After the establishment of the empire, power became more arbitrary, and society reconstructed itself on an aristocratic principle. The great movement of recomposition, which had commenced on the 9th Thermidor went on increasing. The convention had abolished classes; the directory defeated parties; the consulate gained over men; and the empire corrupted them by distinctions and privileges. This second period was the opposite of the first. Under the one, we saw the government of the committees exercised by men elected every three months, without guards, honours, or representation, living on a few francs a day, working eighteen hours together on common wooden tables; under the other, the government of the empire, with all its paraphernalia of administration, it chamberlains, gentlemen, praetorian guard, hereditary rights, its immense civil list, and dazzling ostentation. The national activity was exclusively directed to labour and war. All material interests, all ambitious passions, were hierarchically arranged under one leader, who, after having sacrificed liberty by establishing absolute power, destroyed equality by introducing nobility.

The directory had erected all the surrounding states into republics; Napoleon wished to constitute them on the model of the empire. He began with Italy. The council of state of the Cisalpine republic determined on restoring hereditary monarchy in favour of Napoleon. Its vice-president, M. Melzi, came to Paris to communicate to him this decision. On the 26th Ventose, year XIII. (17th of March, 1805), he was received with great solemnity at the Tuileries. Napoleon was on his throne, surrounded by his court, and all the splendour of sovereign power, in the display of which he delighted. M. Melzi offered him the crown, in the name of his fellow- citizens. "Sire," said he, in conclusion, "deign to gratify the wishes of the assembly over which I have the honour to preside. Interpreter of the sentiments which animate every Italian heart, it brings you their sincere homage. It will inform them with joy that by accepting, you have strengthened the ties which attach you to the preservation, defence, and prosperity of the Italian nation. Yes, sire, you wished the existence of the Italian republic, and it existed. Desire the Italian monarchy to be happy, and it will be so."

The emperor went to take possession of this kingdom; and, on the 26th of May, 1805, he received at Milan the iron crown of the Lombards. He appointed his adopted son, prince Eugene de Beauharnais, viceroy of Italy, and repaired to Genoa, which also renounced its sovereignty. On the 4th of June, 1805, its territory was united to the empire, and formed the three departments of Genoa, Montenotte, and the Apennines. The small republic of Lucca was included in this monarchical revolution. At the request of its gonfalonier, it was given in appanage to the prince of Piombino and his princess, a sister of Napoleon. The latter, after this royal progress, recrossed the Alps, and returned to the capital of his empire; he soon after departed for the camp at Boulogne, where a great maritime expedition against England was preparing.

This project of descent which the directory had entertained after the peace of Campo-Formio, and the first consul, after the peace of Luneville, had been resumed with much ardour since the new rupture. At the commencement of 1805, a flotilla of two thousand small vessels, manned by sixteen thousand sailors, carrying an army of one hundred and sixty thousand men, nine thousand horses, and a numerous artillery, had assembled in the ports of Boulogne, Etaples, Wimereux, Ambleteuse. and Calais. The emperor was hastening by his presence the execution of this project, when he learned that England, to avoid the descent with which it was threatened, had prevailed on Austria to come to a rupture with France, and that all the forces of the Austrian monarchy were in motion. Ninety thousand men, under the archduke Ferdinand and general Mack, had crossed the Jura, seized on Munich, and driven out the elector of Bavaria, the ally of France; thirty thousand, under the archduke John, occupied the Tyrol, and the archduke Charles, with one hundred thousand men, was advancing on the Adige. Two Russian armies were preparing to join the Austrians. Pitt had made the greatest efforts to organize this third coalition. The establishment of the kingdom of Italy, the annexation of Genoa and Piedmont to France, the open influence of the emperor over Holland and Switzerland, had again aroused Europe, which now dreaded the ambition of Napoleon as much as it had formerly feared the principles of the revolution. The treaty of alliance between the British ministry and the Russian cabinet had been signed on the 11th of April, 1805, and Austria had acceded to it on the 9th of August.

Napoleon left Boulogne, returned hastily to Paris, repaired to the senate on the 23rd of September, obtained a levy of eighty thousand men, and set out the next day to begin the campaign. He passed the Rhine on the 1st of October, and entered Bavaria on the 6th, with an army of a hundred and sixty thousand men. Massena held back Prince Charles in Italy, and the emperor carried on the war in Germany at full speed. In a few days he passed the Danube, entered Munich, gained the victory of Wertingen, and forced general Mack to lay down his arms at Ulm. This capitulation disorganized the Austrian army. Napoleon pursued the course of his victories, entered Vienna on the 13th of November, and then marched into Moravia to meet the Russians, round whom the defeated troops had rallied.

On the 2nd of December, 1805, the anniversary of the coronation, the two armies met in the plains of Austerlitz. The enemy amounted to ninety-five thousand men, the French to eighty thousand. On both sides the artillery was formidable. The battle began at sunrise; these enormous masses began to move; the Russian infantry could not stand against the impetuosity of our troops and the manoeuvres of their general. The enemy's left was first cut off; the Russian imperial guard came up to re-establish the communication, and was entirely overwhelmed. The centre experienced the same fate, and at one o'clock in the afternoon the most decisive victory had completed this wonderful campaign. The following day the emperor congratulated the army in a proclamation on the field of battle itself: "Soldiers," said he, "I am satisfied with you. You have adorned your eagles with immortal glory. An army of a hundred thousand men, commanded by the emperors of Russia and Austria, in less than four days has been cut to pieces or dispersed; those who escaped your steel have been drowned in the lakes. Forty flags, the standards of the Russian imperial guard, a hundred and twenty pieces of cannon, twenty generals, more than thirty thousand prisoners, are the result of this ever memorable day. This infantry, so vaunted and so superior in numbers, could not resist your shock, and henceforth you have no more rivals to fear. Thus, in two months, this third coalition has been defeated and dissolved." A truce was concluded with Austria; and the Russians, who might have been cut to pieces, obtained permission to retire by fixed stages.

