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General Buonaparte.
Photo-Etching. — After Paintin \ppi.ini.

NAl'i 'I E( IN, VOLI Ml: XI.





Vol. I.




Limited to Five Hit ml red Copies.

No 474...



V !



NaPOI BON . . . .

Mahamk J knot . .


Jerome Bonaparte
Lucien Bonaparte .
Cavi un< ourt . .

Sir Sydney Smith .












As the Commentaries of Caesar, the military Memoirs
of Marshal Villars, the Reveries of Marshal Saxe, etc.,
relate solely to military affairs — sieges, battles, etc. —
so, I think, should contemporary memoirs render a faith-
ful account of those incidents which are passing imme-
diately around the author at the period of which he is
treating, for the benefit of those who come after him.
Every object should take its proper form and colouring,
and that colouring should arouse in the mind of the
reader a vivid impression of the event and its attendant
circumstances ; not the ball only should be described, but
the ball-dress.

To be exact in such matters is a duty, for if the author
be not expected to paint like Tacitus the vices of govern-
ments, corrupt, despotic, or declining, his pencil should
trace the general outline of all that he has seen. In this
picture the daily scenes of the drawing-room should

; ecially have their place ; to speak of them is to
portray them. To dress the personages in the coat or
the gown they wore on the occasion under review, if one
be fortunate enough to remember it, is to lay on those


fresh and lively colours which give to the whole the
charm of reality.

This appears to me to be the grand attraction of the
Memoirs of Madame de Motteville, of Mademoiselle !
They are almost always badly written, frequently guilty
of the grossest faults of style, yet what truth in their
descriptions ! We become acquainted with the indi-
viduals we read of ; and when Madame de Motteville
speaks of the cambric sheets of Queen Anne, and the
violet robe embroidered with pearls which she wore on
the day when she sat in Council for the registering the
edicts of toleration ; and when Mademoiselle describes
the form of her own shoes on the day when, according
to the expression of M. de Luxembourg, she established
the fortune of a cadet of good family, I imagine myself
in the Parliament of 1649 with the Queen, M. de Beau-
fort, M. the Coadjutor, and all the great men of the
Fronde, or I fancy myself in the orangery of Versailles
with Mademoiselle, in her white satin robe trimmed with
carnation ribands and tassels of rubies.

The writer of memoirs must give life to the scenes he
represents, and that excess of detail which would destroy
any other work can alone produce the desired effect in
this. Therefore it is that I have given a catalogue of my
coroeille and trousseau. We should rejoice in these days
to find in Philip de Comines a description of a corbeille
of the time of Louis XL or Philip the Good ; happily,
he gives us better things.



Evf.ryp.ody nowadays publishes Memoirs; everyone
has recollections which they think worthy of recording.
Following the example of many others, I might long ago
have taken a retrospective view of the past ; I might have
revealed a number of curious and unknown facts respect-
ing a period which has riveted the interest of the world ;
but the truth is, I was not, until recently, infected with
the mania which is so universal of memoir writing, yet
I felt a certain degree of vexation whenever I observed
an announcement of new memoirs.

I commenced my life at a period fertile in remarkable
events, and I lived in habits of daily intimacy with the
actors of the great political drama which has engrossed
the attention of Europe for thirty-five years.

I have witnessed, or have taken part in, many of the
exciting scenes which occurred during an epoch of wonder
and horror; and though I was at the time very young,
every incident remains indelibly engraven on my memory.
The importance of events on which the fate of a great
nation depended conld not fail to influence the bent of
my mind. This influence, I imagine, must have been
felt by all women who have been my contemporaries.


With regard to myself, at least, I can confidently affirm
that I retain no recollection of the joys of early childhood
— of the light-heartedness which at that period of life
annihilates sorrow, and leaves behind an imperishable

No sooner did my understanding begin to develop itself
than I was required to employ it in guarding all my
words and gestures ; for at the period to which I allude,
the veriest trifle might become the subject of serious in-
vestigation. Even the sports and games of childhood
were vigorously watched, and I shall never forget that
a domiciliary visit was made to our house at Toulouse,
and my father was on the point of being arrested because,
while playing at the game called La Tour, prends garde !
I said to a little boy of five years old, " You shall be
Monsieur le Dauphin." Continual danger imposed on
every individual the obligation of not only guarding his
own conduct, but observing that of others. Nothing,
however trifling, was a matter of indifference to the
heads of families and those who surrounded them ; and
the child of ten years old became an observer.

