Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Napoleonic Love Letters


Napoleon's love letters, to judge from one of the time which has been preserved, were as fine as the dispatches with which he soon began to electrify his soldiers and all France. "I awaken full of thee," he wrote. "Thy portrait and yester eve's intoxicating charm have left my senses no repose. Sweet and matchless Josephine, how strange your influence upon my heart! Are you angry? Do I see you sad? Are you uneasy? My soul is moved with grief, and there is no rest for your friend, but is there, then, more when, yielding to an overmastering desire, I draw from your lips, your heart, a flame which consumes me? Ah, this very night I knew your portrait was not you! Thou leavest at noon. Three hours more, and I shall see thee again. Meantime, mio dolce amor, a thousand kisses, but give me none, for they set me all afire."

What genuine and reckless passion! The "thou" and "you" may be strangely jumbled, as they are; the grammar may be mixed and bad, but the meaning would be strong enough incense for the most exacting woman. — Professor Sloane in Century.

No comments: