Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 2.djvu/51

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34
Ch. 2
HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES.

now! if he were capable of wishing it, the Chambers would never consent."

"So he means to do without their consent," replied Joseph. "This is what he answered me, when I said to him, like you, that the Chambers would not consent. What is more, he added that this sale would supply him the first funds for the war. Do you know that I am beginning to think he is much too fond of war?"

History is not often able to penetrate the private lives of famous men, and catch their words as they were uttered. Although Lucien Bonaparte’s veracity was not greatly superior to that of his brother Napoleon, his story agreed with the known facts. If his imagination here and there filled in the gaps of memory,—if he was embittered and angry when he wrote, and hated his brother Napoleon with Corsican passion, these circumstances did not discredit his story, for he would certainly have told the truth against his brother under no other conditions. The story was not libelous, but Napoleonic; it told nothing new of the First Consul's character, but it was honorable to Joseph, who proposed to Lucien that they should go together and prevent their brother from committing a fault which would rouse the indignation of France, and endanger his own safety as well as theirs.

The next morning Lucien went to the Tulieries; by his brother's order he was admitted, and found Napoleon in his bath, the water of which was opaque with mixture of eau de Cologne. They talked for