I don't love you, not at all; on the contrary, I detest you. You're a naught, gawky, foolish Cinderella.
You never write me; you don't love your own husband; you know what pleasures your letters give him, and yet you haven't written him six lines, dashed of so casually!
What do you do all day, Madam? What is the affair so important as to leave you no time to write to your devoted lover?
What affection stifles and puts to one side the love, the tender constant love you promised him?
Of what sort can be that marvellous being, that new lover that tyrannises over your days, and prevents your giving any attention to your husband?
Josephine, take care! Some fine night, the doors will be broken open and there I'll be.
Indeed, I am very uneasy, my love, at receiving no news of you; write me quickly for pages, pages full of agreeable things which shall fill my heart with the pleasantest feelings.
I hope before long to crush you in my arms and cover you with a million kisses as though beneath the equator.
April 3, 1796
I have received all your letters, but none has made me such an impression as the last. How, my beloved, can you write to me like that?
Don't you think my position is cruel enough, without adding my sorrows and crushing my spirit?
What a style! What feelings you show! They are fire, and they burn my poor heart.
My one and only Josephine, apart from you there is no joy; away from you, the world is a desert where I am alone and cannot open my heart.
You have taken more than my soul; you are the one thought of my life.
When I am tired of the worry of work, when I feel the outcome, when men annoy me, when I am ready to curse being alive, I put my hand on my heart; your portrait hangs there, I look at it, and love brings me perfect happiness, and all is miling except the time I must spend away from my mistress.
By what art have you captivated all my facilities and concentrated my whole being in you? It is a sweet friend, that will die only when I do.
To live for Josephine, that is the history of my life I long.
I try to come near you. Fool! I don't notice that I am going further away. How many countries separate us!
How long before you will read these words, this feeble expression of a captive soul where you are queen?
Oh, my adorable wife! I don't know what fate has in store for me, but if it keeps me apart from you any longer, it will be unbearable! My courage is not enough for that.
Once upon a time I was proud of my courage, and sometimes I would think of the ills destiny might bring me and consider the most terrible horrors without blinking or feeling shaken.
But, today the thought that my Josephine might be in trouble, that she may be ill, above the cruel, the awful thought that she may love me less blights my soul, stills my blood and makes me sad and depressed, without even the courage of rage and despair.
I used often to say men cannot harm one who dies without regret; but, now, to die not loved by you, to die without knowing, would be the torment of Hell, the living image of utter desolation. I feel I am suffocating.
My one companion, you whom fate has destined to travel the sorry road of life beside me, the day I lose your heart will be the day Nature loses warmth and life for me.
I stop, sweet friend; my soul is sad, my body tired, my spirit oppressed. Men bore me. I ought to hate them: they take me away from my heart.
I am at Port Maurice, near Ognelia; tomorrow I reach Albenga. The two armies are moving, trying to outwit each other. Victory to the cleverer.
I am pleased with Beaulieu; he maneuvres well and is stronger than his predecessor. I will beat him soundly, I hope.
Don't be frightened. Love me like your eyes; but that is not enough: like yourself, more than yourself, than your thoughts, your life, all of you.
Forgive me, dear love, I am raving; Nature is frail when one feels deeply, when one is loved by you.
Sincere friendship to Barras, Sucy, Madame Tallien; respects to Madame Chateau-Renard; true love to Eugene, to Hortense.
Goodbye, goodbye! I shall go to bed without you, sleep without you. Let me sleep, I beg you. For several nights I have felt you in my arms; a happy dream, but it is not you.
April 24, 1796
My brother will bring you this letter. I have the greatest love for him and I hope he will gain yours; he deserves it. Nature has given him a sweet and utterly good character; he is full of good qualities.
I am writing to Barras to get him appointed consul in some Italian port. He wants to live with his little wife far away from the hurly-burly and political affairs; I commend him to you.
I have your letters of the 16th and the 21st. There are many days when you don't write. What do you do, then?
No, my darling, I am not jealous, but sometimes worried.
Come soon; I warn you, if you delay, you will find me ill. Fatigue and your absence are too much.
Your letters are the joy of my days, and my days are happiness are not many.
Junot is bringing twenty-two flags to Paris. You must come back with him, do you understand?
Hopeless sorrow, inconsolable misery, sadness without end, if I am so unhappy as to see him return alone.
Adorable friend, he will see you, he will breathe in your temple; perhaps you will grant him the unique and perfect flavor of kissing your cheek, and I shall be alone and far, far away.
But you are coming, aren't you? You are going to be here beside me, in my arms, on my breast, on my mouth.
Take wing and come, come! But travel gently. The road is long, bad, tiring.
Suppose you had an accident, or fell ill; suppose fatigue- come gently, my adorable love, but I think of you often.
I have received a letter from Hortense. I will write to her. She is altogether charming. I love her and will soon send her the perfumes she wants.
Read Ossian's poem "Carthon" carefully, and sleep well and happily far from your good friend, but thinking of him.
A kiss on the heart, and one lower down, much lower!
I don't know if you need money; you have never talked about your affairs. If so, you can ask my brother, who has 200 louis of mine.