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A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year

Marshal Horace Francois Sebastiani


Ruskin's estimate]

"I believe if I were reduced to rest Turner's immortality upon any single work, I should choose 'The Slave Ship.' Its daring conception, ideal in the highest sense of the word, is based on the purest truth, and wrought out with the concentrated knowledge of a life. Its color is absolutely perfect, not one false or morbid hue in any part or line, and so modulated that every square inch of canvas is a perfect composition; its drawing as accurate as fearless; the ship buoyant, bending, and full of motion; its tones as true as they are wonderful; and the whole picture dedicated to the most sublime of subjects and impressions (completing thus the perfect system of all truth, which we have shown to be formed by Turner's works)--the power, majesty, and deathfulness of the open, deep, illimitable sea."

[Sidenote: Some Turner prices]

The picture, having first been acquired by Ruskin, finally went to America. About this time Turner's canvases began to command fabulous prices. "Van Goyen Looking for a Subject," sold in 1833 for a few hundred pounds, was resold in London thirty years later for 2,510 guineas. At a Turner sale in 1878 hitherto unsold canvases and unfinished sketches brought over L73,000, or about $365,000. Over a hundred of Turner's paintings and as many sketches and drawings, dating from 1790 to 1850, are now in the National Gallery of London.

justify;">[Sidenote: Death of Sebastiani]

[Sidenote: Corsican diplomacy]

[Sidenote: Death of Soult]

[Sidenote: Soult's early successes]

[Sidenote: First Peer of France]

[Sidenote: Foremost soldier of Empire]

In France, Marshal Horace Francois Sebastiani, one of the favorites of Napoleon the Great, died on July 21 at Paris. Sebastiani was a Corsican like Napoleon. He was identified with his great countryman's career from beginning to end. A soldier of fortune, like his illustrious chief, he distinguished himself chiefly by his Machiavellian talents for diplomacy. It was he who stirred up Napoleon's first war with England by his famous mission to the East to lay bare England's weakness in that quarter. After this, Sebastiani's name figured in many confidential missions. By his machinations at Constantinople, at one time he embroiled both England and Russia with Turkey, when such a diversion came most welcome to Napoleon, who was then fighting on the frontiers of Poland. On the downfall of Napoleon, Sebastiani was temporarily intrusted with the management of affairs at Paris. His conduct at this time as at all others laid him open to charges of double dealing and treachery. Napoleon showed his appreciation of Sebastiani's services by remembering him in his will. The famous old marshal's death gave to Prince Louis Napoleon a welcome opportunity to recall the lost glories of the First Empire. A still better chance was presently afforded. For, soon after Sebastiani, Marshal Soult died at chateau St. Amans, on November 26, in his eighty-second year. The death of this distinguished Marshal-General of France served to recall some of the brightest glories of Napoleonic days. Born in 1769 at St. Amans-la-Bastide, Nicolas Jean de Dieu Soult joined the royal army of France at the age of sixteen. He served as a sous-lieutenant under Marshals Lukner and Ustine, and so distinguished himself that he soon won his steps and was attached as adjutant-general to Marshal Lefebvre's staff. As a brigadier-general he turned the tide of victory at the battle

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