One of the sons of the Princess of Canino, the wife of Lucien Bonaparte, had fled from his father’s castle in order to join the insurgents. They succeeded in finding, and forcing him to return, and as the family were under obligations to the pope for having created the principalities of Canino and Musignano, for Lucien Bonaparte and his eldest son, the most extreme measures were adopted to prevent the young prince from fighting against the troops of the pope;
The Princess of Canino, as a favor, requested the Grand-duke of Tuscany to confine her son in one of the state prisons of Tuscany; her request was granted, and her son taken to a prison, where he was kept during the entire revolution. It was proposed to the Duchess of St. Leu to adopt this same means of prevention, but, in spite of her anxiety and care, and although, in her restlessness and feverish disquiet, she wandered through her rooms day and night, she declined to take such a course. She was not willing to subject her sons to the humiliation of such compulsion; if their own reason, if the prayers and entreaties of their mother, did not suffice, force should not be resorted to, to bring them back. The whole family was, however, still employing every means to induce the two Princes Napoleon to withdraw from the revolution, which must inevitably again draw down upon the name Napoleon the suspicion of the angry and distrustful princes of Europe.
Cardinal Fesch and King Jerome conjured their nephews, first in entreating, and then in commanding letters, to leave the insurgent army.
With the consent of their father, Louis Bonaparte, they wrote to the provisional government at Bologna that the name of the two princes was injuring the cause of the revolution, and to General Armandi, the minister of war of the insurgent government, entreating him to recall the princes from the army. Every one, friend and foe, combined to neutralize the zeal and efforts of the two princes, and to prove to them that they could only injure the cause to which they gave their names; that foreign powers, considering the revolution a matter to be decided by Italy alone, would perhaps refrain from intervening; but that they would become relentless should a Bonaparte place himself at the head of the revolution, in order perhaps to shake the thrones of Europe anew.
The two princes at last yielded to these entreaties and representations; they gave up their commands, and resigned the rank that had been accorded them in the insurgent army; but, as it was no longer in their power to serve the revolution with their name and with their brains, they were at least desirous of serving it with their arms: they resigned their commands, but with the intention of remaining in the army as simple soldiers and volunteers without any rank.
And when their father and their uncles, not yet satisfied with what they had done, urged them still further the two princes declared that, if these cruel annoyances were continued, they would go to Poland, and serve the revolution there.