The Correspondence of Thomas Jefferson
BONAPARTE, NAPOLEON / ENEMY OF REPUBLICANISM
I fear our friends on the other side of the water, laboring in the
same cause, have yet a great deal of crime and misery to wade through.
My confidence has been placed in the head, not in the heart of
Bonaparte. I hoped he would calculate truly the difference between the
fame of a Washington and a Cromwell. Whatever his views may be, he has
at least transferred the destinies of the republic from the civil to
the military arm. Some will use this as a lesson against the
practicability of republican government. I read it as a lesson against
the danger of standing armies. Adieu, my ever respected and venerable
friend. May that kind overruling providence which has so long spared
you to our country, still foster your remaining years with whatever
may make them comfortable to yourself and soothing to your friends.
to Samuel Adams, 26 February 1800