He was quite seriously entertaining the idea of renting the “pretty little house” in common with his uncle Fesch afterward the cardinal, when the important events that soon shook Paris once more prevented him, and the famous 13th Vendemiaire, 1795, again summoned the famous general away from his meditations to stern practical activity. It was on that day, the 13th Vendemiaire (October 5th), that there came the outburst of the storm, the subterranean rumblings of which had been so long perceptible. The sections of Paris rose against the National Convention which had given France a new constitution, and so fixed it that two thirds of the members of the Convention should reappear in the new legislative body. The sections of Paris, however, were prepared to accept the new constitution only when it provided that the legislative body should spring from fresh elections entirely. The Convention, thus assailed in its ambitious hankering for power, was resolved to stand its ground, and called upon the representatives who commanded the armed forces, to defend the republic of their creation. Barras was appointed the first general commanding the Army of the Interior, and Bonaparte the second. It was not long before a ferocious conflict broke out in the streets between the army and the insurgent sections. At that time the populace were not always so ready, as they have been since then, to tear up the pavements for barricades, and the revolters, put to flight by the terrible fire and the fierce onset of the artillery, made the Church of St. Roch and the Palais Royal their defensive points; but they were driven from them also; the struggle in the streets recommenced, and streams of blood had to flow ere it was over.
After the lapse of two days order was restored, and Barras declared to the triumphant National Convention that the victory over the insurgents was chiefly due to the comprehensive and gallant conduct of General Bonaparte.
The National Convention, as a token of gratitude, conferred upon the latter the permanent position of second general of the Army of the Interior, which had been allotted to him temporarily, only on the day of peril. From that moment, Bonaparte emerged from obscurity; his name had risen above the horizon!
He now had a position, and he could better comprehend the whispering voices that sang within his bosom the proud, triumphant song of his future career. He was now already conscious that he had a shining goal before his gaze—a goal to which he dared not yet assign a title, that flitted about him like a dazzling fairy tale, and which he swore to make reality at last.
One day, there came to the headquarters of the young general-in-chief a young man who very pressingly asked to see him. Bonaparte had him admitted, and the dignified form, the courageous, fiery glance, the noble, handsome countenance of the stranger, at once prepossessed him in the young man’s favor, and he forthwith questioned him in gentle, friendly tones, concerning the object of his visit.