love at first sight
Napoleon Bonaparte’s Love: In 1795 Napoleon Bonaparte met 32-year-old Josephine six years older than him. It was love at first sight. Both islanders- Napoleon from Corsica island and Josephine from Martinique island. A few months before their marriage, Napoleon wrote in December a very passionate love letter to her. In yet another letter he wrote to her, “Ever since I left you, I have been sad. I am only happy when by your side. Ceaselessly I recall your kisses, your tears, your enchanting jealousy; and the charms of the incomparable Joséphine keep constantly alight a bright and burning flame in my heart and senses. When, free from every worry, from all business, I shall spend all my moments by your side, to have nothing to do but to love you.”
Even during his military operations, he was particular in his emails to her. But she was not that prompt in returning the compliment.
But the love was not steady. Infidelity was seen on both sides. The epic love ended in bitterness. In 1809 the Emperor and the Empress broke their relationship on the rock of divorce.
But even after divorce, Napoleon did not cease his favors and she lived a very expensive life till her death in 1814.
The following two letters depict the rise and fall of the kingdom of the Emperor’s love – the Cairo victory to the Waterloo of his amour.
I awake consumed with thoughts of you. Your image and the memory
of the intoxicating pleasures of last evening have left my senses in
turmoil. Sweet, incomparable Josephine, what a strange effect you have on my heart. Are you angry? Do I see you looking sad? Are you
worried?… My soul aches with sorrow, and there can be no rest for your lover; but is there still more in store for me when, yielding to the profound feelings that overwhelm me, I draw from your lips, from your heart a love which consumes me with fire? Ah! It was last night that I fully realized how false an image of you your portrait gives!
You are leaving at noon; I shall see you in three hours.
Until then, my sweet love, a thousand kisses; but give me none in return, for they set my blood on fire.
Cisalpine Republic, Northern Italy
I love you no longer; on the contrary, I detest you. You are a wretch, truly perverse, foolish Cinderella. You never write me; you do not love your husband; you know what pleasures your letters give him yet you cannot even manage to write him half a dozen lines, dashed off in a moment! What then do you do all day, Madame? What business is so vital that it robs you of the time to write to your devoted lover? What affection stifles and pushes aside the love, the tender constant love you promised him? Who can this wonderful new lover be who takes up your every moment, rules your days, and prevents your giving any attention to your husband?
(by Sanjay Kumar Kundan)