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Full text of "The women Bonapartes: the mother and three sisters of Napoléon I"

CORNELL 

UNIVERSITY 

LIBRARY 




Cornell University Library 

DC 216.W71 

V.2 

The "onien Bonaparles:the mother and thre 




3 1924 024 330 924 




The original of tiiis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924024330924 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 



BV THE SAME AUTHOR 

FIVE FAIR SISTERS 

A PRINCESS OP INTRIGUE 

MADAME R^CAMIER AND HER FRIENDS 

MADAME DE POMPADOUR 

MADAME DE MONTESPAN 

MADAME DU BARRV 

QUEENS OF THE FRENCH STAGE 

LATER QUEENS OF THE FRENCH STAGE 

QUEEN MARGOT 




CAROLINE BOXAIJAUTE, (jUliEX OF NAPLES, AXI) HER El DER 

DAUGHTER, PRINCKSSI.; >L\RL\ L<ET1TLV JOSEPHINE MUR AT, 

AKTEKWAKUS CONI I'^SSA PEPOLI 

FROM THE PAI^JII^^; UV .MADAME LECRU.V AT VERSAILLES 



THE WOMEN 
BONAPARTES 

THE MOTHER AND THREE SISTERS 
OF NAPOLEON I. 



BY 

H. NOEL WILLIAMS 

AUTHOR OF ** FIVE FAIR SISTERS," ETC. 



WITH ILLUSTRATIONS 



VOLUME II 



NEW YORK 

CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS 

1909 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER XVIII 

Pauline in Rome — Her reception by the Papal Court and by 
Society — The favourable impression which she creates is 
soon dissipated — Remonstrances of Napoleon — Pauline 
sighs for Paris — She visits Pisa, Florence, and Lucca — 
Death of her little son, Dermide Leclerc — She returns to 
France — Madame Bonaparte prolongs her stay in Italy, 
in the hope of inducing the Emperor to recall Lucien — 
She sets out for Paris, but does not arrive until after the 
Coronation — Violent dispute over the. question of the 
Imperial Princesses bearing the train of Josephine's 
mantle at the Coronation — Napoleon insists on their 
fulfilling this duty — Their spiteful behaviour towards the 
Empress — Formation of the Households of lilisa, Pauline, 
and Caroline — The Emperor refuses to confirm the rank 
and title of his mother, until she consents to make a 
formal protest against the marriage of Jerome Bonaparte 
and Elizabeth Patterson — His letter to her after the 
arrival of Jerome and his wife at Lisbon — She becomes 
Imperial Highness and "Protectress of the Sisters of 
Charity" — Her Household — Her portrait by the Duchesse 
d'Abrant^s — Napoleon purchases for her the Chateau of 
Pont-sur-Seine 



CHAPTER XIX 

Pretensions of Letizia and her daughters — Complaisance of 
Caroline and Murat towards the Emperor — Plonours and 
riches showered upon them — Discontent of Elisa — She 
desires to leave France, and persuades Napoleon to 
bestow upon her the Principality of Piombino — Her 
departure for Italy — The Republic of Lucca, having 
petitioned the Emperor to give the State a new Con- 



viii THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

PAGB 

stitution and a prince of his family, to govern it, is joined 
to Piombino— Entry of F^lix and ifclisa into Lucca- 
Pauline in Paris— Eorghese becomes a French citizen— 
His wife, tired of his society, persuades the Emperor 
to appoint him to a cavalry regiment and send him to 
the camp of Boulogne— Pauline becomes Princess and 
Duchess of Guastalla, but cedes her duchy to the King- 
dom of Italy, in return for an annual indemnity — She 
quarrels with her husband — Her jonrney to Plombi^res — 
A costly shower-bath— Auguste de Forbin, painter and 
hommc ai/x houncs fortunes — He becomes the lover of 
the princess, who appoints him her chamberlain . . 28 

CHAPTER XX 

Caroline's skilful tactics secure for Murat the Duchies of 
Berg and Cloves — Attempted annexations of Murat — 
Position of the Grand-Duke of Berg, in the Confederation 
of the Rhine — His greed and arrogance — His quarrel 
with Napoleon over Wesel — Caroline in Paris during the 
Prussian and Polish campaigns — She exercises her fasci- 
nations upon Junot, Governor of Paris, who becomes 
completely infatuated with her — Secret motive of her 
conduct — Anger of Napoleon — His interview with Junot, 
who is removed from his post as Governor of Paris and 
sent as Ambassador to Lisbon — Diss'atisfaction oi Madame 
Mire with the provision made for her — Her letter to the 
Emperor — Increase of her pension — Her life at the 
Chateau of Pont — She is reprimahded by Napoleon — 
She assists at the fetes in honour of the Peace of Tilsit — 
She arranges an interview between the Emperor and 
Lucien at Mantua — Her parsimony — Her generosity to 
her children ....... 



CHAPTER J^XI 

Elisa at Lucca — Her Court — Her palace — Energy and ability 
with which she governs her principaUty— Her Civil List — 
Her commercial enterprises — She forms a company to 
work the marble quarries of Carrara : success of this 
undertaking — Her patronage of literature and the arts — 
She gives birth to a daughter— Her country seat at Marlia 
—Her affairs of the heart : Lespdrut and Bartolomeo 
Cenami — Her skilful attitude towards the'Emperor gains 



54 



CONTENTS ix 

PAGE 

her his confidence and favour — She obtajns a considerable 
increase of territory — Astuteness she displays in order to 
persuade Napoleon to extend the Concordat of Italy to 
Lucca, and enable her to confiscate the revenues of the 
religious houses— Resentment which thi's measure arouses 
among her subjects 82 

CHAPTER XXII 

Pauline during the winter of 1806-7 — Her toilettes — Her 
departure for the South — Suspicions of Madame Mere and 
Fesch in regard to her conduct — Pauline at Gr^oulx — Her 
letters to Forbin, who joins her there — She goes to Nice, 
and thence to Grasse — Termination of her romance with 
Forbin — She returns to Nice — Arrival of the Italian com- 
poser Blangini, who assumes the vacant place in her 
affections— Her visit to Antibes — Borghese is appointed 
Governor-General of the Departments beyond the Alps, 
and Pauline receives orders from the Emperor to accom- 
pany him to Turin — Household and revenues of the 
Prince and Princess Borghese — Their journey to Turin — 
FSte at the Opera-House — Dissatisfaction of Pauline 
with her new life — Defection of Blangipi — PauKne coun- 
terfeits illness — She goes to Aix-les-Bains, where she 
is joined by her mother, alarmed by the reports of her 
condition — She obtains permission to come to Paris — Her 
skilful conduct towards the Emperor — Her reward . . 103 

CHAPTER XXIII 

Murat, disappointed in his hopes of the Crown of Poland, 
returns to Paris^Successful intrigue of Caroline to bring 
about a fresh rupture between Louis and Hortense — The 
Murats at Fontainebleau — Relations of Caroline with 
Metternich, Talleyrand, Fouch^, and Maret—Caroline's 
bal masqui at the Elys^e — Mile. Guillebeau — Murat 
becomes Lieutenant of the Emperor in Spain, and is 
persuaded that Napoleon intends to make him King — 
He is offered his choice between the thrones of Naples 
and Portugal— He accepts Naples— He falls ill, is re- 
lieved of his command in Spain, and goes to Bariges — 
Caroline secures for herself the succession to the Crown 
of Naples, in the event of her surviving her husband — 
Heavy burdens imposed by Napoleon upon Naples — The 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

PAGE 

Emperor compels the Murats to surrender to him the 
whole of their property in France, in return for very 
inadequate compensation 128 



CHAPTER XXIV 

Grief ot Madame M}rc at the rupture betwgen the Emperor 
and Pius VII— She goes with Pauline to Aix-la-Chapelle 
^Beugnot's impressions of her — The Emperor returns 
from the Austrian campaign determined to divorce 
Josephine — The family summoned to Paris — Elation of 
the Bonapartes, and particularly of Madame Mire, at the 
fall of their enemy — Madanids letter to Lucien — The 
divorce accomplished — The Bonapartes desire that 
Lucien's eldest daughter Charlotte, called Lolotte, should 
be the new Empress, frustrated by her father's delay in 
sending her to Paris — Hopes of Madame that Lolotte 
will contribute to bring about a reconciliation between 
the Emperor and Lucien — Napoleon's propositions in 
regard to his brother — Madame's letter to Madame 
Lucien — Unavailing efforts to persuade Lucien to divorce 
his wife — Lolotte proves a broken reed, and is sent back 
to her father — Adventures of Lucien and his family . 145 



CHAPTER XXV 

Annexation of the kingdom of Etruria — ThS hopes of lilisa 
disappointed — Her intrigues during the interregnum in 
Tuscany — The Government-General of the Departments 
of Tuscany erected into a grand dignity of the Empire 
and conferred upon l^lisa, with the title of Grand- 
Duchess — Her functions — Her arrival at Florence — She 
makes a progress through her duchy— Organisation of 
her Court— The Palazzo Pitti— Elisa and the Countess 
of Albany — The Grand-Duchess chafes at the restraints 
imposed upon her by the Emperor— Her despotism at 
Lucca— She visits France for the marriage of the 
Emperor— Birth of her son, Jdrome Charles— Return to 
Tuscany— Organisation of a French theatrical troupe— 
Her lovers— Her amicable relations with her husband- 
Death of Jdrome Charles— Refusal of Napoleon to 
permit her to assist at the baptism 6f the King of 
l^ome ,go 



CONTENTS xi 

CHAPTER XXVI 

. . . PAGE 

Enviable position of Pauline — Her luxury -and extravagance 
— Her treatment of her husband — Pauline and Marie 
Louise — Magnificent f^te given by the princess to their 
Majesties at Neuilly — Unfavourable impression which 
this lavish expenditure makes upon thjje Parisians — The 
fete is repeated for their benefit — Pauline accompanies 
her mother to Aix-la-Chapelle and Spa— MM. de Canou- 
ville and de Septeuil — Unfortunate consequences to the 
former of loving the princess too much, and to the latter 
of not loving her enough . . . . . .180 

CHAPTER XXVII 

Arrival of Murat at Naples — His reception^He is joined by 
Caroline — Difficulties with which he has to contend — 
Auspicious commencement of his reign — Differences with 
the Emperor — Murat and Caroline compromised in the 
conspiracy of Fouchd and Talleyrand — Cause of Napoleon's 
forbearance — Temporary reconciliation- between Murat 
and the Emperor — Caroline, disappointed in her hope of 
being admitted to a share in the government, endeavours 
to obtain influence by indirect means — 'Her liaisons with 
Paul de la Vauguyon and Daure — Salicetti and Maghella 
— Semi-disgrace of Caroline — Opposition of Murat to the 
Austrian marriage — Caroline and Marie Louise — The 
train of the Empress's mantle once tjiore the subject 
of dissension — Madame counsels her daughters and 
daughters-in-law to obey the Emperor — Caroline betrays 
Madame Junofs liaison with Metternich to Junot — 
Quarrel between the Emperor and Murat — Return of 
the latter to Naples — Failure of the expedition against 
Sicily 195 

CHAPTER XXVI n 

The hopes built by Madame Mere on the divorce and re- 
marriage of the Emperor disappointed — Her mortification 
at the strained relations between Napoleon and his family 
— She assists as godmother at the baptism of the King of 
Rome— Her departure for Aix-la-Chapelle— Pauline and 
Casimir de Montrond — Arrest of the latter wrongly 
attributed to his relations with the princess — The Russian 
colonel— Canouville again in favour — His indiscretion — 
He is sent to Danzig by order of the Emperor— Grief of 



xii THE WOMEN BONAf ARTES 

PAGE 

Pauline — Troubles of Elisa in Tuscany^The Emperor 
forbids the Paris journals to insert eulogistic references to 
the Grand-Duchess — l^lisa's protection of the Arts — Her 
prot^gh — Her toilette 220 

CHAPTER XXIX 

Mortifications to which Murat is sul]jected; by the Emperor 
— He believes his throne in danger — And lends a favour- 
able ear to the suggestions of Maghella, who dreams of 
a united and independent Italy — Caroline, resenting the 
isolation to which her husband's jealousy has relegated 
her, intrigues against him — The Emperor seriously con- 
templates dethroning Murat — Murat goes to Paris to make 
his peace —Apprehensions of Caroline — Murat returns to 
Naples, and is informed by Maghella of the intrigues of 
the Queen against him — The Decree of June 14, 181 2 — 
The Emperor quashes the Decree and assumes a mena- 
cing attitude — Caroline's infidelity revealed to her husband 
— Fury of the King — Humiliating position of the Queen 
— Murat's intrigues denounced to the Emperor — The 
stolen Crown jewels of Spain traced to Naples — Caroline 
is sent to Paris to appease her brother^ — Murat is sum- 
moned to join the Grand Army 234 

CHAPTER XXX 

Madame Mire visits the King and Queen of Westphalia at 
Napoleonshohe — Honours paid to her — She secretly 
finances Lucien in England — She goes to Aix-les-Bains 
—Supervision which she exercises over the affairs of 
Corsica — The beginning of the dibdcle : Madame's great 
qualities reveal themselves once more on the approach 
of adversity— She seeks to reconcile her sons to the 
Emperor— Her letter to Louis— The Queen of West- 
phalia at Vont— Madame and Marie Louise — A character- 
istic story— Departure of Pauline for Aix-les-Bains— 
Commandant Auguste Duchand, of the Artillery— Pauline 
learns of the death of Canouville, killed at Borodino— 
Her anguish — She is ordered to winter in the South — 
Duchand recalled to the Army— Pauline's sojourn at 
Hy^res, Nice, and Grifoulx— She sells a diamond neck- 
lace and offers the money to the Emperor— Affairs in 
Tuscany— Benvenuti's painting of tlisa and her Court— 
Nugent's raid 248 



CONTENTS xiii 

CHAPTER XXXI 

Caroline appointed Regent of Naples during the absence of 
Murat in Russia — Her prudent administration — Jealousy 
of her husband, who seeks to confine her authority within 
the naiTowest limits — JNIurat abandons the wreck of the 
Grand Army at Posen, and returns to f^aples — Indigna- 
tion of the Emperor : his letters to Caroline and Murat — 
Miu-at, convinced that his throne is iri jeopardy, enters 
into negotiations with both Austria and Great Britain — 
Caroline at first faithful to the Emperdr, but eventually 
becomes her husband's accomplice, and ably seconds him 
in his criminal intrigjues — Her hypocritical letters to 
Napoleon — Murat, summoned by the Emperor to join 
the Army in Saxony, decides to obey— His motives — 
Skilful manoeuvres of Caroline — Afte^ Leipzig, Murat 
begs the Emperor's permission to return to Naples, which 
is accorded him — Despatch of Aberdeen to Castlereagh 
— Napoleon, deceived by Murat, gives him a free hand in 
Italy — The King's plans interrupted by an ultimatum from 
Austria — The treaty of January ii, 1814 — A comedy at 
the palace — Grief and indignation of Napoleon on learn- 
ing of the treachery of his brother-in-law and sister . 269 

CHAPTER XXX I J 
France invaded — Madame Mere appointed ^ member of the 
Council of Regency during the Emperpr's absence witli 
the Army — The Allies approach Paris — Departure of the 
Imperial Family for Blois — Napoleon dpcides to abdicate 
— Madame and Marie Louise — Madame and Fesch set 
out for Rome — Meeting between Pau^ne and the Em- 
peror during the latter's journey to Fr^jus — Napoleon 
sails for Elba— Elisa, in the hope of preserving Lucca 
and Piombino, negotiates with Murat, and associates her- 
self in his treason — The Neapolitan troops admitted to 
Florence— Departure of Elisa for Lqcca : tumultuous 
scenes — Evacuation of Tuscany by the French troops — 
Elisa announces that she has severed all connection with 
the Empire, and proceeds to annex several outlying dis- 
tricts of the Kingdom of Italy— Her hopes of preserving 
her principahty frustrated by Bentinck, who expels her 
from Lucca— She goes to France, but, after the abdica- 
tion of Napoleon, returns to Italy and settles at Bologna 
—Birth of a son 293 



xiv THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 



CHAPTER XXXIII 

PAGE 

Madame decides to join the Emperor in Elba, and embarks 
at Leghorn on board the British corvette Grasshopper — 
Sir Neil Campbell's impressions of Madame — Her arrival 
at Porto Ferrajo — Her house in Elba^Rosa MeUini — 
Visit of Pauline to Elba on her way ito Naples — She 
decides to spend the winter in the island, where she 
arrives at the end of October 1814 — Atrocious calumny 
concerning her and Napoleon — Life in Elba — Differences 
between Pauline and her brother on money matters — The 
Emperor's books — Napoleon embarks for France — His 
conversation with his mother before his departure — 
Campbell and Va.\^\Xie.— Madame sails : for Naples, but 
returns to France at the end of May_ — The Hundred 
Days — Second abdication of Napoleon — The last fare- 
well at Malmaison — Madame again goes into exile — 
Pauline, landing in Tuscany, is held prisoner by the 
Austrians in the Chateau of Compignano — Her plan to 
escape discovered — She is eventually released and sails 
for Rome 303 

CHAPTER XXXIV 

Position of Murat and Caroline after the fallof the Empire — 
Intrigues of Louis Philippe to secure the restoration of 
Ferdinand IV to Naples — Demands of Talleyrand at the 
Congress of Vienna — Attitude of Metternich — Murat, 
fearful of losing his throne, recommences his intrigues in 
Italy, and makes overtures to Napoleon — On the return 
of the Emperor from Elba, without waiting for his in- 
structions, he declares war on Austria — Explanation of 
his conduct — Responsibility of Carohne considered — 
Murat is defeated at Tolentino, returns to Naples, and 
escapes to France— Caroline compelled to take refuge 
with the British fleet — She is conveyed to Trieste on 
board H.M.S. Tremendous — Murat offers his services to 
the Emperor, who declines them — After the second ab- 
dication of Napoleon, he takes refuge in Corsica— And 
resolves to attempt the reconquest of his kingdom- 
Having decided to refuse the offer of an asylum in 
Austria, he sets sail for Calabria — His fate . . . 327 



CONTENTS XV 

CHAPTER XXXV 

PAGE 

Italy, after the second abdication of Napoteon, becomes the 
refuge of the Bonapartes — Madame Mire in Rome — She 
offers her whole fortune to Napoleon, who, however, 
declines to avail himself of her generosity — Her letter to 
the Allied Sovereigns — She is suspected by the French 
Government of endeavouring to foment" disturbances in 
Corsica — Her retired life — Her generosity to her children 
— She refuses to discontinue the use of the Imperial 
Arms — Her hatred of Marie Louise — Her anguish on 
learning of the Emperor's death — Antommarchi's inter- 
views with her on his return from St. Helena — Elisa at 
Bologna — After the return of the Emperor from Elba, 
the Austrian Government declines to permit her to remain 
in Italy — She settles at Trieste — Her last years — Her 
death — Her children — Monument erected by Baciocchi — 
Pauline in Rome — Her popularity in Society — Her devo- 
tion to the Emperor — She writes to the Earl of Liverpool 
to demand the removal of Napoleon from St. Helena — 
She becomes very ill— She is reconciled to her husband — 
Her death 345 

CHAPTER XXXVI 

Caroline in Austria — Her financial embarrassments — Her 
claims on the French Government — Restrictions imposed 
on her by the AHied Powers — She complains of the 
conduct of Mettemich — She settles at Trieste, where she 
is visited by Madame Rdcamier, and 'by the Countess 
Potocka-Wonsowicz — Impressions of the latter — Caro- 
line's anecdotes of Napoleon — Relations with General 
Macdonald — She obtains permission to reside in Florence 
— Her popularity in Society— Her visit to Paris in 1838— 
Her death— Last years oi Madame Mire— Her letters to 
Marie Louise on learning of the death of the Duke of 
Reichstadt — She becomes crippled and blind— Her joy 
on learning that the statue of Napoleon is to be replaced 
on the Vendome Column — She declines the offer to ex- 
cept her from the decree banishing the Bonapartes from 
France — Her death — Her remains removed to Ajaccio . 364 

Index 381 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

<:aroline BONAPMITE, QuEEN OF NAPLES, and her elder 
daughter, Princesse Marie Lcetitia Josephine 
MuRAT (afterwards Contessa Pep5li), from the 
painting by Madame Lebrun at Versailles . Frontispiece 

(Fhatoglaph by Neuidein frfeies) 

FACING PAGE 

Pauline Bonaparte, Princess Borghese, from the 

statue by Canova, in the Villa BorgheSe, Rome . 8 

(Photograph by Anderson, Rome) 

6lisa Bonaparte on the Throne of Lucca, from the 
statue by Lorenzo Bartolini, reproduced from M. Paul 
Marmottan's les Arts en Toscane soils NapoUon: la 
Princesse lilisa, by permission of the author . . 36 

Andoche Junot, Due D'ABRANTfcs, from a lithograph by 

Delpech .- . . . 60 

The Marriage of Jerome Bonaparte and the 
Princess Catherine of Wurtemberg (August 22, 
1807), from an engraving after the painting by Regnault 
(British Museum) 76 

The Gallery of :6lisa's Palace at Lucca in i8o8, re- 
produced from M. Paul Marmottan's les Arts en 
Toscane sous NapoUon: la Princesse i,lisa^ by per- 
mission of the author 84 

Louis Nicolas Philippe auguste, Comte de Forbin, 
from an engraving by Reinaud, after the drawing by 
Ingres (Bibliothfeque Nationale) . . . . 108 



xviii THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

FACING PAGE 

HORTENSE DE BEAUHARNAIS, QueEN OF *HOLLAND, from 
an engraving after the drawing by Pauquet (British 
Museum) -. . . . 13° 

The Empress Josephine, from the painting by Gdrard 

at Versailles • ... 150 

(Photograph by Neurdein freres) 

^LisA Bonaparte, Grand-Duchess of Tuscany, after 
a miniature painted in 1810. Reproduced from M. Paul 
Marmottan's i:iisa Bonaparte, by permission of M. 
Honor^ Champion 172 

Pauline Bonaparte, Princess Borghese, from the 

painting by Madame Lebrun at Versailles . . .188 

(Photograph by Neurdein freres) 

Klemens Lothar Wenzel, Prince von Metternich, 
from an engraving by Lewis, after the painting by Sir 
Thomas Lawrence (British Museum) .... 216 

Maria Letizia Bonaparte, " Madame M£re," from the 

painting by Gdrard at Versailles 252 

(Photograph specially taken for the book) 

£lisa, Grand-Duchess ok Tuscany, in* the midst of 
her Court, after the painting by B^nvenuti, repro- 
duced from M. Paul Marmottan's les Arts en Toscane 
sous NapoUon : la Princesse ^lisa, by permission of 
the author 266 

The Empress Marie Louise, from t'he painting by 

Gdrard at Versailles ....... 296 

(Photograph by L6vy) 

Porto Ferrajo, Elba, in 18 14, reproduced from Dr. J. 
Holland Rose's The Life of NapoleoJi I, by per- 
mission of Messrs. G. Bell and Sons .... 308 

Colonel (afterwards General Sir) Neil Campbell, repro- 
duced from his Napoleon at Fontainebleau and Elba, 
by permission of Mr. John Murray . . . .316 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS xix 

FACING PAGE 

Caroline Bonaparte, Queen of Naples, from an en- 
graving after the drawing by Flameng (British Museum) 332 

Maria Letizia Bonaparte, "Madame MiRE," after a 
drawing made in 1835 by Princesse Charlotte Bona- 
parte, reproduced from Baron Larrey's Madame M^re, 
by permission of M. Arthfeme Fayard, Paris . . 376 



THE 

WOMEN BONA.PARTES 

CHAPTER XVIII 

Pauline in Rome — Her reception by the Papal Court and by 
Society — The favourable impression which she creates is soon 
dissipated — Remonstrances of Napoleon — Pauline sighs for 
Paris — She visits Pisa, Florence, and Lucca — Death of her 
little son, Dermide Leclerc — She returns to France — Madame 
Bonaparte prolongs her stay in Italy, in the hope of inducing 
the Emperor to recall Lucien — She sets out for Paris, but does 
not arrive until after the Coronation — Viplent dispute over the 
question of the Imperial Princesses bearing the train of 
Josephine's mantle at the Coronation-r-Napoleon insists on 
their fulfilling this duty — Their spiteful behaviour towards the 
Empress — Formation of the households of Elisa, Pauline, and 
Caroline — The Emperor refuses to confirm the rank and title 
of his mother, until she consents to make a formal protest 
against the marriage of Jerome Bonaparte and Elizabeth Pat- 
terson — His letter to her after the arrival of Jerome and his 
wife at Lisbon — She becomes Imperial Highness and "Pro- 
tectress of the Sisters of Charity"— Her Household— Her 
portrait by the Duchesse d'Abrant^s — Napoleon purchases for 
her the Chateau of Pont-sur-Seine. 

WE left Pauline setting out with her 
husband on her journey to Italy. After 
spending a few days in Florence, at 
Borghese's palace in the Via Ghibellina, and 
being entertained, by the widowed Queen of 
Etruria, to a State dinner at the Palazzo Pitti, 



2 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

on which occasion the comical -sight which that 
ugly, deformed little princess presented in full 
Court toilette so tickled Pauline that she was 
quite unable to restrain her merriment, they 
reached Rome on December 9: 

The new princess, as may be supposed, had 
no reason to complain of the reception which was 
accorded her, both by the Papal Court and by 
society. On the day of her arrival. Cardinal 
Consalvi, the Secretary of State, the Dowager- 
Princess Borghese, and all her husband's relatives 
residing in Rome called upon her, and over- 
whelmed her with compliments and attentions. 
A few days later, she had an audience of 
Pius VII, who accorded her the unusual honour 
of being received in his own apkrtments, instead 
of in the gardens of the Vatican, where ladies of 
high rank were usually presented to him ; and 
Consalvi wrote to the Nuncio in Paris that his 
Holiness had been pleased with her beyond all 
conception, and the princess eqiially so with the 
Pope, and that the latter had made her a present 
of "a magnificent chaplet and a superb cameo." 
The next few days were devoted to receiving, at 
the Palazzo Borghese, the Roman nobility, the 
members of the Sacred College; and the Diplo- 
matic Corps, and a round of sumptuous dinners 
and magnificent fetes completed the princess's 
introduction to her new life. 

Pauline certainly seems to have made a won- 
derfully favourable impression upon Roman 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 3 

society, and Consalvi's despatches to Caprara 
are full of the most glowing accounts of her 
physical and moral perfections, the charm which 
she exercised over every one, from the Holy 
Father downwards, " the great and edifying 
familiarity " in which she lived with her mother- 
in-law and the Borghese, and the tender affection 
which reigned between her and her husband, all 
of which was, needless to say, duly brought by 
the astute Nuncio to the notice of the Emperor, 
and occasioned him such gratification that, on 
January 17, 1804, he wrote to accredit his sister 
officially to the Pope, which, owing to his anger 
at her mariage de conscience, he had hitherto 
refused to do. 

But, unhappily. Napoleon's hopes that his 
volatile sister would be contented with her new 
life, and would continue to deserve the encomiums 
which were lavished upon her, were doomed to 
disappointment. For a few weeks — that is to 
say, until the novelty of her surroundings had 
beeun to wear off — Pauline was enchanted with 
Rome. She was gratified by the universal 
homage which was paid her, the murmurs of 
admiration which greeted her whenever she 
appeared in public, the splendid entertainments 
which were g-iven in her honour. She was 
pleased with the sumptuously-furnished apart- 
ments set apart for her use .in that splendid 
palace with its cloistered courtyard and its 
Renaissance garden ; and, although she knew 



4 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

little, and cared less, about art, she must have 
felt a thrill of pride when she first entered that 
far-famed gallery, filled with the masterpieces of 
Raphael and Titian, of Correggio and Botticelli, 
of Domenichino and Bernini, of Lorenzo di 
Credi and Leonardo da Vinci, which strangers 
came from all parts of Europe to admire, and 
reflected that her husband was the master of all 
these treasures. She was pleased, too, with the 
Villa Borghese, although the impressions its 
beauties made upon her were probably very 
different from those experienced by Madame de 
Stael ;^ and she is said to have remarked on 
being introduced to Agasias's Gladiator, now in 
the Louvre, that it would look all the better for 
a good scrubbing. 

But it was not in Pauline's nature to be satis- 
fied with anything long, and soon she began to 
feel profoundly bored, and to indulge in compari- 
sons between Rome and Paris, very much to 
the disadvantage of the Eternal City. Rome was 
beautiful no doubt, but oh! so triste ; ruin and decay 
seemed to be in the very air. She met persons 
who declared that they loved it, and that they 
could be happy nowhere else. Eh bien ! They 
were welcome to it. But, for herself, she preferred 
Paris ; yes, a thousand times ; there one lived, 
here one vegetated. And the people — these 

' " Ovide et Vergile pourraient se promener dans ce beau lieu, 
et se croire encore au si^cle de Auguste. . . . Tout est Ik pour la 
pensde, pour I'imagination, pour la reverie."i-CORlNNE. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 5 

cardinals, diplomats, and nobles. Mon Dieu ! 
how dull they were, how pompous, how self- 
opinionated ! If she had to spend much of her 
time among them, she would assuredly die of 
ennui ! 

The truth was that Pauline was far from happy 
in her married life. She did not love her 
husband ; she did not even respect him, as she 
certainly had "her little Leclerc." She had been 
dazzled, for a time, by the glamour of his rank 
and his wealth ; but when that had passed away, 
whether it was that his Highness was not suffi- 
ciently generous, or not sufficiently devoted, or 
not sufficiently complaisant, she decided that he 
was but a poor creature, wholly unworthy to 
possess such a priceless treasure as herself, and 
there were moments when she found it difficult 
to dissimulate the disdain with which he inspired 
her. 

With her husband's family, and particularly 
with his mother, matters were even worse. Al- 
though, for " reasons of State,^' the dowager- 
princess had deemed it prudent to express her 
warm approval of her son's marriage, and had 
welcomed Pauline very cordially on her arrival 
in Rome, she appears to have been, in reality, 
anything but favourably disposed towards it, nor 
was the conduct of her daughter-in-law calculated 
to alter her views. She disapproved of her 
levity and extravagance ; she deeply resented 
the indifference and the disdain which she dis- 



6 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

played towards her husband, and she was 
shocked, as, indeed, were many other worthy 
matrons, at her disregard of the conventions, 
of that outward appearance of gravity and de- 
corum, which respect for the papal hierarchy 
imposed upon Roman society, and which even 
its most frivolous members did not venture to 
ignore. By the beginning of thq spring, the 
relations between Pauline and her husband's 
family jhad become so strained, that Joseph 
Fesch, after vainly remonstrating with his niece, 
was obliged to appeal to Napoleon, who lost no 
time in admonishing the culprit. 

Germinal i6, Year 'XII 

[ylpril 6, 1 804) 

Madame and dear sister, — I am informed 
that you have not the good sense to conform 
to the manners and customs of the, city of Rome, 
that you show contempt for the inhabitants, and 
that your eyes are continually turned towards 
Paris. Although occupied with important affairs, 
I have, nevertheless, decided to make known to 
you my intentions, in the hope that you will 
conform to them. 

Love your husband and his family ; be con- 
siderate. Accommodate yourself to the customs 
of the city of Rome, and be very sure that if, at 
your age, you permit yourself to. be guided by 
evil counsels, you can no longer coutit on me. 

As for Paris, you may be sure that you will 
firid no support there, and that I shall never 
receive you, except in the company of your 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 7 

husband. If you quarrel with him, the fault will 
be yours, and, then, France will be interdicted to 
you. You will lose your happiness and my 
affection. 

And, by the same courier, the First Consul 
despatched the following instructions to Fesch : 

M. le Cardinal Fesch, — -I send you a letter for 
Madame Paulette. I do not attach credence to 
more than half of what you say in your letter ; 
nevertheless, it is distressing for me to think that 
Madame Borghese does not understand how 
important it is for her happiness to accustom 
herself to the manners of Rome, and to procure, 
from the esteem of that great city, a recompense 
which ought to be sweet to a heart as naturally 
good as hers. At the same time, I acquaint you 
with my intentions, in a manner both very simple 
and very precise ; I trust that she will conform to 
them, and, besides, the arrival of her mother will 
afford her good counsel, by which she will profit. 
Tell her then, from me, that she is no longer 
beautiful, that she will be still less so a few years 
hence, and that for the whole of her life she ought 
to be good and esteemed. It is right, also, that 
her husband should take into consideration the 
life to which she was accustomed in Paris, and 
that he should allow her the liberty which our 
women are accustomed to enjoy in this country. 
She ought to study to please her husband's family 
and all the grandees of Rome, and to establish a 
tone in society befitting the rank she occupies, 
and not those bad manners which good breeding 
condemns, even in the most frivolous circles in 
the capital, 



8 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

In order to minimise the danger of Pauline 
ignoring his instructions and making a sudden 
descent on Paris, Napoleon endeavoured to per- 
suade her to sell him her hotel in the Rue 
Faubourg Saint- Honor6, which she had acquired 
in April 1803, and which it was his wish to 
present to Hortense, who greatly admired it. 
The princess, however, divined her brother's 
intentions, and instructed her man of business 
in Paris to put so extravagant a price upon 
the property that the negotiations came to no- 
thing. 

On the arrival of Madame Bonaparte in Rome, 
Pauline's conduct became more circumspect ; but 
she did not cease to sigh for the delights of her 
beloved Paris, and made no attempt to conceal 
the ennui which possessed her. The proclama- 
tion of the Empire, and the news that she had 
become a princess in her own right, was naturally 
very gratifying to her vanity, but, at the same 
time, served but to intensify her longing to return 
to France. Was it not exasperating that Jilisa 
and Caroline should be enjoying all the gaieties 
of the Imperial Court, while she", who was far 
more fitted to shine amid such surroundino-s than 
either of them, should be condemned to spend 
her life entertaining pompous cardinals and dull 
diplomatists, under the censorious eye of a prudish 
mother-in-law ? 

At the beginning of June, she persuaded her 
husband to take her to Pisa, on the plea that she 




X 
O 

o 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 9 

was ill and wished to try the baths. A few 
days, however, sufficed to convince her that the 
baths did not agree with her constitution, and 
she accordingly betook herself to Florence, where, 
for the first time, she tasted the pleasure of being 
received with all the honours due to royalty. 
After remaining a fortnight at Florence, and 
bewildering the little Etrurian Court, as much 
by the splendour and variety of her toilettes as 
by her beauty, her Imperial Highness proceeded 
to Bagni di Lucca, where, towards the middle of 
July, she was joined by her mother. 

The baths of Lucca, or, more probably, the 
many distinguished visitors whiom their fame 
attracted thither, suited Pauline much better than 
those of Pisa ; she appears to have thoroughly 
enjoyed herself Every one was charmed by her 
amiability and condescension, which she carried 
so far as not only to attend a ball given by the 
mayor, but even to dance with some of the 
civic functionaries. However, a^ month after her 
arrival at Lucca, sad news arrived from Rome. 
On August II, her little son, Dermide Leclerc, 
now six years of age, who, when his mother left 
Rome, had been sent to Borghese's villa at 
Frascati, in charge of his nurs*es, was attacked 
by fever and died three days later. 

Her first husband's relatives, with whom Pauline 
was on very bad terms — they had quarrelled over 
the general's will, and the Leclercs had taken 
great offence at her insisting upon taking Der- 



lo THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

mide to Italy, instead of entrusting him to their 
care — accused her openly of having neglected 
the child and of leaving him to die in the care 
of servants. There seems, however, to be no 
foundation for the first charge ; and, in regard to 
the second, even if Pauline had been warned 
immediately the boy fell ill and had started for 
Rome without a moment's delay, she could not 
have arrived in time, whereas she appears to 
have been ignorant of his illness until the fatal 
news reached her. 

On the other hand, it must be admitted that 
her subsequent conduct certainly provided the Le- 
clercs with some excuse for the hard things they 
said about her. Instead of returning to Rome, 
she remained at Lucca until the end of August, 
when she removed to a villa belonging to her 
husband in the outskirts of Florence. Here, 
instead of living in the retirement which her loss 
would have seemed to exact, she frequently 
entertained the Queen of Etruria, and assisted 
at several fetes at the Court. She did not even 
wear mourning, since in Italy it was not then 
customary to do so for children under the age of 
seven. 

It would, however, be unfair to conclude from 
this that Pauline had no affection for her child, 
still less that she was without heart. The proba- 
bility is that she felt her little son's death acutely 
at the time, as she had that of his father ; but, as 
we have observed elsewhere, she was incapable 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES ii 

of harbouring any deep sentiment for long, and 
the more lively her emotions, the shorter was 
their duration. 

Whatever may have been her feelings, how- 
ever, it is certain that she did not lose sight of 
the excellent pretext which the sad event afforded 
her for returning to Paris. She desired that her 
son should be interred at Montgobert, by the 
side of his father. Napoleon naturally could 
not refuse her permission to accompany the 
funeral cortege, and at the beginning of October 
she set out for France. Nor, when the obse- 
quies had been performed, did she experience 
any difficulty in obtaining permission to pass 
some time at the Hotel Charost,- and assist at the 
approaching Coronation, which had been fixed for 
Brumaire i8, the anniversary of the coup d'litat 
of the Year VII, but was subsequently postponed 
to December 2. 

Madame Bonaparte, as we must still call Letizia, 
since the title of Imperial Highness had not yet 
been officially conferred upon her, did not carry 
out her original intention of returning to France 
after her visit to Lucca, since the alarming illness 
of her friend Madame litienne Clary recalled her 
to Rome. This lady, who was so devoted to her 
that she had insisted on sharing her voluntary 
exile, notwithstanding that she was a very wealthy 
woman and had a husband and several children 
to whom she was greatly attached, died soon 



12 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

after Letizia's return to Rome, to her intense 
grief. Her death was, indeed, a far greater loss to 
Madame Bonaparte than she had any conception. 
Although of humble origin and little education, 
Madame Clary was a person of sound judgment 
and quite exceptional tact, and was the only 
Frenchwoman who exercised any appreciable 
influence over the Emperor's mother. Letizia 
had intended to appoint her her Dame d'honneur, 
and had she lived to occupy that post, her counsels 
would have been of incalculable value to her 
patroness. 

After the death of Madame Clary, however, 
Madame Bonaparte still delayed her departure 
for France. Her ostensible reason seems to 
have been that the Emperor had not yet 
officially commanded her presence at the Coro- 
nation. But her true motive was undoubtedly 
the hope that, by prolonging her stay in Italy, 
she might contrive to induce Napoleon to recall 
Lucien and recognise him as a member of the 
Imperial Family. At length, on November 14, 
after having addressed a very urgent appeal to 
the Emperor, either personally or through the 
medium of Fesch, she left Rome and travelled as 
far as Milan, where she was joined by Lucien 
and his family. Here she remained a week, in 
anticipation that a courier would arrive with a 
summons for Lucien to take his place by the side 
of the throne. But her hopes were doomed to 
disappointment, and she had to continue her 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 13 

journey alone, though, as a protest against Napo- 
leon's harshness, she travelled very leisurely and 
did not arrive in Paris until December 19, more 
than a fortnight after the Coronation had taken 
place. Nevertheless, by the Emperor's orders, 
David included her in his well-known painting 
of that ceremony, where she is depicted in full 
Court toilette, blazing with jewels, and wearing a 
look of ineffable complacency. 

The Coronation had not passed off without 
considerable unpleasantness, due to the rancour 
of the Bonaparte family against Josephine. At 
a council held on November 17*, to regulate the 
ceremonial to be observed on this occasion, there 
was a violent dispute between the Emperor and 
Joseph. The latter declared that it was deroga- 
tory to the dignity of the priilcesses that they 
should be called upon to carry the train of the 
Empress's ermine mantle, and quoted various 
precedents in support of his contention. Napo- 
leon, however, insisted on their performing this 
duty, whereupon Joseph told him that he would 
prefer to resign his office of Grand Elector and 
retire to Germany rather than permit his wife to 
demean herself thus. Finding, however, that his 
brother was quite ready to take him at his word, 
and that he must choose between obedience and 
the loss of his titles and prerogatives, he finally 
yielded, to the intense chagrin of his sisters, who 
had done their utmost to incite him to resistance. 



14 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

Then Caroline engaged Napoleon, and over- 
whelmed him with entreaties and reproaches. 
"When dealing with her," exclaimed the dis- 
gusted Emperor, " I must always place myself in 
order of battle. To make a woman of my family 
understand my intentions, I am compelled to 
make speeches as long as those I deliver to the 
Senate or the Council of State. "^ When she 
found that he remained deaf to all appeals, and 
that Joseph could not be prevailed upon to re- 
turn to the charge, Caroline had recourse to her 
friends in the Council, and to those of the 
Emperor's old comrades who were privileged 
to speak to him freely ; and almost up to the 
last moment Napoleon was tormented by the re- 
presentations of her ambassadors. But all was 
in vain, and the only concession "that could be 
extorted from him were that the words "to sup- 
port the mantle " should be used in the proces- 
verbal, instead of "to carry the train." ^ The 
princesses succeeded, however, in obtaining per- 
mission to have their own trains borne by their 
respective chamberlains ; and this distinction 
somewhat consoled them for the obligation that 
was imposed upon them. 

Since they could not escape it, they deter- 
mined that it should be fulfilled with the worst 
possible grace, and that they would do all in 
their power to make their enemy appear ridicu- 

^ Roedever, Mhnoires. 

^ Miot de M^lito, Mimoires. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 15 

lous.'^ The consequence was that the Empress, 
whose elegance, dignity, and unaffected bear- 
ing delighted all eyes,^ was so overpowered by 
the weight of her magnificent mantle, that she 
could only walk with the greatest difficulty, since 
her train-bearers would scarcely lift it from the 
ground ; while, at the moment when she was 
ascending the steps of the throne, they suddenly 
loosed their hold, in such a way that she was 
quite unable to advance, and with difficulty saved 
herself from falling backwards. Happily, Napo- 
leon was on the alert, and a few sharp words 
from him sufficed to bring his spiteful relatives 
to reason.^ 

During the weeks which preceded and followed 
the Coronation, the sisters of the Emperor were 
much occupied in the formation of their respec- 
tive Households. These, by Napoleon's instruc- 
tions, were arranged with a strict regard to the 
"Fusion System," that is to say, to his policy of 
blending the old nobility with the new, and 
endeavouring to unite both parties for the sup- 

' Josephine's mantle was supported by Caroline, Julie, Elisa, 
Pauline, and Hortense. Julie was almost as bitter about the 
matter as the Emperor's sisters, though for a different reason. 
She is said to have declared that "such a duty was painful for 
a virtuous woman." Hortense was, of course, innocent of all 
complicity in the amiable intentions of the other princesses. 

2 " I have had the honour of being presented to many ' real 
princesses ' — to employ the phrase of the Faubourg Saint-Germain ; 
but I never saw one who, to my eyes, presented so perfect a 
personification of elegance and majesty."— Duchess d'Abrantfes, 
Memoires. 

^ Madame de Rdmusat, Mimoires. 



?6 THE WOMEN BONA?ARTES 

port of his throne. The idea of having for 
chamberlains and ladies-in-waiting members of 
the oldest families in France was naturally very 
gratifying to their Imperial Highnesses, and in 
this matter, at any rate, they did their utmost to 
carry out their brother's wishes. 

^llsa. secured for her Almoner M. de Pans^- 
mont, Bishop of Vannes. Her Chamberlain was 
M. d'Esterno, who was related by marriage to the 
Caulaincourt family ; her Dame d'honneur was 
Madame de la Place, wife of the geometrician, 
who had lately become Minister of the Interior ; 
while her ladies-in-waitinsr were Madame Roland 
de Chambaudoin, wife of a former councillor of 
the Parlement of Paris, and the ci-devant Mar- 
quise de Brehan de PI6I0, nde de Cr^cy, "a lady 
as amiable and intelligent as she'was good." 

Pauline flew at high game, and endeavoured 
to capture for the post of her First Chamberlain 
no less a person than the ci-dievant Due de la 
Rochefoucauld - Doudeauville, whom she had 
met in Rome, when he had paid her considerable 
attention. But the head of the Lg. Rochefoucaulds 
considered that between flirting with the wife of 
Prince Borghese in Rome, and carrying the train 
of Bonaparte's sister in Paris, there was a good 
deal of difference, and declined the lady's offer. 
Another ci-devant duke, how*ever — Clermont- 
Tonnerre to wit, — was less fastfdious, probably 
because the Revolution had reduced him to such 
poverty that he had been obliged to borrow the 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 17 

coat in which he made his first appearance at the 
Imperial Court, and he accepted with alacrity 
what La Rochefoucauld had refused. Her 
First Equerry was Louis Marquet de Montbreton, 
whom she had known when Madame Leclerc — as 
his country-estate was situated near Montgobert — 
and who was related by marriage to the Briennes. 
While among her ladies-in-waiting was Madame 
de Barral, a young woman of great personal 
attractions, who had the double distinction of 
arousing a very lively interest in the breast of the 
Emperor, and of resisting the Imperial advances. 
Caroline, who had placed the Faubourg Saint- 
Germain in her debt by. her intervention on 
behalf of the Royalists compromised in the con- 
spiracy of Cadoudal and Pichegru, had no diffi- 
culty in recruiting her Household from its ranks, 
and appointed as her Chamberlain M. d'Aligre, 
"whose name and fortune sufficed, in the Em- 
peror's opinion, to form a banner round which the 
most adverse parties might rally. '^^ M. de Cambis, 
called le roi de Perse, in allusion to his homo- 
nym Cambyses, son of Cyrus, was her First 
Equerry, and the amiable and accomplished 
Charles de Longchamps her secretary. It would 
appear that she was, at this moment, anxious to 
re-establish herself in Josdphine's good graces — 
presumably after the mantle incident at the 
Coronation, the Emperor had spoken his mind to 
his sisters pretty freely, and Caroline had recog- 

' Duchesse d'Abrant^s, Meiiioires. 
II. — 2 



i8 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

nised that she had gone too far — for the majority 
of the appointments were made on the Empress's 
recommendation. Thus Barral, Bishop of Meaux, 
"whose mother was a Beauharnais, became her 
Almoner ; Madame Claude de Beauharnais, wife 
of a cousin of the Empress, her Dame d'honneur, 
and Madame Carra-Saint-Cyr, wife of the general 
of that name and a personal friend of Josephine, 
one of her ladies-in-waiting. 

Madame Bonaparte, who, on her arrival in 
Paris, on December 19, 1804, had taken up her 
residence at the Hotel de Brienne, in the Rue 
Saint-Dominique, which she had purchased, from 
Lucien, for 600,000 francs, did not begin to form 
her Household until a much later date than her 
daughters. The Emperor was, in fact, exceed- 
ingly irritated against his mother, and, although 
he welcomed her very affectionately, he refused 
for three months to confirm the rank and title he 
had decided to confer upon her, or to give her any 
public mark of favour. Not only had she in- 
curred his displeasure by the fervour with which 
she had espoused the cause of her dear Lucien, 
but she had hitherto refused to- bend to his will 
in regard to the marriage of Jerome and Miss 
Elizabeth Patterson ; and, it would appear, had, 
like Joseph and Lucien, even . encouraged that 
young gentleman to bring his wife to France. 
Although Jerome was still under age, and his 
marriage, contracted without his mother's consent. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 19 

was consequently illegal according to French law, 
unless Letizia could be prevailed upon to enter 
a formal protest against it, Napoleon might find it 
exceedingly difficult to set it aside. The Emperor 
therefore gave her very plainly to understand 
that, until she consented to sign the documents 
necessary to constrain J6r6me to obedience, she 
must expect nothing more from him : no rank, no 
title, no increase of allowance. 

For two months she declined to yield, for all 
the mother in her rebelled against the idea of 
forcibly separating her youngest son from a wife 
to whom he appeared to be so devotedly attached ; 
while she was reluctant to inflict so heavy a 
punishment upon a young woman, who, if she 
had consulted her interests rather than her heart, 
had been far less to blame in the matter than her 
ambitious relatives. But Napoleon, she knew, 
would never restore Jerome to favour on any 
other terms, but would cast him off, as he had 
already cast off Lucien ; and the thought of an 
indefinite separation from another of her children 
was pain and grief to her. And then she had 
her own interests to consider. To her, it seemed 
an unspeakable humiliation that her daughters 
and daughters-in-law should b6 Imperial High- 
nesses, with little Courts of their own, while she, 
who had given the Emperor birth, who had a 
better right than any of them to such honours, 
remained plain Madame Bonaparte. It was 
more than flesh and blood — certainly more than 



20 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

Corsican flesh and blood — could* be expected to 
endure; and on February 22, 1805, she gave way, 
and entered before a notary a solemn protest 
"against any marriage contracted by her son 
Jerome Bonaparte in a foreign' country, without 
her consent and in contempt of the law." 

Armed with this document,. Napoleon pro- 
ceeded to make short work of the uxorious 
Jerome. On March 2 — the eve of his brother's 
departure with his wife from Baltimore — he issued 
a decree, which, after citing the aforementioned 
protest, "forbade all the civil officers of the 
Empire to receive on their registers the tran- 
scription of the certificate of celebration of a 
pretended marriage which M. Jerome Bonaparte 
had contracted in a foreign country." A further 
decree of March 1 1 reinforced* the former, and 
declared the marriage null and void, and any 
children born, or to be born, of the said marriage 
illegitimate." 

On April 8, Jerome and his. wife entered the 
Bay of Lisbon, only to discover that orders had 
been issued that on no account was " Miss Patter- 
son " to be allowed to land ; and, a fortnight later, 
we find the Emperor writing to his mother as 
follows : 

M. J^r6me Bonaparte has reached Lisbon 
with the woman with whom he lives. I have 
sent orders to this prodigal son to proceed to 
Milan, by way of Perpignan, Toulouse, Grenoble, 
and Turin. I have given him to understand that, 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 21 

if he diverges from this route, he will be arrested. 
Miss Patterson, who is living with him, has taken 
the precaution of bringing her brother with her. 
I have given orders that she should be sent back 
to America. ... I shall treat this young man 
severely, if, in the only interview I shall grant 
him, he shows himself unworthy of the name he 
bears, and persists in wishing; to continue his 
intrigue. If he is not prepared to wash out the 
dishonour he has brought on my name by aban- 
doning his country's flag on sea and land for the 
sake of a wretched woman, I shall cast him off 
for ever. . . . On the supposition that he is 
going to Milan, write to him ;* tell him that I 
have been a father to him ; that his duty towards 
me is sacred, and that he has no longer any way 
of salvation except in following my instructions. 
Speak to his sisters, that they may write to him 
also, for when I have passed sentence upon him, 
I shall be inflexible. 

Jerome was not made of such stern stuff as 
Lucien, while, unlike his elder brother, he had 
not his enchantress by his side to encourage him 
in his resistance. Once separated from his wife, 
her image soon began to pale, and eighteen months 
later, the marriage was formally annulled. 

A month before the above letter was written, 
Madame Bonaparte had received the reward of her 
subserviency to the Imperial will. On March 23, 
the Moniteur announced that she would hence- 
forth bear the title of ''Son Altesse Impdriale 
Madame, mere de I'Empereur" and, on the same 
day, a decree conferred upon her the dignity of 



22 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

" Protectress of the Hospital Sisters and of the 
Sisters of Charity throughout the whole extent 
of the Empire." This latter distinction, it is to 
be feared, she did not appreciate quite so much 
as might have been expected, since it imposed 
upon her not only the obligation of presiding at 
meetings in aid of various charities, at which, 
owing to her permanent difficulty of expressing 
herself correctly in French, sheVas always awk- 
ward and constrained, but of occasionally heading 
subscription lists. 

The Emperor himself nominated the members 
of his mother's Household, since he was well 
aware that, if he permitted the old lady to exer- 
cise her own discretion in the matter, she would 
promptly surround herself with needy Corsicans, 
friends ■a.xxdi protdgh of the disgraced Lucien, and 
such-like undesirable persons. It was composed 
strictly in accordance with the " Fusion system," 
the great names of the new and old rigime being 
mingled together in almost equal proportions ; 
and consisted of a dame d'honneur, four ladies-in- 
waiting, a reader, a first chamberlain, and two 
chamberlains-in-ordinary, three equerries, an al- 
moner, two chaplains, an intendant, a chief 
physician and three surgeons-in-ordinary, and a 
private secretary, besides minor iofficials. 

Madame de Fontanges, wife of the ci-devant 
Vicomte de Fontanges, who at the beginning of 
the Revolution was commandant of the southern 
portion of St. Domingo, was the Dame d' honneur. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 23 

She was a Creole and a connection of the Empress, 
and is described as "handsomq, inoffensive, and 
indolent." On her appointment, she was created 
a Baroness of the Empire. The four ladies-in- 
waiting were Madame de Fleurieu, whose husband 
had been Minister of Marine under Louis XVI, 
"a very respectable and a very virtuous lady, 
who seemed born to be the attendant of an elderly 
princess, since she appeared to have been never 
young herself" ; Madame de Saint-Pern, a very 
charming Creole, who had shared Josephine's im- 
prisonment in 1793, and the wives of two of the 
recently created Marshals of the Empire, Mes- 
dames Soult and Davoust. The last-named lady, 
who was a sister of General Leclerc, soon re- 
signed her post, on the plea of ill-health, and was 
succeeded by Madame Junot, the future Duchesse 
d'Abrantes, to whose entertaining Mdmoires we 
are indebted for many details concerning Madame 
Meres little Court. 

The ci-devant Due de Brissac, formerly gentle- 
man-in-waiting to the Dauphin and cousin of 
Madame du Barry's ill-fated lover, who perished 
during the Versailles massacre in 1792,^ was 
the First Chamberlain. "Old, ugly, and a little 
deformed, he was, at the same time, the 
kindest and most amiable of men, whilst his 
wife, who, though not officially attached to 
Madame Meres Household, came nearly every 

1 See the author's Madame du Barry (London, Harpers ; 
New York, Scribners', 1904). 



24 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

evening to join her circle, was a particularly 
charming woman and noted for her wit, although 
she was exceedingly deaf/ The First Equerry 
was General de Beaumont, who had been, like 
the First Chamberlain, a Court official under the 
Bourbons, having been one of Louis XVI's 
pages. This, however, had not -prevented him 
from accepting the Republic and. serving in all 
the campaigns of the Revolution; and in the 
previous year he had been appointed Inspector- 
General of Cavalry. He was married to a sister 
of Mar^chal Davoust. The other equerries were 
Colonel Detres, or d'Estrees, as hfe called himself, 
one of the most dashing cavalry leaders in the 
army, who is said to have received no less than 
twenty-one wounds in a single engagement in 
Egypt, and the Baron de Quelen, brother to the 

1 A propos of Madame de Brissac's affliction, an amusing anec- 
dote is related. When she was about to be presented to the 
Emperor, fearful lest she should fail to understand the questions 
which might be addressed to her, she made careful inquiries as to 
what his Majesty usually said to ladies on these occasions. She 
was told that he almost invariably inquired, first, what department 
the lady came from, secondly, how old she was, and, thirdly, how 
many children she had. Unfortunately, when Madame de Brissac's 
turn came. Napoleon inverted the usual order of his questions' and 
began by asking if her husband were not cousin to the Due de 
Brissac who was killed at Versailles, and if he had not inherited 
his estates. "Seine-et-Oise, Sire," replied the lady, under the im- 
pression that he had Inquired the department in which she had been 
born. The Emperor glanced at her in some surprise, as he con- 
tinued : " I believe you have no children." "Fifty-two," answered 
Madame de Brissac, with an engaging smile, never doubting that 
the Emperor had inquired her age. Napoleoh, in spite of his oft- 
expressed admiration for ladies with large families, found this a, 
little too much, and abruptly concluded the cenversation. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 25 

Abbe de Quelen, who subsequently became Arch- 
bishop of Paris. MonseigneurdesCanaveri, Bishop 
of Verceil, was her Almoner, and Corvisart, her 
chief physician. M. Rollier, who Mad married a con- 
nection of the Ramolini, was appointed Intendant, 
and Madame s secretary Guieu, who had accom- 
panied her to Italy, retained hi^ post ; ' while, as 
a concession to his mother's Gorsican predilec- 
tions, Napoleon permitted her to take into her 
service two or three of her cbusins. Her old 
confidential servant Saveria, of course, remained 
with her. 

The Duchesse d'Abrantes has left us an inter- 
esting, and, without doubt, a faithful, portrait of 
Letizia Bonaparte at the time of her elevation. 

" At the time when she became Madame Mere, 
she was probably fifty-three or four years of age. 
Her stature was that most agreeable in woman, 
about five feet four inches, but, g.s she grew older, 
the breadth of her shoulders increased, and thus 
she appeared shorter than she really was, though 
she retained the firmness and dignity of her 
carriage. Her feet were the inost remarkably 
small and the most perfectly shaped that I have 
ever beheld. A defect in her right hand was 
conspicuous in one otherwise so beautiful ; a 
clumsily-performed operation, which had destroyed 
the nerve, rendered it impossible for her to bend 

1 On his death, which occurred in 1810, he was succeeded by 
M. Decazes, the future favourite and Prime Minister of Louis 

;cviii. 



26 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

the forefinger ; this had a singular effect when she 
was playing cards. At this period, her teeth 
were still perfect, and, like all the Bonapartes, she 
had a charming smile and a countenance full of 
vivacity and intelligence. Her eyes were small 
and very black ; but their expre'ssion was never 
ill-natured, which cannot be said for some of her 
children. 

"In her person, Madame was very fastidious, 
and always took care to dress in conformity with 
her age and station. She made, in short, a more 
dignified appearance than some princes and prin- 
cesses I have seen, who stood sadly in need of 
their royal titles to distinguish them from the 
commonalty. Her timidity and her want of 
fluency in the French language exposed her to 
great inconvenience in the situation which she 
occupied, and she experienced real nervousness 
in the presence of persons who were presented to 
her, as she dreaded the sarcastic observations in 
which they might indulge. She possessed great 
tact and shrewdness of judgment ; she compre- 
hended at a single glance the disposition of 
persons who approached her."^ 

As his mother was as yet unprovided with a 
country residence. Napoleon, io the following 
June, purchased for her the chateau and estate of 
Pont-sur-Seine, situated in the midst of charmino- 
scenery, on the banks of the Seine, between 

^ Memoires, 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 27 

Provins and Troyes.^ The Emperor, who was 
then in Italy, the crown of which he had just 
assumed, announced his gift in the following 
manner : 

Bologna 

June 24, 1805 

Madame, — I have purcha^d for you the 
Chateau of Pont. Send your Intendant to look 
over it and to take possession. It is my inten- 
tion to grant 60,000 francs to furnish it. 

You thus become the owner o:f one of the most 
charming estates in France, which I believe you 
visited ten years ago. It is much more beautiful 
than Brienne. ^ I hope that yoii will see in what 
I have done a new proof of my desire to please 

^ ■ Your very affectionate son, 

Napoleon ^ 



1 " The Chateau of Pont had been built in 1630, by the architect 
Le Muct, for Bouthilher de Chavigny, Ahe Surintendant des 
Finances, in whose family it remained until 1773, when it was sold 
to Rohan, Archbishop of Bordeaux, who, in- his turn, disposed of it 
to Prince Xavier of Saxony, uncle of Louis XVI. After the emi- 
gration of this prince, it became national property, but, in 1799, 
it passed to one Benoit Gouly, from whom the Emperor now pur- 
chased it." — I\I. Fr^di^ric Masson, Napoldon et safamilh. 

2 A chateau in the neighbourhood belonging to the Brienne 
family. 

3 Published by Baron Larrey, Madame Mire. 



CHAPTER XIX 

Pretensions of Letizia and her daughters — pomplaisance of Caro- 
line and Murat towards the Emperor^— Honours and riches 
showered upon them — Discontent of Elisa — She desires to 
leave France, and persuades Napoleon to bestow upon her the 
Principality of Piombino — Her departure for Italy — The 
Republic of Lucca, having petitioned the Emperor to give the 
State a new Constitution and a prince of'his family to govern it, 
is joined to Piombino — Entry of Felix and Elisa into Lucca — 
Pauline in Paris — Borghese becomes a French citizen — His 
wife, tired of his society, persuades the Emperor to appoint 
him to a cavalry regiment and send him to the camp of 
Boulogne — Pauhne becomes Princess and Duchess of Gua- 
stalla, but cedes her duchy to the Kingdom of Italy, in return 
for an annual indemnity — She quarrels with her husband — Her 
journey to Plombi^res — A costly shower-bath — Auguste de 
Forbin, painter and homme aux bonnes fortunes — He becomes 
the lover of the Princess, who appoints him her chamberlain. 

THUS, thanks to their importunities and the 
weakness of Napoleon where his women- 
folk were concerned, all the ladies of the 
Bonaparte family found themselves provided with 
tides, splendid establishments, and princely allow- 
ances. But they were very far from satisfied. 
Madame Mere considered that her pension of 
300,000 francs was totally inadequate to enable 
her to maintain the dignity of her position — it 
was, as a matter of fact, ample, though it did not 
permit her to gratify her master passion, and 
she tormented Napoleon with applications for an 

28 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 29 

increase; while her daughters sighed for king- 
doms of their own, or at least for principalities. 

Caroline, by far the most astute, as well as the 
least scrupulous of the sisters, played a sicllful 
game. Aware that it was to the Emperor alone 
that she must look for the gratification of her 
ambitions, and that in the past she had given 
him but too much cause for dissatisfaction, she 
now entirely separated her fortunes from those of 
Joseph, and strove to humour his caprices and 
flatter his vanity in every conceivable way. It 
was she who conducted the preliminaries of his 
liaison with that mysterious lady of the Empress's 
Household, whose identity chroniclers, or their 
publishers, have declined to reveal, in deference 
to the reputation of the frail beauty in question, 
and the susceptibilities of her descendants ;^ who, 
in conjunction with Fouch6, endeavoured, though 
unsuccessfully, to induce Madame R^camier to 
accept the post of daTue du palais and " exercise 
over the Emperor's mind a mighty influence, 
which would be wholly for goOd";^ who, alone 
among the ladies of the Imperial Family, had 
sufficient stoicism to retain her place upon the 
grand-stand on the Champ-de-Mars, and face the 
driving snow and biting wind, the day when the 
Eagles were distributed to the troops, and this 
notwithstanding the fact that she was six months 

^ M. Fr^d^ric Masson, Napoleon et les femmes. 
2 For a full account of this affair see the author's Madatne 
R^catnier and Her Friends (Harpers, igoi). 



30 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

enceinte. In short, there were no limits to her 
amiability and her complaisance where his Ma- 
jesty was concerned ; while Murat, acting on his 
wife's instructions, was equally accommodating, 
equally anxious to please, ready to accept any 
mission with which the Emperor chose to entrust 
him, to discharge any duty however distasteful 
with the best grace in the world. 

Such prudent conduct did not fail of its reward; 
honours and riches were showered upon the politic 
pair. In the space of a few weeks, Murat, already 
a Marshal of the Empire, was. nominated chief 
of the 1 2th Cohort of the Legion of Honour, 
Grand Eagle of the Legion, Grand Admiral, and 
Prince of the Empire, though his joy at receiving 
this last distinction was somewhat damped by the 
fact that Eugene de Beauharnais had been raised 
to the rank of Serene Highness at the same time, 
and that the terms in which the Emperor an- 
nounced to the Senate the two creations showed 
only too plainly the gulf which divided his step- 
son from his brother-in-law in his affections. The 
salaries attached to the new prince's offices, joined 
to Caroline's pension on the Grande Cassette, 
brought the annual official income of the Murats 
to close upon 1,000,000 francs. 

To his sister. Napoleon was equally generous. 
On December 31, 1804, he gave her, by way of a 
New Year's gift, the sum of 200,000 francs, part 
of which sum the lady appears to have expended 
in causing the room in which she proposed to lie 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 31 

in to be hung in rose-coloured satin, and the 
windows and bed to be provided with curtains of 
Mechhn lace/ and when, amid these costly sur- 
roundings, Louise Julie Caroline Murat came into 
the world, the Emperor crowned his munificence 
by presenting the happy mother with that splendid 
mansion once the hotel of Madame de Pompadour, 
and to-day the residence of the President of the 
Third Republic — the Elys^e. 

If Caroline had every reason' to be contented 
with her position at the Imperial Court, it was 
far otherwise with her eldest sister. To her 
intense mortification, Elisa found that, relatively 
speaking, she had lost rather than gained in 
importance by the events of the last few months. 
In the days when she had done the honours of 
Lucien's hdtel and dispensed his patronage, she 
had been the centre of a galaxy o^f poets, painters, 
and aspiring politicians, who had vied with one 
another in chanting her praises and soliciting her 
protection. Now Lucien was in disgrace, and, 
as her influence over the Emperor was known to be 
very slight, notwithstanding that she had become 
an Imperial Highness, she was no longer courted 
as of yore ; indeed, there were days when her 
salon was comparatively deserted. Even Fon- 
tanes, once so assiduous in his attentions, now 
visited her but seldom, pleading the pressure of 
his political duties. 

' Madame de R^musat, Memoires. 



32 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

Nor did she see any prospect of improving 
her position, so long as she remained in France. 
Josephine, Julie, Hortense, 'the wife whom 
Jerome would take — if he consented to repudi- 
ate his American bride — and her mother, must 
all take precedence of her ; while Caroline, as 
the wife of the Governor of Paris and one of the 
highest officials of the Empire, was a person of 
far greater importance, and possessed of means 
which enabled her to completely eclipse her 
sister. Moreover, she recognised that Baciocchi's 
indolence and ineptitude disqualified him for any 
high post, either civil or military, and conse- 
quently for the dignity of a Prince of the 
Empire, and, although she was wholly indifferent 
to that worthy's feelings in the matter, it was 
galling to her pride to reflect that the husbands 
of Pauline and Caroline were princes, while her 
own remained a simple gentleman. She per- 
ceived only one remedy for the humiliating situa- 
tion to which she found herself reduced, namely, 
to expatriate herself, to persuade Napoleon to 
bestow upon her a fief of the Empire, which 
would provide Baciocchi with the title she de- 
sired for him, and herself with a position which 
there would be none to dispute. 

Such a fief was just then at Napoleon's dis- 
posal, in the shape of the little principality of 
Piombino, in the province of Pisa, which had 
been ruled in turn by the families of Appiani, 
Ludovici, and Buoncompagni-, under the suze- 



THE WOMEN BONApARTES 33 

rainty, first, of Spain and, subsequently, of the 
Two Sicilies, down to the spring of 1799, when 
the Neapolitan Government ceded its rights over 
it to France. The First Consyl, however, was 
in no hurry to exercise them, and the reigning 
prince, or rather a governor-general appointed 
by him, was allowed to rema,in in possession 
until July 1803, when Murat, in his capacity of 
general-in-chief of the French' forces in Italy, 
issued a decree annexing Piombino to France, 
and appointing Cambis, an officer on his staff, 
administrator. In September of the following 
year, Cambis was replaced by Carteaux, under 
whom Napoleon had served at Toulon in 1793, 
with the title of " Commandant of the State of 
Piombino for his Majesty the Emperor of the 
French." Carteaux seems to have been ex- 
tremely popular with the inhabitants of the little 
State, but the Emperor was far from satisfied 
with the manner in which he discharged his 
duties. This inclined him to lend a very favour- 
able ear to his sister's intimation that its vacant 
crown might fittingly adorn her own head, since 
he recognised that it would be to his advantage 
to have a State which was isolated from the 
other possessions of the Empire, and to which 
he looked to maintain his communications with 
the Isle of Elba and Corsica, under the control 
of a properly-constituted governfnent. 

Moreover, Napoleon felt that both Elisa and 
her husband could well be spared from his Court. 
"•—3 



34 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

Of all the members of his family, with the pos- 
sible exception of Lucien, his eldest sister was 
the one with whom he was least in sympathy, 
perhaps because she was the one whose character 
most resembled his own. Her imperious man- 
ners, her pretensions to knowledge,^ her ill- 
concealed animosity towards Josdphine, her ambi- 
tious and intriguing disposition, which might very 
well lead her to make her salon a rendezvous, if 
not a focus, of opposition, were to him sources of 
continual irritation. As for Baciocchi, not only 
had he displayed the most hopeless incapacity in 
every position in which he had been placed, but 
the elevation of his wife had proved too much 
for his native vanity, and his colleagues in the 
Senate complained that he was quite insupport- 
able. Altogether, the translation of the pair to 
Italy seemed a politic move, and one which might 
save him a good deal of unpleasantness in the 
future. For which reasons, after some little hesita- 
tion, he decided to accord Elisa the promotion 
she desired. 

Accordingly, on March i8, 1805, the Emperor 
announced, in a message to the Senate, that he 
gave the State of Piombino to the Princess Elisa, 
his sister, and recognised her as Hereditary Prin- 
cess, " subject to the paramount authority of 
France," and that he conferred upon her husband 

^ " You are the caricature of the Duchesse du Maine," Napoleon 
once exclaimed, after a heated argument with Ehsa regarding the 
merits of his favourite dramatist, Corneille. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 35 

" the name and title of Prince of Piombino, and 
the names and prerogatives of a French prince." 
His Majesty added that this State was badly- 
administered, that it was to the interests of 
France to put an end to such a condition of affairs, 
and that the donation must not be considered as 
" the proof of a particular affection, but as an 
action in conformity with sound policy." 

The title of Prince of Piombino conferred on 
Baciocchi was a mere courtesy title, which did 
not imply any proprietary rights, or even a share 
in the administration, for the Decree dated the 
same day declared that the principality was 
"ceded and given in full ownership to the Prin- 
cess Elisa." Other articles stipulated that the 
succession should be vested in her male descend- 
ants in the direct line, that no one should suc- 
ceed until he had received investiture from the 
Emperor, that none of her children should marry 
without his Majesty's consent, and that she 
should keep in her pay a force sufficient for the 
defence of the coast, and take every precaution to 
maintain the communications between the Conti- 
nent and Elba. 

Great was the joy of 6lisa on finding herself 
a reigning princess. " This little country [Piom- 
bino], Sire," she wrote to Napoleon, "is sur- 
rounded on all sides by settlements formed by 
Leopold for the prosperity of Tuscany. Leopold 
was only the brother of an Emperor of Germany, 
and to-day Austria only exists and preserves her 



36 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

dynasty through the magnanimity of her con- 
queror, my august brother and sovereign. 
Leopold was ambitious to possess Piombino ; he 
was unable to become its master, and, by a word, 
your Majesty has made me sovereign of this little 
principality."^ 

On April 19, !^lisa set out for Italy. Napoleon 
had granted her a gratification extraordinaire 
of 150,000 francs, for the expenses of the jour- 
ney, and she was accompanied by a suite which 
could not fail to impress her future subjects : a 
chamberlain, a dame d'honneur, two ladies-in- 
waiting, a physician, four waiting-women, a maitre 
d'hotel, eight servants, and two couriers. On her 
arrival at Turin, she had an audience of the 
Emperor, who was on his way to Milan, to assume 
the crown of Italy, and to that city she accom- 
panied him. Baciocchi was despatched to Piom- 
bino, to take possession in his wife's name ; but 
Elisa, on the plea of ill-health, remained in Milan, 
and when she left, it was to Genoa, and not to 
her principality, that she made her way. The 
ostensible object of her journey was to visit 
Jerome, who was stationed there, and to remon- 
strate with him on the error of his ways ; but her 
real motive was very different. 

Napoleon's former patron SaHcetti, with whom 
Elisa was on very friendly terms, was at this 
time actively engaged in endeavouring to per- 
suade the republican states of the peninsula to 

1 Published by Rodocanachi, ^Hsa NapoUon en Italie. 




ELISA nONAPARTE ON THE THRONE OF LUCCA 

FliOM THE STAI'UF BY LORENZO BA[?T0LIN1 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 37 

apply for incorporation in the Kingdom of Italy. 
By the aid of a generous distribution of bribes, 
he soon contrived to convince the Government 
of the Ligurian or Genroese Republic of the 
wisdom of such a step, and he had every reason 
to anticipate a similar result at Lucca. 

Now Elisa, who had begun to' realise that to be 
Princess of Piombino was not quite so fine a thing 
as she had at first imagined, that, as a matter of 
fact, a principality of twenty thousand inhabitants 
smacked somewhat of comic opera, had conceived 
the ambition of becoming Princess of Lucca as 
well, and had engaged Salicetti to sound that 
republic upon the matter. The crafty Corsican 
depicted the advantages which Lucca would 
derive from this arrangement in such glowing 
colours, that, on June 4, the Gonfaloniere and the 
Ancients decreed, subject to the consent of the 
people, that a petition should be presented to 
the Emperor of the French praying him to give 
to their republic a new Constitution and a prince 
of his family to govern it. The fact that the 
Luccans had had the bad taste to prefer a prince 
to a princess wounded Elisa's amour-propre not 
a little; but she was consoled by the reflection 
that, though Fdix might reign, it would certainly 
be she who would govern. 

Napoleon hesitated for a while, since he would 
have preferred to have incorporated Lucca in his 
Kingdom of Italy, rather than permit it to retain 
a nominal independence. However, the impor- 



38 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

tunities of Elisa eventually prevailed, and, on 
June 24, he gave audience to a deputation from 
the republic at Bologna, when he informed them 
that he would " fulfil their wish and confide their 
government to a prince endeared to him by ties 
of blood." The same day, he nominated Baciocchi, 
Prince of Lucca, with the title of Prince of Lucca 
and Piombino, and the qualification of Most 
Serene Highness, and declared himself protector 
of their State and guarantor of their Constitution. 
This Constitution contained elaborate provisions 
for the government of the State on a democratic 
basis, for the safeguarding of popular privileges, 
the maintenance of the Catholic religion in all its 
rights, and so forth. But into these it is needless 
to enter, since Felix — or rather Klisa — never 
troubled to observe them, and at the end of a 
few months they were to all intents and purposes 
abrogated. The Luccans engaged to provide 
their sovereign with a palace in the town and 
another in the country, with a suitable estate 
attached to the latter. 

On July 14, 1805, lilisa and Fdlix made their 
entry into Lucca, with great pomp. The chief 
officials of the principality, accompanied by a 
hundred horsemen of the Imperial Guard, sent 
by Napoleon, and four detachments of guards of 
honour, furnished by the chief Italian cities, met 
them on the frontier, in the beautiful valley of 
Nievole, one of the most picturesque spots of 
that quarter of Italy, where, after an address 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 39 

of welcome had been presented and duly acknow- 
ledged, an imposing procession was formed" 
First came a detachment of the guards of honour ; 
then, the carriages of the chamberlains, the ladies- 
in-waiting, and the Ministers, and that of General 
Hddouville, Ambassador-Extraordinary from the 
Emperor, charged to hand to the new prince a 
sword, in token of the protection which his 
Majesty guaranteed to the principality of Lucca ; 
next, another detachment of guards of honour, 
preceding the carriage of their Imperial and 
Most Serene Highnesses — a most gorgeous 
equipage, drawn by six splendid horses and 
escorted by the same number of mounted equer- 
ries. Behind the carriage came the Prince's 
charger, richly caparisoned — for F^lix intended 
to make an equestrian entry — the cavalry of the 
Imperial Guard and the carriages of the rest of 
their Highnesses' suite; while the remaining two 
companies of guards of honour brought up the 
rear. 

On nearing the city, Felix, who was " habited 
in the splendid costume of a French prince," 
alighted from his carriage apd mounted his 
charger — it must have been a more than usually 
docile beast, since its august burden seems to 
have been a deplorable horseman — and preceded 
his consort into their good town of Lucca. 

