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* Hereupon he began to relate a story so absurd that I laughed again as immoderately as before, and was again interrupted in the same manner; my mother-inlaw told her son that I must be removed, and a carriage sent for Marchais. Junot came to me, took me in his arms, and almost lifted me from the chair. This time the general interposed, offered to bet upon the sex of my child, and would with difficulty permit my husband to carry me away. He led me, however, to my room, obeying all his mother's behests with as much simplicity as any honest bourgeois, any M. Guillaume, or M. Dennis, of the Rue de la Perle, or Rue St. Jaques. He busied himself in regulating the heat of the room ; in calling my women together, giving them fifly orders at once, which neither they nor he un. derstood ; ordered the horses, and returned to my side, already expecting to hear the cries of his childbut I was in no such hurry.
I was followed to my chamber by ten or eleven female friends, whose presence and discordant advice, given in tones louder and louder as it became more difficult to obtain a hearing in the general contusion, did not certainly tend to calm the agitation of my nerves. Scarcely, indeed, was there room to move in the chamber, crowded by so many assistants, my bed, the cradle, and all the appara . tus of a lying-in room ; in vain the nurse remonstrated ; nor was it till Marchais arrived, and was really angry, that all this disturbance was put an end to. Iy friends, to whose anxiety and good will alone it was to be attributed, at length took their leave, embracing me with the kindest wishes, and left me to pass a terrible night.
. During this tedious season of watching and anxiety, Junot was almost distracted; he threw himself at intervals on the mattress which had been laid for him in the parlor; then got up, walked the room with hasty steps, crept to my bed-room door and tried to get in, which I had positively prohibited; and returned to his apartment, where his aid-de-camp, General Lallemand, sat up with him all aight, endeavoring with all the arguments and consolations of friendship to calm a little the violence of his agitation, and to restore something like composure to his inind.
“At ten in the morning Marchais himself, very much fatigued, came to seek Ju. not; he told him that I was still very ill, that there was no immediate prospect of relief, but that he had no fears for my life. On his return to my room I felt assured that he had seen my husband ; I called to him and entreated him to bring Junot to me, to which he immediately consented. My husband, on seeing me so pale and weak, burst into tears, and as he embraced me I shared his emotion. Mar. chais, whose eyes were anxiously fixed upon me, now led the General away, tell. ing him that he hoped more from my tears than any effort of his art.
Junot, on leaving me, by no means recovered his self-possession ; he wandered through the rooms all opening into each other, which at both extremities brought him to one of the doors of my chamber ; found repose in none of them ; and at length, unable longer to endure his confinement, snatched up a round hat which happened to meet his eye, and sallied forth into the street. Without once considering which way he was going, habit or instinct led him to the Tuileries, and he found himself in the great court without knowing how he had got there. Before ascending, however, the staircase leading to the First Consul’s apartments, the consideration of his dishabille crossed his mind; but no matter, said lie, as he looked down his brown coat, I am sure of finding here a heart which will understand my feelings.
* All his comrades in the ante-chamber were astonished at the expression of his countenance and the disorder of his dress ; but none of them felt any disposition to ridicule : and the First Consul, as soon as he heard that Junot wished to see him, sent for him into his cabinet.
" " Good God! what is the matter, Junot?” he exclaimed in surprise on seeing him.
1" General, my wife is in labor, and I cannot stay at home,” was the answer, but in a voice almost smothered with tears.
6 - And you are come to me to seek courage ; you are right, my friend, Poor Junot ! how you are upset! Oh, woman, woman!" · He required a relation of all that happened from my first seizure, and though
Junot dared not give utterance to his apprehensions, yet Napoleon gathered from all the facts he described, that my life was actually in danger; and his conduct in this moment of anxiety, when his discernment penetrated into a mysterious horror, was that of the tenderesi and best of brothers.
* "My old friend," said he to his faithful and devoted servant, pressing his band-a very rare caress, you have done right in coming to me, at this moment, as I hope to prove.”.
So saying, he left his cabinet, and leaning upon Junot's arm, stepped into the saloon, where the statue of the great Conde stands, and walked up and down talking of the only subject which interested his companion, for he was too well versed in the management of the human heart to interrogate chords, which would certainly have been mute at such a moment. Amongst other things he asked my husband how he came to the Tuileries.
