Hortense - John S. C. Abbott

Hortense and Duroc


It is a very unamiable trait in human nature, that many persons are more eager to believe that which is bad in the character of others than that which is good. The same voice of calumny, which has so mercilessly assailed Josephine, has also traduced Hortense. It is painful to witness the readiness with which even now the vilest slanders, devoid of all evidence, can be heaped upon a noble and virtuous woman who is in her grave.

In the days of Napoleon's power, he himself, his mother, his wife, his sisters, and his stepdaughter, Hortense, were assailed with the most envenomed accusations malice could engender. These infamous assaults, which generally originated with the British Tory press, still have lingering echoes throughout the world. There are those who seem to consider it no crime to utter the most atrocious accusations, even without a shadow of proof, against those who are not living. Well do the "Berkeley men" say:

"The Bonapartes, especially the women of that 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 intrenched 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 line of decency, without being fatally 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 bitterest satire of dramatists, the meanest and most malignant pen of the journalists have assailed them for half a century. We have written these words because a Republican is the only man likely to speak well 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."

Napoleon at St. Helena said: "Of all the libels and pamphlets with which the English ministers have inundated Europe, there is not one which will reach posterity. When there shall not be a trace of those libels to be found, the great monuments of utility which I have reared, and the code of laws which I have formed, will descend to the remotest ages; and future historians will avenge the wrongs done me by my contemporaries. There was a time when all crimes seemed to belong to me of right. Thus I poisoned Hoche, strangled Pichegru in his cell, I caused Kleber to be assassinated in Egypt, I blew out Desaix's brains at Marengo, I cut the throats of persons who were confined in prison, I dragged the Pope by the hair of his head, and a hundred similar abominations. And yet I have not seen one of those libels which is worthy of an answer. These are so contemptible and so absurdly false, that they do not merit any other notice than to write false, false, on every page."

It is well known, by every one acquainted with the past history of our country, that George Washington was assailed in the severest possible language of vituperation. He was charged with military inability, administrative incapacity, mental weakness, and gross personal immorality. He was denounced as a murderer, and a hoary-headed traitor. This is the doom of those in power. And thousands of men in those days believed those charges.

It is seldom possible to prove a negative. But no evidence has ever been brought forward to substantiate the rumors brought against Hortense. These vile slanderers have even gone so far as to accuse Napoleon of crimes, in reference to the daughter of Josephine and the wife of his brother, which, if true, should consign him to eternal infamy. The "Berkeley men," after making the most thorough historic investigations in writing the life both of Louis Bonaparte and Hortense, say:

"Louis was a little over twenty-three years of age at the time of his marriage. Hortense was nineteen. In his memoirs Louis treats with scorn and contempt the absurd libels respecting his domestic affairs, involving the purity of his wife's character and the legitimacy of his children. Napoleon, also, in his conversations at St. Helena, thought proper to allude to the subject, and indignantly to repel the charges which had been made against Hortense, at the same time showing the entire improbability of the stories about her and her offspring. We have found nothing, in our investigations on this subject to justify even a suspicion against the morals or integrity of Louis or Hortense; and we here dismiss the subject with the remark that, there is more cause for sympathy with the parties to this unhappy union than of censure for their conduct."

The Duchess of Abrantes, who was intimately acquainted with Hortense from her childhood and with the whole Bonaparte family, in her interesting memoirs writes: "Hortense de Beauharnais was fresh as a rose; and though her fair complexion was not relieved by much color, she had enough to produce that freshness and bloom which was her chief beauty. A profusion of light hair played in silky locks round her soft and penetrating blue eyes. The delicate roundness of her slender figure was set off by the elegant carriage of her head. Her feet were small and pretty, her hands very white, with pink, well-rounded nails. But what formed the chief attraction of Hortense was the grace and suavity of her manners. She was gay, gentle, amiable. She had wit which, without the smallest ill-temper, had just malice enough to be amusing. A polished education had improved her natural talents. She drew excellently, sang harmoniously, and performed admirably in comedy. In 1800 she was a charming young girl. She afterwards became one of the most amiable princesses in Europe. I have seen many, both in their own courts and in Paris, but I have never known one who had any pretensions to equal talents. Her brother loved her tenderly. The First Consul looked upon her as his child. And it is only in that country so fertile in the inventions of scandal, that so foolish an accusation could have been imagined, as that any feeling less pure than paternal affection actuated his conduct towards her. The vile calumny met the contempt it merited."

