Anonymous User (login or join us) Upload

See other formats

Full text of “The Empress Josephine : Napoleon’s enchantress


THE   EMPRESS JOSEPHINE By   PHILIP W. SERGEANT   Author of ” The Last Empress of the French,’, etc.     WITH 34 ILLUSTRATIONS

Vol. II     New York  DODD, MEAD & CO.   372 FIFTH AVENUE  1909     PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN     i?\ O^ I     a(^ I        /

















THE year now commencing was one of great  anxiety at its beginning and of great  splendour at its close ; and in both anxiety and  splendour Josephine had her full share. Rumours  of a Royalist conspiracy were rife in the early  days of January. Nor were they without a  very sohd foundation. ” Just imagine/’ wrote  Josephine to her daughter in February, ” Georges  has been in Paris and its neighbourhood since  August ; really it makes one shudder.” Georges,  of course, was the notorious Georges Cadoudal,  the Chouan leader, who had remained in England  during the Peace of Amiens but had returned to  France in the summer of 1803 with a band of  followers sworn to assassinate the First Consul,  The approach of grave danger was not concealed from Napoleon and his Government, and strict  precautions were taken in Paris to meet it. One  of the principal steps was the removal from his  post as Governor of Paris of Junot, who, in spite  of his wife’s unbounded admiration, was in-  capable of holding so important an office. His  successor was Murat, who was allowed to retain  his rank as general and was assigned an addi-  tional sixty thousand francs, a similar sum  being given to his wife Caroline. Thus another  branch of the Bonaparte family was elevated to a  responsible post ; and this time a branch at pre-  sent more favourable to Josephine than the rest.  The strengthening of the Government’s de-  fence took place none too soon. Murat was  nominated on January 15.

Portrait of Empress Josephine with Creole attendant in Pagerie Museum

On the following  day there landed in Normandy a band of exiles  from England, including Pichegru, the two  Polignacs, and Riviere. With the news of their  landing came the report that a high Bourbon  prince was implicated in the plot. The prince  in question was undoubtedly the Comte d’Artois,  brother of the Royalist claimant ; but unhappily,  as will be seen, another and almost certainly  innocent member of the Bourbon family was  suspected;     A Plot against Napoleon 339   The plotters did not remain long in security.  Certain of their number were somehow tracked  down. In the above-quoted letter to Hortense  Josephine relates how ” the man who was to  have been shot and who begged for mercy has  revealed important matters.” The result of  his revelations was the arrest of General Moreau  on the night of February 14-15, an event which  startled all Paris. In rapid succession Pichegru,  Riviere, and the Polignacs were captured, and  finally on March 9 Georges Gadoudal. The  police, under the direction of Savary, had timed  their strokes admirably to surround the whole  gang.   In the Memoirs of Mme. de Remusat we are  given some insight ipto the feelings of Josephine  at this anxious epoch. On the night before  Moreau’ s arrest Napoleon revealed to her his  intention. He was unable to sleep and walked  up and down the room all night. Neither  could Josephine sleep after she had been told,  and the marks of tears were plain upon her  face next morning. Looking at her. Napoleon  took her by the chin, lifted up her head, and  said : ” Now, now ! Not every one has a good  wife as I have. You are weeping, Josephine.     34° The Empress Josephine   Why ? Are you afraid ? ” ” No,” she an-  swered, ” but I don’t hke what people will  say.” ” What do you want ? I feel no hatred,  no desire for revenge. I have reflected long  before having Moreau arrested. I could have  shut my eyes and given him time to escape.  But they would have said I did not dare to  put him on trial.”   Napoleon had reason on his side, touching  the arrest of his would-be assassins. His next  step was one which had the result of blackening  his fame more than any act of his whole hfe.  It is not the place here, however, to discuss  the case of the Due d’Enghien. We are only  concerned in the affair so far as it affected  Josephine. On March i8, which was Passion  Sunday, Napoleon and his wife heard Mass  at the Tuileries and then drove out to Mal-  maison. Here it had been arranged that they  should spend a week — to Josephine’s great  relief, for the high feeling prevailing in Paris  over the arrests caused her considerable alarm. Napoleon went on ahead, only Mme. de Remusat  riding with her in her carriage. So silent was  Josephine that at length her lady-in-waiting  expressed her concern. Josephine looked at     The Due d’Enghicn 341   her for some moments without speaking and  then said : “I am going to tell you a great  secret. Bonaparte told me this morning that  he had sent M. de Caulaincourt across our  frontier to seize the Due d’Enghien.” ” Good  heavens, madame, what are they going to do  with him ? ” “It seems to me he will be put  on his trial.” Mme. de Remusat turned so  pale that Josephine kindly lowered the carriage  window to give her air, fearing she might  faint. ” I have done all I could,” she said,  ” to make Bonaparte promise that the Prince  shall not die. But I very much fear that his  mind is made up.” ” What ! ” exclaimed the  other, ” you think he will put him to death ? ”  ” I am afraid so.” Mme. de Remusat says that  she began to weep and told Josephine how she  dreaded the hatred which such a deed would  cause to break out against Napoleon. As she  listened her mistress herself became more and  more agitated, and when she arrived at Mal-  maison she was in as bad a state of nerves as  her lady. This was but natural, for Josephine  had at least as much regard as Mme. de Remusat  for the Bourbons.   In spite of her trouble, however, Josephine     342 The Empress Josephine   acted with prudence at this moment. She  told Mme. de Remusat to retire to her room,  so that Napoleon might not guess that his  confidence had been betrayed, and she went  to him herself to make an appeal for mercy.  He was unyielding. On the following day  Josephine went out early into the park, where  she directed the transplantation of a tree.  It was a cypress. Mme. de Remusat watched  her throwing a few handfuls of soil upon the  roots when the work was done and exclaimed  how appropriate was such a tree for such a  day. But Josephine, in spite of her gardening,  had not dismissed the unhappy Duke from her  mind. Making another attempt to wring mercy  from Napoleon, she had the courage to force  her way into his presence and reopen the ques-  tion. The scene was not at all to Napoleon’s  taste. ” Go away,” he kept on saying, ” you  are a child, you understand nothing about  political necessities.” At last she abandoned  her attempt. As she withdrew from the room  she cried to him : ” Well, Bonaparte, if you  have your prisoner killed, you will be guillotined  yourself like my first husband ; and this time  I shall bear you] company,” The last words     Josephine’s Intervention 343   betray a personal fear which was perhaps  excusable in the circumstances ; and heroic  self-forgetfulness did not enter into Josephine’s  composition.   The fatal hour was approaching, unknown to  any one at Mahnaison except the First Consul  himself. On the Tuesday evening, when dinner  was over, Napoleon left the table to amuse  himself for a while with Hortense’s infant son,  whom she and Louis had brought with them  to Malmaison. Josephine looked pleased at  this playful humour and glanced at Mme. de  R^musat, as if to indicate that there was still  hope of mercy. Mme. de Remusat, however,  was looking so white that she attracted the  attention of Napoleon, who addressed to her  one of those characteristic speeches of his to  ladies : ” Why haven’t you got any rouge  on ? You are too pale.” She had forgotten  it, she replied. ” What, a woman forget her  rouge ? That will never happen to you, Jose-  phine. There are two things which become  women very well, rouge and tears.” These  were certainly two things to which Josephine  had accustomed her husband. This evening  she plainly met with his approval, for he began     344 The Empress Josephine   to be very demonstrative of his affection to  her — unconventionally so, according to Mme.  de Remusat. Was it because of the remorse  or uneasiness which he felt at disregarding her  appeals on behalf of his prisoner ? After they  had gone to bed, he awoke again at five  o’clock, and turning to her remarked : ” At this  hour the Due d’Enghien has ceased to live.”  Josephine broke out into loud lamentations.  ” Come now, try to sleep,” he said, ” you are  only a child.” ^   On the following day Malmaison was the  centre to which visitors flocked in crowds from  Paris. The first arrival was Savary, fresh  from Vincennes. He had a private interview  with Napoleon and then came out into the  salon. “Is it all over ? ” cried Josephine to  him, her arms falling sadly to her sides. ” Yes,  madame, he died this morning, and with a  fine display of courage, I must admit.” Savary  went on to relate how the soldiers who had  shot him had refused to avail themselves of     1 This also is Mme. de Remusat’s account, presumably ba^ed  upon Josephine’s confidences. It does not agree with the  versions which make the execution of Enghien take place  without a direct command from Napoleon.      NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AT MALMAlSON  From an engraving after the picture by Isabey,     The Due’s Execution 345   pennission to divide the young Duke’s personal  belongings among themselves. As he told the  tale, others began to arrive. Among the first  was Eugene Beauharnais, who apparently had  not yet heard the news. In his Memoirs he  thus describes the scene between Napoleon,  when he came out from his study, and Jose-  phine :   ” My mother was all in tears and uttered  the fiercest reproaches against the First Consul,  who listened to her in silence. She told him  that it was an atrocious deed, from the stain  of which he could never cleanse himself, and that  he had yielded to the treacherous advice of  his enemies, who were delighted to be able to  spoil the history of his life with so horrible a  page. The First Consul withdrew to his study,  and a few minutes later Caulaincourt arrived  from Strasbourg. He was astonished at the  distress of my mother, who hastened to tell  him the cause. At the fatal news Caulaincourt  smote his forehead and tore his hair, crying :  ‘ Oh, why must I have been mixed up in this  disastrous expedition ? ‘ ”   More visitors followed, among them a number  of generals, to whom the execution at Vincennes     348 The Empress Josephine   he was very pale, while Josephine was visibly  trembling. Napoleon looked round at the faces  of the party, says Mme. de Remusat, as if to  inquire how they thought he would be re-  ceived. ” At last he went in, with the air of  a man advancing under the fire of a battery.  He was welcomed as usual, whether because  the sight of him produced its ordinary effect  or because the police had taken their pre-  cautions beforehand.”   And indeed the execution of the Due  d’Enghien seemed to produce no ill effects in  France, however much it revolted the feelings  of Europe. Napoleon himself declared that  his policy had been successful, and he after-  wards wrote : ” From this time onward con-  spiracies ceased.” The “Moniteur” was full  of addresses from the army and the country,  congratulating the First Consul on his happy  escape. It was felt possible to show leniency  to the prisoners arrested in Paris. Cadoudal  was executed, it is true ; but Riviere and the  two Polignacs, though condemned to death,  were pardoned. Josephine’s pleadings were  largely responsible for Armand de PoUgnac’s  reprieve, it was said, for she was a friend of     The Sequel of the Plot 349   his wife. Moreau was sentenced to two years’  imprisonment only and subsequent deporta-  tion. He had not won the battle of Hohen-  linden to no purpose. Pichegru, by strangling  himself in prison, put himself out of the way.  They had all conspired in vain, and those that  lived only saw the coming of the Empire hast-  ened by their plot. On March 27 the Senate,  in the course of a fervent address to the First  Consul, said : ” You have brought us out of  the chaos of the past. You have made us  bless the benefits of the present. Guarantee  for us the future. Great man, complete your  work and make it as immortal as your glory ! ”  Napoleon for the moment made no more de-  cided reply than that he would reflect upon the  matter ; but no one could have had any doubts  as to what the results of his reflection would be.  The great public bodies were in eager com-  petition to hasten his decision. The Tribunate  was first in the field with a proposal of here-  ditary empire at the end of April, and on May 3  the proposal was passed with Carnot, the ex-  Director, alone dissenting. The Council of  State, the Legislative Body, and the Senate  were not far behind ; the last-named on May 18     35<^ The Empress Josephine   put forth a senafus consuUum, proposing to the  people the question whether hereditary Im-  perial dignity should be conferred on ” the  direct, natural, legitimate, and adoptive descen-  dants of Napoleon Bonaparte, and on the  direct, natural, legitimate descendants of Joseph  Bonaparte and Louis Bonaparte.”   Immediately after carrying their resolution,  the Senators made all haste in their carriages  to reach Saint-Cloud, where the First Consul  was at the time residing. They must be the  first to congratulate him on his new rank.  They found him standing in his military uniform  in the Gallery of Apollo, awaiting their arrival,  ” with Josephine at his side. Cambaceres, whose  post as Second Consul was soon to be exchanged  for another of more real dignity if of less ap-  parent power, addressed Napoleon on behalf of  the Senators and at the end of his speech pro-  claimed him ” Emperor of the French.” His  listener had reflected, according to his promise ;  and he now accepted what the Senate offered  him, submitting to the decision of the nation,  the question as to the principle of heredity.  Cambaceres then turned to Josephine and  addressed her in these words :     Empire 351   ” Madame, there remains a very agreeable  duty for the Senate to perform — to offer to  Your Imperial Majesty the tribute of its respect  and the expression of France’s gratitude. Yes,  madame, Fame publishes abroad tidings of the  good which you never cease to do. She teUs  how you, ever accessible to the unfortunate,  only use your influence with the head of the  State to relieve their misery, and how to the  pleasure of conferring an obligation Your  Majesty adds a lovable delicacy which makes  gratitude aU the sweeter and a good action all  the more precious. It is clear from this that the  name of Josephine will always stand for con-  solation and hope, and that, just as the virtues  of Napoleon will always serve as examples to  his successors to instruct them in the art of  governing nations, so the living memory of  your kindness will teach the august sharers  of these successors’ fortunes that the surest  way to reign over hearts is care in the drying  of tears. The Senate congratulates itself on  being the first to greet Your Imperial Majesty,  and he who has the honour to be its spokesman  dares to hope that you wiU deign to reckon him  in the number of your most faithful servants.”     352 The Empress Josephine   Napoleon and Josephine were Emperor and  Empress. Constant writes that every one at  Saint-Cloud this day was drunk with joy. In  the ante-chamber as well as in the salon all  were embracing and congratulating one another  and discussing their hopes and plans. A heavy  storm raged outside, but no one took any notice  of the bad omen. Had any one been affected,  we may be sure that it would have been the  superstitious Josephine. She might well forget,  however, to think of omens from the weather on  a day of such glorious fortune. Nor could her  contentment be lessened by the fact that among  the Bonapartes, who had resented so much her  intrusion into their family, the joy was by no  means as great. Lucien was in disgrace and  exile in Rome ;^ Mme. Letizia was there with him,  resenting Napoleon’s attitude over his brother’s  second marriage ; Pauline (the name Paulette  was no longer dignified enough) was also in Italy,   1 Jerome, like Lucien, was in disgrace, owing to his marriage  with Elizabeth Patterson in December 1803, and, like Lucien  too, was cut out of the succession. But Josephine had less  reason to dislike him than his brothers, and indeed she had  treated him with afiection and indulgence when, in his school-  days, he came to spend some of his vacations in the rue Chan-  tereine. An unsupported rumour made her view him as a  possible husband for Hortense before she thought of Louis.     Family Jealousies 353   not yet forgiven by Napoleon ; and Joseph and  Louis were by no means pleased at the terms  of the Senate’s decree, which made not them-  selves but only their descendants heirs after  Napoleon’s legitimate or adoptive children.   The discontent of the Bonaparte ladies was  very soon shown. On the night of the Senate’s  mission to Saint-Cloud, Napoleon gave a dinner-  party to his family and a number of other  guests. Before they went in to dinner, Duroc,  as Grand Marshal of the Palace, announced to  Joseph and Louis the fact that they were to be  styled henceforward princes and their wives  princesses. The sensation was great, and none  were more afEected by it than EUsa Bacciochi  and Caroline Murat. At 6 o’clock Napoleon  appeared with Josephine and began to use the  new titles at once. The Empress was very  amiable and disguised her elation. But Caroline,  although her husband was now a Marshal of  the Empire, could hardly contain herself. At  table she was observed to be on the verge of tears  at each mention of the Princess JuUe and the  Princess Hortense, and to be constantly taking  long draughts of cold water. Ehsa, who had  become more friendly to Napoleon since Lueien   VOL. II 2     354 The Empress Josephine   had disgusted her by taking to wife the widow  Jouberthou, was more calm than Carohne, but  was very haughty and brusque in her manner  toward the other guests. At length Napoleon  grew irritated at his sisters’ conduct and in-  dulged in many indirect hits at them. The  presence of strangers, however, prevented an  open scene that night.   On the following day a smaller dinner took  place at Saint-Cloud. On this occasion Caroline  broke into complaints, and demanded of Napo-  leon why she and Ehsa should be condemned  to obscurity, while strangers were loaded with  honoTU-s. Napoleon answered harshly, and  suggested that it might be thought he had  ” stolen the inheritance of their late father the  King.” Caroline’s rage overcame her and she  fell on the ground in a faint. Napoleon was  immediately softened and helped to restore her ;  and on the following day, May 20, it was an-  nounced in the ” Moniteur ” that the Emperor’s  three sisters were to be granted the title of  Imperial Highness. Even Pauline, therefore,  was not deprived of the benefits of Caroline’s  protest, and only Lucien and Jerome remained  under a cloud.     