It was in the midst of these anxieties that my first
years were passed : later on our lives resumed their
normal course, and a mother of a family ceased to
tremble for the fate of a father and a husband. At the
period to which I refer, the misfortunes of France were
at their height. The impressions which I then imbibed
are perhaps the strongest I ever experienced.

The private interests of my family became linked with
public events. Between my mother and the Bonaparte
family the closest friendship subsisted. He who after-
wards became the master of the world lived long on


a footing of intimacy with us. He used to frequent my
father's house when I was yet a child, and lie scarcely
a young man. I may almost say that I have witnessed
i-v.'ry scene of his life ; for being married to one of those
men who were devotedly attached to him, and constantly
with him, what I did not myself see I was accurately
informed of. I may, therefore, fearlessly affirm that
of all the individuals who have written about Napoleon,
few are so competent as myself to give a detailed account
of him. My mother, who was the friend of Lietitia Bona-
parte, knew him from his earliest youth. She rocked
him in his cradle, and, when he quitted Brienne and
came to Paris, she guided and protected his younger

Not only Napoleon, but his brothers and sisters formed
part of our family. I shall presently speak of the friend-
ship which arose between myself and Napoleon's sisters,
a friendship which one of them has entirely forgotten.
When my mother quitted Corsica to follow my father to
France, the friendly relations which subsisted between
her and the Bonaparte family suffered no change by ab-
sence or distance. The conduct of my parents towards
Bonaparte, the father, when he came to Montpellier w r ith
his son and his brother-in-law, to die far from his coun-
try and all that was dear to him, should never be forgot-
ten by either of the two families. It should be remem-
bered by the one with gratitude, and by the other with
that feeling of satisfaction which the performance of a
! action creates.

The otheT members of the Bonaparte family were also
favourites of my mother. Lucien found in her more than
a common friend. When he formed that strange union


with Mademoiselle Boyer my mother received his wife
as her own daughter. Of our intimacy with Madame
Joseph Bonaparte and Madame Leclerc the details into
which I shall enter in the course of these volumes will
afford an accurate idea. My husband's connection with
Bonaparte commenced with the siege of Toulon, and from
that time they continued united until Junot's death.
Thus, I may say that, without having been always near
Bonaparte, I possessed the most authentic means of being
accurately informed of every action, private or public.

It will be understood by what I have here stated that
while I profess to be the only person who perfectly well
knew every particularity of Napoleon, it is not mere pre-
sumption that prompts me to say so ; the details which
will be found in the following pages I derive from other
sources than those which usually feed biographical

In preparing these Memoirs how many past recollec-
tions have revived ! how many dormant griefs have awak-
ened ! In spite of the general fidelity of my memory,
I occasionally met with dates and facts the remembrance
of which, though not effaced, had faded by the course of
time. They were speedily restored ; but I must confess
that my task has been a laborious and painful one ; and
nothing could have urged me forward to its execution
but the conviction that it must be done. It may, perhaps,
be alleged that I could have answered in a pamphlet of
fifty pages all that has been said in the attacks directed
from hostile quarters against my husband and myself :
I at first thought of doing so, but I found this imprac-
ticable. In taking up the pen my object was to make a
complete, not a summary, refutation of the untruths that


have been advanced. This could not be done in a few
lines. It is not my intention to criminate anyone; I

shall merely .state facts, and all shall be supported by
written evidence. The autograph documents which I
have deposited in the hands of my publisher will be open
to those who may wish to examine them.

Among tin- attacks aimed at the Due d'Abrantes. there
is one of a very absurd nature. The assailant's memory
betrayed him, and by a fortunate chance a letter in his
own handwriting falsifies what he has said in his book :
there is, perhaps, nothing more venomous than the sting
of ridicul

With regard to what concerns me and my family in
the Memorial de Sainte Hilene, I conceive myself in duty
bound to reply to it. I have always viewed as the height
of absurdity that pride which is founded on an origin
more or less illustrious. But if that pride be ridiculous,
the usurpation of a great name, a false pretension to
n«>hle descent, is the extreme of baseness. Such being
my opinion, it will readily be conceived that I am not in-
clined to pass over in silence that chapter in the Manorial
' Wilene which treats of the family of my mother.
My grandfather and my uncles, far from setting up false
claim- t<> family greatness, wished, on the contrary, to
extinguish a noble name, which, when stripped of the
Bplendonr with which it ought to be surrounded, becomes
to its p ors a source of annoyance and humiliation.

Snch was the intention of my grandfather, the last privi-
I I chief of the Greek colony in Italy, a shadow of
aty and a toy with which he wished to have no
m ire concern.

