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The Life of Napoleon I (Volume 1 of 2) by Rose

Gallois Je n'aime pas beaucoup les femmes


While

not neglecting the personal details of the great man's life, I have dwelt mainly on his public career. Apart from his brilliant conversations, his private life has few features of abiding interest, perhaps because he early tired of the shallowness of Josephine and the Corsican angularity of his brothers and sisters. But the cause also lay in his own disposition. He once said to M. Gallois: "Je n'aime pas beaucoup les femmes, ni le jeu--enfin rien: _je suis tout a fait un etre politique_." In dealing with him as a warrior and statesman, and in sparing my readers details as to his bolting his food, sleeping at concerts, and indulging in amours where for him there was no glamour of romance, I am laying stress on what interested him most--in a word, I am taking him at his best.

I could not have accomplished this task, even in the present inadequate way, but for the help generously accorded from many quarters. My heartfelt thanks are due to Lord Acton, Regius Professor of Modern History in the University of Cambridge, for advice of the highest importance; to Mr. Hubert Hall of the Public Record Office, for guidance in my researches there; to Baron Lumbroso of Rome, editor of the "Bibliografia ragionata dell' Epoca Napoleonica," for hints on Italian and other affairs; to Dr. Luckwaldt, Privat Docent of the University of Bonn, and author of "Oesterreich und die Anfaenge des Befreiungs-Krieges," for his very scholarly revision of the chapters on German

affairs; to Mr. F.H.E. Cunliffe, M.A., Fellow of All Souls' College, Oxford, for valuable advice on the campaigns of 1800, 1805, and 1806; to Professor Caudrillier of Grenoble, author of "Pichegru," for information respecting the royalist plot; and to Messrs. J.E. Morris, M.A., and E.L.S. Horsburgh, B.A., for detailed communications concerning Waterloo, The nieces of the late Professor Westwood of Oxford most kindly allowed the facsimile of the new Napoleon letter, printed opposite p. 156 of vol. i., to be made from the original in their possession; and Miss Lowe courteously placed at my disposal the papers of her father relating to the years 1813-15, as well as to the St. Helena period. I wish here to record my grateful obligations for all these friendly courtesies, which have given value to the book, besides saving me from many of the pitfalls with which the subject abounds. That I have escaped them altogether is not to be imagined; but I can honestly say, in the words of the late Bishop of London, that "I have tried to write true history."

J.H.R.

[NOTE.--The references to Napoleon's "Correspondence" in the notes are to the official French edition, published under the auspices of Napoleon III. The "New Letters of Napoleon" are those edited by Leon Lecestre, and translated into English by Lady Mary Loyd, except in a very few cases where M. Leonce de Brotonne's still more recent edition is cited under his name. By "F.O.," France, No.----, and "F.O.," Prussia, No.----, are meant the volumes of _our_ Foreign Office despatches relating to France and Prussia. For the sake of brevity I have called Napoleon's Marshals and high officials by their names, not by their titles: but a list of these is given at the close of vol. ii.]


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