Napoleon’s Pet


Napoleon didn’t have pets, but he genuinely appreciated other people’s dogs. The first such dog belonged to Josephine. “Millions of kisses to you and even your beast, in spite of his ill will, “he wrote her from Italy. The mean little dog, called Fortuné, shared the conjugal bed with Bonaparte; the general was even once bit at the most inopportune moment; but there was nothing he could do, for the pet had earned that privilege through years of loyal service: they say that during the Days of Terror, when Josephine was incarcerated, Fortuné served her as a messenger. The future Emperor respected that. Finally a bigger dog did Bonaparte a big favor; no happy ending though, for even with Fortuné out of the picture, Napoleon’s family life did not improve; and it’s not like he was disliked by other dogs, quite the contrary; and from the dog’s perspective, it was just Napoleon, for I’ve never heard any other guys complain.

chien_blanc_des_abruzzes_de_napoleonThe story of this stuffed animal, today at the Invalids, is apocryphal, but he looks convincing enough next to the Emperor’s stuffed horse; the story of the horse, I will tell you next time.

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About versaillesgossip, before and after Francis Ponge

The author of the blogs Versailles Gossip and Before and After Francis Ponge, Vadim Bystritski lives and teaches in Brest France. The the three main themes of his literary endeavours are humor, the French Prose Poetry, the French XVII and XVIII Century Art and History. His writings and occasionally art has been published in a number of ezines (Eratio, Out of Nothing, Scars TV, etc). He also contributes to Pinterest where he comments on the artifiacts from the Louvre and other collections. Some of his shorter texts are in Spanish, Russian and French.
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