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´╗┐Title: The Duchess of Berry and the Court of Charles X
Author: Imbert de Saint-Amand, 1834-1900
Language: English
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THE DUCHESS OF BERRY AND THE COURT OF CHARLES X


BY

IMBERT DE SAINT-AMAND



CONTENTS

      I. THE ACCESSION OF CHARLES X
     II. THE ENTRY INTO PARIS
    III. THE TOMBS OF SAINT-DENIS
     IV. THE FUNERAL OF LOUIS XVIII
      V. THE KING
     VI. THE DAUPHIN AND DAUPHINESS
    VII. MADAME
   VIII. THE ORLEANS FAMILY
     IX. THE PRINCE OF CONDE
      X. THE COURT
     XI. THE DUKE OF DOUDEAUVILLE
    XII. THE HOUSEHOLD OF THE DUCHESS OF BERRY
   XIII. THE PREPARATIONS FOR THE CORONATION
    XIV. THE CORONATION
     XV. CLOSE OF THE SOJOURN AT RHEIMS
    XVI. THE RE-ENTRANCE INTO PARIS
   XVII. THE JUBILEE OF 1826
  XVIII. THE DUCHESS OF GONTAUT
    XIX. THE THREE GOVERNORS
     XX. THE REVIEW OF THE NATIONAL GUARD
    XXI. THE FIRST DISQUIETUDE
   XXII. THE MARTIGNAC MINISTRY
  XXIII. THE JOURNEY IN THE WEST
   XXIV. THE MARY STUART BALL
    XXV. THE FINE ARTS
   XXVI. THE THEATRE OF MADAME
  XXVII. DIEPPE
 XXVIII. THE PRINCE DE POLIGNAC
   XXIX. GENERAL DE BOURMONT
    XXX. THE JOURNEY IN THE SOUTH



THE DUCHESS OF BERRY AND THE COURT OF CHARLES X



I

THE ACCESSION OF CHARLES X


Thursday, the 16th of September, 1824, at the moment when Louis XVIII.
was breathing his last in his chamber of the Chateau des Tuileries, the
courtiers were gathered in the Gallery of Diana. It was four o'clock in
the morning. The Duke and the Duchess of Angouleme, the Duchess of
Berry, the Duke and the Duchess of Orleans, the Bishop of Hermopolis,
and the physicians were in the chamber of the dying man. When the King
had given up the ghost, the Duke of Angouleme, who became Dauphin,
threw himself at the feet of his father, who became King, and kissed
his hand with respectful tenderness. The princes and princesses
followed this example, and he who bore thenceforward the title of
Charles X., sobbing, embraced them all. They knelt about the bed. The
De Profundis was recited. Then the new King sprinkled holy water on the
body of his brother and kissed the icy hand. An instant later M. de
Blacas, opening the door of the Gallery of Diana, called out:
"Gentlemen, the King!" And Charles X. appeared.

Let us listen to the Duchess of Orleans. "At these words, in the
twinkling of an eye, all the crowd of courtiers deserted the Gallery to
surround and follow the new King. It was like a torrent. We were borne
along by it, and only at the door of the Hall of the Throne, my husband
bethought himself that we no longer had aught to do there. We returned
home, reflecting much on the feebleness of our poor humanity, and the
nothingness of the things of this world."

Marshal Marmont, who was in the Gallery of Diana at the moment of the
King's death, was much struck by the two phrases pronounced at an
instant's interval by M. de Damas: "Gentlemen, the King is dead! The
King, gentlemen!"

He wrote in his Memoirs: "It is difficult to describe the sensation
produced by this double announcement in so brief a time. The new
sovereign was surrounded by his officers, and everything except the
person of the King was in the accustomed order. Beautiful and great
thought, this uninterrupted life of the depository of the sovereign
power! By this fiction there is no break in this protecting force, so
necessary to the preservation of society." The Marshal adds: "The
government had been in fact for a year and more in the hands of
Monsieur. Thus the same order of things was to continue; nevertheless,
there was emotion perceptible on the faces of those present; one might
see hopes spring up and existences wither. Every one accompanied the
new King to his Pavilion of Marsan. He announced to his ministers that
he confirmed them in their functions. Then every one withdrew."

While the Duchess of Berry was present at the death of Louis XVIII.,
the Duke of Bordeaux and his sister, Mademoiselle, then, the one four,
the other five years of age, remained at the Chateau of Saint Cloud,
with the Governess of the Children of France, the Viscountess of
Gontaut-Biron. This lady passed the night of the 15th of September in
great anxiety. She listened on the balcony, awaiting and dreading the
news.

At the moment that the day began to dawn, she heard afar the gallop of
a horse that drew near, passed the bridge, ascended the avenue, reached
the Chateau, and in response to the challenge of the guard, she
distinguished the words: "An urgent message for Madame the Governess."
It was a letter from the new King. Madame de Gontaut trembled as she
opened it. Charles X. announced to her, in sad words, that Louis XVIII.
was no more, and directed her to made ready for the arrival of the
royal family. "Lodge me where you and the governor shall see fit. We
shall probably pass three or four days at Saint Cloud. Communicate my
letter to the Marshal. I have not strength to write another word."

"The day was beginning to break," we read in the unpublished Memoirs of
the Governess of the Children of France. "I went to the bed of
Monseigneur. He was awakened. He was not surprised, and said nothing,
and allowed himself to be dressed. Not so with Mademoiselle. I told her
gently of the misfortune that had come upon her family. I was agitated.
She questioned me, asking where was bon-papa. I told her that he was
still in Paris, but was coming to Saint Cloud; then I added: 'Your
bon-papa, Mademoiselle, is King, since the King is no more.' She
reflected, then, repeating the word: 'King! Oh! that indeed is the
worst of the story.' I was astonished, and wished her to explain her
idea; she simply repeated it. I thought then she had conceived the
notion of a king always rolled about in his chair."

The same day the court arrived. It was no longer the light carriage
that used almost daily to bring Monsieur, to the great joy of his
grandchildren. It was the royal coach with eight horses, livery,
escort, and body-guard. The Duke of Bordeaux and his sister were on the
porch with their governess. On perceiving the coach, instead of
shouting with pleasure, as was their custom, they remained motionless
and abashed. Charles X. was pale and silent. In the vestibule he
paused: "What chamber have you prepared for me?" he said sadly to
Madame de Gontaut, glancing at the door of his own. The governess
replied: "The apartment of Monsieur is ready, and the chamber of the
King as well." The sovereign paused, then clasping his hands in
silence: "It must be!" he cried. "Let us ascend."

They followed him. He passed through the apartments. On the threshold
of the royal chamber Madame de Gontaut brought to Charles X. the Duke
of Bordeaux and Mademoiselle and he embraced them. The poor children
were disconcerted by so much sadness. "As soon as I can," he said to
them, "I promise to come to see you." Then turning to the company: "I
would be alone." All withdrew in silence. The Dauphiness was weeping.
The Dauphin had disappeared. Everything was gloomy. No one spoke. Thus
passed the first day of the reign of Charles X.

The next day the King received the felicitations of the Corps de
l'Etat. Many addresses were delivered. "All contained the expression of
the public love," said Marshal Marmont in his Memoirs, "and I believe
that they were sincere; but the love of the people is, of all loves,
the most fragile, the most apt to evaporate. The King responded in an
admirable manner, with appropriateness, intelligence, and warmth. His
responses, less correct, perhaps, than those of Louis XVIII., had
movement and spirit, and it is so precious to hear from those invested
with the sovereign powers things that come from the heart, that Charles
X. had a great success. I listened to him with care, and I sincerely
admired his facility in varying his language and modifying his
expressions according to the eminence of the authority from whom the
compliments came."

The reception lasted several hours. When the coaches had rolled away
and when quiet was re-established in the Chateau of Saint Cloud,
Charles X., in the mourning costume of the Kings, the violet coat, went
to the apartment of the Duke of Bordeaux and his sister. The usher
cried: "The King!" The two children, frightened, and holding each other
by the hand, remained silent. Charles X. opened his arms and they threw
themselves into them. Then the sovereign seated himself in his
accustomed chair and held his grandchildren for some moments pressed to
his heart. The Duke of Bordeaux covered the hands and the face of his
grandfather with kisses. Mademoiselle regarded attentively the altered
features of the King and his mourning dress, novel to her. She asked
him why he wore such a coat. Charles X. did not reply, and sighed. Then
he questioned the governess as to the impression made on the children
by the death of Louis XVIII. Madame de Gontaut hesitated to answer,
recalling the strange phrase of Mademoiselle: "King! Oh! that indeed is
the worst of the story." But the little Princess, clinging to her
notion, began to repeat the unlucky phrase. Charles X., willing to give
it a favorable interpretation, assured Mademoiselle that he would see
her as often as in the past, and that nothing should separate him from
her. The two children, with the heedlessness of their age, took on
their usual gaiety, and ran to the window to watch the market-men, the
coal heavers, and the fishwomen, who had come to Saint Cloud to
congratulate the new King.

The griefs of sovereigns in the period of their prosperity do not last
so long as those of private persons. Courtiers take too much pains to
lighten them. With Charles X. grief at the loss of his brother was
quickly followed by the enjoyment of reigning. Chateaubriand, who, when
he wished to, had the art of carrying flattery to lyric height,
published his pamphlet: Le roi est mart! Vive le roi! In it he said:
"Frenchmen, he who announced to you Louis le Desire, who made his voice
heard by you in the days of storm, and makes to you to-day of Charles
X. in circumstances very different. He is no longer obliged to tell you
what the King is who comes to you, what his misfortunes are, his
virtues, his rights to the throne and to your love; he is no longer
obliged to depict his person, to inform you how many members of his
family still exist. You know him, this Bourbon, the first to come,
after our disaster, worthy herald of old France, to cast himself, a
branch of lilies in his hand, between you and Europe. Your eyes rest
with love and pleasure on this Prince, who in the ripeness of years has
preserved the charm and elegance of his youth, and who now, adorned
with the diadem, still is but ONE FRENCHMAN THE MORE IN THE MIDST OF
YOU. You repeat with emotion so many happy mots dropped by this new
monarch, who from the loyalty of his heart draws the grace of happy
speech. What one of us would not confide to him his life, his fortune,
his honor? The man whom we should all wish as a friend, we have as
King. Ah! Let us try to make him forget the sacrifices of his life! May
the crown weigh lightly on the white head of this Christian Knight!
Pious as Saint Louis, affable, compassionate, and just as Louis XII.,
courtly as Francis I., frank as Henry IV., may he be happy with all the
happiness he has missed in his long past! May the throne where so many
monarchs have encountered tempests, be for him a place of repose!
Devoted subjects, let us crowd to the feet of our well-loved sovereign,
let us recognize in him the model of honor, the living principle of our
laws, the soul of our monarchical society; let us bless a guardian
heredity, and may legitimacy without pangs give birth to a new King!
Let our soldiers cover with their flags the father of the Duke of
Angouleme. May watchful Europe, may the factions, if such there be
still, see in the accord of all Frenchmen, in the union of the people
and the army, the pledge of our strength and of the peace of the
world!" The author of the Genie du Christianisme thus closed his prose
dithyramb: "May God grant to Louis XVIII. the crown immortal of Saint
Louis! May God bless the mortal crown of Saint Louis on the head of
Charles X.!"

In this chant in honor of the King and of royalty, M. de Chateaubriand
did not forget the Duke and Duchess of Angouleme, nor the Duchess of
Berry and the Duke of Bordeaux. "Let us salute," he said, "the Dauphin
and Dauphiness, names that bind the past to the future, calling up
touching and noble memories, indicating the own son and the successor
of the monarch, names under which we find the liberator of Spain and
the daughter of Louis XVI. The Child of Europe, the new Henry, thus
makes one step toward the throne of his ancestor, and his young mother
guides him to the throne that she might have ascended."

Happy in the ease with which the change in the reign had taken place,
and seeing the unanimous manifestations of devotion and enthusiasm by
which the throne was surrounded, the Duchess of Berry regarded the
future with entire confidence. Inclined by nature to optimism, the
young and amiable Princess believed herself specially protected by
Providence, and would have considered as a sort of impiety anything
else than absolute faith in the duration of the monarchy and in respect
for the rights of her son. Had any one of the court expressed the
slightest doubt as to the future destiny of the CHILD OF MIRACLE, he
would have been looked upon as an alarmist or a coward. The royalists
were simple enough to believe that, thanks to this child, the era of
revolutions was forever closed. They said to themselves that French
royalty, like British royalty, would have its Whigs and its Tories, but
that it was forever rid of Republicans and Imperialists. At the
accession of Charles X. the word Republican, become a synonym of
Jacobin, awoke only memories of the guillotine and the "Terror." A
moderate republic seemed but a chimera; only that of Robespierre and
Marat was thought of. The eagle was no longer mentioned; and as to the
eaglet, he was a prisoner at Vienna. What chance of reigning had the
Duke of Reichstadt, that child of thirteen, condemned by all the Powers
of Europe? By what means could he mount the throne? Who would be regent
in his name? A Bonaparte? The forgetful Marie Louise? Such hypotheses
were relegated to the domain of pure fantasy. Apart from a few
fanatical old soldiers who persisted in saying that Napoleon was not
dead, no one, in 1824, believed in the resurrection of the Empire. As
for Orleanism, it was as yet a myth. The Duke of Orleans himself was
not an Orleanist. Of all the courtiers of Charles X., he was the most
eager, the most zealous, the most enthusiastic. In whatever direction
she turned her glance, the Duchess of Berry saw about her only reasons
for satisfaction and security.



