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belief, the aims of the masses of active and cultivated men.
Bonaparte was the idol of common men, because he had in transcendent degree the qualities and powers of common men.
Bonaparte wrought, in common with that great class he represented, for power and wealth, — but Bonaparte, specially, without any scruple as to the means. All the sentiments which embarrass men's pursuit of these objects he set aside. The sentiments were for women and children.
Napoleon renounced, once for all, sentiments and affections, and would help himself with his hands and his head. With him is no miracle, and no magic. He is a worker in brass, in iron, in wood, in earth, in roads, in buildings, in money, and in troops, and a very consistent and wise master-workman. He is never weak and literary, but acts with the solidity and the precision of natural agents. He has not lost his native sense and sympathy with things. Men give way before such a man, as before natural events.
But Bonaparte superadded to this mineral and animal force, insight and generalization, so that men saw in him combined the natural and the intellectual power, as if the sea and land had taken flesh and begun to cipher. Therefore the land and sea seem to presuppose him. He came unto his own, and they received him.
The art of war was the game in which he exerted his arithmetic. It consisted, according to him, in having always more forces than the enemy on the point where the enemy is attacked, or where he attacks; and his whole talent is strained by endless maneuver and evolution, to march always on the enemy at an angle, and
destroy his forces in detail. It is obvious that a very small force, skillfully and rapidly maneuvering, so as always to bring two men against one at the point of engagement, will be an overmatch for a much larger body of men.
Nature must have far the greatest share in every success, and so in his. Such a man was wanted, and such a man was born; a man of stone and iron, capable of sitting on horseback sixteen or seventeen hours, of going many days together without rest or food, except by snatches, and with the speed and spring of a tiger in action; a man not embarrassed by any scruples; compact, instant, selfish, prudent, and of a perception which did not suffer itself to be balked or misled by any pretenses of others, or any superstition, or any heat or haste of his own.
“My hand of iron,” he said, " was not at the extremity of my arm, it was immediately connected with my head.” He respected the power of nature and fortune, and ascribed to it his superiority, instead of valuing himself, like inferior men, on his opinionativeness, and waging war with nature. His favorite rhetoric lay in allusion to his star; and he pleased himself, as well as the people, when he styled himself the “Child of Destiny."
“ They charge me,” he said, “with the commission of great crimes. Men of my stamp do not commit crimes. Nothing has been more simple than my elevation ; 't is in vain to ascribe it to intrigue or crime; it was owing to the peculiarity of the times, and to my reputation of having fought well against the enemies of my country. I have always marched with the opinion of great masses, and with events.”
Napoleon understood his business. Here was a man
who, in each moment and emergency, knew what to do next. It is an immense comfort and refreshment to the spirits, not only of kings, but of citizens. Few men have any next; they live from hand to mouth, without plan, and are ever at the end of their line, and, after each action, wait for an impulse from abroad.
His victories were only so many doors, and he never for a moment lost sight of his way onward in the dazzle and uproar of the present circumstance. He knew what to do, and he flew to his mark. He would shorten a straight line to come at his object. Horrible anecdotes may, no doubt, be collected from his history, of the price at which he bought his successes; but he must not therefore be set down as cruel, but only as one who knew no impediment to his will; not bloodthirsty, not cruel, — but woe to what thing or person stood in his way! Not bloodthirsty, but not sparing of blood, — and pitiless.
On any point of resistance, he concentrated squadron on squadron in overwhelming numbers, until it was swept out of existence. To a regiment of horse chasseurs at Lobenstein, two days before the battle of Jena, Napoleon said, “My lads, you must not fear death ; when soldiers brave death, they drive him into the enemy's ranks.” Each victory was a new weapon.
“My power would fall were I not to support it by new achievements. Conquest has made me what I am, and conquest must maintain me.” He felt, with every wise man, that as much life is needed for conservation as for creation. We are always in peril, always in a bad plight, just on the edge of destruction, and only to be saved by invention and courage.
This vigor was guarded and tempered by the coldest prudence and punctuality. A thunderbolt in the attack,
he was found invulnerable in his intrenchments. His very attack was never the inspiration of courage, but the result of calculation.
The lesson he teaches is that which vigor always teaches, - that there is always room for it. To what heaps of cowardly doubts is not that man's life an answer. When he appeared, it was the belief of all military men that there could be nothing new in war; as it is the belief of men to-day, that nothing new can be undertaken in politics, or in church, or in letters, or in trade, or in farming, or in our social manners and customs; and as it is, at all times, the belief of society that the world is made up But Bonaparte knew better than society; and, moreover, knew that he knew better.
Bonaparte was singularly destitute of generous sentiments. The highest placed individual in the most cultivated age and population of the world, he has not the merit of common truth and honesty. He is unjust to his generals; egotistic and monopolizing; meanly stealing the credit of their great actions from Kellermann, from Bernadotte ; intriguing to involve his faithful Junot in hopeless bankruptcy, in order to drive him to a distance from Paris, because the familiarity of his manners offends the new pride of his throne.
He is a boundless liar. The official paper, his “Moniteurs,” and all his bulletins, are proverbs for saying what he wished to be believed ; and worse, he sat, in his premature old age, in his lonely island, coldly falsifying facts and dates and characters, and giving to history a theatrical eclat. Like all Frenchmen, he has a passion for stage effect. Every action that breathes of generosity is poisoned by this calculation. His star, his love of glory, his doctrine of the immortality of the soul, are all French.
He did all that in him lay, to live and thrive without moral principle. It was the nature of things, the eternal law of man and the world, which balked and ruined him; and the result, in a million experiments, will be the
Every experiment, by multitudes or by individuals, that has a sensual and selfish aim, will fail.
CX. --THE LORD OF BUTRAGO.
J. G. LOCKHART.
JOAN GIBSON LOCKHART was a man of brilliant literary powers. He wrote “Valerius,"
." "Matthew Wald,” “ Adam Blair,” and “Reginald Dalton," all novels ; “Peter's Letters," a series of sketches of Scotch society and of erninent men in Scotland; and a volume of translations from the Spanish ballads. He was also a frequent contributor to the earlier numbers of “Blackwood's Magazine." He was born in Glasgow, in 1792, and died at Abbotsford, in 1854. He had been for many years editor of the “Quarterly Review.”
OUR horse is faint, my king, — my lord ! your gallant
horse is sick, His limbs are torn, his breast is gored, on his eye the film is
thick; Mount, mount on mine, oh, mount apace, I pray thee, mount
and fly! Or in my arms I 'll lift your grace, their trampling hoofs are
nigh! · My king, - my king! you 're wounded sore, — the blood runs from
your But only lay a hand before, and I'll lift you to your seat : Mount, Juan, for they gather fast ! I hear their coming cry, Mount, mount, and ride for jeopardy, — I'll save you though
“Stand, noble steed! this hour of need, — be gentle as a lamb: I'll kiss the foam from off thy mouth, - thy master dear I