“And is such the truth?” asked Bonaparte, eagerly. “This is no invention to raise my hopes, only to be cast down again?”
Josephine smiled. “I have daily taken notes of what Charles Botot brought me,” said she, gently; “I always hoped to find a safe opportunity to send this diary to you in Egypt, that you might be informed of what the Directory thought, and what was the public opinion, so that you might take your measures accordingly. But, for the last eight months, I knew not where you were, and so I have kept my diary: here it is.”
She gave the diary to Bonaparte, who, with impatient looks, ran over the pages, and was fully convinced of her devotedness and care. Josephine had well served his interests, and closely watched over his affairs. Then, ashamed and repentant, he looked at her, who, in return, smiled at him with gracious complacency.
“Josephine,” asked he, quietly, “can you forgive me? I have been foolish, but I swear to you that never again will I mistrust you, I will believe no one but you. Can you forgive me?”
She embraced him in her arms, and tenderly said: “Love me, Bonaparte; I well deserve it!”
Peace, therefore, was re-established, and Josephine’s enemies had the bitter disappointment to see that their efforts had all been in vain; that again the most perfect unanimity and affection existed between them; that the cloud which their enmity had conjured up, had brought forth but a few tear-drops, a few thunderings; and that the love which Bonaparte carried in his heart for Josephine was not scattered into atoms.
The cloud had passed away; the sun of happiness had reappeared; but it had yet some spots which were never to fade away. The word “separation” which Bonaparte, so often in Egypt, and now in Paris, had launched against Josephine, was to be henceforth the sword of Damocles, ever suspended over her head: like a dark, shadowy spectre it was to follow her everywhere; even amid scenes of happiness, joy, and glory, it was to be there to terrify her by its sinister presence, and by its gloomy warnings of the past!
The eighteenth Brumaire.
Bonaparte’s journey from Frejus to Paris, on his return from Egypt, had been a continued triumph. All France had applauded him. Everywhere he had been welcomed as a deliverer and savior; everywhere he had been hailed as the hope of the future, as the man from whom was to be expected assistance in distress, the restoration of peace, help, and salvation.