliterated.

Before Napoleon Marched for Italy, he had made every effort in his
power for the attainment of peace. Now, with magnanimity above all
praise, without waiting for the first advance from his conquered
foes, he wrote again imploring peace. Upon the field of Marengo,
having scattered all his enemies like chaff before him, with the
smoke of the conflict still darkening the air, and the groans of
the dying swelling upon his ears, laying aside all the formalities
of state, with heartfelt feeling and earnestness he wrote to the
Emperor of Austria. This extraordinary epistle was thus commenced:

"Sire! It is on the field of battle, amid the sufferings of a
multitude of wounded, and surrounded by fifteen thousand corpses,
that I beseech your majesty to listen to the voice of humanity,
and not to suffer two brave nations to cut each others' throats
for interests not their own. It is my part to press this upon your
majesty, being upon the very theatre of war. Your majesty's heart
can not feel it so keenly as does mine."

The letter was long and most eloquent. "For what are you fighting?"
said Napoleon. "For religion? Then make war on the Russians and the
English who are the enemies of your faith. Do you wish to guard
against revolutionary principles? It is this very war which has
extended them over half the Continent, by extending the conquests
of France. The continuance of the war can not fail to diffuse them
still further. Is it for the balance of Europe? The English threaten
that balance far more than does France, for they have become the
masters and the tyrants of commerce, and are beyond the reach of
resistance. Is it to secure the interests of the house of Austria!
Let us then execute the treaty of Campo Formio, which secures to
your majesty large indemnities in compensation for the provinces
lost in the Netherlands, and secures them to you where you most
wish to obtain them, that is, in Italy. Your majesty may send
negotiators whither you will, and we will add to the treaty of
Campo Formio stipulations calculated to assure you of the continued
existence of the secondary states, of all which the French Republic
is accused of having shaken. Upon these conditions pace is made,
if you will. Let us make the armistice general for all the armies,
and enter into negotiations instantly."

A courier was immediately dispatched to Vienna, to convey this letter
to the Emperor. In the evening, Bourrienne hastened to congratulate
Napoleon upon his extraordinary victory. "What a glorious
day!" said Bourrienne. "Yes!" replied Napoleon, mournfully; "very
glorious--could I this evening but have embraced Desaix upon the
field of battle."

On the same day, and at nearly the same hour in which the fatal
bullet pierced the breast of Desaix, an assassin in Egypt plunged
a dagger into the bosom of Kleber. The spirits of these illustrious
men, these blood-stained warriors, thus unexpectedly met in the
spirit-land. There they wander now. How impenetrable the vail which
shuts their destiny from our view. The soul longs for clearer vision
of that far-distant world, people by the innumerable host of the
mighty dead. There Napoleon now dwells. Does he retain his intellectual
supremacy? Do his generals gather around him with love and homage!
Has his pensive spirit sunk down into gloom and despair, or has
it soared into cloudless regions of purity and peace! The mystery
of death' Death alone can solve it. Christianity, with its lofty
revealings, sheds but dim twilight upon the world off departed
spirits. At St. Helena Napoleon said, "Of all the general I ever had
under my command Desaix and Kleber possessed the greatest talent.
In particular Desaix, as Kleber loved glory only as the means of
acquiring wealth and pleasure. Desaix loved glory for itself, and
despised every other consideration. To him riches and pleasure were
of no value, nor did he ever give them a moment's thought. He was
a little black-looking man, about an inch shorter than myself,
always badly dressed, sometimes even ragged, and despising alike
comfort and convenience. Enveloped in a cloak, Desaix would throw
himself under a gun and sleep as contentedly as if reposing in a
palace. Luxury had for him no charms. Frank and honest in all his
proceedings, he was denominated by the Arabs Sultan the Just. Nature
intended him to figure as a consummate general. Kleber and Desaix
were irreparable losses to France."

It is impossible to describe the dismay, which pervaded the camp
of the Austrians after this terrible defeat. They were entirely
cut from all retreat, and were at the mercy of Napoleon. A council
of war was held by the Austrian officers during the night, and it
was unanimously resolved that capitulation was unavoidable. Early
the next morning a flag of truce was sent to the head-quarters of
Napoleon. The Austrians offered to abandon Italy, if the generosity
of the victor would grant them the boon of not being made prisoners
of war. Napoleon met the envoy with great courtesy, and, according
to his custom, stated promptly and irrevocably the conditions
upon which he was willing to treat. The terms were generous. "The
Austrian armies," said he, "may unmolested return to their homes;
but all of Italy must be abandoned." Melas, who was eighty years
of age, hoped to modify the terms, and again sent the negotiator
to suggest some alterations. "Monsieur!" said Napoleon, "my
conditions are irrevocable. I did not begin to make war yesterday.
Your position is as perfectly comprehended by me as by yourselves.
You are encumbered with dead, sick, and wounded, destitute of
provisions, deprived of the elite of your army, surrounded on every
side, I might exact every thing. But I respect the white hairs of
your general, and the valor of your soldiers. I ask nothing but what
is rigorously justified by the present position of affairs. Take
what steps you may, you will have no other terms." The conditions
were immediately signed, and a suspension of arms was agreed upon,
until an answer could be received from Vienna.

Napoleon left Paris for this campaign on the 7th of May. The battle
of Marengo was fought on the 14th of June. Thus in five weeks
Napoleon has scaled the barrier of the Alps: with sixty thousand
soldiers, most of them undisciplined recruits, he had utterly
discomfited an army of one hundred and twenty thousand men, and
regained the whole of Italy. The bosom of every Frenchman throbbed
with gratitude and pride. One wild shout of enthusiasm ascended
from united France. Napoleon had laid the foundation of his throne
deep in the heart of the French nation, and there that foundation
still remains unshaken.

Napoleon now entered Milan in triumph. He remained there ten days,
busy apparently every hour, by day and by night, in re-organizing the
political condition of Italy. The serious and religious tendencies
of his mind are developed by the following note, which four days
after the battle of Marengo, he wrote to the Consuls in Paris:
"To-day, whatever our atheists may say to it, I go in great state
to the To Deum which is to be chanted in the Cathedral of Milan. *
* The Te Deum , is an anthem of praise, sung in churches on occasion
of thanksgiving. It is so called from the first words "Te Deum
laudamus," Thee God we praise

An unworthy spirit of detraction has vainly sought to wrest from
Napoleon the honor of this victory, and to attribute it all to the
flank charge made by Kellerman. Such attempts deserve no detail
reply. Napoleon had secretly and suddenly called into being an army,
and by its apparently miraculous creation had astounded Europe. He
had effectually deceived the vigilance of his enemies, so as to
leave them entirely in the dark respecting his point of attack.
He had conveyed that army with all its stores, over the pathless
crags of the Great St. Bernard. Like an avalanche he had descended
from the mountains upon the plains of startled Italy. He had
surrounded the Austrian hosts, though they were doubled his numbers,
with a net through which they could not break. In a decisive
battle he had scattered their ranks before him, like chaff by the
whirlwind. He was nobly seconded by those generals whom his genius
had chosen and created. It is indeed true, that without his generals
and his soldiers he could not have gained the victory. Massena
contributed to the result by his matchless defense of Genoa; Moreau,
by holding in abeyance the army of the Rhine; Lannes, by his iron
firmness on the plain of Montebello; Desaix, by the promptness
with which he rushed to the rescue, as soon as his car caught the
far-off thunders of the cannon of Marengo; and Kellerman, by his
admirable flank charge of cavalry. But it was the genius of Napoleon
which planned the mighty combination, which roused and directed
the enthusiasm of the generals, which inspired the soldiers with
fearlessness and nerved them for the strife, and which, through
these efficient agencies, secured the astounding results.