6 * On foot,” was the answer, “ a species of desperation drove me from home, though my heart is still there ; and I wandered hither without knowing which way I came.”
1" And may I ask you then," said Napoleon, “why you look out of that window ten times in a minute, to see if any one passes the gate ?
How should they come here to seek you, if your servants do not know where you are? If your officers saw you come out in plain clothes, it seems to me that they are more likely to suspect you of throwing yourself in the river than of coming here."
• He called and gave his orders. “ Send a footman immediately to Madame Junot's, to learn whether she is put to bed ; and if not, let the family know that General Junot is here."
• He again took my husband's arm, and continued to converse with him with such affecting kindness that Junot could not repress his tears. He was attached to his General, to that vision of glory which commanded admiration ; but in such moments as the present, Napoleon's conduct could not fail to subject to him the whole heart and affections of the individual whose sufferings he ihus alleviated, even if he had not been already devoted to him body and soul. This day rivelted, if I may say so, the chains which bound Junot to Napoleon.
* But Junot had also those about him who were devotedly attached to him. Seeing him leave the house in a state bordering on distraction, Helat, his German valet-de-chambre, an honest and faithful servant, if ever there was one, followed him at first with his eyes; then seeing him take the road towards Pont Royal, ran after him without his hat, watched him into the Tuileries, and on his return home informed the aid-de-camp, Laborde, where the General was to be found.
• Junot had not been three quarters of an hour with the First Consul, whose arm rested on his, obliging him to remain a prisoner, when he would rather have been at large, and have had the power to come and learn the result of all his uneasiness ; the footman could not yet be returned ; when Junot, emboldened by the l'irst Consul's goodness, begged to be allowed to inquire for him.
• “1 should have been told," answered the First Consul, “ if he was relurned. Remain quiet.” Then dragging him still further on, they were presently in the gallery of Diana. There Junot's uneasines became so violent that Napoleon several times looked at him with astonislıment, and with an accent to which it is impossible to do justice, repeated: “Oh! woman, woman!"
• At length, at the moment that Junot was about to escape without listening to anything further, M. de Laborde appeared at the further end of the gallery ; he had run with such haste that he could scarcely speak, but his countenance was full of joy.
• My general," he said, as soon as he had recovered his breath, “Madame Junot is safe in bed, and is as well as possible.”
•“Go then and embrace your daughter," said the First Consul, laying a stress on the word daughter'; “ if your wife had given you a boy, they would have told you at once; but first of all embrace me," and he pressed him af. fectionately in his arms.
““ Junot laughed and cried, and thoughtless of everything but the event which had occurred, was running away, when Napoleon said to him, “Stay, giddy head; are you going to run through the streets without your hat?"
Madame Junot mentions, with excusable pride, that Napoleon stood sponsor for one of her children, on which occasion Josephine sent her a splendid pearl necklace, and the godfather the receipted purchase contract of her hotel in the Rue des Champs-Elysées, which cost twohundred thousand francs. He soon after added to this sum another hundred thousand for furniture. These are little marks of a friendly disposition, which ought not to pass unnoticed. Madame Junot would fain have us believe, that Napoleon hesitated to accept the consulate for life, when it was offered him. He certainly did hesitate to take that step, but it was in order to see his way more clearly to the throne. He desired to have the sense of the people taken upon the subject; and when he found himself supported by the votes of three millions five hundred and sixty-eight thousand eight hundred and ninety individuals, out of the three million five hundred and seventy thousand who voted upon that occasion, he need not be blamed for resolving to assume the crown which they were already willing to place upon his head. It is a curious coincidence mentioned by Madame Junot, that the same day on which the consulship for life was offered to Napoleon, a decree was passed, sanctioning the definitive reunion of Elba to the republic. But we shall not proceed farther with politics. We more willingly revert to those domestic scenes in which Napoleon appeared in his most gracious demeanor.
