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Title: France in the Nineteenth Century
Author: Latimer, Elizabeth, 1822-1904
Language: English
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[Illustration: _EMPEROR NAPOLEON I._]








The sources from which I have drawn the materials for this book are
various; they come largely from private papers, and from articles
contributed to magazines and newspapers by contemporary writers,
French, English, and American. I had not at first intended the
work for publication, and I omitted to make notes which would have
enabled me to restore to others the "unconsidered trifles" that
I may have taken from them.

As far as possible, I have endeavored to remedy this; but should
any other writer find a gold thread of his own in my embroidery,
I hope he will look upon it as an evidence of my appreciation of
his work, and not as an act of intentional dishonesty.

E. W. L.








       *       *       *       *       *



Louis XVIII. in 1815 returned to his throne, borne on the shoulders
of foreign soldiers, after the fight at Waterloo. The allied armies
had a second time entered France to make her pass under the saws
and harrows of humiliation. Paris was gay, for money was spent
freely by the invading strangers. Sacrifices on the altar of the
Emperor were over; enthusiasm for the extension of the great ideas
of the Revolution had passed away; a new generation had been born
which cared more for material prosperity than for such ideas; the
foundation of many fortunes had been laid; mothers who dreaded
the conscription, and men weary of war and politics, drew a long
breath, and did not regret the loss of that which had animated
a preceding generation, in a view of a peace which was to bring
wealth, comfort, and tranquillity into their own homes.

The _bourgeoisie_ of France trusted that it had seen the last of the
Great Revolution. It stood between the working-classes, who had no
voice in the politics of the Restoration, and the old nobility,--men
who had returned to France full of exalted expectations. The king
had to place himself on one side or the other. He might have been
the true Bourbon and headed the party of the returned _émigrés_,--in
which case his crown would not have stayed long upon his head; or
he might have made himself king of the _bourgeoisie_, opposed to
revolution, Napoleonism, or disturbances of any kind,--the party,
in short, of the Restoration of Peace: a peace that might outlast
his time; _et après moi le déluge!_

But animals which show neither teeth nor claws are seldom left in
peace, and Louis XVIII.'s reign--from 1814 to 1824--was full of
conspiracies. The royalty of the Restoration was only an ornament
tacked on to France. The Bourbon dynasty was a necessary evil, even
in the eyes of its supporters. "The Bourbons," said Chateaubriand,
"are the foam on the revolutionary wave that has brought them back
to power;" whilst every one knows Talleyrand's famous saying "that
after five and twenty years of exile they had nothing remembered
and nothing forgot." Of course the old nobility, who flocked back to
France in the train of the allied armies, expected the restoration
of their estates. The king had got his own again,--why should not
they get back theirs? And they imagined that France, which had
been overswept by successive waves of revolution, could go back
to what she had been under the old régime. This was impossible.
The returned exiles had to submit to the confiscation of their
estates, and receive in return all offices and employments in the
gift of the Government. The army which had conquered in a hundred
battles, with its marshals, generals, and _vieux moustaches_, was
not pleased to have young officers, chosen from the nobility, receive
commissions and be charged with important commands. On the other
hand, the Holy Alliance expected that the king of France would
join the despotic sovereigns of Russia, Austria, and Prussia in
their crusade against liberal ideas in other countries. Against
these difficulties, and many more, Louis XVIII. had to contend.
He was an infirm man, physically incapable of exertion,--a man
who only wanted to be let alone, and to avoid by every means in
his power the calamity of being again sent into exile.

He placed himself on the side of the stronger party,--he took part
with the _bourgeoisie_. His aim, as he himself said, was to _ménager_
his throne. He began his reign by having Fouché and Talleyrand, men
of the Revolution and the Empire, deep in his councils, though he
disliked both of them. Early in his reign occurred what was called
the White Terror, in the southern provinces, where the adherents of
the white flag repeated on a small scale the barbarities of the

The king was forced to put himself in opposition to the old nobles
who had adhered to him in his exile. They bitterly resented his
defection. They used to toast him as _le roi-quand-même_, "the
king in spite of everything." His own family held all the Bourbon
traditions, and were opposed to him. To them everything below the
rank of a noble with sixteen quarterings was _la canaille_.

Louis XVIII.'s favorite minister was M. Decazes, a man who studied
the interests of the _bourgeoisie_; and the royal family at last made
the sovereign so uncomfortable by their disapproval of his policy
that he sought repose in the society and intimacy (the connection is
said to have been nothing more) of a Madame de Cayla, with whom
he spent most of his leisure time.

Before the Revolution, Louis XVIII. had been known sometimes as
the Comte de Provence, and sometimes as Monsieur. Though physically
an inert man, he was by no means intellectually stupid, for he
could say very brilliant things from time to time, and was very
proud of them; but he was wholly unfit to be at the helm of the
ship of state in an unquiet sea.

He had passed the years of his exile in various European countries,
but the principal part of his time had been spent at Hartwell,
about sixty miles from London, where he formed a little court and
lived a life of royalty in miniature. Charles Greville, when a
very young man, visited Hartwell with his relative, the Duke of
Beaufort, shortly before the Restoration. He describes the king's
cabinet as being like a ship's cabin, the walls hung with portraits
of Louis XVI., Marie Antoinette, Madame Elisabeth, and the dauphin.
Louis himself had a singular habit of swinging his body backward
and forward when talking, "which exactly resembled the heavings
of a ship at sea." "We were a very short time at table," Greville
adds; "the meal was a very plain one, and the ladies and gentlemen
all got up together. Each lady folded up her napkin, tied it round
with a bit of ribbon, and carried it away with her. After dinner we
returned for coffee and conversation to the drawing-room. Whenever
the king came in or went out of the room, Madame d'Angoulême made him
a low courtesy, which he returned by bowing and kissing her hand.
This little ceremony never failed to take place." They finished
the evening with whist, "his Majesty settling the points of the
game at a quarter of a shilling." "We saw the whole place," adds
Greville, "before we came away; they had certainly shown great
ingenuity in contriving to lodge so great a number of people in
and around the house. It was like a small rising colony."

Louis XVIII. was childless. His brother Charles and himself had
married sisters, princesses of the house of Savoy. These ladies were
amiable nonentities, and died during the exile of their husbands; but
Charles's wife had left him two sons,--Louis Antoine, known as the
Duc d'Angoulême, and Charles Ferdinand, known as the Duc de Berri.
The Duc d'Angoulême had married his cousin Marie Thérèse, daughter
of Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette. Their union was childless. The
Duc de Berri had married Marie Caroline, a princess of Naples.
She had two children,--Louise, who when she grew up became Duchess
of Parma; and Henri, called variously the Duc de Bordeaux, Henri
V., and the Comte de Chambord.

All Louis XVIII.'s efforts during his ten years' reign were directed
to keeping things as quiet as he could during his lifetime. He
greatly disapproved of the policy of the Holy Alliance in forcing
him to make war on Spain in order to put down the Constitutionalists
under Riego and Mina. The expedition for that purpose was commanded
by the Duc d'Angoulême, who accomplished his mission, but with
little glory or applause except from flatterers. The chief military
incident of the campaign was the capture by the French of the forts
of Trocadéro, which commanded the entrance to Cadiz harbor.

The Duchesse d'Angoulême, that _filia dolorosa_ left to languish
alone in the Temple after her parents and her aunt were guillotined,
had been exchanged with Austria for Lafayette by Bonaparte in the
treaty of Campo-Formio; but her soul had been crushed within her
by her sorrows. Deeply pious, she forgave the enemies of her house,
she never uttered a word against the Revolution; but the sight
of her pale, set, sad face was a mute reproach to Frenchmen. She
could forgive, but she could not be gracious. At the Tuileries,
a place full of graceful memories of the Empress Josephine, she
presided as a _dévote_ and a dowdy. She could not have been expected
to be other than she was, but the nation that had made her so,
bore a grudge against her. There was nothing French about her. No
sympathies existed between her and the generation that had grown
up in France during the nineteenth century. Both she and her husband
were stiff, cold, ultra-aristocrats. In intelligence she was greatly
the duke's superior, as she was also in person, he being short,
fat, red-faced, with very thin legs.

The Duc de Berri was much more popular. He was a Frenchman in character.
His faults were French. He was pleasure-seeking, pleasure-loving,
and he married a young and pretty wife to whom he was far from
faithful, and who was as fond of pleasure as himself.

The Duc de Berri was assassinated by a man named Louvel, Feb. 13,
1820, as he was handing his wife into her carriage at the door of
the French Opera House. They carried him back into the theatre,
and there, in a side room, with the music of the opera going on
upon the stage, the plaudits of the audience ringing in his ears,
and ballet-girls flitting in and out in their stage dresses, the
heir of France gave up his life, with kindly words upon his dying
lips, reminding us of Charles II. on his deathbed.

As I have said, Louis XVIII.'s reign was not without plots and
conspiracies. One of those in 1823 was got up by the Carbonari.
Lafayette was implicated in it. It was betrayed, however, the night
before it was to have been put in execution, and such of its leaders
as could be arrested were guillotined. Lafayette was saved by the
fact that the day fixed upon for action was the anniversary of his
wife's death,--a day he always spent in her chamber in seclusion.

It may be desirable to say who were the Carbonari. "Carbone" is
Italian for charcoal. The Carbonari were charcoal-burners. The
conspirators took their name because charcoal-burners lived in
solitary places, and were disguised by the coal-dust that blackened
their faces. It was a secret society which extended throughout
France, Italy, and almost all Europe. It was joined by all classes.
Its members, under pain of death, were forced to obey the orders
of the society. The deliverance of Italy from the Austrians became
eventually the prime object of the institution.

Lafayette, during his visit to America in 1824, expressed himself
freely about the Bourbons. "France cannot be happy under their
rule," he said;[1] "and we must send them adrift. It would have been
done before now but for the hesitation of Laffitte. Two regiments
of guards, when ordered to Spain under the Duc d'Angoulême, halted
at Toulouse, and began to show symptoms of mutiny. The matter was
quieted, however, and the affair kept as still as possible. But
all was ready. I knew of the whole affair. All that was wanted
to make a successful revolution at that time was money. I went
to Laffitte; but he was full of doubts, and dilly-dallied with
the matter. Then I offered to do it without his help. Said I: 'On
the first interview that you and I have without witnesses, put
a million of francs, in bank-notes, on the mantelpiece, which I
will pocket unseen by you. Then leave the rest to me.' Laffitte
still fought shy of it, hesitated, deliberated, and at last decided
that he would have nothing at all to do with it."

[Footnote 1: Vincent Nolte, Fifty Years in Two Hemispheres.]

Here the gentleman to whom Lafayette was speaking exclaimed, "If
any one had told me this but yourself, General, I would not have
believed it."

Lafayette merely answered, "It was really so,"--a proof, thinks
the narrator, how fiercely the fire of revolution still burned
in the old man's soul.

The last months of Louis XVIII.'s life were embittered by changes
of ministry from semi-liberal to ultra-royalist, and by attempts
of the officers of the Crown to prosecute the newspapers for
free-speaking. He died, after a few days of illness and extreme
suffering, Sept. 15, 1824, and was succeeded by the Comte d'Artois,
his brother, as Charles X. This was the third time three brothers
had succeeded each other on the French throne.

Charles X. was another James II., with cold, harsh, narrow ideas
of religion, though religion had not influenced his early life
in matters of morality. He was, as I have said, a widower, with
one remaining son, the Duc d'Angoulême, and a little grandson, the
son of the Duc de Berri. His two daughters-in-law, the Duchesse
d'Angoulême and the Duchesse de Berri, were as unlike each other
as two women could be,--the one being an unattractive saint, the
other a fascinating sinner.

Charles X. was not like his brother,--distracted between two policies
and two opinions. He was an ultra-royalist. He believed that to the
victors belong the spoils; and as Bourbonism had triumphed, he wanted
to stamp out every remnant of the Revolution. Constitutionalism,
the leading idea of the day, was hateful to him. He is said to have
remarked, "I had rather earn my bread than be a king of England!"
He probably held the same ideas concerning royal prerogative as
those of his cousin, the king of Naples, expressed in a letter
found after the sack of the Tuileries in 1848.

"Liberty is fatal to the house of Bourbon; and as regards myself,
I am resolved to avoid, at any price, the fate of Louis XVI. My
people obey force, and bend their necks; but woe to me if they
should ever raise them under the impulse of those dreams which sound
so fine in the sermons of philosophers, and which it is impossible
to put in practice. With God's blessing, I will give prosperity
to my people, and a government as honest as they have a right to
expect; but I will be a king,--and that _always!_"

Charles X. was on the throne six years. He was a fine-looking man
and a splendid horseman,--which at first pleased the Parisians,
who had been disgusted with the unwieldiness and lack of royal
presence in Louis XVIII. His first act was a concession they little
expected, and one calculated to render him popular. He abridged
the powers of the censors of the Press. His minister at this time
was M. de Villèle, a man of whom it has been said that he had a
genius for trifles; but M. de Villèle having been defeated on some
measures that he brought before the Chamber of Deputies, Charles
X. was glad to remove him, and to appoint as his prime minister
his favorite, the Prince de Polignac. Charles Greville, who was
in Paris at the time of this appointment, writes: "Nothing can
exceed the violence of feeling that prevails. The king does nothing
but cry; Polignac is said to have the fatal obstinacy of a martyr,
the worst courage of the _ruat coelum_ sort."

[Illustration: _CHARLES X._]

Six months later Greville writes: "Nobody has an idea how things
will turn out, or what are Polignac's intentions or his resources."
He appeared calm and well satisfied, saying to those who claimed the
right to question him, that all would be well, though all France
and a clear majority in the Chambers were against him. "I am told,"
says Charles Greville, "that there is no revolutionary spirit abroad,
but a strong determination to provide for the stability of existing
institutions, and disgust at the obstinacy and the pretensions of
the king. It seems also that a desire to substitute the Orleans
for the reigning branch is becoming very general. It is said that
Polignac is wholly ignorant of France, and will not listen to the
opinions of those who could enlighten him. It is supposed that
Charles X. is determined to push matters to extremity; to try the
Chambers, and if his ministers are beaten, to dissolve the House
and to govern _par ordonnances du roi_." This prophecy, written
in March, 1830, foreshadowed exactly what happened in July of the
same year, when, as an outspoken English Tory told Henry Crabb
Robinson, in a reading-room at Florence: "The king of France has
sent the deputies about their business, has abolished the d----d
Constitution and the liberty of the Press, and proclaimed his own
power as absolute king."

"And what will the end be?" cried Robinson.

"It will end," said a Frenchman who was present, "in driving the
Bourbons out of France!"

During the last months of Charles X.'s reign France made an expedition
against the Dey of Algiers, which was the first step in the conquest
of Algeria. The immediate object of the expedition, however, was to
draw off the attention of a disaffected nation from local politics.
An army of 57,000 soldiers, 103 ships of war, and many transports,
was despatched to the coast of Barbary. The expedition was not
very glorious, but it was successful. Te Deums were sung in Paris,
the general in command was made a marshal, and his naval colleague
a peer.

The royalists of France were at this period divided into two parties;
the party of the king and Polignac, who were governed by the Jesuits,
looked for support to the clergy of France. The other party looked
to the army. Yet the most religious men in the country--men like M.
de la Ferronays, for example--condemned and regretted the obstinacy
of the king.

Louis Philippe, the Duke of Orleans, on whom all eyes were fixed,
was the son of that infamous Duke of Orleans who in the Revolution
proclaimed himself a republican, took the name of Philippe Égalité,
and voted for the execution of the king, drawing down upon himself
the rebuke of the next Jacobin whose turn it was to vote in the
convention, who exclaimed: "I was going to vote Yes, but I vote
No, that I may not tread in the steps of the man who has voted
before me."

Égalité was in the end a victim. He perished, after suffering great
poverty, leaving three sons and a daughter. The sons were Louis
Philippe, who became Duke of Orleans, the Comte de Beaujolais, and
the Duc de Montpensier. One of these had shared the imprisonment
of his father, and narrowly escaped the guillotine.

Louis Philippe had solicited from the Republic permission to serve
under Dumouriez in his celebrated campaign in the Low Countries.
He fought with distinguished bravery at Valmy and Jemappes as
Dumouriez's aide-de-camp; but when that general was forced to desert
his army and escape for his life, Louis Philippe made his escape
too. He went into Switzerland, and there taught mathematics in a
school. Thence he came to America, travelled through the United
States, and resided for some time at Brooklyn.

In 1808 he went out to the Mediterranean in an English man-of-war
in charge of his sick brother, the Comte de Beaujolais. The same
vessel carried Sir John Moore out to his command, and landed him at
Lisbon. Louis Philippe could not have had a very pleasant voyage,
for the English admiral, on board whose ship he was a passenger,
came up one day in a rage upon the quarter-deck, and declared aloud,
in the hearing of his officers, that the Duke of Orleans was such a
d----d republican he could not sit at the same table with him.[1]

[Footnote 1: My father was present, and often told the story]

There used to be stories floating about Paris concerning Louis
Philippe's birth and parentage,--stories, however, not to be believed,
and which broke down upon investigation. These made him out to
be the son of an Italian jailer, exchanged for a little girl who
had been born to the Duke of Orleans and his wife at a time when
it was a great object with them to have a son. The little girl
grew up in the jailer Chiappini's house under the name of Maria
Stella Petronilla. There is little doubt that she was a changeling,
but the link is imperfect which would connect her with the Duke
and Duchess of Orleans. She was ill-treated by the jailer's wife,
but was very beautiful. Lord Newburgh, an English nobleman, saw
her and married her. Her son succeeded his father as a peer of
England. After Lord Newburgh's death his widow married a Russian
nobleman. Chiappini on his death-bed confessed to this lady all he
knew about her origin, and she persuaded herself that her father
must have been the Duke of Orleans. She took up her residence in the
Rue Rivoli, overlooking the gardens of the Tuileries, and received
some small pension from the benevolent royal family of France. She
died in 1845.

But whoever the mother of Louis Philippe may have been, she whom
he and Madame Adélaide looked up to and loved as though she had
been their second mother, was Madame de Genlis. In her company
Louis Philippe witnessed, with boyish exultation, the destruction
of the Bastile. To her he wrote after the great day when in the
Champ de Mars the new Constitution was sworn to both by king and
people: "Oh, my mother! there are but two things that I supremely
love,--the new constitution and you!"

On Christmas Day, 1809, he married at Palermo the Princesse Marie
Amélie, niece to Marie Antoinette, and aunt to the future Duchesse
de Berri.

No breath of scandal ever disturbed the matrimonal happiness of
Louis Philippe and Marie Amélie. They had a noble family of five
sons and three daughters, all distinguished by their ability and
virtues. I shall have to tell hereafter how devotion to the interests
of his family was one cause of Louis Philippe's overthrow.

In 1814, when Napoleon abdicated at Fontainebleau; Louis Philippe
left Palermo, attended only by one servant, and made his way to
Paris and the home of his family, the Palais Royal. He hurried
into the house, and in spite of the opposition of the concierge,
who took him for a madman, he rushed to the staircase; but before
he ascended it he fell upon his knees, and bursting into tears,
kissed the first step before him.

This was probably the most French-like thing in Louis Philippe's
career. He was far more like an Englishman than a Frenchman. Had
he been an English prince, his faults would have seemed to his
people like virtues.

Of course the son of Égalité could be no favorite with the elder
Bourbons; but he soon became the hope of the middle classes, and
was very intimate with Laffitte the banker, and with Lafayette,
who, as we have seen, were both implicated in conspiracies seven
years before the Revolution of 1830. He was for many years not
rich, but he and the ladies of his house were very charitable.
Madame Adélaïde, speaking one day to a friend[1] of the reports
that were circulated concerning her brother's parsimony, said,--

"People ask what he does with his money. To satisfy them it would
be necessary to publish the names of honorable friends of liberty
who, in consequence of misfortunes, have solicited and obtained
from him sums of twenty, thirty, forty, and even three hundred
thousand francs. They forget all the extraordinary expenses my
brother has had to meet, all the demands he has to comply with.
Out of his income he has furnished the Palais Royal, improved the
_apanages_ of the House of Orleans; and yet sooner or later all
this property will revert to the nation. When we returned to France
our inheritance was so encumbered that my brother was advised to
decline administering on the estate; but to that neither he nor
I would consent. For all these things people make no allowances.
Truly, we know not how to act to inspire the confidence which our
opinions and our consciences tell us we fully deserve."

[Footnote 1: M. Appert, chaplain to Queen Marie Amélie.]

[Illustration: _LOUIS PHILLIPPE_. (_Duke of Orleans_.)]

It is not necessary in a sketch so brief to go minutely into politics.
Prince Polignac and the king dissolved the Chambers, having found the
deputies unwilling to approve their acts, and a few days afterwards
the king published his own will and pleasure in what were called
_Les Ordonnances du Roi_. One of these restricted the liberty of
the Press, and was directed against journalism; another provider
new rules, by which the ministry might secure a more subservient

As we have seen, these _ordonnances_ even in foreign countries
spread dismay. The revolution that ensued was the revolution of
the great bankers and the business men,--the _haute bourgeoisie_.
In general, revolutions are opposed by the moneyed classes; but
this was a revolution effected by them to save themselves and their
property from such an outbreak as came forty years later, which
we call the Commune. The working-classes had little to do with
the Revolution of 1830, except, indeed, to fight for it, nor had
they much to do with the Revolution of 1848. It was the moneyed
men of France who saw that the resuscitated principles of the old
régime had been stretched to their very uttermost all over Europe,
and that if they did not check them by a well-conducted revolution,
worse would be sure to come.

On July 26, 1830, the _ordonnances_ appeared. The working-classes
seemed to hear of them without emotion; but their effect on all those
who had any stake in the prosperity of the country was very great.
By nightfall the agitation had spread in Paris to all classes. King
Charles X. was at Saint-Cloud, apparently apprehending no popular
outbreak. No military preparations in case of disturbances had been
made, though on the morning of the 26th the Duc d'Angoulême sent
word to Marshal Marmont to take command of the troops in Paris,
"as there might be some windows broken during the day."

The next morning trouble was begun by the journeymen printers,
who, as the newspapers on which they worked had been prohibited,
were sent home from their printing-offices. Before long they were
joined by others, notably by the cadets from the Polytechnic School.
Casimir Perrier and Laffitte were considered chiefs of the revolution.
The cry was everywhere "Vive la Charte,"--a compendium that had
been drawn up of the franchises and privileges of Frenchmen. M.
Thiers, then young, counselled moderation in the emergency.

On July 28 the tricolored flag was again unfurled in Paris,--those
colors dear to Frenchmen, who had long hated the white flag, which
represented in their eyes despotism and the rule of the Bourbons!
The National Guard (or militia) was called out, and the populace
began erecting barricades.

It is surprising how rapidly in an emergency a barricade can be
formed. A carriage or two is overturned, furniture is brought out
from neighboring houses, a large tree, if available, is cut down,
and the whole is strengthened with paving-stones. By night all
Paris had become a field of battle.

In vain Marshal Marmont had sent courier after courier to Saint-Cloud,
imploring the king and his ministers to do something that might allay
the fury of the people. No answer was returned. The marshal went
himself at last, and the king, after listening to his representation
of the state of Paris, said calmly: "Then it is really a revolt?"
"No, sire," replied Marmont; "it is not a revolt, but a revolution."

As soon as the idea of ruin broke upon the royal household, everything
at Saint-Cloud became confusion and despair. The Duchesse de Berri
wanted to take her son, the Duc de Bordeaux, into Paris, hoping
that the people would rally round a woman and the young heir to
the throne. Some implored the king to treat with the insurgents;
some to put himself at the head of his troops; some to sacrifice
the _ordonnances_ and the most obnoxious of his ministers.

The Parisian mob by this time had its blood up. It fought with any
weapons that came to hand. Muskets were loaded with type seized in
the printing-offices. At the Hôtel-de-Ville, Laffitte, Lafayette,
and other leading men opposed to the policy of Charles X. were
assembled in council.

The troops at first fought in their king's cause bravely, but without
enthusiasm. Subsequently the Duke of Wellington was asked if he
could not have suppressed the revolution with the garrison of Paris,
which was twenty thousand men. He answered, "Easily; but then they
must have been fighting for a cause they had at heart."

The fight continued all the night of the 28th, bloody and furious.
By morning the soldiers were short of ammunition. As usual, the
Swiss Guard was stanch, but the French soldiers faltered. About
midday of the 29th two regiments went over to the insurgents.

Two peers were at this juncture sent to negotiate with the royal
family. The ministers, with Polignac at their head, went out also
to Saint-Cloud. "Sire," said one of the negotiators, "if in an
hour the _ordonnances_ are not rescinded, there will be neither
king nor kingdom." "Could you not offer me two hours?" said the
king, sarcastically, as he turned to leave the chamber. The envoy,
an old man, fell on his knees and seized the skirt of the king's
coat. "Think of the dauphine!" he cried, imploringly. The king
seemed moved, but made no answer.

In Paris, Marmont, whose heart was with the insurgents, endeavored
nevertheless to do his duty; but his troops deserted him. On learning
this, Talleyrand walked up to his clock, saying solemnly: "Take
notice that on July 29, 1830, at five minutes past twelve o'clock,
the elder branch of the Bourbons ceased to reign."

The Louvre was taken, and the Tuileries. There was no general pillage,
the insurgents contenting themselves with breaking the statues of
kings and other signs of royalty.

One of the most obnoxious persons in Paris was the archbishop. The
mob fought to the music of "Ça ira." with new words:--

  "C'est l'Archevêque de Paris
  Qui est Jésuite comme Charles Dix.
  Dansons la Carmagnole; dansons la Carmagnole,
    Et ça ira!"

There were deeds of heroism, deeds of self-sacrifice. deeds of
loyalty, deeds of cruelty, and deeds of mercy, as there always
are in Paris in times of revolution. By nightfall on the 29th the
fighting was over. It only remained to be seen what would be done
with the victory. The evening before, Laffitte had sent a messenger
to Louis Philippe, then residing two miles from Paris, at his Château
de Neuilly, warning him to hold himself in readiness for anything
that might occur. Lafayette had been made governor of Paris, and
thus held in his hand the destinies of France. Under him served
an improvised municipal commune.

By this time Prince Polignac had been dismissed, and the Duc de
Montemart had been summoned by the king to form a more liberal
ministry. Everything was in confusion in the palace. The weary
troops, who had marched to the defence of Saint-Cloud when the
struggle in Paris became hopeless, were scattered about the park
unfed and uncared-for.

The king, having at last made up his mind to yield, sent the envoys
who had been despatched to him, back to Paris, saying: "Go, gentlemen,
go; tell the Parisians that the king revokes the _ordonnances_.
But I declare to you that I believe this step will be fatal to
the interests of France and of the monarchy."

The envoys on reaching Paris were met by the words: "Too late!
The throne of Charles X. has already passed from him in blood."

The king, however, confident that after such concessions the revolt
was at an end, played whist during the evening, while the Duc
d'Angoulême sat looking over a book of geography. At midnight,
however, both were awakened to hear the news from Paris, and then
Charles X.'s confidence gave way. He summoned his new prime minister
and sent him on a mission to the capital. The Duc d'Angoulême,
however, who was opposed to any compromise with rebels, would not
suffer the minister to pass his outposts. The Duc de Montemart,
anxious to execute his mission, walked all night round the outskirts
of Paris, and entered it at last on the side opposite to Saint-Cloud.
The city lay in the profound silence of the hour before day.[1]

[Footnote 1: Louis Blanc, Dix Ans. Histoire de trente heures, 1830.]

The question of who should succeed Charles X. had already been
debated in Laffitte's chamber. Laffitte declared himself for Louis
Philippe, the Duke of Orleans. Some were for the son of Napoleon.
Many were for the Duc de Bordeaux, with Louis Philippe during his
minority as lieutenant-general of the kingdom. "That might have been
yesterday," said M. Laffitte, "if the Duchesse de Berri, separating
her son's cause from that of his grandfather, had presented herself in
Paris, holding Henri V. in one hand, and in the other the tricolor."
"The tricolor!" exclaimed the others; "why, they look upon the
tricolor as the symbol of all crimes!" "Then what can be done for
them?" replied Laffitte.

At this crisis the poet Béranger threw all his influence into the
party of the Duke of Orleans, and almost at the same moment appeared
a placard on all the walls of Paris:--

  "Charles X. is deposed.
  A Republic would embroil us with all Europe.
  The Duke of Orleans is devoted to the cause of the Revolution.
  The Duke of Orleans never made war on France.
  The Duke of Orleans fought at Jemappes.
  The Duke of Orleans will be a Citizen-King.
  The Duke of Orleans has worn the tricolor under fire: he
    will wear the tricolor as king."

Meantime, early on the evening of the 29th, Neuilly had been menaced
by the troops under the Duc d'Angoulême, and Madame Adélaïde had
persuaded her brother to quit the place. When M. Thiers and the
artist, Ary Scheffer, arrived at Neuilly, bearing a request that
the Duke of Orleans would appear in Paris, Marie Amélie received
them. Aunt to the Duchesse de Berri and attached to the reigning
family, she was shocked by the idea that her husband and her children
might rise upon their fall; but Madame Adélaïde exclaimed: "Let
the Parisians make my brother what they please,--President, _Garde
National_, or Lieutenant-General,--so long as they do not make
him an exile."

Louis Philippe, who was at Raincy (or supposed to be there, for
the envoys always believed he was behind a curtain during their
interview with his wife and sister), having received a message from
Madame Adélaïde, set out soon after for Paris. The resolution of
the leaders of the Revolution had been taken, but in the Municipal
Commune at the Hôtel-de-Ville there was still much excitement.
There a party desired a republic, and offered to place Lafayette
at its head.

At Saint-Cloud the Duchesse de Berri and her son had been sent off
to the Trianon; but the king remained behind. He referred everything
to the dauphin (the Duc d'Angoulême); the dauphin referred everything
to the king.

The dauphin's temper was imperious, and at this crisis it involved
him in a personal collision with Marshal Marmont. In attempting
to tear the marshal's sword from his side, he cut his fingers. At
sight of the royal blood the marshal was arrested, and led away as
a traitor. The king, however, at once released him, with apologies.

When the leaders in Paris had decided to offer the
lieutenant-generalship of France to Louis Philippe during the minority
of the Duc de Bordeaux, he could not be found. He was not at Raincy,
he was not at Neuilly. About midnight, July 29, he entered Paris on
foot and in plain clothes, having clambered over the barricades.
He at once made his way to his own residence, the Palais Royal,
and there waited events.

At the same moment the Duchesse de Berri was leaving Saint-Cloud with
her son. Before daylight Charles X. followed them to the Trianon; and
the soldiers in the Park at Saint-Cloud, who for twenty-four hours
had eaten nothing, were breaking their fast on dainties brought
out from the royal kitchen.

The proposal that Louis Philippe should accept the
lieutenant-generalship was brought to him on the morning of July
30, after the proposition had first been submitted to Talleyrand, who
said briefly: "Let him accept it." Louis Philippe did so, accepting
at the same time the tricolor, and promising a charter which should
guarantee parliamentary privileges. He soon after appeared at a
window of the Hôtel-de-Ville, attended by Lafayette and Laffitte,
bearing the tricolored flag between them, and was received with
acclamations by the people. But there were men in Paris who still
desired a republic, with Lafayette at its head. Lafayette persisted
in assuring them that what France wanted was a king surrounded
by republican institutions, and he commended Louis Philippe to
them as "the best of republics." This idea in a few hours rapidly
gained ground.

By midday on July 30th Paris was resuming its usual aspect. Charles
X., finding that the household troops were no longer to be depended
on, determined to retreat over the frontier, and left the Trianon
for the small palace of Rambouillet, where Marie Louise and the King
of Rome had sought refuge in the first hours of their adversity.

The king reached Rambouillet in advance of the news from Paris,[1]
and great was the surprise of the guardian of the Château to see
him drive up in a carriage and pair with only one servant to attend
him. The king pushed past the keeper of the palace, who was walking
slowly backward before him, and turned abruptly into a small room
on the ground floor, where he locked himself in and remained for
many hours. When he came forth, his figure seemed to have shrunk,
his complexion was gray, his eyes were red and swollen. He had
spent his time in burning up old love-letters,--reminiscences of
a lady to whom he had been deeply attached in his youth.

[Footnote 1: All the Year Round, 1885.]

The mob of Paris having ascertained that the fugitive royal family
were pausing at Rambouillet, about twelve miles from the capital,
set out to see what mischief could be done in that direction. The
Duchesse de Berri, her children, and the Duc d'Angoulême were at the
Château de Maintenon, and the king, upon the approach of the mob,
composed only of roughs, determined to join them. As he passed out of
the chateau, which he had used as a hunting-lodge, he stretched out
his hand with a gesture of despair to grasp those of some friends
who had followed him to Rambouillet, and who were waiting for his
orders. He had none to give them. He spoke no word of advice, but
walked down the steps to his carriage, and was driven to the Château
de Maintenon to rejoin his family.

The mob, when it found that the king had fled, was persuaded to
quit Rambouillet by having some of the most brutal among them put
into the king's coaches. Attended by the rest of the unruly crowd,
they were driven back to Paris, and assembling before the Palais
Royal, shouted to Louis Philippe: "We have brought you your coaches.
Come out and receive them!" Eighteen years later, these coaches
were consumed in a bonfire in the Place du Carrousel.

At the Château de Maintenon all was confusion and discouragement,
when suddenly the dauphine (the Duchesse d'Angoulême) arrived.
She, whom Napoleon had said was the only man of her family, was in
Burgundy when she received news of the outbreak of the Revolution.
At once she crossed several provinces of France in disguise. Harsh
of voice, stern of look, cold in her bearing, she was nevertheless
a favorite with the household troops whose spirit was reanimated
by the sight of her.

From Rambouillet the king had sent his approbation of the appointment
of the Duke of Orleans as lieutenant-general during the minority
of Henri V. Louis Philippe's answer to this communication so well
satisfied the old king that he persuaded the dauphin to join with
him in abdicating all rights in favor of Henri V., the little Duc
de Bordeaux. Up to this moment Charles seems never to have suspected
that more than such an abdication could be required of him. But
by this time it was evident that the successful Parisians would
be satisfied with nothing less than the utter overthrow of the
Bourbons. Their choice lay between a constitutional monarchy with
Louis Philippe at its head, or a renewal of the attempt to form
a republic.

The populace, on hearing that the abdication of the king and of the
dauphin had been announced to the Chamber of Deputies, assembled
to the number of sixty thousand, and insisted on the trial and
imprisonment of the late king. Hearing this, the royal family left
the Château de Maintenon the next morning, the king and the Duchesse
d'Angoulême taking leave of their faithful troops, and desiring
them to return to Paris, there to make their submission to the
lieutenant-general, "who had taken all measures for their security
and prosperity in the future."

During the journey to Dreux, Charles X. appeared to those around
him to accept his misfortunes from the hand of Heaven. The Duchesse
d'Angoulême, pale and self-contained, with all her wounds opened
afresh, could hardly bring herself to quit France for the third
time. Her husband was stolid and stupid. The Duchesse de Berri
was almost gay.

Meantime old stories were being circulated throughout France
discrediting the legitimacy of the Duc de Bordeaux, the posthumous
son of the Duc de Berri. He had been born seven months after his
father's death, at dead of night, with no doctor in attendance,
nor any responsible witnesses to attest that he was heir to the
crown. Louis Philippe had protested against his legitimacy within
a week after his birth. There was no real reason for suspecting his
parentage; nobody believes the slander now, but it is not surprising
that in times of such excitement, with such great interests at
stake, the circumstances attending his birth should have provoked
remark. They were both unfortunate and unusual.

Charles X. was the calmest person in the whole royal party. He
was chiefly concerned for the comfort of the rest. The dauphine
wept, her husband trembled, the children were full of excitement
and eager for play. Charles was unmoved, resigned; only the sight
of a tricolored flag overcame him.

He complained much of the haste with which he was escorted through
France to Cherbourg; but that haste probably insured his safety.
At Cherbourg two ships awaited him,--the "Great Britain" and the
"Charles Carroll;" both were American-built, and both had formed
part of the navy of Napoleon.

The day was fine when the royal fugitives embarked. In a few hours
they were off the Isle of Wight. For several days they stayed on
board, waiting till the English Government should complete arrangements
which would enable them to land. They had come away almost without
clothes, and the Duchesses of Angoulême and Berri were indebted for
an outfit to an ex-ambassadress. The king said to some of those
who came on board to see him, that he and his son had retired into
private life, and that his grandson must wait the progress of events;
also, that his conscience reproached him with nothing in his conduct
towards his people.

After a few days the party landed in England and took up their
abode at Ludworth Castle. Afterwards, at the king's own request,
the old Palace of Holyrood, in Edinburgh, was assigned him. There
was some fear at the time lest popular feeling should break out
in some insult to him or his family. To avert this, Sir Walter
Scott, though then in failing health, wrote in a leading Edinburgh
newspaper as follows:--

"We are enabled to announce from authority that Charles of Bourbon,
the ex-king of France, is about to become once more our fellow-citizen,
though probably only for a limited space, and is presently about to
inhabit the apartments again that he so long occupied in Holyrood
House. This temporary arrangement has been made, it is said, in
compliance with his own request, with which our benevolent monarch
immediately complied, willing to consult in every way possible
the feelings of a prince under pressure of misfortunes, which are
perhaps the more severe if incurred through bad advice, error, or
rashness. The attendants of the late sovereign will be reduced
to the least possible number, and consist chiefly of ladies and
children, and his style of life will be strictly retired. In these
circumstances it would be unworthy of us as Scotchmen, or as men,
if this unfortunate family should meet with a word or a look from
the meanest individual tending to aggravate feelings which must
be at present so acute as to receive injury from insults, which
in other times would be passed over with perfect disregard. His
late opponents in his kingdom have gained the applause of Europe
for the generosity with which they have used their victory, and
the respect which they have paid to themselves in their moderation
towards an enemy. It would be a great contrast to that part of
their conduct which has been most generally applauded, were we,
who are strangers to the strife, to affect a deeper resentment
than those concerned more closely. Those who can recollect the
former residence of this unhappy prince in our Northern capital
cannot but remember the unobtrusive, quiet manner in which his
little court was then conducted, and now, still further restricted
and diminished, he may naturally expect to be received with civility
and respect by a nation whose good will he has done nothing to
forfeit. Whatever may have been his errors towards his own subjects,
we cannot but remember in his adversity that he did not in his
prosperity forget that Edinburgh had extended him her hospitality,
but that at the period when the fires consumed so much of our city,
he sent a princely benefaction to the sufferers.... If there be
any who entertain angry or invidious recollections of late events
in France, they ought to remark that the ex-monarch has by his
abdication renounced the conflict, into which perhaps he was engaged
by bad advice, that he can no longer be an object of resentment
to the brave, but remains, to all, the most striking example of
the instability of human affairs which our unstable times have
afforded. He may say, with our own deposed Richard,--

  'With mine own hands I washed away my blame;
  With mine own hands I gave away my crown;
  With my own tongue deny my sacred state.'

"He brings among us his 'gray, discrownèd head,' and in a 'nation
of gentlemen,' as we were emphatically termed by the very highest
authority, it is impossible, I trust, to find a man mean enough
to insult the slightest hair of it."

Charles X. was greatly indebted to this letter for the cordiality
of his reception at Edinburgh, where he lived in dignified retirement
for about two years; then, finding that the climate was too cold
for his old age, and that the English Government was disquieted
because of the attempts of the Duchesse de Berri to revive her
son's claims to the French throne, he made his way to Bohemia,
and lived for a while in the Castle of Prague. At last he decided
to make his final residence in the Tyrol, not far from the warm
climate of Italy. It is said that as the exiled, aged king cast
a last look at the Gothic towers of the Castle of Prague, he said
to those about him: "We are leaving yonder walls, and know not to
what we may be going, like the patriarchs who knew not as they
journeyed where they would pitch their tents."[1]

[Footnote 1: Memoirs of the Duchesse d'Angoulême.]

On reaching the Baths of Töplitz, where the waters seemed to agree
with him, and where he wished to rest awhile, he found it needful
to "move on," for the house he occupied had been engaged for the
king of Prussia. The cholera, too, was advancing. The exiled party
reached Budweiz, a mountain village with a rustic inn, and there
it was forced to halt for some weeks, for the Duc de Bordeaux was
taken ill with cholera. It was a period of deep anxiety to those
about him, but at last he recovered.

After trying several residences in the Tyrolese mountains, to which
the old king had gone largely in hopes that he might enjoy the
pleasures of the chase, the exiled family fixed its residence at
Goritz towards the end of October, 1836. The king was then in his
eightieth year, but so hale and active that he spent whole mornings
on foot, with his gun, upon the mountains.

The weather changed soon after the family had settled at Goritz.
The keen winter winds blew down from the snow mountains, but the
king did not give up his daily sport. One afternoon, after a cold
morning spent upon the hills, he was seized at evening service
in the chapel with violent spasms. These passed off, but on his
joining his family later, its members were struck by the change
in his appearance. In a few hours he seemed to have aged years.
At night he grew so ill that extreme unction was administered to
him. It was an attack of cholera. When dying, he blessed his little
grandchildren, the boy and girl, who, notwithstanding the nature of
his illness, were brought to him. "God preserve you, dear children,"
he said. "Walk in paths of righteousness. Don't forget me.... Pray
for me sometimes."

He died Nov. 6, 1836, just one week after Louis Napoleon made his
first attempt to have himself proclaimed Emperor of the French,
at Strasburg.

He was buried near Goritz, in a chapel belonging to the Capuchin
Friars. In another chapel belonging to the same lowly order in
Vienna, had been buried four years before, another claimant to the
French throne, the Duc de Reichstadt, the only son of Napoleon.

On the coffin of the ex-king was inscribed,--

"Here lieth the High, the Potent, and most Excellent Prince, Charles
Tenth of that name; by the Grace of God King of France and of Navarre.
Died at Goritz, Nov. 6, 1836, aged 79 years and 28 days."

All the courts of Europe put on mourning for him, that of France
excepted. The latter part of his life, with its reverses and
humiliations, he considered an expiation, not for his political
errors, but for the sins of his youth.

As he drew near his end, his yearnings after his lost country increased
more and more. He firmly believed that the day would come when his
family would be restored to the throne of France, but he believed
that it would not be by conspiracy or revolt, but by the direct
interposition of God. That time did almost come in 1871, after
the Commune.



Louis Philippe, after accepting the lieutenant-generalship of the
kingdom, which would have made him regent under Henri V., found
himself raised by the will of the people--or rather, as some said,
by the will of the _bourgeoisie_--to the French throne. He reigned,
not by "right divine," but as the chosen ruler of his countrymen,--to
mark which distinction he took the title of King of the French,
instead of King of France, which had been borne by his predecessors.

It is hardly necessary for us to enter largely into French politics
at this period. The government was supposed to be a monarchy planted
upon republican institutions. The law recognized no hereditary
aristocracy. There was a chamber of peers, but the peers bore no
titles, and were chosen only for life. The dukes, marquises, and
counts of the old régime retained their titles only by courtesy.

The ministers of Charles X. were arrested and tried. The new king
was very anxious to secure their personal safety, and did so at a
considerable loss of his own popularity. They were condemned to
lose all property and all privileges, and were sent to the strong
fortress of Ham. After a few years they were released, and took
refuge in England.

There were riots in Paris when it was known that the ministers
and ill-advisers of the late king were not to be executed; one
of the leaders in these disturbances was an Italian bravo named
Fieschi,--a man base, cruel, and bold, whom Louis Blanc calls a
_scélérat bel esprit_.

The _émeute_ which was formidable, was suppressed chiefly by a
gallant action on the part of the king, who, while his health was
unimpaired, was never wanting in bravery. "The king of the French,"
says Greville, "has put an end to the disturbances in Paris about
the sentence of the ministers by an act of personal gallantry. At
night, when the streets were most crowded and agitated, he sallied
from the Palais Royal on horseback, with his son, the Duc de Nemours,
and his personal _cortège_, and paraded through Paris for two hours.
That did the business. He was received with shouts of applause,
and at once reduced everything to tranquillity. He deserves his
throne for this, and will probably keep it."

The next trouble in the new reign was the alienation of public
favor from Lafayette, who had done so much to place the king upon
the throne. He was accused by one party of truckling to the new
court, by the other of being too much attached to revolutionary
methods and republican institutions. He was removed from the command
of the National Guard, and his office of commander-in-chief of
that body was abolished.

All Europe becomes "a troubled sea" when a storm breaks over France.
"I never remember," writes Greville at this period, "days like
these, nor read of such,--the terror and lively expectation that
prevails, and the way in which people's minds are turned backward and
forward from France to Ireland, then range exclusively from Poland
to Piedmont, and fix again on the burnings, riots, and executions
that are going on in England."

Meantime France was subsiding into quiet, with occasional slight
shocks of revolutionary earthquake, before returning to order and
peace. The king was _le bon bourgeois_. He had lived a great deal
in England and the United States, and spoke English well. He had
even said in his early youth that he was more of an Englishman
than a Frenchman. He was short and stout. His head was shaped like
a pear, and was surmounted by an elaborate brown wig; for in those
days people rarely wore their own gray hair.

He did not impress those who saw him as being in any way majestic;
indeed, he looked like what he was,--_le bon père de famille_.
As such he would have suited the people of England; but it was
_un vert galant_ like Henri IV., or royalty incarnate, like Louis
XIV., who would have fired the imagination of the French people.
As a good father of a family, Louis Philippe felt that his first
duty to his children was to secure them a good education, good
marriages, and sufficient wealth to make them important personages
in any sudden change of fortune.

At the time of his accession all his children were unmarried,--indeed,
only four of them were grown up. The sons all went to _collège_,--which
means in France what high-school does with us. Their mother's
dressing-room at Neuilly was hung round with the laurel-crowns,
dried and framed, which had been won by her dear school-boys.

The eldest son, Ferdinand, Duke of Orleans, was an extraordinarily
fine young man, far more a favorite with the French people than his
father. Had he not been killed in a carriage accident in 1842, he
might now, in his old age, have been seated on the French throne.

One of the first objects of the king was to secure for his heir
a suitable marriage. A Russian princess was first thought of; but
the Czar would not hear of such a _mésalliance_. Then the hand of an
Austrian archduchess was sought, and the young lady showed herself
well pleased with the attentions of so handsome and accomplished a
suitor; but her family were as unfavorable to the match as was the
Czar of Russia. Finally, the Duke of Orleans had to content himself
with a German Protestant princess, Hélène of Mecklenburg-Schwerin,
a woman above all praise, who bore him two sons,--the Comte de
Paris, born in 1838, and the Duc de Chartres, born a year or two

The eldest daughter of Louis Philippe, the Princess Louise, was
married, soon after her father's elevation to the throne, to King
Leopold of Belgium, widower of the English Princess Charlotte, and
uncle to Prince Albert and to Queen Victoria. The French princess
thus became, by her marriage, aunt to these high personages. They
were deeply attached to her. She named her eldest daughter Charlotte,
after the lamented first wife of her husband. The name was Italianized
into Carlotta,--the poor Carlotta whose reason and happiness were
destroyed by the misfortunes of her husband in Mexico.

The second son of Louis Philippe was the Duc de Nemours,--a _blond_,
stiff young officer who was never a favorite with the French, though
he distinguished himself in Algeria as a soldier. He too found it
hard to satisfy his father's ambition by a brilliant marriage,
though a throne was offered him, which he had to refuse. He then
aspired to the hand of Maria da Gloria, the queen of Portugal;
but he married eventually a pretty little German princess of the
Coburg race.

The third son was Philippe, Prince de Joinville, the sailor. He
chose a bride for himself at the court of Brazil, and brought her
home in his frigate, the "Belle Poule."

The charming artist daughter of Louis Philippe, the Princess Marie,
pupil and friend of Ary Scheffer, the artist, married the Duke of
Würtemberg, and died early of consumption. Her only child was sent
to France, and placed under the care of his grandmother. Princess
Clémentine married a colonel in the Austrian service, a prince
of the Catholic branch of the house of Coburg. Her son is Prince
Ferdinand, the present ruler of Bulgaria.

The marriage of Louis Philippe's fifth son, the Duc de Montpensier,
with the Infanta Luisa is so closely connected with Louis Philippe's
downfall that it can be better told elsewhere; but we may here
say a few words about the fortunes of Henri, Duc d'Aumale, the
king's fourth son, who has proved himself a man brave, generous,
patriotic and high-minded, a soldier, a statesman, an historian,
patron of art, and in all these things a man eminent among his
fellows. He was only a school-boy when a tragic and discreditable
event made him heir of the great house of Condé, and endowed him
with wealth that he refuses to pass on to his family, proposing
at his death to present it to the French people and the French

The royal family of the house of Bourbon was divided in France into
three branches,--the reigning branch, the head of which was Charles
X.; the Orleans branch, the head of which was Louis Philippe; and
the Condé branch, the chief of which, and its sole representative
at this period, was the aged Duke of Bourbon, whose only son, the
Prince d'Enghien, had been shot by order of Napoleon.

This old man, rich, childless, and miserable, had had a romantic
history. When very young he had fallen violently in love with his
cousin, the Princess Louise of Orleans. He was permitted to marry
her, but only on condition that they should part at the church
door,--she to enter a convent for two years, he to serve for the
same time in the French army. They were married with all pomp and
ceremony; but that night the ardent bridegroom scaled the walls
of the convent and bore away his bride. Unhappily their mutual
attachment did not last long. "It went out," says a contemporary
memoir-writer, "like a fire of straw."[1] At last hatred took the
place of love, and the quarrels between the Prince de Condé (as
the Duc de Bourbon was then called) and his wife were among the
scandals of the court of Louis XVI., and helped to bring odium
on the royal family.

[Footnote 1: Madame d'Oberkirch.]

The only child of this marriage was the Duc d'Enghien. The princess
died in the early days of the Revolution. Her husband formed the
army of French _émigrés_ at Coblentz, and led them when they invaded
their own country. On the death of his father he became Duke of
Bourbon, but his promising son, D'Enghien, was already dead. The
duke married while in exile the princess of Monaco, a lady of very
shady antecedents. She was, however, received by Louis XVIII. in
his little court at Hartwell. She died soon after the Restoration.

In 1830 the old duke, worn out with sorrows and excesses, was completely
under the power of an English adventuress, a Madame de Feuchères.[1]
He had settled on her his Château de Saint-Leu, together with very
large sums of money. Several years before 1830 it had occurred to
Madame de Feuchères that the De Rohans, who were related to the
duke on his mother's side, might dispute these gifts and bequests,
and by way of making herself secure, she sought the protection
of Louis Philippe, then Duke of Orleans. She offered to use her
influence with the Duke of Bourbon to induce him to make the Duc
d'Aumale, who was his godson, his heir, if Louis Philippe would
engage to stand her friend in any trouble.

[Footnote 1: Louis Blanc.]

The relations of the Duc de Bourbon to this woman bore a strong
resemblance to those that Thackeray has depicted between Becky
Sharp and Jos Sedley. The old man became thoroughly in fear of
her; and when the Revolution broke out later, he was also much
afraid of being plundered and maltreated at Saint-Leu by the
populace,--not, however, because he had any great regard for his
cousin Charles X., with whom in his youth he had fought a celebrated
duel. Impelled by these two fears, he resolved to escape secretly
from France, and so rid himself of the tyranny of Madame de Feuchères
and the dangers of Revolution.

He arranged his flight with a trusted friend; it was fixed for
the day succeeding Aug. 31, 1830,--a month after the Revolution.
That evening he retired to his chamber in good spirits, though
he said good-night more impressively than usual to some persons
in his household. The next morning he was found dead, hanging to
one of the _espagnolettes_, or heavy fastenings, of a tall French
window. The village authorities were summoned; but although it
was impossible a man so infirm could have thus killed himself and
though many other circumstances proved that he did not die by his
own hand, they certified his death by suicide. The Catholic Church,
however, did not accept this verdict, and the duke was buried with
the rites of religion.

There was certainly no proof that Madame de Feuchères had had any
hand in the murder of the old man who had plotted to escape from
her, and who had expressed to others his dread of the tyranny she
exercised over him; but there was every ground for strong suspicion,
and the public lost no time in fastening part of the odium that
attached to the supposed murderess on the king, whose family had
so greatly benefited by her influence over the last head of the
house of Condé. She retained her ill-gotten wealth, and removed
at once to Paris. She had been engaged in stock operations for
some time, and now gave herself up to them, winning enormous sums.

The new throne was sadly shaken by these events, added to discontents
concerning the king's prudent policy of non-intervention in the
attempted revolutions of other countries, which followed that of
France in 1830 and 1831. The next very interesting event of this
reign was the escapade and the discomfiture of the young Duchesse
de Berri.

About the close of 1832, while France and all Europe were still
experiencing the after-shocks which followed the Revolution of
July, Marie Caroline, the Duchesse de Berri, planned at Holyrood
a descent upon France in the interests of the Duc de Bordeaux,
her son.[1] Had he reigned in consequence of the deaths of his
grandfather and uncle, Charles X. and the Duc d'Angoulême, the
duchess his mother was to have been regent during his minority.
She regretted her inaction during the days of July, when, had she
taken her son by the hand and presented him herself to the people,
renouncing in his name and her own all ultra-Bourbon traditions
and ideas, she might have saved the dynasty.

[Footnote 1: Louis Blanc and papers in "Figaro."]

Née à Naples, le 5 Novembre 1798.]

Under the influence of this regret, and fired by the idea of becoming
another Jeanne d'Albret, she urged her plans on Charles X., who
decidedly disapproved of them; but "the idea of crossing the seas
at the head of faithful paladins, of landing after the perils and
adventures of an unpremeditated voyage in a country of knights-errant,
of eluding by a thousand disguises the vigilance of enemies through
whom she had to pass, of wandering, a devoted mother and a banished
queen, from hamlet to hamlet and from château to château, appealing
to human nature high and low on its romantic side, and at the end of
a victorious conspiracy unfurling in France the ancient standard of
the monarchy, was too dazzling not to attract a young, high-spirited
woman, bold through her very ignorance, heroic through mere levity,
able to endure anything but depression and _ennui_, and prepared to
overbear all opposition with plausible platitudes about a mother's

[Footnote 1: Louis Blanc, Histoire de Dix Ans.]

At last Charles X. consented to let her follow her own wishes;
but he placed her under the guardianship of the Duc de Blancas.
She set out through Holland and the Tyrol for Italy. She travelled
_incognita_, of course. Charles Albert, of Sardinia, received her
at Turin with great personal kindness, and lent her a million of
francs,--which he borrowed from a nobleman of his court under pretence
of paying the debts of his early manhood; but he was forced to
request her to leave his dominions, and she took refuge with the
Duke of Modena, who assigned her a palace at Massa, about three
miles from the Mediterranean. A rising was to be made simultaneously
in Southern France and in La Vendée. Lyons had just been agitated
by a labor insurrection, and Marseilles was the first point at
which it was intended to strike.

The Legitimists in France were divided into two parties. One, under
Chateaubriand and Marshal Victor, the Duc de Bellune, wished to
restore Henri V. only by parliamentary and legal victories; the
other, favored by the court at Holyrood, was for an armed intervention
of the Great Powers. The Duc de Blancas was considered its head.

The question of the invasion of France with foreign troops was
excitedly argued at Massa. The duchess wished above all things to
get rid of the tutelage of M. de Blancas, and she was disposed to
favor, to a certain extent, the more moderate views of Chateaubriand.
After endless quarrels she succeeded in sending off the duke to
Holyrood, and was left to take her own way.

April 14, 1832, was fixed upon for leaving Massa. It was given out
that the duchess, was going to Florence. At nightfall a carriage,
containing the duchess, with two ladies and a gentleman of her
suite, drove out of Massa and waited under the shadow of the city
wall. While a footman was absorbing the attention of the coachman
by giving him some minute, unnecessary orders, Madame (as they
called the duchess) slipped out of the carriage door with one of her
ladies, while two others, who were standing ready in the darkness,
took their places. The carriage rolled away towards Florence, while
Madame and her party, stealing along under the dark shadow of the
city wall, made their way to the port, where a steamer was to take
them on board.

That steamer was the "Carlo Alberto," a little vessel which had
been already used by some republican conspirators, and had been
purchased for the service of Marie Caroline. It had some of her
most devoted adherents on board, but the captain was in ignorance.
He thought himself bound for Genoa, and was inclined to disobey
when his passengers ordered him to lay to off the harbor of Massa.
However, they used force, and at three in the morning Marie Caroline,
who was sleeping, wrapped in her cloak, upon the sand, was roused,
put on board a little boat, and carried out to the steamer. She
had a tempestuous passage of four days to Marseilles. The steamer
ran out of coal, and had to put into Nice. At last, in a heavy sea
which threatened to dash small craft to pieces, a fishing-boat
approached the "Carlo Alberto," containing some of the duchess's
most devoted friends. With great danger she was transferred to
it, and was landed on the French coast. She scrambled up slippery
and precipitous rocks, and reached a place of safety. But the delay
in the arrival of her steamer had been fatal to her enterprise.
A French gentleman in the secret had hired a small boat, and put
out to sea in the storm to see if he could perceive the missing
vessel. His conduct excited the suspicion of his crew, who talked
about it at a wine-shop, where they met other sailors, who had their
story to tell of a lady landed mysteriously a few hours before at a
dangerous and lonely spot a few miles away. The two accounts soon
reached the ears of the police, and Marseilles was on the alert,
when a party of young men, with their swords drawn and waving white
handkerchiefs, precipitated their enterprise, by appearing in the
streets and striving to rouse the populace. They were arrested, as
were also the passengers left on board the "Carlo Alberto,"--among
them was a lady who deceived the police into a belief that she was
the Duchesse de Bern.

Under cover of this mistake the duchess, finding that all hope
was over in the southern provinces, resolved to cross France to
La Vendée. At Massa she had had a dream. She thought the Duc de
Bern had appeared to her and said: "You will not succeed in the
South, but you will prosper in La Vendée."

She quitted the hut in which she had been concealed, made her way
on foot through a forest, lost herself, and had to sleep in the
vacant cabin of a woodcutter. The next night she passed under the
roof of a republican, who respected her sex and would not betray
her. She then reached the château of a Legitimist nobleman with
the appropriate name of M. de Bonrecueil. Thence she started in
the morning in a postchaise to cross all France along its public

She accomplished her journey in safety, and fixed May 24, 1832, as
the day for taking up arms. She made her headquarters at a Breton
farm-house, Les Meliers. She wore the costume of a boy,--a peasant
of La Vendée--and called herself Petit Pierre.

On May 21, three days before the date fixed upon for the rising,
she was waited upon by the chiefs,--the men most likely to suffer
in an abortive insurrection,--and was assured that the attempt would
fail. Had the South risen, La Vendée would have gladly joined the
insurrection; but unsupported by the South, the proposed enterprise was
too rash a venture. Overpowered by these arguments and the persuasions
of those around her, Marie Caroline gave way, and consented to
return to Scotland with a passport that had been provided for her.
But in the night she retracted her consent, and insisted that the
rising should take place upon the 3d of June. She was obeyed; but
what little prospect of success there might have been at first,
was destroyed by the counter-order of May 22. All who rose were at
once put down by the king's troops, and atrocities on both sides
were committed.

Nantes, the capital city of La Vendée, was hostile to the duchess;
in Nantes, therefore, she believed her enemies would never search
for her. She took refuge there in the house of two elderly maiden
ladies, the Demoiselles Duguigney, where she remained five months.
They must have been months of anguish to her, and of unspeakable
impatience. It is very possible that the Government did not care
to find her. She was the queen's niece, and if captured what could
be done with her? To set her free to hatch new plots would have
been bitterly condemned by the republicans; to imprison her would
have made an additional motive for royalist conspiracies; to execute
her would have been impossible. Marie Caroline, however, had solved
these difficult problems by her own misconduct.

Meantime the premiership of France passed into the hands of M.
Thiers. A Jew--a Judas--named Deutz, came to him mysteriously,
and bargained to deliver into his hands the Duchesse de Berri.
Thiers, who had none of the pity felt for her by the Orleans family,
closed with the offer. Some years before, Deutz had renounced his
Jewish faith and pretended to turn Christian. Pope Gregory XVI.
had patronized him, and had recommended him to the Duc de Berri as
a confidential messenger. He had frequently carried despatches of
importance, and knew that the duchess was in Nantes, but he did not
know her hiding-place. He contrived to persuade her to grant him an
interview. It took place at the Demoiselles Duguigney's house; but
he was led to believe that she only used their residence for that
purpose. With great difficulty he procured a second interview, in
the course of which, having taken his measures beforehand, soldiers
surrounded the house. Before they could enter it, word was brought
to the duchess that she was betrayed. She fled from the room, and
when the soldiers entered they could not find her. They were certain
that she had not left the house. They broke everything to pieces,
sounded the walls, ripped up the beds and furniture. Night came
on, and troops were left in every chamber. In a large garret, where
there was a wide fireplace, the soldiers collected some newspapers
and light wood, and about midnight built a fire. Soon within the
chimney a noise of kicking against an iron panel was heard, and
voices cried: "Let us out,--we surrender!"

For sixteen hours the duchess and two friends had been imprisoned
in a tiny hiding-place, separated from the hearth by a thin iron
sliding-panel, which, when the soldiers lit their fire, had grown
red hot. The gentleman of the party was already badly burned, and
the women were nearly suffocated. The gendarmes kicked away the
fire, the panel was pushed back, and the duchess, pale and fainting,
came forth and surrendered. The commander of the troops was sent
for. To him she said: "General, I confide myself to your honor."
He answered, "Madame, you are under the safeguard of the honor
of France."

This capture was a great embarrassment to the Government. Pity
for the devoted mother, the persecuted princess, the brave,
self-sacrificing woman, stirred thousands of hearts. The duchess
was sent at once to an old château called Blaye, on the banks of
the Gironde, the estuary formed by the junction of the Dordogne
and the Garonne. Tradition said that the old castle had been built
by the paladin Orlando (or Roland), and that he had been buried
within its walls after he fell at Roncesvalles.

In this citadel the Duchesse de Berri was confined, with every
precaution against escape or rescue; and the restraint and monotony
of such a life soon told upon a woman of her character. She could
play the heroine, acting well her part, with an admiring world
for her audience; but "cabined, cribbed, confined" in an old,
dilapidated castle, her courage and her health gave way. She was
cheered, however, at first by Legitimist testimonies of devotion.
Chateaubriand wrote her a memorable letter, imploring her, in the
name of M. de Malesherbes, his ancestor who had defended Louis XVI.,
to let him undertake her defence, if she were brought to trial; but
the reigning family of France had no wish to proceed to such an
extremity. The duchess had not come of a stock in which all the
women were _sans reproche_, like Marie Amélie. Her grandmother, Queen
Caroline of Naples, the friend of Lady Hamilton and of Lord Nelson,
had been notoriously a bad woman; her sister, Queen Christina of
Spain, had made herself equally famous; and doubts had already been
thrown on the legitimacy of the son of the duchess, the posthumous
child of the Duc de Berri. The queen of France, who was almost a
saint, had been fond of her young relative for her many engaging
qualities; and what to do with her, in justice to France, was a
difficult problem.

To the consternation and disgust of the Legitimists, the heroine
of La Vendée dropped from her pedestal and sank into the mire.
"She lost everything," says Louis Blanc,--"even the sympathy of
the most ultra-partisans of the Bourbon dynasty; and she deserved
the fate that overtook her. It was the sequel to the discovery of a
terrible secret,--a secret whose publicity became a just punishment
for her having, in pursuit of her own purposes, let loose on France
the dogs of civil war."

In the midst of enthusiasm for her courage and pity for her fate,
rose a rumor that the duchess would shortly give birth to a child.
It was even so. The news fell like a blow on the hearts of the
royalists. If she had made a clandestine, morganatic marriage, she
had by the law of France forfeited her position as regent during
her son's minority; she had forgotten his claims on her and those
of France. If there was no marriage, she had degraded herself past
all sympathy. At any rate, now she was harmless. The policy of
the Government was manifestly to let her child be born at Blaye,
and then send her to her Neapolitan home.

Her desire was to leave Blaye before her confinement. In vain she
pleaded her health and a tendency to consumption. The Government
sent physicians to Blaye, among them the doctor who had attended
the duchess after the birth of the Duc de Bordeaux; for it insisted
on having full proof of her disgrace before releasing her. But
before this disgrace was announced in Paris, twelve ardent young
Legitimists had bound themselves to fight twelve duels with twelve
leading men of the opposite party, who might, if she were brought
to trial, injure her cause. The first of these duels took place;
Armand Carrel, the journalist, being the liberal champion, while
M. Roux-Laborie fought for the duchess. The duel was with swords,
and lasted three minutes. Twice Carrel wounded his adversary in
the arm; but as he rushed on him the third time, he received a
deep wound in the abdomen. The news spread through Paris. The prime
minister, M. Thiers, sent his private secretary for authentic news
of Carrel's state. The attendants refused to allow the wounded
man to be disturbed. "Let him see me," said Carrel; "for I have
a favor to ask of M. Thiers,--that he will let no proceedings be
taken against M. Roux-Laborie."

Government after this became anxious to quench the loyalty of the
Duchesse de Berri's defenders as soon and as effectually as possible.
The duel with Armand Carrel was fought Feb. 2, 1833; on the 22d
of February General Bugeaud, commander of the fortress of Blaye,
received from the duchess the following declaration:--

  Under the pressure of circumstances and of measures
  taken by Government, I think it due to myself and to my
  children (though I have had grave reasons for keeping my
  marriage a secret) to declare that I have been privately
  married during my late sojourn in Italy.
                                  (Signed) MARIE CAROLINE.

From that time up to the month of May the duchess continued to
make vain efforts to obtain her release before the birth of her
child. It had been intimated to her that she should be sent to
Palermo as soon afterwards as she should be able to travel.

The Government took every precaution, that the event might be verified
when it took place. Six or seven of the principal inhabitants of
Blaye were stationed in an adjoining chamber, as is the custom
at the birth of princes.

A little girl having been born, these witnesses were summoned to
the chamber by Madame de Hautfort, the duchess's lady-in-waiting.
The duchess answered their questions firmly, and on returning to
the next room, her own physician declared on oath that the duchess
was the lawful wife of Count Hector Luchesi-Palli, of the family
of Campo Formio, of Naples, gentleman of the bedchamber to the
king of the Two Sicilies, living at Palermo.

This was the first intimation given of the parentage of the child.
A mouth later, Marie Caroline and her infant embarked on board a
French vessel, attended by Marshal Bugeaud, and were landed at
Palermo. Very few of the duchess's most ardent admirers in former
days were willing to accompany her. Her baby died before it was
many months old. Charles X. refused to let her have any further
care or charge of her son. "As Madame Luchesi-Palli," he said,
"she had forfeited all claims to royal consideration."

A reconciliation, however, official rather than real, was patched
up by Chateaubriand between the duchess and Charles X.; but her
political career was over. She was allowed to see the Duc de Bordeaux
for two or three days once a year. The young prince was thenceforward
under the maternal care of his aunt, the Duchesse d'Angoulême. The
Duchesse de Berri passed the remainder of her adventurous life in
tranquillity. Her marriage with Count Luchesi-Palli was apparently
a happy one. They had four children. She owned a palace in Styria,
and another on the Grand Canal at Venice, where she gave popular
parties. In 1847 she gave some private theatricals, at which were
present twenty-seven persons belonging to royal or imperial families.
Her buoyancy of spirit kept her always gay. One would have supposed
that she would be overwhelmed by the fall we have related. She
was good-natured, charitable, and extravagant. She died leaving
heavy debts, which the Duc de Bordeaux paid for her. Her daughter
Louise, sister of the Duc de Bordeaux, married the Duke of Parma,
who was assassinated in 1854. Their daughter married Don Carlos,
who claims at present to be rightful heir to the thrones of France
and Spain. She died in 1864, shortly after the Count Luchesi-Palli.
The Duchesse de Berri, who in her later years became very devout,
_d'après la manière Italienne_, as somebody has said, wrote thus
about his death:--

"I have been so tried that my poor head reels. The loss of my good
and pious daughter made me almost crazy, but the care of my husband
had somewhat calmed me, when God took him to himself. He died like
a saint in my arms, with his children around him, smiling at me
and pointing to heaven."

The duchess died suddenly at Brussels in 1870, aged seventy-one.
"And," adds an intensely Legitimist writer from whom I have taken
these details of her declining years, "had she lived till 1873, she
would have given her son better advice than that he followed."[1]

[Footnote 1: Mémoire de la Duchesse d'Angoulême.]

Without following the ins and outs of politics during the first ten
years of Louis Philippe's reign, which were checkered by revolts,
_émeutes_, and attempts at regicide, I pass on to the next event
of general interest,--the explosion of the "infernal machine" of

It was customary for King Louis Philippe to make a grand military
promenade through Paris on one of the three days of July which
during his reign were days of public festivity. On the morning of
July 28, 1835, as the clock struck ten, the king, accompanied by
his three elder sons, Marshals Mortier and Lobeau, his ministers,
his staff, his household, and many generals, rode forth to review
forty thousand troops along the Boulevards. At midday they reached
the Boulevard du Temple. There, as the king was bending forward
to receive a petition, a sudden volley of musketry took place,
and the pavement was strewed with dead and dying. Marshal Mortier
was killed, together with a number of officers of various grades,
some bystanders, a young girl, and an old man. The king had not been
shot, but as his horse started, he had received a severe contusion
on the arm. The Duke of Orleans and the Prince de Joinville were
slightly hurt. Smoke came pouring from the third-story windows of
a house (No. 50) on the Boulevard. A man sprang from the window,
seized a rope hanging from the chimney, and swung himself on to
a lower roof. As he did so, he knocked down a flower-pot, which
attracted attention to his movements. A police agent saw him, and
a national guard arrested him. He was in his shirt-sleeves, and his
face was covered with blood. The infernal machine he had employed
consisted of twenty-five gun-barrels on a stand so constructed that
they could all be fired at once. Happily two did not go off, and
four burst, wounding the wretch who had fired them. Instantly the
reception of the king, which had been cold when he set forth, changed
into rapturous enthusiasm. He and his sons had borne themselves
with the greatest bravery.

The queen had been about to quit the Tuileries to witness the review,
when the door of her dressing-room was pushed open, and a colonel
burst in, exclaiming: "Madame, the king has been fired at. He is not
hurt, nor the princes, but the Boulevard is strewn with corpses."
The queen, raising her trembling hands to heaven, waited only for
a repetition of his assurance that her dear ones were all safe,
and then set out to find the king. She met him on the staircase,
and husband and wife wept in each other's arms.

The queen then went to her sons, looked at them, and touched them,
hardly able to believe that they were not seriously wounded, and
turned away, shuddering, from the blood on M. Thiers' clothes.
Then, returning to her chamber, she sent a note at once to her
younger boys, D'Aumale and Montpensier, who were with their tutors
at the Château d'Eu. It began with these words: "Fall down on your
knees, my children; God has preserved your father."

Of course the Legitimists, and likewise the Republicans, were accused
of inspiring the attempt of Fieschi. The trials, that took place
about six months later, proved that the assassin Fieschi was a
wretch bearing a strong resemblance to our own Guiteau.

The funeral ceremonies of the victims of the infernal machine were
celebrated with great pomp. The affair led to a partial reconciliation
between the new Government and the Legitimist clergy; it led also
to certain restrictions on the Press and an added stringency in
the punishment for crimes of the like character.

On Jan. 31, 1836, the trial of the prisoners took place before
the Peers. The crowd of spectators was immense. There were five
prisoners, but the eyes of the spectators were fixed on only three.

The first was a man under-sized, nervous and quick in his movements.
His face, which was disfigured by recent scars, had an expression
of cunning and impudence. His forehead was narrow, his hair cropped
close, one corner of his mouth was disfigured by a scar, his smile
was insolent, and so was his whole bearing. He seemed anxious to
concentrate the attention of all present on himself, smiled and
bowed to every one he knew, and seemed well satisfied with his
odious importance.

The second was an old man, pale and ill. He bore himself with perfect
calmness. He seated himself where he was told to sit, and gave no
sign of emotion throughout the trial.

The third was utterly prostrated by fear.

The first was Fieschi; the second was called Morey; the third was
a grocer named Pepin.

The two last had been arrested on the testimony of Nina Lassave,
who had had Fieschi for her lover. The life of this man had been
always base and infamous. He was a Corsican by birth, and had been
a French soldier. He had fought bravely, but after his discharge he
had been imprisoned for theft and counterfeiting. He led a wandering
life from town to town, living on his wits and indulging all his
vices. He had even succeeded in getting some small favors from
Government; but finding that he could not long escape punishment
for crimes known to the police, he undertook, apparently without any
especial motive, the wholesale murder of king, court, and princes.

During his imprisonment his vanity had been so great that the officers
of the Crown played upon it in order to obtain confessions and

The only witness against Morey was Nina Lassave, who insisted that,
Fieschi having invented the murderous instrument, Morey had devised
a use for it, and that Pepin had furnished the necessary funds
for its completion.

I give Louis Blanc's account of Fieschi's behavior on his trial,
because when foreign nations have reproached us for the scandal
of the license granted to the murderer of President Garfield on
his trial, I have never seen it remarked that Guiteau's conduct
was almost exactly like that of Fieschi.

"With effrontery, with a miserable kind of pride, and with smiles
of triumph on his lips, he alluded to his victims with theatrical
gesticulations, and plumed himself on the magnitude of his own
infamy, answering his judges by ignoble buffooneries, playing the
part of an orator, making pretensions to learning, looking round
to see what effect he was producing, and courting applause. And
some of those who sat in judgment on him _did_ applaud. At each
of his atrocious vulgarisms many of the Peers laughed, and this
laugh naturally encouraged him. Did he make a movement to rise,
voices called out: 'Fieschi desires to say something, Monsieur le
Président! Fieschi is about to speak!' The audience was unwilling
to lose a word that might fall from the lips of so celebrated a
scoundrel. He could hardly contain himself for pride and satisfaction.
His bloody hand was eager to shake hands with the public, and there
were those willing to submit to it. He exchanged signs with the
woman Nina who was seated in the audience. He posed before the
spectators with infinite satisfaction. What more can we say? He
directed the proceedings. He prompted or browbeat the witnesses,
he undertook the duties of a prosecuting attorney. He regulated the
trial.... He directed coarse jokes at the unhappy Pepin; but reckless
as he was, he dared not meddle with Morey. He had no hesitation in
accusing himself. He owned himself the worst of criminals, and
declared that he esteemed himself happy to be able to pay with
his own blood for the blood of the unhappy victims of his crime.
But the more he talked about his coming fate, the plainer it was
that he expected pardon, and the more he flattered those on whom
that pardon might depend."

The trial lasted twelve days, and very little was elicited about
the conspiracy,--if indeed there was one. Suddenly Pepin, whose
terror had been abject, rallied his courage, refused to implicate
Morey or to make revelations, and kept his resolution to the last.

One of the five prisoners was acquitted, one was condemned to a
brief imprisonment, and Morey, Pepin, and Fieschi were sent to
the block. Up to almost the last moment Fieschi expected pardon;
but his last words were to his confessor: "I wish I could let you
know about myself five minutes from now."

On the scaffold Morey's white hair elicited compassion from the
spectators. Pepin at the last moment was offered a pardon if he
would tell whence the money came that he had advanced to Fieschi.
He refused firmly, and firmly met his fate.

The next day the woman who had betrayed her lover and the rest was
presiding at a café on the Place de la Bourse, having been engaged
as an attraction!

After these horrors we turn with relief to some account of good
and noble women, the ladies of Louis Philippe's family.

After the murderous attempt of Fieschi the king lived under a continual
expectation of assassination. He no longer walked the streets of
Paris with his cane under his arm. When he drove, he sat with his
back to the horses, because that position gave less certainty to
the aim of an assassin. It was said that his carriages were lined
with sheet-iron. He was thirteen times shot at, and the pallid
looks of the poor queen were believed to arise from continual
apprehension. Her nerves had been shaken by the diabolical attempt
of Fieschi, and she never afterwards would leave her husband, even
for a few days. She stayed away from the deathbed of her daughter,
the Queen of the Belgians, lest in her absence he should be

Neuilly was the _home_ of the family, its beloved, particular retreat.
The greatest pang that Louis Philippe suffered in 1848 was its
total destruction by rioters. The little palace was furnished in
perfect taste, with elegance, yet with simplicity. The inlaid floors
were especially beautiful. The rooms were decorated with pictures,
many of them representing passages in the early life of the king.
In one he was teaching mathematics in a Swiss school; in another he
was romping with his children. His own cabinet was decorated with
his children's portraits and with works of art by his accomplished
daughter, the Princess Marie. The family sitting-room was furnished
with the princesses' embroidery, and there was a table painted
on velvet by the Duchesse de Berri. The library was large, and
contained many English books, among them a magnificent edition of
Shakspeare. The park enclosed one hundred acres. The gardens were
laid out in the English style. A branch of the Seine ran through
the grounds, with boat-houses and bath-houses for the pleasure
of the young princes,--and in one night this cherished home was
laid in ruins!

[Illustration: _QUEEN MARIE AMÉLIE._]

"All is possible," said Louis Philippe to a visitor who talked
with him at Claremont in his exile, "all is possible to France,--an
empire, a republic, the Comte de Chambord, or my grandson; but one
thing is impossible,--that any of these should last. _On a tué
le respect_,--the nation has killed respect."

Queen Marie Amélie was born in Naples in 1782. Her mother was a
daughter of Maria Theresa, and sister to Marie Antoinette. This lady
was not one who inspired respect, but she had some good qualities.
She was a good mother to her children, and had plenty of ability.
Of course she hated the French Revolution, and everything that
savored of what are called liberal opinions. Her career, which
was full of vicissitudes and desperate plots, ended by her being
dismissed ignominiously from Naples by the English ambassador,
and she went to end her days with her nephew at Vienna.

Marie Amélie used sometimes to tell her children how she had wept
when a child for the death of the little dauphin, the eldest son
of Louis XVI., who, before the Revolution broke out, was taken
away from the evil to come. She was to have been married to him
had he lived. When older, she had an early love-affair with her
cousin, Prince Antoine of Austria; but he was destined for the
Church, and the youthful courtship came to an untimely end. When
she first met her future husband, she and her family were living in
a sort of provisional exile in Palermo. The princess was twenty-seven,
Louis Philippe was ten or twelve years older, and they seem to have
been quite determined to marry each other very soon after their
acquaintance began. It was not easy to do so, however, for the
duke, as we have seen, was at that period too much a republican
to suit even an English Admiral; but the princess declared that
she would go into a convent if the marriage was forbidden, and
on Dec. 25, 1809, she became the wife of Louis Philippe.

No description could do justice to the purity and charity of this
admirable woman; and in her good works she was seconded by her
sister-in-law, Madame Adélaïde, and by her daughter.

"The queen," her almoner tells us, "had 500,000 francs a year for
her personal expenses, and gave away 400,000 of them." "M. Appert,"
she would say to him, "give those 500 francs we spoke of, but put
them down upon next month's account. The waters run low this month;
my purse is empty." An American lady, visiting the establishment
of a great dressmaker in Paris, observed an old black silk dress
hanging over a chair. She remarked with some surprise: "I did not
know you would turn and fix up old dresses." "I do so only for
the queen," was the answer.

The imposture, ingratitude, and even insolence of some of Marie
Amélie's petitioners failed to discourage her benevolence. For
instance, an old Bonapartist lady, according to M. Appert, one day
wrote to her:--

  MADAME,--If the Bourbons had not returned to France, for the
  misfortune of the country, my beloved mistress and protectress,
  the Empress Marie Louise, would still be on the throne, and
  I should not be under the humiliating necessity of telling you
  that I am without bread, and that the wretched bed on which I
  sleep is about to be thrown out of the garret I inhabit, because
  I cannot pay a year's rent. I dare not ask you for assistance,
  for my heart is with my real sovereign, and I cannot promise
  you my gratitude. If, however, you think fit to preserve a life
  which, since the misfortunes of my country, has been full of
  bitterness, I will accept a loan. I should blush to receive a

  I am, Madame, your servant,                              C.

When this impertinent letter was handed to the almoner, the queen
had written on it: "She must be very unhappy, for she is very unjust.
A hundred francs to be sent to her immediately, and I beg M. Appert
to make inquiries concerning this lady's circumstances."

In vain the almoner remonstrated. The only effect of his remonstrance
was that the queen authorized him to make her gift 300 francs if
he found it necessary. When he knocked at the door of the garret
of the petitioner, she opened it with agitation. "Oh, Monsieur!"
she said, "are you the Commissioner of Police come to arrest me
for my outrageous letter to the queen? I am so unhappy that at
times I became deranged. I am sorry to have written as I did to a
princess who to all the poor is good and charitable." For answer,
M. Appert showed her her own letter, with the queen's memorandum
written upon it. "There was no lack of heartfelt gratitude then,"
he says, "and no lack of poverty to need the triple benefaction."



There is a theory held by some observers that the man who fails in
his duty to a woman who has claims upon his love and his protection,
never afterwards prospers; and perhaps the most striking illustration
of this theory may be found in the career of the Emperor Napoleon.
Nothing went well with him after his divorce from Josephine. His
only son died. The children of his brothers, with the exception
of Louis Napoleon, and the Prince de Canino, the son of Lucien,
were all ordinary men, inclined to the fast life of their period;
while the descendants of Josephine, honored and respected, are
now connected with many European thrones.

The son of Napoleon, called by his grandfather, the Austrian emperor,
the Duc de Reichstadt, but by his own Bonaparte family Napoleon
II., died at Vienna, July 22, 1832. The person from whom, during
his short, sad life, he had received most kindness, and to whom,
during his illness, he was indebted for almost maternal care, was
the young wife of his cousin Francis, the Princess Sophia of Bavaria,
who in the same week that he died, became the mother of Maximilian,
the unfortunate Emperor of Mexico, who, exactly thirty-five years
after, on July 22, 1867, was shot at Queretaro.

The Emperor Napoleon had made a decree that if male heirs failed
him, his dynasty should be continued by the sons of his brother
Joseph. Lucien, the republican, was passed over, as well as his
descendants; and Joseph failing of male heirs, the throne of France
was to devolve on Louis, king of Holland, and his heirs. Joseph
left only daughters, Zénaide and Charlotte. Louis Bonaparte when
he died, left but one son.

Louis Bonaparte was nine years younger than his brother Napoleon,
who by no right of primogeniture, but by right of success, was
early looked upon as the head of the family of Bonaparte. He assumed
the place of father to his little brother Louis, and a very
unsatisfactory father he proved. Louis was studious, poetical,
solid, honorable, and unambitious. His brother was resolved to
make him a distinguished general and an able king. He succeeded
in making him a brave soldier and a very good general; but Louis
had no enthusiasm for the profession of arms. He hated bloodshed,
and above all he hated sack and pillage. He had no genius, and
crooked ways of any kind were abhorrent to him. When a very young
man he fell passionately in love with a lady, whom he called his
Sophie. But his brother and the world thought the real name of
the object of his affection was Emilie de Beauharnais, the Empress
Josephine's niece by marriage. This lady became afterwards the wife
of M. de La Vallette, Napoleon's postmaster-general, who after
the return of the Bourbons in 1815, was condemned to death with
Ney and Labédoyère. His wife saved him by changing clothes with
him in prison; but the fearful strain her nerves suffered until
she was sure of his escape, unsettled her reason. She was not sent
to an asylum, but lived to a great age in an _appartement_ in Paris,
carefully tended and watched over by her friends.[1]

[Footnote 1: Jerrold's Life of Napoleon III.]

But whether it was with a Sophie or an Emilie, Louis Bonaparte fell
in love, and Hortense de Beauharnais, the daughter of Josephine, gay,
lively, poetical, and enthusiastic, had given her heart to General
Duroc, the Emperor Napoleon's aide-de-camp; therefore both the young
people resisted the darling project of Napoleon and Josephine to
marry them to each other. By such a marriage Josephine hoped to
avert the divorce that she saw to be impending. She fancied that
if sons were born to the young couple, Napoleon would be content
to leave his throne to the heir of his brother Louis, whom he had
adopted, and of his step-daughter, of whom he was very fond. But
Louis would not marry Hortense, and Hortense would not have Louis.
At last, however, in the excitement of a ball, a reluctant consent
was wrung from Louis; then Hortense was coerced into being a good
French girl, and giving up Duroc. She and Louis were married. A more
unhappy marriage never took place. Husband and wife were separated
by an insurmountable (or at least unsurmounted) incompatibility of
temperament. Louis was a man whose first thought was duty. Hortense
loved only gayety and pleasure. He particularly objected to her
dancing; she was one of the most graceful dancers ever seen, and
would not give it up to please him. In short, she was all graceful,
captivating frivolity; he, rigid and exacting. Both had burning
memories in their hearts of what "might have been," and above all,
after Louis became king of Holland, each took opposite political
views. Louis wanted to govern Holland as the good king of the Dutch;
Napoleon expected him to govern it in the interests of his dynasty,
and as a Frenchman. The brothers disagreed most bitterly. Napoleon
wrote indignant, unjust letters to Louis. Hortense took Napoleon's
side in the quarrel, and led a French party at the Dutch court.

Intense was the grief of Louis and Hortense, Napoleon and Josephine,
when the eldest son of this marriage, the child on whom their hopes
were set, died of the croup at an early age. Hortense was wholly
prostrated by her loss. She had still one son, and was soon to
have another. The expected child was Charles Louis Napoleon, who
was to become afterwards Napoleon III.

Soon after Louis Napoleon's birth, King Louis abdicated the throne
of Holland. He said he could not do justice to the interests and
wishes of his people, and satisfy his brother at the same time.
He retired to Florence, where he lived for many years, only once
more coming back to public life, viz., in 1814, to offer his help
to his brother Napoleon, when others were deserting him.

Napoleon was very fond of Hortense's little boys, though in 1811
he had completed his divorce, had married the Austrian archduchess,
and had a son of his own.

Louis Napoleon has left us some fragmentary reminiscences of his
childhood, which have a curious interest.

"My earliest recollections," he says, "go back to my baptism, and I
hasten to remark that I was three years old when I was baptized, in
1810, in the chapel at Fontainebleau. The emperor was my godfather,
and the Empress Marie Louise was my godmother. Then my memory carries
me back to Malmaison. I can still see my grandmother, the Empress
Josephine, in her _salon_, on the ground floor, covering me with
her caresses, and, even then, flattering my vanity by the care
with which she retailed my _bons mots_; for my grandmother spoiled
me in every particular, whereas my mother, from my tenderest years,
tried to correct my faults and to develop my good qualities. I
remember that once arrived at Malmaison, my brother and I were
masters to do as we pleased. The empress, who passionately loved
flowers and conservatories, allowed us to cut her sugar-canes,
that we might suck them, and she always told us to ask for anything
we might want.

"One day, when she wished to know as usual, what we would like
best, my brother, who was three years older than I, and consequently
more full of sentiment, asked for a watch, with a portrait of our
mother; but I, when the empress said: 'Louis, ask for whatever
will give you the greatest pleasure,' begged to be allowed to go
out and paddle in the gutter with the little boys in the street.
Indeed, until I was seven years old it was a great grief to me to
have to ride always in a carriage with four or six horses. When,
in 1815, just before the arrival of the allied army in Paris, we
were hurried by our tutor to a hiding-place, and passed on foot
along the Boulevards, I felt the keenest sensations of happiness
within my recollection. Like all children, though perhaps even
more than most children, soldiers fixed my attention. Whenever at
Malmaison I could escape from the _salon_, I was off to the great
gates, where there were always grenadiers of the Garde Impériale.
One day, from a ground-floor window I entered into conversation
with one of these old _grognards_ who was on duty. He answered me
laughing. I called out: 'I know my drill. I have a little musket!'
Then the grenadier asked me to put him through his drill, and thus
we were found, I shouting, 'Present arms! Carry arms! Attention!'
the old grenadier obeying, to please me. Imagine my happiness! I
often went with my brother to breakfast with the emperor. When
he entered the room, he would come up to us, take our heads in
his hands, and so lift us on the table. This frightened my mother
very much, Dr. Corvisart having told her that such treatment was
very bad for children."

The day before the Emperor Napoleon left Paris for the campaign
of Waterloo, Hortense carried her boys to the Tuileries to take
leave of him. Little Louis Napoleon contrived to run alone to his
uncle's cabinet, where he was closeted with Marshal Soult. As soon
as the boy saw the emotion in the emperor's face, he ran up to
him, and burying his head in his lap, sobbed out: "Our governess
says you are going to the wars,--don't go; don't go, Uncle." "And
why not, Louis? I shall soon come back." "Oh, Uncle, those wicked
allies will kill you! Let me go with you." The emperor took the
boy upon his knee and kissed him. Then, turning to Soult, who was
moved by the little scene, he said, "Here, Marshal, kiss him; he
will have a tender heart and a lofty spirit; he is perhaps the
hope of my race."

After Waterloo, the emperor, who passed one night in Paris, kissed
the children at the last moment, with his foot upon the step of
the carriage that was to carry him the first stage of his journey
to St. Helena.

After this, Hortense and her boys were not allowed to live in France.
Protected by an aide-de-camp of Prince Schwartzenberg, they reached
Lake Constance, on the farthest limits of Switzerland. There, after
a while, Queen Hortense converted a gloomy old country seat into a
refined and beautiful home. A great trial, however, awaited her.
King Louis demanded the custody of their eldest son, and little
Napoleon was taken from his mother, leaving her only Louis. Louis
had always been a "mother's boy," frail in health, thoughtful,
grave, loving, and full of sentiment.

Hortense's life at Arenenberg was varied in the winter by visits
to Rome. Her husband lived in Florence, and they corresponded about
their boys. But though they met once again in after years, they
were husband and wife no more. Indeed, charming as Hortense was to
all the circle that surrounded her, tender as a mother, and devoted
as a friend, her conduct as a wife was not free from reproach. She
was a coquette by nature, and it is undeniable that more than one
man claimed to have been her lover.

After a while her son Louis went for four years to college at
Heidelberg. Mother and son never forget the possibilities that
might lie before them. When the Italian revolution broke out, in
1832, Hortense went to Rome, both her sons being at that time in
Florence with their father. Although the elder was newly married
to his cousin, the daughter of King Joseph, both he and Louis were
full of restlessness, and caught the revolutionary fervor. They
contrived to escape from their father's house and to join the
insurgents, to the great displeasure of both father and mother;
but they were fired by enthusiasm for Italian liberty, and took
the oaths as Carbonari.

King Louis and Queen Hortense were exceedingly distressed; both
foresaw the hopelessness of the Italian rising. Queen Hortense went
at once to Florence to consult her husband, and it was arranged that
she should go in pursuit of her sons, inducing them, if possible,
to give up all connection with so hopeless a cause. But before she
reached them, the insurgents, who seem to have had no fixed plan
and no competent leader, had come to the conclusion that Bonapartes
were not wanted in a struggle for republicanism; they therefore
requested the young men to withdraw, and their mother went after
them to Ancona. On her way she was met by her son Louis, who was
coming to tell her that his brother was dead. There has always been
mystery concerning the death of this young Napoleon. The accredited
account is that he sickened with the measles, and died at a roadside
inn on his way to Ancona. The unhappy mother went into that little
town upon the Adriatic with her youngest son; but she soon found
that the Austrians, having come to the help of the Pope, were at
its gates. Louis, too, had sickened with the measles. She hid him
in an inner chamber, and spread a report that he had escaped to
Corfu. She had with her an English passport for an English lady,
travelling to England with her two sons. She was obliged to substitute
a young Italian, who was compromised, for her dead son; and as
soon as Louis could rise from his bed, they set out, meeting With
many adventures until they got beyond the boundaries of Italy.
Under cover of their English passport they crossed France, and
visited the Château of Fontainebleau, where the mother pointed out
to her son the scenes of his childhood.

The death of the Duc de Reichstadt in July, 1832, caused Louis
Napoleon to consider himself the head of the Napoleonic family.
According to M. Claude, the French Minister of Police, he came on
this occasion into Paris, and remained there long enough to dabble
in conspiracy.

After spending a few months in England, mother and son went back
to Arenenberg, where they kept up a close correspondence with all
malcontents in France. The Legitimists preferred them the house of
Orleans, and the republicans of that period--judging from their
writings as well as their acts--evidently believed that Louis Napoleon,
now head of the house of Bonaparte, represented republican principles
based on universal suffrage, as well as the glories of France.

