# I. - Religion
EXTRACT FROM Le Courrier de l’Egypte (no. 76., of 18th Thermid...
“Born among an ignorant and superstitious people, he knew how to dwell upon
religion’s so powerful influence, and putting ...
Strict but just with the people, devout but restrain...
5. - He makes himself master of Alexandria and despite all obstacles, instantly
subdues her during Moharram, the month whi...
description of the then little known road from Cairo to Salehieh; Berthollet and Fourrier
had visited the valley of the la...
about 150 kilometres of desert inhabited by numerous Arab tribes, who had absolute
control there, to the extent that the c...
The English, after vain attempts on Aboukir and Alexandria, had succeeded in rousing
the Arabs of Derna and the Barca dese...
(1) Extract of the history of the French Egyptian expedition by P. Martin, engineer in the
Royal Corps of Bridges and High...
the French Republic. The English then set about embroiling France with Turkey. This
rupture would be decisive for Russia, ...
of Italy, were inspired by the example of this bold and generous commander who presided
over their destinies. A colony was...
Let us therefore explore further into the points he makes against Rousseau. It is true that
Christianity and government ha...
religion will do nothing to help the government, and that on the contrary, due to its instant
corruption, it can only be i...
volume comprising a defence of Christianity considered from the political aspect,
responding in particular to Chapter VIII...
(1) Compare previous para.
(2) See N. Deschamps, Les Sociétés secrètes et la société, vol. II, pp. 191 and following.
(3) ...
game, seeing it only as a joke and a piece of fun. On the other hand, look at the
possibilities: I take Europe in the rear...
(5) Circumcision was declared non-obligatory and wine-drinking permitted for new
Muslims, redeemable by charitable works. ...
become the capital of the Christian world, and I would have directed religious affairs as
well as the political!
“‘That is...
(b) From the viewpoint of immediate policy, the need to be circumspect about actions
in process (See following: Lettres de...
Here are the two letters from Munich, letters to which the hadith : Elharbu-khida (1)
apply only too well.
No 9655. - To H...
Foreign Office Archives (1)
9656. - To Cardinal Fesch
Munich, 7th January 1806.
Dated 13th November, the Pope has written ...
In order to pre...
bahalf; it is only against me that they show some courage. That is why I am writing to you
in person; you are the only fri...
(b) By implication, the absolute sincerity of the Cairo proclamations and the
instructions he gave there;
(c) And in conse...
(2) About this very strange matter, see Friedrich Warnecke: Goethe’s Mahomet - Problem,
(3) See S.Sklower, conversa...
What, all the predestined works of Mahomet, which had such an influence on the
Universe, were founded only on the art of.....
Thus, with these three slight omissions, without even adding a single line, one
could remove the main drawback from this m...
masses. The first resort is in the nature of intrigue and only brings secondary results;
the second is the march of genius...
attending his affairs or fulfilling his functions, who will stand guard for him? With us,
therefore, it’s necessary to rel...
“Let us agree then,” he concluded, “that if polygamy were not the instrument of a
political compact, if it was only arrive...
Napoleon's Meeting with Goethe & Letter to Hadhrat Tipu Sultan
Napoleon's Meeting with Goethe & Letter to Hadhrat Tipu Sultan
Napoleon's Meeting with Goethe & Letter to Hadhrat Tipu Sultan
Napoleon's Meeting with Goethe & Letter to Hadhrat Tipu Sultan
Napoleon's Meeting with Goethe & Letter to Hadhrat Tipu Sultan
Napoleon's Meeting with Goethe & Letter to Hadhrat Tipu Sultan
Napoleon's Meeting with Goethe & Letter to Hadhrat Tipu Sultan
Napoleon's Meeting with Goethe & Letter to Hadhrat Tipu Sultan
Napoleon's Meeting with Goethe & Letter to Hadhrat Tipu Sultan
Napoleon's Meeting with Goethe & Letter to Hadhrat Tipu Sultan
Napoleon's Meeting with Goethe & Letter to Hadhrat Tipu Sultan
Napoleon's Meeting with Goethe & Letter to Hadhrat Tipu Sultan
Napoleon's Meeting with Goethe & Letter to Hadhrat Tipu Sultan
Napoleon's Meeting with Goethe & Letter to Hadhrat Tipu Sultan
Napoleon's Meeting with Goethe & Letter to Hadhrat Tipu Sultan
Napoleon's Meeting with Goethe & Letter to Hadhrat Tipu Sultan
Napoleon's Meeting with Goethe & Letter to Hadhrat Tipu Sultan
Napoleon's Meeting with Goethe & Letter to Hadhrat Tipu Sultan
Napoleon's Meeting with Goethe & Letter to Hadhrat Tipu Sultan
Napoleon's Meeting with Goethe & Letter to Hadhrat Tipu Sultan
Napoleon's Meeting with Goethe & Letter to Hadhrat Tipu Sultan
Napoleon's Meeting with Goethe & Letter to Hadhrat Tipu Sultan
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Napoleon's Meeting with Goethe & Letter to Hadhrat Tipu Sultan


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I have received this from David Moosa Pidcock, the Leader of Islamic Party of Britain and author of many books. He has permitted me to publish his sharing here. I am pleased to do the needful for learning by all.I have referred this text for understanding the importance of Jamia Azhar and how Fatimid Era seat of learning remains influential till date.I have cited this for showing muslims on the continuity of Fatimid Khilafa with diverse levels of acceptance and obedience. Theological validity of Fatimid Khilafa can not be challenged. 49th Imam and Fatimid Khalifa is the Leader for all..

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Napoleon's Meeting with Goethe & Letter to Hadhrat Tipu Sultan

  1. 1. APPENDIX I RELIGION & POLITICS ____________ # I. - Religion EXTRACT FROM Le Courrier de l’Egypte (no. 76., of 18th Thermidor) (1). The matters outlined in the following passage are of the most remarkable kind, both in themselves and in the origins, either direct or indirect, from which they surely arise. They indicate an entire political policy, and the moderate wording of the item has been measured in order to impose conviction. “ On the 14th of this month the Muslims celebrated the birth of Mahomet. Our Government's tolerant principles have always induced it to take part in this celebration, which has been recognised in Cairo by many artillery salutes. "On the day itself Sheikh el-Bekry, a descendant of the Prophet, gave a sumptuous dinner for the Commander-in-Chief, all the general staff and that of the garrison, the generals and high ranking officers of all the troops stationed in Cairo, as well as various public functionaries and leading citizens of the country. In the evening the whole city was brillantly illuminated. “Whatever our religious opinions may be, Mahomet must be considered as a man who towered over his century and his countrymen, and for his genius, his inspiration and his audacity, merited the admiration of posterity. (1) See official documents of the Army of Egypt, 2nd part, P. Didot the elder, year IX, pages 380-383.
  2. 2. “Born among an ignorant and superstitious people, he knew how to dwell upon religion’s so powerful influence, and putting himself between Man and his Creator, succeeded in substituting the doctrine of the unity of God for a host of ridiculous ideas and practices which disgraced the backward races of the Orient. “The fundamental points of Mahomet’s religion can be reduced to seven, the first three of them concerning faith and dogma, the four others belonging to practice. “The first fundamental point is that there is no god but the true God, and that Mahomet is his prophet. “The second point consists of the belief that the actions of Man will be rewarded or punished after death. “Predestination, or God's absolute decree, is the third of the fundamental points. “The four points of practice are prayer, giving of alms, fasting and the pilgrimage to Mecca. “Besides these main points, the Koran also prescribes several moral precepts to be religiously observed, such as the prohibition of drinking that which intoxicates, excites passions and disturbs the social order. “Usury and gambling, both of which find their origins in cupidity, are similarly prohibited in Mahomet’s law. “The Koran also includes civil laws; it settles the women's and children's share of the inheritance of their fathers and husbands, and reduces to four the number of women whom a Muslim can marry; finally, it allows divorce in reparation for the violating of natural laws which often takes place within marriage. “Through our association with the Turks, we know much more than we have either the time or the purpose to present here; yet if we want to judge it sensibly, it is sometimes useful to put together in a concise fashion the series of fundamental principles in what is often a confused doctrine. “We conclude with the observation that perfection as found among the Muslims is due to principles (1) of universal morality, independent of religion, which will finally bring them all together again; that the element most destructive of Muslim grandeur and power lies in the dogma of predestination, which made them neglect the acquisition of knowledge, giving us such a great superiority over them in every way. “Some eight to ten days ago the Captain-pasha returned to Alexandria; Mr.Smith came to join him with a capital ship and two other smaller vessels. “Mourad Bey always displays the best intentions, and often writes very affectionate letters to the Commander-in-Chief. “The annual works on the canal which carries Nile water to Alexandria are at their peak of activity. Citizen Le Pere, director of the civil department of bridges and highways, pays much attention to the gathering of information upon the irrigation of Egypt; he has sent engineers to examine the various canals and the manner in which they distribute the waters of the Nile throughout the country. The level of that river was today, morning of the 18th, 44 inches higher than on the same day last year. “Orders have been issued for repair of the meqyas, or nilometer; public neglect has contributed to the defacement, almost from top to bottom of this monument, which, though not beautiful, is very famous throughout the world. Its construction can be traced back almost nine hundred years.” (1) cfr supra. # II Religious Policy
  3. 3. SCIENTIFIC AND MILITARY EXTRACT OF THE FRENCH EXPEDITION IN EGYPT (1) Strict but just with the people, devout but restrained with the muftis, Bonaparte knew when necessary , in his Oriental style, how to use a form of words which was familiar to them, how to quote a verse from the Koran to obtain a concession, and whilst controlling them with an imposing dignity, how to bestow a few insignificant favours. However it was not enough that they ceased to regard the French as their enemies. Bonaparte demanded a more absolute commitment. In a solemn declaration ringed by all forms of religious overtones, he wanted the Divan to have the Egyptians recognise him as the envoy of God, as a friend of the children of the Prophet, with no other mission but to free them from the tyranny of the Mamelukes. However it was not easy to force them into such a condescension. The custodians of the Great Mosque objected that, as a son of Issa, he must be an enemy of the true believers, and that they could not concede what he demanded of them so long as he and his soldiers would not convert to Islamism. Bonaparte replied that he was convinced of the excellence of Mahomet’s religion, but that it was necessary to give his troops time to familiarise themselves with its doctrines and observances; that in two years time, when the occupation of Egypt had been assured , an abjuration would perhaps become possible, and he would then order the construction of a magnificent mosque half-a-league in perimeter. Although such an offer was far from binding, the sheikhs of the Al-Azar Mosque, overcome by his flatteries, or won over by various overtures, seemed to be content with it. The declaration in favour of the French was proclaimed from the top of the minarets of the Great Mosque, and soon after repeated to the people by the muezzins of the other mosques at the hour of prayer. From that moment complete confidence was established. Reconciled with the holy men, considered by the Turks as allies of the Sultan, the French enjoyed for some time a friendly relationship with the Arab population. Bonaparte was called the Sultan-kebir or Great Sultan, and soon the following stanzas were sung in his honour: (Literal translation) Author of this ode: Nikoula-el-Turk, son of Yusuf-el-Turk, of Constantinople origin, but residing in the blessed town of Cairo; there offering his praises to France, and her incomparable hero, prince of the army, Prince Bonaparte, at the beginning of the year 1213. 1. - At last the times predestined by Allah have witnessed their dawn; an atmosphere of felicity surrounds it; the star of victory which lights up the French warriors is resplendent in its fires; the renown of their glory precedes them; with them come fortune and honour. 2. - The chieftain who marches at their head is impetuous; terror bends the foreheads of kings before him, bowing to the invincible Bonaparte, lion of battles, the irresistible power which dominates destiny, and elevates itself to the height of supremacy and the skies of glory. 3. - He musters insurmountable strength; destruction falls on him who declares himself an enemy; his reign is unshakable, the herd of the mighty ones is forced to humble itself before him, master of victories, whose generosity is a boundless ocean. 4. - Untiring conqueror, he is unique amongst men, his bold alacrity surpasses admiration, he has vanquished the kingdoms arrayed against him; he decides in his sovereign will, he gives the orders, and in legions the battalions hasten unto him, while the seas simmer under his ships.
