One man filled the eyes of all Europe during the closing days of the Eighteenth and the beginning of the Nineteenth Centuries. Napoleon’s star began to rise, shone brilliantly and faded. During his struggle the occasion furnished opportunity to two other great men, Wellington and Nelson, to distinguish themselves. The careers of the three men are told in the articles bearing their names in the volume, “Famous Warriors.” The plan of this “History of the World” is such that many details of the Napoleonic wars there given are omitted here to prevent repetition. But the period in which these three men lived was one of the most important in history and far-reaching in its effects. So here will be given an outline of the wars which resulted from the vaulting ambition of this would be conqueror of the world, who so nearly achieved his ambition.
When the Government called the Directory was established in France (1795), the French Republic was still at war with Austria, and in 1796 (a week after his marriage with the graceful and amiable widow, Josephine Beauharnais), Bonaparte went to assume the command of the army of Italy against the Sardinian and Austrian forces. His brilliant strategy and rapid movements gave him wonderful success, and soon placed him before the world as the greatest General of the age. In battle after battle (April, 1796) he routed the Sardinians, and forced them to sue for peace. In May he defeated the Austrians at Lodi, took Milan, where he seized the chief works of art and sent them to Paris, and frightened the Pope, and the governments of Naples, Modena, and Parma into making terms. He then turned upon the Austrians under General Wurmser, beat them at Castiglione in August, and drove them into Mantua. In November, 1796, he defeated the Austrians under Alvinzy, at Arcola, and again, January, 1797, at Rivoli. Wurmser, pressed by famine, then surrendered Mantua. After an invasion of the Pope’s dominions, and forcing him to surrender Avignon and much Italian territory to France, Bonaparte crossed the Alps northward into the Tyrol, meeting the Austrian Archduke Charles, one of the best commanders of the age, who was preparing to invade Italy. Bonaparte defeated the Archduke in several battles, and, rapidly marching on Vienna, forced Austria to make terms. By the Treaty of Campo Formio (October, 1797) the Austrian Netherlands (now Belgium) and Lombardy were ceded to France, and Venetia was given to Austria an arrangement which put an end to the Republic of Venice after her many centuries of freedom. Savoy and Nice had been already given up by Sardinia, and the conquering Republic had become a terror to the monarchies of Europe. The young General was received with boundless enthusiasm in Paris on his return in December, 1797.
The career of Bonaparte in the East was a failure. Aiming at the English Empire in India, the Directory, in May, 1798, sent a powerful expedition, under Bonaparte’s command, to conquer Egypt. The Mamelukes were defeated near Cairo, in the battle of the Pyramids, and the country was occupied. Nelson’s victory at the Nile (August, 1798), described in the article on Nelson in the volume, “Famous Warriors,” shut up the French army in their conquest, and in February, 1799, Napoleon marched to meet the Turkish forces in Syria. He gained some victories, but failed to take St. Jean d’Acre, after a siege of sixty days, and his designs of Eastern conquest were thus frustrated. Bad news from France brought him back to Paris in October, 1799. In Italy, in 1798 (after the establishment of a Cisalpine Republic in the north, and a Ligurian Republic at Genoa, in 1797), Generals Berthier and Masséna had taken and plundered Rome, stripping the palaces, churches, and convents of every work of art, and every object of value. Pope Pius VI was taken prisoner to France, where he soon after-ward died, and a Roman Republic was set up. The second coalition against France was now formed by England, Russia, Austria, Turkey, and the King of Naples and Sicily. Early in 1799 the Kingdom of Naples was conquered by the French, and a Republic (the Parthenopean, from the ancient Parthenope, a town on the site of Naples) was established. Then came a change of fortune for the French. In Germany, their forces under Jourdan were driven beyond the Rhine by the Archduke Charles. In Italy, the same great commander, with the Russians under Suwarof (whom we have seen as the captor of Ismail from Turkey in 1790), defeated the French troops under Moreau, Masséna, Jourdan, Macdonald, and Joubert, in several important battles, and recovered nearly all the country for a time. In France, the Directory, after four years’ administration, had broken down. Corruption and disorder were rife, a change of Directors had taken place, and all was in confusion when Napoleon returned from Egypt in October, 1799.
