Eylau: Precis Des Travaux de la Grande Armée
Message of H. M. the Emperor and King, to the Senate.
“Senators, we want, in the circumstances where the general affairs of Europe, to make known to you and the nation the principles which we adopted to regulate our policy.
“Our extreme moderation, after each of the first three wars, was the cause of that which followed them. Thus we had to fight against a fourth coalition, nine months after the third had been dissolved, nine months after these bright victories which Providence had granted to us, and that were to ensure a long rest the continent.
“But a great number of cabinets of Europe sooner or later were influenced by England; and without a solid peace with this power, our people could not enjoy the benefits which are the first goal of our work, the single object of our life. Also, in spite of our triumphant situation, we were stopped, in our last negotiations with England, neither by the arrogance of its language, nor by the sacrifices that she wanted to impose on us. The island of Malta, to which the honor of this war stuck so to speak, was the first cause, had we yielded it; we had granted it so that the possession of Ceylon and the Empire of Mysore, England joined to that of the Cape of Good-Hope.
“But all our efforts had to fail when the councils of our enemies ceased being animated noble ambition of reconciliation of the good of the World with the present prosperity of their fatherland, and the present prosperity of their fatherland with a lasting prosperity; and no prosperity can be lasting for England, when it is founded on a policy exaggerated and unjust which would strip sixty millions inhabitants, their neighbors, rich person and brave men, of any trade and any navigation. Immediately after the death of the principal minister of England, it was easy for us to see us that the continuation of the negotiations did not have any object other than to cover as screens for this fourth coalition, choked as of its birth.
“In this new position, we took for invariable principles of our control, not to evacuate either Berlin, either Warsaw, nor the provinces which the force of arms let fall into our hands, before a general peace is not concluded; that the Spanish, Dutch and French colonies are returned; that the fundament of the power Ottoman are hardened, and the absolute independence of this vast Empire, first interest of our people, irrevocably devoted. We put the British Isles in a state of blockade, and we ordered against them provisions that were repugnant to our heart. The quarrel of the kings interests places the burden of cost on the private individuals, and to forces us to return, after so many years of civilization, to the principles which characterize the cruelty of the first ages of the nations. But we were constrained, for the good of our allies to oppose the common enemy with the same weapons that it has used against us. These determinations, ordered not as a feeling of reciprocity, were inspired neither by passion, nor by hatred. What we offered after having worn down the three coalitions which had contributed so much to glory of our people, we offer still today that which our weapons obtained with new triumphs. We are ready to make peace with England; we are ready to make it with Russia, with Prussia; but it cannot be concluded on terms such as that it does not make anyone possible to assume any right of supremacy in our connection, that it returns the colonies to our metropolis, and that it guarantees our trade and our industry the prosperity to which they must reach. And if the whole of these provisions still moves away from some time the re-establishment of general peace, some court that is to speak of this delay, it will remain long in our heart. But let us be certain that our people will appreciate the wisdom of our political reasons, that they will judge us by a partial peace as only a truce which makes us lose all our advantages acquired to give place to new war, and which finally it is only in one general peace that France can find happiness. We are at one of these important moments of destiny of nations; and the French People will be worthy of that which awaits it. The senator consultation that we ordered to propose to you, and which will place at the disposal, in the first days of the year, the conscription of 1807, who, in the ordinary circumstances, should be raised only in September, will be carried out with eagerness by the fathers, as by the infants. And in what a more beautiful moment could we call to arms the young French! they will have to cross, to go to their flags, over the capitals of our enemies and the battle fields illustrated by the victories of their elder! Given in Berlin, November 21, 1806.”
For the Emperor, the minister Secretary of State,
signed, H. B MARET.
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