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great accession of force. But before it had rome was glad of any thing that sent him on time to come to its full growth, Napoleon shore. He hated responsibility, but he desent him once more to sca. This time it lighted in receiving the official demonstrawas the expedition to St. Domingo. The tion of respect due to him as commander of wretched story has been often told ; it re- a vessel of war and brother to the First Conceives no fresh illustration in these pages; sul. He was enchanted when the Governor it only becomes more confused in blood, and of Martinique received him with all the garsmoke, and horror. Jerome was again al- rison turned out under arms.
Jerome was a lowed to come home with despatches ; and parvenu to the backbone, and his vulgarity the reader will smile at the tone of delicate was engrained. To appear in a state cardeprecation with which the author hints that riage, to receive attention from high personJerome got into all the mischief possible dur- ages, to be flattered, to spend unlimited ing the month he remained at Paris. Na- pocket-money, to have nothing to do but to poleon sent him to sea again at the end of a go to fêtes and public amusements—those month, but Jerome contrived means to re- were his notions of royal felicity. The aumain at Nantes, and to amuse himself for thor does not narrate one single trait of two months, and when, at length, he tardily youthful generosity, or manly ambition, or embarked, a convenient storm drove him rational common sense. Jerome had the unback to port. The difficulty of getting Je- mitigated selfishness of a prince of the days rome afloat was like that of launching the of the “right divine of kings to govern Great Eastern. At length he sailed, and ar- wrong;” but he entirely lacked the royal rived at Martinique; where, utterly incom- grace and princely manner with which kings petent, and caring nothing for his profession, who have left but a sorry name in history he was made captain of the brig Epervier. conciliated, personally, the good-will and He had an attack of yellow fever, which gave propitiated the patience of their subjects. him a final disgust for the hardships of a Jerome cared nothing for the opportunities sailor's life, and he expressed a very dis, offered to him of obtaining distinction; the tinct desire to give up his commission and duties of his profession were a weariness to get rid of the whole concern, which the stony- him; he even wished, as we have seen, to give hearted admiral refused to grant. It was, up the command of his vessel-because it however, evident that Jerome was unfit to entailed duties. The admiral, exasperated at be intrusted with the destinies of a herring- Jerome's stupid discourtesy to the English boat. Under his command the Epervier flag, ordered him to return at once to France. was in the most miserable state; betwixt the War was on the point of breaking out, but sickness and the desertion of the men, it the peace, though strained to extremity, had needed to be entirely refitted. Jerome was not actually been yet broken, and the French recalled to France, but, with his usual self- admiral did not want to get into a quarrel. will, he had now no inclination to go; he Jerome, fertile in expedients for avoiding was amusing himself at Martinique, where what he disliked, wrote back excuses, and he found a childish pleasure in being treated delayed his departure till it became impossi“ with the distinction due to the brother of the ble. The admiral, at his wits'end, and anxFirst Consul.” He was the torment of his ious to be quit of him at any rate, yet fearadmiral, Villaret Joyeuse, who only desired ful of his being made prisoner, gave him to get him safely off. At last, after repeated permission to go to America. Jerome asked orders, he sailed ; but scarcely had he left nothing better ; and to America he went. the shore than he contrived seriously to in- The biographer, previous to naming the spot sult an English man-of-war out of pure in- where Jerome landed, proceeds to give a desolence and heedlessness. Alarmed, how- scription of the attitude assumed by his erer, at the possible consequences of what hero. He says :he had done, Jerome returned to Martinique ; and the admiral, who believed him well on ican territory than he began to give himself
“ Jerome had scarely set foot in the Amerhis voyage, had the vexation to see him come the privileges, manners, and airs of a prince, back with a folly on his hands which was tempered only by the incognito which he at likely to have serious consequences. first assumed. As to his opinions and his
Not in the slightest degree abashed, Je- I conduct, he set them resolutely above all
remonstrances and censure from any quarter himself! Pichon se tint pour dit, and could whatever : L'audace et toujours de l'audace.” only put up his prayers that he might be
Jerome, it must be owned, had that qual- speedily delivered from the presence of so ity for success in perfection. The point at troublesome a charge, for whose safety he which Jerome landed in the “ Etats Unis" was responsible, and over whom he had no was Norfolk, in Virginia ; he was accompa- control. All Baltimore was in a state of exnied by three companions, whom he called citement; all the pomps and vanities that “his suite.” He repaired to Washington, money and enthusiasm could procure were and announced to the French consul that he lavished on Jerome, and he enjoyed his pomust find the means to convey him and his sition. There were difficulties in the way suite to France—a matter by no means easy, of obtaining a passage for Jerome in an seeing that by that time war had been de- American vessel, difficulties which Jerome clared between England and France; Eng- was more inclined to enhance than to obvilish vessels were on the watch to do all the ate ; he was, for the first time in his life, enharm they could to French ships, and in- tirely his own master, and he was in no haste trinsically worthless as was Jerome in him- to return to France, to the subjection of his self, still, as brother to the First Consul, he brother, whose reproofs he was conscious of would have been a prisoner worth making. deserving, and quite certain of receiving. The poor French consul, Pichon by name,
gave himself up to all the gayeties of the with a vivid prevision of all the difficulties season, obtaining, from time to time, a little about to encompass him, made an effort to money from Pichon ; but as all Baltimore get Jerome off before his presence became only asked for the honor of giving him unknown. He plaintively entreated him to limited credit, it may be conceived guard a strict incognito. Jerome promised;
“How happily the days of Thalaba went by.” but, with his vanity, was quite unable to keep the promise. He went to Baltimore Amongst the belles of Baltimore, a certain whilst the consul endeavored to make his Miss Patterson reigned supreme. She was arrangements, and, at the end of three days, extremely beautiful, as all contemporary teseverybody in the city knew that the vain- timony declares; she was agreeable, witty, glorious and flashy young Frenchman was clever, and ambitious; - in short, Miss no less than brother to the First Consul of “ Betsay Patterson,” as the biographer calls France.