The Want of an Heir 355   Josephine had become Empress of the French  without any disagreeable necessity of fighting  for her dignity. There still remained to trouble  her joy the fact that Napoleon wanted an heir.  His assumption of the title of Emperor had  altered the situation. As First Consul he could  not nominate a child as his successor, even if the  power of nomination were put in his hands.  Hence the idea which he entertained of making  Louis his heir. But, with an Emperor on the  throne, the presence of a youthful heir^apparent  to be trained up to succeed his father, real  or adoptive, was the natural thing. The ad-  vantages of an adult successor, such as Louis,  were much less than formerly ; more especially  since Louis had by no means commended him-  self to his brother by his conduct toward  Hortense. Joseph was still less suitable than  Louis, on account of his weakness of character.  Had Eugene only been a Bonaparte instead of  a Beauharnais, his claim would be preferable to  all others ; but the arguments against going  outside the immediate family circle were too  strong to be disregarded.   If the heir were to be a child, where was that  child to be found ? Josephine was now over     356 The Empress Josephine   forty, so that the idea of a son by her to Napoleon  might well be put aside. If she were not to be  diyorced, the child must come from another  Bonaparte. Since Lucien and Jerome had both  by their marriages made themselves impossible  in the eyes of Napoleon, there were only Joseph  and Louis. Joseph had daughters, but no son.  Thus there was but Louis left. In favour of his  infant boy Napoleon-Charles there were several  points, more especially that Napoleon was very  fond of him and that he was Josephine’s grand-  child. Might he not further become the  Emperor’s son by adoption ? This idea occurred  to Napoleon before his own elevation to the  throne. It might have been successfully carried  into practice but for the intervention of Joseph.  It appears that in April 1804 Napoleon took  Josephine with him to call on Louis in his Paris  home. Louis was out when they arrived, and  only returned in time to prevent their going  without seeing him. He was at a loss to guess  the reason of the visit. The First Consul was  very embarrassed and did not enhghten him,  until Josephine, taking him aside, explained to  him that a great scheme was to be communicated  to him and that he must show himself to be a      PRINCE NAPOLEON CHARLES.  From an engraving by F. Paquet.     p. 3S6.     Louis’s Obstinacy 357   man. It was then divulged to him that a law  of inheritance was in preparation whereby the  succession could only pass from Napoleon to  members of the family sixteen years junior to  him. Napoleon-Charles fulfilled the conditions.  Would not the prospect of his son becoming  Emperor one day console Louis for being left out  of the succession himself ? Louis seemed in-  clined to listen to the offer. On the following  day, however, he called upon Joseph. The  latter, who led the opposition in the family in  Lucien’s absence, was indignant at a scheme  which cut him out as well as Louis, and reminded  his younger brother of the stories about Hor-  tense at the time of her marriage. Anyhow,  the child was half a Beauharnais, and probably  he would be taken away from his father to be  educated as heir-apparent. After listening to  his elder’s views, Louis was determined not to  agree to what he was asked, and refused to ” give  up ” his child.   So the matter stood when the Senate came  to announce to Napoleon on May 18 that the  question of hereditary Empire was to be sub-  mitted to a plebiscite of the nation. The  plebiscite was taken, and by it the Imperial     358 The Empress Josephine   dignity was declared hereditary in the direct,  natural, legitimate, and adoptive descent of  Napoleon and in the direct, natural, and legiti-  mate descent of his two brothers. Joseph’s  and Louis’s fears were realised, and they saw  themselves, equally with the offending Lucien  and Jerome, debarred from the succession,  with their only consolations the title of Imperial  Highness and the possibility of one day being  father to the Emperor-designate.   It was certainly Josephine’s day. By a wise  silence, in which she was joined by Eugene and  Hortense, she gained more than the Bonapartes,  whether Joseph or Louis, Caroline or Elisa,  gained by their demands from Napoleon.  Josephine, as M. Masson says,^ asked for nothing,  except occasionally for money — and, strictly  speaking, not for money, whose value she did  not know and which she could not save. She  only asked to be relieved of her debts, because  her creditors worried her. Otherwise she took  whatever her husband pleased to give her, and  showed no jealousy of his generosity to others.  She did, it is true, insist on one thing — her rights  as a wife. The consequence was that Napoleon,  1 ” Napolton ©t sa Famille,” ii. 423.     Josephine’s Gain 359   suspecting her jealousy about him,^ tried to  anticipate her wishes and give her whatever  she might want. He grew less and less ready  to divorce her, in spite of his brothers’ wishes.  Between his submissive, and apparently jealously  fond, wife and his own family, eager to get what  they could from him, he inclined steadily more  toward her side. He was led to protect her  against his own kin and to determine that she  should be elevated with him to whatever  eminence he might attain.   • It was rather a case of knowledge than of suspicion, as we  have seen.     CHAPTER XVIII   THE EMPRESS AT HOME   NOW that the story of Josephine has reached  the point when she is firmly estabhshed  in the position of Empress of the French, it  seems appropriate to devote a little space to the  description of her surroundings — the setting,  as it were, of the scene in which she was the  central figure. In the opening pages of his  ” Josephine, Imperatrice et Reine,” M. Masson  gives an excellent and elaborate analysis of the  Empress’s movements during the five years and  seven months while she was on the throne.  Of aU this time she spent barely twelve months  at the Tuileries and thirteen at Saint-Cloud.  Eight months were passed at Malmaison, three  and a half at Fontainebleau, one at Rambouillet,  These periods were by no means consecutive.  Her sojourns in Paris were divided up into three  months in the winter of 1804-5, two in 1806, two  in 1807, three in 1808, and three twice over in   360      THE EMPRESS JOSEPIIIN’E.  From an engraving after the picture by Franc;ois Gerard/     p. 3S0.     The Setting 36 t   1809. It took seven visits to Saint-Cloud to  make up her thirteen months there, and five to  Rambouillet for the one month there. The rest  of her time was divided between seasons at the  waters of Plombieres and Aix-la-Chapelle, six  months in all at Strasbourg and four at Mayence,  and journeys to various parts of Germany, Italy,  Belgium, and provincial France. In fact, she  was in a never-ending state of movement. Yet,  while she whirled about, the background re-  mained strangely the same. In every palace were  the same heavy gilded chairs placed against the  wall in fixed numbers, the same soHd tables  carrjTing ponderous vases, the same dusky  panels on the walls showing nothing distinguish-  able except the flesh of huge allegorical figures.  There was nothing personal, nothing of the  charm and intimacy of a home in these ” cold  and sumptuous inns wherein, with the change  of a mere initial or an emblem, all their royal  guests might lodge indifferently, whatever their  race or country, their tastes or desires.” ^   Owing to this absence of personal interest, it  does not seem necessary here to pay much  attention to the details of the arrangement of the   • M. Masson, ” Jos6phine, Imp6ratrice et Reine,” 4,     362 The Empress Josephine   Tuileries Palace, which have, moreover, been  so often described, both under the rule of the  two Napoleons and under that of the Bourbons.  In an earlier chapter it has been mentioned that  the Empress occupied the ground floor and  the Emperor the first floor, a private staircase  leading from a wardrobe next his study to her  rooms, which, like his, were divided into two sets,  the appartement d’honneur and the appartement  inferieur. The inner set, in her case, included  her bedroom, dressing-room, boudoir, bath-  room, and library ; while an ante-chamber, three  salons, a dining-room, and a concert-room made  up the other. To look after her person  and her apartments she had a gradually in-  creasing staff. Her Lady of Honour was the  Duchesse de la Rochefoucauld ; her Lady of the  Bedchamber Mme. Lavalette, her own niece ;  her first four Palace Ladies, as already men-  tioned in Chapter XV., Mmes. de Lauriston, de  Lu9ay, de Remusat, and de Talhouet, to whom  there were subsequently added thirteen others ;  and a Reader, whom we never hear of Josephine  using until after she had ceased to be reigning  Empress. Of the male sex, she had a, Grand  Almoner with the aristocratic name of de Rohan;     Palace Life 363   a First and five other Chamberlains, a First  Equerry assisted by two others, and a Secretary.  The inferior staff included two principal and  four assistant femmes de chambre, of whom the  principal received six thousand francs a year  each for nominal work ; four women and a girl  in charge of her wardrobe ; and a number of  valets, ushers, pages, etc.   In the midst of this great household, Jose-  phine’s manner of life varied but little from day  to day. If the Emperor had spent the night  with her, it was his custom to leave her as the  hour of eight approached and to mount by the  private stairs to his own suite. His departure  was followed by the arrival of her waiting-  women, who slept near her bedroom. The  blinds were pulled up, and a glass was brought  her of lemonade or whatever she might want.  Next, admittance was given to the successor of  the lamented Fortun6, who sprang upon the  bed from which he was debarred during Napo-  leon’s presence. At nine o’clock she rose and  commenced in her dressing-room a toilet which  never took less than three hours, it was said.  Everything in connection with her washing,  hair-dressing, and make-up was of the most     364 The Empress Josephine   elaborate description. Powder she used in such  profusion that it was wont to fall all over her  clothes. Rouge she put on all over her cheeks ;  her bills for this in 1808 amounted to more than  3,300 francs. She had this much excuse for  her artificial complexion, that, while she had  naturally a brown skin, she came to Paris at a  time when every one of position powdered ; and  paint, as is well known, was pleasing to Napoleon,  who once remarked to a lady of his Court, ” Go  and put some rouge on, madame ; you look like  a corpse.” In another detail, too, she was  guided by him. He liked no scents except  eau-de-cologne, orange-flower and lavender  waters, and she refrained from employing any  others.   In comparison with the display of her toilet-  table, her dress was of apparent extreme  simplicity. In summer especially she wore  nearly always a white muslin or cambric gown,  while her underclothing was very slight indeed.  But simple as her dresses looked, their cost was  very high and her stock of them enormous. The  muslin or cambric gown was exquisitely em-  broidered, and might cost her anything up to  two thousand francs. Some of the five hundred     Toilet and Ceremony 365   chemises in her wardrobe (she changed them  three times a day) had lace to the value of two  hundred francs,^ The fact that she never  looked overdressed was no proof of her economy,  for few women ever spent so much as she upon  their clothes.   After her lengthy toilet there was httle more  freedom for Josephine in the disposal of her  time at the Tuileries. Within the Palace all  was governed by the strictest etiquette, which  appealed to Napoleon as a necessary condition  in the life of a new sovereign, above all. The  Revolution had put ail on an equal footing ; only  a rigid etiquette could restore the grades with-  out which he could not make his Court what he  wished it to be, the most splendid in Europe.  With the aid of his trusted friend Duroc, who,  as Grand Marshal, ” accomplished miracles,”  according to Napoleon’s own testimony, he  contrived that the Tuileries should be a complete  school of ceremony, where the only unceremoni-  ous person was the master himself.   The Palace of Saint-Cloud had come into the  possession of Napoleon with the bestowal upon   1 M. Masson, in his ‘- Josephine, Imperatrice et Reine,”  treats the subject of her wardrobe in great detail.     366 The Empress Josephine   him of the Life Consulship. In spite of its  distance from the city proper, it was regarded  as a Paris residence, and there was Uttle differ-  ence in manner of Ufe and in etiquette between  Saint-Cloud and the Tuileries. The rooms even  were distributed in much the same way.  Josephine’s apartments here, however, were at  once more modern and more comfortable than  those at the Tuileries. She could give a little  more scope to her own personal taste, but in the  severe judgment of Napoleon the rooms were  more appropriate to a fille entretenue. The  occupations of the day were much the same as  at the Tuileries, and the hours, duties, and society  varied hardly at all. Life, however, was a  little less public, and the environment was more  pleasant. A shorter drive brought residents to  Malmaison and places of interest. The grounds,  too, were much more extensive. There were  two parks attached, making about fifteen  hundred acres in all, the smaller containing a  number of the rare animals in which Josephine  delighted, while the larger sheltered enough  game to give sportsmen occasional occupation.  Thus the monotony which reigned at the  Tuileries was somewhat broken at Saint-Cloud.     Saint’CIoud and Fontainebleau 367   Away from these two Paris palaces life was  not quite so exacting. Fontainebleau was  particularly dear to the Emperor, as combining  the splendours of the old rigime, the pomp of  the new, and the pleasures of the country. He  loved, as did his nephew Napoleon III. after  him, to gather together there brilliant crowds  of French and foreign guests and to arrange for  them an unending programme of entertainment.  Unfortunately, his minute attention to details  usually ended by making his visitors feel rather  like prisoners. The amusements of the Second  Empire were often denounced as frivolous ;  those of the First Empire could not escape the  charge of dulness. The splendidly organised  hunts, dances, and concerts, all attended by a  wealth of uniform never witnessed anywhere  else, produced a feeling of surfeit, and it may be  doubted whether any one ever enjoyed the stay  at Fontainebleau as much as the host himself.  Certainly the hostess did not ; for, though she  had somewhat less ceremony to observe than in  Paris, on the other hand she had not the milliners  and jewellers who helped her to pass some of  her hours so pleasantly there.   Nor did Rambouillet delight her more,     368 The Empress Josephine   charmed as was her husband with the little  Royal residence, hardly more than a hunting-  box, of former days. To him it appealed as a  piece of old France and the scene of the last  days of Francois I. To her it was an extremely  uncomfortable house, with bedrooms in which  one could hardly stir. Their first visit was paid  to it in March 1805, on the way to the Italian  Coronation. Napoleon ordered repairs costing  half a million francs, and spent further sums  later on the furniture and garden. No one  dared say anything to him against it, but  Josephine let others frankly understand that  she ” detested it.” It was the practice there that  after an eleven o’clock breakfast she and the  ladies should set themselves to tapestry -work, in  keeping with the spirit of old France, of course.  The men would start for the hunt at two and  return about eight or nine o’clock. Then the  Emperor would pull out his watch and say, ” I  give you ten minutes to dress, ladies. Those who  are not ready then must eat with the cats.” The  men, for the most part, dined in their hunting-  clothes, for at Rambouillet the simple life re-  placed the ceremony which was not absent  even at Fontainebleau. A very short dinner was     Rambouillet 369   followed by an hour or two of whist or some  other card-game. After some music, the  Emperor went off to bed, while the rest of the  party remained to talk to the Empress. Even  here etiquette compelled the men to stand, so  that by one or two o’clock, when the Empress  retired, their weariness must have been extreme.  On one occasion, in August 1806, when the whole  Court by some miracle had been squeezed into  Rambouillet, we hear of Josephine giving a  rustic ball, with musicians brought down from  Paris ; but this was an extraordinary event.  Generally speaking, the guests must have found  it hard to say whether it was worse to be a man  or a woman at Rambouillet.   It was only at Malmaison, the place of  her own choice, that Josephine really made a  home for herself. Here at least she was in the  midst of all her collected treasures and could  pursue her hobbies with little restraint. Hither  she always preferred to come during the Em-  peror’s absence, although, as we have seen,  between the time when she became Empress and  the day of her divorce she was able to spend no  more than eight months in all at her chateau.  Her association with Malmaison, however, was   VOL. 11 3     37° The Empress Josephine   very much longer than this, since it included  part of the time when Napoleon was in Egypt,  part of his First Consulship, and the bulk of the  four years after the divorce. At first she only  divided control of the place with her husband,  who after the i8 hrumaire was glad, whenever he  had any leisure, to come away from Paris and  spend the hfe of a country gentleman here.  We hear of him, in the first spring after he be-  came Consul, passing a brief while at Malmaison  with Josephine in bourgeois peace, going to bed  early while she sat by his feet and read to him ;  and in the daytime shutting himself up with his  work, while she changed her dresses, received  visitors, strolled in the park, or pretended to  occupy herself with tapestry-work or her harp.  Alterations and repairs of the buildings interested  Napoleon so much that he had already spent  six hundred thousand francs upon them. But  when Saint-Cloud came into his hands he  abandoned his care for Malmaison to Josephine,  who in the July of 1802 got rid of Napoleon’s  architects and installed her own man Lepere.  