The peace of Pressburg followed the victories of Ulm and Austerlitz; it was signed on the 26th of December. The house of Austria, which had lost its external possessions, Holland and the Milanese, was now assailed in Germany itself. It gave up the provinces of Dalmatia and Albania to the kingdom of Italy; the territory of the Tyrol, the town of Augsburg, the principality of Eichstett, a part of the territory of Passau, and all its possessions in Swabia, Brisgau, and Ortenau to the electorates of Bavaria and Wurtemberg, which were transformed into kingdoms. The grand duchy of Baden also profited by its spoils. The treaty of Pressburg completed the humiliation of Austria, commenced by the treaty of Campo-Formio, and continued by that of Luneville. The emperor, on his return to Paris, crowned with so much glory, became the object of such general and wild admiration, that he was himself carried away by the public enthusiasm and intoxicated at his fortune. The different bodies of the state contended among themselves in obedience and flatteries. He received the title of Great, and the senate passed a decree dedicating to him a triumphal monument.

Napoleon became more confirmed in the principle he had espoused. The victory of Marengo and the peace of Luneville had sanctioned the consulate; the victory of Austerlitz and peace of Pressburg consecrated the empire. The last vestiges of the revolution were abandoned. On the 1st of January, 1806, the Gregorian calendar definitively replaced the republican calendar, after an existence of fourteen years. The Pantheon was again devoted to purposes of worship, and soon even the tribunate ceased to exist. But the emperor aimed especially at extending his dominion over the continent. Ferdinand, king of Naples, having, during the last war, violated the treaty of peace with France, had his states invaded; and Joseph Bonaparte on the 30th of March was declared king of the Two Sicilies. Soon after (June 5th, 1806), Holland was converted into a kingdom, and received as monarch Louis Bonaparte, another brother of the emperor. None of the republics created by the convention, or the directory, now existed. Napoleon, in nominating secondary kings, restored the military hierarchical system, and the titles of the middle ages. He erected Dalmatia, Istria, Friuli, Cadore, Belluno, Conegliano, Treviso, Feltra, Bassano, Vicenza, Padua, and Rovigo into duchies, great fiefs of the empire. Marshal Berthier was invested with the principality of Neufchatel, the minister Talleyrand with that of Benevento. Prince Borghese and his wife with that of Guastalla, Murat with the grand-duchy of Berg and Cleves. Napoleon, not venturing to destroy the Swiss republic, styled himself its mediator, and completed the organization of his military empire by placing under his dependence the ancient Germanic body. On the 12th of July, 1806, fourteen princes of the south and west of Germany united themselves into the confederation of the Rhine, and recognized Napoleon as their protector. On the 1st of August, they signified to the diet of Ratisbon their separation from the Germanic body. The empire of Germany ceased to exist, and Francis II. abdicated the title by proclamation. By a convention signed at Vienna, on the 15th of December, Prussia exchanged the territories of Anspach, Cleves, and Neufchatel for the electorate of Hanover. Napoleon had all the west under his power. Absolute master of France and Italy, as emperor and king, he was also master of Spain, by the dependence of that court; of Naples and Holland, by his two brothers; of Switzerland, by the act of mediation; and in Germany he had at his disposal the kings of Bavaria and Wurtemberg, and the confederation of the Rhine against Austria and Prussia. After the peace of Amiens, by supporting liberty he might have made himself the protector of France and the moderator of Europe; but having sought glory in domination, and made conquest the object of his life, he condemned himself to a long struggle, which would inevitably terminate in the dependence of the continent or in his own downfall.

This encroaching progress gave rise to the fourth coalition. Prussia, neutral since the peace of Basle, had, in the last campaign, been on the point of joining the Austro-Russian coalition. The rapidity of the emperor's victories had alone restrained her; but now, alarmed at the aggrandizement of the empire, and encouraged by the fine condition of her troops, she leagued with Russia to drive the French from Germany. The cabinet of Berlin required that the French troops should recross the Rhine, or war would be the consequence. At the same time, it sought to form in the north of Germany a league against the confederation of the south. The emperor, who was in the plenitude of his prosperity and of national enthusiasm, far from submitting to the ultimatum of Prussia, immediately marched against her.

The campaign opened early in October. Napoleon, as usual, overwhelmed the coalition by the promptitude of his marches and the vigour of his measures. On the 14th of October, he destroyed at Jena the military monarchy of Prussia, by a decisive victory; on the 16th, fourteen thousand Prussians threw down their arms at Erfurth; on the 25th, the French army entered Berlin, and the close of 1806 was employed in taking the Prussian fortresses and marching into Poland against the Russian army. The campaign in Poland was less rapid, but as brilliant as that of Prussia. Russia, for the third time, measured its strength with France. Conquered at Zurich and Austerlitz, it was also defeated at Eylau and Friedland. After these memorable battles, the emperor Alexander entered into a negotiation, and concluded at Tilsit, on the 21st of June, 1807, an armistice which was followed by a definitive treaty on the 7th of July.

The peace of Tilsit extended the French domination on the continent. Prussia was reduced to half its extent. In the south of Germany, Napoleon had instituted the two kingdoms of Bavaria and Wurtemberg against Austria; further to the north, he created the two feudatory kingdoms of Saxony and Westphalia against Prussia. That of Saxony, composed of the electorate of that name, and Prussian Poland, called the grand-duchy of Warsaw, was given to the king of Saxony; that of Westphalia comprehended the states of Hesse-Cassel, Brunswick, Fulde, Paderborn, and the greatest part of Hanover, and was given to Jerome Napoleon. The emperor Alexander, acceding to all these arrangements, evacuated Moldavia and Wallachia. Russia, however, though conquered, was the only power unencroached upon. Napoleon followed more than ever in the footsteps of Charlemagne; at his coronation, he had had the crown, sword, and sceptre, of the Frank king carried before him. A pope had crossed the Alps to consecrate his dynasty, and he modelled his states on the vast empire of that conqueror. The revolution sought the establishment of ancient liberty; Napoleon restored the military hierarchy of the middle ages. The former had made citizens, the latter made vassals. The one had changed Europe into republics, the other transformed it into fiefs. Great and powerful as he was, coming immediately after a shock which had exhausted the world by its violence, he was enabled to arrange it for a time according to his pleasure. The grand empire rose internally by its system of administration, which replaced the government of assemblies; its special courts, its lyceums, in which military education was substituted for the republican education of the central schools; its hereditary nobility, which in 1808 completed the establishment of inequality; its civil discipline, which rendered all France like an army obedient to the word of command; and externally by its secondary kingdoms, its confederate states, its great fiefs, and its supreme chief. Napoleon, no longer meeting resistance anywhere, could command from one end of the continent to the other.