One fine morning in October, 1836, Louis took leave of his mother
at Arenenberg, telling her that he was going to visit his cousins
at Baden. Stéphanie de Beauharnais in the days of the Empire had
been married to the Grand Duke of that little country. Queen Hortense
knew her son's real destination, no doubt, for she took leave of him
with great emotion, and hung around his neck a relic which Napoleon
had taken from the corpse of the Emperor Charlemagne when his tomb
was opened at Aix-la-Chapelle. It was a tiny fragment of wood,
said to be from the True Cross, set beneath a brilliant emerald. It
seems possible that this may have been the little ornament found
on the neck of the Prince Imperial after his corpse was stripped
by savages in Zululand.

With this talisman against evil, and with the wedding-ring with
which Napoleon had married Josephine, upon his finger, Prince Louis
Napoleon set out upon an expedition so rash that we can hardly bring
ourselves to associate it with the character popularly ascribed
to the Third Emperor Napoleon.

His plan was to overturn the government of Louis Philippe, and
then appeal to the people by a _plébiscite_,--_i. e._, a question
to be answered yes or no by universal suffrage. This same plan
he carried out successfully several times during his reign.

He went from Arenenberg to Baden-Baden,[1] where he made his final
arrangements. Strasburg was to be the scene of his first attempt,
and at Baden-Baden he had an interview with Colonel Vambéry, who
commanded the Fourth Regiment of Artillery, part of the Strasburg

[Footnote 1: Louis Blanc, Dix Ans.]

Louis Blanc, the republican and socialist historian, writing in
1843, speaks thus of Louis Napoleon:--

"Brought up in exile, unfamiliar with France, Louis Bonaparte had
assumed that the _bourgeoisie_ remembered only that the Empire
had curbed the Revolution, established social order, and given
France the Code Napoléon. He fancied that the working-classes would
follow the eagle with enthusiasm the moment it appeared, borne,
as of old, at the head of regiments, and heralded by the sound of
trumpets. A twofold error! The things the _bourgeoisie_ in 1836
remembered most distinctly about Napoleon were his despotism and his
taste for war; and the most lasting impression of him amongst the
most intelligent in the working-classes was that whilst sowing the
seeds of democratic aspiration throughout Europe, he had carefully
weeded out all democratic tendencies in his own dominions."

But though Louis Blanc is right in saying that the evil that Napoleon
did, lived after him in the memories of thinking men, it is also
true that those born since the fall of the Second Empire can have
no idea of the general enthusiasm that still lingered in France in
Louis Philippe's reign, round memories of the glories of Napoleon.
Men might not wish him back again, but they worshipped him as the
national demigod. After Sedan he was pulled down literally and
metaphorically from his pedestal; and the old feelings about him
which half a century ago even foreign nations seemed to share,
now seem obsolete and extravagant to readers of Lanfrey and the
books of Erckmann-Chatrian.

Even in 1836, when Louis Napoleon in secret entered Strasburg,
he was surprised and disappointed to find that those on whom he
had counted to assist him in making the important "first step" in
his career, were very doubtful of its prudence. He had counted on
the co-operation of General Voirol, an old soldier of the Empire who
was in command of the Department in which Strasburg was situated; but
when he wrote him a letter, in the most moving terms appealing to
his affection for the emperor, the old general not only declined to
join the plot, but warned the Prefect of Strasburg that mischief was
on foot, though he did not mention in what quarter. The Government
in Paris seems, however, to have concluded that it would be best to
let a plot so very rash come to a head. There was a public singer,
calling herself Madame Gordon, at Baden, who flung herself eagerly
into the conspiracy. Louis Napoleon on quitting Arenenberg had
expected to meet several generals of distinction, who had served
under his uncle, at a certain trysting-place between Arenenberg
and Strasburg. He waited for them three days, but they never came.
He then resolved to continue his campaign without their aid or
encouragement, and entered Strasburg secretly on the night of Oct.
28, 1836. The next morning he had an interview with Colonel Vambéry,
who endeavored to dissuade him from his enterprise.

Vambéry's prudent reasons made no impression on the prince, and
he then promised his assistance. Having done so, Louis Napoleon
offered him a paper, securing a pension of 10,000 francs to each
of his two children, in case he should be killed. The colonel tore
it up, saying, "I give, but do not sell, my blood." Major Parquin,
an old soldier of the Empire, who was in the garrison, had been
already won. On the night of the prince's arrival the conspirators
met at his lodging.

Three regiments of infantry, three regiments of artillery, and
a battalion of engineers formed the garrison at Strasburg. The
wisest course would have been to appeal first to the third regiment
of artillery; but other counsels prevailed. The fourth artillery,
whose adhesion to the cause was doubtful, was chosen for the first
attempt. All depended upon the impression made upon this regiment,
which was the one in which Napoleon had served when captain of
artillery at Toulon.

The night was spent in making preparations. Proclamations were
drawn up addressed to the soldiers, to the city, and to France;
and the first step was to be the seizure of a printing-office.

At five o'clock in the morning the signal was given. The soldiers
of the fourth regiment of artillery were roused by the beating of the
_assemblée_. They rushed, half-dressed, on to their parade-ground.
Louis Napoleon, whose fate it was never to be ready, was not prompt
even on this occasion; he was finishing two letters to his mother.
One was to be sent to her at once if he succeeded, the other if
he failed.

On entering the barrack-yard he found the soldiers waiting, drawn
up in line. On his arrival the colonel (Vambéry) presented him to
the troops as the nephew of Napoleon. He wore an artillery uniform.
A cheer rose from the line. Then Louis Napoleon, clasping a gilt
eagle brought to him by one of the officers, made a speech to the
men, which was well received. His cause seemed won.

Next, followed by the troops, but exciting little enthusiasm in
the streets of Strasburg as he passed along them in the gray dawn
of a cloudy day, Louis Napoleon made his way to the quarters of
General Voirol. The general emphatically refused to join the movement,
and a guard was at once set over him.

Up to this moment all had smiled upon the enterprise. The printing
of the proclamations was going rapidly on, the third regiment of
artillery was bringing out its guns and horses, and the inhabitants
of Strasburg, roused from their beds, were watching the movement
as spectators, prepared to assist it or to oppose it, according
as it made its way to success or failure.

The prince, and the troops who supported him, next marched to the
barracks of the infantry. On their road they lost their way, and
approached the barracks in such a manner that they left themselves
only a narrow alley to retreat by, in case of failure.

On the prince presenting himself to the guard, an old soldier of
the army of Napoleon kneeled and kissed his hand, when suddenly
one of the officers, who had his quarters in the town, rushed upon
the scene with his sword drawn, crying: "Soldiers, you are deceived!
This man is not the nephew of the Emperor Napoleon, he is an
impostor,--a relative of Colonel Vambéry!"

This turned the tide. Whilst the soldiers stood irresolute, the
colonel of the regiment arrived. For a few moments he was in danger
from the adherents of the prince. His own soldiers rushed to his
rescue. A tumult ensued. The little band of Imperialists was surrounded,
and their cause was lost.

Louis Napoleon yielded himself a prisoner. One or two of the
conspirators, among them Madame Gordon, managed to escape; the rest
were captured.

News was at once sent by telegraph to Paris; but the great wooden-armed
telegraph-stations were in those days uncertain and unmanageable.
Only half of the telegram reached the Tuileries, where the king and
his ministers sat up all night waiting for more news. At daybreak
of October 30 a courier arrived, and then they learned that the
rising had been suppressed, and that the prince and his confederates
were in prison.

Meantime the young officer in charge of Louis Napoleon's two letters
to Queen Hortense had prematurely come to the conclusion that the
prince was meeting with success, and had hurried off the letter
announcing the good news to his mother.

How to dispose of such a capture as the head of the house of Bonaparte
was a great puzzle to Louis Philippe's ministers. They dared not
bring him to trial; they dared not treat him harshly. In the end
he was carried to Paris, lodged for a few days in the Conciergerie,
and then sent off, without being told his destination, to Cherbourg,
where he was put on board a French frigate which sailed with orders
not to be opened till she reached the equator. There it was found
that her destination was Rio Janeiro, where she was not to suffer
the prince to land, but after a leisurely voyage she was to put
him ashore in the United States.

As the vessel was about to put to sea, an official personage waited
on the prince, and after inquiring if he had funds enough to pay his
expenses on landing, handed him, on the the part of Louis Philippe,
a considerable sum.

On reaching Norfolk, Virginia, the prince landed, and learned, to
his very great relief, that all his fellow-conspirators had been
tried before a jury at Strasburg, and acquitted!

He learned too, shortly afterwards, that his mother was very ill.
The shock of his misfortune, and the great exertions she had made
on his behalf when she thought his life might be in danger, had
proved too much for her. Louis Napoleon recrossed the ocean, landed
in England, and made his way to Arenenberg. He was just in time to
see Queen Hortense on her death-bed, to receive her last wishes,
and to hear her last sigh.

After her death the French Government insisted that the Swiss
Confederacy must compel Louis Napoleon to leave their territory.
The Swiss refused, repaired the fortifications of Geneva, and made
ready for a war with France; but Louis Napoleon of his own free will
relieved the Swiss Government from all embarrassment by passing
over into England, where it was not long before he made preparations
for a new attempt to overthrow Louis Philippe's government.

He lived quietly in London at that period, visiting few persons
except Count D'Orsay at Gore House, the residence of Lady Blessington,
and occupying himself a great deal with writing. He had already
completed a Manual of Artillery, and was engaged on a book that
he called "Les Idées napoléoniennes." Its principal "idea" was
that France wanted an emperor, a definite head, but that she also
needed extreme democratic principles. Therefore an empire ought to
be founded on an expression of the will of the people,--in plain
words, on universal suffrage. The mistake Napoleon III. made in
his after career, as well as in his "Idées napoléoniennes," was in
not perceiving that an empire without military glory would become
a pool of corruption, while vast military efforts, which would
embroil France with all Europe, would lose the support of the
_bourgeoisie_. "In short," as Louis Blanc has said, "he imagined
a despotism without its triumphs; a throne surrounded by court
favorites, but without Europe at its footstool; a great name, with
no great man to bear it,--the Empire, in short, _minus_ its Napoleon!"

During the months that Louis Napoleon passed in London he was maturing
the plot of a new enterprise. He was collecting round him his adherents,
some of them Carbonaro leaders, with whom he had been associated in
Italy. Some were his personal friends; some were men whose devotion
to the First Napoleon made them ashamed to refuse to support his
nephew, even in an insurrection that they disapproved; while some
were mere adventurers.

Very few persons were admitted to his full confidence; the affair
was managed by a clique, "the members of which had been previously
sounded; and in general those were set aside who could not embark
in the undertaking heart and hand."

By all these men Louis Napoleon was treated as an imperial personage.
To the Italians he stood pledged, and had stood pledged since 1831,
that if they helped him to ascend the throne of France, he would
fight afterwards for the cause of Italy. This pledge he redeemed
at Solferino and Magenta, but not till after some impatient, rash
Italians (believing him forsworn) had attempted his assassination.

In vain he was advised to wait, to let Louis Philippe's Government
fall to the ground for want of a foundation. He had made his decision,
and was resolved to adhere to it, not fearing to make that step
which lies between the sublime and the ridiculous.

The attempt had been in preparation ever since Louis Napoleon had
arrived in England. There were about forty of his adherents living
in London at his expense, awaiting the moment for action. What form
that action was to take, none of them knew.[1] It was resolved to
make the movement in the month of August, 1840. The prince calculated
that the remains of his great uncle, restored by England to France,
being by that time probably on their way from St. Helena, public
enthusiasm for the great emperor would be at its height, and that
he would have the honor of receiving those revered remains when
they had been brought back from exile by Louis Philippe's son.
Besides this, the garrisons of northern France happened at that
moment to contain the two regiments whose fidelity he had tampered
with at Strasburg four years before.

[Footnote 1: In this account I am largely indebted to the interesting
narrative of Count Joseph Orsi, an Italian banker, Prince Louis
Napoleon's stanch personal friend.]

Of course there were French agents of police (detectives, as we
call them) watching the prince in London; and this made it necessary
that he should be very circumspect in making his preparations. A
steamer, the "Edinburgh Castle," was secretly engaged. The owners
and the captain were informed that she was chartered by some young
men for a pleasure-trip to Hamburg.

On Tuesday, Aug. 4, 1840, the "Edinburgh Castle" came up the Thames,
and was moored alongside a wharf facing the custom-house. As soon as
she was at the wharf, Count Orsi, who seems to have been the most
business-like man of the party, shipped nine horses, a travelling
carriage, and a large van containing seventy rifles and as many
uniforms. Proclamations had been printed in advance; they were
placed in a large box, together with a little store of gold, which
formed the prince's treasure.

At dawn all this was done, and the "Edinburgh Castle" started down
the river. At London Bridge she took in thirteen men, and at Greenwich
three more. At Blackwall some of the most important conspirators
came on board. The boat reached Gravesend about two o'clock, where
twelve more men joined them. Only three or four of those on board
knew where they were going, or what was expected of them. They
were simply obeying orders.

At Gravesend the prince was to have joined his followers, and the
"Edinburgh Castle" was at once to have put to sea, touching, however,
at Ramsgate before crossing the Channel. Those on board waited
and waited, but no prince came. Only five persons in the vessel
(one of whom was Charles Thélin, the prince's valet) knew what
they were there for.

For some time the passengers were kept quiet by breakfast. Then,
having no one at their head, they began to grow unruly. Those in
the secret were terribly afraid that the river police might take
notice of the large number of foreigners on board, especially as
the vessel claimed to be an excursion-boat, and not a petticoat
was visible. It was all important to catch the tide,--all important
to reach Boulogne before sunrise on the 5th of August, when their
friends expected them. But no prince came.

Major Parquin, who had been one of the Strasburg conspirators, was
particularly unmanageable; and late in the afternoon he insisted
on going ashore to buy some cigars, saying that those on board
were detestable. In vain Persigny and Orsi, who in the prince's
absence considered themselves to be in command, assured him that to
land was impossible; Parquin would not recognize their authority.
The rest of the story I will tell in Count Orsi's own words. He
wrote his account in "Fraser's Magazine," 1879:--

"The wrath of the major was extreme. There was danger in his anger.
I consulted Persigny on the advisability of letting him go on shore,
with the distinct understanding that he should be accompanied by
me or by Charles Thélin."

The truth, it may be suspected, was that Parquin was drunk, or
that, having suspected the object of the expedition, he had some
especial object in going ashore, which he would not reveal to his

"Persigny," continues Count Orsi, "consented to the idea, and Parquin
and I got into the boat. The vessel was lying in the stream. Thélin
was with us. As we were walking to the cigar-shop, the major remarked
a boy sitting on a log of wood and feeding a tame eagle with shreds
of meat. The eagle had a chain fastened to one of its claws. The
major turned twice to look at it, and went on without saying a
word. On our way back to the boat, however, we saw the boy within
two yards of the landing-place. The major went up to him, and looking
at the eagle, said in French, 'Is it for sale?' The boy did not
understand him. 'My dear Major,' I said, 'I hope you do not intend
to buy that eagle. We have other things to attend to. For Heaven's
sake, come away!' 'Why not? I _will_ have it. Ask him what he asks
for it.'"

The major paid a sovereign for the eagle, and this unlucky purchase
was the cause that endless ridicule was cast on the expedition. It
has always been supposed that the eagle was one of the "properties"
provided for the occasion, and that it was intended to perch on the
Napoleon Column at Boulogne. It may well be supposed that this is
not far from the truth, and that Major Parquin had the eagle waiting
for him at Gravesend. Eagles are so very uncommon in England that
it is unlikely that a boy, without set purpose, would be waiting
with a tame one on a wharf at Gravesend. The unfortunate bird became
in the end the property of a butcher in Boulogne.

By six P. M. the party in the "Edinburgh Castle" grew very uneasy;
the prince had not arrived. Count Orsi took a post-chaise and drove
overland to Ramsgate, where Count Montholon (Napoleon's fellow-exile
at St. Helena) and two colonels were waiting the arrival of the
steamer. Only one of these gentlemen had been let into the plot, and
Montholon was subsequently deeply wounded by having been excluded.

About dawn, when this party had just gone to bed, the "Edinburgh
Castle" steamed up to the beautiful Ramsgate pier; but it was already
the hour when she should have been off Boulogne.

A second time Louis Napoleon had damaged his chances and risked
his friends by his want of punctuality. He had not taken proper
precautions as to his mode of leaving London. He found that the
police were on the alert, and it was late in the day before he
contrived to leave his house unseen. He might have made more exertion,
but he had quite forgotten the importance of the tide!

What was now to be done? Four hours is the passage from Ramsgate
to Boulogne. It would not do to arrive there in broad daylight.
They dared not stay at Ramsgate. It became necessary to put to
sea, and to steam about aimlessly till night arrived. The captain
and the crew had to be told the object of the expedition, the van
had to be opened, and the arms and uniforms distributed. This was
done after dark, and no light was allowed on board the steamer.

At three o'clock A. M. of Aug. 6, 1840, the "Edinburgh Castle"
was off Wimereux, a little landing-place close to Boulogne. The
disembarkation was begun at once. The steamer was ill provided
with boats. She had but one, and could only land eight men at a
time. This was one of the many oversights of the expedition.

At five A. M. the little troop, clad as French soldiers, marched up
to the barracks at Boulogne. The gates were thrown open by friends
within, and the prince and his followers entered the yard. The
reason why it had been so important to reach Boulogne twenty-four
hours earlier, was that a certain Colonel Piguellier, who was a
strong republican, was sure to be against them. Some French friends
of the prince, who were in the secret, had therefore invited Colonel
Piguellier to a shooting-party on the 4th, the invitation including
one to pass the night at a house in the country; but by the evening
of the 5th he had returned to his quarters in Boulogne.

At the moment of the prince's entrance, with his little troop,
into the yard of the barracks, the soldiers of the garrison were
just getting out of their beds. The few who were already afoot
on different duties were soon made to understand who the prince
was, and what his party had come for. At the name of Napoleon they
rushed up to the dormitories to spread the news. In a short time
all the men were formed in line in the barrack-yard.

The prince, at the head of his little troop, addressed them. His
speech was received with enthusiasm. At that moment Colonel Piguellier,
in full uniform, appeared upon the scene. One of the prince's party
threatened to fire on him with a revolver. His soldiers at once
took his part. It was the affair of Strasburg over again.

In vain, threats and promises were urged upon the colonel. All
he would say was: "You may be Prince Louis Napoleon, or you may
not. Napoleon, your predecessor, overthrew legitimate authority,
and it is not right for you to attempt to do the same thing in
this place. Murder me if you like, but I will do my duty to the

The soldiers took the side of their commander. Resistance was of no
avail. The prince and his party were forced to leave the barracks,
the gates of which were shut at once by Colonel Piguellier's order.
The only concession the prince had been able to obtain was that
he and his followers should not be pursued by the troops, but be
left to be dealt with by the civil authorities.

The failure was complete. The day before, a party of the prince's
friends had been at Boulogne on the lookout for his arrival; but
when they found he did not come, they had left the city. All that
remained to be done was to attempt to save the prince. He was almost
beside himself. Apparently he lost his self-command, and men of
more nerve and experience did with him what they would.

He and his party reached the sea at last. The National Guard of
Boulogne began firing on them. The prince, Count Persigny, Colonel
Voisin, and Galvani, an Italian, were put into a boat. As they
pushed off, a fire of musketry shattered the little skiff, and
threw them into the water. Colonel Voisin's arm was broken at the
elbow, and Galvani was hit in the body. The prince and Persigny
came up to the surface at some distance from the land. Colonel
Voisin and Galvani, being nearer to the shore, were immediately
rescued. Count Orsi says that as the prince swam towards the steamer,
still fired on by the National Guard stationed on the heights, a
custom-house boat headed him off. But in Boulogne it was reported
and believed that he was captured and brought to land in a bathing

The prisoners were tried by a royal decree. No one was sentenced
to death, but the prince, Count Montholon, Count Persigny, Colonel
Voisin, Major Parquin, and another officer were sent to the fortress
of Ham, on the frontier of Belgium, where they occupied the same
quarters as Prince Polignac and the other ministers of Charles X.
had done. Count Montholon, four months after, made piteous appeals
to be let out on parole for one day, that he might be present when
the body of Napoleon was brought back to the capital.

The prince passed five years in prison, reading much, and doubtless
meditating much on the mistakes of his career. Many plans of escape
had been secretly proposed to him, but he rejected all of them,
fearing they were parts of a trap laid for him by the authorities.
It has always been believed, however, and it is probably true, that
Louis Philippe would have been very willing to have the jailers
shut their eyes while Louis Napoleon walked out of their custody,
believing that the ridicule that had attended his two attempts at
revolution had ruined his chances as a pretender to the throne.

During the years Louis Napoleon was imprisoned at Ham, he received
constant marks of sympathy, especially from foreigners. He was known
to favor the project of an interoceanic canal by the Nicaragua
route between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and the Government
of Nicaragua proposed to him to become president of a company that
would favor its views, expressing the hope that he would make himself
as great in America by undertaking such a work, as his uncle has
made himself by his military glory.

The illness of his father in Florence gave Prince Louis Napoleon
a good reason for asking enlargement on parole from the French
Government. Louis Philippe was willing to grant this; but his ministers
demurred, unless Louis Napoleon would ask pardon _loyalement_.
This Louis Napoleon refused to do; and having by this time managed
to extract a loan of £6,000 from the rich and eccentric Duke of
Brunswick, he resolved to attempt an escape.

Here is the story as he told it himself when he reached England.
The governor of Ham, it must be premised, was a man wholly
uncorruptible. He was kind to his prisoner, with whom he played
whist every evening, but he was bent on fulfilling his duty.

This duty obliged him to See the prince twice a day, and at night
to turn the key upon him, which he put into his pocket.

The fortress of Ham forms a square, with a round tower at each of
the angles. There is only one gate. Between the towers are ramparts,
on one of which the prince daily walked, and in one corner had made
a flower-garden. A canal ran outside the ramparts on two sides;
barracks were under the others. Thélin, the prince's valet, was
suffered to go in and out of the fortress at his pleasure. On the
23d of May, 1845, Thélin went to St. Quentin, the nearest large
town, and hired a cabriolet, which was to meet him the next day at
an appointed place upon the high-road. The prince's plan depended
on there being workmen in the prison, and he had been about to
make a request to have his rooms papered and painted, when the
governor informed him that the staircase was to be repaired. The
day before the one chosen for the attempt, two English gentlemen,
probably by a previous understanding, had visited the prisoner,
and he asked one of them to lend his passport to the valet Thélin.

"Very early on the morning of May 25th, the prince, Dr. Conneau,
and Thélin were looking out eagerly for the arrival of the workmen.
A private soldier whose vigilance they had reason to dread had
been placed on guard that morning, but by good luck he was called
away to attend a dress parade.

"The workmen arrived. They proved to be all painters and masons,--which
was a disappointment to the prince, who had hoped to go out as
a carpenter. But at once he shaved off his long moustache, and
put over his own clothes a coarse shirt, a workman's blouse, a
pair of blue overalls much worn, and a black wig. His hands and
face he also soiled with paint; then, putting on a pair of wooden
shoes and taking an old clay pipe in his mouth, and throwing a
board over his shoulder, he prepared to leave the prison. He had
with him a dagger, and two letters from which he never parted,--one
written by his mother, the other by his uncle, the emperor.

"It was seven o'clock by the time these preparations were made.
Thélin called to the workmen on the staircase to come in and have
a glass of wine. On the prince's way downstairs he met two warders.
One Thélin skilfully drew apart, pretending to have something to
say to him; the other was so intent on getting out of the way of
the board carried by the supposed workman that he did not look in
the prince's face, and the prince and Thélin passed safely into
the yard."

As he was passing the first sentinel, the prince let his pipe fall
from his mouth. He stooped, picked it up, and re-lighted it

"Close to the door of the canteen he came upon an officer reading
a letter. A little farther on, a few privates were sitting on a
bench in the sun. The concierge at the gate was in his lodge, but
his attention was given to Thélin, who was following the prince,
accompanied by his dog Ham. The sergeant, whose duty it was to
open and shut the gate, turned quickly and looked at the supposed
workman; but a movement the prince made at that moment with his
board caused him to step aside. He opened the gate: the prince
was free.

"Between the two drawbridges the prince met two workmen coming
towards him on the side his face was exposed. He shifted his board
like a man weary of carrying a load upon one shoulder. The men
appeared to eye him with suspicion, as if surprised at not knowing
him. Suddenly one said: 'Oh! it is Berthon;' and they passed on
into the fortress."

The prince hastened with Thélin to the place where the cabriolet
engaged the day before was waiting for them. As Louis Napoleon
was about to fling away the board he had been carrying, another
cabriolet drove by. As soon as it was out of sight, the prince
jumped into his own, shook the dust off his clothes, kicked off
his wooden shoes, and seized the reins. The fifteen miles to St.
Quentin were soon accomplished. The prince got out at some distance
from the town, and Thélin entered it alone, to exchange the cabriolet
for a postchaise. The mistress of the post-house offered him a
large piece of pie, which he thankfully accepted, knowing that it
would be a godsend to his master. A woman, whom they had passed
upon the highway on entering the town, took Thélin aside and asked
him how he came to be driving with such a shabby, common man that
morning; for Thélin was well known in the neighborhood.

Before he rejoined the prince with the pie and the postchaise, Louis
Napoleon had become very impatient. Seeing a carriage approach,
he stopped it, and asked the occupant if he had seen anything of a
postchaise coming from St. Quentin. The traveller proved afterwards
to have been the prosecuting attorney of the district (_le procureur
du roi_).

It was nine in the evening when the prince, Thélin, and the dog
Ham were safely in the carriage. They reached Valenciennes at a
quarter to three A. M., and had to wait more than an hour at the
station for the train. The prince had discarded his working clothes,
but still wore his black wig. The train arrived at last. By help of
the Englishman's passport the prince safely crossed the frontier,
and soon reached Brussels. Thence he went by way of Ostend to London.

He was not in time to see his father, who died in Florence before he
could get permission from the German States to cross the continent.

All the French papers treated his escape as a matter of no consequence.
Immediately on reaching London, he wrote a letter to Louis Philippe,
pledging himself to make no further attempt to disturb the peace
of France during his reign. He probably judged that the end of
the Orleans dynasty might be near.

His escape from prison was not known until the evening. Dr. Conneau
gave out that he had been very ill during the night, but under the
influence of opiates was sleeping quietly. The governor insisted
on remaining all day in the sitting-room, and finally upon seeing
him. In the dim light of the sick chamber he saw only a figure,
with its face turned to the wall, covered up in the bed-clothes.

At last he became suspicious. Thélin's prolonged absence seemed
unaccountable. A closer examination was insisted on, and the truth
was discovered. Nobody was punished except Dr. Conneau, who suffered
a few months' imprisonment.

[Illustration: _LOUIS PHILLIPE_. ("_The Citizen-King._")]



Besides the affairs of the Duchesse de Berri, of Louis Napoleon,
of Fieschi and his infernal machine, and difficulties attending
on the marriage of the Duke of Orleans, the first ten years of
Louis Philippe's reign were full of vicissitudes. France after a
revolution is always an "unquiet sea that cannot rest, whose waters
cast up mire and dirt." Frenchmen do not accept the inevitable
as Americans have learned to do, through the working of their

One of the early troubles of Louis Philippe was the peremptory
demand of President Jackson for five million dollars,--a claim
for French spoliations in 1797. This amount had been acknowledged
by the Government of Louis Philippe to be due, but the Chambers
were not willing to ratify the agreement. In the course of the
negotiations the secretary of General Jackson, having occasion to
translate to him a French despatch, read, "The French Government
_demands_--" "Demands!" cried the general, with a volley of rough
language; "if the French Government dares to _demand_ anything
of the United States, it will not get it."

It was long before he could be made to understand the true meaning
of the French word _demande_, and his own demands were backed with
threats and couched in terms more forcible than diplomatic. The
money was paid after the draft of the United States for the first
instalment had been protested, and France has not yet forgotten that
when she was still in the troubled waters of a recent revolution,
she was roughly treated by the nation which she had befriended at
its birth.

The greatest military success in Louis Philippe's reign was the
capture of Constantine in Algeria. So late as 1810 Algerine corsairs
were a terror in the Mediterranean, and captured M. Arago, who was
employed on a scientific expedition.[1] In 1835, France resolved
to undertake a crusade against these pirates, which might free the
commerce of the Mediterranean. The enterprise was not popular in
France. It would cost money, and it seemed to present no material
advantages. It was argued that its benefits would accrue only to
the dynasty of Louis Philippe, that Algeria would be a good
training-school for the army, and that the main duty of the army
in future might be to repress republicanism.

[Footnote 1: About the same time they took prisoner a cousin of
my father, John Warner Wormeley, of Virginia. He was sold into
slavery; but when tidings of his condition reached his friends,
he was ransomed by my grandfather.]

In 1834, a young Arab chief called Abdul Kader, the son of a Marabout
of great sanctity, had risen into notice. Abdul Kader was a man
who realized the picture of Saladin drawn by Sir Walter Scott in
the "Talisman." Brave, honorable, chivalrous, and patriotic, his
enemies admired him, his followers adored him. When he made his
first treaty with the French, he answered some doubts that were
expressed concerning his sincerity by saying gravely: "My word
is sacred; I have visited the tomb of the Prophet."

Constantine, the mountain fortress of Oran, was held, not by Abdul
Kader, but by Ahmed Bey, the representative of the sultan's suzerainty
in the Barbary States. The first attack upon it failed. The weather
and the elements fought against the French in this expedition.
General Changarnier distinguished himself in their retreat, and
the Duc de Nemours showed endurance and bravery.

From the moment of that repulse, popular enthusiasm was aroused.
A cry rang through France that Constantine must be taken. It was
captured two years later, after a siege in which two French
commanders-in-chief and many generals were killed. Walls fell,
and mines exploded; the place at last was carried by assault. At
one moment, when even French soldiers wavered, a legion of foreign
dare-devils (chiefly Irishmen and Englishmen) were roused by an English
hurrah from the man who became afterwards Marshal Saint-Arnaud. With
echoing cheers they followed him up the breach, the army followed
after them, and the city was won.

Louis Philippe had been raised to power by four great men,--Lafayette,
Laffitte, Talleyrand, and Thiers. Of these, Laffitte and Lafayette
retained little influence in his councils, and both died early
in his reign. In 1838 died Talleyrand,--the prince of the old
diplomatists. The king and his sister, Madame Adélaïde, visited
him upon his death-bed. Talleyrand, supported by his secretary,
sat up to receive the king. He was wrapped in a warm dressing-gown,
with the white curls he had always cherished, flowing over his
shoulders, while the king sat near him, dressed in his claret-colored
coat, brown wig, and varnished boots. Some one who was present
whispered that it was an interview between the last of the _ancienne
noblesse_ and the first citizen _bourgeois_. Rut the old courtier
was touched by the intended kindness, and when the king was about
to go away, he said, half rising: "Sire, this honor to my house
will be gratefully remembered in the annals of my family."

Deep and true was the grief felt for the loss of Talleyrand in
his own household; many and bitter have been the things said of
his character and his career. He himself summed up his life in some
words written shortly before his death, which read like another
verse in the Book of Ecclesiastes:--

"Eighty-three years have rolled away! How many cares, how many
anxieties! How many hatreds have I inspired, how many exasperating
complications have I known! And all this with no other result than
great moral and physical exhaustion, and a deep feeling of
discouragement as to what may happen in the future,--disgust, too,
as I think over the past."

A writer in "Temple Bar" (probably Dr. Jevons) speaks of Prince
Talleyrand thus:--

"On his private life it would be unfair to pass judgment without
taking into consideration the turbulence and lawlessness, the immorality
and corruption both social and political, which characterized the
stormy epoch in which he was called to play a very prominent part.
If he did not pass through it blameless, he was less guilty than
many others; if his hands were not pure, at least they were not
blood-stained; and it is possible that, as Bourienne, who knew
him well, says: 'History will speak as favorably of him as his
contemporaries have spoken ill.'"

The summer of 1840 seemed peaceful and serene, when a storm burst
suddenly out of a cloudless sky. It was a new phase of that Eastern
Question which unhappily was not settled in the days of the Crusades,
but has survived to be a disturbing element in the nineteenth century.
Two men were engaged in a fierce struggle in the East, and, as usual,
they drew the Powers of the West and North into their quarrel.

Sultan Mahmoud, who had come to the throne in 1808, had done his
best to destroy the power of his pashas. He hated such powerful and
insubordinate nobles, and after the destruction of the Mamelukes
in 1811, he placed Egypt under the rule of the bold Macedonian
soldier, Mehemet Ali, not as a pasha, but as viceroy. In course
of time, as the dominions of Sultan Mahmoud became more and more
disorganized by misgovernment and insurrection, Mehemet Ali sent
his adopted son, Ibrahim Pasha, with an army into Syria. Ibrahim
conquered that province and governed it far better than the Turks
had done, when he was stopped by a Russian army (1832), which,
under pretence of assisting the sultan, interfered in the quarrel.
An arrangement was effected by what is called the treaty of
Unkiar-Thelessi. Ibrahim was to retain the pashalik of Syria for
his life, and Russia stipulated that no vessels of war should be
allowed to pass the Dardanelles or Hellespont without the consent
of the sultan.

Mehemet Ali, who was anxious above all things to have his viceroyalty
in Egypt made hereditary, that he might transmit his honors to his
brave son, cast about in every direction to find friends among
European diplomatists. Six years before, he had proposed to England,
France, and Austria a partition of the sultan's empire. "Russia,"
he said, "is half mistress of Turkey already. She has established
a protectorate over half its subjects, who are Greek Christians,
and where she professes to protect, she oppresses instead. If she
seizes Constantinople, there is the end of your European civilization.
I am a Turk, but I propose to you to inaugurate a crusade which
will save Turkey and save Europe. I will raise my standard against
the czar; I will put at your disposal my army, fleet, and treasure;
I will lead the van; and in return I ask only my independence of
the Porte and an acknowledgment of me as an hereditary sovereign."
This proposition was promptly declined. It was renewed, in 1838,
in a modified form, but again England, France, and Austria would
not listen to the viceroy's reasoning. Mehemet Ali became a prey
to despair.

Sultan Mahmoud meantime was no less a victim to resentment and
anxiety. He hated his enforced subservience to Russia, and above
all he hated his great subject and rival, Mehemet Ali. With fury
in his heart he watched how, shred by shred, his great empire was
wrenched away from him,--Greece, Syria, Servia, Algiers, Moldavia,
and Wallachia. Little remained to him but Constantinople and its
surrounding provinces. Russia, all-powerful in the Black Sea, could
at any moment force him to give up to her the key of the Dardanelles.
Among the Turks (the only part of his subjects on whom he could rely)
were many malcontents. Fanatic dervishes predicted his overthrow,
and called him the Giaour Sultan. He had destroyed Turkish customs,
outraged Turkish feelings, and by the massacre o the Janissaries,
in 1826, he had sapped Turkish strength. He now began in his own
person to set at nought the precepts of the Koran. All day he worked
with frenzy, and at night he indulged himself in frightful orgies,
till, dead drunk, he desisted from his madness, and was carried
by his slaves to his bed.[1]

[Footnote 1: Louis Blanc, Dix Ans.]

In the early months of 1839 Mahmoud made quiet preparations to
thrust Ibrahim Pasha out of Syria; and in June a great battle was
fought between the Egyptians and the Turks on the banks of the
Euphrates, in which Ibrahim Pasha, by superior generalship, wholly
defeated the Turkish commander, Hafiz Pasha.

Sultan Mahmoud never heard of this disaster. He died of _delirium
tremens_ the very week that it took place, and his son, Abdul Medjid,
mounted his throne. Ibrahim Pasha immediately after his victory
had made ready to threaten Constantinople, when despatches from
his father arrested him. Mehemet wrote that France had promised
to take the part of Egypt, and to settle all her difficulties by

Meantime the new sultan, or his vizier, having offended the Capitan
Pasha (or Admiral of the Fleet), that officer thought proper to
carry the ships under his command over to Mehemet Ali.

It was a proud day for the viceroy when the Turkish ships sailed
into the harbor of Alexandria. This defection of the fleet so
discouraged Abdul Medjid that he offered his vassal terms of peace,
by which he consented to Mehemet's hereditary viceroyalty in Egypt,
and Ibrahim Pasha's hereditary possession of the pashalik of Syria.

But the Great Powers would not consent to this dismemberment of the
Turkish Empire. A fierce struggle in diplomacy took place between
France and England, which might have resulted in an open rupture,
had not Louis Philippe and Marshal Soult (then Minister for Foreign
Affairs in France) been both averse to war. The old marshal had
seen more than enough of it, and Louis Philippe felt that peace
alone could strengthen his party,--the _bourgeoisie_. Mehemet Ali,
his rights and his wrongs, seem to have been entirely overlooked
in the tempest of diplomacy.

After some weeks of great excitement the Five Great Powers agreed
among themselves that Mehemet Ali should become the Khedive, or
hereditary viceroy, of Egypt, but that he must give up Syria. To
this he demurred, and the allied troops attacked Ibrahim Pasha.
Admiral Sir Charles Napier bombarded his stronghold, St. Jean d'Acre,
and forced him into submission. The triumph of Lord Palmerston's
policy was complete; as Charles Greville remarked: "Everything
has turned out well for him. He is justified by the success of
his operations, and by the revelations in the French Chambers of
the intentions of M. Thiers; and it must be acknowledged he has
a fair right to plume himself on his diplomacy."

After the death of Talleyrand, only M. Thiers remained of the four
great men who had assisted Louis Philippe to attain supreme power.
M. Thiers was not insensible to the advantage it would be to his
History of the Consulate and Empire, if he could add to it a last
and brilliant chapter describing the restoration to France of the
mortal remains of her great emperor. Therefore in the early part
of 1840, before any disturbance of the _entente cordiale_, he made
a request to the English Government for the body of Napoleon, then
lying beneath a willow-tree at Longwood, on a desolate island that
hardly seemed to be part of the civilized world. Lord Palmerston
responded very cordially, and Louis Philippe's third son, the Prince
de Joinville, in his frigate, the "Belle Poule," attended by other
French war-ships, was despatched upon the errand. Napoleon had died
May 5, 1821. For almost twenty years his body had reposed at St.
Helena. With the Prince de Joinville went Bertrand and Gourgaud,
who had been the Emperor's companions in captivity.

The coffin was raised and opened. The face was perfect. The beard,
which had been shaved before the burial, had apparently a week's
growth. The white satin which had lined the lid of the coffin had
crumbled into dust, and lay like a mist over the body, which was
dressed in a green uniform, with the cocked hat across its knees.

The corpse was transferred to another coffin brought from France, and
was carried over the rough rocks of St. Helena by English soldiers.
All the honors that in that remote island England could give to her
former captive were respectfully offered; and early in December,
1840, news arrived in Paris that the "Belle Poule" had reached

This was sooner than her arrival had been looked for, and at once
all Paris was in a scramble of preparation. Laborers and artists
worked night and day. The weather was piercingly cold. Indeed, no
less than three hundred English were said to have died of colds
contracted on the day of the funeral procession.

The body was landed at Courbevoie from a flat-bottomed barge that
had been constructed to bring it up the Seine. Courbevoie is about
two miles from the Arch of Triumph, which is again nearly the same
distance from the Place de la Concorde.

Between each gilded lamp-post, with its double burners, and beneath
long rows of leafless trees, were colossal plaster statues of Victory,
alternating with colossal vases burning incense by day, and inflammable
materials for illumination by night. Thus the procession attending the
body had about five miles to march from the place of disembarkation
to the Invalides, on the left bank of the Seine. The spectators began
to assemble before dawn. All along the route scaffoldings had been
erected, containing rows upon rows of seats. All the trees, bare and
leafless at that season, were filled with freezing _gamins_. All
the wide pavements were occupied. Before long, rows of National
Guards fringed the whole avenue. They were to fall in behind the
procession as it passed, and accompany it to the Invalides.

The arrival of the funeral barge had been retarded while the authorities
hastened the preparations for its reception. When the body of Napoleon
was about to re-land on French soil, "cannon to right of it, cannon
to left of it, volleyed and thundered." The coffin was received
beneath what was called a votive monument,--a column one hundred
feet in height, with an immense gilded globe upon the top, surmounted
by a gilded eagle twenty feet high. Banners and tripods were there
_ad libitum_, and a vast plaster bas-relief cast in the "Belle
Poule's" honor.

The coffin, having been landed, was placed upon a catafalque, the
cannon gave the signal to begin the march, and the procession started.
The public was given to understand that in a sort of funeral casket
blazing with gold and purple, on the top of the catafalque, twenty
feet from the ground, was enclosed the coffin of the Emperor; but
it was not so. The sailors of the "Belle Poule" protested that the
catafalque was too frail, and the height too great. They dared
not, they said, attempt to get the lead-lined coffin up to the
place assigned for it, still less try to get it down again. It was
consequently deposited, for fear of accident, on a low platform
between the wheels.

First came the gendarmes, or mounted police, with glittering brazen
breastplates, waving horse-hair crests, fine horses, and a band
of trumpeters; then the mounted Garde Municipale; then Lancers;
then the Lieutenant-General commanding the National Guard of Paris,
surrounded by his staff, and all officers, of whatever grade, then
on leave in the capital. These were followed by infantry, cavalry,
sappers and miners, Lancers, and Cuirassiers, staff-officers, etc.,
with bands and banners. Then came a carriage containing the chaplain
who had had charge of the body from the time it left St. Helena,
following whom were a crowd of military and naval officers. Next
appeared a led charger, son of a stallion ridden by Napoleon, and
soon after came a bevy of the marshals of France. Then all the
banners of the eighty-six departments, and at last the funeral

As it passed under the Arch of Triumph, erected by Napoleon in
commemoration of his victories, there were hundreds in the crowd
who expected to see the Emperor come to life again.

Strange to say, the universal cry was "Vive l'empereur!" One heard
nowhere "Vive le roi!"

The funeral car was hung with purple gauze embroidered with golden
bees. As I said, the coffin of the Emperor was suffered to repose
upon a gilded buckler supported by four golden caryatides; but it
was, as the sailors would have said, "stowed safely in the hold."

The catafalque was hung all over with wreaths, emblems, and banners.
It had solid gilded wheels, and was drawn by eight horses covered
with green velvet, embroidered with gold bees; each horse was led
by a groom in the Bonaparte livery. At the four corners of the car,
holding the tassels of the pall, rode two marshals, an admiral,
and General Bertrand, who had shared the captivity of the Emperor.
Count Montholon was not suffered to leave his imprisonment for the
occasion, though he also had been a companion of the Emperor at
St. Helena. Around the catafalque marched the five hundred sailors
of the "Belle Poule," headed by their captain, the Prince de
Joinville,--slender, tall, and dark, a very naval-looking man.
He was supposed to be intensely hostile to England, and only to
be kept in check by a strong hand. Then came all the Emperor's
aides-de-camp who were still living, and all the aged veterans in
Paris who had served under him. This was the most touching feature
of the procession. Many tears were shed by the spectators, and a
thrill ran through the hearts of eight hundred thousand people as
the catafalque creaked onward, passing under the arch which celebrated
Napoleon's triumphs, and beneath which at other times no carriage
was allowed to pass. But enthusiasm rose to the highest point at the
sight of the veterans in every kind of faded uniform,--Grenadiers
of the Guard, Chasseurs, Dragoons of the Empress, Red Lancers,
Mamelukes, Poles, and, above all, the Old Guard. "Vive la Vieille
Garde!" shouted the multitude; "Vive les Polonais! Vive l'empereur!"

The funeral was a political blunder. It stirred up the embers of
Napoleonism. Ten years later they blazed into a consuming fire.

The procession passed through the Place de la Concorde, beneath
the shadow of the obelisk of Luxor, which of old had looked on
triumphs and funeral processions in Egypt; then it crossed the
Seine. On the bridge were eight colossal statues, representing
prudence, strength, justice, war, agriculture, art commerce, and

The statues along the Champs Elysées were Victories, each inscribed
with the name of some Napoleonic battle. Great haste had been required
to get them ready. At the last moment Government had had to order
from certain manufactories pairs of wings by the dozen, and bucklers
and spears in the same way. All night the artists had been fixing
these emblems on their statues. A statue of Marshal Ney, which
had been ordered among those of the other marshals, was found to
be, not of colossal, but of life size. It had to be hurriedly cut
into three parts. The deficiency in the torso was concealed by
flags, and the "bravest of the brave" took his place on a par with
his comrades.

On the steps of the Chamber of Deputies was a colossal statue of
Immortality, designed for the top of the Pantheon, but pressed
into service on this occasion, holding forth a gilded crown as if
about to place it on the coffin of the Emperor.

At the gate of the Invalides was another genuine statue, Napoleon
in his imperial robes was holding forth the cordon of the Legion
of Honor. This statue had been executed for the Pillar at Boulogne
commemorative of the Army of England. It was surrounded by plaster
statues of the departments of France, and was approached through a
long line of marshals, statesmen, and the most illustrious of French
kings, among them Louis XIV., who would have been much astonished to
find himself rendering homage to a soldier of barely gentlemanly
birth, born on an island which was not French in his time.

The coffin was borne by sailors into the Chapelle Ardente at the
Invalides. "Sire," said Prince de Joinville to his father, "I present
to you the body of the Emperor Napoleon."

"I receive it in the name of France," replied the king.

Then Marshal Soult put the Emperor's sword into the king's hand.
"General Bertrand," said the king, "I charge you to lay it on the
coffin of the Emperor. General Gourgaud, place the Emperor's hat
also on the coffin."

Then began the appropriate religious ceremonies, and during the
following week the public were admitted to view the coffin as it
lay in state in the Chapelle Ardente. The crowd was very great.
Women fainted daily, and many were almost pressed to death against
the gilded rails.

After all, there was little to see. The coffin was enclosed in a
sort of immense cage to keep it from intrusion, the air was heavy
with incense, and the light was too dimly religious to show anything
with distinctness.

A splendid tomb has since been erected to Napoleon in the Chapel
of the Invalides, where he rests under the care of the war-worn
soldiers of France. Few now can be living who fought under him.
Not a Bonaparte was at his funeral; the only one then upon French
soil was in a prison.

Napoleon sleeps where in his will he prayed that his remains might
rest,--on the banks of the Seine.



After the signing of the treaty of 1841, which restored the _entente
cordiale_ between France and England, and satisfied the other European
Powers, Louis Philippe and his family were probably in the plenitude
of their prosperity. The Duke of Orleans had been happily married;
and although his wife was a Protestant,--which was not wholly
satisfactory to Queen Marie Amélie,--the character of the Duchesse
Hélène was so lovely that she won all hearts, both in her husband's
family and among the people.

On the occasion of the _fêtes_ given in Paris at the nuptials of
the Duke of Orleans, in 1837, the sad presage of misfortune that
had accompanied the marriage festivities of Marie Antoinette was
repeated. One of the spectacles given to the Parisians was a sham
attack on a sham citadel of Antwerp in the Champ de Mars. The crowd
was immense, but all went well so long as the spectacle lasted.
When the crowd began to move away, a panic took place. The old and
the feeble were thrown down and trampled on. Twenty-four persons
were killed, the _fêtes_ were broken up, and all hearts were saddened
both by the disaster and the omen.

One part of the festivities on that occasion consisted in the opening
of the galleries of historical paintings at Versailles,--a magnificent
gift made by the Citizen King to his people.

I have spoken already of the storming of Constantine. No French
success since the wars of the Great Napoleon had been so brilliant;
yet the Chamber of Deputies, in a fit of parsimony, reduced from
two thousand to eleven hundred dollars the pension proposed by
the ministers to be settled on the widow of General Damremont,
the commander-in-chief, who had been killed by a round shot while
giving orders to scale the walls. At the same time they voted two
hundred and fifty thousand dollars for the year's subsidy to the
theatres of Paris for the amusement of themselves and their

Algeria proved a valuable school for soldiers; there Lamoricière,
Changarnier, Cavaignac, Saint-Arnaud, Pélissier, and Bugeaud had
their military education. Louis Philippe's three sons were also
with the troops, sharing all the duties, dangers, and hardships
of the campaign.

By the end of 1847 Abdul Kader had retired to a stronghold in the
mountains, where, seeing that his cause was lost, he tendered his
submission to the Duc d'Aumale, then governor of Algeria. The offer
was accepted. Abdul Kader surrendered on an understanding that he
should be conducted to some Mohammedan place of refuge,--Alexandria
or St. Jean d'Acre. But this stipulation was disregarded by the
French Government, whose breach of faith has always been considered
a stain on the honor of Louis Philippe and his ministers. The Duc
d'Aumale vehemently remonstrated, believing his own word pledged
to the Arab chieftain. Abdul Kader, his wives, children, servants,
and principal officers were taken to France, and for five years
lived at Amboise, where some of the subordinate attendants, overcome
by homesickness, committed suicide. In 1852 Louis Napoleon, who
possibly had a fellow-feeling for captives, restored Abdul Kader to
liberty, who thereupon took up his residence at Damascus. There he
subsequently protected a large number of Christians from massacre,
sheltering them in his house, and giving them food and clothing. He
afterwards removed to the island of Ceylon, where, as everywhere
else, he won "golden opinions" by his generous behavior.

Meantime, while France was in some respects in the full tide of
prosperity, great discontent was growing up among the working-classes,
reinforced by the worthless class, always ready for disturbances. In
May, 1839, Barbès led an _émeute_ in Paris which might have proved
formidable. His attempt opened with a deliberate murder, and there
was considerable fighting in the streets for about twenty-four
hours. Barbès was condemned to death. The king was desirous to
spare him, and yielded readily to the prayers of his sister, for
whom an opportunity of interceding for him was obtained by the
good offices of Lamartine.

The _émeute_ of Barbès was regarded with disfavor by more experienced
conspirators, but secret societies had introduced organization
among the workmen. Moreover, they were led by the _bourgeoisie_
with a cry for parliamentary reform, which at that period was the
supposed panacea for every kind of evil.

The king was not popular. He was not the ideal Frenchman. He was
a Frenchman of the _épicier_, or small grocer, type. As a _bon
père de famille_ he was anxious to settle his sons well in life.
They were admirable young men, they deserved good wives, and as
far as grace, beauty, and amiability went, they all obtained them;
but up to 1846 not one of them had made a brilliant marriage. This
good fortune Louis Philippe hoped was reserved for his two younger
sons,--D'Aumale and Montpensier.

The Duke of Orleans was the most popular of the king's sons. Handsome,
elegant, accomplished, and always careful in his toilet, he was a
thorough Frenchman,--the approved type of an aristocrat with liberal
sympathies and ideas. He was born at Palermo in 1810, and did not
come to France till he was four years old. He had an excellent
tutor, who prepared him for his _collège_. There he took his place
entirely on a par with other boys, and gained several prizes. All
Louis Philippe's sons were sent to public schools.

The duke afterwards prepared for and entered the Polytechnic, which
is said to demand more hard study than any other school in the world.
He made his first campaign in Africa in 1835, and afterwards served
with distinction in the early part of that one which resulted in
the retreat from Constantine; but before Constantine was reached,
a severe illness invalided him. He was a liberal in politics, the
sincere friend of the working-classes, and was on intimate terms
with men of letters, even with Victor Hugo, in spite of his advanced
opinions. He was a patron of art and artists. Some beautiful
table-pieces that he had ordered, by Barye, are now in the gallery
of Mr. W. S. Walters, of Baltimore, they not having been completed
when he died. His wife charmed every one by her good sense, grace,
and goodness. They had had four years of happy married life, and
had two little sons, when, in July, 1842, the duchess went for
her health to the baths of Plombières, in the mountains of the
Vosges. Her husband escorted her thither, and then returned to
Paris, on his way to attend some military manoeuvres near Boulogne.

As he was driving out to Neuilly to make his _adieux_ to his family,
the horses of his carriage were startled by an organ-grinder on the
Avenue de Neuilly. The duke, who was alone, tried apparently to
jump out of the carriage. Had he remained seated, all would have
been well. He fell on his head on the _pavé_ of the broad avenue,
breaking the vertebral column.

He was carried into a small grocer's shop by the way-side, where
afterwards a little chapel was erected by his family. Messengers
were sent to the Château de Neuilly, and his father, mother, and
sisters, without bonnets or hats, came rushing to the spot. He
lived, unconscious, for four hours. A messenger was despatched
at once to bring his wife from Plombières. She had just finished
dressing for dinner, in full toilet, when the news reached her.
Without changing her dress, she started instantly for Paris, but
when she reached it, her husband was in his coffin.

When his will was opened, it was found to contain an earnest exhortation
to his son that, whether he proved "one of those tools that Heaven
fits for work, but does not use," or ascended the French throne,
he "should always hold in his heart, above all things, love to
France, and fidelity to the principles of the French Revolution."

Here is the poor Queen Amélie's account of the death of her son,
written to a dear friend four days after:--

"My Chartres,[1] my beloved son, he whose birth made all my happiness,
whose infancy and growing years were all my occupation, whose youth
was my pride and consolation, and who would, as I hoped, be the
prop of my old age, no longer lives. He has been taken from us in
the midst of completed happiness, and of the happiest prospects of
the future, whilst each day he gained in virtue, in understanding,
in wisdom, following the footsteps of his noble and excellent father.
He was more than a son to me,--he was my best friend. And God has
taken him from me!... On the 2d of July he and Hélène left for
Plombières, where the latter was to take the baths. He was, after
establishing her there, to come back and spend a few days at the
camp of St.-Omer, there to take command of an army corps, which
was intended to execute great military manoeuvres on the Marne,
and which had been the object of his thoughts and employments for
a year past. Accordingly, on the 9th he returned from Plombières,
and came to dine with us at Neuilly, full of the subject of the
elections, and talking of them with that warmth of heart and intellect
which was apparent in all he did. Next day--my _fête_ day--he came,
contrary to his usual custom, with an enormous bouquet, telling
me it was given in the name of the whole family. He heard mass,
and breakfasted with us. He was so cheerful. He sat beside me at
dinner. He got up, drank my health with much vivacity, and made
the band play a particular tune,--in my honor, as he said. Who
would have thought that this was the last time this dear child
was to show me so much affection! On the 11th he again returned
to dinner with us, much occupied all the time with the camp and
the elections....

[Footnote 1: It was his first title before his father came to the
throne. His mother always continued to use it.]

"On the 12th he arrived about four o'clock in his country suit. We
conversed together about the health of Hélène, which was a subject
of anxiety, about Clémentine's marriage, which he earnestly desired;
about the elections and many other subjects, the discussion of
which he always ended with the refrain: 'In short, dear Majesty,
we finish as usual by agreeing in all important particulars.' And
it was very true.

"After dinner we took a turn in the park, he and Victoire, Clémentine,
D'Aumale, and I. Never had he been so gay, so brilliant, so
affectionate. He spoke to me of his arrangements for the troops,
of the time when the king was to go with us to Ste.-Menehoulde, of
the time that he would spend there, and of his own daily occupations.
He looked forward to giving his father a representation of the
battle of Valmy. I gave him my arm, saying: 'Come, dear prop of
my old age!' And the next day he was to be alive no longer!

"We returned to the drawing-room a little late. A great many people
had arrived. He remained with us talking until ten o'clock, when
on going away he came to bid me good-night. I gave him my hand,
and said: 'You will come and see us tomorrow before going away?'
He replied: 'Perhaps so.'

"On the next day, July 13, about eleven o'clock, we were about
to get into the carriage to go to the Tuileries. As I followed
the king to the red drawing-room, I saw Troussart, the commissary
of police, with a terrified countenance whispering something to
General Gourgaud, who made a gesture of horror, and went to speak
in a low voice to the king. The king cried out: 'Oh, my God!'
Then I cried: 'Something has happened to one of my children! Let
nothing be kept from me!' The king replied: 'Yes, my dear; Chartres
has had a fall on his way here, and has been carried into a house
at Sablonville.' Hearing this, I began to run like a madwoman,
in spite of the cries of the king and the remonstrances of M. de
Chabannes, who followed me. But my strength was not equal to my
impulses, and on getting as far as the farm, I was exhausted. Happily
the king came up in the carriage with my sister, and I got in with
them. Our carriage stopped. We got out in haste, and went into the
_cabaret_, where in a small room, stretched upon a mattress on
the floor, we found Chartres, who was at that moment being bled....
The death-rattle had begun. 'What is that?' said the king to me. I
replied: '_Mon ami_, this is death. For pity's sake let some one
fetch a priest, that my poor child may not die like a dog!' and
I went for a moment into a little side room, where I fell on my
knees and implored God from my inmost soul, if He needed a victim,
to take me and spare so dear a child....

"Dr. Pasquier arrived soon after. I said to him: 'Sir, you are
a man of honor; if you think the danger imminent, I beseech you
tell me so, that my child may receive extreme unction.' He hung
his head, and said: 'Madame, it is true.'

"The _curé_ of Neuilly came and administered the sacrament while
we were all on our knees around the pallet, weeping and praying.
I unloosed from my neck a small cross containing a fragment of the
True Cross, and I put it into the hand of my poor child, that God
the Saviour might have pity on him in his passage into eternity.
Dr. Pasquier got up and whispered to the king. Then that venerable
and unhappy father, his face bathed in tears, knelt by the side
of his eldest son, and tenderly embracing him, cried; 'Oh that
it were I instead of thee!' I also drew near and kissed him three
times,--once for myself, once for Hélène, and once for his children.
I laid upon his lips the little cross, the symbol of our redemption,
and then placed it on his heart and left it there. The whole family
kissed him by turns, and then each returned to his place.... His
breathing now became irregular. Twice it stopped, and then went
on. I asked that the priest might come back and say the prayers
for the dying. He had scarcely knelt down and made the sign of
the cross, when my dear child drew a last deep breath, and his
beautiful, good, generous, and noble soul left his body.... The
priest at my request said a _De profundis_. The king wanted to
lead me away, but I begged him to allow me to embrace for the last
time my beloved son, the object of my deepest tenderness. I took
his dear head in my hands; I kissed his cold and discolored lips;
I placed the little cross again upon them, and then carried it
away, bidding a last farewell to him whom I loved so well,--perhaps
too well!

"The king led me into the next room. I fell on his neck. We were
unhappy together. Our irreparable loss was common to us both, and
I suffered as much for him as for myself. There was a crowd in that
little room. I wept and talked wildly, and I was beside myself.
I recognized no one but the unhappy Marshal Gérard, the extent of
whose misfortune I then understood.[1] After a few minutes they
said that all was ready. The body had been placed on a stretcher
covered with a white cloth. It was borne by four men of the house,
attended by two gendarmes. They went out through the stable-yard;
there was an immense crowd outside.... We all followed on foot
the inanimate body of this dear son, who a few hours before had
passed over the same road full of life, strength, and happiness....
Thus we carried him, and laid him down in our dear little chapel,
where four days before he had heard mass with the whole family."

[Footnote 1: Marshal Gérard was then mourning for his son.]

The death of the Duke of Orleans was the severest blow that could
have fallen on Louis Philippe, not only as a father, but as head
of a dynasty. The duke left two infant sons,--the Comte de Paris
and the Duc de Chartres. The former is now both the Orleanist and
Legitimist pretender, to the French throne.

In the early part of 1845 Louis Philippe, who had already visited
Windsor and been cordially received there, was visited in return at
his Château d'Eu by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, accompanied
by Lord Aberdeen, then English Minister for Foreign Affairs. The
king's reception of the young queen was most paternal. He kissed
her like a father, and did everything in his power to make her
visit pleasant. Among the subjects discussed during the visit was
the question of "the Spanish marriages."

The unfortunate Queen of Spain, Isabella II., was just sixteen years
old; her sister, the Infanta Luisa, was a year younger. Isabella
was the daughter of a vicious race, and with such a mother as she
had in Queen Christina, she had grown up to early womanhood utterly
ignorant and untrained. One of her ministers said of her that "no
one could be astonished that she had vices, but the wonder was
that she had by nature so many good qualities." Jolly, kindly,
generous, a rebel against etiquette, and an habitual breaker of
promises, she was long popular in Spain, in spite of a career of
dissoluteness only equalled by that of Catherine of Russia.

In 1846, however, she had not shown this tendency, and in the hands
of a good husband might have made as good a wife and as respectable
a woman as her sister Luisa has since proved.

There were many candidates for the honor of Queen Isabella's hand.
Louis Philippe sent his sons D'Aumale and Montpensier to Madrid to
try their fortunes; but England objected strongly to an alliance
which might make Spain practically a part of France. The candidature
of the French princes was therefore withdrawn.

A prince of the Catholic branch of the Coburgs was then
proposed,--Prince Ferdinand, who made subsequently an excellent
king-consort in Portugal; but to him France objected, as too nearly
allied to the English Crown. Finally the suitors were reduced to
three,--the queen's cousin Enrique (Henry), a rough sailor of rather
radical opinions and turbulent ways; the Comte de Trepani, a Neapolitan
prince, a man of small understanding; and another cousin, Don Francisco
d'Assis, a creature weak alike in mind and body, whom it was an
outrage to think of as fit mate for a young queen. England was
willing to consent to the queen's marrying anyone of these princes,
and also that the Duc de Montpensier should marry the Infanta Luisa,
provided that the queen was first married and had had a child. All
this was fully agreed upon in the conference at Eu. But Christina,
the queen-mother, who had been plundering the Spanish treasury till
she had accumulated an enormous fortune, offered, if Louis Philippe
would use his influence to prevent any inquiry into the state of
her affairs, to further his views as to the Duc de Montpensier.

It seems more like a scene in the Middle Ages than an actual transaction
in our own century, that at midnight, in a Spanish palace, a dissolute
Italian dowager and a French ambassador should have been engaged
in coercing a sovereign of sixteen into a detested marriage. As
morning dawned, the sobbing girl had given her consent to marry
Don Francisco, and the ambassador of Louis Philippe, pale from
the excitement of his vigil, left the palace to send word of his
disgraceful victory to his master. The Duc de Montpensier, who was
in waiting on the frontier, soon arrived in Madrid, and Isabella
and Luisa were married on the same day; while M. Guizot, who was
head of the French Government, and Louis Philippe excused their
breach of faith to the queen of England by saying that Queen Isabella
_was_ married before her sister, though on the same morning.

Isabella at once banished her unwelcome husband to a country seat,
and flung herself headlong into disgraceful excesses.

Queen Victoria was greatly hurt by the treachery displayed by Louis
Philippe and his minister, and doubtless, as a woman she was deeply
sorry for the young queen. Louis Philippe not only lost credit,
popularity, and the support he derived from the personal friendship
of the Queen and the Prince Consort of England, but he obtained no
chance of the throne of Spain for his son by his wicked devices;
for Queen Isabella, far from being childless, had three daughters
and a son. The latter, subsequently Alfonso XII., married, in spite
of much opposition, his lovely cousin Mercedes, daughter of the
Duke and Duchess of Montpensier. She died a few months after her
marriage, so that no son or grandson of Louis Philippe will be
permitted by Providence to mount the Spanish throne.

The affair of the Spanish marriages, the quarrel it involved with
Queen Victoria, and the loss to Louis Philippe of personal honor,
had a great effect upon him; he became irritable and obstinate,
and at the same time weak of will.

Troubles multiplied around him. Things with which he had nothing
whatever to do increased his unpopularity, and the secret societies
kept discontents alive. Everything that went wrong in France was
charged upon the king and the royal family.

One of the great families in France was that of Choiseul-Praslin.
The head of it in Louis Philippe's time was a duke who had married
Fanny, daughter of Marshal Sébastiani, an old officer of Napoleon
and a great favorite with Louis Philippe. The Duc de Praslin had
given in his adhesion to the Orleans dynasty, while so many old
families stood aloof, and was in consequence made an officer in
the Duchess of Orleans' household. The Duc and Duchesse de Praslin
had ten children. The duchess was a stout, matronly little woman,
rather pretty, with strong affections and a good deal of sentiment.
Several times she had had cause to complain of her husband, and
_did_ complain somewhat vehemently to her own family; but their
matrimonial differences had always been made up by Marshal Sébastiani.
The world considered them a happy married pair.

After seventeen years of married life a governess was engaged for
the nine daughters, a Mademoiselle Henriette de Luzy. She was a
Parisian by birth, but had been educated in England, had English
connections, and spoke English fluently. She was one of those women
who make a favorable impression upon everyone brought into personal
contact with them. Soon the children adored her, and it was not
long before the duke had come under the same spell. The duchess
found herself completely isolated in her own household; husband
and children had alike gone over to this stranger. The duchess
wrote pathetic letters to her husband, pleading her own affection
for him, and her claims as a wife and a mother. These letters no
doubt exasperated the duke, but we read them with deep pity for
her whose heart they lay bare.

It is to be understood that there was apparently no scandal--that
is, scandal in the usual sense--in the relations between the duke
and Mademoiselle de Luzy. She had simply bewitched a weak man who
had grown tired of his wife, and had cast the same spell over his
children; and she had not the superiority of character which would
have led her to throw up a lucrative situation because she was
making a wife and mother (whom doubtless she considered very
unreasonable) extremely unhappy.

At last things came to such a pass that Madame de Praslin appealed
to her father, insisting on a legal separation from her husband.
The marshal intervened, and the affair was compromised. Mademoiselle
de Luzy was to be honorably discharged, and the duchess was to
renounce her project of separation. Mademoiselle de Luzy therefore
gave up her situation, and went to board in a _pension_ in Paris
with her old schoolmistress. Madame de Praslin went to her country
house, the magnificent Château de Vaux, where she herself undertook
the education of her children; but in their estimation she by no
means replaced Mademoiselle de Luzy, whom from time to time they
visited in company with their father.

In the middle of the summer of 1847 it was arranged that the whole
family should go to the seaside, and they came up to Paris to pass
one night in the Faubourg Saint-Honoré at the Hôtel Sébastiani.
Like most French establishments, the Hôtel Sébastiani was divided
between the marshal and his daughter, the old marshal occupying one
floor during the winter, the duke and duchess, with their family,
the one above it, while the servants of both establishments had
their sleeping-rooms under the roof. The house was of gray stone,
standing back in a yard; the French call such a situation _entre
cour et jardin_. The duke had been in Paris several times during the
previous week, and had occupied his own rooms, where the concierge
and his wife--the only servants left in the house--had remarked
that he seemed very busy.

It was afterwards reported in the neighborhood, but I do not think
the circumstance was ever officially brought out, that the police
found subsequently that all the screws but one that held up the
heavy tester over the bed of the duchess, had been removed, and the
holes filled with wax; it is certain that the duke partly unscrewed
the bolt that fastened the door of her dressing-room.

On the evening of the family's arrival in Paris, the father and
children went in a carriage to see Mademoiselle de Luzy. She told
the duke that she could get a good situation, provided the duchess
would give her a certificate of good conduct; and the duke at parting
promised to obtain it for her.

The whole family went to bed early, that they might be ready to
start for the seaside betimes upon the morrow. The children's rooms
were in a wing of the building, at some distance from the chambers
of their father and mother. The concierge and his wife slept in
their lodge. Towards one o'clock in the morning they were awakened
by screams; but they lay still, imagining that the noise came from
the Champs Elysées. Then they heard the loud ringing of a bell,
and starting from their bed, rushed into the main building. The
noise had proceeded from the duchess's chamber. They knocked at
the door, but there was no answer, only low moans. They consulted
together, and then roused the maid and valet, who were sleeping in
the attic chambers. Again they knocked, and there was no answer.
The valet then went to the duke's room, which looked upon the garden
and communicated with the dressing-room of the duchess by a balcony
and window as well as by the door. The duke opened the door of
his chamber. He was in his dressing-gown. When he heard what was
the matter, he went at once through the window into the duchess's
chamber. There a scene of carnage unparalleled, I think, in the
history of murder met their eyes. The duchess was lying across
her bed, not yet quite dead, but beyond the power of speech. There
were more than forty wounds on her body. She must have struggled
desperately. The walls were bloody, the bell-rope was bloody, and
the floor was bloody. The nightdress of the duchess was saturated
with blood. Her hands were cut almost to pieces, as if she had
grasped the blade of the knife that killed her. The furniture was
overturned in all parts of the room.[1]

[Footnote 1: We were then living near the Hotel Sébastini. The
excitement in the neighborhood the next morning is indescribable.]

At once the valet and the concierge ran for the police, for members
of the family, and for a doctor. The duke retired to his dressing-room.
One of the gentlemen who first arrived was so sickened by the sight
of the bloody room that he begged for a glass of water. The valet
ran for the nearest water at hand, and abruptly entered the duke's
dressing-room. He had a glass with him, and was going to fill it
from a pail standing near, when the duke cried out: "Don't touch it;
it is dirty;" and at once emptied the contents out of the window,
but not before the valet had seen that the water was red with blood.
This roused his suspicions, and when all the servants in the house
were put under arrest, he said quietly to the police: "You had
better search the duke's dressing-room."

When this was done there could be no more doubt. Three fancy daggers
were found, one of which had always hung in the chamber of the
duchess. All of them were stained with blood. The duke had changed
his clothes, and had tried to wash those he took off in the pail
whose bloody water he had thrown away. Subsequently it was conjectured
that his purpose had been to stab his wife in her sleep, and then
by a strong pull to bring down upon her the heavy canopy. The bolt
he had unscrewed permitted him at dead of night quietly to enter
her chamber.

The police were puzzled as to how they ought to treat the murderer.
As he was a peer of France, they could not legally arrest him without
authority from the Chamber of peers, or from the king. The royal
family was at Dreux. The king was appealed to at once, and immediately
gave orders to arrest the duke and to summon the peers for his
trial. But meantime the duke, who had been guarded by the police
in his own chamber, had contrived to take poison. He took such
a quantity of arsenic that his stomach rejected it. He did not
die at once, but lingered several days, and was carried to prison
at the Luxembourg, where the poison killed him by inches. He died
untried, having made no confession.

His son, who was very young at the time of his parents' death,
married an American lady when he grew to manhood. It was a long
courtship, for the young duke's income went largely to keep in
repair his famous Château de Vaux, where Fouquet had entertained
Louis XIV. with regal magnificence. Finally a purchaser was found
for the ancestral seat; and relieved of the obligations it involved,
the duke married, and retired to his estates in Corsica.

As to Mademoiselle de Luzy, she was tried for complicity in the
murder of the duchess, and acquitted. There was no evidence whatever
against her. But popular feeling concerning her as the inciting
cause of the poor duchess's death was so strong that by the advice
of her pastor--the Protestant M. Coquerel--she changed her name and
came to America. She brought letters of introduction to a family
in Boston, who procured her a situation as governess in Connecticut.
There she soon after married a Congregational minister.

It seems hard to imagine how such a tragedy could have borne its
part among the causes of Louis Philippe's downfall; but those who
look into Alison or Lamartine will see it set down as one of the
events which greatly assisted in bringing about the revolution of
February. Mobs, like women, are often swayed by persons rather
than by principles.

It was believed by the populace that court favor had prevented
the duke from going to prison like any common criminal, and that
the same influence had procured him the poison by which he escaped
a public execution.



As I said in the last chapter, everything in the year 1847 and during
the opening weeks of 1848 seemed unfavorable to Louis Philippe.
Besides the causes of dissatisfaction I have mentioned, there was
a scarcity of grain, there were drains on the finances, there was
disaffection among the National Guard, and hostility among the
peers to the measures of the Ministry. Then came the conviction
of M. Teste, a member of the Cabinet, for misappropriating public
funds. Even private affairs seemed turned against the royal family.
Madame Lafarge murdered her husband, and it was said that the court
had attempted to procure her acquittal because she was connected
with the house of Orleans by a bar-sinister. A quarrel about an
actress led to a duel. The man wounded was a journalist who was
actively opposed to the king's Government. It was hinted that the
duel was a device of the court to get him put out of the way. But
the greatest of the king's misfortunes was the death of his admirable
sister, Madame Adélaïde, in January, 1848. She had been all his life
his bosom friend and his chief counsellor. She died of a severe
attack of influenza.

In a letter from the Prince de Joinville to the Duc de Nemours,
found in the garden of the Tuileries in February, 1848, among many
valuable documents that had been flung from the windows of the
palace by the mob, the situation of things at the close of 1847
and the beginning of 1848 is thus summed up by one brother writing
in confidence to another:--

"The king will listen to no advice. His own will must be paramount
over everything. It seems to me impossible that in the Chamber of
Deputies at the next session the anomalous state of the government
should fail to attract attention. It has effaced all traces of
constitutional government, and has put forward the king as the
primary, and indeed sole, mover upon all occasions. There is no
longer any respect for ministers; their responsibility is null,
everything rests with the king. He has arrived at an age when he
declines to listen to suggestions. He is accustomed to govern,
and he loves to show that he does so. His immense experience, his
courage, and his great qualities lead him to face danger; but it
is not on that account the less real or imminent."

Then, after further summing up the state of France,--the finances
embarrassed, the _entente cordiale_ with England at an end, and the
provinces in confusion,--the prince adds: "Those unhappy Spanish
marriages!--we have not yet drained the cup of bitterness they
have mixed for us to drink."

In this state of things the opposition party was divided into liberals
who wished for reform, and liberals who aimed at revolution. For
a while the two parties worked together, and their war-cry was
Reform! There was little or no parliamentary opposition, for the
Chamber of Peers and the Chamber of Deputies were alike virtually
chosen by the Crown. The population of France in 1848 was thirty-five
millions; but those entitled to vote were only two hundred and
forty thousand, or one to every one hundred and forty-six of the
population, and of these a large part were in Government employ.
It was said that the number of places in the gift of the Ministry
was sixty-three thousand, every place, from that of a guard upon
a railroad to that of a judge upon the bench, being disposed of
by ministerial favor.

The plan adopted to give expression to the public discontent was
the inauguration of reform banquets. To these large crowds were
attracted, both from political motives and from a desire in the
rural districts to hear the great speakers, Lamartine and others,
who had a national renown. Many of the speeches were inflammatory.
The health of the king was never drunk on these occasions, but
the "Marseillaise" was invariably played.

Seventy-four of these banquets had been given in the provinces,
when it was decided to give one in Paris; and a large inclosed piece
of ground on the Rue Chaillot, not far from the Arch of Triumph,
was fixed upon for the purpose. This banquet was to take place on
Tuesday, Feb. 22, 1848. Until Monday afternoon opinions seemed
divided as to whether it would be suffered to go on. But meantime the
city had been crammed with troops, and the sleep of its inhabitants
had been broken night after night by the tramp of regiments and the
rumble of artillery. Monday, February 21, was a beautiful day,
the air was soft and genial, the streets and the Champs Elysées
were very gay. Scarcely any one was aware at that time that it
was the intention of the Government to forbid the banquet; but
that night the preparations made for it were carted away by order
of the liberal leaders, who had been warned of the decision of the
authorities, while at the same time every loose paving-stone that
might help to erect a barricade was, by orders from the police,
removed out of the way.

When morning dawned, a proclamation, forbidding the banquet, was
posted on every street-corner. The soldiers were everywhere confined
to their quarters, the windows of which were stuffed with mattresses;
but to residents in Paris the day seemed to pass quietly, though
about noon the Place de la Madeleine was full of men surrounding
the house of Odillon Barrot, the chief leader of the opposition,
demanding what, under the circumstances, they had better do. In the
Place de la Concorde, troops were endeavoring to prevent the crowd
from crossing the Seine and assembling in front of the Chamber of
Deputies. In order to break up the throng upon the bridge, a heavy
wagon was driven over it at a rapid pace, escorted by soldiers, who
slashed about them with their sheathed swords. At the residence
of M. Guizot, then both Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign
Affairs, a large crowd had assembled and had broken his windows;
but the rioters were dispersed the Municipal Guard and the Police.

In the afternoon, on the Place de la Concorde, a party of men and
boys, apparently without leaders, contrived to break through the
troops guarding the bridge, and began to ascend the steps of the
Chamber of Deputies. Being refused admission to the hall, they
proceeded to break windows and do other damage. Then a party of
dragoons began to clear the bridge, but good-humoredly, and the
people were retiring as fast as they might, when a detachment of the
Municipal Guard arrived. The Municipal Guard was a handsome corps
of mounted police, the men being all stalwart and fine-looking. They
wore brazen helmets and horse-tails and glittering breastplates,
but they were very unpopular, while the National Guards were looked
on by the rioters as their supporters. The Municipal Guards, when
they came upon the bridge, began treating the crowd roughly, a
good many persons were hurt, and an old woman was trodden down. At
this the crowd grew furious, stones were thrown, and the soldiers
drew their swords. Before nightfall there was riot and disorder all
over Paris. Towards dusk the _rappel_--the signal for the National
Guard to muster--had been beaten in the streets, and soon many
soldiers of that body might be seen, escorted by men in blouses
carrying their guns, while the National Guards, unarmed, were shouting
and singing.

All Tuesday, February 22, the affair was a mere riot. But during
the night the secret societies met, and decided on more formidable

The next morning was chilly and rainy, very dispiriting to the
troops, who had bivouacked all night in the public squares, where
they had been ill-provided with food and forage. The coats and
swords of the students at the Polytechnic had been removed during
the night, to prevent their joining the bands who were singing the
"Marseillaise" and the "Dernier Chant des Girondins" under their

Meantime barricades had been raised in the thickly populated parts of
Paris, and successful efforts had been made to enlist the sympathies
of the soldiers and the National Guard.

During the early hours of Wednesday, the 23d, reports of these
disaffections succeeded each other rapidly at the Tuileries, and
a council was held in the king's cabinet, to which the queen and
the princes were invited. The king spoke of resigning his crown,
adding that he was "fortunate in being able to resign it." "But
you cannot abdicate, _mon ami_," said the queen. "You owe yourself
to France. The demand made is for the resignation of the Ministry.
M. Guizot should resign, and I feel sure that being the man of
honor that he is, he will do so in this emergency."

M. Guizot and his colleagues at once gave in their resignations.
The king wept as he embraced them, bidding them farewell. Count
Molé was then called in and requested to form a ministry. Before
he could do so, however, things had grown worse, and M. Thiers,
instead of Count Molé, was made head of the Cabinet. He insisted
that Odillon Barrot, the day before very popular with the insurgents,
must be his colleague. The king declined to assent to this. To put
Odillon Barrot into power, he said, was virtually to abandon the
policy of his reign.

But before this matter was decided, there had occurred a lamentable
massacre at the gates of the residence of M. Guizot, the Minister for
Foreign Affairs. The building had been surrounded by a fierce crowd,
composed mainly of working-men from the Faubourg Saint-Antoine. Some
confusion was occasioned by the restlessness of a horse belonging
to an officer in command of a squad of cavalry detailed to defend
the building. The leader of the mob fired a pistol. The soldiers
responded with a volley from their carbines. Fifty of the crowd were
killed. The bodies were piled by the mob upon a cart and paraded
through Paris, the corpse of a half-naked woman lying conspicuously
among them. The sight everywhere woke threats of vengeance.

The king, when he heard of this, yielded. Odillon Barrot was associated
with M. Thiers, and Marshal Bugeaud was placed in command of the

M. Thiers' foible was omniscience; and to Bugeaud's amazement,
amusement, and indignation he insisted on inspecting his military
plans and giving his advice concerning them. Happily the marshal's
plans met with the approval of the minister, and the commander-in-chief
went to his post; while Odillon Barrot, accompanied by Horace Vernet,
the painter, went forth into the streets to inform the insurgents
that their demand for reform had been granted, that the obnoxious
ministers had been dismissed, and that all power was made over
to himself and to his colleagues.

Marshal Bugeaud found everything in wild confusion at the War Office;
but was restoring order, and had marched four columns of troops
through Paris without serious opposition, when he received orders
from M. Thiers that not another shot was to be fired by the soldiers.
The marshal replied that he would not obey such orders unless he
received them from the king. The Duc de Nemours therefore signed
the paper in the name of his father, and soon afterwards a new
proclamation was posted on the walls:--

Citizens! An order has been given to suspend all firing. We are
charged by the king to form a ministry. The Chamber is about to be
dissolved. General Lamoricière has been appointed Commander-in-Chief
of the National Guard. Messieurs Odillon Barrot, Thiers, Lamoricière,
and Duvergier de Haurannes are ministers. Our watchwords are,--Order,
Union, Reform!


This proclamation may be said to have been the beginning of the
end. The soldiers were disgusted; supporters of the monarchy lost
heart; the secret societies now felt that the game was in their
hands. By that time barricades without number, it was said, had
been thrown up in the streets. The suburbs of Paris were cut off
from the capital. During the previous night, arms had been everywhere
demanded from private houses; but in obtaining them the insurgents
endeavored to inspire no unnecessary terror. One lady in the English
quarter was found kneeling by the bedside of her dying child. When
a party of armed men entered the chamber they knelt down, joined
their prayers to hers for the soul that was departing, and then
quitted the room in silence, placing a guard and writing over the
door in chalk: "Respect this house, for death is here."

By nine o'clock on Wednesday morning the troops, disgusted by the
order which forbade them to defend themselves, reversed their arms
and fraternized with the people, the officers sheathing their swords.

A little later, Odillon Barrot, who supposed himself to be the
people's favorite, rode along the Boulevard to proclaim to the
rioters that he was now their minister, and that the cause of reform
was assured. He was met with cries of "Never mind him! We have no
time to hear him! Too late, too late! We know all he has to say!"
About the same time the École Militaire was taken; but a guard
_en blouse_ was posted to protect the apartments of the ladies
of the governor. The fight before the Palais Royal occurred about
noon. The palace, which was the private property of Louis Philippe,
was sacked, and many valuable works of art were destroyed.

The royal family were sitting down to breakfast about midday when
a party of gentlemen, among them M. Émile de Girardin, made their
way into the Tuileries, imploring the king to abdicate at once
and spare further bloodshed. Without a word, Louis Philippe drew
pen and paper towards him and wrote his abdication. Embracing his
grandson, the little Comte de Paris, he went out, saying to the
gentlemen about him: "This child is your king."

Through the Pavillon de l'Horloge, the main entrance to the Tuileries,
came a party of dragoons, leading their horses down the marble
steps into the gardens. The victorious blouses already filled the
inner court, the Place du Carrousel. The royal family, slenderly
attended, followed the king. The crowd poured into the Tuileries
on the side of the Carrousel as the royal family quitted it through
the gardens.

In the Place de la Concorde, beneath the old Egyptian obelisk which
had witnessed so many changes in this troubled world, they found
two cabs in waiting. The king and queen entered one, with several
of the children. Into the second stepped the Duchesse de Nemours,
the Princess Clémentine, and an attendant. Some persons in the
crowd who recognized them, cried out: "Respect old age! Respect
misfortune!" And when an officer in attendance called out to the
crowd not to hurt the king, he was answered: "Do you take us for
assassins? Let him get away!"

This, indeed, was the general feeling. Only a few persons ventured
to insult the royal family. The coachmen, however, drove off in such
haste that the Spanish princess, Luisa, Duchesse de Montpensier,
was left alone upon the sidewalk, weeping bitterly. A Portuguese
gentleman gave her his arm, and took her in search of her husband's
aide-de-camp, General Thierry. With several other gentlemen, who
formed a guard about her, they passed back into the garden of the
Tuileries, where M. Jules de Lasteyrie, the grandson of Lafayette,
took possession of the duchess and escorted her to his own house.
From thence, a few days later, he forwarded her to the coast, where
she rejoined her husband.

When the king quitted the Tuileries he was urged to leave behind
him a paper conferring the regency on the Duchess of Orleans. He
refused positively. "It would be contrary to law," he said; "and I
have never yet done anything, thank God! contrary to law." "But what
must I do," asked the duchess, "without friends, without relations,
without counsel?" "_Ma chère Hélène_," the king replied, "the dynasty
and the crown of your son are intrusted to you. Remain here and
protect them."

As the mob began to pour into the palace after the king's departure,
the duchess, by the advice of M. Dupin, the President (or Speaker)
of the Chamber, set out on foot to cross the bridge nearest to
the palace, and to reach the Palais Bourbon. She held her eldest
son, the Comte de Paris, by the hand; her youngest, who was too
small to walk, was carried by an aide-de-camp. Beside them walked
M. Dupin, the Duc de Nemours, and a faithful servant. They left
the Tuileries in such haste that they failed to give orders to
the faithful Garde Municipale, who would have suffered the fate
of the Swiss Guard in 1792, had not National Guards in the crowd
assisted them to change their conspicuous uniforms and to escape
out of the windows.

During the first half hour after the invasion of the palace a great
deal of money and many other valuables disappeared; but after that
time it was death to appropriate anything, even if it were of little

Soon the gardens of the Tuileries were white with papers flung
from the windows of the palace, many of them of great historical
value. A piece of pink gauze, the property, probably, of some
maid-of-honor, streamed from one of the windows in the roof and
fluttered across the whole building. The crowd, in high good humor,
tossed forth livery coats, fragments of state furniture, and papers.
The beds still stood unmade, and all the apparatus of the ladies'
toilet-tables remained in disorder. In one royal bed-chamber a
man was rubbing pomade with both hands into his hair, another was
drenching himself with perfume, a third was scrubbing his teeth
furiously with a brush that had that morning parted the lips of
royalty. In another room a man _en blouse_ was seated at a piano
playing the "Marseillaise" to an admiring audience (the "Marseillaise"
had been forbidden in Paris for many years). Elsewhere a party of
_gamins_ were turning over a magnificent scrapbook. In the next
room was a grand piano, on which four men were thumping at once.
In another, a party of working-men were dancing a quadrille, while
a gentleman played for them upon a piano. At every chimney-piece
and before every work of art stood a guard, generally ragged and
powder-stained, bearing a placard, "Death to Robbers!" while at the
head of the Grand Staircase others stood, crying, "Enter, messieurs!
Enter! We don't have cards of admission to this house every day!"
While the cry that passed through the crowd was: "Look as much as
you like, but take nothing!" "Are not we magnificent in our own
house, Monsieur?" said a _gamin_ to an Englishman; while another
was to be seen walking about in one of poor Queen Amélie's state
head-dresses, surmounted by a bird-of-paradise with a long tail.

At first the crowd injured nothing, even the king's portraits being
respected; but after a while the destruction of state furniture
began. Three men were seen smoking in the state bed; some ate up
the royal breakfast; and the cigars of the princes were freely
handed to rough men in the crowd.

Meantime in the Chamber of Deputies the scene was terrible. M.
Dupin, its president, lost his head. Had he, when he knew of the
king's abdication, declared the sitting closed, and directed the
Deputies to disperse, he might possibly have saved the monarchy.
But the mob got possession of the _tribune_ (the pulpit from which
alone speeches can be made in the Chamber); they pointed their guns
at the Deputies, who cowered under their benches, and the last
chance for Louis Philippe's dynasty was over. Odillon Barrot, who
had come down to the house full of self-importance, notwithstanding
his reception on the Boulevards, found that his hour was over and
his power gone.

M. de Lamartine was the idol of the mob, though he was very nearly
shot in the confusion. Armed insurgents crowded round him, clinging
to his skirts, his hands, his knees. Throughout the tumult the
reporters for the "Moniteur" kept their seats, taking notes of what
was passing.

The Duchess of Orleans found the Chamber occupied by armed men. She
was jostled and pressed upon. A feeble effort was made to proclaim
her son king, and to appoint her regent during his minority. She
endeavored several times to speak, and behaved with an intrepidity
which did her honor. But when Lamartine, mounting the tribune,
cast aside her claims, and announced that the moment had arrived
for proclaiming a provisional government and a republic, she was
hustled and pushed aside by the crowd.

She was dressed in deep mourning. Her long black veil, partly raised,
showed her fair face marred with sorrow and anxiety. Her children
were dressed in little black velvet skirts and jackets, with large
white turned-down collars. Soon the crowd around the tribune, beneath
which the duchess had her seat, grew so furious that her attendants,
fearing for her life, hurried her away.

In the press and the confusion the Duc de Nemours and her two children
were parted from her. The Comte de Paris was seized by a gigantic
man _en blouse_, who said afterwards that he had been only anxious
to protect the child; but a National Guard forced the boy from his
grasp, and restored him to his mother. The Duc de Chartres was
for some time lost, and was in great danger, having been knocked
down on the staircase by an ascending crowd.

At last, however, the little party, under the escort of the Duc
de Nemours, who had disguised himself, escaped on foot into the
streets, then growing dark; and finding a hackney-coach, persuaded
the coachman to drive them to a place of safety. The Duc de Chartres
was not to be found, and his mother passed many hours of terrible
anxiety before he was restored to her arms.

Very strange that night was the scene in the Champs Elysées. They
were filled with a joyous and triumphant crowd in every variety of
military costume, and armed with every sort of weapon. Soldiers alone
were unarmed. They marched arm-in-arm with their new friends, singing,
like them, the "Marseillaise" and "Mourir pour la Patrie." In the
quarter of the Champs Elysées, where well-to-do foreigners formed a
considerable part of the population, there was no ferocity exhibited
by the mob. The insurgents were like children at play,--children on
their good behavior. They had achieved a wonderful and unexpected
victory. The throne had fallen, as if built on sand. Those who
had overturned it were in high good-humor.

A French mob at the present day is very different. It has the modern
grudge of laborer against employer, it has memories of the license
of the Commune, and above all it has learned the use of _absinthe_.
There is a hatred and a contempt for all things that should command
men's reverence, which did not display itself in 1848.

May I here be permitted to relate a little story connected with
this day's events? I was with my family in Paris during those days
of revolution. Our nurse,--an Englishwoman who had then been with us
twenty-five years, and who died recently, at the age of ninety-eight,
still a member of our family,--when we returned home from viewing
the devastation at the Tuileries, expressed strongly her regret
at not having accompanied us. She was consoled, however, by an
offer from our man-servant to escort her down the Champs Elysées.
They made their way to the Place du Carrousel, at the back of the
palace, where a dense crowd was assembled, and the good lady became
separated from her protector. The National Guard and the servants
in the palace had just succeeded in getting the crowd out of the
rooms and in closing the doors. This greatly disappointed our good
nurse. She had counted on seeing the interior of the king's abode,
and above all, the king's throne. She could speak very little French,
but she must in some way have communicated her regrets to the crowd
around her. "Does Madame desire so much to pass in?" said a big
man in a blouse, girt with a red sash, and carrying a naked sword;
"then Madame _shall_ pass in!" Thereupon he and his followers in
the front rank of the crowd so bepummelled the door with the hilts
of their swords and the stocks of their muskets that those within
were forced to throw it open. In marched our dear nurse beside her
protector. They passed through room after room until they reached
the throne-room; there she indicated her wish to obtain a relic of
departed royalty. Instantly her friend with the bare sword sliced
off from the throne a piece of red velvet with gold embroidery.
She kept it ever after, together with a delicate china cup marked
L. P.; but the cup was much broken. "You see, dears," she would
say to us, "there was lots of things like these lying about, but
there were men standing round with naked swords ready to cut your
head off if you stole anything. So I took this cup and broke it.
It was not stealing to carry off a broken cup, you know." And she
would add, when winding up her narrative: "Those Frenchmen was
so polite to me that they did n't even tread on my corns."

That night there was a brilliant conflagration in the Carrousel. It
was a bonfire of those very carriages which eighteen years before
the mob had brought in triumph to Louis Philippe from the stables
of Charles X. at Rambouillet.

All the next day not a newspaper was to be had. The "Presse," indeed,
brought out a half sheet, mainly taken up in returning thanks to two
compositors "who, between two fires," had been "so considerate" as
to set up the type. But their consideration could not have lasted
long, for the news broke off abruptly in the middle of a sentence
on the first page. Events worked faster than compositors.

By noon on Friday, February 25, the entire population of Paris
was in the streets. From the flags on public offices, the blue
and white strips had been tom away. On that day--but on that day
only--every man wore a red ribbon in his button-hole. Many did so
very unwillingly, for red was understood to be the badge of Red

On the Boulevards the iron railings had been tom up, and most of
the trees had been cut down. They were replanted, however, not
long after, to the singing of the "Marseillaise" and the firing of
cannon. For more than a week there was a strange quiet in Paris:
no vehicles were in the streets, for the paving-stones had been
torn up for barricades; no shops were open; on the closed shutters
of most of them appeared the words "Armes données," Everywhere a
paintbrush had been passed over the royal arms. Even the words
"roi," "reine," "royal," were effaced. The patriots were very zealous
in exacting these removals. Two _gamins_ with swords hacked patiently
for two hours at a cast-iron double-headed Austrian eagle.

Change (small money, I mean) was hardly to be had in Paris. For
a month it was necessary, in order to obtain it, to apply at the
Mairie of the Arrondissement, and to stand for hours in a _queue_.
Other money could be had only from the bankers in thousand-franc
notes. Shopping was of course at an end, and half Paris was thrown
out of employment. Gold and silver were hidden away.

Louis Philippe and his family drove in their two cabriolets to
Versailles. There they found great difficulty in getting post-horses.
Indeed, they would have procured none, had there not been some
cavalry horses in the place, which were harnessed to one of the
royal carriages. About midnight of their second day's journey they
reached Dreux. There Louis Philippe found himself without money,
and had to borrow from one of his tenants. He had left behind him
in his haste three hundred and fifty thousand francs on a table
in the Tuileries.

