Analysis of the Character of Napoleon Bonaparte: Suggested by the Publication of Scott's Life of Napoleon

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Edward Rainford, ...; Sold also, 1828 - 52 pàgines
 

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Pàgina 39 - ... the love of virtue, binds itself indissolubly, for life and for death, to truth and duty ; espouses as its own the interests of human nature ; scorns all meanness and defies all peril ; hears in its own conscience a voice louder than threatenings and thunders ; withstands all the powers of the universe, which would sever it from the cause of freedom, virtue, and religion ; reposes an unfaltering trust in God in the darkest hour, and is ever " ready to be offered up" on the altar of its country...
Pàgina 34 - He had no sympathies with his race. That feeling of brotherhood, which is developed in truly great souls with peculiar energy, and through which they give up themselves willing victims, joyful sacrifices, to the interests of mankind, was wholly unknown to him. His heart, amidst its wild beatings, never had a throb of disinterested love. The ties which bind man to man he broke asunder. The proper happiness of a man, which consists in the victory of moral energy and social affection over the selfish...
Pàgina 26 - He might have cast away the ancient pageantry and forms, distinguished himself by the. simplicity of his establishments, and exaggerated the relief which he gave to his people, by saving them the burdens of a wasteful and luxurious court. He might have insisted on the great benefits that had accrued to France from the establishment of uniform laws, which protected alike all classes of men ; and he might have virtually pledged himself to the subversion of the feudal inequalities which still disfigure...
Pàgina 36 - Happy would it have been for his fame, had he been buried in its ruins. One of the striking properties of Bonaparte's character was decision ; and this, as we have already seen, was perverted, by the spirit of self-exaggeration, into an inflexible stubbornness, which counsel could not enlighten, nor circumstances bend. Having taken the first step, he pressed onward. His purpose he wished. others to regard as a law of nature, or a decree of destiny. It must be accomplished. Resistance but strengthened...
Pàgina 39 - To him all human will, desire, power, were to bend. His superiority, none might question. He insulted the fallen, who had contracted the guilt of opposing his progress ; and not even woman's loveliness, and the dignity of a queen, could give shelter from his contumely. His allies were his vassals, nor was their vassalage concealed. Too lofty to use the arts of conciliation, preferring command to persuasion, overbearing and all-grasping, he spread distrust, exasperation, fear and revenge through Europe...
Pàgina 32 - ... of his own and his enemy's positions ; and combined at once the movements by which an overpowering force might be thrown with unexpected fury on a vulnerable part of the hostile line, and the fate of an army be decided in a day.
Pàgina 35 - First, it diseased his fine intellect, gave imagination the ascendancy over judgment, turned the inventiveness and fruitfulness of his mind into rash, impatient, restless energies, and thus precipitated him into projects, which, as the wisdom of his counsellors pronounced, were fraught with ruin. To a man whose vanity took him out of the rank of human beings, no foundation for reasoning was left. All things seemed possible. His genius and his fortune were not to be bounded by the barriers which experience...
Pàgina 40 - ... his name across seas and oceans, whose will was pronounced and feared as destiny, whose donatives were crowns, whose antechamber was thronged by submissive princes, who broke down the awful barrier of the Alps and made them a highway, and whose fame was spread beyond the boundaries of civilization to the steppes of the Cossack, and the deserts of the Arab ; a man, who has left this record of himself in history, has taken out of our hands the question, whether he shall be called great. All must...
Pàgina 40 - Though clothed with the power of a god, the thought of consecrating himself to the introduction of a new and higher era, to the exaltation of the character and condition of his race, seems never to have dawned on his mind. The spirit of disinterestedness and self-sacrifice seems not to have waged a moment's war with self-will and ambition.
Pàgina 48 - Human immortality, that truth which is the seed of all greatness, they derided. To their philosophy, man was a creature of chance, a compound of matter, an ephemeron, a worm, who was soon to rot and perish forever.

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