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ment, with the happiest results, as she herself remarks. This, however, does not quite accord with what her biographer states, "that when she neglected her studies her mother used to threaten her with a convent, and scold her heartily," upon which, very naturally, she would cry, and would not be pacified till her father soothed her, though she would never disclose to him the cause of her distress. About this period, "love, under the disguise of friendship, was on the point of penetrating her heart,” and we find that this precocious young lady did actually obtain a sweetheart of about eleven years of age-a little wonder of a boy-for whom she felt a tender interest to the period of her death. His name was William de K-, His heart was warm, and the children became so much attached, that their mothers came to an understanding with each other that they should be united when of age. Mademoiselle Le Normand gives us a very minute account of the whole course of Josephine's early love, of her separation from her lover who was sent to England, of her jealousy, and the various devices she employed to discover the feelings of her absent William. In one of these fits, she determined to apply to a mulatto fortune-teller, of great notoriety in Martinique. Josephine was accompanied in her visit by two female friends. The first had her fate laid open to her, and it all came to pass, as we are told; but as we know her not, we shall proceed to the second Mademoiselle de L-, whose destiny astonished Euphemia, the sibyl, so much that she uttered a piercing exclamation. On examining the lines of her left hand she told her, that her parents would soon send her to Europe for her education—that the vessel would be captured by the Algerines, and she made captive and a seraglio, where she would have a son, who would reign with glory, &c. &c. We are told in a note that all this actually happened to the young lady who became the mother of Sultan Se
m III. Josephine's turn came last, and as it has often been referred to as a remarkable glimpse into futurity, we give it as we find it. She presented her hand, when the astonished Pythoness uttered these oracular words :
“You will marry a man with a fair complexion, destined for another of your family; she whose place you are appointed to fill, will not live long. A creole who loves you will never cease to do so: you will never marry him, but you will make some useful attempts to save his life. Your star promises two alliances, your first husband is a native of Martinique, but he will live in Europe and wear a sword; he will have some moments of happiness, but an unfortunate law-suit will divide you, to be followed by great troubles to the kingdom of France. He will perish in a tragic manner and leave you a widow with two young children.
Your second husband will be a very dark man, of European origin and small fortune: but he will become celebrated, will fill the world with his glory, even subjecting to his authority a great number of nations. You will then become an eminent personage, and be raised even to supreme power: but many of the ungrateful will, in one day, forget your benefits: after having astonished the world, you will die unhappy. The country in which this will occur makes a part of Celtic-Gaul. Often in the bosom of prosperity you will regret the sweet and peaceful life you lead in this colony. When you leave it (though not forever) a prodigy will appear in the air, which will be first fore-runner of your astonishing destiny."
Now we cannot conceal our most lively, yet ill-natured suspicion that this remarkable prediction was made after the events. The old woman may have promised her, as she probably did a hundred others, two husbands and a crown, but the filling in bas been skilfully done by our sibylline biographer to give dignity to her profession.
The eldest sister of Josephine, a serious little girl, very pretty in spite of a red mark over one cheek, was destined for one of the sons of the Marquis of Beauharnois. As the time approached for the nuptials, she sickened, and to accomplish her sister's, destiny died. She had been the favourite of her mother, but Josephine was the best beloved of her father. The latter now emulated the steady conduct of her lamented sister, and soon obtained the place which she had filled in Madame de Tascher's affections. But she gradually grew melancholy, became tired of herself, in short was perfectly ennuied, till her father aroused her by the intelligence that he intended she should fill the place of her deceased sister in the nuptial contract with M. de Beauharnois. Agitated and surprised, she gravely replied “that she hoped he would not one day, have cause to lament her fate.” He told her that her aunt, Madame Renaudin of France would consult her happiness—that she had prodigious influence over the father of Beauharnois, and would exercise it in effecting the desired change. Josephine now began to recollect that she was affianced to William de K-, but that alliance her father told her was now impossible-circumstances had changed; and, as her sister was no inore, her expectations from her aunt would now make her one of the most advantageous matches in Martinique. They also told her that her lover had been left a great fortune on condition that he would marry the grand niece of the testator. They intercepted his letters and made Josephine believe that he had forgotten her. She yielded to her father and promised to obey his will.
Letters were shortly after received from her aunt, who, it seems, really had at her disposal, in some unaccountable way,
the hand of M. de Beauharnais. She urged them to send her niece immediately to her, and it was accordingly so determined. Upon the ship's sailing, the crew and the people on shore, were immediately astonished by the appearance of a luminous meteor in the clear blue sky: before they had time to contemplate this phenomenon, their attention was drawn to their ship, over the mainmast of which hovered a phosphoric flame, forming a kind of crown. These signs, says the astrologer, she regarded as a happy presage of a brilliant and happy future! and they were recorded as the first evidence in favour of Euphemia's predictions.
