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of men.” Egypt at once presented itself to his imagi. CHAP. nation as the point where a decisive impression was to be made; the weak point of the line where a breach could be effected and a permanent lodgment secured, and a path opened to those Eastern regions, where the British power was to be destroyed and immortal renown acquired. So completely had this idea taken possession of his mind, that all the books brought from the Ambrosian library to Paris, after the peace of Campo Formio, which related to Egypt, were submitted for his examination, and many bore extensive marginal notes in his own handwriting, indicating 'James'
Naval Histhe powerful grasp and indefatigable activity of his tory, ii. 216. mind;' and in his correspondence with the Directory, Bour. ii. he had already more than once suggested both the Conf. de
Nap. iv. importance of an expedition to the banks of the 176 Nile, and the amount of force requisite to ensure its ante, ii. p. success. ?
Before leaving Italy, after the treaty of Campo Formio, he put the last hand to the affairs of the Cisalpine republic. Venice was delivered over, amidst the tears of all its patriotic citizens, to Austria; the French auxiliary force in the new republic was fixed at 30,000 men, under the orders of Berthier, to be maintained at the expense of the allied Napoleon's state; and all the republican organization of a di- dress
: parting adrectory, legislative assemblies, national guards, and Italians. troops of the line, put in full activity. “You are the first people in history,” said he, in his parting address to them, “ who have become free, without factions, without revolutions, without convulsions. We have given you freedom; it is your part to preserve it. You are, after France, the richest, the most populous, republic in the world. Your position calls you to take a leading part in the
CHAP. politics of Europe. To be worthy of your des
tiny, make no laws but what are wise and mode1797.
rate; but execute them with force and energy.” 1 · Nap. iv. The wealth and population of the beautiful pro271.
vinces which compose this republic, embracing 3,500,000 souls, the fortress of Mantua, and the plains of Lombardy, indeed formed the elements of a powerful state ; but had Napoleon looked into the book of history, or considered the human mind, he would have perceived that, of all human blessings, liberty is the one which is of the slowest growth; that it must be won, and cannot be conferred ; and that the institutions which are suddenly transferred from one country to another, perish as rapidly as the fullgrown tree, which is transplanted from the soil of its birth to a distant land.
Napoleon's journey from Italy to Paris was a conHis trium- tinual triumph. The Italians, whose national spirit Deros Seins had been in some degree revived by his victories, zerland and beheld with regret the disappearance of that brilliant
apparition. Every thing he did and said was calculated to increase the public enthusiasm. At Mantua, he combined with a fête in honour of Virgil a military procession on the death of General Hoche, who had recently died, after a short illness, in France ; and about the same time formed that friendship with Desaix, who had come from the army of the Rhine to visit that of Italy, which mutual esteem was so well calculated to inspire, but which was destined to termi
nate prematurely on the field of Marengo. The towns Political ob- of Switzerland received him with transport ; trijects of this,
umphal arches and garlands of flowers every where ominous awaited his approach ; he passed the fortresses amidst character for Switzer-**** discharges of cannon; and crowds from the neigh
bouring countries lined the roads to get a glimpse of
the hero who had filled the world with his renown.* CHAP.
XXIV. His progress, however, was rapid; he lingered on the field of Morat to examine the scene of the ter- 1797. rible defeat of the Burgundian chivalry by the Swiss peasantry. Passing Bâle, he arrived at Rastadt, where 5th Dec.
" 1797. the congress was established; but, foreseeing nothing worthy of his genius in the minute matters of diplo- ' Bour. ii.
