The History of Napoleon the First - Vol. 1

The History of Napoleon the First - Vol. 1

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The History of Napoleon the First - Vol. 1

The History of Napoleon the First - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Napoleon has for the most part had no judgment passed upon him but that either of profound hatred or of profound attachment. After his death, as during his life, it has been his fate to stir the hearts of men to their depths, and the battles to which his policy gave rise have been fought again over his memory. To popular deification and the interested encomiums of party spirit, to the complaisant eulogy of historians, the dupes or accomplices of vulgar prejudice, others have retorted by violent invectives, in which we have often seen Truth wounded by her own weapons. Napoleon's glory has always found more flatterers than detractors, for the incense of which there is no more to spare for the idol is still lavished on the worshippers. History is made for neither of these parts, for neither is compatible with the dignity of the judge, nor with the calm of perfect equity.

Now that detraction and apology have, while exhausting themselves, prepared all the elements of complete information, the time seems to have come for a more clear-sighted estimate. If, after so many eminent politicians, philosophers, historians, and poets, I venture in my turn to examine . . .

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