Napoleon and the Duke d’Anghien

February 25th

A beautiful day but with scarce any wind. Only 84 miles today, rather slow work, but I am very hopeful that we shall make it up somewhere on our way to San Francisco and have a short voyage of it.

Williams and Willie better today. Have had my hair shaved for the last time today; it has been shaved three times, once a week. The barber said it ought to have been done four times, but Williams said “no, three is enough.” I think he is very anxious that my hair should grow out again as fast as possible. He likes not to see me in this wig – neither do I. However, I care not much living in hope of a fine head of hair.

How lovely my birdie does sing – one can almost fancy being in the country and surrounded by beautiful green fields, trees and lovely hills. When he pours forth his voice in such joyous continuous warbling, I am glad I have the little creature with me.

I have been reading some chapters in Napoleon this morning; was much interested particularly in his account of the Duke d’Enghien. It has always seemed like such a dark plot on Napoleon and I never before so fully understood the motive by which Napoleon actuated. Napoleon was justly exasperated by the wrongs he was constantly receiving from the Emigrants with the Bourbons at their head, and was thus rashly lead on to do a deed he afterwards felt regret for. But if a man ever had provocation for such a deed, Napoleon had – and this account is certainly the most satisfactory as regards Bonaparte as any I ever read; the clearest, fullest.