The testimony of Bourrienne upon this point is decisive. Bourrienne had been the private secretary of Napoleon, had become his enemy, and had joined the Bourbons. Upon the downfall of the Emperor he wrote a very hostile life of Napoleon, being then in the employment of the Bourbons. In those envenomed pages, Bourrienne says that he has written severely enough against Napoleon, to have his word believed when he makes any admission in his favor. He then writes:

"Napoleon never cherished for Hortense any feeling but a real paternal tenderness. He loved her, after his marriage with her mother, as he would have loved his own child. For three years at least I was witness to all their most private actions. I declare that I never saw any thing which could furnish the least ground for suspicion or the slightest trace of culpable intimacy. This calumny must be classed with those which malice delights to take with the character of men who become celebrated; calumnies which are adopted lightly and without reflection.

"I freely declare that, did I retain the slightest doubt with regard to this odious charge, I would avow it. But it is not true. Napoleon is no more. Let his memory be accompanied only by that, be it good or bad, which really took place. Let not this complaint be made against him by the impartial historian. I must say, in conclusion, on this delicate subject, that Napoleon's principles were rigid in the extreme; and that any fault of the nature charged neither entered his mind, nor was in accordance with his morals or taste."

Notwithstanding this abundant testimony, and notwithstanding the fact that no contradictory testimony can be adduced, which any historian could be pardoned for treating with respect, there are still men to be found who will repeat those foul slanders, which ought long since to have died away.

Napoleon remained but two months in the palace of the Luxembourg. In the mean time the palace of the Tuileries, which had been sacked by revolutionary mobs, was re-furnished with much splendor. In February the Court of the Consuls was transferred to the Tuileries. Napoleon had so entirely eclipsed his colleagues that he alone was thought of by the Parisian populace. The royal apartments were prepared for Napoleon. The more humble apartments, in the Pavilion of Flora, were assigned to the two other consuls. The transfer from the Luxembourg was made with great pomp, in one of those brilliant parades which ever delight the eyes of the Parisians. Six thousand picked soldiers, with a gorgeous train of officers, formed his escort. Twenty thousand troops with all the concomitants of military parade, lined the streets. A throng, from city and country, which could not be numbered, gazed upon the scene. Napoleon took his seat in a magnificent carriage drawn by six beautiful white horses. The suite of rooms assigned to Josephine consisted of two large parlors furnished with regal splendor, and several adjoining private rooms. Here Hortense, a beautiful girl of about eighteen, found herself at home in the apartments of the ancient kings of France.

In the evening a brilliant assembly was gathered in the saloons of Josephine. As she entered, with queenly grace, leaning upon the arm of Talleyrand, a murmur of admiration rose from the whole multitude. She wore a robe of white muslin. Her hair fell in ringlets upon her neck and shoulders, through which gleamed a necklace of priceless pearls. The festivities were protracted until a late hour in the morning. It was said that Josephine gained a social victory that evening, corresponding with that which Napoleon had gained in the pageant of the day. In these scenes Hortense shone with great brilliance. She was young, beautiful, graceful, amiable, witty, and very highly accomplished. In addition to this, she was the stepdaughter of the First Consul, who was ascending in a career of grandeur which was to terminate no one could tell where.

During Napoleon's absence in Egypt Josephine had purchased the beautiful estate of Malmaison. This was their favorite home. The chateau was a very convenient, attractive, but not very spacious rural edifice, surrounded with extensive grounds, ornamented with lawns, shrubbery, and forest-trees. With the Tuileries for her city residence, Malmaison for her rural retreat, Napoleon for her father, Josephine for her mother, Eugene for her brother; with the richest endowments of person, mind, and heart, with glowing health, and surrounded by admirers, Hortense seemed now to be placed upon the very highest pinnacle of earthly happiness.

