Page:Napoleon's Addresses.djvu/12

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viii
INTRODUCTION.

tail from Toulon to St. Helena. Every document which he wrote relating to public affairs is—if we may believe the editors—printed in the collection. The number is enormous. When the commission appointed to collect the material began its labors, it found itself obliged to go through ten thousand volumes pertaining to Napoleon's life. The archives of Paris yielded forty thousand different documents of which he was the author, and the rulers of Austria, Bavaria, Hesse, Russia, Sardinia, and Wurtemberg sent contributions from their royal records.

Across the pages of the great tomes file the mighty procession of soldiers and generals, priests and cardinals, kings and peoples who, in the twenty years in which Napoleon was the preëminent figure of Europe, fell captive to his charms or his power. Here are the words by which he fired starving armies to battle, bullied obstinate powers to follow his plans, put hope into despot-ridden people, told kings their duties.

In these addresses one traces Napoleon's daily thought, so far as he cared to reveal