Memoirs of Constant, First Valet de Chambre of the Emperor: On the Private Life of Napoleon, His Family and His Court

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Century Company, 1895
 

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Page 266 - I love your nation. For sixteen years I have seen your soldiers beside me, on the fields of Italy and those of Spain. "I applaud all that you have done; I authorize the efforts you desire to make ; all that depends on me to second your resolutions I will perform. "If your efforts are unanimous, you may conceive the hope of reducing your enemies to a recognition of your rights. But in these countries, so far apart and so extensive, it is, above all, the unanimity of the efforts of the population that...
Page 268 - Several Poles, with whom I had become acquainted, spoke to me concerning it with sorrow; but their consternation was not contagious, and the air rang none the less with shouts of Long live the Emperor! whenever His Majesty showed himself in public, which was nearly every day. While we were staying at Wilna, some hopes were entertained of seeing a new peace concluded, an envoy from the Emperor Alexander having come to the Emperor Napoleon; but these hopes were of short duration, and I have since known...
Page 255 - September 7 the sun rose without a cloud. The Emperor exclaimed: "It is the sun of Austerlitz." This saying of the Emperor was quoted to the army and repeated by the soldiers with enthusiasm. The roll was beaten, and the following order of the day was read: "SOLDIERS: Behold the battle you have so desired! Henceforward the victory depends on you; it is necessary to us; it will give us abundance, good winter quarters, and a prompt return to our country. Behave as you did at Austerlitz, at Friedland,...
Page 273 - ... distance. Among those who most vigorously opposed the Emperor's immediate march upon Moscow, I heard the names of the Due de Vicenza and the Comte de Lobau mentioned; but what I can affirm, because I personally knew it in an undoubted manner, is, that the grand marshal of the palace had several times sought to dissuade the Emperor from his project; but all these attempts were shattered against his will. We turned, therefore, toward the second capital of Russia, and after several days' marching...
Page 29 - ... surmounted by eagles of gilded lead. In German Schb'nbrunn signifies beautiful fountain. This name is derived from a fresh and limpid spring found in a grove of the park; it gushes from a little eminence around which has been constructed a small pavilion, very prettily sculptured on the interior so as to imitate stalactites. Within is a recumbent naiad holding a horn, through which the water issues and falls into a marble reservoir. It is a delightful little spot in summer time. One can but praise...
Page 280 - Majesty was not to find there even a few hours of tranquil slumber. In effect, the Emperor, somewhat reassured by the reports of Marshal Mortier, had written to the Emperor Alexander some message of peace. The letter was to be carried by a Russian with a flag of truce, when the Emperor, who was walking back and forth in his apartment, saw from his windows an immense glow at some distance from the palace. It was the fire, which had broken out again with greater force than ever, and the north wind...
Page 283 - Such was the ravenous fury of these wretched hirelings to bum everything, that the boats, of which there were very many on the Moskowa, laden with grain, hay, and other agricultural products, were consumed and sank in the water with a frightful crackling. Soldiers of the Russian police had been seen brisking up the fire with lances smeared with tar. In the stoves of several houses shells had been placed, which exploded and killed a number of our soldiers. In the streets, filthy and hideous women...
Page 261 - Emperor's words to the King of Naples — Plan announced and not effected — The three years' campaign, and prompt march forward — Fatigue occasioned the Emperor by the excessive heat — Audience in undress — Uncertainty insupportable to the Emperor — Useless opposition of the Due de Vicenza, Comte de Lobau, and the Grand Marshal — Departure from Witepsk and arrival at Smolensk — Remarkable buildings— The banks of the Moskowa. ASI have before announced, I shall endeavor to combine in...
Page 266 - In my position, I have many interests to conciliate and many duties to fulfil. Had I been reigning at the time of the first, the second, and the third partition of Poland, I would have armed my entire people to support you. As soon as victory permitted me to restore your ancient laws to your capital and a portion of your provinces, I did so with alacrity, yet without prolonging a war which would have cost the lives of my subjects.

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