her, was fully aware of her own charms, and “ Les Etats Unis" were enchanted to find determined to draw a good result from them, that such a celebrity had come to visit them, -she loved admiration, and she desired to and hastened to offer the homage that was obtain a position of distinction. Her chardear to Jerome's heart; they took him at acter was not unlike Jerome's, in her love is own val tion. Jerome was flattered and for all the vanities of life; but she was befêted to the top of his bent; and he took it yond measure his superior in energy, sense, all as a just tribute to his merits. One in- and spirit. She was very vain, and very cident deserves special mention : the hotel- fond of admiration, of which she received keeper at Washington, whose name was enough to turn a reasonable woman's head. Barney or Barnum, saw at a glance all the She desired to shine in a wider horizon. capital that might be made out of Jerome ; Jerome was the brother of the hero who was and he took entire possession of him, fol- master of the Tuileries, and who could, when lowed him, flattered him, and showed him he pleased, inhabit Versailles. To go to off everywhere. The coincidence of name Paris, to have apartments in a palace, to set and nature is curious. Jerome lent himself French fashions and enjoy the delights of to his tactics, considering him only as an unlimited milliners' bills, was a prospect "humble satellite. Barnum's reputation was well calculated to dazzle a young girl. Miss not good, and the French consul Pichon felt Betsay was “ beautiful exceedingly," her it his duty to warn Jerome against his unbe- worst enemies never accused her of being coming intimacy with this man, a counsel otherwise ; with all her vanity “ she was a which Jerome highly resented, haughtily de- woman of the strictest principle ; ” her fasiring Pichon to mind his own business, as ther was a rich merchant, well known and he, Jerome, was capable of taking care of well respected ; all her family belonged to
that quasi-American aristocracy “the upper | ing money and ordering about as though he ten thousand,” though it had not then re- had been the last incarnation of “My Lord ceived that compendious name.
Marquis of Carabas.” To get him away in In birth, parentage, fortune, and educa- safety, even if he would have consented to tion she was Jerome's equal,-in intellect go, was a matter of great difficulty; for Engand character she was his superior ; but then lish frigates, quite aware of his presence, she had no brother of genius capable of rais- were hovering about the coast, on the watch ing his family out of the middle class into the for every French vessel which attempted to ranks of a reigning dynasty. Napoleon had leave port. The American Government already risen so high as to make it a dazzling could not, without violating its neutrality, honor to any not born to royal legitimacy to give a passage to Jerome in one of their own be connected with him ; he might soar still vessels, nor in any case do more than shut higher, but his balloon had not yet passed out their eyes. Jerome, who was a caricature of of hail, nor quite out of the reach of those still his brother, possessing all the Bonapartean standing on their natural level ;—there was imperiousness of will, though it was never yet one brief moment, when a fortunate and shown except in matters which touched his audacious spring might take the aspirant into own inclination, had declared that nothing the ascending car, or, failing, break his neck. should induce him to go back to France in Jerome at Baltimore was in the zenith of a any vessel of less dignity than a man-of-war. vulgar success; all the distinction that Bal- Pichon did his best ; he got a small armed timore could offer was given to him ; he was brig, called Le Clothier, ready for sea. A young, lively, tolerably good looking, and fortunate moment offered for her to get away: well endowed with the quality for which the Pichon entreated Jerome to embark without Puritan divine once innocently prayed as a delay. But Jerome, who by this time was crowning grace, “a good conceit of him-over head and ears in love, and had matriself.” If “ Miss Betsay" had any female monial intentions, declined the invitation to susceptibility she might be excused if she repair on board Le Clothier, but he wrote fell in love with the hero of so much homage despatches to his brother, which he sent by from those who made up the whole of her the vessel, announcing his own intention to world. Falling in love with a popular hero remain in America until he should receive a or a popular clergyman is as much of an epi- reply to them! Pichon was driven to the demic as hysterics among a parcel of school- verge of madness and gray hairs, though the girls. Nothing but the spirit of contradic- author tells us that he felt a secret pride to tion and a great deal of