In November, 1799, a month after Bonaparte’s return, the French Republic virtually came to an end, and Napoleon was henceforward master of France. At the head of the troops he abolished the Directory, and became absolute ruler as First Consul, with two colleagues of nominal power. There was a Council of State (named by the Consuls) to prepare laws; a Legislative Body (not allowed to debate) to approve or reject them; and a prefect in every territorial department, with full executive powers, responsible directly, and solely, to the Minister of the Interior. This last centralized form of government has survived all revolutions, and exists at the present moment in France. Napoleon’s objects in France were the establishment of order and the reform of civil affairs. He was at once a revolutionist and a reactionist an adventurer who had become a virtual sovereign and he was prepared to receive as friends all, either Jacobins or Royalists, who would support his Government, while he was equally determined and able to put down all who should oppose him. He took measures to recruit the Nation’s finances, repealed the violent laws of the Revolution, reopened the churches for worship, set up a censorship of the press, and a complete system of political spies, and was thus armed at all points against royalist or revolutionary efforts.
When matters were arranged at home, Napoleon again took the field. Crossing the Great St. Bernard, in May, i800, he took Melds, the Austrian General, by surprise and entered Milan. On June 14 his brilliant victory of Marengo gave Piedmont again to France. In December of that year, Moreau, in Germany, gained his great battle of Hohenlinden over the Austrian Archduke John. The French armies introduced and continued the system of plunder by which war was made to support itself in a hostile or neutral scene of action. Everything wanted by the soldiers of France was taken at the bayonet’s point from the wretched inhabitants, and though this method answered well for a time, it caused the French to be justly regarded as little better than brigands, and in the end contributed to the downfall of Napoleon’s power. At first, indeed, the plan adopted was a sheer necessity, because the Republican Government was destitute of funds, but the French soldiers, thus taught to plunder, acquired habits which had fatal results in the general enmity aroused throughout Europe by this ruthless way of proceeding. In February, 1801, the Peace of Lunéville with Austria made the Rhine the boundary between France and Germany; and treaties were also made with the other countries at war with France. The English forces had subdued the French army in Egypt in 18o1, and the Peace of Amiens was concluded with England, Spain and Holland in 1802.
Napoleon at this time was greatly occupied with the reestablishment of social institutions and the improvement of civil affairs. A general amnesty allowed all the émigrés to return to France; the famous new order of chivalry, the Legion of Honor, was established; there were again a court and a brilliant social circle in the capital of France. The Catholic religion was fully restored; the higher education especially in mathematics and physical science was promoted; great public works were undertaken, and agriculture, manufactures, and commerce were encouraged. In August, 1802, Napoleon was proclaimed Consul for life by his obsequious Senate, and this was con-firmed by a plébiscite, or popular vote under manhood suffrage, to the number of three million. Now came the greatest of his services to France. The chief jurists of the Nation, under Napoleon’s own supervision, drew up the famous Code Napoléon a body of laws for civil, penal, commercial, and military matters still used in France and several other countries of Europe, including Belgium and Italy. The gallery of the Louvre in Paris was formed with the works of art stolen from Italy, and France was started, as it seemed, on a peaceful and prosperous career.
