The future Napoléon Ist ( 1769-1821 ) made three stays in Nice. This city had hardly become French when Bonaparte settled down there briefly from June 26 till July 4, 1793 as captain in the 4th ° regiment of artillery.

During his second stay, from March 27 till December 22, 1794, the future emperor, then a corporal commanded the artillery of the army of Italy. He was accommodated by count Laurenti, at 6 of the current rue Bonaparte. According to the tradition, Bonaparte would have courted the girl of his host, Emilia, but as the girl was only 10 years old, the romance seems very doubtful. Bonaparte who built plans of attack by a joint assault of the army of Italy and the army of the Alps, did not convince his superiors. Furthermore, friend of Augustin Robespierre, younger brother of Maximilien, he was in bad situation after thermidor, 9 which dedicated the fall of his Parisian defenders. Relieved of his command as soon as thermidor, 19 ( August 9), he was put under house arrest until August 19. Found innocent, he regained his freedom and his functions.

Bonaparte, promoted commander-in-chief of the army of Italy returned in Nice from March 26 till April 2, 1796 and lived then at the house Chabaud, 2 street Saint-François-de-Paule. He found an idle and badly equipped army, unpaid for months, sometimes reduced to steal food. The officers were cautious towards their new leader who was unpleasant, lacked imposing presence and had his hair done like " ears of dog ". According to the tradition, Bonaparte was even confronted with a refusal of obedience during a review of the troops, place of the Republic (today place Garibaldi). A storekeeper named Toselli would have saved the situation by making a distribution of bread and wine to the protesters. But Bonaparte quickly compelled recognition , having promised to his men " glory and wealth ", unless the famous proclamation: " Soldiers, you are badly fed and almost bare... I am going to lead you in the most fertile plains of the world " was reshaped by the emperor later. After a last review in place Croix-de-Marbre, the army left for Italy, passing by Villefranche pass , Eze, La Turbie. The following victories ( Montenotte, Millesimo, Mondovi, Lodi, Castiglione, Arcole, Rivoli) belong to History.

Ralph SCHOR

 

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