Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER XIX: Intoxication of Power; Reverses and Abdication of Bonaparte. - Considerations on the Principal Events of the French Revolution (LF ed.)
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CHAPTER XIX: Intoxication of Power; Reverses and Abdication of Bonaparte. - Germaine de Staël, Considerations on the Principal Events of the French Revolution (LF ed.) 
Considerations on the Principal Events of the French Revolution, newly revised translation of the 1818 English edition, edited, with an introduction and notes by Aurelian Craiutu (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2008).
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Intoxication of Power; Reverses and Abdication of Bonaparte.
“I am tired of this old Europe,” said Napoléon before his departure for Russia. He met indeed nowhere any obstacle to his will, and the restlessness of his character required a new aliment. Perhaps also the strength and clearness of his judgment were impaired when he saw men and things bending before him in such a manner that it became no longer necessary for him to exercise his thoughts upon any of the difficulties of life. There is in unlimited power a kind of giddiness which seizes on genius as on stupidity, and overthrows them both alike.
The Oriental etiquette which Bonaparte had established in his court intercepted that kind of knowledge which is acquired amidst the easy communications of society. When there were four hundred people in his saloon, a blind man might have thought himself alone, so deep was the silence that prevailed. The marshals of France, amidst the fatigues of war, at the moment of the crisis of a battle, used to enter the tent of the Emperor to ask his orders without being allowed to sit down. His family did not suffer less than strangers from his despotism and his pride. Lucien preferred living a prisoner in England to reigning under the orders of his brother.1 Louis Bonaparte, whose character is generally esteemed, was constrained by his probity to renounce the throne of Holland;2 and can it be believed that when conversing with his brother during two hours by themselves, and that brother obliged by indisposition to lean painfully against the wall, Napoléon never offered him a chair: he used to continue standing himself, from the fear that anyone should think of using the familiarity with him of sitting in his presence.
The dread which he inspired in later times was such that nobody dared to address him first upon any subject. Sometimes he conversed with the greatest simplicity, surrounded by his court and in his Council of State. He suffered, and even encouraged, contradiction upon administrative or judicial affairs which had no connection with his power. It was curious to remark how sensibly those persons were affected whom he had suffered for a moment to breathe freely; but when the master re-appeared, it was in vain to ask the ministers to present a report to the Emperor against an unjust measure. If the question was about the victim of some error, some individual caught by accident in that great net thrown over the human race—the agents of power would invoke the difficulty of addressing Napoléon, as if he had been the Great Lama. Such a stupor caused by power would have raised a smile if the situation of men without refuge under this despotism had not inspired the deepest pity.
The compliments, the hymns, the adorations without number and without measure which filled his journals, might have tired a man of such transcendent mind; but the despotism of his character was stronger than his reason. He liked true praise less than base flattery, because the one only showed his merit while the other attested his authority. In general he preferred power to glory; for the exertion of power pleased him too much to make him think of posterity, on whom it cannot act. But one of the results of absolute power which contributed the most to precipitate Bonaparte from his throne was that by degrees no one dared to state to him the truth on any subject. He ended by not knowing that it was cold at Moscow in November, because there could be found no one among his courtiers who had enough of the Roman to inform him of a thing so simple.3
In 1811, Napoléon had inserted, and disavowed at the same time, in the Moniteur a sacred note, printed in the English papers as having been addressed by his Minister of Foreign Affairs to the Ambassador of Russia. It was there said that Europe could enjoy no peace so long as England and its constitution subsisted. Whether this note was authentic or not, it bore at least the stamp of the school of Napoléon, and certainly expressed his ideas. An instinct which he could not account for taught him that so long as a center of justice and liberty existed in the world, the tribunal which was to pass sentence upon him held its permanent meetings.
Bonaparte connected perhaps with the wild idea of the war of Russia that of the conquest of Turkey, of a return into Egypt, and of some attempts on the English establishments in India. Such were the gigantic plans with which he marched for the first time to Dresden,4 dragging after him the armies of all the continent of Europe, whom he obliged to march against the powerful nation situated on the limit of Asia. Pretexts were of small importance to a man who had attained such a degree of power; still it was necessary to adopt a phrase on the expedition to Russia which the courtiers might use as the word of command. This phrase was that France was obliged to make war on Russia, because that power did not maintain the Continental blockade against England. Now, at this very time, Bonaparte himself was continually granting licenses at Paris for exchanges with the merchants of London; and the Emperor of Russia might with more propriety have declared war against him for violating the treaty by which they had mutually engaged to hold no commercial intercourse with England. But who would now take the trouble of justifying such a war? No one; not even Bonaparte; for his respect for success is such that he must condemn himself for having incurred such great reverses.
