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From Bentley's Miscellany, of the members of which had agreed to meet THE BONAPARTE FAMILY AT FLORENCE. at Florence. This family alone could furnish
more sovereigns, past and future, than is The supper of dethroned kings, at which sometimes to be found in an entire dynasty. Candide was present at Venice, described by Having had the advantage not only of freVoltaire with such sparkling wit in the most quent, but also of familiar, intercourse with celebrated of his novels, might have been re- the greater number of the members of this peated at Florence with a yet greater variety extraordinary family, which for fifty years has • and number of guests, in the years which made so much noise in the world, I shall preceded the revolution of 1830. Ex-majes- submit to the curiosity of the reader that only ties were there to be seen of every color and which I have seen with my own eyes or heard of every race. The negro was represented with my own ears. by the ex-Queen of Haïti (the widow of On the banks of the Arno, near the beauChristophe), who every day displayed on the tiful bridge A Santa Trinita, built from the Cascine, that delicious promenade of the Flor- designs of Michael Angelo, and close to the entines, her great fat face shaded by an modest dwelling in which the celebrated Alenormous straw hat. A Persian or Hindoo fieri passed the last years of his troubled existPrince, whose father was said to have been ence, Louis Bonaparte, ex-King of Holland, assassinated in some mysterious manner, be- occupied, under the name of the Count de St. trayed through his copper-colored skin a sin- Leu, a handsome and spacious mansion, of gular mixture of cunning and credulity, and which he did the honors with the most perrepeated, with all the gravity in the world, fect urbanity. There resided with him his stories of genii and prodigies in every way eldest son, Napoleon, who had married the worthy a place in the Arabian Nights. The Princess Charlotte, daughter of Joseph BonaHospodar of Wallachia, whom the revolution parte, ex-King of Spain, and then a refugee in of Greece had cast upon the banks of the America. At a short distance dwelt the exArno, presented a striking contrast, in his Queen of Spain, the Countess de Survilliers, airs of pride and grandeur, with the humble with her sister and her niece, Madame and and ceremonious bearing of the Indian Prince. Mademoiselle de Villeneuve. Subsequently Iturbide, who had lost the empire of Mexico Jerome Bonaparte, the ex-King of Westphaas rapidly as he had won it, was as great a lia, established himself at Florence with his gambler at Florence as he had been in Amer- family. Jerome was a singular person. Naica, and lost his doubloons with a sang froid poleon related, when at St. Helena, that he perfectly Spanish. This coolness, this resig- wished to make him an admiral of France, nation, however, was not real. He one day and had sent him on board a frigate which suddenly disappeared and went off to get shot sailed for the United States. But, instead of in America at the very moment when he furnishing himself with compasses and astrothought he was about to seize again on his nomical instruments, the embryo-admiral, who empire. At a later period the Dey of Algiers, was extremely fond of comfits, had laid in a driven from his territories by the French, cargo of sugar-plums to the value of 400.. made his appearance with pipe and harem in sterling. He is now heir-presumptive to the Tuscany, where alsò the Prince of Carignano, throne of France : under his reign we shall afterwards so celebrated under the name of not despair of seeing comfitmakers members Charles Albert, took refuge when forced by of the Senate. the events of 1821 to quit Piedmont. Never Without mentioning the Princess Pauline, had such a gallery of dethroned princes been who, only at the close of her life, came to seen, and at the entrance of this gallery Florence to reünite herself with her husmight be placed a family of Osages, Princes band, the Prince Borghese, other members of or Caziques by birth, who were awaiting their the Bonaparte family from time to time aprestoration and, en attendant, exhibited them- peared for short periods in the same city. selves for money, and devoured enormous piles Sometimes we saw there the Prince of Muof beefsteaks for the delectation of the gap- signano, son of Lucien Bonaparte and author ing crowd.
of some works of merit on natural history, I have purposely reserved for the last, as the same who, under the title of Prince of forming the most interesting portion of this Canino, has figured recently among the most singular réunion, the Bonaparte family, most fiery demagogues of the Roman Republic.
Sometimes it was the Queen Hortense, the attempt to banish rhyme from French verse, wife of the Count de St. Leu, who passed which led people to say that his poetical through Florence without making any long pieces had neither rhyme nor reason.