The Provisional Government, which was kept well informed as to
his movements, forwarded to him a supply of money. At Dreux the
king's party was joined by the Duke of Montpensier with news that
the king's attempt to save the monarchy by abdication had failed.

The old man seemed stupefied by his sudden fall. Over and over
again he was heard to repeat: "Comme Charles X.! Comme Charles X.!"
The next day, travelling under feigned names, the royal party pushed
on to Evreux, where they were hospitably received by a farmer in
the forest, who harnessed his work-horses to their carriage. Thence
they went on to their own Château d'Eu. The danger to which during
this journey they were exposed arose, not from the new Government
at Paris, but from the excited state of the peasantry.

After many perils and adventures, sometimes indeed travelling on
foot to avoid dangerous places, they reached Harfleur on March
3. An English steamer, the "Express," lay at the wharf, on which
the king and queen embarked as Mr. and Mrs. William Smith. The
following morning they were off the English coast, at Newbern.
They landed, and proceeded at once to Claremont, the palace given
to their son-in-law, Leopold of Belgium, for his lifetime by the
English Parliament.

The government set up in Paris was a provisional one. The members
of the Provisional Government were many of them well known to the
public, and of approved character. No men ever had a more difficult
task before them, and none ever tried with more self-sacrifice to
do their duty.

The measures they proposed were eighteen in number:

  1. The retention of the tricolor.
  2. The retention of the Gallic cock.
  3. The sovereignty of the people.
  4. The dissolution of the Chamber of Deputies.
  5. The suppression of the Chamber of Peers.
  6. The convocation of a National Assembly.
  7. Work to be guaranteed to all working-men.
  8. The unity of the army and the populace.
  9. The formation of a Garde Mobile.
 10. The arrest and punishment of all deserters.
 11. The release of all political prisoners.
 12. The trial of M. Guizot and his colleagues.
 13. The reduction of Vincennes and Fort Valérien, still held by the
     troops for the king.
 14. All officials under Louis Philippe to be released from their oaths.
 15. All objects at the Mont de Piété (the Government pawn-broking
     establishment) valued under ten francs, to be restored.
 16. All National Guards dismissed under preceding Governments to be
 17. The million of francs expended on the court to be given to disabled
 18. A paternal commission to be nominated, to look after the interests
     of the working-classes.

The institution of the Garde Mobile was a device for finding employment
for those boys and young men who formed one of the most dangerous
of the dangerous classes.

It is easy to see how tempting these promises were to working-men;
and yet the better class among them mourned their loss of steady
employment. The Revolution of 1848, though it was not originated
by the working-classes, was made to appear as if it were intended
for their profit; and that indeed was its ruin, for it was found
impossible to keep the promises of work, support, parental protection,
etc., made to the Parisian masses. The _bourgeoisie_, when they
recovered from their astonishment and found that the stone they
had set rolling under the name of reform had dislodged their own
Revolution of 1830, and the peasants of the provinces, when they
found that all the praise and all the profits were solely for the
working-men of the capital, were very far from satisfied.

As to the upper classes, their terror and dismay were overwhelming.
Everything seemed sliding away under their feet. Many women of rank
and fashion, distrusting the stability of the king's government, had
for some time past been yearly adding diamonds to their necklaces,
because, as one of them exclaimed to us during this month of February:
"We knew not what might happen to stocks or to securities, but
diamonds we can put into our pockets. No other property in France
can be called secure!"

And yet Paris soon resumed its wonted appearance. Commerce and
shopping might be impossible in a city where nobody could make
change for two hundred dollars, yet the Champs Elysées were again
gay with pedestrians and carriages. All favorite amusements were
resumed, but almost all men being idle, their great resource was
to assemble round the Hôtel-de-Ville and force Lamartine to make
a speech to them.

On Saturday, March 4, all Paris crowded to the Boulevards to witness
the funeral _cortège_ of the victims. There were neither military
nor police to keep order; yet the crowd was on its good behavior,
and strict decorum was maintained. There were about three hundred
thousand persons in the procession, and as many more on the sidewalks.
As they marched, mourners and spectators all sang the Chant of the
Girondins ("Mourir pour la Patrie") and the "Marseillaise."

Two things distinguished this revolution of February from all other
French revolutions before or after it,--the high character and
self-devotion of the men placed at the head of affairs, and the
absence of prejudice against religion. The revolution, so far from
putting itself in antagonism with religious feeling, everywhere
appealed to it. The men who invaded the Tuileries bowed before
the crucifix in the queen's chamber. Priests who were known to be
zealous workers among the poor were treated as fathers. _Curés_
blessed the trees of liberty planted in their parishes. Prayers for
the Republic were offered at the altars, and in country villages
priests headed the men of their congregations who marched up to
the polls.

[Illustration: _ALPHONSE DE LAMARTINE._]



[Footnote 1: For the subject-matter of this chapter I am largely
indebted to Mrs. Oliphant's article on Lamartine in "Blackwood's

The Provisional Government hastily set up in France on Feb. 24, 1848,
consisted at first of five members; but that number was afterwards
enlarged. M. Dupin, who had been President of the Chamber of Deputies,
was made President of the Council (or prime minister); but the real
head of the Government and Minister for Foreign Affairs was Alphonse
de Lamartine. He was a Christian believer, a high-minded man, by
birth an aristocrat, yet by sympathy a man of the masses. "He was
full of sentimentalities of vainglory and of personal vanity; but
no pilot ever guided a ship of state so skilfully and with such
absolute self-devotion through an angry sea. For a brief while,
just long enough to effect this purpose, he was the idol of the
populace." With him were associated Crémieux, a Jew; Ledru-Rollin,
the historian, a Red Republican; Arago, the astronomer; Hypolite
Carnot, son of Lazare Carnot, Member of the Directory, father of
the future president; General Casaignac, who was made governor of
Algeria; Garnier-Pagès, who a second time became, in 1870, member
of a Provisional Government for the defence of Paris; and several

The downfall of Louis Philippe startled and astonished even those
who had brought it about. They had intended reform, and they drew
down revolution. They hoped to effect a change of ministry: they
were disconcerted when they had dethroned a king. There were about
thirty thousand regular troops in Paris, besides the National Guard
and the mounted police, or Garde Municipale. No one had imagined
that the Throne of the Barricades would fall at the first assault.
There were no leaders anywhere in this revolution. The king's party
had no leaders; the young princes seemed paralyzed. The army had
no leader; the commander-in-chief had been changed three times
in twenty-four hours. The insurgents had no leaders. On February
22 Odillon Barrot was their hero, and on February 23 they hooted

The republicans, to their own amazement, were left masters of the
field of battle, and Lamartine was pushed to the front as their
chief man.

I may here pause in the historical narrative to say a few words
about the personal history of Lamartine, which, indeed, will include
all that history has to say concerning the Second Republic.

The love stories of the uncle and father of Alphonse de Lamartine
are so pathetic, and give us so vivid a picture of family life
before the First Revolution, that I will go back a generation, and
tell them as much as possible in Lamartine's own words.

His grandfather had had six children,--three daughters and three
sons. According to French custom, under the old régime, the eldest
son only was to marry, and the other members of the Lamartine family
proceeded as they grew up to fulfil their appointed destinies.
The second son went into the Church, and rose to be a bishop. The
third son, M. le Chevalier, went into the army. The sisters adopted
the religious life, and thus all were provided for. But strange to
say, the eldest son, to whose happiness and prosperity the rest
were to be sacrificed, was the first rebel in the family. He fell
in love with a Mademoiselle de Saint-Huruge; but her _dot_ was
not considered by the elder members of the family sufficient to
justify the alliance. The young man gave up his bride, and to the
consternation of his relatives announced that he would marry no
other woman. M. le Chevalier must marry and perpetuate the ancestral

Lamartine says,--

"M. le Chevalier was the youngest in that generation of our family.
At sixteen he had entered the regiment in which his father had
served before him. His career was to grow old in the modest position
of a captain in the army (which position he attained at an early
age), to pass his few months of leave, from time to time, in his
father's house, to gain the Cross of St. Louis (which was the end
of all ambitions to provincial gentlemen), and then, when he grew
old, being endowed with a small provision from the State, or a
still smaller revenue of his own, he expected to vegetate in one
of his brothers' old châteaux, having his rooms in the upper story,
to superintend the garden, to shoot with the _curé_, to look after
the horses, to play with the children, to make up a game of whist
or tric-trac,--the born servant of everyone, a domestic slave,
happy in his lot, beloved, and yet neglected by all. But in the
end his fate was very different. His elder brother, having refused
to marry, said to his father: 'You must marry the Chevalier.' All
the feelings of the family and the prejudices of habit rose up in
the heart of the old nobleman against this suggestion. Chevaliers,
according to his notions, were not intended to marry. My father
was sent back to his regiment, and his marrying was put off from
year to year."

Meantime, the idea of marriage having been put into the Chevalier's
head, he chose for himself, and happily his choice fell on a lady
acceptable to his family. His sister was canoness in an aristocratic
order, whose members were permitted to receive visits from their
brothers. It was there that he wooed and won the lovely, saint-like
mother of Alphonse de Lamartine.

The elder brother, as he advanced in life, kept up a truly affecting
intercourse with Mademoiselle de Saint-Huruge. She was beautiful
even in old age, though her beauty was dimmed by an expression
of sadness. They met every evening in Mâcon, at the house of a
member of the family, and each entertained till death a pure and
constant friendship for the other.

No wonder that when the Revolution decreed the abolition of all
rights of primogeniture, and ordered each father's fortune to be
equally divided among his children, that M. le Chevalier refused
to take advantage of this new arrangement, and left his share to
the elder brother, to whom he owed his domestic happiness. In the
end, all the property of the family came to the poet; the aunts and
uncles--the former of whom had been driven from their convents--having
made him their heir.

Madame de Lamartine had received part of her education from Madame
de Genlis, and had associated in her childhood with Louis Philippe
and Madame Adélaïde. But though the influence of Madame de Genlis
was probably not in favor of piety, Madame de Lamartine was sincerely
pious. In her son's early education she seems to have been influenced
by Madame de Genlis' admiration of Rousseau. Alphonse ran barefoot
on the hills, with the little peasant boys for company; but at
home he was swayed by the discipline of love. He published nothing
till he was thirty years of age, though he wrote poetry from early
youth. His study was in the open air, under some grand old oaks on
the edge of a deep ravine. In his hands French poetry became for
the first time musical and descriptive of nature. There was deep
religious feeling, too, in Lamartine's verse, rather vague as to
doctrine, but full of genuine religious sentiment. As a Christian
poet he struck a chord which vibrated in many hearts, for the early
part of our century was characterized by faith and by enthusiasm.
Scepticism was latent, but was soon to assert itself in weary
indifference. "As yet, doubt sorrowed that it doubted, and could
feel the beauty of faith, even when it disbelieved."

From 1820 to 1824 Lamartine was a good deal in Italy; after the
death of an innocent Italian girl, which he has celebrated in touching
verse, he married an English lady, and had one child, his beloved
Julia. He was made a member of the French Academy, and Charles X.
had appointed him ambassador to Greece, when the Revolution of 1830
occurred, and he refused to serve under King Charles's successor.

In 1832, partly for Julia's health, he visited the Holy Land and
Eastern Europe. Poor little Julia died at Beyrout. On the father's
return he published his "Souvenirs of his Journey." Books descriptive
of Eastern countries were then rare, and Lamartine's was received
with enthusiasm.

In 1833 Lamartine began his political career by entering the Chamber
of Deputies. Some one said of him that he formed a party by himself,--a
party of one. He pleaded for the abolition of capital punishment,
for the amelioration of the poorer classes, for the emancipation
of slaves in the colonies, and for various other social reforms;
but he was never known as a republican.

In 1847 he published his "Histoire des Girondins," which was received
by the public with deep interest and applause. It is not always
accurate in small particulars, but it is one of the most fascinating
books of history ever written, and has had the good fortune to be
singularly well translated. Alexandre Dumas is said to have told
its author: "You have elevated romance to the dignity of history."

When the revolution of February, 1848, broke out, Lamartine, being
unwell, did not make his way on the first day through the crowds
to the Chamber of Deputies, nor did he go thither on the second,
looking on the affair as an _émeute_ likely to be followed only
by a change of ministry. But when news was brought to him which
made him feel it was a very serious affair, he went at once to the
Chamber. On entering, he was seized upon by men of all parties,
but especially by republicans, who drew him into a side-room and
told him that the king had abdicated. He had always advocated the
regency of the Duchess of Orleans in the event of Louis Philippe's
death, in place of that of the Duc de Nemours. The men who addressed
him implored him, as the most popular man in France, to put himself
at the head of a movement to make the Duchess of Orleans regent
during her son's minority, adding that France under a woman and
a child would soon drift into a republic. Lamartine sat for some
minutes at a table with his face bowed on his hands. He was praying,
he says, for light. Then he arose, and after saying that he had
never been a republican, added that _now_ he was for a republic,
without any intermediate regency, either of the duchess or of Nemours.
With acclamations, the party went back into the Chamber to await

We know already how the duchess was received, and how a mob broke
into the Chamber. A provisional government was demanded, in the
midst of indescribable tumult; and by the suffrages of a crowd of
roughs quite as much as by the action of the deputies, a provisional
government of five members (afterwards increased to seven) was
voted in, the names being written down with a pencil by Lamartine
on the spur of the moment. The five men thus nominated and chosen
to be rulers of France were Lamartine, Crémieux, Ledru-Rollin,
Garnier-Pagès, and Arago.

Meantime in the Hôtel-de-Ville the mob had set up another provisional
government under Socialistic leaders, and the first thing the more
genuine provisional government had to do was to get rid of the

Lamartine says of himself that he felt his mission was to preserve
society, and very nobly he set himself to his task. When he and his
colleagues reached the Hôtel-de-Ville, where the mob was clamoring
for Socialism and a republic, a compromise had to be effected;
and thus Louis Blanc, the Socialistic reformer, came into the
Provisional Government. It was growing night, and the announcement
of this new arrangement somewhat calmed the crowd; but at midnight
an attack was made on the Hôtel-de-Ville, and the new rulers had to
defend themselves by personal strength, setting their backs against
the doors of the Council Chamber, and repelling their assailants
with their own hands. But the Press and the telegraph were at their
command, and by morning the news of the Provisional Government was
spread all over the provinces. "The mob," says Lamartine, "was
in part composed of galley slaves who had no political ideas in
their heads, nor social principles in their hearts, and partly
of that scum which rises to the surface in popular commotions,
and floats between the fumes of intoxication and the thirst for

Lamartine was not a great man, but it was lucky for France, and
for all Europe, that at this crisis he succeeded in establishing
a provisional government, and that he was placed at its head. But
for him, Paris might have had the Commune in 1848, as she had it
in 1871, but with no great army collected at Versailles to bring
it to subjection.

From such a fate France was saved by the energy and enthusiastic
patriotism of one man, to whom, it seems to me, justice in history
has hardly yet been done. "Lamartine was not republican enough
for republicans; he lost at last his prestige among the people,
and from personal causes the full sympathy of his friends; and his
star sank before the rising sun of Louis Napoleon." Mrs. Oliphant
also says of him,--

"In the midst of his manifold literary labors there happened to
Lamartine such a chance as befalls few poets. He had it in his
power, once in his life, to do something greater than the greatest
lyric, more noble than any verse. At the crisis of the Revolution
of 1848, chance (to use the word without irreverence) thrust him,
and no other, into the place of master, and held him for one supreme
moment alone between France and anarchy,--between, we might almost
say, the world and another terrible revolution. And then the
sentimentalist proved himself a man. He confronted raving Paris,
and subdued it. The old noble French blood in his veins rose to
the greatness of the crisis. With a pardonable thrill of pride
in a position so strange to a writer and a man of thought, into
which, without any action of his own, he found himself forced,
he describes how he faced the tumultuous mob of Paris for seventy
hours almost without repose, without sleep, without food, when
there was no other man in France bold enough or wise enough to
take that supreme part, and guide that most aimless of revolutions
to a peaceful conclusion,--for the moment, at least. It was not
Lamartine's fault that the Empire came after him. Long before the
Empire came, he had fallen from his momentary elevation, and lost
all influence with his country. But his downfall cannot efface the
fact that he did actually reign, and reign beneficently, subduing
and controlling the excited nation, saving men's lives and the
balance of society."

The seventy hours at the Hôtel-de-Ville to which Mrs. Oliphant
alludes were passed by Lamartine in making orations, in sending
off proclamations to the departments, in endeavoring to calm the
excited multitude and to secure the triumph of the Republic without
the effusion of blood. The revolution _he_ conducted was, if I may
say so, the only _respectable_ revolution France has ever known.
Nobody expected it, nobody was prepared for it, nobody worked for
it; but the whole country acquiesced in it, and men of all parties,
seeing that it was an accomplished fact, gave in their adhesion
to the Second Republic.

There were five great questions that came up before the Provisional
Government for immediate solution,--

The relation of France to foreign powers.

The enlargement of the army.

The subsistence of working-men out of employment.

The property and safety of the exiled royal family.

And, above all, how to meet these expenses and the payment of interest
on national bonds, due the middle of March, with assets in the
treasury of about twenty-five cents in the dollar.

These questions were all met by the wonderful energy of Lamartine
and his colleagues, seconded by genuine patriotic efforts throughout

Lamartine had taken the foreign relations of the new Republic into
his own hands; and so well did he manage them that not one potentate
of Europe attempted to interfere with the internal affairs of France,
or to dispute the right of the French to establish a republic if
they thought proper. But although Lamartine's policy was peace,
he thought France needed a large army both to keep down communism
and anarchy at home, and to show itself strong in the face of all
foreign powers. The army of France in January, 1848, had been about
three hundred thousand men, of whom one hundred thousand were in
Algeria; by May it was five hundred thousand, not including the
Garde Mobile, which was of Lamartine's raising. It is well known
how fiercely boys and very young men fought when any occasion for
fighting was presented in the streets and at the barricades; all
business being stopped in Paris, thousands of these were out of
employment. Lamartine had them enrolled into his new corps, the
Garde Mobile. Their uniform at first was a red sash and a workman's
blouse. They were proud of themselves and of their new position,
and in May, by dint of discipline, they were transformed into a
fine soldierly body of very young men, who several times rendered
important help to the Government in maintaining the cause of order.
The National Guard was broken up until it could be reorganized,
and so was the Garde Municipale.

But how to feed the multitude? Two hundred thousand mechanics alone
were out of employment in Paris, besides laborers, servants, clerks,
etc. It was proposed to establish national workshops in Louis Philippe's
pretty private pleasure-grounds, the Parc des Monceaux. The men applying
for work were enrolled in squads; each squad had its banner and its
officers, and each man was paid on Saturday night his week's wages,
at the rate of two francs a day,--the highest wages in Paris at that
time for an artisan. There was no particular work for them to do,
but the arrangement kept them disciplined and out of mischief, though
at an enormous cost to the country. At the Palace of the Luxembourg
Louis Blanc was permitted to hold a series of great labor meetings,--a
sort of Socialist convention,--and to inveigh against "capitalists"
and "bloated bondholders" in a style that was much more novel then
than it is now. Lamartine greatly disapproved of these Luxembourg
proceedings; but he argued that it was better to countenance them
than to throw Louis Blanc and his friends into open opposition
to the Government. Louis Blanc was a charming writer, whose views
on social questions have made great progress since his day. His
brother Charles wrote a valuable book on art. He himself wrote a
"History of the Revolution" and the "History of Ten Years,"--that
is, from 1830 to 1840. He bitterly hated Louis Philippe and the
_bourgeoisie_, and yet his book is fair and honest, and the work of
a gentleman. He was almost a dwarf, but his face was very handsome,
clean-shaved, with bright eyes and brown hair. I may remark _en
passant_ that not one of the members of the Provisional Government
wore either a beard or a moustache.

One of the first things the Provisional Government did was to decree
that the personal property of the Orleans family should not be
confiscated, but placed in the hands of a receiver, who should
pay the king and princes liberal allowances till it became certain
that their wealth would not be spent in raising an army for the
invasion of France.

Louis Philippe lived only two years after reaching England. They
were apparently not unhappy years to him. He sat at the foot of
his own table, and carved the joint daily for his guests, children,
and grandchildren. He dictated his Memoirs, and talked with the
greatest openness to those who wished to converse with him.

The Duc d'Aumale was head of the army in Algeria, and governor-general
of the colony, when the Revolution broke out. Here is the address
which he at once published to his soldiers and the people, and
with which the whole of his after life has been consistent:--

Inhabitants of Algeria! Faithful to my duties as a citizen and a
soldier, I have remained at my post as long as I could believe my
presence would be useful in the service of my country. It can no
longer be so. General Cavaignac is appointed governor-general of
Algeria, and until his arrival here, the functions of governor-general
_ad interim_ will be discharged by General Changarnier. Submissive
to the national will, I depart; but in my place of exile my best
prayers and wishes shall be for the prosperity and glory of France,
which I should have wished still longer to serve.


The greatest problem which demanded solution from the Provisional
Government was how to make twenty-five cents do the work of a dollar.
The first Minister of Finance appointed, threw up his portfolio
in despair. Lamartine refused to sanction any arbitrary means of
raising money. At last, by giving some especial privileges and
protection to the Bank of France, and by mortgaging the national
forests, a sufficient sum was provided for immediate needs. The
people, too, throughout the provinces, made it a point of honor to
come forward and pay their taxes before they were due. The priests
preached this as a duty, for the priests were well disposed towards
the Revolution of 1848. Lamartine had put forth a proclamation
assuring priests and people that his Government was in sympathy
with religion.

In the Provisional Government itself there were two, if not three,
parties,--the party of order, headed by Lamartine; the Socialists,
or labor party, headed by Louis Blanc; and the Red Republicans, or
Anarchists, headed by Ledru-Rollin. The latter was for adopting
the policy of putting out of office all men who had not been always
republicans. Lamartine, on the contrary, said that any man who
loved France and desired to serve her was not incapacitated from
doing so by previous political opinions.

Elections for a Constitutional Assembly, which was to confirm or
to repudiate the Provisional Government, were held on March 24, and
the new Assembly was to meet early in May. Meantime all kinds of
duties and anxieties accumulated on Lamartine. The Polish, Hungarian,
Spanish, German, and Italian exiles in Paris were all anxious that
he should espouse their causes against their own Governments. He
assured them that this was not the mission of the Second French
Republic, whatever might have been that of the First, and that
the cause of European liberty would lose, not gain, if France,
with propagandist fervor, embroiled herself with the monarchical
powers. A deputation of Irishmen, under Smith O'Brien, waited upon
him to beg the assistance of fifty thousand French troops in Ireland,
"to rid her of the English." Lamartine peremptorily refused, saying:
"When one is not united by blood to a people, it is not allowable to
interfere in its affairs with the strong hand." Smith O'Brien and
his followers, deeply mortified, repaired at once to Ledru-Rollin's
Red Republican Club, where they were loudly applauded, and Lamartine

Meantime there were disturbances everywhere. Men out of employment,
excited by club orators, were ready for any violence. At Lyons they
destroyed the hospitals and orphan asylums, out of mere wantonness.

One afternoon Lamartine received news that the soldiers at the
Invalides, dissatisfied with General Petit, their commander, had
dragged him to the street, placed him on a cart, and were carrying
him thus around Paris. On foot he rushed to the rescue, trusting
to his powers of haranguing the multitude; but luckily the general
had been released before his arrival. There is but one step from
the sublime to the ridiculous. We smile at the spectacle of the
ruler of France rushing on foot, through dim streets, after a cart
he could not find. General Petit was that officer of the Old Guard
whom Napoleon had embraced when he took leave of his beloved corps
at Fontainebleau. Lamartine re-established him as commander at
the Invalides, and the mutiny was put down.

On the night of the first day of the Provisional Government, a mob
having demanded that the red flag of Communism should be substituted
for the tricolor, Lamartine replied,--

"Citizens! neither I nor any member of the Government will adopt
the Drapeau Rouge. We would rather adopt that other flag which is
hoisted in a bombarded city to mark to the enemy the hospitals
of the wounded. I will tell you in one word why I will oppose the
red flag with the whole force of patriotic determination. It is,
citizens, because the tricolor has made the tour of the world with
the Republic and the Empire, with your liberties and your glory;
the red flag has only made the tour of the Champ de Mars, dragged
through the blood of citizens."

Muskets in the crowd were here levelled at the speaker, but were
knocked up by the more peaceable of his hearers.

There was soon great discontent throughout the departments because
of the imposition of a land-tax; but as Lamartine said truly, farmers
would have found war or the triumph of Red Republicanism more expensive

On March 17, about three weeks after the departure of the king, a
great Socialist demonstration was made in Paris. Large columns of
men marched to the Hôtel-de-Ville, singing the old revolutionary
chant of "Ça ira." Ledru-Rollin, in the fulness of his heart, seeing
these one hundred and twenty thousand men all marching with some
discipline, said to his colleagues in the Council Chamber: "Do
you know that your popularity is nothing to mine? I have but to
open this window and call upon these men, and you would every one
of you be turned into the street. Do you wish me to try it?"

Upon this, Garnier-Pagès, the Finance Minister, walked up to
Ledru-Rollin, and presenting a pistol, said: "If you make one step
toward that window, it shall be your last." Ledru-Rollin paused
a moment, and then sat down.

The object of the demonstration was to force the Provisional Government
to take measures for raising and equalizing wages, and providing
State employment for all out of employ. The main body was refused
admittance into the Hôtel-de-Ville, but a certain number of the
leaders were permitted to address the Provisional Government. To
Ledru-Rollin's and Louis Blanc's surprise, they found that half
of these leaders were men they had never seen before, more radical
radicals than themselves,--that revolutionary scum that rose to
the surface in the Reign of Terror and the Commune.

A sense of common danger made Ledru-Rollin and Louis Blanc unite
with their colleagues in refusing the demand of the deputation that
the measures they advocated should be put in force by immediate
decrees. Lamartine harangued them; so did Ledru-Rollin and Louis
Blanc; and at last the disappointed multitude, with vengeance in
their hearts, filed peaceably away.

A month later, April 15, another outbreak was planned. The chief
club leaders wished it to be headed by Ledru-Rollin and Blanqui,--the
latter a conspirator in Louis Philippe's time. But Ledru-Rollin
refused to serve with Blanqui, having discovered from documents
in his office (that of Minister of Justice) that Blanqui had once
been a Government spy. "Well, then," said the club leaders, "since
you decline to be our chief, you shall to-morrow share the fate
of your colleagues." Ledru-Rollin, after a terrible night of
vacillation, resolved to throw himself on Lamartine's generosity.
He went to him at daybreak and told him of the impending danger.
At once Lamartine sent him to call out the National Guard, while
he himself summoned the Garde Mobile. The National Guard had been
reorganized; but there were no regular soldiers in Paris,--they had
been sent away to satisfy the people. The commander of the National
Guard, however, refused to let his men be called out on the occasion;
and Lamartine, on hearing this, went to the Hôtel-de-Ville alone. But
help came to him from an unexpected quarter. General Changarnier,
who had been appointed ambassador to Berlin, called at Lamartine's
house to return thanks for his appointment. Madame de Lamartine
told him of the danger that menaced her husband, and he repaired
at once to the Hôtel-de-Ville. There he found only about twelve
hundred boys of the Garde Mobile to oppose the expected two hundred
thousand insurgents. He drew his Garde Mobile into the building,
and prepared to stand a siege. There from early morning till the
next day Lamartine remained with Marrast, the Mayor of Paris. He
says that he harangued the mob from thirty to forty times. The other
members of the Government remained in one of the public offices. With
much difficulty the National Guard, whose organization was not yet
complete, was brought upon the scene. The procession of the insurgents
was cut in two, the commander of the National Guard employing the
same tactics as those which the Duke of Wellington had used a week
earlier, when dealing in London with the Chartist procession. The
result was the complete discomfiture of the insurgents.

A few days afterwards the members of the Provisional Government
sat twelve hours, on thrones erected for them under the Arch of
Triumph, to see Gardes Mobiles, National Guards, troops of the
line, and armed workmen, file past them, all shouting for Lamartine
and Order! It was probably the proudest moment of Lamartine's life;
in that flood-tide of his popularity he easily could have seized
supreme power.

All through the provinces disturbances went on. The object of the
Red Republicans had at first been to oppose the election of the
National Assembly. So long as France remained under the provisional
dictatorship of Lamartine and his colleagues, and the regular troops
were kept out of Paris, they hoped to be able to seize supreme
power, by a _coup de main_.

The National Assembly was, however, elected on Easter Day, and
proved to be largely conservative. The deputies met May 4,--the
anniversary of the meeting of the States-General in 1789, fifty-nine
years before. Its hall was a temporary structure, erected in the
courtyard of the Palais Bourbon, the former place of meeting for
the Chamber of Deputies. There was no enthusiasm in the body for the
Republic, and evidently a hostile feeling towards the Provisional
Government, which it was disposed to think too much allied with
Red Republicanism.

Two days after the Assembly met, the Provisional Government resigned
its powers. To Lamartine's great chagrin, he stood, not first, but
fourth, on a list of five men chosen temporarily to conduct the
government. Some of his proceedings had made the Assembly fear
(very unjustly) that he shared the revolutionary enthusiasms of

It was soon apparent that ultra-democracy in France was not favored
by the majority of Frenchmen. The Socialists and Anarchists, finding
that they could not form a tyrant majority in the Assembly, began
to conspire against it. While a debate was going on ten days after
it assembled, an alarm was raised that a fierce crowd was about
to pour into its place of meeting. Lamartine harangued the mob,
but this time without effect. His day was over. He was received
with shouts of "You have played long enough upon the lyre! _A bas_
Lamartine!" Ledru-Rollin tried to harangue in his turn, but with
no better effect. The hall was invaded, and Lamartine, throwing
up his arms, cried, "All is lost!"

Barbès, the man who led an _emeute_ in 1839, and whose life had
been spared by Louis Philippe through the exertions of Lamartine,
led the insurgents. They demanded two things,--a forced tax of
a milliard (that is, a thousand million) of francs, to be laid
on the rich for the benefit of the poor; and that whoever gave
orders to call out the National Guard against insurgents should
be declared a traitor. "You are wrong, Barbès," cried a voice from
the crowd; "two hours' sack of Paris is what we want." After this
the president of the Assembly was pulled from his chair, and a new
provisional government was nominated of fierce Red Republicans,--not
red enough, however, for the crowd, which demanded Socialists and
Anarchists redder still. By this time some battalions of the National
Guard had been called out. At sight of their bayonets the insurgents
fled, but concentrated their forces on the Hôtel-de-Ville. This
again they evacuated when cannon were pointed against it, and the
cause of order was won.

General Cavaignac, who had just come home from Algeria, was made
War Minister, and the clubs were closed. Louis Blanc was sent into
exile. The Orleans family, which had been treated considerately
by Lamartine, was forbidden to return to France.

The Assembly was now dissolved, and a new Chamber of Deputies was
to be chosen in June. Among the candidates for election was Prince
Louis Napoleon. He had already, in the days of Lamartine's
administration, visited Paris, and had replied to a polite request
from the provisional Government that he would speedily leave the
capital, that any man who would disturb the Provisional Government
was no true friend to France. Now he professed to ask only to be
permitted to become a representative of the people, saying that he
had "not forgotten that Napoleon, before being the first magistrate
in France, was its first citizen."

Then cries of "Vive l'empereur!" began to be heard. Louis Napoleon's
earliest "idea" had been that France needed an emperor whose throne
should be based on universal suffrage. To this "idea" he added
another,--that it was _his_ destiny to be the chosen emperor.

No one in these days can conceive the hold that the memory of the
First Napoleon had, in 1848, on the affections of the French people.
That he put down anarchy with an iron hand was by the Anarchists
forgotten. He was a son of the Revolution. His marches through
Europe had scattered the seeds of revolutionary ideas. The heart
of France responded to such verses as Béranger's "Grand'-mère." In
vain Lamartine represented the impolicy and unfairness of proscribing
the Orleans family while admitting into France the head of the house
of Bonaparte. Louis Napoleon was elected deputy by four departments;
but he subsequently hesitated to take his seat, fearing, he said,
that he might be the cause of dissension in the Assembly.

The deputies from Paris were all Socialists, but those from the
departments were frequently men of note and reputation. The country
members were nearly all friends to order and conservatism.

The first necessary measure was to get rid of the national workshops.
On June 20, one hundred and twenty thousand workmen were being paid
daily two francs each, only two thousand of whom had anything to
do, while fifty thousand more were clamoring for admission.

Of course any measure to suppress the national workshops, or to
send home those who had come up to Paris for employment in them, was
opposed by the workmen. It was computed that among those employed,
or rather paid, by the State for doing nothing, were twenty-five
thousand desperate men, ready for any fight, and that half this
number were ex-convicts. The Government had nominally large forces
at its command, but it was doubtful how far its troops could be
relied on.

On June 22, 1848, at nightfall the struggle began. By morning half
Paris was covered with barricades. It was very hard to collect
troops, but Cavaignac was a tried soldier. He divided his little
force into four parts. It was not till the evening of the 23d that
hostilities commenced, and at the same time General Cavaignac was
named by the Assembly dictator. This inspired confidence. Cavaignac
was well supported, and acted with the greatest energy. The
street-fighting was fiercer than any Paris had ever seen, and no
real success was gained by Cavaignac till the evening of the 24th,
after twenty-four hours of hard fighting. That success was the
storming of the church of Sainte Geneviève (called also the Panthéon)
and the destruction of its walls. But still the fight went on.
Many generals were wounded. Cavaignac used his cannon freely, and
even his bombs. It was night on June 26 before the troops could
be pronounced victorious, and then they had not stormed the most
formidable of the barricades,--that of the Rue du Faubourg
Saint-Antoine. Says Sir Archibald Alison,--

"But ere the attack on this barricade commenced, a sublime instance
of Christian heroism and devotion occurred, which shines forth
like a heavenly glory in the midst of these terrible scenes of
carnage. Monseigneur Affre, archbishop of Paris, horror-stricken
with the slaughter which for three days had been going on, resolved
to attempt a reconciliation between the contending parties, or
perish in the attempt. Having obtained leave from General Cavaignac
to repair to the headquarters of the insurgents, he set out, dressed
in his pontifical robes, having the cross in his hand, attended
by his two chaplains, also in full canonicals, and three intrepid
members of the Assembly. Deeply affected by this courageous act,
which they knew was almost certain death, the people, as he walked
through the streets, fell on their knees and besought him to desist;
but he persisted, saying, 'It is my duty; a good shepherd giveth
his life for the sheep.' At seven in the evening he arrived at the
Place de la Bastille, where the fire of musketry was extremely warm
on both sides. It ceased on either side at the august spectacle,
and the archbishop, bearing the cross aloft, advanced with his two
priests to the foot of the barricade. A single attendant, bearing
a green branch, preceded the prelate. The soldiers, seeing him
advance so close to those who had already slain bearers of
flags-of-truce, approached in order to give him succor in case of
need; the insurgents, on their side, descended the barricade, and
the redoubtable combatants stood close to each other, exchanging
looks of defiance. Suddenly a shot was heard. Instantly the cry
arose of 'Treason! Treason!' and the combatants, retreating on
either side, began to exchange shots with as much fury as ever.
Undismayed by the storm of balls which incessantly flew over his
head from all quarters, the prelate advanced slowly, attended by
his chaplains, to the summit of the barricade. One of them had
his hat pierced by three balls, but the archbishop himself, almost
by a miracle, escaped while on the top. He had descended three
steps on the other side, when he was pierced through the loins by
a shot from a window. The insurgents, horror-struck, approached
him where he fell, stanched the wound, which at once was seen to
be mortal, and carried him to a neighboring hospital. When told
that he had only a few minutes to live, 'God be praised!' he said,
'and may He accept my life as an expiation for my omissions during
my episcopacy, and as an offering for the salvation of this misguided
people.' With these words he expired."

As soon as the archbishop's death was known, the insurgents made
proposals to capitulate, on condition of a general pardon. This
Cavaignac refused, saying that they must surrender unconditionally.
The fight therefore lasted until daybreak. Then the insurgents
capitulated, and all was over.

No one ever knew how many fell. Six generals were killed or mortally
wounded. Ten thousand bodies were recognized and buried, and it is
said that nearly as many more were thrown unclaimed into the Seine.
There were fifteen thousand prisoners, of whom three thousand died
of jail-fever. Thousands were sent to Cayenne; thousands to the
galleys. This terrible four days' fight cost France more lives
than any battle of the Empire.

The insurrection being over, and Cavaignac dictator, the next thing
was for the Assembly to make a constitution. This constitution was
short-lived. A president was to be chosen for four years, with
re-election as often as might be desired. He was to be elected by
universal suffrage. He was to have a salary of about one hundred
and twenty-five thousand dollars per annum, and he was to have
much the same powers as the President of the United States.

There were two principal presidential candidates,--Prince Louis
Napoleon, who had taken his seat in the Assembly; and Cavaignac,
who had the power of Government on his side, and was sanguine of
election. The prince proclaimed in letters and placards his deep
attachment to the Republic, and denounced as his enemies and slanderers
all those who said he was not firmly resolved to maintain the

The result of the election showed Louis Napoleon to have had five
and a half millions of votes; Cavaignac one and a half million;
Lamartine, who six months before had been a popular idol, had nineteen

[Illustration: _LOUIS NAPOLEON._ (The Prince President.)]

An early friend of Louis Napoleon, who seems to have been willing
to talk freely of the playmate of her childhood, thus spoke of
him to an English traveller.

"He is," she said, "a strange being. His mind wants _keeping_.
A trifle close to his eyes hides from him large objects at a
distance.... The great progress in political knowledge made by
the higher classes in France from 1815 to 1848 is lost on him.
When we met in 1836, after three years' separation, I was struck
by his backwardness in political knowledge. Up to 1848 he never
had lived in France except as a child or a captive. His opinions
and feelings were those of the French masses from 1799 to 1812.
Though these opinions had been modified in the minds of the higher
classes, they were, in 1848, those of the multitude, who despise
parliamentary government, despise the pope, despise the priests,
delight in profuse expenditure, delight in war, hold the Rhine to
be our national frontier, and that it is our duty to seize all
that lies on the French side. The people and he were of one mind. I
have no doubt that the little he may have heard, and the less that
he attended to, from the persons he saw between 1848 and 1852 about
liberty, self-government, economy, the supremacy of the Assembly,
respect for foreign nations, and fidelity to treaties, appeared
to him the silliest talk imaginable. So it would have appeared
to all in the lower classes of France; so it would have appeared
to the army, which is drawn from those classes, and exaggerates
their political views."

"The prince president is romantic, impulsive, and _bizarre_," said
one of his officials to the same English gentleman, "indolent, vain,
good-natured, selfish, fearing and disliking his superiors;...
he loves to excite the astonishment of the populace. As a child
he liked best bad children,--as a man, bad men."

But one good quality he had pre-eminently,--no man was ever more
grateful for kindness, or more indulgent to his friends.

Such was the man, untried, uneducated in French politics, covered
with ridicule, and even of doubtful courage, whom the voices of
five and a half millions of French voters called to the presidential
chair. It was to the country Louis Napoleon had appealed, to the
rural population of France as against the dangerous classes in the
great cities. Paris had for sixty years been making revolutions
for the country; now it was the turn of the provincials, who said
they were tired of receiving a new Government by mail whenever it
pleased the Parisians to make one. Paris contained one hundred and
forty thousand Socialists, besides Anarchists and Red Republicans.
With these the rural population had no sympathy. Louis Napoleon was
not chosen by their votes, nor by those of their sympathizers in
other great cities. His success was in the rural districts alone.

His election was a great disappointment to the Assembly, and from
the first moment the prince president and that body were antagonistic
to each other. The president claimed to hold his powers from the
people, and to be in no way under the control of the Assembly;
the Assembly was forever talking of deposing him, of imprisoning
him at Vincennes, and so on.

Immediately after his election the prince president found it very
difficult to form a cabinet. After being repulsed in various quarters,
he sent a confidential messenger to Lamartine, asking him to meet him
by night on horseback in a dark alley in the Bois de Boulogne. After
listening to his rival's appeal for assistance in this emergency,
Lamartine frankly told him that for various reasons he felt himself
to be not only the most useless, but the most dangerous minister a
new Government could select. He said, "I should ruin myself without
serving you." The prince seemed grieved. "With regard to popularity,"
he answered, with a smile, "I have enough for both of us." "I know it,"
replied Lamartine; "but having, as I think, given you unanswerable
reasons for my refusal, I give you my word of honor that if by
to-morrow you have not been able to win over and to rally to you
the men I will name, I will accept the post of prime minister in
default of others."

Before morning the prince president had succeeded elsewhere; but
he retained a sincere respect and regard for Lamartine, who after
this incident fades out of the page of history. He lived a few
years longer; but he was oppressed by pecuniary difficulties, from
which neither his literary industry, nor the assistance of the
Government, nor the subscriptions of his friends, seemed able to
extricate him. Several times Milly, the dear home of his childhood,
was put up for sale by his creditors. It was more than once rescued
on his behalf, but in the end was sold.

Lamartine was buried with national honors; but among all the chances
and changes that have distracted the attention of his countrymen
from his career, he does not seem to have received from the world
or the French nation all the honor, praise, and gratitude that
his memory deserves.

Louis Napoleon, who had all his life dreamed of being the French
emperor, though he took care to repudiate such an idea in all his
public speeches, had not been president of the Republic six weeks
before he read a plan for a _coup d'état_ to General Changarnier,
who utterly refused to listen to it.

We need not here dwell on the struggles that went on between the
prince president and the Assembly, from December, 1848, to November,
1851. It is enough to say that the Chamber, from being the governing
power in France, found itself reduced to a mere legislative body
much hampered by the mistrust and contempt of the Executive. Its
members of course hated "the Man at the Élysée," or "Celui-ci,"
as they called him. The Socialists hated the Assembly even more
than they hated the president. The army was all for him. The
_bourgeoisie_ were thankful that under his rule they might at least
find protection from Socialism and anarchy.

From the election of Prince Louis to the _coup d'état_ in December,
1851, there were four serious _émeutes_ in Paris, and once the
city was in a state of siege. It was estimated that to put down
the smallest of these revolts cost two hundred thousand dollars.

Foreign nations were too busy with their own affairs in 1848 to
have time to meddle with the Government of Louis Napoleon,--indeed,
Russia and Prussia were much obliged to him for keeping out the
Orleans family, whom they by no means wished to see on the French

One thing that Louis Napoleon did to gain favor with the country
party caused great indignation among genuine republicans, and,
indeed, throughout Europe. This was the part he took against the
Republic of Rome.

Pio Nono, having been elected pope in 1846, had started on his
career as a liberal pontiff and ruler; but before 1848 he had
disappointed the expectations of all parties, and had fled from
Rome to Gaeta, where Ferdinand, king of the Two Sicilies (commonly
known as King Bomba) had also taken refuge. Lamartine, at the time
his power ceased, had been fitting out a French army to lend help
to the Romans if they should be attacked by the Austrians, and if
need were, to protect the pope, who before his flight was supposed
to be opposed to Austrian domination. Louis Napoleon ordered General
Oudinot, who commanded the French forces, to disembark his troops at
Civita Vecchia, and either to occupy Rome peaceably, or to attack
the revolutionists. A battle was fought, and the French worsted;
but they ended by gaining the city and holding it, putting down
the Roman republicans, and handing the city over to Austrian and
papal vengeance on Pio Nono's return.

The new president, anxious to strengthen his popularity in the
provinces, made several tours. Everywhere, as the nephew of his
uncle, he was received with wild enthusiasm. He was not a man to
captivate by his manners on public occasions, neither was he a
ready speaker; but he looked his best on horseback, and above all,
there was in his favor, among the middle class of Frenchmen, a
very potent feeling,--the dread of change.

As a deputy, before his election by the country as its president,
he used to sit in the Chamber silent and alone, pitied by some, and
neglected by all. Silence, indeed, was necessary to his success, for,
"silent and smoking, he matured his plans." One of the first things
he did when he became president was to attempt to get possession of
all papers in the archives concerning his conduct at Strasburg
and Boulogne.

There had been a new Assembly elected. It had few of the old republican
leaders in it, but the Left and the Right and half the Centre were
opposed to the prince president. The Left in the French Chamber
means the Red Republicans; the Right, those members who are in
favor of monarchy; the Centre, the Moderates, who are willing to
accept any good government.

One of the objects of this Assembly, which foresaw that a _coup
d'état_ might be at hand, was to get command of a little army for
its own protection. It appointed as commander of this force General
Changarnier, with whom the prince president had recently quarrelled,
and designated four of its members, whom it called _quoestors_, to
look into all matters relating to its safety.

The constitution was to be revised by this Assembly. Nobody cared
much about the constitution, which had not had time to acquire any
hold on the affections of the people, and Louis Napoleon had recently
acquired popularity with the turbulent part of the population of Paris
by opposing a measure calculated to restrict universal suffrage, and
to prevent tramps, aliens, and ex-convicts from voting at elections.
The prince president, who wanted, for his own purposes, as large
a popular vote as possible, was opposed to any restrictions on
the suffrage.

Such was the condition of things on Nov. 26, 1851, when Louis Napoleon
summoned the principal generals and colonels of the troops in and
around Paris to meet him at the Élysée. At this meeting they all
swore to support the president if called upon to do so, and never
to tell of this engagement. They kept the secret for five years.

Meantime the Assembly on its part was hatching a conspiracy to
overturn the president and send him to a dungeon at Vincennes;
while all who refused to support its authority were to be declared
guilty of treason.

The three men called the generals of the Army of Africa,--namely,
Cavaignac, Changarnier, and Lamoricière,--were opposed to the prince
president. They were either Republicans or Orleanists.

Thus the crisis approached. Each party was ready to spring upon
the other. Again France was to experience a political convulsion,
and the party that moved first would gain the day.



"In voting for Louis Napoleon," says Alison, "the French rural
population understood that it was voting for an emperor and for
the repression of the clubs in Paris. It seemed to Frenchmen in
the country that they had only a choice between Jacobin rule by
the clubs, or Napoleonic rule by an emperor." So, though Louis
Napoleon, when he presented himself as a presidential candidate,
assured the electors, "I am not so ambitious as to dream of empire,
of war, nor of subversive theories; educated in free countries
and in the school of misfortune, I shall always remain faithful
to the duties that your suffrages impose on me," public sentiment
abroad and at home, whether hostile or favorable, expected that
he would before long make himself virtually, if not in name, the
Emperor Napoleon. Indeed, the army was encouraged by its officers
to shout, "Vive l'empereur!" and "Vive Napoleon!" And General
Changarnier, for disapproving of these demonstrations, had been
dismissed from his post as military commander at the capital. He
was forthwith, as we have seen, appointed to a military command
in the confidence of the Assembly.

By the autumn of 1851 Louis Napoleon had fully made up his mind
as to his _coup d'état_, and had arranged all its details. He had
five intimates, who were his counsellors,--De Morny, De Maupas,
De Persigny, Fleury, and General Saint-Arnaud.

[Illustration: _DUC DE MORNY._]

De Morny has always been reputed to have been the half-brother of
Louis Napoleon. In 1847 he lived luxuriously in a small _hôtel_
in the Champs Elysées, surrounded by rare and costly works of art.
He had then never been considered anything but a man of fashion;
but he proved well fitted to keep secrets, to conduct plots, and
to do the cruellest things in a jocund, off-hand way.

Saint-Arnaud's name had been originally Jacques Le Roy. At one
time, under the name of Florival, he had been an actor in Paris
at one of the suburban theatres. He had served three times in the
French army, and been twice dismissed for conduct unbecoming an
officer. His third term of service for his country was in a foreign
legion, composed of dare-devils of all nations, who enrolled themselves
in the army of Algeria. There his brilliant bravery had a large
share in securing the capture of Constantine. He rose rapidly to
be a general, was an excellent administrator, a cultivated and
agreeable companion, perfectly unscrupulous, and ready to assist
in any scheme of what he considered _necessary_ cruelty. Fleury,
who had been sent to Africa to select a military chief fitted to
carry out the _coup d'état_, found Saint-Arnaud the very man to
suit the purpose of his master. Saint-Arnaud was tall, thin, and
bony, with close-cropped hair. De Morny used to laugh behind his
back at the way he said _le peuple souvérain_, and said he knew
as little about the sovereign people as about the pronunciation.
He spoke English well, for he had lived for some years an exile
in Leicester Square,--the disreputable French quarter of London;
this accomplishment was of great service to him during the Crimean

De Maupas had been a country prefect, and was eager for promotion.
Louis Napoleon converted him into his Minister of Police.

Fleury was the simple-hearted and attached friend of his master.

De Persigny, like Saint-Arnaud, had changed his name, having begun
life as Fialin.

These five plotted the _coup d'état_[1]; arranged all its details,
and kept their own counsel.

[Footnote 1: De Maupas, Le Coup d'Etat.]

The generals and colonels in garrison in Paris had been sounded,
as we have seen, in reference to their allegiance to the Great
Emperor's nephew, and by the close of 1851 all things had been made
ready for the proposed _coup d'état_.

A _coup d'état_ is much the same thing as a _coup de main_,--with
this difference, that in the political _coup de main_ it is the
mob that takes the initiative, in the _coup d'état_ the Government;
and the Government generally has the army on its side.

Louis Napoleon and his five associates were about to do the most
audacious thing in modern history; but no man can deny them the praise
awarded to the unjust steward. If the thing was to be done, or, in
the language of Victor Hugo, if the _crime_ was to be committed,
it could not have been more admirably planned or more skilfully

The world, to all appearance, went on in its usual way. The Assembly,
on December 1, 1851, was busy discussing the project of a railroad
to Lyons. That evening M. de Morny was at the Opéra Comique in
company with General Changarnier, and the prince president was
doing the honors as usual in his reception-room at the Élysée. His
visage was as calm, his manners were as conciliatory and affable,
as usual. No symptoms of anything extraordinary were to be seen,
and an approaching municipal election in Paris accounted for the
arrival of several _estafettes_ and couriers, which from time to
time called the prince president from the room. When the company
had taken leave, Saint-Arnaud, Maupas, Morny, and a colonel on
the staff went with the prince president into his smoking-room,
where the duties of each were assigned to him. Everything was to be
done by clock-work. Exactly at the hour appointed, all the African
generals and several of their friends were to be arrested. Exactly
at the moment indicated, troops were to move into position. At so
many minutes past six A. M. all the printing-offices were to be
surrounded. Every man who had in any way been prominent in politics
since the days of Louis Philippe was to be put under arrest.

By seven o'clock in the morning all this had been accomplished.
The Parisians awoke to find their walls placarded by proclamations
signed by Prince Louis Napoleon as President, De Morny as Minister
of the Interior, De Maupas as Prefect of Police, and Saint-Arnaud
as Minister of War.

These proclamations announced,--

    I. The dissolution of the Assembly.
   II. The restoration of universal suffrage.
  III. A general election on December 14.
   IV. The dissolution of the Council of State.
    V. That Paris was in a state of siege.

This last meant that any man might be arrested, without warrant,
at the pleasure of the police.

Another placard forbade any printer, on pain of death, to print
any placard not authorized by Government; and death likewise was
announced for anyone who tore down a Government placard.

Louis Napoleon followed this up by an appeal to the people. He said
he wished the people to judge between the Assembly and himself.
If France would not support him, she must choose another president.
In place of the constitution of 1848 he proposed one that should
make the presidential term of office ten years; he also proposed
that the president's cabinet should be of his own selection.

Louis Napoleon had entire confidence that all elections by universal
suffrage would be in his favor. He had just made extensive tours in
the provinces, and had been received everywhere with enthusiasm.

Thus far I have given the historical outline of the story; but if
we look into Victor Hugo's "Histoire d'un Crime," and disentangle
its facts from its hysterics, we may receive from his personal
narrative a vivid idea of what passed in Paris from the night of
Dec. 1, 1851, to the evening of December 4, when all was over.

Roused early in the morning by members of the Assembly, who came
to announce the events of the night, Victor Hugo, to whom genuine
republicans who were not Socialists looked as a leader, was, like
all the rest of Paris, taken completely by surprise. One of his
visitors was a working-man, a wood-carver; of him Hugo eagerly
asked: "What do the working-men--the people--say as they read the
placards?" He answered: "Some say one thing, some another. The
thing has been so done that they cannot understand it. Men going
to their work are reading the placards. Not one in a hundred says
anything, and those who do, say generally, 'Good! Universal suffrage
is reestablished. The conservative majority in the Assembly is
got rid of,--that's splendid! Thiers is arrested,--better still!
Changarnier is in prison,--bravo!' Beneath every placard there
are men placed to lead the approval. My opinion is that the people
will approve!"

At exactly six that morning, Cavaignac, Changarnier, Lamoricière,
Thiers, and all those who had lain down to sleep as cabinet ministers
of the prince president, were roused from their beds by officers of
cavalry, with orders to dress quickly, for they were under arrest.
Before each door a hackney-coach was waiting, and an escort of two
hundred Lancers was in a street near by. Resistance seemed useless
in the face of such precautions, but Victor Hugo and his friends were
resolved upon a fight. They put their official scarves as deputies
into their pockets, and started forth to see if they could raise
the Faubourg Saint-Antoine. But their friend the wood-carver had
told them truly,--there was neither sympathy nor enthusiasm in
the streets for the constitution that had fallen, the deputies
who had been placed under arrest, nor for violated political

In vain they appealed to the people in the name of the law. The
mob seemed to consider that provided it had universal suffrage,
and that the man of its choice were at the head of affairs, it
had better trust the safety of the nation to one man than risk the
uncertainties that might attend the tyranny of many.

The frantic efforts made that day by Victor Hugo and a few other
deputies of the Left to rouse the populace are almost ludicrous.
Victor Hugo, no doubt, was a brave man, though a very melodramatic
one, and he seems to have thought that if he could get the soldiers
to shoot him,--_him_, the greatest literary star of France since
the death of Voltaire,--the notoriety of his death might rouse
the population.

Here is one scene in his narrative. He and three of his friends,
finding that the Faubourg Saint-Antoine gave no ear to their appeals,
and for once was disinclined to fight, decided to return home,
and took seats in an omnibus which passed them on the Place de la

"We were all glad to get in," says Victor Hugo. "I took it much
to heart that I had not that morning, when I saw a crowd assembled
round the Porte Saint-Martin, shouted 'To arms!'... The omnibus
started. I was sitting at the end on the left, my friend young
Armand was beside me. As the omnibus moved on, the crowd became
more closely packed upon the Boulevard. When we reached the narrow
ascent near the Porte Saint-Martin, a regiment of heavy cavalry
met us. The men were Cuirassiers. Their horses were in a trot,
and their swords were drawn. All of a sudden the regiment came
to a halt. Something was in their way. Their halt detained the
omnibus. My heart was stirred. Close before me, a yard from me,
were Frenchmen turned into Mamelukes, citizen-supporters of the
Republic transformed into the mercenaries of a Second Empire! From
my seat I could almost put my hand upon them. I could no longer
bear the sight. I let down the glass, I put my head out of the
window, and looked steadily at the close line of armed men. Then
I shouted: 'Down with Louis Bonaparte! Those who serve traitors
are traitors!' The nearest soldiers turned their faces towards
me, and looked dazed with astonishment. The rest did not stir.
When I shouted, Armand let down his glass and thrust half his body
out of his window, shaking his fist at the soldiers. He too cried
out: 'Down with all traitors!' Our example was contagious. 'Down
with traitors!' cried my other two friends in the omnibus. 'Down
with the dictator!' cried a generous young man who sat beside me.
All the passengers in the omnibus, except this young man, seemed
to be filled with terror. 'Hold your tongues!' they cried; 'you
will have us all massacred.' The most frightened of them let down
his glass and shouted to the soldiers: 'Vive le Prince Napoléon!
Vive l'empereur!' The soldiers looked at us in solemn silence.
A mounted policeman menaced us with his drawn sword. The crowd
seemed stupefied.... The soldiers had no orders to act, so nothing
came of it. The regiment started at a gallop, so did the omnibus.
As long as the Cuirassiers were passing, Armand and I, hanging
half out of our windows, continued to shout at them, 'Down with
the dictator!'"

This foolhardy and melodramatic performance was one of many such
scenes, calculated to turn tragedy into farce.

Meantime, from early morning the hall of the representatives had
been surrounded by soldiers with mortars and cannon. As the deputies
arrived they were allowed to pass the gates, but were not permitted
to enter their chamber. Their president, or Speaker, M. Dupin, was
appealed to. He said he could do nothing; it was hopeless to resist
such a display of force. At last the representatives, becoming,
as the soldiers put it, "noisy and troublesome," were collared
and turned out into the street. One by one the most excited were
arrested. The remainder decided to go to the High Court of Justice
and demand a warrant to depose and arrest the prince president.
But they could not find the judges; they had hidden themselves
away. When at last they succeeded in discovering the place where
they were sitting, the police followed closely on their track,
and the judges were forced to shut up their court and march off,
under a guard of soldiers.

The representatives then decided to go to the Mairie of the Tenth
Arrondissement, and there reorganize into a legislative body. They
were nearly all members belonging to the Right, but they were as
indignant as the Left at the outrage.

They formed into a column, marching two and two abreast; but the
Left would not march with the Right, so they proceeded in two parallel
columns, one on each side of the way. Arrived at the Mairie, they made
Jules de Lasteyrie, Lafayette's grandson, president _pro tempore_, and
proceeded to pass a decree deposing Louis Bonaparte. Scarcely was this
done when a battalion of cavalry arrived, and the legislators soon
perceived that they were prisoners. After a great deal of altercation
with the soldiers, they were marched off to a barrack-yard on the
Quai d'Orsay.

When all this was reported to De Morny, he remarked: "It is well;
but they are the last deputies who will be made _prisoners_,"--meaning
that any others would be shot.

It was half-past three when the deputies were locked into the
barrack-yard. The December day was cold and frosty, the sky overcast.
The first thing they did was to call the roll. There were two hundred
and twenty of them, out of a total membership of seven hundred
and fifty. Among them were many of the best and most conservative
men of France. There was Jules Grévy, the future president (M.
Thiers was already in prison); Jules de Lasteyrie; Sainte-Beuve,
the great critic; Berryer, the great lawyer; the Duc de Luynes,
the richest man in France; and Odillon Barrot, the popular idol
at the commencement of the late revolution. De Tocqueville was
there, the great writer on America; General Oudinot, and several
other generals; the Duc de Broglie, great-grandson of Madame de
Staël; Eugène Sue, the novelist; Coquerel, the French Protestant
preacher; and M. de Rémusat, the son of that lady who has given
us her experiences of the court of the First Napoleon.

For two hours the deputies remained in the open air; then they were
transferred at dark to the third story of a wing of the barracks.
They found themselves in two long halls, with low ceilings and dirty
walls, used as the soldiers' dormitories. They had no furniture but
some wooden benches. M. de Tocqueville was quite ill. The rooms
were bitterly cold. An hour or so later, three representatives, who
had demanded to share the fate of their colleagues, were brought
in. One of these was the Marquis de La Vallette, who had married
Mrs. Welles, a very beautiful and fascinating American lady.

Night came. Most of the prisoners had eaten nothing since morning.
A collection of five francs apiece was taken up amongst them, and
a cold collation was provided by a neighboring restaurant. They
ate standing, with their plates in their hands. "Just like a supper
at a ball," remarked one of the younger ones. They had very few
drinking-glasses. Right and Left, having been reconciled by this time,
drank together. "Equality and Fraternity!" remarked a conservative
nobleman as he drank with one of the Red Republicans. "Ah," was
the answer, "but not Liberty." Eight more prisoners before long
were added to their number, and three were released,--one because
he was eighty, one because of his wife's illness, and one because
he had been accidentally wounded. At last, sixty mattresses were
brought in, for two hundred and twenty-five men. They had no blankets,
and had to trust to their great-coats to keep them from the cold.
A few of them went to sleep, but were roused at midnight by an
order that their quarters must be changed. They were taken down
by parties to all the _voitures cellulaires_ (or Black Marias)
in Paris. Each deputy was put into a separate cell, where he sat
cramped and freezing for hours. It was nearly seven A. M., December
3, before these prison-vans were ready to start.

Some went to the great prison of Mazas, some to Vincennes, some
to Fort Valérien. At Mazas they were treated in all respects like
criminals, except that they were not allowed a daily walk,--a privilege
the knaves and malefactors obtained. Two deputies only were favored
with beds,--M. Thiers and another elderly man. M. Grévy had none,
nor the African generals, the ex-dictator Cavaignac among them.

Such of the members of the Left as were not in prison spent December
2, 3, and 4 in endeavoring to assemble and reorganize the remains
of the Assembly; but the police followed them up too closely.

A few barricades were raised, and the first man killed on one of
them was named Baudin. He threw away his life recklessly and to no
purpose; but it is the fashion among advanced republicans to this
day to decorate his grave and to honor his memory with communistic
speeches. He was rather a fine young fellow, and might have lived
to do the State some service.

By the night of December 3 there was a good deal of commotion in
the city. Two days of disorganization, idleness, and excitement
had made workmen more inflammable than when they remained passive
under the appeals of Victor Hugo. The remainder of the story, so far
as it concerns the uprising and massacre in the streets of Paris,
I will borrow from the experience of an American eye-witness; but
first I will tell what happened to the African generals imprisoned
at Mazas.

On the night of December 3 the station of the great railroad to
the north was filled with soldiers. About six o'clock the next
morning two _voitures cellulaires_ drove up, each attended by a
light carriage containing an especial agent sent by the police.
These vehicles, just as they were, were rolled on to trucks, and
the train moved out of the station. There were eight cells in each
_voiture cellulaire_; four were occupied by prisoners, four by
policemen. It was bitterly cold, and in the second of the prison-vans
the police, half frozen, opened the doors of their cells and came
out to walk up and down and warm themselves. Then a voice was heard
from one of the prisoners. "_Ah, ça_, it is bitterly cold here.
Could n't one be allowed to re-light one's cigar?" At this another
voice called out: "_Tiens!_ is that you, Lamoricière? Good morning!"
"Good morning, Cavaignac," replied the other. Then a third voice
came from the third cell. It was that of Changarnier. "_Messieurs
les Généraux_," cried a fourth, "do not forget that I am one of
you." The speaker was a _quoestor_ of the Chamber of Deputies, a
man charged with the safety of the National Assembly. The generals
who had spoken, and Bedeau, who was in the next van, were, with the
exception of Bugeaud, the four leading commanders in the French
army. The other four prisoners were Colonel Charras, General Le
Flô, Baze the _quoestor_, and a deputy, Count Roger (_du Nord_).
At midnight they had been roused from sleep and ordered to dress
immediately. "Are we going to be shot?" asked Charras, but no answer
was vouchsafed him. They were put into the _voitures cellulaires_,
each knowing nothing of the presence of the others; even the police
who were in charge of them, had no idea what prisoners they had in
custody. After this recognition between the generals, they were
permitted to come out of their cells and walk up and down the van
to warm themselves, taking care, however, that they were not seen
at liberty by the special agents in the carriages attending on
each van.

On reaching Ham, the former prison of Louis Napoleon, Cavaignac,
whom he had succeeded as ruler of France, was put into his former
chamber. "Chassez croissez," said De Morny, when the report was
made to him.

December 4, the last day of the struggle, was by far the most terrible.
Louis Napoleon, in spite of many benefits which France and the world
owe him, will never be cleansed from the stain that the outrages of
that day have left upon his memory. It may be said, however, that
the details of the _coup d'état_ were left to his subordinates,
and that probably both success and infamy are due in large part
to the flippant Morny.

It was a cold, drizzling day. Such barricades as had been built
were very slimly defended, and with no enthusiasm. The insurgents
were short of ammunition, nor did the troops attack them with much
vigor. In fact, the soldiers were but few, for all were being
concentrated on that part of the Boulevard where strangers do their
shopping and eat ices at Tortoni's. The programme for that day
was not fighting, but a massacre.

The American gentleman whose narrative I am about to quote, says,--

"On December 3 there was more excitement in the streets than there
had been on December 2. The secret societies had got to work. The
Reds were recovering from their astonishment. Ex-members of the
National Assembly had harangued the multitude and circulated addresses
calculated to rouse the people to resistance. On the 4th there was
not much stirring. The shops were closed. I went into the heart
of the city on business, where I soon found myself in the midst
of a panic-stricken crowd. The residents were closing their doors
and barricading their windows. Some said the Faubourgs were rising;
some that the troops were approaching, with cannon.

"Hearing there were barricades at the Porte Saint-Denis, I pushed
directly for the spot. The work was going on bravely. Stagings had
been torn from unfinished houses, iron railings from the magnificent
gateway; trees were cut down, street sheds demolished; carts, carriages,
and omnibuses were being triumphantly dragged from hiding-places
to the monstrous pile. There were not very many men at work, but
those who were engaged, labored like beavers. Blouses and broadcloth
were about equally mixed. A few men armed with cutlasses, muskets,
and pistols appeared to act as leaders; soon a search was made
in neighboring houses for arms. I was surprised to see how many
boys were in the ranks of the insurgents. They went to work as if
insurrection were a frolic. I shuddered as I thought how many of
them would be shot or bayoneted before night fell. The sentiments
of the spectators seemed different. Some said, 'Let them go ahead.
They want to plunder and kill: they will soon be taught a good
lesson.' Others encouraged the barricade-makers. One man, hearing
that I was an American, said with a sigh, 'Ah, you live in a true

"After remaining two hours at this barricade, and seeing no fighting,
I turned on to the Boulevard. There, troops were advancing slowly,
with loaded cannon. From time to time they charged the people, who
slipped out of the way by side streets, as I did myself. Coming
back on the Boulevard des Italiens, I found the entire length of
the Boulevards, from the Porte Saint-Denis to the Madeleine, filled
with troops in order of battle. In the novelty and beauty of the
scene I quite lost sight of danger. At one time they chased away
the crowd; but soon sentinels were removed from the corners of the
streets, and as many spectators as thought proper pressed on to
the sidewalks of the Boulevard.... Opposite to me was the Seventh
Lancers,--a fine corps, recently arrived in Paris. Suddenly, at
the upper end of the line, the discharge of a cannon was heard,
followed by a blaze of musketry and a general charge. The spectators
on the Boulevard took to flight. They pitched into open doors,
or loudly demanded entrance at the closed ones. I was fortunate
enough to get into a neighboring carriage-way, through the grated
_porte-cochère_ of which I could see what was going on. The firing
was tremendous. Volley after volley followed so fast that it seemed
like one continued peal of thunder. Suddenly there was a louder
and a nearer crash. The cavalry in front of me wavered; and then,
as if struck by a panic, turned and rushed in disorder down the
street, making the ground tremble under their tread. What could
have occurred? In a few minutes they came charging back, firing
their pistols on all sides. Then came a quick succession of orders:
'Shut all windows! Keep out of sight! Open the blinds!' etc. It
seemed that unexpected shots had been fired from some of the windows
on the soldiers, from which they had suffered so much as to cause a
recoil. The roll of firearms was now terrific. Mortars and cannon
were fired at short-range point-blank at the suspicious houses, which
were then carried by assault. The rattle of small shot against windows
and walls was incessant. This, too, was in the finest part of the
Boulevard. Costly houses were completely riddled, their fronts were
knocked in, their floors pierced with balls. The windows throughout
the neighborhood were destroyed by the concussion of the cannon. Of
the hairbreadth escape of some of the inmates, and of the general
destruction of property, I need not speak. The Government afterwards
footed all the bills for the last. The firing continued for more
than an hour, and then receded to more distant parts of the city;
for the field of combat embraced an area of several miles, and there
were forty thousand troops engaged in it. As soon as I could do
so with safety, I left my covert, and endeavored to see what had
happened elsewhere. But troops guarded every possible avenue, and
fired on all those who attempted to approach any interdicted spot.
I noticed some pools of blood, but the corpses had been removed; in
a cross-street I saw a well-dressed man gasping his life away on
a rude stretcher. Those around him told me he had six balls in
him. In the Rue Richelieu there was the corpse of a young girl.
Somebody had placed lighted candles at its head and feet. When I
reached the parts of the town removed from the surveillance of
the soldiers, I noticed a bitter feeling among the better classes
for the day's work. The slaughter had been amongst those of their
own class, which was unusual. The number slain was at first, of
course, exaggerated, but it was with no gratifying emotions that
we could reduce it a few hundreds. It was civil war,--fratricide.
I reached home indignant and mournful."

Victor Hugo says of the massacre: "There were no combatants on
the side of the people. There could not be said to have been any
mob, though the Boulevard was crowded with spectators. Then, as
the wounded and terrified rushed into houses, the soldiers rushed
in after them."

Tortoni's was gutted; the fashionable Baths of Jouvence were torn
to pieces; one hotel was demolished; twenty-eight houses were so
injured that they had next day to be pulled down. Peaceful shopkeepers,
dressmakers, and English strangers were among the slain,--an old man
with an umbrella, a young man with an opera-glass. In the house
where Jouvin sold gloves there was a pile of dead bodies.

The firing was over by four P. M. It has never been known how many
were massacred. Some said twenty-five hundred, some made it five
hundred, and almost every person killed was, not a Red combatant,
but an innocent victim.

Thus Louis Napoleon made himself master of Paris. The army was
all for him, the masses were apathetic, the rural population was
on his side. A few weeks later a _plébiscite_ made him emperor.

The _coup d'état_ having succeeded, most Frenchmen gave in their
adhesion to its author. It remained only to dispose of the prisoners.
Without any preliminary investigation, squads of them were shot,
chiefly in the court-yard of the Prefecture of Police. All deputies
of the Left were sent into exile, except some who were imprisoned
in Algerine fortresses or sent to Cayenne,--the French political
penal colony at that period.

Victor Hugo remained a fortnight in hiding, believing, on the authority
of Alexandre Dumas, that a price was set upon his head. He gives
some moving accounts of little children whom he saw lying in their
blood on the evening of the massacre. His chief associates nearly
all escaped arrest, and got away from France in various disguises.
Their adventures are all of them very picturesque, and some are
very amusing.

Several of the eight prisoners at Ham suffered much from dampness.
Lamoricière, indeed, contracted permanent rheumatism during his
imprisonment. He begged earnestly to be allowed to write to his
wife, but was permitted to send her only three words, without date:
"I am well."

On the night of January 6, the commandant of the fortress, in full
uniform, accompanied by a Government agent, entered the sleeping-room
of each prisoner, and ordered him to rise and dress, as he was
to be sent immediately into exile under charge of two agents of
police detailed to accompany him over the frontier. Nor was he
to travel under his own name, a travelling _alias_ having been
provided for him. At the railroad station at Creil, Colonel Charras
met Changarnier. "_Tiens, Général!_" he cried, "is that you? I am
travelling under the name of Vincent." "And I," replied Changarnier,
"am called Leblanc." Each was placed with his two police agents
in a separate carriage. The latter were armed. Their orders were
to treat their prisoners with respect, but in case of necessity
to shoot them.

The journey was made without incident until they reached Valenciennes,
a place very near the frontier line between France and Belgium.
There, as the _coup d'état_ had proved a success, official zeal
was in the ascendency. The police commissioner of Valenciennes
examined the passports. As he was taking Leblanc's into his hand,
he recognized the man before him. He started, and cried out: "You
are General Changarnier!" "That is no affair of mine at present,"
said the general. At once the police agents interposed, and assured
the commissioner that the passports were all in order. Nothing
they could say would convince him of the fact. The prefect and
town authorities, proud of their own sagacity in capturing State
prisoners who were endeavoring to escape from France, held them
in custody while they sent word of their exploit to Paris. They at
once received orders to put all the party on the train for Belgium.

Charras was liberated at Brussels, Changarnier at Mons, Lamoricière
was carried to Cologne, M. Baze to Aix-la-Chapelle. They were not
released at the same place nor at the same time, Louis Napoleon
having said that safety required that a space should be put between
the generals.

[Illustration: _EUGÉNIE._]



A plébiscite--Louis Napoleon's political panacea--was ordered Dec.
20, 1851, two weeks after the _coup d'état_, to say if the people
of France approved or disapproved the usurpation of the prince
president. The national approval as expressed in this _plébiscite_
was overwhelming. Each peasant and artisan seemed to fancy he was
voting to revive the past glories of France, when expressing his
approval of a Prince Napoleon. The more thoughtful voters, like M.
de Montalembert, considered that the _coup d'état_ was a crushing
blow struck at Red Republicanism, Communism, the International
Society, and disorder generally.

For a while the prince president governed by decrees; then a new
legislative body was assembled. Its first duty was to revise the
constitution. The republican constitution of 1850 was in the main
re-adopted, but with one important alteration. The prince president
was to be turned into the Emperor Napoleon III., and the throne
was to be hereditary in his family.

After the passage of this measure it was submitted by another
_plébiscite_ to the people. The _plébiscite_ is a universal suffrage
vote of yes or no, in answer to some question put by the Government
to the nation. The question this time was: Shall the prince president
become emperor? There were 7,800,000 ayes, and 224,000 noes.

When the news of this overwhelming success reached the Élysée,
Louis Napoleon sat so still and unmoved, smoking his cigar, that
his cousin, Madame Baiocchi, rushing up to him, shook him, and
exclaimed: "Is it possible that you are made of stone?"

Having thus secured his elevation by the almost universal consent
of Frenchmen, the new emperor's next step was to insure his dynasty
by a marriage that might probably give heirs to the throne. He
chose the title Napoleon III. because the son of the Great Napoleon
had been Napoleon II. for a few days after his father's abdication
at Fontainebleau in 1814. The next heir to the imperial dignities
(Lucien Bonaparte having refused anything of the kind for himself
or for his family) was Jérôme Napoleon, familiarly called Plon-Plon.
He was the only son of Jérôme Bonaparte and the Princess Catherine
of Würtemberg. But Prince Napoleon, though clever, was wilful and
eccentric, and made a boast of being a Red Republican; moreover,
his father's Baltimore marriage had made his legitimacy more than
doubtful,--at any rate, Louis Napoleon was by no means desirous
of passing on to him the succession to the empire; and being now
forty-four years old, he was desirous of marrying as soon as possible.

When a boy, it had been proposed to marry him to his cousin Mathilde,
and something like an attachment had sprung up between them; but
after his fiasco at Strasburg he was no longer considered an eligible
suitor either for Princess Mathilde or another cousin who had been
named for him, a princess of Baden. Princess Mathilde was married
to the Russian banker, Prince Demidorff; but when Louis Napoleon
became prince president, he requested her to preside at the Élysée.

The new emperor, or his advisers, looked round at the various
marriageable princesses belonging to the smaller courts of Germany.
The sister of that Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern whose selection for
the throne of Spain led afterwards to the Franco-Prussian war, was
spoken of; but the lady most seriously considered was the Princess
Adélaïde of Hohenlohe. She was daughter of Queen Victoria's half-sister
Feodora; and to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, as heads of the
family, the matter was referred. A recent memoir-writer tells us of
seeing the queen at Windsor when the matter was under discussion.
The queen and her husband were apparently not averse to the alliance,
hesitating only on the grounds of religion and morals; but it is
doubtful how far the new emperor went personally in the affair.
His inclination had for some time pointed to the reigning beauty
of Paris, Mademoiselle Eugénie de Montijo.

This young lady's grandfather was Captain Fitzpatrick, of a good old
Scottish family, which had in past times married with the Stuarts.
Captain Fitzpatrick had been American consul at a port in southern
Spain. He had a particularly charming daughter, who made a brilliant
Spanish marriage, her husband being the Count de Teba (or Marquis
de Montijo, for he bore both titles). The Montijos were connected
with the grandest ducal families in Spain and Portugal, and even
with the royal families of those nations.

The Count de Teba died while his two daughters were young, and they
were left under the guardianship of their very charming mother.
The elder married the Duke of Alva; the younger became the Empress

Eugénie was for some time at school in England at Clifton. She
was described by those who knew her there as a pretty, sprightly
little girl, much given to independence, and something of a tom
boy,--a character there is reason to think she preserved until
it was modified by the exigencies of her position.

Mr. George Ticknor, of Boston, frequently mentioned Madame de Teba
to his friends as a singularly charming woman. In 1818 he wrote
home to a friend in America:

"I knew Madame de Teba in Madrid, and from what I saw of her there and
at Malaga, I do not doubt she is the most cultivated and interesting
woman in Spain. Young, beautiful, educated strictly by her mother, a
Scotchwoman,--who for this purpose carried her to London and kept
her there six or seven years,--possessing extraordinary talents, and
giving an air of originality to all she says and does, she unites
in a most bewitching manner the Andalusian grace and frankness to a
French facility in her manners and a genuine English thoroughness
in her knowledge and accomplishments. She knows the chief modern
languages well, and feels their different characters, and estimates
their literature aright. She has the foreign accomplishments of
singing, painting, playing, etc., joined to the natural one of
dancing, in a high degree. In conversation she is brilliant and
original, yet with all this she is a true Spaniard, and as full
of Spanish feelings as she is of talent and culture."

Washington Irving, in 1853, thirty-five years later, writing to
his nephew, speaks in equal praise of Madame de Teba.

"I believe I told you," he says, "that I knew the grandfather of
the empress, old Mr. Fitzpatrick. In 1827 I was in the house of his
son-in-law, Count Teba, at Granada, a gallant, intelligent gentleman,
much cut up in the wars, having lost an eye and been maimed in a
leg and hand. Some years after, in Madrid, I was invited to the
house of his widow, Madame de Montijo, one of the leaders of _ton_.
She received me with the warmth and eagerness of an old friend. She
claimed me as the friend of her late husband. She subsequently
introduced me to the little girls I had known in Granada, _now_
fashionable belles in Madrid."

In some lines of Walter Savage Landor, Madame de Montijo was addressed
as a "lode-star of her sex."

The Marquis de Montijo had been an adherent of Joseph Bonaparte
while the latter was king of Spain, and his eye had been put out
at the battle of Salamanca. He was a liberal in politics, and his
house was always open to cultivated men.

Such was the ancestry of the beautiful young lady who, tall, fair,
and graceful, with hair like one of Titian's beauties, was travelling
with her mother from capital to capital, after the marriage of her
sister to the Duke of Alva, and who spent the winters of 1850,
1851, and 1852 in the French capital. Mademoiselle Eugénie had
conceived a romantic admiration for the young prince who at Strasburg
and Boulogne had been so unfortunate. Her father had been a stanch
adherent of Bonaparte, and she is said to have pleaded with her
mother at one time to visit the prisoner at Ham and to place her
fortune at his disposal.

This circumstance, when confided to the prince president, disposed
him to be interested in the young lady. She and her mother were
often at the Élysée, at Fontainebleau, and at Compiègne. Mademoiselle
de Montijo was a superb horsewoman, and riding was the emperor's
especial personal accomplishment. On one occasion they got lost
together in the forest at Compiègne, and then society began to
make remarks upon their intimacy.

The emperor was indeed most seriously in love with Mademoiselle
de Montijo. It is said, on the authority of M. de Goncourt, that
in one of their rides he asked her, with strange frankness, if
she had ever been in love with any man. She answered with equal
frankness, "I may have had fancies, sire, but I have never forgotten
that I was Mademoiselle de Montijo."[1]

[Footnote 1: Pierre de Lano. La Cour de L'Empereur Napoléon III.]

Such a project of marriage was not approved by the emperor's family,
it was not favored by his ministers, and the ladies of his court
were all astir.

At a ball given on New Year's Day, 1853, by the emperor at the
Tuileries, the wife of a cabinet minister was rude and insulting
to Mademoiselle de Montijo. Seeing that she looked troubled, the
emperor inquired the cause; and when he knew it, he said quietly:
"To-morrow no one will dare to insult you again." There is also
a story, which seems to rest on good authority, that a few weeks
before this, at Compiègne, he had placed a crown of oak-leaves on
her head, saying: "I hope soon to replace it with a better one."[2]
Like the Empress Josephine, she had had it prophesied to her in
her girlhood that she should one day wear a crown.

[Footnote 2: Jerrold, Life of Napoleon III.]

The day after the occurrence at the ball at the Tuileries, the
Duc de Morny waited on Madame de Montijo with a letter from the
emperor, formally requesting her daughter's hand.

The ladies, after this, removed to the Élysée, which was given to
them, and preparations for the marriage went on apace.

In less than a month afterwards Eugénie de Montijo was empress of

Here is the emperor's own official announcement of his intended

"I accede to the wish so often manifested by my people in announcing
my marriage to you. The union which I am about to contract is not
in harmony with old political traditions, and in this lies its
advantage. France, by her successive revolutions, has been widely
sundered from the rest of Europe. A wise Government should so rule as
to bring her back within the circle of ancient monarchies. But this
result will be more readily obtained by a frank and straightforward
policy, by a loyal intercourse, than by royal alliances, which often
create false security, and subordinate national to family interests.
Moreover, past examples have left superstitious beliefs in the
popular mind. The people have not forgotten that for sixty years
foreign princesses have mounted the steps of the throne only to see
their race scattered and proscribed, either by war or revolution.
One woman alone appears to have brought with her good fortune, and
lives, more than the rest, in the memory of the people; and this
woman, the wife of General Bonaparte, was not of royal blood. We
must admit this much, however. In 1810 the marriage of Napoleon I.
with Marie Louise was a great event. It was a bond for the future,
and a real gratification to the national pride.... But when, in
the face of ancient Europe, one is carried by the force of a new
principle to the level of the old dynasties, it is not by affecting
an ancient descent and endeavoring at any price to enter the family
of kings, that one compels recognition. It is rather by remembering
one's origin; it is by preserving one's own character, and assuming
frankly towards Europe the position of a _parvenu_,--a glorious title
when one rises by the suffrages of a great people. Thus impelled, as
I have been, to part from the precedents that have been hitherto
followed, my marriage is only a private matter. It remained for me
to choose my wife. She who has become the object of my choice is
of lofty birth, French in heart and education and by the memory of
the blood shed by her father in the cause of the Empire. She has,
as a Spaniard, the advantage of not having a family in France to
whom it would be necessary to give honors and dignities. Gifted with
every quality of the heart, she will be the ornament of the throne,
as in the hour of danger she would be one of its most courageous
defenders. A pious Catholic, she will address one prayer with me
to Heaven for the happiness of France. Kindly and good, she will
show in the same position, I firmly believe, the virtues of the
Empress Josephine."

The State coaches of the First Empire were regilded for the occasion,
the crown diamonds were drawn from the hiding-place where they
had lain since Louis Philippe's time, and were reset for the lady
who was to wear them, while her apartments at the Tuileries were
rapidly prepared.

The emperor was radiant. He had followed his inclination, and now
that his choice was made, it seemed to receive universal approval.
The London "Times" said: "Mademoiselle de Montijo knows better the
character of France than any princess who could have been fetched
from a German principality. She combines by her birth the energy
of the Scottish and Spanish races, and if the opinion we hold of
her be correct, she is, as Napoleon says, made not only to adorn
the throne, but to defend it in the hour of danger."

The Municipal Council of Paris voted six hundred thousand francs
to buy her a diamond necklace as a wedding present. Very gracefully
she declined the necklace, but accepted the money, with which she
endowed an Orphan Asylum.

The wedding-day was Jan. 29, 1853. Crowds lined the streets as the
bride and her _cortège_ drove to the Tuileries, where they were
received by the Grand Chamberlain and other court dignitaries, who
conducted the bride to the first _salon_. There she was received by
Prince Napoleon and his sister, the Princess Mathilde, who introduced
her into the _salon_, where the emperor, with his uncle, King Jérôme,
surrounded by a glittering throng of cardinals, marshals, admirals,
and great officers of State, stood ready to receive her. Thence, at
nine o'clock, she was led by the emperor to the Salle des Maréchaux
and seated beside him on a raised throne. The marriage contract
was then read, and signed by the bride and bridegroom and by all
the princes and princesses present.

The bride wore a marvellous dress of Alençon point lace, clasped
with a diamond and sapphire girdle made for the Empress Marie Louise,
and she looked, said a beholder, "the imperial beauty of a poet's
vision." The emperor was in a general's uniform. He wore the collar
of the Legion of Honor which his uncle the Great Emperor used to
wear. He wore also the collar of the Golden Fleece that had once
belonged to the Emperor Charles V.

The civil marriage being concluded, the imperial pair and the wedding
guests passed into the theatre, where a _cantata_, composed by
Auber for the occasion, was sung. The empress, robed in lace and
glittering in jewels, seemed, says an eye-witness, to realize the
picture presented of herself in the composer's words:--

  "Espagne bien aimée,
    Où le ciel est vermeil,
  C'est toi qui l'as formée
    D'un rayon de soleil."[1]

  [Footnote 1:
  Ah, beautiful Spain,
    With thy skies ever bright,
  Thou hast formed her for us
    From a ray of sunlight.]

When the _cantata_ had been sung, the Grand Master of the Ceremonies
conducted the bride, as yet only half married, back to the Élysée.

The next morning all Paris was astir to see the wedding procession
pass to the cathedral of Notre Dame. Early in the morning the emperor
had repaired to the Élysée, where, in the chapel, he and the empress
had heard mass, and after making their confession, had partaken
of the Holy Communion. There were two hundred thousand sightseers
in Paris that day, in addition to the usual population.

The empress wore upon her golden hair the crown that the First
Napoleon had placed upon the head of Marie Louise. The body of
the church was filled with men,--ambassadors, military and naval
officers, and high officials. Their wives were in the galleries.
As the great doors of the cathedral were opened to admit the bridal
procession, a broad path of light gleamed from the door up to the
altar, adding additional brilliancy to the glittering scene. Up
the long aisle the emperor led his bride, flashing with the light
of jewels, among them the unlucky regent diamond, which glittered
on her bosom. After the Spanish fashion, she crossed her brow,
her lips, her heart, her thumb, as she knelt for the nuptial
benediction. The ceremony over, the archbishop conducted the married
pair to the porch of the cathedral, and they drove along the Quai
to the Tuileries.

The first favor the empress asked of her husband was the pardon
of more than four thousand unfortunate persons still exiled or
imprisoned for their share in the risings that succeeded the _coup

When Washington Irving heard of the marriage, he wrote: "Louis
Napoleon and Eugénie de Montijo,--Emperor and Empress of France!
He whom I received as an exile at my cottage on the Hudson, she
whom at Granada I have dandled on my knee! The last I saw of Eugénie
de Montijo, she and her gay circle had swept away a charming young
girl, beautiful and accomplished, my dear young friend, into their
career of fashionable dissipation. Now Eugénie is on a throne,
and the other a voluntary recluse in a convent of one of the most
rigorous Orders." This convent is near Biarritz, where the nuns
take vows of silence like the monks of La Trappe.[1] The empress
when at Biarritz never failed to visit her former friend, who was
permitted to converse with her.

[Footnote 1: Saturday Review, 1885.]

The beautiful woman thus raised to the imperial throne[2] was a
mixed character,--not so perfect as some have represented her,
but entirely to be acquitted of those grave faults that envy or
disappointed expectations have attributed to her. Her character united
kind-heartedness with inconsideration, imprudence with austerity,
ardent feeling with great practical common-sense. Probably the
emperor understood her very little at the time of his marriage, and
that she long remained to him an enigma may have been one of her
charms. With the impetuosity of her disposition and the intrepidity
that had characterized her girlhood, she found it hard to submit
to the restraints of her position, and the emperor had occasion
frequently to remonstrate with her on her indifference to etiquette
and public opinion. It was not until after her visit to Windsor
in 1855 that she could be induced to establish court rules at the
Tuileries, and to prescribe for herself and others, in public, a
strict system of etiquette. But in her private hours, among her
early friends, in the circle of ladies admitted to her intimacy,
the empress was less discreet. Her impressions were apt to run
into extremes; she indulged in whims like other pretty women; yet
she was never carried by her romantic feelings or her enthusiasm
beyond her power of self-control. Though careless of etiquette in
private life, whenever a great occasion came, she could act with
imperial dignity.

[Footnote 2: Pierre de Lano.]

Although she often experienced ingratitude, she was always generous.
She was as ready to solicit favors and pardons as was the Empress
Josephine. Sometimes she was even sorely embarrassed to find arguments
in favor of her _protégés_. "_Ah, mon Dieu!_" she cried once, when
pleading for the pardon of a workman, "how could he be guilty?
He has a wife and five children to support; he could have had no
time for conspiracy!"

As a wife she was devoted, not only to the public interests of her
husband, but to his personal welfare. She was constantly anxious
lest he should suffer from overwork; and her little select evening
parties, which some people found fault with, were instituted by
her with the chief object of amusing him.

Ben Jonson makes it a reproach against a lady of the sixteenth century
that she would not "suffer herself to be admired." No such reproach
could be addressed to the Empress Eugénie. Few women conscious of
their power to charm will fail to exercise it. In the case of an
empress,--young, lively, of an independent and adventurous spirit, and
very beautiful,--all who approached her thought better of themselves
from her apparent appreciation of their claims to consideration;
and, indeed, in her position was it not the duty of the successor
of Josephine to be gracious and charming to everybody?

Unfortunately the ladies who most enjoyed the intimacy of the Empress
Eugénie were foreigners. She seems to have felt a certain distrust
of Frenchwomen; and considering the ingratitude she often met with
from those she served, it is hardly surprising that she preferred
the intimacy of women who could not look to her for favors.

One of the ladies most intimate with the empress was the wife of
Prince Richard Metternich, the Austrian ambassador. This lady seems
to have had personal and political ends in view, and to have succeeded
in inducing the empress to adopt and further them. That she was a
dangerous and false friend may be judged from a speech she made
when remonstrated with for countenancing and encouraging a project,
favored by the empress, of making a promenade in the forest of
Fontainebleau with her court-ladies in skirts which, like those
in the old Scotch ballad, should be "kilted up to the knee." "You
would not have advised your own empress," it was said to her, "to
appear in such a garb." "Of course not," replied the ambassadress;
"but _my_ empress is of royal birth.--a real empress; while yours,
_ma chère_, was Mademoiselle de Montijo!"

Brought up in private life, not early trained to the self-abnegation
demanded of princesses, the Empress Eugénie did not bring into her
new sphere all the _aplomb_ and seriousness about little things
which are early inculcated on ladies brought up to the profession
of royalty. The career for which she had formed herself was that
of a very charming woman; and one secret of her fascination was
the sincerity of the interest she took in those around her. She
loved to study character, to see into men's souls. She loved to
be adored, while irresponsively she received men's homage. She
especially liked the society of famous men, and when she was to
meet them, she took pains to inform herself on the subjects about
which they were most likely to converse.

That Queen Victoria loves her as a sister and a friend, is a testimony
to her dignity and goodness; and we have her husband's own opinion
of her, published on her fête-day, Dec. 15, 1868, after nearly
sixteen years of marriage. The emperor had under his control a
monthly magazine called "Le Dix Décembre," in which he often inserted
articles from his own pen. The manuscript of this, in his own
handwriting, was found in 1870 in the sack of the Tuileries. He
omits all mention of his wife's Scotch ancestry, neither does he
allude to her school-days in England. He speaks of her as a member
of one of the most distinguished families in Spain, extols her
father's attachment to the house of Bonaparte, and tells how she and
her sister were placed at the Sacré Coeur, near Paris, declaring that
"she acquired, we may say, the French before the Spanish language."
He goes on to speak of her, not as the leader of a giddy circle of
fashion in Madrid, as Washington Irving describes her, but as the
thoughtful, studious young girl, with a precocious taste for social
problems and for the society of men of letters; and he adds that after
her marriage her simple, natural tastes did not disappear. "After her
visit to the cholera patients at Amiens," he says, "nothing seemed
to surprise her more than the applause that everywhere celebrated
her courage. She seemed at last distressed by it.... At Compiègne,"
he also tells us, "nothing can be more attractive than five o'clock
tea _à l'impératrice_; though," he adds slyly, "sometimes she is
a little too fond of argument."

Assuredly she filled a difficult place, and filled it well; but
the court of the Second Empire was all spangles and tinsel. It
was composed of men and women all more or less adventurers. It was
the court of the _nouveaux riches_ and of a mushroom aristocracy.
There were prizes to be won and pleasures to be enjoyed, and it
was "like as it was in the days of Noë, until the flood came, and
swept them all away."

In the midst of the crowd that composed this court the emperor and
the empress shine out as the best. Both wanted to do their duty,
as they understood it, to France. Whether it was the emperor's
fault or his misfortune, is still undecided; but, with one or two
exceptions, he was able to attach to himself only keen-witted
adventurers and mediocre men. Among the women, not one who was
really superior rose above the crowd. The empress led a giddy circle
of married women, as in her youth, according to Washington Irving,
she had led a giddy circle of young girls.

