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NAPOLEON ***




Produced by Turgut Dincer, Charlie Howard, and the Online
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NAPOLEON


[Illustration]


[Illustration: _Napoleon._

_From a portrait by Lassalle._]




NAPOLEON

A Sketch of

HIS LIFE, CHARACTER, STRUGGLES, AND
ACHIEVEMENTS


BY

THOMAS E. WATSON
AUTHOR OF “THE STORY OF FRANCE,” ETC.


_ILLUSTRATED WITH PORTRAITS AND FACSIMILES_


New York
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
LONDON: MACMILLAN & CO., LTD.
1903

_All rights reserved_




COPYRIGHT, 1902,
BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.

Set up and electrotyped February, 1902. Reprinted May, 1902; January,
1903.


Norwood Press
J. S. Cushing & Co. - Berwick & Smith
Norwood Mass. U.S.A.




TO MY WIFE

Georgia Durham Watson




PREFACE


In this volume the author has made the effort to portray Napoleon as he
appears to an average man. Archives have not been rummaged, new sources
of information have not been discovered; the author merely claims to
have used such authorities, old and new, as are accessible to any
diligent student. No attempt has been made to give a full and detailed
account of Napoleon’s life or work. To do so would have required the
labor of a decade, and the result would be almost a library. The
author _has_ tried to give to the great Corsican his proper historical
position, his true rating as a man and a ruler, - together with a just
estimate of his achievements.

THOMSON, GEORGIA,
Dec. 24, 1901.




CONTENTS


CHAPTER PAGE
I. CORSICA 1

II. BOYHOOD 17

III. LIEUTENANT 37

IV. REVOLUTION 47

V. RETURNS HOME 58

VI. FIRST SERVICE 70

VII. AT MARSEILLES 86

VIII. 13TH OF VENDÉMIAIRE 94

IX. THE YOUNG REPUBLIC 115

X. JOSEPHINE 123

XI. THE ARMY OF ITALY 135

XII. MILAN 148

XIII. MANTUA 159

XIV. CAMPO FORMIO 175

XV. JOSEPHINE AT MILAN 188

XVI. EGYPT 196

XVII. THE SIEGE OF ACRE 211

XVIII. THE RETURN TO FRANCE 221

XIX. THE REMOVAL OF THE COUNCILS 230

XX. THE FALL OF THE DIRECTORY 242

XXI. FIRST CONSUL 256

XXII. MARENGO 275

XXIII. THE CODE NAPOLÉON 294

XXIV. PLOT AND CONSPIRACY 310

XXV. EMPEROR 329

XXVI. DISTRIBUTION OF HONORS 349

XXVII. JENA 355

XXVIII. ENTRY INTO BERLIN 363

XXIX. WARSAW 372

XXX. HABITS AND CHARACTERISTICS 386

XXXI. HIGH-WATER MARK 412

XXXII. SPAIN 425

XXXIII. WAGRAM 435

XXXIV. THE DIVORCE 450

XXXV. MOSCOW 470

XXXVI. THE RETREAT 491

XXXVII. IN PARIS AGAIN 502

XXXVIII. METTERNICH 514

XXXIX. DRESDEN AND LEIPSIC 523

XL. RETREAT FROM LEIPSIC 543

XLI. THE FRANKFORT PROPOSALS 557

XLII. THE FALL OF PARIS 571

XLIII. ELBA 583

XLIV. ELBA 598

XLV. LOUIS XVIII 612

XLVI. THE RETURN FROM ELBA 628

XLVII. REORGANIZATION 635

XLVIII. WATERLOO 647

XLIX. WATERLOO 657

L. ST. HELENA 672

LI. ST. HELENA 687

INDEX 705




LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


NAPOLEON. From a portrait by Lassalle _Frontispiece_

FACING PAGE
NAPOLEON. From an engraving by Tomkins of a drawing from life
during the campaign in Italy 70

LETTER FROM NAPOLEON TO GENERAL CARTEAUX, DATED AT TOULON. In
facsimile 80

NAPOLEON. From a print in the collection of Mr. W. C. Crane.
The original engraving by G. Fiesinger, after a miniature
by Jean-Baptiste-Paulin Guérin. Deposited in the National
Library, Paris, 1799 136