Henceforward Malmaison was hers alone, and she  devoted to its upkeep and improvement enor-  mous sums, from now onward to the fall of the     Life at Malmaison 37^   Empire, so that Napoleon’s extravagance was  made to look almost like economy. He had  nearly rebuilt the house, and had enlarged the  grounds, originally about seventy-five acres in  extent. Josephine, taking up the task, com-  pleted or reversed the structural alterations,  filled the rooms with her priceless but most  miscellaneous belongings until they became  veritable museums, extended the grounds to  the bounds of the village of Reuil, stocked them  with exotic flowers and rare animals, and  erected in them conservatories and hot-houses on  the grandest scale. Both within and without,  the most extraordinary medley was every-  where to be seen. This was natural enough in  the case of her, furniture and collection of works  of art, since all Europe as well as Egypt had  been called upon to contribute objects, old and  new. In the grounds Josephine, by her con-  stant changes of mind, produced the same  effect. Each new idea necessitated an abandon-  ment of the old, till in the end Malmaison be-  came a garden of surprises with its temples and  obelisks, grottoed saints and classical gods,  lakes and streams, for which the main difficulty  was to find the water.     372 The Empress Josephine   Two of the great extravagances of the mistress  of Malmaison were her crazes for strange  animals and flowers ; and these continued to the  end of her days. Among the birds and beasts  were parrots, black swans, an eagle, a king  vulture, an ostrich, chamois, gazelles, flying  squirrels, kangaroos, a seal, an orang-utan,  quantities of monkeys, a flock of merino sheep,  some dwarf ponies, and a herd of Swiss cattle,  to tend which she imported a Swiss shepherd  and shepherdess, building them a Swiss chalet  in the grounds. On idle afternoons there were  all these animals to be fed, a task which never  wearied her.   Her flower garden was famous all over Europe,  and has left traces of its fame in the names of  several well-known plants. From her earliest  days in France she had looked back with longing  memories to the brilliant blooms of the West  Indies. Paintings of flowers had always deco-  rated her rooms, and the widow Beauharnais’s  bills for cut flowers had been high. As soon as  the opportunity presented itself to gratify her  taste for the more exotic specimens, she seized it  without any more thought of the cost than when  she dealt with her jewellers or miUiners. To     The Flower Garden 373   help her in her schemes she appointed, at a  salary of six thousand francs a year, a certain  Mirbel, whose previous history included deser-  tion from the army as well as interest in botany.  At once expenses began to mount at an enor-  mous rate. One hothouse was built by his  advice at the cost of ninety-eight thousand  francs. The ever-increasing figures attracted  Napoleon’s attention, and in 1805 Josephine  was forced to dispense with Mirbel. In spite of  his early record, however, he raised the name of  French horticulture and was generous in dis-  tributing acclimatised species to amateurs who  asked for them. With his departure Josephine,  although she did not cease to care for her  flowers, devoted more attention and money to  the park rather than the garden of Malmaison.  But she had already estabhshed a reputation as  a lover of flowers which is likely to linger while  her name is remembered.^   1 As early as 18O1 our own Prince Regent forwarded to her  from London some plants which had been captured by English  warships when on their way to her^a tribute to her fame as a  flower-grower. The dedication with which Ventenat, Member  of the Institute, prefaced his book on the Malmaison Garden,  may be considered of interest: “Madame, you have not  considered that the taste for flowers should be a barren study^  You have brought together under your eyes the rarest plants     374 The Empress Josephine   Malmaison, then, was Josephine’s own king-  dom, the otily one among her many residences  where she could hve the hfe which she preferred  to all others — the life of expensive simplicity,  untrammelled by etiquette. At Malmaison,  even when Napoleon was there with her, her pro-  gramme was of her own making. There was her  toilet, with the three or four changes of dress a  day ; her walks in the garden or park, with her  favourite flowers and animals to watch and tend ;  her charities in the neighbourhood, which were  on as extravagant a scale as everything else ;  her harp and her embroidery-frame, which she  rarely touched ; and little more, unless there  were visitors, except her meals and her sleep,  in that curious bedroom which has been re-  constituted now so that it presents to modern  visitors the same appearance as it had in the  lifetime of its occupant.   ” Is not this house,” pertinently asks M.  Masson, ” where, after her divorce, she was to     on French soil. By your care there have even been naturalised  several which had not yet left the deserts of Arabia and the  burning sands of Egypt, and these now, duly classified, present  to our gaze, in the beautiful garden of Malmaison, the sweetest  memorial of your illustrious husband’s conquests and the  most pleasing proof of your studious leisure.”     The Home and its Mistress 375   come to live, run into debt, and die, is it not  Josephine herself, her whole Ufe described, her  caprices recorded in stones, trees, pictures,  statues, and flowers ? Never could one, by  the aid of external things, penetrate farther into  any one’s heart than one can here. It is like  an instantaneous photograph of Josephine as  she actually was. This was her own property,  which cost more than ten million francs and>  with all the curious bric-a-brac which it con-  tained, remained incomplete, contradictory, im-  possible, a memorial of the caprices of a woman  who was kept on the grandest scale ever known.  There, in the midst of immense luxury and her  enormous accumulation of treasures, she led a  bourgeois life, among her flowers, her pet  animals waiting to be fed, the guests who gave  her occasion to change her costume, her small  dinners and her concerts after dinner, her  backgammon and her patience.”     CHAPTER XIX   A ROUND OF VISITS   SIGNS of the new order of things since the  Republic had been merged in the Empire  multiplied rapidly. The anniversary of the  25 messidor (July 14) was the great day of the  year, on which the official eulogium of the Revo-  lution was wont to be pronounced. In 1804  the commemoration was postponed until the  next day, which was a Sunday, and instead of  the usual ceremony there was a new scene  witnessed in the church of the Invalides, which  had been the Temple of Mars during the Revolu-  tion and had but lately resumed its ecclesias-  tical character. The Emperor decided that  there should be a solemn distribution of the  Stars of the Legion of Honour on this day. AU  along the road from the Tuileries to the In-  valides were drawn up two lines of troops on  either side. Josephine drove to the church in  a procession of four carriages, in which rode,   376     Religion Restored 377   beside herself, the Bonaparte princesses and  the of&cers and ladies of her household. The  gallery of the church was assigned to them and  to the members of the Diplomatic Body. In  the midst sat Josephine, dressed in a pink  tulle robe, cut very low and sown with silver  stars, while in her hair were a multitude of  diamond clusters. ” In this fresh and re-  splendent toilette,” writes Mme. de Remusat,  ” her elegant deportment, her charming smile,  and the sweetness of her glance produced such  an effect that I heard a number of people who  were present at the ceremony declare that she  eclipsed all the assembly which surrounded her.”  The Emperor arrived at the Invalides after  his wife and was received at the door by  Monseigneur du Belloy, Cardinal-Archbishop of  Paris, bearing holy water. A throne was erected  for Napoleon on the left hand of the altar, to  which he was conducted by the Archbishop.  Behind him sat all the leading civil and military  dignitaries. In the nave were the members of  the Legion of Honour, and behind the altar seven  hundred old soldiers and the pupils of the Ecole  Poly technique. Mass began, and after the  Gospel the oath of fidelity to the Empire, the     37 8 The Empress Josephine   Emperor, and the laws of the Repubhc was  administered. Napoleon then personally dis-  tributed the decorations of his order, beginning  with Cardinal Caprara, to whom he gave his  own cordon. A Te Deum followed, and the  Emperor and Empress drove back to the  Tuileries in state.   Napoleon had aleady in mind a scheme for a  far greater ceremony, in which Josephine was  destined to play a much larger part than she had  played at any of the previous pixblic shows in  which she had been associated with her husband.  When he first conceived the idea of his own  Consecration, and when he decided that Jose-  phine also should share in this great religious  blessing, we do not know. But it must have  been early in 1804 that his thoughts turned  definitely in this direction. It was a bold step  for a son of the Revolution to call in the Pope  to give his sanction to the ruler who sat in  the place of the Legitimist Bourbons. Pope  Stephen III. had consecrated Pepin, when  asking for his military aid against the Lombards ;  Stephen IV. had consecrated Louis le Debon-  naire ; and Leo III. had crowned Charlemagne  at Romfe itself. But was it consistent with     Napoleon’s Scheme 379   Napoleon’s ” Republicanism ” to ask Pius VII.  to come to France as the two Stephens had done  and to renew an old tradition in favour of a  new dynasty which had no claim on his bene-  volence beyond what the conclusion of the  Concordat had given it ? To persuade his  followers that it was so was the task which he  now set himself, and as usual when he put him-  self to bring them over to his views, relying on  his personal hold upon them, he succeeded.  But when he started for the camp at BoiHogne,  three days after the service at the Invalides,  his mind must have been full of the difficulties  which he was making for himself as well as of  his plans against England.   While maturing his scheme for the joint  Coronation and Consecration and making the  first indirect advances to the Vatican through  his chosen agents, Napoleon decided that  Josephine should spend part of August and  September at Aix-la-Chapelle. There were the  waters for her to take, and beside, he contem-  plated joining her there later for a different pur-  pose of his own. He determined that his wife  should travel in state befitting her new rank.  The party to accompany her numbered in aU     380 The Empress Josephine   about fifty persons, and the scale upon which  the journey was conducted may be gathered  from the fact that the expenses by the way  amounted to twelve thousand francs. Napoleon  himself drew up the route by which Aix was to  be reached ; and not only this, but also gave  instructions as to every detail of the trip. He  even dictated beforehand, it was said, the  answers which Josephine was to make to the  addresses of welcome which would be presented  to her, and she spent her time in the carriage  learning by heart the words which she was to  utter to complimentary prefects and mayors.  She was an Empress now, and weight would be  attached to her language. Therefore Napoleon  preferred that this language should have his  sanction before it proceeded from her lips.   The line of advance toward Aix prescribed  by Napoleon lay through Soissons, Reims,  Sedan, and Liege. No one dared to suggest a  departure from the programme, although an  incident which occurred before they reached  Liege must have tempted the travellers to  disobey. The Emperor had directed them to  drive by a road which was marked upon the  map but was not yet completed in reality. The     An Arduous Journey 381   way was therefore very rough, and in going  uphill the carriages had to be roped together.  Josephine, a poor traveller at the best of times,  was in a state of terror, cr5dng out that she must  get out of the carriage. The absent Emperor’s  orders, however, prevailed and, despite fears and  lamentations, the journey continued. Nightfall  iound the party at a small village, where nothing  could be obtained except mattresses on the floor,  and not even enough of them for ah. It was  indeed with feelings of relief that all finally  saw the houses of Aix and prepared to rest  from their fatigues. A great demonstration  awaited the Empress, who entered the town  between lines of saluting troops and under  triumphal arches. Unhappily the accommoda-  tion provided did not equal the welcome. The  so-called Palace was a ruinous building, and far  too small to meet the calls upon its space. It  became at last necessary to depart from in-  structions, and on the day after her arrival  Josephine moved into the Prefecture, which had  been put at her disposal by its occupants.   Before the arrival of the Emperor the days  at Aix were very quiet. Josephine found the  society of the place insufficient to make her for-     3^2 The Empress Josephine   get that she had come partly to take the waters.  Indeed Corvisart had accompanied her for the  express purpose of superintending her ” cure,”  which shows that not yet had all hope been  abandoned of her bearing a child to Napoleon.  There is a letter from the Emperor, dated  Ostend, August 14, in which he writes :  ” Mon amie, I have not received news from you  for several days. I should, however, have  been very glad to learn of the good effect of  the waters and in what manner you pass your  time.”   The second part of Napoleon’s question might  easily have been answered by Josephine if she  had said that she made the best of the only  possible amusements which were to be had.  There were visits to be paid in the daytime to  the local sights and manufactures, a hunt or  two, walks and picnics ; in the evening, an  indifferent German opera, relieved by a visiting  theatrical company from Paris, a ball given  by Josephine herself, and some parties for whist  or other card-games. A peaceful provincial  existence, indeed, for Josephine ! Perhaps the  most notable event was a visit to the cathedral  to see the rehcs which tradition made a gift to     AiX’Ia’Chapelle 383   Charlemagne from the Empress Irene. These  were kept in an iron chest, hidden by a wall which  was pulled down once in every seven years and  then built up again. Among them was a  small box of silver-gilt, the ability to open which  showed that the opener would be fortunate to  the end of his or her days. It was perhaps  hardly strange, seeing that Josephine’s visit  was expected, that when the box was put into  her hands she had no difficulty in opening it.  The arrival of Napoleon on September 3  made a complete change at Aix. He had gone  from Ostend back to Boulogne, where he had  been contemplating a descent upon England  which he was reluctantly compelled to abandon.  To the dismay of the Empress and her ladies,  he informed them that they must be ready to  accompany him to Mayence to meet the Prince  of Baden and his family. First, however, there  would be a further stay of ten days at Aix,  The envoy of the Emperor Francis was there,  on behalf of his master, to greet Napoleon, and  to present the letters accrediting him to the  French Court. This was Count Cobentzel, well  known previously at the Court of Catherine the  Great. Other nations had also hastened to send     384 The Empress Josephine   their representatives, and up to September 12  there was a constant round of receptions, dinners,  excursions, and other festivities. In particular,  Napoleon was anxious to be seen paying honour  to the reUcs of Charlemagne, whose name it was  useful to recaU at a time when he himself was  asking for one of the privileges of Charlemagne.  Josephine accompanied him to the tomb of the  hero, was shown a ” fragment of the true  Cross ” which he had been wont to carry about  with him, and had the good taste to refuse an  arm which she was offered from among his  remains.   An interesting letter written by Josephine  from Aix to her daughter, whose second child  was to be born in the following November,  is preserved in the collection edited by the latter.  ” The Emperor,” Josephine writes, ” has read  your letter. He seemed to me vexed at not  hearing from you sometimes. He would not  make accusations against your heart, if he knew  it as I do ; but appearances are against you.  Since he may think that you are neglecting  him, do not lose an instant in repairing the  imaginary wrong. Tell him that discretion has  made you not write to him, that your affection     Advice to Hortcnse 385   has suffered under the rule which respect im-  posed upon you ; that, as he has always shown  you a father’s kindness and tenderness, it would  be sweet to you to offer him the homage of your  gratitude. Speak to him also of the hope which  you cherish of seeing me again at the time of  your confinement. I cannot think of being far  from you at that time. Be sure, my dear  Hortense, that nothing shall prevent my coming  to look after you. So speak about it to Bona-  parte, who loves you as his own child, which  adds much to my feelings toward him.”   Both her extreme anxiety to please Napoleon  and her affection for her daughter are well  shown in this letter, one of the most effective  documents in her defence against the charges of  lack of wifely and motherly instincts.   The period allowed for the stay at Aix having  come to an end, Josephine accompanied the  Emperor to Cologne. The journey brought on  an indisposition — the usual migraine — but she  was not allowed therefore to escape the duty of  meeting the Elector of Bavaria and joining in  the festivities, which lasted for four days. On  September 16 she left for Coblentz, where  Napoleon rejoined her next day to be present at   VOL. II 4     386 The Empress Josephine   a ball given in their honour. From Coblentz  they proceeded to MayencCj Napoleon by land  and Josephine along the Rhine on a yacht put  at her disposal by the Prince of Nassau- Weilburg.  At Mayence another round awaited them of  what passes at courts for gaiety, and the severe  etiquette and long hours made Josephine and  the ladies who accompanied her pray for escape  to Paris. The town was full of German princes,  notably those of Baden, Bavaria, and Hesse ;  and the formation of the Confederation of the  Rhine, under Napoleon’s suzerainty, was plainly  foreshadowed. But it may be doubted whether  the political importance of this exacting tour  was appreciated by Josephine and her ladies,  ill-lodged for the most part, tired by their  journeys, and oppressed by a ceremonial to  which they were as yet unaccustomed. It was  not until October 2 that they were released.  On that day, leaving Napoleon to make his way  back more slowly by a different route,  Josephine started for Paris by way of Spire,  Nancy, and Chalons. She had been absent for  two months, during one month of which she had  an excellent opportunity of forming an opinion  of the more arduous part of the life of a     A Lesson Well Learnt 387   sovereign. She learnt her lesson well, and among  the characteristics which helped to persuade  Napoleon that no wife could suit him better  than Josephine was the uncomplaining way  in which she always endured the fatigues of  her station.     