Page:Napoleon's Addresses.djvu/39

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35
THE CAMPAIGN IN ITALY.

essary for me to confer with the commissioners of the Government regarding each step; if they have the right to change my movements, to send me troops or withdraw them at their will, then look for no good.

"If you reduce your power by dividing your forces, if you break the unity of the military outline in Italy, with grief I tell you, you will have lost the most favorable occasion for bringing Italy to terms.

"In the present condition of the affairs of the Republic in Italy, it is indispensable for you to have a general in whom you have entire confidence. If it is not I, I make no complaint, I shall only strive to redouble my zeal in order to merit your esteem in the past that you may confide to me. Every one has his own manner of conducting a war. General Keelerman has had more experience and will do better than I, but together we would make a dire failure.

"I cannot render our country any essential service unless invested with your absolute and entire confidence. It requires much courage on my part to write you in this way, I could so easily be accused of pride and ambition. But I owe the expression of all my opinions on the subject to one whose many tokens of esteem I shall never forget."