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Title: A Life of Napoleon Bonaparte - With a Sketch of Josephine, Empress of the French. Illustrated from the Collection Of Napoleon Engravings Made by the Late Hon. G. G. Hubbard, and Now Owned by the Congressional Library, Washington, D. C., Supplemented by Pictures from the Best French Collections....
Author: Tarbell, Ida M. (Ida Minerva)
Language: English
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*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Life of Napoleon Bonaparte - With a Sketch of Josephine, Empress of the French. Illustrated from the Collection Of Napoleon Engravings Made by the Late Hon. G. G. Hubbard, and Now Owned by the Congressional Library, Washington, D. C., Supplemented by Pictures from the Best French Collections...." ***

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  After a portrait by Greuze.]


With a Sketch of JOSEPHINE, Empress of the French. Illustrated from
the collection of NAPOLEON Engravings made by the late Hon. G. G.
Hubbard, and now owned by the Congressional Library, Washington, D. C.,
supplemented by Pictures from the best French Collections....



New York
McClure, Phillips & Co.
M. CM. V.

Copyright, 1894, by
S. S. McClure, Limited

Copyright, 1895, by
S. S. McClure, Limited

Copyright, 1896, by
The S. S. McClure Co.

Copyright, 1901, by
McClure, Phillips & Co.

First Impression February, 1901
Second Impression April, 1901
Third Impression May, 1903
Fourth Impression Sept., 1905.




 CHAPTER                                                            PAGE


           REVOLUTION                                                 27

    III. ROBESPIERRE.—OUT OF WORK.—FIRST SUCCESS                      43


      V. ITALIAN CAMPAIGN.—RULES OF WAR                               61


           PUBLIC WORKS                                              105

           HONOR.—CODE NAPOLEON                                      119

           GOVERNMENT.—PROSPERITY OF FRANCE                          133

           BOULOGNE.—SALE OF LOUISIANA                               143


    XII. CAMPAIGNS OF 1805, 1806, 1807.—PEACE OF TILSIT              163


           SPANISH THRONE                                            191


    XVI. TALLEYRAND’S TREACHERY.—CAMPAIGN OF 1809                    211

           THE KING OF ROME.                                         221

           AGREEMENT BROKEN                                          229


     XX. CAMPAIGN OF 1813.—CAMPAIGN OF 1814.—ABDICATION              253


   XXII. SURRENDER TO ENGLISH.—ST. HELENA.—DEATH                     279

  XXIII. THE SECOND FUNERAL                                          295




           EGYPT                                                     346

           LIFE.—HER PERSONAL CHARM.—MALMAISON                       360

           CORONATION                                                371

           JOURNEYS.—EXTRAVAGANCE IN DRESS                           386

           OF 1809 AND ITS EFFECT ON NAPOLEON                        399

           WHICH THE DIVORCE WAS EFFECTED                            413

           EMPEROR.—HER GRADUAL RETURN TO HAPPINESS                  423

           CAMPAIGN OF 1813.—FLIGHT FROM PARIS.—DEATH IN 1814        440


         TABLE OF THE BONAPARTE FAMILY                               464


         INDEX                                                       477

                        PREFACE TO FIRST EDITION

The chief source of illustration for this volume, as in the case of the
Napoleon papers in MCCLURE’S MAGAZINE, is the great collection of
engravings of Mr. Gardiner G. Hubbard, which has been generously placed
at the service of the publishers. In order to make the illustration
still more comprehensive, a representative of MCCLURE’S MAGAZINE and an
authorized agent of Mr. Hubbard visited Paris, to seek there whatever it
might be desirable to have in the way of additional pictures which were
not within the scope of Mr. Hubbard’s splendid collection. They secured
the assistance of M. Armand Dayot, _Inspecteur des Beaux-Arts_, who
possessed rare qualifications for the task. His official position he
owed to his familiarity with the great art collections, both public and
private, of France, and his official duties made him especially familiar
with the great paintings relating to French history. Besides, he was a
specialist in Napoleonic iconography. On account of his qualifications
and special knowledge, he had been selected by the great house of
Hachette et Cie, to edit their book on _Napoléon raconté par l’Image_,
which was the first attempt to bring together in one volume the most
important pictures relating to the military, political, and private life
of Napoleon. M. Dayot had just completed this task, and was fresh from
his studies of Napoleonic pictures, when his aid was secured by the
publishers of MCCLURE’S MAGAZINE, in supplementing the Hubbard

The work was prosecuted with the one aim of omitting no important
picture. When great paintings indispensable to a complete pictorial life
of Napoleon were found, which had never been either etched or engraved,
photographs were obtained, many of these photographs being made
especially for our use.

A generous selection of pictures was made from the works of Raffet and
Charlet. M. Dayot was able also to add a number of pictures—not less
than a score—of unique value, through his personal relations with the
owners of the great private Napoleonic collections. Thus were obtained
hitherto unpublished pictures, of the highest value, from the
collections of Monseigneur Due d’Aumale; of H. I. H., Prince Victor
Napoleon; of Prince Roland; of Baron Larrey, the son of the chief
surgeon of the army of Napoleon; of the Duke of Bassano, son of the
minister and confidant of the emperor; of Monsieur Edmond Taigny, the
friend and biographer of Isabey; of Monsieur Albert Christophle,
Governor-General of the _Crédit-Foncier_ of France; of Monsieur Paul le
Roux, who has perhaps the richest of the Napoleonic collections; and of
Monsieur le Marquis de Girardin, son-in-law of the Duc de Gaëte, the
faithful Minister of Finance of Napoleon I. It will be easily understood
that no doubt can be raised as to the authenticity of documents borrowed
from such sources.

The following letter explains fully the plan on which Mr. Hubbard’s
collection is arranged, and shows as well its admirable completeness. It
gives, too, a classification of the pictures into periods, which will be
useful to the reader.

                                          WASHINGTON, _October, 1894_.

  S. S. MCCLURE, Esq.

  _Dear Sir_:—It is about fourteen years since I became interested in
  engravings, and I have since that time made a considerable
  collection, including many portraits, generally painted and engraved
  during the life of the personage. I have from two hundred to three
  hundred prints relating to Napoleon, his family, and his generals.
  The earliest of these is a portrait of Napoleon painted in 1791,
  when he was twenty-two years old; the next in date was engraved in
  1796. There are many in each subsequent year, and four prints of
  drawings made immediately after his death.

  There are few men whose characters at different periods of life are
  so distinctly marked as Napoleon’s, as will appear by an examination
  of these prints. There are four of these periods: First Period,
  1796–1797, Napoleon the General; Second Period, 1801–1804, Napoleon
  the Statesman and Lawgiver; Third Period, 1804–1812, Napoleon the
  Emperor; Fourth Period, the Decline and Fall of Napoleon, including
  Waterloo and St. Helena. Most of these prints are contemporaneous
  with the periods described. The portraits include copies of the
  portraits painted by the greatest painters and engraved by the best
  engravers of that age. There are four engravings of the paintings by
  Meissonier—“1807,” “Napoleon,” “Napoleon Reconnoitering,” and

  FIRST PERIOD, 1796–1797, _Napoleon the General_.—In these the
  Italian spelling of the name, “Buonaparte,” is generally adopted. At
  this period there were many French and other artists in Italy, and
  it would seem as if all were desirous of painting the young general.
  A French writer in a late number of the “Gazette des Beaux-Arts” is
  uncertain whether Gros, Appiani, or Cossia was the first to obtain a
  sitting from General Bonaparte. It does not matter to your readers,
  as portraits by each of these artists are included in this

  There must have been other portraits or busts of Bonaparte executed
  before 1796, besides the one by Greuze given in this collection.
  These may be found, but there are no others in my collection. Of the
  portraits of Napoleon belonging to this period eight were engraved
  before 1798, one in 1800. All have the long hair falling below the
  ears over the forehead and shoulders; while all portraits subsequent
  to Napoleon’s expedition to Egypt have short hair. The length of the
  hair affords an indication of the date of the portrait.

  SECOND PERIOD, 1801–1804, _Napoleon the Statesman and
  Lawgiver_.—During this period many English artists visited Paris,
  and painted or engraved portraits of Napoleon. In these the Italian
  spelling “Buonaparte” is adopted, while in the French engravings of
  this period he is called “Bonaparte” or “General Bonaparte.”
  Especially noteworthy among them is “The Review at the Tuileries,”
  regarded by Masson as the best likeness of Napoleon “when thirty
  years old and in his best estate.” The portrait painted by Gérard in
  1803, and engraved by Richomme, is by others considered the best of
  this period. There is already a marked change from the long and thin
  face in earlier portraits to the round and full face of this period.
  In some of these prints the Code Napoléon is introduced as an

  THIRD PERIOD, 1804–1812, _Napoleon the Emperor_.—He is now styled
  “Napoléon,” “Napoléon le Grand,” or “L’Empereur.” His chief painters
  in this period are Léfevre, Gérard, Isabey, Lupton, and David (with
  Raphael-Morghen, Longhi, Desnoyers, engravers)—artists of greater
  merit than those of the earlier periods. The full-length portrait by
  David has been copied oftener and is better known than any other.

  It has been said that we cannot in the portraits of this period,
  executed by Gérard, Isabey, and David, find a true likeness of
  Napoleon. His ministers thought “it was necessary that the sovereign
  should have a serene expression, with a beauty almost more than
  human, like the deified Cæsars or the gods of whom they were the
  image.” “Advise the painters,” Napoleon wrote to Duroc, September
  15, 1807, “to make the countenance more gracious (_plutôt
  gracieuses_).” Again, “Advise the painters to seek less a perfect
  resemblance than to give the beau ideal in preserving certain
  features and in making the likeness more agreeable (_plutôt

  FOURTH PERIOD, 1812–1815, _Decline and Fall of Napoleon_.—We have
  probably in the front and side face made by Girodet, and published
  in England, a true likeness of Napoleon. It was drawn by Girodet in
  the Chapel of the Tuileries, March 8, 1812, while Napoleon was
  attending mass. It is believed to be a more truthful likeness than
  that by David, made the same year; the change in his appearance to
  greater fulness than in the portraits of 1801–1804 is here more
  plainly marked. He has now become corpulent, and his face is round
  and full. Two portraits taken in 1815 show it even more clearly. One
  of these was taken immediately before the battle of Waterloo, and
  the other, by J. Eastlake, immediately after. Mr. Eastlake, then an
  art student, was staying at Plymouth when the “Bellerophon” put in.
  He watched Napoleon for several days, taking sketches from which he
  afterwards made a full-length portrait.

  The collection concludes with three notable prints: the first of the
  mask made by Dr. Antommarchi the day of his death, and engraved by
  Calamatta in 1834; another of a drawing “made immediately after
  death by Captain Ibbetson, R. N.;” and the third of a drawing by
  Captain Crockatt, made fourteen hours after the death of Napoleon,
  and published in London July 18, 1821. These show in a remarkable
  manner the head of this wonderful man.

  The larger part of these prints was purchased through Messrs.
  Wunderlich & Co., and Messrs. Keppel of New York, some at auctions
  in Berlin, London, Amsterdam, and Stuttgart; very few in Paris.

                                                  GARDINER G. HUBBARD.

The historical and critical notes which accompany the illustrations in
this volume have been furnished by Mr. Hubbard as a rule, though those
signed A. D. come from the pen of M. Armand Dayot.

                       PREFACE TO SECOND EDITION

The Life of Napoleon in this volume first appeared as a serial in
Volumes III and IV of _McClure’s Magazine_. In 1895 on its completion in
serial form it was published in book form, illustrated by a series of
portraits from the Hubbard collection which had been used in the
magazine and by numerous other pictures drawn from the principal French
Napoleon collections. The illustrations in the present edition have been
selected from those used in the first. The variety and extent of these
illustrations are explained in the Preface to the First Edition here
reproduced. The Life of Napoleon is supplemented in the present work by
a sketch of Josephine. The absence of any Life of Josephine in English
drawn from recent historical investigations is the reason for presenting
this sketch. Until within a very few years the first Empress of the
French People has been pictured to the world as her grandson Napoleon
III desired that she appear—a fitting type for popular adoration—more of
a saint and a martyr than of a woman. The present sketch is an attempt
to tell a true story of her life as it is revealed by the recent
diligent researches of Frederic Masson and by the numerous memoirs of
the periods which have appeared, many of them since the passing of the
Second Empire. If the story as told here is frank, it is hoped by the
author that it will not be found unsympathetic.





                            LIFE OF NAPOLEON

                               CHAPTER I


“If I were not convinced that his family is as old and as good as my
own,” said the Emperor of Austria when he married Marie Louise to
Napoleon Bonaparte, “I would not give him my daughter.” The remark is
sufficient recognition of the nobility of the father of Napoleon,
Charles Marie de Bonaparte, a gentleman of Ajaccio, Corsica, whose
family, of Tuscan origin, had settled there in the sixteenth century,
and who, in 1765, had married a young girl of the island, Lætitia

Monsieur Bonaparte gave his wife a noble name, but little else. He was
an indolent, pleasure-loving, chimerical man, who had inherited a
lawsuit, and whose time was absorbed in the hopeless task of recovering
an estate of which the Church had taken possession. Madame Bonaparte
brought her husband no great name, but she did bring him health, beauty,
and remarkable qualities. Tall and imposing, Mademoiselle Lætitia
Ramolino had a superb carriage, which she never lost, and a face which
attracted attention particularly by the accentuation and perfection of
its features. She was reserved, but of ceaseless energy and will, and
though but fifteen when married, she conducted her family affairs with
such good sense and firmness that she was able to bring up decently the
eight children spared her from the thirteen she bore. The habits of
order and economy formed in her years of struggle became so firmly
rooted in her character that later, when she became _mater regum_, the
“Madame Mère” of an imperial court, she could not put them aside, but
saved from the generous income at her disposal, “for those of my
children who are not yet settled,” she said. Throughout her life she
showed the truth of her son’s characterization: “A man’s head on a
woman’s body.”

The first years after their marriage were stormy ones for the
Bonapartes. The Corsicans, led by the patriot Pascal Paoli, were in
revolt against the French, at that time masters of the island. Among
Paoli’s followers was Charles Bonaparte. He shared the fortunes of his
chief to the end of the struggle of 1769, and when, finally, Paoli was
hopelessly defeated, took to the mountains. In all the dangers and
miseries of this war and flight, Charles Bonaparte was accompanied by
his wife, who, vigorous of body and brave of heart, suffered privations,
dangers, and fatigue without complaint. When the Corsicans submitted,
the Bonapartes went back to Ajaccio. Six weeks later Madame Bonaparte
gave birth to her fourth child, Napoleon.

“I was born,” said Napoleon, “when my country was perishing. Thirty
thousand Frenchmen were vomited upon our soil. Cries of the wounded,
sighs of the oppressed, and tears of despair surrounded my cradle at my

Young Bonaparte learned to hate with the fierceness peculiar to Corsican
blood the idea of oppression, to revere Paoli, and, with a boy’s
contempt of necessity, even to despise his father’s submission. It was
not strange. His mother had little time for her children’s training. His
father gave them no attention; and Napoleon, “obstinate and curious,”
domineering over his brothers and companions, fearing no one, ran wild
on the beach with the sailors or over the mountains with the herdsmen,
listening to their tales of the Corsican rebellion and of fights, on sea
and land, imbibing their contempt for submission, their love for

At nine years of age he was a shy, proud, wilful child, unkempt and
untrained, little, pale, and nervous, almost without instruction, and
yet already enamored of a soldier’s life and conscious of a certain
superiority over his comrades. Then it was that he was suddenly
transplanted from his free life to an environment foreign in its
language, artificial in its etiquette, and severe in its regulations.

It was as a dependent, a species of charity pupil, that he went into
this new atmosphere. Charles Bonaparte had become, in the nine years
since he had abandoned the cause of Paoli, a thorough parasite. Like all
the poor nobility of the country to which he had attached himself, and
even like many of the rich in that day, he begged favors of every
description from the government in return for his support. To aid in
securing them, he humbled himself before the French Governor-General of
Corsica, the Count de Marbœuf, and made frequent trips, which he could
ill afford, back and forth to Versailles. The free education of his
children, a good office with its salary and honors, the maintenance of
his claims against the Jesuits, were among the favors which he sought.

By dint of solicitation he had secured a place among the free pupils of
the college at Autun for his son Joseph, the oldest of the family, and
one for Napoleon at the military school at Brienne.



To enter the school at Brienne, it was necessary to be able to read and
write French, and to pass a preliminary examination in that language.
This young Napoleon could not do; indeed, he could scarcely have done as
much in his native Italian. A preparatory school was necessary, then,
for a time. The place settled on was Autun, where Joseph was to enter
college, and there in January, 1779, Charles Bonaparte arrived with the
two boys.

Napoleon was nine and a half years old when he entered the school at
Autun. He remained three months, and in that time made sufficient
progress to fulfil the requirements at Brienne. The principal record of
the boy’s conduct at Autun comes from Abbé Chardon, who was at the head
of the primary department. He says of his pupil:

  “Napoleon brought to Autun a sombre, thoughtful character. He was
  interested in no one, and found his amusements by himself. He rarely
  had a companion in his walks. He was quick to learn, and quick of
  apprehension in all ways. When I gave him a lesson, he fixed his
  eyes upon me with parted lips; but if I recapitulated anything I had
  said, his interest was gone, as he plainly showed by his manner.
  When reproved for this, he would answer coldly, I might almost say
  with an imperious air, ‘I know it already, sir.’”

When he went to Brienne, Napoleon left his brother Joseph behind at
Autun. The boy had not now one familiar feature in his life. The school
at Brienne was made up of about one hundred and twenty pupils, half of
whom were supported by the government. They were sons of nobles, who,
generally, had little but their great names, and whose rule for getting
on in the world was the rule of the old _régime_—secure a powerful
patron, and, by flattery and servile attentions, continue in his train.
Young Bonaparte heard little but boasting, and saw little but vanity.
His first lessons in French society were the doubtful ones of the
parasite and courtier. The motto which he saw everywhere practised was,
“The end justifies the means.” His teachers were not strong enough men
to counteract this influence. The military schools of France were at
this time in the hands of religious orders, and the Minim Brothers, who
had charge of Brienne, were principally celebrated for their ignorance.
They certainly could not change the arrogant and false notions of their
aristocratic young pupils.

It was a dangerous experiment to place in such surroundings a boy like
the young Napoleon, proud, ambitious, jealous; lacking any healthful
moral training; possessing an Italian indifference to truth and the
rights of others; already conscious that he had his own way to make in
the world, and inspired by a determination to do it.

From the first the atmosphere at Brienne was hateful to the boy. His
comrades were French, and it was the French who had subdued Corsica.
They taunted him with it sometimes, and he told them that had there been
but four to one, Corsica would never have been conquered, but that the
French came ten to one. When they said: “But your father submitted,” he
said bitterly: “I shall never forgive him for it.” As for Paoli, he told
them, proudly, “He is a good man. I wish I could be like him.”

He had trouble with the new language. They jeered at him because of it.
His name was strange; _la paille au nez_ was the nickname they made from

He was poor; they were rich. The contemptuous treatment he received
because of his poverty was such that he begged to be taken home.

  “My father [he wrote], if you or my protectors cannot give me the
  means of sustaining myself more honorably in the house where I am,
  please let me return home as soon as possible. I am tired of poverty
  and of the jeers of insolent scholars who are superior to me only in
  their fortune, for there is not one among them who feels one
  hundredth part of the noble sentiment which animates me. Must your
  son, sir, continually be the butt of these boobies, who, vain of the
  luxuries which they enjoy, insult me by their laughter at the
  privations which I am forced to endure? No, father, no! If fortune
  refuses to smile upon me, take me from Brienne, and make me, if you
  will, a mechanic. From these words you may judge of my despair. This
  letter, sir, please believe, is not dictated by a vain desire to
  enjoy extravagant amusements. I have no such wish. I feel simply
  that it is necessary to show my companions that I can procure them
  as well as they, if I wish to do so.

                              “Your respectful and affectionate son,

Charles Bonaparte, always in pursuit of pleasure and his inheritance,
could not help his son. Napoleon made other attempts to escape, even
offering himself, it is said, to the British Admiralty as a sailor, and
once, at least, begging Monsieur de Marbœuf, the Governor-General of
Corsica, who had aided Charles Bonaparte in securing places for both
boys, to withdraw his protection. The incident which led to this was
characteristic of the school. The supercilious young nobles taunted him
with his father’s position; it was nothing but that of a poor tipstaff,
they said. Young Bonaparte, stung by what he thought an insult, attacked
his tormentors, and, being caught in the act, was shut up. He
immediately wrote to the Count de Marbœuf a letter of remarkable
qualities in so young a boy and in such circumstances. After explaining
the incident he said:

  “Now, Monsieur le Comte, if I am guilty, if my liberty has been
  taken from me justly, have the goodness to add to the kindnesses
  which you have shown me one thing more—take me from Brienne and
  withdraw your protection: it would be robbery on my part to keep it
  any longer from one who deserves it more than I do. I shall never,
  sir, be worthier of it than I am now. I shall never cure myself of
  an impetuosity which is all the more dangerous because I believe its
  motive is sacred. Whatever idea of self-interest influences me, I
  shall never have control enough to see my father, an honorable man,
  dragged in the mud. I shall always, Monsieur le Comte, feel too
  deeply in these circumstances to limit myself to complaining to my
  superior. I shall always feel that a good son ought not to allow
  another to avenge such an outrage. As for the benefits which you
  have rained upon me, they will never be forgotten. I shall say I had
  gained an honorable protection, but Heaven denied me the virtues
  which were necessary in order to profit by it.”



  The original of this statue is in the gallery of Versailles. It dates
    from 1851, and is by Louis Rochet, one of the pupils of David

In the end Napoleon saw that there was no way for him but to remain at
Brienne, galled by poverty and formalism.

It would be unreasonable to suppose that there was no relief to this
sombre life. The boy won recognition more than once from his companions
by his bravery and skill in defending his rights. He was not only
valorous; he was generous, and, “preferred going to prison himself to
denouncing his comrades who had done wrong.” Young Napoleon found, soon,
that if there were things for which he was ridiculed, there were others
for which he was applauded.

He made friends, particularly among his teachers; and to one of his
comrades, Bourrienne, he remained attached for years. “You never laugh
at me; you like me,” he said to his friend. Those who found him morose
and surly, did not realize that beneath the reserved, sullen exterior of
the little Corsican boy there was a proud and passionate heart aching
for love and recognition; that it was sensitiveness rather than
arrogance which drove him away from his mates.

At the end of five and one-half years Napoleon was promoted to the
military school at Paris. The choice of pupils for this school was made
by an inspector, at this time one Chevalier de Kéralio, an amiable old
man, who was fond of mingling with the boys as well as examining them.
He was particularly pleased with Napoleon, and named him for promotion
in spite of his being strong in nothing but mathematics, and not yet
being of the age required by the regulations. The teachers protested,
but De Kéralio insisted.

“I know what I am doing,” he said. “If I put the rules aside in this
case, it is not to do his family a favor—I do not know them. It is
because of the child himself. I have seen a spark here which cannot be
too carefully cultivated.”

De Kéralio died before the nominations were made, but his wishes in
regard to young Bonaparte were carried out. The recommendation which
sent him up is curious. The notes read:

  “Monsieur de Bonaparte; height four feet, ten inches and ten lines;
  he has passed his fourth examination; good constitution, excellent
  health; submissive character, frank and grateful; regular in
  conduct; has distinguished himself by his application to
  mathematics; is passably well up in history and geography; is
  behindhand in his Latin. Will make an excellent sailor. Deserves to
  be sent to the school in Paris.”

                               CHAPTER II


It was in October, 1784, that Napoleon was placed in the Ecole Militaire
at Paris, the same school which still faces the Champ de Mars. He was
fifteen years old at the time, a thin-faced, awkward, countrified boy,
who stared open-mouthed at the Paris street sights and seemed singularly
out of place to those who saw him in the capital for the first time.

Napoleon found his new associates even more distasteful than those at
Brienne had been. The pupils of the Ecole Militaire were sons of
soldiers and provincial gentlemen, educated gratuitously, and rich young
men who paid for their privileges. The practices of the school were
luxurious. There was a large staff of servants, costly stables, several
courses at meals. Those who were rich spent freely; most of those who
were poor ran in debt. Napoleon could not pay his share in the lunches
and gifts which his mates offered now and then to teachers and fellows.
He saw his sister Eliza, who was at Madame de Maintenon’s school at St.
Cyr, weep one day for the same reason. He would not borrow. “My mother
has already too many expenses, and I have no business to increase them
by extravagances which are simply imposed upon me by the stupid folly of
my comrades.” But he did complain loudly to his friends. The Permons, a
Corsican family living on the Quai Conti, who made Napoleon thoroughly
at home, even holding a room at his disposal, frequently discussed these
complaints. Was it vanity and envy, or a wounded pride and just
indignation? The latter, said Monsieur Permon. This feeling was so
profound with Napoleon, that, with his natural instinct for regulating
whatever was displeasing to him, he prepared a memorial to the
government, full of good, practical sense, on the useless luxury of the

A year in Paris finished Napoleon’s military education, and in October,
1785, when sixteen years old, he received his appointment as second
lieutenant of the artillery in a regiment stationed at Valence. Out of
the fifty-eight pupils entitled that year to the promotion of second
lieutenant, but six went to the artillery; of these six Napoleon was
one. His examiner said of him:

  “Reserved and studious, he prefers study to any amusement, and
  enjoys reading the best authors; applies himself earnestly to the
  abstract sciences; cares little for anything else. He is silent and
  loves solitude. He is capricious, haughty, and excessively
  egotistical; talks little, but is quick and energetic in his
  replies, prompt and severe in his repartees; has great pride and
  ambitions, aspiring to anything. The young man is worthy of

He left Paris at once, on money borrowed from a cloth merchant whom his
father had patronized, not sorry, probably, that his school days were
over, though it is certain that all of those who had been friendly to
him in this period he never forgot in the future. Several of his old
teachers at Brienne received pensions; one was made rector of the School
of Fine Arts established at Compiègne, another librarian at Malmaison,
where the porter was the former porter at Brienne. The professors of the
Ecole Militaire were equally well taken care of, as well as many of his
schoolmates. During the Consulate, learning that Madame de Montesson,
wife of the Duke of Orleans, was still living, he sent for her to come
to the Tuileries, and asked what he could do for her. “But, General,”
protested Madame de Montesson, “I have no claim upon you.”

“You do not know, then,” replied the First Consul, “that I received my
first crown from you. You went to Brienne with the Duke of Orleans to
distribute the prizes, and in placing a laurel wreath on my head, you
said: ‘May it bring you happiness.’ They say I am a fatalist, Madame, so
it is quite plain that I could not forget what you no longer remember;”
and the First Consul caused the sixty thousand francs of yearly income
left Madame de Montesson by the Duke of Orleans, but confiscated in the
Revolution, to be returned. Later, at her request, he raised one of her
relatives to the rank of senator. In 1805, when emperor, Napoleon gave a
life pension of six thousand francs to the son of his former protector,
the Count de Marbœuf, and with it went his assurance of interest and
good will in all the circumstances of the young man’s life. Generous,
forbearing, even tender remembrance of all who had been associated with
him in his early years, was one of Napoleon’s marked characteristics.

His new position at Valence was not brilliant. He had an annual income
of two hundred and twenty-four dollars, and there was much hard work. It
was independence, however, and life opened gayly to the young officer.
He made many acquaintances, and for the first time saw something of
society and women. Madame Colombier, whose _salon_ was the leading one
of the town, received him, introduced him to powerful friends, and,
indeed, prophesied a great future for him.

The sixteen-year-old officer, in spite of his shabby clothes and big
boots, became a favorite. He talked brilliantly and freely, began to
find that he could please, and, for the first time, made love a
little—to Mademoiselle Colombier—a frolicking boy-and-girl love, the
object of whose stolen rendezvous was to eat cherries together.
Mademoiselle Mion-Desplaces, a pretty Corsican girl in Valence, also
received some attention from him. Encouraged by his good beginning, and
ambitious for future success, he even began to take dancing lessons.



  From a painting by François Flameng.]

Had there been no one but himself to think of, everything would have
gone easily, but the care of his family was upon him. His father had
died a few months before, February, 1785, and left his affairs in a sad
tangle. Joseph, now nearly eighteen years of age, who had gone to Autun
in 1779 with Napoleon, had remained there until 1785. The intention was
to make him a priest; suddenly he declared that he would not be anything
but a soldier. It was to undo all that had been done for him; but his
father made an effort to get him into a military school. Before the
arrangements were complete Charles Bonaparte died, and Joseph was
obliged to return to Corsica, where he was powerless to do anything for
his mother and for the four young children at home: Louis, aged nine;
Pauline, seven; Caroline, five; Jerome, three.

Lucien, now nearly eleven years old, was at Brienne, refusing to become
a soldier, as his family desired, and giving his time to literature; but
he was not a free pupil, and the six hundred francs a year needful for
him was a heavy tax. Eliza alone was provided for. She had entered St.
Cyr in 1784 as one of the two hundred and fifty pupils supported there
by his Majesty, and to be a _demoiselle de St. Cyr_ was to be fed,
taught, and clothed from seven to twenty, and, on leaving, to receive a
dowry of three thousand francs, a _trousseau_, and one hundred and fifty
francs for travelling expenses home.

Napoleon regarded his family’s situation more seriously than did his
brothers. Indeed, when at Brienne he had shown an interest, a sense of
responsibility, and a good judgment about the future of his brothers and
sisters, quite amazing in so young a boy. When he was fifteen years old,
he wrote a letter to his uncle, which, for its keen analysis, would do
credit to the father of a family. The subject was his brother Joseph’s
desire to abandon the Church and go into the king’s service. Napoleon is
summing up the pros and cons:

  “First. As father says, he has not the courage to face the perils of
  an action; his health is feeble, and will not allow him to support
  the fatigues of a campaign; and my brother looks on the military
  profession only from a garrison point of view. He would make a good
  garrison officer. He is well made, light-minded, knows how to pay
  compliments, and with these talents he will always get on well in

  “Second. He has received an ecclesiastical education, and it is very
  late to undo that. Monseignor the Bishop of Autun would have given
  him a fat living, and he would have been sure to become a bishop.
  What an advantage for the family! Monseignor of Autun has done all
  he could to encourage him to persevere, promising that he should
  never repent. Should he persist, in wishing to be a soldier, I must
  praise him, provided he has a decided taste for his profession, the
  finest of all, and the great motive power of human affairs.... He
  wishes to be a military man. That is all very well; but in what
  corps? Is it the marine? First: He knows nothing of mathematics; it
  would take him two years to learn. Second: His health is
  incompatible with the sea. Is it the engineers? He would require
  four or five years to learn what is necessary, and at the end of
  that time he would be only a cadet. Besides, working all day long
  would not suit him. The same reasons which apply to the engineers
  apply to the artillery, with this exception: that he would have to
  work eighteen months to become a cadet, and eighteen months more to
  become an officer.... No doubt he wishes to join the infantry....
  And what is the slender infantry officer? Three-fourths of the time
  a scapegrace.... A last effort will be made to persuade him to enter
  the Church, in default of which, father will take him to Corsica,
  where he will be under his eye.”

It was not strange that Charles Bonaparte considered the advice of a son
who could write so clear-headed a letter as the one just quoted, or that
the boy’s uncle Lucien said, before dying: “Remember, that if Joseph is
the older, Napoleon is the real head of the house.”

Now that young Bonaparte was in an independent position, he felt still
more keenly his responsibility, and it was for this reason, as well as
because of ill health, that he left his regiment in February, 1787, on a
leave which he extended to nearly fifteen months, and which he spent in
energetic efforts to better his family’s situation, working to
reëstablish salt works and a mulberry plantation in which they were
concerned, to secure the nomination of Lucien to the college at Aix, and
to place Louis at a French military school.

When he went back to his regiment, now stationed at Auxonne, he denied
himself to send money home, and spent his leisure in desperate work,
sleeping but six hours, eating but one meal a day, dressing once in the
week. Like all the young men of the country who had been animated by the
philosophers and encyclopedists, he had attempted literature, and at
this moment was finishing a history of Corsica, a portion of which he
had written at Valence and submitted to the Abbé Raynal, who had
encouraged him to go on. The manuscript was completed and ready for
publication in 1788, and the author made heroic efforts to find some one
who would accept a dedication, as well as some one who would publish it.
Before he had succeeded, events had crowded the work out of sight, and
other ambitions occupied his forces. Napoleon had many literary projects
on hand at this time. He had been a prodigious reader, and was never so
happy as when he could save a few cents with which to buy second-hand
books. From everything he read he made long extracts, and kept a book of
“thoughts.” Most curious are some of these fragments, reflections on the
beginning of society, on love, on nature. They show that he was
passionately absorbed in forming ideas on the great questions of life
and its relations.

Besides his history of Corsica, he had already written several
fragments, among them an historical drama called the “Count of Essex,”
and a story, the “Masque Prophète.” He undertook, too, to write a
sentimental journey in the style of Sterne, describing a trip from
Valence to Mont Cenis. Later he competed for a prize offered by the
Academy of Lyons on the subject: “To determine what truths and feelings
should be inculcated in men for their happiness.” He failed in the
contest; indeed, the essay was severely criticised for its incoherency
and poor style.

The Revolution of 1789 turned Napoleon’s mind to an ambition greater
than that of writing the history of Corsica—he would free Corsica. The
National Assembly had lifted the island from its inferior relation and
made it a department of France, but sentiment was much divided, and the
ferment was similar to that which agitated the mainland. Napoleon,
deeply interested in the progress of the new liberal ideas, and seeing,
too, the opportunity for a soldier and an agitator among his countrymen,
hastened home, where he spent some twenty-five months out of the next
two and a half years. That the young officer spent five-sixths of his
time in Corsica, instead of in service, and that he in more than one
instance pleaded reasons for leaves of absence which one would have to
be exceedingly unsophisticated not to see were trumped up for the
occasion, cannot be attributed merely to duplicity of character and
contempt for authority. He was doing only what he had learned to do at
the military schools of Brienne and Paris, and what he saw practised
about him in the army. Indeed, the whole French army at that period made
a business of shirking duty. Every minister of war in the period
complains of the incessant desertions among the common soldiers. Among
the officers it was no better. True, they did not desert; they held
their places and—did nothing. “Those who were rich and well born had no
need to work,” says the Marshal Duc de Broglie. “They were promoted by
favoritism. Those who were poor and from the provinces had no need to
work either. It did them no good if they did, for, not having patronage,
they could not advance.” The Comte de Saint-Germain said in regard to
the officers: “There is not one who is in active service; they one and
all amuse themselves and look out for their own affairs.”

Napoleon, tormented by the desire to help his family, goaded by his
ambition and by an imperative inborn need of action and achievement,
still divided in his allegiance between France and Corsica, could not
have been expected, in his environment, to take nothing more than the
leaves allowed by law.

Revolutionary agitation did not absorb all the time he was in Corsica.
Never did he work harder for his family. The portion of this two and a
half years which he spent in France, he was accompanied by Louis, whose
tutor he had become, and he suffered every deprivation to help him.
Napoleon’s income at that time was sixty-five cents a day. This meant
that he must live in wretched rooms, prepare himself the broth on which
he and his brother dined, never go to a _café_, brush his own clothes,
give Louis lessons. He did it bravely. “I breakfasted off dry bread, but
I bolted my door on my poverty,” he said once to a young officer
complaining of the economies he must make on two hundred dollars a



  After a lithograph by Charlet. Lieutenant Bonaparte on the terrace of
    the Tuileries, watching the crowd of rioters who were hastening to
    the massacre of the Swiss Guards.]

Economy and privation were always more supportable to him than
borrowing. He detested irregularities in financial matters. “Your
finances are deplorably conducted, apparently on metaphysical
principles. Believe me, money is a very physical thing,” he once said to
Joseph, when the latter, as King of Naples, could not make both ends
meet. He put Jerome to sea largely to stop his reckless expenditures.
(At fifteen that young man paid three thousand two hundred dollars for a
shaving case “containing everything except the beard to enable its owner
to use it.”) Some of the most furious scenes which occurred between
Napoleon and Josephine were because she was continually in debt. After
the divorce he frequently cautioned her to be watchful of her money.
“Think what a bad opinion I should have of you if I knew you were in
debt with an income of six hundred thousand dollars a year,” he wrote
her in 1813.

The methodical habits of Marie Louise were a constant satisfaction to
Napoleon. “She settles all her accounts once a week, deprives herself of
new gowns if necessary, and imposes privations upon herself in order to
keep out of debt,” he said proudly. A bill of sixty-two francs and
thirty-two centimes was once sent to him for window blinds placed in the
_salon_ of the Princess Borghese. “As I did not order this expenditure,
which ought not to be charged to my budget, the princess will pay it,”
he wrote on the margin.

It was not parsimony. It was the man’s sense of order. No one was more
generous in gifts, pensions, salaries; but it irritated him to see money
wasted or managed carelessly.

Through his long absence in Corsica, and the complaints which the
conservatives of the island had made to the French government of the way
he had handled his battalion of National Guards in a riot at Ajaccio,
Napoleon lost his place in the French army. He came to Paris in the
spring of 1792, hoping to regain it. But in the confused condition of
public affairs little attention was given to such cases, and he was
obliged to wait.

Almost penniless, he dined on six-cent dishes in cheap restaurants,
pawned his watch, and with Bourrienne devised schemes for making a
fortune. One was to rent some new houses going up in the city and to
sub-let them. While he waited he saw the famous days of the “Second
Revolution”—the 20th of June, when the mob surrounded the Tuileries,
overran the palace, put the _bonnet rouge_ on Louis XVI.’s head, did
everything but strike, as the agitators had intended. Napoleon and
Bourrienne, loitering on the outskirts, saw the outrages, and he said,
in disgust:

“_Che coglione_, why did they allow these brutes to come in? They ought
to have shot down five or six hundred of them with cannon, and the rest
would soon have run.”

He saw the 10th of August, when the king was deposed. He was still in
Paris when the horrible September massacres began—those massacres in
which, to “save the country,” the fanatical and terrified populace
resolved to put “rivers of blood” between Paris and the _émigrés_. All
these excesses filled him with disgust. He began to understand that the
Revolution he admired so much needed a head.

In August Napoleon was restored to the army. The following June found
him with his regiment in the south of France. In the interval spent in
Corsica, he had abandoned Paoli and the cause of Corsican independence.
His old hero had been dragged, in spite of himself, into a movement for
separating the island from France. Napoleon had taken the position that
the French government, whatever its excesses, was the only advocate in
Europe of liberty and equality, and that Corsica would better remain
with France rather than seek English aid, as it must if it revolted. But
he and his party were defeated, and he with his family was obliged to

The Corsican period of his life was over; the French had opened. He
began it as a thorough republican. The evolution of his enthusiasm for
the Revolution had been natural enough. He had been a devoted believer
in Rousseau’s principles. The year 1789 had struck down the abuses which
galled him in French society and government. After the flight of the
king in 1791 he had taken the oath:

  “I swear to employ the arms placed in my hands for the defence of
  the country, and to maintain against all her enemies, both from
  within and from without, the Constitution as declared by the
  National Assembly; to die rather than to suffer the invasion of the
  French territory by foreign troops, and to obey orders given in
  accordance with the decree of the National Assembly.”

“The nation is now the paramount object,” he wrote; “my natural
inclinations are now in harmony with my duties.”

The efforts of the court and the _émigrés_ to overthrow the new
government had increased his devotion to France. “My southern blood
leaps in my veins with the rapidity of the Rhone,” he said, when the
question of the preservation of the Constitution was brought up. The
months spent at Paris in 1792 had only intensified his radical notions.
Now that he had abandoned his country, rather than assist it to fight
the Revolution, he was better prepared than ever to become a Frenchman.
It seemed the only way to repair his and his family’s fortune.

The condition of the Bonapartes on arriving in France after their
expulsion from Corsica was abject. Their property “pillaged, sacked, and
burned,” they had escaped penniless—were, in fact, refugees dependent
upon French bounty. They wandered from place to place, but at last found
a good friend in Monsieur Clary of Marseilles, a soapboiler, with two
pretty daughters, Julie and Désirée, and Joseph and Napoleon became
inmates of his house.

It was not as a soldier but as a writer that Napoleon first
distinguished himself in this new period of his life. An insurrection
against the government had arisen in Marseilles. In an imaginary
conversation called _le souper de Beaucaire_, Napoleon discussed the
situation so clearly and justly that Salicetti, Gasparin, and
Robespierre the younger, the deputies who were looking after the South,
ordered the paper published at public expense, and distributed it as a
campaign document. More, they promised to favor the author when they had
an opportunity.



  This sketch, which used to figure in the _Musée des Souverains_,
    became afterwards the property of Monsieur de Beaudicourt, who
    lately presented it to the Louvre. It possesses an exceptional
    interest. Executed at Brienne by one of the schoolfellows of the
    future Cæsar, it may be considered as the first portrait of
    Bonaparte taken from life. Under it are these words written in

  “_Mio caro amico Buonaparte. Pontormini del Tournone. 1785._”]

It soon came. Toulon had opened its doors to the English and joined
Marseilles in a counter-revolution. Napoleon was in the force sent
against the town, and he was soon promoted to the command of the Second
Regiment of artillery. His energy and skill won him favorable attention.
He saw at once that the important point was not besieging the town, as
the general in command was doing and the Convention had ordered, but in
forcing the allied fleet from the harbor, when the town must fall of
itself. But the commander-in-chief was slow, and it was not until the
command was changed and an officer of experience and wisdom put in
charge that Napoleon’s plans were listened to. The new general saw at
once their value, and hastened to carry them out. The result was the
withdrawal of the allies in December, 1793, and the fall of Toulon.
Bonaparte was mentioned by the general-in-chief as “one of those who
have most distinguished themselves in aiding me,” and in February, 1794,
was made general of brigade.

It is interesting to note that it was at Toulon that Napoleon first came
in contact with the English. Here he made the acquaintance of Junot,
Marmont, and Duroc. Barras, too, had his attention drawn to him at the
same time.

The circumstances which brought Junot and Napoleon together at Toulon
were especially heroic. Some one was needed to carry an order to an
exposed point. Napoleon asked for an under officer, audacious and
intelligent. Junot, then a sergeant, was sent. “Take off your uniform
and carry this order there,” said Napoleon, indicating the point.

Junot blushed and his eyes flashed. “I am not a spy,” he answered; “find
some one beside me to execute such an order.”

“You refuse to obey?” said Napoleon.

“I am ready to obey,” answered Junot, “but I will go in my uniform or
not go at all. It is honor enough then for these——Englishmen.”

The officer smiled and let him go, but he took pains to find out his

A few days later Napoleon called for some one in the ranks who wrote a
good hand to come to him. Junot offered himself, and sat down close to
the battery to write the letter. He had scarcely finished when a bomb
thrown by the English burst near by and covered him and his letter with

“Good,” said Junot, laughing, “I shall not need any sand to dry the

Bonaparte looked at the young man, who had not even trembled at the
danger. From that time the young sergeant remained with the commander of

                              CHAPTER III


The favors granted Napoleon for his services at Toulon were extended to
his family. Madame Bonaparte was helped by the municipality of
Marseilles. Joseph was made commissioner of war. Lucien was joined to
the Army of Italy, and in the town where he was stationed became famous
as a popular orator—“little Robespierre,” they called him. He began,
too, here to make love to his landlord’s daughter, Christine Boyer,
afterwards his wife.

The outlook for the refugees seemed very good, and it was made still
brighter by the very particular friendship of the younger Robespierre
for Napoleon. This friendship was soon increased by the part Napoleon
played in a campaign of a month with the Army of Italy, when, largely by
his genius, the seaboard from Nice to Genoa was put into French power.
If this victory was much for the army and for Robespierre, it was more
for Napoleon. He looked from the Tende, and saw for the first time that
in Italy there was “a land for a conqueror.” Robespierre wrote to his
brother, the real head of the government at the moment, that Napoleon
possessed “transcendent merit.” He engaged him to draw up a plan for a
campaign against Piedmont, and sent him on a secret mission to Genoa.
The relations between the two young men were, in fact, very close, and,
considering the position of Robespierre the elder, the outlook for
Bonaparte was good.

That Bonaparte admired the powers of the elder Robespierre, is
unquestionable. He was sure that if he had “remained in power, he would
have reëstablished order and law; the result would have been attained
without any shocks, because it would have come through the quiet
exercise of power.” Nevertheless, it is certain that the young general
was unwilling to come into close contact with the Terrorist leader, as
his refusal of an offer to go to Paris to take the command of the
garrison of the city shows. No doubt his refusal was partly due to his
ambition—he thought the opening better where he was—and partly due, too,
to his dislike of the excesses which the government was practising. That
he never favored the policy of the Terrorists, all those who knew him
testify, and there are many stories of his efforts at this time to save
_émigrés_ and suspects from the violence of the rabid patriots; even to
save the English imprisoned at Toulon. He always remembered Robespierre
the younger with kindness, and when he was in power gave Charlotte
Robespierre a pension.

Things had begun to go well for Bonaparte. His poverty passed. If his
plan for an Italian campaign succeeded, he might even aspire to the
command of the army. His brothers received good positions. Joseph was
betrothed to Julie Clary, and life went gayly at Nice and Marseilles,
where Napoleon had about him many of his friends—Robespierre and his
sister; his own two pretty sisters; Marmont, and Junot, who was deeply
in love with Pauline. Suddenly all this hope and happiness were
shattered. On the 9th Thermidor Robespierre fell, and all who had
favored him were suspected, Napoleon among the rest. His secret mission
to Genoa gave a pretext for his arrest, and for thirteen days, in
August, 1794, he was a prisoner, but through his friends was liberated.
Soon after his release, came an appointment to join an expedition
against Corsica. He set out, but the undertaking was a failure, and the
spring found him again without a place.

In April, 1795, Napoleon received orders to join the Army of the West.
When he reached Paris he found that it was the infantry to which he was
assigned. Such a change was considered a disgrace in the army. He
refused to go. “A great many officers could command a brigade better
than I could,” he wrote a friend, “but few could command the artillery
so well. I retire, satisfied that the injustice done to the service will
be sufficiently felt by those who know how to appreciate matters.” But
though he might call himself “satisfied,” his retirement was a most
serious affair for him. It was the collapse of what seemed to be a
career, the shutting of the gate he had worked so fiercely to open.

He must begin again, and he did not see how. A sort of despair settled
over him. “He declaimed against fate,” says the Duchess d’Abrantès. “I
was idle and discontented,” he says of himself. He went to the theatre
and sat sullen and inattentive through the gayest of plays. “He had
moments of fierce hilarity,” says Bourrienne.

A pathetic distaste of effort came over him at times; he wanted to
settle. “If I could have that house,” he said one day to Bourrienne,
pointing to an empty house near by, “with my friends and a cabriolet, I
should be the happiest of men.” He clung to his friends with a sort of
desperation, and his letters to Joseph are touching in the extreme.



  After a lithograph by Motte. Bonaparte, master of Toulon, had already
    attained fame when the events of Thermidor imposed a sudden check on
    his career. His relations with the younger Robespierre laid him open
    to suspicion; he was suspended from his functions and put under
    arrest by the deputies of the Convention.]

Love as well as failure caused his melancholy. All about him, indeed,
turned thoughts to marriage. Joseph was now married, and his happiness
made him envious. “What a lucky rascal Joseph is!” he said. Junot, madly
in love with Pauline, was with him. The two young men wandered through
the alleys of the Jardin des Plantes and discussed Junot’s passion. In
listening to his friend, Napoleon thought of himself. He had been
attracted by Désirée Clary, Joseph’s sister-in-law. Why not try to win
her? And he began to demand news of her from Joseph. Désirée had asked
for his portrait, and he wrote: “I shall have it taken for her; you must
give it to her, if she still wants it; if not, keep it yourself.” He was
melancholy when he did not have news of her, accused Joseph of purposely
omitting her name from his letters, and Désirée herself of forgetting
him. At last he consulted Joseph: “If I remain here, it is just possible
that I might feel inclined to commit the folly of marrying. I should be
glad of a line from you on the subject. You might perhaps speak to
Eugénie’s [Désirée’s] brother, and let me know what he says, and then it
will be settled.” He waited the answer to his overtures “with
impatience”; urged his brother to arrange things so that nothing “may
prevent that which I long for.” But Désirée was obdurate. Later she
married Bernadotte and became Queen of Sweden.

Yet in these varying moods he was never idle. As three years before, he
and Bourrienne indulged in financial speculations; he tried to persuade
Joseph to invest his wife’s _dot_ in the property of the _émigrés_. He
prepared memorials on the political disorders of the times and on
military questions, and he pushed his brothers as if he had no personal
ambition. He did not neglect to make friends either. The most important
of those whom he cultivated was Paul Barras, revolutionist,
conventionalist, member of the Directory, and one of the most
influential men in Paris at that moment. He had known Napoleon at
Toulon, and showed himself disposed to be friendly. “I attached myself
to Barras,” said Napoleon later, “because I knew no one else.
Robespierre was dead; Barras was playing a _rôle_: I had to attach
myself to somebody and something.” One of his plans for himself was to
go to Turkey. For two or three years, in fact, Napoleon had thought of
the Orient as a possible field for his genius, and his mother had often
worried lest he should go. Just now it happened that the Sultan of
Turkey asked the French for aid in reorganizing his artillery and
perfecting the defences of his forts, and Napoleon asked to be allowed
to undertake the work. While pushing all his plans with extraordinary
enthusiasm, even writing Joseph almost daily letters about what he would
do for him when he was settled in the Orient, he was called to do a
piece of work which was to be of importance in his future.

The war committee needed plans for an Italian campaign; the head of the
committee was in great perplexity. Nobody knew anything about the
condition of things in the South. By chance, one day, one of Napoleon’s
acquaintances heard of the difficulties and recommended the young
general. The memorial he prepared was so excellent that he was invited
into the topographical bureau of the Committee of Public Safety. His
knowledge, sense, energy, fire, were so remarkable that he made strong
friends and became an important personage.

Such was the impression he made, that when in October, 1795, the
government was threatened by the revolting sections, Barras, the nominal
head of the defence, asked Napoleon to command the forces which
protected the Tuileries, where the Convention had gone into permanent
session. He hesitated for a moment. He had much sympathy for the
sections. His sagacity conquered. The Convention stood for the republic;
an overthrow now meant another proscription, more of the Terror, perhaps
a royalist succession, an English invasion.

“I accept,” he said to Barras; “but I warn you that once my sword is out
of the scabbard I shall not replace it till I have established order.”

It was on the night of 12th Vendémiaire that Napoleon was appointed.
With incredible rapidity he massed the men and cannon he could secure at
the openings into the palace and at the points of approach. He armed
even the members of the Convention as a reserve. When the sections
marched their men into the streets and upon the bridges leading to the
Tuileries, they were met by a fire which scattered them at once. That
night Paris was quiet. The next day Napoleon was made general of
division. On October 26th he was appointed general-in-chief of the Army
of the Interior.

At last the opportunity he had sought so long and so eagerly had come.
It was a proud position for a young man of twenty-six, and one may well
stop and ask how he had obtained it. The answer is not difficult for one
who, dismissing the prejudices and superstitions which have long
enveloped his name, studies his story as he would that of an unknown
individual. He had won his place as any poor and ambitious boy in any
country and in any age must win his—by hard work, by grasping at every
opportunity, by constant self-denial, by courage in every failure, by
springing to his feet after every fall.

He succeeded because he knew every detail of his business (“There is
nothing I cannot do for myself. If there is no one to make powder for
the cannon I can do it”); because neither ridicule nor coldness nor even
the black discouragement which made him write once to Joseph, “If this
state of things continues I shall end by not turning out of my path when
a carriage passes,” could stop him; because he had profound faith in
himself. “Do these people imagine that I want their help to rise? They
will be too glad some day to accept mine. My sword is at my side, and I
will go far with it.” That he had misrepresented conditions more than
once to secure favor, is true; but in doing this he had done simply what
he saw done all about him, what he had learned from his father, what the
oblique morality of the day justified. That he had shifted opinions and
allegiance, is equally true; but he who in the French Revolution did not
shift opinion was he who regarded “not what is, but what might be.”
Certainly in no respect had he been worse than his environment, and in
many respects he had been far above it. He had struggled for place, not
that he might have ease, but that he might have an opportunity for
action; not that he might amuse himself, but that he might achieve
glory. Nor did he seek honors merely for himself; it was that he might
share them with others.



  By Gros. This drawing, which I discovered among the portfolios of the
    Louvre, is one of the most precious documents of Napoleonic
    portraiture. It was the gift of Monsieur Delestre, the pupil and
    biographer of Gros. In this clear profile we see already all that
    _characteristic expression_ sought for by Gros above everything, and
    superbly rendered by him soon after in the portrait of _Bonaparte at
    Arcola_. I imagine that this pen sketch was preparatory to a
    finished portrait.—A. D.]

The first use Bonaparte made of his power after he was appointed
general-in-chief of the Army of the Interior, was for his family and
friends. Fifty or sixty thousand francs, _assignats_, and dresses go to
his mother and sisters; Joseph is to have a consulship; “a roof, a
table, and carriage” are at his disposal in Paris; Louis is made a
lieutenant and his aide-de-camp; Lucien, commissioner of war; Junot and
Marmont are put on his staff. He forgets nobody. The very day after the
13th Vendémiaire, when his cares and excitements were numerous and
intense, he was at the Permons, where Monsieur Permon had just died. “He
was like a son, a brother.” This relation he soon tried to change,
seeking to marry the beautiful widow Permon. When she laughed merrily at
the idea, for she was many years his senior, he replied that the age of
his wife was a matter of indifference to him so long as she did not
_look over thirty_.

The change in Bonaparte himself was great. Up to this time he had gone
about Paris “in an awkward and ungainly manner, with a shabby round hat
thrust down over his eyes, and with curls (known at that time as
_oreilles des chiens_) badly powdered and badly combed, and falling over
the collar of the iron-gray coat which has since become so celebrated;
his hands, long, thin, and black, without gloves, because, he said, they
were an unnecessary expense; wearing ill-made and ill-cleaned boots.”
The majority of people saw in him only what Monsieur de Pontécoulant,
who took him into the War Office, had seen at their first interview; “A
young man with a wan and livid complexion, bowed shoulders, and a weak
and sickly appearance.”

But now, installed in an elegant _hôtel_, driving his own carriage,
careful of his person, received in every _salon_ where he cared to go,
the young general-in-chief is a changed man. Success has had much to do
with this; love has perhaps had more.

                               CHAPTER IV


In the five months spent in Paris before the 13th Vendémiaire, Bonaparte
saw something of society. One interesting company which he often joined,
was that gathered about Madame Permon at a hotel in the Rue des Filles
Saint-Thomas. This Madame Permon was the same with whom he had taken
refuge frequently in the days when he was in the military school of
Paris, and whom he had visited later, in 1792, when lingering in town
with hope of recovering his place in the army. On this latter occasion
he had even exposed himself to aid her and her husband to escape the
fury of the Terrorists and to fly from the city. Madame Permon had
returned to Paris in the spring of 1795 for a few weeks, and numbers of
her old friends had gathered about her as before the Terror, among them,

Another house—and one of very different character—at which he was
received, was that of Barras. The 9th Thermidor, as the fall of
Robespierre is called, released Paris from a strain of terror so great
that, in reaction, she plunged for a time into violent excess. In this
period of decadence Barras was sovereign. Epicurean by nature,
possessing the tastes, culture, and vices of the old _régime_, he was
better fitted than any man in the government to create and direct a
dissolute and luxurious society. Into this set Napoleon was introduced,
and more than once he expressed his astonishment to Joseph at the turn
things had taken in Paris.

  “The pleasure-seekers have reappeared, and forget, or, rather,
  remember only as a dream, that they ever ceased to shine. Libraries
  are open, and lectures on history, chemistry, astronomy, etc.,
  succeed each other. Everything is done to amuse and make life
  agreeable. One has no time to think; and how can one be gloomy in
  this busy whirlwind? Women are everywhere—at the theatres, on the
  promenades, in the libraries. In the study of the _savant_ you meet
  some that are charming. Here alone, of all places in the world, they
  deserve to hold the helm. The men are mad over them, think only of
  them, live only by and for them. A woman need not stay more than six
  months in Paris to learn what is due her and what is her empire....
  This great nation has given itself up to pleasure, dancing, and
  theatres, and women have become the principal occupation. Ease,
  luxury, and _bon ton_ have recovered their throne; the Terror is
  remembered only as a dream.”

Bonaparte took his part in the gayeties of his new friends, and was soon
on easy terms with most of the women who frequented the _salon_ of
Barras, even with the most influential of them all, the famous Madame
Tallien, the great beauty of the Directory.

Among the women whom he met in the _salon_ of Madame Tallien and at
Barras’s own house, was the Viscountess de Beauharnais (_née_ Tascher de
la Pagerie), widow of the Marquis de Beauharnais, guillotined on the 5th
Thermidor, 1794. At the time of the marquis’s death his wife was a
prisoner. She was released soon after and had become a intimate friend
of Madame Tallien. All Madame Tallien’s circle had, indeed, become
attached to Josephine de Beauharnais, and with Barras she was on terms
of intimacy which led to a great amount of gossip. Without fortune,
having two children to support, still trembling at the memory of her
imprisonment, indolent and vain, it is not remarkable that Josephine
yielded to the pleasures of the society which had saved her from prison
and which now opened its arms to her, nor that she accepted the
protection of the powerful Director Barras. She was certainly one of the
regular _habitués_ of his house, and every week kept court for him at
her little home at Croissy, a few miles from Paris. The Baron Pasquier,
afterwards one of the members of Napoleon’s Council of State, was at
that moment living in poverty at Croissy—and was a neighbor of
Josephine. In his “Memoirs” he has left a paragraph on the gay little
outings taken there by Barras and his friends.

“Her house was next to ours,” says Pasquier. “She did not come out often
at that time, rarely more than once a week, to receive Barras and the
troop which always followed him. From early in the morning we saw the
hampers coming. Then mounted _gendarmes_ began to circulate on the route
from Nanterre to Croissy, for the young Director came usually on

“Madame de Beauharnais’s house had, as is often the case among creoles,
an appearance of luxury; but, the superfluous aside, the most necessary
things were lacking. Birds, game, rare fruits, were piled up in the
kitchen (this was the time of our greatest famine), and there was such a
want of stewing-pans, glasses, and plates, that they had to come and
borrow from our poor stock.”

There was much about Josephine de Beauharnais to win the favor of such a
man as Barras. A creole past the freshness of youth—Josephine was
thirty-two years old in 1795—she had a grace, a sweetness, a charm, that
made one forget that she was not beautiful, even when she was beside
such brilliant women as Madame Tallien and Madame Récamier. It was never
possible to surprise her in an attitude that was not graceful. She was
never ruffled or irritable. By nature she was perfection of ease and
repose. Artist enough to dress in clinging stuffs made simply, which
harmonized perfectly with her style, and skilful enough to use the arts
of the toilet to conceal defects which care and age had brought, the
Viscountess de Beauharnais was altogether one of the most fascinating
women in Madame Tallien’s circle.



  Profile in plaster. By David d’Angers. Collection of Monsieur Paul le
    Roux. This energetic profile presents considerable artistic and
    iconographic interest. It is the first rough cast of the face of
    Bonaparte on the pediment of the Pantheon at Paris. Some months ago,
    Baron Larrey told me an interesting anecdote regarding this statue.
    The Baron, son of the chief surgeon to Napoleon I., and himself
    ex-military surgeon to Napoleon III., happening to be with the
    emperor at the camp of Châlons conceived the noble idea of trying to
    save the pediment of the Pantheon, then about to be destroyed to
    satisfy the Archbishop of Paris, who regarded with lively
    displeasure the image of Voltaire figuring on the façade of a
    building newly consecrated to religion. At the emperor’s table,
    Baron H. Larrey adroitly turned the conversation to David, and
    informed the sovereign, to his surprise, that the proudest effigy of
    Napoleon was to be seen on this pediment. Bonaparte, in fact, is
    represented as seizing for himself the crowns distributed by the
    Fatherland, while the other personages receive them. On hearing
    this, Napoleon III. was silent; but the next day the order was given
    to respect the pediment. The plaster cast I reproduce here is signed
    _J. David_, and dates from 1836. The Pantheon pediment was
    inaugurated in 1837.—A. D.]

The goodness of Josephine’s heart undoubtedly won her as many friends as
her grace. Everybody who came to know her at all well, declared her
gentle, sympathetic, and helpful. Everybody except, perhaps, the
Bonaparte family, who never cared for her, and whom she never tried to
win. Lucien, indeed, draws a picture of her in his “Memoirs” which, if
it could be regarded as unprejudiced, would take much of her charm from

  “Josephine was not disagreeable, or perhaps I better say, _everybody
  declared that she was very good_; but it was especially when
  goodness cost her no sacrifice.... She had very little wit, and no
  beauty at all; but there was a certain creole suppleness about her
  form. She had lost all natural freshness of complexion, but that the
  arts of the toilet remedied by candle-light.... In the brilliant
  companies of the Directory, to which Barras did me the honor of
  admitting me, she scarcely attracted my attention, so old did she
  seem to me, and so inferior to the other beauties which ordinarily
  formed the court of the voluptuous Directors, and among whom the
  beautiful Tallien was the true Calypso.”

But if Lucien was not attracted to Josephine, Napoleon was from the
first; and when, one day, Madame de Beauharnais said some flattering
things to him about his military talent, he was fairly intoxicated by
her praise, followed her everywhere, and fell wildly in love with her;
but by her station, her elegance, her influence, she seemed inaccessible
to him, and then, too, he was looking elsewhere for a wife. When he
first knew her, he was thinking of Désirée Clary; and he had known
Josephine some time when he sought the hand of the widow Permon.

Though he dared not tell her his love, all his circle knew of it, and
Barras at last said to him, “You should marry Madame de Beauharnais. You
have a position and talents which will secure advancement; but you are
isolated, without fortune and without relations. You ought to marry; it
gives weight,” and he asked permission to negotiate the affair.

Josephine was distressed. Barras was her protector. She felt the wisdom
of his advice, but Napoleon frightened and wearied her by the violence
of his love. In spite of her doubts she yielded at last, and on the 9th
of March, 1796, they were married. Shortly before, Napoleon had been
appointed commander-in-chief of the Army of Italy, and two days later he
left his wife for his post.

From every station on his route he wrote her passionate letters:

  “Every moment takes me farther from you, and every moment I feel
  less able to be away from you. You are ever in my thoughts; my fancy
  tires itself in trying to imagine what you are doing. If I picture
  you sad, my heart is wrung and my grief is increased. If you are
  happy and merry with your friends, I blame you for so soon
  forgetting the painful three days separation; in that case you are
  frivolous and destitute of deep feeling. As you see, I am hard to
  please; but, my dear, it is very different when I fear your health
  is bad, or that you have any reasons for being sad; then I regret
  the speed with which I am being separated from my love. I am sure
  that you have no longer any kind feeling toward me, and I can only
  be satisfied when I have heard that all goes well with you. When any
  one asks me if I have slept well, I feel that I cannot answer until
  a messenger brings me word that you have rested well. The illnesses
  and anger of men affect me only so far as I think they may affect
  you. May my good genius, who has always protected me amid great
  perils, guard and protect you! I will gladly dispense with him. Ah!
  don’t be happy, but be a little melancholy, and, above all, keep
  sorrow from your mind and illness from your body. You remember what
  Ossian says about that. Write to me, my pet, and a good long letter,
  and accept a thousand and one kisses from your best and most loving

Arrived in Italy he wrote:

  “I have received all your letters, but none has made such an
  impression on me as the last. How can you think, my dear love, of
  writing to me in such a way? Don’t you believe my position is
  already cruel enough, without adding to my regrets and tormenting my
  soul? What a style! What feelings are those you describe! It’s like
  fire; it burns my poor heart. My only Josephine, away from you there
  is no happiness; away from you, the world is a desert in which I
  stand alone, with no chance of tasting the delicious joy of pouring
  out my heart. You have robbed me of more than my soul; you are the
  sole thought of my life. If I am worn out by all the torments of
  events, and fear the issue, if men disgust me, if I am ready to
  curse life, I place my hand on my heart; your image is beating
  there. I look at it, and love is for me perfect happiness; and
  everything is smiling, except the time that I see myself absent from
  my love. By what art have you learned how to captivate all my
  faculties, to concentrate my whole being in yourself? To live for
  Josephine! That’s the story of my life. I do everything to get to
  you; I am dying to join you. Fool! Do I not see that I am only going
  farther from you? How many lands and countries separate us! How long
  before you will read these words which express but feebly the
  emotions of the heart over which you reign!...”

                  *       *       *       *       *

  “Don’t be anxious; love me like your eyes—but that’s not enough—like
  yourself; more than yourself, than your thoughts, your mind, your
  life, your all. But forgive me, I’m raving. Nature is weak when one

                  *       *       *       *       *

  “I have received a letter which you interrupt to go, you say, into
  the country; and afterwards you pretend to be jealous of me, who am
  so worn out by work and fatigue. Oh, my dear!... Of course, I am in
  the wrong. In the early spring the country is beautiful; and then
  the nineteen-year old lover was there, without a doubt. The idea of
  wasting another moment in writing to the man three hundred leagues
  away, who lives, moves, exists only in memory of you; who reads your
  letters as one devours one’s favorite dishes after hunting for six


  JUNOT (1771–1813).]

                               CHAPTER V


But Napoleon had much to occupy him besides his separation from
Josephine. Extraordinary difficulties surrounded his new post. Neither
the generals nor the men knew anything of their new commander. “Who is
this General Bonaparte? Where has he served? No one knows anything about
him,” wrote Junot’s father when the latter at Toulon decided to follow
his artillery commander.

In the Army of Italy they were asking the same questions, and the
Directory could only answer as Junot had done: “As far as I can judge,
he is one of those men of whom nature is avaricious, and that she
permits upon the earth only from age to age.”

He was to replace a commander-in-chief who had sneered at his plans for
an Italian campaign and who might be expected to put obstacles in his
way. He was to take an army which was in the last stages of poverty and
discouragement. Their garments were in rags. Even the officers were so
nearly shoeless that when they reached Milan and one of them was invited
to dine at the palace of a marquise, he was obliged to go in shoes
without soles and tied on by cords carefully blacked. They had
provisions for only a month, and half rations at that. The Piedmontese
called them the “rag heroes.”

Worse than their poverty was their inactivity. “For three years they had
fired off their guns in Italy only because war was going on, and not for
any especial object—only to satisfy their consciences.” Discontent was
such that counter-revolution gained ground daily. One company had even
taken the name of “Dauphin,” and royalist songs were heard in camp.

Napoleon saw at a glance all these difficulties, and set himself to
conquer them. With his generals he was reserved and severe. “It was
necessary,” he explained afterward, “in order to command men so much
older than myself.” His look and bearing quelled insubordination,
restrained familiarity, even inspired fear. “From his arrival,” says
Marmont, “his attitude was that of a man born for power. It was plain to
the least clairvoyant eyes that he knew how to compel obedience, and
scarcely was he in authority before the line of a celebrated poet might
have been applied to him:

           “‘Des egaux? dès longtemps Mahomet n’en a plus.’”

General Decrès, who had known Napoleon well at Paris, hearing that he
was going to pass through Toulon, where he was stationed, offered to
present his comrades. “I run,” he says, “full of eagerness and joy; the
_salon_ opens; I am about to spring forward, when the attitude, the
look, the sound of his voice are sufficient to stop me. There was
nothing rude about him, but it was enough. From that time I was never
tempted to pass the line which had been drawn for me.”

Lavalette says of his first interview with him: “He looked weak, but his
regard was so firm and so fixed that I felt myself turning pale when he
spoke to me.” Augereau goes to see him at Albenga, full of contempt for
this favorite of Barras who has never known an action, determined on
insubordination. Bonaparte comes out, little, thin, round-shouldered,
and gives Augereau, a giant among the generals, his orders. The big man
backs out in a kind of terror. “He frightened me,” he tells Masséna.
“His first glance crushed me.”

He quelled insubordination in the ranks by quick, severe punishment, but
it was not long that he had insubordination. The army asked nothing but
to act, and immediately they saw that they were to move. He had reached
his post on March 22d; nineteen days later operations began.

The theatre of action was along that portion of the maritime Alps which
runs parallel with the sea. Bonaparte held the coast and the mountains;
and north, in the foot-hills, stretched from the Tende to Genoa, were
the Austrians and their Sardinian allies. If the French were fully ten
thousand inferior in number, their position was the stronger, for the
enemy was scattered in a hilly country where it was difficult to unite
their divisions.

As Bonaparte faced his enemy, it was with a youthful zest and
anticipation which explains much of what follows. “The two armies are in
motion,” he wrote Josephine, “each trying to outwit the other. The more
skilful will succeed. I am much pleased with Beaulieu. He manœuvres very
well, and is superior to his predecessor. I shall beat him, I hope, out
of his boots.”

The first step in the campaign was a skilful stratagem. He spread rumors
which made Beaulieu suspect that he intended marching on Genoa, and he
threw out his lines in that direction. The Austrian took the feint as a
genuine movement, and marched his left to the sea to cut off the French
advance. But Bonaparte was not marching to Genoa, and, rapidly
collecting his forces, he fell on the Austrian army at Montenotte on
April 12th, and defeated it. The right and left of the allies were
divided, and the centre broken.

By a series of clever feints, Bonaparte prevented the various divisions
of the enemy from reënforcing each other, and forced them separately to
battle. At Millesimo, on the 14th, he defeated one section; on the same
day, at Dego, another; the next morning, near Dego, another. The
Austrians were now driven back, but their Sardinian allies were still at
Ceva. To them Bonaparte now turned, and, driving them from their camp,
defeated them at Mondovi on the 22d.

It was phenomenal in Italy. In ten days the “rag heroes,” at whom they
had been mocking for three years, had defeated two well-fed armies ten
thousand stronger than themselves, and might at any moment march on
Turin. The Sardinians sued for peace.

The victory was as bewildering to the French as it was terrifying to the
enemy, and Napoleon used it to stir his army to new conquests.

  “Soldiers!” he said, “in fifteen days you have gained six victories,
  taken twenty-one stands of colors, fifty-five pieces of cannon, and
  several fortresses, and conquered the richest part of Piedmont. You
  have made fifteen hundred prisoners, and killed or wounded ten
  thousand men.

  “Hitherto, however, you have been fighting for barren rocks, made
  memorable by your valor, but useless to the nation. Your exploits
  now equal those of the conquering armies of Holland and the Rhine.
  You were utterly destitute, and have supplied all your wants. You
  have gained battles without cannons, passed rivers without bridges,
  performed forced marches without shoes, bivouacked without brandy,
  and often without bread. None but republican phalanxes—soldiers of
  liberty—could have borne what you have endured. For this you have
  the thanks of your country.

  “The two armies which lately attacked you in full confidence, now
  fly before you in consternation.... But, soldiers, it must not be
  concealed that you have done nothing, since there remains aught to
  do. Neither Turin nor Milan is ours.... The greatest difficulties
  are no doubt surmounted; but you have still battles to fight, towns
  to take, rivers to cross....”

Not less clever in diplomacy than in battle, Bonaparte, on his own
responsibility, concluded an armistice with the Sardinians, which left
him only the Austrians to fight, and at once set out to follow Beaulieu,
who had fled beyond the Po.

As adroitly as he had made Beaulieu believe, three weeks before, that he
was going to march on Genoa, he now deceives him as to the point where
he proposes to cross the Po, leading him to believe it is at Valenza.
When certain that Beaulieu had his eye on that point, Bonaparte marched
rapidly down the river, and crossed at Placentia. If an unforeseen delay
had not occurred in the passage, he would have been on the Austrian
rear. As it was, Beaulieu took alarm, and withdrew the body of his army,
after a slight resistance to the French advance, across the Adda,
leaving but twelve thousand men at Lodi.