* Some days afterwards I received an invitation from Madame Buonaparte to breakfast at St. Cloud, and to bring my little Josephine. I went alone, because Junot was confined to his bed by indisposition. Napoleon, it is well known, never breakfasted with Madaine Buonaparte, and never appeared in her room in the morning, except occasionally, when he knew that he should meet some persons there to whom he was desirous of speaking without exciting observation. This morning he came into the room just as we were rising from the breakfast table, and on advancing towards us, at once described in the midst of the group, the charming figure of my little Josephine, with her pretty light hair, curling round a face that beamed with grace and intelligence, though she was only eighteen months old. The First Consul, immediately on seeing her, exclaimed
• ** Ah! ah! here is our god-daughter, the cardinaless! Good morning, ma' amselle-come, look at me- - there, open your eyes Why the devil, do you know that she is prodigiously pretty—the little thing resembles her grandmother-yes, faith, she is very like poor Madame Permon. And what a pretty woman she was—she was really the most beautiful woman sever saw.”
• As he was saying 'his, he pulled the ears and nose of my little girl, who did not approve of it all; but I had taken the precaution to tell her, that if she did not cry at St. Cloud, we should stop at a toy-shop on our way home, and she should have whatever she liked. Napoleon, who did not know this promise, remarked how very good-tempered the child was, while I was secretly reminding her of the toy-shop ten times in a minute.
6 " That is what I like children to be," continued Napoleon, “not perpetually crying or fretting; there is that little Lætitia, who is as beautiful as an angel: well, she cries so violently, that I make my escape as if the house was on fire.''
As he was talking, the party had removed to the blue saloon, which was Madame Buonaparte's morning room. A circular balcony, upon which this room opened, passed along the whole suit of apartments. The First Cousul stepped out of the window and made me a sign to follow. I was about to deliver the child to her nurse, but he prevented me, saying:
• “No, no, keep your daughter; a young mother is never so interesting as when
she has her child in her arms. What is the matter with Junot ?" he added as soon as we were on the balcony.
• " He has a fever, General; and it is so violent as to oblige him to keep his bed.'
6" But this ferer is of some kind or other ; is it putrid, malignant, or what?”
• “ Neither the one or the other, citizen Consul," I replied with a little impatience, for I was provoked at the petulant tone of his question ; " but Junot is, as you know, very susceptible, and a pain which goes to his heart affects his health. You know, General, that such complaints are beyond the power of medicine.".
* “ I see that Junot has been telling you of the sort of quarrel we had the other day. He made himself quite ridiculous.”
• “ You will give me leave, citizen Consul, not to confirm what you have just been saying with my assent; you are no doubt jesting. All that I can do, is to affirm that, having probably misunderstood Junot, you have given him serious pain. That he has suffered severely, has been manifest to me, because neither my cares, nor this child's caresses, have been able to calm his mind. Also, 1 concluded, General, that in reporting to me the conversation you are speaking of, he did not tell me the whole.” This, as I afterwards learned, was the truth.
* The First Consul looked at me some nioments without speaking; then took my right hand which held my little girl upon the left arm ; then suddenly rejecting it with a very singular movement, seized Josephine's little white and mottled arm, kissed it, gave a pretty hard tap upon her cheek, pulled her nose, embraced her, all in a minute; ihen disappeared like lightning
Another scene of this kind, and we shall have done. Junot was at this period very ill, in consequence of the quarrel here alluded to. He was of a very irritable temper, and his nerves were much agitated. Upon Madame Junot's return home, she found him in her apartment upon a sofa, where he fell fast asleep; and drawing a chair near him, she sat in a kind of reverie, without ordering any lights to be brought. From Napoleon's manner, it was evident that he felt he had hurt Junot in the most sensitive part, and that he was now determined to repair the injury. The sequel reflects honor upon his memory.
· Suddenly, I heard a quick step on the little staircase, which led from the breakfast room into the court. Accustomed to watching by a sick bed, I was on foot in an instant, and heard Heldt, the first valet-de-chambre, running up stairs, and calling, “ Madame! Madame!"
• A light struck upon my still half-closed eyes, but a well-known voice effectually roused me; the First Consul presented himself before me.
• ** Good evening, Madame Junot; you did not expect me, I imagine ; well, where is your dying patient?"
