Recollections of the Private Life of Napoleon — Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 887 pages of information about Recollections of the Private Life of Napoleon Complete.
the Emperor’s knowledge, he did not withdraw the pension, for which the order had not yet been given, but simply changed its destination, and gave it to the first wife of—­General Dupont-Derval, making it revertible to her daughter, though she was sufficiently wealthy not to need it, and the other Madame Dupont-Derval was in actual need.  Meanwhile, as one is always pleased to be the bearer of good tidings, I had lost no time in informing my petitioner of the Emperor’s favorable decision.  When she learned what had taken place, of which I was still in entire ignorance, she returned to me, and from what she said I imagined she was the victim of some mistake.  In this belief I took the liberty of again speaking to his Majesty on the subject, and my astonishment may be imagined when his Majesty himself condescended to relate to me the whole affair.  Then he added:  “My poor child, you have allowed yourself to be taken for a simpleton.  I promised a pension, and I gave it to the wife of General Derval, that is to say, to his real wife, the mother of his daughter.”  The Emperor was not at all angry with me.  I know very well that the matter would not have been permitted to continue thus without my interesting myself further in it; but events followed each other in rapid succession until the abdication of his Majesty, and the affair finally remained as thus settled.

CHAPTER XX.

It was not only by force of arms that the enemies of France endeavored at the end of 1813 to overthrow the power of the Emperor.  In spite of our defeats the Emperor’s name still inspired a salutary terror; and it was apparent that although so numerous, the foreigners still despaired of victory as long as there existed a common accord between the Emperor and the French people.  We have seen in the preceding chapter in what language he expressed himself to the great united bodies of the state, and events have proved whether his Majesty concealed the truth from the representatives of the nation as to the real condition of France.  To this discourse which history has recorded, I may be allowed to oppose here another made at the same period.  This is the famous declaration of Frankfort, copies of which the enemies of the Emperor caused to be circulated in Paris; and I would not dare to wager that persons of his court, while performing their duties near him, did not have a copy in their pockets.  If there still remains any doubt as to which party was acting in good faith, the reading of what follows is sufficient to dispel these; for there is no question here of political considerations, but simply the comparison of solemn promises with the actions which succeeded.

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