Napoleon I's speech to his army in Italy
|Napoleon I's speech to his army in Italy
|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, you have, in fifteen days, gained six victories, taken twenty-one stand of colors, fifty pieces of cannon, several fortified places, made fifteen hundred prisoners, and killed or wounded over ten thousand men. You are the equals of the conquerors of Holland and of the Rhine.
Destitute of everything, you have supplied yourselves with everything. You have won battles without cannon, crossed rivers without bridges, made forced marches without shoes, bivouacked without spirituous liquor, and often without bread. The Republican phalanxes—the soldiers of liberty, were alone capable of enduring what you have suffered.
Thanks to you, soldiers! your country has a right to expect of you great things. You have still battles to fight, cities to take, rivers to pass. Is there one among you whose courage flags? One who would prefer returning to the sterile summits of the Apennines and the Alps, to undergo patiently the insults of that slavish soldiery? No, there is not one such among the victors of Montenotte, of Millesimo, of Diego, and of Mondovi!
Friends, I promise you that glorious conquest: but be the liberators of peoples, be not their scourges!