Josephine and Hortense resided at Malmaison when Napoleon made his ten months' campaign into Italy, which was terminated by the victory of Marengo. They both busily employed their time in making those improvements on the place which would create a pleasant surprise for Napoleon on his return. Here they opened a new path through the forest; here they spanned a stream with a beautiful rustic bridge; upon a gentle eminence a pavilion rose; and new parterres of flowers gladdened the eye. Every charm was thrown around the place which the genius and taste of Josephine and Hortense could suggest. At midnight, on the second of July, Napoleon returned to Paris, and immediately hastened to the arms of his wife and daughter at Malmaison. He was so pleased with its retirement and rural beauty that, forgetting the splendors of Fontainebleau and Saint Cloud, he ever after made it his favorite residence. Fortunate is the tourist who can obtain permission to saunter through those lovely walks, where the father, the wife, and the daughter, for a few brief months, walked almost daily, arm in arm, in the enjoyment of nearly all the happiness which they were destined on earth to share. The Emperor, at the close of his career, said upon his dying bed at St. Helena,

"I am indebted for all the little happiness I have enjoyed on earth to the love of Josephine."

Hortense and her mother frequently rode on horseback, both being very graceful riders, and very fond of that recreation. At moments when Napoleon could unbend from the cares of state, the family amused themselves, with such guests as were present, in the game of "prisoners" on the lawn. For several years this continued to be the favorite pastime at Malmaison. Kings and queens were often seen among the pursuers and the pursued on the green sward.

It was observed that Napoleon was always solicitous to have Josephine on his side. And whenever, in the progress of the game, she was taken prisoner, he was nervously anxious until she was rescued. Napoleon, who had almost lived upon horseback, was a poor runner, and would often, in his eagerness, fall, rolling head-long over the grass, raising shouts of laughter. Josephine and Hortense were as agile as they were graceful.

On the 24th of December, 1800, Napoleon, Josephine, and Hortense were going to the opera, to hear Haydn's Oratorio of the Creation. It was then to be performed for the first time. Napoleon, busily engaged in business, went reluctantly at the earnest solicitation of Josephine. Three gentlemen rode with Napoleon in his carriage. Josephine, with Hortense and other friends, followed in her private carriage. As the carriages were passing through the narrow street of St. Nicaire, a tremendous explosion took place, which was heard all over Paris. An infernal machine, of immense power, had been conveyed to the spot, concealed beneath a cart, which was intended, at whatever sacrifice of the lives of others, to render the assassination of the First Consul certain. Eight persons were instantly killed; more than sixty were wounded. Several buildings were nearly demolished. The windows of both carriages were dashed in, and the shattered vehicles were tossed to and fro like ships in a storm. Napoleon almost miraculously escaped unharmed. Hortense was slightly wounded by the broken glass. Still they all heroically went on to the opera, where, in view of their providential escape, they were received with thunders of applause.

It was at first supposed that the Jacobins were the authors of this infamous plot. It was afterwards proved to be a conspiracy of the Royalists. Josephine, whose husband had bled beneath the slide of the guillotine, and who had narrowly escaped the axe herself, with characteristic humanity forgot the peril to which she and her friends had been exposed, in sympathy for those who were to suffer for the crime. The criminals were numerous. They were the nobles with whom Josephine had formerly lived in terms of closest intimacy. She wrote to Fouch?, the Minister of Police, in behalf of these families about to be plunged into woe by the merited punishment of the conspirators. This letter reflects such light upon the character of Josephine, which character she transmitted to Hortense, that it claims insertion here.

CITIZEN MINISTER—While I yet tremble at the frightful event which has just occurred, I am disquieted and distressed through fear of the punishment necessarily to be inflicted on the guilty, who belong, it is said, to families with whom I once lived in habits of intercourse. I shall be solicited by mothers, sisters, and disconsolate wives, and my heart will be broken through my inability to obtain all the mercy for which I would plead.

"I know that the clemency of the First Consul is great; his attachment to me extreme. But the crime is too dreadful that a terrible example should not be necessary. The chief of the Government has not been alone exposed. It is that which will render him severe, inflexible. I conjure you, therefore, to do all in your power to prevent inquiries being pushed too far. Do not detect all those persons who may have been accomplices in these odious transactions. Let not France, so long overwhelmed in consternation by public executions, groan anew beneath such inflictions. It is even better to endeavor to soothe the public mind than to exasperate men by fresh terrors. In short, when the ringleaders of this nefarious attempt shall have been secured, let severity give place to pity for inferior agents, seduced, as they may have been, by dangerous falsehoods or exaggerated opinions.

"When just invested with supreme power, the First Consul, as seems to me, ought rather to gain hearts, than to be exhibited as ruling slaves. Soften by your counsels whatever may be too violent in his just resentment. Punish—alas! that you must certainly do—but pardon still more. Be also the support of those unfortunate men who, by frank avowal or repentance, shall expiate a portion of their crime.

