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out elegance their humble tone, bordering, came the occasion, possesses a peculiar interon servility, might perhaps offend our modern est from the circumstances under which it ears, if we did not recollect that it was the was written:fashion of the day to approach Elizabeth not merely with the homage due from the subject to the sovereign, but also with the gallant devotion exacted from the true knight by his lady:
"The frozen snake oppressed with heaped snow, By struggling hard gets out her tender head, And spies far off from where she lies below
The winter sun that from the north is fled.
What doth it help a wretch in prison pent,
Of dainty fare for others' tables dressed?
Such is my task, or worse, if worse may be
My heart oppressed with heavy frost of care, Debarred of that which is most dear to me,
Killed up with cold and pined with evil fare. And yet I see the thing might yield relief, And yet the sight doth cause my greater grief.
So Thisbe saw her lover through the wall,
And saw thereby she wanted what she saw; And so I see, and seeing want withal,
And wanting so unto my death doth draw. And so my death were twenty times my friend, If with this verse my hated life might end."
Raleigh's muse seems to have expired with Elizabeth. Poetry was no longer the fashion of the court, and the dark clouds which now rested on his fortunes, and which were destined to be dispersed only by his death, although they did not repress his love of historical and philosophical research, must have had the effect of quenching that fine fancy which once teemed with forms of beauty. The following lines, written the night before his execution, are the sole relique to which we can assign a date subsequent to the death of Elizabeth. This brief summing up of a long experience, simple and devout as be
"Even such is time, that takes on trust
Our youth, our joys, our all we have,
But from this earth, this grave, this dust,
Such were the last notes of the last as well as the greatest of the bevy of courtier-poets who had embellished the reign of Elizabeth. Although infected by the characteristic affectation of the age, and trammelled by the rules which fashion had imposed upon poetry, it was impossible not to recognize in Raleigh With a keen eye for the beauty of external the stuff of which poets have been made. nature, and a strong bent for philosophical speculation, he combined remarkable purity of diction and considerable ingenuity in that complex and highly-artificial versification upon which the fashion of the times set the highest value. He has contrived even to lend interest to the eclogue. His shepherds and shepherdesses are not knights and ladies of high degree in masquing attire; they bear the veritable stamp of Arcadia, and prattle winh a naïveté which is really charming. It is a matter for infinite regret that a restless spirit, constantly goading him on to visionary schemes of impossible execution, should have hindered him from accomplishing some great work which would have reflected honor upon his age, and have entitled him to a niche side by side with Spenser. That he was capable of a great work that colossal fragment, the "History of the World," attests. Had he devoted his energies to a great literary task earlier in life, when his fancy was still buoyant, and his mind unclouded by care, there can be little doubt that he would have selected a poem as the monument of his genius. It would have been ære perennius.
THE DIVORCE OF JOSEPHINE.
BY REV. JOHN S. C. ABBOTT.
NAPOLEON cherished a strong attachment | a long time seemed lost in the most painful to his little grandchild, the son of Hortense musings. He was heard mournfully and and of his brother Louis. The boy was ex- anxiously to repeat to himself again and tremely beautiful, and developed all those again, "To whom shall I leave all this?" noble and spirited traits of character which The struggle in his mind between his love for peculiarly delighted the Emperor. Napoleon Josephine and his ambitious desire to found had apparently determined to make the a new dynasty, and to transmit his name and young prince his heir. This was so generally fame to all posterity, was fearful. It was the understanding, both in France and in manifest in his cheek, in his restless eye, in Holland, that Josephine was quite at ease, the loss of appetite and of 'sleep. But the and serene days dawned again upon her stern will of Bonaparte was unrelenting in heart. its purposes. With an energy which the world has never seen surpassed, he had chosen his part. It was the purpose of his soul-the purpose before which everything had to bend-to acquire the glory of making France the most illustrious, powerful, and happy nation earth had ever seen. he was ready to sacrifice comfort, ease, and his sense of right. For this he was ready to sunder the strongest ties of affection.
Early in the spring of 1807, this child, upon whom such destinies were depending, then five years of age, was seized suddenly and violently with the croup, and in a few hours died. The blow fell upon the head of Josephine with most appalling power. Deep as was her grief at the loss of the child, she was overwhelmed with uncontrollable anguish in view of those fearful consequences which she shuddered to contemplate. She knew that Napoleon loved her fondly, but she also knew the strength of his ambition, and that he would make any sacrifice of his affection, which, in his view, would subserve the interests of his power and his glory. For three days she shut herself up in her room, and was continually bathed in tears.