Nevertheless, the feeling of admiration and terror which Bonaparte inspired was so great that little doubt was entertained of his triumph. While he was at Dresden in 1812, surrounded by all the sovereigns of Germany, at the head of an army of five hundred thousand men composed of almost all the nations of Europe, it seemed impossible, according to human calculation, that his expedition should fail. In his fall, indeed, the intervention of Providence has been more manifested to the world than in any other event; and the elements were first employed to strike the ruler of men. At present we can hardly imagine that if Bonaparte had succeeded in his expedition against Russia, there would not have been a single corner of Continental ground where one could have escaped from his power. All the ports were shut, and the Continent was, like the tower of Ugolino, walled up on all sides.
Threatened with imprisonment by a prefect,5 extremely docile to power, if I showed the least intention of withdrawing for a day from my dwelling, I escaped when Bonaparte was just entering into Russia, fearing I should find no outlet in Europe if I deferred my project any longer.6 I had already but two ways of going to England, by Constantinople or by St. Petersburg. The war between Russia and Turkey rendered the road by the latter almost impracticable; I did not know what would become of me, when the Emperor Alexander had the goodness to send me a passport to Vienna. On entering his empire, acknowledged as absolute, I felt myself free for the first time since the reign of Bonaparte; not only on account of the personal virtues of the Emperor Alexander, but because Russia was the only country which Napoléon had not compelled to feel his influence. None of the old governments can be compared to a tyranny which is engrafted upon a revolution, a tyranny which had employed even the extension of knowledge to chain even further every form of liberty.
It is my intention at a future day to write what I observed of Russia; I shall here only remark, without turning from my subject, that it is a country little known, because almost all we have seen of that nation is a small number of courtiers, whose defects are always greater in proportion as the power of a monarch is less limited. They are distinguished, for the most part, only by that intrepid bravery common to all classes; but the Russian peasantry, that numerous class of the nation whose knowledge does not extend beyond the earth they cultivate and the heavens they contemplate, have qualities that are really admirable. The mildness of these people, their hospitality, their natural elegance, are extraordinary; no danger exists in their eyes; they think nothing impossible when their master commands. The word “master,” of which courtiers make an object of flattery and policy, does not produce the same effect on a people almost Asiatic. The monarch, being at the head of public worship, constitutes a part of their religion, and the peasants prostrate themselves before the Emperor as they salute the church by which they pass; no servile feeling mingles itself with these demonstrations of their sentiments.
Thanks to the enlightened wisdom of the present sovereign, every possible amelioration will take place gradually in Russia.7 But nothing is more absurd than the observations commonly repeated by those who dread the enlightened ideas of Alexander. “Why,” they exclaim, “does that Emperor, for whom the friends of liberty are such enthusiasts; why does he not establish at home the constitutional government which he recommends to other nations?” It is one of the thousand artifices of the enemies of human reason to endeavor to prevent what is possible and desirable for one nation by demanding things that are impossible for another. There is as yet no Third Estate in Russia: how, then, could a representative government be established there? The intermediary class between the boyards and the people is almost entirely missing. It would be possible to augment the power of the great nobles, and by so doing, destroy the work of Peter I; but that would be going back instead of forward; for the power of the Emperor, however absolute, is an amelioration in the state of society, compared to what the Russian aristocracy formerly was. Russia, in regard to civilization, has only attained that period of history in which, for the good of nations, it becomes necessary to limit the power of the privileged class by that of the crown. Thirty-six religions, including those that are pagan, and thirty-six different nations are not collected, but scattered over an immense territory. On one hand, the Greek creed accords with perfect toleration, and on the other, the vast space occupied by the population leaves every man the freedom of living according to his mores. There is not yet to be found, in this order of things, knowledge that could be concentrated or individuals who could make institutions work. The only tie which unites nations who are almost in a pastoral state, and whose dwellings appear like wooden tents erected in the plain, is respect for the monarch and national pride. Other ties will be successively brought forth by time.
