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of the Emperor of the French, and the increasing influence of the Empress.

The critical and nearly fatal attack of illness of Napoleon III. came upon him, according to Herr Samarow, while Pietri, the Préfet de Police, was reading to him a report on the military power of Prussia, on which he remarked that it agreed with Stoffel's, but that he had made a note on Stoffel's last report, which he requested Pietri to read to him as it tranquillised his mind; the note was to this effect: 'the mitrailleuses will restore the balance. If the Emperor really said and wrote anything so silly, not even the attack of pain and illness which, according to Herr Samarow, immediately fell upon him, could reduce him to greater imbecility. However, Pietri, in the midst of reading the Emperor's correspondence, suddenly rose up with

of horror: ' Napoleon lay in a heap and as though lifeless in his chair, with his hands clasped up in spasm, and with his head thrown back. His eyes were shut, his face dun-coloured, and out of his open mouth came rattling gasps of breath; without these gasps of breath, which were the only signs of life in his rigid body, one would have thought that he was dead.

6 « Mon Dieu ! Sire!" cried Pietri, " what a misfortune! What has happened ? "

He raised up the head of the Emperor. Napoleon opened his eyes

* . for an instant. A dull, almost senseless glance fell on the secretary, then his eyelids fell again, and painful quivering ran through his body. He whispered scarce audibly,

"“What pangs I suffer, Pietri! It is all over with me."

'Rigid with horror, Pietri seized the little handbell of the Emperor and rang it hastily. In a few moments the valet de chambre, the aidesde-camp-in-waiting, and some servants arrived. The Emperor, who gave no sign of life except his pitiful groaning, was undressed and carried into his sleeping apartment. Messengers on horseback flew in haste to fetch Doctor Nélaton and Doctor Conneau.


• After sonie minutes the Empress hastened in full of anguish.

""Mon Dieu, Louis !” she cried, “what has happened? What is the matter ?":

* The Emperor made no reply. Pietri narrated to the Empress that a sudden attack had come on, and repeated to her the wish of the Emperor that all should be kept secret. The Doctor Conneau appeared

. first. Nélaton followed soon after. The Empress left the bedroom, and the physicians remained alone with the Emperor stretched out in a helpless state. The Empress waited half an hour in the cabinet of her husband, at one time crouching down with gloomy features in an arm-chair, then rising and with impetuous steps walking up and down. At length the physicians appeared.

"“ It is a violent rheumatic attack," said Doctor Conneau, " which



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has fallen upon the nerves and the inward parts, and which demands the most careful treatment and the most complete repose.”

"" And is the danger over ? ” asked the Empress, with fixed look. " Will it pass by ?”

("Rheumatic affections, madame,” said Doctor Nélaton, “are incalculable. If the strength of the organism holds out, and there are no untoward accidents, the Emperor will be fully recovered in a few months. The Emperor has desired to see your Majesty, but I beg you not to remain long with him, since the greatest quiet is imperatively necessary."

The Empress hastened into the bedrooin of her husband. Napoleon lay on his bed quiet, pale, and exhausted, with clear looks. At its foot stood a deep arm-chair. The Empress approaching quickly, sat down in it, and clasping the hand of her husband as it lay on the covering of the bed,

"“ My dear Louis,” said she, “what is the matter? I "

("Hear me, Eugénie," the Emperor answered, while his large open eye was directed with its sharp piercing look on his wife. “I am fatally struck. This attack was in truth a touch of the hand of death on my heart

"Grand Dieu, Louis," cried the Empress, " what a thought !” Napoleon lifted up his hand to stay her further speech, and spoke.

"“I know that well, such is one's feeling-living nature shudders at the first approach of destruction: the physicians tell me that in timeand that in no short time--I shall recover from this attack. I believe it may be possible, yet it is certain that this is the beginning of the end."

"“I beseech you," said the Empress, in whose looks anguish and apprehension trembled, " do not excite yourself.”

