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therefore very natural that sculptors and painters should endeavor to
draw some advantage from this enthusiasm for its deliverer, and that
they should endeavor to represent to the admirers of Bonaparte his
peculiar form and countenance.

But Bonaparte did not like to have his portrait painted. The staring,
watchful gaze of an artist was an annoyance to him; it made him restless
and anxious, as if he feared that the scrutinizing look at his face
might read the secrets of his soul. Yet at Josephine's tender and
pressing request he had consented to its being taken by a young painter,
Le Gros, whose distinguished talent had been brought to his notice.

Le Gros came therefore to Montebello, happy in the thought that he could
immortalize himself through a successful portrait of the hero whom he
honored with all the enthusiasm of a young heart. But he waited in vain
three days for Bonaparte to give him a sitting. The general had not one
instant to spare for the unfortunate young artist.

At last, at Josephine's pressing request, Bonaparte consented on the
fourth day to sit for him one-quarter of an hour after breakfast. Le
Gros came therefore delighted, at the time appointed, into the cabinet
of Josephine, and had his easel ready, awaiting the moment when
Bonaparte would sit in the arm-chair opposite. But, alas! the painter's
hopes were not to be realized. The general could not bring himself to
sit in that arm-chair, doing nothing but keeping his head quiet, so
that the painter might copy his features. He had no sooner been seated,
than he sprang up suddenly, and declared it was quite impossible to
endure such martyrdom.

Le Gros dared not repeat his request, but with tears in his eyes
gathered up his painting-materials. Josephine smiled. "I see very well,"
said she, "that I must have recourse to some extraordinary means to save
for me and for posterity a portrait of the hero of Arcola."

She sat down in the arm-chair, and beckoned to Le Gros to have his easel
in readiness. Then with a tender voice she called Napoleon to her, and
opening both arms she drew him down on her lap, and in this way she
induced him to sit down quietly a few moments and allow the painter the
sight of his face, thus enabling him to sketch the portrait. [Footnote:
"Memoires et Souvenirs du Comte Lavalette," vol. i., p. 168.]

At the end of this peculiar sitting, Bonaparte smilingly promised that
he would next day grant the painter a second one, provided Josephine
would again have the "extraordinary means" ready. She consented, and for
four days in succession Le Gros was enabled to sit before him a quarter
of an hour, and throw upon his canvas the features of the general, while
he quietly sat on Josephine's lap.

This picture, which Le Gros thus painted, thanks to the sweet ruse of
Josephine, and which was scattered throughout Europe in copperplate
prints, represented Bonaparte, with uncovered head, holding a standard
in his hand, and with his face turned toward his soldiers, calling on
them to follow him as he dashed on the bridge of Arcola, amid a shower
of Austrian balls.

It is a beautiful, imposing picture, and contemporaries praised it for
its likeness to the hero, but no one could believe that this pale, grave
countenance, these gloomy eyes, and earnest lips, which seemed incapable
of a smile, were those of Bonaparte as he sat on the lap of his beloved
Josephine when Le Gros was painting it.


After three months the time drew nigh when the peace negotiations
were to reach a final conclusion, and when it was to be decided if the
Emperor of Germany would make peace with the French republic or if he
would renew the war.

For three months had the negotiations continued in Montebello - three
months of feasts, pleasures, and receptions. To the official and public
rejoicings had been also added domestic joys. Madame Letitia came to
Italy to warm her happy, proud mother's heart at the triumphs of her
darling son; and she brought with her her daughter Pauline, while the
youngest, Caroline, remained behind in Madame Campan's
boarding-school. It could not be otherwise than that the sisters of
the commander-in-chief, whose true beauty reminded one of the classic
features of ancient Greece, should find among the officers of the army
of Italy most enthusiastic admirers and worshippers, and that many
should long for the favor of being more intimately connected by the ties
of affection with the celebrated general.

Bonaparte left his sisters entirely free to make a choice among their
suitors, and he hesitated not to give his consent when Pauline became
affianced to General Leclerc. After a few weeks, the marriage was
celebrated in Montebello; and, soon after, the happy couple left that
city to return to Paris, whither Madame Letitia had preceded them.

