THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE

NAPOLEON

IN EXILE

Napoleon in Exile at Elba, 1814-1815— By Norwood Young, Author of " The Growth of
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Napoleon in Exile at St. Helena, 1815-1821. By Norwood Young, with a chapter on the
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Her Parents Italian Days . XV. The Countess Demidoff In the 35 V. . VII. 8 16 III. . 118 130 143 153 Family Disputes A Change of Biographers XIV.CONTENTS CHAPTRR I. 89 IX. .. The Princess and Sainte-Beuve 165 XVL Sainte-Beuve : The End of a Friendship Y 183 . 1 II. Rue de Courcelles 46 64 74 Some Criticisms op the Princess The Last Days op the Republic Her Imperial Highness The Inner Circle Racial Prejudices . VIII.. Some Literary Friends. XII. MM A Beautiful Princess . The Hostess . 98 109 X. XIII.. VI. IV. XI.

. Two Losses XXIII. 274 286 XXIV. 203 219 The Downfall . Yet the Same XXI. The New Paris Home XXII. Epilogue Index of Principal Names 323 .VI CHAPTER CONTENTS PAGE XVII. The Evening of Life XXV. Changed. The Last Scenes 300 311 XXVI. 252 264 An Unfounded Scare. XIX. Exile and Return 229 243 XX. Under the Later Empire XVIII.

74 Prince Napoleon (Napoleon-Joseph-Charlbs-Jbrome Bonaparte) 86 Count Alfred Emilion de Nibuwbrkerke After Dubufe.. 8 Catherine of Wurtemberg.. King of Westphalia .. The Princess Mathildb Bonapartb After Qiraud.LIST OE ILLUSTRATIONS The Princess Mathilde Bonaparte Photogravure Frontispiece From the butt by Carpcaux. The Princess Mathilde Bonaparte After Gavarnt. Queen of Westphalia 20 Count Anatole Demidoff... Prince of San Donato Spanish Costume) Louis Napoleon Bonaparte . ..136 . ... . Jerome Bonaparte.. 106 The Countess Castiglionb .. FiCISd PAUF. 158 Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve . . . . (in 32 44 From a drawing by Count oTOnay. 182 . . .. . . ....

. 212 Prince William. .. in . 1867. 310 . facing page 204 The Pbincess Mathilde Bonapabte From a photograph... . . .. . 286 The Princess Victor Napoleon..... 290 Prince Victor Napoleon. the present Kaiser From a photograph taken in Paris. the Bonapartist Claimant From a photograph..viii LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS The Duke of Morny . 266 The Princess Mathilde After Doucel. 212 Prince Victor Napoleon . Later Life . with her Infant Son From a photograph. .

THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE CHAPTER I A BEAUTIFUL PRINCESS MATHILDE . needful if we begin her story with a few of the tributes paid to her beauty by those who had the pleasure of gazing on it in its perfection.L(ETITIA . By their fascination she turned her friends into adorers and made of her home a Court which revolutions were No apology." who had little else than loveliness to commend her. 1 .WlLHELMINE BONAPARTE was undoubtedly one of those women who owe much to their possession of personal beauty. we may this It will be — well imagine. abundantly evident in the course of book that she had many other gifts for which to thank Nature more fortunate in this " la belle des respect than her aunt Pauline. therefore. But without her looks. the other gifts of the Princess Mathilde would have failed to Avin for her the place which she occupies in nineteenthcentury French history. is powerless to destroy. belles.

from the slope of the forehead to the despotic chin. imperiousness in the lower. probably. which always brings characteristic is of middlesaying of a certain highly placed lady see that she class extraction: 'You can easily " was born to it. showing kindliness in the upper lip. fine eyes. with mobile nostrils. " Grand air de princesse. line and for expression. both proud and sweet a nose which is Italian. tete heraldique et " such olympienne portant Men sa couronne is the exclamation with which he hegins his " A true description of her in Les Confessions. And how proud is that to mind the carriage. in which the prevailing an intelligence that is lofty. rather than Greek with the . generally called "The Portrait . and banter for the fools. is the tribute of Sainte-Beuve. is the face of Napoleon. a charming mouth.2 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE The Princess has no more enthusiastic admirer than Arsene Houssaye. impulsive. " She has sovereign beauty and the beauty of sovereigns. Princess Mathilde is beautiful with all the — beauties. director of the Theatre Prancais and author of many entertaining works." he says. strength and sweetness. style and charm. masterful.' Better known. a kind heart Here all the world. That art which she worships has given a supreme touch of enlightenment to this countenance. " and the princess must he beautiful. immobility of marble.

and. the union of grace and power. . to accompany a photograph of her in a of portraits and biographies of the series Bonaparte family." 8 This was published first in 1862. There is no A lack of decision in the firmly chiselled features. and The well-set are not apt to feign or conceal. full quick and piercing now toward you. at times also an ardent spirit. of a clear brown hue. finely shaped neck. The hands have no equal in the . as lights up. made for the diadem. not so much to fathom your thought as to convey their own. dignity. the gladness which springs from a healthy nature. The whole Their glance is and then they turn physiognomy indicates soon as it nobility. In a moment of just anger. Her light golden hair leaves uncovered on each side her broad. and goodness. any eyes.A BEAUTIFUL PRINCESS of the Princess. chance mole or two shows that Nature had line no intention that the classic purity of which is hers should be confused with other's. The admirably poised head rises from a dazzling and magnificent bust. and was included later in the eleventh volume of the Causeries du Lundi. the cheek flames. frankness. gleam with the affection or the thought of the moment. and is joined to shoulders of statuesque smoothness and whiteness. pure temples. and sweeps round to join again in wavy masses on the full. impressive rather than large. " She has a high and noble forehead.

woman at the age of about twenty-nine. but is made to look tall by its suppleness and harmony of The carriage is instinct with race. in which he and his brother the exquisite industry life and characters of the society in which they moved. which is the more valuable. and particularly her smile "a charming smile. a lovable human smile." 1 See p. full of many things. But perhaps. and she very always remained a woman of distinguished : 1 . and gives an undefinable impression of soveis —the hands of the of medium reignty and full-blooded womanhood." "the sweetest smile in with such recorded — the world. and indeed we shall hear some of them later on. she " She must have been uncommonly beautisays she was still ful in her young womanhood handsome when I knew her first. seeing that it comes from the pen of the Princess Caroline Murat." Jules de Goncourt scatters through his section of the Journal.4 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE world The body Bonaparte family. for the moment. many praises of the Princess Mathilde's looks. One tribute from a woman may be added. 64 . we have had enough. in whose mouth Writing of her kinscompliments are few." It would be easy to collect the homages of other literary men. presence. proportion. stature. that rich smile of charming Italian mouths.

for she had an intense admiration of her uncle's looks. renders his early portraits curious rather than attractive to modern eyes. far more re- sembled the great Emperor than their own father in features and build a resemblance of which she was proud. dark-haired and dark-eyed. of her physical traits to the children. Catherine of Wurtemberg in- She was small in stature. In the later representations of him he is not altogether unpleasing. but he in no way sughis daughter or his son. The eyes blue. however. ful. the good carriage. spare. somewhat modified. her poised on a short neck. and once so severely rated a distinguished old scientist for belittling them that she felt sorry for her harsh — speech afterwards. and graceHis dandyism." an excessive stoutness. of a long-past era. especially the daughter. like brother Prince Napoleon. was no friend of his. and was little inclined to do him even justice as "the least described — was — well-looking of all his family. and her complexion very fresh. mockingly called " the greatest king in Europe. According to less prejudiced critics. he was in youth small. but carried herself very upright. transmitted many mother.A BEAUTIFUL PRINCESS her 5 All observers noticed that the Princess. Jerome Bonaparte by the Duchesse d'Abrantes who. and her head was well Her hair was fair. gests either herited from her father. stoutness." She allows him a good figure. . The on the other hand.

dressed in a costume of rags designed for her by her friend and paintingmaster. to whom they were usually so much the wards. who are women. appears an isolated instance. in daughter as in mother. complexion. indeed. at times of excitement turned to a deep crimson which was not altogether becoming.6 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE fair hair all and the descended to the Princess Mathilde. Of course she liked flattery. just as others not beautiful. reverse. Eugene Giraud. and she received much. which. The roseleaf story. nor even like it . So too did the fresh colour. from the most Once she went literary of her acquaintances. This does not suggest that she put an undue value on the compliments which were . nor princesses. we should expect to find her vain." critic my This has cheek and could not tell the been taken by some vanity." of the pleasure which she had experienced in finding men rude to her. to a fancy-dress ball at the house of the magnificent Morny. But in simple justice it must be said that there are singularly few indications of such a trait in her character. It is reported that the Princess Mathilde once boasted that she had as a child an extraordinary " I remember that in Switzerland. they put a Bengal roseleaf against difference. when I was fourteen. of the Princess as a proof of Seeing who was her father. and her face hidden by an ugly mask. She told Jules de Goncourt after" with charming effusion.

. we see a picture of a woman singularly unspoilt by the fact that she was beautiful.A BEAUTIFUL PRINCESS 7 her general portion. If we take a general view. based upon the testimony of witnesses extremely various in their outlook on life.

has been published in disparagement of and in the event restoration his — the heir.CHAPTER II HER PARENTS In the parentage is of the Princess Mathilde there expect so fine a product as she undoubtedly was. and other which is much him is . grandson Victor. and a spendthrift he certainly made his mark. Since then impossible to admit his claims. talents to military it capacity. a fop. Under the Second Empire a band of adulators professed to find not much that would lead us to in him statesmanship. it of another Bonapartist will be remembered. was remarkable for father. As a rake. Napoleon. describes him as painfully Jerome was then young" [furieusement jeune). nothing so much as his lack of ballast. but he remained youthful for another fifty years. only twenty-five. in one of his milder reproaches " against his brother. Her Jerome Bonaparte. to whom a son was born the Court at the beginning of this present year — historians would find ample scope 8 for the white- .

.JEROME BONAPARTE.

.

the princess forced by the policies of Napoleon and of The her autocratic father to marry the young roui of the Bonaparte family. her connections by blood or by marriage. husband. in The Burlesque Napoleon (1905). to repeat periods. her dependents.HER PARENTS wash brush. 9 The sincerest tribute to him was and paid by the great puzzle tribute his second wife. and unquestionably virtues of Catherine of Wiirtemberg. and the cousin of an — 1 I the difficult have myself attempted. She was too simple to be great. the praises which have been showered upon her by her contemporaries and by those who came after. but she was What then emphatically a good woman. Mathilde's mother. task of drawing an impartial portrait of Jerome. are well known to every one who has given attention to the thoroughly discussed of all historical It is unnecessary. therefore. whose morals were grievously damaged before he married her and who betrayed her constantly during the them seven years of their life in Westphalia ? She came to him with dread and surely with some disdain. that she exhibited in her relations with her father. for she was the daughter of a king. . brothers. and that she did not win the fame that was hers by a striking display of what may be called public virtues. children. most It may be admitted that her virtues were of the domestic order. attracted her so dearly in Jerome. is 1 that this was at once a sincere. the grandniece of a king.

10 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE all living at the emperor. first with her grandparents and then with her stepmother. 1 . and sent with him to the newly created kingdom of Westphalia. At the age of twenty-four she was carried off to Paris. married Paul of Russia and by him was mother of the Tsar Alexander I. Charlotte. his insatiable thirst for frivolity and expenditure. united to Jerome. time of her wedding. He surrounded himself and his wife with men — of no brains and women of no morals. the Princess Royal of England. loustic " loustic being his to-morrow. joyful. Duke of Her father's Brunswick. sister of George III. Sophia of Wiirtemberg. loustic always attempt to pronounce the German lustig. agents. was daughter of Charles. far beyond the capacity of the Civil List allowed him by Napoleon." His . 1 She was brought up at a narrow German Court. He took as his motto a sentence which he was fond of repeating to his friends and parasites as they went to bed at the end of : each squandered day " Loustic to-day. sister. and Augusta. Here her husband indulged. There no hint of any scene made by her as the Jerome to her was familiarly injured wife. "With her stoutness must have gone a blessed placidity of disposition that in a less lovable is person might be put down to stupidity. " Pifi " she was his " little Trinette. manners towards her were always kind and Her mother. his amours being known to all in Cassel and reported with minute care to Napoleon by his Yet somehow Catherine was happy.

He offered a home to her at her father's capital on condition that she abandoned Jerome. refusing to believe that this suggestion was his (though it was) or to consider the idea of Catherine wrote to her a separation from Jerome. She applied next to Count Wintzingerode. Thereon indignantly father. At the head of the Wurtemberg contingent in the Allies' army occupying Paris in 1814 was her brother William. The extent of " Trinette's " affection for her " Fifi " was splendidly proved when the disaster of the Empire's fall arrived. Catherine made an attempt to secure a refuge for him and herself somewhere outside France. . While Jerome escorted his sister-in-law Marie-Louise to Orleans. Frederick of Wurtemberg was not melted by this. — — now Wurtemberg's Minister in Paris. scandal left certain that the hreath of her untouched. formerly a Westphalian subject and Prince.HER PARENTS 11 polished. the cause of her happiness for the past seven years. Cassel a few years before brutally refused to see her. the Crown She wrote to him asking for an interbut he a favoured guest at the Court of view. and there was a place for her at every entertainment of the giddy Court. nor by a second letter from his daughter. How she contrived to come through the ordeal innocent as well as contented is a secret of which the explanation It is lies deep down in her character.

In his absence the Austrian police descended on Catherine and her child at Trieste. JeromeNapoleon-Charles." 1815 brought further trials. Jerome joined and fought under him at Waterloo. It was intimated to him that he might live with his brother . She continued to resist her father's command to leave her husband. and in the chateau of Goppingen she awaited her husband's arrival. could entirely give up hope of wringing some concession out of the Allies. She yielded. and removed them to Gratz. we have seen. but secured passports for her and while he offered them a refuge in Jerome. and wrote declaring herself "the happiest woman that could be. was her first cousin and he was hoth gallant towards ladies and a good relative. and after a brief wandering they obtained Austria's permission to settle down at Trieste. however. He could . not do at moment. Here on August 24 Catherine gave birth to her first child. Peremptory orders reached her from King Frederick to come to Wiirtemberg at once unless she wished to be taken thither by force. from her own country The Tsar Alexander. For some reason Jerome was treated with less severity by his fatherin-law after Waterloo than before.12 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE for aid who now turned to Russia. Neither wife nor husband. with the only credit which ever fell to his lot in war by land. least much he for his cousin at the Russia.

to interupon cede with the King on their behalf. and to invest the proceeds in to be administered Wurtemberg. consented to set them at liberty. and when. now the Royalist Minister of Police. shortly before his death. to realise He was compelled what property remained to him and Catherine. Goppingen. with the connivance of Fouche. the Crown Prince. Escaping from France. and his father-in-law. if no longer proscribed. in December 1819. live in his dominions. bought what his . to await from Austria the reply to their request to be allowed removed to settle there again. he made his way to But. by agents of At last Catherine prevailed her brother. after several changes of abode. Under the title of the Prince and Princess of Montfort.HER PARENTS 13 Catherine in Wurtemberg on giving an oath not to leave again without Frederick's permission. Frederick. Jerome. they were put under strict police surveillance. they had wrested a reluctant consent to their removal to Trieste on account of the poor health of Catherine and her son. they to Bavarian territory. With his family he was removed to the fortress of Ellwangen and kept a close prisoner for a year. The Emperor Francis agreed that they should But they were regarded with suspicion still. which was bestowed upon them as a parting gift. Jerome did not find himself treated as a friend in Wurtemberg.

at the at once came to the rescue Congress of Verona. until when the Tsar's assistance procured him death. and Austria would not act against the wishes of the French Government. . however. His mother was urging him to come to her in Rome. The Court of Vienna. be allowed to but here he met with a positive refusal. The death of Napoleon in the following year gave Jerome the hope that he would now be allowed to leave Trieste. on 27. partes counted for nothing in the future.14 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE wife describes as a superb bouse at Trieste. He it gained his end. On his return he begged to to Rome. under the guard of an Austrian seven months after Napoleon's officer. pressure of the Austrian Government to make him leave Trieste again. the majority being persuaded that the Bona- transfer his family . would not entertain such an idea. The Tsar and finally. Louis XVIII. refused him permission to go even for a fortnight. this concession. where he was virtually a prisoner. the subject of this biography was born. and so it came about that was at the Villa Montfort. May 1820. and could plead that Catherine was now expecting a second child. the Powers put an end to the long captivity of Jerome and Catherine. witb a view over the whole Gulf and lying amid vineyards like those of the beautiful He resisted the strong plains about Naples. Trieste.

In any estimate of the characters of Alexander I.. and the formalities insisted on by Vienna and the Vatican. on September 9. their chivalry to Catherine and Mathilde Bonaparte deserves full consideration. and three children started on the journey to Rome. Prom her earliest years she was brought up in an atmosphere of gratitude to the Tsar Alexander. Jerome's many enemies would have us believe him incapable of gratitude. later the removal to Rome was sanctioned. Mathilde must often have heard from her mother's mouth how Alexander was their constant friend while almost the whole of Europe was bitterly hostile. But delays were caused by Catherine's bodily weakness. read the story of her parents' life during the eight years following 1814 it is easy to understand the affection which the Princess When we Mathilde always exhibited towards Russia. and the father. the " 15 third child. 1822. . Napoleon" of Prince Napoleon Two months history. the necessity of putting the family affairs in order. and therefore it was not until the following March that good-bye was said to the Villa Montfort. and Nicholas I. mother. but no such accusation could be made against Catherine.HER PARENTS The ex-queen bore her Joseph-Charles. Her own relations with his brother and successor were such as to bind her firmly to the Romanoffs.

which was read by Claudius Popelin to Edmund de Goncourt in 1874 (see calls a striking portrait below. p. Princess Borghese. and her aunt Pauline. now seventy-three years the visits of her descendants every afternoon She and was treated with great reverence. there was a considerable colony of Bonapartes in Rome. of which the centre was Madame Loetitia. and With Lucien's with Louis's two sons. of received the outer world." 16 . The old age. the ancestress of the race. quite retired from amid a cherishing the memory of Napoleon 1 The other Bonapartes sombre-clad household. 176). her uncles Lucien and Louis. lived 1 In a fragment of the Princess Mathilde's memoirs. Prince Mario Gabrielli. "the inconsolable mother of the departed waxen hands. there was what Goncourt of Madame Loetitia. The Princess Mathilde was still large family. her C»sar. of whom the eldest Charlotte had already borne three girls daughter to her husband.CHAPTER III ITALIAN DAYS two months short of three years old when she was Drought to Rome. already the home of her grandmother Loetitia Bonaparte. with her the silence of the spinning-wheel ceaselessly humming through vast palace. lady.

much As for Jerome. Lucien and Pauline. was little seen in public. however. when. with a great staff of servants. near . du Casse. under her title of Duchess of Saint.000—a year. the Countess Potocka.Leu. he had been in Rome but a little over two years when he bought for one hundred and fifty thousand francs a summer residence charmingly 2 situated at Porto Pirmo. sum in- to a policy of but not so readily that he consented economy. between seventy and eighty thousand francs say £3. who visited Rome annually hut kept away from him. but she put it — at her husband's disposal. which necessitated the straightest economy. according to his biographer. describes him as living in splendid style. her life-pension from Wiirtemberg and an annuity from the Tsar. can We well believe that Jerome found the sufficient. she paid her yearly visits. Pauline amongst the gay. A visitor to his palace.ITALIAN DAYS did not feel constrained to wear the so strictly as " the Corsican owing to his ill-health and 17 mourning Niohe. were prominent in Roman society Lucien relations — among the learned. was also a courted hostess and a welcome guest. Du Casse deplores the insufficiency of this income." Louis. his natural frivolity inclined him to make the most of life anywhere. Moreover. The money was nearly all Catherine's. He had now. Hortense. and especially the archaeologists. his unfortunate with his wife.

and you will be children of France Alas. crying. but his long conversations have left a vivid recollection in my mind. was forced to sell his house at a ruinous loss. 'At last our exile is coming to an end. told us of the revolution of 1830. near Ancona. Marie Savary. After eight years spent in Rome and 1 In his Napoleon et ses DMracteurs Prince Napoleon gives a reminiscence of these early days which is interesting. and some scandal about a lady. while lodging at the expense of friends. "The Duke of Rovigo spent the summer of 1830 at my father's countryI was only eight then. Jerome found another pleasant spot within the dominions of the Pope. coming back from Ancona one day. I remember that on the news my mother. After an interval of Bonaparte. and in 1827 Jerome. Porto Firmo was close to the Neapolitan frontier. Church. .18 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE Although within the States of the Ancona. she was mistaken. 1 Here he was settled when the implication of the two sons rising against the Papal authority brought about the expulsion of all the Bonapartes except Madame Mere. and. ' ! of Louis and Hortense in the and we had again. leaving behind him at Porto Firmo the memory of a dashing cavalier on a white horse. to be a lady-in-waiting to the Princess Mathilde. house of Colle Ameno. took my sister and myself in her arms and embraced us. protesting in vain. harmless as Jerome was. plaint was made to to recoup himself. was at a future date. the Bourbon Court of Naples hated all of the name In consequence a comthe Vatican." to wait eighteen years longer to become French One of the daughters of Rovigo. and the restoration of the tricolour flag. under her married name of Madame de Serlay. in the deepest enthusiasm. It was he who.

September 29. apparently. after setting his pupil an exercise. was sent to the Lazarist College at Sienna. all at the same time ' early days of exile. who for the children's 1 Journal des Ooncourt. with his cassock held up by one hand in front of him. companion to the Princess Mathilde. The Princess speaks on one occasion of her eighteen piano. whom we under the name hear of with Catherine of Madame de Reeding in the first meet again as the Baroness de Reding. latter. while Mathilde and her little brother Napoleon remained in the care of their mother (a woman by no means deficient in culture.and seven writing-masters Of one of not. and whose habit it was. . of course. the The teacher of little Irish priest. post. was of a good old German-Swiss family and was. as some of her letters show) and a gouvemante. Jerome junior. a man with little English was a dapper amusement would leap over chairs. who always came accompanied by a dog. The the children. floor. During these eight years we hear little of The elder hoy. 1882. Jerome and his family removed to Florence. throwing the old one on tion . and shall — ! the writing-masters she kept a vivid recollec- with a big round head covered white curls. to cut fresh quill-pens and keep substituting a new one between her fingers. well fitted for her A number of tutors were added later.ITALIAN DAYS 19 other parts of the States of the Church.

Perhaps that own manner of education. of my Prince Imperial. and swore 1 Journal des Goncourt. must be remembered. would lying upon a sofa which she vowed she take with her to Paris. 1866. it intelligence. October 1. shrivelled-up old woman. who had been ill for thirty years. of these was eighty. Besides. She was a fierce Voltairean " I've never seen such an atheist. to her little niece's great amusement. Strolling in her garden at SaintGratien once with Jules de Goncourt. the Princess talked to She lamented the to him freely about children.) ideas on education is the result My my mother never spoilt me." my are philosophical." The — other aunt was older still. My dear old Baroness de Beding grew indignant at something my mother said — ' I would give '" * ! all children for Pifi's little finger may read into the Princess's remarks We some criticism of her mother's excessive devotion to her father. wore a nurse's round bonnet upon her head. She went on to say that she was One happiest in the society of two old aunts. way in which they forced one and stunted one's (She had no child of her own. a tiny. . though she showed a come down to their level genuine affection for the " " she little added. was corsetless.20 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE Another of the Princess's reminiscences about her early bringing-up indicates that it was the mother who superintended the disciplining of the family.

20] .CATHERINE OP WORTEMBERG.

.

J.ITALIAN DAYS like a trooper. the jewels of its guests. 1815 as the Comte to be Julie. ex-King of de Suiwilliers but she was born in 1771 and was not yet seventy-four years old when she died in April 1845. his receptions. The former the wife of of them would appear after Joseph Spain and known . P. Bonaparte. came to . 21 The rather concealed by identity of these aunts is the age assigned to them. Giradet. and Vernet. and perfectly arranged. the pleasure never being spoilt by overcrowding. the beautiful women. A little magnificent Orlandini Palace. Canova. A French visitor to Italy. and Barto- — . On the night of the concert at which Mery was present the Palazzo Orlandini was a wonderful sight. Mery. he says. where he began to entertain he removed to the more in most lavish style. Gerard. On later first coming to Florence. A. David. Yet it was a common saying " all that Florence was at the Prince of Mont" and not only all the Tuscan fort's last night aristocracy. and busts by Bosio. describes in his Scenes de la Vie italienne a concert given by the Prince of The Prince's soire'es Montfort in 1834. In the concert-saloon decorated with pictures by Gros. and the famous men who thronged the rooms. especially if he or she were French. with its lights and flowers. but also every stranger of note. Jerome took the Serristori Palace as his residence. were always delicious.

— amateurs gave of their best. When he left he took with him the younger Jerome. The splendours of the Palazzo Orlandini were not destined to last many years. The King of came to Leghorn for sea-baths in Wiirtemberg 1832. he was among the guests. Jerome delighted Mery by talking to him of Waterloo and. still singing the praises of the Princess Mathilde and recalling the day when first he looked upon her beauty.22 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE all representing the Imperial family celebrated musicians and the leading Florentine lini." Catherine was perhaps too ill it was the young Princess received the ladies. horribly ugly. and Jerome. horseback in the streets of Florence. describing the great battle. rough-bearded. " She is entirely French. . and their children met him there and softened his heart. coarse-featured. for she upon whose life the means to keep them up depended was now failing fast. at a dinner in the Rue de Courcelles. sparkling exclaims the enthusiastic Mery. la beautS divinement ittgSnue. Thirty years later. Catherine. for Mathilde who like a diamond in their midst. old. Jules de G-oncourt describes him. Soon after the removal of the family to Florence Catherine had the satisfaction of a complete reconciliation with her brother William. to appear. as she rode on blear-eyed. heart and soul. with tears starting from his eyes. to train him for a military career in the Wiirtemberg army.

she said is coming. though the sufferer was not yet aware of this. be at hand. . her uncle having invited her on a I The younger Jerome also went to Wurtemberg to resume his military training. Catherine's dropsy. Napoleon was sent to Arenenberg. It was well that she should bless them every night. She understood. then. and the younger Jerome was summoned from WurtemOn November 29 the end was known to berg. strength to do more for her In the early summer of 1835 two younger children accompanied them." On Catherine's death Jerome temporarily broke up his household.ITALIAN DAYS Catherine had little 23 family after this. his aunt visit. grew steadily worse. and for some months the family lived in a villa which had been lent by a friend. her condition became so bad that Jerome took Their her. since misfortune was always possible. gave them the blessing. I do not fear it. Jerome always she lifted his hand to her lips " I am ready. I have " loved you best in the world. however. to Lausanne. It is said that when Mathilde and her two brothers were brought to their mother's bedside and knelt at it. answered her husband. and "I see that turning round. : death — — wish I could have said farewell to you in France. she asked in surprise why her blessing was being asked at this particular moment. He escorted Mathilde to Stuttgart. on the doctor's advice.

therefore. whither Hortense had sent her son with messages during Catherine's twenty-eight years of age. dreams of a speedy restoration Louis-Napoleon's could be realised. financial position was very bad. . and Louis Bonaparte's consent was action. so that it only seemed to require the bride to grow a little older before the scheme Unhappily for such an end. provided that the pretender did not throw away his chances by premature The proposed bridegroom was much attracted by his cousin. to accept an invitation to Arenenberg in the New Year. occurred for the first time. to him and to Hortense. Now Jerome's eyes. the surviving son of Louis Bonaparte and Hortense. and they had met more recently at Lausanne. it is said. The two must certainly have made one another's acquaintance in Rome. last illness. outside Florence. the ex-king retired to a His Hortense's disposed small house at Quarto. and he can have had but little left of his own money. for with his wife's death the allowances from Wurtemberg and Russia ceased. and he fetched Mathilde from The idea now Stuttgart to stay there also. that they might make a match between Mathilde and Louis-Napoleon. heir to the ImThe match was thus good in perial throne. Having of them all. she was not displeased with him. Louis-Napoleon had become. by the death of the unhappy Duke of Reichstadt.24 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE home by Lake Constance. ready. He was glad.

which LouisNapoleon wrote to his mother off the Canary Islands on December 14.' What I vaguely guessed has come to pass. . on entering the park I found a tree broken by the storm. The result was that before the end of for made 1836 he was a captive in the hands of the Bourbons and was deported to the United States. his daughter to Italy on the termination of their visit. and I said to myself. We only know is here what and that sufficient to make . in the papers. is We . containing the passage. he slipped away secretly to Baden to meet his adherents. and in October he left Arenenberg again to strike the blow. Arrangements were the crossing of the frontier.ITALIAN DAYS 25 were now leading him on to the disaster of After accompanying Jerome and Strasburg. Our marriage will be broken off. Have I then exhausted in 1836 all the letter is The well known : ' happiness in my lot ? " The presentiment was justified by events. us groan over so is ridiculous an enterprise. He wrote from Florence to his brother Joseph " All that you say about Louis's extravagant ideas is quite : true. Poor Mathilde do our best to console her. so characteristic of one side of its " When I author came home some months ago. 1836. . after escorting Mathilde away." very upset. Jerome was furiously angry with his nephew over the Strasburg fiasco.

I should like to know ? but debts and choice is — father has nothing difficult in a case like this. Mathilde settled down in her father's house at Quarto." she adds. the Countess Le Hon. and reports that. will have forbidden her to make a sign. After marriage such things are always remembered. her only remark was. Loliee in Les Femmes du Second Umpire (Papiers intimes).26 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE Jerome's younger son was taken away from Arenenberg. 1 . In a letter to a friend. poor child. For whom Her will she marry. She was no longer regarded as affianced to her cousin. But can understand that after this a reconciliyou ation is scarcely possible. and was sent to Wurteniberg. " I love him the more for it. " Still. after hearing of his attempt at Strasburg. to be trained like his brother for the army. It canQuoted by M. daughter of the Countess Le Hon. I do not Her father suppose it was her fault at all. He states that he was shown the originals of Hortense's letters by the Princess Poniatowska. where one of the advantages had been that Louis-Napoleon looked after his education. " I do not blame her for it." A mother's partiality is perhaps responsible for the strength of Hortense's conviction. And it is she who will suffer. Hortense complains that she has had but one letter from her who was to have been her daughter-in-law. F. Hortense declares her belief in the sincerity of Mathilde's attachment to her son." ' In a second letter to the same friend.

be doubted that Jerome put very strong pressure upon his daughter. 27 however. while on a Florence. Relations between him and Hortense continued strained until her death a year after Strasburg. extremely modest his faith to the prospect offered by Thiers of King Louis-Philippe allowhis return to France. who. and he was compelled to exist in style. for she divided her savings equally among all her children. Thiers kept up a ing with him. The ex-King of Westphalia had in the interval struck up a friendship with Thiers. He pinned for him. what was. and in return visit to him hopes of getting permission to return to France. and Jerome was not the man to sacrifice his personal interests to sentiment. Any connection with the Imperial pretender was therefore held out to impolitic.ITALIAN DAYS not. and from one of the correspondence seems that Jerome and Mathilde in 1838 broke a journey from Florence to Stuttgart it letters . the life at Quarto between 1836 and 1840. Jerome's finances had been somewhat relieved by Madame Mere's Very little is known about legacy to him in the first year. with a pension. Nevertheless. applied to him for assistance in collecting material for his history of the Consulate and the Empire. there were the debts of which Hortense had written. and he carried his bitterness against both mother and son so far that he did not write to the latter even a formal letter of condolence on his loss.

would not have refused her to any certainly prince who could give her. Louis-Napoleon Mathilde had been sought by various suitors. however. We marriage by numerous princes. however. perhaps indicative of the disappointment of father and daughter at the long deferment of their hopes that in this same year. 1840. heirs to divers thrones. Since It is — engagement with should be considered at an end. In subsequent letters we read " " of the respectful friendship felt by the whole for the Princess.28 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE in order to spend a few days with the Thiers family at Como. The suitors of . she herself believed that the Tsar Nicholas desired Tsarevitch —although. The Jerome's repatriation. and even when Thiers himself formed a ministry in 1840 they remained would be for them efforts to secure unrewarded. including the Duke of Orleans and the as we shall hear. and himself at the same time. met with no success. they both made marriages and both marriages in which the wealth of the other parties concerned was more striking than their rank. to whom her beauty and name were a sufficient insisted that the Jerome had attraction to render them indifferent to the need not pay too much attention to the statement in Marshal Canrobert's memoirs that she was asked in absence of a dowry. and the happiness it family to lessen her sorrows. Jerome. an assured position. her as a daughter-in-law.

and it was is said. head of an immensely rich banking With his hand family of Spanish origin. never allowing her to take his title even after his return to France. of Eugenie. Jerome took as his third wife the Marchesa Bartolini-Badelli. son of the Marquis of that name. Aguado courted them both. 1 not till listened after her twentieth birthday that she Whether her wedding to an offer.President's wooing family there. mother and daughter. to He succeeded in presenting himher in so desirable a light that she accepted what was virtually only a morganatic marriage. The Princess Mathilde made what seemed in the circumstances a still better match than her father's when. Mathilde might have had ten million francs. . they were on very friendly terms with the Aguado 1 The Count made no disguise of his feelings. and the exact date of it has not been discovered. Apart from this he treated her with base ingratitude and finally drove her away from him. she married that. a widow of about forty. 1840. it But she preferred to wait. preceded or followed her father's is uncertain. When the Montijos. was Count Aguado. while Several French writers have pointed out how curious it is Napoleon III. was engaged to the Princess Mathilde and afterwards married the Empress Eugenie. and was found by a friend weeping over the Prince. though self still possessed of good looks in addition to a fortune. came to Paris to live. owing to the fact that his was secret.ITALIAN DAYS 29 whose advances there can be no doubt are less Prominent among these illustrious in station. on November 1.

where he studied industrial methods to such purpose that. entered the Imperial Guards made a huge very young. and he recruited a regiment himself. served as aide-de-camp to Catherine's favourite Patiomkin in two campaigns against the Turks. while collecting pictures and artistic treasures incessantly and gaining a reputation for profuse philanthropy. from abroad. The Demidoffs were not of an old Russian family. and. Here he spent his closing . English and Arab horses. Tibetan goats. who enjoyed also the title of Prince of San Donato from the Grand Duke of Tuscany. whatever he touched prospered. Leaving the army he travelled about Europe. Napoleon's invasion of Russia caused him to return to the army. bred merino-sheep. chamber Baroness in the Crimea. who was taken up by Peter the Great. with which he fought at Borodino. into Russia workmen. and particularly imported miners.30 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE the Russian Count Anatole Demidoff. the first of it being a Moscow armourer and ironfounder. In 1815 he came to Paris for several years. Count Demidoff. he retired to Elorence with the post of Russian Minister to Tuscany. His descendant Nicholas. raised his income to five million roubles a year. became gentleman of the bed- and married the Strogonoff. and who fortune through the discovery of mines in Siberia. grew grapes and olives to Catherine herself. cultiva- Finally ting the society of artists and writers. on his He return.

Governor of the Ukraine. Paul. la Valachie et la Moldavie. as stupid. For the reverse we may turn to the memoirs of Count Horace de Viel-Castel. This is one side of the medal. or possibly during her . with a company of French actors. when he married Mathilde Bonaparte. It . the Tsar Nicholas.ITALIAN DAYS SI years in ostentatiously magnificent style. however. to Arenenburg he was acquainted In the year before par la Hongrie. but divided his time be- tween travels and his palace in Florence. whom he had known personally. twenty-seven years old against her He held the post of chamberlain to twenty. entertaining largely and giving away so much in charity that it was said his alms abolished beggary in Florence. and as Anatole was born in Florence about 1813. through a Paris publisher. In 1828 he died. and Anatole. was as cowardly. immoral as the son. visit after her mother's death for with Hortense and her son. she married him he brought out. and he declares that the father. a sumptuous work entitled Voyage dans la Russie meridionale et la Crime"e. is borne out by many others . having a household of a hundred persons and a theatre own. leaving his money to his sons. Few writers have of his dipped their pens so constantly in gall as VielCastel. What he says about Anatole Demidoff. and was therefore. Mathilde may have met him first in Florence.

ness of his manners we shall soon hear.32 is THE PRINCESS MATHILUE BONAPARTE said that he did not write a line of this himon the strength of it. coupled with her desire to from Quarto. the Nevertheless. though counted as a Frenchwoman. he was considered a striking figure in Of the badhis brilliant Circassian uniform. where already his income of ninety thousand pounds a year enabled him to rival his father's name as a grand seigneur and a self. although those who describe him as ugly seem to have in mind his appearance in premature old age and to forget that when a young man. As Demidoff's wife she escape would be able to enter that France which. writes her father in October. Institut de France elected him a corresponding member. visiting Paris soon after his marriage. His looks were not greatly in his favour. She will be re- . " charges me Thiers to to congratulate you on the Princess Mathilde's marriage to Count Demidoff. King Louis-Philippe. she had never yet seen. and no doubt his reputation was greatly increased in his native town of Florence. have been attracted to Demidoff mainly because he was a Russian in which case she was doomed to is philanthropist. it We cannot help suspecting that which chiefly commended the was his income match to the young Princess. The Princess Mathilde said to — pay dearly for her gratitude towards the Tsar Alexander.

32] . Prince of San Donato.ANATOLE DEMIDOFF.

.

" This is the last bitter blow which Fortune had in store for of me " ! Some his biographers attribute his long delay in taking a wife to his disappointment. the affair of Boulogne. It at was in the early days of his imprisonment that Louis-Napoleon first heard of the marriage of the Princess Mathilde. The Countess Demidoff might go to Paris. must remain in exile for many more years. There is no need to suppose that his passion was so 3 . whatever we may think ments after Strasburg) must renounce it. Not so much because she still entertained at this time a desire to marry Louis-Napoleon (of this there is no evidence. It is possible that her cousin's folly had some effect in determining the Princess to accept Demidoff as his long her husband." than three months before Mathilde's wedding. Jerome's bitterness towards his nephew was greatly increased. and to have exclaimed.ITALIAN DAYS ceivecl in France. but affair was a death-blow about Hortense's stateand now saw that she because the Boulogne to the general hopes of repatriation cherished by the Bonapartes. Her father. with all the favour she deserves. which led to imprisonment at Ham. occurred Louis-Napoleon's second attempt to force himself back into Little more France. He is re- Ham ported to have shed tears at the news. after 88 her marriage. like the rest of his family.

34 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE this. return she showed a gratitude which was not deep as lover. he sincerely admired his brilliant young cousin and fully proved to her In in after life in what affection he held her. His was not the type of constant Nevertheless. . at all characteristic of her family.

articles lying on the table at her side. He had wished to marry his son to a woman of Napoleon's family. with intervals of silence.CHAPTER IV THE COUNTESS DEMIDOFF One most interesting passages in the Journal of the brothers Edmond and Jules de Goncourt is the description of an evening spent at the Princess Mathilde's house at SaintThe company was Gratien in October. " I will " never forgive you for this was his greeting. 1866. Although she habitually retired early. and the hostess was in a curious mood. and as she sat with her guests she began to talk about her past life. She was disinclined for the usual occupations of the evening. and her downcast eyes wandered over the carpet. 36 (Whether . She let her confession fall from her word by word. after her marriage. a small one. during which she seemed to have no more to One hand played at random with the say. she explained. it was after twelve this night before she went up to bed. dreamily. She recalled her first meeting with of the ! the Tsar Nicholas.

In his other relations a certain — theatrical assumption of seeing pitilessness did not astonish her. Terrible dinners. He was an excellent father and kinsman. Once he in She did not respond. He would come to their house. it was merely because he. during which the Tsar would not even look at Demidoff. however. should be brought life.) sketch A Nicholas followed. Now ." yourself The Princess's reminiscences here appear to refer to the very early days of her married me said to her. unguarded hy any escort. and would stay As to dinner. mentioned his name. " this evening ? " Why don't you confide whereon he continued. if any were born. which her courtiers like the Goncourts and Saint-Beuve so much admired. to me direct. a member of the Orthodox Church. one of those sketches a la Saint-Simon.36 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE she interpreted him rightly we cannot say. Towards herself he was Demidoff the Tsar never for very paternal. through Count Orloff. he was in disgrace with the Tsar at though this time. how he was surrounded by rogues and thieves. had agreed that his children. hy his affectionate family disposition. you have need Address of me you will always find me ready. it might seem rather that it was as Queen Catherine's daughter that she herself appeared a desirahle wife for the Tsarevitch. of In Nicholas she discovered something of the ogre-type tempered. she added. "When Demidoff's friends claimed that.

But Nicholas did not require to be told. of his terror when the Tsar paid a visit to Florence. speaking to me of the man who is my husband." The Tsar's tone " softened. Viel-Castel got some details from her old governess. as she was always called in Paris. and conceal illusions the Whatever the Princess had about her husband unpleasant reality. must have been quickly Except on the occasion just mentioned. Princess of his open relations. " in generous. she was not wont to talk about the subject. you will know it one day. Count always upon my sincere attachment. . and then you will come to me as your support. on his knees." she replied." he said to Mathilde. Poor child. But clearly this was a story designed for public ears.THE COUNTESS DEMIDOFF up at as 37 Roman Catholics first deprived of he was soon afterwards reinstated. " Your Majesty is not his and . however. whom after her marriage she retained as companion the Baronne de Reding. to that. and his abject entreaties. is known of her troubles at the beginning of her wifehood." personal acquaintance Viel-Castel declares Demidoff the vilest man that could be From . that she should not reveal his baseness. " You do not know what a ruffian you have married. if he was his office of chamberlain. She — told taste Viel-Castel of Demidoff's utter lack of infamous behaviour towards the under her very eyes in Florence. with the Duchess of Dino. so that little shattered.

beautiful. A recent writer. and ignorant as a carp. cringing up marked by every vice and not a single virtue. false. had obviously a touch of the brute in him. and open-handed charities. while he was extremely unfaithful to her —Madame de Reding's revelation — about the Duchess of Dino might be capped by others far worse he was also extremely jealous about her conduct. but surely this is a matter concerning which strong evidence is required before we can attempt to palliate Demidoff's behaviour. Nieuwerkerke (of Captain Vivien. or perhaps a strain of madness. no doubt but the deduction is more easy than just. cowardly he suspected of over-colouring. The direct cause of his rupture with his wife was that. yet Demidoff. The picture may well to him. where the Count was for a time attached to the Russian embassy.88 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE imagined to those —insolent who stood to his inferiors. has suggested that Demidoff possibly had reasons for jealousy. and — . artistic tastes. Part of the married life of the Demidoffs was spent in Paris. and of shall hear so much later) . M. for all his literary ambitions. and much courted. Freaeric Loliee. and speaks of the pressing attentions in Florence of the Baron de Poilly. it cannot be brought up against her character before the separation took of whom we place. She was young. Whatever the Princess Mathilde may have done after her separation.

and a quantity of Jerome's palace-furniture while he was King of Westphalia. and his family the museum of 2 Bonaparte relics . . ' Numerous at A copy of this catalogue is in the British Museum Library. for August. In 1880. the modern paintings . to his infinite disWe have the Princess's own authority gust. "When not in Paris the Demidoff s resided at San Donato. in the French capital. portraits of Jerome and Catherine Bonaparte were San Donato. No objection was made to Mathilde's presence. The Old Masters of the still Dutch. 1841. ten years after his death. together with historical pictures introducing them. Italian. and he had added many wonderful things from all over the world. This splendid palace at least bore witness to the abilities of its owner as a collector of arttreasures.THE COUNTESS DEMIDOFF where he had a fine hdtel in 39 Saint- the Rue Dominique. French. and Spanish schools . 117. Flemish. a sale took place of the contents of San Donato. as the date on which she 1 first set foot on French soil. . Demidoff. and the catalogue prepared on that occasion is in itself a very remarkable work. including a large collection of busts of Napoleon I. the negotiations for her father's return though as Madame dragged on fruitlessly. the sculptures. The promise made by Thiers on behalf of King Louis-Philippe was carried out. From what had been left to him by his father he had weeded out all that was inferior. the bronzes and tapestries 1 See p.

the porcelains from Sevres. the large . the hothouses full of rare orchids. "What excuse was made to the dancers does not appear. and Japan the old furniture. At San Donato took place the scandalous to scene which led Mathilde to avail herself of the offer the Tsar Nicholas had years before. the library for over one hundred thousand.40 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century.445 liras in Italian money (roughly £274. we have A the midst of his guests Count Anatole strode up to her and slapped her on both her cheeks. much of it of historical interest. The total amount at the sale was 6. China. of which the Old Masters alone accounted for more than two millions and a half. Now she conquered her pride. Saxony. as made her She had refused more than once. the valuable library. Mathilde locked herself up in her bedroom for the night. and when through next day set out for St. to take her her confidence. " uncle " into heard.000). and the Imperial museum for over forty thousand liras. Petersburg. ball was in progress at San Donato one night.844. cellar of wines — all and the more realised artistic these are fully set out. Vienna. items are handsomely illustrated in the catalogue. which was universally described by his contemporaries as unique in the world. Such figures can give but a vague idea of the splendour of Demidoffs palace. Nicholas .

THE COUNTESS DEMIDOFF heard 41 her story sympathetically. and forhade him to live within a hundred miles of her. Prince Napoleon was allowed to spend a month there. 1845. was Louis-Napoleon's escape in the interval. Hushand and wife 1845. full of hope. assigned to her out of his fortune a sum equivalent to £8. The from reason. which the for her father doctors declared necessary for his health. no doubt. never met again after closing years of Louis-Philippe's reign were peaceful for the Princess Mathilde after The she had been relieved of her husband's society.000 a year. proceeded with his son to Brussels. The Government's attitude had softened so far that in May. Yet when the younger Jerome was dying. and on October 1 the . A petition was of severity. received the authorisation for which they had waited so many years. Jerome. at last brought before the Chamber of Peers in June. he was not allowed to visit the baths of Vernet. After the un- Ham fortunate young prince's death at his father's home at Quarto there was again a relaxation and we hear proposals for a direct petition through the Princess Mathilde to the King on her father's behalf. after warning his At Brussels they daughter of his action. and received Victor Hugo's warm support. Renewed efforts were made to secure permission and brothers to join her in Paris. two years later. 1847. disgraced Demidoff.

The days of the Orleanist monarchy were numbered when this act of clemency was performed. " All who had the honour of the Princess days : to meet her then can recall the admiration which surrounded her. The reigning family was perfect to the daughter of the Napoleons. in the presence daughter. that he knew when Louis- Philippe gave his consent the poor man was Both he and his son watched with lost. and was happier under Her rehis rule than under the Empire. . His upset of the kingdom. Society gave her a warm welcome proud to see itself adorned by this beautiful and dazzling Prenchwoman whom Italy had given back to it. ception by the King and Queen had touched of the Prince de her heart. . . wise after the event. The Princess Mathilde never forgot She never appreciated nor tolerated this. Joinville she Orleanist society in general followed the royal Sainte-Beuve writes of these early Paris lead. in her presence a slighting remark upon those — .42 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE surviving members of this branch of the Bonapartes were for the first time in their lives all together on French soil. Jerome used later to declare. In the Souvenirs is spoken of as a constant visitor at the intimate parties of Queen Marie-Amelie. on the other hand. asserted that she had never desired pleasure the Louis-Philippe's fall. of a dinner-table of guests five years afterwards.

prevented him from conferring on him a pension of £4. which were perfectly genuine He was less fortunate. in the Faubourg SaintHonore. In the house which she had rented. 10. But Jerome was not the kind of man to let the change of Government deprive of his expectations. betrayed no enthusiasm over new Government. ." The Princess Mathilde. she set herself to collect about her .THE COUNTESS DEMIDOFF who had obligation. passed in France. No. grieving at the fate which had befallen the the Orleans family. for he lost in his case. an annual allowance from his uncle William Napoleon also of Wiirtemberg by signing a letter to him " Citizen Bonaparte.000 and a peerage. He was was prompt to set forth republican views. and seems not to have taken any interest in politics until her cousin Louis-Napoleon called her to his assistance. if it is true that only the revolution of February.800 a year in addition. his former military rank of general was soon after restored Prince to him. He hastened to declare " the adhesion to the Republic of the old soldier him of Waterloo. the last brother of Napoleon." 43 protected her and laid her under an Louis-Philippe was prepared to treat Jerome with equal generosity. 1848. bringing him another £500." to proclaim that the time for dynasties and had rewarded with the post of Governor of the Invalides and a salary of £1. Rue de Courcelles.