But Napoleon could not prevent all opposition, and he took severe measures to put an end to all plots. In 1804 a conspiracy was alleged to have been discovered in Paris, having for its object the overthrow of Bonaparte and the restoration of the Bourbon line of Kings, then represented by the Count of Provence, brother of Louis XVI. The truth as to this affair will probably never be known. The friends of Napoleon assert that the British Government was engaged in the plot; his enemies declare that his own Minister of Police, Fouché, formerly a revolutionist and member of the Convention, enticed the royalist partisans into France with a view to their destruction. What is certain is that General Pichegru, the conqueror of Holland in 1795, George Cadoudal, a Breton leader, head of the royalist party known as the Chouans, and General Moreau, the victor of Hohenlinden, were arrested as conspirators. Cadoudal was executed, Pichegru was found dead in prison, and Moreau was banished for life. Of Pichegru, Napoleon’s friends assert that he committed suicide; Napoleon’s enemies declare that he was murdered by the tyrant’s orders. No doubt, however, exists as to Napoleon’s treatment of the Duc d’Enghien. This young Prince, son of Condé, Duke of Bourbon, had fought against the Revolution on the side of the allies in 1792, and from 1796 to 1799. In March, 1804, at the time of the alleged conspiracy, he was living with his wife at Ettenheim, on Baden territory, and the fact of his Bourbon blood was the sole ground for suspicion against him. In order to strike terror into the Royalists, Napoleon now grossly violated humanity and the law of nations. D’Enghien was seized by an armed force at Ettenheim, sent by Napoleon’s orders, in violation of the Duke of Baden’s territory. He was at once brought to the fortress of Vincennes, outside Paris, tried and sentenced by a court-martial on a charge of treason, without examination of witnesses or means of defense.
Terrorized by these proceedings, an Imperial Crown was offered Napoleon in 1804 by the subservient legislative bodies, and his acceptance of the dignity was con-firmed by an immense popular vote. The Empire was made hereditary in the male issue of Napoleon, his brothers Joseph and Louis following in the order of succession. A new aristocracy was created, and an imperial court was started with full splendor of equipment and ceremony. The coronation took place on December 2, at the Cathedral of Notre Dame, Pope Pius VII anointing the usurper, while Napoleon, snatching the crown from the Pontiff’s hands, crowned first himself and then the Empress Josephine. In May, 1805, he was crowned King of Italy in the Cathedral of Milan. Fourteen of the chief Generals were made Marshals of France, the most distinguished being Bernadotte, Jourdan, Davoust, Lannes, Masséna, Murat, Ney, Soult, and Kellermann.
If Napoleon had possessed, along with his other high qualities, the supreme virtues of moderation and self-restraint, he would have died ruler of France and arbiter of the whole civilized world. The crimes of his career sprang, not from innate cruelty or vice, but from unscrupulous devotion to self-aggrandizement, and from a certain sordid lack of chivalrous feeling and of high moral tone commensurate with his glorious mental endowments. He was the victim, again and again, of a spirit of pre-sumptuous fatalism, and of an intoxication of soul bred by success and prosperity, which urged him onward in a course of aggression that armed all Europe against his power. Bonaparte, in 1802, seized Elba, annexed Piedmont and the Duchy of Parma, kept military possession of Holland, made an armed “mediation” in the affairs of Switzerland, assumed the mastery of Northern Italy as head of the “Italian (formerly ‘Cisalpine’) Republic,” and interfered with a high hand in German affairs. Finally he aroused England, who had refused to withdraw from Malta in accordance with the terms of the Peace of Amiens. He was ready for a war, as by the ruin of British maritime power he could alone hope to secure mastery of Europe and its colonial Empires. The retention of Malta gave Napoleon his pretext to conduct reprisals against Great Britain. He called attention to the fact that without declaring war the British had seized 1,200 French and Dutch ships in the colonies. Napoleon invaded Han-over, then still in the possession of the British royal house. He seized 10,000 English travelers in France and Holland and sentenced them to an imprisonment in which they were kept for ten years. This led to a unanimous demand in England for war, which Napoleon answered by immediately setting on foot preparations to cross the Straits of Dover with an army. England was alarmed. Before the end of 1803 nearly 400,000 volunteers had enrolled themselves for the defense of the British Isles against the threatened invasion, which never came. It was then, while a naval force was being gathered at Boulogne for the invasion, that in May, 1804, William Pitt formed the third coalition against Napoleon, including Russia, Austria, and Sweden. Spain joined France, and Prussia remained neutral, tempted by Napoleon’s promise of Hanover.