7"I am quite quiet,” said the Emperor, “and even on that account will I think of the end, whose possibility is placed so closely before my eyes by this accident. Eugénie, if I die the government must be placed in hands wbich possess the confidence of the Bourgeoisie-for without them no revolution can be made-and which will accept your guidance. A war for the consolidation of the foundation of our throne is impossible at present.”

'He looked with a sigh at his pale and shrunken hand which projected beyond his frilled sleeve like the hand of a corpse.

"“ I can at this moment do nothing," he continued, " and shall be fully employed in bringing this broken machine into order again. You must prepare the way for what is requisite, Eugénie. Ollivier."

"" Are you resolved to accept Ollivier ? " said the Empress with flashing eyes.

«"I am," said the Emperor ; “call him here, talk over every thing with him, so that he may be Minister immediately-until I recover, or for your Regency, if I die."

• The Empress looked thoughtfully before her, a proud, joyful smile beamed on her lips.

““I give you Pietri to direct you-he is acquainted with everything: you can trust him.” Napoleon continued : “perhaps you can arrange things better with Pietri than I could have done. Begin the business

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immediately. This man will in case of need be the guardian of the minority of my son.

{"And now, Eugénie," he said, breathing with difficulty," leave me to fight my fight with death. I am in need of quiet—that alone can give me strength and pray God,” he added gently," that I may be victor in this contest."

• The Empress rose up.

Once again she pressed the hand of her husband and whispered gently, bending down over him,

““You will soon be strong and well, and then you will be pleased with me.”

The Emperor made a friendly recognition to her with his eyes, as she turned away from him and went to the door, then he closed them and lay back on his pillow in an immobility fixed as death. The Empress hastened through the vestibule and passed by the attendants, who bowed lowly before her, and went to her apartments.

As she entered into her rooms, she raised herself up proudly, her eyes gleamed, her glowing lips opened themselves, and gently raising her hand, as though she commanded the unseen spirits of the future she spake gently :

"“Ollivier, at last—all, at last, bows before my will. I shall be Regent-I shall have my war-he-he will make my war, which fate seemed to be on the point of taking away from me."

"She looked for a time stedfastly before her-more and more proudly was her head raised, and her eyes gleamed with more and more joy. Then she stepped to her table and touched the hand-bell.

“I wish to see M. Pietri,” she said to the page in waiting, who hastened quickly away to call the private secretary of the Emperor to her Majesty'

The next scene in which we find Napoleon III. playing the chief part is laid at Metz, after the declaration of war which so startled Europe by its audacity and celerity, and which we see the author of these volumes ascribes chiefly to the wilfulness of the Empress. The chapter which describes the state of the French army and the deliberations of the Emperor's council at Metz is among the most successful parts of this book. News of the defeats of General Douay at Weissenbourg, and of Marshal MacMahon at Reichshoffen had lately arrived within the limits of the once impregnable city.

« On the 14th of August the cuirassiers were ranged in double posts before the préfecture in Metz, and adjutants and orderly officers hastened in thick crowds through the great door of the large building in which the head-quarters of his Majesty the Emperor Napoleon III. had been established. Troops of every arm were seen in a billowy crowd moving in the streets backwards and forwards, mixed with the inhabitants of the place and the country folk of the neighbourhood, who had entered the town, partly to seek for protection, and partly to

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hear the news about the operations of this army on which France had placed such great confidence, and from which a sudden tremendous effort was expected which would drive the hostile armies over the boundaries. The poor country people who liad come in, with more or less means of subsistence, which were very welcome and well paid for, must needs leave the town in sorrow and with lamentation, since the provisions they had brought might very well be made use of, but the number of consumers could not be increased. Everywhere, therefore, there were scenes, and especially at the gates, of a passionate and vehement character; while the soldiers, true to the commands they had received, drove the villagers of the country again out of the fortress, and must needs employ force, since the most incredible stories, which recalled the legends of the Thirty Years' War, preceded the march of the German army. The whole town and the camp before it offered a picture of disorder, of running hither and thither, and of helplessness, and even among the soldiers on duty that relaxation of discipline was observable which, with the excitable French soldier, is wont to set in so rapidly.

