Napoleon Bonaparte to Josephine De Beauharnais
Paris, December 1795
I wake filled with thoughts of you. Your portrait and the intoxicating evening which we spent yesterday have left my senses in turmoil.
Sweet incomparable Josephine, what a strange effect you have on my heart!
Are you angry?
Do I see you looking sad? Are you worried? ...
My soul aches with sorrow, and there can be no rest for your lover; but is there still more in store for me when, yielding to the profound feelings which overwhelm me, I draw from your lips, from your heart a love which consumes me with fire? Ah! it was last night that I fully realized how false an image of you your portrait gives!
You are leaving at noon; I shall see you in three hours.
Until then, mio dolce amor, a thousand kisses; but give me none in return, for they set my blood on fire.