The invasion of England failed, not through the jault of Napoleon, but through that of his commander, Villeneuve. In the summer and autumn of 1805 he had the whole fleets of Spain and Holland behind him and an armada of seventy sail were at Napoleon’s disposal. On shore were troops to the number of 100,000 under three of his ablest Generals, Ney, Soult, and Davoust, and this enormous army had been trained to embark on the vessels in forty minutes. Treville, his Admiral at Toulon, who knew his plans, died, and his death caused a serious delay. It was then Napoleon made the fatal, for him, mistake of choosing Villeneuve as his successor. Napoleon schemed to decoy the English ships into distant seas, so. that the passage of his troops might be unobstructed. His own fleets were ordered to the West Indies with instructions to return immediately to Europe. Nelson fell into the snare and gave chase across the Atlantic, but thirty days in the rear. When he discovered the stratagem he sent his swiftest ship to England to. intimate the danger which impended. His warning was received in time and a strong squadron under Sir Robert Calder was ready to meet the returning allies. A battle ensued, not memorable other-wise than by its results, which were in the highest degree momentous. French fleets were at Rochefort and Brest, while a powerful Spanish squadron was at Ferrol. Villeneuve had positive orders to sail to Brest, and, uniting the fleet there with his own, hasten to Boulogne. The road was really open, as Calder was on hi s way to Plymouth, and Nelson was cruising off St. Vincent, in ignorance of Villeneuve’s real position. But Villeneuve, in dread of Nelson, took shelter in Ferrol. Had he dared all and sailed onward a French army would probably have landed in England. The retreat made invasion impossible, at once and forever. Three months later Nelson met the combined fleets off Cape Trafalgar, and inflicted upon them a defeat which was well-nigh annihilating. This great triumph placed beyond challenge the naval supremacy of Great Britain, for it did not leave afloat any power fit to encounter her in battle.
Napoleon knew, so soon as he heard of the retreat of his fleet, that all his combinations were baffled, and that England was now beyond his reach. He indulged him-self in a free expression of boundless rage, which the feeble conduct of his Admiral inspired, and then, without delay even of an hour, he turned to a field where the most brilliant success of his life awaited him. On the instant he devised the campaign of Austerlitz. With a promptitude unexampled in the movements of so large bodies of men, his armies moved from the shores of the Channel, to confront his enemies on the Rhine. In September, 1805, he marched his great army from Boulogne to Bavaria, fell upon the Austrians, forced the incapable General Mack to surrender at Ulm with thirty thousand men, and by the middle of November had reached Schönbrunn, near Vienna. Entering Vienna as a conqueror, he pre-pared to encounter the Russian and Austrian armies under their respective emperors. On December 2 he completely routed them at the great battle of Austerlitz, in Moravia, north of Vienna. Austria instantly sued for peace, and gave up to France Venetia, Dalmatia, and other Adriatic territory. The Russians retreated to their own country, and Hanover was handed over to Prussia.
The Conqueror then turned against southern Italy, picked a quarrel with the King of Naples, dethroned him, and made his brother Joseph King in his room. Another brother, Louis, was made King of Holland on the extinction of the Batavian Republic. Various minor sovereignties or dukedoms were created in Italy and Germany as rewards for successful marshals. The most important effect of Napoleon’s military success was his formation of the Confederation of the Rhine, in place of the now dissolved old German Empire. By the Peace of Presburg (December 26, 1805) the Electors of Bavaria and Würtemberg became Kings, a first step in the dissolution of the Empire, and in July, 1806, they and many other German Princes formally seceded from the old constitution of Germany. Napoleon took the title of Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine; other German Princes after-ward joined the new body; the Elector of Saxony be-came King; in 1807 a Kingdom of Westphalia was made out of provinces conquered from Prussia and other states, and was given to Jerome Bonaparte, youngest brother of Napoleon. These arrangements lasted until 1813, when, after Napoleon’s Russian disaster, the Confederation of the Rhine fell to pieces.
