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commissioners for the site and grounds of the new National Gallery, includes those just described, which consists of about twenty acres, and it will probably, when completed, approach to a hundred.”
COUNT D'ORSAY AND THE PRINCE LOUIS NAPOLEON.
The intimate relations that subsisted between the present Emperor of the French, when a refugee and a proscribed conspirator in England, and the Count D'Orsay, in the palmy days of his London fashionable life, may render a brief notice of the family and fortunes of Louis Napoleon of come interest in connection with a memoir of the Count D'Orsay.
In March, 1828, Lady Blessington made the acquaintance, at Rome, of Madame Hortense, ex-Queen of Holland—the Duchesse de St. Leu.
Josephine Tascher de la Pagerie had two children by her first marriage with General Alexander Vicomte de Beauharnais, who was guillotined in 1794. Of the two children, Prince Eugene, the subsequent Viceroy of Italy, and later Duke of Leuchtenberg, born in 1781, died in Munich in 1824; the second, Hortense—perhaps the only being whom Napoleon could be said to have truly loved—was married to the brother of Napoleon, Louis, King of Holland, and after many vicissitudes, died in 1838, greatly loved and regretted. This lady was highly gifted and accomplished, and alike on the throne and in private life, her enlightenment, varied talents, and benevolent disposition, shed a lustre around her, and rendered her at once the most fascinating and amiable of women. Her marriage, however, was an unhappy one; she lived apart from her husband, except at three very long intervals, for a very short term on each occasion of a sort of reconciliation, that was not destined to be of long duration. They finally separated in 1807.
Lady Blessington, while residing in Italy, makes frequent mention of this illustrious lady in her letters.
The time, she says, always passed away rapidly, and most delightfully, while listening to her conversation, and hearing her sing those charming little French romances, which were written and composed by herself. She was equally fascinating in her manners and appearance, though not beautiful. She was of the middle stature, slight and delicate, and well formed; her carriage graceful, and of imposing deportment and address. Her complexion was fair, and the expression of her countenance mild and pensive, but when she entered into conversation her features were full of life and vivacity; she was quick of apprehension, possessed a clear insight into character, and regulated her conversation and bearing towards people in society by the opinions she formed, and usually with excellent judgment and good sense. She was highly accomplished, a good artist, highly skilled in drawing, spoke several languages, was well versed in history and the literature of various countries. But for more than all her accomplishments, Lady Blessington admired the ex-Queen of Holland for her kindly disposition, her generous and noble nature. This amiable woman lived much in Italy in her latter years.
The contrast which Lady Blessington drew in some of her letters, between the ex-Queen Hortense and the ex-Queen Maria-Louisa, was not very favourable to the latter. *
* The ex-Empress Maria Louisa, Archduchess of Parma, formerly wife of the Emperor Napoleon, died at Parma, December 17, 1848, aged fifty-six. In 1810, when this Princess was in her nineteenth year, she became the bride of the great soldier-sovereign of France, Italy, Holland, and Belgium.
The scandalous repudiation of the generous-minded, noble-hearted Josephine, never appears to have disturbed the apathy of the Austrian
January the 11th, 1838, the funeral ceremonies in memory of the late Duchesse de St. Leu, ex-Queen of Holland, were performed in the church of Reuil, near Paris, with great magnificence and solemnity. Three months later, in April, 1838, the Duke de St. Leu, ex-King of Holland, was married in Florence to the Signora Strozzi. The church of Reuil, on the occasion of the obsequies of the ex-Queen of Holland, was crowded to overflowing. Seats were occupied by the Comtesse de Lipona (ex-Queen of Naples, the widow of Murat), the Prince of Musignano (son of Lucien Bonaparte), the venerable Marquis de Beauharnais, brother to the first husband of Josephine, General Count Tascher de la Pagerie (once Governor-General of Frankfort), cousin to Queen Hortense, and other distinguished persons. A catafalque was raised near the tomb of the deceased's mother, the Empress Josephine, whose statue of marble was covered with a black veil. The pall was borne by the Marquis de Beauharnais and Count de Tascher. The attendance of the clergy was very numerous, and detachments of troops of the line, and national guards of Reuil, added to the pomp of the scene. Many of the persons involved in the prosecution for the attempt at Strasburg, were present.*
Louis Bonaparte, ex-King of Holland, latterly bearing the title of Count of St. Leu, the father of the present Emperor of the French, was born at Ajacio, in 1778. He entered the princess. Four years of imperial grandeur shared with the Emperor of France—the tie of a child, born to her in that period, and the claims of that child's father on her affection, or the cold feelings even of duty, were matters of no consideration, when Napoleon's star was waning. Maria-Louisa sought not to share the fortunes of her hus. band in the mild banishment of Elba. She left her son a hostage in the hands of her father-she left her husband a captive in the hands of his enemies, to entertain his fate alone.