At this period all the emperor's attention was directed to England, the only power that could secure itself from his attacks. Pitt had been dead a year, but the British cabinet followed with much ardour and pertinacity his plans with respect to France. After having vainly formed a third and a fourth coalition, it did not lay down arms. It was a war to the death. Great Britain had declared France in a state of blockade, and furnished the emperor with the means of cutting off its continental intercourse by a similar measure. The continental blockade, which began in 1807, was the second period of Bonaparte's system. In order to attain universal and uncontested supremacy, he made use of arms against the continent, and the cessation of commerce against England. But in forbidding to the continental states all communication with England, he was preparing new difficulties for himself, and soon added to the animosity of opinion excited by his despotism, and the hatred of states produced by his conquering domination, the exasperation of private interests and commercial suffering occasioned by the blockade.

Yet all the powers seemed united in the same design. England was placed under the ban of continental Europe, at the peace. Russia and Denmark in the Northern Seas; France, Spain, and Holland, in the Mediterranean and the ocean, were obliged to declare against it. This period was the height of the imperial sway. Napoleon employed all his activity and all his genius in creating maritime resources capable of counter-balancing the forces of England, which had then eleven hundred ships of war of every class. He caused ports to be constructed, coasts to be fortified, ships to be built and prepared, everything for combating in a few years upon this new battle-field. But before that moment arrived, he wished to secure the Spanish peninsula, and to found his dynasty there, for the purpose of introducing a firmer and more favourable policy. The expedition of Portugal in 1807, and the invasion of Spain in 1808, began for him and for Europe a new order of events.

Portugal had for some time been a complete English colony. The emperor, in concert with the Bourbons of Madrid, decided by the treaty of Fontainebleau, of the 27th of October, 1807, that the house of Braganza had ceased to reign. A French army, under the command of Junot, entered Portugal. The prince-regent embarked for Brazil, and the French took possession of Lisbon on the 30th of November, 1807. This invasion was only an approach towards Spain. The royal family were in a state of the greatest anarchy. The favourite, Godoy, was execrated by the people, and Ferdinand, prince of the Asturias, conspired against the authority of his father's favourite. Though the emperor had not much to fear from such a government, he had taken alarm at a clumsy armament prepared by Godoy during the Prussian war. No doubt, at this time he formed the project of putting one of his brothers on the throne of Spain; he thought he could easily overturn a divided family, an expiring monarchy, and obtain the consent of a people whom he would restore to civilization. Under the pretext of the maritime war and the blockade, his troops entered the peninsula, occupied the coasts and principal places, and encamped near Madrid. It was then suggested to the royal family to retire to Mexico, after the example of the house of Braganza. But the people rose against this departure; Godoy, the object of public hatred, was in great risk of losing his life, and the prince of the Asturias was proclaimed king, under the title of Ferdinand VII. The emperor took advantage of this court revolution to bring about his own. The French entered Madrid, and he himself proceeded to Bayonne, whither he summoned the Spanish princes. Ferdinand restored the crown to his father, who in his turn resigned it in favour of Napoleon; the latter had it decreed on his brother Joseph by a supreme junta, by the council of Castille, and the municipality of Madrid. Ferdinand was sent to the Chateau de Valencay, and Charles VI. fixed his residence at Compiegne. Napoleon called his brother-in-law, Murat, grand- duke of Berg, to the throne of Naples, in the place of Joseph.

At this period began the first opposition to the domination of the emperor and the continental system. The reaction manifested itself in three countries hitherto allies of France, and it brought on the fifth coalition. The court of Rome was dissatisfied; the peninsula was wounded in its national pride by having imposed upon it a foreign king; in its usages, by the suppression of convents, of the Inquisition, and of the grandees; Holland suffered in its commerce from the blockade, and Austria supported impatiently its losses and subordinate condition. England, watching for an opportunity to revive the struggle on the continent, excited the resistance of Rome, the peninsula, and the cabinet of Vienna. The pope had been cold towards France since 1805; he had hoped that his pontifical complaisance in reference to Napoleon's coronation would have been recompensed by the restoration to the ecclesiastical domain of those provinces which the directory had annexed to the Cisalpine republic. Deceived in this expectation, he joined the European counter-revolutionary opposition, and from 1807 to 1808 the Roman States became the rendezvous of English emissaries. After some warm remonstrances, the emperor ordered general Miollis to occupy Rome; the pope threatened him with excommunication; and Napoleon seized on the legations of Ancona, Urbino, Macerata, and Camerino, which became part of the Italian kingdom. The legate left Paris on the 3rd of April, 1808, and the religious struggle for temporal interests commenced with the head of the church, whom Napoleon should either not have recognised, or not have despoiled.

The war with the peninsula was still more serious. The Spaniards recognised Ferdinand VII. as king, in a provincial junta, held at Seville, on the 27th of May, 1808, and they took arms in all the provinces which were not occupied by French troops. The Portuguese also rose at Oporto, on the 16th of June. These two insurrections were at first attended with the happiest results; in a short time they made rapid progress. General Dupont laid down arms at Baylen in the province of Cordova, and this first reverse of the French arms excited the liveliest hope and enthusiasm among the Spaniards. Joseph Napoleon left Madrid, where Ferdinand VII. was proclaimed; and about the same time, Junot, not having troops enough to keep Portugal, consented, by the convention of Cintra, to evacuate it with all the honours of war. The English general, Wellington, took possession of this kingdom with twenty-five thousand men. While the pope was declaring against Napoleon, while the Spanish insurgents were entering Madrid, while the English were again setting foot on the continent, the king of Sweden avowed himself an enemy of the European imperial league, and Austria was making considerable armaments and preparing for a new struggle.