The two most able men among the emperor's advisers were his own
kinsmen,--Count Walewski, who died in 1868, and the Duc de Morny,
a man calm, polished, socially amiable, and so clever that Guizot
once said to him: "My dear Morny, you are the only man who could
overturn the Empire; but you will never be foolish enough to do
it." By his death, in 1865, Louis Napoleon was bereft of his ablest

Persigny, or Fialin, had been the close personal friend of the
emperor in his exile, and took a prominent part in the abortive
expedition to Boulogne. In his youth he had led a disreputable
life, and was not a man of great intellect, but he was presumed
to be devoted to his old comrade. His friendship, however, had not
always a happy effect upon the fortunes of his master. In 1872 he
made a miserable end of his adventurous life, after having turned
against the emperor in his adversity.

Fleury was another personal friend of Louis Napoleon, and was probably
his best. The prince president had distinguished him when he was
only a subaltern in the army. He had enlisted in the ranks, and
had done good service in Algeria. In the emperor's last days of
failing health he loved to keep Fleury beside him; but the empress
was jealous of her husband's friend, and used her influence to
have him honorably exiled to St. Petersburg as French ambassador.
This post he occupied when the Franco-Prussian war broke out, so
that he could be of little help to his master.

Saint-Arnaud had been made a marshal and minister of war, in spite
of having been twice turned out of the French army.

M. Rouher had charge of the emperor's financial concerns, and Fould
was a man who understood bureau-work, and how to manipulate government

Whoever might be the emperor's ministers, this little clique of
his personal adherents--De Morny, Persigny, Saint-Arnaud, Fleury,
Rouher, and Fould--were always around their master, giving him
their advice and sharing (so far as he allowed anyone to share)
his intimate councils.

The members of the Bonaparte family were an immense expense to the
emperor, and gave him no little trouble. They were not the least
thirsty among those who thronged around the fountain of wealth and
honor; and their importunate demands upon the emperor's bounty led
to a perpetual and reckless waste of money. The empress frequently
remonstrated with her husband in regard to his lavish largesses
and too generous expenditure. Contrary to what has been generally
supposed, she was herself orderly and methodical in her expenditures
and accounts, always carefully examining her bills, and though by
the emperor's express desire she always expended the large amount
annually allowed her, she never exceeded that sum.

Unhappily, the revived imperialism of Louis Napoleon was not, like
Legitimacy, a _cause_, but to most persons who supported it, it
was a speculation. Adherents had therefore to be attracted to it
by hopes of gain, and all services had to be handsomely rewarded.

The emperor's policy in the early years of his reign may be said
to have been twofold. He wanted to make France increase in material
prosperity, and he wished to have money freely spent within her
borders. He set on foot all kinds of improvements in Paris, and
all kinds of useful enterprises in the provinces. Work was plenty;
money flowed freely; the empire was everywhere popular. But the
government of France was the government of one man; and if anything
happened to that one man, where would be the government? There
seemed no need to ask that question while France was prosperous
and Paris gay. France under the Second Empire was quieter than
she had been for any eighteen years since the Great Revolution;
and for that she was grateful to Napoleon III.

His foreign policy was still more successful. "The Empire is peace,"
he had early proclaimed to be his motto. At first the idea of a
Napoleon on the throne of France had greatly terrified the nations;
but by degrees it seemed as if he really meant to be the Napoleon
of Peace, as his uncle had been the Napoleon of War. He took every
opportunity of reiterating his desire to be on good terms with
his neighbors. With respect to England, those who knew him best
asserted earnestly that he had always been in sympathy with the
country that had sheltered him in exile. Count Walewski, whom he sent
over as ambassador to London, was very popular there. He attended
the funeral of the Duke of Wellington in his official capacity,
and in return for this courtesy England restored to the French
emperor his uncle's will, which had been laid up in Doctor's Commons
with other wills of persons who had died on English soil. Russia
was haughty to the new emperor; but the other courts of Europe
accepted him, and most of them did so with considerable alacrity;
for was he not holding down Socialism and Internationalism, which
they dreaded far more than Napoleonism, and by which they were
menaced in their own lands?

The great perplexity of the new emperor was his relation to Italy.
He and his brother had taken the oaths of a Carbonaro in that country,
in 1831. It is not to this day certain that his brother did not die
by a Carbonaro's knife, rather than by the measles. Be that as
it may, Louis Napoleon knew that if he failed to keep his promises
as to the liberation of Italy, assassination awaited him.

How he endeavored to reconcile his engagements as a Carbonaro with
his policy as the French emperor belongs less to the historical
gossip of France than to that of Italy. So too the history of the
Crimean War seems to belong _par excellence_ to that of Russia. It
was undertaken by England and France as allies, joined afterwards
by a Sardinian army under General La Marmora, by the Turkish troops
under Omar Pasha, and by an Egyptian contingent; but as we are
now engaged on the personal history of the emperor and empress,
I will rather here tell how Napoleon III., having formed a camp
of one hundred thousand soldiers at Boulogne, on the very ground
where his uncle had assembled his great army for the invasion of
England, decided to ascertain, through his ambassador in London,
if it would be agreeable to Prince Albert to visit that camp and
see the manoeuvres of his army. Finding that the invitation would be
acceptable to the prince, he addressed him the following letter:--

  July 3, 1854.

MON FRÈRE,--Your Royal Highness knows that putting in practice
your own idea, and wishing to carry out to the end the struggle
with Russia that we have begun together, I have decided to form an
army between Boulogne and St. Omer. I need not tell your Highness
how pleased I should be to see you, and how happy I should be to
show you my soldiers. I am convinced, moreover, that personal ties
will strengthen the union so happily established between two great
nations. I beg you to present my respectful homage to the queen,
and to receive this expression of the esteem and sincere affection
I have conceived for you.

With this, _mon frère_, I pray God to have you in his holy keeping.


The prince accepted the invitation, addressing the emperor as "Sire
et mon frère." The queen entirely approved the visit, and Baron
Stockmar predicted much advantage from it, "inasmuch," he said,
"as the good or evil destiny of the present time will directly and
chiefly depend upon a rational, honorable, and resolute alliance
between England and France."

Prince Albert met the emperor at Boulogne, Sept. 4, 1854. The Duke
of Newcastle, who was in attendance on Prince Albert, wrote to a
friend that tears stood in the emperor's eyes when he received
his guest as he stepped upon French soil; and the prince wrote
that evening to the queen:--

"The emperor has been very nervous, if we are to believe those who
stood near him and who know him well. He was kindly and courteous,
and does not look so old nor so pale as his portraits make him, and
is much gayer than he is generally represented. The visit cannot
fail to be a source of great gratification to him.... I have had
two long talks with him, in which he spoke very sensibly about the
war and the _questions du jour_. People here are sanguine about
the results of the expedition to the Crimea, and very sensitive
about the behavior of Admiral Sir Charles Napier."

The prince adds in his letter, the same evening:--

"The emperor thaws more and more. This evening after dinner I withdrew
with him to his sitting-room for half an hour before rejoining his
guests, in order that he might smoke his cigarette,--in which
occupation, to his amazement, I could not keep him company. He
told me that one of the deepest impressions ever made on him was,
when having gone from France to Rio Janeiro and thence to the United
States, and being recalled to Europe by the rumor of his mother's
serious illness, he arrived in London directly after King William's
death, and saw you going to open parliament for the first time."

Subsequently the prince tells the queen,--

"We discussed all topics of home and foreign policy, material and
personal, with the greatest frankness, and I can say but good of what
I heard.... He was brought up in the German fashion in Germany,--a
training which has developed a German turn of mind. As to all modern
political history, so far as this is not Napoleonic, he is without
information; so that he wants many of the materials for accurate

Dickens, who was at Boulogne on this occasion, thus tells of Prince
Albert's arrival:--

"The town looks like one immense flag, it is so decked out with
streamers; and as the royal yacht approached yesterday, the whole
range of the cliff-tops was lined with troops, and the artillerymen,
matches in hand, stood ready to fire the great guns the moment
she made the harbor, the sailors standing up in the prow of the
yacht, the prince, in a blazing uniform, left alone on the deck for
everybody to see,--a stupendous silence, and then such an infernal
blazing and banging as never was heard. It was almost as fine a
sight as one could see, under a deep blue sky."

While the guest of the emperor, Prince Albert expressed to him
the queen's hope that they should see him in England, and that she
should make the acquaintance of the empress.

The prince, an excellent judge of character, in a subsequent memorandum
concerning his impressions, says,--

"The emperor appeared quiet and indolent from constitution, not
easily excited, but gay and humorous when at his ease. His French
is not without a little German accent, and his pronunciation of
German is better than of English.... He recited a poem by Schiller
on the advantages to man of peace and war, which seemed to have made
a deep impression upon him, and appeared to me to be not without
significance with reference to his own life. His court and household
are strictly kept and in good order, more English than French.
The gentlemen composing his _entourage_ are not distinguished by
birth, manners, or education. He lives on a familiar footing with
them, although they seemed afraid of him. The tone was rather that
of a garrison, with a good deal of smoking.... He is very chilly,
complains of rheumatism, and goes early to bed, takes no pleasure
in music, but is proud of his horsemanship."

Speaking again of the emperor's lack of information as to the history
of politics, Prince Albert says:--

"But he is remarkably modest in acknowledging these defects, and
in not pretending to know what he does not. All that relates to
Napoleonic politics he has at his finger's ends. He also appears to
have thought much and deeply on politics, yet more like an amateur
politician, mixing many very sound and very crude notions together.
He admires English institutions, and regrets the absence of an
aristocracy in France, but might not be willing to allow such an
aristocracy to control his own power, whilst he might wish to have
the advantage of its control over the pure democracy."

The emperor closely questioned the prince about the working of
the English government and the queen's relations to her ministers.
Prince Albert writes,--

"He said that he did not allow his ministers to meet or to discuss
matters together; that they transacted their business solely with
him. He seemed astonished when I told him that every despatch went
through the queen's hands and was read by her, as he only received
extracts made from them, and indeed appeared to have little time
or inclination generally to read. When I observed to him that the
queen would not be content without seeing the whole of the diplomatic
correspondence, he replied that he found a full compensation in
having persons in his own employ and confidence at the different
posts of importance, who reported solely to him. I could not but
express my sense of the danger of such an arrangement, to which
no statesman, in England at least, would submit."

I have quoted this memorandum of Prince Albert's, because it points
out the perils which led to the downfall or the Empire,--the emperor's
bad _entourage_; his personal government, assisted only by private
confidential relations with irresponsible persons; his mixture of
crude and sensible ideas of government; his indolence; and his
tendency to let things slide out of his own hands.

"Upon the whole," concluded the prince, "my impression is that
neither in home nor foreign politics would the emperor naturally
take any violent step, but that he appears in distress for means
of governing, and is obliged to look about him from day to day.
Having deprived the people of any active participation in the
government, and reduced them to the mere position of spectators,
they grow impatient, like a crowd at a display of fireworks, whenever
there is any cessation in the display. Still, he appears the only
man who has any hold on France, relying on the name of Napoleon.
He said to the Duke of Newcastle:

'Former Governments have tried to reign by the support of one million
of the educated classes; I claim to lay hold of the other twenty-nine.'
He is decidedly benevolent, and anxious for the good of the people,
but has, like all rulers before him, a bad opinion of their political

Strange to say, in the midst of war the Universal Exposition of
1855 took place in Paris. The winter was horribly severe, and the
armies in the Crimea suffered terribly. The emperor was extremely
desirous to go himself to the seat of war, but was urged by every
one about him to remain at home. All kinds of good reasons were
put forward for this advice, but probably not the one subsequently
advanced by one of his generals after the campaign of Italy in
1859. "It used to be said that the presence of the First Napoleon
with his army was worth a reinforcement of forty thousand men.
The army now feels that the presence of the Third Napoleon equals
the loss of about the same number."

We have seen that Queen Victoria had expressed a wish to welcome
the emperor and empress at Windsor Castle. It was on April 16,
1855, that the imperial pair reached England, and were received by
Prince Albert on board their yacht. They met with a hearty national
greeting on their way to London. In London itself crowds lined the
streets. "It was," says an eye-witness, "one bewildering triumph,
in which it was estimated that a million of people took part."
The "Times" reporter noticed that as the emperor passed his old
residence in King Street, St. James's, he pointed it out to the
empress as the place where he was living when the events of 1848
summoned him to Paris.

"Only seven years before," observes his biographer, Mr. Jerrold,
"he was wont to stroll unnoticed, with his faithful dog at his
heels, from this house to the news-vendor's stall by the Burlington
Arcade, to get the latest news from revolutionary France; now he was
the guest of the English people, on his way through cheering crowds
to Windsor Castle, where the queen was waiting in the vestibule to
receive him." The same rooms were prepared for him that had been
given to Louis Philippe and to the Emperor Nicholas. Queen Victoria
tells us in her diary,--

"I cannot say what indescribable emotions filled me,--how much
all seemed like a wonderful dream.... I advanced and embraced the
Emperor, ... and then the very gentle, graceful, and evidently
nervous empress. We presented the princes and our children (Vicky,
with very alarmed eyes, making very low courtesies). The emperor
embraced Bertie, and then he went upstairs, Albert leading the
empress, who, in the most engaging manner, refused to go first, but
at length, with graceful reluctance, did so, the emperor leading
me and expressing his great gratification in being here and seeing
me, and admiring Windsor."

At dinner, on the day of his arrival, the new ruler of France seems
to have charmed the queen. "He is," she records in her journal,
"so very quiet. His voice is low and soft. _Et il ne fait pas des

When the war was talked about, the emperor spoke of his wish to
go out to the Crimea, and the queen noticed that the empress was
as eager as himself that he should go. "She sees no greater danger
for him _there_," she adds, "than in Paris. She said she was seldom
alarmed for him except when he went out quite alone of a morning....
She is full of courage and spirit, and yet so gentle, with such
innocence and _enjouement_, that the _ensemble_ is most charming.
With all her great liveliness she has the prettiest and most modest

The queen little guessed what commotion and excitement had gone on
before dinner in the private apartments of the emperor and empress,
when it was discovered that the case containing all the beautiful
toilet prepared for the occasion had not arrived. The emperor suggested
to his wife to retire to rest on the plea of fatigue after the
journey, but she decided to borrow a blue-silk dress from one of
her ladies-in-waiting, in which, with only flowers in her hair,
she increased the queen's impression of her simplicity and modesty.

During the visit the emperor asked the queen where Louis Philippe's
widow, Queen Marie Amélie, was living. She had been at Windsor Castle
only a few days before, and the queen had looked sorrowfully after
her as she drove away, with shabby post-horses, to her residence
near Richmond. The emperor begged her Majesty to express to Louis
Philippe's widow his hope that she would not hesitate to pass through
France on any journey she might make to Spain.

There was a review of the household troops, commanded by Lord Cardigan,
who had led the charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava, and who
rode the same charger. The emperor rode a fiery, beautiful chestnut,
and his horsemanship was much admired. That evening there was a
State ball at Windsor Castle, and the queen danced a quadrille
with the emperor. The queen wrote that evening in her journal: "How
strange to think that I--the granddaughter of George III.--should
dance with the Emperor Napoleon, nephew of England's greatest enemy,
now my nearest and most intimate ally, in the Waterloo Room, and
that ally living in this country only six years ago in exile, poor
and unthought of!"

She adds, speaking of the empress: "Her manner is the most perfect
thing I have ever seen, so gentle and graceful and kind, and the
courtesy is charming,--so modest and retiring withal."

The next day came a council attended by the emperor, Prince Albert,
ministers, and diplomatists, which lasted so very long that the
queen herself knocked at the door and reminded them that at four
o'clock the emperor was to be invested with the Order of the Garter.

After this ceremony was over, the emperor remarked to the queen
that he had now sworn fidelity to her Majesty, and would carefully
keep his oath.

At dinner that day the talk fell on assassination. The emperor
was shot at by a Carbonaro only a few days after his return from
Windsor, and four years later by Orsini.

Before leaving England the emperor attended a banquet given to
him by the Lord Mayor. At Windsor he read his speech (in English)
to the queen and prince, who pronounced it a very good one.

Next day the royalties went to see the Crystal Palace, at Sydenham.
There they were surrounded by sight-seeing throngs, and in such a
crowd there was every chance for a pistol-shot from some French
or Italian refugee. "I own I felt anxious," writes the queen; "I
felt as I walked, leaning on the emperor's arm, that I was possibly
a protection to him."

Afterwards she writes,--

"On all, this visit has left a permanent satisfactory impression. It
went off so well,--not a _contre-temps_ ... fine weather, everything
smiling, the nation enthusiastic and happy in the alliance of two
great countries whose enmity would be fatal.... I am glad to have
known this extraordinary man, whom it is certainly not possible
not to like when you live with him, and not, even to a considerable
extent, to admire.... I believe him capable of kindness, affection,
friendship, gratitude. I feel confidence in him as regards the
future. I think he is frank, means well to us, and, as Stockmar
says, that we have insured his sincerity and good faith to us for
the rest of his life."

Nearly a year after this visit, when the emperor and empress had
been married about three years, the Prince Imperial was born, March
16, 1856. A few hours after his birth he was christened Napoleon
Eugène Louis Jean Joseph. Pope Pius IX. was his godfather, the
Queen of Sweden his godmother. For many hours the empress, like
her imperial predecessor Marie Louise, was dangerously ill.

The Crimean War had by that time virtually come to a triumphant
end. The emperor had at last an heir; all things appeared to smile
upon him. A general amnesty was issued to all political offenders. The
emperor became godfather and the empress godmother to all legitimate
children born in France upon their son's birthday, and finally the
little prince had a public baptism at Notre Dame, followed by a
ball of extraordinary magnificence, given by the city of Paris to
the mother of the heir-apparent, at the Hôtel-de-Ville.

The chief trouble that menaced the imperial throne at this period
was the extraordinary lavishness which the emperor's _entourage_ of
speculative adventurers encouraged him to incur in all directions;
the recklessness of speculation; the general mania for gain that
went on around him. There had also been terrible inundations in
France, and a bad harvest. Many things also that disgusted and
disquieted the emperor were going on among the persons who surrounded
him,--persons in whom he had placed confidence; and it was one of
his good qualities that he was always slow to believe evil. Still,
these things were forced on his attention, and greatly disturbed

His little son was from the first his idol. Here is a letter he wrote
to Prince Albert, acknowledging Queen Victoria's congratulations:--

"I have been greatly touched to learn that all your family have
shared my joy, and all my hope is that my son may resemble dear
little Prince Arthur, and that he may have the rare qualities of
your children. The sympathy shown on the late occasion by the English
people is another bond between the two countries, and I hope my son
will inherit my feelings of true friendship for the royal family of
England, and of affectionate esteem for the great English nation."

A few months later, the future Emperor Frederick, then recently
engaged to the Princess Royal of England, visited Paris. He was
attended by Major Baron von Moltke, who described the emperor,
empress, and their court in letters to his friends. "The empress,"
he says, "is of astonishing beauty, with a slight, elegant figure,
and dressing with much taste and richness, but without ostentation.
She is very talkative and lively,--much more so than is usual with
persons occupying so high a position. The emperor impressed me
by a sort of immobility of features, and the almost extinguished
look of his eyes."

This look, by the way, was cultivated by the emperor. When his early
playfellow, Madame Cornu, saw him after twelve years' separation,
her first exclamation was: "Why! what have you done to your eyes?"

"The prominent characteristic of the emperor's face," continues
Von Moltke, "is a friendly, good-natured smile which has nothing
Napoleonic about it. He mostly sits quietly with his head on one
side, and events have shown that this tranquillity, which is very
imposing to the restless French nation, is not apathy, but a sign
of a superior mind and a strong will. He is an emperor, and not
a king.... Affairs in France are not in a normal condition, but
it would be difficult to say how, under present circumstances,
they could be improved.... Napoleon III. has nothing of the sombre
sternness of his uncle, neither his imperial demeanor nor his deliberate
attitude. He is a quite simple and somewhat small man, whose always
tranquil countenance gives a strong impression of amiability. He
never gets angry, say the people round him. He is always polite....
He suffers from a want of men of ability to uphold him. He cannot
make use of men of independent character, who insist on having
their own notions, as the direction of affairs of State must be
concentrated in his hands. Greater liberty ought to be conceded in
a regulated state of society, but in the present state of France
there must be a strong and single direction, which is, besides,
best adapted to the French character. Freedom of the Press is for
the present as impossible here as it would be at the headquarters
of an army in the field if the Press wished to discuss the measures
taken by the general in command. Napoleon has shown wisdom, firmness,
self-confidence, but also moderation and clemency; and though simple
in his dress, he does not forget that the French people like to
see their sovereigns surrounded by a brilliant court."

Of the imperial baby in his nurse's arms, on whom the father looked
with a face radiant with pride and joy, Von Moltke remarks: "Truly,
he seems a strapping fellow."

The little prince grew up a very promising lad. He was his father's
idol. Louis Napoleon never could be brought to give him any sterner
reproof than "Louis, don't be foolish,--_ne fais pas des bêtises._"
Discipline was left to his mother, and it was popularly thought
that she was much less wrapped up in the child than his father
was. His especial talent was for drawing and sculpture. Some of
his sketches, of which fac-similes are given in Jerrold's "Life
of Napoleon III.," are very spirited, and when he could get a lump
of wet clay to play with, he made busts of the persons round him
which were excellent likenesses.

The emperor's rooms at the Tuileries were rather low and dark,
but he selected them because they communicated with those of the
empress in the Pavillon de Flore, by a narrow winding staircase.
Often in the day would she come down to him, or he ascend to her.

His study was filled with Napoleonic relics, and littered with
political and historical papers. He kept a large room with models
of new inventions, which were a great delight to him and to his
son. He was fond of wood-turning, and Thélin and he would often
make pretty rustic chairs for the park at Saint-Cloud.

For some years before his overthrow he was growing very feeble,
and always carried a cane surmounted with a gold eagle. Commonly
too some chosen friend, generally Fleury, gave him his arm, but
he always walked in silence. In the afternoon he would drive out,
and sometimes horrify the police by getting out of his carriage
and walking alone in distant quarters of the city.

On one occasion he had a difference of opinion with one of his
friends, who assured him that if he insisted on planting an open
space in the Faubourg Saint-Antoine with flowers, and protected
it by no railing, the flowers would very speedily be destroyed.
His pleasure and exultation were very great when he found he had
been right, and that not a flower had been plucked or broken.

The emperor was generally gay and ready to converse at table, but
he made it a rule never to criticise or discuss living persons
himself, or allow others to do so in his hearing.

There was much decorum at court so far as his influence extended
in the imperial circle, but there were plenty of scandals outside
of it; and as to money matters, even Persigny and Fleury--one the
friend of the emperor for five-and-twenty years, and the other
devotedly attached to him--could not restrain themselves from cheating
him and tricking him whenever they could.

[Illustration: _EMPEROR MAXIMILIAN._]



[Footnote 1: Much of the material of this chapter is taken from
Victor Tissot's book of travels in Austria; the chapter on Maximilian
as archduke and emperor I translated from advance-sheets, and it
was published in the "Living Age" under the title "From Miramar
to Queretaro." -E. W. L.]

Maximilian, Archduke of Austria, was born the same week that his
cousin, the unfortunate son of Napoleon and Marie Louise, had died.
He grew to manhood handsome, well educated, accomplished, and
enterprising. He had the great gift of always making himself personally
beloved. The navy was his profession, but his great desire was to
be made viceroy of the (then) Austrian provinces of Italy. He felt
sure that he could conciliate the Italians, and a great Italian
statesman is reported to have said that it was well for Italian unity
that his wish was never granted. His ideas were all liberal, and
opposed to those of Metternich. His family mistrusted his political
opinions, but the Italians, when brought into personal contact
with him, soon learned to love him. They saw a great deal of him,
for Trieste and Venice were at that period the naval stations of
the Austrian Empire. He was, therefore, often in those places,
and finally took up his residence in an earthly paradise upon the
Adriatic, created by himself and called by him Miramar.

In June, 1857, when the Indian Mutiny was at its height, though
tidings of it had not yet reached the western world, the Archduke
Maximilian, whom the English royal family had never met, arrived
at Windsor, and was hailed there as one who was soon to become
a relative, for he was engaged to King Leopold's only daughter,
the Princess Charlotte of Belgium.

The queen and her husband were charmed with Maximilian. "He is
a young prince," writes Prince Albert, "of whom we hear nothing
but good, and Charlotte's alliance with him will be one of the
heart. May Heaven's blessing," he adds, "be upon a connection so
happily begun, and in it may they both find their life's truest

The queen also wrote to her uncle Leopold,--

"The archduke is charming,--so clever, natural, kind, and amiable;
so English in his feelings and likings. With the exception of the
mouth and chin, he is good looking, but I think one does not the
least care for that, he is so very kind, clever, and pleasant. I
wish you really joy, dearest uncle, at having got such a husband
for dear Charlotte. I am sure he will make her happy, and do a
great deal for Italy."

Prince Albert crossed over to Belgium for the wedding, and wrote
to his wife: "Charlotte's whole being seems to have been warmed
and unfolded by the love that is kindled in her heart. I have never
seen so rapid a development in the space of one year. She appears
to be happy and devoted to her husband with her whole soul, and
eager to make herself worthy of her present position."

At the time of her marriage the princess had just entered her
seventeenth year. The wedding-day was made a little family fête at
Windsor, in spite of Prince Albert's absence. "The younger children,"
the queen writes to her husband, "are to have a half-holiday. Alice
is to dine with us for the first time, in the evening. We shall
drink the archduke's and the archduchess's healths, and I have
ordered wine for our servants, and grog for our sailors, to do the

Maximilian had been round the world in his frigate, the "Novara;"
he had travelled into Greece and Asia Minor, he had visited Spain,
Portugal, and Sicily; he had been to Egypt and the Holy Land. He
loved the ocean like a true sailor, and in 1856 he had taken up his
residence at Trieste, to be near its shores. He would frequently
go out alone in a light boat, even in rough weather, a dash of
danger lending excitement to a struggle with the wind and waves.

One day in a storm his light craft had been borne like a feather
round Cape Gignano. In a moment it lay at rest under the lee of
the land. Maximilian landed, and found the spot so charming and the
sea-view so superb that he resolved to build a little villa there
for fishing. He bought the land at once, and began by setting out
exotics, persuaded that the soil of such a spot would be favorable
to tropical vegetation. A year later he brought his young bride to
this favored spot, and with a golden wand transformed his bachelor's
fishing-hut into the palace of an emperor.

At this period of his life, Maximilian (an author and a poet) was
greatly interested in architecture. He drew the plans for an exquisite
church (now one of the beauties of Vienna), and draughted with his
own hand those for the grounds and castle of Miramar. The work was
pushed on rapidly, yet in 1859, when Austria was forced to give up
Lombardy, nothing at Miramar was complete except a fancy farm-house
on one of the heights of the property. Maximilian, however, made
his home there with his wife, and they found it so delightful that
when at length the castle was ready for occupation, they lingered
in the farmhouse, which they loved as their first home. It was a
large Swiss châlet, covered with vines and honeysuckle, surrounded
by groves of camellias and pyrus japonicas. How delicious life
must have been to the husband and wife in this solitude, fragrant
with flowers, vocal with the songs of birds, a glory of greenness
round the house, the blue sky overhead, the glittering ocean at
their feet, and holy love and loving kindness everywhere around

Maximilian's generosity rendered wealth indispensable to his complete
happiness, for he loved to surround himself with artists, learned
men, and men of letters. He paid them every kind of attention in
his power, and did not omit those little gifts which are "the beads
on memory's rosary."

"One feels how happy life must have been to husband and wife in
this new Paradise!" cries M. Victor Tissot. "Yet it was Paradise
Lost before long, for alas! in this, as in the other Paradise,
the Eve, the sweet young wife, was tempted by ambition. She took
the apple, ate, and gave it to her husband."

On April 10, 1864, the Mexican deputies commissioned to offer Maximilian
the imperial crown, arrived at Miramar. "We come," said Don Gutierrez
de Estrada, "to beseech you to ascend the throne of Mexico, to which
you have been called by the voice of a people weary of anarchy
and civil war. We are assured you have the secret of conquering
the hearts of all men, and excel in the rare knowledge of the art
of government."

Maximilian replied that he was ready to accept the honor offered
him by the Mexican people, and that his government would be both
liberal and constitutional. "I shall prove, I trust," he said,
"that liberty may be made compatible with law. I shall respect your
liberties, and uphold order at the same time."

Don Gutierrez thanked the archduke in the name of the Mexican nation,
and then the new emperor swore upon the Gospels to labor for the
happiness and prosperity of his people, and to protect their independent
nationality. Don Gutierrez was then embraced by Maximilian, who
hung around his neck the cross of the new Order of Guadeloupe,
of which he was the first member.

But this acceptance of the imperial crown of Mexico was by no means
a sudden thought with Maximilian. For eight months he had been
debating the matter in his own heart, urged to acceptance of the
crown by his wife, but dissuaded by his family.

The history of the offer, connected as it is with one of Napoleon
III.'s schemes for extending French influence, must be briefly

Before the Civil War broke out in America, it had already entered
the head of the emperor that he would like to intermeddle in the
affairs of Mexico. That unhappy country, which the United States
have been accused of doing their best to keep in a chronic state
of weakness, turbulence, and revolution, had been left to recover
itself after the Mexican War, which had shorn away its fairest

In 1853, Santa Aña, who had been president, dictator, exile, and
conspirator by turns for thirty years, was recalled to Mexico, and
a second time was made dictator. He assumed the title of Serene
Highness, and claimed the right to nominate his successor. A popular
revolution soon unseated him. Juarez, of Indian parentage, was at
its head. The clerical party was outraged by the confiscation of
the enormous possessions of the Church, and by the abolition of
the right of _mortmain_ (_i. e._, wills made upon death-beds were
pronounced thenceforth invalid, so far as bequests to the Church
were concerned). Mexico is a country with eighteen hundred miles of
coast-line, but few harbors. It had in 1860 no railroads, and hardly
any highroads of any kind. Its provinces were semi-independent, its
population widely scattered, a large part of it was Indian, a still
larger portion consisted of half-breeds; pure-blooded Spaniards
were a small minority. The feeling that stood Mexico in lieu of
patriotism was a keen hatred and jealousy of foreigners. Their
very pride still keeps the Mexicans from believing that there can
be anything better than what they possess. Perpetual revolutions
had educated the people into habits of lawlessness; and as to
dishonesty, rank itself was no guarantee against petty larceny,
while in the larger rascalities of peculation, bribe-taking, and
political treachery, no nation had ever such opportunities for
exercising its national capacity, nor, apparently, did many Mexicans
have conscientious scruples as to its display.

Under these circumstances it is no wonder that foreign bondholders
complained loudly to their Governments, or that in the general
confusion all manner of wrongs to Englishmen, Frenchmen, Austrians,
and Spaniards called loudly for redress. That cry reached the French
emperor's ears. He proposed to England and Spain that as Mexico had
at last got a government under Juarez, an interventionary force
should appear off her coast, composed of English, French, and Spanish
ships-of-war, and that Mexico should be summoned to redress their
common wrongs.

All this was harmless. The expedition was commanded by the Spanish
General Prim; but under the avowed object of demanding a redress of
grievances, the Emperor Napoleon concealed a more ambitious aim.
The United States were at war; all their resources were absorbed
in civil strife. The most sagacious statesmen could not foresee that
the end of that strife would be to make the country more great,
more rich, more formidable; and Napoleon thought it was the very
moment for attacking the Monroe doctrine, and for making, as he
said, "the Latin race hold equal sway with the Anglo-Saxon over the
New World." If he meant by the "Latin race" the effete half-Indian,
Mexican and South American peoples, which were to be set as rivals
against the Anglo-Saxon race, represented by Yankees, Southerners,
men of the West, and the English in Canada, he was widely wrong in
his calculation; but it is probable that "Latin" was his synonym
for "French" in this connection.

The Monroe doctrine, as all Americans know, took its rise from
certain words in a Presidential message of Mr. Monroe in 1822,
though they were inserted in the message by Mr. Adams. They were
to the effect that the United States would disturb no nation or
government at present (_i. e._, in 1822) existing on the North or
South American continent, but that they would oppose all attempts
by any European Government whatever to put down any free institutions
that were the choice of the people, or to impose upon them any
form of government against their will.

Napoleon III. did not quite dare to fly in the face of the Monroe
doctrine, even though the United States were embarrassed by civil
war. There were plenty of Mexican exiles in Paris, among them the
Don Gutierrez who offered Maximilian the imperial crown. These men
had secret interviews with the emperor. Thus the way was paved for
Maximilian long before the time came to act, and possibly before
he heard of the matter; for there was a power behind the throne
that was urging his elevation on the French emperor with all a
woman's persuasive powers.[1]

[Footnote 1: Pierre de Lana.]

It was not until after the Empress Eugénie had been left regent
of France, during the campaign of Italy, in 1859, that she took
any part in politics; but from that time her influence was freely
exercised, though she interested herself chiefly in foreign affairs.
She did not like Victor Emmanuel, nor her husband's policy as regarded
Italy. She dreaded the destruction of the pope's power as a temporal
prince. Her sympathies were Austrian, and in conjunction with her
friends the Prince and Princess Metternich she lost no opportunity of
urging the establishment of Maximilian and Carlotta on the imperial
throne of Mexico. She looked upon this as in some sort a compensation
given by France to the House of Hapsburg for its losses in Italy.
To her imagination, the expedition to Mexico seemed like a romance.
She saw two lovers seated upon Montezuma's throne,--the oldest throne
in the New World,--surrounded by the glories of the tropics. When
there, they would restore the privileges of the Catholic clergy, and
would curb the revolutionary aspirations of the mongrel population of
Mexico,--a population which, as a Spaniard, she hated and despised.
To this end she intrigued with all her heart. Indeed, she and her
friends the Metternichs acted in the preliminary arrangements of
the plan the part of actual conspirators.

After the French and Spanish forces landed in Mexico, accompanied
by a few Englishmen, Juarez offered to make compensation for the
wrongs complained of, and an agreement was drawn up and signed
by General Prim and the French and English commanders at a place
called La Soledad.

England and Spain, when the agreement was sent to Europe for
ratification, considered it satisfactory. France, having ulterior
designs, repudiated it altogether. The Spaniards and the English
therefore withdrew their forces, and the French remained to fight
out the quarrel with Juarez alone.

Up to this time no allusion had been made as to any change in the
Mexican government; but now French agents began to intrigue in
favor of an empire and Maximilian. A small assembly of Mexican
notables was with great difficulty convened in the city of Mexico,
from which Juarez was absent, being engaged in carrying on the
war. The only persons concerned in this assembly who took any real
interest in its objects were the clergy, who believed that a prince
of the House of Austria would be likely to restore to them all
their property and privileges.

There can be no doubt that such a government as Maximilian would
have established in Mexico would have been a happy thing for that
country and for civilization; but it is equally certain that the
Mexicans (meaning by that term the great mass of the people) did
not want such a government. Above all, they did not want for their
ruler a foreigner, backed by a foreign potentate. The only _raison
d'être_ for Maximilian's government in any Mexican's mind was not
that it would bring order and peace into the country, but that
it might bring money from the coffers of the new emperor's ally.
But when, after a while, the reverse of peace and order was the
result of this new government, and when the French emperor declined
to advance any more funds, nothing kept any man true to Maximilian
but the dread of what the party of Juarez might do to him when
the cause of the emperor should be overthrown.

With this explanation we will go back to Miramar, where Maximilian
and Carlotta, unquestionably deceived by the political manipulations
of the French emperor, believed, with joy and pride, that they
were the choice of the Mexican people, and that they had nothing
to do but to go forth and take possession of the promised land.

On April 13, 1864, almost the darkest date during our war for the
cause of the Federal Union, the Archduke Maximilian and his wife
quitted the soil of Austria.

Early in the morning, in the port of Trieste and on the road to
Miramar, all were astir. Friends from all parts of the Austrian
Empire were hastening to bid farewell to the Archduke whom they

The "Novara" and the French frigate "Thémis" were lying off Trieste,
ready to start; and near them, riding at anchor, were six steamships
belonging to the Austrian Lloyds, full of spectators.

At about one o'clock P. M. the emperor, with his wife leaning on
his arm, entered the town-hall of Trieste, where about twenty
deputations were assembled to offer him farewell addresses. Maximilian
was much moved, and when the burgomaster spoke of the grief that
all the people of the city would feel at his departure, he burst
into tears. He embraced the burgomaster, shook hands with those
about him, and whispered, as if to himself: "Something tells me
that I shall never see this dear country more." His sensitive and
poetic nature was very susceptible to sad presentiments; his book
teems with them.

After the leave-taking, their Majesties entered the magnificent
barge prepared for their use by the city of Trieste; a salute of
one hundred guns reverberated from the sides of the mountain, while
twenty thousand hats and handkerchiefs waved a sad farewell.

Maximilian and Carlotta embarked on board the "Novara," which carried
the Mexican flag. By four o'clock both vessels were well down in
the offing, and not till then did the crowd separate. Those with
telescopes had seen up to the last moment a figure standing on
the poop-deck, with its face turned towards Miramar, and knew it
for the form of Maximilian.

The "Novara" touched at Jamaica. On May 28 it came in sight of
the shores of Mexico, and cast anchor in the harbor of Vera Cruz.

The emperor and empress had expected a public reception. There
was nothing of the kind. No welcome awaited them,--not even an
official one. This was the more extraordinary because the "Thémis"
had been sent forward to announce the approach of the imperial
party. Their disappointment at the want of enthusiasm was great.
The French vice-admiral did his best to repair unfortunate omissions.
He gave orders for a show of festivity; but it was plain to see,
from the indifference of the people in the streets, that they had
no part or lot in the demonstration.

After leaving the sea-coast, Maximilian proceeded towards his capital
in an old shabby English barouche, his journey seeming rather like
the expedition of an adventurer than the progress of an emperor.
Passing through Orizaba and Puebla, the emperor and empress entered
Mexico on June 12. French agents had paid for flowers to be scattered
in their path, and a theatrical kind of procession was prepared,
which was not agreeable to either of them. The only part of the
population which hailed their coming with delight were the descendants
of the Aztecs, many of whom appeared on the occasion in feather
dresses preserved in their families since the time of Montezuma.
In the evening there was a public performance at the theatre in
honor of the new sovereigns, but not half the boxes were filled.

The palace of Chapultepec, which had been assigned them as their
residence, was destitute of comforts of any kind, and was much
more like a second-class hotel than a habitation meet for princes.
Yet even here, one of Maximilian's first cares was to layout the
grounds and to plant flowers.

He was advised to make an immediate journey through his new dominions,
in order to judge for himself of the aspirations and resources of
the people. But he found a country broken down by war, without
roads, without schools, without agriculture. "The only thing in
this country which is well organized, sire," said a Mexican whom
he was questioning about the state of things, "is robbery."

There was thieving everywhere. The emperor's palace, and even his
private apartments, were not spared. One day, after a reception
of officers high in military command, his revolver, inlaid with
gold and ivory, which had lain on a table by his side, disappeared,
and the empress missed two watches, which had gone astray under
the dexterous fingering of her maids-of-honor. General Lopez, who
was then commandant of the palace, wishing to give the emperor a
proof of the accomplishments of his subjects in matters of this
kind, offered to steal off his writing-table, within two hours, and
without being noticed, any object agreed upon. He said he believed
he could even carry off the table,--a joke at which the emperor
laughed heartily.

When Maximilian returned to his capital, after a journey of great
peril, he ordered the construction of several high-roads, granted
lands and privileges to two or three railroad companies, founded a
good many schools, and set on foot a Mexican Academy of Sciences.
His own taste for natural history was so great that he gave some
foundation for the charge made against him that he would frequently
shut himself up in his workroom to stuff birds. He devoted great
attention to improvements in agriculture, and planned a manufacturing
city, and a seaport on the Gulf of Mexico which he intended to
call Miramar.

His wife was an indefatigable helpmeet. She wrote all his European
correspondence, but resented the interference of the French, and could
be curt and energetic when the occasion called for self-assertion.

An American gentleman who saw her at a court-ball at this period
thus describes her: "She was imperial in every look and action.
The dignified and stately step so well suited to her station, and
with _her_ perfectly natural, would have seemed affectation in
another. She did not seem remarkably tall, except in comparison
with others. Her voice possessed a refinement peculiar to birth,
education, and superior natures."

But while the emperor and empress were laboring for the improvement
of their realm, the Juarists were increasing in strength, and banditti
carried on their enterprises with impunity up to the very gates
of Mexico. Day after day the stage was robbed between Mexico and
Jalapa. The Marquis de Radepont, a quiet traveller, saved himself by
killing half-a-dozen highwaymen with his revolver; but the Belgian
ambassador, on his way to announce to their Imperial Majesties the
accession of Leopold II., the brother of Carlotta, was robbed of
all his jewelry and money.

In consequence of these disorders the emperor signed, on Oct. 3,
1865, in spite of the remonstrances of Marshal Bazaine, the French
general-in-chief in Mexico, an order to the civil and military
authorities to treat all armed guerilla bands as brigands, and to
apply to them the utmost rigor of martial law.

This was at once interpreted into permission to shoot all prisoners;
and three promising young Juarist generals who had fallen into the
hands of one of Maximilian's commanders were shot immediately,
leaving behind them pathetic farewell letters to their friends.
Maximilian did not foresee that he was signing his own death-warrant
when he put his hand to this act of severity.

Juarez himself, with a body of his followers, had retreated to
the frontier, ready to pass over into Texas if the French attacked
him. But the French were too few and too scattered to occupy a
vast region of country where every inhabited house was a refuge
for their foes. Moreover, the interest of Napoleon in the empire
of Mexico was at an end. He hated a long war at any time, and was
always ready to abandon an enterprise when he could not carry out
his projects by a _coup de main_. The war was extremely unpopular
in France. Financial ruin had come upon many Frenchmen from the
failure of the Mexican bonds negotiated by the banker, Jecker, to
pay interest to their bond-holders. The Civil War in the United
States was at an end, and Mr. Seward was instructing the American
ambassador in Paris to threaten the Emperor Napoleon with the
enforcement of the doctrine of President Monroe. He resolved to
withdraw his troops from Mexico, and to advance no more money to
Maximilian. He wrote these orders to Marshal Bazaine.

Maximilian, who fully understood by this time the condition of
Mexico, and foresaw all the dangers of his position when the French
troops should be withdrawn, sent the empress at this crisis to
Europe to represent the situation of affairs to the French emperor,
and to remind him of his promises.

She embarked hurriedly and like a private person on board a French
mail-steamer. Her stateroom was close to the propeller. The noise,
coupled with her great anxiety and excitement, deprived her almost
entirely of sleep during the voyage. On landing, she hastened to
Paris, went to an hotel, and sent a message to the emperor, requesting
an interview. This the emperor declined. Carlotta then hired a
carriage and drove out to Saint-Cloud, where she insisted on seeing
him. Their interview was very painful. At its close she exclaimed
that she felt herself to blame, being a daughter of the house of
Orleans, for ever having put faith in the Emperor Napoleon or his
promises. Notwithstanding this reproach, the emperor, who was
soft-hearted, pitied her extremely. She remained at Saint-Cloud
for some hours, and that evening, when surrounded by the court
circle, she threw back her head and begged for water. The emperor
hastened to bring it to her with his own hand; but she exclaimed
that she would not take it from him, for she knew he wished to
poison her. It was her first attack of mania. She was calmed, and
the symptoms passed off, but continued at intervals to return.

From Paris she went to Rome, and there her mental malady more and
more declared itself. She refused to eat anything but fruit, for
fear of poison. Her first visit to the pope was made while he was
breakfasting, when she snatched the cup of chocolate from his lips
and swallowed it eagerly, exclaiming: "I am sure no one can have
wished to poison you!" After several other manifestations of her
disordered brain at the Quirinal, steps were taken to forward her
to Miramar. On reaching that beloved place, she grew more calm.
She recovered for a time her interest in music, painting, and
literature. The Sclavic peasants around her considered her a saint.
When she passed, they used to kneel down on the highway. For years
they refused to believe in Maximilian's death. "He will come back!
We know he will come back!" was the cry of the Dalmatians, who
cherished his memory.

After a time Carlotta was removed to Belgium, where she has been
since secluded from the world, but tenderly watched over by her
relations. From time to time she partially recovers her reason.

Matters in Mexico after her departure grew worse every day. Bazaine
had received orders to withdraw all French troops from the country.
He was directed to withhold from Maximilian all French support,
and in obedience to these instructions he flung into the river
Sequia and Lake Texcoco[1] all the guns and ammunition he could
not take away.

[Footnote 1: Prince Salm-Salm, Diary in Mexico.]

Prior to the withdrawal of the French troops, the French Government
made several efforts to induce Maximilian to abdicate. The Marquis
de Gallifet (of whom we shall hear again in another chapter) was
sent, with two other French gentlemen, to urge him to leave Mexico.
"I know all the difficulties of my position," Maximilian replied,
"but I shall not give up my post. A son of the house of Hapsburg
never retreats in the face of danger." Nevertheless, after receiving
the first letters from his wife, Maximilian's resolution was shaken.
He hoped at least to return to Europe as an emperor, and not a
fugitive, and to lay aside his crown of his own accord. With this
view he set out for Orizaba, where the "Dandolo" corvette was waiting
to receive his orders. On his way he was delayed some hours, because
the white mules that drew his carriage had been stolen.

At Orizaba he was attacked by malarious chills. There, too, he
received news of his wife's insanity. Some of his generals surrounded
him, and prayed him not to abandon his followers to the vengeance
of their enemies. The leaders of the clerical party also begged
him, for the sake of the Church, to return to Mexico, promising
him the support of the clergy throughout the country if he would
but give up liberal ideas, and support, at all costs, the temporal
prosperity of the Church.

Maximilian, on the strength of these assurances, went back to his
capital, protesting that he remained only for the good of other
people, and was influenced neither by personal considerations nor
political wishes of his own.

But Maximilian was not the man to contend with the difficulties
that beset him in Mexico. His very merits were against him. As
we read the sad history of his failure, we feel that in his hands
the regeneration of Mexico was hopeless. Men like John or Henry
Lawrence, heroes of the Indian Mutiny, accustomed to deal with
semi-savages, might perhaps have succeeded; but Maximilian was
the product of an advanced civilization, and all his sentiments
were of a super-refined character. He was no general; his forces
were kept scattered over an immense area. He seems to have been
no administrator. He was accustomed to deal with Italians,--men
of enthusiastic natures and fanatical ideas. Mexicans had no
enthusiasms; and in place of patriotism there was a prevailing
sentiment of thorough aversion to the French and to the foreigners
they had brought with them. Maximilian had come to Mexico with
all kinds of liberal projects for its civilization. It was like
forcing sanitary improvements on the inhabitants of an Irish shanty,
or catching a street _gamin_ and imposing on him the restraints
and amenities of high-class culture.

The departure of the French troops left the way clear for the party
of Juarez. It rapidly gained strength, and prepared to besiege the
emperor in his capital. "I cannot bear to expose the city to danger,"
said Maximilian, who, in spite of being continually harassed and
cruelly deceived day after day, never failed in consideration for
those about him. He retired to Queretaro, where Generals Miramon,
Castillo, Mejia, Avellano, and Prince Salm-Salm had gathered a
little army of about eight thousand men.

Maximilian at Queretaro showed all his nobleness of spirit, kindness
of heart, and simplicity of life. During the siege, which lasted
over two months, he shared the fatigues and privations of his common
soldiers, and lived as they did, on the flesh of mules, while his
officers' tables were much better supplied. He exposed his person
upon all occasions, taking daily walks upon the bastions as tranquilly
as he might have done in the green alleys of his distant home. One
day his eye fell upon six dead bodies dangling from the branches
of six trees. He turned away, with intense emotion. They were the
bodies of six of his own couriers, who had fallen into the hands
of the enemy.

He might have cut his way out of Queretaro at the head of his cavalry,
but he hesitated to abandon his foot-soldiers. "I will die sword
in hand," were now his daily words.

Every day his men brought in prisoners. Even when such persons
were suspected of being spies, Maximilian would not order their
execution. "No, no," he said; "if things go well, there is no need;
if ill, I shall not have their blood upon my soul."

When the siege had lasted seventy days, provisions grew so scarce
that the only alternatives seemed a sortie or a surrender. The
sortie was decided on. On the night of May 14, 1867, the seven
thousand men still in Queretaro were to break through the lines of
the enemy and endeavor to make their way to Vera Cruz. Singularly
enough, the Juarist general, Escobedo, had fixed on the 15th of
May for his final assault.

Neither sortie nor assault took place. The treason of General Lopez
prevented the one, and rendered the other unnecessary. Lopez, whom
Maximilian had loaded with all sorts of kindness,--Lopez, who called
himself the most devoted adherent of the emperor,--had sold the
life of his friend and benefactor for two thousand ounces of gold!

One year before, when Lopez had been at Puebla in attendance on
the empress, he had sent for his wife, who, having made a hurried
journey, was prematurely confined. "I cannot allow your son," wrote
Maximilian, "to come into the world in another man's house. I send
you the I enclosed sum. Purchase the house where your son was born."

Having kept up constant communication with the camp of the besiegers,
Lopez, on the morning of May 13, sent a note to Escobedo, offering to
deliver over to him the convent of La Cruz, which was the emperor's
headquarters. Escobedo accepted his proposals. About midnight Lopez
and the troops under his command went over to the enemy. The soldiers
of Juarez quietly entered the town, and surrounded the convent
where the emperor and his staff were sleeping.

At dawn Maximilian rose, dressed himself, woke Prince Salm-Salm,
and they went out together, with no arms but their swords. As they
reached the gates of the convent the emperor perceived Juarist
soldiers on guard, and turning to his companion, cried, "We are
betrayed; here is the enemy!" At this moment Lopez, who had seen
them come into the court-yard, pointed out the emperor to Colonel
Rincon Gallardo, who was in command of the detachment from the army
of Juarez. Rincon was an honorable soldier and kind-hearted. He
said, loud enough to be heard by his own men: "They are citizens;
let them pass: they are not soldiers." The emperor was dressed in
a black frock-coat, but with military trousers and epaulettes.
He and Prince Salm-Salm then walked through the convent gates and
made their way in haste to the opposite quarter of the city. The
streets were silent and empty. Suddenly a sharp fire of musketry
was heard, mingled with Juarist and Imperial war-cries. Miramon
with his troops was holding one of the widest streets of Queretaro,
when a ball hit him in the face. He fell, half blinded, and was
taken prisoner. Miramon was the son of a French father and a Spanish
mother, and was one of the very few generals on either side who
were of pure white blood.

The emperor, with Generals Mejia, Castillo, Avellano, and Prince
Salm-Salm, retired to a little hill which commanded the city. They
had no artillery, no means of defending their position. They stood
on the bare rock where they had taken refuge, like shipwrecked
sailors waiting for the fatal rising of the tide. General Escobedo,
a coarse man, who had formerly been a muleteer, prepared to charge
up the hill with four battalions of infantry and a strong party
of cavalry.

"Do not fire; you will shed blood to no purpose," said the emperor
to the little band of followers who surrounded him. Then, in a
low, sad voice, he ordered one of his aides-de-camp to fasten a
white handkerchief on the end of a bayonet. The Juarists, who were
ascending the hill, came to a halt. Then, amid profound silence,
the emperor came forward. He paused a moment as he stepped out
of the little group of his followers and looked around him. Then
he descended the hill with a firm step, followed by several of
his generals.

The Juarists saluted him by their party cry, "Viva la libertad!"
They recognized the emperor. Maximilian walked straight up to their
commander, an ex-Federal United States officer, who under the name
of Corona was in command of a party of Americans who had entered
the service of Juarez, and were called the Legion of Honor. This
legion was composed of fifty men. Some had worn the blue, and some
the gray. Each held rank in the Mexican army as an officer.

"General," said Maximilian to Corona, "both men and fortune have
betrayed me. There are widows and orphans enough already in the
world. Here is my sword."

"Sire," said the general, forgetting that the man who addressed
him was no longer emperor, "keep your sword." He then proposed
to Maximilian to mount a horse, and escorted him, with the other
prisoners, to the convent of Santa Teresita.

There the emperor and his generals were shut up at once in a dark
cellar, and not only had to sleep upon the damp earth floor, but
were left to suffer from hunger. In a few days, however, Princess
Salm-Salm brought them some relief. They were then transferred to
the convent of La Capuchina, and their friends obtained permission
to send them wine, clothes, and provisions.

Princess Salm-Salm, in the last act of this tragedy, showed herself
to be a brave and generous woman. When her husband left the capital
she had crossed the enemy's lines in order to get out of Mexico,
but was twice in danger of being shot by the soldiers of Diaz.
She was accused of supplying money to a troop of Austrian soldiers
who, having been captured, were confined at Chapultepec, and she
was imprisoned at Guadalupe. After a short detention, however,
she obtained leave to quit Mexico for Europe; but changing her
route, she managed to rejoin her husband at Queretaro. Thence,
hiding by day and travelling by night, she made her way back to
San Luis de Potosi, where Juarez had his headquarters. She threw
herself at his feet, and implored his mercy for the emperor; but
Juarez told her (not without some signs of compassion) that he
felt no inclination to spare his life, and that if he were willing
to do so, he would not be permitted by his followers to show him
any clemency.

When Maximilian heard of this brave enterprise on his behalf, he
could not refrain from tears.

The prisoners were three weeks at La Capuchina, in complete uncertainty
as to what would be done with them. Indeed, the Juarists seemed much
embarrassed by their prize. On June 10 they were informed that
Juarez had sent an order to have them tried by a court-martial,
which would be held on the 12th of June.

"Where are you going to take me?" asked Maximilian on that day of
the officer who came to escort him. "To the court-martial," was
the reply. "Where is it held?" said Maximilian. "In the theatre."
"Then I refuse to accompany you. I will not be made a public spectacle
at a theatre. You may go alone."

The officer, not being authorized to use force, went away. The
trial proceeded without the presence of the prisoner. Generals
Miramon and Mejia, however, were dragged upon the stage where the
court-martial was sitting. The play-house was crowded with spectators.
It was a tragedy with no admission-fee. The proceedings lasted
three days. The emperor was accused of usurpation, of instigating
civil war, and of causing the death of forty thousand patriots,
hanged or shot in consequence of his order of October 3, intended
to operate only against armed bands of robbers.

On the morning of June 15, 1867, General Escobedo presented himself
in the prison, holding the sentence of the court-martial in his
hand. Maximilian, who could guess his fate, said quietly: "Read
it, General; I am ready to hear you."

Maximilian, Miramon, and Mejia were condemned to be shot.

"I understand you," said the emperor, with perfect calmness. "The
law of October 3 was made to put down robbers: this sentence is
the work of murderers."

Escobedo laid his hand on his revolver with a sudden exclamation.
Then, recovering himself, he said sarcastically: "I suppose that
a criminal must be allowed the right to vilify his judges."

Maximilian turned his back on him, and Escobedo left the prison.

The execution had been ordered for the next morning, but was put
off till the 19th, by order of Juarez.

Meantime the English and Prussian ambassadors hastened to Juarez,
hoping to obtain mercy for the late emperor. The French and Austrian
courts, by telegraph, implored the mediation of the United States.
There was no American minister at that time in Mexico, but Mr.
Seward sent telegraphic despatches to Juarez, pointing out that the
execution of Maximilian would rouse the feelings of the civilized
world against the Mexican Republic.

All was of no avail. The idea of foreign intervention in the affairs
of Mexico was so distasteful to the Mexicans that these pleadings on
the late emperor's behalf by foreign Governments only accelerated
his fate.

During the night before his death, Maximilian asked his jailers
for a pair of scissors. He was refused. Then he implored one of
them to cut off a lock of his hair. When that was done, he wrote
the following pathetic letter to Carlotta:--

MY BELOVED CARLOTTA,--If God should permit you one
of these days to get well enough to read these lines, you will
know how sad has been my fate ever since your departure.
You took with you my happiness, my very life, and my good
fortune. Why did I not take your advice? So many sad things
have taken place, so many unexpected catastrophes and
undeserved misfortunes have fallen on me, that I have now lost
heart and hope, and look upon death as my good angel.
My death will be sharp and sudden, without pain. I shall fall
gloriously, like a soldier, like a conquered sovereign....
If you cannot, dearest, bear up under your load of sorrow,
if God in His mercy soon reunites us by your death, I will
bless His fatherly hand, which now seems very heavy upon
me. Adieu, adieu!
                                              YOUR POOR MAX.

He kissed this letter, folded into it the light silky lock of his
own hair, and placed it with other letters which he had written
to his mother and friends. They were all in French, and written
in a clear, firm, regular hand. His noble nature shone in every
line. They give the key to the irresistible personal sympathy he
inspired in all who knew him. His enemies were aware of this, and
no judge or general who had ever known him sat on his court-martial.

As six o'clock was striking on the morning of June 19, the door
of the prison was unbarred. "I am ready," said Maximilian.

As he stepped forth from the door of the convent, he exclaimed:
"What a beautiful morning! I have always fancied I should like
to die in sunshine,--on a summer day."

He entered the carriage in waiting. Miramon and Mejia followed
him, with the priest who attended them in their last moments. They
were escorted by a body of four thousand men, and were driven to
the same rocky height on which they had been captured, called the
Cerro della Campana. They sat upright in the carriage during the
drive, with proud smiles upon their faces. They were carefully
dressed, as if for an occasion of festivity. The population of
the place was all abroad to see them pass, and looked at them with
silent pity and admiration. The calmness and self-possession of the
emperor, about to die, touched even the most indifferent spectators.
The women freely shed tears.

Maximilian was a handsome, striking-looking man. His beautiful light
hair was parted by a straight line from his forehead to the nape
of his neck. His blue eyes were clear and soft, with a beseeching
look in them. His hands were beautifully white, his fingers elegant
and taper.

As they neared the place of execution, General Mejia suddenly turned
pale, covered his face, and with a sob fell back in his place in the
carriage. He had caught sight of his wife, agonized, dishevelled,
with her baby in her arms, and all the appearance of a madwoman.

The party arrived at the foot of the little hill. The emperor sprang
out, brushed off some dust which had settled on his clothes, and
going up to the firing party, gave each man an ounce of gold. "Take
good aim, my friends," he said. "Do not, if possible, hit me in
the face, but shoot right at my heart."

One of the soldiers wept. Maximilian went to him, and putting his
cigar-case, of silver filigree, into his hand, said: "Keep that,
my friend, in remembrance of me. It was given to me by a prince
more fortunate than I am now."

The non-commissioned officer then came near, and said he hoped
that he would forgive him. "My good fellow," replied Maximilian,
cheerfully, "a soldier has but to obey orders; his duty is to do
his duty."

Then, turning to Miramon and Mejia, he said: "Let me, true friends,
embrace you for the last time!" He did so, and then added: "In a
few minutes we shall be together in a better world."

Turning to Miramon, he said: "General, the bravest man should have
the place of honor. Take mine."

Mejia being very much cast down by the sad spectacle presented
by his poor, distracted wife, Maximilian again pressed his hands,
saying: "God will not abandon our suffering survivors. For those
who die unjustly, things will be set right in another world."

The drums began to beat. The end was near. Maximilian stepped forward,
mounted on a stone, and addressed the spectators.

"Mexicans! men of my rank and of my race, who feel as I feel, must
either be the benefactors of the people over whom they reign, or
martyrs. It was no rash ambition of my own that called me hither;
you, you yourselves, invited me to accept your throne. Before dying,
let me tell you that with all the powers I possess I sought your
good. Mexicans! may my blood be the last blood that you shed; may
Mexico, the unhappy country of my adoption, be happy when I am

As soon as he had resumed his place, a sergeant came up to order
Miramon and Mejia to turn round. As traitors, they were to be shot
in the back.

"Farewell, dear friends," said Maximilian, and crossing his arms,
he stood firm as a statue.

When the command was given: "Shoulder arms!" a murmur of protestation,
accompanied by threats, rose among part of the crowd, in which there
were many Indians. Their national superstitions and traditions
had attached this simple people to the emperor. They had a prophecy
among them that one day a white man would come over the seas to set
them free, and many of them looked for this savior in Maximilian.

The officers in command turned towards the crowd, shaking their
swords. Then came the words: "Take aim! Fire!"

"Long live Mexico!" cried Miramon.

"Carlotta! Poor Carlotta!" exclaimed Maximilian.

When the smoke of the volley had cleared away, three corpses lay
upon the earth. That of the emperor had received five balls. The
victims were placed in coffins which lay ready near the place of
execution, and, escorted as they had been before, were carried
back to the convent of the Capuchins.

"The emperor being dead, we will do all honor to the corpse of
the Archduke of Austria," said Colonel Miguel Palacios, to whom
this care was given. The corpse was embalmed, and the body placed
in a vault.

The Russian ambassador, Baron Magnus, and the American commander
of a United States vessel of war which layoff Vera Cruz, in vain
solicited the body of the late emperor. The Austrian Vice-admiral
Tegethoff (the illustrious conqueror at Lissa) had to come and
personally demand it in November of the next year. He at the same
time time obtained the release of the Austrian soldiers still retained
as prisoners, and of Prince Salm-Salm, lying under sentence of
death since the execution of the emperor.

As for the traitor Lopez, instead of the two thousand ounces of
gold that he expected, he got only seven thousand dollars. His
wife refused to live with him after his treachery to Maximilian;
and once when he went to see General Rincon Gallardo to request
his influence to get himself restored to his former rank in the
Mexican army, which he had forfeited by his connection with the
Imperial Government, the answer he received was: "Colonel Lopez,
if I ever recommend you for any place, that place will be under
a tree, with a rope round your neck tied to one of its branches."

Maximilian will live in history as a good man and a martyred sovereign.
Long after his death, the Indians in Queretaro would not put up
an adobe hut without inserting in it a pebble from the hill on
which he was executed.

On the very day of his death an order signed by him was received
in Europe, not for rifled cannon, not for needle-guns, but for
two thousand nightingales, which he desired to have purchased in
the Tyrol to add to the attractions of his empire.

[Illustration: _EMPEROR NAPOLEON III._]



The visit paid by the Emperor Napoleon and the Empress Eugénie to
Queen Victoria at Windsor in 1856 was returned in 1857.

It was on the 18th of August that the queen, her husband, the Prince
of Wales, then a boy of fourteen, and the Princess Royal landed
at Boulogne. The royal yacht had been in sight since daybreak,
the emperor anxiously watching it from the shore; but it was two
P. M. before it was moored to the _quai_. There can be no better
account of this visit than that given by Queen Victoria. The following
extracts are taken from her journal:--

"At last the bridge was adjusted, the emperor stepped across. I
met him half-way, and embraced him twice, after which he led me
on shore amid acclamations, salutes, and every sound of joy and
respect. The weather was perfect, the harbor crowded with war-ships,
the town and the heights were decorated with gay colors."

The delay in getting up to the wharf postponed the queen's entrance
into Paris, and greatly disappointed the crowds who waited for
her coming. They were also disappointed that the greatest lady
in the world exhibited no magnificence in costume. But the queen
herself was greatly impressed by her first view of Paris:--

"The approaching twilight rather added to the beauty of the scene;
and it was still quite light enough when we passed down the Boulevard
de Strasbourg (the emperor's own creation) and along the Boulevards
by the Porte Saint-Denis, the Madeleine, the Place de la Concorde,
and the Arch of Triumph, to see the objects round us."

They drove through the Bois de Boulogne in the dusk to the palace
of Saint-Cloud; but all the way was lined with troops, and bands
playing "God Save the Queen," at intervals. The queen was particularly
impressed by the Zouaves, "The friends," she says (for the Crimean
War was then in progress), "of my dear Guards in the Crimea."

The birth of the Prince Imperial being an event in prospect, the
empress was not allowed to fatigue herself, and first met the queen
on the latter's arrival at Saint-Cloud. "In all the blaze of lamps
and torches," says the queen, "amidst the roar of cannon, and bands,
and drums, and cheers, we reached the palace. The empress, with
Princess Mathilde and the ladies, received us at the door, and took
us up a beautiful staircase, lined with magnificent soldiers....
I felt quite bewildered, but enchanted."

At dinner General Canrobert, who was fresh from the Crimea, was
placed next to her Majesty, and gave her his war experiences. Next
day the royal party went to the Exposition Universelle, then going
on in Paris, and afterwards, while the queen was receiving the
ambassadors, the emperor drove the Prince of Wales through the
streets of Paris; he afterwards took his older guests sight-seeing
in his capital. "As we crossed the Pont de Change," writes the
queen, "the emperor said, pointing to the Conciergerie, 'That is
where I was in prison." He alluded to the time when he was brought
from Strasburg to Paris, before being shipped for Rio Janeiro.
"Strange," continues the queen, "to be driving with us as emperor
through the streets of Paris in triumph!"

They visited Versailles (where the queen sketched), and afterwards
went to the Grand Opera. They saw Paris illuminated that night
as they drove back to Saint-Cloud, the emperor and Prince Albert
recalling old German songs; and the queen says: "The emperor seems
very fond of his old recollections of Germany. There is much that
is German, and very little--nothing, in fact--markedly French in
his character."

One day all the royal party went out in a hack carriage, with what
the queen calls "common bonnets and veils," and drove incognito
round Paris. Sometimes they talked politics, sometimes they seem
to have joked and laughed with childish glee and enjoyment; and one
night the emperor took the queen by torchlight to see the tomb of
his great uncle at the Invalides. A guard of old warriors who had
served under Napoleon, with Santini, his valet at St. Helena, at
their head, escorted the queen of England to the chapel where stood
Napoleon's coffin, not yet entombed, with the sword of Austerlitz
lying upon it. The band in the chapel was playing "God Save the
Queen," while without raged a sudden thunder-storm.

The mornings were devoted to quiet pleasures and sight-seeing,
the evenings to operas, state dinners, and state balls. The great
ball given on this occasion in the galleries of Versailles was
talked of in Paris for years after. "The empress," says the queen,
"met us at the top of the staircase, looking like a fairy-queen or
nymph, in a white dress trimmed with bunches of grass and diamonds,
a beautiful _tour de corsage_ of diamonds round the top of her
dress, and all _en rivière_; the same round her waist, and a
corresponding headdress, and her Spanish and Portuguese orders.
The emperor said when she appeared: 'Comme tu es belle!'"

Next day, as the emperor drove the queen in an open carriage, they
talked of the Orleans family, whose feelings had been greatly hurt
by a recent sequestration of their property. The emperor tried
to make excuses for this act,--excuses that seemed to the queen
but tame,--and then he drove to the chapel built over the house
where the Duke of Orleans had died on the Avenue de Neuilly. The
emperor bought her two of the medals sold on the spot, one of which
bore the likeness of the Comte de Paris, with an inscription calling
him the hope of France.

The visit ended after eight delightful days, and the emperor escorted
his guests back to Boulogne.

Prince Albert, the queen confesses, was not so much carried away
by the fascinations of their new friend as herself; but the empress
secured his entire commendation.

The queen and the emperor continued to correspond, and subsequently
met several times, at Osborne House or at Cherbourg.

I have told at some length of this visit, because it seemed to
me to mark the culminating point of Napoleon III.'s successful
career; not only was he fully admitted into the inner circle of
European sovereigns, but his place there was confirmed by the personal
friendship and alliance of the greatest among them.

In 1867 there was another Universal Exposition held in Paris; and
this was also a time of great outward glory and triumph for the
emperor, surrounded as he was by European emperors, crown princes,
and kings; but Queen Victoria was then a sorrowing widow, and decay
was threatening Napoleon's apparent prosperity.

It was in 1867 that the emperor and empress received the czar,
the sultan, the Crown Prince of Prussia, Princess Alice of Hesse
Darmstadt, and many other crowned heads and celebrities. It was
a year of fêtes and international courtesies. But in Paris itself
there was a strange feeling of insecurity,--a fearful looking for
something, society knew not what. "It seemed," said one who breathed
the rarefied air in which lived the upper circles of society, "as
if the air were charged with electricity; as if the shadows of
coming events were being darkly cast over the joyous city."

One of the most remarkable sights of that gay time of hollowness
and brilliancy was the review given in honor of the Emperor of
Russia, on June 6. No less than sixty thousand French troops, of
all arms of the service, filed past the three grand-stands on the
race-course of the Bois de Boulogne. On the central stand sat the
Empress Eugénie, with the Prince Imperial, the Crown Princess of
Prussia, her sister, Princess Alice, and the Grand Duchess of
Leuchtenberg. Before this stand, on horseback on one side, sat the
Grand Duke Vladimir, the Czarevitch (the present Czar of Russia),
the Crown Prince of Prussia (since the lamented Emperor Frederick),
Prince Gortschakoff (the Russian prime minister), Count Bismarck, and
an English nobleman; on the other side were the Duc de Leuchtenberg,
the Duke of Mecklenburg, and the Prince of Hesse Darmstadt; while
in the centre of them all rode the czar, with Napoleon III. on
one hand, and on the other the king of prussia.[1]

[Footnote 1: Blackwood's Magazine.]

How little could any of those who looked upon that throng of royal
personages imagine what in little more than two years was coming
on them all!

The emperor was fond of literature, and when drawn into a literary
discussion, his half-closed eyes would gleam with sudden light,
and his criticisms would be both witty and valuable. During his
later years, harassed by sickness and perplexities of all kinds,
his greatest pleasure was to shut himself up in his study, and
there work upon his "Life of Cæsar." He wrote it entirely himself,
though he had many learned men in France and Germany employed in
looking up references and making extracts for him. The book was
considered a work of genuine merit. To its author it was a labor of
love. He threw into it all his experience of life, all his theories,
all his Napoleonic convictions; for in Cæsar and Napoleon he found
many parallels. He hoped to be admitted as a literary man into the
French Academy, and he meant to base his claim upon this book.

I have said nothing of the cares that oppressed the emperor in
connection with the war in the Crimea, which was prolonged far
beyond his expectations; of the campaign in Italy, broken short
off by threats of intervention made by the king of Prussia, and
followed by feelings of disappointment and revenge on the part of
the Italians; of the intervention of the emperor in 1866, after
the battle of Sadowa, to check the triumphant march of the Prussian
army through Austria; nor of the bombs of Orsini, which led to a
rupture of the friendliness between France and England, breaking
up the cordial relations which existed between the two courts in
1857, and reviving that panic about French invasion which seems
periodically to attack Englishmen ever since the great scare in
the days of Bonaparte. These subjects belong rather to historical
reminiscences of England, Italy, or Germany; but the emperor had
anxieties besides in France, and often found it hard to regulate
with discretion even the ways of his own household.

The empress, who after she had governed France as regent in 1859,
during her husband's absence in the Italian war, had been admitted
to councils of state, by no means approved either her husband's
domestic or foreign policy. We have seen that her influence was
strongly exerted to bring about the unfortunate attempt to give
an emperor and empress to Mexico; but on two other points that
she had at heart she failed. She could not persuade her husband
to undertake the reconstruction of the kingdom of Poland, nor to
assist Queen Isabella of Spain when her subjects, exasperated at
last by her excesses, drove her over the French frontier. The empress
disliked many of the coterie who enjoyed her husband's intimacy,
especially his cousin, Prince Napoleon. She resented the prince's
opposition to her marriage; she disliked his manners, his political
opinions, his aggressive opposition to all the offices of religion;
and she succeeded in detaching him from the emperor's confidence,
and in hindering his taking part in public affairs. To his wife--the
Princess Clotilde--she was deeply attached; but that did not serve to
reconcile her to the prince, her husband. Both ladies were opposed
to any diminution of the pope's temporal power in Italy; but the
private circle of the friends of the empress was too gay for the
chastened nature of the Princess Clotilde, and by degrees her intimacy
with the empress became less close and affectionate than it had
been in the early days of her unhappy marriage.

An episode in the private life of the palace, in 1859, created
considerable friction in Paris, and provoked remonstrances from
the emperor's ministers.[1] This was the admission to the circle
of intimates who surrounded the empress of the mesmerist and medium
Home. This man gave himself out to be an American; but many persons
suspected that his native land was Germany, and some said he was a
secret agent of that court, which had emissaries all over France,
in search of useful information. The empress, having heard of Home's
strange feats of table-turning and spirit-rapping in fashionable
_salons_ of the capital, was eager to witness his performances. The
women in the high society of Paris were greatly excited about them.
Spiritualism was the fad of the season, and the empress caught the
infection. The emperor, who was present at many of the exhibitions
at the Tuileries, was also, it is said, much impressed by some
of them, especially by a mysterious invisible hand laid firmly
on his shoulder, and by an icy breath that passed over his face.
But although the emperor, always indulgent to his wife, resisted
at first the advice of his counsellors to get rid of Home, he was
forced at last to put an end to the _séances_ at the Tuileries,
Fontainebleau, and Biarritz. The spirits "summoned" had had the
imprudence to obtrude upon him their own views of his policy. When
the alliance with Italy and a probable war with Austria were under
discussion in the cabinet, the spirit-inspired pencil at the Tuileries
scrawled these words: "The emperor should declare war and deliver
Italy from the Austrians." Not long afterwards, the vulgar presumption
of Home, who had accompanied the court to Biarritz, provoked the
emperor, and caused him to give ear to the earnest remonstrances of
his Minister for Foreign Affairs. He gave orders that Home should
appear at the Tuileries no more.

[Footnote 1: Pierre de Lana.]

Home died not long after in Germany, forgotten by the world of
fashion, but leaving behind him a little circle of ardent believers.

The story of the emperor's later life seems to me to be one full
of pathos and of pain. It is the record of a man who knew himself
to be slowly dying, whose physical strength was ebbing day by day,
but who was bearing up under the vain hope of accomplishing the
impossible. One admires his extreme patience, his uncomplaining
perseverance, as he tried to roll the stone of Sisyphus, yet with
unspoken misgivings in his heart that it would escape from him and
crush the hopes of his life, as it rolled back out of his hands.

"Poor emperor!" says the eye-witness who beheld him in his hour
of triumph, before the grand-stand, in 1867, at the great review.
"He was a friend to all, and he fell through his friends. He was
very true to England, whatever he may have been to other countries;
but England failed him, unfortunately in Denmark, fortunately in
Mexico, and fatally in 1870."[1]

[Footnote 1: Blackwood's Magazine.]

It seems, too, as if the world forgets now--what assuredly must
be remembered hereafter in history--that it was he who relieved
Europe from the treaties of Vienna, and asserted the claims of
nationalities; that he brought about the resurrection of Italy;
that through his policy we have a solution satisfactory to the world
in general of the question of the pope's power as a temporal prince
in Italy; that he was the builder of modern Paris, the promoter of
agriculture, the railroad king of France, the peasant's and the
workman's friend.

In early life he had been an adventurer; but a kind heart gave
him gracious manners. He was grateful, faithful, and generous;
terribly prodigal of money, and the victim of the needy men by whom
he was surrounded. It seems as if, in spite of his _coup d'état_
(which, subtracting its massacres, may have been a measure of
self-preservation), he deserves better of the world and of France
than to have his memory spurned and spat upon, as men do now.

He gave France eighteen years of pre-eminent prosperity; he left
her, to be sure, in ruins. In his fall he utterly obliterated the
prestige of the name of Bonaparte. No Bonaparte, probably, will ever
again awaken the enthusiasm of the French people,--an enthusiasm which
Napoleon III. relied on, justly at first, and fatally afterwards,
when a generation had arisen in France, from whom the feeling had
passed away.

The emperor's malady, which was slowly sapping his strength, is said
to be the most painful one that flesh is heir to. Every movement was
pain to him. Absolute rest was what he needed, but cares pressed
hard upon him on every side. He must die, and leave his empire in
the hands of a woman and a child. His government had been wholly
personal. He could not transmit his power, such is it was, to any
other person,--least of all could he place it in feeble hands.
There were no props to his throne. No Bismarck or Cavour stood
beside him, to whom he might confide his wife and son, and feel
that though his hand no longer held the helm, the ship would sail
straight on the course he had laid down for her. The men about
him were third and fourth rate men,--all of them enormously his
own inferiors. They cheated and deceived and plundered him; and he
knew it in a measure, though not as he knew it after his downfall.

The emperor said once: "There is but one Bonapartist among us,
and that is Fleury. The empress is a Legitimist, I am a Socialist,
and Prince Napoleon a Republican." As he contemplated the future,
it seems to have occurred to him that the only thing that could be
done was to teach France to govern herself,--to change his despotic
authority into a constitutional government. He might live long enough,
he thought, to make the new plan work, and if, by a successful war
with Germany, a war impending and perhaps inevitable, he could
gain brilliant military glory; if he could restore to France that
frontier of the Rhine which had been wrested from her by Europe
after the downfall of his uncle,--his dynasty would be covered
with glory, and all might go on right for a few years, till his
boy should be old enough to replace him.

Both these expedients he tried. In 1869 he announced that he was
about to grant France liberal institutions. He put the empress
forward whenever it was possible, and he made up his mind that as
war with Germany was sure to come, the sooner it came, the better,
that he might reap its fruits while some measure of life and strength
was left him. Long before, Prince Albert had assured him that his
policy, which made his ministers mere heads of bureaux, which never
called them together for common action as members of one cabinet,
which compelled each to report only to his master, who took on
trust the accuracy of the reports made to him, was a very dangerous
mode of governing. It was indeed very unlike his uncle's _practice_,
though it might have been theoretically his _system_. Both uncle
and nephew came into power by a _coup d'état_,--the one on the
18th Brumaire (Nov. 9, 1799), the other on Dec. 2, 1851. Both were
undoubtedly the real choice of the people; both really desired
the prosperity of France: but the younger man was more genuine,
more kindly, more human than the elder one. The uncle surrounded
himself with "mighty men, men of renown,"--great marshals, great
diplomatists, great statesmen. Louis Napoleon had not one man about
him whom he could trust, either for honesty, ability, or personal
devotion, unless, indeed, we except Count Walewski. All his life
he had cherished his early ideas of the liberation of Italy, which
he accomplished; of the resurrection of Poland, which he never
found himself in a position to attempt; of the rectification of the
frontier of France, which he in part accomplished by the attainment
of Nice and Savoy; and, finally, his dream included the restoration
to France of self-government, with order reconciled to liberty.

As early as January, 1867, the emperor was consulting, not only his
friends, but his political opponents as to his scheme of transforming
despotism into a parliamentary government. He wrote thus to M.
Émile Ollivier, a leader of the liberal party in France:[1]--

[Footnote 1: Pierre di Lana.]

"Believe me, I am not pausing through indecision, nor through a
vain infatuation as to my prerogatives; but my fear is of parting
in this country, which is shaken by so many conflicting passions,
with the means of re-establishing moral order, which is the essential
basis of liberty. My embarrassment on the subject of a law of the
Press is not how to find the power of repression, but how to define
in a law what deserves repression. The most dangerous articles
may escape repression, while the most insignificant may provoke
prosecution. This has always been the difficulty. Nevertheless,
in order to strike the public mind by decisive measures, I should
like to effect at one stroke what has been called the _crowning
of the edifice_. I should like to do this at once and forever;
for it is important to me, and it is above all important to the
country.... I wish to advance firmly in a straight line, without
oscillating to the right or left. You see that I have spoken to
you with perfect frankness."

We also see in this letter one of Louis Napoleon's characteristics,--a
fondness for taking people by surprise. Nearly everything he did
was a surprise to the public, and yet it had long been maturing
in his own mind.

The next time M. Ollivier saw the emperor he was told of his intention
to grant the right of holding political meetings; the responsibility
of cabinet ministers to the Chamber; and the almost entire freedom of
the Press. The emperor added, with a smile: "I am making considerable
concessions, and if my government immediately succeeded that of
the First Empire, this would be acknowledged; but since I came
after parliamentary governments, my concessions will be considered

The emperor's experiment was a failure. The moment restraint was
taken off, and the French had liberty of speech and freedom of the
Press, they became like boys released from school and its strict
discipline. The brutal excesses of language in the Parisian newspapers,
the fierceness of their attacks upon the Government, and the
shamelessness of their slander, alarmed the emperor and the best
of his personal adherents, who had been by no means supporters of
his policy. But though the experiment gave signs of never being
likely to succeed, and no one seemed pleased with the new system,
the emperor persevered. He refused to withdraw his reforms; he
declined to make what children call "an Indian gift" to his people:
but the effect of the divided counsels by which he was embarrassed
was that these reforms were accepted by the public merely as
experiments, to be tried during good behavior, and not as the basis
of a new system definitively entered upon.

All through the year 1869 the difficulties of the course which the
emperor adopted grew greater and greater. The emancipated Press
was rampant. It knew no pity and no decency. Its articles on the
emperor's failing health (which he insisted upon reading) were
cruel in the extreme. Terrible anxieties for the future must have
haunted him. If his project for self-government in France must
prove a failure, when he was dead, what then? Could a child and a
woman govern as he had done by a despotic will? He had done so in
his days of health and strength; but events now seemed to intimate
that his government had been a failure rather than a success.

Lord Palmerston, writing from Paris in Charles X.'s time, said:
"Bonaparte in the last years of his reign crushed every one else,
both in politics and war. He allowed no one to think and act but

Somewhat the same remark could be applied to the Third Napoleon.
But Napoleon I. was a great administrator as well as a great general;
his activity was inexhaustible, he corresponded with everybody, he
looked after everything, he knew whether he was well or ill served;
and his mode of obtaining power did not hinder his availing himself
of the best talent in France. The case of his nephew was the reverse
of this. His highest quality was his tenacity of purpose, and his
disposition was inclined to kindly tolerance, even of pecuniary
greed and slipshod service. He could rouse himself to great exertion;
but in the later days of Imperialism, pain and his decaying physical
powers had rendered him inert; moreover, in his general habits he had
always been indolent and pleasure-loving. In carrying out the _coup
d'état_ nine tenths of the public men in France had been subjected
to humiliations and indignities, by which they were permanently
outraged, and a host of co-conspirators and adventurers had acquired
claims upon the emperor that it was not safe to disregard. Places
and money were distributed among them with reckless profusion, and
many a shady money transaction, throwing discredit on some men
high in favor with the emperor, was passed over, to avoid exposure.

On the other hand, the emperor improved Paris till he made it the
most beautiful city in the world. It was his aim to open wide streets
through the old crowded quarters where revolution hid itself, hatching
plots and crimes. He provided fresh air and drainage. He turned
the Bois de Boulogne from a mere wild wood into the magnificent
pleasure-ground of a great city. He completed the Louvre, and demolished
the straggling, hideous buildings which disfigured the Carrousel in
Louis Philippe's time. The working population, which his improvements
drove out of the Faubourg Saint Antoine emigrated to high and healthy
quarters in Montmartre and Belleville, where a beautiful park was
laid out for them. No part of Paris escaped these improvements,
though it took immense sums to complete them. But while their good
results will be permanent, their immediate effect was to raise
rents and make the increased cost of living burdensome to people
of small incomes. The work brought also into Paris an enormous
population of masons, carpenters, and day-laborers,--a population
which was a good deal like the monster in the fairy tale, which
had to be fed each day with the best; for if once it became hungry
or dissatisfied, it might devour the man of science who had brought
it into being.

Still, the French are ungrateful to Napoleon III. when they forget
how much they are indebted to him for the extension of their commerce,
the growth of their railroads, the improvement of their cities, and
above all for his attention to sanitary science and to agriculture.

When he came to the throne, every traveller through France was
struck by the poor breeds of swine, sheep, and cattle; the slovenly
system of cultivation, the wide waste lands, the poor implements
for farming, and the want of drainage. In his exile the emperor
had lived much with English landowners, and he endeavored more
than anything else to improve agriculture. He spent great sums
of money himself in model farms for the purpose of showing how
things could be done. But while commercial, agricultural, and
manufacturing prosperity increased in France, so also did the cost
of living; and the cry, "Put money in thy purse!" found its echo
in the hearts of all men in all classes of society. Speculation
of every kind ran rampant, and by the year 1869 the cost of the
improvements in Paris alone became greater than France could patiently

Personally, Louis Napoleon had strong sympathy with the working-classes,
and was always seeking to benefit them. He favored co-operative
societies; he was planning, when he fell, a system of state annuities
to disabled or to aged workmen. He abolished passports between
France and England, and also the French workman's character-book,
or _livret_, which by law he had been compelled to have always
at hand.

In the midst of the emperor's other perplexities, there came, during
the first days of 1870, a most damaging occurrence connected with
his own family,--an occurrence with which the emperor had no more
to do than Louis Philippe had had with the Praslin murder; but it
helped to impair the remaining prestige which clung to the name
of Bonaparte.

Prince Pierre Bonaparte, grandson of Lucien, was a dissolute and
irregular character. His cousin, the emperor, had repeatedly paid
his debts and given him, as he did to every one connected with the
name of Bonaparte, large sums of money. At last Prince Pierre's
conduct grew so bad that this help ceased. Then he threatened his
cousin; but the emperor would not even buy an estate he owned in
Corsica. Prince Pierre went back, therefore, to the cradle of his
family, and there got into a fierce quarrel with an opposition
member of the Chamber of Deputies. The deputy, like a true Corsican,
nourished revenge. He waited till he went up to Paris, and there
laid his grievances against the emperor's cousin before his fellow
deputies of the opposition. They at once made it a party affair.
On Jan. 2, 1870,--the day the reformed Chamber of Deputies was
opened,--two journalists of Paris, M. de Tourvielle and M. Victor
Noir, went armed to Pierre Bonaparte's house at Auteuil to carry
him a challenge. They found the prince in a room where he kept
a curious collection of weapons. He was a coarse man, with an
ungovernable temper. High words were exchanged. Victor Noir slapped
the prince in the face, and the prince, seizing a pistol, shot
him dead. He then turned on M. de Tourvielle; but the latter had
time to draw a sword from his sword-cane, and stood armed. Victor
Noir's funeral was made the occasion of an immense republican
demonstration, and M. Rochefort reviled the emperor and all his
family in the newspaper he edited, "La Lanterne," calling upon
Frenchmen to make an end of the Bonapartes.

Prince Pierre was tried for murder, and acquitted; Rochefort was
tried for seditious libel, and condemned. It was an ominous opening
for the new Chamber. The emperor had been most anxious that it
should contain no deputies violently opposed to his new policy,
and the elections had been scandalously manipulated in the interest
of his dynasty.

Thiers complained bitterly to an Englishman, who visited him, of
the undisguised tampering with voters in this election. He said,--

"The Government pretends to believe in a Chamber elected by universal
suffrage, and yet dares not trust the votes of the electors; but
mark my words, this tampering with an election is for the last
time. What will succeed the Empire, I know not. God grant it may
not be our country's ruin! But the state of things under which we
live cannot last long. It is incumbent on honest men to lay before
the emperor the state of the country, which his ministers do their
best to keep from him. For a long time I kept silent,--it was no
use to knock one's head against a wall; but now we have revolution
staring us in the face, as the alternative with the Empire."

As the little man said this, we are told that the fire in his eyes
gleamed through his spectacles; and as he walked about the room,
he seemed to grow taller and taller.[1]

[Footnote 1: Blackwood's Magazine.]

The new constitutional ministry, into whose hands the emperor proposed
to resign despotic power and to rule thenceforward as constitutional
sovereign, had for its chief M. Émile Ollivier; Marshal Le Boeuf
(made marshal on the field of Magenta) was the Minister of War.

The debates in the Chamber were all stormy. The opposition might
not be numerous, but it was fierce and determined. It scoffed at
the idea of France being free when elections were tampered with
to sustain the Government; and finally things came to such a pass
that the emperor resolved to play again his tromp-card, and to
call a _plébiscite_ to say whether the French people approved of
him and wished to continue his dynasty. They were to vote simply
Yes or No.

There was not such open tampering this time with the vote as there
had been in the election of the deputies, but all kinds of Government
influences were brought to bear on prefects, _maires_, and other
official personages, especially in the villages. The result was
that 7,250,000 Frenchmen voted Yes, and one and a half million,
No. But to the emperor's intense surprise and mortification, and in
spite of all precautions, there were 42,000 Noes from the army. It
was a terrible discovery to the emperor that there was disaffection
among his soldiers. Promotion, many men believed, had for some years
been distributed through favoritism. The men had little confidence
in their officers, the officers complained loudly of their men. A
dashing exploit in Algeria made up for irregularities of discipline.
Even the staff officers were deficient in geography, and the stories
that afterwards came to light of the way in which the War Department
collected worthless stores, while serviceable ones existed only on
paper, seem almost incredible. Yet when war was declared, Émile
Ollivier said that he went into it with a light heart, and Marshal
Le Bœuf was reported to have told the emperor that he would not
find so much as one button missing on his soldiers' gaiters.

The discovery that the army was not to be depended on, and needed
a war of glory to put it in good humor with itself and with its
emperor, decided Napoleon III. to enter precipitately into the
Franco-Prussian war while he still had health enough to share in
it. Besides this, a struggle with Germany was inevitable, and he
dared not leave it to his successor. Then, too, if successful,--and
he never doubted of success,--all opposition at home would be crushed,
and the prestige of his dynasty would be doubled, especially if
he could, by a brilliant campaign, give France the frontier of
the Rhine, at least to the borders of Belgium. This would indeed
be a glorious crowning of his reign.

He believed in himself, he believed in his star, he believed in his
own generalship, he believed that his army was ready (though his
army and navy never had been ready for any previous campaign), and he
believed, truly enough, that the prospect of glory, aggrandizement,
and success would be popular in France.

Spain was at that time in want of a king. Several princes were
proposed, and the most acceptable one would have been the Duc de
Montpensier; but Napoleon III., who dreaded the rivalry of the
Orleans family, gave the Spaniards to understand that he would never
consent to see a prince of that family upon the Spanish throne. Then
the Spaniards took the matter into their own hands, and possibly
stimulated by a wish to make a choice disagreeable to the French
emperor, selected a prince of the Prussian royal family, Prince
Leopold of Hohenzollern. The Emperor Napoleon objected at once.
To have Prussia on the eastern frontier of France, and Prussian
influence beyond the Pyrenees, was worse in his eyes than the selection
of Montpensier; and it was certainly a matter for diplomatic
consideration. M. Benedetti, the French minister at Berlin, was
instructed to take a very haughty tone with the king of Prussia,
and to say that if he permitted Prince Leopold to accept the Spanish
crown, it would be a cause of war between France and Prussia. The king
of Prussia replied substantially that he would not be threatened, and
would leave Prince Leopold to do as he pleased. Prompted, however,
no doubt, by his sovereign, Prince Leopold declined the Spanish
throne. This was intimated to M. Benedetti, and here the matter
might have come to an end. But the Emperor Napoleon, anxious for a
_casus belli_, chose to think that the king of Prussia, in making
his announcement to his ambassador, had not been sufficiently civil.

A cabinet council was held at the Tuileries. The empress was now
admitted to cabinet councils, that she might be prepared for a
regency that before long might arrive. She and Marshal Le Bœuf
were vehement for war. The populace, proud of their fine army,
shouted with one voice, "A Berlin!" and on July 15, 1870, war was

Let us relieve the sad closing of this chapter, which began so
auspiciously with the emperor and empress in the height of their
prosperity, by telling of an expedition in which the glory of the
empress as a royal lady culminated.

The Suez Canal being completed, its opening was to be made an
international affair of great importance. The work was the work
of French engineers, led by M. Ferdinand de Lesseps, in every way
a most remarkable man.

England looked coldly on the enterprise. To use the vulgar phrase
both literally and metaphorically, she "took no stock" in the Suez
Canal, and she sent no royal personage, nor other representative
to the opening ceremonies; the only Englishman of official rank
who was present was an admiral, whose flag-ship was in the harbor
of Port Saïd.

The Emperor Napoleon was wholly unable to leave France at a time
so critical; but he sent his fair young empress in his stead. He
stayed at Saint-Cloud, and took advantage of her absence to submit to
a severe surgical operation. The empress went first to Constantinople,
where Sultan Abdul Aziz gave a beautiful fête in her honor, at
which she appeared, lovely and all glorious, in amber satin and
diamonds. She afterwards proceeded to Egypt as the guest of the
khedive, entering Port Saïd Nov. 16, 1869, and returning to Paris
on the 5th of December.

[Illustration: _EMPRESS EUGÉNIE._]

The opening of the canal across the isthmus of Suez, which was
in a manner to unite the Eastern with the Western world, caused
the eyes of all Christendom to be fixed on Egypt,--the venerable
great-grandmother of civilization. The great work had been completed,
in spite of Lord Palmerston's sincere conviction, which he lost no
opportunity of proclaiming to the world, that it was impossible
to connect the Red Sea with the Mediterranean. The sea-level, he
said, was not the same in the two seas so that the embankments
could not be sustained, and drift-sands from the desert would fill
the work up rapidly from day to day. Ismaïl Pasha, the khedive
of Egypt, had made the tour of Europe, inviting everybody to the
opening, from kings and kaisers, empresses and queens, down to
members of chambers of commerce and marine insurance companies.
Great numbers were to be present, and the Empress Eugénie was to
be the Cleopatra of the occasion. But suddenly the khedive was
threatened with a serious disappointment: the sultan, his suzerain,
wanted to join in the festivities; and if he were present, _he_
must be the chief personage, the khedive would be thrust into a
vassal's place, and all his glory, all his pleasure in his fête,
would be gone.