"Having myself narrowly escaped perishing in the Revolution, you must regard as quite natural my interference on behalf of those who can be saved without involving in new danger the life of my husband, precious to me and to France. On this account do, I entreat you, make a wide distinction between the authors of the crime and those who, through weakness or fear, have consented to take part therein. As a woman, a wife, a mother, I must feel the heart-rendings of those who will apply to me. Act, citizen minister, in such a manner that the number of these may be lessened. This will spare me much grief. Never will I turn away from the supplications of misfortune. But in the present instance you can do infinitely more than I, and you will, on this account, excuse my importunity. Rely on my gratitude and esteem."

There was a young officer about twenty-nine years of age, by the name of Michel Duroc, who was then a frequent visitor at the Tuileries and Malmaison. He was a great favorite of Napoleon, and was distinguished alike for beauty of person and gallantry upon the field of battle. Born of an ancient family, young Duroc, having received a thorough military education, attached himself, with enthusiastic devotion, to the fortunes of Napoleon. He attracted the attention of General Bonaparte during his first Italian campaign, where he was appointed one of his aides. Following Napoleon to Egypt, he gained renown in many battles, and was speedily promoted to the rank of chief of battalion, and then to general of brigade. At Jaffa he performed a deed of gallantry, which was rewarded by the applauding shouts of nearly the whole army. At Jean d'Acre he led one of the most bloody and obstinate assaults recorded in the military annals of France, where he was severely wounded by the bursting of a howitzer. At the battle of Aboukir he won great applause. Napoleon's attachment to this young officer was such, that he took him to Paris on his return from Egypt. In the eventful day of the 18th Brumaire, Duroc stood by the side of Napoleon, and rendered him eminent service. The subsequent career of this very noble young man brilliantly reflects his worth and character. Rapidly rising, he became grand marshal of the palace and Duke of Friuli.

The memorable career of General Duroc was terminated at the battle of Bautzen, in Germany, on the 23d of May, 1813. He was struck by the last ball thrown from the batteries of the enemy. The affecting scene of his death was as follows:

"In the early dawn of the morning of the 23d of May, Napoleon was on horseback directing the movements of his troops against the routed foe. He soon overtook the rear-guard of the enemy, which had strongly posted its batteries on an eminence to protect the retreat of the discomfited army. A brief but fierce conflict ensued, and one of Napoleon's aides was struck dead at his feet. Duroc was riding by the side of the Emperor. Napoleon turned to him and said, 'Duroc, fortune is determined to have one of us to-day.' Hour after hour the incessant battle raged, as the advance-guard of the Emperor drove before it the rear-guard of the Allies. In the afternoon, as the Emperor, with a portion of the Imperial Guard, four abreast, was passing through a ravine, enveloped in a blinding cloud of dust and smoke, a cannon-ball, glancing from a tree, killed one officer, and mortally wounded Duroc, tearing out his entrails. The tumult and obscurity were such that Napoleon did not witness the casualty. When informed of it, he seemed for a moment overwhelmed with grief, and then exclaimed, in faltering accents,

"Duroc! gracious Heaven, my presentiments never deceive me. This is a sad day, a fatal day."

Immediately alighting from his horse, he walked to and fro for a short time absorbed in painful thoughts, while the thunders of the battle resounded unheeded around him. Then turning to Caulaincourt, he said,

"Alas! when will fate relent? When will there be an end of this? My eagles will yet triumph, but the happiness which accompanies them is fled. Whither has he been conveyed? I must see him. Poor, poor Duroc!"

The Emperor found the dying marshal in a cottage, still stretched upon the camp litter by which he had been conveyed from the field. Pallid as marble from the loss of blood, and with features distorted with agony, he was scarcely recognizable. The Emperor approached the litter, threw his arms around the neck of the friend he so tenderly loved, and exclaimed, in tones of deepest grief, "Alas! then is there no hope?"

"None whatever," the physicians replied.

The dying man took the hand of Napoleon, and gazing upon him affectionately, said, "Sire, my whole life has been devoted to your service, and now my only regret is that I can no longer be useful to you." Napoleon, in a voice almost inarticulate with emotion, said,

"Duroc, there is another life. There you will await me."