Fortunately for Napoleon, Russia remained faithful to the alliance and engagements of Tilsit. The emperor Alexander had at that time a fit of enthusiasm and affection for this powerful and extraordinary mortal. Napoleon wishing to be sure of the north, before he conveyed all his forces to the peninsula, had an interview with Alexander at Erfurt, on the 27th September, 1808. The two masters of the north and west guaranteed to each other the repose and submission of Europe. Napoleon marched into Spain, and Alexander undertook Sweden. The presence of the emperor soon changed the fortune of the war in the peninsula. He brought with him eighty thousand veteran soldiers, just come from Germany. Several victories made him master of most of the Spanish provinces. He made his entry into Madrid, and presented himself to the inhabitants of the peninsula, not as a master, but as a liberator. "I have abolished," he said to them, "the tribunal of the Inquisition, against which the age and Europe protested. Priests should direct the conscience, but ought not to exercise any external or corporal jurisdiction over the citizens. I have suppressed feudal rights; and every one may set up inns, ovens, mills, fisheries, and give free impulse to his industry. The selfishness, wealth, and prosperity of a few did more injury to your agriculture than the heats of the extreme summer. As there is but one God, one system of justice only should exist in a state. All private tribunals were usurped and opposed to the rights of the nation. I have suppressed them. The present generation may change its opinion; too many passions have been brought into play; but your grandchildren will bless me as your regenerator; they will rank among their memorable days those in which I appeared among you, and from those days will Spain date its prosperity."

Such was indeed the part of Napoleon in the peninsula, which could only be restored to a better state of things, and to liberty, by the revival of civilization. The establishment of independence cannot be effected all at once, any more than anything else; and when a country is ignorant, poor, and backward, covered with convents, and governed by monks, its social condition must be reconstructed before liberty can be thought of. Napoleon, the oppressor of civilized nations, was a real regenerator for the peninsula. But the two parties of civil liberty and religious servitude, that of the cortes and that of the monks, though with far different aims, came to an understanding for their common defence. The one was at the head of the upper and the middle classes, the other of the populace; and they vied with each other in exciting the Spaniards to enthusiasm with the sentiments of independence or religious fanaticism. The following is the catechism used by the priests: "Tell me, my child, who you are? A Spaniard by the grace of God. - Who is the enemy of our happiness? The emperor of the French. - How many natures has he? Two: human and diabolical. - How many emperors of the French are there? One true one, in three deceptive persons. - What are their names, Napoleon, Murat, and Manuel Godoy. - Which of the three is the most wicked? They are all three equally so. - Whence is Napoleon derived? From sin. - Murat? From Napoleon. - And Godoy? The junction of the two. - What is the ruling spirit of the first? Pride and despotism. - Of the second? Rapine and cruelty. - Of the third? Cupidity, treason, and ignorance. - Who are the French? Former Christians become heretics. - Is it a sin to kill a Frenchman? No, father; heaven is gained by killing one of these dogs of heretics. - What punishment does the Spaniard deserve who has failed in his duty? The death and infamy of a traitor. - What will deliver us from our enemies? Confidence in ourselves and in arms."

Napoleon had engaged in a long and dangerous enterprise, in which his whole system of war was at fault. Victory, here, did not consist in the defeat of an army and the possession of a capital, but in the entire occupation of the territory, and, what was still more difficult, the submission of the public mind. Napoleon, however, was preparing to subdue this people with his irresistible activity and inflexible determination, when the fifth coalition called him again to Germany.

Austria had turned to advantage his absence, and that of his troops. It made a powerful effort, and raised five hundred and fifty thousand men, comprising the Landwehr, and took the field in the spring of 1809. The Tyrol rose, and king Jerome was driven from his capital by the Westphalians; Italy wavered; and Prussia only waited till Napoleon met with a reverse, to take arms; but the emperor was still at the height of his power and prosperity. He hastened from Madrid in the beginning of February, and directed the members of the confederation to keep their contingents in readiness. On the 12th of April he left Paris, passed the Rhine, plunged into Germany, gained the victories of Eckmuehl and Essling, occupied Vienna a second time on the 15th of May, and overthrew this new coalition by the battle of Wagram, after a campaign of four months. While he was pursuing the Austrian armies, the English landed on the island of Walcheren, and appeared before Antwerp; but a levy of national guards sufficed to frustrate the expedition of the Scheldt. The peace of Vienna, of the 11th of October, 1809, deprived the house of Austria of several more provinces, and compelled it again to adopt the continental system.

This period was remarkable for the new character of the struggle. It began the reaction of Europe against the empire, and announced the alliance of dynasties, people, nations, the priesthood, and commerce. All whose interests were injured made an attempt at resistance, which at first was destined to fail. Napoleon, since the peace of Amiens, had entered on a career that must necessarily terminate in the possession or hostility of all Europe. Carried away by his character and position, he had created against the people a system of administration of unparalleled benefit to power; against Europe, a system of secondary monarchies and grand fiefs, which facilitated his plans of conquest; and, lastly, against England, the blockade which suspended its commerce, and that of the continent. Nothing impeded him in the realization of those immense but insensate designs. Portugal opened a communication with the English: he invaded it. The royal family of Spain, by its quarrels and vacillations, compromised the extremities of the empire: he compelled it to abdicate, that he might reduce the peninsula to a bolder and less wavering policy. The pope kept up relations with the enemy: his patrimony was diminished. He threatened excommunication: the French entered Rome. He realized his threat by a bull: he was dethroned as a temporal sovereign in 1809. Finally, after the battle of Wagram, and the peace of Vienna, Holland became a depot for English merchandise, on account of its commercial wants, and the emperor dispossessed his brother Louis of that kingdom, which, on the 1st of July, 1810, became incorporated with the empire. He shrank from no invasion, because he would not endure opposition or hesitation from any quarter. All were compelled to submit, allies as well as enemies, the chief of the church as well as kings, brothers as well as strangers; but, though conquered this time, all who had joined this new league only waited an opportunity to rise again.