  4. 4. 5. - He makes himself master of Alexandria and despite all obstacles, instantly subdues her during Moharram, the month which has the honour of heralding both the new year and the conquest: with his army he invests the plains around the ramparts of the capital, which is threatened by his dispositions. 6. - Each soldier, each warrior calls impatiently for the day of battle; he deploys his battalions with skill, drawing upon his knowledge and long experience of war; at his precise order they spring impetuously into action, dashing upon the furious squadrons of the Mamelukes. 7. - And the fire of war blazes up with fury, on that day when little children's hair whitened with fear; the Hero turns the reins of his steed towards the enemy, and he drenches them from the cup of bitterness; he forces them to witness a terrible day of battle which turns human reason into madness. 8. - A day of which in truth it will be said, "May God preserve you from such a day!" Suddenly this gathering of many princes is dispersed in the deserts: and they see death above their heads, already raining in a hail of fire. 9. - The valorous chiefs among them, the warlike youth, have no thought but of retreat and flight. Sombre despair becomes their only host: misfortune has fallen heavily on those powerful houses: Bonaparte triumphs: and the Mameluke is disenthroned by his defeat. 10. - His princes are driven afar, henceforth plague-stricken, abject and dishonoured; and with the conquest of Cairo in the tenth month of Safar, Allah's order has been accomplished; and the Sabbath (Saturday) is the day which determines the period within which the triumph is complete.(2). (1) Paris, 1830, Vol.III, pp. 219-225. (2) No need to emphasize the official character of that type of Arab poetry. ________________________ # III Bonaparte's civilizing policy in Egypt EXRACT from the History of Bonaparte's expedition in Egypt, by P. Martin. Details on the Institute - "The Institute held its sessions regularly, the first and sixth of each period of ten days. This truly liberal assembly was conscious of all the dignity of the functions it was called to fulfill. Its members were burning with the desire to cover all aspects of Egypt, by way of studying the monuments spread across this land of classical knowledge. In such a spirit they enlightened each other with wise and profound discussion, and the French came to detach themselves from the pursuit of arms in those friendly conferences presided over by the genie of liberty. One of these sittings gave an indication of this. Bonaparte wanted to dominate opinion, and wondered about the resistance which was sometimes brought to the adoption of his own ideas. His most stubborn opponent was the master physician Desgenettes, and it involved a discussion about chemistry. Bonaparte impatiently broke it up by saying "I am well aware that you are all holding hands. Chemistry is the kitchen of medicine, and that the science of the assassins". Desgenettes then, looking at him fixedly, replied: “And how will you define for us that of the conquerors?” Already some members of the commission had made excursions into the Delta; Malus and Fèvre had identified the ancient tanitic branch. Sulkowsky had given a
  5. 5. description of the then little known road from Cairo to Salehieh; Berthollet and Fourrier had visited the valley of the lakes of Natron; Andreossy had charted a map of Lake Menzaleh; the indefatigable Desgenettes and his intrepid collaborators studied Egypt’s physical and medical topographies, and at Alexandria and Rosette were already testing out their first remedies against that terrible disease which they subsequently fought with so much success. Two newspapers were published: one under the name Décade Egyptienne reported about the works of the Institute and the memoirs of the members of the Commission of Arts and Sciences; the other, entitled Courrier d'Egypte, carried information about the interior and exterior political situation of the country. Finally the first foundations had been laid, and they were starting to gather the materials for the great literary monument which has since been erected to the glory of the Egyptian people. On the 25th Nivose (15th January 1799), Cairo celebrated the aniversary of the Battle of Rivoli by the release of a linen balloon 44 feet in diameter, entirely spherical, and with tricoloured ribbons. In large letters it carried the words: "Battle of Rivoli". It was assembled on Ezbekieh Square, beside the house of the Grand Divan; but later taken to the middle of the square, from which it climbed majestically at three o'clock in the afternoon. It remained in the sky for about one hour and descended very gently at the Sulkowsky fort. It was expected that this ascent would make some impression amongst the Egyptians, but it was observed with astonishment that those who crossed the square at the moment when the balloon was about to take off, did not even take the trouble to stop and satisfy the curiosity which should have been evoked in them by such a spectacular show. This mingling of joy and resentment which the French experienced by reason of the position in which they found themselves, had led them to form varying opinions about Egypt, and each believed he was depicting it in its true colours, by sketching the picture from the viewpoint of his own perspective. Until the Cairo uprising, the unease which had been in evidence, and the difficulty of following one’s own inclinations, had darkened perceptions to the point at which Egypt became a frightful prison. It was then, with perhaps a too hasty conviction, that Volney's dark pictures of this land came into favour. That author, so intriguing in the majesty of his style and the strength of his logic, was awkwardly placed in Cairo, having to write just as he felt, without being able to see anything for himself. Confined to the Frankish quarter during his entire stay because of Hassan-bey's revolution, he wrote the story of Aly-bey and of Mameluke customs, on the strength of notes given him by Mr Rosetti. Unable to see Egypt except from a vantage point on the terrace of his house, the author of the Ruins injected his melancholy into the few pages he dedicated to this country during his journey through the Orient; and in the early days this same melancholy pervaded all the fickle throng who yearned for the delights of Paris. Savary, on the other hand, had been feted in Egypt. He had tasted its delights and, all intoxicated with pleasure, had given his imagination free rein. His portrayal, drawn in the most vivid colours, was far from the truth: it sinned by the naivety of its conception, and the disciples of Volney seized on this lack of precision to condemn the work itself. However public opinion, led gradually back to the truth, while rejecting Savary's style was able to appreciate his descriptions, and a member of the Arts Commission did not shrink from giving them his loud approbation, even adding to them all the graces of his own mind in the diary of his journey which he published after Bonaparte's return to France. Savary found his imitator in the person of Denon, but Volney also found his in General Reynier, who, without inhibitions, presented Egypt in its true perspective. Amongst the works entrusted to the Institute, first priority was given to examining the question of a canal joining the Red Sea to the Mediterranean. In order to start operations, it was necessary to be in full control of the isthmus. General Reynier had already subdued the whole of Charkié province, but the Red Sea was still not in sight. A particular expedition was necessary to take possession of Suez, which was separated from Cairo by
  6. 6. about 150 kilometres of desert inhabited by numerous Arab tribes, who had absolute control there, to the extent that the caravan to Mecca was obliged to pay them right of passage. On the 14th Frimaire, year VII (5th September 1798), the 32nd demi-brigade was sent there, with General Bon and Eugene Beauharnais, aide-de-camp to the Commander-in-Chief. Bonaparte himself wanted to go and visit this important geographical location. He took with him Messrs. Monge, Berthollet, Costaz et Lepère. Leaving Cairo on the 4th Nivôse, Year VII (25th December 1798), they did not reach Suez till the evening of the 6th two days later. After spending the whole of the 7th viewing and ordering all that was required for the needs of the garrison in defence, trade and naval matters, Bonaparte went on the 8th to visit the Springs of Moses, situated on the other side of the Red Sea, about 12 kilometres from Suez. On his return journey he suddenly ran into considerable danger, being almost at the point of enacting anew the miracle of the crossing of that sea by the Pharaoh when, in pursuit of the Israelites, he was swallowed up with his whole army. The caravan had crossed it dry-shod, like the Israelites, but on the way back the flood-tide was flowing, and with the coastal land being very flat at the bottom of the gulf, the surge was going to reach the Commander-in-Chief when a guide, seeing him in danger, took him on his shoulders and carried him swiftly away. On the 10th Nivôse (31st December) they departed Suez, and the Commander-in-Chief, leaving the caravan to head for Aggeroud, hurried north to discover the traces of the old canal, which he indeed located and followed for about 20 kilometres, right up to the the basin of the Bitter Lakes, where it ends. He rejoined the caravan at Aggeroud and took himself on the 14th Nivôse (4th January 1799) to Belbeis, whence he went 40 kilometres into the Wadi-Tumilat in order to reconnoitre that part of the canal which had been derived from the Nile. Immediately on his return to Cairo, he had the engineers provided with all that was necessary for a long stay in the desert, in order to facilitate the operations of cartography and levelling; they departed again for Suez on the 26th Nivôse (16th January) with Brigadier General Junot in command. The peace which Egypt had been enjoying those last three months was nevertheless but a fore-runner for important events which were due to take place there. Bonaparte, who was deliberating over projects outwith the country, needed to assure himself on the mood of the inhabitants during his absence, and was determined to conciliate them at all costs. An unfortunate incident which occured in Cairo at the beginning of Nivôse (end of December) gave an indication of this. A woman had been murdered during the night, in her house on Ezbekieh Square, opposite the general headquarters. Crowds gathered in the morning, and the populace accused French soldiers, more precisely two guides of the Commander-in-Chief, whom some Turks claimed to have seen around the house, between ten and eleven o'clock at night. They were arrested, their swords stained with blood. But they protested their innocence of the murder, told that at the time they had been seen, they were coming back from a café to the guard-room, that on the way, harassed by stray dogs such as then swarmed the streets of Cairo, they had killed some of them with their sabres. After this evidence the court martial could not condemn them, but Bonaparte arrived at this moment from his trip to Suez, reviewed the investigation, and although well convinced of the innocence of these unfortunate soldiers, sacrificed them to the hatred of the Turks, using his authority to have them shot. A few days later the true murderer, a servant of the house, was arrested by the aga of the police and confessed to his crime. The proclamation of the Grand Vizier, profusely spread through all the Muslim states, had its desired effect. In Arabia, the inhabitants of Mecca and Yambo had marched in defence of their religion and had crossed into Upper Egypt via Cosseir, in order to join Murad's banner.