Napoleon established his triumphant army, now increased to eighty
thousand men, in the rich valley of the Po. He assigned to the
heroic Massena the command of this triumphant host, and ordering
all the forts and citadels which blocked the approaches from France
to be blown up, set out, on the 24th of June, for his return to
Paris. In re-crossing the Alps, by the pass of Mt. Cenis, he met
the carriage of Madame Kellerman, who was going to Italy to join
her husband. Napoleon ordered his carriage to be stopped, and
alighting, greeted the lady with great courtesy, and congratulated
her upon the gallant conduct of her husband at Marengo. As he was
riding along one day, Bourrienne spoke of the world-wide renown
which the First Consul had attained.

"Yes," Napoleon thoughtfully replied. "A few more events like this
campaign, and my name may perhaps go down to posterity."

"I think," Bourrienne rejoined, "that you have already done enough
to secure a long and lasting fame."

"Done enough!" Napoleon replied. "You are very good! It is true
that in less than two years I have conquered Cairo, Paris, Milan.
But were I to die to-morrow, half a page of general history would
be all that would be devoted to my exploits."

Napoleon's return to Paris, through the provinces of France, was
a scene of constant triumph. The joy of the people amounted almost
to frenzy. Bonfires, illuminations, the pealing of bells, and the
thunders of artillery accompanied him all the way. Long lines of
young maidens, selected for their grace and beauty, formed avenues
of loveliness and smiles through which he was to pass, and carpeted
his path with flowers. He arrived in Paris at midnight the 2d of
July, having been absent but eight weeks.

The enthusiasm of the Parisians was unbounded and inexhaustible.
Day after day, and night after night, the festivities continued.
The Palace of the Tuileries was ever thronged with a crowd, eager
to catch a glimpse of the preserver of France. All the public bodies
waited upon him with congratulations. Bells rung, cannon thundered,
bonfires and illuminations blazed, rockets and fire-works,
in meteoric splendor filled the air, bands of music poured forth
their exuberant strains, and united Paris, thronging the garden of
the Tuileries and flooding back into the Elysian Fields, rent the
heavens with deafening shouts of exultation. As Napoleon stood at
the window of his palace, witnessing this spectacle of a nation's
gratitude, he said, "The sound of these acclamations is as sweet
to me, as the voice of Josephine. How happy I am to be beloved by
such a people." Preparations were immediately made for a brilliant
and imposing solemnity in commemoration of the victory. "Let
no triumphal arch be raised to me," said Napoleon. "I wish for no
triumphal arch but the public satisfaction."

It is not strange that enthusiasm and gratitude should have glowed
in the ardent bosoms of the French. In four months Napoleon had
raised France from an abyss of ruin to the highest pinnacle of
prosperity and renown. For anarchy he had substituted law, for bankruptcy
a well-replenished treasury, for ignominious defeat resplendent
victory, for universal discontent as universal satisfaction. The
invaders were driven from France, the hostile alliance broken, and
the blessings of peace were now promised to the war-harassed nation.

During this campaign there was presented a very interesting
illustration of Napoleon's wonderful power of anticipating the
progress of coming events. Bourrienne, one day, just before the
commencement of the campaign, entered the cabinet at the Tuileries,
and found an immense map of Italy, unrolled upon the carpet, and
Napoleon stretched upon it. With pins, whose heads were tipped with
red and black sealing-wax, to represent the French and Austrian
forces, Napoleon was studying all the possible combinations and
evolutions of the two hostile armies. Bourrienne, in silence, but
with deep interest, watched the progress of this pin campaign.
Napoleon, having arranged the pins with red heads, where he intended
to conduct the French troops, and with the black pins designating
the point which he supposed the Austrians would occupy, looked up
to his secretary, and said:

"Do you think that I shall beat Melas?"

"Why, how can I tell!" Bourrienne answered.

"Why, you simpleton," said Napoleon, playfully; "just look here.
Melas is at Alexandria, where he has his head-quarters. He will remain
there until Genoa surrenders. He has in Alexandria his magazines,
his hospitals, his artillery, his reserves. Passing the Alps here,"
sticking a pin into the Great St. Bernard, "I fall upon Melas in
his rear; I cut off his communications with Austria. I meet him
here in the valley of the Bormida." So saying, he stuck a red pin
into the plain of Marengo.

Bourrienne regarded this maneuvering of pins as mere pastime. His
countenance expressed his perfect incredulity. Napoleon, perceiving
this, addressed to him some of his usual apostrophes, in which he
was accustomed playfully to indulge in moments of relaxation, such
as, You ninny, You goose; and rolled up the map. Ten weeks passed
away, and Bourrienne found himself upon the banks of the Bormida,
writing, at Napoleon's dictation, an account of the battle of
Marengo. Astonished to find Napoleon's anticipations thus minutely
fulfilled, he frankly avowed his admiration of the military
sagacity thus displayed. Napoleon himself smiled at the justice of
his foresight.

Two days before the news of the battle of Marengo arrived in Vienna,
England effected a new treaty with Austria, for the more vigorous
prosecution of the war. By this convention it was provided that
England should loan Austria ten millions of dollars, to bear no
interest during the continuance of the conflict. And the Austrian
cabinet bound itself not to make peace with France, without
the consent of the Court of St. James. The Emperor of Austria was
now sadly embarrassed. His sense of honor would not allow him to
violate his pledge to the King of England, and to make peace. On
the other hand, he trembled at the thought of seeing the armies
of the invincible Napoleon again marching upon his capital. He,
therefore, resolved to temporize, and, in order to gain time, sent
an embassador to Paris. The plenipotentiary presented to Napoleon
a letter, in which the Emperor stated, "You will give credit to
every thing which Count Julien shall say on my part. I will ratify
whatever he shall do." Napoleon, prompt in action, and uniformed
of the new treaty between Ferdinand and George III., immediately
caused the preliminaries of peace to be drawn up, which were signed
by the French and Austrian ministers. The cabinet in Vienna, angry
with their embassador for not protracting the discussion, refused
to ratify the treaty, recalled Count Julien, sent him into exile,
informed the First Consul of the treat which bound Austria not to
make peace without the concurrence of Great Britain, assured France
of the readiness of the English Cabinet to enter into negotiations,
and urged the immediate opening of a Congress at Luneville, to
which plenipotentiaries should be sent from each of the three great
contending powers. Napoleon was highly indignant in view of this
duplicity and perfidy. Yet, controlling his anger, he consented to
treat with England, and with that view proposed a naval armistice
, with the mistress of the seas. To this proposition England
peremptorily refused to accede, as it would enable France to throw
supplies into Egypt and Malta, which island England was besieging.
The naval armistice would have been undeniably for the interests
of France. But the continental armistice was as undeniably adverse
to her interests, enabling Austria to recover from her defeats, and
to strengthen her armies. Napoleon, fully convinced that England,
in he[r inaccessible position, did not wish for peace, and that her
only object, in endeavoring to obtain admittance to the Congress,
was that she might throw obstacles in the way of reconciliation
with Austria, offered to renounce all armistice with England, and
to treat with her separately. This England also refused.

It was now September. Two months had passed in these vexations and
sterile negotiations. Napoleon had taken every step in his power to
secure peace. He sincerely desired it. He had already won all the
laurels he could wish to win on the field of battle. The reconstruction
of society in France, and the consolidation of his power, demanded
all his energies. The consolidation of his power! That was just what
the government of England dreaded. The consolidation of democratic
power in France was dangerous to king and to noble. William Pits,
the soul of the aristocratic government of England, determined still
to prosecute the war. France could not harm England. But England,
with her invincible fleet, could sweep the commerce of France from
the seas. Fox and his coadjutors with great eloquence and energy
opposed the war. Their efforts were, however, unavailing. The
people of England, notwithstanding all the efforts of the government
to defame the character of the First Consul, still cherished the
conviction that, after all, Napoleon was their friend. Napoleon,
in subsequent years, while reviewing these scenes of his early
conflicts, with characteristic eloquence and magnanimity, gave
utterance to the following sentiments which, it is as certain as
destiny, that the verdict of the world will yet confirm.

