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KD 47747345-6)


Oct 17,1929)

Augistin H. Parker

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T was early on the morning of the 20th of April 1808, that

the roar of cannon announced to the people of Paris that a second heir-presumptive to the imperial throne of France was born ; and his birth was hailed with

joy through the length nd breadth of France. Its people were proud of the emperor of their choice; and in this child they recognised a fresh pledge of the permanence of that dynasty which they identified with the honour and happiness of the nation.

The child of whom we write is the youngest and only surviving son of Louis, younger brother of the Emperor Napoleon, the same

No. 33.


who, by favour of his brother, was for some years king of Holland, but who resigned his throne, not long after the birth of this child, in consequence of an honourable and high-minded feeling, that' he could not hold it consistently with the interests of Holland and the ties which bound him to his brother and, through him, to France. His mother was Queen Hortense, the beautiful, amiable, and accomplished daughter of the Empress Josephine by her first husband, the Vicomte de Beauharnais. The marriage of Hortense de Beauharnais with Louis Bonaparte was blessed by the church in the person of the Cardinal Caprera; for the stepfather of the bride, as First Consul, had already become convinced of the expediency of ecclesiastical re-establishment in France. The marriage, however, was not a happy one. At first the newly wedded pair resided in a small house situated in the Rue de la Victoire in Paris (the same house, in fact, as that which had been the home of Napoleon and Josephine during the first years of their own wedded life); but it was at the Tuileries, and in the society of her mother, that Hortense first became a popular favourite in Paris. Her husband, though possessed of many good and even great qualities, was shy and reserved in manner; and his outward appearance scarcely partook of the lustre which then began to display itself in a social point of view at the court of his brother; for his scholastic tastes were not in harmony with the martial display in which the first Napoleon delighted. But Hortense, young, handsome, a poetess, a musician, graceful and kind in manner, like her mother, and soon known to the people of France as the composer of the song and march entitled Va t'en Guerrier-at the stirring tones of which the heart of many a brave man thrilled both in the camp and at the court of France-she, Hortense, soon became an object of popular enthusiasm ; and all the more so because she was the daughter of Josephine, the childless empress, who, up to and for some time after his accession to the throne of France, was habitually spoken of by the emperor as the guiding star of his eventful life, the brightest ornament of his dazzling destiny: Napoleon I. knew that Hortense, by obedience to his will regarding her marriage with his brother Louis, had in some sort been made a sacrifice to his own political expediency; and, as though to compensate to her for this sacrifice on the one hand, and at the same time to strengthen his own interests on the other, he eagerly showered down upon her husband various honours and emoluments. At first, Louis Bonaparte was appointed grand connétable of France, by which rank he occupied a marked place near the imperial throne; afterwards he was created governor of Piedmont; and subsequently, when great part of Europe was partitioned out amongst the various members of the modern Cæsar's family, he, as we have said, was made king of Holland.

Meantime, three sons were successively born to Louis and Hortense. The first of these sons first saw the light about the time

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