Recollections of the Private Life of Napoleon — Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 887 pages of information about Recollections of the Private Life of Napoleon Complete.

CHAPTER VIII.

The last of January, Mademoiselle de Tascher, niece of her Majesty the Empress, was married to the Duke of Aremberg.  The Emperor on this occasion raised Mademoiselle de Tascher to the dignity of a princess, and deigned, in company with the Empress, to honor with his presence the marriage, which took place at the residence of her Majesty the Queen of Holland, in the Rue de Ceriltti, and was celebrated with a splendor worthy of the august guests.  The Empress remained some time after dinner, and opened the ball with the Duke of Aremberg.  A few days after this the Prince of Hohenzollern married the niece of the Grand Duke of Berg and Cleves, Mademoiselle Antoinette Murat.

His Majesty honored her as he had done Mademoiselle Tascher, and, in company with the Empress, also attended the ball which the Grand Duke of Berg gave on the occasion of this marriage, and at which Princess Caroline presided.

This was a brilliant winter at Paris, owing to the great number of fetes and balls which were given.  The Emperor, as I have already said, had an aversion to balls, and especially masked balls, which he considered the most senseless things in the world, and this was a subject on which he was often at war with the Empress; but, notwithstanding this, on one occasion he yielded to the entreaties of M. de Marescalchi, the Italian ambassador, noted for his magnificent balls, which the most distinguished personages of the kingdom attended.  These brilliant reunions took place in a hall which the ambassador had built for the purpose, and decorated with extraordinary luxury and splendor; and his Majesty, as I have said, consented to honor with his presence a masked ball given by this ambassador, which was to eclipse all others.

In the morning the Emperor called me, and said, “I have decided to dance this evening at the house of the ambassador of Italy; you will carry, during the day, ten complete costumes to the apartments he has prepared for me.”  I obeyed, and in the evening accompanied his Majesty to the residence of M. Marescalchi, and dressed him as best I could in a black domino, taking great pains to render him unrecognizable; and everything went well, in spite of numerous observations on the Emperor’s part as to the absurdity of a disguise, the bad appearance a domino makes, etc.  But, when it was proposed to change his shoes, he rebelled absolutely, in spite of all I could say on this point; and consequently he was recognized the moment he entered the ballroom.  He went straight to a masker, his hands behind his back, as usual, and attempted to enter into an intrigue, and at the first question he asked was called Sire, in reply.  Whereupon, much disappointed, he turned on his heel, and came back to me.  “You are right, Constant; I am recognized.  Bring me lace-boots and another costume.”  I put the boots on his feet, and disguised him anew, advising

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Recollections of the Private Life of Napoleon — Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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