II had but one daughter, my mother, and he made her


promise never to reassume her family name, a vow which
I am sure my mother would have religiously kept to this
day had she lived. My grandfather died a young man.
He was Captain of cavalry in the French service (in the
regiment de Valliere), a noble Corsican, and not a farmer,
as the Memorial ale Sainte Helene asserts. As to obtain-
ing an acknowledgment of the dignity of the Comnena
family, he entertained no such idea. My grandfather
died in 1768, and the family was acknowledged in 1782 ;
the letters patent are dated 1783 and 1784.

I consider the publication of these Memoirs to be a
duty to my family, and, above all, to the memory of my
husband. Often during political storms a veil is thrown
over some part of an illustrious life : the arm of Junot,
which for twenty-two years defended his country, is now
in the grave, and cannot now remove the veil with which
jealousy and envy would envelop his fame. It remains,
therefore, for me, the mother of his children, to fulfil
that sacred duty, and to furnish the materials which can
permit him to be fairly judged.

Laure Junot.


This new edition of a work which has been scarce for
some years lias been carefully revised, and is now
presented to the public in a form which, it is hoped,
will meet with favour.

The interest of the recollections of Madame Junot is
undoubted Her patriotic feelings may sometimes betray
her into exaggeration and even occasional inaccuracy, and
her satirical vein may lead her at times into misrepresent-
ation, but in the main her Memoirs are a valuable con-
tribution to the history of the inner life of the Court of
Napoleon ; while the unaffected naturalness of her
descriptions, and her very minute details, render her
narrative as charming and as interesting as the liveliest

The Napoleonic period will ever remain one of trans-
cendent interest. The upheaval of society caused by the
French Revolution ; the rise of Napoleon, his marvellous
successes, the mariner in which all Europe became im-
plicated in the great Btruggle he made for empire over it,
the N at Moscow and in Spain, and the fall at

Waterloo, arc so many scenes in a drama which interested
and still i ' - the whole world.

Loroos, Beptembec 1, 1893.


Preface v

Introduction vii

Sote xiii


(Pages 1-10.)

Place and Date of my Birth. Calomeros and Bonaparte. My Father's
Departure for America. Intimacy between my Mother and Madame
Latitia. Bonaparte's Boyhood. The Basket of Grapes and the
Flogging. Saveria and the Bonaparte Family. My Father's Return.
My Birth and my Mother's Illness.


(Pages 11-17.)

My .Mother's Drawing-room. The Comtesse de Perigord. The
Duchesse de Mailly and the Prince de Chalais. Louis XV. and the
Comtesse de Perigord The Duchesse de Mailly and the Princesse de
Lainballe. Bonaparte's First Arrival in Paris. His Intention of present-
ing a Memorial to the Minister of War. His Character when a Young


(Pages 18-25.)

Death of Bonaparte's Father In my Mother's House. Joseph Bona-

parte and If. Fetch Removal of my Family to Paris. M. do Saint

•. M. Siguier, and M. Dnridal de Montferrier. Madame de Lamar-

Here. A Wedding-feaaJ ai Robeapierre's. The^in'cn at tin- ( onciergerie

and Madame Richard. MM. d'Ai^refeuille and CainhactTi-s.



(Pages 26-33.)

Marianne Bonaparte at Saint Cyr. Humbled Pride. Bonaparte made
Sub-lieutenant. His First Appearance in Uniform. His Singular
Present to my Sister. Scene at Malmaison. The Comtesse d' Escar-
bagnas and the Marquis de Carabas.


(Pages 34-40.)

The Parliament of 1787. Disturbances at Rennes. M. de Nouain-
ville. M. Necker. Project of M. de Lomenie. His Dismissal from the
Ministry. Burning of the Effigy. Riots in Paris. Louis XVI., the
Queen, and the Royal Family.


(Pages 41-51.)

Opening of the States-General. Conversation between Bonaparte and
Comte Louis de Narbonne. Baron de Breteuil. The Queen and M. de
Vergennes. Mirabeau. Advances made by the Court. A Bribe refused.
The Queen's Anger. Mirabeau solicits an Interview with the Queen.

(Pages 52-57.)

Louis XVI. at the Hotel de Ville on the 14th of July. Revolutionary
Scenes. Departure of my Father and Brother for England. My

Father's Return. His Duel with M. de Som le. Domiciliary

Visit to my Father's House. Napoleon's Remarks upon it. The 10th of
August. We save Two of our Friends. M. de Condorcet. My Father
denounced. Departure of my Father and Mother from Paris. My
Sister and I placed at a Boarding-school.

(Pages 58-63.)

