King Jerome Bonaparte

At the wedding of Jerome Bonaparte  and Catherine of Wiirtemberg in August, she  had even a new honour, since she was given an  armchair as a right, while Madame Mere was  allowed one only as a favour, and the Queen of  Naples (Julie, wife of Joseph, sent to Naples  in the spring) had none at all . J erome’ s marriage  to the Princess Sophia-Dorothea-Frederika-  Catherine, like his elevation to the throne of the  new kingdom of Westphalia, was one of the  results of the Treaty of Tilsit. The religious  marriage took place on the evening of August 23  in the Gallery of Diana at the Tuileries, the  scene being remarkably gorgeous. Those pre-  sent included besides the Emperor, his wife and  his mother, the Queen of Naples, the Grand  Duchess of Berg (Caroline Murat), the Princess  Stephanie of Baden and her husband. Prince     470 The Empress Josephine   and Princess Borghese, the Prince of Nassau,  and the Prince-Primate of Germany, who  united the young King and Queen. The number  of distinguished strangers present was very  large, and all are said to have been struck by  the hitherto unexampled display of jewellery.  The picture of the wedding in the Versailles  Museum is well known, representing Jerome  and his wife approaching the throne of the  Emperor and Empress. He saluted both pre-  viously to making his reverence to Madame  Mere to ask her consent to the marriage.   During the service a heavy thunderstorm  took place, ruining the illuminations prepared  in the Tuileries gardens. It is recorded that  Josephine said that if Catherine were a believer  in omens she might expect an unhappy fate.  But little attention was paid to such super-  stitions while the festivities in honour of the  new King and Queen occupied the attention of  all. It had been arranged that Jerome and  Catherine should not leave for Westphalia until  November and should spend the intervening  time with Napoleon and Josephine. Early in  September the Imperial party, including in all  forty-four persons, went for ten days to Ram-     A Dull House-party 471   bouillet, which was Uttle more than a hunting-  box, as has been said, and sadly lacked accom-  modation for so many guests. Since we read  that the weather was wet and all had colds,  it is not surprising that visit was not en-  joyed by any one except the Emperor. From  Rambouillet a move was rnade to Fontaine-  bleau, where Hortense, who had come to Paris  from Cauterets at the end of August, joined the  party, now swelled to vast proportions by  arrivals from Paris and from the German  principalities. The stay at Fontainebleau lasted  until the middle of November and was marked  by more display and ceremony than had yet  been seen at the French Court. Napoleon was  desirous of making his Court the most brilliant  in Europe ; but his endeavours did not succeed  in keeping away dulness, for he is reported to  have remarked now : ” It is curious. I gathered  together at Fontainebleau a great number of  people, I wanted them to be amused, I arranged  all their entertainments — and every one has a  weary and melancholy air ! ”   Among those who showed their melancholy  must have been Josephine, for she had ample  reasons, apart from the fact that Napoleon had     472 The Empress Josephine   betrayed distinct signs of at least a passing  fancy for Mme. Gazzani, a beautiful Genoese  whom she had made her reader on the recom-  mendation of Talleyrand. In the first place  news had reached France of the death in June  of her mother. Mme. Tascher de la Pagerie  had lived on at Trois-Ilets to the age of seventy,  always steadfastly refusing to come to France.  It was thus seventeen years since she and  Josephine had last met. It is not known why  she never visited her daughter, but there is  nothing to indicate any estrangement between  them. No public mourning was ordered, which  was rather strange, seeing that the deceased  was the Empress’s mother.   In the second place, the return of Hortense  to Paris had revealed that the reconciliation  between her and Louis had been very brief,  although it had resulted in the anticipation of  a third child. When she and Louis reached  Paris from the Pyrenees, quarrels began at once.  Louis wished her to come with him to Holland.  She refused, alleging that the climate was  dangerous to her health and to that of Napoleon-  Louis, whom she feared to see going the way  of his elder brother. Louis’s jealousy was also     Fouch^’s Intervention 473   said to have been aroused over some stories  which he heard of her conduct at Cauterets  before his arrival. No terms could be arranged,  and Louis went off to The Hague, while Hor-  tense, ill and despondent,^ remained with her  mother, to whom her companionship at this  time can but have been an incentive to sorrow  and tears.   Thirdly, at Fontainebleau Fouche approached  Josephine directly on the subject of a  divorce. This must have been subsequent to  the conversation, if it took place as said by  Mme. de Remusat, between Napoleon and  Josephine as to what would be her attitude  should a divorce become necessary ; for on  leaving Fontainebleau Napoleon proceeded  straight to Italy and remained there over the  end of the year. When the Minister of Police  came to Josephine, rumours of a possible di-  vorce had already turned into common dis-  cussions of the question when Emperor and   1 In her diaxy Hortense wrote : ” From this time onward  I knew that my ills would be without remedy ; I looked on  my life as entirely ruined ; I felt a honor for grandeurs and  the throne ; I often cursed what so many people called my  future ; I felt myself a stranger to all the enjoyments of life,  stripped of all its illusions, almost dead to all that passed  about us.”     474 The Empress Josephine   Empress were not present. A description of  Fouche’s interview with Josephine is given in  a despatch from Prince Metternich, who was a  guest at Fontainebleau, to the Austrian Govern-  ment.   “After a short preamble,” writes the am-  bassador, ” he told her that, since the public  weal, and above all the consolidation of the  existing dj^asty, demanded that the Emperor  should have children, she ought to petition the  Senate to join her in urging on her spouse a  demand for the most painful sacrifice which  his heart could make. The Empress, prepared  for the subject, asked Fouche with the greatest  coolness if the step which he had just taken had  been at the Emperor’s bidding. ‘ No,’ replied  he, ‘ I am speaking to Your Majesty as the  Minister charged with the supervision of affairs  in general, as a private individual, as a subject  to whom his country’s glory is dear.* ‘ I am  not therefore accountable to you,’ interrupted  the Empress. ‘I look on my union with the  Emperor as recorded in the book of destiny.  I will have no explanations except with him and  shall never do except what he may order.’   ” Several days passed before there was a     Various Accounts 475   question of anything between the Imperial  couple, when suddenly the Emperor began again  to share his wife’s room and seized a propitious  moment to ask her the reason of the sadness  which he had observed in her for some time.^  The Empress then told him of her conversation  with Fouche. The Emperor bore witness that  he had never entrusted his Minister with such  a mission. He added that she ought to know  him well enough to be sure that he needed no  intermediary between himself and her. He  made her promise that she would tell him of all  she might hear of the sequel of this affair.”   Josephine had refused to believe Fouche’s  statement that he had acted on his own respon-  sibility. ” Is it not evident,” she asked Laval-  ette, husband of her niece Emilie, ” that Fouche  was sent by the Emperor and that my fate is  decided ? Alas, to leave the throne is little   ‘ Napoleon’s own version of the explanation makes Mme.  de Remusat come to him from Josephine just as he was going  to bed, at one o’clock. “My curiosity was piqued,” he says.  ” I received her. It was indeed a curious matter, for I learnt  that it concerned a repudiation of me by m.y wife. I went  immediately to Josephine and disabused her mind, giving her  an assurance that, if reasons of State should ever determine  me to break our bonds, it was from me that she should receive  the first intelligence.”     47 6 The Empress Josephine   enough to me ! But to lose at the same time  the man to whom I have devoted my fondest  affections — such a sacrifice is beyond my  strength.” Nor did Napoleon’s denial of an  order to Fouche persuade her. She was not  long in receiving from the Minister a letter in  which he put on paper the arguments to which  she had refused to listen a few days before. On  the advice of M. de Remusat, to whom she  showed the letter, she took it to Napoleon and  read it to him. The Emperor, in indignation  real or simulated, offered to deprive Fouche  of his office, and actually wrote to him on Nov-  ember 5, telling him to ” cease meddling,  directly or indirectly, with an affair which could  be no concern of his at all.” For Josephine  he was full of caresses and protestations of his  ignorance of Fouche’ s action ; but she was not  to be convinced, even though the rumours of  divorce temporarily ceased, after the Police  Minister had recognised that he must proceed  more cautiously, unless he were prepared to  lose his post a second time.   The party at Fontainebleau broke up without  anything definite having occurred with regard  to the question of divorce. Napoleon started     An Alleged Flirtation 477   on November 16 for Italy, in connection with  his design to close the Mediterranean against  the English fleet. He refused to take Josephine  with him in spite of her prayers that he should  allow her to accompany him and to see Eugene  with his wife and little daughter, named after  her Josephine. He had, however, good reason  for not taking her. His first letter from Italy,  dated Milan, November 25, 1807, began : “I  have been here, mon amie, for two days. I am  very glad not to have brought you ; you would  have suffered horribly in the crossing of the  Mount Cenis, where a tempest delayed me  twenty-four hours.”   Josephine had been accompanied back to  Paris by Jerome and his bride, who had intended  to leave at once for Westphalia by way of  Wiirtemberg. Delayed by the slight illness of  Catherine they remained until nearly the end  of November before setting out for Stuttgart.  Their departure did not leave Josephine without  plenty of society. Some of the German princes  who had been at Fontainebleau still lingered on,  among them the brother of the Queen of Prussia,  the Prince of Mecklenburg, with whom the  Empress was accused by Court gossip of having     47^ The Empress Josephine   a late flirtation. The affair was harmless  enough, apparently, for Napoleon had taken no  notice of it until he thought it advisable to  silence the malicious tongues at Court by warn-  ing Josephine not to encourage the Prince’s  attentions to her. Information, however, fol-  lowed Napoleon to Italy, probably from Fouche,  that the Prince was continuing his pursuit and  that the Empress had been unwise enough to  include him in a party which she took incognito  to one of the smaller theatres of Paris at which  Napoleon objected to her presence.^ Conse-  quently he wrote to reprimand her rather  severely on her indiscretion. It was not because  he did not wish her to be gay, for he wrote on   • He had already written to her from Osterode on March 17,  1807 : ” You must not go to small boxes at small theatres.  It does not become your rank. You must only go to the four  principal theatres and always to the principal box. Live as  you used to when I was in Paris.” With regard to Josephine’s  affair with this young Prince it may be noted that Mme.  de Remusat (” Memoires,” iii. 257) claims that Josephine said  to her in 18 10, when the Austrian marriage was on foot, that  if she too wished to marry again the Emperor would not look  on the idea with an unfavourable eye. ” He proposed to me  himself, at the time of the divorce, that I should take as husband  the Priilce of Mecklenburg-Schwerin — you remember that  handsome young man who paid me such attentions at  Fontainebleau, and then in Paris at the Tuileries. The  Emperor was jealous about him. The Prince has since written  to him, I believe, to ask for my hand.”     Letters from NapoleOii 479   November 30 from Venice : “It pleases me to   hear that you are amusing yourself in Paris.’*   But he wished her to preserve her dignity. The   suggestion that he was not sorry to be able to   find something to reproach her with seems   unnecessary. It was Napoleon’s wont to keep   as strict an eye as possible, during his absence,   on the doings of all his family. Nor is it likely   that, if he were looking round for pretexts for a   divorce, he would have written to Fouche, as   he did from Venice, complaining that he was   again discussing the question in spite of the   orders which he had received. ” I can only   repeat to you that your duty is to follow my   opinion and not to proceed according to your   whim.” He further wrote on December 6 to   Maret, sapng : ” I observe with pain, from your   reports, that people still continue to discuss   subjects which must distress the Empress and   are unseemly from all points of view.”     CHAPTER XXV   A LOSING FIGHT   THE Emperor had told his wife, when setting  out for Italy, that he would come back  to Paris early in December, but it was January i  when he actually returned. Josephine, how-  ever, had the satisfaction of hearing that Na-  poleon had confirmed her son Eugene as heir  presumptive to the Italian crown and had given  him a new title of the Prince of Venice, while  her granddaughter Josephine was Princess of  Bologna. Divorce seemed no nearer and no  farther than when they parted in the middle of  the previous November. In the midst of the  gaieties — and the opening months of 1808 were  very gay — Talleyrand, Fouche, and others were  constantly urging the Emperor toward the  point when he must part with Josephine. Still  he remained undecided, and unable to disguise  his indecision. One evening, early in March,   480     Napoleon’s Vacillation 4 8 1   to the despair of his advisers, he seemed to turn  back to Josephine with a fresh access of tender-  ness. He had dined with her as usual, and  there was to be a reception afterwards. He  was not feeling well, and when the Empress  came to him he caught her in his arms, crush-  ing her dress, sobbing and crying : ” My poor  Josephine ! No, I can never leave you.” As  he grew worse, Josephine made him promise to  go to bed instead of appearing at the reception,  which he agreed to do if she would come to him  afterwards. They passed a very agitated night.  Napoleon continually repeating that ” they ”  were surrounding him, tormenting him, and  making him unhappy. It was not until morn-  ing that he had recovered his equanimity. As  the Diplomatic Body and other distinguished  foreigners were at the reception, the Emperor’s  absence excited much comment, and no doubt  ” they ” of whom Napoleon muttered knew  all about the scene next morning. ” What a  devil of a man ! ” Talleyrand is reported to  have said in his anger. ^ ” He gives way con-  stantly to his first impulse and doesn’t know  what he wants to do. Let him make up his   1 Mme. de Remusat, ” M6moires,” iii. 312.  VOL. II 10     4^2 The Empress Josephine   mind, and not leave us to be the mere sport of  his words, not knowing really on what footing  we are with him ! ”   Another journey from Paris came opportunely  to distract Napoleon’s thoughts awhile from  the subject of divorce. He was preparing to  make a new throne for his brother Joseph in  Spain, while Naples was to go to Murat. The  quarrels in the Spanish Royal family furnished  a pretext, Ferdinand, Prince of the Asturias,  having fallen out with his father, mother, and  their favourite Godoy. Napoleon sent Murat  with an army to Madrid and summoned Charles  IV. (who had already abdicated) to meet him  at Bayonne — the scene of “the turning-point  in Napoleon’s career,” as a recent critic has  called it. Josephine was left to follow him  from Paris at a few days’ interval, but was to  break her journey at Bordeaux. Here she  stayed a month, making herself affable to all  and distributing presents with a generous hand  — but of course at the Emperor’s command and  at his expense. It was at Bordeaux that news  reached her of the birth of Hortense’s third son,  the child who was destined afterwards to be  known as the Emperor Napoleon III. Her     Birth of LouiS’Napoleon 4^3   letter to Hortense, written on April 23, 1808,  begins in a jubilant tone.   “I am at the summit of joy, my dear Hor-  tense,” she writes. ” The news of your success-  ful delivery was brought me yesterday by M.  de Villeneuve. I could feel my heart beat as  he entered. But I was in hopes that he had  only a happy event to announce, and my pre-  sentiment was not wrong. I have just received  a second letter from the Grand Chancellor, who  assures me that you are doing well, and the  child also. I know that Napoleon is consoled  at not having a sister and that he already loves  his brother very much. Kiss them both for  me.”   Two days later Josephine wrote again from  Bordeaux, saying that the Emperor had ordered  her to join him at Bayonne. ” You can ima-  gine,” she said, ” that it is a great happiness  for me not to be away from the Emperor ; so  I am off to-morrow very early.” Napoleon  awaited her at Marrac, a chateau outside Bay-  onne, where with great difficulty were bestowed  not only the French Court, but also Charles of  Spain and his Queen, Ferdinand, Godoy, and  their followers. With the lack of accommoda-     4^4 The Empress Josephine   tion and the quarrels of the Spanish family, the  visit to Marrac must have been very uncom-  fortable. But Josephine had the satisfaction  of finding Napoleon in a most loving mood  toward her. He spent all his leisure time with  her and exhibited all his usual signs of good-  humour ; as when one day out on the beach,  undeterred by the presence of the escort, he  chased her over the sands and pushed her into  the water, or when, another day, he picked up  her shoes, which dropped off her feet as she  got into her carriage, and flung them away, in  great amusement at the idea that she would  have to go home without any.   When he had, as he thought, settled the affairs  of Spain by forcibly buying out the weak-  kneed Bourbons and establishing a constitu-  tional monarchy, of which Joseph Bonaparte  was to be the head. Napoleon started home-  ward again in the company of Josephine. It  was intended that they should travel together  to Toulouse, whence the Emperor was to go  to Bordeaux and Josephine to the waters of  Bareges. Scarcely had they separated at  Toulouse, however, when an urgent message  followed Josephine from the Emperor, ordering     Political Affairs 485   her to join him again at Bordeaux. News had  reached him of the revolt of Spain against King  Joseph which culminated in the surrounding of  Dupont in the Sierra Morena, the capitulation  of an army of twenty thousand men, and the  flight of Joseph from Madrid. Napoleon saw  the necessity of a personal advance into the  Peninsula. In order to do this he must secure  himself on the eastern frontier, which necessi-  tated a return to Paris. Josephine must forgo  her usual course of waters and accompany him  back to the Tuileries.   Although she was thus brought back to Paris,  it was not intended that Josephine should  play any part in the schemes of her husband.  She was not taken to see the ” parterre of  kings ” which witnessed the meeting of the  Emperor and the Tsar at Erfurt at the end  of September. Her presence at Erfurt was  not desired, seeing that Napoleon not only  purchased there Alexander’s consent to his  subjugation of Spain, but also, according to  Talleyrand, broached the subject of a marriage  with one of Alexander’s sisters. ” This life of  agitation wearies me,” he told the Tsar. ” I  need rest and look forward to nothing so much     486 The Empress Josephine   as the moment when I can without anxiety  seek the joys of domestic lifCj which appeals  to all my tastes. But this happiness is not  for me. What domesticity is there without  children ? And can I have any ? My wife is  ten years older than I am. I must ask your  pardon. It is perhaps ridiculous of me to tell  you all this, but I am yielding to the impulse of  my heart which finds pleasure in opening itself  out to you.” On the night of the same day,  Napoleon spoke to Talleyrand at considerable  length on the subject of the divorce, which was  necessary for the peace of France. ” The  dynasty must be founded by me,” he said.  ” I can only found one by allying myself to a  princess belonging to one of the great ruling  families of Europe.” Talleyrand was therefore  to speak to the Russian Foreign Minister on  the subject of a match between Napoleon and  one of the Tsar’s sisters. ” Arguments will  not fail you,” added the Emperor, ” for I know  that you are an advocate of this divorce, and  I warn you that the Empress Josephine thinks  you are, too.”‘   It would not have been at all convenient   ‘ Talleyrand, ” M^moires,” i. 447-8.     Erfurt 487   had Josephine been at Erfurt and had, by  any chance, rumours of Napoleon’s two speeches  reported by Talleyrand come to her ears.  Scenes would have been inevitable ; but her  absence made matters easier. Nor was she  suffered to see much of her husband on his  return from Erfurt. He stopped but a few  days in Paris and left again at the beginning  of November for Spain. Josephine clung in  vain to him as he went, and was with difficulty  prevented from getting into the carriage which  bore him south. There was, however, no  repetition of her success in September 1806,  when she accompanied him to Mayence. On  this occasion he was firm, and no tears could  move him. After Erfurt his indecision may be  said to have vanished, in spite of his quite  genuine sorrow when the time came for putting  his determination into action. Josephine must  be replaced by some one else. His advisers and  circumstances combined to drive him to this  view. Such a student of French history as  Napoleon could not lack a precedent, when  once his mind was made up. In the Third  Dynasty alone he had the cases of Louis VH.,  Philippe II., Louis XII., and Henri IV., who     488 The Empress Josephine   had all repudiated their wives on the ground  of barrenness. It only remained to find the  discarded one’s successor. There was the Grand  Duchess Catherine of Russia, sister of an  Emperor. Dared her brother refuse her to  his ally ? For the present Napoleon could not  wait for an answer to this question, since he  had other matters to look after. He put the  affair in the treacherous hands of Talleyrand  and started for the west.   Napoleon reached Spain in the first week  in November and remained there over the  New Year, when he was called back by a  threat on his eastern frontier against which  he had not guarded. Writing to Josephine on  January g, 1809, in answer to her letter of  December 31, he said : ” I see, mon amie,  that you are melancholy and that your anxiety  is very black. Austria will not make war  against me. If she does, I have 150,000 men  in Germany and as many on the Rhine, and  400,000 Germans to meet her. Russia wiU not  separate from me. They are mad in Paris.  All is going well.” The majority of his letters  on the Spanish campaign are very curt ; but  Ihis one concludes in an affectionate strain :     Conspiracies on Foot 489   ” I shall be back in Paris as soon as I think it  expedient. I warn you to beware of appari-  tions. One fine day, at two in the morning. . , .  But good-bye, my dear. I am well, and am  always yours. — Napoleon.”   In spite of his confident tone. Napoleon  very soon found it expedient to be back in  Paris to meet Austria’s challenge. Matters  were going anything but well in the capital.  There were rumours of a plot to provide for  the event of his death by putting forward as  his successor Murat, now King of Naples after  Joseph’s promotion to Spain. Fouche was in  the conspiracy, and, of course, the ambitious  Caroline, who was a warm supporter, if not  the instigator of her husband’s pretensions.  The same plotters were Josephine’s chief  enemies, however friendly in the past, for  different reasons, both Murat and Fouche had  been to her. She was perfectly aware of their  sentiments. ” You have no notion of the  intrigues being woven against me,” she said  to Girardin, who returned from Spain soon  after the Emperor, and proceeded to tell him  how her foes had concocted a story that it  was intended to pass off as hers a child of     49° The Empress Josephine   the Emperor by another woman. ^ Napoleon’s  irritation at the intrigues no doubt made him  more sympathetic vvdth his wife. But in any  case he had no more time to devote to the  question of divorce now than he had when he  set out for Spain. On April g the Austrians  violated the territory of his ally Bavaria, and  four days later he started for the Rhine.   Once more the Empress accompanied him  to Strasbourg, as in 1805. There he took leave  of her, bidding her make a stay of some length.  Probably this was again in answer to her  request, since the atmosphere of Paris in his  absence was more than ever distasteful to her  now. This second Strasbourg visit was un-  eventful. Only one interesting letter from  Josephine to her daughter belongs to this period.  Hortense had gone in May to take the waters  at Baden, bringing with her both her sons.  She had omitted to ask the Emperor’s consent     1 Girardin, ” Journal,” ii. 320. It may be noted that the  Russian Ambassador at Paris had in the March of the previous  year communicated to St. Petersburg a tale that Napoleon had  threatened Josephine to make her adopt his illegitimate sons  (one by Mme. Walewska, the other by Mile. Denuelle), and  that she had at once consented. There is no corroboration of  Count Tolstoy’s tale.     Hortcnse and the Emperor 491   before leaving France, and he wrote to her,  reprimanding her and ordering her to send the  children to the Empress at once. ” This is  the first time that I have had occasion to be  angry with you,” he wrote, ” but you should  never dispose of my nephews without my per-  mission ; you must know the bad effect which  this produces.” This letter, signed ” Your  affectionate father Napoleon,” he addressed to  her, care of Josephine. The latter writes to  her daughter as follows :   “I send you, dear Hor tense, a letter from  the Emperor to you. I was so troubled at not  getting anything from him that I opened this.  I see with pain that he is upset at your visit  to Baden. I urge you to write to him at once  that you had anticipated his wish and that  your children are with me, that you only had  them with you a few days, to see them and  give them a change of air. . . .”   It must not be supposed Josephine is here  recommending her daughter to deceive the  Emperor, for she says at the end of the letter :  ” Your children have arrived in good health.”  The document is only quoted as another  example of the intense anxiety of Josephine     492 The Empress Josephine   to avoid any possible offence to the Emperor  from her own family.   In early June Josephine went to Plombieres,  her favourite waters, to judge by the number  of visits which she paid to them. Here she  was joined by Hortense, and both together  received news from Napoleon of his successes  at Ebersdorf and Wagram, and of the armistice  of Znaim. It is worthy of note that the  language of Napoleon’s notes of this period,  brief though they still are, is more tender than  for some years. “Good-bye, mon amie,” he  writes on June 19, ” you know my feelings  for Josephine ; they are unchangeable.” Two  letters written from Schonbrunh in August and  one in September, after Josephine had gone  from Plombieres to Malmaison, are still more  remarkable. ” I have heard,” he writes on  August 26, ” that you are fat, fresh, and  looking very well. I assure you that Vienna  is not an amusing town. I should much like  to be back already in Paris.” On the 31st  he says : “I have received no letters from  you for several days. The pleasures of Mal-  maison, the beautiful hothouses, the fine gardens  cause the absent to be forgotten. That is the     Marriage Schemes 493   way with you all, they say.” Finally on  September 25 : “I have received your letter.  Don’t be too sure. I warn you to look after  yourself well at nights. For one night very  soon you will hear a great noise.”   Now although Napoleon had not yet formed  any plan to ally himself with an Austrian  Archduchess, he had, on the other hand,  definitely attempted to get the Tsar’s consent to  give him his sister, the Grand Duchess Catherine.  Relying on some vague remarks of Alexander at  Erfurt, he had commissioned Talleyrand and  Caulaincourt to put the matter through for him.  But he had not reckoned with Talleyrand’s  disloyalty nor the hate of the Russian Empress  Dowager, to whom Napoleon was ” the san-  guinary tyrant who governs Europe with his  sceptre of iron.” To save her daughter from  him she was ready to marry Catherine even to  Prince George of Oldenburg, whose ugly spotted  face, mean figure, and stammering speech  were not even counterbalanced by a fortune or  indeed anything but his mere title. In the  Empress Marie, Napoleon met more than his  match. There was no repetition of his victory  over the Queen of Bavaria. The Oldenburg     494 The Empress Josephine   marriage removed Catherine from his grasp  and, the Grand Duchess Anne being too young,  the Russian matrimonial aUiance scheme faded  away. For the present, however, the Emperor  was unprepared for this defeat. HebeUeved in  the power of his influence over Alexander and  in the possibility of winning his sister’s hand.  