Meantime, after the peace of Vienna, Napoleon still added to the extent and power of the empire. Sweden having undergone an internal revolution, and the king, Gustavus Adolphus IV., having been forced to abdicate, admitted the continental system. Bernadotte, prince of Ponte-Corvo, was elected by the states-general hereditary prince of Sweden, and king Charles XIII. adopted him for his son. The blockade was observed throughout Europe; and the empire, augmented by the Roman States, the Illyrian provinces, Valais, Holland, and the Hanse Towns, had a hundred and thirty departments, and extended from Hamburg and Dantzic to Trieste and Corfu. Napoleon, who seemed to follow a rash but inflexible policy, deviated from his course about this time by a second marriage. He divorced Josephine that he might give an heir to the empire, and married, on the 1st of April, 1810, Marie-Louise, arch-duchess of Austria. This was a decided error. He quitted his position and his post as a parvenu and revolutionary monarch, opposing in Europe the ancient courts as the republic had opposed the ancient governments. He placed himself in a false situation with respect to Austria, which he ought either to have crushed after the victory of Wagram, or to have reinstated in its possessions after his marriage with the arch-duchess. Solid alliances only repose on real interests, and Napoleon could not remove from the cabinet of Vienna the desire or power of renewing hostilities. This marriage also changed the character of his empire, and separated it still further from popular interests; he sought out old families to give lustre to his court, and did all he could to amalgamate together the old and the new nobility as he mingled old and new dynasties. Austerlitz had established the plebeian empire; after Wagram was established the noble empire. The birth, on the 20th of March, 1811, of a son, who received the title of King of Rome, seemed to consolidate the power of Napoleon by securing to him a successor.

The war in Spain was prosecuted with vigour during the years 1810 and 1811. The territory of the peninsula was defended inch by inch, and its was necessary to take several towns by storm. Suchet, Soult, Mortier, Ney, and Sebastiani made themselves masters of several provinces; and the Spanish junta, unable to keep their post at Seville, retired to Cadiz, which the French army began to blockade. The new expedition into Portugal was less fortune. Massena, who directed it, at first obliged Wellington to retreat, and took Oporto and Olivenca; but the English general having entrenched himself in the strong position of Torres-Vedras, Massena, unable to force it, was compelled to evacuate the country.

While the war was proceeding in the peninsula with advantage, but without any decided success, a new campaign was preparing in the north. Russia perceived the empire of Napoleon approaching its territories. Shut up in its own limits, it remained without influence or acquisitions; suffering from the blockade, without gaining any advantage by the war. This cabinet, moreover, endured with impatience a supremacy to which it itself aspired, and which it had pursued slowly but without interruption since the reign of Peter the Great. About the close of 1810, it increased its armies, renewed its commercial relations with Great Britain, and did not seem indisposed to a rupture. The year 1811 was spent in negotiations which led to nothing, and preparations for war were made on both sides. The emperor, whose armies were before Cadiz, and who relied on the co-operation of the West and North against Russia, made with ardour preparations for an enterprise which was intended to reduce the only power as yet untouched, and to carry his victorious eagles even to Moscow. He obtained the assistance of Prussia and Austria, which engaged by the treaties of the 24th of February and the 14th of March, 1812, to furnish auxiliary bodies; one of twenty, and the other of thirty thousand men. All the unemployed forces of France were immediately on foot. A senatus-consultus divided the national guard into three bodies for the home service, and appropriated a hundred of the first line regiments (nearly a hundred thousand men) for active military service. On the 9th of March, Napoleon left Paris on this vast expedition. During several months he fixed his court at Dresden, where the emperor of Austria, the king of Prussia, and all the sovereigns of Germany, came to bow before his high fortune. On the 22nd of June, war was declared against Russia.

In this campaign, Napoleon was guided by the maxims he had always found successful. He had terminated all the wars he had undertaken by the rapid defeat of the enemy, the occupation of his capital, and concluded the peace by parcelling out his territory. His project was to reduce Russia by creating the kingdom of Poland, as he had reduced Austria by forming the kingdoms of Bavaria and Wurtemberg, after Austerlitz; and Prussia, by organizing those of Saxony and Westphalia, after Jena. With this object, he had stipulated with the Austrian cabinet by the treaty of the 14th of March, to exchange Gallicia for the Illyrian provinces. The establishment of the kingdom of Poland was proclaimed by the diet of Warsaw, but in an incomplete manner, and Napoleon, who, according to his custom, wished to finish all in one campaign, advanced at once into the heart of Russia, instead of prudently organizing the Polish barrier against it. His army amounted to about five hundred thousand men. He passed the Niemen on the 24th of June, took Vilna, and Vitepsk, defeated the Russians at Astrowno, Polotsk, Mohilev, Smolensk, at the Moskva, and on the 14th of September, made his entry into Moscow.

The Russian cabinet relied for its defence not only upon its troops, but on its vast territory and on its climate. As the conquered armies retreated before ours, they burnt all the towns, devastated the provinces, and thus prepared great difficulties for the foe in the event of reverses or retreat. According to this plan of defence, Moscow was burnt by its governor Rostopchin, as Smolensk, Dorigoboui, Viasma, Gjhat, Mojaisk, and a great number of other towns and villages had already been. The emperor ought to have seen that this war would not terminate as the others had done; yet, conqueror of the foe, and master of his capital, he conceived hopes of peace which the Russians skilfully encouraged. Winter was approaching, and Napoleon prolonged his stay at Moscow for six weeks. He delayed his movements on account of the deceptive negotiations of the Russians, and did not decide on a retreat till the 19th of October. This retreat was disastrous, and began the downfall of the empire. Napoleon could not have been defeated by the hand of man, for what general could have triumphed over this incomparable chief? what army could have conquered the French army? But his reverses were to take place in the remote limits of Europe; in the frozen regions which were to end his conquering domination. He lost, with the close of this campaign, not by a defeat, but by cold and famine, in the midst of Russian snows and solitude, his old army, and the prestige of his fortune.

