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VI

mind-if the one never yielded in the cable net, the other never bent in the field. Na. ture had no obstacles that he did not surmount_space no opposition that he did not spurn; and whether amid Alpine rocks, Árabian sands, or Polar snows, he seemed proof against peril, and empowered with ubiquity:

The whole continent of Europe trembled at beholding the audacity of his designs, and the miracle of their execution.

Scepticism bowed to the prodigies of his performance; romance assumed the air of history; nor was there aught too incredible for belief, or too fanciful for expectation, when the world saw a subaltern of Corsica waving his imperial flag over her most ancient capitals. All the visions of antiquity became common places in his contemplation ; kings were his people-nations were his outposts; and he disposed of courts, crowns, camps, churches, and cabinets, as if they were the titular dignitaries of the chessboard.

Amid all these changes he stood immutable as adamant. It mattered little whether in the field or the drawing-room-with the mob or the levee-wearing the jacobin bonaet or the iron crown-banishing a Braganza or espousing a Hapsburg--dictating peace on a raft to the Czar of Russia, or contemplating defeat at the market-place of Leipsic- he was still the same military despot!

Cradled in the camp, he was to the very last the darling of the army; and whether in the camp or the cabinet, he never forsook

VII friend, or forgot a favour. Of all his sol. diers, not one abandoned him, till atfection was useless, and their first stipulation was the safety of their favourite.

They knew well that if he was lavish of them, he was prodigal of himself: that if he exposed them to the peril, he repaid them with the plunder. For the soldier, he sub. sidised the people, to the people he made every pride pay tribute. The victorions veteran glittered with his gains; and the capital, gorgeous with the spoils of art, became the miniature metropolis of the uni. verse.

In this wonderful combination, his affectation of literature must not be omitted. The gaoler of the press, 'he affected the patronage of letters - the proscriber of books, he encouraged philosophy-the persecntor of authors, he yet pretended to the protection of learning! the silencer of De Stael, and the denouncer of Kotzebue, he was the friend of David, and the benefactor of De Lille.

Such a medley of contradictions, and at the same time such an individual consist. ency, were never united in the same character. A royalist-a republican and an emperor-a Mahometan-a catholic and a patron of the synagogue-a subaltern and a sovereign-a Christian and an infidel-he was, through all his vicissitudes, the same stern, impatient, inflexible original -- the same mysterious incomprehensible self-the man without a model, and without a shadow.

Coalition after coalition crumbled away before him; crowns were but ephemeral; monarchs only the tenants of an hour; every evening sun set upon a change; every morning dawned upon some new convul. sion; the whole political globe trembled as with an earthquake, and no one could tell what venerable monument was next to shiver beneath the splendid and reposeless fragments of the French volcano. But he is fallen! His own ambition was his glorious conqueror.

He attempted, with a sublime audacity, to grasp the fires of heaven, and his heathen retribution has been the vulture and the rock.

His fall, like his life, baffled all speculation. In short, his whole history was like a dream to the world, and no man can tels how or why he was awakened from the refery.

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