Author(s): Jules Massenet; Harry Villiers Barnett
M. Ferriere, a harsh, severe looking man-he was one of the upper employees-came out to call the candidates by flinging their names into the crowd of relatives and friends that accompanied them. It was like summoning the condemned to execution. Then he gave each candidate the number of his turn before the jury which had already assembled in the rooms where the sessions were held. This room was intended for examinations and was a sort of small theater with a row of boxes and a circular gallery in the Consulate style. I confess that I have never entered that room without feeling emotion. I have always fancied that I saw, seated opposite in a first-tier box, as in a black hole, Bonaparte, the First Consul, and Josephine, the sweet companion of his early years.