The body of the Archduchess Maria-Louisa was conveyed to Vienna, and deposited in the imperial vault, in the church of the Capuchins, by the side of that of her son, the Duke of Reichstadt.
* The Athenæum, Jan. 20, 1838.
French army at an early age, and accompanied his brother, Napoleon, to Italy and Egypt. He was aide-de-camp to Napoleon when the latter, seizing a standard, rushed upon the bridge of Arcola, on which occasion Louis placed himself in front of his brother, and between him and the fire of the enemy. From that period he was employed by his brother in several diplomatic and confidential employments of high importance to Napoleon's interest and designs. In 1802, he married, “malgré lui,” Hortense Fanny de Beauharnais, daughter of the Empress Josephine. After various honours, dignities, and high offices, had been conferred on him, in 1806, he was placed, malgré lui,” on the throne of Holland, by Napoleon. In 1810, he abdicated his crown from a sense of duty to his subjects, refusing to be the tool of his brother's tyranny in respect to the commerce and trade of the Dutch people. Holland became then united to the empire. Louis retired to Gratz, in Styria, where he resided for three years honourable self-imposed exile, resisting all pecuniary offers, , an apanage, either for himself or his children, made by the Emperor of France.
In 1813, when France was menaced with invasion, he offered his services to the Emperor, by whom they were accepted; but notwithstanding their acceptance, having proceeded to Switzerland, he remained there unemployed. After the restoration of the Bourbons, he retired to the Papal States, and there devoted himself chiefly to literature and antiquarian pursuits. He published several works—a Novel, Historic Documents on Holland, a Treatise on Versification, an Opera, a Tragedy, a collection of Poems, and some Comments on Sir W. Scott's History of Napoleon. He died at Leghorn, the 23rd June, 1846, leaving a request that his body and that of his son, who was killed at Forli, in 1831, in the insurrection of Romagna, might be taken to France, and buried at St. Leu, near Enghien, with the remains of his father and his first son, who had been buried there, which wish was fulfilled in September 1847, with great pomp, and an at tendance (very significant) of upwards of ten thousand persons from Paris, a distance of about eighteen miles from St. Leu. Five hundred of the veteran soldiers of the empire, wearing the uniforms of the old guard, were present, and several other corps, brought together on that occasion to attend the funeral. Among the attendants were Jerome Bonaparte, exKing of Westphalia, “and Doctor Conneau, the friend of Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, who was confined in Ham."*
The third son of Louis Bonaparte, King of Holland, the Prince Louis Bonaparte, who died in 1831, left a widow, the Princess Charlotte Bonaparte, daughter of Joseph Bonaparte, ex-King of Spain, who died at Florence, the 3d of March, 1839. The sister of this lady married Charles Lucien Bonaparte, a son of the Prince de Canino.
In March, 1828, when Lady Blessington made the acquaintance of the ex-Queen of Holland, her second son, Prince Louis Napoleon Bonaparte (now Emperor of the French), then living with his mother, was in his twentieth year. Lady Blessington says she never witnessed a more devoted attachment than subsisted between them. “ He is a fine high-spirited youth,” she observes in one of her letters, “ admirably well educated and finely accomplished, uniting to the gallant bearing of a soldier all the politeness of a preux chevalier ; but how could he be otherwise, brought up with such a mother? Prince Louis Bonaparte is much beloved and esteemed by all who know him, and is said to resemble his uncle, the Prince Eugene Beauharnais, no less in person than in mind; possessing his generous nature, personal courage, and high sense of honour."
Prince Louis Napoleon was born in Paris, in April, 1808. In 1831, both he and his elder brother took part in the Italian insurrection, which had for its aim the establishment of a republic,
* Annual Register for 1847, p. 634.