Bonaparte was jubilant. “We have crossed the Po,” he wrote the
directory. “The second campaign has commenced. Beaulieu is disconcerted;
he miscalculates, and continually falls into the snares I set for him.
Perhaps he wishes to give battle, for he has both audacity and energy,
but not genius.... Another victory, and we shall be masters of Italy.”

Determined to leave no enemies behind him, Bonaparte now marched against
the twelve thousand men at Lodi. The town, lying on the right bank of
the Adda, was guarded by a small force of Austrians; but the mass of the
enemy was on the left bank, at the end of a bridge some three hundred
and fifty feet in length, and commanded by a score or more of cannon.

Rushing into the town on May 10th the French drove out the guarding
force, and arrived at the bridge before the Austrians had time to
destroy it. The French grenadiers pressed forward in a solid mass, but,
when half way over, the cannon at the opposite end poured such a storm
of shot at them that the column wavered and fell back. Several generals
in the ranks, Bonaparte at their head, rushed to the front of the force.
The presence of the officers was enough to inspire the soldiers, and
they swept across the bridge with such impetuosity that the Austrian
line on the opposite bank allowed its batteries to be taken, and in a
few moments was in retreat. “Of all the actions in which the soldiers
under my command have been engaged,” wrote Bonaparte to the Directory,
“none has equalled the tremendous passage of the bridge at Lodi. If we
have lost but few soldiers, it was merely owing to the promptitude of
our attacks and the effect produced on the enemy by the formidable fire
from our invincible army. Were I to name all the officers who
distinguished themselves in this affair, I should be obliged to
enumerate every _carabinier_ of the advanced guard, and almost every
officer belonging to the staff.”

The Austrians now withdrew beyond the Mincio, and on the 15th of May the
French entered Milan. The populace greeted their conquerors as
liberators, and for several days the army rejoiced in comforts which it
had not known for years. While it was being _fêted_, Bonaparte was
instituting the Lombard Republic, and trying to conciliate or outwit, as
the case demanded, the nobles and clergy outraged at the introduction of
French ideas. It was not until the end of May that Lombardy was in a
situation to permit Bonaparte to follow the Austrians.

After Lodi, Beaulieu had led his army to the Mincio. As usual, his force
was divided, the right being near Lake Garda, the left at Mantua, the
centre about halfway between, at Valeggio. It was at this latter point
that Bonaparte decided to attack them. Feigning to march on their right,
he waited until his opponent had fallen into his trap, and then sprang
on the weakened centre, broke it to pieces, and drove all but twelve
thousand men, escaped to Mantua, into the Tyrol. In fifty days he had
swept all but a remnant of the Austrians away from Italy. Two weeks
later, having taken a strong position on the Adige, he began the siege
of Mantua.

The French were victorious, but their position was precarious. Austria
was preparing a new army. Between the victors and France lay a number of
feeble Italian governments whose friendship could not be depended upon.
The populace of these states favored the French, for they brought
promises of liberal government, of equality and fraternity. The nobles
and clergy hated them for the same reason. It was evident that a victory
of the Austrians would set all these petty princes on Bonaparte’s heels.
The Papal States to the south were plotting. Naples was an ally of
Austria. Venice was neutral, but she could not be trusted. The English
were off the coast, and might, at any moment, make an alliance which
would place a formidable enemy on the French rear.

While waiting for the arrival of the new Austrian army, Bonaparte set
himself to lessening these dangers. He concluded a peace with Naples.
Two divisions of the army were sent south, one to Bologna, the other
into Tuscany. The people received the French with such joy that Rome was
glad to purchase peace. Leghorn was taken. The malcontents in Milan were
silenced. By the time a fresh Austrian army of sixty thousand men, under
a new general, Wurmser, was ready to fight, Italy had been effectually

The Austrians advanced against the French in three columns, one to the
west of Lake Garda, under Quasdanovich, one on each side of the Adige,
east of the lake, under Wurmser. Their plan was to attack the French
outposts on each side of the lake simultaneously, and then envelop the
army. The first movements were successful. The French on each side of
the lake were driven back. Bonaparte’s army was inferior to the one
coming against him, but the skill with which he handled his forces and
used the blunders of the enemy more than compensated for lack of
numbers. Raising the siege of Mantua, he concentrated his forces at the
south of the lake in such a way as to prevent the reunion of the
Austrians. Then, with unparalleled swiftness, he fell on the enemy
piecemeal. Wherever he could engage a division he did so, providing his
own force was superior to that of the Austrians at the moment of the
battle. Thus, on July 31st, at Lonato, he defeated Quasdanovich, though
not so decisively but that the Austrian collected his division and
returned towards the same place, hoping to unite there with Wurmser, who
had foolishly divided his divisions, sending one to Lonato and another
to Castiglione, while he himself went off to Mantua to relieve the
garrison there. Bonaparte engaged the forces at Lonato and at
Castiglione on the same day (August 3d), defeating them both, and then
turned his whole army against the body of Austrians under Wurmser, who,
by his time, had returned from his relief expedition at Mantua. On
August 5th, at Castiglione, Wurmser was beaten, driven over the Mincio
and into the Tyrol. In six days the campaign has been finished. “The
Austrian army has vanished like a dream,” Bonaparte wrote home.

It had vanished, true, but only for a day. Reënforcements were soon
sent, and a new campaign started early in September. Leaving Davidovich
in the Tyrol with twenty thousand men, Wurmser started down the Brenta
with twenty-six thousand men, intending to fall on Bonaparte’s rear, cut
him to pieces, and relieve Mantua. But Bonaparte had a plan of his own
this time, and, without waiting to find out where Wurmser was going, he
started up the Adige, intending to attack the Austrians in the Tyrol,
and join the army of the Rhine, then on the upper Danube. As it
happened, Wurmser’s plan was a happy one for Bonaparte. The French found
less than half the Austrian army opposing them, and, after they had
beaten it, discovered that they were actually on the rear of the other
half. Of course Bonaparte did not lose the opportunity. He sped down the
Brenta behind Wurmser, overtook him at Bassano on the 8th of September,
and of course defeated him. The Austrians fled in terrible
demoralization. Wurmser succeeded in reaching Mantua, where he united
with the garrison. The sturdy old Austrian had the courage, in spite of
his losses, to come out of Mantua and meet Bonaparte on the 15th, but he
was defeated again, and obliged to take refuge in the fortress. If the
Austrians had been beaten repeatedly, they had no idea of yielding, and,
in fact, there was apparently every reason to continue the struggle. The
French army was in a most desperate condition. Its number was reduced to
barely forty thousand, and this number was poorly supplied, and many of
them were ill. Though living in the richest of countries, the rapacity
and dishonesty of the army contractors were such that food reached the
men half spoiled and in insufficient quantities, while the clothing
supplied was pure shoddy. Many officers were laid up by wounds or
fatigue; those who remained at their posts were discouraged, and
threatening to resign. The Directory had tampered with Bonaparte’s
armistices and treaties until Naples and Rome were ready to spring upon
the French; and Venice, if not openly hostile, was irritating the army
in many ways.

Bonaparte, in face of these difficulties, was in genuine despair:

  “Everything is being spoiled in Italy,” he wrote the Directory. “The
  prestige of our forces is being lost. A policy which will give you
  friends among the princes as well as among the people, is necessary.
  Diminish your enemies. The influence of Rome is beyond calculation.
  It was a great mistake to quarrel with that power. Had I been
  consulted I should have delayed negotiations as I did with Genoa and
  Venice. Whenever your general in Italy is not the centre of
  everything, you will run great risks. This language is not that of
  ambition; I have only too many honors, and my health is so impaired
  that I think I shall be forced to demand a successor. I can no
  longer get on horseback. My courage alone remains, and that is not
  sufficient in a position like this.”



It was in such a situation that Bonaparte saw the Austrian force
outside of Mantua, increased to fifty thousand men, and a new
commander-in-chief, Alvinzi, put at its head. The Austrians advanced
in two divisions, one down the Adige, the other by the Brenta. The
French division which met the enemy at Trent and Bassano were driven
back. In spite of his best efforts, Bonaparte was obliged to retire
with his main army to Verona. Things looked serious. Alvinzi was
pressing close to Verona, and the army on the Adige was slowly driving
back the French division sent to hold it in check. If Davidovich and
Alvinzi united, Bonaparte was lost.

“Perhaps we are on the point of losing Italy,” wrote Bonaparte to the
Directory. “In a few days we shall make a last effort.” On November 14th
this last effort was made. Alvinzi was close upon Verona, holding a
position shut in by rivers and mountains on every side, and from which
there was but one exit, a narrow pass at his rear. The French were in

On the night of the 14th of November Bonaparte went quietly into camp.
Early in the evening he gave orders to leave Verona, and took the road
westward. It looked like a retreat. The French army believed it to be
so, and began to say sorrowfully among themselves that Italy was lost.
When far enough from Verona to escape the attention of the enemy,
Bonaparte wheeled to the southeast. On the morning of the 15th he
crossed the Adige, intending, if possible, to reach the defile by which
alone Alvinzi could escape from his position. The country into which his
army marched was a morass crossed by two causeways. The points which it
was necessary to take to command the defile were the town of Arcola and
a bridge over the rapid stream on which the town lay. The Austrians
discovered the plan, and hastened out to dispute Arcola and the bridge.
All day long the two armies fought desperately, Bonaparte and his
generals putting themselves at the head of their columns and doing the
work of common soldiers. But at night Arcola was not taken, and the
French retired to the right bank of the Adige, only to return on the
16th to reëngage Alvinzi, who, fearful lest his retreat be cut off, had
withdrawn his army from near Verona, and had taken a position at Arcola.
For two days the French struggled with the Austrians, wrenching the
victory from them before the close of the 17th, and sending them flying
towards Bassano. Bonaparte and his army returned to Verona, but this
time it was by the gate which the Austrians, three days before, were
pointing out as the place where they should enter.

It was a month and a half before the Austrians could collect a fifth
army to send against the French. Bonaparte, tormented on every side by
threatened uprisings in Italy; opposed by the Directory, who wanted to
make peace; and distressed by the condition of his army, worked
incessantly to strengthen his relations, quiet his enemies, and restore
his army. When the Austrians, some forty-five thousand strong, advanced
in January, 1797, against him, he had a force of about thirty-five
thousand men ready to meet them. Some ten thousand of his army were
watching Wurmser and twenty thousand Austrians shut up at Mantua.

Alvinzi had planned his attack skilfully. Advancing with twenty-eight
thousand men by the Adige, he sent seventeen thousand under Provera to
approach Verona from the east. The two divisions were to approach
secretly, and to strike simultaneously.

At first Bonaparte was uncertain of the position of the main body of the
enemy. Sending out feelers in every direction, he became convinced that
it must be that it approached Rivoli. Leaving a force at Verona to hold
back Provera, he concentrated his army in a single night on the plateau
of Rivoli, and on the morning of January 14th advanced to the attack.
The struggle at Rivoli lasted two days. Nothing but Bonaparte’s masterly
tactics won it, for the odds were greatly against him. His victory,
however, was complete. Of the twenty-eight thousand Austrians brought to
the field, less than half escaped.

While his battle was waging, Bonaparte was also directing the fight with
Provera, who was intent upon reaching Mantua and attacking the French
besiegers on the rear, while Wurmser left the city and engaged them in
front. The attack had begun, but Bonaparte had foreseen the move, and
sent a division to the relief of his men. This battle, known as La
Favorita, destroyed Provera’s division of the Austrian army, and so
discouraged Wurmser, whose army was terribly reduced by sickness and
starvation, that he surrendered on February 2d.

The Austrians were driven utterly from Italy, but Bonaparte had no time
to rest. The Papal States and the various aristocratic parties of
southern Italy were threatening to rise against the French. The spirit
of independence and revolt which the invaders were bringing into the
country could not but weaken clerical and monarchical institutions. An
active enemy to the south would have been a serious hindrance to
Napoleon, and he marched into the Papal States. A fortnight was
sufficient to silence the threats of his enemies, and on February 19,
1797, he signed with the Pope the treaty of Tolentino. The peace was no
sooner made than he started again against the Austrians.

When Mantua fell, and Austria saw herself driven from Italy, she had
called her ablest general, the Archduke Charles, from the Rhine, and
given him an army of over one hundred thousand men to lead against
Bonaparte. The French had been reënforced to some seventy thousand, and
though twenty thousand were necessary to keep Italy quiet, Bonaparte had
a fine army, and he led it confidently to meet the main body of the
enemy, which had been sent south to protect Trieste. Early in March he
crossed the Tagliamento, and in a series of contests, in which he was
uniformly successful, he drove his opponent back, step by step, until
Vienna itself was in sight, and in April an armistice was signed. In May
the French took possession of Venice, which had refused a French
alliance, and which was playing a perfidious part, in Bonaparte’s
judgment, and a republic on the French model was established.

Italy and Austria, worn out and discouraged by this “war of principle,”
as Napoleon called it, at last compromised, and on October 17th, one
year, seven months, and seven days after he left Paris, Napoleon signed
the treaty of Campo Formio. By this treaty France gained the frontier of
the Rhine and the Low Countries to the mouth of the Scheldt. Austria was
given Venice, and a republic called the Cisalpine was formed from
Reggio, Modena, Lombardy, and a part of the States of the Pope.

The military genius that this twenty-seven-year-old commander had shown
in the campaign in Italy bewildered his enemies and thrilled his

“Things go on very badly,” said an Austrian veteran taken at Lodi. “No
one seems to know what he is about. The French general is a young
blockhead who knows nothing of the regular rules of war. Sometimes he is
on our right, at others on our left; now in front, and presently in our
rear. This mode of warfare is contrary to all system, and utterly

It is certain that if Napoleon’s opponents never knew what he was going
to do, if his generals themselves were frequently uncertain, it being
his practice to hold his peace about his plans, he himself had definite
rules of warfare. The most important of these were:

“Attacks should not be scattered, but should be concentrated.”

“Always be superior to the enemy at the point of attack.”

“Time is everything.”

To these formulated rules he joined marvelous fertility in stratagem.
The feint by which, at the beginning of the campaign, he had enticed
Beaulieu to march on Genoa, and that by which, a few days later, he had
induced him to place his army near Valenza, were masterpieces in their

His quick-wittedness in emergency frequently saved him from disaster.
Thus, on August 4th, in the midst of the excitement of the contest,
Bonaparte went to Lonato to see what troops could be drawn from there.
On entering he was greatly surprised to receive an Austrian
_parlementaire_, who called on the commandant of Lonato to surrender,
because the French were surrounded. Bonaparte saw at once that the
Austrians could be nothing but a division which had been cut off and was
seeking escape; but he was embarrassed, for there were only twelve
hundred men at Lonato. Sending for the man, he had his eyes unbandaged,
and told him that if his commander had the presumption to capture the
general-in-chief of the army of Italy he might advance; that the
Austrian division ought to have known that he was at Lonato with his
whole army; and he added that if they did not lay down their arms in
eight minutes he would not spare a man. This audacity saved Bonaparte,
and won him four thousand prisoners with guns and cavalry.



  From a lithograph by Raffet.]

His fertility in stratagem, his rapidity of action, his audacity in
attack, bewildered and demoralized the enemy, but it raised the
enthusiasm of his imaginative Southern troops to the highest pitch.

He insisted in this campaign on one other rule: “Unity of command is
necessary to assure success.” After his defeat of the Piedmontese, the
Directory ordered him, May 7, 1796, to divide his command with
Kellermann. Napoleon answered:

  “I believe it most impolitic to divide the army of Italy in two
  parts. It is quite as much against the interests of the republic to
  place two different generals over it....

  “A single general is not only necessary, but also it is essential
  that nothing trouble him in his march and operations. I have
  conducted this campaign without consulting any one. I should have
  done nothing of value if I had been obliged to reconcile my plans
  with those of another. I have gained advantage over superior forces
  and when stripped of everything myself, because persuaded that your
  confidence was in me. My action has been as prompt as my thought.

  “If you impose hindrances of all sorts upon me, if I must refer
  every step to government commissioners, if they have the right to
  change my movements, of taking from me or of sending me troops,
  expect no more of any value. If you enfeeble your means by dividing
  your forces, if you break the unity of military thought in Italy, I
  tell you sorrowfully you will lose the happiest opportunity of
  imposing laws on Italy.

  “In the condition of the affairs of the republic in Italy, it is
  indispensable that you have a general that has your entire
  confidence. If it is not I, I am sorry for it, but I shall redouble
  my zeal to merit your esteem in the post you confide to me. Each one
  has his own way of carrying on war. General Kellermann has more
  experience and will do it better than I, but both together will do
  it very badly.

  “I can only render the services essential to the country when
  invested entirely and absolutely with your confidence.”

He remained in charge, and throughout the rest of the campaign continued
to act more and more independently of the Directory, even dictating
terms of peace to please himself.

It was in this Italian campaign that the almost superstitious adoration
which Napoleon’s soldiers and most of his generals felt for him began.
Brilliant generalship was not the only reason for this. It was due
largely to his personal courage, which they had discovered at Lodi. A
charge had been ordered across a wooden bridge swept by thirty pieces of
cannon, and beyond was the Austrian army. The men hesitated. Napoleon
sprang to their head and led them into the thickest of the fire. From
that day he was known among them as the “Little Corporal.” He had won
them by the quality which appeals most deeply to a soldier in the
ranks—contempt of death. Such was their devotion to him that they gladly
exposed their lives if they saw him in danger. There were several such
cases in the battle of Arcola. The first day, when Bonaparte was
exposing himself in an advance, his aide-de-camp, Colonel Muiron, saw
that he was in imminent danger. Throwing himself before Bonaparte, the
colonel covered him with his body, receiving a wound which was destined
for the general. The brave fellow’s blood spurted into Bonaparte’s face.
He literally gave his life to save his commander’s. The same day, in a
final effort to take Arcola, Bonaparte seized a flag, rushed on the
bridge, and planted it there. His column reached the middle of the
bridge, but there it was broken by the enemy’s flanking fire. The
grenadiers at the head, finding themselves deserted by the rear, were
compelled to retreat; but, critical as their position was, they refused
to abandon their general. They seized him by his arms, by his clothes,
and dragged him with them through shot and smoke. When one fell out
wounded, another pressed to his place. Precipitated into the morass,
Bonaparte sank. The enemy were surrounding him when the grenadiers
perceived his danger. A cry was raised, “Forward, soldiers, to save the
General!” and immediately they fell upon the Austrians with such fury
that they drove them off, dragged out their hero, and bore him to a safe

His addresses never failed to stir them to action and enthusiasm. They
were oratorical, prophetic, and abounded in phrases which the soldiers
never forgot. Such was his address at Milan:

  “Soldiers! you have precipitated yourselves like a torrent from the
  summit of the Apennines; you have driven back and dispersed all that
  opposed your march. Piedmont, liberated from Austrian tyranny, has
  yielded to her natural sentiments of peace and amity towards France.
  Milan is yours, and the Republican flag floats throughout Lombardy,
  while the Dukes of Modena and Parma owe their political existence
  solely to your generosity. The army which so haughtily menaced you,
  finds no barrier to secure it from your courage. The Po, the Ticino,
  and the Adda have been unable to arrest your courage for a single
  day. Those boasted ramparts of Italy proved insufficient. You have
  surmounted them as rapidly as you cleared the Apennines. So much
  success has diffused joy through the bosom of your country. Yes,
  soldiers, you have done well; but is there nothing more for you to
  accomplish? Shall it be said of us that we knew how to conquer, but
  knew not how to profit by victory? Shall posterity reproach us with
  having found a Capua in Lombardy? But I see you rush to arms;
  unmanly repose wearies you, and the days lost to glory are lost to

  “Let us set forward. We have still forced marches to perform,
  enemies to conquer, laurels to gather, and injuries to avenge. Let
  those tremble who have whetted the poniards of civil war in France;
  who have, like dastards, assassinated our ministers, and burned our
  ships in Toulon. The hour of vengeance is arrived, but let the
  people be tranquil. We are the friends of all nations, particularly
  the descendants of the Brutuses, the Scipios, and those illustrious
  persons we have chosen for our models. To restore the Capitol,
  replace with honor the statues of the heroes who rendered it
  renowned, and rouse the Roman people, become torpid by so many ages
  of slavery—shall, will, be the fruit of your victories. You will
  then return to your homes, and your fellow-citizens when pointing to
  you will say, ‘_He was of the army of Italy._’”

Such was his address in March, before the final campaign against the



  Engraved by Bartolozzi, R.A., an Italian engraver, resident of
    England, after the portrait of Appiani.]

  “You have been victorious in fourteen pitched battles and sixty-six
  combats; you have taken one hundred thousand prisoners, five hundred
  pieces of large cannon and two thousand pieces of smaller, four
  equipages for bridge pontoons. The country has nourished you, paid
  you during your campaign, and you have beside that sent thirty
  millions from the public treasury to Paris. You have enriched the
  Museum of Paris with three hundred _chefs-d’oeuvre_ of ancient and
  modern Italy, which it has taken thirty ages to produce. You have
  conquered the most beautiful country of Europe. The French colors
  float for the first time upon the borders of the Adriatic. The kings
  of Sardinia and Naples, the Pope, the Duke of Parma have become
  allies. You have chased the English from Leghorn, Genoa, and
  Corsica. You have yet to march against the Emperor of Austria.”

His approval was their greatest joy. Let him speak a word of praise to a
regiment, and they embroidered it on their banners. “I was at ease, the
Thirty-second was there,” was on the flag of that regiment. Over the
Fifty-seventh floated a name Napoleon had called them by, “The terrible

His displeasure was a greater spur than his approval. He said to a corps
which had retreated in disorder: “Soldiers, you have displeased me. You
have shown neither courage nor constancy, but have yielded positions
where a handful of men might have defied an army. You are no longer
French soldiers. Let it be written on their colors, ‘They no longer form
part of the Army of Italy.’” A veteran pleaded that they be placed in
the van, and during the rest of the campaign no regiment was more

The effect of his genius was as great on his generals as on his troops.
They were dazzled by his stratagems and manœuvres, inspired by his
imagination. “_There was so much of the future in him_,” is Marmont’s
expressive explanation. They could believe anything of him. A remarkable
set of men they were to have as followers and friends—Augereau, Masséna,
Berthier, Marmont, Junot.

The people and the government in Paris had begun to believe in him, as
did the Army of Italy. He not only sent flags and reports of victory; he
sent money and works of art. Impoverished as the Directory was, the sums
which came from Italy were a reason for not interfering with the high
hand the young general carried in his campaigns and treaties.

Never before had France received such letters from a general. Now he
announces that he has sent “twenty first masters, from Correggio to
Michael Angelo;” now, “a dozen millions of money;” now, two or three
millions in jewels and diamonds to be sold in Paris. In return he asks
only for men and officers “who have fire and a firm resolution not to
make _learned retreats_.”

The entry into Paris of the first art acquisitions made a profound
impression on the people:

  “The procession of enormous cars, drawn by richly caparisoned
  horses, was divided into four sections. First came trunks filled
  with books, manuscripts, ... including the antiques of Josephus, on
  papyrus, with works in the handwriting of Galileo.... Then followed
  collections of mineral products.... For the occasion were added
  wagons laden with iron cages containing lions, tigers, panthers,
  over which waved enormous palm branches and all kinds of exotic
  shrubs. Afterwards rolled along chariots bearing pictures carefully
  packed, but with the names of the most important inscribed in large
  letters on the outside, as, The Transfiguration, by Raphael; The
  Christ, by Titian. The number was great, the value greater. When
  these trophies had passed, amid the applause of an excited crowd, a
  heavy rumbling announced the approach of massive carts bearing
  statues and marble groups: the Apollo Belvidere; the Nine Muses; the
  Laocoön.... The Venus de Medici was eventually added, decked with
  bouquets, crowns of flowers, flags taken from the enemy, and French,
  Italian, and Greek inscriptions. Detachments of cavalry and
  infantry, colors flying, drums beating, music playing, marched at
  intervals; the members of the newly established Institute fell into
  line; artists and savants; and the singers of the theatres made the
  air ring with national hymns. This procession marched through all
  Paris, and at the Champ de Mars defiled before the five members of
  the Directory, surrounded by their subordinate officers.”

The practice of sending home works of art, begun in the Italian
campaign, Napoleon continued throughout his military career, and the art
of France owes much to the education thus given the artists of the first
part of this century. His agents ransacked Italy, Spain, Germany, and
Flanders for _chefs-d’oeuvre_. When entering a country one of the first
things he did was to collect information about its chief art objects, in
order to demand them in case of victory, for it was by treaty that they
were usually obtained. Among the works of art which Napoleon sent to
Paris were twenty-five Raphaels, twenty-three Titians, fifty-three
Rubenses, thirty-three Van Dykes, thirty-one Rembrandts.

In Italy rose Napoleon’s “star,” that mysterious guide which he followed
from Lodi to Waterloo. Here was born that faith in him and his future,
that belief that he “marched under the protection of the goddess of
fortune and of war,” that confidence that he was endowed with a “good

He called Lodi the birthplace of his faith. “Vendémiaire and even
Montenotte did not make me believe myself a superior man. It was only
after Lodi that it came into my head that I could become a decisive
actor on our political field. Then was born the first spark of high

Trained in a religion full of mysticism, taught to believe in signs,
guided by a “star,” there is a tinge of superstition throughout his
active, practical, hardworking life. Marmont tells that one day while in
Italy the glass over the portrait of his wife, which he always wore, was

“He turned frightfully pale, and the impression upon him was most
sorrowful. ‘Marmont,’ he said, ‘my wife is very ill or she is
unfaithful.’” There are many similar anecdotes to show his dependence
upon and confidence in omens.

In a campaign of such achievements as that in Italy there seems to be no
time for love, and yet love was never more imperative, more absorbing,
in Napoleon’s life than during this period.



  “Engraved by Henry Richter from the celebrated bust by Ceracchi,
    lately brought from Paris and now in his possession. Published June
    1, 1801, by H. Richter, No. 26 Newman Street, Oxford Street.” This
    bust was made in the Italian campaign by Ceracchi, a Corsican
    working in Rome. Ceracchi left Rome in 1799 to escape punishment for
    taking part in an insurrection in the city, and went to Paris, where
    he hoped to receive aid from the First Consul. He made the busts of
    several generals—Berthier, Masséna, and Bernadotte—but as orders did
    not multiply, and Napoleon did nothing for him, he became incensed
    against him, and took part in a plot to assassinate the First Consul
    at the opera, the 18th Brumaire, 1801. Arrested on his way to the
    _loge_ in the opera, he was executed soon after.]

  “Oh, my adorable wife,” he wrote Josephine in April, “I do not know
  what fate awaits me, but if it keeps me longer from you, I shall not
  be able to endure it; my courage will not hold out to that point.
  There was a time when I was proud of my courage; and when I thought
  of the harm that men might do me, of the lot that my destiny might
  reserve for me, I looked at the most terrible misfortunes without a
  quiver, with no surprise. But now, the thought that my Josephine may
  be in trouble, that she may be ill, and, above all, the cruel, fatal
  thought that she may love me less, inflicts torture in my soul,
  stops the beating of my heart, makes me sad and dejected, robs me of
  even the courage of fury and despair. I often used to say, ‘Man can
  do no harm to one who is willing to die;’ but now, to die without
  being loved by you, to die without this certainty, is the torture of
  hell; it is the vivid and crushing image of total annihilation. It
  seems to me as if I were choking. My only companion, you who have
  been chosen by fate to make with me the painful journey of life, the
  day when I shall no longer possess your heart will be that when for
  me the world shall have lost all warmth and all its vegetation.... I
  will stop, my sweet pet; my soul is sad. I am very tired, my mind is
  worn out, I am sick of men. I have good reason for hating them. They
  separate me from my love.”

Josephine was indifferent to this strong passion. “How queer Bonaparte
is!” she said coldly at the evidences of his affection which he poured
upon her; and when, after a few weeks separation, he began to implore
her to join him she hesitated, made excuses, tried in every possible way
to evade his wish. It was not strange that a woman of her indolent
nature, loving flattery, having no passion but for amusement, reckless
expenditure, and her own ease, should prefer life in Paris. There she
shared with Madame Tallien the adoration which the Parisian world is
always bestowing on some fair woman. At opera and ball she was the
centre of attraction; even in the street the people knew her. _Notre
Dame des Victoires_ was the name they gave her.

In desperation at her indifference, Napoleon finally wrote her, in June,
from Tortona:

  “My life is a perpetual nightmare. A black presentiment makes
  breathing difficult. I am no longer alive; I have lost more than
  life, more than happiness, more than peace; I am almost without
  hope. I am sending you a courier. He will stay only four hours in
  Paris, and then will bring me your answer. Write to me ten pages;
  that is the only thing that can console me in the least. You are
  ill; you love me; I have distressed you; you are with child; and I
  do not see you.... I have treated you so ill that I do not know how
  to set myself right in your eyes. I have been blaming you for
  staying in Paris, and you have been ill there. Forgive me, my dear;
  the love with which you have filled me has robbed me of my reason,
  and I shall never recover it. It is a malady from which there is no
  recovery. My forebodings are so gloomy that all I ask is to see you,
  to hold you in my arms for two hours, and that we may die together.
  Who is taking care of you? I suppose that you have sent for
  Hortense; I love the dear child a thousand times better since I
  think that she may console you a little. As for me, I am without
  consolation, rest, and hope until I see again the messenger whom I
  am sending to you, and until you explain to me in a long letter just
  what is the matter with you, and how serious it is. If there were
  any danger, I warn you that I should start at once for Paris....
  You! you!—and the rest of the world will not exist for me any more
  than if it had been annihilated. I care for honor because you care
  for it; for victory, because it brings you pleasure; otherwise, I
  should abandon everything to throw myself at your feet.”

After this letter Josephine consented to go to Italy, but she left Paris
weeping as if going to her execution. Once at Milan, where she held
almost a court, she recovered her gaiety, and the two were very happy
for a time. But it did not last. Napoleon, obliged to be on the march,
would implore Josephine to come to him here and there, and once she
narrowly escaped with her life when trying to get away from the army.

Wherever she was installed she had a circle of adorers about her, and as
a result she neglected writing to her husband. Reproaches and entreaties
filled his letters. He begged her for only a line, and he implored her
that she be less cold.

  “Your letters are as cold as fifty years of age; one would think
  they had been written after we had been married fifteen years. They
  are full of the friendliness and feelings of life’s winter,... What
  more can you do to distress me? Stop loving me? That you have
  already done. Hate me? Well, I wish you would; everything degrades
  me except hatred; but indifference, with a calm pulse, fixed eyes,
  monotonous walk!... A thousand kisses, tender, like my heart.”

It was not merely indolence and indifference that caused Josephine’s
neglect. It was coquetry frequently, and Napoleon, informed by his
couriers as to whom she received at Milan or Genoa, and of the pleasures
she enjoyed, was jealous with all the force of his nature. More than one
young officer who dared pay homage to Josephine in this campaign was
banished “by order of the commander-in-chief.” Reaching Milan once,
unexpectedly, he found her gone. His disappointment was bitter.

  “I reached Milan, rushed to your rooms, having thrown up everything
  to see you, to press you to my heart—you were not there; you are
  traveling about from one town to another, amusing yourself with
  balls.... My unhappiness is inconceivable.... Don’t put yourself
  out; pursue your pleasure; happiness is made for you.”

It was between such extremes of triumphant love and black despair that
Napoleon lived throughout the Italian campaign.



  The title on the engraving reads: “Bonaparte, dédié à Madame
    Bonaparte.” Engraved in 1803 by Godefroy, after Isabey.]

                               CHAPTER VI


In December, 1797, he returned to Paris. His whole family were collected
there, forming a “Bonaparte colony,” as the Parisians called it. There
were Joseph and his wife; Lucien, now married to Christine Boyer, his
old landlord’s daughter, a marriage Napoleon never forgave; Eliza, now
Madame Bacciochi; Pauline, now Madame Leclerc. Madame Letitia was in the
city, with Caroline; Louis and Jerome were still in school. Josephine
had her daughter Hortense, a girl of thirteen, with her. Her son Eugène,
though but fifteen years old, was away on a mission for Napoleon, who,
in spite of the boy’s youth, had already taken him into his confidence.
According to Napoleon’s express desire, all the family lived in great

The return to Paris of the commander-in-chief of the Army of Italy was
the signal for a popular ovation. The Directory gave him every honor,
changing the name of the street in which he lived to _rue de la
Victoire_, and making him a member of the Institute; but, conscious of
its feebleness, and inspired by that suspicion which since the
Revolution began had caused the ruin of so many men, it planned to get
rid of him.

Of the coalition against France, formed in 1793, one member alone
remained in arms—England. Napoleon was to be sent against her. An
invasion of the island was first discussed, and he made an examination
of the north coast. His report was adverse, and he substituted a plan
for the invasion of Egypt—an old idea in the French government.

The Directory gladly accepted the change, and Napoleon was made
commander-in-chief of the Army of Egypt. On the 4th of May he left Paris
for Toulon.

To Napoleon this expedition was a merciful escape. He once said to
Madame Rémusat:

  “In Paris, and Paris is France, they never can take the smallest
  interest in things, if they do not take it in persons.... The great
  difficulty of the Directory was that no one cared about them, and
  that people began to care too much about me. This was why I
  conceived the happy idea of going to Egypt.”

He was under the influence, too, of his imagination; the Orient had
always tempted him. It is certain that he went away with gigantic
projects—nothing less than to conquer the whole of the East, and to
become its ruler and lawgiver.

  “I dreamed of all sorts of things, and I saw a way of carrying all
  my projects into practical execution. I would create a new religion.
  I saw myself in Asia, upon an elephant, wearing a turban, and
  holding in my hand a new Koran which I had myself composed. I would
  have united in my enterprise the experiences of two hemispheres,
  exploring for my benefit and instruction all history, attacking the
  power of England in the Indies, and renewing, by their conquest, my
  relations with old Europe. The time I passed in Egypt was the most
  delightful period of my life, for it was the most ideal.”

His friends, watching his irritation during the days before the campaign
had been decided upon, said: “A free flight in space is what such wings
demand. He will die here. He must go.” He himself said: “Paris weighs on
me like a leaden mantle.”

Napoleon sailed from France on May 19, 1798; on June 9th he reached
Malta, and won for France “the strongest place in Europe.” July 2d he
entered Alexandria. On July 23d he entered Cairo, after the famous
battle of the Pyramids.

The French fleet had remained in Aboukir Bay after landing the army, and
on August 1st was attacked by Nelson. Napoleon had not realized, before
this battle, the power of the English on the sea. He knew nothing of
Nelson’s genius. The destruction of his fleet, and the consciousness
that he and his army were prisoners in the Orient, opened his eyes to
the greatest weakness of France.

The winter was spent in reorganizing the government of Egypt and in
scientific work. Over one hundred scientists had been added to the Army
of Egypt, including some of the most eminent men of the day: Monge,
Geoffroy-St.-Hilaire, Berthollet, Fourier, and Denon. From their arrival
every opportunity was given them to carry on their work. To stimulate
them, Napoleon founded the Institute of Egypt, in which membership was
granted as a reward for services.

These scientists went out in every direction, pushing their
investigations up the Nile as far as Philoe, tracing the bed of the old
canal from Suez to the Nile, unearthing ancient monuments, making
collections of the flora and fauna, examining in detail the arts and
industries of the people. Everything, from the inscription on the
Rosetta Stone to the incubation of chickens, received their attention.
On the return of the expedition, their researches were published in a
magnificent work called “Description de l’Egypte.” The information
gathered by the French at this time gave a great impetus to the study of
Egyptology, and their investigations on the old Suez canal led directly
to the modern work.

The peaceful work of science and law-giving which Napoleon was
conducting in Egypt was interrupted by the news that the Porte had
declared war against France, and that two Turkish armies were on their
way to Egypt. In March he set off to Syria to meet the first.



  Engraved by Vallot in 1838, after painting by Gros (1810). The moment
    chosen by the artist is that when Napoleon addressed to his soldiers
    that short and famous harangue, “Soldiers, from the summit of these
    Pyramids forty centuries look down upon you.” In the General’s
    escort are Murat, his head bare and his sword clasped tightly; and
    after him, in order, Duroc, Sulkowski, Berthier, Junot, and Eugène
    de Beauharnais, then sub-lieutenant, all on horseback. On the right
    are Rampon, Desaix, Bertrand, and Lasalle. This picture was ordered
    for the Tuileries, and was exhibited first in 1810. Napoleon gave it
    to one of his generals, and it did not reappear in Paris until 1832.
    It is now in the gallery at Versailles. Gros regarded this picture
    as his best work, and himself chose Vallot to engrave it.]

This Syrian expedition was a failure, ending in a retreat made horrible
not only by the enemy in the rear, but by pestilence and heat.

The disaster was a terrible disillusion for Napoleon. It ended his dream
of an Oriental realm for himself, of a kingdom embracing the whole
Mediterranean for France. “I missed my fortune at St. Jean d’Acre,” he
told his brother Lucien afterward; and again, “I think my imagination
died at St. Jean d’Acre.” The words are those of the man whose
discouragement at a failure was as profound as his hope at success was

As Napoleon entered Egypt from Syria, he learned that the second Turkish
army was near the Bay of Aboukir. He turned against it and defeated it
completely. In the exchange of prisoners made after the battle, a bundle
of French papers fell into his hands. It was the first news he had had
for ten months from France, and sad news it was: Italy lost, an invasion
of Austrians and Russians threatening, the Directory discredited and

If the Oriental empire of his imagination had fallen, might it not be
that in Europe a kingdom awaited him? He decided to leave Egypt at once,
and with the greatest secrecy prepared for his departure. The army was
turned over to Kléber, and with four small vessels he sailed for France
on the night of August 22, 1799. On October 16th he was in Paris.

For a long time nothing had been heard of Napoleon in France. The people
said he had been exiled by the jealous Directory. His disappearance into
the Orient had all the mystery and fascination of an Eastern tale. His
sudden reappearance had something of the heroic in it. He came like a
god from Olympus, unheralded, but at the critical moment.

The joy of the people, who at that day certainly preferred a hero to
suffrage, was spontaneous and sincere. His journey from the coast to
Paris was a triumphal march. _Le retour du héros_ was the word in
everybody’s mouth. On every side the people cried: “You alone can save
the country. It is perishing without you. Take the reins of government.”

At Paris he found the government waiting to be overthrown. “A brain and
a sword” was all that was needed to carry out a _coup d’état_ organized
while he was still in Africa. Everybody recognized him as the man for
the hour. A large part of the military force in Paris was devoted to
him. His two brothers, Lucien and Joseph, were in positions of
influence, the former president of the Five Hundred, as one of the two
chambers was called. All that was most distinguished in the political,
military, legal, and artistic circles of Paris rallied to him. Among the
men who supported him were Talleyrand, Sieyès, Chénier, Roederer, Monge,
Cambacérès, Moreau, Berthier, Murat.

On the 18th Brumaire (the 9th of November), 1799, the plot culminated,
and Napoleon was recognized as the temporary Dictator of France.

The private sorrow to which Napoleon returned, was as great as the
public glory. During the campaign in Egypt he had learned beyond a doubt
that Josephine’s coquetry had become open folly, and that a young
officer, Hippolyte Charles, whom he had dismissed from the Army of Italy
two years before, was installed at Malmaison. The _liaison_ was so
scandalous that Gohier, the president of the Directory, advised
Josephine to get a divorce from Napoleon and marry Charles.

These rumors reached Egypt, and Napoleon, in despair, even talked them
over with Eugène de Beauharnais. The boy defended his mother, and for a
time succeeded in quieting Napoleon’s resentment. At last, however, he
learned in a talk with Junot that the gossip was true. He lost all
control of himself, and declared he would have a divorce. The idea was
abandoned, but the love and reverence he had given Josephine were dead.
From that time she had no empire over his heart, no power to inspire him
to action or to enthusiasm.

When he landed in France from Egypt, Josephine, foreseeing a storm,
started out to meet him at Lyons. Unfortunately she took one road and
Napoleon another, and when he reached Paris at six o’clock in the
morning he found no one at home. When Josephine arrived Napoleon refused
to see her, and it was three days before he relented. Then his
forgiveness was due to the intercession of Hortense and Eugène, to both
of whom he was warmly attached.

But if he consented to pardon, he could never give again the passionate
affection which he once had felt for her. He ceased to be a lover, and
became a commonplace, tolerant, indulgent, _bourgeois_ husband, upon
whom his wife, in matters of importance, had no influence. Josephine was
hereafter the suppliant, but she never regained the noble kingdom she
had despised.

Napoleon’s domestic sorrow weakened in no way his activity and vigor in
public affairs. He realized that, if he would keep his place in the
hearts and confidence of the people, he must do something to show his
strength, and peace was the gift he proposed to make to the nation. When
he returned he found a civil war raging in La Vendée. Before February he
had ended it. All over France brigandage had made life and property
uncertain. It was stopped by his new _régime_.

Two foreign enemies only remained at war with France—Austria and
England. He offered them peace. It was refused. Nothing remained but to
compel it. The Austrians were first engaged. They had two armies in the
field; one on the Rhine, against which Moreau was sent, the other in
Italy—now lost to France—besieging the French shut up in Genoa.



  By Auguste Conder. The Councillors of State having assembled in the
    hall which had been arranged for the occasion, the First Consul
    opened the _séance_ and heard the oath taken by the sectional
    presidents—Boulay de la Meurthe (legislation), Brune (war),
    Defermont (finances), Ganteaume (marine), Roederer (interior). The
    first Consul drew up and signed two proclamations, to the French
    people and to the army. The Second Consul, Cambacérès, and the Third
    Consul, Lebrun, were present at the meeting. Locré,
    _secrétaire-général du Conseil d’État_, conducted the
    _procès-verbal_. This picture is at Versailles.]

Moreau conducted the campaign in the Rhine countries with skill,
fighting two successful battles, and driving his opponent from Ulm.

Napoleon decided that he would himself carry on the Italian campaign,
but of that he said nothing in Paris. His army was quietly brought
together as a reserve force; then suddenly, on May 6, 1800, he left
Paris for Geneva. Immediately his plan became evident. It was nothing
else than to cross the Alps and fall upon the rear of the Austrians,
then besieging Genoa.

Such an undertaking was a veritable _coup de théâtre_. Its
accomplishment was not less brilliant than its conception. Three
principal passes lead from Switzerland into Italy: Mont Cenis, the Great
Saint Bernard, and the Mount Saint Gothard. The last was already held by
the Austrians. The first is the westernmost, and here Napoleon directed
the attention of General Melas, the Austrian commander. The central, or
Mount Saint Bernard, Pass was left almost defenceless, and here the
French army was led across, a passage surrounded by enormous
difficulties, particularly for the artillery, which had to be taken to
pieces and carried or dragged by the men.

Save the delay which the enemy caused the French at Fort Bard, where
five hundred men stopped the entire army, Napoleon met with no serious
resistance in entering Italy. Indeed, the Austrians treated the force
with contempt, declaring that it was not the First Consul who led it,
but an adventurer, and that the army was not made up of French, but of
refugee Italians.

This rumor was soon known to be false. On June 2d Napoleon entered
Milan. It was evident that a conflict was imminent, and to prepare his
soldiers Bonaparte addressed them:

  “Soldiers, one of our departments was in the power of the enemy;
  consternation was in the south of France; the greatest part of the
  Ligurian territory, the most faithful friends of the Republic, had
  been invaded. The Cisalpine Republic had again become the grotesque
  plaything of the feudal _régime_. Soldiers, you march—and already
  the French territory is delivered! Joy and hope have succeeded in
  your country to consternation and fear.

  “You give back liberty and independence to the people of Genoa. You
  have delivered them from their eternal enemies. You are in the
  capital of the Cisalpine. The enemy, terrified, no longer hopes for
  anything, except to regain its frontiers. You have taken possession
  of its hospitals, its magazines, its resources.

  “The first act of the campaign is terminated. Every day you hear
  millions of men thanking you for your deeds.

  “But shall it be said that French territory has been violated with
  impunity? Shall we allow an army which has carried fear into our
  families to return to its firesides? Will you run with your arms?
  Very well, march to the battle; forbid their retreat; tear from them
  the laurels of which they have taken possession; and so teach the
  world that the curse of destiny is on the rash who dare insult the
  territory of the Great People. The result of all our efforts will be
  spotless glory, solid peace.”

Melas, the Austrian commander, had lost much time; but finally convinced
that it was really Bonaparte who had invaded Italy, and that he had
actually reached Milan, he advanced into the plain of Marengo. He had
with him an army of from fifty to sixty thousand men well supplied with

Bonaparte, ignorant that so large a force was at Marengo, advanced into
the plain with only a portion of his army. On June 14th Melas attacked
him. Before noon the French saw that they had to do with the entire
Austrian army. For hours the battle was waged furiously, but with
constant loss on the side of the French. In spite of the most intrepid
fighting the army gave way. “At four o’clock in the afternoon,” says a
soldier who was present, “there remained in a radius of two leagues not
over six thousand infantry, a thousand horse, and six pieces of cannon.
A third of our army was not in condition for battle. The lack of
carriages to transport the sick made another third necessary for this
painful task. Hunger, thirst, fatigue, had forced a great number to
withdraw. The sharp shooters for the most part had lost the direction of
their regiments.

“He who in these frightful circumstances would have said, ‘In two hours
we shall have gained the battle, made ten thousand prisoners, taken
several generals, fifteen flags, forty cannons; the enemy shall have
delivered to us eleven fortified places and all the territory of
beautiful Italy; they will soon defile shamefaced before our ranks; an
armistice will suspend the plague of war and bring back peace into our
country,’—he, I say, who would have said that, would have seemed to
insult our desperate situation.”

The battle was won finally by the French through the fortunate arrival
of Desaix with reënforcements and the imperturbable courage of the
commander-in-chief. Bonaparte’s coolness was the marvel of those who
surrounded him.

“At the moment when the dead and the dying covered the earth, the Consul
was constantly braving death. He gave his orders with his accustomed
coolness, and saw the storm approach without seeming to fear it. Those
who saw him, forgetting the danger that menaced them, said: ‘What if he
should be killed? Why does he not go back?’ It is said that General
Berthier begged him to do so.



  Engraved by Antonio Gilbert in 1809, under the direction of Longhi,
    after portrait painted by David in 1805. Dedicated to the Prince
    Eugène Napoleon of France, Viceroy of Italy. It was soon after his
    return from Marengo that Napoleon expressed a wish to be painted by
    David. The artist had long desired this work, and seized the
    opportunity eagerly. He asked the First Consul when he would pose
    for him.

  “Pose!” said Bonaparte. “Do you suppose the great men of antiquity
    posed for their portraits?”

  “But I paint you for your time, for men who have seen you. They would
    like to have it like you.”

  “Like me! It is not the perfection of the features, a pimple on the
    nose, which makes resemblance. It is the character of the face that
    should be represented. No one cares whether the portraits of great
    men look like them or not. It is enough that their genius shines
    from the picture.”

  “I have never considered it in that way. But you are right, Citizen
    Consul. You need not pose: I will paint you without that.” David
    went to breakfast daily after this with Napoleon, in order to study
    his face, and the Consul put at his service all the garments he had
    worn at Marengo. It is told that David mounted Napoleon on a mule
    for this picture, but that the General demurred. He sprang upon his
    horse, and, making him rear, said to the artist, “Paint me thus.”]

“Once General Berthier came to him to tell him that the army was giving
way and that the retreat had commenced. Bonaparte said to him: ‘General,
you do not tell me that with sufficient coolness.’ This greatness of
soul, this firmness, did not leave him in the greatest dangers. When the
Fifty-ninth Brigade reached the battle-field the action was the hottest.
The First Consul advanced toward them and cried: ‘Come, my brave
soldiers, spread your banners; the moment has come to distinguish
yourselves. I count on your courage to avenge your comrades.’ At the
moment that he pronounced these words, five men were struck down near
him. He turned with a tranquil air towards the enemy, and said: ‘Come,
my friends, charge them.’

“I had curiosity enough to listen attentively to his voice, to examine
his features. The most courageous man, the hero the most eager for
glory, might have been overcome in his situation without any one blaming
him. But he was not. In these frightful moments, when fortune seemed to
desert him, he was still the Bonaparte of Arcola and Aboukir.”

When Desaix came up with his division, Bonaparte took an hour to arrange
for the final charge. During this time the Austrian artillery was
thundering upon the army, each volley carrying away whole lines. The men
received death without moving from their places, and the ranks closed
over the bodies of their comrades. This deadly artillery even reached
the cavalry, drawn up behind, as well as a large number of infantry who,
encouraged by Desaix’s arrival, had hastened back to the field of honor.
In spite of the horror of this preparation Bonaparte did not falter.
When he was ready he led his army in an impetuous charge which
overwhelmed the Austrians completely, though it cost the French one of
their bravest generals, Desaix. It was a frightful struggle, but the
perfection with which the final attack was planned, won the battle of
Marengo and drove the Austrians from Italy.

The Parisians were dazzled by the campaign. Of the passage of the Alps
they said, “It is an achievement greater than Hannibal’s;” and they
repeated how “the First Consul had pointed his finger at the frozen
summits, and they had bowed their heads.” At the news of Marengo the
streets were lit with “joy fires,” and from wall to wall rang the cries
of _Vive la république! Vive le premier consul! Vive l’armée!_


  KLÉBER, 1753 OR 1754–1800.

  Engraved by G. Fiesinger, after portrait by Guérin.]

The campaign against the Austrians was finished December 3, 1800, by the
battle of Hohenlinden, won by Moreau, and in February the treaty of
Lunéville established peace. England was slower in coming to terms, it
not being until March, 1802, that she signed the treaty of Amiens.

At last France was at peace with all the world. She hailed Napoleon as
her savior, and ordered that the 18th Brumaire be celebrated throughout
the republic as a solemn _fête_ in his honor.

The country saw in him something greater than a peacemaker. She was
discovering that he was to be her law giver, for, while ending the wars,
he had begun to bring order into the interior chaos which had so long
tormented the French people, to reëstablish the finances, the laws, the
industries, to restore public works, to encourage the arts and sciences,
even to harmonize the interests of rich and poor, of church and state.


    BRUMAIRE, 1799.”]

                              CHAPTER VII

                              PUBLIC WORKS

“Now we must rebuild, and, moreover, we must rebuild solidly,” said
Napoleon to his brother Lucien the day after the _coup d’état_ which had
overthrown the Directory and made him the temporary Dictator of France.

The first necessity was a new constitution. In ten years three
constitutions had been framed and adopted, and now the third had, like
its predecessors, been declared worthless. At Napoleon’s side was a man
who had the draft of a constitution ready in his pocket. It had been
promised him that, if he would aid in the 18th Brumaire, this instrument
should be adopted. This man was the Abbé Sieyès. He had been a prominent
member of the Constituent Assembly, but, curiously enough, his fame
there had been founded more on his silence and the air of mystery in
which he enveloped himself than on anything he had done. The
superstitious veneration which he had won, saved him even during the
Terror, and he was accustomed to say laconically, when asked what he did
in that period, “_I lived._”

It was he who, when Napoleon was still in Egypt, had seen the necessity
of a military dictatorship, and had urged the Directory to order
Napoleon home to help him reorganize the government—an order which was
never received.

Soon after the 18th Brumaire, Sieyès presented his constitution. No more
bungling and bizarre instrument for conducting the affairs of a nation
was ever devised. Warned by the experience of the past ten years, he
abandoned the ideas of 1789, and declared that the power must come from
above, the confidence from below. His system of voting took the suffrage
from the people; his legislative body was composed of three sections,
each of which was practically powerless. All the force of the government
was centered in a senate of aged men. The Grand Elector, as the
figurehead which crowned the edifice was called, did nothing but live at
Versailles and draw a princely salary.

Napoleon saw at once the weak points of the structure, but he saw how it
could be re-arranged to serve a dictator. He demanded that the Senate be
stripped of its power, and that the Grand Elector be replaced by a First
Consul, to whom the executive force should be confided. Sieyès
consented, and Napoleon was named First Consul.

The whole machinery of the government was now centered in one man. “The
state, it was I,” said Napoleon at St. Helena. The new constitution was
founded on principles the very opposite of those for which the
Revolution had been made, but it was the only hope there was of dragging
France from the slough of anarchy and despair into which she had fallen.

Napoleon undertook the work of reconstruction which awaited him, with
courage, energy, and amazing audacity. He was forced to deal at once
with all departments of the nation’s life—with the finances, the
industries, the _émigrés_, the Church, public education, the
codification of the laws.

The first question was one of money. The country was literally bankrupt
in 1799. The treasury was empty, and the government practised all sorts
of makeshifts to get money to pay those bills which could not be put
off. One day, having to send out a special courier, it was obliged to
give him the receipts of the opera to pay his expenses. And, again, it
was in such a tight pinch that it was on the point of sending the gold
coin in the Cabinet of Medals to the mint to be melted. Loans could not
be negotiated; government paper was worthless; stocks were down to the
lowest. One of the worst features of the situation was the condition of
the taxes. The assessments were as arbitrary as before the Revolution,
and they were collected with greater difficulty.

To select an honest, capable, and well known financier was Napoleon’s
first act. The choice he made was wise—a Monsieur Gaudin, afterward the
Duke de Gaëte, a quiet man, who had the confidence of the people. Under
his management credit was restored, the government was able to make the
loans necessary, and the department of finance was reorganized in a
thorough fashion. Napoleon’s gratitude to Monsieur Gaudin was lasting.
Once when asked to change him for a more brilliant man, he said:

“I fully acknowledge all your _protégé_ is worth; but it might easily
happen that, with all his intelligence, he would give me nothing but
fresh water, whilst with my good Gaudin I can always rely on having good
crown pieces.”

The famous Bank of France dates from this time. It was founded under
Napoleon’s personal direction, and he never ceased to watch over it

Most important of all the financial measures was the reorganization of
the system of taxation. The First Consul insisted that the taxes must
meet the whole expense of the nation, save war, which must pay for
itself; and he so ordered affairs that never, after his administration
was fairly begun, was a deficit known or a loan made. This was done,
too, without the people feeling the burden of taxation. Indeed, that
burden was so much lighter under his administration that it had been
under the old _régime_, that peasant and workman, in most cases,
probably did not know they were being taxed.



  Fiesinger, engraver, after Guérin. Published “29 Vendémiaire, l’an
    VII.” (1799). It is of this portrait that Taine writes: “Look now at
    this portrait by Guérin, this lean body, these narrow shoulders in
    their uniform creased by his brusque motions, this neck enveloped in
    a high wrinkled cravat, these temples concealed by long hair falling
    straight over them, nothing to be seen but the face; these hard
    features made prominent by strong contrasts of light and shade;
    these cheeks as hollow as the interior angle of the eye; these
    prominent cheek-bones; this massive protruding chin; these curving,
    mobile, attentive lips; these great, clear eyes deeply set under the
    overarching eyebrows; this fixed, incomprehensible look, sharp as a
    sword; these two straight wrinkles which cross the forehead from the
    base of the nose like a furrow of continual anger and inflexible

“Before 1789,” says Taine, “out of one hundred francs of net revenue,
the workman gave fourteen to his seignor, fourteen to the clergy,
fifty-three to the state, and kept only eighteen or nineteen for
himself. Since 1800, from one hundred francs income he pays nothing to
the seignor or the Church, and he pays to the state, the department, and
the commune but twenty-one francs, leaving seventy-nine in his pocket.”
And such was the method and care with which this system was
administered, that the state received more than twice as much as it had
before. The enormous sums which the police and tax-collectors had
appropriated now went to the state. Here is but one example of numbers
which show how minutely Napoleon guarded this part of the finances. It
is found in a letter to Fouché, the chief of police:

  “What happens at Bordeaux happens at Turin, at Spa, at Marseilles,
  etc. The police commissioners derive immense profits from the
  gaming-tables. My intention is that the towns shall reap the benefit
  of the tables. I shall employ the two hundred thousand francs paid
  by the tables of Bordeaux in building a bridge or a canal....”

A great improvement was that the taxes became fixed and regular.
Napoleon wished that each man should know what he had to pay out each
year. “True civil liberty depends on the safety of property,” he told
his Council of State. “There is none in a country where the rate of
taxation is changed every year. A man who has three thousand francs
income does not know how much he will have to live on the next year. His
whole substance may be swallowed up by the taxes.”

Nearly the whole revenue came from indirect taxes applied to a great
number of articles. In case of a war which did not pay its way, Napoleon
proposed to raise each of these a few centimes. The nation would surely
prefer this, to paying it to the Russians or Austrians. When possible
the taxes were reduced. “Better leave the money in the hands of the
citizens than lock it up in a cellar, as they do in Prussia.”

He was cautious that extra taxes should not come on the very poor, if it
could be avoided. A suggestion to charge the vegetable and fish sellers
for their stalls came before him. “The public square, like water, ought
to be free. It is quite enough that we tax salt and wine.... It would
become the city of Paris much more to think of restoring the corn

An important part of his financial policy was the rigid economy which
was insisted on in all departments. If a thing was bought, it must be
worth what was paid for it. If a man held a position, he must do its
duties. Neither purchases nor positions could be made unless reasonable
and useful. This was in direct opposition to the old _régime_, of which
waste, idleness, and parasites were the chief characteristics. The
saving in expenditure was almost incredible. A trip to Fontainebleau,
which cost Louis XVI. four hundred thousand dollars, Napoleon would
make, in no less state, for thirty thousand dollars.

The expenses of the civil household, which amounted to five million
dollars under the old _régime_, were now cut down to six hundred
thousand dollars, though the elegance was no less.

A master who gave such strict attention to the prosperity of his kingdom
would not, of course, overlook its industries. In fact, they were one of
Napoleon’s chief cares. His policy was one of protection. He would have
France make everything she wanted, and sell to her neighbors, but never
buy from them. To simulate the manufactories, which in 1799 were as
nearly bankrupt as the public treasury, he visited the factories himself
to learn their needs. He gave liberal orders, and urged, even commanded,
his associates to do the same. At one time, anxious to aid the batiste
factories of Flanders, he tried to force Josephine to give up cotton
goods and to set the fashion in favor of the batistes; but she made such
an outcry that he was obliged to abandon the idea. For the same reason
he wrote to his sister Eliza: “I beg that you will allow your court to
wear nothing but silks and cambrics, and that you will exclude all
cottons and muslins, in order to favor French industry.”

Frequently he would take goods on consignment, to help a struggling
factory. Rather than allow a manufactory to be idle, he would advance a
large sum of money, and a quantity of its products would be put under
government control. After the battle of Eylau, Napoleon sent one million
six hundred thousand francs to Paris, to be used in this way.

To introduce cotton-making into the country was one of his chief
industrial ambitions. At the beginning of the century it was printed in
all the factories of France, but nothing more. He proposed to the
Council of State to prohibit the importation of cotton thread and the
woven goods. There was a strong opposition, but he carried his point.

“As a result,” said Napoleon to Las Cases complacently, “we possess the
three branches, to the immense advantage of our population and to the
detriment and sorrow of the English; which proves that, in
administration as in war, one must exercise character.... I occupied
myself no less in encouraging silks. As Emperor, and King of Italy, I
counted one hundred and twenty millions of income from the silk

In a similar way he encouraged agriculture; especially was he anxious
that France should raise all her own articles of diet. He had Berthollet
look into maple and turnip sugar, and he did at last succeed in
persuading the people to use beet sugar; though he never convinced them
that Swiss tea equalled Chinese, or that chicory was as good as coffee.



  One of the best portraits of the First Consul—the _truest_ of all,
    perhaps. Unlike Bouillon, Van Brée, Géhotte, Isabey, Boilly painted
    him in his real aspect, without any striving after the ideal. This
    is really the determined little Corsican, tormented by ambition and
    a thirst for conquest. This fine portrait has been admirably etched
    by Duplessis-Bertaux.—A. D.]

The works he insisted should be carried on in regard to roads and public
buildings were of great importance. There was need that something be

  “It is impossible to conceive, if one had not been a witness of it
  before and after the 18th Brumaire [said the chancellor Pasquier],
  of the widespread ruin wrought by the Revolution.... There were
  hardly two or three main roads [in France] in a fit condition for
  traffic; not a single one was there, perhaps, wherein was not found
  some obstacle that could not be surmounted without peril. With
  regard to the ways of internal communication, they had been
  indefinitely suspended. The navigation of rivers and canals was no
  longer feasible.

  “In all directions, public buildings, and those monuments which
  represent the splendor of the state, were falling into decay. It
  must fain be admitted that if the work of destruction had been
  prodigious, that of restoration was no less so. Everything was taken
  hold of at one and the same time, and everything progressed with a
  like rapidity. Not only was it resolved to restore all that required
  restoring in various parts of the country, in all parts of the
  public service, but new, grand, beautiful and useful works were
  decided upon, and many were brought to a happy termination. This
  certainly constitutes one of the most brilliant sides of the
  consular and imperial _régime_.”

In Paris alone vast improvements were made. Napoleon began the Rue de
Rivoli, built the wing connecting the Tuileries and the Louvre, erected
the triumphal arch of the Carrousel, the Arc de Triomphe at the head of
the Champs Elysées, the Column Vendôme, the Madeleine, began the Bourse,
built the Pont d’Austerlitz, and ordered, commenced, or finished, a
number of minor works of great importance to the city. The markets
interested him particularly. “Give all possible care to the construction
of the markets and to their healthfulness, and to the beauty of the
Halle-aux-blés and of the Halle-aux-vins. The people, too, must have
their Louvre.”

The works undertaken outside of Paris in France, and in the countries
under her rule in the time that Napoleon was in power were of a
variety and extent which would be incredible, if every traveller in
Europe did not have the evidence of them still before his eyes. The
mere enumeration of these works and of the industrial achievements of
Napoleon, made by Las Cases, reads like a fairy story. “You wish to
know the treasures of Napoleon? They are immense, it is true, but they
are all exposed to light. They are the noble harbors of Antwerp and
Flushing, which are capable of containing the largest fleets, and of
protecting them against the ice from the sea; the hydraulic works at
Dunkirk, Havre, and Nice; the immense harbor of Cherbourg; the
maritime works at Venice; the beautiful roads from Antwerp to
Amsterdam, from Mayence to Metz, from Bordeaux to Bayonne; the passes
of the Simplon, of Mont Cenis, of Mount Genèvre, of the Corniche,
which open a communication through the Alps in four different
directions, and which exceed in grandeur, in boldness, and in skill of
execution, all the works of the Romans (in that alone you will find
eight hundred millions); the roads from the Pyrenees to the Alps, from
Parma to Spezia, from Savona to Piedmont; the bridges of Jena,
Austerlitz, Des Arts, Sèvres, Tours, Roanne, Lyons, Turin; of the
Isère, of the Durance, of Bordeaux, of Rouen, etc.; the canal which
connects the Rhine with the Rhone by the Doubs, and thus unites the
North Sea with the Mediterranean; the canal which joins the Scheldt
with the Somme, and thus joins Paris and Amsterdam; the canal which
unites the Rance to the Vilaine; the canal of Arles; that of Pavia,
and the canal of the Rhine; the draining of the marshes of Bourgoin,
of the Cotentin, of Rochefort; the rebuilding of the greater part of
the churches destroyed by the Revolution; the building of others: the
institution of numerous establishments of industry for the suppression
of mendicity; the gallery at the Louvre; the construction of public
warehouses, of the Bank, of the canal of the Ourcq; the distribution
of water in the city of Paris; the numerous drains, the quays, the
embellishments, and the monuments of that large capital; the works for
the embellishment of Rome; the reëstablishment of the manufactures of
Lyons; the creation of many hundreds of manufactories of cotton, for
spinning and for weaving, which employ several millions of workmen;
funds accumulated to establish upwards of four hundred manufactories
of sugar from beet-root, for the consumption of part of France, and
which would have furnished sugar at the same price as the West Indies,
if they had continued to receive encouragement for only four years
longer; the substitution of woad for indigo, which would have been at
last brought to a state of perfection in France, and obtained as good
and as cheap as the indigo from the colonies; numerous manufactories
for all kinds of objects of art, etc.; fifty millions expended in
repairing and beautifying the palaces belonging to the Crown; sixty
millions in furniture for the palaces belonging to the Crown in
France, in Holland, at Turin, and at Rome; sixty millions of diamonds
for the Crown, all purchased with Napoleon’s money; the _Regent_ (the
only diamond that was left belonging to the former diamonds of the
Crown) withdrawn from the hands of the Jews at Berlin, in whose hands
it had been left as a pledge for three millions. The Napoleon Museum,
valued at upwards of four hundred millions, filled with objects
legitimately acquired, either by moneys or by treaties of peace known
to the whole world, by virtue of which the _chefs-d’oeuvres_, it
contains were given in lieu of territory or of contributions. Several
millions amassed to be applied to the encouragement of agriculture,
which is the paramount consideration for the interest of France; the
introduction into France of merino sheep, etc. These form a treasure
of several thousand millions which will endure for ages.”



  The following inscription, written in French, by Dutertre, the
    official painter of the principal personages in the Egyptian
    expedition, appears on the reverse side of this medallion, which
    frames one of the most precious gems of Napoleonic iconography. “I,
    Dutertre, made this drawing of the general-in-chief from nature, on
    board the vessel ‘L’Orient,’ during the crossing of the expedition
    to Egypt in the year VII. (_sic_) of the Republic.” A short time ago
    the drawing came into the possession of the Versailles Museum.]

Napoleon himself looked on these achievements as his most enduring
monument. “The allied powers cannot take from me hereafter,” he told
O’Meara, “the great public works I have executed, the roads which I made
over the Alps, and the seas which I have united. They cannot place their
feet to improve where mine have not been before. They cannot take from
me the code of laws which I formed, and which will go down to



  Engraved by Elizabeth G. Berhan, after Guérin.]

                              CHAPTER VIII


But there were wounds in the French nation more profound than those
caused by lack of credit, by neglect and corruption. The body which in
1789 made up France had, in the last ten years, been violently and
horribly wrenched asunder. One hundred and fifty thousand of the
richest, most cultivated, and most capable of the population had been
stripped of wealth and position, and had emigrated to foreign lands.

Napoleon saw that if the _émigrés_ could be reconciled, he at once
converted a powerful enemy into a zealous friend. In spite of the
opposition of those who had made the Revolution and gained their
positions through it, he accorded an amnesty to the _émigrés_, which
included the whole one hundred and fifty thousand, with the exception of
about one thousand, and this number, it was arranged, should be reduced
to five hundred in the course of a year. More, he provided for their
wants. Most of the smaller properties confiscated by the Revolution had
been sold, and Napoleon insisted that those who had bought them from the
state should be assured of their tenure; but in case a property had not
been disposed of, he returned it to the family, though rarely in full.
In case of forest lands, not over three hundred and seventy-five acres
were given back. Gifts and positions were given to many _émigrés_, so
that the majority were able to live in ease.

A valuable result of this policy of reconciliation was the amount of
talent, experience, and culture which he gained for the government.
France had been run for ten years by country lawyers, doctors, and
pamphleteers, who, though they boasted civic virtue and eloquence, and
though they knew their Plutarch and Rousseau by heart, had no practical
sense, and little or no experience. The return of the _émigrés_ gave
France a body of trained diplomats, judges, and thinkers, many of whom
were promptly admitted to the government.

More serious than the amputation of the aristocracy had been that of the
Church. The Revolution had torn it from the nation, had confiscated its
property, turned its cathedrals into barracks, its convents and
seminaries into town halls and prisons, sold its lands, closed its
schools and hospitals. It had demanded an oath of the clergy which had
divided the body, and caused thousands to emigrate. Not content with
this, it had tried to supplant the old religion, first with a worship of
the Goddess of Reason, afterwards with one of the Supreme Being.

But the people still loved the Catholic Church. The mass of them kept
their crucifixes in their houses, told their beads, observed fast days.
No matter how severe a penalty was attached to the observance of Sunday
instead of the day which had replaced it, called the “decade,” at heart
the people remembered it. “We rest on the decade,” said a workman once,
“but we change our shirts on Sunday.”

Napoleon understood the popular heart, and he proposed the
reëstablishment of the Catholic Church. The Revolutionists, even his
warmest friends among the generals, opposed it. Infidelity was a
cardinal point in the creed of the majority of the new _régime_. They
not only rejected the Church, they ridiculed it. Rather than restore
Catholicism, they advised Protestantism. “But,” declared Napoleon,
“France is not Protestant; she is Catholic.”

In the Council of State, where the question was argued, he said: “My
policy is to govern men as the greatest number wish to be governed.... I
carried on the war of Vendée by becoming a Catholic; I established
myself in Egypt by becoming a Mussulman; I won over the priests in Italy
by becoming Ultramontane. If I governed Jews I should reëstablish the
temple of Solomon.... It is thus, I think, that the sovereignty of the
people should be understood.”

Evidently this was a very different way of understanding that famous
doctrine from that which had been in vogue, which consisted in forcing
the people to accept what each idealist thought was best, without
consulting their prejudices or feelings. In spite of opposition,
Napoleon’s will prevailed, and in the spring of 1802 the Concordat was
signed. This treaty between the Pope and France is still in force in
France. It makes the Catholic Church the state church, allows the
government to name the bishops, compels it to pay the salaries of the
clergy, and to furnish cathedrals and churches for public worship,
which, however, remain national property. The Concordat provided for the
absolution of the priests who had married in the Revolution, restored
Sunday, and made legal holidays of certain _fête_ days. This arrangement
was not made at the price of intolerance towards other bodies. The
French government protects and contributes towards the support of all
religions within its bounds, Catholic, Protestant, Jew, or Mohammedan.
The Concordat was ridiculed by many in the government and army, but
undoubtedly it was one of the most statesmanlike measures carried out by



  By Gérard. The original is at Versailles.]

“The joy of the overwhelming majority of France silenced even the
boldest malcontents,” says Pasquier; “it became evident that Napoleon,
better than those who surrounded him, had seen into the depths of the
nation’s heart.”

It is certain that in reëstablishing the Church Napoleon did not yield
to any religious prejudice, although the Catholic Church was the one he
preferred. It was purely a question of policy. In arranging the
Concordat he might have secured more liberal measures—measures in which
he believed—but he refused them.

  “Do you wish me to manufacture a religion of caprice for my own
  special use, a religion that would be nobody’s? I do not so
  understand matters. What I want is the old Catholic religion, the
  only one which is imbedded in every heart, and from which it has
  never been torn. This religion alone can conciliate hearts in my
  favor; it alone can smooth away all obstacles.”

In discussing the subject at St. Helena he said to Las Cases:

  “When I came to the head of affairs, I had already formed certain
  ideas on the great principles which hold society together. I had
  weighed all the importance of religion; I was persuaded of it, and I
  had resolved to reëstablish it. You would scarcely believe in the
  difficulties that I had to restore Catholicism. I would have been
  followed much more willingly if I had unfurled the banner of
  Protestantism.... It is sure that in the disorder to which I
  succeeded, in the ruins where I found myself, I could choose between
  Catholicism and Protestantism. And it is true that at that moment
  the disposition was in favor of the latter. But outside the fact
  that I really clung to the religion in which I had been born, I had
  the highest motives to decide me. By proclaiming Protestantism, what
  would I have obtained? I should have created in France two great
  parties about equal, when I wished there should be longer but one. I
  should have excited the fury of religious quarrels, when the
  enlightenment of the age and my desire was to make them disappear
  altogether. These two parties in tearing each other to pieces would
  have annihilated France and rendered her the slave of Europe, when I
  was ambitious of making her its mistress. With Catholicism I arrived
  much more surely at my great results. Within, at home, the great
  number would absorb the small, and I promised myself to treat with
  the latter so liberally that it would soon have no motive for
  knowing the difference.

  “Without, Catholicism saved me the Pope; and with my influences and
  our forces in Italy I did not despair sooner or later, by one way or
  another, of finishing by ruling the Pope myself.”