"Pitt was the master of European policy. He held in his hands the
moral fate of nations. But he made an ill use of his power. He
kindled the fire of discord throughout the universe; and his name,
like that of Erostratus, will be inscribed in history, amidst
flames, lamentations, and tears. Twenty-five years of universal
conflagration; the numerous coalitions that added fuel to the
flame; the revolution and devastation of Europe; the bloodshed of
nations; the frightful debt of England, by which all these horrors
were maintained; the pestilential system of loans, by which the
people of Europe are oppressed; the general discontent that now
prevails--all must be attributed to Pitt. Posterity will brand him
as a scourge. The man so lauded in his own time, will hereafter be
regarded as the genius of evil. Not that I consider him to have
been willfully atrocious, or doubt his having entertained the
conviction that he was acting right. But St. Bartholomew had also
its conscientious advocates. The Pope and cardinals celebrated it
by a Te Deum ; and we have no reason to doubt their having done
so in perfect sincerity. Such is the weakness of human reason and
judgment! But that for which posterity will, above all, execrate
the memory of Pitt, is the hateful school, which he has left behind
him; its insolent Machiavelism, its profound immorality, its cold
egotism, and its utter disregard of justice and human happiness.
Whether it be the effect of admiration and gratitude, or the result
of mere instinct and sympathy, Pitt is, and will continue to be,
the idol of the European aristocracy. There was, indeed, a touch of
the Sylla in his character. His system has kept the popular cause
in check, and brought about the triumph of the patricians. As for
Fox, one must not look for his model among the ancients. He is
himself a model, and his principles will sooner or later rule the
world. The death of Fox was one of the fatalities of my career. Had
his life been prolonged, affairs would taken a totally different
turn. The cause of the people would have triumphed, and we should
have established a new order of things in Europe."

Austria really desired peace. The march of Napoleon's armies upon
Vienna was an evil more to be dreaded than even the consolidation
of Napoleon's power in France. But Austria was, by loans and
treaties, so entangled with England, that she could make not peace
without the consent of the Court of St. James. Napoleon found that
he was but triffled with. Interminable difficulties were thrown
in the way of negotiation. Austria was taking advantage of the
cessation of hostilities, merely to recruit her defeated armies,
that, soon as the approaching winter had passed away, she might
fall, with renovated energies, upon France. The month of November
had now arrived, and the mountains, whitened with snow, were swept
by the bleak winds of winter. The period of the armistice had expired.
Austria applied for its prolongation. Napoleon was no longer thus
to be duped. He consented, however, to a continued suspension
of hostilities, on condition that the treaty of peace were signed
within forty-eight hours. Austria, believing that no sane man
would march an army into Germany in the dead of winter, and that
she should have abundant time to prepare for a spring campaign,
refused. The armies of France were immediately on the move. The
Emperor of Austria had improved every moment of this transient
interval of peace, in recruiting his forces. In person he had visited
the army to inspire his troops with enthusiasm. The command of the
imperial forces was intrusted to his second brother, the Archduke
John. Napoleon moved with his accustomed vigor. The political
necessities of Paris and of France rendered it impossible for him
to leave the metropolis. He ordered one powerful army, under General
Brune, to attack the Austrians in Italy, on the banks of Mincio,
and to press firmly toward Vienna. In the performance of this
operation, General Macdonald, in the dead of winter, effected his
heroic passage over the Alps by the pass of the Splugen. Victory
followed their standards.

Moreau, with his magnificent army, commenced a winter campaign on
the Rhine. Between the rivers Iser and Inn there is an enormous
forest, many leagues in extent, of sombre firs and pines. It is
a dreary and almost uninhabited wilderness, of wild ravines, and
tangled under-brush. Two great roads have been cut through the
forest, and sundry woodmen's paths penetrate it at different points.
In the centre there is a little hamlet, of a few miserable huts,
called Hohenlinden. In this forest, on the night of the 3d of
December, 1800, Moreau, with sixty thousand men, encountered the
Archduke John with seventy thousand Austrian troops. The clocks
upon the towers of Munich had but just tolled the hour of midnight
when both armies were in motion, each hoping to surprise the
other. A dismal wintry storm was howling over the tree tops, and
the smothering snow, falling rapidly, obliterated all traces of a
path, and rendered it almost impossible to drag through the drifts
the ponderous artillery. Both parties, in the dark and tempestuous
night, became entangled in the forest, and the heads of their
columns in various places met. An awful scene of confusion, conflict,
and carnage then ensued. Imagination can not compass the terrible
sublimity of that spectacle. The dark midnight, the howlings of
the wintry storm, the driving sheets of snow, the incessant roar
of artillery and of musketry from one hundred and thirty thousand
combatants, the lightning flashes of the guns, the crash of the
falling trees as the heavy cannon-balls swept through the forest,
the floundering of innumerable horsemen bewildered in the pathless
snow, the shout of onset, the shriek of death, and the burst
of martial music from a thousand bands--all combined to present a
scene of horror and of demoniac energy, which probably even this
lost world never presented before. The darkness of the black forest
was so intense, and the snow fell in flakes so thick and fast and
blinding, that the combatants could with difficulty see each other.
They often judged of the foe only by his position, and fired at
the flashes gleaming through the gloom. At times, hostile divisions
became intermingled in inextricable confusion, and hand to hand,
bayonet crossing bayonet, and sword clashing against sword, they
fought with the ferocity of demons; for though the officers of an
army may be influenced by the most elevated sentiments of dignity
and of honor, the mass of the common soldiers have ever been the
most miserable, worthless, and degraded of mankind. As the advancing
and retreating host wavered to and fro, the wounded, by thousands,
were left on hill-sides and in dark ravines, with the drifting
snow, crimsoned with blood, their only blanket; there in solitude
and agony to moan and freeze and die. What death-scenes the eye of
God must have witnessed that night, in the solitudes of that dark,
tempest-tossed, and blood-stained forest! At last the morning dawned
through the unbroken clouds, and the battle raged with renovated
fury. Nearly twenty thousand mutilated bodies of the dead and
wounded were left upon the field, with gory locks frozen to their
icy pillows, and covered with mounds of snow. At last the French were
victorious at every point. The Austrians, having lost twenty-five
thousand men in killed, wounded, and prisoners, one hundred pieces
of artillery, and an immense number of wagons, fled in dismay.
This terrific conflict has been immortalized by the noble epic of
Campbell, which is now familiar wherever the English language is

"On Linden, when the sun was low, All bloodless lay the untrodden
snow, And dark as winter was the flow Or Iser, rolling rapidly.
"But Linden saw another sight, When the drums beat at dead of night,
Commanding fires of death to light The darkness of her scenery."

