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President, Joseph Bonaparte announced the
event to the Convention in an appropriate eu-
logy. The two brothers had but just returned
to Ajaccio when the grand-uncle of the Bona-
parte children died. He had been a firm friend
of the family, and was greatly revered by them
all A few moments before his death he as-
sembled them around his dying bed, and took
an affectionate leave of each one. Joseph was

1 Quelques Mot sur Joseph Napoleon Bonaparte ; Oeuvrai
de Napoleon III., tome ii. p. 452.



1792.] SCENES IN EARLY LIFE. 31

French Revolution. Anecdote.

now a member of the Directory of the depart-
ment. We have the testimony of Joseph that
the dying uncle said to his sobbing niece,

" Letitia, do not weep. I arn willing to die
since I see you surrounded by your children.
My life is no longer necessary to protect the
family of Charles. Joseph is at the head of
the administration of the country ; he can
therefore take care of the interests of the fam-
ily. You, Napoleon, you will be a great man."

The French Revolution was now in full ca-
reer. Napoleon returned to Paris, and witness-
ed the awful scenes of the 10th of August,
1792, when the palace of the Tuileries was
stormed, the royal family outraged, and the
guard massacred. He wrote to Joseph,

" If the king had shown himself on horse
back at the head of his troops, he would have
gained the victory ; at least so it appeared to
me, from the spirit which that morning seemed
to animate the groups of the people.

" After the victory of the Marseillaise, I saw
one of them upon the point of killing one of
the body-guard ; ' Man of the South,' said I,
* let us save the poor fellow.' ' Are you from
the South ?' said he. < Yes,' I replied. * Very
well, 1 he rejoined, ' let him be saved then.' w



32 JOSEPH BONAPARTE. [1792.

The Emigrants. The Republicans.

The French monarchy was destroyed.
France, delivered from the despotism of kings,
was surrendered to the still greater despotism of
irreligion and ignorance. Faction succeeded
faction in ephemeral governments, and anar-
chy and terror rioted throughout the kingdom.
Thousands of the nobles fled from France and
joined the armies of the surrounding monar-
chies, which were on the march to replace the
Bourbons on the throne. The true patriots of
the nation, anxious for the overthrow of the in-
tolerable despotism under which France had so
long groaned, were struggling against the coa-
lition of despots from abroad, while at the
same time they were perilling their lives in the
endeavor to resist the blind madness of the mob
at home. With these two foes, equally formi-
dable, pressing them from opposite quarters,
they were making gigantic endeavors to estab-
lish republican institutions upon the basis of
those then in successful operation in the Unit-
ed States. Joseph and his brother Napoleon
with all zeal joined the Republican party. They
were irreconcilably hostile to despotism on the
one hand, and to Jacobinical anarchy upon the
other. In devotion to the principles of repub-
lican liberty, they sacrificed their fortunes, and



1793.] SCENES IN EARLY LIFE. 33

Paoli. HU Appreciation of Napoleon.

placed their lives in imminent jeopardy. Anx-
ious as they both were to see the bulwarks of
the old feudal aristocracy battered down, they
were still more hostile to the domination of the
mob.

" 1 frankly declare," said Napoleon, " that if
I were compelled to choose between the old
monarchy and Jacobin misrule, I should infi-
nitely prefer the former."

General Paoli had been appoined by Louis
XVI. lieutenant-general of Corsica. This il-
lustrious man, disgusted with the lawless vio-
olence which was now dominant in Paris, and
despairing of any salutary reform from the
revolutionary influences which were running
riot, through an error in judgment, which he
afterward bitterly deplored, joined the coalition
of foreign powers who, with fleets and armies,
were approaching France to replace, by the
bayonet, the rejected Bourbons upon the throne.
Both Joseph and Napoleon were exceedingly
attached to General Paoli. He was a family
friend, and his lofty character had won their rev-
erence. Paoli discerned the dawning greatness
of Napoleon even in these early years, and on
one occasion said to him,

"0 Napo'eonI you do not at all resemble



34 JOSEPH BONAPARTE. [1793.

Corskan Peasantry. Flight of the Bonapartea.

the moderns. You belong only to the heroes
of Plutarch."

Paoli made every effort to induce the young
Bonapartes to join his standard ; but they, be-
lieving that popular rights would yet come out
triumphant, resolutely refused. The peasantry
of Corsica, unenlightened, and confiding in Gen-
eral Paoli, to whom they were enthusiastically
attached, eagerly rallied around his banner.
England was the soul of the coalition now form-
ed against popular rights in France. Paoli, in
loyalty to the Bourbons, and in treason to the
French people, surrendered the island of Cor-
sica to the British fleet.