II

THE ENTRY INTO PARIS


The Duchess of Berry took part in the solemn entry into Paris made by
Charles X., Monday, 27th September, 1824. She was in the same carriage
as the Dauphiness and the Duchess and Mademoiselle of Orleans. The King
left the Chateau of Saint Cloud at half-past eleven in the morning,
passed through the Bois de Boulogne, and mounted his horse at the
Barriere de l'Etoile. There he was saluted by a salvo of one hundred
and one guns, and the Count de Chambral, Prefect of the Seine,
surrounded by the members of the Municipal Council, presented to him
the keys of the city. Charles X. replied to the address of the Prefect:
"I deposit these keys with you, because I cannot place them in more
faithful hands. Guard them, gentlemen. It is with a profound feeling of
pain and joy that I enter within these walls, in the midst of my good
people,--of joy because I well know that I shall employ and consecrate
all my days to the very last, to assure and consolidate their
happiness." Accompanied by the princes and princesses of his family and
by a magnificent staff, the sovereign descended the Champs-Elysees to
the Avenue of Marigny, followed that avenue, and entered the Rue du
Faubourg Saint-Honore, before the Palace of the Elysee. At this moment,
the weather, which had been cold and sombre, brightened, and the rain,
which had been falling for a long time, ceased. The King heard two
child-voices crying joyously, "Bon-papa." It was the little Duke of
Bordeaux and his sister at a window of an entresol of the Elysee which
looked out upon the street. On perceiving his two grandchildren,
Charles X. could not resist the impulse to approach them. He left the
ranks of the cortege, to the despair of the grand-master of ceremonies.
The horse reared. A sergeant-de-ville seized him by the bit. Listen to
Madame de Gontaut: "I was frightened, and cried out. The King scolded
me for it afterward. I confessed my weakness; to fall at the first step
in Paris would have seemed an ill omen. The King subdued his fretful
horse, said a few tender words to the children, raised his hat
gracefully to the ladies surrounding us. A thousand voices shouted:
Vive le Roi! The grand-master was reassured, the horse was quieted, and
the King resumed his place. The carriage of the princes and princesses
passing at that moment, the little princes saw them--it was an added
joy."

The cortege followed this route: the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore, the
boulevards to the Rue Saint-Denis, the Rue Saint-Denis, the Place du
Chatelet, the Pont au Change, the Rue de la Bailer, the Marche-Neuf,
the Rue Neuve-Notre-Dame, the Parvis. At every moment the King reined
in his superb Arab horse to regard more at ease the delighted crowd. He
smiled and saluted with an air of kindness and a grace that produced
the best impression. Charles X. was an excellent horseman; he presented
the figure and air of a young man. The contrast naturally fixed in all
minds, between his vigorous attitude and that of his predecessor, an
infirm and feeble old man, added to the general satisfaction. The
houses were decorated with white flags spangled with fleurs-de-lis.
Triumphal arches were erected along the route of the sovereign. The
streets and boulevards were strewn with flowers. At the sight of the
monarch the happy people redoubled their acclamations. Benjamin
Constant shouted: "Vive le roi!"--"Ah, I have captured you at last,"
smilingly remarked Charles X.

Reaching the Parvis de Notre-Dame, the sovereign, before entering the
Cathedral, paused before the threshold of the Hotel-Dieu. Fifty nuns
presented themselves before him, "Sire," said the Prioress, "you pause
before the house so justly termed the Hotel-Dieu, which has always been
honored with the protection of our kings. We shall never forget, Sire,
that the sick have seen at their bedside the Prince who is today their
King. They know that at this moment your march is arrested by charity.
We shall tell them that the King is concerned for their ills, and it
will be a solace to them. Sire, we offer you our homage, our vows, and
the assurance that we shall always fulfil with zeal our duties to the
sick." Charles X. replied: "I know with what zeal you and these
gentlemen serve the poor. Continue, Mesdames, and you can count on my
benevolence and on my constant protection."

The King was received at the Metropolitan Church by the Archbishop of
Paris at the head of his clergy. The Domine salvum, fac regem, was
intoned and repeated by the deputations of all the authorities and by
the crowd filling the nave, the side-aisles, and the tribunes of the
vast basilica. Then a numerous body of singers sang the Te Deum. On
leaving the church, the King remounted his horse and returned to the
Tuileries, along the quais, to the sound of salvos of artillery and the
acclamations of the crowd. The Duchess of Berry, who had followed the
King through all the ceremonies, entered the Chateau with him, and
immediately addressed to the Governess of the Children of France this
note: "From Saint Cloud to Notre-Dame, from Notre-Dame to the
Tuileries, the King has been accompanied by acclamations, signs of
approval and of love."

Charles X., on Thursday, the 30th September, had to attend a review on
the Champ-de-Mars. The morning of this day, the readers of all the
journals found in them a decree abolishing the censorship and restoring
liberty of the press. The enthusiasm was immense. The Journal de Paris
wrote: "Today all is joy, confidence, hope. The enthusiasm excited by
the new reign would be far too ill at ease under a censorship. None can
be exercised over the public gratitude. It must be allowed full
expansion. Happy is the Council of His Majesty to greet the new King
with an act so worthy of him. It is the banquet of this joyous
accession; for to give liberty to the press is to give free course to
the benedictions merited by Charles X."

The review was superb. After having heard Mass in the chapel of the
Chateau of the Tuileries, the King mounted his horse at half-past
eleven, and, accompanied by the Dauphin, the Duke of Orleans, and the
Duke of Bourbon, proceeded to the Champ-de-Mars. Two caleches followed;
the one was occupied by the Dauphiness, the Duchess of Berry, and the
Duke of Bordeaux in the uniform of a colonel of cuirassiers,--a
four-year old colonel,--the other by the Duchess of Orleans and
Mademoiselle of Orleans, her sister-in-law. The weather was mild and
clear. The twelve legions of the National Guard on foot, the mounted
National Guard, the military household of the King, and all the
regiments of the royal guard, which the sovereign was about to review,
made a magnificent appearance. An immense multitude covered the slopes
about the Champ-de-Mars. Charles X. harvested the effect of the liberal
measure that he had first adopted. A thunder of plaudits and cheers
greeted his arrival on the ground. At one moment, when he found
himself, so to speak, tangled in the midst of the crowd, several
lancers of his guard sought to break the circle formed about him by
pushing back the curious with the handles of their lances. "My friends,
no halberds!" the King called to them. This happy phrase, repeated from
group to group, carried the general satisfaction to a climax. A witness
of this military ceremony, the Count of Puymaigre, at that time Prefect
of the Oise, says in his curious Souvenirs:--

"Charles X. appeared to have dissipated all the dangers that for ten
years had menaced his august predecessor.

"On all sides there rose only acclamations of delight in favor of the
new King, who showed himself so popular, and whose gracious countenance
could express only benevolent intentions. I was present, mingling with
the crowd, at the first review by Charles X. on the Champ-de-Mars, and
the remarks were so frankly royalist, that any one would have been
roughly treated by the crowd had he shown other sentiments."

The Duchess of Berry was full of joy. She quivered with pleasure. Very
popular in the army and among the people, as at court and in the city,
she was proud to show her fine child, who already wore the uniform, to
the officers and soldiers. She appeared to all eyes the symbol of
maternal love, and the mothers gazed upon her boy as if he had been
their own. As soon as the little Prince was seen, there was on every
face an expression of kindliness and sympathy. He was the Child of
Paris, the Child of France. Who could have foretold then that this
child, so loved, admired, applauded, would, innocent victim, less than
six years later, be condemned to perpetual exile, and by whom?

Charles X. had won a triumph. Napoleon, at the time of his greatest
glories, at the apogee of his prodigious fortunes, had never had a
warmer greeting from the Parisian people. In the course of the review
the King spoke to all the colonels. On his return to the Tuileries he
went at a slow pace, paused often to receive petitions, handed them to
one of his suite, and responded in the most gracious manner to the
homage of which he was the object. An historian not to be accused of
partiality for the Restoration has written: "On entering the Tuileries,
Charles X. might well believe that the favor that greeted his reign
effaced the popularity of all the sovereigns who had gone before. Happy
in being King at last, moved by the acclamations that he met at every
step, the new monarch let his intoxicating joy expand in all his words.
His affability was remarked in his walks through Paris, and the grace
with which he received all petitioners who could approach him."
Everywhere that he appeared, at the Hotel-Dieu, at Sainte-Genvieve, at
the Madeleine, the crowd pressed around him and manifested the
sincerest enthusiasm. M. Villemain, in the opening discourse of his
lectures on eloquence at the Faculty of Letters, was wildly applauded
when he pronounced the following eulogium on the new sovereign: "A
monarch kindly and revered, he has the loyalty of the antique ways and
modern enlightenment. Religion is the seal of his word. He inherits
from Henry IV. those graces of the heart that are irresistible. He has
received from Louis XIV. an intelligent love of the arts, a nobility of
language, and that dignity that imposes respect while it seduces." All
the journals chanted his praises. Seeing that the Constitutionnel
itself, freed from censorship, rendered distinguished homage to
legitimacy, he came to believe that principle invincible. He was called
Charles the Loyal. At the Theatre-Francais, the line of Tartufe--

    "Nous vivons sous un prince ennemi de la fraude"--

was greeted with a salvo of applause. The former adversaries of the
King reproached themselves with having misunderstood him. They
sincerely reproached themselves for their past criticisms, and adored
that which they had burned. M. de Vaulabelle himself wrote:--

"Few sovereigns have taken possession of the throne in circumstances
more favorable than those surrounding the accession of Charles X."

It seemed as if the great problem of the conciliation of order and
liberty had been definitely solved. The white flag, rejuvenated by the
Spanish war, had taken on all its former splendor. The best officers,
the best soldiers of the imperial guard, served the King in the royal
guard with a devotion proof against everything. Secret societies had
ceased their subterranean manoeuvres. No more disturbances, no more
plots. In the Chambers, the Opposition, reduced to an insignificant
minority, was discouraged or converted. The ambitious spirits of whom
it was composed turned their thoughts toward the rising sun. Peace had
happily fecundated the prodigious resources of the country. Finances,
commerce, agriculture, industry, the fine arts, everything was
prospering. The public revenues steadily increased. The ease with which
riches came inclined all minds toward optimism. The salons had resumed
the most exquisite traditions of courtesy and elegance. It was the
boast that every good side of the ancien regime had been preserved and
every bad one rejected. France was not only respected, she was a la
mode. All Europe regarded her with sympathetic admiration. No one in
1824 could have predicted 1880. The writers least favorable to the
Restoration had borne witness to the general calm, the prevalence of
good will, the perfect accord between the country and the crown. The
early days of the reign of Charles X. were, so to speak, the honeymoon
of the union of the King and France.



III

THE TOMBS OF SAINT-DENIS


The funeral solemnities of Louis XVIII. seemed to the people a mortuary
triumph of Royalty over the Revolution and the Empire. The profanations
of 1793 were expiated. Napoleon was left with the willow of Saint
Helena; the descendant of Saint Louis and of Louis XIV. had the
basilica of his ancestors as a place of sepulture, and the links of
time's chain were again joined. The obsequies of Louis XVIII. suggested
a multitude of reflections. It was the first time since the death of
Louis XV. in 1774, that such a ceremony had taken place. As was said by
the Moniteur:--

"This solemnity, absolutely novel for the greater number of the present
generation, offered an aspect at once mournful and imposing. A monarch
so justly regretted, a king so truly Christian, coming to take his
place among the glorious remains of the martyrs of his race and the
bones of his ancestors,--profaned, scattered by the revolutionary
tempest, but which he had been able again to gather,--was a grave
subject of reflection, a spectacle touching in its purpose and majestic
in the pomp with which it was surrounded."

Through what vicissitudes had passed these royal tombs, to which the
coffin of Louis XVIII. was borne! Read in the work of M. Georges
d'Heylli, Les Tombes royales de Saint-Denis, the story of these
profanations and restorations.

The Moniteur of the 6th of February, 1793, published in its literary
miscellany, a so-called patriotic ode, by the poet Lebrun, containing
the following strophe:--

    "Purgeons le sol des patriotes,
    Par des rois encore infectes.
    La terre de la liberte
    Rejette les os des despotes.
    De ces monstres divinises
    Que tous lea cercueils soient brises!
    Que leur memoirs soit fletrie!
    Et qu'avec leurs manes errants
    Sortent du sein de la patrie
    Les cadavres de ses tyrants!"

[Footnote: Let us purge the patriot soil--By kings still infected.--The
land of liberty--Rejects the bones of despots.--Of these monsters
deified--Let all the coffins be destroyed!--Let their memory
perish!--And with their wandering manes--Let issue from the bosom of
the fatherland--The bodies of its tyrants!]

These verses were the prelude to the discussion, some months later, in
the National Convention, of the proposition to destroy the monuments of
the Kings at Saint-Denis, to burn their remains, and to send to the
bullet foundry the bronze and lead off their tombs and coffins. In the
session of July 31, 1793, Barrere, the "Anacreon of the guillotine,"
read to the convention in the name of the Committee of Public Safety, a
report, which said:--

"To celebrate the day of August 10, which overthrew the throne, the
pompous mausoleums must be destroyed upon its anniversary. Under the
Monarchy, the very tombs were taught to flatter kings. Royal pride and
luxury could not be moderated even on this theatre of death, and the
bearers of the sceptre who had brought such ills on France and on
humanity seemed even in the grave to vaunt a vanished splendor. The
strong hand of the Republic should pitilessly efface these haughty
epitaphs, and demolish these mausoleums which might recall the
frightful memory of kings."

The project was voted by acclamation. The tombs were demolished between
the 6th and 8th of August, 1793, and the announcement was made for the
anniversary of the 10th of August, 1792, of "that grand, just, and
retributive destruction, required in order that the coffins should be
opened, and the remains of the tyrants be thrown into a ditch filled
with quick-time, where they may be forever destroyed. This operation
will shortly take place."

This was done in the following October. For some days there was carried
on a profanation even more sacrilegious than the demolition of the
tombs. The coffins containing the remains of kings and queens, princes
and princesses, were violated. On Wednesday, the 16th of October, 1798,
at the very hour that Marie Antoinette mounted the scaffold,--she who
had so wept for her son, the first Dauphin, who died the 4th of June,
1789, at the beginning of the Revolution,--the disinterrers of kings
violated the grave of this child and threw his bones on the refuse
heap. Iconoclasts, jealous of death, disputed its prey, and they
profaned among others the sepulchres of Madame Henrietta of England, of
the Princess Palatine, of the Regent, and of Louis XV.

In the midst of these devastations, some men, less insensate than the
others, sought at least to rescue from the hands of the destroyers what
might be preserved in the interest of art. Of this number was an
artist, Alexandre Lenoir, who had supervised the demolition of the
tombs of Saint-Denis. He could not keep from the foundry, by the terms
of the decree, the tombs of lead, copper, and bronze; but he saved the
others from complete destruction--those that may be seen to-day in the
church of Saint-Denis. He had them placed first in the cemetery of the
Valois, near the ditches filled with quicklime, where had been cast the
remains of the great ones of the earth, robbed of their sepulchres.
Later, a decree of the Minister of the Interior, Benezech, dated 19
Germinal, An IV., authorizing the citizen Lenoir to have the tombs thus
saved from destruction taken to the Museum of French Monuments, of
which he was the conservator, and which had been installed at Paris,
Rue des Petits Augustins. From thence they were destined to be returned
to the Church of Saint-Denis, under the reign of Louis XVIII.

