Page:Napoleon's Addresses.djvu/21

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xvii
INTRODUCTION.

dom, the kind of bread to be fed his hunting-dogs.

A study of these addresses shows that he never lost his exuberance of imagination. However tragic his losses, he rebounded at once, and on the very day that he dictated his last address to the French army, June 25, 1815, he wrote his librarian to send him all the books on the United States which were to be obtained. He wanted to study up the country which he had already chosen for his future home.

Even at St. Helena, sick and irritated as he was, his mind was never quiet. He dictated in the five and a half years he lived on the island most of the matter in the journals of O'Meara, Las Cases, and Montholon, his essays on Cæsar, Turenne, and Frederick, his commentaries and several less important works,—a respectable literary output, certainly, for five and a half years, and an excellent reply to the old charge that the fallen Emperor passed his imprisonment sulking.

It is because the addresses of Napoleon are so characteristic of the man, because they reveal so clearly his ambitions, his