At the gates, he was met by the Archbishop of 
Lucca, Filippo Sardi, who presented him with 
the keys, after which, amid the acclamations of 



40 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

the citizens, the booming of artillery, and the 
ringing of bells, the cortege wended its way to 
the cathedral, where a solemn service was held, 
the Prince and Princess woifshipping beneath a 
canopy held over their heads by the canons. At 
its conclusion, the archbishop handed to each of 
them a ring which he had consecrated, as sym- 
boHsing, with the hand of justice, the sovereign 
authority, and blessed the sword sent by 
Napoleon, which Hedouville presented to the 
Prince. Finally, the Emperor's decree was read ; 
Felix swore upon the Gospels to observe the 
Constitution, and the herald-at-arms proclaimed 
him Prince of Lucca and Piombino, and invited 
all present to join with him in crying: ^' Evviva 
Loro A Itezze Serenissima, Imperiale ! " 

This installation was followed by fetes and 
balls, which lasted for several days ; and so 
much money was spent that the authorities were 
obliged to have recourse to a "voluntary loan," in 
order to defray the expenses into which their too 
enthusiastic loyalty had tempted them.^ 

On her return to France, in the autumn of 
1804, Napoleon had raised Pauline's allowance 
to 240,000 francs, the amount which her sisters 
enjoyed, and, for the moment, that lady asked 
nothing more of her brother, except to be allowed 



Archives des Affaires Etrang^res, Lucques ; Masson, Napoleon 
et sa famillej Rodocanachi, Elisa Napoleon en Italif. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 41 

to remain in France. This he could scarcely- 
refuse her, as she was in delicate health and 
for some weeks scarcely left her hotel. On 
March 27, 1805, a decree of Napoleon conferred 
the rights of a French citizen upon Camillo 
Borghese, "to whom," observed the President of 
the Senate, " has been entrusted the care of ren- 
dering happy the widow of a brave man and the 
sister of a hero." This announcement greatly 
delighted Pauline, who saw in it an assurance 
that she would not be compelled to return to 
Rome, and by Holy Thursday she had so far 
recovered as to be able to appear at the annual 
parade of beauty and fashion at Longchamps in 
a most dazzling toilette. 

In the following June, while the Emperor was 
in Italy, she installed herself at the Petit- 
Trianon, which had not been inhabited since the 
Revolution, but which, by Napoleon's orders, had 
lately been completely renovated. She was ac- 
companied by Borghese, who, finding that there 
was no prospect of his wife returning to Rome, 
had decided to join her in Paris. The poor man, 
however, soon found, to his cost, that " the task 
of rendering happy the widow of a brave man 
and the sister of a hero " was one altogether 
beyond his powers, and the lady no longer 
attempted to conceal the ennui which his society 
occasioned her. When, on his return from Italy, 
Napoleon came to pay his sister a visit, Pauline 
assured him, with the most pathetic earnestness. 



42 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

that nothing would contribute so much to her 
complete restoration to health as a temporary 
separation from her husband, and besought him 
to nominate the prince to sorne post which would 
necessitate his speedy departure. The Emperor 
consented to humour her, and, a few days later, 
appointed Borghese a major in the Grenadiers- 
a-cheval of the Guard, with an intimation that, so 
soon as he had acquired some knowledge of the 
duties of a cavalry officer, he would give him the 
command of a regiment. The prince's pleasure 
at this appointment was, however, considerably 
discounted when, the very next morning, he 
received orders to depart immediately for the 
camp of Boulogne, though his brother-in-law, to 
console him for his exile from the capital, be- 
stowed upon him one of the Toisons dor which 
the King of Spain had recently sent to the 
Emperor for distribution among the members of 
the Imperial Family and the Grand Dignitaries 
of the Empire. 

After the departure of her husband, Pauline's 
health underwent a most astonishing improve- 
ment, and during the remainder of that summer 
the Petit-Trianon was almost as gay as it had 
been in the days of Marie Antoinette. In the 
autumn, she returned to the capital, and all 
Paris flocked to her brilliant receptions at the 
Hotel Charost, where, to quote the Moniteur, 
" the young Princess received with the graces 
that are natural to her and make her generally 



THE WOMEN BONAEARTES 43 

beloved." Towards the middle of January, how- 
ever, she fell ill again, shut herself up in her 
apartments, and denied herself to every one. 
This relapse, by a singular coincidence, syn- 
chronised almost to the very day with the 
return of Borghese, who had .lately been ap- 
pointed colonel of the ist Carabiniers. His 
regiment was stationed at Luneville, but, tired 
of provincial life, he had come to beg the 
Emperor to transfer it to Versailles. To Pau- 
line's intense chagrin, her brother consented, 
and, though she was compelled to assist at some 
of the brilliant entertainments given in honour 
of the Emperor's return from the campaign of 
Austerlitz, and even to give a ball to his Majesty, 
it was remarked that she was not entirely her- 
self again until the beginning of March, when 
urgent private affairs summoned the superfluous 
husband to Italy. 

The reappearance of Borghese was not the 
only trial which the poor lady was called upon 
to endure in the course of that winter. The 
adoption of Josephine's niece, Stephanie de 
Beauharnais, a girl of seventeen, by Napoleon, 
her elevation to the rank of Imperial Princess, 
with precedence over all the other princesses, 
even over Madame Mere, and, finally, her 
marriage to the Hereditary Prince of Baden, 
aroused in her feelings of the most violent 
jealousy and mortification ; abd it was only 
by the Emperor's express commands that she 



44 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

consented to grace the wedding festivities with 
her presence.^ 

However, compensation for this vexation was 
soon forthcoming, for when, on March 30, 1806, 
the decrees which instituted the constitution of 
the Grand Empire were communicated to the 
Senate, Pauline found she had ndt been forgotten. 
" The Principality of Guastalla^ being at our dis- 
posal," ran the fifth decree, "we have disposed of 
it in favour of the Princess Pauline, to enjoy it in 
full ownership, under the titles of Princess and 
Duchess of Guastalla. It is our intention that the 
Prince Borghese her husband should bear the 
titles of Prince and Duke of Guastalla, and that 
this principality be handed down to the male 
descendants, legitimate and natural of our sister 
Pauline, and, in default of male descendants, we 
reserve to ourselves the right^ of disposing of 
the Principality of Guastalla at our will, and as 
we shall judge best for the welfare of our people 
and the interests of our crown." 

1 There was certainly some excuse for Pauline's indignation, 
as Mile, de Beauharnais's head seems to have been completely 
turned by her good fortune, and she gave herself the most in- 
sufferable airs. " She considered," writes Madame de R^musat, 
" that she did the young Prince honour by accepting his addresses, 
and every one tried in vain to make her regard the matter in a 
more reasonable light. She professed herself ready to wed the 
Prince whenever it was arranged that she should do so, but always 
maintained that a daughter of Napoleon might mate with kings or 
the sons of kings." 

'' Guastalla had formed part of the Duchies of Parma and Pla 
centia, but had been ceded to France, in 1803, when the reigning 
duke became King of Etruria, 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 45 

Pauline was overjoyed at the idea of being 
a reigning princess ; but when, on inquiry, she 
learned that her principality was a tiny state, 
with an area of about six square miles, and that 
its capital was merely a country-town, with a popu- 
lation of some 3,000 souls, a large proportion of 
whom were beggars, she shed tears of mortifica- 
tion, and declared that no earthly consideration 
should induce her to reside there. The Emperor 
thereupon suggested that she should cede Guas- 
talla to his Kingdom of Italy,, in return for a 
money indemnity, while preserving the title and 
the allodial estates. To this proposition she 
readily assented, and the price was fixed at 
6,000,000 francs on the Italian Treasury ; but 
Napoleon subsequently induced her to accept 
an annual payment of 400,000 francs in lieu of 
the capital sum, which, with 50,000 francs from 
the allodial estates, brought her total revenues 
from the principality up to 450,000 francs. As, 
however, in consideration of these new sources 
of income, she was called upon to renounce her 
pension upon the Grande Cassette, together with 
the annual gratification which she had been in 
the habit of receiving, she gained little from 
Guastalla except the title.^ 

At the end of April, Borghese returned to 
Paris, and had several stormy scenes with his 
wife, occasioned, it would appear, by the too fre- 
quent visits her Imperial Highness was receiving 

1 M. Frdd^ric Masson, NapoUort et sa famiUe. 



46 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

from a certain dangerously fascinating count, 
about whose identity the chroniclers of the time 
decline to enlighten us. Pauline, as usual, had 
the best of the argument, and the prince was 
obliged to seek consolation for the indifference 
of his consort in the smiles of less exacting beau- 
ties and in the excitement of the chase ; while 
Pauline partook herself to the Petit -Trianon 
and resumed the round of gaieties which had 
marked her residence there during the previous 
summer. 

In July, she set out for Plombieres, taking with 
her nearly the whole of her Household and such 
an enormous quantity of impedimenta that the 
cortege might have been mistaken for the bag- 
gage-train of a small army. As she was still in 
somewhat delicate health, and imagined herself 
to be infinitely worse than she was, her caprices 
were endless, and the prefects and other officials 
whose privilege it was to offer the august 
traveller hospitality, found the honour of enter- 
taining her one which they would gladly have 
been excused. 

It was her practice when travelling to take at 
the end of each day's journey a bath of hot milk, 
followed by a shower-bath of cold milk, to re- 
fresh her after the fatigues she had undergone. 
At Bar-sur-Ornain she was the guest of M. 
Leclerc, one of her late husband's brothers, who 
happened to be at this time Prefect of the De- 
partment of the Meuse, and the best apartments 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 47 

in the Prefecture were of course made ready for 
her reception. "Where is my bath, my dear 
Uttle brother ? " was her first question, on being 
shown to her room ; and M. Leclerc, who had 
already been advised by letter of her require- 
ments, replied that the milk was already being 
warmed. " And the shower-bath ? " she inquired. 
The prefect, with many excuses, intimated that 
he feared she would have to forego that luxury, 
since there was not such an apparatus to be 
found in the whole town. " Then you must give 
orders for your servants to make holes in the 
ceiling of my bedroom, just over the bath," re- 
joined the lady, laughing gaily. " I am sorry to 
inconvenience you, my dear little brother, but a 
shower-bath is necessary to mybiealth." 

The unfortunate prefect did not dare to refuse, 
and Pauline enjoyed her shower-bath none the 
less for the knowledge that it had necessitated 
the ruin of the beautifully-painted ceiling of her 
brother-in-law's guest-chamber. ^' 

The princess's arrival at Plombieres aroused 
no small sensation among the visitors to that 
fashionable watering-place. As she believed that 
the slightest physical exertion was injurious to 
her health, she had herself carried about in a 
hammock by two enormous negroes whom she 
had brought from St. Domingo ; while another 
negro — a bandy-legged dwarf of the most hideous 
aspect — waddled by its side. Then, she replaced 
' Duchesse de Reggio, RMti de guerre et de foyer. 



48 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

the hammock by a sedan-chair, upholstered in 
white taffeta, which was borne- by five tall lackeys 
in green and gold liveries. Finally, she had a 
litter constructed after the old Spanish and Italian 
models, and purchased four splendid mules to 
draw it. But, unfortunately, the animals were so 
restive that all attempts of her First Equerry to 
train them proved abortive, and the princess was 
reluctantly compelled to forego the delights of 
creating yet another sensation. 

Pauline's health improved wonderfully at Plom- 
bieres, though this appears to have been due less 
to the benefit she derived from its waters than 
to the fact that she encounte;i"ed there a person 
who aroused in her fickle little heart as near an 
approach to a grande passion zs she was capable 
of entertaining. 

Louis Nicolas Philippe Auguste de Forbin — 
for that was the name of this happy individual 
— was a member of one of the most ancient and 
distinguished families of Provence, and was at 
this time about twenty-nine years of age. By 
the Revolution his family had been completely 
ruined, and he had seen his father and uncle 
killed before his eyes during the siege of Lyons. 
Forced to earn his bread, like so many more of 
the noblesse, he resolved to turn some little 
artistic talent he possessed to account, and 
studied painting under Boissieu at Lyons, and, 
subsequently, under Demarne and David in 
Paris. At the Salon of 1796 he exhibited for 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 49 

the first time, and after 1799; he was usually 
represented on its walls by one or more paint- 
ings, chiefly historical subjects. Although his 
early works were at best but mediocre produc- 
tions, they did not want for admirers, and he 
never experienced any difficulty in finding 
purchasers. There can be no doubt, however, 
that it was to his popularity in society, rather 
than to his artistic skill, that -he was indebted 
for his success. 

And his popularity was immense ; no one— 
at least among the ladies— seems to have been 
able to resist his handsome face, his fine fieure, 
his charming and unaffected manners, his gay 
and witty conversation, and the romantic aureole 
with which his gallant struggle against Fortune 
had surrounded him. "Women 'doted upon him." 
" I know not," writes one of his fair admirers, 
many years later, " whether I am affected by the 
prejudices of persons who are growing old, but I 
can say, with a feeling of profound conviction, 
that you will not find at the present day men so 
attractive, for their talents, their manners, and 
their personal appearance, as were numbers who 
figured at the time of which I am speaking. 
But, among them, M. de Forbin was particularly 
distinguished. His face was handsome, his figure 
exceptionally fine, and even his conversation was 
remarkable for grace and elegance. How envy 
and jealousy have sought to rob him of his 
deserts ! But that; has not prevented his abilities 
U.—4 



50 THE WOMEN BONAl'ARTES 

being transcendent in painting, in poetry, and in 
literature, and from making him the most delight- 
ful of drawing-room companions and the most 
agreeable to listen to."^ 

In 1799, M. de Forbin, finding his professional 
income altogether inadequate for a gentleman of 
his elegant and refined tastes, condescended to 
espouse one of his numerous female worshippers, 
a certain Mile, de Dortans, who possessed a 
handsome fortune. This did not, however, pre- 
vent him from continuing to accept the homage 
which was so freely offered him from all quarters, 
and after three years of married life, Madame de 
Forbin's jealousy began to occasion him so much 
inconvenience that he decided to separate from 
her. The freedom of action which he gained by 
this step, however, was counterbalanced by the 
fact that he had no longer any one to pay his 
debts, and at the moment of his visit to Flombieres, 
he was on the verge of bankruptcy. But he was 
not the man to permit such a trifle as this to 
disturb his serenity, and was as amiable and 
charming as though he had not a care in the 
wide world. 

The fascinating painter made a most favour- 
able impression upon Pauline, who received the 
delicate attentions which he soon began to pay 
her with even more than her usual graciousness. 
She had had numerous soupirants since those 
far-off days when Stanislas Frdron, in his 

' Duchesse d'Abrantfes, M^tnoires. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 51 

egregious square-tailed coat aiid rose-coloured 
breeches, had made love to her on the Mediter- 
ranean shore, and too many of them, it is to 
be feared, had not sighed in vain. But no one 
had touched her heart quite in the same way 
as this man, who united to a form and features 
which reminded her of one of the Greek 
statues in the Palazzo Borghese, the culture of 
the scholar, the refined tastes of the artist, the 
sensibility of the poet, the assurance of the 
man of the world, and the manners of the grand 
seigneur. 

And Forbin ? Well, he was' a painter and a 
lover of the beautiful, and Pauline could not fail 
to make a powerful appeal to his artistic tempera- 
ment. Besides, he was hopelessly in debt, and 
such a bonne fortune promised him a sure and 
easy way out of his difficulties. 

He begged permission to paint her Imperial 
Highness's portrait ; it was graciously accorded 
him. The stances were many, for M. de Forbin 
was too fastidious an artist to be a rapid worker, 
and, then, had he not a subject worthy of the brush 
of a Titian or a Rembrandt ? Before the por- 
trait was completed, the princess found the society 
of the painter so necessary to her happiness that 
she decided it would be impossible to live apart 
from him. Accordingly, when, at the end of 
September, she returned to Paris, where she 
found her husband on the point of setting out 
with his Carabiniers for the war against Prussia, 



52 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

Forbin followed her, and was appointed one of 
her chamberlains.^ 

Moreover, she made no secret of the favour 
with which she regarded him, but dragged him 
about with her everywhere, and exhibited him to 
her friends as though he were some rare breed 
of lap-dog. One day, she called upon Madame 
Junot, who was ill and confined to her bed. 
"My dear Laurette," she cried, "do you know 
my new chamberlain ? " " No, Madame, who is 
he ? " " M. de Forbin. What, my dear Laurette, 
do you not know him ?" " She leaned over me," 
continues the chronicler, " and pulled at once the 
three bell-ropes at the head of my bed. My 
valet de chambre and women came running in 
all together. ' Send in the gentleman who is 
waiting in the salon,' said she to the valet de 
chambre, "and in walked M. de Forbin." 

As to that gentleman, he found his new metier 
a much more lucrative, as well as a more agree- 
able, one than painting historical pictures. He 
governed not only the princess, but her whole 

' Before going to Paris, Forbin seems to have paid a visit to 
Geneva, where he met Chateaubriand, who found him " in a state 
of beatitude. He displayed in his looks the inner felicity with 
which he was inundated ; his feet did not touch the ground. 
Wafted on his talents and his felicities, he came down from the 
mountain as though from the sky, with his painter's jacket, his 
pallet on his thumb, his brushes in a quiver. A good fellow, 
nevertheless, though excessively gallant. . . . His eyes showed a 
protecting compassion : I was poor, humblte, uncertain of myself, 
and I did not hold the hearts of princesses in my mighty hands." 
— Mhnoires (VOutre-Tombe. 



THE WOMEN BONApARTES 53 

Household; everything passed through his hands, 
and a good deal remained in them ; and before 
many weeks had passed, he was driving one of 
the most elegant equipages in Paris, and trades- 
men who had frowned at the mention of his 
name were vying with one another in soliciting 
the continuance of his esteemed patronage. 



CHAPTER XX 

Caroline's skilful tactics secure for Murat the Duchies of Berg and 
Cloves — Attempted annexations of Murat — Position of the 
Grand-Duke of Berg in the Confederation of the Rhine — His 
greed and arrogance — His quarrel with JSfapoleon over Wesel 
— Caroline in Paris during the Prussian and Polish campaigns 
— She exercises her fascinations upon Junot, Governor of Paris, 
who becomes completely infatuated with her — Secret motive of 
her conduct — Anger of Napoleon — His interview with Junot, 
who is removed from his post as Governor of Paris and sent as 
Ambassador to Lisbon — Dissatisfaction of Madame Mire with 
the provision made for her — Her letter to the Emperor — 
Increase of her pension — Her life at the Chateau of Pont — 
She is reprimanded by Napoleon — She assists at the fetes in 
honour of the Peace of Tilsit — She arranges an interview 
between the Emperor and Lucien at Mantua — Her parsimony 
— Her generosity to her children. 

CAROLINE, thanks to the skilful tactics 
which she pursued with the Emperor, and 
to the services which her husband had 
rendered at the head of the cavalry of the Grand 
Army during the campaign of 1805, found herself 
elevated to a position superior to that of either of 
her sisters. 

By the Treaty of Schonbrunn (December 15, 
1805) the King of Prussia had ceded "in full 
ownership and sovereignty the Duchy of Cleves 
to the Prince of the Holy Roman Empire who 
should be nominated by the Emperor Napoleon." 

54 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 55 

On the following day, the King of Bavaria had 
ceded to Napoleon the same rights over the 
Duchy of Berg, in exchange for the Margravate 
of Anspach, ceded by Prussia, a few hours earlier. 

The Emperor immediately formed the design 
of uniting Cleves and Berg into a single State, 
under the rule of a French prince, and of thereby 
establishing a counterpoise to Prussian influence 
in the lower valley of the Rhine. Caroline, who 
received early intimation of hef brother's inten- 
tions, if not from Napoleon himself, from the 
indiscretions of Talleyrand, with whom she was 
at this moment on very friendly terms, was not 
long in deciding to press the claims of Murat to 
the throne in question. To a lady of her aspiring 
character, such a principality was of course noth- 
ing but a pis alter, a mere stage on the road to 
Fortune. But she was eager to become a reigfn- 
ing princess, and, for the moment, nothing more 
suitable presented itself. Besides, the united 
duchies had the advantage of being quite close 
to France — from the frontier of Cloves to Paris 
was but a journey of some ninety leagues — 
the population was industrious and contented, 
there were several ducal residences, a fair re- 
venue, and, finally, if the State were a small one, 
Germany was a country which offered to an enter- 
prising prince infinite possibilities of extending 
his frontiers. 

Her decision once made, Caroline proceeded to 
manoeuvre and intrigue to attain her end with 



56 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

her customary skill and unserupulousness. She 
endeavoured to divert the Emperor by fetes, and 
to please him by that display which he considered 
one of the first duties of the members of the 
Imperial Family ; she lent him her house, if any 
sudden amorous fancy rendered it useful as a 
rendezvous, and connived at his liaison with 
EMonore Denuclle, one of her old schoolfellows 
at Madame Campan's ;^ she interested herself in 
every detail of the etiquette which he wished to 
introduce ; she assumed airs of dignity which led 
him to declare that his sister was in every way 
fitted to be a queen ; she paid great attention to 
Maret, whose obsequious devotion to his master 
had procured him considerable influence, and, at 
the risk of mortally offending Talleyrand, she 
flattered Fouche into a zealous attachment to 
herself In her efforts, she was ably seconded by 
Murat, who continued to show entire submission 
to the Emperor's will and bore his Majesty's 
alternations of temper without so much as a 
murmur.^ 

Their perseverance was cfowned by success. 
On March 9, 1806, Napoleon sent orders to 
Murat to take possession of Wesel and Diissel- 
dorf. On the 15th, by a solemn decree, he 
conferred upon the Prince Joachim, his well- 
beloved brother-in-law, the E^uchies of Berg and 

' For a full account of this affair, see M, Fr^d&ic Masson, 
NapoUon et les femmes. 

^ Madame de R^musat, Mimoires. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 57 

Cleves, " to be in all their extent and plenitude 
possessed by him, and to be transmitted by in- 
heritance to his legitimate and natural descend- 
ants, from male to male in order of primogeniture, 
and to the perpetual exclusion of women and 
their descendants." If Joachim had no heirs, the 
duchies were to pass to the descendants of the 
Emperor, and, in default, to those of Joseph, and 
then to those of Louis, provided that in no case 
might they be joined to the Grown of France. 
The heir-presumptive would bear the title of 
Duke of Cleves, and to the ducal dignity was to 
be attached, by inheritance, that of Grand Ad- 
miral of France.^ 

By March 21, all had been accomplished in 
accordance with the orders of the Emperor : 
Murat's aide-de-camp, General Beaumont, had 
taken possession of Wesel, the Bavarian garrison 
had evacuated Diisseldorf, and " Joachim, Prince 
and Admiral of France, Duke of Berg and 
Cleves," had issued his first proclamation to his 
people. 

Four days later, accompanied by a brilliant 
escort, the new sovereign made his entrance into 
Diisseldorf, dressed in the superb uniform of 
a Marshal of the Empire and decorated with all 
his orders — Legion of Honour, Iron Crown, and 
Black Eagle — where he met with a very enthu- 
siastic reception. On the morrow, clothed in a 

1 MM. Jules Chavanon and Georges Sainte-Yves, Joachim 
Jliurat. 



58 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

Spanish costume of the most costly description, 
he assisted at Mass at the cathedral, took the 
usual oaths, and delivered a spedch, thanking his 
subjects for the devotion they had testified to- 
wards his person and promising them his pro- 
tection. 

Scarcely had his investiture ,been completed, 
than Murat began to attempt anrtexations. At the 
end of March, his troops occupied the old Church 
lands of Essen and Werden, on; the ground that 
they were comprised in the cession of Cleves, 
to the intense indignation of Prussia, who looked 
upon these districts as her own. Bliicher, who 
had commanded for Prussia in the Duchy of 
Cleves, and had only evacuated it with the 
greatest reluctance and after repeated orders 
from his Government, immediately marched in 
his soldiers, tore down Murat's proclamations, 
and restored his country's flag. A serious conflict 
was only averted by the complaisance of Frederick 
William, who, anxious at all costs to maintain 
peace, recalled his troops and referred the ques- 
tion at issue to lawyers, though his Majesty's 
forbearance must have been sorely taxed when 
the Duke of Berg sent him a letter of remon- 
strance on Bliicher's conduct, beginning with the 
familiar address, '' Mon frere" ! 

Napoleon, who was, for the moment, himself 
desirous of peace, believing that he might gain 
by diplomacy acquisitions fully as valuable as 
those which were to be conquered by the sword. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 59 

reprimanded Murat severely for this adventure. 
Nevertheless, thanks to the skilful policy of 
Caroline, who represented her husband's interests 
at the French Court far more efficiently than any 
accredited ambassador could possibly have done, 
his anger soon passed, and he continued to over- 
whelm his brother-in-law with favours, to add to his 
dominions, and to increase the ihiportance of his 
position in Germany. When, in the following 
July, the Confederation of the Rhine was con- 
stituted, he caused Murat to enter it, with the 
title of Grand-Duke and all the rights, honours, 
and prerogatives attached to the royal dignity, 
and allotted him a seat in the 'first college, that 
of the kings, immediately after the Grand- Duke 
of Baden and before the Grand-Duke of Hesse- 
Darmstadt. Moreover, he gave him the monopoly 
of the posts of North Germany, which for nearly 
two centuries had been enjoyed by the House of 
Thurn and Taxis ; he compelled the Duke of 
Nassau and several minor princes to cede to him 
territory which more than doubled his dominions, 
and made him sovereign lord over a whole group 
of " Serenities." 

Napoleon, however, had soon cause to regret 
the elevation of his brother-in-law, as, indeed, in 
years to come, he had that of most of his satel- 
lites. So far from being satisfied with what he 
had received, the greed and arrogance of the new 
grand-duke knew no bounds. I^e quarrelled with 
the Duke of Nassau; he quarrelled with the King 



6o THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

of Holland ; he violated the rights of all his 
neighbours, and, what was Worse, sought to 
throw the responsibility for his own illegal acts 
upon the Emperor. Finally, he quarrelled vio- 
lently with Napoleon himself over the question 
of Wesel, the key of Northern Germany, which 
the Emperor had decided to unite to France, 
"since it could only belong to a great Power." 
"The Emperor," he exclaimed indignantly, "has 
no right to take that place away from me ; I did 
not receive it from him ; it was a treaty with the 
King of Prussia that gave it to me." Napoleon, 
who had made the treaty in question, was of a 
different opinion, and wrote to Murat that his in- 
gratitude made him blush for him. Altogether, 
it was well for Murat that the outbreak of war 
with Prussia came to divert his Majesty's mind to 
matters of more importance than his brother-in- 
law's pretensions, and to afford the Grand- Duke 
opportunities of regaining by his brilliant valour 
the goodwill of the Emperor, or it might have 
taxed all Caroline's diplomatic skill to save the 
situation. 

While Murat was gathering fresh laurels in 
Prussia and Poland, his wife remained in Paris. 
The absence of Queen Hortense, the age of the 
Empress, who no longer danced, and Pauline's 
delicate health, left the field open to her, and 
she reigned the undisputed queen of society. 
Napoleon had given orders that the war was not 
to be allowed to interrupt the usual winter festivi- 




ANDOCHE JUNOT, DUG D'ABRANTES 

FKOftl A LITHOGRAPH BV DEr.l'EGH 



THE WOMEN BONAI'ARTES 6i 

ties, and, despite of the departure of the Emperor 
and the greater part of the miUtary element, 
despite, too, of the fears which must have op- 
pressed so many hearts, the season was a very 
gay one. But by far the most briUiant entertain- 
ments were those given by Caroline, for whose 
invitations all fashionable Paris^ with the excep- 
tion of a few irreconcilables of the Faubourg 
Saint-Germain, eagerly contended. " The Grand 
Duchess of Berg lived in great splendour at the 
Elys^e. Her beauty was enhanced by the most 
exquisite toilettes ;'' her pretensions were great ; 
her manners affable when she thought it prudent, 
and more than affable to men whom she desired 
to fascinate.'"" 

And the person whom she particularly desired 
to fascinate at this juncture was Junot, who had 
replaced Murat as Governor of Paris. Junot was 
then in the very prime of manhood, handsome, 
tall, well made, brave, chivalrous and open- 
handed ; in a word, a man capable of inspiring 
a genuine passion, even in a far from susceptible 
heart. But if we are to believe his wife and 
Stanislas de Girardin, it was not to his good looks 
or to his amiable qualities that he was indebted 
for his conquest of the Emperor's sister, but to 
a very different reason. 



' For an account of Caroline's toilettes, which often cost from 
12,000 to 15,000 francs, see M. Henri Bouchot's interesting work, 
le Luxe sous PEmpire. 

2 Madame de R^musat, Mhnoircs. 



62 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

The constant presence of Napoleon on the 
battlefield rendered the chance of the throne of 
France suddenly becoming vacant a far from 
remote contingency. Cold, calculating, and de- 
voured by an ambition which her recent eleva- 
tion had only served to stimulate, Caroline had 
often pondered as to what would happen in such 
an eventuality. In the ordinary course of events, 
Joseph Bonaparte would succeed ; but Joseph 
had no influence with the Army, and the same re- 
mark applied to Louis and Jerome; and the Army 
was likely to prove the dominant factor in the 
situation. On the other hand, Murat had a great 
name in the Army, and, though Lannes, Oudinot, 
Macdonald, Mass6na, and several other generals 
had deserved equally well of their country, the 
Grand-Duke of Berg, as the Emperor's brother- 
in-law, came before both soldiers and people 
under peculiar advantages. 

Soon a bold scheme began to take shape in 
Caroline's ambitious mind. Junot, as Governor 
of Paris, had under his orders the whole of the 
troops in garrison in the military district of Paris. 
If she could assure herself of his whole-hearted 
co-operation in her plans, it would be compara- 
tively easy, in the event of Napoleon's death in 
battle, to proclaim Murat as his successor, for 
Junot was universally popular with and esteemed 
by his subordinates, and they would obey him 
without question. As for the other garrisons in 
France and the armies in the field, they would 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 63 

doubtless accept the accomplished fact, for it was 
difficult to imagine that any one could be so 
foolish as to be ready to shed his blood to secure 
the throne for Joseph or either of his brothers. 

As M. Arthur L6vy points out, the scheme 
which Caroline elaborated during the Prussian 
and Polish campaigns of 1806-7 bears a singular 
resemblance to that which Malet, not only planned, 
but attempted to put into execution, during the 
disastrous Russian campaign of 181 2. "Their 
two combinations," he writes, "could only suc- 
ceed on the condition of not taking into any 
account the laws of the Empire, when the news 
of the Emperor's death was received. They 
differed in this sense, that Malet, in his im- 
patience, supposed one day the news to be true, 
and acted in consequence ; while Caroline waited 
patiently — at least we are willing to believe it — 
until the death of her brother should actually take 
place. In order to be prepared for that eventu- 
ality, she told herself, as did the celebrated con- 
spirator, that it was necessary at any cost to 
have the Governor of Paris at her orders. To 
attain this end, Malet could only reckon on his 
impudence ; Caroline, finding weapons in her 
beauty, undertook the easy task of securing the 
Governor, who was, at this time, General Junot."^ 

The princess accordingly employed all her 
coquetry to conquer the heart of Junot. " She 
opened all the balls with the Governor of Paris, 

' Napolhn intime. 



64 THE WOMEN BONAIPARTES 

played whist with the Governor of Paris, rode on 
horseback with the Governor of Paris, received 
the Governor of Paris alone in preference to all 
other persons, until the poor Governor of Paris, 
who certainly was not an angel [it is his wife 
who writes], and whose heart, though always 
attached to me and his children, was not in- 
sensible to the impressions of the moment, could 
no more resist the perpetual seductions which 
assailed him than the Christian knights could 
resist the seductions of the Palace of Armida."^ 

Junot, who had his fair share of vanity, and 
saw in this bonne foriune nothing but the victory 
of his personal attraction, fell passionately in love 
with the Grand-Duchess. The amorous general 
was far from suspecting the machinations which 
lay behind the complaisance of the princess. 
Caroline was much too astute to- propose to him 
a compact, even eventual, contrary to the wishes 
of the Emperor, for the almost fanatical devotion 
of Junot to his master would hajve rendered such 
a proceeding highly dangerous. " But," says the 
indignant wife, " she said such things as were 
intended to ensure, whenever the decisive moment 
should arrive, that he could refuse her nothing."^ 

The intimacy between the Grand- Duchess and 
the Governor soon became the talk of Paris, nor 



' Duchess d'Abrantes, Mchnoires. The duchess adds that 
Carohne subsequently assured her that she did not return the 
Governor's affection, and that she is inchned to beheve her. 

2 Ibid. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 65 

was it long before so piquant a piece of gossip 
reached the army in Poland. Hitherto Napoleon 
appears to have lived in a sort of fool's paradise 
in regard to his sisters, for the princesses took 
care to be exceedingly gracious to the Minister 
of Police and his Majesty's confidants, Duroc, 
Savary, and others, and it was not therefore to 
the interests of these persons to betray them. 
Josephine and Hortense had no doubt frequently 
endeavoured to enlighten him oh the subject, but, 
as he was aware of the hostility which existed 
between them and his sisters, he was not inclined 
to attach much importance to evidence from such 
a quarter. But, unfortunately for Junot, that gallant 
officer happened to be on bad tqrms with Savary, 
in consequence of which the latter, instead of 
contenting himself with jesting- over the affair 
with other members of the Emperor's staff, felt 
it to be his painful duty to acquaint his master 
with what was oroing- on. 

The Emperor was exceedingly wrath, but he 
does not appear to have had any suspicion as to 
the real motive of Caroline's conduct. Any way, 
when he returned to Paris after the Peace of Tilsit, 
he contented himself with reprimanding his sister 
for what that lady assured him had been nothing 
but an indiscretion, since, as she pointed out, with 
admirable aplomb, if there had really been any- 
thing criminal in her relations with the Governor 
of Paris, she would not have been so ill-advised 
to advertise their intimacy to the world. 



66 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

To Junot, however, who was not in the secret 
of his Majesty's extra-conjugal adventures, he was 
more severe. There was a stormy interview 
at the Tuileries, when the Emperor informed 
the hapless Governor that he* was fully acquainted 
with everything that had taken place in his 
absence: "Ah! Ah! You are astonished, M. 
Junot, that I am so well posted in your affairs, 
and in those of that Ifttle fool, Madame 
Murat." 

Junot, who had not foreseen the consequences 
of his little romance, was mgre than astonished ; 
he was overwhelmed. He protested that the 
affair had been perfectly innocent ; nothing but 
a harmless flirtation. The Emperor accepted 
the explanation, but told him that he had, never- 
theless, done him a grave injury. " Thy liveries 
ought not to be seen at two o'clock in the morning 
in the courtyard of the Grarid- Duchess of Berg. 
Thou, Junot! Thou to compromise my sister! 
Ah ! " And, with a gesture of despair, he sank 
into a chair. 

Junot offered to give satisfaction to Murat, if 
he deemed himself offended. " My hotel," said 
he, " is very near the Elysde, and " 

"Yes, yes," replied the Emperor, "much too 
near. 

He forbade him to fight with Murat, whom he 
and Caroline had already succeeded in pacifying, 
or with Savary, whom Junot was exceedingly 
anxious to punish for his meanness, and refused 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 67 

to allow him to leave the Tuileries until he had 
promised to keep the peace. 

The affair ended by Junot being removed from 
his post of Governor of Paris and sent, in a sort 
of disguised disgrace, as Ambassador to Lisbon, 
" in order," his Majesty remarked, " to put an 
end to the rumours which are in circulation con- 
cerning my sister and thee." The Iberian penin- 
sula became from that time, as we shall presently 
see, the fashionable place of exile for happy or 
recalcitrant gallants of the Imperial Princesses. 

If Napoleon had succeeded in temporarily 
appeasing the desires of his sisters, his mother 
remained extremely dissatisfied with what had 
been done for her, and grumbled incessantly. As 
" Protectress of the Sisters of Charity," she was 
naturally the recipient of numerous applications for 
assistance from benevolent institutions through- 
out France ; but she declined to open her purse. 
She sympathised deeply with the objects of her 
petitioners, and would gladly aid them if it were 
in her power; but her allowance barely sufficed, 
even with the most rigid economy and self-denial, 
for the needs of her Household, and she must 
therefore advise them to apply to the Grand 
Almonry. Such was her invariable answer. At 
the beginning of the year 1806, the Emperor 
raised her pension of 300,000 francs to 480,000 
francs, but she continued to plead poverty, and 
officials of benevolent societies who presented 



68 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

themselves at the Hotel de Brie'nne continued to 
go empty away. The elevation of her daughters 
to be reigning princesses and grand-duchesses 
naturally did not tend to allay her ill-humour, for, 
although she had no ambition t6 have a State to 
govern, she would have dearly liked to have had 
one to sell. Her resentment was stimulated by 
certain members of her entourage, who believed 
that an improvement in their mistress's position 
could not fail to redound to their own advantage, 
and at length she came to the concliision that she 
was a very ill-used woman indeed. Accordingly, 
with the assistance of her secretary Guieu, she 
drew up and addressed to the Emperor a lengthy 
epistle, setting forth her grievances "with a 
frankness inseparable from those intimate com- 
munications of the heart to which all personal 
calculation is necessarily foreign." 

After declaring that she had no ambitious pre- 
tensions, that the title of Mother of the Emperor 
was sufficiently glorious for her, and that "her 
place at his side was as eminent in her eyes as it 
was precious to her heart," she continues : 

But I ought to live in the Empire with the 
dignity that is suitable to my rank. It is not so 
much for my own sake that I desire it as for 
yours, since your Majesty's mother ought to be 
honoured by the people as much as you honour 
and esteem her yourself, and you are aware how 
much in public opinion outward display adds to 
that of title, and even to personal qualities. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 69 

You have then to examine, Sire, if my allow- 
ance is sufficient, in regard to the obligations 
which my position imposes upon me. A revenue 
of 480,000 francs is doubtless -adequate for my 
personal needs ; it is not so, having regard to 
the obligations which arise from my political 
status. To maintain my position adequately 
large means are required. 

I shall be very far from maintaining a suitable 
position, if my entourage is not at least on a level 
with that of the other members of the Imperial 
Family, and if I am obliged to reduce the scale 
of expenditure which I have hitherto adopted 
in my Household. 

In the first place, I am in need of the necessary 
funds to provide myself with a supply of plate, 
linen, and furniture, which I have not been able 
to procure out of my ordinary revenue. You are 
aware. Sire, that I have received nothing for the 
initial expenses of my establishment.-' Secondly, 
I require a fixed and settled income proportioned 
to what a dignified manner of living exacts. 
Well, to judge what is necessary for me, you 
have points of comparison which will be sufficient 
for you to consult. Your noble feelings, more- 
over, will indicate to you the extent of the mag- 
nificence with which you ought to surround the 
mother of the most powerful monarch in the 
world. 

But it is not only an increase of revenue she 
desires. The shrewd old lady was well aware that, 

^ If she had received nothing from the Emperor for this specific 
purpose, she had received gratifications during the past year by 
v/hich her income had been more than doubled, 



yo THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

in the event of Napoleon's death, she might find 
his successor far less generously disposed, and 
she therefore proposes to secure herself against 
such an eventuality : 

As to the manner in which my allowance ought 
to be paid, I invite you to reflect upon certain 
points. 

A simple pension which is only determined by 
an act not clothed with legal forms offers me a 
precious proof of your love, but it is not for me 
a political title, emanating from the sovereign 
power, I have in your sentiments the surest 
guarantee of my present lot ; but I declare, Sire, 
that at no time and in no circumstances do I wish 
to depend on anything save your will, and your 
thoughtful affection cannot but desire that it 
should be so. The provision for a fixed allowance 
for me appears then to be in conformity with 
your Majesty's sentiments as well as with my 
personal dignity. 

I do not fear to go further and to confess to 
you, Sire, that it would be sweet to me to be 
glorified by a solemn act, which would manifest 
to the French nation the sentiments which you 
profess towards me, and which have constituted 
until now the joy of my private life. 

And then she goes on to demand a jointure 
charged, by a decree of the Senate, "upon certain 
portions of the public contributions," which would 
not only render her entirely independent of the 
bounty of the Emperor and his successors, but 
would assimilate her position to that of a queen- 



THE WOMEN BONApARTES 71 

mother, and elevate her above all the princes of 
the Imperial Family ; and she concludes : 

That, Sire, is all that I can desire. I am 
happy in my present position^ and I do not 
dissimulate the enchantment which a son such 
as you are has shed over my life. But when I 
invite you to render it possible for me to live in 
a condition of greater magnificence, I am not 
seeking vain pleasures. You can conceive that 
my ideas are closely linked with a maternal 
sentiment which does not separate my glory from 
your own. 

The demands formulated in this flowery epistle, 
— it was the production, of course, of her secretary 
Guieu, not of Madame herself — which the pane- 
gyrical Baron Larrey considers "so well justified" 
— caused Napoleon much annoyance. It was 
not that he objected to increasing his mother's 
pension — for towards his relatives he was ever 
the most generous of men — but he did most 
strongly object to her pretension to become, by 
virtue of an official act, a political person, almost 
on an equality with the Emperor himself, and 
altogether independent of his boun^. 

And, apart from such considei-ations, there was 
another reason, which made Napoleon reluctant 
to bestow upon his mother dignities which would 
bring her so much into prominence. With her 
beautiful features, her graceful carriage, her 
dignified manners, Madame made a most im- 
pressive figure. Impassive, cold, silent, she was 



72 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

admirable. But when she spoke, and, in particular, 
when she became animated, her deplorable accent, 
her ignorance of the intricacies of the French 
language, the Corsican interjections and gestures 
in which she indulged, made her an object of 
amusement, and even of ridicule, rather than of 
veneration. To permit her to occupy a public 
position in which she would be called upon to 
open exhibitions, lay foundation-stones, make 
speeches, and converse freely with all kinds of 
people, would be, he felt, a most fatal error. 

On this point, therefore, he firmly declined 
to yield, but, to compensate Madame for her dis- 
appointment, he showed himself very accommo- 
dating in other respects. He sent her a quantity 
of very valuable furniture ; he instructed the 
administrator of the Gobelins to select " an 
assortment of old and new tapestries for the 
Chateau of Pont " ; he made her, in the following 
August, a present of 600,000 francs, and, on 
January i, 1808, her pension, which had no 
doubt been augmented in the meanwhile by other 
gratifications, was raised to 1,000,000 francs. 

Madame Mire passed the whqle of the summer 
and part of the autumn of 1806 at the Chateau 
of Pont. She led a very quiet life, and the days 
were passed in a monotonous and dull routine, 
which the younger members of her Household 
must have found extremely wearisome. "We 
rose when we pleased," writes the Duchesse 
d'Abrantgs, "and breakfasted at half-past eleven, 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 73 

that is to say, noon, when all the residents of the 

chateau assembled After breakfast, needlework 

was introduced, and sometimes, when the weather 
happened to be very hot, Madame played at 
cards. Then, we dispersed to our apartments or 
went to pay visits ; next, came the toilette and 
dinner, and afterwards, in the long summer even- 
ings, a ride in open carriages along the banks 
of the Seine, or through the Woods towards le 
Paraclet. 

The arrival of Cardinal Fesch, bringing with 
him that strange creature, the Italian poet Gianni,^ 
proved a welcome relief to the monotonous ex- 
istence led by the little Court, and, during their 
stay, Pont seems to have been almost gay. On 
one occasion, Gianni, inspired by the memory of 
Abelard and H^loise, proposed an excursion to 
le Paraclet, and suggested that the journey 
should be made on donkeys. His proposal was 
accepted with enthusiasm ; and, on the appointed 
day, a score of these animals in all stages of 
decrepitude were assembled in the courtyard of 
the chateau. Madame Mere naturally preferred 
a carriage, but nearly all her Household decided 
to ride, and the cortege started ^amidst shouts of 
merriment. The sight of the little deformed poet, 
with his hump and his immense paunch, perched 

1 Madame d'Abrantfes describes him as about four feet in height, 
humpbacked and enormously stout, with "arms that enabled him to 
tie his shoes without stooping, and a countenance which matched 
the deformity of his figure," 



76 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

ful eye on the conduct of his relatives, and sternly- 
checking any attempt at insubordination on their 
part, sent his mother a very sharp reminder of the 
obedience which he expected from her : 

Finckenstein 

1 8 April, 1807 

Madame, — I quite approve of you going to 
your country estate ; but, so long as you remain 
in Paris, it is essential that you should dine 
every Sunday in the Empress's apartments, where 
the family dinner is held. My family is a politi- 
cal family. When I am absent, the Empress is 
always the head of it ; besides, it is an honour that 
I am conferring upon the members of my family. 
That does not prevent me, when I happen to be 
in Paris, and my occupations permit of it, from 

dining" with you. x, rr .• ^ 

° ' Your anectionate son, 

Napoleon ^ 

This epistle must have occasioned Madame a 
good deal of mortification, but the departure of 
Josephine for Malmaison and Saint-Cloud, and 
afterwards for The Hague, in order to console her 
daughter, who had just lost her eldest son. Na- 
poleon Charles, dispensed her from the obligation 
of choosing between submission to Napoleon's 
commands and retiring to Pont ; and she passed 
the summer in Paris. 

On the return of the Emperor to his capital, 
she assisted at the Te Deum at Notre Dame 
in celebration of his victories and the Peace 

' Published by Baroji Larrey, Madame Mire, 




A 







N? ~ 



^ 2 






THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 77 

of Tilsit (August 15), and the fetes which fol- 
lowed, on which occasion joy, pride, and a very 
elegant toilette made her appear so youthful, that 
strangers could hardly be persuaded to believe 
she was really the Emperor's mother. A few 
days later, she was present at the marriage of 
J drome — whose union with Elizabeth Patterson 
had been annulled in the previous October — and 
Catherine of Wiirtemberg. Towards this amiable 
and excellent princess Madame Mere found her- 
self strongly drawn at their vepy first interview, 
and a warm friendship was soon established be- 
tween them, which endured without interruption 
until Catherine's death, in November 1835, only 
a few weeks before her own. 

Although, as we have mentioned, but little of 
her Imperial Highness's income found its way 
into the coffers of benevolent, institutions, she 
took her title of " Protectress of the Sisters of 
Charity " very seriously, and would appear to 
have rendered good service by the introduction 
of more business-like methods into the manage- 
ment of their affairs. At the end of September 
1807, the Emperor, at her reqiiest, gave to the 
sisters the Couvent des Dames de la Croix, in 
the Rue Charonne, to be the headquarters of 
their institution, and, at the same time, directed 
that the forthcoming Chapter-General should be 
held at Madame Mere's hotel and under her 
presidency. The report which she addressed on 
this occasion to his Majesty was published in the 



78 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

Moniteur and all the journals, with the following 
acknowledgment from the Emperor : 

" I am unable, Madame, to express to you my 
satisfaction at the zeal which you are showing 
and the fresh cares which you are taking upon 
yourself. They cannot add anything to the 
sentiments of veneration and filial love which 
I entertain for you." 

Early in October, Madame 'Mere joined the 
Court at Fontainebleau, where the Emperor gave 
practical expression to his "sentiments of venera- 
tion and filial love " by a promise that, at the begin- 
ning of the following year, her pension should be 
raised to 1,000,000 francs. 

Ever since her return to France, at the end of 
1804, Madame had maintained an active corre- 
spondence with the exiled Lucien, and it was 
owing to her influence that, in December 1807, 
an interview was arranged between the latter and 
the Emperor at Mantua. Napoleon used every 
possible persuasion to induce his brother to re- 
pudiate " the widow Jouberthou " : he would 
admit the legality of the marriage ; he would 
recognise as members of the Imperial Family 
Lucien's daughters by his first marriage — Char- 
lotte and Christine — and those of the second — 
Lcetitia and Jeanne — who had been born since its 
celebration, though the son born in 1803 must 
be excluded ; handsome compensation, however, 
should be given the boy and his mother ; Lucien 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 79 

should be included in the line of succession to 
the throne, with all the rights conferred upon his 
brothers : he should receive a kingdom — that of 
Portugal, for example — and, even, if he wished, 
might continue to live with his divorced wife, 
provided he did not bring her to France or allow 
her to participate in the honours of royalty. 

Nothing, however, came of this interview, from 
which such great things had been expected, and 
though Madame wrote letter after letter to 
Lucien, imploring him to make the sacrifice 
which the Emperor demanded, he remained 
obdurate. He would not divorce his wife ; he 
would not separate his children. 

To obtain the augmentation of her pension, 
Madame had alleged the necessity of living in a 
style more suited to her position as the Emperor's 
mother, of increasing the number of her House- 
hold, and of entertaining on a more liberal scale. 
But when her request had been acceded to, she 
made very little change in her rAode of life. She 
did not make any fresh appointments in her 
Household, save in the case of death or resigna- 
tion ; she did not even increase the salaries of her 
officers, which must have been a sad disappoint- 
ment to those aspiring ladies ancj gentlemen who 
had prompted the demands she had addressed to 
the Emperor, in the belief that the improvement in 
her Highness's financial position would be followed 
by a corresponding one in their own ; and, though 
she certainly ordered a splendid silver-gilt dinner 



8o THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

service from the jeweller Odiot, she did not give 
more dinner parties. Nor dq the benevolent 
institutions of which she was the' patroness appear 
to have reaped any appreciable benefit, though 
Baron Larrey maintains that shq was very charit- 
able in an unostentatious way. The Emperor 
remonstrated, but it was to no purpose. " You 
do not know how to enjoy life, Signora Letizia," 
said he ; "I have given you an income of a 
million francs ; but you live likfe a bourgeoise of 
Saint- Denis. You must not hoard your money, 
but spend all that I give you." " Then you must 
let me have two million, instead of one," she 
replied, "for I mtist economise ; it is my nature." 
And, so far from being satisfied with her allow- 
ance, of which she saved at least half, she was 
continually applying to him to have it increased. 

But it was not avarice which prompted her to 
economise in this fashion, for she responded gene- 
rously to any appeal for assistance from her sons, 
and Lucien, who was occasionally hard put to 
maintain his position, received from his mother 
very large sums. It was the fear, almost amount- 
ing to a conviction, which, as we have observed 
elsewhere, continually haunted her, and which 
seemed to become only the stronger with each 
fresh triumph Napoleon gained, that one day the 
sun would cease to shine, that sooner or later the 
conqueror would abuse his power, and that the 
colossal Imperial fabric which he had so rapidly 
built up would come tumbling about his ears like 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 8i 

a house of cards. "Who knows," she observed, 
on one occasion, when one of her sons represented 
to her that there was no necessity for the economy 
which she practised, "who knows whether all 
these kings will not some day come and beg their 
bread of me ? " 



n.— 6 



CHAPTER XXI 

i;iisa at Lucca— Her Court— Her palace— Energy and ability with 
which she governs her principality — Her Civil List — Her com- 
mercial enterprises — She forms a company to work the marble 
quarries of Carrara : success of this undertaking— Her patron- 
age of literature and the arts— She gives birth to a daughter— 
Her country seat at Marlia— Her affairs of the heart : Lesp&ut 
and Bartolomeo Cenami — Her skilful attitude towards the Em- 
peror gains her his confidence and favour — She obtains a con- 
siderable increase of territory — Astuteness she displays in order 
to persuade Napoleon to extend the Concordat of Italy to 
Lucca, and enable her to confiscate the revenues of the religious 
houses — Resentment which this measure arouses among her 
subjects. 

IN the meanwhile, Elisa, at Lucca, was ex- 
periencing all the pleasure of sovereignty 
with apparently few of its drawbacks. The 
town was charming, the climate delightful, her 
subjects orderly and contented, while her com- 
plaisant consort was perfectly content to reign 
without showing the slightest desire to govern. 
She had a Court modelled on that of the Tuileries, 
and almost as numerous : Dame d' honneur, Cheva- 
lier d'honneur, First Chamberlain, First Equerry, 
First Almoner, Grand Master, Intendant-General, 
Prefect of the Palace, Master of the Ceremonies, 
twelve ladies-in-waiting, twelve-, chamberlains, 
twelve equerries, and six pages all covered with 
silver embroidery. Madame de la Place, who 

82 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 83 

had followed her from France, continued her 
duties as Dame d/wnneitr, but only for a few 
months, when she returned to J^ ranee to repre- 
sent the princess with the modistes and milliners 
of the capital — a post which was no sinecure, as 
her letters to her patroness prove.-* The Mar- 
chese Girolamo Lucchesini, head of one of the 
principal families of Lucca, who, after having 
been many years in the service of Prussia, had 
lately returned to his native land, accepted the 
post of First Chamberlain, and another Luccan, 
Bartolomeo Cenami, of whom more anon, was 
her First Equerry. 

These officials, whose duties were regulated 
by a most elaborate code of etiquette, containing 
no less than two hundred and fifty-three articles, 
were supported by a small army of gorgeous 
menials : comptroller and sub-comptroller, two 
maitres d'hotel, seven valets-de-chambre, eight 
footmen, as many waiting-women, and so forth, 
in all, more than fifty persons. The Prince, when 
called on to sign orders upon the Treasury for the 
payment of all these functionaries and domes- 
tics, ventured to suggest that some reduction in 
their number might be advisable. But his im- 
perious consort would listen to no remonstrance, 
and, though she did eventually curtail her ex- 
penditure in this direction, it was by lowering 
salaries, not by suppressing offices. However, 

1 Lettres de Madame de la Place d. Jiiisa, Princesse de Lucques 
et Piombiiio, edited by M. Paul Marmottan, Paris, 1897. 



84 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

her Household — we say her, since it was to 
Elisa, and not to F^lix, that all the officials looked 
for their instructions, and the latter had no one 
directly under his orders, except his aides-de- 
camp and his valet-de-ckambre — was maintained 
at much less cost than might have been sup- 
posed ; many of the Court officials were members 
of noble Luccan families, who were content with 
the dignity which their posts conferred upon 
them and received merely nominal salaries, while 
the servants appear to have been very badly 
paid. Thus, some of the lackeys only received 
between 300 or 400 francs a year, out of which 
they found their own food. 

A palace, however, was needed to house in a 
suitable manner their most Serene and Imperial 
Highnesses and their entourage, and this pre- 
sented some little difficulty. There were a num- 
ber of palaces in Lucca, several of them very 
imposing residences indeed, such as the Palazzo 
Cenami, a splendid example of Renaissance 
architecture, and the Palazzo Mansi, famous for 
its tapestries and gallery of Flemish masters. 
But either their owners declined to part with 
them, or they were too small for Elisa's require- 
ments. Temporarily, the Court was lodged at 
the Palazzo Bovisi, the owner of which, the 
Marchese Bovisi, had been- accustomed to drive 
about in a magnificent carriage preceded by out- 
riders and running footmen ; but, having lately 
nearly ruined himself by his extravagance, pre- 



THE WOMEN BONA^ARTES 85 

ferred to surrender the home of his fathers and 
to retire to his estates than appear before his 
new sovereign in an equipage unworthy of his 
dignity. But a princess could not be expected 
to remain permanently in what had been the 
residence of a mere marquis — the idea was pre- 
posterous ! And so Elisa summoned the archi- 
tect Bienaim6 from Paris, and soon there arose 
a splendid palace, with a marble staircase and a 
vast vaulted gallery of white marble and white 
stucco, in the centre of which was a beautiful 
cupola decorated with friezes and consoles in 
stucco, and which was enriched by masterpieces 
of modern sculpture, notably, by' several examples 
of Canova's work, a magnificent Throne- Room 
for solemn audiences, a Council-Chamber for the 
deliberations of the Ministers, and spacious recep- 
tion-rooms, in which might be seen chimney- 
pieces of marble or porphyry, doors of massive 
cedar, silk curtains with reliefs designed in velvet, 
furniture by Jacob, bas-reliefs by Thorwaldsen, 
timepieces by Leroy, and examples of the gold- 
smith's art by Biennais/ 

And, since this splendid abode was hemmed in 
by neighbouring buildings, which obstructed the 
view from its windows, and did not permit those 
who approached it to form a just conception of 
its magnificence, Iilisa caused an old tower which 

1 For a full account of the Palace of Lucca, see M. Mar- 
mottan's exhaustive and finely-illustrated wcark, les Arts en Toscane 
sous Napoleon; la princesse Elisa. 



86 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

served as a prison, a church, the palace of the 
archives, and several houses to be demolished ; 
and, in the midst of the open space secured at 
such a cost, and which received the name of the 
Piazza Napoleone, erected a monument intended 
to perpetuate the achievements of her all-con- 
quering brother.^ 

Many of the Luccan nobility had at first been 
inclined to regard the new rdghne with some 
disfavour, but when they saw that a brilliant era 
was beginning, in which their appetite for gaiety 
and pleasure would find full satisfaction, they 
speedily abandoned their hostility, and the Court 
officials were besieged with applications from 
persons who desired the honour of being pre- 
sented to their Highnesses. Elisa, who under- 
stood the pleasure-loving Italian temperament — 
was she not of Italian descent herself? — enter- 
tained on a lavish scale, and State dinners, balls, 
receptions, and concerts succeeded one another 
in rapid succession. " The Court of Lucca," 
wrote the French envoy, the Comte Eschas- 



1 " On the four faces of the base, one might have seen the four 
rivers : the Nile, the Po, the Danube, and the Vistula, witnesses of 
his triumphs, and four bas-reliefs ixpresenting the victories of 
Aboukir, Marengo, Austerlitz, and Jena. Above, was a globe, on 
which was sculptured the exploits of Themistocles, Alexander, 
Hannibal, Scipio Africanus, Cffisar, Clovis, Charlemagne, William 
the Conqueror, Gustavus Adolphus, Prince Eugene, and Frederick 
the Great (no one was missing but the kings of France : Francois I, 
Henry IV or Louis XIV, who, however, *. . !). The statue of 
the Emperor dominated the whole." — M. E. Rodocanachi, Elisa 
Napoleon en Italie. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 87 

seriaux, " is on a small scale wHat that of Saint- 
Cloud is on a large. I have even found it more 
brilliant, save in point of numbers, both in cos- 
tume and ceremony." 

This little city, which had slumbered for cen- 
turies behind its thick ramparts, became, on a 
sudden, a brilliant capital, full of life and move- 
ment. The aristocracy and the wealthy mer- 
chants vied with one another in luxury and 
extravagance ; visitors from all parts of Italy 
and distinguished foreigners crowded the inns ; 
two theatres were opened, one for Italian ballets, 
the other for French plays ; a casino, in which 
a variety of amusements were provided, and 
a splendid bathing establishment were built ; 
and the Palazzo Santini was converted into a 
fashionable gambling-hell, where, in considera- 
tion of a huge subsidy to the State, faro and 
roulette were permitted until the small hours of 
the morning. 

In accordance with the Constitution of June 
24th, 1805, the Prince of Lucca and Piombino 
was assisted in the government of his dominions 
by two Ministers, one of whom controlled the 
departments of Justice, the Interior, Foreign 
Affairs, and Education, while the other was re- 
sponsible for those of Finance, Public Worship, 
Police, and War ; a Council of State of six 
members, and a Senate of thirty-six senators. 
But Felix's share in the administration seems to 
have been confined to signing decrees placed 



88 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

before him by his consort ; the Council of State 
seldom met, and, when it did, transacted nothing 
of importance ; while Elisa took care that the 
sittings of the Senate should be .rather occasions 
for the display of pomp and ceremony than for the 
discussion of the affairs of the nation, and if by 
chance that body ventured to take a decision con- 
trary to her will, she instructed her docile husband 
to send "a remonstrance paternal but severe," 
which never failed to recall it to obedience. 

For it was Elisa who governed, and it must be 
admitted with energy and ability. She worked 
with the Ministers; she caused „almost every de- 
tail of the administration to be submitted for her 
approval ; she reviewed her little army, mounted 
on horseback ; she corresponded incessantly with 
the Emperor and with the Ministers in Paris, and, 
in short, might have exclaimed, without fear of con- 
tradiction: "I'J^tat, cest moiT' T\\& prdcieuse oi 
the Paris salons had become a political woman, 
and one who did not hesitate to put her ideas of 
government into practice. 

" The habit of work has become a passion 
with me," she writes to Napoleon ; "it takes the 
place of every other idea, and when I return to 
my cabinet, I remain there with as much pleasure 
as at the most brilliant fete. You see, Sire, how 
your lessons and your paternal counsels can 
change all ideas and all sentiments."^ 

^ Letter of March 6, 1806, Archives Nationales, published by 
M. Rodocanachi. 



THE WOMEN BONApARTES 89 

The results of her activity and enterprise were 
to be seen in every direction ; roads were made : 
one to Viareggio, another to Florence, a 
third to Pisa ; the draining of the marshes was 
begun, though lack of funds prevented the under- 
taking from being completed ; the silk industry 
was introduced, and awards m,ade to the most 
skilful workmen ; the tribunals, in which justice 
was still administered with all the tortuous and 
costly procedure of the middle ages, were recon- 
stituted ; vexatious taxes were abolished ; bene- 
volent institutions, which were very numerous in 
Lucca, as in all the towns of Italy, were placed 
under proper supervision ; the police were re- 
organised and political espionnage suppressed ; 
the prisons — hotbeds of iniquity and disease — 
were reformed, and those confined in them com- 
pelled to work ; and, since the Luccans were 
rather refractory in the matter of inoculation, 
premiums were paid to the doctors who vaccin- 
ated the greatest number of persons.^ 

Nor, while occupying herself with the welfare 
of her subjects, did the Princess, who possessed, 
like all her family, excellent business capabilities, 
neglect her own interests. The Civil List of the 
Principalities of Lucca and Piombino, as fixed by 
the Constitution of June 24, 1805, consisted of 
an annual sum of 300,000 francs, paid by the 
Treasury in money of the country, and a further 
100,000 from the Crown Lands. Such were the 

M. E, Rodocanachi, iilisa NapoUon en lialie. 



go THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

official figures, but, in point of fact, the revenues 
of the sovereign were considerably higher. 
EHsa continued to draw, until the end of the 
year 1809, a pension of 240,000 francs from the 
Grande Cassette, and to this must be added 
a portion of the Customs of the two princi- 
palities. It would therefore appear that the 
Civil List of the Princess was not far short of 
800,000 francs. 

Nevertheless, her Highness found such an in- 
come very inadequate to maintain the grandeur 
which she considered to be indispensable to her 
exalted position, and she accordingly sought to 
augment it by every means which promised a fair 
return. She imported moufflon from Corsica 
and sold them to her subjects ; she acquired an 
alum mine at Piombino ; she re-established the 
sole right of the sovereign to net the tunny, 
which abounded in the canal of Lucca ; she had 
forges at Piombino, and, to supply them with 
ore, successfully revived an old claim of the 
sovereigns of Piombino to a certain proportion 
of the output of the mines of Elba, though, as 
the mines now belonged to a company, Napoleon 
at first refused to authorise what was nothing but 
an act of spoliation. But her most successful 
commercial enterprise was the establishment of 
a company to work the long- abandoned marble 
quarries of Carrara. 

Thanks to the shrewdness of Elisa, this under- 
taking quickly yielded the most gratifying results. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 91 

She had the ingenious idea of employing the 
first blocks which were extracted in fashioningr 
busts of the Emperor after a plaster cast made 
by Canova, which the French Ambassador at the 
Etrurian Court had sent her. All the grand 
officers of the Crown, Duroc, Talleyrand, Clarke, 
Regnaud de Saint-Jean-d'Angdy, the directors 
of the Customs, and other important functionaries 
received copies, and soon orders came pouring in 
from all parts of France. Encouraged by this 
success, Elisa sent to Paris aind elsewhere to 
obtain other models, and Bartolini,-' who had the 
direction of these works, was incessantly occupied 
in fashioning the image of some member of the 
Imperial Family. The demand continued to in- 
crease, and Carrara became a veritable manufac- 
tory. " I have converted my qyarries of Carrara 
into ateliers of sculpture," wrote the Princess to 
the Emperor, "and the models of Chaudet and 
Canova multiply under my eyes, (to be transmitted 
to the kings whom your Majesty has made, and 
to the nations which owe to you their happiness. 
These monuments of gratitude, erected to im- 
mortal genius, will be the first thought of my 
heart." 

' Lorenzo Bartolini, born at Savignano, near Prato, about 1777, 
died at Florence in 1850. He studied in Paris under Lemot and 
Desmarets. The best-known examples of bis work are the bas- 
rehefs representing the Battle of Austerlitz on the Vendome Column, 
the statue of " Ehsa on the throne of Lucca," and the colossal 
statue of Napoleon in his Coronation rotoes (a sort of replica in 
marble of Gerard's famous painting), which adorns the Cours 
Saint-Nicolas at Bastia. 



92 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

When the vogue of busts of the Bonaparte 
family began to show signs of declining, Elisa 
engineered a "boom" in marshals and other 
dignitaries of the Empire, and when that, in turn, 
had run its course, the company devoted itself 
to fabricating "objects of utility at a low price" : 
tables, vases, chimney-pieces, tombs, clocks, 
candelabra, etc. In order to justify, in some 
degree, however, the proud boast which she had 
made, in a letter to Talleyrand, that the manufac- 
tory of Carrara was "an institution founded for 
the glory of the Emperor and the gratitude of 
his people," Elisa did not permit work more 
worthy of the name of sculpture to be neglected, 
and it was she who commissioned Canova to 
make, out of a block which she sent him, that 
magnificent statue of Napoleon which, after the 
Emperor's fall, became the property of his con- 
queror Wellington. Moreover the school which 
she founded in connection with the manufactory 
fairly established its claim to be considered the 
first in Europe, and from 1808 to 1830 the 
majority of the prizes offered by the different 
academies of Italy were carried off by its pupils ; 
while its influence made itself felt up to a much 
later date.^ 

Elisa would not have been herself if she had 
not desired to patronise literature and the arts. 
For more than a century there had existed at 

^ M, Paul Marmottan, les arts <?« Toscane sous NapoUon: la 
Princesse Elisa. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 93 

Lucca an " Accademia degli Oscuri," which had 
achieved some celebrity. By a decree, bearing 
date August 15, 1805, ^^lisa reorganised it, 
bestowed upon it the name of the " Accademia 
Napoleone," estabHshed prizes and competitions, 
and undertook, at her own expense, the pubHca- 
tion of its memoirs relating to the history of the 
town. The number of its members was at first 
limited to forty, in imitation of its Parisian proto- 
type, though, subsequently, in oHer to add lustre 
to the institution, the Princess decided to augment 
it by the election of several French savants who 
had frequented her salon in Paris. The majority of 
the new academicians received w-ith their diplomas 
a medal, engraved by Santarelli, bearing on the 
face effigies of the Prince and Princess, and on 
the reverse the legend, " Dignioribus murandis." 
She also founded a school for the education of 
the pages of her Household, who were not only 
ignorant of French, but, according to Sismondi, 
who visited Lucca about this time, could not even 
write or speak their own language, and an insti- 
tution for young girls of noble birth under French 
mistresses, the regulations for the government of 
which seem to have been modelled on those of 
Saint- Cyr, where the Princess herself had been 
educated. She had her own troupe of musicians, 
and nominated the celebrated Paganini "virtuoso 
of the Chamber " ; she patronised the composers 
Spontini and Paisielli, to the latter of whom she 
presented a gold medal for his opera Proserpine; 



94 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

and she reorganised the Ecole des Beaux-Arts of 
Lucca, and persuaded the painter Tofanelli to 
leave Rome and undertake its direction. 

On June 3, 1806, EHsa gave birth to a daugh- 
ter, at the Castle of Marlia, the summer residence 
of their Highnesses. The Princess was keenly 
disappointed that the child was not a boy, since 
the succession to Piombino was vested in her 
male descendants ; but to correct this misfortune, 
to some extent, and, at the sarnie time, to flatter 
her brother, she chose for her daughter the mas- 
culine name of Napol6one. The Emperor granted 
his little niece a pension of 150,000 francs, but 
with the reservation that only 30,000 francs of 
this sum were to be expended on her mainten- 
ance ; the balance was to accumulate to form a 
dowry for her. 

The Prince and Princess usually passed the 
late autumn and winter at Lucca ; the rest of the 
year was spent at Marlia, with occasional visits to 
Viareggio, the only port which the principality 
possessed, for a breath of sea air, or to Piombino. 
Piombino was a dull little town, so dull, indeed, 
that the salary of its governor had to be mate- 
rially increased, in order to induce him to remain. 
Elisa, in consequence, resided there for but brief 
periods, and what was known as the palace was 
merely an ordinary house, such as any welhto-do 
citizen might have inhabited. On the other hand, 
she spent large sums on the rebuilding and en- 
largement of Marlia, which, under the superin- 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 95 

tendence of Bienaim^, his Luccan assistant Laz- 
zarini, and Maurel, the Le Notre of the Empire, 
was transformed from an ugly, dilapidated castle, 
standing in a little park ornamented with clipped 
yew-trees and grotesque statuary, into a splendid 
country-house, with terraced walks, and French 
and English gardens; while the park was subse- 
quently trebled in extent, by the purchase of 
adjoining estates, thickly plante'd with trees and 
shrubs, and stocked with deer, merino-sheep, and 
other animals. 

In the midst of the cares of State, in the midst 
of her commercial enterprises, Elisa contrived to 
find time for gallantry. Her first favourite was 
Lesperut, formerly secretary to Berthier, whom 
her husband had brought with him to Italy, to be 
the guide, philosopher and friend of the new 
sovereigns. If Lesperut added a new role to 
those for which the Prince had intended him, it 
must be admitted that he did not neglect the 
others ; he assisted Elisa to organise the Govern- 
ment, drafted decrees and despatches, and gave 
her much useful advice on financial matters. 
Moreover, he cost nothing — or next to nothing — 
which was a consideration to a princess whose 
Civil List scarcely permitted of such luxuries as 
needy lovers. However, Lesperut's reign only 
lasted some eighteen months, at the end of which 
he was recalled by the Emperor and sent to 
Silesia, as administrator of that province. He 
does not appear to have been as grateful as he 



96 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

should have been for the favours which he had 
enjoyed, since "he recounted, with a naive good- 
nature, the extravagances of his princess, the 
manner in which she parodied the Emperor in 
the government of a territory ofi a few square 
leagues, her assumption of the airs of a Semi- 
ramis, her political pretensions, and her study of 
Machiavelli."' 

Lesp6rut was succeeded in the Princess's affec- 
tions by one of her equerries, Bartolomeo Cenami, 
already mentioned, who seems to have been a 
sort of Italian counterpart of Pauline's fascinating 
chamberlain M. de Forbin, with a handsome face, 
" the physique of a tenor," charming manners, 
and a pretty turn for flattery. Elisa found him 
quite irresistible, and his promotion was rapid. 
From Equerry he became First Equerry, then 
Grand Equerry and Director-General of Public 
Instruction ; she obtained for him, from the Em- 
peror, the Golden Eagle of the Legion of Honour; 
and he received a pension of 40,000 francs and a 
fat slice out of the confiscated revenues of the 
religious houses. Soon he was on;e of the richest 
men in Lucca. Beyond money and decorations 
the favourite did not aspire, and, although the 
Princess employed him in several secret negotia- 
tions and confidential missions, she kept him, as 
she kept her husband, in an altogether subor- 
dinate position. Elisa desired no coadjutor in the 
government of Lucca. 

' Baron de Barante, Sotivenirs. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 97 

Hitherto, as we have observed elsewhere, Elisa 
had been by no means a favourite of the Emperor, 
nor would she appear to have been at any special 
pains to ingratiate herself with -him. But, once 
seated on the throne of Lucca, she adopted a 
very different course and spared no efforts to 
secure her brother's favour. Not even in the 
Empire itself was Napoleon's birthday celebrated 
with such pomp and splendour as at Lucca ; no 
Court in Europe was more anxious to possess 
portraits and statues of the Emperor; no one was 
more anxious to execute, and even to anticipate, 
the least wishes of his Majesty than his eldest 
sister. She even carried her flattery to the 
length of proposing to inscribe on the edge of 
her coins, "■ Napoleone protegge I' Italia" and thus 
to substitute her brother for God himself ; but the 
Emperor had the good taste to veto the proposal, 
stigmatising it as " unseemly." 

And before every step she took, before every 
reform she instituted, whether it was the draining 
of a marsh, the making of a road, the removal of 
a tax, or a reform in the Judicature, she never 
failed to consult her brother, writing to him brief, 
dry, business-like letters — for Napoleon hated 
useless verbiage — and " recommending herself to 
the powerful protection of his Majesty." 

Nor, while flattering Napoleon, did she neglect 
to ingratiate herself with the Ministers, the 
Senators, the Councillors of State, the members 
of the Institute, with all who might be of service 



98 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

to her, who might speak a word in season on her 
behalf to his Majesty. She had no money, or 
titles, or decorations to bestow, but she had 
busts from Carrara — what more gratifying to 
one's vanity than to receive a present of an 
idealised portrait of oneself in marble from the 
Emperor's sister? — diplomas from the " Accademia 
Napoleone," honeyed compliments, ingenious flat- 
teries. She corresponded with Regnaud, with 
Cuvier, with La Place, with Talleyrand, with 
Fouchd, complimenting them on their successes, 
solicitino; their advice, commending- herself to 
their good offices. She made friends and allies 
everywhere. 

Gradually, Napoleon's opinion of his eldest 
sister began to undergo a change. If he had 
little affection for her, if he were =still occasionally 
inclined to ridicule her pretensions to statesman- 
ship, as he had, in former days,- her pretensions 
to knowledge, he recognised that her abilities 
were far from contemptible. He appreciated the 
unwearying industry, the real enthusiasm, which 
she brought to the difficult task of governing, the 
clearness and precision in which she expressed 
herself in her despatches, the moderation of her 
demands, and the sound, or, at any rate, the 
plausible, reasons by which they were supported ; 
while he could not fail to be gratified by the 
deference which she showed to his wishes and 
her apparent anxiety to profit by his counsels. 
Finally, he came to the conclusion that Elisa was, 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 99 

if not more capable, certainly more trustworthy, 
than any of the sovereigns whom he had created, 
and treated her accordingly. He was heard to 
declare that " the best of his Ministers was the 
Princess of Lucca " ; he wrote to her as he wrote 
to the men who occupied the foremost place in 
his confidence ; he granted her the most of her 
requests, and in the case of those which he 
refused, he even condescended to give the motives 
of his refusal. On one occasion, we find Elisa 
writing to the Emperor : " Legion of Honour. 
I have requested of your Majesty to place at my 
disposal six decorations of the Legion of Honour 
or of the Iron Crown for my Ministers and my 
grand officers. The awards and honours accorded 
to merit are the most powerful ineans of encour- 
agement. I attach great importance to this proof 
of your Majesty's confidence." The Emperor 
replies in the margin of the despatch : " Send 
me the names of the persons for whom you 
intend them, and I will nominate them." Where- 
upon, the Princess, encouraged by her brother's 
complaisance, furnishes the names, not of six, but 
of ten candidates, and, what is more, obtains the 
coveted Golden Eagle of the Legion for every 
one of them. "Ten Golden Eagles! More than 
all the Napoleonic kings together obtained for 
their subjects of Naples, Berg, Holland, West- 
phalia, and Spain !"^ 

Elisa, thanks to the skilful policy which she 

• M. Fr^ddric Masson, NapoUon et safainille. 



100 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

pursued with her brother, secured far more 
important advantages than decorations for her 
Ministers and courtiers. 

By a decree of March 30, 1806, the Emperor 
united to her dominions the districts of Massa 
and Carrara, and the Garfagnana up to the source 
of the Serchio, a country comprising 50,000 in- 
habitants and singularly rich in commerce and 
agriculture. A few weeks later, on his sister's 
representation that the province of Pietra-Santa 
and Barga, belonging to Etruria, which separated 
her new territory from that of Lucca, once be- 
longed to the latter State, from which, some three 
centuries before, Tuscany had wrongfully wrested 
it, and that its inhabitants carried on an extensive 
contraband trade with her own subjects, he 
compelled the Queen-Regent of Etruria to cede 
it to Elisa, in return for the payment of an 
annual indemnity. Finally, she succeeded in 
persuading him to extend the Concordat of Italy 
to her principality, which involved the suppres- 
sion of all the religious houses in Lucca and 
Piombino and the confiscation of their revenues, 
estimated at over 1,000,000 francs, to the profit 
of the State. 

Elisa displayed considerable astuteness in the 
means she employed to obtain this last decree 
from the Emperor. Napoleon was naturally re- 
luctant to consent to an act which was not only a 
flagrant violation of the Constitution he had given 
to Lucca, and which his sister — or rather her hus- 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES loi 

band — had solemnly sworn to olaserve, but could 
not fail to alienate a people whose devotion to 
the Catholic Faith was notorious throughout Italy. 
" This is not the time to mak^ any innovation. 
Do not irritate your people," he wrote. " What 
would you gain by suppressing four or five 
parishes and a few convents ? " Elisa, however, 
considered that she stood to gain a good deal, 
and returned again and again to the charge : 
" All the property belongs to the clergy ; they 
are rich, the State is poor, involved in debt. 
The religious authority is independent of the 
civil power, and ought to be subordinated to it, 
. . . Half the year is consecrated to festivals, 
and this idle habit is the source of evils, both 
moral and political " ; and so forth. 

At length, she obtained his consent to take 
"some preparatory measures for the reduction 
of the convents and the number of their inmates." 
The Pope, as she had doubtless anticipated, im- 
mediately interfered and sent a brief to the Arch- 
bishop of Lucca, ordering him to offer the most 
strenuous resistance. Elisa eagerly seized the 
opportunity to represent to the Emperor that 
"these apostolic remonstrances partake of the 
character of incendiary provocations to the super- 
stition of peoples against the authority of legiti- 
mate sovereigns," and that "it was for his 
Majesty to decide whether the Pontiff of Rome 
might offer opposition to the sovereign decrees 
of the chief of the French Empire." 