At the height of his power, Napoleon dreamed of providing for himself
the same sepulture as that of the kings, his predecessors. He had
decided that he would be interred in the Church of Saint-Denis, and had
arranged for himself a cortege of emperors about the site that he had
chosen for the vault of his dynasty. He directed the construction of a
grand monument dedicated to Charlemagne, which was to rise in the
"imperialized" church. The great Carlovingian emperor was to have been
represented, erect, upon a column of marble, at the back of which
statues in stone of the emperors who succeeded him were to have been
placed. But at the time of Napoleon's fall, the monument had not been
finished. There had been completed only the statues, which have taken
their rank in the crypt. They represent Charlemagne, Louis le
Debonnaire, Charles le Chauve, Louis le Begue, Charles le Gros, and
even Louis d'Outremer, who, nevertheless, was only a king.

Like the Pharaohs of whom Bossuet speaks, Napoleon was not to enjoy his
sepulture. To be interred with pomp at Saint-Denis, while Napoleon, at
Saint Helena, rested under a simple stone on which not even his name
was inscribed, was the last triumph for Louis XVIII.,--a triumph in
death. The re-entrance of Louis XVIII. had been not only the
restoration of the throne, but that of the tombs. The 21st of January,
1815, twenty-two years, to the very day, after the death of Louis XVI.,
the remains of the unhappy King and those of his Queen, Marie
Antoinette, were transferred to the Church of Saint-Denis, where their
solemn obsequies were celebrated. Chateaubriand cried:--

"What hand has reconstructed the roof of these vaults and prepared
these empty tombs? The hand of him who was seated on the throne of the
Bourbons. O Providence! He believed that he was preparing the
sepulchres of his race, and he was but building the tomb of Louis XVI.
Injustice reigns but for a moment; it is virtue only that can count its
ancestors and leave a posterity. See, at the same moment, the master of
the earth falls, Louis XVIII. regains the sceptre, Louis XVI. finds
again the sepulture of his fathers."

At the beginning of the Second Restoration, the King determined, by a
decree of the 4th of April, 1816, that search should be made in the
cemetery of the Valois, about the Church of Saint-Denis, in order to
recover the remains of his ancestors that might have escaped the action
of the bed of quicklime, in which they had been buried under the
Terror. The same decree declared that the remains recovered should be
solemnly replaced in the Church of Saint-Denis.

Excavations were made in January, 1817, in the cemetery of the Valois,
and the bones thus discovered were transferred to the necropolis of the
kings.

"It was night," says Alexandre Lenoir, in his Histoire des Arts en
France par les Monuments. "The moon shone on the towers; the torches
borne by the attendants were reflected from the walls of the edifice.
What a spectacle! The remains of kings and queens, princes and
princesses, of the most ancient of monarchies, sought with pious care,
with sacred respect, in the ditches dug by impious arms in the evil
days. The bones of the Valois and the Bourbons found pele-mele outside
the walls of the church, and brought again, after a long exile, to
their ancient burial place."

In a little vault on the left were deposited the coffins containing the
bones of earlier date than the Bourbons, and a marble tablet was placed
upon it, with the inscription: "Here rest the mortal remains of
eighteen kings, from Dagobert to Henry III.; ten queens, from Nantilde,
wife of Dagobert, to Marguerite de Valois, first wife of Henry IV.;
twenty-four dauphins, princes, and princesses, children and
grandchildren of France; eleven divers personages (Hugues-le-grand,
four abbes of Saint-Denis, three chamberlains, two constables, and
Sedille de Sainte-Croix, wife of the Counsellor Jean Pastourelle). Torn
from their violated sepulchres the 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
October, 1793, and 18 January, 1794; restored to their tombs the 19
January, 1817."

On the right were placed the coffins enclosing the remains of the
princes and princesses of the house of Bourbon, the list of which is
given by a second marble plaque: "Here rest the mortal remains of seven
kings, from Charles V. to Louis XV.; seven queens, from Jeanne de
Bourbon, wife of Charles V., to Marie Leczinska, wife of Louis XV.;
dauphins and dauphinesses, princes and princesses, children and
grandchildren of France, to the number of forty-seven, from the second
son of Henry IV. to the Dauphin, eldest son of Louis XVI. Torn from
their violated sepulchres the 12, 14, 15, and 16 October, 1793;
restored to their tombs the 19 January, 1817."

Besides these vaults, there is one that bears the title of the "Royal
Vault of the Bourbons," though but a small number of princes and
princesses of this family are there deposited. There is where Louis
XVIII. was to rest. In 1815, there had been placed in this vault the
coffins of Louis XVI. and of Marie Antoinette, recovered on the site of
the former cemetery of the Madeleine. On the coffin of the King was
carved: "Here is the body of the very high, very puissant, and very
excellent Prince, Louis, 16th of the name, by the grace of God King of
France and Navarre." A like inscription on the coffin of the Queen
recited her titles.

In 1817, there had been put by the side of these two coffins those of
Madame Adelaide and of Madame Victorine, daughter of Louis XV., who
died at Trieste, one in 1799, the other in 1800, and whose remains had
just been brought from that city to Saint-Denis. There had also been
placed in the same vault a coffin containing the body of Louis VII.--a
king coming now for the first time, as Alexandre Lenoir remarks, to
take a place in the vault of these vanished princes, whose ranks are no
longer crowded, and which crime has been more prompt to scatter than
has Death been to fill them; also the coffin of Louise de Vaudemont,
wife of Henry III., the queen who was buried in the Church of the
Capucins, Place Vendome, and whose remains escaped profanation in 1793.
In this same vault were also two little coffins, those of a daughter
and a son of the Duke and Duchess of Berry, who died, one in 1817, the
other in 1818, immediately after birth, and the coffin of their father,
assassinated the 13th of February, 1820, on leaving the Opera. Such
were the companions in burial of Louis XVIII.



IV

THE FUNERAL OF LOUIS XVIII


Louis XVIII. died the 16th of September, 1824, at the Chateau of the
Tuileries. His body remained there until the 23d of September, when, to
the sound of a salvo of one hundred and one guns, it was borne to the
Church of Saint-Denis. The coffin remained exposed in this basilica
within a chapelle ardente, to the 24th of October, the eve of the day
fixed for the obsequies, and during all this time the church was filled
with a crowd of the faithful, belonging to all classes of society, who
gathered from Paris and all the surrounding communes, to render a last
homage to the old King. Sunday, 24th of October, at two o'clock in the
afternoon, the body was transferred from the chapelle ardente to the
catafalque prepared to receive it. Then the vespers and the vigils of
the dead were sung, and the Grand Almoner, clad in his pontifical
robes, officiated. The next day, Monday, the 25th of October, the
services of burial took place.

The Dauphin and Dauphiness left the Tuileries at 10:30 A.M., to be
present at the funeral ceremony. In conformity with etiquette, Charles
X. was not present. He remained at the Tuileries with the Duchess of
Berry, with whom he heard a requiem Mass in the chapel of the Chateau
at eleven o'clock. The Duchess was thus spared a painful spectacle.
With what emotion would she not have seen opened the crypt in which she
believed she would herself be laid, and which was the burial place of
her assassinated husband and of her two children, dead so soon after
their birth.

The ceremony commences in the antique necropolis. The interior of the
church is hung all with black to the spring of the arches, where
fleurs-de-lis in gold are relieved against the funeral hangings. The
light of day, wholly shut out, is replaced by an immense quantity of
lamps, tapers, and candles, suspended from a multitude of candelabra
and chandeliers. At the back of the choir shines a great luminous
cross. The Dauphiness, the Duchess of Orleans, the princes and
princesses, her children, her sister-in-law, are led to the gallery of
the Dauphiness. The church is filled with the crowd of constituted
authorities. At the entrance to the nave is seen a deputation of men
and women from the markets, and others who, according to the Moniteur,
have won the favor of admission to this sad ceremony by the grief they
manifested at the time of the King's death. The Dauphin advances, his
mantle borne from the threshold of the church to the choir by the Duke
of Blacas, the Duke of Damas, and the Count Melchior de Polignac. The
Duke of Orleans comes next. Three of his officers bear his mantle.

A salvo of artillery, responded to by a discharge of musketry,
announces the commencement of the ceremony. The Grand Almoner of France
says Mass. After the Gospel Mgr. de Frayssinous, Bishop of Hermopolis,
ascends the pulpit and pronounces the funeral oration of the King. At
the close of the discourse another salvo of artillery and another
discharge of musketry are heard. The musicians of the Chapel of the
King, under the direction of M. Plantade, render the Mass of Cherubim.
At the Sanctus, twelve pages of the King, guided by their governor,
come from the sacristy, whence they have taken their torches, salute
the altar, then the catafalque, place themselves kneeling on the first
steps of the sanctuary, and remain there until after the Communion. The
De Profundis and the Libera are sung. After the absolutions, twelve
bodyguards advance to the catafalque, which recalls by its form the
mausoleums raised to Francis I. and to Henry II. by the architects of
the sixteenth century. It occupies the centre of the nave. The cords of
the pall are borne by the Chancellor Dambray in the name of the Chamber
of Peers, by M. Ravez in the name of the Chamber of Deputies, by the
Count de Seze in the name of the magistracy, by Marshal Moncey, Duke of
Conegliano, in the name of the army. The twelve bodyguards raise the
coffin from the catafalque, and bear it into the royal tomb. Then the
King-at-Arms goes alone into the vault, lays aside his rod, his cap,
and his coat-of-arms, which he also casts in, retires a step, and
cries: "Heralds-at-Arms, perform your duties."

The Heralds-at-Arms, marching in succession, cast their rods, caps,
coats-of-arms, into the tomb, then withdraw, except two, of whom one
descends into the vault to place the regalia on the coffin, and the
other is stationed on the first steps to receive the regalia and pass
them to the one who stands on the steps.

The King-at-Arms begins announcing the regalia. He says: "Marshal, Duke
of Ragusa, major-general of the Royal Guard, bring the flag of the
Royal Guard." The marshal rises from his place, takes the flag from the
hands of the officer bearing it, advances, salutes first the Dauphin,
then the Duke of Orleans, approaches the vault, makes a profound bow,
and places the flag in the hands of the Herald-at-Arms, standing on the
steps. He passes it to the second, who places it on the coffin. The
marshal salutes the altar and the princes and resumes his place.

The King-at-Arms continues the calls. "Monsieur the Duke of Mortemart,
captain-colonel of the regular foot-guards of the King, bring the
ensign of the company which you have in keeping." He summons in the
same manner the Duke of Luxembourg, the Duke of Mouchy, the Duke of
Gramont, the Duke d'Havre, who bring each the standard of the company
of the body-guards of which they are the four captains. The call of the
other regalia goes on in the following order:--

"Monsieur the Count of Peyrelongue, Equerry in Ordinary of His Majesty,
bring the spurs of the King.

"Monsieur the Marquis of Fresne, Equerry in Ordinary of His Majesty,
bring the gauntlets of the King.

"Monsieur the Chevalier de Riviere, Master of the Horse of His Majesty,
bring the coat-of-arms of the King.

"Monsieur the Marquis of Vernon, charged with the functions of First
Equerry, bring the helmet of the King.

"Monsieur the Duke of Polignac, charged with the functions of Grand
Equerry of France, bring the royal sword. (The royal sword is presented
before the vault only by the point, and is not carried down.)

"Monsieur the Prince de Talleyrand, Grand Chamberlain of France, bring
the banner."

There is seen approaching, the banner in his hand, an old man, slight,
lame, clad in satin and covered with embroidery, in gold and jewelled
decorations. It is the unfrocked priest who said the Mass of the
Champ-de-Mars, for the Fete de la Federation; it is the diplomat who
directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the time of the murder of
the Duke d'Enghien; it is the courtier, who, before he was Grand
Chamberlain of Louis XVIII. and Charles X., was that of Napoleon. The
banner is presented before the vault only by one end. It is inclined
over the opening of the crypt, but is not cast in, salutes, for the
last time, the dead King, then rises as if to proclaim that the noble
banner of France dies not, and that the royalty sheltered beneath its
folds descends not into the tomb.

The King-at-Arms again cries:--

"Monsieur the Duke d'Uzes, charged with the functions of Grand Master
of France, come and perform your duty." Then the maitres de l'hotel,
the chambellans de l'hotel, and the first maitre de l'hotel approach
the vault, break their batons, cast them in, and return to their places.

The King-at-Arms summons the persons bearing the insignia of royalty.

"Monsieur the Duke of Bressac, bring la main de justice.

"Monsieur the Duke of Chevreuse, bring the sceptre.

"Monsieur the Duke of la Tremoille, bring the crown."

These three insignia are taken down into the vault, as were the flag
and the four standards.

Then the Duke d'Uzes, putting the end of the baton of Grand Master of
France within the vault, cries out: "The King is dead!"

The King-at-Arms withdraws three paces, and repeats in a low voice:
"The King is dead! the King is dead! the King is dead!" Then turning to
the assembly he says: "Pray for the repose of his soul!"

At this moment the clergy and all the assistants throw themselves upon
their knees, pray, and rise again. The Duke d'Uzes withdraws his baton
from the vault, and brandishing it, calls out: "Long live the King!"

The King-at-Arms repeats: "Long live the King! long live the King! long
live the King! Charles, tenth of the name, by the grace of God, King of
France and Navarre, very Christian, very august, very puissant, our
very honored lord and good master, to whom God grant long and happy
life! Cry ye all: Long live the King!" Then the trumpets, drums, fifes,
and instruments of the military bands break into a loud fanfare, and
their sound is mingled with the prolonged acclamations of the assembly,
whose cries "Long live the King! long live Charles X.!" contrast with
the silence of the tombs.

