19th Century

The title of the last post comes from a witticism heard among the chattering classes in Paris in March of 1815:

“The monster has broken out of his den; the brigand has landed at Cannes; the general has reached Lyon; Napoleon passed the night at Orleans; the Emperor is expected hourly at the Tuileries; His Imperial Majesty will address his loyal subjects to-morrow.”

Except from a different version of the joke (one with the word ‘monster’ in it) than I first learned, in David Johnson’s The French Cavalry 1792-1815.


Something derived from a conversation with a friend Saturday night:

The Hundred Days were an appendix, an irreducible excess. Even if Napoleon had won at Waterloo, France simply did not have the resources to campaign as she had prior to 1812. The true defeat of the French Empire took place in 1814. Everything after that is lagniappe, an odd joke.