I was at Moscow exactly a month before Napoléon’s army entered its walls; and I did not dare to remain but a very short time, fearing its immediate approach. When walking on the top of the Kremlin, the palace of the ancient tzars, which commands the vast capital of Russia and its eighteen hundred churches, I thought it was the lot of Bonaparte to see empires at his feet, as Satan offered them to our Savior. But it was when there remained nothing more for him to conquer in Europe that Fate seized upon him, and made him fall with as much rapidity as he had risen. Perhaps he has since learned that whatever may be the events in the earlier scenes, there is a potency in virtue which always reappears at the fifth act of the tragedy; as, among the ancients, the knot was severed by a god when the action was worthy of his intervention.
The admirable perseverance of the Emperor Alexander in refusing the peace which Bonaparte offered him, according to his practice when victorious; the energy of the Russians, who set fire to Moscow that the martyrdom of one holy city might redeem the Christian world; all this certainly contributed greatly to the misfortunes of Bonaparte’s troops in the retreat from Russia. But it was that cold, that “cold of Hell,” such as is pictured by Dante, that alone could annihilate the army of Xerxes.
We who have French hearts had accustomed ourselves, during the fifteen years of the tyranny of Napoléon, to consider his armies beyond the Rhine as no more belonging to France. They no longer defended the interests of the nation, they only served the ambition of one man; there was nothing in that which could awaken the love of their country; and far from wishing for the triumph of those troops, a great part of whom were foreigners, their defeat might be considered as a blessing even for France. Besides, the more we are attached to liberty in our own country, the more we feel that it is impossible to rejoice in victories the result of which must be the oppression of other nations. But who can hear a description of the evils which overwhelmed the French in the war of Russia without heart-rending sorrow?
Incredible man!—he had witnessed sufferings from which thought recoils,8 he knew that the French grenadiers, whom Europe never names but with respect, became the toy of a few Jews and of some old women at Wilna, so much was their physical strength weakened, long before they could die; he received proofs of respect and of attachment from that army when they were perishing for him one by one; and he refused, six months after, at Dresden, a peace which would leave him master of France as far as the Rhine and of the whole of Italy.9 He had come rapidly to Paris after the retreat from Russia to collect new forces, having, with firmness more theatrical than natural, crossed Germany, where he was detested but still feared. In his last bulletin10 he had given an account of the disasters of his army, which he had rather exaggerated than concealed. He is a man who delights so much in calling forth strong emotions that when he cannot conceal his losses, he exaggerates them in order to do always more than another. During his absence, some attempted against him the most generous conspiracy (that of Mallet) of which the history of the French Revolution presents an example;11 and which, therefore, terrified him more than the coalition itself. Alas! why did not this patriotic conspiracy succeed? France would have had the glory of freeing herself, and it would not have been under the ruins of the country that her oppressor would have been crushed.
General Mallet was a friend to liberty, and attacked Bonaparte on that ground. Bonaparte was well aware that none was more dangerous for him; and when he returned to Paris, he talked of nothing but ideologie.12 He had conceived a horror for this very innocent word because it meant the theory of thought. It was singular enough to dread nothing but what he called the ideologues at a moment when all Europe was armed against him. It would have been noble if, in consequence of this fear, he had sought, in preference to everything, the esteem of philosophers; but he detested every man capable of an independent opinion. Even from a political point of view, he leaned too much to the belief that men were to be governed only by their interest; this old maxim, however common it may be, is often false. The greater number of those on whom Bonaparte had heaped places and wealth deserted his cause; but his soldiers, attached to him by his victories, did not abandon him. He laughed at enthusiasm; and yet it was by enthusiasm, or at least military fanaticism, that he was supported. The frenzy of battles, which has something of greatness even in its excess, constituted the only strength of Bonaparte. Nations can never be in the wrong; a vicious principle never acts long on the mass: men are perverse only individually.
Bonaparte performed, or rather the nation performed for him, a miracle: notwithstanding his immense losses in Russia, a new army was created in less than three months, which was able to march into Germany and to gain new battles. It was then that the demon of pride and folly took possession of Bonaparte in such a manner that reasoning founded on his own interest can no longer explain the motives of his conduct: it was at Dresden that he mistook the last apparition of his tutelary genius.
