would almost lead me to doubt whether I was right in counting him, even with the reservations I made, among the spiritual descendants of Mme de Staël. 'The significance of these cases', he says, 'lies only in their value as anecdotes', and he deems it of greater importance to establish by a number of less known indications, such as the audacious expression of war fatigue by the Chamber of Commerce of Lyons, that men were waiting for things to happen, that there was no feeling of confidence in the lasting character of the regime.
It will have been noticed before, not only that Lefebvre underlined the bourgeois character of Mme de Staël's policy, but also that he placed upon a low level the motives of Chateaubriand in writing Le Génie du Christianisme. This tendency to bring poets and intellectuals and also, as we saw, the Pope, down a peg, and rather to listen to Chambers of Commerce, certainly does not fit very well in the line of liberal moralists which we can attach to Mme de Staël.
Insufficiency, failure -- after all we have heard about misconceptions, mistakes, the habit of misleading, the question arises whether Lefebvre's judgment of Napoleon, though he finds something irresistibly great and fascinating in the figure, is not purely negative. Let me give, in answer and at the same time in conclusion, a brief summary of his findings.
After the failure of his gigantic undertaking -- so he writes in effect -- the Emperor has become, in the imagination of the poets, a second Prometheus, whose temerity was punished by divine power, the symbol of human genius struggling with fate. There are some, on the other hand, who have wanted to make him the plaything of historical determinism; wrongly so, the imperial dignity, and the conquests beyond the natural frontiers, were his personal initiative. Even the thesis that this must fatally lead to his undoing, a thesis which would have its uses for the teaching of a spiring Caesars and for the good of mankind, cannot be upheld.
'His personal ambition was not realized; but he has nevertheless left profound traces. In France he consolidated the new State by giving it, with a master hand, its administrative organization, The