The Bonaparte family, in wealth, rank, and
influence, was one of the most prominent upon
the island. An exasperated mob surrounded
their dwelling, and the family narrowly escaped
with their lives. The house and furniture were
almost entirely destroyed. At midnight Ma-
dame Bonaparte, with Joseph, Napoleon, and all
the other children who were then upon the isl-
and, secretly entered a boat in a retired cove,
and were rowed out to a small vessel which was
anchored at a short distance from the shore.
The sails were spread, and the exiled family,
in friendlessness, poverty, and dejection, were



1793.] SCENES IN EARLY LIFE. 86



Their Arrival in France.



landed upon the shores of France. Little did
they then dream that their renown was soon to
fill the world ; and that each one of those chil-
dren was to rise to grandeur, and experience re-
verses which will never cease to excite the sym
pathies of mankind.



36 JOSEPH BONAPARTE. [1793,

The Allies. The National Assembly.



CHAPTER II.
DIPLOMATIC LABORS.

IT was the year 1793. On the 21st of Janu-
ary the unfortunate and guilty Louis XVI.
had been led to the guillotine. The Royalists
had surrendered Toulon to the British fleet. A
Republican army was sent to regain the impor-
tant port. Joseph Bonaparte was commissioned
on the staff of the major-general in command,
and was slightly wounded in the attack upon
Cape Brun. All France was in a state of terri-
ble excitement. Allied Europe was on the
march to crush the revolution. The armies of
Austria, gathered in Italy, were threatening to
cross the Alps. The nobles in France, and all
who were in favor of aristocratic domination,
were watching for an opportunity to join the
Allies, overwhelm the revolutionists, and re-
place the Bourbon family on the throne.

The National Assembly, which had assumed
the supreme command upon the dethronement
of the king, was now giving place to another
assembly gathered in Paris, called the NationaJ



1794.] DIPLOMATIC LABORS. 37

Commission of Napoleon. Marriage of Joseph.

Convention. Napoleon was commissioned to
Dbtain artillery and supplies for the troops com-
posing the Army of Italy, who, few in numbers,
quite undisciplined and feeble in the materials
of war, were guarding the defiles of the Alps,
to protect France from the threatened Austrian
invasion in that quarter. He was soon after
named general of brigade in the artillery, and
was sent to aid the besieging army at Toulon.
Madame Bonaparte and the younger children
were at Marseilles, where Joseph and Napoleon,
the natural guardians of the family, could more
frequently visit them. On the last day of No-
vember of this year the British fleet was driven
from the harbor of Toulon, and the city recap-
tured, as was universally admitted, by the gen-
ius of Napoleon.

In the year 1794 Joseph married Julie Cla-
ry, daughter of one of the wealthiest capitalists
of Marseilles. Her sister Eugenie, to whom Na-
poleon was at that time much attached, after-
ward married Bernadotte, subsequently King
of Sweden. Of Julie Clary the Duchess of
Abrantes says:

" Madame Joseph Bonaparte is an angel of
goodness. Prononnce her name, and all the in*
digent, all the unfortunate in Paris, Naples, and



38 JOSEPH BONAPARTE. [1795.

Madame Bonaparte. Letter from Napoleon.

Madrid, will repeat it with blessings. Never
did she hesitate a moment to set about what
she conceived to be her duty. Accordingly
she is adored by all about her, and especially
by her own household. Her unalterable kind-
ness, her active charity, gain her the love of
every body."

The brothers kept up a very constant cor-
respondence. These letters have been pub-
lished unaltered. They attest the exalted and
affectionate character of both the young men.
Napoleon writes to Joseph on the 25th of June,
1795:

"In whatever circumstances fortune may
place you, you w.ell know, my dear friend, that
you can never have a better friend, one to
whom you will be more dear, and who desires
more sincerely your happiness. Life is but
a transient dream, which is soon dissipated.
If you go away, to be absent any length of
time, send me your portrait. We have lived
so much together, so closely united, that our
hearts are blended. I feel, in tracing these
lines, emotions which I have seldom experi
enced ; I feel that it will be a long time before
we shall meet again, and I can not continue
ny letter."



1795.] DIPLOMATIC LABORS. 39

Letter from Napoleon. Louis Bonaparte.