LETTER FROM NAPOLEON IN ITALY TO JOSEPHINE. In facsimile 160

JOSEPHINE IN 1800. From a pastel by P. P. Prud’hon 188

NAPOLEON. From the painting by Paul Delaroche entitled “General
Buonaparte crossing the Alps” 200

NAPOLEON AS FIRST CONSUL, AT MALMAISON. From a painting by
J. B. Isabey 256

JOSEPHINE IN 1809. From a water-color by Isabey 338

MARIA LOUISA. From the portrait by Gérard in the Louvre 460

LETTER FROM NAPOLEON TO COUNTESS WALEWSKI, DATED APRIL 16,
1814. In facsimile 562

THE KING OF ROME. From the painting by Sir T. Lawrence 690




NAPOLEON




CHAPTER I


Corsica, an island in the Mediterranean Sea, has an extreme width of
52 miles and length of 116. It is within easy reach of Italy, France,
Spain, Sardinia, and the African coast. Within 54 miles lies Tuscany,
while Genoa is distant but 98, and the French coast at Nice is 106.
Across the island strides a chain of mountains, dividing it into two
nearly equal parts. The slopes of the hills are covered with dense
forests of gigantic pines and chestnuts, and on their summits rests
eternal snow. Down from these highlands rapid streams run to the sea.
There are many beautiful valleys and many fine bays and harbors.

The population of the island was, in the eighteenth century, about
130,000. The Italian type predominated. In religion it was Roman
Catholic.

The history of Corsica has been wonderfully dramatic. Peopled
originally by the Celts, perhaps, the island has been so often
war-swept, so often borne down under the rush of stronger nations,
that the native race almost disappeared. The Greeks from Asia Minor,
back in the dim ages, seized upon a part of the coast and colonized
it. Carthage, in her day of greatness, was its mistress; and then
came Rome, whose long period of supremacy left its stamp upon the
people, bringing as it did multitudes of Italians, with their language,
customs, and religion.

After the day of Rome came Germans, Byzantine Greeks, Moors, Goths,
Vandals, and Longobards. For centuries the island was torn by incessant
war, the Corsicans doing their utmost to keep themselves free from
foreign masters. The feudal system was fastened upon the struggling
people by the chiefs of the invaders. The crags were crowned with
castles, and half-savage feudal lords ruled by the law of their own
fierce lusts. They waged war upon each other, they ground down the
native races. Unable to defend themselves, miserably poor, but full of
desperate courage, the Corsicans fled from the coasts to escape the
pirate, and to the mountains to resist the feudal robber. In their
distress the peasants found a leader in Sambuccio, who organized them
into village communities, - a democratic, self-ruling confederation.
There were no serfs, no slaves, in Corsica; freedom and equality the
people claimed and fought for; and under Sambuccio they totally routed
the barons.

The great leader died; the barons took up arms again; the peasants
appealed to the margrave of Tuscany for aid; an army came from Italy,
the barons were beaten, and the village confederation restored. From
A.D. 1020 to A.D. 1070, Tuscany protected the Corsicans; but the popes,
having looked upon the land with eyes of desire, claimed it for the
Church, and, through skilful manipulations (such as are common in
cases of that kind), the people were persuaded to submit. In the year
1098 Pope Urban II. sold the island to Pisa, and for one hundred years
Corsica remained under the dominion of that republic.

Genoa, however, envied Pisa this increase of territory, claimed the
island for herself, and backed her claim by arms. Corsica was rent by
the struggle, and the Corsicans themselves were divided into hostile
camps, one favoring Pisa, the other Genoa.

The leader of the Pisan faction, Guidice della Rocca, kept up, for
many years, an unequal struggle, showing wonderful courage, fertility
of resource, rigorous justice, and rare clemency. He killed his own
nephew for having outraged a female prisoner for whose safety he, Della
Rocca, had given his word. Old and blind, this hero was betrayed by his
bastard son, delivered to the Genoese, and died in a wretched Genoese
dungeon; and with his downfall passed away the Pisan sovereignty.