The ancient Egyptians, whose attention was much absorbed in waterworks
and means of irrigation, had, as far back as the days of Sesostris,
conceived the idea of communication between the Nile and the Red
Sea. Traces of the canal that they attempted still remain. Pharaoh
Necho, in the days of the Prophet Jeremiah, revived the project.
Darius and one of the Ptolemies completed the work, but when Egypt
sank back into semi-barbarism, the canal was neglected and forgotten.
It does not appear, however, that the Pharaohs ever thought of
connecting the Red Sea with the Mediterranean. The canal of Sesostris
and of Pharaoh Necho was a purely local affair, affecting Egyptian
commerce alone.

Some modern Egyptian engineers seem first to have conceived the
project of a Suez canal; but the man who accomplished it was the
engineer and statesman, M. de Lesseps. In spite of all manner of
discouragements, he brought the canal to completion, supported
throughout by the influence and authority of the khedive. The first
thing to be done was to supply the laborers and the new town of
Ismaïlia with drinking water, by means of a narrow freshwater canal
from the Nile. Till then all fresh water had been brought in tanks
from Cairo. Next, a town--called Port Saïd, after the khedive who had
first favored the plan of the canal--was built on the Mediterranean.
The canal was to run a straight southerly course to Suez. At Ismaïlia,
the new city, it would connect with the railroad to Cairo; between
Port Saïd and Ismaïlia it would pass through two swampy lakes.

In seven years Port Saïd became a town of ten thousand inhabitants.
The total length of the canal is about ninety miles, but more than
half of it passes through the lakes, which had to be dredged. The
width of the canal is a little over one hundred yards, its depth
twenty-six feet. About sixty millions of dollars were expended on
its construction and the preliminary works that it entailed,--these
last all tending to the benefit and prosperity of Egypt.

The grand opening took place Nov. 16, 1869. The sultan was not
present; he had been persuaded out of his fancy to see the sight,
and the khedive was left in peace as master of ceremonies. The
Emperor Francis Joseph of Austria was there in his yacht, and the
Empress Eugénie, the "bright particular star" of the occasion, was
on board the French war-steamer "L'Aigle." As "L'Aigle" steamed
slowly into the crowded port, all the bands played,--

  "Partant pour la Syrie,
   Le brave et jeune Dunois,"

the air of which had been composed by Queen Hortense, the mother
of the emperor, so that it was dignified during his reign into
a national air.

That afternoon there was a religious ceremony, which all the crowned
heads and other great personages were expected to attend. Two of
the sovereigns or heirs-apparent present were Roman Catholics,
one was a Protestant, and one a Mohammedan. The Crescent and the
Cross for the first time overshadowed worshippers joining in one
common prayer. The empress appeared, leaning on the arm of the
Emperor of Austria. She wore a short pale gray silk, with deep
white Brussels lace arranged in _paniers_ and flounces. Her hat and
veil were black, and round her throat was a black velvet ribbon.
The Mohammedan pontiff who officiated on the occasion was understood
to be a man of extraordinary sanctity, brought from a great distance
to lend solemnity to the occasion. He was followed by the chaplain of
the empress, a stout, handsome Hungarian prelate named M. Bauer.[1]

[Footnote 1: Blackwood's Magazine.]

Even up to the morning of November 17, when the passage of the
fleet was to be made through the canal, there were persons at Port
Saïd who doubted if it would get through. The ships-of-war had been
directed to enter the canal first, and there was to be between
each ship an interval of a quarter of an hour. They were ordered to
steam at the rate of five miles an hour. "L'Aigle" entered first.
"La Pelouse," another French ship, had the greatest draught of
water; namely, eighteen or nineteen feet.

The scenery from the Suez Canal was not interesting. Lakes, then
undrained, stretched upon either side; the banks of the canal being
the only land visible. But as evening fell, and the sun sank, a
rich purple light, with its warm tones, overspread everything,
until the moon rose, touching the waters with her silvery sheen.
Before this, however, the foremost ships in the procession had
safely reached Ismaïlia. There the khedive had erected a new palace
in which to review his guests. They numbered about six thousand,
and the behavior of many of them did little credit to civilization.

The khedive had arranged an exhibition of Arab horsemanship and
of throwing the _Jereed_; but the sand was so deep that the horses
could not show themselves to advantage. The empress, wearing a
large leghorn hat and yellow veil, rode on a camel; and when an
Italian in the crowd shouted to her roughly, "Lean back, or you
will fall off, heels over head," the graceful dignity with which she
smiled, and accepted the advice, won the hearts of all beholders.

That night a great ball was given by the khedive in his new palace.
"It was impossible," says an English gentleman, "to overrate the
gracious influence of the empress's presence. The occasion, great
as it was, would have lost its romance if she had not been there.
She it was who raised the spirit of chivalry, subdued the spirit
of strife, enmity, and intrigue among rival men, and over commerce,
science, and avarice spread the gauzy hues of poetry."

Alas! poor empress. Ten months later, she was hurrying as a fugitive
on board an English yacht on her way into exile, having passed
through anxieties and griefs that had streaked her hair with gray.
Even in the midst of her personal triumphs in the East, there were
clouds on the horizon of her life which she could see darkening
and increasing. A few days before the fêtes of the opening of the
canal, she writes to her husband, who, though unfit for exertion,
had gone into Paris on some state occasion,--

"I was very anxious about you yesterday, thinking of you in Paris
without me; but I see by your telegram that everything passed off
well. When we observe other nations, we can better perceive the
injustice of our own. I think, however, in spite of all, that you
must not be discouraged, but continue in the course you have
inaugurated. It is right to keep faith touching concessions that
have been granted. I hope that your speech to the Chamber will be
in this spirit. The more strength may be wanted in the future,
the more important it is to prove to the country that we act upon
ideas, and not only on expedients. I speak thus while far away, and
ignorant of what has passed since my departure, but I am thoroughly
convinced that strength lies in the orderly sequence of ideas. I
do not like surprises, and I am persuaded that a _coup d'état_
cannot be made twice in one reign. I am talking in the dark, and
to one already of my opinion, and who knows more than I can know;
but I must say something, if only to prove, what you know, that my
heart is with you both, and that if in calm days my spirit loves
to roam in space, it is with you both I love to be in times of
care or trouble."



As soon as relations became "strained" between France and Germany,
according to the term used in diplomacy, the king of Prussia ordered
home all his subjects who had found employment in France, especially
those in Alsace and Lorraine.[1] Long before this, those provinces
had been overrun with photographers, pedlers, and travelling workmen,
commissioned to make themselves fully acquainted with the roads,
the by-paths, the resources of the villages, and the character
of the rural officials. In the case of France, however, though
all the reports concerning military stores looked well on paper,
the old guns mounted on the frontier fortresses were worthless,
and the organization of the army was so imperfect that scarcely
more than two hundred thousand troops could be sent to defend the
French frontier from Switzerland to Luxemburg; while Germany, with
an army that could be mobilized in eleven days, was ready by the
1st of August to pour five hundred thousand men across the Rhine.
The emperor placed great reliance on his _mitrailleuses_,--a new
engine of war that would fire a volley of musketry at once, but
which, though horribly murderous, has not proved of great value in
actual warfare. Towards the Rhine were hurried soldiers, recruits,
cannon, horses, artillery, ammunition, wagons full of biscuit and
all manner of munitions of war. The roads between Strasburg and
Belfort were blocked up, and in the disorder nobody seemed to know
what should be done. Every one was trying to get orders. The telegraph
lines were reserved for the Government. Quartermasters were roaming
about in search of their depots, colonels were looking for their
regiments, generals for their brigades or divisions. There were
loud outcries for salt, sugar, coffee, bacon, and bridles. Maps
of Germany as far as the shores of the Baltic were being issued
to soldiers who, alas! were never to pass their own frontier. But
while this was the situation near the seat of war, in other parts
of France the scene was different, especially in Brest and other
seaports. These towns were crowded with soldiers and sailors; the
streets were filled with half-drunken recruits bawling patriotic
sentiments in tipsy songs. And now, for the first time since the
Empire came into existence, might be heard the unaccustomed strains
of the "Marseillaise." It had been long suppressed in France; but
when war became imminent, it was encouraged for the purpose of
exciting military ardor.

[Footnote 1: Erckmann-Chatrian, La Plébiscite.]

Every day in the provincial towns the war fever grew fiercer. The
bugle sounded incessantly in the streets of any place where there
were troops in garrison. Regiment followed regiment on its way
into Paris, changing quarters or marching to depots to receive
equipments. Orderlies galloped madly about, and heavy ammunition
wagons lumbered noisily over the pavements. Everybody shouted "A
Berlin," and took up the chorus of the "Marseillaise." The post-offices
and telegraph-offices were crowded with soldiers openly dictating
their messages to patient officials who put them into shape, and
it was said that nearly every telegram contained the words, "Please
send me..." Alas, poor fellows! it is probable that nothing sent
them in reply was ever received.[1]

[Footnote 1: I am indebted for much in this chapter to a private

Parisians or residents in Paris all believed at that time in the
prestige of the French army; only here and there a German exile
muttered in his beard something about Sadowa.

On July 27 all Paris assembled on the Boulevards to see the Garde
Impériale take its departure for the frontier. This Imperial Guard
was a choice corps created by Napoleon III. at the outset of the
Crimean War. It was a force numbering nominally twenty thousand
infantry and three thousand cavalry. It was a very popular corps,
and the war with Germany was popular; consequently the march from
its barracks to the railroad station was one continued triumph.
At every halt the Parisians pressed into the ranks with gifts of
money, wine, and cigars. "Vive l'armée!" shouted the multitude.
"A Berlin!" responded the troops; and now and then, as the bands
struck up the "Marseillaise," the population and the troops burst
out in chorus with the solemn, spirit-stirring words.

At the head of this brilliant host rode Marshal Le Bœuf, who was
minister of war and military tutor to the Prince Imperial. After
the departure of the main body of the corps, large detachments
of cavalry and artillery which belonged to it were expected to
follow; but they remained behind in the provinces, because Lyons,
Marseilles, and Algeria, all centres of the revolutionary spirit,
could not, it was found, be left without armed protection. Therefore
only a portion of the crack corps of the French army went forward to
the frontier,--a fact never suspected by the public until events,
a few weeks later, made it known.

Paris was jubilant. The theatres especially became centres of patriotic
demonstrations. At the Grand Opera House, Auber's "Massaniello"
(called in France the "Muette de Portici") was announced. For many
years its performance had been interdicted under the Second Empire,
the story being one of heroic revolt. The time had come, however,
when its ardent patriotism entitled it to resuscitation. Faure,
the most remarkable baritone singer of the period, suddenly, at the
beginning of the second act, which opens with a chorus of fishermen
inciting each other to resist oppression, appeared upon the stage
bearing the French flag. The chorus ranged themselves to right
and left as he strode forward and waved the tricolor above the
footlights. The house broke into wild uproar, cheer after cheer
rose for the flag, for the singer, for France.

"The violence of the applause," says one who was present, "continued
until all were breathless; then a sudden silence preceded the great
event of the evening. In clear, firm tones, Faure launched forth the
first notes of the 'Marseillaise;' and as the first verse ended,
he bounded forward, and unfurling the flag to its full length and
breadth, he waved it high above his head as he electrified the
audience with the cry, 'Aux armes citoyens!' and subsequently, when
in the last verse he sank upon one knee, and folding the standard
to his heart, raised his eyes towards heaven, he drew all hearts
with him; tears flowed, hand grasped hand, and deeply solemn was
the intonation of the volunteer chorus following the call to arms!

"The month of July was drawing to a close when the emperor took his
departure for Metz, where he was to assume the post of generalissimo.
With him went gayly the young Prince Imperial, then fourteen years
old. Their starting-point was the small rustic summer-house in
the park of Saint-Cloud, the termination of a miniature branch
railroad connecting with the great lines of travel. There the father
and son parted from the empress, who removed the same day to the
Tuileries, where she administered the imperial government under
the title of empress-regent.

"It would have been injudicious for the emperor at this time to
risk a public departure from Paris. The Parisians were so full of
confidence and enthusiasm that he might have received an inconvenient
ovation in advance."

Skirmishing had been going on along the frontier between the French
and German outposts since July 21. On August 2 the campaign began
in earnest. After luncheon on that day, the emperor and the Prince
Imperial set out by rail from Metz, and returned to Metz to dinner,
having invaded German territory and opened the war. They had alighted
at Forbach, and proceeded thence to make a reconnaissance into the
enemy's territory near Saarbrück,--a small town of two thousand
inhabitants, where, strange to say, an International Peace Congress
had held its session not many months before. This place had an
ordinary frontier garrison, and lay two and a half miles beyond the
boundary of France. General Frossard, under the emperor's direction
and supervision, led on his men to attack the place. The first
gun was fired by the Prince Imperial, who here, as his father's
telegram that night reported to the empress, received his "baptism
of fire." The garrison returned the fire, and then, having lost
two officers and seventy-two men, it retired, leaving the French
in possession of the heights above the town. Poor Prince Imperial!
Some harsh lines concerning his first exploit were published in
the London "Spectator:"--

  "'How jolly, papa! how funny!
     How the blue men tumble about!
    Huzza! there's a fellow's head off,--
     How the dark red blood spouts out!
    And look, what a jolly bonfire!--
     Wants nothing but colored light!
    Oh, papa, burn a lot of cities,
     And burn the next one at night!'
      "'Yes, child, it _is_ operatic;
     But don't forget, in your glee,
    That for your sake this play is playing,
     That you may be worthy of me.
    They baptized you in Jordan water,--
     Baptized as a Christian, I mean,--
    But you come of the race of Cæsar,
     And thus have their baptisms been.
    Baptized in true Cæsar fashion,
     Remember, through all your years,
    That the font was a burning city,
     And the water was widows' tears,'"

When these lines were written, how little could any man have foreseen
the fate of the poor lad, lying bloody and stark on a hillside of
South Africa, deserted by his comrades, and above all by a degenerate
descendant of Sir Walter Raleigh, who should have risked his life
to defend his charge!

The day after the attack on Saarbrück compact masses of Germans were
moving across the frontier into France, and the next day (August 4),
a division of MacMahon's army corps was surprised at Wissembourg,
while their commander was at Metz in conference with the emperor.
The French troops were cut to pieces, and the fugitives spread
themselves all over the country. The battle had been fought on
ground covered with vineyards, and the movements of the French
cavalry had been impeded by the vines. In this battle the French
were without artillery, but they took eight cannon from the enemy.
The Prussians, however, being speedily reinforced, recovered their
advantage and gained a complete victory. Wissembourg, a small town
in Alsace, was bombarded and set on fire. There seemed no officer
among the defeated French to restore order. They had never anticipated
such a rout, and were, especially the cavalry, utterly demoralized.

The French army was divided into seven army corps, the German into
twelve. Each German army corps was greatly stronger in men, and
incomparably better officered and equipped, than the French. The
Germans began the war with nearly a million men; the French with
little more than two hundred thousand on the frontier, though their
army was five hundred thousand strong on the official records. The
habit of the War Office had been to let rich men who were drawn
for the conscription pay four hundred francs for a substitute,
which substitute was seldom purchased, the money going into the
pockets of dishonest officials.

The two hundred thousand French were stretched in a thin line from
Belgium to the mountains of Dauphiné. A German army corps could break
this line at almost any point; and throughout the whole campaign
the French suffered from the lack of reliable information as to
the movements of the enemy.

On August 6, two days after the defeat at Wissembourg, the battle
of Wörth, or Reichshofen, was fought between the German _corps
d'armée_ under the Prussian Crown Prince and the corps of MacMahon,
which was completely defeated, and only enabled to leave the field
of battle in retreat rather than rout, by brilliant charges of
cavalry. The French lost six mitrailleuses, thirty guns, and four
thousand unwounded prisoners. On the same day the German reserves
retook Saarbrück, and put to flight General Frossard's division.
After these reverses Napoleon III. proposed to retreat on Paris and
to cover the capital. This also was the counsel of MacMahon; but
the empress-regent opposed it strongly, considering it a movement
that must prove fatal to the dynasty. She even refused to receive
back her son. And indeed it did not seem unlikely that the good
people of Paris, who ten days before had cheered clamorously their
beloved emperor, might have tom him in pieces, had he come back
to them after such a succession of disasters.

On the 7th of August, the very day after the battle of Worth, while
MacMahon was retreating before the victorious army of the Prussian
Crown Prince, the Parisians were made victims of an extraordinary
deception. A great battle was reported, in which the Crown Prince
had been made prisoner, together with twenty-six thousand of his

All Paris turned into the streets to exult over this victory; everyone
rushed in the direction of the Bourse, where details of the great
victory were said to have been posted. In every street, from every
house, people were summoned to hang out flags and banners. An excited
crowd filled up the Bourse, many men clinging to the railings, all
shouting, singing, and embracing each other. No one for a long
time had any clear idea what the rejoicing was about, yet the crowd
went on shouting and singing choruses, waving hats, and reiterating
the "Marseillaise." The carriage of Madame Marie Sasse, the prima
donna, who was on her way to a rehearsal at the Grand Opera House,
was stopped, and she was requested to sing the "Marseillaise."
She stood up on the seat of her carriage and complied at once.
"There was profound silence," wrote a gentleman who was in the
crowd, "when she gave the first notes of the 'Marseillaise;' but
all Paris seemed to take up the chorus after each stanza. There was
uproarious applause. The last verse was even more moving than when
Faure had sung it, on account of the novelty of the surroundings
and the spontaneous feeling of the people. There were real tears
in the singer's eyes, and her voice trembled with genuine emotion
as she came to the thrilling appeal to _Liberté_."

At the same moment Capoul also was singing the "Marseillaise" in
another street, and in the Rue Richelieu the mob, having stopped a
beer cart and borrowed some glasses from a restaurant, were drinking
healths to the army and the emperor.

"All this time," says the American, who mingled in the crowd and
shouted with the rest in his excitement, "it never occurred to me
to doubt the accuracy of the news that had so stirred up Paris;
for the newspapers on the preceding days had prepared us to expect
something of the kind. All at once, upon the Boulevard, I was aware
of a violent altercation going on between a respectable-looking man
and a number of infuriated bystanders. He seemed to be insisting
that the whole story of the victory was untrue, and that despatches
had been received announcing heavy disasters. I saw that unlucky
citizen hustled about, and finally collared and led off by a policeman,
the people pursuing him with cries of 'Prussian!' But some time
later in the day some persons in a cab drove down the Boulevards
with a white banner, inscribed: THE AUTHOR OF THE FALSE NEWS IS
ARRESTED! This, however, was not the case, for the news was never
traced to any person."

The mob as soon as it began to believe that it had been the victim
of some stockjobbing operators, rushed to the Bourse, determined to
pull everything to pieces; but the military were there beforehand,
and it had to content itself with requiring all householders to
pull down the flags which two hours before it had insisted must
be hung out.

The Parisians were not easily appeased after this cruel deception,
and took their revenge by spreading damaging reports about the
Government of the regency, especially accusing the ministers of
basely suppressing bulletins from the army, that they might gamble
on the stock-exchange. The chief of the cabinet, Émile Ollivier,
was very nearly mobbed; but he pacified the people by a speech
made from the balcony of his residence. He was at the time really
unaware that more than one defeat had been sustained.

Hour after hour alarming reports kept coming in; and at last, on
August 9, the fatal news of three successive defeats was posted
all over the city. Soon an ominous message, sent by Napoleon III.,
revealed the full horror of the situation: "Hasten preparations
for the defence of Paris."

The greatest dismay prevailed. The Chambers were summoned to an
evening session. The legislators were guarded by cavalry from the
mob which surged round the Chamber. Ollivier and his cabinet were
forced to resign, and a new cabinet was hastily installed in office,
calling itself the Ministry of National Defence. Its head was Count
Montauban, a man seventy-five years old, who had gained the title
of Count Palikao by his notorious campaign in China in 1860, when
he sacked the summer palace at Pekin. M. Thiers had pronounced him
far more of a soldier than a statesman. He was in command of the
fourth army corps at Lyons when summoned by the empress-regent to
take up the reins of government; but in the course of the unvaried
succession of misfortunes which made up the history of the French
arms during the month of August, the public statements of Palikao
proved as unreliable as those of his predecessor. His favorite way
of meeting inquiries was to say oracularly: "If Paris knew what
I know, the city would be illuminated."

Confidence increased after the empress-regent had proclaimed a
_levée en masse_. There were no arms for those who responded to
the call, and most of them had to be sent back to their homes; but
it was considered certain that the mere idea of a general call to
arms would intimidate the Prussians. Indeed, there was a popular
delusion, shared even by foreigners, that the Prussian soldiery, on
their march to Paris, would be cut to pieces by the peasantry. The
conduct of the peasantry proved exactly the reverse of belligerent.
The penalties inflicted by the invaders for irregular warfare,
and the profits made by individuals who remained neutral, were
cleverly calculated to render the peasantry, not only harmless,
but actually useful to the enemy.

Meantime the French were rapidly evacuating Alsace, and preparing
to make their stand on the Moselle. General Failly's corps of thirty
thousand men, which had failed to come up in time to help MacMahon
at Wörth, were in full retreat, without exchanging a shot with
the enemy.

The Germans continued to march steadily on. The country was
systematically requisitioned for supplies. The _maire_ or other high
official of each village was informed twenty-four hours beforehand
how many men he was expected to provide with rations; namely, to
each man daily, 1-1/2 lb. bread, 1 lb. Meat, 1/4 lb. coffee, five
cigars, or their equivalent in tobacco, a pint of wine or a quart
of beer, and horse feed. If these demands were not complied with,
he was assured that the village would be set on fire; and after a
few examples had been made, the villagers became so intimidated
that they furnished all that was required of them.

Here is a description of one night's work done by a Prussian general.
It is taken from a work by Erckmann-Chatrian;[1] but those graphic
writers took all their descriptions from the mouths of Alsatian
peasants who had been eye-witnesses of the scenes which they

[Footnote 1: La Plébiscite.]

"The first thing the Prussian commander did on entering his chamber
in a cottage where he had quarters for the night, was to make three
or four soldiers turn out every article of furniture. Then he spread
out on the floor an enormous map of the country. He took off his
boots and lay down on the map flat on his stomach. Then he called
in six or seven officers, all captains or lieutenants. Each man
pulled out a small map. The general called to one of them by name:
'Have you got the road from here to Metting?' 'Yes, General.' 'Name
all the places between here and there.' Then the officer, without
hesitation, told the names of all the villages, farms, streams,
bridges, and woods, the turnings of the roads, the very cow-paths.
The general followed him on the large map with his finger. 'That's
all right. Take twenty men and go as far as St. Jean by such a
road. You will reconnoitre. If you want any assistance, send me
word.' And so on, one by one, to all the others."

Such was the system and order of the Germans; while the French,
full of amazement at their own defeat, unled, unofficered, and
disorganized, are thus described by Edmond About as he saw them
entering Saverne after the disastrous day at Wörth.

"There were cuirassiers," he says, "without cuirasses, fusileers
without guns, horsemen on foot, and infantry on horseback. The
roads taken by the army in its flight were blocked by trains of
wagons loaded with provisions and clothing, and the woods were
filled with stragglers wandering about in a purposeless way. Among
the spoils of that day which fell into the hands of the Prussians
were several railroad freight-cars loaded with Paris confectionery:
and two days after the battle it was easier to obtain a hundredweight
of bonbons at Forbach than a loaf of bread."

All this happened in one week, from August 2 to August 6. During
this week the emperor stayed at Metz, having been implored by his
generals to keep away from the army.

A week later, Strasburg was besieged. MacMahon, the remnants of
whose corps had been driven out of Alsace by the Crown Prince, was
endeavoring to effect a juncture with the army corps of De Failly.

The object of the emperor and Marshal MacMahon was to concentrate
as large a force as possible before the very strongly fortified
city of Metz. But as soon as they reached Metz the armies of General
Steinmetz and Prince Frederic Charles, two hundred and fifty thousand
strong, began to close in upon them. There seemed no safety but
in further retreat. The emperor wanted to give up Lorraine, and
to concentrate all his forces in an intrenched camp at Châlons;
but advices from Paris warned him that a revolt would break out
in the capital if he did so. He therefore resigned his position
as commander-in-chief to Marshal Bazaine. He was coldly received
in the camp at Châlons, and his presence with several thousand
men as a body-guard was an impediment to military operations. He
was therefore virtually dropped out of the army, and from August
18, when this news was known in Paris, his authority in France
was practically at an end. On the same day (August 18) Bazaine's
army was driven into Metz after the battle of Gravelotte, at which
battle the French, though defeated, distinguished themselves by
their bravery. Bazaine had one hundred and seventy thousand men
with him when he retired behind the walls of Metz. Here he was
closely besieged till October 27, when he surrendered.

The news that reached Paris of these events (just one month after
the emperor had signed the declaration of war) not only resulted in
his practical deposition, but caused a notoriously anti-Bonapartist
general to be appointed military governor of the capital. Imperialism
remained an empty name. France was without one ally, nor had the
emperor one friend. Meantime Palikao, to appease the irritation
of the public, continued to announce victory after victory. Of
all his fantastic inventions, the most fantastic was one published
immediately after Bazaine had shut himself up with his army in Metz.
A despatch was published, and universally accepted with confidence
and enthusiasm, announcing that three German army corps had been
overthrown at the Quarries of Jaumont. There are no quarries at
Jaumont, there were no Prussians anywhere near the spot, and none
had been defeated; but the Parisians were well satisfied.

After the first panic caused by the despatch that Paris must prepare
for defence, means were taken for provisioning the city. Clément
Duvernois, an ex-radical, an ex-Bonapartist, and one of the members
of the Ministry of Defence, gave ignorant and reckless orders for
supplies, which, in spite of the gravity of the situation, amused
the Parisians immensely.

Droves of cattle passed all day along the Boulevards, going to
be pastured in the Bois de Boulogne, where they were tended by
Gardes Mobiles from the rural districts. The cattle, the camps,
and the fortifications attracted crowds of curious spectators.

The tap of the drum was wellnigh incessant in the city; and while
the enemy was drawing near, and bloody defeats followed each other
in rapid succession, the Parisians seemed chiefly stimulated to
write fresh libels in the newspapers, and to amuse each other with
caricatures and satires.

Among other foolish measures was that of ordering all firemen from
the departments up to Paris. They remained in the city a week,
and were then sent home. In their absurd and heavy uniforms, and
with nothing whatever to do, the poor country fellows presented
a miserable appearance as they sat in rows along the curbstones
of the avenues, with their helmets glittering in the August sun,
"looking," as some one remarked, "like so many rare beetles on
exhibition," the spectacle being all the more ludicrous from the
extreme dejection of the innocent heroes.

Troops were always on the move. The Gardes Mobiles, formed into
companies, were not wanted anywhere. Being too raw as yet for active
service, they were transferred from one barrack to another, and
were drilled in the open streets and in the public squares. The
forts absorbed a number of them; others were employed as shepherds
and drovers. The surplus was billeted on the citizens.

Towards the end of August there began to be a notion that the city
was full of spies, and all suspected persons were called Prussians.
The mania for spy-hunting became general, and was frequently very
inconvenient to Americans and Englishmen. Germans in Paris, many of
whom had intermarried with the French, naturally found themselves
in a most unhappy situation. At first they were strictly forbidden
to leave Paris; then suddenly they were ordered away, on three
days' notice, under penalty of being treated as prisoners of war.

This decree affected eighty thousand persons in France, nearly all
of whom were connected by family ties or business relations with
the country of their adoption. The outcry raised by the English and
German Press about this summary expulsion procured some modification
of the order,--not, however, without a protest from the radicals,
who clamored for the rigor of the law. Mr. Washburne, the American
minister, the only foreign ambassador who remained in Paris during
the siege, had accepted the charge of these unhappy Germans, and
heart-breaking scenes took place daily at the American Legation.

Soon after the defeats in the first week in August, Mr. Washburne
had his last interview with the Empress Eugénie.

"She had evidently," he says, "passed a sleepless and agitated
night, and was in great distress of mind. She at once began to
speak of the terrible news she had received, and the effect it
would have on the French people. I suggested to her that the news
might not be quite so bad as was reported (alas! it was far worse),
and that the consequences might in the end be far better than present
circumstances indicated. I spoke to her about the first battle of
Bull Run, and the defeat that the Union army had there suffered,
which had only stimulated the country to greater exertions. She
replied: 'I only wish the French in these respects were like you
Americans; but I am afraid they will get too much discouraged,
and give up too soon.'"[1]

[Footnote 1: Recollections of a Minister to France.]

All this time the "Figaro" was publishing articles that held out
hopes of victory and flattered the self-confidence of the Parisians.
Marshals MacMahon and Bazaine were represented as leading the enemy
craftily into a snare, and the illusion was kept up that the Germans
would be cut to pieces by the peasantry "before they could lay
their sacrilegious hands," said Victor Hugo, "upon the Mecca of
civilization." Instead of this, the Crown Prince's army was marching
in pursuit of MacMahon's forces through the great plains of Champagne.
MacMahon had some design of turning back, uniting with another
army corps, and attacking the Prussians in the rear, thus hemming
in part of their army between himself and the troops of Bazaine
in Metz; but he seems to have been really in the position of a
pawn driven about a chess-board by an experienced player.

Continually retreating, the emperor, who was with MacMahon's army,
at last found himself at Sedan, safe, as he hoped, for a brief
breathing space, from the attacks of the two Prussian army corps
which were following in his rear. He had been warned repeatedly
that he must not return to Paris without a victory. "The language
of reason," he remarked, "is no longer understood at the capital."

On Aug. 30, 1870, the retreating French were concentrated, or rather
massed, under the walls of Sedan,[1] in a valley commonly called
the Sink of Givonne. The army consisted of twenty-nine brigades,
fifteen divisions, and four _corps d'armée_, numbering ninety thousand

[Footnote 1: Victor Hugo, Choses vues.]

"It was there," says Victor Hugo, "no one could guess what for,
without order, without discipline, a mere crowd of men, waiting,
as it seemed, to be seized by an immensely powerful hand. It seemed
to be under no particular anxiety. The men who composed it knew,
or thought they knew, that the enemy was far away. Calculating
four leagues as a day's march, they believed the Germans to be at
three days distance. The commanders, however, towards nightfall,
made some preparations for safety. The whole army formed a sort
of horse-shoe, its point turning towards Sedan. This disposition
proved that its chiefs believed themselves in safety. The valley
was one of those which the Emperor Napoleon used to call a 'bowl,'
and which Admiral Van Tromp designated by a less polite name. No
place could have been better calculated to shut in an army. Its very
numbers were against it. Once in, if the way out were blocked, it
could never leave it again. Some of the generals,--General Wimpfen
among them--saw this, and were uneasy; but the little court around
the emperor was confident of safety. 'At worst,' they said, 'we
can always reach the Belgian frontier.' The commonest military
precautions were neglected. The army slept soundly on the night
of August 31. At the worst they believed themselves to have a line
of retreat open to Mézières, a town on the frontier of Belgium.
No cavalry reconnoissance was made that night; the guards were
not doubled. The French believed themselves more than forty miles
from the German army. They behaved as if they thought that army
unconcentrated and ill-informed, attempting vaguely several things
at once, and incapable of converging on one point, namely, Sedan.
They thought they knew that the column under the Prince of Saxony
was marching upon Châlons, and that the Crown Prince of Prussia
was marching upon Metz.

"But that night, while the French army, in fancied security, was
sleeping at Sedan, this is what was passing among the enemy.

"By a quarter to two A. M. the army of the Prince of Saxony was
on its march eastward, with orders not to fire a shot till five
o'clock, and to make as little noise as possible. They marched
without baggage of any kind. At the same hour another division of
the Prussian army marched, with equal noiselessness, from another
direction, on Sedan, while the Würtemburgers secured the road to
Mézières, thereby cutting off the possibility of a retreat into

"At the same moment, namely, five o'clock,--on all the hills around
Sedan, at all points of the compass, appeared a dense, dark mass
of German troops, with their commanders and artillery. Not one
sound had been heard by the French army, not even an order. Two
hundred and fifty thousand men were in a circle on the heights round
the Sink of Givonne. They had come as stealthily and as silently as
serpents. They were there when the sun rose, and the French army
were prisoners."

The battle was one of artillery. The German guns commanded every
part of the crowded valley. Indeed, the fight was simply a massacre.
There was no hope for the French, though they fought bravely. Their
best troops, the Garde Impériale, were with Bazaine at Metz. Marshal
MacMahon was wounded very early in the day. The command passed
first to General Ducrot, who was also disabled, and afterwards to
Wimpfen, a brave African general who had hurried from Algeria just
in time to take part in this disastrous day. He told the emperor
that the only hope was for the troops to cut their way out of the
valley; but the army was too closely crowded, too disorganized,
to make this practicable. One Zouave regiment accomplished this
feat, and reached Belgium.

That night--the night of September 1--an aide-de-camp of the Emperor
Napoleon carried this note to the camp of the king of Prussia:--

MONSIEUR MON FRÈRE,--Not having been able to die in midst of my
troops, it only remains for me to place my sword in the hands of
your Majesty.

  I am your Majesty's good brother,


The king of Prussia replied,--

MONSIEUR MON FRÈRE,--Regretting the circumstances under which we
meet, I accept the sword of your Majesty, and I invite you to designate
one of your officers, provided with full powers, to treat for the
capitulation of the army which has so bravely fought under your
command. On my side I have named General von Moltke for that purpose.

  I am your Majesty's good brother,


Before Sedan, Sept. 1, 1870.

"The next morning early, a carriage containing four French officers
drove out from Sedan, and came into the German lines. The carriage
had an escort of only three horsemen. When it had reached the Germans,
one of its occupants put out his head and asked, in German, for
Count von Bismarck? The Germans replied that he was at Donchéry.
Thither the carriage dashed away. It contained the French emperor."

With Napoleon III. fell not only his own reputation as a ruler,
but the glory of his uncle and the prestige of his name.

The fallen emperor and Bismarck met in a little house upon the
banks of the Meuse. Chairs were brought out, and they talked in
the open air. It was a glorious autumn morning. The emperor looked
care-worn, as well he might. He wished to see the king of Prussia
before the articles of capitulation were drawn up: but King William
declined the interview. When the capitulation was signed, however,
he drove over to visit the captive emperor at a château where the
latter had taken refuge.

Their interview was private; only the two sovereigns were present.
The French emperor afterwards expressed to the Crown Prince of Prussia
his deep sense of the courtesy shown him. He was desirous of passing
as unnoticed as possible through French territory, where, indeed,
exasperation against him, as the first cause of the misfortunes of
France, was so great that his life would have been in peril. The
next day he proceeded to the beautiful palace at Cassel called
Wilhelmshöhe, or William's Rest. It had been built at ruinous expense
by Jérôme Bonaparte while king of Westphalia, and was then called
Napoleon's Rest.

Every consideration that the German royal family could show their
former friend and gracious host was shown to Louis Napoleon. This
told against him with the French. Was the man who had led them into
such misfortunes to be honored and comforted while they were suffering
the consequences of his selfishness, recklessness, negligence, and

Thus eighty thousand men capitulated at Sedan, and were marched
as prisoners into Germany; one hundred and seventy-five thousand
French soldiers remained shut up in Metz, besides a few thousands
more in Strasburg, Phalsbourg, Toul, and Belfort. But the road
was open to Paris, and thither the various German armies marched,
leaving the Landwehr, which could not be ordered to serve beyond the
limits of Germany, to hold Alsace and Lorraine, already considered
a part of the Fatherland. The Prussians did not reach Paris till
September 19, two weeks after the surrender at Sedan,--which seemed
rather a lull in the military operations of a war in which so much
had occurred during one short month.



Though the surrender of the emperor and his army at Sedan took place
on September 2, nothing whatever was known of it by the Parisian
public until the evening of September 4, when a reporter arrived
at the office of the "Gaulois" with a Belgian newspaper in his
pocket. The "Gaulois" dared not be the first sheet to publish the
news of such a disaster; but despatches had already reached the
Government, and by degrees rumors of what had happened crept through
the streets of the capital. No one knew any details of the calamity,
but every one soon understood that something terrible had occurred.

The Legislative Assembly held a midnight session; but nothing was
determined on until the morning, when the Empire was voted out,
and a Republic voted in.

It was a beautiful Sunday morning. Every Parisian was in the street,
and, wonderful to say, all faces seemed to express satisfaction. The
loss of an army, the surrender of the emperor, the national disgrace,
the prospect of a siege, the advance of the Prussians,--were things
apparently forgotten. Paris was charmed to have got rid of so unlucky
a ruler,--the emperor for whom more than seven millions of Frenchmen
had passed a vote of confidence a few months before. He seemed to
have no longer a single friend, or rather he had _one:_ in the
Assembly an elderly deputy stood up in his place and boldly said that
he had taken an oath to be faithful to the Emperor Napoleon, and
did not think himself absolved from it by his misfortunes.

[Illustration: _JULES SIMON._]

It was almost in a moment, almost without a breath of opposition,
that on the morning of Sept. 5, 1870, the Empire was voted at an
end, and a Republic put in its place. The duty of governing was
at once confided to seven men, called the Committee of Defence. Of
these, Arago, Crémieux, and Gamier-Pagès had been members of the
Provisional Government in 1848, while Léon Gambetta, Jules Favre,
Jules Ferry, and Jules Simon afterwards distinguished themselves.
Rochefort, the insurrectionist, made but one step from prison to
the council board, and was admitted among the new rulers. But the
two chief men in the Committee of Defence were Jules Favre and

Gambetta, who before that time had been little known, was from
the South of France, and of Italian origin. He was a man full of
enthusiasm, vehement, irascible, and impulsive. The day came when
these qualities, tempered and refined, did good service to France,
when he also proved himself one of those great men in history who
are capable of supreme self-sacrifice. At present he was untried.

Jules Favre was respected for his unstained reputation and perfect
integrity, his disinterestedness and civic virtues, as also for
his fluency of speech. In person he was a small, thin man, with
a head that was said to resemble the popular portraits of General

General Jules Trochu, who was confirmed as military commander of
Paris, had written a book, previous to the war, regarding the
inefficiency of the French army; he had been therefore no favorite
with the emperor. His chief defect, it was said, was that he talked
so well that he was fond of talking, and too readily admitted many
to his confidence.

The Council of Regency had in the night melted away. A mob was
surging round the Tuileries. Where had the empress-regent fled?

When disasters had followed fast upon one another, the empress
had in her bewilderment found it hard to realize that the end of
the empire was at hand. Bazaine was the man whom she relied on.
She had no great liking for Marshal MacMahon, and she does not
appear to have been conscious that all was lost till, on the night
of September 4, she found M. Conti, the emperor's secretary, busy
destroying his private papers. To burn them was impossible; they
were torn into small bits and put in a bath-tub, then hot water
was poured over them, which reduced them to pulp. Vast quantities,
however, remained undestroyed, some of them compromising to their

When the truth of the situation broke upon the empress, she was
very much frightened. Her dread was that she might be torn in pieces
by a mob that would invade the Tuileries. In a fortnight her fair
face had become haggard, and white streaks showed themselves in
her beautiful hair.

It is safest in such cases to trust foreigners rather than subjects.
Two foreigners occupied themselves with plans for the empress's
personal safety. The first idea was that if flight became inevitable,
she should take refuge with the Sisters of the Sacré Cœur, in their
convent in the Rue Picpus; and arrangements had been made for this

The life of the empress was strange and piteous during her last
days upon the throne. She was up every morning by seven, and heard
mass. Her dress was black cashmere, with a white linen collar and
cuffs. All day she was the victim of every person who claimed an
audience, all talking, protesting, gesticulating, and generally
begging. The day the false rumor arrived that the Prussians had
been defeated at the Quarries of Jaumont she flew down to the
guard-room, where the soldiers off duty were lounging on their beds,
waving the telegram over her head.

The news of the capitulation at Sedan and of the decree deposing the
emperor, roused the Parisian populace. By one o'clock on September 5
the mob began to threaten the Tuileries. Then the Italian ambassador,
Signor Nigra, and the Austrian ambassador, Prince Richard Metternich,
insisted that the empress must seek a place of safety. As it was
impossible to reach the street from the Tuileries, they made their
way through the long galleries of the Louvre, and gained the entrance
opposite the parish church of Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois.[1] The
street was blocked with people uttering cries against the emperor.
A _gamin_ recognized the fugitives, and shouted, "Here comes the
empress!" De Nigra gave him a kick, and asked him how he dared to
cry: "Vive l'Empereur?" At this the crowd turned upon the boy,
and in the confusion the empress and her lady-in-waiting were put
into a cab, driven, it is said, by Gamble, the emperor's faithful
English coachman. If this were so, the empress did not recognize
him, for after proceeding a little way, she and Madame le Breton,
her companion, finding they had but three francs between them, and
dreading an altercation with the cabman if this were not enough
to pay their fare, got out, and proceeded on foot to the house of
the American dentist, Dr. Thomas Evans. There they had to wait
till admitted to his operating-room. The doctor's amazement when
he saw them was great; he had not been aware of what was passing
at the Tuileries, but he took his hat, and went out to collect
information. Soon he returned to tell the empress that she had not
escaped a moment too soon.

[Footnote 1: Temple Bar, 1883.]

His wife was at Deauville, a fashionable watering-place in Normandy.
The doctor placed her wardrobe at the disposal of the empress,
who had saved nothing of her own but a few jewels. It is said she
owned three hundred dresses, and her collection of fans, laces,
etc., was probably unique. Her own servants had begun to pillage
her wardrobe before she left the Tuileries. It is said that she
would have gone forth on horseback and have put herself at the head
of the troops, but that no riding-habit had been left her, except
a gay green-and-gold hunting dress worn by her at Fontainebleau.
That morning no servant in the Tuileries could be found to bring
her breakfast to her chamber.

The next day Dr. Evans, in his own carriage, took her safely out
of Paris, in the character of a lady of unsound mind whom he and
Madame le Breton were conveying to friends in the country. Two
days later they reached Deauville after several narrow escapes,
the empress, on one occasion, having nearly betrayed herself by
an effort to stop a man who was cruelly beating his horse.

There were two English yachts lying at Deauville. On board of one
of these Dr. Evans went. It belonged to Sir John Burgoyne, grandson
of the General Burgoyne who surrendered at Saratoga. Sir John,
with his wife, was on a pleasure cruise. His yacht, the "Gazelle,"
was very small, only forty-five tons' burden, and carried a crew
of six men.

As soon as Sir John Burgoyne had satisfied himself that it was
really the empress who was thus thrown on his protection, he placed
himself and his yacht at her disposal, insisting, however, that she
must not come on board till nearly midnight, when he would meet
her on the _quai_. It was fortunate that he made this arrangement,
for, after dark, a police agent and a Russian spy came on board
and searched every corner of the little vessel. When at last they
departed, Sir John went on to the _quai_, and shortly afterwards
met two ladies, and a gentleman who carried a hand-bag. One of the
ladies stepped up to him and said, "I believe you are the English
gentleman who will take me to England. I am the empress." She then
burst into tears. On reaching the yacht, her first eager demand
was for newspapers. Happily Lady Burgoyne could tell her that the
Prince Imperial was safe in England; from the English papers she also
learned particulars of the disaster at Sedan, of the proclamation of
the Republic in the Corps Législatif at Paris, and of the treatment
of the emperor.

It was an anxious time for all on board the "Gazelle," for the
tide would not serve to leave the harbor till seven o'clock the
next morning, and Deauville was wildly riotous all night. At last
they worked out of the harbor and were at sea; but a tempest was
raging in the Channel, and so violent was it that at half-past one
the next morning the great English ironclad "Captain," commanded
by Sir Hugh Burgoyne, Sir John's cousin, went down, with all on
board, not far from where the little "Gazelle" was battling with
the gale. The "Gazelle" had a terrible passage, shipping tremendous
seas. She danced and rolled like a cork; but the ladies were brave,
and were encouraged by Lady Burgoyne's composure. "There was no
affectation of courage in Lady Burgoyne," said the empress afterwards;
"she simply acted as if nothing were the matter."

After about eighteen hours of this stormy passage the "Gazelle"
was safe at anchor off Ryde, in the Isle of Wight. The empress was
anxious that no one should know she was in England; but Sir John
told her it was his duty to inform the Foreign Office immediately.
An answer was at once returned by Lord Granville, assuring the
empress of welcome and protection; but he added in a postscript
to Sir John: "Don't you think you may have been imposed upon?"

The fact was that the Foreign Office had already received news
of the escape of the empress by way of Ostend, under the charge
of two English gentlemen, who had been themselves deceived. The
ladies they had assisted to leave Paris were Princess Clotilde
and an attendant.

After the emperor's release from Wilhelmshöhe he received Sir John
Burgoyne at Chiselhurst, and thanked him, with tears in his eyes,
for his care of the empress, adding that no sailors but the English
could have got across the Channel on such a night in so small a

After peace had been signed between Prussia and France, the emperor
landed at Dover, where he was touched by the kindly and respectful
reception he met with from the English people. The next day he
was visited by Lord Malmesbury, an old friend in the days of his
youth, before he entered on his life of adventure. Lord Malmesbury

"He came into the room alone to meet me, with that remarkable smile
that could light up his dark countenance. I confess I never was more
moved. His quiet and calm dignity, and absence of all nervousness
or irritability, were grand examples of moral courage. All the
past rushed to my memory. He must have seen what I felt, for he
said: '_À la guerre comme à la guerre_. It is very good of you
to come to see me.' In a quiet, natural way he then praised the
kindness of the Germans at Wilhelmshöhe, nor did a single plaint
escape him during our conversation. He said he had been deceived as
to the force and preparation of his armies, but without mentioning
names, nor did he abuse anybody, till I mentioned Trochu, who had
abandoned the empress, whom he had sworn to defend. During half an
hour he conversed with me as in the best days of his life, with
dignity and resignation, but when I saw him again he was much more
depressed. He was grieving at the destruction of Paris, and at the
anarchy prevailing over France, far more than he had done over
his own misfortunes. That the Communists should have committed such
horrors in the presence of their enemies, the Prussians, seemed
to him the very acme of humiliation and national infamy."

On Jan. 9, 1873, he died at Chiselhurst, in the presence of the
empress, who never left him, released from the storms of a fitful
existence and from intense physical suffering.

Let us return now to Paris and the Committee of Defence, its new
Republican Government. Though the people of Paris, in the excitement
consequent on the proclamation of a Republic, seemed to have forgotten
the Prussians, the prospect of their speedy arrival stared the
Government in the face. It was a Government, not of France, but
of Paris. France had had no voice in making this new Republic, nor
was it at all likely that it would be popular in the Provinces;
but meanwhile work of every kind was pressing on its hands. The
fortifications of Paris were unmanned, and, indeed, were not even
completed, and there were hardly any soldiers in the capital.

The first thing to be done was to bring provisions into the city.
Cattle, grain, salt, hay, preserved meats, in short, everything
edible that could be imagined, poured in so long as the railroads
remained open. All public buildings became storehouses, but affairs
were conducted with such recklessness and disorder that the live-stock
suffered terribly, and half the hay was wasted. As to troops, General
Vinoy arrived with twenty thousand soldiers, who had been stationed
between Belgium and Sedan. They had never fought the Pussians, but
were impatient of discipline and utterly demoralized. Stragglers
and fugitives from Sedan came in also, but these were still less
to be depended on. The National Guard had never enjoyed the favor
of the emperor, and had been suffered to fall to pieces. It was now
reorganized and armed as well as the Government was able. There was
a body of Mobiles who had been sent away from the army by Marshal
MacMahon because they were so insubordinate that he did not know
what to do with them. Ninety thousand Mobiles came up from the
Provinces before the gates of Paris closed,--excellent material for
soldiers but wholly uninstructed,--and finally about ten thousand
sailors arrived from Brest, who were kept in strict line by their
officers, and were the most reliable part garrison.

The male population of Paris remained in the city, almost to a
man, except those known to the police as thieves or ex-convicts,
who were all sent away. Women and children also were removed, if
their husbands and fathers could afford places of safety.

Around the city was a wall twelve yards high, forming a polygonal
inclosure. At each corner of the polygon was a bastion, in which
were stationed the big guns. The wall connecting the bastions is
called a curtain. The bastions protected the curtains, and were
themselves protected by sixteen detached forts, built on all the
eminences around Paris. The most celebrated of these forts lies to
the west of Paris, between it and Versailles, and is called Fort
Valérien It is erected on a steep hill long called Mont Calvaire,
from which is a magnificent view of the city. This and stony hill
for several centuries used to be ascended by pilgrims on their
knees; the mount, where once stood an altar of the Druids, became
a consecrated place before the Revolution.

Louis Philippe, in 1841, had planned the fortifications of Paris,
but in his time they had been only partially constructed. Even
in 1870, as I have said, they were not complete. When the siege
became imminent, the first thing to be done was to put them in good
order; but for a week the working-men in Paris were so intoxicated
with the idea of having a republic that they could not be made to
do steady work upon anything. It was also considered necessary to
cut down all trees and to destroy all villages between the forts
and the walls of the city, so that they might afford no shelter
to the Prussians. The poor inhabitants of these villages flocked
into Paris, bringing with them carts piled with their household
goods, their wives and children peeping out aghast between the
chairs and beds. The beautiful trees in the Bois de Boulogne were
cut down; the deer and the swans and other wild fowl on the lakes
(long the pets of the Parisian holiday makers) were shot by parties
of Mobiles sent out for that purpose.

No military man believed that Paris, defended by uncompleted
fortifications, could withstand a direct attack from the Prussians;
no one dreamed of a blockade, for it was thought that it would
take a million and a quarter of men to invest the city, and the
Prussians were known not to have that number for the purpose. The
idea was that the enemy would choose some point, would attack it
with all his forces, would lose probably thirty thousand men, and
would take the city. But Bismarck and King William and Von Moltke
had no idea of losing thirty thousand men. They were certain that
there would be risings and disturbances in Paris. They believed that
their forces might even be called in to save respectable Parisians
from the outrages of the Reds. They knew that rural France, having
little love for Paris or the Republic, was not likely to accept
the Government formed without its own consent, nor march to the
assistance of the capital. Even should the provincial population
bestir itself, the troops it could send would be only raw levies,
and there was no great leader to animate or to direct popular

It was quite true that the respectable classes in Paris had as
much to fear from the Reds as from the Prussians. The mob of Paris
was wild for a commune.

It is not always known what is meant by a commune, and I may be
pardoned if I pause to define it here.

In feudal times cities all over Europe won for themselves charters.
By these charters they acquired the right to govern themselves;
that is, the burghers elected their own mayor and their councilor
aldermen, and this body governing the community was called the
commune. When the feudal system fell in France, and all power was
centralized in the king, city governments were established by royal
edict only. Paris, for instance, was governed by the Prefect of the
Seine,--he had under him the _maires_ of twenty Arrondissements;
and thus it was in every French city. All public offices in France
were in the gift of the Throne.

To Americans, who have mayors and city councils in every city,
municipal taxation, municipal elections, and municipal laws, a
commune appears the best mode of city government. But if we can
imagine one of our large cities possessing the same power over
the United States that Paris wields over France, we shall take a
different view of the matter. Paris governed by a commune, that
commune being elected by a mob and aspiring to give laws to France,
might well indeed have alarmed all Frenchmen. We may judge of its
feeling towards the Provinces from the indignation expressed by
Parisian Communists when during the Commune, Lyons and some other
cities talked of setting up communes of their own.

In olden times, in France, Italy, and Germany (as in Great Britain
at the present day), it was not the mob, but the burghers, whose
interests depended upon the prosperity of their city, who voted
in municipal elections. France had established universal suffrage,
and the restless "men of Belleville,"--the "white blouses,"--were
liable in any time of excitement to be joined by roughs from other
cities, and by all working-men out of employment. These apprehensions
of the respectable citizens of Paris were horribly realized in
1871. The new Republic, meantime, was not Red, not Communistic,
not Socialistic, but Republican.

During the Revolution of 1848 there had been little intoxication
in Paris; but in the twenty-two years that followed, the French
had learned to drink absinthe and to frequent such places as
"L'Assommoir." All accounts speak of the drunkenness in France during
the Franco-Prussian war.

Meantime, during the two weeks that preceded the arrival of the
Prussians, the streets of Paris were crowded with men in every
variety of uniform,--_francs-tireurs_ in their Opéra Comique costume,
cuirassiers, artillerymen, lancers, regulars, National Guards, and
Mobiles. Carriages were mixed up with heavy wagons loaded sometimes
with worthless household goods, sometimes with supplies. Peasants'
carts were seen in the midst of frightened flocks of sheep driven
by bewildered shepherds. Everybody was in some one's way. All was
confusion, excitement,--and exhilaration.

Till September 19 the railways continued to run. Then the fifty-one
gates of Paris were closed, the railroad entrances were walled
up, and the following notice appeared upon the walls:--

"Citizens! The last lines which connected Paris with France and
Europe were cut yesterday evening. Paris is left to herself. She
has now only her own courage and her own resources to rely on.
Europe, which has received so much enlightenment from this great
city, and has always felt a certain jealousy of her glory, now
abandons her. But Paris, we are persuaded, will prove that she has
not ceased to be the most solid rampart of French independence."

To _hold out_ was the determination of all classes; but the very
next day the Reds put forth a manifesto demanding a commune, the
dismissal of the police, the sequestration of the property of all
rich or influential men, and a public declaration that the king of
Prussia would not be treated with so long as his armies occupied
one foot of French soil. "Nothing less than these things," said
the document, "will satisfy the people."

Here we see the usual assumption of the Parisian Communists that
they are "the people." They have always assumed that thirty-two
millions of Frenchmen outside the walls of Paris counted for nothing.

As the Prussian armies passed to the southward of Paris to take
possession of Versailles, an attack, authorized by General Trochu
and by General Ducrot (who had escaped from Sedan), was made upon
the German columns. The Zouaves, who had come back to Paris under
General Vinoy, demoralized by the disasters of their comrades, were
the first to break and run. The poor little Mobiles stood firm
and did their duty.

The official report said: "Some of our soldiers took to flight
with regrettable haste,"--a phrase which became a great joke among
the Parisians.

That night the Reds breathed fire and fury against the Government,
"and the respectable part of Paris," says M. de Sarcey, the great
dramatic critic, "saw themselves between two dangers. It would
be hard to say which of them they dreaded most. They hated the
Prussians very much, but they feared the men of Belleville more."

Meantime Jules Favre, who had been appointed Minister for Foreign
Affairs, had procured a safe-conduct from the Prussians, and had
gone out to see Count Bismarck and King William, who had their
headquarters at Baron Rothschild's beautiful country seat of Ferrières.
His object was to obtain an armistice, that a National Assembly
might be convoked which would consider the terms of peace with
the Prussians.

The Chancellor of North Germany declared that he did not recognize
the Committee of Defence, represented by Julus Favre, as a legitimate
government of France competent to offer or to consider terms of
peace. He treated M. Favre with the greatest haughtiness, utterly
refusing any armistice, but at the close of their first interview
he consented to see him again the next day.

"I was," says Jules Favre, "at the Château de Ferrières by eleven
A. M., but Count Bismarck did not leave the king's apartments before
twelve. I then gathered from him the conditions that he demanded
for an armistice. They were written in German, and he read them
over to me. He desired to occupy, as a guarantee, Strasburg, Toul,
and Phalsbourg;[1] and as I had the day before named Paris as the
place for the meeting of the Assembly, he wished in that case to
have possession of some fort commanding the city. He named Fort
Valérien. Here I interrupted him. 'You had better ask for Paris at
once,' I said. 'How can a French Assembly be expected to deliberate
when covered by your guns? I hardly know whether I dare to inform
my Government that you have made such a proposal.' Tours was then
named as a place for the Assembly. 'But,' said Bismarck, 'Strasburg
must be surrendered. It is about to fall into our hands. All I
ask is that the garrison shall constitute themselves prisoners
of war.' At this I could restrain myself no longer. I sprang to
my feet and said: 'Count Bismarck, you forget you are speaking
to a Frenchman! To sacrifice an heroic garrison which has won our
admiration and that of the whole world, would be an act of cowardice.
Nor will I even promise to mention that you ever made such a demand.'
He answered that he had not meant to wound my feelings, he was
acting in conformity with the laws of war; but he would see what
the king said about the matter. He returned in a quarter of an
hour, and said that his master accepted my proposal as to Tours,
but insisted on the surrender of the garrison of Strasburg."

[Footnote 1: Places still holding out against the Germans.]

At this, the negotiation was broken off, Jules Favre concluding
by saying that "the inhabitants of Paris were resolved on making
any sacrifices, and that their heroism might change the current
of events."

The publication of this account of the interview with Bismarck
produced through Paris a shiver of indignation. For a moment all
parties were united, the very Reds crying out that there must be
no more parties, only Frenchmen; and a slight success in a skirmish
in one of the suburbs of Paris roused enthusiasm to its height in
a few hours.

The National Guard now did duty as police, and was also placed
on guard on the ramparts. Each man received thirty sous a day.
The Guard was divided into the Old Battalions and the New. The
Old Battalions were composed almost entirely of gentlemen and
_bourgeois_, who returned their pay to the Government; the New
Battalions, which were fresh levies of working-men, preferred in
general a franc and a half a day for doing nothing, to higher wages
for making shoes, guns, and uniforms. In vain the Government put
forth proclamations assuring the people that the man who made a
chassepot rifle was more of a patriot than he who carried one.

All through September the weather was delightful, and mounting
guard upon the ramparts was like taking a pleasant stroll. The
Mobiles occupied the forts outside of Paris, and were forbidden
to come into the city in uniform. Of course there was much hunting
for Prussian spies, and many people were arrested and maltreated,
though only one genuine spy seems to have been found. The French
in any popular excitement seem to have treachery upon the brain.
One phase of their mania was the belief that any light seen moving
in the upper stories of a house was a signal to the Prussians;
and sometimes a whole district was disturbed because some quiet
student had sat reading late at night with a green shade over his
lamp, or a mother had been nursing a sick child.

As October went on, it became a sore trial to the Parisians to
be cut off from all outside news. Not a letter nor a newspaper
crossed the lines. Even the agents of Foreign Governments, and Mr.
Washburne, the only foreign ambassador in Paris, were prohibited
from hearing from their Governments, unless all communications
were read by Bismarck before being forwarded to them. One great
source of suffering to the men in Paris who had sent away their
families was the knowledge that they must be in want of money.
No one had anticipated a prolonged blockade.

Before the gates had been closed, two elderly members of the Committee
of Defence--Crémieux and Garnier-Pagès--had been sent out to govern
the Provinces. M. Thiers was visiting all the capitals of Europe,
as a sort of ambassador-at-large, to enlist foreign diplomatic
sympathy, and in October it was resolved to send out M. Gambetta,
in the hope that he might organize a National Assembly, or perhaps
induce the Southern Provinces (where he had great influence) to
make a demonstration for the relief of the capital. Provincial
France had long chafed under the idea that its government was made
and unmade by the Parisians, and there was no great sympathy in the
Provinces for Paris in her struggle with the Prussians, until it
was shown how nobly the city and its inhabitants bore the hardships
of the siege.

Small sorties continued to be made during October, chiefly with
a view of accustoming raw troops to stand fire. On October 28,
came news of the surrender of Bazaine at Metz to the Prussians
with his army (including officers) of nearly one hundred and ninety
thousand men. The universal cry was "Treachery!" The same day that
the Prussians forwarded this news into Paris, a small body of German
troops was worsted in a sortie beyond St. Denis. These two events
roused the turbulent part of the population of Paris almost to
frenzy, and resulted in a rising called the _émeute_ of October

The disorderly classes living in the suburbs of Belleville and
Montmartre (which have taken the place of the old Faubourg
Saint-Antoine), assuming "The Commune" for their war-cry, were led
on by such men as Ledru-Rollin, Blanqui, and Félix Pyat.

"The party of the Commune," says M. de Sarcey, "was composed partly
of charlatans, partly of dupes,--that is, the real members of the
Commune as a party. The rank and file were simply roughs, ready
for any mischief, and, we may add, for any plunder."

On the morning of October 31, a great crowd of these men assembled
before the Hôtel-de-Ville, then the seat of government. General
Trochu, Jules Favre, the Maire of Paris, and even Rochefort, who
was a member of the Committee of Defence, harangued them for hours
without producing any impression. The days were passed when the
mob of Paris could be controlled by a harangue. Finally, the crowd
made its way into the Hôtel-de-Ville, and endeavored to force the
Committee of Defence to issue a proclamation which would convene the
citizens to vote for a commune. The windows of the Hôtel-de-Ville
were flung open, in spite of the efforts of the members of the
Government, and lists of the proposed Communistic rulers were flung
out to the mob.

Meantime the members of the existing Government were imprisoned in
their council chamber, and threatened by armed men. Jules Favre sat
quietly in his chair; Jules Simon sketched upon his blotting-paper;
rifles were pointed at General Trochu. "Escape, General!" cried
some one in the crowd. "I am a soldier, Citizen," he answered,
"and my duty is to die at my post." One member of the Committee
managed, however to escape, and summoned the National Guard to
the assistance of his colleagues.

It was eight o'clock in the evening when the troops arrived. At
sight of their guns and bayonets the populace, grown weary of its
day's excitement, melted away. Before daylight, order was restored.
"Thus," says an American then in Paris, "in twelve hours Paris
had one Republican Government taken prisoner, another set up, and
the first restored."

So peace, after a fashion, returned; but Count Bismarck, learning
of these events, was strengthened in his determination to keep
Paris shut up within her gates till the factions in the city, in
the coming days of famine and distress, should destroy one another.

M. Thiers had almost concluded an agreement for an armistice of
thirty days, during which Paris was to be fed, while an election
should be held all over France for a National Assembly; but after
the disorders of October 31, Count Bismarck refused to hear of
any food being supplied to Paris, negotiations were broken off,
and the war went on.

Up to this time bread in Paris had been sufficient for its needs,
and not too dear. Wine was plenty, but meat was growing scarce.
Horses were requisitioned for food. It was the upper classes who
ate horse-flesh and queer animals out of the Jardin des Plantes;
the working-classes would not touch such things till driven to
eat them by absolute famine.

Butter rose to five dollars a pound, cabbages were sold by the
leaf. Early in the siege, eggs were three dollars a dozen, and milk
soon became unattainable. "Poor little babies died like flies," says
an eye-witness. Fuel, too, was growing very scarce and very dear.
The women supported their privations bravely, but it is terrible
to think what must have been the sufferings of mothers deprived
of wholesome food for their little children. The firmness and
self-sacrifice of the _bourgeoisie_ were above all praise.

All kinds of meats were eaten. Mule was said to be delicious,--far
superior to beef. Antelope cost eighteen francs a pound, but was
not as good as stewed rabbit; elephant's trunk was eight dollars
a pound, it being esteemed a delicacy. Bear, kangaroo, ostrich,
yak, etc., varied the bill of fare for those who could afford to
eat them.

Men of wealth who had lost everything, took their misfortunes
cheerfully. While the worst qualities of the Parisians came out
in some classes, the best traits of the French character shone
forth in others. A great deal of charity was dispensed, both public
and private and on the whole, the very poorest class was but little
the worse for the privations of the siege.

The houses left empty by their owners were made over to the refugees
from the villages, and many amusing stories are told of their
embarrassment when surrounded by objects of art, and articles of
furniture whose use was unknown to them.

At first the theatres were closed, and some of them were turned
into military hospitals; but by the beginning of November it was
thought better to reopen them. At one theatre, Victor Hugo's "Les
Châtiments" was recited,--that bitterest arraignment of Napoleon
III. and the Second Empire; at another, Beethoven and Mendelssohn
were played, with apologies for their being Germans.

The hospital parts of the theatres were railed off, and in the
corridors ballet-girls, actors, and sisters of charity mingled together.

Victor Hugo was in Paris during the siege, but he lent his name
to no party or demonstration. The recitation of his verses at the
theatre afforded him great delight, but the triumph was short-lived.
The attraction of "Les Châtiments" soon died away.

The most popular places of resort for idle men were the clubs. On
November 21, one of these was visited by our American observer.
He says,--

"The hall was filled to suffocation. Every man present had a pipe
or cigar in his mouth. It was a sulphurous place, a Pandemonium,
a Zoological Garden, a Pantomime, a Comedy, a Backwoods Fourth of
July, and a Donnybrook Fair, all combined. Women too were there,
the fiercest in the place. Orators roared, and fingers were shaken.
One speech was on the infringement of the liberties of the citizen
because soldiers were made to march left or right according to the
will of their officers. Another considered that the sluggards who
went on hospital service with red crosses on their caps were no
better than cowards. Then they discovered a spy (as they supposed)
in their midst, and time was consumed in hustling him out. Lastly
an orator concluded his speech with awful blasphemy, wishing that
he were a Titan, and could drive a dagger into the Christian's

The most terrible suffering in Paris during the siege was probably
mental, suffering from the want of news; but by the middle of November
the balloon and pigeon postal service was organized. Balloons were
manufactured in Paris, and sent out whenever the wind was favorable.
It was found necessary, however, to send them off by night, lest they
should be fired into by the Germans. A balloon generally carried
one or two passengers, and was sent up from one of the now empty
railroad stations. It also generally took five small cages, each
containing thirty-six pigeons. These pigeons were of various colors,
and all named. They were expected to return soon to their homes,
unless cold, fog, a hawk, or a Prnssian bullet should stop them on
the way. Each would bring back a small quill fastened by threads to
one of its tail-feathers and containing a minute square of flexible,
waterproof paper, on which had been photographed messages in characters
so small as to be deciphered only by a microscope. Some of these
would be official despatches, some private messages. One pigeon
would carry as much as, printed in ordinary type, would fill one
sheet of a newspaper. The Parisians looked upon the pigeons with
a kind of veneration; when one, drooping and weary, alighted on
some roof, a crowd would collect and watch it anxiously. Sometimes
they were caught by the Germans, and sent back into Paris with
false news.

On November 15 a pigeon brought a despatch saying that the South of
France had raised an army for the relief of Paris, and that it was
in motion under an old general with the romantic name of Aurelles des
Paladines, that it had driven the Prussians out of Orleans, and was
coming on with all speed to the capital. The Parisians were eager
to make a sortie and to join this relieving army. General Trochu was
not so eager, having no great confidence in his _francs-tireurs_, his
National Guard, and his Mobiles. They numbered in all four hundred
thousand men; but eighty thousand serviceable soldiers would have
been worth far more.

On November 28, however, the sortie was made; and had the expected
army been at hand, it might have been successful. The Parisians
crossed the Marne, and fought the Prussians so desperately that in
two days they had lost more men than in the battles at Gravelotte.
But on the third day an order was given to return to Paris; the
Government had received reliable information that the Army of the
Loire (under Aurelles des Paladines) had met with a reverse, and
would form no junction with the Parisian forces.

By the end of November cannon had been cast in the beleaguered city,
paid for, not by the Government, but by individual subscription.
These guns were subsequently to playa tragic part in the history
of the city. Some carried farther than the Prussian guns. All of
them had names. The favorite was called Josephine, and was a great
pet with the people.

Christmas Day of that sad year arrived at last, and New Year's
Day, the great and joyful fête-day in all French families. A few
confectioners kept their stores open, and a few boxes of bonbons
were sold; but presents of potatoes, or small packages of coffee,
were by this time more acceptable gifts. Nothing was plenty in
Paris but champagne and Colman's mustard. The rows upon rows of the
last-named article in the otherwise empty windows of the grocers
reminded Englishmen and Americans of Grumio's cruel offer to poor
Katherine of the mustard without the beef, since she could not
have the beef with the mustard.

Here is the bill-of-fare of a dinner given at a French restaurant
upon that Christmas Day:--

  Soup from horse meat.
  Mince of cat.
  Shoulder of dog with tomato sauce.
  Jugged cat with mushrooms.
  Roast donkey and potatoes.
  Rat, peas, and celery.
  Mice on toast.
  Plum pudding.

One remarkable feature of the siege was that everybody's appetite
increased enormously. Thinking about food stimulated the craving
for it, and by New Year's Day there were serious apprehensions of
famine. The reckless waste of bread and breadstuffs in the earlier
days of the siege was now repented of. Flour had to be eked out with
all sorts of things, and the bread eaten during the last weeks of the
siege was a black and sticky mixture made up of almost anything but
flour. All Paris was rationed. Poor mothers, leaving sick children
at home, stood for hours in the streets, in the bitter cold, to
obtain a ration of horseflesh, or a few ounces of this unnutritious

After news came of the retreat of the Army of the Loire, great
discouragement crept over the garrison. The Mobiles from the country,
who had never expected to be shut up in Paris for months, began to
pine for their families and villages. What might not be happening
to them? and they far away!

Every day there was a panic of some kind in the beleaguered city,--some
rumor, true or false, to stir men's souls. Besides this, the garrison
had for months been idle, and was consumed with _ennui_. Among the
prevailing complaints was one that General Trochu was too pious!
They might have said of him with truth, that, though brave and
determined when once in action, he was wanting in decision. The
garrison in Paris had no general who could stir their hearts,--no
leader of men. General Trochu, and the rulers under him, waited to
be moved by public opinion. They were ready to do what the masses
would dictate, but seemed not to be able to lead them. In a besieged
city the population generally bends to the will of one man; in
this case it was one man, or a small body of men, who bent to the
will of the people.

The winter of 1871 was the coldest that had been known for twenty
years. Fuel and warm clothing grew scarce. The Rothschilds distributed
$20,000 worth of winter garments among the suffering; and others
followed their example, till there was no warm clothing left to buy;
but the suffering in every home was intense, and at last soldiers
were brought in frozen from the ramparts. There was of course no
gas, and the city was dimly lighted by petroleum. Very great zeal
was shown throughout Paris for hospital service. French military
hospitals and the service connected with them are called "ambulances."
"We were all full of recollections," says M. de Sarcey, "of the
exertions made on both sides in the American Civil War. Our model
hospital was formed on the American Plan."

The American Sanitary Commission had sent out specimens of hospital
appliances to the Exposition Universelle of 1867. These had remained
in Paris, and the hospital under canvas, when set up, excited great
admiration. Everything was for use; nothing for show. "The four
great medicines that we recognize," said the American surgeon in
charge, "are fresh air, hot and cold water, opium, and quinine."

Among the bravest and most active litter-bearers were the Christian
Brothers,--men not priests, but vowed to poverty, celibacy, and
the work of education. "They advanced wherever bullets fell," says
M. de Sarcey, "to pick up the dead or wounded; recoiling from no
task, however laborious or distasteful; never complaining of their
food, drinking only water; and after their stretcher-work was done,
returning to their humble vocation of teachers, without dreaming
that they had played the part of heroes."

Before Bazaine surrendered at Metz, eager hopes had been entertained
that the army raised in the South by Chanzy and Gambetta might
unite with his one hundred and seventy-two thousand soldiers in
Metz, and march to the relief of Paris; but to this day no one
knows precisely why Bazaine took no steps in furtherance of this
plan, but, instead, surrendered ignominiously to the Germans. It
is supposed that being attached to the emperor, and dreading a
Republic, he declined to fight for France if it was to benefit
"the rabble Government of Paris," as he called the Committee of
Public Defence. He seems to have thought that the Germans, after
taking Paris, would make peace, exacting Alsace and Lorraine, and
then restore the emperor.

Nothing could have been braver or more brilliant than the efforts
of Chanzy and Gambetta on the Loire. At one time they were actually
near compelling the Prussians to raise the siege of Paris; for
two hundred and fifty thousand men was a small army to invest so
large a city. But the one hundred and fifty thousand German soldiers
who were besieging Metz were enabled by Bazaine's surrender to
reinforce the troops beleaguering the capital.

Gambetta seems to have been at that time the only man in France
who showed himself to be a true leader of men, and amidst numerous
disadvantages he did nobly. He and Chanzy died twelve years later,
within a week of each other.

From September 19, when the siege began, up to December 27, the
Parisian soldiers, four hundred thousand in number (such as they
were) had never, except in occasional sorties, encountered the
Prussians, nor had any shot from Prussian guns entered their city.
On the night of December 27 the bombardment began. It commenced
by clearing what was called the Plateau d'Avron, to the east of
Paris. The weather was intensely cold, the earth as hard as iron
and as slippery as glass. The French do not rough their horses
even in ordinary times, and slipperiness is a public calamity in
a French city. The troops, stationed with little shelter on the
Plateau d'Avron, had no notion that the Germans had been preparing
masked batteries. The first shells that fell among them produced
indescribable confusion. The men rushed to their own guns to reply,
but their balls fell short about five hundred yards. It became
evident that the Plateau d'Avron must be abandoned, and that night,
in the cold and the darkness, together with the slippery condition
of the ground, which was worst of all, General Trochu superintended
the removal of all the cannon. The Prussian batteries were admirably
placed and admirably served.

But tremendous as the bombardment was (sometimes a shell every two
minutes), it is astonishing how little real damage it did to the
city. The streets were wide, the open spaces numerous, the houses
solidly built, with large courtyards. In the middle of January,
when the extreme cold moderated, hundreds of people would assemble
in the Place de la Concorde, looking skyward. A black object would
appear, with a small bright spot in it, and making a graceful curve
in the air, with a whizzing, humming sound, would drop suddenly,
with a resounding boom, in some distant quarter in the city. Then
the spectators, greatly interested in the sight, waited for another.
The shells, which the Parisians called "obus," were like an
old-fashioned sugar-loaf, and weighed sometimes one hundred and
fifty pounds. But though, by reason of the great distance of the
Prussian batteries, the damage was by no means in proportion to
the number of shells sent into the city, many of them struck public
buildings, hospitals, and orphan asylums, in spite of the Red Cross
flags displayed above them.

By January 19, when the siege had lasted four months, and the
bombardment three weeks, the end seemed to be drawing near. Another
sortie was attempted; but there was a dense fog, the usual accompaniment
of a January thaw, and its only result was the loss of some very
valuable lives.

Then General Trochu asked for an armistice of two days to bury
the dead; but his real object was that Jules Favre might enter the
Prussian lines and endeavor to negotiate. Before this took place,
however, Trochu himself resigned his post as military governor. He
had sworn that under him Paris should never capitulate. General
Vinoy took his command.

The moment the Government of Defence was known to be in extreme
difficulty, the Communists issued proclamations and provoked risings.
The Hôtel-de-Ville was again attacked. In this rising famished
women took a prominent part. Twenty-six people were killed in the
_émeute_, and only twenty-eight by that day's bombardment.

On January 23 Jules Favre went out to Versailles. Paris was hushed.
It was not known that negotiations were going on, but all felt
that the end was near at hand. No one, dared to say the word
"capitulate," though some of the papers admitted that by February
3 there would not be a mouthful of bread in the city.

On January 27 the Parisians learned their fate. The following
announcement appeared in the official journal:

"So long as the Government could count on an army of relief, it was
their duty to neglect nothing that could conduce to the prolongation
of the defence of Paris. At present our armies, though still in
existence, have been driven back by the fortune of war.... Under
these circumstances the Government has been absolutely compelled to
negotiate. We have reason to believe that the principle of national
sovereignty will be kept intact by the speedy calling of an Assembly;
that during the armistice the German army will occupy our forts;
that we shall preserve intact our National Guards and one division
of our army; and that none of our soldiers will be conveyed beyond
our frontier as prisoners of war."

The result was so inevitable that it did not spread the grief and
consternation we have known in many modern cases of surrender.
Those who suffered most from the sorrow of defeat were not the
Red brawlers of Belleville, who cried loudest that they had been
betrayed, but the honest, steady-going _bourgeoisie_, who for love
of their country had for four months borne the burden and distress
of resistance.

During the four months of siege sixty-five thousand persons perished
in Paris: ten thousand died in hospitals, three thousand were killed
in battle, sixty-six hundred were destroyed by small-pox, and as
many by bronchitis and pneumonia. The babies, who died chiefly
for want of proper food, numbered three thousand,--just as many
as the soldiers who fell in battle.

Two sad weeks passed, the Parisians meanwhile waiting for the meeting
of a National Assembly. During those weeks the blockade of Paris
continued, and the arrival of provisions was frequently retarded
at the Prussian outposts; nor were provision-carts safe when they
had passed beyond the Prussian lines, for there were many turbulent
Parisians lying in wait to rob them. All Paris was eager for fresh
fish and for white bread. The moment the gates were opened, twenty-five
thousand persons poured out of the city, most of whom were in a
state of anxiety and uncertainty where to find their families.

At last peace was made. One of its conditions was that the Germans
were to occupy two of the forts that commanded Paris until that city
paid two hundred millions of francs ($40,000,000) as its ransom. It
was also stipulated that the Prussian army was to make a triumphal
entry into the city, not going farther, however, than the Place
de la Concorde.

This took place March I, 1871, but was witnessed by none of the
respectable Parisians, although the German soldiers were surrounded
by a hooting crowd, whom they seemed to regard with little attention.

Thus ended the siege of Paris, and the day afterwards the homeward
march of the Germans was begun.



The Prussian army was more than two weeks on the road from Sedan
to Paris and Versailles, and it was just one month after the French
emperor surrendered before the king of Prussia made his headquarters
in the beautiful city which seems to enshrine the memory of Louis

On Sunday, September 18, a scouting party of three Uhlans made
their appearance at the gates of Versailles. They had in fact lost
their way, and stumbled unawares upon the city; however, they rode
boldly up to the gate, demanded admittance, and presented themselves
at the _mairie_, bringing terror and dismay to the inhabitants.
When the _maire_ presented himself at their summons, they demanded
on what terms Versailles would surrender? He replied that he could
not treat with private soldiers, but must see their officers. "Oh,
our officers are close at hand," they replied; "they are waiting
with a large force in yonder woods. If you come to the gate, they
will meet you there." The _maire_ assented, and the audacious Uhlans
galloped safely away. Let us hope that at their firesides in the
far-off Fatherland they still laugh over this unparalleled adventure.

A few hours later, news was received at Versailles that fighting
was going on towards the south of Paris between French troops and
the Prussians; and all the inhabitants, including foreign residents,
were busy in preparing supplies for the field-hospitals,--lint,
bandages, water-cans, and pillows stuffed with torn paper. Before
long, eight Prussians and an officer entered the city. They were
thus described by one who saw them as they dashed up to the _mairie_
through an excited crowd:--

"They were small men. They had light hair, but were very thick-set.
They looked very tired, and were covered with dust and with torn
clothes: but they had good horses. They wore the Prussian helmet
and spike, and were well armed, with a sabre on one side and on
the other a huge horse-pistol two feet long, while they carried
carbines in their hands, all ready to shoot if occasion offered. But
all the French soldiers had left Versailles, except a few National
Guards. The inhabitants looked very sad; the women were crying,
and the men looked as if they would like to. We walked on, when
suddenly we saw a troop of horsemen come through an arch that spanned
one of the main roads; behind came more, and more, and more. The
first were fifty Uhlans. These fellows were in blue, on horseback,
very handsome. Then came some men with silver death's-heads and
crossbones on their caps; then hundreds and hundreds of mounted
fellows with needle-guns and sabres; then three regiments of infantry,
marching in superb time. Every five hundred men had a drum corps
and fifes playing in perfect unison. You could almost feel the
ground shake with the steady thud of their march as they tramped
on. The men looked dirty and tired, but were fat, and many of them
were laughing. Looking down the road as far as possible, we could
still see helmets, spikes, and guns all leaning exactly the same
way, and glittering in the sunshine. All the officers looked like
gentlemen, with great whiskers, and jolly, fat faces. None of the
men talked, much less sang, as the French do. When these had passed,
there came a splendid band of sixty pieces, playing beautifully,
and then regiment after regiment of cavalry (not carrying as much,
nearly, as the French cavalry do). Their horses were in excellent
order, many of them very handsome. Lots of the soldiers were smoking
great German pipes.

"This was the army of the Crown Prince, less than a third of those
that entered the city. They passed through Versailles, only stopping
to repair the roads torn up by the peasantry. Next came artillery
and baggage-wagons, and carts of ammunition; more infantry, more
bands, fifty pontoons on carts; more cavalry; then hundreds of
soldiers on peasants' carts, which they had requisitioned as they
passed through the country; then ambulances and carts, full of
wounded, who were brought to the Hôtel des Reservoirs and to the
Palace. They began to pass at half-past one, and were passing three
hours; and I saw just as many more going by another road, where
they passed till seven in the evening. There seemed, at times, to
be a hunting corps, for every man would have a fat hare or rabbit,
or hens, ducks, pheasants, or partridges slung on his back. One
man I saw with a live sheep, full grown, over his shoulders.

"Only four regiments of infantry, one of cavalry, and four batteries
of artillery remained in Versailles that night. They camped upon
the Place d'Armes, lit fires, and cooked. Everything was remarkable
for neatness; the cannon and powder-carts were arranged in order
in a circle, horses all fastened inside the circle, soldiers all
sleeping round it. They took off their knapsacks, stacked their
guns, put their helmets on the top of their bayonets, unrolled
their great-coats, and lay down, still wearing sword and pistols,
with their guns at arm's length. Thus they pass the night, rain
or shine (they have no tents) and they look as hardy and strong
as lions.

"By the time the Prussians were fairly in their quarters the inhabitants
of Versailles seemed to take heart and to be much less frightened.
Many French peasants could talk German, and conversed freely with
the Prussians, interpreting what they said to an eager crowd. The
soldiers seemed to be well fed; we saw them dining on bread and
cheese, butter, sausages, and wine. In the evening they were very
jolly. Fires flickered all around; the soldiers sat singing and
smoking. Some milked cows that they had stolen, and some were cooking
game. The formal way in which everything was done was very curious.
At the gate of every house where officers were quartered were two
sentries, and every time an officer passed, these men were obliged
to go through five movements with their guns. On all the doors
of all the houses the names of the officers stationed there were
marked in chalk, and a field-telegraph line in the streets connected
every such house with the _mairie_."

This account of the entry of the Prussians into Versailles is from
the private letter of a very young man, with the eye of an artist
and a keen love of music and fine horses. The letter was seen by
the editor of the "Nation," who requested leave to publish it.
The writer says further,--

"I got up at seven on the morning of September 20, and went down
to the Place d'Armes. It was filled with Prussian soldiers; some
were sleeping, some were cooking, some eating, some grooming horses,
some washing cannon, and all were smoking. There were but two tents,
belonging to high officers. One of these was dressing in the open
air before his tent. A guard paced up and down with a drawn sword.
When I got there, he was brushing his hair and putting on his cravat,
while a little French boy held a looking-glass for him. He had a
bright red shirt on, and riding-boots up to his hips, and silver
spurs. I saw his horse brought up, a beautiful, great black one.
His coat was covered all over with decorations, and he had a very
brilliant sword. In the other tent there were two officers writing.
They had about fifty bottles of claret and champagne stacked up
beside them, and a guard set over it.

"In a little while all was bustle, but no confusion. All the cannon
and powder-carts were ranged in numerical order; the horses the
same; and every bucket and every pot was numbered like the cart to
which it belonged. Soon as the bugles sounded, every man jumped,
and knew what he had to do. There was ringing and rattling of chains,
and the horses were fastened to the cannon, the soldiers gobbled
their last mouthfuls, strapped on their knapsacks, and in a few
minutes everything was in motion, officers giving their orders;
the horses neighed, the line was formed, and off they went.

"That afternoon we saw some French peasants brought in; they had
fired on the men who were stealing their carts, horses, and cows,
and were to be shot. It was very sorrowful. We heard afterwards
that the Crown Prince had pardoned them. Some noble-looking Zouave
prisoners[1] were also brought in, and the crowd cheered them.

[Footnote 1: Possibly some of the men who had shown "regrettable
haste" the day before.]

"About one P. M. a squad of Uhlans, with long lances and black-and-white
flags came in; then came other men leading horses, all very handsome,
belonging to the Crown Prince. Then came the royal baggage, cart
after cart, mostly painted purple, with a great gold crown; but
some carts had once been French. One of the bands had a brass drum,
with the imperial eagle and 3d Zouaves painted on it. They showed
it to the bystanders and laughed. We found that the Crown Prince
was to be received at the prefecture,--a handsome building with a
large court in front, and a black-and-gilt _grille_, such as they
have round the palace and park. We went there at once. A guard
of honor was drawn up in front, and a full band on each side of
the gate. The Crown Prince was surrounded by a splendid staff.
He is quite handsome, with large bushy beard and moustache. He
was dressed like his officers, and wore a cap such as they all
wear, with a scarlet band; but he had lots of decorations and a
splendid diamond star. They all had most beautiful horses, and the
effect was very kingly. The bands played, and the troops presented
arms. The prince rode in first, then all followed him into the
courtyard. They took possession, and the gates were closed. The
next day the prince left to join the king at Ferrières. The palace
is appropriated to the Prussian wounded."

By September 23 the Prussians had completed their investment of
Paris. They were only two hundred and fifty thousand men, but,
disciplined as we can see they were by the letter I have quoted,
they were more than a match for the four hundred thousand disorganized
and undisciplined crowd within the walls of the capital, who called
themselves soldiers.

Strasburg surrendered on the very day that the Crown Prince of
Prussia and his brilliant suite entered Versailles. Strasburg is
the capital city of Alsace, and is considered the central point
in the defence of the Rhine frontier. It has a glorious cathedral,
and a library unsurpassed in its collection of historical documents
of antiquity. It is an arch-bishopric, and had always been defended
by a large garrison. With Paris, Lyons, Bordeaux, Marseilles, and
Rouen, it had stood foremost among French cities. It contained,
when invested, twenty thousand fighting men, and it was besieged
at first by a corps of about sixty thousand. Its investment was
one of the first acts of the Germans on entering France. Strasburg
made an heroic resistance for six weeks, and surrendered on the
day when Jules Favre was assuring Count Bismarck that France would
never repay the services of its heroic garrison by consenting to
give them up as prisoners of war. Before its surrender it suffered
six days' bombardment. A bombardment is far more destructive to a
small town than to a city of "magnificent distances" like Paris.
By September 9, a week after Sedan, ninety-eight Prussian rifled
cannon and forty mortars were placed in position and directed against
the walls of Strasburg, while forty other pieces were to bombard
the citadel. By September 12 the defences of the city were laid in
ruins. Two weeks after, it surrendered. The Mobiles and National
Guards, being Alsatians, were sent to their homes; the remaining five
thousand men, who were regular soldiers, were marched as prisoners
of war into Germany. Hardly a house in Strasburg remained untouched
by shells. The ordinary provisions were exhausted. The only thing
eatable, of which there was abundance, was Strasburg pie, _paté de
foie gras_,--the year's production of that delicacy having been
stored in Strasburg for exportation.

The famous library was greatly injured, but the cathedral was not
materially hurt. A German who had been in Hamburg during the time
of the great fire, assured an English reporter that the scene of
desolation in that city on the morning after the conflagration
was less heart-rending than that presented by the ruined quarters
of Strasburg when the Prussian conquerors marched in. And yet the
inhabitants, had General Ulrich been willing, would have still
fought on.

Metz capitulated one month after Strasburg, Oct. 27, 1870. Three
marshals of France, six thousand officers, and one hundred and
seventy-three thousand men surrendered to the Germans. Many were
entirely demoralized; but the Garde Impériale, a body of picked
troops, was faithful to the last.

"That a vast army which had given ample proof of military worth in
the two great battles of Gravelotte, and which moreover possessed
the support of the most important stronghold in France, should have
permitted a scarcely superior enemy to hem it in and to detain
it for weeks, making no earnest attempt to escape, and finally, at
the conqueror's bidding, should have laid down its arms without
striking a blow, would before the event," says an English military
authority, "have seemed impossible. It set the investing force
free to crush the new-made Army of the Loire, and it occurred in
the nick of time to prevent the raising of the siege of Paris,
which the Germans had in contemplation."

Smaller places held out nobly,--Phalsbourg in Alsace, and Thionville
and Toul, but above all Belfort. Garibaldi was there with a considerable
body of Italians and a contingent of two hundred well-armed Greeks.
There was great jealousy of Garibaldi and his Italians in the Southern
army, and their outrageous conduct towards priests and churches
set against them the women and the peasantry.

Belfort never surrendered. But the army under Bourbaki, called
the Army of the East, nearly a hundred thousand strong, suffered
horribly in the latter days of the struggle. It was not included in
the armistice made at the close of January, 1871, between Bismarck
and Jules Favre, for Favre was in total ignorance of its position.
Bourbaki attempted suicide. His soldiers, shoeless, tentless, and
unprovided with provisions, pushed into the defiles of the Jura
in the depths of one of the coldest winters ever known in Europe,
hoping to escape into Switzerland. Eighty thousand men made their
way over the mountains; fifteen thousand were made prisoners. A
few escaped to their homes. A correspondent who saw them after
they reached safety, said,--

"In all of them, pinched features and a slouching gait told of
gnawing hunger, while their hollow voices told of nights spent
on snow and frozen ground. Some had tied bits of wood under their
bare feet to keep them from the stones. For weeks none had washed,
or changed their clothes. Their hands were black as Africans'. For
three days neither food nor fodder had been served out to them,
and before that they had only got one four-pound loaf among eight

While men were thus suffering in the mountains, an event of the
greatest political importance was taking place at Versailles. On
January 19, a week before the capitulation of Paris, the king of
Prussia received a deputation from the German Reichstag, offering
him the imperial crown of Germany.

The Federal States of the German Empire up to the close of the
last century were three hundred and sixty; many of these were only
free cities or extremely small duchies or principalities. There
was a German emperor and a German Diet. The latter met always at
Frankfort. The emperor might be of any family or of any religion.
His successor was elected during his lifetime, to be ready in case
of accident, and was called King of the Romans. The emperor was
at first chosen by the princes at large, but in process of time
the choice was made over to nine princes, called electors. After
1438, all emperors of Germany were of the house of Hapsburg, the
royal family of Austria. This was not law, but custom. In the days
of Napoleon I. the old German Empire was broken up. The title of
Emperor of Germany was discontinued, though he who would have borne
it still held an imperial title as Emperor of Austria. The small
German princes were mediatized; that is, pensioned, and reduced
from sovereign princes to the condition of mere nobles. In place
of three hundred and sixty States there remained thirty-six States,
composing the German Confederation. A new German Federal Constitution
was formed; the States agreed to defend one another, to do nothing
to injure one another, and to abstain from making war upon one
another. There were practically seventeen votes in the Diet, some
of the larger States having several, and many of the smaller States
uniting in the possession of one.

This Constitution also was swept away in 1866, after the brilliant
campaign of Sadowa.

The great desire of patriotic Germans was to consolidate Germany,--to
make her strong; and while Prussia, assisted by all the North German
States and by Bavaria, Baden, Würtemberg, and Darmstadt, was fighting
France, a new Federal, Constitution was formed.

The king of Prussia was chosen German emperor, and the imperial
crown was to be hereditary in his family. There is a Diet, or Federal
Congress, composed of two Houses, the Upper House being limited
to sovereign princes or their representatives, the other, called
the Reichstag, being really the governing power of the nation.
Each State is entitled also to its own legislature.

In the Reichstag, Prussia has nearly two thirds of the votes; and
its power is much greater than that of our Congress at Washington.
The emperor can veto its decisions only when they affect changes
in the constitution. The Diet can dethrone any emperor if he is
considered incapable of governing, or supposed to be dangerous
to the Fatherland.

Practically the power of Prussia seems boundless in the federation;
she enforces her military system on all Germany, and the smaller
States submit to her, for the sake of strength and unity.

On Jan. 18, 1871, a deputation of fifty members of the Reichstag
came to the king of Prussia's headquarters at Versailles to implore
him to accept the imperial crown of Germany. The world's attention
was engrossed by the campaign which was then drawing to a close, and
the offering of the imperial crown to the Prussian sovereign formed
only a dramatic episode in the history of the war. Fortunately, as
the deputies passed Paris, shivering in their furs, while transported
in carriages of all descriptions, the Parisians made no sortie to
intercept them, and they reached Versailles in safety.

The French seemed perfectly indifferent on the occasion. "Do as
you like," seemed to be the feeling. "Have an empire if you think
proper. It is no concern of ours. We are glad to have got rid of
our own."

The day on which the deputies offered their great gift to King
William was clear and bright. Before the prefecture at Versailles
was planted the Prussian royal standard,--a black cross on a ground
of gold and purple. Round the gateway stood all the Prussian soldiers
who were off duty, waiting to see the deputies pass in. There was
no music, but shots boomed from Paris from time to time. There
was to be thenceforward one Germany, and one flag for the land
of so many princes, who all waived their claims in favor of the
greatest among them,--he who now stood conqueror in a foreign land.

