Napoleon Bonaparte
The Glory and Tragic Life History

Napoleon Bonaparte - Glory and Tragic Life History
Painting by Jacques-Louis David of Napoleon Bonaparte
in his study in the Tuileries Palace

A little while ago, I stood by the grave of the old Napoleon Bonaparte, a magnificent tomb of gilt and gold, fit almost for a dead deity, and gazed upon the sarcophagus of rare and nameless marble, where rest at last the ashes of that restless man. I leaned over the balustrade and thought about the career of Napolean Bonaparte, the greatest soldier of the modern world.

I saw him walking upon the banks of the Seine, contemplating suicide. I saw him at Toulon, I saw him putting down the mob in the streets of Paris, I saw Napolean at the head of the army of Italy, I saw him crossing the bridge of Lodi with the tricolor in his hand, I saw him in Egypt in the shadows of the pyramids, I saw him conquer the Alps and mingle the eagle of France with eagles of the crags. I saw Napolean Bonaparte at the Battle of Marengo, at Ulm and Austerlitz. I saw Napolean Bonaparte in Russia, where the infantry of the snow and the cavalry of the wild blast scattered his legions like winter's withered leaves. I saw him a Leipsic in defeat and disaster, driven by a million bayonets back upon Paris, clutched like a wild beast, banished to Elba. I saw him escape and retake an empire by the force of his genius. I saw him upon the frightful field of Waterloo, where Chance and Fate combined to wreck the fortunes of their former king. And I saw him at St. Helena, with his hands crossed behind him, gazing out upon the sand solemn sea.

I thought of the orphans and widows he had made, of the tears that had been shed for his glory, and of the only woman who ever loved him, pushed from his heart by the cold hand of ambition. And I said I would rather have been a French peasant and worn wooden shoes. I would rather have lived in a hut with a vine growing over the door, and the grapes growing purple in the kisses of the autumn Summer sun. I would rather have been that poor peasant with my loving wife by my side, knitting as the day died out of the sky, with my children upon my knees and thier arms about me. I would rather have been that man and gone down to the tongueless silence of the dreamless dust, than to have been that imperial impersonation of force and murder, known as "Napoleon the Great."
- Robert G. Ingersoll

Napolean Bonaparte said that the man who never makes a mistake never makes war. Those who content themselves with pointing out the mistakes and blunders of those who are in the struggle, are making, themselves, the greatest of all blunders. Nothing is easier than fault-finding. No talent, no self-denial, no brains, no character are required to set up in the grumbling business.
- Robert West

Napoleon Bonaparte, when he was only a boy in years, spread out his future before his uncle. His uncle shook his head and said, "Dreams!" Napolean stepped quickly to the window, and pointing up into the noonday sky, said, "Do you see that star?" "No," was the reply. "I do," he answered, and that star led him to the summit of human renown. Faith is one condition of greatness, and no man ever yet held the confidence of his fellows who did not believe in himself. The story goes that "Colonel Roosevelt went to Heaven. Going up to Saint Peter, he asked if he could have ten thousand soprano singers. The reply was in the affirmative. He then asked for ten thousand alto singers and was told he could have those. Next he asked for ten thousand tenor singers and Saint Peter replied that he could have those. Roosevelt thanked him and started to turn away. Saint Peter stopped him with: "What about bass singers?" "Oh, I am going to sing bass myself."
- Fowler

"Improve your opportunities," said Bonaparte to a school of young men. "every hour lost now is a chance of future misfortune." Napolean Bonaparte I made courtiers; I never pretended to make friends, said Napolean Bonaparte...On a rocky little island he fretted away the last years of his life- ALONE.
- Bruce Barton

Put a rogue in the limelight and he
will behave like an honest man.
Napoleon Bonaparte

A French general, political leader and emperor of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century. Napolean Bonaparte rose swiftly the ranks of army and government during and after the French Revolution, and crowned himself emporer in 1804. He conquered much of Europe but lost two-thirds of his in a disasterous invasion of Russia. After his final loss to Britian at the Battle of Waterloo, he was exiled to the island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean.
- Cultural Literacy

History is a set of
lies agreed upon.
- Napolean Bonaparte

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Recommended Reading:

Imperial Glory: The Bulletins of Napoleon's Grand Armee by J. David Markham

Napoleon Bonaparte by J. M. Thompson and Norman Hampson

Napoleon: A Penguin Life by Paul Johnson


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Napoleon Bonaparte - The Glory and Tragic Life History


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