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ern provinces of France.

Joseph slowly retreated, fighting his way,
step by step, across the Pyrenees into France,
pursued by the victors. On the 12th of April,
Joseph, having crossed the mountains, and
being thus driven from his kingdom, had no
longer any legitimate power. The command
of the French army devolved upon Soult. Ut-
terly weary of the cares and harassments of

1 Manifesto par la Junte Constitutionale, et les habitans
de !St. Sebastien.


Napoleon's last Struggle.

royalty, for which Joseph never had any in-
clination, he joined his wife and children at his
estate at Mortfontaine. England had wrested
the crown of Spain from Joseph Bonaparte,
one of the best men whom a crown has ever
adorned, and soon, with the aid of allied Eu-
rope, placed that crown upon the brow of Fer-
dinand VII., one of the worst men who has
ever disgraced a throne. The result was that
Spain was consigned to another half-century
of shame, debasement, and misery.

Joseph had scarcely re-united himself with
his wife and children in their much-loved home
at Mortfontaine, when the allied armies, num-
bering more than a million and a half of bayo-
nets, came crowding upon France from the
north, from the east, and from the south ; while
the fleet of England, mistress of all the seas,
lent its majestic co-operation on the west
Then ensued the sublimest conflict of which
history gives us any account. Never before,
in all Napoleon's world-renowned campaigns,
had he displayed such vigor as in the masterly
blows with which he struck one after another
of his thronging assailants, and drove them,
staggered and bleeding, before him.

France was exhausted. All Europe had


Joseph's Devotion to his Brother.

combined to crush the Republican Empire,
and restore the despotism of the old regime.
Through an almost uninterrupted series of vic-
tories, Napoleon lost his crown. When in any
one direction he was driving his foes headlong
before him, from all other points they were
rushing on, till France and Paris were well-
nigh whelmed in the mighty inundation. In
these hours of disaster, Joseph offered life, prop-
erty, all to the service of his brother. They
held a few hurried interviews in Paris, and
then separated, each to fulfill his appointed
task in the terrible drama.

The Emperor confided to Joseph the de-
fense of Paris, and the protection of his son
and of the Empress. On the 16th of March,
1814, the Emperor wrote to his brother from
Reims :

" In accordance with the verbal instructions
which I gave you, and with the spirit of all my
letters, you must not allow, happen what may,
the Empress and the King of Rome to fall into
the hands of the enemy. The manoeuvres I
am about to make may possibly prevent your
hearing from me for several days. If the en-
emy should march on Paris with so strong a
force as to render resistance impossible, send


The Surrender of Pari*.

off toward the Loire the Regent, my son, the
great dignitaries, the ministers, the senators,
the President of the Conseil d'Etat, the chief
officers of the crown, and Baron de la Bouil-
lerie, with the money which is in my treasury.
Never lose sight of my son, and remember that
I would rather know that he was in the Seine,
than that he was in the hands of the enemies
of France. The fate of Astyanax, prisoner to
the Greeks, has always seemed to me the most
lamentable in history."

Faithfully, energetically, wisely, Joseph ful-
filled the mission intrusted to him. In every
possible way he endeavored to aid the Emper-
or in his heroic efforts ; ecruiting troops, arm-
ing them, and hurrying them off to the points
where they were most needed. It was not
till the allied forces were upon the heights
of Montmartre, and where further resistance
would but have exposed the capital to the hor-
rors of a bombardment, that he consented to a
surrender. All the arms in the city had been
given out to the new levies, as they had been
sent to the seat of war, and none remained to
place in the hands of the populace, even were
it judged best to summon them to the defense
of the metropolis. A grand council was call-


Great Perplexities.

ed on the 29th of March. The ministers, the
grand dignitaries, the presidents of the sections,
of the Council of State, and the President of
the Senate were present.

The majority of the council were in favor
of defending the city to the last possible mo-
ment. There were at hand the two corps of
the dukes of Ragusa and TreVise, consisting
of about seventeen thousand combatants, a few
thousand of the National Guard, poorly armed,
a few batteries served by the students of the
schools and by the Invalides, and a few hun-
dred recruits not yet organized. It was urged
that the Empress, like another Maria Theresa,
should remain with her son in the city, to as-
sure the populace by her presence, and em-
bolden the defense. She was to show herself
to the people at the Hotel de Ville, with her
son in her arms. Should the Empress leave
the city, it would so discourage the people
that all attempts at defense would be hopeless.
Should she remain, the danger was very great
that both she and her son might be captured ;
and unless she should immediately escape, all
egress might be cut off, as the Allies were ran-
idly surrounding the city.