When the Church fell in France, the whole system of education went down
with her. The Revolutionary governments tried to remedy the condition,
but beyond many plans and speeches little had been done. Napoleon
allowed the religious bodies to reopen their schools, and thus primary
instruction was soon provided again; and he founded a number of
secondary and special schools. The greatest of his educational
undertakings was the organization of the University. This institution
was centralized in the head of the state as completely as every other
Napoleonic institution. It exists to-day but little changed—a most
efficient body, in spite of its rigid state control. This university did
nothing for woman.

“I do not think we need trouble ourselves with any plan of instruction
for young females,” Napoleon told the Council. “They cannot be brought
up better than by their mothers. Public education is not suitable for
them, because they are never called upon to act in public. Manners are
all in all to them, and marriage is all they look to. In times past the
monastic life was open to women; they espoused God, and, though society
gained little by that alliance, the parents gained by pocketing the

It was with the education of the daughters of soldiers, civil
functionaries, and members of the Legion of Honor, who had died and left
their children unprovided for, that he concerned himself, establishing
schools of which the well known one at St. Denis is a model. The rules
were prepared by Napoleon himself, who insisted that the girls should be
taught all kinds of housework and needlework—everything, in fact, which
would make them good housekeepers and honest women.

The military schools were also reorganized at this time. Remembering his
own experience at the Ecole Militaire, Napoleon arranged that the
severest economy should be practised in them, and that the pupils should
learn to do everything for themselves. They even cleaned, bedded, and
shod their own horses.

The destruction of the old system of privileges and honors left the
government without any means of rewarding those who rendered it a
service. Napoleon presented a law for a Legion of Honor, under control
of the state, which should admit to its membership only those who had
done something of use to the public. The service might be military,
commercial, artistic, humanitarian; no limit was put on its nature;
anything which helped France in any way was to be rewarded by membership
in the proposed order. In fact, it was the most democratic distinction
possible, since the same reward was given for all classes of service and
to all classes of people.

Now the Revolutionary spirit spurned all distinction; and as free
discussion was allowed on the law, a severe arraignment of it was made.
Nevertheless, it passed. It immediately became a power in the hands of
the First Consul, and such it has remained until to-day in the
government. Though it has been frequently abused, and never, perhaps,
more flagrantly than by the present Republic, unquestionably the French
“red button” is a decoration of which to be proud.

The greatest civil achievement of Napoleon was the codification of the
laws. Up to the Revolution, the laws of France had been in a misty,
incoherent condition, feudal in their spirit, and by no means uniform in
their application. The Constituent Assembly had ordered them revised,
but the work had only been begun. Napoleon believed justly that the
greatest benefit he could render France would be to give her a complete
and systematic code. He organized the force for this gigantic task, and
pushed revision with unflagging energy.




  Engraved in London, by C. Turner, after a painting by J. Masquerier.]

His part in the work was interesting and important. After the laws had
been well digested and arranged in preliminary bodies, they were
submitted to the Council of State. It was in the discussion before this
body that Napoleon took part. That a man of thirty-one, brought up as a
soldier, and having no legal training, could follow the discussions of
such a learned and serious body as Napoleon’s Council of State always
was, seems incredible. In fact, he prepared for each session as
thoroughly as the law-makers themselves. His habit was to talk over,
beforehand generally with Cambacérès and Portalis, two legislators of
great learning and clearness of judgment, all the matters which were to
come up.

“He examined each question by itself,” says Roederer, “inquiring into
all the authorities, times, experiences; demanding to know how it had
been under ancient jurisprudence, under Louis XIV., or Frederick the
Great. When a bill was presented to the First Consul, he rarely failed
to ask these questions: Is this bill complete? Does it cover every case?
Why have you not thought of this? Is that necessary? Is it right or
useful? What is done nowadays and elsewhere?”

At night, after he had gone to bed, he would read or have read to him
authorities on the subject. Such was his capacity for grasping any idea,
that he would come to the Council with a perfectly clear notion of the
subject to be treated, and a good idea of its historical development.
Thus he could follow the most erudite and philosophical arguments, and
could take part in them. He stripped them at once of all conventional
phrases and learned terms, and stated clearly what they meant. He had no
use for anything but the plain meaning. By thus going directly to the
practical sense of a thing, he frequently cleared up the ideas of the
revisers themselves.

In framing the laws, he took care that they should be worded so that
everybody could understand them. Thus, when a law relating to liquors
was being prepared, he urged that _wholesale_ and _retail_ should be
defined in such a way that they would be definite ideas to the people.
“_Pot_ and _pint_ must be inserted,” he said. “There is no objection to
those words. An excise act isn’t an epic poem.”

Napoleon insisted on the greatest freedom of speech in the discussions
on the laws, just as he did on “going straight to the point and not
wasting time on idle talk.” This clearheadedness, energy, and grasp of
subject, exercised over a body of really remarkable men, developed the
Council until its discussions became famous throughout Europe. One of
its wisest members, Chancellor Pasquier, says of Napoleon’s direction
that “it was of such a nature as to enlarge the sphere of one’s ideas,
and to give one’s faculties all the development of which they were
capable. The highest legislative, administrative, and sometimes even
political matters were taken up in it (the Council). Did we not see, for
two consecutive winters, the sons of foreign sovereigns come and
complete their education in its midst?”

It was the genius of the head of the state, however, which was the most
impressive feature of the Council of State. De Molleville, a former
minister of Louis XVI., said once to Las Cases:

  “It must be admitted that your Bonaparte, your Napoleon, was a very
  extraordinary man. We were far from understanding him on the other
  side of the water. We could not refuse the evidence of his victories
  and his invasions, it is true; but Genseric, Attila, Alaric had done
  as much; so he made more of an impression of terror on me than of
  admiration. But when I came here and followed the discussions on the
  civil code, from that moment I had nothing but profound veneration
  for him. But where in the world had he learned all that? And then
  every day I discovered something new in him. Ah, sir, what a man you
  had there! Truly, he was a prodigy.”

The modern reader who looks at France and sees how her University, her
special schools, her hospitals, her great honorary legion, her treaty
with the Catholic Church, her code of laws, her Bank—the vital elements
of her life, in short—are as they came from Napoleon’s brain, must ask,
with De Molleville, How did he do it—he a foreigner, born in a
half-civilized island, reared in a military school, without diplomatic
or legal training, without the prestige of name or wealth? How could he
make a nation? How could he be other than the barbaric conqueror the
English and the _émigrés_ first thought him.

Those who look at Napoleon’s achievements, and are either dazzled or
horrified by them, generally consider his power superhuman. They call it
divine or diabolic, according to the feeling he inspires in them; but,
in reality, the qualities he showed in his career as a statesman and
lawgiver are very human ones. His stout grasp on subjects; his genius
for hard work; his power of seeing everything that should be done, and
doing it himself; his unparalleled audacity, explain his civil

The comprehension he had of questions of government was really the
result of serious thinking. He had reflected from his first days at
Brienne; and the active interest he had taken in the Revolution of 1789
had made him familiar with many social and political questions. His
career in Italy, which was almost as much a diplomatic as a military
career, had furnished him an experience upon which he had founded many
notions. In his dreams of becoming an Oriental lawgiver he had planned a
system of government of which he was to be the centre. Thus, before the
18th Brumaire made him the Dictator of France, he had his ideas of
centralized government all formed, just as, before he crossed the Great
Saint Bernard, he had fought, over and over, the battle of Marengo, with
black- and red-headed pins stuck into a great map of Italy spread out on
his study floor.




  Engraved in 1801 by Audouin, after a design by Bouillon.]

His habit of attending to everything himself explains much of his
success. No detail was too small for him, no task too menial. If a thing
needed attention, no matter whose business it was, he looked after it.
Reading letters once before Madame Junot, she said to him that such work
must be tiresome, and advised him to give it to a secretary.

“Later, perhaps,” he said, “Now it is impossible; I must answer for all.
It is not at the beginning of a return to order that I can afford to
ignore a need, a demand.”

He carried out this policy literally. When he went on a journey, he
looked personally after every road, bridge, public building, he passed,
and his letters teemed with orders about repairs here, restorations
there. He looked after individuals in the same way; ordered a pension to
this one, a position to that one, even dictating how the gift should be
made known so as to offend the least possible the pride of the

When it came to foreign policy, he told his diplomats how they should
look, whether it should be grave or gay, whether they should discuss the
opera or the political situation.

The cost of the soldiers’ shoes, the kind of box Josephine took at the
opera, the style of architecture for the Madeleine, the amount of stock
left on hand in the silk factories, the wording of the laws, all was his

He thought of the flowers to be scattered daily on the tomb of General
Régnier, suggested the idea of a battle hymn to Rouget de l’Isle, told
the artists what expression to give him in their portraits, what
accessories to use in the battle pieces, ordered everything, verified
everything. “Beside him,” said those who looked on in amazement, “the
most punctilious clerk would have been a bungler.”

Without an extraordinary capacity for work, no man could have done this.
Napoleon would work until eleven o’clock in the evening, and be up again
at three in the morning. Frequently he slept but an hour, and came back
as fresh as ever. No secretary could keep up to him, and his ministers
sometimes went to sleep in the Council, worn out with the length of the
session. “Come, citizen ministers,” he would cry, “we must earn the
money the French nation gives us.” The ministers rarely went home from
the meetings that they did not find a half-dozen letters from him on
their tables to be answered, and the answer must be a clear, exact,
exhaustive document. “Get your information so that when you do answer
me, there shall be no ‘buts,’ no ‘ifs,’ and no ‘becauses,’” was the rule
Napoleon laid down to his correspondents.

He had audacity. He dared do what he would. He had no conventional
notions to tie him, no master to dictate to him. The Revolution had
swept out of his way the accumulated experience of centuries—all the
habits, the prejudices, the ways of doing things. He commenced nearer
the bottom than any man in the history of the civilized world had ever
done, worked with imperial self-confidence, with a conviction that he
“was not like other men;” that the moral laws, the creeds, the
conventions, which applied to them, were not for him. He might listen to
others, but in the end he dared do as he would.

                               CHAPTER IX


The centralization of France in Napoleon’s hands was not to be allowed
to go on without interference. Jacobinism, republicanism, royalism, were
deeply-rooted sentiments, and it was not long before they began to
struggle for expression.

Early in the Consulate, plots of many descriptions were unearthed. The
most serious before 1803 was that known as the “Opera Plot,” or “Plot of
the 3d Nivôse” (December 24, 1800), when a bomb was placed in the
street, to be exploded as the First Consul’s carriage passed. By an
accident he was saved, and, in spite of the shock, went on to the opera.

Madame Junot, who was there, gives a graphic description of the way the
news was received by the house:

  “The first thirty measures of the oratorio were scarcely played,
  when a strong explosion like a cannon was heard.

  “‘What does that mean?’ exclaimed Junot with emotion. He opened the
  door of the _loge_ and looked into the corridor.... ‘It is strange;
  how can they be firing cannon at this hour?’ And then ‘I should have
  known it. Give me my hat; I am going to find out what it is....’

  “At this moment the _loge_ of the First Consul opened, and he
  himself appeared with Generals Lannes, Lauriston, Berthier, and
  Duroc. Smiling, he saluted the immense crowd, which mingled cries
  like those of love with its applause. Madame Bonaparte followed him
  in a few seconds....

  “Junot was going to enter the _loge_ to see for himself the serene
  air of the First Consul that I had just remarked, when Duroc came up
  to us with troubled face.

  “‘The First Consul has just escaped death,’ he said quickly to
  Junot. ‘Go down and see him; he wants to talk to you.’ ... But a
  dull sound commenced to spread from parterre to orchestra, from
  orchestra to amphitheatre, and thence to the _loges_.

  “‘The First Consul has just been attacked in the Rue Saint Nicaise,’
  it was whispered. Soon the truth was circulated in the _salle_; at
  the same instant, and as by an electric shock, one and the same
  acclamation arose, one and the same look enveloped Napoleon, as if
  in a protecting love.

  “What agitation preceded the explosion of national anger which was
  represented in that first quarter of an hour, by that crowd whose
  fury for so black an attack could not be expressed by words! Women
  sobbed aloud, men shivered with indignation. Whatever the banner
  they followed, they were united heart and arm in this case to show
  that differences of opinion did not bring with them differences in
  understanding honor.”

It was such attempts, and suspicion of like ones, that led to the
extension of the police service. One of the ablest and craftiest men of
the Revolution became Napoleon’s head of police in the Consulate,
Fouché. A consummate actor and skilful flatterer, hampered by no
conscience other than the duty of keeping in place, he acted a curious
and entertaining part. Detective work was for him a game which he played
with intense relish. He was a veritable amateur of plots, and never
gayer than when tracing them.

Napoleon admired Fouché, but he did not trust him, and, to offset him,
formed a private police to spy on his work. He never succeeded in
finding anyone sufficiently fine to match the chief, who several times
was malicious enough to contrive plots himself, to excite and mislead
the private agents.

The system of espionage went so far that letters were regularly opened.
It was commonly said that those who did not want their letters read, did
not send them by post; and though it was hardly necessary, as in the
Revolution, to send them in pies, in coat-linings, or hat-crowns, yet
care and prudence had to be exercised in handling all political letters.

It was difficult to get officials for the post-office who could be
relied on to intercept the proper letters; and in 1802, the
Postmaster-General, Monsieur Bernard, the father of the beautiful Madame
Récamier, was found to be concealing an active royalist correspondence,
and to be permitting the circulation of a quantity of seditious
pamphlets. His arrest and imprisonment made a great commotion in his
daughter’s circle, which was one of social and intellectual importance.
Through the intercessions of Bernadotte, Monsieur Bernard was pardoned
by Napoleon. The _cabinet noir_, as the department of the post-office
which did this work was called, was in existence when Napoleon came to
the Consulate, and he rather restricted than increased its operations.
It has never been entirely given up, as many an inoffensive foreigner in
France can testify.

The theatre and press were also subjected to a strict censorship. In
1800 the number of newspapers in Paris was reduced to twelve; and in
three years there were but eight left, with a total subscription list of
eighteen thousand six hundred and thirty. Napoleon’s contempt for
journalists and editors equalled that he had for lawyers, whom he called
a “heap of babblers and revolutionists.” Neither class could, in his
judgment, be allowed to go free.



  This pencil portrait by David is nothing but a rapid sketch, but its
    iconographic interest is undeniable. David doubtless executed this
    design towards the end of 1797, after Bonaparte’s return from Italy.
    It belongs to Monsieur Cheramy, a Paris lawyer.—A. D.]

The _salons_ were watched, and it is certain that those whose _habitués_
criticised Napoleon freely were reported. One serious rupture resulted
from the supervision of the _salons_, that with Madame de Staël. She had
been an ardent admirer of Napoleon in the beginning of the Consulate,
and Bourrienne tells several amusing stories of the disgust Napoleon
showed at the letters of admiration and sentiment which she wrote him
even so far back as the Italian campaign. If the secretary is to be
believed, Madame de Staël told Napoleon, in one of these letters, that
they were certainly created for each other, that it was an error in
human institutions that the mild and tranquil Josephine was united to
his fate, that nature evidently had intended for a hero such as he, her
own soul of fire. Napoleon tore the letter to pieces, and he took pains
thereafter to announce with great bluntness to Madame de Staël, whenever
he met her, his own notions of women, which certainly were anything but

As the centralization of the government increased, Madame de Staël and
her friends criticized Napoleon more freely and sharply than they would
have done, no doubt, had she not been incensed by his personal attitude
towards her. This hostility increased until, in 1803, the First Consul
ordered her out of France. “The arrival of this woman, like that of a
bird of omen, has always been the signal for some trouble,” he said in
giving the order. “It is not my intention to allow her to remain in

In 1807 this order was repeated, and many of Madame de Staël’s friends
were included in the proscription:

  “I have written to the Minister of Police to send Madame de Staël to
  Geneva. This woman continues her trade of intriguer. She went near
  Paris in spite of my orders. She is a veritable plague. Speak
  seriously to the Minister, for I shall be obliged to have her seized
  by the _gendarmerie_. Keep an eye upon Benjamin Constant; if he
  meddles with anything I shall send him to his wife at Brunswick. I
  will not tolerate this clique.”

But when one compares the policy of restriction during the Consulate
with what it had been under the old _régime_ and during the Revolution,
it certainly was far in advance in liberty, discretion, and humanity.
The republican government to-day, in its repression of anarchy, and
socialism has acted with less wisdom and less respect for freedom of
thought than Napoleon did at this period of his career; and that, too,
in circumstances less complicated and critical. If there were still dull
rumors of discontent, a _cabinet noir_, a restricted press, a censorship
over the theatre, proscriptions, even imprisonments and executions, on
the whole France was happy.

“Not only did the interior wheels of the machine commence to run
smoothly,” says the Duchesse d’Abrantès, “but the arts themselves, that
most peaceful part of the interior administration, gave striking proofs
of the returning prosperity of France. The exposition at the _Salon_
that year (1800) was remarkably fine. Guérin, David, Gérard, Girodet, a
crowd of great talents, spurred on by the emulation which always awakes
the fire of genius, produced works which must some time place our school
at a high rank.”

The art treasures of Europe were pouring into France. Under the
direction of Denon, that indefatigable _dilettante_ and student, who had
collected in the expedition in Egypt more entertaining material than the
whole Institute, and had written a report of it which will always be
preferred to the “Great Work,” the galleries of Paris were reorganized
and opened two days of the week to the people. Napoleon inaugurated this
practice himself. Not only was Paris supplied with galleries; those
department museums which to-day surprise and delight the tourist in
France were then created at Angers, Antwerp, Autun, Bordeaux, Brussels,
Caen, Dijon, Geneva, Grenoble, Le Mans, Lille, Lyons, Mayence,
Marseilles, Montpellier, Nancy, Nantes, Rennes, Rouen, Strasburg,
Toulouse, and Tours. The _prix de Rome_, for which there had been no
money in the treasury for some time, was reëstablished.

Every effort was made to stimulate scientific research. The case of
Volta is one to the point. In 1801 Bonaparte called the eminent
physicist to Paris to repeat his experiments before the Institute. He
proposed that a medal should be given him, with a sum of money, and in
his honor he established a prize of sixty thousand francs, to be awarded
to any one who should make a discovery similar in value to Volta’s.[1]
An American—Robert Fulton—was about the same time encouraged by the
First Consul. Fulton was experimenting with his submarine torpedo and
diving boat, and for four years had been living in Paris and besieging
the Directory to grant him attention and funds. Napoleon took the matter
up as soon as Fulton brought it to him, ordered a commission appointed
to look into the invention, and a grant of ten thousand francs for the
necessary experiments.

The Institute was reorganized, and to encourage science and the arts he
founded, in 1804, twenty-two prizes, nine of which were of ten thousand
francs each, and thirteen of five thousand francs each. They were to be
awarded every ten years by the emperor himself, on the 18th Brumaire.
The first distribution of these prizes was to have taken place in 1809,
but the judges could not agree on the laureates; and before a conclusion
was reached, the empire had fallen.



  These busts are in Sèvres biscuit. The first, which is much superior
    to the other two, is attributed to Boizot. The manufactory of Sèvres
    produced many such busts, especially in the consular period, and
    Bonaparte, anxious to see his face everywhere, encouraged the
    production and diffusion of them. I have before me an official
    document which shows that from the commencement of the year VI. to
    the end of the year IX. the factory produced more than four hundred
    busts and thirteen hundred medallions of Bonaparte.—A. D.]

In literature and in music, as in art and science, there was a renewal
of activity. A circle of poets and writers gathered about the First
Consul. Paisiello was summoned to Paris to direct the opera and
conservatory of music. There was a revival of dignity and taste in
strong contrast to the license and carelessness of the Revolution. The
_incroyable_ passed away. The Greek costume disappeared from the street.
Men and women began again to dress, to act, to talk, according to
conventional forms. Society recovered its systematic ways of doing
things, and soon few signs of the general dissolution which had
prevailed for ten years were to be seen.

Once more the traveller crossed France in peace; peasant and laborer
went undisturbed about their work, and slept without fear. Again the
people danced in the fields and “sang their songs as they had in the
days before the Revolution.” “France has nothing to ask from Heaven,”
said Regnault de Saint Jean d’Angély, “but that the sun may continue to
shine, the rain to fall on our fields, and the earth to render the seed



  Painted by A. Gérard in 1803. Engraved by Richomme in 1835.]


Footnote 1:

  The Volta prize has been awarded only three or four times. An award of
  particular interest to Americans was that made in 1880 to Dr.
  Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone. The amount of
  the prize was a little less than ten thousand dollars. Dr. Bell, being
  already in affluent circumstances, upon receiving this prize, set it
  apart to be used for the benefit of the deaf, in whose welfare he had
  for many years taken a great interest. He invested it in another
  invention of his, which proved to be very profitable, so that the fund
  came to amount to one hundred thousand dollars. This he termed the
  Volta Fund. Some of this fund has been applied by Dr. Bell to the
  organization of the Volta Bureau, which collects all valuable
  information that can be obtained with reference to not only deaf-mutes
  as a class, but to deaf-mutes individually. Twenty-five thousand
  dollars has been given to the Association for the Promotion of
  Teaching Speech to the Deaf. Napoleon is thus indirectly the founder
  of one of the most interesting and valuable present undertakings of
  the country.

                               CHAPTER X


In the spring of 1803 the treaty of Amiens, which a year before had
ended the long war with England, was broken. Both countries had many
reasons for complaint. Napoleon was angry at the failure to evacuate
Malta. The perfect freedom allowed the press in England gave the
pamphleteers and caricaturists of the country an opportunity to
criticize and ridicule him. He complained bitterly to the English
ambassadors of this free press, an institution in his eyes impractical
and idealistic. He complained, too, of the hostile _émigrés_ allowed to
collect in Jersey; of the presence in England of such a notorious enemy
of his as Georges Cadoudal; and of the sympathy and money the Bourbon
princes and many nobles of the old _régime_ received in London society.
Then, too, he regarded the country as his natural and inevitable enemy.
England to Napoleon was only a little island which, like Corsica and
Elba, naturally belonged to France, and he considered it part of his
business to get possession of her.

England, on the other hand, looked with distrust at the extension of
Napoleon’s influence on the Continent. Northern Italy, Switzerland,
Holland, Parma, Elba, were under his protectorate. She had been deeply
offended by a report published in Paris, on the condition of the Orient,
in which the author declared that with six thousand men the French could
reconquer Egypt; she resented the violent articles in the official press
of Paris in answer to those of the free press of England; her
aristocratic spirit was irritated by Napoleon’s success; she despised
this _parvenu_, this “Corsican scoundrel,” as Nelson called him, who had
had the hardihood to rise so high by other than the conventional methods
for getting on in the world which she sanctioned.

Real and fancied aggressions continued throughout the year of the peace;
and when the break finally came, though both nations persisted in
declaring that they did not want war, both were in a thoroughly warlike

Napoleon’s preparations against England form one of the most picturesque
military movements in his career. Unable to cope with his enemy at sea,
he conceived the audacious notion of invading the island, and laying
siege to London itself. The plan briefly was this—to gather a great army
on the north shore of France, and in some port a flotilla sufficient to
transport it to Great Britain. In order to prevent interference with
this expedition, he would keep the enemy’s fleet occupied in the
Mediterranean, or in the Atlantic, until the critical moment. Then,
leading the English naval commander by stratagem in the wrong direction,
he would call his own fleet to the Channel to protect his passage. He
counted to be in London, and to have compelled the English to peace,
before Nelson could return from the chase he would have led him.

The preparations began at once. The port chosen for the flotilla was
Boulogne; but the whole coast from Antwerp to the mouth of the Seine
bristled with iron and bronze. Between Calais and Boulogne, at Cape Gris
Nez, where the navigation was the most dangerous, the batteries
literally touched one another. Fifty thousand men were put to work at
the stupendous excavations necessary to make the ports large enough to
receive the flotilla. Large numbers of troops were brought rapidly into
the neighborhood: fifty thousand men to Boulogne, under Soult; thirty
thousand to Etaples, under Ney; thirty thousand to Ostend, under
Davoust; reserves to Arras, Amiens, Saint-Omer.

The work of preparing the flat-bottomed boats, or walnut-shells, as the
English called them, which were to carry over the army, went on in all
the ports of Holland and France, as well as in interior towns situated
on rivers leading to the sea. The troops were taught to row, each
soldier being obliged to practise two hours a day so that the rivers of
all the north of France were dotted with land-lubbers handling the oar,
the most of them for the first time.

In the summer of 1803, Napoleon went to the north to look after the
work. His trip was one long ovation. _Le Chemin d’Angleterre_ was the
inscription the people of Amiens put on the triumphal arch erected to
his honor, and town vied with town in showing its joy at the proposed
descent on the old-time enemy.

Such was the interest of the people, that a thousand projects were
suggested to help on the invasion, some of them most amusing. In a
learned and thoroughly serious memorial, one genius proposed that while
the flotilla was preparing, the sailors be employed in catching
dolphins, which should be shut up in the ports, tamed, and taught to
wear a harness, so as to be driven, in the water, as horses are on land.
This novel power was to transport the French to the opposite side of the

Napoleon occupied himself not only with the preparations at Boulogne and
with keeping Nelson busy elsewhere. Every project which could possibly
facilitate his undertaking or discomfit his enemies, he considered.
Fulton’s diving boat, the “Nautilus,” and his submarine torpedoes, were
at that time attracting the attention of the war departments of
civilized countries. Already Napoleon had granted ten thousand francs to
help the inventor. From the camp at Boulogne he again ordered the matter
to be looked into. Fulton promised him a machine which “would deliver
France and the whole world from British oppression.”



  “I have just read the project of Citizen Fulton, engineer, which you
  have sent me much too late,” he wrote, “since it is one that may
  change the face of the world. Be that as it may, I desire that you
  immediately confide its examination to a commission of members
  chosen by you among the different classes of the Institute. There it
  is that learned Europe would seek for judges to resolve the question
  under consideration. A great truth, a physical, palpable truth, is
  before my eyes. It will be for these gentlemen to try and seize it
  and see it. As soon as their report is made, it will be sent to you,
  and you will forward it to me. Try and let the whole be determined
  within eight days, as I am impatient.”

He had his eye on every point of the earth where he might be weak, or
where he might weaken his enemy. He took possession of Hanover. The
Irish were promised aid in their efforts for freedom. “Provided that
twenty thousand united Irishmen join the French army on its landing,”
France is to give them in return twenty-five thousand men, forty
thousand muskets, with artillery and ammunition, and a promise that the
French government will not make peace with England until the
independence of Ireland has been proclaimed.

An attack on India was planned, his hope being that the princes of India
would welcome an invader who would aid them in throwing off the English
yoke. To strengthen himself in the Orient, he sought by letters and
envoys to win the confidence, as well as to inspire the awe, of the
rulers of Turkey and Persia.

The sale of Louisiana to the United States dates from this time. This
transfer, of such tremendous importance to us, was made by Napoleon
purely for the sake of hurting England. France had been in possession of
Louisiana but three years. She had obtained it from Spain only on the
condition that it should “at no time, under no pretext, and in no
manner, be alienated or ceded to any other power.” The formal
stipulation of the treaties forbade its sale. But Napoleon was not of a
nature to regard a treaty, if the interest of the moment demanded it to
be broken. To sell Louisiana now would remove a weak spot from France,
upon which England would surely fall in the war. More, it would put a
great territory, which he could not control, into the hands of a country
which, he believed, would some day be a serious hindrance to English
ambition. He sold the colony for the same reason that former French
governments had helped the United States in her struggles for
independence—to cripple England. It would help the United States, but it
would hurt England. That was enough; and with characteristic eagerness
he hurried through the negotiations.

“I have just given England a maritime rival which, sooner or later, will
humble her pride,” he said exultingly, when the convention was signed.
The sale brought him twelve million dollars, and the United States
assumed the French spoliation claims.

This sale of Louisiana caused one of the first violent quarrels between
Lucien Bonaparte and Napoleon. Lucien had negotiated the return of the
American territory to France in 1800. He had made a princely fortune out
of the treaty, and he was very proud of the transaction; and when his
brother Joseph came to him one evening in hot haste, with the
information that the General wanted to sell Louisiana, he hurried around
to the Tuileries in the morning to remonstrate.

Napoleon was in his bath, but, in the mode of the time, he received his
brothers. He broached the subject himself, and asked Lucien what he

“I flatter myself that the Chambers will not give their consent.”

“You flatter yourself?” said Napoleon. “That’s good, I declare.”

“I have already said the same to the First Consul,” cried Joseph.

“And what did I answer?” said Napoleon, splashing around indignantly in
the opaque water.

“That you would do it in spite of the Chambers.”

“Precisely. I shall do it without the consent of anyone whomsoever. Do
you understand?”

Joseph, beside himself, rushed to the bathtub, and declared that if
Napoleon dared do such a thing he would put himself at the head of an
opposition and crush him in spite of their fraternal relations. So hot
did the debate grow that the First Consul sprang up shouting: “You are
insolent! I ought——” but at that moment he slipped and fell back
violently. A great mass of perfumed water drenched Joseph to the skin,
and the conference broke up.

An hour later, Lucien met his brother in his library, and the discussion
was resumed, only to end in another scene, Napoleon hurling a beautiful
snuff-box upon the floor and shattering it, while he told Lucien that if
he did not cease his opposition he would crush him in the same way.
These violent scenes were repeated, but to no purpose. Louisiana was



  Painted and engraved by order of the Emperor. Engraved by Desnoyers,
    after portrait painted by Gérard in 1805.]

                               CHAPTER XI


While the preparation for the invasion was going on, the feeling against
England was intensified by the discovery of a plot against the life of
the First Consul. Georges Cadoudal, a fanatical royalist, who was
accused of being connected with the plot of the 3d Nivôse (December 24),
and who had since been in England, had formed a gigantic conspiracy,
having as its object nothing less than the assassination of Napoleon in
broad daylight, in the streets of Paris.

He had secured powerful aid to carry out his plan. The Bourbon princes
supported him, and one of them was to land on the north coast and put
himself at the head of the royalist sympathizers as soon as the First
Consul was killed. In this plot was associated Pichegru, who had been
connected with the 18th Fructidor. General Moreau, the hero of
Hohenlinden, was suspected of knowing something of it.

It came to light in time, and a general arrest was made of those
suspected of being privy to it. The first to be tried and punished was
the Duc d’Enghien, who had been seized at Ettenheim, in Baden, a short
distance from the French frontier, on the supposition that he had been
coming secretly to Paris to be present at the meetings of the
conspirators. His trial at Vincennes was short, his execution immediate.
There is good reason to believe that Napoleon had no suspicion that the
Duc d’Enghien would be executed so soon as he was, and even to suppose
that he would have lightened the sentence if the punishment had not been
pushed on with an irregularity and inhumanity that recalls the days of
the Terror.

The execution was a severe blow to Napoleon’s popularity, both at home
and abroad. Fouché’s cynical remark was just: “The death of the Duc
d’Enghien is worse than a crime; it is a blunder.” Chateaubriand, who
had accepted a foreign embassy, resigned at once, and a number of the
old aristocracy, such as Pasquier and Molé, who had been saying among
themselves that it was their duty to support Napoleon’s splendid work of
reorganization, went back into obscurity. In society the effect was
distressing. The members of Napoleon’s own household met him with
averted faces and sad countenances, and Josephine wept until he called
her a child who understood nothing of politics. Abroad there was a
revulsion of sympathy, particularly in the cabinets of Russia, Prussia,
and Austria.

The trial of Cadoudal and Moreau followed. The former with several of
his accomplices was executed. Moreau was exiled for two years. Pichegru
committed suicide in the Temple.

This plot showed Napoleon and his friends that a Jacobin or royalist
fanatic might any day end the life upon which the scheme of
reorganization depended. It is true he had already been made First
Consul for life by a practically unanimous vote, but there was need of
strengthening his position and providing a succession. In March, six
days after the death of the Duc d’Enghien, the Senate proposed to him
that he complete his work and take the throne. In April the Council of
State and the Tribunate took up the discussion. The opinion of the
majority was voiced by Regnault de Saint Jean d’Angély: “It is a long
time since all reasonable men, all true friends of their country, have
wished that the First Consul would make himself emperor, and
reëstablish, in favor of his family, the old principles of hereditary
succession. It is the only means of securing permanency for his own
fortune, and to the men whom merit has raised to high offices. The
Republic, which I loved passionately, while I detested the crimes of the
Revolution, is now in my eyes a mere Utopia. The First Consul has
convinced me that he wishes to possess supreme power only to render
France great, free, and happy, and to protect her against the fury of

The Senate soon after proceeded in a body to the Tuileries. “You have
extricated us from the chaos of the past,” said the spokesman; “you
enable us to enjoy the blessings of the present; guarantee to us the
future.” On the 18th of May, 1804, when thirty-five years old, Napoleon
was first addressed as “sire,” and congratulated on his elevation to the
throne of the French people.

Immediately his household took on the forms of royalty. His mother was
Madame Mère; Joseph, Grand Elector, with the title of Imperial Highness;
Louis, Constable, with the same title; his sisters were Imperial
Highnesses. Titles were given to all officials; the ministers were
excellencies; Cambacérès and Le Brun, the Second and Third Consuls,
became Arch-Chancellor and Arch-Treasurer of the Empire. Of his
generals, Berthier, Murat, Moncey, Jourdan, Masséna, Augereau,
Bernadotte, Soult, Brune, Lannes, Mortier, Ney, Davoust, and Bessières
were made marshals. The red button of the Legion of Honor was scattered
in profusion. The title of _citoyen_, which had been consecrated by the
Revolution, was dropped, and hereafter everybody was called _monsieur_.

Two of Napoleon’s brothers, unhappily, had no part in these honors.
Jerome, who had been serving as lieutenant in the navy, had, in 1803,
while in the United States, married a Miss Elizabeth Patterson of
Baltimore. Napoleon forbade the recording of the marriage, and declared
it void. As Jerome had not as yet given up his wife, he had no share in
the imperial rewards. Lucien was likewise omitted, and for a similar
reason. His first wife had died in 1801, and much against Napoleon’s
wishes he had married a Madame Jouberthon, to whom he was deeply
attached; nothing could induce him to renounce his wife and take the
Queen of Etruria, as Napoleon wished. The result of his refusal was a
violent quarrel between the brothers, and Lucien left France.

This rupture was certainly a grief to Napoleon. Madame de Rémusat draws
a pathetic little picture of the effect upon him of the last interview
with Lucien:

  “It was near midnight when Bonaparte came into the room; he was
  deeply dejected, and, throwing himself into an arm-chair, he
  exclaimed in a troubled voice, ‘It is all over! I have broken with
  Lucien, and ordered him from my presence.’ Madame Bonaparte began to
  expostulate. ‘You are a good woman,’ he said, ‘to plead for him.’
  Then he rose from his chair, took his wife in his arms, and laid her
  head softly on his shoulder, and with his hand still resting on the
  beautiful head, which formed a contrast to the sad, set countenance
  so near it, he told us that Lucien had resisted all his entreaties,
  and that he had resorted equally in vain to both threats and
  persuasion. ‘It is hard, though,’ he added, ‘to find in one’s own
  family such stubborn opposition to interests of such magnitude. Must
  I, then, isolate myself from every one? Must I rely on myself alone?
  Well! I will suffice to myself; and you, Josephine—you will be my
  comfort always.’”

A fever of etiquette seized on all the inhabitants of the imperial
palace of Saint Cloud. The ponderous regulations of Louis XIV. were
taken down from the shelves in the library, and from them a code began
to be compiled. Madame Campan, who had been First Bedchamber Woman to
Marie Antoinette, was summoned to interpret the solemn law, and to
describe costumes and customs. Monsieur de Talleyrand, who had been made
Grand Chamberlain, was an authority who was consulted on everything.

“We all felt ourselves more or less elevated,” says Madame de Rémusat.
“Vanity is ingenious in its expectations, and ours were unlimited.
Sometimes it was disenchanting, for a moment, to observe the almost
ridiculous effect which this agitation produced upon certain classes of
society. Those who had nothing to do with our brand new dignities said
with Montaigne, ‘Let us avenge ourselves by railing at them.’ Jests,
more or less witty, and puns, more or less ingenious, were lavished on
these new-made princes, and somewhat disturbed our brilliant visions;
but the number of those who dare to censure success is small, and
flattery was much more common than criticism.”

No one was more severe in matters of etiquette than Napoleon himself. He
studied the subject with the same attention that he did the civil code,
and in much the same way. “In concert with Monsieur de Ségur,” he wrote
De Champagny, “you must write me a report as to the way in which
ministers and ambassadors should be received.... It will be well for you
to enlighten me as to what was the practice at Versailles, and what is
done at Vienna and St. Petersburg. Once my regulations adopted, everyone
must conform to them. I am master, to establish what rules I like in

He had some difficulty with his old comrades-in-arms, who were
accustomed to addressing him in the familiar second singular, and
calling him Bonaparte, and who persisted, occasionally, even after he
was “sire,” in using the language of easy intimacy. Lannes was even
removed for some time from his place near the emperor for an
indiscretion of this kind.

In August, 1804, the new emperor visited Boulogne to receive the
congratulations of his army and distribute decorations. His visit was
celebrated by a magnificent _fête_. Those who know the locality of
Boulogne, remember, north of the town, an amphitheatre-like plain, in
the centre of which is a hill. In this plain sixty thousand men were
camped. On the elevation was erected a throne. Hereby stood the chair of
Dagobert; behind it the armor of Francis I.; and around rose scores of
blood-stained, bullet-shot flags, the trophies of Italy and Egypt.
Beside the emperor was the helmet of Bayard, filled with the decorations
to be distributed. Up and down the coast were the French batteries; in
the port lay the flotilla; to the right and left stretched the splendid

Just as the ceremonies were finished, a fleet of over a thousand boats
came sailing into the harbor to join those already there, while out in
the Channel English officers and sailors, with levelled glasses, watched
from their vessels the splendid armament, which was celebrating its
approaching descent on their shores.

On December 1st the Senate presented the emperor the result of the vote
taken among the people as to whether hereditary succession should be
adopted. There were two thousand five hundred and seventy-nine votes
against; three million five hundred and seventy-five thousand for—a vote
more nearly unanimous than that for the life consulate, there being
something like nine thousand against him then.

The next day Napoleon was crowned at Notre Dame. The ceremony was
prepared with the greatest care. Grand Master of Ceremonies de Ségur,
aided by the painter David, drew up the plan and trained the court with
great severity in the etiquette of the occasion. He had the widest
liberty, it even being provided that “if it be indispensable, in order
that the _cortége_ arrive at Notre Dame with greater facility, to pull
down some houses,” it should be done. By a master stroke of diplomacy
Napoleon had persuaded Pope Pius VII. to cross the Alps to perform for
him the solemn and ancient service of coronation.

Of this ceremony we have no better description than that of Madame

  “Who that saw Notre Dame on that memorable day can ever forget it? I
  have witnessed in that venerable pile the celebration of sumptuous
  and solemn festivals; but never did I see anything at all
  approximating in splendor the spectacle exhibited at Napoleon’s
  coronation. The vaulted roof re-echoed the sacred chanting of the
  priests, who invoked the blessing of the Almighty on the ceremony
  about to be celebrated, while they awaited the arrival of the Vicar
  of Christ, whose throne was prepared near the altar. Along the
  ancient walls covered with magnificent tapestry were ranged,
  according to their rank, the different bodies of the state, the
  deputies from every city; in short, the representatives of all
  France assembled to implore the benediction of Heaven on the
  sovereign of the people’s choice. The waving plumes which adorned
  the hats of the senators, counsellors of state, and tribunes; the
  splendid uniforms of the military; the clergy in all their
  ecclesiastical pomp; and the multitude of young and beautiful women,
  glittering in jewels, and arrayed in that style of grace and
  elegance which is only seen in Paris;—altogether presented a picture
  which has, perhaps, rarely been equalled, and certainly never

  “The Pope arrived first; and at the moment of his entering the
  Cathedral, the anthem _Tu es Petrus_ was commenced. His Holiness
  advanced from the door with an air at once majestic and humble. Ere
  long, the firing of a cannon announced the departure of the
  procession from the Tuileries. From an early hour in the morning the
  weather had been exceeding unfavorable. It was cold and rainy, and
  appearances seemed to indicate that the procession would be anything
  but agreeable to those who joined it. But, as if by the especial
  favor of Providence, of which so many instances are observable in
  the career of Napoleon, the clouds suddenly dispersed, the sky
  brightened up, and the multitudes who lined the streets from the
  Tuileries to the Cathedral, enjoyed the sight of the procession
  without being, as they had anticipated, drenched by a December rain.
  Napoleon, as he passed along, was greeted by heartfelt expressions
  of enthusiastic love and attachment.



  Designed and engraved by Longhi, in 1812, for “Vite e Ritratti di
    illustri Italiani.”]

  “On his arrival at Notre Dame, Napoleon ascended the throne, which
  was erected in front of the grand altar. Josephine took her place
  beside him, surrounded by the assembled sovereigns of Europe.
  Napoleon appeared singularly calm. I watched him narrowly, with a
  view of discovering whether his heart beat more highly beneath the
  imperial trappings than under the uniform of the guards; but I could
  observe no difference, and yet I was at the distance of only ten
  paces from him. The length of the ceremony, however, seemed to weary
  him; and I saw him several times check a yawn. Nevertheless, he did
  everything he was required to do, and did it with propriety. When
  the Pope anointed him with the triple unction on his head and both
  hands, I fancied, from the direction of his eyes, that he was
  thinking of wiping off the oil rather than of anything else; and I
  was so perfectly acquainted with the workings of his countenance,
  that I have no hesitation in saying that was really the thought that
  crossed his mind at that moment. During the ceremony of anointing,
  the Holy Father delivered that impressive prayer which concluded
  with these words: ‘Diffuse, O Lord, by my hands, the treasures of
  your grace and benediction on your servant Napoleon, whom, in spite
  of our personal unworthiness, _we this day anoint emperor, in your
  name_.’ Napoleon listened to this prayer with an air of pious
  devotion; but just as the Pope was about to take the crown, _called_
  the Crown of Charlemagne, from the altar, Napoleon seized it, and
  placed it on his own head. At that moment he was really handsome,
  and his countenance was lighted up with an expression of which no
  words can convey an idea.

  “He had removed the wreath of laurel which he wore on entering the
  church, and which encircles his brow in the fine picture of Gérard.
  The crown was, perhaps, in itself, less becoming to him; but the
  expression excited by the act of putting it on, rendered him
  perfectly handsome.

  “When the moment arrived for Josephine to take an active part in the
  grand drama, she descended from the throne and advanced towards the
  altar, where the emperor awaited her, followed by her retinue of
  court ladies, and having her train borne by the Princesses Caroline,
  Julie, Eliza, and Louis. One of the chief beauties of the Empress
  Josephine was not merely her fine figure, but the elegant turn of
  her neck, and the way in which she carried her head; indeed, her
  deportment altogether was conspicuous for dignity and grace. I have
  had the honor of being presented to many _real princesses_, to use
  the phrase of the Faubourg Saint-Germain, but I never saw one who,
  to my eyes, presented so perfect a personification of elegance and
  majesty. In Napoleon’s countenance I could read the conviction of
  all I have just said. He looked with an air of complacency at the
  empress as she advanced towards him; and when she knelt down, when
  the tears, which she could not repress, fell upon her clasped hands,
  as they were raised to Heaven, or rather to Napoleon, both then
  appeared to enjoy one of those fleeting moments of pure felicity
  which are unique in a lifetime, and serve to fill up a lustrum of
  years. The emperor performed, with peculiar grace, every action
  required of him during the ceremony; but his manner of crowning
  Josephine was most remarkable: after receiving the small crown,
  surmounted by the cross, he had first to place it on his own head,
  and then to transfer it to that of the empress. When the moment
  arrived for placing the crown on the head of the woman whom popular
  superstition regarded as his good genius, his manner was almost
  playful. He took great pains to arrange this little crown, which was
  placed over Josephine’s tiara of diamonds; he put it on, then took
  it off, and finally put it on again, as if to promise her she should
  wear it gracefully and lightly.”

The fate of France had no sooner been settled, as Napoleon believed,
than it became necessary to decide on what should be done with Italy.
The crown was offered to Joseph, who refused it. He did not want to
renounce his claim to that of France, and finally Napoleon decided to
take it himself. A new constitution was prepared for the country by the
French Senate, and, when all was arranged, Napoleon started on April 1st
for Italy. A great train accompanied him, and the trip was of especial
interest. The party crossed the Alps by Mont Cenis, and the road was so
bad that the carriages had to be taken to pieces and carried over, while
the travellers walked. This trip really led to the fine roads which now
cross Mont Cenis. At Alessandria Napoleon halted, and on the field of
Marengo ordered a review of the manœuvres of the famous battle. At this
review he even wore the coat and hat he had worn on that famous day four
years before.

By the time the imperial party was ready to enter Milan, on May 13, it
had increased to a triumphal procession, and the entry was attended by
most enthusiastic demonstrations. On May 26 the coronation took place.
The iron crown, used so long for the coronation of the Lombard kings,
had been brought out for the occasion. When the point in the ceremony
was reached where the crown was to be placed on Napoleon’s head, he
seized it, and with his own hands placed it on his head, repeating in a
loud voice the words inscribed on the crown: “God gives it to me; beware
who touches it.” Josephine was not crowned Queen of Italy, but watched
the scene from a gallery above the altar.

Napoleon remained in Italy for another month, engaged in settling the
affairs of the country. The order of the Crown of Iron was created, the
constitution settled, Prince Eugène was made viceroy, and Genoa was
joined to the Empire.



  Lithograph by Raffet.]

                              CHAPTER XII


Austria looked with jealousy on this increase of power, and particularly
on the change in the institutions of her neighbors. In assuming control
of the Italian and Germanic States, Napoleon gave the people his code
and his methods; personal liberty, equality before the law, religious
toleration, took the place of the unjust and narrow feudal institutions.
These new ideas were quite as hateful to Austria as the disturbance in
the balance of power, and more dangerous to her system. Russia and
Prussia felt the same suspicion of Napoleon as Austria did. All three
powers were constantly incited to action against France by England, who
offered unlimited gold if they would but combine with her. In the summer
of 1805 Austria joined England and Russia in a coalition against France.
Prussia was not yet willing to commit herself.

The great army which for so many months had been gathering around
Boulogne, preparing for the descent on England, waited anxiously for the
arrival of the French fleet to cover its passage. But the fleet did not
come; and, though hoping until the last that his plan would still be
carried out, Napoleon quietly and swiftly made ready to transfer the
army of England into the Grand Army, and to turn its march against his
continental enemies.

Never was his great war rule, “Time is everything,” more thoroughly
carried out. “Austria will employ fine phrases in order to gain time,”
he wrote Talleyrand, “and to prevent me accomplishing anything this
year; ... and in April I shall find one hundred thousand Russians in
Poland, fed by England, twenty thousand English at Malta, and fifteen
thousand Russians at Corfu. I should then be in a critical position. My
mind is made up.” His orders flew from Boulogne to Paris, to the German
States, to Italy, to his generals, to his naval commanders. By the 28th
of August the whole army had moved. A month later it had crossed the
Rhine, and Napoleon was at its head.

The force which he commanded was in every way an extraordinary one.
Marmont’s enthusiastic description was in no way an exaggeration:

  “This army, the most beautiful that was ever seen, was less
  redoubtable from the number of its soldiers than from their nature.
  Almost all of them had carried on war and had won victories. There
  still existed among them something of the enthusiasm and exaltation
  of the Revolutionary campaigns; but this enthusiasm was
  systematized. From the supreme chief down—the chiefs of the army
  corps, the division commanders, the common officers and
  soldiers—everybody was hardened to war. The eighteen months in
  splendid camps had produced a training, an _ensemble_, which has
  never existed since to the same degree, and a boundless confidence.
  This army was probably the best and the most redoubtable that modern
  times have seen.”

The force responded to the imperious genius of its commander with a
beautiful precision which amazes and dazzles one who follows its march.
So perfectly had all been arranged, so exactly did every corps and
officer respond, that nine days after the passage of the Rhine, the army
was in Bavaria, several marches in the rear of the enemy. The weather
was terrible, but nothing checked them. The emperor himself set the
example. Day and night he was on horseback in the midst of his troops;
once for a week he did not take off his boots. When they lagged, or the
enemy harassed them, he would gather each regiment into a circle,
explain to it the position of the enemy, the imminence of a great
battle, and his confidence in his troops. These harangues sometimes took
place in driving snowstorms, the soldiers standing up to their knees in
icy slush. By October 13th, such was the extraordinary march they had
made, the emperor was able to issue this address to the army:

  “Soldiers, a month ago we were encamped on the shores of the ocean,
  opposite England, when an impious league forced us to fly to the
  Rhine. Not a fortnight ago that river was passed; and the Alps, the
  Neckar, the Danube, and the Lech, the celebrated barriers of
  Germany, have not for a minute delayed our march.... The enemy,
  deceived by our manœuvres and the rapidity of our movements, is
  entirely turned.... But for the army before you, we should be in
  London to-day, have avenged six centuries of insult, and have
  liberated the sea.

  “Remember to-morrow that you are fighting against the allies of


Four days after this address came the capitulation of Ulm—a “new Caudine
Forks,” as Marmont called it. It was, as Napoleon said, a victory won by
legs, instead of by arms. The great fatigue and the forced marches which
the army had undergone had gained them sixty thousand prisoners, one
hundred and twenty guns, ninety colors, more than thirty generals, at a
cost of but fifteen hundred men, two-thirds of them but slightly

But there was no rest for the army. Before the middle of November it had
so surrounded Vienna that the emperor and his court had fled to Brünn,
seventy or eighty miles north of Vienna, to meet the Russians, who,
under Alexander I., were coming from Berlin. Thither Napoleon followed
them, but the Austrians retreated eastward, joining the Russians at
Olmütz. The combined force of the allies was now some ninety thousand
men. They had a strong reserve, and it looked as if the Prussian army
was about to join them. Napoleon at Brünn had only some seventy or
eighty thousand men, and was in the heart of the enemy’s country.
Alexander, flattered by his aides, and confident that he was able to
defeat the French, resolved to leave his strong position at Olmütz and
seek battle with Napoleon.


  NAPOLEON, 1805.

  Engraved in 1812 by Massard, after Bouillon.]

The position the French occupied can be understood if one draws a rough
diagram of a right-angled triangle, Brünn being at the right angle
formed by two roads, one running south to Vienna, by which Napoleon had
come, and the other running eastward to Olmütz. The hypotenuse of this
angle, running from northeast to southwest, is formed by Napoleon’s

When the allies decided to leave Olmütz their plan was to march
southwestward, in face of Napoleon’s line, get between him and Vienna,
and thus cut off what they supposed was his base of supplies (in this
they were mistaken, for Napoleon had, unknown to them, changed his base
from Vienna to Bohemia), separate him from his Italian army, and drive
him, routed, into Bohemia.

On the 27th of November the allies advanced, and their first encounter
with a small French vanguard was successful. It gave them confidence,
and they continued their march on the 28th, 29th, and 30th, gradually
extending a long line facing westward and parallel with Napoleon’s line.
The French emperor, while this movement was going on, was rapidly
calling up his reserves and strengthening his position. By the first day
of December Napoleon saw clearly what the allies intended to do, and had
formed his plan. The events of that day confirmed his ideas. By nine
o’clock in the evening he was so certain of the plan of the coming
battle that he rode the length of his line, explaining to his troops the
tactics of the allies, and what he himself proposed to do.

Napoleon’s appearance before the troops, his confident assurance of
victory, called out a brilliant demonstration from the army. The
divisions of infantry raised bundles of blazing straw on the ends of
long poles, giving him an illumination as imposing as it was novel. It
was a happy thought, for the day was the anniversary of his coronation.

The emperor remained in bivouac all night. At four o’clock of the
morning of the 2d of December he was in the saddle. When the gray fog
lifted he saw the enemy’s divisions arranged exactly as he had divined.
Three corps faced his right—the southwest part of the hypotenuse. These
corps had left a splendid position facing his centre, the heights of

This advance of the enemy had left their centre weak and unprotected,
and had separated the body of the army from its right, facing Napoleon’s
left. The enemy was in exactly the position Napoleon wished for the
attack he had planned.

It was eight o’clock in the morning when the emperor galloped up his
line, proclaiming to the army that the enemy had exposed himself, and
crying out: “Close the campaign with a clap of thunder.” The generals
rode to their positions, and at once the battle opened. Soult, who
commanded the French centre, attacked the allies’ centre so unexpectedly
that it was driven into retreat. The Emperor Alexander and his
headquarters were in this part of the army, and though the young czar
did his best to rouse his forces, it was a hopeless task. The Russian
centre was defeated and the wings divided. At the same time the allies’
left, where the bulk of their army was massed in a marshy country of
which they knew little, was engaged and held in check by Davoust, and
their right was overcome by Lannes, Murat, and Bernadotte. As soon as
the centre and right of the allies had been driven into retreat,
Napoleon concentrated his forces on their left, the strongest part of
his enemy. In a very short time the allies were driven back into the
canals and lakes of the country, and many men and nearly all the
artillery lost. Before night the routed enemy had fallen back to

Of all Napoleon’s battles, Austerlitz was the one of which he was the
proudest. It was here that he showed best the “divine side of war.”

The familiar note in which Napoleon announced to his brother Joseph the
result of the battle, is a curious contrast to the oratorical bulletins
which for some days flowed to Paris. His letter is dated Austerlitz,
December 3, 1805:

  “After manœuvring for a few days I fought a decisive battle
  yesterday. I defeated the combined armies commanded by the Emperors
  of Russia and Germany. Their force consisted of eighty thousand
  Russians and thirty thousand Austrians. I have made forty thousand
  prisoners, taken forty flags, one hundred guns, and all the
  standards of the Russian Imperial Guard.... Although I have
  bivouacked in the open air for a week, my health is good. This
  evening I am in bed in the beautiful castle of Monsieur de Kaunitz,
  and have changed my shirt for the first time in eight days.”

The battle of Austerlitz obliged Austria to make peace (the treaty was
signed at Presburg on December 26, 1805), compelled Russia to retire
disabled from the field, transformed the haughty Prussian _ultimatim_
which had just been presented into humble submission, and changed the
rejoicings of England over the magnificent naval victory of Trafalgar
(October 21st) into despair. It even killed Pitt. Napoleon it enabled to
make enormous strides in establishing a kingdom of the West. Naples was
given to Joseph, the Bavarian Republic was made a kingdom for Louis, and
the states between the Lahn, the Rhine, and the Upper Danube were formed
into a league, called the Confederation of the Rhine, and Napoleon was
made Protector.



  After the picture by Meissonier in the collection of Monsieur Edmond

At the beginning of 1806 Napoleon was again in Paris. He had been absent
but three months. Eight months of this year were spent in fruitless
negotiations with England and in an irritating correspondence with
Prussia. The latter country had many grievances against Napoleon, the
sum of them all being that “French politics had been the scourge of
humanity for the last fifteen years,” and that an “insatiable ambition
was still the ruling passion of France.” By the end of September war was
declared, and Napoleon, whose preparations had been conducted secretly,
it being given out that he was going to Compiègne to hunt, suddenly
joined his army.

The first week of October the Grand Army advanced from southern Germany
towards the valley of the Saale. This movement brought them on the
flanks of the Prussians, who were scattered along the upper Saale. The
unexpected appearance of the French army, which was larger and much
better organized than the Prussians, caused the latter to retreat
towards the Elbe. The retreating army was in two divisions; the first
crossing the Saale to Jena, the second falling back towards the Unstrut.
As soon as Napoleon understood these movements he despatched part of his
force under Davoust and Bernadotte to cut off the retreat of the second
Prussian division, while he himself hurried on to Jena to force battle
on the first. The Prussians were encamped at the foot of a height known
as the Landgrafenberg. To command this height was to command the
Prussian forces. By a series of determined and repeated efforts Napoleon
reached the position desired, and by the morning of the 14th of October
had his foes in his power. Advancing from the Landgrafenberg in three
divisions, he turned the Prussian flanks at the same moment that he
attacked their centre. The Prussians never fought better, perhaps, than
at Jena. The movements of their cavalry awakened even Napoleon’s
admiration, but they were surrounded and outnumbered, and the army was
speedily broken into pieces and driven into a retreat.

While Napoleon was fighting at Jena, to the right at Auerstadt, Davoust
was engaging Brunswick and his seventy thousand men with a force of
twenty-seven thousand. In spite of the great difference in numbers the
Prussians were unable to make any impression on the French; and
Brunswick falling, they began to retreat towards Jena, expecting to join
the other division of the army, of whose route they were ignorant. The
result was frightful. The two flying armies suddenly encountered each
other, and, pursued by the French on either side, were driven in
confusion towards the Elbe.

On October 25th the French were at Berlin. Their entry was one of the
great spectacles of the campaign. One particularly interesting incident
was the visit paid to Napoleon by the Protestant and Calvinist French
clergy. There were at that time twelve thousand French refugees in
Berlin, victims of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. They were
received with kindness by Napoleon, who told them they had good right to
protection, and that their privileges and worship should be respected.

Jena brought Napoleon something like one hundred and sixty million
francs in money, an enormous number of prisoners, guns, and standards,
the glory of the entry of Berlin, and a great number of interesting
articles for the Napoleon Museum of Paris, among them the column from
the field of Rosbach, the sword, the ribbon of the black eagle, and the
general’s sash of Frederick the Great, and the flags carried by his
guards during the Seven Years’ War. But it did not secure him peace. The
King of Prussia threw himself into the arms of Russia, and Napoleon
advanced boldly into Poland to meet his enemy.

The Poles welcomed the French with joy. They hoped to find in Napoleon
the liberator of their country, and they poured forth money and soldiers
to reënforce him. “Our entry into Varsovia,” wrote Napoleon, “was a
triumph, and the sentiments that the Poles of all classes show since our
arrival cannot be expressed. Love of country and the national sentiment
are not only entirely conserved in the heart of the people, but it has
been intensified by misfortune. Their first passion, their first desire,
is again to become a nation. The rich come from their _châteaux_,
praying for the reëstablishment of the nation, and offering their
children, their fortunes, and their influence.” Everything was done
during the months the French remained in Poland, to flatter and aid the

The campaign against the Russians was carried on in Old Prussia, to the
southeast of the Gulf of Dantzic. Its first great engagement was the
battle of Eylau on February 8, 1807. This was the closest drawn battle
Napoleon had ever fought. His loss was enormous, and he was saved only
by a hair’s-breadth from giving the enemy the field of battle. After
Eylau the main army went into winter quarters to repair its losses,
while Marshal Lefebvre besieged Dantzic, a siege which military critics
declare to be, after Sebastopol, the most celebrated of modern times.
Dantzic capitulated in May. On June 14th the battle of Friedland was
fought. This battle on the anniversary of Marengo, was won largely by
Napoleon’s taking advantage of a blunder of his opponent. The French and
the Russian armies were on the opposite banks of the Alle. Benningsen,
the Russian commander, was marching towards Königsberg by the eastern
bank. Napoleon was pursuing by the western bank. The French forces,
however, were scattered; and Benningsen, thinking that he could engage
and easily rout a portion of the army by crossing the river at
Friedland, suddenly led his army across to the western bank. Napoleon
utilized this unwise movement with splendid skill. Calling up his
re-enforcements he attacked the enemy solidly. As soon as the Russian
centre was broken, defeat was inevitable, for the retreating army was
driven into the river, and thousands lost. Many were pursued through the
streets of Friedland by the French, and slaughtered there. The battle
was hardly over when Napoleon wrote to Josephine:



  Engraved by Gügel, after a drawing by Wolff. The meeting occurred June
    26, 1807, in the pavilion which had been erected for that purpose on
    the River Nieman.]

                                        “FRIEDLAND, 15th _June_, 1807.

  “MY DEAR: I write you only a few words, for I am very tired. I have
  been bivouacking for several days. My children have worthily
  celebrated the anniversary of Marengo. The battle of Friedland will
  be just as celebrated and as glorious for my people. The whole
  Russian army routed, eighty guns captured, thirty thousand men taken
  prisoners or killed, with twenty-five generals; the Russian guard
  annihilated; it is the worthy sister of Marengo, Austerlitz, and
  Jena. The bulletin will tell you the rest. My loss is not large. I
  successfully out-manœuvred the enemy.


Friedland ended the war. Directly after the battle Napoleon went to
Tilsit, which for the time was made neutral ground, and here he met the
Emperor of Russia and the King of Prussia, and the map of Europe was
made over.

The relations between the royal parties seem to have been for the most
part amiable. Napoleon became very fond of Alexander I. at Tilsit. “Were
he a woman I think I should make love to him,” he wrote Josephine once.
Alexander, young and enthusiastic, had a deep admiration for Napoleon’s
genius, and the two became good comrades. The King of Prussia, overcome
by his losses, was a sorrowful figure in their company. It was their
habit at Tilsit to go out every day on horseback, but the king was
awkward, always crowding against Napoleon, beside whom he rode, and
making his two companions wait for him to climb from the saddle when he
returned. Their dinners together were dull, and the emperors, very much
in the style of two careless, fun-loving youths, bored by a solemn
elderly relative, were accustomed after dinner to make excuses to go
home early but later to meet at the apartments of one or the other, and
to talk together until after midnight.



  By Gosse. Versailles gallery.]

Just before the negotiation were completed, Queen Louise arrived, and
tried to use her influence with Napoleon to obtain at least Magdeburg.
Napoleon accused the queen to Las Cases of trying to win him at first by
a scene of high tragedy. But when they came to meet at dinner, her
policy was quite another. “The Queen of Prussia dined with me to-day,”
wrote Napoleon to the empress on July 7th. “I had to defend myself
against being obliged to make some further concessions to her
husband; ...” and the next day, “The Queen of Prussia is really
charming; she is full of _coquetterie_ towards me. But do not be
jealous; I am an oilcloth, off which all that runs. It would cost me too
dear to play the _galant_.”

The intercessions of the queen really hurried on the treaty. When she
learned that it had been signed, and her wishes not granted, she was
indignant, wept bitterly, and refused to go to the second dinner to
which Napoleon had invited her. Alexander was obliged to go himself to
decide her. After the dinner, when she withdrew, Napoleon accompanied
her. On the staircase she stopped.

“Can it be,” she said, “that after I have had the happiness of seeing so
near me the man of the age and of history, I am not to have the liberty
and satisfaction of assuring him that he has attached me for life?...”

“Madame, I am to be pitied,” said the emperor gravely. “It is my evil

By the treaty of Tilsit the map of the continent was transformed.
Prussia lost half her territory. Dantzic was made a free town. Magdeburg
went to France. Hesse-Cassel and the Prussian possessions west of the
Elbe went to form the kingdom of Westphalia. The King of Saxony received
the grand duchy of Warsaw. Finland and the Danubian principalities were
to go to Alexander in exchange for certain Ionian islands and the Gulf
of Cattaro in Dalmatia.

Of far more importance than this change of boundaries was the private
understanding which the emperors came to at Tilsit. They agreed that the
Ottoman Empire was to remain as it was unless they saw fit to change its
boundaries. Russia might occupy the principalities as far as the Danube.
Peace was to be made, if possible, with England, and the two powers were
to work together to bring it about. If they failed, Russia was to force
Sweden to close her ports to Great Britain, and Napoleon was to do the
same in Denmark, Portugal, and the States of the Pope. Nothing was to be
done about Poland by Napoleon.

According to popular belief, the secret treaty of Tilsit included plans
much more startling: the two emperors pledged themselves to drive the
Bourbons from Spain and the Braganzas from Portugal, and to replace them
by Bonapartes; give Russia Turkey in Europe and as much of Asia as she
wanted; end the temporal power of the Pope; place France in Egypt; shut
the English from the Mediterranean; and to undertake several other
equally ambitious enterprises.

                              CHAPTER XIII


Napoleon’s influence in Europe was now at its zenith. He was literally
“king of kings,” as he was popularly called, and the Bonaparte family
was rapidly displacing the Bourbon. Joseph had been made King of Naples
in 1806. Eliza was Princess of Lucques and Piombino. Louis, married to
Hortense, had been King of Holland since 1806. Pauline had been the
Princess Borghese since 1803; Caroline, the wife of Murat, was Grand
Duchess of Cleves and Berg; Jerome was King of Westphalia; Eugène de
Beauharnais, Viceroy of Italy, was married to a princess of Bavaria.

The members of Napoleon’s family were elevated only on condition that
they act strictly in accordance with his plans. They must marry so as to
cement the ties necessary to his kingdom. They must arrange their time,
form their friendships, spend their money, as it best served the
interests of his great scheme of conquest. The interior affairs of their
kingdoms were in reality centralized in his hands as perfectly as those
of France. He watched the private and public conduct of his kings and
nobles, and criticised them with absolute frankness and extraordinary
common sense. The ground on which he protected them is well explained in
the following letter, written in January, 1806, to Count Miot de Mélito:



  Engraved by C. S. Pradier in 1813, after Gérard.]

  “You are going to rejoin my brother. You will tell him that I have
  made him King of Naples; that he will continue to be Grand Elector,
  and that nothing will be changed as regards his relations with
  France. But impress upon him that the least hesitation, the
  slightest wavering, will ruin him entirely. I have another person in
  my mind who will replace him should he refuse.... At present all
  feelings of affection yield to state reasons. I recognize only those
  who serve me as relations. My fortune is not attached to the name of
  Bonaparte, but to that of Napoleon. It is with my fingers and with
  my pen that I make children. To-day I can love only those whom I
  esteem. Joseph must forget all our ties of childhood. Let him make
  himself esteemed. Let him acquire glory. Let him have a leg broken
  in battle. Then I shall esteem him. Let him give up his old ideas.
  Let him not dread fatigue. Look at me: the campaign I have just
  terminated, the movement, the excitement, have made me stout. I
  believe that if all the kings of Europe were to coalesce against me,
  I should have a ridiculous paunch.”

Joseph, bent on being a great king, boasted now and then to Napoleon of
his position in Naples. His brother never failed to silence him with the
truth, if it was blunt and hard to digest.

  “When you talk about the fifty thousand enemies of the queen, you
  make me laugh.... You exaggerate the degree of hatred which the
  queen has left behind at Naples: you do not know mankind. There are
  not twenty persons who hate her as you suppose, and there are not
  twenty persons who would not surrender to one of her smiles. The
  strongest feeling of hatred on the part of a nation is that inspired
  by another nation. Your fifty thousand men are the enemies of the

With Jerome, Napoleon had been particularly incensed because of his
marriage with Miss Patterson. In 1804 he wrote of that affair:

  “... Jerome is wrong to think that he will be able to count upon any
  weakness on my part, for, not having the rights of a father, I
  cannot entertain for him the feeling of a father; a father allows
  himself to be blinded, and it pleases him to be blinded because he
  identifies his son with himself.... But what am I to Jerome? Sole
  instrument of my destiny, I owe nothing to my brothers. They have
  made an abundant harvest out of what I have accomplished in the way
  of glory; but for all that, they must not abandon the field and
  deprive me of the aid I have a right to expect from them. They will
  cease to be anything for me, directly they take a road opposed to
  mine. If I exact so much from my brothers who have already rendered
  many services, if I have abandoned the one who, in mature age
  [Lucien], refused to follow my advice, what must not Jerome, who is
  still young, and who is known only for his neglect of duty, expect?
  If he does nothing for me, I shall see in this the decree of
  destiny, which has decided that I shall do nothing for him....”



  “Engraved by I. G. Müller, knight, and Frederich Müller, son,
    engravers to his majesty the King of Würtemberg. After a design made
    at Cassel by Madame Kinson.”]

Jerome yielded later to his brother’s wishes, and in 1807 was rewarded
with the new kingdom of Westphalia. Napoleon kept close watch of him,
however, and his letters are full of admirable counsels. The following
is particularly valuable, showing, as it does, that Napoleon believed a
government would be popular and enduring only in proportion to the
liberty and prosperity it gave the citizens.

  “What the German peoples desire with impatience [he told Jerome], is
  that persons who are not of noble birth, and who have talents, shall
  have an equal right to your consideration and to public employment
  (with those who are of noble birth); that every sort of servitude
  and of intermediate obligations between the sovereign and the lowest
  class of the people should be entirely abolished. The benefits of
  the Code Napoleon, the publicity of legal procedure, the
  establishment of the jury system, will be the distinctive
  characteristics of your monarchy.... I count more on the effect of
  these benefits for the extension and strengthening of your kingdom,
  than upon the result of the greatest victories. Your people ought to
  enjoy a liberty, an equality, a well-being, unknown to the German
  peoples.... What people would wish to return to the arbitrary
  government of Prussia, when it has tasted the benefits of a wise and
  liberal administration? The peoples of Germany, France, Italy,
  Spain, desire equality, and demand that liberal ideas should
  prevail.... Be a constitutional king.”

Louis in Holland was never a king to Napoleon’s mind. He especially
disliked his quarrels with his wife. In 1807 Napoleon wrote Louis,
apropos of his domestic relations, a letter which is a good example of
scores of others he sent to one and another of his kings and princes
about their private affairs.



  This graceful portrait of the most beautiful of Napoleon’s sisters, is
    from the brush of Madame Benoit, and belongs to the Versailles

  “You govern that country too much like a Capuchin. The goodness of a
  king should be full of majesty.... A king orders, and asks nothing
  from any one.... When people say of a king that he is good, his
  reign is a failure.... Your quarrels with the queen are known to the
  public. You should exhibit at home that paternal and effeminate
  character you show in your manner of governing.... You treat a young
  wife as you would command a regiment. Distrust the people by whom
  you are surrounded; they are nobles.... You have the best and most
  virtuous of wives and you render her miserable. Allow her to dance
  as much as she likes; it is in keeping with her age. I have a wife
  who is forty years of age; from the field of battle I write to her
  to go to balls, and you wish a young woman of twenty to live in a
  cloister, or, like a nurse, to be always washing her children....
  Render the mother of your children happy. You have only one way of
  doing so, by showing her esteem and confidence. Unfortunately you
  have a wife who is too virtuous: if you had a coquette, she would
  lead you by the nose. But you have a proud wife, who is offended and
  grieved at the mere idea that you can have a bad opinion of her. You
  should have had a wife like some of those whom I know in Paris. She
  would have played you false, and you would have been at her feet....


With his sisters he was quite as positive. While Josephine adapted
herself with grace and tact to her great position, the Bonaparte
sisters, especially Pauline, were constantly irritating somebody by
their vanity and jealousy. The following letter to Pauline shows how
little Napoleon spared them when their performances came to his ears:

  “MADAME AND DEAR SISTER: I have learned with pain that you have not
  the good sense to conform to the manners and customs of the city of
  Rome; that you show contempt for the inhabitants, and that your eyes
  are unceasingly turned towards Paris. Although occupied with vast
  affairs, I nevertheless desire to make known my wishes, and I hope
  that you will conform to them.

  “I love your husband and his family, be amiable, accustom yourself
  to the usages of Rome, and put this in your head: that if you follow
  bad advice you will no longer be able to count upon me. You may be
  sure that you will find no support in Paris, and that I shall never
  receive you there without your husband. If you quarrel with him, it
  will be your fault, and France will be closed to you. You will
  sacrifice your happiness and my esteem.




  Engraved by Morghen in 1814, after Counis.]

This supervision of policy, relations, and conduct extended to his
generals. The case of General Berthier is one to the point. Chief of
Napoleon’s staff in Italy, he had fallen in love at Milan with a Madame
Visconti, and had never been able to conquer his passion. In Egypt
Napoleon called him “chief of the lovers’ faction,” that part of the
army which, because of their desire to see wives or sweethearts, were
constantly revolting against the campaign, and threatening to desert.

In 1804 Berthier had been made marshal, and in 1806 Napoleon wished to
give him the princedom of Neufchatel; but it was only on condition that
he give up Madame de Visconti, and marry.