On the remainder she was able to gratify her of Out income down to the autumn of 1848. Louis-Napoleon had his chance at last.000 from the Demi doff estate she allowed her father one-fifth. Then LouisNapoleon. explaining that the toral his situation. This money. declared his elec- money necessary to hesitate. Mathilde did not fine jewels. but at once set out to meet him again after an interval of twelve years. and society which she laid the foundations of her famous literary of her and £8. and what Germain Bapst. salon. founded Marshal's ciyn manuscript reminiscences. and she brought the proceeds back to her cousin. who began to flock back to Prance from all over the world. Such is the account given by Marshal Canrobert.44 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE artistic the loved. him for The Princess She had some very hastened to pledge. whence he sent an urgent message to Mathilde. Lt Marechal Canrobert. At their first interview there was naturally an exchange of reminiscences. these she 1 Other writers add the information that the sum realised by the pledging of the jewellery was four thousand francs. campaign was lacking. 1 on the . She was spending September in Dieppe. when a sudden emergency arose. One of the results of the ruin of the Orleans tastes comfortably monarchy was the removal of the ban against the Bonapartes and their numerous relations by marriage. He left England and hastened to Paris.

LOOTS NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. . Afterwards the Emperor Napoleon 44] III.

.

. "Miss H.THE COUNTESS DEMIDOFF 45 had been put at his disposal by his English mistress." were the sole resources with which the future Emperor commenced the operations which in less than four years were crowned with complete success..

The proof of her content- pursuits and the division ment with her arrival in lot is the singular consistency of her life for the half. each like the last. gratify the demands of her mind and heart. many things in her existence which she would not have wished away. her the power. But in the choice of her of her days. With the necessary variations due to place of residence and season of the year her days followed one Her wealth gave another. without difficulty.CHAPTER V IN THE BT7E DB COUBCBLLES The Princess Mathilde was one of those persons. she was this mistress of a handsome income. generally esteemed fortunate and certainly rare. we have 46 separation from seen. her pronounced tastes the will. many things which she found lacking. she could. to order her affairs thus. life who succeed in making This follow closely the lines is not to say that there were not their everyday of their tastes. Prom Anatole the moment of her Demidoff.century between her Prance and her death. and was .

and passionately devoted to society as she interpreted the society. hear again. taken from her own mouth. whether she copied the masters or made lifestudies from models or friends. as fresh and vigorous as oils.IN THE HUE DE COURCELLES As for her 47 tastes. not indeed to the exclusion of all others. that is to say. to admire and copy the Old Masters. ately devoted to the art of painting. it — especially in literature and art.) (Of this habit we shall frequently In her studios. to profit by such an sense of the picturesque was remarkable. and she never ceased to cultivate it by study. When she became her own mistress Her her daily happiness was to escape for some hours of the morning or the afternoon to her beloved art. She had the right nature education. of men of talent. especially in the smaller and more private one of the two which she had at Saint-Gratien. but to such an extent that most She was passionothers were easily satisfied. destined to be increased. picture-galleries of Florence that she learnt. There was nothing petty nor finicking about her style. she was lucky in having two so strong that they dominated her. as a girl. In his " Portrait of the Princess. nothing suggestive of woman's handiwork. where she could shut herself up entirely. she devoted herself to her water-colours. and a generous It was in the appreciation of her talent. After working ." Sainte- Beuve gives details of her artistic training.

" Her taste princes. Yes. such as she had on her " walls.48 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE she was fond of visiting the public galleries. . To the Princess's great joy on one occasion. A Lumbroso. however. To those who spoke to especially the Louvre. her of modern pictures. and some branches. hut those are was classical my —the natural taste of idols. — ' when the jury awarded her a medal at an exhibition of drawings and paintings at Metz. Baron was acquainted with the Princess in later life. having been she received the news. she would say. Sainte-Beuve present said that when the testimony. but she only understands one side of art. she fails to no criticism. speaks well of a number of her pictures which he saw himself. such understand at all. The artist's face shone with satisfaction at the idea of success 1 Baron A. so that there could be no suspicion of favour about the award. and refers to the public proofs of her merit at the Salon an honourable mention in 1861. L'idtima Nipote de Napoleone (1904). It was bears jury was partly composed of Republicans. declares the Princess " She admires sixteenthno connaisseuse. these are my friends . Lumbroso. says Sainte-Beuve." as engraving. Viel-Castel. following La Bruyere — and she particularly admired historical paintings. and a medal in 1865. who Of her own work he offers more recent writer. century Italian art because she was brought up in Italy to adore Raphael and his superb school.

There is a story of a quarrel between her and Nieuwerkerke on this point She had exhibited two water-colours in once. some exhibition. not indeed against her On own but against art in general . " I assure you I'm not one of those people who are more proud of having a chamberlain's key sewn on their behinds than of a distinction accorded to actual merit!" Nieuwerkerke. and here Nieuwerkerke was on her side.IN THE RUE DE COURCELLES 49 through merit. asked him whether he was joking. because she ought not to mix herself up with artists. another occasion we find the Princess indignant at a slight. and Persigny. The Princess replied vigorously. not by borrowed or reflected There can be no doubt that she took her light. could only pocket the compliment in silence. so as to concentrate the various departments in one neighbourhood. and Nieuwerkerke reproached her with compromising herself thereby. who had just been made Imperial chamberlain and was wearing his uniform everywhere. He told her he had opposed the giving of an honourable mention to her. He remarked to Nieuwerkerke that he was about to use all his influence to have the Louvre turned into an office for one of the Ministers. was dining at her house. newly appointed Minister of the Interior. Nieuwerkerke. art. It was in early 1852. head of the Louvre. 4 . with a touch of her brother's freedom of speech. work seriously.

. says Viel-Castel. the teller of the story. else- "you would destroy the marvellous galleries created by Napoleon himself. and when the Minister had departed cried." cried Luxembourg. would kill you. She had. for the present. "who loves and understands the arts contrast what we have any one " had tears in her quoted from him above eyes. 1 1 Her salon. I would never let my name appear on the list of those who consented 1 the day this plan is adopted. with its twenty-million francs' worth of masterpieces Why not rather " " sell them ? Why not. while " If turning livid. with her admiration for painting and and her appreciation of literature.. and Nieuwerkerke. maintained for fifty add that. sent to Versailles. Think of the worldwide fame of the Louvre." replied Persigny. I would rather leave France than listen " to such monstrous nonsense So much. M. .. On The other guests Nieuwerkerke. she did not combine sculpture love of music. " "if we can get twenty millions for them ? to ! such a thing. says Sainte-Beuve. France touched such a depth of degradation I stared at one another." agreed Persigny. enriched with the fruits of his victories . though those present at her concerts during the winter months must admit that among her friends are some very fine voices. . exclaimed. I shall resign.50 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE " the pictures could be " No." "So. about the Princess's better than " — — ' ' ! artistio tastes. the where." We may much . le Ministre " 1 The Princess. "a certain condescension for the vaguer art of music.

received a very circle must he noted. who had first made her acquaintance in the previous summer. nor show tastes not like a man's. mistress Prince formerly Paul of Wiirtemburg. complimentary the letter of invitation to dinner in The other guests were Gavarni. attached Lady Wittingham.IN THE RUE DE COURCELLES 51 years of her life. she says. if sees or entertains. Madame de Fly. is a sufficient witness to her love of society and to the quality of the society which she loved. 'Why. after they had brought out Rende Mauperin. Chennevieres. and is truly charming. the singularly lowered position of woman since the days of which we wrote. are at least elevated or uncommon. The brothers." N . kerke. Nieuwerde Courcelles. if a woman were to come in now. there are so few with whom one can talk. I should be obliged to ' " On another change the conversation at once I ' Amiably dismissed by Viel-Castel as to " an old of fairy. and expresses her vexation that in art or in women do not interest themselves new literature. feels that she is Rue among men. have said that she sought We out art. especially in literature the predominance of men in and her She explained this fact well to Jules de Goncourt on one occasion. 1 was the only lady present besides the " " she Princess. while her companion of the time. Among the women whom one which. and of course. To-day." writes Goncourt. gives herself free She complains of rein. men of And talent.

52 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE Jules occasion de Goncourt notes how the Princess betrays. but one mark of her salon always of course . 1 — — . She also declared that her work was moral. and she would not have drawn the line at Rachel. and when the two women had taken their departure she cried receptions. and those of all distinguished strangers who came to Paris. books She once said she loved Madame Sand that is say. her visitinglist included the names of almost every one intellectually famous in France. To him Georges Sand. waa a champion of lea voleurs et les vicieux. the boredom inflicted upon her by stupid women. Her face had a look of crucifixion on it. intelligent had only to express the wish to all the Georges Sand come. Claude Bernard was a guest at one of her and was talking with the Goncourts. though a remarkable woman. : Really it is quite enough to fritter oneself away in society up to the age of thirty after that one ought to be left in peace and have no more to " do with the wearisome side of entertainment " — ! She declared her readiness to receive of the day. In a later chapter we shall have the opportunity of mentioning some of the eminent persons who 1 women Time made changes. her because she amused her. as she watched the men conversing. frequented her house. But the fact remains that the disproportion between the numbers of men and of women in her circle was very striking. by her looks and her colour. which made Viel-Castel explode with wrath. As for the men. while she was tied to two silly chatterers.

His gratitude was sincere. to her intimacy. and finally her propagandist work. her and her brother that Sainte-Beuve was in- duced to give his approval to Louis-Napoleon's action in 1851. that the hostess. to cultivate the political section of Paris society and to use her influence with her nonpolitical friends even in the matter of their It is said that it was largely through politics. remained. were mvaluable to him. ment after the Empire's establishhe could only add a public grant to her Even and bestow upon her a rank which distinguished her from all other large private income princesses of the family. Her among money various in the first instance. and he did his best to show it. and in- creasingly during the immediately following years. He could do little in a material way for a woman so well off as she was.IN THE RUE DE COURCELLES 53 herself to consult. In every way she could she the opinion of those with whom she guided came in contact. He might indeed . to the furtherance of her cousin's ends. In apportioning what credit there is in the his elevation of Louis-Napoleon supporters the Princess Mathilde must receive a large share. where she had only made intellect the passport Despite her very strong personal preference for the artist and the man of letters rather than the politician. her introductions next. the Princess's attachment to her cousin's interests caused her in 1848.

She can scarcely have formed her opinion so definitely about her cousin yet.54 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE have done more. was not repeated. the PrincePresident had already sounded the Vatican. and had received a favourable reply. had she agreed." " He is neither claimed on another occasion. at the same time. and with such firmness that it ' Yet. I could never be turned into one of never those people who weep and get their debts paid " What a man " she exevery six months. Her reason for refusing his offer is said to have been that she felt she ! — ! ' ' ! ! . now that wife meant Empress ? According to Marshal Canrobert. after speaking of Napoleon and Eugenie. whose consent was necessary to turn the separation from Demidoff into a divorce. she retained her cousin's affection undiminished. In one of her familiar conversations at Saint- Gratien nearly twenty years later. he revived the idea which had first been suggested at Arenenberg. Nothing disturbs him. if I had married him. She did so unhesitatingly. because I go straight ahead. Would she be his wife. I : have never been mixed up in intrigues never. open nor impressionable. I think I should have broken his head open to see what was " inside it Such were her later ideas. His most angry word is How absurd Why. As the Empire approached. But the Princess Mathilde rejected the offer. the Princess remarked "I should never have got on with the Emperor.

the case is altered . The Count Alfred-Emilion de Nieuwerkerke came of a Dutch family settled in France. we seem justi- assuming that it was already formed when Louis-Napoleon became President of the Prench fied in Republic. it — werkerke Mathilde's. although there is no evidence at all that the suspicion was just. We have already heard the name of Nieuat the real cause of her refusal. however. . if we cannot assign a precise date to the beginning of the afterwards notorious connection. and sciences which she could accomplish better in the situation she had already made for herself than as Empress. and. who brought with her a dowry of 60. was because she did not love her cousin with the love for which he asked and that she did love some one else.000 francs a year of which he. 1 is 1 very contemptuous about the claims to father married a cousin of Viel-Castel. At the period to which we have now come. Viel-Castel. This is perhaps what she told But if we may hazard a guess Louis-Napoleon. who was a member of his staff at the Louvre. as a poor cavalry The Count's — officer. arts. says Viel-Castel. was very glad. in connection with the Princess It will be remembered that its bearer was one of those whose attentions to the Princess in her early married days in Florence have been mentioned as furnishing Anatole Demidoff with grounds for suspicion. the daughter of the Marquis de Vassan.IN THE RUE DE COURCELLES 55 had a part to play in the world of letters. and also related to him by marriage.

but allows his restorer to ruin the masterpieces already there. ambitious rather than truly artistic. the Louvre he not only buys inferior pictures. and Nieuwerkerke's fame was sufficient to secure end of 1849 the appointment of Director-General of the National Galleries. age. and was given by the King of Holland a commission for the bronze statue of William the Silent which sculptor. Viel-Castel has but a very moderate opinion To him Nieuwerkerke appears of his talents. was what he received in the early days of the Empire). when of was the sculptor was thirty-two years this. After other notable commissions followed rapidly. (They were. at the 1 1 him "lama member of nine committees " ! boasted Merim6e to Viel-Castel once. is He at The Hague. art being As head of to him only the means to an end. in fact. at A exhibited the Salon plaster cast of this in 1843. at least. with a salary of twenty thousand francs (this. .) Emilion was a Parisian by birth. de- scendants of a left-hand marriage.56 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE nobility of the Nieuwerkerkes. bastards of some little stadtholder. and a suite of rooms at the Louvre. After the completion of his education by travels to the art-centres of Europe he returned to Paris and set up as a soon met with success. He neglects his duties and dreams of the dav when he will be Councillor Like Prosper Merimee of State and Senator. He acts the grand he must be in everything.

than the time of which we have been writing. official capacity. wearing lapis-lazuli buttons on his waistcoat. Houssaye suggested that he ought to see them at the Louvre on one in his of the nights when Nieuwerkerke. Director of the man. and an homme d'esprit. and is full of the vanities of dress. gave a torchlight reception to some sovereign passing through Paris. spoke of his sorrow at the his friends thought of passing away without seeing again Raphael. of course. — . and Leonardo da Vinci. and everywhere This is it is possible to put them. It was his dream to see the pictures by night. De Musset. his shooting-gaiters. replied de Musset. worships pomp and display. It is only fair to contrast with it the sketch by the amiably garrulous Theatre To him Nieuwerkerke is not only a Francais. Giorgione. He draws a pleasant picture of him in connection with the dying Alfred de Musset many years later. talking once with Houssaye and Viel-Castel (the latter an old — schoolfellow of his). remarks Viel-Castel. a part of the portrait of Emilion de Nieuwerkerke to be gathered from Viel-Castel's malicious pages. an aristocrat.IN THE RUE DE COURCELLES 57 seigneur. with whom not one of the Cent Gardes of the Imperial Palace can compete. fine example of the works of Nature. but also a sports- Arsene Houssaye. but he wanted to be alone which was like asking for a performance of the Opera for himself only.

and went to pay his last La Gioconda and his other favourites. . towards the end of 1862. When Vernet. De Musset assented gratefully. in which he pleaded that there Horace the celebrated was for still time for a mark of distinction to soften Vernet's last moments and to repair an omission. was dying. and next day there came an invitation to visit the Louvre by torchlight. but its recipient showed it to Napoleon at Compiegne and the consequence was that a promotion in the Legion of Honour was conferred upon Vernet not long before his If Nieuwerkerke was as personally death." 1 A somewhat similar instance is of Nieuwer- kerke's kindness of heart recorded. Then he rejoined the other three. whom he had invited to supper with them. 1 Houssaye. "My dear Nieuwerkerke. This letter was not addressed to the Emperor. painter. . When his guest arrived Nieuwerkerke proposed that he should see the beloved Masters alone. "it can easily be seen that you are by birth both a great artist and a great gentleman. pp. no one had done more than Beranger and Vernet to uphold the Imperial tradition among the people.58 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE Nieuwerkerke heard of the poet's wish. 286-8. iv. ambitious as Viel-Castel makes out. at least he was also generous in his support of other men. while he himself entertained Houssaye and Viel-Castel." he said. pale and wetrespects to eyed. Nieuwerkerke wrote a letter. Les Confessions.

the attacks of those who complained of the double outrage against propriety in the liaison one of the most intimate circle of the was at least one of her most fervent admirers. after a third stroke of paralysis in 1863 but she existed. Anatole Demidoff and the Comtesse de Nieuwerkerke. and no doubt the acquaintance developed rapidly for when we begin to get detailed accounts about the connection it has all the appearance of long standing. Lettrtt a la Gavarni. There is therefore no answer to . whatever may have been the facts of her marriage with her husband. He declared that he found her from the very first day of their acquaintance diantrement seduisante (Sainte-Beuve.THE RUE DE COURCELLES Among those for whom his advocacy was IN ' 59 early given was Gavarni the caricaturist (classed hy Jules de Goncourt with Balzac as one of the two greatest men of the century). was in some part due to . . and for an irregular union is sur. whom he induced the Prince-President to decorate in 1852 and the assistance of the Rue de Courcelles. nevertheless. 231). Princette. his promptings. p. Of the latter we hear nothing until she is on the point of death. prisingly regular in its conduct. They met again in Paris when he had begun to make a name for himself in sculpture. Nieuwerkerke's first meeting with the Princess Mathilde at Florence must have taken place while he was on his European tour. it is clear. never denied to merit. if 1 not Princess's friends. Two obstacles stood in the way of its regularisation.

was too sure of In this line of conduct the Princess Mathilde showed her usual frankness and that openness which at times approached her brother Napo- But she leon's indifference to public opinion. except when personal spite or political antipathy envenomed it. until after the lady's rank. criticism was not very bitter towards the Princess. in effect. was she an immoral woman. Yet they assuredly would have aroused no great scandal in their period one of singularly lax morals had it not been for between — — It is not. If you went to the Rue de Courcelles you saw him. and if the Princess accepted an invitation to dinner you asked A few outward forms were kept up. but could deceive only the simplest of observers. If any one is wishful to see to what depths malice against her could descend he should look at a pamphlet. that since she might not have a husband she should at least be allowed to have a lover. as represented by writers hostile to the family of Bonaparte.60 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE Nieuwerkerke and the Princess Mathilde. too. And then. for seeing no is not to be called shameless shame in it. she had received her title of Imperial Highness and her handsome pension from the Civil List that the tongue of censure began to stir. who claimed. indeed. Nor. All her friends treated Nieuwerkerke as a matter of course. him especially as Nieuwerkerke himself to be tactful. certainly. .

and her cultivation of the vain crowd of artists and poets was only designed. fails to reveal anything A except the tale in Viel-Castel about her and Edouard Delessert. The incident occurred at least three years before. search for some specific charge against the Princess. Eugenie. 1857. Spa. May 5. for instance. must very often have been if called. It clear that we need not trouble ourselves with the ravings of Citizen Vindex. and leaves scarcely a man or a woman little His " 1 with a shred of reputation. " black books (in which he kept his in it is Mtmoires. is "the scoundrel " of December [1851] and Sedan. her life from childhood has been infamous. Napoleon III. certificate is to secure herself a of good character from them. The author. who calls himself the Citizen Vindex. has no terms bad enough for the whole Imperial family. as he stantial. 1 This is very circumBut the odious Viel-Castel." the sanruffian who brought on us all our guinary " " the courtesan of Madrid and ills . the assassin's hand intriguer " .IN THE RUE DE COURCELLES fall 61 published in Paris on the of the Empire and entitled La Fille Mathilde Second Bona- parte. is nothing not circumstantial in all his tales against the French aristocracy. as in the case of Hortense spurious Beauharnais. who did not and so on.. stated to have . Femme Demidoff. As reject the for Mathilde. outside her long-enduring connection with Nieuwerkerke.

Now Viel-Castel was for many years a friend of the Princess and a welcome guest at her house. however. to tell him what they thought of his remarks about themselves. when she accepted Emilion de Nieuwerkerke as her lover and made such inadequate attempts to screen the affair from the world. to see what was said about their neighbours. authority. though he has somewhat to say of the latter's intrigues with other women and lack of real passion for the Princess. ought really to be her best protection from promiscuous accusations of light behaviour. His reminiscences have great value in helping to form an estimate of the them as of unquestionable would be absurd. After his death they were published. but gradually his tone grows sharper. diary) were and many coveted a glance at them. She was the faithful mistress. and Viel-Castel himself does not dispute her devotion to Nieuwerkerke. It was necessary to deal frankly at some point . To treat approved path.62 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE famous in his lifetime. when his victims heartily wished him alive again. where the scandalmongering at which he was so adept was by no means barred. and his dissatisfaction with Nieuwerkerke makes him look on her too with a censorious eye. The lapse of the Princess Mathilde from the Princess. At the beginning of the Memoires he deals gently with her character. not the grande amoureuse.

It is easy. June 21." in it has seemed which Nieuwerkerke already begun when her his hand again. some gossip about a son of the Princess and Nieuwerkerke being brought up secretly in the neighbourhood Eue de Courcelles.000 francs (M&noires. because to one side of her over would be to ignore years of the Princess's " full-blooded Sainte-Beuve's phrase. therefore. though a friend of long standing. in ally that of a married woman. if it is true that he did so when the Empire was actually in sight. demanded 30. 1 And womanhood. had Louis-Napoleon offered was her without which was so 1 its Viel-Castel mentions. 1857). The Marquis. partner. to understand why she declined hesitation a proposal flattering to ambition. behind even the intimacies of her circle of friends. librarian at the Louvre. convenient to do so thus early in her story in order to emphasise the fact that behind the magnificence of her public life. which continued through so many it gloss nature —the life. which was practicThis phase. who asked him to acknowledge the boy as his. without expressing any opinion as to credibility. of the . she had a yet more intimate existence. was approached by Nieuwerkerke.IN in this THE RUE DE COURCELLES 63 book with the question of the Nieuwerkerke connection. It was said that the old Marquis de Bruslard.

In these the Princess Mathilde receives better treatment than most of her kindred. of In the spring standing in the park of Saint-Cloud. but certainly does not altogether escape the lash.CHAPTER VI SOME CRITICISMS OF THE PRINCESS 1849 a visitation of cholera in Paris drove the Princess Mathilde to take up her residence in the Pavilion de Breteuil. son of Joachim Murat and Caroline Bonaparte. Among daughter behind her at her death more than half a century later. by the Princess Caroline Murat. a Caroline. then sixteen. her invariable plan from this time onwards when away from Paris. With her she brought a house-party. " My girlhood's love for her was almost worship. occasion the party included Count Nieuwerkerke and some of the Murats this On — the family of Lucien. collection of the latter was the eldest who left very ill-natured reminiscences." wrote the Princess Caroline whereon we are compelled to wonder that she thought . 1 1 My Memoirs. . Prince of Ponte Corvo. published 64 in English in 1910.

After dejeuner a move was made to the studio. Her aunt. etc. home she could talk of nothing else and deLess than clared she must buy Saint-Gratien. Nieuwerkerke. with a few alterations. When the weather was fine. and after the meal a visit was paid to Saint-Gratien. which had once On the way belonged to Marshal Catinat. Enghien to breakfast with Mile. an old friend of the Princess. and Nieuwerkerke working on a bust of Caroline. The Princess was delighted with the chateau and also with the pavilion adjoining it. de Courbonne. drives were taken in the neighbourhood. would serve to outline the course of most of the summer holidays at Saint-Gratien in later years. which was about eleven o'clock. she was aunt —never but " in Breton fashion " appeared until dSjeuner. the guests were free to ramble as they liked before this. as she calls her she was really her — father's first cousin. Here most of the day was spent. which at Breteuil stood at a very short distance from the house. The life at Breteuil is described by Caroline Murat in terms which. and S . the Princess Mathilde painting from an Italian model. and the dog which scrambled on the bed one night and was indiscreetly chidden by them both the next morning.SOME CRITICISMS OF THE PRINCESS fit 65 to repeat a very malicious but far from new tale of the Princess Mathilde. two years later she had hired the chateau. to One day they went over to Versailles.

and receptions there follow in such rapid succession that we could almost construct a skeleton history of the Princess's life at this She gave him ample opportunity of studying her in her home. ! daughter. and witty. Rue de Courcelles. debts. Records of dinners. began to stir. the Westphalian banker. belongs to me whelmed as he was in debt. it is true. Lunching one day with Jordis. at his country house near Cassel." which The very tell us so much about the Princess. and it is in this year that VielCastel began his " little black books. he " " This house and. when the conversation is very animated concerts. first entry mentions a dinner at No. keeping him with a few others after the majority of her guests had gone.66 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE before long she had become the owner not only of it but of the pavilion as well. to drink tea round the table while she gave rein to period from Viel-Castel alone. and in the Paris season she was able to devote herself to the In 1851 affairs development of her salon. was far removed from very quietly for The current of her cousin's of life flowed the Princess Mathilde during the greater part presidency. oversaid. as he left. . he paid Jordis The thirty thousand thalers for the property. are reminded of a story of Mathilde's We father when King of "Westphalia. Jerome took such a fancy to the place that. 10.

The old royalty is scarcely worth remembering. though we shall hear of her readiness to admit his frailty in one respect. to whom there is only one and one authority. but easily pardoning We On one point she is inflexible. as he calls all the She it. suggested that a certain assassination plot under the monarchy had been subsidised by " I shall never Louis-Napoleon.SOME CRITICISMS OF THE PRINCESS 67 her opinions without fear of the consequences. whose acts may not be criticised nor his faults mentioned. promptly giving the lie to those that express a view which displeases." says Viel-Castel. her sudden splendid flush. of Bonapartes. may discuss ideas and religion itself. imaginable. shares the Napoldondtrie. or of the except in the case of the Bonapartes. have none of aristocracy. of the influence of cult birth. but not religious The Princess will Napoleon. both coming down from " You the Emperor Napoleon. On one occasion a visitor. Torchon de Lagrenee. he must not be accused of base actions. and it is almost a crime to " compare Bonaparte with Charlemagne With regard to the present heir to the Imperial throne. the two tears which is ! France . see her quick-tempered but kind-hearted. " Every- thing must be forgotten save the great man. forget." he observes. "the Princess's indignation. It is the most absolute fetichism very little without the Bonapartes. importance of family traditions. again.

was promptly called out by kerke. Montalembert is denounced as a "Jesuit" because he leads the opposition in the Assembly in February. Jesuit . of Lucien's sons are all a lot is brigands.68 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE down her to ran and wrath cheeks. Prince of Canino. . after publicly declaring that he has renounced his title for " Prince ever. For one member of her family. and Canino a hideous person. Nieuwerof his seconds in a duel with Rossi." And those who attempt to thwart the Prince-President's policy now stir her to anger. At first against his cousin Louis-Napoleon. the Princess in her drawingroom the Pope and the Prench garrison in Rome " with " true Mazzinian politeness . refusing. Lucien's According to he had been a bad son. is on visiting terms with Canino. She was magnificent. the Princess Mathilde has no admiration. however. insulted Canino had been publicly Count Rossi. who accused him of by being his father's assassin in Rome some years Canino asked Nieuwerkerke to be one before. cordially agrees. truly queenly. son Charles. Viel-Castel her. but in June listens to and him denouncing they no longer speak. nor her words of contempt the insolent fellow. an utter revolutionary (though. and was still a bad father and a bad husband. he has had printed on his cards and a low intriguer Charles Bonaparte "). to the proposed grant to His Highness and " " with her is a strong term of abuse. 1851.

was wounded in the thigh. Viel-Castel. Viel- Castel.SOME CRITICISMS OF THE PRINCESS Canino's brother. Caroline over her Rue de Desprez and Madame Ratomska. by death. been a second mother. Ratomski. and the latter's husband. in the duel which followed. whom the Princess Murat describes as always half -asleep knitting on quiet evenings in the Courcelles. her There are Madame painting-master. who is a kind of master of the ceremonies in the household. destined one day to be very notorious. describes how first on the on his expression of sympathy as he entered. who later is called private secretary of the Princess. Pierre This ended the Princess's tolerance for these cousins of hers. not wont to admit such a thing about any one. There is Eugene Giraud. And there is Nieuwerkerke. Already at this time the Princess Mathilde. has a household which is nearly as large as when she the old became Altesse Imp4riale. the Princess was so overcome by emotion that she was obliged to retire to weep for a few minutes in another room. There is Baronne de Reding. dining in the Rue de Courcelles evening of her funeral. declares that she was a good . All through dinner and afterwards the talk was about the departed. though without an official position. to the deep sorrow is soon carried to whom she had of the Princess. off The old Baroness. and. however. 69 Bonaparte.

quite unsuited for aristo- . nor his elder brother. immoral in more ways bringing up two children." He is much afraid that the will be given to Madame Desprez. than one. and his bugbear succeeds to the Baroness de Reding's post. She says who she . were left to her care by a friend but Viel-Castel roundly calls them her bastards. of whom he draws a it terrible portrait. and Madame Desprez who lectures her in a loud voice and acts as mistress of the house. a of the Institut de Prance. The salon in Courcelles becomes truly deplorable under the influence of her and her friends.70 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE woman. Eugene Giraud finds no favour at — Bothe the the all eyes. false. all that Viel-Castel mondain dislikes. hemian in fact. When what he fears happens. spiteful to all. it is the Princess who is the dame de compagnie. Princess's reader. though he says nothing against wife. is very like the Due de Praslin. Charles. take this old friend's place. who is living in the Princess's house with her mother. They are a couple of in his member little revolutionaries. Of the Ratomskis. a frequent visitor to the house. the Rue de whose talk is revolutionary. and says that the daughter Marguerite. She is is affected. whose death leaves the Princess very " I can see no one about her who can lonely. Madame Desprez's former lover. Viel-Castel abuses husband. anti-clerical. self- satisfied.

for whom Viel-Castel will speak a good "The Princess has a frank and loyal word. now that the Baronne de Reding is dead. though they who kiss your hands would deny you if fortune ceased to favour you." he says. with additions. 71 but clever enough to gain a over the Princess Mathilde great and Eugene makes a very good thing out of his position of painting-master to her. woman. and no one : gives you good advice. there is no one about the Princess Mathilde. and every one of your remarks is repeated. your dislikes are told and your imprudences noted down. You are betrayed by the very people of your household. " you are sold. Princess. and you have no idea of it Perhaps it is hardly necessary to say that ! the impressions of this very misanthropic diarist were not shared by the rest of the visitors to . She sees sheep in tigers in all " all who come Poor and and who don't. Unfortunately she is influence ." In fact.SOME CRITICISMS OF THE PRINCESS cratic society. is. she will be betrayed one day by these ! So again. pretended sheep he apostrophises her " Poor Princess Mathilde. Gradually you surrender yourself to those who fawn on you. two years later. while posing as a poor man and being commonly known as " ce pauvre Oiraud. Flattery gets a hold upon you and conquers you. not sufficiently acquainted with the world as it actually bleat. " character. you are indeed in bad company.

He if it her highly at and certainly esteemed is easy to follow his disillusionment as time goes on. so frank and outspoken . . still less. he was not attracted to her the Count Horace. as to the thoughts of the man for them both painfully Horace 1 Count whose He published some novels. a book of verse. like many others. Still we must have not only the light. He on one occasion that he has given her protests . hut also the shade . well-educated. a work on Marie Antoinette and the Eevolution. his in 1 house. Nieuwerkerke seems to of have suspected little of this until the quarrel 1863 the Princess. the people whom he most chief. Although the Princess's acquaintance was very interesting. as has been said. and observant man. a great number of artistic treasures to adorn her cabinets for he was a wealthy man. Her political friends were. herself. etc. first. and doubtless also useful to him. of the The posthumous publication famous cahiers noirs must have enlightened de Viel-Castel. and compiled a catalogue of the Louvre. Her lover was his official against whom he had the numberless grievances of the subordinate official. and if he had a deplorable warp was a clever.. a history of French costume. the cause is not far to seek. mind. disliked. and brought to his work as one of the keepers of the Louvre a knowledge gained through his own private collections.72 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE Eue de Courcelles at any period of the Princess's reign there. by hope of gain.

a schoolboy. met him.SOME CRITICISMS OF THE PRINCESS 78 nomination to the Legion of Honour they had once striven so hard. The when the honour was story of the Princess's conduct at length granted is too In August on the eve of his fifty-second birthday." . kiss me now " " It seems that I was very awkward in my embrace. The Princess and then cried. "and as embarrassed as ! characteristic of her to be omitted. put the red ribbon in his buttonhole. " Come." remarks Viel-Castel. 1854. He went down to Saint-Gratien. as he himself is obliged to admit. Viel-Castel says he received a letter from Fould announcing that he was to be made chevalier.

the Princess Mathilde. Morny comes to dinner in the following month. says the same charitable observer. for the advancement of the cause. acted as hostess at the Elysee on ceremonial occasions. The former. Louis-Napoleon's faithful bulldog.CHAPTER VII THE LAST DATS OP THE REPUBLIC Although she had still to wait for the coming of the Second Empire before receiving a definite position in the social hierarchy. who hates both the Princess and Nieuwerkerke because they will not bow down to his power. Among the guests at her house in the year of the coup'' d'Stat are found those arch-conspirators Persigny and Morny. who is rapidly becoming a mummy. and elsewhere styles him a low intriguer. and makes himself very agreeable. the Comte de Elahault. from the beginning of her cousin's presidency. dines with her in April. She cultivated carefully the acquaintances there made. This invitation to Morny was an important 74 step . though Viel-Castel pronounces his manners chicory to be as much like a gentleman's as is to coffee. accompanied by his father.

(After Oircmd.THE PBINCESS MATHILDE BONAPAKTE.) 7<] .

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does not enter very largely into our story. however.Auguste . at this time as generally. the Princess was enabled to do by the republican leaven in her mind for she combined in a curious manner Imperialist and certain Orleanist — republican ideas with respect for the Orleans family.Joseph. Comte de Morny originally by no better right than that of assumption of the title. said his enemies. hut the recognition of Morny by the other members of the Bonaparte family was slow. was designed to injure his cousin's cause. The two men had drawn together in 1849. in opening her door to him.THE LAST DAYS OF THE REPUBLIC 75 in the career of Louis-Napoleon's illegitimate brother. at the house which he shared with his daughter Julie and her husband RoccaIt was the Princess Mathilde's action giovine. But it may be noted that he had. What Moray's ambition helped him to do. which gave Morny his passport into the family circle. like the Princess herself. and his character has been so often described that we need not stop to give him special mention here. sympathies to restrain in becoming advocate of the schemes of the PrincePresident. Charles . The Prince of Canino extended his hospitality to him in April 1851. was hand-in-glove with the in the extreme Reds. Her brother Prince Napoleon. Prince Napoleon's conduct.Louis . and welcomed one of their clubs rooms which he had at old Jerome's residence at the H6tel des Invalides. But it is to .

spent her behaviour on the celebrated 2nd of December she was in the summer given by the Princess Caroline Murat. whom no one could accuse of being hostile to the Prince-President.76 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE be noted that his sister. In the winter of 1851 she was on a visit to her " hospitable aunt. and was hustled Returninto the Elysee by the servants there. not without adventure. The Princess Mathilde. 1 . after her first An account of at Saint -Gratien. in a state of great anxiety." On to the the fateful evening news was brought Rue de Courcelles that the Elys6e was being mobbed and the Prince-President in danger. expressed approval of an alliance between the Reds and the Elysee. The younger woman got through the excited mob. though she had played her part in preparing the way for it. if the former could be persuaded to support the latter's claim for a revision of the constitution. in the secret of the coup d'etat. she was begged by Viel-Caatel calls him a dissolute fool. had packed up all her valuable jewels and was She implored Caroline to sitting on the cases. an Orleanist noble of small distinc1 tion. The Princess Caroline had in the previous year married the Baron de is Chassiron. ing to the Rue de Courcelles. drive to the Elysee and see what was happening. who seems not unwilling to let her appear in an unheroic light. When it was carried out The Princess was not Rue de Courcelles.

like her father and brother. expressed his annoyance in a which he had published in the Italian newspapers. marred in some cases by extravagant estimates of personal merits. nothing of this tale from other only know that the Princess Mathilde. to forget London. indeed. Napoleon. After the coup d'etat a state of pleasurable anticipation prevailed among the members of hear sources. ." and monly who had himself been wont to exclaim. " I must have his blood. Both Prince Jerome and his son gave trouble. On the conletter. whether in disgust at his triumph or because he was strongly recommended to retire for a while. little trifles like these." was prepared. in order to give her the news.THE LAST DAYS OF THE REPUBLIC 77 the Princess to go back and pass the night at the palace. So Caroline went back again and spent what proved to be a very quiet night at the Elysee. We and the Bonaparte family. went on a cousin's visit to The ex-King. in whose society Louis-Napoleon had recently been styled com" the villain " and " the ruffian. There was a rumour that he had in consequence been given six months' leave from his duties at the Invalides. indeed. having been dis- appointed of his hopes of the presidency of the Comite consultatif. but. was among the multitude that hastened early in the morning of December 3 to congratulate the Prince-President on his successful stroke against his enemies in the Government.

an act which aroused opposition more powerful than hers. his long-suffering nephew raised him to the rank of Marshal of Prance. must go. To his fellow-workers he seemed to be drawing too much power to himself. however. it was vigorously combated by Morny. the only one in full-dress uniform covered with gold lace. Morny had been rewarded for his great share in the coup d'etat with the Ministry of the Interior. and a whole crop of intrigues sprang It became a question whether Morny or up. 1852. But she did not hesitate to express her disapproval of one of the early acts of the reorganised Government. such as Persigny. it was remarked. upon Louis-Napoleon by some other of his most the faithful supporters. On January 22. It is said that the Prince-President was seriously annoyed at the had indiscreet talk which his half-brother several others already begun to hold about their common mother. Mathilde did not imitate the tiresome conduct of Jerome Day he and Napoleon. and was made the excuse for his retirement from office. and was therefore the more inclined to part with him when the necessity for a choice arose. and at the Te Deum service at Notre-Dame on New Year's took his seat among the marshals. there came out two decrees confiscating the property of the Orleans This measure was urged family in Prance.78 THE PRINCESS MATH1LDE BONAPARTE trary. On hand. It was also reported that Morny had .

jected to the anti-Orleanist decrees because she thought them unjust. he agreed to resign his ministry. writing fortunate many years later of the Princess's attitude now. She wrote to her cousin begging him not to sign them. the Countess Le Hon. he certainly gained no matter little of principles. circles he had and he had an Orleanist mistress. when the question of the Orleans confiscation was under discussion. On this he was far too intelligent not to have calculated. and exclaimed to Viel-Castel. at her own house.THE LAST DAYS OF THE REPUBLIC demanded a dukedom for his services. and when he did so she was furious. 79 sented the refusal of his demand. feel avenged Sainte-Beuve." but remained simple deputy for his constituency of accession of popularity popularity by his apparent independence resigned his portfolio and was not even Puy-de-D6me. says that "when un- circumstances drove the Imperial policy to take doubtless unavoidable measures of State against the property of the banished dynasty. " If Louis-Philippe was ever jealous of the President. were he " ! living to-day. in the been brought up in Orleanist when he " kicked upstairs. she and the Duchess of Hamilton. No doubt he had very strong feelings. the former friend of Hortense Beauharnais. With the Princess Mathilde there was no She obquestion of pretexts or calculations. . and reIn any case. if we cannot accuse him . Moreover. he would.

brought honour upon them* selves by a step of which the intention deserves listening only to their all praise. at least. and himself afterwards the eleventh Duke. Princess Marie. who The acquaintances at this period. The Legitimists. was one of the Princess's intimate The Duchess of Hamilton.80 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE own feelings and actuated by nothing else. the Marquis of Douglas William Alexander Anthony Archibald Douglas. property." It may be admitted that the Princess's protest did credit to her heart. Brandon. and Stephanie Beauharnais. and Chatelherault. there was ample reason for not leaving property worth three hundred million francs in the hands of sworn enemies of the Government. As the child of — Napoleon's adopted daughter. moreover. But. now of the so-called is coupled by Sainte-Beuve with the Princess Mathilde in the sentence quoted above. sonof the tenthDuke of Hamilton. much of which Louis-Philippe's family had acquired by similar methods of spoliation twenty years earlier. had married in 1843 Louis-Prederic. nevertheless. youngest daughter of Charles- Grand-Duke of Baden. The last-named did not hesitate to express her belief . did not feel called upon to condemn the State's resumption Orleans property. supporters of the elder Bourbons. Lady Douglas was styled a cousin of the Princess Mathilde. and she and her husband visited and in turn entertained the Princess now.

THE LAST DAYS OF THE REPUBLIC in the story of to 81 the Prince-President. spreading stories of which even their truth would not be a sufficient excuse for telling them 1 in company. visitors to one of the Imperial house-parties at Compiegne. nor did she herself refrain from occasionally salon. Yet the old reprobate was a great trial to her. — But Jerome. she scarcely ever alluded even Viel-Castel records but one instance of an allusion to her father's manner of life. and at the beginning of 1852. Among those whom she did not was her brother. To her credit. Her although in other respects she kept its tone at a high level. was not hy any means free from the reproach of evil-speaking and slander. were amused and struck at the freedom in conversation and manners there. It has been mentioned that she had been wont to allow to him forty thousand francs. onefifth of her annual allowance from Demidoff. When he was created Marshal of Prance with a salary of thirty thousand francs. however. finding that 1 his marshalship thus Writing in his diary in 1857. . she saw no necessity to continue her contribution. Lady Douglas's intimacy with She was prone. who unhappily gave her spare — only too much occasion for caustic comment. Without such we must not knowledge. repeating gossip of this kind ahout him. It would have been interesting to know who the three English ladies were. treated her in a most disgraceful fashion. bringing his total official income up to £3. indeed. in particular. Lord Malmesbury tells how three English ladies.600 a year. treat this charge against the Princess too seriously. which was particularly remarkable in the Princess Mathilda.

a proof of his mother's frailty subsequent to his own birth. LouisNapoleon was extremely sensitive on this point. encouraged hy the villanous Prince of Ganino. It to helief to . having always by him. He could himself put at their actual worth his father's morbid imaginings . he blackmailed his nephew with threats to produce letters in which Louis Bonaparte affirmed his certainty that his reputed third son owed nothing to him. but he remembered the advice of Napoleon I. proposing in exchange for a certain sum to deliver to him proofs in writing of the Princess's intimacy with Nieuwerkerke. "Yes. in Morny. A curious picture is drawn them by the Countess Bern- . indeed. and wrote to Demidoff. know how much seems true that. It is impossible not to sympathise with Louis- Napoleon's plaintive retort to his uncle on one occasion. Demidoff took the letter to the Tsar Nicholas.82 lost THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE francs a year. was furi- him ten thousand ously angry. when accused of having nothing of the great Napoleon about him. According to one story. which made it advisable to tolerate Jerome rather than defy him. I have his family " ! He of had. put in the unpleasant tale hut unhappily Jerome's general conduct throughout life was not such as to prompt us to repudiate an accusation of the kind. not to wash family linen in public. who merely returned it to him with an exIt is difficult pression of contempt for Jerome.

. . to her mother "You can have no idea of what the society : at Saint-Cloud is is like." Yet there were many who criticised the Orleans Court as dull. . i. and Queen Marie-Amelie had shown a constant interest in the Baron's children.THE LAST DAYS OF THE REPUBLIC storff. heavy. Indeed. Countess Bernstorff says of " Marie-Amelie She has always been a model to me of all that a Christian woman. 184. who had no idea of how to fill his position. . Baron von Koenneritz. a mother. with fine the Prince-President ' features. and her truly religious mind and trust in God are a constant support to her. trans. 88 in who with her husband was visiting Paris November 1852. that : ." Bernstorff Papers. Hatzfeldt. and presided over by a king. writing to her mother again two years later. to the circle The Countess writes of the Prince-President. and was introduced by the Prussian representative. for which they owed her gratitude. strong man. undignified. . Prince Jerome is also a remarkable-looking man but the most pre. but she was still great now in her exile. and a Queen should be. abounding in badly dressed women. You would hardly believe what peculiar-looking creatures the Bacciochis and others are. The Prince is decidedly the flower of the flock. . posterous person that is. had been Saxon Minister in Paris throughout the reign of Louis-Philippe. . unless — 1 is his son. Through all her misfortunes she has retained the same fresh sympathy. Eng. He is has a big. at least. but he is coarse au possible. She had shown herself truly great when on the throne. the future Emperor children. after a visit to the exiled Orleans family in England. Louis-Napoleon's family ! The rooms of too impossible for anything that beautiful palace are frequented by the commonest people. It must be remembered that the Countess's father.

But Jerome really cared nothing for art." But the brother amend his ways. because Napoleon. " you love both the table and women. and women bring you an did not name. understanding Papa (as called him). The an equal appetite My ill table besots you. With her brother Napoleon. to Jerome once. retained a true affection for him to the end of his life. He and his son lived peacefully together. Jerome." wrote Napoleon I. had " for the lower pleasures. as she despised his she shared aesthetic tastes. was always generous with his money to his son. or politics." The other was made on an . arrogant libertinism. brother. letters. One is the record already mentioned of her mother's de- votion to "Pifi. as ready to forgive as she was quick to usually take offence. and to some extent political views. In all the reported table-talk of the Princess Mathilde there are only two references to her father during her childhood's days.84 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE The Princess Mathilde and her father had a quarrel over the affair of the withdrawn allowSince she was ance. which lasted three years. Prince he always Napoleon. we may assume that she had The break was serious ground for complaint. though intellectually so far above the old man. the less painful to her because she and -her father had so little in common. it much may be suspected. on his part. His son and he met on a common plane where such things were concerned.

if we didn't do so. the ill name of the home which he shared with their father and the father's mistress. But. to she had to exercise her caustic tongue upon his This is Viel-Castel's only imputation her of a reference to Jerome's manner of life. The Prince-Pre- returned in October from a tour in Southern Prance. When told that this was not correct. as we have said. Her father had He had very pretty she said. 85 when she was a guest insisted at Sainte-Beuve's on carving. Morny's successor as Minister of the Interior." Jerome paid the penalty of being the selfish father of a quick-sighted daughter. we should have been scolded. he retorted " In my time. and accused of having and : dirty hands. by colonel in Nieuwerkerke in his capacity of command of the National Guards). Prince Napoleon had been to dinner with her. with which he used even to eat his salad. she restrained what inclination misdeeds.THE LAST DAYS OF THE REPUBLIC occasion table. among others. and after he had left she deplored. skilfully organised by Persigny. to those who remained behind. Paris was ready to follow the lead of the provinces in demonstrations of Imperialist enthusiasm. of 1852 the imminence of to all. always carved. hands. he rode under triumphal arches bearing the . and as the head of the State made his entry on horseback (accompanied. Madame In the autumn Empire was obvious sident de Plancy.

Prince Napoleon was to be recognised as heir-apparent. now displayed the Imperial scutcheon. A few unpleasantnesses marred the general feeling of joy. She was to have a handsome annual pension. the dynasty were to have their share of the If there had been a fever of anticipation spoils.86 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE "Napoleon III. at the same time insisted on the dislike of the country for the thought that the succession to the Imperial throne would rest in the line of . and to proclaim the democratic republic. At the Opera inscription to emulation of those Prancais. had pasted the walls of Paris in 1848 with a declaration that he first to had been the break open the doors of the Palais-L6gislatif. Arsene Houssaye. that fever was much greater now. and a household presided over by the Baroness Talleyrand as grand-mistress. All the were to receive and the supporters of appropriate distinctions. after the coup d'etat." Great was the who had anything to gain show their loyal sentiments. who. A deputation from the Senate. calling on the Prince-President at their allies Bonapartes and Saint-Cloud to express their devotion to him. The talk was all of the rewards and honours to come. her father and brother. The Princess Mathilde. who three years before had been singing the Marseillaise to vociferous applause. and had verses of his own composition recited by Rachel. were to be Alt esses Impe'riales. as Viel-Castel scornfully notes.

PRINCE NAPOLEON. 86] .

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the Prince- President entertained a party at the old palace of Fontainebleau. She was an Andalusian. Louis-Napoleon. and at once began to show her much attention. Already Louis-Napoleon had met her on whom he was to bestow the title of Empress. he was told. 87 Jerome resigned the presidency of the Senate. first introduced Eugenie to the Prince-President. though no one helieved him to be sincere. But the . especially as this might dispose of the claims of Jerome and his son. of the leading supporters of the Govern- Again the attention received by the young Spanish beauty was marked. the Montijos' banker. and protested his desire to give up all his posts. He requested an introduction. in the week before the plebiscite which was to make him Emperor. seeing a beautiful young woman sur- rounded by a crowd of admirers in the salon in the Rue de Courcelles. It was variously stated that the Baron James de Rothschild. and that it was at the Princess Mathilde's house that they first made acquaintance. as well as the Princess Mathilde. and a newly arrived visitor in Paris. the British Ambassador. and many ment.THE LAST DAYS OF THE REPUBLIC Jerome. According to the latter version of the story. hated. Prince Napoleon. The question of the future Emperor's marriage was much deHearing of this. asked his cousin who she was. the guests included Eugenie and her mother. What is certain is that when.

