June 25 1815: Soldiers!


On June 25 1815, Napoleon, no longer Emperor, withdraws from the Paris to the country Palace of Malmaison, where he issues a proclamation to the French army. 

Soldiers! While obeying the necessity which removes me from the French Army; I carry with me the happy assurance that it will justify, by the eminent services which the country expects from it, the praises which our Enemies themselves have not been able to refuse it.

Soldiers! I shall follow your steps, though absent. I know all the corps; and not one of them will obtain a single advantage over the Enemy, but I shall give it credit for the courage it may have displayed. Both you and I have been calumniated. Men, very unfit to appreciate your labours, have seen in the marks of attachment which you have given me, a zeal of which I was the sole object. Let your future successes convince them that it was the Country above all things, which you served in obeying me; and that if I had any share in your affection, I owe it to my ardent love for France — our common mother.

Soldiers! Some efforts more, and the Coalition will be dissolved. Napoleon will recognise you by the blows which you are about to strike. Save the honour, the independence, of France! Be, unto the last, the same men which I have known you for these twenty years; and you will be invincible.

Napoleon. De la Malmaison, le 25 juin 1815.

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