The retreating Austrians rushed down the valley of the Danube. Moreau
followed thundering at their heels, plunging balls and shells into
their retreating ranks. The victorious French were within thirty
miles of Vienna, and the capital was in a state of indescribable
dismay. The Emperor again sent imploring an armistice. The
application was promptly acceded to, for Napoleon was contending
only for peace. Yet with unexempled magnanimity, notwithstanding
these astonishing victories, Napoleon made no essential alterations
in his terms. Austria was at his feet. His conquering armies were
almost in sight of the steeples of Vienna. There was no power which
the Emperor could present to obstruct their resistless march. He
might have exacted any terms of humiliation. But still he adhered
to the first terms which he had proposed. Moreau was urged by some
of his officers to press on to Vienna. "We had better halt," he
replied, "and be content with peace. It is for that alone that we
are fighting." The Emperor of Austria was thus compelled to treat
without the concurrence of England. The insurmountable obstacle in
the way of peace was thus removed. At Luneville, Joseph Bonaparte
appeared as the embassador of Napoleon, and Count Cobentzel as
the plenipotentiary of Austria. The terms of the treaty were soon
settled, and France was again at peace with all the world, England
alone excepted. By this treaty the Rhine was acknowledged as the
boundary of France. The Adige limited the possessions of Austria
in Italy; and Napoleon made it an essential article that every
Italian imprisoned in the dungeons of Austria for political offences,
should immediately be liberated. There was to be no interference
by either with the new republics which had sprung up in Italy. They
were to be permitted to choose whatever form of government they
preferred. In reference to this treaty, Sir Walter Scott makes the
candid admission that "the treaty of Luneville was not much more
advantageous to France than that of Campo Formio. The moderation
of the First Consul indicated at once his desire for peace upon the
Continent, and considerable respect for the bravery and strength of
Austria." And Alison, in cautious but significant phrase, remarks,
"These conditions did not differ materially from those offered by
Napoleon before the renewal of the war; a remarkable circumstance
, when it is remembered how vast and addition the victories of Marengo,
Hohenlinden, and the Mincio, had since made to the preponderance
of the French armies."

It was, indeed, "a remarkable circumstance," that Napoleon should
have manifested such unparalleled moderation, under circumstances
of such aggravated indignity. In Napoleon's first Italian campaign
he was contending solely for peace. At last he attained it, in the
treaty of Campo Formio, on terms equally honorable to Austria and
to France. On his return from Egypt, he found the armies of Austria,
three hundred thousand strong, in alliance with England, invading
the territories of the Republic. He implored peace, in the name
of bleeding humanity, upon the fair basis of the treaty of Campo
Formio. His foes regarded his supplication as the imploring cry
of weakness, and treated it with scorn. With new vigor they poured
their tempests of balls and shells upon France. Napoleon sealed the
Alps, and dispersed his foes at Marengo, like autumn leaves before
the Alps, and dispersed his foes at Marengo, like autumn leaves
before the gale. Amid the smoke and the blood and the groans of
the field of his victory, he again wrote imploring peace; and he
wrote in terms dictated by the honest and gushing sympathies of a
humane man, and not in the cold and stately forms of the diplomatist.
Crushed as his foes were, he rose not in his demands, but nobly
said, "I am still willing to make peace upon the fair basis of
the treaty of Campo Formio." His treacherous foes, to gain time to
recruit their armies, that they might fall upon him with renovated
vigor, agreed to an armistice. They then threw all possible
embarrassments in the way of negotiation, and prolonged the armistice
till the winds of winter were sweeping fiercely over the snow-covered
hills of Austria. They thought that it was then too late for
Napoleon to make any movements until spring, and that they had a
long winter before them, in which to prepare for another campaign.
They refused peace. Through storms and freezing gales and drifting
snows the armies of Napoleon marched painfully to Hohenlinden. The
hosts of Austria were again routed, and were swept away, as the
drifted snow flies before the gale. Ten thousand Frenchmen lie cold
in death, the terrible price of the victory. The Emperor of Austria,
in his palaces, heard the thunderings of Napoleon's approaching
artillery. He implored peace. "It is all that I desire," said Napoleon;
"I am not fighting for ambition or for conquest. I am still ready
to make peace upon the fair basis of the treaty of Campo Formio."

While all the Continent was now at peace with France, England alone,
with indomitable resolution, continued the war, without allies,
and without any apparent or avowed object. France, comparatively
powerless upon the seas, could strike no blows which would be felt
by the distant islanders. "On every point," says Sir Walter Scott,
"the English squadrons annihilated the commerce of France, crippled
her revenues, and blockaded her forts." The treaty of Luneville was
signed the 9th of February, 1801. Napoleon lamenting, the continued
hostility of England, in announcing this peace to the people of
France, remarked, "Why is not this treaty the treaty of a general
peace? This was the wish of France. This has been the constant object
of the efforts of her government. But its desires are fruitless. All
Europe knows that the British minister has endeavored to frustrate
the negotiations at Luneville. In vain was it declared to him
that France was ready to enter into a separate negotiation. This
declaration only produced a refusal under the pretext that England
could not abandon her ally. Since then, when that ally consented to
treat without England, that government sought other means to delay
a peace so necessary to the world. It raises pretensions contrary
to the dignity and rights of all nations. The whole commerce of
Asia, and of immense colonies, does not satisfy its ambition. All
the seas must submit to the exclusive sovereignty of England."
As William Pitt received the tidings of this discomfiture of his
allies, in despairing despondency, he exclaimed, "Fold up the map
of Europe. In need not again be opened for twenty years."

While these great affairs were in progress, Napoleon, in Paris, was
consecrating his energies with almost miraculous power, in developing
all the resources of the majestic empire under his control. He
possessed the power of abstraction to a degree which has probably
never been equaled. He could concentrate all his attention for
any length of time upon one subject, and then, laying that aside
entirely, without expending any energies in unavailing anxiety,
could turn to another, with all the freshness and the vigor of an
unpreoccupied mind. Incessant mental labor was the luxury of his
life. "Occupation," said he, "is my element. I am born and made for
it. I have found the limits beyond which I could not use my legs.
I have seen the extent to which I could use my eyes. But I have
never known any bounds to my capacity for application."

The universality of Napoleon's genius was now most conspicuous. The
revenues of the nation were replenished, and all the taxes arranged
to the satisfaction of the people. The Bank of France was reorganized,
and new energy infused into its operations. Several millions of
dollars were expended in constructing and perfecting five magnificent
roads radiating from Paris to the frontiers of the empire. Robbers,
the vagabonds of disbanded armies, infested the roads, rendering
traveling dangerous in the extreme. "Be patient," said Napoleon.
"Give me a month or two. I must first conquer peace abroad. I will
then do speedy and complete justice upon these highwaymen." A very
important canal, connecting Belgium with France, had been commenced
some years before. The engineers could not agree respecting the
best direction of the cutting through the highlands which separated
the valley of the Oise from that of the Somme. He visited the spot
in person: decided the question promptly, and decided it wisely,
and the canal was pressed to its completion. He immediately caused
three new bridges to be thrown across the Seine at Paris. He
commenced the magnificent road of the Simplon, crossing the rugged
Alps with a broad and smooth highway, which for ages will remain a
durable monument of the genius and energy of Napoleon. In gratitude for
the favors he had received from the monks of the Great St. Bernard,
he founded two similar establishments for the aid of travelers,
one on Mount Cenis, the other on the Simplon, and both auxiliary
to the convent on the Great St. Bernard. Concurrently with these
majestic undertakings, he commenced the compilation of the civil
code of France. The ablest lawyers of Europe were summoned to this
enterprise, and the whole work was discussed section by section
in the Council of State, over which Napoleon presided. The lawyers
were amazed to find that the First Consul was as perfectly familiar
with all the details of legal and political science, as he was with
military strategy.