He had, therefore, no doubt in his mind with  regard to what he must do with Josephine.  Must his letters be read as tokens of his uneasy  conscience toward her ? The story of his return  to France after the peace with Austria shows  how ill at ease he was. He wrote from Munich  on October 21 that he was on the point of  starting and that he would be at Fontainebleau  on the 26th or 27th ; she might meet him with  some of her ladies. He travelled with great  speed, arrived at 9 o’clock on the morning of the  26th, and found no one waiting to receive him  except the Grand Marshal, Duroc. He sent  off a message to Saint-Cloud, where the Empress  was,, and then proceeded to look over some  rearrangements of the rooms at Fontainebleau  which he had ordered by letter while still in  Austria. One of these was, significantly, the  building of a wall which cut off direct com-     A Significant Wall 495   munication between his apartments and the  Empress’s. After inspecting the alterations  Napoleon walked about nervously, continually  pulUng out his watch and exhibiting signs of  bad temper. Still Josephine did not come.  But in her stead arrived the Grand Chancellor  Cambaceres and the Minister of Police, both  of whom began to talk to him about the Imperial  succession and the public anxiety at the want  of an heir. ” There is not a single marshal,”  said Fouche, ” who is not considering how to  dispose of your estate if we have the misfortune  to lose you. It is a case of Alexander’s lieu-  tenants eager for their kingdoms.” Such a  view coincided only too closely with Napoleon’s  own. He dismissed his Ministers and resumed  his impatient wait for the absent Empress.   About 5 o’clock the sound of a carriage  brought him to the door ; but it was only a  messenger to say that the Empress was following.  Napoleon hastened up to his library and began  to write. At six a second carriage arrived.  This time he contented himself with ringing  to ask who had come. The Empress, he was  told. ” Very well ! ” he said, and went on with  his work. Josephine, having inquired when the     49^ The Empress Josephine   Emperor had reached Fontainebleau, hastened  up the stairs and entered the room. Napoleon  looked up and, saying, ” Ah, here you are,  madame ! That is good, for I was about to  start for Saint-Cloud,” pretended to resume  his writing. Still standing near the door, the  Empress, as might be expected, began to weep.  This was the argument which her husband could  not resist. He rose and took her in his arms.  ReconciHation soon followed ; Napoleon apolo-  gised for his severity — and perhaps Josephine  for her delay, which was at least unintentional.  Dinner was served late at Fontainebleau that  night. Josephine was resplendent in a new  dress and a wreath of blue flowers, and Napoleon  contented himself with pointing out that her  toilet had taken an hour and a half. Two more  Ministers had just arrived, and Josephine  avoided the embarrassment of a tete-d-tete meal  by reminding the Emperor that they could not  yet have dined. For the remainder of the  evening he showed himself in a most amiable  mood.   Josephine, however, was not to be deceived  by temporary amiability. There was an air of  constraint during the whole fortnight’s sojourn     Scene for a Tragedy 497   at Fontainebleau. The built-up wall was a  symbol which she did not fail to appreciate.  Bausset, the palace prefect, could give her no  satisfactory account of its construction. ” You  may be sure that there is some mystery attached  to it,” she replied ; but the mystery was not one  which she could not guess. The situation would  have been plain to a woman of much less intelli-  gence than she possessed. !   Paris was fuU of gossip about the divorce  when the Court returned. Nor did Napoleon  avoid the subject. Once more he approached  Josephine in the hope of persuading her to  take the initiative and ask him to sacrifice her  for the good of the dynasty and of France,  Once more she refused. It was not the throne  which she cared about losing, she assured him  through her sobs, but himself. According to  Girardin, he only answered : “Do not try to  move me. I still love you, but in politics it is  a case of head, not heart. I wiU give you five  millions a year and a principality with Rome  as its capital.” ” Do you know,” he added,  ” that this divorce wiU be an event in my life ?  What a scene for a tragedy ! ”   So dramatists have thought since Napoleon’s   VOL. II II     49 8 The Empress Josephine   time. But Napoleon’s remark was not a mere  cynical appreciation of the situation. If there is  anything certain about his actual sentiments, it  is that his words ” I stiU love you ” were true.  He had loved her with a love that at all periods  exceeded her love for him, and that love still  remained, though it no longer obscured his  reason. It is not likely that history will ever  forgive him for allowing reason to overcome his  love to such an extent as to consent to put away  the wife of fourteen years. Nevertheless, his  action was a sacrifice of his affections to his duty  toward the State. It is easy to condemn it as  heartless or as actuated by ambition ; but there  is nothing to be gained, except in economy  of thought, by the use of these labels. But  for the fantastic connection which was imagined  between the ” fortune ” of Napoleon and his  association with Josephine, we should probably  have heard very much less in condemnation of  his repudiation of his wife for reasons of State.  As the certainty of a speedy divorce grew,  Josephine cannot be said to have acted circum-  spectly. Nothing, perhaps, could now have  persuaded the Emperor to modify his plans ;  but attention to his wishes might at least have     Josephine’s Imprudence 499   delayed matters. Josephine, however, famed  for her tact in many things, was in others  singularly tactless. An incident which occurred  between the return from Fontainebleau and the  declaration of the divorce showed how Uttle  she could control her folUes when everything  showed that it was imperative to do so. It is  related by the Duchesse d’Abrantes,^ and the  account is therefore, it is hardly necessary to say,  not unduly kind to Josephine.   Napoleon had arranged a hunt near Fontaine-  bleau, leaving Josephine at the Tuileries. Rain  came on heavily and, sport being poor, he  decided to give up and return to Paris. It was  evening when he got back, and he entered the  Palace unannounced. Going straight up to the  Empress’s apartments, he found her seated at a  table, with a wardrobe-dealer on one side of her  and on the other a young German, who had  spread out before him a pack of cards, from  which he was telling fortunes. Now he had  given strict orders that no wardrobe-dealers or  stray merchants of finery should be allowed  within the Palace ; and the woman now present  was one whom he had already had ejected.   ‘ ” Histoire des Salons de Paris,” iii. 390 &.     500 The Empress Josephine   Fortune-tellers were still more severely banned  by him. This German, who had made a sensa-  tion lately among the foolish ladies of Paris, had  attracted his attention so much as to make him  say to Josephine : ” You have spoken to me  of a certain Hermann. I forbid you to see him  or bring him to the Palace. I have had in-  quiries made about him, and he is a suspicious  character.” Napoleon might have guessed the  result of this command. But the sight of the  two forbidden visitors together moved him to  violent anger.   ” How can you disobey my orders like this ? ”  he cried furiously. ” How is it that you are in  the company of such people ? ”   Totally unprepared for such a scene, Josephine  was at her wits’ end. The dealer fled for refuge  to the window-curtains, while the fortune-  teller paused to think of his best professional  attitude. At last Josephine stammered :   ” It was Madame Letizia who Tecommended  her.”   ” And this man ? What is he doing in the  Empress’s room ? ”   ” She brought him with her.”   Hermann now intervened, expressing his sur-     Forbidden Visitors 501   prise if his life or liberty should be in danger  in the Palace of the Emperor of the French.  Moreover, would it not be better for the Emperor  to consult the Fates rather than defy them ?   Napoleon could scarcely control his voice to  demand : ” Who are you ? And what are you  doing in Paris ? ”   ” You see what I am doing. As for what I  am — how can I say ? Who among us knows  who he is ? ”   With one outraged glance at the three,  Napoleon rushed from the room, banging the  door loudly behind him. Summoning Duroc,  he ordered him to have both visitors turned out  of the Palace at once. Early next morning he  went to the house which Madame Mere occupied  in Paris and asked to see her. With him he took  Duroc . While Napoleon talked with his mother,  the Grand Marshal imparted the news to Mme.  Junot, who was then a lady in attendance on  Madame Mere. According to the memoir-  writer, he said to her :   ” There is a storm in the air. The question  of divorce is more to the front than ever. The  Empress, who has never understood her true  position, lacks even the second sight which     502 The Empress Josephine   comes to the dying at their last hour. … It is  nearly all over,’ ‘ he continued . ‘ ‘ The Emperor’ s  resolution has wavered during these last few  days, but the Empress’s stupidity has ruined  everything. And further, since his return to  Paris, he has received such a large number of  complaints from tradespeople and shopkeepers  to whom the Empress has not paid what she  owes, that he is exasperated.”   Duroc went on to tell the lady-in-waiting the  story of the previous night. Meanwhile the  Emperor was discovering how Josephine had  attempted to deceive him. Mme. Letizia had  already received very early in the morning an  urgent private message from her daughter-in-  law, beseeching her, in case the Emperor should  question her about a certain dealer in clothes,  to say that she had recommended her to the  Palace. The old lady was prepared to do this,  to prevent a quarrel over what seemed a petty  affair. But when Napoleon began to speak of  the suspected German spy she broke down and  betrayed Josephine’s letter. The Emperor left  after an hour’s talk, very pale and with signs  of tears about his eyes. As for Madame Mere,  she took Mme. Junot into her confidence and     Madame Mere 503   said : “I hope that the Emperor will have the  courage this time to take the step which not  only France but all Europe awaits with anxiety.  His divorce is a necessary act.”   The whole story might not be worth repeating  — so common were Josephine’s disobediences of  this sort to her husband’s orders — but for the  fact that the incident about which it centres  had apparently some considerable effect upon  Napoleon’s last waverings in the matter of the  divorce. Josephine could hardly have made a  more unfortunate mistake (in a trivial way)  than by trying to involve Madame Mere in her  deceit. She was not, however, deterred from  appealing again to her mother-in-law, through  the medium of their respective ladies, Mmes.  de Remusat and Junot, to intervene on her  behalf with Napoleon. She would make any  promise which the Emperor might ask of her.  Madame Mere promised to use her influence.  But of course it was too late ; and it was not  for a matter of bringing clothes-dealers and  fortune-tellers into the Tuileries that Napoleon  was putting away his wife. No promise of  amendment of her ways could bring Josephine  a child to inherit the throne of France.     5^4 The Empress Josephine   Little more than two weeks after the return  from Fontainebleau to the Tuileries came the  last great series of ceremonies at which Josephine  was present as Empress. December 2 was the  fifth anniversary of the Coronation at Notre-  Dame. It was also the fourth anniversary of  Austerlitz. There was gathered together in  Paris in readiness to celebrate the day a crowd  of kings, queens, princes, and princesses of  the Imperial family and from the vassal States  of Germany. Napoleon spared no pains to  entertain his visitors with an unceasing series  of fetes. Every one was to be ” gay and  content,” to use his own favourite expression.  Unfortunately neither he nor the Empress was  able to maintain the effort. Thoughts of the  now definitely arranged separation could not  be chased away. The abundant reminiscences  of the Duchesse d’Abrantes again put the scene  before us as she describes the entertainment  at the Tuileries on Thursday, November 30.  All the week the Empress had been unusually  silent. This night the dinner was most mourn-  ful. Her eyes were red with weeping and her  head was lowered in a vain attempt to conceal  them. No one ate or said much. The Emperor     Napoleon on Happiness 505   led the way quickly out of the dining-room,  the Empress and the others following him.  When the coffee had been handed round in the  salon, Josephine summoned up courage to speak  and, beginning to weep again, asked him why  he wished to leave her. ” Are we not happy ? ”  ” Happy ? ” Napoleon answered. ” Happy ?  Why, the lowest clerk of one of my Ministers  is happier than I ! Happy ? Are you mocking  me ? To be happy one does not want to be  tortured by your mad jealousy as I am. Every  time I speak at a reception to a charming or  pretty woman, I am sure to have most terrible  storms in private. Happy ? Yes, I have been.”  Perhaps he would have remained so, he con-  tinued, had not jealousy and anger come to  drive away happiness and peace, until he  listened to the voice of his people asking for a  guarantee for their future and realised that he  was sacrificing great interests to a vain ideal.   “So all is over, then ? ” asked Josephine.   ” I had to secure the happiness of my people,  I repeat. Why did you force me yourself to  see other interests before yours ? Believe me,  I am suffering more than you perhaps, for it  is my hand that is hurting you.”     So6 The Empress Josephine   Then followed the remarkable scene described  by the Palace prefect Bausset, which turns the  whole tragedy of the situation into a comedy.  Bausset was sitting in a chair outside the salon  door, watching the dining-room being cleared  by the servants. Suddenly through the door  came the sound of sobs and piercing cries.  Napoleon came to the door and told him to  come in. The Empress was lying on the floor,  crying out, ” No, I can never survive it ! ” and  lamenting bitterly. ” Are you strong enough,”  asked Napoleon, ” to lift Josephine and to  carry her up the inner staircase to her room  to be attended to ? ” Bausset, a large, stout  man, stooped down and put one arm round  the Empress’s waist, another under her knees.  Napoleon, holding a candle in his hand, went  across to the door leading to the staircase and  opened it. Josephine, apparently in a dead  faint, lay without moving in Bausset’s arms.  When the staircase was reached, the prefect  saw that it was too narrow for him to attempt  to go up it with his burden in her present  position. He must have assistance. Napoleon  therefore called to the watchman who always  sat at his study door, handed him the candle,     A Diplomatic Faint 507   and told him to go on ahead. Then he relieved  Bausset of the Empress’s legs, leaving him to  pass his arms under her armpits and to go up  the stairs backwards. Now Bausset’s sword  got between his legs and almost threw them  all downstairs. Swinging it out of the way,  he struck the Empress accidentally on the  shoulder with the hUt. Suddenly he heard her  voice whispering to him softly : ” Take care,  M. de Bausset, you are hurting me with your  sword; and you are holding me too tight.”  She resumed her faint, while Bausset lifted her  up higher and put his arms again around her  waist, the Emperor still holding on to her  legs. At length the top of the stairs was  reached and Josephine was laid on her bed. A  violent ring at the bell brought her waiting-  women to her. Dr. Corvisart was summoned,  and Hortense. As Napoleon left, he told  Bausset the cause of the trouble. He was very  much agitated, and added, in broken accents :  ” The interests of France and of my dynasty  put a great strain upon my heart. This divorce  has become an absolute duty for me. I am  all the more upset by the scene which Josephine  has made because for three days she must have     f   508 The Empress Josephine   known, through Hortense; the unhappy neces-  sity which condemns me to separation from  her. I pity her with all my soul. I thought  she had more character, and I was not prepared  for the outburst of her grief.”   There seems no reason to reject the words  attributed to Napoleon by Bausset.^ If they  are correctly reported, he can only have an-  nounced his definite decision — that is to say,  that he had fixed a date for publicly announcing  the divorce — at the beginning of the week ;  and he must also have made use of Hortense  as an intermediary, not having the courage  personally to tell his wife. Whether Hortense  (to whom the idea of being freed from her  husband would have been as welcome as it was  terrible to Josephine) was able to persuade her  mother that all hope of a reprieve was vain  does not appear. But Josephine can scarcely  have supposed that any chance remained now  of a change of mind on the part of the Emperor.  The revelation of Bausset casts the gravest  doubt, not on the reality of her grief, however  much she exaggerated it, but certainly on the  possibility of her having been taken by surprise.   » ” Memoires,” ii. 2-8.     Hortense Appealed to 509   After receiving from Corvisart an assurance  that there was nothing seriously amiss with  the Empress, Napoleon had an interview with  Hortense, who declared that she and Eugene  must retire with their mother, though she  promised him never to forget how much she  owed to him. Napoleon was aghast at the  idea and could not restrain his tears. ” What,  desert me ? ” he cried. ” You, my children, to  whom I have acted as a father ? No, no, you  will not do that ! You will remain. Your  children’s lot demands this of you.” At  length his entreaties that she should stay to  help him to console and calm her mother, his  promises of what he would do for Josephine  to make her life happy, prevailed. Before she  left him to go to the Empress, Hortense had  promised that at least’ she would not fulfil her  threat of leaving the Court.     CHAPTER XXVI   THE DIVORCE   THE final scene in the married life of  Napoleon and Josephine was about to  begin. Amid the gaieties which, during the  first ten days of December 1809, marked the  anniversary of the Coronation, the preparations  for the announcement and actual accomplish-  ment of the divorce went on. Josephine  was quite unable to disguise her grief from  her guests, and Napoleon himself was on one  occasion at least visibly affected in public by  her air of utter wretchedness. This was at the  entertainment given by the City of Paris on De-  cember 3. The Empress arrived first, conducted  to the Throne Room of the Hotel de Ville by  the Prefect of the Seine. Her steps were feeble,  her eyes swollen with tears, and her effort to  restrain her feelings was quite obvious. The  Emperor on his entry looked at her anxiously,  and found it necessary to halt a few moments   Sio     Last Days as Empress 511   before he could master his emotion. With  considerable difficulty they both forced them-  selves to go through the task of making them-  selves agreeable to those assembled to meet  them.   Josephine was spared any more such ordeals.  Retiring to her own rooms in the Tuileries, she  left to Madame Mere the duties of hostess for  the few remaining days. It was given out that  she was indisposed, but no one was ignorant  of the real cause of her disappearance from  view. All knew that the very hour of the  divorce was approaching, and that what had  been a matter of common talk for so long was  at last to become fact. The Bonapartes as-  sembled in Paris did not disguise their exulta-  tion, and from their looks in particular Josephine  was glad to escape. Her chief comfort was the  expectation of Eugene’s arrival. Her son’s  protection had never failed her yet. Perhaps  she had some desperate hope that he might  still intervene and prevent the separation from  Napoleon. Eugene reached Paris on Decem-  ber 5, having been met by Hortense on his way  from Italy. He was therefore acquainted with  the facts of the situation and prepared for his     512 The Empress Josephine   interview with the Emperor. He had long  recognised that divorce must come, and had  expressed his conviction to his mother as  recently as a month ago, when, after hearing  from her concerning her conversation with the  Emperor after Fouche’s interference at Fon-  tainebleau, he had written : ” If he [Napoleon]  believes that his happiness and that of France  require him to have children, let him have  no other consideration. He must give you a  sufficient dowry and let you live with your  Italian children. The Emperor can then make  the marriage which his policy and happiness  may demand of him.”   Such being Eugene’s views, he offered no  objections to Napoleon’s resolution now laid  before him, but only insisted that he and his  mother should retire permanently to Italy. As  he had done with Hortense already, Napoleon  protested against the idea of a retirement and  insisted that Josephine’s sacrifice must bring  her honour, not banishment. She should still  be Empress, though not reigning Empress, and  must ever be his best-loved friend. Eugene  finally asked to be present at an interview  between his mother and Napoleon. His request     Eugene and his Mother 513   was granted. The presence of Eugene had an  excellent effect upon Josephine. She was still  weeping, but showed herself dignified and  resigned. The welfare of France was too dear  to her, she said, that she should refuse to yield  to the demand made of her. All she asked  was that her children should not be forgotten.  ” Make Eugene King of Italy,” she begged.  Eugene broke in with the indignant words :  ” Mother, let me be left out of the question.  Your son does not want a crown which would  be, so to speak, the price of your separation.  If. Your Majesty bows to the Emperor’s wishes,  it is of you alone that he must think.” Napoleon  was touched. ” That is Eugene’s true heart,”  he said. ” He does well to trust to my affec-  tion.” The scene was over. All had passed  in far better manner than could have been  expected ; but at the Court reception that  evening Josephine made no appearance. She  had not the strength to preserve in public the  brave face which she had put on in the presence  of her husband and her son.   Only a few days more remained before  Josephine’s career as reigning Empress ended.  On December 10 Napoleon received a deputa-   VOL. II 12     SH The Empress Josephine   tion from the Legislative Body at the Tuileries  and informed them that ” he and his family  were ready to sacrifice, for the sake of France,  their dearest affections.” Five days later the  formal civil act of divorce took place. With  regard to the ecclesiastical side, owing to the  fact that the Emperor and Pope Pius VII. were  no longer on good terms — Pius had excommuni-  cated his former friend and was a prisoner at  Savona — there was no question of the help of  His Holiness. There was, however, the sub-  servient Cardinal Fesch, Archbishop of Lyons,  who had performed the secret religious marriage  on the eve of the Coronation ; and there were  the French clergy, who could be coerced, and  were. The details of the civil act were arranged  by the Archchancellor Cambaceres, under the  direction of the Emperor himself. According  to Thiers,^ whose informant was Cajnbaceres  himself. Napoleon showed his determination to  invest the act with ceremonies most affectionate  and most honourable for Josephine. ” He  would have nothing which might look like a  repudiation, and agreed to nothing but a simple  dissolution of the conjugal bond, based on   ‘ ” Consulat et Empire,” xi. ^in^     The Family Council 515   mutual consent, that consent itself being based  on the Empire’s interests. It was agreed that  after a Family Council, at which the Arch-  chancellor should receive the expression of the  wishes of the husband and wife, the decree of  the Senate, solemnly passed, should pronounce  the dissolution of the civil bond, and that by the  same resolution the fortune of Josephine should  receive a magnificent guarantee.”   The Family Council which Napoleon required  to witness the ceremony — not to triumph over  Josephine’s fall, but to honour the great act  of renunciation which she shared, however  much against her will, with him— was as com-  plete as he could make it. Joseph was not  present, being detained in Spain by his king-  dom’s affairs ; and he was on such terms with  his brother at the moment that they hardly  exchanged letters. His wife Julie, however,  was in Paris. Lucien, of course, was still in  disgrace. Elisa was expecting a child, so  that she too was absent. But Madame Mere,  Louis, Jerome and his wife, the Murats, Pauhne,  and Caroline were all present, together with  Eugene and his sister as representatives of  the Beauharnais.     5^6 The Empress Josephine   On the night of December 15 the Arch-  chancellor Cambaceres arrived at the Tuileries,  accompanied by the Secretary of State for  the Imperial Household, Regnauld de Saint-  Jean d’Angely, and found the whole Palace  illuminated as on a fete-day. Within was the  whole Imperial family in full Court dress. At  nine o’clock they were gathered in the Throne  Room, and the door of the Emperor’s room was  opened to receive them. Josephine was dressed  in a perfectly plain white robe with no jewellery,  and though pale she was quite calm ; far  less agitated, in fact, than either Eugene or  Hortense. Round the room were arranged the  seats appointed for the family, in due order  of precedence. The Emperor, Empress, and  Madame Mere had armchairs, the reigning  kings and queens chairs, and the others stools.  All took their places, and the Emperor, turning  to the Archchancellor, began to speak. His  speech had been written for him, but departing  from the text he substituted his own language,  and with emotion spoke of the cost to his heart  of the sacrifice which he was making for the  welfare of France. ” Far from ever having  had to complain,” he added, with more tender-     A Dignified Speech 517   ness than truth, ” I can, on the contrary, only  rejoice over the affection and tenderness of  my well-loved spouse. She has graced fifteen  years of my life, and the memory of this will  remain for ever stamped on my heart. She  was crowned by my hand. I desire that she  shall keep the rank and title of crowned Empress,  but above all that she shall never doubt my  feelings and that she shall have me always as  her best and dearest friend.”   The Empress in her turn took up her speech.  Wheth’er she had herself altered the words  which had been prepared for her, cannot be  said ; but the copy from which she read was in  her own handwriting and on the paper which  she was wont to use.^ “With the permission  of our august and dear spouse,” she began, ” I  declare that, since I haye no hope of bearing  children who can satisfy the requirements of  his policy and the interests of France, it is  my pleasure to give him the greatest proof of   » M, Masson, who notes this fact, says (” Josephine  Repudiee,” 80) : ” In the declaration which had been prepared  for her she too had modified the language. . . . The words  which she spoke are apt and noble, and, if it was she who chose  them, once more she gave proof of that tact which was one of  her virtues and one of her charms.”     5i8 The Empress Josephine   attachment and devotion which was ever given  on earth.” But she could read no further.  Sobs choked her voice and she handed the  paper to Regnauld, who finished the speech for  her. ” I owe all to his bounty,” ran the words,  ” it was his hand which crowned me, and,  seated on this throne, I have received nothing  but proofs of affection and love from the French  people. I am recognising all this, I believe, in  consenting to the dissolution of a marriage  which is now an obstacle to the welfare of  France and deprives her of the good fortune  of being ruled one day by the descendants of  a great man plainly raised up by Providence  to remove the ill-effects of a terrible Revolution  and to set up again the altar, the throne, and  the social order. But the dissolution of my  marriage will make no change in the sentinaents  of my heart. The Emperor will always have  in me his best friend. I know how much this  act, which is made necessary by his policy and  by such great interests, has wounded his heart ;  but we shall win glory, the two of us, for the  sacrifice which we have made on behalf of our  country.”   Not only Hortense and Eugene (who is said     Divorce Accomplished 519   to have fainted at the end of the ceremony),  but even the assembled Bonapartes exhibited  emotion at Josephine’s surrender of her husband  and her throne. None were sorry when the  Council finished its sitting with the signature  by each member of the report drawn up by  Cambaceres and all were able to disperse to  their lodgings. Josephine was accompanied  from the room by her children, still calmer than  they found it possible to be. But the day was  not to finish without one more painful scene.  