CHAPTER XX   THE CORONATION AT NOTRE-DAME   ON his return from the Rhine Napoleon  determined to make known to his inner  Cabinet that he not only wished to have him-  self consecrated and crowned by the Pope,  but also Josephine with him. His three confi-  dants were Joseph Bonaparte, Cambaceres, and  Lebrun. His brother made the strongest ob-  jections to the scheme, and it was with difficulty  that Napoleon restrained himself in face of  Joseph’s attitude. To make matters worse,  after leaving the council Joseph proceeded to  discuss indignantly with his personal friends  the whole project, and particularly the idea that  the Imperial princesses should carry the Em-  press’s train at the Coronation. One of these  friends repeated what he had heard to Fouch6,  remarking that naturally Mme. Joseph, being a  virtuous woman, would find such a duty pain-  ful. Fouche told his friend Josephine, through   388      POPE PIUS VII.  Fromra painting by David at tlie Louvre.     P- 388.     Josephine and Pius VII. 389   whom the remark reached Napoleon. The  Emperor was more hurt than his wife. But,  after all, Joseph had no power to do more than  protest. If the Pope could be persuaded to  come to Paris, the Emperor would be in a  position to dictate ; or so at least it must have  seemed to the latter.   The story of the relations between Josephine  and Pius VII. is a most curious and entertaining  one. They begin in January 1803, when Pius  sent a sub-legate to convey their hats to the  new French cardinals. His Hohness was ob-  viously ignorant of the early history of the First  Consul’s wife. He gave to the sub-legate a  special brief commending him to his ” beloved  daughter in Christ, Victoria Bonaparte ” (dilectce  in Christo filiee VidoricB Bonaparte) ; the mis-  take in the name can hardly have been inten-  tional. A year later, on January 13, 1804,  Josephine wrote to Pius, sending him a rochet  which she had had made for him, and for which,  by the way. Napoleon paid. Her messenger  was her cousin Louis Tascher, who was con-  veying a letter from Napoleon himself to the  Pope. Tascher brought back a letter of thanks  from Pius, who wrote to Josephine again in     39° The Empress Josephine   June — still calling her carissimcB in Christo  filicB nostrcB VidoricB, Gallorum Imperatrici —  begging her to use her influence on her hus-  band for the increase among the French^ and  the protection and preservation, of the Catholic  religion; and he bestowed upon her his apostolic  benediction.   This friendhness of the Pope toward his wife  accorded well with Napoleon’s scheme. In May  1804 he had begun to sound Pius, through the  well-dispQsed Legate Caprara, on the subject of a  journey to Paris to crown him Emperor of the  French. On the day that Caprara wrote to the  Vatican, there was an evening reception in  Josephine’s salon at Saint-Cloud. Here Na-  poleon discoursed with Caprara enthusiastically  on the advantage to rehgion which his glorious  idea promised. Caprara was prepared to do his  utmost to promote relations between Rome and  Paris. But at the Vatican the Papal Secretary  of State, Cardinal Consalvi, had no such reasons  for wishing to be on good terms with Napoleon,  and proved a considerable obstacle in the way of  a settlement, even delaying to send to Caprara  letters accrediting him to the new French  Government until June.     Napoleon and the Vatican 391   The prolonged negotiations concerning the  Pope’s visit to Paris are given very fully in M.  Masson’s volume on ” Le Sacre et le Couronne-  ment de Napoleon,” which should be read by  all who are interested in the history of an  extraordinary intrigue. The advisers of Pius  inaposed conditions with which Napoleon’s re-  cent oath ” to respect and enforce respeqt for the  laws of the Concordat and the liberty of religious  cults ” made it difficult, or rather impossible, to  comply ; and they wished the ceremony to take  place on Christmas Day, which was much later  than Napoleon intended. The Sacred College,  moreover, although they did not put the demand  into writing, cherished hopes of a restoration of  the Legations to Rome. Further difficulties  soon arose. Consalvi wished to dictate the  terms of the formal letter of invitation from  Napoleon to His HoHness. Then Cardinal  Fesch at Rome, as the Emperor’s uncle, did not  want the negotiations to proceed without his  OAvn intervention ; an intervention which hardly  tended at first to hasten the progress of affairs.  He wrote, however, in so unjustifiably sanguine  a strain to Paris that as early as the middle of  June Josephine welcomed Caprara at one of her     39’^ The Empress Josephine   receptions with the words : ” So we are to have  the Holy Father in Paris to consecrate the  Emperor, my husband ! ” The Cardinal Legate  knew better than she how matters actually stood,  and can Uttle have expected at this time that  before six months had passed her words would  be proved true.   The publication of the scheme in France  aroused immediately a strong opposition outside  Roman Catholic circles. It was with difficulty  that Napoleon could make an adequate defence  against the attacks coming from various quarters.  The double task of proving to the Pope that  religion would benefit greatly by his journey to  Paris and of proving to France that the Roman  Church would not benefit at all by that journey,  would have proved too much for most men.  His apology to France for the Consecration  ceremony cannot have sounded very convincing.  The sacre, he said, was ” an invocation of the  heavenly power on behalf of a new djmasty,  an invocation made according to the ordinary  forms of the oldest, most general, and most  popular cult of France.” To succeed at Rome  it needed all the aid of Talleyrand (ex-Bishop of  Autun !), of Fesch, and still more of falsehood.     The Pope Persuaded 393   But success came at last. On September 4  Fesch wrote to Talleyrand that the Pope had  agreed to come. He had taken on himself to  make certain promises (which undoubtedly he  wished, as a churchman, to see Napoleon carry  out) with regard to the concessions to be made  to the Papacy, the ceremonial to be observed  at Paris, and the terms of the formal letter of  invitation. Napoleon, on receiving at Cologne  news that the Pope was prepared to consent,  did not trouble to ask what promises his uncle  had made, but wrote on September 15 a letter  to Pius in which he not only passed over the  subject of concessions, but did not even pay  regard to the ordinary usage of Christian princes  in writing to His Holiness. Moreover, he  despatched the letter to Rome by the hands of  an aide-de-camp, whereas it had been stipulated  that it should be conveyed by two French  bishops. So much was Pius chagrined by the  breach of faith that he seriously contemplated  withdrawing his promise to go to Paris. It  required an adroit mixture of prayers and  menaces from Fesch to persuade him that it was  now too late to withdraw. Pius yielded, and on  November 2 commenced his journey from Rome.     394 The Empress Josephine   It had been designed by Napoleon to have the  combined Coronation and Consecration on the  i8 brumaire, the fifth anniversary of the coup  d’Etat which had made him master of France.  And, although when he left Paris for Boulogne  in the middle of July, all was in a state of uncer-  tainty, he had given orders for preparations to be  commenced at Notre-Dame and in the Pavilion  of Flora at the Tuileries respectively for the  Coronation service and the lodging of the Pope.  When it became certain that, if the Pope came at  all, he could not arrive on the i8 brumaire, it was  given out that the date would be the 5 frimaire  (November 26). Delay was both annoying and  expensive as soon as arrangements had become  definite, and civil, military, and naval repre-  sentatives had begun to crowd into Paris from  the provinces. Every day increased the cost  to the nation. Each National Guard alone,  for instance, who came to Paris received five  francs a day, half of which came from the  Treasury, half from the departmental funds.  It is hardly surprising, therefore, that the un-  fortunate Pius was harassed on his journey  by constant reminders that haste was impera-  tive. Finally he was informed that a post-     Pius in France 395   ponement had been made to the 11 frimaire  (December 2), but that the Coronation would  take place positively on that date, whether he  were in Paris or not.   A hurried and uncomfortable journey brought  the Pope on the 4 frimaire to Fontainebleau,  where a strange comedy took place. Napoleon  was unable to find a suitable French precedent  for the reception of the Holy Father by a  sovereign of France. The meeting must be  accidental, he decided. The Emperor Joseph  IL of Austria had met Pope Pius VL unex-  pectedly when out hunting. Napoleon set out  for Fontainebleau with Josephine and arranged  a hunting party in the forest for the 4 frimaire —  which was Sunday, November 25. At midday  he was at the cross of Saint-Herem, in full  hunting costume, when the Pope’s cavalcade  was observed approaching. The carriage stopped  and, while Napoleon dismounted from his horse,  Pius stepped out in his white robes and white  silk shoes on the muddy ground. The Emperor  of thirty-five years and the Pope of sixty-two  fell into each other’s atms. An Imperial carriage  drove up. Napoleon hastened to take the right-  hand seat, and with the Pope on his left drove     39^ The Empress Josephine   to the chiteau of Fontainebleau. What need  was there to discuss etiquette, when the Emperor  was making it for himself and the rest of the  world ?   A little rest was allowed to the weary Pius at  Fontainebleau. On the Sunda)’- afternoon he  paid short visits to the apartments of the  Emperor and Empress ; but it was not until next  day that the real business began. A dinner  was to take place at the chateau at which, beside  the Pope, Emperor and Empress, there were to  be present Cardinal Fesch, Joseph Bonaparte,  and Eugene Beauharnais. But in the course of  the day a terrible revelation was made ; nothing  less, indeed, than the fact that, in the eyes of  the Church, Napoleon and Josephine had never  been married at all. The blow was tremendous  to His Holiness. To quote the words of M.  Masson : ^   ” That there had been presented to him, as  though she were a legitimate wife. Napoleon’s  concubine, living with him outside the Church’s  laws, in a state of mortal sin ; that he had been  made to address to this woman eulogistic briefs,  in which he had acknowledged her as Empress   1 -‘ Le Sacre et le Couronnement de Napoleon,” 153.     A Terrible Discovery 397   of the French and his dear daughter in Christ,  and in which he commended the Cathohc Church  to her protection — this was enough. But that  it was upon this woman that he was to bestow  the greatest of the sacraments, the triple unction  given with the chrism reserved for bishops, made  of oil and balm, quia per oleum infusio graticB,  per balsamum odor bonce fames designatur — this  passed beyond all bounds.”   It is not surprising to hear that, when the dis-  closure had been made, Pius declii^ed to attend  the concert in the Empress’s room after dinner,  or that he had Napoleon notified that he would  take no part in the Coronation service until he  had received proofs that the Imperial couple had  received the sacrament of marriage. Napoleon  was placed in a difficult position. He could not  now dispense with the Pope’s assistance and  have a purely civil Coronation ceremony, for  that would prove to his Roman Catholic sub-  jects that he had attempted to trick His Holiness  and also advertise the fact that he had never  been married to Josephine, according to their  ideas. Nor could he publicly explain why he had  not yet taken the step in his own case and  Josephine’s which he had considered necessary     39^ The Empress Josephine   in the cases of his sisters and of Louis. There  was no third alternative to yielding to the de-  mand of Pius or throwing him over and entirely  undoing that work of conciliating the Church  to which he had devoted no Uttle labour since  he had established himself as the ruler of France.  He could not hesitate. He agreed to an  ecclesiastical marriage, only reserving the right  of having it performed in secret.   Accordingly, when he drove into Paris with  Pius on November 28, he was under promise  to make Josephine his wife in the eyes of the  Church as she was already in those of the law,  Josephine had returned to Paris a few hours  before him. Imbert de Saint- Amand pictures  her a devout daughter of the Church, rejoicing  in the thought that she was at last to become  Napoleon’s wife in very deed. No doubt  Josephine rejoiced at the idea of the religious  ceremony, but hardly on the grounds alleged  by Saint-Amand, for devotion to the Church  cannot be considered a prominent trait in her  character. The thought which was likely to  bring her joy was that the religious marriage  would be an additional protection to her against  divorce. She was reaping the reward of a wise     Religious Marriage at Last 399   discretion. We never hear at any period of a  plea from her to Napoleon that he should marry  her according to the rites of the Church. But,  when all was in train for the Consecration and  Coronation which Napoleon wished her to share  with him at the hands^of the Pope, she allowed  Pius to know that she was, according to his  views, living in mere concubinage with the  Emperor. Nothing more was necessary. She  had not designed the dramatic situation. She  merely took advantage of it ; and, without  the necessity of an appeal to Napoleon (as far  as we know), she gained all that she wanted.   The promised marriage took place in the  Tuileries chapel on the night of November 30.  Fesch performed the ceremony, and the only  witnesses were Talleyrand and Marshal Berthier.  A profound secrecy was observed ; but the  requirements of Pope Pius were satisfied.   There stiU remained in dispute the question  as to the ceremonial to be adopted for the  Consecration. Neither the ancient French form  nor the Roman Pontifical pleased Napoleon.  A new model, consisting of a mixture of the two,  with additions considered suitable to the tmique  occasion, was drawn up by the Minister of Public     400 The Empress Josephine   Worship, PortaHs, with the assistance of Cam-  baceres, now Grand Chancellor, de Pradt, and  Josephine’s friend S^gur. This was presented to  the Pope, and, although it was designed to mini-  mise as far as possible the subjection of State  to Church, it was substantially accepted. Pius  even agreed to Napoleon’s placing of the crown  upon his own head. As M. Masson satisfactorily  shows, the legend of Napoleon departing from  the agreed form and seizing his crown from  the Pope to put it on his head with his own  hands, although it dates from the time of Thiers  and has been widely accepted, is upset by the  text of the Pope’s prayers in the printed order  of service.   Pius showed himself very accommodating,  especially when we consider that he had obtained  no confirmation of Cardinal Fesch’s verbal pro-  mises on behalf of his nephew ; but on one  point at the very last moment he remained  firm and gained the day. The Emperor desired  that the Te Deum should not be sung until the  end of the whole service, which he intended to  include the administration of the constitutional  oath. Pius, however, on his part, had no  intention of being present at the oath, since     Arrangements for the Ceremony 401   thereby the Emperor swore to respect the hberty  of cults in France. Recognising again the  necessity of a concession, Napoleon consented  that the Te Deum should follow the enthrone-  ment and that the constitutional oath should  not be administered until Mass was finished and  the Pope had withdrawn to a side chapel. The  Pope in his turn made a last concession, absolving  Napoleon from the duty of communicating on  the morning of the Coronation ; and nothing  further remained in dispute.   On the morning of December 2, the appointed  day, the Duchesse d’Abrantes records that she  was one of those who breakfasted with the  Empress. Josephine was agitated but happy.  She spoke of all the amiable things which  Napoleon had said to her already that morning  and how he had tried her crown upon her.  Tears were falUng as she told this. Then she  related how she had begged that Lucien might  be allowed to return to Paris, but in vain.  ” Bonaparte answered me sharply, and I was  obliged to desist. I wished to prove to Lucien  that I can return good for evil. If you have  the chance, let him know,” she asked Mme.  Junot. The story is curious but not improbable.  VOL. II 5     402 The Empress Josephine   Josephine, as Napoleon had once told Lucien,  had no more gall than a pigeon. Truly Lucien  offered her a fine opportunity of returning good  for evil ; no one had ever done her greater  wrong except Alexandre de Beauhamais.   The two Napoleons were masters in the art of  organising public shows, but it may be doubted  whether any of the great occasions under either  Empire^ even including the marriage of Napoleon  III. and the Empress Eugenie nearly fifty  years later, were distinguished by such magni-  ficence as was seen at Notre-Dame and in Paris  generally on December 2, 1804. The celebra-  tions began at six o’clock on the preceding  evening, all the heights in the city being illumin-  ated with Bengal Hghts, while artillery salutes  were fired regularly up to midnight. The pre-  parations for the procession began before  daylight, and the doors of Notre-Dame were open  as early as six for the admission of those who  were to be present at the service. The streets  from the Tuileries to the Cathedral were hned  on either side by a triple row of troops in the  new uniforms which had been given out to them  on the 18 brumaire. At nine o’clock Pope Pius  left his rooms in the PaviUon of Flora and     The Procession to Nbtre’Dame 403   drove to Notre-Dame in a coach drawn by  eight dapple-grey horses, escorted by a squad-  ron of dragoons. The coach itself had been  Josephine’s and had been speeialiy prepared for  the Pope on this occasion. At half-past ten  His Hohness appeared in the Cathedral and  made his way to his throne. The morning was  intensely cold, but the long-suffering Pius  mounted to his seat and sat waiting for mOre  than an hour. In his singularly pale face,  almost as white as his robes, his eyes were closed  and only his mouth could be seen moving in  prayer. During the long wait few signs were  to be seen of the subjection of State to Church  which some of the Emperor’s subjects so  dreaded.   Napoleon and Josephine left the Tuileries  about half-past ten, half an hour later than the  appointed time. Josephine is perhaps not to  be blamed for the delay, for one of her good  points in Napoleon’s eyes was that she never  kept him waiting, however elaborate her toiliet.  