"To this outburst of the public hopes," says the Moniteur, "succeeded
the return of pious and mournful duties; the tomb is closed over the
mortal remains of the monarch whose subjects, restored to happiness,
greeted him on his return from the land of exile with the name of Louis
le Desire, and who twice reconciled his people with Europe. This
imposing ceremony being ended, the princes were again escorted into the
Abbey to their apartments, by the Grand Master, the Master of
Ceremonies and his aides, preceded by the Master-at-Arms, and the
Heralds-at-Arms, who had resumed their caps, coats-of-arms, and rods.
Then the crowd slowly dispersed. We shall not try to express the
sentiments to which this imposing and mournful ceremony must give rise.
With the regrets and sorrow caused by the death of a prince so justly
wept, mingle the hopes inspired by a King already the master of all
hearts. This funeral ceremony when, immediately after the burial of a
monarch whom God had called to Himself, were heard cries of 'Long live
Charles X.,'--the new King greeted at the tomb of his august
predecessor,--this inauguration, amid the pomps of death, must have
left impressions not to be rendered, and beyond the power of
imagination to represent."

Reader, if this recital has interested you, go visit the Church of
Saint-Denis. There is not, perhaps, in all the world, a spectacle more
impressive than the sight of the ancient necropolis of kings. Enter the
basilica, admirably restored under the Second Empire. By the mystic
light of the windows, faithful reproductions of those of former
centuries,--the funerals of so many kings, the profanations of 1793,
the restoration of the tombs,--all this invades your thought and
inspires you with a dim religious impression of devotion. These stones
have their language. Lapides clamabunt. They speak amid the sepulchral
silence. Listen to the echo of a far-away voice. There, under these
arches, centuries old, the 21st of August, 1670, Bossuet pronounced the
funeral oration of Madame Henriette of England. He said:--

"With whatever haughty distinction men may flatter themselves, they all
have the same origin, and this origin insignificant. Their years follow
each other like waves; they flow unceasingly, and though the sound of
some is slightly greater and their course a trifle longer than those of
others, they are together confounded in an abyss where are known
neither princes nor kings nor the proud distinctions of men, as the
most boasted rivers mingle in the ocean, nameless and inglorious with
the least known streams."

Is not the Church of Saint-Denis itself a funeral discourse in stone
more grandiose and eloquent than that of the reverend orator? Regard on
either side of the nave these superb mausoleums, these pompous tombs
that are but an empty show, and since their dead dwell not in them,
contemplate these columns that seem to wish to bear to heaven the
splendid testimony of our nothingness! There, at the right of the main
altar, descend the steps that lead to the crypt. There muse on all the
kings, the queens, the princes, and princesses, whose bones have been
replaced at hazard within these vaults, after their bodies had been, in
1793, cast into a common ditch in the cemetery of the Valois to be
consumed by quicklime. The great ones of the earth, dispossessed of
their sepulchres, could they not say, in the region of shades, in the
mournful words of the Sermonnaire:--

"Death does not leave us body enough to require room, and it is only
the tombs that claim the sight; our body takes another name; even that
of corpse, since it implies something of the human form, remains to it
but a little time; it becomes a something nameless in any tongue, so
truly does everything die in it, even the funeral terms by which its
unhappy remains are designated. Thus the Power divine, justly angered
by our pride, reduces it to nothingness, and, to level all conditions
forever, makes common ashes of us all."

The remains of so many sovereigns and princes are no longer even
corpses. The corpses have perished as ruins perish. You may no longer
see the coffins of the predecessors of Louis XVI. But those of the
Martyr-King, of the Queen Marie Antoinette, of the Duke of Berry, of
Louis XVIII., are there before you in the crypt. Pause. Here is the
royal vault of the Bourbons. Your glance can enter only a narrow grated
window, through which a little twilight filters. If a lamp were not
lighted at the back, the eye would distinguish nothing. By the doubtful
gleam of this sepulchral lamp, you succeed in making out in the gloom
the coffins placed on trestles of iron; to the left that of the Duke of
Berry, then the two little coffins of his children, dead at birth; then
in two rows those of Mesdames Adelaide and Victoire, daughters of Louis
XV., those of Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette, those of the two last
Princes of Conde, died in 1818 and in 1830, and on the right, at the
very extremity of the vault, that of the only sovereign who, for the
period of a century, died upon the throne, Louis XVIII.

The royal vault of the Bourbons was diminished more than half to make
room for the imperial vault constructed under Napoleon III. The former
entrance, on the steps of which stand the Heralds-at-Arms at the
obsequies of the kings, has been suppressed. The coffin of Louis XVIII.
was not placed on the iron trestles, where it rests to-day, at the time
of his funeral. It was put at the threshold of the vault, where it was
to have been replaced by that of Charles X.; for by the ancient
tradition, when a king of France dies, as his successor takes his place
on the throne, so he, in death, displaces his predecessor. But Louis
XVIII. waited in vain for Charles X. in the royal vault of the
Bourbons; the last brother of Louis XVI. reposes in the chapel of the
Franciscans at Goritz.

Charles X. is not alone in being deprived of his rights in his tomb;
the Duke and Duchess of Angouleme and the Count of Chambord were so,
and also Napoleon III. The second Emperor and Prince Imperial, his son,
sleep their sleep in England; for the Bonapartes, like the Bourbons,
have been exiled from Saint-Denis. By a decree of the 18th of November,
1858, the man who had re-established the Empire decided that the
imperial dynasty should have its sepulture in the ancient necropolis of
the kings. Napoleon III. no more, realized his dream than Napoleon I.
He had completed under his reign the magnificent vault destined for
himself and his race. But once more was accomplished the Sic vos non
vobis, and no imperial corpse has ever taken its place in the still
empty Napoleonic vault. The opening situated in the church, near the
centre of the nave, is at present closed by enormous flagstones framed
in copper bands; and as there is no inscription on these, many people
whose feet tread them in visiting the church do not suspect that they
have beneath them the stairway of six steps leading down to the vault
that was to be the burial place of emperors. "Oh, vanity! Oh,
nothingness! Oh, mortals ignorant of their destinies!" It is not enough
that contending dynasties dispute each other's crowns; their
covetousness and rivalry must extend to their tombs. Not enough that
sovereigns have been exiled from their country; they must be exiled
from their graves. Disappointments in life and in death. This is the
last word of divine anger, the last of the lessons of Providence.



V

THE KING


Born at Versailles, the 9th of October, 1757, Charles X., King of
France and Navarre, was entering his sixty-eighth year at the time of
his accession to the throne. According to the portrait traced by
Lamartine, "he had kept beneath the first frosts of age the freshness,
the stature, the suppleness, and beauty of youth." His health was
excellent, and but for the color of his hair--almost white--he would
hardly have been given more than fifty years. As alert as his
predecessor was immobile, an untiring hunter, a bold rider, sitting his
horse with the grace of a young man, a kindly talker, an affable
sovereign, this survivor of the court of Versailles, this familiar of
the Petit-Trianon, this friend of Marie Antoinette, of the Princess of
Lamballe, of the Duchess of Polignac, of the Duke of Lauzun, of the
Prince de Ligne, preserved, despite his devotedness, a great social
prestige. He perpetuated the traditions of the elegance of the old
regime. Having lived much in the society of women, his politeness
toward them was exquisite. This former voluptuary preserved only the
good side of gallantry.

The Count d'Haussonville writes in his book entitled Ma Jeunesse:--

"I have often seen Charles X. on horseback reviewing troops or
following the chase; I have heard him, seated on his throne, and
surrounded with all the pomp of an official cortege, pronounce the
opening discourse of the session; I have many times been near him at
the little select fetes that the Duchess of Berry used to give, of a
morning, in the Pavilion de Marsan, to amuse the Children of France, as
they were then called, and to extend their acquaintance with the young
people of their own age. One day when I was visiting with my parents
some exposition of objects of art or flowers in one of the lower halls
of the Louvre, I saw him approach my mother--whom he had known in
England--with a familiarity at once respectful and charming. He plainly
wished to please those whom he addressed, and he had the gift of doing
so. In that kind of success he was rarely wanting, especially with
women. His physiognomy as well as his manner helped. It was open and
benevolent, always animated by an easy, perhaps a slightly commonplace
smile, that of a man conscious that he was irresistible, and that he
could, with a few amiable words, overcome all obstacles."

The fiercest adversaries of Charles X. never denied the attraction
emanating from his whole personality, the chief secret of which was
kindliness. In his constant desire to charm every one that approached
him, he had a certain something like feminine coquetry. The Count of
Puymaigre, who, being the Prefect of the Oise, saw him often at the
Chateau of Compiegne, says:--

"If the imposing tone of Louis XVIII. intimidated, it was not so with
Charles X.; there was rather danger of forgetting, pacing the room with
him, that one was talking with a king."

Yet, whatever may be asserted, the new monarch never dreamed of
restoring the old regime. We do not believe that for a single instant
he had the insensate idea of putting things back to where they were
before 1789. His favorite minister, M. de Villele, was not one of the
great nobles, and the men who were to take the chief parts in the
consecration were of plebeian origin. The impartial historian of the
Restoration, M. de Viel-Castel, remarked it:--

"Charles X. by this fact alone, that for three years he had actively
shared in affairs and saw the difficulty of them better, by the fact
that he was no longer exasperated by the heat of the struggle and by
impatience at the political nullity to which events had so long
condemned him, had laid aside a part of his former exaggeration. In the
lively satisfaction he felt in entering at last, at the age of
sixty-seven, upon the enjoyment of the supreme power by the perspective
of which his imagination had been so long haunted, he was disposed to
neglect nothing to capture public favor, and thus gain the chance to
realize the dreams of his life. His kindliness and natural courtesy
would have inspired these tactics, even if policy had not suggested
them."

The dignity of the private life of the King added to the respect
inspired by his personality. His morals were absolutely irreproachable.
His wife, Marie Therese of Savoy, died the 2d of June, 1805; he never
remarried, and his conduct had been wholly edifying. The sacrifice he
made to God, in renouncing the love of women, after he lost his
well-beloved Countess of Polastron by death in 1803, was the more
meritorious, because, apart from the prestige of his birth and rank, he
remained attractive longer than men of his age. No such scandals as had
dishonored the court of nearly all his predecessors occurred in his,
and the most malevolent could not charge him with having a favorite. In
his home he was a man as respectable as he was attractive, a tender
father, a grandfather even more tender, an affectionate uncle, a
gentle, indulgent master for his servants. None of the divisions that
existed in the family of Louis XVIII. appeared in that of his
successor; perfect harmony reigned in the court of the Tuileries.

Of a mind more superficial than profound, Charles X. did not lack
either in tact or in intelligence. He sincerely desired to do right,
and his errors were made in good faith, in obedience to the mandates of
his conscience. Lamartine, who had occasion to see him near at hand,
thus sums up his character:--

"A man of heart, and impulsive, all his qualities were gifts of nature;
hardly any were the fruit acquired by labor and meditation. He had the
spirit of the French race, superficial, rapid, spontaneous, and happy
in the hazard of repartee, the smile kindly and communicative, the
glance open, the hand outstretched, the attitude cordial, an ardent
thirst for popularity, great confidence in his relations with others, a
constancy in friendship rare upon the throne, true modesty, a restless
seeking for good advice, a conscience severe for himself and indulgent
for others, a piety without pettiness, a noble repentance for the sole
weaknesses of his life, his youthful amours, a rational and sincere
love for his people, an honest and religious desire to make France
happy and to render his reign fruitful in the moral improvement and the
national grandeur of the country confided to him by Providence. All
these loyal dispositions were written on his physiognomy. A lively
frankness, majesty, kindness, honesty, candor, all revealed therein a
man born to love and to be loved. Depth and solidity alone were wanting
in this visage; looking at it, you were drawn to the man, you felt
doubts of the King."

This remark, just enough at the end of Charles X.'s reign, was hardly
so at the outset. In 1824 people had no doubts of the man or of the
King. The French were content with Charles X., and Charles X. was
content with himself.

The new King said to himself that his policy was the right one,
because, from the moment of his accession, all hatreds were appeased.
With the absolute calm enjoyed by France he compared the agitations,
plots, violence, the troubles and the fury of which it had been the
theatre under the Decazes ministry. From the day the Right had assumed
power, and Louis XVIII. had allowed his brother to engage in public
affairs, the victory of royalty had been complete and manifest. Charles
X. thought then that the results had sustained him; that foresight,
virtue, political sense, were on his side. Needless to say, every one
about him supported him in that idea, that he believed in all
conscience that he was in the right, obeying the voice of honor and
acting like a king and a Christian. Any other policy than his own would
have seemed to him foolish and cowardly. To hear his courtiers, one
would have said that the age of gold had returned in France; the
felicitations offered him took an idyllic tone. The Count of Chabrol,
Prefect of the Seine, said to him, January 1, 1825, at the grand
reception at the Tuileries:--

"At your accession, Sire, a prestige of grace and power calmed, in the
depths of all hearts, the last murmur of the storm, and the peace that
we enjoy to-day is embellished by a charm that is yours alone."

The same day the Drapeau Blanc said:--

"Why is there an unusual crowd passing about the palace of the
cherished monarch and princes? It is watching with affection for a
glance or smile from Charles! These are the new-year gifts for the
people moved by love for the noble race of its kings. This glance,
expressing only goodness, this smile so full of grace, they long for
everywhere and always before their eyes. His classic and cherished
features are reproduced in every form; every public place has its bust,
every hut its image; they are the domestic gods of a worship that is
pure and without superstition, brought to our families by peace and
happiness." The aurora of Charles X.'s reign was like that of his
brother Louis XVI. The two brothers resembled travellers who, deceived
by the early morning sun and the limpid purity of the sky, set forth
full of joy and confidence, and are suddenly surprised by a frightful
tempest. The new James II. imagined that his royalty had brought his
trials to an end. It was, on the contrary, only a halt in the journey
of misfortune and exile. He believed the Revolution finished, and it
had but begun.



VI

THE DAUPHIN AND DAUPHINESS


At the accession of Charles X., the royal family, properly speaking,
consisted of six persons only,--the King, the Duke and Duchess of
Angouleme, the Duchess of Berry and her two children (the Duke of
Bordeaux and Mademoiselle). By the traditions of the monarchy, the Duke
of Angouleme, as son and heir of the King, took the title of Dauphin,
and his wife that of Dauphiness. The Duchess of Berry, who, under the
reign of Louis XVIII. was called Madame the Duchess of Berry, was by
right, henceforward, called simply Madame, a privilege that belonged to
the Duchess of Angouleme before she was Dauphiness. That is why the
Gymnase, the theatre under the special protection of the Duchess of
Berry, was called, after the new reign began, the Theatre de Madame.

