Recollections of the Private Life of Napoleon — Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,044 pages of information about Recollections of the Private Life of Napoleon — Complete.

The evening of Joseph’s arrival, the Emperor invited the members of the Spanish Junta, who for fifteen days had been arriving at Bayonne from all corners of the kingdom, to assemble at the chateau of Marrac, and congratulate the new king.  The deputies accepted this somewhat sudden invitation without having time to concert together previously any course of action; and on their arrival at Marrac, the Emperor presented to them their sovereign, whom they acknowledged, with the exception of some opposition on the part of the Duke of Infantado, in the name of the grandees of Spain.  The deputations from the Council of Castile, from the Inquisition, and from the army, etc., submitted most readily.  A few days after, the king formed his ministry, in which all were astonished to find M. de Cevallos, who had accompanied the Prince of the Asturias to Bayonne, and had made such a parade of undying attachment to the person of the one whom he called his unfortunate master; while the Duke of Infantado, who had opposed to the utmost any recognition of the foreign monarch, was appointed Captain of the Guard.  The king then left for Madrid, after appointing the Grand Duke of Berg lieutenant-general of the kingdom.


At this time it was learned at Bayonne that M. de Belloy, Archbishop of Paris, had just died of a cold, contracted at the age of more than ninety-eight years.  The day after this sad news arrived, the Emperor, who was sincerely grieved, was dilating upon the great and good qualities of this venerable prelate, and said that having one day thoughtlessly remarked to M. de Belloy, then already more than ninety-six years old, that he would live a century, the good old archbishop had exclaimed, smiling, “Why, does your Majesty think that I have no more than four years to live?”

I remember that one of the persons who was present at the Emperor’s levee related the following anecdote concerning M. de Belloy, which seemed to excite the Emperor’s respect and admiration.

The wife of the hangman of Genoa gave birth to a daughter, who could not be baptized because no one would act as godfather.  In vain the father begged and entreated the few persons whom he knew, in vain he even offered money; that was an impossibility.  The poor child had consequently remained unbaptized four or five months, though fortunately her health gave no cause for uneasiness.  At last some one mentioned this singular condition of affairs to the archbishop, who listened to the story with much interest, inquired why he had not been informed earlier, and having given orders that the child should be instantly brought to him, baptized her in his palace, and was himself her godfather.

At the beginning of July the Grand Duke of Berg returned from Spain, fatigued, ill, and out of humor.  He remained there only two or three days, and held each day an interview with his Majesty, who seemed little better satisfied with the grand duke than the grand duke was with him, and left afterwards for the springs of Bareges.

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