“Fallen Boney”


"The crown has Boney abdicated ... And Louis is again reinstated." When he was Consul he was successful but, crowned, became a "lawless tyrant." He replaced Josephine with Louisa. "He might been happy still in France Had he but rul'd with moderation"


Louis is, of course, Louis XVIII (1855-1824), the younger brother of the pre-revolutionary king Louis XVI, who was brought back to the throne when Napoleon fell.

Napoleon's decision to replace his wife Josephine Beauharnais (1763-1814) was entirely practical; he did not withdraw his favor from her children (or even with her, really, since he died with her name on his lips). But he needed an heir, and she had not given him one. So he went for another woman.

The bit about ruling with moderation is generally right; Napoleon did a fine job of creating a civil code for France; most of the Code Napoleon was retained by the restored monarchy, and much survives to this day. But Napoleon couldn't bring himself to sit still making laws for long. And, frankly, he developed that problem while he was still Consul. - RBW


  1. Moylan 202, "Fallen Boney" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. BI, Moyl202


Author: Hugh McWilliam (source: Moylan)
Earliest date: 1816 (McWilliam's _Poems and Songs on Various Subjects_, according to Moylan)
Keywords: Napoleon wife royalty