good sense can resist sce the ease and dignity with which Jerome the force of example. Jerome fell violently represented France. Jerome Bonaparte must in love with " Miss Betsay," and proposed have been the original from whom Alexanmarriage ; she accepted the offer, which made dre Dumas has drawn his heroes. her the envy of all the women in Baltimore. On the occasion of a visit Jerome paid to Mr. Patterson, the father, in consideration Washington, the President Jefferson invited of the connection, was willing to overlook him to a grand dinner. Jerome, who took Jerome's want of actual fortune, and gave all the marks of attention as his due, treated his consent. The Spanish ambassador and the American President with dignified affathe Barnum before mentioned, were Jerome's bility, and charmed the company with his confederates in the affair ; both of them were conversation. The next morning, as he was amiably anxious to promote his views and stepping into his carriage to return to Balprevent his thinking of difficulties.
timore, he turned to Pichon, who stood by, Pichon had been in great perplexity and and said, with serene negligence, “ It is my trouble of mind ever since destiny had sent intention to be married on the 7th of NovemJerome to take refuge in America. Pichon's ber next, at Baltimore, to Miss Patterson. I only aspiration was to keep Jerome quiet and invite you and Madame Pichon to be present to get him safely away. It was hopeless to on the occasion." Having launched this try to make Jerome quiet, he was bent on thunderbolt, he drove away. It required a producing himself in the most flagrant splen- day and night for poor Pichon to recover his dor at every moment, assuming the non- scattered senses. It was now the 28th of chalant dignity of a prince in disguise, spend-October--the consul-general could do nothing but protest. He wrote three letters, “ All things to God are possible save oneone to Jerome, one to Mr. Patterson, and
That to undo which is already done.” one to the consul in Baltimore, declaring The marriage was regular and legal in every that by the French Code any marriage con- particular; and Miss Betsy Patterson was, tracted by a French subject under the age of as far as rites and ceremonies could make twenty-five, without the consent of parents her, the lawful wife of Jerome Bonaparte, and guardians, was null in France. On the and qualified to share all the honors of his receipt of these letters Jerome was furious, rising star. Jerome had a shrewd notion of and uttered invectives against Pichon; but the manner in which the news would be rePapa Patterson was dignified : he broke off ceived at home; and, with characteristic disthe match, and sent his daughter away from like to every thing unpleasant, he left the home. Jerome was apparently brought to task of announcing it to Pichon and Adreason by Mr. Patterson's representations; miral Willaumez. he offered an apology to Pichon for the un- The French consul thought it his duty to parliamentary language he had used towards make the best of an accomplished fact, and him in the heat of his displeasure ; he pro- made a merit of effacing the memory of his fessed to see his error, laid all the blame opposition by treating Madame Jerome with upon the undue influence which had been every formality of official respect. Without brought to bear upon him, and especially troubling themselves about any evil day that accused the false counsels of the Spanish might be in store for them, the newly marambassador, Mr. Barnum, and a certain ried pair proceeded to enter into “ all the gayGeneral Smith. Jerome even condescended eties of the season" at Baltimore. American to beg Pichon not to mention the affair when society felt flattered at the choice of Jerome; he wrote home. Pichon ought to have mis- and made an apotheosis of both bride and trusted this sudden submission ; but he was bridegroom. Nothing but the splendors of flattered at the success of his eloquence : and the last scene of a pantomime could express he wrote to Talleyrand a self-glorifying de- the glitter and glory that surrounded them, spatch about his own promptness, decision, although the smell of brimstone, and the and success. Jerome set out on a tour to danger from rockets and red-fire, were undissipate his chagrin. Pinchon renewed his pleasantly apparent through all. What efforts to persuade him to leave America; would the First Consul say? Nevertheless, but in vain. Admiral Willaumez sent offi- France was a long way off, and they could cial orders to him to depart; but Jerome not hear what was said for a long time. only repeated his intention to await the an- On the 18th of May the news came that swer from his brother to his despatches. Napoleon had been declared emperor. MaThey could not bring their horse to the wa- dame Jerome was possibly a princess! From ter, much less make him drink.