A period of anarchy followed the death of Della Rocca. The barons were
unmerciful in their extortions, and the people were reduced to extreme
misery. After many years appeared another valiant patriot of the Rocca
race, Arrigo della Rocca (1392). He raised the standard of revolt, and
the people rallied to him. He beat the Genoese, was proclaimed Count of
Corsica, and ruled the land for four years. Defeated at length by the
Genoese, he went to Spain to ask aid. Returning with a small force, he
routed his enemies and became again master of the island. Genoa sent
another army, Arrigo della Rocca was poisoned (1401), and in the same
year Genoa submitted to France.

Corsica kept up the struggle for independence. Vincentello, nephew
of Arrigo della Rocca, was made Count of Corsica, and for two years
maintained a gallant contest. Genoa poured in more troops, and the
resistance was crushed. Vincentello left the island. Soon returning
with help from Aragon, he reconquered the county with the exception of
the strongholds of Calvi and Bonifaccio. Inspired by the success of
Vincentello, the young king of Aragon, Alfonso, came in person with
large forces to complete the conquest. Calvi was taken, but Bonifaccio
resisted all efforts. The place was strongly Genoese, and for months
the endurance of its defenders was desperately heroic. Women and
children and priests joined with those who manned the walls, and all
fought together. Spanish courage was balked, Spanish pride humbled, and
Alfonso sailed away. Vincentello, bereft of allies, lost ground. He
gave his own cause a death-blow by abusing a girl whose kinsmen rose to
avenge the wrong. The guilty man and indomitable patriot determined to
seek aid once more in Spain; but Genoa captured him at sea, and struck
off his head on the steps of her ducal palace (1434).

Then came anarchy in Corsica again. The barons fought, the peasants
suffered. Law was dead. Only the dreaded vendetta ruled - the law of
private vengeance. So harried were the people by continued feuds,
rival contentions, and miscellaneous tumult, that they met in general
assembly and decided to put themselves under the protection of the
bank of St. George of Genoa. The bank agreed to receive this singular
deposit (1453). The Corsican nobles resisted the bank, and terrible
scenes followed. Many a proud baron had his head struck off, many of
them left the country. Aragon favored the nobles, and they came back to
renew the fight, defeat the forces of the bank, and reconquer most of
the island.

In 1464 Francesco Sforza of Milan took Genoa, and claimed Corsica as
a part of his conquest. The islanders preferred Milan to Genoa, and
but for an accidental brawl, peaceful terms might have been arranged.
But the brawl occurred, and there was no peace. Years of war, rapine,
and universal wretchedness followed. Out of the murk appears a valiant
figure, Giampolo, taking up with marvellous tenacity and fortitude the
old fight of Corsica against oppression. After every defeat, he rose to
fight again. He never left the field till Corsican rivalry weakened and
ruined him. Then, defiant to the last, he went the way of the outlaw to
die in exile.

Renuccio della Rocca’s defection had caused Giampolo to fail. After a
while Rocca himself led the revolt against Genoa, and was overthrown.
He left the island, but came again, and yet again, to renew the
hopeless combat. Finally his own peasants killed him to put an end
to the miserable war, there being no other method of turning the
indomitable man (1511).

Resistance over, the bank of Genoa governed the island. The barons
were broken, their castles fell to ruin. The common people kept up
their local home-rule, enjoyed a share in the government, and were in
a position much better than that of the common people in other parts
of Europe. But the bank was not satisfied to let matters rest there; a
harsh spirit soon became apparent; and the privileges which the people
had enjoyed were suppressed.

Against this tyranny rose now the strongest leader the Corsicans had
yet found, Sampiero. Humbly born, this man had in his youth sought
adventures in foreign lands. He had served the House of Medici, and in
Florence became known for the loftiness and energy of his character.
Afterward he served King Francis I., of France, by whom he was made
colonel of the Corsican regiment which he had formed. Bayard was his
friend, and Charles of Bourbon said of him, “In the day of battle the
Corsican colonel is worth ten thousand men”; just as another great
warrior, Archduke Charles of Austria, said of another great Corsican,
serving then in France (1814), “Napoleon himself is equal to one
hundred thousand men.”