  7. 7. The English, after vain attempts on Aboukir and Alexandria, had succeeded in rousing the Arabs of Derna and the Barca desert, who were threatening to descend upon Lower Egypt, where the inhabitants were well disposed to them, being barely kept in control by General Marmont, in command at Alexandria, and General Lanusse, commanding at Menouf. It was a difficult situation, and called for a great effort to turn it around. Chapter V - Expedition into Syria Hearing no further news of the negotiations with the Great Sultan, upon which the Directory had misled him, Bonaparte endeavoured to initiate some of his own. He consequently wrote, on the 5th Fructidor, Year VI (23rd August 1798) to Ahmet-Djezzar, pasha of Accra, to announce his arrival, assured him of his friendship and asked him to favour trade between their two countries, hoping thus to find a favourable approach to Constantinople. By the same token he had sent back the Turkish caravel he had found at Alexandria, and entrusted M. Beauchamp, a French astronomer, to act as surety with the Grand Vizier, on the intention which he said he had, of acknowledging and maintaining the sovereignty of the Sublime Porte over Egypt. M. Beauchamp was captured by the English and treated by them almost as a spy. Ibrahim, however, after being deported from Egypt, had found asylum and protection under Djezzar, and was continuing intelligence activities on the frontiers which were disturbing for the army. Receiving no news of Beauchamp during Nivôse, and having thus less reliance on his mission, Bonaparte thought that the time had come for him to strike an attitude. He had already written to Djezzar pasha a second letter couched as follows: “Bonaparte, Commander-in-Chief, to Ahmed Djezzar, pasha of Accra. “Cairo, 29th Brumaire, Year VII (20th November 1798) “I do not want to wage war on you, if you are not my enemy, but it is time for you to explain your position; if you go on giving refuge to Ibrahim bey on the borders of Egypt,. I will consider this as a mark of hostility and march on Accra. “If you want to live in peace with me, you will remove him forty leagues from the Egyptian frontier, and you will allow freedom of trade between Damiette and Syria. “Then, I promise you to respect your states, and allow entire entire freedom of trade between Egypt and Syria, whether by land or sea.” This letter sent Djezzar into a fury; that anyone should dare to threaten him at his own residence of Accra, he whose very name could make the whole of Syria tremble! He made no response other than to have the unfortunate messenger beheaded. Promptly he reinforced his garrisons, and, whether with the intention of attack or defence, occupied the fort of El-Arish, situated on the desert coastline, about 150 kilometres from Saleheih. At his word, the pashas of Damas and Alep raised troops to rally to him. These preparations gave confidence and even a sense of boldness. to the Egyptians. General Bonaparte, seing that he would be attacked from all sides at the same time, resolved to go himself and carry the war into Syria, to destroy resources which the Ottoman armies might find in that country, before returning to consolidate his power in Egypt. (1)
  8. 8. (1) Extract of the history of the French Egyptian expedition by P. Martin, engineer in the Royal Corps of Bridges and Highways, member of the Commission of Egyptian Arts and Sciences, and one of the collaborators in the description of this country, published by order of the French Government. Paris, J.-M. Eberhart, imp. du Collège Royal de France, 1815, 2 volumes. # IV - Résumé of International Policy during the Egyptian Expedition. Extract from a pamphlet of the Year IX. The Egyptian expedition, so fine in its principle, so great in its purpose, so fraught with promises of glory and prosperity for France, had been perverted, to England’s benefit, by the misconceived policy and ineptitude of the Directory. It could have arranged negotiations with Turkey in which it would have been easy to show her where her true interests lay, and the immense advantages in a French occupation of Egypt. (1) The settlement of an active and industrious workforce, delegated to clearing those regions which had been granaries of abundance for Rome and Italy, to bringing the benefits of civilisation to a savage land, to the rousing of a population unnerved by torpor, blinded by ignorance, brutalised by servitude; the revival of agriculture and the transformation of ugly deserts into fertile plains; everywhere the digging of navigational and irrigation canals in order to use the overflows of the great river; the proliferation of European trade offices in the confines of Europe, Asia and Africa, on the banks of the Nile and in the ports of the Red Sea; establishing more frequent and more effective communications for the Indian trade; attacking England in her far dominions and at the source of her wealth; the tracing of a new route; a new maritime and commercial system changing, the Mediterranean , as it were, into a French lake, causing the treasures of the Levant to flow into our southern provinces: such were the prospects of this great and well directed enterprise. To make Turkey a part of it, it would have sufficed to guarantee her an annual flow of products, fixed and certain, from a territory where her dominion had become illusory, and whence the revenues, erratic and badly acquitted, no longer justified its claim to count as one of her provinces. Such a tactic, whilst maintaining the long-established friendship of the Ottoman cabinet, would have warded off the new gathering of powers against the Republic, and affirmed the continental peace so precious to France for the execution of her vast projects in the Orient. This first and essential condition of Ottoman consent having been neglected, all that had originally been in our favour turned against us. The drive against England’s trade had no other effect than the ruin of our own commerce in the south, the detachment of the Barbary States, the closure to us of the Levantine ports, the introduction of the English into the Mediterranean, denying us the elite of our warriors, and an ally until then faithful and more precious than ever: Turkey's defection paved the way for a coalition of all Europe against France. We have seen how England, after the Treaty of Campo-Formio (2), insinuated her agents into every council chamber: she had given instructions to rekindle the flame of conflict throughout the Continent. But Austria, dismayed by her recent losses, her resources of men and money exhausted, did not want to risk an unequal struggle without the assistance of a Northern power with enough troops to bring some hope of success. Russia obstinately refrained from entering imprudently into world affairs, so long as her borders were under threat from the Turk, a dangerous and rival neighbour, and a friend of
  9. 9. the French Republic. The English then set about embroiling France with Turkey. This rupture would be decisive for Russia, and Russia stirred up the Court of Vienna. War was again ignited on a continental scale; England was vindicated. Sidney Smith was at the Temple. Four thousand French prisoners had been offered as his ransom. The English cabinet thus betrayed the importance they attached to this personage. The Directory Executive, despite advice and pressing solicitations from Bonaparte, neglected to send an ambassador to Constantinople, with a view to making the Ottomans more favourably disposed towards the arrival of the French in Egypt. It also did not keep a careful guard on Sidney Smith, whose escape was the focus of remonstrations and venal intrigues by England. This doubling of errors caused the loss of everything. No French minister had arrived at the Divan. Only the English commodore, escaped from the prisons of Paris, presented himself in the name of his Court to point out the intrusion of the French on Ottoman territory, draw up, and have signed, a declaration of war against France and the union with Russia, himself instigate the preparations for war and give out his orders in the city and the port. Thus Bonaparte who should have crossed a friendly and allied country without obstacle, receiving reinforcements from his own homeland, occupying himself with political rather than military affairs, creating a colony, fostering the arts and sciences in a land which had been their cradle, emerging as a pacifier rather than a destroyer and conqueror, found only dangers and enemies, battles to fight, entire populations conspiring against him, all his hopes betrayed, all his projects shackled through the energetic and cunning policies of the English and the lack of foresight and stupid negligence of the Directory. In vain he proclaimed his peaceful and benevolent intentions to the Ottoman Court; he sent letter after letter, courier after courier to Constantinople, with advices on his needs and dispositions to the French Ambassador , who had not left Paris. Finally he learned that the British legation alone had influence at the Divan; and was in receipt of the Ottoman manifesto against France. He foresaw the new storms which were about to break over his homeland; he sensed the immensity of the seas between, knew of the numerous battle squadrons , all their flags united under the English flag. The ships which had brought him to those distant shores had been attacked and destroyed while he marched in triumph across the deserts in the footsteps of Alexander and Sesostris. He was abandonned by his last hope when his soldiers murmured against him; without the resources to match his genius, discontent and despair would disorganise his army. Despite so many difficulties and obstacles, he faced misfortune with a courage which was more than equal to his reverses. He inspired in his companions the noble fortitude by which he himself was sustained. He countered the prejudices and superstitions of the indigenous population with kindness, persuasion and tolerance. He destroyed little by little the many-headed hydra of ever-recurring rebellion. He triumphed over climate and disease. At a stroke he laid low the beys, the Mamelukes, the innumerable Arab tribes which congregated at all points and places. He resisted the combined Turkish and English armies, on land and sea, as well as internal enemies in league with those from without. He secured his peaceful possession of Egypt. In the midst of the needs of war, he did not neglect administration and government, finance, the distribution and collection of taxes, promoting agriculture, reviving trade and restoring communications, canals, fortifications, the sciences, shipping, legislation, civil, religious and military celebrations; the difficult art of bringing together the French soldier and the local inhabitants, two types of human being vastly different in race, customs and language, and from their respective standpoints natural enemies. The scholars attached to his colours, the skilled generals and brave warriors who had already proven their valour and heroic stolidity on the plains of Belgium and in the fields
  10. 10. of Italy, were inspired by the example of this bold and generous commander who presided over their destinies. A colony was founded and consolidated amidst arms and amongst constant and frustrating conspiracies. But Bonaparte had not forgotten Europe and the scene of his earlier victories, or the mother-country whose citizens followed him with anxious eyes throughout danger and conquest. He had learned of the successes of the new coalition and the invasion of Italy. He was not unaware that brave Frenchmen, marooned on African sands, and whose arms the Republic begged vainly to be always victorious, were also forfeit to a royal vengeance, should liberty be allowed to perish. And which of them could, or would want to survive the loss of liberty in their native land?..... He also had taken an active and glorious part in that Revolution which had spread across the Universe, and whose eclipse would plunge the earth into slavery and darkness. He was bound at the same time to his glory and to his country; to Italy, where he had promised to share and confront the dangers, if she were threatened; to his brothers-in- arms who had nothing more to expect from a government which was not able to secure its own frontiers, and had forfeited public opinion. "He left the fate of Egypt and of the army in the hands of the hero most worthy to succeed him; Kléber, whose great and generous soul, open character, noble loyalty and intrepid courage had won him the esteem of both soldiers and people. He concealed his departure from all eyes, so that no fateful indiscretion would betray the secret to England’s watchful spies. He cast his fortune on the waves. Guided as by an invisible hand, he arrived on the shores of France, where victory had already preceded his return. He deferred to the national will, which consigned him the faltering destinies of the State". (Extract from the Appel aux véritables amis de la Patrie, de la Liberté et de la Paix, ou Tableau des principaux résultats de l'Administration des Consuls et des ressources actuelles de la République Française. (Appeal to the true friends of the Motherland, of Peace and Liberty, or catalogue of the principal achievements of the Administration of the Consuls and of the current resources of the French Republic). At Paris, at Roger's bookshop, germinal Year IX (1801) (3) (1) See M.Herbette: Une ambassade turque sous le Directoire (A Turkish embassy under the Directory), justificative sections, pp.295 and following, notably pp.309-324. (2) Translator’s note: this treaty ended the First Italian Campaign between France and Austria in 1797. It gave France sovereignty over Belgium and the Ionian Islands. (3) See Emile Bourgeois, Manuel historique de politique étrangère, vol. II, pages 187- 209. # V. - Departure Point for Bonaparte's Politico-religious Theory: Refutation of the Defence of Christianity as from a Political Viewpoint, by Roustan. (Napoléon, unpublished manuscripts, 1786-1791, from original autographs by Frédéric Masson and Guido Biagi) (1) Is the Christian religion good for the political constitution of a state? Rousseau has so little doubt about it that he says: "The third (2) is so evidently bad that it is a waste of time indulging oneself in its demonstration". Anything which ruptures social unity is of no value. All the institutions which put Man in contradiction with himself are of no value. As these principles are incontestable, M. Roustan cannot retract them, but he denies that the reformed Catholic religions are in this category. As for the Roman faith, it is on the latest evidence that the unity of the State is broken.