Born at Versailles the 5th of August, 1775, the Duke of Angouleme had
just entered on his fiftieth year. A tender and respectful son, an
irreproachable husband, a brave soldier, he was lacking in both
brilliant and solid qualities. His awkward air, his bashfulness, his
myopia, his manners rather bourgeois than princely, were against him.
He had nothing of the charm and grace of his father. But when one knew
him, it was easy to see that he had unquestioned virtues and real
worth. To Charles X. he was a most faithful subject and the best of
sons. In contrast with so many heirs apparent, who openly or secretly
combat the political ideas of their fathers, he was always the humble
and docile supporter of the throne. The Spanish expedition brought him
credit. In it he showed courage and zeal. The army esteemed him, and he
gave serious attention to military matters. A man of good sense and
good faith, he held himself aloof from all exaggerations. At the time
of the reaction of the White Terror, he had repudiated the fury of the
ultras, and distinguished himself by a praiseworthy moderation. He had
great piety, with out hypocrisy, bigotry, or fanaticism. The Count of
Puymaigre, in his curious Souvenirs, says:--

"The Duke of Angouleme appeared to me to be always subordinated to the
will of the King, and he said to me one day very emphatically that his
position forbade any manifestation of personal sentiment, because it
was unbecoming in the heir apparent to sustain the opposition. Though
very religious, he did not share the exaggerated ideas of what was then
called the 'congregation,' and I recall that one day he asked me
brusquely: 'Are you a partisan of the missions?' As I hesitated to
reply, he insisted. 'No, my lord, in nowise; I think that one good cure
suffices for a commune, and that missionaries, by treating the public
mind with an unusual fervor, often bring trouble with them and at the
same time often lessen the consideration due to the resident priest.'"

Married, on the 10th of June, 1799, to the daughter of Louis XVI. and
Marie Antoinette, the Duke of Angouleme had no children; but though the
sterilty of his wife was an affliction, he never complained of it. He
was not known to have either favorites or mistresses. The life of this
descendant of Louis XIV. and of Louis XV. was purity itself. There were
neither scandals nor intrigues about him. By nature irascible and
obstinate, he had modified this tendency of his character by reason and
still more by religion. Assiduous in his duties, without arrogance or
vanity, regarding his role as Prince as a mission given him by
Providence, which he wished to fulfil conscientiously, he had not the
slightest mental reservation in favor of restoring the old regime, and
showed, perhaps, more favor to the lieutenants of Napoleon than to the
officers of the army of Conde, his companions in arms. To sum up, he
was not an attractive prince, but he merited respect. The Count of
Puymaigre thus concludes the portrait traced by him:--

"The manner, bearing, and gestures of the Duke of Angouleme cannot be
called gracious, especially in contrast with his father's manners;
doubtless it is not fair to ask that a prince, any more than another,
should be favored by nature, but it is much to be desired that he shall
have an air of superiority. The ruling taste of the Dauphin was for the
chase. He also read much and gave much time to the personnel of the
army. Retiring early, he arose every morning at five o'clock, and
lighted his own fire. Far from having anything to complain of in him, I
could only congratulate myself on his kindness."

The Dauphiness, Marie-Theresa-Charlotte of France, Duchess of
Angouleme, born at Versailles the 19th of December, 1778, was
forty-five years old when her uncle and father-in-law, Charles X.,
ascended the throne. She was surrounded by universal veneration. She
was regarded, and with reason, as a veritable saint, and by all parties
was declared to be sans peur et sans reproche.

The Duchess of Angouleme, shunning the notoriety sought by other
princesses, preferred her oratory to the salons. Yet her devotion had
nothing mean or narrow in it. Despite the legendary catastrophes that
weighed upon her, she always appeared at fetes where her presence was
demanded. She laughed with good heart at the theatre, and there was
nothing morose or ascetic in her conversation. She never spoke of her
misfortunes. One day she was pitying a young girl who suffered from
chilblains. "I know what it is," she said; "I have had them." Then she
added, without other comment: "True, the winters were very severe at
that time." She did not wish to say that she had had these chilblains
while a prisoner in the Temple, when fuel was refused to her.

But if the Princess never spoke of herself, she never ceased to think
of the martyrs for whom she wept. At the Tuileries, she occupied the
Pavillon de l'Horloge and the Pavillon de Flore, the first floor
apartments that had been her mother's. She used for her own a little
salon hung with white velvet sown with marguerite lilies. This tapestry
was the work of the unhappy Queen and of Madame Elisabeth. In the same
room was a stool on which Louis XVII. had languished and suffered. It
served as prie-dieu to the Orphan of the Temple. There was in this
stool a drawer where she had put away the remaining relics of her
parents: the black silk vest and white cravat worn by Louis XVI. the
day of his death; a lace bonnet of Marie Antoinette, the last work done
by the Queen in her prison of the Conciergerie, which Robespierre had
had taken from her on the pretext that the widow of the Christian King
might kill herself with her needle or with a lace-string; finally some
fragments of the fichu which the wind raised from the shoulders of
Madame Elisabeth when the angelic Princess was already on the scaffold.
The Dauphiness, who usually dined with the King, dined alone on the
21st of January and the 16th of October. She shut herself in the
chamber where she had collected these relics and passed the whole day
and evening there in prayer.

The charity of the pious Princess was inexhaustible. Almost all her
revenue was expended in alms. She would not have receipts signed by
those to whom she distributed relief. "The duty of givers," she said,
"is to forget their gifts and the names of those who receive them; it
is for those who receive to remember." Nor did she ever ask the
political opinions of those she relieved. To be unfortunate, sufficed
to excite her interest. One day Sister Rosalie, charged by the Princess
with paying a pension to a man whose ill conduct she had discovered,
thought it her duty to notify the benefactress, and suspend the succor.
"My sister," replied the Dauphiness, "continue to pay this man his
pension. We must be charitable to the good that they may persevere, and
to the bad that they may become better." Sunday, when the Princess did
no work, she passed the evening in detaching the wax seals from letters
and envelopes. This wax, converted into sticks, produced one thousand
francs a year, which she sent to a poor family. She gave much, but only
to Frenchmen and Frenchwomen. She replied to every demand for aid for
foreigners that she was sorry not to comply with the request, but she
should feel that she was doing an injustice to give to others while
there was a single Frenchman in need. On each anniversary of mourning
she doubled her alms.

The existence of the Dauphiness at the Tuileries passed with extreme
regularity. A very early riser, like her husband, she made her toilet
herself, having learned to help herself in her captivity in the Temple.
She used to breakfast at six o'clock, and at seven daily attended the
first Mass in the chapel of the Chateau. There was a second at nine
o'clock for the Dauphin, and a third at eleven for the King. From eight
to eleven she held audiences. She retired at ten o'clock, and only
prolonged the evening to eleven when, she visited the Duchess of Berry,
for whom she had a great affection, and whose children she saw two or
three times a day. A devoted companion of Charles X., she always went
with him to the various royal chateaux. The Count of Puy maigre says in
his Souvenirs:--

"The Dauphiness having by her kindness accustomed me to speaking
freely, I used this privilege without embarrassment, but always
observing that measure which keeps a man of good society within just
limits, equally careful not to put himself ridiculously at ease and not
to be so abashed by exaggerated respect as to become insipid. I have
always thought that a princess no more than any other woman likes to be
bored. I talked much with her in the carriage, seeking to amuse the
Princess with a few anecdotes, and I did not fear to discuss serious
things with her, on which she expressed her self with real sagacity.
When she was accused of want of tact in the numerous receptions of
which one had to undergo the monotony, it was often the fault of her
immediate companions, who neglected to give her suitable information as
to the various persons received. How many times I have hinted to her to
speak to some devoted man, who regarded a word from the Princess as a
signal favor, to yield to requests, perhaps untimely, to visit some
establishment, to receive the humble petitions of a mayor, a cure, or a
municipal council. I will not deny that she had a sort of brusqueness,
partly due to an exceedingly high voice, and moments of ill humor,
transient no doubt, but which nevertheless left a painful impression on
those who were subjected to them. Madame the Dauphiness made no mistake
as to the state of France; she was not the dupe of the obsequiousness
of certain men of the court, and merit was certain to obtain her
support whether it had been manifested under the old or the new regime;
but she had not the influence she was supposed to have, and I doubt if
she tried to acquire it."

One day the Princess was talking to the Prefect of the Oise about the
great noblemen who had possessions in the Department.

"Have they any influence over the people?" she asked him.

"No, Madame, and it is their own fault. M. de La Rochefoucauld is the
only one who is popular, but his influence is against you. As to the
others, greedy of the benefits of the court, they come to their estates
only to save money, to regulate their accounts with their managers, and
the people, receiving no mark of their interest, acknowledge no
obligation to them."

"You are perfectly right," replied the Dauphiness, "that is not the way
with the English aristocracy."

"She saw with pain," adds M. de Puymaigre, "the marriages for money
made by certain men of the court, but not when they allied themselves
with an honorable plebeian family; her indignation was justly shown
toward those who took their wives in families whose coveted riches came
from an impure source."

The extraordinary catastrophes that had fallen on the daughter of Louis
XVI. and Marie Antoinette had been a great experience for her, and she
was not surprised at the recantations of the courtiers. The Hundred
Days had, perhaps, suggested even more reflections to her than her
captivity in the Temple or her early exile. She could not forget how,
in 1815, she had been abandoned by officers who, but the day before,
had offered her such protestations and such vows. In the midst of
present prosperity she had a sort of instinct of future adversity.
Something told her that she was not done with sorrow, and that the cup
of bitterness was not drained to the dregs. While every one about her
contemplated the future with serene confidence, she reflected on the
extreme mobility of the French character, and still distrusted
inconstant fortune. The morrow of the birth of the Duke of Bordeaux one
of her household said to her:--

"Your Highness was very happy yesterday."

"Yes, very happy yesterday," responded the daughter of Louis XVI., "but
to-day I am reflecting on the destiny of this child."

To any one inclined to be deceived by the illusions of the prestige
surrounding the accession of Charles X., it ought to have sufficed to
cast a glance on the austere countenance of the Orphan of the Temple,
to be recalled to the tragic reality of things. The King had for his
niece and daughter-in-law an affection blended with compassion and
respect. The pious and revered Princess gave to the court a character
of gravity and sanctity.



VII

MADAME


The Duchess of Angouleme and the Duchess of Berry lived on the best of
terms, showing toward each other a lively sympathy. Yet there was
little analogy between their characters, and the two Princesses might
even be said to form a complete contrast, one representing the grave
side, the other the smiling side of the court.

Born November 7, 1798, and a widow since February 14, 1820, Madame (as
the Duchess of Berry was called after the Duchess of Angouleme became
Dauphiness) was but twenty-five when her father-in-law, Charles X.,
ascended the throne. She was certainly not pretty, but there was in her
something seductive and captivating. The vivacity of her manner, her
spontaneous conversation, her ardor, her animation, her youth, gave her
charm. Educated at the court of her grandfather, Ferdinand, King of
Naples, who carried bonhomie and familiarity to exaggeration, and lived
in the company of peasants and lazzaroni, she had a horror of
pretension and conceit. Her child-like physiognomy had a certain
playful and rebellious expression; slightly indecorous speech did not
displease her. This idol of the aristocracy was simple and jovial,
mingling in her conversation Gallic salt and Neapolitan gaiety. In
contrast with so many princesses who weary their companions and are
wearied by them, she amused herself and others. Entering a family
celebrated by its legendary catastrophes, she had lost nothing of the
playfulness which was the essence of her nature. The Tuileries, the
scene of such terrible dramas, did not inspire her as it did the
Duchess of Angouleme, with sad reflections. When she heard Mass in the
Chapel of the Chateau, she did not say to herself that here had
resounded the furies of the Convention. The grand apartments, the court
of the Carrousel, the garden, could not recall to her the terrible
scenes of the 20th of June and the 10th of August. When she entered the
Pavillon de Flore, she did not reflect that there had sat the Committee
of Public Safety. The Tuileries were, to her eyes, only the abode of
power and pleasure, an agreeable and beautiful dwelling that had
brought her only happiness, since there she had given birth to the
Child of Europe, the "Child of Miracle."

The Duchess of Berry thought that a palace should be neither a barracks
nor a convent nor a prison, and that even for a princess there is no
happiness without liberty. She loved to go out without an escort, to
take walks, to visit the shops, to go to the little theatres, to make
country parties. She was like a bird in a gilded cage, which often
escapes and returns with pleasure only because it has escaped. She was
neither worn out nor blasee; everything interested her, everything made
her gay; she saw only the good side of things. In her all was
young--mind, character, imagination, heart. Thus she knew none of those
vague disquietudes, that causeless melancholy, that unreasoned sadness,
from which suffer so many queens and so many princesses on the steps of
a throne.

Gracious and simple in her manners, modest in her bearing, more
inclined to laughter and smiles than to sobs and tears, satisfied with
her lot despite her widowhood, she felt happy in being a princess, in
being a mother, in being in France. Flattered by the homage addressed
to her on all sides, but without haughty pride in it, she protected art
and letters with out pedantry, rejuvenated the court, embellished the
city, spread animation wherever she was seen, and appeared to the
people like a seductive enchantress. Those who were at her receptions
found themselves not in the presence of a coldly and solemnly majestic
princess, but of an accomplished mistress of the house bent on making
her salon agreeable to her guests. There was in her nothing to abash,
and by her gracious aspect, her extreme affability, she knew how to put
those with whom she talked at their ease, while wholly preserving her
own rank. She was not only polite, she was engaging, always seeking to
say something flattering or kindly to those who had the honor to
approach her. If she visited a studio, she congratulated the artist; in
a shop she made many purchases and talked with the merchants with a
grace more charming to them, perhaps, than even her extreme liberality.
If she went to a theatre, she enjoyed herself like a child. The select
little fetes given by her always had a character of special originality
and gaiety.

