Research Subjects: Napoleon Himself




Address to the Guard, April 2, 1814

Speech of Abdication, April 2, 1814

Farewell to the Old Guard, April 20, 1814


Napoleon's Addresses: 1814 Campaign

Compiled By Tom Holmberg


Address to the Guard, April 2, 1814

"Soldiers: The enemy has stolen three marches on us, and has made himself master of Paris.† We must drive him thence.† Frenchmen, unworthy of the name, emigrants whom we have pardoned, have mounted the white cockade and joined the enemy.† The wretches shall receive the reward due to this new crime.† Let us swear to conquer or due, and to enforce respect to the tri-colored cockade, which has for twenty years accompanied us on the path of glory and honor."

Speech of Abdication, April 2, 1814

"The allied powers having decided that the Emperor Napoleon is the only obstacle to the reŽstablishment of peace in Europe, the Emperor Napoleon, faithful to his oath, declares that he is ready to descend from the throne, to leave Europe, and even to lay down his life for the welfare of his country, which is inseparable from the rights of his son, those of the regency of the Empress, and the maintenance of the laws of the empire."

Farewell to the Old Guard, April 20, 1814

"Soldiers of my old guard: I bid you farewell. For twenty years I have constantly accompanied you on the road to honor and glory. In these latter times, as in the days of our prosperity, you have invariably been models of courage and fidelity. With men such as you our cause could not be lost; but the war would have been interminable; it would have been civil war, and that would have entailed deeper misfortunes on France. I have sacrificed all of my interests to those of the country. I go, but you, my friends, will continue to serve France. Her happiness was my only thought. It will still be the object of my wishes. Do not regret my fate; if I have consented to survive, it is to serve your glory. I intend to write the history of the great achievements we have performed together. Adieu, my friends. Would I could press you all to my heart."† Napoleon then ordered the eagles to be brought, and having embraced them, he added: "I embrace you all in the person of your general.† Adieu, soldiers!† Be always gallant and good."



Napoleon's Addresses: Selections from the Proclamations, Speeches and Correspondence of Napoleon Bonaparte. Edited by Ida M. Tarbell. (Boston: Joseph Knight, 1896.)


Placed on the Napoleon Series: March 2003



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