  11. 11. Let us therefore explore further into the points he makes against Rousseau. It is true that Christianity and government have a common goal in the happiness of mankind, but does it follow from this that the unity of the state is not jeopardised? Undoubtedly not. They advance towards the same goal, but by different routes. Christianity brings happiness by a repression of the evils which afflict us in this world. "What is life compared to eternity? I am unhappy and you, evil people, are prosperous; but I will wait for you at the Tribunal of the Supreme Being. It is then that the reckoning will come, come once and for always". Government watches over the security of its citizens: "You have wronged me, you have violated the laws within my remit, come and account for it before the ministers of justice, the avengers of crime and upholders of the laws." It is therefore well apparent that the spirit which moves Christianity is contrary to that of government, though aiming at the same goal , but if, in moments of crisis such as all states experience, one is obliged to make the people temporarily unhappy in order to save the country, Christianity would oppose it and resist the views of government. The proposition is thus resolved. Christianity forbids men to obey any order opposed to its laws, any unrighteous order, even one emanating from the people. Therefore it goes against the first article of the social contract, which is the basis of government, for it substitutes particular confidence to the general will which is the basis of sovereignty. Politically speaking, the inconveniences must be considered. The inconvenience of this interdict by the Gospel is so dangerous in the Christian state, that it totally ruptures the unity of the state, as the ministers of the law are not the same as the ministers of religion. The particular leanings of the latter, subject to their strictest interpretation, could indirectly contradict the orders of the Sovereign. In effect, which tribunal will decide whether such or such an order is unjust? Conscience, you tell me! Who controls conscience? You therefore see very well that the State is no longer one. Follow this reasoning and you will see that the response of the Viscount of rthe in a Christian state is very different. You thus realise for yourself the influence that ministers of religion can have upon the laws, since, in order to prevent election abuses, you consult enlightened and virtuous priests. You therefore feel that they have more influence in the State than the ministers of law themselves; yet, as ministers of religious bodies are never, or almost never, citizens, but always ministers, conflict of interests! I need not point out the great number of real contradictions and inconsistencies into which M. Roustan descends. I have already shown enough of them. It is therefore obvious that even a reformed Christianity destroys the unity of the state: (a) because it either increases or diminishes the trust which one should have in ministers of the law; (b) because, due to its constitution, it has a particular element which not only shares the heart of the citizen, but can also contradict the views of government. Besides, is this body not independent of the state? Indeed it is, for it is not subject to the same disciplines. Do we see it defending the motherland, the laws, or liberty? No. Its empire is not of this world. Therefore, it is never of the citizenry... With a triumphant air, you ask why neither the Swiss Protestants nor the French and Piedmontese Calvinists have been rent by civil dissension. Why? Because they had a common enemy in the papist. So long as Christians were being persecuted, bridled by the pagans, they remained humble and good. The spirit of the constitution, which has appeared since then, has been engulfed in impotence. The political wars, the vigilance which the nation needed to prevent the princes from usurping the rest of her liberties, the former papists who were still numerous, the need of the German protestants to be helped against the Roman leagues, were the very reasons which kept the Swedes free of religious wars. But let us not open the annals of Europe, we would find there many other ills engendered by the various reformed sects... If an emperor is not previously Christian, if prosperity has not already had its effects on Christianity, so that all the resorts (of the State) are broken down; it is clear that this
  12. 12. religion will do nothing to help the government, and that on the contrary, due to its instant corruption, it can only be infinitely harmful to society. Do you see this in the ancient religions? No, for sure! At least religion reflects the degree of governmental corruption. Meditate over the Christian Consitution and you will find there the source of wars and, I dare say, of our lack of respect for religion. You admit therefore that you do not understand why the cleric is master and law-giver in his own country. Do you deduce from this that we should suspect Rousseau had no idea what he was saying? No! no! you would rather make us believe that it would have been better for you not to have written. The clergy, wherever it becomes a body encompassing several states, is in control, in so far as its decisions are independent of all other bodies of the state. It is a legislator, in that it reigns over the conscience. Finally, all that it does, it does despotically... Not only does the unity of the state consist in having neither organisations nor individuals able to oppose the means it uses to achieve the aims of government, but it is necessary moreover that the sentiments which the different institutions inspire should incline towards the same purpose. Yet does not Christianity breed in us a marked indifference to effects of a purely human origin? Christianity, it is true, tends to make us contented. The aim of government is also to bring contentment. Does it follow from this that Christianity does not destroy the unity of the state? we doubt it. They may arrive at the same destination, but by entirely different methods which contradict each other. Christianity fosters contentment by making us consider all the pain we feel as a punishment from God , and which will bring reward in the hereafter. It says, “This life is therefore happy because of the promise of a future life.” The aim of government, on the other hand, is to lend strength to the weak against the strong and by this means offer everyone a little tranquillity, a chance of happiness. But, otherwise, so long as the ministers of law are not at the same time ministers of religion,, it presupposes a spirit particular to this body, and that spirit is all the stronger when its empire is purely metaphysical. The citizen's allegiance is therefore divided between the ministers of law and those of religion. Yet the natural impulse of man is to wish to control. Judge for yourself whether a body which is all powerful without power, will not want to have that power... You tell us that emperors committed a great mistake in enriching (the priesthood), but can’t you see that this was a natural consequence, first of the power they had over the conscience of the prince, and then of the good or evil they could do inside the state? What! you expect a man, an organisation which is more powerful than anyone, not to be rich. Well then, cast an eye into the human heart! Thus the wealth of the church was a natural consequence of its spirit of non-dependence on the government and, furthermore, it should be levied against Christianity’s account as well as the abuses and wars it engendered. I say, independence of government. That is clear. First of all, because, being independent on spiritual matters, it had necessarily to influence the temporal... Despite the title of friend which you give to Rousseau, you are not forced to read his works. In order to prove that the pagans could have the concept of a kingdom in another world, you tell us that several (.......) , by which I well believe you do not understand what Rousseau means. The politicians and the Caesars of paganism could never believe that the Christians would speak with sincerity, and could ever content themselves with a metaphysical empire. And it appears that the workings of a profound policy are concealed in this. The pagans should have waited until the Christians had made manifest? Suppose an army is about to occupy your city, it has not, however, manifested any evil intent. (3). (1) See pp.7-19 . - Fonds libri. The fragment refers to the volume entitled: Offrande aux autels et a la Patrie (Offering to the altars and to the Motherland), by Ant.-Jac. Roustan, minister of the Holy Gospel at Geneva, Amsterdam, by Marc-Michel Rey, 1764, in-8*,
  13. 13. volume comprising a defence of Christianity considered from the political aspect, responding in particular to Chapter VIII of the 4th book of the Social Contract”. (2) “The third, that is to say, the Roman Catholic religion. It is the second in all our reckoning, but he does not wish it so.” (Note by Bonaparte). (3) This is only a draft; Bonaparte is seventeen and his French is still not of the best; but, as Frédéric Masson remarks, even in this draft "where readings which may have been bad could multiply the obscurities, in this draft written off the cuff without erasure and which Bonaparte has neither read again nor corrected, it is impossible not to discern in its entirety the theory which Napoléon later tried to put into practice, and not to recognise the origins of his ideas about the Catholic religion. As Consul and Emperor, he has claimed to prevent a rupturing of the unity of the State by giving the State its guidance. "With my influence and my forces in Italy, I did not despair,” he stated in the Mémorial, “of finally having in my hands direction of the Pope, and after that, such influence! What a leverage of opinion over the rest of the world!” “When he wants to establish the Pope in Paris, create him Bishop of both Paris and Rome, holding him under his hand with all the pontifical court, which he will make into some kind of ecclesiastical annex of his imperial court; when he thus imagines he can reinforce his civil power through this religious power; when he institutes a budget for the various creeds, and whilst allocating a modest living for the priesthood as a charge upon the State, can therefore forbid them from acquiring their own wealth, by which they could become independent of the government; when, by the same token, he protects the individual’s substance from the tax which was levied, generation after generation, by those who claimed to be the masters and journeymen of "the hereafter"; when he bans from his empire those regulars over whom he would have no means of control - since he could offer them neither money nor promotion - and admits only the laity; when through this laity he obtains it that religion teaches obedience to his government, and congratulates himself on having made them the most useful agents of his will, is it not upon the conclusions drawn by him in 1786 that he necessarily builds, and are not the ideas which he expresses here those which he has forcibly adopted?" (Frédéric Masson) Let us add that during the Egyptian expedition the same reasoning could not do other than strongly attract Bonaparte to Islam. Was he not observing, for the first time, this perfect coherence, logical and therefore dynamic, for which his spirit yearned? The abuses of the Egyptian system were obvious, but no less so were the virtualities. # VI. - Development of the Doctrine. Appearance of Ulterior Divergences. - Secret Unity Bonaparte’s unity of thought, under a multiplicity of outgoings, has not escaped the historians; the majority have pointed it out; the Catholic writers alone have not been afraid to bring it to light. This unity can be explained as much through the principles which Bonaparte was already professing as an adolescent (1), as by the perpetual struggle, direct or undirect, conducted against Catholicism in conformity with the ideal of the secret societies on one hand, and with the fundamental circumstances on the other. That Bonaparte was a freemason (2), that his reign marked the period of masonry’s greatest expansion, has been amply demonstrated (3). At first glance there seems to be a profound contradiction between Bonaparte’s successive actions. What is in common between his conduct in Italy, in Cairo, in Paris, at Fontainebleau?......In reality, unity proves undeniable. This is what Deschamps and Claudio Jannet have particularly well established.