Each stay there. Her second son, Louis Napoleon, day was the counterpart of the other. He the present Emperor of the French, remained was fond of the society of a few persons, and with her, for he had no sympathies in com- frequently visited the theatre as an amusemon with his father.
ment. Occasionally he had receptions, the Although these visits were very rare, they most numerously attended of which was that did not appear to produce an agreeable im- at Christmas. On this occasion he gave a pression upon Louis Bonaparte and his quiet splendid repast, preceded by a midnight mass, and orderly household. The Prince of Mu- which was celebrated in his chapel. signano was accused, be it justly or otherwise, His eldest son was a fine, amiable, upright, of having brutally ill-treated his wife, who noble-hearted young man, but without much was sister of the Princess Charlotte. These grasp of intellect. He cultivated the arts, as reports might explain the terror exhibited a did also his wife, and I preserve in my album few months ago by that lady, who lives apart with much pleasure some lithographs made from him, at Rome, when, having heard of from their drawings, and which they presenthis unexpected arrival at Civita Vecchia, she ed to me. The Princess Charlotte was small, demanded in all haste from the Pope a guard and slightly deformed, but her character was of police to protect her, in the event of her more firm and decided than that of her hushusband making his way to her.
band, who allowed himself to be governed by As to the Queen Hortense, her husband her. They were both easily caught by new never saw her, and he, who was in general ideas and projects ; their brother, the Prince 80 reserved, would give way to most incredible Louis Napoleon, had inspired them with his outbursts respecting her. He had the mis- own taste for aerostatics, and they occupied fortune to have almost lost the use of one themselves with endeavoring to discorer the side from paralysis, and could not walk with means of guiding balloons. They persisted out support. One day when I was with him for a long time in their experiments, notwithin his library he made a movement to reach a standing all my efforts to persuade them to book, and nearly fell. 66 Wretched woman! desist. We have recently seen Louis Napoexclaimed he, wretched woman! I am leon give himself up again to this mania of indebted to my wife for this." And in his his youth. despair he forgot himself so far as to tell me The younger portion of the family generally things that were inconceivable. He seldom passed these evenings with the Countess of saw and always treated with icy coldness the Survilliers, at whose house several distinguished second son of Queen Hortense. The doubts men were in the habit of assembling. Of which have been thrown upon the right of these the most frequent visitors were M. Giorthis young man to call himself nephew of the dani, the most elegant of the modern writers Emperor have been so much discussed recently of Italy; the Count Mamiani, who has since that it is not necessary to say anything upon been prime minister to Pope Pius IX., in cirthe subject here.
cumstances of much trouble and difficulty ; Louis Napoleon, Count de St. Leu, was a and the celebrated engraver, M. Jesi. The man of moderate capacity ; but he was gen- evenings passed without any display, and tle, good, charitable, and most honorable. It with a certain calm resignation. The ladies is well known that he resigned the crown of sometimes amused themselves with music, the Holland, without affectation and without gentlemen conversed about literature or poliregret, because he would not adopt the views tics, and their opinions generally had a of Napoleon, so ruinous to the country. He republican tendency. It was Bonapartism was exceedingly fat, and he resembled very taken up at its source. But the subject much, particularly in profile, the likenesses we which was never exhausted was the life of have of his brother when at St. Helena. He Napoleon. The private anecdotes about him spoke Italian and French with a slight Corsican were innumerable. Sometimes we were shown accent, which he had never been able to correct. with a sigh curious objects which had beHe wrote several works, which met with very longed to the Emperor, or documents conindifferent success, and some poems which are nected with the history of his life. Amongst below mediocrity. He made an unsuccessful these papers was preserved, with great care,
a collection of love-letters written by Napoleon of Wurtemburg: At Florence he extricated to the Queen of Sweden, before she married himself from his pecuniary embarrassments Bernadotte. When about to ascend the by dazzling with his royal title the eyes of a throne, she confided these passionate effusions young and rich widow, the Marquise Bto her sister, the Countess of Survilliers, by and uniting his daughter, the Princess Mawhom they were only shown to a few very in- thilde, to M. de Demidoff, son of a Russian timate friends. The soul and warmth which merchant of great wealth, but of whom it was pervaded them often supplied the place of was predicted that he would not make a very orthography.