102 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

Napoleon naturally decided in the negative, 
promised to march French troops into Lucca, if 
there were the slightest disorder, and sent Klisa 
the draft of a letter to the Pope, in which she was 
to inform his Holiness that she had done nothing- 
save by the orders of the Emperor, "her august 
brother and sovereign," to whom^she remitted all 
the negotiations. 

In the result, Elisa obtained all that she 
desired, and, moreover, succeeded in throwing 
the chief responsibility for a measure which 
aroused the most intense resentment among her 
subjects upon the Emperor's shoulders. Never- 
theless, it was impossible for her to escape a 
certain amount of odium, and, if the people con- 
tinued to erect triumphal arches and illuminate 
their houses on their sovereigns' birthdays and 
similar occasions, it was no longor with the same 
sincerity as before. A certain disaffection began 
to manifest itself, and this served to strengthen 
the conviction that Elisa had long- entertained 
that her talents were being wasted in a princi- 
pality of the second rank, and that they ought to 
be exercised on a stage more worthy of them. 



CHAPTER XXII 

Pauline during the winter of 1806-1807 — ^Her toilettes — Her de- 
parture for the South — Suspicions oi Madame Mire and Fesch in 
regard to her conduct — Pauline at Grdolux — Her letter to Forbin, 
who joins her there — She goes to Nice, and thence to Grasse — 
Termination of her romance with Forbin — She returns to Nice 
— Arrival of the Italian composer Blangini, who assumes the 
vacant place in her affections — -Her visit to Antibes — Borghese 
is appointed Governor-General of the Departments beyond the 
Alps, and Pauline receives orders from the Emperor to 
accompany him to Turin — Household and revenues of the 
Prince and Princess Borghese — Their journey to Turin — Fete 
at the Opera-House — Dissatisfaction of Pauline with her new 
life — Defection of Blangini — Pauline counterfeits illness — She 
goes to Aix-les-Bains, where she is joined by her mother, 
alarmed by the reports of her condition — She obtains permis- 
sion to come to Paris — Her skilful conduct towards the 
Emperor — Her reward. 

PAULINE passed the autumn of 1806 and 
the following winter in IP'aris. Although 
she talked a great deal about her health, 
and made it a pretext for absenting herself from 
those social functions which she did not wish to 
attend — she had not the same pbwerful motive as 
Caroline for courting popularity — there does not 
appear to have been much amiss with her Im- 
perial Highness, as we hear of her giving several 
magnificent receptions at the Hotel Charost, and 
dancing until the small hours of the morning at 
the balls of the Arch- Chancellor Cambaceres, 

103 



I04 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

which were one of the features of that winter. 
Never since her return from St. Domingo had 
she seemed more charming — for her passion for 
the fascinating Forbin was still at a very high 
temperature, and is not love the most potent of 
all aids to beauty .'' Never had her toilettes 
excited such admiration and envy. She had a 
gown of white satin embroidered with gold, of 
which the embroidery alone c6st i,o8o francs ; 
another of point d' Alengon, for which she paid 
6,000 francs ; a third of rose satin embroidered with 
pearls. In the course of that season, one famous 
couturiere alone executed for her no less than forty 
confections. And then her hats, her toques, her 
shoes, her gloves, her shawls, her handkerchiefs, 
her lingerie — all were the most 'elegant, the most 
costly, that art could devise and money procure. 
In a single month, her account at one fashionable 
establishment reached the sum of 14,348 francs 
15 sous! In good truth, she deserved the title 
which Napoleon bestowed upon her of ''la reine 
des colifichets ! " 

In the spring, she wrote to the Emperor to 
demand permission to go to some watering-place 
in Provence, giving as her reason that she was 
contemplating extensive alterations at the Hotel 
Charost, which would render it uninhabitable for 
some weeks. His Majesty, however, seems to 
have thought the pretext a somewhat singular 
one ; and it was not until his sister had assured him 
that the whole Faculty of Paris was unanimous in 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 105 

its opinion that her health — nay, her very life 
— depended on a season at the waters, that he 
consented. 

Pauline was really ill at the time, suffering 
from "an hysterical affection," the causes of 
which are set forth at considerable length, and 
with great candour, in a letter from the celebrated 
doctor, Hall6, to the princess's physician-in-ordi- 
nary, Pcyre, who had called him into consultation.^ 
But it would appear that the real reason of her 
desire to place a considerable distance between 
herself and Paris was the suspicion that her 
intimacy with Forbin, which had long been an 
open secret in her Household, was in danger of 
being discovered by her mother, which meant 
that the Emperor would sooner or later be in- 
formed, and very unpleasant consequences follow. 

About the middle of May, she set out for the 
South, leaving Forbin in Paris, and journeyed to 
Lyons, where she was to be the guest of Joseph 
Fesch. Her arrival had been preceded by a 
letter from Madame Mere to the cardinal-arch- 
bishop, in which she declared that she was " far 
from tranquil about her [Pauline's] position, in 
several ways " ; and the princess soon perceived, 
from his Eminence's manner and the admonitions 
which he bestowed upon her, that his suspicions 
were thoroughly aroused. When, after three 
rather trying days, she left Lyons, her uncle — as 

1 This letter has been published by M. Arthur L^vy, in his 
interesting work, NapoUon intime. 



io6 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

she had not brought her Almonpr with her — in- 
sisted on one of his chaplains, Isoard by name, 
accompanying her, on the plea that she ought 
not to be without spiritual direction. But, if the 
cardinal had anticipated that he would in this 
way be kept fully informed of his niece's conduct, 
he was sadly disillusioned, since Pauline ma- 
nceuvred so adroitly, that, ere many days had 
passed, the worthy Isoard had become quite 
devoted to her interests. 

On reaching Aix-les- Bains, the princess per- 
suaded her Chamberlain, M. de Montbreton, and 
her Dame d'honneur, Madame de Br^han, who 
had been responsible for arousing the suspicions 
of her mother,^ to remain there and take a course 
of the baths, while she herself, accompanied only 
by those members of her entourage upon whose 
discretion she could rely, repaired to the little 
watering-place of Grdoulx, in the Lower Alps, 
whose waters, she assured her anxious relatives, 
were working miracles. 

Freed from the surveillance of Montbreton and 
Madame de Brehan, she looked forward with 
intense impatience to a reunion with Forbin, and, 
in the meanwhile, consoled herself for their 
enforced separation by addressing to him the 

' Concerning Montbreton, Madame wrote to Fesch : " I see 
only one person in her [Pauline's] suite who is deserving of my 
confidence, namely M. de Montbreton. I have charged him to 
send me news of her in the fullest detail, and not to allow me to 
remain in ignorance of anything which happens." It was certainly 
a prudent move on Pauline's part to leave him at Aix-les-Bains ! 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 107 

most tender epistles — epistles which bear a 
singular resemblance to those which she had once 
written to Frdron, even to the passionate post- 
scripts in Italian. Here is a specimen : 

Greoulx 

10 June, I o'clock afternoon 

Well-beloved, no letters frorn thee this morn- 
ing. I am very impatient to receive them since, 
in thy last, thou didst say that thou wast suffer- 
ing from an attack of fever. I trust that it 
will be nothing serious, and that my A . . . 
[Auguste] will soon be quite well. I took this 
morning my bath and four glasses of water. . . . 
On leaving my bath, I found myself very weak, 
but I am sure it does me good. You wrote to 
Ma .... that thou wouldst soon come to 
Aix, and that thou hadst been ill, but that 
Madame Dorville had taken the greatest care 
of thee, and that thou hadst been so pampered that 
thou wast very much better. Happy Madame 
Dorville ! To take care of thee, to see thee, to 
be able to give free expression to her feelings 
for thee ; her lot is one to be envied. As for 
myself, who am obliged to put restraint upon my- 
self, to dissimulate, but who love thee, who cherish 
thee, who have already given thee so many 
proofs of it, and who can know rio happiness save 
through thee. Ah ! Art thou not my spouse ? 
Has mine deserved this title, so sweet, so sacred ? 
No ; he has not deserved it ; for otherwise you 
would not be mine. Moreover, he ought to 
return me love for love, confidence for confidence 
... to believe that everything I do is for our 
good, for the welfare of our love. I have re- 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 109 

Adieu, adieu. I am going to try and get a little 
repose, for I have never written at such length, 
but thou knowest well that for thee I do the im- 
possible, and for thee alone. This evening, I 
will write aofain. 

9.30 p.m. 
I have been for a drive ; the weather was 
charming. They chose a road which we might 
traverse in a caleche. We went in two caleckes, 
each drawn by four horses ; but I was sad. 
Neither work nor distractions can replace thee 
for a moment, even in my thoughts. Madame 
... is ill with fever, so that I am alone with the 
doctor and Isoard, who is established here at the 
request of my uncle, who has- written to him. 
He is a good lad, but silly, as- they all are. I 
have arranged the way in which thou mayst 
come to my bath and remain a}l the time I am 
there ; but Madame Du . . .^ is there, as well 
as the gentlemen who are here ; but do not be 
frightened ; they are reduced to the doctor and 
M. Isoard, and I have expressly arranged that 
my well-beloved can come therfe ; but I fear that 
its heat may inconvenience him. For myself, in 
spite of the persons who will be there, I shall 
see only thee. How this solitude will please 
me, when thou wilt be there ! With discretion, 
we shall always be happy. I await with im- 
patience thy news about the fever. Bring thy 
painting materials, in order to make pretty 
things for me. My cottage is beginning to get 
in order ; I am growing flowers everywhere. I 
am doing everything possible, in order that my 
well-beloved may approve of it. By the way, 

' Madame Ducluzel, a.femme-de charge. 



no THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

I forgot to tell thee my husband has been ap- 
pointed general. He writes me charming letters 
and full of love ; I do not understand where that 
can come from. But I conclude, for I am tired 
of writing' so much. The waters rhake me rather 
weak. Addio, caro, sempre amice, aniante euro, 
si ti anto ti aniaro sempre; cafcado vem ma 
niando. To-morrow, I will write thee thy orders 
as to the way in which thou art to behave here. 
I shall take the most scrupulous care to do it 
well. I am going to try and sleep, but I dream 
always of thee, and, for some time past, more than 
ever. Si ti amo di piu, caro idolo mio. Ti 
ntando di fiori che sono stati nel,, into stno le o 
coprati bacci. . . . Ti amo ci io sola} 

M. de Forbin duly arrived, and Pauline found 
his society so entertaining that she remained at 
Gr^oulx until the late autumn, and not even 
the return of the Emperor, or the marriage of 
Jdrome, or the visit of the Court to Fontaine- 
bleau, were able to induce her to interrupt her 
cure. " I am still in my desert,' she writes to 
Lucien, "separated from all the world, and occu- 
pied entirely with the care of my health."^ 

From Greoulx she removed to Nice, but soon 
quitted it for Grasse, stopping for some days on 
her way thither at the country-house of Forbin's 
mother. It seems to have been her intention to 

^ Published by M. Fr^d^ric Masson, NapoUon ei safamille. 

- M. Turquan and M. d'Almeras, misled apparently by Madame 
de Rdmusat, state that Pauline accompanied the Court to Fontaine- 
bfeau, but her correspondence proves that she- was at this time at 
Greoulx. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES iii 

pass the winter at Grasse ; but, on a sudden, she 
made the discovery that it was insupportably dull, 
and announced her intention of returning to Nice. 
The cause of this alteration in her plans appears 
to have been the termination of her romance with 
Forbin. Either that gentleman had ceased to 
please, or he had received an intimation from an 
influential quarter that it would be advisable for 
him to exchange the service of the princess for 
one more honourable, if less agreeable. Any way, 
he resigned his post, accepted a commission in 
the army, and was promptly despatched to join 
Junot in Portugal. 

As for Pauline, such was her impatience to 
leave Grasse that, although, owing to recent 
heavy rains, the country between that town and 
Nice was flooded in several pla'ces, and she was 
warned that the journey would involve consider- 
able danger, she firmly refused to postpone her 
departure. The consequence was that she nar- 
rowly escaped being drowned, and had to take 
refuge in a mill until the floods had subsided. 

At Nice, the princess installed herself in a 
charming villa in the environs of the town, 
belonging to a certain M. Vinaille, with a large 
garden planted with orange and lemon trees, 
which sloped gently down to the sea. On the 
shore opposite the villa, guards were posted, for 
fear lest one of the British frigates cruising off the 
coast micfht send in her boats and endeavour to 
carry off the Emperor's sister. 



112 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

The time, at first, passed very agreeably. The 
princess several times honoured the theatre with 
her presence ; she dined with the Prefect, and 
one night condescended to allow herself to be 
serenaded by a party of artistes and amateur 
vocalists of the town, supported by a considerable 
orchestra. But, after a few days, she fell a prey 
to ennui, as she did everywhere. The Emperor 
was in Italy, and she wrote begging permission 
to join him at Turin. It was refused ; the roads, 
wrote Napoleon, were in far too dangerous a 
condition for any one in a delicate state of 
health to travel over. She must remain at Nice 
until the spring, when he hoped to see her again 
in Paris. 

Pauline had to accept the inevitable, but she 
found Nice terribly dull; the Riviera of a century 
ago was a far less entertaining locality than the 
Riviera of to-day ; the enterprising M. Blanc was 
still in his cradle. What was there to do ? Music, 
some one suggested ; the young Italian composer 
Blangini, of whom she had taken lessons in sing- 
ing, and whom, some time before, she had 
appointed "Director of her Musicians," was again 
in Paris, Why did she not send for him and 
resume the cultivation of her voice .'' Pauline 
thought the suggestion an excellent one, and, 
a week or two later, Blangini arrived at the 
Villa Vinaille in a luxurious travelling carriage, 
which the princess had sent to transport him 
thither. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 113 

The young composer was an interesting per- 
sonality. In 1799, he had come to Paris from 
Turin, his native city, with his mother and four 
young brothers and sisters, of whom he was the 
sole support, for, though not yet eighteen, he 
had already composed romances and operas. His 
youth, his devotion to his family, his talents, and 
his good looks procured him a favourable recep- 
tion in musical circles, and, after he had com- 
pleted and produced an unfinished work of his 
compatriot Delia Maria, la Fausse Duegne, 
fashionable Paris took him to its bosom. The 
concerts which he gave on Sundays were 
crowded, the feminine element largely pre- 
dominating ; he gave singing lessons to great 
ladies — it was positively astonishing the number 
who suddenly found themselves possessed by an 
overwhelming desire to have their voices trained 
— his compositions sold by the thousand. In 
1805, Blangini was nominated Kapellmeister to 
the King of Bavaria, but, after a short residence 
in Munich, he returned to Paris, where Pauline 
became one of his pupils, and was so pleased 
with her professor's talent — or rather his person 
— that she appointed him "Director of her 
Musicians." The attraction was undoubtedly 
mutual, for when, shortly afterwards, Josephine, 
in the hope of mortifying her sister-in-law, 
offered the young Italian the coveted post of 
" Compositeur de la Chant de Sa Majesty, I'lm- 
pdratrice" which would have necessitated his 



114 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

resignation of the other appointment, he declined 
the honour. 

With the arrival of Blangini at Nice, Pauline's 
ennui vanished as the mist before the sun. She 
revealed a passion for music which no one had 
even suspected ; it seemed as though she could 
not have enough of it, or do sufficient honour to 
its brilliant exponent. She sang duets with 
Blangini, in that tongue which she used to ex- 
press the tenderest sentiments of her heart — one 
of that gentleman's own composition, which 
began with the words: " Sempre saro constante, 
sempre fadorero" seems to have been a particular 
favourite — he accompanied her on her excursions 
to neighbouring places of interest ; he played to 
her in the gloaming ; he played to her when the 
moon shed its silvery rays over the blue waters 
of the Mediterranean, and it would even appear 
that the princess sometimes discussed musical 
matters with him long after the rest of her 
Household were wrapped in slumber. 

During her stay at Nice, Pauline conceived 
a fancy to make a pilgrimage to Antibes, to re- 
visit the house where she had resided with her 
mother and sisters in 1794. She resolved to 
make the journey by sea. 

"A spacious boat was hired," writes Blangini, 
who, needless to say, was of the party, " and 
was decorated with flags and garlands. In the 
centre a pavilion for the prinqess was erected, 
while on either side rowers in picturesque cos- 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 115 

tumes made the boat fly along the water, so that 
a poet could not have failed to compare it to the 
barge of Cleopatra advancing to meet Antony. 

" The commandant of Antibes was warned of 
the arrival of the princess, and> on her entering 
the harbour, she was saluted by a salvo of 
twenty-one guns. The commandant welcomed 
her as she disembarked and conducted her to his 
hotel, where preparations had been made on 
a magnificent scale for the reception of a sister 
of the Emperor. A splendid dinner was served, 
after which there was a reception and a grand 
ball. The following day, we went to visit the old 
house, the goal of our pilgrimage. It was a 
rather pretty bourgeois residence, but of modest 
appearance. I know not how to give an idea 
of the delight which the princess manifested on 
finding herself again in this plaqe ; she ran about 
like a child and explained to us how the rooms 
were apportioned : ' That was my mother's room; 
as for myself, I slept in this little cabinet near 
her ; my sisters were on the other side ; there is 
the room which my brother Napoleon occupied 
when he came to pay us an unexpected visit, and to 
spend a couple of days with us. How he loved us!' 

"After going all over the house several times, 
we returned to Antibes, where the gallantry, the 
magnificence, and the good taste of the com- 
mandant were again in evidence ; and next day 
we re-embarked to return to Nice."^ 
' Blangini, Souvenirs. 



ii6 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

But Pauline's stay in Provence was drawing to 
a close. On the occasion of his recent visit to 
Italy, Napoleon had decided that Turin stood in 
need of a Court, to impart to it more life a,nd 
animation, for, since the expulsion of the House 
of Savoy, its prosperity had declined, and many 
of its inhabitants looked back with regret to the 
days when their city had been one of the gayest 
in Italy. At the same time, aware that the 
continued separation of the Prince and Princess 
Borghese was creating a scandal, he determined 
to put an end to it, and to compel the ill-assorted 
couple to pass some months of each year together. 
Accordingly, by a senatus consultum of Feb- 
ruary 2, 1808, he erected the Government-General 
of the Departments beyond the Alps into a great 
dignity of th-e Empire, the seat of which was 
to be at Turin, and, a fortnight later, nomi- 
nated as Governor- General his brother-in-law 
Camillo Borghese, and informed Pauline that she 
must accompany her husband to Italy and assist 
him In carrying out his Majesty's intentions. 
Their manner of life, their expenditure, their 
Household, the salaries of the various officials 
which composed it, the number of balls, recep- 
tions and dinners which they were to give, the 
etiquette which they were to observe — all were 
carefully fixed for them by the Emperor and 
were to permit of no deviation. They would live 
together — he would tolerate no more separate 
establishments — in that part of the royal palace 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 117 

which was known as the Palais Chablais ; they 
would also be allowed the use of the other 
residences formerly belonging to the King of 
Sardinia, and the Crown would maintain for 
them a hunting-lodge at Stupinigi. They would 
have a governor of the palace,- with the prefect 
of the palace under his orders. The prince's 
entourage was to consist of six chamberlains, four 
equerries, four aides-de-camp, and a secretary. 
The princess's, of a dame d'konneur, twelve ladies- 
in-waiting, six chamberlains, and four equerries ; 
and the services of twelve pages were to be shared 
in common. Every Sunday, the prince and prin- 
cess would hold a reception, in the name of the 
Emperor, in the State apartments. Once a 
week, the princess would hold a reception in her 
own. Borghese's salary was a munificent one, 
amounting, with various extra allowances, to close 
upon 900,000 francs. Pauline's allowance was 
raised to 480,000 francs, exclusive of 100,000 for 
her toilette ; but the Emperor, to put some check 
upon her caprices, decided to place the money in 
the prince's hands. ^ 

Pauline received the news of her husband's 
elevation with very mixed feelings. The pros- 

' It was about this time that the Emperor persuaded his 
brother-in-law to sell to the French nation, for 18,000,000 francs, 
his magnificent collection of statues and paintings. Borghese 
had, some time before, declined an offer of one million sterling 
from England, and he appears to have yielded to Napoleon's 
wishes with the worst possible grace. His collection was placed 
in the Museum of the Louvre. 



ii8 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

pect of having a Court of her own — even a 
vice-regal Court— pleased her vanity, but the 
obligation of spending a considerable part of each 
year in the company of "that idiot," as she called 
poor Camillo, was a heavy price to pay for 
the privilege. Moreover, she disliked the condi- 
tions which the Emperor had imposed, particu- 
larly that which gave Borghese the control of her 
revenues and rendered him master of everything. 
Finally, Napoleon had not seen fit to nominate 
Blangini to a post in her Household, and, though 
she might persuade the composer to accompany 
her to Turin in a private capacity, it would be 
impossible for her to enjoy his society as freely 
as she desired. Altogether, she felt that Fortune 
was using her very hardly. 

However, towards the middle of April, Bor- 
ghese arrived at Nice, to fetch his wife and to 
make with her a sovereign entry into his govern- 
ment, and, in spite of her reluctance to accom- 
pany him to Turin, she was compelled to resign 
herself to her fate. On the 19th, somewhat 
consoled by Blangini's promise to follow her 
incognito, and by the arrival of seven magnificent 
Court gowns, which Leroy had made for her, 
together with a whole host of other costly con- 
fections, she consented to start on her journey. 

It was a sensational departure, and excited the 
liveliest curiosity among the Niqois : seven or 
eight large travelling-carriages piled high with 
trunks and valises, band-boxes, arid dressing-cases ; 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES iig 

postilions and outriders in sumptuous liveries ; a 
sedan-chair borne by four gigantic lackeys, in 
which the princess — who was arrayed in "a 
beautiful Amazon costume of amaranth cashmere 
embroidered in gold," specially designed for the 
occasion by M. Ldger of Paris — proposed to 
traverse the most dangerous parts of the road ; 
negroes, monkeys, lap-dogs, parrots, and all the 
paraphernalia which Pauline insisted on taking 
with her wherever she went. 

The journey was a trying one, for, owing to 
the severity of the past winter, the mountain 
roads were in a terrible state, while her Imperial 
Highness was in one of her most capricious 
humours. Scarcely had she entered her carriage 
than she complained that she 'v^^as being shaken 
to pieces, and called for her sedan-chair ; then, 
after being carried for a few hundred yards, 
wished to return to the carriage. One moment, 
she declared that she was freezing and caused 
herself to be swathed in rugs 'and shawls until 
she resembled a mummy; the next, threw off all 
her wraps, crying out that she was being stifled. 
She tormented her unfortunate husband in every 
conceivable way, and announced her intention of 
taking precedence of him on their arrival in 
Turin and of replying to the addresses of the 
authorities ; and when he ventured to point out 
that, as Governor-General, this duty devolved 
upon him, tartly rejoined that, if he had not 
married the sister of the Emperor, he would have 



I20 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

been nothing at all. " The ennui and impatience, 
with great difficulty restrained, which were visible 
on the prince's countenance," writes his secretary, 
Villemarest, "were calculated to excite com- 
passion ; and, so far as was possible, he made the 
journey on foot." ^ 

At length, to the great refief of the whole 
party, they reached Racconigi, a beautiful country- 
house of the King of Sardinia, the park and the 
gardens of which had been designed by Le 
Notre, where they received the authorities of 
Turin, who came to offer their homage to the 
prince and princess. On the morrow, their High- 
nesses made their entry into the city, amid the 
firing of cannon, the ringing of -church-bells, and 
the frenzied acclamations of the people. For the 
Piedmontese, after having formed during the 
Revolution the advance-guard of the Continental 
coalition against France, had become loyal sub- 
jects of Napoleon, whom they looked upon as a 
compatriot. 

The next few days were consecrated to festivi- 
ties of various kinds. The city offered their 
Highnesses a superb fete at the Opera- House. 
The whole of the ground fioor of the theatre was 
reserved for the ladies ; the men moved about 
among them. At the end of the salle, on a dais, 
was placed the fauteuil of the Emperor, in ac- 
cordance with the custom then observed at all 
important public ceremonies ; and, on the present 

' Maxime de Villemarest, Souvenir^s dun Inconnu. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 121 

£)ccasion, the adoration of the sovereign was even 
carried to the length of stationiiig all the persons 
attached to his service behind the vacant seat, 
just as though his Majesty were -actually present. 
On the right of the Imperial /a^fUuz/, was a chair 
for the Governor-General, on the left one for his 
consort. In the course of the evening, the prince 
and princess, desiring to imitate the practice of 
the Emperor, rose from their seats and made the 
circuit of the sa/^e, exchanging a few words with 
each of the ladies present ; and it was remarked 
that, though the company included all the most 
beautiful women in Turin, not one could compare 
with Pauline, who was followed in her progress 
round the room by a murmur of genuine admira- 
tion. When the orchestra began a French air, the 
princess, who could be tactful enough on the rare 
occasions when she condescended to court popular 
favour, immediately sent to stop it, exclaiming 
loud enough to be overheard by all about her : 
" No, not that ; let us have Italian music ; it is 
the most charming. A montferrina ! A montfer- 
rina ! " The company was delighted, and the 
house resounded with " vivas." ^ 

Their Highnesses returned the hospitality of 
the city by a series of grand receptions, balls, 
dinners, and suppers ; and it would be difficult to 
say which were the most pleased, the citizens by 
the good cheer provided for them by the Gover- 
nor's chef, who drew a salary of 12,000 francs — 
1 Maxime de Villemarest, Soicveniri d'un Inconnu. 



122 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

the pay of a general of division — or their wives 
and daughters by the opportunities of dancing 
and flirtation and the display of toilettes which 
the princess's entertainments afforded. 

It was an excellent beginning; but Pauline 
very soon began to find the duties which her 
husband's official position imposed upon her in- 
tolerably irksome. She resented having to attend 
Mass every Sunday, in order to edify her good 
people by an example of piety; she disliked 
having to hold receptions on fixed days, whether 
she felt in the humour for entertaining or not ; 
to show herself in the Valentino — the Corso of 
Turin — every afternoon, and to go through all the 
rest of the routine which the Emperor insisted 
upon. Moreover, Borghese, acting upon instruc- 
tions from Napoleon, showed himself far from 
complaisant in financial matters, and.she found her 
expenditure in consequence sadly restricted. Be- 
fore she had been a week in Turin, she rebelled, 
and, on the plea of ill-health, went off to the 
hunting-lodge at Stupinigi, to sing duets with 
Blangini, who had fulfilled his promise to follow 
her to Italy. 

But here a terrible mortification awaited her. 
The composer, alarmed apparently by the jealousy 
which his favour was arousing among the prin- 
cess's entourage — there were a number of Italians 
attached to it now, and he knew that the enmity 
of his compatriots is apt to take a peculiarly un- 
pleasant form — declined to remain and took 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 123 

himself off to Paris, to the despair of Pauline, 
who had not yet had time to gro*w tired of him. 

Deprived of the consolation of Blangini's 
society, the princess decided that Italy was 
altogether insupportable, and wrote to the Em- 
peror, declaring that the climate of Piedmont 
was ruining her health, and demanding permis- 
sion to go to some watering-place in France, in 
order to re-establish it. " I am willing," replied 
Napoleon from Bayonne, " for you to go to the 
waters of the Valley of Aosta. I am grieved to 
hear that your health is bad. I presume that you 
are prudent, and that it is in no way your own 
fault." And he recommends her to "make her- 
self beloved, to be affable to every one, to pre- 
serve an even temper, and to make the prince 
happy." 

Pauline, however, did not want to go to the 
Valley of Aosta any more than she wanted 
to make her husband happy ; she had set her 
heart on getting back to France, and eventually 
to Paris, and intended to do so. To compass her 
purpose, she was seized with fainting-fits and con- 
vulsions in the middle of the night ; she refused 
all food, declaring that her digestive powers were 
unequal even to the lightest broth, and, in short, 
"suffered everything which she wished to suffer." 
The doctors were in despair, and when, on 
May 30, Joseph Bonaparte, who was on his way 
from Naples to Bayonne, to agsume that crown 
which he was to find so exceedingly uncomfort- 



124 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

able, arrived at Turin, they a'ssured him that 
nothing but a sojourn at Aix-les-Bains could 
re-establish the health of their august patient, 
and implored him to take upon himself the re- 
sponsibility of her departure. Joseph, a kind- 
hearted man, consented, and wrote to the 
Emperor : 

I have found Paulette here in a deplorable 
state of health. She has eaten nothing for a 
week, and is unable to take even the lightest 
broth. The doctors have told me that she ought 
to leave as soon as possible the damp atmosphere 
of Turin and go to the baths at Aix. Her hus- 
band was hesitating, because he had not yet 
received your Majesty's reply to the permission 
he had requested for this journey ; but I did not 
delay an instant to tell him to send his wife away, 
and that I would answer for it to your Majesty, 
who desired before all things to preserve his 
sister's life.^ 

Two days after this was written, came a letter 
from Napoleon, in which he was unfeeling enough 
to express the opinion that Pauline's illness was 
merely " a necessary consequence of the spring," 
and refused her permission to leave her husband's 
government. But the bird had already flown and 
was well on her way to Aix-les- Bains. From 
that agreeable resort, fearful lest the Emperor 
should order her back to Turin and her Camillo, 
she continued the little comedy and caused the 

^ Published by M. Fr^ddric Masson, NapoUon et safamilk. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 125 

most dolorous reports of her condition to be 
despatched to her anxious relatives. By the 
beginning of July, these bulletins had become so 
alarming that the general impression seems to 
have been that the poor lady's days were num- 
bered, and Madame Mere, accompanied by Fesch, 
started in all haste for Aix, travelling day and 
night, lest haply they should arrive too late ; 
w^hile Louis, from The Hague, viTote begging 
earnestly for news of his dear sister. "When I 
think of her bad health," he writes, " what suffer- 
ings she has endured for so long, and how many 
misfortunes she has met with in life, I am deeply 
grieved." 

When Madame reached Aix, Pauline, needless 
to observe, was still alive, and, indeed, so far from 
being moribund, that, a few days later, she was 
able to set out for Paris, having coaxed her mother 
into persuading the Emperor to accord her per- 
mission. Madame, however, appears to have 
entertained some doubt as to the gravity of her 
daughter's condition, and, in a letter to Lucien, 
she merely remarks ."that Paulette's health is 
worse than usual." 6lisa had no doubt at all 
about the matter. " Paulette has been making 
game of us," she writes to her brother, " I said 
that she was deceiving the Emperor, for her ill- 
ness is nothing else than the desire to go to 
Paris." 

The princess received permission from the 
Emperor to take up her quarters at her hotel 



126 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

in the Rue Faubourg Saint- Honore ; but Bor- 
ghese, convinced that she had deceived him, pro- 
tested against her being allowed to reside in 
Paris, and it was therefore decided that she 
should go to the Chateau of Villiers, which 
Napoleon had lately purchased from the Murats. 
She was loud in her denunciations of her hus- 
band's cruelty in keeping her at Turin, "although 
he had seen that the climate was killing her," 
and of the stinginess he had displayed in money 
matters — the poor man had merely been carrying 
out Napoleon's instructions — and wheedled forty 
thousand francs out of Laffitte, the banker, to 
keep her afloat until the Emperor returned from 
Spain. When his Majesty arrived, she brought 
all her powers of persuasion tq bear upon him, 
with the result that he not only gave his consent 
to her remaining permanently in France, but 
decided that, from January i, 1809, she should 
enjoy, provisionally, a revenue of 600,000 francs, 
independently of that of the prince, and the 
chiteau and estate of Neuilly, which Caroline 
had surrendered to the Emperor, 

But this was only an earnest of what was to 
follow. During the winter, imitating the policy 
which Caroline had pursued with so much 
success, Pauline consecrated herself entirely to 
the service of the Emperor, diverting him by 
balls, concerts, charades, and entertainments of 
all kinds. And behold ! in March, she found her 
income augmented, by means of a more advan- 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 127 

tageous arrangement in regard to Guastalla, and 
by charges on the revenues of various German 
principalities in her favour, *to the sum of 
1,300,000 francs. "In which dispositions, his 
Majesty desired her to see a proof of the affec- 
tion which he bore her." 



CHAPTER XXIII 

Murat, disappointed in his hopes of the Crown of Poland, returns 
to Paris — Successful intrigue of Caroline to bring about a fresh 
rupture between Louis and Hortense — The Murats at Fontaine- 
bleau — Relations of Caroline with Metternich, Talleyrand, 
Fouch^, and Maret — Caroline's bal masqui at the Elys^e — 
Mile, Guillebeau — Murat becomes Lieutenant of the Emperor 
in Spain, and is persuaded that Napoleon intends to make him 
King — He is offered his choice between the thrones of Naples 
and Portugal — He accepts Naples — He falls ill, is relieved of 
his command in Spain, and goes to Barfeges — Caroline secures 
for herself the succession to the Crown of Naples, in the event 
of her surviving her husband — Heavy burdens imposed by 
Napoleon upon Naples — The Emperor compels the Murats to 
surrender to him the whole of their property in France, in 
return for very inadequate compensation.; 

IF the Peace of Tilsit had put an end for a 
time to the ambitious hopes of Caroline, her 
husband regarded it with equal dissatisfac- 
tion. Murat had, for some months past, cher- 
ished the pleasing illusion that the Emperor 
intended to re-establish the kingdom of Poland 
and to place the crown of the Jagellons upon 
his brother-in-law's head, and the arrangement 
arrived at upon the Niemen had been a severe 
blow to him. It was not, indeed, until the very- 
day of the memorable interview between the 
autocrats of the East and West that he learned 
that his hopes were vain, when Napoleon, seeing 

128 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES lag 

him arrive dressed in a rich Polish costume, 
which he had assumed to flatter the national 
susceptibilities of those whom he fondly imagined 
were to be his subjects, exclaimed angrily : " Go 
away and put on your general's uniform ; you 
look like Franconi."^ 

An awakening so rude after a dream so beau- 
tiful was naturally extremely disconcerting, and, 
for a while, Murat was almost tempted to aban- 
don his ambition of becoming a. king. But his 
Gascon optimism speedily reasserted Itself, and, 
in the belief that Paris was likely to prove a far 
more profitable field for intrigue than Diisseldorf, 
he rejoined his wife, to endeavour, with her skil- 
ful co-operation, to secure the royal crown which 
they both so ardently desired. 

For the moment, however, Caroline's attention 
was engaged by an intrigue which had for its 
object the gratification of her hatred rather than 
of her ambition. 

After the death of her little son, Napoleon 
Charles (May 5, 1807), the Queen of Holland 
had gone to Cauterets, in the Pyrenees, in the 
hope of re-establishing her health. Here she met 
M. Decazes, afterwards Madame Meres private 
secretary, and later, Louis XV Hi's favourite and 
Prime Minister, who had recently lost his young 
wife. Touched by the similarity of their sorrows, 
Hortense was very gracious to M. Decazes, and 
"being too absorbed in her grief to pay the 

1 Franconi was the famous Paris circus-proprietor, 
n.— 9 



J30 THE WOMEN BONAF^ARTES 

attention she should have done to conventional 
usage,"' admitted him to a degree of intimacy 
which the comparative seclusion in which she lived 
rendered somewhat conspicuous. M. Decazes 
was young and handsome ; the soil of fashionable 
watering-places is notoriously favourable to the 
propagation of scandal, and soon letters began to 
reach Paris which gave to the affair an importance 
which it was very far from deserving. 

When, in the following August, Louis brought 
his wife to Paris, it seemed that their common 
loss had established a new bond between them, 
and that a brighter future lay before the ill-mated 
pair ; but this reconciliation did not last long. 
From the days when, as a schoolgirl at Madame 
Campan's, Hortense had been held up to her as 
a shining example of all the virtues, Caroline had 
disliked her sister-in-law, and this dislike had 
been aggravated into a feeling of the bitterest 
hatred by Napoleon's preference for Hortense's 
children over her own. Moreover, she foresaw 
that the establishment of amicable relations be- 
tween the King and Queen of Holland might 
become a formidable obstacle to the dissolution of 
the Emperor's marriage, to which he was now all 
but reconciled. She therefore decided that a 
fresh rupture must be brought about, even at the 
cost of destroying Louis's new-found happiness 
and peace of mind, and proceeded to engineer 
it with her customary dexterity^ 

' Madame de Rdmusat, Mdmoires. 




HORTENSE DE I;EAUH ARXAIS. (jL'KKN <.)F HOLLAND 

FROM AX EN'GRA\'IXG AFTER THE DRAWING U\ I' AUi^>i?E I'. {BRITISH MUSKUM) 



THE WOMEN BONApARTES 131 

She related to her brother, while artfully pre- 
tending to attach no importance to them herself, 
the stories told of Hortense's intimacy with 
Decazes at Cauterets, and Loufis's jealousy and 
suspicion were at once rekindled. But she went 
much further than this. The Queen of Holland 
was, greatly to her husband's satisfaction, again 
enceinte — the result of the recent reconciliation — 
and Caroline did not hesitate to instill doubts into 
her brother's mind as to the paternity of the child 
whose birth was expected in the spring.^ The 
result was what might have been anticipated. 
The unhappy man at first refused to credit these 
malignant insinuations ; but the seed so adroitly 
sown did not fail to bear fruit, and, with it, all hope 
of concord at The Hague definitely disappeared. 

When, towards the end of September 1807, 
the Court removed to Fontainebleau, for that 
visit of which Madame de R^musat has left us 
so interesting an account, the Murats accom- 
panied it and, in conformity with the wishes of 
Napoleon, displayed great magnificence and 
entertained on the most lavish scale. "The 
Grand- Duchess of Berg applied herself to be 
extremely agreeable to us all. She lived in the 
chateau, at her own expense, in very luxurious 
style, and kept a sumptuous table. She was 
always served on gilt plate, in this respect out- 
doing the Emperor, whose silver-gilt services 

1 Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, afterwards the Emperor Na- 
poleon III. 



132 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

were used on State occasions only. She invited 
all the residents in the chateau in turn, and re- 
ceived them with the utmost graciousness, even 
those whom she did not like."^ 

Though she appeared to be thinking of nothing 
but pleasure, Caroline was not wasting her time. 
She held in her shapely white hands the threads 
of several intrigues. She exercised her fascina- 
tions on the Austrian Ambassador, Metternich, 
whose attentions to the Grand- Duchess became 
the subject of a good deal of cdmment. The 
most saw in this intimacy, as in her affair with 
Junot, merely the caprice of a coquette, whereas 
it was actuated by the most profound calculation. 
Caroline was aware that Metternich already 
possessed great influence at his Court, and she 
believed that he might be placed by the course of 
events in a position to serve her. Nor was she 
mistaken, and the affection which the diplomatist 
conceived for her might, when the ddbdcle arrived, 
have preserved for Murat his throne of Naples, 
had he been content to follow his wife's counsels. 

She also made advances to Talleyrand, with 
whom, owing to her friendship with Fouch6, her 
relations had of late been somewhat strained, 
soliciting his advice upon various matters, ap- 
plauding his bons mots, and pre,tending to be 
deeply impressed by even the most ordinary 
observations which fell from his lips. It is rare 
for a man to show himself insensible to the 
1 Madame de Rdmusat, Mdmoires. 



THE WOMEN BONA-PARTES 133 

flattery of a pretty woman, particularly when the 
lady in question happens to be a princess ; and 
Talleyrand, whose vanity was colossal, was not 
backward in responding to her overtures. Then, 
the princess confided to him that the spectacle 
of her brothers and sisters-in-law seated upon 
thrones inspired her with feelings of envy, as she 
felt herself equally fitted to occupy so exalted 
a position, and she reproached him with opposing 
her elevation. " M. de Talleyrand objected that 
Murat's abilities were not brilliant, and indulged 
in some jests at his expense, which were not 
resented very strongly. The princess abandoned 
her husband to M. de Talleyrand's sarcasms 
without compunction, but she urged that she 
would not leave the whole charge of ruling in 
Murat's hands, and she gradually, by certain 
seductive methods, induced M. de Talleyrand to 
be less opposed to her wishes." ^ 

While thus cultivating Talleyrand, Caroline 
maintained her good relations with his rival 
Fouche, though he only visited her with extreme 
precaution, in consequence of the displeasure with 
which the Emperor regarded any intimacy be- 
tween members of his family and the Minister of 
Police ; and showed herself particularly gracious 
to Maret, who repaid her condescension by per- 
petually chanting her praises to the Emperor. 

On the return of the Court to Paris, the Murats 
continued their lavish hospitality, and, though the 
' Madame de R^musat, Mhnoires, 



134 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

winter was an exceptionally brilliant one, the fes- 
tivities at the Elysde easily bore away the palm. 
Every Friday, the Grand- Duchess gave a ball, to 
which from one hundred and fifty to two hundred 
persons were invited, and occasionally grand balls, 
when all who could lay claim to any social import- 
ance, were brought together. Constant speaks 
of a certain bal masqud at the Elys^e, which the 
Emperor and Empress honoured by their presence, 
as " one of the most magnificent fetes which was 
ever seen." The opera of la Vestale, which was 
then at the height of its popularity, inspired the 
idea of a quadrille, danced by priests and vestals, 
who entered the room to the sound of fiutes and 
harps. Other quadrilles were danced by persons 
dressed as magicians and witches, and in Swiss 
and Tyrolese peasant-costume. AH the dresses 
were exceedingly rich and exactly similar to one 
another, and one of the rooms in the palace had 
been converted for the occasion into a costumier's 
shop, which permitted the dancers- to change four 
or five times during the evening, so that new 
guests appeared to be constantly arriving.^ 

There were many amusing incidents. Camillo 
Borghese came disguised as a Tyrolese peasant- 
girl, and might have passed for some time undis- 
covered, had he not yielded to the temptation to 
kiss one of the ladies. And Napoleon, who liked 
to divert himself in these saturnalia, exchanged 
masques and dominoes with Isabey, and gave 
' Constant, Mi'moires, 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 135 

orders to the painter to personate him, which he 
did to perfection, notwithstanding the difficulty 
he experienced in concealing his hands, which 
were unusually large, while his Majesty's were 
small and beautifully formed. 

The evening, however, did not pass off without 
an incident which somewhat interfered with the 
general good-humour which prevailed. 

On a sudden, just when the gaiety was at its 
height, an imperious voice was heard exclaim- 
ing : "I desire that she shall instantly leave my 
house ! " The voice was that of the Grand- 
Duchess of Berg, who was directing her First 
Chamberlain to expel from the ball-room a 
certain Mile. Guillebeau, whom Queen Hortense 
had brought with her to lead the dance of the 
vestals. Mile. Guillebeau's offence was that her 
charms had lately aroused a very lively interest 
in the breast of Murat, which Caroline, who, 
while claiming the fullest liberty herself, was by 
no means minded to extend a similar indulgence 
to her husband, deeply resente-d. The oppor- 
tunity now afforded her of inflicting a public 
affront on her rival, and, at the same time, of 
causing mortification to the Queen of Holland, 
was one which her vindictive nature was not 
disposed to forgo. 

Poor Mile. Guillebeau, when the order was 
communicated to her, burst into tears, declared 
that the conduct of the Grand- Duchess was most 
unjust and cruel, and appealed to Hortense to 



136 THE WOMEN BONAJPARTES 

protect her. The Queen, who felt that the ex- 
pulsion of her protdgie would be a reflection 
upon herself, warmly espoused the lady's cause, 
and a very acrimonious discussion took place 
between her and Caroline. Ultimately, Mile. 
Guillebeau was permitted to remain, but her 
pleasure was naturally spoiled, and her red eyes 
and tear-stained countenance must have presented 
a singular contrast to the garb of Folly which she 
was then wearing. All things considered, how- 
ever, the motley would appear to have been a far 
more appropriate costume for the damsel than the 
white robe of a vestal, since Madame Junot tells 
us that she had the same cause of complaint 
against her as had her Imperial Highness.-' 

The spring of 1808 brought to the Murats the 
kingdom which they had so industriously ma- 
noeuvred to secure, though it was not the one 
the ambitious pair coveted. On February 20, 
Napoleon, having perfected his plans against the 
Iberian Peninsula, appointed the Grand-Duke of 
Berg to be his Lieutenant in Spain and to com- 
mand the French forces. How far Murat was at 
this time in the Emperor's confidence is a matter 
of dispute. The probability is' that he was in 
entire ignorance of his real aims,,as he repeatedly 
complains of the lack of that confidence which 
a brother-in-law has a right to 1 expect.^ What 
is of more importance, is that the reports sent by 

' Duchesse d'Abrantes, Mcmoires. 

^ Dr. Holland Rose, Tke Life of Napoleon ike First. 



THE WOMEN BONA'PARTES 137 

his Lieutenant completely misled the Emperor 
as to the temper of the Spanish people, and 
inspired him with the conviction that they would 
tamely submit to any government that he chose 
to impose upon them ;^ and Mufat must therefore 
be held in a great degree responsible for the 
affair of Bayonne and all the disasters which 
it entailed. 

Murat appears to have been persuaded that he 
was about to receive, as the recompense of his 
services, the throne so treacherously wrested 
from the craven-hearted Bourbons, and the 
rigour which he displayed in .suppressing the 
insurrection of May 2 at Madrid was no doubt 
prompted by the belief that he was defending his 
own property. So confident was he of success 
that he actually took possession of the apart- 
ments of the Prince of the Asturlas at the 
palace ; and his mortification was intense when, 
on May 4, he received the following letter from 
the Emperor ; 



' " I guarantee an insurrection impossible," he wrote. " Your 
Majesty is admired and adored throughout the whole of Spain, 
and it is to you that it looks for a happier destiny. . . ." "Your 
Majesty is awaited as the Messiah ; your decisions, whatever they 
may be, will be oracles, and will be regarded as the assurance of 
future happiness ; all Spain is aware that nothing but a govern- 
ment of your making can save it. . . ." "Sire, withdraw your 
confidence and esteem from me for ever, if I do not tell you the 
truth. I say, and I repeat, that your Majesty can dispose of Spain 
as you will ; you are adored by the whole nation " ; and so forth. 
For these despatches, see Lumbroso, Corrppondance de Joachim 
Murat, and Masson's Napoldon et safamilk' 



138 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

Bayonne, May 2 

I intend the King of Naples [Joseph Bona- 
parte] to reign at Madrid. I wish to give you 
the Kingdom of Naples or that of Portugal. Let 
me know immediately what you think about the 
matter ; for it must be settled in a day. In the 
meanwhile, you will remain as Lieutenant- 
General of the kingdom. You will tell me 
that you prefer to remain with me ; that is 
impossible. You have a number of children, 
and, besides, with a wife like yours, you can 
absent yourself, if war calls you back to my side ; 
she is very capable of being at the head of a 
regency. I will tell you, further, that the King- 
dom of Naples is a much finer one than Portugal, 
since Sicily will be joined to it j you will then 
have six million inhabitants.^ 

To this letter Murat, skilfully dissimulating his 
disgust, replied as follows : 

Madrid, May 5 

Sire, — I received your Majesty's letter of 
May 2, and torrents of tears flow from my eyes 
in replying to you. When your Majesty thought 
that I should have demanded to remain near 
your person, you well understood my heart. 
Yes, I ask it ; yes, I implore it, as the greatest 
favour that I have ever received from you. 
Accustomed to your kindness, accustomed to 
see you each day, to admire you, to adore you, 
to receive everything from you, how can I, alone, 
cast upon my own resources, fulfil duties so ex- 

'■ Napoleon speaks of the conquest of Sicily as of a thing 
assured ; but he must have been aware that it was a task which 
presented immense difficulties. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 139 

tensive, so sacred ? I believe that I am incapable 
of doing so. As a favour, permit me to remain 
with you. Happiness is only to be found in 
affection ; I find it near your Majesty ! Sire, 
after having expressed to your Majesty my grief 
and my desires, I must resign myself and I place 
myself at your orders. However, in availing 
myself of the permission whicb you accord me 
to choose between Portugal and Naples, I can 
have no hesitation. I give the preference to the 
country in which I have already commanded, and 
in which I shall be able to serve your Majesty 
more usefully. I prefer Naples, and I must give 
your Majesty to understand that on no considera- 
tion should I accept the Crown of Portugal. 

Napoleon would certainly have done better, 
since he had engaged in this discreditable affair, 
to have confided the throne Of Ferdinand the 
Catholic and Charles V to this, resolute and in- 
trepid soldier, rather than to the incapable but 
well-meaning Joseph. In that event, it is quite 
probable that the revolts in the provinces would 
have been stamped out as effectually as the in- 
surrection in the capital had been, and that, 
before many weeks had passed, Murat would 
have conquered his kingdom sword in hand. But 
the Emperor, as we have seen, did not anticipate 
any resistance to his wishes on the part of the 
Spaniards, much less that that resistance would 
have assumed such formidable dimensions ; and, 
even if he had foreseen the course of events, it 
is doubtful if this would have induced him to 



I40 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

change his plans. What he desired to see at 
Madrid was, not a monarch, but a sort of glori- 
fied prefect, and Murat had shown, in the affair 
of Wesel, that he could not be relied upon to 
accept such a role. 

However that may be, Murat found himself 
once more the dupe of his ambitious dreams, 
and, if he shed "torrents of tears," they were not 
of gratitude and emotion, as he wrote to the 
Emperor, but of anger and disappointment. 
However, he still cherished a hope that his 
brother-in-law's decision was not irrevocable, and, 
in this belief, entered into an intrigue with the 
new French Ambassador, Laforet, with the object 
of proving to the Emperor that the Spaniards 
would never consent to accept Joseph as their 
king, while that, on the other hand, the Grand- 
Duke of Berg had conquered all hearts. 

The intrigue failed; and Napoleon sent a severe 
rebuke to Laforet, whereupon Murat fell ill and 
took to his bed. The doctors declared that his ill- 
ness was occasioned by " a too assiduous attention 
to work," but it is probable that it was due as much 
to moral as to physical causes. Any way, he was 
unfit for duty for nearly a month, and the French 
forces in Spain were left without a chief, at a 
time when the utmost energy and activity were 
required to stem the fast-rising flood of insurrec- 
tion. Finally, he begged the Emperor to relieve 
him of his command and authorise his return 
to France, and, at the end of June, repaired to 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 141 

Bareges, "to seek physical health and moral 
calm." 

As for Caroline, her joy on learning that she 
was at last to become a queeh was such that, 
according to the Duchesse d'Abrantes, "it ren- 
dered her beside herself for several hours." And, 
though she no doubt shared to some extent her 
husband's mortification that tht crown of Spain 
had escaped them, it is probable that she was, 
on the whole, well satisfied with the result of her 
labours. 

On his way to Bareges, Murat had passed 
through Bayonne, where he invested his wife 
and the Marchese del Gallo, the Neapolitan 
Minister for Foreign Affairs, with full powers to 
treat on his behalf with the Emperor in regard 
to the conditions on which he was to hold his 
kingdom. The ambitious princess did not fail 
to take full advantage of such an opportunity. 
In the decree which had constituted Murat Duke 
of Berg and Cleves, the succession had been 
vested in his sons and their male descendants, 
and his wife's name had not been mentioned. But 
in the new decree, and also in Murat's treaty with 
the Emperor, Caroline secured the insertion of 
a clause which provided that, in the event of her 
surviving her husband, she hers^f should ascend 
the throne : " If her Imperial and Royal High- 
ness the Princess Caroline survives her august 
husband, she will remain Queen of the Two 
Sicilies, and alone possess the title and powers 



142 TI^E WOMEN BONAPARTES 

of sovereignty, which she will exercise to their 
full extent. The reason for this unique excep- 
tion to a fundamental law is that this princess, 
who, by virtue of the present cession, made es- 
pecially in her favour, places her family on the 
throne, cannot cease to take rank above her 
children." 

Caroline was not so successful in her efforts 
to lighten the burdens which the Emperor desired 
to impose upon his brother-in-law's kingdom, and 
Joachim Napoleon — by which name the new king 
was to be known — found himself pledged, by an 
offensive and defensive alliance with France, to 
furnish, whenever required, a contingent of 21,000 
soldiers and 25 pieces of cannon, to be paid and 
maintained at his own expense, save when sum- 
moned beyond the borders of Italy and the 
Empire, when Napoleon would be responsible 
for the men's rations and equipment. This 
contingent was to be quite independent of the 
army which Murat might desire to raise for the 
defence of his realm, as well as of the French 
army of occupation, of which he was to charge 
himself with the whole cost. He was also, if 
required, to furnish six ships of the line, six 
frigates, and six brigs t@ the Imperial Navy, 
while the strict execution of the Continental 
Blockade, with all its consequences, was of course 
imposed upon him. Caroline eventally obtained 
a slight reduction of the Neapolitan contingent, 
so long as Sicily remained unconquered ; but this 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 143 

was the only modification to which Napoleon 
would consent. 

Nor did she fare any better where the private 
interests of herself and her husband were con- 
cerned. Murat would have much preferred to 
govern Naples from Paris, as he had governed 
Berg, or, at any rate, to have spent a part of 
each year in the French capital. But Napoleon 
did not approve of absentee rulers, while he was 
growing tired of Caroline's intrigues and impor- 
tunities, and, in giving them the kingdom they 
coveted, he was determined that they should 
remain there and have no pretext for returning 
to France. He accordingly insisted that they 
should cede to him all the properties which 
they possessed in France : the Elys^e, Neuilly, 
Villiers, and La Motte-Sainte-Heraye — the 
H6tel Thelusson he had purchased from Murat 
some weeks before, in order to convert it into 
the Russian Embassy — with all the furniture, 
paintings, statues, and ohjets d'art which they 
contained. Caroline claimed as compensation 
for this surrender sixteen million francs, and, see- 
ing that she had spent four millions on the em- 
bellishment of the Elys^e and almost as much 
on Neuilly, her demand would appear to have 
been not unreasonable. Napoleon, at first, ac- 
quiesced, on condition that the money should be 
paid in three annual instalments; then, declared 
that he would not give more than ten millions ; 
and, finally, at the moment when the treaty was 



144 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

on the point of being signed, refused to pay any 
cash at all, and offered instead the PrincipaKty 
of Benevento, on the extinction of the family 
to whom it belonged, certain estates in Papal 
territory formerly belonging to the Farnese, and 
an annual payment of 500,000 francs out of 
the contribution which Naples made to the Im- 
perial Treasury. Caroline accepted — she had 
indeed no option in the matter — though with a 
very bad grace ; and the Murats thus parted with 
nearly the whole of the immense wealth which 
they had been at such pains to acquire, in return 
for what, in the event of a change in Napoleon's 
fortunes, would be practically valueless. 

Singularly enough, Murat did not learn of the 
terms of this very one-sided treaty until it had 
actually been signed by the Marchese del Gallo, 
acting on his behalf; perhaps Caroline, with true 
wifely solicitude, feared that his intervention 
might counteract all the benefits he was receiving 
from his sojourn at Bareges, where he wrote that 
"he had discovered the Fountain of Youth." 
When he was informed of what had been done, 
he was highly indignant and addressed some 
strongly- worded observations to the Emperor. 
But it was then too late, and nothing remained 
for him but to ratify the treaty and to reflect that 
even a throne may be purchased at too high a 
price. 



CHAPTER XXIV 

Grief of Madame Mire at the rupture between the Emperor and 
Pius VII — She goes with Pauline to Aix-la-Chapelle — Beugnot's 
impressions of her — The Emperor returns from the Austrian 
campaign determined to divorce Josephine — The family sum- 
moned to Paris — Elation of the Bopapartes, and particu- 
larly of Madame Mire^ at the fall of their enemy — Madame's 
letter to Lucien — The divorce accomplished — The Bonapartes' 
desire that Lucien's eldest daughter Charlotte, called Lolotte, 
should be the new Empress, frustrated by her father's delay in 
sending her to Paris — Hopes of Madame that Lolotte will con- 
tribute to bring about a reconciliation between the Emperor 
and Lucien — Napoleon's proposition in regard to his brother — 
Madam^s letter to Madame Lucien — Unavailing efforts to per- 
suade Lucien to divorce his wife — Lolotte proves a broken reed, 
and is sent back to her father — Adventures of Lucien and his 
family. 

l\/fADAME MERE passed the last months 
I. VJ. of 1 808 and the early part of the follow- 
ing year in Paris, writing long letters to 
her absent children, devoting a watchful eye to 
her investments, and superintending the work of 
the charitable organisations of which she was 
the patroness. As she prided herself on being 
a devout daughter of the Chufch— though it is 
doubtful if her religion, at this period of her life, 
was more than skin-deep — and had, besides, con- 
ceived a warm personal regard for Pius VII, she 
was much exercised in her mind by Napoleon's 

II. — 10 145 



146 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

annexation of the Papal States and the Bull of 
excommunication to which the Holy Father 
replied to his aggressions. " I foresee that your 
nephew will bring about his own downfall and 
that of the whole family," she wrote to Fesch. 
"He oueht to be satisfied with what he has 
already obtained ; by striving for more, he will 
lose all. I am never free from anxiety about 
my family, and I am very sure that I shall never 
regret having secured myself against reverses." 
Baron Larrey declares that she took this affair so 
much to heart that she became quite ill. Any 
way, in July, Corvisart declared that a "cure" was 
imperative, and Madame left Paris for Aix-la- 
Chapelle. 

Pauline accompanied her, but, if we are to 
believe Beugnot, who was taking the waters at 
the same time, her mother's presence does not 
seem to have exercised much restraint upon that 
incorrigible amoureuse. " Her -journey," he writes, 
" has sown, in more than one place, despair, in 
more than one other, hope. She has been fol- 
lowed to Aix, and does not know whether she will 
decide to recognise it ; she has found there more 
than one adorer whose incense has up to the 
present been lost in smoke. She treats this 
subject with a charming levity. One would call 
her Atalanta, who runs over the flowers without 
leaving a trace of her footsteps." And he adds : 
" I said to myself on beholding her, and with 
a bitter regret : Happy the mortals who are still 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 147 

at that beautiful age when one is permitted to 
carry one's vows to such altars?. " 

Beugnot has left us some very interesting 
impressions of Madame Mere, whom he visited 
several times during his stay at Aix-la-Chapelle, 
He was much struck by the way in which Letizia 
had contrived to preserve the beauty for which 
she had once been so celebrated, "She has all 
the beauty which is possible for a woman of her 
age, and, if Raphael had had her under his hand 
when he painted his admirable picture of the 
Holy Family, he would not have sought else- 
where that countenance of St. Anna which 
summarises well what Time has been powerless 
to efface from features so beautiful, that, in con- 
templating them, some amorous sentiment is 
always intermingled with the respect which age 
imposes." 

The writer praises Letizia's intelligence and 
good-sense, though his sensitive ear was much 
pained by her deplorable accent, and the Corsican 
expressions with which she interlarded her con- 
versation, and "which she did not take the 
trouble to translate." But what seems to have 
impressed him most, however, was her "^conomie 
passionn^e" which had become,, in his opinion, 
"a fixed idea, which had takgn possession of 
her, and from which she would never be able to 
free herself." On his first visit;, Madame began 
to ply him with questions relative to the cost 
of living in Aix. Beugnot, who left such sordid 



148 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

matters to hjs valei-de-chambrej but did not like 
to confess as much, answered at random and, " in 
order to give Madame a good impression of his 
savoir-faire" underrated the expense consider- 
ably. " Unhappily, Madame took my boastings 
for current prices. From that very day, she 
began a campaign against her people and her 
tradesmen ; she declared that she was being 
brutally robbed by both ; she held me up as an 
example of some one who was exempt from the 
wrong which she deplored. She mentioned the 
articles and the prices I paid for them, and it 
was impossible to convince her that she was 
mistaken." ^ 

Towards the end of October, the princesses 
left Aix-la-Chapelle for Fontainebleau, to welcome 
the returning victor of Wagram. The departure 
seems to have taken place none too soon, for one 
of Pauline's chamberlains confided to a friend 
that the gaiety of his august mistress " had 
approached so nearly to folly, that he desired 
nothing so ardently as to see the termination of 
this visit." 

At Fontainebleau great news awaited them. 
The hopes of thirteen years were about to 
materialise: the divorce was a thing settled and 
determined upon. 

The events of the past few months had made 
the rupture of Napoleon's childless marriage "a 
rigorous duty." The descents of the English 

' Comte Beugnot, Mdm'oires. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 149 

upon the coasts, the intrigues* of Fouchd and 
Talleyrand, and the feebleness dnd inertia of the 
Government, had shown him that, during his 
absences from France, It was an imperative neces- 
sity that he should have in Paris some repre- 
sentative, around whom, in case of peril, his loyal 
subjects might rally. And tha!t representative 
must be the heir to his glory — an heir whose 
claim to succeed him rested not upon decrees 
which found no response in the hearts of his 
people, and which Pouches and Talleyrands might 
render mere waste-paper, but "upon a natural 
reversion physical and moral" This, in his 
eyes, had become the sole guarantee for the 
safety of his crown. And so the Emperor 
returned to France, victorious, not only over 
the Austrians, but over true and genuine affec- 
tion, over the habits of thirteen years, and 
over that feebleness in dealing with the women 
of his family which is in such strange contrast 
to his harsh and overbearing treatment of 
others. 

His resolution once taken, he determined to 
put it into execution with the least possible delay. 
The absent members of the Imperial Family, 
with the exception of Joseph,^ whom the little 
misunderstanding with his subjects detained in 
Spain, Lucien, still in disgrace, and Elisa, who 
was enceinte — whether by her husband or Cenami 
is a matter of opinion — were summoned to Paris ; 
and while they were hastening thither from Italy, 



I50 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

Holland, and Ger|nany, that pathetic scene im- 
mortalised by Constant and Bausset took place 
at the Tuileries, and Josephine learned that 
the blow she had long dreaded was about to 
descend. 

Napoleon had not thought fit to acquaint his 
relatives with his reason for desiring their pre- 
sence in Paris, and their elation -^vas consequently 
all the greater when they learned, on their 
arrival, that they had been called together to 
assist at the downfall of their' detested sister- 
in-law. 

For they all hated her, not only for her original 
offence in taking Napoleon from them, and in 
giving him a stepson and a stepdaughter in- 
finitely superior in character and infinitely more 
worthy of his bounty than themselves ; not only 
because they regarded her, though most unjustly, 
as the principal cause of the continued exile of 
Lucien, but each of them for some special reason. 
Pauline, because Josephine was her rival, not, 
indeed, in beauty, but in grace and elegance ; 
Caroline, because she was the mother of Hor- 
tense, whom she had detested from the time 
when they were schoolfellows ; Elisa, because 
of the possession of those graces in which she 
herself was so singularly deficient ; Joseph, be- 
cause he had spied upon and intrigued against 
her from the first, and failed to shake her posi- 
tion ; Louis, because she had brought about his 
unhappy marriage, although his unhappiness was 




THE E.MFKESS JOSEPHINE 
FROM THE PAINTING BV GERARD AT VF.RSAILLFS 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 151 

primarily due to his own morbid and suspicious 
nature ; Jerome, whom Josephine had always 
treated with unvarying kindness, because she was 
the mother of Eugene de Beauharnais, of whom 
he was jealous. 

But none of them rejoiced so much, because 
none of them hated so bitterly, as their mother 
— that woman whom Baron Larrey and other 
eulogists of the Bonapartes have held up to us as 
an example of every Christian virtue. "Madame 
hated Josephine before she knew her ; she hates 
her more since she knows her. She hates her 
for having captured her son Napoleon ; she hates 
her for having deceived that son ; for the love 
with which, all the same, she has inspired him ; 
for the crown which she wears, for the superior 
rank which she occupies ; for the necessity of 
yielding precedence to her, of dining with her, of 
appearing in her suite. She hates her for Lucien 
exiled and disgraced, for Louis ill-mated, for all 
her actions and all her life — and simply because 
she exists ; and this hatred, n*ot only does it 
extend to Hortense, but to the children of Hor- 
tense, notwithstanding that they are her own 
grandchildren. In what a tone she wrote to 
Fesch of the death of little Napoleon ! Can that 
be the grandmother so full of tenderness for the 
two Lolottes, for Z^naide, for the Murat children, 
for the little NapoMone [^lisa's daughter] .? The 
explanation is, that beneath those features which, 
nevertheless, recall so strongly her own race, she 



152 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

sees flowing the blood of Josephine and Hor- 
tense ; that is sufficient."^ 

And not only did she find in the downfall of 
her enemy the gratification of long years of 
rancorous hatred, but she built great hopes upon 
it. With what satisfaction does she write to 
Lucien ! 

Paris 

12 December, 1809 

My dear Son, — I have received your letter of 
the 15th of last month. I have already told you 
the manner in which the Emperor has expressed 
himself in regard to you. I am now able to add 

' M. Frdddric Masson, NapoUon et tsa famille. Here is 
Madame's letter to Fescli — or rather the passage therein — to 
which M. Masson refers : 

" 1 have, my dear brother, to speak to you now of another 
matter, which grieves me sorely. M. Cambacdr^s has just left me ; 
he came to announce the death of the little Napoleon, at The 
Hague. We learned that he was ill some days ago, but only 
through the journals. The father, who had sent couriers here, 
did not mention it. M. Corvisart came ^o tell us that he was 
starting to go and see him ; and this morning comes the news of 
his death. You can judge of my consternation, not only on the 
child's account, but on that of the father, and the effect which this 
event may have on his health. I am very much afraid that all this 
will affect mine also." Not a word of compassion for the grief- 
stricken mother ! 

And, commenting on this letter, the ingenuous Baron Larrey 
remarks : " Madame Mire was greatly grieved by it [the death 
of Napoleon Charles], although she had the consoling thought 
that such a misfortune would perhaps bring together again, 
through excess of grief, the pair whom the fatality of their marriage 
had separated." Well, next to the divorce of Josephine, and the 
restoration to favour of her beloved Lucien, and perhaps another 
million a year for herself, there was probably nothing which 
Madame more ardently desired than a separation between Louis 
and his wife. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 153 

that the reasons which have hitherto prevented 
you from sending Lolotte^ no longer exist. The 
Emperor is about to divorce the Empress. 
The affair is determined upon and will soon be 
made public. Nothing is now in question except 
the forms to be observed. 

Louis is also separated from his wife, but with- 
out a divorce. He is staying at my house. He 
is in better health than usual. I believe myself 
able to assure you that the sentiments of the 
Emperor for his family are already quite different 
from what they have been heretofore. 

Do not show yourself obstinate, my dear son. 
Begin by doing what is required of you,^ and I 
hope that, before long, we shall all be contented. 
What a consolation it will be for me, if I could 
see you here and embrace you, with the rest of 
the family ! 

Adieu, my dear son ; I shall not say more to 
you about it. My health is good ; I embrace 
you tenderly, with all your family. 

Vostra affezionata madre, 

L. Bonaparte' 

A few days after this letter was written, the 
formalities connected with the divorce had been 
accomplished ; Josephine had left the Tuileries for 
Malmaison, and the Emperor was free to wed again. 

Upon whom Napoleon's choice would fall was 
a question which had for some time past been 
agitating the minds of the Imperial Family. In 

^ Charlotte Bonaparte, Lucien's eldest daughter by his first 
marriage. Madame Mire was extremely anxious that she should 
be sent to Paris, for reasons which we are about to explain. 

2 To divorce his wife, " the widow Jouberthou." 

3 Published by Baron Larrey, Madame Mire. 



154 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

spite of the weighty political reasons which could 
be urged in support of the Emperor's union with 
a princess of one of the reigning Houses of 
Europe, such a step was far from commending 
itself to his relatives ; while they were still less 
favourably disposed to the idea of his seeking to 
conciliate Royalist opinion at h5me by taking to 
wife a member of one of the great families of the 
old noblesse. For the Bonapartes had remained 
Corsicans to the heart's core, and, if they had 
waged a relentless and unceasing war against 
Josephine for so many years*, it was mainly 
because only a woman of their own country and 
their own blood could find favour in their eyes. 
The position of Empress they regarded as an 
appanage of the family, and to bestow it upon 
a stranger was a species of robbery. The only 
marriage which could content them was that of 
Napoleon with one of his nieces, that is to say, 
with Charlotte, called Lolotte, Lucien's eldest 
daughter, since there was no other approaching a 
marriageable age. Thus, the quarrel between the 
two brothers would be composed ; Lucien would 
return to France and receive the crown which 
was his due ; no outside influence would dare to 
dispute with them the Imperial bounty, and all 
would go well. 

It seems difficult to believe that Napoleon 
ever contemplated the possibility of marriage 
with his niece — a child who had not yet com- 
pleted her fourteenth year — and when he con- 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 155 

sented, in the early summer of 1808, to Madame 
Meres inviting her to Paris, it seems to have 
been with the idea of marrying her to the un- 
fortunate Prince of the Asturias. But it is certain 
that his mother and all the Bonapartes ardently 
desired the match/ and that, if Lucien, notwith- 
standing the urgent solicitatiohs of Madame, 
had not delayed his consent to his daughter 
visitina Paris until the Austrian marriao^e had 
been decided upon, they would have made deter- 
mined efforts to force their candidate upon the 
Emperor. 

Nevertheless, Madame seems to have expected, 
or, at least, hoped for, great things from Lolotte's 
visit, since, if she succeeded in making a favour- 
able impression upon Napoleon, she might 
materially contribute to bring about the long- 
deferred reconciliation between him and Lucien. 
" Lolotte has arrived," she writes, in a letter to 
the latter (March 8, 1810). "As soon as her 
toilette is ready, I shall take her to the Emperor, 
and I am already persuaded that she will be 
kindly received. I will write and tell thee about 
it to-morrow. Heaven grant that I have to an- 
nounce to thee, at the same time, the only thing 
which is wanting to my happiness : your recon- 
ciliation. — Vostra madre." 

1 " Up to the present," wrote flisa to Lucien, on learning of 
Napoleon's intention to divorce Josephine, " nothing gives me any 
inkling as to who will be the new wife of the Emperor. If my 
prayers were heard, this choice would put an end to a division very 
painful to my heart." 



156 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

In the course of an audience which he ac- 
corded, on the morrow, to Lucien's homme de 
confiance, Campi, who had brought Lolotte from 
Canino to Paris, the Emperor adhered to the 
proposition which he had made some weeks be- 
fore, namely, that he was prepared to receive 
Lucien into favour and recognise as legitimate 
the children of his second marriage, provided 
that he would divorce his wife. If he remained 
contumacious, he would not only refuse to give 
him any assistance, or allow the Imperial family 
to help him, but would no longer countenance his 
residing within the borders of the Empire, or of 
any European country with which France had 
diplomatic relations, and would insist upon his 
departure for America. 

On leaving the Tuileries, Campi repaired to 
the Hotel de Brienne, where Madame and all 
the Bonapartes who were then in Paris were 
assembled, and informed them of what had 
passed. They were unanimously of opinion that 
Lucien ought to give way ; and, the following 
day, we find Madame writing a despairing letter 
to her daughter-in-law, entreating her voluntarily 
to release her son. 

Paris, March lo, 1810 

You know all the misfortunes which your mar- 
riage has brought upon our family, and can judge 
how heavy they are by the step which I am about 
to propose to you. The Emperor insists on your 
divorce. It is for you to decide Lucien to con- 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 15^ 

sent to it, and, in the event of his refusal, to 
demand it yourself. It is the only way to escape 
the disgrace which threatens hirh, as well as your 
children and all who belong to you. If, on the 
other hand, you do what is asked of you, you will 
ensure the happiness of your husband and your 
children. Do not hesitate between a life of 
sorrow and bitterness, which you must expect, if 
you are obstinate, and the prospect of a happy 
future, in which your children will be recognised 
by the Emperor and may succeed to crowns. . . . 
Finally, if you have any consideration for a 
mother who has always sacrificed herself for her 
children, you will do it for my .sake, also, and I 
assure you that I shall not forget it as long as 
I live.' 

Madame Lucien, however, not unnaturally 
dgclined to make the sacrifice demanded of her ; 
she was an excellent wife and a devoted mother, 
but the prospect of seeing her sons and daughters 
Imperial Highnesses, and her husband seated 
upon a throne and engaged, like his brothers and 
Murat, in perpetual bickering with the Emperor, 
does not seem to have appealed to her. Nor did 
Lucien himself prove any more amenable to 
reason, though Madame wrote him the most 
pathetic letters, and assured him that "his obsti- 
nacy would inevitably shorten her days." Finally, 
Lolotte proved a most disappointing auxiliary and 
altogether failed to fulfil Madame s expectations. 

She was a pretty little girl with the Bonaparte 
features and all the Bonaparte assurance, and 

' Published by Baron Larrey, Mada?ne Mire. 



158 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

appeared, at first, to impress the Emperor very 
favourably. But she was devoted to her father 
and her stepmother, and had come to Paris 
imbued with all their prejudices, which she was 
at little pains to conceal. The family were very 
kind to her, but " she repulsed all their friendly 
overtures and all their presents, because she heard 
them speak unkindly of her parents." She de- 
clared that she detested Paris and wished to go 
home, and wept incessantly. She kept a journal, 
in which she jotted down her impressions of her 
relatives, and wrote long letters to Italy contain- 
ing very disrespectful remarks concerning them. 
The journal was " suppressed," the letters opened 
in the Post-Ofhce, and copies made of their con- 
tents ; and one Sunday, after the family dinner, 
the Emperor produced a number of these epistles, 
"filled with bitter complaints of the avarice of 
Madame and sarcasms against the uncles and 
aunts," and proceeded to read them aloud to his 
astonished relatives, whose indignation appears to 
have greatly diverted him. 

However, he was, in point of fact, exceedingly 
angry, since the girl's letters reflected but too 
plainly the sentiments of the household at Canino, 
and, a few days later, Lolotte, to her great joy, 
was sent back to her father, to whom her first 
words were: "Ah! my little papa, you are right 
in not wishing to go yonder ! America would 
be much preferable ; I am sure of it." ' 

' Th. Jung, Lucien Bonaparte et s?s Mdmoires. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 159 

On July 21, Lucien and his family set sail from 
Civlta Vecchia, on board an American vessel, the 
Herades ; but off the coast of Sardinia were 
stopped by a British frigate, and conducted to 
Malta, and thence to England, where they settled 
down very contentedly near Ludlow. 



CHAPTER XXV 

Annexation of the Kingdom of Etruria — TKe hopes of Ehsa dis- 
appointed — Her intrigues during the interregnum in Tuscany 
— The Government-General of the Departments of Tuscany 
erected into a grand dignity of the Empire and conferred upon 
Iihsa, with the title of Grand-Duchess — Her functions^ — Her 
arrival at Florence^She makes a progress through her duchy 
— Organisation of her Court — The Palazzo Pitti — Elisa and 
the Countess of Albany — The Grand-Duchess chafes at the 
restraints imposed upon her by the Emperor — Her despotism 
at Lucca — She visits France for the marriage of the Emperor 
— Birth of her son, Jerome Charles — Return to Tuscany — 
Organisation of a French theatrical troupe — Her lovers — Her 
amicable relations with her husband*— Death of J&ome 
Charles — Refusal of Napoleon to permit her to assist at the 
baptism of the King of Rome. 

WE left Elisa at Lucca, very dissatisfied 
with her lot and convinced that a more 
spacious stage was essential to enable 
her to display to the fullest adva,ntage the talents 
with which she credited herself. Nor was it long 
before her ambition was realised. 

In May 1802, Ludovico I, King of Etruria, 
had died, leaving an infant son, who was pro- 
claimed king under the name of Ludovico II, 
while his mother, the Infanta Maria Luisa, 
became Regent. But the manrter in which this 
princess administered the realm, and, in parti- 
cular, the singular partiality which she and her 

160 



THE WOMEN BONA^ARTES i6i 

subjects seemed to entertain for the prohibited 
products of Great Britain and her colonies, 
greatly displeased Napoleon, and he eventually- 
decided to dispossess the reigning family and 
annex their dominions to the Kingdom of Italy. 
On November ii, 1807, he wrote to Eugene de 
Beauharnais, the Viceroy, to inform him of his 
intentions, and to direct him "to prepare in 
secret the necessary measures." A month later, 
10,000 French troops, under General Reille, 
entered Florence by one of the gates, while 
the Regent retired by another, carrying away 
with her in her carriage, if We are to believe 
M. Marmottan, the body of the late King -j^ and 
the Kingdom of Etruria ceased to exist. 

