The reader can now judge of this for himself. These are the memoirs of M. Constant,—autographic memoirs of one still living, who has written them to preserve his recollections. It is the private history, the familiar life, the leisure moments, passed in undress, of Napoleon, which we now present to the public. It is Napoleon taken without a mask, deprived of his general’s sword, the consular purple, the imperial crown,—Napoleon resting from council and from battle, forgetful of power and of conquest, Napoleon unbending himself, going to bed, sleeping the slumber of a common man, as if the world did not hang upon his dreams.
These are striking facts, so natural and of such simplicity, that though a biased judgment may, perhaps, exaggerate their character, and amplify their importance, they will furnish to an impartial and reflective mind a wealth of evidence far superior to the vain speculations of the imagination or the prejudiced judgments of political parties.
In this light the author of these memoirs is not an author, but simply a narrator, who has seen more closely and intimately than any one else the Master of the West, who was for fifteen years his master also; and what he has written he has seen with his own eyes.
Death is only asleep without dreams
Excessive desire to oblige
Rubbings with eau de Cologne, his favorite remedy
There are saber strokes enough for every one
His Majesty did not converse: he spoke
Little gifts preserve friendship
She feared to be distracted from her grief
Act with our allies as if they were afterwards to be our enemies
As was his habit, criticised more than he praised
The friendship of a great man is a gift from the gods
You have given me your long price, now give me your short one
Fear of being suspected of cowardice was beneath them
Like all great amateurs was hard to please
Trying to alleviate her sorrow by sharing it
You were made to give lessons, not to take them
Age in which one breathes well only after resting
All orders given by his Majesty were short, precise
Living ever in the future
Necessity is ever ready with inventions
Power of thus isolating one’s self completely from all the world
A sad sort of consolation that is drawn from reprisals
Borrowing, which uses up the resources of the future
For a retreating enemy it is necessary to make a bridge of gold
Make a bridge of gold, or oppose a wall of brass
Paper money, which is the greatest enemy of social order
Rise and decline of stocks was with him the real thermometer
The more I concede the more they demand
Most charming mistresses and the worst wives
No man is, a hero to his valet
The pear was ripe; but who was to gather it?