Toward the close of the discussion, the Em-


The Empress decide* to leave Paris.

peror's letter to Joseph of the 16th of March
was presented and read. In this it will be re-
membered that he said:

" You must not allow, happen what may,
the Empress and the King of Rome to fall into
the hands of the enemy. Never lose sight of
my son, and remember that I would rather
know that he was in the Seine, than that he
was in the hands of the enemies of France.
The fate of Astyanax, prisoner to the Greeks,
has always seemed to me the most lamentable
in history."

This settled the question. The situation of
affairs was so desperate that for the Empress
to remain in Paris would be extremely peril-
ous. It was therefore decided that she, with
the Government, should retire to Chartres, and
thence to the Loire. But Joseph stated that
it was important to ascertain the real force of
the hostile army, which was driving before
them the two marshals, Marmont and Mortier.
He therefore offered to remain in the city,
making all possible arrangements for its de-
fense, till that fact should be ascertair^d.
Should it be found that resistance was quite
impossible, he would rejoin the Government
upon the Loire.


Disappoiijtment of Nnpoleon.

It is very evident that Joseph and the as-
sembled Senate, and that Napoleon himself,
hoped that Maria Louisa, from her own in-
ward impulse, would soar to the heights of a
heroine. Napoleon could not ask her to come
thus to his defense. At St. Helena the Em-
peror allowed the regret to escape his lips that
Maria Louisa was not able to rise to the sub-
limity of the occasion. The Empress, how-
ever, was but an ordinary woman, incapable
of a grand action, and it is to be remembered
that she must have been embarrassed by the
thought that, in striving to arouse France for
the defense of her husband, she was arraying
the empire against her own father. Maria
Louisa, as regent, presided over this private
council. The' session was prolonged until after
midnight. Joseph and the arch-chancellor ac-
companied the Empress to her home. It is
evident, even then, that Joseph hoped that the
Empress would assume the responsibility of a
heroic act. M. Meneval, the secretary of the
Empress, who was present at this interview,

" After the exchange of a few words upon
the disastrous consequences of abandoning
Paris, Joseph and the arch-chancellor ventured


Panic in Paris.

to say that the Empress alone could decide
what course it was her duty to pursue. The
Empress replied ' that they were her appoint-
ed advisers, and that she could not undertake
any course unless she was advised to do it by
them, over their own seal and signature.' Both
declined to assume this responsibility."

The departure of the Empress was fixed at
eight o'clock the next morning. Joseph had
already passed the barriers, to proceed to the
advance posts of the army to reconnoitre the
foe. The day had not yet dawned, when the
saloons of the palace were filled with those
who were to accompany the Empress in her
flight. Anxiety sat upon every countenance,
and the solemnity of the occasion caused every
voice to be hushed, so that impressive silence
reigned. Early as was the hour, the alarming
rumor that the Empress was to abandon Paris
had reached the ears of the National Guard.
Suddenly the officers of the guard who were
stationed at the palace, with several others who
had joined them, precipitately entered, and, by
their earnest request, were conducted to the
Empress. They entreated her not to leave
Paris, promising to defend her to the last pos-
sible extremity.



Grief of the Empress. Departure of the Empress.

The Empress was moved to tears by their
devotion, but alleged the order of the Emperor.
Nevertheless, conscious of the discouraging ef-
fect of her departure, she delayed hour after
hour, hoping without venturing to avow it
that some chance might arise which would en-
able her to remain. M. Clarke, the Minister of
War, alarmed at the danger that soon all egress
would be impossible, sent an officer to the Em-
press to represent to her the necessity of an
immediate departure. Thus urged by some to
go, by others to remain, the Empress was agi-
tated by the most distracting embarrassment.
She returned to her chamber, threw her hat
upon her bed, seated herself in a chair, buried
her face in her hands, and burst into an uncon-
trollable flood of tears. "O my God," she
was heard to exclaim, "let them decide this
question among themselves, and put an end to
this my agony."

