A. L. GUÉRARD
AT first sight one might ignore this author as not being typical. Guérard was a Frenchman, but he was half anglicized, wrote in English, and was professor at an American university. But the chapter ' Napoleon' in his French Civilization in the Nineteenth Century,1 is in its conciseness an excellent summary of what I may call the opposition point of view. It is sober in the good sense of the word, that is to say, not clouded by romanticism, or propaganda and advertisement, but penetrated with respect for humanistic and cultural values.
All the motifs already known to us -- the love of war, the pride and exclusive faith in force, the spiritual compulsion through Concordat, Université and press censorship, the undermining of independence by an excess of bureaucratic centralization, the reactionary tendencies in legislation and social reconstruction, the vulgar display and undignified snobbery in the improvised court, find their place in this sketch. And yet the picture is not, as are those of Lanfrey and of Taine, devoid of light. Guérard acknowledges that there is something beautiful in the first idea of the Consulate and in the constructive work then undertaken, though he sees at the same time the dangers threatening the whole venture. ' Bonaparte's ambition knew no internal check: he had no scruples, a limited culture, and boundless contempt for "ideology" and for "imponderable" forces.'
Nevertheless he ends with the remark that the character of the imperial period, as seen from the point of view of the historian of culture, is more complex than is generally assumed. Through the oppressive imitation classicism there appear signs of a liberating aspiration after a new and higher existence. In this young romanticism the new Caesar is also a factor 'in spite of his Italian ancestry, his classical features, his Roman aspirations and the practical character of much of his work'. 'The contrasts and dangers of his adventurous career; his constant hankerings after____________________