The Germans, long indignant, rose at length against the French who occupied their territory; national pride, the great strength of human nature, again displayed itself among the sons of Germany. Bonaparte was then taught what becomes of allies who have been constrained by force; and that whatever is not voluntary is destroyed at the first reverse of fortune. The sovereigns of Germany fought with the intrepidity of soldiers; and it seemed as if the Prussians and their warlike king were animated by the remembrance of the personal insult offered some years before by Bonaparte to their beautiful and virtuous queen.13
The liberation of Germany had long been the object of the wishes of the Emperor of Russia. When the French were repulsed from his country, he devoted himself to this cause, not only as a sovereign but as a general; and he several times exposed his life, not in the character of a monarch guarded by his courtiers, but in that of an intrepid soldier. Holland welcomed her deliverers and recalled that house of Orange whose princes are now, as heretofore, the defenders of independence and the magistrates of liberty.14 Whatever was the influence at this period of the English victories in Spain, we shall speak elsewhere of Lord Wellington, for we must pause at that name; we cannot take an incidental notice of it.15
Bonaparte returned to Paris; and even at this moment France might have been saved. Five members of the Legislative Assembly, Gallois, Raynouard, Flaugergues, Maine de Biran, and Lainé, asked for peace at the peril of their lives.16 Each of those persons might be designated by his particular merit; and the last I have named, Lainé,17 perpetuates every day by his conduct and talents the remembrance of an action which alone would suffice to honor the character of any person. If the Senate had joined with the five members of the legislative body, and the generals had supported the Senate, France would have been the disposer of her own fate; and whatever course she had taken, she would have remained France. But fifteen years of tyranny subverts all ideas and changes all sentiments; the very men who would expose so nobly their lives in war are not aware that the same courage and the same honor command resistance in the civil career to the enemy of all the despotism.
Bonaparte answered the delegation of the legislative body with a kind of concentrated fury; he expressed himself ill, but his pride was seen to pierce through his confused language. He said “that France wanted him more than he wanted France,” forgetting that it was himself who had reduced her to that state. He added “that a throne was but a piece of wood upon which a carpet was spread, and that all depended on the person by whom it was occupied.” Finally, he continued to appear intoxicated with himself. A singular anecdote, however, might lead us to believe that he was already struck with that stupor which seems to have taken possession of his character during the last crisis of his political life. A person worthy of credit told me that, conversing with him alone, the day before his departure for the army in the month of January, 1814, when the allies had already entered France, Bonaparte confessed in this private interview that he did not possess the means of resisting; they discussed the question, and Bonaparte showed him, without reserve, the worst side of things; and, what will scarcely be believed, he fell asleep while talking on such a subject, without any preceding fatigue that could explain so singular an apathy. This did not prevent his displaying an extreme activity in his campaign of 1814; he suffered himself, no doubt, to be misled by a presumptuous confidence; and on the other hand, physical existence, through enjoyments and facilities of all kinds, had gained possession of this man, formerly so intellectual. His soul seemed in some sort to have become gross along with his body. His genius now pierced only at intervals through that covering of egoism which a long habit of being considered everything had made him acquire. He sunk under the weight of prosperity before he was overthrown by misfortune.
It is pretended that he would not consent to relinquish the conquests which had been made by the Republic, and that he could not bring himself to allow that France should be weakened under his reign. If this consideration determined him to refuse the peace that was offered to him at Châtillon18 in March, 1814, it is the first time that the idea of a duty acted on his mind; and his perseverance on this occasion, however imprudent, would deserve some esteem. But it rather appears that he relied too much on his talents after having had some success in Champagne, and that he concealed from himself, as might have been done by one of his flatterers, the difficulties he had to surmount. They were so much accustomed to fear him that none of them dared to tell him the facts that interested him the most. If he happened to assert that in such a place there was a body of twenty thousand French, no one had the courage to inform him that there were only ten thousand; if he observed that the Allies were only in such a number, no one ventured to prove that this number was double. His despotism was such that he had reduced men to be but the echo of himself; and his own voice returning to him from all sides, he was alone amidst the crowd that encircled him.
In short, he did not perceive that enthusiasm had passed from the left bank of the Rhine to the right; that he had no longer to do with undecided governments, but with irritated nations; and that on his side, on the contrary, there was only an army and no longer a nation; for in this great contest France remained neutral, without seeming to think that what regarded him regarded herself. The most warlike of nations saw, almost with indifference, the success of those very foreigners with whom they had often fought so gloriously; and the inhabitants of the towns and villages gave but little aid to the French soldiers, not being able to persuade themselves that after twenty-five years of victory, so strange an event as the entry of the Allies into Paris could ever happen. It did, however, happen! this terrible justice of destiny. The Allies were generous; Alexander, as we shall see hereafter, displayed a constant magnanimity. He was the first to enter the conquered city as a powerful protector and as an enlightened philanthropist; but even in admiring him, who could be a Frenchman and not be overwhelmed with sorrow?
