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Full text of “The Empress Josephine : Napoleon’s enchantress”
THE EMPRESS JOSEPHINE VOL. II
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 /
CONTENTS VOL. II CBAP. PAOB XVII.
THE COMING OF EMPIRE . . . 337 XVIII. THE EMPRESS AT HOME. . . . 360 XIX.
A ROUND OF VISITS …. 376
XX. THE CORONATION AT NOTRE-DAME . 388
XXI. THE ITALIAN CORONATION . . . 413
XXII. JOSEPHINE IN GERMANY . . . 428
XXIII. DOMESTIC SORROWS …. 446
XXIV. FEARS OF DIVORCE REVIVED . . 462
XXV. A LOSING FIGHT 480
XXVI. THE DIVORCE 5 10
XXVII. THE FIRST YEAR OF SEPARATION . . 522
XXVIII. THE FIRST YEAR OF SEPARATION (con- tinued) 546
XXIX. JOSEPHINE AND THE KING OF ROME . 563 XXX. LAST DAYS OF THE EMPIRE . . . 580
XXXI. THE END 60O
XXXII. THE EMPRESS JOSEPHINE . . . 625
THE EMPRESS JOSEPHINE CHAPTER XVII THE COMING OF EMPIRE
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.
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. Mme.de 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.