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.
chessmen were arranged.  His Majesty took a chair, and seating himself in front of the automaton, said, with a laugh, “Come, my comrade, we are ready.”  The automaton bowed and made a sign with his hand to the Emperor, as if to tell him to begin, upon which the game commenced.  The Emperor made two or three moves, and intentionally made a wrong one.  The automaton bowed, took the piece, and put it in its proper place.  His Majesty cheated a second time; the automaton bowed again, and took the piece.  “That is right,” said the Emperor; and when he cheated a third time, the automaton, passing his hand over the chess-board, spoiled the game.

The Emperor complimented the inventor highly.  As we left the room, accompanied by the Prince de Neuchatel we found in the antechamber two young girls, who presented to the prince, in the name of their mother, a basket of beautiful fruit.  As the prince welcomed them with an air of familiarity, the Emperor, curious to find out who they were, drew near and questioned them; but they did not understand French:  Some one then told his Majesty that these two pretty girls were daughters of a good woman, whose life Marshal Berthier had saved in 1805.  On this occasion he was alone on horseback, the cold was terrible, and the ground covered with snow, when he perceived, lying at the foot of a tree, a woman who appeared to be dying, and had been seized with a stupor.  The marshal took her in his arms, and placed her on his horse with his cloak wrapped around her, and thus conveyed her to her home, where her daughters were mourning her absence.  He left without making himself known; but they recognized him at the capture of Vienna, and every week the two sisters came to see their benefactor, bringing him flowers or fruit as a token of their gratitude.


Towards the end of September the Emperor made a journey to Raab; and, as he was mounting his horse to return to his residence at Schoenbrunn, he saw the bishop a few steps from him.  “Is not that the bishop?” said he to M. Jardin, who was holding his horse’s head.  “No, Sire, it is Soliman.”—­“I asked you if that was not the bishop,” repeated his Majesty, pointing to the prelate.  M. Jardin, intent on business, and thinking only of the Emperor’s horse which bore the name of Bishop, again replied, “Sire, you forget that you rode him on the last relay.”  The Emperor now perceived the mistake, and broke into a laugh.  I was witness at Wagram of an act which furnished a fine illustration of the Emperor’s kindness of heart and consideration for others, of which I have already given several instances; for, although in the one I shall now relate, he was forced to refuse an act of clemency, his very refusal challenges admiration as an exhibition of the generosity and greatness of his soul.

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