The sad intelligence was conveyed to Napoleon when he was far from home, in the midst of the Prussian campaign. He had been victorious, almost miraculously victorious, over his enemies. He had gained accessions of power such as, in the wildest dreams of youth, he had hardly imagined. All opposition to his sway was now apparently crushed. Napoleon had become the creator. of kings, and the proudest monarchs of Europe were constrained to do his bidding. It was in an hour of exultation that the mournful tidings reached him. He sat down in silence, buried his face in his hands, and for
Josephine knew Napoleon. She was fully aware of his boundless ambition. With almost insupportable anguish she wept over the death of this idolized child, and, with a trembling heart, awaited her husband's return. Mysterious hints began to fill the journals of the contemplated divorce, and of the alliance of Napoleon with various princesses of foreign courts.
In October, 1807, Napoleon returned from Vienna. He greeted Josephine with the greatest kindness, but she soon perceived that his mind was ill at ease, and that he was pondering the fearful question. appeared sad and embarrassed. frequent private interviews with his ministers. A general feeling of constraint pervaded the court. Napoleon scarcely ventured to look upon his wife, as if apprehensive that the very sight of one whom he had loved so well might cause him to waver in his firm purpose. Josephine was in a state
composure. They sat down at the table in silence. Napoleon did not speak: Josephine could not trust her voice to utter a word. Neither ate a mouthful. Course after course was brought in and removed untouched. A mortal paleness revealed the anguish of each. heart. Napoleon, in his embarrassment, mechanically, and apparently unconsciously, struck the edge of his glass with his knife, while lost in thought. A more melancholy meal probably was never witnessed. The attendants around the table seemed to catch the infection, and moved softly and silently in the discharge of their duties, as if they were in the chamber of the dead. At last the ceremony of dinner was over, the attendants were dismissed, and Napoleon, rising and closing the door with his own hand, was left alone with Josephine. Another moment of most painful silence ensued, when the Em
of the most feverish solicitude, and yet was compelled to appear calm and unconstrained. As yet she had only fearful forebodings of her impending doom. She watched, with most excited apprehension, every movement of the Emperor's eye, every intonation of his voice, every sentiment he uttered. Each day some new and trivial indication confirmed her fears. Her husband became more reserved, absented himself from her society, and the private access between their apartments was closed. He now seldom entered her room, and when he did so, he invariably knocked. And yet not one word had passed between him and Josephine upon the fearful subject. Whenever Josephine heard the sound of his approaching footsteps, the fear that he was coming with the terrible announcement of separation immediately caused such violent palpitations of the heart, that it was with the utmost difficulty she could tot-peror, pale as death, and trembling in every ter across the floor, even when supporting herself by leaning against the walls, and catching at the articles of furniture.
The months of October and November passed away, and, while the Emperor was discussing with his cabinet the alliance into which he should enter, he had not yet summoned courage to break the subject to Josephine. The evidence is indubitable that he experienced intense anguish in view of the separation; but this did not influence his iron will to swerve from its purpose. The grandeur of his fame, and the magnitude of his power, were now such, that there was not a royal family in Europe which would not have felt honored in conferring upon him a bride. It was at first contemplated that he should marry some princess of the Bourbon family, and thus add to the stability of his throne by conciliating the Royalists of France. A princess of Saxony was proposed. Some weighty considerations urged an alliance with the majestic Empire of Russia, and some advances were made to the court of St. | Petersburg, having in view a sister of the Emperor Alexander. It was finally decided that proposals should be made to the court of Vienna for Maria Louisa, daughter of the Emperor of Austria.
At length the fatal day arrived for the announcement to Josephine. It was the last day of November, 1809. The Emperor and Empress dined at Fontainebleau alone. She seems to have had a presentiment that her doom was scaled, for all that day she had been in her retired apartment, weeping bitterly. As the dinner-hour approached, she bathed her swollen eyes, and tried to regain
nerve, approached the Empress. He took her hand, placed it upon his heart, and in faltering accents said, "Josephine! my own good Josephine! you know how I have loved you. It is to you alone that I owe the only few moments of happiness I have known in the world. Josephine! my destiny is stronger than my will. My dearest affections must yield to the interests of France."
