Translated by Mary J. Safford
y, to hold their breath, in order not to wake the emperor; then gliding before them to the room, he drew back the _portières_ of the chamber. The officers followed, stealing along on tiptoe, and gazed curiously, anxiously, into the quiet, curtained room. Yes, there on the low camp-bed, lay the emperor. He had not even undressed, but lay as if on parade in full uniform, with his military cloak flung lightly across his feet. He had sunk down in this attitude twenty-two hours before, and still lay motionless and rigid.
But he was sleeping! It was not stupor, it was not death, it was only sleep which held him captive. His breath came slowly, regularly; his face was slightly flushed, his eyes were calmly closed. The emperor was sleeping! His generals need feel no anxiety; they might return to the drawing-room with relieved hearts. They did so, stealing noiselessly again through the private office into the hall, whose door had been left ajar that the noise might not rouse the sleeper.
Yet, once within the hal