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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Napoleon’s Address to his Army after the Disaster of Aboukir
By Adolphe Thiers (1797–1877)
 
From the ‘History of the French Revolution’: Translation of Frederic Shoberl

ON the festival of the foundation of the republic, celebrated on the 1st of Vendémiaire, he strove to give a new stimulus to their imagination: he had engraven on Pompey’s Pillar the names of the first forty soldiers slain in Egypt. They were the forty who had fallen in the attack on Alexandria. These forty names of men sprung from the villages of France were thus associated with the immortality of Pompey and Alexander. He issued this grand and extraordinary address to his army, in which was recorded his own wonderful history:—  1
    “Soldiers:  2
  “We celebrate the first day of the year VII. of the republic.  3
  “Five years ago the independence of the French people was threatened: but you took Toulon; this was an omen of the destruction of your enemies.  4
  “A year afterwards you beat the Austrians at Dego.  5
  “The following year you were on the summits of the Alps.  6
  “Two years ago you were engaged against Mantua, and you gained the famous victory of St. George.  7
  “Last year you were at the sources of the Drave and the Isonzo, on your return from Germany.  8
  “Who would then have said that you would be to-day on the banks of the Nile, in the centre of the Old World?  9
  “From the Englishman, celebrated in the arts and commerce, to the hideous and ferocious Bedouin, all nations have their eyes fixed upon you.  10
  “Soldiers, yours is a glorious destiny, because you are worthy of what you have done and of the opinion that is entertained of you. You will die with honor, like the brave men whose names are inscribed on this pyramid, or you will return to your country covered with laurels and with the admiration of all nations.  11
  “During the five months that we have been far away from Europe, we have been the object of the perpetual solicitude of our countrymen. On this day, forty millions of citizens are celebrating the era of representative governments; forty millions of citizens are thinking of you. All of them are saying, ‘To their labors, to their blood, we are indebted for the general peace, for repose, for the prosperity of commerce, and for the blessings of civil liberty.’”  12
 
 
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