The retreat was effected with some order as far as the Berezina, where it became one vast rout. After the passage of this river, Napoleon, who had hitherto accompanied his army, started in a sledge for Paris, in great haste, a conspiracy having broken out there during his absence. General Mallet, with a few others, had conceived the design of overthrowing this colossus of power. His enterprise was daring; and as it was grounded on a false report of Napoleon's death, it was necessary to deceive too many for success to be probable. Besides, the empire was still firmly established, and it was not a plot, but a slow and general defection which could destroy it. Mallet's plot failed, and its leaders were executed. The emperor, on his return, found the nation astounded at so unusual a disaster. But the different bodies of the state still manifested implicit obedience. He reached Paris on the 18th of December, obtained a levy of three hundred thousand men, inspired a spirit of sacrifice, re-equipped in a short time, with his wonderful activity, a new army, and took the field again on the 15th of April, 1813.

But since the retreat of Moscow, Napoleon had entered on a new series of events. It was in 1812 that the decline of the empire manifested itself. The weariness of his domination became general. All those by whose consent he had risen, took part against him. The priests had conspired in secret since his rupture with the pope. Eight state prisons had been created in an official manner against the dissentients of his party. The national masses were as tired of conquest as they had formerly been of factions. They had expected from him consideration for private interests, the promotion of commerce; respect for men; and they were oppressed by conscriptions, taxes, the blockade, provost courts, and duties which were the inevitable consequences of this conquering system. He had no longer for adversaries the few who remained faithful to the political object of the revolution, and whom he styled ideologues, but all who, without definite ideas, wished for the material advantages of better civilization. Without, whole nations groaned beneath the military yoke, and the fallen dynasties aspired to rise again. The whole world was ill at ease; and one check served to bring about a general rising. "I triumphed," says Napoleon himself, speaking of the preceding campaigns, "in the midst of constantly reviving perils. I constantly required as much address as voice. Had I not conquered at Austerlitz, all Prussia would have been upon me; had I not triumphed at Jena, Austria and Spain would have attacked my rear; had I not fought at Wagram, which action was not a decided victory, I had reason to fear that Russia would forsake, Prussia rise against me, and the English were before Antwerp." [Footnote: Memorial de Saint Helene, tome ii. p. 221.] Such was his condition; the further he advanced in his career, the greater need he had to conquer more and more decisively. Accordingly, as soon as he was defeated, the kings he had subdued, the kings he had made, the allies he had aggrandized, the states he had incorporated with the empire, the senators who had so flattered him, and even his comrades in arms, successively forsook him. The field of battle extended to Moscow in 1812, drew back to Dresden in 1813, and to Paris in 1814: so rapid was the reverse of fortune.

The cabinet of Berlin began the defections. On the 1st of March, 1813, it joined Russia and England, which were forming the sixth coalition. Sweden acceded to it soon after; yet the emperor, whom the confederate powers thought prostrated by the last disaster, opened the campaign with new victories. The battle of Luetzen, won by conscripts, on the 2nd of May, the occupation of Dresden, the victory of Bautzen, and the war carried to the Elbe, astonished the coalition. Austria, which, since 1810, had been on a footing of peace, was resuming arms, and already meditating a change of alliance. She now offered to act as mediator between the emperor and the confederates. Her mediation was accepted; an armistice was concluded at Plesswitz, on the 4th of June, and a congress assembled at Prague to negotiate peace. It was impossible to come to terms. Napoleon would not consent to diminished grandeur; Europe would not consent to remain subject to him. The confederate powers, joined by Austria, required that the limits of the empire should be to the Rhine, the Alps, and the Meuse. The negotiators separated without coming to an agreement. Austria joined the coalition, and war, the only means of settling this great contest, was resumed.

The emperor had only two hundred and eighty thousand men against five hundred and twenty thousand; he wished to force the enemy to retire behind the Elbe, and to break up, as usual, this new coalition by the promptitude and vigour of his blows. Victory seemed, at first, to second him. At Dresden, he defeated the combined forces; but the defeats of his lieutenants deranged his plans. Macdonald was conquered in Silesia; Ney, near Berlin; Vandamme, at Kulm. Unable to obstruct the enemy, pouring on him from all parts, Napoleon thought of retreating. The princes of the confederation of the Rhine chose this moment to desert the cause of the empire. A vast engagement having taken place at Leipzic between the two armies, the Saxons and Wurtembergers passed over to the enemy on the field of battle. This defection to the strength of the allied powers, who had learned a more compact and skilful mode of warfare, obliged Napoleon to retreat, after a struggle of three days. The army advanced with much confusion towards the Rhine, where the Bavarians, who had also deserted, attempted to prevent its passage. But it overwhelmed them at Hanau, and re-entered the territory of the empire on the 30th of October, 1813. The close of this campaign was as disastrous as that of the preceding one. France was threatened in its own limits, as it had been in 1799; but the enthusiasm of independence no longer existed, and the man who deprived it of its rights found it, at this great crisis, incapable of sustaining him or defending itself. The servitude of nations is, sooner or later, ever avenged.

Napoleon returned to Paris on the 9th of November, 1813. He obtained from the senate a levy of three hundred thousand men, and made with great ardour preparations for a new campaign. He convoked the legislative body to associate it in the common defence; he communicated to it the documents relative to the negotiations of Prague, and asked for another and last effort in order to secure a glorious peace, the general wish of France. But the legislative body, hitherto silently obedient, chose this period to resist Napoleon.

It shared the common exhaustion, and without desiring it, was under the influence of the royalist party, which had been secretly agitating ever since the decline of the empire had revived its hopes. A commission, composed of MM. Laine, Raynouard, Gallois, Flaugergues, Maine de Biran, drew up a very hostile report, censuring the course adopted by the government, and demanding that all conquests should be given up, and liberty restored. This wish, so just at any other time, could then only favour the invasion of the foe. Though the confederate powers seemed to make the evacuation of Europe the condition of peace, they were disposed to push victory to extremity. Napoleon, irritated by this unexpected and harassing opposition, suddenly dismissed the legislative body. This commencement of resistance announced internal defections. After passing from Russia to Germany, they were about to extend from Germany and Italy to France. But now, as before, all depended on the issue of the war, which the winter had not interrupted. Napoleon placed all his hopes on it; and started from Paris on the 25th of January, for this immortal campaign.

