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Napoleon Bonaparte by John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott
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Napoleon, finding his proffers of peace rejected by England with
contumely and scorn, and declined by Austria, now prepared, with
his wonted energy, to repel the assaults of the allies. As he sat
in his cabinet at the Tuileries, the thunders of their unrelenting
onset came rolling in upon his ear from all the frontiers of
France. The hostile fleets of England swept the channel, utterly
annihilating the commerce of the Republic, landing regiments
of armed emigrants upon her coast, furnishing money and munitions
of war to rouse the partisans of the Bourbons to civil conflict,
and throwing balls and shells into every unprotected town. On the
northern frontier, Marshal Kray, came thundering down, through the
black Forest, to the banks of the Rhine, with a mighty host of
150,000 men, like locust legions, to pour into all the northern
provinces of France. Artillery of the heaviest calibre and a
magnificent array of cavalry accompanied this apparently invincible
army. In Italy, Melas, another Austrian marshal, with 140,000 men,
aided by the whole force of the British navy, was rushing upon the
eastern and southern borders of the Republic. The French troops,
disheartened by defeat, had fled before their foes over the Alps,
or were eating their horses and their boots in the cities where
they were besieged. From almost every promontory on the coast of
the Republic, washed by the Channel, or the Mediterranean, the eye
could discern English frigates, black and threatening, holding all