The Emperor had retired to his own bedroom  and was already in bed, when suddenly Jose-  phine appeared at the door, silent but bearing  the signs of the profoundest grief. She came  slowly to the bedside, as if walking in her sleep,  but having reached it she fell forward, and,  throwing her arms about Napoleon, gave vent  to bitter laments. The Emperor, by whom  this apparition was quite unexpected, at-  tempted in vain to comfort her, with assurances  of his everlasting friendship and appeals to her  reason and courage. But it was with the  greatest difficulty that he restrained his own  tears and had the strength to send her away  to her own room at the end of an hour. It     520 The Empress Josephine   was her last night at the Tuileries. The ” little  Creole ” was to sleep no more in the bed of  her masters.   Next day it was raining heavily when, at  two o’clock, Josephine’s carriages awaited her in  the courtyard. All her personal belongings had  been taken out from her rooms and placed in  the vehicles. Her parrot and a family of dogs  accompanied her boxes and such furniture as  was to go with her. Only the mistress herself  was wanted to give the train the signal to  start. Josephine still remained in the dis-  mantled rooms, sitting waiting for the Emperor  to bid her farewell. His step was heard on  the private stair ; and, as she rose from her  seat, he entered, followed by Meneval, his  secretary. Their last interview in the Palace  must not be without a witness. Unrestrained,  however, by the presence of a third party, the  weeping woman threw herself upon Napoleon’s  breast and clung there. He kissed her several  times and then, finding she had fainted, put  her into the secretary’s arms and hastened out  of the room to hide his own emotion from any  curious eyes. Josephine, left with M6neval,  began to weep again violently and clasped     Departure from the Tuilcries 521   Meneval by the hands, beseeching him to tell  the Emperor not to forget her and to write  to her from Trianon, where he was to spend  the ten days following her departure from the  Tuileries. The distressed secretary promised  all she asked, and at length Josephine forced  herself to go. She walked out of the rooms  which no longer were hers and into the court-  yard, got into her carriage, and drove away  to Malmaison,     CHAPTER XXVII   THE FIRST YEAR OF SEPARATION   JOSEPHINE’S fortune was to have, by  Napoleon’s desire, ” a magnificent guar-  antee.” The Senate’s Decree coupled with the  announcement of the divorce the settlement  on her of two million francs annually from the  State Treasury. On the same day Napoleon  himself settled on her, from the Crown Treasury,  another million. He further presented to her,,  for the duration of her life, the Elysee Palace,  with its furniture and grounds, and renounced  any rights which he might have over Malmaison,  which was to be entirely at the disposition of  herself and her heirs. With regard to her debts,  of whose continued existence he was well aware,  although he did not know their extent since  he had last attempted to get rid of them, he  no longer proposed to pay them except out  of her own income ; but he assisted her to clear  them off by advancing the money. He insisted   522     A Magnificent Income 523   on a complete list and found they amounted  to nearly one million nine hundred thousand  francs/ while the total number of creditors was  one hundred and twenty. Josephine marked  on the list those who should be paid in full,  and the remainder had their bills cut down  as the Emperor decided. Five hundred thou-  sand francs were knocked off the total, and the  balance of one million four hundred thousand  was paid, on the understanding that seven  hundred thousand francs should be stopped  out of the million coming to her from the Crown  Treasury for each of the next two years. Jose-  phine was therefore solvent again. In order  that she should not lapse into debt the Emperor  included in the duties of his own financial  superintendent the supervision of the Empress’s  budget. The result of this carefully devised  scheme will be seen later.   Josephine retired from her position of reigning  Empress with a magnificent income, no lia-  bilities, and a town and a country house, both  fully furnished and equipped. From his point   1 To be precise 1,898,098 francs, of which 587,411 were due  to jewellers, 290,733 to the dressmaker Leroy, and 121,013 to  one dealer in lace alone (M. Masson, ” Josephine R6pudi6e,”  p. 99).     5^4 The Empress Josephine   of view, Napoleon had fulfilled his promise  of generous treatment, and he was perfectly  sincere in his protestation that he intended  to keep her always as his best and dearest  friend. The question of his financial arrange-  ments must be left to a later chapter. Here  we may concern ourselves with the personal  relations between Emperor and Empress after  the divorce and see how far Napoleon was able  to carry out his wishes.   Josephine was accompanied to Malmaison by  her son and her daughter, who were, according  to the promises which they had given, to help  to Console and calm their mother in her new  situation. The disposition which her Household  showed to desert her service was at once checked  and all were ordered to continue in their duties  until the New Year. The Emperor did not  leave it for others to satisfy him as to her state  after leaving him, for he drove over to Malmaison  on the following day and paid her a visit. They  walked in the park together, as of old, but it  was noticed that he only shook her hand as  he came and went and that he did not kiss her.  He was not quite satisfied with her condition.  On his return to Trianon he wrote to her at     Tears 525   eight o’clock the same evening the letter which  appears in Queen Hortense’s collection.^ ” My  friend/’ he began, ” I found you to-day weaker  than you should have been. You have shown  courage, and you must find enough to sustain  you. You must not let yourself lapse into a  fatal melancholy, you must grow content, and  above all look after your health, which is so  precious to me. . . . Sleep well, think to  yourself that this is what I wish,” he said in  conclusion, for the letter was despatched to  reach her before she went to bed.   As might be imagined, Josephine found it  impossible to maintain the ” courage ” which  Napoleon wished to see her display. She  grew worse rather than better. Eugene, writing  to his wife on the day after the arrival at Mal-  maison, says : ” The Empress is well. Her  grief was bitter enough this morning as she  went through the places where she lived so  long with the Emperor, but her courage got  the upper hand, and she is resigned to her new  situation, I firmly believe that she will be  happier and more tranquil,” But when, fol-  lowing the Emperor’s example, visitors began   ‘ ” Letters de Napoleon a Josephine,” No. 95.     526 The Empress Josephine   to hasten to Malmaison to pay their respects,  they found Josephine constantly weeping.  Kings, queens, princes, princesses, and all the  official and social world of Paris came in pil-  grimage to Malmaison, and all alike saw her  in tears. It was very natural, and the visitors  for the most part were moved to sympathy,  both real and politic. But the Emperor, who  never omitted to ask all whether they had  seen the Empress, was troubled by the universal  report. On the 19th, while out shooting, he  sent Savary to see her, and a letter followed  in the evening, answering one of hers which  does not survive :   ” I have your letter, mon amie. Savary tells  me that you are constantly crying. That is  not right. I hope that you have been able  to take a walk to-day. I have sent you some  of my bag. I will come to see you when you  assure me that you are reasonable and that  your courage has got the upper hand. To-  morrow I have the Ministers here all day.  Farewell, mon amie. I, too, am melancholy  to-day. I want to hear

Napoleon on throne

that you are satisfied  and to learn of your self-possession. Sleep well.   ” Napoleon.”     A Christmas Dinner 527   Mme. de Remusat, to whom Josephine con-  fided that ” she often imagined herself dead  and that all that was left was a vague sensation  of existing no longer,” did her best to make her  mistress take walks, also sent through her  husband, who was at Trianon, the very sensible  advice that Napoleon should moderate the  expression of his regret when he wrote to  Josephine, and should rather try to encourage  her. Certainly his mention of his own sorrow  was not likely to lessen hers. However, his  affection prevented him from taking the advice,  as some of his subsequent letters show. He  apparently found it easier to disguise his feelings  when he met Josephine than when he wrote.  On the 24th he paid another visit and again  did not kiss her, while he took care not to get  out of sight of third parties. On Christmas Day  he allowed her to come over to dinner with him  at Trianon, bringing Hortense ; and Eugene,  who was also present, declares him to have been  ” very kind and amiable to her,” so that she  immediately seemed to grow better.   On the following day Napoleon returned to  the Tuileries, while Josephine soon belied  Eugene’s statement, on his own showing.     528 The Empress Josephine   ” Eugene has told me,” wrote Napoleon on the  27th, ” that you were very sad yesterday.  That is not right, mon amie. It is contrary to  what you promised me.” He could not refrain  from adding : “I was much annoyed at seeing  the Tuileries again. The great Palace seemed  very empty to me, and I found myself all alone.”  He was anxious even to bring her back to Paris  at once, but the Elysee had been borrowed to  lodge the Murats, who were not anxious to go  home to Naples yet. Eugene had hopes that  his mother would accompany him to Milan.  She, however, was as eager to be back in Paris  as Napoleon seemed to be that she should come.  In the meantime she continued to receive her  visitors at Malmaison, not less tearful, but  gradually more resigned.   If confirmation of her resignation be required,  it may be found in her next step, which would  be astounding if it were not with the character  of Josephine that we are dealing. On the first  day of 1810, sixteen days after her departure  from the Tuileries, she sent a message to the  wife of the former Austrian Ambassador in  Paris, that she would much like to see her.  Mme. de Metternich arrived at Malmaison next      THE EMPRESS MARIE LOUISE.  From a picture by Priidhon. Plioto by Neurdin Frires.     p. 528.     The Austrian Marriage 529   day, and was greeted by Hortense with the  words : ” You know that we are all Austrians  at heart, but you would never guess that my  mother has had the courage to advise the  Emperor to ask for the hand of your Arch-  duchess.” Josephine came in as her daughter  spoke and at once began : “I have a scheme  which takes up my whole attention and by  whose success alone I hope that the sacrifice  I have just made will not be entirely wasted.  It is that the Emperor should marry your  Archduchess. I spoke of it to him yesterday,  and he told me that his mind was not yet quite  made up ; but I believe that it would be if he  were sure of being accepted by you.”   It was a fact which Josephine was relating to  her visitor. Eugene had already approached on  the subject Prince Schwarzenberg, the present  representative of Austria, with the assurance  of his mother’s consent. When h^d Napoleon  and Josephine come to an agreement upon this  point ? It is not known. As late as Novem-  ber 22 Napoleon, disappointed in his hopes of  the Grand Duchess Catherine of Russia, had  instructed his representative in St. Petersburg,  Caulaincourt, to ask for her sister, the Grand   VOL. II 13     53° The Empress Josephine   Duchess Anne. Being refused her, on account  of her youth, he saw no other Princess so suit-  able as Marie-Louise of Austria. But Jose-  phine’s intervention, in the midst of her in-  consolable grief, might well seem surprising to  others as well as to Mme. de Metternich. Al-  though Josephine loved match-making, this  was assuredly an extraordinary match which  she was now helping to make. It is unfortunate  that there is no clue to show when the idea  first came into her head.   If Napoleon must be married, however, there  were obvious advantages for Josephine in  appearing as his assistant in bringing about this  marriage. She was, if not quite ” an Austrian  at heart,” in Hortense’s words, at least on  friendly terms with the Austrian Imperial family,  especially the Archduke Ferdinand and the  Metternichs. Then Marie-Louise was only  eighteen, and with a young wife, married purely  for State reasons. Napoleon would be likely to  require the aid of her own experience to advise  him. Might she not even expect that he would  be even more glad to have her in Paris after  his second marriage than before, when he still  dreaded the effect which the sight of her might     Favours from Napoleon 531   have upon his courage ? A permanent resi-  dence in Paris, with occasional seasons at Mal-  maison, was the best fate for which she could  hope, and the union which she was advocating  for her late husband seemed to bring this  possibility nearer.   Malmaison, indeed, soon began to pall with-  out the possible distraction of visits to Paris.  Josephine was not yet forty-seven and she did  not feel the charms of the life of a retired dow-  ager. The Emperor continued to write con-  stantly, but his trips to Malmaison were fewer  as the weeks went by. It was in vain that he  wrote how he was making her a present of one  hundred thousand francs for the extraordinary  expenses of her property and that she might  ” plant what she liked,” or promised her other  favours.^ What she wanted and what she  wrote to him about was permission to come to  the Elysee at once. This is plain from his  answers. ” I should hear of your presence at  the Elysee with pleasure,” he wrote on January  30, “and [should be] very glad to see you more  often, for you know how much I love you.”  And again, a few days later : ” I have had your   1 See Queen Hortense’s collection. No. 2qo.     53^ The Empress Josephine   belongings brought to the Elys6e. You will  always be coming to Paris, but be calm and  content, and have complete confidence in me.”  At last the Palace was ready for her at the be-  ginning of February, and she took up her occu-  pation of it at once, while Eugene, satisfied that  his mother had got her way, returned to his  wife at Milan.   The realisation of her wish did not equal  Josephine’s expectations. Napoleon’s first note  to her at the Elysee begins : ” Savary on his  arrival gave me your letter. I am pained to  see that you are melancholy.” ^ Josephine  found that, although she was back in Paris, she  was no longer in its society as before. “It is  perhaps not quite suitable that we should be  under the same roof during the first year,” the  Emperor wrote to her in another letter ; and,  in fact, at all the great festivities, whither even  Hortense might go, there was no place for the  divorced Empress. The Court balls and ex-  cursions were not for her, the theatres were  forbidden if the Royal box was occupied, the  Bois was out of bounds if a hunt was on, the  papers were forbidden to mention her (although   1 See Queea Hortense’s collection. No. 210.     Restricted Freedom 533   they disobeyed) because a new Empress was  soon starting on her way to Paris and the mar-  riage contract had already been signed. The  imagined attractions of the Elysee were all  absent. Exile there was worse than at Mal-  maison, and it can have been with no regret  that after a month Josephine quitted Paris and  returned to her garden.   The Emperor, however, had no intention of  allowing his former wife to be even in the neigh-  bourhood of the capital when Marie-Louise  arrived at the end of March. To soften the  blow he had decided to present Josephine with  a third residence, the old chateau of Navarre,  near Evreux, more than fifty miles across  country from Paris. The original building had  been erected in the fourteenth century by the  Kings of Navarre ; but that which was standing  in 1810 dated only from the end of the seven-  teenth century, and consisted of a huge two-  storied square block, topped by a dome upon  which one of the Comtes d’ Evreux had intended  to set up a statue of his uncle, the great Turenne.^  At its side stood a smaller house. Both alike   1 See a full and amusing description of Navarre in M.  Masson’s ‘‘ Josephine R6pudiee,” 148-50.     534 The Empress Josephine   were dilapidated, draughty, and unfurnished.  Apart from its size, Navarre was a most un-  promising home. But Napoleon purchased the  place on March 8, signed the Letters Patent  assigning to it Josephine and her heirs on the  nth, and ordered at once the repairs necessary  to make it habitable. On the 12th, having  spoken to her previously of his intention of  presenting the chateau to her, he writes :   ” Mon amie, I hope that you will have been  contented with what I have done for Navarre.  You will have seen herein a new proof of my  desire to please you.^ Take possession of  Navarre ; you will be able to go thither on  March 25 to spend the month of April.”   Josephine showed no great anxiety to set out  for Navarre, in spite of the obvious anxiety of  the Emperor that she should leave Malmaison  before Marie-Louise reached Paris. Accounts  of the condition of her new chateau no doubt  influenced her in part, for a letter remains from  her to the Departmental Prefect at Evreux,  speaking of her desire to hire a house near at   * The Letters Patent above mentioned contain a similar  phrase : ” Wishing to give to the Empress Josephine a new  proof of our affection, we have -resolved,” etc.     Navarre 535   hand, from which she might superintend the  repairs. But also Eugene and Augusta were  expected from Milan, in order to assist at the  Imperial wedding. The stay of her daughter-  in-law at Malmaison, commencing on March 20,  furnished Josephine with an excuse for neglect-  ing the date appointed by the Emperor for her  departure. On the 28th she was still at Mal-  maison. That same night Marie-Louise reached  Compiegne, and Josephine started for Navarre,  having risked as far as possible a disobedience of  the order which had been given to her.^   Accompanied by her small Court the sup-  planted Empress arrived at Evreux on March  29. Her Household had diminished since the  divorce. Mme. de la Rochefoucauld had been  among the first to leave her and had been  transferred to the suite of Marie-Louise, as  had Mmes. de Lu9ay, Lauriston, and Talhoufit.  Monseigneur de Rohan, her almoner, had also  gone, and a number of her other ladies and  gentlemen. But Mme. de Remusat remained,  having sided completely with her mistress and   > ” Can we believe,” asks M. Masson (” Josephine Repudiee ”  146) “that such a departure, so much delayed and then sp  precipitate, was voluntary ? ”     53 6 The Empress Josephine   blaming Napoleon severely for his conduct with  regard to the divorce. Mme. d’Arberg, of  German princely descent and attached to Jose-  phine since the Coronation, remained also, and  was now Lady of Honour and Superintendent  of the Household. Others with her were Mme.  Nay, the school friend of Hortense; Mme.  Audenarde, a Creole and mother of the Emperor’s  equerry ; Mmes. Octave de Segur, de Turenne,  and de Viel-Castel ; and Mme. Gazzani, her  reader, Napoleon’s marked admiration for whom  had not lost her Josephine’s favour. Not all  of these were with her yet, and some were soon  to abandon her. But, with newcomers, her  suite was sufficiently imposing when she drove  into Evreux on the morning of her arrival, to  be met by the Prefect and the Mayor, the  National Guard, the townspeople and the local  clergy, all eager to do honour to their new  neighbour on her way to Navarre. She was at  once pleased and pained. ” The inhabitants  have been most attentive,” she wrote to her  daughter ; ” but this display of festivity looked  a little like complimentary condolences.”   Josephine’s first sojourn at Navarre lasted a  little over six weeks, and those weeks were no     The New Abode 537   more pleasant to her than she had anticipated.  The repairs to the house had been hasty and  incomplete. The rooms were vast and chilly,  the windows would not close, the roof leaked,  and the chimneys smoked. The chateau’s  situation in a valley, while giving beautiful  views of wooded hills from the windows in the  summer, made it very damp for the greater  part of the year. In April all was cold and  cheerless. The Household was invaded by a  spirit of revolt. To the desertions of December  1809, were added several others now. The  service of the retired Empress lost all charm for  many who had expected to find the honour  accompanied by pleasure and ease in the neigh-  bourhood of Paris, or even in Paris itself. Mme.  Ney, school friend of Hortense and niece of  Mme. Campan, produced a letter from her hus-  band in Spain, written before the departure to  Navarre, ordering her to go to Paris. Josephine  received the news with dignity and a singular  absence of malice. ” It would have been sweet  to me not to lose you,” she told her. …” But  I know that a woman’s first duty is to her hus-  band. Your obedience is proper, and I accept  your resignation. Believe in my regrets and     53 8 The Empress Josephine   in the friendship which will always attach me  to you. I will tell the Emperor and will do  my best to support your husband’s wish to see  you attached to the Empress.” Mme. de  Turenne, who had not accompanied Josephine  to Navarre, soon followed Mme. Ney’s example.  Among the men the Comte Andre de Beaumont  and the Comte de Montholon found duties  which prevented their immediate presence ;  and the new almoner, Barral, Archbishop of  Tours, was detained in Paris by the marriage  festivities.   Nor was there harmony among those who  were loyal to their mistress. The ladies quar-  relled with Pierlot, the Intendant, whom the  attraction of Court life had taken away from  banking ; and when he brought over vanloads  of furniture to supply the great deficiencies of  the chateau, seized what they wanted before he  could stop them. Jealousy divided the ladies  themselves. A smile more from the Empress  to one of them produced several long faces, says  Mile. Georgette Ducrest, a niece of Mme. de  Genhs, whom Josephine had lately attached to  her suite and who has left a collection of  Memoirs of considerable personal interest.     Life at Navarre 539   Mile. Ducrest herself counted several enemies  through the presentation of a camellia to  her by Josephine.   It cannot be wondered at that a desire to  leave Navarre and return to Malmaison seized  upon the Empress as well as her Household.  The amusements, which consisted chiefly of  drives through the damp country by day and  sleepy games of backgammon with the seventy-  five-year-old Bishop of Evreux at night, could  not distract Josephine’s thoughts from Mal-  maison, which at this distance seemed indeed a  paradise. The Emperor was approached early  in April both about this and about an advance  of money for alterations necessary to ” make  Navarre habitable.” He sent Eugene to say  that he would consent to both, as appears from  Josephine’s letter of April ig, in which she  thanks him.   ” This double favour. Sire,” she continues,  ” goes far to drive away the great anxiety, and  even fear, inspired by Your Majesty’s long  silence. I was afraid of being entirely banished  from your remembrance. I see now that I am  not. I am therefore less unhappy, and even  as happy as it is possible for me to be hence-     540 The Empress Josephine   forward. I shall go to Malmaison at the end  of the month, since Your Majesty sees no  objection to this ; but I must tell you, Sire,  that I should not have availed myself so soon  of the hberty which Your Majesty has granted  if the house at Navarre did not call for urgent  repairs, for my health’s sake and for that of  the persons attached to my Household. My  idea is to stay at Malmaison for a very short  time. I shall soon take my departxire to go to  the waters ; but during my stay at Malmaison  Your Majesty may be sure that I shall live there  as if I were a thousand leagues away from Paris.  I have made a great sacrifice, Sire, and more  every day I appreciate its magnitude. This  sacrifice, however, shall be all it ought to be ;  it shaU be complete on my part. Your  Majesty shall not be troubled in the midst  of your happiness by any expression of my  regrets.”   The letter concludes with a request for a proof  both to her and to those about her that she  still retained ” a little place in his memory and a  big place in his esteem and friendship.” Its  tone is not unreasonable^ and it surely does  not merit either the severe criticisms of some of     A Lcttef of Thanks 541   the biographers ^ or the reply of Napoleon, who  wrote from Compiegne on April 21 complaining  of its mauvais style. He added, however, that  he heard with pleasure that she was going to  Malmaison and would be glad to exchange  news. This letter was brought by Eugene,  who divided his time between Navarre and  Compiegne. Josephine’s reply merits quotation  in full :   ” A thousand, thousand loving thanks for not  having forgotten me. My son has just brought  me your letter. With what eagerness I read it,  and yet I spent plenty of time in doing so, for  there was not a word in it which did not make  me weep ; but these tears were very sweet !  I have got back my heart entirely, and it will  always be as it is now. Certain feelings are  life itself and can only finish with Ufe. I should  have been in despair if my letter of the 19th  had displeased you. I do not remember its  exact wording ; but I know how painful was  the feehng which dictated it — the sorrow of not  hearing from you. I had written to you after   * E.g. M. Turquan (” L’LmpSratrice Josephine,” 228), who  declares the letter to be totally lacking in dignity. M. Masson  calls it a chef d’ceuvre, but questions the sincerity of her next  letter.     542 The Empress Josephine   my departure from Malmaison ; and since  then how many times have I not wished to write  to you ! But I knew the reason for your silence,  and I feared to importune you by a letter.  Yours was a bahn to me. Be happy, be as  happy as you deserve, it is my whole heart which  speaks to you. You have just given me my  share of happiness, and a share which I appre-  ciate to the full. Nothing to me can be worth  as much as a proof of your remembrance.  Farewell, mon ami. I thank you as tenderly  as I shall always love you.   ” Josephine.”   In answer to this and another letter, which  has not been preserved, Napoleon wrote briefly  from Compiegne on April 28, encouraging her  to go to the waters and protesting his unchanged  feelings toward her. One sentence in the note  calls for attention. ” Do not listen to the babble  of Paris,” he says ; ” they are idle and far from  knowing the truth.” The ” babble ” of which  Napoleon speaks seems to comprehend the  various rumours that were current while he  was at Compiegne, which made out that the  new Empress was jealous of Josephine’s prox-     “The Babble of Paris” 543   imity and that in consequence Malmaison was  to be bought back and Josephine reduced to  Duchess of Navarre or exiled to the Duchy of  Berg — just the kind of rumours which Parisian  idleness might be expected to breed. There  was no foundation for them at all in fact. On  the contrary, Napoleon showed himself most  wiUing to fall in with Josephine’s desire, ex-  pressed through the medium of Eugene, to draw  up a programme of her movements for the  remainder of 1810 and the spring of 1811. She  wished to go first to Malmaison, then at the end  of May to whatever waters might be best ; after  three months to proceed to the South of France,  Rome, Florence, Naples, and Milan ; to spend  the winter with Eugene and Augusta in Milan  and to return in the spring to Malmaison and  Navarre. In order to make Navarre her real  headquarters she must have money, however.  Napoleon agreed to the programme, and with re-  gard to the waters consented that she should even  go to Aix-la-ChapeUe if the doctors should think  that the best place for her, although he preferred  that she should go whither she had not already  been with him — for obvious reasons, seeing how  easy it was to make her tears flow. He would     544 The Empress Josephine   make no present of money for Navarre, but  would authorise the advance of the six hundred  thousand francs left, after payment of her  debts, out of the grants from the Crown Treasury  for 1810 and 1811, and would permit that the  one hundred thousand given for extraordinary  expenses at Malmaison should be diverted to  Navarre. ” I highly approve,” he told Eugene,  ” of her plan of making all her outlay on  Navarre.”   The reason for Josephine’s decision to ” make  all her outlay on Navarre ” is obscure. There  was the opportunity, of course, of indulging in  those schemes of reconstruction in which she  as much as Napoleon himself delighted. And  the place had begun to seem better to her than  at first. ” Residence at Navarre,” she wrote to  Hortense on May 3, ” pleases me much. I  am a stranger here to all intrigues.” Perhaps,  seeing what a creature of caprice she was, we  must assume that she had really taken a fancy  to Navarre, which the departure of the cold  weather rendered more attractive. As she had  written in her letter of April 3, ” one ought to  live at Navarre in the months of May, June,  July, and even the beginning of August; it is     Comparative Content 545   then the most enchanting place that there is.”  