The departure from the Palace was announced  by the firing of gums, and all along the route the  crowd was in a great state of excitement. The  ^ze of the procession and the narrowness of the     404 The Empress Josephine   streets, with the troops in front and the dense  masses of sightseers behind, made progress very  slow. But this gave more opportunity to wit-  ness the details of the show as it passed. The  procession was composed of twenty-five carriages  in all, drawn by one hundred and fifty-two  horses, of six regiments of cavalry, and a vast  staff of mounted officers. At the head rode  Murat, Governor of Paris. The carriages of the  masters of the ceremonies, of the great officials,  and of the Imperial princesses preceded the  Emperor, those of the officers and ladies of the  various households followed. In the centre of  aU came the Imperial coach, drawn by eight  dun-coloured horses with white plumes upon  their heads. The coach had so much glass in  its construction that almost the whole of the  interior could be seen. The framework was  heavily gilt and decorated with medallions,  palms, and branches of laurel and ohves, while  on the top was a large model of Charlemagne’s  crown upborne on an altar supported by four  golden eagles. The inside was hned with white  velvet, embroidered with gold, and the ceiling  and sides were adorned with a winged thunder-  bolt, a crowned N, olive and laurel wreaths,     The Dresses 405   stars and swarm of bees, the symbol which  Napoleon had borrowed from the Merovingian  Childeric. The Emperor sat on the right hand,  with Josephine at his left and Joseph and Louis  facing them. Napoleon was in a Spanish  costume of purple velvet, embroidered in gold,  with a mantle to match, and covered with jewels.  His brothers were in white velvet costumes, cut  like his own. Josephine wore a long-sleeved  waistless robe of white satin, sown with gold  bees and embroidered with both gold and silver,  while a profusion of diamonds covered her cor-  sage and the upper parts of the sleeves. A  white velvet mantle, with gold embroidery, hung  from her shoulders, and gold-embroidered white  velvet shoes were on her feet. From the bills,  which were preserved, it appears that her robe  alone cost ten thousand francs, her mantle seven  thousand, and her shoes six hundred and fifty.  But all this was eclipsed by her diadem of four  rows of pearls united by foliage of diamonds,  which cost more than a million.   It was eleven o’clock when the coach reached  the Cathedral. Napoleon and Josephine had  now to clothe themselves afresh. Napoleon put  on a white satin tunic and knee-breeches, with     4o6 The Empress Josephine   a huge purple velvet mantle, embroidered in  gold and lined with ermine ; while on his head  he wore a laurel wreath in gold. Josephine had  another white satin robe, ornamented with gold  fringes, which figure in the bill at ten thousand  francs the robe and over one thousand the  fringes. Her new mantle was no less than  twenty ells in length, purple in colour hke her  husband’s and sown by golden bees. Its em-  broidery had cost sixteen hundred francs, and  its Russian ermine lining ten thousand. In  order that her diamond-decked breast might not  be covered, the mantle was fastened to the left  shoulder only and by a clasp at the waist,  making its weight very awkward to bear.  Five princesses, all in white satin embroidered  with gold and with white plumes and diamonds  in their hair, were deputed to assist her in  the task. These were the three sisters of the  Emperor, Joseph’s wife Juhe, and her own  daughter Hortense. To induce his sisters to  perform this act of service to Josephine had cost  Napoleon many displays of anger, and it was  only after threats of exile from France that they  had consented to hold — they would not ” carry ”  — the train. In compensation, each princess         u     JOSEPHINE.   From n sketch by David for his picture of the Coronation.     p. 406     A Blaze of Colour 407   was allowed to have an officer of her own house-  hold to follow her and uphold her mantle. The  resentment of Josephine’s sisters-in-law was  not appeased, however, according to the rumours  of the day.   The Emperor and Empress advanced from the  vestry at a quarter to twelve, amid a gorgeous  mass of colour, in which the prominent hues  were the violet and gold of the heralds, green  and black of the ushers, green and gold of the  pages, violet and silver of the masters of cere-  monies, blue and gold of the marshals, and the  scarlets, greens, and blues of the officers of  the Imperial Household. The Cardinal Arch-  bishop of Paris, assisted by another cardinal,  came forward to meet them with holy water  and an address of welcome, and as soon as they  had been conducted to their thrones the Pope  arose from his and came down to intone the  ” Veni Creator.”   The whole ceremony at Notre-Dame occupied  nearly three hours, including the administration  of the constitutional oath, during which the  Pope and his suite withdrew. Not only cold  assailed the spectators on this bitter December  day, but also hunger, although hawkers of light     4o8 The Empress Josephine   refreshment were allowed to enter the Cathedral.  But for the music (of which there was so much  that the band-parts comprised more than seven-  teen thousand pages) the greater part of the  congregation could enjoy but little of the service  We quote the words of M. Masson ^ :   ” In accordance with Napoleon’s wishes, the  details of the first part of the ceremony were  only seen ‘ by priests or by men who through  the superiority of their intellect had the faith  of the eighth century.’ So the oath, the an-  ointings, the blessing, and the delivery of the  insignia passed unnoticed. It was with difficulty  that the Emperor was seen when, ascending to  the altar and turning toward the congregation,  he crowned himself ; he disappeared as he came  down the steps and proceeded to crown the  Empress. The advance toward the Grand  Throne for the enthronement produced a sensa-  tion. The Empress mounted the first five  steps and then the weight of the mantle, no  longer upheld by the princesses, who remained  at the foot of the steps, caused her to stumble   1 -‘ Le Sacre et le Couronnement de Napoleon,” 209-10.  Those interested in the order of the service should consult  M. Masson’s book ; and also Imbert de Saint-Amand, ” La  Cour de I’lmp^ratrice Jos6phine,” 66 fi.     A Strange Mishap 409   and almost carried her backwards. She was  obliged to summon all her nerve-force to  straighten herself and continue the ascent.  Had her train-bearers planned this revenge ?  It was believed so. What exculpates them is  that a similar mishap befell the Emperor.  He too stumbled and was seen to make a sHght  movement backward ; but with a vigorous  effort he recovered himself and quickly mounted  the steps.”   The enthronement over, the Pope kissed the  Emperor’s cheek and pronounced the ” Vivat  Imperator in cBternum.” The two orchestras  struck into the music of the Abbe Rose. At  the end of the Mass the Pope retired with his  cardinals and clergy, while Napoleon took the  constitutional oath. A herald then proclaimed  ” The most glorious and august Emperor  Napoleon, Emperor of the French, consecrated  and enthroned.” The Cathedral clergy gathered  about the throne to lead out the Emperor and  Empress. The magnificent ceremony was at  an end, and without a mishap. It was true  that there had been the stumbles on the steps,  Napoleon had yawned once, the Archbishop’s  opening address had been cut short by a sign     4IO The Empress Josephine   from Duroc (plainly inspired by his master),  and as the party left the Cathedral Napoleon  had been seen to thrust his sceptre into Cardinal  Fesch’s back to attract his attention. But  otherwise nothing had marred the dignity of  the occasion.   Josephine, in particular, had acted admirably  and appeared perfect. She had looked more  like twenty-five than forty-one, says Mme.  de Remusat. The Emperor was well pleased  with the day and with her. Dining alone with  her at the Tuileries that night, after they had  driven back with her over the long route chosen  for the return to the Palace, cheered the whole  way by enthusiastic crowds, he had insisted  that she should keep on her head the crown  ” which became her so weU.” Had she not  every reason for satisfaction also ? No one  now could cast any doubt upon her position as  legitimate wife and Empress, and there could  hardly have been in her mind on this day  any lingering fear of a divorce. The combined  Coronation and Consecration was certainly an  extraordinary honour for Josephine, one which  no Queen of France since Marie de Medici had  received ; and not even she at the same time     The Empress’s Tdumph 4 1 1   as her husband. Marie de Medici^ moreover,  had been a possible future Regent, whereas on  Napoleon’s death the regency would not fall  to Josephine. ” To consecrate and crown  Josephine,” says M. Masson, ” was an act of  sentiment and had nothing to do with politics or  with reason.” This act of sentiment was the  supreme witness of Napoleon’s love for his wife.  It was manifested in httle more than a year  after the period when he was supposed to be  growing tired of her, and might well have been  taken to prove the falsity of such suggestions.  It was true that Napoleon did not take  much trouble to conceal any longer that he  had occasional attractions toward other women.  At this very period of the Coronation he cast  his eyes upon a Mme. Duchatel, the pretty young  wife of an old Councillor of State, who had re-  cently joined the Empress’s Household. Jose-  phine suspected infidelity at the time when the  Pope was being received at Fontainebleau, but  thought that it was by Marshal Ney’s wife that  Napoleon’s fancy was caught. She discovered  the truth, according to Mme. de Remusat, by  actually surprising the guilty lady with her  husband at Saint-Cloud. There was a violent     412 The Empress Josephine   scene, where Napoleon, almost on the eve of the  Coronation, if we may believe the memoirists,  angrily revived the talk of divorce. But tears,  and a reconciliation, soon followed, and Jose-  phine did not even dismiss Mme. Duchatel from  her Household. She had begun to recognise  that it would be well to allow the Emperor some  distraction — ” the amusements,” in fact, ” in  which his affection had no part.”     CHAPTER XXI   THE ITALIAN CORONATION   THE Coronation of Napoleon and Josephine  was followed by a series of day and night  festivities in honour of Emperor and Empress,  organised by the public bodies and various  sections of the community — assuredly one of  the most elaborate series of entertainments  known in history. Money was spent by the  million of francs. The cost of the ceremony of  December 2 was only allowed by Napoleon  to have been three millions. In reality it  probably cost ten millions, while enemies of the  Government reckoned the figure at fifty to sixty  millions. And the expense continued long after  the day of the Coronation. On December 3  was the popular fete all over Paris, when the  city became hke a fair with its dancing-halls,  roundabouts, and shows. Food was distributed  free of charge, so that in spite of the cold the  mob was in good spirits. Heralds also went   4’3     4H The Empress Josephine   about scattering commemorative medals, of  which thirteen thousand were struck in gold  and seventy-five thousand in silver. At night  fireworks and illuminations kept sightseers out  in the streets, heedless of the temperature.   The municipality of Paris was among the  foremost to make a display of its loyalty ; and  on such a scale that the debt incurred took  several years to clear off. The entertainment  began with the arrival at the Hotel de Ville of  the Emperor, Empress, and the Princes Joseph  and Louis, in the same coach and in the same  costume as in the procession of December 2.  In the Throne Room Josephine found waiting  for her a silver-gilt toilet set, afterwards valued  at more than fourteen thousand francs, which  the President of the Municipal Council begged  her to accept in a most flattering speech. A  banquet followed in the newly named Hall of  Victories, where Napoleon and Josephine dined  at a table by themselves raised on a platform  above the rest of the guests. A symphony by  Haydn accompanied the dinner, and at its con-  clusion there was a great firework display, one  of the set-pieces representing Napoleon crossing  the Saint-Bernard. At the end of all came a      NAPOLEON IN THE IMPERIAL ROBES.   From an en,:<raviiig; after the picture by F. Giirard.     Festivities in Paris 415   ball, in which seven hundred people took  part.   So the festivities went on, the Marshals of  the Empire, the Senate, and the Legislative  Body all striving to outdo the city of Paris,  while at the Tuileries the Emperor and Empress  played the part of hosts in the manner dear to  Napoleon’s heart. Among their guests was one  who found the gaiety a little excessive ; namely.  Pope Pius VII., who was observed discreetly to  retire when the banquet at the Tuileries on  December 4 gave place to a ballet in which  Mme. Vestris and her companions played before  the assembled company a ” pastoral diversion.”   However, His Holiness did not tire of Paris,  it appeared. He made a stay of four months,  giving audiences, visiting the churches, and  seeing the sights. People began to talk of  Napoleon having asked him to divide his year  between Rome and Paris. But, as a matter  of fact, the prolonged visit was not entirely in  accordance with the wishes of Napoleon, who  may have feared to see his guest becoming too  popular. Pius had another reason for his stay.  Fesch’s rash promises remained unfulfiUed, and  Napoleon showed no signs of being willing to     4^6 The Empress Josephine   fulfil them. Finally, seeing that there was no  prospect of obtaining the restoration of the  Legations to Rome nor of upsetting the liberty  of cults in France, Pius left Paris on April 4,  1805. There was no breach with the Emperor,  however, who did not take leave of the Pope until  they were both in Ttirin, Pius on his way to the  Vatican and Napoleon bound for Milan, where  his Italian Coronation was to take place ; and  as he passed through Parma in early May Pius  sent a brief praying the Emperor to preserve  his attachment for him and to present his  greetings to his ” august spouse.” In the  Milan ceremony he was to play no part.   Before leaving Paris Pope Pius performed an  act very gratifying to Josephine in baptizing,  in the Empress’s apartments at Saint-Cloud,  Napoleon-Louis, second son of Hortense and  Louis Bonaparte. This was the child about  whose birth Josephine manifested her anxiety  at Aix. He was born in November 1804, and  his baptism was delayed in order that it might  be performed on March 27 by the Holy Father,  in the presence of Emperor and Empress, the  two parents, Mme. Letizia Bonaparte, lately  arrived from Italy, and other members of the     A Journey to Italy 417   Imperial family, as well as the most distinguished  personages of the Court.   Pius left the Tuileries, as has been said, on  April 4. Napoleon and Josephine, however,  started for Italy from Fontainebleau several  days before him. On the 2nd they were at  Troyes and on the loth at Lyon, which they  entered after passing under a triumphal arch  erected more than a mUe outside the town.  From Lyon Josephine wrote to her daughter  that unanimous acclamations had greeted the  Emperor everywhere. ” He has won every  heart ; and in the general picture of joy and  affection toward his person it would be difficult  for me to say which town has most distinguished  itself.” She added : ” It is with great joy that  I see the time approaching when I can embrace  Eugene ; but my pleasure will not be complete,  and while meeting one of my children I feel  much sorrow in the separation from another who  is equally dear to me.”   Napoleon had not gone to Italy on a pleasure-  trip. On the contrary, he had some very im-  portant business on hand. He had arranged  to foUow up his Coronation at Paris as Emperor  of the French by another Coronation at Milan   VOL. II 6     41 8 The Empress Josephine   as King of Italy. Josephine accompanied him,  but not in order that she should share his second  coronation. He did not intend to set her beside  him on the throne of Italy, of which she must  be Queen only by courtesy. It is true that at  Milan she was assigned an ItaUan Household,  drawn from the ladies of the best famihes of the  city, and that she was universally spoken of as  the Queen, or Empress and Queen. But she  was not Hkely to mistake the meaning of these  honours when the ceremony of May 26 took  place, as will be seen.   Before proceeding to the Lombard capital,  Napoleon made a short stay in the chateau of  Stupinigi at Turin, whence he wrote to his  mother his cruel letter concerning Elizabeth  Patterson, Jerome’s American wife, and sent  orders to Jerome himself to meet him at Milan.  From Turin he proceeded to Alessandria, and  took the opportunity to give before Josephine,  on the neighbouring battlefield of Marengo,  an actual representation of the fight of five  years ago. To complete the realism he had  brought to him the original uniform and hat  which he had worn at Marengo. On the  following day. May 6, he received the wretched     Milan’s Homage 419   Jerome into his presence and promised him  pardon if he would renounce his wife ; which  Jerome, in effect, did.   On May 8, amid the salutes of artillery.  Napoleon entered Milan with Josephine at his  side. He found waiting to welcome him the  Archbishop of the city, who was none other than  Cardinal Caprara, his ally in the negotiations  with Pius VII. He could calculate, therefore,  through Caprara’ s influence, on a warm re-  ception in Milan above all other Italian towns  and on the co-operation of the Lombard nobility  in gathering together a suitable court. He  hastened to make a good impression by re-  pairing at once with Josephine to the Duomo  and kneeling with her there before the altar.  He did not work in vain, and during the whole  time of his stay at Milan he and Josephine  were overwhelmed with attentions and flattery  from every class of society. If Josephine was  but a courtesy Queen, she received at least  as much homage as if her position were as  official in Italy as in France. On May 25, the  eve of the Coronation, there was a reception  at the Monza Palace to the high Italian  clergy, at which the Archbishop of Bergamo     420 The Empress Josephine   complimented her in the following extravagant  terms :   ” Madame, if Charity were to descend from  heaven to redress the ills of humanity, she  would seek no other lodging than the heart of  a queen adored by her subjects. The feeling  of love, gratitude, and respect which animates  all your subjects is what brings to your feet  all the bishops of the Kingdom of Italy. Happy  as they are in finding in your august spouse the  most sublime elements of glory and genius, and  in you, madame, all that goodness has that is  worthy of adoration, it only remains for them  to offer up prayers for the prosperity of your  reign and to bless Heaven for combining in the  hearts of their sovereigns all that can command  affection and respect for supreme power.”   