The chief room of the prefecture was filled with men in bright
uniforms, with helmets, ribbons, and decorations of all kinds. The
king stood near the fireplace, surrounded by princes and generals.
The president of the North German Confederation appointed to address
him had once before, in 1849, offered the imperial crown to a Prussian
king, who had declined it. Since then events had ripened. This time
the king accepted what his countrymen desired he should receive
from them. But he declined to assume the title of emperor until
the South German people should express their acquiescence, as the
South German princes had already done.

We may contrast the conduct of the Prussian king with the unwisdom
of the French emperor. Both Napoleon III. and the Emperor William
governed as autocrats; but with what different men they surrounded
themselves, and how differently they were served in their hour of
need! Yet Napoleon III. was lavish of rewards to his adherents,
while the Emperor William was, to an excessive degree, chary of
recompense. He seemed to feel that each man owed his all to his
kaiser and his country, and that when he had given all, he could
only say, in the words of Scripture: "I have but done that it was
my duty to do."

When Jules Favre went to Versailles to negotiate with the German
emperor and his chancellor for the surrender of Paris, he was
accompanied, on his second and subsequent visits, by a young officer
of ordnance, Count d'Hérisson, who attended him as a sort of
aide-de-camp. Nothing could be less alike than the two men: Jules
Favre, of the upper middle class in life, deeply sorrowful, oppressed
by his responsibility, and profoundly conscious of his situation; and
the young man whose birth placed him in the ranks of the _jeunesse
dorée_, pleased to find himself in plenty and in good society, and
allowing his spirits to rise with even more than national buoyancy,
when, for a moment, the pressure of trouble was removed. D'Hérisson
published an account of his experience while at the Prussian
headquarters, which gives so vivid a picture of Count Bismarck,
the great chancellor of the German Empire, that I here venture
to repeat some parts of his narrative. He says,--

"On January 23 I received a summons from Jules Favre. He seized
me by both hands, and asked me to carry, early the next morning,
a despatch to M. de Bismarck, and to get it into his hands before
daybreak. No one was to know of this despatch except the German
officer bearing a flag of truce, to whom I was to give it with
my own hand. 'Then all is over?' I said to Jules Favre. 'Yes,' he
answered, 'we have only bread enough for a few more days. God only
knows what the people of Paris may do to us when we are forced to
let them know the truth. We must do our best to guard against the
disastrous consequences of their strong feeling of patriotism. The
Government does not intend to rid itself of its responsibilities,
but its first duty is to provide bread for the capital.'

"With some difficulty," continued d'Hérisson, "I reached Sèvres,
and the next morning before daybreak gave Jules Favre's letter
to the Prussian officer. I sent back an express to Jules Favre
with the news, and then went to Baron Rothschild's desolated villa
at Suresnes to wait the answer. Two hours later, came a message
from the French officer commanding the nearest outpost to say that
a flag of truce had brought word that M. de Bismarck would see M.
Jules Favre, and that a carriage would be in waiting on the left
bank of the Seine to take him to headquarters."

This knowledge of the negotiation at the French outposts was a
disclosure that Jules Favre had desired to avoid.

"When I brought Jules Favre the news," continues d'Hérisson, "he
was greatly moved. His hands trembled so that he could hardly break
the seal of the letter."

[Illustration: _JULES FAVRE_.]

Seeing that news of what was passing would most certainly be brought
in from the outposts, it seemed best that the French Minister for
Foreign Affairs should start at once for the interview. There was
in the courtyard a _coupé_ with a handsome horse, once belonging
to Napoleon III., and driven by one of his former coachmen. Jules
Favre at once got into it, with his son-in-law and M. d'Hérisson.
They passed with some difficulty through the Bois de Boulogne, the
roads having been torn up and trees felled in every direction. On
reaching a French outpost Jules Favre, afraid of being recognized,
concealed his face. Their only means of crossing the Seine at Sèvres
was to take a small boat which had served General Burnside a few days
before. But the Prussians had been making a target of it ever since,
and it was riddled with bullets. Having bailed it out, however,
with an old saucepan, they stuffed their handkerchiefs into the
worst leaks, and crossed the Seine in safety.

In a miserable old carriage, attended by a Prussian escort, Jules
Favre was borne away to his terrible interview with Bismarck, leaving
d'Hérisson behind. Favre did not come back for many hours. His
first words to his aide-de-camp were: "Oh, my dear fellow, I was
wrong to go without you. What have I not suffered?"

He had been taken at once to a very modest house in Versailles,
where Bismarck had his quarters. After the first salutations Jules
Favre said that he came to renew the negotiations broken off at
Ferrières. Here Bismarck interrupted him, saying: "The situation
is changed. If you are still going to say, 'Not an inch, not a
stone,' as you did at Ferrières, we may break off at once. My time
is valuable, and yours too." Then suddenly he added: "Your hair has
grown much grayer than it was at Ferrières." Jules Favre replied that
that was due to anxiety and the cares of government. The chancellor
answered that the Government of Paris had put off a long time asking
for peace, and that he had been on the eve of making an arrangement
with an envoy from Napoleon III. He then explained that it would
be easy for him to bring back the emperor and to force France to
receive him; that Napoleon could collect an army of a hundred thousand
men among the French prisoners of war in Germany, etc.; and he
added: "After all, why should I treat with you? Why should I give
your irregular Republic an appearance of legality by signing an
armistice with its representative? What are you but rebels? Your
emperor if he came back would have the right to shoot every one
of you."

"But if he came back," cried Jules Favre, "all would be civil war
and anarchy."

"Are you so sure of that?" said the chancellor. "Anyhow, a civil
war in France could not affect Germany."

"But, M. le Comte, are you not afraid of reducing us to despair,
of exasperating our resistance?"

"Your resistance!" cried Bismarck. "Are you proud of your resistance?
If General Trochu were a German, I would have him shot this evening.
You have no right, for the sake of mere military vainglory, to
risk the lives of two millions of people. The railroad tracks have
been torn up, and if we cannot lay them down again in two days, we
know that a hundred thousand people in Paris will die of famine.
Don't talk of resistance, it is criminal."

Jules Favre, put entirely out of countenance by Bismarck's tone,
merely insisted that in pity to France there should be no question
of subjecting her to the ignominy of being again made over to her
deposed emperor. Before parting, Bismarck requested him to write
down such conditions of peace as seemed to him reasonable, in order
that they might discuss them the next day.[1]

[Footnote 1: My copy of d'Hérisson's book has a pencil note at
this place, written by a friend then at Versailles: "Bismarck rode
after Jules Favre when he set out on his return, and thrust into
his carriage an enormous sausage."]

When that day came, the chancellor, having had interviews with
his sovereign and Von Moltke, submitted his own propositions. They
were seven in number:--

I. An armistice for twenty-one days.

II. Disarmament of the French army, to remain in Paris as prisoners
of war.

III. The soldiers to give up arms and banners; officers to keep
their swords.

IV. The armistice to extend all over France.

V. Paris to pay indemnity, and give up its forts to the Prussians.

VI. The Germans not to enter Paris during the armistice.

VII. Elections to be held throughout France for a National Assembly
charged to consider conditions of peace.

Some slight modifications were made in these hard terms, which were
signed Jan. 28, 1871.

As aide-de-camp and secretary to the French minister, d'Hérisson
was present at all the interviews between Bismarck and his principal.
When the terms, proposed by Germany were reported by Jules Favre
to the Committee of Defence, they were thought less severe than
had been feared.

The next morning Favre and d'Hérisson were at Versailles by dawn.
Bismarck, who was an early riser, soon appeared, and took the minister
and his aide-de-camp to his study. There the two men talked, and
the secretary took notes of the conversation.

Bismarck and Favre presented a great contrast. Bismarck was then
fifty-five years of age; Jules Favre was six years older. Bismarck
wore the uniform of a colonel of White Cuirassiers,--a white coat,
a white cap, and yellow trimmings. He seemed like a colossus, with
his square shoulders and his mighty strength. Jules Favre, on the
contrary, was tall and thin, bowed down by a sense of his position,
wearing a black frock-coat that had become too wide for him, with
his white hair resting on its collar. He was especially urgent that
the National Guard in Paris should retain its arms. He consented
to the disarmament of the Mobiles and the army, but he said it would
be impossible to disarm the National Guard. At length Bismarck
yielded this point, but with superior sagacity remarked: "So be
it. But believe me you are doing a foolish thing. Sooner or later
you will be sorry you did not disarm those unquiet spirits. Their
arms will be turned against you."

When the question was raised concerning the indemnity to be paid
by Paris, Bismarck said, laughing, that Paris was so great a lady,
it would be an indignity to ask of her less than a milliard of
francs ($200,000,000). The ransom was finally settled at two hundred
millions of francs ($40,000,000).

"The dinner-hour having arrived, the chancellor invited us," says
d'Hérisson, "to take seats at his table. Jules Favre, who wanted
to write out carefully the notes I had taken, begged to have his
dinner sent up to him; so I alone followed the chancellor to the
dining-room, where about a dozen military and civil functionaries
were assembled, but all were in uniform. The chancellor, who sat
at the head of the table, placed me on his right. There was plenty
of massive silver, belonging evidently to a travelling case. The
only deficiency was in light, the table being illuminated by only
two wax candles stuck in empty wine-bottles. This was the only
evidence of a time of war."

As soon as the chancellor was seated, he began to eat with a good
appetite, talking all the time, and drinking alternately beer and
champagne from a great silver goblet marked with his initials. The
conversation was in French. Suddenly the chancellor remembered
having met M. d'Hérisson eight years before at the Princess
Mentzichoff's, and their relations became those of two gentlemen
who recognize each other in good society.

The Parisians thought that d'Hérisson had been far too lively on
this occasion; but he feels sure that his sprightly talk and free
participation in the good things of the table, formed a favorable
contrast to the deep depression of Jules Favre at the same board
the day before. "M. de Bismarck," he says, "is not at all like
the conventional statesman. He is not solemn. He is very gay, and
even when discussing the gravest questions often makes jokes, though
under his playful sallies gleam the lion's claws."

They talked of hunting. The chancellor related anecdotes of his
own prowess, and by the time they returned to Jules Favre, the
French aide-de-camp and the Prussian prime minister were on the
best terms with each other. But before long the chancellor gave a
specimen of the violence of his displeasure. "Three times," says
d'Hérisson, "I saw him angry,--once _à propos_ of Garibaldi; once
when speaking of the resistance of St. Quentin, an unwalled town,
which he said should have submitted at once; and once it was my
own fault."

On the table stood a saucer with three choice cigars. The chancellor
took it up and offered it to Jules Favre, who replied that he never
smoked; "There you are wrong," said Bismarck; "when a conversation
is about to take place which may lead to differences of opinion,
it is better to smoke. The cigar between a man's lips, which he
must not let fall, controls his physical impatience. It soothes him
imperceptibly. He grows more conciliatory. He is more disposed to
make concessions. And diplomacy is made up of reciprocal concessions.
You who don't smoke have one advantage over me,--you are more on
the alert. But I have an advantage over you,--you will be more
likely than I shall be to lose your self control and give way to
sudden impressions."

The negotiation was resumed very quietly. With astonishing frankness
the chancellor said simply and plainly what he wanted. He went straight
to his point, bewildering Jules Favre, a lawyer by profession, who
was accustomed to diplomatic circumlocutions, and was not prepared
for such imperious openness.

The chancellor spoke French admirably, "making use," says d'Hérisson
"of strong and choice expressions, and never seeming at a loss
for a word." But when the subject of Garibaldi and his army came
up, his eyes began to flash, and he seemed to curb himself with
difficulty. "I intend," he said, "to leave him and his followers
out of the armistice. He is not one of your own people. You can
very well leave him to me. Our army opposed to him is about equal
to his. Let them fight it out between them." Jules Favre replied
that this was impossible; for though France had not asked Garibaldi
for his services, and had in the first instance refused them,
circumstances had made him general-in-chief of a large _corps d'armée_
composed almost entirely of Frenchmen, and to abandon him would be
indefensible. Then the anger of the chancellor blazed forth against
Garibaldi. "I want to parade him through the streets of Berlin,"
he cried, "with a placard on his back: 'This is Gratitude!'"

Here d'Hérisson interrupted his burst of anger by picking up the
saucer from the table and holding it to his breast as beggars do
at the church-doors. The chancellor caught his idea after a moment.
He laughed, and Garibaldi, with his _corps d'armée_, was included
in the armistice.

It was necessary, however, that a French general should come out
to Versailles the next day and confer with Count von Moltke with
regard to some military details. The old general who was chosen
for that service was furious at the appointment, and behaved with
such rudeness that Bismarck requested that a man more courteous
might replace him.

In the course of the conversation Bismarck, who was always breaking
off upon side topics, replied to an observation made by Jules Favre
about the love of France for a republic, by saying: "Are you so
sure of that?--for I don't think so. Before treating with you, we
naturally made it our business to obtain good information as to
the state of public feeling in your country; and notwithstanding
this unhappy war, which was forced by France upon Napoleon III.,
and notwithstanding the disasters of your armies, nothing would be
easier, believe me, than to re-establish the emperor. I will not
say that his restoration would have been hailed by acclamations
in Paris, but it would have been submitted to by the country. A
_plébiscite_ would have done the rest."

Jules Favre protested. "Oh, you will become more inclined to monarchy
as you grow older," cried the chancellor. "Look at me. I began
my public life by being a liberal; and now, by force of reason,
by the teachings of experience, and by an increased knowledge of
mankind, I have learned, loving my country, wishing her good and her
greatness, to become a conservative,--an upholder of authority. My
emperor converted me. My gratitude to him, my respectful affection,
date from the far-off time when he alone supported me. If I am to-day
the man you see me, if I have rendered any service to my country, I
owe it all, as I am pleased to acknowledge, to the emperor."

That night, as Jules Favre was returning to Paris to obtain from
his colleagues the ratification of the armistice, Bismarck proposed
that firing should cease at midnight. Jules Favre assented, but
asked as a courtesy that Paris might fire the last shot.

That night the terms of capitulation were signed by all the members
of the Committee of Defence. It is strange how the baptismal name
of Jules predominated among them,--Jules Favre, Jules Ferry, Jules
Simon, Jules Trochu. Trochu, however, did not sign, having resigned
his post that he might not be called upon to do so.

A few changes in the articles as at first drawn up were made. The
Prussians did not insist, as Bismarck had done at first, that the
cannon in the bastions should be hurled down, and regiments were
permitted to retain their colors, though Von Moltke objected strongly
to such concessions. They were granted, however, by the emperor,
when the matter was referred to him, but in words more insulting
than a refusal. "Tell the envoy of the French Government," he said,
"that we have trophies enough and standards enough taken from French
armies, and have no need of those of the army of Paris."

Then, the capitulation being signed, the armistice began. General
elections were at once held all over France, and the National Assembly
met at Bordeaux. A Provisional Government, with M. Thiers at its
head, was appointed, and peace was concluded. Alsace and Lorraine
were given up to Germany, with the exception of the stronghold
of Belfort, which had never surrendered. The German army was to
enter Paris, but to go no farther than the Place de la Concorde;
and besides the two hundred millions of francs exacted from Paris,
France was to pay five milliards, that is, five thousand millions,
of francs, as a war indemnity,--a thousand millions of dollars.
Germany was to retain certain forts in France, and her troops in
them were to be rationed by the French until this money was paid.

It was paid in an incredibly short time, chiefly by the help of the
great Jewish banking-houses; and the last of the Germans retired
to their own soil in September, 1872.

But on March 13, 1871, the German army around Paris, after remaining
a few hours in the capital, marched away towards home.

The Assembly at Bordeaux proceeded at once to transfer itself to
the late Prussian headquarters at Versailles; but on March 18 a
great rising, called the Commune, broke out in Paris, which lasted
rather more than nine weeks, with a continued succession of horrors.



The story of the Commune is piteous, disheartening, shameful, and
terrible. It seems as if during three months of 1871 "human nature,"
as Carlyle says of it in his "French Revolution," "had thrown off
all formulas, and come out _human!_" It is the story of those whom
the French call "the people,"--we "the mob," or "the populace,"--let
loose upon society, and society in its turn mercilessly avenging
itself for its wrongs.

By March 12,1871, the Prussian soldiers had quitted the environs of
Paris, and were in full march for their homes. Two of the detached
forts, however, remained eighteen months longer in their hands.
On March 20 the National Assembly was to begin its session at
Versailles. The Provinces were very mistrustful of Paris, and the
assembling of the deputies at Versailles was of itself a proof
of the want of national confidence in the Parisians.

When it was made known that the German army was to enter Paris,
the National Guard of Belleville and Montmartre stole cannon from
the fortifications, and placed them in position in their own quarter
on the heights, so that they could fire into the city.

On March 18 General Vinoy, who had succeeded Trochu as military
commander of Paris, demanded that these cannon should be given back
to the city. Many of them had been purchased by subscription during
the siege, but they were not the property of the men of Belleville
and Montmartre, but of the whole National Guard. A regiment of
the line was ordered to take possession of them, and they did so.
But immediately after, the soldiers fraternized with the National
Guard of Belleville, and surrendered their prize. An officer of
chasseurs had been killed, and General Lecomte twice ordered his
men to fire on the insurgents.[1] They refused to obey him. "General
Lecomte is right," said a gentleman who was standing in a crowd
of angry men at a street-corner near the scene of action. He was
seized at once, and was soon recognized as General Clément Thomas,
formerly commander of the National Guard of Paris. He had done gallant
service during the siege; but that consideration had no weight with
the insurgents. General Lecomte had been already arrested. "We
will put you with him," cried the mob,--"you, who dare to speak
in defence of such a scoundrel." Both the unfortunate generals
were immediately imprisoned.

[Footnote 1: Leighton, Paris under the Commune.]

At four P. M. they were brought forth by about one hundred insurgent
National Guards; Lecomte's hands were tied, those of General Thomas
were free. They were marched to an empty house, where a mock trial
took place. No rescue was attempted, though soldiers of the line
stood by. The two prisoners were then conducted to a walled enclosure
at the end of the street. As soon as the party halted, an officer
of the National Guard seized General Thomas by the collar and shook
him violently, holding a revolver to his head, and crying out,
"Confess that you have betrayed the Republic!" The general shrugged
his shoulders. The officer retired. The report of twenty muskets
rent the air, and General Thomas fell, face downward. They ordered
Lecomte to step over his body, and to take his place against the
wall. Another report succeeded, and the butchery was over.

By evening the National Guard had taken possession of the
Hôtel-de-Ville, and the outer Boulevards were crowded by men shouting
that they had made a revolution. On this day the insurgents assumed the
name of "Fédérés," or Federals, denoting their project of converting
the communistic cities of France into a Federal Republic.

In vain the Government put forth proclamations calling on all good
citizens, and on the Old National Guard, to put down insurrection
and maintain order and the Republic. The Old Battalions of the
National Guard, about twenty thousand strong, had been composed
chiefly of tradesmen and gentlemen; these, as soon as the siege was
over, had for the most part left the city. Bismarck's proposition
to Jules Favre had been to leave the Old National Guard its arms,
that it might preserve order, but to take advantage of the occasion
to disarm the New Battalions. As we have seen, all were permitted
to retain their arms; but the chancellor told Jules Favre he would
live to repent having obtained the concession.

The friends of order, in spite of the Government's proclamations,
could with difficulty be roused to action. There were two parties
in Paris,--the Passives, and the Actives; and the latter party
increased in strength from day to day. Indeed, it was hard for
peaceful citizens to know under whom they were to range themselves.
The Government had left the city. One or two of its members were
still in Paris, but the rest had rushed off to Versailles, protected
by an army forty thousand strong, under General Vinoy.

A species of Government had, however, formed itself by the morning
of March 19 at the Hôtel-de-Ville. It called itself the Central
Committee of the National Guard, and issued proclamations on _white_
paper (white paper being reserved in Paris for proclamations of the
Government). It called upon all citizens in their sections at once
to elect a commune. This proclamation was signed by twenty citizens,
only one of whom, M. Assy, had ever been heard of in Paris. Some
months before, he had headed a strike, killed a policeman, and had
been condemned to the galleys for murder. The men who thus constituted
themselves a Government, were all members of the International,--that
secret association, formed in all countries, for the abolition of
property and patriotism, religion and the family, rulers, armies,
upper classes, and every species of refinement. Another proclamation
decreed that the people of Paris, whether it pleased them or not,
must on Wednesday, March 22, elect a commune.

In a former chapter I have tried to explain the nature of a commune.
Victor Hugo wrote his opinion of it, when the idea of a commune
was first started, after the fall of Louis Philippe in 1848. His
words read like a prophecy:--

"It would tear down the tricolor, and set up the red flag of
destruction; it would make penny-pieces out of the Column of the
Place Vendôme; it would hurl down the statue of Napoleon, and set
up that of Marat in its place; it would suppress the Académie,
the École Polytechnique, and the Legion of Honor. To the grand
motto of 'Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity,' it would add the
words, 'or death.' It would bring about a general bankruptcy. It
would ruin the rich without enriching the poor. It would destroy
labor, which gives each of us his bread. It would abolish property,
and break up the family. It would march about with the heads of the
proscribed on pikes, fill the prisons with the suspected, and empty
them by massacre. It would convert France into a country of gloom. It
would destroy liberty, stifle the arts, silence thought, and deny
God. It would supply work for two things fatal to prosperity,--the
press that prints assignats, and the guillotine. In a word, it
would do in cold blood what the men of 1793 did in the ravings
of fever; and after the great horrors which our fathers saw, we
should have the horrible in every form that is low and base."

The party of the Commune has been divided into three classes,--the
rascals, the dupes, and the enthusiasts. The latter in the last
hours of the Commune (which lasted seventy-three days) put forth
in a manifesto their theory of government; to wit, that every city
in France should have absolute power to govern itself, should levy
its own taxes, make its own laws, provide its own soldiers, see to
its own schools, elect its own judges, and make within its corporate
limits whatever changes of government it pleased. These Communistic
cities were to be federated into a Republic. It was not clear how
those Frenchmen were to be governed who did not live in cities;
possibly each city was to have territory attached to it, as in
Italy in the Middle Ages.

The weather during March of the year 1871 was very fine, and fine
weather is always favorable to disturbances and revolutions.

The very few men of note still left in Paris desirous of putting
an end to disorder without the shedding of blood, proposed to go
out to Versailles and negotiate with M. Thiers, the provisional
president, and the members of his Government. They were the twelve
deputies of the Department of the Seine, in which Paris is situated,
headed by Louis Blanc, and the _maires_, with their assistants, from
the twenty arrondissements. They proposed to urge on the Government
of Versailles the policy of giving the Parisians the right to elect
what in England would be called a Lord Mayor, and likewise a city
council; also to give the National Guard the right to elect its

This deputation went out to Versailles on the 20th of March,--two
days before the proposed election for members of a commune. On the
21st, while all Paris was awaiting anxiously the outcome of the
mission, there was a great "order" demonstration in the streets,
and hopes of peace and concord were exchanged on all sides. The
next day, the order demonstration, which had seemed so popular,
was repeated, when a massacre took place on the Place Vendome and
the Rue de la Paix. Nurses, children, and other quiet spectators
were killed, as also old gentlemen and reporters for the newspapers.
One of the victims was a partner in the great banking house of
Hottinguer, well known to American travellers.

The most popular man at that moment in Paris seemed to be Admiral
Seisset, who had commanded the brigade of sailors which did good
service in the siege. He went out to Versailles to unite his efforts
to those of the _maires_ and the deputies in favor of giving Paris
municipal rights; but M. Thiers and his ministers were firm in
their refusal.

When this was known in Paris, great was the fury and indignation
of the people. In vain had Louis Blanc entreated the Assembly at
Versailles to approve conciliatory measures; and when that body
utterly refused to make terms with a Parisian mob, M. Clémenceau
said, as he quitted their chamber: "May the responsibility for
what may happen, rest upon your heads."

The mission to Versailles having been productive of no results,
the election for a commune was held. The extremest men were chosen
in every quarter of the city, and formed what was called the Council
of the Commune. It held its sittings in the Hôtel-de-Ville, and
consisted at first of eighty members, seventy of whom had never
been heard of in Paris before. Its numbers dwindled rapidly, from
various causes, especially in the latter days of the Commune. Among
them were Poles, Italians, and even Germans; two of the eighty
claimed to be Americans.

The first act of the Council of the Commune was to take possession
of the Hôtel-de-Ville and to celebrate the inauguration of the
new government by a brilliant banquet; its first decree was that
no tenant need pay any back rent from October, 1870, to April,
1871,--the time during which the siege had lasted. It lost no time
in inviting Garibaldi to assume the command of the National Guard.
This Garibaldi declined at once, saying that a commandant of the
National Guard, a commander-in-chief of Paris, and an executive
committee could not act together. "What Paris needs," he said,
"is an honest dictator, who will choose honest men to act under
him. If you should have the good fortune to find a Washington,
France will recover from shipwreck, and in a short time be grander
than ever."

On April 3 the civil war broke out,--Paris against Versailles;
the army under the National Assembly against the National Guard
under the Commune. The Prussians from the two forts which they
still held, looked grimly on.

At the bridge of Courbevoie, near Neuilly, where the body of Napoleon
had been landed thirty years before, a flag of truce was met by
two National Guards. Its bearer was a distinguished surgeon, Dr.
Pasquier. After a brief parley, one of the National Guards blew
out the doctor's brains. When news of this outrage was brought to
General Vinoy, he commanded the guns of Fort Valérien to be turned
upon the city.

At five A. M. the next morning five columns of Federals marched out
to take the fort. They were under the command of three generals,
Bergeret, Duval, and Eudes. With Bergeret rode Lullier, who had
been a naval officer, and Flourens, the popular favorite among
the members of the Commune. The three divisions marched in full
confidence that the soldiers under Vinoy would fraternize with them.
They were wholly mistaken; the guns of Fort Valérien crashed into
the midst of their columns, and almost at the same time Flourens,
in a hand-to-hand struggle, was slain.

Flourens had begun life with every prospect of being a distinguished
scientist. His father had been perpetual secretary of the Academy
of Sciences and a professor in the Collège de France, in which
his son succeeded him when he was barely twenty-one. His first
lecture, on the "History of Man," created a great impression; but
in 1864 he resigned his professorship, and thenceforward devoted
all his energies to the cause of the oppressed. In Crete he fought
against the Turks. He was always conspiring when at home in Paris;
even when the Prussians were at its gates, he could not refrain.
He was the darling of the Belleville population, whom in times of
distress and trial he fed, clothed, and comforted. Sometimes he
was in prison, sometimes in exile. "He was a madman, but a hero,
and towards the poor and the afflicted as gentle as a sister of
charity," said one who knew him.

Of the three generals who led the attack on Mont Valérien, Duval
was captured and shot; Eudes and Bergeret got back to Paris in
safety. But the latter, in company with Lullier, was at once sent
to prison by the Central Committee, and a decree was issued that
Paris should be covered with barricades. As the insurgents had
plenty of leisure, these barricades were strong and symmetrical,
though many of them were injudiciously placed.

Whilst the fight of the 4th of April was going on without the gates,
the Central Committee was occupied in issuing decrees, by which
Thiers, Favre, Simon,--in short, all the legitimate ministers,--were
summoned to give themselves up to the Commune to be tried for their
offences, or else all their property in Paris would be confiscated
or destroyed.

The failure of the expedition under Bergeret made the Parisians
furiously angry. In less than a week some of the best-known priests
in Paris were arrested as hostages. The churches were all closed
after the morning services on Easter Day; the arms were cut off
from the crosses, and red flags were hung up in their stead. No
one could be buried with Christian decency, or married with the
Church's blessing.

"The motto of the Commune soon became fraternity of that sort,"
said a resident in Paris, "which means arrest each other." Before
the Commune had been established two weeks, many of its leading
members, besides Lullier and Bergeret, had found their way to prison.

A personage who rose to great importance at this period was General
Cluseret. He called himself an American, but he had had many aliases,
and it is not known in what country he was born. At one time he
had been a captain in the Chasseurs d'Afrique, but was convicted
of dishonesty in the purchase of horses, and dismissed from the
army. Then he came to the United States, and entered the service
of the Union, by which he became a naturalized citizen. He got
into trouble, however, over a flock of sheep which mysteriously
disappeared while he had charge of them. Next he enlisted in the
Papal Zouaves. After the Commune he escaped from Paris, and the
Fenians chose him for their general. In their service he came very
near capturing Chester Castle. The Fenians, however, soon accused
him of being a traitor. Again he escaped, fearing a secret dagger,
and was thought to have found refuge in a religious community.
Subsequently he served the Turks; and lastly, during the presidency
of M. Grévy, at a time of great dissatisfaction in France, he was
elected a deputy from one of the Southern cities.

By April 7, Cluseret had, as some one expresses it, "swallowed up
the Commune." He became for three weeks absolute dictator; after
which time he found himself in prison at Mazas, occupying the very
cell to which he had sent Bergeret.

Cluseret was a soldier of experience; but Bergeret had been a
bookseller's assistant, and his highest military rank had been
that of a sergeant in the National Guard. He could not ride on
horseback, and he drove out from Paris to the fight in which Flourens
was killed.

The official title of Cluseret and others, who were heads of the
War Office during the Commune, was War Delegate, the committee
refusing to recognize the usual title of Minister of War.

Probably the best general the Commune had was a Pole named Dombrowski,
an adventurer who came into France with Garibaldi. He was not only
a good strategist, but a dare-devil for intrepidity. Some said he
had fought for Polish liberty, others, that he had fought against
it; at any rate, he was an advanced Anarchist, though in military
matters he was a strict disciplinarian, and kept his men of all
nations in better order than any other commander.

When, after the first attack of the Communist forces on those of
the Versailles Government, the guns of Fort Valérien opened on
Paris, the second bombardment began. It was far more destructive
than that of the Prussians, the guns from the forts being so much
nearer to the centre of the city. The shells of the Versaillais
fell on friend and foe alike, on women and on children, on homes,
on churches, and on public buildings. Three shots struck the Arch
of Triumph, which the Prussians had spared.

Such scenes as the following one, related by an American, might
be seen daily:--

"Two National Guards passed me, bearing a litter between them. 'Oh,
you can look if you like,' cried one; so I drew back the checked
curtain. On a mattress was stretched a woman decently dressed,
with a child of two or three years lying on her breast. They both
looked very pale. One of the woman's arms was hanging down; her
hand had been carried away. 'Where are they wounded?' I asked.
'Wounded! they are dead,' was the reply. 'They are the wife and
child of the velocipede-maker in the Avenue de Wagram. If you will
go and break the news to him, you will do us a kindness.'"

The velocipede-maker may have been--probably was--a good, peaceable
citizen, with no sympathy for disorder or anarchy; but doubtless
from the moment that news was broken to him, he became a furious

By order of General Cluseret every man in Paris was to be forced
to bear arms for the Commune. His neighbors were expected to see
that he did so, and to arrest him at once if he seemed anxious
to decline. "Thus, every man walking along the street was liable
to have the first Federal who passed him, seize him by the collar
and say: 'Come along, and be killed on behalf of my municipal

It would be hardly possible to follow the details of the fighting,
the arrests, the bombardment, or even the changes that took place
among those high in office in the Council of the Commune during the
seventy-three days that its power lasted; the state of things in
Paris will be best exhibited by detached sketches of what individuals
saw and experienced during those dreadful days.

Here is the narrative of an English lady who was compelled to visit
Paris on Easter Sunday, April 9, while it was under the administration
of Cluseret.[1]

[Footnote 1: A Catholic lady in "Red" Paris. London Spectator, April,
1871 (Living Age, May 13, 1871).]

The streets she found for the most part silent and empty. There were
a few omnibuses, filled with National Guards and men _en blouse_,
and heavy ammunition-wagons under the disorderly escort of men in
motley uniforms, with guns and bayonets. Here and there were groups
of "patriots" seated on the curbstones, playing pitch-farthing,
known in France by the name of "bouchon." Their guns were resting
quietly against the wall behind them, with, in many instances, a
loaf of bread stuck on the bayonet. The sky was gray, the wind
piercingly cold. The swarming life of Paris was hushed. There was
no movement, and scarcely any sound. The shop-windows were shut,
many were boarded up; from a few hung shabby red flags, but the
very buildings looked dead. She says,--

"I felt bewildered. I could see no traces of the siege, and all
my previous ideas of a revolution were dispersed. I passed several
churches, not then closed, and being a Catholic, I entered the
Madeleine. The precious articles on the altar had been removed by
the priests, but except the words 'Liberté,' 'Égalité,' 'Fraternité,'
deeply cut in the stone over the great door, the church had not,
so far, been desecrated. I went also to mass at Notre Dame des
Victoires; but before telling my cabman to drive me there, I hesitated,
believing it to be in a bad part of the city. 'There are no bad
parts,' he said, 'except towards the Arch of Triumph and Neuilly.
The rest of Paris is as quiet as a bird's nest.' The church was
very full of men as well as women. It was a solemn, devout crowd;
every woman wore a plain black dress, every face was anxious, grave,
and grieved, but none looked frightened. As the aged priest who
officiated read the first words of the Gospel for the day, 'Be
not afraid, ye seek Jesus who was crucified,' the bombardment
recommenced with a fearful roar, shaking the heavy leathern curtain
over the church door, and rattling the glass in the great painted
windows. I started, but got used to it after a while, and paid
no more attention to it than did others. While I was in church,
the citizen patriot who was my cab-driver, had brought me three
newspapers, one of them the journal edited by M. Rochefort, which
said that it was earnestly to be hoped that the 'old assassin'
M. Thiers would soon be disposed of; that all men of heart were
earnestly demanding more blood, and that blood must be given them.
I also learned that the Commune would erect a statue to Robespierre
out of the statues of kings, which were to be melted down for that
purpose. In the Rue Saint-Honore I met a lady whom I knew, returning
from the flower-market with flowers in her hands. 'Then no one,'
I said, pointing to these blossoms, 'need be afraid in Paris?'
'No woman,' she answered, 'except of shells; but the men are all
afraid, and in danger. They are suspected of wanting to get away,
but they will be made to stay and to fight for the Commune.'

"Indeed, profound gravity seemed expressed on all men's faces,
and as a body, the patriots looked to me cold, tired, bored, and
hungry, to say nothing of dirty, which they looked, to a man. I
had expressed a wish to see a barricade, so we turned into a small
street apparently closed in by a neatly built wall with holes in
it, through which I saw the mouths of cannon. About this wall men
were swarming both in and out of uniform. They were all armed,
and two or three were members of the Commune, with red sashes and
pistols stuck in them, after the fashion of the theatre. As I looked
out of my cab window, longing to see more, a cheerful young woman,
with a pretty, wan infant in her arms, encouraged me to alight,
and a young man to whom she was talking, a clean, trim, fair young
fellow, with a military look, stepped forward and saluted me. He
seemed pleased at my admiration of the barricade, and having handed
a tin can to the young woman, invited me to come inside. Thence I
beheld the Place Vendôme. I had seen it last on Aug. 15, 1868, on
the emperor's fête-day, filled with the glittering Imperial troops.
I saw it again, a wide, empty waste, bounded by four symmetrical
barricades, dotted with slouching figures whose clothes and arms
seemed to encumber them.... I thanked my friend for his politeness,
and returned to my carriage. The young woman smiled at me, as much
as to say: 'Is he not a fine fellow?' I thought he was; and there
may be other fine fellows as much out of place in the ruffianly
mass with which they are associated.

"In the Rue de Rivoli I saw a regiment marching out to engage the
enemy. Among them were some villanous-looking faces. They passed with
little tramp and a good deal of shuffle,--shabby, wretched, silent.
I did not hear a laugh or an oath; I did not see a violent gesture,
and hardly a smile, that day. The roistering, roaring, terrible
'Reds,' as I saw them, were weary, dull men, doing ill-directed
work with plodding indifference.

"I visited a lady of world-wide reputation, who gave me a history
of the past months in Paris so brilliantly and epigrammatically that
I was infinitely amused, and carried away the drollest impressions
of L'Empire Cluseret; but her manner changed when I asked her what
I should say to her friends in England. 'Tell them,' she said,
'to fear everything, and to hope very little. We are a degraded
people; we deserve what we have got.'

"In the street I bought some daffodils from a woman who was tying
them up in bunches. As she put them into my hand, her face seemed
full of horror. Seeing probably an answering sympathy in my face,
she whispered: 'It is said that they have shot the archbishop.'
I did not believe it, and I was right. He was arrested, but his
doom was delayed for six weeks. That night the churches were all
closed. There were no evening services that Easter day.

"I may add that I saw but one _bonnet rouge_, which I had supposed
would be the revolutionary headdress. It was worn by an ill-looking
ruffian, who sat with his back to the Quai, his legs straddled
across the foot-walk, his drunken head fallen forward on his naked,
hairy breast, a broken pipe between his knees, his doubled fists
upon the stones at either side of him."

In the story of Louis Napoleon's abortive attempt at Boulogne to
incite France against Louis Philippe's Government, we were much
indebted to the narrative of Count Joseph Orsi, one of the Italians
who from his earliest days had attended on his fortunes. The same
gentleman has given us an account of his own experiences during
the days of the Commune:--

"One could not help being struck by the contrasts presented at
that time in Paris itself: destruction and death raging in some
quarters, cannon levelling its beautiful environs, while at the
same moment one could see its fashionable Boulevards crowded with
well-dressed people loitering and smiling as if nothing were going
on. The cafés, indeed, were ordered to close their doors at midnight,
but behind closed shutters went on gambling, drinking, and debauchery.
After spending a riotous night, fast men and women considered it
a joke to drive out to the Arch of Triumph and see how the fight
was going on."

The troops at Versailles, reinforced by the prisoners of war who
had been returned from Prussia, began, by the 9th of April, to
make active assaults on such forts as were held by the Federals.
Confusion and despair began to reign in the Council of the Commune.
Unsuccessful in open warfare, the managing committee tried to check
the advance of the Versaillais by deeds of violence and retaliation.
They arrested numerous hostages, and the same night the palace of
the archbishop was pillaged. The prefect of police, Raoul Rigault,
issued a decree that every one suspected of being a _réactionnaire_
(that is, a partisan of the National Assembly) should be at once
arrested. The delivery of letters was suspended, gas was cut off,
and with the exception of a few places where lamp-posts were supplied
with petroleum, Paris was in darkness.

The Commune also issued a decree that while all men under sixty
must enter its army, women, children, and aged men could obtain
passes to leave the city at the prefecture of police for two francs
a head. The prefecture was besieged by persons striving to get
these passes, many of whom camped out for forty-eight hours while
waiting their turn.

In the midst of this confused pressure on the prefect of police,
Count Orsi took the resolution of visiting him. As a known adherent
of the former dynasty and a personal friend of the late emperor, he
did not feel himself safe. He therefore took the bull by the horns,
and went to call on the terrible Raoul Rigault in his stronghold.
He did not see him, however; but after struggling for three hours
in the crowd of poor creatures who were waiting to pay their two
francs and receive a passport, he was admitted to the presence of
his secretary, Ferré. Ferré was writing as his visitor was shown
in, and, waving his pen, made him stand where he could see him.
When he learned his name, he said--

"Your opinions are well known to us. We also know that you have
taken no active part against us. We fight for what we believe to
be just and fair. We do not kill for the pleasure of killing, but
we must attain our end, and we _shall_, at any cost. I recommend
you to keep quiet. As you are an Italian, you shall not be molested.
However, I must tell you that you have taken a very bold step in
calling on me in this place. Your visit might have taken a different
turn. You may go. Your frank declaration has saved you."

On Easter Sunday, as the English lady to whom allusion has been
made, was leaving Paris, the population in the neighborhood of
the Place de Grève was amusing itself by a public burning of the
guillotine. It was brought forth and placed beneath a statue of
Voltaire, where it was consumed amid wild shouts of enthusiasm.

The Freemasons and trades unions sent deputies to Versailles to
endeavor to negotiate between the contending parties. M. Thiers
promised amnesty to all Communists who should lay down their arms,
except to those concerned in the deaths of Generals Lecomte and
Thomas, and he was also willing to give pay to National Guards
till trade and order should be restored; but no persuasions would
induce him to confer on Paris municipal rights that were not given
to other cities. On the 12th of May the Commune issued the following

"_Whereas_, the imperial column in the Place Vendôme is a monument
of barbarism, a symbol of brute force and of false glory, an
encouragement to the military spirit, a denial of international
rights, a permanent insult offered to the conquered by the conquerors,
a perpetual conspiracy against one of the great principles of the
French Republic,--namely, Fraternity,--the Commune decrees thus:
The column of the Place Vendôme shall be destroyed."

Four days later, this decree was carried into effect. Its execution
was intrusted to the painter Courbet, who was one of the members of
the Commune. He was a man who, up to the age of fifty, had taken
no part in politics, but had been wholly devoted to art. His most
celebrated pictures are the "Combat des Cerfs" and the "Dame au
Perroquet." He was a delightful companion, beloved by artists,
and a personal friend of Cluseret, who had caused his name to be
put upon the list of the members of the Commune.

The column of the Place Vendôme was one hundred and thirty-five
feet high. It was on the model of Trajan's column at Rome, but
one twelfth larger. It was erected by Napoleon I. to celebrate
the victories of the Grand Army in the campaign of 1805. He had
caused it to be cast from cannon taken from the enemy. When erected,
it was surmounted by a statue of Napoleon in his imperial robes;
this, at the Restoration, gave place to a white flag. Under Louis
Philippe, Napoleon was replaced, but in his cocked hat and his
_redingote_, but Louis Napoleon restored the imperial statue.

"On May 16," says Count Orsi, "a crowd collected at the barricades
which separated the Place Vendôme from the Rue de la Paix and the
Rue Castiglione. To the Place Vendôme itself only a few persons
had been admitted by tickets. At the four corners of the square
were placed military bands. Ropes were fastened to the upper part
of the column, and worked by capstans. The monument fell with a
tremendous crash, causing everything for a few moments to disappear
in a blinding cloud of dust. To complete the disgrace of this savage
act, the Commune advertised for tenders for the purchase of the
column, which was to be sold in four separate lots. This injudicious
and anti-national measure inspired the regular army at Versailles
with a spirit of revenge, which led them on entering Paris to lose
all self-possession, so that they dealt with the insurrection brutally
and without discrimination."

It would be curious to trace the history of the various members
of the Council of the Commune. A few have been already alluded
to; but the majority came forth out of obscurity, and their fate
is as obscure. Eight were professional journalists. Among these
were Rochefort, Arnould, and Vermorel. Arnould was probably the
most moderate man in the Commune, and Vermorel was one of the very
few who, when the Commune was at its last gasp, neither deserted
nor disgraced it. He sprang on a barricade, crying: "I am here, not
to fight, but to die!" and was shot down. Four were military men,
of whom one was General Eudes, a draper's assistant, and one had
been a private in the army of Africa. Five were genuine working-men,
three of whom were fierce, ignorant cobblers from Belleville; the
other two were Assy, a machinist, and Thiez, a silver-chaser,--one
of the few honest men in the Council. Three were not Frenchmen,
although generals; namely, Dombrowski, La Cecilia, and Dacosta,
besides Cluseret, who claimed American citizenship. Rochefort was the
son of a marquis who had been forced to write for bread. Deleschuze
was an ex-convict. Blanqui had spent two thirds of his life in
prison, having been engaged from his youth up in conspiracy. He
was also at one period a Government spy. Raoul Rigault also had
been a spy and an informer from his boyhood. Mégy and Assy were
under sentence for murder. Jourde was a medical student, one of the
best men in the Commune, and faithful to his trust as its finance
minister. Flourens, the scientist, a genuine enthusiast, we have
seen was killed in the first skirmish with the Versaillais. Félix
Pyat was an arch conspirator, but a very spirited and agreeable
writer. He was elected in 1888 a deputy under the Government of the
Third Republic. Lullier had been a naval officer, but was dismissed
the service for insubordination.

To such men (the best of them wholly without experience in the
art of government) were confided the destinies of Paris, and, as
they hoped, of France; but their number dwindled from time to time,
till hardly more than fifty were left around the Council Board, when
about two weeks before the downfall of the Commune twenty-two of
this remainder resigned,--some because they could not but foresee
the coming crash, others because they would no longer take part in
the violence and tyranny of their colleagues. In seven weeks the
Commune had four successive heads of the War Department. General
Eudes was the first: his rule lasted four days. Then came Cluseret;
the Empire Cluseret lasted three weeks. Then Cluseret was imprisoned,
and Rossel was in office for nine days, when he resigned. On May
9 Deleschuze, the ex-convict, became head of military affairs.
He was killed two weeks later, when the Commune fell. Cluseret
was deposed April 30,--some said for ill-success, some because he
was a traitor and had communications with the enemy, but probably
because he made himself unpopular by an order requiring his officers
to put no more embroidery and gold lace on their uniforms than
their rank entitled them to.

Rossel, who succeeded Cluseret, was a real soldier, who tried in
vain to organize the defence and to put experienced military men
in command as subordinate generals. To do this he had to choose
three out of five from men who were not Frenchmen. Dombrowski and
Wroblewski were Poles, and General La Cecilia was an Italian. On May
9, after nine days of official life, he resigned, in the following
extraordinary letter:--


Having been charged by you with the War Department, I feel myself
no longer capable of bearing the responsibility of a command where
everyone deliberates and nobody obeys. When it was necessary to
organize the artillery, the commandant of artillery deliberated,
but nothing was done. After a month's revolution, that service
is carried on by only a very small number of volunteers. On my
nomination to the ministry I wanted to further the search for arms,
the requisition for horses, the pursuit of refractory citizens.
I asked help of the Commune; the Commune deliberated, but passed
no resolutions. Later the Central Committee came and offered its
services to the War Department. I accepted them in the most decisive
manner, and delivered up to its members all the documents I had
concerning its organization. Since then the Central Committee has
been deliberating, and has done nothing. During this time the enemy
multiplied his audacious attacks upon Fort Issy; had I had the
smallest military force at my command, I would have punished him
for it. The garrison, badly commanded, took to flight. The officers
deliberated, and sent away from the fort Captain Dumont, an energetic
man who had been ordered to command them. Still deli berating,
they evacuated the fort, after having stupidly talked of blowing
it up,--as difficult a thing for them to do as to defend it....
My predecessor was wrong to remain, as he did, three weeks in such
an absurd position. Enlightened by his example, and knowing that
the strength of a revolutionist consists only in the clearness of
his position, I have but two alternatives,--either to break the
chains which impede my actions, or to retire. I will not break
my chains, because those chains are you and your weakness. I will
not touch the sovereignty of the people.

I retire, and have the honor to beg for a cell at Mazas.


He did not obtain the cell at Mazas. He escaped from the vengeance
of his colleagues, and was supposed to be in England or Switzerland,
while in reality he had never quitted Paris. He was arrested two weeks
after the fall of the Commune, disguised as a railroad employee. He
was examined at the Luxembourg, and then taken, handcuffed, to
Versailles, where he was shot at Satory, though M. Thiers, the
president, made vain efforts to save him.

The members of the Commune, who by the first week in May were reduced
to fifty-three, met in the Hôtel-de-Ville in a vast room once hung
with the portraits of sovereigns. The canvas of these pictures
had been cut out, but the empty frames still hung upon the walls;
while at one end of the chamber was a statue of the Republic dressed
in red flags, and bearing the inscription, "War to Tyrants."

Reporters were not admitted, and spectators could be brought in only
by favor of some member. The members sat upon red-velvet chairs,
each girt with his red scarf of office, trimmed with heavy bullion
fringe. The chairs were placed round a long table, on which was
stationery for the members' use, _carafes_ of water, and sugar
for _eau sucrée_. It was an awe-inspiring assembly; "for the men
who talked, held a city of two millions of inhabitants in their
hands, and were free to put into practice any or all of the amazing
theories that might come into their heads. Their speeches, however,
were brief; they were not wordy, as they might have been if reporters
had been present. Most of them wore uniforms profusely decorated
with gold lace," and, says an Englishman who saw them in their
seats, "one had only to look in their faces to judge the whole
truth in connection with the Commune,--its causes, its prospects,
and its signification. A citizen whom I had heard of as most hotly
in favor of Press freedom, proposed in my hearing that all journals
in Paris should be suppressed save those that were edited by members
of the Council of the Commune. That there were three or four earnest
men among them, no one can dispute; but as to the rest, I can only
say that if they were zealous patriots devoted to their country's
good, they did not, when I saw them, look like it."[1]

[Footnote 1: Cornhill Magazine, 1871.]

In the first week of May the Commune decreed the destruction of
M. Thiers's beautiful home in the Rue St. Georges. The house was
filled with objects of art and with documents of historical interest
which he had gathered while writing his History of the Revolution,
the Consulate, and the First Empire.

The Commune had removed some of these precious things, and sold
them to dealers, from whom many were afterwards recovered; but
the mob which assembled to execute the decree of destruction, was
eager to consume everything that was left. In the courtyard were
scattered books and pictures waiting to feed the flames. "The men
busy at the work looked," says an Englishman,[2] "like demons in
the red flame. I turned away, thinking not of the man of politics,
but of the historian, of the house where he had thought and worked,
of the books that he had treasured on his shelves, of the favorite
chair that had been burned upon his hearthstone. I thought of all
the dumb witnesses of a long and laborious life dispersed, of all
the memories those rooms contained destroyed."

[Footnote 2: Leighton, Paris under the Commune.]

On the 16th of May, the day of the destruction of the column in the
Place Vendôme, a great patriotic concert was given in the palace
of the Tuileries, which was thronged; but "by that date, discord and
despair were in the Council of the Commune, and its most respectable
members had sent in their resignation. Versailles everywhere was
gaining ground; the Fort of Vauves was taken, that of Mont Rouge
had been dismantled, and breaches were opened in the city walls.
The leaders of the insurrection lost their senses, and gave way
to every species of madness and folly. The army of Versailles soon
entered the city from different points. The fight was desperate,
the carnage frightful. Dombrowski, the only general of ability, was
killed early in the struggle. Barricades were in almost every street.
Prisoners on both sides were shot without mercy. The Communists set
fire to the Tuileries, the Hôtel-de-Ville, the Ministry of Finance,
the Palace of the Legion of Honor.

The rest of the story is all blood and horror. The most pathetic
part of it is the murder of the hostages, which took place on the
morning of May 24, and which cannot be told in this chapter. The
desperate leaders of the Commune had determined that if they must
perish, Paris itself should be their funeral pyre.

It was General Eudes who organized the band of incendiaries called
"pétroleuses" and gave out the petroleum. It was Félix Pyat, it
was said, who laid a train of gunpowder to blow up the Invalides,
while another member of the Commune served out explosives.

On the night of May 24, the Hôtel-de-Ville was in flames. The smoke,
at times a deep red, enveloped everything; the air was laden with
the nauseous odors of petroleum. The Tuileries, the Palace of the
Legion of Honor, the Ministry of War, and the Treasury were flaming
like the craters of a great volcano.

We have heard much of _pétroleuses_. They appear to have worked
among private houses in the more open parts of the city. Here is
a picture of one seen by an Englishman:--

"She walked with a rapid step under the shadow of a wall. She was
poorly dressed, her age was between forty and fifty; her head was
bound with a red-checked handkerchief, from which fell meshes of
coarse, uncombed hair. Her face was red, her eyes blurred, and
she moved with her eyes bent down to the ground. Her right hand
was in her pocket; in the other she held one of the high, narrow
tin cans in which milk is carried in Paris, but which now contained
petroleum. The street seemed deserted. She stopped and consulted
a dirty bit of paper which she held in her hand, paused a moment
before the grated entrance to a cellar, and then went on her way
steadily, without haste. An hour after, that house was burning to
the ground. Sometimes these wretched women led little children
by the hand, who were carrying bottles of petroleum. There was
a veritable army of these incendiaries, composed mainly of the
dregs of society. This army had its chiefs, and each detachment
was charged with firing a quarter."

The orders for the conflagration of public edifices bore the stamp
of the Commune and that of the Central Committee of the National
Guard; also the seal of the war delegate. For private houses less
ceremony was used. Small tickets of the size of postage-stamps
were pasted on the walls of the doomed houses, with the letters,
B. P. B. (_Bon Pour Brûler_). Some of these tickets were square,
others oval, with a Bacchante's head upon them. A _pétroleuse_
was to receive ten francs for every house which she set on fire.

All the sewers beneath Paris had been strewn with torpedoes, bombs,
and inflammable materials, connected with electric wires. "The
reactionary quarters shall be blown up," was the announced intention
of the Commune. Mercifully, these arrangements had not been completed
when the Versailles troops obtained the mastery. Almost the first
thing done was to send sappers and miners underground to cut the
wires that connected electric currents with inflammable material
in all parts of the city. The catacombs that underlie the eastern
part of Paris were included in the incendiary arrangement.

When Paris was at last in safety, and the Commune subdued, would
that it had been only the guilty on whom the great and awful vengeance

[Illustration: _MONSEIGNEUR DARBOY._ (_Archbishop of Paris._)]



About once in every seventy or eighty years some exceptionally
moving tragedy stirs the heart of the civilized world. The tragedy
of our own century is the execution of the hostages in Paris, May
24 and 26, 1871.

At one o'clock on the morning of April 6, three weeks after the
proclamation of the Commune, a body of the National Guard was drawn
up on the sidewalk in the neighborhood of the Madeleine. A door
suddenly opened and a man came hastily out, followed by two National
Guards shouting to their comrades. The man was arrested at once,
making no resistance. It was the Abbé Duguerry, _curé_ of the
Madeleine,[1]--the first of the so-called hostages arrested in
retaliation for the summary execution of General Duval, who had
commanded one of the three columns that marched out of Paris the
day before to attack the Versaillais.

[Footnote 1: _Curé_ in France means rector; what we mean by a curate
or assistant minister is there called _vicaire_.]

Both the _curé_ of the Madeleine and his _vicaire_, the Abbé Lamazou,
were that night arrested. The latter, who escaped death as a hostage,
published an account of his experiences; but he died not long after
of heart disease, brought on by his excitement and suffering during
the Commune.

The same night Monseigneur Darboy, the archbishop of Paris, his
chaplain, and eight other priests, were arrested. One was a missionary
just returned from China, another was the Abbé Crozes, the admirable
chaplain (_aumônier_) of the prison of La Roquette,--a man whose
deeds of charity would form a noble chapter of Christian biography.

When Archbishop Darboy was brought before the notorious "delegate,"
Raoul Rigault, he began to speak, saying, "My children--" "Citizen,"
interrupted Rigault, "you are not here before children,--we are
men!" This sally was heartily applauded in the publications of
the Commune.

As it would not be possible to sketch the lives and deaths of all
these victims of revolutionary violence, it may be well to select
the history of the youngest among them, Paul Seigneret.[1] His
father was a professor in the high school at Lyons. Paul was born
in 1845, and was therefore twenty-six years old when he met death,
as a hostage, at the hands of the Commune. His home had been a
happy and pious one, and he had a beloved brother Charles, to whom
he clung with the most tender devotion. Charles expected to be a
priest; Paul was destined for the army, but he earnestly wished
that he too might enter the ministry. Lamartine's "Jocelyn" had
made a deep impression on him, but his father having objected to
his reading it, he laid it aside unfinished; what he had read,
however, remained rooted in his memory.

[Footnote 1: Memoir of Paul Seigneret, abridged in the "Monthly

When Paul was eighteen, his father gave his sanction to his entering
the priesthood; he thought him too delicate, however, to lead the
life of a country pastor, and desired him, before he made up his
mind as to his vocation, to accept a position offered him as tutor
in a family in Brittany.

Present duties being sanctified, not hampered, by higher hopes and
aspirations, Paul gained the love and confidence of the family in
which he taught, and also of the neighboring peasantry. "He was,"
says the lady whose children he instructed, "like a good angel
sent among us to do good and to give pleasure."

When his time of probation was passed, he decided to enter a convent
at Solesmes, and by submitting himself to convent rules, make sure
of his vocation. But before making any final choice, we find from
his letters that "if France were invaded," he claimed "the right
to do his duty as a citizen and a son."

He entered the convent at Solesmes, first as a postulant, then
as a novice. "The Holy Gospels," said his superior, "Saint Paul's
Epistles, and the Psalms were his favorite studies,--the food on
which his piety was chiefly nourished. He also sought Christ in

Still, he was not entirely satisfied with life in a convent; he
wished to be more actively employed in doing good. He therefore
became a student for the regular ministry,--a Seminarist of
Saint-Sulpice. But when the Prussian armies were advancing on Paris,
he offered himself for hospital service, as did also his brother.

In a moment of passionate enthusiasm, speaking to that dear brother
of the dangers awaiting those who had to seek and tend the wounded
on the field of battle, he cried: "Do you think God may this year
grant me the grace of yielding up my life to Him as a sacrifice? For
to fall, an expiatory sacrifice beneath the righteous condemnation
that hangs over France, would be to die for Him."

The war being over, he returned to the Seminary, March 15, 1871.
On March 18 the Commune was declared, and Lecomte and Thomas were
murdered; shortly after this the Seminary was invaded, the students
were dispersed, and the priests in charge made prisoners. Most of
the young men thus turned out into the streets left Paris. Paul
at first intended to remain; but thinking that his family would
be anxious about him, he applied for a pass, intending to go to
Lyons. At the prefecture of police he and a fellow-student found a
dense crowd waiting to pay two francs for permission to get away.
They were shown into a room where a man in a major's uniform sat
at a table covered with glasses and empty bottles, with a woman
beside him. When he heard what they wanted, he broke into a volley
of abuse, and assured them that the only pass he would give them
was a pass to prison. Accordingly, Paul and his companion soon
found themselves in the prison connected with the prefecture. The
cells were so crowded that they were confined in a corridor with
six Jesuit fathers and some of their servants and lay brethren. A
sort of community life was at once organized, with daily service
and an hour for meditation. Paul esteemed it a privilege to enjoy
the conversation of the elder and more learned priests. He conversed
with them about the Bible, philosophy, and literature; "He was
ready," says a companion who was saved, "to meet a martyr's death;
but there was one horror he prayed to be spared,--that of being
torn in pieces by a mob."

On May 13, a turnkey announced to the priests that they were to
leave the prefecture. "I fear," he said, "that you are to be taken
to Mazas. I am not sure, but a man cannot have such good prisoners
as you are in his charge without taking some interest in them."

On being brought forth from their corridor, they found themselves
in a crowd of priests (hostages like themselves) who were being
sent to Mazas. The youth of the Seminary students at once attracted
attention, and the Vicar-General, Monseigneur Surat, said: "I can
understand that priests and old men should be here, gentlemen,
but not that you, mere Seminarists, should be forced to share the
troubles of your ecclesiastical superiors."

The transfer to Mazas was in the _voitures cellulaires_. They were
so low and narrow that every jolt threw the occupant against the sides
or roof. In one of these cells the venerable and infirm archbishop
had been transferred to Mazas a short time before.

Each prisoner on reaching Mazas was shut up in a tiny cell. Paul
wrote (for they were allowed writing materials):

"I have a nice little cell, with a bit of blue sky above it, to
which my thoughts fly, and a hammock, so that it is possible for
me to sleep again. I hardly dare to tell you I am happy, and am
trusting myself in God's hands, for I am anxious about you, and
anxious for our poor France. I have my great comfort,--work. I
have already written an essay on Saint Paul, which I have been
some time meditating. I am expecting a Bible, and with that I think
I could defy weariness for years. A few days ago I discovered that
one of my friends was next to me. We bid each other good night
and good morning by rapping against the wall, and this would make
us less lonely, were we oppressed by solitude."

At the close of this letter he adds,--

"I have at last received the dear Bible. You should have seen how I
seized and kissed it! Now the Commune may leave me here to moulder,
if it will!"

On Sunday, May 21, the Versailles army began to make its way into
Paris, and the Commune, seeing its fantastic and terrible power
about to pass away, tried to startle the world by its excesses.
Orders were sent at once to Mazas to send the archbishop, the priests,
Senator Bonjean, suspected spies, and _sergents de ville_ to that
part of the prison of La Roquette reserved for condemned criminals.
Paul and his friend the other Seminarist were of the number.

Before the gates of La Roquette they found a fierce crowd shouting
insults and curses. Many were women and children. "Here they come!"
the mob yelled. "Down with the priests! shoot them! kill them!"
Paul preserved his composure, and looked on with a smile of serene
hope upon his face. "The scene was like that horror from which he
had prayed to be saved. His terror was gone. His prayer had been

The prisoners on reaching La Roquette were first passed into a
hall, where they found the archbishop and several priests. The
former was calm, but he was ill, and his features bore marks of
acute suffering. After an hour's delay the prisoners were locked
into separate cells, from which real malefactors had been removed
to make room for them.

In the next cell to Paul was the Abbé Planchet. By standing at
the window they could hear each other's voices. The abbé could
read Thomas à Kempis to his fellow prisoner, and they daily recited
together the litany for the dying.

One of the imprisoned priests was a missionary lately returned
from China; and when they met at the hours allowed for fresh air in
the courtyard, Paul was eager to hear his accounts of the martyrdom
and steadfastness of Chinese converts. "M. Paul," said an old soldier
who was one of the hostages, "seemed to look on martyrdom as a
privilege, regretting only the pain it would cause his family."

On Wednesday, May 24, the execution of the archbishop and five
others took place, Paul saw them pass by his window; one of the
escort shook his gun at him, and pointing it at the archbishop,
gave him to understand what they were going to do.

The next day, Thursday, May 25, the order came. "Citizens," said
the messenger who brought it, "pay attention, and answer when your
names are called. Fifteen of you are wanted." As each was named,
he stepped out of the ranks and took his place in the death-row.
Paul Seigneret was one of them. He seemed perfectly calm, and gently
pressed the hand of his Seminary friend who was not summoned.

In the courtyard they were joined by thirty-five ex-policemen,
so-called hostages like themselves. The execution was to take place
in the Rue Haxo, at the farthest extremity of Belleville, and the
march was made on foot, so that the victims were exposed to all the
insults of the populace. It has been said that when they reached
the Rue Haxo, where they were placed against a wall, Paul was thrown
down while attempting to defend an aged priest, and was maltreated
by the crowd; but this account was not confirmed when, four days
later, the bodies were taken from the trench into which they had
been thrown: Paul's showed no sign of violence. His eyes were closed,
his face was calm. His cassock was pierced with balls and stained
with blood. He is buried at Saint-Sulpice.

His father received the news of his death calmly. He wrote: "Let
us bear our poor child's death as much like Christians and as much
like men as we can. May his blood, joined to that of so many other
innocent victims, finally appease the justice of God," But when,
shortly afterwards, Charles died of an illness brought on by excessive
fatigue in serving the ambulances, the father sank under the double
stroke, and died fifteen days after his last remaining son.

From the death of the youngest and the humblest of these ecclesiastical
hostages, we will turn now to that of the venerable archbishop, and
to his experiences during the forty-eight hours that he passed at
La Roquette, after having been transferred to it from Mazas.

With studied cruelty and insolence, a cell of the worst description
was assigned to the chief of the clergy in France. It had been
commonly appropriated to murderers on the eve of their execution.
There was barely standing-room in it beside the filthy and squalid
bed. The beds and cells of the other priests were at least clean,
but this treatment of the archbishop had been ordered by the Commune.

On the morning of May 23 the prisoners had been permitted to breathe
fresh air in a narrow paved courtyard; but the archbishop was too
weak and ill for exercise; he lay half fainting on his bed. In
addition to his other sufferings he was faint from hunger, for
the advance of the Versailles troops had cut off the Commune's
supplies, and the hostages were of course the last persons they
wished to care for. Père Olivariet (shot three days later in the
same party as Paul Seigneret, in the Rue Haxo) had had some cake
and chocolate sent him before he left Mazas; with these he fed the
old man by mouthfuls. This was all the nourishment the archbishop
had during the two days he spent at La Roquette. Mr. Washburne,
the American minister, had with difficulty obtained permission to
send him a small quantity of strengthening wine during his stay
at Mazas. But a greater boon than earthly food or drink was brought
him by Père Olivariet, who had received while at Mazas, in a common
pasteboard box, some of the consecrated wafers used by the Roman
Catholic Church in holy communion; and he had it in his power to
give the archbishop the highest consolation that could have been
offered him.

It had been intended to execute the hostages on the 23d; but the
director of the prison, endeavoring to evade the horrible task of
delivering up his prisoners, pronounced the first order he received

The accursed 24th of May dawned, brilliant and beautiful. The archbishop
went down in the early morning to obtain the breath of fresh air
allowed him. Judge Bonjean, who had never professed himself a believer,
came up to him and prayed him for his blessing, saying that he had
seen the truth, as it were on the right hand of Death, and he too
was about to depart in the true faith of a Christian.

By this time the insurgents held little more of Paris than the
heights of Belleville, Père la Chaise, and the neighborhood of La
Roquette, which is not far from the Place de la Bastille. The Communal
Government had quitted the Hôtel-de-Ville and taken refuge not far
from La Roquette, in the _Mairie_ of the Eleventh Arrondissement.

At six in the morning of May 24th,[1] a second order came to the
director of the prison to deliver up all hostages in his hands. He
remonstrated, saying he could not act upon an order to deliver up
prisoners who were not named. Finally, a compromise was effected;
six were to be chosen. The commander of the firing party asked for
the prison register. The names of the hostages were not there.
Then the list from Mazas was demanded. The director could not find
it. At last, after long searching, they discovered it themselves.
Genton, the man in command, sat down to pick out his six victims.
He wrote Darboy, Bonjean, Jecker, Allard, Clerc, Ducoudray. Then
he paused, rubbed out Jecker, and put in Duguerrey. Darboy, as we
know, was the archbishop; Bonjean, judge of the Court of Appeals;
Allard, head-chaplain to the hospitals, who had been unwearied
in his services to the wounded; Clerc and Ducoudray were Jesuit
fathers; Duguerrey was pastor of the Madeleine. Jecker was a banker
who had negotiated Mexican loans for the Government. The next day
the Commune made a present of him to Genton, who, after trying
in vain to get a few hundred thousand francs out of him for his
ransom, shot him, assisted by four others, one of whom was Ferré,
and flung his body into the cellar of a half-built house upon the
heights of Belleville.

[Footnote 1: Macmillan's Magazine, 1873.]

When the order drawn up by Genton had been approved at headquarters,
the director of the prison had no resource but to deliver up his

Another man, wearing a scarf of office, had now joined the party.
He was very impatient, and accused the others roundly of a want
of revolutionary spirit. He landed afterwards in New York, where
his fellow-Communists gave him a public reception.

One of the warders of the prison, Henrion by name, made some attempt
to expostulate with the _Vengeurs de Flourens_, who had been told off
for the execution. "What would you have?" was the answer. "Killing is
not at all amusing. We were killing this morning at the Prefecture
of Police. But they say this is reprisal. The Versaillais have
been killing our generals."

Soon Henrion was called upon to open the fourth corridor. "I must
go and get the keys," he answered. He had them in his hand at the
moment. He went rapidly away, flung the keys into a heap of filth,
and rushed out of the prison. By means of a twenty-franc gold piece
that he had with him, he passed out of the gates of Paris, and
sought refuge with the Bavarians at Vincennes.

Meantime another bunch of keys was found, and the executioners,
led by Ferré, Lolive, and Mégy,--that member of the Commune whom
none of them seemed to know,--hurried upstairs. In the crowd were
_gamins_ and women, National Guards, Garibaldians, and others, but
chiefly the _Vengeurs de Flourens_, a corps of which an Englishman
who served the Commune said: "They were to a man all blackguards."

Up the prison stairs they swarmed, shouting threats and curses,
especially against the archbishop, who was erroneously believed by
the populace of Paris to have had provisions hidden in the vaults
of Notre Dame and in his palace during the siege. A turnkey was
ordered to summon the six prisoners; but when he found whom he
was to call, he refused, and the officer in command had to call
them himself.

The archbishop's name was first. He came out of his cell at once,
wearing his purple cassock. Then Gaspard Duguerrey was summoned.
He was eighty years old. He did not answer immediately, and was
called a second time. Next, Léon Ducoudray was called,--a Jesuit
father, head of a college, a tall, fine-looking man. He came forth
with a proud smile. Alexis Clerc, also a Jesuit father, stepped
forth briskly, almost gayly. Then came Michel Allard, the hospital
chaplain,--a gentle, kindly-looking man. The three weeks before
his arrest had been spent by him in attending upon the wounded of
the Commune. Finally the judge, Senator Louis Bonjean, was called.
"In a moment," he replied; "I am putting my coat on." At this,
one of the leaders seized him. "You will want no coat where you
are going," he cried; "come as you are."

The only one of the party who seemed to tremble was the aged _curé_
of the Madeleine; but his nervous tremor soon passed off, and he
was calm like the others. As they went down the winding stairs, the
archbishop (being first) stepped rapidly before the rest, and turning
at the bottom, raised his hand and pronounced the absolution. After
this there was silence among the prisoners. "The chaplain Allard
alone," said one of the Commune, "kept on muttering something." He
was reciting, half aloud, the service for the dying.

Père Ducoudray had his breviary in his hand. He gave it, as he
passed, to the concierge of the prison. The captain of the firing
party snatched it, and flung it on the fire.

When the spot was reached where the shooting was to take place,
the archbishop addressed some words of pity and forgiveness to
the murderers. Two of the firing party knelt at his feet; but he
had not time to bless them before, with threats and blows, they
were forced to rise, and the archbishop was ordered to go and place
himself against the wall.

But here, when the bitterness of death was almost passed, occurred
a difficulty. Two of the leaders wanted to have the execution in a
little inner courtyard, shut in by blank walls. So the procession
was again formed, marched through long passages and up stairways,
and halted while keys were searched for, before it came to the spot.
On the way, a man crept up to the archbishop, uttering blasphemies
into his ear. The good man's mild look of reproof and pain so moved
one of the sub-officers that he drove the man off, saying: "We
are here to shoot these men, not to insult them."

The six victims were at last placed in a line, with their backs
to the wall. As Ferré was giving the order to fire, the archbishop
raised his right hand in order to give, as his last act, his episcopal
blessing. As he did so, Lolive exclaimed: "That's your benediction
is it?--now take mine!" and shot the old man through the body with
a revolver. All were shot dead at once, save M. Bonjean.

There is now a marble slab in the little court inscribed with their
names, and headed: "Respect this place, which witnessed the death
of noble men and martyrs." The warder, Henrion, was put in charge
of the place, and planted it with beds of flowers.

The execution over, the leaders searched the cells of their victims.
In most of them they found nothing; in two were worn cassocks, and
in the archbishop's was his pastoral ring. One of the party said
the amethyst in it was a diamond; another contradicted him, and
said it was an emerald. The bodies lay unburied until two o'clock in
the morning, when four or five of those who had shot them despoiled
them, one hanging the archbishop's chain and cross about his own
neck, another appropriating his silver shoe-buckles. Then they
loaded the bodies on a hand-barrow and carried them to an open
trench dug in Père la Chaise. There, four days later, when the
Versaillais had full possession of the city, they were found. The
archbishop and the Abbé Duguerrey were taken to the archbishop's
house with a guard of honor, and are buried at Notre Dame. The
two Jesuit fathers were buried in their own cemetery, and Judge
Bonjean and the hospital chaplain sleep in honored graves in Père
la Chaise.

After these executions a large number of so-called
"hostages,"--ecclesiastics, soldiers of the line, _sergents de
ville_, and police agents remained shut up in La Roquette. It was
Saturday, May 27, the day before Whit Sunday. Says the Abbé Lamazou,--

"It was a few minutes past three, and I was kneeling in my cell
saying my prayers for the day, when I heard bolts rattling in the
corridor. We were no longer locked in with keys. Suddenly the door
of my cell was thrown open, and a voice cried: 'Courage! our time
has come.' 'Yes, courage!' I answered. 'God's will be done.' I
had on my ecclesiastical habit, and went out into the corridor.
There I found a mixed crowd of prisoners, priests, soldiers, and
National Guards. The priests and the National Guards seemed resigned
to their fate, but the soldiers, who had fought the Prussians, could
not believe it was intended to shoot them. Suddenly a voice, loud as
a trumpet, rose above the din. 'Friends,' it cried, 'hearken to a
man who desires to save you. These wretches of the Commune have
killed more than enough people. Don't let yourselves be murdered!
Join me. Let us resist. Sooner than give you up I will die with
you!' The speaker was Poiret, one of the warders of the prison. He
had been horrified by what had been done already, and when ordered
by his superiors to give up the prisoners in his corridor to a
yelling crowd, he had shut the doors on the third story behind
him, and was advising us, at the risk of his own life, to organize

The abbé joined him with, "Don't let us be shot, my friends; let
us defend ourselves. Trust in God; he is on our side!"

But many hesitated. "Resistance is mere madness," they said; and
a soldier shouted, "They don't want to kill _us_; they want the
priests! Don't let us lose our lives defending _them_!"

"The _sergents de ville_ in the story below you," cried Poiret,
"are going to defend themselves, They are making a barricade across
the door of their corridor. We have no arms, but we have courage.
Don't let us be shot down by the rabble."

It was proposed to make a hole in the floor, and so to communicate
with the _sergents de ville_. The prisoners armed themselves with
boards and iron torn from their bedsteads, and in five minutes
had made an opening through the floor. A non-commissioned officer
from below climbed through it, and arranged with Poiret the plan
of defence.

By this time the inner courtyard of the prison was invaded by a
rough and squalid crowd, come to take a hand in whatever murder or
mischief might be done. The besieged put mattresses before their
windows for protection. The man who led the mob was one Pasquier,
a murderer who had been in a condemned cell in La Roquette till
let out by the general jail-delivery of the Commune.

Two barricades were built like that on the floor below. Pasquier
and some of his followers had burst open the outer door, and were
endeavoring to burn both the prison and the prisoners. "Never fear,"
cried a corporal who had superintended the hasty erection of the
barricades; "I put nothing combustible into them. They can't burn
floor tiles and wire mattresses. Bring all the water you can."

The crowd continued to shout threats. The battery from Père la
Chaise, they cried, was coming; and often a voice would shout,
"Soldiers of the Loire, surrender! We will not hurt you. We will
set you at liberty!" A few soldiers trusted this promise, and as
soon as they got into the crowd were massacred.

In the midst of the tumult came a sudden lull; the besieged could see
that something strange had taken place. The crowd had been informed
that the Government, alarmed by the advance of the Versailles troops,
had abandoned its headquarters at the _mairie_ of the Eleventh
Arrondissement, and had gone to Belleville. Amazed and confused
by this intelligence, the mob followed its leaders. Only a few
minutes before it left, two guns and a mortar had been brought
to fire on the prison; they were now dragged away in the wake of
the Government.

The criminal prisoners at La Roquette were in a state of great
excitement. They had been liberated, and such weapons as could be
found were put into their hands; but they were not inclined either
to kill their fellow-captives or to fight for the Commune. They
hastily made off, shouting, "Vive la Commune! Vive la République!"

By this time the prison director and his officials had disappeared.
The prison doors were open. Then came another danger: soldiers
of the Commune, fleeing from the vengeance of the Versaillais,
might seek refuge in the prison. With much difficulty the Abbé
Lamazou persuaded Poiret and some other warders who had stood with
him, to close the gates till the arrival of troops from Versailles.
It was still more difficult, now that a way was open to escape,
to persuade his fellow-captives to remain in prison. Some priests
would not take his advice, among them Monseigneur Surat, the
vicar-general. He had secured a suit of citizen's clothes, and
hoped to escape in safety. In vain the Abbé Lamazou called out
to him, "To go is certain death; to stay is possible safety." He
was killed most cruelly, together with two' priests and a layman.

At eleven o'clock at night, firing seemed to cease in the city,
but outside of the prison the maddened crowd continued all night
howling insults and curses. Hours seemed ages to the anxious and now
famished captives, shut up in the great building. The barricade of
the Rue de la Roquette was near them, still defended by insurgents;
but in the early dawn it was abandoned, and shortly after, a battalion
of marines took possession of La Roquette. The resistance of the
prisoners, which had seemed at first so desperate, had proved

Innumerable other anecdotes have found their way into print concerning
the last hours of the Commune; but I will rather tell of Mégy, the
member of the Council who, in his scarf of office, animated the
party that slew the archbishop and his, five companions.

He reached New York in 1878, and, as I said, was received with
an ovation by a colony of escaped Communists who had settled on
our shores. A reporter connected with the New York "World" called
upon Mégy, and here is his account of the interview:--

"'I was born in Paris, in 1844,' said the ex-member of the Commune,
lighting a cigar; 'I went through a primary school, and learned
but little. I was apprenticed to a machinist. When I was twenty I
found work on the Suez Canal. I was already a member of a secret
society organized against the Empire, with Blanqui at its head.
In 1866 I came back to Paris, and persuaded all my fellow-workmen
in the establishment where I was employed to become conspirators.
We waited for a good opportunity to commence an insurrection. Some
of us wanted to begin when Pierre Bonaparte murdered Victor Noir;
but it was put off till February 7, when about three thousand of us
rushed into the streets, began raising barricades, and proclaimed
a Republic. The next day two thousand republicans were arrested.
On February 11 six police agents came to my house at a quarter
past five in the morning. I had a pistol, and when the first one
entered my room to arrest me, I shot him dead. You should have
seen how the others scampered downstairs. I am glad I killed him.
But five minutes after, I was overpowered, bound, and taken to
prison. I was condemned to twenty years in New Caledonia, with
hard labor. I was sent to Toulon, but before my embarkation the
Republic was proclaimed, and a decree of the Government set me at
liberty. I came to Paris, and was named a member of the Municipal
Council. In October, 1870, during the siege, an order was passed
for my arrest because I endeavored to deprive General Trochu of
his command. I hid myself, enlisted under a false name, and fought
the Prussians. Then I went to the South of France, and waited to
see what would happen. I was there when the Commune was proclaimed.
I arrested the prefect of Marseilles on my own responsibility, and
put myself in his place. I was prefect of Marseilles for eight
days. Early in April I made my way to Paris, was made a general,
and put in charge of Fort Issy.[l] When Fort Issy fell, I was made
commander-in-chief on the left bank of the Seine. I ordered the
Palace of the Legion of Honor to be set on fire; I defended the
barricades on the Boulevard of Magenta; and when I left them on
May 24, I found that Ferré and Deleschuze had given orders to shoot
the hostages because the troops of Thiers had shot eight of our

[Footnote 1: General Rossel gave his opinion of the officers in
command at Fort Issy in his letter to the Commune.]

"'Did you approve that order?'" asked the "World's" reporter.

"'Yes; why not? Of course I approved it. I went at once to La Roquette,
to be present at the execution. We were one hundred and fifty men,
but one hundred and twenty of them slunk away, and only thirty
remained for the work we came for.'

"'And what did you do?'

"'_Ma foi!_ I don't particularly care to say what I did; it might
injure me here where I have got work. We called out the men we
came to shoot, and we shot them as that kind of thing is generally
done. We took them down into a courtyard, put them against a wall,
and gave the order to fire; that was all.'

"After a minute's silence, Mégy added: 'It was all M. Thiers' fault.
We offered to give him up the hostages if he would give us Blanqui;
but he refused, and so we shot them. After the execution I fought to
the last. I escaped from Paris in a coal-cart, and went to Geneva.
I have had work in London and in Birmingham, and now I have got
work in New York.'"

He went on to affirm that there was a large colony of Communists in
that city; that America needed revolutionizing as much as France;
that Cardinal McCloskey might find himself in the same position
as Monseigneur Darboy; and so on.

I have quoted this interview with Mégy at some length, because it
shows the Communists painted by one of their own number. Before
the reporter left him, he chanced to pronounce the name of Mr.
Washburne. "Washburne is a liar and a cur," cried Mégy, angrily.
"Before the Commune ended, some of our people asked him what the
Versailles Government would do with us if we surrendered or were
conquered. 'I assure you,' he said, 'you would be shot.' During
the siege of Paris, Washburne was a German spy. He is a villanous
old rascal."

In studying the history of the Commune, it is desirable to remember
dates. The whole affair lasted seventy-three days. On March 18 the
guns on Montmartre were taken by the populace, Generals Lecomte
and Thomas were shot, and the Commune was proclaimed. Military
operations were begun April 4. On April 9 Fort Valérien began to
throw shells into Paris. From that day forward, the Versailles
troops continued to advance, taking possession one by one of the
forts and the positions of the Federals. On Sunday, May 21, the
Versailles troops began to enter Paris, and fought their way steadily
from street to street till Sunday, May 27, when all was over. The
hostages were not hostages in the true sense of the word; they had
not been given up in pledge for the performance of any promise. They
were persons seized for purposes of intimidation and retaliation,
as in 1826 the Turks seized the most prominent Christians in Scio.

During the last five days of the Commune, Dombrowski, its only
general with military capacity, was killed,--it is supposed, by
one of his own men. The Tuileries, the Hôtel-de-Ville, and numerous
other buildings were fired, the Dominican Brothers were massacred,
and the executions in the Rue Haxo took place, besides others in
other parts of Belleville and at the Prefecture. One of the most
diabolical pieces of destruction attempted was that of the Grand

The Grand Livre is the book kept in the French Treasury in which
are inscribed the names and accounts of all those who hold Government
securities; and as the French Government is the proprietor of all
railroads, telegraph systems, and many other things that in England
and the United States are left to private enterprise, the loss of
the Grand Livre would have involved thousands upon thousands of
families in ruin. For a man to have his name on the Grand Livre
is to constitute him what is called a _rentier_, _rentes_ being
the French word for dividends from the public funds.

The Grand Livre is kept at the Ministry of Finance; that building
Ferré ordered to be summarily destroyed, uttering the words, "Flambez
Finances." The building was accordingly set on fire the day before
the Commune fell; and for some days after, it was thought throughout
all France that the Grand Livre had perished. By heroic exertions
some of it was saved, the officials in charge of it rushing into
the flames and rescuing that portion of it which contained the
names of living property-holders, I while they let the records of
past generations burn.

There was in existence a duplicate copy of the Grand Livre, though
this was known only to the higher officials of the Treasury. It was
kept in a sort of register's office not far from the Tuileries,
and was in the care of a M. Chazal. When the Tuileries and the
Treasury were on fire, the object of M. Chazal and of all who knew
of the precious duplicate was to save it, in case the building
in which it was deposited should share in the conflagration.

Of course the Grand Livre is of vast bulk. This copy was contained
in great bundles of loose sheets. Luckily these papers were in stout
oaken boxes on the ground-floor of a detached building opening
on a courtyard. The Versailles troops had reached the spot, and
ninety sappers and miners, with seven brave firemen, were at work
with water-buckets attempting to save the main building, which
was blazing fiercely when M. Chazal arrived. Already the detached
building in which the precious duplicate was stored was on fire.
There was no place to which he could safely remove the precious
papers, no means of transport to carry them away.

During the siege orders had been given to have large piles of sand
placed in the courtyards of all public buildings, to smother shells
should any fall there. There were three of these sand-piles lying in
the yard of this record office. In them deep trenches were rapidly
dug; and the boxes were buried. Then the pile was covered with
all the incombustible rubbish that could be collected; and had
the Grand Livre been really destroyed, as for some days it was
believed to have been, every Government creditor would have found
his interests safe, through the exertions of M. Chazal and the
intrepid band who worked under him.

In somewhat the same manner the gold and silver in the vaults of
the Bank of France were saved from pillage. The narrow staircase
leading to the vaults, down which only one man could pass at a
time, was by order of the directors filled up with sand during the

Though my readers may be weary of sad tales of massacre, that of
the Dominicans of Arceuil remains to be told. Their convent was in
the suburbs of Paris; it had been turned by them into a hospital
during the siege, and it continued to be so used during the Commune.
After the fall of Fort Issy, the insurgent troops made their
headquarters not far from the convent. They were commanded by a
general of some ability, but of ferocious character, named Serizier.
He was in the habit of saying, as he looked from his window into
the garden of the Dominicans, "Those rascals ought to be roasted
alive." On May 17 the roof of the building in which he lived caught
fire. The Dominicans tucked up their gowns and did their best to
put it out. When all was over, they were ordered to wait upon the
general. They supposed that they were going to be thanked for their
exertions, and were amazed at finding themselves accused of having
set the building on fire as a signal to the Versaillais. The next
morning a battalion of Communist soldiers surrounded their convent.
The prior, his monks, pupils, and servants, were arrested and marched
to a casemate of a neighboring fort. Their convent was stripped of
everything. The building, however, was saved by a _ruse_ on the
part of an officer of the Commune, one of the better class. They
were two days without food, and were then driven into Paris like a
flock of sheep, their black-and-white dress exposing them to all the
insults and ribaldry of the excited multitude; for the Versaillais
were in Paris, and hope, among those who knew the situation, was
drawing to an end. That night the Dominicans were confined in a
prison on the Avenue d'Italie, where a friend of Serizier's (known
as Bobêche) was instructed what to do with them. During the morning,
however, Bobêche went to a drinking saloon, and while there the
man he left in charge received orders to send the priests to work
on a barricade. He affected to misunderstand the order, and sent,
instead, fifteen National Guards imprisoned for insubordination.
When Bobêche came back, half-drunk, he was furious. "What! was the
blood of priests to be spared, and that of patriots imperilled
at a post of danger?" Before long the order was repeated. "We will
tend your wounded, General," said the prior, "we will go after
them under fire, but we will not do the work of soldiers for you." At
this, soldiers were called out to shoot the Dominicans. They were
reluctant to obey, and Serizier dared not risk disobedience. The
fathers were remanded to prison, but were soon called out one by
one. Some volunteers had been found willing to do the shooting,
among them two women, the fiercest of the band. As the fathers came
into the street, all were shot at, but some were untouched; and
soon succeeded a dreadful scene. Round and round the open square,
and up side streets, they were hunted. Four of the twenty escaped.
Men laughed and women clapped their hands at seeing the priests run.
Then Serizier went back to the prison, and was making preparations
to shoot the remaining prisoners, who were laymen, when one of
his subordinates leaned over him and whispered that the troops of
Versailles were at hand. He dropped his papers and made off. The
troops came on, and picked up the bodies of the dead Dominicans.
Serizier was not arrested till some months after, when the wife of
one of his victims, who had dogged him constantly after her husband's
death, discovered him in disguise and gave him up to justice.

The Prefecture of Police, which stands upon an island in the Seine,
in the heart of Paris, had in those days a small prison in its
main building, and an annex for women. These prisons were full
of prisoners,--_réactionnaires_, as they were called in the last
days of the struggle.

On May 26, as has been said, nothing remained for the Commune to do
but mischief. Raoul Rigault was busy, with his corps of _Vengeurs
de Flourens_, getting through as many executions as possible; Félix
Pyat was organizing underground explosions, Ferré, the destruction
of public buildings. A gentleman[1] confined in the women's part
of the Prefecture, chancing to look down from a high window on
the offices of the main building, saw beneath him eight men in
the uniform of the Commune, one of them wearing much gold lace,
who were saturating the window-frames with something from a bottle,
and bedaubing other woodwork with mops dipped in a bucket that
he presumed contained petroleum. Their caps were pulled low over
their eyes, as if they did not wish to be recognized. At last he
saw the officer strike a match and apply it to the woodwork, which
caught fire immediately. Then rose frightful shrieks from the prisons
both of the men and the women, for many others had seen what was
going on. An earnest appeal to a turnkey to go to the director
of the prison and represent to him that all his prisoners would
be burned, was met by the answer that he did not take orders from
prisoners. But all turnkeys were not Communists, though Communist
officials were set over them. Some of them took advantage of the
confusion to look into the cells, and speak hope and comfort to
the prisoners. But as the flames caught the great wooden porch of
the Prefecture, the screams of the women were heart-rending; They
even disturbed Ferré, who sent orders "to stop their squalling."
One warder, Braquond, ventured to remonstrate. "Bah!" said Ferré,
"they are only women belonging to gendarmes and _sergents de ville_;
we shall be well rid of them." Then Braquond resolved to organize
a revolt, and save the prisoners. He ran to the corridor, and with
a voice of authority ordered all the cell-doors to be opened, thus
releasing four hundred prisoners. Braquond put himself at their
head and led them on. But when they reached the outer gate, they
were just in time to witness the departure of the last _Vengeur de
Flourens_. Ferré had just received news that the troops of Versailles
were close at hand, and he and his subordinates fled, leaving the
prisoners to shift for themselves.

[Footnote 1: Le Figaro.]

But though delivered from the Commune, not only was the Prefecture
and all in it in peril, but every building and every life upon the
island. Quantities of ammunition had been stored in the Prefecture;
if that caught fire, the "Cité" (as that part of Paris is called)
and all its inhabitants would be blown into the air. The citizens
of the quarter, the turnkeys, and the prisoners had nothing but
their hands with which to fight the flames. In the midst of the
fire they began to carry out the gunpowder. They had to make all
speed, yet to be very careful. One train of powder escaping from a
barrel, one sack of cartridges, with a rent in it, falling on the
pavement, where sparks were dropping about, might have destroyed
the whole "Cité."

There was a brave, stout woman, mistress of a coal and wood yard,
named Madame Saint-Chély. She was a native of Auvergne, whence
all porters and water-carriers in Paris come. With her sleeves
tucked up, and her hair flying, she kept carrying out sack after
sack of cartridges, undaunted, though her clothes caught fire.
Bending beneath the weight upon her back, she emptied them into
the basin of the fountain that stands in the middle of the Place,
then rushed back for more, while the flames poured from the windows
of the upper story. Her activity and cheerfulness animated every

There was also a barber named Labois, who distinguished himself
by his courage and activity in rolling barrels of powder out of
the cellar of the prefecture, and plunging them into the Seine.

When several tons of powder and twenty millions of cartridges had
been carried out, danger from that source was over. The next thing was
to fight the flames. Then they discovered that all the fire-engines
had been sent away. Every basin, pitcher, bucket, or saucepan on
the island was put into requisition. Surrounded by the Seine, they
had plenty of water. All worked with a will. At last an engine
came, sent in to their help from Rambouillet.

One part of the Prefecture, whose burning caused innumerable sparks,
was the depot for lost property. It contained, among other things
twenty thousand umbrellas.

It was above all things desirable to remove the straw bedding of
the prisoners, stored by day in one large room, and while those
busy with powder and cartridges worked below, Pierre Braquond,
the turnkey, took this task upon himself, assisted by some of his
late prisoners.

The difficulty of escaping from the island was great, for the insurgents
would fire on fugitives from the right bank of the river, the Versailles
troops from the left. A warder, at the risk of his life, crept to
the water's edge opposite to the Versaillais, and waved a white
handkerchief. As soon as he was seen, the troops ceased firing.
Every moment it was expected that the roof of the prison would
fall in, when suddenly the reservoir on the top of the building
gave way, and the flames were checked by a rush of water. Braquond
had said to Judge Bonjean a few days before he was sent from the
Prefecture to Mazas, "I can stay here no longer. I am going to
escape to Versailles." M. Bonjean replied: "As a magistrate I command
you to remain; as a prisoner I implore you. What would become of
those under your care if the friends of the Commune were set over

The Ministry of Marine (that is, the Navy Department) is situated
in the Rue Saint-Florentin, near the Rue Royale and the Place de
la Concorde,--the most beautiful part of the city. The officer who
held it for the Commune was Colonel Brunei, an excellent middle-aged
man, far too good for his associations. There was no stain of any
kind on his past life, but he had been disappointed when peace
was made with the Germans, and had joined the Commune in a moment
of patriotic enthusiasm. Once in its service, there was no way
to escape.

On May 23 the Versaillais were gaining every moment. There was a
man named Matillion, charged by the Central Committee to do anything
or to burn anything to prevent their advance. That night, when
houses that he had set on fire were blazing in the Rue Royale (he
had had petroleum pumped upon them by fire-engines), there was a
fierce orgy held by the light of the flames before the Church of
the Madeleine. A wild, demon-like dance was led by three women
who had done duty all day as _pétroleuses_,--Florence, Aurore,
and Marie. Marie had been publicly thanked at the Hôtel-de-Ville
for sending a cannonball through one of the statues before the
Chamber of Deputies.