Prussia was driven to war with France in October, 1806, by Napoleon’s proposal to restore Hanover to England as a basis of peace, and she now found herself, without an effective ally, engaged with the greatest military power of Europe. On October 14, Napoleon’s victory at Jena, and his General Davoust’s at Auerstädt, laid the Prussian monarchy prostrate : Berlin was occupied, the whole country conquered, and most humiliating terms imposed, including a limitation of the military force which Prussia was allowed to maintain, and the cession of nearly half her territory Saxony, Westphalia, and Prussian Poland.
Russia had joined the Fourth Coalition against France, with England, Prussia, Saxony, and Sweden. Of these England was triumphant on the seas, and had closed them to Napoleon’s power for the rest of his career; Saxony had shared Prussia’s fate after Jena; Russia remained in the field for Napoleon to deal with. The Emperor of Russia at this time was Alexander I, grandson of the great Catharine, the partitioner of Poland. Napoleon was at first unsuccessful against the Russian army. At the battle of Eylau (February, 1807), fought amid ice and snow with the most dreadful carnage, he received a decided check. In June, however, after reinforcements had come up, he totally defeated Alexander’s troops at Friedland, and brought him to terms. By the Peace of Tilsit (July, 1807) Russia withdrew from the contest, undertaking to close her ports against British vessels, and, by a secret article, was allowed to take Finland from Sweden. Russia also recognized the new Kingdoms created by Napoleon. The arrangement between Alexander and Napoleon seems really to have been that they should divide between them the mastery of all Europe. Russia and France were hence-forward at peace for five years, and Russia was hostile to England.
Napoleon was now supreme in Europe. Nothing in romance approaches the facts of his amazing career. He was yet only 39 years of age; twelve years before he was an unemployed officer of artillery, without influence or friends; now he made or unmade kings, and regulated at pleasure the destiny of nations, no man daring to question what he did. His ascendency over the Emperor of Russia was absolute. Austria was silently restoring her shattered strength, but as yet was too much broken to oppose her will to that of her conqueror. Prussia, shorn of nearly half of her population and territory and laid under crushing exactions, could only nurse in secret her purposes of revenge. Many of the smaller German States, Italy, and Holland were, for all warlike purposes, virtually French territory. The fleets of Denmark, Spain, and Portugal, were at his command. England alone maintained hostility against the despotism which had overspread Europe.
During this time much was done for the internal material improvement of France. Numerous fine buildings were erected in Paris; the country was covered with well-made roads; the great excavations were begun at the port of Cherbourg; canals were dug from Nantes to Brest, and from the Rhine to the Rhone; industry and trade were encouraged. But the free spirit of the Nation was at the same time repressed by a rigorous system of censorship and police; government was a pure despotism; and the strength of the country was being swiftly undermined by the constant drain upon its manhood through conscription for service in the armies.
The three chief causes of Napoleon’s downfall were his deadly enmity to England, his attack upon Spain and Portugal, and his invasion of Russia in 1812. By the first he aroused the determined hostility of the one Nation in Europe that was sure to oppose him with invincible tenacity until she had effected his overthrow; by the second he caused the Peninsular War, which sapped the warlike strength of France; by the third he shook his own military position, and left himself helpless against combined Europe.
It was by his famous “Continental System” that Napoleon tried to ruin the commerce of England. In the Berlin Decrees (November, 1806), issued after the battle of Jena, Napoleon declared the British Islands in a state of blockade; all correspondence or trade with them was forbidden; all their productions and manufactures were pronounced contraband; British subjects on the Continent were to be treated as prisoners of war, and their goods as lawful prize. The effect of this step was to increase the prosperity of England. Her fleets and cruisers swept the seas; nothing could be obtained from her colonies save through her, and the Continental merchants organized and kept up with the British an extensive system of smuggling which it was impossible to prevent.