Bourrienne mentions, that one day, a letter was received from an
emigrant, General Durosel, who had taken refuge in the island of
Jersey. The following is an extract from the letter:

"You can not have forgotten, general, that when your late father
was obliged to take your brothers from the college of Autun, he was
unprovided with money, and asked of me one hundred and twenty-five
dollars, which I lent him with pleasure. After his return, he had
not an opportunity of paying me, and when I left Ajaccio, your
mother offered to dispose of some plate, in order to pay the debt.
To this I objected, and told her that I would wait until she could
pay me at her convenience. Previous to the Revolution, I believe
that it was not in her power to fulfill her wish of discharging the
debt. I am sorry to be obliged to trouble you about such a trifle.
But such is my unfortunate situation, that even this trifle is of
some importance to me. At the age of eighty-six, general, after
having served my country for sixty years, I am compelled to take
refuge here, and to subsist on a scanty allowance, granted by the
English government to French emigrants. I say emigrants , for I am
obliged to be one against my will."

Upon hearing this letter read, Napoleon immediately and warmly
said, "Bourrienne, this is sacred. Do not lose a moment. Send the
old man ten times the sum. Write to General Durosel, that he shall
immediately be erased from the list of emigrants. What mischief
those brigands of the Convention have done. I can never repair it
all." Napoleon uttered these words with a degree of emotion which
he had rarely before evinced. In the evening he inquired, with much
interest of Bourrienne, if he had executed his orders.

Many attempts were made at this time to assassinate the First Consul.
Though France, with the most unparalleled unanimity surrounded him
with admiration, gratitude, and homage, there were violent men in
the two extremes of society, among the Jacobins and the inexorable
Royalists, who regarded him as in their way. Napoleon's escape from
the explosion of the infernal machine, got up by the Royalists,
was almost miraculous.

On the evening of the 24th of December, Napoleon was going to the
Opera, to hear Haydn's Oratorio of the Creation, which was to be
performed for the first time. Intensely occupied by business, he was
reluctant to go; but to gratify Josephine, yielded to her urgent
request. It was necessary for his carriage to pass through a narrow
street. A cart, apparently by accident overturned, obstructed the
passage. A barrel suspended beneath the cart, contained as deadly
a machine as could be constructed with gun-powder and all the
missiles of death. The coachman succeeded in forcing his way by
the cart. He had barely passed when an explosion took place, which
was all over Paris, and which seemed to shake the city to its
foundations. Eight persons were instantly killed, and more than sixty
were wounded, of whom about twenty subsequently died. The houses
for a long distance, on each side of the street, were fearfully
shattered, and many of them were nearly blown to pieces. The
carriage rocked as upon the billows of the sea, and the windows
were shattered to fragments. Napoleon had been in too many scenes
of terror to be alarmed by any noise or destruction which gunpowder
could produce. "Ha!" said he, with perfect composure; "we are blown
up." One of his companions in the carriage, greatly terrified,
thrust his head through the demolished window, and called loudly
to the driver to stop. "No, no!" said Napoleon; "drive on." When
the First Consul entered the Opera House, he appeared perfectly
calm and unmoved. The greatest consternation, however, prevailed
in all parts of the house, for the explosion had been heard, and
the most fearful apprehensions were felt for the safety of the
idolized Napoleon. As soon as he appeared, thunders of applause,
which shook the very walls of the theatre, gave affecting testimony
of the attachment of the people to his person. In a few moments,
Josephine, who had come in her private carriage, entered the box.
Napoleon turned to her with perfect tranquillity, and said, "The
rascals tried to blow me up. Where is the book of the Oratorio?"

Napoleon soon left the Opera and returned to the Tuileries. He
found a vast crowd assembled there, attracted by affection for his
person, and anxiety for his safety. The atrocity of this attempt
excited universal horror, and only increased the already almost
boundless popularity of the First Consul. Deputations and addresses
were immediately poured in upon him from Paris and from all the
departments of France, congratulating him upon his escape. It was
at first thought that this conspiracy was the work of the Jacobins.
There were in Paris more than a hundred of the leaders of the
execrable party, who had obtained a sanguinary notoriety during
the reign of terror. They were active members of a Jacolin Club,
a violent and vulgar gathering continually plotting the overthrow
of the government, and the assassination of the First Consul. They
were thoroughly detested by the people, and the community was glad
to avail itself of any plausible pretext for banishing them from
France. Without sufficient evidence that they were actually guilty
of this particular outrage, in the strong excitement and indignation
of the moment a decree was passed by the legislative bodies, sending
one hundred and sixty of these bloodstained culprits into exile.
The wish was earnestly expressed that Napoleon would promptly punish
them by his own dictatorial power. Napoleon had, in fact, acquired
such unbounded popularity, and the nation was so thoroughly impressed
with a sense of his justice, and his wisdom, the whatever he said
was done. He, however, insisted that the business should be conducted
by the constituted tribunals and under the regular forms of law.
"The responsibility of this measure," said Napoleon, "must rest
with the legislative body. The consuls are irresponsible. But
the ministers are not. Any one of them who should sign an arbitrary
decree, might hereafter be called to account. Not a single
individual must be compromised. The consuls themselves know not
what may happen. As for me, while I live, I am not afraid that any
one will be killed, and then I can not answer for the safety of my
two colleagues. It would be your turn to govern," said, he, smiling,
and turning to Cambaceres;" and you are not as yet very firm in
the stirrups . It will be better to have a law for the present, as
well as for the future." It was finally, after much deliberation,
decided that the Council of State should draw up a declaration of
the reasons, for the act. The First Consul was to sign the decree,
and the Senate was to declare whether it was or was not constitutional.
Thus cautiously Napoleon proceed under circumstances so exciting.
The law, however, was unjust and tyrannical. Guilty as these men
were of other crimes, by which they had forfeited all sympathy,
it subsequently appeared that they were not guilty of this crime.
Napoleon was evidently embraced by this uncertainty of their guilty,
and was not willing that they should be denounced as contrivers
of the infernal machine. "We believe ," said he, "that they are
guilty. But we do not know it. They must be transported for the
crimes which they have committed, the massacres and the conspiracies
already proved against them." The decree was passed. But Napoleon,
strong in popularity, became so convinced of the powerlessness and
insignificance of these Jacobins, that the decree was never enforced
against them. They remained in France. But they were conscious that
the eye of the police was upon them. "It is not my own person," said
Napoleon, "that I seek to avenge. My fortune which has preserved
me so often on the field of battle, will continue to preserve me.
I think not of myself. I think of social order which it is my mission
to re-establish, and of the national honor, which it is my duty
to purge from an abominable stain." To the innumerable addresses
of congratulation and attachment which this occurrence elicited
Napoleon replied. "I have been touched by the proofs of affection
which the people of Paris have shown me on this occasion. I deserve
them. For the only aim of my thoughts, and of my actions, is to
augment the prosperity and the glory of France. While those banditti
confined themselves to direct attacks upon me, I could leave to
the laws the task of punishing them. But since they have endangered
the population of the capital by a crime, unexampled in history,
the punishment must be equally speedy and terrible."

It was soon proved, much to the surprise of Napoleon, that the
atrocious act was perpetrated by the partisans of the Bourbons.
Many of the most prominent of the Loyalists were implicated in this
horrible conspiracy. Napoleon felt that he deserved their gratitude.
He had interposed to save them from the fury of the Jacobins.
Against the remonstrances of his friends, he had passed a decree
which restored one hundred and fifty thousand of these wandering
emigrants to France. He had done every thing in his power to enable
them to regain their confiscated estates. He had been in all respects
their friend and benefactor, and he would not believe, until the
proof was indisputable, that they could thus requite him. The wily
Fouche, however, dragged the whole matter into light. The prominent
conspirators were arrested and shot. The following letter, written
on this occasion by Josephine, to the Minister of Police, strikingly
illustrates the benevolence of her heart, and exhibits in a very
honorable light the character of Napoleon.

