free ebooks

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

Went to reward the ever faithful Berthier


remained to gain over the army. The means used were profuse, in proportion as the task was arduous. The following generals were distinguished as Marshals of the Empire (May 19th): Berthier, Murat, Massena, Augereau, Lannes, Jourdan, Ney, Soult, Brune, Davoust, Bessieres, Moncey, Mortier, and Bernadotte; two marshal's batons were held in reserve as a reward for future service, and four aged generals, Lefebvre, Serrurier, Perignon, and Kellerman (the hero of Valmy), received the title of honorary marshals. In one of his conversations with Roederer, the Emperor frankly avowed his reasons for showering these honours on his military chiefs; it was in order to assure the imperial dignity to himself; for how could they object to this, when they themselves received honours so lofty?[308] The confession affords a curious instance of Napoleon's unbounded trust in the most elementary, not to say the meanest, motives of human conduct. Suitable rewards were bestowed on officers of the second rank. But it was at once remarked that determined and outspoken republicans like Suchet, Gouvion St. Cyr, and Macdonald, whose talents and exploits far outstripped those of many of the marshals, were excluded from their ranks. St. Cyr was at Taranto, and Macdonald, after an enforced diplomatic mission to Copenhagen, was received on his recall with much coolness.[309] Other generals who had given umbrage at the Tuileries were more effectively broken in by a term of diplomatic banishment. Lannes at Lisbon
and Brune at Constantinople learnt a little diplomacy and some complaisance to the head of the State, and were taken back to Napoleon's favour. Bernadotte, though ever suspected of Jacobinism and feared for the forceful ambition that sprang from the blending of Gascon and Moorish blood in his veins, was now also treated with the consideration due to one who had married Joseph Bonaparte's sister-in-law: he received at Napoleon's hands the house in Paris which had formerly belonged to Moreau: the exile's estate of Grosbois, near Paris, went to reward the ever faithful Berthier. Augereau, half cured of his Jacobinism by the disfavour of the Directory, was now drilling a small French force and Irish volunteers at Brest. But the Grand Army, which comprised the pick of the French forces, was intrusted to the command of men on whom Napoleon could absolutely rely, Davoust, Soult, and Ney; and, in that splendid force, hatred of England and pride in Napoleon's prowess now overwhelmed all political considerations.

These arrangements attest the marvellous foresight and care which Napoleon brought to bear on all affairs: even if the discontented generals and troops had protested against the adoption of the Empire and the prosecution of Moreau, they must have been easily overpowered. In some places, as at Metz, the troops and populace fretted against the Empire and its pretentious pomp; but the action of the commanders soon restored order. And thus it came to pass that even the soldiery that still cherished the Republic raised not a musket while the Empire was founded, and Moreau was accused of high treason.

eBook Search
Social Sharing
Share Button
About us is a collection of free ebooks that can be read online. Ebooks are split into pages for easier reading and better bookmarking.

We have more than 35,000 free books in our collection and are adding new books daily.

We invite you to link to us, so as many people as possible can enjoy this wonderful free website.

© 2010-2013 - All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us