Murder of Madame de Lamballe. Our Removal to Toulouse. My
Father summoned before the Section. My Mother's Letter to Salicetti.


He makes my Brother his Secretary. Death of the King and Madame
Elizabeth. My Father's Illness. Friendly Warning of Couder. Our
Journey to the Waters of Cauterets. Death of Robespierre.


(Pages 64-71.)

Arrest of Bonaparte. His Conduct in Corsica. Jacobin Club. Bona-
parte disguised as a Sailor. Bonaparte, Junot, and Robespierre the
Younger. Friendship between Bonaparte and Junot. Rivalry of
Bonaparte and Salicetti. Examination of Bonaparte's Papers. Eras-
ure of his Name from the List of Generals.


(Pages 72-79.)

If. Brunetiere. Curious Mode of Correspondence. My Mother's
Visit 10 Paris. The Hotel de la Tranquillity. Bonaparte's Visit to us.
Paris after the 9th Thermidor. Bonaparte and the Muscadins. Scarcity
of Bread. The Sections declaiming against the Convention. Politics
banished from Conversation. Salicetti's Boots.


(Pages 80-88.)

New Troubles in Paris. Bonaparte's Poverty. His Servant and my
Mother's Femme-de-Chambre. The Jardin des Plantes. Mutual
Confidence. Junot in Love with Paulette Bonaparte. Napoleon's
Characteristic Reply. Revolutionary Scenes.


(Pages 89-101.)

The 20th May. Death of I-Yrraud. Project of bombarding the Fau-
bourg Saint Antoine. Balicetti oo the List of the Proscribed. He
lies f'>r Refnge to my Mother's Lodgings. His Concealment. Bona

partes VMt fumy Mother. Remarkable Conversation,
vi. r. i. — i



(Pages 102-106.)

The Trial of Romme, Soubraui, and their Colleagues. Project for
saving Salicetti. Sentence and Death of the Prisoners. Horrible


(Pages 107-114.)

Salicetti's Proxy. We procure our Passports. Our Departure for
Bordeaux. The First Post. Generous Letter from Bonaparte. Sali-
cetti's Ingratitude. Our Arrival at Bordeaux. Difficulty of obtaining
a Vessel for Salicetti. We proceed to Cette. Salicetti sails for
Genoa. Our Arrival at Montpellier.


(Pages 115-121.)

Couder's Invitation to my Father. Salicetti's Letter to my Mother.
Madame de Saint Ange. Her Present to Bonaparte. Trading
Speculation. Bonaparte and Bartolomeo Peraldi.


(Pages 122-135.)

The Fair of Beaucaire. Atrocities committed in the South. Muti-
lated Women. Short Stay at Bordeaux. Decline of my Father's Health.
Return to Paris. Our Hotel Rue de la Loi. Domiciliary Visit.
My Father's Illness. Bonaparte's Daily Calls on my Parents. Com-
motions in Paris. The Convention and the Sections. The 13th
Vendemiaire. Bonaparte at my Mother's on the 14th, and their
Conversation. Death of my Father.


(Pages 136-144.)

My Mother's House in the Chaussee d'Antin. Great Change in the
Situation of Bonaparte. Ammunition Bread. Dreadful Dearth. Chari-
ties bestowed by Bonaparte. The Dead Child, and the Slater's Widow.
Comparison between Former Fashions and those of the Republic.



(Pages 145-154.)

My Mother*! Mourning. Decline of her Health. A Box at the
Feydeao prescribed by the Physician. Bonaparte accompanies my
Mother to the Play. Singular Overtures of Bonaparte to my Mother.
He proposes Three Marriages between the Two Families. My Mother
Mioses to marry Bonaparte. Stephanopoli, a Relative of my
Mother's. Sharp Altercation between my Mother and Bonaparte.
Definitive Rupture. Marriage of Bonaparte, lie is appointed to
the Command of the Army of Italy.


(Pages 155-169.)

Recollections of Toulouse. M. de Regnier, Commandant. Intro-
duction of M. de Geouffre to my Mother. Mutual Passion. Marriage
of M. uffre and my Sister Cecile. Melancholy Presentiments

of my Bister. Her Death. Visit of Condolence paid by Bonaparte
t<> my Mother. Destruction of our Fortune. Comte de Perigord, Uncle
of M. de Talleyrand. Admirable Conduct of a Valet-de-Chambre
daring the Reign of Terror. Death of Comte de Perigord. My
Broth'-r joins the Army of Italy. Decline of my Mother's Health.
Journey to the Waters of Cauterets. The Pyrenees.


