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FrRevol_501-550.indd 15 3/16/12 1:13 PM CHAPTER XVII A Saying ofBonaparte Printed in the Moniteur. It was not enough that every act of Bonaparte should bear the stamp of a despotism becoming always more audacious; it was further necessary that he himselfreveal the secret ofhis own government, disdainful enough of mankind that he should reveal it openly. In the Moniteur of the month ofJuly, 181o, he caused these words to be inserted, addressed to hisbrother Louis Bonaparte's second son/ who was then destined to be Grand Duke of Berg. Neverforget, says he, in whatever situation mypolitics and the interest ofmy empire mayplaceyou, thatyourfirst duties are to me, yoursecond to France; and that allyour other duties, even your duties toward the people whom I may have entrusted toyour care, come only afterward. This is no libel, it is not the opinion of a faction: it is the man himself, it is Bonaparte in person, who brings against himself a severer accusation than posterity would ever have dared to do. Louis XIV was accused of having said in private, I am the state; and enlightened historians have with justice grounded themselves upon this language in condemning his character. But if, when that monarch placed his grandson on the throne ofSpain, he had publicly taught him the same doctrine that Bonaparte taught his nephew, perhaps even Bossuet would not have dared to prefer the interests ofkings to those ofnations. He who chose thus to substitute his gigantic selfin the place ofthe human species was a man chosen by the people- a man whom the friends offreedom for an instant mistook as the representative oftheir cause! Many have said, he is the child of the Revolution; yes, without doubt; but a parricidal child: should they then have acknowledged him? 1. The future Emperor Napoleon III. 5z5 ...


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