The empire was invaded in all directions. The Austrians entered Italy; the English, having made themselves masters of the peninsula during the last two years, had passed the Bidassoa, under general Wellington, and appeared on the Pyrenees. Three armies pressed on France to the east and north. The great allied army, amounting to a hundred and fifty thousand men, under Schwartzenberg, advanced by Switzerland; the army of Silesia, of a hundred and thirty thousand, under Bluecher, by Frankfort; and that of the north, of a hundred thousand men, under Bernadotte, had seized on Holland and entered Belgium. The enemies, in their turn, neglected the fortified places, and, taking a lesson from the conqueror, advanced on the capital. When Napoleon left Paris, the two armies of Schwartzenberg and Bluecher were on the point of effecting a junction in Champaigne. Deprived of the support of the people, who were only lookers on, Napoleon was left alone against the whole world with a handful of veterans and his genius, which had lost nothing of its daring and vigour. At this moment, he stands out nobly, no longer an oppressor; no longer a conqueror; defending, inch by inch, with new victories, the soil of his country, and at the same time, his empire and renown.

He marched into Champaigne against the two great hostile armies. General Maison was charged to intercept Bernadotte in Belgium; Augereau, the Austrians, at Lyons; Soult, the English, on the Spanish frontier. Prince Eugene was to defend Italy; and the empire, though penetrated in the very centre, still stretched its vast arms into the depths of Germany by its garrisons beyond the Rhine. Napoleon did not despair of driving these swarms of foes from the territory of France by means of a powerful military reaction, and again planting his standards in the countries of the enemy. He placed himself skilfully between Bluecher, who was descending the Marne, and Schwartzenberg, who descended the Seine; he hastened from one of these armies to the other, and defeated them alternately; Bluecher was overpowered at Champ-Aubert, Montmirail, Chateau-Thierry, and Vauchamps; and when his army was destroyed, Napoleon returned to the Seine, defeated the Austrians at Montereau, and drove them before him. His combinations were so strong, his activity so great, his measures so sure, that he seemed on the point of entirely disorganizing these two formidable armies, and with them annihilating the coalition.

But if he conquered wherever he came, the foe triumphed wherever he was not. The English had entered Bordeaux, where a party had declared for the Bourbon family; the Austrians occupied Lyons; the Belgian army had joined the remnant of that of Bluecher, which re-appeared on Napoleon's rear. Defection now entered his own family, and Murat had just followed, in Italy, the example of Bernadotte, by joining the coalition. The grand officers of the empire still served him, but languidly, and he only found ardour and fidelity in his subaltern generals and indefatigable soldiers. Napoleon had again marched on Bluecher, who had escaped from him thrice: on the left of the Marne, by a sudden frost, which hardened the muddy ways amongst which the Prussians had involved themselves, and were in danger of perishing; on the Aisne, through the defection of Soissons, which opened a passage to them, at a moment when they had no other way of escape; and Laon, by the fault of the duke of Ragusa, who prevented a decisive battle, by suffering himself to be surprised by night. After so many fatalities, which frustrated the surest plans, Napoleon, ill sustained by his generals, surrounded by the coalition, conceived the bold design of transporting himself to Saint-Dizier and closing on the enemy the egress from France. This daring march so full of genius, startled for a moment the confederate generals, from whom it cut off all retreat; but, excited by secret encouragements, without being anxious for their rear, they advanced on Paris.

This great city, the only capital of Europe which had not been the theatre of war, suddenly saw all the troops of Europe enter its plains, and was on the point of undergoing the common humiliation. It was left to itself. The empress, appointed regent a few months before, had just left it to repair to Blois. Napoleon was at a distance. There was not that despair and that movement of liberty which drive a people to resistance; war was no longer made on nations, but on governments, and the emperor had centred all the public interest in himself, and placed all his means of defence in mechanical troops. The exhaustion was great; a feeling of pride, of very just pride, alone made the approach of the stranger painful, and oppressed every Frenchman's heart at seeing his native land trodden by armies so long vanquished. But this sentiment was not sufficiently strong to raise the masses of the population against the enemy; and the measures of the royalist party, at the head of which the prince of Benevento placed himself, called the allied troops to the capital. An action took place, however, on the 30th of March, under the walls of Paris; but on the 31st, the gates were opened to the confederate forces, who entered in pursuance of a capitulation. The senate consummated the great imperial defection by forsaking its old master; it was influenced by M. de Talleyrand, who for some time had been out of favour with Napoleon. This voluntary actor in every crisis of power had just declared against him. With no attachment to party, of a profound political indifference, he foresaw from a distance with wonderful sagacity the fall of a government; withdrew from it opportunely; and when the precise moment for assailing it had arrived, joined in the attack with all his talents, his influence, his name, and his authority, which he had taken care to preserve. In favour of the revolution, under the constituent assembly; of the directory, on the 18th Fructidor; for the consulate, on the 18th Brumaire; for the empire, in 1804, he was for the restoration of the royal family, in 1814; he seemed grand master of the ceremonies for the party in power, and for the last thirty years it was he who had dismissed and installed the successive governments. The senate, influenced by him, appointed a provisional government, and declared Napoleon deposed from his throne, the hereditary rights of his family abolished, the people and army freed from their oath of fidelity. It proclaimed himtyrant whose despotism it had facilitated by its adulation. Meantime, Napoleon, urged by those about him to succour the capital, had abandoned his march on Saint-Dizier, and hastened to Paris at the head of fifty thousand men, in the hope of preventing the entry of the enemy. On his arrival (1st of April), he heard of the capitulation of the preceding day, and fell back on Fontainebleau, where he learned the defection of the senate, and his deposition. Then finding that all gave way around him in his ill fortune, the people, the senate, generals and courtiers, he decided on abdicating in favour of his son. He sent the duke of Vicenza, the prince of the Moskva, and the duke of Tarento, as plenipotentiaries to the confederates; on their way, they were to take with them the duke of Ragusa, who covered Fontainebleau with a corps.

