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the supremacy of intellect were never doubted by those who possessed it, that diminution or exhaustion of power which marked the last


of the great French Revolution would never have been experienced. In speaking thus it is far from the author's intention to make

any allusion to the present, or to profess himself in the least an alarmist. His object throughout has been to write rather for the learner than for the partisan, for those who still have to form their opinions than for readers of a more mature age whose sentiments have assumed the hardened form of prejudice or passion. His aim has been to instruct, to make truthful representations, to pronounce just decisions, rather than to please the ear with the eloquence of the orator or the poet.

Some critics, indeed, insist peremptorily that a history should be either philosophic, or pictorial, or both. To the advantage or fairness of preaching philosophy under the guise of history, I must demur. To write a history in behalf of Deism, of Catholicism, of Benthamism, or of Socialism, is to take facts for counters and play a skilful game with them. To narrate the world's events after the manner of Bossuet, and see the hand of Providence directing and ordering all, would be to compose a homily. To follow Buckle in regarding man as the slave of clime, soil and circumstances, would lead us to a dead and dull materialism. There is no science so fleeting or ephemeral as the philosophy of history. Each generation forms one for itself, and expounds its theory—to be repudiated by the generation which follows.

The power of producing lifelike pictorial effects is as valuable as it is delightful in the chronicler of

cotemporary life, in the man who designs what he sees, and portrays what he contemplates. But vivid description and dramatic personification, at second-hand, made up of old materials and filled up by modern imagination, constitute romance, not history. Such devices may captivate and impose upon the ignorant and careless reader; but these are the achievements of the dramatist, not of the honest narrator. Scanty as are the records and dry the details of Roman history, for example, we find in the clever modern histories of that celebrated city a lavish elaboration of detail in the narrative of events, with full-length portraits of personages stippled with all the minuteness of Dutch painters. The design is admirable, the colouring just. One quality alone is wanting to its perfection, and that is truth.

I discuss these questions as generalities; myself they can scarcely concern. One of my reviewers, to be sure, is just enough to say that I have not done for France what Macaulay has done for England and Motley is doing for the Netherlands. I admit the truth of the charge. Macaulay devotes a volume to every three years. Motley not much less. A history of France on the same scale, and with the same space for portraiture and description, would require a room to hold and a horse to carry

it. To give a clear yet succinct, a well studied and digested history of a great European country in a few volumes is a more useful, although it may be a more humble, task.

Paris: February 1868.


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French Expedition to San Domingo

- 96

Peace of Amiens, March, 1802

• 97

Explosion of the Infernal Machine, Christmas, 1801

- 98

Done by the Chouans

. 99

The Code


Re-Establishment of the Church

- 101

Legislature and Tribunate rid of the Liberals

· 103

Population vote the Consulate for Life

. 104

French Encroachments upon Italy and Switzerland

- 105

French Exposé, Bonaparte's Complaints of English Press - 107

The British Ministry's Mistrust of him

· 109

His Interview with Lord Whitworth, February, 1803, whom he

attacks at his Levy, March

- 112

War declared, May, 1803

- 113

Plot of George Cadoudal

- 114

Seizure and Execution of the Duc d'Enghien

. 115

Death of Pichegru in Prison

. 116

Bonaparte declared Emperor, May, 1804

· 117

His Letter to the King of England

- 119

Russia joins England, April, 1805

. 119

Napoleon's Plans to be Master of the Channel -

· 121

Upon their Failure he marches into Germany

- 122

Mack capitulates in Ulm, October

· 122

Battle of Austerlitz, December, 1805

. 124

Austria accepts Terms of Peace

. 125

Battles of Jena and Auerstadt, October, 1806

- 129

Berlin Decrees answered by Orders in Council

· 132

Battle of Eylau, January, 1807

· 134

Battle of Friedland, June

• 136

Treaty of Tilsit

. 138

It forms the culminating Point of Napoleon's Career

- 141

His Byzantine Court

• 142

His System for subject Countries


Imperial Finance


Milan Decrees -


The Pope carried off, and Rome annexed to France, 1808 and


Meeting of Napoleon and Alexander at Erfurt -

• 150

The French invade Spain

- 152

The King and Prince decoyed to Bayonne

- 153

French defeat the Spanish Army at Rio Seco, January, 1808 - 155

Battle of Corunna, January, 1809

· 157

Austria prepares for War

• 159

Austria defeated at Eckmühl, April, 1809

. 161

French enter Vienna again

- 162

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