Letters and Despatches


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The Rise of Napoleon


Soldiers, you were naked, ill-fed: the government owed you much and had nothing to give you. Your patience, and the courage you have exhibited in the midst of these rocks, are admirable; but they procure you no glory; no brilliancy is reflected on you. I desire to lead you into the most fertile plains in the world. Rich provinces and great cities will be in your power; you will find there, honor, glory, and wealth. Soldiers of Italy, will you be wanting in courage and constancy?

Soldiers, you are one of the wings of the army of England. You have fought on mountain and plain and besieged forts; it remained for you to wage a maritime war.

The Roman legions, which you have sometimes imitated but not yet equaled, fought against Carthage both by sea and on the plains of Zama.1 Victory never abandoned them, because they were constantly brave, patient in the support of fatigue, well disciplined, and united.

Soldiers, Europe has its eyes upon you.

You have great destinies to fulfill, battles to fight, dangers to overcome. You will do more than you have yet accomplished for the prosperity of your country, for the happiness of mankind, and for your own glory.

Sailors, infantry, cavalry, artillery, be united, and remember that on the day of battle you will stand in need of each other. . . .

1 , vol. i, pp. 64, 208.

1 Where Scipio Africanus finally defeated Hannibal in 202 B.C.


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Chicago: "The Rise of Napoleon," Letters and Despatches in Readings in Modern European History, ed. Webster, Hutton (Boston: D.C. Heath, 1926), 245–244. Original Sources, accessed September 29, 2023, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=AS3NKRAN4H7S8UH.

MLA: . "The Rise of Napoleon." Letters and Despatches, Vol. i, in Readings in Modern European History, edited by Webster, Hutton, Boston, D.C. Heath, 1926, pp. 245–244. Original Sources. 29 Sep. 2023. http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=AS3NKRAN4H7S8UH.

Harvard: , 'The Rise of Napoleon' in Letters and Despatches. cited in 1926, Readings in Modern European History, ed. , D.C. Heath, Boston, pp.245–244. Original Sources, retrieved 29 September 2023, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=AS3NKRAN4H7S8UH.