From the moment that the Allies crossed the Rhine and penetrated into France, it seemed to me that the wishes of the friends of France ought to have been completely changed. I was then in London, and one of the English ministers asked me what were my wishes? I had the boldness to answer him that I wished that Bonaparte should be victorious, and killed. I found in Englishmen sufficient greatness of mind to have no need of concealing this French sentiment in their presence. I was, however, forced to hear, amidst the transports of joy with which the city of the conquerors resounded, that Paris had fallen into the power of the Allies. It seemed to me at that moment that there was no longer a France: I thought the prediction of Burke accomplished, and that there where France existed we should henceforth see but an abyss. The Emperor Alexander, the Allies, and the constitutional principles adopted by the wisdom of Louis XVIII dissipated this sad foreboding.19
Bonaparte then heard on all sides the truth which had been so long kept in captivity. It was then that ungrateful courtiers deserved the contempt entertained by their master for the human race. If the friends of liberty respect public opinion, desire publicity, and seek everywhere for the sincere and free support of the national voice, it is because they know that only the vilest of souls appear in the secrets and intrigues of arbitrary power.
There was, however, something of grandeur in the farewell of Napoléon to his soldiers and to their eagles, so long victorious; his last campaign had been long and skillful; in short, the fatal illusion which connected him with the military glory of France was not yet destroyed. The Congress at Paris has accordingly to reproach itself with having put him in a situation that admitted of his return.20 The representatives of Europe ought frankly to confess this fault; and it is unjust to make the French nation bear the blame. It was certainly without any sinister intention that the ministers of the foreign powers allowed to hover over the throne of Louis XVIII a danger which threatened, at the same time, the whole of Europe. But why do not those who suspended this sword plead guilty to the mischief which it caused?
Many people like to claim that Bonaparte, had he not attempted the war of Spain or that of Russia, would still be Emperor; and this opinion is flattering to the partisans of despotic power, who think that so fine a government cannot be overturned by the nature of things, but only by accidental causes. I have already said what an attentive consideration of France will confirm, that Bonaparte stood in need of war to establish and preserve absolute power. A great nation would not have borne the monotonous and degrading pressure of despotism if military glory had not incessantly animated or exalted the public mind. The continual promotion to various ranks, in which every class of the nation had the means of participating, rendered the conscription less painful to the peasantry. The interest perpetually excited by victory supplied the place of interest in other things; ambition was the active principle of government in its smallest ramifications; titles, money, power, all were given by Bonaparte to the French in place of their liberty. But, to be enabled to deal around these disastrous indemnities, he required nothing less than Europe to devour. If Napoléon had been what one may term a rational tyrant, he would not have been able to struggle against the activity of the French, which required an object. He was a man condemned by his destiny either to the virtues of Washington or to the conquests of Attila; but it was easier to reach the confines of the civilized world than to stop the progress of human reason; and public opinion in France would soon have accomplished what was brought about by the arms of the Allies.
From this time forward it is not he alone who will occupy the history of which we aim at sketching a picture, and our ill-fated France is about to appear again after fifteen years during which nothing was spoken of but the Emperor and his army. What reverses we have to describe! what evils we have to dread! We shall be obliged to require of Bonaparte once more an account of France, since that country, too confiding and too warlike, trusted her fate a second time in his hands.
In the different observations which I have made about Bonaparte, I have abstained from his private life, with which I am unacquainted, and which does not concern the interests of France. I have not advanced a single doubtful point in regard to his history; for the calumnies thrown out against him seem to me still more vile than the adulations of which he was the object. I flatter myself with having estimated him as all public men ought to be estimated: with reference to the effects of their conduct on the prosperity, information, and morality of nations. The persecutions which Bonaparte made me undergo have not, I can faithfully declare, at all biased my opinion. On the contrary, I have rather felt a necessity for resisting that kind of fascination produced on the imagination by an extraordinary genius and a formidable destiny. I should even gladly have allowed myself to be led away by the satisfaction which lofty minds find in defending an unfortunate man, and by the pleasure of thus putting themselves more in opposition to the writers and speakers who, so lately prostrate before him, are now incessantly pouring abuse on him, keeping, however, I imagine, a watchful eye on the height of the rocks which imprison him.21 But one cannot be silent in regard to Bonaparte even in the day of his misfortune, because his political doctrine still reigns in the minds both of his enemies and of his partisans. For of the whole inheritance of his dreadful power, there remains nothing to mankind but the baneful knowledge of a few secrets the more in the art of tyranny.
