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

General Durosnel, whose wife fainted in the ball-room, threw himself in the midst of the flames, and reappeared immediately, bearing in his arms his precious burden.  He bore Madame Durosnel into a house on the boulevard, where he placed her until he could find a carriage in which to convey her to his hotel.  The Countess Durosnel was painfully burned, and was ill more than two years.  In going from the ambassador’s hotel to the boulevard he saw by the light of the fire a robber steal the comb from the head of his wife who had fainted in his arms.  This comb was set with diamonds, and very valuable.

Madame Durosnel’s affection for her husband was equal to that he felt for her; and when at the end of a bloody combat, in the second campaign of Poland, General Durosnel was lost for several days, and news was sent to France that he was thought to be dead, the countess in despair fell ill of grief, and was at the point of death.  A short time after it was learned that the general was badly but not mortally wounded, and that he had been found, and his wounds would quickly heal.  When Madame Durosnel received this happy news her joy amounted almost to delirium; and in the court of her hotel she made a pile of her mourning clothes and those of her people, set fire to them, and saw this gloomy pile turn to ashes amid wild transports of joy and delight.

Two days after the burning of the hotel of the Prince of Schwartzenberg, the Emperor received the news of the abdication of his brother Louis, by which event his Majesty seemed at first much chagrined, and said to some one who entered his room just as he had been informed of it, “I foresaw this madness of Louis, but I did not think he would be in such haste.”  Nevertheless, the Emperor soon decided what course to take; and a few days afterwards his Majesty, who during the toilet had not opened his mouth, came suddenly out of his preoccupation just as I handed him his coat, and gave me two or three of his familiar taps.  “Monsieur Constant,” said he, “do you know what are the three capitals of the French Empire?” and without giving me time to answer, the Emperor continued, “Paris, Rome, and Amsterdam.  That sounds well, does it not?”

CHAPTER XXVIII.

In the latter part of July large crowds visited the Church of the Hotel des Invalides, in which were placed the remains of General Saint-Hilaire and the Duke de Montebello, the remains of the marshal being placed near the tomb of Turenne.  The mornings were spent in the celebration of several masses, at a double altar which was raised between the nave and the dome; and for four days there floated from the spire of the dome a long black banner or flag edged with white.

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