  14. 14. (1) Compare previous para. (2) See N. Deschamps, Les Sociétés secrètes et la société, vol. II, pp. 191 and following. (3) Idem, see pp.177-207. A. - Bonaparte’s Revolutionary Background. On the eve of 18th Brumaire Napoléon Bonaparte, through all his earlier beliefs, offered the revolutionaries and the freemasons the guarantees which explain the active help they gave him. “A confidant of Robespierre, he owed him his first step to fortune on receiving, with command of the artillery, effective control of the army besieging Toulon... .. “Subsequently appointed head of the army in Italy with Robespierre the younger, he had such a close liaison with him that this member of the Convention had offered him command of the army in Paris, in place of Henriot, despite that after the 9th Thermidor he was imprisoned for ten days (1). It was to him, on the 13th Vendémiaire, that the regicides of the Convention called for help, so that they could remain in power by force and drown the Parisian sections in blood. “We have seen how, in the war against the Pope, he had made himself the executor of the Revolution and expressed in his correspondence the intimate thinking of the sects (Book II, chapter VI, # 14). “His conduct during the Egyptian expedition was essentially in conformity with the masonic design, which tends to put all religions on the same level. “According to M. Thiers, by secret intrigues he had prepared a long hand account of the traditions of the island of Malta. Freemasons such as the Chevalier Dolomieu et Bosredon, were said by other historians to be imprisoned there, and the cowardly Grand Master Hompesch yielded to him on this, as well as the adjacent islands, in consideration of a principality in Germany, or, in default of it, 300,000 francs annuity for life, 600,000 francs of indemnity, 700 franc pensions for the chevaliers of the French language. Cafarelli Dufalga, one of Bonaparte's senior officers, while walking through the fortress and admiring its fortifications, said, ‘We are very fortunate to have had someone inside to open the doors for us!’ “The Order of Malta was destroyed, and two years later, thanks to these Masonic treasons, the boulevard of the Mediterranean, the impregnable island of the Knights, belonged to the English, who are still in occupation (2). “Arriving in Egypt after this simple exploit, Bonaparte odiously abjured Christianity in his first proclamation to the inhabitants of the country (3). But let us harken to his own judgement, made later at Saint Helena on these proclamations....... "My Frenchmen only laughed at them, and their attitudes in this respect in Italy and in Egypt, were such that, to have them gather and discuss religion, I myself was obliged to speak about it very flippantly (4), equating the Jews to the Christians, the rabbis to the bishops. “After all, no one says there would never have been any circumstances which would oblige me to embrace Islamism. Can it be that the Empire of the Orient, and maybe the subjection of all Asia, would not have been worth the wearing of a turban and trousers? for truly this is all it would have been about. We were only losing our breeches and a hat (5). I say ‘we’ because the army, as it was then disposed, would certainly have played the
  15. 15. game, seeing it only as a joke and a piece of fun. On the other hand, look at the possibilities: I take Europe in the rear; the old civilisation was still encircled, and who would then have thought to threaten our France's destiny and the regeneration of the century? Who would have dared to undertake it? Who would have succeeded?” (6). “This was indeed the way freemasonry intended to unite all religions under its banner (See book I, chapter II, # 10). As we have seen, that presupposes the most utter cynicism in religious matters. But Napoléon was essentially a cynic (7), whatever some naive enthusiasts may have said of him. His conversations at Saint Helena show that his beliefs did not go further than a vague deism, or the pantheism of freemasonry.” "In the evening, after dinner, the conversation turned to religion,” reports M. Las- Cazes. “The Emperor spoke about it for a long time. I will now give a careful resume of this, as being quite characteristic on a point which must doubtless have often aroused a wider curiosity. “The Emperor, after a very lively and warm gesture, said, ‘Everything proclaims the existence of a God. It is indubitable! But all our religions are clearly the creations of men. “‘Why did these religions always denounce, always fight each other? Why has it been so always and everywhere? It is so because men are always men. It is so because always the priests have everywhere slipped in fraud and lies. “‘Promptly,’ continued the Emperor, ‘as soon as I came to power, I hurried to re- establish religion. I used it as a root and a foundation. It was in my eyes an upholder of morale, of true principles, of sound habits.. “‘Assuredly I am far from being an atheist; but I cannot believe everything which is taught me against my reason, under pain of falsehood and hypocrisy. “‘To declare where I come from, what I am, where I’m going, is beyond my comprehension.. And yet, all this is in being; I am the watch which records, but knows not itself. “‘There is moreover no doubt,’ he further observed,’ that in my capacity as Emperor my spirit of incredulity was a benefit to the people; otherwise, how could I have looked with equal favour on so many differing creeds, if I had been dominated by one of them? How could I have preserved my independence of thought and action, under the spell of a confessor who would have ruled me through fear of Hell? “‘Through his title of confessor, what empire might a villain - be he the most stupid of men - exercise over those who govern the nations? “‘I was so deeply convinced of these truths that I promised myself to put it in hand, so far as I was able, that my son should be raised in the same religious beliefs that I hold myself.’ (8) “Two months later the ex-emperor used the same language and insisted that, apart from a belief in God, with which his inner being was in sympathy, he had lost all religious faith as soon as he had been able to reason, and that at as early an age as 13 (9). “Those intimate opinions help to make comprehensible the policies followed by the Emperor, wherein there is much more consistency than is believed by those who confine themselves to facts outwardly known...” (1) Lanfrey, Histoire de Napoleon, vol .I. pp.46-54. (2) Thiers, Histoire de la Revolution, 8th edition, vol.IV, pp.151-152. - Barruel, Memoires, vol.IV, p.368. - Histoire Universelle, Duruy. - Histoire de France, vol.II, p.681. (3) Cf. above. (4) Whence the explanation of those superficial sarcasms which Napoleon found indispensable as tricks of war.
  16. 16. (5) Circumcision was declared non-obligatory and wine-drinking permitted for new Muslims, redeemable by charitable works. See Campagne d’Egypte et de Syrie, vol.II, pp.219-222 (chap.V, affaires religieuses). Cf. above. (6) Correspondence of Napoleon I, published by order of Napoleon III, vol.V, pp.185,191,241. The formula. God is God, is not cited in this correspondence, but in several other histories, including: Memorial sur la Revolution francaise, by Tous. Fel. Joly, retired professor, p.593. - Memorial de Sainte-Helene, pp.143-144. (7) Deism of the most authoritarian. See Aulard, Etudes et lecons sur la Revolution francaise, 1908 (2nd edition, 4th series pp.303 and following: Napoleon et l’athee Lalande). (8) Mémorial de Sainte-Hélène, vol. IV, pp. 204-209, by Comte de Las-Cases. Reprinted 1828. Lecointe, library, Paris.. (9) Idem, vol.V, p. 384. B. - Destruction of the Pope's Temporal Power. “What will never be emphasized enough,” adds the same author (1), “is that Napoléon was seeking less to conquer a few provinces, over which he had already reigned de facto for several years, than (2) to put the Pope under his hand and make him a docile instrument of that spiritual power whose strength he perceived without recognising its divine character. “He himself had unveiled his thoughts when recounting in his conversations on Saint Helena the aim he was pursuing when he extorted the Concordat of Fontainebleau from a captive Pope, separated from his advisers and weakened by sickness: "‘I had quite different views. This shift only increased the resentments and the intrigues. Until then, the quarrel had only been temporal. The Pope’s mentors, hoping to raise their profile, complicated it with all the spiritual medley. Then I had to do battle with him on this ground also. I had my own advice of conscience, my councils, and I invested my imperial courts with both appeals and abuses , for my soldiers could do nothing in this matter. I had no choice but to fight the Pope with his own weapons. Against his scholars, his quibblers, his legists, his scribes, I had to bring mine. The Bishop of Nantes, de Voisins, was among our bishops the firmest supporter of Gallic liberties. He was my oracle, my torch, he had my sublime confidence in religious matters, as in my quarrels with the Pope I had it as a first concern, whatever was said by the intriguers and shufflers, not to touch on dogma; so much so that that when this good and venerable Bishop of Nantes would say - Be careful, here you are confronting dogma! without bothering to argue, without even trying to understand, I immeditely altered my approach to come from other directions; and as he did not share my secret, how astonished he must have been by my digressions! How bizarre, obstinate, capricious, inconsequent I must have seemed to him! It is just that I had my purpose, and he did not recognise it. “‘ I got the Pope moved to Fontainebleau, but that should have been the end of his miseries and the restoration of his splendour. All my great concepts had been accomplished under subterfuge and mystery; I had brought things to the point where its development was inevitable, all naturally and without any effort. Also, we have seen how the Pope consecrated it in the famous Concordat of Fontainebleau, even after my reverses in Moscow, and thenceforth I was going to elevate the Pope beyond measure, lavish pomp and honours upon him, make an idol of him, and have him stay near me. Paris would have
  17. 17. become the capital of the Christian world, and I would have directed religious affairs as well as the political! “‘That is the keynote to unity in all of this life.’ (3) “He said on another occasion that this emancipation from the Court of Rome, this legal reunion, direction of religious affairs in the hands of the Sovereign had been for long and always the object of his meditations and his prayers.” (4) (1) N.Deschamps, idem, vol.II, pp.206 and following. (2) Sic. (3) Hence therefore deism; war upon idolatry; outcome of the powers. Is that what Deschamps is meaning? There, in any case, are the essential and certain points. (4) The Mémorial de Sainte-Hélène, edition of 1828, vol. V, pp. 391-401; vol. IV, page 208. C. - Secret Unity 1) If the authority of the Mémorial de Sainte Hélène becomes more and more eroded (1), the preceding arguments remain none the less solid , because: - 2) (a) On the religious question, actions and declarations of Napoléon were systematically altered by the editors of the Mémorial, but only in a pro-catholic sense (2); (b) Actions and declarations of Napoleon are only explained and coordinated through such interpretation: .(c) Finally and especially, the Refutation de Roustan, and the Correspondance do not leave any room for uncertainty. That is the point. ___________________ _____________ (1) Intuitive minds have never accepted the Memorial other than with extreme reserve. (See Correspondance, vol.XXIX, p.3 of the Report on a publication of the works of Sainte-Helene). (2) Translator’s note. Various documents were created or forged immediately after the Emperor’s death, such as wills in which he allegedly recognised all his crimes against the Popes, the King of France in exile and all mankind. Despite all the respect due to one of his generals, we have to suspect Montholon of taking part in this. He had a reputation for dishonesty as well as bigotry. (3) In the Réfutation de Roustan, Bonaparte already appears to us, as much as a deist and partisan of the concentration of the powers, as a kind of implicit Muslim. In Cairo, he exposes himself explicitly, and his actions are in keeping with his words. In accordance with prevailing circumstances, and not without cunning where an enemy confronts him, he will pursue unswervingly the maximum realisation of his social-philosophical plan of 1786. His policy towards the Pope will be aimed at a maintenance of deism amongst the people, coincidental with a progresssive absorption of the pontifical power within the civil power, the only impartial representative of deism. A solution to the enigmas which characterise Napoléon's religious policy may be summarised thus: (a) The necessity not to destroy existing forms of deism, but to let them evolve, whatever they might be (See Correspondance, vol. XXXII, page 327: Du sentiment religieux);