[1. ] From 1810 until 1814.
[2. ] Louis Bonaparte was the king of Holland from 1806 to 1810.
[3. ] Napoléon decided to leave Moscow on October 19, 1812, when the temperatures were still mild. In early November they dropped significantly, hindering the orderly retreat of the French army.
[4. ] Napoléon arrived in Dresden on May 9, 1812, where he hoped to meet the Emperor of Austria and the German princes in order to convince them to endorse his Russian campaign.
[5. ] Capelle was the prefect of the department of Lyon.
[6. ] Madame de Staël left Coppet on May 23, 1812. She headed for Berne, Innsbruck, and Vienna and arrived in Moscow on August 1, 1812. She then left for Saint Petersburg, Stockholm, and London, where she arrived on June 18, 1813. For more information, see Staël, Ten Years of Exile, pt. II, chaps. v–xx, 131–229; and Madame de Staël, ses amis, ses correspondants. Choix de lettres (1778–1817), 427–79.
[7. ] See the letter sent by Madame de Staël to Tsar Alexander I in 1814, in Madame de Staël, ses amis, ses correspondants. Choix de lettres (1778–1817), 476. The tsar did not live up to Madame de Staël’s hopes, as he refused to endorse the friends of constitutional liberty in France. It would be worth comparing these optimistic words of Madame de Staël with the account of Astolphe de Custine, who visited Russia two decades later (translated into English as Empire of the Czar).
[8. ] During the retreat of the French army from Russia.
[9. ] On June 4, 1813, a truce was signed at Pleiswitz; it lasted until August 10, 1813. On June 27, England, Prussia, Austria, and Russia signed a treaty that sought to open negotiations with France. Napoléon, who wanted to preserve the borders of 1812, rejected Metternich’s proposals, and the war began again in August 1813.
[10. ] The 29th Bulletin of the Grand Army.
[11. ] On October 23, 1812, General Mallet attempted a coup d’état that failed.
[12. ] The concept “ideology” was coined by Destutt de Tracy. For more information, see Freeden, Ideology: A Very Short Introduction; and Welch, Liberty and Utility.
[13. ] Louise de Mecklembourg-Strelitz (1776–1810), Queen of Prussia, opposed Napoléon in 1806.
[14. ] In November 1813, Holland rebelled against Napoléon. The Prince of Orange was recalled and became king of the Netherlands (Holland and Belgium) in 1815.
[15. ] Arthur Wellesley, first Duke of Wellington (1769–1852). Wellington defeated Napoléon at Waterloo on June 18, 1815, and subsequently served as prime minister (1828–30).
[16. ] After the battle of Leipzig in October 1813, Napoléon rejected the peace offer made by Metternich. While the Senate agreed with the Emperor, some members of the legislative body, including Raynouard, Lainé, Gallois, and Maine de Biran, expressed their concern with the Emperor’s policy in December 1813.
[17. ] Joseph Lainé (1767–1835) served as president of the Chamber of Deputies during the First Bourbon Restoration (1814–15) and minister of the interior (1816–18). He was elected to the French Academy in 1816.
[18. ] The Congress of Châtillon-sur-Seine convened on February 3, 1814, after Napoléon’s defeat at La Rothière. Napoléon refused again the terms proposed by the representatives of Austria, Russia, England, and Prussia.
[19. ] The Charter of 1814 was “granted” by Louis XVIII in June 1814 upon his return to France.
[20. ] Reference to the Treaty of Paris, signed on May 30, 1814.
[21. ] At Sainte-Helena.
[* ] We think it incumbent on us to mention again that a part of the third volume of this work was not revised by Madame de Staël. Some of the subsequent chapters will perhaps appear unfinished; but we felt it a duty to publish the MS. in the state in which we found it, without taking on us to make any addition whatever to the production of the author.
It is proper also to remark that this portion of the work was written in the early part of the year 1816, and that it is consequently of importance to refer to that period the opinions, whether favorable or unfavorable, pronounced by the author. (Note by the Editors.)