“It is said here that the Faubourg St. Germain is furious over the brilliant positions provided for the imperial family and the empress. This is their gratitude for all her goodness to them.
“You wish to make Switzerland your home. Count Nesselrode thinks you may be right, that it is a good retreat; but you should not give up the one you have here, and should in any event retain the right to return to France.
“Fancy, madame, Count Nesselrode insists on my seeing his emperor! I have not yet consented, because I do not like to do any thing without your assent; but I confess I long to make his acquaintance. I am made quite happy by hearing you so well spoken of here.
“Count Nesselrode said to me yesterday: ’Tell the queen that I shall be happy to fulfil all her wishes, and that I can do so, that I have the power.’ For great security he wishes to have a future assured you that shall be independent of the treaty. I do not know what to say to him. Write to me, and demand something, I conjure you!”
The queen’s only response to this appeal was a letter addressed to the Emperor Napoleon, and sent to Count Nesselrode, with the request that it should be forwarded to its destination.
“It is strange,” wrote Louise de Cochelet in relation to this matter—“strange that all my efforts to serve you here have had no other result than your sending a commission to Count Nesselrode to forward to Fontainebleau a letter addressed to the Emperor Napoleon. He at first thought I was bringing him the letter he had solicited for his emperor; but he well knows how to appreciate all that is noble and great, and as he possesses the most admirable tact, he thinks the letter cannot well reach the emperor through him, and will therefore send it to the Duke of Vicenza, at Fontainebleau, to be delivered by him to the Emperor Napoleon.”
Another letter of Louise de Cochelet is as follows: “I have just seen Count Nesselrode again; he makes many inquiries concerning you; the Emperor of Russia now resides on the Elysee Bourbon. The count tells me a story that is in circulation here, and has reference to the Empress Marie Louise and the kings her brothers-in-law. They were about to force her to enter a carriage, in which they were to continue their journey with her; when she refused to enter, it is said the King of Westphalia became so violent that he gave her a little beating. She cried for help, and General Caffarelli, who commanded the guards, came to her rescue. On the following day she and her son were made prisoners, and all the crown diamonds in her possession seized by the authorities; but it seems as though capture was precisely what she wished.
[Footnote 27: According to Napoleon’s instructions, his brothers were to prevent the empress and the King of Rome from falling into the hands of the enemy. De Baussue narrates this scene in his memoirs, and it is self-evident that it was not so stormy as the gossip of Paris portrayed it.]