88 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE political excitement of the following week diverted men's thoughts from all else for a time. All the talk was of the and the hostess was assured of her splendid position as soon as President should become Emperor. and was the first to light his cigarette in the vast marble winter-garden of his cousin's house. 21 in the same street. 10. She had given up No. The last entertainment given by the Princess Mathilde under the rule of the Republic was her house-warming on November 23. and taken possession of No. very Spain. . the former hotel of the exiled Queen Cristina of The Prince-President was there. things to come. Rue de Courcelles. and amiable. secure no doubt in his forecast gay of the plebiscite.

whether Bonapartes. or remoter relations. Murats. however. perial 89 . The formation of a small Court for her began. Bacciochis. A decree published in the Moniteur before the end of the year settled the succession on Jerome and his male posterity. which was theirs alone the other members of the family. Louis-Napoleon could no as he had said to Senators urging longer say. Viel-Castel noting with malicious pleasure the abounding jealousies with regard to this and the anxiety of Madame Desprez to be recognised as a grande dame. — being merely Highnesses. And the Princess was accorded an annual grant of two hundred thousand francs. in default of a son being born to the Emperor or his adoption of a son. thus doubling her income. were now flourishing over a much more important position than that of the ladies-in-waiting to her Im- Highness. Still greater jealousies.CHAPTER VIII HER IMPERIAL HIGHNESS The Empire brought with it to the Princess Mathilde and her nearest of kin the rank of Imperial Highnesses.

" while old Jerome observed will be Empress ! " in alarm to the Baroness Talleyrand But. The Princess acted as the : " hostess for her cousin. the matter was pressing. Emperor of the French. at which the Emperor and Eugenie de Montijo were both . until there is an Empress you My and you will always be on my right hand. civil and military. the foreign ambassadors. Morny went back to Paris declaring. and need concern us here no more than in so far as the Princess Mathilde was brought into touch with it. clear she monopolised the Emperor's glances.THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE him to marry a few months earlier. hunting.." For Napoleon III." Prince Napoleon was there. Eleven days were spent in dining. The first grand social event after the establishment of the Empire was a house-party at Compiegne. The story of the many negotiations has often been told. so were the most prominent Bonapartists. When the party broke up. and the Countess of Montijo and her daughter. dancing. near the end of the She year. and in every entertainment Mile. this marriage will injure " son's right to the succession : ! " my my On January ball in the Rue de 9 the Princess Mathilde gave a Courcelles. " I am not 90 in a hurry. who said to her dear Mathilde. dear Baroness. since it was so are the first here. which was a repetition on a more magnificent scale of the party at Fontainebleau. de Montijo was the observed of all eyes.

but we can hardly believe that the Princess knew of the scheme on the night of her ball. that he made a formal announcement in Council. who so heartily disapproved that she fell on him and implored him not to lower himself thus in the public estimation. Viel-Castel was a guest at the her knees before . week before staying with her aunt. and Eugenie was treated as the rising star by the Ministers and all desirous of winning Napoleon's favour. in England. It was not until January 17. however. nor yet on the following day. decided to follow the promptings of his Three days after his cousin's entertainment he gave a State ball at the Tuileries. It is said that Napoleon gave the first private warning of his intention to his cousin Mathilde. This may be true." A the usually accepted dates are correct. He had that this was definitely repeated in the Press. Only some of the women showed ill-humour at the idea of having to call the Spaniard if "Your Majesty. nor until the 19th heart. when there was a very lively dinner-party at her house. Napoleon had received from the Princess Adelaide of Hohenlohe. Queen Victoria. where his dancing with Eugenie was so much noticed that their engagement was already widely proclaimed as a fact. They were observed to have over an hour's undisturbed conversation together during the ball. who was this.HER IMPERIAL HIGHNESS 91 present. a polite refusal of his offer of marriage.

by any one else it only remained for the Princess Mathilde to perform the duties which he asked of her through her position in the — up and. at the entrance to the first saloon by the Prin- Mathilde and Prince Napoleon and finally. But since Napoleon's fully made not listen to his favourite mind was — the evening of January 29 the civil marriage took place in the Salle des Mar6chaux at the Tuileries. in which the mistress of the house took her share. she could not have kept the knowledge to herself. . She was received." Jerome in the family saloon. Grand Chamberlain . civil.92 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE dinner. On progress amid stately ceremonial. to which Eugenie made her family. Had she known for certain then that Eugenie was to have the offer of becoming Empress. on her arrival at the foot of the staircase. reports. that when the time came for the signature of the famous family register of the Bonapartes. in his Diary. if he would he was certainly not likely to be advised cousin. supported by princes. "nothing could be more diverting than the manner of the different witnesses as they came up to sign their name. miliHenry Greville. by the Duke cess of Bassano. and reports the free discussion of much scandal. by the Emperor. and naval dignitaries. and her indignation over the misalliance. . tary. princesses. must have forced her to betray the secret. and religious. on the authority of an eye-witness. Her natural frankness.

" Then turning to the left. both of whom she abhors. day. It was then proposed that she should share a carriage with the Montijos." As for his son. had you wished it. but at last she succeeded in having a carriage to herself.HER IMPERIAL HIGHNESS 93 " bowed as he passed the Emperor. Greville's informant recounts that one of the various marks of ill- humour shown by some members was "the thilde to of the family positive refusal of the Princess go in the same carriage with Maher father and brother. She sat at the Emperor's right at the table. but took no " the notice of her. Republican Prince bowed to neither one nor the other." It must be remembered that the quarrel between Jerome and his still in progress. Napoleon is reported to have turned first to his right. you might have been here : now. What reason " the Princess had for " detesting the Countess of Montijo we do not know. he added : . saying "Mathilde. that of the religious ceremony. she felt compelled to assert herself. few days after the wedding there was a dinner at the Tuileries. but she might well daughter was claim that her rank entitled her to a different carriage. at which the Princess Mathilde was present." Of the Princess Mathilde's behaviour on this occasion we are not told but on the following . whom she equally detests . Lady Douglas (who is also said to have remonstrated against the Montijo A marriage) on his left.

either. I mywho knows?— self should have made of her We have. 92). no other suggestion of Napoleon's regard " danced for Caroline Murat.. If we can believe the Caroline Murat. became one of the dearest friends of the Empress Eugenie. p. though Caroline's younger sister Anna. lips of M. howa future Empress. there was a letter written by in which Napoleon's former mistress." At least one other member of the Imperial that she might have sat in "And Princess Eugenie's place. in of rnaitre procuring for himself the petty post des requetes. Loliee the Countess Walewska.94 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE family thought would not you. had she wished it. F. Papiers . have been mistress of the Tuileries a fact which helps to never became explain why she and the Empress — cordial friends. with the Baron de Chassiron. in their lives 1 when they drew states that There were a few brief periods close together. before or after she herself into an engagement. she said: "Hasn't she been a little fool to marry Chassiron ? If she had willed it. Marie. 1 have been out of place here." — perhaps ever. afterwards Duchess of Mouchy. and neither of them figured at all prominently at Court. Baron only succeeded. it seems to me. who was present on the occasion (Le& Femmes du Second Empire. through her influence. but he had this story from the intimes." as she herself The writes. Miss H. In the case of Mathilde there is no doubt that she might really.

Eug6nie's " Spanish piety neither tolerated nor was understood by Mathilde's blend of Sunday prayers and weekday scepticism. a rule. never had regularly. In appreciation of Eugenie .HER IMPERIAL HIGHNESS for the 95 most part they remained far separated. but the Princess was a genuine admirer of great writers as such. . interested little. etc. and neither was always wrong in her judgment. Art was half of life to Mathilde with it counted little. on her part. They were. as In home herself affairs Mathilde.. while hospitals. Later we find the Empress a friend of Britain (she had her Scottish ancestry as part-motive). In foreign politics they were always ranged on opposite sides. while the Princess detested the country to whom the exile of Saint Helena owed his mournful death. of natures unsympathetic to " each other. and a generous supporter of them in time of need. indeed. and herself visit those who sent in petitions for assistance. the one's love. and the other's hatred. but literature they differed widely. of the Vatican being dominant principles. if we may so describe the Princess's atti- tude towards religion. received big subscriptions from her The Princess. of a very personal quality . she would interest herself in a case. whereas Eugenie followed every question in the newspapers and asked nothing better than to have a voice in their solution. The Empress's charity was and large. a letter from one in her enormous circle of dis- homes.

and she lavished gifts in season on her friends. con- Her sidering the difference in their positions. She was rather luxurious in the matter of beds.96 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE tinguished men. the intellectual sparkle of a salon. however. for she attained much more nearly to her idea of a salon than the other to hers of a Court. She did not. begging a favour for a protegS." ." at ease at A curious reminiscence of the Princess's about a visit to Compiegne is preserved. which she founded at Neuilly in 1853 for three hundred incurable girls and supported nobly to the end of her life. strange how of pleased I am to get she exclaimed once. not without a background of good looks and fine clothes. so that to the Princess their atmosphere seemed " It is dull when she entered it. Mathilde was luckier than Eugenie. To keep warm I was obliged big that you couldn't imagine it ! ! to heap all my wardrobe on myself. great fall and small. The Empress liked the gay frivolity of a Court. Both had a full capacity for social enjoyment. behind the Empress in public charities. 1 and even Saint-Cloud and Compiegne. principal care was the Asile Mathilde. Eti- quette killed much of the gaiety of the Tuileries. " How unhappy I was A bed so which had been the Pope's. to which she did not make an immediate response. 1 away from " I am ill these places. and did not like the one assigned to her at the chateau. but they interpreted the words very diversely. dancing and dressing itself with the aid of a the Princess liked certain amount of brains .

would two or three times in the course of an evening send a chamberlain to invite her to come and sit by her to put a check upon her gaiety. hedged about with state and watching the Princess vivaciously talking and laughing with whom she pleased. Eugenie was but a rare visitor to the Rue de Had she been present on many Courcelles. sitting on her fauteuil. She has been accused of — envying her husband's cousin her social power in Paris. But they were the leaders in two different worlds. she would certainly have considered the conversation outrageous rather than entertaining. for the distraction of the Emperor. but I feel another person.HER IMPERIAL HIGHNESS Court. and I am in a hurry to quite get back to myself and my home. as she made no attempt to deny." It is said that at the Tuileries sometimes the Empress. that of the Rue de Courcelles round man. 97 The sentiments and the talk are so different there. his wife claimed. occasions which have been described for posterity by the memoirists. The Court world revolved round woman. I can't explain it. . for the entertainment of the hostess.

98 . the others Hesprez we have already heard have been no more than names hitherto.CHAPTER IX THE INNER CIRCLE The Emperor's marriage made difference a considerable life. which surrounded her Of Nieuwerkerke and Madame . The lack of unbetween her and the Empress had derstanding palace when he the natural result that the Princess to a large extent dropped out of Court life. being seldom conventional politeness did not necessitate an invitation to the Tuileries or As we know. but she made no sorrow. invited when She had the more time to devote to her art and her friends. remained the same. this gave her small Saint-Cloud. and it is Her domestic time now to look at the little circle in her home. Her doubled income furnished her with the means of entertaining more lavishly than before. if in the Princess Mathilde's only for the reason that it relieved her of the necessity of doing the honours of her cousin's entertained. change in the quality of her guests or the interior general disposition of her days.

both in Paris and in the country. As for the society he introduced to her. to be lent to nobody else. and later his painting. Nor was Giraud classed with the flatterers. She has been so far corrupted in manners that she mistakes familiarity for ease. and her air of affectionate proprietorship was surely harmless enough. He used his opinions fairly to be to put forth roundly in the Princess's presence and speak the truth under the cover of raillery. was Eugene Giraud.THE INNER CIRCLE 99 Prominent for a great many years of the Princess's life. he complains. . her very own. in which every flatterer lives at the expense of his audience. and numerous others who were not so despised by all as by Viel-Castel. whose influence deplores. her master in water-colour His brother Charles. calls him " Ma vielle Oiraille 1 " and swears that he is hers. were constant visitors at the Princess's. democratic crowd. son Victor. He was a true Bohemian. over his patron Viel-Castel bitterly The Girauds and Madame Desprez surround the poor Princess with a vulgar. (as we know from the Goncourts' journal) call him Giraille. and while she thinks she has a salon she has really only a bazaar. it whom included the elder and the younger Dumas. but Eugene scarcely left her side throughout the day. and she did object to his painting pictures for people of The Princess did she disapproved. But she was an old friend and a very generous patron. taps Giraud on the shoulder.

He had a room in the Princess's house.100 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE Giraud was certainly an original character. they joined her in her room Eugene sleeping on a sofa beside her bed. The same critic has a very strong objection to another of those whom he accuses of lowering — — . tell stories. Madame rose early. an hour or so more. dressed shabbily. for the son and the uncle also received annual commissions from In the early sixties Eugene Nieuwerkerke.m. one in Paris and one at Saint-Gratien. Through his connection with the Princess Giraud did very well for himself. made the coffee. to talk and or to look through his album of Madame Giraud was caricatures. until 2 a. In fact the whole family benefited. to which the male visitors were wont to retire when their hostess had bidden them good-night. regardless of whether they were complete or Then the men would talk and smoke for not. meanwhile slumbering peacefully at home. When her having retired to bed at eight. in the latter of which he hardly ever lived. and insisted on travelling third-class. Yet Viel-Castel says that he was always complaining. which had been picked up by the old lady in some second-hand shop. Victor on a folding-bed at their feet and Victor would read aloud from one of the many odd volumes lying about the room. husband and son came back in the early hours of the morning. and then left them to their repose. Giraud had two houses of his own.

Jules de Goncourt records a morning call upon the Princess 1867. a bad painter and a bad character at the same time. who pretends to a frankness which is not In speech. Moreover. is a client and who form Napoleon. vulgar and familiar. He had been almoner to the naval division which. in 1 December . he is very really his. leaving to his lieutenants the duty of kissing the arms and shoulders of the ladies the Princess's intimate circle. at least. brought back Napoleon's ashes to Prance. he is incessantly kissing the Princess's arms and always there. He hut he is is not a regular inmate of the house and is the buffoon of the establishment." His have spread a false rumour that he is family the Princess's lover. A brother. and was now chief almoner to the fleet. and Viel-Castel looks on Alfred Arago as no better than a spy on the Princess Mathilde in the interests of her friend of Prince brother. and the sounds of the Mass are punctuated by Arago's chaff in the room where the visitors are waiting. Another constant visitor is the only cleric of the Princess's intimate acquaintance. one of the sons of the great astronomer. She is at private Mass in another room. and he has done nothing to contradict it. . the Abb6 Coquereau.THE INNER CIRCLE the tone of the Princess's circle 101 —Alfred Arago. under the Monarchy. 1 hands. To the author of the cahiers noirs the Abb6 is an intriguer and sycophant. always spoiling " conversation with his jokes.

An equally unpleasant intriguer in Viel- Castel's eyes is Eudore Soulie. he aspires to be Monseigneur " the violet " he stockings would become him so well speaks lightly of the Vatican and his fellowof the — ! — priests. a keeper of the Louvre. like The fatherhimself. cardinals. you would look upon him as a " But Coquereau gets himself driven schemer ! back to Paris by the Minister. and remarks : persistent court to him as he is if leaving " Confess now. The Eeiset family would seem to have deserved the strictures of Viel-Castel more than — . amused at Coquereau's the great man.102 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE Among men he to gallant towards the ladies. in-law of the dramatist Sardou. my dear Abbe. deceitful and republican. At the same time she can see through him partly. Having him house with the head she to is to dinner one night at her of the Ministry of Religion. and Pope without fear before him. who is. affects There is really he very tolerant. and ultimately becomes a canon of Saint-Denis. about him except his nothing priest While habit. any one else were to act as you have done for the last four hours. but his colleague calls him ferrety. who calls him good Abbey' doubtless singles him out among the clergy for her friendship because of this The trait in his character. and his only thought is ambition. She can abuse priests. " the Princess. Soulie is much liked by the Princess.

and Madame. because would be unpleasant for his wife and daughter But to be contaminated by her neighbourhood. never make one in the estimation of a work of art " (Jadis. a kinsman with a Louvre. one of the keepers of the Louvre. the Princess tells a He had once been a lover of Madame story. who was once shocked at anything. father is Nevertheless. 1 It is but fair to Reiset to add that M. The daughter Marie is pretty and Comte de Segur comes along. whom he calls happy in having found in him a keeper of her artistic " M. had hoped the Princess would not come to live near him at Saint-Gratien. Of one of the B-eisets. Frederic Reiset. " was one of those conscience. if they make a mistake occasionally in the attribution of a picture. 103 There had been a time when Reiset the father. built up by comparative studies one of those who." he says. still the Reisets so are very puffed up. and the Princess's influence is besought to get him some post. and the family at last go out of favour with her. refusing all suitors until the chamberlain. chapter on the . Princess Matbilde). Fr6d6ric Masson pays a handsome tribute to his good influence over the Princess. The Emperor refuses him as a coquettish.THE INNER CIRCLE others of the circle. rare men who bring to the appreciation of the world of art an inborn taste. . and at the same time a scientific knowledge. 1 Royalist title of Count. She marries him. and more when the appointed keeper of drawings at the His pomposity and laying down of the law weary the kind-hearted Princess. it very intimate with her. noAV listens to every jest without soon the whole family is wincing.

and impulsive pitch upon unworthy favourites. uniting together to common end or else backbiting one another to their utmost. In the spring of 1856 she at last abandoned all faith in Madame Desprez and her daughter. It is said that when she . Then he made love to the Princess herself. Mademoiselle de Sancy. ex-mistress of King Charles-Albert of Savoy. and later place. as she was bound to secure some admit herself." consoled himself by marrying one of her ladiesin-waiting.104 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE de Robilaud. but I don't yet feel decrepit enough to take Madame de Robilaud's am Reiset retired crestfallen. sieur de Reiset. however. I no longer a young woman. It was inevitable that Mathilde. As he she said at last " Mon: persisted. and I am not ambitious. But the picture which warm-hearted at with her nature. and dismissed her reader with a small pension. After this he tried to interest the Princess Mathilde in his scheme of a marriage with a left-hand daughter of her uncle Paul of Wurtemburg. attracted to her only by her great wealth and well-known generosity. who treated the affair as a joke to avoid seeming offended. is entirely at variance with the observations of the vast majority of those who came in contact with her. should times represents her as constantly surrounded by a miserable gang of toadies. She made mistakes at times. hoping to get a princely title along with her from Stuttgart.

was her warm advocacy . and September. Achille Fould. in Viel-Castel's eyes. so that for July. had attempted to secure this residence for him- but Napoleon refused to disappoint his cousin. they hoth congratulated her. she was allowed to set up her establishment within view of Saint-Cloud. indeed. little to he told except with regard to the Nieuwerkerke connection. For the summer succeeding the Imperial marriage she went to Breteuil. the Minister of State. and told her they had long hesitated as to whether they should not warn her of the harm hoth mother and daughter were doing her. The Emperor plainly regards their connection with displeasure. Viel-Castel's comment is worth quotation " I feel certain that she and Nieuwerkerke self. of Georges Sand. and one might have thought that the flagrant indiscretion of that left no work for a spy to do. One of these days the Imperial dissatisfaction will take the shape in words and actions which I 1 Almost as great an enormity. August. : are blind as to the feelings of the Emperor and Empress towards them. 1 — — of the Princess's private There was.THE INNER CIRCLE 105 informed the Emperor and Empress of this step. The Princess's new rank and grant caused no alteration in her behaviour. offence Madame Desprez's was the continual hetrayal and misrepresentation outside which is equivalent to saying in Court circles life.

calmly read by the . She speaks of Nieuwerkerke as a woman would speak of her husband. brazens everything out.106 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE dread for them. apartments. I think they have been imprudent in coming to live at Breteuil. according to his subordinate at the Louvre. But of her love for Nieuwerkerke there could be no doubt. The officers of the Imperial household and the Empress's ladies have been advised not to go there. The Princess never conceals the liaison. and is quite confident about his future. card. and was at this very time intriguing with some one else. valet . But. Everyone knows that they lodge in the same suite of . He walks about with her in the park of Saint-Cloud. He is accustomed to high favour and will not open his eyes. He lives at Breteuil with his his horses of the Princess's horses and grooms share the quarters and grooms. A letter of hers. and when the Princess in receives. had really no passion. as always happens. imprudence. the interested parties see nothing and behave with singular Nieuwerkerke believes in his star. for the Princess. . the Duchess of Alba has not even sent a horizon. . nor anything like one. under the Emperor's very eyes. Nieuwerkerke appears without his hat." the drawing-room Nieuwerkerke. The Empress has paid but one visit. The premonitory signs of a disgrace show on the The Princess's receptions are less frequented.

COUNT NIEUWERKERKE. 106] .

.

she was to be dealt with like this. had no place on it. right in her assumption of of the enmitv towards Nieuwerkerke of the Palais- now . she would go to a country where the sovereign considered her a member of " Go his family and acted towards her as such. and more forcibly too " ! The Princess was Koyal. including some many other own house- . and Nieuwerkerke. that it would be said all over Europe that this was because Nieuwerkerke was her lover." she cried. the Princess merely sent down word that she was not receiving. Later in the year. in spite of his official position. " or else I will go and tell him myself. at the instigation of her scoundrelly father and brother. the Duchess of Alba at last paid a call at Breteuil. in the presence of witnesses in her own drawing-room. that she refused to be treated so. and tell this to the Emperor.THE INNER CIRCLE recipient to Viel-Castel. 107 was sufficient proof of When him stung her deeply. the home Napoleon enemies the error which she Jerome and Prince made was not to in her recognise that there were a great too. that she looked on the omission as a personal insult to herself. the Princess told Fould. when the committee was appointed for the coming Exposition Universelle. knowing Nieuwerkerke to be absent at the time. And any slight to this. that she had no need of the beggarly two hundred thousand francs which the Government gave her. and that if.

for instance. The Princess had at least an excuse for her blindness in her infatuation. Nor did the remarks of the crowd at public ceremonies reach his ears. he persisted in believing that Napoleon looked very favourably upon him. It scarcely makes matters better that he was in no want of money. The Empress's coldness towards him was equally ineffectual. Unless Nieuwerkerke has been grossly wronged. but he would not take a hint. with his handsome salary and his lodgings at the Louvre. It took her. Sincere in his loyalty to the Madame Emperor admits (even his ever-carping subordinate this). of the Imperial household. indeed. Nieuwerkerke. obstinately refused to he enlightened. . that excuse did not exist in his case. in spite of the scandal which he brought upon the Princess Mathilde. accusing him of being kept by the Princess as was practically the case. for — he had seldom to spend a penny in her company. more than another two years to find out the falseness of Desprez.108 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE hold. and Nieuwerkerke also. Count Bacciochi. and the least damning interpretation which can be put on his conduct is that it was a sublime conceit which permitted him to act as he did. made several attempts to warn him of the real state of affairs.

The sentiments shown are as honourable to you as they are agreeable to me. Her house was always a great centre for Russians visiting Erance." : 109 . when writing his sketch of her character. Nicholas now wrote 1853. I am charmed to have been able to give you my support in the past. you may be sure of one thing from me. " It was a great pleasure. the recent good fortune of France has brought its share to you. was permitted by the Princess to quote both this letter of January 10. the affection which I bear you. congratulating her on her new honours. energetically defended Russia's 1 1 Sainte-Beuve. and many a beauty from the north made her first bow to Parisian society there. quoted below. my dear niece. In place of the protection of which you have no longer need. to receive your kind letter. the prospect of a war with Russia began to be an anxiously debated question in the Rue de Courcelles. and the later one. The Princess. you must enjoy the favours bestowed upon you . Early in the new reign the policy of Erance took a turn very distasteful to the Princess Mathilde. In June 1853. as you say.CHAPTER X BACIAL PREJUDICES We have heard of the reasons which hound the daughter of Catherine of Wiirtemburg and the wife of Anatole Demidoff in close sympathy with the ruler of Russia. who had a few months before received a most friendly letter from the Tsar. they could not come to any one more grateful than you are. Since.

she wrote on New Year's Day a letter conveying to Nicholas the feelings of her heart. I knew this . stirred her deep anger. Nicholas had no political intention. Why The As time went on and war drew Russian sympathies became stronger French understanding with Britain nearer. I could not and her Sovereign have been constantly the Like objects of the most hateful accusations. yourself I deplore the recent suspension of good relations between Russia and France. she affirmed. in accordance with the accidents of changing A but at the present but feel particular satisfacmoment tion over the kind and friendly words which reached me from a country where lately Russia politics. and. the Empire in France I ventured to hope that this restoration need not inevitably bring in its . regardless of the attitude of her country. her still. in spite of all the efforts I have made to open the way On the arrival of to a friendly understanding. What could be more natural than the Russian championship of the claims of the Orthodox Church to the shrines ? As for France's tradi- tional protection of the Roman Catholics—" " mix ourselves up in these things ? she asked. On February 9 the Tsar replied " I thank you sincerely.110 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE " " and conduct with regard to the Holy places denied her designs upon Constantinople. my dear niece. for : the noble sentiments which your letter expresses heart like yours is incapable of towards me.

" She is more flattered. cousin to the Emperor of Russia than at being the cousin german of the Emperor of the French. The new Emperor of Russia has just written to her that the dearest legacy to him from his father is the duty of cherishing the love which the had towards her. "at being. Paris. to witness a of the same sanguinary dramas ? be the outcome of them this time ? It is not given to human foresight to guess. Memoires. War having actually broken out. late Tsar unfavourable to the Allies. February September . through her mother. 1854.' 18." reports Viel- Castel." This letter was personally delivered to the Princess by the Russian Consul-General in her in her views.RACIAL PREJUDICES train a rivalry with Eussia and flict between the two countries. while anything connected with England was bad in her The death of Nicholas made no differeyes. and strengthened 1 ence. that in no possible event can I cease to have for you the affectionate feelings which I have declared before. 1855.. 111 an armed con- Heaven grant that the storm now ready to burst may still blow over repetition What will ! interval of Is Europe again destined. Id. May 25. * Viel-Castel. she was very bitter against her cousin Napoleon. 1 is rife 28." She is pleased and proud about this letter. in her circle. but I can assure you of this. after an more than forty years. and news about the war. my dear niece.

writes too. went further than their Jerome. between Mathilde. She had five years In to wait for the gratification of her desires. Viel-Castel tells of This was the period Austrian Ambassador. Already in 1854 she was talking of the possibility of a French invasion of Italy and of the pleasure she would take in a revolution against the existing authorities there. to whom the retention of a French garrison at Rome was an unfair protection of brother. served from the cause of Italian freedom at first secretly. "A Merim^e to his friend Panizzi in few days ago. however. the Pope against the aspirations of the Italian people. the great rejoicing in the Princess's drawing-room over Napoleon's New Year Day speech to the January 1859. if same side as herself. The Rue de Courcelles became a hot- bed of the Italianissimes. and any one who did not agree with them was eyed askance. And the Princess carried her principles down to the country with her. cousin. She saw no reason to disguise her attitude. her of the greatest harmony The children of and the Emperor. . hut also from Papal.112 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE On this question of policy in the Near East the Princess Mathilde was directly opposed to Napoleon III. rule. In the other chief question of foreign politics which aroused her feelings she found him." London. ranged on the Both of them had pretheir early days in Italy a love of —freedom not only from Austrian.

furious over the inclusion of Cardinal Morlot in the Council of Regency in 1858. Princess's religious attitude —mumbling prayers throughout the Memoires. but she takes a dislike to all those who do not agree with her. hetter. and. using of abuse. who is pro-papal friends." the little atheists or unbelievers. except the Coquereau." "The Princess Mathilde thinks herself a Liberal and a lover of free discussion. 1862." He has many "demagogic criticisms. of the in the morning. and Pope. nay worse. and hates the the Princess's strongly Italian " nonentities. tolerating no his cloth. The Princess got up in a rage and walked straight out of the church. The cure" took it into his head to offer up an impromptu prayer that God would open the eyes of the great ones of the earth and inspire them not to persecute the Vicar of Jesus Christ. the whole congregation followed leaving the cure all alone with the verger. herself and in the evening smiling at calumnies against the priesthood. " Jesuit " as a term cardinals. to still make matters her. where she has a country house. and that because he cleric double-faced rails at all of up to the Pope. "the Princess Mathilde was imprudent enough to go to Mass at SaintGratien.RACIAL PREJUDICES 113 on July 11." So exclaims Viel-Castel. speaking recklessly against priests. is We 8 cannot help feeling that there some .

her anti-clericalism prevailed. felt most at ease in the society of sceptics. 1 Later in the same year he heard Benedetti then French reports having Minister at the Court of Turin. also." — friend of the Princess —advising Vimercati. " Poor Princess. in one doubt. and allowed herself to be influenced by her Russian friends. too. yet she must have her private chapel and her In the sphere of foreign politics daily mass. But the Ratomskis are said to have made her detest the Poles. the Ratomskis. Her brain appears to have followed her brother She Napoleon's. Italians. she and Italians as and by her Italian friends. especially the Vimercatis. No Russians. "she does not understand that she is only a marionette in instance. in the other. her heart to have remained behind. France in taking up the cause of a free Italy was combating the claims of Rome and was therefore liked Russians as right. France at the beginning of the quarrel with Russia was espousing the claims of Rome and was therefore wrong. to tell that he had only to march 1 As a supporter of Italian freedom she might have been expected to favour Polish freedom. .114 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE basis for this complaint against the Princess. in the salon of the Victor Rue Emmanuel de Courcelles. 1862. especially as it was an idea with which the Bonapartes were fond of coquetting. and a lifelong Vimercati's hands." writes Viel-Castel in April. who was inconsistent in her attempt to combine pious observance and hostility to all clericalism.

and her mother's 1 Viel-Castel calls her " not quite and of course this was strictly true.RACIAL PREJUDICES three hundred thousand 115 Italians into retire unarmed Rome. the Italians were among her warmest admirers. Italians were among the most welcome guests at her later salon in the Rue de Berri. no one writing of her more enthusiastically on her death than Baron Lumbroso and the novelist Mathilde Serao. when the French troops would unresisting. She for Florence. " . in 1 856. Her favourite relatives of the younger generation were Italians. another daughter of the Prince of Canino. her last visit being made in 1891. whom we have heard ' Sons of Count Pietro Primoli land Charlotte Bonaparte. his cousin Auguste." says Jules de the only surviving son of Mario Gabrielli and Christine-Charlotte Bonaparte. Lucien's eldest daughter. of above. Prince Charming. and her brother was lying on his deathbed in Rome. 1 and the brothers Giuseppe and Luigi Primoli." she would sometimes say. . In all descendants of Lucien Bonaparte. return. Those who carped at tbe Princess's salon often made its "exotic" character a ground for reproach. when she was over eighty. Prince Placido Gabrielli. daughter of at Saint-Gratien as Known " Goncourt. visited the country periodically. of Italian origin. The Princess Mathilde's love of Italy con" I am homesick tinued to the end of her days. Prince of Canino. He married at the Tuileries. 1 French inasmuch as her Bonaparte grandparents were Corsicans. He was Charles Bonaparte.

it was her worship of her great made her nourish this dislike who kept him captive at Saint Helena. she returned from exile in less The Empire's ruin than a year. and she grew passionately patriotic when she made Erance her home. This prejudice continued as she grew older. or It was. natural that she should have wide sympathies But it has already been in the matter of race. in 1870. did not cure her of her love. is She was " very cross and very sorry described. and however wide her sympathies with foreigners there was even a Japanese among — her frequent visitors in the Rue de Berri the Princess Mathilde may assuredly be called at heart a Erench woman. In the Princess Caroline Murat's Memoirs. If she did not become — one in fact until after she had left girlhood behind." for herself. therefore. mentioned that she did not include the English among those whom she liked. No better idea can be gathered of what her country meant to her than from some remarks . Homesick for Paris. As we know.116 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE family partly German and partly English. but at least Hanoverian. to share the joys and sorrows of Erance until death came upon her. of those however mixed her own descent. she had been trained at least to think in Erench from the beginning. Mathilde's visit to England for the funeral of Napoleon III. uncle that Nevertheless. keenly as it affected her. She had always hated England.

at two in the morning. a French soldier] I couldn't help it. dining. in August 1841.. " I need leaving the others to go on alone. she said. happy from France I have the very devil in away to come back. a terrible headache compelled her to go to bed while the rest of her party were France. The first time that I set foot on French soil. Paris. At Bale once. As she lay there a violent temptation came upon her to get up and fly to the station.e. to be here. I got out of the carriage to embrace him. its quays. as soon as I saw a red-leg [i. on her way to Italy. I actually embraced him " just to be ' ' ! am am me What as could be a surer French man or woman is shown by the Princess here of the good than such love of Paris ? mark . "When I living here. with all those There are days when I lights at night. to find myself among French people. as though a shutter went up. its pavements. Yes.RACIAL PREJUDICES which she made the left 117 Rue to the guests in her de Berri one day in 1876. it house in she When was as though something closed inside her head.

but in holidays 1854 she was definitely established at SaintGratien.CHAPTER XI THE HOSTESS It has been mentioned that in 1849 the Princess Mathilde visited the chateau of Saint-Gratien at Enghien. 1851. The chateau of Saint-Gratien had been originally built for the Comte de Lucay under the When the Princess took it in First Empire. and also that in 1851 In June of the latter year she began her famous house-parties. as they helped her to stake out the ground for a new winter-garden there. and determined to become its mistress . and from that time onwards only the she carried out her intention. fell in love with it. which she continued during the summer months In 1852-3 her summer as long as she lived. Eifteen years later she narrated to Jules de Goncourt and other guests. how she had at first only the chateau and eighteen acres. she hired it from the Marquis de Custine. and 118 how she . Eranco-Prussian War interrupted her visits. were chiefly spent at Breteuil. how she bought up the neighbouring pavilion of Catinat. how she extended the estate to eighty-two acres.

and draperies from China and Morocco hang at the entrance. On — — a cabinet of huge blue Brazilian butterflies and a photograph of one of Victor Giraud's pictures. on the right. mother-of-pearl and tortoiseshell-topped tables. and little corridor and the plumage of exotic birds. The elder Goncourt gives an elaborate account of what he describes as having been during the Empire the charming home of the government of art and literature. . which is built on as an annexe salon is the to the on the right side of the communicates with it by a crowded with furniture of inlaid wood. 1874. in the bay of a blocked-up little green-and-white striped over which are displayed the medals and sofa. 1 Two Journal. in of the studio the profusion beloved by the Princess.THE HOSTESS ' 119 was still planning to round off her property. At the studio door stands a green-and-blue enamelled fountain. to wash the stains of work away." " The great feature of Saint-Gratien studio. brilliant with the flash of copper bowls house. diplomas gained by the Princess at various window stands a the window-ledge is a large photograph of the Prince Imperial Goncourt and on the sides of the bay is writing in 1874 exhibitions. " The Charmer. Inside. lacquer cabinets." The window Catinat is which looks out on choked with furniture and vases. November 14. the gracious ministry of the graces.

. a copper inkpot with with a gilt a silver eagle on it. in which stand open Japanese inlaid cabinet. carrying in relief. which hangs on the walls and decorates the ceiling. etc. (Again written we must 1874. of bits of paper scattered every- an esparto chair. and a wicker basket adorned with knots and bows. was in dogs' basket. with a palm- branch in it. M Louis-Quinze writinga white morocco blotting-case this is a . with little white dots over it which re- mind Goncourt where. between two bunches of artificial violets. parasols. where they also which warms Against the wall opposite the entrance is an immense Dutch silver surmounted by vases. On this chair in which she keeps her silks. and a small bronze bust of Napoleon I. purple in hue. one a porcelain basket. Between the table is a huge divan. Next table. the Princess's tapestry work. the other a vase of Imperial yellow. a sandal-wood paper-knife encrusted with mother-of-pearl. covered in the same sea-green chintz with pink-and-blue flowers. On this part of the floor is a great Persian rug. turns from painting to her she sits when she more feminine occupation and on the divan she throws herself at twilight for her melanIn front of the divan stand : choly reverie over the past.) their remember that this Close at hand is the sleep near the stove mistress's feet.120 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE inlaid tables bear.

and a bookcase full of reference-books. between them a cupid holding a mirror. 121 In front of the outer door. which leads it are a vase of blood- red jasper. a dressing-table littered with rolls of bag. Then come a welter of tables and stools. The only two large pictures in the studio hang beside the door. . on the top of which stand two peacocks with outspread tails. On a little table near by are a red morocco album. peacock is The side of the studio worthy of note. a pair of charcoal-soiled gloves. in which are portraits of Popelin. the Benethe Girauds a photograph of Rousseau's " Fete-Dieu in a lacquer frame . dettis.THE HOSTESS In this wall is to the lake. a folded veil. Coquereau. a glass half -full of lemonade. a chest. whose hues stand out against the fern. and behind two gilt harps with fine Louis-Seize carving. the other by The Princess's admiration of the Monginot. and a pot of sage-lotion for sore gums Goncourt's eye and pen do not miss one mark of the artistic temperament. a little leather pocket-mirror. which faces the garden . " a pin-cushion. one by Philippe Rousseau. both representing peacocks. containing a tree-fern. an ivory a case of scissors. a rocking-chair. an easel with a water-colour on it. and another of blue glass. ! coloured paper. On the other side of the door is another piece of Dutch furniture. full of chrysanthemums.

are such objects as a regular shrine decora- with pearl pendants.122 is THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE that reserved specially for the artist. by no one's hands but cartel-clock. reader A divan is when there is Princess works in a corner. and where the door of some cupboard gapes open one catches a glimpse of albums. have given enough to convey an idea of the Goncourt's description is much centre of life at Saint-Gratien —for to the Princess Mathilde the ideal abode is an enormous studio surrounded by maisonettes for a colony " a sort of of a dozen friends. where are all her materials. to be touched hers. a case of stuffed hummingbirds." as she once expressed it. Venetian Eastern water-coolers. a gift from the Pope. longer and but perhaps we more elaborate than this. at various periods of his life. barbaric musical lamps. green blind covers the great window and affords A a shade. Over her head hangs a and the angle behind her is ted with Hubert's drawings. instruments. Among these can be descried ostrich-eggs photographs of Napoleon III. crayons. of coloured ink. " where one can live . phalanstery. bottles painting-blocks. Against the wall as far as the entrance-door. in the centre. old prints of the first Emperor. and huge palm-branches. for the The reading aloud. and covering it to the height of the ceiling. tubes. all the paraphernalia of the Princess as an artist. comic sketches by Giraud. brushes.

As the writer's spleen grows worse. whose husband is the butler and enriches himself while serving up detestable dinners and bad wines. with the characters guests. and availed himself of it with regularity. giving himself the airs of master of the place. especially Eugene.Oratien she succeeded to some extent. is chiefly concerned. The daily life at Saint-Gratien is graphically described by many of the visitors privileged to spend holidays there.THE HOSTESS 123 with those one likes to the end of one's days. Two always there. in carrying out her ideas. he sees his hostess under the thumb of her femme de chambre Julie. with whom the Princess spends all her day painting. if not enough to satisfy her generous heart. and buffoons. he complains of the Bohemians with whom Madame Desprez and Eugene Giraud try to surround the poor kind Princess for instance. 1855. who had a standing invitation two days every week during the summer. Viel-Castel. vile flatterers. — years later he finds her household made up of " secret enemies. but it is the Girauds who run it." As Notre-Dame de Saint." Nieuwerkerke is the elder Dumas. Jules de Goncourt furnishes an excellent corrective to this ungrateful visitor's grumbling. as might be supposed. of his fellow On his first visit he remarks how In July one meets all kinds of people there. and it is difficult to choose among his many .

may see the arrival. after which Eugene Giraud starts upon caricatures. looking over his head. of the Abbe" Coquereau. Breakfast awaits them.124 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE pictures of the pleasant days at the chateau. and the Primolis. in August 1865. and at dinner cross it is which right hand and her left. an imaginary back-view. Coming back to the chateau smothered they find awaiting them the two latest artists to receive the Legion of Honour. The party climbing plants. the boat-house in as she recognises the victim all go off to Lake Enghien at the water's edge. Nieuwerkerke. She bestows upon them both the little diamond her custom to give to those decorated through her influence. to whom the Princess had telegraphed to join them. of We a string of carriages at the gates. bringing the Goncourts. Alfred Arago. while she poses for her bust by Carpeaux . with their sketches of the Princess embracing seats them on her her dog Chine. The next day the ordinary routine of the the Princess painting for two hours . Giraud and his curlyheaded mephistophelean son. the Princess sitting on the arm of his chair. divides up and puts off in the fleet of canoes across the lake. After the meal Giraud's albums are inspected. and laughing the first and Then portrayed. Eudore Soulie. and of various other members of the circle. dressed in baby's short drawers . visit begins.

or paint. or seem to sleep. lively.30. scattered about the In the afternoon there is a drive to atelier. until 11 in the morning. is a discussion on literature or art retires. there for a week. After dinner there until 11. politicians are for week-ends . the rest of the week the house-party is small. takes place on the verandah after Smoking breakfast. Another picture belongs to 1868. the other held out to be kissed. read.m. 125 assisted by Giraud and her second teacher. H6bert. few or none. the newspapers in one hand. as they like. Gautier is few days. while abusing the smell of tobacco. where is hour she now much occupied with a Japanese from which she copies birds and flowers album. The regular guests sleep. At this gay. The Princess only comes down a few minutes before breakfast at 11. The Goncourts spend three weeks at Saint-Gratien. The Princess on the way tells them of the home of which she always dreams. Painters arrive men of letters on Wednesdays . The guests talk. she is .30. Montmorency or elsewhere in the neighbourhood. At 1 o'clock she goes over to the studio. Plaubert for a Among those who come and go. and the men observe the custom of the house. the Princess lighting the men's cigars for them. the Primolis on Thursday . and expansive.THE HOSTESS after breakfast. which is to go up to old Giraud's room for stories until The Princess 2 a.

word. ! ! The day of parting was always painful to " " Not that she her. old Giraud at her back all the At 5 she stops work and takes the time. throwing sentences at them. "why don't Princess. The Princess bestowed upon him praise which seemed to " Goncourt excessive. . walking rapidly ahead and ever turning round. The younger brother tells of her farewell speech to them on another " I love occasion." Jules de Goncourt paid his last visit to the chateau of Saint-Gratien in 1869. was already suffering from the disease which carried him off in the following His nerves were in year." . I don't like it ! de Gonanswered almost roughly " " court's Good-bye once. though you to Edmond are always contradicting me. He was indeed. party out for a drive or an excursion on the lake or perhaps only wanders in the park. and the Princess somehow offended him by an allusion to his malady. at the age of forty. upon Adolphe Franck. when occurred a scene which has often been quoted. of the Institut de France. she takes only a quarter of an hour to dress for dinner. you very much. ill. Very well. punctuated with " " " " to or cries of Tom.126 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE on to a screen. and is almost always the first of the women to come down. Back in the chateau. Tom Tine. he suddenly burst out. Tine one of her straying dogs. Then at the breakfast-table the discussion turned an irritable state.

You know how past. for some to political state. he exclaims ecstatically the true salon of the nineteenth century. kissed him upon " his deep affection for upon her hand. Goncourt went to apologise to the Princess. Italian mouths— endowed that rich smile of charming with the charm of . and the younger of them especially was a most fervent admirer. I too. swearing her and dropping tears account is his own. (The She took him in her the cheeks. and the Princess two months later lent the Goncourts her pavilion of Catinat to rest in. for the dinner in honour of : " This is Mauperin. and said ! : Why.THE HOSTESS " 127 A complete silence followed. both brothers reconciliation The was being ill at once. with a mistress of the house who is the perfect of the modern woman a woman whose type amiability is like her smile the sweetest smile — . indeed." affairs. that he expressed his feelings so openly that some friend felt bound to warn him that he was compromising the Princess. Her liking for them was very sincere. After breakfast. It is said. you turn Jewess ? and the other guests sat pale and horrified. After the first visit to the Rue de Benee Courcelles.) arms. of course I forgive you I love you. in the Avorld. time have been in owing a nervous complete. In the portion of the Journal des Goncourt which is due to his pen he shows his admiration in many passages.

. ." The house delights him. and the circular dining-room. and its peacocks drooping their brilliant tails like half -opened jewel-cases. too. her acquaintance a few years earlier than the Goncourt brothers. As I climbed the beautiful staircase. were full of treasures . Chinese vases holding gigantic palms. with its panels of purple silk and its mirrors in elegant frames. The reception-rooms. even the winter-gardens. in her private apartments on the first floor. with its Chinese draperies falling in silken cascades." she " was that of a and a princess-artist very great lady.128 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE naturalness. tapestries and magnificent old furniture adorned the Sometimes palace in the Rue de Courcelles. putting you at your ease with her familiar speech and the vivacity of all that passes through her head. " The salon. . Quelques Annees de Ma Vie. who made says. including arranged with exquisite taste. But we hear more of the Princess's Paris home from a writer of her own sex. bronze and marble statues." ' Peuillet adds an interesting paragraph concerning the Princess at the head of her table " Every dinner was a triumph for : Madame 1 Madame Feuillet. Madame Octave Peuillet. Pictures by the great masters. it used to seem to me as though I were mounting the stair of one of the sultans whose story is told to us by Scheherazade. the Princess received me in the daytime.

a dining-room long train behind her. that under her roof her friends were indeed happy. I recall her especially as she distributed her amiable smiles and gave a glance to every guest to make sure that he was content where he was for the Princess was most kind and wished all her friends to be happy. a triple row of pearls encircling her magnificent bosom. I 129 making her entry into with her proud carriage. her arms like a statue's.THE HOSTESS her. I can see her seated as on a throne. The evidence is abundant that the Princess succeeded in her desire. can still see her the facing the golden eagle which spreads its wings over the fruits and flowers of the Imperial table. ." .

'* hurled back on what she 130 . where the outstanding events are few. it is difficult to of time. or the loss of an old one or some relative. occurred to affect the current of her days. In the autumn of this year a visit was paid to Saint-Gratien by two members of her family. try to introduce some kind of "We narrative amid the general description. the year 1854. when the Princess watched with so much sorrow the anti-Russian policy of the Emperor. little of more importance than the making of a new friend. however. the acquaintance of one of whom she now made for the first time. The whom Napoleon I. have already reached in Chapter X. We must. early romance of Jerome Bonaparte's career is too well known to need telling here. The shamefully betrayed Elizabeth Patterson.CHAPTER XII FAMILY DISPUTES In a life like that of the Princess Mathilde. Prom observe at all closely the sequence the birth of the Second Empire until its ruin seventeen years later.

There was a scheme to marry him to one of Joseph Bonaparte's daughters. was treated with show. therefore. dated Baltimore. and the reconciliation of the family was so far complete that in 1826 the young man paid a visit to his father.FAMILY DISPUTES hated most 131 ' bore Baltimore obscurity. when he was sixteen. In 1829. At the age Mathilde Elizabeth affection. who all received him with affection. partly in Europe. first of six." her husband one son. . and christened JeromeNapoleon. ' Same letter. March 14. to the disgust " ever an of his mother Imperial Bonapartiste mSme" 3 he married a daughter of quand letters own — — Benjamin Williams and settled down to life in New World. the Princess Pauline. without the contribution of a single farthing to his maintenance by his father. In September 1854 the founder of the American family of Bonaparte visited Prance the 1 Letter of Elizabeth (Patterson) Bonaparte to Lady Morgan. 1849 {Lady Morgan's Memoirs. the Princess set eyes on Patterson's as his son her half-brother. ii. This boy she brought up partly in Baltimore. and Lucien and Louis Bonaparte. and. born at Camberwell after the separation in 1805. but his appreciation of the insecure position of the exiled Bonapartes and his attachment to the United States combined to make him determine to return to America. intro- —her duced him in Rome to Madame Lcetitia. 603).

