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.
with tears the hands of this excellent princess.  Josephine added many touching remarks, trying to alleviate her sorrow by sharing it, and thus restore resignation to the heart of the poor mother.  The remembrance of this kindness helped to calm our grief, and I confess that it is at once both an honor and a consolation to recall the august sympathy which the loss of this dear child excited in the hearts of Napoleon and Josephine.  The world will never know how much sensibility and compassion Josephine felt for the sorrows of others, and all the treasures of goodness contained in her beautiful soul.


Napoleon was accustomed to compare Marie Louise with Josephine, attributing to the latter all the advantages of art and grace, and to the former all the charms of simplicity, modesty, and innocence.  Sometimes, however, this simplicity had in it something childish, an instance of which I received from good authority.  The young Empress, thinking herself sick, consulted M. Corvisart, who, finding that her imagination alone was at fault, and that she was suffering simply from the nervousness natural to a young woman, ordered, as his only prescription, a box of pills composed of bread and sugar, which the Empress was to take regularly; after doing which Marie Louise found herself better, and thanked M. Corvisart, who did not think proper, as may well be believed, to enlighten her as to his little deception.  Having been educated in a German court, and having learned French only from masters, Marie Louise spoke the language with the difficulty usually found in expressing one’s self in a foreign tongue.  Among the awkward expressions she often used, but which in her graceful mouth were not without a certain charm, the one which struck me especially, because it often recurred, was this:  “Napoleon qu’est ce que veux-to?” The Emperor showed the deepest affection for his young wife, and at the same time made her conform to all the rules of etiquette, to which the Empress submitted with the utmost grace.  In the month of May, 1811, their Majesties made a journey into the departments of Calvados and La Manche, where they were received with enthusiasm by all the towns; and the Emperor made his stay at Caen memorable by his gifts, favors, and acts of benevolence.  Many young men belonging to good families received sub-lieutenancies, and one hundred and thirty thousand francs were devoted to various charities.  From Caen their Majesties went to Cherbourg.  The day after their arrival the Emperor set out on horseback early in the morning, visited the heights of the town, and embarked on several vessels, while the populace pressed around him crying “Vive l’Empereur!” The following day his Majesty held several Councils, and in the evening visited all the marine buildings, and descended to the bottom of the basin which is cut out of the solid rock in order to allow the passage of vessels

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