NAPOLEON AND THE DEMOCRACY
ONE point is clear in all these discussions on Waterloo and its sequel: so clear and yet so unnoticed that it seems worth a short digression. Whatever Napoleon may occasionally say in retrospect, with regard to placing himself at the head of a popular and revolutionary movement after Waterloo, we are convinced that he was only deluding himself, or toying with his audience. "The recollections of my youth deterred me," he said with truth at St Helena. He had seen too much of the Revolution to face any such contingency. He had been the friend of Robespierre, or rather of Robespierre's brother, but after having reigned over France as a sovereign he entertained, it is clear, the profoundest repugnance to anything resembling revolution or even disorder. No eye-witness of the Terror was affected by a more profound reaction than Napoleon. It had left him with a horror for excess, and a passion for order. He could have uttered with absolute truth the proud words which his dynastic successor uttered with more imperfect fulfilment: "Pour l'ordre, j'en réponds."
This was no secret to his intimates. He feared the people, said Chaptal; the least discontent or disturbance, the slightest rising affected him more than the loss of a battle. He was perpetually vigilant on this point. He would send for his ministers and say that there was not enough work, that the artisans would lend an ear to agitators, and that he feared an insurrec
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Publication information: Book title: Napoleon, the Last Phase. Contributors: Lord Rosebery - Author. Publisher: Arthur L. Humphreys. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 1900. Page number: 206.
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