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Description of Napoleon by the Comte d'Antraigues (1797)

' "Bonaparte is a man of small stature, of sickly hue, with piercing eyes, and something in his look and mouth which is cruel, covert, and treacherous; speaking little, but very talkative when his vanity is engaged or thwarted; of very poor health because of violent humors in his blood. He is covered with letter, a disease of such a sort as to increase his vehemence and his activity. He is always full of his projects, and gives himself no recreation. He sleeps but three hours every night, and takes no medicine except when his sufferings are unendurable. This man wishes to master France, and, through France, Europe. Everything else, even in his present successes, seems but a means to the end. Thus he steals without concealment, plunders everything, is accumulating an enormous treasure of gold, silver, jewels, and precious stones. But he cares for it only as a means. This same man, who will rob a community to the last son, will without a thought give a million francs to any person who can assist him. If such a person has hate or vengeance to gratify, he will afford every opportunity to do so. Nothing stands in the way of his prevailing with a man he thinks will be useful; and with him a bargain is made in two words and two minutes, so great is his seductive power. The reverse side of his methods is this: the service rendered, he demands a complete servility, or he becomes an implacable enemy; and when he has bought traitors, their service rendered, he observes but little secrecy concerning them. This man abhors royalty: he hates the Bourbons, and neglects no means to wean his army from them. If there were a king in France other than himself, he would like to have been his maker, and would desire royal authority to rest on the tip of his own sword; that sword he would never surrender, but would plunge it into the king's heart, should the monarch cease for a moment to be subservient." '

Source: Life of Napoleon Bonaparte, Volume II, William M. Sloane, The Century Company, 1896, pp. 19. (Quoted)

Description of Napoleon by Doctor Corvisart, his personal physician

The following description of Napoleon was made by Doctor Corvisart in 1802:

"Napoleon was of short stature, about five feet two inches by French measure [5 feet 6 inches, English measure], and well built, though the bust was rather long. His head was big and the skull largely developed. His neck was short and his shoulders broad. His legs were well shaped, his feet were small and well formed. His hand, and he was rather proud of it, was delicate, and plump, with tapering fingers. His forehead was high and broad, his eyes gray, penetrating and wonderfully mobile; his nose was straight and well shaped. His teeth were fairly good, and mouth perfectly modelled, the upper lip slightly drawn down towards the corner of the mouth, and the chin slightly prominent. His skin was smooth and his complexion pale, but of a pallor which denoted a good circulation of blood. His very fine chestnut hair, which, until the time of the expedition to Egypt, he had worn long, cut square and covering his ears, was clipped short. The air was thin on the upper part of the head, and left bare his forehead.

The shape of his face and the ensemble of his features were remarkably regular. When excited by any violent passion his face took on a stern and even terrible expression. A sort of rotary movement very visibly produced itself on his forehead and between his eyebrows; his eyes flashed fire; his nostrils dilated, swollen with the inner storm. He seemed to be able to control at will these explosions, which, by the way, as time went on, became less and less frequent. His head remained cool. In ordinary life his expression was calm, meditative, and gently grave. When in a good humor, or when anxious to please, his expression was sweet and caressing, and his face was lighted up by a most beautiful smile. Amongst familiars his laugh was loud and mocking."

Source: Napoleon - An Intimate Account of the Years of Supremacy 1800-1814, Edited by Proctor Patterson Jones, published by Random House, Inc., 1992, pp. 52-53 (Quoted).


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