Napoleon Bonaparte Speech - Farewell to the Old Guard
Napoleon Bonaparte - Farewell to the Old Guard (1814) following the failed invasion of Russia and defeat by the Allies
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 Bonaparte (French: Napoléon Bonaparte [napoleɔ̃ bɔnɑpaʁt], Corsican: Napoleone Buonaparte; 15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the latter stages of the French Revolution and its associated wars in Europe. As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1814 and again in 1815. He implemented a wide array of liberal reforms across Europe, including the abolition offeudalism and the spread of religious toleration. His legal code in France, the Napoleonic Code, influenced numerous civil law jurisdictions worldwide. Napoleon is remembered for his role in leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars. He won the majority of his battles and seized control of most of continental Europe in a quest for personal power and to spread the ideals of the French Revolution. Widely regarded as one of the greatest commanders in history, his campaigns are studied...
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