"Yes, sire," the marshal faintly replied, "but that will be thirty years hence. You will then have triumphed over your enemies, and realized the hopes of our country. I have lived an honest man. I have nothing to reproach myself with. I have a daughter, to whom your Majesty will be a father."

Napoleon was so deeply affected that he remained for some time in silence, incapable of uttering a word, but still affectionately holding the hand of his dying friend.

Duroc was the first to break the silence. "Sire," he said, "this sight pains you. Leave me."

The Emperor pressed his hand to his lips, embraced him affectionately, and saying sadly, "Adieu, my friend," hurried out of the room.

Supported by Marshal Soult and Caulaincourt, Napoleon, overwhelmed with grief, retired to his tent, which had been immediately pitched in the vicinity of the cottage. "This is horrible," he exclaimed. "My excellent, my dear Duroc! Oh, what a loss is this!"

His eyes were flooded with tears, and for the moment, forgetting every thing but his grief, he retired to the solitude of his inner tent.

The squares of the Old Guard, sympathizing in the anguish of their commander and their sovereign, silently encamped around him. Napoleon sat alone in his tent, wrapped in his gray great-coat, his forehead resting upon his hand, absorbed in painful musings. For some time none of his officers were willing to intrude upon his grief. At length two of the generals ventured to consult him respecting arrangements which it seemed necessary to make for the following day. Napoleon shook his head and replied, "Ask me nothing till to-morrow," and again covering his eyes with his hand, he resumed his attitude of meditation. Night came. One by one the stars came out. The moon rose brilliantly in the cloudless sky. The soldiers moved with noiseless footsteps, and spoke in subdued tones. The rumbling of wagons and the occasional boom of a distant gun alone disturbed the stillness of the scene.

"Those brave soldiers," says J. T. Headley, "filled with grief to see their beloved chief bowed down by such sorrows, stood for a long time silent and tearful. At length, to break the mournful silence, and to express the sympathy they might not speak, the band struck up a requiem for the dying marshal. The melancholy strains arose and fell in prolonged echoes over the field, and swept in softened cadences on the ear of the fainting, dying warrior. But still Napoleon moved not. They changed the measure to a triumphant strain, and the thrilling trumpets breathed forth their most joyful notes till the heavens rang with the melody. Such bursts of music welcomed Napoleon as he returned, flushed with victory, till his eye kindled with exultation. But now they fell on a dull and listless ear. It ceased, and again the mournful requiem filled all the air. But nothing could rouse him from his agonizing reflections. His friend lay dying, and the heart that he loved more than his life was throbbing its last pulsations. What a theme for a painter, and what a eulogy was that scene! That noble heart, which the enmity of the world could not shake, nor the terrors of the battle-field move from its calm repose, nor even the hatred nor the insults of his at last victorious enemies humble, here sank in the moment of victory before the tide of affection. What military chieftain ever mourned thus on the field of victory, and what soldiers ever loved their leader so!"

Before the dawn of the morning Duroc expired. When the event was announced to Napoleon, he said sadly, "All is over. He is released from his misery. Well, he is happier than I." The Emperor ordered a monument to be reared to his memory, and, when afterwards dying at St. Helena, left to the daughter of Duroc one of the largest legacies bequeathed in his will. That Duroc was worthy of this warm affection of the Emperor, may be inferred from the following testimony of Caulaincourt, Duke of Vicenza:

"Marshal Duroc was one of those men who seem too pure and perfect for this world, and whose excellence helps to reconcile us to human nature. In the high station to which the Emperor had wisely raised him, the grand marshal retained all the qualities of the private citizen. The splendor of his position had not power to dazzle or corrupt him. Duroc remained simple, natural, and independent; a warm and generous friend, a just and honorable man. I pronounce on him this eulogy without fear of contradiction."

It is not strange that Hortense, a beautiful girl of eighteen, should have fallen deeply in love with such a young soldier, twenty-nine years of age. It would seem that Duroc was equally inspired with love and admiration for Hortense. Though perhaps not positively engaged, there was such an understanding between the young lovers that a brisk correspondence was kept up during one of Duroc's embassies to the north.

Hortense and Duroc


Bourrienne, at that time the private secretary of Napoleon, says that this correspondence was carried on by consent through his hands. With the rapidly rising greatness of the family, there was little retirement to be enjoyed at the Tuileries or at Malmaison. The saloons of the First Consul were every evening crowded with guests. Youthful love is the same passion, and the young heart throbs with the same impulses, whether in the palace or in the cottage. When Bourrienne whispered to Hortense that he had a letter for her from Duroc, and slipped it unperceived into her hand, she would immediately retire to her room for its perusal; and the moistened eyes with which she returned to the saloon testified to the emotions with which the epistle from her lover had been read.