  “I exact only one condition, which is that you get married. Your
  passion has lasted long enough. It has become ridiculous; and I have
  the right to hope that the man whom I have called my companion in
  arms, who will be placed alongside of me by posterity, will no
  longer abandon himself to a weakness without example.... You know
  that no one likes you better than I do, but you know also that the
  first condition of my friendship is that it must be made subordinate
  to my esteem.”

Berthier fled to Josephine for help, weeping like a child; but she could
do nothing, and he married the woman chosen for him. Three months after
the ceremony, the husband of Madame de Visconti died and Berthier,
broken-hearted, wrote to the Prince Borghese:

  “You know how often the emperor pressed me to obtain a divorce for
  Madame de Visconti. But a divorce was always repugnant to the
  feelings in which I was educated, and therefore I waited. To-day
  Madame de Visconti is free, and I might have been the happiest of
  men. But the emperor forced me into a marriage which hinders me from
  uniting myself to the only woman I ever loved. Ah, my dear prince,
  all that the emperor has done and may yet do for me, will be no
  compensation for the eternal misfortunes to which he has condemned

Never was Napoleon more powerful than at the end of the period we have
been tracing so rapidly, never had he so looked the emperor. An observer
who watched him through the Te Deum sung at Notre Dame in his honor, on
his return from Tilsit, says: “His features, always calm and serious,
recalled the cameos which represent the Roman emperors. He was small;
still his whole person, in this imposing ceremony, was in harmony with
the part he was playing. A sword glittering with precious stones was at
his side, and the glittering diamond called the “Regent” formed its
pommel. Its brilliancy did not let us forget that this sword was the
sharpest and the most victorious that the world had seen since those of
Alexander and Cæsar.”

Certainly he never worked more prodigiously. The campaigns of 1805–1807
were, in spite of their rapid movement,—indeed, because of it,—terribly
fatiguing for him; that they were possible at all was due mainly to the
fact that they had been made on paper so many times in his study. When
he was consul the only room opening from his study was filled with
enormous maps of all the countries of the world. This room was presided
over by a competent cartographer. Frequently these maps were brought to
the study and spread upon the floor. Napoleon would get down upon them
on all fours, and creep about, compass and red pencil in hand, comparing
and measuring distances, and studying the configuration of the land. If
he was in doubt about anything, he referred it to his librarian, who was
expected to give him the fullest details.

Attached to his cabinet were skilful translators, whose business was not
only to translate diplomatic correspondence, but to gather from foreign
sources full information about the armies of his enemies. Méneval
declares that the emperor knew the condition of foreign armies as well
as he did that of his own.

The amount of information he had about other lands was largely due to
his ability to ask questions. When he sent to an agent for a report, he
rattled at him a volley of questions, always to the point; and the agent
knew that it would never do to let one go unanswered.

While carrying on the Austrian and Prussian campaigns of 1805–1807,
Napoleon showed, as never before, his extraordinary capacity for
attending to everything. The number of despatches he sent out was
incredible. In the first three months of 1807, while he was in Poland,
he wrote over seventeen hundred letters and despatches.

It was not simply war, the making of kingdoms, the directions of his
new-made kings; minor affairs of the greatest variety occupied him.
While at Boulogne, tormented by the failure of the English invasion and
the war against Austria, he ordered that horse races should be
established “in those parts of the empire the most remarkable for the
horses they breed; prizes shall be awarded to the fleetest horses.” The
very day after the battle of Friedland, he was sending orders to Paris
about the form and site of a statue to the memory of the Bishop of
Vannes. He criticised from Poland the quarrels of Parisian actresses,
ordered canals, planned there for the Bourse and the Odeon Theatre. The
newspapers he watched as he did when in Paris, reprimanded this editor,
suspended that, forbade the publication of news of disasters to the
French navy, censured every item honorable to his enemies. To read the
bulletins issued from Jena to Friedland, one would believe that the
writer had no business other than that of regulating the interior
affairs of France. This care of details went, as Pasquier says, to the
“point of minuteness, or, to speak plainly, to that of charlatanism;”
but it certainly did produce a deep impression upon France. That he
could establish himself five hundred leagues from Paris, in the heart of
winter, in a country encircled by his enemies, and yet be in daily
communication with his capital, could direct even its least important
affairs as if he were present, could know what every person of
influence, from the Secretary of State to the humblest newspaper man,
was doing, caused a superstitious feeling to rise in France, and in all
Europe, that the emperor of the French people was not only omnipotent,
but omnipresent.

                              CHAPTER XIV


When Napoleon, in 1805, was obliged to abandon the descent on England
and turn the magnificent army gathered at Boulogne against Austria, he
by no means gave up the idea of one day humbling his enemy. Persistently
throughout the campaigns of 1805–1807 his despatches and addresses
remind Frenchmen that vengeance is only deferred.

In every way he strives to awaken indignation and hatred against
England. The alliance which has compelled him to turn his armies against
his neighbors on the Continent, he characterizes as an “unjust league
fomented by the hatred and gold of England.” He tells the soldiers of
the Grand Army that it is English gold which has transported the Russian
army from the extremities of the universe to fight them. He charges the
horrors of Austerlitz upon the English. “May all the blood shed, may all
these misfortunes, fall upon the perfidious islanders who have caused
them! May the cowardly oligarchies of London support the consequences of
so many woes!” From now on, all the treaties he makes are drawn up with
a view to humbling “the eternal enemies of the Continent.”



  By Madame Vigée-Lebrun. This canvas, executed in 1807, is in the
    museum of Versailles. Caroline of Naples is represented with her
    eldest child, Marie Lætitia Josèphe Murat, afterwards Countess

Negotiation for peace went on, it is true, in 1806, between the two
countries. Napoleon offered to return Hanover and Malta. He offered
several things which belonged to other people, but England refused all
of his combinations; and when, a few days after Jena, he addressed his
army, it was to tell them: “We shall not lay down our arms until we have
obliged the English, those eternal enemies of our nation, to renounce
their plan of troubling the Continent and their tyranny of the seas.”

A month later—November 21, 1806—he proclaimed the famous Decree of
Berlin, his future policy towards Great Britain. As she had shut her
enemies from the sea, he would shut her from the land. The “continental
blockade,” as this struggle of land against sea was called, was only
using England’s own weapon of war; but it was using it with a sweeping
audacity, thoroughly Napoleonic in conception and in the proposed
execution. Henceforth, all communication was forbidden between the
British Isles and France and her allies. Every Englishman found under
French authority—and that was about all the Continent as the emperor
estimated it—was a prisoner of war. Every dollar’s worth of English
property found within Napoleon’s boundaries, whether it belonged to rich
trader or inoffensive tourist, was prize of war. If one remembers the
extent of the seaboard which Napoleon at that moment commanded, the full
peril of this menace to English commerce is clear. From St. Petersburg
to Trieste there was not a port, save those of Denmark and Portugal,
which would not close at his bidding. At Tilsit he and Alexander had
entered into an agreement to complete this seaboard, to close the
Baltic, the Channel, the European Atlantic, and the Mediterranean to the
English. This was nothing else than asking Continental Europe to destroy
her commerce for their sakes.


  JOACHIM MURAT (1771–1815).

  Engraved by Ruotte, after Gros.]

There were several serious uncertainties in the scheme. What retaliation
would England make? Could Napoleon and Alexander agree long enough to
succeed in dividing the valuable portions of the continents of Europe,
Asia, and Africa? Would the nations cheerfully give up the English
cottons and tweeds they had been buying, the boots they had been
wearing, the cutlery and dishes they had been using? Would they
cheerfully see their own products lie uncalled for in their warehouses,
for the sake of aiding a foreign monarch—although the most brilliant and
powerful on earth—to carry out a vast plan for crushing an enemy who was
not their enemy? It remained to be seen.

In the meantime there was the small part of the coast line remaining
independent to be joined to the portion already blockaded to the
English. There was no delay in Napoleon’s action. Denmark was ordered to
choose between war with England and war with France. Portugal was
notified that if her ports were not closed in forty days the French and
Spanish armies would invade her. England gave a drastic reply to
Napoleon’s measures. In August she appeared before Copenhagen, seized
the Danish fleet, and for three days bombarded the town. This
unjustifiable attack on a nation with which she was at peace horrified
Europe, and it supported the emperor in pushing to the uttermost the
Berlin Decree. He made no secret of his determination. In a diplomatic
audience at Fontainebleau, October 14, 1807, he declared:

  “Great Britain shall be destroyed. I have the means of doing it, and
  they shall be employed. I have three hundred thousand men devoted to
  this object, and an ally who has three hundred thousand to support
  them. I will permit no nation to receive a minister from Great
  Britain until she shall have renounced her maritime usages and
  tyranny; and I desire you, gentlemen, to convey this determination
  to your respective sovereigns.”

Such an alarming extent did the blockade threaten to take, that even our
minister to France, Mr. Armstrong, began to be nervous. His diplomatic
acquaintances told him cynically, “You are much favored, but it won’t
last;” and, in fact, it was not long before it was evident that the
United States was not to be allowed to remain neutral. Napoleon’s notice
to Mr. Armstrong was clear and decisive:

  “Since America suffers her vessels to be searched, she adopts the
  principle that the flag does not cover the goods. Since she
  recognizes the absurd blockades laid by England, consents to having
  her vessels incessantly stopped, sent to England, and so turned
  aside from their course, why should the Americans not suffer the
  blockade laid by France? Certainly France is no more blockaded by
  England than England by France. Why should Americans not equally
  suffer their vessels to be searched by French ships? Certainly
  France recognizes that these measures are unjust, illegal, and
  subversive of national sovereignty; but it is the duty of nations to
  resort to force, and to declare themselves against things which
  dishonor them and disgrace their independence.”

The attempt to force Portugal to close her ports caused war. In all but
one particular she had obeyed Napoleon’s orders: she had closed her
ports, detained all Englishmen in her borders, declared war; but her
king refused to confiscate the property of British subjects in Portugal.
This evasion furnished Napoleon an excuse for refusing to believe in the
sincerity of her pretensions. “Continue your march,” he wrote to Junot,
who had been ordered into the country a few days before (October 12,
1807). “I have reason to believe that there is an understanding with
England, so as to give the British troops time to arrive from

Without waiting for the results of the invasion, he and the King of
Spain divided up Portugal between them. If their action was premature,
Portugal did nothing to gainsay them; for when Junot arrived at Lisbon
in December, he found the country without a government, the royal family
having fled in fright to Brazil. There was only one thing now to be
done; Junot must so establish himself as to hold the country against the
English, who naturally would resent the injury done their ally. From St.
Petersburg to Trieste, Napoleon now held the seaboard.

But he was not satisfied. Spain was between him and Portugal. If he was
going to rule Western Europe he ought to possess her. There is no space
here to trace the intrigues with the weak and vicious factions of the
Spanish court, which ended in Napoleon’s persuading Charles IV. to cede
his rights to the Spanish throne and to become his pensioner, and
Ferdinand, the heir apparent, to abdicate; and which placed Joseph
Bonaparte, King of Naples, on the Spanish throne, and put Murat,
Charlotte Bonaparte’s husband, in Joseph’s place.

From beginning to end the transfer of the Spanish crown from Bourbon to
Bonaparte was dishonorable and unjustifiable. It is true that the
government of Spain was corrupt. No greater mismanagement could be
conceived, no more scandalous court. Unquestionably the country would
have been far better off under Napoleonic institutions. But to despoil
Spain was to be false to an ally which had served him for years with
fidelity, and at an awful cost to herself. It is true that her service
had been through fear, not love. It is true that at one critical moment
(when Napoleon was in Poland, in 1807) she had tried to escape; but,
nevertheless, it remained a fact that for France Spain had lost
colonies, sacrificed men and money, and had seen her fleet go down at
Trafalgar. In taking her throne, Napoleon had none of the excuses which
had justified him in interfering in Italy, in Germany, in Holland, in
Switzerland. This was not a conquest of war, not confiscation on account
of the perfidy of an ally, not an attempt to answer the prayers of a
people for a more liberal government.

If Spain had submitted to the change, she would have been purchasing
good government at the price of national honor. But Spain did not
submit. She, as well as all disinterested lookers-on in Europe, was
revolted by the baseness of the deed. No one has ever explained better
the feeling which the intrigues over the Spanish throne caused than
Napoleon himself:

  “I confess I embarked badly in the affair [he told Las Cases at St.
  Helena]. The immorality of it was too patent, the injustice far too
  cynical, and the whole thing too villainous; hence I failed. The
  attempt is seen now only in its hideous nudity, stripped of all that
  is grand, of all the numerous benefits which I intended. Posterity
  would have extolled it, however, if I had succeeded, and rightly,
  perhaps, because of its great and happy results.”

It was the Spanish people themselves, not the ruling house, who resented
the transfer from Bourbon to Bonaparte.

No sooner was it noised through Spain that the Bourbons had really
abdicated, and Joseph Bonaparte had been named king, than an
insurrection was organized simultaneously all over the country. Some
eighty-four thousand French troops were scattered through the Peninsula,
but they were powerless before the kind of warfare which now began.
Every defile became a battle-ground, every rock hid a peasant, armed and
waiting for French stragglers, messengers, supply parties. The remnant
of the French fleets escaped from Trafalgar, and now at Cadiz, was
forced to surrender. Twenty-five thousand French soldiers laid down
their arms at Baylen, but the Spaniards refused to keep their
capitulation treaties. The prisoners were tortured by the peasants in
the most barbarous fashion, crucified, burned, sawed asunder. Those who
escaped the popular vengeance were sent to the Island of Cabrera, where
they lived in the most abject fashion. It was only in 1814 that the
remnant of this army was released. King Joseph was obliged to flee to
Vittoria a week after he reached his capital.

The misfortunes of Spain were followed by greater ones in Portugal.
Junot was defeated by an English army at Vimeiro in August, 1808, and
capitulated on condition that his army be taken back to France without
being disarmed.

                               CHAPTER XV


Napoleon amazed at this unexpected popular uprising in Spain, and angry
that the spell of invincibility under which his armies had fought, was
broken, resolved to undertake the Peninsular war himself. But before a
campaign in Spain could be entered upon, it was necessary to know that
all the inner and outer wheels of the great machine he had devised for
dividing the world and crushing England were revolving perfectly.

Since the treaty of Tilsit he had done much at home for this machine.
The finances were in splendid condition. Public works of great
importance were going on all over the kingdom; the court was luxurious
and brilliant, and the money it scattered, encouraged the commercial and
manufacturing classes. Never had _fêtes_ been more brilliant than those
which welcomed Napoleon back to Paris in 1807; never had the season at
Fontainebleau been gayer or more magnificent than it was that year.

All of those who had been instrumental in bringing prosperity and order
to France were rewarded in 1807 with splendid gifts from the indemnities
levied on the enemies. The marshals of the Grand Army received from
eighty thousand to two hundred thousand dollars apiece; twenty-five
generals were given forty thousand dollars each; the civil functionaries
were not forgotten; thus Monsieur de Ségur received forty thousand
dollars as a sign of the emperor’s gratification at the way he had
administered etiquette in the young court.

It was at this period that Napoleon founded a new nobility as a further
means of rewarding those who had rendered brilliant services to France.
This institution was designed, too, as a means of reconciling old and
new France. It created the title of prince, duke, count, baron, and
knight; and those receiving these titles were at the same time given
domains in the conquered provinces, sufficient to permit them to
establish themselves in good style.

The drawing up of the rules which were to govern this new order occupied
the gravest men of the country, Cambacérès, Saint-Martin, Hauterive,
Portalis, Pasquier. Among other duties they had to prepare the armorial
bearings. Napoleon refused to allow the crown to go on the new
escutcheons. He wished no one but himself to have a right to use that
symbol. A substitute was found in the panache, the number of plumes
showing the rank.

Napoleon used the new favors at his command freely, creating in all,
after 1807, forty-eight thousand knights, one thousand and ninety
barons, three hundred and eighty-eight counts, thirty-one dukes, and
three princes. All members of the old nobility who were supporting his
government were given titles, but not those which they formerly held.
Naturally this often led to great dissatisfaction, the bearers of
ancient names preferring a lower rank which had been their family’s for
centuries to one higher, but unhallowed by time and tradition. Thus
Madame de Montmorency rebelled obstinately against being made a
countess,—she had been a baroness under the old _régime_,—and, as the
Montmorencys claimed the honor of being called the first Christian
barons, she felt justly that the old title was a far prouder one than
any Napoleon could give her. But a countess she had to remain.

In his efforts to win for himself the services of all those whom blood
and fortune had made his natural supporters, the emperor tried again to
reconcile Lucien. In November, 1807, Napoleon visited Italy, and at
Mantua a secret interview took place between the brothers. Lucien, in
his “Memoirs,” gives a dramatic description of the way in which Napoleon
spread the kingdoms of half a world before him and offered him his

  “He struck a great blow with his hand in the middle of the immense
  map of Europe which was extended on the table, by the side of which
  we were standing. ‘Yes, choose,’ he said; ‘you see I am not talking
  in the air. All this is mine, or will soon belong to me; I can
  dispose of it already. Do you want Naples? I will take it from
  Joseph, who, by the by, does not care for it; he prefers
  Mortefontaine, Italy—the most beautiful jewel in my imperial crown?
  Eugène is but viceroy, and, far from despising it, he hopes only
  that I shall give it to him, or, at least, leave it to him if he
  survives me; he is likely to be disappointed in waiting, for I shall
  live ninety years. I must, for the perfect consolidation of my
  empire. Besides, Eugène will not suit me in Italy after his mother
  is divorced. Spain? Do you not see it falling into the hollow of my
  hand, thanks to the blunders of my dear Bourbons, and to the follies
  of your friend, the Prince of Peace? Would you not be well pleased
  to reign there, where you have been only ambassador? Once for all,
  what do you want? Speak! Whatever you wish, or can wish, is yours,
  if your divorce precedes mine.’”

Until midnight the two brothers wrestled with the question between them.
Neither would abandon his position; and when Lucien finally went away,
his face was wet with tears. To Méneval, who conducted him to his inn in
the town, he said, in bidding him carry his farewell to the emperor, “It
may be forever.” It was not. Seven years later the brothers met again,
but the map of Europe was forever rolled up for Napoleon.

The essential point in carrying out the Tilsit plan was, the fidelity of
Alexander; and Napoleon resolved, before going into the Spanish war, to
meet the Emperor of Russia. This was the more needful, because Austria
had begun to show signs of hostility.



The meeting took place in September, 1807, at Erfurt, in Saxony, and
lasted a month. Napoleon acted as host, and prepared a splendid
entertainment for his guests. The company he had gathered was most
brilliant. Beside the Russian and French emperors, with ambassadors and
suites, were the Kings of Saxony, Bavaria, and Würtemberg, the Prince
Primate, the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Baden, the Dukes of Saxony,
and the Princes of the Confederation of the Rhine.

The palaces where the emperors were entertained, were furnished with
articles from the _Garde-Meuble_ of France. The leading actors of the
_Théâtre Français_ gave the best French tragedies to a house where there
was, as Napoleon had promised Talma, a “parterre full of kings.” There
was a hare hunt on the battle-field of Jena, to which even Prince
William of Prussia was invited, and where the party breakfasted on the
spot where Napoleon had bivouacked in 1806, the night before the battle.
There were balls where Alexander danced, “but not I,” wrote the emperor
to Josephine; “forty years are forty years.” Goethe and Wieland were
both presented to Napoleon at Erfurt, and the emperor had long
conversations with them.

In spite of these gayeties Napoleon and Alexander found time to renew
their Tilsit agreement. They were to make war and peace together.
Alexander was to uphold Napoleon in giving Joseph the throne of Spain,
and to keep the continent tranquil during the Peninsular war. Napoleon
was to support Alexander in getting possession of Finland, Moldavia, and
Wallachia. The two emperors were to write and sign a letter inviting
England to join them in peace negotiations.



  Engraved in 1798 by Fiesinger, after Mengelberg.]

This was done promptly; but when England insisted that representatives
of the government which was acting in Spain in the name of Ferdinand
VII. should be admitted to the proposed meeting, the peace negotiations
abruptly ended. Under the circumstances Napoleon could not recognize
that government.

The emperor was ready to conduct the Spanish war. His first move was to
send into the country a large body of veterans from Germany. Before this
time the army had been made up of young recruits upon whom the Spanish
looked with contempt. The men, inexperienced and demoralized by the kind
of guerrilla warfare which was waged against them, had become
discouraged. The worst feature of their case was that they did not
believe in the war. That brave story-teller Marbot relates frankly how
he felt:

  “As a soldier I was bound to fight any one who attacked the French
  army, but I could not help recognizing in my inmost conscience that
  our cause was a bad one, and that the Spaniards were quite right in
  trying to drive out strangers who, after coming among them in the
  guise of friends, were wishing to dethrone their sovereign and take
  forcible possession of the kingdom. This war, therefore, seemed to
  me wicked; but I was a soldier, and I must march or be charged with
  cowardice. The greater part of the army thought as I did, and, like
  me, obeyed orders all the same.”

The appearance of the veterans and the presence of the emperor at once
put a new face on the war; the morale of the army was raised, and the
respect of the Spaniards inspired.

The emperor speedily made his way to Madrid, though he had to fight
three battles to get there, and began at once a work of reorganization.
Decree followed decree. Feudal rights were abolished, the inquisition
was ended, the number of convents was reduced, the custom-houses between
the various provinces were done away with, a political and military
programme was made out for King Joseph. Many bulletins were sent to the
Spanish people. In all of them they were told that it was the English
who were their enemies, not their allies; that they came to the
Peninsular not to help, but to inspire to false confidence, and to lead
them astray. Napoleon’s plan and purpose could not be mistaken.

  “Spaniards [he proclaimed at Madrid], your destinies are in my
  hands. Reject the poison which the English have spread among you;
  let your king be certain of your love and your confidence, and you
  will be more powerful and happier than ever. I have destroyed all
  that was opposed to your prosperity and greatness; I have broken the
  fetters which weighed upon the people; a liberal constitution gives
  you, instead of an absolute, a tempered and constitutional monarchy.
  It depends upon you that this constitution shall become law. But if
  all my efforts prove useless, and if you do not respond to my
  confidence, it will only remain for me to treat you as conquered
  provinces, and to find my brother another throne. I shall then place
  the crown of Spain on my own head, and I shall know how to make the
  wicked tremble; for God has given me the power and the will
  necessary to surmount all obstacles.”

But a flame had been kindled in Spain which no number of Napoleonic
bulletins could quench—a fanatical frenzy inspired by the priests, a
blind passion of patriotism. The Spaniards wanted their own, even if it
was feudal and oppressive. A constitution which they had been forced to
accept, seemed to them odious and shameful, if liberal.

The obstinacy and horror of their resistance was nowhere so tragic and
so heroic as at the siege of Saragossa, going on at the time Napoleon,
at Madrid, was issuing his decrees and proclamations. Saragossa had been
fortified when the insurrection against King Joseph broke out. The town
was surrounded by convents, which were turned into forts. Men, women,
and children took up arms, and the priests, cross in hand, and dagger at
the belt, led them. No word of surrender was tolerated within the walls.
At the beginning Napoleon regarded the defence of Saragossa as a small
affair, and wished to try persuasion on the people. There was at Paris a
well known Aragon noble whom he urged to go to Saragossa and calm the
popular excitement. The man accepted the mission. When he arrived in the
town the people hurried forth to meet him, supposing he had come to aid
in the resistance. At the first word of submission he spoke he was
assailed by the mob, and for nearly a year lay in a dungeon.

The peasants of the vicinity of Saragossa were quartered in the town,
each family being given a house to defend. Nothing could drive them from
their posts. They took an oath to resist until death, and regarded the
probable destruction of themselves and their families with stoical
indifference. The priests had so aroused their religious exultation, and
were able to sustain it at such a pitch, that they never wavered before
the daily horrors they endured.

The French at first tried to drive them from their posts by sallies made
into the town, but the inhabitants rained such a murderous fire upon
them from towers, roofs, windows, even the cellars, that they were
obliged to retire. Exasperated by this stubborn resistance they resolved
to blow up the town, inch by inch. The siege was begun in the most
terrible and destructive manner, but the people were unmoved by the
danger. “While a house was being mined, and the dull sound of the
rammers warned them that death was at hand, not one left the house which
he had sworn to defend, and we could hear them singing litanies. Then,
at the moment the walls flew into the air and fell back with a crash,
crushing the greater part of them, those who had escaped would collect
about the ruins, and sheltering themselves behind the slightest cover,
would recommence their sharpshooting.”

Marshal Lannes commanded before Saragossa. Touched by the devotion and
the heroism of the defenders, he proposed an honorable capitulation. The
besieged scorned the proposition, and the awful process of undermining
went on until the town was practically blown to pieces.



  Engraved by Fiesinger, after Guérin.]

For such resistance there was no end but extermination. For the first
time in his career Napoleon had met sublime popular patriotism, a
passion before which diplomacy, flattery, love of gain, force, lose
their power.

It was for but a short time that the emperor could give his personal
attention to the Spanish war. Certain wheels in his great machine were
not revolving smoothly. In his own capital, Paris, there was friction
among certain influential persons. The peace of the Continent, necessary
to the Peninsular war, and which Alexander had guaranteed, was
threatened. Under these circumstances it was impossible to remain in



  After Raffet.]

                              CHAPTER XVI


Two unscrupulous and crafty men, both of singular ability, caused the
interior trouble which called Napoleon from Spain. These men were
Talleyrand and Fouché. The latter we saw during the Consulate as
Minister of Police. Since, he had been once dismissed because of his
knavery, and restored, largely for the same quality. His cunning was too
valuable to dispense with. The former, Talleyrand, made Minister of
Foreign Affairs in 1799, had handled his negotiations with the
extraordinary skill for which he was famous, until, in 1807, Napoleon’s
mistrust of his duplicity, and Talleyrand’s own dislike for the details
of his position, led to the portfolio being taken from him, and he being
made Vice-Grand Elector. He evidently expected, in accepting this
change, to remain as influential as ever with Napoleon. The knowledge
that the emperor was dispensing with his services made him resentful,
and his devotion to the imperial cause fluctuated according to the
attention he received.

Now, Napoleon’s course in Spain had been undertaken at the advice of
Talleyrand, largely, and he had repeated constantly, in the early
negotiations, that France ought not to allow a Bourbon to remain
enthroned at her borders. Yet, as the affair went on, he began slyly to
talk against the enterprise. At Erfurt, where Napoleon had been
impolitic enough to take him, he initiated himself into Alexander’s good
graces, and prevented Napoleon’s policy towards Austria being carried
out. When Napoleon returned to Spain, Talleyrand and Fouché, who up to
this time had been enemies, became friendly, and even appeared in
public, arm in arm. If Talleyrand and Fouché had made up, said the
Parisians, there was mischief brewing.

Napoleon was not long in knowing of their reconciliation. He learned
more, that the two crafty plotters had written Murat that in the event
of “something happening,” that is, of Napoleon’s death or overthrow,
they should organize a movement to call him to the head of affairs;
that, accordingly, he must hold himself ready.

Napoleon returned to Paris immediately, removed Talleyrand from his
position at court, and, at a gathering of high officials, treated him to
one of those violent harangues with which he was accustomed to flay
those whom he would disgrace and dismiss.

  “You are a thief, a coward, a man without honor; you do not believe
  in God; you have all your life been a traitor to your duties; you
  have deceived and betrayed everybody; nothing is sacred to you; you
  would sell your own father. I have loaded you down with gifts, and
  there is nothing you would not undertake against me. For the past
  ten months you have been shameless enough, because you supposed,
  rightly or wrongly, that my affairs in Spain were going astray, to
  say to all who would listen to you that you always blamed my
  undertakings there; whereas it was you yourself who first put it
  into my head, and who persistently urged it. And that man, _that
  unfortunate_ [he meant the Duc d’Enghien], by whom was I advised of
  the place of his residence? Who drove me to deal cruelly with him?
  What, then, are you aiming at? What do you wish for? What do you
  hope? Do you dare to say? You deserve that I should smash you like a
  wineglass. I can do it, but I despise you too much to take the

All of this was undoubtedly true, but, after having publicly said it,
there was but one safe course for Napoleon—to put Talleyrand where he
could no longer continue his plotting. He made the mistake, however, of
leaving him at large.

The disturbance of the Continental peace came from Austria. Encouraged
by Napoleon’s absence in Spain, and the withdrawal of troops from
Germany, and urged by England to attempt to again repair her losses,
Austria had hastily armed herself, hoping to be able to reach the Rhine
before Napoleon could collect his forces and meet her. At this moment
Napoleon could command about the same number of troops as the Austrians,
but they were scattered in all directions, while the enemy’s were
already consolidated. The question became, then, whether he could get
his troops together before the Austrians attacked. From every direction
he hurried them across France and Germany towards Ratisbonne. On the
12th of April he heard in Paris that the Austrians had crossed the Inn.
On the 17th the emperor was in his headquarters at Donauwörth, his army
well in hand. “Neither in ancient or modern times,” says Jomini, “will
one find anything which equals in celerity and admirable precision the
opening of this campaign.”

In the next ten days a series of combats broke the Austrian army, drove
the Archduke Charles, with his main force, north of the Danube, and
opened the road to Vienna to the French. On the 12th of May, one month
from the day he left Paris, Napoleon wrote from Schönbrunn, “We are
masters of Vienna.” The city had been evacuated.

Napoleon lay on the right bank of the Danube; the Austrian army under
the Archduke Charles was coming towards the city by the left bank; it
was to be a hand-to-hand struggle under the walls of Vienna. The emperor
was uncertain of the archduke’s plans, but he was determined that he
should not have a chance to reënforce his army. The battle must be
fought at once, and he prepared to go across the river to attack him.
The place of crossing he chose was south of Vienna, where the large
island Lobau divides the stream. Bridges had to be built for the
passage, and it was with the greatest difficulty that the work was
accomplished, for the river was high and the current swift, and anchors
and boats were scarce. Again and again the boats broke apart.
Nevertheless, about thirty thousand of the French got over, and took
possession of the villages of Aspern and Essling, where they were
attacked on May 21st by some eighty thousand Austrians.



  This picture, by Horace Vernet, was first exhibited in the _Salon_ of
    1836. It now hangs in the Hall of Battles at Versailles.]

The battle which followed lasted all day, and the French sustained
themselves heroically. That night reënforcements were gotten over, so
that the next day some fifty-five thousand men were on the French side.
Napoleon fought with the greatest obstinacy, hoping that another
division would soon succeed in getting over, and would enable him to
overcome the superior numbers of the Austrians. Already the battle was
becoming a hand-to-hand fight, when the terrible news came that the
bridge over the Danube had gone down. The Austrians had sent floating
down the swollen river great mills, fire-boats, and masses of timber
fastened together in such a way as to become battering-rams of frightful
power when carried by the rapid stream. All hope of aid was gone, and,
as the news spread, the army resigned itself to perish sword in hand.
The carnage which followed was horrible. Towards evening one of the
bravest of the French marshals, Lannes, was fatally wounded. It seemed
as if fortune had determined on the loss of the French, and Napoleon
decided to retreat to the island of Lobau, where he felt sure that he
could maintain his position, and secure supplies from the army on the
right bank, until he had time to build bridges and unite his forces.

Communications were soon established with the right bank, but the isle
of Lobau was not deserted; it was used, in fact, as a camp for the next
few weeks, while Napoleon was sending to Italy, to France, and to
Germany, for new troops. A heavy reënforcement came to him from Italy
with news which did much to encourage him. When the war began, an
Austrian army had invaded Italy, and at first had success in its
engagements against the French under the Viceroy of Italy, Eugène de
Beauharnais. The news of the ill-luck of the Austrians at home, and of
the march on Vienna, had discouraged the leader, Archduke John, brother
of Archduke Charles, and he had retreated, Eugène following. Such were
the successes of the French on this retreat, that the Austrians finally
retired out of their way, leaving them a free route to Vienna, and
Eugène soon united his army to that of the emperor.

With the greatest rapidity the French now secured and strengthened their
communications with Italy and with France, and gathered troops about
Vienna. The whole month of June was passed in this way, hostile Europe
repeating the while that Napoleon was shut in by the Austrians and could
not move, and that he was idling his time in luxury at the castle of
Schönbrunn, where he had established his headquarters. But this month of
apparent inactivity was only a feint. By the 1st of July the French Army
had reached one hundred and fifty thousand men. They were in admirable
condition, well drilled, fresh, and confident. Their communications were
strong, their camps good, and they were eager for battle.

The Austrians were encamped at Wagram, to the north of the Danube. They
had fortified the banks opposite the island of Lobau in a manner which
they believed would prevent the French from attempting a passage; but in
arranging their fortification they had completely neglected a certain
portion of the bank on which Napoleon seemed to have no designs. But
this was the point, naturally, which Napoleon chose for his passage, and
on the night of July 4th he effected it. On the morning of the 5th his
whole army of one hundred and fifty thousand men, with four hundred
batteries, was on the left bank. In the midst of a terrible storm this
great mass of men, with all its equipments, had crossed the main Danube,
several islands and channels, had built six bridges, and by daybreak had
arranged itself in order. It was an unheard-of feat.

Pushing his corps forward, and easily sweeping out of his way the
advance posts, Napoleon soon had his line facing that of the Austrians,
which stretched from near the Danube to a point east of Wagram. At seven
o’clock on the evening of July 5th the French attacked the left and
centre of the enemy, but without driving them from their position. The
next morning it was the Archduke Charles who took the offensive, making
a movement which changed the whole battle. He attacked the French left,
which was nearest the river, with fifty thousand men, intending to get
on their line of communication and destroy the bridges across the
Danube. The troops on the French centre were obliged to hurry off to
prevent this, and the army was weakened for a moment, but not long.
Napoleon determined to make the Archduke Charles, who in person
commanded this attack on the French left, return, not by following him,
but by breaking his centre; and he turned his heavy batteries against
this portion of the army, and followed them by a cavalry attack, which
routed the enemy. At the same time their left was broken, and the troops
which had been engaging it were free to hurry off against the Austrian
right, which was trying to reach the bridges, and which were being held
in check with difficulty at Essling. As soon as the archduke saw what
had happened to his left and centre he retired, preferring to preserve
as much as possible of his army in good order. The French did not
pursue. The battle had cost them too heavily. But if the Austrians
escaped from Wagram with their army, and if their opponents gained
little more than the name of a victory, they were too discouraged to
continue the war, and the emperor sued for peace.



  This statue of Napoleon in the costume of the _Petit Caporal_, from
    the chisel of Seurre, was placed on the column of the Place Vendome,
    on July 28, 1835. It succeeded on the pedestal the white flag of the
    Bourbons, which in its turn had replaced the original statue of
    “Napoléon en César Romain,” by Chaudet. An interesting detail,
    unknown to most Parisians, is that the equestrian statue of Henri
    IV. on the Pont Neuf was cast with the bronze of Chaudet’s Napoleon.
    When Napoleon III. ascended the throne, he replaced the “Petit
    Caporal” of Seurre (whose decorative appearance he did not consider
    “_assez dynastique_”) by a copy of Chaudet’s “César,” made by the
    sculptor Drumont. That figure still crowns the summit of the column,
    which was re-erected after the desecration by the Commune.—A. D.]

This peace was concluded in October. Austria was forced to give up
Trieste and all her Adriatic possessions, to cede territory to Bavaria
and to the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, and to give her consent to the
continental system.



  “Marie Louise, Archduchess d’Autriche, Impératrice, Reine, et
    Régente.” Engraved by Mecou, after Isabey.]

                              CHAPTER XVII


To further the universal peace he desired, to prevent plots among his
subordinates who would aspire to his crown in case of his sudden death,
and to assure a succession, Napoleon now decided to take a step long in
mind—to divorce Josephine, by whom he no longer hoped to have heirs.

In considering Napoleon’s divorce of Josephine, it must be remembered
that stability of government was of vital necessity to the permanency of
the Napoleonic institutions. Napoleon had turned into practical
realities most of the reforms demanded in 1789. True, he had done it by
the exercise of despotism, but nothing but the courage, the will, the
audacity of a despot could have aroused the nation in 1799. Napoleon
felt that these institutions had been so short a time in operation that
in case of his death they would easily topple over, and his kingdom go
to pieces as Alexander’s had. If he could leave an heir, this disaster
would, he believed, be averted.

Then, would not a marriage with a foreign princess calm the fears of his
Continental enemies? Would they not see in such an alliance an effort on
the part of new, liberal France to adjust herself harmoniously to the
system of government which prevailed on the Continent?

Thus, by a new marriage, he hoped to prevent at his death a series of
fresh revolutions, save the splendid organization he had created, and
put France in greater harmony with her environment. It is to
misunderstand Napoleon’s scheme, to attribute this divorce simply to a
gigantic egotism. To assure his dynasty, was to assure France of liberal
institutions. His glorification was his country’s. In reality there were
the same reasons for divorcing Josephine that there had been for taking
the crown in 1804.

Josephine had long feared a separation. The Bonapartes had never cared
for her, and even so far back as the Egyptian campaign had urged
Napoleon to seek a divorce. Unwisely, she had not sought in her early
married life to win their affection any more than she had to keep
Napoleon’s; and when the emperor was crowned, they had done their best
to prevent her coronation. When, for state reasons, the divorce seemed
necessary, Josephine had no supporters where she might have had many.

Her grief was more poignant because she had come to love her husband
with a real ardor. The jealousy from which he had once suffered she now
felt, and Napoleon certainly gave her ample cause for it. Her anxiety
was well known to all the court, the secretaries Bourrienne and Méneval,
and Madame de Rémusat being her special confidants. Since 1807 it had
been intense, for it was in that year that Fouché, probably at
Napoleon’s instigation, tried to persuade the empress to suggest the
divorce herself as her sacrifice to the country.

After Wagram it became evident to her that at last her fate was sealed;
but though she beset Méneval and all the members of her household for
information, it was only a fortnight before the public divorce that she
knew her fate. It was Josephine’s own son and daughter, Eugène and
Hortense, who broke the news to her; and it was on the former that the
cruel task fell of indorsing the divorce in the Senate in the name of
himself and his sister.

Josephine was terribly broken by her disgrace, but she bore it with a
sweetness and dignity which does much to make posterity forget her
earlier frivolity and insincerity.

  “I can never forget [says Pasquier] the evening on which the
  discarded empress did the honors of her court for the last time. It
  was the day before the official dissolution. A great throng was
  present, and supper was served, according to custom, in the gallery
  of Diana, on a number of little tables. Josephine sat at the centre
  one, and the men went around her, waiting for that particularly
  graceful nod which she was in the habit of bestowing on those with
  whom she was acquainted. I stood at a short distance from her for a
  few minutes, and I could not help being struck with the perfection
  of her attitude in the presence of all these people who still did
  her homage, while knowing full well that it was for the last time;
  that in an hour she would descend from the throne, and leave the
  palace never to reënter it. Only women can rise superior to such a
  situation, but I have my doubts as to whether a second one could
  have been found to do it with such perfect grace and composure.
  Napoleon did not show so bold a front as did his victim.”

There is no doubt but that Napoleon suffered deeply over the separation.
If his love had lost its illusion, he was genuinely attached to
Josephine, and in a way she was necessary to his happiness. After the
ceremony of separation, he was to go to Saint Cloud, she to Malmaison.
While waiting for his carriage, he returned to his study in the palace.
For a long time he sat silent and depressed, his head on his hand. When
he was summoned he rose, his face distorted with pain, and went into the
empress’s apartment. Josephine was alone.

When she saw the emperor, she threw herself on his neck, sobbing aloud.
He pressed her to his bosom, kissed her again and again, until
overpowered with emotion, she fainted. Leaving her to her women, he
hurried to his carriage.

Méneval, who saw this sad parting, remained with Josephine until she
became conscious. When he left, she begged him not to let the emperor
forget her, and to see that he wrote her often.



  Engraved in 1841 by Louis, after a painting made in 1837 by Delaroche,
    now in the Standish collection, and called the “Snuff-box.” Probably
    the finest engraving ever made of a Napoleon portrait.]

“I left her,” that naïve admirer and apologist of Napoleon goes on,
“grieved at so deep a sorrow and so sincere an affection. I felt very
miserable all along my route, and I could not help deploring that the
rigorous exactions of politics should violently break the bonds of an
affection which had stood the test of time, to impose another union full
of uncertainty.”

Josephine returned to Malmaison to live, but Napoleon took care that she
should have, in addition, another home, giving her Navarre, a château
near Evreux, some fifty miles from Paris. She had an income of some four
hundred thousand dollars a year, and the emperor showed rare
thoughtfulness in providing her with everything she could want. She was
to deny herself nothing, take care of her health, pay no attention to
the gossip she heard, and never doubt of his love. Such were the
recommendations of the frequent letters he wrote her. Sometimes he went
to see her, and he told her all the details of his life. It is certain
that he neglected no opportunity of comforting her, and that she, on her
side, finally accepted her lot with resignation and kindliness.

Over two years before the divorce a list of the marriageable princesses
of Europe had been drawn up for Napoleon. This list included eighteen
names in all, the two most prominent being Marie Louise of Austria, and
Anna Paulowna, sister of Alexander of Russia. At the Erfurt conference
the project of a marriage with a Russian princess had been discussed,
and Alexander had favored it; but now that an attempt was made to
negotiate the affair, there were numerous delays, and a general
lukewarmness which angered Napoleon. Without waiting for the completion
of the Russian negotiations, he decided on Marie Louise.



  By Rouget in 1836. On the emperor’s right hand and at the lower end of
    the platform, stood the King of Holland; the King of Westphalia; the
    Prince Borghese; Murat, King of Naples; Prince Eugène Napoleon,
    Viceroy of Italy; the hereditary Grand Duke of Baden; the Prince
    Arch-chancellor; the Prince Arch-treasurer; the Prince
    Vice-constable; the Prince Vice-Grand Elector. To the left of the
    empress, Madame _mère_; the Queen of Spain; the Queen of Holland;
    the Queen of Westphalia; the Grand Duchess of Tuscany; the Princess
    Pauline; the Queen of Naples; the Grand Duke of Würzburg; the
    Vice-Queen of Italy; the Grand Duchess of Baden. The nuptial
    benediction was given by Cardinal Fesch. This picture was exhibited
    in the _Salon_ of 1832.]

The marriage ceremony was performed in Vienna on March 12, 1810, the
Archduke Charles acting for Napoleon. The emperor first saw his new wife
some days later on the road between Soissons and Compiègne, where he had
gone to meet her in most unimperial haste, and in contradiction to the
pompous and complicated ceremony which had been arranged for their first
interview. From the beginning he was frankly delighted with Marie
Louise. In fact, the new empress was a most attractive girl, young,
fresh, modest well-bred, and innocent. She entirely filled Napoleon’s
ideal of a wife, and he certainly was happy with her.

Marie Louise in marrying Napoleon had felt that she was a kind of
sacrificial offering, for she had naturally a deep horror of the man who
had caused her country so much woe; but her dread was soon dispelled,
and she became very fond of her husband. Outside of the court the two
led an amusingly simple life, riding together informally early in the
morning, in a gay Bohemian way; sitting together alone in the empress’s
little _salon_, she at her needlework, he with a book. They even
indulged now and then in quiet little larks of their own, as one day
when Marie Louise attempted to make an omelet in her apartments. Just as
she was completely engrossed in her work, the emperor came in. The
empress tried to conceal her culinary operations, but Napoleon detected
the odor.

“What is going on here? There is a singular smell, as if something was
being fried. What, you are making an omelet! Bah! you don’t know how to
do it. I will show you how it is done.”

And he set to work to instruct her. They got on very well until it came
to tossing it, an operation Napoleon insisted on performing himself,
with the result that he landed it on the floor.

On March 20, 1811, the long desired heir to the French throne was born.
It had been arranged that the birth of the child should be announced to
the people by cannon shot; twenty-one if it were a princess, one hundred
and one if a prince. The people who thronged the quays and streets about
the Tuileries waited with inexpressible anxiety as the cannon boomed
forth; one—two—three. As twenty-one died away the city held its breath;
then came twenty-two. The thundering peals which followed it were
drowned in the wild enthusiasm of the people. For days afterward,
enervated by joy and the endless _fêtes_ given them, the French drank
and sang to the King of Rome.

In all these rejoicings none were so touching as at Navarre, where
Josephine, on hearing the cannon, called together her friends and said,
“We, too, must have a _fête_. I shall give you a ball, and the whole
city of Evreux must come and rejoice with us.”

Napoleon was the happiest of men, and he devoted himself to his son with
pride. Reports of the boy’s condition appear frequently in his letters;
he even allowed him to be taken without the empress’s knowledge to
Josephine, who had begged to see him.

                             CHAPTER XVIII

                        TILSIT AGREEMENT BROKEN

“This child in concert with our Eugène will constitute our happiness and
that of France,” so Napoleon had written Josephine after the birth of
the King of Rome, but it soon became evident that he was wrong. There
were causes of uneasiness and discontent in France which had been
operating for a long time, and which were only aggravated by the
apparent solidity that an heir gave to the Napoleonic dynasty.

First among these was religious disaffection. Towards the end of 1808,
being doubtful of the Pope’s loyalty, Napoleon had sent French troops to
Rome; the spring following, without any plausible excuse, he had annexed
four Papal States to the kingdom of Italy; and in 1809 the Pope had been
made a prisoner at Savona. When the divorce was asked, it was not the
Pope, but the clergy, of Paris, who had granted it. When the religious
marriage of Marie Louise and Napoleon came to be celebrated, thirteen
cardinals refused to appear; the “black cardinals” they were thereafter
called, one of their punishments for non-appearance at the wedding being
that they could no longer wear their red gowns. To the pious all this
friction with the fathers of the Church was a deplorable irritation. It
was impossible to show contempt for the authority of Pope and cardinals
and not wound one of the deepest sentiments of France, and one which ten
years before Napoleon had braved most to satisfy.



  Engraved by Robinson, after a painting made in 1836 by Wilkie.]

To the irritation against the emperor’s church policy was added bitter
resentment against the conscription, that tax of blood and muscle
demanded of the country. Napoleon had formulated and attempted to make
tolerable the principle born of the Revolution, which declared that
every male citizen of age owed the state a service of blood in case it
needed him. The wisdom of his management of the conscription had
prevented discontent until 1807; then the draft on life had begun to be
arbitrary and grievous. The laws of exemptions were disregarded. The
“only son of his mother” no longer remained at her side. The father
whose little children were motherless must leave them; aged and helpless
parents no longer gave immunity. Those who had bought their exemption by
heavy sacrifices were obliged to go. Persons whom the law made subject
to conscription in 1807, were called out in 1806; those of 1808, in
1807. So far was this premature drafting pushed, that the armies were
said to be made up of “boy soldiers,” weak, unformed youths, fresh from
school, who wilted in a sun like that of Spain, and dropped out in the

At the rate at which men had been killed, however, there was no other
way of keeping up the army. Between 1804 and 1811 one million seven
hundred thousand men had perished in battle. What wonder that now the
boys of France were pressed into service! At the same time the country
was overrun with the lame, the blind, the broken-down, who had come back
from war to live on their friends or on charity. It was not only the
funeral crape on almost every door which made Frenchmen hate the
conscription, it was the crippled men whom they met at every corner.



  Engraved by Desnoyers, after Gérard. “His Majesty the King of Rome.
    Dedicated to her Majesty Imperial and Royal, Marie Louise.”]

While within, the people fretted over the religious disturbances and the
abuses of the conscription, without, the continental blockade was
causing serious trouble between Napoleon and the kings he ruled. In
spite of all his efforts English merchandise penetrated everywhere. The
fair at Rotterdam in 1807 was filled with English goods. They passed
into Italy under false seals. They came into France on pretence that
they were for the empress. Napoleon remonstrated and threatened, but he
could not check the traffic. The most serious trouble caused by this
violation of the Berlin Decree was with Louis, King of Holland. In 1808
Napoleon complained to his brother that more than one hundred ships
passed between his kingdom and England every month, and a year later he
wrote in desperation, “Holland is an English province.”

The relations of the brothers grew more and more bitter. Napoleon
resented the half support Louis gave him, and as a punishment he took
away his provinces, filled his forts with French troops, threatened him
with war if he did not break up the trade. So far did these hostilities
go, that in the summer of 1810 King Louis abdicated in favor of his son
and retired to Austria. Napoleon tried his best to persuade him at least
to return into French territory, but he refused. This break was the
sadder because Louis was the brother for whom Napoleon had really done

Joseph was not happier than Louis. The Spanish war still went on, and no
better than in 1808. Joseph, humbled and unhappy, had even prayed to be
freed of the throne.

The relations with Sweden were seriously strained. Since 1810 Bernadotte
had been by adoption the crown prince of that country. Although he had
emphatically refused, in accepting the position, to agree never to take
up arms against France, as Napoleon wished him to do, he had later
consented to the continental blockade, and had declared war against
England; but this declaration both England and Sweden considered simply
as a _façon de parler_. Napoleon, conscious that Bernadotte was not
carrying out the blockade, and irritated by his persistent refusal to
enter into French combinations, and pay tribute to carry on French wars,
had suppressed his revenues as a French prince—Bernadotte had been
created Prince of Ponte-Corvo in 1806—had refused to communicate with
him, and when the King of Rome was born had sent back the Swedish
decoration offered. Finally, in January, 1812, French troops invaded
certain Swedish possessions, and the country concluded an alliance with
England and Russia.


    OF ROME.

  The manuscript on the floor of the cabinet bears the date “1811.”
    Engraved by Weber, after Steuben.]

With Russia, the “other half” of the machine, the ally upon whom the
great plan of Tilsit and Erfurt depended, there was such a bad state of
feeling that, in 1811, it became certain that war would result. Causes
had been accumulating upon each side since the Erfurt meeting.

The continental system weighed heavily on the interests of Russia. The
people constantly rebelled against it and evaded it in every way. The
business depressions from which they suffered they charged to Napoleon,
and a strong party arose in the empire which used every method of
showing the czar that the “unnatural alliance,” as they called the
agreement between Alexander and Napoleon, was unpopular. The czar could
not refuse to listen to this party. More, he feared that Napoleon was
getting ready to restore Poland. He was offended by the haste with which
his ally had dismissed the idea of marriage with his sister and had
taken up Marie Louise. He complained of the changes of boundaries in
Germany. Napoleon, on his part, saw with irritation that English goods
were admitted into Russia. He resented the failure of Alexander to join
heartily in the wide-sweeping application he had made of the Berlin and
Milan Decrees, and to persecute neutral flags of all nations, even of
those so far away from the Continent as the United States. He remembered
that Russia had not supported him loyally in 1809. He was suspicious,
too, of the good understanding which seemed to be growing between
Sweden, Russia, and England.



  Engraved by W. Bromley, after Sir Thomas Lawrence.]

During many months the two emperors remained in a half-hostile
condition, but the strain finally became too great. War was inevitable,
and Napoleon set about preparing for the struggle. During the latter
months of 1811 and the first of 1812 his attention was given almost
entirely to the military and diplomatic preparations necessary before
beginning the Russian campaign. By the 1st of May, 1812, he was ready to
join his army, which he had centred at Dresden. Accompanied by Marie
Louise he arrived at Dresden on the 16th of May, 1812, where he was
greeted by the Emperor of Austria, the King of Prussia, and other
sovereigns with whom he had formed alliances.

The force Napoleon had brought to the field showed graphically the
extension and the character of the France of 1812. The “army of twenty
nations,” the Russians called the host which was preparing to meet them,
and the expression was just, for in the ranks there were Spaniards,
Neapolitans, Piedmontese, Slavs, Kroats, Bavarians, Dutchmen, Poles,
Romans, and a dozen other nationalities, side by side with Frenchmen.
Indeed, nearly one-half the force was said to be foreign. The Grand
Army, as the active body was called, numbered, to quote the popular
figures, six hundred and seventy-eight thousand men. It is sure that
this is an exaggerated number, though certainly over half a million men
entered Russia. With reserves, the whole force numbered one million one
hundred thousand. The necessity for so large a body of reserves is
explained by the length of the line of communication Napoleon had to
keep. From the Nieman to Paris the way must be open, supply stations
guarded, fortified towns equipped. It took nearly as many men to insure
the rear of the Grand Army as it did to make up the army itself.



  Painting by Lawrence. Collection of the Duc de Bassano. This portrait
    of Napoleon II. is an exquisite work of art, a bright and fresh
    color-harmony. Lawrence must have executed this portrait while
    travelling in Europe, whither he was sent by his sovereign George
    IV., and paid twenty-five thousand francs a year, to paint for the
    great Windsor gallery the portraits of all the heroes “_du grand
    hasard de Waterloo_.”—A. D.]

With this imposing force at his command, Napoleon believed that he could
compel Alexander to support the continental blockade, for come what
might that system must succeed. For it the reigning house had been
driven from Portugal, the Pope despoiled and imprisoned, Louis gone into
exile, Bernadotte driven into a new alliance. For it the Grand Army was
led into Russia. It had become, as its inventor proclaimed, _the
fundamental law of the empire_.

Until he crossed the Nieman, Napoleon preserved the hope of being able
to avoid war. Numerous letters to the Russian emperor, almost pathetic
in their overtures, exist. But Alexander never replied. He simply
allowed his enemy to advance. The Grand Army was doomed to make the
Russian campaign.



  By Girodet. From the collection of Monsieur Cheramy of Paris.]

                              CHAPTER XIX


If one draws a triangle, its base stretching along the Nieman from
Tilsit to Grodno, its apex on the Elbe, he will have a rough outline of
the “army of twenty nations” as it lay in June, 1812. Napoleon, some two
hundred and twenty-five thousand men around him, was at Kowno,
hesitating to advance, reluctant to believe that Alexander would not
make peace.

When he finally moved, it was not with the precision and swiftness which
had characterized his former campaigns. When he began to fight, it was
against new odds. He found that his enemies had been studying the
Spanish campaigns, and that they had adopted the tactics which had so
nearly ruined his armies in the Peninsula: they refused to give him a
general battle retreating constantly before him; they harassed his
separate corps with indecisive contests; they wasted the country as they
went. The people aided their soldiers as the Spaniards had done. “Tell
us only the moment, and we will set fire to our buildings,” said the



  Engraved by Tardieu, after Gérard.]

By the 12th of August, Napoleon was at Smolensk, the key of Moscow. At a
cost of twelve thousand men killed and wounded, he took the town, only
to find, instead of the well-victualled shelter he hoped, a smoking
ruin. The French army had suffered frightfully from sickness, from
scarcity of supplies, and from useless fighting on the march from the
Nieman to Smolensk. They had not had the stimulus of a great victory;
they began to feel that this steady retreat of the enemy was only a
fatal trap into which they were falling. Every consideration forbade
them to march into Russia so late in the year, yet on they went towards
Moscow, over ruined fields and through empty villages. This terrible
pursuit lasted until September 7th, when the Russians, to content their
soldiers, who were complaining loudly because they were not allowed to
engage the French, gave battle at Borodino, the battle of the Moskova,
as the French call it.

At two o’clock in the morning of this engagement, Napoleon issued one of
his stirring bulletins:

  “Soldiers! Here is the battle which you have so long desired!
  Henceforth the victory depends upon you; it is necessary for us. It
  will give you abundance, good winter quarters, and a speedy return
  to your country! Behave as you did at Austerlitz, at Friedland, at
  Vitebsk, at Smolensk, and the most remote posterity will quote with
  pride your conduct on this day; let it say of you: _he was at the
  great battle under the walls of Moscow_.”

The French gained the battle at Borodino, at a cost of some thirty
thousand men, but they did not destroy the Russian army. Although the
Russians lost fifty thousand men, they retreated in good order. Under
the circumstances, a victory which allowed the enemy to retire in order
was of little use. It was Napoleon’s fault, the critics said; he was
inactive. But it was not sluggishness which troubled Napoleon at
Borodino. He had a new enemy—a headache. On the day of the battle he
suffered so that he was obliged to retire to a ravine to escape the icy
wind. In this sheltered spot he paced up and down all day, giving his
orders from the reports brought him.



  By Raffet.]

Moscow was entered on the 15th of September. Here the French found at
last food and shelter, but only for a few hours. That night Moscow burst
into flames, set on fire by the authorities, by whom it had been
abandoned. It was three days before the fire was arrested. It would cost
Russia two hundred years of time, two hundred millions of money, to
repair the loss which she had sustained, Napoleon wrote to France.

Suffering, disorganization, pillage, followed the disaster. But Napoleon
would not retreat. He hoped to make peace. Moscow was still smoking when
he wrote a long description of the conflagration to Alexander. The
closing paragraph ran:

  “I wage war against your Majesty without animosity; a note from you
  before or after the last battle would have stopped my march, and I
  should even have liked to sacrifice the advantage of entering
  Moscow. If your Majesty retains some remains of your former
  sentiments, you will take this letter in good part. At all events,
  you will thank me for giving you an account of what is passing at

“I will never sign a peace as long as a single foe remains on Russian
ground,” the Emperor Alexander had said when he heard that Napoleon had
crossed the Nieman. He kept his word in spite of all Napoleon’s
overtures. The French position grew worse from day to day. No food, no
fresh supplies, the cold increasing, the army disheartened, the number
of Russians around Moscow growing larger. Nothing but a retreat could
save the remnant of the French. It began on October 19th, one hundred
and fifteen thousand men leaving Moscow. They were followed by forty
thousand vehicles loaded with the sick and with what supplies they could
get hold of. The route was over the fields devastated a month before.
The Cossacks harassed them night and day, and the cruel Russian cold
dropped from the skies, cutting them down like a storm of scythes.
Before Smolensk was reached, thousands of the retreating army were dead.



Napoleon had ordered that provisions and clothing should be collected at
Smolensk. When he reached the city he found that his directions had not
been obeyed. The army, exasperated beyond endurance by this
disappointment, fell into complete and frightful disorganization, and
the rest of the retreat was like the falling back of a conquered mob.

There is no space here for the details of this terrible march and of the
frightful passage of the Beresina. The terror of the cold and starvation
wrung cries from Napoleon himself.

“Provisions, provisions, provisions,” he wrote on November 29th from the
right bank of the Beresina. “Without them there is no knowing to what
horrors this undisciplined mass will proceed.”

And again: “The army is at its last extremity. It is impossible for it
to do anything, even if it were a question of defending Paris.”

The army finally reached the Nieman. The last man over was Marshal Ney.
“Who are you?” he was asked. “The rear guard of the Grand Army,” was the
sombre reply of the noble old soldier.

Some forty thousand men crossed the river, but of these there were many
who could do nothing but crawl to the hospitals, asking for “the rooms
where people die.” It was true, as Desprez said, the Grand Army was

It was on this horrible retreat that Napoleon received word that a
curious thing had happened in Paris. A general and an abbé, both
political prisoners, had escaped, and actually had succeeded in the
preliminaries of a _coup d’état_ overturning the empire, and
substituting a provisional government.

They had carried out their scheme simply by announcing that Napoleon was
dead, and by reading a forged proclamation from the senate to the effect
that the imperial government was at an end and a new one begun. The
authorities to whom these conspirators had gone had with but little
hesitation accepted their orders. They had secured twelve hundred
soldiers, had locked up the prefect of police, and had taken possession
of the Hôtel de Ville.

The foolhardy enterprise went, it is true, only a little way, but far
enough to show Paris that the day of easy revolution had not passed, and
that an announcement of the death of Napoleon did not bring at once a
cry of “Long live the King of Rome!” The news of the Malet conspiracy
was an astonishing revelation to Napoleon himself of the instability of
French public sentiment. He saw that the support on which he had
depended most to insure his institutions, that is, an heir to his
throne, was set aside at the word of a worthless agitator. The
impression made on his generals by the news was one of consternation and
despair. The emperor read in their faces that they believed his good
fortune was waning. He decided to go to Paris as soon as possible.

On December 5th he left the army, and after a perilous journey of twelve
days reached the French capital. It took as great courage to face France
now as it had taken audacity to attempt the invasion of Russia. The
grandest army the nation had ever sent out was lying behind him dead.
His throne had tottered for an instant in sight of all France. Hereafter
he could not believe himself invincible. Already his enemies were
suggesting that since his good genius had failed him once, it might

No one realized the gravity of the position as Napoleon himself, but he
met his household, his ministers, the Council of State, the Senate, with
an imperial self-confidence and a _sang froid_ which are awe-inspiring
under the circumstances. The horror of the situation of the army was not
known in Paris on his arrival, but reports came in daily until the truth
was clear to everybody. But Napoleon never lost countenance. The
explanations necessary for him to give to the Senate, to his allies, and
to his friends, had all the serenity and the plausibility of a victor—a
victor who had suffered, to be sure, but not through his own rashness or
mismanagement. The following quotation from a letter to the King of
Denmark illustrates well his public attitude towards the invasion and
the retreat from Moscow:

  “The enemy were always beaten, and captured neither an eagle nor a
  gun from my army. On the 7th of November the cold became intense;
  all the roads were found impracticable; thirty thousand horses
  perished between the 7th and the 16th. A portion of our baggage and
  artillery wagons was broken and abandoned; our soldiers, little
  accustomed to such weather, could not endure the cold. They wandered
  from the ranks in quest of shelter for the night, and, having no
  cavalry to protect them, several thousands fell into the hands of
  the enemy’s light troops. General Sanson, chief of the topographic
  corps, was captured by some Cossacks while he was engaged in
  sketching a position. Other isolated officers shared the same fate.
  My losses are severe, but the enemy cannot attribute to themselves
  the honor of having inflicted them. My army has suffered greatly,
  and suffers still, but this calamity will cease with the cold.”

To every one he declared that it was the Russians, not he, who had
suffered. It was their great city, not his, which was burnt; their
fields, not his, which were devastated. They did not take an eagle, did
not win a battle. It was the cold, the Cossacks, which had done the
mischief to the Grand Army; and that mischief? Why, it would be soon
repaired. “I shall be back on the Nieman in the spring.”

But the very man who in public and private calmed and reassured the
nation, was sometimes himself so overwhelmed at the thought of the
disaster which he had just witnessed, that he let escape a cry which
showed that it was only his indomitable will which was carrying him
through; that his heart was bleeding. In the midst of a glowing account
to the legislative body of his success during the invasion, he suddenly
stopped. “In a few nights everything changed. I have suffered great
losses. They would have broken my heart if I had been accessible to any
other feelings than the interest, the glory, and the future of my



  Raffet shows us a Napoleon worn out by the disastrous excess even of
    his victories, marching under a sad, rainy sky, at the head of his
    little army, which, although hopeful, decreased daily in numbers
    after repeated fights—all of them victorious. The legend chosen by
    the artist sums up the state of mind of these old _grognards_—always
    discontented, and yet always ready, in spite of wearing fatigue and
    increasing discouragements, to run even to death on a sign from
    their emperor. Meissonier meditated long and earnestly before this
    beautiful picture, inspired by the campaign of France, previous to
    painting his immortal canvas, “1814.”—A. D.]

In the teeth of the terrible news coming daily to Paris, Napoleon began
preparations for another campaign. To every one he talked of victory as
certain. Those who argued against the enterprise he silenced
temporarily. “You should say,” he wrote Eugène, “and yourself believe,
that in the next campaign I shall drive the Russians back across the
Nieman.” With the first news of the passage of the Beresina chilling
them, the Senate voted an army of three hundred and fifty thousand men;
the allies were called upon; even the marine was obliged to turn men
over to the land force.

But something besides men was necessary. An army means muskets and
powder and sabres, clothes and boots and headgear, wagons and cannon and
caisson; and all these it was necessary to manufacture afresh. The task
was gigantic; but before the middle of April it was completed, and the
emperor was ready to join his army.

The force against which Napoleon went in 1813 was the most formidable,
in many respects, he had ever encountered. Its strength was greater. It
included Russia, England, Spain, Prussia, and Sweden, and the allies
believed Austria would soon join them. An element of this force more
powerful than its numbers was its spirit. The allied armies fought
Napoleon in 1813 as they would fight an enemy of freedom. Central Europe
had come to feel that further French interference was intolerable. The
war had become a crusade. The extent of this feeling is illustrated by
an incident in the Prussian army. In the war of 1812 Prussia was an ally
of the French, but at the end of the year General Yorck, who commanded a
Prussian division, went over to the enemy. It was a dishonorable action
from a military point of view, but his explanation that he deserted as
“a patriot acting for the welfare of his country” touched Prussia; and
though the king disavowed the act, the people applauded it.

Throughout the German states the feeling against Napoleon was bitter. A
veritable crusade had been undertaken against him by such men as Stein,
and most of the youth of the country were united in the _Tagendbund_, or
League of Virtue, which had sworn to take arms for German freedom.

When Alexander followed the French across the Nieman, announcing that he
came bringing “deliverance to Europe,” and calling on the people to
unite against the “common enemy,” he found them quick to understand and

Thus, in 1813 Napoleon did not go against kings and armies, but against
_peoples_. No one understood this better than he did himself, and he
counselled his allies that it was not against the foreign enemy alone
that they had to protect themselves. “There is one more dangerous to be
feared—the spirit of revolt and anarchy.”

                               CHAPTER XX


The campaign opened May 2, 1813, southwest of Leipsic, with the battle
of Lützen. It was Napoleon’s victory, though he could not follow it up,
as he had no cavalry. The moral effect of Lützen was excellent in the
French army. Among the allies there was a return to the old dread of the
“monster.” By May 8th the French occupied Dresden; from there they
crossed the Elbe, and on the 21st fought the battle of Bautzen, another
incomplete victory for Napoleon. The next day, in an engagement with the
Russian rear guard, Marshal Duroc, one of Napoleon’s warmest and oldest
friends, was killed. It was the second marshal lost since the campaign
began, Bessières having been killed at Lützen.

The French obtained Breslau on June 1st, and three days later an
armistice was signed, lasting until August 10th. It was hoped that peace
might be concluded during this armistice. At that moment Austria held
the key to the situation. The allies saw that they were defeated if they
could not persuade her to join them. Napoleon, his old confidence
restored by a series of victories, hoped to keep his Austrian
father-in-law quiet until he had crushed the Prussians and driven the
Russians across the Nieman. Austria saw her power, and determined to use
it to regain territory lost in 1805 and 1809, and Metternich came to
Dresden to see Napoleon. Austria would keep peace with France, he said
if Napoleon would restore Illyria and the Polish provinces, would send
the Pope back to Rome, give up the protectorate of the Confederation of
the Rhine, restore Naples and Spain. Napoleon’s amazement and
indignation were boundless.



  Engraved by Benedetti, after Daffinger.]

“How much has England given you for playing this _rôle_ against me,
Metternich?” he asked.

A semblance of a congress was held at Prague soon after, but it was only
a mockery. Such was the exasperation and suffering of Central Europe,
that peace could only be reached by large sacrifices on Napoleon’s part.
These he refused to make. There is no doubt but that France and his
allies begged him to compromise; that his wisest counsellors advised him
to do so. But he repulsed with irritation all such suggestions. “You
bore me continually about the necessity of peace,” he wrote Savary. “I
know the situation of my empire better than you do; no one is more
interested in concluding peace than myself, but I shall not make a
dishonorable peace, or one that would see us at war again in six
months.... These things do not concern you.”

By the middle of August the campaign began. The French had in the field
some three hundred and sixty thousand men. This force was surrounded by
a circle of armies, Swedish, Russian, Prussian, and Austrian, in all
some eight hundred thousand men. The leaders of this hostile force
included, besides the natural enemies of France, Bernadotte, crown
prince of Sweden, who had fought with Napoleon in Italy, and General
Moreau, the hero of Hohenlinden. Moreau was on Alexander’s staff. He had
reached the army the night that the armistice expired, having sailed
from the United States on the 21st of June, at the invitation of the
Russian emperor, to aid in the campaign against France. He had been
greeted by the allies with every mark of distinction. Another deserter
on the allies’ staff was the eminent military critic Jomini. In the
ranks were stragglers from all the French corps, and the Saxons were
threatening to leave the French in a body, and go over to the allies.

The second campaign of 1813 opened brilliantly for Napoleon, for at
Dresden he took twenty thousand prisoners, and captured sixty cannon.
The victory turned the anxiety of Paris to hopefulness, and their faith
in Napoleon’s star was further revived by the report that Moreau had
fallen, both legs carried off by a French bullet. Moreau himself felt
that fate was friendly to the emperor. “That rascal Bonaparte is always
lucky,” he wrote his wife, just after the amputation of his legs.

But there was something stronger than luck at work; the allies were
animated by a spirit of nationality, indomitable in its force, and they
were following a plan which was sure to crush Napoleon in the long run.
It was one laid out by Moreau; a general battle was not to be risked,
but the corps of the French were to be engaged one by one, until the
parts of the army were disabled. In turn Vandamme, Oudinot, MacDonald,
Ney, were defeated, and in October the remnants of the French fell back
to Leipsic. Here the horde that surrounded them was suddenly enlarged.
The Bavarians had gone over to the allies.

A three days’ battle at Leipsic exhausted the French, and they were
obliged to make a disastrous retreat to the Rhine, which they crossed
November 1st. Ten days later the emperor was in Paris.

The situation of France at the end of 1813 was deplorable. The allies
lay on the right bank of the Rhine. The battle of Vittoria had given the
Spanish boundary to Wellington, and the English and Spanish armies were
on the frontier. The allies which remained with the French were not to
be trusted. “All Europe was marching with us a year ago,” Napoleon said;
“to-day all Europe is marching against us.” There was despair among his
generals, alarm in Paris. Besides, there seemed no human means of
gathering up a new army. Where were the men to come from? France was
bled to death. She could give no more. Her veins were empty.

“This is the truth, the exact truth, and such is the secret and the
explanation of all that has since occurred,” says Pasquier. “With these
successive levies of conscriptions, past, present, and to come; with the
Guards of Honor; with the brevet of sub-lieutenant forced on the young
men appertaining to the best families, after they had escaped the
conscript, or had supplied substitutes in conformity with the provisions
of the law, there did not remain a single family which was not in
anxiety or in mourning.”

Yet hedged in as he was by enemies, threatened by anarchy, supported by
a fainting people, Napoleon dallied over the peace the allies offered.
The terms were not dishonorable. France was to retire, as the other
nations, within her natural boundaries, which they designated as the
Rhine, the Alps, and the Pyrenees. But the emperor could not believe
that Europe, whom he had defeated so often, had power to confine him
within such limits. He could not believe that such a peace would be
stable, and he began preparations for resistance. Fresh levies of troops
were made. The Spanish frontier he attempted to secure by making peace
with Ferdinand, recognizing him as King of Spain. He tried to settle his
trouble with the Pope.

While he struggled to simplify the situation, to arouse national spirit,
and to gather reënforcements, hostile forces multiplied and closed in
upon him. The allies crossed the Rhine. The _corps législatif_ took
advantage of his necessity to demand the restoration of certain rights
which he had taken from them. In his anger at their audacity, the
emperor alienated public sympathy by dissolving the body. “I stood in
need of something to console me,” he told them, “and you have sought to
dishonor me. I was expecting that you would unite in mind and deed to
drive out the foreigner; you have bid him come. Indeed, had I lost two
battles, it would not have done France any greater evil.” To crown his
evil day, Murat, Caroline’s husband, now King of Naples, abandoned him.
This betrayal was the more bitter because his sister herself was the
cause of it. Fearful of losing her little glory as Queen of Naples,
Caroline watched the course of events until she was certain that her
brother was lost, and then urged Murat to conclude a peace with England
and Austria.

This accumulation of reverses, coming upon him as he tried to prepare
for battle, drove Napoleon to approach the allies with proposals of
peace. It was too late. The idea had taken root that France, with
Napoleon at her head, would never remain in her natural limits; that the
only hope for Europe was to crush him completely. This hatred of
Napoleon had become almost fanatical, and made any terms of peace with
him impossible.

