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.

Their Majesties’ civil marriage was celebrated at Saint-Cloud on Sunday, the 1st of April, at two o’clock in the afternoon.  The religious ceremony was solemnized the next day in the grand gallery of the Louvre.  A very singular circumstance in this connection was the fact that Sunday afternoon at Saint-Cloud the weather was beautiful, while the streets of Paris were flooded with a heavy shower lasting some time, and on Monday there was rain at Saint-Cloud, while the weather was magnificent in Paris, as if the fates had decreed that nothing should lessen the splendor of the cortege, or the brilliancy of the wonderful illuminations of that evening.  “The star of the Emperor,” said some one in the language of that period, “has borne him twice over equinoctial winds.”

On Monday evening the city of Paris presented a scene that might have been taken from the realms of enchantment:  the illuminations were the most brilliant I have ever witnessed, forming a succession of magic panorama in which houses, hotels, palaces, and churches, shone with dazzling splendor, the glittering towers of the churches appeared like stars and comets suspended in the air.  The hotels of the grand dignitaries of the empire, the ministers, the ambassadors of Austria and Russia, and the Duke d’Abrantes, rivaled each other in taste and beauty.  The Place Louis XV. was like a scene from fairyland; from the midst of this Place, surrounded with orange-trees on fire, the eye was attracted in succession by the magnificent decorations of the Champs-Elysees, the Garde Meuble, the Temple of Glory, the Tuileries, and the Corps Legislatif.  The palace of the latter represented the Temple of Hymen, the transparencies on the front representing Peace uniting the august spouses.  Beside them stood two figures bearing shields, on which were represented the arms of the two empires; and behind this group came magistrates, warriors, and the people presenting crowns.  At the two extremities of the transparencies were represented the Seine and the Danube, surrounded by children-image of fecundity.  The twelve columns of the peristyle and the staircase were illuminated; and the columns were united by garlands of colored lights, the statues on the peristyle and the steps also bearing lights.  The bridge Louis XV., by which this Temple of Hymen was reached, formed in itself an avenue, whose double rows of lamps, and obelisks and more than a hundred columns, each surmounted by a star and connected by spiral festoons of colored lights, produced an effect so brilliant that it was almost unendurable to the naked eye.  The cupola of the dome of Saint Genevieve was also magnificently lighted, and each side outlined by a double row of lamps.  At each corner were eagles, ciphers in colored glass, and garlands of fire suspended between torches of Hymen.  The peristyle of the dome was lighted by lamps placed between each column, and as the columns were not lighted they seemed as if suspended in the air.  The lantern tower was a blaze of

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