From A Selection from the Letters and Despatches of the First Napoleon. With Explanatory Notes By Denis Arthur Bingham. (London: Chapman and Hall, Ltd., 1884), pp. 212-213. Comments below between the text of the letters is by Bingham.
Before landing at Alexandria he [Gen. Bonaparte] issued the following proclamation:
"Soldiers ! You are about to undertake a conquest the effects of which will be incalculable on civilisation and the commercial world. "
"You will deal England the surest and most sensible blow while waiting to kill her outright. "
"We shall make some fatiguing marches; we shall fight several battles; we shall succeed in all our enterprises; the fates are for us. "
"The Mameluke Beys, who exclusively favour English commerce, who have ill-treated our merchants, and who tyrannise over the inhabitants of the Nile, a few days after our arrival will have ceased to exist. "
"The people amongst whom we are going to live are Mohammedans ; the first article of their faith is 'There is no God but God, and [Muhammad] is his prophet.' Do not contradict them. Deal with them as we dealt with the Jews and with the Italians. Respect their muftis and their imaums, as you respected rabbis and bishops."
"Show for the ceremonies prescribed by the Koran, and for the mosques, the same toleration you have always shown for convents, for synagogues, for the religion of Moses and that of Jesus Christ. "
"The Roman legions protected all religions. You will find customs here different from those of Europe: you must habituate yourselves to them."
"The people here treat their wives differently from us; but in all countries the man who commits rape is a monster."
"Pillage only enriches a few men. It dishonours us; it destroys our resources; it renders the people hostile when it is necessary to make them friendly."
"The first town we shall enter was built by Alexander. We shall find at each step souvenirs worthy of exciting the emulation of Frenchmen."