Again Napoleon writes on the 12th of Au-
gust : " As for me, but little attached to life, I
contemplate it without much anxiety, finding
myself constantly in the mood of mind in which
one finds himself on the eve of battle, convinced
that when death comes in the mids^ to termi-
nate all things, it is folly to indulge in solici-
tude."

In these letters we see gradually developed
the supremacy of the mind of Napoleon, and
that soon, almost instinctively, he is recognized
as the head of the family. On the 6th of Sep-
tember he writes from Paris :

"I am very well pleased with Louis. 1 He
responds to my hopes, and to the expectations
which I had formed for him. He is a fine fel-
low; ardor, vivacity, health, talent, exactness
in business, kindness, he unites every thing.
You know, my friend, that I live for the bene-
fits which I can confer upon my family. If
my hopes are favored by that good-fortune
which has never abandoned my enterprises, I
shall be able to render you happy, and to ful-
fill your desires. I feel keenly the absence of
Louis. He was of great service to me. Nev-
er was a man more active, more skillful, more

* Napoleon's younger brother, father of Napoleon III.



40 JOSEPH BONAPARTE. [1795.

Louis Napoleon. Anecdote,

winning. He could do at Paris whatever he
wished."

None of the members of the Bonaparte
family were ever ashamed to remind them-
selves of the days of their comparative pover-
ty and obscurity. "One day," writes Louis
Napoleon, now Napoleon III., "Joseph related
that his brother Louis, for whom he had felt,
from his infancy, all the cares and tenderness
of a father, was about to leave Marseilles to go
to school in Paris. Joseph accompanied him
to the diligence. Just before the diligence
started he perceived that it was quite cold, and
that Louis had no overcoat. Not having then
the means to purchase him one, and not wish-
ing to expose his brother to the severity of the
weather, he took off his own cloak and wrapped
it around Louis. This action, which they mu-
tually recalled when they were kings, had al-
ways remained engraved in the hearts of them
both, as a tender souvenir of their constant in-
timacy." 1

On the 6th of March, 1796, Napoleon was
married to Josephine Beauharnais. "Thus van-
ished," writes Joseph Bonaparte, " the hope
which my wife and I had cherished, for sev

1 Oeuvres de Napoleon III., tome detixifeme, p. 4fil.



1796.] DIPLOMATIC LABORS. 43

Marriage of Napoleon. CarnoU

eral years, of seeing her younger sister Eugenie
united in marriage with my brother Napoleon.
Time and separation disposed of the event oth-
erwise."

A few days after Napoleon's marriage he
took command of the Army of Italy, and has-
tened across the Alps to the scene of conflict.
After the victory of Mondovi, Napoleon, cher-
ishing the hope of detaching the Italians from
the Austrians, sent Joseph to Paris to urge
upon the Directory the importance of making
peace with the Court of Turin. General Junot
accompanied Joseph, to present to the Directo-
ry the flags captured from the enemy. The as-
tonishing victories which Napoleon had gained
excited boundless enthusiasm in Paris. Car-
not, one of the Directors, gave a brilliant en-
tertainment in honor of the two ambassadors,
Joseph and Junot. During the dinner he
opened his waistcoat and showed the portrait
of Napoleon, which was suspended near his
heart. Turning to Joseph, he said,

" Say to your brother that I wear his minia
ture there, because I foresee that he will be the
saviour of France. To accomplish this, it is
necessary that he should know that there is no
one in the Directory who is not his admirer
and his friend."



4A JOSEPH BONAPARTE. [1796.

Joseph an Ambassador. Reconquest of Corsica.

The measures which Napoleon had suggest-
ed were most cordially approved by all the
members of the Government One of the most
important members of the Cabinet proposed
that Joseph Bonaparte should immediately,
upon the ratification of peace, be appointed
ambassador of the French Kepublic to the
Court of Turin. Joseph, with characteristic
modesty, replied, that though he was desirous
of entering upon a diplomatic career, he did not
feel qualified to assume at once so important
a post. He was however prevailed upon to
enter upon the office.

From this mission, so successfully accom-
plished, Joseph returned to his brother, and
joined him at his head - quarters in Milan.
Napoleon pressed forward in his triumphant
career, drove the Austrians out of Italy, and
soon effected peace with Naples and with
Rome.

