BEAUHARNAIS, Hortense Eugenie, wife of Louis Bonaparte and Queen of Hol land: b. Paris, 10 April 1783; d. Arenberg, Switzerland, 3 Oct. 1837. She was the daugh ter of Alexandre Beauharnais and Josephine, afterward wife of Napoleon. She was to have married Desaix; but on 7 Jan. 1802, in com pliance with the wish of Napoleon, became the wife of his younger brother Louis, who also gave up a former attachment for the marriage. The union was not happy and Hortense re turned to Paris and lived a dissolute life there apart from her husband, who vainly endeavored to procure a divbrce. Prominent among her lovers was the Comte de Flahaut, for whom she composed her popular air, (Portant tour Syrie," as he was leaving Paris for Germany, and Admiral Veruel, a Dutch naval officer. The former is believed to have been the fattier of M. de Morny, universally recognized as the illegitimate half-brother of Napoleon III, whom he grmtly aided in becoming emperor; and to the latter is attributed the paternity of Napoleon III himself. It is lcnown that Louis Bonaparte had a warm dispute with his brother, the Em peror, touching this child, which he averred to be none of his, and that his unwillingness to recognize it as such was only overcome by the most decided measures on the part of Napoleon.
The first child of Hortense, Napoleon Charles, died in 1807 at the age of five. After the sep iration of Napoleon and Josephine, Hortense remained on intimate terms with the former. When the Bourbons came back in 1814 she alone of all the Bonaparte family remained in Paris. After the Hundred Days she lived in Augsburg, in Italy, and in Switzerland, de voted to her sons and greatly beloved by the people with whom she came in contact, who found her a lcind and gentle benefactress. When her sons had to flee, after participating in an unsuccessful attempt at revolution in Italy in 1831, she went for a time to Paris and was kindly received by Louis Philippe. She possessed much literary as well as social talent.