Josephine's brain reeled; her blood ceased to circulate; she fainted, and fell lifeless upon the floor. Napoleon, alarmed, threw open the door of the saloon, and called for help. Attendants from the ante-room immediately entered. Napoleon took a taper from the mantel, and uttering not a word, but pale and trembling, motioned to the Count de Beaumont to take the Empress in his arms. She was still unconscious of everything, but began to murmur, in tones of anguish, "Oh, no! you cannot surely do it. You would not kill me." The Emperor led the way, through a dark passage, to the staircase which conducted to the apartment of the Empress. The agitation of Napoleon seemed now to increase. He uttered some incoherent sentences about a violent nervous attack; and, finding the stairs too steep and narrow for the Count de Beaumont to bear the body of the helpless Josephine unassisted, he gave the light to an attendant, and, supporting her limbs himself, they reached the door of her bedroom. Napoleon then, dismissing his male attendants, and laying Josephine upon her bed, rung for her waitingwomen. He hung over her with an expression of the most intense affection and anxiety until she began to revive. But the moment
consciousness seemed returning, he left the room. Napoleon did not even throw himself upon his bed that night. He paced the floor until the dawn of the morning. The royal surgeon, Corvisart, passed the night at the bedside of the Empress. Every hour the restless yet unrelenting Emperor called at her door to inquire concerning her situation. "On recovering from my swoon," says Josephine, "I perceived that Corvisart was in attendance, and my poor daughter Hortense weeping over me. No! no! I cannot describe the horror of my situation during that night! Even the interest he affected to take in my sufferings seemed to me additional cruelty. Oh! how much reason had I to dread becoming an Empress!"
A fortnight now passed away, during which Napoleon and Josephine saw but little of each other. During this time there occurred the anniversary of the coronation, and of the victory of Austerlitz. Paris was filled with rejoicing. The bells rang their merriest peals. The metropolis was refulgent with illuminations. In these festivities Josephine was compelled to appear. She knew that the sovereigns and princes then assembled in Paris were informed of her approaching dis
In all these sounds of triumph she heard but the knell of her own doom. And though a careful observer would have detected indications in her moistened eye and her pallid cheek of the secret woe which was consuming her heart, her habitual affability and grace never, in public, for one moment forsook her. Hortense, languid and sorrowstricken, was with her mother.
Eugene was summoned from Italy. He hastened to Paris, and his first interview was with his mother. From her saloon he went directly to the cabinet of Napoleon, and in quired of the Emperor if he had decided to obtain a divorce from the Empress. Napoleon, who was very strongly attached to Eugene, made no reply, but pressed his hand as an expression that it was so. Eugene immediately dropped the hand of the Emperor, and said,
filled his eyes. In a mournful voice, tremulous with emotion, he replied, "Eugene, you know the stern necessity which compels this measure, and will you forsake me? Who, then, should I have a son, the object of my desire and preserver of my interests, who would watch over the child when I am absent? If I die, who will prove to him a father? Who will bring him up? Who is to make a man of him?"
Eugene was deeply affected, and, taking Napoleon's arm, they retired and conversed a long time together. The noble Josephine, ever sacrificing her own feelings to promote the happiness of others, urged her son to remain the friend of Napoleon. "The Emperor," she said, "is your benefactor-your more than father, to whom you are indebted for everything, and to whom, therefore, you owe a boundless obedience."
The fatal day for the consummation of the divorce at length arrived. It was the 15th of December, 1809. Napoleon had assembled all the kings, princes, and princesses who were members of the imperial family, and also the most illustrious officers of the Empire, in the grand saloon of the Tuileries. Every individual present was oppressed with the melancholy grandeur of the occasion. Napoleon thus addressed them :
"The political interests of my monarchy, the wishes of my people, which have constantly guided my actions, require that I should transmit to an heir, inheriting my love for the people, the throne on which Providence has placed me. For many years I have lost all hopes of having children by, is this consideration which induces me to sacrifice beloved spouse, the Empress Josephine. It the sweetest affections of my heart, to consult only the good of my subjects, and to desire the dissolution of our marriage. Arrived at the age of forty years, I may indulge a reasonable hope of living long enough to rear, in the spirit of my own thoughts and disposition, the children with which it may please Providence to bless me. God knows what such a determination has cost my heart; but there is no sacrifice which is above my courage, when it is proved to be for the interests of France. Far from having any cause of com
"Sire, in that case, permit me to with-plaint, I have nothing to say but in praise of the draw from your service.'
"How!" exclaimed Napoleon, looking upon him sadly; "will you, Eugene, my adopted son, leave me?"
"Yes, sire," Eugene replied, firmly; "the son of her who is no longer Empress cannot remain Viceroy. I will follow my mother into her retreat. She must now find her consolation in her children."
