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Empress Josephine An historical sketch of the days of Napoleon   By: (1814-1873)

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First Page:

THE EMPRESS JOSEPHINE

AN HISTORICAL SKETCH OF THE DAYS OF NAPOLEON

BY L. MUHLBACH

AUTHOR OF DAUGHTER OF AN EMPRESS, MARIE ANTOINETTE, JOSEPH II AND HIS COURT, FREDERICK THE GREAT AND HIS FAMILY BERLIN AND SANS SOUCI, ETC.

TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN BY REV. W. BINET, A M.

CONTENTS.

BOOK I.

THE VISCOUNTESS BEAUHARNAIS.

I. Introduction II. The Young Maid III. The Betrothal IV. The Young Bonaparte V. The Unhappy Marriage VI. Trianon and Marie Antoinette VII. Lieutenant Napoleon Bonaparte VIII. A Page from History IX. Josephine's Return X. The Days of the Revolution XI. The 10th of August and the Letter of Napoleon Bonaparte XII. The Execution of the Queen XIII. The Arrest XIV. In Prison XV. Deliverance

BOOK II.

THE WIFE OF GENERAL BONAPARTE.

XVI. Bonaparte in Corsica XVII. Napoleon Bonaparte before Toulon XVIII. Bonaparte's Imprisonment XIX. The 13th Vendemiaire XX. The Widow Josephine Beauharnais XXI. The New Paris XXII. The First Interview XXIII. Marriage XXIV. Bonaparte's Love Letters XXV. Josephine in Italy XXVI. Bonaparte and Josephine in Milan XXVII. The Court of Montebello XXVIII. The Peace of Campo Formio XXIX. Days of Triumph

BOOK III.

THE EMPRESS AND THE DIVORCED.

XXX. Plombieres and Malmaison XXXI. The First Faithlessness XXXII. The 18th Brumaire XXXIII. The Tuileries XXXIV. The Infernal Machine XXXV. The Cashmeres and the Letter XXXVI. Malmaison XXXVII. Flowers and Music XXXVIII. Prelude to the Empire XXXIX. The Pope in Paris XL. The Coronation XLI. Days of Happiness XLII. Divorce XLIII. The Divorced XLIV. Death

BOOK I.

THE VISCOUNTESS BEAUHARNAIS.

CHAPTER I.

INTRODUCTION.

"I win the battles, Josephine wins me the hearts." These words of Napoleon are the most beautiful epitaph of the Empress Josephine, the much loved, the much regretted, and the much slandered one. Even while Napoleon won battles, while with lofty pride he placed his foot on the neck of the conquered, took away from princes their crowns, and from nations their liberty while Europe trembling bowed before him, and despite her admiration cursed him while hatred heaved up the hearts of all nations against him even then none could refuse admiration to the tender, lovely woman who, with the gracious smile of goodness, walked at his side; none could refuse love to the wife of the conqueror, whose countenance of brass received light and lustre from the beautiful eyes of Josephine, as Memnon's statue from the rays of the sun.

She was not beautiful according to those high and exalted rules of beauty which we admire in the statues of the gods of old, but her whole being was surrounded with such a charm, goodness, and grace, that the rules of beauty were forgotten. Josephine's beauty was believed in, and the heart was ravished by the spell of such a gracious, womanly apparition. Goethe's words, which the Princess Eleonore utters in reference to Antonio, were not applicable to Josephine:

"All the gods have with one consent brought gifts to his cradle, but, alas! the Graces have remained absent, and where the gifts of these lovely ones fail, though much was given and much received, yet on such a bosom is no resting place."

No, the Graces were not absent from the cradle of Josephine; they, more than all the other gods, had brought their gifts to Josephine. They had encircled her with the girdle of gracefulness, they had imparted to her look, to her smile, to her figure, attraction and charm, and given her that beauty which is greater and more enduring than that of youth, namely loveliness, that only real beauty. Josephine possessed the beauty of grace, and this quality remained when youth, happiness, and grandeur, had deserted her... Continue reading book >>




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