About ten o'clock the Minister of War sent
again to her a message stating that she had not
one moment to lose, and that unless she left
immediately she was in danger of falling into
the hands of the Cossacks. As Joseph was
now absent, and she could receive no further
counsel from him, she hastened her departure.


The Allied Armies.

It was indeed true that the delay of a few
hours would have rendered her escape impos-
sible, for that very day the banners of the Al-
lies presented themselves before the walls of
the metropolis.

Joseph had returned rapidly to the city, to
make as determined a defense as possible. The
National Guard hastened to the posts assigned
them. Volunteers, many of them armed with
shot-guns, advanced to operate as skirmishers
against the foa The students of the Polytech-
nic School served the artillery confided to their
"young and brilliant" valor. The thunders
of the cannonade were soon heard, rousing the
populace to a frenzy of courage. They rushed
through the streets demanding arms, but there
were none to be given them. The arsenals
were all empty.

The allied troops came pouring on like the
raging tides of the sea. Their numbers in ad-
vance and in the rear far exceeded a million
of bayonets. It was all dynastic Europe ar-
rayed against one man. Distinctly the allied
kings had declared to the world that they
were not fighting against France, but against

The next day, the 30th, Joseph received a


Joseph joina the Empreta.

note from General Marmont, written in pencil,
from the midst of the conflict, stating that it
would be impossible to prolong the resistance
beyond a few hours, and that measures must
immediately be adopted to save Paris from the
horrors of being carried by storm. Joseph
instantly convoked a council, and the opinion
was unanimous that a capitulation was inevi-
table. Accordingly Joseph at once sent Gen-
eral Stroltz, his aide-de-camp, to Marshals Mar-
mont and Mortier, authorizing them to enter
into a conference with the enemy, while they
were to continue their resistance as persistently
as possible.

All hope of defending Paris was now aban-
doned. In accordance with the instructions of
the Emperor, it was the duty of Joseph to join
himself to the Empress and her son. At four
o'clock he crossed the Seine. A few moments
after the bridges were seized by the enemy.
Napoleon had retired to Fontainebleau. Pass-
ing through Versailles, where he ordered the
cavalry in that city to follow him, Joseph pro-
ceeded to Chartres, where he joined the Em-
press and her son, and with them advanced to
Blois. He hoped to join his brother at Fon-
tainebleau, there to confer with him upon the


Retirement of Joseph.

measures to be adopted in these hours of dis-
aster. With this intention he set out from
Blois, but squadrons of hostile cavalry were
sweeping in all directions, and his communica-
tion beyond Orleans was cut off. He was
therefore compelled to return to Blois. There
he was in the greatest peril, for the Cossacks
were in his immediate vicinity. He could
neither reach the Emperor nor communicate
with him. Neither could he ascertain the re-
sult of the negotiation entered into at Paris
with the foe.

Almost immediately the news came of the
Emperor's abdication. The Cossacks escorted
Maria Louisa and the King of Rome to Ram-
bouillet, where they were placed under the
care of her father, the Emperor of Austria.
The Emperor was sent to Elba. Joseph, who
was still wealthy, purchased the estate of Pran-
gins, on the border of the lake of Geneva.
Here he had a brief respite from the terriblei
storms of life, with his wife and children, in
that retirement which he loved so well.

1815.] LIFE IN EXILE. 319

Attempt to assassinate Naapoleon.



WHILE Joseph was enjoying his peaceful
residence upon the shores of Europe's
.nost beautiful lake, Madame de Stael hastened
to inform him of a plot which had been reveal-
ed to her for the assassination of the Emperor
at Elba. The evidence was conclusive. Jo-
seph was at breakfast with the celebrated tra-
gedian Talma. Both Talma and Madame de
Stael were anxious to hasten to Elba to in-
form the Emperor of his danger. But Joseph
sent a personal friend, and two of the assassins
were arrested. 1

At Prangin, in 1815, Joseph learned that
Napoleon had landed in France, had advanced
as far as Lyons, and was desirous of seeing him

1 " I thanked them for their generous offer, but preferred
to charge with that difficult commission M. Boisneau, whose
patriotism and personal attachment to Napoleon I had known
at the siege of Toulon. You know with what success he ful-
filled his commission." Memoires dn Roi Joseph, tome
dixieme, p. 342.


