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.
on his way; how one of them had had the boldness to aim at him, etc.  And when he saw her well frightened, he would burst out laughing, give her some taps or kisses on her cheek and neck, saying to her, “Have no fear, little goose; they would not dare.”  On these “days of furlough,” as he called them, he was occupied more with his private affairs than with those of state; but never could he remain idle.  He would make them pull down, put up again, build, enlarge, set out, prune, incessantly, both in the chateau and in the park, while he examined the bills of expenses, estimated receipts, and ordered economies.  Time passed quickly in all these occupations; and the moment soon came when it was necessary to return, and, as he expressed it, put on again the yoke of misery.


Towards the end of March, 1800, five or six months after my entrance into the service of Madame.  Bonaparte, the First Consul while at dinner one day regarded me intently; and having carefully scrutinized and measured me from head to foot, “Young man,” said he, “would you like to go with me on the campaign?” I replied, with much emotion, that I would ask nothing better.  “Very well, then, you shall go with me!” and on rising from the table, he ordered Pfister, the steward, to place my name on the list of the persons of his household who would accompany him.  My preparations did not require much time; for I was delighted with the idea of being attached to the personal service of so great a man, and in imagination saw myself already beyond the Alps.  But the First Consul set out without me.  Pfister, by a defect of memory, perhaps intentional, had forgotten to place my name on the list.  I was in despair, and went to relate, with tears, my misfortune to my excellent mistress, who was good enough to endeavor to console me, saying, “Well, Constant, everything is not lost; you will stay with me.  You can hunt in the park to pass the time; and perhaps the First Consul may yet send for you.”  However, Madame Bonaparte did not really believe this; for she thought, as I did, although out of kindness she did not wish to say this to me, that the First Consul having changed his mind, and no longer wishing my services on the campaign, had himself given the counter orders.  However, I soon had proof to the contrary.  In passing through Dijon, on his way to Mt.  St. Bernard, the First Consul asked for me, and learning that they had forgotten me, expressed his dissatisfaction, and directed Bourrienne to write immediately to Madame Bonaparte, requesting her to send me on without delay.

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