This year, however, she did not wish to put the  statement to the test, for in the middle of May  she brought to an end her first stay at Navarre  and returned to Malmaison, then in its spring  glory. Speaking of her double hyacinths and  tulips imported from Holland, she had once  cried : ” It is now two years that I have been  prevented from seeing them in flower. Bona-  parte always summons me to him just at the  moment ! ” In 1810 at least she had her  hyacinths and tulips and all the other delights  which Malmaison could offer. As for ” Bona-  parte,” she was in hopes of seeing him at the  end of the month, in accordance with the promise  written by him while touring with the Empress  Marie-Louise in Northern France and Belgium.     VOL. II 14     CHAPTER XXVIII   THE FIRST YEAR OF SEPARATION (continued)   NAPOLEON’S promised visit to Malmaison  took place on May 13, twelve days  after his return to Paris. Josephine has left,  in a letter written to Hortense next day, the  following record of her feelings :   ” You ask me what I am doing. I had an  hour of happiness yesterday ; the Emperor  came to see me. His presence made me happy,  although it renewed my sorrows. Such emotion  one would willingly go through often. All the  time that he stayed with me I had sufficient  courage to keep back the tears which I felt were  ready to flow ; but after he was gone I could not  keep them back and I became very unhappy.  He was kind and amiable to me as usual, and  I hope that he read in my heart all the affection  and all the devotion for him which fiUs me.”   Josephine’s tears passed away quickly, and  the same evening after the Emperor’s visit she   546     Hortense and Louis 54?   was riotously gay. Part of her cheerfulness  was no doubt due to the fact that she had gained  permission for Hortense to return no more to  Holland. After the visit to Compiegne in the  company of Napoleon and Marie-Louise and so  many of the Imperial family, Hortense had been  ordered, sorely against her will, to proceed to  Amsterdam to rejoin her husband. Her health  was still very bad, and Louis’s conduct was  worse. Josephine’s letters^ of the first half of  May manifest extreme anxiety, and her great  desire is that Hortense shall accompany her  to the waters to which she is going after leaving  Malmaison — Aix-la-Chapelle was her first idea,  which she abandoned later in favour of Aix  in Savoy (Aix-les-Bains). The Queen’s bodily  state grew alarming, and the wretched Louis,  who could live neither with nor without her,  consented that she should leave Amsterdam for  Plombieres at the end of May. Here she was  when she received her mother’s letter of May 14,  which, after describing the feelings aroused  by Napoleon’s visit, goes on :   ” I spoke to him about your position and he  listened to me with interest He thinks that’  you should not return again to Holland, the     54^ The Empress Josephine   King not having behaved as he ought to have  done. . . . The Emperor’s advice therefore is  that you should take the waters for the necessary  time and that then you should write to your  husband that the advice of the doctors is that  you should live in a warm climate for some  time, and in consequence you are going to  Italy, to your brother’s ; as for your son, he will  give orders that he is not to leave France. . . .  Your son, who is here just now, is very well.  He is pink and white.” ^   A few days after sending this news to Hor-  tense, Josephine set out for Aix-les-Bains.  She had chosen the place for reasons already  explained to her daughter. “My health re-  quires distraction above all, and I hope to find  more of that in a place which I have not yet  seen and whose situation is picturesque. The  waters are especially renowned for the nerves.”  Travelling under the name of the Comtesse  d’Arberg and accompanied only by Mmes. de  Remusat and d’ Audenarde, Mile, de Mackau, MM.   ‘ Of the two sons here mentioned, the first is Napoleon-  Louis, whose health was too delicate to allow him to live in  Holland, and who was accordingly in Paris now. The other,  at Malmaison when the letter was written, was Louis-Napoleon,  called by his doting grandmother ” Oui-Oui.”     Aix’IeS’Bains 549   de Pourtales and de Turpin-Criss^, she reached  Aix before the beginning of the season. Two  small houses were hired, and life was very  simple and quiet at first. As the news of her  arrival spread, however, visitors began to come  from Geneva, Chambery, Grenoble, and Northern  Italy, and a small, unceremonious Court formed  itself, restrained only by her determination to  maintain her incognito. Bathing, excursions,  tapestry-making, and reading aloud of the  latest novels from Paris passed the days peace-  fully. Only one incident produced any ex-  citement, when on a trip by water to the ancient  abbey of Hautecombe a storm nearly wrecked  the boat, causing Napoleon to write from  Trianon : “I heard with grief the danger  which you ran. For an inhabitant of the Isles  of the Ocean to die in a lake would be a  catastrophe ! ”   To judge by the letter which she wrote to  Hortense on July 3, Josephine was ill qontent  with her quiet surroundings at Aix. ” Let me  see you, my dear daughter,” she concludes.  ” Alone, abandoned, far from all my own ones,  and in the midst of strangers, judge how  melancholy I am and what need I have of     55° The Empress Josephine   your presence ! ” This complaint of solitude  and abandonment is scarcely borne out by the  facts. Before Hortense arrived from Plom-  bieres, bringing with her Julie Bonaparte, wife  of Joseph, who had been with her there, other  family visitors had not been lacking. Eugene  and Augusta had been seen on their way back  from France to Milan. Josephine’s young  cousin, Louis Tascher, whose marriage to Am61ie  von der Leyen, daughter of one of the ” medi-  atised ” Princes of the Holy Roman Empire,  had lately been carried through by Napoleon  at Josephine’s request, had come to Aix with  his bride, mourning for the terrible death of  her mother at the Austrian Ambassador’s ball  in Paris. Outside the family circle, there had  been Charles de Flahault, a young man whose  social accomplishments had won him the favour  of Josephine and still more of Hortense, whose  attachment to him unfortunately went so far  as to leave a stain upon her good name. Fla-  hault had preceded the Queen in coming from  Plombieres and was now attached to Josephine’s  suite, bringing with him an air of gaiety which  always appealed to her heart. Other new  friends included Mme. de Souza, formerly the     The Empress’s Circle 551   Comtesse de Flahault, Charles’s mother, who  afterwards brought up and educated Hortense’s  illegitimate son. Josephine was, therefore,  scarcely so desolate as her letter to her daughter  would make out. Still, there can be no doubt  that when joined by Hortense — who, in spite  of her ill-health and a continual propensity  to tears, brought with her to Aix her talent  for inventing social diversions and a decorous  literary and artistic atmosphei^e which might  be expected to surround Mme. Campan’s prize  pupil — Josephine found life more than tolerable  at Aix. Now she was the centre of an admiring  throng, and her Imperial liveries, as she drove  about the place, created a gratifying impression.  Visits to Geneva gave variety to her day, and  she at once startled and pleased the townspeople  with her dresses, her suite, and her affability  to every one. The life of luxurious calm was  one which she would naturally enjoy, and up  to the end of August nothing appeared likely  to disturb it. Early in September, however,  a change occurred. Josephine suddenly set off  to Secheron, a small and dull country place,  and took rooms at an hotel, leaving Hortense  at Aix. The only explanation which we have     55^ The Empress Josephine   of her conduct is in a letter written to her  daughter from Secheron on September 9 in  which occur the words :   ” I have not heard from the Emperor ; but  I thought that I ought to prove to him the  interest which I have in the Empress’s preg-  nancy. I have just written to him on the  subject. I hope that this proceeding will put  him at his ease, and that he will be able to  speak to me about it with a confidence as  great as my attachment to him.”   Josephine’s letter to Napoleon is not extant,  but his reply of September 14, acknowledging  its receipt, is in Queen Hortense’s collection.  The Empress is effectivement grosse de quatre  mois, he says. ” She is in good health and  is much attached to me.” That there was a  connection between Marie-Louise’s condition  and Josephine’s restlessness there can hardly  be a doubt. While France was rejoicing in  the expectation of an heir to Napoleon,^ Jose-  phine was making a tour round the Lake of  Geneva and, after Hortense had left Aix for     1 ” La grossesse de I’lmpSratrice est une joie puhlique, une  esp&rance nouvelle,” writes Mme. de R6musat in the letter men-  tioned on p. 555.     Expectation of an Heir 553   Fontainebleau by the Emperor’s order toward  the end of September, she extended her journey  to Neufchatel and Berne. Her great desire  now was that the Emperor should allow her  to cancel the programme which she herself had  submitted to him through Eugene in April  and to return at once to Malmaison. The  announcement of her successor’s pregnancy,  so far from causing her to wish to leave France,  had precisely the opposite effect. Those who  attribute her action to mere contrariety have  an easy task in explaining why this was so.  For Napoleon’s view was certainly that she  would do well to go to Milan, as originally  arranged. “Go to see your son this winter,”  he wrote to her on October i, ” come back to  the waters at Aix next year, or else stay at  Navarre for the spring. I would advise you  to go to Navarre at once if I did not fear that  you would grow weary there. My opinion is  that you could only spend the winter suitably  at Milan or Navarre.” With this we may  compare two letters from Josephine to Hor-  tense, written from Berne on October 12 and  13 respectively :   ” If in three days from now I do not receive     554 The Empress Josephine   letters telling me what to do, I shall think that  the Emperor has not approved the request  which I made of him. I shall leave for  Geneva, . . . from Geneva I shall return to  Malmaison ; there at least I shall be in France,  and, if aU the world deserts me, I shall dwell  there alone, conscious of having sacrificed my  happiness to make that of others.”   ” After having reflected well ” — this is from  the second letter — ” I shall follow the Emperor’s  first idea and shall establish myself at Navarre.  It seems to me very unsuitable to go to Italy,  especially in the winter. If it was for a visit  of one or two months, I should gladly go to  see my son ; but to stop there longer is im-  possible. … I confess to you that if I were  obliged to remove from France for more than  a month I should die of grief. At Navarre at  least I shall have the pleasure of seeing you  sometimes, and it is so great a happiness for  me that I must prefer the place which brings  me nearest to my dear daughter. . . . My dear  Hortense, if I were to go to Italy, I am sure  that several persons attached to me would  send in their resignations. It is very melan-  choly to think of this 1″     Furthisr Sacrifice Needed 555   It is plain from the above letters that while  Napoleon wished his former wife to be in Italy,  or at most not nearer than Navarre, until  Marie-Louise had borne her child, Josephine  entirely rejected the Italian scheme (although  it was originally hers) and accepted Navarre  only if she could not yet obtain Malmaison.  Still more light is thrown on the matter by a  long letter from Mme. de Remusat in Paris  to Josephine in Switzerland, written apparently  in September or early October and included  in Queen Hortense’s collection.^ The writer  says that she has been unable yet to ask from  the Emperor, so much occupied in his own  affairs, the audience which Josephine had  desired her to ask, but has already seen ” sonie  important personages ” ; and the result of her  inquiries and observations is that Josephine’s  sacrifice still requires completion. Josephine  had hoped that the Emperor would be able  to bring about a meeting between her and  Marie-Louise, especially when the latter should     ‘ Letter 220 n. It is undated. M. Masson, from what  slight evidence there is, deduces that Josephine received it  between October i and 15, most probably in the first week  of the month.     55^ The Empress Josephine   be reassured by the expectation of a child  that her position was secure. ” But, madame,”  says Mme. de Remusat, ” if I am not mistaken  in my observations, the time has not come for  such a meeting.” Marie-Louise, in fact, was  jealous, and this feeling could but be increased  if Josephine were to return to Paris. Besides,  what could Josephine do at the time of the  birth of the so much desired child ? What  would the Emperor do, divided between his  duties of the present and his memories of the  past ? She could not be allowed to remain in  Paris. ” Malmaison, even Navarre, would be  too close to the gossip of an idle and often  evil-minded town. Obliged to depart, you  would appear to be leaving by command and  would lose all the honour due to courageous  conduct on your own initiative.”   Among those whom Mme. de Remusat had  seen was Duroc, the Grand Marshal. From  him she gathered that Josephine ought now  to make her last sacrifice and to write to the  Emperor announcing her intention.   ” By removing an embarrassment from which  his affection for you leaves him unable to escape  alone you will acquire new claims on his grati-     Josephine Resists 557   tude. And beside, apart from the reward  which always follows right and reasonable  conduct, may you not, with the amiable char-  acter which always marks you and your aptitude  to please and to make yourself loved, may  you not find in the course of a rather more  prolonged journey pleasures which you do not  foresee at first ? At Milan there awaits you  the sweet spectacle of a son’s merited success.  Flprence and Rome too would gratify your  tastes in a manner which would adorn your  temporary retirement. You would encounter  at every step in Italy memories which the  Emperor would see recalled with no vexation,  for to him they are connected with the epoch  of his earliest glories.”   There is much more in this strain. Mme.  de Remusat very clearly writes under the in-  spiration of Napoleon, conveyed through Duroc,  and no one could see this more clearly than  Josephine. She, however, had no intention of  being moved by such arguments as were ad-  vanced. She had the advantage in the struggle  with Napoleon now that he was still too tenderly  disposed toward her to give her a positive order  to visit Milan, while she had no hesitation in     55^ The Empress Josephine   acting against his mere wishes. Her end was  gained by a series of steps. She had arranged  in April to spend the winter at Milan. In  September she changed her mind on hearing  of the approaching event at Paris. Napoleon  had already said incautiously in a July letter  that he ” would be glad to see her in the au-  tumn.” Why not then in Paris ? He signified  his wish that she should go to Milan in view  of Marie-Louise’s condition, but did not forbid  Navarre. Seizing at once on Navarre, Josephine  prepared to set out for the place — by way of  Malmaison. She wrote to him saying that she  was leaving Geneva on November i and would  spend twenty-four hours at Malmaison before  settling down at Navarre. He appears to have  offered no objection, although experience should  have taught him that expressions of time  meant little to Josephine.   Before quitting Geneva, whither she had  gone after Berne, she stopped to purchase for  herself the little chateau of Pr^gny, on the  edge of the Lake of Geneva and facing Mont  Blanc. Here we find her stopping two years  later. She paid for the house and furniture  between one hundred and fifty and two hundred     ” Twenty^four Hours” at Malmaison 559   thousand francs, an extravagance which sadly  troubles her biographers.   Josephine started on her return journey, as  she had announced that she would, on Nov-  ember I, and arrived at Malmaison to spend  her ” twenty-four ” hours. Napoleon was still  at Fontainebleau with the Empress Marie-  Louise, which made it easier for the many  malcontents who regretted Josephine as soon  as they became better acquainted with her  successor to flock to Malmaison and pour out  their grievances to ears not likely to be closed  against them. For Josephine, although not  malicious, could hardly help being pleased to  hear what people had to say concerning the  woman who feared so much the possibility of  her presence near the Emperor. She had  been left in no doubt what was the attitude of  Marie-Louise toward her. Had not even Mme.  de Remusat’s inspired letter to her given her  a remarkable instance ? The Emperor one day  (Mme. de Remusat had related, on the authority  of Duroc), walking with Marie-Louise in the  neighbourhood of Malmaison, had offered to  ^ow the place to her in Josephine’s absence.  ” Instantly the Empress’s face was running     560 The Empress Josephine   with tears. She dared not refuse, but the  signs of her grief were so plain that the Emperor  made no attempt to insist.”   There was, indeed, no uncertainty as to the  younger Empress’s jealousy of the old, and  those who wished to torment her had a ready  means of doing so. The date of the following  story is uncertain, but it appears to belong to  the early days of Marie-Louise in France.  Napoleon, entering her room one day suddenly,  saw her examining something which she at once  endeavoured to conceal. Her agitation and the  marks of tears of course attracted his attention.  ” What is the matter, Louise ? ” he asked.  ” What have you got there ? ” He caught  hold of her hand and opening it discovered  a miniature of Josephine. Napoleon’s good  humour turned to wrath. ” Who gave you  that ? ” he demanded. Marie-Louise could find  no words, but threw herself into his arms  sobbing. ” You child ! ” he said. ” What is  the matter ? Why these tears ? Tell me, who  gave you this portrait ? I want to know.”  The more she wept, the more he insisted, and  at last she managed to stammer : “It was not  given to me ; I found it here on the sofa when     Marie^Louise and Josephine 561   I came in.” Although he soothed Marie-  Louise, against whose tears, like Josephine’s,  he was not proof, the Emperor was very angry.  The miniature (which represented Josephine  not as she was, but as she had been) might well  be supposed to have been dropped by him,  which it was doubtless the intention of the  person who had left it in the new Empress’s  room should be imagined to be the case.   There was a very distinct danger that there  should spring up in the Court two hostile  parties, those of Marie-Louise and of Josephine.  The latter’ s stay at Malmaison now threatened  to hasten the growth of the split. The feeling  was spreading from the courtiers to the servants  of the two households. The uniforms of the  two Empresses’ attendants were very similar,  and meetings between the opposing camps in  Paris resulted in quarrels which very soon  came to Napoleon’s ears. The trouble must  be stopped. He wrote to Mme. d’Arberg that  Josephine must leave for Narvarre as she had  promised. His own return to the Tuileries,  with Marie-Louise, was fixed for November 15.  On the 14th, as Josephine was still at Mal-  maison, he sent Cambaceres to her to hasten   VOL. II 15     5^2 The Empress Josephine   her departure. She could not go without  making the proper preparations, she protested,  and promised to leave on the 19th. Unfor-  tunately, her preparations were not quite com-  pleted when the 19th arrived, and it was not  until the 22nd that she actually reached Navarre,  having stretched her ” twenty -four hours ”  into nearly three weeks.     CHAPTER XXIX   JOSEPHINE AND THE KING OF ROME   IN Josephine’s absence of six months, her  architect had striven to make Navarre  at least ” habitable ” and capable of  being warmed if there were only sufficiently  big fires. The wetness of the neighbourhood  could not be overcome. ” You will do well to  leave your children in Paris when you come to  Navarre,” writes Josephine to Hortense in  December. ” It must be damp weather every^  where, but it is much more so here.” The Hfe  at the chateau, therefore, did not differ very  materially now from what it had been when  the first visit had been paid. The general  course of things was very quiet. Josephine  would come down from her room shortly before  breakfast, which was served at eleven o’clock,  with a considerable display alike of plate and of  attendance, two footmen standing behind the  mistress and one behind every one else at   563     564 The^Empress Josephine   table. Josephine was scarcely responsible for  this, since the Emperor insisted that the cere-  monial at Navarre should be kept up on a  high level. In the afternoons walks or drives  were taken when the rain permitted. In the  garden there was little to be seen in the winter  of 1810-11, though it was already beginning  to be a smaU imitation of Malmaison. Indoors,  where Josephine’s taste was principally dis-  played in her toilet (” very refined and elegant,”  says Mile. Ducrest, ” but not usually magni-  ficent “), there was little to be done except  to use the needle and listen to Mme. Gazzani  reading a novel aloud. Dinner, which was on  a much more elaborate scale than breakfast,  was followed by music, or backgammon with  the Bishop of Evreux, or billiards with one of  the gentlemen, or cards, Josephine often amus-  ing herself by fortune-telling with their aid.  Tea and then bed closed the day. ” Peace  sometimes takes the place of happiness,” Mme.  de Remusat had said of the visit to Aix ; and  the same might be said of Navarre.   A certain variety was given by the largeness  of the Household, reinforced by a number of  young girls whom Josephine had attached to     New Year at Navarre 565   herself, either because they could sing or be-  cause they otherwise pleased her. “It is said  at Navarre there are more women than men,”  remarks Napoleon in his letter acknowledging  Josephine’s New Year’s greetings. Stephanie  d’Areiiberg, formerly Tascher, had come to  live with her kinswoman, but was not a very  cheerful companion, for she was subject to  fainting-fits and attacks of nerves. It maybe  gathered from one of Josephine’s letters that  she herself suffered sometimes from nerves ;  or was it only from tears ? Her eyes were  troubling her, she wrote to Hortense. ” My  doctor says that it comes from having cried ;  but for some time past I have only cried oc-  casionally. I hope that the quiet life which  I lead here, far from intrigues and gossip, will  strengthen me, and that my eyes will get well.”  Josephine had hoped to have Hortense with  her over New Year, 1811, but the Queen’s  health was too bad to allow her to leave Paris.  In her absence Navarre was consoled by a  lottery, in which all the prizes were given by  the mistress of the house, and all distributed  with such singular appropriateness that it was  obvious that Josephine had taken the role of     566 The Empress Josephine   chance upon herself ; for the first lot fell to  the almoner, Archbishop Barral, who received  a ruby and brilliant ring (which he hoped the  ladies of the Court would come to kiss more  often than his old ring, he said), and no sub-  sequent mistake was made, unless it were that  Mme. Gazzani’s prize was equal in value to  those of the Palace ladies, in whose eyes the  fact that the lectrice had once attracted Napoleon  was no excuse for putting her on the same level  as themselves. The jealousies at her Court  had not ceased as it grew larger in consequence  of the formation of a clique friendly to Josephine,  because hostile to Marie-Louise — the Navarre  Party, as it came to be called.   The approach of Easter brought a little more  excitement into the calm life at the chateau.  On March 19 Josephine gave a ball to the  people of Evreux, and on the next day there  was a dinner at the Mayor’s, to which she was  invited with her suite. She sent the suite, but  remained at home herself with Mme. d’Arberg.  She was expecting to hear of an event which  made her too anxious to care about a dinner  at Evreux. The time of Marie-Louise’s delivery  she knew was at hand. Napoleon had written     Birth of King of Rome 567   to her : “I hope to have a son. I will let you  know at once.” She had already prepared a  gift for the messenger who should bring the  news ; a diamond pin worth five thousand  francs if the child should be a girl, one worth  twelve thousand if it should be a boy.   Curiously, by absenting herself from the  Mayor’s dinner Josephine received the announce-  ment later than if she had accepted the in-  vitation. The sound of the guns and bells at  Evreux reached her before the postmaster, who  had the news from a courier on his way to  Cherbourg, could reach her presence. According  to the postmaster’s account, when he communi-  cated the intelligence to Josephine he noticed  at first a slight frown upon her face. Then,  recovering her usual gracious manner, she said  to him : ” The Emperor cannot doubt the  lively interest which I take in an event which  crowns his joy. He knows that I cannot  separate myself from his destiny, and that his  happiness will always make me happy.” On  the following morning Eugene arrived from  the Emperor to bring full details. Josephine  sent back her congratulations, and on the 22nd  Napoleon wrote, in his own execrable hand,     568 The Empress Josephine   the note which Queen Hortense’s collection  reproduces in facsimile :   ” Mon amie, I have received your letter. I  thank you. My son is big and healthy. I hope  that he will do well. He has my chest, my  mouthj and my eyes. I hope that he will  fulfil his destiny. I am always quite satisfied  with Eugene. He has never caused me the  slightest sorrow.   ” Napoleon.”   Mile. Ducrest relates that Josephine was  intending to give the Imperial page who brought  her the letter the pin of twelve thousand francs  value, but was persuaded by Eugene that to  do so would be to make people think she wished  her munificence to be talked about, and she  therefore gave the present which she had  designed to make in the event of the birth of  a girl. Mile. Ducrest also states that Eugene,  to amuse his mother, gave her a description,  with the appropriate grimaces, of the scene in  Marie-Louise’s ante-chamber on the night pre-  ceding the birth, when Caroline Murat and  Pauline Borghese awaited the event which  was to give so much extra importance to the     A Concession from Napoleon 569   new sister-in-law whom they loved little more  than they had loved her predecessor. The  Bonaparte-Beauharnais feud had practically  ceased since the divorce, followed by Hortense’s  separation from Louis. But it had only ceased  because Josephine and her brothers and sisters-  in-law never met, and there had been no  reconciliation. Josephine, therefore, was still  likely to enjoy hearing of Caroline’s and  Pauline’s discomfiture, for all her pigeon-like  lack of gall.   In his happiness at the advent of his long-  desired son, Napoleon did not forget the wife  who had failed to present him with an heir.  He gave her permission, which she had already  intimated through Mme. de Remusat her wish  to obtain, to leave Navarre and come to Mal-  maison for the spring. She came in April and  returned to Navarre in June to spend her  birthday — her forty-eighth — in a place where  the celebration could not give offence to the  other Empress. The hope of meeting Marie-  Louise had faded away. Napoleon, if he had  ever thought seriously of the idea, had aban-  doned it in the face of the younger woman’s  obvious terror ; and we hear no more of     570 The Empress Josephine   Josephine’s desire to be brought face to face  with her rival.   The people of Evreux, whom Josephine had  quite won by her free-handed charities and the  gift of money for a theatre, felt no restraint  in displaying their gratitude to her. On the  morning of June 23 a band of young girls,  headed by the Mayor’s daughter, arrived at the  chateau and presented to her the good wishes  of the town, together with a bust of herself  under a canopy of flowers. Delighted with  this mark of affection, Josephine kissed the  young spokeswoman, invited the whole company  to breakfast, and distributed gifts among them  all. At night the town was illuminated, but  Josephine, who had grown circumspect, it  appears, would consent to no official fete in her  honour. She spent the evening at home, in  the midst of her own Household, who had  tricked themselves out as peasants for the  occasion and treated her to a poem of adula-  tion set to music, which did not fail to  please.   Navarre, indeed, had its compensations, al-  though it still needed reconstruction according  to its mistress’s ideas. She was contemplating      PRINCE NAPOLEON I.OUIS.  From a picture at Versailles. Plioto by Neurdin Frtres.     P- S70.     *’Oui-Oui” 571   large and expensive alterations when she decided  to leave it at the beginning of September i8iij  and return to Malmaison. Her reasons are  given in a letter to her daughter on the 5th of  the month. ” The approach of autumn,” she  wrote, ” and the great number of invalids in  my Household have made me leave Navarre,  my dear Hortense. I have been at Malmaison  for two days. My health is fairly good, and  to-morrow I shall have the pleasure of em-  bracing your two children.” The charms of  the society of Napoleon-Louis and ” Oui-Oui ”  were irresistible to her, and the erratic move-  ments of Hortense, fond mother as she had  the reputation of being, gave her the oppor-  tunity of enjoying them fully both now and  two years later. The younger boy was un-  doubtedly her darling, although she did no  injustice to the other. ” Everything about  them points to an excellent disposition and a  great love for you. The more I see of them,  the more I love them.” But it was ” Oui-  Oui’ s ” character which especially delighted her,  his sayings which she was always repeating.  