Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte, the Court of the First Empire, Volume 1

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P. F. Collier & son, 1910 - France
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Page 110 - ... and well built, though the bust was rather long. His head was big and the skull largely developed. His neck was short and his shoulders broad. The size of his chest bespoke a robust constitution, less robust, however, than his mind. His legs were well shaped, his foot was small and well formed. His hand, and he was rather proud of it, was delicate, and plump, with tapering fingers. His forehead was high and broad, his eyes gray, penetrating and wonderfully mobile; his nose was straight and well...
Page 154 - The project of a modification of the article of the constitution, which limited to ten years the First Consul's tenure of office, gave rise to numerous discussions between him, his two colleagues, and some of the principal senators and members of Parliament. Cambaceres was his principal intermediary in this delicate negotiation. A deliberation of the Senate had extended to a period of ten years the authority of the Chief of the State. This addition only feebly remedied the precariousness of the post....
Page 168 - French envoye was able to assist some of these needy noblemen. His credit at Court was great, and his recommendations were always favourably listened to. The jurisdiction of his embassy, accordingly, was unlimited, nor did the Portuguese Government in any way try to restrict it. No such tolerance was shown to the ambassadors of other powers. Our ambassador's influence in Lisbon was so well established, that when he returned to France he was in a position to dispose of Portugal as Napoleon might desire....
Page 248 - ... to have a private interview with the First Consul. My name, my rank, my way of thinking, and the horror of my situation," he added, " make me hope that he will not refuse my demand.
Page 353 - ... by surprise in moments of danger. Napoleon knew that I did not possess, as he did, the precious gift of being able to go to sleep at will, and that I could not sleep in the daytime. After a piece of work which had occupied a part of the night he would tell me to go and take a bath, and often gave orders himself that it should be got ready for me. He used sometimes to spend whole days without doing any work, yet without leaving the palace, or even his work-room. In these days of leisure, which...
Page 128 - I could not master my surprise at finding such simplicity of habits in a man like Napoleon, who from afar seemed so imposing. I had expected to find him brusque, and of uncertain temper, instead of which I found him patient, indulgent, easy to please, by no means exacting, merry with a merriness which was often noisy and mocking, and sometimes of a charming bonhomie. This familiarity on his part did not, however, awake any ideas of reciprocity. Napoleon played with men without mixing with them.
Page 354 - J'ai servi, commande, vaincu quarante annees ; Du monde, entre mes mains, j'ai vu les destinees, Et j'ai toujours connu qu'en chaque evenement Le destin des etats dependait d'un moment.
Page 371 - Still keeping his eyes riveted on the towers, he continued, — " These were barbarous times, which they have the folly to represent to us as so heroic ; when the father sacrificed his children, the wife her husband, the subject his sovereign, the soldier his general, and all without shame or disguise...
Page 351 - He made use of the first who answered his call, without irritation, but rather with a visible satisfaction as being relieved from his trouble. His writing was a collection of letters unconnected with each other, and unreadable. Half the letters to each word were wanting, he could not read his own writing again, or would not take the trouble to do so. If he was asked for some explanation he would take his draft and tear it up, or throw it into the fire, and dictate it over again — the same ideas,...
Page 242 - Talleyrand, prescribing the diplomatic measures to be taken. By the terms of this order the Minister of Foreign Affairs was to hand General Caulaincourt a letter addressed to Baron d'Edelsheim, Minister of the Elector of Baden, which was to be delivered at its address by this officer as soon as he had heard of the arrest of the Due d'Enghien. It was stated in this letter that "the Minister of Foreign Affairs had previously addressed to the Electoral Government, a note tending to a demand for the...

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