132 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE with his elder son. 1855. at the Palaisfor his past conduct. Old Jerome. But Mathilde. He requested his uncle receive the guests. Jerome made apologies to his daughter and the Princess accepted them called dutifully. The commission appointed by the Emperor to discuss the legitimacy of the Patterson-Bonapartes decided in their favour. whose breach with her father was still unhealed. to recognise their legitimacy Napoleon according to French law. On New Year's Day. At the end of the month Prince Napoleon . whence he was able to write to his aunt in November of the deplorable effect produced by the retirement of Prince Napoleon from the front. and the vexation of old Jerome and Napoleon was as great as the pleasure of Mathilde. named after himself and years of age. Prince Napoleon. the Emperor was too much afflicted by gout to preside over the usual to family banquet. and informed her that she had caused him to pass the best night which he had enjoyed for a long time. But suddenly a change came about. in his stead. welcomed her kinsmen to Saint-Gratien and insisted that they should have the title of Prince in her household at least. took alarm and made a protest to the Emperor. On January 2 the old man upon her with handsome presents. in his to now twenty-four devotion to his other son. Royal. and appealed III. The son joined the French army and went out to the Crimea.

cowardice predominated. Jerome and Napoleon. he adds. Viel-Castel finds the Princess furious at the oars. meeting with a very mixed reception. the Prince and Nieuwerkerke at the Visiting Saint-Gratien a year later still. it was difficult for the Princess remain on good terms with her brother. led the Emperor to treat him with a deference which the majority thought very ill-deserved. Her amour-propre is hurt. decision of the family council that Jerome's eldest son shall bear the name of Bonaparte. in which the outcry against his " " But his sister. and inclines towards the opposition to the Emperor. come over to dinner at Saint-Gratien and take Mathilde out on the lake in the evening. who cajoles her to her face and scoffs at her behind her back. owing to his conduct. Among other distinctions Prince Napoleon received the . though without the civil rights of his filiation.FAMILY DISPUTES 188 returned to Paris. especially in view of the Nevertheless. on the other hand." In consequence. the Patterson brother is now plain Monsieur to Nieuwerkerke. she speaks in a very hostile way. who had only been estranged from him because of his league espoused his with her father against her. The necessity of conciliating his cousin. Jerome at the rudder. now Viel-Castel in August laments that M she has become a warm supporter of her brother. cause. to expectation of Eugenie's motherhood.

Nieuwerkerke obtained the decoration. fearing the discredit which he might bring upon France. and his construction of a toy temple in her honour at the Palais-Royal She assures her guests on another occasion that the Emperor has declined to send the Prince as ambassador to St. though earlier she had apparently disliked the prospect. the forthcoming was submitted to him. Prince Imperial was the great event of the spring of 1856. but it is not surprising that the Princess at her dinner-table A soon afterwards criticises her brother's manner severely. The Princess expressed her gladness at it.1S4 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE the juries of list presidency of Exhibition.. in the The birth of the first flush of her reconciliation with Prince Napoleon. Prince Napoleon . his decoration of his rooms with portraits of Rachel everywhere. of artists who were considered worthy of the Legion of Honour. On this he found Nieuwerkerke's name and promptly crossed it off. in this capacity. the birth Now a she declared that she saw in guarantee of future security. Alexander II. Petersof life ! burg for the coronation of the new Tsar. Nevertheless she joined with her father and brother in putting difficulties in the Avay of those who arranged the ceremonial on the occasion of the baptism. And it is not without a touch of malice that she tells of her brother's furious anger that Eugenie's child is a boy. notwithstanding .

The Princess Mathilde. especially in a Court where etiquette was so on as that of Napoleon III. they are of course natural in Courts. had a seat next the Princesse d'Essling. There was a Notre-Dame after the victory of In the procession to the cathedral the Princess's carriage had no cavalry escort nor even an equerry at the window. she expressed great discontent because she was to share a coach with the Duchess of Hamilton. The Empress this at Solferino. who was not an Imperial Highness nor so closely connected as she was with the Emperor. approved of formality on occasions and expected her full rights. 1 Te Deum more comment was aroused by the fact that at the the Empress's Spanish waiting-woman. 1 Still service . As for the Princess Mathilde. the former Stephanie Beauharnais. Pepa. Three years later the same question arose again. Petty as such quarrels over precedence may seem. Jerome declared that he would not come because he and his son were asked to ride in a coach with Prince Oscar of Sweden and the Dowager Grand Duchess of Baden. public few days after the Prince Imperial's baptism we strictly insisted A find her complaining to intimate friends at Saint- Gratien that the Empress does not treat the Imperial family as she should and that it is her will which counts for all at Court. and gave way sulkily at the end. despite the freedom which she liked in her private life.FAMILY DISPUTES 135 began by declining to be present at all.

136

THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE

time was certainly responsible, Napoleon being absent in Italy. Viel-Castel did not tbink tbat the Princess was strong enough in her resent-

ment

of the slight,

and would have liked

to see

her retire from all Court ceremonies if such treatment continued. He frequently deplores her lack of advisers who might keep her on the Nieuwerkerke is worse right line of conduct.

than useless.

scandal by the

Not only does he cause an open way in which he breakfasts,

dines, and dresses in the Rue de Courcelles, a uniformed employee of the Louvre bringing his but he makes no attempt to clothes to him the Princess to be anAltesse Impdriale persuade and secure her rights in a dignified fashion.
;

The Empress
Castel)
is

(we

are

still

following

Viel-

and does not care

offended at the Princess's popularity to see her at the Tuileries.
is

The Princess

justifiably hurt

by

this attitude

adopts wrong lor instance, in 1857 the methods in reply, Grand Duke Constantine of Russia comes to Paris and pays his first visit of honour to Mathilde before any other member of the family. The list of invitations to meet him at the
Tuileries, however, does not include her

of her cousin's wife, but

she

name

at all.

What

does she do

?

There

is

a grand

To this the ball at the Ministry of Marine. Princess secures an invitation for the Countess
and in the course of the evening she makes a tour of the rooms on the arm of
Castiglione,

THE COUNTESS CASTIGLIONE

.

1361

FAMILY DISPUTES
the Grand

187

Constantine, followed by the the arm of another Russian. Countess on " Offended at not being invited to the family dinners with the Grand Duke, she sets herself
to

Duke

chaperone the
is

Mathilde took up with some warmth acquaintance of the beautiful Florentine, whose arrival in Paris created such a stir in society and such gossip
the

pitiable this It is true that the Princess
!

"

Emperor's mistress

1

How

She not only chaperoned her in public, but invited her to the Rue de Courcelles with her husband a good-looking young man, whose motto was " I am the model husband, I hear " and see nothing and made her sit for her
at Court.

portrait

to

Eugene Giraud.

Viel-Castel was

convinced that relations between Nieuwerkerke and la belle Castiglione were unduly intimate
;

but this is the kind of accusation which he makes on every page of his diary. With regard to the Princess's conduct towards the notorious lady, it hardly seems that others regarded it as so significant as he did. He himself records
at the

end

of

November

the Empress and

in the same year that the Princess Mathilde are

on wonderfully friendly terms for the moment, exchanging trinkets, showing each other their jewellery, and looking most amiably at each other. In the following summer, too, Eugenie visits Saint-Gratien in a most gracious mood to
fetch the Princess to spend the day at Saint-

138

THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE
She evidently wants to draw closer to

Cloud.

the only member of the Imperial family sincerely devoted to the Emperor, explains the diarist. longer invitation to Saint-Cloud followed

A

in the

autumn

of

1858, and then another for

one of the famous house-parties at Compiegne. The radiance of Mathilde's arrival at Compiegne was somewhat marred by the fact that Nieuwerkerke, tactless as ever, arrived in the neighcousin of bourhood on the very same day. his, de Gouoy, had a house there, at which he probably stayed for the hunting which always

A

accompanied the Court's presence at Compiegne. He was not one of the invited guests at the chateau for the week, although he had just managed to ingratiate himself with the Empress

by his cleverness, says Viel-Castel, at the petits jeux which delighted Eugenie and her friends. By his unwisdom now he imperilled again his
reception by the Empress. The relations between the wife and the cousin

Napoleon III., more amicable in 1858 than in any other year during the Empire, became Both strained again over the Italian question. in this, on ladies interested themselves keenly
of

opposite sides,

and exerted

all

the influence

which

they could bring to bear

on the Emperor.

They were,

therefore, necessarily driven farther asunder, and the Princess found herself in the When Prince same camp as her brother.

Napoleon

set out

for

Turin in January 1859,

FAMILY DISPUTES
to fetch his bride Clothilde,

139

daughter of King he entrusted Mathilde with Victor Emanuel, the purchase of her corbeille and diamonds. On his return he was met at Fontainebleau by The family was Mathilde and their father. But still the Princess as seldom before. united, could not shut her eyes to her brother's many failings. Speaking to the Emperor one day about the proposed increase of the Prince's " You are not aware, then, pension, she said
:

that Napoleon is your bitterest enemy ? You don't know how they talk at his house, or that he expresses himself loudly in a most disloyal " To her intimates at the Rue de strain ?

Courcelles she

made no

secret of the Prince's

ill-manners

towards

his

wife,

his

coldness,

brusqueness, and reported unfaithfulness already little more than a month after marriage.

However, she recognised early Clothilde's narrowness of mind and bigotry, and quoted with delight to her guests a letter in which the Queen of Holland her cousin Sophia, whom she had met as a child at the Court of Stuttgart declared that "a princess surrounded by a

Chinese wall of pride could never make her way in France." Yet we shall find this same Clothilde among the few members of the family who were present at the death-bed in the Rue de Berri. It would be very unfair to blame the Princess Mathilde for the varying affection with which

140

THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE

she regarded some of her relatives at different times. Particularly is this true in the case of

Although they had been brought close together by their Italian sympathies, he did not hesitate any the more to deal her a most unbrotherly blow. On June 24, Jerome Bonaparte died at his country 1860, seat of Villegenis, with Mathilde and Napoleon at his bedside, and his last mistress in an
Prince Napoleon.
'

month before his death he adjoining room. had declared to Mathilde that his property was to be equally divided between her and her
brother.

A

Prince Napoleon, however, as soon

was gone, seized all his papers with the aid of Fould, the Minister of and, State, tried to keep her out of the property. She went to the Emperor in great anger, swearing that after this she would never see her brother again, even on his death-bed. Pould, It was with too, was the object of her wrath. much joy, therefore, that she heard of his There was a disgrace a few months later. select party in the Rue de Courcelles one night
as the old Prince

in November, including the Emperor himself. The Princess was radiant. Asked by one of

her guests why she looked so contented, she " " So you don't know that he is going ? retorted,
This was the wife of his equerry, Baron de Plancy, described The Princess tall, red-haired creature of no personal charm. Mathilde is said to have forced herself, in spite of a great repugnance, to receive the lady, whom she was in any case bound to see when she called upon her father.
1

as a

whom also. and .. though was very discontented. child why. It could not but come about. the Princess had been moved in Napoleon's favour by the furious storm which fell upon him in 1861. she now saw her annual income brought up to seven hundred thousand francs nearly £28.FAMILY DISPUTES " 141 Who ? " " " Why. three hundred thousand should go to Mathilde and the re- mainder to the Treasury..000 and could afford to already in possession of a million a year. Fould | . — — listen to the Gradually She allowed herself one famous. Prince Napoleon. says Viel-Castel. it is over ! Fould's dismissal was followed by the Emperor's decision that. of the million francs a year which had been Jerome's. but could do nothing. ! ciliation was complete. As for the Princess. she . gibe which became of her sister-in-law's approach" Clothilde's exclaimed. since the friends of the Palais-Royal were the friends of the Rue de Courcelles and Saint-Gratien —the Italianissimes hated. Fould. when he refused to challenge the Duke of Aumale for writing of him as "the man who left the Crimea too early and reached Solferino too late. Hearing motherhood. she softened toward her brother. . At last." Mathilde was not one to see another Bonaparte unjustly assailed. ing generous promptings of her heart. the diarist so much Doubtless. it must be a devil in a holy" In August 1862 the reconwater vessel .

" " Tin Cesar Baron du Casse. Where it would as few. and prodigiously vicious man that ever lived. They acter though life had warped his while it expanded hers to enable her to sympathise with when his ambitions — — any others. to fill small and abilities craved were alike enough in chargreat ones. "Entirely free from presays and continence. further long estrangement between sister and brother seems to have taken place. faults Her contempt for his many glaring was tempered by her appreciation of the on where he posts cruelty of his position." some one else. in his parts ? Was ever any man so ill-matched . manque. him take the skill of a Tacitus to do so successfully. compelling him to look felt that he could act." judices including modesty says — says a third. could. if . Unhappily his mental and moral deformation constantly drove him to acts which repulsed her sympathy and so he went on his almost solitary way. though No her criticisms of him continued to be frequent and free. followed by few and befriended by less. it is useless to attempt to sum Prince Napoleon " The most prodigiously intelligent up briefly.142 it THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE cannot be said that there was a just cause for denouncing Napoleon as a coward because he did not now call out Aumale.

of the Emperor of the French. Benedetti. is a close friend. her first love. and the Princess and Nieuwerkerke censure the Emperor The Count for not yielding to the demand for the instant removal of the Prench troops from Rome.CHAPTER XIII A CHANGE OP BIOGRAPHERS increasingly Italian tone of the Rue de Courcelles in the early sixties has already heen noted. and as it were ambassadress. 1 " which she had known beautiful and free. and says that she went back to Italy. Italian affairs must not be discussed in the house except from the point of view hostile to the Papacy. when Italy full of anti-Prench demonstrations. and now found to her as the close relative. are always at her side. and also the effect which this pro- The duced upon the self-constituted chronicler of the Princess Mathilde's doings down to this and Countess Vimercati period." 143 . that this is autumn the very time for her to exhibit her sympathies and take a villa at Belgirata." speaks of her purchase of this property. so off she goes with Nieuwer1 Sainte-Beuve. gratefully doing homage captive. in his Portrait of the Princess. French Minister and persona gratissima to the Court of Turin. Count Vimercati is suades her in the is in great power. on Lake Maggiore. in which to spend the last weeks of " autumn. and perof 1862.

Antoinette. As " the Austrian " had once been the target of " " is told to beware. The Ministry " is changed. and the excuse had been discovered." and the Empress is rumoured to have had a hand in the affair. Her enemies compare her to Marie. and to join the staff. Italian party meets with a check. at the Emmanuel. disitalianised. She visits Turin for the wedding of the Princess Pia to the King of Portugal. so now the Spaniard Among the strongest partisans of the change was the journal La France. . She left for and particularly of Benedetti. with an article on " The Ultras of 1862. 1863. with her old. though we Belgirata very angry can scarcely say faithful." opened at which the Princess Mathilde took offence. under the uphold the right wing of the Imperialist party and combat La Gueronniere invited Viel-Castel Liberalism. On her return to Paris he found himself no longer welcome in the Rue de Courcelles. abuse. A gap occurs in the " black books " between October 1862 and April direction of to La Gueronniere. when Viel-Castel takes up his pen again and complains that only an excuse had been wanted to get rid of him. taking with her Madame special request of Victor Meanwhile in France the pro- Vimercati. friend. The Count accepted.144 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE kerke. professing to recognise a caricature of her salon. which was established in the summer of 1862. Eugene Giraud. and the rest.

very but I must confess that in reading your article on My dear Viel-Castel " I am the Exhibition I thought you had seized on a pretext for leaving the administration of the Gallery. and this could not he overlooked.A CHANGE OF BIOGRAPHERS 145 In spite of what Viel-Oastel says. sad at the step taken against you. which ended the long friendship. why his retirement from his post make any change in their mutual relaNieuwerkerke wrote no further. not unreasonably. We need not enter into all the details of the affair. 10 . mild. and friendly. and the head of the Louvre. but the Princess took " up the correspondence. was brief. however. Count Horace openly criticised Nieuwerkerke. [she said]. failing to understand either why he had been treated as he had. " No exception can be taken to the personal references in your criticism. services. it seems that it was not politics. but a personal matter. There was an article in La France which found fault with a certain action by Nieuwerkerke in connection with an exhibition of the works of living artists at the Louvre. wrote to him to say that he could not allow a member of his staff to attack his administration. and must therefore dispense with his Viel-Castel replied with a letter which. or should tions. The article was Viel-Castel's. but you blame all the measures of the Minister [of State] and the Director-General. accord- ing to him.

The friendship Princess retorted. real Viel-Castel answered. I have the courage to tell you that you are in the wrong. Nothing can excuse the remaining attacks of the diarist. asking why he could not have consulted his director and defending and friend before writing publicly. as I thought you quite one of our friends. " Mathilde. " though might have said nothing. except that they were the venom of a dying man (he succumbed in November 1864 to a painful disease) who fancied himself illused. when he records that Mme. I shall always be charmed to be of use to you. and to express to you again my regard for you. believe me. Not until the publication of the " black books " did she learn how Viel-Castel revenged himself on her and on Nieuwerkerke. which the others. Nieuwerkerke calls — regularly speculating and that on ." protesting his his conduct.146 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE "I regret all this. traversing his defence." The last word was left with the Princess I —for the time. Unlike are as painful to me as to you. Anyhow. very much in the wrong. 1863. His last entry concerning the household in the Rue de Courcelles is that of October 19. de Nieuwerkerke is said to be dying at the house of her husband's cousin near Compiegne. and telling him it was useless to attribute his dismissal to But let us drop these recriminations. spite.

but sans gala . as he would normally to a subject of his. After the disappearance from the scene of the ! writer of the cahiers noirs. in his pleasant and influential — In August 1 862 Viel-Castel is amused at the nomination to some honour of "the disgusting imbecile. a picture which is much more convincing. and declared incapahle of managing his 1 affairs. 1 the day. . and the Tsar refused to transmit it.A CHANGE OF BIOGRAPHERS the chances of her death. and harmonises with the many stray references to the Rue de Courcelles and Saint-Gratien in the works of different occasional visitors. . The difference in the picture was not due in her salon. who could then procure for him the title of Highness Such is Viel-Castel's parting shot at the people who had for twelve years received him as a welcome guest. 147 As the apoplectic Demidoff is already in his second childhood. to any change made by the Princess Viel-Castel does indeed write. Nicholas." The Moniteur suppressed all mention of the nomination. worn out with his affairs in the hands of trustees to prevent debauchery the wasting of his fortune. there are good prospects for the advancement of Nieuwerkerke by marriage with the Princess. . in November 1857. Years earlier Demidoff was said to be subsidising a paper in Paris to attack the Tsar of . that " the Princess now wishes to receive every evening. the chief authorities for the Princess Mathilde's life are the brothers Goncourt and Sainte-Beuve. who give a very picture from that of their bittertongued and bitter-hearted predecessor. she particularly wants to have a salon that is at once " for which. ho suggests.

little to Viel-Castel they are base flatterers." So speaks Jules de Goncourt after one of his make her .148 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE opinion." of course. Penan. this virility and femininely delicate this combination of qualities and mixture of attention. this coloured language of the : artist. include the distinguished men whose names are familiar to all. These " nobodies. this passionate speech. their ac- quaintance with the Princess so late that they escaped the tomahawk. she has not the right character. especially during the life of the younger brother. this brusque charm." The Goncourts began Littre. The mine is a rich one. . . hoth she and Nieuwerkerke making friends of nohodies. still. which Jules de Goncourt kept down to the time of his premature death. though " more flattering . Sainte - Beuve. and would be difficult to exhaust. To the sketches of the Princess in an earlier chapter we may now add another " This freedom. and Edmond continued thereafter. even of defects which bear the impress of our period and are quite new in an Altesse all — these the type of a nineteenth-century of Navarre in the princess. We have already heard some of the opinions upon the Princess Mathilde and her surroundings contained in the Journal. this slashing treatment of stupidity. a sort of Marguerite skin of a woman-Napoleon. and atheists baser and socialists.

traversed in turn by every fleeting impression. briefer picture : 149 Here is is another of "A curious physiognomy that the Princess. radiant in a delicious Chinese blue crepe. and her guests surprise her once at Saint-Gratien. studio in the country there are three of personal surroundWhile she works in her to her love of to her them As she walks in her snoring in a basket. her head upon one hand. Her mind is somewhat like her glance in its quick sallies.A CHANGE OF BIOGRAPHERS early visits to Saint-Gratien. the taste with a true eye for colour. Many habits. her eyes fixed lovingly on an object in the other a single pearl which a Dutch dealer is persuading her to buy for eight thousand francs. to call which garden. heavily embroidered with of one Her — exotic flowers." dress pleases him with its taste. (Pearls are her passion. to her side she incessantly interrupts her . a little pack follows her. a black lace wrap.) He is ravished at meeting her one morning in Paris. She gratifies him once by wearing a costume which she knows he likes. a low-cut evening robe of cerise silk. and about her neck the splendour of her seven-rowed collar of pearls upon a cravat of black lace. the unaccountable eyes suddenly darting at you and piercing you through. are the references and particularly ing herself with dogs. sitting upon her verandah.

Eor all her patronage of the Goncourts' own work." the " Nina. Goncourts are at work in their own home when The two carriages draw up at their door. Chine." the hippopotamus-like gymnastic "Miss. continuance of this dog-worship after the fall of the Empire. followed by a cousin and some friends. A quaint portrait of the Princess in one of her gayest moods is draAvn by the younger The brother towards the end of 1869. she sees a pot of jam and a piece She seizes the bread. " into the jam." she explained once." and "Tine. "This shows exactly the literary standard among women with regard to novels." Jules comments. . amid the scattered leaves of a novel upon which they are engaged." and "Tom" and "Dick" are always Edmond de Goncourt notes the in evidence. her Of her tastes in literature. we naturally hear something. if the Duchess of now " ! Angouleme could only see you cries Jules. "I like novels in which I should like to only be the heroine myself. judgment in fiction does not escape criticism. and proceeds to eat. and art." and "Dick. Upon the table." coarsened by high-living.150 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE " animated flow of speech. the little paralysed "Mie. drama. Oh. always getting himself lost. and describes the characters of the day. though not as much as might have been expected. Princess bursts in upon them. dips the spoon of bread.

A CHANGE OF BIOGRAPHERS When she speaks 151 at her dinner-table about ancient tragedy. She boasts one day at Saint-Gratien that she has tried hard. But he is obliged to recognise her generous championship of Henriette Marechal. and seems to have for the classical the schoolboy's horror of his task. that little court of art and literature ? " tells us less about the Princess's views of art than about artists. and has made . 1861. Her modern preferences make her an enthusiastic patron. On the night of December 5. not unsuccessfully. he remarks that she only loves and understands the modern. declares loudly that she prefers Japanese to Etruscan vases. howled. and she has the power to do much for her protege's. in the midst of an academic dinner-party at her house. to inspire the Emperor and and Empress with a taste for art. Goncourt calls it combined an attack on Henriette MarSchal with disparagement of the Princess's circle. " Is this not a case of the jealousy of the salon at the anonymous letters the authors. and an article in — — Tuileries against that of the Rue de Courcelles. she returned home with her gloves split and her hands burning through the applause she had given while others hissed. Once she is The Journal "terribly revolutionary" and. with which he and Edmond made so conspicuous a failure at the Theatre Erancais. Abusive rewarded her faithfulness to La France the Empress's journal. and uttered catcalls.

" she writes another time to a friend. has his favourite artist nowadays. and could appreciation on occasion declare her mind to the offender . for instance. Yet it was remarked as one of her whom no amount of ingratitude checked her impulse to help those who sought She was hurt by a lack of her patronage.152 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE " Every one painting and painters fashionable." — My did not always meet with gratitude from those she befriended. in return did their best to prevent her teacher Hubert from getting a medal. . Two painters. but she was none the less ready thereafter to welcome talent and labour on behalf of its characteristics that recognition and reward. " lawyer has his She complained that she painter. of what she had done. too Corot. to she had been kind.

153 . Le neveu proud des capitaux. Dumas for father and son were both welcome guests many years. In the first year of the Empire we read of the elder man. proceeding to quote a number of skits on the Emperor. and other members of the Imperial if 1 family. Verses of the type of the following. which was popular at : the time Dans leu fastes imperiales L'oncle et le neveu stmt egaux L'oncle prenait des capital™. commonly known the Princess as — Paris. 1 to the intense disgust of Viel-Castel. asked he had heard any new verse.CHAPTER XIV SOME LITERARY FRIENDS The Rue Princess de Courcelles at the height of the Mathilde's reign as hostess when — she was told. simply was frequented persons that in we are by so many eminent space. a mere catalogue of their siderable names would take up con- We may content ourselves with the mention of a few of those in whose company we constantly hear of her some of — the prominent Mathildiem as they came to be called. Empress.

he talks of Prince : — ! ceasing for four hours. where Jules de Goncourt describes his gigantic hair turned pepper-and-salt frame. abusing the Government for refusing him the directorship of the Odeon. calling him familiarly Napoleon. who Napoleon with Arago. He talks away. pouring out in a husky voice a stream of facts. coffee. she continued. on a visit to Russia in himself without Only when he is going 1858 does she have the introduction. himself to a position equal to the exalting Emperor's. and to the Princess he remarks " Call me Dumas. It . she had always Dumas. He talks to receive such a man into the house. astonishing facts.154 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE says that in a few days' time he will be boasting of having repeated all these infamies It was a mistake before the Emperor's cousin. Personally. with the vanity of a great child. his hippopotamus eyes in an enormous moon-face. or tobacco. negro colour. and the Princess remarked to the Girauds that Dumas had made himself quite impossible. Viel-Castel tells one curious story about a criticism by the Princess Mathilde of the elder was in the autumn of 1854. and never touches wine. till 11 o'clock. just Dumas I've " been working for that for twenty-five years Dining one Sunday night Avith her. not brilliantly nor wittily. and of so on. always about himself. his sense to put aside his request for letters of In 1865 he is at her table again.

and suspicious of offence in every word. such should only be asked on state occasions. mine. and an amusing pantin (puppet. pantin it is because I give that name to all who amuse me. and asks that he shall be introduced to him.SOME LITERARY FRIENDS looked upon 155 him as jumping-jack). The Emperor hears that he is to be at a ball in the Rue de Courcelles. According to Viel-Castel. because : him to her house. enemies of social distinctions. because artists are by nature jealous of all superiority. however. and he was a bastard and half-negro. and not without cause. and are full of plans." comments on this that the Princess Mathilde made a great mistake in admitting artists to her intimacy. and his inexhaustible animation to enand if I call him my liven my little parties . people not admitted to intimacy. Eugene Giraud was indignant at the word pantin. and as he bed that night he said to Viel-Castel. Dumas junior on one occasion annoys the Princess greatly. nor for his high position." Giraud was not went up ** to satisfied. it was as such that it had pleased her to invite " I could not the Princess explained herself invite Dumas as a man of high hirth. It was his intellect and that alone which made me I wanted his intellect to amuse seek him. Viel-Castel All of us artists are pantins to the Princess. such . for he has not got one. The Princess and Nieuwerkerke rejoice.

Edmond About was ment in 1859." discovered suddenly by Nieuwerkerke to be the coming literary man and was welcomed to the Rue de Courcelles all the more for his attack on the Papal Govern. . but the Goncourt. and Viel- " I present. But Dumas timid and proud. saying. to dinner A friend of his had invited Dumas him ! and gave him beef." A few months later he accepts the Legion of Honour. whereon he passed back his plate. All our feelings depend on the state of our stomachs. She would throw the furniture in your face. He is in high favour for a time. face was marked sorrow. please " With a good stomach one cannot have a great guests. agree. But Dumas is ultimately forgiven. The Princess is furious. and years after shocks the Princess sadly with his views. he maintains. demanding "A little fat. just lost a beloved wife. and her despair is almost comic in its genuineness. At such a moment she forgets herself and does not reason. refuses absolutely to be am Castel comments that it will be a happy day when princes understand that Bohemia merely looks upon their advances as acts of cowardice. The other with disgust at our ideas. Princess utters cries of horror as though over " Her shattered illusions.156 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE of Napoleon shall bestow the Cross of the Honour on Dumas in the middle of Legion as that the ball. including Jules de or pretend to agree . and a sort of childlike repugnance.

to be recited by Agar." says About. Invited to dinner. being partly redeemed by certain witty monkey-tricks and by the gentle literary flatteries he addressed to writers present. About's carriage to be called. and orders ! M. as he is not staying to dinner. Gautier. Gautier is given the commission of turning these into verse. who parties is with preparing a surprise for the coming to one of her evening the Empress.SOME LITERARY FRIENDS 157 but ultimately offends the Princess by a thoughtless remark. " I will the answer. She has some about the writings of the prisoner of return of the great Napoleon's ashes to France. "but " don't be afraid. not a heavy insupportable egoist. and some one comes up to ask if she can see M. he arrives early. "What?" she " " can I see She appoints exclaims. my poet ? " Has the him her librarian. Ham The . The Goncourts' criticism of About is that he was " a type of the successful egoist. you jealous man The Princess rises from her chair. for whose friendship he coined the One day he expression amitiS voluptueuse. "I have got your property. rings the bell." Theophile Gautier was a devoted adherent of the Princess. arrives at her door. Princess a " ? asks Gautier of one of the Gonlibrary courts. quoting to their faces passages out of their own works." " as if she hadn't one ! is The Princess Emperor. " Act is give you some advice. and is talking to her when Nieuwerkerke appears.

memorial of his skill remains in the sonnet "La Verandah. produced Sous : cette verandah. Gon- — court thinks. Pour le gdnie elle est pleine de deference. The Emperor is seen to shed a tear a poor consolation. The Princess thought of him very differently from Viel-Castel. Of Eudore Soulie we have already heard. and made of him a lifelong friend. Elle sait couronner comme elle sait punir. Ainsi qu'Euphorion dansant sur la prairie. modeste elle ouvre l'avenir. entre terre et ciel. l'esprit prime-sautier. tation shall be heard again at the Erancais. On arrive et Ton part avec un souvenir Si doux. His daughters were all cherished by her. Peut. for Gautier's recent failure at the Academy election hut he orders that the reci. Devant elle enhardi. Une main Au merite de deesse y guerit la souffrance. In the literary world he was known chiefly for his writings about Moliere. she furnishing the subject and the This is what Gautier four rhyme-syllables. Pour que son ceil petille et que sa levre rie Et que de toute humeur sa levre soit gue>ie. and through one of these she made the acquaintance of Victorien . II suffit d'un bon mot de son bouffon Gautier." which he wrote at SaintGratien. Gautier's gift in the improvisation of verse A was much appreciated by the Princess.158 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE evening is a great success. qu'on y voudrait aussitot revenir Sous les fleurs des tropiques et les plantes de France. peinte en vert d'esperance. se montrer tout entier.

158] .THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE.

.

" While they were thus engaged Pietri. " It is Gratien. and Nieuwerkerke joined the Princess in asking questions of "the spirits. sworn to kill the Emperor ? ? how many had Three. was a the early days of the Empire. What was his age ? he asked. that I should have pitched the Institut here. frequent visitor in find him present on the only occasion we Soulcy. secret society on which he had laid hands mocked the yesterday And Eighteen. which was soon to attract so much the Empress Eugenie.SOME LITERARY FRIENDS Sardou. said Pietri. and Abbe Coquereau was He was invited to put enquirers. Once we hear of him unable to get a hearing throughout the evening because . is the tale. Eorty-seven was the answer. Prefect of Police. his long friendship with the Montijo family bound him closely to the rival camp of the Tuileries. and even the Emperor. Merimee was though often at the Rue de Courcelles. which was How many members were there in the correct. Both Such at least replies were right. and is said to have once told the dramatist as she walked with her. not at Saint" tent my ! de France. The also present. ending as usual with the confusion of the unbelievers. of We of the Princess taking part in the diversion (if it is to he called a diversion) of table- know rapping. a question himself. 159 The Princess often visited the Sardous at Marly. who married him in his grounds. paid a call.

however. among the . Arsene Houssaye was also there. he said. fortunately for him. such as Merim^e and Sainte-Beuve not at all like Apollo and Adonis. and recalled that Louis XIV. and declares that it was a great sight to see the boy dancing Avith his big cousin. SainteBeuve. says Houssaye. One or two of those in the ball-room seemed rather out of the picture. thought it good. had danced in Lulli's ballets. being helped thereby to conduct the 1 — 1 Is the reference to the ball given by the Princess Mathilde in 1861. a children's costume-ball to celebrate the Prince Imperial's definite abandonment of petticoats for breeches after his fifth The young Prince appeared then as a white-wigged It was on this and was very pleased with himself. the first in which he was allowed to be a dancer. marquis occasion that he got into trouble with his mother for removing his shoes under the table. with his buffoon- Another time he is among the guests at a ball which the Princess Mathilde gave to celebrate the entry into society of the little Prince Imperial. who cared for neither of them. He resented being obliged birthday ? to put his tired feet back into the shoes again . and she created a diversion by proceeding to the distribution of gifts little guests. Merimee did not approve of the ball.160 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE spoilt all conversation Arago eries. The political situation was calm. he was at his cousin Mathilde's. not a crumpled roseleaf under his feet. though dancing had been no part of his own education. and not a mere lookeron. at the early supper served to the children after the dancing was over. A prince. ought only to learn to be a soldier. and smiles were everywhere. but. not a cloud in the air above him.

she began by marrying a tailor. for many years gladly received by the Princess both in her Paris home and of one of her characteristic outbursts. She entertained in magnificent style. to which men of letters flocked. Going to They parted soon afterwards in Paris. who had been educated ?t Oxford. after various adventures she married the wealthy Portuguese Marquis Ajauro de Pa'iva. 1863). whereon a fashionable bankrupt dressmaker took her up. Henri Herz. and La on the art and and. of the name of Teresa Lachmann. at Saint-Gratien. the musician. By birth a Polish Jewess. nor very beautiful.SOME LITERARY FRIENDS concert of 161 Europe. been calling upon a lady commonly known in Paris society as " La Pa'iva. it herself of what was on her mind. Pa'iva instituted a salon in her house Place Saint-Georges. 1 whom she deserted to become the mistress of The latter went and left her. and financed her. seems. Gustave Flaubert. was the great rival of the Princess Mathilde in the circle among which Princess neither 1 the She was sought her friends." one of the most enigmatic figures of the day. the natural daughter of the Grand a Jewish mother (Journal des Goncourt. London. Thus was imparted a literary tone even to such frivolity as a hall. was one day the occasion though she bore him no malice after she had delivered He had. . According to Gautier. indeed. The Princess young Duke Constantine and September 11 27.

as. quite devoid of the art or genius of a Rachel. and thinkers flocked eating the truffles of the courtesan ' ! Flaubert was forgiven. Her salon had been the buffer between the Government and the ' — men of letters. Another scene involves Sainte-Beuve. " Why. which Flaubert. with your outlook on life if I were to parting shot come back to the world a second time I should wish to be 'a ! — ! : . so to speak. her attentions. and the rest. They stole twenty minutes from herself. Taine. She had bought them both. to rush for clever off to the company of " cette Jille. The Princess went off to bed. woman of temperament. and felt could not understand what fascination she had shamed by having to share with her Sainte-Beuve. of The Princess one evening at Saint-Gratien indignantly refused ! her painter Hubert permission to paint a picture for La Paiva " " she exclaimed. —high-minded men whom writers. sinning in such large company.' a drab " ! . she cried. like himself. A. cess. as for himself. to philosophers. with her graciousness. replied Souli6 and. and her friendship without which they might have been democrats like Zola. with a he had no principles " Really. Kenan. Raphael would have worked for any woman of his period.162 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE men." How dis- graceful was the power of such creatures. he could not but be He continued a friend of the Prinforgiven. when they came to dine. and Edmond de Goncourt in 1874 told her of the gratitude felt towards her. however. wretch like that a patron of art you could not even take your mother to see your pictures at her " house She challenged Souli6 to say whether he did not think it impossible to take her money.

1 The writer in melancholy " You asked to tolerate and not hate you. who were the two shall soon hear Giraud." says Jules de Goncourt. and that he personally had quite abandoned love for locomotion. not to be afraid of losing one. the Princess told him he was disgusting. which she drew . and pretended to wipe on her dress." he sighed. his hairs like the caricatures with three wires on the top of the head. because one is old and would be ridiculous because " one is ugly The painter said that he could not himself love only one at a time. Courcelles. of whom we oldest present. of Prince Napoleon. 1 . ! away at once. " with the eyes of a humbled satyr. once told his sister's guests that travel was the best pleasure as one grew older. that a woman might be .SOME LITERARY FRIENDS 163 whom we much. and the guests were discussing love. and Eugene have already heard a good There had heen a dinner in the Rue de deal. who was at least a man of great experience. that it is impossible because it can't be confessed. protested against the theory that at a certain age one should mourn for love as a thing of the past. . and that was the way to be at peace. Sainte-Beuve and Giraud. tones thought that love might he begged by an old man as a charity. As he rambled on." Neither with Flaubert nor with Giraud. " Old Giraud knelt before her. feel that there can be no more love for you. and kissed her hand. " to don't know what it is.

Viollet-Leduc. or at least explanation. to 1 somewhat Gamier." than " " ! My The Church The other notable instance of her abandonment of an old friendship for a political reason is he found in the quarrel which ended the Princess's relations with Sainte-Beuve.P. Ernest Lavisse. In 1886 course. or at least on the heads of it. Hanotaux but to — exhaust the list of Mathildient would be impossible. The only unforgivable offence was an attack on her family. Barbey d'Aurevilly. published in the Revue des Deux Morides that she broke off year his criticisms of the first Napoleon. Delibes.C. Berthelot. and refused to renew it. He took the precaution of writing a letter of apology. on it. written Taine understood that this was final. Loti. E. He is with the letters P. Guy de Maupassant. said to have visited Renan. list of the Princess's friends in this chapter. Caro. to which we now come. Heredia. Popelin. Jules Sandeau. Daudet. her long friendship with Taine for Taine this cause. going farther afield. dear friend. Prevost. to the Princess. Raymond Poincare. and lamented " his misfortune. " I have quarrelled with a much greater lady * Who is that ? " the Princess Mathilde." said Renan.Victor. was the Princess seriously angry nor yet with Goncourt when he made his unfortunate remark ahout her turning Jewess. Girardin. Francois Coppee. Charles 1 To the Fromentin. and threw it into the grate. .164 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE . But she only tore up the letter. Lavedan. Carpeaux. Rostand. and proceeded to call at his house to leave her card. Paul de Saint. Octave Feuillet. we may add the names of Pasteur.

Still it is impossible not to regret that we have not both sides. The Princess's letters in reply may be in existence still. and she would naturally have given of her best when she addressed herself to a man whom she so much admired. but she reclaimed them on Sainte-Beuve's death. and only two of them have seen the light. had first rise at least eleven years earlier. No doubt we have the more valuable side of the correspondence. intimate. for in speech did not desert her the Princess's forceful originality when she took up her pen. we are able to trace its course fairly closely during the seven years while the friendship was intimate. passionless perhaps. since Sainte-Beuve's adhesion to the cause of Louis-Napoleon in 165 . But we have its said.CHAPTER XV THE PKINCESS AND SAINTE-BEUVE The story of the friendship between the Princess Mathilde and Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve is a romance. Thanks to the care with which the Princess preserved the great critic's letters to her. it The friendship was for seven years. yet decidedly a romance.

to the influence of the Princess and her brother. The posthumous son of a literary-minded official Boulogne. 1 on hard for his greatest It had no prejudicial effect blot Sainte-Beuve's She was Augustine Coilliot. apparently with justice. Dubois. Hugo was far from blameless. nevertheless is it the affair with Madame Hugo character which a is devotees to excuse.166 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE 1851 is attributed. . Adele. pp. and the teachers about whom he has himself left a few notes in a fragment 2 His education was called Ma Biographic liberal . and at the age of twenty-three won to write. and a separation of the husband from his wife. his He began real talent could not be long hidden. father's sister. the daughter of a Boulogne mariner and an Englishwoman. though for some years his bent of the town of childhood his 1 seemed to be towards medicine and led him to be a student at the hospital of Saint-Louis. result. though by no means the speedy result. he was trained in his by half-English mother. whose name is given as Midelton. ' Souvenirs et Indiscretions (edition of 1880). and. for he was unfaithful first. for himself a place on the literary staff of the Globe. founded by one of his old schoolmasters. who made of him a friend and introduced him to the other Romantics in his train. At that time Sainte-Beuve was forty-seven. 2 ff. was an irreparable breach between the two men. He The also introduced him to his wife. Here he caught the attention of Victor Hugo.

he had taken up his abode. which brought him When in 1844 to the height of the Academy. It came to be A written publisher. Have you ever been a woman. His position was secure. the house which his mother left to him on her death. he made the acquaintance of the Princess Mathilde he had already commenced in the columns of the Constitutional his famous series About the same time also of Monday articles. A biographies of the principal members of the Imperial family. you claim to know am " " us so thoroughly ? No. as a writer but to the Princess there remained to be won the credit of establishing him as a public man by . for the rest of his life. in his letters to her and his sketch of 1862. commissioned Sainte-Beuve with the biography of the Princess Mathilde. for to him and him to His return to her was handsome. portion of that sketch has been quoted in the first chapter of this book. a task for which he was doubly well equipped. at No. left no one has of her a more pleasing picture for posterity than he has. but only a humble . 11 Rue Mont-Parnasse. I not the seer Teiresias. having planned to bring out under the title of the Galerie Bonaparte a series of portraits and in this way. recommending the Empire the Empire.THE PRINCESS AND SAINTE-BEUVE 167 on his literary advancement. madame." " since enquired one of him once. He was noted for his ability in depicting " women.

168 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE | mortal who has loved you much " And then. who looks like a plucked ortolan. and sat opposite him at his writing-table for some hours." ' that Viel-Castel describes Sainte-Beuve Courcelles. . 1862. in comparison with those that follow. mence in the middle of 1861. it " Poris not until after the publication of the trait of the Princess. to allow us to suppose that the friendship had yet matured. Moreover. in the hope of getting into the Senate arm-in-arm with Nieuwerkerke. On April 21. as She came it were. he completed the work and in the fifth of his . Littr6." The diarist has just before been speaking of the Princess Mathilde's delight in " the socialistic impiety of Littr6 and the sacerdotal hatred " and now he goes on to deplore the of the ex-seminarist Renan . and Sainte-Beuve are no better in his eyes than Eugene Giraud. dated 1 : That fat. the salon by vulgar-mannered people. and looked at her. as an habitui in the Rue de of To make sure the likeness. " July 2. Viel-Castel writes letters to her. he published wrote reminding her of her promise to come to In April 1863. therefore. took When she had left notes. he had been acquainted with the Princess for The Lettres a la Princesse only comyears. talking while he listened. and the tone of the first few is too formal. to be exact. whose feet have so often already turned vainly in the direction of the Luxembourg. and it never seems to have occurred to him that any of vulgarisation of them were immortal. before him in his study. round newspaper-scribbler. Sainte-Beuve begged the Princess to do him the favour of coming to his house to pose. Sainte-Beuve. Renan. He burns before the Princess all the distilled essences of his workshop. is the acolyte with the thurible in this salon.

that of an " I a 169 The following day was But. Ponsard's play was a success. still feel keenly and patriotically. My old Republican feelings were all stirred up anew . who were bad Frenchmen. and accepted with The other letter from the Princess. and we must not . I can I spent a good evening.. he says. I love it and understand it." she says. on January Le Lion Amoureux. I am tender towards its its errors. and I should it. " It fascinated me in the first place because the language was French.THE PRINCESS AND SAINTE-BEUVE hear what he had said. I should have joined the Republicans in exterminating the Royalists." she replied." The Princess complied and after her return home the second time answered his eulogy of her with one of him. of which a copy was found among Sainte-Beuve's papers. Academy meeting. be less brave. because the feelings aroused were French. " In a corner of " there is Paris." like to see all Frenchmen appreciate greatness and defend . I was 19. " — The people who could not criticise asked lazily.. have that afternoon. . fairly. 11. being either not returned or else copied before return with the rest of her letters to him. 1 Rue Mont-Parnasse. and because it was admirably acted. . sufficiently noble to have had relatives guillotined. a particular pleasure in laying it as I shall not go out sacrifice at your feet. which was fortunately papers after his death. without excusing its crimes . Not without some beating of the heart but heroes conceal this. since I am not ' ' ! ! ! pleased with myself. The portrait has been copied and resolutely awaits confrontation with the original. one road quieter than the rest. I was invited preserved among his 1 to No. Why bring all this up again ? What a spirit What feebleness What cowardice As for me. . 1866. only the roses of the Revolution are mine. . was in answer to a query in a letter of his about the success of Ponsard's play.

refined. in fact. to whom the outward resemblance is strong . a believer without religion. light . Greeks. an investigator led on by curiosity . but knowing its likes and dislikes philosophical after the manner of the ancient of life .170 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE great joy. a philosopher gifted with indignation. " And now. . pens of all this material in the midst spot of ink dwells a noble spirit. I brought back from yesterday the I discovered a most charming recollections. likewise delighted profoundly the subject himself. accessible to the whole world. indulgent through kindliness of heart and manner smiling at the ways of malice and finding them everywhere . and man for several have inspired him with the desire to know me well enough to convey to the public an appreciation of me which might " please the most exacting ? This portrait has roused the enthusiasm of all the warmest declare that it admirers of paints Sainte-Beuve. not a loaded with books. seclusion. possessing the rare good fortune to have only such passion as is necessary in order to remain just and impartial. who It him to the very life. much . who can scarcely have expected to be made . how to could I not be proud to have occupied the attention of this hours. pleasant scents. paper. caustic. in a long room a very big . insinuating. a spirit which understands all spirits and can explain them all. charming not too table little nest.

the rapid retrospect. Not a spot of ink is very nice. so as to have only the portrait before his " You can no eyes.THE PRINCESS AND SAINTE-BEUVE the sitter 171 when he invited the Princess to his house that he might equip himself for his On receiving her letter. ! ' ' And which a little is necesThat is sary to remain impartial and just. how you ought to write whenever your heart prompts you. about all the impressions and memories that come back to you to write by fits and starts. this will be interesting. or years. months. and also you will have an album worth looking through. picture of her. " I think I can find them. longer say that you have " no nuances he continues. he with one overflowing with the gratitude replied which he professed himself incapable of putting into words. But why am I taking on myself to give advice when I should only be showing thankfulness and marking the precious date which has brought me such gracious kindness ? You have yourself marked the date in letters which will not fade. He wished he could forget his real self. when speaking of his wish to include his " " Portrait of the Princess in one of the volumes of his Nouveaux The 1 Limdii (as was done) he asks her. " Why can I not add after it those two charming pages of the counter-portrait which I then " received. the very next day 1 ." ' Princess's reference to " the strong reSome years later. with no other idea than that of so is the passion of — preserving the momentary keenness of impresAt the end of some sion.

but leaving the conical summit of the head bald. He did not enhance his appearance by his dress. 163 above and compare what Sainte- Beuve says about unattractiveness. was redeemed by the illumination of genius behind the mask. of other his discovery. His bald head he covered. to others the mouth." . SainteBeuve was indeed supposed to have a physical likeness to one celebrated Greek to Socrates. Both had a pleasant malice about and when he smiled he never failed to them. o( his " I continually compared my face with those young people of my acquaintance. and felt envious of the faces of the biggest fools among them. in fact paunchy as he grew old. were his best feature. with a black velvet cap. fairly long and thick. which he often rubbed feverishly — 1 1 See the story told on p. indoors. In other words. The nose was large and strong. at the age of seventeen. the massive receding forehead surmounted by a ring of reddish hair. but should be deprived of all such raptures by the rapid progress of my ugliness. charm.172 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE " semblance to the ancient Greeks was perhaps the most graceful compliment which she could. To some observers the eyes. if the word must be used. Under red bushy brows twinkled small yet prominent eyes. have paid. the ears rather long. in the actual circumstances. and avoided as much as possible discussions on personal beauty . His face was full. always kept closely shaven. He was short and stout. he was far from handsome. yet his ugliness. For whole weeks I was tortured by the fear that I should never be loved. he thought himself ugly. He was often called ugly.

youthful. and witty. while admitting that Sainte-Beuve had read everything and forgotten nothing and was an incarnate Biographie Universelle. His voice was soft and measured. marked by small touches rather than grand phrases. says that he talked is like an old to woman. Jules de Goncourt notes his affectation of light. but may be nevertheless be true without presumably meant damaging Sainte-Beuve's character. down The last-named writer. pointed. with his all but inseparable companion. This cutting. 173 over his skull and occasionally snatched off to in privacy he substituted twist in his hand a large handkerchief for this cap. springlike clothes which we are meant to Victor Pavie gather did not become him. 1 is a ." A more spiteful critic says that he always looked like a countryman in his Sunday clothes. Jules Troubat. his umbrella.THE PRINCESS AND SAINTE-BEUVE . who was with him eight years and was his residuary legatee and joint-executor. Confession de Sainte-Beuve. in his hand. Sainte-Beuve's last secretary. with the claws (as Goncourt says) concealed under the paw of velvet. ' and describes him as waddling along the street. " one of those exquisite sensibilities calls his L. This book " " masterpiece of malice by a friend of ten years' standing. his eyes blinking at his boots. speaks of his outward resemblance to "an — elementary schoolmaster or a provincial notary. Nicolardot. and his conversation was graceful.

described by the younger brother. In the first half of 1863 the Goncourts met him both in the Rue de Courcelles and at Saint-Gratien. which need not concern us here. Why. and this seems to have been a justifiable charge. " That's true " exclaimed retorted some one. Gautier. and always had both in his house to the end of his days. he had never been younger. for they were La Paiva and the Princess Mathilde. shows on how familiar a footing hostess and guest stood. the constant visitors of one or both of these ladies. Among men who were his closest intimates included Prince Napoleon. and others. Renan. One sitting of the Princess The scene at the latter place in June.174 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE of taste. ! . But at least the same could not be said of the only two hostesses whose houses he frequented . The less malicious of his detractors contented them- selves with sneers at the brainlessness of these members of his household. which take offence at an error never pardon a false note." which He was fond of the company of cats and women. We have heard how the Princess resented having to share her great men with " cette filler Mathilde for her portrait in the Rue Mont-Parnasse was swiftly followed by the admission of Sainte-Beuve to the inner circle of her friends. After dinner one night Sainte-Beuve was complaining of his old age. A good deal of scandal was talked about the women.