(Pages 170-176.)

Our Retort] to Paris. The Emigrants. Sketches of Parisian Society.
Public Balls and Well-known Characters. Ball at the Thelusson
Madame de D. M. d'Haotefort Madame Bonaparte,
ime Tallien. Madame Ilamelin.


(Pages 177-189.)

The Army of Italy. Triomphs of Bonaparte. My Brother at Msssa*
Carrara. Laden-Brutus and Saint Maximin-Marathon. Locierj Bona-
; I i, er Excursion to Versailles. Leoben and


Campo-Formio. Adventures of my Brother. Rivalship of Lannes and
my Brother. Elopement of Madame Felice. General Lannes and M.
Felice. Bonaparte at Paris and General Enthusiasm. Hatred of the
Directory for Bonaparte. Ball at M. de Talleyrand's.


(Pages 190-193.)

Illness of my Mother. Domestic Details. M. de Baudeloque and
M. Sabatier. A Treble Fright.


(Pages 194-202.)

Portrait of Marshal Augereau. Consequences of the 18th Fructidor
and Deportations. Cruelty of the Directory. Bonaparte the Author
of the 18th Fructidor. Joseph Bonaparte in the Five Hundred. Madame
Joseph. Mademoiselle Clary, Queen of Sweden. Bernadotte's Marriage.
Portrait of Joseph Bonaparte. The Bonaparte Family. Bonaparte in
Paris. Preparations for the Expedition to Egypt. Portrait of Louis
Bonaparte. Portrait of Lucien. Bonaparte makes himself Head of the
Family. Arrival of his Mother and Sister Caroline at Paris. Portrait
of Caroline Bonaparte. Madame Bacciochi. Madame Leclerc and


(Pages 203-210.)

Attention of Bonaparte to the Establishment of his Family. Amours
of Bonaparte, and a Box at the Feydeau. Coldness between my Mother
and Bonaparte. Levity of Josephine. Marquis de Caulaincourt. The
Two Brothers, Armand and Auguste. Madame de Thelusson and
Madame de Mornay. Fashions. Bonaparte at Paris. Long and Inter-
esting Conversation between Bonaparte and my Brother. Projected
Expedition. Implacable Hatred against England.


(Pages 211-228.)

Family of Junot. His Education. His Character. The Battalion of
the Cote d'Or. Junot a Grenadier. Promoted to Sergeant. The Siege


of Toulon. First Mooting of Junot and Bonaparte. Extraordinary
Scene. Junot is Bonaparte's First Aide-de-Camp. Curious Corres-
pondence between Junot and bis Father. Remarkable Dream. Mniron
and Marmont. Death of Biuiron, Wounds of Junot. Inexplicable

Errors in the Memorial of St. Helena. Politeness of Junot. Adventures
of Ma lam. ■ dfl Brionne at Dijon. She presents Junot with her
1' -trait. Baron de Stever.


(Pages 229-240.)

Departure of Junot for Egypt A General at Twenty-seven. Mutual
Relations of the Generals of the Army of Egypt. Parties. Quarrel
between Lannsse and Juuot. Duel by Torchlight on the Bank of the
Nile. Remarkable Observations of Napoleon. His Horror of Duels,
r from Bonaparte to Junot. Junot in Egypt after the Departure
of Bonaparte. Letter from Kleber. Departure of Junot. Junot and
General Dumuy taken by the English. Indignities from an English
Captain, and Noble Conduct of Nelson. Lady Hamilton's Oranges.
Intimacy of Junot and Sir Sidney Smith. Junot returns to France,
and is appointed Governor of Paris.


(Pages 241-248.)

The Returned Emigrants. Portraits from Nature. MM. de Bouille'
and Madame de Contades. Drawing-room Scenes. My Mother's Bal.
The Rival Beauties. Madame Leclerc's Ears. My Mother's Conversa-
tion with I'aulette. MM. de Perigord. Despreaux's Assemblies.


(Pages 219-250.)

The 18th of Frtiftidor. Boche. Probable Manner of his Death,
mo do Ri <• and Madame Tallies. Flags presented to

•orv bv Junot. Madame- Bonaparte. Junot escorts her to

Italy. Mademoiselle LooJ



(Pages 257-262.)

Moreau takes the Command of the Army of Italy. Championnet.
The Assassination of Rastadt. Destruction of the Eegimeut of
Scheklers. General Joubert. The Two Suchets. Anecdote of
Bonaparte and the Ordonnateur Chauvet. The Two Sleeping Nymphs.
Bonaparte at Vingt-et-Un.

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