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prits are shut up in their own apartments; but in the latter, they are ordered into one of the small rooms, constructed in the dark galleries at the Thuileries and St. Cloud, near the kitchens; where they are guarded, day and night, by sentries, who answer for their persons, and that nobody visits them. When, on the 28th of March, 1804, the senate had determined on offering Buonaparte the Imperial dignity, he immediately
gave his wife full powers, with orders to form her household of so persons who, from birth, and from their principles, might be i. worthy, and could be trusted, to encompass the Imperial couple. to She consulted Madame Remusat, who in her turn consulted her & friend de Segur, who also consulted his bonne amie, Madame de so Montbrune. This lady determined, that if Buonaparte and his o: wife were desirous to be served, or waited on, by persons above o them by ancestry and honour, they should pay liberally for Ös such sacrifices. She was not, therefore, idle, but wishing to 5 profit herself by the pride of upstart vanity, she had at first mereo ly reconnoitred the ground, or made distant overtures to those hi families of the ancient French nobility who had been ruined by $$. the Revolution, and whose minds she expected to have found on
a level with their circumstances. These, however, either sus2. pecting her intent and her views, or preferring honest poverty
to degrading and disgraceful splendour, had started objections which she was not prepared to encounter. Thus the time passi. ed away; and when, on the 18th of the following May, the senate proclaimed Napoleone Buonaparte Emperor of the French, not a chamberlain was ready to attend him, nor a maid of honour prepared to wait on his wife. In the morning of the 20th of May, the day fixed for the conl, stitutional refublican authorities to present their homage as sub} jects, Napoleone asked his Josephine, who were the persons, of , I' both sexes, she had engaged, according to his carte blanche given her, as necessary and as unavoidable decorations of the drawingroom of an Emperor and Empress, as thrones and as canopies ; of state. She referred him to Madame Remusat, who, though o but half dressed, was instantly ordered to appear before him. This lady avowed that his grand master of the ceremonies, de Segur, had been entrusted by her with the whole arrangement, but that she feared that he had not yet been able to complete the full establishment of the Imperial court. The aid-de-camp Rapp was then dispatched after de Segur, who, as usual, presented himself, smiling and cringing. “Give me the list,” said Napoleone, “ of the ladies and gentlemen you have no doubt engaged for our household.” “May it please your Majesty, answered de Segur, (trembling with fear) “I humbly supposed that they were not requisite, before the day of your Majesty's coronation.” “You supposed "retorted Napoleone, “how dare you suppose differently from our commands? Is the Emperor of the Great Nation not to be compassed with a more numerous retinue, or with more lustre than a First Consul ? Do you not see the immense difference between the sovereign monarch of an empire, and the citizen chief magistrate of a commonwealth? Are there not starving nobles in my empire, enough to furnish all the courts in Europe with attendants, courtiers, and valets? Do you not believe that with a nod—with a single nod, I might have them all prostrated before my throne : What can then have occasioned this impertinent delay ? “Sire "answered de Segur, “it is not the want of numbers, but the difficulty of the choice among them. I will never recommend a single individual, upon whom I cannot depend ; or who, on some future day, may expose me to the greatest of all evils, the displeasure of my-prince.”— “But,” continued Napoleone, “what is to be done to-day, that I may augment the number of my suite, and by it impose upon the gaping multitude, and the attending deputations *—“Command,” said de Segur, “all the officers of your Majesty's staff, and of the staff of the Governor of Paris, General Murat, to surround your Majesty's sacred person, and order them to accoutre themselves in the most shining and splendid manner possible.— The presence of so many military men will also, in a political point of view, be useful. It will lessen the pretensions of the constituted authorities, by telling them indirectly: It is not to your Senatus Consultum, to your decrees, or to your votes, that I am indebted for my present sovereignty: I owe it exclusively to my own merit and valour, and to the valour of my brave officers and men, to whose arms I trust more than to your counsels.”
This advice obtained Napoleone's entire approbation, and was followed. De Segur was permitted to retire, but when Madame Remusat made a courtesy also to leave the room, she was stopped with his terrible, aur arrets 1 and left under the care and responsibility of his aide-de-camp Le Brun, who saw her safa into her room, at the door of which he placed two grenadiers. Napoleone then went out, ordering his wife, at her peril, to be in time ready and brilliantly dressed, for the drawing-room.