Three battalions of Communist soldiers stationed in the Ministry
of Marine, which had been converted into a hospital, took advantage
of the fact that the general attention was fixed upon this orgy to
quit their post and steal away, leaving the Ministry undefended.
It was eleven at night; Colonel Brunel was sending to the Central
Committee for fresh soldiers and fresh orders, when a paper was
given him. He read it, turned pale, and sent for the doctor. "The
Central Committee," he said, "orders me to blow up this building
immediately." "But my wounded?" cried the doctor. There were one
hundred and seven wounded soldiers of the Commune in the hospital.
There was no place to which they could be moved, and no means of
transportation. Colonel Brunel sent an orderly to represent the
case to the Committee. All he could obtain was a detail of National
Guards to assist in carrying away the wounded, together with a
positive order to burn down the building. As the sick men were
being very slowly carried out, a party arrived, commanded by a
drunken officer, and carrying buckets of coal-oil and other
combustibles, which they scattered about the rooms. By this time
the fires of the Versaillais gleamed through the trees in the Champs
Élysées. The Rue Royale, near at hand, was in flames. Across the
Seine, the Rue de Lille was burning. The Ministry of Finance and
the palace of the Tuileries seemed a sea of flame. In the Ministry
of Marine were two clerks, long attached to that branch of the
Government service, who had been requested by Admiral Pothereau,
the Minister for Naval Affairs, to remain at their post and endeavor
to protect the papers and property. Their names were Gablin and Le
Sage. M. Le Sage had his wife with him in the building. These men
resolved to save the Ministry, or perish. While Le Sage, who was
expert in gymnastics, set out to see if he could reach the general
in command of the Versaillais, Gablin turned all his energies to
prevent the impending conflagration. Putting on an air of haste and
terror, he rushed into the room where the soldiers were refreshing
themselves, and cried out lustily that the Versaillais were upon them,
but that if they followed him, he would save them. Under pretence
of showing them a secret passage, he led them into a chamber and
locked the door. Then he turned his attention to their commander.
He represented to him that the Versaillais were close at hand, and
promised him safety and a handsome reward if he would not set fire
to the building. "But I have my orders!" objected the half-tipsy
officer. "I have the order you had better obey," replied Gablin,
pointing a pistol at his head. "Now, shall I fire, or shall I reward
you?" The officer gave in. He helped M. Gablin to pour the buckets
of coal-oil into the gutters in the courtyard, to clear away the
powder, and to drench the floors with water. Then Gablin took him
to a chamber, gave him plain clothes, and locked him in. He fell
asleep upon the bed in a moment.

Le Sage meanwhile had made his way over the roofs of neighboring
houses, and then descended to the Champs Élysées. He was arrested
several times by sentries, but at last made his way to General
Douai. The general heard his story, and then put a paper into his
hand, saying, "The Ministry of Marine is already ours." Admiral
Pothereau himself, at three o'clock in the morning, was looking
towards his old offices and residence from the Champs Élysées.
He remarked to an aide-de-camp and to another officer: "All looks
very quiet. Suppose we go and reconnoitre, and see how near we
can approach my official home." They held their swords in their
hands, and, followed by three gendarmes, cautiously drew near the
Ministry. They met with no opposition, and finally walked in. "Where's
Le Sage?" was the admiral's first question. "He is out looking
for you, M. le Ministre," cried Le Sage's wife, shedding tears of

Thus the Ministry of Marine was captured by the minister; but the
building itself and all its valuable documents had been preserved
by the fidelity of two young men.

As for the Communist officer, when he came to himself he sincerely
repented his connection with the Commune. He was pardoned, became
a respectable citizen, and found a true friend in M. Gablin.



The Commune cost Paris fourteen thousand lives. Eight thousand
persons were executed; six thousand were killed in open fight.
Before the siege Paris had contained two million and a quarter
of inhabitants: she had not half that number during the Commune,
notwithstanding the multitude of small proprietors and peasants
who had flocked thither from devastated homes.

Monday, May 29, found the city in the hands of the Versaillais.
The Provisional Government and its Parliament were victorious. The
army, defeated at Sedan, had conquered its insurgent countrymen.
All that remained of the Commune was wreck and devastation. The
Tuileries, the Column of the Place Vendôme, the Treasury, the Palace
of the Legion of Honor, and the Hôtel-de-Ville, or City Hall, were
destroyed, besides two theatres, the Law Courts, or Palais de Justice,
the offices of the Council of State and the Court of Accounts,
the State Safe Deposit (Caisse des Dépôts et de Consignations),
the Library of the Louvre, the manufactory of Gobelin's tapestry,
the Prefecture of Police, eight whole streets, and innumerable
scattered private houses. The vengeance of the soldiers as they
made their way from street to street, from barricade to barricade,
was savage and indiscriminate. Every man arrested whose hands were
black with powder was carried to a street corner or a courtyard,
and summarily shot. Of course many wholly innocent persons perished,
for the troops of the Commune had been of two kinds,--the National
Guard and the Volunteers. Most of the latter were devils incarnate.
Among them were the _Vengeurs de Flourens_, who were foremost in
executions, and bands called by such names as _Les Enfants du Père
Duchêne_ and _Les Enfants Perdus_. The National Guards were of
three classes,--genuine Communists, workmen whose pay was their
only resource for the support of their families, and pressed men,
forced to fight, of whom there were a great many.

I have before me three narratives written by gentlemen who either
suffered or participated in the Great Revenge. One was a resident
in Paris who had taken no part either for or against the Commune;
one had served it on compulsion as a soldier; and one was an officer
of the Versailles army, who on May 21 led his troops through a breach
into the city, and fought on till May 27, when all was over.

It seems to me that such accounts of personal experience in troubled
times give a far more vivid picture of events than a mere formal
narration. I therefore quote them in this chapter in preference
to telling the story in my own words.

The first is by Count Joseph Orsi,[1] whose visit to Raoul Rigault's
office at the Prefecture of Police has already been told. He was
left unmolested by the Commune, most probably because in early
life he had been a member of those secret societies in Italy to
which Louis Napoleon himself belonged. He says,--

[Footnote 1: Published in Fraser's Magazine, 1879.]

"On May 22 Paris was entering the last stage of its death struggle.
The army of Versailles had entered it from four different points.
The fight was desperate. Barricades were erected in almost every
street. Prisoners on both sides were shot in scores at the
street-corners. Three of the largest houses in the Rue Royale,
where I lived, were on fire. Soldiers of the regular army were
beginning to appear in our quarter, and early on Thursday, May 25,
I heard the bell of my apartment ring violently. I opened it, and
found myself face to face with twelve _voltigeurs_ of the Versailles
army; commanded by a lieutenant, who ordered the soldiers to search
the house and shoot any one wearing a uniform. He told me that
he must occupy my drawing-room, which looked on the Rue Royale,
for the purpose of firing on the insurgents, who were holding a
barricade where the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré joins the Rue
Royale. My wife was seated on her sofa. He ordered her to leave
the room. She resisted, and was removed by force. The soldiers then
began firing on the insurgents from the windows. The insurgents
had possession of the upper floors of some houses facing mine, and
fired with such effect that the soldiers were driven from their
position. The officer withdrew his men from the drawing-room and
asked for a map of Paris, for he did not know exactly where he
was. I made a friend of him by pointing to my pictures, everyone
of which proved me to be a friend and follower of the emperor. He
asked me if I had any wine to give his men, who had had nothing
to eat or drink since the previous night. While they were partaking
of bread and wine in the kitchen, and I was talking with the officer
in the dining-room, a shot fired from across the street struck the
officer on the temple. He fell as if struck dead. His soldiers
rushed in and seized me. They were about to shoot me on the spot,
when luckily my servant, with water and vinegar, brought the officer
to his senses, so that he could raise his hand and make a sign to
the soldiers, who had me fast by both my arms, to keep quiet. By
God's mercy the officer had only been stunned. He had been hit,
not by a bullet, but by a piece of brick forced out of the wall by
a shot. I was released, but the soldiers were far from satisfied,
believing their officer had accepted this explanation only to spare
my life. They left my house at nightfall, and afterwards the fire
of the insurgents became so hot that the front wall of the house
fell in, and everything I had was smashed to pieces.

"The next morning, May 26, as I was searching for some valuable
papers among the ruins, two men in plain clothes entered and ordered
me to follow them to the Prefecture of Police, temporarily located
on the Quai d'Orsay. As Paris was by this time completely under
military rule I was examined by an officer. I told him that, not
knowing for what purpose I was wanted, I had left my papers at
home, and was sent under charge of two men to fetch them. I was
also given to understand that I had better make any arrangements
I thought necessary for my wife, which led me to think it probable
I should be shot or imprisoned. It was a reign of terror of a new
kind, of which I could never have expected to be a victim. As we
were crossing the Place de la Concorde we saw half a dozen soldiers
who had seized four Federals on the barricade close by. A struggle
was going on for life or death. The soldiers, having at last the
upper hand, strove to drag the Federals to the wall of the Ministry
of Marine to be shot. The poor wretches were imploring for mercy,
and refused to stand erect. Seeing this, the soldiers shot them
one after the other as they lay upon the ground.

"I was finally disposed of, in company with other prisoners, in
some large stables and carriage houses. Some of us were in plain
clothes, some in uniform. We were all packed together so closely
that there was not even the possibility of lying down upon the
stones. Bread and water alone were given us. On the approach of
night we were shut in like cattle, with the intimation that any
attempt to revolt or escape would be followed by instant execution.

"The next morning, May 27, at dawn, ten soldiers, with an officer
at their head, began calling by name eight or ten prisoners at a
time from one of our places of confinement, and they were dragged
away, God knows where. Utter dejection and despair were depicted
on the face of every man, especially on those who had been seized
on the barricades or in uniform. That afternoon I was called out,
being part of a batch of nine prisoners, mostly in plain clothes.
On that day rain fell incessantly. We thought as we marched through
the mud and drizzle that we were going to be shot _en masse_ without
any further trial; but on reaching the Champ de Mars, our escort
was ordered to take us to the barracks that are near it. There
our names were taken down by an officer, and we were locked up
in a room where seven other prisoners had already been confined.
It would be too horrible to relate the filth and closeness of that
place, which might have held seven or eight people, and we were
sixteen! There was a board fitted between two walls where seven
people could lie. This was appropriated before we got there. We
were forced to stand up or to lie down on the stones, which were
damp and inexpressibly dirty. We remained thus for two days. On the
29th the door opened at seven A. M. Eight soldiers were drawn up
outside. The sergeant called out one of the prisoners named Lefevre,
who wore a National Guard's uniform. The poor fellow stepped out
between the two lines of soldiers, and the door closed on him.
He was taken before the colonel, who was instructed to examine the
prisoners, and had the discretionary power of ordering them to
be shot on the spot, or of sending them to Versailles to appear
before the superior commission, by whom they were either set at
liberty or sentenced to transportation. Poor Lefevre was not heard
of again. We thought we heard a brisk volley of musketry in the
large courtyard, but we had been so accustomed to such noises that
it did not attract general attention. Later in the day another
prisoner was called out in the same manner, and he came back no
more; this time the noise of the discharge was distinct, and made
us alive to the imminence of our fate. On the third prisoner being
called out, he refused to go. Two soldiers had to take him by force.
He fought desperately for his life. The door was shut. We had not
long to wait; the discharge of musketry re-echoed in our cell, and
caused within it such a scene of despair as baffles description.

"Next day four men were taken out and executed, which reduced our
number to nine. By this time we had recovered from the shots and
heeded little what was going to take place, as every one of us
had bidden adieu to this world and made his peace with God.

"On May 31 our door was opened again. Twelve soldiers were drawn
up before it. We were all ordered out. We thought we were going to
be shot _en masse_, to make quicker work of us. To my amazement,
we saw a large column of about four hundred prisoners, four abreast,
between two lines of grenadiers. Evidently we were intended to
form the last contingent to it. The soldiers having been drawn
up in two long lines on both sides of the column, an officer drew
his sword, and standing up on a wine-hogshead, shouted: 'Soldiers,
load arms.' This being done, he added: 'Fire on any prisoner who
attempts to revolt or escape.'

"We then took the road to the Western Railroad, where we were put
into cattle vans and goods vans, with scarcely room to breathe,
and reached Versailles about six P. M. A detachment of soldiers
escorted us to Satory. The column marched in to the artillery depot,
and the gates were closed. I happened to be the right-hand man of
the four last prisoners in the column, so that I stood only three
or four yards from the officer in command of the place, who stood
looking at the prisoners, with his arms folded and his officers
beside him. I saw him staring at me, which I attributed to my being
the best-dressed man of the party. Presently he walked slowly up
to me, and measuring me from head to foot with what I took to be
a diabolical sneer, cried, 'Ho! Ho! the ribbon of the Legion of
Honor! You got it, I suppose, on the barricades!' With that I felt
a sharp pull at my coat. Quick as thought, I brought my hand down,
and caught his firmly as he was trying to tear the ribbon from
my breast. In my agitated state of mind I had not been aware I
was wearing a coat that had it on. 'You may shoot me, Captain,'
I said, 'but you shall not wrest that ribbon from me.' 'Where did
you get it?' 'The prince president of the Republic, Louis Napoleon,
gave it me.' 'When?' 'On September 23, 1853.' 'How is it, then,
that you were arrested? Was it on a barricade?' 'No, Captain, in
my own apartment. It is not likely I should fight for the Commune
after having been a devoted friend of the emperor for forty years.'
'Your name?' 'Count Joseph Orsi.' He looked at me again, and having
joined his officers, to whom he related what had taken place, he
turned round and in a loud voice said to me: 'Come out of the ranks.'
Then, seeing a gendarme close by, he said: 'Do not lose sight of
this prisoner.'"

For two days the captain kept Count Orsi in his office and encouraged
him to write to any friends he might have in Versailles. Count Orsi
named M. Grévy (afterwards president) as having been for years his
legal adviser, and he wrote a few lines to various other persons.
But there were no posts, and in the confusion of Versailles at
that moment there seemed little chance that his notes would reach
their destination. Two days later an order came to Satory to send
all prisoners to Versailles, and the kind-hearted captain was forced
to return Count Orsi to the column of his fellow-prisoners.

At Versailles they were shut up in the wine-cellars of the palace,
forty-five feet underground. The prisoners confined there were
the very dregs and scum of the insurrection. The cellars had only
some old straw on the floors, left there by the Prussians. There
were six hundred men confined in this place, and the torture they
endured from the close air, the filth, and the impossibility of
lying down at night was terrible.

Count Orsi was ten days in this horrible prison. At last one evening
he heard his name called. His release had come. On going to the
door he was taken before a superior officer, who expressed surprise
and regret at the mistake that had been committed, and at once
set him at liberty. A brave little boy, charged with one of his
notes, had persevered through all kinds of difficulties in putting
it into the hands of the English lady to whom it was addressed.
This lady and the Italian ambassador had effected Count Orsi's
release. He was ill with low fever for some weeks in consequence
of the bad air he had breathed during his confinement. Subsequently
he discovered that personal spite had caused his arrest as a friend
of the Commune.

My next account of those days is drawn from the experience of the
Marquis de Compiègne,[1] one of the Versailles officers. He was
travelling in Florida when the Franco-Prussian war broke out, but
hastened home at once to join the army. He fought at Sedan and was
taken prisoner to Germany, but returned in time to act against
the Commune. Afterwards he became an explorer in the Soudan, and
in 1877 was killed in a duel.

[Footnote 1: His narrative was published in the "Supplément Littéraire
du Figaro."]

On the 20th of May, news having reached Versailles that the first
detachment of regular troops had made their way into Paris, M.
de Compiègne hastened to join his battalion, which he had that
morning quitted on a few hours' leave. As they approached the Bois
de Boulogne at midnight, the sky over Paris seemed red with flame.
They halted for some hours, the men sleeping, the officers amusing
themselves by guessing conundrums; but as day dawned, they entered
Paris through a breach in the defences. The young officer says,--

"I shall never forget the sight. The fortifications had been riddled
with balls; the casemates were broken in. All over the ground were
strewn haversacks, packets of cartridges, fragments of muskets,
scraps of uniforms, tin cans that had held preserved meats,
ammunition-wagons that had been blown up, mangled horses, men dying
and dead, artillerymen cut down at their guns, broken gun-carriages,
disabled siege-guns, with their wheels splashed red from pools of
blood, but still pointed at our positions, while around were the
still smoking walls of ruined private houses. A company of infantry
was guarding about six hundred prisoners, who with folded arms and
lowering faces were standing among the ruins. They were of all
ages, grades, and uniforms,--boys of fifteen and old men, general
officers covered with gold lace, and beggars in rags: Avengers of
Flourens, Children of Père Duchêne, Chasseurs and Zouaves, Lascars,
Turcos, and Hussars. We halted a little farther in the city. We
were very hungry, but all the shops were closed. I got some milk,
but some of my comrades, who wanted wine, made a raid into the
cellar of an abandoned house, and were jumped upon by an immense
negro dressed like a Turco, whom they took for the devil. Glad as
we all were to be in Paris, the sight as we marched on was most
melancholy. Fighting seemed going on in all directions, especially
near the Tuileries and the Place de la Concorde. The Arch of Triumph
was not seriously injured. On the top of it were two mortars, and
the tricolored flag had been replaced by the _drapeau rouge_.
Detachments were all the time passing us with prisoners. They were
thrust for safe-keeping wherever space could be found. I am sorry
to say that they were cruelly insulted, and, as usual, those who
had fought least had the foulest tongues. There was one party of
deserters still in uniform, with their coats turned inside out. I
saw one of the prettiest girls I have ever seen, among the prisoners.
She was about fourteen, dressed as a _cantinière_, with a red scarf
round her waist. A smile was on her lips, and she carried herself

"That morning, May 22, I saw nobody shot. I think they wanted to
take all the prisoners they could to Versailles as trophies of
victory. About one o'clock we received orders to march, and went
down the Boulevard Malesherbes. All the inhabitants seemed to be at
their windows, and in many places we were loudly welcomed. It was
strange to me to be marching with arms in my hands, powder-stained
and dirty, along streets I had so often trodden gay, careless, and
in search of pleasure.

"On the march we passed the Carmelite Convent, where my sister
was at school; and as we halted, I was able to run in a moment and
see her. Only an hour or two before; the nuns had had a Communist
picket in their yard.

"We marched on to the Parc Monceau [once Louis Philippe's private
pleasure-garden]. There our men were shooting prisoners who had
been taken with arms in their hands. I saw fifteen men fall,--and
then a woman.

"That night volunteers were called for to defend an outlying barricade
which had been taren from the insurgents, and of which they were
endeavoring to regain possession. Our captain led a party to this
place, and in a tall house that overlooked the barricade he stationed
three of us. There, lying flat on our faces on a billiard-table, we
exchanged many shots with the enemy. A number of National Guards
came up and surrendered to us as prisoners. As soon as one presented
himself with the butt of his musket in the air, we made him come
under the window, where two of us stood ready to fire in case of
treachery, while the third took him to the lieutenant. In the course
of the night I was slightly wounded in the ear. A surgeon pinned
it up with two black pins.

"It was now May 23,--an ever-memorable day. We were pushing on
into Paris, and were to attack Montmartre; but first we had to make
sure of the houses in our rear. Then began that terrible fighting in
the streets, when every man fights hand to hand, when one must jump,
revolver in hand, into dark cellars, or rush up narrow staircases
with an enemy who knows the ground, lying in wait. Two or three
shots, well aimed, come from one house, and each brings down a
comrade. Exasperated, we break in the door and rush through the
chambers. The crime must be punished, the murderers are still on
the spot; but there are ten men in the house. Each swears that
he is innocent. Then each soldier has to take upon himself the
office of a judge. He looks to see if the gun of each man has been
discharged recently, if the blouse and the citizen's trousers have
not been hastily drawn over a uniform. Death and life are in his
hands; no one will ever call him to account for his decision. Women
and children fall at his feet imploring pity; through all the house
resound sobs, groans, and the reports of rifles. At the corner of
every street lie the bodies of men shot, or stand prisoners about
to be executed.

"I was thankful when the moment came to attack the heights of
Montmartre, and to engage in open warfare. General Pradié, our
brigadier-general, marched at our head, greatly exposed, because
of the gold lace on his uniform. An insurgent, whom we had taken
prisoner, suddenly sprang from his guards, seized the general's
horse, and presented at him a revolver that he had hidden in his
belt. The general, furious, cried, 'Shoot him! shoot him!' But we
dared not, they were too close together. Suddenly the man sprang
back, gained the street, and though twenty of us fired in haste
at once, every ball missed him. Leaping like a goat, he made his
escape. The general was very angry. Step by step we made our way,
slowly, it is true, but never losing ground. About two hundred
yards from Montmartre were tall houses and wood-yards where many
insurgents had taken refuge. These sent among us a shower of balls.
We had sharp fighting in this place, but succeeded in gaining the
position. Then we halted for about two hours, to make preparations
for an attack upon the heights. Some of us while we halted, fired
at the enemy, some raided houses and made prisoners; some went in
search of something to eat, but seldom found it. I was fortunate,
however, while taking some prisoners to the provost-marshal, to
be able to buy a dozen salt herrings, four pints of milk, nine
loaves of bread, some prunes, some barley-sugar, and a pound of
bacon. I took all I could get, and from the colonel downward, all my
comrades were glad to get a share of my provisions. The heights of
Montmartre had been riddled by the fire from Mont Valérien. Sometimes
a shell from our mortars would burst in the enemy's trenches, when
a swarm of human beings would rush out of their holes and run like
rabbits in a warren."

The punishment of the unfortunate, as well as of the guilty, was
very severe. Their imprisonment in the Great Orangery at Versailles,
where thousands of orange-trees are stored during the winter, involved
frightful suffering. A commission was appointed to try the prisoners,
but its work was necessarily slow. It was more than a year before
some of the captured leaders of the Commune met their fate. Those
condemned were shot at the Buttes of Satory,--an immense amphitheatre
holding twenty thousand people, where the emperor on one of his fêtes,
in the early days of his marriage, gave a great free hippodrome
performance, to the intense gratification of his lieges.

Some prisoners were transported to New Caledonia; Cayenne had been
given up as too unhealthy, and this lonely island in the far Pacific
Ocean had been fixed upon as the Botany Bay for political offenders.
Some of the leaders in the Council of the Commune were shot in the
streets. Raoul Rigault was of this number. Some were executed at
Satory; some escaped to England, Switzerland, and America; some
were sent to New Caledonia, but were amnestied, and returned to
France to be thorns in the side of every Government up to the present
hour; some are now legislators in the French Chamber, some editors
and proprietors of newspapers. Among those shot in the heat of
vengeance at Satory was Valin, who had vainly tried to save the
hostages. Deleschuze, in despair at the cowardice of his associates,
quietly sought a barricade when affairs grew desperate, and standing
on it with his arms folded, was shot down. Cluseret, who had real
talent as an artist, had an exhibition a few years since of his
pictures in Paris, and writing to a friend concerning it, speaks
thus of himself:[1]

[Footnote 1: Le Figaro.]

"You can tell me the worst. When a man has passed through a life
full of vicissitudes as I have done, during seventeen years of
which I have seen many campaigns, fighting sometimes three hundred
and sixty-five days in a year, or marching and counter-marching,
without tents or anything; when one has been three times outlawed
and under sentence of death; when one has known much of imprisonment
and exile; when one has suffered from ingratitude, calumny, and
poverty,--one is pretty well seasoned, and can bear to hear the

One thousand and thirty-one women were among the prisoners at Versailles
and Satory. Many of them were women of the worst character. Eight
hundred and fifty were set at liberty; four were sent to an insane
asylum; but doctors declared that nearly every woman who fought
in the streets for the Commune was more or less insane.

The most important of all captures was that of Rochefort. He had
been a leading man in the Council of the Commune, but was so great
a favorite with men of literature, besides having strong friends
and an old schoolfellow in Thiers' cabinet, that he escaped with
transportation to the Southern Seas. On May 20, when he saw that
the end of the Commune was at hand, he procured from the Delegate
for Foreign Affairs passports for himself and his secretary. It
is thought that the delegate, enraged at Rochefort's purpose of
deserting his colleagues, betrayed him to the Prussians who held
the fort of Vincennes. The Prussians sent word to the frontier,
and there the fugitives were arrested. Rochefort had no luggage,
but in his pocket was a great deal of miscellaneous jewelry, a copy
of "Monte Cristo," and some fine cigars. Escorted by Uhlans, he
was brought to St. Germains, and delivered over to the Versailles
Government. For a long time his fate hung in the balance, and it
seemed improbable that even the exertions of M. Thiers, the President,
and Jules Favre, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, could save him.

Having told of the last days of the Commune as seen by Count Orsi
and the Marquis de Compiègne, there remains one more narrative,--the
experiences of a man still more intimately connected with the events
of that terrible period, though, like a soldier in battle, he seems
to have been able to see only what was around him, and could take
no general view of what went on in other parts of the field.

The writer was all English gentleman who published his narrative
immediately after he returned to England in September and October,
1871, in "Macmillan's Magazine." "The writer," says the editor, "is
a young gentleman of good family and position. His name, though
suppressed for good reasons, is known to us, and we have satisfied
ourselves of the trustworthiness of the narrative." He says:

"I left England very hurriedly for France on March 29, 1871. I
had neglected to procure a passport, and had no papers to prove
my identity. I travelled from Havre to Paris without trouble, and
on the train met two men whom I saw afterwards as members of the
Council of the Commune. The first thing that struck me on my arrival
in Paris was the extreme quietness of the streets. During the first
week of my stay I was absorbed in my own business, and saw nothing;
but on Monday, April 10, my own part in the concerns of the Commune
began. I was returning home from breakfast about one o'clock in
the day, when I met a sergeant and four men in the street, who
stopped me, and the sergeant said: 'Pardon, Citizen, but what is
your battalion?' I answered that, being an Englishman, I did not
belong to any battalion. 'And your passport, Citizen?' On my replying
that I had none, he requested me to go with him to a neighboring
_mairie_, and I was accordingly escorted thither by the four men.
On my arrival I was shown into a cell, comfortable enough, though
it might have been cleaner. Having no evidence of my nationality,
I felt it was useless to apply to the Embassy; all the friends I
had in Paris who could have identified me as all Englishman had
left the city some days before, and as I reflected, it appeared to
me that if required to serve the Commune, no other course would
be left to me. One thing, however, I resolved,--to keep myself as
much in the background as possible. In three or four hours I was
conducted before the members of the Commune for that arrondissement.
They received me civilly, asked my name, age, profession, etc.,
and then one of them, taking up a paper, proceeded to say that I
must be placed in a battalion for active service, as I was under
forty years of age. 'Gentlemen,' I replied, 'your political affairs
are of no interest to me, and it is my misfortune to be placed
in this unpleasant predicament. But I tell you plainly, you may
shoot me if you will, but I absolutely refuse to leave Paris to
fight the Versaillais, who are no enemies of mine in particular,
and I therefore demand to be set at liberty.' Upon this they all
laughed, and told me to leave the room. After a little time I was
recalled, and told I should be placed in a _compagnie sédentaire_.
I again remonstrated, and demanded to be set at liberty, when they
said I was drunk, and ordered me to be locked into my cell, whence
I was transferred to my battalion the next morning. I found my
captain a remarkably pleasant man, as indeed were all my comrades
in my company, and I can never forget the kindness I met with from
them. My only regret is my utter ignorance of their fate. I can
scarcely hope they all escaped the miserable fate that overtook
so many; but I should rejoice to know that some were spared. On
entering the captain's office and taking off my hat, I was told
to put it on again, 'as we are all equal here, Citizen;' and after
the captain had said a few words to me, I was regaled with bread,
sardines, and wine,--the rations for the day. The captain was a
young man of six-and-twenty, with a particularly quiet, gentlemanly
manner (he was, I believe, a carpet-weaver). He had been a soldier,
and had served in Africa with distinction.

"The account of my daily duties as a member of this company from
April 10 to May 23 may be here omitted. I became orderly to one of
the members of the Commune, and being supplied with a good horse
(for as an Englishman I was supposed to be able to ride), I spent
much of my time in carrying messages. On the morning of Tuesday,
May 23, our colonel told us of the death of Dombrowski, who had
been shot during the night, though particulars were not known. I
was sorry to hear of his end, for he had been disposed to be kind
to me, and I knew then that the cause of the Commune was utterly
lost, as he was the only able man among them. The night before, we
had seen such a fire as I never saw before, streaming up to the
sky in two pillars of flame. I was told it was the Tuileries. The
Versaillais were already within the walls of Paris, but this we
in the centre of the city did not know. The news spread during the
day, however, and there was a great panic in the evening. Everybody
began to make preparations for flight, the soldiers being anxious
to get home and change their uniforms for plain clothes. No one
knew with any degree of certainty where the enemy really was, nor
how far he had advanced; only one thing was certain, that the game
was played out, and that _sauve qui peut_ must be the order of the
day. Men, women, and children were rushing frantically about the
streets, demanding news, and repeating it with a hundred variations.
The whole scene was lit up by fires which blazed in all directions.
At last the night gave place to dawn, and the scene was one to be
remembered for a lifetime. The faces of the crowd wore different
expressions of horror, amazement, and abject terror.... Early in
the morning of Wednesday 24th, I, with some others, was ordered
to the barricade of La Roquette.[1] My companions were very good
fellows, with one exception,--a grumpy old wretch who had served
in Africa, and could talk about nothing but the heat of Algeria
and the chances for plunder he had let slip there. Finding nothing
to do at the barricade, I tied my horse and fell asleep upon the
pavement. I dreamed I was at a great dinner-party in my father's
house, and could get nothing to eat, though dishes were handed
to me in due course. Many times afterwards my sleeping thoughts
took that direction. I really believe that there were times when
I and many others would willingly have been shot, if we could have
secured one good meal, When I awoke, about mid-day, in the Rue de
la Roquette, I found my companions gone to the _mairie_ of the
Eleventh Arrondissement, and I followed them. Our uniform was not
unlike that of the troops of the line in the French army, so we
were taken by the crowd for deserters, and hailed with 'Ah, les
bon garçons! Ah, les bons patriotes!' and we shouted back in turn
with all our might, 'Vive la Commune! Vive la République!' Those
words were in my mouth the whole of the next three days. The people
never saw a horseman without shrieking to him, 'How is all going on
at present?' To which the answer was invariably, 'All goes well!
_Vive la Commune! Vive la République!_' though the enemy might at
that moment be within five hundred yards. Indeed, the infatuation and
credulity displayed by the French, not only during the insurrection,
but the whole war, was absurd. Tell them on good authority that they
had lost a battle or been driven back, they would answer that you
were joking, and you might think yourself lucky to escape with a
whole skin; but say nothing but 'All goes well! We have won!' and
without stopping to inquire, they would at once cheer and shout
as if for a decisive victory."

[Footnote 1: At that time the execution of the hostages was taking
place within the prison.]

The next duty of our Englishman was to act as mounted orderly to
captains who were ordered to visit and report on the state of the
barricades, also to command all citizens to go into their houses
and close the doors and windows. There was little enthusiasm at
the barricades, and everywhere need of reinforcements. The army
of the Commune was melting away. The most energetic officer they
saw was a stalwart negro lieutenant,--possibly the man who, as De
Compiègne tells us, had scared some Versaillais in a cellar on
the 22d of May.

On the night of Thursday, May 25, the Column of July was a remarkable
sight. It had been hung with wreaths of _immortelles_, and those caught
fire from an explosive. Elsewhere, except for burning buildings,
there was total darkness. There was no gas in Paris, of course. And
here our Englishman goes on to say that so far as his experience
went, he saw no _pétroleuses_ nor fighting women, nor did he believe
in their existence.

By Friday, May 26, provisions and fodder were exhausted, and it
was hard for the soldiers of the Commune to get anything to eat.
Our Englishman, in the general disorganization, became separated
from his comrades, and joined himself to a small troop of horsemen
wearing the red shirt of Garibaldi, who swept past him at a furious
gallop. They were making for the cemetery of Père la Chaise. "All is
lost!" they cried. "To get there is our only chance of safety." Yet
they still shouted to the men and women whom they passed, "All goes
well! _Vive la Commune! Vive la République!_" By help of an order to
visit all the posts, which the Englishman had in his pocket, they
obtained admittance into Père la Chaise. There were five Poles in
the party, one Englishman, and one Frenchman; "and certainly," adds
the narrator, "they were no credit to their respective nations. It
was on their faces that I remarked for the first time that peculiar
hunted-down look which was afterwards to be seen on every countenance,
and I presume upon my own."

Our Englishman rode up to a battery in Père la Chaise, planted on
the spot made famous by a celebrated passage in "Le Père Goriot,"
in which Balzac describes Rastignac, on the eve of finally selling
himself to Satan, as standing and gazing down on Paris, to conquer
a high place in which is to be his reward. The observer who saw
the city from the same spot on the 26th of May, 1871, says,--

"Beneath me lay stretched out like a map the once great and beautiful
city, now, alas! given over a prey to fire and sword. I could see
smoke rising from many a heap of ruins that but a few short hours
before had been a palace or a monument of art. It was impossible,
however, to decide what buildings were actually burning, for a
thick, misty rain had set in, which prevented my seeing distinctly.
In my descent I passed the place where the body of Dombrowski was
lying. He had been shot from behind, and the ball had passed through
his body. At the gate of the cemetery I found a man waiting for
me with news that Belleville was to be our _rendezvous_. Words
cannot paint the spectacle that Belleville presented. It was the
last place left, the only refuge remaining; and such an assemblage
as was collected there it would be difficult to find again. There
were National Guards of every battalion, _Chasseurs Fédérés_ in
their wonderful uniform,--a sort of cross between Zouave, linesman,
and rifleman,--_Enfants Perdus_ in their green coats and feathers
(very few of these were to be seen, as they had no claim to quarter,
nor did they expect any), _Chasseurs à Cheval_ of the Commune, in
their blue jackets and red trousers, leaning idly against the gates
of their stables, _Éclaireurs de la Commune_ in blue, Garibaldians in
red, hussars, _cantinières_, sailors, civilians, women, and children,
all mixed up together in the crowded streets, and looking the picture
of anxiety. In the afternoon about four o'clock we were ordered to
mount and to escort 'ces coquins,'--as the officer called a party
of prisoners. They were forty-five gendarmes and six _curés_, who
were to be shot in the courtyard of a neighboring building. We
obeyed our orders and accompanied them to their destination. I was
told off to keep back the crowd. The men about to die, fifty-one
in all, were placed together, and the word was given to fire. Some
few, happier than the rest, fell at once, others died but slowly.
One gendarme made an effort to escape but was shot through the
stomach, and fell, a hideous object, to the ground. One old _curé_,
with long hair white as snow, had the whole of one side of his head
shot away, and still remained standing. After I had seen this, I
could bear it no longer, but, reckless of consequences, moved away
and left the ground, feeling very sick. As I was in the act of
leaving, I observed a lad, a mere boy of fourteen or fifteen, draw
a heavy horseman's pistol from his belt and fire in the direction
of the dead and dying. He was immediately applauded by the mob, and
embraced by those who stood near as 'a good patriot.' And here let
me remark that those who have thought it cruel and inhuman on the
part of the conquerors to arrest and detain as prisoners _gamins_
of from twelve to sixteen, are quite mistaken. Those who remained
at the barricades to the last, and were most obstinate in their
defence, were the boys of Paris. They were fierce and uncontrollable,
and appeared to be veritably possessed of devils. The difference
between the irregular corps and the National Guard was that the
latter had, with very few exceptions, been forced to serve, like
myself, under compulsion, or by the stern necessity of providing
bread for their wives and children, while the Irregulars were all
volunteers, and had few married men in their ranks."

Later in the day two mounted officers in plain clothes, one of
them a captain, whom our friend had served as orderly, called him
and an artilleryman out of the ranks, and ordered them to accompany
them. After a devious course through obscure streets of Paris, the
officers gave them some money, and ordered them to go into the
next street and see if they could procure plain clothes. Having
done so, they returned to the place where their officers had promised
to wait for them; but they had disappeared. This was, in truth, a
good-natured _ruse_ to save the lives of the two privates, though
at the time it was not so understood. Not knowing what to do, they
attempted to return to their regiments, but at the first outpost
they were challenged by the sentry. They had been away five hours,
and the countersign had been changed. They were arrested, and carried
to the nearest _mairie_. They were led upstairs and taken before
a member of the Commune who was sitting at a table covered with
papers, busily writing, surrounded by men of all ranks and uniforms.
On hearing their story, he turned round, and said, in excellent
English, "What are you doing here, an Englishman and in plain clothes?"
The Englishman had grown angry. He answered recklessly: "Yes, I
am English, and I have been compelled to serve your Commune. I
don't know what your name is, or who you are, but I request that
you give me a paper to allow me to quit Paris without further
molestation." The member of the Commune smiled, and answered: "There
is only one thing to be done with you. Here, sergeant!" And the
Englishman and the artilleryman were escorted to the guard-room.
There everything of value was taken from them. The Englishman lost
his watch, his money, and what he valued more, his note-book and
papers. He wore a gold ring, the gift of his mother; and as it
was difficult to get off, some of the soldiers proposed amputating
the finger.

Next, a species of court-martial was held, which in a few minutes
passed sentence that they were to be shot at nine the next morning,
for "refusing to serve the Commune!" They had been asked no questions,
no evidence had been heard, and no defence had been allowed them.
Says the Englishman,--

"We were conducted to the Black Hole. There we found nine others
who were to suffer the same fate in the morning. I was too tired
to do anything but throw myself on a filthy mattress, and in a
few minutes I was sleeping what I thought was my last sleep on
earth. I was roused at daybreak by a tremendous hammering of my
companions on the door of our cell. I was irritated, and asked
angrily why they could not allow those who wished to be quiet to
remain so. They answered by telling me to climb up to the window
and look into the courtyard. I found it strewn with corpses. The
_mairie_ had been evacuated during the night, and it was evident
we should not be executed. In vain we tried to force the door of
our cell; all we could do was to make as much noise as possible
to attract attention. At last a sergeant of the National Guard
procured the keys, the heavy door was opened, and we were free.
I avoided a distribution of rifles and ammunition, and passed out
into the street, hoping that my troubles were over. Alas! they
were only just begun; for the first sight that met my eyes as I
stepped into the street was a soldier of the Government, calling
on all those in sight to surrender and to lay down their arms. I
gave myself up as a prisoner of war. It was Whit-Sunday, May 28.
Happily my name was written down as one of those taken without

"I was placed in a party of prisoners, and we were marched to the
Buttes de Chaumont, passing in our way many a barricade, or rather
the remains of them. Here, the body of a man shot through the head
was lying stiff and cold upon the pavement; there, was a pool of
coagulated blood; there, the corpse of a gentleman in plain clothes,
apparently sleeping, with his head buried in his arms; but a small
red stream issuing from his body told that he slept the sleep of
death. Some, as we marched on, kept silence, some congratulated
themselves that all was over, while some predicted our immediate
execution. All had the same hunted-down, wearied look upon their
faces that I have before alluded to. At last we were halted and
given over to the charge of a regiment of the line. The first order
given was, 'Fling down your hats!' Luckily I had a little silk cap,
which I contrived to slip into my pocket, and which was afterwards
of great comfort to me. We stood bare-headed in the blazing sun
some time, till our attention was called to a sound of shooting,
and a whisper went round: 'We are all to be shot.' The agonized
look on the faces of some, I can never forget; but these were men
of the better sort, and few in number: the greater part looked
sullen and stolid, shrugged their shoulders, and said, 'It won't
take long; a shot, and all is over.'

"A boy about four files behind me was a pitiable object; his cries
and his frantic endeavors to attract notice to a document of some
sort he held in his hand, were silenced at last by a kick from
an officer and a 'Tais-toi, crapaud!' Very different was it with
a poor child of nine, who stood next to me. He never cried nor
uttered a word of complaint, but stood quietly by my side for some
time, looking furtively into my face. At last he ventured to slip
his little hand into mine, and from that time till the close of
that terrible day we marched hand in hand. Meantime the executions
went on. I counted up to twenty, and afterwards I believe some
six or seven more took place. Those put to death were nearly all
officers of the National Guard. One who was standing near me, a
paymaster, had his little bag containing the pay of his men, which
he had received the day before, but had not been able to distribute
among them. He now gave it away to those standing round him (I among
them getting a few francs), saying, 'I shall be shot; but this money
may be of use to you, my children, in your sad captivity.' He was led
out and shot a few minutes afterwards. They all, without exception,
met their fate bravely and like men. There was no shrinking from
death, or entreaties to be spared, among those I saw killed.

"After an hour we resumed our march, the mob saluting us with the
choicest selection of curses and abusive epithets I ever heard.
We passed down the Rue Royale, the bystanders calling on us to
look upon the ruin we had caused, through the Champs Élysées to
the Arch of Triumph, marching bare-headed, under a burning sun.
At length, in the Avenue de l'Impératrice, an order to halt was
given. There, weary and footsore, many dropped down on the ground,
waiting for death, which we were now convinced was near at hand. For
myself, I felt utterly numbed and contented to die, and I think I
should have received with equal indifference the news of my release.
I remember plotting in my mind how I could possibly get news of my
fate conveyed to my parents in England. Could I ask one of the
soldiers to convey a message for me? And would he understand what
to do? With such thoughts, and mechanically repeating the Lord's
Prayer to myself at intervals, I whiled away more than an hour,
until an order, 'Get up, all of you,' broke the thread of my
meditations. Presently General the Marquis de Gallifet (he who
had served the emperor in Mexico) passed slowly down the line,
attended by several officers. He stopped here and there, selecting
several of our number, chiefly the old or the wounded, and ordered
them to step out of the ranks. His commands were usually couched in
abusive language. A young man near me called out, 'I am an American.
Here is my passport. I am innocent.' 'Silence! We have foreigners
and riff-raff more than enough. We have got to get rid of them,'
was the general's reply. All chance was over now, we thought; we
should be shot in a few minutes. Our idea was that those who had
been placed aside were to be spared, and those about me said: 'It
is just. They would not shoot the aged and the wounded!' Alas! we
were soon to be undeceived. Again we started, and were ordered to
march arm in arm to the Bois de Boulogne. There those picked out
of our ranks by General de Gallifet--over eighty in number--were
all shot before our eyes; yet so great was our thirst that many,
while the shooting was going on, were struggling for water, of
which there was only a scant supply. I was not fortunate enough
to get any.

"The execution being over, we proceeded, now knowing that our
destination was Versailles. Oh, the misery and wretchedness of
that weary march! The sun poured fiercely down on our uncovered
heads, our throats were parched with thirst, our blistered feet
and tired legs could hardly support our aching bodies. Now and
again a man utterly worn out would drop by the wayside. One of our
guard would then dismount, and try by kicks and blows to make him
resume his place in the line. In all cases those measures proved
unavailing, and a shot in the rear told us that one of our number
had ceased to exist. The executioner would then fall into his place,
laughing and chatting gayly with his comrades.

"Towards eight o'clock in the evening we entered Versailles. If
the curses we had endured in Paris were frightful and numerous,
here they were multiplied tenfold. We toiled up the hill leading to
Satory, through mud ankle deep. 'There stand the _mitrailleuses_,
ready for us,' said one of my companions. Then, indeed, for the
first time I felt afraid, and wished I had been among those who had
been executed in the daytime, rather than be horribly wounded and
linger in my misery; for no sure aim is taken by a _mitrailleuse_.

"The order came to halt, and I waited for the whirring sound; but,
thank God! I waited in vain. We set ourselves in motion once more,
and soon were in an immense courtyard surrounded by walls, having
on one side large sheds in which we were to pass the night. With
what eagerness did we throw ourselves on our faces in the mud, and
lap up the filthy water in the pools! There was another Englishman,
as well as several Americans, among our number, also some Dutch,
Belgians, and Italians. The Englishman had arrived in Paris from
Brest on May 14 to 'better himself,' and had been immediately arrested
and put in prison by the Commune. Being released on the 21st of
May, he was captured the next day by the Versaillais. I remained
all the time with him till my release.

"On Wednesday, May 31, we were despatched to Versailles to be examined
at the _orangerie_. The _orangerie_ is about seven hundred feet long
and forty broad, including two wings at either end. It is flagged
with stone, on which the dust accumulates in great quantities.
According to my experience, it is bitterly cold at night, and very hot
in the daytime. Within its walls, instead of fragrant orange-trees,
were four to five thousand human beings, now herded together in a
condition too miserable to imagine, a prey to vermin, disease,
and starvation.

"The general appearance of the crowd of captives was, I must confess,
far from prepossessing. They were very dirty, very dusty and worn
out, as I myself was probably, and no wonder; the floor was several
inches thick in dust, no straw was attainable, and washing was
impossible. I gained some comparative comfort by gathering up dust
in a handkerchief and making a cushion of it. Thursday, June 1,
dragged on as miserably as its predecessor, the only event being
the visit of a deputy, which gave rise to great anticipations, as
he said, in my hearing, that our condition was disgraceful, and
that straw and a small portion of soup ought to be allowed us.

"The terrible scenes and sufferings we had gone through had deprived
many of our number of their reason. Some of the madmen were dangerous,
and made attempts to take the lives of their companions; others
did nothing but shout and scream day and night. The second night
we passed in the _orangerie_ the Englishman and I thought we had
secured a place where we might lie down and sleep in the side gallery;
but at midnight we were attacked by one of the most dangerous of
the madmen. It was useless to hope to find any other place to lie
down in, and we had no more rest that night, for several maniacs
persisted in following us wherever we went, and would allow us
no repose. I counted that night forty-four men bereft of reason
wandering about and attacking others, as they had done ourselves.

"The next day we found ourselves at last in the ranks of those
who were to leave the _orangerie_. Our names were inscribed at
eleven o'clock, and we stood in rank till seven in the evening,
afraid to lose our places if we stirred. What our destination might
be, was to us unknown; but there was not a man who was not glad
to quit the place where we had suffered such misery."

Their destination proved to be Brest, which they reached at midnight
of the next day, after travelling in cattle-cars for about thirty
hours. They were transferred at once to a hulk lying in the harbor,
clean shirts and water to wash with were given them, which seemed
positive luxuries. Their treatment was not bad; they had hammocks
to sleep in, and permission to smoke on deck every other day. But
the sufferings they had gone through, and the terribly foul air of
the _orangerie_, had so broken them down that most of them were
stricken by a kind of jail-fever. Many, without warning, would
drop down as if in a fit, and be carried to a hospital ship moored
near them, to be seen no more.

Our Englishman remained three weeks on board this hulk, and then
escaped; but by what means he did not, in October, 1871, venture
to say.

He concludes his narrative with these words:--

"When I think of those who were with me who still remain in the
same condition, and apparently with no chance of release, my heart
grows sick within me, and I can only be thankful to Almighty God
for my miraculous and providential escape. In conclusion let me say,
as one who lived and suffered among them, that so far from speaking
hardly of the miserable creatures who have been led astray, one ought
rather to pity them. The greater part of those who served the Commune
(for all in Paris, with but few exceptions, did serve) were 'pressed
men' like myself. But those who had wives and children to support
and were without work--nay, even without means of obtaining a crust
of bread (for the siege had exhausted all their little savings)--were
forced by necessity to enroll themselves in the National Guard for
the sake of their daily pay.

"In the regular army of the Commune (if I may so style the National
Guard) there were but few volunteers, and these were in general
orderly and respectable men; but the irregular regiments, such as
the _Enfants Perdus, Chasseurs Fédérés, Défenseurs de la Colonne de
Juillet_, etc., were nothing but troops of blackguards and ruffians,
who made their uniforms an excuse for robbery and pillage. Such men
deserved the vengeance which overtook the majority of them."




The fall of the Commune took place in the last week of May, 1871.
We must go back to the surrender of Paris, in the last week of
January of the same year, and take up the history of France from
the election of the National Assembly called together at Bordeaux
to conclude terms of peace with the Prussians, to the election
of the first president of the Third Republic, during which time
France was under the dictatorship of M. Thiers.

Adolphe Thiers was born in Marseilles, April 16, 1797. He was a
poor little baby, whose father, an ex-Jacobin, had fled from France
to escape the counter-revolution. The doctor who superintended his
entrance into the world recorded that he was a healthy, active
child, with remarkably short legs. These legs remained short all
his life, but his body grew to be that of a tall, powerful man.
His appearance was by no means aristocratic or dignified if seen
from a distance, but his defects of person were redeemed by the
wondrous sparkle in his eyes. The family of his mother, on the
maternal side, was named Lhommaça, and was of Greek origin. It
came from the Levant, and its members spoke Greek among themselves.
Madame Thiers' father was named Arnic, and his descent was also
Levantine. Mademoiselle Arnic made a love-match in espousing Thiers,
a widower, who after the 9th Thermidor had taken refuge under her
father's roof. A writer who obtained materials for a sketch of
Thiers from the Thiers himself, says,--

"She pitied him, she was dazzled by his brilliant parts, charmed
by his plausible manners, and regardless of his poverty and his
incumbrance of many children, she insisted on marrying him. Her
family was indignant, and cast her off; nor did she long find comfort
in her husband. She was a Royalist, and remained so to the end
of her days; he was a Jacobin. Moreover, she soon found that his
tastes led him to drink and dissipation."

This man, the father of Thiers, was small of stature, mercurial
in temperament, of universal aptitudes, much wit, and a perennial
buoyancy of disposition. His weakness, like his son's, was a passion
for omniscience. Some one said of him: "He talks encyclopedia,
and if anybody asked him, would be at no loss to tell you what
was passing in the moon." He had been educated for the Bar, and
belonged to a family of the _haute bourgeoisie_ of Provence; but
everything was changed by the revolutionary see-saw, and shortly
before his son was born, he had been a stevedore in the docks of
Marseilles. His father (the statesman's grandfather) had been a cloth
merchant and a man of erudition. He wrote a History of Provence,
and died at the age of ninety-five. The Thiers who preceded him
lived to be ninety-seven, and was a noted gastronome, whose house
at Marseilles in the early part of the eighteenth century was known
far and wide for hospitality and good cheer. He was ruined by
speculative ventures in the American colonies.

Thiers' grandfather, the cloth merchant, was a Royalist, who brought
down upon himself the wrath of the Jacobins by inciting the more
moderate party in Marseilles to seize the commissioners sent to
them by the Convention, and imprison them in the Château d'If. His
son (Thiers' father), being himself a Jacobin, helped to release
the prisoners, and accepted an office under them in Marseilles. This
was the reason why he had to conceal himself during the reaction
that followed the fall of Robespierre. But all his life he bobbed
like a cork to the surface of events, or with equal facility sank
beneath them. He seems to have been "everything by turns, and nothing
long." Among other employments he became an _impressario_, and
went with an opera _troupe_ to Italy. There for a time he kept a
gaming table, and finally turned up at Joseph Bonaparte's court
at Naples. He became popular with King Joseph, and followed him to
Madrid. He was a French Micawber, without the domestic affections
of his English counterpart, but with far more brilliant chances.
His wife was left to struggle at Marseilles with her own boy to
support, and with a host of step-children. What she would have
done but for the kindness of her mother, Madame Arnic, it is hard
to tell.

Meantime Adolphe was adopted and educated by Madame Arnic. She
had provided him from his birth with influential patrons in the
persons of two well-to-do godfathers. The boy was brought up in
one of those beautiful _bastides_, or sea-and-country villas, which
adorn the shores of Provence. There he ran wild with the little
peasant boys, and subsequently in Marseilles with the _gamins_
of the city.

His cousin, the poet André Chénier, got him an appointment to one
of the _lycées_, or high-schools, established by Napoleon; but his
grandmother would not hear of his "wearing Bonaparte's livery."
The two god-fathers had to threaten to apply to the absent Micawber
on the subject, if the boy's mother and grandmother stood in the way
of his education. They yielded at last, and accepted the appointment
offered them. Adolphe passed with high marks into the institution,
and it cost him no trouble to keep always at the head of his classes.
But in play hours there was never a more troublesome boy. He so
perplexed and annoyed his superiors that they were on the eve of
expelling him, when a new master came to the _lycée_ from Paris, and
all was changed. This master had ruined his prospects by writing a
pamphlet against the Empire. A warm friendship sprang up between him
and his brilliant pupil. The good man was an unbending republican.
When Thiers became Prime Minister of France under Louis Philippe,
he wrote to his old master and offered him an important post in
the Bureau of Public Instruction; but the old man refused it. He
would not accept Louis Philippe as "the best of republics," and
ended his letter by saying: "The best thing I can wish you is that
you may soon retire from office, and that for a long time."

The influence of this new teacher roused all Thiers' faculties
and stimulated his industry. From that time forward he became the
most industrious man of his age. The bulletins and the victories
of Napoleon excited his imagination. He would take a bulletin for
his theme, and write up an account of a battle, supplementing his
few facts by his own vivid imagination. His idea was that France
must be the strongest of European powers, or she would prove the
weakest; she could not hold a middle place in the federation of
European nations.

When Thiers had finished his school course his grandmother mortgaged
her house to supply funds for his entrance into the college at
Aix. He could not enter the army on account of his size, and he
aspired to the Bar. His family was very poor at that period. Thiers
largely supported himself by painting miniatures, which it is said
he did remarkably well.

At Aix he found good literary society and congenial associations.
His friendship with his fellow-historian, Mignet, began in their
college days. At Aix, too, where he was given full liberty to enjoy
the Marquis d'Alberta's gallery of art and wonderful collection
of curiosities and bronzes, he acquired his life-long taste for
such things. Aix was indeed a place full of collections,--of
antiquities, of cameos, of marbles, etc.

Thiers' first literary success was the winning a prize at Nîmes for
a monograph on Vauvenargues, a moralist of the eighteenth century,
called by Voltaire the master-mind of his period. He won this prize
under remarkable circumstances. The commission to award it was
composed, largely of Royalists, who did not like to assign it to a
competitor, who, if not a Republican, was at least a Bonapartist.
Thiers had read passages from his essay to friends, and the
commissioners were aware of its authorship. They therefore postponed
their decision. Meantime Thiers wrote another essay on the same
subject. Mignet had it copied, and forwarded to Nîmes from Paris,
with a new motto. This essay won the first prize; and Thiers' other
essay won the second prize, greatly to his amusement and delight,
and to the annoyance and discomfiture of the Committee of Decision.

With six hundred francs in his pocket ($120), he went up to Paris,
making the journey on foot. Having arrived there, he made his way
to his friend Mignet's garret, weary and footsore, carrying his
bundle in his hand. Mignet was not at home; but in the opposite
chamber, which Thiers entered to make inquiries for his friend, was
a gay circle of Bohemians, who were enjoying a revel. The traveller
who broke in upon their mirth is thus described:--

"He wore a coat that had been green, and was faded to yellow, tight
buff trousers too short to cover his ankles, and dusty, and glossy
from long use, a pair of clumsy blucher boots, and a hat worthy
of a place in the cabinet of an antiquary. His face was tanned
a deep brown, and a pair of brass-rimmed spectacles covered half
his face."

That was about 1821. Thiers was then not a profound politician, nor
was he very clear as to theories about republicanism; but he was
an enthusiast for Napoleon, an enthusiast for France. He employed
his leisure in making notes in the public libraries on the events
between 1788 and 1799,--the year of the 18th Brumaire. His future
History of the Revolution, Consulate, and Empire began, unconsciously
to himself, to grow under his hand. He had hoped to be called to the
Bar in Paris; but as his want of height had prevented his entering
the army, so his want of money prevented his entrance to the ranks
of the lawyers of the capital. The council which recommends such
admissions required at that period that the person seeking admittance
should show himself possessed of a well-furnished domicile and a
sufficient income. Thiers' resources fell far short of this. For
a while he supported himself in Paris as best he could, partly by
painting fans; he then returned to Aix, where he was admitted to
the Bar. But he could not stay long away from Paris. He returned,
and again struggled with poverty, painting and making applications
for literary and newspaper work in all directions. At last, about
the time of Louis XVIII.'s death, Manuel, the semi-republican deputy
from Marseilles, took him up. He was then engaged upon his History,
and was private secretary to the Duc de Liancourt, to whose notice
he had been brought by Talleyrand in a letter which said: "Two
young men have lately brought me strong recommendations. One is
gentlemanly and appears to have the qualifications you desire in
a secretary; the other is uncouth to a degree, but I think I can
discern in him sparks of the fire of genius." The duke's reply
was brief: "Send me the second one."

In 1826 Thiers began to attract public notice as a clever and somewhat
turbulent opponent of the priest party under Charles X. He got his
first journalistic employment from the editor of a leading paper
in Paris, the "Constitutionnel." He had a letter of introduction to
the editor, who, nowise impressed by his appearance, and wishing
to get rid of him, politely said he had no work vacant on the paper
except that of criticising the pictures in the Salon, which he
presumed M. Thiers' could not undertake. On the contrary, Thiers
felt sure he could do the work, which the editor, confident of his
failure, allowed him to try. The result was a review that startled
all Paris, and Thiers was at once engaged on the "Constitutionnel" as
literary, dramatic, and artistic critic. He proved to have a perfect
genius for journalism, and all his life he considered newspaper
work his profession. Before long he aspired to take part in the
management of his paper, and to that end saved and scraped together
every cent in his power, assisted by a German bookseller named
Schubert, the original of Schmuke, in Balzac's "Cousin Pons." The
"Constitutionnel" grew more and more popular and more and more
powerful; but still Thiers' means were very small, and he was bent
on saving all he could to establish a new newspaper, the "National."
He was engaged to be married to a young lady at Aix, whose father
thought he was neglecting her, and came up to Paris to see about
it. Thiers pleaded for delay. He had not money enough, he said,
to set up housekeeping. A second time the impatient father came
to Paris on the same errand, and on receiving the same answer,
assaulted Thiers publicly and challenged him. The duel took place.
Thiers fired in the air, and his adversary's ball passed between
his little legs. Nobody was hurt, but the match was broken off,
and the young lady died of the disappointment. Thiers kept every
memorial he had of her sacredly to the day of his death, and in
the time of his power sought out and provided for the members of
her family.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about M. Thiers was the unusual
care he took to prepare himself fully before writing or speaking.
He had every subject clearly and fully in his own mind before he put
pen to paper, and when he began to write, he did so with extraordinary
rapidity; nor would he write any account of anything, either in
a newspaper or in his history, till he had visited localities,
conversed with eye-witnesses, and picked up floating legends.

By an accident he became acquainted before other Parisian journalists
with the signing of the Ordinances by Charles X., July 26, 1830.
He had also good reason to think that Louis Philippe, if offered
the crown of France or the lieutenant-generalship of the kingdom,
would accept it. While fighting was going on in Paris, he and Ary
Scheffer, the artist, were the two persons deputed to go to Neuilly
and sound the Duke of Orleans. As we have seen, Marie Amélie, the
duke's wife, indignantly refused their overtures in the absence of
her husband, while Madame Adélaïde, his sister, encouraged them.

Thiers, Laffitte, and Lafayette became the foremost men in Paris
at this crisis, and at the end of some days Louis Philippe became
king of the French. He wanted to make Thiers one of his ministers,
but Thiers characteristically declined so high an office until
he should have served an apprenticeship to ministerial work in
an under secretary-ship, and knew the machinery and the working
of all departments of government.

Thus far I have not spoken of Thiers' "History of the Revolution."
It appeared first in monthly parts. Up to the publication of the
first number, in 1823, no writer in France had dared to speak well
of any actor in the Revolution. Thiers' History, as it became known,
created a great sensation. Thiers himself was supposed by the general
public (both of his own country and of foreign nations) to be a
wild revolutionist. At first the critics knew not how to speak of a
book that admired the States-General and defended the Constitutional
Convention; but by the time the third volume was completed, in 1827,
it was bought up eagerly. The work was published afterwards in
ten volumes, and the "History of the Consulate and Empire," which
appeared between 1845 and 1861, is in twenty volumes; but it is
only fair to say that the print is very large and the illustrations
are very numerous, and that the portraits especially are beyond
all praise.

From 1831 to 1836, Thiers was one of Louis Philippe's ministers,
and from 1836 to 1840 he was Prime Minister, or President of the

As soon as Thiers rose to power his mercurial father made his appearance
in Paris. Thiers was disposed to receive him very coldly. "What have
you ever done for me that you have any claim on me?" he asked. "My
son," replied the prodigal parent, "if I had been an ordinary father
and had stayed by my family and brought up a houseful of children in
obscurity, do you suppose you would have been where you are now?"
At this Thiers laughed, and gave his father a post-mastership in
a small town in the South of France called Carpentras. There the
old gentleman lived, disreputable and extravagant to the last,
surrounded by a large family of dogs.

Thiers provided at the earliest possible moment for his mother
and grandmother, buying for the latter a pretty little property
which she had always coveted, near Aix, and taking his mother to
preside over his own home. But Madame Thiers felt out of place in
her son's life, and preferred to return to the property given to
Madame Arnic, where she spent the rest of her days with the old
lady. Lamartine tells a pretty anecdote of Thiers' relations with
his mother. The poet and the statesman had been dining together at a
friend's house, in 1830, when Thiers was already a cabinet officer.
On leaving together after dinner, they found in the ante-room an
elderly woman plainly and roughly dressed. She was asking for M.
Thiers, who, as soon as he saw her, ran to her, clasped her in
his arms, kissed her, and then, leading her by both hands up to
the poet, cried joyously: "Lamartine, this is my mother!"

In 1834 Thiers married a beautiful young girl fresh from her _pension_,
Mademoiselle Dosne, who was co-heiress with her mother and her
father to a great fortune. Unhappily Thiers had fallen first in
love with the mother; but he accepted the daughter instead. The
early married life of Madame Thiers was saddened by her knowledge
of this state of things. She was devoted to the interests of her
husband, and watched over him as a mother might have watched over a
child. She was an accomplished woman and most careful housekeeper,
and had received an excellent education. She knew many languages,
and turned all English or German documents required by her husband
into French. She was also a charming hostess, but she lived under
the shadow of a great sorrow.

When Thiers was to be married, he paid his father twelve thousand
francs (about $2,500) for the legal parental consent which is necessary
in a French marriage; but he was by no means anxious to have his
irrepressible parent at his wedding. For three weeks before the
event he hired all the places in all the stage-coaches running
through Carpentras to Lyons.

In 1840 M. Thiers went out of office, in consequence of a dispute
with England about the Eastern Question. The only charge that his
enemies ever brought against him affecting his honor as a politician
was that of employing the Jew Deutz to act the part of Judas towards
the Duchesse de Berri; but for that he could plead that it solved
a difficulty, and probably saved many lives.

During the Second Empire he kept much in retirement. At first he
had thought that Prince Louis Napoleon, seeing in him the historian
and panegyrist of the Great Emperor, would call him to his councils.
But he was quite mistaken. He could not--nor _would_ he--have served
Louis Napoleon's turn as did such men as Persigny, Saint-Arnaud,
De Maupas, and De Morny. When the _coup d'état_ came, Thiers was
imprisoned with the other deputies, the only favor allowed him
being a bed, while the other deputies had no couch but the floor.

In 1869 there was a general election in France, which was carefully
manipulated by the Government, in order that, if possible, no deputy
might be sent to the Chamber who would provoke discussion on the
changes in the Constitution submitted by the emperor. Thiers thought
it time for him to re-enter public life and to speak out to his
countrymen. At this time one of the gentlemen attached to the English
embassy in Paris had a conversation with him. "For a man," he says,
"of talents, learning, and experience, I never met one who impressed
me as having so great an idea of his own self-importance;" but
the visitor was at the same time impressed by his frankness and
sincerity. Speaking of the Emperor Napoleon III., and foreseeing
his downfall, he said: "What will succeed him, I know not. God
grant it may not be the ruin of France!... For a long time I kept
quiet. It was no use breaking one's head against the wall; but
now we have revolution staring us in the face as an alternative
with the Empire; and do you think I should be doing well or rightly
by my fellow-citizens, were I to keep in the background? If I am
wanted, I shall not fail." As he spoke, the fire in his eyes sparkled
right through the glass of his spectacles, and all the time he
talked, he was walking rapidly up and down. When greatly animated,
he seemed even to grow taller and taller, so that on some great
occasion a lady said of him to Charles Greville: "Did you know,
Thiers is handsome! and is six feet high!"

When the fall of the Empire occurred, in September, 1870, M. Thiers
was in Paris; but when the Committee of Defence was formed, he
quitted the capital, before the arrival of the Prussians, to go
from court to court,--to London, St. Petersburg, Vienna,--to implore
the intervention of diplomacy, and to prove how essential to the
balance of power in Europe was the preservation of France. His
feeling was that France ought promptly to have made peace after
Sedan, that her cause then was hopeless for the moment, and that by
making the best terms she could, and by husbanding her resources,
she might rise in her might at a future day. These views were not
in the least shared by Gambetta, who believed--as, indeed, most
Frenchmen and most foreigners believed in 1870--that a general
uprising in France would be sufficient to crush the Prussians.
Thiers knew better; his policy was to save France for herself and
from herself at the same time.

[Illustration: _LÉON GAMBETTA._]

We already know the story. Gambetta escaped from Paris in a balloon,
and joined Crémieux and Garnier-Pagès, the other two members of
the Committee of Defence who were outside of Paris. At Tours they
had set up a sort of government, and there, in virtue of being
the War Minister of the Committee of Defence, Gambetta proceeded
to take all power into his own hands, and to become dictator of
masterless France. It was like a shipwreck in which, captain and
officers being disabled, the command falls to the most able seaman.
Gambetta had no legal right to govern France, but he governed it
by right divine, as the only man who could govern it.

This is how a newspaper writer speaks--and justly--of Gambetta's

"From the moment when he dropped, tired out with his journey by
balloon, into his chair in the archiepiscopal palace at Tours,
and announced that he was invested with full powers to defend the
country, no one throughout France seriously disputed his authority.
His colleagues became his clerks. The treasury was empty, but he
re-filled it. The arsenal was half empty, but in six weeks one
great army, and almost two, were supplied with artillery, horses,
gunners, and breech-loaders. The Lyons Reds had been told that
they were wicked fools, and Communists and Anarchists ripe for
revolt in Toulouse, Lyons, and Marseilles had been put down. The
respectables everywhere rose at his summons, anarchy and military
disobedience quailed."

The fortunes of war forced Gambetta and his Government from the
banks of the Loire to Bordeaux. There, at the close of January,
1871, Jules Favre arrived from the Central Committee in Paris to
announce, with shame and grief, that resistance was over: Paris
had capitulated to the Prussians; and it only remained to elect a
General Assembly which should create a regular government empowered
to make peace with the enemy.

For a few hours that night the fate of France hung trembling in
the scales. Thiers was in Bordeaux. He was known to think that
France could only save what was left by accepting the armistice.
Gambetta was known to be for _No Surrender!_ Which should prevail?
Would the dictator lay aside his power without a struggle?

Gambetta rose to the occasion during the night; but here the histories
of Thiers and Gambetta run together; therefore, before I tell of what
happened the next day, let me say a few words about the personal
history of Léon Gambetta. He was only thirty-three years old at
this time, having been born in 1838, when Thiers was forty-one
years of age.

Gambetta's birthplace was Cahors, that city in the South of France
stigmatized by Dante as the abode of usurers and scoundrels. His
family was Italian and came from Genoa, but he was born a Frenchman,
though his Italian origin, temperament, and complexion were constantly
cast up against him. In his infancy he had been intended for the
priesthood, and was sent, when seven years old, to some place where
he was to be educated and trained for it. He soon wrote to his
father that he was so miserable that if he were not taken away
he would put out one of his eyes, which would disqualify him for
the priestly calling. His father took no notice of the childish
threat, and Gambetta actually plucked out one of his own eyes.

In 1868 he was a young lawyer in Paris; but his eloquence and ability
were known only at the Café Procope to a circle of admiring
fellow-Bohemians. On All Saints Day, 1868, the Press, presuming
on the recent relaxation of personal government by the emperor,
applauded the crowds who went to cover with funeral wreaths the grave
of Baudin at Père la Chaise. Baudin had been the first man killed on
Dec. 2, 1851, when offering resistance to the _coup d'état._ The
Press was prosecuted for its utterances on this occasion. Gambetta
defended one of the journals. Being an advocate, he could say what
he pleased without danger of prosecution, and all Paris rang with
the bitterness of his attack upon the Empire. From that moment he
was a power in France. In person he was dark, short, stout, and
somewhat vulgar, nor was there any social polish in his manners.

Not long after his great speech in defence of the Press, in the matter
of Baudin, Gambetta was elected to the Chamber by the working-men
of Belleville, and at the same time by Marseilles. He entered the
Chamber as one wholly irreconcilable with the Empire or the emperor.
His eloquence was heart-stirring, and commanded attention even
from his adversaries.

When, on Sept. 4, 1870, the downfall of the Empire was proclaimed,
Gambetta was made a member of the Council of Defence, and became
Minister of the Interior. He remained in Paris until after the
siege had begun; but he burned to be where he could _act_, and
obtained the consent of his colleagues to go forth by balloon and
try to stir up a warlike spirit in the Provinces. He was made Minister
of War in addition to being Minister of the Interior. From Nov.
1, 1870, to Jan. 30, 1871, his efforts were almost superhuman;
and but for Bazaine's surrender at Metz, they might have been

Gambetta raised two armies,--one under General Aurelles des Paladines
and General Chanzy; the other under Bourbaki and Garibaldi. The
first was the Army of the Loire, the second of the Jura.

When the plan of co-operation with Bazaine's one hundred and
seventy-five thousand well-trained troops had failed, and the Army of
the Loire had been repulsed at Orleans, Gambetta with his Provisional
Government moved to Bordeaux. Thither came Thiers, returned from
his roving embassy,--a mission of peace whose purpose had been
defeated by the warlike movements of Gambetta's armies.

Gambetta in the early days of his dictatorship wrote to Jules Favre:
"France must not entertain one thought of peace." He sincerely believed
any effort at negotiation with the Prussians an acknowledgment of
weakness, and he fondly fancied that a little more time and experience
would turn his raw recruits into armies capable of driving back the
Prussians, when the experienced generals and soldiers of France
had failed.

And now we have reached that terrible hour when news was received
at Bordeaux that all Gambetta's efforts had been useless; that
Paris had consented to an armistice; that an Assembly was to be
elected, a National Government to be formed; and that to resist
these things or to persist longer in fighting the Prussians would
be to provoke civil war.

No wonder that Gambetta and Thiers, both devoted Frenchmen, both
leaders of parties with opposing views,--the one resolved on No
surrender, the other urging Peace on the best terms now
procurable,--passed a terrible night after Jules Favre's arrival
at Bordeaux, Gambetta debating what was his duty as the idol of
his followers and as provisional dictator, Thiers dreading lest
civil war might be kindled by the decision of his rival.

Hardly less anxious were the days while a general election was
going on. Bordeaux remained feverish and excited till February
13, when deputies from all parts of France met to decide their
country's fate in the Bordeaux theatre. Notabilities from foreign
countries were also there, to see what would be done at that supreme

Seven hundred and fifty deputies had been sent to the Assembly, and
it was clear from the beginning that that body was not Republican. But
the Anti-Republicans were divided into three parties,--Imperialists,
Legitimists, and Orleanists, each of which preferred an orderly and
moderate republic to the triumph of either of the other two. Moreover,
that was not the time for deliberations concerning a permanent
form of government. The deputies were met to make a temporary or
provisional government, qualified to accept or to refuse the hard
terms of peace offered by the Prussians. The two leaders of the
Assembly were Thiers and Gambetta,--the one in favor of peace,
the other of prolonging the war. We can see now how much wiser
were the views of the elder statesman than those of the younger;
but we see also what a bitter pang Gambetta's patriotic spirit
must have suffered by the downfall of his dictatorship.

The Assembly had been three days in session, clamorous, riotous,
and full of words, when in the middle of the afternoon of Feb. 16,
1871, two delegates from Alsace and Lorraine appeared, supported by
Gambetta. The Speaker--that is, the president of the Assembly--was
M. Jules Grévy, who had held the same office in 1848; he found it
hard to restrain the excitement of the deputies. The delegates
came to implore France not to deliver them over to the Germans;
to remember that of all Frenchmen the Alsatians had been the most
French in the days of the Revolution, and that in all the wars
of France for more than a century they had suffered most of all
her children. No wonder the hearts of all in the Assembly were

"At this moment there appeared in the midde aisle of the theatre
a small man, with wrinkled face and stubbly white hair. He seemed
to have got there by magic, for no one had seen him spring into
that place. He looked around him for an instant, much as a sailor
glances over the sky in a storm, then, stretching out his short
right arm, he made a curious downstroke which conveyed an impression
of intense vitality and will. Profound silence was established
in a moment. The elderly man then made another gesture, throwing
his arm up, as if to say: 'Good! Now you will listen.' He then,
in a thin, piping, but distinctly audible voice, began a sharp
practical address. Everyone listened with the utmost attention;
none dared to interrupt him. He spoke for five minutes, nervously
pounding the air from time to time, and sometimes howling his words
at the listeners in a manner that made them cringe. He counselled
moderation, accord, decency, but above all, instant action. 'The
settlement of the Alsace-Lorraine question,' said he, 'will virtually
decide whether we have peace or continued war with Prussia.' Then,
with an imperious gesture of command, he turned away. 'Come,' he
said, 'let us to our committee-rooms, and let us say what we think.'"

Two hours later, the committee appointed to recommend a chief of
the executive power announced that its choice had fallen on this
orator, M. Thiers. At once he was proclaimed head of the French
Republic, but not before he had hurried out of the theatre. Then
the session closed, and a quarter of an hour after, Lord Lyons,
the English ambassador, had waited on M. Thiers to inform him that
Her Majesty's Government recognized the French Republic.

From that moment, for more than two years, M. Thiers was the supreme
ruler of France. His work was visible in every department of
administration. Ministers, while his power lasted, simply obeyed
his commands.

There were some amusing, gossipy stories told in Bordeaux of Thiers'
entrance into possession of Gambetta's bachelor quarters at the
Prefecture. "Pah! what a smell of tobacco!" he is said to have
cried, as he strutted into his deposed rival's study. All his family
joined him in bewailing the condition of the house; and until it
could be cleansed and purified they were glad to accept an invitation
to take refuge in the archbishop's palace. In a few days all was
put to rights, and a guard of honor was set to keep off intruders
on the chief's privacy. On the first day of this arrangement, M.
Thiers addressed some question to the sentinel. The man was for a
moment embarrassed how to answer him. M. Thiers was for the time
the chief executive officer of the Republic, but he was not formally
its president. The soldier's answer, "Oui, mon Exécutif," caused
much amusement.

At this time there was no suspicion in men's minds that it was the
intention of M. Thiers to form a permanent republic. The feeling of
the country was Royalist. The difficulty was what royalty? It seemed
to all men, and very probably to Thiers himself, that that question
would be answered in favor of Henri V., the Comte de Chambord.

Gambetta, resigning his power without a word, retired to San Sebastian,
just over the Spanish frontier. There he lived in two small rooms
over a crockery-shop. "He is jaded for want of sleep," writes a
friend, "and distressed by money matters." Much of his time he
spent in fishing, no doubt meditating deeply on things present,
past, and future.

No pains were spared to induce him to give in his adhesion to one
of the candidates for royalty. His best friend wrote thus to him:--

"Those wretches the Communists have destroyed all my illusions,
but perhaps I could have forgiven them but for their ingratitude
to you. See how their newspapers have reviled you! A time may come
when a republic may be possible in France; but that day is not
with us yet. Let us acknowledge that we have both made a mistake.
As for you, with your unrivalled genius you have now a patriotic
career open before you, if you will cast in your lot with the men
who are now going to try and quell anarchy."[1]

[Footnote 1: Clément Laurier, Cornhill Magazine, 1883.]

Besides this, offers were made him of the prime minister-ship, a
dukedom, a Grand Cordon, and other preferment; but Gambetta only
laughed at these proposals. He was a man who had many faults, but
he was always honest and true. Both he and M. Thiers were devoted
Frenchmen, patriots in the truest sense of the word, and each took
opposite views. That Thiers was right has been proved by time.

On March 16 the Government of the Provisional Republic removed from
Bordeaux to Versailles. Nobody dreamed of the pending outbreak of
the Commune; all the talk was of fusion between the elder Bourbon
branch and the House of Orleans.

Thiers was decidedly opposed to taking the seat of government to
Paris, nor did he wish a new election for an Assembly; he preferred
Fontainebleau for the seat of government, but fortunately (looking
at the matter in the light of events) Versailles was chosen.

Then, to the great indignation of Madame Thiers, the Royalists at
once took measures to prevent M. Thiers from installing himself
in Louis XIV.'s great bedchamber. "The Château," they said, "was
to become the abode of the National Legislature, the state rooms
must be devoted to the use of members, and the private apartments
should be occupied by M. Grévy, the president of the Assembly."

"M. Thiers would no doubt have liked very much to sleep in Louis
XIV's bed, and to have for his study that fine room with the balcony
from which the heralds used to announce in the same breath the death
of one king and the accession of another. His secretary could not
help saying that it seemed fit that the greatest of French national
historians should be lodged in the apartments of the greatest of
French kings; but as this idea did not make its way, M. and Madame
Thiers yielded the point, saying that the chimneys smoked, and
that the rooms were too large to be comfortable."

On seeing a caricature in which some artist had represented him
as a ridiculous pigmy crowned with a cotton night-cap and lying
in an enormous bed, surrounded by the majestic ghosts of kings,
Thiers was at first half angry; then he said: "Louis XIV. was not
taller than I, and as to his other greatness, I doubt whether he ever
would have had a chance of sleeping in the best bed of Versailles
if he had begun life as I did."[1]

[Footnote 1: Temple Bar.]

So M. Thiers went to reside where the Emperor William had had his
quarters, at the Prefecture of Versailles, and soon the palace
was filled with refugees from Paris. Many of the state apartments
were turned into hospital wards. Louis XIV.'s bedchamber was given
up to the finance committee.

The thing to be done, with speed and energy, as all men felt, was
to re-besiege Paris and put down the Commune. All parties united
in this work; but the conservatives confidently believed that when
this was done, Thiers and the moderate Republicans would join them
in giving France a stable government under the Comte de Chambord.

On Sept. 19, 1821, when that young prince was a year old, a public
subscription throughout France had presented him with the beautiful
old Château de Chambord, built on the Loire by Francis I., and
from which he adopted his title when in exile.

After the young prince had been removed from his mother's influence,
he was carefully brought up in the most Bourbon of Bourbon traditions.
When he became a man he travelled extensively in Europe. In 1841
he broke his leg by falling from his horse, and was slightly lame
for the rest of his life. In 1846 he married Marie Thérèse Beatrix
of Modena, who was even more strictly Bourbon than himself. He and
his wife retired to Fröhsdorf, a beautiful country seat not very
far from Vienna. There they were constantly visited by travelling
Frenchmen of all parties, and on no one did the prince fail to
make a favorable impression. He was good, upright, cultivated,
kindly, but inflexibly wedded to the traditions of his family. He
loved France with his whole soul, and was glad of anything that
brought her good and glory. But France was _his_,--his by divine
right; and this right France must acknowledge. After that, there
was not anything he would not do for her.

[Illustration: _COMPTE DE CHAMBORD._]

But France was not willing to efface all her history from 1792 to
1871, with the exception of the episode of the Restoration, when
school histories were circulated mentioning Marengo, Austerlitz,
etc., as victories gained under the king's lieutenant-general, M.
de Bonaparte.

During the Empire, under Napoleon III., the Comte de Chambord had
remained nearly passive at Fröhsdorf. His life was passed in meditation,
devotion, the cultivation of literary tastes, and a keen interest in
all the events that were passing in his native country. During the
Franco-Prussian war he sent words of encouragement to his suffering
countrymen, and nobly refrained from embarrassing the affairs of
France by any personal intrigues; but when the war and the Commune
were over, and his chances of the throne grew bright, he issued a
proclamation which has been called "an act of political suicide."

On May 8, three weeks before the downfall of the Commune, he put
forth his first manifesto. Here is what an English paper said of it
a few days before his next--the suicidal--proclamation appeared:--

"The Comte de Chambord does not, of course, surrender his own theory
of his own place on earth, but he does offer some grave pledges
intended to diminish suspicion as to the deduction he draws from
his claim to be king by right divine. He renounces formally and
distinctly any intention of exercising absolute power, and pledges
himself, as he says, 'to submit all acts of his government to the
careful control of representatives freely elected.' He declares
that if restored he will not interfere with equality, or attempt to
establish privileges. He promises complete amnesty, and employment
under his government to men of all parties; and finally he pledges
himself to secure effectual guarantees for the Pope [then trembling
on his temporal throne in Italy]."

The English journalist continues,--

"The tone of this whole paper is that of a man who believes that
a movement will be made in his favor which may succeed, if only
the factions most likely to resist can be temporarily conciliated.
There is no especial reason that we can see that he should not be
chosen. He has neither sympathized with the Germans, nor received
support from them. He has not bombarded Paris. He is not more hated
than any other king would be,--perhaps less; for Paris has no gossip
to tell of his career. Indeed, there are powerful reasons in favor
of the choice. His restoration, since the Comte de Paris is his
heir, would eliminate two of the dynastic parties which distract
France, and would relink the broken chain of history. And to a
people so weary, so dispirited, so thirsty for repose, that of itself
must have a certain charm."

But all these advantages he destroyed for himself by a new proclamation
issued five weeks later. In it he said,--

"I can neither forget that the monarchical right is the patrimony
of the nation, nor decline the duties which it imposes on me. I
will fulfil these duties, believe me, on my word as an honest man
and as a king."

So far was good; but proceeding to announce that thenceforward
he assumed the title of Henri V., he goes on to apostrophize the
"White Flag" of the Bourbons. He says,--

"I received it as a sacred trust from the old king my grandfather
when he was dying in exile. It has always been for me inseparable
from the remembrance of my absent country. It waved above my cradle,
and I wish to have it shade my tomb. Henri V. cannot abandon the
'White Flag' of Henri IV."

This manifesto, written without consulting those who were working
for his cause in France, settled the question of his eligibility.
France was not willing, for the sake of Henri V., to give up her
tricolor,--the flag of so many memories. Its loss had been the
bitterest humiliation that the nation had had to suffer at the

The Comte de Chambord's own friends were cruelly disappointed;
the moderate Republicans, who had been ready to accept him as a
constitutional monarch, said at once that he was far too Bourbon.
There was no longer any hope, unless he could be persuaded, on
some other convenient occasion, to renounce the "White Flag."

This matter being settled by the Comte de Chambord himself, all
M. Thiers' attention was turned to two things,--the disposal of
the Communist prisoners, and the payment of the indemnity demanded
by the Germans, the five milliards.

We are glad to know that Thiers disapproved of the revengeful feeling
that pervaded politicians and society, regarding the Communist
prisoners. He tried to save General Rossel, and failed. Rochefort
and others he protected. He wished for a general amnesty, excluding
only the murderers of Thomas, Lecomte, and the hostages. He said, when
some one was speaking to him of the sufferings of those Communists
(or supposed Communists) who were confined at Satory and in the
Orangerie at Versailles: "It was dreadful, but it could not be
avoided. We had twenty thousand prisoners, and not more than four
hundred police to keep guard over them. We had to depend on the
rough methods of an exasperated soldiery."

As to the indemnity, the promptness with which it was paid was
marvellous. The great bankers all over Europe, especially those of
Jewish connection, came forward and advanced the money. In eighteen
months the five milliards of francs were in the coffers of the
Emperor William, and the last Prussian soldier had quitted the
soil of France. The loan raised by the Government for the repayment
of the sums advanced for the indemnity was taken up with enthusiasm
by all classes of the French people.

The horrible year of 1871 was followed by one of perfect peace and
great prosperity. The title of President of the French Republic
was conferred on M. Thiers for seven years. "The nation seemed
re-flowering, like a large plantation in a spring which follows
a hard winter." Trade revived. The traces of war and civil strife
were effaced with amazing promptness from the streets of Paris. The
army and all public services were reorganized, and to crown these
blessings, the land yielded such a harvest as had not been seen
for half a century. M. Thiers was never much addicted to religious
emotion; but when, on a Sunday in July, 1872, the news came to him
by telegram of the glorious ingathering of the harvest in the South
of France, he was quite overcome. "Let us thank God," he cried,
clasping his hands. "He has heard us; our mourning is ended!"

M. Thiers was by that time living in Paris in the Élysée. He had
continued to reside at the Prefecture of Versailles while the Assembly
was in session, but he came to the Élysée during its recess, and
kept a certain state there. Yet he never would submit himself to
the restraints of etiquette. One who knew him well says:--

"He was _bourgeois_ to the finger-tips. His character was a curious
effervescing mixture of talent, learning, vanity, childish petulance,
inquisitiveness, sagacity, ecstatic patriotism, and ambition. He
was a splendid orator, with the voice of an old coster-woman; a
_savant_ with the presumption of a school-boy; a kind-hearted man,
with the irritability of a monkey; a masterly administrator, with
that irresistible tendency to intermeddle with everything which
is intolerable to subordinates. He had a sincere love of liberty,
with the instincts of a despot."

M. Thiers had during his long life been a collector of pictures,
bronzes, books, manuscripts, and curious relics. His house in the
Place Saint-Georges was a museum of these treasures, but a museum
so arranged that it contributed to sociability and the enjoyment
of his visitors. He had acquired this taste for collecting in his
early days at Aix. During the Commune his house was razed to the
ground, not one stone being left upon another.

When the Commune put forth its decree for this act of vandalism,
Thiers' consternation was pathetic. The ladies of his family did
everything that feminine energy and ingenuity could suggest to
avert the calamity. But when the destruction had taken place, Thiers
bore his loss with dignity. His collections were very fine, but he
had always been afraid of their being damaged, and did not show
them to strangers. When the Commune sent the painter Courbet to
appraise their value, he estimated the bronzes alone at $300,000.[1]
M. Thiers' collection of Persian, Chinese, and Japanese curios was
also almost unique. After the overthrow of the Commune, Madame
Thiers and her sister did their utmost to recover such of these
treasures as had passed into the hands of dealers. Many of these
men gave back their purchases, and none demanded extravagant prices.
A great deal was recovered, and the house on the Place Saint-Georges
was rebuilt at the public cost.

[Footnote 1: Le Figaro.]

It was on the 5th of September, 1872, that the last German soldier
quitted France and the five milliards of francs (in our money a
thousand millions of dollars) had been paid.[1]

[Footnote 1: When looking over letters and papers concerning this
period, I found among them many original notes from M. and Madame
Thiers. They all had broad black borders. I learned afterwards
that Thiers and his family used mourning paper so long as a single
German soldier remained on French soil. Thiers' writing was thick
and splashy. He always wrote with a quill pen. Early in life he
had, like Sir Walter Raleigh, projected a History of the World;
and as he never wrote of anything whose locality he had not seen,
he had made his preparations to circumnavigate the globe, when
he was arrested by the state of public affairs while on his way
to Havre.]

I borrow the words of another writer speaking of this supreme effort
on the part of France:--

"After the most frightful defeat of modern times, with one third of
her territory in the enemy's hands, with her capital in insurrection,
and her available army all required to restore order, France in
eighteen months paid a fine equal to one fourth of the English
National Debt; elected a _bourgeois_ of genius to her head; obeyed
him on points on which she disagreed with him; and endured a foreign
occupation without giving one single pretext for real severity....
The people of France had no visible chiefs; the only two men who
rose to the occasion were M. Thiers and Gambetta. If M. Thiers
showed tact, wisdom, and above all courage and firmness, in probably
the most difficult position in which man was ever placed, surely we
may pause to admire Gambetta.... Daring in all things, under the
Empire he denounced Napoleonism, and by his eloquence and courage he
guided timid millions and rival factions from the day when Napoleon
III. was deposed. Under the Empire he had yearned to restore the
true life of the nation; when the Empire was overturned he could
not believe that that life was impaired. He thought it would be
easy for France to rise as one man and drive out the invader. As
each terrible defeat was experienced, he regarded it as only a
momentary reverse. He had such abounding faith in his cause,--the
cause of France, the cause of French Republicanism,--that he could
not believe in failure. Of course, to have been a more clear-sighted
statesman, like M. Thiers, would have been best; but there is something
very noble in the blind zeal of this disappointed man."

It moves one to pity to think of Gambetta weeping in the streets
of Bordeaux, as we are told he did, when the bitter news of the
surrender of Paris made all his labors useless, and dashed to the
ground his cherished hopes. Without one word to trouble the flow of
events that were taking a course contrary to all his expectations,
he resigned his dictatorship when it could no longer be of service
to his country, and took himself out of the way of intrigues in his
favor, passing over the Spanish frontier. As soon as the Germans
were out of France, M. Thiers also was prepared to resign his power.
He called a National Assembly to determine the form of government.

There were several points of primary importance to be settled at
once; first: should France be a monarchy, or a republic?

That she would again become a monarchy was generally anticipated; but
the Comte de Chambord had, as we have seen, forfeited his chances for
the moment. If France were a republic, who should be her president?
Should there be a vice-president? Should the president be elected
by the Chamber, or by a vote of the people? Should there be one
Chamber, or two?

M. Thiers was opposed to having any vice-president, and was in
favor of two Chambers. He vehemently urged the continuance of the
Republic, saying that a monarchy was impossible. There was but
one throne, and there were three dynasties to dispute it. On one
occasion he said: "Gentlemen, I am an old disciple of the monarchy
[he was probably alluding to the opinions which his mother and his
grandmother had endeavored to instil into him]. I am what is called
a Monarchist who practises Republicanism for two reasons,--first,
because he agreed to do so, secondly, because practically he can
do nothing else."

The Assembly proclaimed the continuance of the Republic, and likewise
the continuance of M. Thiers as its president for seven years.

On several occasions after this, M. Thiers carried his point with
the Assembly by threatening to resign; and as the Assembly was
quite aware how difficult it would be to put anyone in his place,
the threat always resulted in his victory.

The immediate cause which led to the fall of M. Thiers on May 24,
1873, after he had sat for two years and a month in the presidential
chair, was a dispute concerning the election of M. Charles de Rémusat
(son of the lady who has given her memoirs to the world). M. de
Rémusat was the Government candidate for a deputyship vacant in
the Paris representation. He was at the time Thiers' Minister for
Foreign Affairs, a personal friend of the president, a distinguished
man of letters, and an old Orleanist converted to Republicanism. The
opposing candidate was M. Barodet, a Radical of extreme opinions.
The Monarchists also brought forward their candidate. He had only
twenty-seven thousand votes; but these succeeded in defeating M.
de Rémusat, who had one hundred and thirty-five thousand, while
the Radicals voted solidly for Barodet, giving him one hundred
and fifty-five thousand.

The blame of this defeat was thrown on M. Thiers. The Monarchists,
who had once called him "that illustrious statesman," now spoke of
him as "a fatal old man." They attacked him in the Assembly; the
Radicals supported them. M. Thiers was defeated on some measure
that he wished should pass, and sent in his resignation. It was
accepted by three hundred and sixty-two votes against three hundred
and forty-eight. He had fallen; and yet a _plébiscite_ throughout
the country would have given a large popular vote in favor of the man
"who had found France defeated, her richest provinces occupied, her
capital in the hands of savages, and had concluded peace and restored
order, and found the stupendous sum required for the liberation and
organization of the country, founding the Republic, and bringing
order and prosperity back once more." Indeed, the peasants even
credited him with their good harvests and the revival of spirit
in the army, till they almost felt for him a sentiment of personal

Expelled from power when seventy-eight years of age, M. Thiers
retired to a little sunny, dusty _entresol_ on the Boulevard
Malesherbes, where the noise and glare greatly disturbed him. At
Tours, in the lull of events before the surrender of Paris, he had
collected books and studied botany. As soon as he was installed
on the Boulevard Malesherbes he asked Leverrier, the astronomer, to
continue with him the astronomical studies with which at Versailles
he had indulged himself in brief moments of leisure, remarking
that he had seen a good deal of the perversity of mankind, and
that he now wished to refresh himself with the orderly works of

Shortly after this he removed to better quarters, where his rooms
opened on a garden. In this garden he received his friends on Sunday
mornings from seven to nine, attired in a wadded, brown cashmere
dressing-gown, a broad-brimmed hat, a black cravat, patent-leather
shoes, and black gaiters. As he talked, he held his magnifying-glass
in his hand, ready to examine any insect or blade of grass that
might come under observation.

One more great service he rendered to his country. Prince Bismarck,
alarmed by the state of things in France, showed symptoms of intending
to seize Belfort, that fortress in the Vosges which had never
surrendered to the Germans, and which France had been permitted to
retain. Thiers induced Russia to intervene, and went to Switzerland
to thank Prince Gortschakoff personally for his services on the

Thiers died at Saint-Germains four years after his downfall, at
the age of eighty-two. His last earthly lodging was in the Pavilion
Henri IV. (now an hotel), where Louis XIV. was born.

By his will he left the State, not only all his collections, which
so far as possible he had restored, but the numerous historical
materials which he had gathered for his works, as well as his house,
after his wife's death, in the Place Saint-Georges. The collections
are there as he left them; the historical documents have been removed
to the Archives.

To Marseilles, his native city, he left his water-color copies of
the chief works of the great masters in Italy.