Spain and Portugal had been his allies in his wars, but he wished to make them part of France. Napoleon attacked Portugal in 1807, and sent an army under Junot to occupy Lisbon, because the Portuguese had refused to act on the Berlin Decrees against her ally, England. In 1808 his troops invaded Spain, and Joseph Bonaparte was transferred from the throne of Naples to that of Spain, Marshal Murat becoming King of Naples. The details of the Peninsular War are told in the life of Wellington in the volume “Famous Warriors.” In a contest of nearly six years’ duration, Wellington drove the French by degrees out of Portugal and Spain, entering France early in 1814. The effect of this struggle upon Europe was that it convinced the nations that the French armies were not invincible, and encouraged them to rise and throw off the yoke.
The Fifth Coalition against France was formed in 180g by England, Austria, Portugal, and Spain. Early in the year, during Napoleon’s absence in Spain, Austria declared war and invaded Bavaria. Napoleon hurried to the scene of action, defeated the Archduke Charles at Eck mühl in April, and again entered Vienna as a conqueror on May 13. The Archduke Charles, with great ability and energy, reorganized his country’s forces, marched on Vienna, and, being attacked by Napoleon, defeated him at Aspern on May 21, and fought a hard battle again the next day at Essling, driving the French back to, the Island of Lobau, in the Danube. On July 6, however, the Austrians were utterly defeated at the great battle of Wagram, and Napoleon dictated terms at Schönbrunn in October. The Peace of Vienna ended the war with further loss of territory in the southwest by Austria.
Napoleon had determined to divorce his wife Josephine, because he had no children to carry on the line of Emperors which he seemed to have securely founded, and also in order to strengthen his position in Europe by marriage-alliance with one of the old dynasties. On December 16, 1809, the act of divorce was passed, and in April, 1810, Napoleon married the Emperor of Austria’s daughter, the Archduchess Maria Louisa. A son was born in 1811, who was styled “King of Rome”; but he never reigned, and died, under his Austrian title of Duke of Reichstadt, in 1832. In 1809 he had annexed Tuscany and the Papal States in Italy; in 1810 he united Holland to France, on his brother Louis’ resignation of the throne, and took to himself the Hanseatic towns, Bremen, Lübeck, and Hamburg. His Empire extended from Denmark to Naples, with capitals at Paris, Rome, and Amsterdam, and had a total population of over forty millions. His influence was also supreme at this time in most of Spain, in Switzerland, and over all Germany.
It was Napoleon’s “Continental System” that caused the quarrel with Russia which had so fatal an influence on his power and position in Europe. Russia, suffering under the blockade of her ports against English trade, had partially relaxed the system, and Napoleon insisted on Alexander’s compliance with his orders. The Russian Emperor resisted this dictation, and the result was war, Austria and Prussia being compelled to aid France with a part of their armies. In June, 1812, Napoleon invaded Russia by crossing the Niemen with over half a million of men, about two hundred thousand being French, and the rest Germans, Poles, Italians, and Swiss. The Russians encountered him with great skill and determination, under their Generals Kutusoff, Barclay de Tolly, Bagration, and Wittgenstein; Napoleon gained some victories, but paid dearly for them. Smolensk was taken in August, and the French marched on Moscow, gaining the desperate battle of Borodino with a loss of 40,000 men to each side.
Moscow was entered on September 15, but was fired and almost destroyed by the Russians. Alexander would not negotiate; supplies were wanting; the Russians were not cowed, as Napoleon had hoped, by the loss of their ancient capital; and in the face of the coming winter, the French retreated toward Germany on October 19, numbering now 80,000 men. The Russian attacks and the cold almost destroyed the remains of the “grand army,” and but a few thousands recrossed the Niemen on December 20. The expedition had ended in one of the greatest military disasters recorded in all history.
