As Bonaparte was walking with Josephine and Hortense through the Diana Gallery on the morning after their entry into the Tuileries, and was with them admiring the statuary he had caused to be placed there, both of the ladies possessing much artistic taste, he paused in front of the statue of the younger Brutus, which stood close to the statue of Julius Caesar. He gazed long and earnestly at both of the grave, solemn faces; but, suddenly, as though just awaking from a deep dream, he sharply raised his head, and, laying his hand with an abrupt movement upon Josephine’s shoulder, as he looked up at the statue of Brutus with blazing, almost menacing glances, said in a voice that made the hearts of both the ladies bound within their bosoms:
“It is not enough to be in the Tuileries: one must remain there. And whom has not this palace held? Even street thieves and conventionists have occupied it! Did not I see with my own eyes how the savage Jacobins and cohorts of sans-culottes surrounded the palace and led away the good King Louis XVI. as a prisoner! Ah! never mind, Josephine; have no fear for the future! Let them but dare to come hither once more!”
[Footnote 9: Bourrienne, vol. vi, p. 3.]
And, as Bonaparte stood there and thus spoke in front of the statues of Brutus and Julius Caesar, his voice re-echoed like angry thunder through the long gallery, and made the figures of the heroes of the dead republic tremble on their pedestals.
Bonaparte lifted his arm menacingly toward the statue of Brutus, as though he would, in that fierce republican who slew Caesar, challenge all republican France, whose Caesar and Augustus in one he aspired to be, to mortal combat.
The revolution was closed. Bonaparte had installed himself in the Tuileries with Josephine and her two children. The son and daughter of General Beauharnais, whom the republic had murdered, had now found another father, who was destined to avenge that murder on the republic itself.
The revolution was over!
THE QUEEN OF HOLLAND.
A FIRST LOVE.
With the entry of Bonaparte into the Tuileries, the revolution closed, and blissful days of tranquillity and gay festivity followed. Josephine and Hortense were the cynosure of all these festivals, for they were, likewise, the animating centre whence the grace and beauty, the attractive charm, and the intellectual significance of them all, proceeded.
Hortense was passionately fond of dancing, and no one at “the court of Josephine” tripped it with such gracefulness and such enchanting delicacy as she. Now, as the reader will observe, people already began to speak of the “court” of Madame Bonaparte, the powerful wife of the First Consul of France. Now, also, audiences were held, and Josephine and Hortense already had a court retinue who approached them with the same subserviency and humility as though they had been princesses of the blood.