The Dauphiness had a higher rank at court than Madame, because she was
married to the heir of the throne. But as she took much less interest
in social matters, she did not shine with so much eclat. The Duchess of
Berry was the queen of elegance. In all questions of adornment, toilet,
furniture, she set the fashion. A commission as "tradesman of Madame"
was the dream of all the merchants. Sometimes, on New Year's Day, her
purchases at the chief shops were announced in the Moniteur. There were
hardly any chroniques in the journals under the Restoration. A simple
"item" sufficed for an account of the most dazzling fetes. If the
customs of the newspapers had been under the reign of Charles X. what
they are now, the Duchess of Berry would have filled all the "society
notes," and the objective point of every "reporter," to use an American
expression, would have been the Pavillon de Marsan, the "Little
Chateau," as it was then called. There indeed shone in all their
splendor the stars of French and foreign nobility, the women who
possessed all sorts of aristocracy--of birth, of fortune, of wit, and
of beauty. This little circle of luxury and elegance excited less
jealousy and less criticism than did the intimate society of Marie
Antoinette in the last part of the old regime, because in the Queen's
time, to frequent the Petit Trianon was the road to honors, while under
Charles X. the intimates of the Pavillon de Marsan did not make their
social pleasures the stepping-stone to fortune.

The Duchess of Berry never meddled in politics. Doubtless her
sympathies, like those of the Dauphiness, were with the Right, but she
exercised no influence on the appointment of ministers and
functionaries. Charles X. never consulted her about public affairs; the
idea would never have occurred to the old King to ask counsel of so
young and inexperienced a woman.

It is but justice to the Princess to say that while wholly inclined
toward the Right, she had none of the exaggeration of the extremists in
either her ideas or her attitude, and that, repudiating the arrogance
and prejudices of the past, she never, in any way, dreamed of the
resurrection of the old regime. She was liked by the army, being known
as a good rider and a courageous Princess. When she talked with
officers she had the habit of saying things that went straight to their
hearts. There was no difference in her politeness to the men of the old
nobility or to the parvenus of victory. The former servitors of
Napoleon were grateful for her friendliness to them, and perhaps they
would always have respected the white flag--the flag of Henry IV., had
it been borne by the gracious hand of his worthy descendant. To sum up,
she was what would be called to-day a very "modern" Princess; her role
might well have been to share the ideas and aspirations of the new
France.

The Duchess of Berry led a very active life. When she came to France
she was in the habit of rising late. But her husband, who believed the
days to be shorter for princes than for other men, showed that he
disliked this, and after that the Princess would not remain in bed
after six o'clock, winter or summer. As soon as she was ready she
summoned her children, and for half an hour gave them her instructions.
On leaving them, she went to hear Mass, and then breakfasted. Next came
the walks, almost always with a useful object in view. Sometimes it was
a hospital to which Madame carried relief, some times an artist's
studio, a shop, an industrial establishment that she encouraged by her
purchases and her presence. On her return she busied herself with the
tenderest and most conscientious care in the education of the two
daughters whom her husband had left to her, and who have since become,
one the Baroness of Chorette, the other the Princess of Lucinge.
Audiences took up the remainder of the morning, sometimes lasting to
dinner time. When some one said to her one day that she must be very
tired of them, she replied: "During all that time I am told the truth,
and I find as much pleasure in hearing it as people of society do in
reading romances."

Madame was very charitable. She devoted to the poor an ordinary and an
extraordinary budget. The tenth of her revenue was always applied to
the relief of the unfortunate, and was deposited by twelfths, each
month, with her First Almoner. This tithe was distributed with as much
method as sagacity. A valet de chambre, each evening, brought to the
Princess the day's petitions for relief. Madame classified them with
her own hand in alphabetical order, and registered and numbered them.
Whatever the hour, she never adjourned this task to the morrow. The
private secretary then went over these petitions and presented an
analysis of them to the Princess, who indicated on the margin what she
wished to give. This was the ordinary budget of the poor, the tenth of
Madame's revenue. But she had, besides, an extraordinary budget of
charity for the unfortunate who were the more to be respected because
they concealed themselves in obscurity and awaited instead of seeking
help. It often happened that the Princess borrowed in order to give
more. The total of her revenues amounted to 1,730,000
francs,--1,500,000 francs from the Treasury, 100,000 francs in Naples
funds, coming from her dower, and 130,000 francs from her domain of
Rosny. Madame expended all in alms or in purchases intended to
encourage the arts and commerce.

The Duchess of Angouleme and the Duchess of Berry each had in the
environs of Paris a pleasure house, which was their Petit Trianon,
where they could lead a simpler life, less subject to the laws of
etiquette than in the royal Chateaux. That of the Dauphiness was
Villeneuve-l'Etang; and that of Madame, Rosny. The first had been
bought of Marshal Soult by the Duchess of Angouleme in 1821. When she
rode from Paris, this was always her destination. When she lived at
Saint Cloud, she often set out on foot in the early morning alone, and
followed across the park a little path known as the "road of the
Dauphiness," to a little gate of the Chateau of Villeneuve-l'Etang, of
which she carried the key.

Rosny is a chateau situated in the Department of Seine-et-Oise, seven
kilometres from Mantes, where Sully, the famous minister of Henry IV.,
was born, and which had been bought in 1818 by the Duke of Berry. It
was the favorite resort of Madame. She went there often and passed a
great part of the summer. There she lived the life of a simple private
person, receiving herself those who came to offer homage or request
aid. The village of Rosny profited by the liberality of the Chateau, La
Quotidienne said in an article reproduced by the Moniteur:--

"Since Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Berry has owned the estate of
Rosny, her sole occupation has been to secure the happiness of this
country. Every journey she makes is marked by some act of goodness.
Besides the Hospital of Saint-Charles, a monument of her beneficence
and piety, which is open to all the sick of the country, she sends out
relief to the homes of the needy every day. The houses that rise in the
village replace wretched huts, and give a more agreeable and cheerful
aspect to the place. The children of either sex, the object of her most
tender solicitude, are taught at her expense. At every journey Madame
honors them with a visit and encourages them with prizes which she
condescends to distribute herself."

In his Souvenirs Intimes the Count de Mesnard, First Equerry of the
Duchess of Berry, writes:--

"The King, Charles X., did not recognize in his daughter-in-law nearly
the solidity that she had. He believed her to be light-minded, and only
looked upon her as a great child, though he loved her much and her
gaiety pleased him beyond measure, being himself of a gay nature. You
may have heard that one day Madame rode in an omnibus. That is not
correct. But it is true that one day Her Royal Highness said to the
King:--

"'Father, if you will wager ten thousand francs, I will ride in an
omnibus to-morrow.'

"'It's the last thing I should do, my dear,' replied His Majesty. 'You
are quite crazy enough to do it.'"

M. de Mesnard adds this reflection: "What the King regarded as folly
was only the appearance of it. There was in Madame a rich fund of
reason, justice, and humanity. Independently of all the acts of
beneficence daily done here, Madame employs still more considerable
sums in the support of young girls in the convents of Lucon and Mantes,
and in several other establishments. There are in the colleges a large
number of young people of families of modest fortune, whose expenses
she pays. The Hospital of Rosny alone costs Madame from twenty thousand
to twenty-five thousand francs a year. The exhaustless bounty of this
august Princess extends to all. There is no sort of aid that Her Royal
Highness does not take pleasure in according: subscriptions without
interest for her, for concerts that she will not hear, for benefit
performances that she will not see, everything gets a subscription from
her, and it all costs more than is convenient with the Princess's
revenue. Sometimes it happens that her funds are exhausted, and as her
benevolence never is, embarrassment follows."

Apropos of this the Count de Mesnard relates a touching anecdote. One
winter exceedingly cold, the Duchess of Berry was about to give a fete
in the Pavillon de Marsan. During the day she had supervised the
preparations. Things were arranged perfectly, when all at once her face
saddened. She was asked respectfully what had displeased her. "What icy
weather!" she cried. "Poor people may be dying of cold and hunger
to-night while we are taking our delights. That spoils my pleasure."
Then she added emphatically: "Go call the Marquis de Sassenay" (her
Treasurer).

The Marquis came promptly.

"Monsieur," said the good Princess, "you must write instantly to the
twelve mayors of Paris, and in each letter put one thousand francs to
be expended in wood, and distributed this very night to the poor
families of each arrondissement. It is very little, but it may save
some unfortunates."

The Treasurer responded: "Madame, I should be eager to obey the orders
of Her Royal Highness, but she has nothing, or almost nothing, in her
treasury."

A feeling of discontent was strongly depicted on the face of Madame,
who was about to give expression to it, when M. de Mesnard hastened to
say that the funds of the First Equerry were in better state than those
of the Treasurer, and remitted to the latter the twelve thousand
francs, which were distributed to the poor that evening according to
the Princess's wishes.

The Duchess of Berry had the double gift of pleasing and making herself
loved. All the persons of her household, all her servitors, from the
great nobles and great ladies to the domestics and the chamber-maids,
were deeply devoted to her. Poor or rich, she had attentions for all.
Listen to the Count de Mesnard:--

"Madame is incessantly making presents to all who approach her. At New
Year's her apartments are a veritable bazaar furnished from all the
shops of Paris; her provision, made from every quarter, is universal,
from bon-bons to the most precious articles--everything is there.
Madame has thought of each specially; the people of her own service are
not forgotten any more than the ladies and officers of her household;
father, mother, children, every one, is included in the distribution.
The royal family naturally comes first; next, the numerous relatives of
the Palais Royal, of whom she is very fond; then her family at Naples,
which is also numerous; and finally all of us, masters and servants, we
all have our turn."

No one, we think, has made a more exact portrait of the Duchess of
Berry than the Count Armand de Pontmartin, who is so familiar with the
Restoration. In his truthful and lively Souvenirs d'un vieux critique,
how well he presents "this flower of Ischia or of Castellamare,
transplanted to the banks of the Seine, under the gray sky of Paris, to
this Chateau des Tuileries, which the revolutions peopled with phantoms
before making it a spectre."

How really she was "this good Duchess, so French and so Neapolitan at
once, half Vesuvius, half school-girl, whom nothing must prevent us
from honoring and loving." The chivalric and sentimental rhetoric of
the time, the elegies of the poets, the noble prose of Chateaubriand,
the tearful articles of the royalist journals, have condemned her to
appear forever solemn and sublime. It was sought to confine her youth
between a tomb and a cradle. But as M. de Pontmartin so finely remarks:
"At the end of two or three years her true nature appears beneath this
artificial drapery. Amusements recommence, distractions abound. The
Princess is no longer a heroine; she is a sprite. The beach of Dieppe
sings her praises better, a thousand times better, than the chorus of
courtiers. She loves pleasure, but she wishes every pleasure to be a
grace or a benefit. She creates a mine of gold under the sand of the
Norman coast; she pacifies political rancor and soothes the wounds of
the grumblers of the Grand Army. She makes popular the name of Bourbon,
which had suffered from so much ingratitude. The Petit-Chateau, as her
delightful household was called, renews the elegant manners, the
exquisite gallantries of the court of Anne of Austria, and offers to
the romancers the models of which Balzac, later, made so much too free
use. There I see our amiable Duchess in her true element, not on the
kind of Sinai on which the writers of the white flag have perched her,
prodigal in their imitations of Bossuet,--between Jeanne d'Arc and
Jeanne Hachette, between Valentine de Milan and the Widow of Malabar."

To sum up, the Duchess of Berry was to the court of Charles X. what the
Duchess of Burgundy was to that of Louis XIV. Her lovely youth
brightened everything. Let us do her this justice: despite a character
in appearance frivolous, she carried to a kind of fanaticism the love
of France and passion for French glory. There was one thing that the
gracious widow took very seriously,--the rights of her son. She would
have risked a thousand deaths to defend that child, who represented in
her heart the cause of the fatherland. Where he was concerned there was
in the attitude of this frail young woman something firm and decided.
To a sagacious observer, the amazon was already manifest under the lady
of society. She was like those officers who shine equally at the ball
and on the field of battle. Recognizing in her more than one
imperfection, she cannot be denied either courage, or intelligence, or
heart. By her qualities as by her defects she was of the race of Henry
IV. But she was more frank and more grateful than the Bearnais.
Doubtless she did not have the genius, the prodigious ability, the fine
and profound political sense, of that great man; but her nature was
better, her generosity greater, her character more sympathetic.



VIII

THE ORLEANS FAMILY


At the accession of Charles X., Louis Philippe, Duke of Orleans, chief
of the younger branch of the Bourbons, born at Paris, October 6th,
1773, was not yet fifty-seven years old. He married November 25th,
1809, Marie-Amelie, Princess of the Two Sicilies, whose father,
Ferdinand I., reigned at Naples, and whose mother, the Queen
Marie-Caroline, sister of Marie Antoinette, died at Venice, September
7th, 1814. Marie-Amelie, born April 26th, 1782, was forty-two years old
when Charles X. ascended the throne. Of her marriage with the Duke of
Orleans there were born five sons and four daughters:--

1. Ferdinand-Philippe-Louis-Charles-Henri-Roulin, Duke of Chartres,
born at Palermo, September 3d, 1810. (When his father became King, he
took the title of Duke of Orleans, and died from a fall from his
carriage going from the Tuileries to Neuilly on the Chemin de la
Revolte, July 13th, 1842.)

2. Louise-Marie-Therese-Caroline-Elisabeth, Mademoiselle d'Orleans,
born at Palermo the 3d of April, 1812. (She married the King of the
Belgians, Leopold I., August 9th, 1832, and died October 11th, 1850.)

3. Marie-Christine-Caroline-Adelaide-Francoise-Leopoldine, Mademoiselle
de Valois, born at Palermo, April 12th, 1813. (She was designated by
the name of the Princess Marie, distinguished herself in the arts, made
the famous statue of Jeanne d'Arc, married October 17th, 1837, the Duke
Frederic William of Wurtemberg, and died January 2d, 1839.)

4. Louis-Charles-Philippe-Raphael, Duke of Nemours, born at Paris,
October 25th, 1814.

5. Marie-Clementine-Caroline-Leopoldine, Mademoiselle de Beaujolais,
born at Neuilly June 3d, 1817. (She was designated by the name of the
Princess Clementine, and married, April 20th, 1843, the Prince August,
of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.)

6. Francois-Ferdinand-Philippe-Louis-Marie, Prince de Joinville, born
at Neuilly, August 14th, 1818.

7. Charles-Ferdinand-Louis-Philippe-Emmanuel, Duke of Penthievre, born
at Paris, January 1st, 1820. (He died July 25th, 1828.)

