Translated by Thomas Sergeant Perry
invented. He liked to fill his courtiers with raptures or with despair, by a smile or a frown. He thought his sisters' ambition childish, but it amused him; and if they had to cry a little at first, he finally granted them what they wanted.
May 19, after the family dinner, Madame Murat was more and more distressed at not being a Princess, when she was a Bonaparte by birth, while Madame Joseph and Madame Louis, one of whom was a Clary, the other a Beauharnais, bore that title, and burst out into complaints and reproaches. "Why," she asked of her all-powerful brother, "why condemn me and my sisters to obscurity, to contempt, while covering strangers with honors and dignities?" At first these words annoyed Napoleon. "In fact," he exclaimed, "judging from your pretensions, one would suppose that we inherited the crown from the late King our father." At the end of the interview, Madame Murat, not satisfied with crying, fainted away. Napoleon softened at once, and a few days later there appeared a notification