April 4 1815: Napoleon Addresses the Monarchs

English Bards   Lord Byron   Books   The Guardian

Sire, my Brother,  you will have learnt, during the last month, my return to the court of France, my entrance into Paris, and the departure of the family of the Bourbons. The true nature of these events must now be made known to your majesty. They are the work of an irresistible power, the work of the unanimous will of a great nation, who knows her duties and her rights. The dynasty which force had given to the French people, was no longer suited to them. The Bourbons would neither associate themselves to their sentiments nor their manners. It became the duty of France to separate herself from them. Her voice called for a deliverer. The expectation which had determined me to make the greatest sacrifice had been deceived. I am come, and from the point where I touched the shore, the love of my people conveyed me to the bosom of my capital. The first wish of my heart is to repay such affection by the maintenance of an honourable tranquillity. The restoration of the imperial throne was necessary to the happiness of the French. My sweetest thought is to render it at the same time useful to the consolidation of the repose of Europe. Glory enough has rendered by turns the standards of the different nations illustrious. The vicissitudes of fate have caused great successes to be followed by great reverses. A finer arena is now opened to kings — and I am the first to descend into it. After having presented to the world the spectacle of great battles, it will be happier to know in future no other rivalship than that of the advantages of peace, no other contest, than the sacred contest of the happiness of mankind. France rejoices in candidly proclaiming this noble end of all her wishes. Jealous of her independence, the invincible principle of her policy shall be the most absolute respect for the independence of other nations.

If such are, as I have the pleasure to believe, the personal sentiments of your majesty, the general tranquillity is secured for a long season, and justice, seated on the confines of the different states, will be alone sufficient to guard their frontiers.

I seize with eagerness, &c. &c.
(Signed) Napoleon.
Paris, April 4, 1815.


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