Napoleon at St. Helena: Or, Interesting Anecdotes and Remarkable Conversations of the Emperor during the Five and a Half Years of His Captivity

Napoleon at St. Helena: Or, Interesting Anecdotes and Remarkable Conversations of the Emperor during the Five and a Half Years of His Captivity

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Napoleon at St. Helena: Or, Interesting Anecdotes and Remarkable Conversations of the Emperor during the Five and a Half Years of His Captivity

Napoleon at St. Helena: Or, Interesting Anecdotes and Remarkable Conversations of the Emperor during the Five and a Half Years of His Captivity

Read FREE!

Excerpt

THE Emperor Napoleon, by almost universal consent, is pronounced to be, intellectually, the most illustrious of mankind. Even his bitterest enemies are compelled to do homage to the universality and the grandeur of his genius. Lamartine declares him to be "the greatest of the creations of God." In the following terms, Sir Archibald Alison testifies to his gigantic intelligence:

"Never were talents of the highest, genius of the most exalted kind, more profusely bestowed upon a human being. The true scene of Napoleon's glory, and the most characteristic of the ruling passion of his mind, was his cabinet. Those who are struck with astonishment at the immense information and just discrimination which he displayed at the council-board, and the varied and important public improvements which he set on foot in every part of his dominions, will form a most inadequate conception of his mind, unless they are at the same time familiar with the luminous and profound views which he threw out on the philosophy of politics in the solitude of St. Helena. Never was evinced a clearer proof of the truth, which a practical acquaintance with men must probably have impressed upon every observer, that talent of the highest order is susceptible of any application, and that accident or Supreme direction alone determines whether their possessor is to become a Homer, a Bacon, or a Napoleon.

"It would require the observation of a Thucydides, directing the pencil of a Tacitus, to portray, by a few touches, such a character; and modern idiom, even in their hands, would probably have proved inadequate to the task. Equal to Alexander in military achievement, superior to Justinian in legal information, sometimes second only to Bacon in political sagacity, he possessed, at the same time, the inexhaustible resources of Hannibal, and the administrative powers of Cæsar."

The genius of Napoleon is astounding. All branches of human knowledge seemed alike familiar to his gigantic mind. His conversations at St. Helena, scattered through the numerous and voluminous memorials of those who gleaned them, are replete with intensest interest. During the long agony of his imprisonment and his death, he conversed with perfect freedom upon the events of his marvelous career, and upon all those subjects of morals, politics, and religion, which most deeply concern the welfare of our race. There is . . .

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