Landing of Napoleon in France.

in Paris as soon as possible. Joseph's wife,
Julie, was then in Paris, having been drawn
there by the sickness and death of the mother,
Madame Clary. He immediately left his cha-
teau, after having buried all his valuable pa-
pers in a box in the forest, setting out secretly
.at ten o'clock at night, accompanied by the
two princesses, his daughters. A few hours
after his departure, an armed band, sent by
the influence of the Allies, arrived at the cha-
teau to arrest him. Joseph upon his arrival in
France, immediately, with characteristic devo-
tion, placed himself entirely at the disposition
-of the brother he loved so well.

As Joseph traversed France, he was every-
where met with great enthusiasm, the people
shouting, "Napoleon the Emperor of our
choice;" "The nation desires him alone;" "No
aristocracy ;" " Away with the old regime."

Before the departure of the Emperor for
Waterloo, many distinguished persons, among
others Benjamin Constant, who assisted in
drawing up the celebrated Additional Act, were
introduced to him by Joseph. One day he
conducted to the Tuileries the son of Madame
de Stael, who bore a letter from his mother to
the Emperor, in which, speaking of the Addi-

1815.] LIFS IN EXILE. 321

Attempt to Kacape.

tional Act, she said, " It is every thing which
France can now need; nothing but what it
needs, nothing more than it needs."

In speaking of the " Acte Additionel" Mr.
Alison says, " It excited unbounded opposition
in both the parties which now divided the na-
tion, and left the Emperor in reality no support
but in the soldiers of the army." A few para-
graphs later, when stating that the " Acte " was
submitted to the people to be adopted or re-
jected by popular suffrage, he says truthfully,
though in manifest contradiction to his former
statement :

" The ' Acte Additionel ' was approved by an
immense majority of the electors ; the numbers
being fifteen hundred thousand to five hun-

After the disaster at Waterloo, Joseph was
the constant companion of his brother during
those few days of anguish *a which he remain-
ed in Paris. On the 29th of June he left the
metropolis to join his brother, who had pre-
ceded him, at Eochefort, where the two intend-
ed to embark for America in two different
ships, the Saale and the Medusa. After sever-
al days of necessary delay, at four o'clock in the
afternoon of July 8th Napoleon was rowed out



Vigilance of the Allies. Generosity of Joseph.

to the Saale, which was anchored at a dis-
tance from the quay. But the Bourbons and
the Allies were now in power in France, and
British guard-ships were doubled along the
French coast. No vessel was allowed to leave.

Joseph, who had received letters from his
wife informing him of all that had transpired
in Paris, proposed that the Emperor should re-
turn to land, place himself at the head of the
Army of the Loire, summon the population of
France to rise en masse, and again appeal to
the fortunes of war. But the Emperor could
not be persuaded to resort to a measure which
would enkindle the flames of civil war in
France, and which might also expose the king-
dom to dismemberment, since the Allies already
held a considerable portion of its territory.

Joseph then urged his brother to embark
in a small American vessel which chanced to
be in the port, while Joseph, personating Napo-
leon, whom he strongly resembled, should sur-
render himself as the Emperor. It was thought
that the British cruisers, thus deceived, would
allow the American vessel to sail without a
very rigid search. But the Emperor declined
the offer to escape at the hazard of his brother's
captivity. Neither would his pride of charac-

1815.] LIFE IN EXILE. 323

Joseph's Escape.

ter allow him to seek flight in the garb of dis-
guise. He therefore urged Joseph to leave him
to his destiny, and to provide immediately for
his own safety.