  18. 18. (b) From the viewpoint of immediate policy, the need to be circumspect about actions in process (See following: Lettres de Munich). (c) A further requirement to indicate the aim with sufficient clarity for politicians of the future. - See Correspondance, vol. XVI, page 408, no. 13,637 (to Eugène-Napoléon, viceroy of Italy, 10th March 1808); and, in the same volume, pages 463-465, no. 13,709: A M de Champagny, minister for external affairs, Saint Cloud, 1st April 1808, - as well as the Annexe to this piece; see finally: Six notes sur l’ouvrage intitule les quatre concordats (Correspondance, vol. XXX, pages 537-570, especially pages 547 and 557-558): "There were in Rome cautious people who had a presentiment about it, and said in Italian: It is his way of making war; not risking a frontal attack on the Church, he turns her flank, as he flanked the Alps in 1796"... (See idem pages 557-559). Napoléon revealing his plan, makes others declare it; but the words: cautious people and: To achieve this vast plan, so suited to the century, etc... are decisive. This is all that has to be taken into account, but Napoléon takes care to warn us about it (Idem, page 559). All the apparent enigmas will be resolved thus, by way of analogy, and with the help of Napoléon’s own statements.. - See supra, 3rd part, note 2 of the foreword. See Gourgaud's Unpublished Journal, vol. II, page 275. The letters from Munich (to the Pope and to Cardinal Fesch), far from being a contradiction, are a peremptory argument to the exclusion of any other interpretation (1). These two letters are so decisive that it would be superfluous to underline the significant passages if the import of each of them was not extended, by way of analogy, to all arguments related to Napoléon's religious policy. All, indeed, must fulfill the following conditions: (A) Take account, at each stage, of the totality of the diverse declarations, and compare them against each other; (B) Check this complete record with reference to certain military or political actions which may have been in process. (C) With regard to declarations which are apparently contradictory, bring these contradictions together with the new circumstances on the one hand, and on the other, with the supreme identity of the ultimate goal (an identity as much demonstrated by what has gone before as by what follows more or less immediately); (D) Let it be remembered that Napoléon always aims for the result to be obtained with the least delay; (E) Note that in the presence of an opponent, he puts so much emphasis on verbal trickery that he has no scruples in using the language best suited to obtaining the desired result, whilst even making the opponent collaborate in it (2). Therein the apparent contradictions originate; what does not vary is the general line of religious policy, which, among other things, is characterised by two main themes: emancipation from any foreign religious power, and, consequently, absorption of Rome (once its immediate elimination is deemed impossible; involvement of the opposing forces in this respect.....(3) ____________________ (1) See the preceding note. (2) Strictly an edition of Napoléon's Muslim Works would only comprise, as an explanation of exegetic difficulties, a literal reference to one of these various books (A.- E). (3) Cfr above (1st part). Adde, Correspondance, Vol .XIX, pp.458-9. (Missions.)
  19. 19. Here are the two letters from Munich, letters to which the hadith : Elharbu-khida (1) apply only too well. No 9655. - To His Holiness the Pope Munich, 7th January 1806 Very Holy Father, I receive a letter from Your Holiness, dated 13th November. I could not but be deeply affected by the fact that, when all the powers in England's pay were building a coalition to force me into an unjust war, Your Holiness had given credence to bad advice and was prompted to write me such an ill-considered letter. Y. H. is perfectly entitled to keep my minister in Rome or to send him back. The occupation of Ancona is an immediate and necessary consequence of the bad military organisation of the Holy See. It was in Your Holiness's interest to see this fortress in my hands rather than in those of the English or of the Turks. Your Holiness complains that, since Your return from Paris, You have only suffered grief; the reason is that, since then, all those who feared my power and gave evidence of their friendship, have changed their attitudes, in the belief that the strength of the coalition against me was sufficient justification, as well as the fact that, since the return of Your Holiness to Rome, I have received from You nothing but rebuttals on all matters, even on those which were of interest to religion in the first degree, as for instance, when it was about preventing Protestantism from raising its head in France. I have regarded myself as Protector of the Holy See and in this role I occupied Ancona. I consider myself, like my predecessors of the second and third race, to be the elder son of the Church, as the only one having the sword to protect her and provide her with a shelter against being sullied by Greeks and Muslims (2). I will constantly protect the Holy See (3) despite the false approaches, the ingratitude and bad _________________________ (1) Cunning is (the science of) war. The quoted hadith does not refer to the Holy War, but only to the concept of war. - Compare the Campagnes as also the Testament, rursus, 3rd part, note 2 of the foreword. (2) Greeks and Muslims, says Napoleon, grouping them here as racial types. (3) Cfr. notes to the following section. dispositions of the men who have been unmasked during these three months. They believed in my ruin: through the success with which He has favoured my arms, God has made radiant the protection He has bestowed on my cause. I will be a friend to Your Holiness at all times when you consult only Your heart and the true friends of religion. I repeat, if Your Holiness wishes to send back my minister, You are free to do so; free also to welcome for preference both the English and the Caliph of Constantinople; but, not wishing to have Cardinal Fesch exposed to these affronts, I will have him replaced by a secular official. In any case Cardinal Consalvi's hatred for him is such that he has constantly encountered only rebuffs, whilst the favours were for my enemies. God is judge of who has done most for religion, amongst all the reigning princes. On this, I prey God, Very Holy Father, that He preserve you to rule for many long years in government of our holy mother Church. Your devout son, Emperor of the French, King of Italy. Napoléon
  20. 20. Foreign Office Archives (1) 9656. - To Cardinal Fesch Munich, 7th January 1806. Dated 13th November, the Pope has written me the most ridiculous, the most absurd letter: these people were assuming me dead. I occupied the town of Ancona because, despite your representations, nothing had been done to defend it, and besides they were so badly organised that whatever was done, it would have been unable to be defended against anybody. Make it clear to them that I will no longer suffer abuse; that I do not want in Rome any minister from Russia or Sardinia. My intention is to replace you by a secular official. As these imbeciles do not see anything embarrassing in having a Protestant on the throne of France, I will send them a Protestant ambassador. Tell Consalvi that, if he loves his country, he must leave the ministry, or do what I tell him; that I am religious but not a bigot; that Constantine has separated the civil from the military, and that I also can nominate a senator to administer in my name in Rome. It suits them to speak of religion, those who have accepted the Russians and rejected Malta, and who want to send back my minister! These are such as prostitute religion. Is there an example of an apostolic nuncio in Russia? Tell Consalvi, tell even the Pope, that, since he wants to drive my minister out of Rome, I could very well go there and re-establish him! Is there nothing to be done with such men other than by force (2)? They allow religion to die out in Germany by their refusal to complete the Concordat; they allow it to die out in Bavaria, in Italy; they become the laughing stock of the Courts and of the nations! I had given them advice to which they have never listened. They believed indeed that the Russians, the English, the Neapolitans would have respected the neutrality of the Pope! For the Pope, I am Charlemagne, because, like Charlemagne, I reunite the crown of France with that of the Lombards, and because my empire borders with the Orient. I expect them therefore to regulate their conduct towards me in this respect. I will make no change in appearances if they behave correctly; otherwise I will demote the Pope to Bishop of Rome (3). They complain that my Italian policy does not take them into account. Should it have been then, as it was in Germany, where there are no longer solemnities, sacraments, religion? Tell them that, if they do not cease, I will show them up to Europe as egoists, and that I will establish the affairs of the Church in Germany with the arch-chancellor, and without them. There is truly nothing quite so unreasonable as the Court of Rome. NAPOLEON. Archives of the Empire (4). ______________________________ (1) Correspondence of Napoleon, Vol.XI, pp.527-528. (2) Compare the passage mentioned in the preceding note. (3) (3) Here we find summarised (let us insist upon it for the last time) the blueprint for all of Napoleon’s religious policy. Does it not follow logically from that of Bonaparte in Egypt, - or rather, in spite of first impressions, is it not just the same? (4) (4) Correspondence of Napoléon 1st, vol. XI, pages 528-529. __________________________________