8. Henri-Eugene-Philippe-Louis, Duke d'Aumale, born at Paris, January
16th, 1822.

9. Antoine-Marie-Philippe-Louis, Duke of Montpensier, born at Neuilly,
July 5th, 1824.

The Duke of Orleans had a sister who lived with him at the Palais
Royal, and was reputed to be his Egeria. She was
Louise-Marie-Adelaide-Eugenie, Mademoiselle d'Orleans, as she was
called under the Restoration. Born August 23d, 1777, she had been
educated by Madame de Genlis, with her brother, and was said to be
attached to the ideas of the Liberal party. (It was she who in 1830
decided Louis-Philippe to accept the crown, took the name of Madame
Adelaide, and died, unmarried, some days before the revolution of the
24th of February, 1848.)

Marie-Amelie, Duchess of Orleans, was the sister of the Prince Royal of
the Two Sicilies, Ferdinand, father of the Duchess of Berry, and the
niece was very fond of her aunt. The two Princesses were united by
other bonds than those of blood. During all her infancy the Duchess of
Berry had lived with her aunt at Palermo and Naples. Both were
descended in direct line from the great Empress, Maria Theresa. Both
had greatly loved the Queen Marie-Caroline, of whom one was the
granddaughter, the other the daughter. Both professed great admiration
for the Martyr-Queen, Marie Antoinette, of whom one was the
grand-niece, the other the niece. The devotion and family feeling of
the Duchess of Orleans won every one's sympathy for her, and the
Duchess of Berry had a respectful attachment for her. Their relations
were as constant as they were friendly. There existed between the
Palais Royal and the Pavilion de Marsan, dwellings so near each other,
a friendship and neighborliness that left nothing to be desired.

The Duke of Bordeaux and his sister, Mademoiselle, were very fond of
their little Orleans cousins. There was a certain pleasure in thinking
that the Duke of Chartres might one day become the husband of
Mademoiselle. This young Prince, already very amiable and sympathetic,
was the favorite of the Duchess of Berry. She said to herself that he
would be the son-in-law of her dreams. Every time that she went to the
Palais Royal, where her visits were incessant, she was received with
transports of affection. Nowhere did she enjoy herself more.
Louis-Philippe treated her with deference and courtesy. She believed
sincerely in his friendship, and any one who had shown in her presence
the least doubt of the loyalty of her aunt's husband would not have
ventured to complete the phrase expressing it. The Duchess of Berry was
to preserve this confidence until the Revolution of 1830.

Charles X. had a kindly feeling, founded on very real sympathy, for the
Duke of Orleans and all his family. During the Emigration, as under the
reign of Louis XVIII., he had always maintained very cordial relations
with the Duke, and had tried to efface the bad memories of Philippe
Egalite. Charles X. was as confiding as Louis XVIII. was distrustful.
Optimist, like all good natures, the new King would not believe evil.
He attributed to others his own good qualities. Louis XVIII. always had
suspicions as to the Duke of Orleans. "Since his return," he said, in
1821, "the Duke of Orleans is the chief of a party without seeming to
be. His name is a threatening flag, his palace a rallying-place. He
makes no stir, but I can see that he makes progress. This activity
without movement is disquieting. How can you undertake to check the
march of a man who makes no step?" Every time the Duke attempted to
bring up the question of exchanging his title of Most Serene Highness
for that of Royal Highness, the King stubbornly resisted. "The Duke of
Orleans is quite near enough to the throne already," he replied to all
solicitations. "I shall be careful to bring him no nearer."

This refusal was very depressing to the Duke. One circumstance rendered
it still more annoying. As a king's daughter, his wife was a Royal
Highness. By this title she enjoyed honors denied to her husband. When
she was present at court with him she was first announced, both doors
of the salon being opened: "Her Royal Highness, Madame the Duchess of
Orleans." Then one door having been closed, the usher announced: "His
Most Serene Highness, Monseigneur the Duke of Orleans." This
distinction was very disagreeable to the Duke. Charles X. hastened to
abolish it. September 21st, 1824, he accorded the title of Royal
Highness to the Duke of Orleans, and three days later he conferred this
title, so much desired, on the children of the sister of the Duke. The
latter showed his great pleasure. Though he might favor liberalism and
give pledges to democracy, he remained a Prince to the marrow of his
bones. He loved not only money, but honors, and attached extreme
importance to questions of etiquette. The memories of his childhood and
his early youth bound him to the old regime and despite appearances to
the contrary, this Prince, so dear to the bourgeois and to the National
Guard, was always by his tastes and aspirations a man of Versailles.

Charles X. would gladly have said to the Duke of Orleans, as Augustus
to Cinna, speaking of his benefits:--

"Je t'en avais comble, je t'en veux accabler."

He was not content with according him a title of honor; he gave him
something much more solid, by causing to be returned to him, with the
consent of the Chambers, the former domain and privileges of the House
of Orleans. This was not easy. It required not only the good-will of
the Chateau, but the vote of the Chambers, and the majority was hardly
favorable to the Duke of Orleans, of whom it cherished the same
suspicions as Louis XVIII. The Duchess of Berry pleaded warmly the
cause of her aunt's husband, and conspired with Charles X. against the
Right, the members of which in this case believed it a service to
royalty to disobey the King. The opposition to the project seemed
likely to be so strong, that the government was obliged to commit a
sort of moral violence upon the Chamber of Deputies. The King directed
his ministers to join in some way the question of the apanages of the
House of Orleans with the disposition of his own civil list. The King
thought that the sentiments of the Chamber for himself and his family
would make them adopt the whole en bloc. It was a device of his
kindliness, a sort of smuggling in the King's coach, as was said by M.
de Labourdonnaye. A large number of deputies demanded a division of the
question. The ministers had to make great efforts and mount the tribune
many times to defend the measure, which passed only by a very feeble
majority. The Duke of Orleans, now at the very height of his desires,
thanked Charles X. with effusion.

Nor was this all; from the millions of indemnity to the emigres, the
Duke of Orleans drew 14,000,000 francs. The opposition chiefs of the
Left imitated the Prince and profited largely by the law that they had
opposed and condemned. The Duke of Choiseul obtained 1,100,000 francs,
the Duke of La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt 1,400,000 francs, M. Gaetan de
La Rochefoucauld 1,429,000 francs, General Lafayette himself 1,450,000
francs.

The Orleanist party was already beginning to take form, perhaps without
the knowledge of its chief. In his pamphlets of 1824, Paul-Louis
Courier devoted himself to separating the older from the younger branch
of the House, declaring that he should like to be a resident of a
commune of Paris if the Duke of Orleans were its mayor, for from a
Prince the Duke had become a man during the Emigration, and had never
begged bread of a foreign hand. Louis-Philippe continued prudently the
role he had played at the end of the first Restoration and during the
Hundred Days. While professing an obsequious and enthusiastic respect
for Charles X., he secretly flattered the Bonapartists and the
Liberals. He sent his eldest son to the public school, as if to
insinuate that he remained faithful to the ideas of equality from which
his father had gained his surname. He made very welcome the coryphees
of the Opposition, such as General Foy and M. Laffitte, to the Palais
Royal, and received them in halls where the brush of Horace Vernet had
represented the great battles of the tricolor flag. When General Foy
died, in November, 1825, the Duke of Orleans put his name for ten
thousand francs to the subscription opened to provide a fund for the
children of the General. Some friendly representations were made from
the Chateau to the Palais Royal on this matter. It was answered that
the Duke of Orleans had subscribed not as Prince, but as a friend, and
in private called attention to the modesty of the gift compared with
others, with that of M. Casimir Perier, for example, which amounted to
fifty thousand francs. This excuse was satisfactory at the Tuileries.

Is this saying that Louis-Philippe was already at this time thinking of
dethroning his benefactor, his relative, and his King? We think not. He
profited by the errors of Charles X.; but if Charles X. had not
committed them, the idea of usurpation would not have occurred to the
mind of the chief of the younger branch. Men are not so profoundly good
or so profoundly wicked. They let themselves be carried further than
they wish, and if the acts they are to commit some day were foretold
them, the prophecies would most often seem to them as impossible as
insulting.

Madame de Gontaut, Governess of the Children of France, recounts an
incident that took place at the Louvre, December 22d, 1824, at the
opening of the session of the Chambers: "The crowd was prodigious. The
Dauphiness and the Duchess of Berry and Mademoiselle d'Orleans were
present in one of the bays. The Children of France were there. The
Duchess of Berry took the Duke of Bordeaux by her side. The Duchess of
Orleans called Mademoiselle, whom she loved tenderly, to her. The canon
announced the approach of the King. At the moment of his appearance the
hall resounded with acclamations. The platform for the royal family was
the one prepared for the late King; there had been left a slight
elevation in it, that the King did not see, and he stumbled on it. With
the movement his hat, held on his arm, fell; the Duke of Orleans caught
it. The Duchess of Orleans said to me:--

"'The King was about to fall; my husband sustained him.'

"I answered: 'No, Madame; Monseigneur has caught His Majesty's hat.'

"The Dauphiness turned and looked at me. We did not speak of it until
six months after. Neither of us had forgotten it."

A few years more and Charles X. was to drop, not his hat, but his crown.



IX

THE PRINCE OF CONDE


At the time of the accession of Charles X., the family of Conde was
represented only by an old man of sixty-eight, Louis-Henri-Joseph de
Bourbon-Conde, born April 13th, 1756. At the death of his father in
1818, he had taken the title of Prince of Conde, while retaining that
of Duke of Bourbon, by which he had previously been designated. On the
10th of January, 1822, he lost his wife, Princess
Louise-Marie-Therese-Bathilde, sister of the Duke of Orleans, mother of
the unfortunate Duke d'Enghien, and he lost, on March 10th, 1824, his
sister, Mademoiselle de Conde, the nun whose convent of the Perpetual
Adoration was situated in the Temple near the site of the former tower
where Louis XVI. and his family had been confined.

The Duke of Bourbon, in his youth, had had a famous duel with the Count
of Artois, the future Charles X. No resentment subsisted between the
two princes, who afterwards maintained the most cordial relations.
During the Emigration, the Duke of Bourbon served with valor in the
army of his father, the Prince of Conde. While the white flag floated
at the head of a regiment he was found fighting for the royal cause;
then, the struggle ended, he retired to England, where he had lived
near Louis XVIII., and always at his disposition. Returning to France
at the Restoration, he had since resided almost always at Chantilly or
at Saint-Leu, without his wife, from whom he had long been separated.
He was ranked as a reactionary, but busied himself little with
politics, and exerted no influence.

The Count of Puymaigre, who, in his office as Prefect of the Oise, at
the commencement of the reign of Charles X., often went to Chantilly,
speaks of him in his Souvenirs:--

"The name of my father, much beloved by the late Prince of Conde, more
than my title of Prefect, caused me to be received with welcome, and I
took advantage of it the more gladly, because I have never seen a house
where one was more at one's ease, and where there was more of that
comfortable life known before the Revolution as the chateau life. There
was little of the prince in him; he was more like an elderly bachelor
who liked to have about him joy, movement, pleasure, a wholly Epicurean
life. The society of Chantilly ordinarily consisted of the household of
the Prince; that is to say, old servitors of his father, some ladies
whose husbands held at this little court the places of equerries or
gentlemen of the chamber, some persons who were invited, or like
myself, had the right to come when they wished, and among this number I
frequently saw the Prince of Rohan, relative of the Duke of Bourbon,
disappointed since of the portion of the inheritance he hoped for;
finally, some Englishmen and their wives. The tone was quite free,
since the Prince set the example. And I recall that one day he
recommended me to be gallant with one of the English ladies, who, he
said, would like nothing better than to receive such attentions. That
seemed very likely to me, but she was not young enough to tempt me to
carry the adventure very far."

The real chatelaine of this little court of Chantilly was a beautiful
Englishwoman, Sophie Dawes, married to a French officer, the Baron of
Feucheres. Born about 1795, in the Isle of Wight, Sophie Dawes was the
daughter of a fisherman. It is said that she was brought up by charity,
and played for some time at Covent Garden Theatre, London. But her
early life is unknown, and what is told of it is not trustworthy. In
1817, she was taken into the intimacy of the Duke of Bourbon, and
afterwards acquired an irresistible ascendancy over him. When she
became his inseparable companion, she explained her presence with him
by the story that she was his natural daughter, and the Duke avoided
confirming or denying this assertion. In 1818, he arranged a marriage
between his favorite and a very honorable officer, the Baron of
Feucheres, who believed, in good faith, that Sophie Dawes was really
the daughter of the Duke of Bourbon, and not his mistress. The marriage
was celebrated in England, but the pair returned to Chantilly. The
Baron of Feucheres figures in the royal Almanacs of 1821, 1822, 1823,
as lieutenant-colonel, gentleman in ordinary to the Duke of Bourbon,
Prince of Conde, but not in the Almanac of 1824.

In a very interesting work, the Vie de Charles X. by the Abbe de
Vedrenne, the reader will find:--

"By the marriage of Sophie Dawes, did the Duke of Bourbon wish to break
away from a guilty bond? It is generally believed. As to M. de
Feucheres, convinced that his wife was the daughter of the Prince, he
had no suspicion. It was Sophie Dawes herself who enlightened him, to
drive him away. The effect of the revelation was terrible. M. de
Feucheres, indignant, quitted his wife. There no longer remained about
the Prince any but the creatures of Madame de Feucheres. Every one did
her bidding at Chantilly, and the Prince most of all."

The favorite sought to palliate her false situation in the eyes of
society by doing good with the Prince's money. The Count of Puymaigre
relates that she many times took him to the Hospital of Chantilly,
endowed by the munificence of the great Conde, the revenues of which
she wished to increase. He adds: "I urged her to this good work as much
as I could; for good, by whatever hand done, endures."

One day the Duchess of Angouleme asked him if he went often to
Chantilly.

"I go there," replied the Prefect, "to pay my court to the Duke of
Bourbon, whom I have the honor of having in my department."

"That is very well," responded the Dauphiness, "but I hope that Madame
de Puymaigre does not go."

