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.

The Emperor’s stay at Dresden brought wealth and abundance.  More than six million francs of foreign money were spent in this city between the 8th of May and 16th of November, if one can believe the statements published on Saxon authority of the number of lodgings distributed.  This sojourn was a harvest of gold, which keepers of boarding-houses, hotels, and merchants carefully reaped.  Those in charge of military lodgings furnished by the inhabitants also made large profits.  At Dresden could be seen Parisian tailors and bootmakers, teaching the natives to work in the French style.  Even bootblacks were found on the bridges over the Elbe, crying, as they had cried on the bridges of the Seine, “Shine your boots!”

Around the city numerous camps had been established for the wounded, convalescents, etc.  One of these, called the Westphalian camp, presented a most beautiful scene.  It was a succession of beautiful small gardens; there a fortress made of turf, its bastions crowned with hortensias; here a plot had been converted into a terrace, its walks ornamented with flowers, like the most carefully tended parterre; on a third was seen a statue of Pallas.  The whole barrack was decked with moss, and decorated with boughs and garlands which were renewed each day.

As the armistice would end on the 15th of August, the fete of his Majesty was advanced five days.  The army, the town, and the court had made extensive preparations in order that the ceremony might be worthy of him in whose honor it was given.  All the richest and most distinguished inhabitants of Dresden vied with each other in balls, concerts, festivities, and rejoicings of all sorts.  The morning before the day of the review, the King of Saxony came to the residence of the Emperor with all his family, and the two sovereigns manifested the warmest friendship for each other.  They breakfasted together, after which his Majesty, accompanied by the King of Saxony, his brothers and nephews, repaired to the meadow behind the palace, where fifteen thousand men of the guard awaited him in as fine condition as on the most brilliant parades on the Champ-de-Mars.

After the review, the French and Saxon troops dispersed through the various churches to hear the Te Deum; and at the close of the religious ceremony, all these brave soldiers seated themselves at banqueting tables already prepared, and their joyous shouts with music and dancing were prolonged far into the night.


The entire duration of the armistice was employed in negotiations tending to a treaty of peace, which the Emperor ardently desired, especially since he had seen the honor of his army restored on the fields of Lutzen and Bautzen; but unfortunately he desired it only on conditions to which the enemy would not consent, and soon the second series of our disasters recommenced, and rendered peace more and more impossible. 

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