* Around the Préfecture there was no longer that quiet, respectful peace which surrounded the imperial residence when head-quarters were first established there. The troops as well as the inhabitants of the town thronged close together, and stood packed shoulder to shoulder thick into the courtyard since it was expected that here at the central point, to which all tidings flowed, and from which all commands were given, the best and surest news could be found respecting the engagements with the advancing enemy, and the plans decided on to check the further advance of the hosts of Germany.

• The way to the entrance of the Préfecture scarcely remained free for the generals and adjutants, who kept constantly coming and going, and were beset with questions by the curious crowd. They gave no reply to all these questions, but contented themselves with shrugging their shoulders, and shaking their heads, and hastening away ; but even this silence was an answer, for if they had been able to give good news, had they been able to give the so long-wished-for news of victory, they would not have been silent, but would have cried out aloud in words of exultation-in words which would have freed all hearts from the curse of fear and terror which lay upon them.'

The author then describes with great truthfulness and vivacity one of the most characteristic incidents of the war, the arrival of General Changarnier among the disordered crowds of the yet unbesieged city, and the wild gleam of hope which his presence seemed to bring with it for an instant to a discouraged population, and to the fluctuating counsels of the Emperor and his military chiefs. The general took part in a council of war, and gave his opinions on the prospects of the campaign, assisted by a map on which the positions of the troops on either side were marked out with coloured pins.

One point there was on which the general especially insisted,


and that was that the Emperor should leave the army and not interfere with the plans of Bazaine, now commander-in-chief.

After Changarnier had departed, the Emperor was left alone with Bazaine.

""I would gladly," said the Emperor, “ send the Prince Imperial away from here. The poor child suffers immensely from these sorrowful occurrences. His health is still beset with those disturbances of the nerves which operate very harmfully upon him; but the Empress adjures me continually to keep him with me, since his appearance in Paris would make the most unfavourable impression. And yet," he continued, looking gloomily to the ground, " I wish to send away from me this child on whom the whole future of France rests. I fear," he said, while directing his look on the Marshal, “ that I am now marked for ill-luck, and that my star is beginning to set. I must expose myself to great dangers. I may be made a prisoner of war. I would not bind the future of the Prince to my destiny."

"“ Your Majesty knows,” replied the Marshal, “that I do not think very much of the advice which at this moment is being sent from Paris, where people are hardly in a condition to appreciate our situation rightly. The last advice which M. Ollivier sent you from thence prevented the retreat of the army from Metz—which was then so easy-because," he said, with a bitter smile, “it would make a bad impression on the Chambers; that was the last service which that man rendered to your Majesty—to our country. Now, however," he continued, “ her Majesty the Empress is right. What may happen in Paris cannot be foreseen, and I should hold it extremely dangerous to send your only son, the heir of your crown, to Paris, where, perhaps to-morrow, a revolutionary insurrection may overthrow the Regency.'

““Do you deem that possible," asked the Emperor, “when, so short a time ago, the whole people of France voted for me with so great a majority ? "

““ Paris is not France, Sire!” said the Marshal. “ Paris is a wild chaotic mass, which at the moment in which the whole force of the empire is engaged with foreign foes, can fall into perilous fermentation. The empire, Sire, the centre of France, is now in the army, and with your armies, in my opinion, the Imperial Prince must remain. I apprehend, however," he continued, as the Emperor with painfully distorted features, sank down in a helpless state," no ordinary peril in Paris. The movements there will always sink into nothing before an earnest will and a compact military force—they could only gain significance if they were able to make a prisoner of the representative of the future of your dynasty. Let your Majesty keep the Prince near you, and if, contrary to my opinion, the danger saould become more serious and menacing, send him either to Belgium or England, in order that the future above all things may be secured. I,” he continued in a firm tone, “guarantee one thing to your Majesty, and that is a powerful and intact army. I will attempt to retreat and will fight, if needs be, to make my retreat good. If, however, I am not successful, yet will I preserve this army for your Majesty,


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