The tales of the Emperor Napoleon III. as a  child are well known. One of them perhaps     572 The Empress Josephine   may be quoted here, in his grandmother’s  words :   ” Little Oui-Oui is always gracious and loving  to me. Two days ago, seeing Mme. de Tascher  departing to rejoin her husband at the waters,  he said to Mme. de Boucheporn [his governess] :  ‘ She must love her husband very much then,  as she is leaving grandmamma.’ Do you not  think this charming ? ”   Never do we see Josephine in a more lovable  mood than when she takes her httle grandsons  into the hothouses at Malmaison and gives  them sugar-canes to suck, buys stocks of toys  in preparation for their visit — ” but not sweets ;  be at peace, they shall not have any,” she writes  to Hortense — tells of their pink-and-white com-  plexions and ” not the slightest illness since  they have been here,” or admonishes their  mother : ” Keep yourself for them ; you are  so necessary to them ! ” ^   It is sad to turn from such a picture to that  of Josephine discussing with the ungrateful   ‘ Napoleon III. in his fragmentary recollections of his  infancy, it maybe recalled, says : ” My grandmother spoilt me  in the fullest sense of the word, while, on the contrary, my  mother, from my tenderest years, devoted herself to correcting  my faults and developing my character.”     Disloyal Discussions 573   Bourrienne the misdeeds of Napoleon. The  ex-secretary, though disgraced by the Emperor  for dishonesty, had been so far forgiven as to  be made representative of France at Hamburg.  During visits to Paris he used to call at Mal-  maison, and with Napoleon’s approval, he said.  ” StiUi he might have imagined that in my  conversations with Josephine in private it was  not always praise of him which came from our  lips.” Elsewhere Bourrienne asserts that Jose-  phine told him that the days when Napoleon  came to visit her were days of torture for her,  since he did not spare her feeUngs ! With this  we may contrast the manner in which Josephine  wrote to Hortense about Napoleon’s visits.  But, unfortunately, as she often showed in the  days when she was still reigning Empress, as  well as during the Consulate, she was always  prompt to pour out to her confidants her most  fleeting sentiments, regardless of the impression  which their repetition might have.   The visitors to Malmaison included many  beside the treacherous ex-secretary. The Na-  varre Party was flourishing, and the Empress  Josephine was now courted quite as much as  the Empress Marie-Louise. Her guests at     574 The Empress Josephine   breakfast were wont to number as many as  ten or a dozen, and others continued to come  in the a;ftemoon or to dinner. And not merely  visitors but tradespeople thronged to Malmaison  and helped to distract her mind from her griefs.  Bourrienne says that he once compUmented her  on the happy influence which dress and such  things had over her. ” Well, my dear friend,”  she replied, ” all this ought to be indifferent  to me, but it has become a habit.” She might  have added ” and an occupation,” comments  Bourrienne, for it was no exaggeration to say  that if from Josephine’s life are subtracted the  times spent on toilet and on tears, the length  would have been considerably diminished.^   But if toilet was an occupation to Josephine,  it was also, now as ever, an enormous expense.  When the Emperor had settled all her bills up  to the end of 1809 he provided, as he thought,  against any further lapse into debts. The  spending powers of Josephine and the incom-  petence or dishonesty of the intendants of her  Household had defeated his intention, and the  financial position was growing serious again. ^  But she did not in consequence contemplate   ‘ ” Memoires,” ix. ii. ” See p. 636.     A New Palace 575   any retrenchment. She had come to Malmaison  in September with her head full of the extensive  alterations which she desired at Navarre. At  Malmaison she abandoned the plans for Navarre,  but consulted her architect Fontaine with  regard to the erection of an entirely new chateau  here. There was no money for the purpose ;  but would not Fontaine suggest to the Em-  peror, when a favourable opportunity arose,  that he might buy back from her his gift of  the Elysee Palace ? Fontaine did as he was  asked. Napoleon welcomed the idea of re-  gaining the Elysee, which he had already been  compelled to borrow from Josephine in order  to house his Royal visitors on the occasions of  the wedding of Marie-Louise and the birth of  the King of Rome. He did not, however, see  his way to giving her a sum in cash for it. In-  stead he presented her with the chateau of  Laeken, which she had already visited in May  1807, when she went to meet Hortense after  the death of Napoleon-Charles. Since he had  purchased it in 1804 Napoleon had expended  large sums on Laeken and turned it into a  regular Imperial residence, for which its nearness  to Brussels fitted it well. The house had been     57^ The Empress Josephine   largely rebuilt and the furniture was new and  magnificent. The park which surrounded it  was large, and the gardens had been stocked  for the visit of Marie-Louise in 1811. The  exchange, therefore, was by no means dis-  advantageous to Josephine ; but, since it was  money for which she had asked, not a new  home, she was by no means satisfied with her  bargain. She did not venture to protest.  Napoleon signed the deed making the exchange  in February 1812. Josephine appears never  to have set foot in Laeken since she became its  mistress. Perhaps she was partly influenced  by the complaints in her Household, whose  outcry was loud at the confiscation of their  rooms at the Elysee and who gloomily prophesied  that it was the Emperor’s intention to make  Josephine a prisoner in the Belgian chateau.   The spring of 1812 found Josephine still at  Malmaison. The fatal war with Russia was  imminent and Napoleon was preparing to  leave Paris to put himself at the head of the  Grand Army. Eugene had been summoned  by him from Milan to take part in the cam-  paign and had visited his mother at the end  of April, bringing with him as usual the at-      NAPOLEON II.,  King of Rome, Due de ReichsUdt, etc.   From an engraving- by Weiss.     p. 576.     The Last Interview 577   mosphere of gaiety which always accompanied  him. Napoleon himself, who had not been seen  often at Malmaison of late, had also paid a  visit and consented at last that she should see  the King of Rome.^ In order to disarm Marie-  Louise, it was decided that the meeting should  be of an apparently accidental character. In  the Bois de Boulogne was a small chateau called  the Pavihon of Holland, formerly Bagatelle,  built by the Comte d’Artois in 1783 or 1784.  The young King used to drive but thither daily  with Mme. de Montesquiou, Imperial governess,  and on this occasion Napoleon accompanied  them on horseback. Josephine drove over  from Malmaison, and the meeting took place.   1 The majority of contemporary writers, although they are  vague, seem to place this meeting, which was also the last  interview between Napoleon and Josephine, in the spring of  1812. M. Masson says (” Josephine R6pudiee,” 290 n.) :  ” In the absence of positive information, I am inclined to  favour the winter of 1812 by the fact that there was then a  sort of softening on the part of Marie-Louise ; this is, however,  a mere iflduction.” Napoleon, however, did not return from  Moscow until the third week of December 1812, and he had  little time for domestic afiairs on his return.   M. Turquan, commenting on Josephine’s request to see the  little King, says (” L’Imperatrice Josephine,” 260) : — It  would have been more fitting if she had not approached this  subject, and especially if she had not asked her former husband  to show her the son whom he had by another woman.” Why ?   VOL. II 16     578 The Empress Josephine   On seeing the child, Josephine found it hard  to restrain her tears, as she had promised.  She embraced him desperately, loaded him  with kisses and affectionate words, and could  not cease admiring him, until the Emperor,  seeing that the promise would not hold good,  brought the scene to an end by saying she  should see the child again. According to the  general opinion, Napoleon and Josephine never  saw one another again after this day at  Bagatelle. They parted without a ” curtain.”  It is difficult to see why any of Josephine’s  critics should take her to task for the interest  which she manifested in the son of Napoleon  and Marie-Louise. Of course, to such as refuse  to admit any real love on her part for Napoleon  her request to see the boy must appear inex-  phcable unless prompted by mere curiosity.  But if we believe (as it seems impossible not  to believe) that she did bear, in her later life,  enduring love of a kind toward the man with  whom she had lived so long, her desire to see  his son, the crown of her sacrifice, is surely very  natural. And as regards her outburst of affec-  tion toward him at Bagatelle, it is what we  should expect of a woman who always showed     Josephine and Napoleon’s Sons 579   such delight in the young. If children pleased her,  how should not the child of Napoleon do so ?   As a matter of fact, she not only was ready  to love the King of Rome, but also another  son of the Emperor, the little Walewski who was  born in Poland in May 1810. Marie Walewska  had brought to Paris the fruit of Napoleon’s  infatuation for her and had 5delded to Jose-  phine’s pressing invitations to visit Malmaison  with her boy. The future Count Colonna  Walewski, Minister of Napoleon III., made a  conquest of the soft heart of Josephine, who  had toys for him as for her own grandsons. The  mother, too, was in her good graces and con-  tinued to visit Malmaison down to the time of  its mistress’s death. It was singular, perhaps,  that Josephine should display not only no  resentment but even a liking for the woman  who had, however much against her own will,  robbed her of some of the affection of Napoleon.  But it was at least characteristic of her to  forgive such injuries, for had she not taken into  favour Mme. Duchatel, who had caused her  so much anxiety in 1804, and had she not still  in her service Mme. Gazzani, who had set the  whole Court talking in 1807 ?     CHAPTER XXX   LAST DAYS OF THE EMPIRE   WHILE Napoleon, accompanied by Marie-  Louise, went to Dresden to meet his  vassals before beginning the march into Russia,  Josephine paid a short visit to Hortense and  her two children at Saint-Leu. A letter re-  mains in which she expresses her pleasure at the  time thus spent. It is dated Malmaison, June i,  1812, and begins as foUows :   ” My sweetest task on arriving here, my dear  daughter, is to tell you how enchanted I have  been with my stay at Saint-Leu. I regret not  having known that your departure would be  delayed. I also would have postponed my  return in order to be a longer time with yo\i  and your children. The few days which I  spent with you were for me a season of happiness  and have done me much good. All who come  to see me find that I have never looked better,  and I am not astonished. My health always   580     Josephine and her Grandchildren 581   depends on the impressions I have received,  and all with you were sweet and happy.”   Eugene, she adds, was very anxious that  she should go to spend some weeks at Milan  with his wife. He had, in fact, already asked  her to do so while he was in Paris waiting to  receive instructions concerning his part in the  campaign against Russia. Only Napoleon’s  permission was required, and this came in a letter  dated from Gubin, June 20. After making  the necessary preparations, Josephine was ready  to set out from Malmaison when suddenly  bad news arrived from Aix-la-Chapelle, where  Hortense now was with her children. Napoleon-  Louis had caught scarlatina, and his mother  was much alarmed. Had not a reassuring letter  followed almost immediately, Josephine would  have abandoned her Italian trip. ” It would be  impossible for me to go if the least fear remained  in my mind,” she writes on July 13, and on the  15th : ” I am glad to think that there is no  more ground for fear, and in reliance on this  I will delay my journey no longer. I shall  go to-morrow, the i6th, and perhaps I shall  hear again before I leave.”   Josephine went to meet a new set of grand-     582 The Empress Josephine   children at Milan, where she arrived on the  28th. Her description of the family to Hor-  tense is so graphic that there need be no excuse  for quoting her words :   ” Here I am at last at Milan. The pleasure  of seeing Augusta has revived me. Her health  is very good, and her pregnancy is far advanced.  I am with her at the Villa Bonaparte ; I have  Eugene’s rooms. You can imagine all the  pleasure it gave me to make the acquaintance  of his little family. Your nephew is very  strong, an infant Hercules. His sisters are  extremely pretty. The elder is a beauty ; she  resembles her mother in the height of her  forehead. The younger has a lively and clever  face ; she will be very pretty.”   Only three days after Josephine’s arrival  there was a fourth grandchild, the future Empress  Amelie of Brazil. Augusta, writes Josephine  the same day, ” is perfectly well, and her  daughter is superb, fuU of strength and health.”  On August 4 again she says : ” She is charming,  and, so far from being tired after child-birth,  I find her more beautiful and fresh than I have  ever seen her. Her children are superb ; the  eldest girl, especially, is remarkable.” She     Aix’IeS’Bains 583   was most obviously delighted alike with the  family and the mother, of whose ” tender love  for Eugene she saw constant proofs, which were  a great joy to her.” Her own health, how-  ever, was poor, and she was anxious to visit  Aix-les-Bains before returning to Malmaison.  But for the presence there of Madame Mere,  Pauline, and Cardinal Fesch — the oddly assorted  but mutually loyal trio, the austere old mother,  her beautiful and immoral daughter, and her  scheming priestly half-brother — Josephine  would have left Milan for Aix early in August  instead of remaining until the end of the month.  When she arrived she found Juhe, Queen of  Spain, with whom she was on good terms, and  her sister — once Desiree Clary, the rich Mar-  seilles merchant’s daughter whom Joseph Bona-  parte had so much desired Napoleon to marry,  and who was now, as wife of Bernadotte,  Princess Royal of Sweden. Both were very kind  to her, she says, and after their departure and  the approach of colder weather she left Aix and  paid a visit to her own chateau of Pregny.  ” I regret that you are not here with me,” she  writes to Hortense on October 2, a few days  after her arrival. ‘ The weather is very fine.     5^4 The Empress Josephine   The views of the Lake and of Mont Blanc are  magnificent. It only wants you at Pregny to  appreciate with delight the full charm of a quiet  life.”   In spite of Hortense’s absence, in spite also  of the small comfort and deficient furniture  of the house, Josephine thoroughly enjoyed her  few weeks at Pregny. The Genevans found  her interesting, amusing, distracting, if their  simplicity was rather upset by the manner of  life which she introduced in their midst. She  gave dinners and receptions, refused to see no  one who came to call upon her nor to go any-  where she was invited. If she could not re-  member many who claimed acquaintance with  her, it made no difference ; she had met so  many people in her life that she could well be  excused for lapses of memory. Her costumes  were marvellous. At a baU she appeared in a  lace-flounced and silver-embroidered gown of  pink crepe, cut low so as to show to full advan-  tage her necklet of large pearls worth about  one hundred thousand francs, while across  her forehead, round her neck, and among her  hair, dressed d la Chinoise, ran bands of silver.  Her associates, although they could not imitate     Josephine at Geneva 585   her magnificence, at least spent thought upon  then: toilets. It was the least they could do.  She asked so little of them, except that they  should help her to be amused. She made no  insistence upon her rank of Empress, and  etiquette was banished. She took her pla,ce  at the card-table with the rest, and there was  no hesitation about playing in her presence  blind-man’s buff and the like foolish games  which fifty years later brought unjustly harsh  reproach upon the Monday evening entertain-  ments at the Tuileries under Napoleon III. and  the Empress Eugenie.   On October 21 the ” quiet life ” at Pregjiy  came to an end, and Josephine returned to Mal-  maison, taking with her as a memorial of her  visit to Switzerland a shepherd and shepherdess  to live in the park and look after her Swiss cattle.  She arrived at an exciting time. The madman  Malet had escaped from his asylum and by  means of forged letters from the Senate had  seized Savary, Minister of Pohce. Before he  could be captured with two other conspirators,  he had spread the news that Napoleon had  died in Russia. Josephine, as appears from a  letter to Eugene, reached Paris the day after     586 The Empress Josephine   his arrest. ” If there had been the least danger  for the King of Rome and the Empress,” she  says, ” I do not know if I should have done  right, but very certainly I should have followed  my first impulse and should have gone, with  my daughter, to bear them company.”   The apparition of Josephine at the reigning  Empress’s Court, had she ” followed her first  impulse,” would probably have caused intense  astonishment ; but Hortense at least was  already well known there, having been accepted  by Marie-Louise with more friendliness than  she accorded to any of the Bonaparte family.  ” I feel an unbounded gratitude to her [Marie-  Louise] for the friendship which she shows  you,” says Josephine in an undated letter from  Malmaison to her daughter at this period.   Malet’s attempt was fortunately frustrated  without much difficulty and the mad conspiracy  nipped in the early bud. The report of Napo-  leon’s death, however, had caused a panic which  was much increased by . the knowledge that  treason was about. Still greater would it have  been had any one known, except the traitors  themselves, how widespread was that treason.  Josephine’s own Household, little as she was     Treason 587   aware of it, reeked of it. Her preference for  the people of the old rigime had surrounded  her with former imigrSs and ci-devants, men and  women, many of whom only looked forward  to the restoration of the Bourbons, and among  them, especially among the women, Talleyrand  had his agents, as he had everywhere else.^ All  was steadily preparing for the end which the  arch-plotter had in view, and Napoleon’s pre-  cipitate home-coming to Paris on December 18  was not a moment too soon.   Napoleon’s return after the first campaign  in which he could not conceal a serious defeat,  while it restored confidence to a certain extent,  could not banish doubt. Josephine, always  a prey to irrational superstitions, noted with  alarm the date of New Year’s Day, Friday,  January i, 1813. ” Have you remarked that  the year begins on a Friday and it is i8/j ? ”  she asked. ” It is a sign of great misfortunes.”  Her surroundings were not such as to relieve  her mind of terrors of this kind. With the  Emperor back in Paris, Malmaison ceased to be  the fashionable resort. The real Court again   1 M. Masson, ” Josephine R6pudi6e,” 285 ff., goes into  this matter in detail.     588 The Empress Josephine   took the place which in his absence it was in  danger of losing through Marie-Louise’s failure  to please ; and the older Empress was conse-  quently deserted in comparison with her rival.  It was not allowed by etiquette that any one  should be received by Josephine who had not  first been to the Tuileries. The Duchesse de  Reggio, Oudinot’s second wife, illustrates this  in her account of her first visit to Malmaison  with her husband. ” The graciousness with  which the Empress Josephine received me,”  she says, ” surpassed all my expectations.  After having made me sit by her on her sofa, she  addressed to me the crowd of kind and affection-  ate questions which put heart into a timid  young woman whom one wishes to encourage.  She was holding a spray of white camellia, a  new product of her magnificent hothouses.  She gave it to me with an infinite grace. I  took it, much moved, half-rising from my seat,  and the Marshal, who followed all with his eyes,  told me later that he was satisfied with the way  in which this little scene passed. ‘ Have you  been presented ? ‘ Josephine asked me ; and  I felt that I blushed as I answered, ‘ Yes,  madame.’ ‘ To the Emperor and — the Em-     A Compensation 589   press ? ‘ she went on. And I felt that I  blushed more foolishly still as I answered this  second question with a second * Yes, madame.’  Soon after the Empress rose and went to find  the Marshal, who was engaged in conversation  at the end of the room. She had not seen him  for two years. He complimented her on her  appearance of good health. ‘ Yes,’ she replied  with a sweet, resigned air and a melancholy  smile, ‘ that is my compensation for being no  longer reigning Empress ! ‘ ”   The Emperor’s departure again in April gave  visitors to Malmaison greater freedom, but it  also drew away from Paris all the men who  were to share in his great effort to repair the  disaster of the retreat from Moscow. Josephine’s  chief consolation in this gloomy year was the  prolonged stay with her of Hortense’s two  children. She went to Saint-Leu to fetch them  in May, and they were still with her in August.  Her letters to Hortense, who was spending the  summer at Aix-les-Bains, are full of them and  their endearing ways. But she was not spoiling  them, she hastened to assure their mother.  ” Be quite easy about them. Your instructions  about their diet and their studies are followed     59° The Empress Josephine   exactly. When they have worked well during  the week, I have them to breakfast and dinner  with me on Sunday. What proves that they  are well is that every one finds that they have  grown.” When Hortense returned to take  the children to Dieppe, we may be sure that  Josephine shed many tears at losing them.   In the vast struggle between Napoleon and  all Europe the history of Josephine to a great  extent fades from the view. Mentions of her  are few and the little which survives of her  correspondence is without importance. She  lived on at Malmaison in the midst of her  diminished Court, her flowers and animals —  and her debts. It is singular that the last letter  from Napoleon to Josephine which Queen  Hortense includes in her collection deals with  the subject of her expenditure. The letter was  written at 8 a.m. on some Friday in 1813,  presumably later than Napoleon’s return to  France after Leipzig, and runs :   ” I send to inquire how you are, for Hortense  has told me that you were in bed yesterday.  I was angry with you about your debts. I do not  wish you to have any ; on the contrary, I hope  that you will put by a million every year to     Praise for Louis 591   give to your grandchildren when they marry.  However, never doubt my friendship for you  and give yourself no concern on this point.  Farewell, mon amie. Tell me that you are  well. They say you are getting as stout as a  good farmer’s wife from Normandy.   ” Napoleon.”   In the almost total absence of any corre-  spondence to enlighten us, it is impossible to  say how far Josephine comprehended the mean-  ing of the struggle of 1813 and how its incidents  affected her. A letter remains which she wrote  to Hortense on hearing of Louis Bonaparte  rallying to the Emperor in November. The  Remusats had dined with her at Malmaison,  she teUs, and informed her that Louis had  written to his brother, saying that he asked  nothing better than to be with him at the  moment of his misfortune. To Josephine his  conduct appears very praiseworthy, but Louis’s  return makes her fear fresh tortures for Hortense,  and she is afflicted by the thought. ” Courage,  my dear daughter ; a soul as pure as yours always  in the end triumphs over all.” Hortense in her  reply shows herself forgiving to her husband.     59^ The Empress Josephine   ” He is a good Frenchman,” she says. ” He  proves it by returning to France at a moment  when all Europe declares itself against her.  He is an upright man, and if our characters  could not be sympathetic it is because we had  faults which could not exist together.”   In her November letter Josephine speaks  also of Eugene’s successful retreat before the  Austrian forces. She was destined to feel some  anxiety about Eugene before the end of the  war. The Viceroy of Italy had received over-  tures from his father-in-law, the King of  Bavaria, inviting him, in decently veiled lan-  guage, to betray Napoleon, as Joachim Murat  had already done at Naples, on the under-  standing that his family should be assured an  advantageous position in Italy. Eugene, who  was loyally supported by Augusta, rejected the  suggestion and proudly declared his conviction  (did he feel it ?) that King Maximilian- Joseph  would prefer to see his son-in-law an honourable  nobody than a traitor king. The only dealings  which he would have with the Allies were on  the subject of leaving his wife, who was ex-  pecting another child, at Milan in the event of  his evacuating Italy.     Eugene wrongly Suspected 593   Eugene displayed, in fact, the utmost faith-  fulness to his trust. Unfortunately, as had  always been the case, his intelligence was not  equal to his loyalty, and the indecision which  he showed in command of the Italian troops  caused Napoleon, embittered by the conduct of  Bern ado tte and Murat, and merely knowing  that the Viceroy was in communication with  the enemy, to suspect his step-son of thinking  of his own interests and inclining to make  arrangements with the Allies. He took, there-  fore, a curious step, in view of his usual attitude  toward the interference of women in political  afiairs. Instead of appealing to Eugene directly,  he wrote to Josephine and Hortense asking them  to urge Eugene to carry out his orders. Con-  sequently we find Josephine writing to her son,  under the date of Malmaison, February 9, 1814 :   ” Do not lose an instant, my dear Eugene ;  whatever the obstacles, redouble your efforts  to fulfil the orders given you by the Emperor.  He has just written to me on the subject. His  wish is that you should march toward the Alps,  leaving in Mantua and the Italian fortresses  only the troops belonging to the Kingdom of  Italy. His letter finishes with these words :   VOL. II 17     594 The Empress Josephine   ‘ France before all ! France has need of all  her sons ! ‘ Come then, my dear son, hasten.  Your zeal will never be of more use to the  Emperor. I can assure you that every moment  is precious. I know that yovir wife was pre-  paring to leave Milan. Tell me if I can be of  service to her. Good-bye, my dear Eugene, I  have no more time except to embrace you and  to teU you again to come very quickly.”   Eugene was profoundly hurt. His mother’s  letter had confounded him, he replied, and he  had not thought it would be necessary at this  late stage to give proofs to the Emperor of his  fidelity and devotion. He had received no posi-  tive orders to retire to the Alps, and he had  thought himself within his rights in remaining  in Italy. An animated correspondence fol-  lowed between him and Augusta on the one  hand, and the Emperor on the other,^ in which  the Emperor certainly did not have the best of  it, although he was at pains to put himself right  in their eyes, insisting that what he had desired  was that Augusta’s child should be born in the  midst of her family in France and making no  mention of any doubts about Eugene, On the   1 It is set forth in Eugene’s ” Memoires,” vol. x.     Josephine’s Anxiety 595   contrary, he wrote to the latter : ” I paid you no  compliment [on your reply to the King of  Bavaria] because you only did your duty, and  it is a simple matter.”   If we were to judge by the remains of her  correspondence — which woTild be unfair, seeing  how fragmentary it is — we should imagine  that Josephine was chiefly concerned about  Eugene’s retention of his position in Italy,  whatever else might occur. ” I am con-  vinced that the Emperor will cede Italy,” she  writes to Hortense, ” but, no matter what  happens, our dear Eugene will have won a fine  reputation, and that is the chief thing.” Her  anxiety for her son was natural ; but there were  other things going on around her which might  profitably have employed her attention. As the  AlUes gradually forced their way toward Paris,  the conspiracy, within the city grew stronger  under the direction of Talleyrand, ” assuredly  the greatest enemy of our house,” as Napoleon  wrote to his brother Joseph. And at Malmaison  was one of the ” laboratories of treason,” as  M. Masson says.^ In the collection of former   ^ ” Josephine Repudiee,” 321, where he gives a list of the  traitors in Josephine^s Household. See also ib. 328.     59^ The Empress Josephine   Royalists and aristocrats with whom the mis-  tress had dehghted to surround herself no  feelings of gratitude toward the Empire acted  as a restraint, and Josephine’s dearest friend,  Mme. de Remusat, was among the plotters.  Josephine was ignorant of all that was taking  place, no doubt. But was it not probable that,  if she had been less acutely anxious about the  future of her own immediate family, she might  have been able to supervise the doings of her  Household ?   