  21. 21. APPENDIX II NAPOLEON’S PERSISTENCE WITH BONAPARTIST IDEAS ON THE SUPERIORITY OF ISLAMIC PRINCIPLES (suite) In order to present it on its own, we omitted the following document, dated two years prior to the letters from Munich. 8298 - To the Emperor of Turkey (1) Paris, 10th Pluviose, year XIII (30th January 1805). Very high, very excellent, very powerful, most magnanimous and invincible prince, Great Emperor of the Muslims, Sultan Selim, in whom all honour and virtue abound, our very dear and perfect friend; may God increase your greatness and exaltedness, with a very happy ending. You, descendant of the great Ottomans, Emperor of one of the greatest empires on earth; have you ceased to reign? How can you suffer Russia to impose her laws on you? You refuse to render unto me that which I render unto you: to that extent have you become blinded to your own interests? If Russia has 15,000 men at Corfu, do you think it is against me? Her warships have made a habit of sailing up to Constantinople: are you so blind as not to see that one day, under the pretext of either bringing back to Russia troops already in Corfu, or of increasing these forces, a Russian fleet and army, with the consent of the Greeks, will invade your capital, and that your empire will cease with yourself? Your dynasty will go down into the night of oblivion. The reis-effendi betrays you; half of the divan are in Russian pay. The death of the captain-pasha has deprived you of your best friend. I have twice warned you : I warn you a third time. Get rid of your divan, punish the reis-effendi, and reign in Constantinople, otherwise you are lost. As for me, I have striven to be your friend. If you persist in refusing me what France has always had (2), i.e. pride of place in Constantinople, if you want to remain in servile submission to your enemies, I will also set myself against you; and I have never been a feeble foe. Your divan is taking no measures to restore order in Egypt and Syria.; it allows Mecca and Medina to be forfeited; it insults your friends and bows and fawns upon your eternal enemies. Persia is at war; she is threatened by Russia and, far from helping her, the pathetic divan, or rather the traitors who lead it, are not even able to intervene on her
  22. 22. bahalf; it is only against me that they show some courage. That is why I am writing to you in person; you are the only friend remaining to France seraglio; if perchance the men who have usurped all the dispensations of your throne allow my letter to reach you. Wake up, Selim! Call your friends to the ministries; get rid of the traitors; put your trust in your true friends, France and Prussia, otherwise you will lose your country, your religion and your family. Your real enemies are the Russians, since they want to control the Black Sea, and they cannot do so without having Constantinople; and since they are of the same religion as the Greeks, who comprise half your subjects. I await your answer, so as to know what I must think and do. If you no longer govern, if you are fully at the disposal of France’s enemies, I will lament over the blindness and misguided policy of her most ancient ally; but I will understand that Destiny, which made you so great, now wants to destroy the empire of the Solimans, of the Mustaphas and the Selims; for on earth everything changes, everything perishes; God alone does not perish. On that, I pray to God that He will lengthen the days of Your Highness, and fill them with all prosperity, with a very happy ending. Your very dear and perfect friend. NAPOLEON In my imperial palace, the Tuileries, this 10th Pluviose Year XIII. Archives of the Empire (3) __________________________________ (1) Selim III. (2) Translator’s Note: the special relationship between France and Turkey, inaugurated by Francis the First. (3) Correspondence of Napoléon 1st , vol. X, pp.130-131. APPENDIX III NAPOLEON’S PERSISTENCE WITH BONAPARTIST IDEAS ON THE SUPERIORITY OF ISLAMIC PRINCIPLES CONVERSATION BETWEEN NAPOLEON AND GOETHE . We do not pretend to establish, from the few documents which follow, Napoléon's pure and simple persistence in Bonapartist ideas. Every man who thinks also evolves, and we are not writing today the history of a philosopher’s thinking, but that of his progresive thinking, in brief, the evolution of his doctrine. All the more reason why the thinking of the statesman should also be subject to evolution.... What we want to establish is no more than this : (a) Persistence of the profound effect exerted on Bonaparte by the religion of the Prophet, whom he loved;
  23. 23. (b) By implication, the absolute sincerity of the Cairo proclamations and the instructions he gave there; (c) And in consequence, the compounded error levied against Bonaparte the Islamophile: shortcomings of the French leaders who did not understand him, and took it as a joke; lack of foresight within the population and among a majority of the indigenous top people, who failed to gauge the importance of the occasion. We know the passionate interest of Goethe in everything that touches on Islamism. He had translated Voltaire's Mahomet (1), and eliminated everything hostile to the prophet's memory. (2) When they met, on the 2nd October 1808, Goethe and Napoléon almost immediately started talking about Mahomet. Here is Goethe's account: The Emperor takes his lunch, sitting at a very large round table; on his right, at a few steps from the table, stands Talleyrand ; on his left, and close by him, is Daru, with whom he discusses the taxes to be raised. The Emperor signals for me to make my approach. I remain standing before him, at a respectful distance. Having looked me over carefully, he says, “You are a man.” I bow my head. He puts a question:. “How old are you?” “Sixty.” “You are well preserved. You have written dramas?” I give a mimimal response. Here Daru takes up the theme. In order to flatter the Germans and to a certain point soften the pain he was forced to inflict upon them, he had studied a little of their literature; Daru knew Latin literature very well, indeed he was the author of an edition of Horace. He talks about me as the most favourable critics in Berlin might have done, at least I recognised in his words their ideas and mannerisms. He added that I had translated French works, notably Voltaire's Mahomet. The Emperor replied, "That is not a good play." And he further revealed in a very detailed fashion how little it suited the conqueror of the world to make such an unfavourable portrayal of him.. He then turned the conversation to Werther, whom he must have studied from beginning to end..... The Emperor seemed satisfied and came back to the drama; he made significant observations like a man who had studied the dramatic scene as carefully as a criminal judge, and who had strongly felt that the mistake of the French theatre is to distance itself from Nature and truth. While developing this aspect, he disapproved of the dramas where fate plays a major role: "These plays belong to an epoch of darkness. Besides, what do they mean by their fate? Politics is fate.” (3) On Saint Helena, after a reading of Voltaire's Mahomet by Marchand, Napoléon expressed his ideas on the play, and Marchand collected them. These notes are, as the editor says, "the impulse of a frank opinion”. Therein their merit lies. _____________________________________ (1) Translator’s Note: Mahomet is the French spelling, which has been used throughout this version.
  24. 24. (2) About this very strange matter, see Friedrich Warnecke: Goethe’s Mahomet - Problem, Halle. (3) See S.Sklower, conversation between Napoleon 1st and Goethe, by S.Sklower, Lille, Ernest Vanackere, 1853. ____________________ APPENDIX IV NAPOLEON’S PERSISTENCE WITH BONAPARTIST IDEAS ON THE SUPERIORITY OF ISLAMIC PRINCIPLES (suite) OBSERVATIONS ON THE ”MAHOMET” OF VOLTAIRE Despite the flaws which obscure M de Voltaire's drama Mahomet, the beauties in which this masterpiece abounds have placed it in the first rank; and still make it a theatrical delight. But would it be so difficult to remove flaws which are not rooted in the nature of the work? (a) Mahomet's love for Palmire, set beside that of Séide, is an object of disgust and to the worst effect, in so much as this love is useless and like a hors d'œuvre. It produces nothing, for no one would admit that Palmire's death, which deprives Mahomet of his mistress, is a punishment for his crimes; doubtless Palmire's death would have been a chastisement for the loving Séide; but who could be convinced that it would be thus for Mahomet? (b) The second blemish which can be noted in this play is the poison twice used by Mahomet in order to be successful in his projects and to prepare his triumphs. What! Mahomet, who destroyed the false gods, threw down the temple of the idols in half the world, who more than anyone else had spread the knowledge of a one and only God throughout the Universe; Mahomet, recognised as a prophet in Constantinople, at Delhi, in Greater Cairo and in Morocco, Mahomet would only have arrived at such great achievements by the means employed by the Damiens and the Bastide in order to usurp their neighbours' succession? Smaller communities are of short duration and destroy themselves, because they are not cemented by the bonds of morality, so necessary to society. “Hercide is weak,” says Mahomet to Omar, “well then, let us poison him.” Yet why does it not strike Omar that he may well be poisoned himself? By the same principle, Seide, stained with Zopire’s blood, is disavowed by Mahomet and arrested by Omar. With such procedures, Mahomet, a second Séide, and Omar himself would have trembled to be serving a scoundrel who sacrificed and disowned his principal instruments. Séide, hearing that he has just murdered his father, leads the people against Mahomet, who feels all is lost, and finds no better salvation than ordering the poison to act on Séide, in order to stay this young assassin’s arm, and thereby force the people to declare themselves....
  25. 25. What, all the predestined works of Mahomet, which had such an influence on the Universe, were founded only on the art of... and of... (1) For the Mahomet play to be truly worthy of the French theatre, it would have to be read without indignation in Constantinople by eyes as enlightened as those in Paris. Mahomet was a great man, an intrepid soldier: with a handful of men he won the Battle of Bender; a great captain, an eloquent and mighty statesman, he regenerated his country, and created a new nation, a new power amid the deserts of Arabia. (c) The state of mind and the strength of the factions within Mecca are not sufficiently developed; Mahomet’s policy is barely and very thinly outlined; this is the third weakness which we would like to see eliminated from our play. In order to make Mahomet's love for Palmire vanish, there would be nothing that needs changing in the first act. In the third scene of the second act, Mahomet says to Séide: You, Séide, in here! It is, in the author's intention, an indication of jealousy; but this line can be kept because it may be attributed to the astonishment of seeing Séide with his father. In the fourth scene, it would appear that the last line Mahomet speaks: With which eye do you see Palmire with Séide? should be cut out; but it could be left, being a show of jealousy. Iit might also be the surprise effect of seeing both of Zopire’s children in his house; but one should then cut out Mahomet’s reply and that of Omar up to the line: These both here are born from the tyrant I hate. further: Already, without knowing each other, both of them outrage me, I stir with both hands their illegitimate passions, Heaven’s design was to gather here all crimes. and say, instead of those three lines, that the children would serve him to distract Zophire, to make of him a partisan or to get revenge on him if he could not succeed in this. In the sixth scene, it should be enough to erase: Of his offended master the incestuous rival and all Mahomet’s tirade of twelve lines, which finishes the second act. In the third act, the fourth scene should be taken out; in the fifth scene, Omar’s hemistich: And to ravish Palmire. From the fourth act, it will be necessary to remove: His heart, even in secret, perhaps ambitious. Will feel some pride in capturing his master. In the fifth act, scene two, one should erase: Know that a destiny more noble, a title still greater, If you merit it, may well be waiting for you. and, finally, the twenty-four lines attributed to Mahomet which conclude the play.
