The Court of the Empress Josephine

AmandImbert de Saint

Editore: Forgotten Books
Formato: PDF
Testo in en
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Dimensioni: 6,38 MB
  • EAN: 9780243848201
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All your happiness Subject to instability In a moment falls to the ground, And as it has the brilliancy of glass It also has its fragility. We shall evoke the memory of the dead to revive this vanished court, and we shall consult, one after another,.the persons who were eye-witnesses of these short-lived wonders. A prefect of the palace, M. De Bausset, wrote: When I recall the memorable times of which I have just given a faint idea, I feel, after so many years, as if I had been taking part in the gorgeous scenes of the Arabian Tales or of the Thousand and One Nights. The magic picture of all those splendors and glories has disappeared, and with it all the prestige of ambition and power. One of the ladies of the palace of the Empress Josephine, Madame de Rémusat, has expressed the same thought I seem to be recalling a dream, but a dream re sembling an Oriental tale, when I describe the lavish luxury of that period, the disputes for precedence, the claims of rank, the demands of every one. Yes, in all that there was something dreamlike, and the actors in that fairy spectacle which is called the Empire, that great show piece, with its scenery, now brilliant, now terrible, but ever changing, must have been even more astonished than the spectators. Aix la-chapelle and the court of Charlemagne, the castle of Fontainebleau and the Pope, Notre Dame and the coronation, the Champ de Mars and the distribu tion of eagles, the Cathedral of Milan and the Iron Crown, Genoa the superb and its naval festival, Austerlitz and the three emperors, -what a setting! What accessories! What personages! The peal of organs, the intoning of priests, the applause of themultitude and of the soldiers, the groans of the dying, the trumpet call, the roll of the drum, ball music, military bands, the cannon's roar, were the joyful and mournful harmonies heard while the play went on. What we shall study amid this tumult and agitation is one woman. We have already stu'died her as the Viscountess of Beauharnais, as Citizeness Bonaparte, and as the wife of the First Consul. We shall now study her in her new part, that of Empress.