Queen Hortense eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 341 pages of information about Queen Hortense.
soon as you saw him, you remembered his poverty, jumped out of bed in your night-clothes, and ran to the chair on which your clothes lay.  You took out of your pocket the purse you were compelled to carry with you on your walks to give money to the poor, and you emptied its entire contents into the black, sooty hand of the young Savoyard.  You then tried to get back to bed, but it was too high for you; you could not climb over the railing.  Seeing this, the chimney-sweep came to your assistance, and took the little prince in his arms to help him into bed.  At this moment, your nurse entered the room, and your brother who had just awakened, cried loudly when he saw Louis in the arms of a chimney-sweep.

“This is the story of little Napoleon and the chimney-sweep!  Your grandmother, the Empress Josephine was so much pleased with this story, that your mother had the scene painted on a cup, and presented it to the empress, in order to afford her a gratification.  And what do you think, Louis—­this cup was also the cause of a punishment being remitted your cousin, the King of Rome, who now lives in Vienna!”

“Tell me all about it, Louise,” said the prince, smiling.

“You shall hear it!  Your mother had instructed me to take the cup to Malmaison to the empress.  But before going, I endeavored to obtain some news about the little King of Rome for the empress.  Your good grandmother loved him as though he had been her own child, although she had never seen him.  I therefore went to the Tuileries to see the little King of Rome, with whose governess, Madame de Montesquieu, I was intimately acquainted.  On entering the apartment, I saw the king cowering behind a chair in a corner of the room; Madame de Montesquieu intimated by a look that he was undergoing a punishment; I understood it, and first conversed with his governess for a short time.  When I then turned and approached him, he concealed the tearful, flushed face, that his long blond curls covered as with a golden veil, whenever he moved behind the chair.

“‘Sire,’ said Madame de Montesquieu to him, ’sire, do you not intend to bid Mademoiselle de Cochelet good-morning?  She came here expressly to see you.’

“‘Your majesty does not recognize me,’ said I, attempting to take his small hand in mine.  He tore it from me, and cried in a voice almost choked with sobbing:  ’She will not let me look at the soldiers of my papa!’

“Madame de Montesquieu told me that it was the little prince’s greatest pleasure to see the Guards exercising on the Place de Carrousel, but that she had deprived Mm of this pleasure to-day, because he had been naughty and disobedient; that, when he heard the music and drums, his despair and anger had become so great that she had been forced to resort to severe means, and make him stand in the corner behind a chair.  I begged for the young king’s pardon; I showed him the cup, and explained the scene that was painted on it.  The king laughed, and Madame de Montesquieu pardoned him for the sake of his little cousin, Louis Napoleon, who was so well behaved, and who was always held up to him as a model[56].  Now you have heard the whole story, are you pleased with it, Louis?”

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Queen Hortense from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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