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"“Napoleon Bonaparte” by John Lord " Topic


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238 hits since 12 Aug 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP12 Aug 2017 3:09 p.m. PST

"It is difficult to say anything new about Napoleon Bonaparte, either in reference to his genius, his character, or his deeds.

His genius is universally admitted, both as a general and an administrator. No general so great has appeared in our modern times. He ranks with Alexander and Caesar in ancient times, and he is superior to Gustavus Adolphus, Turenne, Conde, Marlborough, Frederic II., Wellington, or any of the warriors who have figured in the great wars of Europe, from Charlemagne to the battle of Waterloo. His military career was so brilliant that it dazzled contemporaries. Without the advantages of birth or early patronage, he rose to the highest pinnacle of human glory. His victories were prodigious and unexampled; and it took all Europe to resist him. He aimed at nothing less than universal sovereignty; and had he not, when intoxicated with his conquests, attempted impossibilities, his power would have been practically unlimited in France. He had all the qualities for success in war,–insight, fertility of resource, rapidity of movement, power of combination, coolness, intrepidity, audacity, boldness tempered by calculation, will, energy which was never relaxed, powers of endurance, and all the qualities which call out enthusiasm and attach soldiers and followers to personal interests. His victorious career was unchecked until all the nations of Europe, in fear and wrath, combined against him. He was a military prodigy, equally great in tactics and strategy,–a master of all the improvements which had been made in the art of war, from Epaminondas to Frederic II.

His genius for civil administration was equally remarkable, and is universally admitted. Even Metternich, who detested him, admits that "he was as great as a statesman as he was as a warrior, and as great as an administrator as he was as a statesman." He brought order out of confusion, developed the industry of his country, restored the finances, appropriated and rewarded all eminent talents, made the whole machinery of government subservient to his aims, and even seemed to animate it by his individual will. He ruled France as by the power of destiny. The genius of Richelieu, of Mazarin, and of Colbert pale before his enlightened mind, which comprehended equally the principles of political science and the vast details of a complicated government. For executive ability I know no monarch who has surpassed him…."
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