N. Bonaparte

23 Apr

Bonaparte: Alone I am in this sequestered spot, not overheard.
Echo: Heard.
Bonaparte: ‘Sdeath! Who answers me? What being is there nigh?
Echo: I.
Bonaparte: Now I guess! To report my accents Echo has made her task.
Echo: Ask.
Bonaparte: Knowest thou whether London will henceforth continue to resist?
Echo: Resist.
Bonaparte: Whether Vienna and other courts will oppose me always?
Echo: Always.
Bonaparte: O, Heaven! what must I expect after so many reverses?
Echo: Reverses.
Bonaparte: What! should I, like a coward vile, to compound be reduced?
Echo: Reduced.
Bonaparte: After so many bright exploits be forced to restitution?
Echo: Restitution.
Bonaparte: Restitution of what I’ve got by true heroic feats and martial address?
Echo: Yes.
Bonaparte: What will be the fate of so much toil and trouble?
Echo: Trouble.
Bonaparte: What will become of my people, already too unhappy?
Echo: Happy.
Bonaparte: What should I then be that I think myself immortal?
Echo: Mortal.
Bonaparte: The whole world is filled with the glory of my name, you know.
Echo: No.
Bonaparte: Formerly its fame struck this vast globe with terror.
Echo: Error.
Bonaparte: Sad Echo, begone! I grow infuriate! I die!
Echo: Die!

It’s said that the Nuremberg bookseller who penned this clever bit of sedition was court-martialed and shot in 1807. Napoleon later said, “I believe he met with a fair trial.”

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