  26. 26. Thus, with these three slight omissions, without even adding a single line, one could remove the main drawback from this masterpiece. To erase the second weakness, the poisoning of Hercide, a few changes would suffice. In the fourth act, it is enough to take out: Hercide is weak, etc., as well as Omar's answer: I did what you want. In the fifth scene of the fourth act, let us remove: I am punished, I die at Mahomet's hands. And in the first scene of the fourth act, Omar's lines: Who could instruct him about this? An eternal oblivion Holds with this secret Hercide engraved. In order to omit Séide's poisoning , there should be a change in the outcome; firstly, in the fourth act, we have to take out: Do you answer that Séide should be delivered to Death? Do you answer for the poison which was prepared for him? In this version, the whole of the sixth scene in the fourth act would have to be cut out; instead, a scene should be substituted, in which Séide would be killed by Zopire's partisans, after they found him covered with their master's blood, or in which he would kill himself in despair from having killed his father. Omar would then arrive and kidnap Palmire. In this approach also, the fifth act would be changed entirely; Séide would be approved by Mahomet; he would have taken part in the holy battle, ordered by God in the Koran; the Zopire faction in Mecca, brought down by the death of its leader, could offer no resistance to Mahomet’s forces, supported by the army, already at the gates of the city, and seen appearing on the ramparts. That, with the death of Palmire, would end the fifth act. (2). _________________________________ (1) These two spaces have been left blank in the original manuscript. (Editor’s note). (2) Observations on Voltaire's drama Mahomet , written by Marchand under the dictate of Napoléon. See: Précis des guerres de Jules César by the Emperor Napoléon, written on Saint-Helena under the Emperor’s dictate. Paris, Charles Gosselin, 1836. pp.235 and following. - See Commentaires de Napoléon 1er, volume V, pages 363-367, and Correspondance de Napoléon 1er, volume XXXII, page 263 (Extract of the Mémorial de Sainte-Hélène: 22nd-25th April 1816, “Mahomet has been the victim of his sharpest critic, both in character and in the means employed. “Voltaire,” said the Emperor, “had here betrayed both history and the human heart. He prostituted Mahomet's great character through the basest intrigues; he made a great man, who had changed the face of the world, like the vilest scoundrel worthy only of the gallows. No less indecently he travestied the great character of Omar, whom he portrayed as a melodramatic bandit and a masquerader. “Voltaire sinned here most of all on the basis of attributing to intrigue that which belongs to opinion only. Men who have changed the universe,” continued the Emperor, “have never done so by cultivating leaders, but always by stirring up the
  27. 27. masses. The first resort is in the nature of intrigue and only brings secondary results; the second is the march of genius and changes the face of the world." See above.. ____________________________ APPENDIX V PERSISTENCE OF NAPOLEON WITH BONAPARTIST IDEAS ON THE SUPERIORITY OF ISLAMIC PRINCIPLES (continued) From the "Mémorial de Sainte-Hélène" "Indeed,” writes the most authoritative of arbiters (1), we find in the Mémorial, in Montholon, in the dictates, passages of high thought: the great man, having made his impact on history, and considering the things of this world as a great historian. But the man Napoléon, in his state of repose, of serene contemplation, judging men and things with impartiality, ‘non-critical, non- ironical, not at all pessimistic’, as Sainte-Beuve imagines of him at Saint Helena, Napoleon the philanthropist and moralist, introspective counterpart of Napoléon Petit Caporal and of Napoléon the open-natured, so popular under Louis-Philippe, can hardly be recognised within Gourgaud's notes. They offer much of Frederic and infinitely less of Marcus-Aurelius. “‘I defy,’ said the Emperor once, talking about some of those who had abandoned him, ‘I defy any individual to catch me. Men would indeed have to be scoundrels to the extent that I suppose.’” It is because it seems out of sorts not to quote from the Mémorial that we give an extract of it here. "Mémorial de Sainte-Hélène" - Extract (2) In the evening conversation (3), the Emperor, talking about nations, said that he recognised only two peoples; the Orientals and the Occidentals (4). . . . . . . . . . . "The English, the French, the Italians, were composed of the same family, the Occidentals; they had the same laws, the same ethics, the same customs; they differed entirely from the Orientals, especially in the two important points of their relationship to their wives, and to their domestic servants; the Orientals have slaves, our servants are free agents; the Orientals confine their wives; ours share all our rights; they have a seraglio; and never, at any time, has polygamy been accepted in the Occident. There are a host of other distinctions,” the Emperor further observed. “They reckon on having counted up to eighty; so these,” he said, “are really different peoples.. “Among the Orientals,” he continued, “everything has been arranged for them to protect their wives and be assured of them. In the Occident, on the other hand, our whole environment mitigates against that protection, so we are obliged to deal with it ourselves. Every man among us, unless he be an idiot, must have an occupation; yet while he is
  28. 28. attending his affairs or fulfilling his functions, who will stand guard for him? With us, therefore, it’s necessary to rely on women's honour, and this in blind confidence... “For that matter, to decide which is the better system, ours or that of the Orientals, is a very big question... “What is absolutely certain, is that one would be greatly mistaken, to suppose there is less joy among the Orientals, to believe them less happy than we are in the Occident. There the husbands love their wives very much. The wives likewise love their husbands. They have just as many chances of happiness as we, whatever other differences present themselves; for everything among the men is bound by convention, including feelings which seem to come other than from nature; and then also these women have rights in their own homes, as have ours. They could not be prevented from going to the public baths, any more than we would prevent our own women from going to church; and it is abused as much by one as by the other. You see that the human species, its imagination, feelings, virtues and faults turn in a rather narrow circle. All that, with very little difference, is the same everywhere." And he made an effort to explain or justify polygamy among the Orientals in a very ingenious fashion: "It has never existed in the Occident,” he said. “The Greeks, the Romans, the Gallics, the Germans, the Spaniards, the Bretons, only ever had one wife. In the Orient, on the other hand, polygamy has always existed; the Jews, the Assyrians, the Tartars, the Persians, Turks, have all had several wives. Whence came this constant and universal differential? Could it only have been by chance, or as a solitary oddity? Did it depend on individual physical characteristics? No. Were women, in all proportions, less numerous here than in Asia? No. In the Orient were they more numerous than men? No. Were the latter more formidable, otherwise constituted than we are? No. Quite candidly it’s because the lawmaker, or the wisdom from above which takes his place, will have been guided by the pressure of circumstances within their respective environments. All Occidentals have a similar shape and colour; they comprise but a single people, a single family; it was feasible, as at the moment of creation, to assign them one mate only. A happy, admirable, beneficient law, which concentrates the man's emotions, raises the woman's status, and bestows upon them both a plenitude of moral enjoyments. “By contrast the Orientals differ among themselves like night and day, in their shapes and in their colours; they can be white, black, bronzed, mixed, etc. So it was necessary, above all, to think of their survival, to establish between them a consanguineous fraternity, to prevent them from eternally exterminating, persecuting or oppressing each other, something which could only be achieved by establishing polygamy and by giving them the opportunity of having at the same time a white wife, a black wife, a mulatress and a bronze. After that, the different colours formed part of the same family, being compounded in the affections of their leaders and in their esteem for each other. “Mahomet,” he went on, “seems to have known the secret and to have reconciled himself to it; otherwise, how would he who follows so closely in the footsteps of Christianity, and deviates so little, not have suppressed polygamy? “It might be said that he retained it only because his religion was all sensual; but then he could have permitted the Muslims an undefinite number of wives, whereas he limited it to four only, which would allow for a white, a black, a copper- coloured and a mixture. “Besides, it should not be imagined that this legal largesse could be bestowed upon the whole nation; there would not be enough women for all. In fact, eleven men in twelve have only one wife, because they could not feed more than that; but polygamy being practised by the leaders suffices to attain the principal objective; for with a blending of races and colours being achieved by the practice of polygamy among the upper class, that is enough to establish unity and perfect equality throughout.
  29. 29. “Let us agree then,” he concluded, “that if polygamy were not the instrument of a political compact, if it was only arrived at by chance, that would in this case have matched the most consummate wisdom.” The Emperor said he had thought seriously about applying this principle to our colonies, in order to harmonise the welfare of the negroes and the necessity to employ them. He had even, he said, consulted with theologians on this matter, to know if there were any means, subject to local circumstances, of adapting our beliefs to this custom, etc., etc.... He had conversed in this fashion until past midnight (5). At dinner (6) the Emperor had said some very astonishing things about Egypt, concerning one of the chapters he had dictated on religion, customs, etc... He observed, as worthy of comment, that it was from the same corner of the earth that the three religions had emerged which had uprooted polytheism and spread throughout the world the knowledge of a single God. (7). Then, analysing the two religions of the Orient and the Occident in the most ingenious way, he said that ours was wholly spiritual, and that of Mahomet wholly sensual; that ours is dominated by chastisements; it was Hell and eternal supplications, while there were only rewards for the Muslims; blue-eyed huris, smiling boscages, rivers of milk; and from this he concluded in opposing both religions, that one was a religion of threat, presenting itself as a religion of fear; while in contrast the other was one of promise, and became the religion of attractions, etc... (8). ___________________________________ (1) M.Albert Sorel (Journal des Savants, October 1899). It is not without surprise that one finds in the French edition of didactical works such as the Idh-Har-Haqq, or Manifestation of Truth, of El- Hage Rahmet-Ullah Efendi de Delhi (E.Leroux 1880, vol.II, p.358 and notes of pp.458 and following) a discussion almost entirely based on the Mémorial de Sainte-Helene. Is it not a little as if one had eavesdropped at the conversation of Bonaparte with the muftis inside the Pyramid of Cheops? See Armand Bourgeois, Le general Bonaparte et la presse de son epoque, 2nd series, pp.23 and following. Lieut.Col.E.Picard: Preceptes et jugements de Napoleon, preface and supra (Appendix II). It is not just as a supplementary that we reproduce the following, universally known extract, but that for this very reason it would be surprising not to find it here. - Lieut.Col. E.Picard, Preceptes et jugements de Napoleon, preface, p.15 and cfr supra, 3rd part. (2) Edition Lequien fils, 1835, vol.I, pp.693 and following. (3) 23rd September 1816. (4) These are the ideas of Napoleon; cfr. above; Bonaparte et l’Islam. (5) Loc. cit. vol.I, pp.695-697. (6) 3rd October 1816. (7) Cfr. Appendix I. (8) Memorial, quoted ed. vol.I, p.714. - Cfr supra, Appendix I, # V. _______________________________________
  30. 30. APPENDIX VI NAPOLEON’S PERSISTENCE WITH BONAPARTIST IDEAS ON THE SUPERIORITY OF ISLAMIC PRINCIPLES (suite) NAPOLEON’S MEMOIRS (1) EGYPT - RELIGION On Christianity. - On Islamism. - Essential differences between both religions. - Mahomet was not an enemy of the Arts or the Sciences. - On the duration of Asian empires. - On Polygamy. - On Slavery. - Celebration of the Prophet’s birthday by Sheikh El-Bekir, with Bonaparte in attendance. I The Christian religion is the religion of a civilised people, it is wholly spiritual; the reward Jesus Christ promises the chosen ones is to look upon the face of God . In this religion, everything is aimed at redeeming the senses, nothing to excite them. The Christian faith has taken three or four centuries to establish itself, its progress has been slow. It takes time to destroy, by the sole influence of the spoken word, a religion consecrated by time. It takes longer when the new one neither uses nor engenders any passion. The making of Christianity was the triumph of the Greeks over the Romans. The latter had subdued all the Greek republics by force of arms; the former dominated their conquerors through the arts and sciences. In Rome, all the schools of philosophy, of eloquence, all the artists' workshops were in the hands of the Greeks. Roman youth did not consider its studies complete without going to finish them in Athens. Still different circumstances favoured the spread of the Christian religion. The apotheosis of Caesar and Augustus was followed by that of the most abominable tyrants; the abuses of polytheism encouraged the concept of a single God, Creator and Master of the Universe. Socrates had already proclaimed this great truth. The triumph of Christianity, which borrowed it from him, was, as we have mentione above, a reaction of the Greek philosophers over their conquerors. Almost all the holy fathers were Greeks. The morals they preached were those of Plato. All the subtlety which we find in Christian theology is due to the sophistic spirit of his school. As with paganism, the Christians believed the rewards of a future life insufficient to repress the disorders, vices and crimes which passion engenders; they made a physical hell with all sorts of bodily chastisements. They vastly exceeded their own precepts, and even imbued this dogma with such a superiority, that one may rightly say the religion of Christ is a menace. _______________________________ (1) Memoirs contributing to the history of France under Napoleon, written at Saint Helena by the generals who shared his captivity, and published from the manuscripts entirely corrected under Napoleon’s hand. Paris, Firmin-Didot, 1823 vol.II (General Gourgaud), pp.251-267. II