The approach of war toward the walls of  Paris, however, deprived her of all power of  reflection, and there was no one to advise her  loyally. She thought of going to join the  Emperor, as previously she had thought of  flying to Marie-Louise. But she did not move.  She sat with her ladies at Malmaison, making  bandages for the wounded like the other  Empress’s Court. All visitors from Paris were  eagerly questioned by her, as if she were hkely  to get information of importance from them,  ” She asked inconsequent questions,” say^ Mile.  Ducrest, ” and made no answers to the questions  addressed to her ; her whole mind was de-  ranged and her eyes were wet with tears.”     Malmaison Abandoned 597   The end was now at hand. The Allied Armies  were within a few days of Paris. The Empress  Marie-Louise and the King of Rome, by the  decision of the Council of State and the Em-  peror’s own orders, were on the point of leaving  for Blois. Hortense, who had been ordered to  accompany the Court, wrote to her mother  announcing the news. Josephine’s despairing  reply, sent from Malmaison in March 28, was  as follows :   ” My dear Hortense, I had courage up to the  moment when I received your letter. I cannot  think without anguish that I am separating  myself from you, God knows for how long a  time. I am following your advice ; I shall  leave to-morrow for Navarre. I have here only  a guard of sixteen men, and all are wounded.  I win keep them, but really I have no need of  them. I am so unhappy at being separated  from my children that I am indifferent to my  fate. I am troubled only about you. Try to  send me news, to keep me informed of your  plans, and to tell me whither you go. I shall at  least try to follow you from afar. Good-bye,  my dear daughter ; I embrace you tenderly.”   On the following morning, which was wet and     59^ The Empress Josephine   cold, Josephine set out from Malmaison with  her Household and all that she could take with  her from Malmaison. In ready money she had  little over fifty thousand francs, collected from  Hortense and the Duchesse d’Arenberg. In a  wadded petticoat were sewn her most valuable  diamonds and pearls, her jewellery cases were  loaded in her carriage with other objects dear  to her heart. Would she ever see Malmaison  again ? She passed the two days of the journey  in misery. At one point, according to a story  told by the Duchesse d’Abrantes, a servant  caught sight of a few horsemen and cried out,  ” The Cossacks ! ” Josephine opened her  carriage-door, sprang out, and started to run.  Her followers caught her up, and at last, after  swearing to her that there was not a Cossack in  sight, persuaded her to return to her seat.   Another letter to Hortense was written on the  morrow of Josephine’s arrival at Navarre. It  is the last in the Queen’s collection.   ” I cannot tellyou how unhappy I am,” says  Josephine after announcing her arrival. ” I  have had courage in the painful positions in  which I have found myself, I shall have it to  bear the reverses of fortune ; but I have not     A Curious Point 599   sufficient to put up with my children’s absence  and the uncertainty of their fate. For two  days I have not ceased to shed tears. Send  me news of yourself and of your children ; if you  have any of Eugene and his family, let me hear.  I very much fear no news will come from Paris,  seeing that the post from Paris to Evreux has  broken down — ^which has led to the circulation  of a lot of news. Among other things, it is  asserted that the Neuilly bridge has been  occupied by the enemy. This would be very  near ta Malmaison. …”   In these last surviving letters of Josephine  there is a curious lack of reference to Napoleon.  They are full of love for her children and her  grandchildren. That of March 31 betrays  anxiety for the fate of Malmaison. Of the  Emperor there is not a word. We hear from  other sources that Josephine had expressed a  wish to go to the Emperor to sustain him (!)  in his hour of trial, but from her letters to  Hortense one would not gather that she felt  any concern for his fate.     CHAPTER XXXI   THE END   SCARCELY had Josephine settled herself  at Navarre with such members of her  Household as did not prefer to remain in Paris  to greet the Allied Armies’ arrival, when a letter  came from Hortense to the effect that Paris had  capit^jMed and that the Emperor was at Fon-  tainebleau. On April i Hortense herself ap-  peared at Navarre. Offended by an order from  the Empress Regent, which reached her at  Rambouillet on March 31, to come with her  children to Blois, the Queen of Holland had  changed her mind and refused to go to Blois.  Marie-Louise’s order had been brought by  Louis Bonaparte’s messenger and had both  hurt Hortense’ s susceptibilities and aroused  her suspicions. She sent back a refusal to obey,  cut herself off from the Court, and started for  her mother’s estate, taking her two sons with  her. At Navarre she found awaiting her a   600     At Navarre 60 1   cold reception from the Household, who never  appreciated the etiquette which always envel-  oped the Queen of Holland ; but from Josephine  a most loving welcome. ” The pleasure of  embracing her daughter and grandchildren,”  writes MUe. Cochelet, who accompanied Hor-  tense, ” was a great consolation to the Empress  Josephine, who was tortured inexpressibly about  the Emperor’s fate.” Hortense’s faithful fol-  lower continues : ” What days were this Satur-  day and Sunday ! All that had been most  brilliant among us at Paris was at Navarre :  the Duchesse de Bassano, who arrived there  with her children and her sisters, on her way to  Alengon ; Mme. MoUien, so fondly attached to  the Queen, who had gone from her own home  to the Empress Marie-Louise and was already  returning from Blois, where she had left her  husband ; Mme. Gazzani, tearful and still  beautiful. And all without a man, without a  notion what to do ! ”   Josephine lodged her daughter in the smaller  chateau, which from April 1810 had been  assigned to her whenever she should be able to  visit Navarre. She herself stopped in the larger  building, waiting for the arrival of tidings which     6oa The Empress Josephine   she knew could only be bad and racking herself  by reading all the newspapers on which she  could lay hands. In her letter to General  Caffarelli’s wife, written on April 7, she says :  ” I reached here on the 30th and the Queen two  days later, with her children. She, too, is ill  and as painfully affected as I am. Our hearts  are broken at all that is happening, and par-  ticularly at the ingratitude of the French. The  papers are full of the most horrible abuse. If  you have not read them, do not take the trouble,  for they will hurt you.”   The order of events during the early days of  April 1814 is rather uncertain, the various  accounts conflicting. As far as can be gathered,  the intelligence of the Emperor’s abdication  came with dramatic suddenness. It was night,  and all at Navarre were fast asleep, when the  sound of a carriage and horses was heard coming  up the avenue and approaching the building.  The carriage stopped in the courtyard, and a  few minutes later there was a knock at the  Empress’s door. Josephine rose and hastily  put on a dressing-gown. She found that her  visitor was M. de Maussion, auditor to the  Council of State, who had been sent by the     News of the Abdication 603   Due de Bassano to convey to his Duchess in-  formation of the abdication, and who had  turned aside from his road to inform the Empress.  At first Josephine failed to take in the news, and  could only understand that it was a disaster  of which she was being told. But the Emperor  was alive ? She made the messenger repeat  his assurance that this was so. At last she took  a candle and asked Maussion to come with her  to Queen Hortense, who had already awoken  and was eagerly awaiting them. Maussion  again told his tale, and now Josephine under-  stood that the Empire had fallen, that the  Bourbons were back, and that Napoleon was  going into exile. According to Mile. Cochelet,  the name of Elba was already mentioned. ” I  shall never forget the Empress’s exclamation,”  she writes, ” when M. de Maussion related that  the Emperor was going to the island of Elba.  * Oh, Hortense,’ she cried, bending over her  daughter, ‘ what misery for him, confined to  the island of Elba ! Oh, were it not for his wife,  I would go and shut myself up with him ! ‘  We all were in tears at the sight of the anguish  of the poor woman who had already suffered  so much,” Mile. Cochelet, however, naturally     6o4 The Empress Josephine   pays more attention to the feehngs of her mis-  tress the Queen than to those of Josephine, and  relates how Hortense made up her mind that  she must leave France. ” My mother can stay  in France, since her divorce leaves her free, but  I bear a name which makes residence here  impossible now that the Bourbons are back.”  Her plan was to sell her diamonds and to go to  Martinique to Uve on the estate now belonging  to Josephine at Trois-Ilets. ” It will be a great  sacrifice, of course, to le^ve France, my mother,  and my friends, but there I shall be in peace.  I shall bring up my children well, and that will  be my consolation.” The resolve was heroic,  but for the moment Hortense was fully deter-  mined to put it into execution. We do not  hear how Josephine received the news, nor how  she and her daughter passed the next few days,  except that at the end of a letter affirming her  determination not to go to Malmaison Hortense  says: “My mother combats all my plans and  tells me that she has need of me.” This was  written to Mile. Cochelet, whom she had sent to  Paris to make preparations to accompany her  to Martinique.  On March i6 the ” Journal des Debats ” made     Return to Malmaison 605   the announcement that ” the mother of Prince  Eugene has returned to Malmaison.” ^ It was  true. Mile. Cochelet had found in Paris, es-  pecially among the Russians^ a desire that the  Beauharnais ladies should come back to Mal-  maison at once. Josephine needed no encour-  agement to bring her to her beloved home.  Already she had written to a friend in Paris  suggesting it. But Hortense was still otherwise  minded in spite of the flattering assurance of  Nesselrode to MUe. Cochelet that she had nothing  to fear and that every one was full of affection  for her and her mother and brother. She did  not see how she could desert the Bonapartes  in their evil hour. The greater their misfortune,  she told Mile. Cochelet, the more she wished to  share it with them. Her brother would be  happy, her mother would have her country and  her property ; but she, for her children’s sake,   ‘ This title, as it appeared later, was not satisfactory to  Josephine. When the ” Debats ” spoke of the Tsar dining at  Saint-Leu on May 14 with ” Prince Eugene, his mother and  sister,” she complained : ” Can they not speak of me with  a little more respect ? Must I thus follow after my son ? It  is most unsuitable. I have a name, I was on the throne, I  was crowned and consecrated. The Emperor Alexander has  specially protected me ; as soon as he was master of the  Neuilly bridge he sent me a safeguard to Malmaison. Why  theii call me ‘ the mother of Prince Eugtae ‘ ? ”     6o6 The Empress Josephine   must go into exile. The pressure redoubled.  Constant messages came from Nesselrode, with  promises of a visit from the Tsar Alexander if  only she would go to Malmaison. It was even  intimated that Napoleon himself wished her to  go thither, and that her children’s future, in his  opinion, depended on it. But Hortense was  unconvinced. She set out again for Rambouillet,  where Marie-Louise now was. ” The advice of  the Due de Vicence [who had brought Napoleon’s  alleged message] can be followed by my mother,”  she said. ” She will go to Malmaison, but I  stay ; I have only too good reasons. I cannot  separate my cause from that of my children.”   Josephine, therefore, left Navarre without  her daughter. She had already departed when  a message from the Due de Berry arrived,  offering her an escort to Malmaison and assuring  her that he would be charmed to do all that  might be agreeable for her, having for her ” as  much respect as admiration.” The humiliation  of accepting this offer was spared her, and she  reached Malmaison without a Royalist guard  of honour.   The desire which Alexander of Russia had  expressed, through Nesselrode, of seeing Jose-      ALEXANDER I., EMPEROR OF RUSSIA.  From ail engraving after Wolkoff.     p. 606.     Josephine and the Tsar 607   phine and Hortense in Paris was genuine, as  he lost no time in showing. A message reached  Malmaison on the day of its mistress’s arrival  that the Tsar would pay a call on the morrow.  He came in the afternoon and from the begin-  ning showed the greatest deference. Alexander  was at this time thirty-five years of age and  hardly looked as old, although his golden hair  had begun to recede from his high forehead.  His sky-blue eyes, rather short-sighted, were full  of amiability, and a benevolent smile was  habitual on his lips. His attentive courtesy  to ladies was well known, and when he exerted  himself he could not fail to please. At Mal-  maison he succeeded at once. Josephine fell  under the speU of his kindly personaUty, and  in her turn appeared to make a most favourable  impression. This first call gave the note to  their future intercourse. The same was not  the case with Hortense, who arrived quite un-  expectedly at Malmaison on the day of the  Tsar’s visit. After Josephine’s departure from  Navarre she had gone to Rambouillet, in a fit  of contrition for her disobedience to the Em-  press’s recent order, and had offered her services  to Marie-Louise. But the latter had received     6o8 The Empress Josephine   her with chilly thanks and an air of embarrass-  ment, unable to respond to Hortense’s generous  expressions of loyalty to the fallen cause.  Seeing that she was not wanted at Rambouillet,  and beginning to see that her departure to  Martinique might not be pleasing to Napoleon,  Hortense determined to rejoin her mother. On  her meeting with Alexander, however, she  showed none of Josephine’s friendliness. ” So  amiable ordinarily,” says Mile. Cochelet, ” she  scarcely showed herself so to him. She remained  cold and very dignified, and made no response  to the offers which the Emperor made to her  with regard to her children.”   Alexander, however, was sincere in his pro-  fessions toward mother and daughter, and,  undeterred by Hortense’s first reception of  him, while delighted with Josephine’s ” ami-  ability, kindness, and unconstraint,” asked to  be allowed to call again. Josephine gave her  permission gladly, for which, and for her general  attitude toward Alexander, she has been  severely taken to task by many Bonapartist  writers. In the circumstances in which she  was placed her behaviour was at least excusable.  She was indeed ” the mother of Prince Eugene ”     Inconsistent Critics 609   and of Hortense, as well as the discarded wife  of Napoleon Bonaparte. Eugene’s loyal con-  duct alone, perhaps, would have been sufficient  to induce the Allies to treat him favourably,  and Hortense had, if she chose to accept it,  the sympathy of Europe. Nevertheless, their  mother may be pardoned for her anxiety that  they should come well out of the rearrangement  following the Empire’s fall. Her eagerness  about her own interests, and particularly about  Malmaison, was less admirable. Yet, since her  critics condemn her selfishness on every occasion,  it is somewhat surprising that they should not  now dismiss it as merely natural. She was  undoubtedly fearful lest she might be separated  from the home, the treasures, and the life of  ease which she loved so well. That she shoiild  make what efforts she could to retain them was  all that could be expected of her, unless adver-  sity was to make of her an entirely different  character and turn a pleasure-loving and self-  indulgent woman into a dignified and self-  denying heroine, who, in order to secure for  herself a future of lonely exile (since by no means  would she have been able to accompany the  ex-Emperor to Elba, was ready to refuse all  VOL. II 18     6io The Empress Josephine   terms from the conquerors of France. It is a  blow to Napoleon’s thick-and-thin supporters  that she who had once been his wife should seem  to forget his past generosity to her and her  family ; ^ but is their attitude reasonable ?  Certainly not, on their estimate of her char-  acter.   At the same time, it is true that the world  would have reason to think better of Josephine  had she thought less of her own position at  Malmaison ; had she refrained from complain-  ing, as MUe. Ducrest says that she complained,  that Napoleon neglected to see that she was  paid the pension which he assigned her ; and  had she not desired to write to the Royalist  Government asking for the title of Constable of  France for Eugene, and, perhaps, of Duchesse  de Navarre for herself.   The Tsar Alexander quickly availed himself  of the permission to caU again at Malmaison.   1 This generosity lasted to the end. By the treaty signed at  Fontainebleau (which, as M. Masson says, is really Napoleon’s  will) he assigned to Josephine a pension of a million francs a  vear ; and, out of 2,500,000 assigned by Article 6 to the  Imperial family, 400,000 to Hortense. Joseph and Jerome  were to have 500,000 each ; Madame M6re, Elisa, and Pauline,  300,000 each ; Louis, 200,000 ; and EugSne un itablissement  convenahle hors de France.     Society” at Malmaison 6 1 1   He was followed by the King of Prussia and  his two sons, by other German princes from  Baden, Bavaria, Mecklenburg, and by crowds  of visitors of all nationahties. If the Duchesse  de Reggio is to be believed, even the Comte  d’Artois was seen at Malmaison. The Emperor  of Austria, it was said, felt embarrassed at the  idea of calling ; but Josephine remarked :  ” Why, indeed ? Not at all ! It is not I whom  he has dethroned, but his own daughter.”   On May 9 Eugene arrived in Paris from  Munich, whither he had gone after leaving  Italy, and the Beauharnais family were united  again. They found that Nesselrode’s assur-  ances to Mile. Cochelet about the feeling in  Paris toward them were scarcely exaggerated.  Eugene was well received by the Bourbons,  Hortense was offered and accepted the Duchy  of Saint-Leu, and French visitors, as soon as  they saw that it was the desire of the Court,  went like the rest of the world to Malmaison,  which had never seen so varied and brilliant a  society since 1809. In May 1814 Josephine  might almost have imagined herself Empress  again, did she judge only by the crowds throng-  ing her rooms.     6i2 The Empress Josephine   None who came to the chateau were more  warmly welcomed than Alexander, and none  came more often. Hortense’s coldness had been  overcome by the amiable persistence of his  attentions ; Eugene was persuaded of his strong  support in securing a suitable establishment  for him in Europe ; and Josephine’s liking for  him had only increased since the first day of  their meeting.’ He had become a genuine  friend of the family and could be seen frequently  walking in the park at Malmaison with the  mother on one arm, the daughter on the other.  Might he not also see Saint-Leu ? he asked.  Hortense was delighted. ” Your Majesty must  not expect to see a royal residence,” said  Josephine. ” Saint-Leu is only the simple  home of a woman of the world, and Your  Majesty must be prepared to make every allow-  ance for the modest reception which he will  get.” On this understanding, which in no way  dismayed the Tsar, a man of rather simple  tastes, it was arranged that the visit should be  paid on May 14. From this day dates the fatal  illness of Josephine.   When the 14th arrived, Josephine was already  feeling the effects of a cold, but she declared     Illness and Depression 613   that she never paid attention to such things,  and after the mid-day breakfast she drove out  with the Tsar, Horterise, Eugene, the Due de  Vicence, Mme. Ney, and two other ladies in a  char-d-banc to visit the neighbouring woods of  Montmorency. The weather was dahip, and  Josephine felt worse on her return to the house.  She took an infusion of the orange-flower water  which Napoleon had taught her to use and lay  down until dinner-time. To Mile. Cochelet  she confessed that she was suffering from a  frightful melancholy, which it took her all her  efforts to disguise from her children ; she could  not get rid of the idea that they would never  see fulfilled the promises which were made to  them. ” Must I again see my children wander-  ing and destitute ? ” she asked, ” The idea is  killing me ! ” In spite of her indisposition she  refused to give way, and when dinner was ready  she came down in one of her usual light and  low-cut dresses. Unable to eat, however, she  retired again for a Uttle and only reappeared  after the meal to assist Hortense and Eugene  in entertaining. Hortense sang to the Tsar  some of her own songs, and when he left he  appeared very pleased with his day at Saint-     6i4 The Empress Josephine   Leu. Still depressed by her bodily state,  Josephine sadly remarked that, though Alex-  ander was charming, he was not the only master.  ” My poor children, I am very much afraid that  you will reap nothing but fine words ! ” After  this gloomy prediction she rested in an easy-  chair for some time before she felt well enough  to go up to bed.   On her return to Malmaison next day,  Josephine received a troublesome visit from  her old acquaintance, Mme. de Stael. Th^  Duchesse de Reggio, who called at Malmaison  the same day, remarks that Mme. de Stael’s  visit was ” a good action in itself, if the woman  of genius had not been too anxious to make  capital of it for her studies of the human  heart.” The Duchess waited outside the room  where the meeting took place. ” When the  Empress and Mme. de Stagl appeared, we  noticed the air of great agitation and emotion  in the former. Mme. de Stael crossed the  room rapidly, bowed, and went out.” The  woman of genius had not found this particular  study of the human heart altogether satis-  factory. For when she had gone, Josephine  came up to the Duchess and two other guests,       MADAME DE STAEL.  Fruiii ,in engr^^ing lifter the picture by Mile. M. E. de Godefroy.     p. 614.     A Last Entertainment 615   one of whom was Mme. Walewska, still an  occasional visitor at Malmaison, and said :  ” I have just had a very painful interview.  Would you believe that, among other questions  which Mme. de Stael was pleased to put to  me, she asked if I still loved the Emperor ?  She appeared to wish to analyse my soul in  the presence of this great misfortune. I, who  never ceased to love the Emperor throughout  his happy days … is it likely that to-day I  should grow cold toward him ? ”   Josephine continued ailing, but would not  hear of abandoning her social duties. A week  after the scene described by the Duchesse de  Reggio, she had among her guests to dinner  at Malmaison the King of Prussia, his two  sons, and, according to some, the Russian and  Austrian Emperors as well. She forced her-  self to entertain them in her usual scanty  costume, and next morning was very much  worse. But Alexander and the Grand Dukes  Nicholas and Michael were dining with her  that night, and she not only appeared at the  table, but also at the dance after dinner opened  the ball with the Tsar and walked out with  him in the park. On the 25th she was still     6i6 The Empress Josephine   up and receiving visitors, though not really  fit to do so. She was much upset by seeing in  one of the papers a violent attack on Hortense  in connection with the removal of the body  of little Napoleon-Charles from Notre-Dame  to one of the Paris cemeteries, and her fit of  weeping over this did her considerable harm.  She awoke next day with a fever and attacks  of coughing. Her personal physician ordered  her to stay in bed and put a blister on her  neck. According to Lenoir, who says that he  called at Malmaison that day, she ought to  have been at the Tuileries to be presented to  King Louis. His statement is unsupported,  so that it cannot be said whether she really  had the intention of going to the Court of the  Bourbons as Eugene had already done. Death  at any rate saved her memory from this re-  proach.   Death was approaching rapidly. Alex-  ander was to have dined with Josephine again  on the 27th before leaving Paris for London.  He arrived with a large number of other  guests, including, it was said, the ” English-  man ” who had known Yeyette in Martinique  forty years before. Eugene was ill in bed     Death 617   like his mother, and only Hortense was able  to be present to receive those invited, who all  left early except the Tsar. He had already  displayed his anxiety on the 14th and 24th,  and now sent his own physician to see the  patient. Hortense called in other advice and  there was a consultation of doctors, who declared  Josephine’s condition to be grave. No im-  mediately fatal result, however, was expected,  although the case was stated to be one of  ” putrid fever.” Eugene wrote to his wife  hopefully and spoke of his approaching return  to Munich. On the night of May 28 only a  waiting-woman watched Josephine. In the  morning, Whit Sunday, it was seen that the  end was at hand. Eugene and Hortense came  to the bedroom and it was decided that  the sacraments should be administered. The  almoner, Monseigneur Barral, being absent,  the abbe Bertrand, who was the tutor of Hor-  tense’s children, gave them to the d5dng woman,  ” who received them,” according to the words  of the funeral oration, ” with sentiments of  the greatest piety and most touching resigna-  tion.” At noon she died. According to the  legend, her last dehrious words were ” Napoleon     6i8 The Empress Josephine   . . . Elba ! ” ^ At the end of her collection  of letters of Napoleon and Josephine, Queen  Hortense says simply that Josephine ” died in  the arms of her children on May 29, 1814.”  Mile. Cochelet adds that at the last Josephine  held out her arms to her children and tried to  speak, but not a word could be heard. Hor-  tense fell in a faint upon the floor and was  carried out insensible, while Eugene knelt  down by the bed until his mother died in his  arms a few moments later.   On the day following her death Josephine’s  body was embalmed and placed in a lead cofl&n  enclosed in oak. The beautiful tresses of her hair  had already been cut o£E by Mile. Cochelet to  be given to Hortense. The public were now  admitted to Malmaison, and it was estimated  that more than twenty thousand people visited  the place ; many, no doubt, out of mere  curiosity to see the house and grounds. The  funeral took place on June 2, the coffin being   » Or ” Napoleon . . . Elba . . . Marie-Louise ! ” Edward  Stanley, Bishop of Norwich, it may be noted, who visited  Malmaison soon after Josephine’s death, says that she died  ” sensible to the last ; talked of death, seemed perfectly re-  signed — to use the words of a French lady, who told me many  interesting particulars, sa mort itait tris chr6Uenne ” (” Letters,”  p. 134).      TOMB OF THE EMPRESS JOdEFHINE IN THE CHURCH OF RUEIL.   Photo by Neiirdin Fibres. P- 6i8.     The Funeral 619   taken from Malmaison to the church of Rueil  in a procession in which the chief mourners  were Hortense’s children^ Hortense herself and  Eugene cUnging to the Imperial etiquette which  compelled them to be absent from the servicCj  and remaining at Saint-Leu. Beside the two  little boys there were present of Josephine’s  and her first husband’s families the Comte  Tascher and the Duchesse d’ Arenberg (Stephanie  Tascher), the Marquis and the Comte de Beau-  harnais, and Mme. Lavalette (Emilie Beau-  harnais). The Tsar Alexander was represented  by General Sacken, the other sovereigns by  aides-de-camp, the Prince of Mecklenburg and  the Grand Duke of Baden were present in  person, and a large crowd of aU natibnalities  attended at the church. The military honours  were furnished by a detachment of the Russian  Imperial Guards, although the local National  Guards took part in the procession to Rueil.  The interment took place within the church  itself at the spot now marked by the monument  erected to the memory of their mother by  Eugene and Hortense in 1825.^ The funeral   * Josephine’s tomb is on the right hand of the choir of Rueil.  It is in white marble, the work of Gilet and Dubuc, while the     620 The Empress Josephine   oration by the Archbishop of Tours was not  more interesting nor more generally truthful  than such eulogies are wont to be, but contained  one paragraph which deserves quotation as  showing the attitude which the restored mon-  archy took up toward Napoleon’s former wife.  ” How many unfortunates,” asked Monseigneur  Barral, ” condemned by their fidelity to  the august family of the Bourbons to Uve in  exile from their fatherland, are beholden to  her persistent and touching intercession for  their restoration to their families and to the  country which saw their birth ? How many  saw opened by her exertions the gates of the  prison which imprudence and, most often,  unjust suspicion had closed upon them ? How  many were rescued from the axe of the law  at the moment when it was about to cut short  their lives ? ” It was Josephine the protector  of the emigres whom all good Royalists were  invited to lament.   Only little more rests to be told — the last   kneeling figure of Josephine is by Cartellier. The inscription  runs simply : ” A Josephine, Eugtoe et Hortense, 1825.”  