Queen Hortense eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 341 pages of information about Queen Hortense.

Nevertheless, she drank in the pleasure of these prosperous days in full draughts, delighted as she was to see the mother, of whom she was so fond, surrounded by such a halo of glory and gratified love; and in the name of her murdered father she thanked General Bonaparte with double fervor, from the bottom of her heart, for having been the means of procuring for her mother, who had suffered so deeply in her first wedded life, so magnificent a glow of splendor and happiness in her second marriage.

In the mean while, new days of storm and tumult were at hand to dispel this brief period of tranquil enjoyment.  A fresh revolution convulsed all France, and, ere long, Paris was divided into two hostile camps, burning to begin the work of mutual annihilation.  On one side stood the democratic republicans, who looked back with longing regret to the days of terrorism and bloodshed, perceiving, as they did, that tranquillity and protracted peace must soon wrest the reins of power from their grasp, and therefore anxiously desiring to secure control through the element of intimidation.  This party declared that liberty was in danger, and the Constitution threatened; they summoned the sans-culottes and the loud-mouthed republicans of the clubs to the armed defence of the imperilled country, and pointed with menacing hands at Bonaparte as the man who wished to overthrow the republic, and put France once more in the bonds of servitude.

On the other side stood the discreet friends of the country, the republicans by compulsion, who denounced terrorism, and had sworn fidelity to the republic, only because it was under this reptile disguise alone that they could escape the threatening knife of the guillotine.  On this side were arrayed the men of mind, the artists and poets who hopefully longed for a new era, because they knew that the days of terror and of the tyrannical democratic republic had brought not merely human beings, but also the arts and sciences, to the scaffold.  With them, too, were arrayed the merchants and artisans, the bankers, the business-men, the property-owners, all of whom wanted to see the republic at least established upon a more moderate and quiet foundation, in order to have confidence in its durability and substantial character, and to commence the works of peace with a better assurance of success.  And at the head of these moderate republicans stood Bonaparte.

The 18th Brumaire of the year 1798 was the decisive day.  It was a fearful struggle that then began afresh—­a struggle, however, in which little blood was spilt, and not men but principles were slaughtered.

The Council of Elders, the Council of the Five Hundred, the Directory, and the Constitution of the year III., fell together, and from the ruins of the bloody and ferocious democratic republic arose the moderate, rational republic of the year 1798.  At its head were the three consuls, Bonaparte, Cambaceres, and Lebrun.

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Queen Hortense from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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