By the end of January, 1814, the emperor was ready to renew the
struggle. The day before he left Paris, he led the empress and the King
of Rome to the court of the Tuileries, and presented them to the
National Guard. He was leaving them what he held dearest in the world,
he told them. The enemy were closing around; they might reach Paris;
they might even destroy the city. While he fought without to shield
France from this calamity, he prayed them to protect the priceless trust
left within. The nobility and sincerity of the feeling that stirred the
emperor were unquestionable; tears flowed down the cheeks of the men to
whom he spoke, and for a moment every heart was animated by the old
emotion, and they took with eagerness the oath he asked.

The next day he left Paris. The army he commanded did not number more
than sixty thousand men. He led it against a force which, counting only
those who had crossed the Rhine, numbered nearly six hundred thousand.

In the campaign of two months which followed, Napoleon several times
defeated the allies. In spite of the terrible disadvantages under which
he fought, he nearly drove them from the country. In every way the
campaign was worthy of his genius. But the odds against him were too
tremendous. The saddest phase of his situation was that he was not
seconded. The people, the generals, the legislative bodies, everybody
not under his personal influence seemed paralyzed. Augereau, who was at
Lyons, did absolutely nothing, and the following letter to him shows
with what energy and indignation Napoleon tried to arouse his stupefied

                                       “NOGENT, 21st _February_, 1814.

  “... What! six hours after having received the first troops coming
  from Spain you were not in the field! Six hours’ repose was
  sufficient. I won the action of Nangis with a brigade of dragoons
  coming from Spain, which, since it left Bayonne, had not unbridled
  its horses. The six battalions of the division of Nismes want
  clothes, equipment, and drilling, say you. What poor reasons you
  give me there, Augereau! I have destroyed eighty thousand enemies
  with conscripts having nothing but knapsacks! The National Guards,
  say you, are pitiable. I have four thousand here, in round hats,
  without knapsacks, in wooden shoes, but with good muskets, and I get
  a great deal out of them. There is no money, you continue; and where
  do you hope to draw money from? You want wagons; take them wherever
  you can. You have no magazines; this is too ridiculous. I order you,
  twelve hours after the reception of this letter, to take the field.
  If you are still Augereau of Castiglione, keep the command; but if
  your sixty years weigh upon you, hand over the command to your
  senior general. The country is in danger, and can be saved by
  boldness and good will alone....




  Etched by Ruet, after Meissonier. Original in Walters’s gallery,
    Baltimore. Meissonier was fond of short titles, and very often in
    his historical works made choice of only a simple date. Among such
    titles are 1806, 1807, 1814, which might very well be replaced by
    Battle of Jena, Friedland, and Campaign of France. This last subject
    he treated twice under different aspects. First, in the famous
    canvas, his great masterpiece, where we see a gloomy, silent
    Napoleon, with face contracted by anguish, slowly riding at the head
    of his discouraged staff across the snowy plains of Champagne. This
    important work forms part of the collection of Monsieur Chauchard of
    Paris, who bought it for eight hundred thousand francs. The second
    picture is the one reproduced here, in which Napoleon is represented
    at the same period, but only at the outset of this terrible
    campaign—the last act but one of the Napoleonic tragedy. The
    carefully studied face shows as yet no expression of discouragement,
    but rather a determined hope of success. Napoleon wears the
    traditionary gray overcoat over the costume of the _Chasseurs de la
    Garde_, and rides his faithful little mare _Marie_, painted with a
    living, nervous effect that cannot be too much admired. Meissonier,
    inaccessible to the poetic seductions of symbolism, has nevertheless
    indicated here in a superb manner the gloomy future of the hero, by
    surrounding his luminous form with darkness, and casting on his brow
    the shadow of a stormy, threatening sky.—A. D.]

The terror and apathy of Paris exasperated him beyond measure. To his
great disgust, the court and some of the counsellors had taken to public
prayers for his safety. “I see that instead of sustaining the empress,”
he wrote Cambacérès, “you discourage her. Why do you lose your head like
that? What are these _misereres_ and these prayers forty hours long at
the chapel? Have people in Paris gone mad?”

The most serious concern of Napoleon in this campaign was that the
empress and the King of Rome should not be captured. He realized that
the allies might reach Paris at any time, and repeatedly he instructed
Joseph, who had been appointed lieutenant-general in his absence, what
to do if the city was threatened.

  “Never allow the empress or the King of Rome to fall into the hands
  of the enemy.... As far as I am concerned, I would rather see my son
  slain than brought up at Vienna as an Austrian prince; and I have a
  sufficiently good opinion of the empress to feel persuaded that she
  thinks in the same way, as far as it is possible for a woman and a
  mother to do so. I never saw Andromaque represented without pitying
  Astyanax surviving his family, and without regarding it as a piece
  of good fortune that he did not survive his father.”

Throughout the two months there were negotiations for peace. They varied
according to the success or failure of the emperor or the allies.
Napoleon had reached a point where he would gladly have accepted the
terms offered at the close of 1813. But those were withdrawn. France
must come down to her limits in 1789. “What!” cried Napoleon, “leave
France smaller than I found her? Never.”

The frightful combination of forces closed about him steadily, with the
deadly precision of the chamber of torture, whose adjustable walls
imperceptibly, but surely, draw together, day by day, until the victim
is crushed. On the 30th of March Paris capitulated. The day before, the
Regent Marie Louise with the King of Rome and her suite had left the
city for Blois. The allied sovereigns entered Paris on the 1st of April.
As they passed through the streets, they saw multiplying, as they
advanced, the white cockades which the _grandes dames_ of the Faubourg
St. Germain had been making in anticipation of the entrance of the
foreigner, and the only cries which greeted them as they passed up the
boulevards were, “_Long live the Bourbons! Long live the sovereigns!
Long live the Emperor Alexander_.”

The allies were in Paris, but Napoleon was not crushed. Encamped at
Fontainebleau, his army about him, the soldiers everywhere faithful to
him, he had still a large chance of victory, and the allies looked with
uneasiness to see what move he would make. It was due largely to the wit
of Talleyrand that the standing ground which remained to the emperor was
undermined. That wily diplomat, whose place it was to have gone with the
empress to Blois, had succeeded in getting himself shut into Paris, and,
on the entry of the allies, had joined Alexander, whom he had persuaded
to announce that the allied powers would not treat with Napoleon nor
with any member of his family. This was eliminating the most difficult
factor from the problem. By his fine tact Talleyrand brought over the
legislative bodies to this view.

From the populace Alexander and Talleyrand feared nothing; it was too
exhausted to ask anything but peace. Their most serious difficulty was
the army. All over the country the cry of the common soldiers was, “Let
us go to the emperor.” “The army,” declared Alexander, “is always the
army; as long as it is not with you, gentlemen, you can boast of
nothing. The army represents the French nation; if it is not won over,
what can you accomplish that will endure?”

Every influence of persuasion, of bribery, of intimidation, was used
with the soldiers and generals. They were told in phrases which could
not but flatter them; “You are the most noble of the children of the
country, and you cannot belong to the man who has laid it waste.... You
are no longer the soldiers of Napoleon; the Senate and all France
release you from your oaths.”

The older officers on Napoleon’s staff at Fontainebleau were unsettled
by adroit communications sent from Paris. They were made to believe that
they were fighting against the will of the nation and of their comrades.
When this disaffection had become serious, one of Napoleon’s oldest and
most trusted associates, Marmont, suddenly deserted. He led the vanguard
of the army. This treachery took away the last hope of the imperial
cause, and on April 11, 1814, Napoleon signed the act of abdication at
Fontainebleau. The act read:

  “The allied powers having proclaimed that the Emperor Napoleon
  Bonaparte is the only obstacle to the reëstablishment of peace in
  Europe, the Emperor Napoleon, faithful to his oath, declares that he
  renounces, for himself and his heirs, the thrones of France and
  Italy, and that there is no personal sacrifice, even that of his
  life, which he is not ready to make in the interest of France.”

For only a moment did the gigantic will waver under the shock of defeat,
of treachery, and of abandonment. Uncertain of the fate of his wife and
child, himself and his family denounced by the allies, his army
scattered, he braved everything until Marmont deserted him, and he saw
one after another of his trusted officers join his enemies; then for a
moment he gave up the fight and tried to end his life. The poison he
took had lost its full force, and he recovered from its effects. Even
death would have none of him, he groaned.

But this discouragement was brief. No sooner was it decided that his
future home should be the island of Elba, and that its affairs should be
under his control, than he began to prepare for the journey to his
little kingdom with the same energy and zest which had characterized him
as emperor. On the 20th of April he left the palace of Fontainebleau.



  François, after Delaroche, 1845.]

                              CHAPTER XXI


A week after bidding his Guard farewell, Napoleon sent from Fréjus his
first address to the inhabitants of Elba:

  “Circumstances having induced me to renounce the throne of France,
  sacrificing my rights to the interests of the country, I reserved
  for myself the sovereignty of the island of Elba, which has met with
  the consent of all the powers. I therefore send you General Drouot,
  so that you may hand over to him the said island, with the military
  stores and provisions, and the property which belongs to my imperial
  domain. Be good enough to make known this new state of affairs to
  the inhabitants, and the choice which I have made of their island
  for my sojourn in consideration of the mildness of their manners and
  the excellence of their climate. I shall take the greatest interest
  in their welfare.


The Elbans received their new ruler with all the pomp which their means
and experience permitted. The entire population celebrated his arrival
as a _fête_. The new flag which the emperor had chosen—white ground with
red bar and three yellow bees—was unfurled, and saluted by the forts of
the nation and by the foreign vessels in port. The keys of the chief
town of the island were presented to him, a _Te Deum_ was sung. If these
honors seemed poor and contemptible to Napoleon in comparison with the
splendor of the _fêtes_ to which he had become accustomed, he gave no
sign, and played his part with the same seriousness as he had when he
received his crown.

His life at Elba was immediately arranged methodically, and he worked as
hard and seemingly with as much interest as he had at Paris. The affairs
of his new state were his chief concern, and he set about at once to
familiarize himself with all their details. He travelled over the island
in all directions, to acquaint himself with its resources and needs. At
one time he made the circuit of his domain, entering every port, and
examining its condition and fortifications. Everywhere that he went he
planned and began works which he pushed with energy. Fine roads were
laid out; rocks were levelled; a palace and barracks were begun. From
his arrival his influence was beneficial. There was a new atmosphere at
Elba, the islanders said.

The budget at Elba was administered as rigidly as that of France had
been, and the little army was drilled with as great care as the Guards
themselves. After the daily review of his troops, he rode on horseback,
and this promenade became a species of reception, the islanders who
wanted to consult him stopping him on his route. It is said that he
invariably listened to their appeals.

Elba was enlivened constantly during Napoleon’s residence by tourists
who went out of their way to see him. The majority of these curious
persons were Englishmen; with many of them he talked freely, receiving
them at his house, and letting them carry off bits of stone or of brick
from the premises as souvenirs.

His stay was made more tolerable by the arrival of Madame _mère_ and of
the Princess Pauline and the coming of twenty-six members of the
National Guard who had crossed France to join him. But his great desire
that Marie Louise and the King of Rome should come to him was never
gratified. It is told by one of his companions on the island, that he
kept carefully throughout his stay a stock of fireworks which had fallen
into his possession, planning to use them when his wife and boy should
arrive, but, sadly enough, he never had an occasion to celebrate that

While to all appearances engrossed with the little affairs of Elba,
Napoleon was, in fact, planning the most dramatic act of his life. On
the 26th of February, 1815, the guard received an order to leave the
island. With a force of eleven hundred men, the emperor passed the
foreign ships guarding Elba, and on the afternoon of the 1st of March
landed at Cannes on the Gulf of Juan. At eleven o’clock that night he
started towards Paris. He was trusting himself to the people and the
army. If there never was an example of such audacious confidence,
certainly there never was such a response. The people of the South
received him joyfully, offering to sound the tocsin and follow him _en
masse_. But Napoleon refused; it was the soldiers upon whom he called.

  “We have not been conquered [he told the army]. Come and range
  yourselves under the standard of your chief; his existence depends
  upon you; his interests, his honor, and his glory are yours. Victory
  will march at double-quick time. The eagle with the national colors
  will fly from steeple to steeple to the towers of Notre Dame. Then
  you will be able to show your scars with honor; then you will be
  able to boast of what you have done; you will be the liberators of
  the country....”

At Grenoble there was a show of resistance. Napoleon went directly to
the soldiers, followed by his guard.

“Here I am; you know me. If there is a soldier among you who wishes to
kill his emperor, let him do it.”

“Long live the emperor!” was the answer; and in a twinkle six thousand
men had torn off their white cockades and replaced them by old soiled
tricolors. They drew them from the inside of their caps, where they had
been concealing them since the exile of their hero. “It is the same that
I wore at Austerlitz,” said one as he passed the emperor. “This,” said
another, “I had at Marengo.”



From Grenoble the emperor marched to Lyons, where the soldiers and
officers went over to him in regiments. The royalist leaders who had
deigned to go to Lyons to exhort the army found themselves ignored; and
Ney, who had been ordered from Besançon to stop the emperor’s advance,
and who started out promising to “bring back Napoleon in an iron cage,”
surrendered his entire division. It was impossible to resist the force
of popular opinion, he said. From Lyons the emperor, at the head of what
was now the French army, passed by Dijon, Autun, Avallon, and Auxerre,
to Fontainebleau, which he reached on March 19th. The same day Louis
XVIII. fled from Paris.

The change of sentiment in these few days was well illustrated in a
French paper which, after Napoleon’s return, published the following
calendar gathered from the royalist press.

February 25.—“The _exterminator_ has signed a treaty offensive and
defensive. It is not known with whom.”

February 26.—“The _Corsican_ has left the island of Elba.”

March 1.—“_Bonaparte_ has debarked at Cannes with eleven hundred men.”

March 7.—“_General Bonaparte_ has taken possession of Grenoble.”

March 10.—“_Napoleon_ has entered Lyons.”

March 19.—“_The emperor_ reached Fontainebleau to-day.”

March 19.—“_His Imperial Majesty_ is expected at the Tuileries
to-morrow, the anniversary of the birth of the King of Rome.”



  After a lithograph by Charlet.]

Two days before the flight of the Bourbons, the following notice
appeared on the door of the Tuileries:

“_The emperor begs the king to send him no more soldiers; he has

“What was the happiest period of your life as emperor?” O’Meara asked
Napoleon once at St. Helena.

“The march from Cannes to Paris,” he replied immediately.

His happiness was short-lived. The overpowering enthusiasm which had
made that march possible could not endure. The bewildered factions which
had been silenced or driven out by Napoleon’s reappearance recovered
from their stupor. The royalists, exasperated by their own flight,
reorganized. Strong opposition developed among the liberals. It was only
a short time before a reaction followed the delirium which Napoleon’s
return had caused in the nation. Disaffection, coldness, and plots
succeeded. In face of this revulsion of feeling, the emperor himself
underwent a change. The buoyant courage, the amazing audacity which had
induced him to return from Elba, seemed to leave him. He became sad and
preoccupied. No doubt much of this sadness was due to the refusal of
Austria to restore his wife and child, and to the bitter knowledge that
Marie Louise had succumbed to foreign influences and had promised never
again to see her husband.

If the allies had allowed the French to manage their affairs in their
own way, it is probable that Napoleon would have mastered the situation,
difficult as it was. But this they did not do. In spite of his promise
to observe the treaties made after his abdication, to accept the
boundaries fixed, to abide by the Congress of Vienna, the coalition
treated him with scorn, affecting to mistrust him. He was the disturber
of the peace of the world, a public enemy; he must be put beyond the
pale of society, and they took up arms, not against France, but against
Napoleon. France, as it appeared, was not to be allowed to choose her
own rulers.



  Painted and engraved by James Ward, R. A. The skeleton of “Marengo” is
    now preserved in the museum of the Royal United Service Institution,
    London, and stands under the picture painted by Ward from which this
    engraving is taken. “A hoof of Marengo, made into a snuff-box, makes
    its nightly round after dinner at the Queen’s Guard in St. James’s
    Palace. In the lid is the legend: ‘Hoof of Marengo, barb charger of
    Napoleon, ridden by him at Marengo, Austerlitz, Jena, Wagram, in the
    Russian campaign, and finally at Waterloo.’ Around the hoof the
    legend continues: ‘Marengo was wounded in the near hip at Waterloo,
    when his master was on him in the hollow road in advance of the
    French position. He had been frequently wounded before in many

The position in which Napoleon found himself on the declaration of war
was of exceeding difficulty, but he mastered the opposition with all his
old genius and resources. Three months after the landing at Cannes he
had an army of two hundred thousand men ready to march. He led it
against at least five hundred thousand men.

On June 15th, Napoleon’s army met a portion of the enemy in Belgium,
near Brussels, and on July 16th, 17th, and 18th were fought the battles
of Ligny, Quatre Bras, and Waterloo, in the last of which he was
completely defeated. The limits and nature of this sketch do not permit
a description of the engagement at Waterloo. The literature on the
subject is perhaps richer than that on any other subject in military
science. Thousands of books discuss the battle, and each succeeding
generation takes it up as if nothing had been written on it. But while
Waterloo cannot be discussed here, it is not out of place to notice that
among the reasons for its loss are certain ones which interest us
because they are personal to Napoleon. He whose great rule in wars was,
“Time is everything,” lost time at Waterloo. He who had looked after
everything which he wanted well done, neglected to assure himself of
such an important matter as the exact position of his enemy. He who once
had been able to go a week without sleep, was ill. Again, if one will
compare carefully the Bonaparte of Guérin (page 108) with the Napoleon
of Girodet (page 240), he will understand, at least partially, why the
battle of Waterloo was lost.



  This original series of hats presented in different significant
    positions is from the pencil of Steuben, one of the most fertile
    painters of the First Empire, and symbolizes the eight principal
    epochs in Napoleon’s career.

  1. Vendémiaire.
  2. Consulate.
  3. Empire.
  4. Austerlitz.
  5. Wagram.
  6. Moscow.
  7. Waterloo.
  8. St. Helena.]

The defeat was complete; and when the emperor saw it, he threw himself
into the battle in search of death. As eagerly as he had sought victory
at Arcola, Marengo, Austerlitz, he sought death at Waterloo. “I ought to
have died at Waterloo,” he said afterwards; “but the misfortune is that
when a man seeks death most he cannot find it. Men were killed around
me, before, behind—everywhere. But there was no bullet for me.”

He returned immediately to Paris. There was still force for resistance
in France. There were many to urge him to return to the struggle, but
such was the condition of public sentiment that he refused. The country
was divided in its allegiance to him; the legislative body was
frightened and quarrelling; Talleyrand and Fouché were plotting.
Besides, the allies proclaimed to the nation that it was against
Napoleon alone that they waged war. Under these circumstances Napoleon
felt that loyalty to the best interest of France required his
abdication; and he signed the act anew, proclaiming his son emperor
under the title of Napoleon II.

Leaving Paris, the fallen emperor went to Malmaison, where Josephine had
died only thirteen months before. A few friends joined him—Queen
Hortense, the Duc de Rovigo, Bertrand, Las Cases, and Méneval. He
remained there only a few days. The allies were approaching Paris, and
the environs were in danger. Napoleon offered his services to the
provisional government, which had taken his place, as leader in the
campaign against the invader, promising to retire as soon as the enemy
was repulsed, but he was refused. The government feared him, in fact,
more than it did the allies, and urged him to leave France as quickly as
possible. In his disaster he turned to America as a refuge, and gave his
family rendezvous there.

Various plans were suggested for getting to the United States. Among the
offers of aid to carry out his desire which were made to Napoleon, Las
Cases speaks of one coming from an American in Paris, who wrote:

  “While you were at the head of a nation you could perform any
  miracle, you might conceive any hopes; but now you can do nothing
  more in Europe. Fly to the United States! I know the hearts of the
  leading men and the sentiments of the people of America. You will
  there find a second country and every source of consolation.”

Mr. S. V. S. Wilder, an American shipping merchant who lived in France
during the time of Napoleon’s power, and who had been much impressed by
the changes brought about in society and politics under his rule,
offered to help him to escape. He proposed that the emperor disguise
himself as a valet for whom he had a passport. On board the ship the
emperor was to conceal himself in a hogshead until the danger-line was
crossed. This hogshead was to have a false compartment in it. From the
end in view, water was to drip incessantly. Mr. Wilder proposed to take
Napoleon to his own home in Bolton, Massachusetts, when they arrived in
America. It is said that the emperor seriously considered this scheme,
but finally declined, because he would leave his friends behind him, and
for them Mr. Wilder could not possibly provide. Napoleon explained one
day to Las Cases at St. Helena what he intended to do if he had reached
America. He would have collected all his relatives around him, and thus
would have formed the nucleus of a national union, a second France. Such
were the sums of money he had given them that he thought they might have
realized at least forty millions of francs. Before the conclusion of a
year, the events of Europe would have drawn to him a hundred millions of
francs and sixty thousand individuals, most of them possessing wealth,
talent, and information.

  “America [he said] was, in all respects, our proper asylum: It is an
  immense continent, possessing the advantage of a peculiar system of
  freedom. If a man is troubled with melancholy, he may get into a
  coach and drive a thousand leagues, enjoying all the way the
  pleasures of a common traveller. In America you may be on a footing
  of equality with everyone; you may, if you please, mingle with the
  crowd without inconvenience, retaining your own manners, your own
  language, your own religion.”

On June 29th, a week after his return to Paris from Waterloo, Napoleon
left Malmaison for Rochefort, hoping to reach a vessel which would carry
him to the United States; but the coast was so guarded by the English
that there was no escape.



  Designed and engraved by Baugeau.]

                              CHAPTER XXII

                              OF NAPOLEON

When it became evident that it was impossible to escape to the United
States, Napoleon considered two courses—to call upon the country and
renew the conflict, or seek an asylum in England. The former was not
only to perpetuate the foreign war, it was to plunge France into civil
war; for a large part of the country had come to the conclusion of the
allies—that as long as Napoleon was at large, peace was impossible.
Rather than involve France in such a disaster, the emperor resolved at
last to give himself up to the English, and sent the following note to
the regent:

  “ROYAL HIGHNESS: Exposed to the factions which divide my country and
  to the hostility of the greatest powers of Europe, I have closed my
  political career. I have come, like Themistocles to seek the
  hospitality of the British nation. I place myself under the
  protection of their laws, which I claim from your Royal Highness as
  the most powerful, the most constant, and the most generous of my


On the 15th of July he embarked on the English ship, the “Bellerophon,”
and a week later he was in Plymouth.



  Engraved by Steele, after Orchardson.]

Napoleon’s surrender to the English was made, as he says, with full
confidence in their hospitality. Certainly _hospitality_ was the last
thing to expect of England under the circumstances, and there was
something theatrical in the demand for it. The “Bellerophon” was no
sooner in the harbor of Plymouth than it became evident that he was
regarded not as a guest, but as a prisoner. Armed vessels surrounded the
ship he was on; extraordinary messages were hurried to and fro; sinister
rumors ran among the crew. The Tower of London, a desert isle, the ends
of the earth, were talked of as the hospitality England was preparing.

But if there was something theatrical, even humorous, in the idea of
expecting a friendly welcome from England, there was every reason to
suppose that she would receive him with dignity and consideration.
Napoleon had been an enemy worthy of English metal. He had been defeated
only after years of struggle. Now that he was at her feet, her own
self-respect demanded that she treat him as became his genius and his
position. To leave him at large was, of course, out of the question; but
surely he could have been made a royal prisoner and been made to feel
that if he was detained it was because of his might.

The British government no sooner realized that it had its hands on
Napoleon than it was seized with a species of panic. All sense of
dignity, all notions of what was due a foe who surrendered, were drowned
in hysterical resentment. The English people as a whole did not share
the government’s terror. The general feeling seems to have been similar
to that which Charles Lamb expressed to Southey: “After all, Bonaparte
is a fine fellow, as my barber says, and I should not mind standing
bareheaded at his table to do him service in his fall. They should have
given him Hampton Court or Kensington, with a tether extending forty
miles round London.”



  Etching by Chienon.]

But the government could see nothing but danger in keeping such a force
as Napoleon within its limits. It evidently took Lamb’s whimsical
suggestion, that if Napoleon were at Hampton the people might some day
eject the Brunswick in his favor, in profound seriousness. On July 30th
it sent a communication to _General Bonaparte_—the English henceforth
refused him the title of emperor, though permitting him that of general,
not reflecting, probably, that if one was spurious the other was, since
both had been conferred by the same authority—notifying him that as it
was necessary that he should not be allowed to disturb the repose of
England any longer, the British government had chosen the island of St.
Helena as his future residence, and that three persons with a surgeon
would be allowed to accompany him. A week later he was transferred from
the “Bellerophon” to the “Northumberland,” and was _en route_ for St.
Helena, where he arrived in October, 1815.

The manner in which the British carried out their decision was
irritating and unworthy. They seemed to feel that guarding a prisoner
meant humiliating him, and offensive and unnecessary restrictions were
made which wounded and enraged Napoleon.

The effect of this treatment on his character is one of the most
interesting studies in connection with the man, and, on the whole, it
leaves one with increased respect and admiration for him. He received
the announcement of his exile in indignation. He was not a prisoner, he
was the guest of England, he said. It was an outrage against the laws of
hospitality to send him into exile, and he would never submit
voluntarily. When he became convinced that the British were inflexible
in their decision, he thought of suicide, and even discussed it with Las
Cases. It was the most convenient solution of his dilemma. It would
injure no one, and his friends would not be forced then to leave their
families. It was easier because he had no scruples which opposed it. The
idea was finally given up. A man ought to live out his destiny, he said,
and he decided that his should be fulfilled.



  By Delaroche.]

The most serious concern Napoleon felt in facing his new life was that
he would have no occupation. He saw at once that St. Helena would not be
an Elba. But he resolutely made occupations. He sought conversation,
studied English, played games, began to dictate his memoirs. It is to
this admirable determination to find something to do, that we owe his
clear, logical commentaries, his essays on Cæsar, Turenne, and
Frederick, his sketch of the Republic, and the vast amount of
information in the journals of his devoted comrades, O’Meara, Las Cases,

But no amount of forced occupation could hide the desolation of his
position. The island of St. Helena is a mass of jagged, gloomy rocks;
the nearest land is six hundred miles away. Isolated and inaccessible as
it is, the English placed Napoleon in its most sombre and remote part—a
place called Longwood, at the summit of a mountain, and to the windward.
The houses at Longwood were damp and unhealthy. There was no shade.
Water had to be carried some three miles.

The governor, Sir Hudson Lowe, was a tactless man, with a propensity for
bullying those whom he ruled. He was haunted by the idea that Napoleon
was trying to escape, and he adopted a policy which was more like that
of a jailer than of an officer. In his first interview with the emperor
he so antagonized him that Napoleon soon refused to see him. Napoleon’s
antipathy was almost superstitious. “I never saw such a horrid
countenance,” he told O’Meara. “He sat on a chair opposite to my sofa,
and on the little table between us there was a cup of coffee. His
physiognomy made such an unfavorable impression upon me that I thought
his evil eye had poisoned the coffee, and I ordered Marchand to throw it
out of the window. I could not have swallowed it for the world.”

Aggravated by Napoleon’s refusal to see him, Sir Hudson Lowe became more
annoying and petty in his regulations. All free communication between
Longwood and the inhabitants of the island was cut off. The newspapers
sent Napoleon were mutilated; certain books were refused; his letters
were opened. A bust of his son brought to the island by a sailor was
withheld for weeks. There was incessant haggling over the expenses of
his establishment. His friends were subjected to constant annoyance. All
news of Marie Louise and of his son was kept from him.

It is scarcely to be wondered at that Napoleon was often peevish and
obstinate under this treatment, or that frequently, when he allowed
himself to discuss the governor’s policy with the members of his suite,
his temper rose, as Montholon said, “to thirty-six degrees of fury.” His
situation was made more miserable by his ill health. His promenades were
so guarded by sentinels and restricted to such limits that he finally
refused to take exercise, and after that his disease made rapid marches.

His fretfulness, his unreasonable determination to house himself, his
childish resentment at Sir Hudson Lowe’s conduct, have led to the idea
that Napoleon spent his time at St. Helena in fuming and complaining.
But if one will take into consideration the work that the fallen emperor
did in his exile, he will have a quite different impression of this
period of his life. He lived at St. Helena from October, 1815, to May,
1821. In this period of five and a half years he wrote or dictated
enough matter to fill the four good-sized volumes which complete the
bulky correspondence published by the order of Napoleon III., and he
furnished the great collection of conversations embodied in the memoirs
published by his companions.

This means a great amount of thinking and planning; for if one will go
over these dictations and writings to see how they were made, he will
find that they are not slovenly in arrangement or loose in style. On the
contrary, they are concise, logical, and frequently vivid. They are full
of errors, it is true, but that is due to the fact that Napoleon had not
at hand any official documents for making history. He depended almost
entirely on his memory. The books and maps he had, he used diligently,
but his supply was limited and unsatisfactory.

It must be remembered, too, that this work was done under great physical
difficulties. He was suffering keenly much of the time after he reached
the island. Even for a well man, working under favorable circumstances,
the literary output of Napoleon at St. Helena would be creditable. For
one in his circumstances it was extraordinary. A look at it is the best
possible refutation of the common notion that he spent his time at St.
Helena fuming at Sir Hudson Lowe and “stewing himself in hot water,” to
use the expression of the governor.

Before the end of 1820 it was certain that he could not live long. In
December of that year the death of his sister Eliza was announced to
him. “You see, Eliza has just shown me the way. Death, which had
forgotten my family, has begun to strike it. My turn cannot be far off.”
Nor was it. On May 5, 1821, he died.

His preparations for death were methodical and complete. During the last
fortnight of April all his strength was spent in dictating to Montholon
his last wishes. He even dictated, ten days before the end, the note
which he wished sent to Sir Hudson Lowe to announce his death. The
articles he had in his possession at Longwood he had wrapped up and
ticketed with the names of the persons to whom he wished to leave them.
His will remembered numbers of those whom he had loved or who had served
him. Even the Chinese laborers then employed about the place were
remembered. “Do not let them be forgotten. Let them have a few score of



  From a sculpture by Véla. This superb statue was exhibited in Paris at
    the Exhibition Universelle of 1867 (Italian section), and obtained
    the gold medal. It was purchased by the French Government, and is
    now at Versailles.]

The will included a final word on certain questions on which he felt
posterity ought distinctly to understand his position. He died, he said,
in the apostolical Roman religion. He declared that he had always been
pleased with Marie Louise, whom he besought to watch over his son. To
this son, whose name recurs repeatedly in the will, he gave a motto—_All
for the French people_. He died prematurely, he said, assassinated by
the English oligarchy. The unfortunate results of the invasion of France
he attributed to the treason of Marmont, Augereau, Talleyrand, and
Lafayette. He defended the death of the Duc d’Enghien. “Under similar
circumstances I should act in the same way.” This will is sufficient
evidence that he died as he had lived, courageously and proudly, and
inspired by a profound conviction of the justice of his own cause. In
1822 the French courts declared the will void.

They buried him in a valley beside a spring he loved, and though no
monument but a willow marked the spot, perhaps no other grave in history
is so well known. Certainly the magnificent mausoleum which marks his
present resting place in Paris has never touched the imagination and the
heart as did the humble willow-shaded mound in St. Helena.



  “From the original drawing of Captain Crockatt, taken the morning
    after Napoleon’s decease.” Published July 18, 1821, in London.]

The peace of the world was insured. Napoleon was dead. But though he was
dead, the echo of his deeds was so loud in the ears of France and
England that they tried every device to turn it into discord or to drown
it by another and a newer sound. The ignoble attempt was never entirely
successful, and the day will come when personal and partisan
considerations will cease to influence judgments on this mighty man. For
he was a mighty man. One may be convinced that the fundamental
principles of his life were despotic; that he used the noble ideas of
personal liberty, of equality, and of fraternity, as a tyrant; that the
whole tendency of his civil and military system was to concentrate a
power in a single pair of hands, never to distribute it where it
belonged, among the people; one may feel that he frequently sacrificed
personal dignity to a theatrical desire to impose on the crowd as a hero
of classic proportions, a god from Olympus; one may groan over the blood
he spilt. But he cannot refuse to acknowledge that no man ever
comprehended more clearly the splendid science of war; he cannot fail to
bow to the genius which conceived and executed the Italian campaign,
which fought the classic battles of Austerlitz, Jena, and Wagram. These
deeds are great epics. They move in noble, measured lines, and stir us
by their might and perfection. It is only a genius of the most
magnificent order which could handle men and materials as Napoleon did.

He is even more imposing as a statesman. When one confronts the France
of 1799, corrupt, crushed, hopeless, false to the great ideals she had
wasted herself for, and watches Napoleon firmly and steadily bring order
into this chaos, give the country work and bread, build up her broken
walls and homes, put money into her pocket and restore her credit, bind
up her wounds and call back her scattered children, set her again to
painting pictures and reading books, to smiling and singing, he has a
Napoleon greater than the general.

Nor were these civil deeds transient. France to-day is largely what
Napoleon made her, and the most liberal institutions of continental
Europe bear his impress. It is only a mind of noble proportions which
can grasp the needs of a people, and a hand of mighty force which can
supply them.



But he was greater as a man than as a warrior or statesman; greater in
that rare and subtle personal quality which made men love him. Men went
down on their knees and wept at sight of him when he came home from
Elba—rough men whose hearts were untrained, and who loved naturally and
spontaneously the thing which was lovable. It was only selfish, warped,
abnormal natures, which had been stifled by etiquette and diplomacy and
self-interest, who abandoned him. Where nature lived in a heart,
Napoleon’s sway was absolute. It was not strange. He was in everything a
natural man; his imagination, his will, his intellect, his heart, were
native, untrained. They appealed to unworldly men in all their rude,
often brutal strength and sweetness. If they awed them, they won them.

This native force of Napoleon explains, at least partially, his hold on
men; it explains, too, the contrasts of his character. Never was there a
life lived so full of lights and shades, of majors and minors. It was a
kaleidoscope, changing at every moment. Beside the most practical and
commonplace qualities are the most idealistic. No man ever did more
drudgery, ever followed details more slavishly; yet who ever dared so
divinely, ever played such hazardous games of chance? No man ever
planned more for his fellows, yet who ever broke so many hearts? No man
ever made practical realities of so many of liberty’s dreams, yet it was
by despotism that he gave liberal and beneficent laws. No man was more
gentle, none more cruel. Never was there a more chivalrous lover until
he was disillusioned; a more affectionate husband, even when faith had
left him; yet no man ever trampled more rudely on womanly delicacy and

He was valorous as a god in danger, loved it, played with it; yet he
would turn pale at a broken mirror, cross himself if he stumbled, fancy
the coffee poisoned at which an enemy had looked.

He was the greatest genius of his time, perhaps of all time, yet he
lacked the crown of greatness—that high wisdom born of reflection and
introspection which knows its own powers and limitations, and never
abuses them; that fine sense of proportion which holds the rights of
others in the same solemn reverence it demands for its own.

                             CHAPTER XXIII

                HELENA TO THE BANKS OF THE SEINE IN 1840

_It is my wish that my ashes may repose on the banks of the Seine, in
the midst of the French people, whom I have loved so well._—TESTAMENT OF
NAPOLEON, 2d Clause.

       He wants not this; but France shall feel the want
       Of this last consolation, thought so scant;
       Her honor, fame, and faith demand his bones,
       To rear above a pyramid of thrones;
       Or carried onward, in the battle’s van,
       To form, like Guesclin’s dust, her talisman.
       But be it as it is, the time may come,
       His name shall beat the alarm like Ziska’s drum.

                                 —BYRON, in _The Age of Bronze_.

On May 12, 1840, Louis Philippe being king of the French people, the
Chamber of Deputies was busy with a discussion on sugar tariffs. It had
been dragging somewhat, and the members were showing signs of
restlessness. Suddenly the Count de Rémusat, then Minister of the
Interior, appeared, and asked a hearing for a communication from the

“Gentlemen,” he said, “the king has ordered his Royal Highness
Monseigneur the Prince de Joinville[2] to go with his frigate to the
island of St. Helena, there to collect the remains of the Emperor

A tremor ran over the House. The announcement was utterly unexpected.
Napoleon to come back! The body seemed electrified, and the voice of the
minister was drowned for a moment in applause. When he went on it was to



  Calamatta, 1834. Calamatta produced the mask from the cast taken by
    Dr. Antommarchi, the physician of Napoleon at St. Helena, in 1834,
    grouping around it portraits (chiefly from Ingres’s drawings) of
    Madame Dudevant and others.]

“We have come to ask for an appropriation which shall enable us to
receive the remains in a fitting manner, and to raise an enduring tomb
to Napoleon.”

“_Très bien! Très bien!_” cried the House.

“The government, anxious to discharge a great national duty, asked
England for the precious treasure which fortune had put into her hands.

“The thought of France was welcomed as soon as expressed. Listen to the
reply of our magnanimous ally:

  “‘The government of her Majesty hopes that the promptness of her
  response will be considered in France as a proof of her desire to
  efface the last traces of those national animosities which armed
  France and England against each other in the life of the emperor.
  The government of her Majesty dares to hope that if such sentiments
  still exist in certain quarters, they will be buried in the tomb
  where the remains of Napoleon are to be deposited.’”

The reading of this generous and dignified communication caused a
profound sensation, and cries of “_Bravo! bravo!_” re-echoed through the
hall. The minister, so well received, grew eloquent.

“England is right, gentlemen; the noble way in which restitution has
been made will knit the bonds which unite us. It will wipe out all
traces of a sorrowful past. The time has come when the two nations
should remember only their glory. The frigate freighted with the mortal
remains of Napoleon will return to the mouth of the Seine. They will be
placed in the Invalides. A solemn celebration and grand religious and
military ceremonies will consecrate the tomb which must guard them

“It is important, gentlemen, that this august sepulchre should not
remain exposed in a public place, in the midst of a noisy and
inappreciative populace. It should be in a silent and sacred spot, where
all those who honor glory and genius, grandeur and misfortune, can visit
it and meditate.

“He was emperor and king. He was the legitimate sovereign of our
country. He is entitled to burial at Saint-Denis. But the ordinary royal
sepulchre is not enough for Napoleon. He should reign and command
forever in the spot where the country’s soldiers repose, and where those
who are called to defend it will seek their inspiration. His sword will
be placed on his tomb.

“Art will raise beneath the dome of the temple consecrated to the god of
battles a tomb worthy, if that be possible, of the name which shall be
engraved upon it. This monument must have a simple beauty, grand
outlines, and that appearance of eternal strength which defies the
action of time. Napoleon must have a monument lasting as his memory....

“Hereafter France and France alone, will possess all that remains of
Napoleon. His tomb, like his fame, will belong to no one but his
country. The monarchy of 1830 is the only and the legitimate heir of the
past of which France is so proud. It is the duty of this monarchy, which
was the first to rally all the forces and to conciliate all the
aspirations of the French Revolution, fearlessly to raise and honor the
statue and the tomb of the popular hero. There is one thing, one only,
which does not fear comparison with glory—that is liberty.”

Throughout this speech, every word of which was an astonishment to the
Chamber, sincere and deep emotion prevailed. At intervals enthusiastic
applause burst forth. For a moment all party distinctions were
forgotten. The whole House was under the sway of that strange and
powerful emotion which Napoleon, as no other leader who ever lived, was
able to inspire.

When the minister followed his speech by the draft of a law for a
special credit of one million francs, a member, beside himself with
excitement, moved that rules be laid aside and the law voted without the
legal preliminaries. The president refused to put so irregular a motion,
but the House would not be quiet. The deputies left their places, formed
in groups in the hemicycle, surrounded the minister, congratulating him
with fervor. They walked up and down, gesticulating and shouting. It was
fully half an hour before the president was able to bring them to order,
and then they were in anything but a working mood.

“The president must close this session,” cried an agitated member; “the
law which has just been proposed has caused too great emotion for us to
return now to discussing sugar.” But the president replied very
properly, and a little sententiously, that the Chamber owed its time to
the country’s business, and that it must give it. And, in spite of their
excitement, the members had to go back to their sugar.

But how had it come about that the French government had dared burst
upon the country with so astounding a communication. There were many
explanations offered. A curious story which went abroad took the credit
from the king and gave it to O’Connell, the Irish agitator. As the story
went, O’Connell had warned Lord Palmerston that he proposed to present a
bill in the Commons for returning Napoleon’s remains to France.

“Take care,” said Lord Palmerston. “Instead of pleasing the French
government, you may embarrass it seriously.”

“That is not the question,” answered O’Connell. “The question for me is
what I ought to do. Now, my duty is to propose to the Commons to return
the emperor’s bones. England’s duty is to welcome the motion. I shall
make my propositions, then, without disturbing myself about whom they
will flatter or wound.”

“So be it,” said Lord Palmerston. “Only give me fifteen days.”

“Very well,” answered O’Connell.

Immediately Lord Palmerston wrote to Monsieur Thiers, then at the head
of the French Ministry, that he was about to be forced to tell the
country that England had never refused to return the remains of Napoleon
to France, because France had never asked that they be returned. As the
story goes, Monsieur Thiers advised Louis Philippe to forestall
O’Connell, and thus it came about that Napoleon’s remains were returned
to France.

The _grande pensée_, as the idea was immediately called, seems, however,
to have originated with Monsieur Thiers, who saw in it a means of
reawakening interest in Louis Philippe. He believed that the very
audacity of the act would create admiration and applause. Then, too, it
was in harmony with the claim of the _régime_; that is, that the
government of 1830 united all that was best in all the past governments
of France, and so was stronger than any one of them. The mania of both
king and minister for collecting and restoring made them think favorably
of the idea. Already Louis Philippe had inaugurated galleries at
Versailles, and hung them with miles of canvas, celebrating the
victories of all his predecessors. In the gallery of portraits he had
placed Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI. beside Madame Roland, Charlotte
Corday, Robespierre, and Napoleon and his marshals.

He had already replaced the statue of Napoleon on the top of the Column
Vendôme. He had restored cathedrals, churches, and _châteaux_, put up
statues and monuments, and all this he had done with studied
indifference to the politics of the individuals honored.

Yet while so many little important personages were being exalted, the
remains of the greatest leader France had ever known, were lying in a
far away island. Louis Philippe felt that no monument he could build to
the heroes of the past would equal restoring Napoleon’s remains.

The matter was simpler, because it was almost certain that England would
not block the path. The _entente cordiale_, whose base had been laid by
Talleyrand nearly ten years earlier, had become a comparatively solid
peace, and either nation was willing to go out of the way, if necessary,
to do the other a neighborly kindness. France was so full of good will
that she was even willing to ask a favor. Her confidence was well
placed. Two days after Guizot, then the French minister to England, had
explained the project to Lord Palmerston, and made his request, he had
his reply.

The remains of the “emperor” were at the disposition of the French. Of
the “emperor,” notice! After twenty-five years England recalled the act
of her ministers in 1815, and recognized that France made Napoleon
emperor as well as general.

The announcement that Napoleon’s remains were to be brought back,
produced the same effect upon the country at large that it had upon the
Chamber—a moment of acute emotion, of all-forgetting enthusiasm. But in
the Chamber and the country the feeling was short-lived. The political
aspects of the bold movement were too conspicuous. A chorus of
criticisms and forebodings arose. It was more of Monsieur Thiers’
clap-trap, said those opposed to the English policy of the government.
What particularly angered this party, was the words “magnanimous ally”
in the minister’s address.

The Bonapartes feigned to despise the proposed ceremony. It was
insufficient for the greatness of their hero. One million francs could
not possibly produce the display the object demanded. Another point of
theirs was more serious. The emperor was the legitimate sovereign of the
country, they said, quoting from the minister’s speech to the Chamber,
and they added: “His title was founded on the _senatus consultum_ of the
year 12, which, by an equal number of suffrages, secured the succession
to his brother Joseph. It was then unquestionably Joseph Bonaparte who
was proclaimed emperor of the French by the Minister of the Interior,
and amid the applause of the deputies.”

Scoffers said that Louis Philippe must have discovered that his soft
mantle of popularity was about worn out, if he was going to make one of
the old gray redingote of a man whom he had called a monster. The
Legitimists denied that Napoleon was a legitimate sovereign with a right
to sleep at Saint-Denis like a Bourbon or a Valois. The Orleanists were
wounded by the hopes they saw inspired in the Bonapartists by this
declaration. The Republicans resented the honor done to the man whom
they held up as the greatest of all despots.

There was a conviction among many that the restoration was premature,
and probably would bring on the country an agitation which would
endanger the stability of the throne. It was tempting the Bonaparte
pretensions certainly, and perhaps arousing a tremendous popular
sentiment to support them.

While the press and government, the clubs and _cafés_, discussed the
political side of the question, the populace quietly revived the
Napoleon legend. Within two days after the government had announced its
intentions, commerce had begun to take advantage of the financial
possibilities in the approaching ceremony. New editions of the “Lives”
of Napoleon which Vernet and Raffet had illustrated, were advertised.
Dumas’ “Life” and Thiers’ “Consulate and Empire” were announced. Memoirs
of the period, like those of the Duchesse d’Abrantès and of Marmont,
were revived.

As on the announcement of Napoleon’s death in 1821, there was an
inundation of pamphlets in verse and prose; of portraits and war
compositions, lithographs, engravings, and wood-cuts; of thousands of
little objects such as the French know so well how to make. The shops
and street carts were heaped with every conceivable article _à la
Napoléon_. The legend grew as the people gazed.

On July 7th the “Belle Poule,” the vessel which was to conduct the
Prince de Joinville, the commander of the expedition, to St. Helena,
sailed from Toulon accompanied by the “Favorite.” In the suite of the
Prince were several old friends of Napoleon: the Baron las Cases,
General Gourgaud, Count Bertrand, and four of his former servants. All
these persons had been with him at St. Helena.

The Prince de Joinville had not received his orders to go on the
expedition with great pleasure. Two of his brothers had just been sent
to Africa to fight, and he envied them their opportunities for
adventures and glory; and, besides, he was sick of a most plebeian
complaint, the measles. “One day as I lay in high fever,” he says in his
“Memoirs,” “I saw my father appear, followed by Monsieur de Rémusat,
then Minister of the Interior. This unusual visit filled me with
astonishment, and my surprise increased when my father said, ‘Joinville,
you are to go out to St. Helena and bring back Napoleon’s coffin.’ If I
had not been in bed already I should have fallen down flat, and at first
blush I felt no wise flattered when I compared the warlike campaign my
brothers were on with the undertaker’s job I was being sent to perform
in the other hemisphere. But I served my country, and I had no right to
discuss my orders.”

If the young prince was privately a little ashamed of his task, publicly
he adapted himself admirably to the occasion.



  From a recent photograph.]

A voyage of sixty-six days brought the “Belle Poule,” on October 8th, to
St. Helena, where she was welcomed by the English with every honor.
Indeed, throughout the affair the attitude of the English was dignified
and generous. They showed plainly their desire to satisfy and flatter
the pride and sentiment of the French.

It had been decided that the exhumation of the body and its transfer to
the French should take place on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the
arrival of Napoleon at the island. The disinterment was begun at
midnight on October 15th, the English conducting the work, and a number
of the French, including those of the party who had been with Napoleon
at his death, being present. The work was one of extraordinary
difficulty, for the same remarkable precautions against escape were
taken in Napoleon’s death as had been in his life.

The grave in the Valley of Napoleon, as the place had come to be called,
was surrounded by an iron railing set in a heavy stone curb. Over the
grave was a covering of six-inch stone which admitted to a vault eleven
feet deep, eight feet long, and four feet eight inches broad. The vault
was apparently filled with earth, but digging down some seven feet a
layer of Roman cement was found; this broken, laid bare a layer of
rough-hewn stone ten inches thick, and fastened together by iron clamps.
It took four and one-half hours to remove this layer. The stone up, the
slab forming the lid of the interior sarcophagus was exposed, enclosed
in a border of Roman cement strongly attached to the walls of the vault.
So stoutly had all these various coverings been sealed with cement and
bound by iron bands, that it took the large party of laborers ten hours
to reach the coffin.

As soon as exposed the coffin was purified, sprinkled with holy water,
consecrated by a _De Profundis_, and then raised with the greatest care,
and carried into a tent which had been prepared for it. After the
religious ceremonies, the inner coffins were opened. “The outermost
coffin was slightly injured,” says an eye witness; “then came one of
lead, which was in good condition, and enclosed two others—one of tin
and one of wood. The last coffin was lined inside with white satin,
which, having become detached by the effect of time, had fallen upon the
body and enveloped it like a winding-sheet, and had become slightly
attached to it.

“It is difficult to describe with what anxiety and emotion those who
were present waited for the moment which was to expose to them all that
was left of the Emperor Napoleon. Notwithstanding the singular state of
preservation of the tomb and coffins, we could scarcely hope to find
anything but some misshapen remains of the least perishable part of the
costume to evidence the identity of the body. But when Dr. Guillard
raised the sheet of satin, an indescribable feeling of surprise and
affection was experienced by the spectators, many of whom burst into
tears. The emperor himself was before their eyes! The features of the
face, though changed, were perfectly recognizable; the hands extremely
beautiful; his well known costume had suffered but little, and the
colors were easily distinguished. The attitude itself was full of ease,
and but for the fragments of satin lining which covered, as with fine
gauze, several parts of the uniform, we might have believed we still saw
Napoleon lying on his bed of state.”

A solemn procession was now formed, and the coffin borne over the rugged
hills of St. Helena to the quay. “We were all deeply impressed,” says
the Prince de Joinville, “when the coffin was seen coming slowly down
the mountain side to the firing of cannon, escorted by British infantry
with arms reversed, the band playing, to the dull rolling accompaniment
of the drums, that splendid funeral march which English people call the
_Dead March in Saul_.”

At the head of the quay, the Prince de Joinville, attended by the
officers of the French vessels, was waiting to receive the remains of
the emperor. In the midst of the most solemn military funeral rites the
French embarked with their precious charge. “The scene at that moment
was very fine,” continues the prince. “A magnificent sunset had been
succeeded by a twilight of the deepest calm. The British authorities and
the troops stood motionless on the beach, while our ship’s guns fired a
royal salute. I stood in the stern of my long-boat, over which floated a
magnificent tricolor flag, worked by the ladies of St. Helena. Beside me
were the generals and superior officers. The pick of my topmen, all in
white, with crape on their arms, and bareheaded like ourselves, rowed
the boat in silence, and with the most admirable precision. We advanced
with majestic slowness, escorted by the boats bearing the staff. It was
very touching, and a deep national sentiment seemed to hover over the
whole scene.”

But no sooner did the coffin reach the French cutter than mourning was
changed to triumph. Flags were unfurled, masts squared, drums set
a-beating, and _salvos_ poured from ports and vessels. The emperor had
come back to his own!

Three days later the “Belle Poule” was _en route_ for France. One
incident alone marked her return. A passing vessel brought the news that
war had been declared between France and England. The Prince de
Joinville was only twenty-two, a hot-headed youth, and the news of war
immediately convinced him that England had her fleet out watching for
him, ready to carry off Napoleon again. He rose to the height of his
fears. The elegant furnishings of the saloons of his vessel were torn
out and thrown overboard to make room for the batteries; the men were
made ready for fighting, and everybody on board was compelled to take an
oath to sink the vessel before allowing the remains to be taken. This
done, the “Belle Poule” went her way peacefully to Cherbourg, where she
arrived on November 30th, forty-three days after leaving St. Helena.

The town of Cherbourg owes much to Napoleon—her splendid harbors, and
great tracts of land rescued from the sea—and she honored the return of
his remains with every pomp. Even the poor of the town were made to
rejoice by lavish gifts in the emperor’s honor; and one of the chief
squares—one he had redeemed from the sea—became the Place Napoleon.

The vessels lay eight days at Cherbourg, for the arrival had been a
fortnight earlier than was anticipated, and nothing was ready for the
celebration at Paris; but the time was none too long for the thousands
who flocked in interminable processions to the vessels. When the vessels
left for Havre, Cherbourg was so excited that she did what must have
seemed to the nervous inhabitants an extravagance, even in Napoleon’s
honor, she fired a _thousand_ guns!

The passage of the flotilla from Cherbourg to Paris took seven days. At
almost every town and hamlet elaborate demonstrations were made. At
Havre and Rouen they were especially magnificent.

A striking feature of the river _cortége_ was the ceremonies at the
various bridges under which the vessels passed. The most elaborate of
these was at Rouen, where the central arch of the suspension bridge had
been formed into an immense arch of triumph. The decorations were the
exclusive work of wounded legionary officers and soldiers of the Empire.
When the vessel bearing the coffin passed under, the veterans showered
down upon it wreaths of flowers and branches of laurel.

These elaborate and grandiose ceremonies were not, however, the really
touching feature of the passage. The hill-sides and river-banks were
crowded with people from all the surrounding country, who sometimes even
pressed into the river in order better to see the vessels. Those on the
flotilla saw aged peasants firing salutes with ancient muskets, old men
kneeling with uncovered heads on the sod, and others, their heads in
their hands weeping—these men were veterans of the Empire paying homage
to the passage of their hero.

It was on the afternoon of December 14th, just as the sun was setting
radiantly behind Mt. Valerian, that the flotilla reached Courbevoie, a
few miles from Paris, where Napoleon’s body was first to touch French
soil. The bridge at Courbevoie, the islands of Neuilly, the hills which
rise from the Seine, were crowded, far as the eye could reach, with a
throng drawn from the entire country around.

The flotilla as it approached was a brilliant sight. At the head was the
“Dorade,” a cross at her prow, and, behind, the coffin. It was draped in
purple velvet, surrounded by flags and garlands of oak and cypress, and
surmounted by a canopy of black velvet ornamented with silver and masses
of floating black plumes. Between cross and coffin stood the Prince de
Joinville in full uniform, and behind him Generals Bertrand and Gourgaud
and the Abbé Coquereau, almoner of the expedition. The vessels following
the “Dorade” bore the crews of the “Belle Poule” and the “Favorite” and
the military bands. A magnificent funeral boat, on whose deck there was
a temple of bronzed wood, hung with splendid draperies of purple and
gold, brought up the official procession. Behind followed numberless
craft of all descriptions. Majestic funeral marches and _salvos_ of
artillery accompanied the advance.



At Courbevoie the flotilla anchored. Notwithstanding the intense cold,
thousands of people camped all night on the hill-sides and shores, their
bivouac fires illuminating the landscape.

Only those who have seen Paris on the day of a great _fête_ or ceremony
can picture to themselves the 15th of December, 1840. The day was
intensely cold, eight degrees below the freezing point, but at five
o’clock in the morning, when the drums began beating, and the guns
booming, the populace poured forth, taking up their positions along the
line of the expected procession. This line was fully three miles in
length, and ran from Courbevoie to the Arc de Triomphe by way of
Neuilly, thence down the Champs Elysées, across the Place and Bridge de
la Concorde, and along the _quai_ to the Esplanade des Invalides. From
one end to the other it was packed on either side a hundred deep, before
nine o’clock. The journals of the day compute the number of visitors
expected in Paris as about half a million. Inside and outside of the
Hôtel des Invalides alone, thirty-six thousand places were given to the
Minister of the Interior, and that did not cover one-tenth of the
requests he received. It is certain that nearly a million persons saw
the entry of Napoleon’s remains. The people hung from the trees, crowded
the roofs, stood on ladders of every description, filled the windows,
and literally swarmed over the walks and grass plots. A brisk business
went on in elevated positions. A ladder rung cost five francs ($1.00);
the man who had a cart across which he had laid boards, rented
standing-room at from five to ten francs. As for windows and
balconies—they sold for fabulous prices, in spite of the fact that the
placard _fenêtrés et balcons à louer_ appeared in almost every house
from Neuilly to the Invalides, even in many a magnificent hotel of the
Champs Elysées. Fifty francs ($10.00) was the price of the meanest
window; a good one cost one hundred francs ($20.00); three thousand
francs ($600.00) were paid for good balconies. One speculator rented a
vacant house for the day for five thousand francs ($1,000.00), and made
money on his investment.

The crowd made every preparation to keep warm; some of them carried
foot-stoves filled with live coals, others little hand-warmers. At
intervals along the procession great masses of the spectators danced to
keep up their circulation. Vendors of all sorts of articles did a
thriving business. Every article was, of course, Napoleonized; one even
bought _gauffrettes_ and _Madeleines_ cut out in the shape of Napoleons.
There were badges of every form—imperial eagles, bees, crowns, even the
_petit chapeau_. Many pamphlets in prose and verse had a great sale,
especially those of Casimir Delavigne, Victor Hugo, and Barthélemy;
though all these stately odes were far outstripped by one song,
thousands upon thousands of copies of which were sold. It ran:

                    “Premier capitaine du monde
                      Depuis le siége de Toulon,
                    Tant sur la terre que sur l’onde
                      Tout redoutait Napoleon.

                    “Du Nil au nord de la Tamise!
                      Devant lui l’ennemi fuyait,
                    Avant de combattre, il tremblait
                      Voyant sa redingote grise.”

The _cortége_ which had brought this crowd together was magnificent in
the extreme. A brilliant military display formed the first portion:
_gendarmerie_, municipal guards, officers, infantry, cavalry, artillery,
cadets from the important schools, national guards. But this had little
effect on the crowd. The genuine interest began when Marengo, Napoleon’s
famous battle-horse appeared—it was not Marengo, but it looked like him,
which for spectacular purposes was just as well; and the saddle and
bridle were genuine. The defile now became exciting. The commission of
St. Helena appeared in carriages, then the Marshals of France, the
Prince de Joinville, the crews of the vessels which had been to St.
Helena, finally the funeral car, a magnificent creation over thirty feet
high, its design and ornaments symbolic. Sixteen black horses in
splendid trappings drew the car, whose funeral pall was held by a
marshal and an admiral of France, by the Duc de Reggio and General

The passing of the car was everywhere greeted with sincere emotion,
profound reverence. Even the opposition recognized the genuineness of
the feeling; many of them owned to sharing it for one moment of
self-forgetfulness, and they began to ask themselves, as Lamartine had
asked the Chamber six months before, what they had been thinking of to
allow the French heart and imagination to be so fired? Even cynical
Englishmen who looked on with stern or contemptuous countenances, said
to themselves meditatively that night, as they sat by their fire
resting, “Something good must have been in this man, something loving
and kindly, that has kept his name so cherished in the popular memory
and gained him such lasting reverence and affection.”

Following the car came those who had been intimately associated with the
emperor in his life—his aides-de-camp and civil and military officers.
Many of them had been with him in famous battles; some were at
Fontainebleau in 1814, others at Malmaison in 1815. The veterans of the
Imperial Guard followed; behind them a deputation from Ajaccio.

From Courbevoie to the Hôtel des Invalides, one walked through a hedge
of elaborate decorations—of bees, eagles, crowns, N’s; of bucklers,
banners, and wreaths bearing the names of famous victories; of urns
blazing with incense; of rostral columns; masts bearing trophies of arms
and clusters of flags; flaming tripods; allegorical statues; triumphal
arches; great banks of seats draped in imperial purple and packed with
spectators, and phalanges of soldiers.

On the top of the Arc de Triomphe was an imposing apotheosis of
Napoleon. Each side of the Pont de la Concorde was adorned with huge
statues. On the Esplanade des Invalides the car passed between an avenue
of thirty-two statues of great French kings, heroes, and
heroines—Charles Martel, Charlemagne, Clovis, Bayard, Jeanne d’Arc,
Latour d’Auvergne, Ney. The chivalry and valor of France welcomed
Napoleon home. Oddly enough, this hedge of statues ended in one of
Napoleon himself; the incongruity of the arrangements struck even the
_gamins_. “Tiens,” cried one urchin, “voilà comme l’empereur fait la
queue à lui-mème.” (“Hello, see there how the emperor brings up his own

The procession passed quietly from one end to the other of the route, to
the great relief of the authorities. Difficulty was anticipated from
several sources: from the Anglophobes, the Revolutionists, the
Legitimists, the Bonapartists, and the great mass of dissatisfied, who,
no matter what form of rule they are under, are always against the
government. The greatest fear seems to have been on the part of the
English. Thackeray, who was in town at the time, gives an amusing
picture of his own nervousness on the morning of the 15th.

  “Did the French nation, or did they not, intend to offer up some of
  us English over the imperial grave? And were the games to be
  concluded by a massacre? It was said in the newspapers that Lord
  Granville had despatched circulars to all the English residents in
  Paris, begging them to keep their homes. The French journals
  announced this news, and warned us charitably of the fate intended
  for us. Had Lord Granville written? Certainly not to me. Or had he
  written to all _except me_? And was _I the victim_—the doomed
  one?—to be seized directly I showed my face in the Champs Elysées,
  and torn in pieces by French patriotism to the frantic chorus of the
  Marseillaise? Depend on it, Madame, that high and low in this city
  on Tuesday were not altogether at their ease, and that the bravest
  felt no small tremor. And be sure of this, that as his Majesty Louis
  Philippe took his nightcap off his royal head that morning, he
  prayed heartily that he might at night put it on in safety.”

Fortunately Thackeray’s courage conquered, and so we have the
entertaining “Second Funeral of Napoleon,” by “Michael Angelo Titmarsh.”

In spite of all forebodings, the hostile displays were nothing more than
occasional cries of “_A bas les Anglais_,” a few attempts to promenade
the tricolor flag and drown _Le Premier Capitaine du Monde_ by the
Marseillaise, and a strong indignation when it was learned that the
representatives of the allies had refused to be present at the final

Most of the observers of the funeral attributed the good order of the
crowd to the cold. A correspondent of the “National Intelligence” of
that date says:

  “If this business had fallen in the month of June or July, with all
  its excitements, spontaneous and elaborate, I should have deemed a
  sanguinary struggle between the government and the mob certain or
  highly probable. The present military array might answer for an
  approaching army of Cossacks. Forty or fifty thousand troops remain
  in the barracks within and camps without, besides the regular
  soldiery and National Guards in the field, ready to act against the
  domestic enemy.

  “_Providentially_ the cold increased to the utmost keenness; the
  genial currents of the insurrectionary and revolutionary soul were

The climax of the pageant was in the temple of the Invalides. The
spacious church was draped in the most magnificent and lavish fashion,
and adorned with a perfect bewilderment of imperial emblems. The light
was shut out by hangings of violet velvet; tripods blazing with colored
flames, and thousands upon thousands of waxen candles in brilliant
candelabra lighted the temple. Under the dome, in the place of the
altar, stood the catafalque which was to receive the coffin.



From early in the morning the galleries, choir, and tribunes of the
Invalides were packed by a distinguished company. There were the
Deputies and Senators—neither of which had been represented in the
_cortége_—the judicial and educational bodies, the officers of army and
navy, the ambassadors and representatives of foreign governments, the
king, and the court.

But none of these dignitaries were of more than passing interest that
day. The centre of attention, until the coffin entered, was the few old
soldiers of the Empire to be seen in the company; most prominent of
these was Marshal Moncey, the decrepit governor of the Invalides.

It was two o’clock in the afternoon when the Archbishop of Paris,
preceded by a splendid cross-bearer, and followed by sixteen incense
boys and long rows of white-clad priests, left the church to meet the
procession. They returned soon. Following them were the Prince de
Joinville and a select few from the grand _cortége_ without, attending
Napoleon’s coffin.

As it passed, the great assemblage was swayed by an extraordinary
emotion. There is no one of those who have described the day who does
not speak of the sudden, intense agitation which thrilled the company,
whether he refers to it half-humorously as Thackeray, who told how
“everybody’s heart was thumping as hard as possible,” or cries with
Victor Hugo:

      “Sire: En ce moment-là, vouz aurez pour royaume.
        Tous les fronts, tous les cœurs qui battront sous le ciel,
      Les nations feront asseoir votre fantôme,
        Au trone universel.”

The king descended from his throne and advanced to meet the _cortége_.
“Sire,” said the Prince de Joinville, “I present to you the body of
Napoleon, which, in accordance with your commands, I have brought back
to France.”

“I receive it in the name of France,” replied Louis Philippe.

Such at least is what the “Moniteur” affirms was said, but the
“Moniteur” is an official journal whose business is, not to tell what
really happens, but what the government would prefer to have happen. The
Prince de Joinville gives a different version: “The king received the
body at the entrance to the nave, and there rather a comical scene took
place. It appears that a little speech which I was to have delivered
when I met my father, and also the answer he was to give me, had been
drawn up in council, only the authorities had omitted to inform me
concerning it. So when I arrived I simply saluted with my sword, and
then stood aside. I saw, indeed, that this silent salute, followed by
retreat, had thrown something out; but my father after a moment’s
hesitation, improvised some appropriate sentence, and the matter was
arranged in the ‘Moniteur.’”

Beside the king stood an officer, bearing a cushion; on it lay the sword
of Austerlitz. Marshal Soult handed it to the king, who, turning to
Bertrand, said:

“General, I commission you to place the emperor’s glorious sword on the

And Bertrand, trembling with emotion, laid the sword reverently on his
idol’s coffin. The great company watched the scene in deepest silence.
The only sound which broke the stillness was the half-stifled sobs of
the gray-haired soldiers of the Invalides, who stood in places of honor
near the catafalque.

The king and the procession returned to their places, and then followed
a majestic funeral mass. The _Requiem_ of Mozart, as rendered that day
by all the great singers of Paris, is one of the historic musical
performances of France. The archbishop then sprinkled the coffin with
holy water, the king taking the brush from him for the same sacred duty.

The funeral was over. Napoleon lay at last “on the banks of the Seine,
among the people whom he had so loved.” For eight days after the
ceremony the church remained open to the public, and in spite of the
terrible cold thousands stood from morning until night waiting patiently
their turn to enter. After hours of waiting, they frequently were sent
away, only to come back earlier the next day. In this company were
numbers of veterans of the imperial army who had made the journey to
Paris from distant parts of the kingdom. In the delegation from Belgium
were many who had walked part of the way, not being able to pay full
coach fare.

Banquets and dinners followed the funeral. At one of these, a “sacred
toast to the immortal memory” was drunk _kneeling_. In a dozen theatres
of Paris the translation of the remains was dramatized. At the Porte
Saint-Martin, the actor who took the part of Sir Hudson Lowe had a
season of terror, he being in constant danger of violence from the
wrought-up audience.

The advertising columns of the newspapers of the day blazed for weeks
with announcements of Napoleonized articles; the holiday gifts prepared
for the booths of the boulevards and squares, and for the magnificent
shops of the Palais Royal and the fashionable streets, whatever their
nature—to eat, to wear, to look at—were made up as memorials. Paris
seemed to be Napoleon-mad.

In the February following the funeral, the coffin of Napoleon was
transferred from the catafalque in the centre of the church to a
_chapelle ardente_ in the basement at one side. The chapel was richly
draped in silk and gold, and hung with trophies. On the coffin lay the
imperial crown, the emperor’s sword, and the hat which he had worn at
Eylau, and which he had given to Gros when he ordered the battle of
Eylau painted. Over the coffin waved the flags taken at Austerlitz.

Here Napoleon’s body lay until the mausoleum was finished. This
magnificent structure was designed by Visconti, the eminent architect,
who had planned the entire decorations of the 15th of December. Visconti
utterly ignored the appropriations in executing the monument, ordering
what he wanted, regardless of its cost. For the marble from which
Pradier made the twelve colossal figures around the tomb, he sent to
Carrara; the porphyry which was used to inclose the coffin, he obtained
in Finland.

In this magnificent sepulchre Napoleon still sleeps. Duroc and Bertrand
lie on either side of the entrance to the chamber, guarding him in death
as in life; and to the right and left of the entrance to the church are
the tombs of his brothers Jerome and Joseph. On the stones about him are
inscribed the names he made glorious! over him are draped scores of
trophies; attending him are the veterans of the Invalides.

                 “Qu’il dorme en paix sous cette voute!
                 C’est un casque bien fait, sans doute,
                 Pour cette tête de géant.”


Footnote 2:

  The Prince of Joinville was the third son of Louis Philippe.



  Reproduction of the model of the marble statue exhibited in the
    _Salon_ of 1857, and executed for the town of St. Pierre
    (Martinique), the native country of Josephine. This statue as by the
    sculptor Vital-Dubray. The plaster cast is in the Versailles museum.]

                           LIFE OF JOSEPHINE

                               CHAPTER I

                              HER HUSBAND

The proudest monument in the Island of Martinique, in the French West
Indies, so any inhabitant will tell you, is the statue of a woman in the
town of St. Pierre. The woman thus honored is Josephine, once Empress of
the French People, who, so the legend on the pedestal of the statue
relates was born at the hamlet of Trois Ilets, Martinique, on June 23,

If one searches in the legends of the island for an explanation of the
position to which the child of this humble spot arose, he will find
nothing more serious than the prophecy of an old negress, made to the
little girl herself, that one day she would be Queen of France. If he
looks in the chronicles of the island for an explanation, he will find
nothing to indicate that she could ever rise higher than the life of an
indolent creole, a life narrowed by poverty and made tolerable chiefly
by the beauty of the nature about her and by her own happy indifference
of temperament.

Joseph Tascher de la Pagerie, the child’s father, was the eldest son of
a noble of Blois, France, who went to Martinique in the first quarter of
the eighteenth century chiefly because he could not succeed in anything
in his own country. He did no better in Martinique than he had done in
France and was only able to start his children in life by dint of
soliciting favors for them from his well-to-do relatives at home. For
Joseph he obtained a small military position, but the lad was no better
at improving his opportunities than his father had been and returned to
Martinique after a few years a lieutenant of marines—without a place.

When soliciting failed, nothing was left in those days for a nobleman
who did not relish work but marriage, and Joseph succeeded, by help of
his friends, in making a very good one with Mlle. Rose-Claire des
Vergers de Sannois, whose father was of noble descent and, what was more
to the point, was prosperous and of good standing in Martinique. Joseph
went to live on a charming plantation belonging to his father-in-law,
just back from the sea and near the village of Trois Ilets. Soon after
this, war with the English called him into service as a defender of the
French West Indies. The war was not long, and for his services he
secured a pension of 450 livres (about ninety dollars). It came none too
soon, for a passing hurricane devastated the plantation at Trois Ilets
in 1766, and drove the family into one of the sugar houses to live. M.
de la Pagerie was never able to repair the damages to his plantation
done by the storm or build another home for his family. He never,
indeed, followed any steady employment, but idled his life away in
gaming, intrigue, and soliciting—always in debt, always in bad odor
among honest men—his only asset his birth.

But to the happiness of little Josephine it mattered very little in
those days whether her home was a sugar-house or a palace, her father an
honest man or a sycophant. Her days were spent under the brilliant
skies, in the forests or the open fields, chasing birds and butterflies,
and gathering the gorgeous tropical flowers which to the end of her life
she passionately loved. Almost her only companions were the negroes of
the plantations, who gave her willing admiration and obedience.
Untaught, unrestrained, idolized by slaves, knowing nothing but the
tropical luxury and beauty of the nature about her, she developed like
the birds and the negroes, becoming, it is true, a graceful, beautiful
little animal, but with hardly more moral sense than they and with even
less sense of responsibility.

Josephine was ten years old before it occurred to anybody to send her to
school. So far her only instruction had been what little she had
gathered from a mother occupied with younger children; from the priest
of Trois Ilets, who, it is fair to suppose, must have at least tried to
teach her the catechism, and from the curious lore and gossip of the
negroes. At ten, however, she was sent to a convent at Fort Royale,
where she remained some four years. Here she was taught such rudimentary
knowledge as enabled her to read,—if not understand, to write a polite
note, to dance,—not very well, to sing, and play the guitar a little. It
was a small equipment, but no doubt as good as most young girls of
Martinique possessed in that day. Indeed many a noble-born maid in
France started out with less in the eighteenth century, and it was quite
as much as one would suppose from her position that she would need—more
than she used indeed, for little Yeyette, as Josephine was called, if
amiable and obedient when she left the convent, was indolent and vain,
loving far better her childish play of decorating herself with brilliant
flowers and watching her own image in the clear water of the pools on
the plantation, than she did books and music; and the loving flattery of
her old nurse was dearer to her than any amusement she found in the
meager society of the island, where she now was to take her place and,
her parents hoped, help retrieve the bad fortunes of the family by a
good marriage.

