We reproduce the facsimile of a letter from Napoleon written to Joséphine during the Italian campaign. Recently, driven by the Revolution, this “terrible child” has made history. Starting with Italy, he carried the Revolution to the brink of arms in order to spread it throughout Europe, so it would be consolidated in his own country.
But recently, he has also returned to Love. It is the other side of Napoleon, the disarmed lover facing the woman who fills him but already makes him suffer. But the warrior and the lover have many common features meticulousness in organization, attention, mistrust, analysis of details and above all a passionate impulse towards life, whether in the form of wars or love.
This letter to Joséphine is on display at the LA PAGERIE museum, in Trois Ilets in Martinique, a museum created on the site of the childhood of the Empress Joséphine, family property of the Vergers de Sanois and Tascher de la Pagerie, her parents, currently owned by Dr. Rose-Rosette.
The 3 thermidor (July 21, 1796) … at eight in the morning.
I hope that before this evening I will receive one of your letters. You know my dear Josephine the pleasure they give me and I am sure you enjoy writing them. I will leave this night for Pescheira, for the mountains of Tyrol, for Verona and from there to Mantua and, perhaps from there to Milan to receive a kiss since you assure me that they are not icy but very hot. I hope that you will be fully recovered then and that you will be able to accompany me to my headquarters so as not to leave me. Are you not the soul of my life and the feeling of my heart?
I send you something to make a beautiful taffeta skirt from Florence, it will be for Sundays and the days when you will make yourself beautiful. You see that I am generous, it cost me more than 30 pounds, but that’s not all, I still want to send you a beautiful crepe dress. Write me a letter where you will specify the quality and quantity. I’ll send you to take it to Bologna.
Your proteges are a little lively. They probably feel how much I have to do something pleasant for them. They go to Milan. It takes a little patience in all.
At this hour you must know Milan well. Maybe you found this lover you were looking for. Only, you will no doubt have found that I gave it to you. Is that an idea, isn’t it? … But no, let’s have a better idea of our merit. By the way, I am assured that you have known for a long time and very much this gentleman that you recommend me for a business. If it could be, you would be a monster.
What are you doing at this hour? You sleep, don’t you. And I’m not here to breathe your breath, contemplate your graces and overwhelm you with my caresses. Far from you the nights are long, bland and sad. Near you we regret that It is not always night.
Farewell beautiful and good, all incomparable, all divine. A thousand loving kisses, everywhere, everywhere.