In 1547 Sampiero went back to Corsica to select a wife. So well
established was his renown that he was given the only daughter of the
Lord of Ornano, the beautiful Vannina. The bank of Genoa, alarmed by
the presence of such a man in the island, threw him into prison. His
father-in-law, Francesco Ornano, secured his release.

Genoa, since her delivery from French dominion by Andrea Doria, was in
league with the Emperor of Germany, with whom the French king and the
Turks were at war. Hence it was that Sampiero could induce France and
her allies to attack the Genoese in Corsica. In 1553 came Sampiero, the
French, and the Turks; and all Corsica, save Calvi and Bonifaccio, fell
into the hands of the invaders. Bonifaccio was besieged in vain, until,
by a stratagem, it was taken. Then the Turks, indignant that Sampiero
would not allow them to plunder the city and put all the Genoese to the
sword, abandoned the cause, and sailed away. Calvi still held out. The
Emperor sent an army of Germans and Spaniards; Cosmo de Medici also
sent troops; Andrea Doria took command, and the French were everywhere
beaten. Sampiero quarrelled with the incapable French commander, went
to France to defend himself from false reports, made good his purpose,
then returned to the island, where he became the lion of the struggle.
He beat the enemy in two pitched battles, and kept up a successful
contest for six years. Then came a crushing blow. By the treaty of
Cambray, France agreed with Spain that Corsica should be given back to
Genoa.

Under this terrible disaster, Sampiero did not despair. Forced to leave
the island, he wandered from court to court on the continent, seeking
aid. For four years he went this dreary round, - to France, to Navarre,
to Florence. He even went to Algiers and to Constantinople. During this
interval it was that Genoa deceived and entrapped Vannina, the wife
of the hero. She left her home and put herself in the hands of his
enemies. One of Sampiero’s relatives was fool enough to say to him, “I
had long expected this.” - “And you concealed it!” cried Sampiero in a
fury, striking his relative to the heart with a dagger. Vannina was
pursued and caught, Sampiero killed her with his own hand.

Failing in his efforts to obtain foreign help, the hero came back to
Corsica to make the fight alone (1564). With desperate courage he
marched from one small victory to another until Genoa was thoroughly
aroused. An army of German and Italian mercenaries was sent over,
and the command given to an able general, Stephen Doria. The war
assumed the most sanguinary character. Genoa seemed bent on utterly
exterminating the Corsicans and laying waste the entire country.
Sampiero rose to the crisis; and while he continued to beseech France
for aid, he continued to fight with savage ferocity. He beat Doria
in several encounters, and finally, in the pass of Luminada, almost
annihilated the enemy. Doria, in despair, left the island, and Sampiero
remained master of the field. With his pitifully small forces he had
foiled the Spanish fleet, fifteen thousand Spanish soldiers, and an
army of mercenaries; and had in succession beaten the best generals
Genoa could send. All this he had done with half-starved, half-armed
peasants, whose only strength lay in the inspiration of their
patriotism and the unconquerable spirit of their leader. Few stronger
men have lived and loved, hoped and dared, fought and suffered, than
this half-savage hero of Corsica. With all the world against him
Sampiero fought without fear, as another great Corsican was to do.

In open fight he was not to be crushed: on this his enemies were
agreed, therefore treachery was tried. Genoa bribed some of the
Corsican chiefs; Vannina’s cousins were roused to seek revenge;
Vittolo, a trusted lieutenant, turned against his chief; and a monk,
whom Sampiero could not suspect, joined the conspirators. The monk
delivered forged letters to Sampiero, which led him to the ambuscade
where his foes lay in wait. He fought like the lion he was. Wounded in
the face, he wiped the blood out of his eyes with one hand while his
sword was wielded by the other. Vittolo shot him in the back, and the
Ornanos rushed upon the dying man, and cut off his head (1567).

The fall of Sampiero created intense satisfaction in Genoa, where there
were bell-ringings and illuminations. In Corsica it aroused the people
to renewed exertions; but the effort was fitful, for the leader was
dead. In a great meeting at Orezzo, where three thousand patriots wept
for the lost hero, they chose his son Alfonso their commander-in-chief.

