Encircling still her children in her arms, she bowed them on their knees; and, lifting up to heaven her eyes, moist with tears, she whispered to them: “Let us pray, children; let us lift up our thoughts to heaven, where your father is, and whence he looks down upon us to bless his children.”
Josephine delayed not much longer in Paris, where the air was yet damp with the blood of so many murdered ones; where the guillotine, on which her husband had died, lifted yet its threatening head. She hastened with her children to Fontainebleau, there to rest from her sorrows on the heart of her father-in-law, to weep with him on the loss they both had suffered.
The dream of her first youth and of her first love had passed away, and to the father of her beheaded husband Josephine returned a widow; rich in gloomy, painful experiences, poor in hopes, but with a stout heart, and a determination to live, and to be at once a father and a mother to her children.
THE WIFE OF GENERAL BONAPARTE.
Bonaparte in Corsica.
The civil war which for four years had devastated France had also with its destruction and its terrors overspread the French colonies, and in Martinique as well as in Corsica two parties stood opposed to each other in infuriated bitterness—one fighting for the rights of the native land, the other for the rights of the French people, for the “liberty, equality, and fraternity” which the Convention in Paris had adopted for its motto, since it delivered to the guillotine, on the Place de la Revolution, the heads of those who dared lay claim for themselves to this liberty of thought so solemnly proclaimed.
In Corsica both parties fought with the same eagerness as in France, and the execution of Louis XVI. had only made the contest more violent and more bitter.
One of these parties looked with horror on this guillotine which had drunk the blood of the king, and this party desired to have nothing in common with this French republic, with this blood-streaming Convention which had made of terror a law, and which had destroyed so many lives in the name of liberty.
At the head of this party stood the General Pascal Paoli, whom the revolution had recalled to his native isle from his exile of twenty years, and who objected that Corsica should bend obediently under the blood-stained hand of the French Convention, and whose wish it was that the isle should be an independent province of the great French republic.