But Josephine had the strongest reasons which can well be imagined for opposing the connection with Duroc. She was a very loving mother. She wished to do every thing in her power to promote the happiness of Hortense, but she probably was not aware how deeply the affections of her daughter were fixed upon Duroc. Her knowledge of the world also taught her that almost every young lady and every young gentleman have several loves before reaching the one which is consummated by marriage. She had another match in view for Hortense which she deemed far more eligible for her, and far more promotive of the happiness of the family.

Napoleon had already attained grandeur unsurpassed by any of the ancient kings of France. Visions of still greater power were opening before him. It was not only to him a bitter disappointment but apparently it might prove a great national calamity that he had no heir to whom he could transmit the sceptre which France had placed in his hands. Upon his downfall, civil war might ravage the kingdom, as rival chieftains grasped at the crown. It was earnestly urged upon him that the interests of France imperiously demanded that, since he had no prospect of an heir by Josephine, he should obtain a divorce and marry another. It was urged that the welfare of thirty millions of people should not be sacrificed to the inclinations of two individuals.

Josephine had heard these rumors, and her life was embittered by their terrible import. A pall of gloom shrouded her sky, and anguish began to gnaw at her heart amidst all the splendors of the Tuileries and the lovely retirement of Malmaison.

Napoleon's younger brother, Louis, was of nearly the same age with Hortense. He was a young man of fine personal appearance, very intelligent, of scholarly tastes, and of irreproachable character. Though pensive in temperament, he had proved himself a hero on the field of battle, and he possessed, in all respects, a very noble character. Many of the letters which he had written from Egypt to his friends in Paris had been intercepted by the British cruisers, and were published. They all bore the impress of the lofty spirit of integrity and humanity with which he was inspired. Napoleon was very fond of his brother Louis. He would surely place him in the highest positions of wealth and power. As Louis Bonaparte was remarkably domestic in his tastes and affectionate in his disposition, Josephine could not doubt that he would make Hortense happy. Apparently it was a match full of promise, brilliant, and in all respects desirable. Its crowning excellence, however, in the eye of Josephine was, that should Hortense marry Louis Bonaparte and give birth to a son, Napoleon would recognize that child as his heir. Bearing the name of Bonaparte, with the blood of the Bonapartes in his veins, and being the child of Hortense, whom he so tenderly loved as a daughter, the desires of Napoleon and of France might be satisfied. Thus the terrible divorce might be averted.

It is not probable that at this time Napoleon seriously thought of a divorce, though the air was filled with rumors put in circulation by those who were endeavoring to crowd him to it. He loved Josephine tenderly, and of course could not sympathize with her in those fears of which it was impossible for her to speak to him. Bourrienne testifies that Josephine one day said to him in confidence, veiling and at the same time revealing her fears, "This projected marriage with Duroc leaves me without support. Duroc, independent of Bonaparte's friendship, is nothing. He has neither fortune, rank, nor even reputation. He can afford me no protection against the enmity of the brothers. I must have some more certain reliance for the future. My husband loves Louis very much. If I can succeed in uniting my daughter to him, he will prove a strong counterpoise to the calumnies and persecutions of my brothers-in-law."

These remarks were repeated to Napoleon. According to Bourrienne, he replied,

"Josephine labors in vain. Duroc and Hortense love each other, and they shall be married. I am attached to Duroc. He is well born. I have given Caroline to Murat, and Pauline to Le Clerc. I can as well give Hortense to Duroc. He is as good as the others. He is general of division. Besides, I have other views for Louis."

Josephine, however, soon won the assent of Napoleon to her views, and he regarded with great satisfaction the union of Hortense with Louis. The contemplated connection with Duroc was broken off. Two young hearts were thus crushed, with cruelty quite unintentional. Duroc was soon after married to an heiress, who brought him a large fortune, and, it is said, a haughty spirit and an irritable temper, which embittered all his days.

Hortense, disappointed, heart-broken, despairing, was weary of the world. She probably never saw another happy day. Such is life.

"Sorrows are for the sons of men,

And weeping for earth's daughters."