Yet the man who had done so much was forsaken. He and his few faithful friends found themselves exposed to all sort of dangers, including the schemes of revenge which the enemy might entertain. Here, indeed, was food for thought. When I yielded to my emotions I accused the French of being ungrateful, unjust, and unstable in their affections. At such times I recalled with accute sorrow the day when, still quite young, I had read a ‘Life of Hannibal’. I was hurt and indignant over his sad fate. The Emperor - he was Consul at the time - said to me, 'That is what happens to almost all great men’. My mother and I exchanged glances, for already he was rather great himself.
— From Hortense’s Memoirs, about Napoleon’s exile in 1815.