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Napoleon's adieux to the Old Guard at Fontainebleau
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Dołączył: 21 Sie 2005
Posty: 977
Skąd: Pyra vel stary Murat
Wysłany: Pią 16 Lut, 2007   Napoleon's adieux to the Old Guard at Fontainebleau

Napoleon's adieux to the Old Guard at Fontainebleau, 20 April, 1814
(Article by NAPOLEON I )

"On the 20 April at noon ... Napoleon left his rooms... He descended the flight of steps [above the Cour du Cheval-Blanc, at Fontainebleau Palace] and, passing the row of carriages, he advanced towards the Guard. He made a sign that he wished to speak. Everyone fell silent, and in a most devoted quiet, they listened to his last words.

'Soldiers of my Old Guard, I bid you farewell. For twenty years you have been my constant companions on the road to honour and glory. In these latter times, as in the days of our prosperity, you have never ceased to be models of courage and fidelity. With men such as you our cause would not have been lost; but the war would have been interminable; it would have been a civil war, and France would only have become unhappier still. I have therefore sacrificed all of our interests to those of la patrie; I shall depart. But you, my friends, continue to serve France. Her happiness was my only thought; it shall continue to be the object of my desires. Do not lament my fate; the only reason I have allowed myself to survive was so that I could further serve our glory. I want to write down the great deeds which we have done together. Adieu, my children! Would that I could press you all to my heart. Let me at least embrace your standard....!'

At these words, General Petit, seized the aigle and stepped forward. Napoleon took the general in his arms and kissed the standard. The silence which this great scene imposed was broken only by the sobs of the soldiers. Napoleon, visibly moved, pulled himself together and began again with a stronger voice:

'Once again, adieu, my old companions! May this last kiss pass to your hearts!'
Thus he spoke, and bursting out of the group which had formed around him, he threw himself into his carriage..."

Source: Baron Fain, Manuscrit de 1814, Paris: Bossange, 1830, pp. 251-2, tr. P.H.
Sąd sądem, a sprawiedliwość musi być po naszej stronie.- Kazimierz Pawlak "Sami swoi"
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