The opportunity came quickly. Josephine had been but a few months out of
the convent when one day her father laid before her what must have been
a bewildering and, one would suppose, a terrifying proposition—would she
like to leave Martinique and go to France, there to marry Alexander de
Beauharnais. The boy was not unknown to her. Like herself, he was born
in Martinique, and though he had left there when she was only seven
years old and he ten, it is not unlikely that she had seen him
occasionally at the home of her grandmother who cared for him in the
absence of his father and mother in France.

The influence which had led the father of Alexander de Beauharnais to
ask for the hand of a daughter of M. de la Pagerie for his son was not
altogether creditable. The two families had never known each other until
1757, when M. de Beauharnais came to Martinique as its governor. The
elder M. de la Pagerie was not slow in seeking the new governor’s
acquaintance and support for his family, for the latter was rich and in
favor with the king at Versailles. The relation prospered sufficiently
for M. de la Pagerie to secure a place in the household of the governor
for one of his daughters. He could have done nothing better for his
family. This daughter was not long in gaining an important influence
over both M. and Mme. de Beauharnais, and in winning as a husband M.
Renaudin, an excellent man and prosperous. This for herself. For her
family, she secured so many favors from the governor that it became a
matter of serious criticism and finally, added to other indiscretions,
led to a divorce between her and M. Renaudin. All this scandal did not
influence the governor, however, and when, in 1761, he left Martinique,
on account of the dissatisfaction with his administration there, and
hurried to France with his wife to make his peace at Versailles, Mme.
Renaudin went, too. There she prospered, buying a home and laying aside
money. It was M. de Beauharnais’s money, people said. However this may
be, it is certain that she exercised great influence over him, that for
her he neglected his wife, and that after the latter’s death the
friendship or _liaison_ continued until his death.

From all this it will be seen that Mme. Renaudin was a clever woman,
intent on making the most out of the one really strong relation she had
been able to form in her life. She was clever enough to see, when
Alexander was brought to France after his mother’s death, that his love
and gratitude would be one of her strongest cards with the father in the
future. She set to work to win the boy’s heart, and she succeeded
admirably. In his eyes, she took his mother’s place, and her influence
over him was almost unlimited.

By the time he was seventeen, Alexander de Beauharnais was a most
attractive youth. He had been well educated in the manner of his time,
having been, with his elder brother, under the care of an excellent
tutor for a number of years, two of which, at least, were passed in
Germany. After his brother entered the army, Alexander and his tutor
joined the household of the Duke de la Rochefoucauld and there studied
with the latter’s nephews. In this aristocratic atmosphere he imbibed
all the new liberal ideas of the day; he learned, at the same time, the
graces of the most exquisite French society and the philosophy of
Rousseau. Alexander was seventeen years old when his education was
pronounced finished, and a search was made for a place for him suitable
to his birth, his relations, and his ambition. Thanks, largely, to the
Duke de la Rochefoucauld, he was made a lieutenant in the army.

No sooner was his position in the world fixed, than Mme. Renaudin made
up her mind that he must marry one of her nieces in Martinique. It
mattered not at all that Alexander had not yet thought of marriage. Mme.
Renaudin persuaded him it would be a good thing—not a difficult task for
her since at marriage the youth was to come into a much larger income
than he then enjoyed. Alexander satisfied, she soon persuaded his father
to write to M. de la Pagerie. The letter shows the whole situation:—“My
children,” wrote M. de Beauharnais, “each enjoy an annual income of
40,000 livres (about $8,000). You are free to give me your daughter to
share the fortune of my chevalier. The respect and affection he has for
Mme. Renaudin make him eager to marry one of her nieces. You see that I
consent freely to his wishes by asking the hand of your second daughter,
whose age is more suited to his. If your eldest daughter (Josephine) had
been a few years younger, I certainly should have preferred her, as she
is pictured quite as favorably to me as the other; but my son, who is
only seventeen and a half, thinks that a young lady of fifteen is too
near his own age.”

Now, just before this letter reached Martinique, the second daughter of
M. de la Pagerie had died of fever. The chance was not to be missed,
however, and the father hastened to write to M. de Beauharnais that he
might have either of the two daughters remaining; Josephine or Marie,
the latter then a child of between eleven and twelve years. From the
long correspondence which followed, one gathers that it is the elders in
the transaction who really count. Alexander is resigned, little Marie
absolutely refuses to leave her mother, and Josephine, of whom little is
said, seems to be willing, even eager for the adventure. The upshot of
it was that, in October, 1779, M. de la Pagerie sailed for France with
Josephine. He arrived at Brest in November, worn out by the passage, and
there his sister, Mme. Renaudin, came with Alexander to meet them. If
the first impression of his fiancée did not arouse any enthusiasm in
Alexander, it at least offered no reason for breaking the engagement.
“She is not so pretty as I expected,” he wrote to his father; “but I can
assure you that the frankness and sweetness of her character are beyond
anything we have been told.”

From Brest the little party travelled together to Paris, where the
marriage took place on December 12. The young pair at once went to live
with the Marquis de Beauharnais, and that winter Josephine was
introduced into the brilliant society of the capital. She seems to have
made but a poor impression, for in spite of the 20,000 livres that Mme.
Renaudin had spent on her trousseau, she had after all a provincial air
which irritated her husband, accustomed as he was to the ease and
elegance of aristocratic Paris. What was worse in his eyes, she seemed
to have no desire to improve herself on the models he laid down. Poor
little Josephine had no head for the exaggerated sentiment, the fine
speculations, and the chatter about liberty, nature and the social
contract which flowed so glibly from every French tongue in those days.
She loved pretty gowns and jewels and childish amusements; above all,
she demanded to be loved exclusively and passionately by her handsome
young husband. When he scolded her, she cried, and when he devoted
himself to brighter women, she was jealous; and so before the first six
months of their married life was over, Josephine was seeing many unhappy
hours, and the Viscount gladly left her behind when he was called to his
regiment. Nevertheless, in his absence, he wrote her long letters,
largely of advice on what she should study, and took pains to laugh at
her jealousy and her complaints. The birth of their first child, in
September, 1781, a boy, who received the name of Eugène, did little to
restore peace between the two. The Viscount continued to spend much time
away from Paris, either with his regiment or in travel, and when at
home, he did not always share his pleasures with his wife. The tactics
with which Josephine met his restlessness and his indifference were the
worst possible to be used on a man whose passion was for ideas, for
elevated sentiments, for bold and brilliant actions—she was amiable and
indolent as a kitten until a new neglect came, and then she gave up to a
continuous weeping.

One reason, no doubt, of the restlessness of Beauharnais was his failure
to advance in his profession as fast as he desired. He had been made a
captain, but he wished for a regiment; and when late in 1782 a descent
of the English on Martinique threatened, he enlisted for service there.
Peace was made between France and England before he had an opportunity
to distinguish himself, but he remained in Martinique some time. He had
fallen in love there; and unhappily his new mistress had persuaded him
that Josephine had had love affairs of her own before she left
Martinique to marry him. There was never any proof of the truth of any
of the stories she retailed to him; but Beauharnais was glad to have a
reason for deserting his wife, and he wrote her a brutal letter, in
which he justified his demand for a divorce by the righteous indignation
which had seized him when he heard of her follies. The letter reached
Josephine in the summer of 1783. In the April before, she had given
birth to a daughter, christened Hortense-Eugénie. It was the first word
she had received from her husband since her confinement.

Beauharnais reached Paris in October (his mistress had preceded him);
and in spite of the efforts of his family and friends, all of whom took
Josephine’s part, he secured a separation. She, however, received from
the courts the fullest reparation possible, considering the Viscount’s
means—a pension for herself and the children; the custody of Eugène,
until he was five years old, and permanent possession of Hortense.

Josephine now went to live at the Abbey de Panthemont, a refuge for
women of the French nobility who had suffered in one way or another.
Here her youth, beauty, sweetness of disposition, and her misfortune
made her a favorite with many a noble dame; and she soon learned in this
atmosphere more of the ways of aristocratic society than she had learned
in all her previous married life.

After nearly a year in the Abbey, Josephine returned to her
father-in-law, who was living at Fontainebleau. The life she here took
up pleased her very well. She had an income for herself and children of
something over $2,000 a year, she was free, she knew many amusing
people, she had admirers, many say, lovers,—we should be surprised more
if she had not had them than if she had, it was the way of her world.
She was devoted to her children, she cared for the Marquis de
Beauharnais and Mme. Renaudin in their illnesses, and she corresponded
regularly with her husband—whom she never saw—concerning their children.
In 1788, she broke the monotony of her life by a trip to Martinique,
taking Hortense with her. She remained some two years in the island—a
sad two years, for both her father and her sister were very ill at the
time, and both died soon after her return to Paris, in the fall of 1790.

                               CHAPTER II


When Josephine returned to Paris in 1790, she found the city in full
revolution. In the two years she had been gone the States Generals had
met, the Bastile had fallen, the National Assembly had begun to make
France over. In the front of all this activity moved her husband,
Viscount de Beauharnais. Like his patron, the Duke de la Rouchefoucauld,
Beauharnais was an ardent advocate of liberty and equality. Sent to the
States General by his friends at Blois, he had joined the few noblemen
there who in 1789 espoused the cause of the Revolution, and soon was one
of the leaders of the faction. Later he was sent to the National
Assembly, where he took an active part in framing the constitution. He
was a power even in the Jacobin Society.

At this date the revolution was still the fashion among the elegant in
Paris, and the Viscount really was one of the most popular and
influential young noblemen in the town. His success, the ardor with
which he preached the fine theories of the day, perhaps a growing
realization that his treatment of his wife was too baldly inconsistent
with his profession, softened the Viscount’s heart towards Josephine,
and when she returned he went to see her. A kind of reconciliation
followed. They continued to live apart, but they saw each other
constantly in society. The Viscount no doubt was the more willing to
sustain the relation of a good friend and advisor to his wife, when he
saw that in the years since their separation she had developed into a
most charming woman of the world, and that her beauty, grace, tact, and
readiness to oblige had won her a large circle of friends, including
many in that aristocratic circle of which he vaunted himself on being a
member. This good understanding with Beauharnais did much for
Josephine’s peace of mind. It was in a way a victory, and her friends
congratulated her. At the same time any honors which came to the
Viscount reflected on her, and she steadily became more noticed.

In June, 1791, Beauharnais was elected president of the Constituent
Assembly. A few days later, the King and Queen fled to Varennes. As the
head of the Assembly, the Viscount was the leader of France for the
time. It was he who sat for one hundred and twenty-six and one-half
consecutive hours on the bench during the violent session which followed
the King’s flight; it was he who questioned the captured King, when he
was returned, and directed the distracted proceedings which followed.
Indeed, until the dissolution of the body in September, he was one of
the most prominent men in France.

Josephine had her share of his glory, and in these months added largely
to her circle of acquaintances from the motley crowd which the levelling
of things had brought together in French society. She met many of the
aristocrats unknown to her until then; but what was vastly more
important, she made acquaintances among the “true patriots”, those who
had been born in the third estate, and who were already beginning to
consider themselves the only part of the population fit to conduct the
general regeneration of France. In 1792, war breaking out, Beauharnais
went to the front, where he made a respectable record, which he himself
reported frequently to the Assembly in glowing letters, filled with good
advice to that body. He was steadily advanced until, in May, 1793, he
was made general-in-chief of the Army of the North. During all this
period Josephine was in Paris or the vicinity, and there were few more
active women there than she. Whether advised by her husband or not she
had the wit to make the acquaintance of the men of each new party as
fast as it came into power. Thus, when the Girondins were at the helm in
1792, she hastened to interview them one by one, to demonstrate to them
her devotion to the new civism, to extol the patriotism of her husband,
General de Beauharnais. The acquaintance made, she immediately had a
favor to ask—this friend was in prison, that one wanted a passport. All
through the agitated winter of 1792 and 1793 Josephine was busy getting
her friends out of prison and out of France. She seems to have had no
fear for herself. As a matter of fact, the men who helped her were so
convinced of her simple goodness of heart that they granted her much
which would have been denied a more intelligent woman, and they did not
question her loyalty. Was she not, too, the wife of General de
Beauharnais? That fact did not, however, hold value for many months.
Beauharnais’s conduct came into question before the Assembly; he
resigned, offering to go into the line. The privilege was denied him,
and he was retired from the army. He went at once to his family home
near Blois, and threw himself actively into the work of the municipality
and of the Jacobins. Josephine, warned of possible danger from her
husband’s downfall and fearing the new law against the suspected,
decided to leave Paris. She rented, in the winter, a little house at
Croissy, not far out of the city, and near many of her friends, and
there lived as quietly as she could. One method that she took of showing
her devotion to democratic principles was to bind Eugène, who had been
in school for several years, as an apprentice to a carpenter; and it is
said that Hortense was placed with a dressmaker to learn the trade.

The Viscount escaped arrest until the spring of 1794; then the committee
of Public Safety remembered him. There seems to have been no reason for
his arrest other than that he was a noble—certainly no man in France had
surpassed him in vehement republicanism or had been more fertile in
schemes for saving the country. He was taken immediately to Paris, and
confined in the prison of les Carmes. A month later, Josephine followed
him. Her activity for her friends had continued after the retirement of
her husband and the efforts she began at once to make to save him when
he was arrested, caused a virtuous patriot to suggest anonymously to the
authorities that she too ought to be looked after. She was promptly

For three months husband and wife lived side by side in that awful
prison, the walls of which still bore the red imprints made in the
September massacre, and in garden of which blood still oozed, it was
believed, from the roots of the tree where murdered men had been stacked
up by the score. With them were confined men from every rank of life,
princes, merchants, sailors, chimney-sweeps, along with women and
children. Almost daily a group was called to die, but their places were
quickly filled. The awful tragedy of their lot drew Josephine and her
husband no closer together. It is a terrible comment on the times that
no one thought it strange that Beauharnais should have paid court here
at the gate of death to a beautiful woman, a prisoner like himself, or
that Josephine should have been so intimate with General Hoche, also a
prisoner, that history has made a record of the fact.

Many efforts were made to save the Viscount and his wife, chiefly under
their direction, for they were allowed to see their friends, and also
their children. It is quite possible that certain petitions in their
favor which have been found in the French archives, bearing the names of
Eugène and Hortense, were dictated by the Viscount himself. But every
effort was useless, and on July 21 Beauharnais was taken to the
Conciergerie: the next day he was tried; the next guillotined. To the
end he was brave and self-controlled. In his final words to Josephine,
he even charged his death to the plots of the aristocrats, upholding the
republic even as it struck him.

None of the Viscount de Beauharnais’s courage was shared by Josephine in
her imprisonment. It is true that the majority of the women who suffered
death in the French Revolution faced it bravely. Josephine was not of
their blood. From the beginning of her imprisonment, she wept
continually before everybody, and her favorite occupation was reading
her fortune with cards; and yet cowardly as she was, no one was better
loved. There was reason enough for this. No one was kinder, no one more
willing to do a service, no one had been more active for others than
she, when at liberty. All the good will of the prison came out in full
when, on August 6, less than a fortnight after her husband’s death, she
was set free. There was as general rejoicing as there would have been
over the release of a child.

It is not certain through whose influence Josephine obtained her
freedom. Mme. Tallien has generally been credited with securing it, but
Masson in his delving has found dates which make it improbable that the
legend current can be true. According to this, Mme. Tallien (then Mme.
de Fontenay) and Josephine were fellow-prisoners, and it was at les
Carmes that their friendship began. However, the prison records show
that Mme. Tallien was never confined at les Carmes, but at la Petite
Force; so that a part at least of the legend is impossible. That she may
have interested herself in Josephine’s behalf is quite possible, even
probable. She may have known Mme. de Beauharnais before her
imprisonment. It is well known that, as soon as she received her own
freedom she became an ardent advocate of that clemency which was made
possible by the fall of Robespierre on the ninth Thermidor and that she
rescued many persons. She may very well have included Josephine among
the first of those she sought to save. Her task in this case would not
have been difficult, for Josephine was known to most of the members of
the Terrorist Government and was probably on terms of intimacy with some
of them. At all events, Josephine was set free on August 6, and she
immediately went to Croissy to pass the autumn.

The problems which now confronted Josephine were serious enough for the
most practical and resourceful of women. The chaos in French business
affairs made it very difficult for her to get her hand on money coming
to her. Her husband’s property was tied up by his death so that she
could realize nothing from it, and the value of what she did secure of
her income must have been sadly reduced by the general depreciation
which had resulted from the Reign of Terror and from the war, and by the
exorbitant prices of even the commonest necessaries of life—bread at
this time was over twenty francs a pound. Her situation was still more
difficult because the personal property of herself, her children, and
husband was all in the hands of the authorities. She had no linen,
furniture, silver, clothing, nothing needful in her daily life. To keep
house in the simplest way, she had to beg and borrow, and it was many
months before she was able to secure her own articles of clothing and
her household furniture.

With two children to care for and with a town apartment and a country
cottage on her hands, she was in a very difficult position.

That Josephine was able to keep her homes, care for her children, and
retain her position in the society of the Directory was due to the
friendship and protection of two men, Hoche and Barras. Hoche had been
liberated from les Carmes before Josephine, and put in charge of an
army, and he at once took Eugène on his staff, thus freeing Josephine’s
mind of that care. For a few months she managed by diligent borrowing
and mortgaging to keep things going. In all of her efforts to repair her
fortune and secure to her children the estate of Beauharnais, she
enlisted her friends, especially Mme. Tallien, who just then was at the
height of her power. The two became very intimate, and the Viscountess
de Beauharnais was soon one of the women oftenest seen at the functions
given by the members of the Directory as well as at all the more
intimate gatherings of that society. She became as great a favorite
among the dissipated and prodigal company as she had been among the
aristocratic ladies of the Abbey de Panthemont or in the motley company
at les Carmes. It was to be expected that she could not long be an
intimate of Mme. Tallien’s salon without finding a protector. She found
him in Barras, a member of the Directory, its most influential member in
fact, a prince of corruption, but a man of elegance, and ability.

It is probable that the _liaison_ with Barras began in 1795, for in
August of that year Josephine took a little house in Paris, furnishing
it largely from the apartment in town which she had kept so long. She
put Hortense in Mme. Campan’s school, and taking Eugène from Hoche sent
him to college. She entertained constantly in her new home, and once a
week at least received Barras and his friends at her country place at
Croissy. It was an open secret that the money for all this was supplied
by Barras.

Although Barras was himself notoriously corrupt, he was a man of elegant
and highly cultivated tastes, and he always made strenuous efforts to
keep his inner circle exclusive. He wished only persons of wit,
elegance, and ease about him, when he was at leisure, and as a rule he
allowed no others. Now and then, however, the necessities of politics
brought into his house a man unused either to its polite refinements or
its elegant dissipations. Such a man was admitted in the fall of 1795—a
young Corsican, a member of the army who had distinguished himself at
the siege of Toulon, and who had recently put Barras and the whole
government, in fact, under obligations. The man’s name was
Bonaparte—Napoleon Bonaparte. He had come to Paris in the spring of
1795, under orders to join the Western Army, but had fallen into
disgrace because he refused to obey. He succeeded, however, through
Barras, who had known him at Toulon, in making an impression at the War
Office. He was more than an ordinary man, the authorities who listened
to his talk and examined his plans of campaign said. A chance came in
October to try his metal as a commanding officer. The sections of Paris,
dissatisfied with the Convention, had planned an attack for a certain
night. The Committee of Defence asked Bonaparte to take command of the
guard which was to defend the Tuileries, where the Convention sat. The
result was a quick and effectual repulse of the attack of the sections,
and Bonaparte was rewarded the next day by being made a

One of the first acts to follow the attack on the Convention was a law
ordering that all citizens should be disarmed. Now, Josephine had in her
apartment the sword of General de Beauharnais, and in obedience to the
new law she at once carried it to the proper authority. Eugène, knowing
her intention, hastened there too, and passionately protested against
his father’s sword being given up. He would die first, he declared, with
boyish vehemence. His youth (he was but fourteen), his genuine emotion
touched the commissioner, who hesitated and finally said that Eugène
might go to the general in charge of the section, the newly made General
Bonaparte, and present his petition. The boy hastened to the General,
and with shining eyes and trembling lips, begged that his father’s sword
might be returned. Bonaparte, moved by the lad’s earnestness and
agitation, ordered that his request be granted. Mme. de Beauharnais, on
hearing the story from Eugène, went to the General’s office to thank
him. The interview ended by her inviting him to call upon her. It is
probable that Barras had felt it wise to admit Bonaparte to his inner
circle at about this time, and before long the young general was on good
terms with the entire society.

At the time when Bonaparte began to frequent the houses of Barras and
Josephine he was, beside most of the men and women he met
there—certainly beside Barras and Josephine—a paragon of virtue. They
were disciples of pleasure; he of the strenuous life. Up to this time
the pleasures of the world had never invited him. He had looked on them
as a young philosopher might, bent on seeing and understanding all, but
he had never sought them, never been allured by them. To make a place
and name for himself was all that Napoleon Bonaparte, up to this time,
had desired.

Not only did he here, for the first time, come into a circle which
cultivated pleasure as an end; but here, for the first time, he saw the
refinements, the luxury, the delights of highly developed society.
Beautiful, graceful, and witty women he had never known before; he had
never set foot before in rooms such as these in which he found
Josephine, Mme. Tallien, and Barras. Dinners like these they offered him
were an amazement. Not only was he astonished by his surroundings, he
was intoxicated by the attention he received. That Josephine, who seemed
to him the perfect type of the _grande dame_, should invite him to her
home, write him flattering little notes when his visits were delayed,
admire his courage, listen to his impetuous talk, prophesy a great
future for him, excited his imagination and hope as nothing ever had
before. A month had not passed before he was paying her an impassioned
court. That she was six years his senior and a widow with two children;
that she had no certain income and was of another rank; that he had
nothing but his “cloak and sword” and was hardly started in his career,
though with a mother and several brothers and sisters looking to him to
see them through life—these and all other practical considerations seem
to have been thrust aside. He loved Josephine and meant to marry her.
All through the fall and winter of 1795 and 1796 he was at her side
pressing his suit.

But Josephine, though pleased by Napoleon’s devotion, and certainly
encouraging him, hesitated. Certainly marriage with the young Corsican
was a venture at which a more courageous woman than she might have
hesitated, and she, poor woman, had had enough of ventures. Every one so
far had ended in disaster—her marriage had ended in separation, her
reconciliation with her husband in his death, her property had been lost
in a revolution. All she asked of life was an opportunity to settle
Eugène and Hortense, and freedom and money enough to be gay. Could she
expect this from a marriage with Bonaparte? She herself analyzed her
feelings admirably in a letter to a friend:

  I am urged, my dear, to marry again by the advice of all my friends
  (I may almost say), by the commands of my aunt, and the prayers of
  my children. Why are you not here to help me by your advice on this
  important occasion, and to tell me whether I ought or ought not to
  consent to a union, which certainly seems calculated to relieve me
  from the discomfort of my present situation? Your friendship would
  render you clear-sighted to my interests, and a word from you would
  suffice to bring me to a decision.

  Among my visitors you have seen General Bonaparte; he is the man who
  wishes to become a father to the orphans of Alexander de Beauharnais
  and a husband to his widow.

  “Do you love him?” is naturally your first question.

  My answer is, “perhaps—No.”

  “Do you dislike him?”

  “No,” again; but the sentiments I entertain towards him are of that
  lukewarm kind which true devotees think worst of all in matters of
  religion. Now, love being a sort of religion, my feelings ought to
  be very different from what they really are. This is the point on
  which I want your advice, which would fix the wavering of my
  irresolute disposition. To come to a decision has always been too
  much for my Creole inertness, and I find it easier to obey the
  wishes of others.

  I admire the General’s courage; the extent of his information on
  every subject on which he converses; his shrewd intelligence, which
  enables him to understand the thoughts of others before they are
  expressed; but I confess I am somewhat fearful of that control which
  he seems anxious to exercise over all about him. There is something
  in his scrutinizing glance that cannot be described; it awes even
  our directors, therefore it may well be supposed to intimidate a
  woman. He talks of his passion for me with a degree of earnestness
  which renders it impossible to doubt his sincerity; yet this very
  circumstance, which you would suppose likely to please me, is
  precisely that which has withheld me from giving the consent which I
  have often been on the very point of uttering.

  My spring of life is past. Can I, then, hope to preserve for any
  length of time that ardor of affection which in the General amounts
  almost to madness? If his love should cool, as it certainly will,
  after our marriage, will he not reproach me for having prevented him
  from forming a more advantageous connection? What, then, shall I
  say? What shall I do? I may shut myself up and weep. Fine
  consolation, truly! methinks I hear you say. But unavailing as I
  know it is, weeping is, I assure you, my only consolation whenever
  my poor heart receives a wound. Write me quick, and pray scold me if
  you think me wrong. You know everything is welcome that comes from

  Barras assures me if I marry the General, he will get him appointed
  commander-in-chief of the Army of Italy. This favor, though not yet
  granted, occasions some murmuring among Bonaparte’s brother
  officers. When speaking to me yesterday on the subject, the General

  “Do they think I cannot get forward without their patronage. One day
  or other they will all be too happy if I grant them mine. I have a
  good sword by my side, which will carry me on.”

  What do you think of this self-confidence? Does it not savor of
  excessive vanity? A general of brigade to talk of patronizing the
  chiefs of the Government? It is very ridiculous! Yet I know not how
  it happens, his ambitious spirit sometimes wins upon me so far that
  I am almost tempted to believe in the practicability of any project
  he takes into his head—and who can foresee what he may attempt?

It is probable that, if it had not been for Barras, Josephine would not
have consented, for many of her friends advised against the marriage.
Barras urged it, however. He says in explanation, with the brutal
frankness for which his memoirs are distinguished, that he was “tired
and bored” with her. She, no doubt, felt that Barras’s protection was
uncertain and that it would be better for her not to offend him.

At last Barras and Bonaparte between them overcame Josephine’s
indecision, and on March 8, 1796, the marriage contract was signed.
Barras and Tallien were the two chief witnesses at the civil ceremony
which took place the next day. The religious marriage was dispensed

                              CHAPTER III


Just a week before the marriage of Napoleon with Josephine he had been
appointed general-in-chief of the Army of Italy, and two days after the
marriage he left for his command. Josephine remained in Paris, at her
home in the Rue Chantereine, a little relieved, probably, at the
departure of her tempestuous lover. Certainly she was not sufficiently
in love to be able to keep pace with the ardent letters which he sent
her from every post on his route. She read them, to be sure; even showed
them to her friends, pronouncing them _drôle_; but her answers equalled
them neither in number nor in warmth. Napoleon’s suffering and
reproaches and prayers disturbed her peace. She could not love like
this. Soon he began to beg her to come to Italy. The campaign was well
started; he was winning victories. There was no reason why she should
not join him; or come at least to Nice—to Milan. “You will come,” he
begs, “and quick. If you hesitate, if you delay, you will find me ill.
Fatigue and your absence are too much for me.... Take wings, come—come!”

But Josephine did not want to leave Paris. Particularly now when she was
reaping the first fruits of her young husband’s glory in an homage such
as she had never known, but of which there is no doubt she had dreamed
from childhood. Napoleon’s victories had driven the Parisians wild with
joy, and they asked nothing better than to adore the wife of the hero of
the campaign. Scarcely two months, in fact, had passed, after leaving
Paris before Napoleon sent back, by his brother Joseph and his aide
Junot, twenty-one flags taken from the enemy. They were received at a
public session of the Directory. Josephine was present with Mme.
Tallien, and when the two beautiful women, accompanied by Junot, left
the Luxembourg, where the presentation had taken place, there was such a
demonstration as Paris had not seen over a woman in many a day. “Look,”
they cried, “it is his wife! Isn’t she beautiful! Long live General
Bonaparte! Long live the Citizeness Bonaparte! Long live Notre Dame des

New triumphs followed, and to celebrate them there was held a grand fête
on May 29. There were balls at the Luxembourg, gala nights at the
theaters. And everywhere Josephine, the wife of the conquering general,
was queen. And yet almost every night, when she returned from opera or
ball, she found awaiting her a passionate appeal from Bonaparte to come
to Italy. Several weeks she put him off, she pleaded the hardship of the
trip, the dangers and discomforts she might have to undergo there, a
hundred excuses; and Bonaparte, in reply, only begged the more fiercely
that she come.

At last she could resist no longer, but she took no pains to conceal her
sorrow at going. “Her chagrin was extreme, when she saw there was no
longer any way of escaping,” Arnault says, “she thought more of what she
was going to leave than what she was going to find. She would have given
the palace at Milan which had been prepared for her, she would have
given all the palaces of the world, for her house in the Rue
Chantereine.... She started for Italy from the Luxembourg, where she had
supped with some friends. Poor woman, she burst into tears and sobbed as
if she was going to punishment—she who was going to reign.”

It was the end of June before Josephine arrived in Milan. The palace
which awaited her was the princely home of the Duke de Serbelloni;—the
society the choicest of Italy. She at once found herself literally
living like a princess. Unhappily for her, however, there was no
opportunity to remain long quietly at Milan and enjoy the pleasures open
to her. Bonaparte was in active campaign—unable to stay but a couple of
days after her arrival, and he soon began to beg that she join him in
the field. At the end of July, she did go to Brescia, where she
experienced a series of exciting adventures. The Austrians were pressing
close on the French—closer than Napoleon realized; twice he and she
narrowly escaped capture together; once she was under fire. Finally
Bonaparte was obliged to send her, by way of Bologna and Ferrara to
Lucques, a journey that she made in safety, but in tears.

Henceforth Josephine had an excellent reason for not joining her husband
in the field. And Napoleon did not ask her to do so. All he asked now
was letters, letters, letters. “Your health and your face are never out
of my mind. I cannot be at peace until your letters are received. I wait
them impatiently. You cannot conceive my unrest.” And again, “I do not
love you at all; on the contrary, I detest you. You are a wretched,
awkward, stupid little thing. You do not write me any more at all; you
do not love your husband. You know the pleasure that your letters give
me, and yet write me not more than six lines and that by chance. What
are you doing all day long, Madame? But seriously, I am very much
disturbed, my dear, at not hearing from you. Write me four pages quickly
of those kind of things which fill my heart with pleasure.” A few days
later he writes, “No letters from you. Truly that disturbs me. I am told
you are well and that you have even been to Lake Como. I look
impatiently every day for the courier who will bring me news of you.”
And again, “I write you very often, my dear, and you write me so
rarely.” And so it went on through the entire summer and fall of 1796.
While she received at Milan the honors due the wife of a conqueror who
held the fate of states in his hands, he in the field exhausted himself
in a frenzied struggle for victory—not victory for himself, so he told
Josephine, and so for a time, perhaps, he persuaded himself; but victory
because it pleased her that he win it; honor because she set store by
it; otherwise, said he, “I should leave all to throw myself at your

All this impetuous passion wearied Josephine more and more. No response
was awakened in her heart. That she was proud of his love, there is no
doubt. She told everybody of his devotion, as well she might: it was her
passport to power. But she could not answer it in kind, and she found
excuses for her neglect in her health, which was not good at this time,
and in the social requirements of her brilliant and conspicuous
position, and frequently, too, in the fact that the life at Milan, gay
as it was, did not please her. She was homesick for Paris. “Monsieur de
Serbelloni will tell you, my dear aunt,” she wrote early in September,
“how I have been received in Italy, fêted wherever I have gone, all the
princes of Italy entertaining me, even the Grand Duke of Tuscany. Ah,
well! I would rather be a simple private individual in France; I do not
like the honors of this country, I am bored to death. It is true that my
health does much to make me sad; I am not well at all. If happiness
could bring health, I ought to be well. I have the kindest husband that
one could possibly find; I have not time to want anything; my will is
his; he is on his knees before me all day long, as if I were a divinity.
One could not have a better husband. M. de Serbelloni will tell you how
much I am loved; he writes often to my children and is very fond of



  By J. B. Isabey. (Collection of M. Edmond Taigny.) This portrait in
    crayon, lightly touched with color, was executed at Malmaison,
    probably in the course of the year 1798. It is very little known.
    Isabey, whose pencil was quick and sure, must have requested
    Josephine to pose for a few minutes after a walk in the park. This
    sketch was given to M. Taigny by Isabey himself.—A. D.]

Not only did Josephine neglect to write to this “best husband in the
world”, as she herself called Bonaparte, but she spent many hours at
Milan in conspicuous flirtations with young officers who were glad
enough to pay her court. Vague rumors of these flirtations came to
Napoleon’s ears, no doubt, though it is certain he thought little of
them. There are references in his letters which might be attributed to
jealousy, but it is clear that his confidence in Josephine at this time
was such that a denial from her, an aggrieved look, a tear of reproach,
made him sue for pardon and forget his fears.

Aside from her carelessness about writing to him, the gravest complaint
that he had against her was her willingness to receive valuable gifts.
The treasures of Italy were open to the French, and Bonaparte was
sending quantities of rare art objects to Paris; but he declared it
highly improper that any of these things or any private gifts should go
to him or his suite. Josephine, however, had no scruples about gifts,
and accepted gladly the jewels, pictures, and _bibelots_ which were sent
her. More than one scene resulted from this indiscretion, but it always
ended in her keeping the treasure. She learned before she had been long
in Italy not to tell the General what had been given her, or if he
accused her of receiving gifts, to deny it.

But unhappy as Josephine made Bonaparte in his absence by her neglect
and her flirtations, she more than compensated for it by her amiability
when he returned. He had reason soon, too, to see that by her tact she
did much to help his cause in Italy. She was the embodiment of grace and
cheerfulness, she was familiar with the ways of good society, she had
tact with the republican element of the country, which prided itself on
its ideals and patriotism, and she appeased the nobles, who felt that
she was one of them. Napoleon had reason to say of Josephine’s influence
in Italy what he said later of her influence in Paris—that without it,
he could never have accomplished what he did. Her value in his plans was
particularly evident in the spring and summer of 1797, which they passed
together, partly at the palace of Serbelloni and partly at the chateau
of Montebello. Their life at this time was rather that of two crowned
heads than that of a general of an army and his wife. They lived in the
greatest state, protected by strict etiquette and surrounded by the
officers of the army of Italy and representatives from Austria and the
Italian states. Audiences with the General were daily sought by the
greatest men of Italy. In all this pageant of power Josephine moved as
naturally and easily as if she had been born to it. On every side she
won friends; no one came to the chateau who did not go away to praise
her good taste, her simplicity, her anxiety to please. She never
interfered in politics either, they said, though she was ever willing to
help a friend in securing the General’s favor; and all this praise was
deserved. Josephine’s good will was born of a kind heart. It was not
merely the complacency of indolence; she had no malice, she felt kindly
toward the whole world, she had all her life been willing to exhaust
every resource in her power for her friends. She was willing to do so
now, and she remained of this disposition to the end of her life. Such a
character makes a man or woman loved in any age, in any society,
whatever his faults. It made Josephine loved particularly in her age and
her society, where genuine kindness was rare and where her peculiar
faults—vices, perhaps one should say—were readily overlooked,
particularly if they were handled discreetly.

The fall of 1797, Napoleon passed in negotiations with Austria. For a
time Josephine was with him. Then restless and eager to see Italy, she
left him in October and went to Venice, where a splendid reception was
given her. From there she travelled as her fancy dictated in Northern
Italy. Everywhere she went she was received royally, and loaded with
gifts. She did not reach Paris until the first of January, 1798, nearly
a month after Napoleon.

She came back to find her husband the most talked of man in Europe. She
found, too, that her return was eagerly looked for because the General
absolutely refused to be lionized—even to appear at public functions,
without her. Her coming was thus the signal for a round of gaieties,
where, it must be confessed, Bonaparte played rather the part of a bear.
He would not leave Josephine’s side; he wanted to talk with her alone,
and he openly declared that he would rather stay at home with her than
go to the most brilliant reception Paris could offer. “I love my wife,”
he said seriously to those who chaffed him or remonstrated. With all his
dreams of ambition, it is certain that she filled his life as completely
now as she had nearly two years before, when he married her. As for
Josephine herself, she seems to have been completely satisfied now that
she was in Paris. She was the centre of an admiring circle; she was
loaded daily with presents, not only from cities and statesmen, but from
shop-keepers and manufacturers, eager to have her approval, to use her
name. Not since her marriage had she been so contented.

This satisfactory state of affairs was interrupted in May, when
Bonaparte sailed for Egypt. Josephine went to Toulon to see him off,
promising that she would soon follow him, and then retired to the
springs at Plombières for a season. It was fall before she returned to
Paris. When she did return, it was to plunge into a round of frivolity
and extravagance. The most conspicuous of her indiscretions was the
attentions she accepted from a young man—Hippolyte Charles—a former
adjutant to one of Napoleon’s generals. She had known him before she
went to Italy; indeed he had been in her party when she left for Milan
in 1796. At Milan he had paid her so assiduous court and had been so
encouraged that the news came to Napoleon’s ears, and Charles was
suddenly dismissed from the service. He had found a place in
Paris—through Josephine’s influence, the gossips said. At all events,
this young man reappeared now that Bonaparte was in Egypt, and became a
constant visitor at her house; and when, the summer following, she
bought Malmaison and took possession, Charles was her first guest. “You
had better get a divorce from Bonaparte and marry Charles,” some of her
plain-speaking friends told her.

When people as little scrupulous as Josephine herself reproved her, it
can be imagined what the effect would be on the Bonaparte family, most
of whom were now established in or near Paris. They had never cared for
Josephine, and never had had much to do with her. Lucien and Joseph were
the only members of the family who had seen her before her marriage to
Napoleon, and to all of them the marriage came as a shock, Bonaparte not
having announced it even to his mother. They looked upon her as an
interloper—one who might deprive them of some of the rewards of
Bonaparte’s genius: these rewards the entire family seem to have felt
from the first belonged to them and to them alone. No one of them had
had, until this winter, much opportunity to study Josephine. They were
irritated to find her so evidently a woman of higher rank than
themselves; they were disgusted at her extravagance and indiscretion.
Josephine, on her side, took little trouble to win them. After all, they
were only Corsicans, and not amusing like Napoleon. No doubt, she felt a
little towards them as Alexander de Beauharnais had felt towards her
when she first arrived in Paris—an untrained little islander, the
province speaking in every gesture. To Josephine’s credit, let it be
said, she never was guilty of trying to undermine the place of his
family in her husband’s affections; she never opposed their advancement;
she always, to the best of her ability, aided Napoleon in any plans he
had for them. It is much more than can be said of the Bonapartes’
attitude towards the Beauharnais.

Shocking to the Bonapartes as were Josephine’s flirtations, they looked
on her extravagance with even more horror. To Madame Bonaparte,
especially, it was an unforgivable sin; and, in fact, extravagance could
scarcely have gone farther. Bonaparte was not rich. Indeed he prided
himself on having returned from Italy poor. But he had left a fair
income in his brother Joseph’s hands—a part of which was to go to
Josephine. She, in utter disregard of the amount of this income, lived
in luxury, entertaining royally, and buying prodigally everything that
pleased her fancy. To meet her pressing demands, she borrowed right and
left. Finally, in the summer of 1799, she purchased Malmaison, a country
seat at which she and Napoleon had looked before he left for Egypt. The
purchasing price was about $50,000, and she had to borrow $3,000 for the
advance payment. She went immediately to the place, running in debt for
repairs and furnishings.

Joseph Bonaparte was deeply disgusted by Josephine’s reckless
expenditures, and it was only with the greatest difficulty that she was
able to get any money from him. He was the more disobliging because he
and other members of the family believed that they now had proofs which
surely would convince Napoleon that Josephine was faithless and would
cause him to secure a divorce as soon as he returned from Italy. And,
indeed their cause had already advanced in Egypt far beyond their
knowledge. Joseph had, before Napoleon’s sailing, put such suspicions of
Josephine’s infidelity into his mind and referred him to such members of
his own staff for proof, that the General once at sea had investigated
the matter and become convinced of the truth of the charges. The
revelation caused him weeks of gloom. There was nothing left to live
for, he wrote Joseph. At twenty-nine he was disillusioned. Honors
wearied him, glory was colorless, sentiment dead, men without interest.
He should return to France and retire to the country. But he could not
abandon his post at once, and as the weeks went on recklessness
succeeded to gloom. If his wife was faithless, why should he be
faithful? From that time Josephine’s exclusive sway was broken. The man
who had for her sake spurned all women rode openly through the streets
of Cairo with a pretty little madame whose husband had been sent
suddenly to France. The glory of love was gone forever for Bonaparte,
and poor Josephine had lost the rarest jewel of her life. Perhaps the
saddest of it all was that she had never realized what she possessed,
never knew her loss.

How much Josephine knew of her husband’s change of feeling towards her
is uncertain. There is a letter in existence purporting to be hers,
written at this time in answer to accusations which Napoleon had made
from Egypt, in which she repels the charges with virtuous indignation
and attributes them to her enemies, presumably the Bonapartes:—

  It is impossible, General (she writes), that the letter I have just
  received comes from you? I can scarcely credit it when I compare
  that letter with others now before me, to which your love imparts so
  many charms! My eyes, indeed, would persuade me that your hand
  traced these lines; but my heart refuses to believe that a letter
  from you could ever have caused the mortal anguish I experience on
  perusing these expressions of your displeasure, which afflict me the
  more when I consider how much pain they must have cost you.

  I know not what I have done to provoke some malignant enemy to
  destroy my peace by disturbing yours; but certainly a powerful
  motive must influence some one in continually renewing calumnies
  against me, and giving them a sufficient appearance of probability
  to impose on the man who has hitherto judged me worthy of his
  affection and confidence. These two sentiments are necessary to my
  happiness, and if they are to be so soon withdrawn from me, I can
  only regret that I was ever blest in possessing them or knowing

  Instead of listening to traducers, who, for reasons which I cannot
  explain, seek to disturb our happiness, why do you not silence them
  by enumerating the benefits you have bestowed on a woman whose heart
  could never be reproached with ingratitude? The knowledge of what
  you have done for my children would check the malignity of these
  calumniators, for they would then see that the strongest link of my
  attachment for you depends on my character as a mother. Your
  subsequent conduct, which has claimed the admiration of all Europe,
  could have no other effect than to make me adore the husband who
  gave me his hand when I was poor and unfortunate. Every step you
  take adds to the glory of the name I bear; yet this is the moment
  that has been selected for persuading you that I no longer love you!
  Surely nothing can be more wicked and absurd than the conduct of
  those who are about you, and are jealous of your marked superiority!

  Yes, I still love you, and no less tenderly than ever. Those who
  allege the contrary know that they speak falsely. To those very
  persons I have frequently written to enquire about you and to
  recommend them to console you by their friendship for the absence of
  her who is your best and truest friend.

  Yet what has been the conduct of the men in whom you repose
  confidence, and on whose testimony you form so unjust an opinion of
  me? They conceal from you every circumstance calculated to alleviate
  the anguish of our separation, and they seek to fill your mind with
  suspicion in order to drive you from a country with which they are
  dissatisfied. Their object is to make you unhappy. I see this
  plainly, though you are blind to their perfidious intentions. Being
  no longer their equal, you have become their enemy, and every one of
  your victories is a fresh ground of envy and hatred.

  I know their intrigues, and I disdain to avenge myself by naming the
  men whom I despise, but whose valor and talents may be useful to you
  in the great enterprise which you have so propitiously commenced.
  When you return, I will unmask these enemies of your glory—but no;
  the happiness of seeing you again will banish from my recollection
  the misery they are endeavoring to inflict upon me, and I shall
  think only of what they have done to promote the success of your

  I acknowledge that I see a great deal of company; for every one is
  eager to compliment me on your success, and I confess I have not
  resolution to close my door against those who speak of you. I also
  confess that a great portion of my visitors are gentlemen. Men
  understand your bold projects better than women, and they speak with
  enthusiasm of your glorious achievements, while my female friends
  only complain of you for having carried away their husbands,
  brothers or fathers. I take no pleasure in their society if they do
  not praise you; yet there are some among them whose hearts and
  understandings claim my highest regard because they entertain
  sincere friendship for you. In this number I may distinguish
  Mesdames d’Aiguillon, Tallien, and my aunt. They are almost
  constantly with me, and they can tell you, ungrateful as you are,
  whether _I have been coquetting with everybody_. These are your
  words, and they would be hateful to me were I not certain that you
  have disavowed them and are sorry for having written them....

  I sometimes receive honors here which cause me no small degree of
  embarrassment. I am not accustomed to this sort of homage, and I see
  it is displeasing to our authorities, who are always suspicious and
  fearful of losing their newly-gotten power. Never mind them, you
  will say; and I should not, but that I know they will try to injure
  you, and I cannot endure the thought of contributing in any way to
  those feelings of enmity which your triumphs sufficiently account
  for. If they are envious now, what will they be when you return
  crowned with fresh laurels? Heavens knows to what lengths their
  malignity will then carry them! But you will be here, and then
  nothing can vex me....

  For my part, my time is occupied in writing to you, hearing your
  praises, reading the journals, in which your name appears in every
  page, thinking of you, looking forward to the time when I may see
  you hourly, complaining of your absence, and longing for your
  return; and when my task is ended, I begin it over again. Are all
  these proofs of indifference? You will never have any others from
  me, and if I receive no worse from you, I shall have no great reason
  to complain, in spite of the ill-natured stories I hear about _a
  certain lady_ in whom you are said to take a lively interest. But
  why should I doubt you? You assure me that you love me, and, judging
  of your heart by my own, I believe you.

Josephine seems not to have doubted her power to propitiate Napoleon on
his return. She did not count, however, on his brothers seeing him
before she did; but so it turned out. Bonaparte, with an eye to effect,
landed unexpectedly in France on October 6, 1799. The Bonaparte
brothers, as soon as they heard of his arrival, hurried southward
without notifying Josephine, whose first knowledge of his coming was
while she was dining out on October 10. She immediately started to meet
him, but took the wrong route. Returning to Paris alone, she found that
her husband had reached home twelve hours ahead of her.

Hastening to the little house in the rue de la Victoire,—a street that
had latterly changed its name in honor of him; and the house in which
she had first received him, which he had bought subsequently because of
its associations, and which he had declared, after his disillusion in
Egypt, that he should always keep,—Josephine found Napoleon locked in
his room. Joseph and Lucien had improved their opportunity, and wrung
from him a promise to see his wife no more—to secure a divorce. Throwing
herself on her knees before the door, Josephine wept and begged for
hours, until the door opened; and then, aided by Hortense and Eugène,
she sued for pardon. The power she still had over the man was too great
for him to resist long. The next morning, when the Bonaparte brothers
called, they found a reconciled household.

How complete the reconciliation was they realized when they saw Napoleon
paying the $200,000 and more due at Malmaison and settling the debts to
servants, merchants, jewelers, caterers, florists, liverymen, everybody,
in fact, which Josephine had contracted right and left in his absence.
Not only did he pay her obligations with little more than a grimace, but
he entered heartily into her plans for repairing and beautifying their
new home. The two appeared constantly together in public, where their
evident happiness coming so close upon the rumors of a divorce, caused
endless gossip.

                               CHAPTER IV

                        PERSONAL CHARM—MALMAISON

Josephine realized fully that if her victory over her brothers-in-law
was complete, it could endure only during her own good behavior—that, if
she ever again gave them reason for complaining of her conduct, she
probably would have to suffer the full penalty of her wrongdoing. She
must have realized, too, that the supreme power she had once exercised
over Napoleon was at an end, that he could get along very well without
her. The absorbing passion of the Italian campaign had become the
comfortable, unexacting affection which would have been so welcome to
her in 1796. The change, if more peaceable, brought its dangers, she
well knew. It meant that if she kept him now, she not only must be
irreproachable in her life, but she must foster his affection by her
devotion, amuse him, stand by him in his ambition; she must be the
suitor now. There was no question in her mind that he was worth it. If
there ever had been, the wonderful enthusiasm of the people on his
return from Egypt would have dissipated the doubt. Her course was
evident, and she adopted it immediately, and applied herself to it with
more seriousness than she ever had given to anything before in her life.
Indeed, the only serious purpose consistently followed which is to be
found in Josephine’s life is the resolve taken after the Egyptian
campaign, unconsciously, no doubt, to keep what remained to her of
Napoleon’s affection, to make herself necessary to him.

An opportunity to show him how useful she might be in his career came
very soon. The _coup d’état_ of the 18th and 19th Brumaire (9th and 10th
November, 1799) resulted in Napoleon’s being made First Consul in the
new government which took the place of the Directory. The Bonapartes
went at once to the Luxembourg Palace to live, and remained there until
February, when the Tuileries was made the Government House. As the First
Lady of the Land, Josephine was in a position where she could be an
infinite harm or help to her husband. Any flippancy, self-will, or
malice in managing the crowds of people she saw from day to day would
have been fatal both to her and to Napoleon. The tact she showed from
the first in playing the hostess of France was exquisite. That a woman
who for thirty-seven years had been the plaything of fate, who had shown
no moral principle or high purpose in meeting the crises of her life,
whose chief aim had always been pleasure, and whose only weapons had
been her sweet temper and her tears, should preside over the official
society of a newly-formed government and not only make no mistakes, but
every day knit the discordant elements of that society more close, is
one of the marvels of feminine intuition and adaptability.

No doubt but that with Josephine her perfect goodness of heart was at
the bottom of her tact. She had no malice, she much preferred to see
even her enemies happy rather than miserable, and though she might weep
and complain of their unkindness, if she had an opportunity she would do
them a favor. Her goodness impressed everybody. The most disgruntled,
after passing a few moments with the wife of the First Consul, went away
mollified, if not satisfied; and a second visit usually satisfied them.
She flattered the rough soldiers, when Napoleon, always eager to show
attention to the army, presented them to her, by her knowledge of their
deeds. She softened the suspicions of the radical Republicans by her
affectation of _sans-culottism_ and her familiarity with the members of
the Girondin and Terrorist governments. She aroused hope among the
aristocrats that she would secure them favors from the government—was
she not one of themselves? Was not her first husband a viscount and a
victim of the guillotine. She really wanted everybody to be pleased, and
by her mere amiability she came as near as a human being can to pleasing

She was wise, too, in her dealings with people. She never pretended to
know anything about politics—that was Napoleon’s business; but if she
could do them a favor, she would; and straightway she wrote a note or
took her carriage to intercede, personally, for them. If she was
refused, she explained with much pains just why it was; if she
succeeded, she was as pleased as a child. Hundreds of her little notes
soliciting favors, are to be seen in the collections in Europe. Napoleon
allowed her a free hand in this matter, for he appreciated how purely it
was good will, not any desire to mix in politics, which animated her. He
realized, too, how valuable to the First Consul it was to have some one
who always made a friend, whether she secured a favor or not.

No doubt much of Josephine’s influence was due to her personal charm.
She was never strictly a beautiful woman, but her grace was so
exquisite, her toilet so perfect, her expression so winning, that
defects were forgotten in the delight of her personality. Madame de
Remusat, in describing Josephine, says that without being beautiful, she
possessed a peculiar charm. Her features were fine and harmonious; her
expression was pleasant; her mouth, which was small, concealed skilfully
her poor teeth; her complexion, which was rather dark, was helped out by
rouge and powder; her form was perfect, her limbs being supple and
delicate, and every movement of her body was easy. “I never knew
anyone,” Mme. de Remusat writes, “to whom one could apply more
appropriately La Fontaine’s verse, ‘_Et la grâce, plus belle encore que
la beauté._’”

One of Josephine’s greatest charms was her voice: it was soft, well
modulated, and very musical; it always put Napoleon under a peculiar
spell. She was an excellent reader, and seemed never to tire of reading
aloud. In the intimacy of their apartments she spent much time reading
aloud to Napoleon, and often, when he was sleepless after a hard day,
she would sit by his bed with a book until he fell asleep. Many of those
who heard her read have said that the charm of her voice was such that
one forgot entirely what she was saying and listened simply to the music
of the sound.

Constant says, in describing Josephine: “She was of medium height and of
a rarely perfect form; her movements were supple and light, making her
walk something fairylike, without preventing a certain majesty becoming
to a sovereign; her face changed with every thought of her soul, and
never lost its charming sweetness; in pleasure as in sorrow she was
always beautiful to look upon. There never was a woman who demonstrated
better than she that ‘the eyes are the mirror of the soul;’ hers were of
a deep blue, and almost always half closed by her long lids, which were
slightly arched and bordered with the most beautiful lashes in the
world. Her hair was very beautiful, long and soft; she liked to dress it
in the morning with a red Madras handkerchief, which gave her a Creole
air, most piquant to see.”



  By Prud’hon. This charming portrait, which is one of Prud’hon’s most
    successful works, and also one of the most graceful and faithful
    likenesses of Josephine, was doubtless executed at the same time as
    Isabey’s picture of Napoleon wandering, a solitary dreamer, in the
    long alleys at Malmaison (1798). (See page 88.) Prud’hon shows us
    Josephine in the garden of the château she loved so well, and in
    which she spent the happiest moments of her life, before seeking it
    as a final refuge in her grief and despair. The empress presents a
    full-length portrait, turned to the left; she is seated on a stone
    bench amid the groves of the park, in an attitude of reverie, and
    wears a white _décolletté_ robe embroidered in gold. A crimson shawl
    is draped round her.—A. D.]

Josephine showed her wisdom, from the beginning of the Consulate, in
yielding to Napoleon’s wishes about whom she should receive. The First
Consul’s notions of official society were severe and well-matured.
Nobody should be admitted that did not support his government. At least,
if they criticised, they must do so quietly. The army must be honored
there before all. The Republicans must be made to feel, of course, that
this was their society. The aristocrats must be encouraged just as far
as it could be done without giving the people alarm. A fusion of all
elements was really what he aimed at, but nobody dared mention that
fact. Josephine’s intuition seems to have guided her almost unerringly
through the difficult task of giving just the right amount of
encouragement and attention to each.

Above all, in this new society there must be no irregularities, no
scandals. The government must be respectable. There should be no
speculators, no contractors, no fakirs, no persons of immorality of any
sort; only honest people, and they must behave. Order, decency, and
dignity were to prevail in the Consulate. No more impromptu suppers for
Josephine, no more dinners with Barras and Mme. Tallien and their like,
no more moonlight walks in the garden at Malmaison. _La vie Bohème_ was
ended, and she was wise enough to accept the situation and make the most
of it.

For nearly two years the entertainments over which Josephine presided as
wife of the First Consul were very simple. There were balls and parades
and fêtes, but they were conducted like such functions in a great
private house, where there is only the necessary etiquette to insure
order and comfort. It was a republican court which was held at the
Tuileries and at Malmaison—for the country home of the Bonapartes had
come to be almost an official residence, so much of their time was spent
there and so many were the visitors who came there. The place was a
great delight to Josephine. She was having the chateau rebuilt and the
gardens laid out over again, and she was indulging her caprices fully in
doing it. She must have a new dining-room, large enough to seat a great
diplomatic dinner party, if necessary. There must be a new billiard
room, a new library, new private apartments, more room for guests and
servants, more stable room. But to build over an old house in this
elaborate way was no easy task, particularly when the proprietor
enlarged and changed his plans each month. The architects warned
Bonaparte that it would be cheaper to pull down the old chateau than to
rebuild, but the work was under way, and it must go on. A year and a
half after the repairs began, and before anything was completed, the
bills were sent in—$120,000 had already been spent. “For what?” demanded
the enraged First Consul. Protest as he would the work had to continue.
For years Malmaison was a constant expense—for Josephine, never
satisfied, was always enlarging and changing. In the end, the chateau
was nearly double its original size, but its exterior never had any real
distinction. The interior, however, was most interesting from the great
number of rare and beautiful art objects which it contained and which,
for the most part, Josephine had either received as gifts or had brought
from Italy. There was a wonderful mantel of white marble, ornamented
with mosaic, given to her by the Pope, and there were vases of Berlin
from the King of Prussia. There were rare specimens of the ancient and
modern works of all the Italian painters, sculptors, potters, metal
workers, and there were pictures by all the great French artists of the
day, among them many portraits of Napoleon—in Egypt, in Italy, crossing
the Alps.

Josephine took even more interest in the park and gardens at Malmaison
than in the chateau. She was passionately fond of flowers, and
immediately undertook to cultivate at Malmaison a garden of rare plants,
similar to that which Marie Antoinette had started at the Petit Trianon.
This soon became, at the suggestion of the professional botanists she
called in to assist her in collecting her plants, a veritable Botanical
Garden. She gathered from the world over, and her fancy becoming known,
ambassadors, merchants, and travellers, foreign and French, exerted
themselves to please her. In the end, thanks to the skilful gardeners
she secured, her plants became of large public value and interest.
Masson says that between 1804 and 1814, 184 new species of plants found
their way into the country through Josephine’s garden. The eucalyptus,
hybiscus, catalpa, and camelia were first cultivated by her, not to
speak of many varieties of heather, myrtle, geranium, cactus, and

When she first owned Malmaison, the land was in park or in vines, and
there were some long avenues of fine trees. There was none of the
complicated English gardening which was then in fashion. Josephine would
have nothing else. So the fine allées and lawns were destroyed, and
groups of shrubs, long rows of hedges, a brook, lakes, winding paths, a
Swiss village, a temple of love, grottoes, a cascade, an endless variety
of artificial and sentimental devices, took their place. To decorate
this park of Malmaison to Josephine’s liking, the government turned over
to her dozens of bronze and marble busts, vases, columns, and statues,
some of them of great value.

One curious and amusing feature of the park was the animals it
contained. Josephine was as fond of pets as of flowers. She always had
one or more dogs from which she was never separated—not even Napoleon
could make her give them up, much as he detested them. At Malmaison, she
gave free rein to her liking. Birds were her chief delight, and she
bought scores. In three years her bill for birds from one dealer was
over $4,500. The lakes were filled with swans, black and white, and
ducks from America and China; in the parks were kangaroos, deer,
gazelles, a chamois; there were monkeys everywhere; and there were no
end of trained pets of all kinds—usually gifts. None of these animals
were of any practical use; to be sure there was a flock of valuable
sheep, but these were kept merely as a decoration to a certain field,
the shepherds who guarded them having been brought in their native
costumes from Switzerland.



Josephine’s interest in her garden and flowers and animals was beyond
that of the mere prodigal who buys for the sake of buying and loses his
interest in possessing. One of the delights of her life at Malmaison was
visiting daily her animals, in each of which she took the liveliest
interest. Her flowers she watched carefully, and she took great delight
in distributing them. Many gardens in France to-day contain plants and
trees which are said to be grown from cuttings sent to some
dead-and-gone ancestor by Josephine.

During the first two years of the Consulate, in spite of all the changes
going on, Malmaison was the source of much brilliant life. Here when the
news of Marengo reached Paris, Josephine had tents spread, and gave a
great fête in honor of the victory; here gathered all the artists and
writers and musicians of the day; here eminent travellers came. There
was great simplicity in all entertaining, and when only the private
circle of the Consul was present, there was much went on which looked
like romping, Bonaparte and Josephine leading in the games.

The favorite amusement was private theatricals. Bonaparte was very fond
of the drama, had studied it carefully for many years, and he gave much
attention to the performances at Malmaison. The little company there was
very good, Hortense de Beauharnais and Bourrienne, Bonaparte’s
secretary, being actors of more than ordinary ability. Something of the
care that was given to the preparation of an entertainment is indicated
by the fact that Talma himself used to come to the rehearsals to
criticise. Theatricals took such a place in the life at Malmaison that
finally a little theatre was built. It would seat perhaps 200 persons,
and was connected with the salons of the chateau by a long gallery.

At the Tuileries, the Bonapartes were in a Government House; at
Malmaison they were at home, and they never anywhere were so gay, so
busy, and so happy together. Certainly in these two years Josephine
succeeded admirably in her purpose of repairing the mischief she had
done by her past indiscretions. It was not alone her tact in society and
its value to him which had won Napoleon. It was that she had been to him
an incessant delight and comfort. She yielded to his will
unquestioningly and willingly, and this pliability was the more welcome
because his own family were in incessant opposition to his wishes. She
was always on hand, ready to walk, to drive, to go with him where he
would. She was tireless in her efforts to please the people he wanted
pleased, to carry off successfully the burdensome functions of official
life, to provide the entertainment he liked. She studied his tastes and
foresaw his wants. She tried to please him in the least detail. Napoleon
loved to see her in white, hence she wore no other kind of gown so
often. He liked to hear her read, and no matter how tired she was she
would sit at his bedside by the hour, if he wished, and read
uncomplainingly. Little wonder that as the weeks went Josephine grew
dearer and dearer to Napoleon or that she, seeing her hold, watched
carefully that nothing loosen it.

                               CHAPTER V

                      FRENCH PEOPLE—THE CORONATION

The first real threat to Josephine’s position came in a political
question. In order to give an appearance of stability to the new
government, it was proposed to give the First Consul the right to
appoint a successor. But if Napoleon had this right, would he not wish
for a son upon whom to confer it, would he not desire to establish a
hereditary office? Josephine had given him no children. He was only
thirty-one; might he not, in spite of all his affection, divorce her for
the sake of this succession, which, he declared, was essential to the
future of the Consulate. Josephine turned all her power of cajoling upon
Napoleon. “Do not make yourself king,” she begged; and when he laughed
at her, and told her that securing to himself the right to appoint a
successor in the Consulate was nothing of that sort—only a device to
prevent the overthrow of the government in case of his absence at the
head of the army, or in case of his sudden death, she was not convinced.
She began, indeed, to talk of the advisability of bringing back the
Bourbons, and called herself a royalist.

Napoleon’s decision was taken, however. He must appoint a successor, and
it should be one of his own family. But which one? Joseph had no head
for affairs. With Lucien he had quarreled. But there was Louis, who had
none of his brothers’ faults and all of their good qualities. Louis it
should be. The knowledge that Napoleon undoubtedly favored Louis as his
successor determined Josephine to arrange a marriage between him and her
daughter Hortense.

At this time, 1800, Hortense was seventeen years old, though the
exceptional experiences of her childhood had given her a thoughtfulness
quite superior to her years. She had been but ten when her mother, lest
a suspicion of her patriotism might be roused because she brought up her
children in idleness, had apprenticed her to a dressmaker. She was but
eleven years old when her parents were imprisoned, and when in the
costumes of laborers’ children she and Eugène had made frequent visits
to les Carmes and had gone together more than once to beg of persons in
authority for the lives of their father and mother. After the
Revolution, Hortense had been placed in Mme. Campan’s school at St.
Germain—a school established to give the young girls of the better class
whose parents had been scattered or guillotined in the Revolution, an
opportunity to learn the ways and the graces of that society which for
so long the patriots had been trying to uproot. At Mme. Campan’s,
Hortense had distinguished herself by her gentleness and her goodness,
by the quickness with which she learned everything taught, and by her
enthusiasm and ideals. She had left the school a thoroughly charming and
accomplished girl, to join her mother, now the wife of the First Consul.
She had all of Josephine’s charms of person, her grace and suppleness,
her beautiful form, her interesting and mobile face; but she was more
vivacious than Josephine and more intelligent. As for her
accomplishments, they were many. She played the piano and the harp, and
sang well. Her drawing and embroidery were not bad, as many specimens
still preserved show. She danced with exquisite grace; she, even at this
time, had literary aspirations, and she was the star of the company
which put on so many pieces at the little theatre at Malmaison.

Hortense was a favorite of Napoleon. He had loved her first because she
was Josephine’s daughter. After she left school and was constantly of
the household, he grew more and more attached to her, more and more
anxious for her happiness. Hortense, though she never ceased to fear
Napoleon, loved him with the enthusiasm of a young girl for a conquering
hero. She seems never to have questioned his will—never to have doubted
his affection for her.

Hortense’s marriage was, of course, an important question with the
Bonapartes, and various suitors had been considered. The girl herself
was not ambitious. Neither wealth nor station obscured her judgment. She
wanted to marry for love, she declared. At one time she had a strong
feeling for Duroc, and Napoleon favored the marriage strongly. Duroc was
of good family and a brave soldier, and Hortense loved him; what better?
Josephine opposed it. She had set her heart on Louis Bonaparte, in spite
of the fact that Hortense felt something like an antipathy to the young
man. Louis himself did not take to the marriage at first. He had imbibed
from his mother and brothers the idea that the Beauharnais were the
natural enemies of the Bonapartes, and a marriage with Hortense they all
declared, would be disloyal. However, in September, 1801, when Louis
returned to Paris after several months absence and saw Hortense at a
ball, he was so impressed by her charm that he yielded at once to
Josephine’s wishes, and asked for her hand. Napoleon consented with a
little regret; Hortense obeyed as a matter of duty, urged to it as she
was both by her mother and Mme. Campan. The marriage took place early in
January, 1802. It was a victory for Josephine over the Bonapartes, so
her friends said, and so the Bonapartes felt bitterly. But, alas, it was
a victory for which Hortense paid the price. Before the end of the year,
it was evident that Mme. Louis Bonaparte was very unhappy; her husband
was jealous and exacting, and constantly tried to turn her against her
mother in the family feud. Not even the birth of a son, in October,
silenced his grievances for long, though to Napoleon and to Josephine
the coming of the little Napoleon-Charles, as he was named, was an
inexpressible joy. To Josephine the child was a new support to her
position, a new reason why a succession could be established without
divorcing her and re-marrying. It was a succession through her, too,
since this was her daughter’s child.

Napoleon himself soon became more devoted to the child than its father
ever was. In a way, his own ardent desire for fatherhood was satisfied
by the presence of the baby, which he kept by him as much as he could,
riding it on his back, trotting it on his foot, rolling with it on the
floor, lying beside it at night until it slept—a touching proof of this
extraordinary man’s passion to possess a love which was faithful and
disinterested. As time went on and the question of the succession came
into the senate, the struggle between the brothers as to how the
heredity should be regulated reached its climax. Napoleon determined to
adopt Hortense’s child and make him his heir. Joseph, Lucien, and Louis
himself refused to resign what they called their rights, and each had
important supporters in his position. Lucien, in the struggle, broke
entirely with Napoleon.

But if the succession was to be settled to Josephine’s satisfaction,
there were other matters which worried her at the beginning of the life
Consulate. Chief among these was that Napoleon insisted upon leaving
Malmaison for St. Cloud. Josephine’s interest in the former place was so
great, her life there had been so happy, that she was violently opposed
to any change. St. Cloud was too large; it smacked too much of royalty,
the idea of which was awaking such vague alarms in her mind; its
associations were too sad. But her opposition availed nothing whatever.
Bonaparte felt that a larger residence was necessary. Malmaison was a
private home, St. Cloud belonged to the State, and he, as the head of
the State, wished to occupy its palaces. They had no sooner taken St.
Cloud than their whole mode of life changed; the simple, informal ways
of Malmaison were laid aside, and a rigid etiquette adopted. There is a
governor of the palace, there are prefects of the palace, there are
ladies of the palace. Josephine and Napoleon no longer receive everybody
of the household at their table, but eat alone, inviting, two or three
times a week, those persons whom they may care particularly to
distinguish. The ladies and gentlemen belonging to the palace have
tables of their own quite apart. There is a military household annexed
to St. Cloud, with four generals and a large guard, an elaborate suite
which accompanies the First Consul when he goes forth. Every Sunday, a
great crowd of dignitaries—senators, cardinals, bishops, ambassadors,
everybody of note in Paris—flock to the First Consul’s receptions. After
paying their respects to him, they pass into the apartment of Madame
Bonaparte. It is the former apartment of Marie Antoinette, and that
Queen herself did not receive in more state than the wife of the First
Consul. It is the same at the services in the chapel, which are held
every Sunday, and which Bonaparte insists everybody shall attend. At the
theatre of the palace, where the little plays which they so much enjoyed
at Malmaison are still repeated, there is the same increase of
etiquette. Josephine and Bonaparte no longer are seated with their
friends, but occupy a loge apart; and when they enter, the whole
assembly rises and salutes. People are there by invitation, too, and no
one pretends to applaud unless the signal is given by the First Consul.

Day by day Josephine bemoaned this new departure; and as hostile
criticisms and sneers reached her, she set her face against the changes.
Her protests were useless: “Josephine, you are tiresome—you know nothing
about these things,” Napoleon finally told her, and Fouché, her friend,
finally silenced her by his cynical advice. “Be quiet, Madame; you annoy
your husband uselessly. He will be Consul for life, King or Emperor, all
that he can be. Your fears disturb him; your advice would wound him.
Keep your proper place, and let the events which neither you nor I know
how to prevent work out.”

She did accept, and took her part. If it was true that Napoleon was
going to make himself Emperor, she must, before all, so conduct herself
that he would prefer her on the throne at his side to all the world. As
the weeks went on and it became evident that an Empire would soon be
proclaimed, Josephine had increasing need of discretion. The Bonaparte
family had set themselves again to prevent the succession going to a
Beauharnais. Josephine should be divorced, they said; Eugène, to whom
Napoleon was greatly attached, should be sent off with his mother. As
for his adopting little Napoleon-Charles, the child of Hortense, neither
Joseph nor Louis, the father, would hear to it. “Why should I give up to
my son a part of your succession?” said Louis to his brother. “What have
I done that I should be disinherited? What will be my place when this
child has become yours and finds himself in a position far superior to
mine, independent of me, outranking me, looking upon me with suspicion
and perhaps with contempt? No, I will never consent to it, and rather
than consent to bow my head before my son I will leave France; I will
take Napoleon away with me, and we will see if you will dare to steal a
child from his father.”

Napoleon’s sisters, particularly Caroline, Mme. Murat, were no less
determined than the brothers to secure all the advantages possible from
his glory. In their eagerness, they showed such envy and bitterness that
Napoleon was deeply disgusted, and gave them no satisfaction as to his
intentions. He even took some pains to tease them. One day when the
family were together and he was playing with little Napoleon, he said,
“Do you know, little one, that you are in danger of being King one of
these days?”

“And Achille?” Murat exclaimed, referring to his own son.

“Oh, Achille will make a good soldier,” answered Napoleon laughing, and
when he saw the black looks of both Caroline and Murat, he added: “At
all events, my poor little one, I advise you, if you want to live, to
accept no meals that your cousins offer you.”

In spite of all the plotting and protesting of the Bonapartes, Josephine
was proclaimed Empress, and the law of succession was passed as it
pleased Napoleon:—“The French people desire the inheritance of the
Imperial dignity in the direct natural or _adoptive_ line of descent
from Napoleon Bonaparte and in the direct natural, legitimate line of
descent from Joseph Bonaparte and from Louis Bonaparte.” Napoleon was
free to adopt either Eugène or Napoleon-Charles and make him his heir.
The law mentioned neither Joseph nor Louis as heir. Josephine’s victory
in this instance was as much due to the fact that she had made no
protests about the succession and had asked nothing, as to anything
else. Her seeming confidence (as a matter of fact, she feared the worst
for herself) and her generous pleasure in the satisfaction those about
took in their new honors offered such a contrast to the jealousy and
faultfinding of the Bonapartes that Napoleon felt more and more, as he
had often said to her in family quarrels: “You are my only comfort,
Josephine.” Not only Josephine, but Hortense and Eugène showed
themselves in all this period wise and generous. The two latter
apparently felt sincerely that Napoleon did more for them than they had
a right to expect. The gratitude and disinterestedness they showed was
indeed one of the few real satisfactions of Napoleon’s life, for he
seems to have believed always that they were genuine, something he never
felt about the expressions of his own family.

