the fulcrum—so to speak—of my efforts should fail me just as I was reaching my destination.
From that moment I knew that whatever sympathy I might meet with it could lead to no practical results.
I did not even seek an audience from the Emperor.
But it happened that among the former friends and acquaintances who, on the news of my return, hastened to meet me, there was an officer of the French army, Major De Vatry, half-brother to the then Duke of Elchingen, a descendant of the famos Marshal Ney, at that time on the Emperor's military staff.
He was very anxious to secure an interview for me, which he did without any difficulty, the Emperor having, as he informed me, expressed at once his perfect willingness to receive me.
Informal audience with Emperor.
I had thus an informal audience, not obtained through the regular official channel, and was received by the Emperor with the greatest courtesy.
He bade me sit opposite him, and during the conversation which ensued evinced