the moment Jerome heard of his brother's Jerome went on his tour. New York re-elevation, he began to be as restlessly imceived him with demonstrations of ardent patient to get back to France as he had hithadmiration, and gave him fêtes, and balls, erto been obstinate to remain. He was, and entertainments to his heart's content. however, afraid to face his brother; and he For three weeks Pichon's heart remained at had passed his word to the Pattersons that ease; but on the 25th of December, 1803, he would not leave America until his marhe received a brief official announcement that riage had been recognized. Papa Patterson Jerome had been married to Miss Patterson promised that when the time arrived for his on the previous evening, as fast as the Church departure he would show that he was not a and the paternal benediction could unite father-in-law to be despised, by sending Jethem! They were man and wife by all that rome and his wife to Europe in a vessel of was sacred and indissoluble. Bishop Car- his own, and in a style befitting his rank ; rol, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Balti- but Jerome's desire to remain in America more, performed the ceremony. Joined to had waned; he wanted to go and share his the announcement of his marriage, was a no- brother's grandeur in Paris, and be a real tification that Jerome wanted money, which prince of the blood. Pichon was to furnish immediately.
Napoleon's reply to the announcement of his brother's marriage had not yet been re- he had been married to her for six months ceived in America. Napoleon had been past. To go back to France at any risk, to First Consul when the news reached him— be the “brother of the emperor," was the he was Emperor when he replied on the 9th idea that now possessed him. His wife of June, 1804. He entirely declined to rec. was becoming a clog and an encumbrance. ognize the marriage, taking his stand on He had, however, to deal with a father-inthe then recent law of the year xi—12th of law who was as determined in his way as the month Pluviose,” which, in the language Napoleon. Jerome found that he would not of mortals, signified the 13th of February, be allowed to leave America without taking 1803; prohibiting French subjects, under his wife with him. No French vessel dared the
age of twenty-five, to contract marriage to give her a passage ; but Papa Patterson without the consent of parents or guardians. chartered at his own expense a fine vessel The orders to Pichon and all French officials called the Philadelphia, on board of which, were short, sharp, and decisive. Madame Jerome, his wife, and her relative Miss Jerome Bonaparte was recognized as Je- Spear, embarked with the greatest secrecy. rome's mistress, and as such was not to be But, as the old ballad sings :treated with any marks of respect; and French vessels were forbidden to afford her
They scarce had sailed a league, a league,
A league but barely three, a passage; if she attempted to enter France
When dark, dark grew the foaming sca.” with Jerome, orders were given that she should be arrested and conveyed back to -In plain prose, they encountered a heavy America. As to Jerome himself, he was or- gale and were shipwrecked, the passengers dered to return home immediately. A pen- escaping, though much of the baggage and sion was offered to Miss Patterson of sixty all Jerome's money were lost. If the case thousand francs a year, on condition that had been reversed, and Jerome had sunk to she never assumed the name of Bonaparte the bottom of the sea instead of his effects, or molested Jerome.
it would have been a solution that would not If taking matters with a high hand could have called forth tears. The unhappy Pihave overcome difficulties, Napoleon would chon, for whose sins Jerome had surely been have borne them down. Except the local sent to America, had only just heard authenenactment, which only held good in France tic tidings of his departure, when he was and only regarded French subjects,—the thrown back into all his troubles by the law of marriage as recognized not only by news of his shipwreck and—escape! His the Catholic Church, but by the consent of troubles, however, drew near their end; for Christendom, made the marriage contracted Jerome was now quite as impatient to deat Baltimore by Jerome and Miss Patterson part as Pichon could be to get rid of him. valid in every respect, -as valid as the can- He made another effort to obtain the dignity ons of the Church could make it. It re- of returning in a vessel of war, as became mained to be seen whether the will of the a new-made prince of the blood of the ememperor or the decree of the Church were peror, but inexorable fate and the strict the stronger. If Jerome could only be firm, watch kept by English vessels made this imthe marriage must hold good recognition possible. He did at last what he might have or no recognition.
done at first ;--with the consent of his fatherBut Jerome could be true to nothing, ex- in-law, he took a passage in an American cept his own inclination. He was not a merchant vessel, bound for Portugal, and worse man than Napoleon, but he was a embarked with his wife and secretary. The Fool,-a fool who could see nothing, feel vessel arrived quite safely at Lisbon. The nothing, care for nothing beyond the grat- French consul refused a passport to Madame ification of the whim of the moment. All Jerome, and wrote to Paris to announce what that he inherited of the strong, inflexible he had done.
the gratification of his own vanity and his own 'of tormenting consuls, and he had never sensuality. He had had his whim pretty submitted to any reasoning or representation well out in regard to Miss Patterson-he which led contrary to his inclinations. No had married her in spite of opposition, but considerations had withheld him from mak