The Coronation took place in the Cathedral  on the following morning. Josephine accom-  panied her sister-in-law the Princess Elisa  Bacciochi to seats reserved for them on a plat-  form in the choir. She could now apprecijate  the difference between her positions at Notre-  Dame and at the Duomo. There was no holy  water for her on her entry, no throne for her  near the altar, no princesses to hold her train.     Napoleon King of Italy 421   With one page in attendance like Elisa, and  having no precedence over her, she took her  place in the choir, nothing more than a dis-  tinguished spectator of the proceedings/ She  did but watch Napoleon receive from the hands  of the Archbishop of Bologna the sword, mantle,  and ring, and take from the altar himself the  Iron Crown of Lombardy, putting it on his head  and crying ” Dio me I’ha data, guai a chi la  toccherd ” (” God has given it to me, let him  who shall touch it beware ! “). The words  seem to have struck Napoleon pleasantly. In  high good humour the same afternoon, after the  return to the Monza Palace, he repeated them in  French to Mme. Avrillon, Josephine’s reader,  rubbing his hands together as he did so.   The Coronation being over and the herald  having proclaimed ” Napoleon, Emperor of the  French and King of Italy, is crowned and   ‘ M. Masson says, in his ” Josephine Imp6ratrice at Reine,”  that Napoleon, reflecting on the sacre at Paris, regarded that  ceremony as an accident without consequence. Previously  Josephine had no fixed place at political ceremonies ; nor did  she have any such place afterwards. The sacre (he repeats)  was, as it were, an accident and a surprise ; and in future  Josephine had no part in the great national solemnities,  although at the chief family events, baptisms and marriages,  and at the Court ffites, concerts, balls, banquets, etc., she  continued alwaj’s to take the first place.     422 The Empress Josephine   enthroned ; long live the Emperor and King ! ”  a Te Deum was celebrated the same day at  the church of Saint Ambrose, which Josephine  attended with her husband.   All Lombardy was at their feet and only  looking for opportunities to manifest its en-  thusiasm. One small incident may be taken as  tjrpical of the state of affairs generally. There  was an exhibition going on at Brera, which  Napoleon and Josephine went over from Milan  to see. The crush was great, and every one  pressed forward to see the Imperial couple. As  they went up some stairs, an old man of eighty,  in his anxiety to get a view of them from in  front, stumbled and was knocked down by  other spectators. Josephine, who was close to  the old man, hastened forward and helped him  to rise to his feet, while the Emperor came up  and promised to look after him. Naturally  cheers and blessings arose among the onlookers ;  and, naturally too, the story came out a few  days later in the ” Moniteur.” No doubt the  whole affair was entirely genuine and accidental,  as was a somewhat similar occurrence at the  time of the engagement of Mile, de Montijo, after-  wards the Empress Eugenie, to Napoleon III.,     Honour for Eugene 423   which was also duly recorded in the ” Moniteur.”  But both accidents were very conveniehtly  timed, it must be allowed.   Josephine’s chief satisfaction in coming to  Italy was that she was able to see once more  her son Eugene, as she had written to Hortense  from Lyon in April. Napoleon, too, had not  come to Italy entirely without thought of his  step-son. On becoming King of Italy, he felt it  due to his subjects to keep at Milan a properly  accredited representative of himself, some one  more than a mere figurehead, yet one on whom he  could rely not to depart from the policy laid  down by himself. He had already offered the  post to Joseph, had in fact offered to make him  King if he would renounce all right of succession  to the throne of France. But Joseph had  clung to the shadow and refused the substance.  Napoleon had then thought of nominating to  Italy Napoleon-Charles, Louis’s son, reserving  the regency to himself until the child should  be of age, since the idea of Louis himself as  regent did not appeal to him. It would be  necessary for him formally to adopt the child,  however ; and nothing would persuade Louis to  consent to this, although he offered to go to     4^4 The Empress Josephine   Italy himself with his wife and children. In  refusing the Emperor’s proposal, he had alluded  to ” rumours previously current about this  infant,” which so annoyed Napoleon that he  broke off the discussion at once. Overtures  made by Lucien, who would not have despised  the crown of Italy, came to nothing ; for the  condition of reconciliation with his brother  was still that he should put away his wife,  and no bribes could induce Lucien to do this.  Jerome had not yet gained full pardon, so that  all the Bonaparte brothers were now out of the  question. If the Emperor went outside the  circle of his immediate family, whom could he  find better than Eugene Beauharnais ? Eugene  had always shown affection to him and much  more discretion than his own brothers. He was  now twenty-four years of age, had had an  honourable military career, and was a success in  society. He had given no proof of administra-  tive ability, it was true, but then the oppor-  tunity had never been offered to him. At any  rate, Eugene might be given a trial. He was  nominated as Viceroy, without any guarantee  that he might not be replaced, and Was left with  all the superficial appearance of power, while     Tears and Consolation 425   Napoleon retained, for the present at least, the  reality. The high affairs of the kingdom were  conducted through Paris still.   The idea of parting with Eugene after the  time which she had spent in his company in  Milan was painful to Josephine. Mile, Avrillon  teUs a story of Napoleon coming upon her one  day as she wiped away her tears ; not an un-  common sight, but the adoration of Italy might  have been expected to keep her in cheerful  spirits. He divined the cause and said to her :  ” You are crying, Josephine. That is not  sensible of you. You cry because you must be  separated from your son. If the absence of  your children causes you so much grief, guess  what I must feel. The affection which you show  for them makes me feel sorely the unhappiness  of having none myself.” This reminder of the  fact that she had borne him no children can  hardly have consoled Josephine ; but Napoleon’s  consolations were often painful.   The festivities in Italy continued up to the  last day of their stay. After leaving Milan, they  paid visits in succession to a number of towns, in-  cluding those of the celebrated ” Quadrilateral,”  and on June 30 they arrived at Genoa, which     426 The Empress Josephine   at the request of its Doge and his Government  was to be merged into the French Empire. The  city greeted them with a week of entertainments,  of which the most notable was an aquatic fete  in the middle of the harbour, where a temple  and grounds had been constructed upon five  large rafts moored together. Here they were  entertained by music, while fireworks from the  mole and illuminations on land and sea lit up the  scene. At the end the temple was rowed over  bodily to the shore and landed Napoleon and  Josephine at the steps of the Doria Palace.   But the brilliant spectacles and enthusiastic  receptions had lasted long enough. On reaching  Turin from Genoa Napoleon got news from  France which made it necessary to return at  once. Intending to travel at full speed, he pro-  posed to Josephine that she should follow him  at her leisure. She showed a great reluctance  to let him go alone and besought him to take  her with hun. At last he said : ” Well, then,  you won’t have your ordinary migraine ? If  you promise me that, I will take you.” She  promised and, strange to say, kept her promise,  though they travelled in the one carriage, which  did not stop until they reached Fontainebleau     A Sudden Home’coming 427   on July II. They had been absent for one  hundred days, during which time there had  hardly been a break in the round of pomp and  adulation. To furnish a piquant contrast to the  high living of Italy, their home-coming had been  so rapid that no one expected them at Fontaine-  bleau on the evening when they arrived and no  preparations had been made to receive them.  There was not even a meal ready, and the porter  at the chateau, who had been Napoleon’s cook  in Egypt, as it happened, was called upon to  provide his master and mistress with an impro-  vised supper from what food he could lay his  hands upon.     CHAPTER XXII   JOSEPHINE IN GERMANY   THE news which had put so abrupt an end  to the triumphal tour in Italy was that  of the formation of a general European coalition  against France, which called for the immediate  presence in Paris of the Emperor. It was  against Austria that Napoleon determined to  strike the first blow, and at the end of September  he started for the German frontier. Josephine,  who had just spent her usual season at Plom-  bieres, accompanied him as far as Strasbourg,  where he made a four days’ stay ; and when he  went on to take command of the Army in the  field, instead of returning to Paris she continued  still at Strasbourg. The reason for her stay here  is not quite so obvious as the Court historians  would make out. According to them, Jose-  phine’s anxiety to receive news quickly frotn the  scene of war was such that she persuaded  Napoleon to allow her at least to remain near   428     Before Austcrlitz 429   the Rhine, if he could not take her with him.  No letters from her to him exist to show whether  she made this plea alone or urged other reasons  as well. But from his brief notes written to  her during the campaign at Austerlitz, it is evi-  dent that he agreed to allow her to come to  him as soon as possible.^ Naturally, one would  think, her place would have been in Paris during  the Emperor’s absence, if only to stimulate the  life of the capital. Napoleon, however, does not  suggest her return thither. There was some  reason why both he and she thought her presence  there at the moment unnecessary or undesirable.  It appears most likely that the ill-will of the  Bonaparte family was feared, especially after  the assignment of Italy to Eugene instead of  to one of the brothers. Napoleon was under no     ‘ “I should much have wished to see you ; but do not count  on my summoning you except in the event of an armistice  or of winter quarters ” (Augsburg, October 23, 1805). ” The  moment it is possible I will send for you ” (Vienna, November  15). ” I shall be very glad to see you the moment affairs  allow me to do so ” (Vienna, November 16). It may be noted  that Napoleon’s letters of this period, though invariably  affectionate, are indeed very different from those of his first  campaign, for instance. As Imbert da Saint-Amand truly  says (” La Cour de I’lmpdratrice Josephine,” 193), they are  ” the letters of a good husband, calmed by nearly ten years of  married life, but in no way the letters of a lover.”     43° The Empress Josephine   illusions now as to the treatment which his wife  would be likely to reeivce in his absence at the  hand of his own kinsmen and kinswomen. But  doubtless also he allowed himself to be influenced  by appeals from Josephine about her anxiety to  get news from him earlier than she would be  able to if she went back to Paris — appeals partly  genuine and partly cloaking her growing terror  at separation from him who was the source of  all that now made life pleasant to her.   Josephine lived at Strasbourg in the old epis-  copal palace, close to the Cathedral, where once  Marie-Antoinette had resided as dauphine.  Having been converted during the Revolution  into a municipal building, it had been offered  by the town as an Imperial palace when the  Empire began, and had been restored sufliciently  well to make it a more comfortable dwelling  than most of the so-called palaces in the Rhine  neighbourhood at which Josephine occasionally  stopped. Here she spent two months in the  midst of a steadily growing state as the Emperor’s  successes increased. Receptions, balls, concerts,  theatricals, and dinners occupied her evenings  more and more, and visitors hastened to pay  their respects to her, both French, notables on      NAPOLEON.  From n engraving: after the picture by C. Steube.     Conduct to Order 43 1   their way to join the army and German princes  eager to win her favour. Josephine threw  herself wholeheartedly into the task of pleas-  ing Strasbourg and its visitors. The town was  delighted with her. Seldom had it enjoyed so  brilliant a social triumph, and never had its  tradespeople so lavish a purchaser among them.  Napoleon was not there, as in Paris, to keep  jewellers, milliners, and all the other tempters  from the door, and Josephine could without  restraint gratify her inordinate loVe of spending  money. It was with genuine feelings of sorrow  that the Strasbourgers heard of her approaching  departure. On November 16 Napoleon wrote  to her to go to Munich by way of Baden and  Stuttgart. ” You wiU give at Stuttgart,” he  commanded, ” a wedding present to the Princess  Paul. Fifteen to twenty thousand francs will be  sufficient ; the rest will be for presents at  Munich to the daughters of the Electress of  Bavaria.” He prescribed her conduct in  Germany : “Be polite, but receive all the  homage that is offered. Everything is owed to  you, and you owe nothing except politeness.”  Napoleon the director of his wife’s behaviour was  not forgotten in the preparations for Austerlitz.     432 The Empress Josephine   Josephine left Strasbourg on November 28,  escorted by detachments of infantry and cavalry  and sped by artillery salutes and the cheers of  the townspeople. At Rastadt she was met by  the Elector of Baden, an old man of seventy-  six, who had already visited her at Stuttgart.  Before she reached Carlsruhe the Margrave  Louis met her and conducted her under the  triumphal arches erected by the town and past  the hundred-feet high column bearing the  inscription ” JosephincB, Galliarum Augusta.”  Volleys of artillery, peals of bells, and a general  illumination welcomed her entry that evening  into Carlsruhe when the Elector brought her  to the palace prepared for her stay. Similar  scenes awaited her at Stuttgart on the night of  November 30, Wiirtemberg’s ruling family con-  ceding to her in full the homage which Napoleon  had declared to be her due, escorting her to the  Bavarian frontier three days later, and only  taking leave of her after a magnificent luncheon  at the chateau of Geppingen. Her arrival at  Munich on December 5 found her in such a state  of collapse that she was obliged to retire to  bed as soon as she arrived. But, much as the  combination of travelling and constant festivities     Busy Days 433   always fatigued her, there was little time for  rest. It was perhaps therefore excusable, at  Munich at least, that her letters to her husband  were never written. We find him addressing  her from Brunn on December 19 in this playfully  reproachful strain :   ” Great Empress, not a letter fjrom you since  your departure from Strasbourg. You have been  to Baden, Stuttgart, Munich, without writing  a word to us. That is not very amiable nor  loving ! I am still at Brunn. The Russians  have gone ; there is a truce. In a few days I  shall see what I can do. Deign from the height  of your splendour to pay a little attention to  your slaves.   ” Napoleon.”   There was a great deal to be done by Josephine  at Munich. While the electoral family was  lavishing on her aU its attentions, Josephine in  return was distributing a shower of presents  in accordance with Napoleon’s wishes. She  expended over eighty thousand francs on  diamonds, etc., to be given away in Munich. To  the Electress she presented a cashmere shawl ;  an act which must have cost Josephine a pang,   VOL II. 7     434 The Empress Josephine   for it was the first she had ever had. She moved  in a constant stream of gifts, generous and  amiable.   As might be imagined, there was policy  underlying the conduct which Napoleon had  enjoined on his wife. How much foreknow-  ledge Josephine had of this policy may be  gathered from a letter which she wrote to Hor-  tense from Munich. There is no date, but her  solitary stay at the Bavarian capital lasted from  December 5 to December 31, and the letter  appears to belong to the early part of the  visit.   ” Here I am at Munich, my dear Hortense,”  she wrote, ” a little tired but in good health.  I have received your letter and was very  pleased with it ; but I am extremely surprised  at the rumours of which you speak. Surely  if there had been really a question of your  brother’s marriage, you are the first person  whom I would have told. Of course I heard  that the German papers spoke of it, while I was  at Strasbourg. I remember that at that time  everybody believed in this marriage. I found  myself the only one not in the secret. You  know very well, my dear, that the Emperor, who     A Bride for Eugene 435   has never^said a”_^word to me on the subject,  would not marry Eugdrie without my being  informed. However, I accept the public  rumours, I should much like her as a daughter-  in-law. She has a charming character and is as  beautiful as an angel ; she combines a beautiful  face and as beautiful a figure as I know. …”  The rumour of which Josephine spoke was  to the effect that Eugene Beauharnais was to  marry Augusta, daughter of the Elector of  Bavaria. The Princess was already engaged  to Prince Charles of Baden, who was brother of  her father’s second wife. But Napoleon did not  intend to let this obstacle stand in the way of his  wishes (which the rumour accurately represented),  and he had already in mind the scheme which  he soon put into execution with regard to  Prince Charles of Baden. Why Josephine was  kept in the dark and allowed to gather from  popular gossip the match proposed for her son,  we do not know. She was assigned, however,  an important part in bringing the Elector’s  family over to favour the scheme and played  it well, if unconsciously. When the Emperor  came to Munich his wife fell back into a humble  place ; but in her twenty-six days without     43 6 The Empress Josephine   him she paved the way for the success of his  project.   Peace between France and Austria was signed  at Presburg on December 26. The treaty in-  cluded provisions very advantageous to Bavaria,  Wiirtemberg, and Baden, the first two elector-  ates being turned into kingdoms. In return  for his favour, Napoleon required of the recipi-  ents their consent to three marriages — those of  Augusta of Bavaria to Eugene Beauharnais,  of Charles of Baden to Stephanie Beauharnais,  and of Catherine of Wiirtemberg to Jerome  Bonaparte, who was now to receive his reward  for abandoning Ehzabeth Patterson.   It was after midnight of the last day of  1805 and by the light of torches that Napoleon  entered Munich and rejoined the wife whom  he had quitted three months ago. He lost no  time before bringing about the first of his  international weddings. In spite of the efforts  of Josephine, the way was not yet quite clear.  