Having accomplished these results, Napole-
on immediately fitted out an expedition for the
reconquest of Corsica, his native island, which
the British fleet still held. The expedition
was placed under the command of Genera/
Gentili. The troops sailed from Leghorn, and
disembarked at Bastia. Joseph accompanied



1796.] DIPLOMATIC LABORS. 45

Reception In Corsica, Return to the Continent.

them. Immediately upon landing, the Corsi-
cans generally rose and joined their deliverers,
and the English retired in haste from the isl-
and. Joseph gives the following account of
his return to his parental home :

" I was received by the great majority of
the population at the distance of a league from
Ajaccio. I took up my residence in the man-
sion of Ornano, where I resided for several
weeks, until our parental homestead, which
had been devastated, was sufficiently repaired
to be occupied. I could not detect the slight-
est trace of any unfriendly feelings toward our
family. All the inhabitants, without any ex-
ception, hastened to greet me. In my turn, I
reorganized the government without consult-
ing any other voice than the public good. A
commissioner from the Directory soon arrived,
and he sanctioned, without any exception, all
the measures which I had adopted.

"Having thus fulfilled, according to my
best judgment, the mission which fraternal
kindness had intrusted to me, and leaving our
native island tranquil and happy in finding it-
self again restored to the laws of France, I pre-
pared to return to the Continent, having made
a sojourn in Corsica of three months."



46 JOSEPH BONAPARTE. [1797.

Joseph at Parma. The Duke and Duchess

On the 27th of March, 1797, Joseph was
appointed ambassador to the Court of Parma.
He presented to the duke credentials from the
Directory of the French Republic, containing
the following sentiments :

"The desire which we have to maintain
and to cherish the friendship and the kind re-
lations happily established between the French
Republic and the Duchy of Parma, has induced
us to appoint Citizen Bonaparte to reside at the
Court of your Royal Highness in quality of
ambassador. The knowledge which we have
of his principles and his sentiments is to us a
sure guarantee that the choice which we have
made of his person to fulfill that honorable
mission will be agreeable to you, and we are
well persuaded that he will do every thing in
his power to justify the confidence we have
placed in him. It is in that persuasion that we
pray your Royal Highness to repose entire
faith in every thing which he may say in our
behalf, and particularly whenever he may re
new the assurance of the friendship with which
re cherish your Royal Highness."

The Duke of Parma had married an Aus-
trian duchess, sister of Maria Antoinette. She
was an energetic woman, and in conjunction



1797.] DIPLOMATIC LABORS. 47

Anecdote. Eliza Bonaparte.

with the ecclesiastics, who crowded the palace,
had great control over her husband. But the
spirit of the French Revolution already per-
vaded man}' minds in Parma. Not a few were
restive under the ojd feudal domination of the
duke and the arrogance of the Church. One
day Joseph was walking through the gardens
of the ducal palace with several of the digni-
taries of the Court. He spoke with admiration
of the architectural grandeur and symmetry of
the regal mansion.

"That is true," one replied, "but turn your
eyes to the neighboring convent ; how far does
it surpass in magnificence the palace of the
sovereign! Unhappy is that country where
things are so."

After the peace of Leoben Napoleon return-
ed to Milan and established himself, for several
months, at the chateau of Montebello. Joseph
soon joined his brother there. In the mean
time their eldest sister, Eliza, had been mar-
ried to M. Bacciochi, a young officer of great
distinction. He was afterward created a prince
by Napoleon. He was a man of elegant man-
ners, and had attained no little distinction in
literary and artistic accomplishments.

44 We have often been amused," say the ao



4:8 JOSEPH BONAPARTE. [1797.

" Napoleon Dynasty." Pauline Bonaparte.

thors of the " Napoleon Dynasty," " to see Brit-
ish writers, some of whom doubtless never
passed beyond the Channel, speak deprecia-
tingly of the manners and refinement of these
new-made princes and nobles of Napoleon's
Empire. Those who are familiar with the ele-
gant manners of the refined Italians read such
slurs with a smile. Whatever may be the
crimes of the Italians, they have never been
accused, by those who know them, of coarse-
ness of manner, or lack of refinement of mind
and taste. Eliza is said to have possessed
more of her brother's genius than any other
one of the sisters. Chateaubriand, La Harpe,
Fontanes, and many other of the most illustri-
ous men of France sought her society, and have
expressed their admiration of her talents."

At Montebello the second sister, Pauline,
was married to General Leclerc. Pauline was
pronounced by Canova to be the most peerless
model of grace and beauty in all Europe. The
same envenomed pen of slander which has
dared to calumniate even the immaculate Jo*
sephine has also been busy in traducing the
character of Pauline. We here again quote
from the " Napoleon Dynasty," by the Berke-
ley men :



1797.] DIPLOMATIC LABORS. 49

Undeserved Reproach. Tha Slandered defended.