good husband. These melancholy forebodings Amongst the persons who at this period have been realized : the husband and wife are were received with kindness by the Bonaparte separated, and the Princess Mathilde is the family, I must not forget a young and amia- subject of constant gossip at the present day ble French artist, Mademoiselle A at the new imperial court of Paris. who afterwards married a banker, established Jerome had also two sons by his second at Rome. Her name recalls to my mind a marriage. One, if the journals are to be bevery piquant anecdote, which displays in a lieved, died mad, the other, after having striking manner the Corsican and primitive made himself conspicuous at Paris during the manners of the Bonaparte family. This last four years among the most violent repubyoung lady had painted an excellent portrait licans of the Mountain, is now an Imperial of the Count de St. Leu. When she quitted Prince, with a vast number of titles and decFlorence for Rome, the count recommended orations of a very unsocialist character. An her to his mother, Madame Letitia Bonaparte, absurd duel, constantly announced and never who at that time resided in the latter city, at coming off, has made one of the sons of Jerome a very advanced age. Madame Letitia had the laughing-stock of Italy. amassed an immense fortune, for even during The monotony of the life of the Count de the most brilliant period of the career of the St. Leu was disturbed, at the commencement En peror she appears to have looked forward of the year 1831, by the sudden appearance to a less prosperous future, and to have taken of his second son, Louis Napoleon. This her precautions accordingly. Mademoiselle unlooked-for arrival was quite an event in the Awas commissioned to paint the por- society of Florence, and many stories got into trait of the mother of this family of kings. circulation as explanatory of the circumThe work being finished and admired, Mad- stances which led this young man to quit his ame Letitia demanded the price. The artist mother at Rome, and seek an asylum with his replied, at first, that she had been but too father, who had always manifested so little happy in painting the portrait of the mother affection for him. Ile had hardly arrived of the Emperor ; that this honor was sufficient when he began to take part in the prepararecompense. Being further pressed, she tions for insurrection which were going on said that she had received 3000 francs (1201. in Central Italy, and devoted himself ensterling) for the portrait of the Count de St. tirely to them. His elder brother followed in Leu, and that she should be happy to accept the same course, but with somewhat less the same sum from Madame. Madame Letitia, eagerness : he did follow, however, and the considering this to be an exorbitant demand, Princess Charlotte, his sister-in-law, was a fell into a truly Corsican passion, in spite of powerful auxiliary to him. At the same her eighty years, ordered the money to be time, and from this very epoch -- he was then told down in her presence to the young artist, but twenty-two years of age - he meditated who stood trembling and sobbing, and at the the attempt of a coup de main on France. I same time, her rage increasing more and more, will here repeat what I know respecting this kicked the unlucky portrait to tatters, in the project of a coup de main, which preceded true style of a poissarde.
the expeditions of Strasbourg and Boulogne. Jeroine Bonaparte was far from living at I have just said that the young sons of the Florence with the same respectability as his count de St. Leu wished, unknown to their brother, the Count de St. Leu. I did not father, to connect themselves with the insurknow him personally, but it was notorious that rectionary movements which were then prehis affairs were always wrong, that he was paring in Italy. Always resting, upon the crippled by debts, and that he lived an unquiet principle of imperial legitimacy, they looked and irregular life. The history of his mar- upon the Duke of Reichstadt, the son of the riage is no secret. At the time when he car- Emperor, as being still King of Rome and the ried his cargo of sugar-pluins to America, he true King of Italy. They maintained, theremarried in the United States a young and fore, that the Italian revolution should be efhandsome lady, who, at a subsequent period, fected in the name of the Duke of Reichstadt, figured to advantage in the saloons of Paris and that the Italians should rise to support and of London under the name of Mrs. Pater- the rights of the son of the Emperor Napo
To please the Emperor, he basely aban- leon. They frequently talked to me about duned wife and child, and married a princess this project, which I endeavored to make them
give up by urging upon them the impossibility | Louis Napoleon, without being at all disconof exciting an insurrection in the name of the certed at the astonishment this project of a grandson of the Emperor of Austria, an insur- descent in France with 1500 Corsican peasants rection which, in fact, could only be directed caused ine, answered coolly, “My uncle did against the Austrians themselves. It was all it with 600!” I retired, utterly confounded in vain. Each day there were fresh confer- by the boldness of this young man, who from ences, fresh discussions; the object of which this time believed that he was destined to was to persuade the Italian liberal party that renew the miracles of the return from the it ought to fall in with their views and take Island of Elba, and who, after two fruitless an actire part in their proceedings.