Not only was the law of succession fixed to Josephine’s satisfaction;
but to her unspeakable joy, Napoleon finally told her that she was to be
crowned at the same time as he. In the new government she had no
political rights, but in this supreme ceremony she should share. Here
again it may have been as much family opposition as love for Josephine
and desire to associate her with himself in this greatest of royal
spectacles that finally led Napoleon to this decision. Just as before
the proclamation of the Empire the Bonapartes quarreled about the
succession, now they tormented the Emperor about their positions and
their privileges. “One would think,” he said testily one day to
Caroline, when she was upbraiding him for not according to his sisters
the honors due them, “that I had robbed you of the inheritance of the
late King, our father.” Joseph did not hesitate to say sarcastic things,
even in official gatherings, about the impropriety of crowning a woman
who had given her husband no successor. Napoleon stood it for some time,
and finally in a violent outburst of passion silenced him at least for
the time. The announcement that Josephine was to be crowned, and that
her sisters-in-law were to carry the train of her robe, caused still
further heart-burnings, but the fiat had gone forth and everybody
finally submitted.

However, the new court was too busy in the summer and fall of 1804 to
give overmuch time to quarreling. The mere matter of familiarizing
themselves with the new code of etiquette sufficiently well not to incur
the ridicule of those who had been brought up to court usages, was
serious enough to absorb most of their time and energies. They succeeded
fairly well, though the aristocrats of the Faubourg St. Germain told
endless tales of the blunders they made, stories which were circulated
industriously in the courts of Europe. Their failure was not for lack of
effort, however. Josephine and her ladies took up the code with
energy—it was a new amusement, and for weeks they studied their parts
and went through their rehearsals as if they were preparing a play for
the stage. Before the time of the coronation they had become fairly at
home with court usages and were ready to take up the rehearsals for that
ceremony with fresh energy.

Indeed, for a month at least, all Paris was absorbed in preparations for
the coronation. Fontainebleau was to be put in order to receive the
Pope. Notre Dame, where the ceremony was to take place, was to be
superbly decorated. Magnificent carriages and trappings for horses and
livery were to be provided. Robes and uniforms were to be made ready for
the actors. All of the decorators, jewelers, costume-makers, merchants
of all sorts in the city were busy night and day. As for the court
itself, there one heard nothing talked but the coming spectacle. Under
the direction of the Grand Master, the ceremonies had been planned down
to the most trivial detail, and everybody was busy learning and
practicing his part.



  From a pencil sketch made by David in the Cathedral of Notre Dame at
    the time of Josephine’s coronation, and presented to his son. The
    original is now in the Museum of Versailles.]

By the time the Pope arrived at Fontainebleau, on November 25,
everything was practically ready. The court had gone to Fontainebleau to
meet His Holiness, and in the few days it remained there before going to
Paris, Josephine achieved a victory which completed her happiness for
the time. No religious marriage between her and Napoleon had ever been
celebrated, and although it had been a part of Napoleon’s policy since
he came into power to restore the church, and although he had insisted
on an observation of all its ceremonies, he had always refused
Josephine’s request for a religious marriage. Now, however, she obtained
a powerful advocate—the Pope—to whom, at confession, she told her
trouble. He declared he could not officiate at the coronation unless a
religious marriage was performed. The night before the coronation,
Napoleon gave his consent, and the service was held at the Tuileries in
profound secrecy, only two witnesses being present.

December 2nd had been set for the coronation. The Tuileries, from which
the royal party was to go to Notre Dame, was astir very early, for the
Pope was to leave the palace at nine; the Emperor and Empress an hour
later. The morning was given to dressing—a long task in Josephine’s
case, but one which justified the labor and thought which had been given
to her costume. Never had she looked more beautiful than when she joined
the Emperor and her ladies. Napoleon was delighted at her appearance,
and Mme. de Remusat declared that she did not look over twenty-five.

Josephine’s coronation gown was of white satin, elaborately embroidered
in silver and gold; it hung from the shoulders, and was confined by a
girdle set with gems. A train of white velvet embroidered in gold and
silver was fastened to this gown. The neck was low and square, and the
sleeves were long. A ruff, stiff with gold, was set into the top of the
sleeves, and rose high behind her head. The narrow corsage and the top
of the sleeves were decorated with diamonds. She wore a magnificent
necklace of sculptured stones surrounded with diamonds, and on her head
was a diadem of pearls and diamonds. Her shoes were of white velvet,
embroidered in gold; on her hands she wore white gloves, embroidered in
gold. The cost of the pieces of this costume are interesting—the gown is
estimated to have cost $2,000; the velvet train, $1,400; the shoes,

The pontifical procession had been gone from the Palace over an hour
when Napoleon and Josephine, accompanied by Joseph and Louis Bonaparte,
descended, and entered the gorgeous state carriage drawn by eight horses
in rich harness. As the sides of the vehicle were entirely of glass, the
spectators could look easily upon the magnificence of the party inside.
From the Tuileries, the party proceeded slowly to the Archbishop’s
palace, along streets crowded with people and decorated with every
device which skill and money could provide. During the entire
procession, salvos of artillery at intervals greeted the Emperor. At the
palace of the Archbishop, the party entered, and here Napoleon put on
his coronation robe and Josephine finished her costume by changing her
diadem for one of amethysts and by fastening to her left shoulder a
royal mantle of red velvet, embroidered in golden bees and in the
imperial N surrounded by garlands, and bordered and lined with ermine.
This mantle fell from the shoulders, and trailed for fully two yards on
the floor.

These changes of toilet made, the cortège started—pages, _cuirassiers_
and heralds, the Grand Master of Ceremonies and his aides,—a marshal
bearing a cushion on which was placed the ring for the Empress, another
marshal carrying the crown on a cushion. Following the Empress and her
attendants, came the cortège of the Emperor; first the marshals bearing
the crown, sceptre, and sword of Charlemagne, and the ring and globe
belonging to Napoleon; then the Emperor, crowned with a wreath of gold
laurel leaves, the sceptre in one hand, and in the other a baton—emblem
of justice, his heavy royal mantle carried by several princes, a guard
of richly dressed ornamental personages following.

On entering the cathedral, both the Emperor and the Empress were
presented with holy water, and then began their slow journey up the
aisle of the cathedral to the high altar, where the service took place.
The sceptre, crown, sword, ring and globe of the Emperor were placed
upon the altar, and beside them were placed the crown, ring, and mantle
of the Empress. The Pope then anointed the Emperor’s head and hands with
oil, and the same service was used immediately after in anointing
Josephine. The mass followed, during which the Pope blessed the imperial
ornaments of both Napoleon and Josephine.

At the close of this service, the Emperor mounted the steps to the
altar, on which the imperial crown was placed, lifted it, and put it
himself on his head; then taking the crown of the Empress in his hands,
he descended the steps to the place where Josephine was kneeling. With a
gesture at once so gentle and so proud that it impressed the whole
splendid audience, he put the crown upon her head, while the Pope
pronounced the orison: “May God crown you with the crown of glory and
justice; may He give you strength and courage that, through this
benediction, and by your own faith and the multiplied fruits of your
good works, you may attain the crown of the eternal kingdom, through the
grace of Him whose reign and empire extends from age to age.”


    DECEMBER 2, 1804.]

As the last words of the prayer died away the cortège turned from the
high altar and proceeded slowly down the nave to the point where the
throne had been placed. At the top of a staircase of some twenty-nine
steps was a large platform, on which a sumptuous arm-chair, richly
decorated with embroideries and golden symbols, had been placed for
Napoleon. To the right of this seat, and one step lower, was a smaller
chair, with similar decorations, for Josephine. The Emperor and Empress
mounted the steps and seated themselves. They were followed by the Pope,
who blessed them, and then, kissing the Emperor on the cheek, turned to
the assembly, and pronounced the words, “_Vivat imperator in æternum._”
The _Te Deum_, the prayers, the reading of the Scriptures, the offering,
followed; and then, the mass finished, the oath taken, Napoleon and
Josephine descended and attended by their suites, left the cathedral,
and entered their carriage. The ceremony, from the time of leaving the
Tuileries, had taken five hours. It was three and a half hours more
before the long procession was ended and they were back again in the

That night Napoleon and Josephine dined alone, the Empress wearing her
crown, at her husband’s request, so pleased was he with the grace and
dignity with which she carried it.

                               CHAPTER VI


Consecrated by the Pope, crowned by Napoleon, Josephine’s position
seemed impregnable in the eyes of all the world. It was one of dazzling
splendor. The little creole whose youth had been spent in a sugar-house,
who had passed months in a prison cell, who many a time had borrowed
money to pay her rent, now had become the mistress, not of a palace, but
of palaces—of Fontainebleau, the Tuileries, Versailles, Rambouillet. She
who for so many years had begged favors at the doors of others, was now
the center of a great machine, called a “Household,” devoted to serving
her. There were a First Almoner, a Maid of Honor, a Lady of the
Bedchamber, numbers of Ladies of the Palace, a First Chamberlain, a
First Equery, a Private Secretary, a Chief Steward—all of them having
their respective attendants; and there were, besides these, valets,
footmen, pages, and servants of all grades. Her life, so long one of
unthinking freedom, was now regulated to the last detail. The apartments
in the palace devoted to her own uses were two—the apartment of honor
and the private apartment. Before the door of the ante-chamber of the
apartment of honor stood, day and night, a door-keeper; within were four
valets, two _huissiers_, two pages (to do errands), from twelve to
twenty-six footmen, ready to do honor to the incoming and outgoing
guests. In the salons, where visitors waited, were other decorative
footmen and pages—a retinue ten times larger than actual service
required, but none too large to the eye accustomed to court etiquette.
It was through this hedge of attendants that the supplicant, flatterer
or friend who would see Josephine now must work his way—a slow way,
often only to be made by fair address, strong relations, and judicious
gifts. Josephine by nature the most accessible of mortals, was now
obliged to turn away old friends because they did not please His
Majesty, the Emperor. That he was oftentimes quite right, the following
frank little letter of hers shows:—

“I am sorry, my dear friend, that my wishes cannot be fulfilled, as you
and my other old friends imagine they can. You seem to think that if I
do not see you it is because I have forgotten you. Alas! no, on the
contrary, my memory is more tenacious than I wish. The more I think of
what I am, the more I am mortified at not being able to obey the
dictates of my heart. The Empress of France is the veriest slave in the
Empire, and she cannot acquit the debt which Madame de Beauharnais owes.
This makes me miserable, and it will explain why you are not near me;
why I do not see Madame Tallien; why, in short, many of my former
friends would be forgotten by me, but that my memory is faithful.

“The Emperor, displeased at the prevailing laxity of morals, and anxious
to check its progress, wishes that his palace should present an example
of virtuous and religious conduct. Anxious to consolidate the religion
which he has restored, and having no power to alter laws to which he has
given his assent, he has determined to exclude from Court all persons
who have taken advantage of the law of divorce. He has given this
promise to the Pope, and he cannot break it. This reason alone has
obliged him to refuse the favor I solicited of having you about me. His
refusal afflicts me, but it is too positive to admit of any hope of its
being retracted.”

The apartment of honor was devoted to receiving, and Josephine’s
movements there were prescribed in detail. The costume she should wear,
the chair in which she should sit, the rank of the person who should be
allowed in the room when she received, who should announce, who carry a
note, who bring a glass of water, all of this was ordered and performed
precisely. In her private apartment there was greater appearance of
freedom, though it was arranged by the code at what hour she should take
her morning cup of tea and by whose hand it should be presented, who
should admit her pet dog, what should be her costume for the morning,
and who should arrange it.

When the Empress left the palace, the forms were multiplied. Attended by
her ladies of waiting, she passed over a carpet spread for her passage,
through the file of liveried servants which decorated all the
apartments. Before her marched the younger of the two pretty pages
always waiting in the outer salon, while the elder bore the train of her
robe. At the door, the magnificent _portier d’appartement_ struck the
floor with his halberd as she passed. One of the dozen carriages in her
stables drawn usually by eight horses awaited her. Before, beside, and
behind as she drove were servants in gorgeous livery, mounted or afoot;
a brilliant spectacle for the passer-by, but a wearisome one for poor

It was no better when she travelled, as she did a great deal, especially
in the first two years after the coronation. Thus in the spring of 1805,
she accompanied Napoleon to Milan, where he was to be crowned King of
Italy. The journey was a long series of brilliant functions—at Lyons, a
triumphal arch, a reception by the Empress, an entertainment at the
theater; at Turin, flattering ceremonies; on the field of Marengo, mimic
manœuvres of the battle, led by Murat, Lannes, and Bessières, and
watched by Napoleon and Josephine from a throne, and after the
manœuvres, the laying of a corner-stone to those who lost their lives on
the field; at Milan, on May 26, the coronation of Napoleon, which
Josephine watched from the gallery of the cathedral, followed by
splendid public fêtes lasting for days; a mimic representation on the
battle-field of Castiglione; visits to Bologna, Modena, Parma, Geneva,
Turin, all attended by the most extravagant festivities. This journey
lasted from April 4th to July 18th, the date of their return to St.
Cloud, and through it all Josephine was scarcely free for an hour from
the fatiguing duties of a great sovereign.

Napoleon returned to Paris from Italy to prepare for war with Austria,
and in September he set out on the campaign. Josephine went with him as
far as Strasburg, where she transferred her household to the Imperial
Palace which had been established there for Napoleon’s use. For two
months she remained at Strasburg, while Napoleon dazzled Europe by the
campaign which, on Dec. 2nd, culminated at Austerlitz. Alone she
conducted her court as she would have done in Paris, as magnificently
and as brilliantly. In November, she left Strasburg to go to Munich—a
triumphal march, really, for everywhere she received royal honors. Her
approach to every city through which she was to pass _en route_ was
announced by the ringing of bells and salvos of artillery; great
processions of dignitaries went out to meet her; arches of triumph were
erected for her; beautiful gifts were presented; there were
illuminations, balls, and state performances of all sorts. She reached
Munich on December 5th, and here remained until after January 14th, on
which day another great ceremony, her son’s marriage with Princess
Augusta of Baden, was celebrated.

From the manner of its arrangement one might have expected nothing but
misery from this alliance. The young princess was violently opposed to
it, and only consented at her father’s entreaty—“a sacrifice to father,
family and country,” she said. Eugène knew nothing of the proposed
marriage until he arrived, at Napoleon’s order, in Munich. The two young
people never saw each other until four days before the wedding.
Fortunately they fell in love at once, and their married life was one of
exceptional devotion and happiness. Napoleon was so pleased with the
course things took that he adopted Eugène at the time of the celebration
of the marriage—a great blow to the Bonapartes and a new happiness for

The fatiguing duties attendant upon official journeys in foreign
countries and upon holding a court in a strange city were repeated again
in 1806. In January, after Eugène’s marriage, Josephine came back to
Paris with the Emperor; but in September he left for the campaign
against Prussia and Russia, and she went to Mayence to establish her
court. This time the journey was not according to the code, for Napoleon
had wished the Empress to remain in Paris during his absence, and it was
only at the last moment that, overcome by her grief, he consented that
she go with him in his carriage. Only a single maid accompanied her—the
royal household not being able to start its cumbersome self for several
days. At Mayence Josephine remained until January. Hortense, now Queen
of Holland (Louis had been made King in 1806), was with her, with her
two little sons, and in many ways the court was agreeable; but Josephine
wished to join the Emperor, and it was only when he commanded her to go
to Paris, that she consented to return and open her court there.

The tact and good sense with which Josephine conducted herself in her
exacting and slavish position—the grace and patience with which she wore
her royal harness, are as pathetic as they are marvelous. To rule her
household, with all the jealousies and meannesses natural to such a
combination of women, so that there would be no scandals, and that the
members would respect and love her, was a delicate task; but she never
failed in it. She kept their love, and she kept her supremacy—even the
supremacy of beauty. There were many of the young women received by the
First Consul who were glad enough to try to outshine Josephine; but she
almost always outwitted them. An amusing example of her skill is an
encounter that occurred between her and her sister-in-law, Pauline.
Pauline, who was young, vivacious, and very pretty, always resented a
little the charm that Josephine exercised, and she took no small
pleasure in trying to outdo her. In 1803, she was married to the Prince
Borghese, at the chateau of Joseph Bonaparte, Mortefontaine. A few days
after her marriage, she appeared in Paris, where she was presented
officially at St. Cloud. It was natural enough that Pauline should
desire to outshine everybody at this presentation, but Josephine desired
particularly that she herself should not be so thrown into the shadow
that Napoleon would notice it. She did a very clever thing. Although it
was winter, she put on a light robe of white Indian muslin, the garment
which always became her best and in which Napoleon delighted to see her.
The gown was made very simply, and her only ornaments were enamelled
lion’s heads which caught up the sleeves on her shoulder and which
formed a buckle to her girdle. Her arms and neck were bare, and her hair
was done on the top of her head. She made an altogether charming
picture; and when the First Consul saw her, he said, “Why, Josephine,
what does this mean? I am jealous, you have gotten yourself up for
somebody. What makes you so beautiful to-day?” Even after they were in
the salon, his compliments continued. The Princess Borghese was a little
late in arriving. When she did appear, she was resplendent; her dress
was a bright green velvet, embroidered with diamonds; at her side was a
great bouquet of brilliants; on her head, a diadem of emeralds and
diamonds. Josephine in her simple robe stood at the end of the salon
waiting exactly as if she had been a sovereign, to let her sister-in-law
come to her. Pauline was obliged to go the length of the salon to salute
her. After the presentation, she said to Madame Junot, who tells the
story, “My sister-in-law thought she would be disagreeable when she made
me cross the salon; in fact, she delighted me, because otherwise the
train of my gown could not have been seen.” Presently, however, Pauline
was thrown into despair. She had forgotten entirely that the grand salon
where they were received was furnished in blue, and that while it made a
charming background for Josephine’s white muslin, for her green velvet
it was something deplorable. Josephine, of course, could not be accused
of having planned this; it was Pauline’s own forgetfulness which had
wrought her confusion. The white gown and the regal manner were a
favorite device of Josephine when she suspected that some young and
fascinating woman was preparing to outshine her.

One very difficult task for Josephine in her court was holding her own
with the women of noble birth who were gradually being admitted, but she
did it by a combination of graciousness, deference, and majesty which
was not to be analyzed, and which only an all but infinite tact explain.
It was tact born of good will—a good will which everybody about her
admitted. “No one ever denied the exquisite goodness of Madame
Bonaparte,” Mlle. Avrillon says. “She was extremely affable with
everybody about her. I do not believe that there ever was a woman who
made her companions feel their dependence less than she.” Madame de
Remusat says that to goodness she joined a remarkably even disposition,
and the faculty of forgetting any evil that any one had done to her.
Another member of her household has said of her goodness, that it was as
inseparable from her character as grace from her person; “she was good
to excess, sensitive beyond all expression, generous to prodigality; she
tried to make everybody happy about her, and no woman was ever more
loved by those who served her and merited it more.... As she had known
unhappiness, she knew how to sympathize with the troubles of others. Her
temper was always sweet, always even, as obliging for her enemies as for
her friends; she made peace wherever there was trouble or discord.”

Josephine was no less happy when on her journeys than at home. She won
everybody. No one was presented who did not go away feeling that in some
way the Empress had especially distinguished him. As a matter of fact,
she prepared herself carefully for her meetings with foreigners by
employing an instructor who informed her about their families, their
deeds, their books, their diplomatic victories. She mastered this
instruction so thoroughly that she always had some flattering reference
at her tongue’s end. The diligence and energy she showed in preparing
herself for official functions is the more surprising when one remembers
her natural indolence.

Josephine had few resources in which she could find relief from her
burden of etiquette. She cared little for books—out-of-door sports
wearied her, and the hunt, on which she often accompanied the Emperor,
was a sore trial. She was afraid, to begin with, and she never failed to
cry over a wounded beast. She was a poor musician. She embroidered, to
be sure, but not because she cared for it, she did like cards, and
played tric-trac whenever etiquette allowed it. She played a good hand
of whist, too; and she was very fond of telling her own fortune with
cards—hardly a day passed, indeed, that she did not try to read the
future from cards.



  Designed by Buguet.]

The one real pleasure in her life was undoubtedly her toilet. She had
always been extravagantly fond of personal decoration—she loved
brilliant stones, gay silks, fine laces, soft cashmeres; and when she
found herself an Empress, with every reason and every opportunity for
indulging her love of finery, she abandoned herself to the pleasure
until her wardrobe became the chief amusement of her life.

Almost every day men and women, bearing stuffs of all sorts—jewels,
models, laces, everything, in short, that French fancy could devise for
a woman’s toilet—found their way to Josephine’s private apartments.
Before these wily tradespeople she had no self-restraint—one should say,
perhaps, no self-respect,—for almost invariably she allowed herself to
be wheedled into buying. The numbers of pieces added to her wardrobe
each year indicates a startling prodigality. Thus, in one year, she
bought one hundred and thirty-six dresses, twenty cashmere shawls,
seventy-three corsets, forty-eight pieces of elegant stuffs,
eighty-seven hats, seventy-one pairs of silk stockings, nine hundred and
eighty pairs of gloves, five hundred and twenty pairs of shoes. If this
had been an unusual purchase, it might be explained; but it was not.
With every season there was the same thoughtless buying of all that
struck her fancy. It was out of the question for her to wear all she
bought, for Josephine was not one who prided herself on never appearing
twice in the same costume. Many of the things she bought she never put
on at all; and when her wardrobes were overburdened, she made a little
fête of the task of lightening them, giving away piece after piece of
uncut lace, pattern after pattern of velvet, silk or muslin, rich gowns,
hats, stockings, shoes. Anything and everything was scattered in the
same reckless fashion in which it had been acquired. Not that her giving
of personal articles was confined to this occasional clearing out of
stock; she gave as one of her royal prerogatives, whenever it pleased
her to do so. Often she took from her shoulders a delicate scarf or
superb cashmere shawl to throw about some one of her ladies whom she
heard admiring it, and not infrequently she sent a gown to one who had
complimented her on its beauty. Mlle. Ducrest says that one day she
heard a gentleman of the household, in admiring a cashmere gown which
the Empress wore, remark that the pattern would do very well for a
waistcoat. Josephine picked up a pair of scissors, and cutting the skirt
of her dress into three pieces, gave one to each of the three gentlemen
in the room.

Josephine’s prodigality caused great confusion in her budget. She was
allowed, at the beginning of her reign, $72,000 a year for her toilet,
and later this was increased to $90,000. But there was never a year
during the time that she did not far over-reach her allowance and oblige
the Emperor to come to her relief. According to the estimate Masson has
made, Josephine spent on an average $220,000 yearly on her toilet during
her reign. It is only by going over her wardrobe article by article and
noting the cost and number of each piece that one can realize how a
woman could spend this amount. Take the simple item of her hose—which
were almost always white silk, often richly embroidered or in open work.
She kept 150 or more pairs on hand, and they cost from $4.00 to $8.00 a
pair. She employed two hair-dressers—one for every day, at $1,200 a
year; the other for great occasions, at $2,000 a year; and she paid them
each from one thousand to two thousand dollars a year for furnishings.
It was the same for all the smaller items of her toilet.

Coming to gowns, the sums they cost were enormous. Her simple muslin
gowns, of which her wardrobe always contained two hundred and more, cost
from one hundred to four hundred dollars apiece. Her cashmere and velvet
gowns were much more costly, ornamented as many of them were with ermine
and with buckles, buttons, and girdles set with precious stones. One of
her great extravagances was cashmere shawls. She never had enough of
them—it is true she gave away many—and she rarely appeared without one
within reach. Her collection of shawls is said to have been the most
valuable ever seen in Europe. Many of them were made after patterns
which she sent herself to the Orient. They were of every delicate shade
of color, and in texture they were like gossamer. Her coquetry with
these beautiful drapes was like the coquetry of the Spanish signora with
a fan. She said everything with them.

A large lump of Josephine’s yearly allowance for dress went into jewels.
Her extravagance in this particular was less justifiable than in any
other, because she already owned a large quantity of precious stones of
all sorts when she became Empress, many of them gifts to her in Italy,
and because as Empress she had at her command the magnificent crown
jewels—$1,000,000 worth of gems, in fact, were hers when she wished.
Nevertheless, she bought—evidently for the mere pleasure of buying and
laying away—innumerable ornaments of every description, scores of which
she probably never put on; rings, bracelets, necklaces, girdles,
buckles, all by the hundreds. No stone known to commerce but was
represented in her collection. No form into which gold and silver can be
fashioned which was not found there. She had specimens of the ornaments
of all ages and all countries, and of the novelties of the times she
bought by the score. She not only added incessantly, but she exchanged,
reset, recut, carried on, in fact, a trade. To the end of her life she
kept her interest in her jewels, and loved to show them to her
companions, to play with them, to decorate herself with them. They were
kept together for many years after her death, but were finally sold by
Hortense. When experts came to value them, it was found that according
to the prices they set—fully one-third below the cost price—the large
pieces alone, such as her diadem of diamonds and her splendid pearl
necklace, were worth nearly a million dollars; and as for the small
pieces—the innumerable trinkets of every size and kind and style—their
value was never computed.

The effect on the Emperor of Josephine’s prodigality can be imagined. He
appreciated as she never could the lack of dignity in her reckless
spending, and did his utmost to persuade her to keep her accounts in
order. He even resorted to severe measures, turning out of the palace
tradespeople who he knew hung about her apartments watching an
opportunity to show her a novelty in modes or in ornamentation, a rare
jewel or a rich shawl. He ordered that her expenses be regulated by a
person especially appointed for that purpose and that Josephine herself
be not allowed to buy anything without supervision. None of these means
effected anything. Annually there was a great debt run up by her, and
when the settlement could be put off no longer, Josephine would confess.
She always put the amount far below what it actually was, and only after
much badgering could Napoleon get at the real state of things. Then
there was a scene, ending always in tears from Josephine. Invariably
they conquered Napoleon. “Come, come, pet, dry your tears,” he would
beg, “don’t worry;” and he paid the debts, and raised her income. In
twelve months the scene was repeated.

                              CHAPTER VII


For two years after she mounted the throne, Josephine felt tolerably
secure in its possession. It was not until the winter of 1806–1807, when
Napoleon was busy with war against Russia and Prussia, that the spectre
which had alarmed her at the beginning of the Life Consulate and again
at the proclamation of the Empire, arose again. Her first alarm came
from the fact that when she wanted to go to the Emperor from Mayence,
whither she had taken her household, he put her off. Sometimes he even
rebuked her for her persistence in clinging to the idea. “Talleyrand
comes, and tells me that you do nothing but cry,” he wrote her on
November 1st. “But what do you want? You have your daughter, your
grandchildren, and good news; certainly you have the materials for
happiness and contentment.” More often he flattered and petted, as when,
on November 28th, he wrote from Warsaw: “All the Polish women are
Frenchwomen, but there is only one woman for me. Do you know her? I
could draw her portrait for you; but I should have to flatter it too
much for you to recognize it; nevertheless, to tell the truth, my heart
would have only good things to tell you.” And again, a few days later:
“I have your letter of November 26th. I notice two things: you say, ‘I
don’t read your letters’; that is unjust. I am sorry for your bad
opinion. You tell me you are not jealous. I have long observed that
people who are angry always say that they are not angry, that people who
are afraid say they are not afraid; so you are convicted of jealousy; I
am delighted! Besides, you are mistaken, and in the deserts of fair
Poland one thinks but little about pretty women. Yesterday I was at a
ball of the nobility of the province; rather pretty women, rather rich,
rather ill dressed, although in the Paris fashion.” He continued all
through December to try to dissuade her. “I have your letter of November
27th, and I see that your little head is much excited. I remember the
line: ‘A woman’s wish is a devouring flame,’ and I must calm you. I
wrote to you that I was in Poland, that when we should have got into
winter quarters you might come; so you must wait a few days. The greater
one becomes, the less will one must have; one depends on events and
circumstances. You may go to Frankfurt or Darmstadt. I hope to summon
you in a few days, but events must decide. The warmth of your letter
convinces me that you pretty women take no account of obstacles; what
you want must be; but I must say that I am the greatest slave that
lives; my master has no heart, and this master is the nature of things.”

Josephine would not give up her plan, however, and in Napoleon’s
arguments that the trip from Mayence to Warsaw was too long—the roads
too bad, the weather too cold, for her to venture it, that she was
needed in Paris, she saw only a desire to be free from her presence; and
when finally he ordered her to “go back to Paris to be happy and
contented there,” she obeyed with tears and lamentations. Josephine’s
jealousy at this time was more than justifiable. For many months, in
fact, she had known beyond question of Napoleon’s various infidelities,
and she suspected that the real reason he refused her request to be
allowed to go to him was that he had found a new mistress. Or might it
not be, she asked herself, that he was planning a divorce and
re-marriage. The first supposition was true. It was Madame Walewski who
was the chief obstacle to Josephine going to Warsaw, although the
reasons Napoleon gave—the danger of the journey and the need of
Josephine in Paris—were plausible enough at the moment.

It was not until July, 1807, that the Emperor took up the subject of a
divorce, as a political necessity, with his counsellors. While at Tilsit
with the Emperor of Russia and the King of Prussia, the divorce was
discussed, and Napoleon ordered that a list of the marriageable
princesses of Europe be made out for him. No doubt vague rumors of the
transactions at Tilsit reached Josephine. She took them the more to
heart because in May of that year (1807) Hortense’s eldest son,
Napoleon-Charles, had died. The death of the boy destroyed one of her
chief hopes. It removed the child whom she knew Napoleon so loved that
he would have been well satisfied to have made him his successor.
Hortense had a second child, Napoleon Louis; but the Emperor did not
have the same feeling for him.

When Napoleon returned to Paris after the meeting at Tilsit, Josephine
was prepared to do all that was possible to reconquer the place in her
husband’s heart, which many months’ absence had certainly weakened. She
even had Hortense’s little son Louis with her, a constant reminder to
the Empire that here was an heir of Bonaparte and Beauharnais blood. Her
hopes were soon shattered by Fouché, who made an appeal to her. For the
sake of the country, the dynasty, Napoleon, would she not herself
voluntarily offer to withdraw. Panicstricken, yet not daring to go
directly to her husband to know if this was his will, Josephine could
only weep. Napoleon saw her sorrow, but had not the courage to talk with
her. Finally Talleyrand, taking the case in hand, persuaded Josephine to
speak first to Napoleon. Overcome completely, the Emperor feigned
amazement, stormed at the baseness of Fouché, wept over Josephine, swore
he could not leave her; but he did not deceive her—or himself. Josephine
took a clever course—she told him she would consent to his will quietly
for love of him and for the sake of the throne—if he commanded her. But
that Napoleon could not do. He ordered that the question of divorce be
dropped, gave Fouché such treatment as perhaps a man never before
received for carrying out his superior’s will, and for a time bestowed
upon Josephine lover-like attentions so marked that the whole court
looked on and wondered.



  Fragment from the picture of the marriage of Jerome Bonaparte and the
    Princess Catherine.]

The fall of 1807 the Emperor strove to make very gay, and during the
sojourns at Rambouillet for the hunt and the month at Fontainebleau the
Empress was really at the height of her power. He could not give her up,
could not, in spite of his dynasty, in spite of Mme. Walewski, the woman
who had sacrificed herself to him for the sake of Poland, and for whom
he had a great respect as well as ardent passion. Josephine was
necessary to him. It was a tenderness born of association—of all of the
thousand sweet ties which twelve years of life together had wrought.
What matter if she was growing old; what matter that he might have a
royal princess for his wife—that his heart was with Mme. Walewski, it
was Josephine, and no one ever had aroused such a wealth of tenderness
as she—no one could again. The court could only look on and wonder to
see the weakness of the tyrant before this woman. They even noted how
jealous he was of her that fall, when the young German prince of
Mecklenburg-Schwerin fell in love with her and did not hesitate to show
it. Josephine herself laughed at the young man’s ardor, but Napoleon
looked askance and doubled his tenderness.

The winter of 1807 and 1808 was spent in Paris, and the shadow was not
large. It was true that Mme. Walewski was now in the city; but if
Josephine knew anything of this _liaison_, she ignored it completely. So
long as she was Empress infidelities had little effect on her. Mme. de
Remusat says that not only did Josephine shut her eyes to them, but she
“pushed her complacency to the point of granting particular favors to
some of his mistresses.” In the spring and summer her hold on the
Emperor seemed to herself and to those about her to have been
strengthened by the four and a half months which the two spent with only
a small suite at Bayonne, where the Emperor’s presence was necessary to
direct the affairs with Spain. Napoleon had preceded the Empress, who
waited in Bordeaux for news of Hortense, to whom a third son was born on
April 20, 1808. The news brought great joy to Josephine, and no doubt
had something to do with her happiness in the next few months. It
provided a second heir, and made divorce seem less imperative.

In spite of the sinister events of the sojourn at Bayonne—it was here
that the King of Spain, Charles IV., and his heir, Ferdinand, abdicated
their rights and that Joseph Bonaparte was made King of Spain—there was
much gaiety around Josephine. There were dinners and fêtes and drives,
and the French Empress and the Spanish Queen Louise seemed to enjoy each
other’s society as if a throne were not changing hands and a noble house
falling, because of the disgraceful inaction and jealousy of one ruler
and the cynical ambition and self-confidence of the other.

The really delightful part of Josephine’s life at Bayonne was the
informal intimacy which she and Napoleon enjoyed. Never since the days
at Malmaison had they been together so long and so freely. They made the
most of their liberty, even romping before the eyes of the members of
their small suite in a most unroyal way. The Castle of Marrac, which
they occupied, was near the shore, and they spent much time on the
beach, where the Emperor, dragging the Empress to the water, would push
her into it or dash sand over her, laughing like a teasing boy as he did
so. In one of these romps the little, low silk slippers which the
Empress always wore slipped off, and Napoleon, seizing them, threw them
into the surf, making Josephine walk back to her carriage in stocking
feet. It was with such frolics that the two enlivened the days at
Marrac, in the summer of 1808. Their journey back to Paris was a
triumphal procession, wherein Josephine, by her tact, her amiability,
her unflagging interest, won every heart. Never had she seemed more
admirable to Napoleon as an Empress, never more charming as a woman.

It was in August, 1808, that Josephine returned to Paris, after four and
a half months with her husband. A few days later, he left her for
Erfurth, where he was to meet Alexander of Russia and the German
sovereigns, for a conference on the affairs of Europe. At a gathering of
the magnitude and splendor of this at Erfurth it would have been fitting
that the Empress be present, but Napoleon did not deem it wise for her
to leave France. That Napoleon meant to indicate by leaving her at home
that his decision to have a divorce was taken and that this was the
beginning of the separation is not clear, though it is certain that the
subject was much in his mind at Erfurth. The stability an heir would
give to his throne and the value of an alliance with one of the old
houses of Europe, now became clearer than ever to him, and undoubtedly
Napoleon came back to Josephine with the idea more firmly fixed in mind
than before. Those who saw them together after Erfurth said to
themselves, “He is meditating the divorce again.” Josephine feared it.
What else could mean his short brusque remarks, his evident desire to
escape her company, his averted eyes.

Dread the future as she might, she could do nothing. To question
Napoleon was to irritate him, and nothing, she knew, was more unwise. To
show a sad face, to weep, was to drive him from her presence, for he
detested tears with all the force of the strong reasoning controlled
creature who sees nothing but a meaningless waste of strength in them.
She knew too well the empire of Napoleon over all those about him to
attempt to build up a party of her own that at the issue would throw its
influence in her favor. There was but one thing to oppose to the
imperious will of her husband—his affection for her. To cherish that,
doing nothing of which he could complain, nothing which would irritate
or weary him; to show him at every meeting her amiability, her devotion,
her tact, to win from him the confession that no woman could fill more
gracefully and successfully than she was doing her difficult
position,—this was Josephine’s course, and the one which she followed
ceaselessly after the interview in 1807. Certainly the fear was
continually in her heart after Erfurth, but to him she gave no sign. She
was gentle, apparently trusting; tactful, and cautious—the very
qualities which Napoleon admired most in women and found rarest. Every
day of intercourse made it harder for him to come to a resolution, and
every day increased her own anxiety.

It was only ten days after Erfurth that the war in Spain compelled
Napoleon to leave Paris. Josephine was left alone. There was little in
the letters she received from Spain to disturb her peace of mind; as
always, they gave her details of the Emperor’s health, expressed concern
for hers, gave brief bits of news—optimistic always; rarely a word of a
disaster was put into a letter to Josephine—directions about fêtes,
about the reception of persons to be sent to her, comments and inquiries
on family matters: such letters, in short, as she had always received.
Yet there was an uneasiness in Josephine’s mind which she could not
conquer;—it was fed by rumors from idle and more or less malicious
tongues in her circle.

It was not only the uncertainty of her own fate which distressed her;
she had further reason for grief in the unhappiness of Hortense, who had
been reconciled with her husband for a time, but was now more wretched
than ever, and whose frequent letters to Josephine must have cut her to
the heart again and again. Her tenderness and her wisdom in her councils
to her daughter at this time, indeed at all times, are admirable. It
would not have been surprising if in receiving daily the complaints of
Hortense, at a moment of so much uneasiness regarding her true
situation, she had resented the misery of her daughter; but there is
never a shadow of irritation in her letters.

In January, Josephine had the joy of seeing Napoleon return. For the two
months and a half he was in Paris she watched him closely, but to no
purpose. Indeed public affairs were in such a condition that the Emperor
had little or no time to give her. He was working day and night in a
frenzied effort to clear France of the traitors who, within his
government, indeed within his own family, were plotting his overthrow,
and to put an army in order for the war he saw Austria and her allies
preparing for him. There was no time in the winter of 1808 and 1809 for
the consideration of divorce and marriage, and if a decision for a
divorce had been taken at Erfurth, the realization was far enough off.
To all outward appearances, Josephine was safe. She was gratified, too,
when the day of the Emperor’s departure came in April, by being allowed
to accompany him as far as Strasburg, where she set up her court for the
next few months. Here were soon gathered about her several of the
family: Hortense, with her two little sons, the Queen of Westphalia, and
the Grand Duchess of Baden. Here she received from the Emperor himself
the first news of the succession of victories with which the campaign of
1809 opened. First it was Abensberg, then Eckmuhl, then Ratisbonne, that
he recounted to her. It was a triumphal march, as always; but at
Ratisbonne something happened which threw Josephine into consternation.
Napoleon was hit by a ball. The news came to the Empress indirectly, and
she hurriedly sent a courier to find out the actual condition of the
wound. “The ball which hit me did not wound me,” he replied, “it
scarcely grazed Achilles’ heel. My health is very good. It is wrong for
you to worry. Everything is going well.”

Four days later, the Empress received a special courier from the
Emperor, who announced to her the surrender of Vienna. Josephine was
very happy. It argued well for a speedy end to the campaign. Her
happiness was brief. The defeat at Essling, and the death of Marshall
Lannes, filled her with foreboding. She, with many others of her day,
looked on the career of the Emperor with superstitious awe. It was
luck—a star. The charm broken, the star obscured, all would go. It is
doubtful if Josephine, any more than hundreds of others who surrounded
the Emperor, ever realized his stupendous genius or the gigantic efforts
the man made to wrest victories from fate. It was the common story of
one who spends himself in achievement, and in the end hears himself
called a “lucky fellow”. After the defeat at Essling, Josephine
discerned on every side the joy of Napoleon’s enemies, saw the alarm of
his friends, heard in her own heart the knell of fate. To complete her
misery, she feared she had offended the Emperor. Hortense, who had been
at Strasburg for some time, was ordered by her physician to go to Baden
for the waters. It was the Emperor’s order that no one of the royal
family should change quarters without his consent. Hortense went to
Baden without consulting him, taking with her the two young princes. The
Emperor was irritated. “My daughter,” he wrote her less than a week
after Essling, “I am dissatisfied to find that you have left France
without my permission, and above all that you have taken my nephews
away. Since you are at Baden, stay; but within an hour after you receive
this letter, send my two nephews to Strasburg to the Empress. They must
never leave France. It is the first time I have had any occasion to be
dissatisfied with you, but you should never make any arrangements for my
nephews without my consent. You must feel the bad effect that would

This letter was sent to Hortense through Josephine, who opened it,
thinking to have news herself from Napoleon, about whom she was greatly
concerned. It was a new cause of worry. Would he not blame her for
Hortense’s act? At least the two children had already been sent back to
her—that was one reason for congratulation; but she hastened to write to
Hortense urging her to try and appease the Emperor. Her anxiety became
so great that her health began to give way, and she, too, had to leave
Strasburg, in June, for treatment at Plombières, in the Vosges.

Josephine had been frequently before at Plombières, but certainly never
before so quietly since she was Empress. The usual suite accompanied
her, the same imposing livery, the same magnificent wardrobe, but no
reception, no balls, no excursions marked her sojourn. She lived like a
retired Empress almost—scattering charities everywhere, and amusing
herself principally with her little grandsons, upon whom she lavished
toys of every description in the profusion and extravagance with which
she had always heaped jewels and finery upon herself. Daily she enjoyed
Louis more. “I am so happy to have your son here,” she wrote Hortense.
“He is charming, and I am becoming more and more attached to him.... His
little reasonings amuse me exceedingly.”



  Engraved by Audouin, after Laurent. This portrait “Joséphine
    impératrice des Français, reine d’Italie,” is surrounded by an
    elaborate frame of Imperial emblems. After the divorce, Josephine’s
    portrait was erased from the plate, and that of Marie Louise

The rapid recovery of fortune which followed the reverse at Essling soon
reassured Josephine. She saw from Napoleon’s letters that, however his
critics might feel that his star was waning, he himself had not lost
courage. He scorned their exultation. “They have made an appointment to
meet at my tomb,” he said, “but they’ll not dare carry it out.” His
deeds verified his words. In rapid succession, he sent Josephine
announcements of the series of victories which marked the latter half of
June, 1809, and which culminated in Wagram on July 6th. A week later she
received notice of the suspension of hostilities.

Once more the Empress breathed freely; Napoleon was safe, and he was
victorious. Now his letters were longer, gayer, tenderer than they had
been for many months. He rejoiced in the reports she sent him from
Plombières of her gaining strength. “I am glad the waters are doing you
so much good,” he wrote; and again, “I hear that you are stout, rosy,
and looking very well.” He made no objection to the plans she suggested
for herself. Stay at Plombières if she wished, why not; and when she is
ready in August, go to Paris. If her letters are long in coming, he
chides her. “I have received no letters from you for several days. The
pleasures at Malmaison, the beautiful hot-houses and gardens, make you
forget me. That’s the way it goes, they say.” As the time approached for
his return—the negotiations at Schönbrunn which followed the war lasted
into October—he began to show something like eagerness. Every day he
sent a brief note of his coming return. “I’ll let you know twenty-four
hours before my arrival.” “I shall make a fête of our reunion. I am
waiting for the moment impatiently.” True, there was nothing of the
lover in these daily bulletins (it was hardly to be expected when we
remember that, during most of the campaign of 1809, Mme. de Walewski was
living in a palace in Vienna, where Napoleon saw her constantly); but
there was confidence, affection, interest; no sign at all of an
approaching separation; and yet Napoleon undoubtedly left Schönbrunn in
October persuaded that the divorce was a necessity and resolved to tell
Josephine of his decision as soon as he arrived in France.

                              CHAPTER VIII


Unhappily for the Empress, her reunion with Napoleon was marred by a
delay which irritated the Emperor no little. Josephine was at St. Cloud
when she received a note, about October 24th or 25th, from Napoleon,
saying he would be at Fontainebleau on the 26th or 27th, and that she
had better go there with her suite. A later courier set the evening of
the 27th as the time of his arrival. What was Josephine’s terror on
having a messenger ride rapidly in from Fontainebleau on the afternoon
of the 26th, saying the Emperor had arrived that morning and there had
been no one but the concierge to meet him! It could not be denied that
such a reception was a poor one for a conquering Emperor who now for the
first time in six months set foot in his kingdom. Josephine feared, with
reason, that Napoleon would be irritated, and now of all times when she
needed so much to please him!

Post haste she drove to Fontainebleau. The Emperor did not come to meet
her, and she was forced to mount to his library, where his scant welcome
chilled her to the heart. He meant to announce the divorce then. She
soon found, however, that it was the Emperor’s resentment at what he
considered her fault in failing to meet him that caused his coldness. A
trembling explanation, a few tears, and he was appeased, and they passed
a happy evening.

Napoleon had taken quite another means, and a most disquieting one, to
hint to Josephine that the divorce was under consideration. The
apartments of the Emperor and Empress at Fontainebleau, as at other
places, were connected by a private staircase. When Josephine looked
about her suite, which had been newly decorated, she discovered that
this passage had been sealed up. In consternation, she sought a friend
of hers in Napoleon’s household, and asked why this had been done, by
whose orders. She could get no satisfaction, nothing but evasive
answers, halting explanations. Alarmed, yet fearing to approach the
Emperor, she showed a troubled face and tear-stained eyes. Now, nothing
ever had disturbed Napoleon more than to see Josephine in sorrow. The
sight, and the knowledge of the cause, unnerved him now. He took a
course characteristic of an autocratic man, accustomed to implicit
obedience from associates, when he has determined to force some one he
loves to do a distasteful act; he avoided Josephine’s presence, scarcely
ever exchanged a word with her that the etiquette of the court did not
require, rarely met her gaze. The Empress felt that his coldness could
mean but one thing. She soon began to hear whispers of the decision in
the court, for the Emperor had made his resolution known to several
persons, and the necessary preparations were already making. Josephine
could not but see, at the same time, that her enemies—the Bonaparte
family and their allies—and those about her who were mere time-servers
had changed materially in their attitude toward her. There was more than
one lord or lady who did not hesitate to neglect, even slight, the
Empress. She was a person whom it was no longer necessary to cultivate;
and, besides, might not the Emperor take it as a compliment to his
judgment to see that she whom he was to discard was ignored by his

Josephine’s uncertainty as to precisely what the divorce meant made her
alarm the greater. She undoubtedly saw in it at this time nothing but a
disgrace and a punishment. She was to be cast out—her honors stripped
from her, her friends driven away, her luxury at an end. Not only must
she be separated from the Emperor, whom she loved and to whose happiness
and success she believed superstitiously that she was necessary; but no
doubt she would be driven from France. She saw herself in exile, poor,
friendless, alone,—she who had been the Empress of France, the consort
of Napoleon. And her children: her downfall meant theirs. Hortense,
whose happiness had been wrecked by her marriage, what now would become
of her? And Eugène, whom the Emperor had so loved and trusted and
honored, what of him?

But Josephine’s idea of the divorce as a disgrace and punishment was not
Napoleon’s. That he had never explained to her what he meant, was due to
his own cowardice. In 1807, he had succumbed entirely, when the subject
came up, and put the thought aside. Now he clung to his decision, but
lacked courage to break it to her. He feigned irritation and coldness to
hide his own faint-heartedness.

As a matter of fact, Napoleon regarded the divorce as a great state
affair. To perpetuate France’s peace, stability, glory, an heir was
necessary; therefore he and Josephine who loved each other parted. They
suffered that France might live. The divorce then, was to be regarded as
a sacrificial rite, and Josephine was to be placed before the country as
a noble victim to whom the greatest honor then and ever should be shown.
Such was Napoleon’s idea, and quietly, in this month after his return
from Schönbrunn, he was preparing a ceremony which would put the affair
in this light to the country. It was for this reason he summoned all the
members of the Bonaparte and Beauharnais families from far and near;
that he gathered in France all that was great in the Empire and among
his allies; that he made Fontainebleau a veritable court of kings. To
poor Josephine all of this looked like a cruel device to parade her
grief and dishonor.



About the middle of November, the court came to Paris; but still the
Emperor delayed, he could not say the word. The constraint between the
two became constantly greater; the suffering of both, it was evident to
all their intimate friends, was increasing. At last, on November 30th,
after a silent and wretched dinner, Napoleon led Josephine into a salon,
dismissed their followers, and told her of his decision. Josephine
grasping nothing in his broken words but that they were to be separated,
burst into tears, and fell upon a couch, where she lay sobbing aloud.
She was carried to her apartment, where her attendants vainly sought to
check her wild grief. Nor was her calm restored until late in the
evening, when Hortense came to her with an explanation of the situation,
which seems to have been entirely new to her mind. The Emperor,
overwhelmed by Josephine’s outburst, had strengthened his own mind by
summoning immediately to his side certain advisors who favored the
divorce. After talking with them, he had sent for Hortense, and begun
rather brutally by telling her that tears would do no good, that he had
made up his mind that the divorce was necessary to the safety of the
Empire, and that she and her mother must accept it as inevitable.
Hortense replied with dignity that the Empress, whatever her grief,
would obey his will, and that she and Eugène would follow her into
exile; that none of them would complain at their disgrace, that all
would remember his past kindness. This seems to have been Napoleon’s
first glimmer of the idea of the divorce which the Beauharnais
entertained. He began to weep. “What!” he cried, “do you and Eugène mean
to desert me? You must not do it, you must stay with me. Your position,
the future of your children, require it. However cruel the divorce for
both your mother and me, it must be consummated with the dignity which
the circumstances require.” Everything which could be done to soften the
situation for Josephine should be done, he said. She should remain the
first in rank after the Empress on the throne. She should receive the
honors due her sacrifice; she should remain in France. Her income should
be fit for her rank, she should be given palaces, a retinue—all that a
grateful France could do, in short, should be done. As for Hortense and
Eugène, he looked upon them as his children, and should do for them as
he would for his own.

This new idea of her fate had great effect on Josephine; and when her
friends came to her to console her, weep as she might, she defended
Napoleon, and presented the divorce as a sacrifice which they were
together making for France. “The Emperor is as nearly heart-broken as I
am,” she sobbed. “It cannot be helped. There must be an heir to
consolidate the Empire.”

Now that Josephine knew his decision, Napoleon’s reserve and coldness
passed. He gave her every attention, tried to anticipate every wish,
enveloped her in tenderness. This change of demeanor surprised and
confused the court, where as yet the divorce was a matter of conjecture
to all save Napoleon’s confidential advisors. Had he changed his mind?
As they saw the Empress smilingly going through the great fêtes, they
began to say that after all he had not had the courage to make the
separation. Napoleon’s kindly attitude seems to have given Josephine a
hope that he had changed his mind. But a week after her interview with
him, Eugène arrived in Paris, and she knew soon that divorce was
inevitable and that the first steps were already taken to consummate it.
Another distressing interview between herself and the Emperor followed,
at which Eugène was present, and here again Napoleon promised her his
care, his affection, a continued interest in her children. When she left
this interview, she knew that in a few days more the court, Paris,
France, would know of her fate. Overwhelmed as she was, weak with
constant weeping in private, a prey to a hundred unreasonable fears as
to her future, Josephine nevertheless went through her duties in these
last days with a brave face and a sweet smile. Never did she win more
favor from the better part of the court; never did she deserve it more
than for her courage at this moment.

December 15th was set for the first act in the official part of the
drama. At nine o’clock in the morning, Josephine went to the salon of
the Emperor, accompanied by Eugène and Hortense. Here she found
assembled all of the members of the Bonaparte family, who were in Paris,
Napoleon, King Louis, King Jerome, King Murat and the Queens of Spain,
Naples, and Westphalia, together with the French Arch-Chancellor and the
Minister of State. The ceremony was opened at once by Napoleon. If any
of the Bonapartes hoped to see Josephine humiliated at last, they must
have been grievously disappointed. Every word of the Emperor was
intended to place her in the eyes of France as its chief benefactor and
friend—the woman who sacrificed herself for the country’s good.
Napoleon’s remarks to the little company show exactly the interpretation
he wished placed on the act, and there is no reason to believe that he
was not sincere in what he said at this time. In a voice broken by
agitation, he announced that he and the Empress had resolved to have
their marriage annulled. Addressing the Arch-Chancellor, he said:

“I sent you a sealed letter dated to-day, directing you to come to my
study, in order to make known to you the resolution that the Empress, my
most dear wife, and I have taken. I am glad that the kings, queens, and
princes, my brothers and sisters, my brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law,
my step-daughter and my step-son, my son by adoption, as well as my
mother, are present at the interview. My politics, the interest and need
of my people, which have always guided my actions, make it necessary
that I should leave children behind me, heirs of my love for this people
and of this throne where providence has placed me. However, I have
abandoned all hope now for several years of having children by my
beloved wife, the Empress Josephine. It is this which has led me to
sacrifice the sweetest affections of my heart and to listen only to the
idea of the good of the State, and consequently to dissolve our
marriage. Arrived at the age of forty years, I dare hope that I shall
live long enough to rear, according to my own ideas, the children that
it shall please Providence to give me. God knows how much this
resolution has cost me; but there is no sacrifice that is beyond my
courage when I am convinced that it will be useful to France. I must
add, that far from ever having had any reason to complain of my wife, I
can only praise her love and tenderness. For fifteen years she has been
the ornament of my life. The recollection will always remain engraved on
my heart; she has been crowned by my hand, and I mean that she shall
preserve the rank and title of Empress, and I hope that above all she
will never doubt my feelings toward her and that she will always
consider me her best and truest friend.”

When the Emperor ceased to speak, Josephine attempted to read the little
address which had been prepared for her, but her voice failed her, and
she passed her paper to one of the party:—

“With the permission of my august and dear husband,” so her speech read,
“I declare that having given up all hope of bearing the children which
would satisfy the political needs and the welfare of France, I am glad
to give to him the greatest proof of attachment and devotion which has
ever been given in this world. All that I have I hold because of his
goodness; it was his hand which crowned me, and from my throne I have
received only affection and love from the French people. I believe I am
showing my gratitude for these benefits by consenting to the dissolution
of a marriage which henceforth is an obstacle to the welfare of France,
which deprives her of the happiness of being one day governed by the
descendants so evidently raised up by Providence to wipe out the evils
of a terrible revolution and reëstablish the altar, throne, and social
order; but the dissolution of my marriage can never change the feelings
of my heart. In me the Emperor will always have his best friend. I know
how much this act, demanded by politics and by high interests, has
wounded his heart, but we both glory in the sacrifice that we make for
the good of the country.”

The day following this scene, the necessary formalities were gone
through in the Senate. Eugène, then Viceroy of Italy, took the oath of
Senator that day, and later spoke on the divorce. The interpretation he
gave of the separation was that which Napoleon had devised. “You have
just listened to the reading of the project which the Senate submits to
you for deliberation,” Eugène said. “Under the circumstances, I think
that it is my duty to express to you the feelings of my family. My
mother, my sister, and myself owe everything to the Emperor; he has been
a veritable father to us; he will find in us at all times devoted
children and submissive subjects. It is essential to the happiness of
France that the founder of this fourth dynasty should be surrounded by
direct descendants who will be a guarantee to everybody, a safeguard of
the people, of the country. When my mother was crowned before the whole
nation by the hands of her august husband, she contracted the obligation
to sacrifice all her affections to the good of France; she has fulfilled
her duty with courage, nobility, and dignity; her heart has often been
wrung by the painful struggles of a man accustomed to conquer fortune
and to march forward always with a firm step toward the accomplishment
of great designs. The tears that this resolution has cost the Emperor
are sufficient to glorify my mother. In her new situation she will not
be a stranger to the new prosperity that we expect, and it will be with
a satisfaction mingled with pride that she will look upon the happiness
that her sacrifices have brought to the country and to the Emperor.”

The articles annulling the marriage and fixing Josephine’s future state
were passed at the same session. They read:—

_Article I._ The marriage contracted between the Emperor Napoleon and
the Empress Josephine is hereby dissolved.

_Article II._ The Empress Josephine will preserve the title and the rank
of a crowned Empress.

_Article III._ Her annual income is fixed at two million francs
[$400,000], to be paid from the treasury of the State.

_Article IV._ All the obligations taken by the Emperor for the Empress
Josephine out of the public treasury are obligatory upon his successors.

_Article V._ The present senatus-consulte shall be sent by a messenger
to Her Majesty, the Empress Queen.

That afternoon Napoleon, after a heart-breaking scene with Josephine,
left the Tuileries for the Trianon. A few hours later Josephine,
exhausted by weeping, entered her carriage, and in a heavy storm was
driven to Malmaison.

                               CHAPTER IX

                      GRADUAL RETURN TO HAPPINESS

Although divorced, Josephine was still Empress of the French People, and
her income and her position were in keeping with her title. By the
decree of the Senate, her income was fixed at 2,000,000 francs
($400,000), but the Emperor found means of increasing this, by making
her many splendid presents, and by ordering that any unusual outlay,
such as that for repairs at Malmaison, be paid from the civil list. She
was to have three separate homes: Malmaison, always her favorite
residence, upon the chateau and grounds of which she had for years
lavished money, and in which she had carried out every fantasy of
building, decoration and gardening, that entered her head; the Elysée
Palace in Paris, at present the residence of the presidents of the
French Republic; and Navarre, a chateau near Evreux.

Not only did Josephine receive money and property; Napoleon took care
that her suite was in keeping with her rank. It was as large, indeed, as
that of many of the reigning sovereigns of Europe, and included some of
the cleverest and wittiest men and women of France. To the Emperor’s
honor, the persons chosen were all of them in sympathy with the Empress
and loved by her. More than one of those in Josephine’s household,
indeed, would have been welcomed in the suite of Marie Louise; but being
offered their choice, remained with Josephine. Mme. de Remusat was a
notable example. She stayed with Josephine solely because of her
affection and sense of loyalty and in spite of the fact that her husband
was the First Chamberlain of Napoleon.

If Josephine had any idea that her divorce was going to separate her
from Paris and the society of her friends, she immediately found out her
mistake. The day after her arrival at Malmaison, in spite of a heavy
shower, the road from Paris was one long line of carriages of persons
hastening to the chateau to pay her their respects. Those persons who
did stay away because uncertain whether the Emperor was sincere in his
declaration that Josephine was to keep her rank as Empress had to submit
to severe reproofs. “Have you been to see the Empress Josephine?” he
began to ask, after a day or two, and if the courtier said no, the
Emperor frowned and said, “You must go, sir!” And as a result everybody
did go, and continued to go. Indeed, later in the winter, when Josephine
came to the Elysée for a short time, her house was a veritable court.

But Josephine had received a blow which wealth, rank, and friends could
not cure. The man who once had wearied her by his passion and who had
had to beg and threaten to persuade her to pass a week with him in
Italy, had in turn become the object of as passionate affection as she
was capable of feeling. She had for years now regarded his slightest
wish. In devoting herself to Napoleon in order to save her position she
had learned to love him. Her pain now was the greater because she could
not believe that Napoleon meant it when he said that he still should
love and protect her and that he should honor her for her sacrifice as
never before. She seemed to feel that, after she had said good-by to him
at the Tuileries, she would never see him again. She gave way utterly to
her grief, weeping night and day. Napoleon kept his word, however. Two
days after her arrival at Malmaison he came to see her and frequently in
the days that followed, up to the time of his marriage with Marie
Louise, at the end of March, he made her little visits. They were always
formal, in the presence of attendants, but they did much to persuade the
Empress that Napoleon intended to keep his promises to her. After every
visit however, came paroxysms of weeping. Napoleon kept himself informed
of Josephine’s state, and wrote her frequent notes, chiding her for this
weakness, assuring her of his love, and begging her to have courage.

“I found you weaker than you should have been,” he wrote one day. “You
have shown some courage; you must find a way of keeping it up. You must
not give up to melancholy, you must try to be contented, and above all,
take care of your health, which is so precious to me. If you love me,
you ought to try to be strong and happy. You must not doubt my constant
and tender friendship. You misunderstand entirely my feelings if you
suppose that I can be happy when you are not happy, and above all, when
you are not contented.”

“Savary told me that you were weeping yesterday,” he wrote another day.
“I hope that you have been able to go out to-day. I am sending you the
results of my hunt yesterday. I will come to see you just as soon as you
will promise me that you have regained your self-control and that your
courage has the upper hand. Good-by, dear; I am sad to-day, too, for I
have need of knowing that you are satisfied and courageous.”

After returning to the Tuileries, he wrote her:—“Eugène told me that you
were sad yesterday. That is not well, dear; it is contrary to what you
promised me. It has been a sorrow to me to see the Tuileries again; the
great palace seems empty, and I am lost here.”

The visits, the gifts, the letters of the Emperor really made the
Empress worse rather than better; and finally Mme. de Remusat took the
matter in hand.

“The Empress passed a most unhappy morning,” she wrote to her husband;
“she received a few visits which only increased her grief, and then
every time anything comes from the Emperor she goes off into a terrible
paroxysm. Some way must be found to persuade the Emperor to moderate his
expressions of regret and affection, for whenever he gives a sign of his
own sadness she falls into despair, and really her head seems turned. I
take care of her as well as I can, but she causes me the greatest
sorrow. She is sweet, suffering, affectionate; in fact, everything that
is calculated to tear one’s heart. In showing his affection, the Emperor
only makes her worse. However she suffers, there is never a complaint
escapes her; she is really as gentle as an angel.... Try, if you can, to
have the Emperor write to her so as to encourage her, and let him never
send anything in the evening, because that gives her a terrible night.
She cannot endure his expressions of regret. Doubtless, she could endure
coldness still less, but there must be a medium way. She was in such a
state yesterday after the last letter of the Emperor that I was on the
point of writing him myself at the Trianon.”

As time went on and Josephine found that she really had no reason to
suspect the Emperor of withdrawing the friendship he had promised, she
began to imagine that he meant to keep her always at Malmaison, never to
allow her to go again to Paris. This alarm probably was due to gossip
that reached her. She no doubt would have preferred remaining at
Malmaison if this fear had not arisen. She was so overcome by suspicion
that she tested his sincerity by asking permission to go to Paris. She
did this in spite of the fact that the talk of the forthcoming
marriage—not yet settled, but in full negotiation—was in everybody’s
mouth. The Emperor’s reply to her request was kind. “I shall be glad to
know that you are at the Elysée, and happy to see you oftener, for you
know how much I love you.” In the course of this correspondence about
her coming he could not help scolding her a little, however. “I have
just told Eugène that you would rather listen to the gossip of the town
than to what I tell you.”

And yet, even in this period of distress, Josephine was not idle; nor
was she so selfish in her grief that she forgot her friends. Napoleon’s
letters to her record more than one promise of a favor she had asked for
somebody. She even interested herself actively in securing a princess
for the Emperor. Summoning the Countess de Metternich of Austria, just
arrived in Paris, she told her frankly that she should consider the
sacrifice she had made a pure waste if the Emperor did not marry the
Archduchess of Austria. At that time Napoleon had not decided on his
future Empress; but the negotiations thus opened by Josephine enabled
Metternich to prepare the way in Austria so that, when the time came,
there were none of the delays which had irritated Napoleon in applying
for the hand of the Russian princess as he did first. The negotiations
for the hand of Marie Louise terminated favorably, and the wedding was
set for March.

As the day drew near, a sense of the impropriety of Josephine remaining
at Malmaison during the ceremonies, grew on Napoleon, and he asked her
to spend the month of April at Navarre. She arrived there the very day
that Marie Louise entered Paris. Navarre was not an attractive place to
take possession of with a large household like Josephine’s at that
season of the year, and the company, used to the luxury of Malmaison,
found themselves obliged to camp out in great discomfort in an old,
damp, half-furnished chateau, where neither doors nor windows would shut
securely and where every chimney smoked. Repairs were quickly made,
however, and furniture in quantities was sent from Paris. In the
interval, the whole suite seems to have endured the experience
good-naturedly, and Josephine made a really brave effort to adapt
herself to her new situation and to forget her grief. She set herself to
finding out the resources of her new estate, driving daily through the
parks; she superintended the gardens, planned repairs and improvements
in the chateau, looked up the poor and sick, invited in the people of
Evreux whom she wanted to know, and every night played her favorite game
of tric-trac with the bishop of the diocese. It was a good beginning for
a useful and eventually a happy life for her, and all would have gone
very well if she could have dismissed the idea that after all Napoleon
did not mean to keep his promises to her—that it was only a question of
time when he would lose his interest, withdraw his support, drive her
from France.

Two weeks passed after the marriage, and no word came to her from the
Emperor. In the meantime, she was receiving letters from Eugène and
Hortense, who were required to be present at the ceremonies, and every
member of her suite had daily bulletins of the gaieties at the capital
and of its gossip. Hints reached her that it was probable the Emperor
would not consider it proper for her to return soon to Malmaison, if he
did at all. Her worry became a veritable panic, and before she had been
three weeks at Navarre, she asked permission to return to Malmaison. It
was granted at once; thereupon she sent the Emperor a stilted letter of
thanks. Her letter and the reply it brought from the Emperor are
excellent examples of the masculine and feminine ways of looking at the
same situation. Josephine’s letter read:—

  SIRE:—I have just received from my son the assurance that your
  Majesty consents to my return to Malmaison and that you have been
  good enough to advance to me the money that I have asked to make the
  Chateau of Navarre habitable. This double favor, Sire, dissipates
  largely the unrest and even the fears that the long silence of your
  Majesty had awakened. I was afraid of being entirely banished from
  your mind; I see that I have not been. I am less unhappy to-day in
  consequence; I am even as happy as it will ever be possible for me
  to be.

  At the end of the month I shall go to Malmaison since your Majesty
  sees no objection to it, but I should say to you, Sire, that I
  should not so soon take advantage of the liberty which your Majesty
  has given me if the house at Navarre did not need so many repairs,
  both on account of my health and that of my suite. My plan is to
  stay at Malmaison a very short time. I shall soon go to the Springs.
  But while I am at Malmaison your Majesty may be sure I shall live as
  if I were a thousand leagues from Paris. I have made a great
  sacrifice, Sire and each day I feel it more. However, this sacrifice
  shall be complete; your Majesty shall not be disturbed in your
  happiness by any expression of regrets on my part. I shall pray
  ceaselessly for your Majesty’s happiness, but your Majesty may be
  sure that I shall always respect his new situation; I shall respect
  it in silence, having confidence in the feeling that he once had for
  me. I shall not try to awaken any new proof of it; I shall trust in
  your justice and in your heart. I ask but one favor; it is that your
  Majesty shall deign to give me now and then some proof that I have a
  small place in your thoughts and a large place in your esteem and
  your friendship. This will soften my grief without, it seems to me,
  compromising that which is much more important than all to me, the
  happiness of your Majesty.


Napoleon replied:—

  MY DEAR:—I received your letter of the 19th of April. The style is
  very bad. I am always the same; men like me never change. I do not
  know what Eugène could have said to you. I did not write you because
  you had not written me; my only desire is to be agreeable to you. I
  am glad that you are going to Malmaison and that you are contented.
  I shall go there to find out how you are and to give you news of
  myself. Now compare this letter with yours, and after that I will
  let you judge which is the more friendly, yours or mine. Good-bye,
  my dear. Take care of yourself, and be just to yourself and to me.


Having permission to return to Malmaison, Josephine was satisfied to
remain at Navarre. In fact, she was beginning to enjoy the place and
particularly the plans for its improvements. It was not until May that
she returned to Malmaison, where she remained a month. Later she spent
three months at Aix-En-Savoy and then made a trip in Switzerland.

On the whole, the summer and fall of 1810 were not unpleasant. She had
dismissed, for the time, her doubt of the Emperor, and suffered only
from the separation from him. That separation Napoleon did as much as
the situation allowed to soften. In May, after her return to Malmaison,
he went to see her, and the visit seems to have been as free from
restraint and grief as could be expected. Josephine was greatly pleased
by the Emperor’s attention. “Yesterday was a day of joy for me,” she
wrote to Hortense. “The Emperor came to see me. His presence made me
happy, though it awakened my sorrow. As long as he stayed with me I had
the courage to keep back my tears, but when he was gone, I was not able
to restrain them, and I found myself very wretched. He was as good as
ever to me, and I hope he read in my heart all the devotion and
tenderness I feel for him.”

Not only did Napoleon go to visit her, he conceived a notion
incomprehensible to a feminine mind of some day taking Marie Louise, and
broached the subject one day as the two were driving near Malmaison in
Josephine’s absence, by asking the Empress if she would not like to go
over the chateau. Marie Louise immediately began to cry, and Napoleon,
overwhelmed by what he had done, though probably not understanding at
all, never ventured to go further. He probably saw no reason why the two
women could not in private be friends.

Everywhere that Josephine went in these first journeys after her divorce
she was received with such expressions of devotion and interest that she
must have been convinced that the people had adopted the Emperor’s view
of the divorce and looked upon her as one who had sacrificed herself for
the country. Curiously enough, they brought petitions to her praying her
to remit them to the Emperor; her influence over him and her relation to
him were thus publicly acknowledged. In all the interviews Josephine
gave to persons who sought her as she traveled she was exceedingly
discreet; especially admirable was the way in which she talked of the
Emperor. It was as of a brother whom she loved dearly and whose
interests she had deeply at heart. Although, as a rule, she received
cordially all who sought her, she did refuse, if she believed the person
hostile to Napoleon. In September, while Josephine was in Switzerland,
Mme. de Staël, then in exile, tried to secure an interview. Josephine
declined. “I know her too well,” she said, “to wish an interview. In the
first book she published, she would report our conversation, and the
Lord only knows how many things she would make me say of which I never



  Daughter of Josephine, wife of Louis, King of Holland, and mother of
    Napoleon III.]

One real and serious cause of unhappiness for Josephine was removed in
part this summer. It was her daughter Hortense’s trouble. The poor Queen
of Holland had for a long time been hopelessly embroiled with the King,
Louis Bonaparte, and her daily letters to her mother during the winter
and spring were hysterical cries of bitterness and despair. Josephine
shows nowhere in better light than in her replies. During all this
period of her own sorrow she wrote constantly to Hortense letters full
of cheer, of wise counsel, and of the tenderest affection. The doubt of
the Emperor which seized her now and then she never allowed Hortense to
entertain. She never advised anything but courage and forbearance in her
relations to King Louis. She held before her her duty to her little
sons, to the people of Holland, who had always loved her, and to her
mother. In July, Louis put an end to the sad situation by abdicating his
throne, which by the Constitution went to the Queen. Napoleon promptly
annexed Holland to France. “This emancipates the queen,” the Emperor
wrote to Josephine, “and your unhappy daughter can come to Paris, where,
with her sons, she will be perfectly happy.” It was not going to Paris,
however, that pleased Hortense; it was release from Louis, the care of
her sons, and rejoining her mother. Indeed, Louis Bonaparte’s cowardly
conduct in Holland brought great relief to both Hortense and Josephine,
especially was the latter happy at being able to have the children,
Napoleon Louis and Louis Napoleon, or little _Oui-oui_, as she called
him, (afterwards Napoleon III.) with her. She really was an ideal
grandmother, everybody conceded, the children first of all. Their
opinion was happily expressed once by Louis, who, when a lady of the
court was leaving to see her husband, said soberly, “She must love M.
A—— very much if she will leave grandmama to go and see him.”

When Josephine left Malmaison in June, she had intended traveling in
Italy, after Switzerland, and spending the winter at Milan with her son.
Her old terror of being forgotten by the Emperor and driven from France
seized her in September, however, and for weeks she tormented herself
with the notion that it was Napoleon’s plan not to allow her to return
to France. She had no reason for the supposition beyond the gossip which
came to her and the fears of her own sore heart; but this was enough to
persuade her so thoroughly that she was to be exiled that her health
began to fail. She succeeded, too, in communicating her fears to the
ladies of her suite, and the little company made themselves wretched in
the classical feminine way over a possibility for which there was no
foundation whatever.


  LOUIS BONAPARTE. 1778–1846.

  King of Holland in 1806. Abdicated in 1810, taking the title of Comte
    de St. Leu.]

Finally, Josephine wrote a humble letter to Napoleon, asking permission
to spend the winter at Navarre. He replied at once, that of course she
might go there if she would. The household were thrown in hysterical
transports of joy by this permission, and they hastened northward for a
long winter in a provincial chateau as if Italy was a prison and the
honors they would have received there mockery and insult.