Josephine, however, remained with her husband; she accompanied him from
Montebello to Milan, where Bonaparte, now that the Austrian envoys had
taken their leave, tarried some time, awaiting the final decision of the
Austrian court upon his propositions. Meanwhile, the imperial court,
for good reasons, still hesitated. It was known that in France there was
secretly preparing an event which in a short time might bring on a new
order of things, putting an end to the hateful republic, and once more
placing the Bourbons on the throne of the lilies.

General Pichegru, a zealous royalist, and intimate friend of the Prince
de Conde, with whom he had been in secret correspondence for several
months, had organized a conspiracy which had for its object the downfall
of the Directory, the ruin of the republican administration, the recall
of the monarchy to Paris, and the re-establishment of the Bourbons.

But General Moreau, who, with his army on the Rhine, stood opposite to
that of the royalists, had the good fortune to discover the conspiracy,
by intercepting Pichegru's whole correspondence. The Directory, informed
by Moreau, took secretly precautionary measures, and on the 18th
Fructidor, Pichegru, with all his real or supposed guilty companions,
was arrested. To these guilty ones belonged also, according to
the opinion of the Directory, two out of their number, Carnot and
Barthelemy, besides twenty-two deputies and one hundred and twenty-eight
others, all among the educated classes of society. These were exiled
to Cayenne; Carnot alone escaped from this distant and cruel exile by a
timely flight to Geneva.

The 18th Fructidor, which disarmed the royalists and destroyed their
plans, had a great influence upon the negotiations carried on between
France and Austria, which were entangled with so many difficulties.
Austria, which had vacillated and delayed - for she was informed of the
schemes of the royalists, and hoped that if Louis XVIII. should ascend
the throne, she would be delivered from all the burdensome exactions
of the republic - now saw that this abortive attempt had removed the
royalists still further from their object and more firmly consolidated
the republic; she was therefore inclined to push on negotiations more
speedily, and to show greater readiness to bring on a final settlement.

The conferences broken off in Montebello were resumed in Udine. Thither
came the Austrian and French plenipotentiaries. Bonaparte, however,
felt that his presence was also necessary, so as not to allow these
conferences again to remain in abeyance. He therefore, accompanied by
Josephine, went to Passeriano, a beautiful residence of the Doge
Marini, not far from Udine, charmingly situated on the shores of the
Tagliamento, and in the midst of a splendid park. But the residence
in Passeriano was not enlivened by the pleasures, recreations, and
festivities of Montebello. Politics alone occupied Bonaparte's mind, and
not only the peace negotiations, but also the Directory of the republic,
furnished him with too many occasions for ill-will and anger.

Austria, which had added the Count von Coblentz to her
plenipotentiaries, adhered obstinately to her former claims; and the
Directory, which now felt stronger and more secure by their victory of
the 18th Fructidor, were so determined not to accept these claims,
that they wrote to General Bonaparte that they would sooner resume
hostilities than concede to "the overpowered, treacherous Austria,
sworn into all the conspiracies of the royalists, her unreasonable

But Bonaparte knew better than the proud lords of the Directory, that
France needed peace as well as Austria; that France lacked gold,
men, and ammunition, for the vigorous prosecution of the war. While,
therefore, the Directory, enthroned in the Luxemburg, amid peace and
luxury, desired a renewal of hostilities, it was the man of battles who
desired peace, and who was inclined to make to Austria insignificant
concessions sooner than see the work of peace dashed to pieces.

The sole recreation in Passeriano consisted in the banquets which
were interchanged between it and Udine, and where Josephine found much
pleasure, at least in the conversation of the Count von Coblentz,
who could speak to her with spirit and grace of his sojourn in
Petersburg - of Catharine the Great, at whose court he had been
accredited so long as ambassador from Austria, and who had even granted
him the privilege of being present at her private evening circles at the

Bonaparte was still busy with the glowing tenderness of a worshipping
lover, in procuring for his Josephine pleasures and recreations, as each
favorable opportunity presented itself.