" No satisfactory evidence has ever been
adduced, in any quarter, that Pauline was not
a virtuous woman. Those who were mainly
instrumental in originating and circulating
these slanders at the time about her, were the
very persons who had endeavored to load the
name of Josephine with obloquy. Those who
saw her could not withhold their admiration.
But the blood of Madame Mere was in her
veins, and the Bonapartes, especially the wom-
en of the family, have always been too proud
and haughty to degrade themselves. Even
had they lacked what is technically called
moral character, their virtue has been intrench-
ed behind their ancestry, and the achievements
of their own family; nor was there at any time
an instant when any one of the Bonapartes
could have overstepped, by a hair's breadth,
the bounds of decency without being exposed.
None of them pursued the noiseless tenor of
their way along the vale of obscurity. They
were walking in the clear sunshine, on the
topmost summits of the earth, and millions of
enemies were watching every step they took.

" The highest genius of historians, the bitter-
est satire of dramatists, the meanest and most
malignant pens of the journalists have assailed
64



50 JOSEPH BONAPARTE. [1797

Joseph at Rome. The Allies.

them for more than half a century. We have
written these words because a Eepublican is
the only one likely to speak well even of the
good things of the Bonaparte family. It was,
and is, and will be, the dynasty of the people
standing there from 1804 a fearful antagonism
against the feudal age, and its souvenirs of
oppression and crime."

On the 7th of May, 1797, Joseph was pro-
moted to the post of minister from the French
Kepublic to the Court at Rome. He received
instructions from his Government to make
every effort to maintain friendly relations with
that spiritual power, which exerted so vast an
influence over the masses of Europe. Pope
Pius VI. gave him a very cordial reception,
and seemed well disposed to employ all his
means of persuasion and authority to induce
the Vendeans in France to accept the French
Republic. The Vendeans, enthusiastic Cath-
olics, and devoted to the Bourbons, were still,
with amazing energy, perpetuating civil war
in France. The Allies, ready to make use of
any instrumentality whatever to crush repub-
licanism, were doing every thing in their pow-
er to encourage the Vendeans in their rebellion,
The Austrian ambassador at the Papal Court



1797.] DIPLOMATIC LABORS. 51

The Pope. General Provera.

was unwearied in his endeavors to circumvent
the peaceful mission of Joseph.

Though the Pope himself and his Secretary
of State were inclined to amicable relations
with the French Government, his Cabinet, the
Sacred College, composed exclusively of eccle-
siastics, was intent upon the restoration of the
Bourbons, by which restoration alone the Cath-
olic religion could be reinstated with exclusive
power in France.

By the intrigues of Austria, General Pro-
vera, an Austrian officer, was placed in com-
mand of all the Papal forces. Joseph imme-
diately communicated this fact to the Directo-
ry in Paris, and also to his brother. This Aus-
trian officer had been fighting against the
French in Italy, and had three times been tak-
en prisoner by the French troops.

Napoleon, who had lost all confidence in the
French Directory, and who, by virtue of his
victories, had assumed the control of Italian
diplomacy, immediately wrote as follows to Jo-
seph :

"Milan, Dec. 14,1797.

" I shared your indignation, citizen ambas-
sador, when you informed me of the arrival of
General Provera. You may declare positively



52 JOSEPH BONAPARTE. [1797.

Letter from Napoleon. Republicans in Rom*

to the Court of Rome that if it receive into
its service any officer known to have been in
the service of the Emperor of Austria, all good
understanding between France and Rome will
cease from that hour, and war will be already
declared.

" You will let it be known, by a special note
to the Pope, which you will address to him in
person, that although peace may be made with
his majesty the Emperor, the French Republic
will not consent that the Pope should accept
among his troops any officer or agent belong-
ing to the Emperor of any denomination, ex-
cept the usual diplomatic agents. You will re-
quire the departure of M. Provera from the
Roman territory within twenty-four hours, in
default whereof you will declare that you quit
Rome."

The spirit of the French Revolution at this
time pervaded to a greater or less degree all
the kingdoms of Europe. In Rome there was
a very active party of Republicans anxious for
a change of government. Napoleon did not
wish to encourage this party in an insurrection.
By so doing, he would exasperate still more
the monarchs of Europe, who were already



1797.] DIPLOMATIC LABORS. 53

Policy of Joseph. Intrigues of the Allies.

combined in deadly hostility against republic-
an France ; neither did he think the Repub
lican party in Rome sufficiently strong to main-
tain their cause, or the people sufficiently en-


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