After a struggle of two years, in which the youth bore himself bravely,
he made peace and left the country. Accompanied by many companions
in arms, he went to France, formed his followers into a Corsican
regiment, of which Charles the Ninth appointed him colonel. Other
Corsicans, taking refuge in Rome, formed themselves into the Pope’s
Corsican guard.

Thrown back into the power of Genoa, Corsica suffered all the ills of
the oppressed. Wasted by war, famine, plague, misgovernment, a more
wretched land was not to be found. Deprived of its privileges, drained
of its resources, ravaged by Turks and pillaged by Christians, it bled
also from family feuds. The courts being corrupt, the vendetta raged
with fury. In many parts of the country, agriculture and peaceful
pursuits were abandoned. And this frightful condition prevailed for
half a century.

The Genoese administration became ever more unbearable. A tax of twelve
dollars was laid on every hearth. The governors of the island were
invested with the power to condemn to death without legal forms or
proceedings.

One day, a poor old man of Bustancio went to the Genoese collector
to pay his tax. His money was a little short of the amount due - a
penny or so. The official refused to receive what was offered, and
threatened to punish the old man if he did not pay the full amount.
The ancient citizen went away grumbling. To his neighbors, as he met
them, he told his trouble. He complained and wept. They sympathized and
wept. Frenzied by his own wrongs, the old man began to denounce the
Genoese generally, - their tyranny, cruelty, insolence, and oppression.
Crowds gathered, the excitement grew, insurrectionary feelings spread
throughout the land. Soon the alarm bells were rung, and the war
trumpet sounded from mountain to mountain. This was in October, 1729.

A war of forty years ensued. Genoa hired a large body of Germans from
the Emperor, and eight thousand of these mercenaries landed in Corsica.
At first they beat the ill-armed islanders, who marched to battle bare
of feet and head. But in 1732 the Germans were almost destroyed in the
battle of Calenzala. Genoa called on the Emperor for more hirelings.
They were sent; but before any decisive action had taken place, there
arrived orders from the Emperor to make peace. Corsica had appealed
to him against Genoa, and he had decided that the Corsicans had been
wronged. Corsica submitted to Genoa, but her ancient privileges were
restored, taxes were remitted, and other reforms promised.

No sooner had the Germans left the island than Genoese and Corsicans
fell to fighting again. Under Hyacinth Paoli and Giafferi, the brave
islanders defeated the Genoese, at all points; and Corsica, for the
moment, stood redeemed.

In 1735 the people held a great meeting at Corte and proclaimed their
independence. A government was organized, and the people were declared
to be the only source of the laws.

Genoa exerted all her power to put down the revolt. The island was
blockaded, troops poured in, the best generals were sent. The situation
of the Corsicans was desperate. They stood in need of almost everything
requisite to their defence, except brave men. The blockade cut off any
hope of getting aid from abroad. English sympathizers sent two vessels
laden with supplies, and keen was the joy of the poor islanders. With
the munitions thus obtained they stormed and took Alesia.

But their distress was soon extreme again, and the struggle hopeless.
At this, the darkest hour, came a very curious episode. A German
adventurer, Theodore de Neuhoff, a baron of Westphalia, entering the
port with a single ship, under the British flag, offered himself to the
Corsicans as their king. Promises of the most exhilarating description
he made as to the men, money, munitions of war he could bring to
Corsican relief. Easily believing what was so much to their interest,
and perhaps attaching too much importance to the three English ships
which had recently brought them supplies, the Corsican chiefs actually
accepted Neuhoff for their king.

The compact between King Theodore and the Corsicans was gravely reduced
to writing, signed, sealed, sworn to, and delivered. Then they all
went into the church, held solemn religious services, and crowned
Theodore with a circlet of oak and laurel leaves. Theodore took himself
seriously, went to work with zeal, appointed high dignitaries of the
crown, organized a court, created an order of knighthood, and acted as



Online LibraryThomas E. WatsonNapoleon → online text (page 1 of 49)