After a stormy passage she at length arrived at Marseilles, where Madame Renaudin met her. She could not avoid feeling a secret satisfaction at hearing that her lover and his father were at Paris, and it had so powerful an influence on her organs, savs Miss Le Normand, that when she reached Fontainbleau her health was nearly re-established. After some few days had elapsed, William was presented to her by his father, who was her father's friend, and that also of the Marquis de Beauharnais, the old governor of Antilles. But Josephine was prudish. Her lover prayed to see her alone, but she refused his petitions, and he fell almost into despair, and implored his father to suffer him to renounce the fatal legacy with its abhorred condition, and to throw himself at Josephine's feet: all which was of course refused; and moreover related by the old gentleman to Madame Renaudin, in her niece's presence, who listened with a mortal paleness of visage and depression at the heart. Josephine now begged to be permitted to board in a convent, pretending that it was necessary to her health. This was at first refused, but she took to her bed where she remained some days, which caused great uneasiness to the old lady, and she consented. “Ainsi," says the biographer with great good sense,” les deux familles calculaient froidement quels seraient les résultats de leurs communs projets. Que leur importait de livrer leur enfans au désespoir, de les séparer à jamais l'un de l'autre, pourvu que le fils de M. de K - fit revivre un nom illustre, et que Josephine Tascher de la Pagerie recueillit la fortune que lui promittait Madame Renaudin? Dociles victimes de leurs parens, il leur fallait renoncer à s'aimer; ils devaient, eommc Paul et Virginie, eprouver les tristes effets de l'ambition Européenne."
It seems that the old Marquis de Beauharnais had no idea, when Josephine was presented to him on her arrival from MarVOL. VI.--No. 12.
tinique that her aunt intended her for his son; and when the project was disclosed he showed such repugnance to it that he silenced the old lady for a time. Poor Josephine ardently wished the idea of these nuptials to be forever banished. The son also, by the influence of a certain Madame Vass—, who had a hold on his affections, declared himself equally repugnant to the union; but the old Marquis, being at length overcome by the ascendancy of Madame Renaudin, and another female friend Madame de L-, consented that his son should give his hand; and French sons in those days were obliged to comply. Josephine was apprised of Madame Vass—'s improper influence over her intended husband, and naturally apprehended the union would be destructive of her happiness. He visited her occasionally at the grate of the convent, but she could not receive him without remembering but too well her lost William. This made her exhibit a coldness for which her aunt reproached her: she knew of Josephine's affection and she endeavoured to eradicate its roots from her heart, and to plant in their place the seeds of ambition. Josephine still pouted, till the old lady's patience becoming exhausted, she told her niece she might do as she pleased-she would send her back to her parents, or break off the match, for all she desired was her happiness! This produced a re-action in Josephine's mind. She sobered down, discarded romance, and wrote to a young friend that “she now wished to study M. de Beauharnais's character, observe his conduct, and judge, in fine, if the beauty of his soul corresponded with that of his figure! This kind of study producing the natural effect, she soon told the cunning old lady, (who knew that the best way of getting a woman to adopt your opinion, is to pretend to leave the decision to herself, that she would submit to her wishes; and shortly after, that the Viscount de Beauharnais possessed her heart exclasively! Accordingly in her sixteenth year she married, against his will, Alexander de Beauharnais, who was at the same time the "cavalier servente" of Madame Vass, In a little while, says the biographer, she loved her husband above all things! She took care, however, not to disclose to him the early passion that had nearly destroyed her repose. Her conduct at first was not very tender towards him, and on one occasion she was so impolitic as to tell him she would have preferred him as a brotherin-law: but after the birth of their first child, they became reasonably attached.
Beauharnais was a major, and as he received with his wife a good property, they saw much company. She never was presented publicly at court, but twice privately at the "petit
Trianon;" after which important event they entertained high hopes of his advancement, "for he,” says Miss Le Normand,“was a zephyr in the ball room and a Bayard at the head of his regiment: and she greatly distinguished for her noble carriage, her charming tournure and the grace that twinkled in her lightsome steps." But this glimpse of happiness soon became obscured. The zephyr began to rage like a north-easter, and poor Josephine was suddenly forbidden to receive many of her acquaintances, or pay her old aunt any more visits. Why she was thus suspected she could not guess, for though she sometimes thought of William de K-, she had avoided all intercourse with him, and had devoted herself to the care of her son, and her own intellectual improvement. By the latter means she had attained a degree of knowledge which became subsequently very useful to her. But this conduct of her husband made her wretched, and when she complained of it he would tell her she was a child, and did not know her own happiness! The reasons of his conduct sprung from his intimacy with Madame Vass-, who had not forgiven Josephine for her marriage. Beauharnais had had the indelicacy to force this woman upon Josephine as his valued friend, a title she was proud to boast of, even after she quarrelled with him. But she determined to ruin his wife, and her first step was to employ a servant of Josephine's as a spy on ber conduct. This wretch distorted her most innocent actions, and reported them to Beauharnais. Madame Vass-- insinuated the most injurious suspicions into his heart, and then played the same game against him with his wife; until at last she accused him of being unfaithful to her. Her jealousy was thus awakened-she felt aggrieved, insulted, injured--at length she wrote to him at Versailles, where he had been stationed for some months with his regiment and demanded an explanation of his conduct. The next day, at day light, he appeared before her with a scrious countenance, and made her a long speech on the duties of married women-he glanced at her affection for William de K—, and dilated upon the impropriety of her marrying another whilst it lasted. He told her he had seen her complaints written by herself to her parents in which she accused them of having destroyed her happiness by uniting her with him, and by endeavouring to make her forget lier early lover.
Josephine was thunderstruck!-to be suspected when she was so innocent was not to be borne. She told him that Madame Vass-had excited her jealousy, and then betrayed her confidence in exhibiting to him the letter she had caused her to write, and which she had intrusted to her to forward to her parents. She insisted on her innocence, and overcome by the