International Happiness Day continues…
To be honest, this painting by a nineteenth century romantic artist would be of the seventh of March 1815, about two weeks before he actually arrived in Paris on March 20th, but it all ties in. (And we missed March 7th LOL). Plus, it shows the fervor many still had for their erstwhile Emperor.
Our story so far: Napoleon – concerned he might be shipped off to some remote Atlantic island – escapes Elba and ends up back in France.
The Fifth Regiment is sent to capture him. The painting shows them meeting him south of Grenoble. What does Napoleon do? He “approached the regiment alone, dismounted his horse and, when he was within gunshot range, shouted to the soldiers, ‘Here I am. Kill your Emperor, if you wish.’ The soldiers quickly responded with, “Vive L’Empereur!” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleon#cite_note-180).
Marshal Michel Ney, who had been one of his most trusted commanders, had sworn allegiance to the Bourbon restoration and Louis XVIII.
The Marshal even swore he’d bring Napoleon back to Paris in an iron cage! Napoleon had written him directly: ‘I shall receive you as I did after the Battle of the Moskowa.’
Suffice it to say, Ney was more than happy to greet his Emperor, saluting him with a kiss. Ney accompanied Napoleon to Paris…and later on to Waterloo.
But when Napoleon reached Paris on March 20th, 1815, no wonder it would have been Napoleonic Happiness Day!
And I’ll leave it with that!