1863. . paper some reminiscences." He recurs "I hope that you to this idea a year later : have not abandoned the idea of putting on paper what you know. to give effect in this direction. now a recital of actual fact. to say just a lot of — ! ! what comes into your head.'' he says in a letter of September. said." . Another page from time to time. Don't you agree. " That is a good resolution you have made.. especially round about a certain epoch of historical importance. "That's the true criticism. soon after the above-mentioned visit to M to commit to Saint-Gratien. which might one day become a book. too." He was perhaps somewhat disconcerted by her frank exposure of just what came into her head on this occasion. Write as you talk. " I've got it. yes " he Sainte-Beuve blushed. and some day we shall have one of those books which authors do not turn out and on which time sets an infinite value. keep some sort of diary. Don't neglect this task. he wallows in the truth free as " Mon Dieu. now a portrait sketched from life. that his articles nowadays are as gentlemen. But he was wont to admire this characteristic of her speech and to urge her to make further use of her gift of rapid In particular he desired her to understanding.the THE PRINCESS AND SAINTE-BEUVE 175 "He has cut himself clear of Princess.. I much nonsense and wrong ideas. prefer what he is doing now. to your power of full and sincere insight and expression.

as fill occasionally happened. 1 If the Princess did not accept Sainte-Beuve's advice about committing her thoughts to paper early enough to submit the result to him. for instance. Unfortunately the fate of these memoirs is unknown. attempt In March 1874 Edmond de Goncourt. she was called on to a public r61e. When she has finished a small piece she is very pleased. . enclosing what Popelin denied that he had any hand in the composition of the memoirs. who admits that in it the Princess has not ill preserved her spoken language and her peculiar manner of portraying people. mingling physical details with moral characteristics. some pretended memoirs will surely be invented and " At last she has set about attributed to her. He only copied them out for the Princess. it. as she could not recopy her own notes. She wrote to her friend." and began Popelin fetched out part of the work.176 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE life the Princess Mathilde made some do as Sainte-Beuve had advised her. Once. calling on Claudius Popelin in Paris. is told by him that he has been trying to persuade the Princess to write her memoirs. Baron Lumbroso remarks on the similarity of her handwriting to the great Napoleon's and the though in his case attributed illegibility of that is well known partly to a desire to conceal his bad spelling. for if she does not. 1 — . and admires herself like a child Later in to for it. to read it to Goncourt. it fell to her to visit the " institution at Ecouen of the Daughters of the Legion of Honour" and to make a speech to them. she at least consulted him when.

even. and its meet a lenient eye. the former as the superior man who resists the specious attempt to buy his services. how I turn pedant and writingI master as soon as I am given the chance was born to be a professor of elocution." It would not be just. His reply is very nattering. Maecenas deserves his praise. he continues see. there is always an element which offends the to join strict sense of fitness." with those who accuse Sainte-Beuve of being a flatterer with a motive. 12 To tell him that he is rich . In the relations between the genius and the noble patron.THE PRINCESS AND SAINTE-BEUVE 177 she proposed to say and asking for criticism. however. Princess. on account of the adulation (as it may seem) of this last sentence and " Portrait of the of like passages in his Princess. and I : ! certainly missed But that line. which becoming to the great. the thankfulness of the genius to his patron in itself is flourishes should a thing to be thankful for. "The speech is simple and perfect. especially when the noble patron is a beautiful woman. clever knave eulogising the vain fool. The ungrateful client. Really. my vocation in not following you have the simplicity of is the right-minded. There are but two points where I would make an alteration." Having " You mentioned the points. seems more conscious of his dignity than the client who conveys his gratitude in pretty Often the latter is regarded as the phrases.

presents for his bonnes petites gens. reflects merits . which he had never eaten before." Here." Here is a photograph of herself. a lamp. Saint. here a water-colour copy by " her of Chardin's " Madame Lenoir (or Geoffrin). too. favours obtained for writers in whom he is " Notre. I cannot walk. nor look. on your own discriminating. nor turn. Here are a clock for his desk. dedicated. Here are some mats. hut at least can let his thankful eyes rest. a letters are full of king among armchairs.178 is THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE crude. Here are some Mandarin oranges. flowers. His to his Princess. as it were. you my proclaim the it is. that he is merely remains to dwell upon his other claims to your regard. worthy of Persia or Turkey. and " Do know that first-fruits of spring. wherefore it Sainte-Beuve had good reason to be grateful She loaded him with gifts on every occasion when she could find an excuse and at the prompting of kind caprice. name of the goddess are boxes for the theatre. pineapples.Or atien" cannot be wearied by his requests to her on . acknowledgments. on which he scarcely dares put his feet. an embroidered quilt. " My house is furnished by you . nor sit down except in the midst of presents from you. invitations for friends of his to the Rue de Courcelles. a large carpet.Dame de to work-room is like a becomes difficult for little temple now ? It me not to whom interested.

study where he passed so many hours of his laborious life. for which he could but the two — — too rarely find the time. so full of you and your gifts. country-house at Enghien. as he sat all his best-loved guests. Here. she would not have been pleased and the holiday visits. on tables. declared so cold and bourgeois. that home which some of Sainte-Beuve's visitors. Por the honour of her calls his letters are full of appreciation. he writes forgotten to tell you that no single trace of you. Since autograph Why. and piled against the walls. such as the Goncourts. which held at times many of the most illustrious men in France. are her return-calls to the to her beautiful More prized still Rue Mont-Parnasse. were it not for the books and papers everywhere in cases. who has been . After one of them. 179 whether she knows them Then there are the entry to her salon. he received her like and seated her before him in the green repp armchair.THE PRINCESS AND SAINTE-BEUVE behalf or not. has escaped attention. of others. : down ' in his place the next morning. " I have near the end of 1865. in that charming visit with which you honoured me in this room. one of homes for men of letters in Paris had she heard him say that the other was Madame de Pa'iva's. and Troubat. in the bedroom. cried out ' : sitting here and writing ? This is a good pen ! He has seized on the and is proud of the honour. so lacking in personality.

woman. indeed." more beautifully than Sainte-Beuve has been laughed at for one way of showing his pleasure at the Princess's kindness to him. and What a possession for a beautiful Seneca. Cicero. at three different times. Zeller. struct her in contemporary history two hours daily. since a warning of his fate had been given . which he was to deliver at the annual meeting of the Academy.180 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE written then he has ever. He sent her. to all criticisms of Sainte-Beuve's attitude towards the Princess The Mathilde be found in the Lettres a la No one who is not entirely prePrincesse. What has a beautiful woman to do with lessons dinner to read to in contemporary history or discourses reward of virtue ? it might be asked. the complete works of Plato. however. says a scoffer. judiced against the writer can fail to appreciate that the friendship which they convey is an elevated and inspiring sentiment. and once invited himself to her house He found her a tutor. to in- before her privately his Discours sur la Prix de Vertu.writer One of these was his habit of telling the Princess about his ailments. somewhat frankly at times. on the best reply. he had cause for concern. He apologises on one " occasion Princess." But in December 1866 (when. But then remembered that he estimated her it must be intelligence highly. Sainte-Beuve is to betrays a few foibles 1 ' — what good letter. I am forgetting myself when I talk to you of my troubles in the very midst of the ease which you have — procured for me.

THE PRINCESS AND SAINTE-BEUVE does not ? 181 sycophancy and disingenuousness do not enter into the composition of these. On Thursday afternoon and the followhim) he was writing ing night I had an internal mishap so serious as to oblige me to call Ricord at once. and I do not suffer much." . but here I am again put in the invalid Let us hope. " that I shall still be able to return to that pleasant life of which the Princess was the charm and the : —but " honour. and for a graver reason. I feel. than before. he continues." class. He looked to what was wrong.

Sainte-Beuve felt sufficiently sure of his : ground to write to the Princess " I saw Merimee at the Academy yesterday. Lebrun. that he 182 . They agreed in deploring the influence of the Empress Eugenie as it steadily grew during the second half of Napoleon's reign. and he told M. As early as January. Sainte-Beuve and the Princess were for the most part harmonious in their views of the right policy for the Empire. 1863. before me. where some of the Princess's traits to attention has already been called seem to receive useful illustration. confine ourselves to We must which a few points. Although permissible ment that it was upon amount their question of the of opposition to the Govern- a friendship was ultimately wrecked. however.CHAPTER XVI SAINTE-BETJVE : THE END OF A FRIENDSHIP From the mass of Sainte-Beuve's correspondence with the Princess Mathilde it would he possible to select a large number of passages which throw light on the opinions of the recipient as well as the writer of the letters.

SAINTE-BEUVE. 182j .

.

to see the flag carried high and brave. a very great lady admires Salammbo. if only one of the Princess. he continues great. in whom the Court. . sad humblest rowers. and had been charged by the Emp**** to tell M. and Is not this right is much taken up with it. which united fortnightly so many men of genius. Having mentioned George Sand's opinion of the newly" Another published Salammbo. were lately exhibiting much interest. Goncourt is often accused of em- . with the intention of being thereby disagreeable to the n Empress. consequently for I am. At one of the celebrated : dinners at Magny's in the Quartier-Latin. this time not in connection with politics. like yourself. and particularly Eugenie. . and I like .THE END OF A FRIENDSHIP 183 had dined at Saint-Cloud on Tuesday. in Caesar's barque. showing a sort of He confided in personal hatred for her." Only a few days later he permits himself to make another criticism of the Empress. . Sainte-Beuve attacked the Queen's character fiercely. and natural ? Does it not agree with the study of fashions and of ultra. . the discussion turned on Marie-Antoinette. Jules de Goncourt's ear that he had an idea of writing what he thought of her. Eould to take no step before seeing her and This makes me.French discoveries with " which her pretty head gets at times infatuated ? We hear in the Journal des Goncourt that Sainte-Beuve at this period was little inclined to spare the Empress.

and that any one else would have resented the neglect still more than he had explain to her in conversation . but his memory failed him. On the guest's introduction to Eugenie she began to praise Victor enthusiastically to him and asked if he could repeat any of his verse. On his return home he sent to Compiegne a copy of the poem in Feuilles d'Automne.THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE An undoubtedlybroidering on the truth. They spring from her mouth. of whose attitude towards himself he writes some- what bitterly to the Princess in a letter of March 1865. like a jet of water rising and falling. Troubat. autour de voits tant de grdce itincelle. This took place at the end of the same year. outstretched on her long chair. He had already attempted to one evening at her own house that it only remained for him to accept the situation as past remedy. 184 authentic story is that told by Sainte-Beuve's secretary." Sainte-Beuve excused himself from accepting further invitations to Compiegne. and " The his secretary remarked Empress juggles with words. and he broke down. of his master's only visit to Compiegne. Sainte-Beuve. Madame. He was sure that he was neither looked on nor treated as a friend. began to recite. Hugo whose parting with Hugo had been in painful circumstances. and indeed as to : far as possible avoided the Imperial Court. 1863.

date to the last-mentioned letter. but as precise its place in the correspondence seems to assign it to the month of April we may assume that it was written after Sainte-Beuve had heard that he was at last nominated to the Senate. " You know gratitude whither the first transport will carry me ? I must have the honour of laying it at your feet " to-night exceeding 1 merely a misunderstandThere is no ing that had been cleared up. The story of his disappointments with regard to this honour is one to inspire sympathy in all who can appreciate the feelings of a sensitive man.THE END OF A FRIENDSHIP done. Jules Levallois. according to his secretary at It not. was the time. the mention of a . In the letter which follows we Sainte-Beuve declaring his find joy to be and quite unphilosophical. his that of a man of twenty. indeed. To himself it was painful rather than agreeable to meet with such glances and questions as he received in certain quarters. His next letter shows that she had not been pleased with his request. In 1857. directions 185 The wise man does not turn his eyes in where it is useless to look. which she apparently wished him to accept. but he expressed a hope that soon he would have the opportunity of explaining matters more clearly to her. The misunderstanding was soon removed. face to face and alone. and he asked the Princess's permission to refuse an invitation to dinner.

grateful though he was for her help in He would think no more of the the past. even if he ! me " he cried. his impatience and ill-humour were as great as had been his wrath at the still down by himself.186 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE rumour that he was soon to be senator drove him into a passion. wrote to her on the 12th. himself to have fulfilled When the he seemed to condition laid time passed without his nomination. In the autumn 1864 he was in high hopes of obtaining the distinction. decree of October 5. " Never repeat such follies to Do you think I wish to " His opinion was that the dishonour myself ? senatorship should be the reward of certain services to the State which he did not consider he had so far rendered. appointing several others. senators. Senate. begging her earnestly never to interfere again on his behalf in the matter. A writer. might earn this reward by a sufficient proof of his talent. and of premature suggestion in 1857. " devoted himself only to poetry and works of the imagination. including Nieuwerkerke. and wished never to talk with her again . letter he admits we can hardly suppose that he is merely pretending out of politeness—that — the support of the Princess encouraged him to The be specially sanguine on this occasion. found him in He Paris and the Princess at Saint-Gratien. and two of his letters to the Princess Mathilde after it had been again In this refused are eloquent of mortification.

represented in this instance.. made last of all. We men of letters have our own peculiar temperaments and points of honour. but also. it was possible. " I have but one idea now. There was a way. however. which are inseparable from us. pointed to me . not only untouched by the shadow of harm. having no doubt heard from her in the interval. I am now asked questions on all sides. What value after this can one attach to the distinction? There remains only the advantages. I answer with restraint. increased in warmth of . he wrote once more : impossible for me not to begin by telling you that I know and understand all that "It is you have my entire gratitude. as a man who wishes henceforward to dispense with the honours that have to be snatched at and the marks of grace that are so ungraciously bestowed. which I you have done and tried to do . Princess.. to preserve in this situation a precious friendship. A man is being sent to the first body in the State who ought to have been sent to the asylum. but the chance was not taken. should always be put off. I do not understand why literature. if possible. I must confess to you. . set aside. I look on myself as having Public opinion received a trifling insult.THE END OF A FRIENDSHIP 187 about it. Two days later. but. But must I tell you the truth? I am discontented and feel mortified.

apart from its being deserved. when forced to " rest in bed after an operation : thought comes to me amid this A interruption of my work. and in April 1865 she had the satisfaction of seeing she him senator. shows sense. cerned. I owe to my senatorship. to feel thus is dear to me. and This may not be a politic way of the senatorship I owe to looking at things. a mark of approval of the past and a promise of renewed favour in the future. I have congratulated and : do congratulate him with all my heart.188 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE Still." Alluding to Nieuwerkerke. Princess. that this peace upon my pillow. Sainte-Beuve's leaving presentation to him in his new capacity was deferred until after his return. as far as the Master is conI he has alienated me personally. thanks to which I have time to grow well. This nomination. Hence joy and his gratitude of the his quite unphilosophical man of twenty. since . it is a pledge. 1 As the Emperor was just on the point of for his visit to Algeria." The Princess declined on behalf of to give up her efforts now Sainte-Beuve. .200 a year. In view of what has occurred for a year past. but your Highness will pardon me for it. though continued them without his consent . was your candidate. esteem." A place in the Senate brought with it £1. On June 15 the Princess received a letter from her friend expressing some satisfaction over the interview 1 The Princess's aid in securing him his senatorship is grate- fully recalled by Sainte-Beuve in January. Sainte-Beuve adds "As for our friend. 1866. and I should have been his.

but his own. The Prince had to some extent lived down his ill name since the Aumale affair. 189 Now. though in any case his closeness to the Throne made it almost necessary him to accept this responsible But he soon relieved the Empress of position.THE END OF A FRIENDSHIP the day before. During the Emperor's visit to Algeria an opportunity occurred for Sainte-Beuve to show his political agreement with the Princess Mathilde. Troubat says that SainteBeuve only on one occasion in his life had a private conversation with Napoleon III. A statue of Napoleon for Bonaparte. with a Privy Council of which Prince Napoleon was Vice-President. Napoleon III. had left the Empress Eugenie Regent. He made an eloquent speech. and the Prince was sent over to unveil it. blunder in receiving the new senator. his unwelcome counsels. with his four brothers about him. in his edition of the Lettres a la Princesse. which made the ideal government a republic presided over by a Napoleon such — . in which unfortunately the views expressed were not those of the Empire. the latter was not so annoyed as to feel obliged to write to his gracious patroness about it. had been erected at Ajaccio. who informed him then that he always read his articles in the Moniteur though at the time the Monday articles had been transferred from — the Monitetir to the Comtitutionel two or three If the Emperor made this bad years ago..

and an urgent message was despatched to the Emperor The in Algeria. Consternation followed. he was told. first in his own Henceforward I shall same line of action. The letter is ' excessive ' in itself . . could only be of use to enemies of the " It is Government. If that bold orator had been under any illusion that he might be leading his cousin along the right path. . and no one restrained him. that the Emperor [Napoleon] family. its insertion in the Moniteur I fear to be irreparable.190 as THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE himself. established." he says. . that severe system of control which allowed but one will and one execution. it was published in the Moniteur four days later. he was now entirely undeceived. is just. and then in his government. The Princess Mathilde's indignant sympathy with him can only be measured by the letter which Sainte-Beuve wrote in answer to one of hers on the subject. He would not have done this had he been in obeyed his first impulse. though addressed Imperial personally to the Prince. asking what was to be done'." not depart from this Prince Napoleon resigned his place on the Privy Council at once. His programme. that detestable enemy of true liberty. Algiers on May 23. Dated from answer was prompt. " and " I was your comment grieved. He . Only two papers rejoice Paris. and the letter concluded clear to the sight of all men that it was to check : intellectual anarchy.

1815. There may be shades of Blue. True Blue. to keep the presidency of the Universal Exhibition. It was good that there should be more than one aspect of the Napoleonic interpretation of affairs. My advice would be that." Sainte-Beuve over-rated the Emperor's placability. that he should not bar the way to a — reconciliation. the Gazette and the Union.THE END OF A FRIENDSHIP over the letter and the hlow it 191 deals —the " two Royalist papers. patriotic. There is an Oriental proverb which says. Sainte-Beuve agreed with what the Princess had said to him about it. " The Prince represents an interpretation that is democratic. Very probably he will be pressed. he should yield. for the Prince was never again allowed to occupy a prominent place in public life. sure the Emperor would regret it his will be soon — you can intervene you can already do so with your brother. her interest in politics . will be begged." He was action.' As for Prince Napoleon's speech. As for the Princess Mathilde. " Then. with which he alone is capable of coping. and his share in the Imperial politics was henceforward confined to subterranean work. 'Do you wish to know if you have committed a fault ? Look in your enemy's eyes. that he should allow the Emperor to regret his action and repair it in part in short. But White can never be one of them. Princess — and . after an honourable resistance.

however. were Madame They were received in a room on the ground-floor with brand-new jonquilyellow furniture such as a dealer supplies to a cocotte. the Dreyfus affair arose. at least. was a gift from the Princess was (see Sainte-Beuve's letter of November 8). until quite late in her life. In Defirst discovered the malady — which but his letters continued to was stone be cheerful. in the Princess's because the indignation to which she gave way made her cember 1866 Sainte-Beuve seriousness of his unintentionally cruel. She insisted on carving for all. The other Espinasse. and his — work tions suffered less interruption than his recreaand his visits. though Goncourt 1 pot aware of this. Sainte-Beuve. 1867. 1 Part of . The Princess arrived. as though she were at a bachelor-party. Nieuwerkerke. His condition. and the Goncourt brothers.192 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE is after this shown by the occasion of her quarrel little with Sainte-Beuve. and determined to be amused. says Jules.the decorations. is clearly revealed in the description by Jules de Goncourt of the dinner-party given by him to the Princess Mathilde on November 14. on the other all white and gilt. . but in very else of which we hear. very gay. when The famous quarrel is a melancholy page in the stories of both the parties to it in Sainte- — Beuve's because he was victim to tex*rible physical sufferings when it befell. guests Charles Giraud. Sainte-Beuve's doctor Phillips.

sufferer grew less and less able to get about. while all thought of the host's approaching end. of the Press laws. and could eat nothing." led to the Moniteur. and then. sad and serious. and the doctor about operations. which had raised him up for a time. he was very old and broken. of no avail. At the beginning Moniteur. Champagne proved Conversation laughter froze. 1868. three months and a half later. transferred his Monday articles from the Constitutionel to the The now be described. but he had ceasing to be the official and J3 . brief and unimportant note followed. SainteBeuve spoke about his medical days. ment. On September 22. and the Princess herself grew in the salon afterwards kept a melancholy trend. wished Sainte-Beuve to remain. The relaxation organ of the GovernDalloz its staff was disbanded. obtaining a very advantageous agreement from Dalloz.THE END OF A FRIENDSHIP 193 hand. though gradually he had sunk back A few days afterwards a to his ordinary level. What happened in the interval must of 1867 Sainte-Beuve. director of the Moniteur. the letter of farewell. looked like the head-waiter at a funeral feast . and so saw less of the Princess. which accom" panied the building up of the Liberal Empire. the last but two of his letters to her speaks of "the happy visit" he had received from her. for the second time in his career. towards the end of 1868.

women to the ruin of family life. On December 30 he wrote Dalloz. offer of the 1 The same gentleman who. Such a thing had not happened to Sainte-Beuve in forty years of journalism. Temps printed On the previous day. Pointel. The artist set to work. asked an noted for his drawing of horses for some pictures " What are you doing for for his paper. who insisted on blue-pencilling the first Monday article after the change. because it contained incidentally certain criticisms of the Bishop of Montpellier. resigning his and concluding his letter with the " To the devil with fanatics " He had words. artist as editor of an illustrated paper. some horses. ! Bed. received repeated offers from the Temps to join The Temps was Liberal rather than its staff." Horses cried Pointel. position. also been invited to join the new Journal would be but said that he could not feel free on a " One has paper with an emblem at the top. ! No horses in my " paper ! . and claimed impartiality. but distinctly belonged to the Opposition. The advantage which its columns offered to Sainte-Beuve (who always refused to call himself a Liberal) was that he He had Officiel.194 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE 1 taken a very clerically minded partner. and sent off to it his article The as originally written for the Moniteur. " " " me ? asked Pointel soon after. room. and he took two feverish turns up and down the " Horses lead to women." he remarked. 1869. He accepted now the Temps. free to express his opinions. to be so careful when one marches under a banner. "Why. it on January 4. which was a Sunday.

secretary. malady was paining him and he was obliged to withdraw. when suddenly " Sainte-Beuve the door and opened said. Troubat. that his employer ! ! Troubat. The argument became hotter still. " " He at once reported the word vassal said. as his alone. She first attacked the Temps. slamming the doors after her. Troubat. Come. Sainte-Beuve was a vassal of " " the Empire she cried excitedly. only citizens " answered tested Sainte-Beuve into the Senate." The secretary retired again. raising his voice in his turn.THE END OF A FRIENDSHIP Rue Mont-Parnasse. but nothing had been 195 the Princess Mathilde had paid a visit to the said then about Sainte-Beuve's transference of his work to the Temps. and looking like a picture of Napoleon I. She was standing up. and a visitor who was present in the study retired and left the others The Shortly after Sainte-Beuve summoned Troubat to keep the Princess company. in his wrath. then declared that she and her brother had put Troubat prodone nothing had of his senatorship. waving her muff. you seem to be speaking rather loudly. and soon afterwards heard the Princess go out. shall see who turned pale and vassal ! " " They whether I am a . On Monday afternoon the Princess's carriage was heard again at the door. "M. There are no longer vassals. to Sainte-Beuve. and that there unworthy must be both right and left wings to the Empire.

I asked him not to enter upon a contract with the Temps. .' " She went on bitterly He wrote to me on New Year's Day that all the ease and comfort Beuve is going to 1 Souvenirs du Dernier Secretaire de Sainte-Beuve. But the Temps. : Sainte-Beuve. it was his own proper party. beckoned to him to follow her into the room where she was wont to walk up and down in her Here she broke out in a confidential talk. ! . but occupied. . . " . Oh ! he's a wicked man. with Girardin. The way he has acted towards me never he Why. And what did I ask of him ? I didn't ask him to sacrifice a conviction. . our .196 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE 1 Troubat's story. and I got the Emperor to grant two of them. am : Six months ago I afraid that Sainte- " play some trick on us. when he called upon the Princess and told her he had seen whom he found weary. and on behalf of Bouher I offered him everyHe might have been on the Liberie thing. who • insult us daily ! . ! . This is is also a ver- The younger brother writes on January 6 that. torrent of words Sainte-Beuve. she made no answer. 350-2. . it was about him that I quarrelled And after all that he with the Empress. preand sad. pp. . I wrote to Flaubert. I will not see him again. . . . There sion in the Journal des Goncourt. that was still possible. . personal enemies. . has had through me ! On my last visit to Compiegne. he had made three requests of me.

. if indeed they were her actual utterances and not (as Troubat suggests) 1 Goncourt says that a week after this scene the Princess re" You know. marked. Goncourt by the lapels of his coat." ' are you but a worn- More to the in the same strain followed. that isn't the right way to act Suffocating. Really. and I have been to it. gasping with sobs. .THE END OF A FRIENDSHIP to 197 which he had about him in his illness were due " me. but as a woman. caught ! shook him. Then she walked away. . What man ?'. to which reference has been made before.. between a woman like myself and un homme incomplet like him no true friendship could ever exist. as though to emphasise her words. fancied wrongs as a woman " I have been to dinner at have sat in the chair where Madame de Pa'iva] has sat! But I told him to his [? Your house is only fit for bad women. a woman. isn't this un" deserved ? Her eyes searched his fiercely. she protested that she was not now talking as a She princess. Nicolardot has a remarkable theory that only good sons of the Church are really possessed of virility. and came back again to take up and the attack. But we need not frenzied dwell upon the utterances of the temporarily Princess.' Oh. I ' Her drove her to fury. Goncourt. according 1 Goncourt account. straining with both hands at the neck of her dress. face. No.. his house." This cruel insult is the burden of Nicolardot's book. ! I said to out old him too. her white silk train sweeping behind her. " cried. I was hard .

of which the evidences will always be about me. " As for me. but by another. . The book closed for it me that day at half -past five. the house is as she left " I wish said to have been. something brought about not by you. so Will many signs of friend- surround me and The astonishment which seized me on Monday. ever open again? what I owe for so many kindnesses. " I searched and questioned myself in vain. and which it is All that went so hard to shake off. and runs as follows " A fortnight has passed. Princess. to a very so different that different kind of friendship Princess. 1869. and then you would have me at least the memory of a friend " ! The is last dated : item in the Lettres a la Princesse January 17.198 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE said. an exaggeration of what she hy some personal malice of the prompted Goncourt brothers over Sainte-Beuve's omission to pay them the respect which they thought due to themselves. I can discover no personal wrong which I have done your Highness. you final Her remark had died left last year. I put the seal on after Sunday's visit. "I so know many remembrances. ship. "You accustomed me. " — — I could only consider the interview of Monday as an extraordinary accident. will pass.

Sainte-Beuve then dictated a long telegram in reply. and to him was dictated. who had come does not appear in the Lettres a la Princesse. Princess. the homage my respectful and unchangeable attachment. and perhaps was not returned by her with the rest. she sent a Rue Mont-Parnasse to attempt a reconciliation. This we are told by Troubat friend to the . which he sent by post. guard the faith In which is wait. it im- possible "I of lay at your feet.THE END OF A FRIENDSHIP before lives and will live. this. into her service through SainteBeuve. The Princess telegraphed to Troubat for news. There was no answer to and the writer never saw his Princess again. still Even when I can no is longer hope. and Saint-Gratien was too far. in a failing This voice. She acknowledged the letter by another telegram to the dying man himself." this letter. A reconciliation actually took place when the old critic lay on his death-bed in October 1869. so often lack- ing will in me otherwise. however. a last letter to be carried to her. The Princess sent Zeller. and also that Sainte-Beuve's answer was that he was engaged on some articles about Jomini for the Temps. Three months after the quarrel. I shall 199 at least. It is somewhat disillusioning that Sainte- . I shall and a secret voice : murmur 1 deep within me No.

whom Troubat had and an amicable ex- change took place. of however. this catastrophe was averted by the friendly arbitration of Adert. to him they will find that we out a hand to quite a lot of rascals. wanted hers back without returning his. editor the Journal de Geneve. in the — and he might have remembered this when he . continued threatened several come days. as has been said cruelty. " have held will. The Princess. He had left instructions that there should be an exchange of letters. " " Portrait Sainte-Beuve wrote of her." she had once said letters. She forgot the state of above. unintentional. de Sainte-Beuve. that it was not she refused an advance. for the sake of the Princess Mathilde. at least. feeling perhaps that she had revealed herself too much in her writings for an Altesse ImpSriale. his treachery. who her victim when she yielded to her anger at what she considered his desertion. to appealed in his distress. (" If they ever rummage among our M. and into court. It is satisfactory. Lawyers were called for to in. negotiations the affair At length. however.") Troubat insisted on carrying out the instructions of the jestingly.200 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE Beuve's death was followed by a squabble over the correspondence with the Princess Mathilde. There are many details in the story of this end of a friendship which we could but wish away. for this reduces her And her cruelty was.

' she has ' feels the I need of confidence in need to believe in the people . profound sorrow. perfectly justified according to ordinary standards in writing for the Temps. to Paris for his funeral. . I should have hastened . . the smart of the she had received in one of her deepest feelings was too at once the step of character acute to allow her to take which her general generosity to expect. but unhappily I could not arrive in time [he was at his house in I in should have followed Switzerland]. and only remembered the charm itself off. Good faith is a marked characteristic of her throughout. Had it been possible. might have led us that. this honest man. Prince Napoleon had no disfor the step. this friend." To the wound Princess." he wrote to " caused me Troubat. . I see. . One of the Goncourts writes when the just anger (as he calls it) of the Princess had worked she forgot her grievances against her old friend. said. mournful sympathy the modest procession. . as a matter of fact. " The loss of this great philosophical writer. which became great through the merits of him who was being carried to burial and the friends who paid to him their last respects.THE END OF A FRIENDSHIP told her he could not see 201 what wrong he had done her—" She her dealings." Sainte-Beuve was. and was during the last approval months of Sainte-Beuve's life a closer friend than ever. however.

she became a warm friend of his memory.202 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE of his talk. themselves. of his companionship. which she defended even against the Goncourts Let us hope but indeed we must feel sure that some regret for her hasty action of January 1869 mingled with her reminiscences of the days that could never come — — again. of his wit. .

There was no intimacy possible between the mistress of the salon in the Rue de Courcelles and the of receiving one another "evil genius of the Second Empire. the public events affecting the Napoleon life of the Princess Mathilde were few. But here the friendship stopped short.CHAPTER XVII UNDER THE LATER EMPIRE later years of the reign of III. been drawn together. and might Moray's wife. therefore have been expected to appeal to the but they seem never to have . During the We hear of no comment from her upon the death in 1865 of the Duke of Moray. they had always been on amicable terms to the extent on gala nights. as the Emperor's half-brother had at last become. Since the day when she first invited him to her house. 203 of the Imperial Count Alexandre ." As for she was a Russian. Moray's post as president of the Corps L£gisPrincess's heart latif fell to the other leading illegitimate scion family. and thus set the seal publicly on the family's acceptance of its illegitimate offshoot.

who contrived. Outwardly she could but admire him for his resemblance to her idol.) The Countess Walewska his second wife the first. over Napoleon III. Quitry to invite his cousin Mathilde on a visit Quitry met Viel-Castel and took him with him to the Princess's. which prevented the growth of friendship between him and the Princess. She had. On one occasion. a mortal terror of . The influence of evening in talking scandal. however. natural to him as the son of Marie Lascynska. the Countess Walewska was at that time the subject of much discussion at Court. when she received scant It was in the autumn of mercy all round. having died was of mixed Italian and as long ago as 1834 — — blood." was ("A Lord Malmesbury's description of him in 1831. being a softened likeness of his father. and on her mother's one of the Poniatowskis. the great Emperor.204 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE Walewski. being on her father's side a descendant of Macchiavelli. and of course the topic arose now. and the Emperor had sent his chamberlain 1858. to make a friend of the Empress. to Polish our knowledge. while intriguing with the Emperor. a daughter of Lord Sandwich. The Princess pronounced Marianne (the Countess) an utter little route. Possibly it was "Walewski's strong Polish sympathies. They and spent the rest of the stayed to dinner to Saint-Cloud. the conversation at SaintGratien fell upon her. very handsome and pleasing young man.

THE DUKE OF MORNY. 204] .

.

about the intrigue. was certain that Walewski knew very well and said nothing. " this conversation the to The Princess refused During edifying old fairy. because it paid him to keep his mouth shut. says guests the fullest rein.UNDER THE LATER EMPIRE 205 her husband. not Gallic (paroles frangaises non gauloises) . probably. Arsene Houssaye. the conversation on this occasion about the Walewskis To most and Napoleon III. with whom VielCastel naturally agreed. but that speech must be French. she keeps them from : There getting too close to dangerous ground. while giving her home." readers." Again the same writer says She is too much of a princess to wish to put the conversation into white ties. Provided that one knows how to tell a tale or make a jest she shows no affectation she is one of those who think that the et : " . be convinced of the husband's guilt. French. wit is the health of the soul. will appear to have deserved . if not the Gallic. speaking of the conversation which used to be heard in the Princess's " At her table." Madame de Fly. even upon days of ceremony. and so the Countess Vimercati sat silent. As often happened. is perfect liberty of speech. and the Princess was ready to put her hand in the fire if Walewski knew anything Quitry. the presence of Viel-Castel seems to have cor- rupted his surroundings. but proceeded to relate a very frank tale about the wife and the Emperor.

to take part in the costume-ballets which were Princess to be chosen. and other leading beauties. . The Countess Walewska was a very pretty woman.206 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE the epithet gaulois. and his death in 1868 was caused by an apoplectic fit following on his helping to carry her. whose good looks caused her frequently with the Princess Mathilde." Eugenie is said to have The question of Walewski's attitude replied. A story is told of the Princess Mathilde one day asking her cousin's wife what she had done with a lock of hair cut off the Prince Imperial's head when he was an infant. Mathilde was speaking truly when " she said that " Marianne contrived to make a friend of the Empress. indeed. Yet he had no quarrel with his wife. the Anna Murat. Eugenie. Her power with the Emperor was undoubted. then to Princess an invalid. showed a great liking for her. towards his wife's friendship with his master is not one into which we need go here. but it could not be said that she abused it. I gave it to Madame Walewska. the chief features of the more splendid State balls. upstairs in a chair. He was not himself faithful. her chief concern appearing to be The keep her husband's position secure. for he had a son by Puachel. " Oh. and bestowed on her many marks of her favour. though allowance must he made for the fact that it reaches us through the medium of Viel-Castel.

Anna Murat's relations with the Princess Mathilde. September 1887. the — funeral. to her definite adherence to the Empress's party. were never very close. was indeed her most intimate friend both now and in the days of exile. but was one of those members The marriage .UNDER THE LATER EMPIRE Many the his 207 years afterwards. Journal des Qoncourt. while her husband. either before or after marriage. . in the presence of the leading members of the Imperial family. in 1865 of the Princess Anna mentioned above. no doubt. Duke of Mouchy. The wedding bring over into his camp. was celebrated with great pomp in Paris. 4. determined appearance. was much person loved by the Empress. owing largely. we hear of young Walewskis the son Charles and — daughter of General Douay with the Princess Mathilde in the Rue dining de Berri. of the old nobility so hard. and 1 speaking with great clearness and precision. strove with such little success. and at the grand balls. for Anna. in 1887. was not only an agreeable man personally. Antoine de Noailles. and usually to whom Napoleon III. But State ceremonies brought them often 1 together. a far more amiable family events than her sister Caroline. was one of great Murat. when the husband is described as having a cold. These Walewskis of the younger generation appear again at the Princess's death-bed and wife.

The King came to the dance in a most gorgeous uniform. then on a visit to Pontainebleau. covered with gold lace. however. and of the Princess going to the ball at the opening of the H6tel d'Albe in 1860 as an Egyptian fellah-woman. presents her in a ridiculous light. was not a As she grew older great devotee to dancing. in her elaborately was also frilled and embroidered robe. Some critics at another ball three years earlier. one given by Walewski at the Ministry of Foreign . in his memoirs. found the costume more suitable to an operatic tenor than to a king. they were frequently associated. The well-known story told by Lord Malmesbury. and the contrast between its brilliance and Maximilian's melancholy face the subject of remark. and even in her earlier days her attendance seems to have been confined mostly to the Court entertainments to those fancy-dress assemblies where dancing is not the chief attraction. Still. wearing on her head the magnificent diamond coronet with which she is shown in her portrait by Giraud. We would rather picture her as she appeared given by the city of Paris to King Maximilian of Bavaria. she went seldom to the ball. the admiration was general as he opened the ball with the Princess Mathilde.208 as THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE has been said. with her skin unfortunately not dyed all over. The Princess Mathilde. It was at another ball in the same year.

yet the perous. have been able to discover so many symptoms of decay. with the scarlet emblem freely scattered about her attire. The Baron does not add the detail. and must now return to the closing years of the Second Empire. or that the Empress. however. that it was not the latter's daring. as we know. but her nationality and her kinship to the great Cavour coupled with her admirable beauty which made her find such favour in the Princess's — — eyes. the years in which the historians.UNDER THE LATER EMPIRE Affairs. as the Countess entered the ball-room. 209 that the sentimentally enthusiastic author of La Cour dn Second Empire. We may be sure. writing after the event. tells how the Princess Mathilde came " superb in blue damask. Bardn Imbert de Saint. But we have wandered from the period with which our chapter began. compli- menting her on her costume. was at the time on very friendly terms with the daring Italian countess. and many of those present stood upon chairs to see the beauty who displayed so much of her person. 14 . though other writers have done so.Amand. that. but which to those that lived in them seemed so dazzling and so prosThe decay was indeed there. asked her whether one of the hearts had not been placed rather too low. The Princess Mathilde." while the Countess Castiglione made her famous appearance as the Queen of Hearts. there was a crowd about her.

tbe Eugenie were entry by tbe Princess Prince of Orange. three Queens. Stall the season was in princes and archduke. addition of Great Britain." tbe Grand Duke of Leucbtenberg. and Prince Murat. at which no less than one hundred thousand people present. Unrrerselle she bad little to do comwbat Uilio her in 1866. and the Kings. and the Emperor's cousin necessarily took her the State entertainment of these guests. Bapoleon and their on MathOde. tbe Sultan.THE FSDKBBB MATHILDE BONAPARTE temporary obserrers may well be excused allowing fhemsrires to be Minded by tbe of soundness wben all as it to beap sneb flattery on did in 1867." as Merimee to tbe Tsar.. At the beginning of June the . wben tbe ?s indisposition bad prerented her from in public and threw upon tbe ties in connection with tbe Exhibition of thai year. tbe epoch of the Great This year. of sneb brilliance for Paris. in spite of tbe gloom east by the news of shame and disaster front Mexico. whom it pleased Parisian wits to call "Prince Citron. Russia. did not find the Princess At the Exgreat prominence. one of tbe legacies left by the policy of Moray. At tbe opening of the Exhibition on April 1.

when sixty thousand troops were reviewed in the Boss de Boulogne by the Emperor. Troabat. as die Tsar was driving away with it .-:< The risitors first grand spectacle offered to these was the gala performance at the Opera. did you see the review yesterday? It was splendid!" She did not. and behind them the Crown Prince Frederick of Prawie. Bat the height of tees. the "Tycoon "of Japan. father of the present Tsar) and his brother. their two heirs.NDER THE LATER EMPIRK 111 iiMiaowl with the arrival of the Tsar II. the Tsareritoh (afterwards Alexin. steads on the thasmstk. as reached on Jane 6. Mathilde and the other noble ladies watched the proceedings from. would seem. the two the Princess Mathilde. the King of Piuunis. Prince the Princes of Hesse and Saxony Marat.v: •'.. who were as a natter of course prompt to pay their respects to their kinswoman in the Bae de C . are! M. the Grand Duke Vladimir.. when. calling on Samte-Beure. when we read of the Imperial box being occupied by the Tsar seated between Napoleon and Eugenie in the front row.". accompanied by the r. make mention of an event which nearly marred the mngaifinence of the day. and next day.

" At Saint-Gratien she remained for the autumn. from coming in June by his visit to Hungary to receive the kingly crown in the cathedral of Buda. which. So the Princess's days went on for the most . and then by the awful news of Maxideath at Queretaro. "she does not look it in any way. In August the Princess Mathilde had retired to the less peace of Saint-Gratien. the Pole Berezowski fired a pistol at him. amid a house- party which included the Gabriellis. having been prevented . she meant but. sitting for her portrait by Hebert. and his wife spent much of her time in the two houses of her friend. who arrived only in October. Nor do we find her name coupled with that of the Emperor Francis Joseph. The Crown Prince of Prussia brought with him to Paris his little son.212 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE the Emperor Napoleon from the Bois. reasons of State compelled him to mourn for milian's time than might have been expected. where Merimee records paying a visit to her. She told him she was near her fiftieth year. the PrimoBenedetti himself lis. aged eight but we do not hear whether the Princess Mathilde helped to amuse in any way the future Kaiser Wilhelm. he fifty — — adds. Yet we may be certain that her strong pro-Russian and antiPolish sympathies made her full of indignation over the incident. and Madame Benedetti. was now Prance's ambassador to the Court of Berlin. however.

.

.

UNDER THE LATER EMPIRE

213

part in a peaceful backwater untroubled by the cares of the outer world. At the end of 1867

she celebrated in the

Rue

de Courcelles an

event to which she had been looking forward for some months, the opening of her new salon-serre for the inspection of her guests. We shall hear again of this idea of combining conservatory and saloon when we come to the description of the Princess's later house in the Rue de Berri.

on Christmas Day, 1867, she asked a select company to spend the evening in the newest addition to the pleasures of her Paris home. They found their hostess arrayed in one of the costumes in which they admired her most, and
she led
into the conservatory. Beautiful exotic flowers were everywhere about, electric lights sprang out of masses of foliage, the walls were covered with deep red hangings,

Now

them delightedly

and some of the choicest furniture which she had been able to buy from all parts of the world was disposed about the floor. Now we come to a fresh eulogist of the hostess who never found anything that was beautiful
too good to set before her guests.

Among those the Princess Mathilde's acquaintance first during the closing years of the Empire was Francois Copp6"e. In 1866, at the age of
who made
twenty-four years, he had a clerkship at Ministry of War, and had published but a verses, which had secured him, however, notice of Gautier and Sainte-Beuve. The
the

few
the
ac-

214

THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE

ceptance of a poem by JL' Artiste, to which Catulle Mendes had recommended him to take from Agar it, brought him further attention

the great tragic actress, who suggested to him that he should write a duologue for her benefit
at the
set to

Od6on in the following winter. Coppee work in his modest Montmartre home,

amid the surroundings so charmingly described by him in his Souvenirs a"tm JParisien, and the result was Le Passant. Agar was pleased with on herself the part of Silvia, it and took
assigning that of Zanetto to one of her young comrades at the Odeon, whose name was Sarah

Bernhardt.

The performance was a great
could scarcely
fail to

success, as

it

be with such interpreters.

"What," says the author, "can I say of Sarah, in those days so slight, so slim ... of Sarah, luckily unpossessed of the haunches and thighs
which make the impersonations of male parts usually so unrealistic and indeed so offensive, of Sarah with all the suppleness, the lightness, and the grace of a young man ? What admirable talent in both the actresses
of attitude
;

!

What nobility

and gesture, what depth of emotion my Silvia, what intoxication, what joy, what Both folly of youthfulness in my Zanetto their lines marvellously well, and it was spoke an infinite pleasure to contrast these two harmonious instruments, the enchanting 'golden
in
!

voice

'

of

Sarah answering the pathetic contralto

UNDER THE LATER EMPIRE
of Agar.

215

There
first

is

but one word possible to

describe the
It

interpretation of

Le

Passant.

was perfection itself." Coppee saw the birth of his fame at the Od6on that night. Next day he realised this even better than amid the tumult of applause in the theatre. Camille Doucet called on him in the morning with an announcement that Le Passant was to be heard at the Tuileries, Gautier with an invitation from the Princess Mathilde. A few days later he went in Gautier's company to the Rue de Courcelles, to begin an affectionate friendship with the hostess that lasted until her death, and to enliven her parties with the fireworks of his conversation. In his Souvenirs he writes with enthusiasm of his first " She was still in visits to her enjoyment but,
:

alas

!

not for

much

longer

—of

all the privileges

of

her rank of Imperial Highness. In the sumptuous saloons of her house in the Rue de Courcelles, as also in the pleasant shades of her
cliateau at Saint-Gratien,

swarmed the

official

world of the Court, gold-laced generals, ambassadors and ministers covered with orders and ribbons, fair and charming ladies sparkling with diamonds, and also, in their sober black coats, the famous writers and artists of the day. They were all there, or nearly all at least as many in number as the wonderful pearls in the
;

Princess's

necklace,

that

famous

ornament

which was much

less precious in

her eyes than

216

THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE

the intellectual aristocracy which her grace and goodness had succeeded in attracting to her

and keeping at her

side."

Coppee's description of the Princess herself is interesting to compare with those which we

have already seen. "Although she was ap" the proaching her fiftieth year," he says, Princess Mathilde preserved a surprising vigour and youth. She was the flower fully blown but in no wise faded. Her appearance then can be realised from Carpeux's bust, that masterpiece of modern sculpture, which represents her with her coronet upon her head, her splendid shoulders rising up from a mantle of Here we have the Imperial carriage of fur.
the head, the deep setting of the eyes, the chin already double, but retaining its Napoleonic firmness the chin of the Emperor at Wagram. But the artist has not been able to transfer

to

the marble that sincere, frank, and loyal gaze, still less the smile so irresistible in charm,

the smile that was at once happy and kind ; or, it would be better to say, the smile which
so often conveyed, on the Princess's lips, the joy of a kind nature constantly finding expression in deeds and words."

In the summer of 1869, recently recovered from a serious illness, Copp6e was invited for a stay of several weeks at Saint-Gratien, where
the Princess wished
again, just as

him

we have

his strength seen her, though in vain,

to build

up

UNDER THE LATER EMPIRE
;

217

endeavour to nurse back to health the stricken Jules de Goncourt just as, also, she more than once put a room in her country house at the service of the ungrateful Horace de
just as, in fact, she was always ready to shelter any of her friends who were in need of peace and fresh air to cure or check

Viel-Castel

;

the progress of their illnesses. At Saint-Gratien was completed the subjugation of Coppee by " this

admirable woman, whose mind was so

perfect and so quick, whose character was so deliciously amiable, so virile in its sureness,

whose heart was so pure and noble." Here he saw her in her studio, with the paintbrush in her strikingly beautiful hand, or walking in her park with her crowd of little
society of clever men, always ready to please or help them, eager to learn, listening much, speaking little, and

dogs, "

happy in

the

then only to interject in the conversation, in the brief, decided tone of the Bonapartes, just the right word, often amusing and picturesque, never malicious or stupid, always full of

common-sense and truth."
Coppee
insists

upon

the

difficulty

of

the

Princess's task as hostess in such a society as

she grouped about her, the care with which she had to distribute her praises, to soothe

and console wounded
benefits.

From

bestow her the results could be judged
vanities,

to

how

well she surmounted the difficulty, what

218

THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE

were grace and tact and benevolent activity hers to inspire in the hearts of so many and so different men a sentiment which varied in
its

tenderness and

its

quality was proved by
all cases, the

depth, but whose superior its surviving, in almost

misfortunes of her

who

inspired

it.