The political results of the Moscow campaign were necessarily of extreme importance. Napoleon was the abhorred oppressor of Germany, but his power had been such that resistance was hopeless, and Germany had to suffer the humiliation of sending troops to fight under the banner of the tyrant. But with the destruction of the French army hope dawned upon the suffering and degradation of years. Prussia, without loss of time and under the influence of a vehement popular impulse, entered into an engagement with Russia to aid her in a war with France. Austria followed not inconsiderably strengthened in her disposition by an offer of £10,000,000 from England. Sweden sent an army under Napoleon’s old Marshal, Bernadotte, to join the allies. The Emperor was not yet wholly without friends. Denmark adhered to him in the days of adversity, as did several of the smaller States. But the balance was hopelessly against him. The Sixth Coalition of Nations was formed against France (in 1813), and consisted, in the end, of Russia, Prussia, England, Austria, Sweden, and some smaller German States. With wonderful energy Napoleon had raised a new force of 200,000 men in France, and headed in all nearly double that number. In May he defeated the allies at Lützen and Bautzen, but made another fatal mistake in trying to negotiate when his only chance of safety lay in swift strokes, such as he well knew how to deal. He made an armistice for six weeks in June, 1813, and the allies had time given to rally against him just when he was ready for instant action.
When the campaign reopened in August the allies had nearly 600,000 men at command, headed – by Prince Schwarzenberg, the brave Prussian, Marshal Blücher, Billow, and Bernadotte. Napoleon gained a victory at Dresden on August 26-27, but after this his Marshals were again and again defeated in different quarters; the German troops deserted daily to the allies; and in the great two-days’ battle of Leipsic (October 18 and 19, 1813), fought by over half a million of men (330,000 allies against 190,000 under Napoleon), the French Emperor was entirely defeated. He retired over the Rhine into France, and was henceforth on his defense against enraged and victorious Europe.
At the end of 1813 France was invaded from the south by Wellington, and on the east by the vast armies of the allies. In the campaign of 1814, on the soil of France, Napoleon displayed the most wonderful energy and skill, striking well-aimed blows this way and that against thronging assailants, and fighting them off from approach to his capital with a strategy that has never been surpassed. All his efforts were vain against overwhelming numbers of soldiers who had ceased to dread the French, and against Generals to whom Napoleon had himself taught the art of war in his successes won over them. His victories at Montmirail, Nangis, Montereau, and elsewhere at first made the grand allied army retreat, and the Sovereigns began to negotiate, but fighting was soon renewed. A defeat of Napoleon by Blücher at Laon, and indecisive battles Craonne and Arcissur-Aube wore out his means of resistance, and Paris was forced to surrender on March 31. Napoleon’s abdication sent him an exile to the Island of Elba, on the Italian coast; and the Bourbon line was restored to the throne of France in the person of Louis XVI’s brother, who took the title of Louis XVIII. The young Dauphin, son of Louis XVI, died in prison during the Revolution, and is reckoned as Louis XVII.
While the First Congress of Vienna was discussing the rearrangement of the States of Europe, Napoleon escaped from Elba, landed at Fréjus, southwest of Cannes, on March 1, 1815, and was welcomed by his old army and many of his Marshals. He entered Paris on March 20, Louis XVIII having already fled to Ghent. The Allied Powers at once declared him an outlaw, and prepared immense armies for his overthrow. Only one of these was needed that of the English, Prussians, Belgians, and Hanoverians, under the Duke of Wellington and Marshal Blücher. A short, sharp, and decisive campaign, described in the biography of Wellington in the volume “Famous Warriors,” ended at Waterloo on June 18. Napoleon was captured in his endeavor to escape to America, and sent to St. Helena, where he died on May 5, 1821, after the most wonderful career, considered in all points, recorded in the history of the world. His remains lie under the dome of the military hospital at Paris-the Hôtel des Invalides to which they were removed in 1840. Those interested in the career of this remarkable man, whose glory is beyond cavil, will find an interesting account of it in the volume “Famous Warriors.” We have here only given the details necessary to an understanding of the history of Modern Europe.