Eylau: Precis Des Travaux de la Grande Armée
Meeting of the Senate: December 5, 1806
Tuesday the 2nd of this month, at midday, pursuant to the orders of H. M. the Emperor and King, H. A. S. Mgr. the prince arch-chancellor of the Empire, went to the senate; His Highness was in grand costume; he was received with the ordinary and accustomed ceremonial, and having started meeting, said:
"Sirs," At the time when the reins of government were given, by the acknowledgement of the nation, into the hands of H. I. and R. M., it was established between him and you usual reports of confidence and a communication of thoughts which made you take part in the great intentions conceived and carried out for the good of this Empire. Thus, you knew early that the first wishes of the Emperor were for peace, and that this generous thought is never cooled. Before appearing on the battlefield, he offered it to his enemies. After the victory, his triumphant hand was always presented to them. He hoped that particular and successive treaties, reconciling one after the other all their interests, appeasing by degrees all the resentments, would finally bring this general pacification, if wished by the European people, and if necessary for their happiness. The waiting of H. M. was misled. Europe, attracted towards peace by the victories of France, was unceasingly recalled to engagements by the influence of Great Britain and the ambitious pretensions of Russia. Thrown up coalitions gave rise to new coalitions. The moderation encouraged by the winner overcome. The main efforts of military engineering, as well as the exploits of an army which thinks nothing of the distance, the seasons, the climates and the number of its enemies, did not lead, until now, to a glorious truce, whose peace was not the fruit. However England seized the trade of the World: this island will absorb all the products of industry in the two hemispheres. However Russia, so long an unknown factor in the debates of Europe, foments today the disorders in the West, as it has for ever menaced the East with its vast domination. The Ottoman Empire is disquiet: vexations worsen against it: the rights of its sovereignty are made, so to speak, dubious. In such economic situations, to the milieu of these machinations and these screens, H. M. had to give up a road where peace was not that the winner alone sought. It is necessary from now on to make this peace desirable to those who cause the war. It is necessary to make the war disastrous to those who allow themselves to be involved. It is necessary to reduce the cabinets to happy impotence to prevent them from being misled once again. It is finally necessary that the overcome princes once and for all to learn that leniency has a cost, and that the scepter which they misuse can break between their hands. From this, Sirs, a new plan of control and additional measures suitable to ensure their success. The most significant, first of all, consists in remembering the power of the nation, by the continuity of the same means, and by the development of its forces. It is necessary then that offenders of the laws of civilization are isolated of all relations with civilized people. It is necessary that H. M. keeps his conquests, and that they isolate the instigators of all the discords, until the moment when England will have recognized the principles which, as organized people, lead to disasters inseparable from their dissentions to moderation; until the time when rightful restitutions will have discharged our obligations towards our faithful allies; finally, until a general peace which will establish the rest of Europe and will permit for all people the entire development of their industry. You appreciate, Sirs, all that such an intention has of greatness and of glory. His nearest advantages, those which he offers for the future do not escape your wisdom; he finds there a full compensation of perseverance and temporary sacrifices of which it must be the price. The guarantee of the execution will be, for H. M., the love of his people, the fidelity so often tested of the senate, the courage of the armies; but especially this engineering whose success never contradicted the inspirations, and this heat which does not know obstacles, when it is about the glory of France and the happiness of humanity.
H. A. S. having finished his speech, senator Porcher, one of the secretaries, came to the platform and made a reading of the following parts:
Extract of the minutes of the chancery of State.
Within the Palace of Berlin, November 21, 1806.
NAPOLEON, Emperor of the French and King of Italy, decreed that which follows:
The senate will meet the 2nd of next December in the usual place of its meetings, with the chairman our cousin the arch-chancellor of the Empire.
For the Emperor, the minister secretary of state,
Signed, H. B MARET.
© Copyright 1995-2012, The Napoleon Series, All Rights Reserved.