Napoleon on Elba

campbellNapoleon on Elba: Diary of an Eyewitness to Exile

by Sir Neil Campbell

In this extract Campbell, in some agitation following Napoleon’s departure from Elba (it can only reflect badly on him), is teased by the arrival of Napoleon’s sister, the beautiful Pauline. She flirts with him in so outrageous a manner that it quite makes Campbell forget his troubles:

“She then came out and made me sit down beside her, drawing her chair gradually still closer, as if she waited for me to make some private communication. I merely told her that as perhaps she might have some commands for the Continent, I would willingly receive them. She asked me, with every appearance of anxiety, if I had nothing to say to her, and what I would advise her to do; said she had already written to her husband, Prince Borghese, who was now at Leghorn, and requested me to tell him that she wished to go to home immediately. I told her that my advice in the meantime would be to remain at Elba. She then went on to protest her ignorance of Napoleon’s intended departure till the very last moment, and of his present destination; laid hold of my hand and pressed it to her heart, that I might feel how much she was agitated. However, she did not appear to be so, and there was rather a smile upon her countenance.”

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