During the whole of Napoleon's career there
were always multitudes ready to lay down their
lives at any time for his. protection. The cap-
tain of the Medusa, a sixty-gun frigate, offered
to grapple the English frigate Bellerophon, of
seventy-four guns, and to maintain the une-
qual and desperate conflict until the Sadie
could escape with the Emperor. But as this
would be sacrificing many lives to his person-
al safety, Napoleon declined the magnanimous

Leaving matters in this state of uncertainty,
Joseph retired from Rochefort to the country-
seat of a friend, at the distance of a few leaguea
He left his secretary behind, to keep him in-
formed of all that transpired. Two days after
he received a letter announcing that the Em-
peror had taken the fatal resolution to surren-
der himself to the British Government Jo-
seph could no longer be of any assistance to his
brother, and he decided to leave France as soon
as possible. Under the assumed name of M.
Bouchard, be embarked at Ro,van on the 29th


Joseph escapes from France.

of July, with four of his suite, on board the
bark Commerce, bound for the United States.
The vessel was visited several times by the
British cruisers without his being recognized.
On the 28th of August, 1815, Joseph landed at
New York. Captain Misservey, of the bark,
was not aware of the illustrious rank of his
passenger, but supposed him to be General
Carnot. The Mayor of New York, under the
same impression, called upon him as General
Carnot, to congratulate him upon his safe pas-

There were at the time two English frigates
cruising before the harbor of New York, to
search all vessels coming from Europe. One
of these frigates bore down upon the Commerce,
but the wind, and the skill of the American
pilot, saved the ship from a visit. If the Eng-
lish had succeeded in seizing the person of Jo-
seph, they would have taken him back to Eng-
land, and thence to Russia, where the Allies
had decided to hold him in captivity.

It was not known in America until Jo
seph's arrival that Napoleon had confided him-
self to the English. The illustrious exile,
much broken in health by care and sorrow,
assumed the title of the Count of Survilliers,

1815.] LIFE IN EXILE. 825

Selects Point Breeze. Calumnies of the Allies.

the name of an estate which he held in France,
and sought the retreat of a quiet, private life,
as a refuge from the storms by which he had
so long been tossed.

After having travelled through many of the
States of the Union, and having visited most of
the principal cities, he purchased in New Jer-
sey, upon the banks of the Delaware, a very
beautiful property, called Point Breeze. Here
he lived the sad life of an exile, reflecting upon
the ruin and dispersion of his family, and ex-
posed to every species of contumely from the
European press, then controlled by the triumph-
ant dynasties of the old feudal oppression. It
was for the interest of all these regal courts to
convince the world that the Bonapartes were the
enemies, not the friends of humanity ; that they
were struggling, not for the rights of mankind,
but to impose upon the world hitherto un-
heard-of despotism; and that in principles
and practice they were the most godless and
dissolute of men. In this they succeeded for a
time, and there are thousands who still adhere
to the senseless calumny. Terrible indeed is
the condition of a family when it is for the
vital interests of all the crowns of Europe
to consecrate their influence, and lavish their


Noble Character of Joseph Bonaparte.

money to blacken the character of all its

But the noble character of Joseph Bona-
parte could not be concealed. His record had
been written in ineffaceable lines. His illus-
trious name, purity of morals, large fortune,
simple and cordial manners, and his wide-
reaching liberality, endeared him greatly to
his neighbors and multiplied his friends. His
wife was in such extremely delicate health
that it was not deemed safe for her to under-
take a voyage across the ocean. But his two
daughters, the Princess Zena'ide and Charlotte,
and subsequently his son-in-law, Charles Bona-
parte, elder brother of the present Emperor,
Napoleon III., shared with him his exile.

The entire overthrow of the popular gov-
ernments which had been established by the
aid of Napoleon, and the relentless spirit
manifested by the conquerors, filled all lands
with exiles. Many of the most distinguished
men of Europe sought a refuge with Joseph,
where they were received with the most gen-
erous hospitality. When the tidings reached
Point Breeze of the destitution in which Na-
poleon was living in the dilapidated hut at St.
Helena, Joseph immediately placed his whole

1821.] LIFE IN EXILE. 327

Death of the Emperor. Letter of General Bertrand.

fortune at the disposal of his brother. It was,
however, too late, and the Emperor profited but
little from this generous offer. A few years
passed wearily away, when in May, 1821, Na-
poleon, through destitution, insults, and an-
guish, sank sadly into his grave. General Ber-
trand, who had so magnanimously accompanied
the captive in his imprisonment at Saint Hele-
na, and had shared in all his sufferings, commu-
nicated the tidings of the death of the Ernper-
or to Joseph in the following touching letter.
General Bertrand had returned from Saint
Helena, and his letter was dated London, Sep-
tember 10, 1821 :

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