Napoleon, with his fifty thousand men, and strong military position, could yet oblige the coalition to admit the claim of his son. But the duke of Ragusa forsook his post, treated with the enemy, and left Fontainebleau exposed. Napoleon was then obliged to submit to the conditions of the allied powers; their pretensions increased with their power. At Prague, they ceded to him the empire, with the Alps and the Rhine for limits; after the invasion of France, they offered him at Chatillon the possessions of the old monarchy only; later, they refused to treat with him except in favour of his son; but now, determined on destroying all that remained of the revolution with respect to Europe, its conquest and dynasty, they compelled Napoleon to abdicate absolutely. On the 11th of April, 1814, he renounced for himself and children the thrones of France and Italy, and received the little island of Elba in exchange for his vast sovereignty, the limits of which had extended from Cadiz to the Baltic Sea. On the 20th, after an affecting farewell to his old soldiers, he departed for his new principality.

Thus fell this man, who alone, for fourteen years, had filled the world. His enterprising and organising genius, his power of life and will, his love of glory, and the immense disposable force which the revolution placed in his hands, have made him the most gigantic being of modern times. That which would have rendered the destiny of another extraordinary, scarcely counts in his. Rising from an obscure to the highest rank; from a simple artillery officer becoming the chief of the greatest of nations, he dared to conceive the idea of universal monarchy, and for a moment realized it. After having obtained the empire by his victories, he wished to subdue Europe by means of France, and reduce England by means of Europe, and he established the military system against the continent, the blockade against Great Britain. This design succeeded for some years; from Lisbon to Moscow he subjected people and potentates to his word of command as general, and to the vast sequestration which he prescribed. But in this way he failed in discharging his restorative mission of the 18th Brumaire. By exercising on his own account the power he had received, by attacking the liberty of the people by despotic institutions, the independence of states by war, he excited against himself the opinions and interests of the human race; he provoked universal hostility. The nation forsook him, and after having been long victorious, after having planted his standard in every capital, after having during ten years augmented his power, and gained a kingdom with every battle, a single reverse combined the world against him, proving by his fall how impossible in our days is despotism.

Yet Napoleon, amidst all the disastrous results of his system, gave a prodigious impulse to the continent; his armies carried with them the ideas and customs of the more advanced civilization of France. European societies were shaken on their old foundations; nations were mingled by frequent intercourse; bridges thrown across boundary rivers; high roads made over the Alps, Apennines, and Pyrenees, brought territories nearer to each other; and Napoleon effected for the material condition of states what the revolution had done for the minds of men. The blockade completed the impulse of conquest; it improved continental industry, enabling it to take the place of that of England, and replaced colonial commerce by the produce of manufactures. Thus Napoleon, by agitating nations, contributed to their civilization. His despotism rendered him counter-revolutionary with respect to France; but his spirit of conquest made him a regenerator with respect to Europe, of which many nations, in torpor till he came, will live henceforth with the life he gave them. But in this Napoleon obeyed the dictates of his nature. The child of war - war was his tendency, his pleasure: domination his object; he wanted to master the world, and circumstances placed it in his hand, in order that he might make use of it.

Napoleon has presented in France what Cromwell presented for a moment in England; the government of the army, which always establishes itself when a revolution is contended against; it then gradually changes, and from being civil, as it was at first, becomes military. In Great Britain, internal war not being complicated with foreign war, on account of the geographical situation of the country, which isolated it from other states, as soon as the enemies of reform were vanquished, the army passed from the field of battle to the government. Its intervention being premature, Cromwell, its general, found parties still in the fury of their passions, in all the fanaticism of their opinions, and he directed against them alone his military administration. The French revolution taking place on the continent saw the nations disposed for liberty, and sovereigns leagued from a fear of the liberation of their people. It had not only internal enemies, but also foreign enemies to contend with; and while its armies were repelling Europe, parties were overthrowing each other in the assemblies. The military intervention came later; Napoleon, finding factions defeated and opinions almost forsaken, obtained obedience easily from the nation, and turned the military government against Europe.

This difference of position materially influenced the conduct and character of these two extraordinary men. Napoleon, disposing of immense force and of uncontested power, gave himself up in security to the vast designs and the part of a conqueror; while Cromwell, deprived of the assent which a worn out people could give, and, incessantly attacked by factions, was reduced to neutralise them one by the other, and keep himself to the end the military dictator of parties. The one employed his genius in undertaking; the other in resisting. Accordingly, the former had the frankness and decision of power; the other, the craft and hypocrisy of opposed ambition. This situation would destroy their sway.

All dictatorships are transient; and however strong or great, it is impossible for any one long to subject parties or long to retain kingdoms. It is this that, sooner or later, would have led to the fall of Cromwell (had he lived longer,) by internal conspiracies; and that brought on the downfall of Napoleon, by the raising of Europe. Such is the fate of all powers which, arising from liberty, do not continue to abide with her. In 1814, the empire had just been destroyed; the revolutionary parties had ceased to exist since the 18th Brumaire. All the governments of this political period had been exhausted. The senate recalled the old royal family. Already unpopular on account of its past servility, it ruined- itself in public opinion by publishing a constitution, tolerably liberal, but which placed on the same footing the pensions of senators and the guarantees of the nation. The Count d'Artois, who had been the first to leave France, was the first to return, in the character of lieutenant- general of the kingdom. He signed, on the 23rd of April, the convention of Paris, which reduced the French territory to its limits of the 1st of January, 1792, and by which Belgium, Savoy, Nice, and Geneva, and immense military stores, ceased to belong to us. Louis XVIII. landed at Calais on the 24th of April, and entered Paris with solemnity on the 3rd of May, 1814, after having, on the 2nd, made the Declaration of Saint Omer, which fixed the principles of the representative government, and which was followed on the 2nd of June by the promulgation of the charter.

At this epoch, a new series of events begins. The year 1814 was the term of the great movement of the preceding five and twenty years. The revolution had been political, as directed against the absolute power of the court and the privileged classes, and military, because Europe had attacked it. The reaction which arose at that time only destroyed the empire and brought about the coalition in Europe, and the representative system in France; such was to be its first period. Later, it opposed the revolution, and produced the holy alliance against the people, and the government of a party against the charter. This retrograde movement necessarily had its course and limits. France can only be ruled in a durable manner by satisfying the twofold need which made it undertake the revolution. It requires real political liberty in the government; and in society, the material prosperity produced by the continually progressing development of civilization.