The republic of Venice, now laboring under the greatest anxiety and fear
on account of Bonaparte's anger at her perfidy and enmity, had descended
from the height of her proud attitude to the most abject humility. Her
solicitude for mere existence made her so far forget her dignity, that
she humbly invited Bonaparte, whose loud voice of anger pronounced only
vengeance and destruction, to come and receive in person their homage
and the assurance of their loyalty.

Bonaparte refused this invitation as regarded his own person, for in
his secret thoughts the ruin of Venice was a settled matter; and as
the death-warrant of this republic of terror and secret government was
already signed in his thoughts, he could not accept her feasts and her
homage. But he did not wish before the time to betray to the republic
his own conclusions, and his refusal to accept their invitation ought
not to have the appearance of a hostile demonstration. He therefore sent
to Venice a representative, who, in his name, was to receive the
humble homage and the assurances of friendship from the republic. This
representative was Josephine, and she gladly undertook this mission,
without foreseeing that Venice, which adorned itself for her sake with
flowers and festivities, was but the crowned victim at the eve of the

As Bonaparte himself could not accompany his wife, he sent with her
as an escort the ex-magistrate Marmont; and in his memoirs the latter
relates with enthusiasm the feasts which the republic of Venice gave
in honor of the general upon whom, as she well knew, her future fate

"Madame Bonaparte," says he, "was four days in Venice. I accompanied
her hither. Three days were devoted to the most splendid feasts. On
the first day there was a regatta, a species of amusement which
seems reserved only to Venice, the queen of the sea. ... Six or seven
gondolas, each manned by one or two oarsmen, perform a race which begins
at St. Mark's Square, and ends at the Rialto bridge. These gondolas
seem to fly; persons who have never seen them can form no idea of their
swiftness. The beauty of the representation consists especially in the
immense gatherings of the spectators. The Italians are extremely fond of
this spectacle; they come from great distances on the continent to see
it; there is not in Venice an individual who rushes not to the Canal
Grande to enjoy the spectacle; and during the time of the regatta of
which I am speaking, the wharves on the Canal Grande were covered with
at least one hundred and fifty thousand persons, all full of curiosity.
More than five hundred small and large barges, adorned with flowers,
flags, and tapestries, followed the contesting gondolas.

"The second day we had a sea-excursion; a banquet had been prepared on
the Lido: the population followed in barges adorned with wreaths and
flowers, and to the sound of music re-echoing far and near.

"The third day, a night promenade took place. The palace of the doge,
and the houses along the Canal Grande, were illuminated in the most
brilliant manner, and gave light to hundreds of gondolas, which also
were made luminous with divers-colored lamps. After a promenade of two
hours, and a splendid display of fireworks in the midst of the waters,
the ball opened in the palace of the doge. When we think of the means
which the situation of Venice offers, the beauty of her architecture,
the wonderful animation of the thousand gondolas closely pressed
together, causing the impression of a city in motion; and when we think
of the great exertions which such an occasion would naturally call
forth, the brilliant imagination of this people so remarkable for its
refined taste, and its burning lusts for pleasure - then we can form some
idea of the wondrous spectacle presented by Venice in those days. It was
no more the mighty Venice, it was the elegant, the luxurious Venice."
[Footnote: "Memoires du Due de Raguse," vol. i., p. 287.]

After those days of festivities, Josephine, the queen of them, returned
to the quietude of Passeriano, which, after the sunshine of Venice, must
have appeared to her still more gloomy and sad.

But Bonaparte himself was weary of all this useless repose, and he
resolved with a daring blow to cut into shreds those diplomatic knots of
so many thousand interwoven threads.

The instrument with which he was to give the blow was not the sword - it
was not that which Alexander had used, but it was a cup. This cup, at a
dejeuner given to him by the Count von Coblentz, where was displayed the
costly porcelain service presented to him by the Empress Catharine, was
dashed at the feet of the Count von Coblentz by Bonaparte, who, with a
thundering voice, exclaimed: "In fourteen days I will dash to pieces the
Austrian monarchy as I now break this!"

The Count von Coblentz, infuriated at this, was still staring in
bewilderment at the fragments of the imperial gift, when Bonaparte left
the room, to enter his carriage. With a loud voice he called to one of
the officers of his suite, and gave him orders to go at once to the
camp of the Archduke Charles, and to tell him, in the name of General
Bonaparte, that the peace negotiations were broken, and that hostilities
would be resumed next day.