"While I yet tremble at the frightful event which has just occurred,
I am distressed through fear of the punishment to be inflicted on
the guilty, who belong, it is said, to families with whom I once
lived in habits of intercourse. I shall be solicited by mothers,
sisters, and disconsolate wives, and my heart will be broken through
my inability to obtain all the mercy for which I would plead. I know
that the elemency of the First who belong, it is said, to families
with whom I once lived in habits of intercourse. I shall be
solicited by mothers,sisters, and disconsolate wives, and my heart
will be broken through my inability to obtain all the mercy for
which I would plead. I know that the elemency of the First Consul
is great--his attachment to me extreme. The chief of the government
has not been alone exposed; and it is that which will render him
severe, inflexible. I conjure you, therefore, to do all in your
power to prevent inquiries being pushed too far. Do not detect all
those persons who have been accomplices in this odious transaction.
Let not France, so long overwhelmed in consternation, by public
executions, groan anew, beneath such inflictions. When the ringleaders
of this nefarious attempt shall have been secured, let severity
give place to pity for inferior agents, seduced, as they may have
been by dangerous falsehoods or exaggerated opinions. As a woman,
a wife, and a mother, I must feel the heartrendings of those will
apply to me. Act, citizen minister, in such a way that the number
of these may be lessened."

It seems almost miraculous that Napoleon should have escaped the
innumerable conspiracies which at this time were formed against
him. The partisans of the Bourbons though that if Napoleon could be
removed, the Bourbons might regain their throne. It was his resistless
genius alone, which enabled France to triumph over combined Europe.
His death would leave France without a leader. The armies of the
allies could then, with bloody strides, march to Paris, and place
the hated Bourbons on the throne. France knew this, and adored its
preserver. Monarchical Europe knew this, and hence all the engergies
of its combined kings were centred upon Napoleon. More than thirty
of these consipracies were detected by the police. London was
the hot-house where they were engendered. Air-guns were aimed to
Napoleon. Assassins dogged him with their poniards. A bomb-shell was
invented, weighing about fifteen pounds, which was to be thrown in
at his carriage-window, and which exploding by its own concussion,
would hurl death on every side. The conspirators were perfectly
reckless of the lives of others, if they could only destroy the life
of Napoleon. The agents of the infernal-machine had the barbarity
to get a young girl fifteen years of age to hold the horse who
drew the machine. This was to disarm suspicion. The poor child was
blown into such fragments, that no part of her body. excepting the
feet, could afterwards be found. At last Napoleon became aroused,
and declared that he would "teach those Bourbons that he was not
a man to be shot at like a dog."

One day at St. Helena, as he was putting on his flannel waistcoat,
he observed Las Casas looking at him very steadfastly.

"Well! what is your Excellency thinking of?" said Napoleon, with
a smile.

"Sire," Las Casas replied, "in a pamphlet which I lately read, I
found it stated that your majesty was shielded by a coat-of-mail,
for the security of your person. I was thinking that I could bear
positive evidence that at St. Helena at least, all precautions for
personal safety have been laid aside."

"This," said Napoleon, "is one of the thousand absurdities which
have just mentioned is the more ridiculous, since every individual
about me well knows how careless I am with regard to self-preservation.
Accustomed from the age of eighteen to be exposed to the connon-ball,
and knowing the inutility of precautions, I abandoned myself to
my fate. When I came to the head of affairs, I might still have
fancied myself surrounded by the dangers of the field of battle;
and I might have regarded the conspiracies which were formed against
me as so many bomb-shells. But I followed my old course. I trusted
to my lucky star, and left all precautions to the police. I was
perhaps the only sovereign in Europe who dispensed with a body-guard.
Every one could freely approach me, without having, as it were, to
pass through military barracks. Maria Lousia was much astonished
to see me so poorly guarded, and she often remarked that her father
was surrounded by bayonets. For my part, I had no better defense
at the Tuileries than I have here. I do not even know where to
find my sword," said he, looking around the room; "do you see it?
I have, to be sure, incurred great dangers. Upward of thirty plots
were found against me. These have been proved by authentic testimony,
without mentioning many which never came to light. Some sovereigns
invent conspiracies against themselves; for my part, I made it a
rule carefully to conceal them whenever I could. The crisis most
serious to me was during the interval from the battle of Marengo, to
the attempt of George Cadoudal and the affair of the Duke D'Enghien"

Napoleon now, with his accustomed vigor, took hold of the robbers an
and made short work with them. The insurgent armies of La Vendee,
numbering more than one hundred thousand men, and filled with
adventurers and desperadoes of every kind, were disbanded when their
chiefs yielded homage to Napoleon. Many of these men, accustomed to
banditti warfare, took to the highways. The roads were so infested
by them, that travailing became exceedingly perilous, and it was
necessary that every stage-coach which left Paris should be accompanied
by a guard of armed soldiers. To remedy a state of society thus
convulsed to its very centre, special tribunals were organized,
consisting of eight judges. They were to take cognizance of all such
crimes as conspiracies, robberies, and acts of violence of any kind.
The armed bands of Napoleon swept over France like a whirlwind.
The robbers were seized, tried, and shot without delay. Order was
at once restored. The people thought not of the dangerous power
they were placing in the hands of the First Consul. They asked only
for a commander, who was able and willing to quell the tumult of
the times. Such a commander they found in Napoleon. They were more
than willing to confer upon him all the power he could desire. "You
know what is best for us;"" said the people of Napoleon. "Direct
us what to do, and we will do it." It was thus that absolute power
came voluntarily into his hands. Under the circumstances it was
so natural that it can excite no suspicion. He was called First
Consul. But he already swayed a scepter more mighty than that of the
Caesars. But sixteen months had now elapsed since Napoleon landed
at Frejus. In that time he had attained the throne of France. He had
caused order and prosperity to emerge from the chaos of revolution. By
his magnanimity he had disarmed Russia, by his armies had humbled
Austria, and had compelled continental Europe to accept an honorable
peace. He merited the gratitude of his countrymen, and he received
it in overflowing measure. Through all these incidents, so eventful
and so full of difficulty, it is not easy to point to a single act
of Napoleon, which indicates a malicious or an ungenerous spirit.

"I fear nothing," said Napoleon at St. Helena, "for my renown.
Posterity will do me justice. It will compare the good which I
have done with faults which I have committed. If I had succeeded
I should have died with the reputation of being the greatest man
who ever existed. From being nothing I became, by my own exertions,
the most powerful monarch of the universe, without committing
any crime. My ambition was great, but it rested on the opinion of
the masses. I have always thought that sovereignty resides in the
people. The empire, as I had organized it, was but a great republic.
Called to the throne by the voice of the people, my maxim has always
been a career open to talent without distinction of birth . It is
for this system of equality that the European oligarchy detests
me. And yet in England talent and great services raise a man to
the highest rank. England should have understood me."

