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Josephine's Ring

Josephine's Ring image
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Eugenia's father, during nis service with the French army, had seleetec Paris as his home; and there, too, resided his brother who left Spain with the ex-King Charles IV. and his furaily. Among the latter waa a giii o] three years of age, (the circumatance occurred in 1809,) of the name ui Maria, who frequontly played in the gardens of the Tuileriee, under supervisión of her nnrso. On one occasion, a little boy about ft year old, made her a present of a plain gold ring, and neither nurses were aware oí the fact. As the boy was a stranger, and was not seen again in the gardens; no inquiries were made as to the ownership of the ring, and the little Spanish cnuntess kept it as a valnable plaything. Tliis ring was the betrothal ring of Josephine, which liitlu Louis Napoleon, the son of that Hortense whotn Napoleon loved so dearly, had taken ofl his uncle's finger unnoticed- Napoleon eoon after tnarched off to fight the Austritins, and the ring was forgott.en ; but it was an evil omen for Joeephine, who, a year later, had to make wy for a daughter of the Ilapsburgs. Little Maria Montijo feit an inexplicable attachment for this ring, on which the word Josephine was engraved ; she took care of it vvhile a ehiid,'and when she grew up, placed it among her most valued ornaments. She had no idea to whom it had belonged, or that it was the Etnpptor'e nophevv who had given it tp her. When she attained the age of sixteen she was married to her uncle, the Duke of Pen eranda, and Prench colonel of artillery, in order to re-unite the two branches ot the Guzman family, and thus became the mother of Eugenie, who was born on Mav 5th, 1826. It was another remarkuble coincidence, that May 5th was the anniversary of Napoleon's death - the most sacred day to the Bonaparte iamily. Eugenie's mother had the dale May 5th engraved on Josephine's ring, in tnemory of her daughter's birth, and afterwaid gave it to her. And it is another remarkable circumstance, that Eugenie, when a child, visited her relations, the Kirkpatrickw, in Lopdon ; and here Prince Louis Napoleon, who had just arrived from Italy as a Car-" bonaro, formed the aoquaintance of the little Montijo. He saw the ring among the ornaments, noticcd the inscription, hud the date May 5th explained tohim, ajid now knew that Napoleon's lost ring was in the possession of the Countess Eugenie de Montijo. From this day the young fatalistic heir of Napoíeon I. regarded the iittle Countess Montijo Teba as attacbed to his house by a h'igher inspiration ; and this really carne to pass twenty yearg later. Eugenie, at the time, had no idea oí all this; indeed, it was not till a later date, when the mother learned the importance of the ring, and the fatalistn which Louis Napoleon attached to it, that the Montijos [formed their plan, - The old, traditional marriage policy ot the family made her resolve that Eugenie must form an alliance with the Bonapartes so soon as a wish to that effect were really entertained by the other side. For the present, it was mereiy a qnestion of marrying a pretender; but the pretender might have a future, and the ambiiion of the Montijos might aid in advancing it. This is the principal reason why so lovely and rich a girl as Eugenie has attained the aire of twenty-six, which is doubly dangefpus for a Spanish woman, with out being married. Öhe was chosen to fulfill a "destiny," and, in 1848, the fam ily were doubly ambitious te fulfill it, because Napoleon had, in the meanvvhile, attained suprema power in Franee. Even before i his period, the predestinad couple had mot at watering places and calumny had already begun to adhere to Eugenie, because it was deemed impossible that a Spanish girl should have attained such a ripe age without some gallantry. Henee ternpters, and speculators swarmed round her; but {.he tools did not know Eugenie, who was a true 'Montijo ; they did not suspect why this glorioue woman allowod the freshness of youth to fade, without accepting one of the offers that were daily made to her. Eugenie attracted Napoleon by her charms; but not for the sake of beiüg loved by him, so muoh as to satisfy the ambition of the Hóntijös ; ehe proinïsed him her hand ; but he must first beuome a real power in Franee - Emperor. Still she labored zealously in order to attain this object. She agitated ; gained men, who adtnired her, over to the Napoleonic cause ; and, uuder the mask of an energetio woman made all the preparations for the coup d'etat with the chief leaders. On that Deceri.ber night when it was carried out, she sat with Napoleon at the telejraphic instrument. Henee she worked with her own hands in restoring the Napoleon dynasty; and Napoleon nev er for a moment oVerJooked the fact. - [n the case of r.ny evontualities, he apDointed her regent ; for he knew her snergy-, hei' sharp-sightedness, her presence ol miod, htr politica] foresight. whicli was eminently displayed durÍBg the Italian campaign. He allows her ;o preside at the oouncil of State; for io one understands so well as she does ííapoleon'B utmost thought, or enn udge so weli the aonsequence of events. There is something prophetie about her; and the Emperor rügards her as ; a poition of' his f'ate. She is the head of the clerical and legitimist tendencies in the Napnleonistic hunily, just ns Prince Nafiolcon is riie h-ead of the revolutionary idoaa. j&iS" Why is a faabiouable lady's tlress like an iron-clad ship ? Becaiise its heavily lamd.


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