« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
MILITARY AND POLITICAL
FROM HIS ORIGIN, TO HIS
DEATH ON THE ROCK OF ST. HELENA:
COMPRISING A JUST OUTLINE
OF HIS SPLENDID AND UNEXAMPLED MILITARY CAREER, FROM
HIS FIRST ENTERING THE REGIMENT LA FERE AS LIEUTEN-
BATTLE OF WATERLOO;
A DETAILED VIEW OF HIS EXTRAORDINARY RETURN TO FRANCE
REIGN OF 100 DAYS,
AN AUTHENTIC NARRATIVE OF THE CONDUCT OF NAPOLEON DUR-
ING AIS VOYAGE TO ST. HELENA, AND WHILE IN EXILE, AND
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT, ss.
BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the tenth L. S. day of October, in the forty-seventh year of the Inde
pendence of the United States of America, Chauncey Goodrich of the said District, hath deposited in this office the title of a Book, the right whereof he claims as Proprietor, in the words following, to with : “ Memoirs of the Military and Political Life of Napoleon Bonaparte, from his origin, to his death on the rock of St. Helena : comprising a just outline of his splendid and unexampled military career, from his first entering the regiment La Fereas Lieutenant, to its tremendous termination at the battle of Waterloo ; a detailed view of his extraordinary return to France from Elba, and the events of his ensuing reign of 100 days. Embracing also an authentic narrative of the conduct of Napoleon during his voyage to St. Helena, and while in exile; änd of events attending his confinement, sickness, and death, with numerous private documents, now first published in this country, and collected chiefly from the writings of Dr. B. E. O'Meara, Surgeon to Napoleon at St. Helena."--- In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the Authors and Proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned.” And also to an act, entitled, “ An act supplementary to an act, entitled an act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Book, to the Authors and Proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints."
CHAS. A. INGERSOLL,
. A true copy of Record, examined and sealed by me,
CHAS. A. INGERSOLL,
This work has no higher claims than that of a compilation. The author has availed himself of most of the publications which have appeared relative to the wars, government, and character of the extraordinary man who is the subject of it. He is not aware that this subject has before been touched upon by the pen of a citizen of the United States; he has however seen one publication that purports to have been written by “ an American," which nevertheless bears conclusive internal evidence of being an English production. Among the numerous publications which have appeared relating to the life and character of Bonaparte, few are characterised by candour and impartiality. They have nearly all proceeded from the admirers or enemies of this wonderful man. This is not only true of the French, but equally so of the English authors. The events of the last thirty years, in which Napoleon has taken so distinguished a part, have occasioned strong feelings, partialities, prejudices, and animosities, which have pervaded all Europe, but particularly the two great rival nations, England and France, who have been the soul of this long and desolating contest. Where the national mind is so strongly imbued, few individuals can claim an exemption from feelings which have pervaded all ranks from the throne to the cottage. And aside from the influence of strong national feelings and prejudices, it is natural to view the conduct of extraordinary men through a false medium; the splendour which surrounds their name, the result of great achievements, fascinates the multitude, and hurries them into an excess of admiration; whereas those whose prejudices have been shocked, or interests attacked, receive from the same causes a deeper and more deadly malignity. It seems to be the fate of such extraordinary individuals not to be considered as men; their virtues and vices are so magnified and viowed in a faloc light that they are either feared and hated as demons, or “as gods adored." This in an eminent degree has been the case of the subject of this work. Perhaps no man ever lived who was so much admired, extolled and beloved on the one hand, and detested, slandered and vilified on the other, as Napoleon Bonaparte. His virtues were the balm of Gilead with some, which healed all the wounds of the body politic; and his vices were the Bohun Upas of others, which poisoned social order, and spread a deadly infection throughout the civilized world.
All however must admit that he was the most wonderful and extraordinary man the world has efter witnessed. His rise, progress, and fall, are without example in their general character, aside from the striking incidents which they present. His career of “ glorious war," is unprecedented in ancient or modern times;
and his personal exaltation and power, are removed at equal distance from any example. And that the same extraor
dinary destiny should attend him to the last, his fall is equally extraordinary with his rise and exaltation. Perhaps this is the most marvelous and sublime feature in his wonderful career. What can give so sublime and exalted an idea of the power and greatness of an individual as to view him as the object of the hos· tility of half the civilized world ; to contemplate emperors, kings, princes, potentates of all the nations in Europe, uniting and forming a solemn league against one man. He falls before this vast combination of power; but the extent and magnitude of the means by which he was overthrown, exalt him if possible, higher than he stood before. How great was his fall! from a throne, and we can almost say from the sovereignty of all Europe to the chief magistracy of an insignificant Island: from the dominion of half Europe to that of a few acres of land! But great as was hisfall, it was not irretrievable. From obscurity, from exile, and from contempt, he rises as upon the wings of destiny to his former exaltation, and seats himself again on the throne, from which he had been driven by all Europe in arms. His restoration is a grand episode in the wonderful drama of his life.
He falls again by the same m Ds; but his greatness does not end with his power. His enemies still contribute to exalt him in his misfortunes; although fallen he is not degraded; he is still to be considered as an
-“ Archangel ruined Or the excess of glory obscured.”. Without power, and a prisoner, he continues the terror of his enemies, and to alarm all Europe. The great and magnanimous allies make common cause to confine him on a rock in the Atlantic ocean. The close of the drama is not less extraordinary, or less dignity in it, than any other part of it.
Whatever concerns such a character must excite curiosity and interest; hence it is that for twenty years the world has been inundated with books of every name and description concerning this extraordinary man.
This volume contains a sketch or outline of his life, from his first entering into the army to his death. The early part of his career having been so often written, is passed over briefly, and the latter part, or the period from his first abdication is intended to have been full and complete.
We have endeavoured to give the work as much interest and variety as possible, and have carefully collected most of the incidents and anecdotes with which his life abounds, excluding those however, which evidently want authenticity. Our materials have been drawn from the most approved and authentic sources, and we have sedulously aimed at correctness and impartiality. We have attempted a free and popular style, and at the same time to avoid vulgarity or impurity of diction, and to preserve that degree of dignity which the subject required.
campaign-Conquers all İtaly, and obtains immense treasures.