The French Revolution," said Napoleon, "was a general movement of
the mass of the nation against the privileged classes. The nobles
were exempt from the burdens of the state, and yet exclusively
occupied all the posts of honor and emolument. The revolution
destroyed these exclusive privileges, and established equality of
rights. All the avenues of wealth and greatness were equally open
to every citizen, according to his talents. The French nation
established the imperial throne, and placed me upon it. The throne
of France was granted before to Hugh Capet, by a few bishops and
nobles. The imperial throne was given to me, by the desire of the

Joseph Bonaparte was of very essential service to Napoleon in the
diplomatic intercourse of the times. Lucien also was employed in
various ways, and the whole family were taken under the protection
of the First Consul. At St. Helena Napoleon uttered the following
graphic and truthful eulogium upon his brothers and sisters: "What
family, in similar circumstances, would have acted better? Every
one is not qualified to be a statesman. That requires a combination
of powers which does not often fall to the lot of any one. In this
respect all my brothers were singularly situated; they possessed
at once too much and too little talent. They felt themselves too
strong to resign themselves. blindly to a guiding counselor, and
yet too weak to be left entirely to themselves. But take them all
in all I have certainly good reason to be proud of my family. Joseph
would have been an honor to society in any country, and Lucien
would have been an honor to any assembly; Jerome, as he advanced
in life, would have developed every qualification requisite
in a sovereign. Louis would have been distinguished in any rank
or condition of life. My sister Eliza was endowed with masculine
powers of mind; she must have proved herself a philosopher in her
adverse fortune. Caroline possessed great talents and capacity.
Pauline, perhaps the most beautiful woman of her age, has been and
will continue to the end of her life, the most amiable creature in
the world. As to my mother, she deserves all kinds of veneration.
How seldom is so numerous a family entitled to so much praise. Add
to this, that, setting aside the jarring of political opinions, we
sincerely loved each other. For my part, I never ceased to cherish
fraternal affection for them all. And I am convinced that in their
hearts they felt the same sentiments toward me, and that in case
of need, they would have given me every proof of it."

The proud old nobility, whom Napoleon had restored to France,
and upon many of whom he had conferred their confiscated estates,
manifested no gratitude toward their benefactor. They were sighting
for the re-enthronement of the Bourbons, and for the return of the
good old times, when all the offices of emolument and honor were
reserved for them and for their children, and the people were
but their hewers of wood and drawers of water. In the morning, as
beggars, they would crowd the audience-chamber of the First Consul
with their petitions. In the evening they disdained to honor his
levees with their presence. They spoke contemptuously of Josephine,
of her kindness and her desire to conciliate all parties. They
condemned every thing that Napoleon did. He, however, paid no heed
to their murmurings. He would not condescend even to punish them
by neglect. In that most lofty pride which induced him to say that,
in his administration he wished to imitate the elemency of God , he
endeavored to consult for the interests of all, both the evil and
the unthankful. His fame was to consist, not in revenging himself
upon his enemies, but in aggrandizing France.

At this time Napoleon's establishment at the Tuileries rather resembled
that of a very rich gentleman, than the court of a monarch. Junot,
one of his aids, was married to Mademoiselle Permon, the young
lady whose name will be remembered in connection with the anecdote
of "Puss in Boots." Her mother was one of the most haughty of the
ancient nobility, who affected to look upon Napoleon with contempt
as not of royal blood. The evening after her marriage Madame Junot
was to be presented to Josephine. After the Opera she drove to the
Tuileries. It was near eleven o'clock. As Josephine had appointed
the hour, she was expected. Eugene, hearing the wheels of the carriage,
descended to the court-yard, presented his arm to Madame Junot,
and they entered the large saloon together. It was a magnificent
apartment, magnificently furnished. Two chandeliers, surrounded
with gauze to soften the glare, shed a subdued and grateful light
over the room. Josephine was seated before a tapestry-frame working
upon embroidery. Near her sat Hortense, sylph-like in figure,
and surpassingly gentle and graceful in her manners. Napoleon was
standing near Josephine, with his hands clasped behind him, engaged
in conversation with his wife and her lovely daughter. Upon the
entrance of Madame Junot Josephine immediately arose, took her
two hands, and, affectionately kissing her, said, "I have too long
been Junot's friend, not to entertain the same sentiments for his
wife; particularly for the one he has chosen."

"Oh, Josephine!" said Napoleon, "that is running on very fast.
How do you know that this little pickle is worth loving. Well,
Mademoiselle Loulou (you see that I do not forget the names of my
old friends), have you not a word for me!" Saying this, he gently
took her hand and drew her toward him.

The young bride was much embarrassed, and yet she struggled to
retain her pride of birth. "General!" she replied, smiling, "it is
not for me to speak first."

"Very well parried," said Napoleon, playfully, "the mother's spirit!
And how is Madame Permon?"

"Very ill, general! For two years her health has caused us great

"Indeed," said Napoleon," so bad as that? I am sorry to hear it;
very sorry. Make my regards to her. It is a wrong head, a proud
spirit, but she has a generous heart and a noble soul. I hope that we
shall often see you, Madame Junot. My intention is to draw around
me a numerous family, consisting of my generals and their young
wives. They will be of my wife and of Hortense, as their husbands
are my friends. But you must not expect to meet here your acquaintances
of the ancient nobility. I do not like them. They are my enemies,
and prove it by defaming."

This was but the morning twilight of that imperial splendor which
afterward dazzled the most powerful potentates of Europe. Hortense,
who subsequently became the wife of Louis Bonaparte, and the mother
of Louis Napoleon, who, at the moment of this present writing, is
at the head of the government of France, was then seventeen years
of age. "She was," Madame Junot, "fresh as a rose. Though her fair
complexion was not relieved by much color, she had enough to produce
that freshness and bloom which was her chief beauty. A profusion of
light hair played in silken locks around her soft and penetrating
blue eyes. The delicate roundness of her figure, slender as
a palm-tree, was set off by the elegant carriage of her head. But
that which formed the chief attraction of Hortense was the grace
and suavity of her manners, which united the Creole nonchalance
with the vivacity of France. She was gay, gentle, and amiable. She
had wit, which, without the smallest ill-temper, had just malice
enough to be amusing. A polished and well-conducted education had
improved her natural talents. She drew excellently, sang harmoniously,
and performed admirably in comedy. In 1800, she was a charming young
girl. She afterward became one of the most amiable princesses in
Europe. I have seen many, both in their own courts and in Paris,
but I have never known one who had any pretensions to equal talents.
She was beloved by every one. Her brother loved her tenderly. The
First Consul looked upon her as his child."

Napoleon has been accused of an improper affection for Hortense. The
world has been filled with the slander. Says Bourrienne, "Napoleon
never cherished for her any feeling but a real paternal tenderness.
He loved her after his marriage with her mother, as he would have
loved his own child. At least for three years I was a witness
to all their most private actions, and I declare I never saw any
thing that could furnish the least ground for suspicion, nor the
slightest trace of a culpable intimacy. This calumny must be classed
among those which malice delights to take in the character of men
who become celebrated, calumnies which are adopted lightly and without
reflection. Napoleon is no more. Let his memory be accompanied only
by that, be it good or bad, which really took place. Let not this
reproach be made a charge against him by the impartial historian.
I must say, in conclusion, on this delicate subject, that his
principles were rigid in an extreme degree, and that any fault of
the nature charged, neither entered his mind, nor was in accordance
with his morals or his taste."

At St. Helena Napoleon was one day looking over a book containing
an account of his amours. He smiled as he glanced his eye over the
pages, saying, "I do not even know the names of most of the females
who are mentioned here. This is all very foolish. Every body knows
that had no time for such dissipation."

One beautiful evening, in the year 1815, the parish priest of San
Pietro, a village a few miles distant from Sevilla, returned much
fatigued to his little cottage, where he found his aged housekeeper,
the Senora Margarita, watching for him. Notwithstanding that one is
well accustomed to the sight of poverty in Spain, it was impossible
to help being struck by the utter of destitution which appeared
in the house of the good priest; the more so, as every imaginable
contrivance had been restored to, to hide the nakedness of the
walls, and the shabbiness of the furniture. Margarita had prepared
for her master's super a rather small dish of olla-podriga , which
consisted, to say the truth, of the remains of the dinner, seasoned
and disguised with great skill, and with the addition of some sauce,
and a name . As she placed the savory dish upon the table, the
priest said: "We should thank God for this good supper, Margarita:
this olla-podriga makes one's mouth water. My friend, you ought
to be grateful for finding so good a supper at the house of your
host!" At the word host, Margarita raised her eyes, and saw a
stranger, who had followed her mater. Her countenance changed, and
she looked annoyed. .......... She glanced indignantly first at
the unknown, and then at the priest, who, looking down, said in a
low voice, and with the timidity of a child: "What is enough for
two, is always enough for three; and surely you would not wish that
I should allow a Christian to die of hunger? He has not tasted food
for two days."