CHAPTER XVIII
THE DOWNFALL
In her earlier days the Princess Mathilde had often been accused of holding advanced, even revolutionary, ideas. She had herself at times,
half jestingly, spoken of turning Red Republican ; and later, by no means in jest, she had com-

plained of the influence upon the
his

Emperor

of

reactionary Unfortunately none of her many friends thought it worth

wife's

ideas.

while to record her opinion when confronted with Napoleon's pendulum-swing towards the
Liberal Empire. Her treatment of Sainte-Beuve, when he made the relaxation of the Press laws

the occasion of the transference of his services to the Temps, we have seen. With all her

independence of speech she found it hard to understand the beauties of a free and unfettered Press. At the very time of her quarrel with Sainte-Beuve she was suffering sadly over the
attacks

made upon Nieuwerkerke, who had

become, in the words of Jules de Goncourt,
the Saint Sebastian of the minor newspapers.

He was

attacked in his capacity of head of
219

and with Ollivier as his adviser Napoleon III. and there was fear among his friends that he would be thrown to the wolves. one serious mistake on which the enemy seized. Prince Pierre Bonaparte was visited in his house at Auteuil by a young journalist who express.220 THE PRINCESS MATHILUE BONAPARTE the Louvre. self-defence. when he was misled in purchasing a spurious sixteenth-century " treasure". Two violent words were exchanged. he asserted The young man was a worthless blackguard. called himself Victor Noir . — — 1 It is true that the formation of a special Ministry of the Fine Arts in early 1870 greatly reduced the importance of his functions. and it was Rouher and his frequent loans of 1 his fellow Ministers who went. being. the Prince fired at the other in and Noir was killed. one incident of the day we may imagine Upon that the Princess had a strong opinion to days before the Ollivier Ministry took up office at the beginning of January 1870. to " of the show us how " the little Socialists Rue de Courcelles talked with reference to the change. but Pierre Bonaparte had always been unpopular. was not important enough as a sacrifice. attempted to secure the continuance few pages of his dynasty upon the throne. The Goncourt journal is silent. however. to appease the The Liberal Empire came into Opposition. A of Viel-Castel would have been welcome. . Nieuwerkerke. He had made and Louvre pictures for exhibitions elsewhere were strongly condemned.

The trouble which he brought upon his whole family must have incensed her highly. it will be remembered. But nowadays princes are outside the right. fought. and tell him Pietri. what decent people in England think about the matter. and ever since then the Princess Mathilde had been at enmity with him. Empress's household. have written to the Princess Mathilde." says Merim^e to " and to a certain member of the Panizzi.' pale of the law. a very good fellow. and I doubt his coming across ' judges brave enough to acquit him. I think you might write to the Emperor's secretary." decent M^rimee obviously considers that people in England do not unduly : condemn Prince Pierre. who will probably show her my letter." To Merimee Pierre Napoleon is " a thoroughly mixture of the Roman prince and the Corsican. It seems from a letter of Prosper MerimeVs that he endeavoured to persuade the Princess " I to take another point of view.THE DOWNFALL 221 and the enemies of the Empire seized upon the affair with avidity as a weapon against the whole family. for he himself says " If he were judged as a simple citizen by a of petty tradesmen the verdict would jury Served him [Victor Noir] undoubtedly be. Now Prince Pierre. and wounded Nieuwerkerke in 1851 for refusing to be his brother's second in a duel with Count Rossi. was the man who had chal- lenged. but destitute unique .

Discussing 1 the Calniette affair. the writer came upon a curious echo of the Victor Noir case.stricken valet. and was thrown from leg. francs. and the Emperor was among the guests. as was natural in one who had long He saw Houssaye youth behind him. contrary to Merimee's expectation. acquaintances now." He tells a story of how he rode out once in the depth of a snowy night to fetch a doctor for his cholera. the wall between Gautier and La standing by left On the day the above two paragraphs were written. his horse. breaking his Whether Merim6e succeeded the Princess of in convincing that she ought to take up an family solidarity about Prince we do not hear. . giving a large party. and was the Superior of the nuns working in the prison of Saint-Joseph at Lyon until the laicisation of all the French public institutions put an end to her labours there. 1 a record of one political conversation in the Princess Mathilde's salon in the momentous year 1870 but the Princess herself does not figure among the speakers. The story The Princess was is told by Arsene Houssaye. and sought for familiar faces. The trial resulted. what became of Noir's fiancee 1 giving as the answer that she was known religiously as Sister Saint-Bruno.222 of THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE brains. He avoided making new There is . in the Prince's acquittal on the charge of murder but he was ordered to pay Noir's family a compensation for his death of twenty-five thousand attitude Pierre's case . a French newspaper raised the question.

M." said the Emperor. They were discussing the domestic politics of the day. of liberty. Arsene Houssaye." said Houssaye. But. "that is pleased." " no one This conversation took place but a little time before the outbreak of the fatal war. and came up to speak to them. the Emperor should carry out his ideas with his own faithful friends. it was objected. "Why do you see things so black ? " I do not see them black. but La Gueronniere detained him. yet before any suspicion of coming events crossed the minds . I see. proclaiming the birth of a new era. " but an enemy when cast out upon the street ! Oh. "Liberty. such as Rouher ("the Minister who died poor. to the ideas of which all writers should apply their pens. Napoleon chaffed Houssaye on his opposition.THE DOWNFALL 223 Gueronniere. The revolutionaries had all bestirred themselves when so much noise was made in the name for him) and Persigny. whatever the head of the State may do. you are making phrases. but red " was the reply. Napoleon was turning away with an ! impatient movement. Sire. " " he asked. I have read the Bistoire de CfoarV "All this proves. "Sire. "is a friend when one knows how to give and take. with obvious annoyance." in the words of an epitaph suggested The new Ministry looked like a power independent of him." retorted Napoleon. Houssaye and Gautier speaking against and La Gueronniere for the Liberal Empire.

She hut once.224 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE world in general. if ' to Germany.. to members of her mother's family. and indeed criminal. to avert the war of 1870. as in so many things. in the . I could only prevent him " conspiring against himself! " The extent of the Princess's " conspiracy is not clear. of the idea was sincere and profound. c'est la paix. which made she was one this quarrel peculiarly unwelcome. Her deprecating an appeal to the sword. remarked to me then. The one war which she had advocated was that on behalf of the freedom of Italy and even then she had occasional hesitations. with reference to her cousin Napo: leon III. on the eve of the Emperor's departure South. as when in 1862 she asked Count Nigra. The arose. uncalled for. of the speaking of her anxiety that there should not " There are no he a rupture with Prussia. of those who believed in the motto. she was in agreement with her brother. says She conspired conspiracies at the Princess's. L'Empire. dislike Apart from the German blood in her veins. Prince Napoleon was engaged in . same writer whom we have just heen quoting. whether Italy's appetite was not perhaps too big when she tried to swallow A war with Prussia seemed to her Rome. When the spectre the Princess Mathilde was aghast. though she appears to have written ' Oh. Here. in one of her clean-cut phrases. a cruise along the Norwegian coast.

and on the morning of the 28th Napoleon and the Prince Imperial left for the front. Goncourt. The famous Council of Saint-Cloud was on July 14. During the terrible days of August the Princess Mathilde disappears from our sight. when the rupture occurred. The farewell of Napoleon to his cousin Mathilde was also the last occasion on which they were ever to meet. A few vivid sketches there are in the Journal of the agony of Paris. whereon he gave immediate orders to the captain of his yacht to get up full steam. Prince ? " asked the " For Bedlam " was the reply. The little prince. but of the effect of the national disasters Edmond de upon the on Princess not a word. on the 26th the Empress Eugenie was appointed Regent during the Emperor's absence. prostrated with grief over his brother's death. I Prince was not wont to leave people in doubt as to his views. 15 All we know is that. The captain. events moved very quickly in the end. If the realisation had been slow in coming that there was to be a war. telegram from the Emperor reached him at Tromsoe. tells us nothing about her at this time. she was to see again at his father's funeral. neither of them destined ever to see Paris again. " Where are we bound for.THE DOWNFALL 225 A company of llcnan. . going to that "baptism of " fire which was so undeservedly ridiculed a few weeks later.

she hastened away from Paris as the tember Much has been made by secretly as possible. her home in the Rue de Courcelles and her intimacy with Emilion de Nieuwerkerke. " " and the They shall be ready in an hour — Prince set off to meet his wife. for Clothilde But the comparison is unjust. in contrast to the behaviour of the Empress and various members of the in driving Imperial family. With the flight from Paris. to secure army for Erance. no. " " said the Oh. It . the Princess Mathilde cut herself off from two things which had played a great part in her life for many years. of which we look in vain for any details. having vainly tried to to fulfil a mission entrusted Italian of him by his cousin. When Sedan reached Florence. writers of the bravery of the Princess Clothilde away openly. the aid of the the fatal news the head of the Italian Cabinet hinted at the envoy's departure. was scarcely in danger even at the hands of a Paris mob. Her unpopular husband was at the time in Plorence. Could the same be said of Eugenie and Mathilde ? The dastardly attacks made on them in print showed to what But consideration they were thought entitled. no one attacked the Italian princess. No. and last of all." replied " Give me my passports. so you are packing me off ? " the Minister politely. Prince. through the streets of Paris." said the Prince.226 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE proclamation of the Republic on Sep4.

The scandalous offer of Jerome to furnish infidelity him with proofs of Mathilde's brought him no advantage. near Lucca. Towards life the end of his he bought Napoleon's villa . the shall We hear mention of his name once. 1892. before his death on January 16. In 1870 died the miserable Anatole Demidoff. who had been for so long a wreck and a byword. He seems never to have made any attempt to disobey the order of the Tsar Nicholas I. but once only. By a curious coincidence the same year which saw the end of the Princess Mathilde's liaison with Count Nieuwerkerke also left her a widow. He was well provided with money. Nieuwerkerke went South. From henceforward never been. but if so we know nothing of it. devoting special attention period of the Italian Renascence. but was not seen at the Princess's house. Prince of San Donato. his days.THE DOWNFALL is 227 curious that the lover apparently stepped out of his place and all was at an end at once. Soon afterwards we find him established in a luxu- Here he rious villa at Gattajola. to avoid the neighbourhood of his wife. What we do possible. that there had been an interruption of the friendship before the catastrophe of September 1870. know is that while the Princess set off North in September. It is it was as though he had of course. and lived surrounded by to art- treasures. He spent most of the remainder of revisited Paris in 1885.

228 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE of on the island Elba. " What nephew Paul. extravagance. has been suggested. apart from what was devoted to keeping up the Princess Mathilde's income. and the .. went to his remained and his bare life. hoping thereby. Alexander II. is reported to is have said to him on hearing the use of it now ? his to Demidoff were So the Prince died without seeing again her whom he had once so much wronged. and turned it into a museum it of Napoleonic relics. who was already well known tastes in Paris for his wealth. His estate. money for all that " — of this. to touch his wife's heart. The Tsar of the day. his which he shared with the rest of his family.

The Princess Caroline Murat." " Loulou " the Prince Imperial inquiry after follows. is " I my broken. where Alexandre Dumas the younger put his house at her disposal. " Have you seen Napoleon ? They 229 . As heart for herself. the Princess Mathilde speaks of a visit to the Queen of Holland. From here she proceeded secretly to the Belgian frontier. first made her way to Dieppe. and in October we find her at Mons.CHAPTER XIX EXILE AND RETURN The fugitive Princess. In the other letters from Mons she again asks about the boy. I really do not care. ing where to go and not wishing to leave An anxious besides. I am horribly sad and remain here. In the first. dated October 9. and also about the — — Emperor. and her brother in London. not know. and publishes in My Memories four of her aunt's letters written in Mons and one from Brussels in November. who had escaped to England. having escaped from the dangers of Paris. was in communication with her. the Empress. who had been even more affectionate to her than of old.

" The last of the five letters is Rue more d'Artois. and I have not even the hope dated 15. " I do not wish to go away.230 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE that spends all his evenings with " Madame a pretty pastime Not even her great sorrow could close the Princess's ears to scandal about her scapegrace brother. ! he Princess Caroline had been commissioned to look for a house for her aunt in Brighton. She seems : to appreciate the Empress England. that of Paris. when ! " . Eugenie's efforts after her flight to " All has been caused for she adds . but could find none whose rent was not exorbitant. She gave up a game which was still playable. but at the end of October Mathilde had decided not to visit England. by Jler. Brussels. and that the memory of eighteen years' prosperity will not be entirely wiped out. say . and after the capitulation of Metz I am awaiting than ever . after all Owing to her decision not to cross the Channel the Princess was not present at that notable scene in the March after Sedan. November 28. She wrote that there was one in London which might suit. and hopeful in tone. they tell me let us hope she will be better inspired and happier than on the 4th [of September]. is better days. The Princess thinks first that the days against the dynasty animosity of the no longer exists. there is nothing left I am sadder but our comof plete ruin. But.

share whatever in the curious intrigues which were being carried on at the time in Brussels to promote an Imperial restoration." and there were others like him. in response to a direct application from her. never saw in exile the cousin whose wife it had lain in her power to be. have heard of " Citizen Vindex. and willing. Among those assembled at Dover to receive the Emperor on his release from captivity at Wilhelmshohe was Prince Napoleon son of him whose palace Wilhelmshohe once had been. very homesick. indeed. Among the plotters of the H6tel de Elandre her name does not appear. and. for all her Napoleonatrie. Some We of the newspapers did not hesitate to publish a statement that the Princess had been caught red-handed in September attempting to carry . During the first storm of revolutionary insolence she had not been the least of the sufferers among her family from the vile pen of the libeller.EXILE AND RETURN the of 231 unhappy man who had gained his last name obloquy on September 2 landed in England. own Her old restoration in the following friend Thiers. Her reward came to her in the — shape of her summer. But Jerome's daughter was not present. In Brussels the Princess Mathilde stayed for the whole of the winter of 1870-1. once more came to her aid and brought her out of exile again. to return to Erance under a Republican GovernShe is not known to have taken any ment.

facing No. She was parched with thirst. 1871. not indeed to her Paris home. Goncourt paid his first Saint-Gratien again after the great visit In one of the already mentioned disaster. reached the Rue de Courcelles she was tired and sank down upon a bench in the street. 1871. its gates open as in the days when the guests' carriages drove up in search of rational pleasure. On July to letters to her niece Caroline the Princess had . The melancholy fourth volume of the Journal des Goncourt. mourning alike his brother's death and the downfall of France. and at last the harmless Princess came back. 24 but dared not venture to show herself. but to her beloved Saint-Gratien. whose shop she had so often passed at the height of her out. When she being unable to find a carriage. prosperity. She got out of the train at the Gare du Nord and was obliged to walk all the way to her old home. the property of the Republic reptiles exhausted their venom in a But such few months. and so sent her maid Julie for a glass of currant-syrup at a neighbouring wine-merchant's. in which the writer mentions passing the Princess's house in the Rue de Courcelles. has an entry on January 20. the first of those kept by Edmond. 1.THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE away from the Tuileries several cases of coined ! gold. Years later he heard from the Princess herself the story of her coming back to Paris.

and which shows itself in the way in which she shakes hands. all its windows. and found the 'occupied' residence of Prince Louis's celebrated aunt and the beautiful grounds very pleasant in those golden autumn days of the Terrible Year." fered from the ' Saint-Gratien had indeed suf- badly that its Doors and windows could be restored. Edward Legge. but now she knew. a sentry-box was and ambulance-wagons were about the grounds. : : " 1 . 2 occupation. with the Saxon troops. again. p. The innocent suffer for the guilty. 107). which wards. met Goncourt " with that animation which is peculiar to her. says of the Empire's fall had so many victims. at St. heads were at at the door. and a powerful influence had prevented pillage of the contents. was its by July. author of The Empress Euge'nie. She was present only in the body. writes By the fortune of war I was quartered. 1870" 1910. her soul was far away . the Princess was certainly the most in" nocent of them all (Souvenirs d'un Parisien. Gratien in 1870. but not so mistress could not return to it German Catinat looked like a barracks. 2 Mr.EXILE AND RETURN written " : 233 I daily expect to hear that SaintGratien has been sacked." She hurried him out for a walk in the grounds and began to tell him of her sufferings in Belgium the only narrative which we have of old self again The Princess — this period of her life : She told me that she was for a long time unable to account for what was going on within her in Belgium. The chateau. however. writing of course without knowledge of though he may have heard her use the phrase after" In this catastrophe." this letter. Francois Coppee.

she imagined herself in her home in Paris. individual liberty. As I complimented her on her good was not always so there has been a strange and terrible time when. it . How well people know us Should I conspire and come here to do it ? They are unaware that all I have asked for is the safe- guarding of ' my At person and of Saint-Gratien. which had so marked her of conversation. such as the winter-cold. my jaws were so set that really it was a torture to speak. indeed.' as I wrote to M. she said * : Ah. that every morning. "Just imagine. which drove her to take to her bed to keep warm and to hold conversations with her friends through the open door. as though to lull her wrath to sleep.' spirits. Some of her old .234 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE so much so. "there is a rumour at Saint-Gratien that the Empress ! is hidden here." she said." At this moment some one came to the Princess with a message. through all that I had passed through. Prom some sudden movement her hand or foot or body one could guess the indignation within her soul ready to explode but at once she would close her eyes." my the end of to August Goncourt paid another visit Saint-Gratien. . He remarks on change in the Princess since the old days the long silences. when she awoke. And then she talked much of the petty miseries of life there. Thiers. the absence of the lively sallies — the and frank criticisms. She turned to Gon court with a frown.

and Soulie\ The last was full of the disgraceful condition of Ver- sailles in the hands of the Republicans. that information is at times rather scanty. 1873. The death event Goncourt makes no allusion whatof the Emperor Napoleon III. the younger Dumas. a subject which can scarcely have added to the Princess's calm mind. relief from his malady. the Benedettis. was too late to see his father's last moments. hurrying from Woolwich. This matters less because the course days after her return to Prance now became even more regular than it had been under the Empire. after the third of three operations intended to give him The Empress was present at the death-bed. and though his Journal continues to give us information about her down to the of Edmond year 1895. January 9. arrived in London at the end of the week. The Princess Caroline Murat describes her as .EXILE AND RETURN 235 friends were visitors at the house. The Prince Imperial. absent relatives to attend the funeral at Chisle- hurst on the 15th day of the month. The body was and a summons was sent to the embalmed. The Princess Mathilde. took place on Thursday. and anything which might To the be called an event was indeed rare. de Goncourt is now the only regular chronicler whom we have of the life of the Princess. and put up at Thomas's Hotel in Berkeley Square. with a small suite. of her first real ever.

went in together to the chapelle-ardente. both clad in heavy crepe. which he had taken in 1870. Then followed a really wonderful demonstraThe lying-in-state had been announced tion.236 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE " at very cross and very sorry for herself in a country for which she had no liking. to end at 7 o'clock. On Sunday. and on Tuesday now in England presented themselves at Camden Place to view the lying-in-state. Early on the morning of the 15th the corridors of and ante-rooms with the Camden Place were crowded distinguished men present for the of . the Princesses Mathilde and Clothilde. Mary's. but the sealing of the outer shell and the arrangement later before the members of the Imperial family the pall and catafalque were not finished before midnight. and it was more than two hours they could all be passed through the draped corridor to the room where the late Emperor lay. January 12. the Prince having no longer the house near Hyde Park. but no less than seventeen thousand people had come to Chislehurst to pay their respects. After the Prince Imperial and the other princes had taken their last look at the dead.30 the coffin was closed by the undertakers. Mathilde was among the congregation at the special " service at all St. being Prince Napoleon with his wife and family arrived about the same time and went to Claridge's. Chislehurst. At last at 9.

and Kouher. most of them wearing bunches of violets and many carrying wreaths of yellow immortelles. Ambassadors. The hearse. in the main English. worn out by her long vigil beside the coffin. the crowd outside. kept growing until the halfmile between the lodge and the chapel of St. The Empress herself.EXILE AND RETURN funeral. and Deputies. For the chapel itself only one hundred and eighty tickets had been issued. and by 10 o'clock the grounds were packed. Furthermore. de Saint-Arnaud. and draped with a black velvet pall embossed with the Imperial crown and arms. set out for the chapel followed by a procession six hundred strong. half-past ten the Princesses Mathilde and Clothilde arrived and were conducted to seats within the chancel. all men. every single member of the Imperial household as it had been before the Franco- Prussian War. 237 All Frenchmen wishing to join the procession were admitted through the lodgegates. Mesdames de Fleury. drawn by eight black horses. the Duchess of Mouchy. At 11 o'clock . the Marquise de Lavalette. Canrobert. was not present. The first to arrive at the chapel were the ladies of her household. Mary was thickly lined on both sides of the road. and dozens of former Ministers. but remained shut up in her room with a few attendants. and others having been shown at to their places. The Duchess of Malakoff. including the Imperial princes. Councillors of State.

the coffin was borne it. enveloped in a black cloak. and there are tears in the men's eyes. proceeded down the nave and to the churchyard-gate to meet the procession. with crucifix and candles. The Mass began. The coffin is loaded with . Preceded by the Bishop of Southwark. Lucien and Charles Bonaparte. and still farther on the Princesses Mathilde and Clothilde. him Prince Napoleon. Monseigneur Bauer. and the Princes Murat. etc. and close by their seats . Prince Napoleon's massive head is seen above and beyond. " The Prince Imperial stands pale and motionless near the coffin. nearest the coffin. and half an hour later Father Goddard and his attendants. the initial N. now consisting of at least a thousand Frenchmen. Many ladies hold handkerchiefs to their faces. together with representatives of Queen Victoria and the Prince of Wales. whether they allow them or not. "There is a thin mist of rising incense. Farther off could be seen the bearers of most of the historic names of the Second Empire who Princes still lived to testify to the loyalty of their hearts. a deputation of Italian officers sent over hy King Victor Emmanuel. and other ecclesiastics.238 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE the altar-candles were lighted. The Princes now took the Prince Imperial. up to the pedestal prepared for covered with a purple pall divided by a broad gold cloth and worked with the crown. and the golden bees of the Empire." says a contemporary account.

looking into the gloomy recess in which the coffin of the Emperor.EXILE AND RETURN 239 wreaths exquisitely made of violets and white roses. on English soil 1 had had greatness thrust upon them and become the shrines of A King of France (Louis-Philippe) dissenting political faiths. and the great Imperial crown worked in gold disappears as the pall is turned over the lid. as they make the pious gesture. Chislehurst. . as they carry the coffin through an archway in the chapel-wall. and. The beautiful flowers are again heaped on the lid. the others on foot. The writer of the article comments on the fact that within the short space of twenty-two years two churches. sprinkling the holy water and signing the cross." ' Times. or rather two small wayside chapels. most of them first passing before the grating. mortelles. Mary's. and the grated gate is closed. Mary's. The organ plays the De Profundis as the mourners leave the chapel. is hidden by flowers. so busy and unfathomable. Weybridge. lay for many years at St. January 16. . . . once so great and feared. Then they leave the church in order. and place it on a low pedestal in a temporary structure built over a vault into which it will be lowered.water brush from the acolyte. The Prince Imperial and the other princes kneel before it in succession. and then the wreaths are taken off the coffin. and now an Emperor of the French lay at St. the Prince Imperial and Prince Napoleon returning in a carriage. and with great yellow rings of imThe Absolution is pronounced. 1873. taking the holy. Slowly the music plays.

was greeted with a cry of Vive Napoleon IV. were on good terms with the mistress of the exiled Court of Chislehurst. Two months later. coming out to thank the crowd still waiting in the grounds for their attendance at " the funeral. occurred a ceremony at which the presence of the same three persons might have been expected. In honour of the occasion six hundred loyalists came over to England to pay — — Napoleon IV. and another seldom. Imperial. On the first anniversary of the Emperor's death numerous The Paris churches held special services. or at least. their respects to " — . January 15 remained for some years a notable date in the Bonapartist calendar."—among them being Count Nieuwerkerke and many more gathered together from London and other parts The Imperial family was well of the country. The Prince Imperial came of age. 1874. in the company of Prince Napoleon parens deorum cultor et infrequens and his wife Clothilde. Princess Mathilde was seen at the church of " Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois. causing him to hasten indoors again in a state of great emotion. heard The Prince by the Princess Mathilde. being now eighteen.240 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE The remarkable demonstration which followed the return of the Imperial party to Camden Place must have been seen. I which was immediately echoed on every side. on March 16. did we not know that of them one never.

" and affirmed that " the happiness of France is of higher importance than the personal claims of any dynasty. there was nothing to be seen that was of the slightest value. and especially the copy of a treaty between France and Austria for common action in the event of a war with Prussia. who. " those in which he dissociated himself from whose counsels are followed at Chislehurst. broke all the seals for him." Prince Napoleon had left Camden Place on the day of the Emperor's funeral. or rather a friend acting on his behalf.EXILE AND RETURN 241 represented by princes and princesses living in England . Papers which the Prince had expected were not there. as a matter of fact. everything the Empress's secretary. What had happened was that. but the branch of Jerome Bonaparte had no representative present. declining to have anything to do with the Prince Imperial's education. on he had been conducted into the presence of the Empress. his arrival. But. Pietri accompanied him into the room. Here he found that was sealed with the seal of Pietri. invited him to proceed forthwith to an inventory of his papers. The Prince consented and went to the study. after a little conversation about the last moments of his cousin. and made a great show of putting every thing at his disposal. which he had felt certain would be in to find 16 . Prince Napoleon. issued through the Press an explanation of his absence.

having attended the funeral. The Prince turned was useless to go any farther. and.242 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE particular one drawer. saying it as there Paris. . peace again among the Bonapartists till Prince Napoleon died. after making his declaration with regard There was no real to the Prince Imperial. immediately set off hack to aside. was nothing for him to do.

that is to say. except in comparison with what had been hers since the end of 1861. to dependence upon the Demidoff money." very elegant and in exquisite "We can almost imagine that by mistake we have picked up a wrong volume of the Journal 243 . but remained taste. Francois Coppee writes of the effect which this had upon her " Though her resources were much diminished. she made not the least economy in her charitable expenditure. This did not make her a poor woman. From seven hundred thousand francs her income dropped back to two hundred thousand. The style of her home-life still was less magnificent. lost also her two grants from the Civil She List and was reduced once more to the condition in which she had been before Louis-Napoleon became Emperor of the French. notably. YET THE SAME The Princess Mathilde lost more than her rank of Imperial Highness by the revolution. to : provide for the costly upkeep of the hospital for crippled children which she had founded.CHAPTER XX CHANGED. and continued.

the poet of all things fluid. in the now established in her last Paris Rue de Berri. but the faithful to art. and those did not belong to the intellectual aristocracy. Edmond de Goncourt's entry of 1872. says of " the Rue de Berri that. Here she set up again the salon which she had founded in the Rue de Courcelles and carried it on as long as she lived. . still the tact and wit of a superior woman attracted all tbe faithful not only the .. received now the refor with very ward for her life of kindness . A we call them now. as it has been called. However. and science. Ernest Pinard. as hastened again to her. charming rare exceptions." . though death had made many gaps and black hair had turned white." Another writer. for baseness of heart ever goes with mediocrity of brain. faithful to the Empire. we are not at the Rue de Courcelles home. of the " The noble and Princess Mathilde's. poet of the mists — and clouds and the Princess sea.244 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE to when we turn on February 7. " woman. It is astonishing what little difference was caused by the Empire's fall to this institution." says Coppee. letters.. no doubt deserted her and turned to the great ones of the new regime. all her guests of the old days few arrivists." . and read an evening party at the Princess's. But the number was very small. with Theophile Gautier vigorously defending Victor Hugo against all the world " the great Hugo.

as soon as the meal was finished. One feeling. went off. and . if you were to go to the Cercle Imperiale. She scarcely paid attention to what was going on around her or had a word for any one whom politeness brought to her side. had been cold and constrained. Empire in Paris Such Imearly seventies were few. all of oppressed by thoughts of what was happening at the trial. is anything known yet ? As evening wore on and no one brought any news. if I wore trousers. might hear something. perialism as still dwelt there went with bated in the breath and on tiptoe at the beginning. and and discussion of political subjects was dangerous. I am sure I should go everywhere and find out everything. France.CHANGED. however. she would lift her head and ask. The is disgrace of Princess felt this as keenly as any at shame the an interesting picture that is drawn of her in the Journal des Goncourt on the last night of Marshal Bazaine's trial for the It surrender evening The dinner-party that Metz." Theophile's son. one. came fresh guests in. of " " the faithful to the course. Come. she grew impatient and suddenly exclaimed " You men are simply astounding. YET THE SAME 245 This was written considerably later . The Princess. united Imperialists anti-Imperialists. young Gautier. " " As the Well. betook herself to her needlework. perhaps you The young Gautier. was long absent. No one : knows anything ! "Why. for.

He characteristically. dropped in unexpectedly to dinner. his effect.246 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE came back with the to at last sentence. Her step was quick and almost military. made him walk up and down it at her side. One evening. while the rest of the company sat round aloud. Goncourt went down to Saint-Gratien again for a few days." she said. When he entered. on which. October 1874. " when they only come singly. but when there are many. Goncourt He found the Princess lying on the large divan in the studio. Goncourt's story ends. are left unsatisfied. taking him into the neighbouring room. Two more pictures belonging to the early days of the Third Republic are full of interest. as we have heard. and we who should like to has got hear the Princess's comment. she sprang up from the divan and. one after another. fully. it causes you to reflect sorrowlife's " deceptions." him with not coming having reproached house as he did at other people's. the Princess . to stay at her A week later. of The scene of both is Saint-Gratien. bringing with him a copy of Daudet's Fromont jeune et In the evening some one read this Misler atnS. even at the cost demned an anti-climax. " Con- death unanimously. it was her towards the end of custom to give herself up to reflection when twilight came on. and she discoursed to him about It almost makes you want to laugh." And here.

and began to drop upon spots of water-colour paint to produce the effect of marbling.CHANGED. Tearing a sheet from a sketching-block. The Princess. seized the paint-box from him. With his artistic catastrophe 1870. which he had damped. looked at him for a moment. only appears as a character in her story after the beginning of A few years her junior. with the feverish interest of a child. but also as a graceful poet and as translator of Francesco Colonna's Hypnerotomachia. she commenced to decorate it in imitation of Popelin. She covered sheet after sheet with extraordinary and startling Soon green and carmine patches patterns. of and the and literary contemporaries he was a favourite. who started the idea that pleased the Princess so much this evening. Goncourt told her of the method of veining wood. In the middle of the reading Claudius Popelin took some pieces of paper. so wideawake is she and so interested. YET THE SAME and 247 listened. spattered themselves over her white cashmere dress. She does not notice the lateness of the hour. their friendship is obscure. and uncharitable gossip . he had made a name for himself not only as painter and enameller. The Princess Mathilde made no concealment of her liking for him. them and then suddenly. with a cat-like pounce. sitting with half-closed eyes. whereon she tore a comb from her hair and set to work to streak her designs with it. Claudius Popelin.

as might be supposed from some accounts. had some. not protect her against such attacks as could this. she had no care. a beguiled have done young man. however. contradict it. 1879. she liked to assert her proprietorship For discretion. also an artist who was an — — occasional visitor at her house. in this respect. The household of the Princess was much in these days from what it had been changed . others of her friends. if only because she was a Bonaparte doubtless consoled themselves with the sneer — — that to if she had not married Popelin she ought Her more than fifty years so. It is not worth while. in a letter appearing in the Figaro Her enemies for she still of January 5. including old with many Giraud. The those Princess's frank and affectionate nature laid her very who did open to being misunderstood by not resemble her. inspired by whom we The Princess promptly wrote to cannot say. but a widower with a grown-up son Gustave. to waste space in combating the insinuations of a few malicious tongues. whether the As misunderstanding was genuine or wilful. nor the fact that Popelin was not.248 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE him the same assigned to place in her household which Count Nieuwerkerke had held under the She was even credited with having Empire. the new edition of the Almanack de Got ha gave currency to the story. In 1879 taken him as her second husband. over Popelin.

Only Eugene Giraud remained as a memorial of the old days. must take from Goncourt one more picture also to we hear the interior of Saint-Gratien in 1874. Gradually silence in the studio. but there was still a staff of some dimensions. prevails Nothing can be heard but General Chaucard's indiarubber as he rubs something out. It is 2 o'clock and the Princess has settled down in her studio to a portrait which she is " painting of the writer. the cuckooclock. YET THE SAME 249 under the Empire. and Miles. ! who seems lously. by way of a funeral encomium " The General had every good quality. an excellent woman who like a cross-grained nurse". on whose death she said. Dejeuner is over. Philippe Rousseau. described by Goncourt as the actress with the moustache. took the place of Hebert.CHANGED. the conversation has flagged. and the newspapers have all been skimmed. General Princess Bougenel. Another painter. and kept his place marvellously. the Baronne de Galbois. Popelin's pencil. and stifled sounds from . Abbatucci and Zeller. In all the years that he followed me as my chevalier d'honneur the looked : excellent In his man never once trod upon my train " stead now there was General Chaucard. the snoring dogs. for We of have kept his place marvellittle of him but his name. the had had a chevalier d'honneur. was always at his post. As an Imperial Highness. The ladies included Madame " Guyon.

The Princess works on.' The satin and the silks being brought. tinues. her embroidery.' Then he vanishes and returns to his painting of fancy costumes for Sardou's La Haine. Daylight fails. From time ' to time old or behind her finer' or Giraud's diabolic face appears over her shoulder arm with The nose must be 'That collar is too thin.250 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE the younger women. I to ' : without a moment's turns want to embroider something on it. and as she takes up her needle says Bring me that piece of white satin. The Princess works in busy absorption. to and it leading the end. rest. and she still she con- At last the sitting is over. wife of the Italian Ambassador in Paris "I : have many things to finish In the obituary notice of her which he contributed to the Figaro the younger Gautier " She had a horror of idleness. among which the Princess selects a tulip. though she was incapacitated from getting about. giggling like girls in a corner of the classroom. At once. Marvellous is the activity of this woman tact " ! This activity struck all who came remained a into con- with Only a fortnight before her death. and indeed had been in that condition for many weeks before. of body says ! : " . Popelin must make an instant hunt in the cupboards for his designs of flowers. plained pathetically to the Countess Tornielli. she comcharacteristic her.

. writing at the same " and Her time. kept everything in order. hours for charitable works. And at night. she sat working with her needle in the midst of her ladies. except when there was there came the painting a party. when she had given her audiences. she went through the rooms after the servants (well-trained and careful as they were). . or the history lesson.CHANGED. hours were regularly mapped out . " She superintended every little detail in her house." full of embroiderers. wearing a coquettish silk apron. In the morning." or the musiclesson. . 251 She was always busy. In the evening. afternoon. hours for paying or receiving visits. hours for painting. YET THE SAME as well as of mind." says Ernest Lavisse. lesson. according to the day. especially at Saint-Gratien. One never saw her . she presided over a workroom idle. hours for music. dusting the ornaments on the shelves and putting every In the piece of furniture in its right place.

252 . by the celebrated Madame de Genlis. and from this we take the liberty of abstract' 1 Republished in the volume entitled Jadis.CHAPTER XXI THE NEW PARIS HOME in the Rue de Berri in which the Mathilde was to pass the greater portion of each year in the last three decades of her life had once been occupied. On her death in 1904 M. of sufficient size to hold the treasures which had fortunately escaped the hands of the Prussians and the revolutionaries alike. But if not imposing from outside all that could be seen from the street being the outbuildings and domestic offices it was what the house-agents call a large and commodious The house Princess — — residence. and to welcome the guests of the Princess. or stood on the site of a house occupied. Frederic Masson wrote a preface to the catalogue prepared for the sale of her belongings (apart from the family relics). It was not as sumptuous as that in the Rue de Courcelles where the Princess had reigned as Imperial Highness.

THE NEW PARIS HOME ing 253 some details about the house and its arrangement. the reviews. stands bearing Chinese vases. Between the street and the building proper Past the portal was a gravelled courtyard. Entering. sofas. and one of the four-seated centre ottomans which were Busts of Jerome. A with a red silk cloth. a new arrival came into a hall draped with the red hangings which the Princess so much loved. her work-basket. popular in those days. on which lay the illus- trated papers. between which the partition had been removed. and Josephine were along the walls on the white marble mantelpiece one of Madame Mere. arm- . night after dinner she would sit on her own particular sofa. In the first were an upright piano. the many little trinkets with which their owner was wont to play. and bonbonnieres. and near it Carpeaux's bust of the . large round table stood on the threshold of the second saloon. the other guests distributed among the chairs. covered Princess herself. Near this every scent-bottles. Hortense. copies of new books. with a half-circle of her most intimate friends on her left hand. spectacles. on the right and in front were doors painted with brilliant At the sides of the main door flower-designs. one was in a great gallery formed by the first and second receptionsaloons. on the right stood busts of Napoleon and Eugenie. On the left was the main staircase.

The walls were hung with red silk. entered both from the second and from the hall. Like the second saloon it special opened into the immense square conservatory— which was a conservatory inasmuch as it was built of iron. This room was not used except on occasions. in dull gold frames. In the third saloon. landscapes. these pictures were portraits of Prince Napoleon. etc. the chief picture was a portrait of a lady. which dominated all around. and on them were pictures of the modern school. Little chairs. but this was largely hidden by the number of portraits. family. English School. . and a toilet-set which had once belonged to Patiomkin was displayed on a large gilt piertable. Otherwise it was another saloon. and of young members of the walls were Among In the very centre of the conservatory.. other furniture was here. which the Princess left in her will to the Louvre . Its hung with red like the other rooms. except some great Chinese vases in the corners. and had in the middle four palms springing from great copper tubs of Eastern workmanship.. was roofed with glass. amid the palms. It had no windows but the doors leading into the garden. of the Princess herself (by Hebert and Doucet). one of them so big as to occupy a whole wall. there rose a tall grey marble column surmounted by a bronze bust of Napoleon I.254 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE and couches about the room.

a grand piano. making it suitable alike for private conversations and for listening furniture cut it up. enamels. while in glass cases were collections of snuff-boxes. sofas. A all multitude of and armchairs.THE NEW PARIS HOME 255 Along the walls were tables carrying vases from Sevres or Japan. were. including that Pope himself. and bordered with the insignia of various members of the Medici curious family. flanked by Guillaume's busts of King Jerome and Prince Napoleon. writing-tables. but the walls were hung with some most magnificent tapestries made originally for Pope Leo X. stood about the room in the arrangement of which was that the . The staircase leading up to the first-floor apartments was adorned with pictures from top to bottom. divans. A few Sevres vases on stands. On this floor there was a below. one of the largest of which was Gros's equestrian portrait of Queen Catherine of Westphalia. covered in red the chief feature silk. now at Versailles. couches. into six separate but communicating pieces. one side of the conservatory was the dining-room. as it music or speech. fixed candelabra. a fine Italian marriage-chest. and a Dutch clock were the only other decorations of the room. . in room corresponding to the hall which were hung most of the Prin- cess's own larger water-colours. At the farther end of this could to On be seen Rochet's statue of Napoleon at Brienne.

particularly such as were connected with the great Emperor. and have received the respectful admiration of all the men ." he " and she passed with a gentle. Speaking of the charming effect of combined elegance and artistic taste produced by the Berri to shut herself Princess's it home M. Adjoining this room was the studio. and trinkets In the gallery corresponding to that on the ground floor the chief feature was the assembly of family portraits and relics. almost says. and the furniture of the room was peculiarly her own. and make her entry into the conser" vatory. It was here that the Princess preferred to receive her most intimate friends. . towards the middle of one of her evenings. she would have assumed one place without . speaking a word to each guest. Wherever she might have been she would have taken the lead over all the women. in which it became her custom in the Rue de for the up regularly twice a week whole day. leave the first reception- was necessary where she had been welcoming fresh arrivals. and bestowing on each the grace of her smile. which was her habitual seat. imperceptible movement through the midst of the groups. especially the sofa with the many coloured cushions. . dispute —the first. Masson to the full it says that to ap- to have preciate seen the mistress herself. saloon." .256 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE of all kinds. Every one rose at her approach.

and of a beauty that defied all rivalry. the Imperial diadem which suited her head so well. the stream of enormous diamonds. . that she overloaded herself with precious stones . from which. the wonderful fans in those divine ." It is recorded that after the sale by the Republic of the Crown jewels certain ladies who had made purchases came to the Rue de Berri one evening wearing ornaments that had belonged to the Imperial This was bad taste but the Princess showed her appreciation of it by putting only on her black pearls and nothing more. above Not all. seven-rowed collar of pearls. her shoulders flashed the light scarves she wore. Masson. her jewels. the diamond necklace with the rare setting. family. the long. too. or the diamond eagle which she wore on her bodice. her black-pearl necklace. and. the jewels were always of inestimable value. hands of hers. ample robes. is M. to proclaim her the require 17 It did not the . of bright silk. after the fashion of the Second Empire.THE NEW PARIS HOME : 257 Interesting. says M. the three-rowed pearl necklace given by the Emperor Napoleon to the Queen of Westphalia on her marriage. splendour of her jewellery. but on every occasion she had some ornament which no ordinary person could possess and every queen would envy. Her jewel-case seemed inexhaustible and whether she took out her . Masson's description " Full of her dress and jewellery dress became her beauty.

. was an occasional visitor at the house. her black apron. " Then there was no need of grand attire. but we hear of little to connect circle at this their names among the reminiscences of the Goncourt does not speak of him in reday. lation to the salon of the Rue de Berri until the year before of his his death. In no more to respect is the absence of her memoirs must have given be regretted than because they us so many pictures of a profoundly interesting Among the Princess's period. of diadems. Only let some one unwisely say a word against her divinities. Blanche. Napoleon and France. later literary friends was the unhappy Guy de Maupassant. and the famous people who made Among Frenchmen appearance there." It would be a hopeless task to attempt to collect the scattered references in the writings " of the later Mathildiens.258 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE Imperial Princess. and at the beginning of 1893 spoke of the worse signs which heralded the end. The Italian author Baron Lumbroso. when the sad mania are discussed there. and pearls on Caesar's niece. Dr. and perhaps still she would have seemed more majestic in her simple dress of hlue foulard with white spots. symptoms His physician." to the life of the Rue de their Berri. who were followers of the arts scarcely any one seems to have made his debut in the world until he had been received by the Princess. and the light suede gloves she wore on her hands.

I was very fond of him. I regret him deeply he was unpretending and staunch. Guy de Maupassant novelist. Mas- . publishes a brief but interesting note sent to himself by the Princess in 1901. " I saw him often at Saintwell. " I miss the human charm of this most precious thing the smiles of those with whom I am talking. Ambroise Thomas. This.THE NEW PARIS HOME 259 however. that of conversation. at least she could provide him in abundance with spirits." An interesting figure at the Princess's house to me was — was the blind painter Anastasi. Speaking of the musicians to be met at her house the Paris correspondent of the Times wrote in his obituary notice of her " Princess Mathilde among her many accomplishments did his : not number that of being a good musician." one remaining joy. very great. "And even here. and his loss Gratien. however." he able once told Goncourt. She used to say that she had had without success twelve masters of the piano. did not prevent her from extending her artistic protection to Gounod. if her smile was denied to him. and. when he was engaged on a book about the dead " I knew M. conversation with the living is in some ways like intercourse with disembodied The Princess made him a frequent guest." she wrote. He had but one pleasure left in life. In that night in — which I dwell. by whose misercondition the Princess was profoundly touched.

1851). and until quite lately she ' several times a year gave musical at homes. Trevise. It to is said that later it used to amuse her greatly of her innermost circle of hear the members friends of make the two flirtation sly allusion to the herself and the septuagenarians " " — Duke. at which we need not be surprised in view of what we have already heard " The English concerning her strong prejudice. The Princess's foreign visitors did not include many Britons. In his amusing work Iconoclasts " She set her face against the free and Mr. Cadore. noted that after 1870 the Princess Mathilde renewed her acquaintance with the sons of Louis-Philippe. came back to Prance. She extended her prejudice to Americans also. when they. James Huneker says easy democratic manners.' at which the most distinguished artists were to he heard. The Duke of Aumale was her favourite. Another figure to be met with in the first house in the Rue de Courcelles was the Marquis of Hertford. and because of this disliked the American invasion few of our countrymen crossed her doors. " Wilde seems to have gone to the Rue de poet 1 It will be remembered that the Duke of Hamilton was often her guest in her earlier days. Segur.260 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE senet. his description of the Marquis and the little Spanish dancer on May 25. and Verdi. for instance. Gramont. La TreAnd it is to he mo'ille." Among cracy that of the names which suggest an aristois not one of the arts we see those Rohan. too. But it does not take the fingers of two hands to count the Britons whose presence in the Princess's salons is recorded." : — . and the like. as might be imagined. in whose character Viel-Castel. 1 took great interest (see.

the Italian Minister of Finance. A comment of the Princess's on him. who.. . A reigning monarch II. open. One day Goncourt same time as arrived at the Princess's at the an old gentleman dressed in English style. his hair in the English fashion." she said. the prevailing rage in Italian society at the time being Anglo- mania. who visited the Princess was Oscar King of Sweden. he says what he has in his " He is not like other heart. after " He is meeting him at dinner. being in Paris in 1900.." fore her. In the spring of 1888 the Prince of Wales. "as a of reparation. from which he had not long re- turned." He does not appear to have been among the callers at the Rue de Berri. was on a visit to Paris. speaking French with an English accent hut he turned out to he Minghetti." replied the Princess. is interesting. She hunted the . who have always the air of having something to conceal. " I accept them. For it was the grandson Bernadotte. talking astonishingly of his impressions of America. he talks.THE NEW PARIS HOME 261 Berri. later King Edward VII. traitor to Napoleon. came to tell her that he could not leave without presenting his respects. who to the stood be- end her custom of entertaining either on Christmas Day or New Year's The Princess kept up Eve a gathering of friends for whom she made great preparations. princes.

has ever been made to feel the ' No man burden given with an equal grace and absence of effort as her presents to her friends. one or whom woman. But the Princess said to him. . etc. It was a day of festival The for all. and. with her noble manners and her noble heart. made the best Princess Mathilde would have of Empresses. displaying them to her guests at the chosen moment." "The writes another friend. Your but it is entered in the ledger of the Imperial Debt pension must be paid to you through me. she put under an obligation. ." public charities were — of the Princess's private purse. discretion. forgot to " grant Gautier a pension. Napoleon III. taken at haphazard . rugs." It is said that Gautier never knew until just before his death that the money really came out 1 Her of that obligation. . She was always giving. told them that all they saw was theirs. but especially for herself. Ernest Lavisse. bronzes. There is no better example of the Princess's "discretion" than in the case of Theophile Gautier." says Arsene " she loaded them with all that she Houssaye. seeming to be giving nothing. and if we hear less of them it is because she was unostentatious in her alms.. " And then and there. a great lady. let them take what pleased them most. had bought for them.262 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE shops for beautiful furniture." "The Princess Mathilde was generous. completest justice that could be done to her would be the publication of her account-book and she had for one year. but as . china. that certain mark of generosity.

THE NEW PARIS HOME 268 She did not talk about them. or if we find her speaking of her crippled girls' home. La bonne Princesse did not win her name by advertising her charity. the Asile Mathilde. And it was only by chance that a visitor. might find her in her park entertaining a school of poor little girls from Saint-Denis. it is only because a falling off in its revenues her own contribution to its upkeep never failed had caused her distress. going over to Saint-Gratien. — — .

and walking. losing a favourite relative. through the crowds of people all reading newspapers." Imperial. In the years 1879 and 1881 the Princess Mathilde was affected by two severe shocks. publicly known in Paris until the 20th of the month. Suddenly Camille Doucet met him. Goncourt " Death of read the headline the Prince : pursues this family of " Napoleon. and a very old friend. a fatality like that of old which clung to the family of Atreus. Edmond de Goncourt tells how on that day. which he handed to him with a mournful gesture. The Prince's death took place in Zululand young on June 1. he was returning from a visit to the cemetery. oblivious of what was going on about him. 1879 but the news was not . the anniversary of his brother's death.CHAPTER XXII TWO Once more we reach a LOSSES period in which the only events which call for chronicling are deaths. The relative was the Prince Imperial." he comments." " A fatality A demonstration was made by the Imperialists 264 . holding out a paper.

the Princess Mathilde. and. she laid upon the coffin a wreath of laurels Then she was conducted to the room where Prince Napoleon. the wreaths in the chapel hundred. attitude taken up in this country rendered the scene at Chislehurst even more remarkable. the day accompanied by the Princess Beatrice. They had not . first Napoleon and his sons. appointed for the funeral. and before she left in gold. morning of Saturday. was received by the Duke of Bassano. its walls draped with black. and other members of the family were awaiting her. the Duchess of Mouchy. July 12. Queen Victoria arrived from Windsor on the .TWO LOSSES 265 on the occasion of the burial of the young Prince's remains as remarkable as that at the and the official funeral of Napoleon III. his two sons. and each had kissed the coffin and laid a wreath upon it. Jerome Bonaparte had the same day that the Orontes reached England bringing the Prince Imperial's body from the Cape. then the Princess Mathilde. which had been fitted up in the picture-gallery of the Here for house. He led her at once to the chapelle-ardente. Including those which had been sent to Chislehurst by the various sovereigns of Europe. driving to Camden Place. The relatives had all paid their visit to the chapel earlier. numbered no of less than five The descendants left Paris on July 10. some time the Queen knelt.

all the Erenchmen present were in civilian attire. who arrived at Chislehurst in a train following Queen Victoria's. that is to say. Napoleon. the Duke of Edinburgh. All the troops present were drawn from the Woolwich garrison. [neither spoke to nor saw the Empress during the whole of this visit to England. all wore Artillery uniforms. been present the when to the Arsenal for formal and thence conveyed in state on a gun-carriage to Chislehurst . Mary's pairs of brown horses. in evening dress. and other British Princes. it may be noted. in honour of his connection with it.266 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE preliminary ceremonies the coffin was landed at Woolwich. but owing to the complete prostration of the Empress Eugenie the chief duties on the actual day of the funeral fell to Prince Napoleon and his sister. the bands struck up the Dead March grounds in Saul. each pair of which had a mounted Artilleryman riding on the right As it started from the and the left of it. The Prince of Wales. taken at identification. The Prince Imperial was given an Artillery funeral. representatives was striking. was taken from Camden Place to on a gun-carriage drawn by three St. The military aspect of most of the foreign In sharp contrast. Queen Victoria watched the departure then went into the house to see the bereaved and The coffin . having been attached as officer to an Artillery corps after leaving the Royal Military Academy.

