Napoleon I's speech on the Anniversary of Austerlitz
|Napoleon I's speech on the Anniversary of Austerlitz
|Delivered in 1806, and translated by a member of the New York Bar Association to appear in the English volume of the Vicomte de Cormenin's book "Eminent Orators of France", and later appeared in William Jennings Bryan's 1906 book The World’s Famous Orations, Volume VII "Continental Europe".|
SOLDIERS, it is this day a year ago, at this very hour, that we were upon the memorable plain of Austerlitz. The Russian battalions fled appalled. Their allies are no more. Their fortresses, their capitals, their magazines, their arsenals, two hundred and eighty stand of colors, seven hundred field-pieces, five grand strongholds are in our power.
The Oder, the Wasta, the Polish deserts, the inclement weather, nothing has been able to arrest your course—all have fled before you. The French eagle hovers over the Vistula. The brave and unfortunate Poles imagine they behold again the legions of Sobieski.
Soldiers, we shall not lay down our arms until a general peace has restored to our commerce its freedom and its colonies. We have conquered on the Elba and the Oder, Pondicherry, our Indian establishments, the Cape of Good Hope, and the Spanish colonies. Who should give the Russians the hope of balancing the destinies? Are not they and we the soldiers of Austerlitz?