The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte

The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte

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Excerpt: ... at Toulon were persons of importance, and had shown their mettle. Salicetti, Buonaparte, Arena, and Cervoni were now men of mark; the two latter had, like Buonaparte, been promoted, though to much lower rank. As Salicetti declared in a letter written on December twenty-eighth, they were scheming to secure vessels and arm them for an expedition to Corsica. But for the time their efforts came to naught; and thenceforward Salicetti seemed to lose all interest in Corsican affairs, becoming more and more involved in the ever madder rush of events in France. This was not strange, for even a common politician could not remain insensible to the course or the (p. 234) consequences of the malignant anarchy now raging throughout France. The massacres at Lyons, Marseilles, and Toulon were the reply to the horrors of like or worse nature perpetrated in Vendee by the royalists. Danton having used the Paris sections to overawe the Girondist majority of the Convention, Marat gathered his riotous band of sansculottes, and hounded the discredited remnant of the party to death, flight, or arrest. His bloody career was ended only by Charlotte Corday's dagger. Passions were thus inflamed until even Danton's conduct appeared calm, moderate, and inefficient when compared with the reckless bloodthirstiness of Hebert, now leader of the Exageres. The latter prevailed, the Vendeans were defeated, and Citizen Carrier of Nantes in three months took fifteen thousand human lives by his fiendishly ingenious systems of drowning and shooting. In short, France was chaos, and the Salicettis of the time might hope for anything, or fear everything, in the throes of her disorder. Not so a man like Buonaparte. His instinct led him to stand in readiness at the parting of the ways. Others might choose and press forward; he gave no sign of being moved by current events, but stood with his eye still fixed, though now in a backward gaze, on Corsica, ready, if interest or more

Product details

  • Paperback | 138 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 8mm | 259g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236727002
  • 9781236727008