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to attend the character of Napoleon; for though, I apprehend, there are but few of our countrymen that continue to regard it in the same point of view that they did previous to his first abdication, yet, it will require the lapse of ages, before the world will be enabled to form a cool and candid determination respecting it.

We are given to entertain an opinion, that much of the indifference he displayed in many of the most interesting circumstances of his life,—the contempt, that he ever felt, and felt no fear of avowing, for mankind in the aggregate, must have arisen, in some degree, and, most likely, in a high one, from a peculiar organization of his bodily functions.

But then, the profound knowledge he had of mankind, the intuitive perception with which he dived into the minds and habits of all around him, must, undoubtedly, have originated in a higher and nobler principle.

Lord Bacon observes, that “dignity of command is always proportionable to the dignity of the commanded; that, to have command over beasts, as a herdsman, is a mean thing, and over slaves, is a disgrace, rather than an honour; but that the command

of knowledge is higher than a command over a free people, as being a command over the reason, opinion, and understanding of men, which are the noblest faculties of the mind, that govern the will itself, for that there is no power on earth, that sets up its throne, in the spirits of men, but knowledge and learning.”

His audacity next demands our notice, which was as complete, as it was necessary, for the accomplishment of his designs. For though, to men of great judgment, boldness is but as a sport to behold, by reason of its common incapacity in counsel, yet being excellent in execution, it hath, in general, had a tendency to charm and fascinate mankind.

But when we see concentrated in the character of this extraordinary man, both the mind to counsel, and the will to do, accompanied by a calmness, which nothing could derange, and an equanimity but rarely shaken, it appears, matter of little wonder, that he should have succeeded in overturning the ephemeral government, by which he was employed, and in seating himself upon the revolutionary whirlwind, the director and genius of the storm.

Bonaparte, like several other celebrated men, had an early presentiment of his future greatness. When at Brienne, eight or nine years before the commencement of the revolution, on being reviled by one of his fellow students, with the appellation of the “Corsican Bear," he replied, “I should be nicely revenged upon him, if I compel him some of these days to call me the “Corsican Eagle.”

There appears, to be a sort of freemasonry incident to lofty spirits, of every age and clime; hence, Napoleon's highest delight while at Brienne, was, in pondering over the characters of such men as Cæsar, Cromwell, Alexander, and Sylla. “Come,” said he, to his confidential intimate, at that seminary, “let us retire into the most shady walks. I will read you Cromwell's life. He was a man, indeed! what genius! what boldness! what resources he possessed, how great, how fortunate, how dreaded he was ! I would willingly limit my life to half its period, could I but resemble him for one year.” Bonaparte was then fifteen. The following summary of Cromwell's life, extracted from Bishop Gibson's life, of that distinguished man, might reasonably justify this burst of enthusiasm on the part of Napoleon.

“All allow, that he was an extraordinary genius,

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and master of the most refined policy; that he had a great spirit, a wonderful circumspection and sagacity, and a most magnanimous resolution. His courage and conduct in the field, were undoubtedly admirable. He had a greatness of soul, which the greatest dangers and difficulties, rather animated than discouraged ; and his discipline and government of the army, were such as became the most renowned, and accomplished generals.”

Probably, also, he was not unacquainted with the well-known character of Julius Cæsar, of which the following is a portion :

“Julius Cæsar, at the first, encountered a rugged fortune, which turned to his advantage, for this curbed his pride, and spurred his industry. He was, without dispute, a man of a great and noble soul; though rather bent upon procuring his own private advantage, than good to the public, for he referred all things to himself, and was the truest centre of his own actions. And though he was a perfect master of dissimulation, and wholly made up of art, without leaving anything to nature, but what art had approved; yet nothing of design or affectation appeared in his carriage, so that


he was thought to follow his own natural disposition. He did not, however, stoop to any mean artifices, which men, unpractised in the world, who depend not upon their own strength, but the abilities of others, employ to support their authority, for he was perfectly skilled in all the ways of men, and transacted everything of consequence in his own person, without the interposition of others.”

Another great lever towards placing Napoleon on his lofty eminence, was the force of opinion, for “opinion is stronger than truth," as was observed by one of the sages of antiquity. Men, struck with something brilliant, in the character of another, are fond of foretelling his future greatness. Their own self-love, is from thenceforth, interested in his rise, and flattered by his success. None knew better how to create this illusion, or how to render it more subservient to his purposes, when created, than Napoleon. The description annexed to his name, in the Archives of the Military Academy at Paris, on his obtaining his first commission, as sub-lieutenant of artillery, would seem to show, that he had been casting his spells over the directors of that institution. It is as follows :-“ Corsican by birth-stu

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