In spite of the fact that Navarre was not a suitable winter residence
even when in the best condition, and that the changes and repairs
planned were still incomplete, Josephine and her household passed a
really happy winter and spring there. The life was a simple and
wholesome one, free from the exacting ceremonies and the tiresome
restraints of the court, and the health of them all, and notably of
Josephine, improved. Instead of late hours and heated rooms and great
crowds, there were the healthy habits of the country, constant outdoor
sports, the plain people of Evreux. Josephine found the headaches, which
for so long a time had tormented her, almost totally disappearing. As
her health improved she wept less, and her eyes, which she had seriously
injured since the divorce, by her constant tears, grew better. The
unfailing sweetness of her disposition in her trial had, up to this
time, been combined with such weakness and suspicions that its beauty
had been obscured. When, one after another, her alarms proved to be
unfounded; when each time she found she received what she asked; when
Napoleon continued to write her as a dear friend, to visit her from time
to time, to do for her children; when, after the birth of the King of
Rome, he even arranged that she should see the child, and when from
every side she continued to hear praise for her sacrifice which had made
an heir possible, she took courage. With the return of peace to her
distracted heart, she began to fill her life fuller of useful and
pleasant occupations. She established a school at Navarre, where poor
children were taught; she improved the town promenade, and built a
little theater; she fed the hungry, cared for the sick; proved herself,
indeed, a veritable providence to the whole country-side.



  Bronze from the collection of Prince Victor. This elegant figure is a
    faithful reproduction of a medallion made by Andrieu, on the birth
    of the King of Rome.]

In her own family, too, she was a good genius. Hortense was now at the
court of Marie Louise, and Josephine was as ever her confidant and
adviser. The two little princes she kept much with her, relieving
Hortense of their care. Napoleon was particularly pleased with this
arrangement, knowing how much it would do to make Josephine happy, and
feeling, too, that her training was an excellent thing for the lads.
Even when the children were with Hortense, much of her time was taken up
with providing playthings for them and for the little folks at Milan.
Mlle. Ducrest says that the salon at Malmaison often looked like a
warehouse in the Rue du Coq, so full was it of toys, and there was no
surer way of pleasing Josephine than admiring the trifles she was
constantly buying for her grandchildren.

Eugène frequently made brief visits to Napoleon, and Josephine’s pride
in him and in the place he held in the Emperor’s respect and affection
was great. She rejoiced that Eugène was happy in his married life, loved
his wife, the good and beautiful Augusta, daughter of the King of
Bavaria; and when she went to Italy to visit the court at Milan, as she
did in Eugène’s absence in 1812, at the confinement of the princess, she
came away with her heart abrim with maternal joy.

Indeed, Josephine grew more and more beloved throughout the years 1811
and 1812 as she added cheerfulness and courage to her amiability. “You
are adored at Milan,” wrote Eugène to her once. “They are writing me
charming things about you. You turn the head of everybody who comes near
you.” Even Marie Louise laid aside her jealousy of Josephine after the
birth of the King of Rome, and by many little attentions to Hortense
added to Josephine’s happiness. She was something in France, she felt;
she was honored, her place was secure.

Nobody was better satisfied than Napoleon himself at seeing Josephine
take the position he had conceived she should have, and her returning
cheerfulness was a constant pleasure to him. Only one subject of
contention seems to have occurred between them at this period that was
the old one of Josephine’s extravagance. She could not be persuaded to
live within her income, and finally Napoleon took the matter rigorously
in hand, writing to the Minister of the Public Exchequer the following

                                                   1st November, 1811.

  You will do well to send privately for the Empress Josephine’s
  comptroller and make him aware that nothing will be paid over to
  him, unless proof is furnished that there are no debts; and, as I
  will have no shilly-shallying on the subject, this must be
  guaranteed on the comptroller’s own property. You will therefore
  notify the comptroller, that from the 1st of January next, no
  payment will be made, either in your office, or by the Crown
  Treasury, until he has given an undertaking that no debts exist, and
  made his own property responsible for the fact. I have information
  that the expenditure in that household is exceedingly careless. You
  will, therefore, see the comptroller, and put yourself in possession
  of all facts regarding money matters; for it is absurd that instead
  of saving two millions of money, as the Empress should have done,
  she should have more debts to be paid. It will be easy for you to
  find out the truth about this from the comptroller, and to make him
  understand that he himself might be seriously compromised.

  Take an opportunity of seeing the Empress Josephine yourself, and
  give her to understand that I trust her household will be managed
  with more economy, and that if any debts are left outstanding, she
  will incur my sovereign displeasure. The Empress Louise has only 100
  000 crowns; she pays everything every week; she does without gowns,
  and denies herself, so as never to owe money.

  My intention is, then, that from the 1st of January, no payment
  shall be made for the Empress Josephine’s household without a
  certificate from the comptroller, to the effect that she has no
  debts. Look into her budget for 1811, and that prepared for 1812. It
  should not amount to more than a million. If too many horses are
  kept, some of them must be put down. The Empress Josephine, who has
  children and grandchildren, ought to economise, and so be of some
  use to them, instead of running into debt.

  I desire you will not make any more payments to Queen Hortense,
  either on account of her appanage, or for wood-felling, without
  asking my permission. Confer with her comptroller too, so that her
  household may be properly managed, and that she may not only keep
  out of debt, but regulate her expenditure in a fitting manner.

                               CHAPTER X

                  1813—FLIGHT FROM PARIS—DEATH IN 1814

By the spring of 1812 Josephine had adjusted herself admirably to her
new life. She had conquered her suspicions, acquired self-control, taken
up useful duties. Her position was recognized by all France. In every
quarter she was loved and honored. Never indeed in all her disordered,
changeful existence was she so worthy of respect and affection. With
every week her power of self-control, her capacity for happiness seemed
to grow. In the spring she spent some time with Hortense at the chateau
of Saint Leu, the latter’s country home. After she returned to
Malmaison, she wrote back a letter which shows to what a large degree
she had regained contentment. “The few days I spent with you,” she wrote
Hortense, “were very happy, and did me great good. Everybody who comes
to see me says that I never looked better, and I am not surprised at it.
My health always depends on my experiences, and those with you were
sweet and happy.”

In June, the campaign against Russia, for which Napoleon had been
preparing for several months, began; but there is no indication that
Josephine had any anxiety in seeing the Grand Army set out. Had she not
seen the Emperor return from Italy, from Austerlitz, Jena, and Wagram?
In July she went to Milan, to remain with the Princess Augusta, Eugène’s
wife, through her confinement. She seemed to get great pleasure from her
visit. The princess she found charming, the children could not be
better, everybody treated her with a consideration and an affection
which touched her deeply. She seems to have been happy at Milan for the
most natural, wholesome reasons—because her son’s wife is a good woman
and loves her husband; because the new granddaughter is a healthy child;
because the good people of Milan remember her, and love her.

Josephine took great satisfaction at this time, too, in Eugène’s
success. He was, in fact, justifying fully in Russia the good opinion
the Emperor had always had of him, and his letters to his mother were
almost exultant. “The Emperor gained a great victory over the Russians
to-day,” he wrote her on September 8th. “We fought for thirteen hours,
and I commanded the left. We all did our duty, and I hope the Emperor is
satisfied.” And again, “I write you only two words, my good mother, to
tell you that I am well. My corps had a brilliant day yesterday. I had
to deal with eight divisions of the enemy from morning until night, and
I kept my position. The Emperor is pleased, and you can believe that I

But the joy of victory was not long continued. Moscow was entered on
September 15th, 1812. The exultation that the capture of the enemy’s
capital caused in France was short-lived. Close upon it came reports of
the burning of the city, of the awful cost of the march inland, of the
suffering the army was undergoing. When Josephine reached Paris in
October, the city was full of sinister reports of defeat. A plot to
seize the government, based on a report of Napoleon’s death, had just
been suppressed. Her letters from Eugène had talked only of victory.
What could it mean? As she listened to the reports afloat and came under
the spell of the city’s foreboding, a deadly despair seized her. At the
mere mention of Napoleon’s name she wept. Her face carried such woe that
her household feared that worse evils had befallen them than they knew
of, and Malmaison for weeks was wrapped in gloom.



  Engraved by Longhi, after Gérard, Milan, 1813.]

This was her condition when suddenly it was reported that Napoleon had
returned unannounced from Russia. Amazed at the extent of the conspiracy
which had arisen in his absence and at the instability of the throne at
the mere report of his own death, and fearing still more serious results
when the full news of the catastrophe in Russia reached France, the
Emperor had driven night and day across Europe to Paris. His presence
inspired courage, but it could not close the ears of France to the
ghastly stories of the retreat from Moscow, nor blind her eyes to the
haggard remnants of men who daily flocked into the city. There was an
appearance of gaiety, because the Emperor ordered it; but there was
little heart in the winter’s merry-making.

Napoleon’s return did not restore Josephine’s confidence. Her
superstition, always lively, asserted itself to the full. The first day
of the new year, 1813, was on Friday. Josephine’s presentiments were the
darkest. This year would bring Napoleon sorrow and loss, she declared.
France was to suffer. Nothing could restore her calm. In all this grief
the thought was ever present with her that the divorce was the cause of
Napoleon’s misfortunes. He had destroyed his Star. Nor was she by any
means alone in this theory. Indeed, it is probable that she had adopted
it from others, for many people in France had always believed it. Even
in the Grand Army, during the campaign against Russia, soldiers said,
after reverses began, that it was because of the divorce. “He shouldn’t
have left the old girl,” they put it; “she brought him luck—and us too.”

In the spring of 1813, the Emperor was off again at the head of the army
which by feverish efforts he had gathered and equipped. Josephine saw
the new campaign begin with foreboding; she watched its doubtful
progress with growing dismay, and finally when in November, the French
army, defeated, and with its allies daily deserting, crossed the Rhine,
her anguish was pitiful. Napoleon’s name was incessantly on her lips,
and of everybody who came within her range that knew anything of him she
asked a hundred eager questions. How did he look? Was he pale? Did he
sleep? Did he believe his Star had deserted him?

When Eugène’s father-in-law, the King of Bavaria, abandoned his alliance
with the Emperor, Josephine urged upon her son loyalty and energy; and
when Louis Bonaparte moved by his brother’s misfortunes, hurried to
offer his services, Josephine pointed out to Hortense, who, she thought,
might reasonably expect new annoyance if Louis’s offer was accepted,
that her husband’s act was a noble one and that Hortense should view it
so. Hortense seems as a matter of fact, to have felt more respect for
her husband when she heard of his offer to return than she had for many

During the advance of the allies towards Paris and the wonderful
resistance Napoleon offered for many weeks, Josephine remained at
Malmaison feverishly questioning everybody who came. As the battles grew
nearer, she interested herself in hospital work, and set her household
to making lint. Now and then she received a note from the Emperor—a
characteristic note of triumph—never of fear or complaint. These notes
she always retired to read and to weep over, and afterwards she spent
hours talking of them to her women.

As the end of March approached the allies were so near Paris that
Josephine saw bodies of strangely uniformed men passing and repassing
near Malmaison—Cossacks, Austrians, Prussians. What could it all mean?
Hortense, at the court of Marie Louise, sent her daily notes, telling
her of the hopes and fears of Paris. Invariably these notes were
courageous, showing perfect confidence in the final triumph of Napoleon.
When at last, on March 28th, Hortense learned that Marie Louise and the
court were leaving the city, her indignation was intense. She could do
nothing, however. It was her duty to accompany Marie Louise, and she had
only time before departing to send a note to Josephine, urging her to go
to Navarre.

“My dear Hortense,” Josephine replied, “up to the moment I received your
letter I kept my courage. I cannot endure the thought that I am to be
separated from you, and God knows for how long! I am following your
counsel; I shall go to-morrow to Navarre. I have only sixteen men in my
guard here, and they are all wounded. I shall keep them; but as a matter
of fact, I do not need them. I am so wretched at being separated from my
children that I am indifferent about what happens to myself. Try to send
me word how you are, what you will do, and where you will go. I shall
try to follow you from afar, at least.”

Early on March 29th, the little household started through rain and mud.
Josephine’s terror was complete. She fancied she would be waylaid by
Cossacks; and once when she saw a band of soldiers approaching, she
jumped from her carriage, and fled across the fields alone. It was with
difficulty that her attendants convinced her that the strangers were
French, not foreign soldiers.

Once at Navarre, she spent much of her time alone—a practice quite
unlike her,—reading and re-reading Napoleon’s letters. One of them she
carried always in her bosom. It had been sent from Brienne, only a short
time before the abdication, and contained the most touching expressions
of his affection for her to be found in any of his later letters: “I
have sought death in numberless engagements; I no longer dread its
approach; I should now hail it as a boon.... Nevertheless, I still wish
to see Josephine once more.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

A few days after Josephine’s arrival at Navarre, Hortense joined her,
and there the two learned of Napoleon’s abdication and of the return of
the Bourbons. After the first paroxysm of grief was over, they began
planning for the future. Hortense would go to America, with her
children, she declared. There she could rear them so that they would be
fit for any future. But Josephine was not for renouncing her position.
She began to write feverishly in every direction, apparently hoping to
interest her friends in saving something for her in the general
overthrow. The allies had no disposition, however, to take from
Josephine either her rank or all her income. The Emperor Alexander, who
was the real umpire of the game, believed it wise to look after the
material interests of the Bonaparte family, and in the treaty arranged
that Josephine should have an annual income of 1,000,000 francs and that
she should keep all of her property, disposing of it as she pleased.
Alexander showed a strong desire to win Josephine’s favor, in fact.
Learning that she was at Navarre, he invited her to Malmaison, giving
her every assurance that she would be safe there. Before the end of
April, she came with Hortense, and here Eugene joined them. Alexander
soon came to Malmaison to see the Empress. His attentions to her set the
vogue for the court, and repeated assurances came from all sides to
Josephine that her position and that of her children was safe with the
new _régime_. But Josephine could not believe it so. Her days and nights
were full of foreboding—of laments over the fate of the Emperor. One
day, after dining with Alexander at the Chateau of St. Leu, she returned
to her room in complete collapse.

“I cannot overcome the frightful sadness which has taken possession of
me,” she said. “I make every effort to conceal it from my children, but
only suffer the more. I am beginning to lose my courage. The Emperor of
Russia has certainly shown great regard and affection for us, but it is
nothing but words. What will he decide to do with my son, my daughter
and her children? Is he not in a position to do something for them? Do
you know what will happen when he has gone away? Nothing he has promised
will be carried out. I shall see my children unhappy, and I cannot
endure the idea; it causes me the most dreadful suffering. I am
suffering enough already on account of the fate of the Emperor Napoleon,
stripped of all his greatness, sent into an island far from France,
abandoned. Must I, besides this, see my children wanderers? Stripped of
fortune? It seems to me this idea is going to kill me.... Is it Austria
who opposes my son’s advancement? Is it the Bourbons? Certainly they are
under obligations enough to me to be willing to pay them by helping my
children. Have I not been good to all of their party in their
misfortunes? To be sure, I never imagined they would come back to
France; nevertheless, it pleased me to be their friend; they were
Frenchmen, they were suffering, they were former acquaintances, and the
position of those princes that I had seen in their youth touched my
heart. Did I not ask Bonaparte twenty times to let the Duchess of
Orleans and the Duchess of Bourbon come back? It was through me that he
succored them in their distress, that he allowed them a pension which
they received in a foreign country.”

The attention paid her by the allies seemed to leave no ground for any
of these anxieties. The King of Prussia and his sons, the grand-dukes of
Russia, every great man in Paris, in fact, sought Josephine repeatedly.
She distrusted it all, and one moment wept over the fate of herself and
children; the next over Napoleon alone on his island—repeatedly she
declared she would join him if she did not fear it would cause a
misunderstanding between him and Marie Louise, and so prevent the latter
from going to Elba, as Josephine thought she ought to do. In her nervous
state she searched for signs of the neglect and discourtesy which she
believed were in store for her. She planned to sell her jewels. Everyone
in the household became thoroughly disturbed over her condition. “My
mother is courageous and amiable, when she is receiving,” Hortense said
one day; “but as soon as she is alone, she gives up to a grief which is
my despair. I am afraid that the misfortunes which have fallen upon us
have affected her too deeply and that her health will never reassert

Josephine was in this nervous condition when she took a severe cold, and
on May 25th her condition was so serious that the best physicians of
Paris were summoned. The Emperor of Russia sent his private physician,
and went himself frequently to Malmaison. Everything that could be done
was done, but poor Josephine’s power of resistance was at an end.
Restlessly tossing hour after hour on her pillow, murmuring at
intervals—“Bonaparte”—“Elba”—“Marie Louise”—she lay for four days. On
the morning of the 29th, it was evident to Hortense and Eugene, evident
to Josephine herself, that she could not live long. The priest was
summoned, and alone with him she confessed for the last time, while in
the chapel below her children knelt and listened to the mass said for
their mother. After the confession, the members of the household
gathered about her bed while the sacrament was administered. A few
moments after the last words of the solemn service were said, the
Empress was pronounced dead.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The news of the death of Josephine produced a profound impression in
Paris. She had died of grief, they said, grief at Napoleon’s downfall.
Even those who had no sympathy for her in life were moved by the tragic
circumstances of her end and hastened to pay a last tribute to her
memory. For three days the body of the Empress lay on a catafalque in
the vestibule of the chateau at Malmaison, and in that time over 20,000
persons looked upon it.

At the funeral, which took place on June 2nd, in the little church at
Reuil, near Malmaison, royal honors were accorded Josephine; though the
really touching feature of the procession and service was the presence
of hundreds of people—soldiers, peasants, old men, children—who came to
pay the only tribute possible to them to the “good Josephine,” the
“Star” of the Emperor.

The Empress still lies in the little church at Reuil, where she was laid
eighty-six years ago, and her grave and the Chateau of Malmaison have
remained until to-day, places of pilgrimage for those who knew and loved
her in life as well as for many thousands whose hearts have been touched
by the melancholy story of her life of adventure, glory, and sorrow. In
June, 1815, before departing for Waterloo, Napoleon visited the chateau.
Hortense, who had not been there since her mother’s death, received him.
For an hour he walked in the park talking of Josephine; then he went
over the chateau, looking at every room, at almost every article of
furniture. At the door of the room where Josephine had died, it is told
that he stopped and said to Hortense, “My daughter, I wish to go in
alone.” When he came out his eyes were wet.

Scarcely more than two weeks later he returned to Malmaison. Defeated at
Waterloo, he was an outcast unless France rallied to him. That the
country could not do. It was thus from the home of Josephine that
Napoleon went into captivity.

In 1824, Eugène and Hortense, both exiles from France since 1815, bought
one of the chapels in the church at Reuil and placed in it the beautiful
monument to Josephine which is to be seen there to-day. In 1831,
Hortense crossed France incognito with Louis-Napoleon, and the two then,
for the first time, saw the monument. From Reuil they went to Malmaison,
but only to the gates. Five years before, the chateau had been sold to a
Swedish banker, and the porter refused Hortense admission because she
had no pass from the proprietor.

Seven years after this sad visit, Hortense was brought to Reuil to be
laid beside her mother. But it was not until twelve years later, when
her son, Josephine’s beloved _Oui-oui_, Louis-Napoleon, had become
emperor, that a monument was placed in the church to her memory. With
the return of the Bonapartes to power, the memory of Josephine became a
cult. It was she alone of all the women who for seventy years had ruled
France, Napoleon III. told his people, who had brought them happiness.
Her statue was reared in Paris; her name was given to a grand avenue;
Malmaison was bought, made more brilliant than ever, and thrown open to
visitors. On every hand her life was extolled, her character glorified.
As a result of this attempt at canonization, Josephine became for the
world a pure and gentle heroine, the victim of her own unselfish
devotion to the man she loved. With the passing of the Napoleonic
dynasty, it has become possible to study her life dispassionately. The
researches show her to have been much less of a saint than Napoleon III.
wished the world to believe.

Josephine was by birth and training the victim of a vicious system. Her
nature was essentially shallow, her strongest passions being for
attention, gaiety, and the possession of beautiful apparel and jewels.
Nothing in her early surroundings showed her that there were better
things in life to pursue. None of the hard experiences of later life
dimmed these passions. To gratify them she was willing to adapt herself
to any society, and freely give her person to the lover who promised
most. It would be unjust to judge her by the orderly standards of
present-day Anglo-Saxon morality—she, an eighteenth century creole, cast
almost a child into the chaotic whirl of the French Revolution. What
purity or dignity could be expected of a child of her nature when her
chief protectors, her father, her aunt, and her husband, were all
notoriously unfaithful to the most sacred relations of life! If
Josephine, when abandoned by her husband and later thrown on her own
resources in a society which was honey-combed with vice, went with her
world, one can only pity.

There is little doubt that if she had been faithful to Napoleon from the
beginning of their married life, her future with him would have been
different. The fatal disillusion he suffered in 1797 made the divorce
possible for him. So long as Josephine was true, no other woman could
have existed for him. Such is the strange exclusiveness in love, of a
nature, brutal, sweet, and strong like Napoleon’s. It should never be
forgotten, however, that when the poor little creole realized, that to
keep her position she must be faithful, she never after gave offense,
and that as the years went on her devotion to her husband became a cult.
Nothing indeed in the history of women is more pathetic than the
patience, the sweetness, with which Josephine performed all the exacting
and uncongenial duties of her position as Empress.

Although Josephine possessed none of those qualities which make a heroic
soul, knew nothing of true self-denial, was a coward in danger, never
lost sight of personal interest, was an abject time-server, few women
have been loved more sincerely by those surrounding them. There was good
reason for this. No word of malice ever crossed her lips, she took no
joy in seeing an enemy suffer, she never intrigued, she never flagged in
kindly service. If she was incapable of heroic deeds at least her days
were filled with small courtesies, kind words, generous acts. A candid
survey of her life destroys the heroine, but it leaves a woman who
through a stormy life kept a kindly heart towards friend and enemy and
who at last attained rectitude of conduct.

And this is the most that can be said for her. It touches the woman
Josephine only. As for the Empress Josephine, she is only a name. She
held her throne by the accident of her marriage and never took it
seriously. She never comprehended the ideas it stood for in the mind of
the great tyrant who established it. The prosperity of the French
people—the glory of French arms, the spread of just laws, the
establishment of a stable system, all those notions for which Napoleon
was struggling, meant nothing to her save as they affected the tenure of
her own position. The one distinguished opportunity she had of serving
the Napoleonic idea—the divorce—she accepted only when she realized that
she could not escape it. That her graciousness and her kindly spirit
smoothed Napoleon’s way in the difficult task of manufacturing a court
and a nobility is unquestionable. But this was the service of a tactful
woman of the world rendered to a husband, not of an Empress to her
people. The French people indeed meant no more to her than her throne.
They merely filled the background of the stage where she played her
part. She was an Empress only in name, never in soul.

                Autographs of Napoleon from 1785–1816[3]

In the year 1785, Napoleon left the Military School at Paris, and was
admitted as a Second Lieutenant in the regiment of La Fère. At this time
he signed like his father: “Buonaparte, younger son, gentleman, at the
Royal Military School of Paris.”

[Illustration: _Buonaparte, younger son, gentleman, at the Royal
Military School of Paris._]

Napoleon obtained a company in 1789, and in 1792 he was sent at the head
of a battalion of Volunteer Infantry, which was to take part in an
expedition against Sardinia. On returning from this expedition, he
commanded the artillery at the siege of Toulon. His signature then was
as follows:

[Illustration: _Buonaparte_]

After the capture of Ollioules, the 3rd of December, 1793, Napoleon was
made General, and in 1794 he commanded the artillery of the Army of
Italy. At the commencement of the year 1795 he was ordered to join the
Infantry in the Vendée, but he refused and remained in Paris, where he
was attached to the Minister of War. The 5th of October of this year, he
commanded under Barras, the Army of the Convention, against the Sections
of Paris, and became, thanks to him, General of Division.

A little later Barras gave him the Commanding Chief of the Army of the

Up to this time Napoleon had not changed the spelling of his name. The
heading of his letters read “_Buonaparte, general en chef de l’armée de
l’interieur_,” and he signed “_Buonaparte_.”

[Illustration: _Buonaparte_]

The next signature is at the end of a note on the Army of Italy dated
January 19, 1796, _Le Général Buonaparte_.

[Illustration: _Le Général Buonaparte_]

In the Memorial from St. Helena, Napoleon says that in his youth he
signed _Buonaparte_ like his father, and having obtained the command of
the Army of Italy, he changed this spelling, which was Italian, but some
years later, being among the French, he signed _Bonaparte_.

Napoleon was made General-in-Chief of the Army of Italy, the 23rd of
Feb., 1796, and he signed _Buonaparte_ up to the 29th of the same month.
He left Paris to join the Army towards the middle of the following
month, and in the first letter he addressed to the Directory, dated
Nice, the 28th of March, from his headquarters, he informed them that he
had taken command of the Army the day before, and he signed himself

[Illustration: _Bonaparte_]

From this time the change was generally adopted, and the official
letters bear the signature “_Bonaparte, General-in-Chief of the Army of

From his headquarters at Carcare, Napoleon addressed to the Directory at
Paris his reports on the battle of Montenotte, which opened the Italian
campaign. This letter was dated April 14, 1796, and signed _Bonaparte_.

[Illustration: _Bonaparte_]

In his celebrated proclamation from Milan, the 20th of March, 1796,
Napoleon thus addressed his army: “Soldiers, you have precipitated
yourselves like a torrent from the top of the Apennines, Milan is
yours!” and he signed _Bonaparte_.

[Illustration: _Bonaparte_]

As General-in-Chief of the Egyptian Expedition, Napoleon signed as

[Illustration: _Bonaparte_]

From Cairo, the 30th of July, 1798, he signed himself _Bonaparte_.

[Illustration: _Bonaparte_]

When he first became Emperor, he signed himself _Napoleon_.

[Illustration: _Napoleon_]

The above is one of the first signatures of the Emperor. It was given at
Saint Cloud, the 25th of May, 1804. The first three letters NAPoleon,
and exactly like this in the middle of his signature when he was
accustomed to signing himself BuoNAParte. Up to 1805 he continued to
sign his whole name. The 18th of September, 1805, he signed:

[Illustration: _Napoleon_]

After the battle of Austerlitz, which ended the campaign of 1805, the
proclamation of Napoleon, dated from the Imperial Camp of Austerlitz,
the 3rd of December, 1805, was signed _Napoleon_.

[Illustration: _Napoleon_]

Beginning with the campaign of 1806, he signed only the first five
letters of his name, thus, _Napol_.

[Illustration: _Napol_]

The 26th of October, 1806, at Potsdam, the Emperor signed himself thus,

[Illustration: _Napol_]

The 29th of October, 1806, from Berlin, as follows:

[Illustration: _Napol_]

The 27th of January, from Varsovia,

[Illustration: _Napol_]

From the Imperial Camp at Tilsit, the 22nd of June, 1807, the Emperor
signed only his initial, as below, and very rarely after that his entire
name: _N_.

[Illustration: _N._]

The 7th of December, 1808, he signed from Madrid, thus, _N_.

[Illustration: _N._]

At the commencement of the campaign of 1809, in writing to Marshall
Masséna, he signed himself as follows:

[Illustration: _Napoleon_]

From the Imperial Camp of Ratisbonne, the 24th of April, 1809, the
Emperor addressed a proclamation to the Army, ending thus, “Before a
month has passed, I shall be at Vienna,” and he signed

[Illustration: _Napoleon_]

Less than three weeks afterwards, the French Army was at Vienna, and the
Emperor signed his decrees from the Palace of Schoenbrunn, 13th of May:

[Illustration: _Napoleon_]

The same variety of signatures is found in the orders dated Moscow, the
city which he had entered as a Conqueror, the 12th of September, 1812.

[Illustration: _Napoleon_]

The 21st of Sept., 1812, at 3 o’clock in the morning, the Emperor signed
himself as follows:

[Illustration: _Napoleon_]

During the campaign of 1813, the Emperor sent an order from Dresden to
the Major-General, dated October 1st, at noon. General Petit relates
that he reflected some time before sending it, for the signature had
been scratched out twice, and written a third time.

[Illustration: _Napoleon_]

One of the next extraordinary signatures of the Emperor’s, is the
following, which he gave at Erfurt, October 13, 1813:

[Illustration: _N._]

The 4th of April, 1814, Fontainebleau, thus, _N_.

[Illustration: _N._]

The 9th of September, 1814, from the Isle of Elba, he writes thus:

[Illustration: _Napoleon_]

On July 14, 1815, the Emperor wrote to the Prince Regent of England and
signed himself

[Illustration: _Napoleon_]

At Longwood, St. Helena, on Dec. 11, 1816, the Emperor wrote to Count
Las Cases a letter of condolence on the order the Count had received to
leave the island. It was his first signature at St. Helena.

[Illustration: _Napoleon_]


Footnote 3:

  This collection of signatures is reproduced from “Napoléon raconté par
  l’Image” by Armand Dayot.

                     TABLE OF THE BONAPARTE FAMILY.

             (1746–1785)                        (1750–1836.)

                            MARRIED IN 1765.

                         _From this marriage_:

                  *       *       *       *       *

  1. _Joseph_ (1768–1844), married in 1794 to Marie Julie Clary.

     _From this marriage_:

     (1) Zénaïde Charlotte (1801–1854), married in 1832 to her cousin,
       Charles Bonaparte, Prince de Canino.

     (2) Charlotte (1802–1839), married in 1831 Napoleon Louis, her
       cousin, second son of Louis.
                  *       *       *       *       *

 2d. NAPOLEON I. (1769–1821), married

     (1) Marie Josephine Rose Tascher de la Pagerie in 1796.

     (2) Marie Louise, Archduchess of Austria, in 1810.

     _Adopted the first wife’s two children_:

     (1) Eugène (1781–1824), who married the Princess Augusta Amelia,
       daughter of the King of Bavaria.

     _From this marriage_:

     (_a_) Maximilian Joseph, Duke of Leuchtenberg, who married in 1839
       a daughter of the Czar Nicholas.

     (_b_) Josephine, married in 1823 to Oscar Bernadotte, since King of
       Sweden under the name of Charles XIV.

     (_c_) Eugénie Hortense, married in 1826 to Prince Frederick of
       Hohenzollern Hechingen.

     (_d_) Amélie Augusta, married in 1829 to Dom Pedro, Emperor of

     (_e_) Auguste Charles, married in 1835 to Donna Maria, Queen of

     (_f_) Théodeline Louise, married in 1841 to William, Count of

     (2) Eugénie Hortense (1783–1827), married to Louis Bonaparte. (See

     _From second marriage_:

     François Charles Joseph (NAPOLEON II.), King of Rome, afterwards
       Duke of Reichstadt (1811–1832).
                  *       *       *       *       *

 3d. _Lucien_ (1775–1840), married:

     (1) in 1794, Christine Eleonore Boyer.

     (2) in 1802, Madame Jouberthon.

     _From first marriage_:

     (1) Charlotte, married in 1815 to Prince Mario Gabrielli.

     (2) Christine Egypta, married in 1818 to Count Avred Posse, a
       Swede, and in 1824 to Lord Dudley Coutts Stuart.

     _From second marriage_:

     (1) Charles Lucien Jules Laurent, Prince of Canino, married to
       elder daughter of Joseph Bonaparte. Charles Lucien had eight
       children: Joseph, who died young; Lucien a cardinal in 1868;
       Napoleon, served in French army; Julie, married to the Marquis de
       Boccagiovine; Charlotte, who became the Countess of Primoli;
       Augusta, afterwards the Princess Gabrielli; Marie, married to
       Count Campello; Bathilde, married to Count Cambacérès.

     (2) Lætitia, married to Sir Thomas Wyse.

     (3) Paul, killed in 1826.

     (4) Jeanne, died in 1828.

     (5) Louis Lucien, known as Prince Lucien, and distinguished as a

     (6) Pierre Napoleon, known as Prince Pierre, married to a
       sempstress, and refused to give her up. The oldest son of Prince
       Pierre is the Prince Roland Bonaparte. He would now be the chief
       of the House of Bonaparte, if Lucien had not been cut off from
       the succession.

     (7) Antoine.

     (8) Marie, married to the Viscount Valentini.

     (9) Constance, who took the veil.
                  *       *       *       *       *

 4th. _Marie Anne Eliza_ (1777–1820), married to Felix Bacciochi in 1797.

     _From this marriage_:

     (1) Charles Jerome Bacchiochi 1810–1830.

     (2) Napoleone Eliza, married to Count Camerata.
                  *       *       *       *       *

 5th. _Louis_ (1778–1846) married in 1802 to Eugénie Hortense de
       Beauharnais, daughter of Josephine.

     _From this marriage_:

     (1) Napoleon-Charles, heir-presumptive to the throne of Holland,
       died in 1807.

     (2) Charles Napoleon Louis, married his cousin Charlotte, daughter
       of Joseph; died in 1831.

     (3) Charles Louis Napoleon, Emperor of the French in 1852, under
       the title of NAPOLEON III, married in 1857 to Eugénie de Montijo
       de Guzman Countess of Teba.

     _From this marriage_:

     Napoleon Eugène Louis Jean Joseph Prince Imperial, born in 1856;
       killed in Zululand in 1879.
                  *       *       *       *       *

 6th. _Marie Pauline_ (1780–1825), married

     (1) in 1801 to General Leclerc.

     (2) in 1803 to Prince Camille Borghese. No children.
                  *       *       *       *       *

 7th. _Caroline Marie Annonciade_ (1782–1839), married Joachim Murat in

     _From this marriage_:

     (1) Napoleon Achille Charles Louis Murat (1801–1847), went to
       Florida where he married a grand-niece of George Washington.

     (2) Lætitia Josèphe, married to the Marquis of Pepoli.

     (3) Lucien Charles Joseph Francois Napoleon Murat, married an
       American, a Miss Fraser, in 1827. From this marriage there were
       five children.

     (4) Louise Julie Caroline, married Count Rospoli.
                  *       *       *       *       *

 8th. _Jerome_ (1784–1860), married:

     (1) in 1803 to Miss Eliza Patterson of Baltimore; and

     (2) in 1807 to the Princess Catharine of Würtemberg.

     _From first marriage_:

     Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte-Paterson (1805–1870) married in 1829 to
       Miss Suzanne Gay. Two children were born from this marriage:

     (1) Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte (1832–1893).

     (2) Charles Bonaparte, at present a resident of Baltimore.

     _From second marriage_:

     (1) Jerome Napoleon Charles, who died in 1847.

     (2) Mathilde Lætita Wilhelmine, married in 1840 to a Russian,
       Prince Demidoff, but separated from him: known as the Princess

     (3) Napoleon Joseph Charles Paul, called Prince Napoleon, also
       known as Plon Plon, married in 1859 the Princess Clotilde,
       daughter of King Victor Emmanuel of Italy. On the death of the
       Prince Imperial, in 1879, became chief of the Bonapartist party.
       Died in 1891. Prince Napoleon had three children:

     (a) Napoleon Victor Jerome Frederick, born in 1862, called Prince
       Victor and the present Head of the House of Bonaparte.

     (b) Napoleon Louis Joseph Jerome.

     (c) Marie Lætitia Eugénie Catharine Adelaide.


           AGE. DATE. EVENT.

                1769. Aug. 15.—Napoleon Bonaparte born at Ajaccio, in
                        Corsica. Fourth child of Charles Bonaparte and
                        of Lætitia, _née_ Ramolino.

             9. 1778. Dec.—Napoleon embarks for France with his father,
                        his brother Joseph, and his Uncle Fesch.

             9. 1779. Jan. 1—Napoleon enters the College of Autun.

             9. 1779. April 23.—Napoleon enters the Royal Military
                        School of Brienne.

            15. 1784. Oct. 23.—Napoleon enters the Royal Military School
                        of Paris.

            16. 1785. Sept. 1.—Napoleon appointed Second Lieutenant in
                        the Artillery Regiment de la Fère.

            16. 1785. Oct. 29.—Napoleon leaves the Military School of

            16. 1785. Nov. 5 to Aug. 11, 1786.—Napoleon at Valence with
                        his regiment.

            17. 1786. Aug. 15 to Sept. 20.—Napoleon at Lyons with

            17. 1786. Oct. 17 to Feb. 1, 1787.—Napoleon at Douai with

            17. 1787. Feb. 1 to Oct. 14.—Napoleon on leave to Corsica.

            18. 1787. Oct. 15 to Dec. 24.—Napoleon quits Corsica,
                        arrives in Paris, obtains fresh leave.

            18. 1787. Dec. 25 to May. 1788.—Napoleon proceeds to Corsica
                        and returns early in May.

         18–19. 1788. May to April 4, 1789.—Napoleon at Auxonne with

            19. 1789. April 5 to April 30.—Napoleon at Seurre in command
                        of a detachment.

         19–20. 1789. May 1 to Sept. 15.—Napoleon at Auxonne with

         20–21. 1789. Sept. 16 to June 1, 1791.—Napoleon in Corsica.

         21–22. 1791. June 2 to Aug. 29.—Napoleon joins the Fourth
                        Regiment of Artillery at Valence as First

            22. 1791. Aug. 30.—Napoleon starts for Corsica on leave for
                        three months; quits Corsica May 2, 1792, for
                        France, where he has been dismissed for absence
                        without leave.

            23. 1792. Aug. 30.—Napoleon reinstated.

            23. 1792. Sept. 14 to June 11, 1793.—Napoleon in Corsica
                        engaged in revolutionary attempts; having
                        declared against Paoli, he and his family are
                        obliged to quit Corsica.

            23. 1793. June 13 to July 14.—Napoleon with his company at

            24. 1793. Oct. 9 to Dec. 19.—Napoleon placed in command of
                        part of artillery of army of Carteaux before
                        Toulon, 19th Oct.; Toulon taken 19th Dec.

            24. 1793. Dec. 22.—Napoleon nominated provisionally General
                        of Brigade; approved later; receives commission,
                        16th Feb., 1794.

            24. 1793. Dec. 26 to April 1, 1794.—Napoleon appointed
                        inspector of the coast from the Rhone to the
                        Var, on inspection duty.

            24. 1794. April 1 to Aug. 5.—Napoleon with army of Italy; at
                        Genoa 15th–21st July.

         24–25. 1794. Aug. 6 to Aug. 20, 1794.—Napoleon in arrest after
                        fall of Robespierre.

            25. 1794. Sept. 14 to March 29, 1795.—Napoleon commanding
                        artillery of an intended maritime expedition to

            25. 1795. March 27 to May 10.—Napoleon ordered from the
                        south to join the army in La Vendée to command
                        its artillery; arrives in Paris, 10th May.

         25–26. 1795. June 13.—Napoleon ordered to join Hoche’s army at
                        Brest, to command a brigade of infantry; remains
                        in Paris; 21st Aug., attached to Comité de Salut
                        Public as one of four advisors; 15th Sept.,
                        struck off list of employed generals for
                        disobedience of orders in not proceeding to the

            26. 1795. Oct. 5 (13th Vendémiaire, Jour des
                        Sections).—Napoleon defends the Convention from
                        the revolt of the Sections.

            26. 1795. Oct. 16.—Napoleon appointed provisionally General
                        of Division.

            26. 1795. Oct. 26.—Napoleon appointed General of Division
                        and Commander of the Army of the Interior (_i.
                        e._, of Paris).

            26. 1796. March 2.—Napoleon appointed Commander-in-Chief of
                        the Army of Italy; 9th March, marries Madame de
                        Beauharnais, _née_ Tascher de la Pagerie.

            26. 1796. March 11, leaves Paris for Italy.

            26. 1796. First Italian campaign of Napoleon against
                        Austrians under Beaulieu, and Sardinians under
                        Colli. Battle of Montenotte, 12th April;
                        Millesimo, 14th April; Dego, 14th and 15th
                        April; Mondovi, 22d April; Armistice of Cherasco
                        with Sardinians, 28th April; Battle of Lodi,
                        10th May; Austrians beaten out of Lombardy, and
                        Mantua besieged.

            26. 1796. July and August.—First attempt of Austrians to
                        relieve Mantua; battle of Lonato, 31st July;
                        Lonato and Castiglione, 3d Aug.; and, again,
                        Castiglione, 5th and 6th Aug.; Wurmser beaten
                        off, and Mantua again invested.

            27. 1796. Sept.—Second attempt of Austrians to relieve
                        Mantua; battle of Calliano, 4th Sept.;
                        Primolano, 7th Sept.; Bassano, 8th Sept.; St.
                        Georges, 15th Sept.; Wurmser driven into Mantua
                        and invested there.

            27. 1796. Nov.—Third attempt of Austrians to relieve Mantua;
                        battles of Caldiero, 11th Nov., and Arcola,
                        15th, 16th., and 17th Nov.; Alvinzi driven off.

            27. 1797. Jan.—Fourth attempt to relieve Mantua; battles of
                        Rivoli, 14th Jan., and Favorita, 16th Jan.;
                        Alvinzi again driven off.

            27. 1797. Feb. 2.—Wurmser surrenders Mantua with eighteen
                        thousand men.

            27. 1797. March 10.—Napoleon commences his advance on the
                        Archduke Charles; beats him at the Tagliamento,
                        16th March; 18th April, provisional treaty of
                        Leoben with Austria.

            28. 1797. Oct. 17.—Treaty of Campo Formio between France and
                        Austria to replace that of Leoben; Venice
                        partitioned, and itself now falls to Austria.

            28. 1798. Egyptian expedition. Napoleon sails from Toulon,
                        19th May; takes Malta, 10th June; lands near
                        Alexandria, 1st July; Alexandria taken, 2d July;
                        battle of the Pyramids, 21st July; Cairo
                        entered, 23d July.

            28. 1798. Aug. 1 and 2.—Battle of the Nile.

            29. 1799. March 3.—Napoleon starts for Syria; 7th March,
                        takes Jaffa; 18th March, invests St. Jean
                        d’Acre; 16th April, battle of Mount Tabor; 22d
                        May, siege of Acre raised; Napoleon reaches
                        Cairo, 14th June.

            29. 1799. July 25.—Battle of Aboukir; Turks defeated.

            30. 1799. Aug. 22.—Napoleon sails from Egypt; lands at
                        Fréjus, 6th Oct.

            30. 1799. Nov. 9 and 10 (18th and 19th Brumaire).—Napoleon
                        seizes power.

            30. 1799. Dec. 25.—Napoleon, First Consul; Cambacérès,
                        Second Consul; Lebrun, Third Consul.

            30. 1800. May and June.—Marengo campaign. 14th June, battle
                        of Marengo; armistice signed by Napoleon with
                        Melas, 15th June.

            31. 1800. Dec. 24 (3d Nivôse).—Attempt to assassinate
                        Napoleon by infernal machine.

            31. 1801. Feb. 9.—Treaty of Lunéville between France and

            31. 1801. July 15.—_Concordat_ with Rome.

            32. 1801. Oct. 1.—Preliminaries of peace between France and
                        England signed at London.

            32. 1802. Jan. 26.—Napoleon Vice-President of Italian

            32. 1802. March 27.—Treaty of Amiens.

            32. 1802. May 19.—Legion of Honor instituted; carried out
                        14th July, 1814.

            32. 1802. Aug. 4.—Napoleon First Consul for life.

            33. 1803. May.—War between France and England.

            33. 1803. March 5.—Civil Code (later Code Napoleon) decreed.

            34. 1804. March 21.—Duc d’Enghien shot at Vincennes.

         34-35. 1804. May 18.—Napoleon, Emperor of the French people;
                        crowned, 2d Dec.

            34. 1805. May 26.—Napoleon crowned king of Italy at Milan,
                        with iron crown.

            36. 1805. Ulm campaign; 25th Sept., Napoleon crosses the
                        Rhine; 14th Oct., battle of Elchingen; 20th
                        Oct., Mack surrenders Ulm.

            36. 1805. Oct. 21.—Battle of Trafalgar.

            36. 1805. Dec. 2.—Russians and Austrians defeated at

            36. 1805. Dec. 26.—Treaty of Presburg.

            36. 1806. July 1.—Confederation of the Rhine formed;
                        Napoleon protector.

            37. 1806. Jena campaign with Prussia. Battles of Jena and of
                        Auerstadt, 14th Oct.; Berlin occupied, 27th Oct.

            37. 1806. Nov. 21.—Berlin decrees issued.

            37. 1807. Feb. 8.—Battle of Eylau with Russians, indecisive;
                        14th June, battle of Friedland, decisive.

            37. 1807. July 8 and 9.—Treaty of Tilsit signed.

            38. 1807. Oct. 27.—Secret treaty of Fontainebleau between
                        France and Spain for the partition of Portugal.

            38. 1808. March.—French gradually occupy Spain; Joseph
                        Bonaparte transferred from Naples to Spain;
                        replaced at Naples by Murat.

            39. 1808. Sept. 27 to Oct. 14.—Conferences at Erfurt between
                        Napoleon, Alexander and German sovereigns.

            39. 1808. Nov. and Dec.—Napoleon beats the Spanish armies;
                        enters Madrid; marches against Moore, but
                        suddenly returns to France in January, 1809, to
                        prepare for Austrian campaign.

            39. 1809. Campaign of Wagram. Austrians advance, 10th April;
                        Napoleon occupies Vienna, 13th May; beaten back
                        at Essling, 22d May; finally crosses Danube, 4th
                        July, and defeats Austrians at Wagram, 6th July.

            40. 1809. Oct. 14.—Treaty of Schönbrunn or of Vienna.

            40. 1809. Dec.—Josephine divorced.

            40. 1810. April 1 and 2.—Marriage of Napoleon, aged 40, with
                        Marie Louise, aged 18 years 3 months.

            41. 1810. Dec.—Hanseatic towns and all northern coast of
                        Germany annexed to French Empire.

            41. 1811. March 20.—The King of Rome, son of Napoleon, born.

         43-43. 1812. War with Russia; June 24, Napoleon crosses the
                        Nieman; 7th Sept., battle of Moskwa or Borodino;
                        Napoleon enters Moscow, 15th Sept.; commences
                        his retreat, 19th Oct.

            43. 1812. Oct. 22-23.—Conspiracy of General Malet at Paris.

            43. 1812. Nov. 26-28.—Passage of the Beresina; 5th Dec.,
                        Napoleon leaves his army; arrives at Paris, 18th

         43-44. 1813. Leipsic campaign. 2d May, Napoleon defeats
                        Russians and Prussians at Lützen; and again, on
                        20th-21st May, at Bautzen; 26th June, interview
                        of Napoleon and Metternich at Dresden; 10th
                        Aug., midnight, Austria joins the allies;
                        26th-27th Aug., Napoleon defeats allies at
                        Dresden, but Vandamme is routed at Kulm on 30th
                        Aug., and on 16th-19th Oct., Napoleon is beaten
                        at Leipsic.

            44. 1814. Allies advance into France; 29th Jan., battle of
                        Brienne; 1st Feb., battle of La Rothière.

            44. 1814. Feb. 5 to March 18.—Conferences of Chatillon (sur

            44. 1814. Feb. 11.—Battle of Montmirail; 14th Feb., of
                        Vauchamps; 18th Feb., of Montereau.

            44. 1814. March 7.—Battle of Craon; 9th-10th March, Laon;
                        20th March, Arcis sur l’Aube.

            44. 1814. March 21.—Napoleon commences his march to throw
                        himself on the communications of the allies;
                        25th March, allies commence their march on
                        Paris; battle of La Fère Champenoise, Marmont
                        and Mortier beaten; 28th March, Napoleon turns
                        back at St. Dizier to follow allies; 29th March,
                        empress and court leave Paris.

            44. 1814. March 30.—Paris capitulates; allied sovereigns
                        enter on 1st April.

            44. 1814. April 2.—Senate declares the deposition of
                        Napoleon, who abdicates, conditionally, on 4th
                        April in favor of his son, and unconditionally
                        on 6th April; Marmont’s corps marches into the
                        enemy’s lines on 5th April; on 11th April,
                        Napoleon signs the treaty giving him Elba for
                        life; 20th April, Napoleon takes leave of the
                        Guard at Fontainebleau; 3d May, Louis XVIII.
                        enters Paris; 4th May, Napoleon lands in Elba.

            45. 1814. Oct. 3.—Congress of Vienna meets for settlement of
                        Europe; actually opens 3d Nov.

            45. 1815. Feb. 26.—Napoleon quits Elba; lands near Cannes,
                        1st March; 19th March, Louis XVIII. leaves
                        Paris; 20th March, Napoleon enters Paris.

            45. 1815. June 16.—Battle of Ligny and Quatre Bras; 18th
                        June, battle of Waterloo.

         45-46. 1815. June 29.—Napoleon leaves Malmaison for Rochefort;
                        surrenders to English, 15th July; sails for St.
                        Helena, 8th Aug.; arrives at St. Helena, 15th

 51 yrs. 8 mos. 1821. May 5.—Napoleon dies, 5.45 P. M.; buried, 8th May.

                1840. Oct. 15.—Body of Napoleon disentombed; embarked in
                        the “Belle Poule,” commanded by the Prince de
                        Joinville, son of Louis Philippe, on 16th Oct.;
                        placed in the Invalides, 15th Dec., 1840.



 Abdication of Napoleon, 263.

 Aboukir Bay, 91, 93.

 Adige, 68, 71, 72.

 Alexander I., Emperor of Russia, 168, 175, 201, 203, 235.

 Alvinzi, 71, 72.

 Amiens, treaty of, 103.

 Amiens, treaty of, broken, 103, 143.

 Anna Paulowna, 225.

 Arcola, bridge of, 72, 78.

 Armstrong, U. S. Minister to France, 195, 196.

 Army of Egypt, 91.

 Army of Italy, 61, 62, 81.

 Art acquisitions from Italy, 82, 83.

 Aspern, 215.

 Augereau, 62, 63, 259.

 Austerlitz, battle of, 167, 168, 169.

 Austria, Emperor of, 17.

 Austrian army, 67, 68, 69.

 Austrian army, driven from Italy, 73.

 Austrians, 64-66.

 Austrians at Rivoli, 73.

 Autun, 19, 21, 31.


 Bacciochi, Mme., 89.

 Baden, Grand Duchess of, 407.

 Baden, Prince Auguste of, 389.

 Bank of France, 107.

 Barras, Paul, 47, 48, 53, 54-55, 340, 341, 342, 344, 345.

 Bassano, 69, 71.

 Battle of Austerlitz, 167, 168, 169.

 Battle of Bautzen, 253.

 Battle of Borodino, 243.

 Battle of Eylau, 173.

 Battle of Friedland, 173, 175.

 Battle of Hohenlinden, 103.

 Battle of Jena, 171, 172.

 Battle of La Favorita, 73.

 Battle of Lodi, 65, 66.

 Battle of Lützen, 253.

 Battle of Marengo, 98, 99, 101.

 Battle of Pyramids, 90.

 Battle of Rivoli, 73.

 Battle of Wagram, 216, 217, 219.

 Battle of Waterloo, 273.

 Bautzen, battle of, 253.

 Bay of Aboukir, see Aboukir Bay.

 Baylen, 198.

 Beauharnais, Alexander de, 328, 329, 330, 331, 332, 334, 335, 336, 337,

 Beauharnais, Eugène de, 89, 94, 179, 216, 222, 331, 332, 336, 340, 341,
    342, 378, 390, 415, 418, 419, 421, 422, 437, 449.

 Beauharnais, Hortense de, 89, 222, 332, 337, 340, 372, 373, 378, 390,
    401, 407, 408, 409, 415, 417, 431, 433, 449-450.

 Beaulieu, 63, 65, 75.

 “Belle Poule,” 303, 305, 307, 308.

 “Bellerophon,” 279, 283.

 Benningsen, 173.

 Berlin decree, 193, 195, 233.

 Bernadotte, 47, 171, 233, 235, 255.

 Bernard, Postmaster-general, 135.

 Berthier, Gen., 99, 187.

 Bertrand, 309, 318, 320.

 Bonaparte, Caroline, 31, 179.

 Bonaparte, Charles Marie de, 17, 18, 19, 21, 23, 31.

 Bonaparte, Eliza, 31, 179, 287.

 Bonaparte, Jerome, 31, 35, 37, 153, 154, 179, 181, 183, 320.

 Bonaparte, Joseph, 19, 21, 31, 32, 89, 179, 197, 198, 302, 320.

 Bonaparte, Louis, 31, 153, 179.

 Bonaparte, Lucien, 31, 43, 89, 148, 149, 154, 201.

 Bonaparte, Mme., 43.

 Bonaparte, Mme. Louis, 373, 374.

 Bonaparte, Pauline, 31, 179, 185, 391, 392.

 Borghese, Princess, 179.

 Borodino, Battle of, 243.

 Botanical garden at Malmaison, 366, 367.

 Boulogne, fête of, 155, 156.

 Bourbons of Spain, abdicate, 198.

 Bourrienne, 25, 37-38, 222.

 Boyer, Christine, 43, 89.

 Brenta, 69, 71.

 Bridge of Lodi, 66.

 Brienne, 21, 22, 23, 25, 27, 28, 31.

 Broglie, Duc de, Marshal, 35.

 Brunswick, 172.


 “Cabinet noir,” 135.

 Cabrera, Island of, 198.

 Cadiz, French fleet at, 198.

 Cadoudal, Georges, 143, 151, 152.

 Cambacérès, 153.

 Campan, Mme., 154, 340, 372, 373.

 Campo Formio, treaty of, 74.

 Carmes, les, 337, 338, 340.

 Castiglione, 68.

 Catholic Church re-established, 120, 121, 123, 124.

 Chardon, Abbé, 21.

 Charles, Archduke of Austria, 213, 217.

 Charles IV., King of Spain, 197.

 “Chemin d’Angleterre,” 145.

 Cherbourg, 308.

 Cisalpine Republic, 74, 98.

 Clary, Désirée, 45-46.

 Clary, Julie, 44.

 “Code Napoleon,” 125, 127, 128.

 Colombier, Mlle., 29.

 Colombier, Mme., 29.

 “Concordat” signed, 121, 123.

 Conscription, resentment against, 231.

 Constituent Assembly, 334.

 “Continental blockade,” 193, 195.

 Coronation of Josephine, 381, 382-385.

 Coronation of Napoleon, 156, 157, 159, 160.

 Corsica, 22, 34.

 Corsicans, revolt of, 18.

 Courbevoie, 309.

 Croissy, 54, 55, 336.


 Dantzic, siege of, 173, 177.

 Danube, crossing of by French army, 216, 217.

 Davoust, 171, 172.

 d’Abrantès, Duchess, 45.

 d’Enghien, Duc, 151, 152.

 d’Orleans, Duc, 28-29.

 De Kéralio, 25, 26.

 De Molleville, 128.

 de Ségur, 156, 199, 200.

 Decree of Berlin, see Berlin decree.

 Decrès, Gen., 62.

 Denmark, 195.

 Denon, 138.

 Desaix, 99, 101.

 “Description de l’Egypte,” 91.

 “Directory,” in regard to Italian campaign, 69, 72.

 “Directory,” 77.

 Donauwörth, 213.

 Duc d’Enghien, see d’Enghien, Duc.

 Duroc, Marshall, 253, 320.


 Ecole militaire, 27, 28.

 18th Brumaire, 94, 103.

 Elba, 265.

 Elysée Palace, 423.

 “Émigrés,” 119, 120.

 Essling, 215.

 Eylau, battle of, 173.


 Ferdinand, heir apparent of Spain, 197.

 Finland, 203.

 Fontainebleau, 379, 381.

 Fort Royale, 327.

 Fouché, 134, 211, 275, 401, 402.

 French army, in Italy, 69.

 Friedland, battle of, 173, 175.

 Fulton, Robert, 145, 147.


 Gaëte, Duc de, 107.

 “Garde-Meuble,” 203.

 Gaudin, Mon., 107.

 Geoffroy-St.-Hilaire, 91.

 Girondins, 336.

 Goethe, 203.

 “Grand army,” 237, 239, 247.

 Great Britain, decree against, 193, 195.


 Hesse-Cassel, 177.

 Hippolyte, Charles, 94, 354.

 Hoche, Gen., 337, 340.

 Hohenlinden, battle of, 103.

 Holland, King of, 179, 183, 233.

 Hôtel des Invalides, 311, 313, 315, 317, 318, 319, 320.


 Institute of Egypt, 91.

 Island of Cabrera, see Cabrera, Island of.

 Italian campaign, 61.


 Jena, battle of, 171, 172.

 John, Archduke, 216.

 Joinville, Prince de, 295, 303, 306, 307, 309, 313, 317, 318.

 Jomini, 256.

 Josephine, Vicomtesse de Beauharnais, 54-55, 57.

 Josephine, notre dame des victoires, 85.

 Josephine, in Italy, 86, 87.

 Josephine, Empress, 159, 160.

 Josephine, divorced, 221, 222, 223.

 Josephine, at Malmaison, 225.

 Josephine, at Evreux, 228.

 Josephine, childhood, 326, 327.

 Josephine, at school, 327.

 Josephine, goes to France with her father, 330.

 Josephine, married Alexander de Beauharnais, 331.

 Josephine, divorced from Alexander de Beauharnais, 332.

 Josephine, in Paris, 334-336.

 Josephine, imprisoned in les Carmes, 337, 338.

 Josephine, at functions given by Directory, 340.

 Josephine, meets Napoleon, 342.

 Josephine, courted by Napoleon, 343.

 Josephine, feelings towards Napoleon, 343-345.

 Josephine, married to Napoleon, 345.

 Josephine, goes to Italy, 347-349.

 Josephine, at Milan, 347-349, 351-352.

 Josephine, Napoleon’s letters to, 348, 349.

 Josephine, returns to Paris from Italy, 353.

 Josephine, attitude towards the Bonapartes, 354-355.

 Josephine, buys Malmaison, 355.

 Josephine, letter to Napoleon, 356-358.

 Josephine, as wife of First Consul, 361-363, 365.

 Josephine, her appearance, 362, 363.

 Josephine, fondness for flowers and dogs, 366, 367.

 Josephine, at St. Cloud, 375, 376.

 Josephine, proclaimed Empress, 377.

 Josephine, religious marriage to Napoleon, 381.

 Josephine, journey through Italy as Empress, 388, 389.

 Josephine, graciousness to others, 392, 393.

 Josephine, fondness for her toilet, 395-397.

 Josephine, her jewels, 397, 398.

 Josephine, crowned Empress, 381-385.

 Josephine, hears rumors of divorce, 401, 406, 414.

 Josephine, at Bayonne, 404, 405.

 Josephine, at Plombières, 409, 411.

 Josephine, told of the divorce, 417, 418.

 Josephine, officially divorced, 419-422.

 Josephine, retires to Malmaison after divorce, 422-426.

 Josephine, at Navarre, 427, 428.

 Josephine, at Malmaison, 430.

 Josephine, fondness for her grandchildren, 437.

 Josephine, position in France, 440.

 Josephine, learns of Napoleon’s abdication, 446.

 Josephine, and the Emperor Alexander, 446, 447.

 Josephine, dies at Malmaison, 448, 449.

 Jouberthon, Mme., 154.

 Junot, 41, 42, 45, 61, 196, 198, 347.


 Kellermann, 77.

 “King of Rome,” 227, 228, 235, 261, 266, 435.

 Königsberg, 173.


 La Favorita, battle of, 73.

 Landgrafenberg, 171.

 Lannes, 155, 207, 215.

 Las Cases, 283, 285, 303.

 “La Vendée,” 95.

 Le Brun, 153.

 Leclerc, Mme., 89.

 Lefebvre, Marshall, 173.

 “Legion of Honor,” 125.

 “Legitimists,” 302.

 Leipsic, 256.

 Ligny, 273.

 “Little Corporal,” 78.

 Lobau, Island of, 213, 215, 216.

 Lodi, 65, 66.

 Lodi, bridge of, 78, 83.

 Lombard Republic, 66.

 Lonato, 68.

 Longwood, 285-287.

 Louis XVIII., 269.

 Louis Philippe, 295, 300, 302, 318.

 Louise, Queen of Prussia, 177.

 Louisiana, sale of, 147, 148.

 Lowe, Sir Hudson, 285-287.

 Lyons, 269.

 Lucques, Princess of, 179.

 Lunéville, treaty of, 103.

 Lützen, battle of, 253.


 “Madame Mère,” 18, 153, 266.

 Magdeburg, 177.

 Maintenon, Mme. de, 27.

 Malet conspiracy, 248.

 Malmaison, 223, 225, 275, 355, 365-367, 369-370, 374-375, 411, 422-426,
    428, 449-450.

 Mantua, siege of, 66-69, 71, 73.

 Marbœuf, Count de, 19, 23, 29.

 Marbot, 205.

 Marengo, battle of, 98-99, 101.

 Marie Louise, 17, 37, 225, 227-228, 266, 271, 289.

 Marmont, 62, 263.

 Marrac, castle of, 404, 405.

 Martinique, Island of, 325, 326.

 Masson, 338.

 Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Prince of, 403.

 Melas, Gen., 97, 98.

 Méneval, 222, 223.

 Metternich, 253, 255.

 Mincio, 66.

 Minim Brothers, 22.

 Mion-Desplaces, Mlle., 31.

 Moldavia, 203.

 Moncey, Marshal, 317.

 Monge, 91.

 Mont Cenis, 160.

 Montenotte, 63.

 Montesson, Mme. de, 28-29.

 Montholon, 287.

 Montmorency, Mme. de, 200.

 Moreau, Gen., 95, 151-152, 255, 256.

 Moscow, 243, 245.

 Muiron, Col., 78.

 Murat, 197, 212, 258.

 Murat, Mme., 377.

 Museum of Paris, 81.


 Naples, King of, 179, 181, 258.

 Napoleon, as a youth, 18, 19.

 Napoleon, at school, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26.

 Napoleon, First Consul, 29.

 Napoleon, second lieutenant at Valence, 28-29.

 Napoleon, literary projects, 33, 34.

 Napoleon, in regard to finances, 35, 37.

 Napoleon, in Paris, 38, 39.

 Napoleon, command, Second Regiment of Artillery, 41.

 Napoleon, prisoner, 1794, 44.

 Napoleon, Committee of Public Safety, 48.

 Napoleon, General in chief of army of interior, 49, 51.

 Napoleon, defends the Tuileries, 48, 49.

 Napoleon, in salon of Barras and Mme. Tallien, 54.

 Napoleon, courtship and marriage, 57, 58.

 Napoleon, love letters, 58, 59.

 Napoleon, General, army of Italy, 61-63.

 Napoleon, speech to his soldiers, 64.

 Napoleon, at Bridge of Lodi, 65, 66.

 Napoleon, enters Milan, 66.

 Napoleon, concludes peace with Naples, 67.

 Napoleon, at Lonato, 68.

 Napoleon, defeats Wurmser, 69.

 Napoleon, letter to Directory, 69, 71.

 Napoleon, Rivoli, 73.

 Napoleon, signs with Pope treaty of Tolentino, 73.

 Napoleon, signs treaty of Campo Formio, 74.

 Napoleon, rules of warfare, 75.

 Napoleon, fertility in stratagem, 75, 77.

 Napoleon, answer to Directory, 77.

 Napoleon, soldiers’ adoration of, 77, 78.

 Napoleon, addresses to soldiers, 79, 81.

 Napoleon, belief in signs, 83.

 Napoleon, letters to Josephine, 85, 86, 87.

 Napoleon, returns to Paris from Italy, 89.

 Napoleon, commander in chief, army of Egypt, 90.

 Napoleon, in Egypt, 90, 91, 93.

 Napoleon, failure of Syrian expedition, 93.

 Napoleon, returns to Paris from Egypt, 93, 94.

 Napoleon, Dictator of France, 94.

 Napoleon, crossing the Alps, 97.

 Napoleon, addresses his soldiers, 98.

 Napoleon, at Marengo, 98.

 Napoleon, First Consul, 105, 106, 107.

 Napoleon, in regard to taxes, 108, 109, 110.

 Napoleon, his policy of protection, 110, 111.

 Napoleon, improvements made in Paris, 113.

 Napoleon, his vast industrial achievements, 113-115, 117.

 Napoleon, his amnesty to the Émigrés, 119, 120.

 Napoleon, reëstablishes the Catholic Church in France, 120, 121, 123,

 Napoleon, establishes school, 124, 125.

 Napoleon, codification of the laws, 125, 127, 128.

 Napoleon, preparations for war against England, 144, 145.

 Napoleon, sells Louisiana, 147, 148.

 Napoleon, First Consul, plot against his life, 151.

 Napoleon, Emperor, 153.

 Napoleon, Emperor, in matters of etiquette, 155.

 Napoleon, Emperor, crowned at Notre Dame, 156, 157, 159, 160.

 Napoleon, addresses to his soldiers, 165.

 Napoleon, King of Italy, 160.

 Napoleon, marches against the Austrians and Russians, 164, 165, 167.

 Napoleon, at Austerlitz, 167, 168, 169.

 Napoleon, at Jena, 171.

 Napoleon, Museum of Paris, 172.

 Napoleon, at battle of Jena, 172.

 Napoleon, at battle of Eylau, 173.

 Napoleon, at battle of Friedland, 173, 175.

 Napoleon, at Tilsit, 175.

 Napoleon, treaty of Tilsit, 177, 178.

 Napoleon, advice to his brothers, 179, 181, 183.

 Napoleon, hatred against England, 191.

 Napoleon, policy towards Great Britain, 193, 195.

 Napoleon, attitude towards Spain, 197, 198.

 Napoleon, founds a new nobility, 200.

 Napoleon, tries to reconcile Lucien, 201.

 Napoleon, meets Alexander I. at Erfurt, 203.

 Napoleon, Spanish campaign, 205, 206, 207, 209.

 Napoleon, charge against Talleyrand, 212.

 Napoleon, at battle of Wagram, 216, 217, 219.

 Napoleon, divorces Josephine, 221, 222, 223.

 Napoleon, marries Marie Louise (by proxy), 225.

 Napoleon, imprisons the Pope, 229.

 Napoleon, preparing for Russian campaign, 237.

 Napoleon, at Moscow, 243.

 Napoleon, retreat from Moscow, 243, 245, 247.

 Napoleon, campaign of 1813, 253, 255, 256, 257.

 Napoleon, campaign of 1814, 258, 261, 262.

 Napoleon, encamped at Fontainebleau, 262.

 Napoleon, abdication at Fontainebleau, 263.

 Napoleon, at Elba, 265, 266, 267.

 Napoleon, returns from Elba, 267, 269, 271.

 Napoleon, his happiest period, 271.

 Napoleon, at Waterloo, 273, 275.

 Napoleon, abdicates anew, 275.

 Napoleon, plan to escape to United States, 275, 276, 277.

 Napoleon, gives himself up to English, 279.

 Napoleon, at St. Helena, 283, 285, 286, 287.

 Napoleon, dies at St. Helena, 287, 289.

 Napoleon, loved by his men, 293.

 Napoleon, body brought back to France, 305, 306, 307, 308, 309, 311,

 Napoleon, funeral in Paris, 312-315, 317, 318.

 Napoleon, Charles, 374, 376, 377, 401.

 Napoleon, Louis, 401, 433.

 National Assembly, 34.

 “Nautilus,” Fulton’s diving boat, 147.

 Navarre, 423, 427, 428, 433, 435, 445.

 Nelson, Lord, 91.

 Newspaper criticisms on Napoleon’s return from Elba, 269.

 Ney, Marshal, 269.

 “Northumberland,” 283.

 Notre Dame, 379.

 Notre dame des victoires, 85, 347.


 O’Connell, 299, 300.

 Olmütz, 166, 167.

 O’Meara, 285.

 “Opera plot,” 133, 134.

 “Orleanists,” 302.

 Orleans, Duke of, see d’Orleans, Duc.


 Paisiello, 141.

 Palmerston, Lord, 299, 300.

 Panthemont, Abbey de, 333, 340.

 Paoli, Pascal, 18, 19, 22.

 Papal States, 67, 73.

 Paris capitulates, 261.

 Patterson, Miss Elizabeth, 154.

 Permon, Mme., 53.

 Permons, 27, 28, 51.

 Pichegru, 151, 152.

 Pius VII. a prisoner, 229.

 Placentia, 65.

 Plombières, 353, 409, 411.

 Plot of the 3rd Nivôse, 133, 134.

 Plymouth, 279.

 Po, crossing of the, 65.

 Poland, 172, 173.

 Ponte-Corvo, Prince of, 235.

 Pontécoulant, Monsieur de, 51.

 Portugal, 195, 198.

 Portugal divided, 196.

 Portugal forced to close ports, 196.

 Presburg, treaty of, 169.

 Press censorship, 135.

 Provera, 72, 73.

 Prussia, King of, 175.

 Pyramids, battle of, 90.


 Quasdanovich, 67-68.

 “Quatre Bras,” 273.


 Rambouillet, 403.

 Ramolino, Lætitia, 17, 18.

 Ratisbonne, 213.

 Raynal, Abbé, 33.

 Rémusat, Count de, 303.

 Rémusat, Mme. de, 154, 155, 362, 392, 424.

 Renaudin, Mon., 328.

 Renaudin, Mme., 328, 329, 330, 331, 333.

 Reuil, 449.

 Revolution of 1789, 34.

 Rivoli, battle of, 73.

 Robespierre, the elder, 43-44.

 Robespierre, the younger, 43, 339.

 Rouchefoucauld, Duc de la, 329, 334.

 Rouen, 308.

 Russia, Emperor of, 201, 203.


 Saale, 171.

 St. Cloud, 223, 374, 375.

 St. Cyr, 31.

 Saint-Germain, Comte de, 35.

 St. Helena, 283, 285, 286.

 St. Pierre, town of, 325.

 Salon, 138.

 Saragossa, siege of, 206, 207, 209.

 Sardinians, sue for peace, 64.

 Sannois, Mlle. Rose-Claire des Vergers de, 326.

 Savona, 229.

 Saxony, King of, 177.

 Schönbrunn, Castle of, 216.

 School of Fine Arts, 28.

 Second revolution, 37-38.

 Ségur, Mon. de, see de Ségur, Mon.

 Serbelloni, Duc de, 348, 349, 351.

 Sieyès, Abbé, 105, 106.

 Smolensk, 241, 243, 247.

 Soult, 168.

 Spain, Government of, 197, 198.

 Spain, King of, 196, 198, 257.

 Spanish campaign, 205, 206, 207, 209.

 Staël, Mme. de, 135, 137, 431.

 Sweden, 233.

 Syrian expedition, 93.


 Tagliamento, crossed, 74.

 Talleyrand, 211, 212, 262, 275, 301, 399, 401.

 Tallien, Mme., 54, 55, 338, 339, 340, 342, 347, 358.

 Talma, 369.

 Tascher de la Pagerie, Joseph, 325, 326, 328, 330.

 Théâtre Français, 203.

 Thiers, Mon., 300, 301.

 Tilsit, treaty of, 175, 177, 178.

 Tolentino, treaty of, 73.

 Toulon, 41.

 Treaty of Amiens, 103.

 Treaty of Campo Formio, 74.

 Treaty of Lunéville, 103.

 Treaty of Presburg, 169.

 Treaty of Tilsit, 175, 177-178.

 Treaty of Tolentino, 73.

 Trieste, 219.

 Trois Ilets, 325, 326, 327.

 Tuileries, 381.


 Ulm, capitulation of, 165.

 United States not allowed to remain neutral, 196.

 “Unnatural alliance,” 235.


 Valence, 29.

 Verona, 71-73.

 Volta, 138, 139.

 Vienna, 213, 216.

 Vimeiro, 198.

 Visconti, Mme. de, 187.

 Vittoria, 198.


 Wagram, Austrians’ position, 216.

 Wagram, battle of, 216, 217, 219.

 Walewski, Mme., 401, 403, 404, 412.

 Wallachia, 203.

 Warsaw, 177.

 Waterloo, battle of, 273.

 Westphalia, 177.

 Westphalia, King of, 179.

 Wieland, 203.

 Wilder, S. V. S., 276.

 William, Prince of Prussia, 203.

 Wurmser, Gen., 67, 68, 69, 72.

 Wurmser surrenders, 73.


Transcriber’s note:

 1. Silently corrected typographical errors and variations in spelling.

 2. Retained anachronistic, non-standard, and uncertain spellings as

 3. Footnotes have been re-indexed using numbers and collected together
      at the end of each chapter.

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