5, 9. Th. macy which were there the subject of discussion, he ix. 363. proceeded to Paris, where the public anxiety had
u 268. Hard. arisen to the highest pitch for his return.
v. 57, 58. The successive arrival of Napoleon's lieutenants at Paris with the standards taken from the enemy in his His retired memorable campaigns, the vast conquests he had life at Paris. achieved, the brief but eloquent language of his proclamations, and the immense benefits which had accrued to the Republic from his triumphs, had raised to the very highest pitch the enthusiasm of the people. The public anxiety, accordingly, to see him was indescribable ; but he knew.enough of mankind to feel the importance of enhancing the general wish by avoiding its gratification. He lived in his own house in the Rue Chantereine, in the most retired manner, went seldom into public, and surrounded himself only by scientific characters, or generals of cultivated minds. He wore the costume of the Institute, of which he had recently been elected a member; associated constantly with its leading characters, such as Monge, Berthold, Laplace, Lagrange, and admitted to his intimate society only Berthier, Desaix, Lefebvre, Caffarelle, Kleber, and a few of the deputies. On occasion of being presented to Talley
• His words, though few, were all such as were calculated to produce revolution. At Geneva, he boasted that he would democratize England in three months; and that there were, in truth, but two republics in Switzerland; Geneva, without laws or government; Bâle, converted into the workshop of revolution.-Hard. v. 308.
CHAP. rand, Minister of Foreign Affairs, he singled out, XXIV.
amidst the splendid cortège of public characters by 1797.
which he was surrounded, M. Bougainville, and con
versed with him on the celebrated voyage which he ? Th ix. had performed. Such was the profound nature of 363, 364. Nao. iv.* his ambition through life, that on every occasion he 280, 283. looked rather to the impression his conduct was to
produce on men's minds in future, than the gratification he was to receive from their admiration of the
past. He literally “ deemed nothing done, while * Tacitus. any thing remained to do.”. Even in the assumption
of the dress, and the choice of the society of the Institute, he was guided by motives of ambition, and a profound knowledge of the human heart. “Mankind," said he, “ are in the end governed always by supe. riority of intellectual qualities, and none are more sensible of this than the military profession. When on my return from Italy I assumed the dress of the
Institute, I knew what I was doing. I was sure of * Thibau- not being misunderstood by the lowest drummer of deau Consulat. 78. the army." 3
Shortly after his arrival he was received in state by His recep. the Directory, in their magnificent court of the Luxtion in state by the Di. embourg. The public anxiety was wound up to the rectory.
highest pitch for this imposing ceremony, on which occasion Joubert was to present the standard of the Army of Italy, inscribed with all the great actions it had performed; and the youthful conqueror himself was to lay at the feet of government the treaty of Campo Formio. Vast galleries were prepared for the accommodation of the public, which were early filled with all that was distinguished in rank, character, and beauty in Paris. He made his entry, accompanied by M. Talleyrand, who was to present him to the Directory as the bearer of the treaty. The aspect
of the hero, his thin but graceful figure, the Roman CHAP: cast of his features, and fire of his eye, excited uni
1797, versal admiration; the court rung with applause. Talleyrand introduced him in an eloquent speech, in which, after extolling his great actions, he concluded: “ For a moment I did feel on his account that Tolleyrand's disquietude which, in an infant republic, arises from speech. every thing which seems to destroy the equality of the citizens; but I was wrong; individual grandeur, far from being dangerous to equality, is its highest triumph; and on this occasion, every Frenchman must feel himself elevated by the hero of his country. And when I reflect on all that he has done to shroud from envy that light of glory; on that ancient love of simplicity which distinguishes him in his favourite studies; his love for the abstract sciences ; on his admi. ration for that sublime Ossian, which seems to detach him from the world ; on his well-known contempt for luxury, for pomp, for all that constitutes the pride of ignoble minds, I am convinced that, far from dreading his ambition, we shall one day have occasion to rouse it anew to allure him from the sweets of studious retirement ; France will never lose its freedom ; i pare but perhaps he will not for ever preserve his own."l 24.
Napoleon replied in these words : “ The French people, to attain their freedom, had kings to combat ; Napoleon's to secure a constitution founded on reason, they had eighteen hundred years of prejudices to overcome. Religion, feudality, despotism, have, in their turns, governed Europe ; but, from the peace now conclud. ed, dates the era of representative governments : you have succeeded in organizing the great nation, whose territory is not circumscribed, but because nature herself has imposed it limits. I lay at your feet the