Dreading the consequences of her husband's wrath, Madame Napoleone was not only punctual, but so elegantly and tastefully decorated with jewels and ornaments, that even those of her enemies or rivals who refused her beauty, honour, and virtue, allowed her taste and dignity. She thought that even in the regards of Napoleone, she read a tacit approbation. When all the troublesome bustle of the morning was gone through, and when senators, legislators, tribunes, and prefects, had complimented her as a model of female perfection, on a signal from her husband, she accompanied him in silence, through six different apartments, before he came to her library, where he surlily ordered her to enter, and to remain until further orders.“What have I done, Sire to deserve such treatment f° exclaimed she trembling—“If,” answered Napoleone, “Madame Remusat, your favourite, has made a fool of you, this is only to teach you, that you shall not make a fool of me. Had not de Segur, fortunately for him, had the ingenuity to extricate us from the dilemma into which my confidence and dependence on you had brought me, I should have made a fine figure, indeed, on the first day of my Emperorship.–Have patience, Madame, you have plenty of books to divert you, but you must remain where you are, until I am inclined to release you.” So saying, Napoleone locked the door, and put the key in his pocket.
It was near two o'clock in the afternoon when she was thus shut up. Remembering the recent flattery of her courtiers, and comparing it with the unfeeling treatment of her husband, she found herself so much the more unfortunate, as the expressions of the former were regarded by her as praise due to her merit, while the unkindness of the latter was unavailingly resented as the undeserved oppression of a capricious despot,
Business, or perhaps malice, made Napoleone forget to send ber any dinner; and when, at eight o'clock, his brothers and sisters came according to invitation to take tea, he said coldly, “A-propos, I forgot it, my wife has not dined yet; she is busy, I suppose, in her philosophical meditations in her study.” Madame Louis Buonaparte, her daughter, flew directly towards the study, and her mother could scarcely, for her tears, inform her that she was a prisoner, and that her husband was the gaoler.— “Oh, Sire l’” said Madame Louis, returning, “even this remarkable day is a day of mourning for my poor mother "“She deserves worse,” answered Napoleone, “but, for your sake, she shall be released ; here is the key, let her out.”
Madame Napoleone was, however, not in a situation to wish to appear before her envious brothers and sisters-in-law. Her eyes were so swollen with crying, that she could hardly see ; and her tears had stained those imperial robes, which the unthinking and inconsiderate, no doubt, believed a certain preservative against sorrow and affliction. At nine o'clock, however, another aide-de-camp of her husband presented himself, and gave her the choice, either to accompany him back to the study, or to join the family party of the Buonapartes.
In deploring her mother's situation, Madame Louis Buonaparte informed her former governess, Madame Cam—n, of these particulars, which I heard her relate at Madame de M–r’s, almost verbatim as I report them to you. Such, and other scenes nearly of the same description, are neither rare nor singular, in the most singular court that ever existed in civilized Europe.
LETTER VII. -
THOUGH government suffer a religious, or rather anti-religious liberty of the press, the authors who libel or ridicule the Christian, particularly the Roman Catholic religion, are excluded from all prospect of advancement, or, if in place are not trusted or liked.
Cardinal Caprara, the nuncio of the Pope, proposed last year, in a long memorial, the same severe restrictions on the discussions or publications in religious matters, as were already ordered in those concerning politics. But both Buonaparte, and his minister in the affairs of the church, Portalis, refused the introduction of what they called a tyranny on the conscience. Caprara then addressed himself to the ex-bishop Talleyrand, who on this occasion was more explicit than he generally is. “Buonaparte,” said he, “rules not only over a fickle, but a gossiping (tavard) people, whom he has prudently forbidden all conversation and writing concerning government, or affairs of state. They would soon (accustomed as they are, since the Revolution, to verbal and written debates,) be tired of talking about fine weather or about the opera. To occupy them and their attention, some ample subject of diversion was necessary, and religion was surrendered to them at discretion; because, enlightened as the world now is, even atheists, or Christian fanatics, can do but little harm to society. They may spend rivers of ink, but they will be unable to shed a drop of blood.”—“True,” answered the Cardinal, “but only to a certain degree. The licentiousness of the press, with regard to religious matters, does it not also furnish infidelity with new arms to injure the faith ? and have not the horrors from which France has just escaped, proved the danger and evil consequences of irreligion; and the necessity of encouraging and protecting Christianity : By the regal of the clergy, and by the religious concordat, Buonaparte has showed himself convinced of this truth.” “So he is,” interrupted Talleyrand, “but he abhors intoleration and persecution (not in politics). I shall, however, to please your Eminence, lay the particulars of your conversation before him.” Sometime afterwards, when Talleyrand and Buonaparte must have agreed about some new measure, to indirectly chastise impious writers, the senators, Garat, Jaucourt, Roederer, and Demeunier, four of the members of the senatorial commission of the liberty of the press, were sent for, and remained closeted with Napoleone, his minister Portalis, and Cardinal Caprara, for two hours. What was determined on this occasion has not transpired, as even the Cardinal, who is not the most discreet