Sometimes, when I entered his room to dress him, he would run at me like a mad man, and saluting me with his favorite greeting, “Well, Monsieur le drole,” would pinch my ears in such a manner as to make me cry out; he often added to these gentle caresses one or two taps, also well applied. I was then sure of finding him all the rest of the day in a charming humor, and full of good-will, as I have seen him, so often. Roustan, and even Marshal Berthier, received their due proportion of these imperial tendernesses.
The allowance made by his Majesty for the yearly expenses of his dress was twenty thousand francs; and the year of, the coronation he became very angry because that sum had been exceeded. It was never without trepidation that the various accounts of household expenses were presented to him; and he invariably retrenched and cut down, and recommended all sort of reforms. I remember after asking for some one a place of three thousand francs, which he granted me, I heard him exclaim, “Three thousand francs! but do you understand that this is the revenue of one of my communes? When I was sub-lieutenant I did not spend as much as that.” This expression recurred incessantly in his conversations with those with whom he was familiar; and “when I had the honor of being sub-lieutenant” was often on his lips, and always in illustration of comparisons or exhortations to economy.
While on the subject of accounts, I recall a circumstance which should have a place in my memoirs, since it concerns me personally, and moreover gives an idea of the manner in which his Majesty understood economy. He set out with the idea, which was, I think, often very correct, that in private expenses as in public ones, even granting the honesty of agents (which the Emperor was always, I admit, very slow to do), the same things could have been done with much less money. Thus, when he required retrenchment, it was not in