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golden age which exists only in their imagination, may talk of degeneracy and decay; but no man who is correctly informed as to the past will be disposed to take a
morose or desponding view of the present. 4 I should very imperfectly execute the task which I
have undertaken if I were merely to treat of battles and sieges, of the rise and fall of administrations, of intrigues in the palace, and of debates in the Parliament. It will be my endeavor to relate the history of the people as well as the history of the Government; to trace the progress of useful and ornamental arts; to describe the rise of religious sects and the changes of literary taste; to portray the manners of successive generations, and not to pass by with neglect even the revolutions which have taken place in dress, furniture, repasts, and public entertainments. I shall cheerfully bear the reproach of having descended below the dignity of history if I can succeed in placing before the English of the nineteenth century a true picture of the life of their ancestors.
Napoleon's sudden and dazzling rise to fame was one of the results of the French revolution, perhaps the most important event that has marked the history of the last hundred years. Revolutions like this always bring men of Napoleon's character into the front rank; they are, indeed, the nursery of such spirits. Napoleon I was a native of Corsica, and was born in 1769. After a career of amazing brilliancy, in which he vanquished the armies of nearly every nation of continental Europe, he was finally defeated at Wa
terloo in 1815, and died in exile at St. Helena, 1821. It is difficult to recommend historians of Napoleon's life with confidence. Thiers, Alison, and Lanfrey should be consulted, and a judgment formed by the careful comparison of authorities. What kin was the late Louis Napoleon to Napoleon I, and what relation was he to Josephine, Napoleon's divorced wife ?
The figure of Napoleon Bonaparte first emerges into 1 the view of history at the siege of Toulon, toward the end of the year 1793.
The revolutionary storm in which the evening of the 2 last century went down over France was at its wildest working. Those fierce, irregular forces, which, in the world of mind, are scientifically correspondent to the tornado, the earthquake, the fever, the volcano in the world of external nature, and which seem retained for seasons of crisis and emergency, were performing their terrible ministry. The statical balance of society had been disturbed ; the normal forces—the forces of calmness, of growth, of persistence-required to be readjusted. The untamed, primeval powers which always underlie the surface of civilization, like old Titans under quiet hills and wooded plains, had broken their confinement; the solid framework of capacity and authority by which they had been compressed had crumbled down in mere impotence and imbecility, and they now went raving and uncommanded over France. Fear, fury, hot enthusiasm, fanaticism, ferocity, the courage of the wildcat, the cruelty of the tiger, hope to the measure of frenzy, suspicion to the measure of disease, spread confusion through all the borders of the country. At Toulon the general con- 3 fusion was forcibly represented, though but in miniature. The town, defended by a motley crew of British, Spaniards, Neapolitans, and insurgent French, was besieged on behalf of the convention by two armies. These wel
tered wildly round it, strong in numbers, in valor, in zeal, in stubbornness, but rendered powerless through want of control and direction. Here, as universally over France, the gravitation by which faculty comes into the place of command had not had time to act. Cartaux, the general, strutted about in gold lace, self-satisfied in his ignorance of the position of affairs, bold in his unconsciousness of danger. Representatives of the people, empowered to intermeddle on all occasions, swaggered here and there in the camp, storming, babbling, urging everything to feverish haste, making progress anywhere impossible. Noise, distraction, fussy impotence—such was the specta
cle presented on all hands. 4 Then appeared, to take the command of the artillery,
the young Corsican officer, Napoleon Bonaparte. Though very young, just completing his twenty-fourth year, he had a look of singular composure, taciturnity, and resolution. Short and slim, but well-knit and active, his figure and port were expressive at once of alertness and selfpossession_his eye very quiet and very clear. It would hardly have struck a casual observer that here was the commanding and irresistible mind which was to introduce order, the highest, perhaps, of which they were capable, among the tumultuous forces of the French
Revolution. 5 Looking steadily and silently into the matter, the
secret of success at once revealed itself to Napoleon. The troops and artillery had been scattered and dissipated. Yonder was the keystone of the arch ; it was an endless business to batter upon each stone in the structure; concentrate the fire upon that one point, bring down that one stone, and the whole must fall. The town and harbor of Toulon lay here to the north ; the channel by which both communicated with the Mediterranean stretched
yonder toward the south ; and that promontory at some distance from the town, its strong fortifications giving it the name of Little Gibraltar and indicating the importance attached to it, commanded this channel. If, therefore, Little Gibraltar was won, you
sweep the gateway of the harbor in such a manner that the British fleet would be shy of remaining; and the British fleet once withdrawn, Toulon could offer no resistance. Thus clear 6 and definite was Napoleon's thought, and it was to be proved whether he could as skillfully convert it into action. In action he seemed thought personified, thought made alive and armed with the sword of the lightning. The wild valor of enthusiasm had been nothing to this directed courage; the dogged obstinacy of fanatic rage had been weak in comparison with this calm resolution; the haste and fierceness of Ceitic ardor had been tardy to this imperturbable swiftness. Day and night, sleeping only for a few hours in his cloak by the guns, he toils at his batteries, collecting cannon, devising feints, turning the very blunders of incompetence into occasions of advantage; no stupidity, no envy, no obstacle can ruffle his composure, or cause a nerve to flutter in that slight but steelly frame. At last all is prepared. Suddenly there bursts upon Little Gibraltar an overwhelming fire. Eight thousand bombs are poured on it over night; in the morning the troops surge in, victorious, through the shattered walls, and Little Gibraltar is taken. Toulon then falls, and Napoleon Bonaparte is a marked man.
NAPOLEON BONAPARTE.-HIS ITALIAN CAMPAIGN.
HIS MILITARY GENIUS.
Napoleon's Italian campaign partakes almost of the marvelous in its splendid success. “Romance, indeed, assumed the air of reality.” Old and tried commanders were routed by this boy general, who disregarded all the conventional laws of war. Rarely has military renown been so suddenly and so thoroughly achieved. An excellent account of the Italian campaign will be found in Lanfrey's “Life of Napoleon.”
1 Of all the periods in the life of Napoleon, the mind is apt to rest with most enthusiasm upon that of his early campaign in Italy. His fame may be said to have been as yet unsullied ; even that apparent defection from the principles of liberty, which a severe investigation of his conduct reveals, admits not unreasonably of being traced to a soldierly love of order. And he had won his exalted position through so honest and unmistakable a display of intellectual power! Unfriended among the myriads of revolutionary France, and at first scowled upon by envious incompetence, he had approved himself a man of indubitable and overpowering capacity, who could think,
who could act, whom it would clearly be advantageous to 2 obey. One can not but experience a thrill of emotion as the imagination pictures him in his first appearance among the soldiers of Italy. Of all warrior-faces Napoleon's is the finest. Not only has it that clearness of line, that strength and firmness of chiseling, which gives a nobleness to the faces of all great soldiers; there is in it, in the eye especially, a depth of thought and reflection which belongs peculiarly to itself, and suggests not merely the soldier but the sovereign. And perhaps the face of Na