attempts, has succeeded, though in a manner These plottings could not be kept entirely which perhaps did not enter into his calculafrom the knowledge of the police, and the tions. Bonaparte family was closely watched. One A few days after this event, Bologna and evening I was in a box at the theatre Della the Legations were in full insurrection, and Pergola, and found myself almost opposite the the excitement which spread even into Tusbox in which the Count de St. Leu was seated cany, was felt in no slight degree in the Bowith the present Emperor of the French. As naparte family. One morning, as I left my soon as the latter saw me, he endeavored to house, my head full of the reports of what make me understand by signs that he wished was taking place at our very gates, I saw the to speak to me. This telegraphing in the two sons of the Count de St. Leu in a travelling midst of some hundred of spectators, who had carriage. The eldest, who was seated at the seen the signs which the Prince Louis Napo- side next to me, siniled, and gave me a most leon made to me, and who were watching us, friendly salute. I guessed by the direction appeared to me worse than imprudent, and I the carriage took that the two young gentleturned my back in order to make it appear men were about to transport themselves into that I had not noticed anything. In a few the insurgent districts. My conjecture was minutes a sort of aide-de-camp of the prince well-founded. Uniting, from that time, this knocked at the box in which I was seated, spirit of adventure with the taste for uniforms and announced to me that the prince desired and travesties, to which he has subsequently to see me immediately. In vain I objected addicted himself with so much success, Louis that we were observed and watched, and that Napoleon, who had drawn his brother into the our interview in the green-room, as he desired enterprise, and, in fact, directed everything, it to be, would be witnessed by at least half dressed up twenty peasants like Polish lanea dozen agents of police. The aide-de-campers, and went, with his brother, to offer his urged me so strongly, that I was obliged to valiant maskers to the insurrectionary governcomply, being quite unable to guess the cause ment of Bologna. But the unlucky efforts of such extraordinary haste. The prince had which they had made in favor of the Duke of hardly accosted me, when he placed a letter Reichstadt had, as I foresaw, rendered the in my hands, which he had just received, and two brothers so extremely unpopular, that the upon which he desired to have my opinion. government of Bologna was obliged to sepaThis letter - it was very long - was addressed rate themselves publicly from these two austo him by an old colonel of the army of Napo-iliaries, who, moreover, labored under the leon, who seriously proposed to him to make disadvantage of compromising, by their very a descent in Provence at the head of 1500 Cor- name, the Italian cause in the eyes of the French sican mountaineers, covered with goat-skins, government. The two young Bonapartes and armed with guns, who should proclaim the were, consequently, ordered to quit the insurEmpire and name him regent until the Duke gent country without delay. Their position of Reichstadt could escape from Vienna. Al was now very awkward, for they could not though accustomed to the most extraordinary quit the insurgent districts without entering projects on the part of young Bonaparte, this those of the Pope or of Tuscany, which were appeared to me so utterly senseless, that I devoted to Austria, and where this escapade could not help saying that I saw only two would in all probability be severely punished. hypotheses by which the letter he had just They were endeavoring, therefore, to gain the communicated to me could be explained, and mountains, when the elder brother died sudthat, in my opinion, either the Corsican Colo-denly, some say from the measles ; according nel was stark mad, or that he had been to others - but, I believe, it is a calumnious bribed to ruin the prince by drawing him into report in a more terrible and mysterious an enterprise which would only end in his manner. Louis Napoleon, now leit alone, being shot. I added, that he had but to re-entered France with his mother. Notwithcall to his mind the expedition of Murat, who standing the law by which every member of also set out from Corsica to reconquer a throne, the Bonaparte family was proscribed, he was and who was shot almost as soon as he had received with kindness by Louis Philippe, disembarked on the coasts of Naples. To this who allowed him to go to Switzerland.
From Chambers' Repository. was a loud knock and a ring at the street
door. A STORY OF TWO LIVES.