266] .PKINCE VICTOR NAPOLEON IN YOUTH.

.

At 12 o'clock St. to the church. the ladies to whom places had entirely been allotted having already proceeded to St. and Cambridge. Connaught. the Duke of Bassano. and M. The number of people in the procession was not perhaps so great as at the burial of Napoleon III. in full pontificals. and the rest of the clergy. the Dukes of Edinburgh.TWO LOSSES 267 mother. he led the way for the bearers into . of South wark. the Crown Prince of Sweden and Norway. the Princes Lucien and NapoleonCharles Bonaparte. as she had done six years before. The pall-bearers were the Prince of Wales. but it was estimated that between thirty-five and forty thousand in all were at Chislehurst that day. The officers placed the coffin on their shoulders. and by the whole of the clergy. preceded by the cross-bearer. including the crowd gathered on the common to watch the coffin pass. "The The Bishop priests came out to meet the dead. and then. Mary's. Mary's was reached. in violet robes.. The Bishop sprinkled the coffin with holy water and recited De profundus. Rouher. Slowly the procession made its way towards the church. and the chief mourners Prince Napoleon and his two sons. was preceded by Monsignor Goddard. to the music of the military bands. who had come from Camden. remained shut up in her room and did not go The procession was composed of men. who. and Joachim and Louis Murat.

and the who were worshippers within heard with sudden shock the cadets fire their three volleys to the memory of their comrade. it became possible to see how illustriously it was tenanted. mourners passed The High Mass proceeded. within the Napoleon Chapel of mourners. of the elevation of the Host and chalice. just behind them. July . gentlemen . and lit up the sat beside her brother studious face of the young . Wales was gloom on the Princess Mathilde and nephews on the left. as 1 some of the loyalists bitterly 14. Behind stood a few itself. the Imperial of Princes on the in the left. Times. on Avhich the Imperial N. . The triple peal of the bell above the church told the great crowd perforce excluded from the little building and stood in the churchyard. the eyes grew accustomed to the gloom of the darkened little church. 1879. the catafalque before placed the body on The the sanctuary. in. hung throughout with sable cloth.268 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE The officers the church. The only daylight came through the Napoleon Chapel. was buried in the soil of that country for which he had given his life . The Princess right." Napoleon IV. the ' second of the dynasty to whom England had been fatal. while the cross and figures of the Virgin stood out in bold relief. in When gold glistened. The English Princes who had borne the pall sat to the right and left of the coffin . Prince Victor.

Suddenly the door of the room opened. and the Journal contains an anecdote of the Prince Imperial these Anglophobes. said . The Emperor once had made for him a series of small figure-models representing all the regi- ments of the French army. smashing many of the figures. must She left England now. which he must have got from her mouth. again. and it can be but a source of regret that so true and amiable a woman should have had cause for disliking this country. In the September following the second funeral at Chislehurst. and the Emperor was not told of their condition until next day. still less in love with it than before.door. LOSSES 269 Among know.TWO observed. When he heard he sent for "Loulou. however. They were kept locked up in a cupboard. stumbled." who said that he had broken the soldiers. and a big man entered. Edmond de Goncourt visited the Princess at Saint-Gratien. the key was left in the cupboard. and never crossed the Channel She had shaken its dust off her feet. They were patched up as much as possible and put away in the cupboard. He must have broken them on purpose. setting them on the floor. as we be classed the Princess Mathilde. and the child got all the figures out and. The infant Prince was allowed to look at these. Her attitude is intelligible. and fell upon the army. but not to touch them. One day. began to play with them.

was the forbidding the Cent Gardes to present arms to him when he passed. and expressed astonishment at such obstinacy. the most severe form of which. In the height of anxiety her indignation against Sainte-Beuve two years before. Many stories are told of her indulgence towards the boy and her interventions on his behalf.270 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE so Napoleon. And one of her first acts on returning to Paris after her Belgian exile was to buy at a sale of the former Imperial " stable his favourite riding-pony Tambour. as there were many damaged. But he only told her on — — condition that she did not betray father. The reconciliation which had taken place there can be no doubt. — ." which she sent over to him at Camden Place. him to his Of the Princess's fondness for her young cousin We have heard of her about him in 1870. not even by the Mathilde about it. one of her grievances had been that he had said that he should never serve the Prince Imperial though we may well imagine that this was an unjust interpretation of one of Sainte-Beuve's remarks. How had it happened ? could not be induced to " " infliction of a military punishment. The Emperor told his cousin The Prince Imperial say. Mathilde extracted from the child privately that it was General Leboeuf the man whose blind confidence in his army was one day to prove so fatal to France who had caused the accident. to him.

that of At Eugene Giraud. staying for a while at the house of the Duke of Mouchy. The Princess was profoundly affected by the loss of her "old Giraille. the last of the early inmates of the Rue de Courcelles. and must retrace our steps. Three days later. eight months in Paris. and declared that she did not know what to do with her days now. she suddenly burst into sobs. and broke the journey in Paris. calling upon an artist acquaintance. the end of 1881 another death occurred which meant much to the Princess Mathilde. when the Empress's Mathilde. on her way back from the pilgrimage to the scene of her son's death in her first Zululand. a striking picture of grief.TWO LOSSES 271 between the Princess and the Empress Eugenie over the body of the Prince Imperial was not again disturbed. In hurried journey through Paris since the revolution. But in May 1882 Eugenie was coming back to England from Nice. by his grave in her long black cloak. the Empress does not seem to have met the Princess. course of events. on New as she stood Year's Day." after an intimacy of no less than She was seen at the cemetery thirty-five years. though their residence on opposite sides of the Channel did not lead to their meeting again except at rare intervals. they met created a visit But we are anticipating the great sensation. later. that she must find something to distract . Among the visitors to her there was the Princess Again.

Eugene Giraud. that she wished her friends would adopt her for a while. for she purchased quantities out of . .272 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE her thoughts from her sorrows. Here we pupil. pupil of M. led her to over-estimate his artistic merit but she was of that nature which made the personal . complaints of course. a difficult matter to decide whether a find . She remained Her Imperial Highness . As a buyer of pictures by modern artists she showed this. No doubt her personal Giraud." for private circulation. M. some justification for Viel-Castel's of the Giraud ascendancy but it is. is of opinion that his influence over the Princess's art and her appreciation of art was not for her good that he checked her advance towards the better things to which her native aesthetic instinct would have " led her. would necessarily have made better progress. Some inferior influence might have prevailed." as she described herself when exhibit- ing her works while as a critic of painting she was not as sound in taste as her own brother. She ultimately published a little volume of reminiscences of " her familiar and faithful friend. the Princess Mathilde. liking for conversation and equation unduly powerful in her reckonings. if he or she did not come under the one particular influence that proved decisive for the future. Frederic Masson. while admitting Giraud's cleverness and versatility. which his amusing lively humour contributed so much to strengthen.

TWO

LOSSES

273

regard for their painters, visitors to her house, not because her own taste told her to buy. The gap left in the Princess Mathilde's life by the vanishing of Giraud, the friend, was

never

filled.

As her

art-master-in-chief he

had

successors, Ferrier, then Doucet, and lastly Marcel Baschet and the fact that there were several proves how much she missed Giraud.

several

first

;

18

CHAPTEE XXIII
AN UNFOUNDED SCARE

On January 17, 1883, writes in his Journal
:

Edmond
tell

de Goncourt

" This morning's papers Napoleon's arrest and the

me

of

Prince
in

discussion

the

I do not proposal. care about Prince Napoleon, but there is the poor Princess with her long love of Paris. This

Chamber on the Eloquet

worries

me

What
city
?

the day." had the Prince done that could threaten
all

his sister's continued residence in the beloved

He had

some timid
for the

taken a step which frightened politicians to such an extent that

their dangerous, eyes, to be allowed to live in France. Prince Napoleon, after the overthrow of the Empire, had come over to England and taken

every

Bourbon — was

moment every Bonaparte
too

—as

well as
in

a house facing
side.

As

the Bayswater the Princess Clothilde, however, did

Hyde Park, on

not share his liking for London, he soon gave up this house and went to his villa of Prangins. Before the end of 1872 he re-entered France
274

AN UNFOUNDED SCARE

275

without permission, accompanied by his wife, and was promptly deported to the frontier. After the Emperor's death his plea to be allowed to live in France was listened to, and he established himself once more in Paris, like his sister and, like her, in a new house, for the " Pompeian palace," which had been his under

the Empire, was now in other hands. In Paris both brother and sister became rallying-points for the Bonapartists but, whereas at the
;

they did not conspire, the Prince became the leader of one wing of the Imperialist
Princess's

party, the Liberal, or, rather, Republican wing, which rejected the leadership of the Empress Eugenie. The death of Napoleon III. had only rendered the relations between the Empress and her husband's cousin worse than they had been before, as we have heard, and the Prince had left Camden Place declaring that he must now

decline to be responsible in any

way

for the

Prince Imperial's upbringing. The feud was lamentable from the point of view of the Imperialist party, but the situation

was destined to become still worse. The Empress's dominion over her son enabled her to
deal the Prince a mortal blow.

No

doubt she
official

was supported

in

her policy by the

section of the Bonapai-tists, especially by Rouher. It is impossible, however, not to see the personal

motive as well in the regulation of the succession.

276

THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE

On the death of the Prince Imperial the natural heir to the hopes of a throne was Prince Napoleon, the reversion being to the male line of Jerome Bonaparte though it must be added

that the family of
fastly protested

Lucien Bonaparte
their

stead-

against

degradation in

rank below the family of a younger brother. But on the opening of the will of "Napoleon IV.," made by him on the eve of his setting out for Zululand, the Imperialist party found that they The were asked to transfer their allegiance.
codicil read as follows
:

do not need to request my mother to neglect nothing in defence of the memory of my grand-uncle and my father. I beg her
to as long as there are Bonapartes the Imperial cause will have representaThe duties of our House towards the tives.

"I

remember that

country do not cease with my death when I am dead the task of continuing the work of
;

Napoleon

I.

elder son of

and Napoleon III. falls to the Prince Napoleon, and I hope that
mother, by seconding him with
all

my beloved
Prince

her power, will give to us, who are this last supreme proof of affection."

no longer,

Napoleon, as we have heard, left Chislehurst in 1879 without seeing the Empress Eugenie. His nephew's disposition of his inheritance was already known to him before he

came over

to the funeral, so that his bitterness

can readily be understood.

AN UNFOUNDED SCARE
The

277

Bonapartists did not all accept the directions of the will without protest. Some of
inclined to treat it rather cavalierly. "l in the party, and one There were " Jeromists

them were

Imperialist paper, Le Pays, now offered to recognise Prince Napoleon as the legitimate heir
to the throne
if

only he would, without delay,

renounce the Republic and promise liberty of teaching and respect for religion. The Prince, however, was not one to whom it came easy to stoop to conquer. So far from attempting to

what we may call the High Imperialists, he took a speedy opportunity of offending them beyond their limit of forgiveconciliate
ness.

the Republic passed its decrees of March 29, 1880, against the religious congregations, he wrote a letter to the papers applauding the measure.

When

they were, of

This killed his chances, such as upsetting the directions of the

Prince Imperial's will. In the whole of the Press he had not an adherent left, Bonapartist the leaders of the party ignored him completely,

and the outside world was in danger of forgetting even that he was a Pretender. At the beginning of 1883 Prince Napoleon thought that the time had come to assert
Prince Napoleon, though Jerome was not included among his baptismal names (Napoleon-Joseph-Charles-Paul), assumed it perhaps after the death of his elder brother in 1847, and appears
1

sometimes as J6r6me-Napoleon, sometimes as simply Napoleon. His followers were called J6r6mistes, to avoid confusion, while his son's were sometimes called Victoriem.

278

THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE
The approaching death
of

himself.

Gamhetta

had aroused

all parties to activity in the pre-

ceding December, and a Royalist manifesto was expected to appear as soon as the great man

should pass away. But it was not the Comte de Chambord, it was the Prince Napoleon who
seized the opportunity.

On

the day Gambetta

died, 31, the Prince sat down and wrote out a manifesto with his own hand. He

December
off

a printer, with an order for eighteen thousand placards to be prepared. So well was tbe secret kept that on January 15
sent
it

to

no one had read the manifesto except the editor of the Figaro, to whom the Prince sent a copy that evening. In the morning Paris awoke to find its walls plastered with the Prince's words, while in the Figaro they were reprinted in full. As this paper was not a Bonapartist organ,

many
streets

of

its

practical

readers thought the manifesto a joke until they went out into the

and saw the placards or what remained of them, the police having been busily engaged
in tearing them down everywhere. Even then there was no great disposition, outside Government circles, to take the matter seriously, and

the Prince was merely considered to have stolen a march on the Comte de Chambord without

doing himself any good.

The main parts

of the celebrated manifesto
:

are well worth reproduction " Fellow-Citizens.— France

To

My

is

Ian-

AN UNFOUNDED SCARE
guishing. are restless.

279

The great majority Without confidence

of the

nation

in the present,

they seem to he awaiting a future which they can obtain only by manly resolution. The

power is enfeebled, incapable, and The Chamber is without guidance impotent. and without decision. You were promised a Republic that should repair and reform a
executive
. . .

lying promise.
crises

You

are witnessing continual

which strike at the head of the State, the Ministers, and the Chambers. Your experience of a Parliamentary Republic, carried on for twelve You have no Government. years, is complete. " The evil lies in the Constitution, which
places the country at the mercy of eight hundred Senators and Deputies. The Army, the basis of our greatness and security, is given over to the arrogance of incompetent men. The Civil Service is discredited. The function. .
.

.

.

.

aries

are
.

the
. .

slaves

of

the

paltriest

party

interests.

Our

finances

are

squandered.

The

taxes, heavy and ill-distributed, are imposed in a fatal spirit of routine, which is an obstacle to all progress. Religion, attacked
. .
.

by a persecuting atheism,

And

is without protection. this great interest of every civilised yet society is more easy to safeguard than any

other, by 1 cordat.
.

the loyal application of
. .

the

Con-

Our commerce

is

prejudiced by

Princess Mathilde, it may be stated, used to declare that in religion she was concordataire.

1

The

. ! adversaries alone. to which we owe our prosperity. The heir of Napoleon I. . once so great.280 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE . Since the death of the Emperor's son I have III. My sons are still strangers . my opinions. internal recovery. So long as the people shall not have spoken. policy . " Our situation is due to the abandonment of the principle of national sovereignty. I have only replied with contempt to those who have even tried to stir up the sons against the father. the abandonment of the treaties of 1860. . my feelings have been systematically calumniated. shocked by I wished to confront my these provocations. France will not recover. . Our poor Prance. Odious and I have been obliged to impose vain efforts restraint on their young hearts.000 suffrages. Impassible. Our foreign shows bad faith towards the weak. has now neither friends nor prestige. I waited in sorrow until events obliged me to speak. We shall only regain our position by an . I am preserved silence on most questions of politics. my respect the country's My conduct.. My of silence was but the for patriotic expression peace. and the only living man whose Napoleon name has commanded 7.300. Even from the kindest she meets with an indifference that is " more painful than and yet it is needhostility ful that there should be a strong France in the world. Unwilling to disturb the experiment which was being made.

Avenue d'Antin. . remember the words of Napoleon I ' All that " ! is done without the this people is illegal The Bonapartists only took manifesto seriously in so far as they denounced it bitterly . their Press was entirely against the Prince. — the right of the people to appoint its head. and Le Pays hour in particular ridiculed his " eleventhapology to religion. 20. the elect servants of the people. leons." and simul- taneously a measure was introduced in the . is than of me individually. rather. Duclerc. but a cause and a principle. . them after 281 " Abdication has been spoken of. abdication is desertion. . Napocannot act thus. The natural order The rights. Proceedings were instituted against him for " an attempt against trial." But the Govern- ment. That cause is the cause of all. . Frenchmen. . When a man has more duties than of things places me. The police the safety of the State with intent to change the existing form of government. under the premiership of M. There will be none. and decided to arrest its author at once and put him on his went to his house.AN UNFOUNDED SCARE to politics. " I do not represent a party. . That principle . He was out driving. and they will remain faithful to the true Napoleonic tradition. . took it very seriously indeed. . but. was arrested and conveyed to the Conciergerie. returning at 2 o'clock in the afternoon. .

on January 24. At a small the imprisondinner given by her on now over . Of the Princess Mathilde's views on her brother's exploit we do not hear. and especially since the death of the Prince Imperial. However. then on a visit to Paris. but merely as an ac of family feeling and chivalrous generosity. gave an explanation that her visit was not to be taken as a mark of adhesion to the Prince's pretensions. While matters stood thus. Macmahon. Paul de Cassagnac. She was certainly distressed ment. though never abandoning the mild Napoleonic propaganda of her salon. it was said and had interviews there with the Princess Mathilde. but her action was denounced as a blunder which would probably drive the panic- — — stricken Ministry to extend the expulsion order from the Prince to all members of former reigning families in France. Rouher. in his paper Le Pays. She took rooms at the H6tel de Rhin for a week. the Empress left again as suddenly Whether authorised to do so as she had come. M. or not. Mme. and the Grand Duke Constantine of Russia. Since 1870. suddenly on January 22 the Empress Eugenie appeared in Paris from England. Publicly it was supposed that the Empress had come to demonstrate her sympathy with Prince Napoleon. ishe had kept herself apart from all militant politics.282 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE of Chamber Deputies for the expulsion of Pretenders.

on being set free. Fallieres consented to 1 become Premier. M. Pallieres resigned. because it gives the Prince importance and popularity. a brief provisional Ministry sent the Bill again to the Senate. who rejected it by a small majority amid roars of laughter which might have been — expected at some home of farce and then President Grevy sent for Jules Eerry. She spoke about the Conciergerie with a gesture of wiping its memory from out of her " " brain. they will never make him popular.AN UNFOUNDED SCARE January 31 to Popelin. at- tacked by His ministers carried the Expulsion Bill through the Chamber. but immediately was illness. who succeeded in forming a Cabinet. In the meanwhile Prince Napoleon. but the Senate sent it back. the courts refusing to see him guilty of an attempt to overthrow the Government. and absent- hate to see it " ! Ah. Lavoix. minded. But Prince Napoleon was not destined to remain in prison long. she was pale. Whatever his adversaries may do. took his younger son Louis and crossed over to of the Times wrote with regard to argued that it was wrong to make such a fuss. blamed by sober men for foolishly exaggerating the Prince's importance. 283 de Goncourt. " how I ! and Edmond weary. Prison she exclaimed. This might be true with any other pretender." this charge : — 1 The Paris correspondent " It is . The Ministry. but with Prince Napoleon it is not to be feared. M. tottered and fell before the end of the month. On February 9 Prince Napoleon was released.

L'Appel au Peuple. rival the two Pretenders. was never They did not long continue to head camps in Prance. that she ultimately left her fortune. father and son. however. On its front page it republished the manifesto. was Jeromist. Prince Napoleon in May 1884 had a violent quarrel with house and set up was suspected of having Cassagnac fomented the quarrel. and within it printed a telegram from the Prince to the Empress Eugenie. who for himself. since it was to the younger son. and from some mysterious source the younger man had recently received left his his son Victor." The apparent reconciliation between the war- ring elements in the Bonapartist party had but a brief life. Louis. for two years . We may reasonably the Princess Mathilde suppose that sympathised with her Victor. The breach between brother rather than her nephew healed. On the following day a 284 out. Returning to Paris. which. to make him independent of his Prince Victor no longer offered any objection to taking up the headship of the enough money father. unlike the rest of the Imperialist Press. to the new paper came following effect " I wish : my first act of liberty to be that of repairing to your Majesty to offer you all my respects and thanks for the act of generous sympathy performed by you in coming to Paris. party.THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE England with him.

an peril in the salon of the Rue de Berri. . The danger which had been feared Gon court for "the poor Princess with her by long love of Paris" never arose.AN UNFOUNDED SCARE later 285 Expulsion Bill was at last passed through both Chamber and Senate. directed against the heads of former reigning families and their direct descendants and the Princes Napoleon and Victor alike were conducted out of France. Politicians were no longer so terror-stricken as to see any .

superb ! Can we embrace here ? did.CHAPTER XXIV THE EVENING OF LIFE In the spring of 1885 there was a curious echo of the past. for through them we feel that we have before us the real Princess Mathilde. fortunate for us that the writer did not hesitate to confide to paper such little human details. the ceremony into deep confusion. for the management of the Odeon decided to put on Henriette Marechal. in the midst of the actors and the friends whom him train. The reception of the play different was very delighted Princess pursued the surviving brother down to the green-room at the fall of the curtain. called out to : she had brought in her " It is superb. To judge by his threw Edmond It is " And embrace they account. nearly twenty years before. the Princess Mathilde had by her loyal applause of her friends' play spoilt her gloves and attracted the malicious attention of enemies of the Goncourts. the 286 woman . in a hostile house. and there. Now the public from that at the Comedie Francaise in 1865. It will be remembered how.

Dcmcet.) 286] .THE PRINCESS MATHH.After LITE.DE IN LATEB (.

.

LIFE 287 Goncourt took pride in his porand when he posted to her a copy. There is more than a touch of courage manifested when instance." Opinions loves your personality in the centuries to come. writes to him a very complimentary letter offering him the art-editorship of the he tells. but at least Mathilde given acquit the author of the charge of being a flatterer. too. In fact I have tried to depict you as an historian should. just issued. or future. traiture of her. may differ as to the completeness of the picture of the Princess in the Journal. though he declines the post. editor of the Figaro.THE EVENING OF as she lived. He must have felt very sure of his ground we must when he put before her eyes some of his comments upon her and her circle. and. who and your memory. will be found a more striking tribute to your heart and your brain. of the second volume which he had contributed to the Journal. I believe I may assert that in none of your biographies. In any case. and how. told her " I send " of his pride. how Magnard. with a touch of that Napoleonic language of yours. construct in sugar the historical figure that you are and will be. past. Princess. for paper. present. you a volume in which your Highness is I did not wish to spoken of several times. . I have tried to represent you with the combination of greatness and womanliness that is in you." he wrote.

only a proscribed man. To defend the memory of Napoleon is still to serve France. Both the Princess Mathilde and her brother accepted with alacrity the challenge which seemed thrown out to all Prince Napoleon issued the book Bonapartists.288 he THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE reflects on the people whom its acceptance would have brought to his feet. whose effectiveness cannot be denied " From the these lines I : asylum in which I am writing look out on the mountains of that Savoie which I helped to secure for my Evil fortune makes men forgetful. on the respect which would have been his in the Rue de Berri. whose glories are summed up in the name which I bear and whose vanished greatness be to our patriotic spirit a strength and an encouragement. In the early part of 1887 Taine published in the Revue des Deux Mondes his famous libels on Napoleon I. and gains the reader's attention from the very start. as we . country. proscribed was in childhood. It is dated from the Prince's villa at Prangins. et ses Detracteurs. I wish to make easier the exile which I am condemned by reviving the past. and the preface closes with these words. which is an able Napoleon and eloquent exposure of Taine's methods of writing history." should The Princess's reply to Taine's libels. without ever having conspired against the peace and freedom of I as I am now my to country.

passed of his wife. and had come to live in Rome. that she was ever to pay to the Italy which she loved so — At the beginning of the previous year Prince Napoleon had left Prangins. He well. His health was by this time shattered. for no literary man could afford to disregard the favour of la bonne Princesse. Yet it probably cut the old writer far more deeply. as it turned out. tended assiduously by the Princess gradually failing more and more. at once so attractive away in the so repulsive. spent a little over a year here in great retirement. and his two younger children. with his wife and his son Louis. but his death-bed. who came to find him on Clothilde. in spite of her more than seventy years. At last a summons was sent to the Princess Mathilde. Now begins a series of deaths which made great gaps in the circle of old. was much hriefer and more personal than her brother's. In his will he left a request that his body should be buried either at the Paris. taking a house near the old palazzo which had seen the death of Madame Mere. Early in 1891 the Princess Mathilde. having refused to the end to be reconciled with his son Victor. his sister. made a journey to Rome the last visit. and he seems to have wished to die in Rome. On March and presence 17 this strange man. or else 19 Invalides in on one of the lies Sanguinaires .THE EVENING OF LIFE 289 have already heard.

whose favourite nephew he was on the Bonaparte side. The other son. According to it also rang down the curtain on the Bonapartist drama. his position as Pretender to a throne has been accentuated by this very fact. inheritor of that mighty name which There is a the country. The Prince's death put an end to the dispute as to the headship of the party." referring to the Prince as "the hope of the French democracy. we shall meet ring of the old again in connection with the will of his aunt." is an honour to in his Brussels Prince Napoleon. . On the birth of his little son Louis. at the beginning of the present year. Prince Louis. 394. Loliee ' has not abated his claim in the slightest degree. was one from the " Plebiscite Among them Committee of the Department of the Seine.290 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE Gulf of Ajaccio its . forced as he has been to live in exile so many years. La Vie d'une Impe'ratrice. and. at the entrance of the but the Republic would not grant and so the burial was in the permission. entered the 1 While living in Italy he had army of his uncle King Humbert. gage of the national grandeur. Jerome's son. and telegrams of congratulation poured upon him home in great number. in these words. Italian royal vault near Turin. the rejoicings in Bonapartist circles in Paris were great. p. But Prince Victor M.

4 .

THE EVENING OF LIFE
From thence he had gone
to Russia

291

and into

the Tsar's service, ultimately rising after his In confather's death to the rank of general.

sequence of the circulation of rumours that Prince Victor was likely to resign his claim Prince 'to the Imperial throne in favour of Louis, the former strongly denied any such
intention in the Bonapartist Press
ago.

some years

Napoleon's only daughter, MarieLetizia, married the Duke of Aosta, her maternal uncle, who had for a hrief while figured as
Prince

King Amadeus
left

of

Spain.

By him

she was

a childless widow in 1890.

The year after the decease of her brother the Princess suffered two more losses if one

of

them

is

to be looked

upon

as a loss

when

so long an interval had passed since the end of all friendship between the parties concerned. In January 1892 Count Nieuwerkerke died at

his

home near Lucca.

Of the severity
this

of the

blow which succeeded
doubt.

there can be

On May
by an
ailing

17
for

Claudius

carried off

affection of

Popelin the lungs.

no was

He

had been

more than four

years.

Meeting him at Saint-Gratien in the summer of 1888, Goncourt had found him in a sad condition. His pallor was alarming, and he could only mount the stairs with difficulty.

He

protested humorously that the doctors provided him with a good comedy, some saying

292

THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE

that his heart was abnormal, others that his lungs were the only source of danger. He hoped that a rest at Arcachon would set him

up

again.

He seemed

in health, but he was the Princess's

Galbois,

who
1

first

improve It was beyond recovery. companion, the Baroness sent the news of his death

for a time to

to Goncourt.

the Princess, with her nephew Giuseppe Primoli, hurried over to Marly to see the dying Alexandre Dumas Jils, who had brought his fate upon himself by
20, 1895,

On November

going,

when

in

an

unfit
to

condition, to see

the

Emile Augier and coming back to wrap his head in cold-water bandages. This home doctoring was fatal, and the visitors found him in a very serious state. As the Princess entered the bedroom Dumas made an effort to pull himself together, and, with an allusion to Napoleon's visit to the " You come of a Jaffa hospital, cried to her, " Of family that never feared the plague course there was here no infection to be avoided but the Princess was seventy-five, and her visit was at least a proof of an exceedingly kind heart. She was very concerned at the and said that she should patient's appearance,
unveiling of a statue
!

1 In his Femmes du Second Empire (Papiers intimes), M. Loliee states that Popelin left, in the preface to a book which was unfortunately not given to the world, a faithful picture of the

evenings at Saint-Gratien and a striking portrait of Theophile Gautier at the Princess's (p. 114 m.)-

293 THE EVENING OF LIFE send Dr. Dieulafoy to him. "And shall I be " asked obliged to do whatever he tells me ?

Dumas
it

anxiously. was not for long.

If he did as he

At

first
;

was told, he seemed to make
but on November

good steps towards recovery
27 the Princess received
that he was dead.

a

telegram to say
of

Henri Lavoix, one of the circle, Goncourt exclaimed sadly, "The old friends of the Princess must In 1896 he himself really cling to the stage." was obliged to leave it for ever, at the age of There is pathos in a story which seventy-four. he tells many years before. The Princess had the intention of leaving him by her will an album of seventy-five drawings done by Gavarni for La Mode. But one day in 1890 she came to lunch with him, bringing with her the album, " I am much which she put in his hands. too well," she said with one of her radiant

Commenting on the passing away

" I should keep you waiting too long " for this Longer, indeed, than he was permitted to wait
smiles.
! !

Only a year before his death Goncourt had had the satisfaction of being nominated officer
Legion of Honour a satisfaction which must have been shared by his old friend, though she had no share in procuring the nomination for him. Twenty-eight years before the other brother had received the coveted red She had ribbon, through the Princess's aid.
of the

294

THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE

telegraphed the news to the two of them on a holiday at Trouville, when it is sad to record " that they found the distinction incomplete," because only one had obtained it.

One by one
fell

the

members

of the

famous salon

away, and still the head of it remained, a " It seems as wonderful example of vigour. though by clinging to life," writes the younger " she wished to show that she came Gautier, of a race of bronze, and that in her family pride she desired to endure as witness to a

mighty
fabulous

epoch
that

which

had already grown

so

one might believe it a mere legend, did one not see in the flesh some one who was almost of it." She lived her life to
the full, and, as she lived it, loved it. Walking once along a country road at Montmorency,

near her ever-dear Saint-Gratien, one October She day, the Princess confessed to this love. had Edmond de Goncourt by the arm, and the sunshine of a fine day combined with the
L

company

of a friend to make her feel happy. " It will be very hard for me to leave this," she " " I confess cried. it, I find life good To this love of life, no doubt, her marvellously In the strong constitution contributed much. hear of her occasionmemoirs of her friends we
!

ally as souffrante.
1

But that

suffering appears
:

She was readily influenced by the state of the weather. Once, in the midst of a series of bad March days, she exclaimed " When one wakes in the mornings one feels that one has committed a crime
"
!

THE EVENING OF

LIFE

295

always mental, the result of anxiety over public affairs, disappointment at the failure to secure some favour for one of her circle, and the like. She took pride in her bodily health. Once, in August 1865, it is recorded, she had a slight

an eye, for which an operation was Prince Napoleon sent his own doctor required. to her at Saint-Gratien to examine her. The
affection of

doctor complimented the Princess on her con" dition, whereon she replied briskly, Oh, I've " No better proof of her never been ill strength, however, is needed than the tremendous
!

fight

which she made, at the age of eighty-

bone.
to

three, against the effects of a fractured thighThe same fate, it is to be noted, brought

an end the long life of Madame Mdre. The Princess Mathilde seemed, indeed, to inherit the Ramolino vitality rather than the Bonaparte In her old age several observers

constitution.

discovered in her resemblances to the Corsican

grandmother which had not been apparent in

which she managed to preserve her good health was by always taking abundance of outdoor exercise, even when she was in Paris. Her love for Paris never failed.

earlier days. One of the

ways

in

Speaking of her later
says of her
:

"Of

course

it

Gautier fils was no longer the Paris
life

in

it,

She found the city of todays. day too big, too extended, too changed, and too

young

crowded with people who do not speak French."

296

THE PRINCESS MATHILUE BONAPARTE
"nearly every day she had herself taken

Still,

in her carriage to the neighbourhood of the Madeleine, got down in the Boulevard des

Capucines, and, accompanied by her lady-inwaiting, or some one else whom she had brought

with her, she trod with a quick and joyous step the adored asphalt. If she met a friend she

would take

his

de la Paix."

him to the Rue Here she was at home every

arm and

lead

;

jeweller, curiosity-dealer, milliner, every seller She of attractive things was known to her.
step into a shop and seat herself near the counter, resting her hand in its marvellous

would

suede glove upon it. She was received everywhere with respectful familiarity, not with
the obsequious attention paid to millionaires. Every one showed her the latest creations, certain
of obtaining from her judicious criticism.

a word of praise or a

In the Bois de Boulogne, it was said, she knew every one of the keepers, not merely those who dated from before the Empire's fall, but all the others too, and would halt to speak to them in a friendly way when her walk took
her into the Bois. As she adapted herself to the changed condition of Paris, so she adapted herself also to the changed state of politics under which she lived. Por this we have been prepared by her

conduct in appealing for permission to return in A story of her behaviour on a certain 1871,

accompanied by the Baroness Freedericks." replied the other. seeing Madame Casimir-Perier. " Princess. The two ladies hereon shook hands cordially.THE EVENING OF occasion in 1894 is LIFE 297 which it interesting for the light throws upon her attitude towards the There was in the February of this year some great ceremony at the Russian church in Paris. fail " for no one could to know you." whispered one of her companions to her. Republic." returned the Princess " It was only my duty. it is as wife of the head of the you go first glad to have this opportunity of " No being presented to you. Madame. "When the service was over. one political affair is said to have stirred Only the Princess Mathilde's feelings very deeply during the last years of her life and that was — . with an amiable smile and But the Princess looked at her " said. I am required. drew back to let her pass. the Princess. The Princess Mathilde was seated in the church behind the members of the diplomatic body. " you have crossed " the Rubicon "I did not wish to pass the ! bounds of politeness. making her way out." presentation is State. at which everybody in the social world was present." her again The Princess protested pleasure at the meeting and ex- pressed her good wishes for the success of the President's work." quickly. wife of the French President. Madame Casimir-Perier noticed her action and seemed somewhat embarrassed at for to it.

lest the expression of their views should give offence. protesting the continuance of her affection. . where usually all possessed of brains met with- out fear or favour. 1904. As to the order of the . She wrote letters to them. according to one critic. As might be imagined. her sympathies were entirely enlisted on behalf of In the course of an French Army.. two first there can be no doubt the third being bound up place through In such matters in her mind with the others. and signing herself still a faithful friend. of sentiment people are not wont to discriminate. were the Princess Mathilde's idols. But the Princess For a period some of the her rooms thought it better to was grieved at their defection. Here she took a side with vehemence and could not repress herself. January 15. 1 Napoleon I. Lavisse. France.298 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE the great Affaire. which seemed to her quite unnecessary. Revue de Paris. she redoubled her kind attentions to those who of its had held aloof and showed no remembrance the trouble except in her anxiety to wipe memory away. secured its its 1 E. temporarily. the Army. " I had an uncle who was a soldier " The Affaire led the ! to dissensions. in descending scale. in the Rue de Berri. argument at this time with some one who did not agree with her she cried excitedly. frequenters of absent themselves. When the bitterness of the dispute was past. the case of Dreyfus.

" I remember everything. which had happened. I think often of everything. quays of Ajaccio. 1902. of him but for whom. and being unable to make sure of what he wanted he applied to the Princess." The I steep myself in allusion appears to be to the affairs of the more immediate past." replied the old lady. . they might all have been selling oranges on the ' . as she had been wont to tell members of her family occasionally. asking if she My dear Caroline. He was writing once of some very remote affair. She at once answered speedy replies to letters 1 were her rule her —and — gave him the information he required from own personal memory. within her lifetime. however. on the eve of her eightysecond birthday. tears and souvenirs. Baron Lumbroso testifies to the prodigious memory for facts possessed by the Princess Mathilde. which she could almost reach. Amid her perplexities over the course of modern French politics her tendency is said to have been to go back in mind to the days remoter still to that epoch. relates that she The Princess Caroline Murat wrote to her aunt in May " remembered the past.THE EVENING OF in LIFE 299 The attacks on the French Army seemed to her some way to assail the man who had won it its for greatest glories.

her head and body enveloped in white laces and shawls. but now an accident befell her which is frequently the cause of death to the old. Crossing her room she caught her foot in the carpet and fell heavily to the ground. The injury did not seem likely after to prove fatal at first.CHAPTER XXV THE LAST SCENES In the summer of 1904 the Princess Mathilde went as usual to Saint-Gratien. Gautier describes her lying back in an armchair. and calling to his mind Antomarchi's death-mask of Napoleon I. and the fiftieth since she had become the mistress of the chateau. It was the fifty-third year since she had first spent the hot months there. In spite of her advanced age she seemed in excellent health. and a fort- her medical attendant night allowed her to leave her bed to sit on the The younger terrace outside her bedroom. her feet upon a stool. 300 . She not only sustained a severe shock. but also fractured the neck of the thigh-bone. her face the fall emaciated by her sufferings and the low diet upon which she had been put.

and the Princess was Chapelle consigned to bed once more. " bathed in the afternoon sun. wandered with a joy that was touchingly childlike over the familiar outlines of the landscape hefore them. relapse herself carried in her chair to the A window of her room." At the end of September it was decided that she should return to the left Rue de Berri.THE LAST SCENES 301 Yet she had this day a singular vivacity of glance. As it came abreast of the Arc de Triomphe the of Princess gave a long glance and. with a graceful gesture. La was called in. and her eyes. A memories had come upon her. The sun was shining very brightly . however. looking the larger for the falling away of her cheeks. never to revisit it alive. and to him she talked gaily all the while. spirits Count Giuseppe Primoli was riding with her. she suddenly became flood silent and her face clouded over. She was in excellent and appeared overjoyed to be back. the carriage reached the Avenue de la Grande-Arrnee. the streets of When. — followed the move. threw a kiss a kiss of farewell. She On Saint-Gratien. The carriage passed on to the Place de l'Etoile. Still she fought hard and was able to sit up in a chair On December 2 she had occasionally. Dr. She smiled upon her dear Saint-Gratien and spoke softly of her happiness at seeing it again. October 1 she took her last drive through Paris.

" which she was leaving. she made me sit down. she ' asked me. but in my experience as an old professor of history they never had done so. and that not going well seemed to me the characteristic of ' such affairs . but I was never was my way able to inspire her with my confidence. of reassuring her. "It is the sun of Austerlitz Such a sunshine ninety-nine years before had been greeted as Napoleon's light of victory. January 2. Her intelligence remained undimmed. the death-agony began. some people and displeased others that the discontented always talked of the coming end of the world. what about public affairs ? I replied that they were not going very well." On the morning of Saturday. it would seem. which now one could hardly catch. but the world was still here. she knew not to She questioned all who came what future. and she showed a pathetic anxiety about what was going on in the world " She had a feeling. and This destined. when I had called upon days her. and in her feeble voice. and the end was only a matter of weeks. many things which she loved were drifting away.302 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE ! and she turned with a happy smile to those with " her. that at all times they pleased . meaning only to pay my respects and then retire. before her death. " that writes Ernest Lavisse. Well. On the preceding night . A few to see her about the course of events. But now paralysis had set in. saying. to be here long.

number of devoted friends were waiting in the house. The Princes Victor and Louis had both been informed but Victor was still debarred from setting foot on Prench soil. . and when she came to the Rue de Berri in October. and Louis was in the Caucasus when the call came to him. The Abb6 was a great favourite of the Princess in her later years.THE LAST SCENES SOS she had not succeeded in getting any sleep until one o'clock. A the doctors gave their decision the news was sent to the Abbe Jeannier. At eleven in the morning the ceremony took place. When who was in readiness in Paris. The Empress Eugenie had been summoned over to Paris already. the Princess Clothilde. their great-aunt. Another doctor was called in. she begged him to continue the visits habit of making to which he had been in the her in the country. Count Luigi Primoli had returned from America to join his brother in attendance on morphia. the two Primolis. in the presence of the Empress Eugenie. the Walewskis. accompanied by the Princess de la Moskowa. cure of Saint-Gratien. 1903. The Princess Clothilde had arrived long before. He now arrived with all speed to administer the Sacrament for the last time. and at dawn she woke again and La Chapelle was began to suffer terribly. . fetched and administered a strong injection of which failed to give any relief. Count Fleury. and preparations were at once made for the end.

304 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE Coppee. It was therefore thought safe for the Empress Eugenie." Luigi " Her waxen face resembled exPrimoli told Baron Lumbroso. Hubert. however. was now going on so well that the doctors thought she would live until midnight. The dying woman was perfectly conscious. The Princess Clothilde gave immediate orders 1 The Princess "fell asleep placidly without a groan. Baron Brunei. and passed away. Francis Ernest Lavisse. Madame de Hauterive (a daughter of Dumas). and a few others. who had been greatly fatigued by her hurried journey to Paris. The aged Empress arrived back only to find her cousin dead." traordinarily . former aide-de-camp to Prince Napoleon. the brothers Primoli. and Julie. the faithful waiting-woman of forty years' service. that of Madame Mere. M. indeed. and Madame Louis Ganderax. the Countess Ruspoli (who. who sat weeping in a corner. opened her lips as if to speak. gave a sigh. had lavished devoted attention upon the sufferer during the whole time of her illness). the Princess Mathilde raised herself up in the bed. with the elder Primoli. in spite of her great feebleness. Madame Espinasse and her daughter. the Walewskis. fell back on her pillow. and. In the room at the moment were the Princess 1 Mathilde. when Seven o'clock had scarcely struck. to leave her at six-thirty and retire for some rest in her room at the H6tel Continental.

THE LAST SCENES for the door 805 on the Rue de Berri to be closed. the following day the coffin was taken to Saint-Gratien. who was Napoleon herself lying ill in bed at her hotel. the Primolis. Among the earliest to sign were the Duke of Bassano. in the presence of the Clothilde and her daughter. On the afternoon of January 4 the body was transferred to a coffin. now of Aosta. and two flowers. Count Benedetti. including the reof Princes Victor and Louis presentatives and the Empress Eugenie. the respect felt for the dead woman in Paris. Prince of San Donato. and many others. the Duke of Chartres. a rose and a carnation. The dead Princess was robed entirely in white. the statuette of the Virgin before which she was wont to make her prayers. Paul Demidoff. according to her In the coffin with her were put directions. her favourite blooms. and hosts of callers began to arrive to inscribe their names in a book at the porch. and several members of the Rothschild family but the list soon grew to enormous proportions. the Duke and Duchess of Morny. the Abbe Jeannier rer citing the Princess profundis. a portrait of Napoleon. a crucifix which she had had from early childhood. but the news spread rapidly over Paris. with a white pearl in either ear. De Dowager Duchess who had arrived from Turin too late for the death-bed. a striking testimony to . where the Princess had ordered 20 On .

roses. The three principal seats were reserved for the Empress Eugenie. tributes of flowers arriving in great numbers. The chapelle-ardente and thither were sent the there. Petersburg to receive a message for the bereaved family. silver The actual funeral awaited the arrival in Paris of Prince Louis. and lilac from the Dowager Queen Maria Pia of Portugal and. . and black-and- January was the colour-scheme within. Among the most notable of these were two eagles made of violets. On his journey from Russia . not least of all. bound together with " Lcetitia and Louisblack ribbon. 7.306 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE that she should be buried. On the following day a requiem Mass for the general public was celebrated at the church of Saint-Philippe du Eoule.Gratien on was prepared : . II. and the Duchess of Aosta. bearing the " W. . inscribed " a violet crown from Prince Victor Napoleon a wreath of roses and white lilac. a cross of Parma violets from the Asile Mathilde. but by the Tsar's orders he had proceeded first to St. the church was covered with long black draperies edged with silver. . the Princess Clothilde. when the members of the family then in Paris were present with a number of The whole facade of specially invited friends. All these were to be seen at a service in the church of Saint." from the Kaiser another inscription of violets. He had started from Tiflis as soon as the summons reached him.

who sent their He now condolences on the following day. back. Now he came with full leave from the Tsar to arrange his affairs. which she herself had restored. and had immediately telegraphed it to the sovereigns of Europe. meeting with a demonstration at the Gare du Nord. work was commenced objection to offer. confined itself to shouts of " " Vive le OSn4ral He had not Bonaparte ! been an entire stranger to Paris since the expulsion of his father and brother. slim figure and determined carriage.THE LAST SCENES 807 he was met at Liege by his brother Victor. The Princess had directed that she should be buried on the right of the transept. his energetic features. . accompanied Louis in the train as far as the French frontier. with his slight black moustache and imperial. while the French Government offered him all facilities with re- him dining with his gard to the funeral. which. for we hear of ' aunt in the Rue de Berri in 1895. The consent of the Prince. and . The only delay now was occasioned by the excavation of the grave in the transept at Saint-Gratien. where he had perforce to turn Louis reached Paris on the 11th. his tall. however. was awaited before the but naturally he had no as soon as possible after 1 He is described by an eye-witness on this occasion as a very striking figure. The proscribed Prince had the news of his aunt's death in Brussels on the evening of January 2. as the universal legatee. facing the tomb of Marshal Catinat.

and was received by name — that . and the Duke of Feltre. Four tapers stood about it and this was all.Gratien assembled the ceremony and offered of the church during up their prayers. among whom may be noted. The service began at ten in the morning. Baron Brunet. covered was placed in the with a silver-edged black pall. the brothers Primoli. though the in front villagers of Saint. was the first to enter the church. besides those just mentioned. Only forty people in all were assigned places. middle of the nave. of Prince Louis's suite. In accordance with the Princess's wish the ceremony was very simple. the Countess. whose kinship to the deceased is testified by their Prince of Madame Mere. the Count and Countess Benedetti and the Count and Countess Ramolino de Coll'Alto. representing Prince Victor. the — The Marquis de la Grange. The funeral took place on Monday. The bays of the choir had been draped with long black cloths barred with silver crosses.308 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE was fixed and the his arrival in Paris a date final arrangements made. Louis arrived in a carriage with the Princess Clothilde at ten o'clock. on which were placed a crucifix and three bunches of violets. January 18. under a heavy winter-sky. Only members of the family and a few persons of her intimate circle were invited to be present. but otherwise The coffin church was bare. followed by the Comte de Hauterive.

handled. Her estate was valued at two million francs. dared not venture out in the unpropitious weather. The Empress Eugenie. who had been confined to her room again by a slight attack of influenza. looked upon. touched. and all was over in an hour. and by the sobbing Giuseppe Primoli. then by the other mourners. and could not return in time for the funeral.THE LAST SCENES the 309 Abb6 Jeannier. The space was covered over with the tombstone. Masson in his introduction to the sale-catalogue (which he wrote at Prince Louis's request). while the Duchess of Aosta had been summoned to Turin. could escape the stamp of her personality for ever and not become part of her everything which has not memories or family associations about it is to be put up for sale. holy water was sprinkled first by the Abbe. the Abbe retired don a cope of black velvet embroidered with silver. apart from her jewellery." 1 — . and the objects of art which were not directed to be A special bequest was made to the sold. "everything impersonal— if anything which she loved. and then returned to give the Absolution and pronounce the last prayers as the coffin was The lowered into the grave prepared for it. The Low Mass being to over. most of the jewellery was left last of all 1 "By the Princess's orders. then by the Prince Louis and the Princess Clothilde. By the Princess's will the bulk of her property went to Prince Louis Bonaparte." wrote M. Asile Mathilde. her family relics.