Elisa had been no stranger to this coup de 
main. Tuscany, in point of fact, was the stage 
on which she aspired to play the role denied her at 
Lucca, and, with this object in view, she had kept 
a vigilant eye on the conduct of Maria Luisa, 
and neglected no means to irritate the Emperor 
against her and precipitate a crisis.^ Now that 
the captured throne was vacant, she seems to 
have imagined that she had only to stretch out 
her hand to seize it, and was therefore bitterly 
disappointed when the Emperor declined to view 

' M. Paul Marmottan, le Royaume cVEtruria. 

^ " Tuscany is the focus of the incendiary germs of a Wind and 
perfidious superstition." " It is my duty to inform your Majesty 
that the guard and the pohce of the forts of Leghorn have been 
handed over to Spanish troops. . . . The Court of Palermo 
seems to have selected Etruria as the centre, of its intrigues." 



i62 THE WOMEN BONA'PARTES 

the matter with her eyes and proceeded to cast 
the former Kini^dom of Etruria into the crucible 
of the Grand Empire, and to impose upon it his 
codes, prefects, judges, custom-house officers, 
conscriptions, and all the rest of the Imperial 
system. However, Napoleon had intimated that, 
if, after the Tuscans had been purged of those 
habits of insubordination against his authority 
which the Bourbon regime hkd engendered — 
that is to say, after he had moulded the country 
to his entire satisfaction — they desired his sister 
to rule them, he would gratify their wishes, at 
least so far as to constitute the Tuscan depart- 
ments into a government-general, with residence 
in Florence, according to the plan which he had 
recently applied to the Piedmontese departments. 
In the meanwhile, he named his old comrade 
General Menou, who had comrtianded in Egypt 
after the assassination of Kl^ber, governor, 
assisted by a junta of four counsellors. 

Elisa, on her side, manoeuvred with consider- 
able skill to discredit the new administration, and 
to induce her brother to confer the Sfovernment of 
Tuscany upon her. In July 1808, she requested 
permission to take up her residence at Florence, 
where she hoped "to contribute by her zeal and 
boundless devotion to second the great and 
liberal views of his Majesty in regard to the 
arts and sciences." The Eitiperor does not 
appear to have taken any notice of this re- 
quest for some weeks; but when, in September, 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 163 

Caroline left Paris to join Murat at Naples, he 
charged her to inform her sister, who intended 
to meet her at Bologna, that he did not think 
it advisable that she should establish herself at 
Florence for the present. Nevertheless, Elisa 
took advantage of her journey to Bologna, to 
make a prolonged stay in the Tuscan capital, 
under the name of the Contessa di Mollione, 
where she proceeded to ingratiate herself with 
the principal inhabitants and to intrigue against 
the Governor-General, Menou. 

That functionary had greatly scandalised the 
Florentine nobility by his ridiculous infatuation 
for a ballerina named Grassini, who had nothing 
in common, except the name, with the celebrated 
artiste who occasionally solaced Napoleon's lei- 
sure. This creature was installed in a splendid 
palace in the Piazza San Marco, which Livia 
Malfatti, the mistress of the Grand- Duke Peter 
Leopold, had formerly inhabited ; the Imperial 
box at the Opera was placed at her disposal ; 
she occupied a prominent place at official recep- 
tions, and, when she drove out, she was pre- 
ceded by outriders and escorted by a picket of 
guards, as though she were a princess. More- 
over, the clergy remembered that, while in 
Egypt, Menou had embraced Mohammedanism 
and espoused a Turkish lady,, and though he 
had since reverted to his former belief— or un- 
belief— -they resented his inter/erence in eccle- 
siastical matters ; while the reforms which he 



i64 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

instituted, though undoubtedly beneficial, irritated 
the populace.^ 

Elisa did not fail to profit by the Governor's 
unpopularity with all classes, and sent, and caused 
to be sent, highly-coloured reports of his pecca- 
dilloes, and the resentment which they were 
arousing, to the Emperor. At the same time, she 
took care that his Majesty should be continually 
receiving, both from Tuscany and from the many 
influential friends whom she had been at such 
pains to make in France — Regnaud, Talleyrand, 
the Laplaces, and the correspondents of the 
Academy at Lucca — the most flattering testi- 
monies to his sister's abilities. 

These adroit manoeuvres were crowned with 
success. On March 2, 1809, a Senatus con- 
sulhim erected the Government- General of the 
Departments of Tuscany into a grand dignity of 
the Empire, to be conferred upon a Princess of 
the Imperial Blood, with the title of Grand- 
Duchess, and the same titles, rank, and privileges 
as were enjoyed by the Governor-General of the 
Departments beyond the Alps. The following 
day, the Emperor signed, at the Tuileries, two 
decrees. The first decree conferred upon " our 
sister the Princesse Elisa, Princess of Lucca and 
Piombino, the Government-General of the De- 
partments of Tuscany, with the title of Grand- 
Duchess." The second regulated her functions, 

' This was especially the case in regard to a decree which pro- 
hibited the carrying of secret weapons. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 165 

which were assimilated to thgse exercised by 
the archduchesses who had formerly governed 
the Netherlands on behalf of /\ustria. Thus, 
although the Grand-Duchess .was to exercise 
supervision over the police, over the execution of 
the laws relating to the conscription, and over all 
the civil, military, and administrative authorities, 
she was to have no power to suspend any orders 
given by the Ministers in Paris, and, although 
the general commanding the troops, the Intend- 
ant of the Treasury, and the Director of Police — 
the three functionaries who formed her Council 
— were forbidden to communicate with their 
superiors in France, save through the medium of 
the Grand- Duchess, the Grand- Duchess, in her 
turn, could not address herself to the Emperor, 
save through his Ministers. 

In short, Elisa received little "save the satisfac- 
tion to her vanity which she derived from the 
appearance of authority and the possession of 
a high-sounding title. Sovereign at Lucca, she 
was to be nothing in Tuscany but the representa- 
tive of her brother's will. 

She had, however, one compensation for the 
scanty influence permitted her. At Lucca, if she 
had governed, it was Baciocchi who reigned. At 
Florence, she exercised powers in which he was 
to have no share ; nay, he was even subordinated 
to her, for, having been promoted Imperial High- 
ness and general of division, he was appointed 
commandant of the troops ; and it was his wife 



i66 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

who would transmit to hira the orders of the 
Emperor and the Minister of War. 

Elisa lost no time in taking possession of the 
government which she had so ardently coveted. 
Indeed, she could not even wait until the prepara- 
tions for her reception had been completed. But, 
on the night of March 31 -April i, she arrived 
secretly at Florecice, accompanied only by her 
husband and the Marchese Lucchesini, and in- 
stalled herself at the Palazzo Pitti, from which 
she had already caused poor Menou to be dis- 
lodged. The first intimation which the Floren- 
tines received that their Grand-Duchess had 
arrived amongst them was the booming of 
cannon, which awakened them from their 
slumbers some hours before their accustomed 
time for rising. However, all the chief function- 
aries and the principal citizens hastened to the 
palace to offer their homage ; and when that night 
Elisa appeared at the Teatro della Pergola, 
accompanied by her husband and her little 
daughter, she met with a very flattering recep- 
tion, though her yellow skin, her black hair, her 
imperious manner, and her somewhat masculine 
appearance does not appear to have impressed 
the audience very favourably. 

The following morning, there was a solemn 
service at the cathedral, and, in the evening, 
the municipality gave a magnificent ball, at 
which the Grand-Duchess appeared loaded 
with jewels and crowned with a diadem, and 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 167 

danced, we are assured, with much grace, which, 
as grace was not natural to her, must have re- 
quired no small effort. A few days later, ifilisa 
set out for a progress through her duchy, visiting 
Pisa, Leghorn, Volterra, Sienna, and other places, 
and being everywhere received, if we are to 
believe her letters to the Emperor, with the 
utmost enthusiasm, which she adroitly attributes, 
not to her own merits, but to her near relation- 
ship to his Majesty. 

On her return to Florence, her first care was 
the organisation of her Court, which was mounted 
on an even more pretentious footing than that of 
Lucca. But here a bitter mortification awaited 
her ; for the Florentine nobility shared, to a large 
extent, the dislike of the clergy to French rule, 
and almost all the great ladies whom she invited 
to join it excused themselves on one pretext or 
another. Elisa was so incensed that she an- 
nounced her intention of not residing at the 
Palazzo Pitti, except during the winter months, 
and of passing the rest of the year at a charming 
villa called II Poggio, situated near the walls, 
outside the Porta Romana. She did, indeed, 
spend the summer of 1809 at II Poggio, where 
she gave a number of balls a;nd fetes, though 
these reunions, we are told, were much less gay 
than they would have been, if the Grand- 
Duchess, either through ignorance or through 
disapproval of Italian customs, had not made it 
her invariable practice to invite husbands and 



i68 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES. 

wives to the same function. " In a land where 
cicisbeism flourished, this proceeding appeared 
strange and almost shocking, and had the effect 
of rendering the receptions which she gave ter- 
ribly dull and constrained."^ 

Elisa, however, did not carry out her threat of 
denying the Florentines the light of her counten- 
ance during the greater part of the year. The 
Palazzo Pitti proved too great an attraction. "It 
requires," she wrote to her brother, "only a 
glance from the Emperor to become one of the 
most beautiful palaces which your Majesty pos- 
sesses " ; and, in default of this glance, she spent 
considerable sums on its embellishment and re- 
furnished it throughout, with the exception of the 
gallery.^ 

The Grand- Duchess occupied, at first, a small 
suite of apartments on the entrance floor, which, 
she pretended, were more to her taste than the 
spacious rooms on the upper stories. But cen- 
sorious persons did not fail to take note that 
these apartments communicated with a neigh- 
bouring house which the ex-Queen of Etruria 
had given to a certain Conte Giucciardini, captain 
of the palace guards, who was commonly reported 
to have occupied a very high place in his royal 
mistress's favour, and that after the count had 
been induced — or rather compelled — to evacuate 

1 M. Rodocanachi, Elisa NapoUon en Italie. 
"^ M. Paul Marmottan, les Arts en Toscaiu sous NapoUon; 
la Princesse Elisa. 



THE WOMEN BONAt'ARTES 169 

this conveniently-situated residence, the Grand- 
Duchess's handsome equerry, Bartolomeo Cenami, 
took u^ his abode there. A little later, however, 
when Elisa had an increase in her family, she re- 
moved to the left wing of the palace, called the 
Volterrano, where she occupied the whole of the 
first and second floors. 

The dislike with which the hew r^rime had 
been from the first regarded by the Florentine 
nobility was greatly increased by an incident 
which occurred during the sumnier of 1809. The 
Countess of Albany,^ widow of' Charles Edward 
Stuart, the Young Pretender, and quasi-widow 
of the poet Alfieri, had been residing for some 
years past in Florence, where her palace was 
the rendezvous of the best and most artistic 
society in the Tuscan capital. The consideration 
with which the countess was treated gave great 
umbrage to Elisa, who saw in her little Court a 
sort of rival to that of the Palazzo Pitti ; and, 
having learned that she professed the same hostile 
sentiments towards France which Alfieri had en- 
tertained, and that the persons who frequented 
her salon were wont to express their opinion of 
the Grand- Duchess with considerable freedom, 
she obtained an order from the Minister of Police 
in Paris banishing the lady from the city. This 
high-handed action was warmly resented by 
Florentine society, and, from that moment, all 

' Louisa Maximiliana von Stolberg-Gedem. 



I70 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

hope of Elisa succeeding in disarming its hostility- 
was at an end. 

But the hostility of the upper classes was not 
the only mortification which thq Grand- Duchess 
had to endure. Her haughty and masterful 
nature chafed incessantly beneath the restrictions 
to which the Emperor had subjected her. Napo- 
leon, as we have seen, had bestowed upon his 
sister a new and imposing title, but not a new 
sovereignty, and, although she was responsible for 
the good order of Tuscany, all initiative was 
refused her, and she enjoyed nothing but a kind 
of right of supervision over the officials whom 
his Majesty imposed upon her. She was unable 
to take any step of the smallest importance 
without informing the Emperor or one of his 
Ministers ; she was forbidden to countermand, or 
even to suspend, the execution of any order re- 
ceived from Paris, however strongly she might 
disapprove of it ; and a refusal on her part to 
allow some order sent by Fouchd to be executed 
until it was confirmed by the Emperor brought 
upon her a scathing reprimand. 

"You have the right," wrote Napoleon, "to 
appeal to me against the decisions of my Minis- 
ters, but you have not the right to suspend, in 
any way, their execution. The Ministers speak 
in my name ; no one has the right to hinder or 
suspend thei execution of the orders which they 
transmit. . . . There is no authority in France 
superior to that of a Minister. -._ . . Even when 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 171 

my Minister may happen to be in the wrong, I 
alone am the judge, and you liave no right to 
place any obstacle in his way. Y.ou are a subject, 
like all the French, and you are obliged to obey 
the orders of the Ministers ; for an order of 
arrest, signed by the Minister of Police, would 
be quite sufficient to have you arrested, and not 
only you, but the first Prince of the Blood." 

But, if Elisa were a mere puppet of the Im- 
perial will in Tuscany, she was still sovereign in 
her principalities, and, in revenge apparently for 
the initiative denied her at Florence, her legislative 
energy at Lucca was truly amazing. No chief of 
a progressive party returning to power after long 
years in the "cold shades of opposition" was 
ever possessed of such zeal for reform as was 
her Imperial Highness after a few unprofitable 
months in the Tuscan capital. In a single ses- 
sion, which opened on February 17, 18 10, with 
an oration pronounced by her complaisant hus- 
band, she presented the bewildered Luccans with 
no less than thirty new laws, dealing with every 
conceivable subject under heaven, from the re- 
organisation of the judicature to the cultivation 
of tobacco, and from the regulation of the rate of 
interest to the protection of literary property. By 
this and similar legislative debauches, Elisa flat- 
tered herself that she had transformed Lucca into 
a model state. But it is to be feared that her 
people would have infinitely preferred the com- 
parative liberty which would ha|ve been their lot 



172 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

under the laws of the Empire to a regime under 
which almost every action in their daily lives was 
made the subject of elaborate* and vexatious 
enactments, and they were pladed at the mercy 
of the caprices of a woman, " \yho combined the 
despotism which she copied from her brother 
with the despotism natural to her sex."^ 

Early in March, Elisa, notAyithstanding that 
she was five months enceinte, set out for France, 
in order to be present at the Emperor's marriage. 
Baciocchi was only permitted to escort her so far 
as the first post-house, but the fascinating Cenami 
was, of course, included in her suite, which was 
a very imposing one, and required seven travel- 
ling-carriages to transport it, to say nothing of a 
considerable baggage-train. On the 17th, she 
arrived in Paris and established herself at the 
Petit-Luxembourg, where Laplace, the Chancel- 
lor of the Senate, had offered her hospitality, 
from which however she subsequently removed 
to the Hotel Marbeuf. She did not accompany 
the Emperor to meet his bride at Compiegne, but 
she was at Saint-Cloud when the new Empress 
arrived there on the 30th, and assisted at all the 
ceremonies which followed. Marie Louise does 
not seem to have been very favourably impressed 
by her eldest sister-in-law, whose authoritative 
air and masculine appearance jarred upon her, 
but she was delighted with the little Princesse 
Napoldone, whom she overwhelmed with caresses. 

I M, Frdddric Masson, NapoUon et sa famille, 




ELISA EOXAPARTK. CRAXIi DUCHliSS 
OF TUSCANY, PRINCESS OF LUCCA 
AND PIOMBINO 

AFTER A MINIATURE DRAWN IN 181O 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 173 

" The Grand-Duchess of Tuscany," she wrote to 
the Emperor of Austria, " is very intelligent. 
She is ugly, but she has a daughter three years 
old, who is the most beautiful child I have ever 
seen." 

On July 3, at the H6tel Marbeuf, Elisa gave 
birth to a son, who received the names of Jerome 
Charles, in honour of the King of Westphalia, 
who acted as godfather. Next to Lucien, of 
whom, however, she had seen but little of recent 
years, Elisa seems to have preferred Jerome to 
any of her family, and, although she was far 
from being of a generous dispbsition, she had 
recently lent 50,000 francs to that incorrigible 
spendthrift, who was perpetually in want of 
money. 

The birth of Jerome Charles was announced 
to the Florentines by the discharge of one hun- 
dred and one guns, and the child was declared, in 
conformity with the Constitutions of the princi- 
pality and the grand-duchy. Hereditary Prince of 
Lucca and Piombino, and Hereditary Grand- 
Duke of Tuscany. At Lucca, the auspicious 
event was celebrated by official rejoicings, pre- 
sided over by Prince Fdix. A Te Deum was 
sung, a hundred young girls were provided with 
dowries of two hundred francs apiece, alms were 
distributed among the poor, and a number of 
prisoners set at liberty. 

During her stay in Paris, I^lisa was treated with 
great consideration by the Emperor. "After 



174 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

four years of difficulties and disappointments," 
she writes to him, " I have the consolation of 
seeing that your Majesty does not deem me 
unworthy of his attention. The greatest of mon- 
archs is willincr to interest himself in the des- 
tiny of the humblest of women." Nevertheless, 
although Napoleon made her a present of a 
portrait of himself, set with diamonds, which had 
cost 50,000 francs, and gave to each of her 
ladies-in-waiting Sevres porcelain to the value of 
20,000 francs, he did not, greatly to her dis- 
appointment — for her visit cost her over 800,000 
francs — dispense a single sou in ready money, 
and, what was still more vexatious, pressed her 
for the discharge of the annual indemnity which 
she had agreed to pay at the time of the cession 
of Massa, Carrara, and the Garfagnana. 

At the beginning of September, she returned to 
Tuscany, where she found her hands pretty full. 
A deplorable harvest had raised the price of 
bread so high, that even the coarsest kind was 
quite beyond the reach of the poorer classes, and 
riots were feared at Leghorn and several other 
towns. Elisa, as a preventive measure, ordered 
the arrest of " several priests who were fomenting 
the troubles, and were in possession of arms " ; 
and, at the same time, by regulating the price of 
bread, put an end to the attempt of certain enter- 
prising financiers to accumulate fortunes at the 
expense of their unfortunate neighbours ; and 
thus alleviated to some extent the misery which 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 175 

prevailed. She appears to have anticipated that 
these services would incline the Emperor to 
magnanimity in regard to the unpaid indemnity ; 
but his Majesty proved himself a pitiless creditor, 
and even threatened to annex Carrara and the 
manufactory which was his sister's pride and joy, 
if the debt were not speedily liq;uidated. 

In the course of that autumn, Iilisa took it into 
her head to organise a French 'theatrical troupe, 
with the idea of promoting the knowledge of the 
French language in Tuscany, and "of exciting 
the emulation of the authors of all the States of 
the Empire, by presenting to fhem the master- 
pieces of the French stage." The troupe was to 
perform six months at Florence, and for the rest 
of the year at Leghorn, Pisa, and Sienna. So 
enamoured was she of this project, that, without 
waiting for the Imperial authorisation, she got 
together a company for the winter of 1810-11, 
of which she undertook the supervision herself. 
Among the names, we find that of Mile. Clemen- 
tine Champmesl^, who was, or claimed to be, a 
collateral descendant of the famous tragedienne, 
though, as her salary was only 2,370 francs a 
year, it is to be presumed that she had not 
inherited much of her talent ; a sieur Pomp^e, 
who played '''financiers et des roles annexes" for 
a remuneration of 3,752 francs; a sieur Duprat, 
who, for 3,600 francs, undertook the roles of 
'^ grands raisonneurs, grands confidants, roles a 
rdcits, secondes peres," and a Mile: Lydie Valmont, 



176 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

whose speciality seems to ha^e been that of 
" fncre noble'' but who occasionally condescended 
to utility parts, in consideration of the not very 
munificent salary of 1,120 francs for the season. 

The Grand-Duchess would appear to have 
ruled her company with a firm hand, and to have 
been particularly solicitous concerning the virtue 
of the ladies— certainly, any one who bore the 
name of Champmesle required sqme looking after. 
Not only were public liaisons strictly forbidden 
them, but the police received instructions from 
her Highness to keep a vigilant eye on their 
behaviour, and to intervene immediately if they 
detected them indulging in any clandestine love- 
affairs ; and, to keep them out of mischief, she 
compelled them to pass a considerable part of 
their leisure in studying parts of which there was 
not the slightest probability of their ever being 
called upon to play. Nevertheless, the troupe 
seems to have caused her considerable trouble, 
and eventually she was glad to transfer its direc-. 
tion to one of her chamberlains.^ 

It is not a little singular that the Grand- 
Duchess, who was so solicitous about the honour 
of other women, should have been so indifferent 
to her own ; for her conduct would appear to 
have furnished her subjects with abundant material 
for gossip. People spoke of a handsome page, in 
whom his royal mistress evinped the liveliest 
interest, until she detected him on his knees 

' M. E. Rodocanachi, EUsa Napoleon en Italie. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 177 

before the Contessa di Montecatini, one of the 
most renowned beauties of Florence, when he 
was incontinently dismissed from Court and sent 
to join a marching regiment ;, of a merchant 
named Eynard ; of a nephew of the Marchese 
Lucchesini ; of the inevitable Cenami ; and so 
very freely of the accomplished Baron de Capelle, 
Prefect of Leghorn, that the Emperor thought 
it advisable to transfer him to another sphere of 
usefulness. 

If Elisa had her affairs of the heart, she 
graciously permitted her consort a like indul- 
gence, of which concession he was not slow to 
take advantage. F^lix did not reside at the 
Palazzo Pitti, but at the Palazz;o della Crocetta, 
where the Medici, in days gone by, had been 
wont to lodee disting-uished visitors to Florence. 
Here the Prince kept a little Court of his own, 
at which a good deal more liberty was permis- 
sible than at the Court of the Grand- Duchess ; 
indeed, if we are to believe certain chroniclers of 
the time, there were occasions when this liberty 
threatened to degenerate into licence, and to 
recall the souvenirs of Louis XV and the Parc- 
aux-Cerfs.^ To the public eye, however, the 
august pair presented the edifying spectacle 
of a most virtuous mdnage, since, if Elisa were 
careless of her honour, she was exceedingly 
solicitous for her reputation. At all public 
functions they appeared togetlier, and almost 

' Madame Ida Saint-Elme, hftlmoires. 
11. — 12 



178 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

every evening visited the theatre, where they sat 
in the Imperial box, with the chg,rming Kttle Prin- 
cesse Napoleone between them, and FeHx over- 
whelmed his wife with delicate little attentions. 

In the spring of 181 r, the Grand-Duchess 
suffered a severe blow. Towards the middle of 
April, her infant son, Jdrome Charles, was taken 
ill at Marlia, and died after an illness of a few 
days. Elisa announced the sad event to the 
Emperor in the following letter : 

They have just transported rne here, in a con- 
dition which deprives me at every moment of the 
use of my senses. My son J6r6ipie expired on 
the 17th at Marlia, at five o'clock in the morning, 
from an illness which appeared at first to be 
merely the consequences of teething, but which 
has been recognised as a dropsy of the brain. 
On the child's head being opened, it was found 
to contain ten ounces of water. The Prince of 
Lucca [Baciocchi], who is in a terrible state, was 
to have informed your Majesty an hour after the 
death. I beg your Majesty to pardon me if I did 
not write myself, but I am in such a prostrate 
condition that I could not hold a pen. 

I recommend myself to the powerful protection 
of your Majesty. 

I am, with profound respect, Sire, 

Your Imperial and Royal Majesty's 
most devoted and submissive sister, 

Elisa 

Poggio-a-Cajano, 19 April, i8-ii.^ 

1 Archives Nationales, published by M. Rodocanachi. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 179 

The body of the little prince was taken to 
Lucca, and buried in the Church of San Paolino, 
whither, some three months later, Elisa caused 
the remains of her eldest son, the litde Felix 
Napoleon, who had died, in 179,8, at Marseilles, 
to be transferred. 

The Grand-Duchess, who, with all her faults, 
was an affectionate mother, seems to have felt 
her child's death acutely. Her physicians recom- 
mended her change of air and scene, and she 
solicited the Emperor's permission to come to 
Paris, where she informed him that she "hoped 
to find in the bosom of her family, assembled for 
the baptism of the King of Rome, some con- 
solation for the sorrow which had recently over- 
whelmed her." Napoleon, however, declined to 
authorise her leaving Italy, and advised a course 
of sea-bathing at Leghorn. It is not improbable 
that he was actuated by motives of superstition, 
and feared that the presence at the baptism of 
a person who had just lost hef own son might 
bring ill-fortune upon his heir. 



CHAPTER XXVI 

Enviable position of Pauline — Her luxury a«d extravagance — Her 
treatment of her husband — Pauline and Marie Louise — 
Magnificent fete given by the princess to their Majesties at 
Neuilly — Unfavourable impression which this lavish expendi- 
ture makes upon the Parisians — The fete is repeated for their 
benefit — Pauline accompanies her mother to Aix-la-Chapelle 
and Spa — MM. de Canouville and de Septeuil — Unfortunate 
consequences to the former of loving the princess too much, 
and to the latter of not loving her enough. 

PAULINE, on her return from Aix-Ia- 
Chapelle, in October 1809, found herself 
in a truly enviable position. Thanks to the 
readjustment of her revenues, of vi'hich we have 
spoken in a previous chapter, she was now in 
possession of an immense income, over which her 
husband exercised no control whatever. She 
had one of the finest hotels in Paris and one of 
the most charming country-estates in France. 
Finally, she had not only obtained permission to 
remain permanently in France, but she had, to 
all intents and purposes, got rid of her husband, 
since his official duties at Turin precluded him 
from paying more than occasional visits to 
France. 

For the first time, perhaps, since her second 
marriage, she felt thoroughly satisfied with her- 

180 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES i8i 

self and all the world, and the luxury and 
magnificence she displayed and the way she 
squandered money on every conceivable caprice 
were things to marvel at — or to weep over. 
Madame Mere, we may be sure, shed many a 
tear over her extravagance, which must have 
seemed to her almost criminal. But her lamenta- 
tions were of no avail, for, though Pauline was 
much attached to her mother, the good lady 
had never had the smallest influence over her. 
Besides, she could always reply, that, if the 
Emperor gave generously to his family, he in- 
tended them to dispense generously. To which 
Madame, who hoarded every possible franc of 
her own pension, must have bedn hard put for a 
rejoinder.^ 

And, assuredly, the couturieres and modistes of 
the Rue Saint- Honor^ and the Rue de Richelieu, 
the jewellers of the Quai des Orfevres and the 
Palais-Royal, and all who ministered to the 
vanity and extravagance of woman, to say 
nothing of the horde of humbler tradesmen 
whose carts and vans crowded each day the 
courtyard of the Hdtel Charost, would have been 
well pleased to see, not one, but a score of 
Paulines in their midst. The princess's House- 

1 At times, however, Pauline showed, in the midst of her ex- 
travagance, a glimpse of her mother's parsimonious nature. Thus, 
on one occasion, when a certain man-milliner respectfully begged 
for a settlement of his account, on the plea that he was urgently 
pressed for money, she instructed her Intendant " to take advan- 
tage of his need of money to make him accept some reduction in 
his account." 



i82 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

hold, which numbered, including the staff of her 
stables and those employed at Neuilly, more than 
eighty persons, — for she had brought from Turin 
the greater part of her Piedmontese Household, — 
drew in salaries and wages nearly 160,000 francs, 
while their maintenance cost more than as much 
again. In a single year, Pjiuline expended 
180,000 francs on her toilette ; 250,356 francs on 
jewellery^ — for, though she had the famous Bor- 
ghese diamonds at her disposal, and had received 
some magnificent jewels from her husband and 
the Emperor, she was continually adding to the 
collection — 54,000 francs on the upkeep of her 
stables, exclusive of the purchase of horses and 
carriages ; and 50,000 francs on entertaining.^ 

Borghese arrived in Paris for the Emperor's 
marriage, and met with a very cold reception 
from his consort. The princess's first act was to 
inform him of the Emperor's decision separating 
her revenues from his, and that, in consequence, 
she should expect him to defray the entire ex- 
pense of his visit ; and, to leave him no choice in 
the matter, she declined to receive any of his 
suite into the Hotel Charost, on the plea of 
insufficient accommodation. Though she con- 
descended to permit him to occupy a suite of 
apartments above her own, she sent several times 
to complain that the noise he rnade in moving 

' This was the account of one jeweller alone, Devoix of the 
Quai des Orfevres. The most costly item was "«« collier de trente- 
quatre brillants chatons month d, cage, 135,000 francs." 

2 M. Frdddric Masson, NapaUon ei sa famille. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 183 

about was affecting her nerves, and though she 
lent him a carriage until his own arrived from 
Turin, it was with the worst possible grace. She 
further gave him to understand that, if he wished 
to see her, he must send one of his people to 
inquire when it would be convenient for the 
princess to receive him ; and this happened so 
rarely, that when, one day, at Ms lever, the Em- 
peror inquired after his sister's health, Borghese 
replied that he was really unable to inform his 
Majesty, since, although he resided under the 
same roof, he had not seen her for nearly a 
week. Finally, when he sent his wife a note 
inscribed to "la Princesse Borghese," the lady 
caused him to be informed that she should refuse 
to receive such communications, and that letters 
intended for her must be addressed: "Son Altesse 
Imp(^riale la Princesse Pauliiie, Duchesse de 
Guastalla. " 

Subsequently, in obedience to the Emperor's 
orders, an official reconciliation took place, and 
the ill-mated couple occasionally appeared in 
public together. One day, during this conjugal 
truce, Pauline and her husband were returning 
from Neuilly, when the horses attached to their 
carriage bolted, and were only stopped on the 
very brink of the Seine. This incident greatly 
diverted the Parisians, who remarked that it 
would indeed have been piquant if two persons 
who found it so difficult to live together should 
have chosen to die together. 



i84 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

The untrustworthy compiler of the Mdmoires 
of Fouch6, whose evidence still appears to be 
regarded by a certain class of historians as 
worthy of serious consideration, asserts that 
Pauline was bitterly opposed to the Emperor's 
marriage with Marie Louise and regarded her 
sister-in-law with jealousy and dislike. But, if 
such were the case, it is not a little singular that 
she should have taken so much trouble to make 
her august brother appear at his best when he 
presented himself before his bride, selecting his 
clothes, his cravats, and his shoes, designing for 
him a most gorgeous coat all covered with gold 
embroidery for the marriage ceremony, — which, 
however, the Emperor found so inconvenient that 
he only wore it on one occasion^ — and making 
heroic, if unsuccessful, attempts to teach him how 
to waltz. 

As a matter of fact, Pauline's attitude towards 
the new Empress seems to have 'been one of 
contemptuous tolerance. Josephine, though far 
inferior to Pauline in physical attractions, had 
been her equal, if not her superior, in grace and 
elegance, and this rivalry had undoubtedly inten- 
sified the hatred which the princess had borne 
her sister-in-law. But her successor not only 
possessed no pretensions to beauty — if we except 
the Austrian lip and a healthy complexion — but 
she was entirely destitute of any of those qualities 
in which Josephine had been pre-eminent. How 

^ Mdneval, Mdmoires.' 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 185 

could P3.uline, whose admirers were like the stars 
in heaven for multitude, be jealous of so common- 
place a young woman ? 

As for other motives of dislike, the princess 
had already obtained from the Emperor as much 
— or almost as much — money as she required, 
and, since, unlike her sisters, she had no political 
ends to serve, the influence which the Empress 
might exercise over her husband's mind was a 
matter of indifference to her.^ 

Of the many superb f^tes in honour of the 
Emperor's marriage, one of the most splendid 
was that given by Pauline at Neuilly, which was 
graced by the attendance of both their Majesties, 
and of which Stanislas de Girardin, who was 
present, has left us an interesting description : 

"This fete began at nine o'clock in the 
evening, with a vaudeville, entitled la Danse 
interrompue ; but many of the persons who had 
received invitations were unable^ to assist, because 
the salle was too small. At the conclusion of the 
play, their Majesties entered the gardens, which 
were illuminated by coloured lights, which pro- 
duced a most dazzling effect. Various surprises 
had been ingeniously contrived and tactfully 
arranged. The first which presented itself was 

^ The story related in the Fouchd MSmoires of PauHne making 
vulgar derisive gestures behind Marie Louise's back at Brussels, 
in the spring of 1810, and of her being detected by the Emperor 
and banished for a time from Court, though reproduced by her 
biographers, M. Turquan and M. d'Almeras, appears to be quite 
unfounded. The princess did not accompany their Majesties to 
Brussels in 18 10. 



i86 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

the appearance of groups and statues coming 
to life, quitting their pedestals, forming dances, 
and scattering flowers in their Majesties' path ; 
and conducting them to the Temple of Hymen, 
to a village fete, and to a palace, which was the 
exact imitation of Schonbrunn. Orchestras placed 
at regular intervals regaled the ear with heavenly 
music and delightful airs. This magical prom- 
enade, in which all the wonders of fairyland 
claimed one's attention, lasted half an hour. The 
Emperor, on his return to the apartments, which 
were decorated with extraordinary sumptuous- 
ness, set alight to a ' dragon,' which was the signal 
for a superb display of fireworks, in the midst of 
which Signora Saqui mounted upon a tight-rope 
at a prodigious height. -^ The ball began about 
midnight."^ 

But if these costly manifestations of official joy 
were gratifying to the Emperor's vanity, the 
public, perhaps because it regretted Josephine, 
appears to have regarded them with disapproval, 
"and could not prevent itself from indulging in 
sad and serious reflections, wh«n it considered 

' This female Blondin was then at the height of her reputation, 
and her performance was included in the programme by special 
request of the Emperor. 

2 Journal et Souvenirs. Other writers, speak of " a balloon 
dressed with French and Austrian flags and decorated with 
flowers, which raised into the air, in an allegorical car, ladies 
selected by her Imperial Highness to present flowers to their 
Majesties"; of a "detonating balloon, from which a Venus 
descended into the park by the aid of a parachute " ; and of 
other wonders. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 187 

that the contributions paid in the course of a year 
by several provinces were squandered in a few 
hours." ^ Napoleon, who attached great import- 
ance to public opinion, and who was always 
particularly careful to avoid giving offence to the 
susceptibilities of the Parisians; when informed 
by the police of the unfortunate impression pro- 
duced by the festivities at Neuilly, endeavoured 
to disarm the popular discontent by ordering his 
sister to give a second fete, exclusively for the 
benefit of the Parisian bourgeoisie, among whom 
no less than five thousand tickets were distributed. 
Her Imperial Highness obeyed, but with a very 
bad grace, for she entertained the most sovereign 
contempt for the good citizens of Paris, and, 
although she opened her gardens, she kept her 
salons closed, and moreover omitted to provide 
her unwelcome guests with anything but the 
lightest of refreshments. In consequence, the 
second fete was far from securing the result 
which the Emperor anticipated ; and the worthy 
citizens and their wives went away grumbling 
that " the Court had given them its leavings," 
and said very hard things about Princess Pauline. 
Nevertheless, in spite of the parsimonious manner 
in which the entertainment was carried out, the 
two fetes cost Pauline close upon 100,000 francs. 
A few days later, her Highness set out for 
Aix-la-Chapelle to join her moljier ; the pretext 
being, as usual, her health ; the true motive, to 

1 Stanislas de Girardin, Journal-et Souvenirs. 



i88 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

free herself from Borghese, when notwithstanding 
frequent intimations from his consort that his 
absence was infinitely more endurable than his 
society, continued to hover about her in the 
most exasperating manner. 

At Aix, whither the greater p&rt of her House- 
hold accompanied her, Pauline, whose recupera- 
tive powers seem to have been truly amazing, 
was the leading spirit in all the festivities. 
Nevertheless, she soon grew tired of the place 
and dragged her mother off to Spa, which offered 
her a wider choice of amusements — and admirers. 
It must be confessed, however, that in the midst 
of her frivolities, and of much= that deserves a 
harsher name, she appears to have found leisure 
to be a very attentive daughter, in return for 
which Madame no doubt found it occasionally 
convenient to be a trifle blind. 

Pauline returned to France for the fetes and 
celebrations of the Emperor's birthday, and lost 
no time in surrendering herself to the joys of yet 
another grande passion. Let it not be supposed, 
however, that in the eighteen months which had 
elapsed since the flight of the timid Blangini 
from Turin — he was now, by the way, Kapell- 
meister to brother Jerome at Cassel, and medi- 
tating his F^e Urgele, the work which is perhaps 
his best title to remembrance — Pauline had 
experienced any difficulty in filling the vacant 
place in her affections. There was a certain 
M. Achille du Cormier, who, previous to the 




PAULIXK EOXAPARTE, PRIXCESS BORGHESE 

FR^M THE FAINTING BY MADAME LEBRUN AT VERSAILLES 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 189 

departure of her Imperial Highness for Aix-la- 
Chapelle, enjoyed the distinctian of having his 
name pretty frequently coupled with hers, and, 
If rumour does not lie, he was not the only wor- 
shipper to whose vows the lady consented to 
lend a benevolent ear. 

But M. du Cormier and his coadjutors speedily 
found themselves relegated to oblivion, when 
Armand Jules Elisabeth de Canouville, major in 
the 1 6th Dragoons and aide-de-camp to Berthier, 
Prince de Neufchatel, appeared upon the scene. 
Never was there a more dashing warrior, or one 
more calculated to captivate a great lady's heart. 
For Armand Jules Elisabeth was no plebeian 
swashbuckler ; he was a man of good family, of 
education, of refinement, as much at home in 
a ball-room as on the battlefield, in the boudoir 
as in the bivouac, an accomplished dancer, a 
maker of verses, a consummate dandy, one of 
the most distinguished of that band of aristocrats 
who perpetuated, in the midst gf the democratic 
army of the Revolution, the gay and chivalrous 
traditions of the perfumed and bewigged warriors 
who fought under the Great Condd, Vendome, 
and Maurice de Saxe, when the trenches were 
opened to the sound of violins^ and the enemy 
was invited, with a courteous salute, to fire the 
first shots. 

Many anecdotes are related of his liaison with 
Pauline, for, as the lady was never at much pains 
to conceal her preferences, while discretion was 



igo THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

not one of M. de Canouville's virtues, their rela- 
tions were soon public property. Perhaps the 
most amusing is that of the gallant dragoon 
submitting to the extraction of a perfectly sound 
tooth at the hands of the dentist Bousquet, in 
order to give his inamorata courage to support a 
similar operation, and of Bousquet, who inferred, 
from the familiar and affectionate terms on which 
he appeared to be with the princess, that he must 
certainly be her husband, subsequently expressing 
his opinion that the stories current about the 
Prince and Princess Borghese were entirely false, 
since he had just witnessed his Highness give a 
most touching proof of conjugal devotion. 

However, after the affair had been in progress 
some three months, it came to the Emperor's ears. 
That it had not reached them earlier was no doubt 
due to the excellent understanding which always 
seems to have existed between his Majesty's 
sisters and the chiefs of the police, who were 
supposed to keep a watchful eye on the behaviour 
of the different members of the Imperial Family 
and to render a faithful account thereof to their 
master. The story goes that Napoleon, having 
given his favourite sister one of three magnifi- 
cent sable-pelisses with which the Czar had pre- 
sented him at the Erfurt Conference, two years 
before, the princess, in her turn, bestowed it 
upon her admirer, adding thereto some diamond 
buttons, likewise the gift of his Majesty. Canou- 
ville wore this sumptuous gage d'amour at a 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 191 

review at Fontainebleau, where* the Court then 
was ; but, as ill luck would have it, the horse 
which he was riding became regtive, and backed 
against the quarters of the Einperor's charger, 
Napoleon, turning angrily in his saddle to see 
who was the offender, recognised the pelisse 
and the buttons, drew his own conclusions as to 
how M. de Canouville had cotne by them, and 
promptly instructed Berthier to despatch his 
fascinating aide-de-camp on a mission to the 
Army of Portugal. 

Since there is no official record of Napoleon 
having held any review during the residence of 
the Court at Fontainebleau in the autumn of 
1 8 10, it is doubtful if there is any truth in this 
anecdote. But what is certain, is that, on 
November 7, Pauline suddenly quitted Fontaine- 
bleau and returned to Paris, although the Hotel 
Charost was in the hands of painters and deco- 
rators, and no preparations had been made for 
her reception ; that, two days later, the Emperor 
wrote to Berthier, instructing him to send one of 
his aides-de-camp to Spain, "with orders not to 
return without news of the Army of Portugal," 
and that the officer selected for this service was 
Canouville. 

Pauline was in despair at her lover's departure, 
but derived some consolation from the gallant 
officer's promise to return to her .side without an 
hour's unnecessary delay. That same night, he 
left Paris with despatches for Mass^na, and rode 



192 THE WOMEN BONApARTES 

ventre-a-terre all the way to Salamanca, where he 
presented himself at Junot's quarters covered 
with mud from head to heel and with a several 
days' growth of beard, and related to the 
Duchesse d'Abrantes and to General Thiebault, 
who was with her, the story of his adventurous 
journey and the romance which it had so cruelly 
interrupted.^ 

Having ascertained that there was no possi- 
bility at present of communicating with the 
Army of Portugal, and that no one could say 
how long he might have to wait to deliver his 
despatches into Massena's hands, he decided to 
entrust them to Junot and, after a night at Sala- 
manca, started on his return to Paris, and traversed 
the six or seven hundred miles which lay be- 
tween him and the object of his devotion with 
even greater precipitation than he had accom- 
plished the first part of the journey. But what 
was his despair on reporting himself to Berthier, 
to receive a severe reprimand for having returned 
without executing the mission with which he had 
been charged, and a peremptory order to start 
again for Salamanca without an hour's delay, and 
remain there until communications with the Army 
of Portugal had been re-establis*hed ! 

Sadly did the hapless gallant wend his weary 
way back to Salamanca, where he was presendy 
joined by a companion in misfortune, one Achille 
Torteuil de Septeuil by name, who was also an 

' Duchesse d'Abrantfes, Mhnoires; General Thidbault, M^moires. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 193 

aide-de-camp of the Prince de Neufchatel.^ And 
observe the irony of Fate! M. de Canouville 
had been exiled, because he loved Pauline too 
much ; M. de Septeuil, because he did not love 
her enough. 

Weary of w^aiting for the return of her adorer, 
the fickle princess had cast a benevolent eye 
upon M. Septeuil — a handsome lad of twenty- 
three — and given him to understand that if he 
cared to console her for his comrade's absence, 
she would graciously permit him to do so. 
But, mirabile dictu ! M. de Septeuil declined 
the honour which her Imperial Highness pro- 
posed to confer upon him ; the reason being 
that his affections were already engaged. He 
loved with all the ardour of his twenty-three 
years the beautiful Madame de Barral, Pauline's 
lady-in-waiting. Madame de Barral had up to 
that moment been one of the princess's most 
cherished friends ; indeed, her PJighness had only 
recently given the lady a proof of her attachment 
by disembarrassing her of an elderly and jealous 
husband, whom she persuaded Jerome to appoint 
one of his chamberlains at Cassel. But a woman 
scorned, the poet tells us, is pitiless as Fate, and 
the thought that her lady-in-waiting should pre- 
sume to dispute with her the devotion of any 
one was an offence which nothing could condone. 

1 " Le seul ^tat-major du Prince Berthier pouvait \ lui seul k 
passer pour harem capable de servir aux caprices de dix sultanes." 
— Thidbault, Mhnoires. 
II. — 13 



194 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

Accordingly, she informed the femperor that M. 
de Septeuil's attentions to Madame de Barral were 
causing a serious scandal, which it was impossible 
for her' to tolerate any longer, and begged him to 
interfere. 

Now, his Majesty, as his sister was doubtless 
aware, had a grievance of his own against 
Madame de Barral, who, some time before, had 
rejected the Imperial advances, and this was not 
calculated to dispose him to view the matter 
from an altogether impartial standpoint. The 
consequence was that Madame de Barral not only 
lost her place in the princess's Household, but 
was exiled to her husband's cduntry-seat, while 
Septeuil was sent to Salamanca, with orders to 
join Massena so soon as the whereabouts of that 
elusive general should be located. At Fuentes 
d'Onoro, charging valiantly upon one of the 
British squares, he received a bullet in the leg, 
which necessitated its amputation on the battle- 
field, and his retirement from the service.^ Not- 
withstanding this disfigurement, however, he re- 
tained the affections of Madame de Barral, for 
when, soon afterwards, that lady succeeded in 
obtaining a divorce from her elderly husband, she 
promptly married her youthful lover. 

As for Canouville, we shall have occasion to 
speak of him again. 

' Marbot, Mdmoires.' 



CHAPTER XXVII 

Arrival of Murat at Naples — His reception — He is joined by 
Caroline — Difficulties with which he has to contend — Auspicious 
commencement of his reign — Differences with the Emperor — 
Murat and Caroline compromised in the conspiracy of Fouch^ 
and Talleyrand — Cause of Napoleon's forbearance — Tem- 
porary reconciliation between Murat and the Emperor — Caro- 
line, disappointed in her hope of being admitted to a share in 
the government, endeavours to obtain influence by indirect 
means — Her liaisons with Paul de la Vauguyon and Daure — 
Salicetti and Maghella — Semi-disgrace ofiCaroline — Opposition 
of Murat to the Austrian marriage — Caroline and Marie Louise 
— The train of the Empress's mantle once more the subject of 
dissension — Madame counsels her daughters and daughters- 
in-law to obey the Emperor — Caroline betrays Madame Junot's 
liaison with Metternich to Junot — Quarrel between the Emperor 
and Murat — Return of the latter to Naples — Failure of the 
expedition against Sicily. 

AS the reign of Murat was riot to begin offici- 
^ ally until August i, 1808, and his health 
was still far from re-established, he was in 
no hurry to leave France. From Bareges he went 
to Cauterets for a new cure ; then, to spend a few 
days with Lannes, at the Chateau de Bouilles, 
near Lectoure, and, early in August, joined his 
wife in Paris. Towards the middle of the month, 
however, he received orders from the Emperor 
to proceed to Naples without fiirther delay; and, 
on the 22nd, he quitted Paris, leaving Caroline 
behind to wind up their private affairs. As a mark 

195 



196 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

of the confidence he reposed in his subjects, he 
had sent his children on in advance, and this had 
a very good effect upon the NeapoHtans. 

After a short stay at Milan, as the guest of 
the Viceroy of Italy, Eugene de Beauharnais, 
and another at Rome, where he was received by 
General Miollis and all the French garrison 
under arms, Murat entered his capital on 
September 6, accompanied only by his aide-de- 
camp, Paul de la Vauguyon. He was on horse- 
back, and wore his general's uniform, without 
any of the insignia of royalty. Under a trium- 
phal arch which had been erect.ed on the Piazza 
di Foria, he received the homage of his subjects, 
after which, escorted by an immense crowd, he 
proceeded to the Church of the Spirito Santo to 
assist at a Te Deum. 

Murat, with his handsome, good-humoured 
face, his fine presence, his martial bearing, and 
his affable manners, created a most favourable 
impression ; the Neapolitans, ready to be en- 
thusiastic over every novelty, like true children 
of the South, vowed that he looked every inch 
a king — which, indeed, he did — and acclaimed 
him rapturously whenever he appeared in public ; 
and when, on September 25, Caroline arrived, 
all smiles and condescension, the popular en- 
thusiasm knew no bounds. Never had one 
seen a handsomer royal couple ; never had royal 
couple aroused such demonstrations of loyalty or 
acquired so speedy a popularity j 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 197 

The Palazzo Reale, in which the new sovereigns 
toolv up their residence, was delightfully situated, 
on the east side of what is now the Piazza del 
Plebiscito, close to the sea. From the windows 
of her bedchamber the Queen could enjoy what is 
perhaps the most magnificent panorama in the 
whole world. In the furnishing of this room, Caro- 
line had displayed great magnificence, combined 
with excellent taste. It was hung and upholstered 
entirely in white satin, which harmonised with 
the dazzling complexion of its mistress, while 
the bed-curtains were of richly worked tulle 
lined with pink satin. Caroline spent a great 
deal of her time in her bed-chamber, where she 
received, before rising for the day, as she had 
been in the habit of doing at the Elys^e, all 
persons whom she admitted to the honour of her 
friendship.-' Reclining on the broad pillows of 
her sumptuous couch, in a camisole of English 
lace, with a coquettish little lace-cap on her head, 
she made a charming picture — knd she was well 
aware of it. 

The flattering reception which Murat had met 
with on his arrival at Naples scarcely consoled 
him for the very unsatisfactory condition in which 
he found his kingdom. Joseph had invited to 
follow him to Spain the generals and superior 
officers of the Army and a great part of the 
Royal Guard. He had likewise engaged the 

' Madame Lenormant, Souvenirs et Correspondance de Madame 
R^camier, 



igS THE WOMEN BONABARTES 

services of most of the Ministers and Govern- 
ment officials, whom it would be far from easy 
to replace ; the Crown Treasury was empty ; the 
State Treasury very nearly so ;' commerce was 
being ruined by the struggle with England and 
the Continental Blockade ; while, under the late 
Kino-'s feeble rule, brio-anda^e had become a most 
flourishing industry. In short, Murat found him- 
self beset by difficulties on every side. 

Nevertheless, the new reign opened far more 
auspiciously than could possibly have been 
anticipated. Murat summoned to Naples his 
friend and confidant Agar, who had acted as 
administrator of the Duchies of Berg and Cleves, 
and entrusted him with the control of both the 
public and the royal revenues, with the result that 
they were soon placed on a much more satis- 
factory footing ; while an old comrade of the 
Egyptian expedition, the commissary Daure, 
was charged with the portfolios of War and the 
Marine, and succeeded in infusing some vigour 
into both services. The Isle of Capri, which had 
been held by the English since its capture by 
Sir Sidney Smith in the sumrfter of 1806, was 
attacked and retaken, after a gallant defence by 
Colonel (afterwards Sir Hudson) Lowe and his 
" Corsican Rangers " (October 1808). Energetic 
measures were undertaken against the brigands of 
Calabria and the Abruzzi, who were eventually 
almost exterminated. Feudal laws were abolished 
and the land system assimilated to that of the 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 199 

other satellite States of the Empire ; important 
reforms were introduced into the judicature ; 
schools and colleges founded ; agriculture and 
manufactures protected, and several important 
public works begun. In short, Murat, greedy of 
popularity, and also sincerely desirous of being a 
good king, showed from the first that he was 
anxious to gain the affection of his subjects, and 
intended to govern his realm in accordance with 
their interests. 

But Napoleon did not wish Naples governed 
in the interests of the Neapolitans ; he wished it 
to be governed in the interests of France. In 
giving kingdoms to the members of his family, he 
had intended to regard them merely as prefects, 
with a more sonorous title and a more extensive 
administration ; to allow them to become national 
kings would be, in his opinion, to strike at the 
very roots of the Imperial system. He therefore 
strongly disapproved of the course his brother- 
in-law was pursuing, and the reprimands which he 
continually addressed to him deeply mortified the 
new King, He blamed Murat severely for having 
pardoned and recalled certain partisans of the 
Bourbons and restored to them their property ; 
he accused him of " emasculating the Code 
Napoleon," of flattering the clergy, of distribut- 
ing decorations too freely, of having "fait des 
singeries pour Saint-Janvier [the national saint]. "^ 

1 After the taking of Capri, Murat, " wishing to give a proof of 
his special protection to the protector of his capital," endowed the 



200 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

" I am grieved to see how little you are aware of 
what you owe to me," he writes.- "... You are 
sacrificing yourself to a false popularity. . . . You 
must surely be out of your senses " ; and so forth. 

Nor did he confine himself to reprimands and 
reproaches. He refused to allow any reduction 
of the Neapolitan debt ; he demanded the im- 
mediate payment of the sums due for the main- 
tenance of the French troops, even those which 
dated back to the early months of Joseph's reign; 
he threatened to confiscate to His own profit the 
sequestrated estates of King Ferdinand's partisans, 
if any were restored to their former owners, and 
he forbade any Frenchman to enter Murat's 
service without his express permission. " I am no 
longer anything in your eyes but a man who is 
barely tolerated," wrote Murat, "and whom 
people have known how to reilder suspect." 

M. Masson attributes the Emperor's harsh 
treatment of his brother-in-law to certain in- 
trigues which he had discovered that Murat and 
Caroline were carrying on with Talleyrand and 
Fouch^, and which, in the opinion of many 
historians, were the real motive of Napoleon's 
hurried return from Spain in January 1809. 

The knowledge that the Emperor would be in- 
curring grave personal risks in a country where 

chapel which contained the shrine of St. Gennaro with an annual 
sum of 2,600 ducats, decorated its clergy with gold medals, on 
which were engraven the effigy of the saint, and repaired thither 
in state, and, with his own hands, deposited a golden sun enriched 
with precious stones upon the altar. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 201 

exasperated patriots lurked behind every rock 
and thicket, and that he might very well lose 
there his life and his crown, had brought about a 
rapprochement between the Grand Chamberlain 
and the Minister of Police, so long at enmity, 
with the idea of making themselves masters of 
the succession to the Imperial throne. The 
candidate of their choice was Murat, whom they 
knew would be acceptable to Paris, the Army, the 
people, and the Senate, and whom they hoped to 
govern as they pleased. Murat and Caroline, 
informed of these hopes and -projects, did not 
disavow them, and, if we are to believe Pagquier, 
Fouch6 had actually arranged for relays of horses 
to be in readiness on the road between Naples 
and Paris, in order that, in the event of the 
Emperor's death, Murat might be brought on 
the scene with the least possible delay. Accord- 
ing to the same chronicler, a letter from one of 
the conspirators to the King of Naples was 
intercepted by Eugene de Beauharnais, warned 
by Napoleon's old aide-de-camp Lavalette, who 
was then at the head of the Post Office, and this 
letter, sent to the Emperor in Spain, brought him 
hastening back to Paris as fast as horses could 
travel.^ 

On the other hand, Murat's latest biographers, 

MM. Chavanon and Saint- Yves, point out that 

the most severe of the letters addressed by the 

Emperor to his brother-in-law are anterior to the 

1 Pasquier, MSmoires. See also M. Madelin's FoucM^ Vol. II. 



202 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

rapprochement between Fouch^ and Talleyrand, 
which dates only from the beginning of December 
1808: "Although it cannot be doubted that Murat 
lent a complaisant ear to the propositions of the 
two Ministers, Napoleon had not waited for this 
intrigue to wound the vanity of his brother-in- 
law. He could have done nothins; more calcu- 
lated to alienate and even to predispose to treason 
a man so full of pride." ^ 

That the Emperor took no steps to visit his 
displeasure upon Murat, and appeared disposed 
to accept the assurances "of his absolute de- 
votion and of his entire submi'ssion," which the 
latter, on learning of "the suspicions which had 
arisen against him in the heart of his Im- 
perial Majesty," hastened to send him, was due 
to two reasons. In the first place, he could not 
punish him without punishing Caroline, and, 
though she was probably as much compromised 
as her husband, his affection for her made him 
reluctant to treat her with severity. In the 
second, the approaching war with Austria left 
him little leisure to engage in quarrels with mem- 
bers of his family, and, moreover, he needed 
Murat's assistance in the solution of the Roman 
Question, which the continued refusal of Pius VII 
to commit himself to the Continental System and 
involve himself in war with England had brought 
to an acute stage. 

The tension of the last few months in the re- 

' MM, Chavanon and Saint- Y ves, /o^TiT^z;;? Murat, 



THE WOMEN BONAP.ARTES 203 

lations between the two brotherS-in-law was now 
followed by a temporary reconciliation, and when, 
on May 17, 1809, Napoleon issued, from the 
Palace of Schonbrunn, the decree uniting the 
States of the Church — or rather that part of them 
which he had spared the previous year — to the 
French Empire, the French troops which occu- 
pied Papal territory were attached to the Army 
of Naples and placed under the command of 
Murat. 

The constant interference of the Emperor was 
not the only obstacle which Murat had to en- 
counter in the government of his kingdom. Caro- 
line had come to Naples in the persuasion that 
she would be " officially admitted to the Govern- 
ment, like Caroline of Austria." In the decree 
of investiture, it had been stated that it was to 
her that her husband owed his crown, and the 
accession had been assured to her. Moreover, 
in the very probable event of Napoleon requiring 
the King's services in the field, she would un- 
doubtedly be appointed Regent, for the Emperor, 
in offering his brother-in-law a throne, had not 
failed to indicate that such was his desire. "With 
a wife like yours," he had written, "you can 
absent yourself, if war calls you back to my side. 
She is very capable of being at the head of 
a regency."^ The Queen therefore confidently 
counted on being consulted by her husband in 
all affairs of importance, and oil being admitted 

1 See page 138, supra,. 



204 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

to the Council of State, and her indignation may 
be imagined when she found that his Majesty- 
did not share her views. Intensely vain by 
nature, Murat's amazing good-fortune, which had 
brought him, in the course of a dozen years, from 
the head of a regiment to the head of a kingdom, 
had completely turned his head, and if he had 
hitherto permitted himself to be guided by his 
wife, and, indeed, been only too ready to seek her 
counsel, he now refused to do so any longer. In- 
deed, the mere suspicion that people could believe 
him to be under her influence irritated him to the 
last desfree. She had not been associated with 
him in the government of Berg and Clcves, why, 
he asked, should she participate in the govern- 
ment of Naples ? The very suggestion was an 
insult ; it was to invite Europe to regard him as 
a second Baciocchi ! 

He would have done better to humour his am- 
bitious consort. The Queen was bitterly morti- 
fied, and her chagrin was increased when she 
compared her position in Naples with that of 
Elisa at Florence. " ' Scenes ' between the royal 
couple were of frequent occurrence, and, though, 
as Murat still cherished for Caroline much of his 
old affection, while her Majesty, on her side, per- 
ceived that she had nothing to gain by an open 
rupture, they ended in reconciliations, the atmo- 
sphere of the palace was decidedly stormy." 

However, Caroline Bonaparte was a young 
woman of infinite resource, and, finding that she 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 205 

was not to be allowed to exercise any political 
influence directly, she resolved to exercise it by 
indirect means. We have seen that in Paris she 
had succeeded in establishing intimate relations 
with several prominent men. Her connections 
with Foucht^, Talleyrand, and Maret, had, of 
course, been purely political, based upon the 
desire for reciprocal favours ; but in those with 
Junot and Metternich, though ambition had been 
Caroline's chief consideration, the soldier and the 
diplomatist had been influenced by more tender 
sentiments, which had enabled her to attach 
them to her interests far more closely than either 
of the Ministers. 

Having thus learned, by personal experience, 
that love may become a very potent factor in 
the game of politics, her Majesty began to cast 
about her for some one upon whom it might be 
worth her while to exercise her fascinations, and 
selected as her first victim M. de la Vauguyon, 
her husband's favourite aide-de-camp. M. de la 
Vauguyon was a grandson of that meddlesome 
old gentleman who had been gouverneur to 
Louis XVI when Dauphin, and used to listen 
at keyholes to conversations between him and 
Marie Antoinette. After serving in Spain, in 
a corps of ^migrds organised by the Marquis de 
Saint-Simon, he had, soon after the establish- 
ment of the Empire, made his peace with the 
Government, returned to France, and taken 
service in the Army. Here he attracted the 



2o6 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

notice of Murat, who appointed him his aide- 
de-camp and conceived for him a warm affec- 
tion. He was, at this time, about thirty years 
of age, handsome, tall, and weH made, with the 
grand manner of the old Court. But it was not 
on account of these advantages that Caroline 
singled him out, but because he enjoyed the full 
confidence of the King and, being vain and 
empty-headed, promised to become an easy prey. 
Nor did her hopes fail to materialise, and when- 
ever M. de la Vauguyon availed himself of her 
Majesty's gracious invitation to view the effects 
of moonlight on the Bay of Naples from the 
windows of her apartments — which he seems to 
have done pretty frequently — ^Qaroline generally 
contrived to worm out of him the substance of 
his conversations with Murat during the day. 

Encouraged by this success, Caroline turned 
her guns on the Minister Daure, and speedily 
compelled him to capitulate also. The ex-com- 
missary was a far less engaging personage than 
the aide-de-camp : " ugly, short, thick-set, ple- 
beian, with detestable manners,, which indicated 
low companions, particularly among women." 
But then, he was an important fnan, holding two 
portfolios, — War and the Marine, — and that 
atoned for everything. 

Her Majesty was less successful in an attempt 
to attach to her interests that veteran intriguer, 
the Corsican Salicetti, whom Joseph Bonaparte 
had appointed Minister of Polide at Naples, and 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 207 

who had been confirmed in his office by the new 
King. SaHcetti, having known' 'his fair country- 
woman since she was a child, and being, besides, 
a gentleman of quite exceptional astuteness, was 
disinclined to commit himself very far, and a 
mission which the Emperor cohfided to him at 
Rome removed him beyond the reach of temp- 
tation. 

It was, of course, Salicetti's dilty to warn Murat 
of the manoeuvres of his consort ; but his old 
friendship with the Bonapartes, and the reflection 
that his own conduct might perhaps be liable to 
misinterpretation, sealed his lips. However, there 
was by his side a Genoese named Maghella, who 
had played an important part in the revolutions 
of Liguria, and had been Minister of Police in 
that republic before its incorporation with the 
kingdom of Italy. On Murat's accession, ap- 
parently on Salicetti's suggestion, he had been 
invited to Naples, where he became Prefect of 
Police and very soon the rival of his chief and 
former patron. This Maghella, who was a little 
later to exercise a great and very unfortunate 
influence over the King, anxious to ingratiate 
himself with his master, kept a watchful eye on 
Caroline's actions, and, early in May 1809, in- 
formed Murat that she was in the habit of hold- 
ing secret conferences with the Ministers. 

His Majesty's indignation was intense, and 
Caroline found herself in a kind of semi-dis- 
grace, which is described by the French Am- 



2o8 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

bassador, Durand, in a despatch to the Minister 
for Foreign Affairs in Paris : 

" We are unable to pay our court to her [the 
Queen], except for a moment on Mondays only. 
The King- has exacted this, and he intends to 
isolate the Queen more every day. Such is the 
restraint to which she is subjected that she 
cannot even invite a woman to breakfast. It 
appears that the mania of the King is an over- 
whelming dread of appearing to be led by any 
one, but particularly by the Queen. He often 
repeats this phrase, that he is led by no one. 
He applies it to other persons besides the Queen. 
The Queen cannot recommend any matter or any 
individual to the Ministers; the -request is always 
refused. This distrust and misunderstanding in 
political matters is so much the more extraordi- 
nary, since one cannot fail to perceive that, as 
husband and wife, the King and Queen are on 
very good terms, that is to say, the King has no 
mistress, and has not, up to the present, aban- 
doned himself to any fixed attachment." 

And the Ambassador adds : 

"It is by order of the Queen that I have written 
your Excellency on a matter so delicate, and my 
despatch has not been transcribed until after 
having been read by the Queen. "^ 

This despatch was, of course, placed under the 
Emperor's eyes ; but, If Caroline had anticipated 
that her brother would intervent:; on her behalf, 
she was doomed to disappointment. Napoleon 

' Published by M. Frdddric Masson, NcipoUon et safamille. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 209 

had too much need of Murat's services at that 
moment to estrange him by espousing his wife's 
cause ; and, if the Ambassador hkd written under 
the dictation of the Queen, some other agent may- 
have sent him a different account of the affair. 
He therefore made no sign, and, after a while, 
the restrictions which had been imposed on Caro- 
hne were withdrawn, and a better understanding 
seemed to be established between husband and 
wife. Nevertheless, the Queeri's intrigues, and 
the King's vigorous assertion of his intention to 
refuse her any political influence, had sown the 
seed of much future trouble, and brought into 
existence at the Neapolitan Court two parties : 
an Italian party, which urged Murat to govern 
as a national king, for the Neapolitans and with 
the Neapolitans — a course which, however much 
it may have accorded with reason and right, 
was certain to bring him into collision with his 
imperious suzerain — and a French party, which 
encouraged the Queen to aim at a share in 
the government and continually misrepresented 
Murat's actions to the Emperor,, 

The reconciliation between the King and 
Napoleon, indeed, was not of long duration. The 
Austrian marriage was very far from commend- 
ing itself to the Bonapartes, Who, in default of 
placing the crown matrimonial on the fourteen- 
year-old head of Lolotte, wouM have infinitely 
preferred to see a Saxon, or even a Russian 
princess, by the Emperor's side, rather than a 
n. — 14 



2IO THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

niece of Marie Antoinette, who> could not fail to 
find among the members of the old nobility- 
numbers of partisans and counsellors ; who would 
naturally favour the servants of her ill-fated aunt, 
and might even establish at the Court a system 
of etiquette which would abolish the privileges of 
the Imperial Family. 

But to none of them was the match so ob- 
noxious as to Caroline and Murat, who saw in it 
a formidable, and perhaps an insurmountable, 
obstacle to their ambition of wresting Sicily from 
the Bourbons and reuniting it to the Kingdom of 
Naples. For the Archduchess Marie Louise 
was a daughter of a princess of the Two Sicilies, 
and it was her grandmother, Marie Caroline 
of Austria, whom the Murats aspired to dethrone. 
If this young girl were to secure, as might very 
well happen, any appreciable influence over the 
Emperor's mind, Marie Caroline would find in 
her a more redoubtable ally than even the British 
cruisers, and they might bid farewell for ever to 
their dreams of conquest. 

At the council of Grand Dignitaries and Minis- 
ters convened, on January 28, 18 10, at the 
Tuileries, to deliberate on the momentous ques- 
tion of the re-marriage of the Emperor, Murat 
strongly opposed an alliance which would "re- 
awaken the memories of the Austrian woman 
[Marie Antoinette] always odious to the nation," 
and would estrange from his Majesty the parti- 
sans of the Revolution, without securing him the 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 211 

support of the Royalists. From Austria, he 
maintained, France had nothing to fear. Had 
they not recently humbled her to the dust ? 
Russia was the only power which could balance 
the fortune of the Emperor ; an* alliance with the 
Czar was in every way to be preferred. 

Murat seemed to the council to be voicing the 
sentiments of the Bonapartes and a considerable 
part of the nation, but, in point of fact, he was 
merely his own and his wife's advocate ; and this 
the Emperor perfectly understood. As Napoleon 
had convened the council merely to prepare 
opinion for the step upon which he had already 
decided, he was exceedingly irritated to see his 
brother-in-law cloaking his own ambitious de- 
signs under specious arguments which could not 
fail to make a strong appeal to many of those 
present, and advocating his union with a Russian 
princess, whose hand the Emperor knew it was 
the intention of Alexander to refuse him. How- 
ever, he decided to reassure Murat, or rather 
Caroline, on the subject of Sicily, and it was the 
latter whom he entrusted with the important 
mission of receiving the future Empress at 
Braunau, the frontier town of I'Vustria, and con- 
ducting her to Compiegne. 

Caroline was highly gratified by so signal a 
mark of her brother's confidence and esteem, 
more particularly, since the long journey across 
Europe tete-a-tete with her sister-in-law would 
enable her to insinuate herself into the girl's 



212 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

confidence and friendship, and impart to her 
impressions of the Emperor and the principal 
personages of the Imperial Court, which, how- 
ever false they might be, would not be readily- 
effaced. However, the chief and most permanent 
impression which she succeeded in giving Marie 
Louise was that the Queen of Naples was a 
singularly odious young woman, of the correct- 
ness of which there can be very little question. 

On arriving at Braunau, the young arch- 
duchess had sent her Austrian Household back to 
Vienna, with the single exception of her Grand- 
Mistress, Madame Lajenska. This lady had 
superintended her education and had never been 
separated from her, and it had been expressly 
stipulated that she was to remain with her former 
pupil, to whom she was tenderly attached. 

Unhappily, a dispute arose between the Grand- 
Mistress and the newly-appointed French ladies- 
in-waiting, who had come from Paris to replace 
the Austrians ; and the latter naturally appealed 
to the Queen of Naples. The dispute seems to 
have been of a very trivial nature ; but Caroline, 
who feared that she might find in Madame 
Lajenska an obstacle to the influence which she 
.desired to exercise over the young Empress's 
mind, immediately sent off a courier to Napoleon, 
giving him a highly-coloured version of the 
affair, and formally demanding- the dismissal of 
the Grand-Mistress. The Emperor consented, 
and, on arriving at Munich, his orders were com- 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 213 

municated to the tearful Marie Louise, who, of 
course, had no choice but to intimate to her 
faithful servant that she must return to Vienna. 

"What was the worst feature in the conduct 
of the Queen of Naples," writes one of Marie 
Louise's ladies-in-waiting, " is tliat, after having 
exacted from the Empress her consent to the 
departure of Madame Lajenska, she gave in- 
structions to the ladies-in-waiting to prevent this 
lady from entering the Empress's apartments, 
if she presented herself to take farewell of her. 
This order was not executed, for the ladies in 
question, wounded by such harshness, caused the 
Grand-Mistress to be admitted by a secret door. 
She passed two hours with her pupil, and, not- 
withstanding the reproaches which this action 
brought upon them, they never repented of it."^ 

Nor was this episode the only cause of com- 
plaint which Caroline gave her sister-in-law. She 
imposed her will upon her in every way : for 
meals, for retiring to rest, for rising in the morn- 
ing, for the length of the day's journey, for the 
fetes which were given in her honour, without 
the slightest regard for the fatigue which con- 
tinuous travelling and public receptions entailed, 
or for a young girl's natural grief at leaving her 
home and all who were dear to her for a foreign 
land. She gave her much unsolicited advice as 
to her future conduct, both as Empress and 
wife ; she counselled her as to the toilettes she 
1 Madame de Durand, Mimoires. 



214 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

should wear, the couttirieres and jewellers she 
should patronise or avoid, and, finally, on her 
arrival at Compiegne, in defiance both of the 
rules of etiquette and of decorum, tormented 
her into according the Emperor the privilege 
which, in like circumstances, Marie de' Medici 
had accorded Henry IV. In short, Caroline, 
whose manner, pleasing to the Emperor and to 
a certain class of men, rendered her odious to 
the more refined of her own s^x, succeeded in 
offending at once "the modesty of the young 
girl, the pride of the archduchess, and the dignity 
of the Empress," and, from that moment, Marie 
Louise conceived for her youngest sister-in-law 
a profound aversion, which she was never able to 
overcome. 

It will be remembered that at Napoleon's coro- 
nation, in 1804, the Imperial Princesses had pro- 
tested strenuously against the duty imposed upon 
them by the Emperor of supportiftg the train of the 
Empress's mantle. It might have been supposed 
that when a like service was required of them, 
on the occasion of the relig^ious marriage, in the 
Salon Carr6 at the Louvre, on April 2, 1810,^ no 
objection would have been raised, since the new 
Empress was a princess of one of the oldest 
Royal Houses in Europe, and, moreover, they 
had no personal feeling against her, as they had 
had against her predecessor. Nevertheless, they 

1 The civil ceremony had taken place the previous day at Saint- 
Cloud. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 215 

were unanimous in indignant protest against the 
Imperial command, pointing out that the humilia- 
tion to which his Majesty proposed to subject 
them was even greater than in 1804, for whereas, 
at that time, they were merely princesses by 
courtesy, they were now queens or reigning prin- 
cesses. And, besides, was not a Bonaparte, or 
the wife of a Bonaparte, the equal of any 
Hapsburg ? 

Caroline, determined that ho consideration 
should induce her to compromise the dignity of 
her crown by fulfilling a "servile function," repre- 
sented to the Emperor that, since on the arrival 
of the Empress at Braunau, she had fulfilled the 
duties of an ambassadress, and was at pre- 
sent discharging those of Superintendent of her 
Majesty's Household, she ought to "accompany 
her" at the marriage-ceremony, and not attend 
upon her, and cited the case of the Duchesse 
d'Orldans at the marriage of Marie Leczinska to 
Louis XV in support of her contention.^ 

The Emperor yielded, but the Queens of Spain 
and Westphalia, and Elisa and Pauline, were un- 
able to allege any precedent in support of their 
claim. They, however, held a conference in 
Madame Mere's salon at the H6tel de Brienne, 
and appealed to Letizia to uphold them. This 
the old lady very prudently declined to do, for, 
though she sympathised with the malcontents, 
she had learned, by experience, that there was 

1 M. Fr^ddric Masson, Napoldon 'et safamille. 



2i6 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

nothing to be gained by opposing a will even 
more stubborn than her own. " My daughters 
and daughters-in-law," said she, sternly, "bear in 
mind that the Emperor is accustomed to be 
obeyed. He is wrong perhaps in this instance ; 
but, if he persists in his demand, you must do as 
he bids you." Napoleon, happening to enter the 
room at that moment, heard the concluding words 
of this sage counsel, and, divining the subject 
which had called them forth, gave his mother a 
erateful look, and then, turning' on the fair rebels, 
by a few sharp words, reduced them at once to 
submission.^ 

During the f^tes which followed the marriage, 
the Queen of Naples gave a fresh proof of the 
extent to which she was impregnated with the 
worst characteristics of her race. Her old admirer 
Metternlch, now Minister for Foreign Affairs at 
Vienna, had returned to France for the marriage; 
and Caroline, more from political than senti- 
mental reasons, looked forward to resuming with 
him her former relations. Great, then, was her 
anger and mortification on discovering that Met- 
ternlch had become the lover — or, at least, the 
very ardent soupirant — -of "th^t little plague of 
a Madame Junot," whose virtue, once impreg- 
nable, had begun to falter, owing to the constant 
infidelities of her husband. Furious that her 
plans should be thus thwarted, her Majesty re- 
solved to be avenged, and her vengeance took a 

^ Baron Larrey, Madame Mh-e. 




KLEMENS LOTHAR WEN2EL, PRINCE VON METTERNICH 

FROM AN ENGRAVING BY LEWIS, AFTER THE PAINTING 13Y SIR THOMAS LAWRENCE 
(BRITISH museum) 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 217 

peculiarly odious form. Having bribed her rival's 
Jemnie de chambre to discover wbere her mistress 
kept the letters she received from her distin- 
guished admirer, she informed J,unot, on the occa- 
sion of a masked ball, at which the disguise which 
she had adopted effectually concealed her identity, 
that his wife was deceiving him with Metternich, 
and that he would find abundant proof of her 
guilt in a packet of letters tied with pink ribbon, 
in a certain drawer in Madame's escritoire. Junot, 
who, notwithstanding his own peccadilloes, seems 
to have expected from his wife the chastity of a 
Lucretia, immediately quitted the ball-room, re- 
turned to his hotel, broke open the escritoire, and 
possessed himself of the incriminating letters. 
And when, some hours later, their rightful owner, 
all unconscious of the storm that was impending, 
made her appearance, there was a terrible scene, 
which ended in the g;eneral administering; to the 
wife of his bosom a castigation which compelled 
her to keep her bed for some days. Not con- 
tent with this, he desired to challenge Metternich 
to a duel, and was with difficulty persuaded to 
renounce his homicidal intentions.-^ 

' The above is the version of the affair given by Mile. Avrillon, 
whose testimony, owing to her hostihty tq the Bonapartes, ought 
usually to be received with caution. On this occasion, however, 
her story is corroborated in substance, if not in detail, by other 
writers. According to the account which M. IVIasson seems to 
consider the most reliable, Caroline bribed Madame Junot's 
femme de chambre to steal the letters, and; then sent them to the 
general. In regard to the castigation which the lady received, 
J^here seems to be no question. 



2i8 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

While his wife was enraCTed in disturbing the 
domestic peace of the Junots, Murat was en- 
deavouring to obtain the Emperor's sanction to 
his attempting the conquest of Sicily. But 
Napoleon, who had not forgiven his brother-in- 
law his opposition to the Austrian marriage, and 
had, moreover, various grievances against him in 
regard to his government of Naples, declined to 
give it. In his mortification, Murat was so in- 
discreet as to attribute his Majesty's decision 
to the influence of Marie Louise, whereupon 
Napoleon flew into a violent passion and over- 
whelmed him with reproaches ; and, though 
Murat subsequently expressed his regret and 
besought the Emperor to overlook his offence, 
he was treated with marked coldness during the 
remainder of his stay in France, 

Towards the end of April, he returned to 
Naples, leaving Caroline in Paris to plead his 
cause, for, whatever the differences between the 
King and Queen on other matters, they were at 
one in their desire to unite Sicily to their realm. 
Confident that his wife's persuasive powers would 
ultimately prevail, Murat began to make exten- 
sive preparations for the projected expedition, 
about the success of which he seems to have 
entertained no sort of doubt, even after the 
tragedy which occurred a fe# days after his 
return to Naples, when a British frigate of 
50 guns sailed into the Bay, sank one of the 
Neapolitan ships lying there, swept the decks of 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 219 

another with a terrible broadside, which killed 
or disabled every officer on board, and drove the 
whole squadron in ignominious flight under the 
guns of the fortifications. 

