Napoleon Bonaparte - Invasion of Egypt
"Soldiers, you are a wing of the army of England! You are masters of the modes of warfare appropriate to
mountains, to plains, to sieges. Naval war remains to complete your experience.
The Roman legions whom you have sometimes imitated, but not as yet equaled, fought Carthage successively upon
this sea and upon the plains of Zama. Victory never forsook them, because they were constantly brave, patient of
fatigue, well disciplined, resolute.
But, soldiers, Europe has her eyes upon you! You have great destinies to fulfil, battles to fight, fatigues to
surmount!Frenchmen, you are about to undertake a conquest of which the effects upon the civilization and commerce
of the world are incalculable. The first city you are to meet was founded by Alexander.
Cadis, Sheiks, Imans, Chorbadgys, you will be told that I came to destroy your religion; do not believe it. Let
your answer be that I come to reestablish your rights and punish your usurpers, and that I have more respect than
the Mamelukes for your god, his prophet, and the Koran.
Tell your people that all men are equal before God. Wisdom, talent, and virtue make the only difference between
them.But, is there a fine country? It is appropriated by the Mamelukes. Is there a beautiful slave, a fine horse, a
fine house? All this belongs to the Mamelukes. If Egypt be their farm, let them show the lease which God has given
them of it! But God is just and merciful to the people. The Egyptians will be called to fill the public
Let the wisest, the most enlightened, the most virtuous govern, and the people will be happy.
You had formerly large cities, great canals, a flourishing commerce. What has ruined them all if not the
avarice, the injustice, and the tyranny of the Mamelukes?
Cadis, Sheiks, Imans, Chorbadgys; tell the people that we, too, are true Mussulmans. Is it not we who demolished
the pope, the great enemy of the Mussulmans? Are we not the friends of the grand seignior?
Thrice happy those who shall be found on our side! They will prosper in fortune and rank. Happy those who shall
remain neutral! They will have time to know the result, and then will join us.
But woe, eternal woe, to those who take arms in favor of the Mamelukes and fight against us! There will be no
hope for them; they will perish!
Sheiks, Ulemans, believers of Mohammed, make known to the people that those who have been enemies to me will
find no refuge either in this world or the other. Is there a man so blind as not to see that Destiny itself directs