The Napoleon Dynasty

 

The Napoleon Dynasty, 1852
The Napoleon Dynasty, 1852

Here is an introductory extract taken from the book The Napoleon Dynasty by Charles Edwards, published in 1852.  More will follow.

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The Napoleon Dynasty or the History of the Bonaparte Family

ORIGIN OF THE BONAPARTE FAMILY.

The Lives of Carlo, Letitia and Cardinal Fesch

A BONAPARTE again rules France. The results of the late Revolution, have invested the character and history of Napoleon with a new and deeper interest.

Twice the Bourbons have gone down, and left a Republic in France,—and twice that Republic has given way to the Napoleon Dynasty. The struggle may not yet be over, but there are more Bonapartes than Bourbons living to maintain it.

Something greater than stars watched over the birth of Napoleon, and a power higher than fortune guides the destinies of the Bonaparte Family. No one’s history has been written by so many different hands, no one’s history read by so many eyes, as the Corsican Soldier’s. Not a generation has passed away since he died, and his name and his history, are familiarly known to more men to-day, than Alexander’s or Caesar’s.

No man has ever put forth such influence on human fortunes.  Men and nations bent before him, as willows bend when the storm sweeps by.  It exhausted and impoverished all Europe to crush him.  They chained the Eagle to the bald cliff of a volcanic rock of the ocean, among the clouds—and six years England kept a fleet to watch him, and see him chafe and die; and then they opened his body and took out his vitals, and were sure he was dead—and then they excavated a grave in the rock, and welded his coffin in by strong bars of iron, and then they watched the place for twenty years.

And when at last Europe was no longer afraid of the dead Eagle’s ashes, she let France take them back to the banks of the Seine.

They had stolen the young Eagle from the parent nest, and carried him away among strangers, where he pined, sickened, and died.  Europe then thought she could breathe free again.