Hortense’s tomb is in a similar position to the left of the choir  and bears the inscription ” A la Reine Hortense, son fils  Napoleon III,”     Napoleon’s Reproach 621   tribute to Josephine of the man who made her  his wife and his Empress. Strange and heart-  less though such conduct seems, there is no  evidence that any one of his family or hers  sent to Napoleon in Elba any information of the  death of Josephine. The news is said to have  reached him through a copy of a paper for-  warded to him from Genoa by a valet going  to France on an errand from his master. When  he heard what had happened he shut himself  up and would see no one. He forbore from  wearing mourning. Strict as he always was  about etiquette, he would not put on crape  for his divorced wife when he had another  wife living. The opportunity for showing his  respect occurred when, once more in Paris in  March 1815, he sought for details of the death-  scene. ” So you let my poor Josephine die,”  he reproached Corvisart. Of her own doctor  he asked the cause of the fatal illness. ” Sire,”  stammered Horeau, ” anxiety . . . sorrow. …”  ” Do you think so ? What sorrow ? ” ” At  what was happening. Sire — at Your Majesty’s  position.” ” Oh, so she spoke of me ? ”  ” Often, very often.” ” Good woman, good  Josephine ! She loved me truly.” Profoundly     622 The Empress Josephine   touched, the Emperor insisted on hearing all  about her last days and about those who had  been kind to her, particularly the Tsar Alex-  ander. A few days later he paid a short visit  to Malmaison, spending most of the time in  the death-chamber, where he shut himself in  alone and whence he came out with evident  traces of the tears which he had shed.   Napoleon saw Malmaison once again near the  close of the Hundred Days. On the night of  June 24 (only one day later than the fifty-  second anniversary of Josephine’s birthday)  he spoke during dinner at the Elysee to Hor-  tense, who, in spite of her apparent reconciha-  tion with the Bourbons, had returned to her  allegiance when Napoleon escaped from Elba,  and after some coldness on his part had been  restored to his favour. ” I wish to go to  Malmaison,” he said. ” It belongs to you.  Will you give me hospitality there ? ” Hor-  tense readily agreed, and the same evening he  started on his way with her and a small handful  of followers in attendance. Of the few remain-  ing days of his life as a free man Napoleon  was to spend five at Josephine’s Malmaison.   Late in the night of the 24th he wandered     Napoleon at Malmaison 623   about the park, speaking to his companions  of his intended flight to America. On the  morrow and during the following days^ while  waiting to hear the decision of France and of  her conquerors on his fate, he spent long hours  with Hortense and others who still remained  loyal, recalling memories of the past. The  associations of the dead were thick about him.  Standing before a bank of roses in her garden,  he said : ” Poor Josephine ! I cannot ac-  custom myself to living here without her. I  seem always to see her coming along the path  and picking one of these flowers which she  loved so weU. Truly she was the most graceful  woman I have ever seen ! ” ^ On the 29th at  last the decision of the Provisional Government  was to reach Napoleon. He still hoped that  he might be called upon to take up arms again  to hold back the enemy while France negotiated  terms, after which he could retire across the   * The firmness of his conviction on this point is illustrated  by his remarks to Barry O’Meara at Saint-Helena : ” Josephine  was grace personified {la grazia in persona). Everything she  did was with a peculiar grace and delicacy. I never saw her  act inelegantly during the whole time we lived together.”  And again : ” Era la dama la ptil graziosa di Francia. She  was the goddess of the toilet, all the fashions originated with  her ; everything she put on appeared elegant.”     624 The Empress Josephine   Atlantic. He waited in uniform for the return  of General Becker from Paris, while horses were  ready outside to carry him to Paris. Hor-  tense and his brother Joseph were with him.  Becker arrived and announced that the Govern-  ment would have no dealings with him. ” They  still fear me,” said Napoleon to Hortense. ” I  wished to make a last effort for the safety of  France. They would not have it ! ” He went  upstairs, changed his military costume for  civilian clothes, and passed into Josephine’s  room, where he spent some time by himself,  with the doors closed. Then, coming down-  stairs, he said good-bye to Joseph and Hortense,  got into a private carriage, and drove off to-  wards Rochefort,   At Malmaison a memorial was set up, with  the mark of a footprint, a bronze eagle, and the  words, ” The last step of Napoleon leaving for  Rochefort on June 29, 1815, at 4 in the after-  noon.”     y^ Ccv^._^ CLI^^iZ£^~~ A.^C^^«V ilJ/^v>o/v,.-V.J2^ J^^vOA,/V.r-*.»^  *-i> -v-^^aa.^ ^’,^^,g^ Q^CJ-X-<-«-» c5tw<»_ » (/”-‘Y^’^y^ — ^”i-t~ v-a^z-vc^^ij^     Oi^v.^.:^,^ Sjb^^^^ ^^^f^^-^^ ‘^^’     FACSIMILE OF A LETTER FROM JOSEPHINE TO HORTENSE.   p. 624.     CHAPTER XXXII   THE EMPRESS JOSEPHINE   THE story of Josephine has been brought  to an end. It only remains for us to  make a brief review of her principal charac-  teristics, as they appear in the course of the  tale, in order that we may be able to say, if  possible, how it was that she succeeded in  attaining a position in history to which neither  her intellect nor any surpassing physical beauty  gave her claims.   That she had no such claims it would perhaps  be hardly necessary to repeat, except to em-  phasise the strangeness of what time and men’s  love of romance have done for a woman who  for more than thirty out of her fifty-one years  of life was utterly obscure. And first with  regard to her beauty, the practical unanimity  of observers actuated by very different personal  feelings toward her is most striking. The  portraits of her are innumerable, for she had   VOL. II 62s 19     26 T*he Empress Josephine   an inordinate love of being painted, and sat to  Gerard, Isabey, Prudhon, Gros, David, and  many others, while busts and medallions abound.  Few of these portraits give a very pleasing  impression. When we come to the written  descriptions, what we are apt to remember is  the rouged and powdered face, with the close-  lipped smile that concealed the badness of the  teeth behind, and the wonderful elaboration of  the chestnut hair on the top of the head. Not  even in the earliest days of her second marriage  are we allowed to forget that it is a carefully  preserved woman past her prime — for she was  a Creole and over thirty — upon whom we are  looking. The freshness had gone, and artifice  has come in to supply the deficiencies of nature.  But, when this has been said, a high tribute  has to be paid to the result which Josephine  achieved with what remained to her. Her  smile is always charming, in spite of the shut  mouth ; her eyes are beautiful, if not the equal  of her daughter’s ; her nose is delicate, in great  contrast to that of Hortense. It is, however,  her slender, supple, well-proportioned figure,  needing no corset to support it, which enables  her to pose as a beauty. A most perfect self-     Physical Charms 627   training had developed her from the awkward,  rather heavy girl that she was when she left  Martinique into the most graceful woman of  her day, Napoleon’s ” la grazia in persona,”  who was ” graceful even as she went to bed.”  Taught by her own observation, she knew how  to show to its fullest advantage her elegant,  indolent body ; and knew, moreover, how to  dress it in the clothes that became it best, the  soft white muslins and cambrics which looked  so simple, yet at the same time displayed a  marvellous complexity of costly embroidery and  lace. To complete the harmony there was her  caressing Creole voice, so beautiful in tone that  the Palace servants were said to halt in the  passages to listen to it, and that Napoleon,  wishing to express his pleasure at the applause  of his troops and his subjects, could only say  that it was ” as sweet to him as the voice of  his Josephine.”   To give full value to what physical advan-  tages nature had bestowed upon her, Josephine  devoted loving care. It was otherwise with  her mind. Her education remained to the end  of her life much what it had been when Alex-  andre de Beauhamais gave her up in despair     628 The Empress Josephine   and abandoned the training of his wife to  whosoever wished to undertake it. With the  passage of time she became indeed sophisticated,  but not better educated. At Saint-Pierre she  had shown some aptitude for dancing and music ;  not much for the latter after all, it would  appear, for in later life she could do no more  than touch the harp indifferently and, ac-  cording to some, used only to play one tune.  Her long leisure was at no period of her existence  devoted to reading. There was a library at  Malmaison, which served as Napoleon’s study  before the divorce. We never hear of Josephine  herself reading, except to Napoleon in bed.  She had on her staff a reader, who during the  travels after the divorce might entertain her  mistress and the other ladies with the latest  novels and plays from Paris. Readers under  the Empire were chosen more for their beauty  than with a view that they should earn their  salaries by reading. As for Josephine’s artistic  appreciation, what importance is to be attached  to her enormous collection of pictures, her Old  Masters of the Italian and Flemish schools,  her French and Speinish painters of all periods ?  She certainly made a wonderful gallery of     The Collector 629   Malmaison and wrested from Napoleon canvases  which it cost his conscience a pang to give up  to her. ” Although these masterpieces were  in my Palace, under my eyes, in my household,”  he once said, ” it seemed to me as if I had been  robbed, since they ought to have been in the  Museum.” But the mere accumulation of art  treasures proves little with regard to Josephine’s  understanding. She was clearly a collector by  nature. The interior of her chateau, the mere  inventory of her belongings, demonstrate this.  The great hoards of curiosities, antiques,  jewellery, good and bad, and all that made  Malmaison such a remarkable place to look  upon, are witnesses to the multiplicity of her  tastes, but hardly to her taste. There is rather  more than a suspicion, there is practically a  certainty, that she loved to heap up treasures  simply because they were treasures and repre-  sented to her the buying-power of that money  which, from her first moment of independence,  as soon as she escaped from the bondage of her  first marriage, she seemed ready to sacrifice  almost anything to obtain. No sooner had she  met, and conquered the heart of. Napoleon  than money began to pour upon her in a con-     630 The Empress Josephine   tinuous stream ; yet she never had enough,  down to the day of her death, to satisfy her  capacity for spending.   Of this one reproach not even the most  enthusiastic admirers of the Empress Josephine  have made any serious effort to clear her  memory. That, from the time when she es-  caped death in the prison of Les Carmes and  re-entered into society, she hved in the midst of  an ever-increasing oceaii of debts, it would be  useless to deny, and the biographers under the  Second Empire, when the order had gone forth  to glorify the grandmother of Napoleon III.,  evaded the difficulty merely by ignoring the  subject as far as possible or by referring simply  to, her extravagant charities. Later writers,  untrammelled by the desire to please a grand-  son, have Ufted the veil ; and, in particular,  M. Masson in his various works on the life of  Josephine has made most careful researches  into her expenditure, with the result that a  really astounding picture is presented of a  feminine spendthrift. Simple enumerations of  figures would not be very interesting, but some  attempt may be made to give a brief summary.  Napoleon on six occasions insisted on receiving     Perpetual Debt 631   statements of his wife’s debts, tw|ce before  the Empire and four times during it. In 1800  he paid what she admitted that she owed —  according to Bourrienne, 600,000 francs. (This  did not include the debt on Malmaison nor on  some ” national property ” in the canton of  Glabbaix which Josephine had bought but  only begun to pay for ; if we counted this in  the amount paid off in 1800 it would be about  2,000,000 francs.) In 1804 he paid over  700,000 ; in 1806, 650,000 ; in 1807, 39i>ooo ;  in 1809, 60,000 ; and finally, after the divorce,  1,400,000 francs. These six settlements account  for more than 3,800,000 francs. Before paying  the biUs Napoleon was in the habit of revising  them and reducing them, as when in the last  liquidation he struck off 500,000 francs, as al-  ready related. The actual bills presented may  therefore be presumed to have been between  four and five million francs. The principal  item, in fact the only one of importance, was  toilet, including jewellery. Under the Empire  the allowance made for toilet was 360,000 francs  a year until 1809, when it was raised to 450,000.  On M. Masson’s computation, however, Jose-  phine’s expenditure on toilet was 1,100,000     632 The Empress Josephine   francs a year while she was reigning Empress.  Jewellers claimed about half of this, although  Josephine had the right to wear all the Crown  jewels, of which the principal diamond set was  valued at 3,709,583 francs. Her personal  jewellery, exclusive of a quantity of unimportant  stuff, was reckoned at 4,354,255 francs. This  was her greatest passion perhaps ; for even in  her early days as Vicomtesse de Beauharnais  she was said to carry in her pocket the stones  included in her wedding present in order that  she might feel them as she went about. Of  her expenditure on dress something has already  been said in an earlier chapter, where it has  been indicated that an apparent simplicity of  attire was combined with heavy expenditure  on details. A white muslin or cambric dress,  owing to its exquisite embroideries, might cost  her two thousand francs. The size of her  wardrobe was enormous. To mention only  two items, it contained five hundred chemises  and two hundred pairs of silk stockings. In one  month, it was said, she bought thirty-eight  new hats.^ Everything was new. As she   1 M. Masson enumerates one year’s purchase of clothes,  costing more than 320,000 francs : 23 ells of lace, 7 full     Dress Bills 633   bought with the one hand, Josephine gave  away with the other ; and gave away to all  manner of people, from princesses of her own  family, of her husband’s family, or of friendly  States, down to the waiting-women of her  Household. It was her habit to go completely  through her stock of clothes twice during each  year and to renew the greater part of it.   In vain Napoleon tried to limit the Empress’s  spending by ordering all dealers in millinery,  jewellery, and the rest to be kept away from  the Tuileries. They continued to penetrate  into the Palace, behind his back, and his efforts  to limit her custom to the leading firms were  unavailing. After aU, discovery only entailed  a ” scene,” and it is impossible to resist the  thought that Josephine’s terror at scenes  was largely assumed. She never showed the  slightest effort toward reformation after their  occurrence. On each occasion of Napoleon’s  demand for her bills there was a great display  of fear on the part of Josephine. Bourrienne  describes the first in 1800. The First Consul     dresses, i^^obes, 20 cashmere shawls, 73 corsets, 48 pieces of  cloth, 87 hats, 71 pairs of silk stockings, 980 pairs of gloves,  520 pairs of shoes.     634 The Empress Josephine   had ordered his secretary to discover the amount  of the habihties. ” Let her confess all,” he  said. ” I want to have done vvdth it. But  don’t pay without showing me all these rascals’  accounts. They are a pack of thieves.” Bour-  rienne went to Josephine. ” No, no,” she  cried, ” I can’t confess all. It is too much ; I  will say half. He will make a terrible scene.  Oh, I am so afraid ! ” Bourrienne’s arguments  in favour of clearing all off at once were useless.  ” No, it is impossible,” she repeated. ” I  think I owe twelve hundred thousand francs.  I will declare six hundred thousand, that will  be enough for the present. I will pay the rest  out of my savings.” Bonaparte was so violent,  and she could not bear his explosions of wrath !  To appreciate the ” violence ” of Napoleon  we may refer to the scene in 1806. Noticing  that Josephine had been for some time in a  tearful state, the Emperor this time approached  Duroc, asking him to discover what were the  debts which must be the cause of the tears.  Duroc extracted from Josephine that she owed  four hundred thousand francs. ” Oh,” said  Duroc, ” the Emperor thought it was eight  hundred thousand.” ” No, I swear it is not^     Scenes 635   but, if I must tell you, it is six hundred thou-  sand.” ” And you are quite certain this is  all ? ” ” Quite ! ” Duroc announced to his  master the result of his conversation. Waiting  untU dinner-time that night, the Emperor  allowed Josephine to seat herself and then  went up behind her chair and whispered in  her ear : ” So, madame, you have debts ! A  million francs of debts ! ” ” No, sire, I swear  that I have only six hundred thousand francs’  worth.” ” Only ! So that seems a mere trifle  to you ? ” Josephine, who had already begun  to weep at the first word, was now sobbing  loudly. Napoleon walked round to her other  ear and said in it : ” Come, Josephine, my  little one, don’t cry. Cheer up ! ” And the  debts were paid.   When making the final settlement at the time  of the divorce and paying out the fourteen  hundred thousand (in the form of an advance  out of future income, it is true), Napoleon  endeavoured to prevent the possibility of future  insolvency by putting in to superintend the  wardrobe expenditure a certain Mme. Hamelin,  who had been in the household of the Princess  Pauline. There was also appointed to look     6 3^ The Empress Josephine   after the budget in general a male intendant  in the person of M. Pierlot, who was to see  that not more than twelve hundred thousand  francs were spent in the year, of which one  hundred thousand might be spent on toilet —  one-eleventh of Josephine’s average outlay on  this item since she had been Empress ! Can  Napoleon have supposed that the stipulated  sum would not be exceeded ? The result was  as plight have been expected. Josephine’s  promises to save out of her abundant income  went for nothing. She had never done more  than talk of saving at any time in her life. Mme.  Hamelin only encouraged her to spend more  and was dismissed by Napoleon’s orders. Pier-  lot, who had a banking business, neglected it  in order to attend to Josephine’s affairs and  went bankrupt. Their successors could not  keep down the debts. In 1811 Josephine again  owed a million francs, and Napoleon was  writing to her of the necessity of saving a  million and a half a year to leave to her grand-  children. ” Look after your affairs and do not  give to whoever wants to take from you. If you  wish to please me, let me know that you have  a large balance. Think what a bad opinion     A Soft’hearted Tyrant 637   I should have of you if I knew you were in debt  with an income of three miUions.” This he  did know, for in November of the same year  he granted an additional million for Josephine’s  dowry and requested MoUien, Minister of the  Treasury, to see the new intendant, Montlivault,  and to insist upon a regulation of the Empress’s  affairs. After making his report, MoUien was  summoned to Napoleon’s presence to discuss  the economies which had been decided upon.  The Emperor was very firm in his insistence  that Josephine must no longer rely on him to  pay her debts. The fortune of her family  must not depend upon him. ” I am mortal,  more so than other men,” he added in a low  tone. But when Mollien described his inter-  views with the Empress herself and how she  had wept at them. Napoleon cried : ” Oh, but  you should not have made her weep ! ” When  we read this anecdote in Meneval’s Memoirs it  is rather instructive to recall Josephine’s reply  to her friends’ advice to confess all her debts :  ” No, no, /fe will kiU me ! ”   At her death in 1814 Josephine left debts  amounting to nearly three million francs —  2,484,813 actually owed, with another half     638 The Empress Josephine   million promised in dowries and pensions.  Against this M. Masson ^ reckons up the contents  of Malmaison, Navarre, and Pregny as worth  four million at the utmost. In cash there  remained less than 60,000 francs. Legend has  made Josephine die worth very varying sums.  If Barry O’Meara is to be believed. Napoleon  himself said eighteen million francs. Granted  that he ignored the outstanding debts, what  value can he have attached to the real estate,  the three chateaux in France and the Tascher  property at Trois-Ilets, Martinique ? As with  so many of his statements at Saint-Helena,  however, it would be unwise to pay too much  attention to what Napoleon said, with an eye  to posterity, about Josephine’s financial position.  This digression on the subject of her debts has  been rather long, but the matter is of no little  importance in the consideration of Josephine’s  character as a whole ; and her perpetual sus-  pension on the verge of bankruptcy bound her in  a peculiar way to the man who was the source  of her money. Some did not hesitate to say  that Napoleon liked her to be in debt because  it made her utterly dependent on him !   ‘ ” Josephine Rfepudiee,” 385.     Her Intelligence 639   To return-to the subject of Josephine’s mental  equipment, she owed, as we have seen, nothing  to education, for she had none except what  acquaintance with Ufe gave her. Some would  deny her natural intelligence and leave her to  retain her hold over Napoleon entirely by means  of her sensUal attraction. This seems un-  reasonable. Without inteUigence she could  not have kept Napoleon hers so long, with her  charms constantly on the wane, and after he  had several times almost made up his mind to  repudiate her. Without intelligence, too, she  could not have defeated the machinations of  almost the whole of the Bonaparte family,  having herself not a single ally to help her unless  we count her children Eugene and Hortense.  Talleyrand denied her the gift of that untrans-  latable word esprit, saying that she did ” super-  latively well without it ” ; but he could not have  denied her cleverness when she added him to  the list of enemies whom she had beaten.   Whatever it was which enabled her to gain  her victories, it certainly was not moral strength,  as it is hardly necessary to insist. She was not  honest, although her impulsiveness was often  mistaken for sincerity. Reference is not made     640 The Empress Josephine   to single acts of dishonesty, such as the accept-  ance of bribes from Fouche or of the money  which Berthier diverted for her from the funds  intended for the sufferers in the mihtary  hospitals in Italy, or other instances which  almost force one to think that she preferred  underhand means of filling her purse, although  she had the most generous keeper who ever  showered his gold on a fantastically extravagant  woman. But her whole life was permeated by  dissimulation. Napoleon summed up this char-  acteristic tersely when he said : ” Her weapon  is the negative. Her first instinct, her first  word is No ; and this No is not exactly a false-  hood, it is a precaution, a simple act of defence.”  A dissembler from childhood, Josephine has been  called by some of her critics. Certainly from  the moment when she first landed in France up  to the time when she met Napoleon Bonaparte  she had a thorough training in deceit. In  the Revolution it was a necessary aid for the  preservation of life, and the lessons of that  period were never forgotten. It may well have  seemed to her that she could not afford to  forget them when she saw the forces arrayed  against her as Napoleon’s wife. So much     Dissimulation and Diplomacy 641   excuse we must make, that she was a weak  woman, fighting first for her Ufe against the  enemies of all ” aristocrats ” ; and then for  her position against those who hated her for  robbing them of their brother and disdained no  means of doing her harm.   From dissimulation to diplomacy is but a  short step, and Josephine cannot be denied the  possession of considerable diplomatic ability.  To mention two of the chief instances of its  display, it was a stroke of genius, in the great  scene after the return from Egypt, to appeal  to Napoleon’s consideration for her innocent  children ; and the way in which she forced  Napoleon, without any known direct prayer, to  marry her according to the rites of the Church  is no less clever. And how often do not her  tears seem but a form of diplomacy — a very  becoming form, too, in her husband’s opinion ?  All her admirers and many of her enemies have  credited her with tact, and it is obvious that in  many situations she required very great tact  to extricate herself as she did. ” She always  knew the best thing to say or to do at need,”  says Meneval, who was nevertheless without  any illusions as to her superior mind or educa-   VOL. II 20     642 The Empress Josephine   tion. It was ” her exquisite politeness and  her wide acquaintance with society,” according  to him, which prompted her to the right speech  and action.   She was ” gentle and kind, affable and in-  dulgent to all, without respect to persons,” says  the same critic, and every one else agrees with  him as to Josephine’s affability. At no period  in her life did she hedge herself in against those  whose interests or even curiosity brought them  to her. She never, of her own initiative,  insisted on the fact that she was Empress, but  on the contrary was disposed to extend a  friendly welcome to , all comers. She might  have adopted her brother-in-law Jerome’s saying  about kingship, that to him it meant the power  to give. For it must not be supposed that the  whole of her vast expenditure was devoted  to the mere gratification of her senses, that she  spent all her money and incurred all her debts  in surrounding herself with jewels, dresses,  pictures, statues, furniture, flowers, strange  pets, and all the other objects which appealed  to her tastes. She had in her lifetime and left  after her death a great reputation for generosity  and benevolence. As early as 1796 we hear     ” La ^onne Josephine ” 643   the saying : ” She is good to the poor.” The  Josephine of legend is emphatically la bonne  JosSphine, the kind and charitable Empress.  She was indeed always giving, lavishly, in-  discriminately. She could never refuse a re-  quest. Sometimes, through the very multi-  plicity of her promises, she might forget to fulfil.  But no one was ever more accessible to demands.  Money, presents of clothes, pensions to the old,  dowries to girls, toys and sweets to children —  all alike she distributed without a grudging  thought. The great flaw in this generosity is  that it was fortuitous and unreasoning. She  did not go out to look for deserving recipients  of her charity. Her Lady of Honour had forty  thousand francs a year to distribute in alms,  and Josephine took no pains to inquire whether  it was given to those really in want. Similarly  the presents, dowries, and pensions were be-  stowed almost at haphazard on those who  surrounded her or came in contact with her.  Similarly, again, her influence in the State was  used on behalf of those who wrote to her,  especially if they were members of the old  aristocracy, without regard to the petitioners’  real worth. She acquired her reputation for     644 The Empress Josephine   honte, not for active beneficence, so much as  because she had the means of giving without  stint and hated to refuse.   Coupled with the readiness to grant the  requests of all who might invoke her as a friend  was the inability to hate which we have noticed  several times earlier in this book. Lucien  Bonaparte was perhaps the person against whom  she longest cherished hostile thoughts, yet she  interceded even for him, if in vain, on the morning  of her Coronation. Her sisters-in-law she cer-  tainly did not love, but we know of no active  injury done by her to them, while they did many  to her. Against the women who robbed her  of love which she might claim as hers alone she  showed a singular absence of resentment. She  dowered Alexandre de Beauharnais’s illegitimate  daughter by one who had done all tha:t was in  her power to hurt Josephine. She made friends  of the Comtesse Walewska and Mme. Gazzani,  not to mention any others for whom Napoleon  displayed a fancy. She would doubtless have,  been prepared to be a friend to Marie-Louise,  had the younger Empress not been terrified  at the very thought of meeting her.   If she could not hate, she was also accused     Family Affection 645   of being incapable of loving. Leaving aside for  the moment the question of her relations with  Napoleon, we find such a charge unjustified  unless we are prepared to narrow down the  meaning of the word ” love” so as to make it  exclude all selfish feelings. With regard to her  own family, we have already seen that Josephine  was, on the evidence of letters stretching over  a period of thirty years, a demonstratively  affectionate mother. As a grandmother she  was still more fond. Was this all insincere ?  Son, daughter, and her favourite grandson did  not think so. There is some mystery about  her relations with her mother, since Mme.  Tascher de la Pagerie preferred to spend nearly  seventeen years in solitude at Trois-Ilets rather  than come to Paris where her daughter was ;  and her death passed almost unnoticed. But  it would be unjust to draw any conclusions  where we have no evidence as to a quarrel.  