But as Bonaparte was going toward his carriage, he met the Marquis de
Gallo, who besought him to re-enter the room; he assured him that it
had been resolved to accept Bonaparte's ultimatum - that is to say, to
renounce all claims to the fortress of Mantua.

On the next day [Footnote: The 17th of October, 1797.] the treaty of
peace between Austria and France was signed. It had been decided that
the ceremony of signing it should take place in the village of Campo
Formio, which for this reason was declared to be neutral ground. It lay
midway between Udine and Passeriano; and Bonaparte sent his adjutant,
Marmont, into the village to select a house where the ceremony might
take place. But there was not a single building which was in any way
fitted to receive such distinguished guests. The Austrian diplomats,
therefore, consented to come to Passeriano to ratify the terms of
peace, provided, it should be named after the neutral territory of Campo

The Count von Coblentz and the Marquis de Gallo passed the whole day at
Passeriano, in the company of Bonaparte and Josephine. In Josephine's
drawing-room each abandoned himself to the most cheerful and unaffected
conversation, while at the same time the secretaries of both the
Austrian and French embassies were in the cabinet of the French general,
writing two copies of the mutual agreements of peace which were to be
signed by Bonaparte and by the Austrian plenipotentiaries.

During the whole day Bonaparte was in high spirits. He had reached his
aim: the strife was over; diplomatic bickerings were at rest; the small
as well as the great war was ended; peace was gained at last! Bonaparte
had, not only on the battle-field, but also at the green-table, been
victorious; he had not only overcome Austria, but also the Directory.
During the whole day he remained in the drawing-room with Josephine and
his Austrian guests, and without any affectation he took his part in
the conversation. It was so pleasant to him to be thus in confidential
intercourse, that, as the evening came on, he would not allow lights to
be brought into the drawing-room. As if they were in a sociable family
circle, in some old remote castle, they amused themselves in relating
ghost-stories, and here, too, Bonaparte won a victory. His story
surpassed all others in horrors and thrilling fears, and the dramatic
mode of its delivery increased its effect. Josephine became excited
as if by some living reality; and while Bonaparte, with an affrighted,
trembling voice, was describing how the door opened, how the
blood-stained ghost with hollow eyes entered, she screamed aloud, and
tremblingly clung to his arm.

At this moment it was announced that the secretaries had prepared
the documents of the treaty, and that nothing was wanting to make it
operative but the signatures.

Bonaparte laughingly thanked his Josephine with a kiss for the
flattering effect produced by his ghost-story, and then he hastened
into his cabinet to attach his signature to the peace of Campo Formio.
[Footnote: Lavalette, "Memoires," vol. i., p. 250.]

This peace gave to France the left bank of the Rhine, with the fortress
of Mayence: it delivered Italy from the rule of Austria, but it repaid
Austria by giving her possession of the beautiful city of the lagoons,
Venice, which made Austria mistress of the Adriatic Sea.

Peace was concluded, and now Bonaparte, with his laurels and victories,
could return to Paris; now he could hope that he had swept away,
from the memory even of his adversaries, the sad success of the 13th
Vendemiaire, by the series of brilliant victories and conquests which he
had obtained in the name of their common country.

Bonaparte prepared himself therefore to return home to France. But the
Emperor of Germany, full of admiration for the hero of Arcola, and of
joy at a peace which had given him Venice, and which gave to France
little more than the captured cannon, standards, and prisoners, but
undying glory, wished to show himself thankful to Bonaparte. He offered
to the general millions of treasure, and, still more, a magnificent
estate, and promised him the title of duke.

But Bonaparte refused alike the money and the title. As a simple French
general he wished to return to France, and, though in future days he
created at his will many dukes, he now disdained to become a duke by
the grace of the Emperor of Germany. He accepted nothing out of all the
offered presents, but six splendid gray horses which the Emperor Francis
had sent him from his own stalls. Bonaparte had won too many victories,
to need the title of a German duke; he had obtained a sufficiently
ample share of the war-booty not to need the wealth and the treasures of
sovereign gifts. He was no longer the poor general, of whom his enemies
could say that he had married the widow of General de Beauharnais
on account of her riches and of her influence; he now, besides fame,
possessed a few millions of francs, which, as a small portion of his
share of the victory's rewards, he brought home with him.