Princess Clothilde. some also to the Count Giuseppe Primoli had the Princess's papers. Prince Victor. Some of these had been lent by the Princess to the Musee des Souverains. The pictures Napoleonic relics were divided between the Princes Victor and Louis. but to Louis was given the pearl necklace which was Napoleon's wedding-present to Catherine of Westphalia. . When the minor bequests had been satisfied.310 to THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE the Duchess of Aosta. it is only necessary to remember the universal tributes of those competent to judge to her lavish generosity to every friend and every client. received the bulk. but had come back to her when the French Government decided to weed out that collection. Prince Louis received roughly one hundred thousand pounds. which she had received and the more than comfortable allowance which had been hers ever since the separation from in comparison with the Anatole Demidoff. The point need not be laboured. The Princess Mathilde was one of those wise people who give in their lifetime rather than at their death. Certain valuable were presented to the Louvre. as the head of the family. Lest it should be considered that the sum left behind her on her death was but small very large income under the Empire.

PRINCE VICTOR NAPOLEON. The present Bonapartist Claimant. 810 . Paris. Oricclly.

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It was declared also by her simple and familiar ways. her carriage. to such an extent that she could not repress a disdainful grimace when she came across them. by the nobility of a soul which abhorred vulgarity both in things and in persons.CHAPTER XXVI EPILOGUE Among the very numerous notices of the Princess Mathilde which appeared in the French Press at the time of her death none is more valuable than that contributed by Ernest Lavisse to the Revue de Paris of January 15. and by the assurance which she had of the dignity of her birth. the frankness of her and the laugh how good a laugh it was — ! — freedom of her speech. One or two allusions to this have been made already in these pages. and her walk by : . 311 She . That she was by her nature the grande dame was declared by her appearance. the frankness of her glance. but the knowledge of his subject shown by the writer makes us not hesitate to quote more " The Princess Mathilde was the most natural person whom I have ever known. 1904.

instructed by her reading and by the conversation of nearly all the men of the time who have anything to say. from enjoying to have them about her. Princess. " The had a democratic soul." he says. She rejected compliments and never paid herself any. sense was vigorous and amusing. Subtleties. affectations annoyed her. or from showing them a friendship which seemed almost like gratitude.312 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE never marked the distance between herself and others by a single word. She loved humble of the Napoleonic kind. refinements. her needle busy with her work. or look. I was close and she leant forward and whispered ' ' ! to her. a musician. her spectacles before her eyes. . A painter. She detested flattery. too— were discussing a few steps away from her the question of spirit or matter. and took pleasure in talking with them people. she was neither the woman-painter nor the woman-of-letters nor the woman-scholar. " She was very modest. or gesture.' Sitting at her table. Lavisse brings out a point to which we have not hitherto drawn " attention. The Princess Mathilde had no vanity of any " sort. How stupid they are This did not prevent her from admiring these same men. The philosophers proceeded to strange ' — and paradoxical lengths." M. Her good One evening some men great men. she listened Avithout uttering a word. to me with a smile.

and a without end." One more quotation we must allow ourselves " She from this most article interesting : lived remembrance of the Emperor. which she directed should be put in her coffin but at heart she was a philosopher of the old-fashioned . life * the great perhaps. M.' she would say.' hesitating before hoping that there may be another life. at the end of which she reproached me with knowing no more about the matter than any one else. All criticism which directly or indirectly touched or reflected on the Imperial person was painful to her. Lavisse " says that she was tolerant in religious matters. if I may judge by a conversation which we had ten months ago." Concerning the Princess's faith. who believe that we fools. "His memory was a regular cult. She set no such value on anything as she did on the relics which she possessed of Napoleon." we are told. their good temper. She could only just tolerate are decadent who are society people and society people ' ' ' ! nothing else. type. and their wit. She had kept up from her first childhood's days the habit of making her prayers morning and evening before an image of the Virgin and a crucifix. and had her own religion. but without building too much upon this hope. even if it came from a in perpetual . She used to admire in And there are them the French intelligence.EPILOGUE 313 and finding out their good sense.

possessed all the gifts of woman. of 1 We seem to see the Princess thus bearing down upon her adversary in the anecdote about La Gueronniere's attempt to " Yes. of course.314 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE * respectful pen. oh why. excuse to her his votes as senator. ' Why. and which kept its pure contours to the very end of her free. especially if he should happen to contradict her ? But her supreme characteristic was the desire to please. she honoured with her friendship Doubtless social relations were the cause of the presence in her rooms of hundreds of curious and ambitious people. but she reserved her heart and esprit With what art. quick step. which is a very different thing from common-place coquetry. of her victorious bearing-down upon her . " In a word. more or less notorious strangers for such a smile and an amiable word sufficed. he says. Out of this desire to please sprang all her qualities. yes. and whom especially her constancy towards those and confidence. Here again the writer draws the portrait so admirably that we cannot refrain from quoting a little more from him. 1 interlocutor. " Need I speak of her beauty.' she would ' ask. of that line which the years could not spoil. will vote for this and you will vote for that. what for her true friends. The Princess. you " The salary you have thirty thousand reasons for your votes of a senator. ! ." she exclaimed. . is it necessary to say all these things ? Another of the obituary notices upon which we have already called is that which the younger Gautier contributed to the Figaro. explains the number of the reasons.

Flaubert. for the amusement of seeing their more or less awkward struggles to extricate themselves when caught." expressions as these ? Do they convey a truth. Taine." declares Gautier. not to mention her faithful Eugene Giraud. shattered by time or by the hands and the evil passions of men. Alexandre Dumas fits. Among those who read it may . talk. set traps for them. 315 what malice she made her intimates Gustave Sainte-Beuve. Claude Bernard. who had her permission to say anything. means more than an ordinary occasion for mourning it is an historical event. and his manner of the 1840 She interrupted them. Berthelot. we may say that the . or are they the mere exaggerations of grateful friendship. and God knows what this scoffing philosopherartist could not say. with his husky voice. contradicted atelier. seekare to What we deem such ing vainly to repay over the grave a debt which death has made more visible ? The very many quotations in this book will not have been they succeed in convincing the reader that the Princess Mathilde Bonaparte's fame rests upon a very broad and sound excessive if foundation. disappearance of the Princess Mathilde's salon tolls the knell for the end of a world." "The " Princess's death.EPILOGUE dexterity. Renan. them. his Parisian accent. Edmond and Jules de Pasteur. Amid all the beautiful and noble things which are passing away. Goncourt.

The infamous cahiers noirs did their author's work well. at least from that sixties. as if at her death. the Princess Mathilde is held up as an awful example of the trials to which the rulers of Courts may be subjected within the bounds of their own kindred. of the Tuileries in the fifties and According to the writers of this section of the Imperialist party. never came down to the footlights and played to as if the Goncourts the gallery. the Press of Europe had not paid a remarkable tribute to a woman who. the Princess is among the enfants terribles of the family. especially existed to draw his " Portrait of the Princess. like the writer. a female counterpart of her brother. received their impressions of the Princess from hostile sources if not from the point of view of 1870. Perhaps the Princess Mathilde has to thank Horace de Viel-Castel more than any one else for the blackening to which her character has been subjected. be some who. if we follow some — who claim to speak authoritatively — and talking with extraordinary licence. even in the expurgated edition which appeared of them in English. have been content to accept this picture . Flaunting her illicit connection or connections. . and for them it is as if Sainte-Beuve had never later writers. Among in this country." had never spoken of SaintGratien days or evenings in the Rues de Courcelles and de Berri.316 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE first . many. after all. so recent as it is.

discover But to how distorting was his glass involves much among his contemporaries. It cannot be denied that she allowed very free discussion of scandal in her presence at times. It cannot be denied that she separated from a bad husband.EPILOGUE 317 Here was an old friend of the lady. it might be said. and even if he quarrelled with her in the end. In the Princess. took a lover. like many others of consequence. there anything more to be added ? Is Some may say that this is quite enough. not with an beings require vices. . To remove the genuine shades is an unwarrantable No more devastating maxim was ever liberty. Human It strikes at the roots of truth . it bonum. how can we explain long before the quarrel ? trustworthiness of the Count's picture has been touched upon earlier in this book. refused resolutely to forgive him. held up to guide us than Be mortuis nil nisi if ideal character. and. truth as a concept finds little mercy at though the hands of some fashionable philosophers. a case against the Princess. for twenty years. and herself occasionally took a part in the discussion. and lived with him. of course. his victims. research There is. scarcely in concealment. But we are dealing with a human being. may away his revelations The question of the We decide that he held up a distorting mirror to the world with which he came in contact. only to assure us of their humanity. has suffered gross wrongs.

So let us leave the Princess Mathilde her vices. do not propose to proceed to a catalogue of her virtues. Other women have started with similar capital to do the same thing. But she herself a special section of society. she was able to speak of him to three generations of his successors . to Guy de Maupassant and Paul Bourget. " letters. as Gautier Jils points out. Did she have any effect on the generation in which she lived ? — ' The Princess started with the capital of youth. who only left upon her mind a very moderate impression. (It may be objected that the Princess once called the elder 1 Or between four in the world of generations. to Theophile Gautier. She was a link Having known Chateau- briand.318 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE still a very healthful influence in the sphere of the biographer. and money to conquer a place for in Paris. in the foregoing chapters. rank. looks. Her virtues are so glaring has that they call for relief. which the ordinary great hostess regards in the light of an advertisement of her own tastes or a source of aimed at entertainment to her other guests. to Gustave Flaubert. and finally. for example. which would involve a repetition We that has been heard. through the medium of men and women who constantly met the Princess face to of much face and found her admirable and lovable. Aspirations to be a leader of society are common and not particularly meritorious. one question on the answer to which depends her claim to immortality. will We content ourselves with answering. if we can." .

however. in which she had forgotten the existence of some gross libels upon the old critic. she did not altogether fail in her efforts. which argues that she. The Princess Mathilde. it was not only "the truffles of the courtesan" which drew men of genius to the house of the former Therese Lachmann. wife of the Marquis of Boccagiovine. too. She drew the men of brains together in her rooms and there stamped upon them. to . Plaubert. La Paiva. there were other salons Dumas — partly contemporaneous with her in Paris. She did not necessarily buy them all. bringing down upon her a very cutting letter of farewell from him when he returned the notebook. Prince Napoleon. " her hall-mark. Dupin. visitors Still. Thiers. as she numbered among her Renan. if the Princess's ambitions led her in search for a salon. looked for an entertainer but then Dumas was a pantin !) Still.EPILOGUE 819 a pantin. and other celebrities. who craved a was among the intellectuals. so to say. in Edmond de Goncourt's phrase. There also the Princess Julie Bonaparte. have heard of the one presided over by that ambiguous person. It is made the extraordinary blunder place true that she of sending for Sainte-Beuve to read her notebook. did far more than Madame de Paiva or the Princess Julie. to the success of We which Sainte-Beuve's praise and the Princess Mathilde's fiery denunciation alike bear testimony .

while the Emperor ran is ! and say. holding a candle. at to another. Saint-Cloud. The King of or to play at the Toilette de representing some article. Furthermore. And there is another story how. meeting through the hostess's influence. at the suggestion of the Princess Metternich. Probably the letter to Courcelles. sparks must have been produced which later burst into flame. the Mme. dead each one Madame. " as possible. where the highest society of the day amused itself so desperately. the brilliance of And of the fiery it souls is who came together under her eyes assuredly unthe Princess's necessary to speak. Thus in the Rue de Courcelles and at support Saint-Gratien there was a force which made for the security of the Government. in which he tells Compiegne. the nearly fifty-year old Count Tascher de la Pagerie was ordered to amuse the Princess Mathilde (!) by imitations of a turkey- . it is only of that other Court. Octave is Peuillet from her husband well known. from the clash of intellects. To appreciate the value institution in the of Rue de necessary to think real Court. must at least be on speaking terms with the Empire. the singe a la mode. Morocco as gravely " from one with laughter or. convulsed . how courtiers were compelled to walk in front at of a lady. to pick up a ring with the teeth from a plate of flour without beflouring the face.320 THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE the But the Mathildiens Empire.

. because. she lifted up the reputation of both of Prance as — a land of the highest culture. of the Bonapartes as a stock which was not exhausted in the production of one great man. which ran the risk of making the observer forget her high purpose in admiration of her generosity.. in spite of the faults in her career. in her own lifetime.EPILOGUE 321 cock. at the Empress's dictation. while we have to search long there " " the rational of which Goncourt for pleasure declared the Princess's house the home. It would be unfair to describe these as the usual entertainments at Court. She did her work with an exquisite grace. a storm. which seemed to spring from the very vigour of her personality. but they were not infrequent. Not that frolic had been left out of the composition of the daughter of Jerome Bonaparte. the " But she preferred to laugh toujours loustic" over the lightning caricatures of Eugene Giraud. The Princess Mathilde did good work for her country and for her family . rather than play hunt-the-slipper or listen to a middle-aged chamberlain imitating a turkey. it might be. the happiness of proving that she was loved for herself by all those men of merit whose 21 . We will leave it to Prancois Coppee to describe the reward and to utter the last compliment to the Princess Mathilde " stricken the Princess had : Sorely by fate. She did not go without her reward. etc. somewhat broad in their treatment.

with touching haste. such as we shall probably never see again.' Por nearly thirty years since the fall of the Second Empire the salon of the niece of Napoleon I." THE END . : hut friends. Not one stroke of good or ill fortune And came upon any of her band of faithful without the Princess manifesting her joy or bestowing her consolation. has not received on the morrow of a success the token of her ever-watchful sympathy ? Even in her last years. remained an abode of fascination and charm. and made sure that in them she had not let courtiers. be he artist or writer. too. us hasten to say to all of them. in spite of her great age. a perfect friend. of their deep and sincere affection for her.THE PRINCESS MATHILDE BONAPARTE She had the certainty society she had sought. Who among us. she was an admirable. that of ' The good Princess. to the bedside of a sick friend ? Therefore we used to call her by one name only. did she not always come.

Bonaparte. 121. Joseph. 15 Bonaparte. Imperial . Stephanie. Alexander II. ex-King of Holland.. Prince Canino. 23. Mine. 68 Bonaparte. 159 Princess RocBonaparte. Patterson-. 141. 213-18. Louis. Hortense tense. see Horex-Queon of Holland : Bonaparte. 8 ff. 19. 211. Julie. Mathilde. 139. Prince Pierre. Tsar. 16. 289. Grand Duchess of Baden. 17/7-. Duchess of Bartolini-Badelli. Lucien. Duchess of Aosta. Princess. 211 see BonaAosta. Charles. 319 cagiovine. 233 n. 305. 260 Bonaparte. 75. 290-1. Count. 132 Bonaparte. 245 Beauharnais. ex-Queon of Spain. Louis. 220-2 Bonaparte. Tsar.INDEX OF PRINCIPAL NAMES About. Francois. 41-3. 303. Duke of. 8. 76. : Bonaparte.. Beauharnais. 235.. 66. sen. 235 Bernstorff. 17 Bonaparte. 25 Bonaparte. 41 Jerome Napoleon Napoleon Patterson-.. 68. 265. ex-King of Spain. 274. Princess Marie of Hamilton.. 81-5. Abbe. 21 282 Coppee. Duchess of : parte. 77-8. 30610 Bonaparte. 17. 21. ex-King of Westphalia. 33. Jerome. Delessert. 101. 124. 90. 1. 323 . 130-3. 75. 303. 16.. 141. 305. 10 n. I. 136-7. Baron. 23. 283. 94 Chassiron. 290-1. 24-9. Tsar. 124. - Napoleon- Charles. Countess. Princess Caroline Clothilde. Edraond. Castiglione. 265.. 115 n. Prince Charles 136-7. Edouard 61. Countess. 114. 365 Benedetti. 307. 143. . Queen of Westphalia. 305. 131-3 Jerome - Chassiron. 228 Alexander III. Jerome Bonaparte. 12. 140 209 Catherine. 101-2. of see BonaCanino. 17 ff. Prince Louis. 276-7. 16. 243 321-2 121. 156-7 Aguado. 83 Bonaparte. Pauline. 9ff. 29 Alexander I. Loetetia : see Loa- Madame Mere 12. 212. 284-5. 160 Aumale. 226. 310 Bonaparte Prince : see also . 268. see Marie-Letizia.. 29 Bazaine. : Marchioness. Coque'reau. Marshal. Bonaparte. 82. 303 ff. Princess Napoleon Prince Napoleon II. 135 Benedetti. 310 Baden. . Napoleon. Prince Victor. Julie. Alfred.. Prince of parte. titia. 84 : 5. 69. 87. Baroness see Murat. Grand Duke. 289. Marie-Letizia Arago. 121. jun. 289.. 14.. Constantino. 237. 80. 17 Bonaparte. 5.

99. 271-2. 1 22.. 144. Mme. Captain. 30-2. 81-2. Prince of Wales. Marquis of. 134. 42. 315 de.324 INDEX OF PRINCIPAL NAMES 249. 1 1 5 n. 128 144. 250. 81. 126-7. 321. 276 Louis XVIII. 303-6 90 ff. Princess Goncourt. 157-8. 148. Countess. Theophile. 314-15 245. 79. 123 #. 182-4. 267 Eugenie. 222-3. 93-4.. 304 Hertford. 69. 237. 271. 135 Dreyfus. 11-13. 89." 123. 232. 34. 241. 305 Desprez. 19-20. early education. Gabrielli. 314 n. 14. Gautier. Joannier. 266. 70. 127-9 . pere. 264 #. 23. 74 Flaubert. Feuillet. (Charlotte Bonaparte). . 123 Desprez. 80 Hebert. 118. her taken to Italy. 27. 99. 305. 152. 59. 124 Marie-Amelie. Mme. 205. birth. 192. 155. O.. 282. Abbe. 235. 269-70. 79 Mere. 1 1 Mathilde. her towards Napoleon feelings III. 22. Marie-Louise. Marguerite. 229. Prince Imperial. Russian 8. 119. 302. 5. 16 n. ex-Queen of Holland. Princess her looks. 153-5 Dumas. 284.. 16. 104 Douglas. 176. 217. 240. on Saint127-8. 79 Houssaye. 2. 29-30 . 249. 83 n. Alexandre. Lavisse. 67. 15. 57. 262. 16. 125. 115 Princess Gabrielli. 14 Louis-Philippe. Baron. Empress. 16. 119#. 235. 80-1.. Count. 249.. 315.. 51. 142 Dumas. etc. 147. sympathies. 161-2. 26-7. Charles. 99-100. 30-1 Demidoff. 118.. 196-8. Prince Placido. 205 Fould. his description of Princess Mathilde. 105. berg. Duke of and Duchess Hamilton. 228. 224 . 16. 275. Gavarni. 140-1 Frederick. 244 29 n. Eugene. Marquis and Marchioness : Gratien. Hortense. Demidoff. 226. 166. 24-6. 59 Giraud.. 250. 230. Achille.. 320 Feuillet. 298 Du Casse. 99. 51. 123. 160. 260 n. etc. 99. 32. of. 225. 126. Paul. 245 #. 201. see Hamilton. marries Anatole Demidoff. 24. 160. Duchess of (Princess Marie of Baden). Gustave. 83 n. Madame 308 26. King. 303... 4. Gratien. Mme. 227-8 see MaDemidoff. 42-3. 293. afterwards King Edward VII. 27. 104-5. Octave. 184.. 115 n. 292-3 Hamilton. parentage. 225. 125. 22't.. 99. 69. 225. Demidoff. 17. 86. 163. Victor. 51. fils. Ernest. Victor. Prince Mario. 215 Gautier. 311-14 Flahault.. 251. Alexandre. Theophile. Edmond de. 36#. 79. 87. his description of Saint- thilde. 309 " Julie. 17. 235 ff. King of Wiirtem- Fly. 119. engaged to Napoleon Goncourt. Countess : 264. Lcetitia. 133. Louis. 183. 6. 109-11. 192 Giraud. 162. 125. married days. Jules de. 225. III. 70. 108. 70. early . USff. Araene. 18. 232 #. 123-5. ff. Duke Edward. 137. 304 La Gueronniere. loses her — mother. 262 Hugo. 223. 23 Gabrielli. Le Hon. King. fils. 266. 1556. Nicholas. pere. 35 . 148.. 115. 321 Giraud. 32. 54. Empress. Queen. 122. 286-8.. Anatole. 14. memoirs.

campaign. 84. her last meeting with Napoleon. 203. 256. relations Gratien. 49. 233-4. 65. 76. Lucien. 205 . thilde. 235 ff. Napoliondtrie. 32. 54-5 . 291-4. brother's at her 293-4 . Countess Morny. appreciations of her character. 258. 123-6. and the FrancoPrussian War. 286-8. friendrestored salon. 90.. 64-5 . ship with Popelin. 126. 153 164 n. exiled to America. help. poleon Bonaparte) 1 6 . . 289. the Mathildiens. Duke of. 265 ff. 298. 25. 258-9 Merimee. 57-8 144-7. 116. 165 her sketch of him. . 96.. 302-4. engaged to Princess Maat Strasburg. 216-17. 122. exile. accusations other against her morals. Princess Anna.INDEX OF PRINCIPAL NAMES separation from Demidoff. attitude to Liberal Empire. 313-14 Napoleon III. 229-31. 299 Murat. deathbed. for him. Caroliaison. see Bona93 parte. 221 J. resides at St. 6. 54-5 . leon's . 59-63. SOS ff. 237. as a Frenchwoman. becomes Imperial Highness. 195 ff. breaks her leg 300 . 10. her ideal home. 4. 76 . 297 . . 305. her generosity to friends. 82. 94. late life in 295. her dogs. 90. 298. 247-8. 47#. 15960. 9. Cloud. 262 . 113. 233. reconciled to her father. 14. 24-6. 130-3. second offer to her. her friendship with Sainte-Beuve. 141. 258. Napoleon I. Gratien. 102. quarrels with him. 41 . 116-17. 64 . 212. 44 . 204. 120. at tho Rue de Berri. 313-14. the Nieuwerkerke . . Patterson-Bonawith the partes. at 99 ff. Alfred de.. 55. 315. Montijo. 146-9 . 76 . 33 . 51-3. hostess 69-72. described by Francois Coppee. 120. 92. 89 . father. 149-50. her income increased on his death 141 . 143-4. . Princess Caroline. Prince of Pontecorvo. ff. 60 . her buys St. 81 n. other deaths her in her circle. 25. geta him into Senate. 87.. dislike for England. quarrels with her 270 . Italian views. back at at NapoSt. 92-3 with Eugenie.. 169 n. escapes from Ham.. 235. at Prince Imperial's funeral. 75. 112. 42-3. attitude toward Republic. 105-8. . 1 85-8 . 311/7- 84 . 225 in flight from Paris. Mathildo's views about. 122. Gratien. 182. A. loses Eugene friendship with Giraud. . with Viel-Castel. 94-7. 169. 182 . 229-30. 259. (Prince Louis-Nain Italy. Prince of : Mery. 150-2. . asks his Mathildo's 44. 252 ff. his distress at Boulogne. 301 . 226. P. her affection 51-2 views on womon. 67. her farewell drive in Paris. 298. 261-2 . . 74 . 265 Murat. afterwards Duchess of Mouchy. 54. Elysee. 78-9. 219. Guy de. 298. — . 210 Murat. life at St. VielCastel's criticism of her circle. . quarrels ff. . 224 . . Napoleon's helps her tastes. 224 . 41 Orleanist sympathies. 94. 206-7.. vitality. her chosen society. freedom of speeoh. Maupassant. 207. at Napoleon's her relations wedding. Napoleon's second offer to her. 141. 21-2 Montfort. 132 . Paris.. 313. 295-6. 112-15. 243 ff. Prosper. 271 Edmond de Goncourt. 79-80 . 137. Jerome of. 67. her charity. 56. 33 over Mathildo's marriage. bed. daring coup d'etat. religious views. line Murat's opinion of. 64-5. her deathburial. toward the Dreyfus affair.5 her funeral. 64 Musset.

his death. 112 ff. Reiset. his Italian policy. 201 quarrels with Na189-91 . . 315 Roccagiovine." 2-4. 289 Nicholas I. 53. 189-91 his relations with Countess Walewska. 20. Tsar. 83 . Marchioness of. 103-4 69 41 . coarseness. 28. Countess. his answer to Taine. Julie Rousseau. 198. him from his posts. 291-2 Primoli. 140 n. 261 Taine. Elizabeth. 115. and poleon III. 164. 165$. Sainte-Beuve. . 231 Troubat. his republicanism. 35-7. 28. goes to France. 134. 38. 173. his Napoleon et ses De288 . marries Clothilde.. quarrels with Mathilde.. the Franco-Prussian War. 114 37... 109 n. 69.. 42. funeral. 315 Patterson. 204-5 . Count. 115. 15. 5.SS6 INDEX OF PRINCIPAL NAMES Palva. 76-7 . 67 . . berg. his Lettres & la Princesse. 93.. Prince. 1 8 n. 27. 288 . his death. 319 Victor-Emmanuel. Reiset. 161 90 ff. 231 . birth. 134. 103 Renan. Princess Bonaparte. 121. 199 184. 82. 124. 194. Mme. 139 . 145. 124. 85 Plancy. 40. 173 n. 233 his last meeting with Mathilde. dismisses 133. 157. 134. 163. 176. quarrels with the Princess. 142 . 141 . 274 ff. his friendship with the Princess. PaTva. 159 Serlay. . 18. 224-6 at the Emperor's at Prince 236 ff. 82. Prince (NapoleonJoseph-Charles Bonaparte) appearance. funeral. 225. Emile. 226-7. 77 . joins Temps. 172. Mme. 109-11. his death.. . Nieuwerkerke. 121. 179. Napoleon. 291 Nieuwerkerke. 165. 43. 238 King. his character. 102. 144. 132-3. 162 n. Pasteur. 123. 301 Primoli.. . 247-8. 139. de. sketched by her. 79. 284 . 235 ff. 85. 303 — Rachel. 16«. 69. Charles Augustin. de. Sophia. Baroness. 102. 288. 168-9. 69. 74. 174. 59. 168. 162. Ratomski.. . 195 ff. at a ball. conduct in the Crimea. 195. . Queen of Holland. . 49-50. 83. 199 Sardou. 161-2. 15 . 225 . Giuseppe. sets up Liberal Empire. " his Portrait of the Princess. 85. retires to England. Mme. 105-8. Claudius.. the question of his marriage. his coup d'etat. 164. 78. 189 opposition to Napoleon III. 162. 84 .. 292. on love and old age. 229 Soulie. 70. 49-50. Popelin. 249 : affection for his father. 188. Napoleon. . 174. Imperial's his conduct in 1883. quarrels with his son Victor. Jules. 70. Philippe. Frederic. 179. 146-7 235 Ollivier. politically influenced by Princess Mathilde. 47. 68. 180. 197 n.. 219. 23. 114 Reding. his ugliness. his leniency to Prince . 26. 143. 86. 227 . 75 see Roccagiovine. 160. 130 Persigny. 55 ff. 19. Oscar II. Count. his friendship with Sainte-Beuve. 143 n. 75. 139. Luigi. 219-20. 163.140-2. 265 ff. 315 Thiers. 240. Nicolardot. 32. 220 King of Sweden. 206 Ratomska. 158. 124. Marquis of. at Arenentracteurs. 169-70.

204-6 Walewski. 13. 143 Vimercati. 260-1 William. 162 .. Citizen. Oscar.. 231 327 Walewska. 48. 31. 43 William II. 265 Viel-Castel. Countess. 144. 11.. 212. Queen. 316 Vimercati. 91. Prince. 37. 99#. German Emperor. 06ff. 114. 61. 144-7. Countess. 136-7. 204-5 Wilde. Count. 55 n. 168 n„ 204-5. 141. 205 Vindex. later King of Wurtemberg. 61. 238. 123. 50.. Ill. 143. 306 Zola. 114.INDEX OF PRINCIPAL NAMES Victoria. 57. Count Horace de. Count.

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The first march was en route for Paris . who in his early days occupied a desk in the prince's bureaux. of genius. To his text. An unfortunate title. Both revolutions resulted from an idea the idea of the people. it is as amusing as a romance. the second was before the pursuit of our own and the French armies. with Appendices By Alexandre Dumas. as originally published. no new edition of the book has appeared for sixty years. Garnett. and treatment. ACCESSION Being a History from the OF LOUIS PHILIPPE IN 1830 TO THE Revolution of 1848. for while the book was yet a new one the " last King" was succeeded by a man who.THE NEW FRANCE. very few seem versed in what followed and culminated in the revolution of 1848. near Soissons. The map of Europe is about to be altered. This we can hardly follow with success unless we possess an intelligent knowledge of the history of our Allies. the author of the most essentially French book. Written when the fame of its brilliant author was at its height. In 1789 the people destroyed servitude. made himself Emperor. : an evolution. although its republican author was Alexandre Dumas. Only instead of calling his book what it was a history of France for eighteen years that is to say from the accession of Louis Philippe in 1830 to his abdication in 1848 he called it The Last King of the French. monarchical in 1848 they thrust aside representation by the few and a despotism Monarchy which served its own interests to the prejudice of the country. Before long we shall be engaged in the marking out. but who resigned it when the Due d'Orleans became King of the French. In two volumes. where he sleeps with his brave father General Alexandre Dumas. and having taken part in it. he wrote its history. cloth gilt. It is impossible to understand the French Republic of to-day unless the struggle in 1848 be studied for every profound revolution is — — — . this will be found eminently characteristic of him. privilege. in fact. 24/. It is a curious fact that the present generation is always ignorant of the history of that which preceded it. ignorance. And. It will easily be understood that a book with such a title by a republican was not likely to be approved by the severe censorship of the Second Empire. the long narrative takes the reader into the battlefield.net. the Court and the Hotel de Ville with equal success. S. Everyone or nearly everyone has read a history Carlyle's or some other of the French Revolution of 1789 to 1800 . which are unknown in England. that exists (its name is The Three Musketeers) took part in this second revolution. with an introduction and notes by R. and while these events were taking place the first translation of his long neglected book was being printed in London. book 7 . Dumas. Demy 8vo. Wittily written. During the present war the Germans have twice marched over hit grave at Villers Cotterets. Habent sua fata A man both in its subject — — — tibelli. Translated into English. Although a history composed with scrupulous fidelity to facts. having been elected President. truly. which was the continuation of the first. and abounding in life and colour. are added as Appendices some papers from his pen relating to the history of the time. profusely illustrated with a rare portrait of Dumas and other pictures after famous artists. relates much which it is curious to read at the present time.

hotels. 21/net. and this book will give all the necessary information without redundant words or waste of time. It is not intended for students or experts. Steward weaves into the romance and history of the War Medal technical explanations of great interest to the student and collector as well as to the general reader. and in other corps. The American Who's Who. From the inception of the War or Special Service Medal.000 pages. time when thousands of active men have been suddenly uprooted from their normal life to serve as soldiers. Augustus Steward. profusely illustrated.WAR MEDALS AND THEIR HISTORY By W. A and similar institutions. 5/. 12/6 net. newspaper oifices. . but for the man who wants to be ready to help those around him. THE CURE FOR POVERTY By John Calvin Brown. explaining at the same time the differences between the bona-fide and the fraudulent.000 notable living men and women of the United States. Mr. public libraries. net. and even. should have its place on the reference shelves of all business offices. SHORT CUTS TO FIRST AID By a Metropolitan Police Surgeon Army Medical Corps. Id. Author of "From the Breasts of the Brave. yet spicily humorous." etc. the need is strongly felt for this book of Short Cuts to First Aid. after many years of heavy commercial experience in England. biographical dictionary of 20. England is training men to-day at double-quick time. John Calvin Brown. he takes his readers through its history to the present day. Crown 8vo. WHO'S WHO IN AMERICA. if necessary. Mr. reviews the most burning National reforms of the British Empire and of the United States. cloth gilt. Demy 8vo. a biennial publication now in its eighth edition. gilt. cloth gilt. special constables.net. cloth 3. to apply bandages to minor injuries on himself. Officier d'Academie. and on the Continent. 7| x 5|. This narrative is made good reading even for the non-student of national and industrial affairs by the very large number of apposite stories interspersed among the plain arguments of the book. so that from cover to cover it reads like a most clearly instructive. F'cap 8vo (6J x At this particular attached to the Royal 3J). after-dinner speech. 1914-1915 Edited by Albert Nelson Marquis. clubs. in the United States.

fully illustrated. cloth gilt. its causes and its remedies. Author not be King.net. Necessarily. and brilliantly expressed.. leaving her a gigantic fortune. 5/. Pearce tells in a lively. has written a fascinating character-study of Sir Herbert Tree both as actor and as man. Dark's opinions have always been distinctive and individual." etc. B. 16/. of " The Man Who Would Demy 8vo.CROQUET a large coloured plan of the court.D. D. F. With an Paton. Sidney Dark. the writer is compelled to present many aspects of the case. witty. . besides good advice on the " breaks. as Director of the National Council of Public Morals. THE MASTER PROBLEM By James Marchant. fully illustrated. anecdotal style the story of Harriot Mellon. who played merry. cloth gilt. hoydenish parts before the footlights a hundred years ago.R. India. Europe. It is thoroughly up-to-date. Mr. explains in clear language the various methods. etc. until her fortunes were suddenly changed by her amazing marriage to Thomas Coutts. the banker prince. in America." etc. 8vo. Duchess of Albans. Albans. Mr. Meyer. She then married the Duke of St.S. who died a few years later. intended both for the novice and for the skilled player. Author of Dr. cloth gilt. Demy 8vo. Pearce. " F. and to describe persons and scenes which he has encountered. and he has used the striking personality of his subject as a text for a comprehensive survey and criticism of the modern English stage and its present tendencies. the Colonies. 10/6 net. however. is the more difficult and more useful task of discovering the root causes of this vice and of suggesting lasting remedies. Ed." a treatise on the Either Ball Game. and his new book is outspoken. and editor of " Prevention. Charles E. styles and shots found after careful thought and practical experiences to have the best results. the overruling object of the book." etc." Introduction by the Rev. Author of Polly Peachum. cloth gilt. the well-known literary and dramatic critic. with 100 photographs and how to play it. . Fifty Years' Record of Stage and Society (1787-1837) " By Charles E. Crown 8vo. Hon. Lord Tollemache. Mr. This work.net. Harriot. THE JOLLY DUCHESS: St. 10/6 net. Demy SIR HERBERT TREE AND THE MODERN THEATRE A Discursive Biography : By Sidney Dark. This book deals with the social evil. and includes. explaining subject of By the Rt.

fully illustrated. cloth gill. Author of "A Vagabond Courtier. 8vo. and was a prominent figure in all the Jacobite He was the ambassador and friend plottings before and after the '45." and other similar Mr. Here is Mr. This excellent biography is to be followed later by a work on James Keith. Bind-af-Hageby. a gallant young colonel of Life Guards under Marlborough and Ormonde. Edition limited to 365 sets. volume of this important work is now ready.R. and 50 other illustrations." Mr. but to the wider circle interested in the Britons. Through his " Boswell. but nevertheless bubbles over here and there with humour. laughing.THE LAST EARL MARISCHALL OF SCOTLAND By Edith E. criticises and explains his many writings. What more need be said ? Crown THE HISTORY OFGRAVESEND From Prehistoric : TIMES TO THE BEGINNING OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY By Alex.S. and their life in this country. fully illustrated. Stanley Naylor. Hume. and generally expressing a philosophy which has serious truth behind it. F. Cuthell. On historical grounds it is of value not only to those interested in Gravesend and its surroundings.net. George Keith. Gaiety. led the ill-fated Jacobite expedition from Spain. It also deals with the early history of the River Thames. with a coloured frontispiece. and Anglo-Saxons. George Grossmith in his moments of leisure. and describes truly yet sympathetically the struggles and difficulties of his life and the representativeness and greatness in him and his work. 9 J x 6h. Grossmith in this book is as good as " Gee-Gee " at the subjects. of Frederick the Great and the friend and correspondent of Voltaire. Crown This book 10 . 6/. In four vols. The first AUGUST STRINDBERG The : Spirit of Revolt By E. Frederick the Great's FieldMarshal. tells Strindberg's biography. 8vo. J.. signed by the Author. 5/. cloth gilt. 12/6 net each volume." " The Ladies of the Gaiety. bound in sealskin.net. joking. Philip." " The Difference Between a Blood and a Nut.net. he talks of " Love Making on the Stage and Off. Romans. relating anecdotes (personal and otherwise). 8vo.. who was killed in attempting to retrieve the reverse of Demy Hochkeich. fought at Sheriffmuir. GAIETY AND GEORGE GROSSMITH: Random Reflections on the Serious Business of Enjoyment By Stanley Naylor. 2 vols. 24/." etc.Hist. with many illustrationv. cloth gilt. criticising people and places. Miss Hageby has written a fascinating book on a character of great interest. Rousseau and d'Alembert.

A. 21/. It is. Every runner knows the name of Harry Andrews and his long list of successes headed by that wonderful exponent. Broadley. In two volumes. Colonial Emigrants. M. with two coloured frontispieces and one hundred illustrations (from the collection of A.net. and the general public. 1/." etc. " coming and come. cloth." etc. Helena after his defeat at Waterloo. He has studied his subject on the 6pot as well as in France and England. throughout the Empire. A 11 . By Norwood Young. M. FIELD & ROAD By Harry Andrews.NAPOLEON IN EXILE AT ELBA By Norwood Young. Author . — PAUL'S SIMPLICODE Crown 8vo. 32/. Crown The athlete. Broadley's unrivalled collection of MSS. Young and Mr. Departmental Stores. Author " " TRAINING FOR THE TRACK. cloth gilt. and illustrations has been drawn upon for much valuable information. 2/. of (1814-1815) " The Growth of with a chapter on the Iconography Napoleon. 8vo. and gives a very informative study of the least-known period of Napoleon's life. 1814. for the self-training man that the Author explains the needed preparation and methods for every running distance. Shopping by Post. A sentence in a word. simple and thoroughly practical and efficient code for the use of Travellers. and Mr. Tourists.net.net. A history of Napoleon's exile on the island of St. Alfred Shrubb. HELENA (1815-1821) of Napoleon in Exile at Elba. amateur or professional. cloth gilt. Broadley)." The Story of Rome. with illustrations. with coloured frontispiece and 50 illustrations (from the collection of A.net. however. Broadley are authorities on Napoleonic history.. etc. Business Men. Official Trainer to the A. Lawyers. This work gives a most interesting account of Napoleon's residence in the Isle of Elba after his abdication at Fontainebleau on April 11th. Demy 8vo. demy 8vo. M. by A. NAPOLEON IN EXILE AT ST. This most authoritative and up-to-date book should therefore ptove of immeasurable assistance to every athlete. A. Broadley). 1815. M. cloth. June 18th. the cheapest code book published in English. Everyone should use this." has in this volume a training manual from the brain and pen of our foremost athlete trainer to-day. A. Both Mr. The author is a very thorough scholar and has spent four years' work on these two books on Napoleon in Exile.

The frank and fearless fashion in which Mrs. and the charm of that personality is illustrated by these happy quotations from the The illustrations. Miles. into which is weaved much of her own personality. She has created for herself a distinctive character. cloth gilt. 2/6 net. The pieces. philosophers. Israel net. Sidney Dark is especially illuminating. and there is a complete index. Miss Marie Tempest is undoubtedly one of the most popular actresses of the English stage. THIS IS MY BIRTHDAY With an introduction by gilt By Anita Baetle. Jerrold has dealt with events in her earlier books will pique curiosity as to this new work. Author " Victoria Queen Victoria. and the page opposite is left blank for the filling A in of new names. A GARLAND OF VERSE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE Edited by Alfred H. in which she shows the Kaiser as an extraordinary example of heredity most of his wildest vagaries being foreshadowed — "arebi 12 . Clare Jerrold presents in anecdotal fashion incidents both tragic and comic in the career of the Kaiser Wilhelm and his ancestors. This is and gilt top. 2/6 net paper. warriors. Crown net. Zangwill. 2/6 Also in various leather bindings. arists. living and dead. 8vo. whether poets. while the introductory appreciation by Mr.THE MARIE TEMPEST BIRTHDAY BOOK Giving an extract for each day of the year from the various parts played by Miss Marie Tempest. are graded to suit age and classified to facilitate reference. show her at various periods parts she has played. 1/6 net. Never before has an attempt been made to cover in one volume such a wide range of pieces at so small A a price. " of The Early Court of The Married Life of Queen . Zangwill has written a charming introduction to the book. selected from a wide field. collection of verse for children. a unique volume. cloth gilt. Handsomely bound. with an introductory appreciation and 9 portraits in photogravure. 756 pages. page of beautiful and characteristic quotations is appropriated to each name. being a birthday-book of the great. 2/- In this book Mrs. statesmen. Mr. Handsome cloth gilt. in her theatrical career. Demy l8mo." and " etc. STORIES OF THE KAISER AND HIS ANCESTORS By Clare Jerrold. Everyone likes to know the famous people who were born on their natal day. or novelists. and few will refuse to add their signatures to such a birthday book as this. with portraits. and many new pieces are included to help nature-study and interest children in collateral studies.

he has been continually For scoring. '13 . double -columns. Valuable Copyright and other Pieces by great Authors. Coulson Kernahan. he captains such wonderful elevens. clear type on good handsome cover design in three colours. Alfred H. net.' very handy collection of recitations has been gathered here by Mr. " A marvellous production for sixpence. The Editor has aimed at including poems and prose pieces which are not usually to be found in volumes of recitations. 6d. "A — —Colonial Bookseller. Sir A. Mark Twain. THE FIRST FAVOURITE RECITER Edited by Alfred H. Mr. Lord Lytton. Gilbert. Conan Doyle. Miles. excellent in every respect. Campbell Rae-Brown. Since he took the field in 1882 with his Al Series. ' —Star. Max Adeler. and other and Humorists. Bret Harte. Lord Tennyson. Also in cloth. not out I The secret is. William Morris. wits. Miles' successes in the reciter world are without parallel. Sir W. Edmund Gosse. and places them with so much advantage in the field. The grave and gay occasions are equally well provided for. and other Poets and Humorists. reaching the boundary of civilisation with every hit. admirable a production for grown-ups. Austin Dobson. nearly 80 years he has played a famous game.A NEW SERIES OF RECITERS paper. as well as a few of the old favourites . S. 96 pages large 4to. Robert Buchanan. Valuable Copyright and other Pieces by Robert Louis Stevenson. * shown by the inclusion of such pieces as Woman and Work and * Woman. and many a pleasant hour in the ' cold evenings can be spent by the fire with The Up-to-date Reciter. too. ? Uniform with the above in Style and Price : THE UP-TO-DATE RECITER Edited by Alfred H. Robert Browning. A sign of the times is here." . Christina Rossetti. including Hall Caine. Who could not win with such teams as those named above. . Sir Edwin Arnold.' both from the chivalrous pen of the Editor. Miles. 1/. " An ideal It is just as gift for your girls and youths for Christmas. Miles. Poets. Artemus Ward. and his score to date is a million odd." The Bookman.net. Tom Gallon.

In Crown THE EVERYDAY SOUP BOOK By at G. Crown is 8vo. It gives an THE EVERYDAY ECONOMICAL COOKERY BOOK By A. 14 . THE EVERYDAY PUDDING BOOK By F.P. One of the most valuable cookery books ways of making puddings.K. Boy Scouts CAMP COOKERY ' : A Book for By Lincoln Green. clear account of the methods. This the an inexpensive cooking apparatus. Recipes for soups. "A practical book of good recipes.THE EVERYDAY SERIES Edited by Gertrude Paul. and It also describes the construction of utensils appropriate to camp life. giving a in the year. " Really economical and good. 1/. in existence. Qd. strongly bound. unexampled This includes sauces as well as vegetables and potatoes." — Westminster Gazette. THE EVERYDAY SAVOURY BOOK By Marie Worth. net.K. dishes."— World. materials. Books on Household Subjects. purees. It gives 366 THE EVERYDAY VEGETABLE BOOK By F. officially and contains a approved book for the Boy Scouts' Association." —Spectator. 8vo.net each. list of new and little-known recipes. " Very practical. and broths of every kind for a quiet dinner home or an alderman ic banquet. strongly bound.T.K. including recipe or hint for every day February 29th.

It is full of fun from beginning to end. etc. and will put the glomiest curmudgeon into cheery spirits. Conduct. 2/. 2/6. judges. Breakfasts. . vagabonds. fun about love. etc. possibly do better than get "The Laughter Lover's Vade-Mecum and those who seek bright relief from worries little and big should take advantage of the same advice. Milks. Deportment. doctors. but now Fun Doctors are in requisition everywhere. . Entertainment. teachers. round Pocket . etc. 8vo (6J x 3j). COLE'S FUN DOCTOR series. it is full of fun. In F'cap 8vo (6i corners. rilues had an extensive practice until the Fun Doctor set up in opposition. cloth.net. Story-Telling.THE LAUGHTER LOVER'S VADE-MECUM Good stories. COLE'S FUN DOCTOR By E. Balls and Suppers. W. Luncheons. kissing. . At Homes. . Toasts and Sentiments. at Dinners. boys fun about clergymen. cloth bound. Dr.. It is doubtful if any man living could read any page without bursting into a hearty laugh. jurymen. magistrates. crown 8vo. A new Edition reset from new type. Cole 576 pp. rhymes. cannot " . with laughs on every page. By The other of the two funniest books in E.. witnesses. with hints on Etiquette. comers. etc. and x 31).. . This handy book is intended to help the diffident and inexperienced to the reasonable enjoyment of the social pleasures of society by an elementary introduction to the rules which govern its functions. 2/6. round 2/. This book.. fun about lawyers. It sparkles thoroughout. 1/6 net leather. The mission of mirth is well understood. cloth. Fun about babies fun about bad . . courting. etc. By Alfred H." Evening Standard. . world. 8vo. After-Dinner Speaking. THE DINER'S-OUT VADE-MECUM A of " What's What " on the Manners and Customs Society Functions. and the healthiness of humour goes without saying. " The Second Series of Cole's Fun Doctor is as good as the first. epigrams. Cole 440 pp. therefore. Second the world. witty sayings. Teas. One of the two funniest books in the W. Whoever wishes to secure a repertoire of amusing stories and smart sayings to be retailed for the delight of his family and friends. 1/6 net. etc. cloth bound. flirting. In Fcap. marrying . Jokes. First series. proposing. cr. IS . . public and private. Dress.net (uniform with Diner's Out Vade-Mecum).. " Laugh and Grow Fat " is a common proverb. leather. thieves. should find a place in every home library. Receptions.

The subjects dealt with embrace Loyalty. and lecture halls. In Domestic Life. which. Self-Sacrifice. 4/" Ballads of Brave recitation at . Ballads and Original Stories in Verse. ' — MY OWN RECITER Alfred H. Miles. but permission must be previously secured from the Editor. Its aim is to celebrate the bravery of women as shown in the pages of history. In Face of Death. Duologues.. Clare Shirley. Women " is a collection of Poems suitable for women's meetings and at gatherings and entertainments of a more general character. For Liberty. except that the authorship and source must be acknowledged on any printed programmes that may be issued. Miles. For Love. Alfred H. Miles.net Persian yapp. in the cause of freedom. in the interests of his contributors reserves all dramatic rights for their performance in theatres and music halis or by professionals for professional purposes. Edited by Alfred H. " Performances may be given in drawing-rooms. Miles to Ballads of Brave Women. privately or for charitable purposes unconditionally.net .net . Records Large crown 8vo. gilt top paste grain. 4/. Action and Endurance. 3/.BALLADS OP BRAVE WOMEN. In crown 8vo. (boxed). red limp. and other writers. Lyrical and Dramatic. and in the face of death. The Care of the Sick. and edited by Alfred H. Robert Overton. (boxed). of the Heroic in Thought." Pall Mall Gazette. By Catherine Evelyn. cloth. in the service of humanity. 3/. and produced a useful record of tributes to woman's heroism in thought. The want of a collection of short for home use. has often been pressed upon the Editor. for Reading and Recitation. Patriotism. Poems. 1/. Crown 8vo. In Danger. gilt paste grain. . in the battle of life. school rooms. In War. red limp. DRAWING-ROOM ENTERTAINMENTS A book of new and Dialogues. gilt (boxed). 1/. and the difficulty of securing such pieces has alone delayed his issue of a collection. who. gilt (boxed). 1/6 net Persian yapp.net cloth gilt. etc. For Honour. " The attention which everything appertaining to the woman's movement is just now receiving has induced Mr. while worthy of professional representation pieces shall not be too exacting for amateur rendering. and Playlets for Home and Platform use. . and shall be well within the limits of drawing-room resources. on the field of war. gilt. " Extract from Editor's preface. by a selection of the world's greatest writers. original Monologues. net. Labour.net.net. 1/6 net 1/. Miles and other writers. action and endurance." .' He has made an collect and edit these excellent choice. By Alfred H. .

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