The Elector Maxmilian Joseph, now King of  Bavaria, was wilUng that his daughter should  become Eugene’s wife. But the Electress Caro-  line was not won over, even by Josephine’s  cashmere shawl. The former Baden Princess     The Munich Wedding 437   was attached to her brother and much wished  him to marry her step-daughter. She was not  dazzled by the prospect of the Beauharnais  alHances. Moreover, she had not forgiven Napo-  leon for the execution of the Due d’Enghien,  captured after a scandalous violation of the  territory of Baden. Napoleon laid siege to  her now with such amiable persistency that he  excited Josephine’s jealousy. Caroline was only  thirty years of age and was reputed a charming  woman. But Napoleon had no intention be-  yond gaining her consent to Augusta’s marriage  with Eugene, and in this he succeeded, a,lthough  he considered it advisable to stop in Munich  himself until the wedding should take place  under his own eyes. On January 4 he wrote  summoning Eugene to him. The young Viceroy  arrived six days later, and was the innocent  cause of a curious scene. As soon as he reached  Munich he was seized upon by his step-father.  It was morning, and Josephine was not yet out  of bed. When, however, she learnt that her  son was in the Palace and had not come to see  her first of all, she gave way to a fit of weeping,  which was only stayed when Napoleon came  into her room leading Eugene by the hand.     43 S The Empress Josephine   Coming toward the bed, the Emperor gave  the young man a push forward and said :  ” Here’s your big lout of a son. I am bringing  him to you.” Josephine threw her arms around  Eugene and clasped him to her breast.   On January 14 Eugene married Augusta in  the presence of his step-father, Josephine, and  the Bavarian Royal family. Eugene now  dropped his name of Beauharnais for a more  glorious one. For the first clause of the marri-  age treaty ran as follows : ” His Majesty the  Emperor of the French and King of Italy shall  treat His Imperial Highness the Prince Eugene  as son of France.” And at the civil ceremony  the name of the bridegroom appeared as  ” Eugene-NapoMon de France.” ^   So it was with her position seemingly still  further strengthened that Josephine returned to  Paris with the Emperor in January 1806.  So firmly attached to her was Napoleon, it   ‘ Writing to the Senate two days before the marriage,  Napoleon says : ” We have determined to adopt as our son  the Prince Eugdne, Grand Chancellor of state in our Empire  and Viceroy of our Kingdom of Italy : we have called him,  after ourselves and our natural and legitimate children, to  the throne of Italy … it being understood that in no -case  or circumstance can our adoption authorise either him or his  descendants to make any pretensions to the throne of France.”     The Conqueror’s Return 439   appeared, that not only had he thought it  necessary to have her crowned and consecrated  with him, but he also had made her son his heir  in Italy and was preparing to adopt her niece  and make a princely marriage for her as if she  were in reality his daughter. He was treating  the Beauharnais exactly as though they were  Bonapartes. What greater sign could he give  of his attachment to the wife who had borne  him no children ?   After speeding Eugene and Augusta on their  way to Italy, Napoleon and Josephine left  Munich for Paris by way of Stuttgart and  Carlsruhe. Late on the night of January 26  they were back in the Tuileries. According to  the usual custom they showed themselves as  soon as possible at the Opera. In honour of  the campaign of Austerlitz a gala performance  was given, concluding with a patriotic spectacle  of the return of the victorious army, a ballet  of the nations, in which the peasantry of France  appeared in their local costumes, and a cantata  specially written for the occasion by Esmenard  and the composer Stobelt. The arrival of  Emperor and Empress in the Opera House was  the signal for an extraordinary scene, every     440 The Empress Josephine   one in the audience standing up, cheering, and  waving laurel-branches which had been dis-  tributed in advance. The laurels might be a  pre-arranged effect ; but about the general  spontaneity and the unanimity of the welcome  there could be no doubt. The Republic was  truly at an end, and already its very calendar  had gone when frimaire of the Year XIV. had  ceased abruptly on New Year’s Day of 1806.   The marriage of Stephanie Beauharnais,  which followed so soon after that of her cousin  Eugene, was a proof of the ascendancy of the  Emperor Napoleon in Germany as well as of  his affection for his wife. Stephanie, who was  not quite seventeen, was the grand-daughter  of the well-known Countess Fanny, and had  gone to Mme. Campan’s school like her elder  cousins, Hortense and Emilie. She had a  certain resemblance to Hortense, with her fair  hair, blue eyes, and good figure, and her com-  bination of grace and gaiety. But her father  was only a French senator of no particular  distinction or position. Prince Charles of  Baden, on the other hand, was of a very old  noble family of Germany and had sisters married  to the rulers of Russia, Sweden, and Bavaria.     Stephanie Beauharnais 441   The match might have seemed an extremely  unequal one but for the power of Napoleon  to make princes and princesses with the stroke  of a wand. He was taken with Stephanie (to  the edification of his slanderers, who declared  that Josephine was jealous and had cause to be  so), and determined to act the fairy godfather  to her. The opposition of Prince Charles’s  mother and sister Caroline to the match were  unavaihng. Charles himself consented to receive  Stephanie in the place of the Princess Augusta,  who had been torn away from him ; and his  grandfather of Baden could not afford to  displease his great patron Napoleon. The  necessary transformation of the bride was  accomplished with remarkable speed. On the  Emperor’s return to Paris Stephanie came to  reside at the Tuileries, although her father was  still alive in Paris. On February 17 the mar-  riage contract was signed with Baden. On  March 2 Prince Charles arrived in Paris. On  the 4th the adoption of the girl as the Em-  peror’s daughter, with the name of Stephanie  Napoleon, was made public. On April 8 the  wedding took place in the Tuileries chapel.  Cardinal Caprara conducting the service, Na-     442 The Empress Josephine   poleon giving away the bride, and Josephine,  with a headdress of pearls which cost a milhon  francs, having a throne beside her husband  facing the altar. The scene was the most  brilliant which had yet been witnessed at any  event in the Bonaparte and Beauharnais fami-  lies, with the single exception of the Coronation  at Notre-Dame. A few days later Charles and  Stephanie left for Baden, to the great satisfaction  of Josephine, said the gossips.^   One of Josephine’s satisfactions in returning  to Paris after the German visit had been her  reunion with Hortense, whose companionship,  in spite of what some of the memoir-writers  say, was always a pleasure to her. But she  was not suffered to enjoy this satisfaction long ;  for the Emperor had determined to turn Holland  into a kingdom and to put his brother Louis  at its head. Louis showed no anxiety to go  to reign at The Hague ; the reason was not that  he did not think himself capable of reigning,   ‘ The Duchesse d’Abrantds, who says that she had met few-  women who seemed so pleasing to her as Stephanie at this  period, is by no means so kind to Prince Charles. He had the  sulky air of a chUd put in the corner, she declares, and was a  very disagreeable prince and above all a disagreeable bride-  groom.     King Log 443   but that he feared that the Dutch dimate  would not suit the health which caused him  so much trouble, real or imaginary. Napoleon,  however, would hear of no objections. ” Better  die on a throne than live as a mere French  prince,” he told Louis, and proclaimed him  King on June 5. He seems to have had mis-  givings about his brother’s capacity ; or per-  haps he wished to spur him into proving it.  The story is told that on the day after the  announcement he was sitting in the company  of Hortense and her elder child, now three  years and a half old. He made Napoleon-  Charles repeat to him La Fontaine’s version  of the Frogs and their King Log, and at the  end he laughed heartily, and, pinching her ear  in his well-known way, asked : ” What do you  think of that, Hortense ? ”   Whatever Hortense thought of the applica-  bility of the fable, she was no more delighted  than her husband at the idea of going to Holland.  To her it meant exile from the gaieties of Paris  and from the society of her mother ; and exile,  too, in the company of a most uncongenial  husband, who took no pains to conceal his  mistrust and suspicion of her. Yet resistance     444 The Empress Josephine   was impossible, and in the middle of the month  the new King and Queen, with their two chil-  dren, set out for the Dutch capital. Josephine  was most loth to see them go. A month later  we find her writing from Saint-Cloud to her  daughter :   ” Since your departure I have been con-  stantly ill, melancholy, and unhappy. I have  even been obliged to stay in bed, having had  some attacks of fever. The sickness has quite  gone, but the grief remains. How could I not  suffer from it, being separated from a daughter  like you, loving, sweet, and amiable, the joy of  my life ? . . . How is your husband ? And are  my grand-children well ? Good heavens, how  melancholy I am at not seeing them sometimes !  And your health, my dear Hortense, is it good ?  If ever you are ill, let me know ; I will come  at once to the side of my beloved daughter.”   The remainder of this letter of July 15, which  is longer than most of Josephine’s preserved  in the collection edited by Hortense, is less  gloomy in tone. The Empress gives various  items of family news, including the announce-  ment of her cousin Stephanie Tascher’s engage-  ment to the Prince d’Arenberg — another in-     Another Wedding 445   stance of the way in which the family of Jose-  phine benefited by her marriage to the man  with ” the sword and the cloak,” although it  is true that the Arenberg wedding, which  took place in January 1808, ended unhappily.  Stephanie had struggled against the marriage  and after it refused to live at Brussels with her  husband, against whom she took a great aver-  sion. The Emperor threatened to send her  back to him with gendarmes. ” As you like,  sire,” she replied. ” At least when they see  me arrive like that they will know I came  against my will.” The argument convinced  Napoleon, who made her an allowance to live  upon without her husband.     CHAPTER XXIII   DOMESTIC SORROWS   AFTER the departure of Hortense to The  Hague, Josephine divided her summer  between Saint-Cloud and Maknaison, the latter  place at least solacing her to some extent for  her loss, since there were always her garden, her  flowers, and her pets. Her next surviving  letter to Hortense is written in a much more  cheerful strain than that quoted at the end of  the preceding chapter.   ” I am very happy myself, especially at the  present moment,” she writes, “for I am to go  with the Emperor and I am making my pre-  parations for the journey. I assure you that  this war, if it must take place, causes me no  fear ; the more I am near the Emperor, the less  fear I shall have, and I feel that I should not  live if I stayed here. Another reason for my  joy is at seeing you again at Mayence. The  Emperor bids me tell you that he has just given   446     A Clinging Wife 447   an army of eighty thousand men. to the King of  Holland, and that his command will extend  quite close to Mayence. He thinks that you  may come to stop with me at Mayence. Guess  whether that is good news, my dear Hortense,  for a mother who loves you so fondly. Every  day we shall get news from the Emperor and  your husband : we shall rejoice over it to-  gether. …”   This letter is undated, but it was evidently  written in September 1806. Napoleon was  planning his campaign against Prussia and  Russia. If he promised at first to take Jose-  phine with him into Germany, he appears to  have changed his mind. On September 24 he  announced to her that he was quitting Paris  at once and leaving her behind. She besought  him not to desert her, but received a refusal.  So persistent, however, were her prayers that  at length he gave way and the same night  they started, Josephine having no time to take  more than a single waiting-woman with her,  and leaving orders for part of her Household to  follow her to Mayence.   As before the short war against Austria,  Josephine’s reluctance to allow the Emperor     44 8 The Empress Josephine   to quit her and to remain behind in Paris  without him was painfully apparent. If  jealousy was the chief cause of her conduct,  she was justified in her fears ; for it was in this  campaign that Napoleon was destined to meet  the only woman who proved a serious rival  in his affections to the wife who had so great  a hold over him.   The journey to Mayence was made with great  speed, the only stop being for a few hours at  Metz, and Mayence being reached on September  28. Four days were all the time which the  Emperor could allow for his halt there. At  the last moment the parting proved unwontedly  distressing to both. Napoleon pressed the weep-  ing Josephine to his breast and spoke of his  pain at their separation. Josephine’s grief grew  more and more violent and had such an effect  upon her husband that he too wept, and then  broke down completely, having to take some  of his favourite orange-flower water before he  felt sufficiently well to get into his carriage  and proceed on his way.   Left in the palace at Mayence, Josephine  was soon joined by those of her Household  who had been commanded to share her stay     Forbidden Tears 449   there. Hortense also came to her with her  children from Holland, but does not seem to  have cured her mother of her grief. In a letter  written on October 5 Napoleon says to her :  ” There is no objection to the Princess of Baden  going to Mayence. I do not know why you  weep. You do wrong in making yourself ill.  Hortense is rather pedantic ; she loves to give  advice. She has written to me, I am answering  her. She must be gay and happy. Courage  and gaiety — that is the prescription.”   The Princess of Baden is, of course, the former  Stephanie Beauharnais, who now came to  Mayence. In spite of the presence of both  daughter and niece, Josephine’s tears did not  stop, for on November i Napoleon wrote again :  ” Talleyrand has arrived and tells me that you  do nothing but weep. What do you want ?  You have your daughter, your grand-children,  and good news. These are plenty of reasons  for being content and happy”   Strange to tell, although her letters as usual  do not survive, Josephine appears at this period  to have written more to Napoleon than he  wrote to her. His note of October 23, from  Wittenberg, begins : “I have received several   VOL. II 8     45° The Empress Josephine   letters from you. I am only sending you a line.  None of his communications to her during her  stay at Mayence deserve to be called more than  ” a line ” ; and the passionless, though not  unaffectionate, conciseness which marks nearly  all is more noticeable than in those of the  campaign of 1805.   It is upon -the letters of Napoleon to his wife  that we have chiefly to rely for knowledge as  to how Josephine fared at this time. Out-  wardly her circumstances were very good. She  was in the midst of her best-loved family circle.  She was in constant receipt of excellent tidings  from the seat of war. German princes and  princesses, from Frankfort, Nassau, Saxe-Gotha,  Saxe-Weimar, and Hesse-Darmstadt, were in  constant attendance upon her. At Mayence a  continual series of receptions, dinners, operas,  concerts, etc., occupied her time, and as at  Strasbourg and Munich in the previous year,  she was able to distribute all around her jewellery  and other presents broadcast. But plainly she  was rapidly bored and wished for nothing but  permission to join the Emperor. In his letter  of November* 16 he says : “I am grieved to  think that you grow weary at Mayence. If the     Napoleon’s Letters 45 ^   journey were not so long you could come here,  for the enemy no longer exists or he is beyond  the Vistula.” Six days later he wrote : ” I  shall make up my mind in a few days to summon  you here or to send you to Paris.” In another  four days he seemed on the point of granting  her request. ” I will see in a couple of days if  you may come,” he wrote from Ciistrin. ” You  may hold yourself in readiness.” On the  morrow he spoke of fetching her to meet him  in Berlin. So on to December 20 he continued  to talk about sending for her in a few days’  time. But after this there came a change,  and the alternative of her return to Paris,  mentioned vaguely in his letters of November 22  and December 15, became more precisely for-  mulated in those of January 3, 7, 8, 11, 18 and  23. In the last, written in Warsaw, his  intention was unmistakable. ” It is impossible  for me to let women take a journey like this. . . .  Return to Paris, be gay and content there ;  perhaps I too shall be there soon.”   In addition to her own weariness, the dis-  content of her Household at the long stay in  May ence sorely troubled Josephine. la  Rochefoucauld, her Lady of Honour, in parti-     452 The Empress Josephine   cular, was in open revolt and spoke rebelliously  against her mistress. Josephine’s complaints  to Napoleon brought back from him the advice  to pack the busybodies home. But such worries  were small in comparison with another, which  it is possible to divine from Napoleon’s letters.  It is clear that Josephine by some means  gathered that she had more serious cause  than hitherto for the suspicions which she  nourished with regard to her husband’s faith-  fulness to herself. Her suspicions actually  preceded the event, it would appear, for  Napoleon’s first meeting with his beautiful  Pole is assigned to January i, 1807, whereas  Josephine’s complaints must have begun a  month earlier. He made many efforts to  reassure her. From Posen on December 2 he  wrote : ” All these Polish women are true  Frenchwomen ; but there is only one woman  for me. . . . These nights are long, all alone.”  On December 3 he rallied her on her jealousy,  adding : ” You are wrong ; nothing is farther  from my thoughts, and in the deserts of Poland  one dreams little of the belles.” His note from  Pultusk on December 31 begins : “I laughed  much when I got your last letters. You are     The Belles of Poland 453   imagining ideas about the belles of Great  Poland which they do not deserve.” In the  letter of January 23, 1807, already partly quoted  above, he said : “I laughed at what you told  me about marrying a husband in order to be  with him. I thought, in my ignorance, that  the wife was made for the husband, the husband  for country, family, and glory. Excuse my  ignorance. One is always learning something  from the ladies. Good-bye, mon amie. Believe  me that it costs me much not to send for you.  Say to yourself : ‘ It is a proof how precious  I am to him.’ ”   Soon after this letter from Warsaw was  written Josephine had yielded to the Emperor’s  commands and had left Mayence for Paris.  Stopping for one night at Strasbourg, where  she was warmly welcomed, she reached the  Tuileries on the last day of January. Paris  was badly in need of a reviving influence, for  the combination of the war and the absence of  the Court had produced there a state of stag-  nation which might easily lead to discontent.  The Empress’s return brought about an im-  provement ; but she herself found it difficult  to follow Napoleon’s advice to “be gay and     454 The Empress Josephine   content ” there. According to Mme. de  Remusat, certain Polish ladies, lately come to  Paris, had brought with them news of the  Emperor’s passion for their beautiful young  compatriot Countess Marie Walewska, to whom  Napoleon after two brief meetings in public,  had written : “I saw only you, I admired only  you, I desire only you.” His letter of course  remained private, but the way in which he had  gained his desire was but too weU known.   Suspicion had turned to certainty, and it  was in vain that Napoleon paid unremitting  attention to his correspondence with Josephine.  Brief notes continued to reach her from him  at Eylau, Liebstadt, and Osterode, assuring  her of his constant love for her. From the  last place he wrote on March 15 a letter con-  cluding with the words : ” Put no belief in all  the evil reports which may be circulated.  Never doubt my feelings, and be without the  slightest anxiety.” It is impossible to resist  the conviction that Josephine had mentioned  something of what she had heard through the  Polish ladies spoken of by Mme. de Remusat.  It appears also that she had again urged him  to let her come to him in Poland. For in a     Suspicions Justified 455   letter of March 27 he says : ” You must not  think of travelling this summer. It is im-  possible. You could not rove about inns and  camps. I want, as much as you, to see you  and to live quietly.”   Napoleon, however, was not ” roving about  inns and camps.” Early in April he was, as  he let her know, at the ” very beautiful chateau ”  of Finkenstein, where he had established his  headquarters. He did not tell Josephine that  Mme. Walewska also spent three weeks there,  although he sent several notes to her during  this period. On May 10 he wrote at greater  length, beginning :   ” I have your letter. I do not understand  what you say to me about ladies in correspond-  ence with me. I only love my little Josephine,  kind, pouting, and capricious, who knows how  to quarrel, as she does everything else, grace-  fully ; for she is always amiable, except of  course when she is jealous ; then she becomes  a very devil. But to return to these ladies.  If I were to notice any of them, I should like  them to be rosebuds, and none of them fulfil  that condition.”   It is certain that no such cajoleries on the     45^ The Empress Josephine   part of Napoleon had any effect upon his now  legitimately jealous wife. But an event came  to drive from her head for a while even her  fear and indignation about her Polish rival.  She had been passing the spring between Paris  and Malmaison, her interest in the work in  progress at the latter place proving beneficial  to her health.^ On May 6 she had gone to  Saint-Cloud, when suddenly the news arrived  from Holland that her eldest grandson was  dead. Napoleon-Charles had succumbed to an  attack of croup at The Hague on the night of  May 4-5. Josephine obtained the permission  of the Council of State to leave Paris and set  out on the loth for the north, a temporary  collapse preventing an earlier start. On the  night of the 14th, as soon as she had arrived  at the palace of Laeken, near Brussels, she  wrote to her daughter as follows :   ” I have just reached the chateau of Laeken,  my dear daughter. It is from there that I am  writing, it is there that I am waiting for you.  Come and restore me to life ; your company  is necessary to me, and you ought also to  want to see me and to weep with your mother.   ‘ See her letter to Hortense, March 29, 1807,      PRINCE LOUIS NAPOLEON.  From an engraving by Hall, after a drawing by Stewart.     p. 456.     Death of Hortcnse’s Son 457   I should indeed have Hked to come further ;  but my strength has failed me, and besides, I  have not had time to let the Emperor know.  I have got back heart enough to come as far  as this ; I hope that you will have sufficient  to come and see your mother. Good-bye, my  dear daughter. I am overcome with fatigue  but still more by sorrow.   ” Josephine.”   On the following day Hortense reached  Laeken, accompanied by Louis and her re-  maining child. Her grief was intense. M. de  Remusat, who had accompanied Josephine  from Paris, wrote to his wife a touching account  of it. ” The Queen,” he said, ” has but one  thought, that of the loss which has befallen  her. She speaks only of Mm. Not a tear,  only a cold calm, an almost total silence, except  when she breaks it to wring the hearts of those  who listen to her. If she sees any one whom  she has seen before with her child, she looks  at him with an expression of kindly interest  and says in a hushed voice : ‘ You know he is  dead.’ When she came to her mother, she  said to her : ‘ It is not long since he was here     458 The Empress Josephine   with me ; I sat there with him on my knees.’ . . .  She heard it strike ten, and turned to one of  her ladies. ‘ You know,’ she said, ‘ it was at  ten o’clock he died.’ ”   The blow was very severe for all. Not only  Josephine, Hortense, and Louis were over-  whelmed with grief, but Napoleon also. In  spite of the forcedly reasonable tone of his  letter of May 15, written when the news  reached him, it is easy to see that he was  deeply affected.   ” I can imagine,” he wrote, ” all the pain  which poor Napoleon’s death must cause you :  you can understand the sorrow which I feel. I  wish I were by you to see that you were moderate  and sensible in your grief. You have had the  happiness never to lose a child ; but it is one  of the conditions and sorrows inseparable from  human wretchedness. Let me hear that you  have been reasonable and that you are keeping  weU. Would you add to my sorrow ? ”   A fortnight later he wrote to Josephine again  from Marienbad : ” All the letters from Saint-  Cloud tell me that you are constantly weeping.  This is not right. You must keep well and be  content.” The advice was rather futile to a     A Changed Situation 459   loving grandmother, more especially to one so  easily moved to tears as Josephine ; but, of  course, it was the only advice which Napoleon  could give in the circumstances. He hid his  own grief effectively,^ but he had in hand the  preparations for hurling the Grand Army across  the Vistula, and domestic sorrows must 5aeld  to affairs of war. The death of the nephew of  whom he had always made such a favourite in  reality left a permanent void in his heart, and  there can be no doubt that it had a considerable  effect on his conduct in respect to Josephine.  He had long been willing to adopt Napoleon-  Charles as his own son, in which case he might  have dispensed with a son of his own. But no     1 The story told by Talleyrand, however, and reported by  Mme. de Remusat (” Memoires,” i. i86), of the Emperor’s  callous speech when the news of the child’s death arrived, is  almost grotesquely improbable ; and, besides, Tallejrrand’s  stories are generally under suspicion. Josephine appears to  have had no doubt that Napoleon was sincerely grieved, in  spite of the orders which he sent both to her and to Hortense  to be sensible and even gay (!) ; foir she wrote to Hortense :  ” The Emperor has been deeply affected. In all his letters he  tries to inspire me with courage ; but I know that he suffers  much at this unhappy event ” (letter from Saint-Cloud,  June 4). M. Masson points out that Napoleon wrote to all his  correspondents about his nephew’s death, twenty times to  Josephine, five or six times to Hortense, and also to Joseph,  Jerome, Fouche, and Monge.     460 The Empress Josephine   other child took the dead one’s place, and the  necessity for an heir brought forward once more  the question of divorcing Josephine and marry-  ing a younger woman. Thus it was that,  although she can hardly have suspected it at  the time, Josephine lost more than a beloved  grandchild through the fatal effect of the  Dutch climate on the little boy who died at  The Hague.   After a few mournful days at Laeken, Jose-  phine returned to Paris with Hortense and  Napoleon-Louis, while the King of Holland went  back to his capital. Most of the remainder of  May was spent quietly at Malmaison. At the  end of the month Hortense went, by doctor’s  advice, to take the waters at Cauterets in the  Pyrenees, while Josephine moved to Saint-  Cloud. Napoleon-Louis was temporarily sent  back to Laeken to await his father. But Jose-  phine was desirous of having her grandson with  her at Saint-Cloud and obtained Louis’s consent.  On June 4 she wrote to her daughter at Cau-  terets : ” The King reached Saint-Leu yesterday  night. He has informed me that he is coming  to see me to-day. He will leave me the little  one in his absence. You know how I love the     A Loving Grandmother 461   child and what care I will take of him.” ^ Seven  days later, after the child’s arrival, she writes :  ” Your son is wonderfully well. He amuses  me very much. He is so sweet ; I find he has  all the ways of the poor child whom we mourn.”  In another letter^ although she begins with  melancholy reflections on the child who had  gone — ” We have lost what was most worthy of  being loved ; my tears flow as on the first day ”  — she concludes with the assurance : ” Your  son is wonderfully well, he is charming.” Jose-  phine seemed to give an equal love to all Hor-  tense’s boys, Napoleon-Charles, Napoleon-Louis,  and later Louis-Napoleon, the future Emperor.  Whatever Nature did not make her, it did at  least make her a most affectionate grandmother,   1 Josephine continues : ” I want the King to follow you.  It will be a consolation, dear Hortense, for both of you to meet  again. All the letters which I have received from him since  your departure have been full of his affection for you. Your  heart is too tender not to be touched by it.” Louis and Hortense  were indeed temporarily reconciled after the death of their  first-born ; but unhappily the improved state of affairs did  not last long.     CHAPTER XXIV   FEARS OF DIVORCE REVIVED   WHILE Josephine was at Saint-Cloud en-  joying the company of her surviving  grandson, Napoleon was completing his cam-  paign against the Russians and forcing on the  Tsar Alexander the Treaty of Tilsit. In July  he was preparing to return to France. On the  1 8th he wrote to Josephine from Dresden in a  strain which almost recalls the letters from  Italy. ” I am more than half way on the road  to you,” he says. “It is possible that one of  these fine nights I shall fall upon Saint-Cloud  like a jealous man, I warn you. Good-bye,  mon amie, I shall have great pleasure in seeing  you.” At six o’clock in the morning of July 27  he reached Saint-Cloud, having been absent  nearly a year from the city, which now received  him with the most extravagant expressions of  admiration and devotion. The silence of as-  tonishment, declared the Prefect of the Seine,   462     Napoleon a Father 463   was the only suitable way of manifesting the  country’s feelings ; but neither he nor any one  else restricted himself to silence when there was  an opportunity to speak.   In the opinion of her carefully watching con-  temporaries, the Empress was not one of those  to whom the Emperor’s return brought unmixed  pleasure. Unwilling as she had been to part  with him, she found a considerable alteration  in their relations when he returned.^ The two  principal causes for this were the death of his  possible heir by adoption and the love affair  which had made him unfaithful to her in Poland.  Gossip also said that the birth of a son to a young  lady who had been reader to his sister Caroline  had at last convinced him that it was solely  Josephine’s fault that he had no legitimate heir.  Gossip was right. The child Leon, who had  been born on December 13, 1806, to Mile.  Eleonore Denuelle, had the Emperor for father.  He had met the handsome young girl, a former   • Prince Metternich, the Austrian Ambassador at Paris, in  a despatch quoted later in this chapter says : ” The Emperor,  since his return from the army, preserved toward his wife a  cold and often embarrassed manner. He no longer lived in the  same rooms with her, and to a great extent his daily conduct  took a different turn from what it had always had.”     4^4 The Empress Josephine   pupil of Mme. Campan, at Caroline Murat’s,  had taken a fancy to her, and the rest had been  easy. Josephine, however, as proofs of Napo-  leon’s broken faith accumulated, seemed to  become less able to tax him openly with mis-  conduct. She complained freely to others, and  did not hesitate, in her jealousy, to mention to  her ladies (and even, it was said, her attend-  ants) all the stories reaching her ears which  malice had circulated about her husband. A  certain dread, however, restrained her from  making as many ” scenes ” before him as she  had formerly made. He seemed to have grown  too great a figure, perhaps. It was noticed that  she gradually ceased to speak of him merely  as ” Bonaparte,” as of old. The conqueror of  Austria, Prussia, and Russia could not be called  by a simple surname. He was becoming ” Sire ”  to her as well as to the Court and the nation.  Not at once, but by degrees certainly, the idea  of divorce, which had almost faded away since  the days of the First Consulate, began to grow  definite after Napoleon’s return to France in  1807. Conspiracies were on foot, in which  prominent parts were taken by Caroline and her  husband Murat, as well as by Fouch6, who was     A Hard Request 465   no more a friend to Josephine than his own  interests made it expedient, to persuade the  Emperor of the necessity of taking another wife.  Napoleon could not altogether refuse to recognise  the possibility of having to yield to reasons of  State. According to Mme. de Remusat, he  went so far as to broach the subject to Josephine.  The memoirist professes to report a conversa-  tion which, if it ever took place, she must have  learnt from her mistress. Napoleon was talk-  ing to Josephine one day about the death of  Napoleon-Charles and of the lack of an heir to  the French throne. He went on to speak of  what might be forced upon him thereby, and  appealed to her to come to his assistance, if her  divorce and his marriage to another should be  inevitable: Speaking with emotion he said :  ” If such a thing came to pass, Josephine, it  would be your duty to help me to such a sacri-  fice. I should count upon your friendship to  preserve me from the odium of this forced  separation. You would take the first step,  wouldn’t you ? And, putting yourself in my  place, you would have the courage to decide  yourself upon your retirement ? ”   Whether Napoleon really expected Josephine  VOL. II 9     466 The Empress Josephine   to answer that she woTild do as he wished, we  do not know. He should have appreciated the  desperate tenacity with which she was cUnging  to him, for he had abundant examples of it in  the past two years. Josephine, on her part,  had no intention of assisting in her own down-  fall, ” Sire,” she replied, with a calm which  must have contrasted strangely with her usual  tears, ” you are the master and you will decide  upon my fate. When you order me to leave  the Tuileries I shall obey at once ; but you  certainly must order it positively. I am your  wife ; I have been crowned by you in the pre-  sence of the Pope ; the worth of such honours  is such that one cannot give them up of one’s  free will. If you divorce me, all France must  know that it is you who drive me away, and she  shall not be unaware either of my obedience or  of my profound sorrow.”   The most ardent French admirers of Napoleon  have attacked Josepihine’s attitude as petty and  really devoid of the dignity which she wished  it to have in his eyes ; and they blame her for  forcing him to take a step which revolted his  heart — to divorce her without her consent.  Seeing, however, that to them, for the most     Josephine-s Attitude 467   part, she appears in the light of a worthless  woman, whose influence over their hero is to be  deplored, it is not a little surprising that they  should expect her now to have shown a self-  sacrifice and strength of character which would  hardly be demanded of the ordinary good wife.  Josephine, at the age of forty-four, was asked  to give up the husband with whom she had  lived for eleven years and the throne which she  had shared with him for three in order to see  another woman take her place in the home and  on the throne, while she retired for ever into  isolation and obscurity, however comfortable  they might be made for her. She would hardly  have been human had she not resisted Napo-  leon’s wish ; she surely would not have been the  Josephine of old.   The calm dignity which marked her interview  with Napoleon deserted her when she left his  presence and was able to talk to ready listeners  about the fate with which she was threatened.  Her tears flowed unceasingly, and her unhappy  propensity to bring up whatever remained in  her mind of all the scandal and inventions of  enemies which reached the Court was given  free play. Her ladies and waiting-women heard     468 The Empress Josephine   (not for the first time from her) outrageous  accusations against the Emperor. Nor did she  hesitate to accuse him of sinister designs against  her life, if again we may believe Mme. de R^musat,  her own friend. ” I will never give way to  him,” she cried. ” I shall certainly show myself  his victim. But if I end by causing him too  much annoyance, who knows of what he is  capable, and whether he will resist the tempta-  tion to put me out of the way ? ” Too much  attention, of course, must not be paid to these  outbursts of a naturally unbalanced mind ; but  they must detract considerably from our sym-  pathy with the unfortunate woman.   Josephine’s words reached the Emperor’s ears  and made him less inclined to dismiss the idea  of divorce which hitherto he had always put  aside. The Memoirs of Lucien report a speech  which he is supposed to have made to his brother  in Italy in the winter of 1807 : ” Josephine is  decidedly old, and as she cannot now have any  children she is very melancholy about it and  tiresome. She fears divorce or even worse.  Just imagine, the woman cries every time she  has indigestion, because she says she believes  she has been poisoned by those who want me     Jerome’s Wedding 469   to marry some one else. It is detestable.”  The exact words may be doubtful, but the tenor  of the speech has the appearance of probability.  Napoleon at least would have been justified by  facts in making it.   All this, however, did not take place immedi-  ately after Napoleon’s return from Tilsit. No  outward change occurred in Josephine’s posi-  tion.