"A Christian! He is more like a brigand!" and Margarita let the
room, murmuring loudly enough to be heard.

Meanwhile, the unwelcome guest had remained standing at the door.
He was a man of great height, half-dressed in rags and covered
with mud; while his black hair, piercing eyes, and carbine, gave
him an appearance which, though hardly prepossessing, was certainly
interesting. "Must I go?" said he.

The priest replied with an emphatic gesture: "Those whom I bring
under my roof are never driven forth, and are never unwelcome. Put
down your carbine. Let us say grace, and go to table."

"I never leave my carbine, for, as the Castilian proverb says, "Two
friends are one.' My carbine is my best friend; and I always keep
it beside me. Although you allow me to come into your house, and
do not oblige me to leave until I wish to do so, there are others
who would think nothing of hauling me out, and perhaps, with me
feet foremost. Come--to your good health, mine host, and let us to

The priest possessed an extremely good appetite, but the voracity
of the stranger soon obliged him to give up, for not contented with
eating, or rather devouring, nearly the whole of the olla-podriga,
the guest finished a large loaf of bread, without leaving a crumb.
While he ate, he kept continually looking round with an expression
of inquietude: he started at the slightest sound; and once, when
a violent gust of wind made the door bang, he sprang to his feet,
and seized his carbine, with an air which showed that, if necessary,
he would sell his life dearly. Discovering the cause of the alarm,
he reseated himself at table, and finished his repast.

"Now," said he, "I have one thing more to ask. I have been wounded,
and for eight days my wound has not been dressed. Give me a few
old rags, and you shall be no longer burdened with my presence."

"I am in no haste for you to go," replied the priest, whose quest,
notwithstanding his constant watchfulness, had conversed very
entertainingly. "I know something of surgery, and will dress your

So saying, he took from a cupboard a case containing every thing
necessary, and proceeded to do as he had said. The stranger had
bled profusely, a ball having passed through his thigh; and to have
traveled in this condition, and while suffering, too, from want of
food, showed a strength, which seemed hardly human.

"You can not possibly continue your journey to-day," said the
host. "You must pass the night here. A little rest will get up your
strength, diminish the inflammation of your wound, and--"

"I must go to--day, and immediately," interrupted the stranger.
"There are some who wait for me," he added with a sigh--"and there
are some, too,who follow me." And the momentary look of softness
passed from his features between the clauses of the sentence, and
gave place to an expression almost of ferocity. "Now, is it finished?
That is well. See, I can walk as firmly as though I had never been
wounded. Give me some bread: pay yourself for your hospitality with
this piece of gold, and adieu."

The priest put back the gold with displeasure. "I am not an innkeeper,
said he; "and I do not sell my hospitality."

"As you will, but pardon me; and now farewell, my kind host."

So saying he took the bread, which Margarita, at her master's command,
very unwillingly gave him, and soon his tall figure disappeared
among the thick foliage of a wood which surrounded the house, or
rather the cabin. An hour had scarcely passed, when musket-shots
were heard close by, and the unknown reappeared, deadly pale, and
bleeding from a deep wound near the heart.

"Take these," said he, giving pieces of gold to his late host;
"they are for my children--near the stream--in the valley."

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deadly agency, which it had power to exert. Even the roadway leading
up and down the mountain is not always safe, it would seem, from
these dangerous intruders. It is rocky and solitary, and is bordered
every where with gloomy ravines and chasms, all filled with dense and
entangled thickets, in which, and in the cavernous rocks of which
the strata of the mountain are composed, wild beast and noxious
animals of every kind find a secure retreat. The monks relate that
not many years ago a servant of the convent, who had been sent
down the mountain to Haifa, to accompany a traveler, was attacked
and seized by a panther on his return. The panther, however, instead
of putting his victim immediately to death, began to play with him
as a cat plays with a mouse which she has succeeded in making her
prey-holding him gently with her claws, for a time, and then, after
drawing back a little, darting upon him again, as if to repeat and
renew the pleasure of capturing such a prize. This was continued so
long, that the cries of the terrified captive brought to the spot
some persons that chanced to be near, when the panther was terrified
in her turn, and fled into the forests; and then the man was rescued
from his horrible situation unharmed.

For these and similar reasons, travelers who ascend to the convent
of Mt. Carmel, enjoy but little liberty there, but most confine
their explorations in most cases to the buildings of the monks,
and to some of the nearest caves of the ancient recluses. Still
the spot is rendered so attractive by the salubrity of the air,
the intrinsic beauty of the situation, the magnificence of the
prospect, and the kind and attentive demeanor of the monks, that
some visitors have recommended it as a place of permanent resort
for those who leave their homes in the West in pursuit of health,
or in search of retirement and repose. The rule that requires those
who have been guests of the convent more than two weeks to give
place to others more recently arrived, proves in facto be no serious
difficulty. Some kind of an arrangement can in such cases always,
be made, though it is seldom that any occasion arises that requires
it. The quarters, too, though plain and simple are comfortable and
neat, and although the visitor is somewhat restricted, from causes
that have already been named, in respect to explorations of the
mountain itself, there are many excursions that can be made in the
country below, of a very attractive character. He can visit Haifa,
he can ride or walk along the beach to Acre; he can go to Nazareth,
or journey down the coast, passing round the western declivity of
the mountain. In these and similar rambles he will find scenes of
continual novelty to attract him, and be surrounded every where
with the forms and usages of Oriental life.

The traveler who comes to Mt. Carmel by the way .......... of Nazareth
and the plain of Esdraelon, in going away from it generally passes
round the western declivity of the mountain, and thence proceeds
to the south, by the way of the sea. On reaching the foot of
the descent, where the mountain mule-path comes out into the main
road, as shown upon the map near the commencement of this article,
he turns shorts to the left, and goes on round the base of the
promontory, with the lofty declivities of the mountain on one hand,
and a mass of dense forests on the other, lying between the road
and the shore. As he passes on, the road, picturesque and romantic
from the beginning becomes gradually wild, solitary, and desolate.
It leads him sometimes through tangled thickets, sometimes under
shelving rocks, and sometimes it brings him out unexpectedly to
the shore of the sea, where he sees the surf rolling in upon the
beach at his feet, and far over the water the setting sun going
down to his rest beneath the western horizon. At length the twilight
gradually disappears, and as the shades of the evening come on,
lights glimmer in the solitary villages that he passes on his way;
but there is no welcome for him in their beaming. At length when
he deems it time to bring his day's journey to an end, he pitches
his tent by the wayside in some unfrequented spot, and before he
retires to rest for the night, comes out to take one more view of
the dark and sombre mountain which he is about to leave forever. He
stands at the door of his tent, and gazes at it long and earnestly,
before he bids it farewell, equally impressed with the sublime
magnificence of its situation and form, and with the solemn grandeur
of its history.

France was now at peace with all the world. It was universally
admitted that Napoleon was the great pacificator. He was the idol
of France. The masses of the people in Europe, every where regarded
him as their advocate and friend, the enemy of aristocratic usurpation,
and the great champion of equality. The people of France no longer
demanded liberty . Weary years of woe had taught them gladly
to relinquish the boon. They only desired a ruler who would take
care of them, govern them, protect them from the power of allied
despotism, and give them equal rights. Though Napoleon had now but
the title of First Consul, and France was nominally a republic,

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