• As he spoke, he entered the small cabinet, which served as an ante-room between Junot's apartments and inine, and in which he had just been sleeping:
""Well! M. Junot, what is the matter with you, then? Hey? What does this fever mean? Well, what are you crying for, great baby? Ah, I shall mimic you presently mysell.” Here he pulled his ears; and his poor nose ; pinched his cheeks, and lavished all his expressions of favor on him. Junot, meanwhile, was suffocating; 1, perhaps, never knew him so deeply affected. He took the First Consul's two hands; alternately pressed them to his bosom, and looked at hin with an expression such as the heart only can paint upon the coun. tenance. He could not speak : he took the hand of the good Duroc, that excel. lent friend, whom for some time he misunderstood, but who never ceased to be the truest and most valuable of his brothers in arms.
guess you are no longer ill," said the First Consul, taking the chair I had been offering him ever since he came in, "Hey! hot brain."
• He was scarcely seated, before he stood up again and began walking round lhe room, saying
""Ah, so this is what they call your palace ; I should be glad to see it! They all tell me it is a marvel, and a folly; but this room seems simple enough.'
• Hereupon he went into Junot's room, and his cabinet: then returned, and passed into ay apartment. “ Ah! ah! so this is the sanctuary,” said he, in a tone of kindness, though rather joking; “buit, what the devil is this? Do these happen to be your grandmothers?
". They are not even relations, General,” replied I. " It is a piece of Junot's gallantry, who chose to ornament ing room with portraits of all the celebrated females of antiquity, and of the last century: he was willing that I should not be too humble in my character of a woman.
• ** Oh! he might have dispensed with the portrait gallery for that purpose. But he was right not to adunit into it the women of the preseni day; for all pretend to be celebrated : it is the folly of all countries."
• He continued to walk on as he talked ; while I looked at him with a fixed aitention, and a smile which I could not suppress. At first he did not remark this, but in the end guessed the cause, which was the singular style of his costume, always absolutely laughable, when he assumed the dress of a private citizen. From what cause I can scarcely tell, but all the illusions of glory which surrounded hiin, could not make his appearance imposing, when not attired in civil or military uniform. It might arise from his being wholly unaccustomed to this undress ; but, at all events, he was totally different in it, even in its very eccentricity, froin other men. On this occasion, his great coat was of superfine cloth, and his hat was remarkably fine beaver; but it was still of the same unfashionable make, and still was set on the head in the same peculiar manner, with the difference only from his former appearance, that his hair was not powdered, and the dog's-ears had disappeared.
** Well! Monsieur Junot,” said he, after having made the tour of my apartments, the only portion of the house yet furnished, “ I hope this little journey round your domains has radically cured you."
• Junot seized the hand which the First Consul presented to him, pressed it between both his, and wept without answering. At this moment he was neither the man of strong mind nor the courageous soldier, but a feeble child.
«« To prove that you are quite cured," continued the First Consul, “ you will breakfast with me to-morrow, at St. Cloud. Good night, my old friend. Adieu, Madame la Commandante !"
• We attended him to the street door. No one knew that the First Consul was in our house : he had imposed silence upon Heldt, the only one of our servants who had seen him; and it is well known that Napoleon was not one of those persons who might be disobeyed. He was right in this privacy ; the knowledge of his visit would but have created jealousies: he had crossed ihe Tuileries on foot, and at the entrance of the Champs Elysées, a chaise, or sort of cabriolet, drawn by two horses, which Duroc generally used, was waiting for him.
• Whether there was a little magic in what I am about to say or not, I am not able to decide ; but certain it is that there was literally no more than time enough for descending the staircase, and crossing the hall, before Junot, who had disappeared at the head of the stairs, returned in his uniform, with his sword at his side, and wrapped in his military cloak.
- What does this mean, Monsieur Junot? I do not permit you to go out, understand that: it is a military order."
666 My General, you know me. Vou know that I should be seriously ill if I did not see you safe in your carriage, with the certainty that your goodness to a faithful friend has not exposed you to danger. Then, do not insist, my General, for I am resolute."
"" And as I must watch my patient,” added I,“ the First Consul will permit me to accompany him?" 6 - Oh oh! an Amazon ! you have been reading Clorinde, I suppose.” *" Certainly, General."
• We reached the first trees of the avenue of Neuilly, and found the chaise in waiting. The first Consul himself into it; Duroc too his seat by his side, and they were off like an arrow.