The World's Famous Orations/Volume 7/After the Return from Elba
AFTER THE RETURN FROM ELBA
Soldiers, behold the officers of battalion who have accompanied me in my misfortune: they are all my friends; they are dear to my heart. Every time I saw them, they represented to me the several regiments of the army. Among these six hundred brave men, there are soldiers of every regiment; all brought me back those great days whose memory is so dear to me, for all were covered with honorable scars received in those memorable battles. In loving them, it is you all, soldiers of the French army, that I loved.
They bring you back these eagles; let them be your rallying-point. In giving them to the Guard, I give them to the whole army. Treachery and untoward circumstances dad wrapped them in a shroud; but, thanks to the French people and to you, they reappear resplendent in all their glory. Swear that they shall always be found when and wherever the interest of the country may call them! Let the traitors and those who would invade our territory, be never able to endure their gaze.
- Spoken at the Tuileries, the day after his arrival. Translated "by a member of the New York Bar."