Thiers was childless. Whatever may have been the personal relations
in which he stood to his wife, no woman was ever more truly devoted
to the interests of her husband. She seems to have lived but for

People in society laughed at her plain dressing and her careful
housekeeping; but "her heart dilated with gladness when she felt
that the eyes of the world were fixed with admiration on M. Thiers."
Her manner to him was that of a careful and idolizing nurse, his
to her too often that of a petulant child. She always called him
M. Thiers, he always addressed her as Madame Thiers,--indeed, he
is almost unknown by his name of Adolphe, nor do men often speak
of him simply as Thiers. "Monsieur Thiers" he was and will always
be in history, whose tribunal he said he was not afraid to face.
Even his cards were, contrary to French custom, always printed
"Monsieur Thiers."

Both M. and Madame Thiers were very early risers, and both had an
inconvenient habit of falling asleep at inopportune times.

To the last, Madame Thiers took a loving interest in Belfort, because
her husband had saved it from the Germans. Its poor were objects
of her especial solicitude. Only an hour before her death, hearing
that the Maire of Belfort had called, she expressed a wish to see
him, and endeavored to address him, pointing to a bust of M. Thiers;
but she was unable to make herself understood; her powers of speech
had failed her.

Two rules M. Thiers never departed from: one was, as he said himself,
"to defend ferociously the public purse," the other, never to give
house-room to any but first-rate objects of art. Some of his pictures
were very dear to him. Several of his bronzes, which were pillaged by
the Commune and never recovered, were mourned by him as if they had
been his friends. He had been wont to call them "the school-masters
of his soul."



Marshal MacMahon, the Duke of Magenta, was of Irish descent, his
ancestors having followed James II. into exile, and distinguished
themselves at the Battle of the Boyne. Their descendant, Patrice
(or Patrick), the subject of this sketch, was the sixteenth of
seventeen children.

He was born when French glory was at its height, under the First
Empire, in the summer of 1806. When he was seventeen he was sent to
the military school at Saint-Cyr. There his Irish dash and talent
soon won him renown. In Algeria he acquired fame and fortune and
the Cross of the Legion of Honor. In 1830 he went to the siege
of Antwerp, at the time when the French insisted on promoting a
revolution in Belgium, and the moment that enterprise was over,
he retired to Algeria. At twenty-five he was a captain and had
distinguished himself at the siege of Constantine, fighting side
by side with the Duc de Nemours and that other French officer of
Irish descent, Marshal Niel. At forty-four he was a general of
division, and had seen twenty-seven years of service. The Arabs
called him the Invulnerable.

He went to the Crimean War, and there led the attack on the Malakoff,
holding his post until the place was won. Devoted to his profession,
he was diffident in society. He was named a senator by Napoleon
III. after his return from the Crimea, but declined to take his
seat, refusing at the same time some other proffered honors. He
was sent back to Algeria at his own request, and stayed there,
fighting the Arabs, for five years. Then, returning to Paris, he
took his seat in the Senate, where he opposed some of the arbitrary
decrees of the emperor.[1]

[Footnote 1: Temple Bar, "Courts of the three Presidents, Thiers,
MacMahon, and Grévy," 1884.]

In the Italian War in 1859 he fought with distinguished bravery,
and on the battlefield of Magenta was made a Marshal of France and
Duke of Magenta. After being ambassador at Berlin he was sent to
bear the emperor's congratulations to King William on his accession,
and to attend his coronation. He was again sent to Algeria as its
governor-general. He had already married Marie, daughter of the
Duc de Castries. She was very rich, and connected with some of
the most opulent bankers in Vienna.

Marshal MacMahon came back to France at the outbreak of the
Franco-Prussian War, and was given the command of the First Army
Corps; but the emperor insisted on commanding his own armies as
general-in-chief. The day before the surrender at Sedan, Marshal
MacMahon had been badly wounded, and had to resign his command
to General Ducrot. Ducrot being also wounded, it became the sad
duty of General Wimpffen to sign the capitulation. Marshal MacMahon
was taken as a prisoner to Wiesbaden, where he remained till the
close of the war. He got back to Paris forty-eight hours before
the outbreak of the Commune. A commander was needed for the forces
of France. M. Thiers chose Marshal MacMahon, who with tears in
his eyes thanked him for the opportunity of retrieving his lost
reputation and doing service for France. After he had collected
his army, which it took some weeks to bring back from Germany,
to equip, and to reorganize, his men fought desperately for seven
days, pushing their way step by step into the heart of the capital,
till on May 28, 1871, the marshal addressed a proclamation to France,
informing Frenchmen that the Commune was at an end. He then passed
out of public sight, eclipsed by the superior radiance of Thiers
and Gambetta. But as time went on, and it was determined by the
Monarchists to coalesce with the extreme Radicals and get rid of
M. Thiers, who was laboring to establish a law and order Republic,
the newspapers of both the Conservative and Radical parties began
to exalt the marshal's merits at the expense of "that sinister old
man," M. Thiers. After six months of this trumpet-blowing by the
opposition Press, the idea was planted in the minds of Frenchmen
that Marshal MacMahon was the statesman who might bring France
out of all her difficulties.

It was ascertained by the Monarchists that Marshal MacMahon would
accept the presidency if it were offered him, and would consider
himself a stop-gap until such time as France should make up her
mind whether the Comte de Chambord or some one else should be her

The attack on M. Thiers was then organized. M. Thiers was defeated.
He sent in his resignation, and it was accepted by a small majority
in the Chamber. A moment after, Marshal MacMahon was proposed as
his successor, and immediately elected (May 24, 1873).

At this time the parties in the French Chamber were seven, and their
policy was for two or more of them to combine for any temporary
object. Legitimists, Orleanists, and Bonapartists formed the Right;
Anarchists, Red Republicans, and decided Republicans formed the
Left; while the Centre was made up of men of moderate opinions
of all parties who were willing to accept an orderly and stable
government of any kind. This party may be said to represent to
the present hour the prevailing state of public feeling in France.

The three parties on the Left quarrelled fiercely among themselves;
the three parties on the Right did the same. Both Left and Right,
however, were eager to rally the Centre to their side. The coalitions,
hatreds, and misunderstandings of these seven parties constitute
for eighteen years almost the entire history of the Third Republic.

In 1873 the Monarchists,--that is, the three parties on the Right--were
stronger than the combined parties on the Left, but not so strong
if the Moderates of the Centre voted with the Left Republicans.
Again, if the Legitimists, Orleanists, and the Centre should unite,
and the Bonapartists should go over to the Left, the Left would
be the stronger.

The Duc de Broglie, an excellent man, grandson of Madame de Staël,
was made President MacMahon's prime minister. So far the Monarchists
had prospered. They had command of the president, the Assembly, and
the army. These were all prepared to accept Henri V., provided he
would retreat from the position he had taken up in 1871, consent
to become a constitutional sovereign, give up his White Flag, and
accept the Tricolor. The Monarchists appointed a Committee of Nine
to negotiate this matter with the prince at Fröhsdorf; but Marshal
MacMahon gave them this warning: "If the White Flag is raised against
the Tricolor, the chassepots will go off of themselves, and I cannot
answer for order in the streets or for discipline in the army."

With great difficulty the nine succeeded in procuring an assurance
from the Comte de Chambord that he would leave the question of
the flag to be decided in concert with the Assembly after his
restoration. Meantime he came to Versailles and remained hidden in
the house of one of his supporters. Everybody urged him to accept
the conditions on which alone he could reign, and fulfil the hopes
of his faithful followers. They implored him to ascend the throne as
a constitutional sovereign, and to accept the Tricolor, in deference
to the wishes of the people and his friends.

He passed an entire night in miserable indecision, walking up and
down his friend's dining-room, debating with himself whether he
would give way. It had been arranged that the next day he should
present himself suddenly in the Assembly, be hailed with acclamation
by his supporters, and be introduced by the marshal-president himself
as Henri Cinq. The building was to be guarded by faithful troops,
the telegraph was prepared to flash the news through France, the
very looms at Lyons were weaving silks brocaded with _fleurs de
lys_. But Henri V. could not bring himself to comply. He fled away
from Versailles before dawn. "He is an honest man," said M. Thiers,
"and will not put his flag in his pocket." A few days later he
published at Salzburg a letter in which he protested against the
pressure his friends had brought to bear on him. "Never," he said,
"will I become a revolutionary king," by which he meant a king who
reigned under a constitution; never, he protested, would he sacrifice
his honor to the exigencies of parties; "and," he concluded, "never
will I disclaim the standard of Arques and of Ivry!"

"The count," said an English newspaper, "seems to have forgotten
that Arques and Ivry were Protestant victories."

"My person," continued the count, "is nothing; my principle is
everything. I am the indispensable pilot, the only man capable
of guiding the vessel into port, because for this I have mission
and authority."

Thus ended all chances for Henri V. The Orleans princes, having
concluded a compact with him as his heirs, felt themselves bound
in honor to refuse to accept any compromise which "the head of
the family" did not approve.

It can be easily imagined how provoked and disappointed were all
those who had rallied to the king's party. There remained nothing to
do but to strengthen the Republic and to provide it with a permanent
constitution. A Committee of Thirty was appointed to draw up the
document. The constitution was very conservative. It has now been
in force nineteen years, but it has never worked smoothly, and the
object of the extreme Republicans, who have clamored for "revision,"
has been to eliminate its conservative elements and make it Red
Republican. It is impossible for a people who change their government
so often to have much respect or love for any constitution.

The Marshal-Duke of Magenta had accepted the presidency without any
great desire to retain it; nevertheless, he established his household
on a semi-royal footing, as though he intended, as some thought, that
there should be at least a temporary court, to prepare the way for
what might be at hand. M. Thiers had been a _bourgeois_ president;
the marshal was a _grand seigneur_. M. Thiers' servants had been
clothed in black; the marshal's wore gay liveries of scarlet plush,
and gray and silver. When M. Thiers took part in any public ceremony
he drove in a handsome landau with a mounted escort of Republican
Guards, and his friends (he never called them his _suite_) followed
as they pleased in their own carriages. But the marshal's equipages
were painted in three shades of green, and lined with pearl-gray
satin. They were drawn by four gray horses, with postilions and
outriders. To see M. Thiers on business was as easy as it is to
see the President at the White House. Anybody could be admitted
on sending a letter to his secretary. To journalists he was always
accessible, believing himself still to belong to their profession.
But to approach the marshal was about as hard as to approach a
king, and he hated above all things newspaper writers.

In 1873 the Shah of Persia came to Paris, and the marshal entertained
him magnificently. He gave him a torch-light procession of soldiers,
a gala performance at the Grand Opera, and a banquet in the Galerie
des Glaces at Versailles. The Parisians regretted that the visit had
not been made in M. Thiers' time, when society might have been amused
by stories of how the omniscient little president had instructed the
shah, through an interpreter, as to Persian history and the etymology
of Oriental languages; but society had a good story connected with
the visit, after all. During the state banquet at Versailles the
shah turned to the Duchess of Magenta, and asked her, in a French
sentence some one had taught him for the occasion, why her husband
did not make himself emperor.

The marshal was content to hold his place as president, and the
Duc de Broglie governed for him, except in anything relating to
military affairs. On these the marshal always had his way.

The Duc de Broglie's government, which was all in the interest
of the monarchical principle, became distrusted and unpopular.
In one year twenty-one Republicans and six Bonapartists gained
seats in the Assembly, while the Orleanist and Legitimist parties
gained not one. By 1874 the cause of royalty in France was at a
low ebb. In this year--a year after the downfall of M. Thiers--the
Duc de Broglie was defeated in the Chamber on some measure of small
importance; but his defeat turned him summarily out of office. The
Left Centre--that is, the Republicans from conviction--was the
strongest of the seven parties. The Republic seemed established
on a basis of law and order.

According to the constitution, the president was chosen for seven
years, with the chance of re-election; the Chamber of Deputies
was elected for seven years by universal suffrage, but every year
one third of its members had to retire into private life or stand
for a new election. The Senate was chosen by a complicated
arrangement,--partly by the Chamber, partly by a sort of electoral
college, the members of which were drawn from the councils of
departments, the _arrondissements_, and the municipalities of cities.
As Gambetta said: "So chosen, it could not be a very democratic

"Arrondissement," in the political language of our Southern States,
would be translated electoral districts either in town or country.
In the Northern States it would mean districts for the cities,
townships in the country.

The Speaker, or President of the Chamber, at Tours, at Bordeaux,
and at Versailles, until a month before the downfall of M. Thiers,
had been the immaculately respectable M. Jules Grévy, who had entered
public life in 1848. He had been deposed during the period when
the Monarchists had strength and felt sure of the throne for Henri
V., and he had been replaced by a M. Buffet. It was M. Buffet who
became prime minister on the downfall of the Duc de Broglie. Marshal
MacMahon by no means relished being governed by a cabinet composed
of men of more advanced republican opinions than his own. But it
is useless to go deeper into the parliamentary squabbles of this

Then began the quarrel of which we have read so often in Associated
Press telegrams,--the dispute concerning the _scrutin de liste_ and
the _scrutin d'arrondissement_. "Scrutin" means ballot; "scrutin
de liste" means that electors might choose any Frenchman as their
candidate; "scrutin d'arrondissement," that they must confine their
choice to some man living in the district for which he wished to
stand. The Left disapproved the _scrutin d'arrondissement_, which
gave too much scope, it said, for local interests to have weight over
political issues. In our own country local interests are provided for
by State legislatures, and in elections for Congress the _scrutin
d'arrondissement_ is adopted.

On the last day of December, 1875, the National Assembly was dissolved.
Confused, uninteresting, factious as it had been on points of politics,
it had at least taught Frenchmen something of parliamentary tactics
and the practical system of compromise. The American government
is said to be based on compromise. In France, "all or nothing"
had been the cry of French parties from the beginning.

The leader of the Left was now Gambetta, who managed matters with
discretion and in a spirit of compromise. From this policy his
immediate followers have been called "opportunists," because they
stood by, watching the course of events, ready to promote their
own plans at every opportunity.

The new Assembly proved much too republican to please the marshal.
In every way his situation perplexed and worried him. He was not
a man of eminent ability, and had never been trained to politics.
He had been used to govern as a soldier. His head may have been a
little turned by the flatteries so freely showered on him before
his election, and he had come to entertain a belief that he was
indispensable to France. He saw himself the protector of order
against revolutionary passions, and conceived himself to be adored
as the sole hope of the people. "Believing this, he could hardly
have been expected to conform to the simple formulas which govern
the councils of constitutional kings." Moreover, behind the marshal
was his friend the Duc de Broglie, "now counselling compromise
and now resistance, but always meditating a sudden blow in favor
of monarchy."

By the close of 1876 it became so evident that the government of
France could not be carried on upon strictly conservative principles
that even the Duc de Broglie advised the marshal to form a Cabinet
from the Left, under the prime ministership of M. Jules Simon.
This gentleman had been one of the five Jules's in the Committee
of Defence in 1870. He was an upright man, very liberal in his
opinions, and philosophic in his tendencies, which made him especially
unacceptable to Marshal MacMahon.

Simon formed a ministry, which governed, with perpetual parliamentary
disputes, till May 16, 1877. On that day Marshal MacMahon sent a
letter to his prime minister, telling him that he did not appear to
have sufficient support in the Chamber to carry on the government,
and reproaching him with his Radical tendencies. Of course the
minister and his colleagues at once resigned. The marshal then
dissolved the Chamber, and appealed to the people, placing the Duc
de Broglie _ad interim_ at the head of affairs.

In spite of all the marshal and his friends could do to secure
a Conservative majority in the new Chamber, it was largely and
strongly Republican. There was no help for it; as Gambetta said,
the marshal must either _se soumettre, ou se démettre_,--choose
submission or dismission.

He had a passing thought of again dissolving the unruly Chamber,
and governing by the Senate alone. He found, however, that the
country did not consider him indispensable, and was prepared to
put M. Thiers in his place if he resigned.

But M. Thiers did not live to receive that proof of his country's
gratitude. He died, as we have seen, in the summer of 1877, and
the next choice of the Republican party was M. Jules Grévy.

[Illustration: _PRESIDENT JULES GRÉVY._]

For two years longer the marshal held the reins of government, but
he resigned on being required to sign a resolution changing the
generals who commanded the four army corps. "In a letter full of
dignity," says M. Gabriel Monod, "and which appeared quite natural
on the part of a soldier more concerned for the interests of the
army than for those of politics, he tendered his resignation. The
two Chambers met together, and in a single sitting, without noise
or disturbance, M. Jules Grévy was elected, and proclaimed president
of the French Republic for seven years."

It is said that in 1830, when Charles X. published his ordinances
and placarded his proclamation on the walls of Paris, a young
law-student, who was tearing down one of them, was driven off with a
kick by one of the king's officers. The officer was Patrice MacMahon;
the law-student Jules Grévy.

M. Grévy was pre-eminently respectable. He was born in the Jura
mountains, Aug. 15, 1813. His father was a small proprietor. Diligence
and energy rather than brilliancy distinguished the young Jules in
his college career. When his college life ended, he went up to
Paris and studied for the Bar. MacMahon's kick roused his pugnacity.
He went home, took down an old musket, and joined the insurgents,
leading an attack upon some barracks where the fighting was severe.
The Revolution having ended in a constitutional monarchy, he went
into a lawyer's office, and plodded on in obscurity for eighteen

In 1848 he rendered services to the Provisional Government, and
the farmers of his district in the Jura elected him their deputy.
He went into the Chamber as an Advanced Republican, and voted for
the banishment of the Orleans family, for a republic without a
president, and for other extreme measures. Before long he was elected
vice-president of the Chamber.

Then came the Empire, and M. Grévy went back to his law-books.
He and his brother must have prospered at the Bar, for in 1851
they had houses in Paris, in which after the _coup d'état_ Victor
Hugo and his friends lay concealed.

When the emperor attempted constitutional reforms, in 1869, Grévy
was again elected deputy from the Jura. He acted with dignity and
moderation, though he voted always with the advanced party. Gambetta
he personally disliked, having an antipathy to his dictatorial
ways. When the National Assembly met at Bordeaux to decide the
fate of France, Grévy was made its Speaker, or president; but when
the _coup d'état_ in favor of Henri V. was meditated, he was got
rid of beforehand, after he had presided for two turbulent years
over an Assembly distracted and excited. Everyone respected M.
Grévy. There was very little of the typical Frenchman in his
composition. He was of middle height, rather stout, with a large
bald, well-shaped head. He was no lover of society, but was a diligent
worker, and his favorite amusements were billiards and the humble
game of dominoes. His wife was the good woman suited to such a
husband; but his daughter, his only child, was considered by Parisian
society pretentious and a blue-stocking. She married, after her
father's elevation to the presidency, M. Daniel Wilson, a Frenchman,
in spite of his English name. M. Grévy's Eli-like toleration of
the sins of his daughter's husband caused his overthrow.

In Marshal MacMahon's time there were two points on which he as
president insisted on having his own way; that is, anything relating
to army affairs, or to the granting civilians the cross of the Legion
of Honor. He did not object to the decoration of civilians, but he
insisted upon knowing the antecedents of the gentlemen recommended
for the distinction. Well would it have been for M. Grévy had he
followed the example of his predecessor. The marshal would never
give the cross to a man whom he knew to be a free-thinker. His reply
to such applications always was: "If he is not a Christian, what
does he want with a cross?"

It is said that in 1877, when the marshal thought of resigning
rather than accepting such an advanced Republican as M. Jules Simon
as chief of his Cabinet, he sent for M. Grévy, and asked him
point-blank: "Do you want to become president of the Republic?" "I
am not in the least ambitious for that honor," replied M. Grévy.
"If I were sure you would be elected in my place, I would resign,"
continued the marshal; "but I do not know what would happen if I
were to go." "My strong advice to you is not to resign," said M.
Grévy; "only bring this crisis to an end by choosing your ministers
out of the Republican majority, and you will be pleased with yourself
afterwards for having done your duty."

"Well, you are an honest man, M. Grévy; I wish there were more
like you," said the marshal; and having shaken hands with M. Grévy,
he dismissed him, though without promising to follow his advice.
He reflected on it that night, however, and adopted it the next
morning. But when advised to take Gambetta for his minister, he
replied: "I do not expect my ministers to go to mass with me or to
shoot with me; but they must be men with whom I can have some common
ground of conversation, and I cannot talk with _ce monsieur-là_."
Indeed, Gambetta was often shy and awkward in social intercourse,
seldom giving the impression in private life of the powers of burning
eloquence with which he could in public move friend or foe. Nor
had M. Grévy been by any means always in accord with the fiery
Southerner. At Tours he objected to Gambetta's measures as wholly
unconstitutional. "You are one of those men," retorted Gambetta,
"who expect to make omelettes without breaking the eggs." "You
are not making omelettes, but a mess," retorted M. Grévy.

Both the marshal and his successor were sportsmen and gave
hunting-parties, those of the marshal being as much in royal style
as possible. M. Grévy preferred republican simplicity. When he was
allowed, as Speaker of the House, to live in Marie Antoinette's
apartments in the Château of Versailles, he might have been seen
any day sauntering about the streets with his hands in his pockets,
or smoking his cigar at the door of a _café_. He had a brougham,
but he rarely used it. His coachman grumbled at having to follow
him at a foot-pace when he took long walks into the country. His
servants did not, like the marshal's, wear gray and scarlet liveries,
but his household arrangements were more dignified and liberal than
those of M. Thiers. He had a curious way of receiving his friends
_sans cérémonie_. Three mornings in the week his old intimate
associates,--artists, journalists, deputies, etc.,--entered the
presidential palace unannounced, and went straight to an apartment
fitted up for fencing. There, taking masks and foils, they amused
themselves, till presently M. Grévy would come in, make the tour
of the room, speak a few words to each, and invite one or two of
them to breakfast with him.

Both M. Grévy and Marshal MacMahon held their Cabinet meetings in
that _salle_ of the Élysée which is hung round with the portraits
of sovereigns. Opposite to M. Grévy's chair hung a portrait of
Queen Victoria; and it was remarked that he always gazed at her
while his ministers discoursed around him. But his happiness, poor
man! was in his private apartments, where his daughter, her husband,
M. Wilson, and his little grandchild made part of his household.

M. Gréevy gave handsome dinners at the Élysée, and Madame Grévy
and Madame Wilson gave receptions, and occasionally handsome balls.
Everything was done "decently and in order," much like an American
president's housekeeping, but without show or brilliancy.

Having indulged in this gossip about the courts of the presidents
(for much of which I am indebted to a writer in "Temple Bar"),
we will turn to graver history.

When M. Grévy became president, Gambetta succeeded to his place
as president of the Chamber. He did not desire the post of prime
minister. His new position made him the second man in France, and
seemed to point him out as the future candidate for the presidency.

M. Defavre became chief of the Cabinet, and M. Waddington Minister
for Foreign Affairs. But Gambetta, whether in or out of office,
was the leader of his party, and a sense of the responsibilities
of leadership made him far more cautious and less fiery than he
had been in former days. Yet even then he had said emphatically:
"No republic can last long in France that is not based on law,
order, and respect for property."

In August, 1880, however, eighteen months after M. Grévy's elevation
to the presidency, Gambetta became prime minister. He flattered
himself that he might do great things for France, for he believed
that he could count on the support of every true Republican. He
was mistaken. Three months after he accepted office, the Radicals
and the Conservatives combined for his overthrow. He was defeated in
the Chamber on a question of the _scrutin de liste_, and resigned.

Gambetta's disappointment was very great. He had counted on his
popularity, and had hoped to accomplish great things. He was a
man of loose morals and of declining health, for, unsuspected by
himself, a disorder from which he could never have recovered, was
undermining his strength; this made him irritable. On the 30th of
August, 1882, he was visiting, at a country house near Paris, a
lady of impaired reputation; there he was shot in the hand. The
wound brought on an illness, of which he died in December. It has
never been known whether the shot was fired by the woman, as was
generally suspected, or whether his own pistol, as he asserted,
was accidentally discharged.

He was buried at Père la Chaise, without religious services; but
his coffin was followed by vast crowds, and all Frenchmen (even
his enemies, and they were many) felt that his country had lost
an honest patriot and a great man.

On the centennial anniversary of the opening act of the French
Revolution, a statue of Gambetta was unveiled in the Place du Carrousel,
the courtyard of French kings. No future king, if any such should
be, will dare to displace it. Gambetta's life was a sad one, and
his death was sadder still. With all his noble qualities,--and
there are few things nobler in history than the manner in which
he effaced himself to give place to his rival,--how great he might
have been, had he learned early to apply his power of self-restraint
to lesser things!

Gambetta wanted Paris to remain the city of cities, the centre of
art, fashion, and culture; and he took up the Emperor Napoleon's
policy of beautifying and improving it by costly public works.
"Je veux ma république belle, bien parée" ("I want my republic
beautiful and well dressed") was a sentence which brought him into
trouble with the Radicals, who said he had no right to say "my
republic," as if he were looking forward to being its dictator.
He voted for the return of the Communists from New Caledonia, and
during the last two years of his life these returned exiles never
ceased to thwart him and revile him. Some one had prophesied to
him that this would be the case. "Bah!" he answered, "the poor
wretches have suffered enough. I might have been transported myself,
had matters turned out differently in 1870."[1] Had he lived, it
is probable that in 1886 he would have supplanted M. Grévy. "Nor,"
says one of his friends, "can it be doubted that, loving the Republic
as he did, and having served it with so much devotion and honesty,
he would have found in his love a power of self-restraint to keep
him from courses that might have been hurtful to his own work."
For the establishment of the Republic _was_ principally "his own
work." He proclaimed its birth, standing in a window of the Hôtel
de Ville in 1870; he gave it a baptism of some glory in the fiery,
though hopeless, resistance he opposed to the German invasion;
and he kept it standing at a time when it needed the support of
a sturdy, vigilant champion. To the end it must be believed that
he would, as far as in him lay, have preserved it from harm. Not
long before his death, during a lull in his pain, which for a moment
roused a hope of his recovery, he said to his doctor: "I have made
many mistakes, but people must not imagine I am not aware of them;
I often think over my faults, and if things go well I shall try
the patience of my friends less often. _On se corrige!_"

[Footnote 1: Cornhill Magazine, 1883.]

When Gambetta was dead, the man who stepped into his place was
Jules Ferry. He was a lawyer, born in the Vosges in 1832. He had
never been personally intimate with Gambetta, but he succeeded
to his political inheritance, became chief of his party, secured
the majority that Gambetta never could get in the Chamber, and
did all that Gambetta had failed to do.

His attention when prime minister was largely devoted to the development
of French industry in colonies. He began a war in Tonquin, he annexed
Tunis, and commenced aggressions in Madagascar. All of these enterprises
have proved difficult, unprofitable, and wasteful of life and money.

The position of France with relation to other powers has become
very isolated. Her best friend, strange to say, is Russia,--the
young Republic and the absolute czar! Germany, Austria, and Italy
form the alliance called the Dreibund. But their military force
united is not quite equal to that of France and Russia combined.
If Russia ever attacks the three powers of Central Europe on the
East, it is not to be doubted that France will rush upon Alsace and
Lorraine. The mob of Paris, in 1884, put M. Grévy to much annoyance
and embarrassment by hissing and hooting the young king of Spain
on his way through the French capital because he had accepted the
honorary colonelcy of a German regiment, and M. Grévy and his Foreign
Minister had profoundly to apologize. The incident was traceable,
it was said at the time, to the indiscretions of M. Daniel Wilson,
the president's son-in-law, whose melancholy story remains to be

Shortly before Gambetta's death, occurred that of the Prince Imperial
in Zululand, and that of the Comte de Chambord in Austria.

The son of Napoleon III. had been educated at Woolwich, the West
Point Academy of England. When the Zulu war broke out, all his
young English companions were ordered to Africa, and he entreated
his mother to let him go. He wanted to learn the art of war, he
said, and perhaps too he wished to acquire popularity with the
people of England, in view of a future alliance with a daughter
of Queen Victoria. The general commanding at the seat of war was
far from glad to see him. He knew the dangers of savage warfare,
and felt the responsibility of such a charge. For some time he
kept the prince working in an office, but at last permitted him
to go on a reconnoitring expedition, where little danger was
anticipated. There is no page in history so dishonorable to the
valor and good conduct of an English gentleman as that which records
how, when surprised by Zulus, the young prince was deserted by his
superior officer and his companions, and while trying to mount
his restive horse, was slain.

He left a will leaving his claims (such as they were) to the imperial
throne of France to his young cousin Victor Napoleon, thus overlooking
the father of that young prince, Jérôme Napoleon, the famous Plon-Plon.

The reconciliation which in 1873 took place between the Comte de
Chambord and his distant cousins of the house of Orleans never
resulted in cordial relations, though the Comte de Paris, as his
cousin's heir, visited the Comte de Chambord at Fröhsdorf. The
Comtesse de Chambord despised and disliked the family of Orleans,
and the Monarchist party in France still remained divided into
Legitimists and Orleanists, the latter protesting that they only
desired a constitutional sovereign, and did not hold to the doctrine
of right divine.

The Comte de Chambord died Aug. 24, 1883. His malady was cancer in
the stomach, complicated by other disorders. The Orleanist princes
hastened to Fröhsdorf to attend his funeral, but they were so
disdainfully treated by his widow that they deemed it due to their
self-respect to retire before the obsequies. This is how "Figaro,"
a leading Legitimist journal in Paris, speaks of the Comte de

"He had noble qualities and great virtues. What most distinguished
him was an intense feeling of royal dignity, which he guarded most
jealously by act and word. But we may be permitted to doubt whether
the fifty-three years he had passed in exile had qualified him
to understand and to sympathize with the great changes in public
opinion in his own country, and the true tendencies of the present
and the rising generation. In his youth he was entirely guided by
others, but after the _coup d'état_ of 1851 he took things into
his own hands, and directed his course up to the last moment with
a firmness which admitted of neither contradiction nor dispute.
He sincerely wished to promote liberty; there was nothing in him
of the despot, but he had lived all his life out of France, and
could not comprehend the preferences and the habits which had grown
into national feeling. He was kindly, genial, intelligent, witty,
dignified, and affable. He only needed to have been brought up
among his people to have made an admirable sovereign. Had the first
plan of the Revolution of 1830 been carried out, and the young
prince been made king, with Louis Philippe lieutenant-general till
his majority, it is possible that France might have been spared
great tribulations. For our own part," continues the "Figaro,"
"we have always looked upon monarchy as the best government for
the peace, prosperity, and liberty of France; but with the personal
politics of the Comte de Chambord we could not agree. After all
France had gone through, it was necessary to nationalize the king,
and to royalize the nation. M. le Comte de Chambord utterly refused
to yield anything to constitutional ideas and to become what he
called the king of the Revolution. It is true that the White Flag
of the Bourbons had been associated with a long line of glories in
France, but for a hundred years the Tricolor had been the flag under
which French soldiers had marched to victory. It was this matter of the
flag that prevented the success of the plan of restoration in 1873,
two months after the Comte de Paris had so patriotically sacrificed
some of his own most cherished feelings by his reconciliation (for
his country's sake) with his cousin at Fröhsdorf. The party could
do nothing without its head. The Orleanist princes would not act
without their chief, and the opportunity passed, perhaps never to

"Henri V. never hesitated about the matter of the flag," says another
writer. "He regarded its color as above everything important. The
question of white or tricolor was to him a vital thing. He said:
'Kings have their private points of personal honor like mere citizens.
I should feel myself to be sacrificing my honor, since I was born a
king, if I made any concessions on the subject of the White Flag of
my family. With respect to other things I may concede; but as to that,
never, _never!_ The only thing for which I have ever reproached Louis
XVI. was for having for one moment suffered the _bonnet rouge_ to be
placed upon his head to save his royalty. Now you are proposing to
me to do the same thing. No!' The count had drawn up a constitution
for France after his own ideas, but he would show it to no man.
No human being had any power to influence him. But he was heard
to say more than once: 'I will never diminish the power of the
sovereign. I desire liberty and progress to emanate from the king.
Royalty should progress with the age, but never cease to be itself
in all things.' He deemed the authority he claimed to be his by
right divine; but one may be permitted to think," concludes this
writer, "that this authority, if it came from Heaven, has been
recalled there."

Four months before his death he had a touching interview with his
heir, the Comte de Paris, at Fröhsdorf. The count little expected
then that he would be prevented from taking the part of chief mourner
at the funeral which took place Sept. 1, 1883, at Göritz, when
the king, who had never reigned, was laid beside Charles X., his

We may best conclude this account of the Comte de Chambord with some
touching words which he addressed to his disappointed supporters
in 1875:--

"Sometimes I am reproached for not having chosen to reign when
the opportunity was offered me, and for having perhaps lost that
opportunity forever. This is a misconception. Tell it abroad boldly.
I am the depositary of Legitimate Monarchy. I will guard my birthright
till my last sigh. I desire royalty as my heritage, as my duty,
but never by chance or by intrigue. In other times I might have
been willing (as some of my ancestors have been) to recover my
birthright by force of arms. What would have been possible and
reasonable formerly, is not so now. After forty years of revolution,
civil war, invasion, and _coups d'état_, the monarchy I represent
can only commend itself to Europe and the French people as one of
peace, conciliation, and preservation. The king of France must
return to France as a shepherd to his fold, or else remain in exile.
If I must not return, Divine Providence will bear me witness before
the French people that I have done my duty with honest intentions.
In the midst of the prevailing ignominies of the present age it
is well that the life and policy of an exiled king should stand
out white in all their loyalty."

There was little of general interest in French politics during the
remaining years of M. Grévy's first administration, which ended
early in 1886. He was the first French president who had reached
the end of his term. He was quietly re-elected by the joint vote
of the two Chambers, not so much because he was popular as because
there seemed no one more eligible for the position. He had not had
much good fortune in his administration. M. Ferry's colonization
schemes had cost great sums of money and had led to jealousies
and disputes with foreign nations. French finances had become
embarrassed. The French national debt in 1888 was almost twice
as great as that of England, and the largest additions to it were
made during M. Grévy's presidency, when enormous sums were spent
on public works and on M. Ferry's colonial enterprises. The mere
interest on the debt amounts annually to fifty millions of dollars,
and every attempt at reduction is frustrated by the Chambers, which
are unwilling to approve either new taxes or new loans.

The two principal points of interest during the latter years of
M. Grévy's first term of office concerned the persecution of the
Church and the persecution of the princes of the house of Orleans.

The Republic began by taking down the crucifixes in all public
places, such as court-rooms, magistrates' offices, and public schools;
for in France men swear by holding up a hand before the crucifix,
instead of by our own irreverent and dirty custom of "kissing the
book." Then the education of children was made compulsory; but
schools were closed that had been taught by priests, monks, or nuns.
Next, sisters of charity were forbidden to nurse in the hospitals,
their places being supplied by women little fitted to replace them.

As to the Orleans princes, in 1886, the year of M. Grévy's second
election, they were summarily ordered to quit France; not that they
had done anything that called for exile, but because Prince Napoleon
(who called himself the Prince Imperial and head of the Bonaparte
dynasty) had put forth a pamphlet concerning his pretensions to
the imperial throne. This led to the banishment of all members
of ex-royal families from French soil, and their erasure from the
army list, if they were serving as French soldiers.

This decree was particularly hard upon the Duc d'Aumale, who was a
French general, and had done good service under Chanzy and Gambetta
in the darkest days of the calamities of France.

The Comte de Paris deeply felt the outrage. He gave the world to
understand that he had never conspired against the French Republic
while living on his estates in France, but felt free to do so after
this aggression.

The Duc d'Aumale avenged himself by an act of truly royal magnificence.
He published part of his will, bequeathing to the French Institute, of
which he was a member, that splendid estate and palace of Chantilly
which he had inherited from his godfather, the old Duke of Bourbon.
With its collections, its library, its archives, and its pictures,
the gift is valued at from thirty-five to forty millions of francs.
The revenue of the estate is to be spent in enriching the collections,
in encouraging scientific research, in pensioning aged authors,
artists, and scientific discoverers.

"It is the grandest gift," says M. Gabriel Monod, "ever given to
a country. It is worthy of a prince who joins to the attractive
grace of noble breeding and the finest qualities of a soldier,
the talents of a man of letters, the learning of a scholar, and
the taste of an artist."

M. Grévy--_le vieux_, "the old fellow," as his Parisians irreverently
called him--was deeply attached to his daughter, whose husband,
M. Daniel Wilson, a presumptuous, speculative person, had made
himself obnoxious to society and to all the political parties.
This man lived at the Élysée with his family, and made free use of
presidential privileges. It is said that by using the president's
right of franking letters for his business affairs, he saved himself
in postage forty-thousand francs per annum. He also made use of
information that he obtained as son-in-law of the president to
further his own interests, and once or twice he got M. Grévy into
trouble by the unwarrantable publication of certain matters in a
newspaper of which he was the proprietor. Besides this he was at
the head of a great number of financial schemes, whose business
he conducted under the roof of the Élysée. Before he married
Mademoiselle Grévy, a _conseil de famille_ had deprived him of
any control over his property till he came of age, on account of
his recklessness; but he was what in America we call "a smart man,"
and M. Grévy was very much attached to him.

In the early days of 1887 a person who considered himself defrauded
in a nefarious bargain he was trying to make with an adventuress,
denounced to the police of Paris a Madame Limouzin, to whom he
had paid money on her promise to secure for him the decoration of
the Legion of Honor. He wanted it to promote the sale of some kind
of patent article in which he was interested. To the astonishment
of the police, when they raided the residence of Madame Limouzin,
letters were found compromising two generals,--General Caffarel,
who had been high in the War Department when General Boulanger was
minister, and General d'Andlau, author of a book, much commended
by military authorities, on the siege of Metz.

General Caffarel was a gallant old officer, and it is said the
scene was most piteous when, as part of his punishment, the police
tore from his coat his own decoration of the Legion of Honor. The
War Minister tried to smother the scandal and to save the generals,
but it got into the public prints, with many exaggerations. General
d'Andlau took to flight. The police arrested Madame Limouzin, her
accomplice, Madame Ratazzi, and several other persons. The public grew
very much excited. It was said that state secrets were given over to
pillage, that they were sold to the Germans, that the Government was
at the mercy of thieves and jobbers. "One figure," wrote M. Monod,
"stood out from the rest as a mark for suspicion. It was that of M.
Daniel Wilson. He had never been popular with frequenters of the
Élysée. He was a rich man, both on his own and his wife's side,
and was an able man and a man of influence in business affairs. He
had been Under-Secretary of Finance and President of the Committee
of the Budget." Many thought he had the best chance of any man for
succeeding M. Grévy as president of France. He was, however, one of
those unquiet spirits who may be found frequently among speculators
and financiers. He had no scruple about using his position to promote
his own business interests and the interests of the schemes in which
he was engaged, nor did he hesitate to give useful information
to leaders who favored his own views in the Chambers and were in
opposition to the ministers he disliked. Thus the son-in-law of the
president intrigued against the president's ministers, and Jules
Ferry, leader of the Republican law and order party in the Chamber,
and his followers, could not forgive him for having thus betrayed
them. Wilson belonged to the advanced section of the Republican
party, the Reds; but he was not so popular with them that they were
unwilling to attack him, provided they could thereby get rid of
M. Grévy, and put a more advanced Republican in his place.

No positive accusation, however, in the matter of Madame Limouzin
could have been brought against M. Wilson, had it not been discovered
by that lady's counsel that two of the letters seized and held as
evidence--letters from M. Wilson to Madame Limouzin--were written on
paper manufactured after their date,--an incident not unfamiliar to
readers of old-fashioned English novels. The real letters, therefore,
had undoubtedly been abstracted, and replaced by others of a less
compromising kind.

The Ministry, which up to the time of this discovery had endeavored
to keep the name of the president's son-in-law from being connected
with the sale of decorations of the Legion of Honor, was obliged
to authorize his prosecution; and the Prefect of Police, who was
suspected of having given back to M. Wilson his own letters, was
forced to resign.[1]

[Footnote 1: There is a similar incident in Balzac's "Cousin Pons."]

When the trial of M. Wilson and the prefect came on, they were
acquitted, not by a verdict of Not Guilty, but because the French
Code contained no clause that constituted it an offence for a man to
obtain possession of his own letters. The judge, when he acquitted
the accused, stated that there was no doubt whatever of the
substitution. Then from all sides information began to pour in from
people who had paid money to M. Wilson to procure them ministerial
or presidential favors, and such disclosures could not but reflect
on M. Grévy. Instantly his enemies seized their opportunity. For
once, Monarchists and Anarchists united and endeavored to force
the president to resign; but the old man stood by his son-in-law
in his hour of adversity, and would not go.

Then the coalition changed its base, and attacked M. Rouvier, the
prime minister. He was outvoted in the Chamber on some insignificant
question; and having no parliamentary majority, he was forced to
resign. By no efforts could M. Grévy get anyone to take his place.
Once he thought he had persuaded M. Clemenceau, a Radical leader,
to form a ministry; but his party gave him to understand that they
would not support him.

The president, then seventy-five years of age, was in a position
in which anyone but a partisan political opponent must have been
moved to pity him. He had been so long and so loudly extolled for
his extreme respectability and his austere virtues that he had
never dreamed that public opinion on such a point as this could turn
against him. He could not endure the idea of being dismissed with
contempt less than two years after his re-election to the presidency
by the unanimous vote of all Republicans. He was willing to go,
but he did not choose to be forced to go by the brutal summons of
an infuriated public. Yet France, pending his decision, was without
a government. Something had to be done. He employed every device to
gain time. He had interviews with men of various parties. He grew
more and more care-worn and aged. His troubles showed themselves in
his carriage and his face. "By turns he was insinuating, eloquent,
lively, pathetic. He showed a suppleness and a tenacity of purpose
that amazed those brought into contact with him. If he could but
gain time, he hoped that the Republicans would disagree about his
successor, and decide to rally round him; but at last he was forced
to send in his resignation. He did so Dec. 1, 1887, in a message
which, by the confusion of its language, betrayed the anguish of
his mind." A few days after giving up his quarters at the Élysée
as president of the Republic, he was stricken down by paralysis.

When the resignation of M. Grévy had been accepted, came the question,
Who should succeed him? If the Republican party split and failed to
choose a president, the Monarchists might seize their opportunity.
The candidate most acceptable to the Moderate Republicans was M.
Jules Ferry, but he was unpopular with the Radicals. He had belonged
to the Committee of Defence and the Government of Versailles which
had put down the Commune. His colonial policy had not been a success,
and he was known to have no toleration for the Reds. Mobs collected
in the streets shouting "À bas Ferry!" He was accused of being
the candidate of the Comte de Paris, of the pope, of Bismarck. He
was "Ferry the traitor! Ferry the Prussian! Ferry the clerical!
Ferry the Orleanist!" The Radicals, with the ex-Communist, General
Eudes, at their head, swore to take up arms if Ferry were elected
by the Chambers. The Moderate Republicans were not strong enough,
without help, to carry his election. It was a case when a "dark
horse" was wanted, an obscure man, against whom nothing was known.

The Radicals proposed two candidates,--M. De Freycinet, who, though
not a Radical, was thought weak enough to be ruled by them, and M.
Floquet. But the Moderates would not lend their aid to elect either
of these men. At last both parties united on M. Sadi-Carnot.

[Illustration: _PRESIDENT SADI-CARNOT._]

There were two reasons for his election: the first lay in his name;
he was the grandson of Lazare Carnot, elected deputy in 1792 to
the National Convention from Arras, at the same time as his friend
Robespierre. This man and Robespierre had belonged to the same
Literary Society in Arras,--a club into which no one could be admitted
without writing a love-song.[1] Lazare Carnot was the good man of
the Revolution. Not a stain rests upon his character. He organized
the glorious armies of the Republic, and was afterwards one of the
members of the Directory. His son, Hippolyte Camot, as the oldest
member in the Senate in 1887, had the duty of announcing to his own
son, Sadi-Carnot, his election to the highest office in the gift
of his countrymen. M. Hippolyte Carnot was a man of high character,
who during a long life had filled many public offices. He was also
a man of letters, and wrote a Life of Barère,--a book that will be
best remembered by having come under the lash of Macaulay. Every cut
inflicted upon Barère tells, and we delight in its severity.

The second reason for Sadi-Carnot's election was the popularity
he acquired from its being supposed that when he was at the head
of the Committee of Finance he had resisted some illegal demands
made on the Treasury by M. Wilson. The demands were resisted, it
is true, but not more by M. Carnot than by his colleagues. "He
was made president of the French Republic," some one said, "for
an act of integrity he had never committed, and for giving himself
the trouble to be born, like any heir of royalty."

He is a good man, who has made no enemies, either in public or
private life. It may also be added that he seems to have attracted
few personal friends. The Republic has grown in strength, and factious
opposition has decreased during his administration. His republicanism
is not advanced or rabid. He is rigidly honest. He has a charming
wife, who, though slightly deaf, enjoys society and gives brilliant

[Footnote 1: See Robespierre's in the "Editor's Drawer," Harper's
Magazine, 1889.]

Poor M. Grévy passed away into sorrow and obscurity. He took up
his residence on his estate in the Department of the Jura, where,
in September, 1891, he died. M. Wilson appears first to have made
all his own relations rich, and then by speculations to have ruined

In contemplating the disastrous end of M. Grévy we must remember that
the scandal which caused his fall, after so many years of honorable
service for his country, amounts, so far as he was concerned, to
very little. The only fault of which he can be accused was that
of too great toleration of the speculative propensities of his
son-in-law. It was proved, indeed, that there were agencies in the
hands of disreputable persons in Paris for the purchase and sale
of influence and honors, but there was little or no evidence that
these agencies had had any influence with the public departments. The
existence of such agencies under the Empire would have excited little
comment. That the trials of Madame Limouzin, General Caffarel, and
M. Wilson so excited the public and produced such consequences,
may be proof, perhaps, of a keener sense of morality in the Parisian

Some one said of M. Grévy that he was a Radical in speech and a
Moderate in action, so that he pleased both parties. The strongest
accusation against him was his personal love of economy, and his entire
indifference to show, literature, or art. It was also considered a
fault in him as a French president that he showed little inclination
to travel. Socially, the polite world accused him of wearing old
hats and no gloves. On cold days he put his hands in his pockets,
which in the eyes of some was worse than putting them for his own
purposes into the pockets of other people.

[Illustration: _GENERAL BOULANGER._]



Up to 1886 the name of General Boulanger commands no place upon
the page of history. After that year it was scattered broadcast.
For four years it was as familiar in the civilized world as that
of Bismarck.

A new word was coined in 1886 to meet a want which the general's
importance had created. That word was _boulangisme_, though it
would be hard to give it a definition in the dictionary. We can
only say that it meant whatever General Boulanger might be pleased
to attempt.

George Ernest Jean Marie Boulanger was born in the town of Rennes,
in Brittany, in 1837.[1] His father had been a lawyer, and was
head of an insurance company. He spent the latter days of his life
at Ville-d'Avray, near Paris; and as he did not die till 1884, he
lived to see his son a highly considered French officer, though he
had not then given promise of being a popular hero and a world-famous
man. General Boulanger's mother was named Griffith; she was a lady
belonging apparently to the upper middle class in Wales. She had
a great admiration for George Washington, and the future French
hero received one of his names from the American "father of his
country." In his boyhood Boulanger was always called George; but
when he came of age he preferred to call himself Ernest, which
is the baptismal name by which he is generally known.

[Footnote 1: Turner, Life of Boulanger.]

In 1851 his parents took him to England to the Great Exhibition.
He afterwards passed some months with his maternal relatives at
Brighton, and was sent to school there; but he had such fierce
quarrels with the English boys in defence of his nationality that
the experiment of an English education did not answer. At the age of
seventeen he was admitted to the French military school at Saint-Cyr,
and two years later was in Algeria, as a second lieutenant in a
regiment of Turcos. His experiences in Africa were of the kind
usual in savage warfare; but he became a favorite with his men,
whom he cared for throughout his career with much of that fatherly
interest which distinguished the Russian hero, General Skobeleff.--

When the war with Italy broke out, in 1859, Boulanger and his Turcos
took part in it. He was severely wounded in his first engagement,
and lay long in the hospital, attended by his mother. He received,
however, three decorations for his conduct in this campaign, in
which he was thrice wounded. On the last occasion, as he lay in
hospital, he received a visit of sympathy from the Empress Eugénie,
then in the very zenith of her beauty and prosperity.

Boulanger's next service was in Tonquin, where on one occasion
he fought side by side with the Spaniards, and received a fourth
decoration, that of Isabella the Catholic.

He was next assigned to home duty at Saint-Cyr; and when the terrible
war of 1870 broke out, and all the cadets were drafted into the
army as officers, he was made major of a regiment, which was at
Mézières, on the Belgian frontier, when MacMahon and the emperor
surrendered at Sedan. Boulanger and his command escaped with Vinoy's
troops from the disaster, and got back to Paris, where he kept
his men in better order during the siege than any other officer.
They took part in the sortie made to join Chanzy's Army of the
Loire, in November, 1870, and in a skirmish with the Prussians
he was again badly wounded. When the Prussian army entered Paris
on March 5, 1871, Boulanger and the regiment under his command
had the unpleasant duty of guarding the streets along their line
of march to insure them a safe passage.

In 1874 when thirty-seven years of age, Boulanger was a colonel,
with the breast of his uniform covered with decorations; but he had
taken no part whatever in politics, and was not known to have any
political views, save that he called himself a fervent Republican,
and personally resented any aristocratic assumptions on the part
of inferior officers.

In 1881 he was sent by the French Government to the United States,
in company with the descendants of Lafayette and Rochambeau, to
attend the Yorktown celebration. Amongst all the French delegation
Boulanger was distinguished by his handsome person and agreeable
manners, while his knowledge of English made him everywhere popular.
He was already married to his cousin, Mademoiselle Renouard, and
had two little daughters, Hélène and Marcelle.

When the Minister of War gave Boulanger his appointment on the
mission to Yorktown, he cautioned him that he must not shock the
quiet tastes of American republicans by wearing too brilliant uniforms.
Fortunately Colonel Boulanger did not accept the hint, and on all
public occasions during his visit to this country he attracted the
admiration of reporters and spectators as the handsomest man in
the French group, wearing the most showy uniform, with the greatest
number of glittering decorations. He was tall, with handsome auburn
beard and hair, and very regular features. Even in caricatures
the artist has been obliged to represent him as very handsome.

After his return to France, Boulanger was sent to Tunis,--a State
recently annexed by the French, who were jealous of the power acquired
by Great Britain on the southern shores of the Mediterranean by her
protectorate in Egypt. Here Boulanger's desire to conduct things
in a military way led to disputes with the civil authorities, and
he returned to France in 1885, where M. de Freycinet, then head of
a new Cabinet, made him Minister of War. He at once set to work
to reform the army. He told his countrymen that if they ever hoped
to take revenge upon the Germans (or rather _revanche_; for the
words do not mean precisely the same thing), they must have their
army in a much better state of preparation than it was in 1870.
Instantly a cry arose in France that General Boulanger was the man
who sought a war with Germany, and who would lead French armies
to the reconquest of Alsace and Lorraine. The French peasantry have
never been able to accept the loss of Alsace and Lorraine as an
accomplished fact; they look on the retention of those provinces
by the Germans as a temporary arrangement until France can at the
right moment wrest them out of her powerful rival's hand.

Boulanger's popularity rose to fever-heat. The Boulanger March,
with its song, "En revenant de la revue," was played and sung in
all the _cafés chantants_ of Paris. The general rode a black horse
as handsome as himself. Some one has said, "As a political factor,
Boulanger was born of a horse and a song."

In 1886 he advocated the exile of the Orleans princes and the erasure
of the Duc d'Aumale's name from the list of French generals. For
this he was reproached with ingratitude to the duke, who had once
been his commanding officer. His own letter of thanks for kindness,
favors, and patronage was produced, and Boulanger could only defend
himself by pronouncing it a forgery.

He made many changes in army regulations, which increased his popularity
with the army. One was all order to the men to wear their beards,
and as in the French army soldiers had always been obliged to shave
except when on active service, this was interpreted, in the excited
state of public feeling, into an intimation of the probability of
a speedy declaration of war. As War Minister, the general also
extended the time when soldiers on leave might stay out at night,
and relieved them from much of the heavy weight that on the march
they had had to carry. He broke up certain semi-aristocratic clubs
in the regiments which controlled army opinion, and gave more weight
to the sentiments of the sub-officers.

But before long the Ministry, in which he represented the War
Department, came to an end,--as, indeed, appears to have been the
fate of all the ministries under the administration of M. Grévy.
No policy, no reforms, could be carried out under such frequent
changes. The popular cry was that the popular favorite must retain
his portfolio as War Minister in the new Cabinet; and this occasioned
considerable difficulty. The general had begun to be feared as a
possible dictator. His popularity was immense; but what his place
might be in politics no one could precisely tell. That he was the
idol of the nation was certain; but was he a Radical of the Belleville
type, or a forthcoming Napoleon Bonaparte,--an Imperialist on his
own account, or a Jacobin?

The fall of the second Ministry in which he served put him out
of office, and the War Minister who succeeded him proceeded to
bid for popularity by fresh reforms, which the Radical Deputies
thought might be acceptable to the people. Those who deal with
the French peasant should never lose sight of the fact that the
peace and prosperity of himself and of his household stand foremost
in his eyes. The Frenchman, as we depict him in imagination or in
fiction, is as far as possible from the French peasant. If ideas
contrary to his selfish interests ever make their way into his
mind, they are due to the leaven of old French soldiers scattered
through the villages. So when the new Minister of War proposed, and
the Chamber of Deputies passed, an ordinance that made it illegal
to buy a substitute, and required every Frenchman, from eighteen to
twenty-one years of age, to serve in the army, the peasant found
small consolation for the loss of his sons' services in the thought
that the son of a duke must serve as well as the son of a laborer.
Boulanger had introduced no such measure. "Vive le Général Boulanger!"

Another measure, passed about the same time, brought great trouble
into families. It was a law making education compulsory, and was
loaded with vexatious and arbitrary regulations. Every child privately
educated had to pass, semi-annually, a strict examination before
certain village authorities. This gave rise in families to all
sorts of tribulations. France is not exactly a land of liberty;
personal liberty is sacrificed to efforts to enforce equality.

General Boulanger after his loss of office was given the command
of the Thirteenth Army Corps, and was sent into a sort of exile
at its headquarters at Clermont-Ferrand. At the railroad-station
in Paris a great crowd awaited him on the day of his departure.
It broke down the barriers, and delayed in-coming and out-going
trains, as it pressed around him. At first the general seemed pleased
by this evidence of his popularity; then he began to feel the truth
of what a friend whispered to him, "These twenty thousand men will
make you forty thousand enemies," and he grew embarrassed and annoyed
by the demonstration. Finally he mounted a locomotive, and made
a brief speech to the people; then the train steamed out of the

The exile of the general to Clermont-Ferrand, and the harsh measures
taken against him by the man who succeeded him in the War Office,
caused his popularity with the populace daily to increase. He was
felt to be a power in the State, and this, when he perceived it,
awakened his ambition.

In November, 1887, when all parties in France were anticipating
the resignation of M. Grévy after the exposure of his son-in-law,
the majority of Frenchmen, outside the Chamber of Deputies, dreaded
the election of M. Jules Ferry to his place, and prophesied that
it would be the signal for another civil war. This was the opinion
held (rightly or wrongly) by M. Grévy himself, by General Boulanger,
and by the Comte de Paris. By the last day of November, when it
seemed impossible for M. Grévy to retain office, because no leader
of influence in the Chamber would help him to form a ministry,
Boulanger, who had come up to Paris, met a small party of his friends,
including M. Clemenceau, leader of the Radical party, and Rochefort,
the leader of the Radical press, at dinner at the house of M. and
Madame Laguerre.[1] M. Laguerre was a deputy who supported Boulanger
in the Chamber against his enemies. Two gentlemen present had that
afternoon seen M. Grévy, who had implored them to find some leader
who would form a ministry; already had M. Clemenceau been thought
of, but he was undecided. It was evident that if he would secure
the out-of-doors support of Boulanger's popularity, his ministry
must include Boulanger. It seemed equally certain that if it did
so, it would be beset by enemies in the Chamber. In the midst of a
heated discussion on the subject, General Boulanger about midnight
was mysteriously called away.

[Footnote 1: See "Les Coulisses du Boulangisme," published in "Figaro,"
and attributed to M. Mermieux.]

The person who summoned him was the editor of the "Cocarde," the
Boulangist newspaper, who had been sounded that afternoon by an agent
of the Comte de Paris to know if it were probable that Boulanger
would join the Monarchists to defeat the chances of Jules Ferry. The
party of the Comte de Paris had recently gathered strength both by
the death of the Comte de Chambord and that of the Prince Imperial.
But it was also divided. There were those who called themselves
of the old school, who held to the high-minded traditions which
had caused M. Thiers to say to one of them in 1871, "You are of
all parties the most honest,--I do not say the most intelligent,
but the most honest;" and the men of the new school,--men of the
close of the century, as they called themselves,--who thought all
means good that led to a good end, and were for energetic action.
To this party belonged the Comtesse de Paris, daughter of the Duc
de Montpensier and of the Infanta Luisa of Spain. She had been
known to say emphatically: "I don't like people who are always
going to do something to-morrow,--like the Comte de Chambord; such
princes die in exile."

The Duc d'Aumale, on the contrary, despised crooked ways; and the
hope of an intrigue or alliance with General Boulanger was not
named to him by his nephew, especially as there was good reason
to think he would never have consented to make a useful instrument
of the man who had so ill-treated him when Minister of War.

The idea, however, had suddenly presented itself to the agents
of the Comte de Paris (if it had not been previously suggested
to him) that General Boulanger might be won over to play the part
of General Monk, or failing this, that he might not be unwilling
to ally himself with the Monarchists to defeat the election of
M. Ferry.

It was to hold an interview with the gentleman who represented
the cause of the Comte de Paris that Boulanger was summoned from
the conference going on at M. Laguerre's.

The Royalist agent proposed that M. Grévy should be retained as
president, and promised that his party in the Chamber would support
any ministry which should include General Boulanger, and of which he
should be virtually the head. In return, Boulanger was to give his
support to an appeal to the people, to see what form of government
France would prefer. It was added that if Boulanger were Minister
of War, he could do what he pleased with the army; and thus France,
well managed, might change from a republic to a monarchy by the
will of the people and without civil war.

The general listened quietly to these suggestions. "There is nothing
you could ask that would be too much to reward the services you
would render to our country," said the agent of the Royalists;
"and remember that the highest fortunes under a Republic are the
most unstable. Give us your word to do what we ask, and then at
least M. Ferry will never be president." "I give you my word,"
said Boulanger. But the other then suggested that so important an
arrangement must be ratified by some person higher in the confidence
of the Comte de Paris than himself; and he went in haste for the
Baron de Makau. That gentleman showed General Boulanger a letter from
the Comte de Paris, giving him full powers as his representative.
The general was to support the proposal for a popular vote for or
against the restoration of monarchy, and to use his influence with
the people in its favor. If monarchy were restored, he was to be made
head of the army. After a long conversation the general departed,
promising to sound the chiefs of the Radicals, and ascertain which
of them would be most available to carry out the plan.

But to his friend the editor of the "Cocarde," who seemed alarmed
at the extent of his promises, he said, as soon as they were alone
together, "I would do anything to avoid civil war and the election
of Ferry; but what fools these people must be to put themselves
in my power!"

He spoke no more till they returned to the house where they had
left the dinner-party. The discussion was going on as before, only
M. Clemenceau had made up his mind that he would not undertake
to form a ministry, and M. Andrieux had been summoned from his
bed to know if he would do so. He expressed his willingness to
undertake the task, but said frankly that he could not offer the
War Office to General Boulanger. "Anything else, my dear general,
you shall have," he said, "and in a few months probably you may
have that also; but if you formed part of the Cabinet at first, I
could not conciliate the Chamber. You shall be military governor
of Paris,--the noblest military post in the world."

But this offer was incompatible with the secret engagements that
the general had entered into not an hour before. The conference,
therefore, broke up at five in the morning without a decision having
been reached.

The next morning the two gentlemen who had been charged by M. Grévy
to procure him a prime minister, and if possible a cabinet, reported
the failure of their mission. "Then all is over for me," said M.
Grévy; "I shall at once send in my resignation."

The resignation was accepted, and greatly to the surprise of the
general public,--for already the streets were full of excited
citizens,--M. Sadi-Carnot was elected president, almost without
discussion, and without disorder. His election put an end to the
secret arrangement between Boulanger and the Royalists, and appeared
likely to give France a more settled government than it had enjoyed
since the Republic came into existence. The Exposition of 1889,
too, was at hand, and Paris was very anxious that no political
convulsions should frighten away strangers.

The general was deeply hurt by his unpopularity in the Chamber,
and by the way in which his former friends had thrown him over; but
he still had the mob, the army, and the peasantry for his partisans,
nor was he without the sympathy of the Bonapartists.

It was not long before he got into trouble with the War Department
for coming to Paris without leave. It had not been usual for a
general of division to ask leave of the Minister of War for a brief
absence, nor could General Boulanger forget that he himself had
been War Minister not many months before.

The general complained bitterly of the way he had been followed
up by the police, as if he had been a criminal. "From the time I
left the Ministry of War," he said,[1] "I have been spied upon and
shadowed like a thief. Even my orderly has been bribed to report
facts and falsehoods concerning me. My letters have been opened,
and copies of my telegrams lie on every minister's table." He was
deprived of his command, and retired from active service.

[Footnote 1: To a reporter for "Figaro."]

This measure, so far from rendering him innocuous to the Opportunist
party, brought him into Parliament[2] (as the French Chambers are now
called) and increased his popularity. He had been already elected
deputy both from the Department of the Aisne and the Department of the
Dordogne,--the latter without his proposing himself as a candidate,
although he was ineligible, and could not take his seat, since at the
time of his election he was an officer of the Government, holding
a command. Having now retired into private life, he stood for the
Department of Le Nord, where he was received with enthusiasm and
elected by an immense majority. From all quarters came telegraphic
messages to him from candidates for parliamentary honors, offering
to resign their seats in favor of the popular hero. Even Corsica
was anxious to have him for her deputy. But it was not only his
own election which concerned General Boulanger; he wished to secure
the election of his followers. For that purpose election funds were
needed, and the alliance with the Royalists was renewed. Whenever
a Royalist candidate had a certainty of election, no Boulangist
candidate was to contend against him. In other cases the agents
of the Comte de Paris were openly to encourage their followers to
vote for the nominee of the ally who was to assist the Monarchists
to oppose the Government. There would have been great difficulty in
raising the money needed for this electoral campaign, had it not
been for a lady of high rank, the Duchesse d'Uzès, of unspotted
reputation, and of great enthusiasm for the cause of royalty, who
poured her whole fortune (over three million francs) into the joint
treasury. The alliance between Boulanger and the Royalists was a
profound secret. Very few Boulangists suspected that their election
expenses were being paid by funds drawn from the purses of the
supporters of monarchy.

[Footnote 2: Parliament before this time meant in French history
the Provincial Courts, that had chiefly legal functions.]

For more than a year the popularity of "Le brav' Général" kept the
various ministries that succeeded each other in Paris and their
officials all over France, in perpetual anxiety. Boulanger made journeys
almost like royal progresses into the Departments. Everywhere crowds
cheered him, reporters followed him, his name was in everybody's
mouth, his doings filled columns of the newspapers in many languages,
and his flower, the carnation, was embroidered on tablecloths and
worn in button-holes. All newspapers and reviews seem to have agreed
that no man had been so popular in France since the days of the
Great Emperor. He liked the position thrust upon him, and accepted
gracefully and graciously the adoration he received,--an adoration
born partly of infectious curiosity, partly from a love of what
is phenomenal, partly from the attraction of the unexpected, and
above all from the national need of some object of idolatry. France
had been long destitute of any one to whom she might pay personal
devotion. Every peasant's cottage throughout France was soon decorated
with his chromo. He has even been seen on his black horse adorning
the bamboo hut of a king in Central Africa. Pamphlets, handbills,
and brief biographies were scattered by his friends throughout the
Provinces. His very name, Boulanger--Baker--helped his popularity.
A corn-law passed in France was obnoxious to the country, as tending
to make bread more dear; "Boulanger is to bring us cheap bread!
Long live our Boulanger!" became the popular cry.

But all this enthusiasm seems to have been founded only on expectation.
General Boulanger had done nothing that might reasonably have attracted
national gratitude and adoration. Yet there was a strong feeling
throughout France that Boulanger would save the country from what
was called the Parliamentary _régime_. France had become weary of
the squabbles of the seven parties in the Chamber, of the rapid
changes of ministry, of the perpetual coalitions, lasting just long
enough to overthrow some chief unpopular with two factions strong
enough by combination to get rid of him. The Chamber, it was said,
though unruly and disorganized, had usurped all the functions of
government, and a republic without an executive officer who can
maintain himself at its head, has never been known to stand. In
France fashion is everything, and in France, in 1888, it was the
fashion to speak ill of parliamentary government.

"Why am I a Boulangist?" cried a young and ardent writer of the
party.[1] "Why are my friends Boulangists? Because the general
is the only man in France capable of carrying out the expulsion
of mere talkers from the Chamber of Deputies,--men who deafen the
public ear, and are good for nothing. Gentlemen, a few hundreds
of you, ever since 1870, have carried on the government. All of
you are lawyers or literary men, none of you are statesmen."

[Footnote 1: Le Figaro.]

At the height of the popularity of the general his career was very
near being cut short by a political duel. In France, as we have seen
in the history of the Duchesse de Berri, it is not an unheard-of
thing to get rid of a political adversary by a challenge. After
Boulanger had insulted the Duc d'Aumale while he was Minister of
War, a challenge passed between himself and an Orleanist, M. le Baron
de Lareinty. Boulanger stood to receive the fire of his adversary,
but did not fire in return. He was subsequently anxious to fight
Jules Ferry; but Jules Ferry declined any meeting of the kind.
After he entered the Chamber, his great enemy, Floquet, who was then
in the Cabinet, called him in the course of debate "A Saint-Arnaud
of the _cafés chantants!_" Boulanger challenged him for this, and
the duel took place with swords. Floquet was slightly wounded,
but the general's foot slipped, and he received his adversary's
sword-point in his throat. It was almost a miracle that it did
not sever the jugular vein. For some time "Le brav' Général's"
life was despaired of; but when he was pronounced out of danger,
Paris amused itself with the thought that the most prominent soldier
in the French army had nearly met his death at the hands of an
elderly lawyer.

Since the funds furnished to Boulanger for the election expenses
of his candidates, and even for his own personal expenses, came
from the Royalist party, he was more bound to it than ever; but he
pretended to be guided by a body that called itself the National
Republican Committee, which he assured his friends, the Monarchists,
he used only as a screen. When Madame d'Uzès threw her last million
into the gulf, it seemed expedient to the Royalists to exact more
definite pledges from Boulanger than his word as a soldier. "If
the present Government of France is overthrown," they said, "and
an appeal made to the people, who will fill the interregnum? Will
General Boulanger, if all power is intrusted to him, consent to give
it up, if the nation votes for monarchy? And with all the machinery
of government in his hands, is it certain that a _plébiscite_ would
be the free vote of the people?"

A general election was to take place in the summer of 1889, at the
height of the Universal Exposition. Hitherto the various elections
in which Boulanger had contended had been for vacant seats in the
old Assembly. He was anxious to test his popularity in Paris by
standing for the workman's quarter of Belleville; and in spite
of his being opposed by the Radicals in the Chamber, as well as
by the Government, he was elected by a large majority.

The Government then changed its method of attack. It brought in a
bill changing the selection of parliamentary candidates from the
_scrutin de liste_ to the _scrutin d'arrondissement._ Boulanger
therefore would be eligible for election only in the district in
which he was domiciled.

Besides the National Republican Committee (which the general called
his screen), there was formed all over France a Boulangist society
called the League of Patriots. This league was now attacked by the
Government as a conspiracy. A High Court of Justice was formed
by the Senate, before which its leaders were summoned to appear.
Boulanger became seriously alarmed. He did not see how he could act
if shut up in prison. His apprehensions were carefully augmented
by the heads of the police, who had placed one of their agents
about his person.[1] This man showed him a pretended order for
his arrest on April 1, 1889. The question of his retirement into
Belgium if his liberty were threatened had been already debated
by himself and his friends. Nearly all of them were against it.
"Let not the people think our general could run away," said some.
But others answered, "They will say it is a smart trick; that the
general has cheated the Government."

[Footnote 1: Les Coulisses du Boulangisme.]

After seeing the false document which was shown him, with great
pretence of secrecy, by the police agent, the general hesitated
no longer. On the evening of April 1, accompanied by Madame de
Bonnemains, a lady to whom he was paying devoted attention, pending
a divorce from his wife, he went to Brussels, followed by his friend
Count Dillon, the go-between in financial matters between the Royalists
and himself. The Cabinet of M. Carnot had learned the value of the
saying, "If your enemy wishes to take flight, build him a bridge
of gold."

The departure of the general threw consternation into the ranks
of his followers. "It cannot be!" they cried. Then they consoled
themselves with the reflection that he must soon return, as he
had done once before under somewhat similar circumstances.

But he did not return. The Government had triumphed. Boulanger's
power was broken; like a wave, it had toppled over when its crest
was highest. The High Court of Justice condemned Deroulède the
poet, Rochefort, and Dillon, to confinement for life in a French
fortress. The sentence, however, was simply one of outlawry, for
they were all with Boulanger.

The exiles did not stay long in Brussels. The Government of Belgium
objected to their remaining so near the frontier of France,--for
in Brussels a telephone connected them with Paris,--and they went
over to London. There, at the general's request, he had an interview
with the Comte de Paris. But their conversation was limited to
useless compliments and military affairs. Boulanger's power as a
political leader was at an end; the friends of the prince would
advance him no more funds, and in the elections, which took place
very quietly in France during the summer, he and his friends suffered
total defeat.

The Government of France--strengthened not only by the success of
the Exposition, by its great triumph at the elections, and by the
discomfiture of its enemies, but also by the conviction forced upon
parliamentary leaders that the country was weary of mere talk and
discord, and demanded harmony and action--now became the strongest
Government that France had enjoyed for a long time. The Republic
had passed the point of danger, the eighteenth year, which had
been the limit of every dynasty or form of government in France for
over a century. It rallied to itself men from the ranks of all its
former enemies, but its greatest victory was over the Monarchists.
The wreck of their cause by the alliance with a military adventurer
was a blunder in the eyes of one section of the Royalists; in the
eyes of another, it was a dishonor that amounted almost to a crime.

Boulanger had rallied to himself the clerical party in France by
the promise of a republic strong enough to protect the weak,--"a
republic that would concern itself with the interests of the people,
and be solicitous to preserve individual liberty in all its forms,
especially liberty of conscience, that liberty the most to be valued
of all,"[1] Such a republic it seems possible the Third Republic
may now become, especially since it is on all hands conceded that
there is a reaction in France in favor of religious liberty, for
those who are religious as well as for those who are "philosophers."

[Footnote 1: Speech at Tours.]

President Carnot has been an eminently respectable president. He
has committed no blunders, and if he has awakened little enthusiasm,
he has called forth no animosities. The worst that can be said of
him is embodied in caricatures, where he always appears ready to
serve some useful purpose, as a jointed wooden figure that can be
put to many a use.

The French army is now stronger and better disciplined, and more
full of determination to conquer, than any French army has ever
been before. But no ruler of France can be anxious to precipitate
a war with Germany; and judging from the present state of feeling
among the French, there appear to be no serious political breakers
ahead. Of course in France the unexpected is always to be expected,
and what a day may bring forth, nobody knows.

Sir Charles Dilke tells us that in 1887, when a friend of his was
going to France, he asked him to ascertain for him if General Boulanger
were a soldier, a mountebank, or an ass; and the answer brought back
to him was, "He is a little of them all." The general, after his
interview in London with the Comte de Paris, took up his residence
in the island of Jersey. He cannot but have felt that his popularity
had failed him, and that his enchanter's wand was broken. From time
to time he made spasmodic efforts to bring himself again to the
notice of the public. He offered repeatedly to return to France
and stand his trial for conspiracy, provided that the trial might
be conducted before a regular court of justice, and not before
an especial committee appointed by the Chambers.

Meantime his domestic relations must have caused him poignant anxiety.
His wife was his cousin,--a lady of the _haute bourgeoisie_ in a
provincial town. She appears to have felt herself unequal to what
might be required of her as the wife of the national hero. She
entertained apprehensions that her fate might be that of the Empress
Josephine. When her husband became War Minister, she declined to
preside over his receptions, and withdrew herself from his official
residence, taking with her her two daughters, Hélène and Marcelle.
Thus deserted, Boulanger became open to scandals and reports, some
true, and some false, such as would inevitably be circulated in
France concerning such a man's relations with women. It is quite
certain, however, that at the height of his popularity he became
infatuated with the divorced wife of a Baron de Bonnemains,--a
lady well connected, and up to the time when Boulanger became her
lover, of unstained reputation. She was also rich, having a fortune
of 1,500,000 francs. She was not very beautiful, but was tender,
gracious, and womanly. M. de Bonnemains had not made her a good
husband, and her friends rejoiced when the law gave her a divorce.
General Boulanger and his wife seem to have agreed to sever their
marriage tie under the new French divorce law, which requires both
parties to be examined by a judge, who is to try if possible to
reconcile them; but at the last moment Madame Boulanger refused,
upon religious grounds, her assent to a divorce, and the marriage
of the general with Madame de Bonnemains became thenceforward

The story is not a pleasant one, but it is necessary to relate it,
because of its results.

Madame de Bonnemains, whose constitution was consumptive, drooped
and sickened in Jersey. She removed in the spring of 1891 to Brussels
to try one of the new schemes for the cure of pulmonary trouble.
The remedy seems to have hastened her death, which took place in
July. General Boulanger never recovered from her loss. His friends
and his funds had failed him, and the death of this woman, whom
he had passionately loved, completely overwhelmed him. He spoke
constantly of suicide, and in spite of precautions taken by his
friends, he carried his purpose into effect upon her grave in the
cemetery of Brussels, October 2, 1891.

Whatever General Boulanger's faults may have been in relation to
other women, he was devoted to his mother. The latter, who was
eighty-six years old at the time of his death, resided in Paris,
and when he was in the city he never suffered a day to pass without
visiting her. A lock of her white hair was on his breast when he
was dressed for burial.


Abdul Aziz, Sultan, 232.
Abdul Kader, 82, 94.
Abdul Medjid, 86.
About, Edmond, quoted, 248.
Adélaïde, Madame, of Orleans, 20, 25, 26, 55, 83, 108.
Affre, Denis Auguste, Archbishop of Paris, 142 _et seq._
African generals, 94; their imprisonment, 159 _et seq._
Albert, Prince, 100; visits Boulogne, 180-182; his opinion
  of the emperor, 182-184, 217; of Maximilian, 192.
Algeria, 82, 83, 94, 134.
Alison, Sir Archibald, quoted, 142, 150.
Alsace and Lorraine, 241, 242, 246-249, 386, 387.
America, demands payment of French Spoliation Claims, 81;
  Louis Napoleon sent to, 69; relations with Mexico, 195,
  196, 210; Boulanger in, 429.
Americans, what they saw of the _coup d'état_, 160-162;
  of Paris in 1870, 241, 245; of the siege, 273, 275; of
  Versailles, 282-286.
Angoulême, Louis Antoine, Duke of, and Dauphin, 12, 13, 21,
  24, 26.
Angoulême, Marie Thérèse, Duchess of, and Dauphine, 13, 28,
  29, 48, 49.
Appert, chaplain to Queen Marie Amélie, quoted, 56, 57.
Arenenberg, 62, 64, 69.
Aumale, Henri d'Orléans, Duke of, 37, 38, 94, 134, 420,
  430, 433.

Barbès, 95, 140.
Barrot, Odillon, 110, 112-114, 157.
Baudin, 158,384.
Bazaine, Marshal, 202, 204, 257, 258, 270, 277, 287, 288, 384.
Belfort, 288, 299, 398, 399.
Benedetti, 232.
Bergeret, General, war delegate, 307, 309.
Berri, Charles Ferdinand, Duke of, 12, 13.
Berri, Marie Caroline, Duchess of, 12, 13, 22, 26, 29, 40-49.
Bismarck, Otto von, Prince, 219, 254, 264, 267, 268, 271,
Blanc, Louis, quoted, 34, 40, 41, 46, 52, 53, 65, 70; Louis
  Blanc himself, 130, 133, 134, 137, 140, 305, 306.
Bombardment, of Paris, by the Prussians, 278, 279, 298, 299;
  during the Commune, 309, 310; of Strasburg, 286, 287.
Bonjean, Louis, Senator and Judge, 327, 330, 332, 333, 345.
Bordeaux, 300, 383, 385-388.
Bordeaux, Duke of. _See_ Chambord.
Boulanger, George Ernest Jean Marie, General, boyhood, 427, 428;
  army life, 428, 429; sent to America, 429; to Tunis, 429;
  Minister of War, 429, 430; popularity, 430-432; intrigues
  with Legitimists, 433-439; influence declines, 440; leaves
  France, 440-442; domestic relations, 443; death, 444.
Bourbaki, General, 288, 384.
Bourbons, 10, 14.
Bourbon, Louis Henri Joseph, Duke of, 38, 39, 40.
Broglie, Duke of, 405-408.
Burgoyne, Sir John, 260, 262.

Caffarel, General, 421.
Cannon, 274, 275; at Montmartre, 301, 302.
Canrobert, Marshal, 216.
Carbonari, 14; Louis Napoleon and his brother take the oaths,
  63; never absolved, 70, 71, 179, 180, 186.
Carlotta, Empress of Mexico, 36, 37, 192-194, 198, 199, 201,
  203, 204, 211.
Carmagnole, 23.
Carnot, Hippolyte, 125, 425.
Carnot, Sadi, fourth President of Third Republic, 424, 425, 435.
Carrel, Armand, 47.
Catholic lady in Red Paris, 310-313.
Cavaignac, Eugène, General, War Minister, Dictator, 140,
  142-144, 149, 152, 159, 160, 164.
Chambord, Comte de, Henri V., Duc de Bordeaux, 12, 26-29, 32,
  40, 48, 49, 390, 391, 392, 403, 404, 416-418, 433.
Changarnier, General, 82, 138, 139, 146, 148, 150, 152, 159,
  160, 164.
Chapultepec, 200, 209.
Charles X., 12, 15-17, 20-33.
Chasseurs d'Afrique, 308.
Christian Brothers, 277.
Clemenceau, 306.
Clément Thomas, General, 302, 392.
Club of Communist, 273.
Cluseret, General, war delegate, 308, 309, 310, 317, 318, 359.
Commune, 265, 300-307, 314, 321, 330, 349, 358, 359.
Compiègne, Château de, 169, 176.
Compiègne, Marquis de, narrative of suppression of the Commune,
Constantine, 82, 83, 93, 94.
Council of the Commune, 306, 316, 317, 319, 320, 358.
_Coup d'état_, 150-163.
Courbet, artist, 315.
Courbevoie, 88, 306, 307.
Crimean War, 180, 185, 187, 219, 400.
Crozès, Abbé, 323.

Darboy, Archbishop of Paris, 323, 324, 329-333.
Decazes, Duc de, 11.
Deleschuze, war delegate, 317, 337, 358, 359.
Deputies imprisoned, 157, 158.
Deutz, 44, 45, 380.
Dickens, Charles, quoted, 182.
Dombrowski, General, 309, 321, 361.
Dominicans of Arceuil, 341, 342.
Duguerry, Gaspard, Abbé, 323, 330, 332.
Duval, General, 307.

Eagle, 75.
Égalité, Philippe, Duke of Orleans, 17, 18.
Erckmann-Chatrian, quoted, 238, 247, 248.
Escobedo, General, 206, 208, 210.
Eudes, General and war delegate, 307, 317.
Eugénie, Empress, 167-176, 185, 186, 197, 216, 217, 220,
  221, 232, 234-237, 241, 243, 251, 257-261, 428.
Evans, Dr. Thomas, 259, 260.

Faure, sings the "Marseillaise," 240, 241, 244.
Favre, Jules, 257, 267, 268, 270, 279, 291-295, 298, 299.
Ferré, 314, 315, 331, 333, 337.
Ferry, Jules, 257, 414, 415, 424.
Feuchères, Madame de, 39, 40.
Fieschi, 34, 49-53.
Fleury, General, 151, 177, 178, 223.
Flourens, 307.
Fortifications of Paris, 262-264.
France under Louis XVIII., 9, 10, 11, 15; under Charles X.,
  16, 17, 20, 21; under Louis Philippe, 34, 35, 81, 107, 108,
  109; under the Provisional Government, 125, 126, 133, 135-140;
  under the Empire, 178, 179, 218, 226, 227, 228; during the
  Franco-Prussian War, 238, 239, 246,
  247; under the Third Republic, 385, 393, 438, 441, 442.
Francis, king of Naples, his political creed, 15, 16.
Franco-Prussian War declared, 232; preparations in France, 238,
  239, 246, 249, 250; in Prussia, 238, 247; campaign from
  August 2 to September 4, 241-244, 247-249, 251-255; siege of
  Paris, 262-264, 268-279; war in the provinces, 286-288.
Funeral of Napoleon I., 87-92; of victims, 1848, 123; of
  Lamartine, 146.

Gallifet, Marquis de, 204, 368, 369.
Gambetta, Leon, 257, 270, 277, 278, 382-385, 388, 395, 396,
Garibaldi, Giuseppe, General, 288, 296-298, 306.
Genton, 330.
German Emperor. _See_ William.
German Empire, 288, 289, 290, 291, 298.
German soldiers, 247, 248, 283, 284, 285.
Germans, residents in France, 250, 251.
Government, Provisional, in 1848, 117, 118, 122, 125, 130-139;
  in 1870, 257, 262, 267, 270, 271; in 1871, 372, 396.
_Grand Livre_, 339, 340.
Greville, Charles, quoted, 11, 12, 16, 17, 35, 87.
Grévy, Jules, third President of Third Republic, 157, 406,
  408-414, 418, 419, 423-426, 435.
Guillotine burned, 315.
Guizot, 101, 110, 112.

Ham, 34, 76-80, 160, 163, 164.
Hartwell, 11, 12.
Henri V. _See_ Chambord.
Henrion, 331, 333.
Hérisson, Comte d', 291-295.
Hohenlohe, Princess Adélaïde, 166.
Hohenzollern, Prince Leopold of, 231; his sister, 166.
Home, the Spiritualist, 220, 221.
Hortense, Queen of Holland, 59, 60, 63, 64, 69, 234.
Hostages, their arrest, 323, 324; imprisonment, 325, 326,
  327, 329; execution, 328-335, 364, 365.
Hôtel-de-Ville, 26, 27, 123, 130-132, 138, 187, 270, 271,
  279, 302, 303, 306, 321.
Hugo, Victor, 96, 153-156, 251-253, 273, 304.

Ibrahim Pasha, 84, 86.
Indemnity to the Prussians, 294, 295, 299, 373, 394.
Irving, Washington, quoted, 168, 173.
Isabella, Queen of Spain, 100, 101, 220.
Ismaïl Pasha, Khedive of Egypt, 232-236.

Jackson, Andrew, General, 81, 82.
Jaumont, quarries of, 249, 258.
Jecker, Mexican banker, 202, 330.
Joinville, Philippe, Prince de, 37, 87, 91, 108, 109.
Juarez, President of Mexican Republic, 195, 197, 202, 209, 210.
Juarists, 198, 201, 202, 205.

Khedive of Egypt. _See_ Ismaïl Pasha.

Lafarge, Madame, 108.
Lafayette, Gilbert, Marquis de, 14, 15, 26, 27, 35, 83.
Laffitte, 14, 15, 25, 27, 83.
Laguerre, 432, 433.
Lamartine, Alphonse de, 109, 117, 125-133, 135, 136, 138, 140,
Lamazou, Abbé de, narrative of resistance in La Roquette, 334-336.
Lecomte, General, 302, 392.
Ledru-Rollin, 125, 137-139, 140.
Limouzin, Madame, 421, 422.
Loire, Army of the, 274, 276, 277.
Lopez, General, 201, 206, 207, 214.
Louis XVIII., 9-15.
Louis Bonaparte, King of Holland, 59-61, 63, 80.
Louis Napoleon, 58, 61-80, 140, 141, 144-146, 150, 153;
  as Prince President, 146-149, 165, 166. As Emperor,
  _see_ Napoleon III.
Louis Philippe, King of the French, 17-20, 25-27, 34-37,
  49-51, 54, 83, 91, 95, 102, 107-112, 114, 121, 134.
Lucchesi Palli, Count, 137, 138, 140.
Lullier, 307, 317.
Luzy, Mademoiselle de, 103, 104, 106, 107.

Macaulay, Lord, 425.
MacMahon, Patrice, Marshal, Duke of Magenta, second President
  of Third Republic, 14, 248, 251, 253, 384, 400, 402, 407-412.
Mahmoud II., Sultan, 84, 85, 86.
Malmesbury, Lord, quoted, 261, 262.
Marie Amélie, Queen of the French, 19, 50, 51, 54-57, 97-99, 112.
Marmont, Marshal, Duke of Ragusa, 21, 22, 26.
"Marseillaise," 239-241, 244, 245.
Maupas, De, Prefect of Police, 150-153.
Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico, 58, 191-194, 198-214.
Mégy, 316, 331, 336-338.
Mehemet Ali, 84-87.
Mejia, General, 205, 207, 209, 211-213.
Mexico, 194-198, 200-205.
Ministry of Marine (Navy Department building), 345-348.
Ministry of National Defence, 246, 251, 262, 266, 269-271, 279.
Miramar, 193, 194, 201, 203.
Miramon, General, 205, 207, 209, 211, 212, 213.
Mobiles, 122, 133, 138, 249, 250, 263, 267, 269.
Moltke, General von, 188, 189, 264, 298, 299.
Monroe doctrine, 196.
Montholon, Count, 74, 76.
Montijo. _See_ Eugénie _and_ Teba.
Montpensier, Duke of, 37, 95, 100, 101, 115, 231.
Montpensier, Duchess of, 37, 100, 101, 115, 433.
Morey, 51-53.
Morny, Duc de, 150, 152, 153, 157, 160, 169, 177, 178.
Mortier, Marshal, Duke of Treviso, 50.

Napoleon I., 58, 59, 62, 65; funeral of, 87-92, 226.
Napoleon II., Duc de Reichstadt, 58, 64, 191.
Napoleon III., 165, 166, 170, 175, 190-197, 202, 203, 215,
  216-228, 249, 252, 254-256, 261, 262.
Napoleon, eldest son of Louis and Hortense, 60.
Napoleon, second son of Louis and Hortense, 61, 62, 63, 179.
Napoleon (Plon-Plon), son of King Jérôme, 166, 171, 220, 419.
National Guard, 35, 88, 89, 133, 138, 263, 268, 269, 280, 295,
  301-303, 305, 349, 350, 365, 371.
National workshops, 133, 141-144.
Narratives: Louis Napoleon's descent on Boulogne, 71-76; his
  escape from Ham, 70-80; of Victor Hugo during the _coup
  d'état_, 155, 156; of an American, 160-162; of the entry
  of the Prussians into Versailles, 282-286; of a lady in Red
  Paris, 310-313; of Paul Seigneret, 324-328; of the Abbé
  Lamazou, 334-336; of Count Orsi during the Commune, 313, 314;
  of his arrest as a Communist, 355-358; of a victim of Paris
  and Versailles, 360-371.
Nemours, Duc de, 37, 50, 108, 109, 113, 118.
Neuilly, 54, 96-99, 217.
Nolte, Vincent, anecdote of Lafayette, 14, 15.

O'Brien, Smith, 135, 136.
Oliphant, Mrs. M. E. W., quoted, 131, 132, 350, 351.
Ollivier, Émile, 224, 225, 245, 246.
Ordonannces, 17, 20-24.
Orleans family, 36, 37, 95, 140, 217, 388, 419, 420.
Orleans, Ferdinand, Duke of, 36, 93, 95-100.
Orleans, Hélène, Duchess of, 115-118.
Orsi, Joseph, Count, 71, 72; quoted, 73, 313-316, 352, 353,
Orsini, Felice, 185, 219.
Oudinot, Duke of Reggio, General, 147, 148.

Palikao, Count Montauban, 246, 249.
Paris in 1830, 16, 17, 21, 22-25, 27; in 1848, 111-121; under
  the Empire, 227; in July, 1870, 239, 240; in August, 1870,
  244-246, 249, 250; in September, 256, 258, 262-264, 266;
  in the siege, 266, 269, 271-281; during the Commune, 305,
  309-313, 315, 316, 320-322, 362, 363.
Paris, Comte de, 114, 420, 433, 441, 442.
Parties in 1820, 9-11; in 1830, 21, 26, 28, 34, 35; in 1848,
  108, 109, 122-126; in 1850, 135, 136, 139, 140, 147-149;
  in 1871, 385, 386; in 1873, 402-404; in 1889, 441, 442;
  Legitimists, 41, 433.
Pasquier, Dr., 307.
Peace signed, 280, 281, 299.
Peasants, 121, 145, 183, 184, 246, 431.
Persiguy, Fialin, Duc de, 72, 76, 150, 151, 177, 178, 190.
Petit, General, 136.
_Pétroleuses_, 321, 322.
Pigeon post, 273, 274.
Piguellier, Colonel, 75.
_Plébiscites_, 144, 165, 183, 184, 230, 231, 298.
Poiret, 335.
Polignac, Prince, 16, 17, 20, 23, 24.
Praslin, Duc de, 102 _et seq._
Prefecture of Police, 163, 325, 326, 342-345.
Prince Imperial (Napoleon Eugène Louis Jean Joseph), 64, 65,
  187-190, 242, 243, 260, 415, 416.
Provisional Government, 1848, 121, 122, 125, 130-139; in 1871,
  372, 387, 389, 394-396.

Queretaro, 205, 206, 207-213.

Rambouillet, 27, 28.
Reichshoffen. _See_ Wörth.
Rémusat, 397.
Republic, Second, 130-49, 165; Third, 257, 262, 265, 372, 404,
  435, 438-442.
Restoration 9-15.
Revolution, 1830, 20-28; 1848, 108-126, 132; 1870, 257, 258, 262.
Rochefort, Henri, Marquis de, 229, 257, 270, 317, 259, 392, 432.
Rome, 147, 148.
Rossel, General, War delegate, 318, 319, 392.

Saarbruck, 241, 242, 244.
Salm-Salm, Prince, 205, 207; Princess, 208, 209.
Saint-Arnaud, Jacques Leroy, Marshal, 83, 151, 178.
Sarcey, Francisque de, quoted, 267, 270, 276, 277.
_Scrutin de liste, Scrutin d'arrondissement_, 406, 407, 440.
Seigneret, Paul, 324-328.
Seisset, Admiral, 305.
Simon, Jules, 257, 308, 408, 410.
Soledad, La, treaty of, 197, 198.
Shah of Persia, 405.
Spain, 12, 231, 232.
Spanish marriages, 100, 101, 102, 109.
"Spectator," The, quoted, 242.
Strasburg, 64-69, 268, 286, 287.
Switzerland, 69, 288.
Suez Canal, 232-236.

Talleyrand-Périgord, Charles, Prince of Benevento, 23, 26, 83, 84.
Teba, Madame de (_née_ Fitzpatrick, Marquise de Montijo),
  167, 168, 169.
Thiers, Adolphe, first President of the Third Republic, 21, 25,
  87, 112, 113, 229, 246, 269-271, 299, 305, 315, 320;
  biographical sketch, 372-382, 386, 387, 389, 392-399, 405, 408.
Thiers, Madame, 180, 389, 394, 399.
Ticknor, Mr. George, quoted, 167, 168.
Tissot, Victor, quoted, 191.
Trochu, Jules, General, 257, 262, 270, 271, 276-279, 294.
Tuileries, 23, 50, 116, 117, 119, 120, 171, 172, 190, 221, 241,
  257-259, 320, 321, 349.

Uzès, Duchess of, 437, 439.

Vambéry, Colonel, 66, 67.
Valérien, Fort, 263, 307.
Vendôme, Place, massacre, 305; column, 315, 316.
Versailles, 93, 282-286, 288, 290, 305, 389, 390.
Versailles troops enter Paris, 320, 321, 355-358.
Villèle, M. de, 16.
Victim of Paris and Versailles, 360-371.
Victoria, Queen of England, 100-102, 184-186-192, 215-219.
Vinoy, General, 279, 301, 307.

Walewski, Count, 177, 179, 224.
Washburne, E. B., American Minister, 251, 269, 338.
Wellington, Arthur, Duke of, 22, 23, 179.
White Terror, 11.
William, King of Prussia, 219, 264, 267, 268; made Emperor of
  Germany, 288-291.
Wilson, Daniel, 420-423.
Wimpfen, General, 252, 253.
Wissembourg, 242.
Wörth, 243, 247, 248.

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