At length, Caroline, who remained in France 
until the beginning of September, succeeded in 
wresting the authorisation so much desired from 
the Emperor, and on the night of September 17- 
18, 1 8 10, the expeditionary force, which consisted 
partly of Neapolitan and partly of French troops, 
embarked. A dead calm followingf a violent storm 
detained the British cruisers in the harbour of 
Messina, and the first division, under General 
Cavaignac, succeeded in effecting a landing, and 
occupied the village of San Stefano. Owing, 
however, either to the indecision of Murat or to 
dissensions among the French generals, Cavaig- 
nac was left totally unsupported, and having been 
attacked in the morning by an Anglo- Sicilian force, 
while the British squadron threatened to cut off 
his communications, was compelled to re-embark, 
leaving- more than a thousand men and officers in 
the hands of the enemy. 

Murat attributed this disaster to secret orders 
which the Emperor had sent to Grenier, who 
commanded the French troops-; the Emperor 
threw all the blame on Murat ; and the ill-feeling 
between the two brothers-in-law became more 
pronounced than ever. 



CHAPTER XXVIII 

The hopes built by Madame Mire on the divorce and remarriage 
of the Emperor disappointed — Her mortification at the strained 
relations between Napoleon and his family — She assists as god- 
mother at the baptism of the King of Rome — Her departure 
for Aix-la-Chapelle — Pauline and Casimir de Montrond — 
Arrest of the latter wrongly attributed to his relations with the 
princess — The Russian colonel— Canouville again in favour — 
His indiscretion — He is sent to Danzig by order of the Emperor 
— Grief of Pauline — Troubles of Elisa in Tuscany — The Em- 
peror forbids the Paris journals to insert eulogistic references 
to the Grand-Duchess — Elisa's protection of the Arts — Her 
'trotegc's — Her toilette. 

IX/TADAME MERE, as we have seen, had 
J.VJ. built great hopes on the overthrow of 
Josephine. She had counted that, the 
Beauharnais influence once renioved, all would 
go well : that Lucien would be pardoned and 
recalled ; that a better understanding would be 
established between the Emperor and Louis ; 
that Jerome would get his debts paid, and that 
she herself would obtain a substantial increase 
of her pension, and perhaps other advantages. 
None of these expectations were fulfilled. To 
her unspeakable mortification, she found that all 
that the divorce had accomplished was to remove 
one obstacle to the gratification of her desires to 
replace it by another far more formidable. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 2^1 

The malign influence over the Emperor's mind 
which the Bonapartes had been wont to attribute 
to Josephine was to a great extent illusory — 
— a mere figment of their heated imaginations ; 
indeed, it has since been shown that, in more than 
one instance, such as the second disgrace of 
Lucien, where they had believed her to have 
been working against them, she had endeavoured, 
if unsuccessfully, to further their wishes. But, in 
point of fact, the influence exercised by the ex- 
Empress over her husband had, since the rude 
shocks which her reputation had sustained in the 
early years of their married life, been very slight, 
and, at the last, had been almost a negligible 
quantity. 

On the other hand, Marie Louise, with the 
prestige of her illustrious birth, her youth, and 
her approaching maternity, constituted a serious 
menace to the ascendency of the family. And, 
unhappily, Marie Louise had arrived in France 
already strongly prejudiced against her new rela- 
tives by the manner in which Caroline had treated 
her during the journey from Braunau. Nor had 
a closer acquaintance tended to remove this un- 
fortunate impression, for the Empress's Dame 
d'hojineur, the Duchesse de Montebello, who had 
speedily acquired great influence over her mis- 
tress, disliked the Bonapartes, and Madame in 
particular, and took care to prevent any rap- 
prochement. 

Madame was a sad and disillusioned woman 



222 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

in those days ; wherever she looked, she en- 
countered nothing: but mortifications and dis- 
appointments. Lucien was in England, nominally 
in a sort of semi-captivity, but, really under the 
protection of the Emperor's redoubtable foe, and 
Napoleon was so infuriated against him that no 
one dared to mention his name. Louis, after 
a violent quarrel with his imperious brother, had 
abdicated and retired to Gratz. Joseph was also 
on very bad terms with the Emperor, and was 
continually threatening to follow his younger 
brother's example. Jerome was living a life of 
folly and extravagance in Westphalia, and every 
day giving fresh proof of his^ utter unfitness 
for a crown. Caroline was on bad terms with 
her husband. Pauline was rapidly establishing 
her claim to be considered the most celebrated 
amoureuse of her time, though that was prob- 
ably the least of Madame s chagrins, Elisa was 
threatened with the dismemberment of her prin- 
cipality, if the arrears owing to the Imperial 
Treasury were not paid. Even Fesch — that 
most complaisant of prelates — had fallen into dis- 
grace with the Emperor, and had been deprived of 
the coadjutorship of Ratisbon, and the reversion 
of the exalted office of Prince-Primate, guaran- 
teed to him by a Papal Bull in October 1806. 
If the fortunes of Napoleon himself seemed un- 
assailable, the affairs of the family, as a whole, 
were certainly not going well. 

A letter which Madame wrote to Baciocchi, at 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 223 

the beginning- of May, in reference to the death 
of the Httle Jerome Charles, betrays the grief 
and mortification which the poor lady was ex- 
periencing at the discovery that, in place of the 
confidently-anticipated rapprochement, the Em- 
peror's divorce and remarriage had only served 
to widen the gulf between him and his family : 

"In the position in which I am placed, I am 
unable to offer you the least consolation. I have 
need of it myself, and nothing offers it to us in 
this world. It is only in Heaven that one can 
expect it." 

However, she assisted at the baptism of the 
King of Rome, as godmother, and received, as 
a souvenir of the occasion, a present of some 
beautiful Sevres vases and a magnificent piece of 
Gobelins tapestry from the Emperor, though she 
would have infinitely preferred an increase of her 
pension, and the fact that his Majesty did not 
think fit to commemorate thfe event in that 
fashion was a fresh disappointment. At the end 
of June, she set out for Aix-la-Chapelle, whither 
she was soon followed by Pauline, for Borghese 
was once more in Paris, and, having had the good 
fortune to find favour with Marie Louise, had 
been granted a prolonged congd. 

Pauline did not occupy the same house as her 
mother at Aix ; she was far too extravagant for 
Madame to have any wish to share expenses with 
her. For a single month, the expenses of herself 
and her entourage amounted to over 100,000 



224 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

francs, exclusive of the presents she made to the 
doctors who attended her, the Prefect of the 
Roer/ and other persons, and the alms she dis- 
tributed among the poor. 

When, at the end of July, Madame set out for 
Cassel to pay a long-promised visit to the King 
and Queen of Westphalia, Pauline removed to 
Spa to complete her cure. Here she found 
Talleyrand's friend, Casimir de Montrond, who, 
exiled forty leagues from Paris two years before, 
had taken up his residence in Antwerp. M. de 
Montrond had long passed his fortieth year, but 
his devotion to the fair had survived his youth, 
and, as he bore a great, and not undeserved, repu- 
tation both as a dandy and a wit, he was still a 
force to be reckoned with in the lists of gallantry. 

Pauline, who thought it a thousand pities that 
so charming and accomplished a man should 
remain in exile for his opinions,^ determined to 
undertake his political conversion, which, of 
course, necessitated frequent private interviews 
between them. If we are to believe the Comte 
de Mdrode Westerloo, in order to facilitate her 

1 She presented the Prefect, M. Ladoucette, with a bust of her- 
self, and that worthy official, transported with admiration, acknow- 
ledged the precious gift in the following verses : 

" Dieux ! Que son front est noble et que son ceil est doux I 
L'ligypte ne pent plus admirer Cldopatre, 
La Grece de Vdnus cesse d'etre idolatre, 
Et la Gaule ravie embrasse vos genoux." 
^ According to some writers, the exile of M. dc Montrond had 
not been wholly unconnected with a too openly-expressed admira- 
tion for her Imperial Highness. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 225 

task, she established herself with her intended 
convert, " in a beautiful house at the entrance of 
the town." ^ But, as the count adds that, " faithful 
to his practice of avoiding the Emperor and every- 
one connected with the Imperial Family " he fled 
from Spa immediately the princess arrived, he 
does not appear to us to be an altogether trust- 
worthy witness, notwithstanding the confidence 
which MM. Turquan and d'Almeras repose in 
him. 

On September 28, Pauline set out for Antwerp, 
where their Majesties were shortly expected. 
Montrond followed her, but scarcely had he 
arrived, when he was arrested and conveyed to 
the Chateau of Ham — where, thirty years later, 
Louis Napoleon was impriso|ted — and subse- 
quently to Chatillon-sur-Seine, from which, how- 
ever, he succeeded in making his escape, and took 
refuge in England. 

Certain chroniclers pretend that the discovery 
of the prominent part which interviews with 
Montrond had played in Pauline's cure at Spa 
greatly exasperated the Emperor, and that this 
was the true motive of that gentleman's arrest — 
an assertion to which the careless way in which 
he appears to have been guarded at Chatillon 
would seem to lend colour. 0.n the other hand, 
Madame de Saluces, Pauline's kctrice and con- 
fidante, who was shortly afterwards dismissed by 
her mistress " for having misapplied funds en- 

' Souvenirs. 
II.— IS 



226 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

trusted to her," asserted, on her* return to Turin, 
where her husband was one of Borghese's cham- 
berlains, that the causes of her disgrace and of 
Montrond's arrest were identickl, namely, that 
the latter had transferred his affections from her 
Imperial Highness to herself, and that, "in her 
jealous fury, the princess had not been able to 
support the humiliation of occupying the second 
place in the heart of a perfidioust libertine." 

As a matter of fact, the reasohs for Montrond's 
arrest were purely political. He was suspected 
of being mixed up in the intrigues and specula- 
tions of Talleyrand, of being in treasonable com- 
munication with the British Government, and of 
making use of his friendship with Voyer d'Argeri- 
son, Prefect of the D^partement des Deux-Nethes, 
to worm out of that too-confiding nobleman a 
number of official secrets, which surely sufficiently 
explain the steps taken against him without seek- 
ing for any romantic motive ! 

Pauline was not long in finding consolation for 
the enforced departure of her mediccval admirer, 
as, soon after she had left Antwerp, Bellemare, the 
Commissioner of Police in that city, sent a report 
to Savary, the Minister of Police, in which he 
informed him that during the princess's stay in 
Antwerp "a Russian colonel, named Kouloukoff, 
who had been received by her at Aix-la-Chapelle, 
established himself at Malines, ffom which place 
he paid daily visits to Antwerp, arriving at night- 
fall and departing in the morning. ... I am 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 227 

able to say that he did not slefep at an inn. I 
beUeve his visits ceased before the departure of 
Madame de Saluces." 

Now, the commissioner at Antwerp and his 
chief in Paris were both well aware that Madame 
de Saluces had lodged in the same house as the 
princess ; but respect for her Imperial Highness 
prevented the prudent M. Bellemare from men- 
tioning her name, and accordingly he substituted 
that of her confidante, and left Savary to draw 
his own conclusions. As for the* Russian colonel, 
M. Masson is of opinion that he was not a Rus- 
sian at all, but the enterprising Canouville — who 
about this time returned to France — masquerading 
in a Muscovite uniform ;^ and certainly such an 
adventure would have been a mere trifle to a 
gentleman who for love's sweet sake had twice 
made the long and perilous journey across Spain 
without an escort and without drawing rein save 
to change horses. 

However that may be, when *Pauline returned 
to Paris, Canouville was again in high favour. 
One might have supposed that his recent ex- 
periences would have taught him the value of 
discretion, and that he would have refrained from 
advertising his bonne fortune quite so indus- 
triously. But alas ! he was, if it were possible, 
more imprudent than ever, and at a ball which 
Pauline gave, towards the end of November, at 
Neuilly, he was continually by her side. 

1 NapoUon et safamille. 



228 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

Dearly did he pay for his temerity ! For, three 
days later, as Berthier was sipping his morning 
coffee, he received a letter from the Emperor, 
bidding him inform the unfortunate Canouville 
that, before the clocks struck nine, he was to 
leave Paris and betake himself to Danzig, where 
he would be employed as chef'd'escadron in the 
2nd Chasseurs ; and his Majesty further desired 
him to notify to the officer in question that on no 
account was he to return to Pal-is, even with an 
order from the Minister of War, unless it had 
been countersigned by Berthier. 

Pauline was prostrated with grief when the 
news was communicated to her. To recover her 
lover, only to lose him again almost immediately, 
was indeed a crushing blow ! And how cruel not 
even to allow him a few hours' g:race in which to 
ride to Neuilly and bid her farewell ! Ah ! how 
she anathematised that miserable ball — the first of 
a series she intended to give that winter — which 
had been the immediate cause of the calamity ! 
She sent a courier galloping after him, with a 
letter filled, we may presume, with expressions 
of undying affection, and bearing, also, perhaps 
that portrait of herself which -Canouville took 
with him into his last battle.^ But all the 
tender messages in the world could not bring 
him back ; he was gone, and she was never to 
see him again.^ 

1 See page 262 infra. 

" Poor Canouville seems to have had a very bad time at Danzig. 



THE WOMEN BONAjPARTES 229 

Refused permission by the Emperor to assist 
at the baptism of the King of Rome, ^llsa, re- 
paired to Leghorn for a course of sea-bathing, 
which, it will be remembered, his Majesty had 
recommended her. It was perhaps a pity that 
Napoleon could not accompany his sister, since 
that once prosperous port would have presented 
him with a striking object-lesson. The Con- 
tinental Blockade — that fatal policy into which his 
blind hatred for the one nation- which refused to 
bend to his will had led him — which, on the coasts 
of Tuscany, the French douaniers enforced with 
inflexible severity, had ruined Leghorn ; com- 
merce was almost entirely suspended ; many mer- 
chants had been reduced to poverty ; the poorer 
classes were in the direst necessity, and every 
day the hostility to French rule, which had brought 
such calamities on the city, was increasing. 

However, the Grand- Duchess's salt-water cure 
seems to have proved a success, which was for- 
tunate, as she had certainly a good deal on her 

The colonel of the 2nd Chasseurs was a terrible martinet, who kept 
him so assiduously to his professional duties that he had scarcely 
time to pen a love-letter, and generally made his life a burden to 
him. Pauline was deeply distressed on learning of the sad lot of her 
lover, and when, in the following May, Mijrat, on his way to join 
the Grand Army in Poland, arrived in Paris, she begged him to 
alleviate it, by asking for Canouville to be appointed one of his 
aides-de-camp. Murat, who was fond of Pauline, good-naturedly 
consented, and wrote to the Minister of War ; but that personage, 
aware that he was treading on dangerous, ground, regretted that 
he was unable to accede to his Majesty's request without referring 
the matter to the Emperor, who curtly replied that he " did not 
think it advisable to appoint M. le chef cTe^cadron de Canouville 
to be one of the aides-de-camp of the King of Naples." 



230 THE WOMEN BONAEARTES 

hands just then. Not only was the Continental 
System arousing universal discontent/ but great 
difficulty was being experienced in enforcing the 
conscription, and the gendarmerie were constantly 
occupied in hunting down refractory conscripts ; 
the Chapter of Florence had refused to recognise 
as archbishop the French prelate whom the 
Emperor had thrust upon it, in" defiance of the 
Pope, who had refused to ratify the appoint- 
ment ; ^ the Luccans were grunrbling at the laws 
with which she continued to Overwhelm them, 
and she was also beginning to find that her Civil 
List was altogether inadequate for the magnifi- 
cence which she desired to maintain.^ 

^ To Elisa's credit, it should be recorded that she did not 
hesitate to point out to the Emperor the disastrous effects of the 
Continental System in Tuscany. 

2 Osmont, formerly vicar-general of the Cardinal de Brienne, 
Bishop of Nancy. The more superstitious Florentines avoided 
him as though he had the Evil Eye, in the belief that his 
benediction carried excommunication with it. One day, Prin- 
cipessa Teano, a very devout daughter of the Church, while 
driving in her carriage, perceived his Grace approaching, where- 
upon she lowered the window-blinds in all haste. A few days 
later, the Archbishop was walking on the terrace of Baciocchi's 
palace, which faced the Palazzo Teano, when he caught sight of the 
princess peeping at him through the half-closed shutters of her 
salon. He immediately raised his voice — it was an exceptionally 
powerful one — and bawled the dreaded benediction across the 
street, after which he retired chuckling, leaving the unfortunate 
lady nearly dead with fright. 

^ Her Civil List, by a decree of January lo, 1810, had been 
fixed at 1,500,000 francs, but, of this sum, one-third was to be de- 
voted to the maintenance of museums, scientific establishments, 
and libraries. Moreover, the Civil List was, in great part, com- 
posed of the revenues of Crown estates, which varied consider- 
ably. Thus, for the year 1810, there was a deficit of 300,000 
francs. — M. Rodocanachij l^lisa NapoUon m Italic- 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 231 

She had other vexations. 

The Emperor showed himself so tenacious of 
his authority in Tuscany, that even the suspicion 
of an attempt on his sister's part to assert her in- 
dependence was sure to bring upon her a sharp 
reminder that, notwithstanding her sonorous title, 
she was, as a matter of fact, nothing but an em- 
ployee of the Government, and must conduct her- 
self as such. Once, when she had instructed her 
secretary to write, in her name, to the Minister for 
War in Paris, he caused her to be informed, that 
this manner of conducting her correspondence 
was " ridiculous, and contrary to the dignity of 
his Ministers and to the welfare of the public 
service." He strongly objected to the flattering 
allusions to the Grand- Duchess which, thanks to 
her complaisant journalistic friends, were con- 
stantly appearing in the Paris Press, and was 
particularly irritated when, in December 181 1, 
the Journal de Paris published an account of 
the enthusiasm with which Elisa had been re- 
ceived at Lepfhorn, on the occasion of her assist- 
ing at the launching of a new man-of-war : "Her 
Imperial Highness embarked upon a superb 
sloop, and went to visit the flotilla which lay at 
anchor in the harbour. Everywhere she was 
welcomed by cries of ' Vive lil-isa ! Vive P Em- 
pereurl'" He was, indeed, so angry that he 
wrote to the Minister of Police, bidding him take 
immediate steps to put a stop to the publication 
of " these absurdities," adding : " Europe troubles 



232 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

little about what the Grand-Duchess does. The 
less one speaks of her, the better it will be." 
After this, journalistic flattery of Elisa seems to 
have been confined to the Italian gazettes, to the 
editors of which the handwriting of her Imperial 
Highness's secretary was perhaps not altogether 
unfamiliar. 

However, Elisa derived sonje small consola- 
tion from the fact that, if the Emperor constantly 
refused her all initiative in political matters in 
Tuscany, he left her a perfectly free hand in 
everything relating to the arts, which permitted 
her to pose to her heart's content as the successor 
of the Medici ; while he generally acted upon her 
recommendations. M. Masson would have us 
believe that she used her influence to push the 
fortunes of " batches of mediocre artists, paro- 
dists of the French school " ; but a perusal of 
M. Paul Marmottan's admirable work, les Arts 
en Toscane sous Napoleon : la Princesse Iilisa, 
proves that such strictures are quite unwarranted, 
and that the painter Benvenuti, the sculptor 
Bartolini, the architect Sternfe, the engraver 
Morghen,^ and other protigds of the Grand- 

' M. Masson speaks of Morghen's abilities with the most 
withering contempt ; but M. Marmottan describes him as " ce 
cclcbre graveur, un des premiers de Pepoque. pour la purdtS et 
I'harmonie" and, in art matters, he is certainly the safer guide. 
Elisa obtained for Morghen a commissioij to engrave David's 
famous painting, Bonaparte franchissant les Alpes, for which he 
was to be paid 1 10,000 francs. The work, however, had not been 
completed when the d^dcle arrived, and the Bourbons sacrificed 
the 40,000 francs which had already been paid to the engraver, 
and caused the unfinished plate to be destroyed. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 233 

Duchess were far from undeserving of the patron- 
age bestowed upon them. 

Elisa had always been plain, and, with increas- 
ing years, she seems to have become positively 
ugly. The olive complexion which Roederer 
had praised turned to a "jaundiced yellow," her 
thin figure became even more attenuated, and she 
lost nearly all her hair, and was forced to supply 
its place with the luxuriant tresses of Tuscan 
peasant-girls. Under these circumstances, it is 
somewhat surprising to learn that, in singular 
contrast to her sisters, she should have devoted 
but little attention to her toilette, and should have 
been content to leave the selection of her ward- 
robe to her modistes and milliners in Paris, who 
supplied her with two gowns and a certain num- 
ber of hats every month, for an annual sum which 
did not amount to as much as Pauline often spent 
on a single confection. It would appear, however, 
that Elisa, like certain "advanced" women of our 
own day, regarded attention to such trifles as the 
mark of an inferior intellect. 



CHAPTER XXIX 

Mortifications to which Murat is subjected' by the Emperor — He 
behaves his throne in danger — And lends a favourable ear to 
the suggestions of Maghella, who dreams of a united and 
independent Italy — Caroline, resenting the isolation to which 
her husband's jealousy has relegated her, intrigues against him 
— The Emperor seriously contemplates dethroning Murat — 
Murat goes to Paris to make his peace — Apprehensions of 
Caroline — Murat returns to Naples, and is informed by 
Maghella of the intrigues of the Queen against him — The 
Decree of June 14, 1812 — The Emperor quashes the Decree 
and assumes a menacing attitude — Caroline's infidelity revealed 
to her husband — Fury of the King — Humiliating position of the 
Queen — Murat's intrigues denounced to the Emperor — The 
stolen Crown jewels of Spain traced to Naples — Carohne is 
sent to Paris to appease her brother — Murat is summoned to 
join the Grand Army. 

AFTER the failure of the expedition against 
. Sicily, Murat returned to Naples where 
he found Caroline very ill, the result of a 
miscarriage, which had nearly cost her her life. 
However, his consort's condition seems to have 
troubled his Majesty very little, in comparison 
with the mortifications to which he was now con- 
stantly subjected at the hands of the Emperor. 
Not a despatch arrived from Napoleon which did 
not inflict some fresh wound on his brother-in- 
law's vanity. Now, it was an order to the French 
generals to confiscate every ship in the ports of 
Naples which carried or was suspected of carrying 

234 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 235 

English goods ; now, a demand that the duty on 
French cloth and silk should be. removed ; anon, 
a refusal to allow Murat to accredit Ministers to 
Vienna and St. Petersburg, or a complaint that 
the Neapolitan contingent in Spain was nothing 
but "a horde of brigands, who polluted every 
district through which they passed," or an order 
to change the titles of the officers of his Guard, 
because they resembled those used in France, or 
a sneer at the King's project of reconstituting the 
Neapolitan nobility. Moreover, he exercised, 
through his agents at Naples and Rome, the 
most rigorous surveillance over the King's actions, 
and Murat was unable to take any step of the 
slightest importance without its being speedily 
known in Paris. 

Although the attitude assumed by Napoleon 
towards the King of Naples was very similar to 
that which he adopted towards the other puppet 
sovereigns whom he had set up, and it is im- 
probable that he had any other intention than to 
show his brother-in-law that he was determined 
to repress with a firm hand any attempt on his 
part to assert his independence, Murat began to 
fear that the Emperor was really seeking sufficient 
pretext for dethroning him, or, in default of that, 
that he was resolved to render his position so 
intolerable that he would have n,o alternative but 
to abdicate, as Louis had already done. His 
resentment against his suzerain increased every 
day, and, unfortunately, there were those at his 



236 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

side who were only too ready to envenom the 
wounds under which he was smgirting. 

The chief of these was Maghella, the cunning 
Genoese of whom we have already spoken. 
SaHcetti, the Minister of Pohce, had died to- 
wards the end of 1809, and his subordinate, 
who, it was whispered, had taken measures to 
precipitate his demise, had stepped into his 
shoes, and was rapidly acquiring a great in- 
fluence over the Kino-. Mag-hella's head was 
filled with g^randiose schemes. He detested the 
Napoleonic domination and dreamed of becoming 
the founder of an independent and united Italy, 
with its King, its flag, and its free institutions. 
He believed that ere long an opportunity of 
shaking off the Imperial yoke would present 
itself, when Murat, with himself at his side, and 
the Neapolitan army, and perhaps an English 
contingent, at his back, might raise the standard 
of revolt, and become the head of a great 
national movement, which would not bh stayed 
until every Frenchman who did not embrace 
their cause had been driven over the Alps and 
the independence of Italy assured. 

His ideas appealed too strongly to his am- 
bitious and uneasy master for them to fail to 
meet with a favourable reception, though Murat's 
immediate object seems to have been rather to 
protect the throne which he believed to be men- 
aced than to attempt the role which Victor 
Emmanuel was to play half a century later. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 237 

Any way, he authorised Maghella to open nego- 
tiations with the patriots in several of the chief 
cities of Italy, with a view to ascertaining what 
amount of support he might expect to receive 
from them should the necessity of defending his 
crown arise. It was the first step down that 
dangerous slope which was to lead him to the 
betrayal of 1814 ! 

At the same time, Murat endeavoured to pre- 
vail upon the Emperor to send back the "horde 
of brigands " he was employing !in Catalonia, and 
to reduce the French Army of Naples from 10,000 
to 5,000 men, on the ground that the country was 
unable to support the expense of so large a 
corps, and that the 40,000 Italian troops which 
he had raised were quite capable of repelling 
any invasion which the English in Sicily might 
attempt. His Majesty very sensibly expressed 
the opinion that 12,000 English soldiers would 
make very short work of the Neapolitan army, 
at which Murat pretended to be deeply offended, 
and assured the Emperor that he had "no fear 
whatever of the English, and that the Nea- 
politans despised them." However, Napoleon 
refused either to dispense with the services of 
the Neapolitan contingent in Spain or to reduce 
the French Army of Naples. 

While Murat was intriguing against the 
Emperor, Caroline was intriguing against him. 
Since the Queen's return to Naples in September, 
1 8 10, her husband's jealous fears of some fresh 



2.58 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 



-o 



attempt on her part to influenfce the Ministers 
had again reduced her to a very humiliating 
position. Many of her French attendants, par- 
ticularly those ladies whose husbands occupied 
official positions in the State, were taken away 
from her ; she was condemned to spend the 
greater part of her time in the country-resi- 
dences of the Crown, and his Majesty allowed it 
to be seen that he regarded with a jaundiced eye 
those who were at all assiduous m paying court to 
his consort. Caroline's haughty spirit naturally 
revolted against such treatment, and she and her 
friends retaliated by representing the King's 
actions to the Emperor in a very unfavourable 
light. 

These representations were not without effect, 
and, at the beginning of March 1811, the 
Emperor, who was further incensed against his 
brother-in-law, owing to the latter having im- 
posed a duty on French cloth, and the lax 
manner in which the Continental Blockade was 
being enforced on the coasts of Naples, seems to 
have seriously contemplated dethroning him, and 
even went so far as to intimate to the Neapolitan 
Ambassador in Paris that, if he did not speedily 
see an alteration in his master's conduct, "he 
would deprive him of his kingdom and appoint a 
viceroy to govern it." 

When his Majesty's words were reported to 
Murat, he became seriously alarmed, and, on the 
pretext of felicitating the Emperor in person on 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 239 

the birth of his heir, hurried off to Paris,^ and 
endeavoured to clear himself from the "atrocious 
calumnies " by which his suzerain's mind was being 
prejudiced against him. Napoleon appeared to 
be satisfied with his assurances of devotion, but, 
on the King proposing to return to Naples, he 
desired him to prolong his visit, and when the 
beginning of May found Murat still at the 
French Court, it seems to have been the general 
opinion, both in Paris and Naples, that the 
Emperor Intended to keep him there altogether. 
Caroline now began to regret *the part she had 
played in inflaming the Emperor's mind against 
her husband, for, if she aspired to a share of 
power, she desired above all things to preserve 
her crown. When she received an invitation 
from Napoleon to assist at the baptism of the 
King of Rome, as one of the godmothers, she 
appears to have seen in this high honour nothing 
but a lure to induce her to join her husband in 
Paris, in order that the Emperdr might be able 
to depose them and annex their kingdom without 
trouble or scandal. Accordingly, with an infini- 
tude of regrets "on the cruel and irreparable 
privation that her health imposed upon her," she 
excused herself from undertaking the journey to 
France to fulfil this duty in person, delegated it 
to the ex-Queen of Holland, and remained at 
Naples to await events. 

1 MM. Chavanon and Saint-Yves state that Caroline accom- 
panied her husband to Paris, but this is incorrect. 



240 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

The Emperor, however, had, for the moment, 
abandoned his hostile intentions, for he had now 
practically decided on war with Russia, when 
he would have need of Murat's services, and 
also of the Neapolitan contingent which the King 
was under obligfation to furnish. He therefore 
changed his tone, treated his brother-in-law with 
cordiality, and, on May 19, authorised his return 
to Naples. Three days later, Murat left Paris, 
having assured his Majesty that his desire was 
to conform in all things to his wishes. 

Scarcely had he Reached his capital, when Ma- 
ghella presented himself and informed him that 
he had discovered that, for some time past, the 
Queen, with the complicity of Daure and other 
Frenchmen in the Neapolitan 'service, had been 
addressing false reports concerning the King to 
the Emperor, with the object of bringing about 
his deposition and the transfer of the crown to 
her own head.^ He also seems to have insinu- 
ated that the relations between her Majesty and 
more than one of the persons whose names he 
mentioned were not entirely of a political nature, 
and to have succeeded in arousing in his master's 
mind suspicions that the confidence which, not- 
withstanding all that had happened, he still re- 
posed in the virtue of his wife was far from 
justified. Finally, he urged him to end an in- 
tolerable situation by ridding himself without 

' It is extremely improbable that such w*as the object of Caro- 
line's intrigues. She would no doubt have been content with a 
share of power. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 241 

delay of the dangerous persons who surrounded 
the Queen and of all who preferred the interests 
of France to his own. 

Murat, greatly incensed, acted upon the Minis- 
ter's advice, and, on June 14, issued two decrees. 
By the first, which was to come into operation 
on July I, all foreigners employed in the Excise 
were to be discharged and replatced by Neapoli- 
tans. By the second, all Frenchmen holding 
any office, whether civil or military, under the 
Crown were required to become^ naturalised Nea- 
politans before August i. 

The result was exceedingly disconcerting for 
Murat, as not only the Queen's friends, but nearly 
the whole of the French in the Neapolitan service, 
immediately tendered their resignations, and he 
found himself threatened with the complete dis- 
organisation of his Court, his administration, and 
his army. Moreover, the Emp.eror was furious 
at what he deemed the audacity of his brother- 
in-law, and disdaining to take any notice of his 
explanation that the second decree was merely 
directed against certain individuals in the Civil 
Service whom he had cause to distrust, pro- 
ceeded to pulverise it by an Imperial decree 
(July 6), the terms of which were as follows : 

"In reference to our Decree of 13 March 
1806, in virtue of which the Kingdom of the 
Two Sicilies becomes part of qur Empire ; con- 
sidering that the Prince who governs this State 
is a Frenchman and a Grand Dignitary, and that 
II. — 16 



242 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

he has only been placed and maintained on his 
throne by the efforts of our peoples, we have 
decreed and decree: Art. i. AIJ French citizens 
are citizens of the Two Sicilies. Art. 2. The 
Decree of 14 June of the King of this country 
is not applicable to them." 

He also sent orders to General Grenier, who 
commanded the Corps of Observation of Southern 
Italy,^ to concentrate the Imperial troops between 
Naples, Capua, and Gaeta, and instructed Durand, 
his Ambassador at the Neapolitan Court, to in- 
form Murat that he had orders to leave Naples 
the moment he learned that a single person had 
been deprived of his employment merely because 
he was a Frenchman. 

Murat, in great trepidation, hastened to annul 
the unfortunate decree, and to address to the 
Emperor letters filled with his usual extravagant 
expressions of devotion ; but his Majesty de- 
clined to be mollified, and things began to assume 
a most threatening aspect. 

Conjugal troubles came to add to the King's 
embarrassments. The Minister of Police, in the 
course of his professional investigations, hap- 
pened to discover some exceedingly compromising 
epistles of Caroline, which placed the question of 
her infidelity to her husband beyond all doubt, 
and laid them before the King. Murat, who was 

1 Towards the end of June, the Emperor had disbanded the 
French Army of Naples, of which Murat held the command, and 
replaced it by a Corps of Observation, under the command of 
Grenier. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 243 

already ill, " had a violent atta'ck of fever, and 
it was feared that he would become mad," de- 
clared that he would exile the Queen and never 
set eyes on her again, and so forth. Caroline 
defended herself desperately, shed torrents of 
tears, explained what was capable of any ex- 
planation, and attributed what was not to the 
machinations of her enemies ; Jaut she does not 
appear to have made much impression upon her 
husband. Finally, however, thanks to the inter- 
vention of Baudus, the tutor of the young princes, 
who implored the King, in the interests of his 
children, not to carry his resentment to extremi- 
ties, Murat was persuaded to overlook his con- 
sort's delinquencies, so far as to promise to take 
no measures against her. 

Nevertheless, Caroline's position was a suffi- 
ciently humiliating one. The King, who had 
hitherto never permitted his political differences 
with the Queen to interrupt their conjugal rela- 
tions, now practically separated' from her, and 
relegated her to his country-residence at Capodi- 
monte, where she was kept in a state of semi- 
captivity, visits from all her French intimates 
being strictly interdicted, while even Durand was 
not permitted to have free access to her. 

However, this state of affairs only lasted a few 
weeks, for the tempest which had overturned the 
throne of Louis and shaken those of Joseph and 
Jerome was threatening to burst upon Naples, 
and Caroline's intervention was required to avert 



244 THE WOMEN BONKPARTES 

it. From all sides, the Emperor was receiving- 
accusations against Murat's fidelity. Norvins, 
the Prefect of Police at Rome, wrote that he was 
convinced that the King had formed " the criminal 
project of becoming the master and liberator of 
Italy," that he was in communication with the 
English and with the agents' of the Pope, and 
was only waiting until Franco was engaged in a 
new war to throw aside the mask. Daure, who 
had been disgraced by Murat after the affair of 
the letters, revenged himself by furnishing his 
Majesty with some very damaging evidence in 
regard to the anti-French tendencies of those who 
surrounded the King. Grenier complained that 
his troops had been refused admission to Gaeta. 
Finally, the Minister of Police ascertained that 
Murat kept secret agents in Paris, who received 
their instructions from Aym^, First Chamberlain 
to the King. 

Nor was this all. 

About the middle of August, the Emperor was 
informed that certain of the Crown jewels of 
Spain, which had mysteriously disappeared dur- 
ing Murat's occupation of Madrid in the summer 
of 1808, had been traced to jewellers patronised 
by the Court of Naples. Aymd was forthwith 
ordered to resign the post he held at Naples and 
return to Paris, where, a few days after his arrival, 
he was arrested, carried off t-o Vincennes, and 
strictly interrogated in regard to the missing 
jewels. He confessed to having seen several of 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 245 

them in Naples, including the celebrated Pere- 
grine Pearl, which had been presented in 1579 to 
Philip 11.,^ while the discovery among his papers 
of certain letters of Murat, written in 1809 and 
containing frequent references to his relations 
with Fouch^, still further exasperated the Emperor 
against his brother-in-law. 

In the first days of September, Murat received 
a severe letter from the Emperor. " You are 
surrounded," wrote Napoleon, " by men who are 
filled with hatred of France, and who wish to 
ruin you. All that you write me contrasts too 
strongly with what you do.^ I phall see, by your 
actions, if your heart is still French." About 
the same time, Murat learned of the arrest of 
Aym^, and that the French Ambassador was 
causing inquiries to be made in Naples concern- 
ing the missing jewels. 

Convinced that not a moment was to be lost, 
the King hastened to effect a reconciliation with 
the Queen, and besought her to set out for Paris 
to see the Emperor and endeavour to pacify him. 
Caroline, who, notwithstanding her resentment 
against her husband, had no desire to see him 
lose his crown, consented, and, on September 17, 

1 Letter of Napoleon to Maret, August 24, 181 1, published by 
]M. Masson, NapoUon et sa famille. 

^ On August 24, on learning of the discovery of his secret 
agents in Paris, Murat had written to the Emperor a letter pro- 
testing the most extravagant devotion and imploring him to 
employ him in war, " because he saw no other means to confound 
his vile accusers, save in seeking to shed his blood again for his 
Majesty's service." 



246 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

she started for Paris, accompanied only by her 
Dame d'konneur, a lady-in-waiting, her Chevalier 
d'konneur, and an equerry. 

It is probable that she did not go with empty 
hands, and that the restoration of the Crown 
jewels of Spain contributed not a little to the 
success of her mission. Any way, Murat received 
assurances that the Emperor had no intention of 
annexing Naples to France, though it is evident, 
from the tone of the despatches of the French 
Ministers and from the instructions sent to 
Grenier, that his Majesty's suspicions concerning 
his brother-in-law's fidelity were far from allayed. 
Moreover, in the following March, he recalled 
Maghella to France and insisted on the dismissal 
of the Minister of the Interior, Zurlo — a step to 
which Caroline would appear to have been no 
stranger ^— and Murat seems to have seen in this 
a preliminary to annexation.^ 

However, it was merely a sharp reminder that 
the Emperor was no longer disposed to tolerate 
the presence at the Court of Naples of intriguers 
of this stamp, for, whatever may have been his 
ultimate intentions with regard to his brother- in- 

' "These two men," wrote the Austrian Ambassador, the Graf 
von Mier, to Metternich, " possessed all the confidence of the King, 
and were, in consequence, regarded with disfavour by the Queen." 
Despatch of March 27, 1810, published by MM. Chavanon and 
Saint-Yves. 

2 This was also the opinion of Mier, fsr, in the despatch of 
March 27, he adds : " The French Government does everything 
possible to disgust the King with the position which he occupies 
momentarily^ and it appears that the presence of the Queen in 
Paris merely defers the moment of his recall." 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 247 

law's kingdom, he had no wish to compromise 
the success of the Russian campaign by losing the 
services of perhaps the greatest cavalry leader 
whom modern battlefields have ever seen/ 

Towards the middle of April, Murat received 
permission to leave Naples and to take part in 
the Russian campaign, and on May 4 he arrived 
in Paris and rejoined Caroline at the Pavilion 
d' Italic, in the park of Saint-Cloud, where the 
Queen had been residing for the past month. A 
week later, he set out to join Naf)oleon at Danzig, 
" happy at the prospect of finding an early oppor- 
tunity of giving the Emperor proof of his in- 
violable attachment." 

^ We use the word battlefield advisedly. Magnificent when 
actually in the presence of the enemy, Murat's leadership of the 
cavalry in other respects left a great deal to be desired, and was 
sometimes deplorably deficient in prudence and foresight. It 
would seem, however, unjust to attribute to him, as so many writers 
do, the full responsibility for those incessant and generally futile 
reconnaissances which, during the advance on Moscow, wore out 
the strength of horses and men to such an extent, that, before 
Smolensk was reached, the strength of the heavy cavalry had been 
reduced by a third, and that of the light cavalry by more than one 
half. 



CHAPTER XXX 

Madame Mire visits the King and Queen of Westphalia at 
Napoleonshohe — Honours paid to her — -She secretly finances 
Lucien in England — She goes to Aix-les-Bains — Supervision 
which she exercises over the affairs of Corsica — The beginning 
of the dibdcle : Madam^s great qualities reveal themselves once 
more on the approach of adversity — She seeks to reconcile her 
sons to the Emperor — Her letter to Louis — The Queen of West- 
phalia at Pont — Madame and Marie Louise — A characteristic 
story— Departure of Pauline for Aix-les-Bains^Commandant 
Auguste Duchand of the Artillery — Pauline learns of the death 
of Canouville, killed at Borodino — Her anguish — She is ordered 
to winter in the South — Duchand recalled to the Army — 
Pauline's sojourn at Hyferes, Nice, and Grdoulx — She sells a 
diamond necklace and offers the money to the Emperor. 

4 T the end of August 1 8 1 1 , Madame Mere, it 
y^-^ will be remembered, had leftAix-la-Chapelle 
to visit Jdrome and his wife at Cassel. It 
is a singular proof of the servility which the 
Emperor expected from his relatives, even after 
he had elevated them to thrones, that, before 
offering his mother hospitality, the King of 
Westphalia should have deemed it necessary to 
write to his Imperial Majesty to request his per- 
mission to receive her, and that ISIapoleon should 
have formally authorised the visit. But no kings 
of modern times held their thrones on so pre- 
carious a tenure as these crowned puppets, whom 
a single word from their suzerain would have 

348 



THE WOMEN BONAJ^ARTES 249 

sufficed to strip, not only of their kingdoms, but 
of everything they possessed, and to close to 
them the entire Continent. 

In Westphalia, Madame was received with the 
sovereign honours which the Emperor had per- 
sistendy refused to accord her in France. On 
the frontier, she was met by the Minister of the 
Interior, who conducted her to Marburg, where 
Jerome's Master of the Ceremonies awaited them. 
The King himself, with an imposing suite, met 
her at Wabern, and when the Chateau of Napo- 
leonshohe was reached, she found the Queen and 
all the Court in full gala costume waiting to re- 
ceive their illustrious guest. This flattering recep- 
tion so gratified Letizia that she was seized with 
a sudden access of generosity, and bestowed upon 
her daughter-in-law — who, from that moment, ap- 
pears to have quite ousted the Worthy Julie from 
her affections — a portrait of herself set in pearls, 
and a parasol with a gold and enamelled handle 
encrusted with pearls, which, however, cost her 
nothing, since it was a present from Joseph ; and 
to these gifts she subsequently added a string of 
fine pearls. 

Madame' s visit, which lasted some six weeks, 
was one continual round of festivities : balls, 
fetes, hunting-parties, picnics, and concerts ; but 
what probably pleased her most, was her pompous 
entry into Cassel, where all the troops of the 
garrison were drawn up to receive her, and the 
municipal authorities in their robes of office 



250 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

presented her with an address of welcome. Early 
in October, she returned to France, not, we may 
presume, without some secret regrets that she 
could not make her home in a^ land where she 
would always be treated en soiiveraine ; and for 
the next few months we hear little of interest 
concerning her, save that she displayed con- 
siderable ingenuity in smuggling money to 
Lucien in England without the knowledge of 
the Emperor. Finally, her little plot was dis- 
covered by the police, who, of course, reported 
the matter to his Majesty. But Napoleon, 
perhaps touched by his mother's devotion to 
the exile, seems to have decided to ignore her 
disregard of his orders, for it is certain that 
Lucien, who was in financial straits, having lost 
some ;^8,ooo through the failure of his London 
banker, received large sums from Madame during 
his stay in England. 

In the first days of July 1812, Madame Mere 
went to Aix-les-Bains, which was decidedly the 
watering-place a la mode that summer, as Pauline, 
the Queen of Spain, and Fesch all selected it for 
their annual cure, as did the ex-Empress, though 
she did not arrive until the end of September, 
when most of the fashionable world had taken 
wing. In Savoy, she remained until late in 
August, when she returned to Paris, and, after the 
exchange of more or less ceremonious visits with 
the Empress, who was then -at Saint-Cloud, 
retired to the Chateau of Pont, where she 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 251 

passed the next two months. Her life, separ- 
ated as she was from all her children, seems to 
have been exceedingly dull and monotonous, 
though the immense correspondence she carried 
on with the scattered members of her family, 
with the officials of the charitable societies of 
which she was the patroness, and with the 
authorities in Corsica, must have given her 
plenty of occupation. 

We may here observe that, although Napoleon 
denied his mother the smallest political influence 
in France, he allowed her and Fesch to exercise 
a kind of supervision over the affairs of Corsica ; 
and Arrighi, the Prefect of the island, appears to 
have received orders from him that he was never 
to make any appointment without consulting 
Madame or the cardinal. It is to be feared 
that this system can scarcely have conduced to 
efficiency, since the prejudice which Letizia and, 
in a less degree, her brother always cherished 
against those who had taken part against the 
Bonapartes in 1793 must have excluded from 
the administration many persons whose character 
and abilities would have ordinarily ensured their 
promotion ; while, at the same time, others with 
nothing to recommend them save some distant 
relationship to the Imperial Family found them- 
selves selected for lucrative and important posts. 

Madame returned to Paris at the end of Oc- 
tober, a few days after the Malet affair, which 
does not appear, from her letters, to have ruffled 



252 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

her composure, and spent the remainder of the 
autumn partly in the capital, and partly with 
her daughter-in-law, the Queen of Spain, at 
Mortefontaine, with an occasional visit to Saint- 
Cloud, to see the Empress — or rather the King 
of Rome. 

Meanwhile, amid ever-deepening misery, the 
wreck of the Grand Army was struggling back to 
the Niemen ; and on the evening of December i8; 
the Emperor, who had quitted his sore-stricken 
troops, at Smorgoni, on the 5th, arrived in Paris, 
and presently the full extent of the most appalling 
disaster in all the annals of modern warfare was 
revealed to a horrified country. The first act 
of the tragedy which Madame had foreseen, even 
when cannon was thundering and bells pealing 
in honour of Napoleon's victories in Austria, 
Prussia, and Poland, had been played ; the second 
and third were to have for their theatre the 
Saxon plains ; the last, France itself. 

It was now that the great qualities of the 
woman began to reveal themselves once more — 
that indomitable spirit, that indefatigable energy, 
that clearness of judgment, which had carried her 
and her children through the trials of her married 
life and early years of widowhood, through the 
perils of her escape from Corsica, through the 
privations of her first months in France. During 
the years of prosperity, these qualities had lain 
dormant, and many of those about her had seen 
in her character little save that which moved 




.MARIA LETIZIA BONAPARTE, "_MADAMK M^IRE' 

FROM THE PAINTING BY GFRARn AT VfKSAII.I.ES 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 253 

them to amusement and even to contempt : her 
parsimony, her vindictiveness towards those who 
offended her, her persistent blindness to the faults 
of her children, her foolish pretensions to titles 
and honours which the Emperor could not 
possibly have accorded without exposing both 
her and himself to well-merited ridicule. But 
now that adversity was at hafld, they were to 
shine forth again, and to burn with undiminished 
brightness until the end. 

For, at bottom, Madame wa^ still the woman 
of '93. The lust of domination had turned 
Napoleon's head ; vanity, luxury, or misplaced 
ambition had corrupted his brothers and sisters. 
But his mother was unchanged : the Corsican 
matron still, shrewd, tenacious, loyal, devoted. 

She was quick to recognisd^ that it was she 
alone who could hope to appease the discords in 
the Imperial Family, and rally her children to the 
support of the Emperor's crumbling throne ; and, 
though the task was one of immense difficulty, 
she did not flinch from it. She wrote letter after 
letter to Joseph, Jerome, and Louis, urging, im- 
ploring, commanding them to fo*rget their griev- 
ances, real or imaginary, against the Emperor in 
the presence of the common danger, to be recon- 
ciled to him, and to do his bidding. 

At the beginning of the New Year, Louis 
wrote to Napoleon, informing him that he was 
coming "to offer to his country, to him, and to 
his family what remained of his -shattered health, 



254 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

and every service that he was capable of render- 
ing, provided that he could do so zvith honour." 
This last phrase implied that he demanded, as 
the price of his support, the restoration of the 
kingdom which he had voluntarily abdicated in 
1810, and which had been united to France. 
Napoleon very naturally refused to even consider 
such a proposition ; but, at the same time, he 
begged Louis to return to France, as his duty 
towards his sovereign, his country, and his 
children imperatively demanded, and promised to 
receive him, " not as a brother whom he had offend- 
ed, but as a brother who had brought him up." 
As the ex-king, however, showed no inclination to 
respond to the appeal which the Emperor made 
to his better feelings, Madame intervened and 
added her exhortations to those of Napoleon : 

Paris, February 20, 181 3 

. . . The Emperor has read me the reply 
which he sent you. So far as I. can judge, apart 
from the passage about Holland, you ought to be 
satisfied with it. He concludes by an earnest 
appeal to you to rejoin him in Paris, and I unite 
my exhortations to his to implore you not to 
refuse this invitation a second time. I ask it of 
you in the name of all that you hold dear, and 
as the strongest proof that you can give of your 
attachment to myself. If needs be, I command 
you as your mother. If I were able to entrust 
to paper all the weighty reasons which summon 
you to Paris, I am certain that you would not 
hesitate to quit your exile to return to your 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 255 

family ; but it is sufficient to tell you that your 
presence is most urgent, and much more neces- 
sary than you can conceive. Ignore every 
reason which may still keep you from us ; listen 
only to the voice of Nature, and return to your 
family, who are in need of yOu at this moment. 
Circumstances, besides, could not be more favour- 
able to you, and your arrival at this crisis will 
arouse as much admiration in Europe as the 
firmness of character you displayed three years 
ago. The public will applaud your noble de- 
votion, and, besides, what consolation will you 
derive from seeing your cjlildren again, and 
watching over the education of the little Napoleon, 
who is so lovable, so interesting, and who already 
gives so much promise ! He will make you for- 
get, I do not doubt, all the pa^st. 

I will not repeat what I have said thousands 
of times in reference to myself. I shall owe to 
you peace and tranquillity, if you return. If you 
refuse, you will have to reproach yourself for 
having shortened the sorrowful remnant of my 
days, and with having caused me to descend into 
the erave without a regret for life. 

Adieu, my dear son. Do not keep me waitmg 
for your reply, and let it be .in accordance with 
the wishes of my heart. I embrace you most 
tenderly. 

But all her efforts were unavailing ; the ridicu- 
lous pretensions of these crowned nonentities 
were proof alike against patriotism, gratitude, and 
reason. Louis continued to sulk in exile ; Jerome, 
his follies in Westphalia; Joseph, his disregard 
of Napoleon's instructions and his quarrels with 



256 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

the French generals in Spain ind the Minister 
for War in Paris. All three brothers seemed 
resolved to do everything in their power to pre- 
cipitate the Emperor's fall, and their own return 
to the obscurity from which he had raised them. 

In the spring of 1813, the Queen of Westphalia 
arrived in France, Jdr6me, who desired to enjoy 
with more freedom the society of a new mistress, 
the Grafin von Lowenstein-Wertheim, having in- 
duced her to leave Cassel for a time, on the 
pretext that Westphalia might soon become the 
scene of hostilities. Towards the end of May, 
she installed herself y^lxh. Madame at Pont, where, 
despite her affection for her mother-in-law, she 
seems to have been extremely bored ; and, indeed, 
Pont must have seemed to her like a convent, 
after the gaieties of Napoleonshohe. However, 
the society of the good-natured German doubt- 
less proved a consolation to her hostess during 
those anxious days, when the Emperor and his 
new army were waging that desperate campaign 
against the united hosts of Russia and Prussia 
which would have saved his throne and the better 
part of his conquests, had he consented to sur- 
render the Illyrian provinces and his annexa- 
tions on the Rhine and in North Germany. 

Marie Louise, whose relations with Madame 
were always outwardly cordial^ although there 
was, in truth, but litde sympathy between them, 
was careful to transmit to her all the news from 
Saxony, and a few days after Mapoleon's victory 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 257 

at Bautzen (May 20 and 21, 18 13), we find her 
writing to her mother-in-law as follows : 

Saint-Cloud 

25 May, 1813. 7 p.m. 
My dear Mamma, 

I have just received the news that the 
Emperor has gained a victory at Bautzen ; he is 
well and was never in any danger.^ I hope that 
this second battle, decisive like the first,^ will 
bring us peace and the return of the Emperor. I 
should have many things to say to you still, but 
I will not defer for a moment the pleasure which 
my good news will occasion you. 

I beg you to believe, my dear Mamma, in my 
tender affection. 

Your very devoted daughter, 

Louise ^ 

At the beginning of July, when the conclusion 
of the armistice at Poischwitz had temporarily 
relieved her anxiety, Madame returned to Paris, 
and seems to have taken great interest in the 
efforts which were being made to succour the 
families of those who had fallen in the Russian 
and Saxon campaigns. A propos of this, Madame 

' This was not the case. As the AUies were retiring, a round-shot 
from one of their guns plunged into the middle of the Emperor's 
staff, killing one general outright, and mortally wounding Duroc, 
Due de Friuli, Grand Master of the Palace, Napoleon's dearest 
friend, who expired a few hours later. 

2 The first battle was fought on May 2, at Lutzen. Neither 
engagement was in any sense " decisive," the Allies retreating on 
each occasion in excellent order. 

^ Published by Baron Larrey, Madame Mere. 
II. — 17 



258 THE WOMEN RONAPARTES 

Ida Sainte-EIme relates an amusing story, which 
is so characteristic of Lctizia that, notwithstand- 
ing the caution with which this chronicler's state- 
ments ought usually to be received, we are inclined 
to believe it. 

Calling one day on Uladanie, with a letter from 
the Grand- Duchess of Tuscany, she found her 
seated at a long table, with over thirty litde 
baskets and different kinds of beadwork before 
her. 

" Do j'ou know how to do thisr kind of work ? " 
inquired her Highness. 

"No, Madame." 

" Neither do I. I buy them from one of those 
ladies, once rich, but now poor."- 

Then, turning to M. de Cosse-Brissac, who was 
present, she observed : " You remember, Cossd, 
my crippled lady's work ; she was clever as a 
fairy. I am doing a kindness to this worthy 
woman, for all my ladies will take them. Don't 
you think so ? " 

M. de Brissac hastened to reply that a gift 
from Madame Mere must always be acceptable. 
Upon which, the old lady exclaimed : 

" A gift, did you say ? What can you be 
thinking of? I pay for them, but I make the 
others pay, too. Alas ! my dear friend, it is very 
evident that you are not economical ! " ^ 

And yet, a few months before, when the Em- 

• Mhnoires ifiinc Contemporainc; Madame Tschudi, Nnpohoris 
Mother. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 259 

peror returned from Russia, she had offered him 
a million francs out of her savings ! 

We have seen that, on more than one occasion, 
Pauline had made her health a pretext for going 
to the waters ; but, when she started for Aix-les- 
Bains, at the beginning of June 181 2, she was 
undoubtedly in very bad health, and, instead of 
taking with her, as was her usual custom, the 
greater part of her Household,- an immense as- 
sortment of wonderful toilettes, and sufficient 
tiaras, necklaces, and bracelets to fill one of the 
jewellers' windows on the Quai des Orfevres, she 
was accompanied by a very rhodest suite, and 
contented herself with a dozen comparatively 
simple gowns and a few diampnds. Little did 
she imagine that summer day, as the spires of 
Paris faded into the distance, that, though thirteen 
years of life still lay before her, she was never to 
behold them ao-ain ! 

Aix was very gay that sumr^er. In addition 
to the members of the Imperial Family — Pauline, 
Madame, Fesch, and the Queen of Spain — the 
Duchesse d'Abrantes (Madame Junot), and de 
Raguse (Madame Marmont),; Mesdames de 
Menou and Sdmonville, and many other lights 
of Parisian society had selected it for their annual 
cure, while fashionable Bohemianism was repre- 
sented by Forbin and the celebrated actor Talma. 
Pauline, however, was at first too unwell to take 
part in any of the balls, fetes, arid picnics, which 



26o THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

her friends were organising, and passed the 
greater part of the day on her chaise-longue, 
in an elegant demi-toilette of Indian muslin, 
receiving her courtiers with a languid smile, 
and talking of nothing but medicine and 
dietetics. 

After a while, however, her health began to 
improve. Perhaps, the improvement ought to be 
attributed to the waters ; perhaps, to the milk diet 
which the three doctors who were in constant 
attendance prescribed for their august patient ; 
perhaps, to the delightful climate of Savoy ; but 
certainly the presence at Aix of Commandant 
Auguste Duchand, of the Artillery, was not un- 
connected with it. 

The commandant had lately returned from 
Spain, where he had been serving under Suchet, 
to nurse a wound received at the siege of 
Valentia, which had nearly cost him his life. 
He was a handsome man of about thirty years 
of age, with a reputation for dashing courage 
which had followed him over the Pyrenees ; and 
Aix society soon decided that he was a most 
interesting person, and did all in its power to be- 
guile the tedium of his convalescence. Pauline 
seems to have found him particularly interesting 
— was she not herself an invalid ? — and ere long 
the gallant " gunner " had become a daily visitor 
at her Imperial Highness's villa, and the princess 
even occasionally found herself^ well enough to 
make excursions to Hautecombe or to organise 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 261 

picnics on Lac Bourget, on which occasions she 
and the commandant generally contrived to 
occupy the same carriage or boat. 

However, Duchand was, after all, merely a pis 
aller ; for Pauline's heart — or, at least, the greater 
portion of that organ — still belonged to the ab- 
sent Canouville, and had it been possible for that 
cavalier to undertake another of his adventurous 
rides, in order to throw himself at his mistress's 
feet, it is probable that the commandant would 
have very speedily received his congd. She had 
ordered for the absent one a sabre with a jewelled 
hilt, and wrote to David, the Intendant of her 
Household, bidding him take particular care that 
the diamonds were arranged exactly according to 
her instructions, and she maintained with the 
Grand Army as active a correspondence as cir- 
cumstances would permit. 

But, after a while, Canouville's letters sud- 
denly ceased, and Pauline became very uneasy. 
She wrote to Paris to inquir-e if there were 
any news of him, but received only evasive 
answers. At length, however, towards the end 
of October, some one informed her that his name 
was mentioned in a certain journal of a certain 
date ; nothing more. She sent for the journal in 
question, and found that it contained an account 
of the terrible battle of Borodino, fought on Sep- 
tember 7th, and a list of the French officers who 
had been killed and wounded. Among the for- 
mer, was the name of Canouville ! The body of 



262 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

the unfortunate officer had been found by one of 
the Emperor's aides-de-camp, who wrote to the 
princess's Intendant : " Canouville is no more, 
and, covered with blood, I found upon his breast 
a portrait, whose striking resemblance would 
have betrayed and compromised the original. I 
alone saw it and destroyed it." ^ 

The tragic death of her lover was a terrible 
blow to Pauline, for, though, as we have observed 
elsewhere, she was incapable of harbouring any 
deep emotion for long, while it lasted, it was none 
the less poignant ; and, for some days, she was 
" in an affliction of which it was impossible that 
anything could convey an adequate idea .... 
did nothing but weep, and refused all nourish- 
ment." As soon as she felt well enough to 
travel, she left Aix, and went to spend a few 
days with her uncle at the archiepiscopal palace 
at Lyons. From Lyons she pr-oceeded to Mar- 
seilles, where she remained until the beginning 
of December, when, as the doctors insisted on 
her wintering in the South, she removed to 
Hyeres. 

Duchand had followed her to Provence, but, 
when he applied for an extension of his furlough, 
on the plea that he was not yet fit for duty, he 
met with a curt refusal — very possibly, the Em- 
peror disapproved of the manner in which the 
gallant officer was spending his conge de conva- 
lescence — and he received orders to join the 

' Published by M. Frdddric Masson, NapoUon et sa famille. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 263 

Grand Army immediately.^ About the same 
time, his Majesty wrote to his sister, whom he 
always persisted in beHeving a malade imaginaire 
— though that was certainly not the case now — 
that he considered that it would be better for her 
to return to Paris, instead of wandering about 
the country at the bidding of the Faculty. This 
effectually disposes of the assertion made by 
several chroniclers that Pauline was then in dis- 
grace at Court, and that her sojourn in Provence 
was not a voluntary one. 

Duchand left Hyeres about the middle of 
January, and, deprived of the consolation of his 
society, Pauline relapsed into a melancholy, ner- 
vous condition, and made the lives of her House 
hold a burden by her caprices. She was suddenly 
possessed by a mania for retrenchment, due, per- 
haps, to a presentiment of the evil days in store, 
dismissed a number of her servants in Paris and 
at Neuilly, reduced the salaries of her ladies-in- 
waiting, and, in short, cut down expenses in 
almost every direction, though she still continued 
to spend immense sums on jewellery. 

In February, she left Hyeres for Nice, but, if 
the Nicois had expected to see the Pauline of six 
years before reappear in their midst, they must 
have been greatly disappointed, for the light- 



1 He took part in both the Saxon campaigns, and greatly dis- 
tinguished himself in the battles of Bautzen and Leipzig. His 
services were rewarded by the Golden Eagle of the Legion and 
the title of Baron of the Empire, 



264 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

hearted princess whose amours and caprices had 
so much diverted them in 1807 was now a frac- 
tious invalid, who never quitted the grounds of 
her villa, refused to receive any visitors, and 
spent the greater part of her time in bed. 

At the end of May, Pauline removed to 
Grt!oulx, in the Pyrenees, where, it will be re- 
membered, she had spent the summer and 
autumn of 1807, the greater part of the journey 
being made in a sedan-chair, as she was unable 
to bear the motion of a carriage. Since her 
previous visit, Grdoulx had become quite a 
fashionable resort, but she was still too ill to 
join in any of the gaieties of the place, and en- 
deavoured to while away the time by dictating 
long letters to the different members of her 
family, and drawing up an elaborate code of 
regulations for the conduct of the subordinate 
members of her Household, any breach of which 
was to be punished by a fine, varying from three 
francs up to a louis. 

In the middle of July, feeling somewhat better, 
she established herself in a country-house which 
had been lent her in the neighbourhood of Aix ; 
but the third week in August found her back at 
Gr^oulx. Since Canouville's death, it had been 
an established rule in her Household that on no 
account was any bad news to be communicated 
to the princess, and for some months this was 
rigidly observed. However, as' her health im- 
proved, her entourage grew less discreet, and she 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 265 

learned of the disasters which were overtaking 
the French Army in Saxony. Fearing that the 
Emperor might be in need of money, she ordered 
a magnificent diamond-necklace- and other jewels 
to be sold, and offered the proceeds, amounting 
to 300,000 francs, to her brother. Her letter 
reached Napoleon a few days after the crown- 
ing disaster at Leipzig, and, though he declined 
the gift, he appears to have been much gratified 
that one at least among his relatives was not 
wholly ungrateful for all the benefits with which 
he had overwhelmed them. 

For Elisa, the year 18 12, so disastrous to 
Napoleon's cause, passed tranquilly enough, 
though the failure of the harvest of the previous 
autumn, joined to the burden of the Continental 
System, was causing widespread misery in Tus- 
cany, and the quarrel between the clergy and 
the French authorities still continued. The 
news of the loss of the Grand Army, which 
reached her towards the end of December, does 
not appear to have caused her much alarm, and 
on Christmas Day we find her writing to the 
Emperor to felicitate him on his safe return, and 
to assure him that no part of his dominions was 
more submissive, more devoted, or more tranquil 
than Tuscany. 

Perhaps, Elisa did not appreciate the probable 
effect of that calamity on her own position ; 
any way, she did not permit it to interfere 



266 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

with her plans for the embellishment of her 
palace at Lucca, nor for transmitting her glory 
to posterity ; and, in the following spring, she 
posed before the Italian painter Benvenuti, who 
represented her surrounded by the ladies of her 
Court, the principal officers of her Household, 
and some of her artistic and literary proUgis, 
who included Canova, Morghenj and Santarelli/ 
In July, !^lisa again visited Leghorn for a 
course of sea-bathing, and, on her return to 
Florence, was seized " d'une inaladie nouvelle, 
que Von ddsigne du nom de colera-morbus" and 
was for some time very ill. In the meanwhile, 
signs of unrest had begun to manifest themselves 
on the coast of Tuscany, and particularly at 
Leghorn, where the hostility of the inhabitants 
to French domination was industriously fostered 
by British agents. Napoleon, from Dresden, 
wrote to the Grand-Duchess, enjoining her to 
take vigorous measures to suppress the first 
symptoms of insurrection, and to deport the 
leaders to Elba; but Elisa replied that "violent 
measures were alien to her nasture," and con- 
tented herself by ordering the arrest of two 
prominent citizens of Leghorn, who had made 

' This painting, a reproduction of which, thanks to the courtesy 
of M. Paul Marmottan, we have been enabled to reproduce in 
these volumes, was purchased, in 1857, by Napoleon III from the 
Pepoli family, in whose possession it had: been for many years, 
and placed in the Tuileries. It was long believed to have been 
destroyed in the fire of 187 1, but some years ago it was discovered 
in the Garde-Meuble, 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 267 

use of insulting" language respecting the Em- 
peror. She seems, indeed, whether from ignor- 
ance of the real state of affairs, or owing to the 
fond belief that her own authority was sufficient 
to curb any insurrectionary movement, to have 
persistently underrated the danger, and permitted 
a deputation, headed by Cardinal Zondadari, to 
go to Saxony to assure his Majesty that Tuscany 
would remain faithful. 

The Emperor, reassured by these protesta- 
tions, instead of reinforcing the French troops 
in Central Italy, recalled the most of those 
stationed there, and ordered their place to be 
supplied by a newly-raised corps of Italians, 
whose efficiency and loyalty were more than 
doubtful. The consequence was that, after 
Leipzig, Elisa found herself threatened both by 
the Austrians and the English, with practically no 
reliable troops to make head against them ; and 
the Austrian general, Nugent, 'who, on Novem- 
ber 15, landed at the mouth of the Po, with 
a composite force of Austrians, British and 
Calabrians, to the number of 3000, was able 
to occupy Ferrara without striking a blow, 
and push his advance posts as far as Malal- 
bergo. 

The Grand- Duchess, who was at Pisa, hurried 
to Florence, and sent to the Viceroy for assist- 
ance. Eugene despatched three battalions to 
Ferrara, whereupon Nugent evacuated the city, 
retreated to the coast, and re-embarked. But 



368 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

his raid had clearly shown the helpless condition 
of Tuscany, and given an immense impetus to 
the insurrectionary movement ; and It was fol- 
lowed by a general exodus of all the French 
who were not detained there by military or 
official duties. 



CHAPTER XXXI 

Caroline appointed Regent of Naples during the absence of Murat 
in Russia — Her prudent administration — Jealousy of her hus- 
band, who seeks to confine her authority, within the narrowest 
limits — Murat abandons the wreck of the Grand Army at 
Posen, and returns to Naples — Indignation of the Emperor : 
his letters to Caroline and Murat — Murat, convinced that his 
throne is in jeopardy, enters into negotiations with both Austria 
and Great Britain — Caroline at first faithful to the Emperor, but 
eventually becomes her husband's accomplice, and ably seconds 
him in his criminal intrigues — Her hypocritical letters to 
Napoleon — Murat, summoned by the Emperor to join the army 
in Saxony, decides to obey — His motives — Skilfol manceuvres 
of Caroline — After Leipzig, Murat begs the Emperor's per- 
mission to return to Naples, which is accorded him — Despatch 
of Aberdeen to Castlereagh — Napoleon, deceived by Murat, 
gives him a free hand in Italy — The King's plans interrupted by 
an ultimatum from Austria — The treaty of January ii, 1814 — 
A comedy at the palace — Grief and indignation of Napoleon 
on learning of the treachery of his brother-in-law and sister. 

BEFORE leaving Paris, on May 12, 181 2, 
Murat had handed to Caroline a royal 
decree, which conferred upon her the 
regency of Naples during his absence with the 
Grand Army. That he did so with profound 
reluctance is obvious from the fact that he " re- 
served to himself the decision on all questions of 
government," and thus tied his consort's hands as 
tightly as he possibly could. However, after 
having until now been denied every vestige of 

269 



270 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

political power, except such as she had con- 
trived to obtain by indirect means, and, latterly, 
even the consideration clue to her rank, her 
Majesty was inclined to be thankful for small 
mercies, and she returned to Naples in the 
early days of June with very pleasurable an- 
ticipations. 

The months which followed Were probably the 
happiest, and certainly the most praiseworthy, of 
Caroline's whole career. Possessed of great per- 
tinacity, an energy almost as untiring as Elisa's, 
a clear judgment, and remarkable shrewdness, 
she had hitherto found no opportunity of exer- 
cising her talents, save in tortuous and often none 
too reputable intrigues ; but now at last she was 
to be afforded a chance of employing them in 
a more worthy field, and right well did she use it. 
The Ministers and all the officials with whom she 
was brought into contact were astonished at the 
readiness with which this womah, destitute of all 
political training, and wanting iji even the most 
ordinary education, seemed to grasp the most 
technical details which were laid before her, at the 
soundness of her judgment, and at the fluency with 
which she expressed herself. " If a grave political 
question came under discussion," writes the 
Duchesse d'Abrantes [Madame Junot], who, as 
we have seen, had no cause to love her 
Majesty, "she would speak like a well-informed 



statesman."^ 



Mimoires. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 271 

In short, she showed herself, from the very first, 
a consummate woman of affairs, infinitely more 
fitted for the difficult task of CToverninof than 
her vain and unstable husband. Moreover, her 
private life would appear to have been quite above 
reproach, since she had no longer any need of 
lovers, whom, as we have seen, she had taken 
far more from calculation than from tempera- 
ment. 

The policy the Queen pursued was a sound and 
prudent one ; that is to say, while in full accord 
with her husband in his desire to secure the 
emancipation of his crown, she remained attached 
to the French system against the Italian system, 
of which she recognised the dangers. " She is 
serving a noble apprenticeship in government," 
writes Norvins ; "she brings to affairs an en- 
lightened devotion and the desire never to 
separate the interests of the realm from those 
of the Empire." ^ At the same time, she took 
care to guard her independence, and any attempt 
on the part of the Imperial officials to encroach 
upon it was invariably met with a firm, though 
courteously-worded protest, which seems to ha-ve 
been far more efficacious than all Murat's ex- 
travagant denunciations, which had ohly served 
to provoke irritation and resentment. 

However, she found herself hampered at every 
turn by the restrictions imposed up6n her by 
her husband, who, informed by his confidants in 

' Published by M. Masson, NapoUon ei sa famille. 



272 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

Naples of the admirable manner in which she 
was discharging the duties of her office, seems to 
have conceived the idea that she was trying to 
supplant him in the esteem of his people, 
and sought to confine her activity within even 
narrower limits than he had already marked out 
for her. He declined to confirm the nominations 
which she made ; he either rejected altogether 
the propositions which she made to him, or ad- 
journed their consideration till his return, notwith- 
standing the embarrassment which such a course 
entailed upon the Regent and the Ministers, and, 
in the hope of injuring his wife's popularity, he 
even insisted upon the imposition of certain taxes, 
which, when previously suggested to him, he had, 
rejected. " Public business is at a complete 
standstill," writes Mier to Metternich. ". . . It 
is enough for the Queen to desire anything for 
the King to refuse it." 

On October 19, the Grand Army began its 
disastrous retreat from Moscow ;- and on Decem- 
ber 5, at Smorgoni, Napoleori abandoned the 
command of the miserable wreck of his once 
mighty host to Murat and hurried off to Paris. 
This post Murat retained until the middle of 
January, when he wrote, from Posen, to the Em- 
peror, protesting that " la fievre et tme commence- 
ment de Jaunisse bien prononcde " reluctanriy 
compelled him to leave the army. And, two 
days later, in spite of the entreaties of Berthier 
to await the Emperor's orders, he abandoned the 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 273 

command to Eugene de Beauharnais and set out 
for Naples.-' 

Murat's abandonment of the army, and, indeed, 
his whole conduct during his command, has been 
severely criticised, both by his contemporaries 
and by historians, and some writers have even 
gone so far as to suggest that there was an un- 
derstanding between him and the Russians. Of 
this, however, there is no direct evidence ; cer- 
tainly, what remained of the army were by no 
means the losers by the substitution of the 
Viceroy for " rhomme le plus incapable de com- 
mander en chef sous tous les rapports."'^ His 
flight from Posen seems to have been due to 
several causes : the incessant quarrels with his 
subordinates, especially Davoust and Berthier ; 
the knowledge that he was unfitted to bear the 
heavy responsibilities cast upon him ; jealousy 
of Caroline's growing popularity and influence 
at Naples, and, above all, the belief that the 
Emperor would never recover from the stagger- 
ing blow he had received, and -that his return to 
Naples was imperative, if he wished to preserve 
his kingdom. 

On the evening of January 31, 18 13, Murat 

' He had begged to be relieved of his command so far back as 
December l6, and added that, if he did not hear from the Emperor 
within a fortnight, he should set out on his journey. MM. Chavanon 
and Saint- Yves are therefore certainly in error when they assert 
that " nothing in the previous conduct of Murat foreshadowed this 
determination." 

2 Despatch of Berthier to the Emperor, December 16, 1812. 
n.— 18 



274 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

arrived at the Castle of San Lucio at Caserta, 
where he found the Queen and his children. 
Caroline does not seem to nave been at all 
pleased at his arrival; she disapproved of his 
abandoning his post, and, on learning, from his 
letters, that such was his intention, had written 
strongly urging him to remain/ As for the King, 
his manner towards his wife was cold and con- 
strained, and almost his first act was to order 
a favourite equerry of her Majesty to retire from 
Court and join his regiment, which naturally gave 
rise to a good deal of gossip. 

He had soon, however, matters of far more 
importance to occupy his attention than the con- 
duct of the Queen. 

The Emperor was furious at his brother-in- 
law's desertion of his post, and, though Murat, 
in a letter which he addressed to him imme- 
diately on his return to Naples, insisted that the 
state of his health had rendered it absolutely 
impossible for him to remain with the army, 
refused to accept his explanation ; and, on 
January 24, he wrote to Carolinfe as follows : 

^ This letter, which was written on January 1 5 — that is to say, 
two days before Murat left Posen, and so, of course, never reached 
him — shows that Caroline, at that moment, believed that interest 
was in accord with duty, and is in itself a. sufficient refutation of 
M. Turquan's assertion that the Queen, immediately on learning of 
the loss of the Grand Army in Russia, decided that the Empire 
was doomed, and, without even waiting for the return of her hus- 
band, entered into secret negotiations with both Austria and Great 
Britain. It has been published by M. Weil, in his interesting work 
h prince Engine et Murat ^ and also by M. Masson, NapoUon et 
sa famillc. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 275 

The King of Naples, your husband, aban- 
doned the Army on the i6th!- He is a brave 
man on the battlefield, but he is feebler than 
a woman or a monk when the enemy is not in 
sight. He has no moral courage. I charge you 
to convey to him the displeasure which I have 
experienced at his conduct in this matter. 

And to Murat he wrote, two days later : 

I do not intend to speak to you of my dis- 
pleasure at your conduct since my departure 
from the Army, as it has its origin in the in- 
firmity of your character. At the same time, I 
deemed it necessary to open my mind on the 
subject to the Queen. You are a good soldier 
on the battlefield, but, beyond that, you have 
neither energy nor decision. I suppose you are 
not among those who think that the lion is dead. 
If such is your calculation, it will prove false. 
You have done all the harm you could since my 
departure from Wilna. The title of King has 
turned your head. If you desire to preserve it — 
this title — you will have to conduct yourself dif- 
ferently from what you have done up to the 
present. The occasion of rehabilitating yourself 
in my estimation cannot be lo'ng in presenting 
itself. 

Nor did his Imperial Majesty confine the ex- 
pression of his displeasure to letters, and his 
refusal to confirm the donation of the Principality 
of Ponte-Corvo to Achille Mufat, which he had 
promised his father during the Russian campaign, 
until the boy should take an oath of allegiance in 
person ; his cancelling of all the promotions made 



276 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

by Murat after the Emperor's dfeparture from the 
army ; the terms in which he announced, in the 
Moniteur, the resignation of his brother-in-law's 
command, and his instructions to the French 
Ambassador at Naples to demand his passports, 
if the King refused to send to Verona six 
battalions which he required of him to reinforce 
the Army of the Adige, — all pointed to profound 
distrust and irritation, and seemed to have con- 
vinced Murat that, whatever might be the ulti- 
mate solution of the problem which confronted 
Europe, his own throne was not worth a year's 
purchase, unless he took immediate steps to safe- 
guard it. 

The limits of our space will not permit of our 
attempting to describe here the intrigues of which 
Naples was the centre during the ensuing months : 
negotiations with Austria, in which Murat first 
souofht to obtain a guarantee which would ensure 
the preservation of his crown, in return for what 
would have practically amounted to an attitude of 
neutrality in the struggle between Napoleon and 
the Allied Powers, but which were eventually to 
assume a far more reprehensible character ; nego- 
tiations with Lord William Bentinck and the 
British Government, criminal from the first;' and 

' They were carried on in the Isle of Ponza, which the British 
had seized at the end of February 1813. Murat's agents were 
Giuseppe Cercuh, an employ^ of the Minister of Pohce, Robert 
Jones, an Enghsh merchant long resident at Naples, and Felice 
Nicolas, keeper of the Neapolitan Archives and formerly secretary 
to Acton. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 277 

negotiations with the Italian patriots. And we 
shall therefore confine ourselves to endeavouring 
to determine the degree of responsibility which 
attaches to Caroline. 