His work in Italy was accomplished; and in Milan, whither Bonaparte had
returned with Josephine, they bade each other farewell: they wished to
return to Paris by different routes.

Bonaparte desired first to go to Rastadt, there to attend the great
peace congress of Germany and France. His journey thither was a complete
triumph. He was everywhere received with enthusiasm; everywhere the
people applauded the conqueror of so many battles, the hero who,
only twenty-eight years old, had, by his series of victories, gained
immortality. His reception in Berne, especially, was enthusiastic
and flattering; both sides of his pathway were lined with brilliant
equipages, and the beautiful, richly apparelled ladies who sat in them
threw him kisses, crowns of flowers and bouquets, shouting, "Long live
the peace-maker!"

He travelled over Mount Cenis to Rastadt, where he found in the crowd of
German and French diplomats many generals and learned men, who had come
there to see the man whom his very enemies admired, amongst whom he was
nearly as popular as with his friends. However, Bonaparte remained but a
few days there; for, after having attended the opening of the Congress,
he pursued his journey to Paris, where he arrived on the 6th of

Josephine, as we have already said, did not accompany her husband to
Paris. Before leaving Italy, she desired to accomplish two objects of
her heart. She wished to see Rome, the everlasting city of fame and of
arts, the city of the ancient gods, and of the seat of St. Peter; and
she wished also to embrace her son Eugene, who was there as an attache
of Joseph Bonaparte, the ambassador of the French republic. Wherever she
went, she was received with enthusiasm, not only as the wife of Italy's
deliverer, but also on account of her personal merits. Through her
affability, her amiableness, and her sweet disposition, which shunned
every haughty exaltation, and yet was never lacking in dignity or in
reserve - through the goodness of her heart, which was ever ready to help
the unfortunate - through all those exquisite and praiseworthy qualities
which adorned and beautified her, she had won the love and admiration
of all Italy; and long afterward, when the deliverer of Italy had
become her lord and her oppressor, when she had no longer cause to love
Bonaparte, but only to curse him, Italy preserved for Josephine a memory
full of admiration and love.


On the 5th of December, 1797, Bonaparte returned to Paris; and, a few
days after, Josephine arrived also. In her little hotel, in the Street
Chautereine, where she had passed so many bright and happy days, she
hoped, after so many storms and hardships, to enjoy again new and
cheerful sunny days of domestic enjoyments - she hoped to rest from
all those triumphs which had accompanied at each step both her and her

This hope, however, was not to be realized, for greater triumphs still
than those she had enjoyed in Italy awaited Bonaparte in Paris. The days
of quietude, and the pleasures of home, which Josephine so much loved,
and which she so well understood how to embellish with friendships and
joys, were now forever past away. Placed at the side of a hero whose
fame already filled all Europe, she could no longer calculate upon
living in modest retirement, as she would have wished to do: it was
her lot to share his burden of glory, as she also was illumined by its

From this moment nothing of former days remained; all was changed, all
was altered by Bonaparte's laurels and victories. He was no more the
servant of the republic, he was nearly its master; he had not only
defeated Austria in Italy, but he had also defeated in France the
Directory, which had sent him as its general to Italy, and which now saw
him return home as the master of the five monarchs of France.

Every thing now, as already said, assumed a new shape: even the house
in which they lived, the street in which this house stood, had to be
changed. Hitherto this street had been called "Rue Chautereine;" since
Bonaparte's return the municipality of Paris gave it the name "Rue de
la Victoire," and now to this Street of Victory the people of Paris
streamed forth to see the conqueror; to stand there patiently for hours
before the little hotel, and watch for the moment when at one of the
windows the pale countenance of Bonaparte, with his long, smooth hair,
might appear.

Even the little hotel was to be altered. Bonaparte - who, in earlier
days, had described, as his dream of happiness, the possession of a
house, of a cabriolet, and to have at his table the company of a few
friends, with his Josephine - now found that the little house in the Rue
de la Victoire was too small for him; that it must be altered even as

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