To members of the Tascher family in general  Josephine was a good kinswoman. She be-  haved generously to the Beauhamais. Her  first husband certainly had no cause for  complaint, seeing that after his most villain-  ous conduct to her iii life she taught his     646 The Empress Josephine   children to look up to his memory as that of  a noble patriot.   It may be granted that Josephine’s love was  rather of the diffused than of the concentrated  kind, that she loved too many things to love  anything overmuch. Flowers, animals, child-  ren, young and amusing persons, and a host of  inanimate things claimed her regard so strongly  that her heart was another Malmaison in the  incongruous variety of objects for which it  found room. And this perhaps is another way  of saying that Josephine’s affections were a  vigorous expression of her self-love.   We come now to the subject of the bond  between Napoleon and Josephine, through  which it is that she has attracted so much  attention which would not otherwise be hers.  No one has ventixred to question the fact of  Napoleon’s love for his wife, in face of the mar-  vellous letters from Italy and his inability to  sever himself from her for ten years after his  return from Egypt. The revelation of his  infidelities to her, so carefully investigated by  M. Masson in his ” Napoleon et les Femmes,”  fails to shake the belief in that love ; -because,  although it is obvious that his discovery of her     Josephine and Napoleon 647   treachery in the early years of their marriage  made him refuse henceforward to close his  eyes to aU other sensual attractions than those  which she offered him, he never ceased to  cherish above all the Josephine of the rue  Chantereine in 1796. She remained to him  the type of womanhood with whom all other  specimens compared poorly. She was to him  the model of aristocratic good breeding, of  perfect deportment, of proper dress. Did not  even his admiration for rouge — and tears — come  from Josephine ? After the storm which fol-  lowed his return from Egypt, too, she became  to him, though no longer ignorant of her failings,  the pattern of what a wife should be to her  husband. In spite of occasional outbreaks,  whether caused by jealousy or by consciousness  of debts, her temper was wonderfully even. She  never kept him waiting, even on the plea of  requiring time for her toilet. She hastened to  anticipate his wishes and inculcated the same  conduct in her children. She went cheerfully  through the most arduous social duties with a  gracious smile on her face and an appropriate  word in her mouth for all. A lover of idleness  and a wretched traveller, she took long and     648 The Empress Josephine   uncomfortable journeys to meet the princes and  princesses whom he desired to bind to France.  She exerted herself tirelessly to concihate to  Napoleon all whom she could influence at home  or abroad, extorting from him the admiring  exclamation : “I win battles, Josephine wins  me hearts ! ” And, lastly, he believed that she  had grown to love him. Much as the scenes of  “jealousy enraged him at the time, he could not  help but treat them on reflection as a tribute  to himself, and forgive her who resented so much  the attentions which he paid to other women.  So persuaded was he of Josephine’s love that  on one occasion, discussing the question of  divorce, he cried : ” She will not resist, she will  die.” Subsequent events only confirmed his  belief. We have seen the doctor’s stammering  explanation of the cause of Josephine’s death  and heard the exclamation of the Emperor :  ” Good woman, good Josephine ! She loved  me truly.” With this firm conviction he himself  died at Saint-Helena seven years later.   Great pains have been taken to prove both  that he was right and that he was wrong. When  the name of Bonaparte had ceased to be a  byword and Josephine’s ” little Oui-Oui ” had     Her Love for Napoleon 649   grown into Napoleon III., the writers who took  on themselves to rehabilitate the great per-  sonages of the First Empire devoted special  care to the new Emperor’s grandmother, and  Josephine was painted as the sorrowful martyr  to necessities of State. She was the fondly  loving wife repudiated, not without a suspicion  of harshness, after fourteen years of faithful  wedlock. Since the end of the Second Empire  Napoleonic writers have approached the subject  less fettered, and in their admiration for the  great Emperor have gone far in the other  direction, blaming him only for not getting rid  of Josephine earlier, and almost denying her  any attachment to him except that of self-  interest. Justice, as usual, seems to lie between  the extremes. Josephine did grow to love the  man who made her, and perhaps loved him  ultimately with as much love as she was capable  of giving. But on him, as on others, as we have  suggested, she was incapable of concentrating  a great volume of love. That she did not die  of grief at his fate, it is unnecessary to insist.   Although it is possible to say that Josephine’s  love for Napoleon was a growth, it is not pos-  sible to trace that growth otherwise than very     650 The Empress Josephine   vaguely. There may have been a httle passion  in the rue Chantereine, mostly before the  marriage ; but it is not credible that there was  any genuine love when ” Bonaparte ” appeared  to his wife ” a very brave man ” and his letters  ” droll.” Nor during the visit to Italy nor the  few months in France previous to the expedition  to Egypt can any trace of the feeling be seen.  Appreciation of his generosity there undoubtedly  was, and a certain pride in his glory. In 1798-9  even self-interest was not strong enough to  make Josephine pay any attention to the absent  Bonaparte, who after all might never return.  It almost seems strange that Gohier’s advice —  ” Divorce ! ” — was not taken. From the mo-  ment of the return from Egypt, however,  every one recognised that a change had come  about. Hitherto husband and wife had lived  but a very brief while together. Henceforward  Josephine was seldom for long away from  Napoleon’s immediate influence until the cam-  paign against Austria in 1805. And Josephine  in Napoleon’s presence was a very different  woman from Josephine with Napoleon away.^   1 M. Masson has an interesting discussion on the point at  the end of his ” Josfephiae Imperatrice et Reine.” Of the two     The Threat of Divorce 651   She sank under his domination, and as he found  rest in her, so she found strength in him. His  personahty enveloped hers, and there was no  more question of her unfaithfulness to him.  On the contrary, she now began to watch his  conduct with a feeling that was almost the  jealousy of love, and of course discovered that  she was not altogether without reason for  watching. Quarrels and threats of divorce  from him followed, though the threats were  perhaps scarcely serious. Then came the Em-  pire and the great ceremony at Notre-Dame.  Grounds for jealousy still existed, but Josephine,  growing older, learnt to be more complacent.  She must sacrifice something to retain her hold.  Matters became more desperate when little  Napoleon-Charles died in May 1807. No child  could take his place as heir to the Emperor,  who from this time forward began in earnest to  consider the question of repudiation, in order   women in Josephine, he says, the woman she was in the  Emperor’s absence was undoubtedly the true Josephine —  ” the one who entertained the dealers, the waiting-women,  the gardeners ; the woman with debts, the pet animals, and  the chatter ; who lived the life of a mistress most splendidly  kept. But it was the other woman whom the public saw, and  so well did she play her part that they did not see nor trouble  about the other side of her.”     652 The Empress Josephine   that he might have a son of his own. The rest  has been told in Chapters XXIV. and XXV.  Josephine clung the more desperately to her  protector as she saw separation coming, and  persuaded herself and the ordinary observer  that it was true love which Napoleon was  putting away from himself. He believed it,  too, and made the sacrifice with every accom-  paniment which could redound to Josephine’s  credit and advantage. It was therefore with  Napoleon’s full connivance that she was able  to pose as a martyr, while she on her part made  little effort to spare him.   It would be uncharitable to judge harshly a  woman in so desperate a plight as was Jose-  phine’s ; but it must be confessed that even  when her love for her husband was at its highest  point, which we may place in the period when  she saw she must inevitably lose him, it was a  selfish and interested love, which left her free  to discuss his failings and his alleged ” cruelty ”  with any one who was willing to act as confidant.  All the worst and most unjustifiable reports  about Napoleon’s morality, inventions of his  Royalist enemies, gained currency at Court  through]^ Josephine in moments of anger or     Misrcpfesentation of Napoleon 653   despair allowing herself to repeat what some  of her scandal-mongering friends had told her —  in strictest confidence, of course. She spoke at  such times as if she were in delirium ; but un-  happily she was sane, and the wife of him whose  name she befouled. It is a small matter, in  comparison, that she should have made the  remark already recorded to her friend Mme. de  Remusat, at the time of the suggestions of  divorce following the Peace of Tilsit : ” Who  knows of what he is capable and whether he will  resist the temptation to put me out of the  way ? ”   Nevertheless, although Josephine commenced  her life with Napoleon by grossly betraying the  most passionate affection of which actual records  remain in history ; although her own love  which she ultimately developed for him was a  strange compound of fascinated submission to  a dominating will and an eager clinging to the  provider of her riches ; although she robbed him  with his servants and discussed him disloyally  with his enemies ; although to present a really  black picture of his character we need only go  to her recorded utterances about him — in spite  of all this, we must not forget that Napoleon     654 The Empress Josephine   never ceased, to the end of his days, to speak of  the perfect happiness \yhich she had given him  in their life together. If she had been the  most devoted and most virtuous of wives,  could any husband have said more for her ?   If Josephine has imposed on history, it is  plainly because she imposed upon Napoleon,  which in itself perhaps is no small feat. We  cannot take leave more appropriately of one of  the strangest heroines who has ever lived than  with those fond words which Napoleon uttered  in his gratitude to her memory at Saint-Helena :  ” She was the best woman in France ! ”     THE END     INDEX OF PRINCIPAL PERSONS     Abrantds, Duchesse d’, 165 n.,   171, 185, 200, et passim.  Aiguillon, Duchesse d’, loi,   108, 132, 137  Alexander, Tsar of Russia,   48s, 493. 606 seq., 615  Apne, Grandduchess of   Russia, 530  Arberg, Mme. d’. Lady of   Honour to Josephine, 536,   566  Arenberg, Mme. d’, see Tas-   clier, Stephanie  Arnault, A.-V., 120, 128, 164,   ^7S> i8s, 198, 203, 206, 250  Augusta of Bavaria (wife of   Eugtoe Beauhamais), 435,   582, 594  AvriUon, Mile., Reader to   Josephine, 421, 425   Bacciochi, Prince Felix, 195   Bacciochi, Princess, see Bona-  parte, Elisa   Bairal, Archbishop, 538, 566,  620   Barras, Director, iiy seq., 126  seq., 138, 146, 148, 154, 157,  206, 212 seq., 219, 226, 249   Bausset, Palace Prefect, 506     Beauharnais, Alexandre-Fran-  fois-Marie, Vicomte de,  born May 26, 1760, 10 ;  sent home to France, 22 ;  praised by Mme. Renaudin,  33 ; desires to marry Jose-  phine, 40 ; first impressions  of Josephine, 43 ; marriage,  44 ; character, 47, 67, 107 ;  treatment of his wife, 49  seq., 59; goes to Martinique,  60 ; attack on Josephine,  63 ; returns to France, 68 ;  separation from Josephine,  71 ; political career, 84 ;  in military life again, 89 ;  arrested, 90 ; defended by  Josephine, 97 ; reconciled  to her, 10 1 ; last letter to  her, 105 ; execution, 104   Beauhamais, Eugfine-Rose,  born September 3, 1781, 58 ;  as ” Dauphin,” 87 ; appeal  for Josephine, 102 ; on  Hoche’s staff, 119; at  school at Strasbourg, 92 ;  at Saint-Germain, 128, 163 ;  and his father’s sword, 138 ;  first feelings for Napoleon,  151 ; becomes Napoleon’s     6SS     656     Index of Principal Persons     aide-de-camp, 193 ; goes  to Egypt, 216 ; letter to  his mother from Egypt, 231,  290 ; dif&culty with Na-  poleon, 23 s ; assists in re-  conciliation, 242, 24s ; atti-  tude toward his mother,  290 ; made Viceroy of  Italy, 424 ; his marriage  discussed, 434 ; married,  438 ; interview with Na-  poleon and Josephine con-  cerning their divorce, 511;  at the divorce, 519 ; mes-  senger between Napoleon  and Josephine, 539, 541 ;  takes news of birth of King  of Rome, 567 ; in France  before 1812 campaign, 576,  581 ; position in Italy,  592 ; unjust suspicions  against, 593 ; in Paris in  1814, 611 ; at Josephine’s  deathbed, 618  Beauharnais, Hortense-Euge-  nie, born April 10, 1783, 62;  accompanies Josephine to  Martinique, 81 ; return, 84 ;  appeal for Josephine, 102 ;  sent to Mme. Campan’s  school, 128, 163 ; and Jose-  phine’s second marriage,  151 ; intercession for her  mother, 242, 292 ; and  Louis Bonaparte, 282 seq. ;  and Napoleon, 292 ; de-  scribed, 293 ; marries Louis,  299 ; hostess at Tuileries,  312 ; birth of eldest son,  318 ; relations with Louis,     320 ; at Josephine’s Coro-  nation, 406 ; second son’s  birth and baptism, 416 ;  Queen of Holland, 443 ;  loses Napoleon-Charles,  456 ; renewed quarrel with  Louis, 472 ; third son’s  birth, 482 ; reprimanded  by Napoleon, 491 ; at  Josephine’s divorce, 518;  breaks with Louis, 547 ;  intrigue with Flahault, 5 50;  with her mother and chil-  dren at Saint-Leu, 580 ;  relations with Marie-Louise,  586, 600, 606 ; praises her  husband, 592 ; at Navarre,  600 ; desires to leave  France, 604 ; Duchesse de  Saint-Leu, 611 ; entertains  the Tsar, 612 ; at Jose-  phine’s deathbed, 618 ;  with Napoleon at Mal-  maison in 181 5, 622   Beauharnais, Emilie, after-  wards Mme. Lavalette, 216,  26s, 269, 284, 362, 475, 619   Beauharnais, Fanny, Com-  tesse de, 52, 76   Beauharnais, Francois, Mar-  quis de, 7 seq., 2g seq., ys, 150   Beauharnais, Marquise de, 7,   31   Beauharnais, Fran9ois, Vi-  comte de, 7, 52, 95   Beauharnais, Stephanie, after-  wards Princess of Baden,  265,436, 440 seq., 449   Bernadotte, Mme., after-  wards Queen of Sweden, 583     Index of Principal Persons     657     Berthier, Marshal, 261   Bonaparte, Caroline, Mme.  Murat, afterwards Queen  of Naples, 197, 257 seq., 300,  353, 406, 464, 568   Bonaparte, Elisa, afterwards  Princess Bacciochi, 195,  197. ^77. 311. 353. 406,420   Bonaparte, Jerome, after-  wards King of Westphalia,  162, 418, 436, 469, 477   Bonaparte, Joseph, afterwards  King of Spain, 153, 160,162,  176, 197, 221, 230, 238, 248,   303,307.331.353.357. 388,  ‘405, 482, 484  Bonaparte, Julie, wife of Jo-  seph. 247, 353, 406, 469, 550,   S83  Bonaparte, Letizia, Madame  M6re, 153, r6o, 194, 197, 247,  254, 272, 284, 307, 469, SCO,   – 583   Bonaparte, Louis, afterwards  King of Holland, 154, 162,  217, 238, 279, 282 seq., 296,  320, 353, 357. 405, 423. 442,  458,472, 547, 591, 600   Bonaparte, Louis – Napoleon,  third son of Louis and  Hortense, afterwards Napo-  leon III., 482, 548 »., 581   Bonaparte, Lucien, 154, 162,  238, 243, 248, 270 seq., 295,  311, 333, 401, 644   Bonaparte, Napoleon-Charles,  eldest son of Louis and  Hortense, 318, 443, 456   Bonaparte, Napoleon -Louis,  second son of Louis and   VOL. II     Hortense, 416, 460, 548,  571. S8i  Bonaparte, Paulette, after-  wards Mme. Leclerc and  Princess Borghese, 195 seq.,  246, 330 seq., 406, 568,   583  Borghese, Prince Camillo, 331  Bourrienne, 143, 145, 212,215,   232, 261, 297, 573, eic.   Cabarrus, Teresia, see Tallien,   Mme.  Cadoudal, Georges, 237 seq.  Calmelet, honime d’affaires,   103, 113, 148  Cambaceres, Second Consul,   afterwards Arch-Chancellor,   264. 350. 514  Campan, Mme., 128, 151, 163,   210, 294  Caprara, Cardinal, 329, 390,   419, 441  Carnot, Director, 132, 155,   206  Caroline, Queen of Bavaria,   436  Catherine, Princess of Wiir-   temberg, afterwards Queen   of Westphalia, 436, 469,   477  Catherine, Grandduchess of   Russia, 493  Caulaincourt, 137, 341, 345^   493  Charles, Hippoljrte, 184 seq.,   189, 199, 244  Charles, Prince of Baden, 435,   441  Cochelet, Mile., Reader to   21     658     Index of Principal Persons     Queen Hortense, 601, 605,   618  Collot, 240, 245  Compoint, Louise, Josephine’s   maid, 176  Consalvi, Cardinal, 303, 391  Corvisart, Doctor, 507, 621   Denuelle, Mile. Eleonore, mo-  ther of Napoleon’s son  Leon, 463   Duchatel, Mme., 411   Ducrest, Mile. Georgette, 107,  S38, 568   Duroc, Grand Marshal, 215,  244. 397, 36s, SOI, 556   Emmery, Merchant of Dun-   kerque, 121 seq., 163   Enghien, Due d’, 341 seq., 437   ” Englishman,” The, 26, 616   EugSne, Viceroy of Italy, see   Beauharnais, Eugdne-Rose   Fesch, Cardinal, 392, 399, 514,   S83  Flahault, Charles de, 550  Fouche, Minister of Police,   250, 271, 309, 464, 473 ^«?-.   489, 495  Fourds, Mme., 235  Francis, Emperor of Austria,   611, 615  Frederick-William, King of   Prussia, 611, 615  Fr6ron, Stanislas, 196   Gazzani, Mme., Reader to  Josephine, 472, 536, 564,  $66     Georges, MUe., Actress, 323  Girardin, Stanislas, 208, 277,   490  Gohier, Director, 222, 225,   249 seq.  Gohier, Mme., 225, 251   Hoche, General, 102, 116 seq.  HohenzoUern – Sigmaringen,   Princess Amalie of, 88, 92  Hortense, Queen of Holland,   see Beauharnais, Hortense-   Eugfenie  Hosten-Lamotte, Mme., 27,   91. 99   Josephine, Empress, birth  [June 23, 1763], 4, 12 ;  family, 4 seq. ; unfounded  doubts about date of birth,  13 ; early life at Trois-Ilets,  17 ; at school, 22 ; stories  of early love-affairs, 24 ;  gipsy prediction concern-  ing, 28 ; and the Beau-  harnais marriage, 29, 34,  36, 41 ; sketch by her  father, 36, 38 ; leaves Mar-  tinique [September 1779],  42 ; first marriage [De-  cember 13, 1779], 44 ; early  married life, 5 1 seq. ; birth  of Eugdne, 58 ; of Hor-  tense, 62 ; receives letters  from Alexandre de Beau-  harnais, 63, 68 ; separates  from her husband, 71 ;  early letters, 77, 92 ; sudden  departure to Martinique,  79 ; returns to France, 84 ;     Index of Principal Persons     659     in society, 87, 93 ; lier  ” Republicanism,” 95-8 ;  imprisoned in Las Carmes  [April 21, 1794], 100; re-  conciliation with Beau-  hainais, loi ; escape from  execution, 107-8 ; grief  over husband’s death, 107,  III ; released from Les  Carmes [August 6, 1794],  109 ; care for husband’s  memory, 11 3, 645 ; life  after the Terror, 115 seq. ;  alleged association with  Hoche, 116; financia  straits, 120 seq. ; visit to  Hamburg, 124 ; goes to rue  Chantereine, 127 ; intrigue  with Barras, 127 seq., 214 ;  first meeting with Napoleon  [October 14, 1795], 137 ;  letter to Napoleon, 141 ;  second marriage [March 9,  1796], 148 ; doubtful letter  about Napoleon, 149, 155 ;  and the Italian command,  1 54 ; receives letters from  Mme. Bonaparte and  Joseph, 160-2 ; sketched  by Arnault and Duchesse  d’AbrantSs, 165-6 ; treat-  ment of Napoleon’s letters,  168 seq. ; goes to Italy, 176 ;  under fire, 180 ; intrigue  with Hippolyte Charles,  184, 189, 199, 223, 244 ; at  Montebello, 193 ; and the  Bonaparte ladies, ig? seq. ;  return to Paris, 204 ; and  Mme. ,de Stael, 209, 614 ;     a suspicious letter, 213 ;  accompanies Napoleon to  Toulon, 215 ; first visit to  PlombiSres, 218 ; buys  Malmaison, 220 ; unfaith-  ful to Napoleon, 224 seq. ;  hears of Napoleon’s return,  227 ; historic scene at rue  de la Victoire [October  1799]. 241 ; her share in  brumaire, 248 seq. ; moves  to Petit-Luxembourg, 254 ;  and Murat’s marriage, 257 ;  moves to Tuileries, 264 ;  struggle with Lucien Bona-  parte, 270, 306, 310, 333,  401 ; in the rue Nicaise  outrage, 280 ; plans mar-  riage for Hortense, 282 ; the  marriage, 299 ; increasing  state, 302 ; at Notre Dame  in 1802, 304 ; questions of  precedence, 306 ; anxious  about the Life Consulship,  308, 314 ; and the Royalists,  315 ; a grandmother, 319 ;  grows jealous, 322 seq. ;  advice to Hortense about  Napoleon, 327, 384, 491 ;  and the 1804 plot, 337 ;  intercedes for Due d’Eng-  hien, 342 ; addressed as  Empress [May i8, 1804],  351 ; strong position, 358 ;  division of her time, 360  seq. ; Malmaison her home,  369 ; visit to Aix-la-  Chapelle, 379 ; in Germany,  385 ; and the Pope, 389 ;  reveals her secret to Pius,     66o     Index of Principal Persons     396 ; crowned {December  2, 1804], 401 seq. ; accom-  panies Napoleon to Italy,  417 ; sees Eugtoe again,  423-5 ; goes with Napoleon  to Strasbourg, 428 ; at  Carlsruhe, Stuttgart, and  Munich, 432 ; on Eugtae’s  marriage, 434 ; alleged  jealousy of Stephanie Beau-  harnais, 441 ; reluctant to  part with Napoleon, 447 ;  at Mayence, 449 ; hears  about Mme. Walewska, 454 ;  grief over grandson’s death,  456 ; change of attitude  toward Napoleon, 464 ; first  approached about divorce,  464, 473 ; and her mother’s  death, 472, 645 ; and the  Prince of Mecklenburg, 447 ;  Napoleon’s renewed tender-  ness toward, 48 1 , 484 ; in-  trigues against, 489 ; scene  on Napoleon’s return to  Fontainebleau, 495 ; makes  a great mistake, 499 seq. ;  scene described by Bausset,  504 ; retires from public  view, 511 ; and Eugtoe,  513 ; divorced [December  15, 1809], 516; leaves  Tuileries, 520 ; arrange-  ments for her future, 522 ;  helps in Napoleon’s second  marriage, 528 ; isolation,  532 ; presented with Na-  varre, 533 ; reduced house-  hold, 5 36 ; letters to Na-  poleon. 539, 541 ; and the     ” babble of Paris,” 543 ;  proposes a scheme to Na-  poleon, 543; receives him at  Malmaison, 546 ; obtains  Hortense’s freedom, 547 ;  and Napoleon’s expected  heir, 552 ; change of plans,  555 ; Marie Louise’s  jealousy of, 556, 559, 569;  her ” twenty -four hours ”  at Malmaison, 559 ; returns  to Navarre, 563 ; receives  news of birth of King of  Ron;ie, 567 ; at Malmaison  again, 571 ; discusses Na-  poleon with Bourrienne,  573; sees the King of Rome,   577 ; last interview with  Napoleon [? spring or  winter of 1812], 577 «.;  interest in Napoleon’s sons,   578 ; and Mme. Walewska,  579, 612 ; visits Eugene’s  family, 582 ; in Geneva  society, 584 ; returns to  Paris, 585 ; last extant  letter from Napoleon, 590 ;  her letter to Eugene, 593 ;  flies from Malmaison, 597 ;  her apparent neglect of  Napoleon, 599 ; receives  news of his abdication, 602 ;  back at Malmaison, 605 ;  and the Tsar, 607, 612 ;  her position in Paris, 611 ;  falls ill, 612 ; anxiety for  her children, 613 ; last  entertainment, 615 ; death  [May 29, 1814], 617 ; the  legendary and the real     Index of Principal Persons     66i     woman, 3 ; the ” martyr,”  652 ; her education and  abilities, 23, 51, 55, 627,  639 seq. ; the winner of  hearts, 648 ; her looks, 36,  43, 140, 164-5, 194. 208,  268, 377, 625 seq. ; in  politics, 95, 249, 315 ;  venality, 261, 272 ; dis-  simulation, 641 ; her love  for Napoleon, 648 ; for her  children, 78, 92, 287 seq.,  etc. ; for her grandchildren,  461, 571, 589, 645 ; her  debts, 120, 163, 522, 574,  590, 630 seq. ; dress, 364,  574, 584, 627, 632 ; passion  for jewellery, 260 seq., 632 ;  for flowers, 372, 545, 623 ;  expenditure on charity,  642 ; her tears, 107, 175,  200, 203, 218, 241, 281, 311,  326,339.345.425.437.448,  449, 458, 467, 468, 496, 497,  ^04 seq., 510, 518-20, 526,  546. 565. 578. 634, 635, 637   Josephine, Princess of Bolog-  na, daughter of Eugtoe,  480, 582   Jouberthou, Mme., after-  wards Mme. Lucien Bona-  parte, 333   Junot, Marshal, 170, 176, 233,   338  Junot, Mme., see Abrantfis,  Duchesse d’   Lanoy, Marie, Josephine’s   maid, 121, 123, 163  Lavalettc, General, 187, 215     Lavalette, Mme., see Beau-   harnais, Emilie  Lebrun, Third Consul, 264  Leclerc, General, 190, 199,   238  Leclerc, Mme., see Bonaparte,   Paulette  Leon, son of Napoleon, 463  Leyen, Am61ie von der, after-  wards Comtesse Louis  Tascher, 550   Marie-Louise, Empress, 530,   535, 552. 559 seq., 566, 569,   580, 586, 597  Marie, Tsarina of Russia, 493  Marion, Josephine’s nurse, 21  Maximilian-Joseph, King of   Bavaria, 436, 592  Mecklenburg, Prince of, 477,   619  Meneval, 152, 520, etc.  Metternich, Prince, Austrian   Ambassador, 463 w., 474  Metternich, Princess, 528  Moreau, General, 304, 339,   349  Murat, Joachim, afterwards  King of Naples, 168, 171,  176, 197, 201, 24s, 257 seq.,  300, 338, 404, 464, 482, 489   Napoleon, Emperor, first  meeting with Josephine,  137-5 ; at rue Chantereine,  141, 147 ; early letters to  Josephine, 142, 144 ; thinks  of marriage, 143 ; married,  148 ; and Josephine’s chil-  dren, 151, 183, 242 ; his     662     Index of Principal Persons     “cape and sword,” 152;  and his family concerning  Josephine, 153, 160; and  the Italian command, 154  seq. ; letters from Italy, 158,  167, 174, 178, 180, 186,  190 ; receives Josephine in  Italy, 177 ; his first sus-  picions against her, 186,  200 ; at Montebello, 193 ; his  alleged change of attitude  toward Josephine, 201 ; re-  turns to France, 205 ; and  Mme. de Stael, 208 ; starts  for Egypt, 217 ; contem-  plates divorce, 229 ; at Mes-  soudiah springs, 232 ; affair  with Mme. Fourds, 235 ;  lands at Frejus, 237 ; for-  gives Josephine, 243 ; in  hrumaire, 248 seq. ; and  Caroline’s marriage with  Murat, 258 ; and the  heredity question, 274 seg’.,  355 seq. ; degrades Lucien,  276 ; his estimate of Hor-  tense, 292 ; Life Consul,  313 ; and Mile. Georges,  323 ; and Josephine’s  jealousy, 325 ; strange be-  haviour at Brussels, 329 ;  and Paulette’s and Lucien’s  second marriages, 332-3 ;  and the 1804 plot, 338 seq. ;  after Enghien’s death, 346 ;  Emperor, 350; and his  sisters, 353-4 ; schemes for  Coronation, 378 ; at Aix-la-  Chapelle, 383 ; negotia-  tions with Vatican, 390     seq. ; meeting with Pius  VII., 395 ; a Coronation  legend, 400 ; crowned and  consecrated, 403 seq. ; and  Mme Duchatel, 411 ; and  the Italian Coronation, 417  seq. ; starts on Austerlitz  campaign, 428 ; marries  Eugdne to Augusta, 438 ;  treatment of the Beauhar-  nais, 439; makes Louis King  of Holland, 443 ; starts on  Prussian and Polish cam-  paign, 447 ; unfaithful in  Poland, 452 ; and death of  Napoleon-Charles, 458 ; a  father, 463 ; approaches  Josephine concerning di-  vorce, 465, 497 ; renewed  tenderness for her, 481,  484 ; at Erfurt, 485 ; deter-  mines on divorce, 487 ;  letters during Austrian  campaign, 492 ; sudden  return to Fontainebleau,  494 ; scene about a fortune-  teller, 4ggseq. ; scene de-  scribed by Bausset, 505 ;  divorces Josephine, 514  seq. ; parts with her at  Tuileries, 520 ; visits Mal-  maison, 524 ; second  marriage schemes, 529 ;  visits Malmaison after  marriage with Marie-  Louise, 546 ; expects an  heir, 552, 567 ; and Marie-  Louise’s tears, 560 ; letter  to Josephine after birth of  King of Rome, 568 ; last     Index of Principal Persons     663     interview witli her, 577 ;  starts on Moscow cam-  paign, 580 ; returns to  Paris, 587 ; last €xtant  letter to Josephine, 590 ;  suspects EugSne, 593 ; ab-  dication, 602 ; receives news  of Josephine’s death, 621 ;  believes her to have died of  grief, 621, 648 ; last visit  to Malmaison, 622 seq. ; on  Josephine’s grace, 623 ;  settlements of her debts,  631; his “violence,” 634  seq. ; love for Josephine,  646 ; ” She was the best  woman in France,” 654  Napoleon II., King of Rome,   567. 577. 597   Napoleon-Charles, Napoleon-  Louis, and Louis-Napoleon,  see under Beauharnais   Ney, Mme., 536-8, 613   Oldenburg, Prince George of,  493   Patricol, 48, 55   Patterson-Bonaparte, Eliza-  beth, first wife of Jerome,  418, 436   Permon, Laure, see Abrant^s,  Duchesse d’   Permon, Mme., 247, 270   Pierlot, 538, 636   Pius VII., Pope, 389 seq., 395,  403, 415, S14   Provence, Comte de, 316   Raguideau, Notary, 152     Real, 91, 24s   Recamier, Mme., 132, 137,   171  Reggio, Duchesse de (Mme.   Gudinot), 588, 612  R6musat, Mme. de, 158, 223,   269, 307. 322. 339. 475. 527.   535. 555. 595. ^tc.  Renaudin, Alexis, 9, 31, 75  Renaudin, Mme., Josephine’s   aunt, 6 seq., 10, 31, 43, 47,   70, 124, 150, 182  Rewbell, Director, 222, 249  Rochefoucauld, Due de, 48,   84  Rochefoucauld, Duchesse de,   269, 362, 451   Salm-K5rrbourg, Prince of,   88, 100  Segur, Philippe de, 137, 149,   179  Serbelloni, Due de, 177, 182  Stael, Mme. de, 206, 208-9,   614   Talleyrand, 205, 226, 268,   392, 459 w., 481. 485. 493.   587. 595  Tallien, 91, iii, 131, 148,   227  Tallien, Mme., no, 125, 134,   164-5, 171. 173. 227  Tascher de la Pagerie family,   e,seq.  Tascher, Catherine-Desiree,   (Josephine’s sister), 13, 31,   35  Tascher, Gaspard – Joseph,   (grandfather), S     664     Index of Principal Persons     Tascher, Joseph-Gaspard (fa-  ther), 6, II, i6, 35, 59.67, 82   Tascher, Louis, Comte (cousin),  SSO   Tascher, Mme. Gaspard-Jo-  seph (grandmother), 6, 22   Tascher, Mme. joseph-Gas-  pard (mother), 4, 11, 61, 84,  120, 472, 645   Tascher, Marie-Benaquette (il-  legitimate niece), 14, 82   Tascher, Marie-Euphemie-De-  sir^e (aunt), see Renaudin,  Mme.   Tascher, Marie – Fran9oise –  Rose (aunt), 6, 22, 42     Tascher, Marie – Franfoise   (sister), 13, 35, 37, 82  Tascher, Marie-Paule (aunt), 6  Tascher, Robert-Marguerite,   Baron (uncle), 6, 120  Tascher, Stephanie, afterwards   Mme. d’Arenberg (cousin),   444, 565, 619  Tercier, General, 24   Vadier, President of Commit-  tee of Public Safety, 96, 104   Walewska, Comtesse Marie,   452, 454, 579. 612  Walewski, Comte Colonna, son   of Napoleon, 579     Printed hy Hazellt Watson &’ Viney^ Ld., London and Aylesbury^ England,