Contrary to what M. Turquan asserts — on 
what authority it would be interesting to learn— 
Caroline, far from having drawn her husband 
into these criminal intrigues, remained faithful to 
the Emperor until the early summer of 18 13, not, 
we may well believe, from any sentiment of 
loyalty or gratitude to the brother to whom she 
was under such immense obligations, but simply 
because she still inclined to the belief that her 
duty coincided with her interests. M. Masson is 
of opinion that she was still in ignorance of the 
real character of the negotiations with Great 
Britain at the end of June, at -which date, how- 
ever, it is certain that she was not only aware of 
the Austrian negotiations, but cordially approved 
of them, for, on the 29th, we find Mier writing to 
Metternich : " Their Majesties await with im- 
patience the answer to the proposition of Cariati 
[Murat's representative at Vienna], in order to 
know what course to pursue in the event of war 
between France and Austria. The King is still 
disposed to support our interests." 

This, as MM. Chavanon and Saint-Yves point 
out, is the first official intimation we have that 
the Queen had become the acpomplice of her 
husband, and they attribute her change of front 
to the menacing attitude assumed by the 



278 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

Emperor, who had discovered, at the end of 
May, the real object of Cariati's mission to 
Vienna,^ and whose eyes had lately been opened, 
by an article in the London Morning Chronicle 
of June II to the suspiciously-amicable relations 
existing between the Neapolitan Government 
and the British in Ponza.^ In our opinion, how- 
ever, it would be wiser to ascribe it to the fact 
that Murat had just received intimation from the 
War Ofifice in Paris that Austria was about to 
enter the Coalition against France. 

If Caroline had hesitated to accord her support 
to the anti-French policy of her husband, when 
once she had decided on that course, Murat 
found in her an invaluable auxiliary. She cast 
her spells over Mier, the Austrian Ambassador — 
an impressionable young man of twenty-six — as 
she had cast them over Junot, Metternich, and 
Daure, and employed the influence she acquired 

1 On June 3, the day before signing the fatal armistice of 
Poischwitz, he had sent a note to the Neapohtan Government 
insisting on Cariati's recall. 

2 "Advices from Sicily were received yesterday to the 8th of 
April, and we learn, with considerable surprise, that there seems 
to be some appearance of friendly and commercial arrangement 
between Lord Wm. Bentinck and the Ministers of Murat, at 
Naples. A cessation of hostilities has been agreed upon between 
Sicily and Naples ; and, in a letter of the 7th of April from 
Messina, it is stated that the intercourse has been re-established 
with the islands in the bays of Gaeta and Naples, and that there 
was a prospect of a beneficent trade with the Continent, through 
the medium of those settlements. It will be curious if another 
French marshal, raised to a throne, is to be ranked among our 
friends or allies. Has the mission of Beauharnais to Milan any 
relation to the supposed defection of Murat ? " 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 279 

over the youthful diplomatist to extract from him 
some very useful information cdncerning the in- 
tentions of his Government. She so completely 
hoodwinked her old friend Durand that, almost 
up to the last, he still believed her loyal to the 
interests of France. Finally, she employed her 
innate talent for dissimulation to deceive the 
Emperor — this brother who had raised her from 
the most abject poverty to set her. among princes! 
— and it is impossible to read without disgust the 
hypocritical letters filled with assurances of the 
most unflinching loyalty, the most whole-hearted 
devotion, which she addressed to him at the very 
time when she and her husband were in constant 
communication with his enemies. In one, after 
denying in the most positive terms that Murat 
had had any treasonable relations whatever with 
either Austria or Great Britain, she thus con- 
cludes : 

" I shall not add anything, Sire, except that no 
one in the world is more strongly and more 
inviolably attached to you than the King. To 
love you, to serve you, is for him a necessity. 
You will always find him ready against your 
enemies, and always worthy of your affection and 
confidence." 

Her efforts were but too successful. If, during 
the armistice of Poischwitz, Napoleon, convinced 
of the treachery of his brother-in-law, had de- 
cided to dethrone him, he could have done so 
without difficulty, for, as the King's negotiations 



28o THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

with Austria and Great Britain had as yet led 
to no definite result, it is unlikely that either 
would have stirred a finger to help him. But 
the letters he received from Caroline, and the 
despatches of Durand, whom the Queen had so 
cleverly duped, seem to have partially reassured 
him ; and he therefore contented himself by con- 
tinuing to press for the despatch of the Neapolitan 
contingent to the Army of the Adige, and by 
threatening to withdraw his Ambassador from 
Naples if his demands were not complied with. 

On July 26th, a courier from Dresden arrived 
at Naples, with a letter in th@ Emperor's own 
hand, ordering the King to join him. The spring 
campaign in Saxony had impressed Napoleon 
with the necessity of securing his brother-in- 
law's services to lead the cavalry, the officers of 
which were demanding to know why he was not 
at their head. After a long conference with his 
wife, Murat decided to obey, and, on August 2, 
having again confided the regency to Caroline, 
he set out for Saxony. 

Several writers attribute his- response to the 
Emperor's summons to a reluctance to abandon 
Napoleon's cause, and pretend that, at the call 
of duty, he temporarily renounced his treacherous 
intentions, and became once more the loyal soldier 
of Aboukir, Austerlitz, Jena, and Friedland.^ 

1 MM. Chavanon and Saint- Yves are of this opinion, and assert 
that, but for "the ridiculous obstinacy of the implacable tyrant, 
deaf too long to the voice of reason and of affection," Murat would 
never have entered into negotiations with thi; Emperor's enemies. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 281 

Nothing could be further from the truth. 
Murat obeyed the Emperor's summons, not be- 
cause "honour called him," but because it was 
the only course open to him. He had as yet 
received no definite assurances from either 
Austria or Great Britain, and until he did so, 
it would have been obviously the height of folly 
to break with Napoleon. Moreover, he seems 
to have been in receipt of information from Ger- 
many that the Congress which had met at Prague 
on July 12 might succeed in arranging terms of 
peace, and that it was strongly advisable for him 
to be at hand, in order to protect his own 
interests. 

And his absence did not interrupt the negotia- 
tions with England and Austria ; they still con- 
tinued, even while Murat was leading the French 
cavalry with his usual dashing valour, and risk- 
ing his life a dozen times a day for the sove- 
reign whom he was on the point of betraying. 
He and his wife were now in complete accord, 
and the latter manoeuvred with an address, 
which, had it been employed for a less detest- 
able end, it would be difficult not to admire : 
inventing pretext after pretext to justify her hus- 
band's continued refusal to send his troops to 
reinforce the Army of the Adige ; contriving 
means to retain Mier at Naples and Cariati at 
Vienna, contrary to all diplomatic usage — since 
Naples and Austria were nominally at war — and 
in spite of reiterated orders from the Emperor ; 



282 THE WOMEN BONAtARTES 

hastening to give proof of her loyalty by sending 
10,000 men to assist in repelling a British land- 
ing at Porto d'Anzio, which, as she was no doubt 
aware, was merely a raid, and, in short, gaining 
all she wanted without compromising herself with 
France and without sacrificing anything. 

Fortune, which had smiled fitfully upon Na- 
poleon at the opening of the autumn campaign, 
soon averted her face. The Emperor's dearly- 
bought success at Dresden was altogether neu- 
tralised by the successive defeats of Regnier at 
Grossbeeren, of Girard at Hagelberg, of Mac- 
donald at the Katzbach, of Ney at Dennewitz, 
and of Vandamme at Kulm ; and in mid-October 
these disasters culminated in that terrific combat 
— or rather series of combats — around Leipzig, 
known as the Battle of the Nations. On the 
19th, Murat accompanied the Emperor in his re- 
treat, but, on the 24th, when they reached Erfurt, 
he informed him that he had received a letter 
urging him to return immediately to Naples, and 
demanded permission to leave the army. He 
pointed out that he could serve his Majesty to 
better purpose in Italy, and engaged that, im- 
mediately on his arrival, he would lead in person 
the contingent which the Emperor had so vainly 
demanded of him to the assistance of the Vice- 
roy's army. Napoleon consented, and, that same 
day, Murat took leave of his brother-in-law, whom 
he was never to see again, and set out for 
Naples. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 283 

The King had certainly received an urgent 
letter, but it was not from Naples but from Lord 
Aberdeen, the British Ambassador at the Aus- 
trian Court, and Metternich, in confirmation of a 
despatch which he had received from Cariati, on 
the 1 6th, announcing that Great Britain and 
Austria were prepared to obtain from Ferdi- 
nand IV his renunciation of the throne of Naples 
and guarantee that throne and his independence 
to Murat, provided that he would leave the 
French army and abstain from sending troops 
to the assistance of the Viceroy of Italy. ■* On 
November 10, Aberdeen wrote to Castlereagh 
as follows : 

"As soon as he [Murat] received the last com- 
munication addressed to him by Prince Metter- 
nich and myself at Prague, he wrote to Napoleon 
and stated that the affairs of his kingdom abso- 
lutely demanded his presence. Without waiting 
for an answer,^ he immediately began his journey 

' M. Turquan states that,,^?/* days after the disaster of Leipzig, 
Murat secretly visited the camp of the Alhes, where he had an 
interview with Mier, formerly Austrian Ambassador at Naples, 
"and showed himself disposed to enter into the views of the 
Coalition," after which he returned to the French lines and re- 
quested the Emperor's authority to set out for Italy. Well, five 
days after Leipzig, that is to say October 24, Murat was at Erfurt, 
and Mier still Ambassador at Naples, which he did not leave until 
November 14 ! M. Turquan further adds, apparently on the 
authority of Pasquier, that Napoleon learned of this supposed 
interview, and despatched a courier in all haste to the Minister of 
Police, with orders that, if Murat travelled by way of Paris, he was 
to be arrested and incarcerated at Vincennes. But Napoleon, as 
we shall show, was not undeceived in regaf d to his brother-in-law 
until much later. 

^ This, as we have seen, is incorrect. 



284 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

and did not halt for a moment until he arrived 
at Basle. While on the road, he sent a ciphered 
despatch to Prince Cariati, his Minister at Vienna, 
in which he informs him that he hopes to be at 
Naples on the 4th of the month : that he burns 
with desire to revenge himself of [szc'j all the 
injuries he has received from Bonaparte, and 
to connect himself with the cause of the Allies 
in contending for a just and stable peace. He 
proposes to declare war on the instant of his 
arrival."^ 

Murat, despite the breakdown of his travel- 
ling-carriage in the snows of the Simplon, duly 
reached his capital on the date he had men- 
tioned to Cariati ; but, if Aberdeen and Metter- 
nich really expected him to declare openly for 
the Allies immediately on his arrival, their cal- 
culations were altogether misplaced. At Milan, 
where he found the population in great alarm 
at the retreat of the Viceroy's army, which, after 
a vain attempt to hold the line of the Isonzo 
against a superior Austrian force under Belle- 
garde, had been compelled to fall back to the 
Adige, his appearance had been welcomed by 
frantic acclamations, and he had been hailed as 
the "Saviour of Italy." This reception con- 
vinced him that the mere preservation of his 
kingdom of Naples was far too modest a price 
to set upon his honour, and he determined to 
play for a much higher stake. 

He accordingly set his agents to work among 

' Published by Dr. J. Holland Rose, Li/e of Napoleo7i I. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 285 

the Italian patriots, and, when he judged that 
affairs were sufficiently advanced, wrote to the 
Emperor, declaring that the only possible means 
to preserve Italy was to proclaim its unity and 
independence under some one Whom he [Napo- 
leon] should select, that is to say, the King of 
Naples ; 

" Since the defection of the Confederation 
of the Rhine, since the disaster of Leipzig, the 
Austrians can reinforce their Army of Italy to 
any extent they please. What can the 30,000 
men of which I am able to dispose effect against 
them ? It is no longer armies that ougrht to be 
opposed to the Austrians in Italy ; it is a moral 
force, an invincible force, that which the hope of 
seeing Italy united in a single nation must inspire 
in every Italian." 

It was an astute move, as well as a bold one. 
If the Emperor, relying on his brother-in-law's 
good-faith, were to permit him to occupy with 
his army Imperial Italy up to the Po, and also 
to retain under his command, at any rate for a 
time, the French troops by which the principal 
towns were still garrisoned, M-urat would find 
himself in an exceedingly favourable position, 
since he could then treat with the Allies on the 
basis of the Uti Possidetis, and even if he were 
unable to obtain from them the cession of the 
whole territory in his possession as the price of 
his support, he could scarcely fail to secure a 
considerable portion of it. 

Although Murat's letters contained no mention 



286 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

of any intention on his part to place the Italian 
forces at the disposition of the Emperor after the 
national rising which he so confidently predicted 
had driven the Austrians over the Alps, Napoleon 
seems to have believed that an alliance with 
France would naturally follow, and, though he 
did not formally accept his brother-in-law's pro- 
position, he decided to allow him a free hand in 
Italy. Having therefore taken the precaution 
to send Fouche to Naples, to keep an eye on 
Murat's actions and to engage him to despatch 
the promised contingent without delay to the 
assistance of the Viceroy, he sent instructions 
to the French authorities in Italy to give 
free passage to the Neapolitan army, which 
was thus enabled to take possession of Rome, 
Ancona, and several places of minor import- 
ance. 

That Murat would have succeeded in occupy- 
ing the whole of Imperial Italy without en- 
countering any resistance from the French, there 
can, we think, be no doubt, since the Emperor 
appears to have been completely deceived by 
his brother-in-law's specious letters, and by the 
assurances he received from Fouche, who was 
playing his usual double game. But, unfortun- 
ately for the success of the King's schemes, the 
Allies, with whom he was still Coquetting, began 
to grow seriously alarmed, and on the night of 
December 30-31, the Graf von Neipperg, after- 
wards the second husband of Marie Louise, who. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 287 

as Minister of Austria at Stoclsholm, had nego- 
tiated the entry of Bernadotte into the CoaHtion, 
arrived at Naples with an ultimatum from his 
Government. 

Neipperg was instructed to* represent that 
Austria would no longer suffer the neutrality of 
Naples, and that, if the King persisted in remain- 
ing neutral, she would immediately break off all 
diplomatic relations and hold herself free to com- 
mence hostilities against him. if, on the other 
hand, Murat were prepared to become an active 
member of the Coalition, Austria, on her side, 
would not only guarantee his pfesent dominions, 
and do everything in her power to procure his 
recognition by England and a formal renuncia- 
tion from the King of Sicily of his possessions 
on the mainland, but would engage to pro- 
cure him "a more advantageous frontier," as 
an indemnity for his efforts in the common 
cause. 

Murat, however, was reluctant to abandon his 
dream of becoming the chief of a united Italy, 
and he found a pretext for delay in the conduct 
of Lord William Bentinck, Ambassador Extra- 
ordinary at the Court of Palermo and Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the British Forces in Sicily, 
who declined to sign the treaty on behalf of 
Great Britain, on the ground that he had re- 
ceived no instructions from his Government, 
although, as a matter of fact, he had in his 
pocket orders from Castlereagh for the imme- 



288 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

diate conclusion of the proposed treaty with the 
King of Naples/ 

Now, however, Caroline intervened. In their 
resolve to guard their crown, no matter at what 
price, to treat with Austria or England against 
the Emperor and France, husband and wife 
were in complete accord ; both were devoured 
by ambition, both equally untrammelled by 
scruple. Where, however, they differed was in 
regard to the course to be followed. Murat, 
vain, rash and headstrong, was eager for the 
conquest and possession of Italy ; Caroline, 
shrewd, calm, and calculating, was disposed to 
accept what Austria offered, lest by aiming too 
high they should lose all. Moreover, her old 
relations with Metternich, and her more recent 
intimacy with Mier, naturally inclined her to a 
treaty with Austria, and she used every con- 
ceivable argument to persuade, her husband to 
take the same view. 



1 Bentinck's whole conduct in the matter was most extra- 
ordinary, since, despite the remonstrances of Neipperg and re- 
peated orders from the British Government, he persisted in his 
refusal to sign a treaty which was " a sad violation of all public 
and private principle " ; and all that the Allies eventually got out of 
him was an armistice. Mr. Walter Frewin Lord, in an interesting 
article in the Nineteenth Century (October 1900), entitled "The 
Story of Murat and Bentinck," arrives at the conclusion that the 
only possible explanation of Bentinck's continued disregard of his 
instructions is that he was endeavouring — entirely on his own 
initiative — to induce Ferdinand to offer to cede Sicily to Great 
Britain, in return for an indemnity in Italy or a monetary compen- 
sation, in order that he might rule the island as viceroy ; and 
therefore naturally desired to re-establish that potentate at Naples, 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 289 

She prevailed, and on January 11, 18 14, Gallo, 
on behalf of the King, and Mier and Neipperg, 
in the name of the Emperor Francis, signed 
a treaty, whereby Murat agreed to place at the 
disposal of the Coalition a contingent of 30,000 
men, to serve only in Italy ; while the Emperor 
of Austria guaranteed to Murat and his dynasty 
the sovereignty entire and free of all the States 
which he then possessed in Italy. Secret articles 
contained the engagement of the Emperor of 
Austria to employ every possible means to obtain 
the renunciation of the King of Sicily to the 
realm of Naples ; Murat, on his side, renouncing 
all claims to Sicily and consenting to give an 
indemnity to its sovereign. Further, the Austrian 
Government agreed to obtain Great Britain's 
consent to the treaty, and to procure Murat 
a territorial compensation in Italy for the efforts 
he would make in favour of the Coalition. 
Finally, an additional article stipulated the nature 
of the compensation, which was to be territory 
in the Roman States with a population of not 
less than 400,000. 

It seems difficult to reconcile Murat's treachery 
to his benefactor and his country — treachery 
which, as we have seen, was not the outcome of 
any sudden impulse, but of long months of 
tortuous intrigue — with his conduct on the morn- 
ing of the day on which the treaty was to be 
made public. Madame R^camier, who was then 
at Naples, happened to be alone with her old 
II. — 19 



290 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

friend the Queen, in the latters apartments in 
the palace, when the door opened and the King, 
deadly pale, with disordered hair, eyes rolling 
wildly, and, to all appearance, ufider the influence 
of some overwhelming emotion, hurriedly entered 
the room. Rushing up to Madame Rdcamier, 
he seized her by both her hands, and having 
somewhat incoherently explained the situation in 
which he was placed, concluded by pathetically 
inquiring what course she would advise him to 
adopt. 

The lady, under the impression that he had not 
yet committed himself irrevocably, urged him to 
follow that which honour dictated. " Sire," said 
she, " you are a Frenchman. It is to France 
that you owe allegiance." 

" Then I am a traitor ! " cried the King, and 
opening a window which overlooked the sea, he 
pointed to the British ships entering the Bay, 
after which he covered his face with his hands 
and burst into tears. 

Caroline ran towards him, exclaiming ; "In the 
name of Heaven, Joachim, be silent, or, at least, 
speak lower! In the next room there are a 
hundred ears ready to catch every word you 
utter. Be silent! Have you lost all self-control?" 
Then, finding that her words produced no effect 
upon her husband, she went to a table, filled 
a glass from a carafe of orange-flower water, 
poured some drops of ether into it, and brought 
it to the distracted monarch. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 291 

" Drink this and compose yourself," said she. 
" Murat, remember what you are ! You are 
King- of Naples. Do. not lose sight of the duty 
you owe to your subjects and your family." 

After a time, Murat grew calmer, and left th-e 
room to remove the traces of his emotion. No 
sooner had the door closed behfnd him, than the 
Queen threw herself into Madame Rdcamier's 
arms, and, with tears in her eyes, exclaimed : " You 
see I am obliged to have courage for him as well 
as for myself At a time, too, when my courage 
is barely sustained by my affection for my children 
— when I am hourly distracted by thinking of 
my brother, who believes me guilty of treason 
towards him. Oh ! pity me ! I have need of 
pity, and I deserve it. If you could search my 
heart, you would understand what torture I am 
doomed to bear." ^ 

Even allowing for the probability that Madame 
Rdcamier's biographers have embroidered to some 
extent the account which she g'ave them of this 
scene, it remains a memorable one. Neverthe- 
less, when we peruse the hypocritical letters to the 
Emperor, in which Murat subsequently sought to 
extenuate his betrayal, we are forced to the belief 
that, from first to last, it was nothing but a clever 
piece of acting, designed by the guilty pair — both 
adepts in the art of dissimulation — to persuade 
Madame R^camier, and, through her, her many 

1 Madame Lenormant, Souvenirs et Correspondance de Madame 
Rdcamierj Duchesse d' Abrantfes, Memoirei. 



292 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

influential friends in France, that they had acted 
entirely under constraint. 

When Napoleon learned of the treachery of 
his brother-in-law and sister, he was overwhelmed 
with grief and indignation. " Murat !" he cried, 
"Murat! my brother-in-law in open treason! I 
was well aware that he was wrong-headed, but 
I believed that he loved me. It is his wife who 
is the cause of his defection. Caroline ! My 
sister ! Murat causes his cann6n to be fired on 
the French troops ! It is abominable ! It is 
odious ! He is the Bernadotte of the South ! " 

And, a day or two later, he wrote to Fouche, 
of whose complicity in this shartieful business he 
was as yet in ignorance : 

I have received your various letters. The 
conduct of the King of Naples is infamous, and 
for that of the Queen there is no name. I hope 
to live long enough to avenge myself and France 
for such frightful ingratitude. 



CHAPTER XXXII 

France invaded — Madame Mire appointed a member of the Coun- 
cil of Regency during the Emperor's absence with the Army — 
The Allies approach Paris — Departure of the Imperial Family 
for Blois — Napoleon decides to abdicate — Madame and Marie 
Louise — Madame and Fesch set out for Rome — Meeting be- 
tween Pauline and the Emperor during the latter's journey to 
Frdjus — Napoleon sails for Elba — Elisa, in the hope of pre- 
serving Lucca and Piombino, negotiates with Murat, and asso- 
ciates herself in his treason — The Neapolitan troops admitted 
to Florence — Departure of Elisa for Lucca : tumultuous scenes — 
Evacuation of Tuscany by the French troops — l^lisa announces 
that she has severed all connection with the Empire, and pro- 
ceeds to annex several outlying districts of the Kingdom of 
Italy — Her hopes of preserving her principality frustrated by 
Bentinck, who expels her from Lucca^She goes to France, 
but, after the abdication of Napoleon, returns to Italy and 
settles at Bologna — Birth of a son. 

THE year 1814 arrived. The Grand Empire 
was no more ; the Allies had already- 
crossed the Rhine ; the catastrophe which 
Letizia Bonaparte had so long foreseen and 
dreaded was at hand. Many there were who 
still believed that, even now at the eleventh hour, 
a peace would be arranged which would allow of 
Napoleon retaining the Crown of France ; but 
Madame knew the pride and obstinacy of her 
son's nature too well to cherish finy such illusion. 
Perhaps, since their characters tvere in many re- 
spects so very similar, she sympathised with his 

293 



294 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

intention to continue the struggle so long as he 
had a single battalion at his back, rather than 
consent to what he considered an ignominious 
surrender to his enemies. " I shall not complain," 
said she to Cambac^res, " how. this terminates, 
provided that the Emperor retires from it without 
any loss of honour ; for to fall is nothing, when 
one makes a noble end ; to fa:ll is everything, 
when one makes a dishonourable one."' When, 
on January 23, two days before the Emperor 
quitted Paris for Chalons-sur-Marne, to open the 
most glorious of all his campaigns, he named his 
mother one of the Council of Regency, Joseph, the 
ex- King of Spain, who, chiefly through Madame s 
efforts, had been reconciled to Napoleon, being 
appointed Lieutenant-General of France. 

The succession of victories gained by the Em- 
peror and his heroic conscripts — Champeaubert 
(February 10), Montmirial (February 11), Vau- 
champ (February 14), Montmereau (February 18) 
— achieved nothing beyond demonstrating once 
again the genius of the great captain, and the 
superiority of the French soldier of that epoch 
over those of the other nations of the Continent. 
For Napoleon's fatal obstinacy caused him to 
reject with scorn the old boundaries of France 
offered by the Allies at Chitillon, and to fight on 
desperately, in the vain hope of securing to her 
the " natural" frontiers, which he might have had 
as a present after Leipzig. 

' Baron Larrey, Madame Mire, 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 295 

On March 23, the Allied Grand Army, having 
wisely decided to ignore Napoleon's incursions on 
its rear, on which the Emperor had staked all his 
hopes of success, began its advance upon Paris ; 
and, on the 29th, arrived at Bondy, within strik- 
ing distance of the capital. Joseph thereupon 
resolved to send the Empress and the King of 
Rome to Blois, in conformity with instructions he 
had received from the Emperor, who had twice 
warned him to transfer the seat of government to 
the south of the Loire, if the Allies neared Paris, 
and in no case to allow his wife and son to fall 
into the hands of the enemy ; and, in spite of the 
opposition of the Council of Regency, who re- 
presented that such a measure would take all the 
heart out of the defence, he persisted in this 
determination. The Empress and the King of 
Rome accordingly left Paris that same day, 
preceded by the ex-Queen of Westphalia and 
followed, at a few hours' interval, by Madame and 
Louis. Louis, it may be mentioned, had arrived 
in Paris on New Year's Day, and had taken up 
his quarters at his mother's hotel, where he had 
persisted in remaining, although the Emperor, 
irritated at his ridiculous pretension to be still 
considered King of Holland, had ordered him to 
quit the capital.^ 

The Imperial Family, who had joined forces at 

' Baron Larrey observes that Louis was "prepared for sacri- 
fices compatible with the dignity of his situation," whatever that 
may mean. To an unprejudiced observer, his conduct seems to 
have been profoundly contemptible. 



296 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

Rambouillet, reached Blois in the late afternoon 
of April 2, after a trying journey — incessant rain 
having rendered the road from Paris almost im- 
passable for heavy vehicles — much to the astonish- 
ment of the inhabitants, who had received no 
intimation of their coming. The Hotel de Ville 
was hastily converted into a residence for the 
Empress and her son, while Madame accepted 
the hospitality of one of the principal citizens. 

Late on the night of March 30, the Emperor, 
hurrying back to the relief of his capital, learned 
that, a few hours previously, after a day of 
sanguinary fighting, Paris had capitulated. The 
desertion of Marmont's corps of 12,000 men, on 
April 5, destroyed his last chance of continuing 
the unequal struggle, and on the morrow he 
decided to abdicate. Two days later, Schouwa- 
loff, one of the Czar's aides-de-camp, accompanied 
by the Baron de Saint-Aignan, brother-in-law of 
the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Caulaincourt, 
arrived at Blois to conduct Marie Louise and the 
King of Rome to Rambouillet, where the Allied 
Sovereigns awaited her. Before leaving, Madame 
tells us, the Empress begged her mother-in-law 
to accompany her to Vienna, but " I thanked her 
and replied that I should never separate from 
my children." ^ 

The same day (Holy Saturda,y), Madame left 
Blois for Orldans, where she was met by Fesch. 
On arriving there, her Dame d'konneur, Madame 

I Souvenirs dicth d, R(fme.. 




THE EMPRESS MARIE LOUISE 

FKfiM THE PAINTING BV GERARD AT VERS AILT.ES 



THE WOMEN BONAt'ARTES 297 

de Fontanges, tendered her resignation, an ex- 
ample which was followed by the other ladies 
who had followed her from Paris. On April 9, 
furnished with passports from the Mayor of 
Orleans, Madame and the cardinal set out for 
Rome, where they arrived on the night of 
May 12. The restored pontiff had generously 
offered an asylum to the family of his persecutor 
and received Madame with the utmost kindness. 
" Welcome, my daughter," said he, at their first 
interview; "welcome to this city, which has 
always proved a refuge for the fugitive." 

Pauline had spent the winter bf 1814 at Nice ; 
but, at the beginning of the spring, she removed 
to a villa near Orgon, which she had rented from 
a M. Charles, a member of the Corps Legislatif 
Having strictly enjoined upon her entourage that 
on no account were they to communicate to her 
any bad news, and that the first who transgressed 
in this respect must quit her service, she was still 
quite unaware that the Emperor had abdicated, 
when, in the early afternoon of April 26, a courier 
arrived at the villa and announced that his 
Majesty was close at hand. Napoleon had 
quitted Fontainebleau on the 23rd, in charge of 
the Commissioners of the Allies, Colonel (after- 
wards Sir Neil) Campbell, Schouwaloff, General 
Koller, and the Graf von Waldeburg-Truchsess, 
and was on his way to the Mediterranean to 
embark for Elba. In the central districts, he wag 



298 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

greeted with the usual acclamations, but, after 
leaving Lyons, the attitude of the people changed, 
and at Orange stones were hurled at his carriage, 
and it was only with great difficulty that a 
passage could be forced through the infuriated 
rabble. Learning that similar demonstrations 
were to be expected at Avignon and Orgon, 
at which latter town the populace had erected 
a gibbet, on which they had hung an effigy of 
their late ruler smeared with blood, and placarded 
with the "words : " Voila done fodieux tyran ! Tot 
ou tard le crime est puni" the Commissioners 
persuaded him to don "a plain great coat, a 
Russian cloak, and a plain round hat with a white 
cockade," which he subsequently exchanged for 
the great-coat and fur cap of General Roller, the 
Austrian Commissioner.^ It seems to have been 
in this last disguise that he presented himself to 
his sister, who is said to have greeted him with 
the naive exclamation : " Oh ! Napolion, quavez 
vous fait ? " ^ 

The Emperor spent some hours at his sister's 
villa, and Pauline — the only member of the family, 
save Madame, who entertained for him any real 
affection — spared no effort to console him. She 
even proposed to accompany him to Elba, and, 
with this intention, followed him„as far as Huy, a 

^ sir Neil Campbell, Journal. 

"^ She is also said to have refused to embrace him until he 
had doffed the Austrian uniform, and that the Emperor, to humour 
her, retired into an adjoining room and assumed the uniform of 
the Guides ; but this seems a little difficult to believe. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 299 

few leagues from Fr^jus. Napoleon, however, 
refused to allow her to share his exile at present, 
though a few months later we shall find her in 
Elba. On April 28, he set sail from Fr6jus — the 
little port where he had landed, fifteen years 
before, on his return from Egypt — and on May 4 
arrived at Porto Ferrajo. 

Elisa's loyalty to the Emperor, like that of 
Caroline, did not survive his good fortune. When 
Caulaincourt was starting for the Congress of 
Chatillon, Napoleon instructed him to do every- 
thing possible to preserve Lucca and Piombino 
for his sister ; but that lady, recognising the 
hopelessness of defending Tuscany, had already, 
apparently on the advice of Fouch6, entered into 
negotiations with Murat, and, in return for an 
assurance from him that she should remain in 
undisturbed possession of her principality, had 
associated herself with his treason and had agreed 
to sell to the Coalition the States whose govern- 
ment and defence the Emperor had entrusted 
to her. 

Accordingly, towards the end of January, the 
greater part of the scanty French garrison of 
Florence was transferred to Pisau, and, on the last 
day of the month, a detachment from Murat's 
army appeared before the walls and demanded 
admission, Elisa, for the sake of appearances, at 
first refused and sent off her daughter, the 
Princess Napoleone, to Lucca ; but, a few hours 



300 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

later, protesting that she yielded only to save 
useless bloodshed, she ordered the gates to be 
opened, and the Neapolitans marched in, amid 
the acclamations of the populace. 

Unfortunately for Elisa, she acted her part 
a little too well, and the Florentines, believing 
that she had really wished to oppose the entry 
of those whom they regarded as their deliverers 
from the Napoleonic yoke, were greatly incensed. 
An angry crowd surrounded the Palazzo Pitti, 
and would have forced its way in and ejected 
the Grand-Duchess and her Household, if the 
Mayor had not intervened, and persuaded the 
people to disperse, by telling them that her 
Highness was on the point of quitting Florence. 
This Elisa, who was greatly alarmed, did the 
very next day ; nevertheless, she was not per- 
mitted to make a peaceful exit. A raging mob 
beset her carriage, loading her with insults and 
pelting her with filth ; and the gendarmes who 
escorted her were compelled to clear a passage 
with their sabres before she cpuld contrive to 
escape its unwelcome attentions. It was re- 
marked that the mob was by no means wholly 
composed of the disorderly elements of the 
population ; perhaps some of the aspiring artists 
whose claims to her patronage the Grand- Duchess 
had overlooked had taken advantage of the 
occasion to express their resentment at her 
neglect. 

Elisa retired to Lucca, whence she issued 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 301 

orders for the evacuation of all the Tuscan 
towns still occupied by the French. Then, 
having persuaded her husband that the best 
thing for him to do would be to retire to 
France and appoint her Regent of their prin- 
cipality, she formally announced that she had 
broken off all connection with the Empire and 
intended to assure the independence of her 
States, and ordered the French cockade to be 
replaced by that of Lucca. This done, she com- 
placently awaited the reward of her treason : 
the guarantee of her principality by the Allies 
which Murat had promised her ; and, in the 
meanwhile, occupied her time By quietly annex- 
ing several outlying districts of the Kingdom 
of Italy, which, in the past, she had unsuccessfully 
endeavoured to persuade the Emperor to bestow 
upon her, " like a sailor who, on a sinking ship, 
steals his captain's pocket-handkerchiefs."^ 

Murat had flattered himself that he would have 
little difficulty in obtaining from the Allies the 
guarantee of his sister-in-law's principality, par- 
ticularly now that his troops were practically in 
possession of Tuscany ; but he had not taken 
the implacable Bentinck into his calculations. 
On March 9, that officer, who cared neither for 
Murat, nor for the Austrians, nor for the orders 
of his own Government, landed at Leghorn, at 
the head of an Anglo-Sicilian force, and placed 
a garrison there, in spite of the protestations of 

1 M. Frdddric Masson, NapoUon et safamille. 



302 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

the King of Naples, after which, he marched on 
Lucca with 2,000 men. Elisa sent the elder 
Lucchesini and her secretary Lambert to remon- 
strate with him, but to their representations Ben- 
tinck curtly replied : "If you do not send that 
woman away at once, I will Have her arrested 
and conducted to the frontier." 

When the envoys returned and reported this 
ungallant speech to their mistress, she was highly 
indignant. But, as the Luccan troops, though 
much superior in numbers to Bentinck's force, 
seemed to be of opinion that discretion was the 
better part of valour, she had no choice except to 
yield; and, on March 13, she bade farewell to 
Lucca and to her dreams of greatness, and set 
out for Genoa, where her husband had lately 
been appointed to the command of the garrison. 
This post Fdlix hastened to resign, and he 
and Elisa returned to France, by way of Turin 
and Chamb^ry. On reaching Montpellier, how- 
ever, they learned that the Emperor had abdi- 
cated, whereupon they decided to return to Italy, 
and, thanks to the good offices of Metternich, 
were permitted to take up their residence in a 
charming villa in the environs of Bologna. Here, 
in the following July, Elisa gave birth to a son, 
"at the moment when she had ceased to have 
need of an heir to her power."^ 

' Mile. Avrillon, Mhiiofres. 



CHAPTER XXXIII 

Madame decides to join the Emperor in Elba, and embarks at 
Leghorn on board the British corvette Grasshopper — Sir Neil 
Campbell's impressions of Madame — Her arrival at Porto 
Ferrajo — Her house in Elba— Rosa Mellini— Visit of Pauline 
to Elba on her v^z.y to Naples — She< decides to spend the 
vifinter in the island, where she arrives at the end of October, 
1814 — Atrocious calumny concerning her and Napoleon — Life 
in Elba — Differences between Pauline and her brother on 
money matters — The Emperor's bool^s — Napoleon embarks 
for France — His conversation with his mother before his 
departure — Campbell and Pauline — Madame sails for Naples, 
but returns to France at the end of May — The Hundred Days 
— Second abdication of Napoleon — The last farewell at Mal- 
maison — Madame again goes into exile — Pauline, landing in 
Tuscany, is held prisoner by the Austrians in the Chiteau 
of Compignano — Her plan to escape discovered — She is 
eventually released and sails for Rome; 

NAPOLEON had once reproached his 
mother with exhibiting a marked prefer- 
ence for whichever of her sons happened 
to be the victim of misfortune. Thus, she had, 
in turn, elevated to the first place in her affections 
Lucien, Louis, and Jerome, when they happened 
to have incurred the weight of the Imperial dis- 
pleasure. Now, however, it was Napoleon him- 
self who stood in need of maternal consolation, 
and all the tenderness of Letizia's nature went 
out to the son who was smarting under such 
cruel reverses. 

So soon as Madame learned that the Emperor 
303 



304 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

was in Elba, and that the Allies had refused to 
allow his wife and son to share his exile, she 
decided that her place was at his side, and wrote 
begging permission to join him. Napoleon 
readily consented, but, as the Barbary corsairs 
were just then displaying great activity off the 
western coast of Italy, Madame was advised to 
postpone her departure until she could secure 
a passage in a war-ship. On July 25, she left 
Rome for Leghorn, where she had been promised 
a passage on board an English frigate. She 
travelled incognito, under the name of Madame 
Dupont, accompanied by the Chevalier Colonna 
d' I stria, formerly Prefect of Naples, who had 
lately entered her service as chamberlain, two 
dames de compagnie, and the faithful Saveria. 
At Leghorn, she found that the vessel she had 
expected had not arrived, tmt, through the 
courtesy of Campbell, the British Commissioner 
who had accompanied Napoleorj to his Lilliputian 
kingdom, it was arranged that the corvette 
Grasshopper, which had brought him to Leghorn 
on a political mission, should convey Madame 
and her suite to Elba. 

Campbell, in his Journal, has left an interest- 
ing account of his first meeting with Madame 
and of their passage to Elba. 

" Ju^y 30- — ^- Colonna paid me a compliment- 
ary call to thank me on the part of Madame, and 
to say that a visit would be very acceptable. 
Promised to attend in the evening. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 305 

"July 31. — Visited Madame, in company with 
Captain Battersby of H.M.S. Grasshopper. She 
got up, with some difficulty, some seconds after 
Our approach, and made us sit down upon chairs 
close to her. ... I addressed her as ^Madame' 
and 'Altesse^ ; she was very pleasant and un- 
affected. The old lady is very handsome, of 
middle-size, with a good figure, and a fresh colour. 

" August 2. — Embarked on his Majesty's brig 
Grasshopper, Captain Battersby, with Madame 
Letizia, M. Colonna, and two dames d'honneur, 
and landed at Elba the same evening. 

" In leaving the inn at Leghorn to walk to the 
boat, M. Colonna took the arm of Madame, with 
his hat off all the way. Captain Battersby and 
myself took the arms of the ladies, with our hats 
on. Crowds followed us, and, on quitting the 
shore, a number of persons howled and whistled 
and hissed. 

" Captain Battersby and two of his officers, 
Madame Sevira \sic\, a passenger, and myself, all 
dined with Madam,e upon deck. A couch was 
arranged for her, from which she never stirred 
during the whole voyage, except once to look out 
for Napoleon's house, when she mounted upon the 
top of a gun with great activity."" 

During the short voyage, Ma^dame appears to 
have been in a very confidential mood, and 
talked freely to Campbell about the Emperor, 
her other children, and even about her private 
affairs. 

11. — 20 



3o6 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

"She told me," continues ^ho. Journal, "that 
Napoleon was first intended for the Navy, and 
studied for it at Brienne, with a certain pro- 
portion of the other pupils. She went to see 
him there, and found that they all slept in ham- 
mocks, upon which she prevented him from pur- 
suing that line and said all she could to persuade 
him from it : ' Mon enfant, dans la. marine vous 
avez a combattre le feu et feau.' He was then 
fourteen or fifteen years of age.*' 

"She had had a great desire, she said, to visit 
England for many years. . . . Her son Lucien 
spoke very favourably of England. At first, he 
was treated with suspicion and laid under re- 
strictions ; which was unpleasant ; but afterwards 
he found himself quite happy and formed very 
agreeable friendships. 

"Louis seemed to be a great favourite of hers. 
His picture is on her snuff-box. She said he 
had written several romances, which she admired, 
and was sure would be generally esteemed, such 
as would be fit for young ladies- to read. Spoke 
of his fortune as being small, although he did 
not spend money either on play or women, 'ni 
jeu ni femmes.' Her eldest son she called ' le 
roi Joseph. ' 

"She mentioned that she had been ill-treated 
by the Minister of the Interior in France, who 
wished to take her house in Paris for 600,000 
francs, in the place of 800,000 francs, which she 
had paid for it. She only wished for what it had 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 307 

cost her. She wrote him 'that she would never 
give up her rights and property, nor bend to the 
caprice of any individual. If the Minister took 
it by force, she would enter a protestation form- 
ally, and then take her chance of justice.' " 

On casting anchor at Porto Ferrajo, one of 
Napoleon's valets-de-chambre, the harbour-master, 
and several other persons came on board, and 
informed them that the Emperor had been ex- 
pecting the arrival of his mother all the preced- 
ing day, and had set off early that morning for 
a mountain at some little distance, on the slopes 
of which he appears to have contemplated building 
a villa. Madame, always exceedingly tenacious 
of her dignity, "seemed greatly agitated and 
mortified " on learning that his Majesty was 
absent, and that he had left np instructions for 
her reception; and when Colonna, at Campbell's 
suggestion, proposed to her to send a boat to 
inform Generals Bertrand and Drouot of her 
arrival, she "gave her consent with great violence, 
turning round quite pale and huffed." 

At length, Bertrand and Drouot arrived, and 
Madame, accompanied by her suite, Campbell and 
Captain Battersby, the commander of the Grass- 
hopper, landed, and was received at the wharf by 
the mayor of the town and all the officers of the 
Imperial Guard. After acknowledging their com- 
pliments, the old lady entered a carriage drawn by 
six horses, and, followed by another containing the 
British officers, proceeded to Napoleon's residence, 



3o8 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

the Mulini, through streets Hned with soldiers and 
crowded with curious spectators.-''' 

Next morning, the Emperor returned, greeted 
his mother most affectionately, and took her for a 
long drive, to show her the principal points of 
interest on the island. For her residence, he 
allotted her a modest but comfortable house be- 
longing to his Chamberlain Vantini, within easy 
distance of the Mulini, which is, or was a few 
years ago, the residence of the sub-prefect of 
Porto Ferrajo. Madame s sojourn is commemo- 
rated by a marble tablet in the salon, bearing the 
following inscription : 

GIORGIO MANGANARO 

DIVENUTO POSSESSORE DI QUESTA CASA 

FA SAPERE AI POSTERI 

CHE NEL 1814 E 15 

FU ALBERGO DI LETIZIA BUONAPARTE 

E CON LEI IL PIU BELLA GIORNATA QUI 

STAVA NAPOLEONE.2 

A fortnight after her arrival, on the occasion 
of Napoleon's birthday (August 15), Madame 
organised a splendid fete, " which excited trans- 
ports of joy amid the entire population." A 
number of people from the mainland braved the 
terrors of sea-sickness and the Barbary corsairs, 

' Sir Neil Campbell, yijz^wzfj/. 

^ " Giorgio Manganaro, having become the owner of this house, 
informs posterity that in 1S14 and 1S15 it was the residence of 
Letizia Buonaparte, and with her Napoleon spent the greater part 
of the day." 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 309 

and came to assist at it, in the hope of catching 
a glimpse of the Emperor, though in this they 
were disappointed, since Napoleon, to whom such 
rejoicings would have recalled too many souvenirs 
of his former grandeur, did not grace the pro- 
ceedings by his presence. Among the persons 
presented to Madame on this occasion, was 
a charming young girl, named Rosa Mellini, 
daughter of a colonel of engineers, who, on his 
retirement from the Army, had returned to Elba, 
his native island. Letizia was at once attracted 
to Mile. Mellini, and, shortly afterwards, invited 
her to enter her service as dame de compagnie 
and secretary. The young lady consented, and 
remained with Madame for many years ; and it 
was to her that the latter dictated her Souvenirs. 

Pauline remained in Provence until the end 
of May, when she accepted an invitation from 
Caroline to visit her at Naples, and sailed from 
Fr^jus on board a Neapolitan man-of-war, which 
her sister had sent to bring her. On the way 
to Naples, the ship touched Eit Porto Ferrajo, 
and Pauline landed and visited the Emperor. 
Campbell notes in \v\s Journal : 

" May 29-31, — On my return to Porto Ferrajo, 
I found at anchor the Neapolitan frigate Letizia, 
which had arrived the day before, with Napoleon's 
sister Pauline and three persons of her House- 
hold. They had been forced tC> put into Villa- 
franca, near Nice, soon after their departure from 



310 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

Frejus, and had come direct from thence. After 
remaining for twenty-four hours at Elba, they 
sailed for Naples. They were at pains to state 
that the Neapolitan frigate had been sent by the 
Queen of Naples of her own accord for her 



sister. 



Pauline remained at Naples, or rather at a 
country-house, la Favorita, within a short dis- 
tance of the city, until the end of October, when 
she sailed for Elba, where she had arranged to 
spend the winter with the Emperor and her 
mother. She took passage in a merchant-vessel, 
which, however, was escorted as far as the channel 
of Piombino by a Neapolitan frigate, which then 
returned to Naples, without communicating with 
Elba.^ She landed on the last day of the month, 
and took up her quarters with Napoleon at the 
Mulini, where a suite of apartments had been 
prepared for her, since Madame s house was too 
small to accommodate both ladies and their 
respective suites. 

From a letter written by the Emperor to Bert- 
rand, on September 9th, 18 14, it is evident that 
it was his original intention to allot the house in 
question to his sister, but, as Madame desired to 
have it, he was obliged to alter this arrangement : 
^^ Madajne having taken the house which was 
intended for the princess, she will be lodged on 

' Several writers incorrectly speak of Pauline as having come 
from Naples, and assert that she was the bearer of an important 
despatch from Murat to the Emperor. 

^ Sir Neil Campbell, Journal. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 311 

the first floor of my house, where she will be very- 
comfortable." 

This apparently trivial circumstance is of im- 
portance, since the fact of Pauline having resided 
under the same roof as her brother in Elba has 
been the principal peg on which? anti-Bonapartist 
chroniclers and pamphleteers have hung the 
abominable charge which has been repeated by 
so many prejudiced or careless historians. The 
limits of our space, and a natural disinclination 
to discuss so very unsavoury A matter, prevent 
us from examining it here ; but the reader who 
may wish to inform himself concerning it will find 
the evidence for the prosecution — such as it is — 
set forth by M. Marcellin F diet. {Na/>o/hn a I'tle 
d' Elbe), and for the defence by M. Arthur Ldvy 
[Napoleon intiine) and by M. Henri d'Almeras 
{Pauline Bonapcrte). We may add that M. Tur- 
quan, whom no one can possibly accuse of undue 
leniency towards Pauline and her sisters, is here 
quite in accord with the last two writers, and 
stigmatises the reports in question as "odious 
accusations invented by the courtiers of Louis 
XVIII." 1 

With the advent of Pauline, Elba became quite 
gay. The princess inaugurated her arrival by a 
masked ball in the little municipal theatre at 
Porto Ferrajo, which the Emperor had recently 
caused to be constructed, at which she appeared 
in Maltese costume, and doubtless created a great 

' M. J. Turquan, les Stziirs de Napoleon. 



312 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

sensation ; and this ball was follo'wed by a number 
of others, some of which took place in the theatre 
and others at the "palace." On her side, Madame, 
who was far more at home in Elba than she had 
been at the ceremonious court of the Tuileries — 
there was no Empress here to take precedence of 
her — opened her salon to the military and official 
world of Elba, and frequently presided at the 
soirees, at which the Emperor received "■ les jolies 
ElboisesP 

Pauline, however, seems to have found it rather 
difficult to accommodate her extravagant tastes 
to her own and her brother's changed circum- 
stances, and this seems to have been the cause 
of frequent altercations between them/ 

One day, Bertrand, who discharged the func- 
tions of Grand Master of the Palace, presented 
the Emperor with the following memorandum ; 
" I have the honour to submit to your Majesty 
the expense incurred in putting up eight window- 
blinds in the salon of the Princess Borghese. 
The cloth has been provided by the princess. 
The expense amounts to seventy-two francs thirty 
centimes." 

Napoleon wrote in the margin : " Not having 
ordered this expenditure, the princess will pay." 

' Neither Napoleon nor his family had yet received a single 
centime of the sum which the Allies had pledged Louis XVIII to 
pay them. Napoleon's revenue, apart from the two million francs 
charged upon the French Treasury, seems to have been about half a 
million francs, while the maintenance of hi'S troops alone came to 
twice that sum. His personal expenses, at this time, were being 
defrayed by his mother, who advanced him, very large sums. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 313 

He also obliged her to pay a sum of 240 francs 
for the maintenance of her horses.^ 

How, we may well inquire, -clo M. Marcellin 
Pellet and the other historians who affect to 
credit the atrocious charges of tlfe Royalist scribes 
reconcile these petty economies with the accus- 
tomed liberality of lovers ? 

The reverses which Napoleon had sustained 
had not in the smallest degree humbled his pride, 
and he still deeply resented the slightest en- 
croachment upon his authority. While in Elba, 
he spent a considerable part of his day in read- 
ing, and had instructed Bertrand to order a 
number of books from Leghorn, all of which 
were to be bound alike, with an "N" on the back. 
Pauline, happening to visit the bookseller on one 
of her excursions to Leghorn, saw the books 
which had just arrived from the binders, and, 
finding the binding not at all to her taste, took 
upon herself to order certain alterations. When 
the books arrived at Porto Ferrajo, and Napo- 
leon discovered that his instructions had not 
been carried out, he was exceedingly angry, and 
ordered the covers to be torn off and the vol- 
umes sent back to be rebound — at his sister's 
expense.^ 

Nevertheless, despite occasional little differ- 
ences of this kind and sorne friction with 
Madame, who, perhaps presumi'ng on the finan- 

' M. Arthur Levy, NapoUon int'ime. 

2 M. Marcellin Pellet, NafoUon q Pile d'Elbe. 



314 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

cial assistance she was rendering the Emperor, 
endeavoured to persuade him to surround him- 
self with her Corsican proteges^ the presence of 
his mother and sister was undoubtedly very 
welcome to Napoleon. "Her ^^adame^ s\ devo- 
tion for me is sublime," he observed one day, 
" She and Pauline would reconcile me to life here 
for a long time, if I were in need of consolation."^ 

However, their beneficent mission was not of 
long duration, as, on the night of February 26, 
the Emperor and his little army, taking advantage 
of the absence of Campbell and the Partridge — 
the vessel to which the British Government had 
entrusted the supervision of Napoleon " — em- 
barked for France, and, three days later, landed 
safely on the shores of the Golfe de Jouan. 

Both Madame and Pauline appear to have 
been in entire ignorance of the Emperor's inten- 
tions until almost the last moment ; and the 
former, in her Souvenirs, has left us an interest- 
ing account of the manner in which her son 
broke the momentous news to her : 

"One evening, while we were at Porto Ferrajo, 
the Emperor seemed to be in more than usually 
high spirits and invited Pauline and myself to a 
game of 6cart6. Directly afterwards, he left us 

' Baron Larrey, Madame Mere. 

^ The Partridge had gone to Leghorn to fetch Campbell, who 
had sailed for Tuscany on the i6th "for his health and on private 
affairs." If we are to believe the Memoirs of the Time of 
George IV, the " private affairs " chiefly Concerned a fair lady 
in Florence. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 315 

and retired to his cabinet. Finding that he did 
not return, I went to his room to call him, when 
the chamberlain told me that he had gone down 
to the garden. 

" I recollect that it was one of the warmest 
evenings of that spring ; the moon was shining 
through the trees, and the Emperor, alone, was 
pacing, with rapid strides, up and down the alleys 
of the garden. Suddenly, he stopped, and, rest- 
ing his head against a fig-tree, exclaimed : ' Yes, 
I must certainly tell my mother -that.' 

" On hearing these words, I approached and 
asked in a tone of the greatest eagerness : ' Well, 
what is it then, for I see that you are more than 
usually thoughtful this evening ? ' 

" The Emperor raised his hand to his forehead, 
and, after a moment's hesitatiQn, replied : ' Yes, 
I must tell you, but I forbid you to repeat what I 
am about to confide to you to any one whatever, 
not even to Pauline.' He smiled, embraced me, 
and resumed : ' Well, I must tell you that I am 
going away this very night.' 

" Where are you going ? " 

" ' To Paris ; but, before leaving, I wish to have 
your advice.' 

" ' Ah ! let me try to forget for one moment, 
that I am your mother,' I said. Then I reflected 
and continued : ' Heaven will not permit you to 
die either by poison^ or in an activity unworthy 

1 Madame seems to have been in constant dread of some 
attempt being made by Royalist agents on the Emperor's hfe. 



3i6 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

of you, but sword in hand. And now go, my son, 
and follow your destiny.' "' 

Before embarking, the Emjleror sent for his 
mother's Chamberlain, Colonna, whom he knew 
to be deeply attached to her. " Colonna," said 
he, " I am starting for France, to put my fortune 
to the test once more. I beg you earnestly to 
follow her Highness everywhere ; to any place 
she may choose to go to. I count on you, and 
leave her in your care without any misgiving." 

Two days after Napoleon's departure, the 
Partridge, with Campbell on board, returned to 
Elba. That officer was in a great state of con- 
sternation on learning of the Emperor's flight, as 
well he might be, seeing that his own carelessness 
and that of Captain Adye, the commander of the 
Partridge, had been mainly responsible for it.^ 
He did not see Madame, but he had an interview 
with Pauline, who sent for him with the object of 
discovering if he were aware that the Emperor 
was making for France.^ 

' Souvenirs dicies a Rome. 

" " Is it surprising that foreigners, who had not yet fathomed 
the eccentricity of British officialdom, should have believed that 
v\?e connived at Napoleon's escape ? It needed the bloodshed of 
Waterloo to wipe out this misconception." — Dr. J. Holland Rose, 
Life of Napoleon I. 

^ Either before his departure, or soon afterwards, Pauline had 
sent to the Emperor practically the whole of her jewellery, with 
the exception of the Borghese diamonds, in order that they might 
be converted into cash. Napoleon took the casket with him in his 
carriage to Belgium. After Waterloo, the carriage fell into the 
hands of the Allies ; but what became of the jewels was never dis- 
covered. Having regard to Pauline's pasfeion for gems, it would 
have been impossible for her to make a greater sacrifice. 




COLONEL (AFTERWARDS GENERAL SIR) NEH, CAMPBELL 

FROM A CONTEMPORARY ENCRAVIKG 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 317 

" After being detained for a minute or more in 
the ante-chamber," he writes, " I sent in to say 
that I was under the necessity of departing im- 
mediately, as the frigate would otherwise leave 
without me. She then came out and made me 
sit down beside her, drawing hfer chair gradually 
still closer, as if she waited for me to make some 
private communication. She asked me, with 
every appearance of anxiety, if I had nothing to 
say to her, and what I would advise her to do ; 
since she had already written to her husband 
Prince Borghese, who was now at Leghorn, and 
requested me to tell him that she wished to go to 
Rome immediately. I told her that my advice in 
the meantime would be to remain at Elba. She 
then went on to protest her ignorance of Napo- 
leon's intended departure until the last moment ; 
laid hold of my hand, and pressed it to her heart, 
that I might feel how much she was agitated. 
However, she did not appear to be so, and there 
was rather a smile upon her countenance. She 
inquired whether the Emperor' had been taken. 
I told her I could not exactly say he was, but I 
fancied that there was every probability of it. 
During this conversation, she dropped a hint of 
her belief in his destination being for France, upon 
which I smiled and said : ' Oh no.n ; ce nest pas st 
loin, cesi a Naples. ' For I fancied (for the moment) 
she mentioned France on purpose to deceive me. 

" Two or three minutes afterwards, I took 
my leave." 



3i8 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

Madame remained in Elba until the end of 
March, when she sailed for Naples, on board the 
Gioacchino, a Neapolitan frigate, which Murat 
and Caroline, now reconciled to the Emperor, 
had placed at her disposal. At Naples, she 
remained until April 20, when, the Emperor 
having summoned her to France, she again 
embarked on the Gioacchino, in company with 
Fesch, who had joined her soon after her arrival 
in Naples, and proceeded to Gaeta, there to 
await the arrival of a French frigate, the Melpo- 
mene, which Napoleon was sending from Toulon 
to fetch them. The Melpomene, however, did 
not make her appearance, and it was not until 
the beginning of May that they learned that, on 
entering the Bay of Naples, she had been at- 
tacked and captured by two British cruisers. 
Fortunately, another French frigate, the Dryade, 
after narrowly escaping a like fate, had taken re- 
fuge in the harbour, and when her captain at length 
summoned up courage to venture forth, Madame 
and the cardinal sailed with him, and, on May 23, 
landed near Antibes, not far from the spot where 
Napoleon had disembarked ten weeks before. 
After spending the night at Antibes, they tra- 
velled to Lyons, where, on their arrival, all the 
bells in the city rang out a joyous peal. Here 
they remained until the 29th, when they con- 
tinued their journey, and, on June i, arrived safely 
in Paris. 

Thiers and several other historians state that 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 319 

Madame assisted at the Champ de Mai, but this 
is incorrect, as she did not reach Paris until some 
hours after the festival was over.^ However, she 
attended the opening of the Chambers, six days 
later, and a lady who was present has left us an 
interesting description of her appearance on this 
occasion : 

" Towards four o'clock, at the sound of the 
opening of a door, all eyes were turned towards 
a tribune prepared for Madame Mere and Queen 
Hortense, who were arriving, followed by their 
ladies-in-waiting. 

" The Emperor's mother must have been one 
of the most beautiful women who ever lived. She 
was, at this time, about sixty-five years of age, 
and impressed people still by the regularity of 
her features and the air of distinction which her 
whole person diffused. I recollect that she wore 
a gown of billowy lace, with long sleeves lined 
with orange satin, and for head-dress a toque 
decorated with white feathers and embellished, 
like her corsage, with superb diamonds. Her 
beautiful black eyes, shaded by long lashes, and 
surmounted by delicate arched eyebrows, might 
have challenged comparison with those of many 
young women in brightness and expression." 

And the writer adds : " The blonde hair of 

Queen Hortense, the delicacy of her complexion 

and her features, the whiteness of her skin, the 

grace of her movements, contrasted with the 

' Baron Larrey, Madame Mere. 



320 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

classic gravity which was the dominating cha- 
racteristic of her mother - in"- law's counten- 
ance. '■ 

On April 17, the Emperor had removed from 
the lonely splendour of the Tuileries to the 
Elys6e, and here, at his request*, his mother took 
up her quarters. Apart from her anxiety as to 
the issue of the approaching war, she was prob- 
ably happier than she had been for many years, 
as, with the exception of Louis, all her sons were 
about her again, Lucien having been at length 
reconciled to Napoleon and nominated one of 
the Council which was to exercise the govern- 
ment during the Emperor's absence. 

At dawn on June 12, Napoleon bade farewell 
to his relatives and left his slumbering capital to 
play his last stake. Nine days later found him 
back at the Elys^e a beaten rnan, and France 
prostrate at the feet of the Allies. Lucien urged 
him to dissolve the hostile Chambers and en- 
deavour to raise the country against the Coalition, 
" Dare ! " he exclaimed. But Napoleon replied 
that he had dared only too much already, and, 
on the 22 nd, he abdicated for the second time. 
Ordered by the Provisional Government to quit 
Paris, he withdrew, on the 25th, to Malmaison, 
followed by Madame, Hortense, and a few faith- 
ful friends ; and, on the 29th, he set out for 
Rochefort, with the intention 9f sailing for the 

' Mile. Cochelet (Madame Parquin), Mdmoires sur la Reine 
Hortense et la famille iinpMale. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 321 

United States, whither Madame, Lucien, and 
Jerome had promised to follow him, so soon 
as they could make the necessary arrange- 
ments. 

When the time for his departure from Mal- 
maison arrived, his friends withdrew and left him 
alone with his mother. At th^it moment, there 
came a knock at the door, and a National Guard, 
in uniform, presented himself a-nd begged to be 
allowed to take leave of the Emperor. He was 
the celebrated actor Talma, of whose talents 
Napoleon had always been a great admirer, and 
who had received from him much kindness. The 
Emperor ordered him to be admitted, spoke to 
him for a few moments, and ba,de him an affec- 
tionate farewell. As Talma was leaving, he was 
witness of the parting between Napoleon and 
his mother, which, the following day, he de- 
scribed to Mile. Cochelet, Queen Hortense's lec- 
trice and confidante : 

" Of how beautiful a tragic scene was I the 
witness ! What a spectacle was the separation 
between Madame Mere and her son ! The 
Emperor exhibited no sign of weakness, but 
what an expression came over his countenance, 
what thoughts must have coursed through his 
mind ! Madame' s emotion revealed itself in two 
great tears, which furrowed those beautiful classic 
features ; and her lips pronounced but three 
words, as she held his hand, when the moment 
for departure came ; ' Farewell, my son ! ' The 
II. — 21 



322 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

Emperor's response was equally brief: ' Mother, 
farewell ! ' Then they embraced." ^ 

Thus was accomplished the parting which was 
to prove a final one — a touching scene, worthy, 
as Baron Larrey remarks, to be immortalised by 
the brush of some famous painter. 

The Bourbons returned to the Tuileries, and 
the Bonapartes departed once more into exile. 
Under the weight of sorrow, Madames health 
had quite broken down, and it was not until July 
19th that she was well enough to travel, when 
she started for Italy, accompanied by Fesch and 
an Austrian officer, whom Metternich had sent to 
escort her. The reception they met with as they 
travelled through France was somewhat mixed, 
but, on the whole, sympathy seems to have pre- 
dominated, and, on leaving Bourg-en-Bresse, 
where they rested for a few hours, they were 
followed by cries of " Vive f Empereur ! Vive 
Madame Mere ! " From Bologna, the cardinal 
wrote to Ferdinand III of Tuscany, asking per- 
mission for his sister and himself to take up their 
residence in Sienna ; but the request was refused, 
and, after remaining a few days in Sienna, they 
continued their journey to Rome, which was 
reached on the morning of August 15, a week 
after Napoleon had set sail for St. Helena on the 
Northumberland. 

Pauline had left Elba on March i — the same 

1 Mile. Cochelet (Madame Parquin), Mdmoires sur la Reim 
Hor tense et la famille impiriale. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 323 

day on which Napoleon had landed on the shores 
of Provence — with the intention of making for 
France. But the weather was stormy, and she 
suffered so terribly from sea-sickness, that she 
begged the captain to run for the Italian coast. 
He complied, and put into a litde creek near 
Castagneto, in which stood one of those towers 
which the Medici had erected as a protection 
against the Barbary pirates, where she remained 
some hours, and was imprudent enough to inform 
her hosts that the Emperor had quitted Elba. 
In the evening, the wind having fallen, she re- 
embarked, and, on the night of March 3, landed 
at Viareggio, and proceeded to the Chiteau 
of Compignano, a charmingly-situated country- 
house, which Elisa had purchased in 181 2, and 
which now belonged to Andreozzo Mansi, her 
procureur. 

In the meantime, however, the Mayor of 
Castagneto had despatched a courier to inform 
the Florentine authorities of the arrival of the 
princess and of the extraordinary news of which 
she was the bearer. The Government seems to 
have been under the impression that the lady 
had come for the purpose of inciting a revolt ; 
Werklein, the Austrian Governor of Lucca, sent 
a detachment of troops to establish a blockade of 
the Chiteau of Compignano, and Pauline found 
herself a prisoner of State. 

" Madame Pauline," wrote the chief of the 
police at Lucca to the Governor of Pisa, "is 



324 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

always under an Austrian guartl, which has the 
most strict orders to watch her. She is, in con- 
sequence, forbidden to have any correspondence, 
or even to speak, with any one without the con- 
sent and orders of the Governor, and always in 
the presence of the guard. Her service only 
consists of seven women : the two men whom 
she had brought from the Isle of Elba have been 
sent to France under a strong escort. She leads 
a regular life, and does not display any luxury. 
The state of her health is very bad ; and she is 
obliged to keep her room and even her bed."^ 

In vain Pauline protested tha.t her presence in 
Italy had no concern whatever with politics, and 
begged Werklein to authorise h^r departure for 
Bagni di Lucca, the waters of which the physi- 
cians who, always with the most extreme pre- 
cautions, were permitted to attend her, had 
recommended ; but that functionary remained 
inflexible. He no doubt acted wisely, as the 
whole of Central Italy was seething with excite- 
ment, on account of the reappearance on the 
scene of Murat, who was preparing to march on 
the Po ; and the presence of a sister of the 
Emperor in the neighbourhood of Lucca would 
have certainly tended to stimulate the anti- 
Austrian movement. 

In despair, Pauline began to cast about her 
for some means of escape. An Italian waiting- 
woman of the princess, named Maria Orsini, on 
the pretext of having quitted her Highness's 

1 Published by M. E. Roclocanachi, iLlisa Napolion en Italie. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 325 

service, made her way to Flofence, where she 
arranged with a certain PoHdori, a Corsican, to 
hire a ship, which was to cruise off the coast 
until Pauline, who intended to elude her jailers, 
by assuming male attire, could find an opportu- 
nity of embarking. Polidori pr6cured a Genoese 
ship, lying at Leghorn, the captain of which 
received 3,000 ducats for the use of his vessel ; 
but his conduct was so suspicious that the police 
kept him under observation, and quickly dis- 
covered the plot. " I have been informed," writes 
the Governor of Leghorn, " that this vessel was 
intended to take on board the Pauline, who, 
disguised as a man, would have eluded the 
vigilance of her guard. Warned, through my 
foresight, they kept a careful watch, and she was 
compelled to renounce her project."^ 

Murat was defeated at Toldntino and com- 
pelled to fly from his kingdom ; Napoleon played 
and lost his last stake at Waterloo, and was 
banished to St. Helena ; but still Pauline re- 
mained in semi-captivity at the Chateau of Com- 
pignano.^ At length, at the beginning of October, 
orders arrived from Vienna that she should be 

1 In the same letter, the Governor advises that the Borghese 
diamonds, which, he says, he has reason to beheve are in the prin- 
cess's possession, should be seized, lest she should find means to 
send them to the Emperor. 

^ M. Turquan, who is evidently unaware of the facts which we 
have just related, states that Pauline was in Paris during the 
Hundred Days, and accompanied Napoleon on his visit to Mal- 
niaison, three days before he started for Belgium. Baron Larrey, 
Madame Tschudi, and several other writers have fallen into the 
same error, 



326 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

allowed to depart, on condition that she imme- 
diately proceeded to Rome, by sea. On the i ith, 
she left the chateau, and, on the following day, 
embarked, at Viareggio, on a gun-ketch, the 
Padre e Figlio. In the evening, as the weather 
was stormy and the princess, in consequence, 
very ill, they cast anchor in the harbour of 
Piombino, and permission was obtained from the 
authorities for her to spend the night on shore, 
where she accepted the hospitality of a French 
resident. On the morrow, she was escorted to 
the harbour by all the principal inhabitants of the 
little town, who cheered her loudly, from which it 
would appear that the Piombinese regretted the 
beneficent, if autocratic, rule of the exiled Elisa. 
A few days later, Pauline arrived at Civita 
Vecchia, whence she proceeded to Rome,' 

' M. Rodocanachi, Elisa NapoUon en Italie. 



CHAPTER XXXIV 

Position of Murat and Caroline after the fall of the Empire — 
Intrigues of Louise Philippe to secure the restoration of Fer- 
dinand IV to Naples — Demands of Talleyrand at the Congress 
of Vienna — Attitude of Metternich — Murat, fearful of losing 
his throne, recommences his intrigues in Italy, and makes 
overtures to Napoleon — On the return; of the Emperor from 
Elba, without waiting for his instructions, he declares war on 
Austria — Explanation of his conduct — Responsibility of Caro- 
line considered — Murat is defeated at Tolentino, returns to 
Naples, and escapes to France — Caroline compelled to take 
refuge with the British fleet — She is conveyed to Trieste on 
board H.M.S. Tremendous — Murat offers his services to the 
Emperor, who declines them — After the second abdication of 
Napoleon, he takes refuge in Corsica — And resolves to attempt 
the reconquest of his kingdom — Having decided to refuse the 
offer of an asylum in Austria, he sets sail for Calabria — His 
fate. 

THE treachery of Murat and Caroline to 
their benefactor had preserved for them 
their throne; Naples alone survived the 
general wreck of the Bonaparte kingdoms ; but 
it was not for long. 

Austria, as we have seen, under the stress of 
military exigencies, had guaranteed Murat his 
dominions and a considerable accession of terri- 
tory, and had undertaken to obtain Great Britain's 
guarantee and a formal renunciation on the part 
of the King of Sicily of all claims on Naples. 
But, owing to Bentinck's persistent disregard of 
the orders of his Government, Great Britain's 

327 



328 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

signature, which would have given the treaty of 
January ii, 1814 real and durable value, had not 
been obtained; and this omission left a loophole 
for intrigue of which Ferdinand and his partisans 
were not slow to take advantasfe. 

Scarcely had Napoleon retiried to Elba than 
Louis Philippe, Due d'OrMans, who had married 
Maria Amelia, eldest daughter of Ferdinand, has- 
tened to Paris to enter a formal protest, in the 
name of his father-in-law, against the treaty 
which Austria had made with Murat, and to 
demand the restoration to Ferdinand of the do- 
minions of which he had been (deprived in 1806. 
He met, however, with a very cold reception. 
The Emperor of Austria was naturally indignant 
that any one should imagine him capable of going 
back upon his plighted word ; while both he and 
Alexander regarded such potentates as his Sici- 
lian Majesty as a disgrace to the cause of Monarchy 
and Legitimacy. Louis XVI H, when appealed to, 
was sympathetic, but not very encouraging. He 
promised to instruct Talleyrand to plead the 
cause of his kinsman at the approaching Con- 
gress of Vienna with all the skill and eloquence 
at his command, and declared that he himself 
would never recognise Murat. But further than 
that he would not go : a recourse to arms on behalf 
of Ferdinand, he declared, was out of the question. 

From Paris, Louis Philippe went to London. 
He had an audience of the Regent and he inter- 
viewed Liverpool and Castlereagh ; but he got 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 329 

no comfort from them. The British Government, 
he was told, although it had not actually signed 
the treaty of January 11, had signified its ap- 
proval of it, and therefore considered itself morally 
bound ; and he quitted England, convinced that 
all his efforts on behalf of his father-in-law would 
prove fruitless. 

Such would undoubtedly have been the case, 
if Murat had been content to sit still under his 
treaty obligations and to call upon the Powers to 
fulfil theirs ; but a policy of masterly inactivity 
was ill suited to his fiery and impetuous nature. 
When the Congress of Vienna met, and Talley- 
rand, in accordance with his instructions, began 
to urge the restoration of Ferdinand to Naples, 
Metternich, although admitting that he was in 
sympathy with him, firmly refused to advise his 
master to repudiate the treaty with Murat. It 
had been made, he said, in an hour of stress, 
when they had need of Murat's services, and he 
would be no party to breaking it.^ " But," he 

' Talleyrand, however, appears to have believed that Metter- 
nich was actuated, not so much by political considerations as by 
his affection for Caroline. " He (Metternich) met a woman of his 
acquaintance," he writes from Vienna, on November 25, 1814, "and 
told her that he was being tormented about this affair of Naples, 
but that he could not see his way to consent to it ; that he loved the 
Queen passionately, and was in constant communication with her." 
Louis XVIII was of the same opinion. "They talk of engage- 
ments," said he, " but that is not what stands in the way of justice. 
It is another reason, and the most shameful of which history 
makes mention ; for if Antony shamefully abandoned his fleet and 
his army, at least it was himself and not his Minister whom 
Cleopatra had subjugated," 



330 THE WOMEN BONApARTES 

added, " you know Murat's temper. Sooner or 
later, he will make a slip, by which we shall 
profit." 

And this was precisely what happened. The 
failure of Austria to obtain Ferdinand's renun- 
ciation of his claims on Naples ; the persistent 
intrigues of that potentate and his son-in-law, 
and the refusal of the Bourbon kings of France 
and Spain to recognise his sovereignty,^ had 
caused Murat great irritation and uneasiness ; and 
when his representatives, Gallo and Campochiaro, 
were refused admittance to the Congress of 
Vienna, he became seriously alarmed. There 
were, as a matter of fact, no real grounds for his 
apprehensions, for his enemies at the Congress 
could effect nothing, in the face of the resolute 
attitude of Austria, so long as he gave them no 
opening. But he saw himself isolated in Italy, 
which, with the exception of his own kingdom, 
had now practically reverted to its former rulers ; 
he knew that they, one and all, ardently desired 
his deposition ; he was aware that he had dis- 
gusted Austria by his double-dealing during the 
previous year, and his half-hearted co-operation in 
the Italian campaign of 1814; and when Metter- 
nich suggested that, in view of the hostility of 

' In accordance with the instructions of Louis XVIII, the 
following entry was inserted in the official Gazetteer of France : 

" Naples, see Sicily, Kingdom of." 
To which the official Gazetteer of Naples replied : 
" France, see Elba, Island of" 



THE WOMEN BONAt'ARTES 331 

which he seemed to be the object, it would be as 
well if he could bring himself to accept the Ionian 
Islands in exchange for Naples, he was convinced 
that the Cabinet of Vienna was only waiting for 
some pretext to repudiate its obligations and 
sacrifice him to his enemies. 

On the other hand, he beheld France grow- 
ing every day more restive beneath the rule of 
its foolish old king and his tactless advisers ; 
Italy, which had speedily awakened to the fact 
that she had exchanged the whips of Napo- 
leon for the scorpions of Austria and of the 
despots whom the latter upheld, seething with 
discontent from the Alps to his own frontiers ; 
the Allies squabbling over the Polish Question 
and rattling their swords in thdir scabbards, and 
the Eagle in Elba poising for his swoop upon a 
distracted Europe. 

Exasperated by the thought that the reward of 
his treason might yet be snatched from him, 
Murat returned to his former dreams of ruling 
over a united and independent Italy, inundated 
the country with his secret agents, and opened 
negotiations with the prisoner of Elba. His 
overtures were favourably received. Napoleon 
pardoned him and restored to him a measure of 
his confidence, and, shortly before the Emperor 
embarked for France, Murat began mobilising 
his troops and making active preparations for 
war. 

When he received the news of Napoleon's 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 333 

and employ it to create a diversion in Italy, which, 
he judged, would prevent Austria from under- 
taking any effective operations against France. 
Murat desired to take advantage of the conster- 
nation caused by the Emperor's reappearance on 
the scene to realise his own ambitious dreams, 
and, in the persuasion that his declaration of war 
upon Austria would be followed by a general 
rising of the Italian patriots, believed himself 
capable of conquering the peninsula without any 
assistance from France, and of thus establishing 
a claim to the throne of Italy which Napoleon, 
if victorious, would be unable to dispute. 

It has been repeatedly asse^-ted that a large 
measure of responsibility for this fatal step rests 
with Caroline, and that, but for the influence of 
his wife, Murat would never have declared war. 
But the tendency among a certain school of 
chroniclers and historians has always been to 
exaggerate to an absurd degree the Queen's 
influence over her husband, and to make her the 
scapegoat for all Murat's delinquencies. Caro- 
line's whole career up to this time shows that 
with her ambition was invaria'bly tempered by 
prudence, and that in the game of politics she 
had discouraged her husband's desire to play for 
high stakes and counselled him to be content 
with moderate gains. That she should suddenly 
have abandoned these cautious methods is diffi- 
cult to believe, and we observe that Murat's 
latest biographers, MM. Chavanon and Saint- 



334 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

Yves, who have made an exhaustive study of 
the most trustworthy contemporary authorities, 
both French and Italian, are of opinion that 
Murat acted entirely on his own initiative. ■" 

On March 17, the King, having again confided 
the Regency to Caroline, left Naples and, a few 
days later, entered the Papal States at the head 
of an army of 40,000 men, and issued a proclama- 
tion calling upon Italy to rise on behalf of her 
independence and unity. Italy, however, de- 
clined to throw herself into the arms of so doubt- 
ful a saviour, for the chiefs of the patriotic party 
had not forgotten that Murat had tricked them 
in 1814 ; and the raw Neapolitan troops found 
themselves obliged to contend, unaided, against 
the seasoned veterans of Austria. Nevertheless, 

' M. Turquan, without appreciating its significance, since he is 
among those who attribute Murat's action to the influence of the 
Queen, publishes a letter of Caroline to Madame Rdcamier, written 
only a few days before Murat declared war. After inviting Madame 
Rdcamier and Madame de Stael, who, having both been exiled by 
Napoleon, were naturally in considerable trepidation at his return, 
to take refuge at Naples, she continues : "^ IVe are very tranquil 
here. The condition of France and all other countries to which 
the former sovereigns have returned, has had a beneficial effect. 
Our people love us, and love us sincerely. They fear more than 
ever anything which may tend to bring back Ferdinand. . . . 
Everything inclines us to anticipate a tranquil future. I am the 
more happy, since it affords me the certainty of being able to offer 
you a safe harbour against the storms of life. I shall be charmed 
to do anything to prove, both to you and your friends, the extent 
and strength of my affection." 

