In the worst of times, keep your mind cool and composed. After 20 years of ruling France, Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated by the Allied army. He was forced to abdicate on April 6. 1814. He was exiled to Mediterranean island of Elba. Before leaving, he addressed the remaining officers of France. His address given below gives us a strong lesson that whatever be the circumstance we must maintain our composure of mind. That speaks the strength of one’s character. His address is reproduced below.
“Soldiers of my Old Guard: I bid you farewell. For twenty years I have constantly accompanied you on the road to honor and glory. In these latter times, as in the days of our prosperity, you have invariably been models of courage and fidelity. With men such as you our cause could not be lost; but the war would have been interminable; it would have been civil war, and that would have entailed deeper misfortunes on France.
I have sacrificed all of my interests to those of the country.
I go, but you, my friends, will continue to serve France. Her happiness was my only thought. It will still be the object of my wishes. Do not regret my fate; if I have consented to survive, it is to serve your glory. I intend to write the history of the great achievements we have performed together. Adieu, my friends. Would I could press you all to my heart.”
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