Feelings of a Republican on the Fall of Bonaparte
DOI link for Feelings of a Republican on the Fall of Bonaparte
Feelings of a Republican on the Fall of Bonaparte book
The ‘fall’ of Buonaparte could mean his abdication in April 1814, but the conclusion of the sonnet, which condemns the deeds and principles of the Allied victors even more savagely than it does Bonaparte himself, shows that the lines were written after Waterloo, most likely after the Treaty of the Holy Alliance (26 September 1815). S. always saw Napoleon as a mighty product of the French Revolution who, however, had betrayed his great opportunity by perverting its energies into a new imperialism: he was ‘the Anarch of [Freedom’s] own bewildered powers’ (‘Ode to Liberty’ (1820) 171–80)-S. explained in 1819: ‘The Revolution in France overthrew the hierarchy, the aristocracy, and the monarchy, and the whole of that peculiarly insolent and oppressive system on which they were based. But as it only partially extinguished those passions which are the spirit of these forms a reaction took place which has restored in a certain limited degree the old system … The usurpation of Bonaparte, and then the Restoration of the Bourbons were the shapes in which this reaction clothed itself, and the heart of every lover of liberty was struck as with a palsy by the succession of these events’ (‘A Philosophical View of Reform’, Prose 236).