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The Wife of the First Consul

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Pages: 202

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:8/5/2009 - General Books LLC

By: Imbert de Saint-Amand

Excerpt from book: PART L THE TEMPORARY CONSULATE. chapter{Section 4THE LUXEMBOURG. ON the 21st Brumaire, year VIII., there appeared in the Moniteur the following short paragraph: "Paris, 20th Brumaire. The three Consuls have taken their seats in the Luxembourg. In the evening the public buildings and many private houses were illuminated." From the moment of his installation at the Luxembourg the future Caesar regarded himself as the absolute head of the state. " He is a pike who will swallow the two other fish," said Madame de Permont to his mother, Madame Bonaparte. " O Panoria !" replied Madame Letitia, with reproachful accent, for at this moment she still believed in the genuine republicanism of her son. " The surprising thing," said Edgar Quinet, " is the way in which all combined to blind themselves. In fact, every one was new to servitude. Even those who ran towards it most eagerly imagined that they were acquiring a new form of liberty. . . . Not a day passed without an approach to absolute power, but no one seemed to perceive it." Bonaparte, a sovereign in fact, was not yet one in appearance: he regardedrepublican susceptibility, but gradually, by crafty and astute steps, he began to accustom men to his rule. The old customs begin to reappear one by one. Josephine ceases to be called Citoyenne Bonaparte, and the woman who is soon to be Empress of the French and Queen of Italy is designated as Madame Bonaparte. For a little while there are preserved the names of things which no longer exist, such as liberty and the Republic, and the future Emperor is still called the citizen First Consul. Bonaparte occupied in the little Luxembourg the apartment on the ground floor, to the right as one enters from the rue de Vaugirard. His office was near a hidden staircase leading to the firs...  


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