“… like a whirlwind…”

“I remember how he envied my position. One day when we were walking together he tried to prove to me that on the staff I had a hundred opportunities and means of bringing myself into notice–that is, of getting on; whereas a regiment was a blind alley where one was confounded with the mass, and that, if you did distinguish yourself, jealousy restrained everyone from speaking of you. Captain as I was, I should be a general before he, a major, was colonel. This statement was the only one not correct, for it was as Bonaparte’s aide-de-camp, a staff-officer that is, that he gained his success. How often did I recall this conversation when I saw him dash like a whirlwind up all the steps of rank and arrive, borne by Caesar’s eagle, with one swoop at the summit of human greatness! I must say, however, that he lost none of the amenity and good-nature which so well blended with his open soul, and with the chivalrous ardour which made him the bravest of the brave.”

-Baron Thiébault on Murat.

Source: The Memoirs of Baron Thiébault (late Lieutenant-general in the French Army) Vol 1; New York (Macmillan Company), 1896, pg 255.

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