Would Caroline, who could have had no object whatever in 
deceiving Madame Rdcamier, have written in this strain, if she had 
been doing her utmost to induce her husband to plunge Naples 
into war ? 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 335 

if Murat had possessed anything of the military 
genius of Napoleon, he might have profited by the 
separation of the Austrian forces to have crushed 
them by sheer weight of numbers before they had 
time to concentrate. But he allowed the oppor- 
tunity to slip, and, after gaining one or two 
trifling successes, was utterly routed by Neipperg 
at Tolentino (May 3). 

Having authorised his generalis, Carascosa and 
Coletta, to conclude a capitulation with the 
Austrians, Murat returned in all haste to Naples, 
which he reached on the evening of May 18, 
to find an English squadron in the Bay, and 
that, under threat of a bomba'rdment, Caroline 
had already been compelled to surrender to it the 
little Neapolitan fleet. 

On the morrow, he learned that the Austrians 
had refused to sign any convention with the 
vanquished army, unless "Marshal Murat" were 
expressly excluded from its provisions ; and, 
desirous of preventing useless bloodshed, he 
gave orders to his generals to accept this con- 
dition, and announced his intention of throwing 
himself into the fortress of Gaeta, to which the 
Queen had sent the royal children on learning 
of the disaster of Tolentino, and holding out to 
the last extremity. His friends, however, dis- 
suaded him, pointing out that, now that he had 
lost his throne, his wisest course was to escape to 
France and offer his sword to the Emperor; and 
upon this he eventually decided. 



336 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

Accordingly, when night fell, he bade farewell 
to his wife and, accompanied by a few faithful 
followers, left Naples, in disguise, and gained the 
Isle of Ischia, where, the following morning, he 
embarked on a Maltese vessel, the Santa Cater- 
ina, which, by the rather simple device of hoisting 
the English flag, succeeded in escaping the atten- 
tions of the British cruisers, and, on the 25th, 
landed him at Cannes. 

While the Santa Caterina was conveying 
Murat and his followers to France, Caroline, 
who, in this emergency, had displayed her usual 
courage and presence of mind, found herself 
confronted by a new danger. On the night 
of May 21-22, the rabble of Naples rose in 
insurrection, and the Queen was obliged to send 
off a boat to the British squadron in the Bay to 
implore its commander. Commodore Campbell, to 
land troops to defend the palace, and subsequently 
to take refuge on his ship, the Tremendous. 

From the deck of the British man-of-war, 
which remained several days before Naples, Caro- 
line could perceive every evening the illuminations 
and hear the salvoes of artillery by which the 
people who had so lately acclaimed her were 
celebrating the restoration of Ferdinand. Nor 
was this her only humiliation, since it seems 
to have been a favourite pastime with a certain 
section of her late subjects to put off to the 
Tremendous in boats, "to hoot the prisoner 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 337 

and to deafen her with insulting and obscene 



songs. "^ 



Notwithstanding the instructions of Murat, 
Carascosa and Coletta had neglected to make 
any stipulation for the Queen and her children 
in the convention which they had concluded 
with the Austrians. Caroline, when informed of 
this omission, requested Campbell to convey her 
and her children to some port in Provence, 
whence she intended to join her husband ; which 
that officer promised to do, subject to the 
consent of Lord Exmouth, the commander of 
the British Mediterranean Fleet, Exmouth, 
however, declined to authorise^ her liberation, 
whereupon Caroline appealed to Neipperg, who 
had just entered Naples with the advance-guard 
of the Austrian army, and placed herself under 
his protection. Neipperg, after some hesitation, 
decided that she should be conveyed to Trieste, 
there to await Francis II's decision in regard 
to her; and the Queen's children having been 
brought from Gaeta, they set sail for that port, 
where they arrived on June 8. 

It is related that, on nearing Messina, the 
Tremendous met the vessel which was bringing 
back Ferdinand of Sicily to Naples. Before 
giving orders for the customary salute to be 
fired, Campbell went to the Queen to beg her 
not to be alarmed at the report of the guns 
she would presently hear, as they were merely 

' Marquis de Sassenay, les Derniers Mots de Murat. 



338 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

saluting the King of the Two Sicilies. " Mon- 
sieur," replied Caroline, haughtily ; " the sound 
of cannon is neither a new nor an unpleasant 
one to the ear of a Bonaparte." 

On his arrival at Cannes, Murat offered his 
services to Napoleon, through the medium of 
his friend Fouch^, since he did not dare to 
address himself directly to his brother-in-law. 
But the Emperor, who had been greatly incensed 
by the inopportune and disastrous campaign which 
had foiled his hopes of detaching Austria from 
the Coalition,^ declined them. Fouch6, however, 
wrote, advising Murat to wait patiently in Pro- 
vence, as he believed that the. Emperor would 
eventually offer him employment ; and Mar^chal 
Brune, who visited him, on his way with his 
division to the Italian frontier, appears to have 
given him the same counsel. 

The ex- King accordingly remained at Cannes, 
where he was in daily anticipation of being joined 
by his wife and children ; and he was bitterly 
disappointed when he learned, from the captain of 
a merchant-vessel trading between Provence and 
Naples, that they had sailed for Trieste on board 
the Tremendous. He appears to have been under 
the impression that Caroline had deliberately 
preferred the protection of her husband's enemies 
to sharing his fortunes, and is said to have burst 

' Dr. Holland Rose ( Life of Napoleon I) is of opinion that 
Murat's conduct really made no difference, the Allies having 
already resolved to unite their forces to crush Napoleon. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 339 

into tears, exclaiming that he had lost, at one 
and the same time, kingdom, property, wife, and 
children. 

After the second abdication of Napoleon, Murat 
despatched his aide-de-camp Macirone ^ to Paris, 
to demand the protection of the Allies. But the 
White Terror was raging in the South, and he 
found that, not only his liberty, but his life, was 
in danger. Accordingly, without waiting for the 
return of Macirone, he embarkecj with four friends 
on a small coasting-vessel and sailed for Corsica, 
where he would be certain to find sympathisers 
and protectors. The weather was stormy, and 
the little craft was on the point of foundering, 
when the mail-boat plying between Bastia and 
Toulon appeared and rescued them from their 
perilous situation. 

On August 25, they landed at Bastia, where 
the authorities, having learned of their arrival, 
caused three of the party to be arrested. Murat, 
however, succeeded in effecting his escape to 
Vescovato, where a former officer in the Nea- 
politan army, named Dominique Franceschetti, 
resided, and took refuge in the house of the 
mayor, whose daughter F"ranceschetti had married. 
The Governor of Corsica sent gendarmes to arrest 
him, but the townsfolk rushed to arms, surrounded 
the mairie, and threatened to fire upon the gen- 

' He was the son of a Roman gentleman of good family, who 
had married an Englishwoman, and he had been born and 
educated in England. He has left an interesting, though not very 
trustworthy, account of Murat's last adventures. 



340 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

darmes, if they attempted to lay hands upon the 
fugitive. 

Murat, no doubt inspired by the example of 
Napoleon, now conceived the daring project of 
attempting the reconquest of his kingdom, and 
entered into communication with his adherents in 
Naples. The information he received led him to 
believe that the country was ripe for insurrection, 
and that the expedition he contemplated would 
almost certainly be attended with success; and he 
at once began recruiting soldiers.^ Towards the 
end of September, Macirone arrived in Corsica, 
authorised by Francis II of Austria to offer his 

1 It has been the subject of much controversy whether the persons 
who furnished Murat with the misleading information which en- 
couraged him to undertake this foolhardy enterprise were merely 
genuine adherents inspired by a fatal optimism, or agents-provoca- 
teurs employed by the Neapolitan Government to lure the ex-King to 
his doom. The latter view is that taken by the Marquis de Sassenay, 
in his very able work, les Dernier s Mais de Murat (Paris, 1896). 
M. de Sassenay bases his conclusions chiefly upon the des- 
patches of Baron KoUer, Quartermaster- General of the Austrian 
Army of Occupation in Naples, to the Minister of War at Vienna, 
in which he declares that Murat was lured to Calabria by a deeply- 
laid plot engineered by Luigi de' Medici, Minister of Police at 
Naples, and that Barbara, the captain of the vessel on which the 
ex-King sailed, was in Medici's pay, and had been charged to do 
everything possible to persuade him to land at Pizzo, whither, in 
anticipation of his arrival, agents had been sent to stir up the people 
against him. MM. Chavanon and Saint- Yves, however, traverse 
these statements, and, among other objections, point out that Pizzo 
was not the point at which Murat had intended to disembark, but 
San Lucido, some distance to the northward, and that he landed at 
Pizzo because, as we shall presently show, the events of the voyage 
had obliged him to do so. Nevertheless, there can be no question 
that Roller's conviction that the Neapolitan Government had laid 
an ambush for Ferdinand's rival was shared by many of his con- 
temporaries, even by some who had little sympathy with Murat. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 341 

master an asylum in his dominions, provided that 
hewould renounce all claim to the throne of Naples, 
consent to live as a private individual, with the 
title of Conte di Lipona — his wife having taken the 
title of Contessa di Lipona (an anagram of Napoli) 
— and give his parole not to quit Austrian territory 
without the express consent of the Emperor. 

All things considered, it was a generous offer, 
but it came too late, as Murat had already com- 
pleted his preparations, and, in spite of the en- 
treaties of Macirone and Franeeschetti, on the 
night of September 28-29, he left Ajaccio, with 
six ships and some two hundred and fifty adven- 
turous spirits, who, by lavish promises, he had in- 
duced to share his fortunes, and set sail for Calabria. 

It appears to have been his intention to land 
at San Lucido, in Northern Calabria, where the 
population were known to be favourable to his 
cause ; but his flotilla was scattered by a storm, 
and, on the morning of October 8, he found him- 
self with but two ships off the little town of Pizzo. 
His officers represented the futility of attempting 
to carry out his project with a mere handful of 
men, and advised him to abandon it, make for 
Trieste, and avail himself of the protection offered 
by Austria. He reluctantly consented, but his 
ship had been damaged by the storm, and pro- 
visions and water were running short ; and the 
captain, a Maltese named Barbara, represented 
that, under the circumstances, it would be im- 
possible to reach Trieste and advised them to 



342 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

land at Pizzo, where they might procure another 
vessel, or, at any rate, repair their own and obtain 
provisions. 

Suddenly, the idea of disembarking, not in the 
character of an unknown traveller, but as King, 
occurred to Murat, and though his companions 
protested, as well they might, against an act of 
such criminal folly, they eventually agreed to his 
proposal. 

Accordingly, dressed in full uniform and wear- 
ing a three-cornered hat, with a cockade clasped 
by a magnificent diamond buckle, the ex-King 
stepped on shore, followed by twenty-six men.^ 
They made their way to the Piazza, which was 
crowded, since it was Sunday and a market- 
day, where Murat's followers began to shout : 
" Long live our King Joachim ! " The people, 
however, made no movement to join them and 
regarded the party with mingled astonishment and 
anger. On Murat's accession to the throne of 
Naples, that part of Calabria had been a strong- 
hold of brigandage, and the peasantry hated the 
ex-King, for the ruthless measures which had been 
employed to stamp out what the most of them 
looked upon as a legitimate industry. 

Observing their hostile attitude, Murat and his 
followers quitted the town and took the road to 

' Such is the number given by MM. Chavanon and Saint-Yves, 
but the Neapolitan Minister of Police, in a despatch of October lo, 
puts the number at " between fifteen and twenty." A' Court, the 
British Minister at Naples, in a despatch of the 15th, speaks of 
" sixteen persons." 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 343 

Monteleone, five or six miles distant, where one 
of his old regiments was stationed. But a 
captain of gendarmerie, named Trentacapilli, now 
arrived upon the scene, at whose instigation the 
people took up arms, set off in pursuit, and made 
the whole party prisoners.^ 

Amid the blows and execrations of his captors, 
the hapless Murat was dragged away to the 
common gaol. A woman struck him in the 
face, crying out : " You talk of liberty [referring 
to a proclamation recently issued], and you caused 
my three sons to be shot ! " ^ and, but for the 
efforts of Trentacapilli and Alcala — the steward 
of a Spanish nobleman, the Duke of Infantado, 
owner of the Castle of Pizzo^he would, in all 
probability, have been torn to pieces by the 
infuriated people. 

On the arrival of General Nunziante,^ the 
military governor of Calabria, Murat was removed 
to the castle, where he appeairs to have been 
treated with every consideration. But Ferdinand 
and his Ministers had at once resolved on his 
death, and, on the 13th, a military commission, 
presided over by Nunziante, met at Pizzo, with 

' "A slight resistance was offered, in which one person of Murat's 
suite was killed and a few others wounded." — A' Court to Castle- 
reagh, October 15, 1815. 

2 They were doubtless brigands, who had been executed by the 
orders of Manh^s, Governor of Calabria under Murat. 

8 M. Turquan cannot resist the temptation of converting the 
name of this officer into Annunziata — the name by which Murat's 
wife was baptised — making him preside over the execution as well 
as over the trial of Murat, and moralising to the extent of half a 
page upon this striking coincidence ! 



344 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

instructions "to judge him as a public enemy and, 
having passed sentence, to proceed to execution 
after allowing an interval of a quarter of an hour, 
for religious preparation." ^ 

Murat, who had refused to plead, was con- 
demned to death, and, after addressing a touching 
letter of farewell to his wife and children,^ and 
receiving absolution, was shot that same afternoon 
on the esplanade at Pizzo. He died with that 
calm courage which might have been expected 
from one of the bravest men that ever drew a 
sword. " Soldiers," were his last words, "aim at 
my heart, but spare my face." Notwithstanding 
which request, one of his executioners deliberately 
fired at his face, the ball passing through the 
right cheek. His remains were interred in the 
cemetery at Pizzo. ^ 

' Letter of Medici to Nunziante, October lo, 1815, published by 
the Marquis de Sassenay. 

2 " My dear CaroHne, my last hour has come ; in a few moments, 
I shall have ceased to live ; in a few moments, you will no longer 
have a husband. Never forget me ; my life was not stained by 
any act of injustice. Farewell, my Achille ; farewell, my Letizia ; 
farewell, my Lucien ; farewell, my Louise ; show the world that you 
are worthy of me. I leave you without a kingdom and without 
means, in the midst of my numerous enemies. Show yourself 
superior to misfortune ; think of what you are and of what you 
have been. God will bless you. Do not curse my memory. I 
declare that my greatest grief in the last moments of my life is 
to die far away from my children. — Pizzo, October 13." 

^ There is no foundation for the sensational story related by 
Guglielmo Pepe, in his Memorie, and reproduced by Alexandre 
Dumas, in his Crimes cdlibres, that after Murat's death his head 
was severed from his body and carried to Naples, where Ferdinand 
caused it to be preserved in spirits of wine, in order that if any 
adventurer claiming to be Murat should appear, he might be able 
to confute him. 



CHAPTER XXXV 

Italy, after the second abdication of Napoleon, becomes the refuge 
of the Bonapartes — Madame Mhre in Rome — She offers her 
whole fortune to Napoleon, who, however, declines to avail 
himself of her generosity — Her letter to the Allied Sovereigns 
— She is suspected by the French Government of endeavouring 
to foment disturbances in Corsica^Her retired life — Her 
generosity to her children — She refuses to discontinue the use 
of the Imperial Arms — Her hatred of Marie Louise — Her 
anguish on learning of the Emperor's death — Antommarchi's 
interviews with her on his return from St. Helena — Elisa at 
Bologna — After the return of the Emperor from Elba, the 
Austrian Government declines to permit her to remain in Italy 
— She settles at Trieste — Her last years — Her death — Her 
children — Monument erected by Baciocchi— Pauline in Rome 
—Her popularity in society — Her devotion to the Emperor — 
She writes to the Earl of Liverpool to demand the removal of 
Napoleon from St. Helena — She becomes very ill — She is 
reconciled to her husband — Her death. 

ITALY, after Napoleon's second abdication, 
became the refuge of the Bonapartes. It 
was but natural that it should, since it was 
the cradle of their race, its language was theirs, 
and they regarded it as a second country. With 
the exception of Joseph, who emigrated to the 
United States, and ^^lisa, who passed the few 
remaining years of her life at Trieste, all the 
members of the Imperial Family found their way 
there, sooner or later. Madame Mere, Pauline, 

345 



346 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

and Fesch settled in Rome, where, in 1823, they 
were joined by Jdrome, and, shortly after- 
wards, by the Duchesse de Saint-Leu (Queen 
Hortense) and her two sons. Lucien, whom 
Pius VII had created Principe di Canino, 
divided his time between the estate from which 
he took his title and the Villa Rufiinella, near 
Frascati. In 1825, Louis, after spending some 
years in Rome, went to live in Florence ; 
while, in 1831, Caroline, after sixteen years' resi- 
dence on Austrian soil, at length obtained per- 
mission to make her home in the Tuscan capital. 
On arriving in Rome, Madame Mere — as 
Letizia continued to be called — went to live with 
her brother at the Palazzo Falconieri, Via Julia, 
where she occupied the first floor, the cardinal 
occupying the second. Early in the year 181 8, 
however, when the Bourbons were shamed into 
paying her the 800,000 francs which she had 
demanded in 18 14 for the Hotel de Brienne,^ she 
purchased a house of her own, the Palazzo Rin- 
ucci, in the Via Condotti,^ and finally, in 1824, 
established herself at the Palazzo Rusticucci 
deir Asti, at the corner of the Corso and the 
Piazza di Venezia, henceforth to be known as 
the Palazzo Bonaparte.^ 

' See p. 306, supra. 

'^ For which Fesch, in a letter of April 3, 1818, says that she paid 
27,000 piastres. 

' " We all know the lofty structure at the end of the Corso and 
opposite the new Via Nazionale and the Piazza di Venezia, into 
which the high-pitched windows of the southern front look. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 347 

At the time of Madame' s arrival in Rome, she 
was still hopeful that Napoleon had succeeded in 
effecting his escape to America, and it was a 
terrible blow to her when she learned that he had 
surrendered to the English and was on his way 
to St. Helena. " I am indeed a Mater Dolo- 
rosa," she writes to Cardinal Cdnsalvi ; "the sole 
comfort that remains to me is that the Holy 
Father is willing to forget the past and to 
remember only his unfailing kindness towards 
my family." 

When Las Cases returned to* Europe and she 
learned of the Emperor's financial embarass- 
ments, she offered to place all she possessed at 
his disposal ; but Napoleon refused to avail him- 
self of his mother's generosity, though he appears 
to have accepted from her a loan of 100,000 
francs. She petitioned several times for per- 
mission to be allowed to share his exile, but the 
British Government did not see its way to accede 
to her request, and, even if it had, it seems im- 
probable that Napoleon would have consented to 
her undertaking the voyage. 

The exaggerated account of Napoleon's failing 
health given by the surgeon O'Meara, on his 

Immediately in front, a vast mediseval pile frowns down a look of 
sulky contempt on its machicolated towers^ at the degeneration of 
the modem city. This, now the Austrian Embassy auprh du 
Pape, with its huge inner court and fragrant orange-grove, figures 
often in olden times as the scene of many a bloody skirmish 
between those everlasting fighters, the Colonna and the Orsini." — 
Mrs. Elliot, Roman Gossip. 



348 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

return from St. Helena, in the summer of 1818/ 
caused Madame the keenest anguish, and in the 
autumn we find her addressing the following 
letter to each of the Allied Sovereigns, who had 
met together at the Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle. 

Rome, August 29, 1818 

A mother afflicted beyond anything which 
words can express has long cherished the hope 
that the reunion of your Imperial and Royal 
Majesties would restore her to happiness. 

It is impossible that the continued captivity of 
the Emperor Napoleon should not be brought 
under discussion, and your magnanimity, your 
power, and the recollection of former circum- 
stances will undoubtedly induce your Majesties 
to interest yourselves in the deliverance of a 
person who occupied so important a place in 
your consideration, and even in your friendship. 

Can you permit to perish in cruel banishment 
a sovereign, who, trusting to the magnanimity of 
his enemy, threw himself into his arms. My son 
might have demanded an asylum with the Em- 
peror, his father-in-law ; he might have placed 
his confidence in the noble character of the 
Emperor Alexander ; he might have fled to the 
King of Prussia, who, without doubt, when he 
beheld him as a suppliant before him, would have 
recalled their former alliance.^ Is England to be 

' When O'Meara left the island, the Emperor was to all appear- 
ance, in very fair health. Certainly, O'Meara himself did not 
believe that there was any cause for anxiety. 

2 Such reasoning, of course, was absurd. If Napoleon had 
attempted either of these courses, he would have fallen into the 
hands of Bliicher, and shared the fate of Murat. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 349 

allowed to punish him for the confidence he has 
shown in her ? 

The Emperor Napoleon is no more to be 
feared. He is infirm. If he wtere in full health 
and in possession of the resources which Provi- 
dence had formerly placed in his hands, civil war 
is abhorrent to him. Sire, I am a mother, and 
my son's life is dearer to me thah my own. For- 
give me that, in my grief, I venture to address 
this letter to your Imperial and Royal Majesties. 

Do not allow a mother to appeal to you in vain 
against the continued cruelty exercised towards 
her son. 

In the name of Him Who is mercy itself and 
of Whom your Imperial Majesties are the image, 
interest yourself in his liberty. I entreat this 
of God ; I entreat it of you, who are His lieu- 
tenants on earth. 

Reasons of State have their limits, and pos- 
terity, which forgets nothing, admires above 
everything the generosity of conquerors. 
I am with respect. Sire, etc., 

Madame Mere. 

This letter remained unanswered. The Allied 
Sovereigns were too much indebted to British 
steel and British gold to presume to interfere 
between England and her captive. 

Madame s effort to interest the Allies in her 
son's favour exposed her to suspicion, and, in 
1820, she was accused of maintaining agents in 
Corsica and of financing a conspiracy to excite 
disturbances in France. The French Govern- 
ment, through its Ambassador, Blacas, addressed 



350 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

a serious complaint to Pius VTI, who was com- 
pelled, much against his will, to inquire into the 
matter.^ He accordingly sent his Secretary of 
State to acquaint her with the rumours which 
were in circulation and to beg "her to authorise 
him to deny them. " Monseigneur," replied the 
high-spirited old lady, " I do not possess the 
millions with which they credit me, but let M. de 
Blacas tell his master, Louis XVIII, that, if I 
did, I should not employ them to foment troubles 
in Corsica or to gain adherents for my son in 
France, since he already has enough. I should 
use them to fit out a fleet to liberate him from 
St. Helena, where the most infamous perfidy is 
holding him captive." 

Saying which, she made his Eminence a pro- 
found reverence and left the room. 

From the Pope downwards, Madame was re- 
garded by every one in Rome with the most 
profound sympathy and respect ; but, though her 
salon was always open to the members of her 
family and the comparatively few persons whom 
she admitted to her intimacy, she never went 
into society. "My life," she says, "ended with 
the fall of the Emperor. From that moment, 
I renounced everything and for ever. I ceased 
to go into any kind of society ; I ceased to visit 
the theatre, which had been my one distraction 

1 The Holy Father not only entertained a very sincere regard 
for Madame, but he appears to have been under financial obliga- 
tions to her at this time, she having, according to Baron Larrey, 
lent him 500,000 francs. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 351 

in times of trouble. My children and my 
nephews frequently urged me to go to the play, 
but I always refused, regarding the invitation as 
an insult." ^ 

Although Napoleon had declined Madame's 
offer of financial assistance, his brothers and 
sisters, who had learned little in the school of 
adversity, and who found it difficult to renounce 
the luxurious and extravagant habits that they 
had acquired during their years of prosperity, 
were not so scrupulous, and ppstered her with 
demands for money, Jdr6me and Louis being the 
worst offenders. She gave to them generously, 
but, at the same time, insisted strongly on the 
need for retrenchment and on the folly of en- 
deavouring to maintain a semi-regal state on 
insufficient means. "A man mijst live in accord- 
ance with his position," she wrote to Louis. "If 
he has ceased to be a king, it is ridiculous to 
pose as one. Rings adorn fingers, but they fall 
off, and the fingers remain." 

Yet, singularly enough, she herself clung ten- 
aciously to one relic of her former grandeur : she 
firmly refused to discontinue the use of the 
Imperial Arms on her carriages. " Why should 
I do so ? " she inquired. " Europe bowed to the 
dust before my son's Arms for ten years, and her 
sovereigns have not forgotten it." 

This refusal led to a singula'r incident. One 
day, as she was driving on the Corso, the crowd 

' Souvenirs dicUs d Rome. 



352 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

of carriages compelled her coachman to walk his 
horses. At that moment, two Austrian officers 
who happened to be riding by, recognised the 
Imperial Arms on the panels and, prompted by 
curiosity, drew rein and peered into the carriage. 
Such impertinence on the part of any ordinary 
person Madame would have ignored, but the 
sight of the Austrian uniforms roused her in- 
dignation. " What, gentlemen, is your pleasure ? " 
she exclaimed, letting down the window. "If it 
is to see the mother of the Emperor Napoleon, 
here she is ! " At which, the officers, much 
abashed, saluted respectfully and rode off. 

Madame detested the Austrians almost as 
bitterly as she did the English. She never could 
forgive Fran9ois II for joining the Coalition in 
1813, while the hatred she had once borne 
Josephine was as nothing to that which she now 
entertained towards the mistress of Neipperg. 
When, in 18 19, the Emperor of Austria visited 
Rome, Marie Louise proposed to accompany 
him ; but, in order to avoid any unpleasantness, 
it was considered advisable for the Austrian Am- 
bassador to inquire first whether her mother-in- 
law would receive her. The diplomatist accord- 
ingly waited upon Madame at the Palazzo 
Ranucci, where she was then living, to ascertain 
her views, when the lady expressed her opinion 
in regard to her daughter-in-law in so very out- 
spoken a manner that his Excellency begged the 
ex- Empress to forego her visit. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 353 

The captive of St. Helena often spoke to those 
about him of his mother, and always in terms of 
the deepest respect and affection. When, at the 
end of the year 1820, Antommarchi arrived, he 
overwhelmed the new-comer with questions con- 
cerning her. 

"She has loved me all her life," said he. "She 
is the best of women, the most excellent of 
mothers, with a courage and determination above 
her sex." 

Madame, on her side, did not relax her efforts 
to obtain the removal of her son from the 
"barren rock," but nothing — not even his restora- 
tion to liberty—could benefit the Emperor now. 
At the beginning of June, 182 1, she learned from 
the Abb6 Buonavita, who had left St. Helena 
in the middle of March, of Napoleon's alarming 
condition, and on July 22 came the news of his 
death, which had occurred on the evening of 
May 5. 

Happily, Buonavita had prepared her for the 
worst, and, though for several days she shut her- 
self up with her grief and refused to see even 
her brother or her children, her health does not 
seem to have been affected. " There has been 
no necessity for her to take to her bed," writes 
Fesch to J6r6me, on August i, "and she has 
shown no feverish symptoms. With the excep- 
tion of profound melancholy, loss of appetite, 
and an increasing weakness, she is well." And, 
ten days later, Madame herself writes to Pauline 
II.— 23 



354 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

that " her heahh is passable, in comparison with 
what she had suffered and was suffering."* 

In the same letter, Madame informs her 
daughter that she is about to address a request 
to the British Government for permission to have 
the body of the Emperor removed to Europe. 
But this request was refused, nor was it until 
1840 that Napoleon's desire " to be buried on the 
banks of the Seine, among the French people 
whom I loved so well," was fulfilled. 

In the autumn, Antommarchi, who had left 
St. Helena three weeks afte;r his illustrious 
patient's death, arrived in Rome, to furnish the 
family, in conformity with the wishes of the 
Emperor, with the particulars of his last ill- 
ness. He first visited Parma, where he sought 
an audience of Marie Louise, which, however, 
was not accorded, for reasons not difficult to 
understand. He met with a similar refusal 
from Louis, at Florence, the delicate nerves of 
the Comte de Saint-Leu not being presumably 
equal to the shock of hearing details of his 
brother's death. 

At Rome, however, the worthy doctor's recep- 
tion was very different ; he was received with 
much kindness by Fesch and Pauline, and had 
several interviews with Madame. " The grief 
of Madame Mere," he writes, "was still very 
great, and I was obliged to be very careful in 
what I said, and to spare her feelings— in a word, 

' Published by Baron Larrey. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 355 

to give her only an outline of what I had wit- 
nessed. On my second visit, she was calmer and 
more resigned ; and I gave her some details, 
which were, however, continually interrupted by 
her sobs. I stopped, whereupon the unhappy 
■mother dried her tears and began to question me 
anew. It was a struggle between courage and 
grief; never was such heartrending emotion seen. 
I saw her the third time, when she overwhelmed 
me with proofs of her goodwill and satisfaction, 
and presented me with a diamond, which I shall 
never part with, since it is a present from the 
Emperor's mother ! " ^ 

Elisa, whom the Emperor of Austria had au- 
thorised to bear the title of Gontessa di Com- 
pignano, lived tranquilly at Bologna until the early 
spring of 181 5. She appears to have been kept 
under very strict surveillance, for the voluminous 
police reports of that period preserved in the 
Bologna Archives show that every letter ad- 
dressed to her was opened at the Post Office, and 
every visit she received carefully noted. But the 
police failed to discover anything to compromise 
her, although there can be little doubt that she 
had established means of communication with 
the French party in her former principality, and 
that the spirit of hostility to the new regime 
which manifested itself in Lucca and other towns 
was fomented by her agents. 

^ Antommarchi, Mhnoires. 



356 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

With the object of allaying any suspicion 
which the Government might entertain, she pre- 
tended to be entirely occupied with the pleasures 
of society, and was assiduous in her attendance 
at balls, fetes, and other social functions ; and we 
even hear of her organising an "archaeological 
masquerade," the subject of which was " The 
Marriage of the Samnites,"' Nevertheless, this 
diplomatic conduct did not prevent the Austrian 
Government, when the news arrived of the 
Emperor's return to France,^ from deciding that 
it was inadvisable to permit the Contessa di 
Compignano to remain in Italy, and, in March, 
she left Bologna, escorted by a squadron of 
hussars, who did not leave her until she arrived 
on Austrian soil. 

After spending some months at Briinn, in 
Moravia, under more or less close surveillance, 
she was allowed to proceed to Trieste. Here 
she took a fancy to a house belonging to a 
Greek named Psara, a general in the Russian 
army. This residence she bought, together 
with a country-house, the Villa. Vicentina, some 

' M. Rodocanachi, Elisa Napoldon eii lialie. 

^ M. Rodocanachi states that lilisa was so well informed of the 
events which were preparing that, on the evening of February 26, 
181 5, at the precise hour when the Emperor embarked for France, 
she looked at her watch and exclaimed : '■'■ Le coup est fait!" But, 
although she may have been aware of the Emperor's intentions, 
she could not possibly have known the date, still less the hour, for 
his departure, unless she were gifted with supernatural powers, 
since Napoleon did not decide to leave Elba on the 26th until the 
24th, when he learned that the Partridge wp.uld be at Leghorn on 
the former date. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 357 

miles from the city, and determined to spend 
the rest of her days in I stria. Having had 
the good sense to renounce all her political 
ambitions, she lived a very contented life, sur- 
rounded by a little Court of artists, musicians, 
and French exiles, while she also had the conso- 
lation of the society of her sister Caroline, who 
came occasionally from Frohsdorf to visit her. 
In 1819, the Austrian Government restored to 
her her Italian property, which had been seques- 
trated, and, having disposed of it, she purchased 
with the proceeds a fine estate in I stria. She 
did not, however, live long to enjoy this increase 
of fortune, as she had been for some time past 
in indifferent health, and, on August 7th of the 
following year, she died at the. Villa Vicentina, 
in her forty-fourth year. 

Of Elisa's two surviving children, the boy born 
in 1 8 14, who received the name of Frederic, 
died, in Rome, in 1834, from injuries received by 
a fall from his horse. The daughter, the Princesse 
Napoleone, married, in 1825, ah Italian noble- 
man, the Conte Camerata, from whom, however, 
she separated, five years later.* She seems to 
have been of a decidedly enterprising tempera- 
ment, for, in 1830, she was concerned in an 
abortive plot to carry off the young Duke of 
Reichstadt from Schonbrunn, bring him to Paris, 
and proclaim him Emperor. When, in 1851, 
Louis Napoleon ascended the throne, she came 
to Paris and benefited largely by the regeneration 



358 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

of the family fortunes, receiving in eighteen years, 
according to one writer, over six million francs in 
pensions and gratifications. After 1853, when 
her only son committed suicide under somewhat 
mysterious circumstances, Paris society saw little 
of her, as she retired to her estate of Kour-el- 
Ouet in Brittany, where she passed the rest of her 
life. She was greatly interested in agricultural 
experiments, and spent large sums in draining 
the marshes of the lie d'Ouessant. She died in 
1869, leaving her property to the Prince Imperial. 

As for "■ ce bon et rebon Baciocchi," after his 
wife's death, he sold her villa at Trieste and 
obtained permission to settle at Bologna, where 
he installed himself in the Palazzo Ranuzzi. He 
was careful to keep on good terms with the 
Austrian Government, which not only made him 
an allowance, but persuaded the Pope to bestow 
upon him the title of Roman Prince, which 
doubtless occasioned him much gratification. 
He terminated his harmless, if somewhat futile 
existence, in 1841. 

In the Church of San Petronio, in Bologna, 
Felix purchased a chapel, in which he caused 
monuments to be erected to all the members 
of his family. " On one side of the chapel, 
around a medallion on which are represented 
the three children of Elisa and Felix who died 
in infancy, two women are weeping, and an in- 
scription felicitates these children on not having 
known the reverses which the family experienced. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 359 

On the other side, a second medallion represents 
Elisa, and the following- inscription may be read 
below : 

'"Here is deposited the heart of the Princess 
Elisa Bacciochi, who was Grand-Duchess of Tus- 
cany, Princess of Lucca and Piombino, during 
the reign of the Emperor Napoleon, her brother.' 

" At the bottom, a group composed of a man 
and a woman holding each othpr's hands is sur- 
mounted by the genius of conjugal love, which 
certainly did not watch over them until they 
were dead."^ 

On arriving in Rome, in October 18 15, Pauline 
did not take up her quarters at the Palazzo 
Borghese. The famous palace had been let to 
the ex-King of Spain, Charles IV, and, even had 
it been unoccupied, it is improbable that she 
would have resided there, as she was still on very 
bad terms with her husband, and, consequently, 
indisposed to accept any favour at his hands. 
She installed herself in the Palazzo Sciarra, a 
commodious Renaissance building, which had 
the advantage of being situated in one of the 
most fashionable quarters of the city. A little 
later, she purchased a small but pretty country- 
house outside the Porta Pia, which she named the 
Villa Paolina, and here she appears to have spent 
most of the summer. 

Though she had lost her youth, her health, 

' M. Rodocanachi, Elisa NapoUon en lialie. 



36o THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

and the greater part of her fortune, Pauline was 
much more popular in Rome than she had been 
during her former residence there. Society — 
or at least the more devout section of it — was 
at first inclined to look askance at a lady who 
was separated from her husband, and whose 
amorous adventures had made her the talk of 
Europe. But the good-hearted Pius VII, to 
whom the princess had been very attentive 
during his captivity in France, had conceived 
a warm regard for her and did not hesitate to 
show it, and where his Holiness led, Society felt 
compelled to follow. Nor had it any reason for 
regret, since the Pauline of 1.8 15 was a very 
different person from the beautiful madcap of 
1804, who had shocked the grave cardinals and 
stately matrons by her sublime disregard for those 
time-honoured conventions which were to them 
almost as sacred as the Decalogue — a Pauline 
more subdued, less capricious, more amiable, less 
futile ; who received even her most tiresome visi- 
tors with a smile, instead of with the ill-concealed 
ennui of former times, listened with a pretty 
affectation of interest to discussions even on 
the most abstruse subjects, and showed a most 
laudable desire to make herself agreeable to 
every one. 

But what aroused the admiration of all who 
knew her, was her intense devotion to the Em- 
peror. With the exception of Madame Mere, 
none of the family had entertained for Napoleon 



THE WOMEN BONAt'ARTES 361 

an affection so sincere and so disinterested as her 
own. But now that he was fallen, exiled, aban- 
doned and betrayed by his wife, deprived of his 
son, he was nearer her heart than ever, seldom, 
indeed, out of her thoughts. If her health had 
permitted her to make the long voyage to St. 
Helena, and she could have secured the consent 
of the British Government, there can be no doubt 
that she would have hastened to join him. But, 
as that was not possible, she did everything in her 
power to lighten the burden of his lot, and, in 
April 181 7, Blacas, the French Ambassador in 
Rome, reported that the Princess Borghese was 
endeavouring to sell all her valuables, in order 
to transmit the proceeds to her brother. How- 
ever, as we have seen, the Emperor declined to 
accept such sacrifices from his relatives. 

When, in the early summer cif 1821, the Abbd 
Buonavita arrived from St. Helena, with the 
news of the alarming condition of Napoleon, 
Pauline hastened to address the following letter 
to Lord Liverpool : 

Rome 

June 1 1, 1815 
The Abbe Buonavita, who has arrived from 
the Island of St. Helena, which he left on 
March 1 7 last, has brought us the most alarming 
news of my brother's health. I send you enclosed 
a copy of his letters, which will give you particu- 
lars of his sufferings. The malady by which he 
is attacked is mortal at St. Helena. In the name 
of all the family, I demand that he be removed 



362 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

to a different climate. If this request were re- 
fused, it would be for him a sentence of death. 

It was, however, too late; Napoleon had passed 
away five weeks before. 

The Emperor's death was a great shock to 
Pauline. From that time, her health, always bad, 
grew steadily worse. Of her beauty — that beauty 
which had made havoc of so many hearts — which 
so late as 1819 had been still so remarkable, that 
one who saw her then declared that "the most 
perfect models could not be compared with her,"' 
no trace now remained, save her lovely eyes, 
which seemed to shine with an added lustre ; 
nothing interested her ; she seemed indifferent to 
all around her, and " she who had excited so 
much love, no longer excited anything but pity." 

In the autumn of 1823, through the good offices 
of the new pontiff, Leo XII, a reconciliation was 
effected between her and her husband, and she 
removed to Borghese's palace in Florence. The 
prince, at bottom, a kind-hearted and chivalrous 
man, who might have said concerning Pauline as 
did the Comtesse de Guiche on learning of the 
death of her husband : " I should have loved her 
passionately, if she had loved me at all," lavished 
upon the sick woman every possible attention, but 
she was now marked for death, and on June 9, 
1825, she passed quietly away within four months 

^ Itineraire et Souvenirs d'une voyage en Italie. The writer 
adds ; " Artists did not find her equal for grace of form and perfec- 
tion of proportion save in the Venus de' Medici. 



THE WOMEN BONAt'ARTES 363 

of completing her forty- fifth year. Jerome was 
the only member of the Bonaparte family who 
was with her at the last. 

Her body was transferred to Rome and buried 
in the chapel of the Borghese family in the 
Church of Santa-Maria-Maggiore. The bulk of 
her fortune, which amounted to two million francs, 
was bequeathed to her brothers Louis and Joseph. 

Pauline had many grave faults ; we have dwelt 
upon them at sufficient length elsewhere. But 
she possessed, in a high degree, one virtue — that 
which Napoleon esteemed far above all others — 
loyalty. 

And that atones for much. 



CHAPTER XX^VI 

Caroline in Austria — Her financial embarrassments — Her claims 
on the French Government — Restrictions imposed on her by 
the Allied Powers — She complains of fhe conduct of Metter- 
nich — She settles at Trieste, where she is visited by Madame 
Rdcamier, and by the Countess Potoclfa-Wonsowicz — Impres- 
sions of the latter — Caroline's anecdotes of Napoleon — Rela- 
tions with General Macdonald — She obtains permission to 
reside in Florence — Her popularity in Society — Her visit to 
Paris in 1838 — Her death — Last years of Madame Mlrc — Her 
letter to Marie Louise on learning of the death of the Duke of 
Reichstadt — She becomes crippled and blind — Her joy on 
learning that the statue of Napoleon is to be replaced on the 
Vendome Column — She declines the offer to except her from 
the decree banishing the Bonapartes from France — Her death 
— Her remains removed to Ajaccio. 

ON arriving at Trieste, the Contessa di 
Lipona^ — -as Caroline now called herself — 
was not permitted to remain in that city, 
it being apparently considered too near Italy, but 
was required to reside in the interior of the 
Empire, and settled at Hainbufg, about twenty- 
five miles south of Vienna. H'ere, however, her 
stay was but brief, as, in the autumn, she removed 
to the Castle of Frohsdorf, which, thirty years 
later, became the property of the Duchesse 
d'Angouleme, and subsequently of the Comte de 
Chambord. It was at Frohsd'orf, one day to- 
wards the end of October, that she learned, from 

364 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 365 

a Viennese journal, of the tragic fate of her hus- 
band, of whose foolhardy enterprise she had, of 
course, been in complete ignorance. She was 
naturally much shocked, but, since it is doubtful if 
she had had any affection for Murat after the first 
years of their married life, her grief was probably 
of short duration. Besides, she was still young, 
and General Macdonald, formerly Minister for 
War at Naples, who had accompanied her into 
^ exile, was a fine figure of a man and her very 
devoted servant. 

Her financial position, however, claimed the 
most of her attention, and she found herself in 
very straitened circumstances for a lady who 
had been in the habit of paying from ten to 
fifteen thousand francs for her gowns, and from 
four hundred to five hundred francs for her hats. 
Ferdinand had confiscated all her property in Italy, 
including the valuable furniture, paintings and 
objets d'art with which Joseph Bonaparte, during 
his reign, had embellished the palace,^ and for 
which the Murats, on taking possession, had 
reimbursed him to the extent of 1,500,000 francs; 
while Napoleon's return from Elba had, of course, 
freed Louis XVIII from the obligation of paying 
the Bonaparte family the pensions stipulated for 
in 1 8 14, though it is an open question whether, 
even if that event had not occurred, the Allies 

1 Ferdinand IV, on quitting Naples, in*i8o6, had stripped the 
palace bare, being determined to leave as little as possible of his 
property in the hands of the French. 



366 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

would ever have succeeded in persuading him to 
disgorge. 

Ferdinand naturally paid no -attention to the 
Contessa di Lipona's claim for an indemnity, but 
Caroline clung tenaciously to the hope that the 
French Government might be induced to pay 
her the annual compensation guaranteed the 
Murats in the Bayonne Decree of 1808 in return 
for the surrender of Neuilly and their other 
estates in France to the Crown.^ Just or not 
from a strictly legal point of view, her demands 
remained without effect until 1838 — the year pre- 
ceding her death — when the Government of 
Louis Philippe accorded her art annual payment 
of 100,000 francs, " in consideration of her mis- 
fortunes and because she was the sister of the 
Emperor Napoleon." 

Nor were financial embarrassments her only 
vexations, for the Powers seem to have shared 
the high opinion of her abilities which Talley- 
rand had once expressed, and to have regarded 
her as the most dangerous of all the exiled 
family. Her request to be allowed to join her 
relatives in Rome was refused,^ and she was in- 
formed that it had been decided that Italy, the 
Low Countries, and Switzerland were forbidden 
ground, and that she must either resign herself 
to living in Germany or apply for passports to 
America. Even in Germany, she was kept under 
surveillance, and when she travelled, was not per- 

' See p. 144, supra.'. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 367 

mitted to remain in one place for more than a 
certain length of time. 

In a letter to one of her friends, which is pre- 
served in the Vienna Archives, she complains 
bitterly of the conduct of her old admirer 
Metternich : "He is influenced by fear; he is 
afraid that he will be suspected of being pre- 
judiced in my favour ; and this fear causes him 
to subscribe to the most vexatious decrees. 
During the nine years I spent at Frohsdorf, 
I followed all his counsels. What is the result ? 
Incessant persecutions."^ 

When Caroline wrote this letter, she had left 
Frohsdorf, and was living in the environs of 
Trieste, in a villa called Campo Mars, which she 
had purchased from a merchant of that city. 
Here, in 1825, she received a visit from her old 
friend Madame R^camier, who was accompanied 
by her humble worshipper Simon Ballanche.^ 
The two ladies had so much to say to each other 
at their first interview that the "amiable Juliette," 
as her royal friend called her, quite forgot the 
philosopher, who remained patiently in a corridor 
where she had left him until his divinity reap- 
peared, which was not for several hours. 

Madame Rdcamier found the ex-Queen still 
very handsome, though she fiad developed a 

1 D. Melegari, Une reineenexil, in le Correspondant, December 
1898. 

2 On Ballanche and his touching devotion to Madame Rdcamier, 
see the author's Madame Rdcamier and Her Friends (Harpers, 
igoi). 



368 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

tendency to embonpoint, and " as she was not tall, 
her figure had not gained in elegance." Her 
complexion was also somewhat faded. However, 
she was amiability itself, for, when really desirous 
of pleasing, Caroline could be charming ; and 
Madame Rdcamier, who had highly-placed ad- 
mirers in Paris, might prove a very useful friend. 

General Macdonald was presented to the fair 
visitor, who observed that her hostess showed 
towards him '' un sentiment affectueux meld a une 
nuance de domination" which seemed to indicate 
that, if she were really married to him, as many 
persons averred, she did not intend him to forget 
that she was also his Queen. 

Caroline seems to have been in a very de- 
spondent mood at this time, and complained to 
Madame R^camier of her straitened means, 
the restrictions to which she was subjected, and 
her solitude, for both her sons had left her to 
seek their fortunes in the United States, while her 
elder daughter had married, and the younger was 
about to follow her sister's example. Madame 
R^camier sought to console her, and promised to 
persuade her powerful friends, Chateaubriand 
and Mathieu de Montmorency, to endeavour to 
obtain for her the sums guaranteed by the 
Bayonne Decree : but the French Government, 
as we have seen, declined to recognise her 
claim.^ 

1 Madame Lenormant, Souvenirs et Correspondance de Madame 
R^camier. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 369 

When, in the following year, the Countess 
Potocka-Wonsowicz visited Caroline, on her way 
to make that tour of Italy of which she has left 
us so interesting an account,^ the latter appears 
to have been much more resigned to her position. 
She was then engaged in superintending various 
improvements in her villa and the extensive 
gardens attached to it, " which seemed to have 
made her forget that she had once possessed the 
most beautiful of realms," and had succeeded in 
converting it into a most delightful residence. 

The countess, who had met Caroline in Paris 
at the time of the marriage of Napoleon and 
Majrie Louise, was received most gfaciously and 
writes of her hostess in terms of positive enthu- 
siasm : 

" I found her again with a countenance as attrac- 
tive as in former days, and felt that she wished to 
make every one who approached her love her. 
The throne had disappeared, but the charm re- 
mained, and formed a piquant contrast to a very 
uncommon strength of mind, a serious disposi- 
tion, a kindness, and an evenness of temper which 
such great misfortunes had been powerless to sour 
or even to trouble." 

During the six weeks that Madame Potocka 
spent at Trieste, she visited the Villa Campo 
Mars every day, and in the evenings, which she 
and the ex-Queen generally spent on a little 

1 Countess Potocka-Wonsowicz, Voyage d'ltalie, publU par 
Casimir Stryieiiski (Paris, 1899). 
II. — 24 



370 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

terrace overlooking- the sea, Caroline would often 
speak "of her life and of the extraordinary man 
to whom she was so nearly related." " I regret," 
continues the countess, "that I did not note down 
every day all that she recounted ; I particularly 
recollect the anecdotes concerning the infancy 
and life of Napoleon. They had a stamp of 
truth and sincerity about them which enchanted 
me : 

" From the time that he was grown up, he 
governed the house, although he was not the 
eldest ; all obeyed him, all consulted him ; he 
directed the elder and protected the younger. 
They loved him, because he wis kind, but they 
respected him, because he was' serious. Never 
did they see him indulge in the childishness 
natural to the young. Grief neyer extorted from 
him tears, nor the wish to possess, a prayer. . . . 
Later, the relations of Napoleon with his relatives 
became those of a noble and generous benefactor, 
but what was charming in this intercourse, was 
that Napoleon liked them to make him little pre- 
sents in return ; he seemed delighted when his 
sisters brought them to him on his fete-day. 

"Queen Caroline was, for a long while, his 
favourite sister; he spoke to her quite freely, and 
often she ventured to tell him great and useful 
truths. It was only necessary for her to choose 
her time; then he was never annoyed. . . . When 
any observation was made to him, he listened 
patiently and attentively, but he would suffer no 



THF WOMEN BONAPARTES 371 

contradiction ; when he gave an order, it had to 
be obeyed without hesitation." 

It is not a little singular that Caroline, whose 
conduct and that of her husbarjd had, as all the 
world knew, materially contributed to precipitate 
the fall of the indulgent broth'er to whom she 
owed everything, should have taken pleasure in 
recounting these anecdotes. Certainly, there is no 
indication here, nor in the letters which she wrote 
in her later years, of the trdubled conscience 
which we should naturally expect to find. The 
probability is that hers was one of those characters 
so colossally selfish, so entirely destitute of moral 
sense, that they regard the sacrifice of the noblest 
sentiments to their own personal interests as in 
the natural order of things, and are quite incap- 
able of feeling remorse. 

One of the largest rooms in the Villa Campo 
Mars was consecrated to souvenirs of the Imperial 
Family. Its principal ornament was a magnifi- 
cent portrait of Murat on horseback, but every 
member of the family was represented, either in 
marble or on canvas. For some reason, Caroline 
never did the honours of this ropm, a duty which 
was performed by General Mac^onald. 

That grallant officer seems to have made a 
highly favourable impression on Madame Potocka. 
" Fate," she writes, " in depriving her [Caroline] 
of all the favours with which Fortune had over- 
whelmed her, had been powerless to rob her 
of the most precious of all. 'A faithful friend 



372 THE WOMEN BONAt^ARTES 

remained to her. The quahties' of this man, like 
his attachment, were superior ;, his countenance 
revealed the loftiness of his soul* one experienced 
an infinite charm in studying the character of a 
man, whose life was, so to spqak, made up of 
devotion and refined sentiments. Such was 
General Macdonald, who was said to be secretly 
married to the Queen." 

The countess, however, discreetly declines to 
express a definite opinion concerning this rumour. 
" During the six weeks that I saw them daily," 
she continues, " I perceived nothing which could 
make me adopt or reject this idea ; on the one 
side, the most sincere friendship, the most genuine 
esteem ; on the other, the most unvarying re- 
spect and the most entire alviegation. Such 
were the ties existing between them. It is prob- 
able that love had passed that way ; and what 
remained did honour to both." 

In the autumn of 1831, when the terrible epi- 
demic of cholera which ravaged Germany that 
year was approaching Trieste, Caroline was 
allowed by the Austrian Government to pass the 
winter in Florence, and, shortly afterwards, she 
received permission to reside there permanently. 
She was made very welcome by Florentine 
society, while foreign visitors: seem to have 
regarded her as one of the sighfs of the Tuscan 
capital, and, at the end of 1833, we find her 
writing to her nephew Louis Bonaparte, the 
future Napoleon III; "Although I am very in- 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 373 

conveniently lodged until I am able to reside in 
the palace which I am having put in order, all Flo- 
rence visits me, and foreigners come in crowds."^ 

Save for a visit to Paris, in the summer of 
1838, when her still considerable powers of fasci- 
nation probably contributed not a little to secure 
her the pension which the Chambers soon after- 
wards voted her, Caroline scarcely quitted Flo- 
rence during the remainder of her life. She died 
there on May 18, 1839, in her sixtieth year, so 
that she did not profit much by the tardy liber- 
ality of the French Government. She had lost 
the faithful Macdonald two years earlier. 

Of her four children, the two girls, Loetitia 
and Louise, both married Italian noblemen, the 
former, the Conte Pepoli, and the latter, the 
Conte Rasponi; but their lives appear to have 
been very uneventful. Both sons, as we have 
mentioned elsewhere, went early in life to seek 
their fortunes in the United States. The elder, 
Napoleon Achille, who emigrated in 1821, pur- 
chased an estate near Tallahassee, Florida, and, 
five years later, married a grand-niece of Wash- 
ington, Miss Catharina Dudley, to whom he had 
been introduced by Lafayette, when he revisited 
the scene of his former exploits in 1825. Al- 
though, as a youth, Achille Murat seems to have 
caused his mother and his tutors a good deal 
of anxiety and trouble, he lived a quiet and 

1 Published by D. Melegari, Une Reine en exil, in le Correspon- 
dani, December, 1898. 



374 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

studious life, dividing his time between farming 
and literature. In the latter pursuit, he acquired 
a considerable reputation as a publicist, by several 
commendable works on America and her insti- 
tutions, perhaps the best of which is his Exposi- 
tion de principes dti gouvernement r^publicain tel 
quil a dtS perfectioiin^en Am'erique, which first ap- 
peared in 1833. His interest in politics, however, 
was of a purely academic nature, as he declined 
all offers of a political career. He died in 1847. 
His younger brother, Napoldori Lucien Charles, 
came to the United States in 1825, and, after 
spending a short time in Boston, joined his uncle 
Joseph, the ex-King of Spain, who was then living 
in Philadelphia, under the title of the Comte 
de Survilliers. Like Achille, Lucien married an 
American lady, a Miss Fraser, of Bordentown, 
New Jersey, who, when, in later years, she and 
her husband experienced reverses of fortune, 
established a fashionable seminary for girls in 
her native town, which appears to have been a 
very successful undertaking. Lucien was of a far 
more ambitious temperament than his brother, 
and after the Revolution of 1848 he returned to 
France, and was elected deputy to the Constituent 
Assembly for the Department of the Lot, in 
which the old home of his family was situated. 
In the same year, he was sent as Minister Pleni- 
potentiary to Turin. On Louis Napoleon becom- 
ing Emperor, he was given a seat in the Senate 
and recognised as a Prince of the- Imperial Family. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 375 

The Emperor also accorded him a pension of 
150,000 francs, and paid his debts, which are 
said to have amounted to two milHon francs. 
When King Bomba was driven but of Naples by 
his exasperated subjects, Lucien advanced some 
rather timid pretensions to his father's throne, 
but the time had not yet come foir delivering Italy 
from the Bourbon and Austrian yoke, and the 
French Government not only declined to support 
his claims, but officially disavowed them. After 
the Revolution of September, 1870, he retired 
from public life, and died on April 10, 1878. 

Lucien Murat left five children, two of whom 
were well-known figures in Parisian society during 
the Second Empire : the Priiicess Anna, who 
married the Due de Mouchy, and Prince Achille, 
a brilliant cavalry officer, who married the Prin- 
cess Dadiana of Mingrelia. 



& 



Let us conclude, as we begant, with the mother 
of the Bonapartes. 

Madame survived the son whom she so deeply 
mourned more than fifteen years. Her life was a 
sad one, for death, not content with depriving her 
of 6lisa and the Emperor, was very busy among 
the Bonapartes and their relatives. Pauline died 
in 1825; the young Duke of Reichstadt in 1832 ; 
Napoleon Louis, the future Napoleon Ill's elder 
brother, in 1832;^ and Camillo Borghese in the 

1 In her later years, Madame appears to have become greatly 
attached to Hortense's children, and to have even tolerated 
Hortense herself. 



376 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

same year ; Frederic Baciocchi, Elisa's son, in 
1834, and her best-loved daughter-in-law, Cathe- 
rine of Westphalia, in 1835. She also lost her 
faithful Saveria, who died about the same time 
as Pauline. 

The death of the Duke de Reichstadt was a 
terrible blow to Madame, for, since his father's 
death, he had been the centre of all her hopes, 
and she had bequeathed to him the bulk of her 
fortune. " All that I possess came to me from 
the Emperor," she observed, "and it is but just 
that I should return it to his child." 

Marie Louise herself announped the sad event 
to her mother-in-law, in a letter from Schon- 
brunn, written the day after the young duke's 
death, and begged her to "accept, on this sorrow- 
ful occasion, the assurance of the kindly feeling 
entertained for her by her affectionate daughter." 
In reply, Madame dictated to Fesch the following 
letter : 

Rome 

August 6, 1832 

Madame, — Notwithstanding the political short- 
sightedness which has constantly deprived me of 
all news of the dear child whose death you have 
been so considerate to announce to me, I have 
never ceased to entertain towards him the devo- 
tion of a mother. In him, I still found an object 
of some consolation, but to my great age and to 
my incessant and painful infirmities God has seen 
fit to add this blow as a fresh proof of His 
mercy, since I firmly believe that He will amply 



ns¥«™» ^fflf TBV i 7"™"'q ;^« 







MARIA LETIZIA BONAPARTE, "MADAME MERE" 

AFTER THE DRAWING MADE IN 183^ liY THE PKINCESSE CHARLOTTE BONAPARTE 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 377 

atone to him, in His glory, for' the glory of this 
world. 

Accept my thanks, Madame, for having put 
yourself to this trouble, in such sorrowful circum- 
stances, to alleviate the bitterness of my grief. 
Be sure that it will remain with me all my life. 

My condition precludes me from even signing 
this letter ; and I must therefore crave your per- 
mission to delegate the task to my brother. 

For a woman of her advanced age, Madame s 
physical activity was quite remarkable. She 
went almost every day on foot to hear Mass 
at Santa Maria in Portico or at San Lorenzo 
in Lucina, and frequently walked in the grounds 
of the Villa Borghese, which, she declared, re- 
minded her of France. However, during one of 
her promenades in the Villa, towards the end 
of April 1830, she stumbled, fell, and fractured 
her hip. Happily, her carriage was near at 
hand, and she was driven rapidly home, but the 
pain and the shock were so grpat that the worst 
was feared. All the members of the family were 
summoned, and Fesch even contemplated ad- 
ministering the last Sacraments. She recovered, 
however, but from that day she was no longer 
able to walk and had to content herself with 
carriage exercise. Soon, too, an infinitely worse 
affliction came upon her ; her sight, which 
had, for some time past, bee;n causing great 
anxiety, failed altogether, and she became totally 
blind. 



378 THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

Nevertheless, the year 1830 brought to the 
afflicted woman one great happiness. After the 
July Revolution, the new Government decided 
to replace the statue of Napoleon on the Ven- 
d6me Column. When the news was brought to 
Madame, tears of joy flowed from her sightless 
eyes, as she repeated to herself : " The statue 
of the Emperor on the Column ! The statue 
of the Emperor ! " Her delight, however, was 
tinged with sorrow at the thought that she 
would never see it, nor even the models which 
had been sent to Rome. "Alas! my poor 
eyes ! " she exclaimed. " How I have regretted 
them ! I sometimes fear that they are deceiving 
a poor exiled mother, infirm and blind. Age 
and misfortune make us distrustful."^ And she 
added : " If I had been in Paris, as in former days, 
God would have given me strength to cling to 
the top of the Column, to assure myself of the 
truth. ..." 

After the loss of her sight, Madame seldom 
left the Palazzo Bonaparte, except for an occa- 
sional drive. Her chief amusement consisted in 
having newspapers and books read to her, 
Jerome, whose voice bore a singular resemblance 
to that of Napoleon, being her favourite reader. 
She was particularly fond of listening to works 
dealing with the Emperor's campaigns, and to 
the memoirs of his contemporaries, though, it is 
to be presumed, her relatives considered it ad- 

' Baron Larrey, MadameiMire. 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 379 

visable to skip passages in which Napoleon was 
subjected to adverse criticism. 

Her infirmities and the succession of deaths in 
the Bonaparte family, of which we have already 
spoken, darkened her closing years, but she was 
not without compensation. She was beloved by 
her children and grandchildren ; she enjoyed the 
esteem of all who were privileged to know her 
and of numbers who knew her only by name ; 
and the almost sublime resignation which she 
showed under the burden of her sorrows proves 
that the merely formal observance of her religious 
duties which seems to have contented her in 
early and middle life, must have long since given 
place to a deep and abiding faith, ^ 

In the spring of 1834, there was a movement 
in Paris to repeal the sentence of banishment 
passed upon the Bonapartes in favour of their 
aged mother, and to invite her to end her days 
in France. There can be little doubt that the 
proposal would have passed the Chambers, but 
when one of its supporters approached Madame 
upon the subject, she at once replied that "she 
would never cease to share the lot of her children, 
which was the one comfort remaining to her." 

Even if Madame had viewed the matter in a 
different light, it could have made no difference, 
since she was now far too infirm to leave Rome. 
The death of Catherine of Westphalia, to whom 

1 Pius VII described her as "a God-fearing woman, who 
deserved to be honoured by every prince in Christendom." 



38o THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 

she was deeply attached, hastened the end, which, 
in any circumstances, could not have been long 
delayed ; and on February 2, 1836, she died, in 
the presence of Fesch, Jerome, Lucien and his 
wife, and her faithful attendants Colonna and 
Rosa Mellini. Supposing her to have been born 
in August, 1750, she had reached the great age 
of eighty-five. On the night of February 4-5, 
the body was removed to Carneto, near Civita 
Vecchia, and interred in the Church of the 
Dames de la Passion. 

Fesch, who followed his sister to the grave a 
little more than two years later (May 13, 1839), 
bequeathed 200,000 francs for the erection of a 
church at Ajaccio, in which he desired that he 
should be buried and his sister's remains as well. 
His principal legatee, Joseph Bonaparte, how- 
ever, failed to carry out these instructions, and it 
was left for Napoleon III to fulfil the cardinal's 
wishes. In 1851, he caused both bodies to be 
removed to Ajaccio, and deposited in a tempo- 
rary grave, pending the erection of a church, 
which was finally completed in 1857. There 
Madame Mere rests, and over the entrance to 
the vault in which she lies is a marble slab bear- 
ing the following inscription in gold lettering : 

Maria Letizia Ramolino Bonaparte. 
Mater Regum. 



INDEX 



Aberdeen, Earl of, ii, 283, 284 
Abrantes.Ducdeji-^Junot.Andoche 

— Duchessede (Madame Junot), i, 
56, 223, (cited) 64, 104, n6 and 
note, 1S2, 19S, 200-2, 214, 
215, 231, 242, 264, 287, 310; 
ii, 23, 74, 192, 216, 218, 259, 
(cited) 15 note, 25-7, 64 and 
note, 72, 73 and note, 136, 270, 
291 

Agar (Minister of Finance at 

Naples), ii, 19S 
Albany, Countess of, ii, 169, 170 
Alberti, Signor, i, 8 

— Signora, 1, 7, 8 
Aldobrandini, Prince, i, 333, 341 
Alexander I, Czar of Russia, ii, 

190, 211, 296, 348 
Alfieri (poet), ii, i6g 
Aligre (chamberlain to Countess 

Bonaparte), ii, 17 
Alraeras, M. Henri (cited), i, 151, 

164, 171 note, 300, 308; ii, no 

note, 225, 311 
Andrieux (poet), i, 314 
Angiolini di Serravera, i, 336, 337, 

339, 340, 345 
Arnault, Antoine Vincent (poet), i, 
164, 169 and note, 263, 314, 
(cited) 170, 173, 171 note, 182 
Arrighi di Cazanova, i, 10 
Avrillon, Mile, (cited), ii, 217 note 
Antommarchi, Dr., ii, 354, (cited) 

35S 
Ayme (Chamberlain to Joachim 
Murat, King of Naples), ii, 244, 
245 



Baciocchi; Fflix (husband of Elisa 
Bonaparte), Prince of Lucca and 
Piombibo, i, 155-9, 160, 171, 
221, 234, 259, 260, 271, 371 ; 
ii, 31. 34, 36, 38-40, 83. S8, 96, 
149, 16S, 177, 178, 204, 222, 
302, 35-8 

— Frederic, ii, 302, 357, 375 

— Jer6m,e Charles, ii, 173, 17S, 
179, 223 

— Napoleon, i. 194, 210 

— Napoleone (Contessa Camerata), 
ii, 94, 151, 173, 299, 351, 358, 376 

Baliste, M., i, 108 

Ballanche, Simon, ii, 367 and note 

Barante, Prosper de, i, 276, 313 ; 

ii, (cited) 96 
Barbier -Wallebonne, Madame 

(singer), i, 240 
Barral, M. de, Bishop of Meaux, 

ii, 18 

— Madaine de, ii, 17, 193, 194 
Barras, i, 100, 117, 131, 132, 

140, 142, 143, 144, 212, 227, 

(cited) -i, 99, 138 
Bartolini, Lorenzo (sculptor), ii, 91 

and note, 232 
Battersby, Captain, ii, 305, 307 
Bausset (Prefect of the Palace), ii, 

150 
Beauharnais, Eugene de, i, iSo, 
210, 232, 323, 363 ; ii, 196, 267, 
273, 284, 286 

— Hortense ; see Hortense, Queen 
of Holland 

— Josepiiine; see Empress Jose- 
phine 



381 



382 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 



Beauharnais, Sti^phanie ; see Step- 
hanie, Grand-Duchess of Baden 

— Emilia ; see Lavalette, Madame 
Beaumont, General de, ii, 24 
Begin, Dr. Emile (cited), i, 15 

note 
Bellegarde, Marshal, ii, 284 
Bellemare (Commissioner of Police 

at Antwerp), ii, 226, 227 
Bentinck, Lord William, ii, 287, 

288 note, 301, 302, 327 
Benvenuti (painter), ii, 232, 266 
Bernadotte, Marcchal ; see Charles 

XIV, King of Sweden 
Berthier, Prince de Neufch^tel, ii, 

189, 191, 228, 272, 273 
Bessi^res, Marechal, i, 224, 240 
Bertrand, General, ii, 307, 312, 313 
Beugnot, Comte (cited), ii, 146-8 
Bienaime (architect), ii, 83, 95 
Billon (suitor for Pauline Bona- 
parte's hand), i, 123, 130, 136 
Blacas, Comte dc (French Ambas- 
sador at Rome), ii, 349, 350, 361 
Blangini (composer), ii, 1 12-14, 

188; (cited) ii, 114 
BlUcher, Marshal, ii, 58 
Boissieu (painter), ii, 48 
Bonaparte, Agostino, i, 6 

— Antonio, i, 5 

— Carlo Maria, i, 6-9, II, 16, 17, 
18, 20-2, 27-32, 36, 41-4, 45, 

46, 47. 48, SO, SI. 52. 53. 54-9, 
61, 276 

— Caroline : see Caroline, Queen 
of Naples 

— Charlotte (called Lolotte), i, 
256 and note, 262, 260, 270, 279 ; 

ii. 151. 155-9. 209 

— Christine Egypta, i, 256 and 
note, 262, 279 

— Elisa ; see Elisa, Grand-Duchess 
of Tuscany 

— Francesco, 1, 3 and note, 4 

— Gabriele, i, 4 

— Giuseppe, i, 6 



Bonaparte, J^rSme ; see Jer6me, 
King of Westphalia 

— Joseph ; see Joseph, King of 
Spain 

— Louis;; see Louis, King of 
Holland 

— Louis Napoleon (afterwards 
Napoleon III), ii, 131 and note, 

225. 372. 380 

— Luca, i, S 

— Luciano (Archdeaconof Ajaccio), 
i. 7. 8, 9, 22, 59, 68, 71,72 

— Lucien, Prince di Canino, i, 
9 note, 28 note, 54, 66, 67, 
87, 89, 95, 100, 116, 123, 145 
note, 146, 147, 168, 204, 210, 
213. 2}9, 220, 234, 249, 
251, 254, 256, 257, 259 note, 
2S3 note, (cited) 68, 92, 261, 
327 ; ir, 12, 22, 31, 78, 79, 125, 
149, 151, 152-9, 173, 220, 
256, l^Z, 320, 321, 346, 375, 
380 

Bonaparte^ Maria Letizia,"^/fl(&?«« 
Mire." Her birth and parentage, 
T,2;herappearance, 2, 3; marries 
Carlo Maria Bonaparte, 8, 9 
and note ; gives birth to her first 
child, to ; her adventure with an 
amorous confessor at Bastia, 10, 
H ; goes to the Villa Milelli, 14. 
15 ; rejoins her husband at 
Corte, 15 ; probable origin of 
her parsimonious habits, 16, 17 ; 
attends a fete at Corte, 17 ; 
follows- her husband throughout 
the War of Independence, 18-22; 
gives birth to Napoleon, 23, 24 ; 
her farrfily and domestic cares in- 
creasing, 28 and note, 29 ; her 
self-sacrifice and devotion to the 
interests* of her children, 32-5 ; 
her religious principles, 35, 36 ; 
chastises Napoleon, 37, 38 ; early 
divines the exceptional character 
of the future Emperor, 38, 39; 



INDEX 



383 



her anecdotes of his boyhood, 39, 
40; question of her relatiuns 
with the Comte de Marbeuf con- 
sidered, 46, 47 and note ; visits 
France, 50, 51 ; persuades Napo- 
leon to abandon all idea of 
entering the Navy, 51, 52 ; loses 
her husband, 57 ; her heroic 
struggle with poverty, 59, 60 ; 
her letter to the Minister for War 
on behalf of her son Louis, 66, 
67 ; assists Napoleon with money 
in his candidature for the lieu- 
tenant-colonelcy of the National 
Volunteers of Ajaccioand Talano, 
74i 75 ; finds all her children 
round her once more, 83 ; de- 
clines to disavow Napoleon's pro- 
ceedings in Corsica in 1793, 90 ; 
compelled to fly with her younger 
childrenfromAjaccio,9i-4; takes 
refuge at Calvi, 95 ; sails for 
France, 96 ; her early days in 
France, 97-9 ; toils incessantly 
to supply the needs of her chil- 
dren, 99, 100 ; receives a pension 
from the Government, loi ; joins 
Napoleon at Antibes, 10 1 ; pos- 
sesses little influence over her 
daughters, 102, 103 ; fails to 
exercise supervision over them, 
107 ; indignant on learning of 
Lucien's marriage with Caroline 
Boyer, III; but eventually be- 
comes reconciled to the match, 
no; delighted at Joseph's mar- 
riage with Julie Clary, III ; 
greatly alarmed at Napoleon's 
arrest in August 1794, 112 ; en- 
deavours to secure eligible hus- 
bands for her daughters, 118; 
her efforts to secure the release 
of Lucien when imprisoned at 
Aix, 120-2; receives "Bfty or 
sixty thousand francs " from 
Napoleon, 122 ; bitterly resents 



Napoleon's marriage with Jose- 
phine de Beauharnais, 125, 126 ; 
but is persuaded by him to write 
her new daughter-in-law a com- 
plimentary letter, 127-9 ; is 
not opposed to a marriage between 
Pauline and Stanislas Fr^ron, 
138 ; insists on the ceremony 
being postponed, 141 ; connives 
at a secret correspondence be- 
tween the lovers, 148 ; approves 
of Felix, Baciocchi as a husband 
for filisa, 157 ; and sanctions the 
marriage, notwithstanding the 
prohibition of Napoleon, 158, 
159 ; sets off with the Baciocchi, 
Caroline, and Jerome to join 
Napoleon at the Castle of Monte- 
bello, 159-61 ; her antipathy to 
Josephine, 17S ; returns to Cor- 
sica, iSi ; has an attack of fever, 
191 ; her letters to Madame 
Clary, *l9l-3 ; is ** persuaded 
that Napoleon is reserved for the 
highest destinies," 203 ; her 
arrival in Paris, 204, 205 ; in 
affluent circumstances, 206, 207 ; 
approves of an organised cam- 
paign against Josephine, 211 ; 
dissimulates her disappointment 
at its failure, 214 ; her conduct 
on Brumaire 18 and 19, 215- 
ig ; declines the First Consul's 
invitation to take up her residence 
at the Tuileries, 250 ; has a pre- 
sentiment that Napoleon's tri- 
umphs will not endure, 251 ; main- 
tains an extraordinary secrecy in 
regard to her investments, 251, 
252 ; her parsimony, 253 ; goes 
to live with Joseph Fesch in the 
Rue du Mont-Blanc, 253 ; her 
relations with Josephine, 254 ; 
stormy scene between her and 
her daughter-in-law at the Tuil- 
eries, 25s, 256 ; her letter to 



384 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 



Lucien, 256, 257 ; indefatig- 
able in urging the claims of her 
countrymen on the Govern- 
ment, 257, 25S ; goes to Plom- 
bieres and Vichy, 25S ; bit- 
terly opposed to Louis's marriage 
with Hortense de Beauliarnais, 
259 ; favourably, disposed to a 
match betvceen Pauline and 
Prince Borghese, 337 ; connives 
at their mariage de <oi!S(-icna\ 
344 ; receives Lucien's second 
wife, Madame Jouberthou, 353 ; 
and encourages Lucien in his re- 
sistance to the orders of the 
First Consul, 354 ; resolves to re- 
tire to Rome as a protest against 
Napoleon's treatment of his 
brother, 354 ; bitterly mortified 
by the increasing deference paid 
to Josi^phine 355, 356 ; is made 
to take part in an imaginary scene, 
3S7i 35S ; sets out for Rome, 
358 ; extraordinary consideration 
shown her by Pius VII and the 
Papal Court, 358-61 ; her morti- 
fication at not being included in 
the elevation of her children on 
the establishment of the Empire, 
372-4 ; difiiculty of deciding 
upon a suitable title for her, 

374. 37S ; the title of Madame, 
Alire de sa Majesti P Empercio- 
("yt/3rfa:?«« yi/<:V« ") finally chosen, 

375, 376 ; her precedence and pen- 
sion, 376 ; joins Pauline at Bagni 
di Lucca, ii, 9 ; returns to Rome, 
II ; prolongs her stay in Italy in 
the hope of inducing the Emperor 
to pardon Lucien, 12 ; and does 
not return to Paris until after the 
Coronation, 13; her rank and 
title not confirmed until she con- 
sents to enter a formal protest 
against J6r6me's marriage with 
Miss Patterson, 18-20; letter of 



Napoleon to her, 20, 2 1 ; becomes 
Imperial Highness and " Pro- 
tectress of the Sisters of Charity," 
21, 22'; her Household, 22-5; 
her portrait by the Duchesse 
d'Abrant^s, 25, 26 ; receives the 
chateau and estate of Pont-sur- 
Seine f^om the Emperor, 26, 27 
and note ; dissatisfied with the 
provision made for her, 67, 68 ; 
desires to be rendered indepen- 
dent of the bounty of the Em- 
peror !Jnd his successors, 68-71 ; 
her prdtensions discountenanced 
by Nafftijeon, 71, 72 ; her pension 
increased, 72 ; her life at the 
Chateau- of Pont, 72-4 ; and in 
Paris, 74 ; her life " one uninter- 
rupted .sorrow and martyrdom " 
during Napoleon's campaigns, 
75 j excuses herself from attend- 
ing the weekly family dinner at 
the Tuileries, 75 ; reprimanded 
by the Emperor, 76 ; assists 
at the fetes in honour of the 
Peace of Tilsit, 76 ; renders 
good service to the charitable 
institutions of which she is the 
patroness, 77, 78; arranges an 
interview between Napoleon and 
Lucien at Mantua, 78, 79 ; her 
parsimdnious habits, 77, 80 ; her 
generosity to her children, 84 ; 
haunted by the fear that ruin 
will ultimately overtake Napo- 
leon, 80, 81 ; joins Pauline at 
Aix in July 180S, 125 ; and per- 
suades the Emperor to permit his 
sister to come to Paris, 125 ; her 
grief at the rupture between 
Napoleon and Pius VII, 145, 
146 ; goes to Aix-la-Chapelle, 146; 
Beugnot's impressions of her, 
146-8 ; her intense hatred of 
Josephine, 151, 152 and note; 
informs'Lucien of the Emperor's 



