When the Emperor arrived in front of the bust, he described a semicircle at a gallop, followed by his staff, and lowering the point of his sword, while uncovering his head, was the first to salute the image of Frederick II. His staff followed his example; and all the general and other officers who composed it ranged themselves in a semicircle around the bust, with the Emperor in the center. His Majesty gave orders that each regiment should present arms in defiling before the bust, which maneuver was not to the taste of some grumblers of the first regiment of the Guard, who, with moustaches scorched, and faces still blackened with the powder of Jena, would have better liked an order for lodgings with the bourgeois than all this parade, and took no pains to conceal their ill-humor. There was one, among others, who, as he passed in front of the bust and before the Emperor, exclaimed between his teeth, without moving a muscle of his face, but still loud enough to be heard by his Majesty, “Damn the bust.” His Majesty pretended not to hear, but that evening he repeated with a laugh the words of the old soldier.
His Majesty alighted at the chateau, where his lodging was prepared, and the officers of his household had preceded him. Having learned that the electoral princess of Hesse-Cassel, sister of the king, was still ill at the end of her confinement, the Emperor ascended to the apartment of this princess, and, after quite a long visit, gave orders that she should be treated with all the deference due to her rank and unfortunate situation.
I left the Emperor at Berlin, where each day, and each hour of the day, he received news of some victory gained, or some success obtained by his generals. General Beaumont presented to him eighty flags captured from the enemy by his division, and Colonel Gerard also presented sixty taken from Blucher at the battle of Wismar. Madgeburg had capitulated, and a garrison of sixty thousand men had marched out under the eyes of General Savary. Marshal Mortier occupied Hanover in the name of France, and Prince Murat was on the point of entering Warsaw after driving out the Russians.
War was about to recommence, or rather to be continued, against the latter; and since the Prussian army could now be regarded as entirely vanquished, the Emperor left Berlin in order to personally conduct operations against the Russians.
We traveled in the little coaches of the country; and as was the rule always on our journeys, the carriage of the grand marshal preceded that of the Emperor. The season, and the passage of such large numbers of artillery, had rendered the roads frightful; but notwithstanding this we traveled very rapidly, until at last between Kutow and Warsaw, the grand marshal’s carriage was upset, and his collarbone broken. The Emperor arrived a short time after this unfortunate accident, and had him borne under his own eyes into the nearest post-house. We always carried with us a portable medicine-chest in order that needed help might be promptly given to the wounded. His Majesty placed him in the hands of the surgeon, and did not leave him till he had seen the first bandage applied.