Napoleon was not without feelings. Tears
attachment and tenderness of my beloved wife. the remembrance of them will be forever engraved She has embellished fifteen years of my life, and on my heart. She was crowned by my hand; she shall retain always the rank and title of Empress. Above all, let her never doubt my feelings, or regard me but as her best and dearest friend."
Josephine, her eyes filled with tears, with a faltering voice replied: "I respond to all
the sentiments of the Emperor in consenting | moved to tears. With that grace which to the dissolution of a marraige which hence- ever distinguished her movements, she adforth is an obstacle to the happiness of vanced silently to the seat provided for her. France, by depriving it of the blessing of Sitting down, and leaning her forehead upon being one day governed by the descendants her hand, she listened to the reading of the of that great man who was evidently raised act of separation. Nothing disturbed the up by Providence to efface the evils of a ter- sepulchral silence of the scene but the conrible revolution, and to restore the altar, and vulsive sobbings of 'Hortense, blended with the throne, and social order. But his mar- the mournful tones of the reader's voice. riage will in no respect change the senti- Eugene, in the mean time, pale and tremments of my heart. The Emperor will ever bling as an aspen leaf, had taken a position find in me his best friend. I know what by the side of his mother. Silent tears were this act, commended by policy and exalted trickling down the cheeks of the Empress. interests, has cost his heart, but we both glory in the sacrifices we make for the good of the country. I feel elevated in giving the greatest proof of attachment and devotion that was ever given upon earth."
Such were the sentiments which were expressed in public; but in private Josephine surrendered herself to the unrestrained dominion of her anguish. No language can depict the intensity of her woe. For six months she wept so incessantly that her eyes were nearly blinded with grief. Upon the ensuing day the council were again assembled in the grand saloon, to witness the legal consummation of the divorce. The Emperor entered the room dressed in the imposing robes of state, but pallid, care-worn, and wretched. Low tones of voice, harmonizing with the mournful scene, filled the room. Napoleon, apart by himself, leaned against a pillar, folded his arms upon his breast, and in perfect silence, apparently lost in gloomy thought, remained motionless as a statue. A circular table was placed in the centre of the apartment, and upon this there was a writing apparatus of gold. A vacant arm-chair stood before the table. Never did a multitude gaze upon the scaffold, the block, or the guillotine with more awe than the assembled lords and ladies in this gorgeous saloon contemplated these instruments of a more dreadful execution.
At length the mournful silence was interrupted by the opening of a side door, and the entrance of Josephine. The pallor of death was upon her brow, and the submission of despair nerved her into a temporary calmness. She was leaning upon the arm of Hortense, who, not possessing the fortitude of her mother, was entirely unable to control her feelings. The sympathetic daughter, immediately upon entering into the room, burst into tears, and continued sobbing most convulsively during the whole remaining scene. The assembly respectfully arose upon the entrance of Josephine, and all were
As soon as the reading of the act of separation was finished, Josephine for a moment pressed her handkerchief to her weeping eyes, and then rising, in clear and musical, but tremulous tones pronounced the oath of acceptance. She then sat down, took the pen, and affixed her signature to the deed which sundered the dearest hopes and the fondest ties which human hearts can feel. Poor Eugene could endure this anguish no longer. His brain reeled, his heart ceased to beat, and he fell lifeless upon the floor. Josephine and Hortense retired with the attendants who bore out the insensible form of the affectionate son and brother. It was a fitting termination of this mournful but sublime tragedy.
But the anguish of the day was not yet closed. Josephine, half delirious with grief, had another scene still more painful to pass through in taking a final adieu of him who had been her husband. She remained in her chamber, in heart-rending, speechless grief, until the hour arrived in which Napoleon usually retired for the night. The Emperor, restless and wretched, had just placed himself in the bed from which he had ejected his most faithful and devoted wife, and the attendant was on the point of leaving the room, when the private door of his chamber was slowly opened, and Josephine tremblingly entered. Her eyes were swollen with grief, her hair dishevelled, and she appeared in all the dishabille of unutterable anguish. She tottered into the middle of the room, and approached the bed; then, irresolutely stopping, she buried her face in her hands, and burst into a flood of tears. A feeling of delicacy seemed for a moment to have arrested her steps-a consciousness that she had now no right to enter the chamber of Napoleon; but in another moment all the pent-up love of her heart burst forth, and, forgetting everything in the fulness of her anguish, she threw herself upon the bed, clasped Napoleon's neck in her arms, and