INDEX 



385 



intention to divorce his wife, 152, 
153 ; desires to marry Lucien's 
daughter Charlotte (Lolotte) to 
Napoleon, 153-5; brings Lolotte 
to Paris in the hope of effecting 
a reconciliation between the 
brothers, 155 ; her letter to 
Madame Lucien Bonaparte, 
156. 157 ; endeavours, though 
without success, to persuade 
Lucien to divorce his wife, 157 ; 
disappointed in Lolotte, 158 ; 
the hopes she has built on the 
divorce and remarriage of the 
Emperor unfulfilled, 220, 221 ; her 
mortification at the strained re- 
lations between Napoleon and 
his family, 221-3 ; assists as 
godmother at the baptism of the 
King of Rome, 223 ; goes with 
Pauline to Aix-la-Chapelle, 223 ; 
visits the King and Queen of 
Westphalia at Napoleonshbhe, 
248, 249 ; honours paid to her, 
249i 250 ; secretly finances Lucien, 
250 ; goes to Aix-les-Bains, 250 ; 
exercises supervision over the 
affairs of Corsica, 251 ; her 
great qualities reveal themselves 
again on the approach of adver- 
sity, 252, 253 ; endeavours to re- 
concile her sons to the Emperor, 
253 ; her letter to Louis, 253-5 ; 
visited by the Queen of West- 
phalia at the Chateau of Pont, 
256 ; her relations with the Em- 
press Marie Louise, 251, 257 ; 
a characteristic anecdote of her, 
258, 259 ; appointed a mem- 
ber of the Council of Re- 
gency in 1S14, 293 ; sym- 
pathises with Napoleon's fatal 
obstinacy, 294 ; retires with the 
Imperial Family to Elois, 295, 
296 ; declines Marie Louise's in- 
vitation to accompany her to 



Vienna, 296 ; and sets out for 
Rome vvith Cardinal Fesch, 297 ; 
her reception by Pius VII, 297 ; 
decides to join Napoleon in Elba, 
302, 303 ; embarks at Leghorn 
on board a British corvette, 304, 
305 ; Sit Neil Campbell's im- 
pressions of her, 305-7 ; her 
arrival at Porto Ferrajo, 307, 
308 ; her house in Elba, 308 ; 
gives a fete in honour of the 
Emperor's birthday, 308, 309 ; 
informed by Napoleon of his 
intentiop to return to France, 
314-16; sails for Naples, 318; 
returns to France, 318 ; attends 
the opening of the Chambers, 
319; Mile. Cochelet's description 
of her, 319, 320; bids a last 
farewell to Napoleon at Mal- 
maison, 320-2 ; again retires to 
Rome, 322 ; her residences in 
Rome, 346 ; offers her whole 
fortune to the Emperor, who, 
however*, decUnes it, 347 ; her 
letter to the Allied Sovereigns 
on Napoleon's behalf, 348, 349 ; 
suspected by the French Govern- 
ment of endeavouring to foment 
disturbaJices in Corsica, 349! 35"^ > 
her retited life, 350, 351 ; her 
generosity to her sons, 351 ; re- 
fuses to discontinue the use of 
the Imperial Arms, 351, 352; 
her hatred of Marie Louise, 
352 ; Napoleon's respect and af- 
fection for her, 353 ; her anguish 
on learning of the Emperor's 
death, 353, 354; her interviews 
with Antommarchi on his return 
from St. Helena, 354, 355 ; her 
sad life, 375, 376 ; her letter to 
Marie Louise on the occasion of 
the death-of the Duke of Reich- 
stadt, 376, 377 ; her remarkable 
activity, 377 ; she becomes crip- 



II.— 25 



386 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 



pled and blind, 377 ; her joy on 
learning that the statue of Na- 
poleon is to be replaced on the 
Vendome Column, 378 ; her splen- 
did resignation under the weight 
of her sorrows, 379 ; declines the 
offer to exempt her from the de- 
cree banishing the Eonapartes 
from France, 379 ; her death, 
3S0 ; her remains removed to 
Ajaccio, 380, 
Bonaparte, Napoleon ; see Napo- 
leon I, Emperor 

— Napoleon ; see Napoleon, King 
of Rome, afterwards Duke of 
Reichstadt 

— Napoleone(uncleof Napoleoni), 
i, 12, 24 note 

— Napoleon Charles, i, 324, 325 ; 
ii, 129, 151, 152 note 

— Napoleon Louis, ii, 375 

— Pauline ; sea Borghese, Prin- 
cess 

Borghese, Camillo, Prince, i, 333- 
49; ", I. 2. 3. 7, 8, 41, 42, 43, 
45, 46, 107, 108, no, 116-24, 
1S2, 190, 223, 317, 362, 363, 

375 
Borghese, Dowager - Princess, i, 
340 ; ii, 2, s, 6, 8 

Borghese, Pauline, Princess. Her 
birth, 28 note and 50 ; Napo- 
leon's affection for her, 62 ; 
always in mischief, 62 ; flies with 
her mother from Ajaccio, 91-5 ; 
accompanies her family to France, 
96 ; in distressing poverty, 99 ; 
visits Napoleon at Antibes, loi ; 
her extraordinary beauty, 104- 
6 ; her indiscretions at Marseilles, 
106, 107 ; her life at Antibes, 
107 ; has an adventure, 108, 109 ; 
Junot's proposal for her hand 
rejected by Napoleon, 1 13-16; 
her mother's matrimonial schemes 



for her', iiS, 119; has another 
suitor rejected by Napoleon, 123 ; 
indignapf at Napoleon's marriage 
with Josephine de Beauharnais, 
126 ; her romance with Fr^ron, 
130-52!; joins Napoleon in Italy, 
154 ; betrothed to General Le- 
clerc, 161-5 ; Arnault's portrait 
of her, 169, 170 ; her marriage, 
171; her dowry, 172; her an- 
tipathy to Josephine, 177 ; goes 
with her husband to Milan, l8i ; 
has a son, 194, 195 ; comes to 
Paris, 195 ; her success in Society, 
195, 1*96 ; attends a ball at 
Madame Permon's in " a toilette 
which is intended to immortalise 
her," 197-9 ; but is cruelly hu- 
miliated= by a rival beauty, 199- 
202 ; conspires against Josephine, 
211 ; learns of Napoleon's re- 
turn from Egypt, 213; "exas- 
perated at the pardon which 
Napoleon has granted his wife," 
214; her conduct on Brumaire 
18 and ig, 216-19; ordered to 
accompany her husband to St. 
Domingo, 284 ; amusing scene 
between her and Madame Junot, 
287-9 ; her preparations for the 
journey, 289 ; her expatriation 
wrongly attributed to an infatua- 
tion for the actor Lafon, 289-9 1 ; 
innocent of all responsibility for 
the delay in the starting of the 
expedition, 292-4; sets sail for 
St. Domingo, 295 ; has her ex- 
Romeq,' Stanislas Fr^ron, as a 
fellow-passenger, 295, 296 ; ar- 
rives at Cap-Franjais, 296 ; re- 
moves with her husband and 
child to the lie de la Tortue, 
300 ; calumnies concerning her, 
300 ; her courage and sang- 
froid during the terrible epi- 
demic of yellow fever, 301, 302 ; 



INDEX 



387 



refuses to retire to the ships 
in the harbour when Cap-Fran- 
cais is attacked by the insur- 
gent negroes, 304, 305 ; and 
has to be removed from her house 
by force, 305 ; illness and death 
of her husband, 306, 307 ; her 
grief, 307, 308 ; sails for France 
on the Swifts!t>-e, 308 ; calumny 
c ncerning her and General 
Humbert, 308^ 309 ; arrives at 
Toulon in very bad health, 309, 
310 ; returns to Paris, 313 ; 
her financial position at this 
time, 329, 330 and note ; re- 
ceives a pension on the Grande 
Cassette, 330 ; purchases the 
Hotel Charost, 329, 330 ; her 
despair at the retired life insisted 
upon by the First Consul, 330, 
331 ; her flirtation with Admiral 
Decres, Minister of Marine, 
33I1 00'^ j her hand offered by 
Napoleon to Francesco di Melzi, 
but declined, 332, 333 ; meets 
Prince Borghese, 337-9 ; a mar- 
riage between her and the prince 
arranged, 339-43 ; refusal of the 
First Consul to allow her to re- 
inarry until the expiration of her 
year of widowhood, 343, 344; 
contracts a Tnariage de conscience 
with Borghese, at Mortefontaine, 
without Napoleon's knowledge, 
344-6 ; her legal marriage, 346, 
347 ; presents which she re- 
ceives from her husband, 347 
note ; her visit to Josephine, 
347-9 ; her departure for Rome, 
349 ; does not receive an in- 
crease of her pension on the 
establishment of the Empire, 
372 ; arrives in Rome, ii, i, 2 ; 
her reception by the Papal 
Court and by Society, 2, 3 ; 
favourable impression which she 



creates, 3 ; becomes bored, treats 
her husband with disdain, and 
scandalises Society, 3-6 ; re- 
monstrances of Napoleon, 7, 8 ; 
sighs for Paris, 8 ; visits Pisa, 
Florence, fand Lucca, 8, 9 ; 
death of her little son, Dermide 
Leclerc, 9, 10 ; returns to France, 
II ; her spiteful conduct and 
that of her sisters towards the 
Empress at the Coronation, 14, 
15 and note; composition of her 
Household, 16, 17 ; given the 
same pension as her sisters, 40 ; 
her husband given the rights of 
a French citizen, 41; installs 
herself at th*e Petit-Trianon, 41 ; 
persuades the Emperor to dis- 
embarrass her of Borghese by 
appointing him to a cavalry 
regiment stationed at Boulogne, 
41, 42 ; giving brilliant recep- 
tions, 42, *43 ; falls ill on the 
reappearance of her husband, 43 ; 
but recovers on his departure 
for Italy, 4^3 ; jealous of Steph- 
anie de Beauharnais, 43, 44 and 
note ; created Princess and 
Duchess of Guastalla, 44 ; but 
cedes her duchy to the kingdom 
of Italy, iff return for an annual 
indemnity, 45 ; quarrels with 
her husband, 45, 46 ; her journey 
to Plombieres, 46 ; enjoys a 
costly shower-bath, 46, 47 ; cre- 
ates a sensation at Plombieres, 
47, 48 ; Conceives a grande 
passion for the fashionable 
painter, Auguste de Forbin, 
48-51 ; appoints him her cham- 
berlain on .her return to Paris, 
52 ; and makes no secret of her 
infatuation^ 52 ; her life during 
the winter tof 1806-7, I03 ; her 
toilettes, 104 ; sets out for_ the 
South, 105'; her relations with 



388 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 



Forbin suspected by her mother 
and uncle, 105, 106 ; takes up 
her quarters at Greoulx, 106 ; 
her tender letters to Forbin, 
107-10 ; joined by her lover, 
no; goes to Nice and thence 
to Grasse, lio-n ; termination 
of her romance with Forbin, in; 
returns to Nice, in, 112; sends 
for the Italian composer, Blan- 
gini, and installs him in the 
vacant place in her affections, 
1 12-14; her visit to Antibes, 
114, 115 ; ordered to accompany 
herhusband, appointed Governor- 
General of the Departments 
beyond the Alps, to Turin, 1 16 ; 
her Household and revenues, 
117 ; her journey to Turin, 118- 
20 ; attends a grand f^te at the 
Opera-house, 121 ; dissatisfied 
with her new life, 122 ; fails to 
persuade Blangini to remain at 
Turin, 122, 123 ; resolves to 
return to France, 123 ; counter- 
feits illness, 123, 124 ; goes to 
Aix-les-Bains, 124 ; joined by 
her mother, 125 ; obtains per- 
mission to come to Paris, 125, 
126 ; and to remain permanently 
in France, 126 ; her skilful con- 
duct towards the Emperor, 126 ; 
her reward, 126, 127 ; accom- 
panies her mother to Aix-la- 
Chapelle, 146 ; Beugnot's im- 
pressions of her, 146, 147 ; very 
indiscreet, 148 ; her enviable 
position, 180 ; her luxury and 
extravagance, 181, 182 ; her dis- 
dainful treatment of her husband, 
182, 183; officially reconciled 
to him, 183 ; her relations 
with the Empress Marie Louise, 

184, 185 ; gives a magnificent 
fete to their Majesties at Neuilly, 

185, 186; repeats the entertain- 



ment for the benefit of the 
Parisians, 187 ; accompanies her 
mother, to Aix-Ia-Chapelle and 
Spa, 187, 188 ; returns to Paris, 
188 ; her liaison with Jules de 
Canouville, 189, 190 ; her lover 
ordered to Spain by the Emperor, 
I90~3 ; casts a benevolent eye on 
his brother-officer, M. de Sep- 
teuil, 193 ; and punishes his 
rejection of her favours by caus- 
ing him to be sent after Canou- 
ville, 193, 194 ; goes to Aix-la- 
Chapelle to avoid her husband, 
223, 224 ; verses in her honour, 
224 note ; her relations with 
Casimir de Monfrond, 224-6 ; 
visited by a mysterious Russian 
colonel at Antwerp, 226-227 i 
returns to Paris and resumes 
her relations with Canouville, 
227, 228-; her lover again ordered 
on foreign service by the Em- 
peror, 2z8 ; her grief, 228 and 
note; goes to Aix-les-Bains, 259 ; 
in very poor health, 259, 260 ; 
embarks on a new romance with 
Commandant Auguste Duchand, 
of the Artillery, 260, 261 ; but 
does not forget Canouville, 261 ; 
learns of his death at Borodino, 
261, 262 ; her anguish, 262 ; goes 
to Hy^res, 262 ; deprived by the 
Emperor of the society of Du- 
chand, 262-3 ' begins to retrench, 
263 ; visits Nice and Grteulx, 
263, 264 ; learns of the disasters of 
the French in Saxony, 265 ; sells 
a diamond necklace and offers 
the mon^y to Napoleon, 264 265 ; 
removes to a villa near Orgon 
297 ; visited by the Emperor on 
his way to the coast to embark 
for Elba, 297, 298 ; refused per- 
mission to share his exile, 299 ; 
sails for Naples and spends a day 



INDEX 



389 



with her brother in Elba, 309- 
10 ; returns to winter in the 
island, 310 ; atrocious calumny 
concerning her and Napoleon, 
311 ; her life in Elba, 311, 312 ; 
differences with Napoleon over 
money matters, 312; and the 
binding of the Emperor's books, 
313; gives her brother practically 
the whole of her jewellery, 316 
note ; her conversation with 
Campbell after Napoleon's de- 
parture for France, 317 ; sails for 
Provence, 323 ; but is compelled 
to land on the coast of Tuscany, 
323 ; held prisoner by the Aus- 
trians in the Chateau of Com- 
pignano, 323, 324 ; her plan to 
escape discovered, 324; released 
and sails for Rome, 325 ; her life 
in Rome, 359 ; her popularity in 
Society, 360 ; her touching loyalty 
to the Emperor, 360, 361 ; writes 
to the Earl of Liverpool to demand 
the removal of Napoleon firom 
St. Helena, 361 ; her health grows 
worse, 362 ; reconciled to her hus- 
band, 362 ; her death, 363 ; her 
fortune, 363 

Bouchot, M. Henri (cited), i, 260 ; 
ii, 61 

Bourrienne ; see Favelet de Bour- 
rienne 

Bovisi, Marchese, Ii, 84 

Boyer, Caroline (called Christine), 
first wife of Lucien Bonaparte, i, 
no, 124, 125, 216, 260, 261 

Brehan de Plelo, Madame de, ii, 
16, 106 

Browning, Mr. Oscar (cited), i, 54 
and note, 64 

Brune, Marechal, i, 195 ; ii, 338 

Buttafuoco, Matteo (Corsican de- 
puty), i, 70 

Cadoudal, Georges, i, 317 ; ii, 17 



Caleppi Mgr. (Papal Nuncio at 
Florence), i, 246, 247 

Cambaceres, i, 366 ; ii, 109, 294 

Cambis, M. de, ii, 17 

Campan, Madame, i, 183, 207, 
208, 229, 230, 268, 270, 271 ; 
ii, S6 

Campbell", Colonel (afterwards 
General Sir Neil), ii, 297, 304, 
314 and note^ 316 ; (cited), 304-7, 
309, 317 

Campbell, Commodore, 336, 337 

Campi, ii, 155, 156 

Campochr^ro, Duca di, ii, 330 

Canaveri (Bishop of Verceil), ii, 25 

Canouville, Jules de (lover of 
Pauline Bonaparte), ii, 189-94, 
227, 228, 261, 262, 264 

Canova (sculptor), ii, 85, gi, z66 

Capelle, Baron de (lover of ^felisa 
Bonaparte), ii, 177 

Caprara, Cardinal, i, 335, 336 and 
note ; ii, 3 

Carascosa, General, ii, 335, 337 

Cariati, Erjncipe, ii, 277, 281, 283, 
284 

Carlyle, Thomas (cited), i, 131 note 

Caroline, Queen of Naples. Her 
birth, 28 note ; affection of Napo- 
leon for her, 72 ; left at Ajaccio 
when her mother is compelled • 
to fly from there, 91 ; joins her 
relatives at Calvi, 95 ; and 
accompanies them to France, 
96 ; goes with Madame Bona- 
parte to Italy, 159 ; exchanges 
her baptismal name of Annun- 
ziata for that of Caroline, 159 
and note ; appears to share the 
sentiments of her mother and 
sisters towards Josephine, 179; 
her appearance, 182 ; admired 
by Joachim Murat, 1 82 ; her lack 
of education, 183 ; accompanies 
Joseph -and his wife to Rome, 
183 ; h*as a volume of verse 



390 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 



dedicated to her, 1 85 ; comes to 
Paris, 188 ; sent to Madame 
Campan's pension at Saint-Ger- 
main-en-Laye, i88 ; her school- 
fellows, 188 ; her aversion 
to Hortense de Beauharnais, 
188 ; arouses the jealousy of 
Pauline, 208, 209 ; Murat a 
suitor for her hand, 229-33 ; 
married to him, 233-5 j not yet 
spoiled by prosperity, 236 ; her 
politic conduct towardsjosephine, 
237 ; her courage and sang-froid 
on the night of the explosion of 
the "infernal machine," 240-2; 
gives birth to a son, 242 ; her 
letter to her mother-in-law, 243 ; 
joins her husband at Florence, 
245 ; begins to show herself a 
trifle exacting, 245 ; assists at an 
unpleasant dinner-party, 246, 
247 ; returns to Paris, 247 ; inter- 
venes on behalf of the persons 
compromised in the conspiracy of 
Georges Cadoudal and Pichegru, 
316, 317 ; intercedes for her 
husband with the First Consul, 
318 ; gives birth to a daughter, 
318; accompanies her husband 
to Milan, 318 ; employs her in- 
fluence to reconcile Murat and 
the Vice-President Melzi, 319; 
birth of her second son, 320 ; 
returns to Paris, 320 ; intrigues 
to obtain a high military appoint- 
ment for her husband, 320 ; her 
enviable position, 321, 322; her 
calculating conduct, 322, 323 ; 
the victim of an abominable 
slander, 323 and note ; her 
machinations to prevent the First 
Consul's adoption of Louis Bona- 
parte's little son, Napoleon 
Charles, as his heir, 324-7 ; her 
anger and mortification on learn- 
ing of the elevation of Joseph's 



and Louis's wives to the rank 
of princess, 366-g ; has a violent 
scene with the Emperor, 369; 
becomes Imperial Highness, 370; 
obtains' the admission of her 
husbanji to the Salon des Princes, 
370, 37*1 ; her pension, 372 ; her 
efforts to escape the duty of 
bearing the train of Josephine's 
mantle at the Coronation, ii, 
14 ; her spiteful conduct towards 
the Empress, 14, 15 ; composi- 
tion of her Household, 17, 18; 
her complaisance towards the Em- 
peror, 2g, 30 ; her reward, 30 ; 
gives birth to a daughter, 31 ; 
receives the Elysee as a resi- 
dence, 31 ; secures, by her skil- 
ful conduct, the Duchies of Berg 
and Cloves for her husband, 54- 
7 ; pacifies Napoleon's resent- 
ment against Murat, 59 ; "living 
in great splendour," 61 ; exer- 
cises her fascinations over Junot, 
then Governor of Paris, who 
becomes completely infatuated, 
61, 62; secret motive of Jier 
conduct, 62-5 ; reprimanded by 
the Emperor, 65, 66; brings 
about a fresh and final rupture 
between; the King and Queen 
of Holland, 129-31 ; her life 
during the residence of the Court 
at Fontainebleau, 131, 132; her 
relations with Metternich, Talley- 
rand, Fouch^, and Maret, 132, 
1 33 ; gives a bal masgiid at the 
Elysee, 134, 135 ; orders the 
expulsion of a lady who has 
offended her from the ball-room, 
I35i '36; her joy on learning 
that she has become Queen of 
Naples, 141 ; secures for herself 
the succession to the Crown of 
Naplesj 141, 142; unsuccessful 
in her efforts to lighten the 



INDEX 



391 



burdens imposed upon her hus- 
band's kingdom, 142, 143 ; com- 
pelled to surrender to the Em- 
peror the whole of her property 
in France, 143, 144 ; arrives in 
Naples, 197 ; her apartments in 
the Palazzo Reale, 197 ; com- 
promised with her husband in 
the conspiracy of Fouche and 
Talleyrand, 200-2 ; disappointed 
in her hopes of obtaining a share 
in the government, 204, 205 ; 
resolves to obtain influence by in- 
direct means, 205 ; her liaisons 
with Paul de la Vauguyon and 
Daure, 205, 206 ; in semi-disgrace, 
207-9 ! forms a party of her 
own at the Court, 209 ; opposed to 
the Emperor's marriage with the 
Archduchess Marie Louise, 210 ; 
chosen by Napoleon to conduct 
the new Empress to France, 
211 ; deeply offends Marie 
Louise by her conduct during 
the journey, 212-14 ! escapes 
the duty of supporting the train 
of the Empress's mantle at the 
marriage ceremony, 215 ; be- 
trays Madame Junot's liaison 
with Metternich to the lady's 
husband, 216, 217 and note ; 
obtains the Emperor's authorisa- 
tion for Murat to attempt the 
conquest of Sicily, 219 ; in- 
trigues against her husband, 237, 
238 ; alarmed at her too success- 
ful efforts to misrepresent his 
conduct to the Emperor, 239 ; 
declines Napoleon's invitation to 
act as godmother to the King 
of Rome, 239 ; her intrigues 
discovered by the Minister of 
Police, Maghella, 240 ; her in- 
fidelities revealed to Murat, 242 ; 
iher humiliating position, 243 ; 
reconciled to her husband and 



sent to Palis to intercede with 
the Emperbr, 245, 246 ; causes 
the Ministers, Maghella and 
Zurlo, to be disgraced, 246 note ; 
appointed Regent of Naples 
during Murat's absence in Rus- 
sia, 269, 270 ; her prudent 
administraSon, 270, 271 ; ham- 
pered by the* restrictions imposed 
on her authority by her hus- 
band's jealousy, 271, 272 ; dis- 
approves of Murat abandoning 
his command, 274 and note ; 
letter of the Emperor to her on 
this matter," 275, 276 ; at first 
faithful to Napoleon, 277 ; but 
eventually becomes the accom- 
plice of her husband's treason, 
277, 278 ; her hypocritical letters 
to the Emperor, 278, 279 ; again 
Regent during Murat's absence 
in Saxony, 280 ; her skilful 
manoeuvres to deceive Napoleon, 
281, 282 ; persuades Murat to 
sign a treaty with Austria, 288, 
289 ; acts with her husband an 
interesting comedy for the benefit 
of Madame Recamier, 289-91 ; 
Murat's defection attributed by 
the Emperor to her influence, 
292 ; sends a frigate to convey 
Pauline from Frejus to Naples, 
309, 310 ; reconciled to the 
Emperor, 318 ; visited by her 
mother, 318; affection of Metter- 
nich for heV believed to have in- 
fluenced his policy at the Congress 
of Vienna, ''329 note ; not respon- 
sible for Murat's declaration of 
war against Austria in March 
1815, 333> 334 and note; com- 
pelled to surrender the Neapoli- 
tan fleet to a British squadron, 
335 ; and to fly from Naples and 
take refuge on board H.M.S. 
TremendoAs, 336 ; insulted by 



392 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 



the Neapolitans, 336, 337 ; con- 
veyed with her children to 
Trieste, 337, 338 ; believed by 
Murat to have deserted him, 
338 ; takes up her residence at 
the Castle of Frohsdorf, 364 ; 
her financial embarrassments, 365 ; 
learns of her huband's tragic end, 
365 ; her claims on the French 
Government ignored, 366 ; re- 
strictions imposed upon her 
liberty by the Allied Powers, 
366, 367 ; complains bitterly of 
the conduct of her old lover, 
Metternich, 367 ; removes from 
Frohsdorf to Trieste, 367 ; visited 
by Madame Recamier, 367, 368 ; 
and by the Countess Potocka- 
Wonsowicz, 369, 370 ; her 
reminiscences of Napoleon, 370, 
371 ; shows no remorse for her 
conduct towards her brother, 
371 ; her relations with General 
Macdonald, 371, 372; obtains 
permission to take up her resi- 
dence in Florence, 372; her popu- 
larity in Society, 372, 373 ; her 
visit to Paris in 1838, 373 ; her 
death, 373 ; her children, 373-S 
Carra-Saint-Cyr, Madame, ii, l8 
Carrion-Nisas, Marie Henri, i, 272 

and note 
Carteaux, General, ii, 33 
Casabianca, i, 113, 189 
Castelletto, Caterina di, i, 4 
Castlereagh, Lord, ii, 283, 287, 328 
Caterina, Mammucia (servant of 

the Bonapartes), i, 24, 33 
Catherine, Queen of Westphalia, 
ii, 77, 215, 224, 248, 249, 295, 
376, 379 
Caulaincourt, ii, 296, 297 
Cavaignac, General, ii, 2ig 
Cenami, Bartolomeo (lover of Elisa 
Bonaparte), ii, 83, 96, 149, 169, 
177 



Cesari Rocca, M.Colonna de (cited), 

i, 7 note, z6 and note 
Championnet, General, i, 334 
Charles, Hippolyte (lover of Jose- 
phine) i, 176, 177, 211 
Charles IV, King of Spain, ii, 354 
Charles XlV, King of Sweden, i, 

239 and note ; ii, 287, 292 
Charost, Due de, i, 329 note 
Charost, Duchesse de, i, 329 
Chateaubriand, Ren6 de, i, 263, 

314-16 ; ii, 368 
Chaudet (sculptor), ii, 91 
Chavanoh, MM., and Saint-Yves 

(cited), ii, 201, 239 note, 277, 

280 not-e, 340 note, 342 note 
Choiseul, Due de, i, 13 
Clarke, Henri Guillaume, Due de 

Feltre, i, 168 
Clary, D^siriJe. See Desiree, Queen 

of Sweden 
Clary, Etienne, i, ill 
Clary, Madame Etienne, i, 11, 12 
Clary, Madame, the elder, i, 185, 

1S7, 191-3 
Clary, Julie. See Julie, Queen of 

Spain 
Clermont-Tonnerre, Due de, ii, 16, 

17 
Cochelet, Mile, (cited), ii, 319, 321 
Coletta, General, ii, 335, 337 
Colonna d'Istria, Chevalier, ii, 

304. 30s. 307, 316, 380 ,, 
Consalvi, Cardinal, i, 244 ; ii, 2, 3 
Contades, Madame de, i, 199-202, 

338 
Corvisart, Baron de, ii, 25, 145, 

152 note 
Cosse-Brtssac, Due de, ii, 23, 74, 

258 
Cosse-Bri.ssac, Duchesse de, ii, 24 

and note, 74 
Costa, Nuncio, i, 91, 92, 94 

Dadiana of Mingrelia, Princess, 
375 



INDEX 



393 



Daure (Minister of War and Marine 
at Naples), ii, 19S, 206, 240 

David, Jacques Louis (painter), ii, 
13. 48 

Davoust, Madame, ii, 23 

Davoust, Mar^chal, ii, 23, 24, 273 

Decazes, Due, ii, 25 note, 129, 131 

Decres, Admiral (Minister of 
Marine), i, 258, 298, 303 

Delille (poet), i, 278 
.Delia Maria (composer), ii, 113 

Demarne (painter), ii, 48 

Denuelle, Eleonore (mistress of 
Napoleon), ii, 56 

Desgenettes, Baron, i, 108 

Desiree, Queen of Sweden, i, iii, 
185, 187, 239 note 

Detres, Colonel, ii, 24 

Devoix (jeweller), ii, 183 

Dombrowski, General, i, 166 

Doria, Cardinal, i, 185 

Dorville, Madame, ii, 107 

Drouot, General, ii, 307 

Du Casse (cited), i, 104 

Duchand, Auguste (lover of Paul- 
ine), ii, 260, 261, 263 and note 

Duchesnois, Mile, (actress), i, 290, 
291 

Ducluzel, Madame, ii, 109 

Du Cormier, AchiUe (lover of the 
Princess Borghese), ii, 189 

Ducrest, Madame (cited), i, 105, 
162, 290 

Dudley, Catharina (wife of Napo- 
leon AchiUe Murat), ii, 373 

Du Deffand, Madame, i, 263 

Dumas, Alexandre pere, ii, 344 
note 

Dumouriez, General, i, 89 

Duphot, General, i, 185, 188 

Duplanque, General, 298 note 

Durand (French Ambassador at 
Naples), ii, 213, 243, 279, 280 

Durey (banlcer), 206 

Puroc, Due di Friuli, i, 329, 367 ; 
Ii, 65, 91, 257 note 



Elisa, Grand-Duchess of Tuscany, 
Priacess of Lucca and Piorobino, 
her birth, i, 28 ; obtains a nomi- 
nation to Saint-Cyr, 53 ; leaves 
Corsica for France, S4 ; visited 
by Napoleon at Saint-Cyr, 64, 
65 ; her character, 78, 79 ; leaves 
Saint-Cyr and sets out with 
Napoleon for Corsica, 8o-3 ; 
offends, the sans-culottes of Mar- 
seilles, 83 ; arrives at Ajaccio, 
83 ; her flirtation with Admiral 
Truguet, 84, 85 ; escapes with 
her mother from Ajaccio, gi-J ; 
accompanies her family to France, 
96 ; humiliating straits to whicli 
she is reduced, 99, 100 ; visits 
Napoleon at Antibes, loi ; her 
appearance, 103, 104 ; her in- 
discretions at Marseilles, lo5, 
107 ; her life at Antibes, 107 ; 
returns to Marseilles, 1 18 ; her 
mother's matrimonial schemes 
on her behalf, 118 ; indignant at 
Napoleon's marriage with Jose- 
phine de Beauharnais, 126 ; con- 
fidante of Pauline in the Freron 
affair, 150 ; contracts a civil 
marriage with F^lix Baciocchi, 
155-8 ; accompanies her mother 
and husband to Italy, 159-61 ; 
receives the ecclesiastical sanction 
to her marriage at the Castle of 
Montebello, 171 ; her dowry, 
172 ; her aversion to Josephine, 
1 79 ; goes with her husband to 
Corsica, 181 ; has a son, 194 ; 
removes to Marseilles, 194 ; 
loses her son, 210 ; conspires 
against- Josi^phine, 211 ; learns 
of Napoleon's return from Egypt, 
213; "gives free vent to her 
enmity and scorn " of her sister- 
in-law, 214 ; attends the marriage 
of Caroline and Murat, 234, 235 ; 
comes to reside in Paris, 259 and 



394 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 



note, 260 ; her occupations, 260, 
261 ; takes charge of Lucien's 
children after the death of their 
mother, 261-2 ; does the honours 
of Lucien's salon at the Ministry 
of the Interior, 262 ; her literary 
and artistic pretensions, 262, 263 ; 
founds a ladies' literary society, 
264 ; attends Madame Junot's 
wedding-dinner in the costume 
she has selected for the associates, 
264, 265 ; her distress at the first 
disgrace of Lucien, 265-7 ; 
decides to remain in Paris, 268 ; 
nature of her intimacy with the 
poet Fontanes considered, 268, 
269 ; her letters to Lucien during 
her residence in Madrid, 269- 
75 ; goes to the Pyrenees in 
search of a " cure," 276 ; her 
meeting with Prosper de Barante 
at Carcassonne, 276-8 ; returns 
to Paris, 278 ; plays in tragedy 
with Lucien at Plessis-Chamant 
and Malmaison, 279-81 ; pur- 
chases the H6tel Maurepas, 313 ; 
" becomes the great lady," 313 ; 
protects Chateaubriand, 314-16 ; 
her conduct in the affair of the 
Due d'Enghien, 316 ; intervenes 
on behalf of the Royalists com- 
promised in the conspiracy of 
Cadoudal and Pichegru, 316, 
317 ; deeply mortified at the in- 
fluence of Madame Jouberthou 
over Lucien, 350 ; letter of 
Fontanes to her, 350, 351 ; 
persuaded to receive Madame 
Jouberthou, 353 ; her jealousy 
and mortification on learning 
that the wives of Joseph and 
Louis have become princesses, 
366-S ; raised to the rank of 
Imperial Highness, 370, 371 ; 
her husband elected a Senator, 
371; her pension, 371, 372; 



spitefut conduct of herself and 
her sisters towards the Empress 
at the Coronation, ii, 14, 15 and 
note ; composition of her House- 
hold, i^ ; discontented with her 
position, 31, 32; persuades the 
Emperor to bestow upon her the 
PrincijJality of Piorabino, 32-6 ; 
her departure for Italy, 36 ; 
succeeds in getting Lucca joined 
to Piombino, 37, 38 ; her entry 
into Lucca, 38-40 ; her Court, 
S2-4 ; her palace, 84-6 ; her 
energy and ability in govern- 
ing her principality, 86-8 ; her 
commercial enterprises, 89 ; her 
Civil List, 89-90 ; forms a com- 
pany to work the marble quarries 
ofCarrara,89-S2; her patronage 
of literature and the arts, 92-4 ; 
gives birth to a daughter, 94 ; her 
country Seat at Marlia, 94-5 ; her 
affairs of the heart, 95, 96 ; her 
skilful attitude towards the Em- 
peror and the Ministers in Paris, 
97i 98 ; gains Napoleon's con- 
fidence and favour, 98, 99 ; ob- 
tains a considerable increase of 
territory, 99-100 ; persuades the 
Emperor to extend the Con- 
cordat of Italy to Lucca, 100-2 ; 
scepticil about Paufine's ill- 
health, 125 ; anxious to display 
her talents on a stage more 
worthy of them, 102 ; detests 
Josephjne, 150 ; anxious for the 
Emperor to marry Lucien's 
eldest daughter, Charlotte, 155 
note ; disappointed in her hopes 
of securing the Kingdom of 
Etruria, 161, 162 ; her intrigues 
during the interregnum in Tus- 
cany, 162-4 J given the Govern- 
ment - General of the Depart- 
ments of Tuscany with the title 
of Grand - Duchess, 164 ; her 



INDEX 



395 



function;, 165, 166 ; arrives in 
Florence, l66 ; makes a trium- 
phal progress through her duchy, 
167 ; organisation of her Court, 
167 ; entertains at her villa, II 
PoggiOj 167, 16S ; embellishes 
the Palazzo Pitti, 168, 169; 
causes the Countess of Albany 
to be expelled from Florence, 
169, 170; chafes at the re- 
straints imposed upon her by the 
Emperor, 170; severely repri- 
manded by Napoleon, 170, 171 ; 
her despotism at Lucca, 171, 
172; visits France for the mar- 
riage of the Emperor and Marie 
Louise, 172, 173 ; gives birth to 
a son, 173 ; returns to Tuscany, 
174 ; finds her hands pretty full, 
174, 175 ; organises a French 
theatrical troupe, 175, 176; her 
lovers, 176, 177; her amicable 
relations with her husband, 177, 
178 ; death of her son, 178 ; her 
letter to the Emperor, 178 ; re- 
fused permission by Napoleon to 
assist at the baptism of the King 
of Rome, 179 ; goes to Leghorn 
for a course of sea-bathing, 229 ; 
her troubles in Tuscany, 229, 
230 ; merely an emfloyie of the 
French Government, 231 ; eulo- 
gistic references to her in the 
French journals forbidden by 
the Emperor, 231, 232 ; her pro- 
tection of the arts, 232 ; her 
proiegis, 232 and note, 233 ; 
pays but little attention to her 
toilette, 233 ; does not appre- 
ciate the probable effect of the 
disasters of the Russian cam- 
paign on her own position, 265, 
266 ; painting of herself and her 
Court by Benvenuti, 266 and 
note ; assures the Emperor that 
Tuscany will remain faithful, 



267 ; alaimcd by Nugent's raid, 
267, 268'; negotiates with Murat, 
and associates herself in his 
treason, 299 ; admits the Nea- 
politan troops to Florence, 299, 
300 ; departs for Lucca amid 
tumultudus scenes, 301 ; orders 
the French troops to evacuate 
Tuscany, 301 ; announces that 
she has severed all connection 
with the Empire, 301 ; and an- 
nexes several outlying districts 
of the Kingdom of Italy, 301 ; 
expelled from Lucca by Lord 
William' Bentinck, 301, 302 ; 
joins her husband at Genoa and 
goes with him to France, 302 ; 
returns ,to Italy and settles at 
BolognaT, 302 ; gives birth to a 
son, 302 ; her life at Bologna, 
355, 356 ; ordered to leave Italy, 
356 ; settles at Trieste, 356 ; her 
last years, 357 ; her death, 357 ; 
her children, 357, 358 ; monu- 
ment erected to her by her 
husband, 358, 359 
Elliot, Mrs, (cited), ii, 347 
Enghien, Due d', i, 316, 317 
Eschasseriaus, Comte (French 

Minister at Lucca), ii, 86, 87 
Esmenard.(poet), i, 263 
Exmouth, Lord, ii, 337 

Favelet de Bourrienne, i, 232, 233 ; 

(cited), 226, 231, 233 
Ferdinand IV, ICing of the Two 

Sicilies, ii, 200, 288 note, 327, 

328, 329, 330, 336, 337, 343, 

365 and note, 366 
Ferdinand, Prince of the Asturias, 

ii, 137 
Fesch, Cardinal, i, 2, 22, 35, 46, 

56, 57, 91. 93, 96, no. I54. 
206, 234, 253, 312, 315, 340, 

359, 373 ; ii. 6, 7, 73, 74, io5. 
125, 222, 259, 262, 297, 318, 
345, 353, 377, 3S0 



396 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 



Fesch, Franz, 2 

Fontanes (poet), i, 268, 269, 275, 

276, 314; ii, 31 
Fontanges, Madame de {dame 

cChonneur to Madame Mire), 

i, 22 ; ii, 296 
Forbin, Auguste de (painter and 

lover of Princess Borghese), ii, 

48-53, 96, 105, 106-11, 259 
Forquet (banker), i, 252 
Fouche, Joseph, Duo d'Otrantc, 

i, 254, 255, 275, 276, 314 ; ii, 29, 

56, 98, 149, 170, 200-2, 205, 338 
Francis II, Emperor of Austria, 

ii, 337, 348, 352 
Francois I, King of France, i, 374, 

375 
Frederick William II, King of 

Prussia, ii, 58, 348 
Fr^ron, Elie Catherine, i, 131 

and note, 137 
Freron, Stanislas, i, 100, 123, 131- 



Gabriel (architect), i, 204 

Gaffori (Corsican patriot), i, 1, 13, 
15 and note 

Gaffori, Signora, i, 15, 16 

Gallo, Marchese del (Neapolitan 
Minister for Foreign Affairs), 
i, 174 and note ; ii, 140, 144, 

219, 330 
Garat (singer), i, 240 
Geoffrin, Madame, i, 263 
George IV, King of England, ii, 

328 
Gerard, Baron (painter), i, 355 
Gianni (poet), ii, 73, 74 
Girardin, Stanislas de, i, 265, 266, 

347; ii (cited), 51,185,186 
Giubega, Lorenzo (godfather of 

Napoleon), i, 25, 94 
Godoi (Prime Minister of Spain), 

i, 271 and note 
Goldsmith, Lewis, i, 300 
Gouly, Benolt, ii, 27 note 



Gouvion-Saint-Cyr, i, 275 note, 

283 
Grandi, Mile, (actress), i, 205 
Grassini, Signorina (mistress of 

General Menoii), ii, 165 
Grenier, General, ii, 219, 242, 244 
Guieu (secretary to Madame Mire), 

ii, 25, 68, 71 
Guillebeau, Mlle.,ii, 135, 136 

Halle, Dr., ii, 105, 108 and note 

Hedouville, General, ii, 39, 40 

Henri IV, King of France, ii, 
214 

Hortense, Queen of Holland, i, 
210, 229, 230, 241, 249, 259 and 
note, 270, 323, 325, 338, 366; 
ii, 15 note, 32, 129-31, 135, 
136, ly, 239, 319, 320, 346 

Hotham, Admiral, i, 113 

Hulot, Madame (raotlier-in-Iaw of 
Moreau), i, 324 note 

Humbert, General, i, 308, 309 note 

Isabey, J. B. (painter), i, 256, 263, 
270, 271 and note, 232 ; ii, 135 

Isoard, Pere (chaplain to Cardinal 
Fesch), ii, 106, 109 

Jeannet - Dervieux (French Com- 
missioner in Guiana), i, 149 

Jerome, King of Westphalia, i, 28 
note, 46, 59, 62, 91, 99, 116, 
119, 123, 158, 159, 180, 181, 
234, 257' note, 308 note, 363 ; ii, 
18-21, 62, 99, no, 150, 173, 
220, 222, 224, 243, 248, 249, 

253, 2S5, 256, 303, 321, 351, 
353, 3C3, 378, 380 
Joachim, King of Naples, i, 182, 
222-39, 243-9, 270, 317-21, 
324; ii, 30, 32, 33, 34-60, 62, 
66, 99,: 128, 129, 131, 132, 133, 
135, 136-44, 195-204. Z06-11, 
2i8, 219, 229 note, 234-47, 269, 
271-92, 325, 327-36, 338-44 



INDEX 



39? 



Joseph, King of Spain, i, 10, 21, 26, 
28 note, 36, 49, S4, 56, S7, 66, 
68, 70, 87, 89, 90, 95, 97, 98, 
100, no, 123, 125, 129, 145, 
158, 174, 179. 183-8, 204, 210, 
259, 270 and note, 291, 328, 
329, 337, 339, 360, 366; ii, 13, 
14, 57, 62, 63, 99, 123, 124, 
138, 139, 149, 150, 197. 206, 
222, 243, 253, 255, 294, 29s, 
306, 345, 363, 365, 380 
Josephine, Empress, i, 105, 124-9, 
131, 141, 148, 154, 170, 171, 
175, iSo, 209-14, 231, 232, 
233, 235, 237, 23S, 240, 251, 
253, 254 and note, 259, 260, 265, 
266, 317, 338, 347-9, 355, 356, 
365, 367, 36S; ii, 13-15 and 
note, 17, 43, 113, 148-53,221, 
352 
Jouberthou, Madame (second wife 
of Lucien Bonaparte), i, 349-54, 
356-8, 360; ii, 79, 156, 157, 
158, 380 
Journal de Paris (cited), ii, 231 
Julie, Queen of Spain, i, no, in, 
124, 125, 174, 216, 366; ii, IS 
note, 32, 215, 259 
Julliot, Charles, i, 194 
Jung, Theophile (cited), i, 194 
Junot, Andoche, Due d'Abranles, 
i, 1 13-16, 213, 323; ii, 61-7; 
111, 192, 205, 217, 218 

Keith, Lord, i, 308 note 

koller. General, ii, 297, 298, 340 

note 
"Kouloukoff, Colonel," ii, 226, 

227 

Labille {couturier), i, 31, 48 
Ladoucette (Prefect of the Moer), 

ii, 224 and note 
Lafayette, i, 70 ; ii, 373 
Lafon (actor), i, 290 and note, 291, 

292 



Laforet (French Ambassador at 
Madrid), Ii, 140 

Laffitte (banker), ii, 126 

Lajenska, Madame, ii, 213 

Laplace (geometrician and Minis- 
ter), ii, 16, 98, 164 

Laplace, Madame {dame dhonneur 
to Elisa)', ii, 16, 82, 83, 164 

Landrieux, i, 224, 225 

Lannes, Marechal, i, 234 and note, 
323 ; ii, 62, 195 

Laporte (Commissioner of the Con- 
vention), i, 112 

La Rochefoucauld - Doudeauville, 
Due de, ii, 16 

Larrey, Baron (cited), i, 7 note, 
10, II, 51, 87, 91,98, 121, 137, 
194; ii, 71, 151, 295 note, 314, 
322, 350 note, 379 

Las Cases, Comte, (cited) i, 341 ; 

ii, 346 
Lavalette, Comte, i, 160, 161, 

189, (cited) 160; ii, 201 
Lavalette,' Madame, i, i8g, 207 
La Vauguyon, Paul de (aide-de- 
camp to Murat and lover of 
Caroline), ii, 196, 205 
Lauriston,; General, i, 323 
Lazzarini (architect), ii, 95 
Leclerc (Prefect of the Meuse), ii, 

46, 47 , 

Leclerc, Dermide (son of Pauline 
Bonaparte), i, 194, 19S ; ii, 9-" 

Leclerc, 'Victor Emmanuel (first 
husband of Pauline Bonaparte), 
i, 154, 162-5, 170, 181, 195, 
213, 2ii, 234, 263, 270, 282, 
283, 291, 294, 296-312, 329 
note; ii, 10, 11, 23 

Legouve, Ernest, i, 263 

Lemonnier de La Fosse (cited), 

293 
Le Muet (architect), ii, 27 note 
Le Notre: (gardener), ii, I20 
Lenormand, Madame (cited), ii, 

291 



398 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 



Lenormant, Mile, (cited), i, 316 
Leroy {couturier), ii, 118 
Leap&ut (lover of Elisa Bonaparte), 

". 95 
Levie, Geronimo, i, 94 note 
Levie, M. Napoleon, i, 26 
Levy, M. Arthur (cited), i, 268 ; 

ii, 63, los note, 311, 312 
Lipona, Contessa di. See Caroline, 

Queen of Naples 
Liverpool, Earl of, ii, 328, 361 
Longchamps, Charles de, ii, 17 
Lord, Mr. Walter Frewen (cited), 

ii, 288 note 
Louis, King of flolland, i, 28 

note, 68, 91, 93, 99, 113, 116, 

180, 181, 203, 204, 209, 210, 

213, 21S, 234, 32s. 364, 366; 

ii, II, 57, 62, 99, 129, 131, 150, 

151, 222, 235, 243, 253-5, 295 

and note, 303, 306, 343, 351, 363 
Louis XIV, King of France, i, 167 
Louis XV, King of France, i, 44 ; 

ii, 177 
Louis XVI, King of France, i, 45, 

224 ; ii, 23, 24 
Louis XVIII, King of France, ii, 

312 note, 328, 329 note, 330, 

350, 36s 
Louis Philippe, Due d'Orleans, ii, 

328, 329 
Louise of Savoy ("Madame d' 

Angouleme "), i, 374, 375 
Lucchesini,Marchese, 11,83, I77> 302 
Lucchesini the younger (lover of 

Elisa), ii, 177 
Lowe, Sir Hudson, ii, 198 
Lciwenstein-Wertheim, Grafin von 

(mistress of Jer6me), ii, 256 
Ludovico I, King of Etruria, i, 

246 ; ii, 160, 161 

Macdonald, General, ii, 365, 368, 

371. 374 
Macirone (aide-de-camp to Murat), 

", 339, 340, 341 



"Madame Mire.'''' See Bonaparte, 

Maria Letizia 
Maghellaj (Neapolitan Minister of 

Police), ii, 207, 236, 237, 242, 

246 note 
Malet, General, ii, 63, 201 
Malfatti, Livia, ii, 163 
Manganaro, Giorgio, ii, 30S and 

note 
Manhes, General, ii, 343 note 
Mansi, A'ndreozzo, ii, 323 
Marat, i, ^25 

Marbeuf, Baron de, i, 61 note 
Marbeuf, Comte de (military com- 
mandant of Corsica), i, 29, 44, 

46, 47, 54, 59, 61 
Marbeuf, Comtesse de, i, 61 note 
Maret, Due de Bassano, ii, 56, 205 
Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, 

ii, 42, 205, 210 
Marie Caroline, Queen of the Two 

Sicilies, ii, 210 
Marie de' Medici, Queen of France, 

ii, 214 
Marie Louise, Empress, ii, 172, 

184, 185, 186, 210, Z15, 221, 

256, 257, 2S6, 352, 376, 377 
Marie Luisa, Queen of Etruria, 1, 

246, 351; ii, I, 100, 160, 161, 

168 
Marmont, Mar&hal, i, 113 (cited), 

162, 163, 164, 167 ; ii, 296 
Marmont, Madame, ii, 259 
Marie Leczinska, Queen of France, 

ii, 215 
Marmottan, M. Paul (cited), i, 104 

and note, 194, 268, 275 note ; 

ii, 85, 92, 161, 232 and note, 

266 
Marquet de Montbreton, Louis 

(chamberlain to Pauline), ii, 17, 

lo6 and note, 108 
Massena, Marechal, ii, 62, 191, 

192, 194 
Masson, M. Frederic (cited), 7 

note, 47, 92, 104 note, iii note. 



INDEX 



399 



129. 153. 159 note, 185 note, 

26S, 292, 293, 30S, 344, 345 ; ii, 

27, 56, no, 151, 1S2, 200, 227, 

232 and note, 245, 277 
Masson, Mile, (actress), i, 135, 

146 note, 147 note 
Mazin (architect), i, 329 note 
Medici, Luigi de' (Minister of 

Police at Naples), ii, 340 note, 

344 and note 
Mellini, Rosa, ii, 309, 380 
Melzi, Francesco di, i, 319, 320, 

332 
Menou, General, ii, 162-4, 166 
Menou, Madame, ii, 259 
Metternich, Prince von, ii, 132, 

205, 216, 217 , 271, 277, 2S3, 

28S, 322, 328, 329 and note, 

367 
Mier, Graf von (Austrian Am- 
bassador at Naples), ii, 246 

note, 271, 277, 288, 2S9 
Miot de Melito (cited), i, 167 
Mirabeau, i, 69 
Mt^rode Waterloo, Comte de (cited), 

ii, 224 
Moniteur, the (cited), i, 311 ; ii, 

276 
Montagu, M. de, 20S 
Montebello, Duchesse of, ii, 221 
Montecutini, Contessa di, ii, 177 
Montmorency, Due Mathieu de, 

ii, 368 
Montrond, Casimir de, ii, 224-6 
Montholon, Comte de, i, 51 
Morati, i, 75, 76 
Moreau, General Victor, i, 216, 

230, 231, 323 note 
Morghen (sculptor), ii, 232, 266 
Morning Chronicle, the (cited), ii, 

27S 
Mounier (cited), i, 164 
Murat, Achille, ii, 375 
Murat, Anna, ii, 375 
Murat, Joachim. Sec Joachim, 

King of Naples 



Murat, Napolten Achille, i, 242, 

243, 245, 324, 326, 327 ; ii, 373, 

374 
Murat, Napoleon Lucien Charles, 

i, 320 ; ii, 374, 375 
Murat, Marie Loetitia Josephine, 

i, 318; ii, 373 
Murat, Louise Julie Caroline, ii, 

31, 373* 

Napoleon I, Emperor, his birth, i, 
23, 24 and note ; baptised, 25 ; 
"terribly quarrelsome," 25 ; chas- 
tised by his mother, 37, 38 ; his 
exceptional character early dis- 
cerned by her, 38, 39 ; anecdotes 
of his boyhood, 39, 40 ; receives 
a nomination for Brienne, 46 ; 
question of his legitimacy, 46, 

47 ; leaves Corsica for France, 

48 ; at Autun, 49 ; at Brienne, 
49, 50 ; visited by his parents, 
51 ; persuaded by his mother to 
renounce all idea of entering the 
Navy, 51, 52 ; his letter to Joseph 
Fesch, 54, 55 ; loses his father, 
57 ; sends money to his mother, 
60 ; receives a commission in the 
Regiment of La Ffere, 60 ; his life 
at Valence, 604 his exertions on 
behalf of his family, 61 ; returns 
to Ajaccio on furlough, 61 ; his 
affection for his sister Pauline, 

62 ; his occupations in Corsica, 

63 ; returns to France, 63 ; in 
Paris, 63, 64; visits his sister 
:6lisa at Saint-Cyr, 64-6 ; again 
in Corsica, 66 ; at Auxonne, 67 ; 
his letter to his mother, 67 ; re- 
turns to Ajaccio, 68 ; draws up 
an address to the National As- 
sembly^ 69 ; defends Paoli, 70 ; 
takes charge of his brother Louis, 
70, 7 1 if once more in Corsica, 
71 ; candidate for the lieutenant- 
colonelcy of the National Volun- 



400 'THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 



teers of Ajaccio and Talano, 
73-6 ; elected, 'j6 ; makes an 
enemy of Pozzo di Borgo, 76 
and note ; concerned in a riot, 
77 ; deprived of his commission, 
77 ; reinstated, 77 and note ; his 
opinion of Klisa, 78 ; fetches her 
from Saint-Cyr, 80-z ; and es- 
corts her to Corsica, 83 ; has an 
adventure with the sans-culottes 
of Marseilles, 83 ; receives his 
baptism of fire, 85, 86 ; deter- 
mines to remain true to France, 
86, 87 ; implores the Convention 
to recall its decree against Paoli, 
89 ; his adventures in May, 1793, 
89, 90 ; rescues his family, 94 : 
sails with his relatives for France, 
96 ; rejoins his regiment, 97 ; 
saves his family from starva- 
tion, 99 ; his efforts on their 
behalf, loi ; general of brigade, 
loi ; installs his motlier and 
sisters in a country-house near 
Antibes, lOl ; dislikes the Mar- 
seillais, 106 ; at Nice, 109 ; 
flirts with D&ir6e Clary, ill ; 
arrested, but soon released, 112 ; 
takes part in an expedition 
against Corsica, 113; goes to 
Paris, 113; rejects Junot's de- 
mand for Pauline's hand, 113- 
16 ; as a match-maker, 1 16 ; 
quells the insurrection of Vende- 
miaire, 117 J procures the 
release of Lucien Bonaparte, 
122 ; his generosity to his family, 
122, 123 ; rejects another suitor 
for Pauline's hand, 123 ; marries 
Josephine de Beauharnais, 124 ; 
persuades his mother to write 
Jos(5phine a complimentary letter, 
127-9; "sees no objection" to 
Stanislas Frcfron as a husband 
for Pauline, 13S; delays the 
marriage, 140-2 ; Freron's letter 



to him, 143 ; forbids the mar- 
riage on learning of Freron's 
disgrace, 145 ; orders his sister 
to renounce Freron, 152 ; Pau- 
line's letter to him, 152-3 ; 
sends for her to join him in 
Italy, 1-54 ; opposed to Elisa's 
marriage with Felix Baciocchi, 
157 ; but accepts the accom- 
plished fact, 161 ; arranges a 
match between Pauline and 
General Leclerc, 161-5 ; his life 
at the Castle of Montebello, 
165-9 ; fails to repress the levity 
of Pauline, 170; does not dower 
Elisa and Pauline, 172; enriches 
himself in Italy, 173 ; dis- 
illusioned as to his wife, 174-7 ; 
compelled to tolerate Josephine's 
lap-dogs, 178 note ; deeply 
mortified by the hostility of his 
mother and sisters to his wife, 
183 ; removes his headquarters 
to Passeriano, 181 ; wishes Caro- 
line to be educated, 183 ; nips a 
romance in the bud, 189, 190; 
sails for Egypt, 190 ; visits 
JerSme at the College of Juilly, 
194 ; chooses the name of 
Pauline's little son, 194 ; is 
reported killed in Egypt, 203 ; 
no longer cherishes any illusions 
about Josephine, 212 ; returns 
to France, 213 ; pardons his 
wife, 214 ; resolves to overthrow 
the Directory, 215; becomes 
First Consul, 219; promotes his 
brothers, 220, 221 ; his relations 
with Joachim Murat, 226-8 ; 
wishes to marry Caroline to 
Moreau, 230 ; persuaded to give 
his consent to her marriage with 
IMurat, 231-3 ; gives his sister a 
diamoird necklace, 234 ; and 
the moiiey to purchase a country 
estate, 237 ; his forbearance to- 



INDEX 



401 



wards Murat, 239 ; his conduct 
on the night of the explosion of 
the " infernal machine," 240-2 ; 
refuses Murat permission to re- 
turn to Paris, 243 ; gives Caroline 
permission to join her husband in 
Italy, 245 ; invites his mother to 
take up her residence at the Tuil- 
eries, 250 ; gives her and her 
sisters pensions, 251 ; removes 
Lucien fiom the Ministry of the 
Interior and sends him as Ambas- 
sador to Madrid, 254-5 ; inter- 
venes in a quarrel between his 
mother and Josephine, 255, 256 ; 
refuses to humour his mother by 
inviting the whole Bonaparte 
clan to France, 258 ; consents to 
the marriage of Louis and Hor- 
tense de Beauhamais, 259 ; 
shocked by the costume worn by 
Elisa and Lucien in a perform- 
ance of ^/z/re, 280 ; invites them 
to play at Malmaison, 280 ; orders 
Pauline to accompany her hus- 
band to St. Domingo, 284 ; his 
dissimulation towards Toussaint 
rOuverture, 287 ; his reasons for 
desiring the expatriation of Pau- 
line, 289-92 ; praises Leclerc for 
his success in St. Domingo, 297 ; 
but fails to send him reinforce- 
ments, 306 ; Pauline's letter to 
him on her return to France, 309 ; 
orders exceptional honours to be 
paid to Leclerc's remains, 311, 
312 ; his relations with Chateau- 
briand, 315 ; reproached by 
lilisa for the execution of the Due 
d'Enghien, 316 ; " falls into a 
violent passion with his brother- 
in-law (Murat)," 318; pardons 
him on the intercession of Caro- 
line, 318 ; pleased at the birth of 
Caroline's second son, 320; abomi- 
nable scandal concerning him and 

II.— 26 



his youngest sister, 323 and note ; 
contemplates the adoption of 
Louis's son, Napoleon Charles, 
as his heir, 324 ; perfectly under- 
stands Caroline's ambitious na- 
ture, 325 ; anecdote about him 
and Achille Murat, 326, 327 ; 
gives Pauline a pension, 329 ; in- 
sists on her leading a retired Ufe, 
330 ; offers her hand to Francesco 
di Melzr, 332, 333 ; approves of 
her marriage to Camillo Borghese, 
339 ; "open letter " of Peltier to. 
him, 34i ; refuses to permit Pau- 
line's mairriage to take place until 
she has completed a year of 
widowhood, 343-4 ; indignant 
at her mariage de consciaice, 346 ; 
desires to wed Lucien to the 
widowed Queen of Etruria, 351 ; 
furious at his marriage with Ma- 
dame Jouberthou, 352, 353 ; in- 
sists on the union being dissolved, 

354 ; his.generosity to his mother, 

355 ; makes a scene at a family 
dinner-party, 355, 356; gives 
his mother a sumptuous travel- 
ling-carriage, 358 ; disapproves 
of the exceptional honours paid 
her in Rome, 360, 361 ; becomes 
Emperor, 363 ; unwilling to pro- 
mote his sisters to the rank of 
Imperial Highness, 364, 365 ; 
"smiles maliciously" at Caro- 
line's mortification, 368 ; has a 
violent scene with her, 369 ; con- 
fers the title of princess upon his 
sisters, 369 ; causes Baciocchi to 
be elected a Senator, 371 ; in- 
creases his sisters' pensions, 371, 
372 ; his difficulty in deciding 
Mpon a title for his mother, 372, 
373 ; letter of Cardinal Fesch to 
him, 373, 374 ; confers upon her 
the title of Madame, Mtre de Sa 
MajesU FEmpereur, 375, 376 ; 



402 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 



accredits Pauline officially to the 
Pope, ii, 3 ; reprimands her se- 
verely, 6 ; his letter to Fesch 
concerning her, 7 ; wishes to 
purchase her h6tel in Paris, 8 ; 
gives her permission to visit 
Paris, II ; refuses to pardon 
Lucien, 13 ; insists on the Im- 
perial Princesses bearing the 
train of the Empress's mantle 
at the Coronation, 13-15 ; his 
instructions as to the composition 
of their Households, 15, 16 ; re- 
fuses to confirm the rank and 
title of his mother until she yields 
to his wishes in regard to Jer6me 
and Elizabeth Patterson, 18-20 ; 
his lettter to her after the arrival 
of J^r6me and his wife at Lisbon, 
20, 21 ; purchases a country- 
estate for her, 26, 27 ; com- 
plaisance of Caroline and her 
husband towards him, 29, 30 ; 
showers honours and riches upon 
them, 30, 31 ; creates Elisa 
Princess of Piombino, 34, 35 ; 
letter of lilisa to him, 35, 36 ; 
joins Lucca to Piombino, 37, 38 ; 
humours Pauline by temporarily 
disembarrassing her of her hus- 
band, 41, 42; adopts Stephanie 
de Beauharnais, 43 ; creates Pau- 
line Princess and Duchess of 
Guastalla, 44, 45 ; flattered by 
Caroline, 5^ \ creates Murat 
Dulce of Berg and CU:ves, 
56) 57 ; overwhelms him with 
favours, 59 ; quarrels with him 
over the possession of Wesel, 60 ; 
lives in a fool's paradise in regard 
to his sisters, 65 ; learns of Caro- 
line's liaison with Junot, 65 ; his 
conversation with Junot, 66 ; 
sends him as Ambassador to Lis- 
bon, 67 ; increases his mother's 
pension, 67 ; her letter to him, 



68 ; declines to countenance her 
pretensions, 71, 72 ; raises her 
pension to 1,000,000 francs, 72 ; 
reprimands her, 76 ; expresses 
his satisfaction at her zeal in the 
cause of charity, 78 ; has an 
interview with Lucien at Mantua, 
78 ; remonstrates with his mother 
on her parsimony, 80 ; his fall 
foreseen by her, 80 ; letters of 
itlisa to him, 91 ; flattered by 
her, 97 ; accords her his esteem 
and confidence, 98, 99 ; and a 
considerable increase of territory, 
100 ; persuaded by her to extend 
the Concordat of Italy to Lucca, 
100-2 ; gives Pauline permis- 
sion to go to the South, 104, 105; 
refuses to allow her to join him 
in Italy, 112; appoints Camillo 
Borghese Governor-General of 
the Departments beyond the 
Alps, 116; and orders his wife 
to accompany him to Turin, 116 ; 
persuades Borghese to sell his art 
collection to the French nation, 
117 note; refuses Pauline per- 
mission to leave Italy, 123 ; 
letter of Joseph to him concern- 
ing their sister's health, 124 ; 
permits Pauline to come to Paris, 
125, 126; gives her permission 
to remain permanently in France, 
126; and an immense increase 
of revenue, 126, 127 ; disappoints 
Murat, 128, 129; attends a bal 
masque at the Elys&, 134, 135 ; 
appoints Murat his Lieutenant in 
Spain, 137 ; deceived by him as 
to the temper of the Spanish 
people, 137 and note ; offers 
Murat his choice of the crowns 
of Portugal and Naples, 138, 
139 ; secures to Caroline the suc- 
cession to the throne of Naples, 
141, 142 ; imposes heavy burdens 



INDEX 



403 



upon Naples, 142, 143 ; compels 
the Murats to surrender to him 
the whole of their property in 
France, 143, 144; determines to 
divorce Josephine, 148, 149 ; 
summons the Imperial Family to 
Paris, 149, 150 ; plans of his rela- 
tives for his remarriage, 153-5 and 
note ; his propositions in regard to 
Lucien, 156; irritated by the 
conduct of his niece Lolotte, 
1 58 ; annexes the Kingdom of 
Etruria, 160, l6l ; declines to 
bestow it on Elisa, 161, 162 ; 
creates the Government-General 
of the Departments of Tuscany, 
and Elisa Grand-Duchess, 164, 
165 ; restraints which he imposes 
upon her, 170 ; severely repri- 
mands her, 170, 171 ; disappoints 
her expectations, 174 ; threatens 
to annex Carrara if she does not 
discharge her obligations, 175 ; 
her letter to him on the death of 
her son, Jerome Charles, 178; 
refuses her permission to assist 
at the baptism of the King of 
Rome, 179; orders Pauline to 
be reconciled to her husband, 
183 ; attends a magnificent fete 
given by her at Neuilly, 185, 
186 ; begs her to give a second 
entertainment for the benefit of 
the Parisians, 187 ; sends her 
lover, Jules de Canouville, to 
Spain, 190, igi ; takes a mean 
revenge upon a lady who has 
rejected his addresses, 193, 194 ; 
his differences with Murat, 199- 
202 ; temporarily reconciled to 
his brother-in-law, 203 ; refuses 
to espouse Caroline's cause against 
her husband, 208, 209 ; his mar- 
riage with the Archduchess Marie 
Louise opposed by Murat, 210, 
211; sends Caroline to conduct 



Marie Louise to France, 211 ; 
persuaded by his sister to dismiss 
the Grand-Mistress of the Arch- 
duchess, 212, 213; insists on 
his sisters and sisters-in-law bear- 
ing the train of the new Empress's 
mantle, 214-16 ; has a violent 
quarrel with Murat, 218 ; author- 
ises the latter to attempt the 
conquest of Sicily, 219 ; disap- 
points the hopes of his mother, 
220, 221 ; his strained relations 
with his family, 222, 223 ; 
makes Madame Alh-e a present, 
223 ; orders the arrest of Casimir 
de Montrond, 225, 226 ; sends 
Canouville again on foreign ser- 
vice, 228 ; refuses to permit 
Murat to appoint him his aide- 
de-camp, 228 note ; reduces 
Elisa to. the position of an em- 
ployie of the French Government, 
231 ; forbids the Paris jour- 
nals to insert eulogistic references 
to her, 231, 232 ; acts upon 
her recommendations in matters 
relating to the arts, 232 and 
note ; subjects Murat to con- 
stant mortifications, 234, 235 ; 
entertaids a poor opinion of the 
Neapolitan troops, 237 ; seriously 
contemplates dethroning Murat, 
238 ; invites Caroline to assist as 
godmother at the baptism of the 
King 04 Rome, 239 ; quashes a 
decree issued by Murat, 241, 242 ; 
and assumes a menacing attitude, 
242 ; informed of his brother-in- 
law's intrigues, 244 ; believes the 
stolen Crown jewels of Spain to 
be in Murat's possession, 244, 
245 ; pacified by Caroline, 246 ; 
insists on the dismissal of two of 
the Neapolitan Ministers, 246 and 
note ; gives permission to Murat 
to take part in the Russian cam- 



404 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 



paign, 247 ; authorises his mother 
to visit the King and Queen of 
Westphalia, 248 ; ignores her dis- 
regard of his orders concerning 
Lucien, 250 ; permits her to exer- 
cise a kind of supervision over 
the affairs of Corsica, 251 ; returns 
to Paris after the loss of the Grand 
Army in Russia, 252 ; refuses to 
restore Holland to Louis, 254 ; 
at the Battle of Bautzen, 257 and 
note ; persists in believing Pauline 
a vmlade imaginaire, 265 ; de- 
clines an offer of 300,000 francs 
from her, 265 ; reassured by 6lisa 
as to the tranquillity of Tuscany, 
266, 267 ; recalls most of the 
French troops from Tuscany, 267 ; 
his indignation at Murat's de- 
sertion of the Grand Army at 
Posen, 274-6 ; Caroline's hypo- 
critical letters to him, 279 ; sum- 
mons Murat to join him in 
Saxony, 280 ; deceived by Caro- 
line, 281, 282; gives Murat per- 
mission to return to Naples after 
the disaster of Leipzig, 282 ; the 
dupe of his brother-in-law, 285, 
2S6 ; his grief and indignation on 
learning of the treachery of Murat 
and Caroline, 292 ; appoints his 
mother a member of the Council 
of Regency, 294 ; his fatal ob- 
stinacy, 294 ; abdicates, 297 ; 
visits Pauline on his way to Elba, 
297, 29S ; wishes to preserve 
Lucca and Piombino for Elisa, 
299 ; betrayed by her, 299-302 ; 
joined by his mother in Elba, 
307, 308 ; and by Pauline, 310; 
atrocious calumny concerning his 
relations with his sister, 311 ; 
his differences with her, 312, 
313 ; his conversation with his 
mother before embarking for 
France, 314-16; sends a frigati.' 



to convey her from Gaeta to 
France, 318 ; his last farewell to 
her at Malmaison, 320-2 ; recon- 
ciled to Murat, 332 ; wishes to 
use him to detach Austria from 
the Coalition, 332, 333 ; declines 
to employ him after his flight 
from Naples, 338 ; declines his 
mother's offer to place her whole 
fortune-at his disposal, 347 ; her 
appeal to the Allied Sovereigns 
on his behalf, 348, 349 ; his 
testimony to her worth, 353 ; his 
death, 353, 354 ; Pauline's touch- 
ing devotion to him, 360-2 ; 
Caroline's reminiscences of him, 
37°! 371 I his statue replaced on 
the Vend&me Column, 378 

Napoleon; King of Rome, after- 
wards Duke of Reichstadt, ii, 
179, 223, 239, 375, 376, 377 

NarbonnerPelet, Comte de, i, 44 
and note 

Nasica (cited), i, 61 

Neipperg,, Graf von, ii, 286, 287, 

289, 337> 352 
Nelson, Horatio, i, 211 
Neuhof, Theodore von ("King 

Theodore I" of Corsica), i, 13 
Ney, Mar6chal, ii, 2S2 
Norvins (Prefect of Rome), ii, 244, 

271 
Nugent, General, ii, 267, 268 

Odiot (jeweller), ii. So 
O'Meara, ii, 347, 34S and note 
Ornano, Antonio, i, 5, 12 note 
Orsini, Maria [femmc de chainbre 

to Pauhne), ii, 324 
Osmont, Archbishop of Florence, ii, 

230 and note 
Oudinot, Marechal, ii, 230 and 

note. 

Paganini (violinist), ii, 93 
Paisielli (composer), ii, 93 



INDEX 



405 



Paoli, Clemente, i, 13 
Paoli, Giacinto, i, 13 
Paoli, Pasquale, i, 8, 12, 13, 14, 

15, 17, 18, 69, 70-86-92, 172 
Paravicini, Geltruda, i, 12, 22, 25 
Pans^mont, Bishop of Vannes, 

ii, 16 
Patterson, Elizabeth (first wife of 

Jer6me Bonaparte), ii, 18, 19, 

20, 21, 77 
Pasquier (cited), i, 312, 300 ; ii, 

283 note 
Pellet, M. Marcellin (cited), i, 309 

note; ii, 311, 311 
Peltier, i, 342 
Pepe, Guglielmo (cited), ii, 344 

note 
Pepoli, Conte, ii, 373 
Peraldi, Marius, i, 74, 75, 89, 172 
Permon, Albert, i, 117, 123 
Permon, Laure ; see Abrantes, 

Duchesse de 
Permon, Madame, i, 56, 65, 116, 

195, 197, 198, 207, 215, 2l6, 

264 
Peyre (physician - in - ordinary to 

Pauline), ii, lOJ, 108 note 
Picard, i, 263 
Pichegru, i, 317 ; ii, 17 
Pietra - Santa, Angela Maria 

(mother of Letizia Bonaparte), 

2, 8 
Pius VII, Pope, i, 184, 244, 3.59, 

360-2 ; ii, 2, 3, loi, 145, 297, 

346, 350 and note, 360, 379 note 
Polidori (Corsican adventurer), ii, 

325 
Polignac, Armand de, i, 317 
Pompadour, Madame de, ii, 31 
Potocka-Wonsowicz, Countess, ii, 

369, (cited) 369, 370, 371 
Poyet, i, 263 
Pozzo di Borgo, Carlo, i, 73i 7^ 

and note, 86, 172 

Quelen, Abbd de, ii, 24 



Quelen, Baron de, ii, 25 
Quenza, i, 73, 75 



Rabassin (Marseilles soap-boiler), 

i, 118, 123 
Rambouillet, Madame de, i, 263 
Ramolinp, Gian Geronimo, i, I, 2 
Ramolino, Maria Letizia ; see 

Bonaparte, Maria Letizia 
Rapp, Geiieral, i, 240, 241 
Rasponi, Conte, ii, 373 
Raucourt, Mile, (actress), i, 279 
Regnault, Klias (cited), i, 18 
Regnaud de Saint-Jean d'Angely, 

ii, 91, 96, 98, 164 
Recamier, Madame, i, 260, 273 and 

note ; ii, 22, 289-92, 334 note, 

367, 368 
Remusat, M. de, i, 370 
Remusat, Madame de (cited), i, 

loj, io5, 289, 310, 317, 324 

note, 336, 367, 369 ; ii, 44, 61, 

1 10 note 
Rewbell, i, 212 
Ricard, General (cited), i, 105 

note, 106 
Richelieu, Due de, i, 248 
Richepanse, General, i, 303 
Rivarola (Corsican patriot), i, 13 
Robespierre, Augustin, i, 112 
Robespierre, Maximilien, i, 112, 

134 
Rodocanachi, M. E. (cited), ii, 86, 

89. 230, 356 note, 359 
Roederer, Comte, i, 103, 221 
Roland de Chambaudoin, Madame, 

ii, 16 
Rollier (Intendant of Princess 

Borghese), il, 25 
Rose, Dr. J. Holland (cited), i, 303 ; 

ii, 338 note 
Rosel de Beaumanoir, Comte, i, 54 

Sabl6, Madame de, i, 263 
Saint-Aignan, Baron de, ii, 296 
Saint-Elme, Madame Ida (cited), ii, 
258 



4o6 



THE WOMEN BONAPARTES 



Saint-Germain, Comte de (Minister 
for War under Louis XVI), i, 

45 
Saint-Pern, Madame de, ii, 23 
Saint-Regent (conspirator), i, 241 
Salgues (cited), i, 290, 291 
Salicetti, i, 112; ii, 36, 37, 206, 

207, 236 
Saluces, Madame de (lecirice to 

Pauline), 225-7 
Santa-Cruz, Marquesa de (mistress 

of Luclen Bonaparte), i, 279, 351 

and note 
Santarelli (engraver), ii, 93, 260 
Sardi, Filippo, Arclibishop of 

Lucca, ii, 39, loi 
Sassenay, Marquis de (cited), ii, 340 

note, 344 note 
Savary (Minister of Police), ii, 65, 

66, 226 
Saveria (servant of the Bonapartes), 

i, 59 ; ii, 25, 304, 305, 375 
SchouwalofF (aide-de-camp to Alex- 
ander I of Russia), ii, 296, 297 
S^gur, General de, i, 324 note 
Semonville, i, 85, 89 ; ii, 239 
Sismondi (cited), ii, 93 
Soult, Madame, ii, 23 
Soult, Marechal, ii, 23 
Smith, Sir Sidney, ii, 198 
Spontini (composer), ii, 93 
Stael, Madame de, ii, 334 note 
Stephanie, Grand Duchess of Baden, 

ii. 43 
Sterne (engraver), ii, 232 

Talleyrand, i, 237, 271, 366; ii, 

56, 91. 92, 98, 132. 133. 149, 
164, 200-2, 224, 328, 329 and 
note 
Talma (actor), ii, 259, 321 



Teano, Principessa, ii, 230 note 
Tencin, Madame de, i, 323 
Thelusson, Georges, i, 248 
Thiebault, General (cited), i, 283 

note ; ii, 192 
Thorwalejsen (sculptor), ii, 85 
Torlonia (tianker), i, 1S4 
Torteuil de Septeuil, Achille, ii, 

193. 194 
Toussaint I'Ouverture, i, 2S6, 296-g 
Trentacapilli (captain of Neapoli- 
tan gendarmerie), ii, 343 
Truguet, Admiral, i, 84 note, 85 
Tschudi, Madame (cited), i, 137, 

357 
Turquan,,IiL Joseph (cited), i, 54, 
81, 26Sj 283 note, 300, 308, 
o^3> 325. 331 ; ". 11° no'e, 
225, 277, 283 note, 311, 325, 

334 

Varese, Aurelio, i, 48 

Vaux, Cotnte de, i, 19, 21, 22 

Villaret-Joyeuse, Admiral, i, 294, 

295 
Vinaille, M., ii, III 
Villemarest, Maxime de (cited), i, 

334; ii, 120, 121 
Voyer d'Argenson (prefect of the 

Ueux Nithes), ii, 226 

Waldeburg-Truchsess, Graf von, ii, 

297 
Walpole, Horace, i, 13 
Wellington, Duke of, ii, 92 
Werklein (Austrian Governor of 

Lucca), ii, 323, 324 

Zondadar^, Cardinal, ii, 267 
Zurlo (Mfnister of the Interior), ii, 
246 and note 



PKIN1ED BY 

WI1,UAM BRENDON AND SONj LTD. 

PLYMOUTH