""The suffrages of the nation, and the oath I have just taken, command my future conduct. My duty is clearly marked. I will fulfill it as a man of honor. I shall regard as the enemies of the country all who seek to change, by illegal means, that which all France has established!"" When he was done speaking, the Constituent Assembly rose, and with a single voice the exclamation shouted: "Long live the Republic!"
The small man descended from the tribune and went up to General Cavaignac, offering him his hand. The general, for a few instants, hesitated to accept the grasp. All who had just heard the words of Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, pronounced in a tone so imbued with good faith, blamed the general for his hesitation!
Victor Hugo (1802-85), son of one of the generals of Napoleon's armies, included among his vast literary output the political portrait "Napolon le petit," first published in 1852.