might be the result of his hardy enterprise, he wished to escape from it as quickly as possible. He cherished no illusions, and often said all must be staked to gain all.
The army which the First Consul was preparing to attack was numerous, well disciplined, and victorious.
His, with the exception of a very small number of troops, was composed of conscripts; but these conscripts were commanded by officers whose ardour was unparalleled. Bonaparte's fortune was now to depend on the winning or losing of a battle. A battle lost would have dispelled all the dreams of his imagination, and with them would have vanished all his immense schemes for the future of France. He saw the danger, but was not intimidated by it; and trusting to his accustomed good fortune, and to the courage and fidelity of his troops, he said, "I have, it is true, many conscripts in my army, but they are Frenchmen. Four years ago did I not with a feeble army drive before me hordes of Sardinians and Austrians, and scour the face of
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