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THE

BIOGRAPHICAL MAGAZINE.

JANUARY, 1852.

In

LOUIS NAPOLEON BONAPARTE, THE PRESIDENT AND DICTATOR

OF FRANCE. CHARLES LOUIS NAPOLEON is the France, the Viscount, after holding third and last son of Louis Bonaparte, offices of distinction, lost his life in the and his wife, Hortense Beauharnais ; murderous collisions of the first French and was born at Paris, on April 20, in Revolution. Josephine's name has the year 1808. Accordingly, he is, at not escaped reproach. Her husband present, forty-three years of age.

doubted whether Hortense was his the Bonaparte family, France has the child or that of a Creole; who, having fate of being governed by foreign fallen in love with Josephine Tascher, blood. The Emperor Napoleon was a when only fourteen years of age, folnative of Corsica. His nephew, the lowed her to Paris. A divorce, legally President, is of West-Indian origin, on sought for by her husband, was rehis mother's side. His father, Louis, fused. Allowing her a liberal mainthe youngest brother but one of the tenance, however, he lived apart. Emperor, and the fifth child of Char- Neither the mother nor the daughter les Bonaparte, a judge at Ajaccio, can be considered a model of domestic and of Letitia Ramolino, was born affection. Nor were the domestic inSeptember 2, 1778. Though an intel- fluences, under which the President ligent and honourable man, and though was brought up, of the most favourraised by his powerful brother to the able kind. In a second marriage, Jothrone of Holland, he never possessed sephine was allied to Napoleon Bonathe confidence of the Emperor, whose parte. Thus Hortense, the President's maxim, in regard to his brothers, mother, became the Emperor's daughwhom he elevated into princes, was, ter-in-law. By her marriage with Nathat their first duty was to himself, poleon's brother, Louis, a second bond their second to France; and, only when was formed ; the daughter-in-law bethey had discharged these obligations, came also a sister-in-law. By a double were they to give a preference to the tie, then, is the President connected interests of nations over whom with the Emperor. Some authorities they were set. After laying down the point to a yet more intimate relationcrown of Holland (1810), which had, ship between Napoleon and Hortense. in a manner, been forced upon him ; Certainly the Emperor had a peculiar and, after being formally separated tenderness towards Napoleon Louis from his wife, Louis, taking the title of Charles, Hortense's first son. On his Count de Saint-Leu, from an estate death (1807), however, and on the near Paris, the gift of the Emperor, | death of his next

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brother lived for a long time as a private person (1831), Napoleon Louis, the family in Florence, where he died, in the year rights and feelings settled on Louis 1846. His wife, Hortense, was born Napoleon. It has already appeared in Paris, April 10, 1783. Her father, that Louis and Hortense were not the Viscount de Beauharnais, born happy in their conjugal connexion. So May 28, 1760, a native of Martinique, great and lasting an impression does married in that island Josephine Tas- his home make on every man, that for cher de la Pagerie, who was born there a right appreciation of the President's January 23, 1763. Migrating into character, one or two additional facts,

B

t

LIVES

OF

THE ILLUSTRIOUS.

(The Biographical Magazine.)

VOL. I.

“A true delineation of the smallest man, and his scenes of pilgrimage through life, is capable of
interesting the greatest man. All men are, to an inspeakable extent, brothers; each man's life a
strange emblem of every man's; and human portraits, faithfully drawn, aro, of all pictures, the
welcomest on human walls.”—THOMAS CARLYLE.

LONDON:

J. PASSMORE EDWARDS, 2, HORSE-SHOE COURT,

LUDGATE HILL.

MDCCCLII.

R

DO" ATED BY THE
MERCANTILE LIBRARY ASSOCIATI

NEW YORK CITY

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PREFACE.

66

We beg to present the First Volume of The BIOGRAPHICAL MAGAZINE to the world. The First Number was issued into existence with a Prospectus from which we extract the following:

“ The Great Man frequently makes the Great Age. Great Ages are the beacon lights of history, and the grandest manifestations of the power and dignity of our race. How important, then, that we should acquaint ourselves with the rise and growth of great men, of their birth and childhood, their progress in learning, their earlier efforts, and maturer struggles; their trials, vicissitudes, difficulties, sorrows, hopes, aspirations, and successes; their chequered or brilliant lives, and stormy and triumphant deaths; their influence on the world's destinies, and their relation to the past, the present, and the future. In reading and studying the lives of other men, we become acquainted with the capabilities and possibilities of our own.

Perhaps no species of literature is more interesting to the general reader than Biography. The life of a great poet, or statesman, or divine, or philosopher, or artist, or historian, is generally bounded by a beautiful

In the faithful records of the world's most illustrious ones, may frequently be seen a verification of the maxim, that truth is more strange than fiction. Biographical Literature legitimately combines the charms of the poem, with the most substantial teachings of history. In a well-written Biography the reader finds that which is useful blended with that which is captivating, and that which pleases and excites united with that which is personally interesting. "Lives of great men all remind us

Footprints which, perhaps, another We may make our lives sublime,

Sailing o'er life's solemn main, And, departing, leave behind us

Some forlorn and shipwrecked brother Footprints on the sand of time :

Seeing, may take heart again.' “Gratifying as it is to know that Biographical Literature is so extensively read in England, it is surprising that no periodical exclusively devoted to it has yet appeared ; and especially when the country teems, as it does, with such a variety of cheap Journals and Magazines.

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