“I wonder who it can be ?" said Mrs. IreI think we are not wholly brain,
ton, after a moment's pause; “ we are not Magnetic mockeries. - In Memoriam, expecting any one this evening, and it is a
most unusual time for visitors. I.
Meanwhile the door was opened, and the The scene was a London fireside about the quick hearing of the blind man instantly recmiddle of December. A family group were ognized well-known voices. He exclaimed: assembled round the tea-table, in the dining-" Only Frances and Edward. I think they room of a convenient substantial house, in a are inquiring if we are alone. How good of pleasant and well-esteemed quarter ; evidences them to conie round !" of comfort and wealth were abundant, and The next moment, Mr. Ireton's married perhaps a stranger would have observed that daughter, Mrs. Crawford, and her husband, the apartment bore more the appearance of a entered the room. They were a noble-looking commodious general sitting-room than of a pair; he a handsome man of about thirty, mere salle à manger. Had he known also with that best air of high-breeding which is that there was a very elegant suite of drawing- alike removed from petty affectations or cold rooins above, and a numerous and efficient indifference of manner, and the principal corps of servants below stairs, he must have charm of which will be found to consist in conjectured that there was some especial rea- its perfect ease and naturalness: this manson for the family spending the evening in the ner, be it observed, rising readily enough room where they had dined.
whenever occasion requires, to generous enA girl of sixteen, just bursting out of child-thusiasm, but never betraying self-conscioushood — with the bloom of her early woman- ness about trifles — a manner almost always hood rather to be guessed at than acknowl- demanding the rare combination of circumedged -- was presiding at the tea-table; her stances which includes nobility of character, next sister, the junior by a year or two, was large and clear intellect, and a worldly posibusily engaged on some wool-work, perhaps tion that keeps far away depressing cares and manufacturing slippers for papa ; little Willy anxieties. was cutting the leaves of his prize-book; and Mrs. Crawford, the wife of three months, Mrs. Ireton was leaning back in her arm- and barely yet one-and-twenty, must be rather chair, eying the party with quiet, maternal more elaborately described. Considerably satisfaction, and every now and then dropping taller than the medium height, her finelysome pleasant words — like flowers thrown moulded figure was erect and yet pliant; and upon a stream - into the murmuring babble some inner spring of thought or feeling gave of their family talk. Opposite to her, in the such grace to her movements, that her slightfellow arm-chair, sat her beloved husband, est and most careless gestures impressed the with their youngest treasure — a golden- beholder with an idea of beauty. Features haired, blue-eyed darling of four years old — far more lovely than those of the passionless on his knee ; but for the father was no longer Greek ideal, were Francis Crawford's, though the blessing of beholding the dear faces around of the character to invite comparison with it; him. Mr. Ireton was blind, and it was on and eyes of Oriental lustre, a pure yet warmlyaccount of his bereavement that the family tinted complexion, and abundant dark tresses so often occupied the room with which he of silky texture, completed the picture. But thought himself the most familiar. As the that her smile was marvellously sweet and child on his knee clasped its arms round his tolerably frequent, one must have declared neck, played tricks with his cravat, and show- that haughtiness was the predominant ex ered kisses on his cheeks with baby prattle, pression of her beautiful countenance. And and restless, infantile glee, there was some- haughty, too, at times she was; intolerant of thing pathetic in the manner in which the meanness or falsehood ; impatient of control, father passed his hands across the face of the save, when yielding and obeying, she was child he had never seen! The gesture was likewise able to respect and venerate. It was all the more touching, because it was only curious, that while her sisters were commonly loving, not sad.
called Bessy and Lotty, and the family in genWilly put down his new book, and handed eral were rich in nicknames, no one ever had Mr. Ireton his tea, with a gentle care not to thought of appropriating one to her, or even have been looked for in a school-boy ; while of degrading the majestic Frances to simple she of the embroidery-needle hastened to lift Fanny. down baby, as the youngest was still called, It is a pleasant sight to witness cordial from her father's knee. It was the delight of family greetings; and though the married Mr. Ireton's children to watch and wait upon daughter resided in the next street, and meethim; and they felt jealous every time a ser- ings were almost daily, she stooped over the yant approached him. At this moment there blind man's chair, kissed him fondly, saluted