The grand passion of the Duke of Bourbon was hunting. The Prefect of
the Oise says:--

"It was particularly during the hunts of Saint-Hubert that Chantilly
was a charming abode. The start was made at seven o'clock in the
morning, and usually I was in the carriage of the Prince with the
everlasting Madame de Feucheres. The hunting-lodge was delightful and
in a most picturesque situation. There twenty or thirty persons met to
the sound of horns, in the midst of dogs, horses, and huntsmen. The
coursing train of the Prince was finer and more complete than that of
the King. A splendid breakfast was served at the place of rendezvous,
built and furnished in the Gothic style of the thirteenth century, and
there the chase began. Although I told the Prince that I was no hunter,
he often made me mount my horse and accompany him; but often having
enjoyed the really attractive spectacle of the stag, driven by a crowd
of dogs, which launched themselves after him across the waters of a
little lake, I hastened back to the Gothic pavilion where the ladies
and a few men remained."

The Prince said one day to the Prefect:--

"Decidedly, you do not love hunting."

"But I might love it, my lord, if I had such an outfit."

"That's because you don't know anything about it, my dear Puymaigre;
when I was in England, hunting all alone in the marshes with my dog
Belle, I enjoyed it much more than here."

The Prefect thus concludes his description of life at Chantilly:--

"Dinner was at six o'clock in the magnificent gallery where the
souvenirs of the great Conde were displayed in all their pomp, and the
eyes fell on fine pictures of the battles of Rocroy, Senef, Fribourg,
and Nordlingen, inspiring some regret for the life led by the heir of
so much glory. After dinner society comedy was played on a very pretty
stage, where the luxury of costumes was very great and the
mise-en-scene carefully attended to; and this did not make the actors
any better, although the little plays were tolerable. But Madame de
Feucheres wishing to play Alzire and to take the principal part, which
she doled out with sad monotony, without change of intonation from the
first line to the last, and with a strongly pronounced English accent,
it was utterly ridiculous, and Voltaire would have flown into a fine
passion had he seen one of his chefs-d'oeuvres mangled in that way. Who
could have told that this poor Prince, who, if he had neither the
virtues nor the dignity proper to his rank, was nevertheless a very
good fellow, would perish in 1830, in such a tragic manner?"

Charles X. had a long standing affection for the Duke of Bourbon. On
September 21st, 1824, he conferred on him at the same time as on the
Duke of Orleans, the title of Royal Highness. The last of the Condes
was, besides, Grand Master of France. This court function was honorary
rather than real, and the Prince appeared at the Tuileries only on rare
occasions. Charles X. loved him as a friend of his childhood, a
companion of youth and exile, but he had a lively regret to see him
entangled in such relations with the Baroness of Feucheres. The advice
he gave him many times to induce him to break this liaison was without
result. Finally the King said: "Let us leave him alone; we only give
him pain." He never went to Chantilly, in order not to sanction by his
royal presence the kind of existence led there by his old relation; and
the Prince knowing the sentiments of his sovereign, gave him but few
invitations, which were always evaded under one pretext or another.

People wondered at the time who would be the heirs of the immense
fortune of the Condes, whose race was on the point of extinction. The
Prince's mother was Charlotte-Elisabeth de Rohan-Soubise, and the
Rohans thought themselves the natural heirs. But such a combination
would not have met the views of Madame de Feucheres, who, not content
with having got from the Prince very considerable donations, counted on
figuring largely in his will.

Nevertheless she was not without lively anxiety in that regard. The
Rohans had refused all compromise with her. If they were disinherited,
what would they say? Would they not attack the will on the ground of
undue influence? Such was the eventuality against which the prudent
Baroness intended to guard herself. In consequence she conceived the
bold project of sheltering her own wealth under the patronage of some
member of the royal family, in having him receive the fortune of the
old Prince under a will which at the same time should consecrate the
part to be received by her, and put it beyond all contest. She would
have wished the old Prince to choose his heir in the elder branch of
the House of Bourbon. But the Duchess of Berry, who was
disinterestedness itself, declined any arrangement of that nature. To
the insinuations made to her in favor of her son, she responded:--

"Henri will be King. The King of France needs nothing."

She did more. It is said that to the persons who bore these advances to
her, she suggested the idea of having the heritage of the Condes pass
to the family of the Duke of Orleans. But the thing was not easy. It is
true that the children of the Duke were, by their mother, Bathilde
d'Orleans, nephews of the wife of the Duke of Bourbon. But this Prince
had led a bad life with his wife, from whom he had separated
immediately after the birth of the Duke d'Enghien, and the souvenirs of
the Revolution separated him widely from a family whose political ideas
were not his. Yet the Duke and Duchess of Orleans were not discouraged.
They entered on negotiations a long time in advance with the Baroness
of Feucheres, who was in reality the arbiter of the situation. M.
Nettement relates that the first time that Marie-Amelie pronounced the
name of the Baroness in the presence of the Duchess of Angouleme, the
daughter of Louis XVI. said to her: "What! you have seen that woman!"
The Duchess of Orleans responded: "What would you have? I am a mother.
I have a numerous family; I must think before all of the interests of
my children."

What is certain is that the Prince was induced to be the godfather of
the Duke d'Aumale, born the 6th of January, 1822, and that was a sort
of prelude to the will of 1830.



X

THE COURT


Now let us throw a general glance over the court of the King, Charles
X., in 1825, the year of the consecration.

The civil household of the King comprised six distinct services: those
of Grand Almoner of France, of the Grand Master of France, of the Grand
Chamberlain of France, of the Grand Equerry of France, of the Grand
Huntsman of France, and of the Grand Master of Ceremonies of France.

The Grand Almoner was the Cardinal, Prince of Croy, Archbishop of
Rowen; the First Almoner, Mgr. Frayssinous, Bishop of Hermopolis; the
confessor of the King, the Abbe Jocard. Charles X., this monarch,
surrounded by great lords, knelt before a plebeian priest and demanded
absolution for his sins. There were, besides, in the service of the
Grand Almoner of France, eight almoners, eight chaplains, and eight
pupils of the chapel, serving in turns of four.

The function of the Grand Master of France had as titulary the Duke of
Bourbon, Prince of Conde. But this Prince performed his duties only in
very rare and solemn circumstances. In fact, the service of the Grand
Master of France was directed by the First Steward, the Count of
Cosse-Brissac. There were besides four chamberlains of the House, the
Count de Rothe, the Marquis of Mondragon, the Count Mesnard de Chousy,
the Viscount Hocquart, and several stewards.

The Grand Chamberlain of France was the Prince de Talleyrand. He
discharged his functions only on solemn occasions, such as the funeral
of Louis XVIII. and the consecration of Charles X. and the arrival of
the Duchess of Berry. In fact, the service of the Grand Chamberlain of
France was directed by one of the first gentlemen of the chamber. They
were four in number,--the Duke d'Aumont, the Duke of Duras, the Duke of
Blacas, the Duke Charles de Damas,--and performed their functions in
turn a year each. Every four years the King designated those who were
to serve during each of the following four years. Thus, the Royal
Almanac of 1825 has this notice:--

First gentlemen of the chamber: 1825, the Duke d'Aumont; 1826, the Duke
of Duras; 1827, the Duke of Blacas; 1828, Count de Damas (afterwards
Duke).

The first chamberlains, masters of the wardrobe, were five in number:
the Marquis de Boisgelin, the Count de Pradel, the Count Curial, the
Marquis d'Avaray, the Duke d'Avaray. There were besides thirty-two
gentlemen of the chamber, without counting those that were honorary. To
this same service belonged the readers, the first valets-de-chambre,
the ushers of the chamber, the musicians of the chamber, those of the
chapel and the service of the faculty. The entrees, a matter so
important in the ceremonies of courts, were also attached to this
service.

By virtue of royal regulations of November 1st, December 31st, 1820,
and January 23d, 1821, the entrees at the Chateau of the Tuileries were
established as follows: They were divided in six classes: the grand
entrees, the first entrees of the Cabinet, the entrees of the Cabinet,
those of the Hall of the Throne, those of the first salon preceding the
Hall of the Throne, and last, those of the second salon.

The grand entrees gave the privilege of entering at any time the
sleeping-room of the King. They belonged to the Grand Chamberlain, to
the first chamberlains--masters of the wardrobe. Next came the first
entrees of the Cabinet (this was the name of the hall which, during the
reign of Napoleon III., was designated as the Salon de Louis XIV.,
because it contained a Gobelins tapestry representing the Ambassadors
of Spain received by the King). Persons who have the first entrees of
the Cabinet have the right to enter there at any time in order to have
themselves announced to the King, and there to await permission to
enter the main apartment. These first entrees of the Cabinet belong to
those who have to take the orders of the sovereign--to the grand
officers of his civil and military households, or, in their absence, to
the first officer of each service, to the major-general of the royal
guard on service, to the Grand Chancellor, to the minister-secretaries
of State, to the Grand Chancellor of the Legion of Honor, to the
captains of the King's bodyguard, to the Grand Quartermaster.

Next come the entrees of the Cabinet (which must not be confused with
the first entrees of the Cabinet). These give to persons enjoying them
the right to enter that room usually a little before the hour fixed by
the King to hear Mass, and to remain there at will during the day, up
to the hour of the evening when the sovereign gives out the watchword.
They belong to the grand officers and to the first officers of the
civil and military households of the King, to the major-generals of the
royal guard and the lieutenant-general in service, to the cardinals, to
the Chancellor of France, to the minister-secretaries of State, to the
Grand Chancellor of the Legion of Honor, to the marshals of France, to
the Grand Referendary of the Chamber of Peers, to the President of the
Chamber of Deputies, and to all the officers of the King's household on
service.

The persons and functionaries civil or military with a lower rank in
the hierarchy of the court have their entrees, some to the Hall of the
Throne, others to the first salon preceding the Hall of the Throne (the
Salon d'Apollon under Napoleon III.), and still others to the second
salon (communicating with the Hall of the Marshals, and called, under
Napoleon III., the Salon of the First Consul).

The collective audience given to all having their entries was called
the public audience of the King. It took place when the King went to
hear Mass in his chapel, only on his return to re-enter his inner
apartment. Followed by all his grand officers and his first officers in
service, Charles X. passed to and paused in each of the rooms in his
outer apartment, in order to allow those having the right to be there
to pay their court to him. When he attended Mass in his inner
apartment, he gave a public audience only after that ceremony. He
paused in his Grand Cabinet, then in the Hall of the Throne, and
successively in the other rooms.

When the King was ready to receive, the First Gentleman of the Chamber
gave notice to the grand officers and the first officers that they
might present themselves. Moreover, he placed before the King the list
of persons having entrees to his apartments or to whom he had accorded
them. On this list Charles X. indicated those he wished invited.

There was no titular Grand Equerry of France. The First Equerry,
charged with the saddle-horses of the King, was the Duke of Polignac,
major-general. The two equerries-commandant were the Marquis of Vernon
and Count O'Hegerthy, major-general. There were, besides, four
equerries, masters of the horse, three each quarter, namely: for the
January quarter the Chevalier de Riviere, major-general; the Count
Defrance, lieutenant-general; the Baron Dujon, major-general;--for the
April quarter, the Colonel Viscount de Bongars; the Baron Vincent,
major-general; the Viscount Domon, lieutenant--general;--for the July
quarter, the Colonel Marquis de Martel, the Viscount Vansay, the Count
Frederic de Bongars;--for the October quarter, the Count de Fezensac,
major-general; the Colonel Marquis Oudinot, the Colonel Marquis de
Chabannes. The chief Equerries of the stable were the Viscount d'Abzac
and the Chevalier d'Abzac, both colonels. There were, besides, the
equerries in ordinary and the pupil-equerries. The pages belonged to
the service of the Grand Equerry of France.

The Grand Huntsman was the Marshal Marquis of Lauriston, and the First
Huntsman, the Lieutenant-General Count de Girardin. There were also
huntsmen for the hunting-courses and huntsmen for the gunning-hunts of
the King.

The Grand Master of Ceremonies was the Marquis of Dreux-Breze, and the
Master of Ceremonies the Marquis of Rochemore, major-general. There
were, besides, the aides, a king-at-arms and heralds-at-arms.

All the civil household of the King worked with the greatest
regularity. Etiquette, carefully observed, though stripped of the
ancient minutiae, recalled the old usages of the French monarchy. All
that had been suppressed was what was puerile and weariness for the
courtiers and for the King himself.

The military household of the King was a group of chosen troops. The
horse body-guards comprised five companies, each bearing the name of
its chief. The Duke d'Havre et de Croy, the Duke of Gramont, the Prince
of Poix, Duke de Mouchy, the Duke of Luxembourg, the Marquis de
Riviere. The chiefs of these companies, all five lieutenants-general,
were entitled captains of the guard. There was, besides, a company of
foot-guards in ordinary to the King, whose chief, the Duke of
Mortemart, major-general, had the title of captain-colonel, and whose
officers were some French, some Swiss. There was a Chief Quartermaster,
the Lieutenant-General Marquis de La Suze.

The royal guard, composed of two divisions of infantry, two divisions
of cavalry, and a regiment of artillery, was under the command of four
marshals of France, Victor, Duke de Bellune; Macdonald, Duke de
Tarente; Oudinot, Duke de Reggio; Marmont, Duke de Raguse, all four of
whom had the title of major-general.

The body-guards, the Swiss, the royal guard, were the admiration of all
connoisseurs. The Emperor Napoleon never had had troops better
disciplined, of better bearing, clad in finer uniforms, animated by a
better spirit.

To the household of the King must be added those of the Dauphin, the
Dauphiness, and the Duchess of Berry. The Dauphin had as first
gentlemen, the Duke of Damas and the Duke of Guiche, both
lieutenants-general; for gentlemen, the Count d'Escars and the Baron of
Damas, lieutenants-general; the Count Melchior de Polignac,
major-general; the Viscount de Saint Priest, and the Count de
Bordesoulle, lieutenants-general; the Count d'Osmond,
lieutenant-colonel. For aides-de-camp, the Baron de Beurnonville and
the Count de Laroche-Fontenille, major-generals; the Viscount of
Champagny, the Count of Montcalm, and the Baron Lecouteulx de Canteleu,
colonels; the Viscount de Lahitte, and the Duke de Ventadour,
lieutenant-colonels; the Count de La Rochefoucauld, chief of battalion.

The household of the Dauphiness was composed as follows: a First
Almoner, the Cardinal de La Fare, Archbishop of Sens, with two almoners
serving semiannually, and a chaplain; a lady-of-honor, the Duchess of
Damas-Cruz; a lady of the bed chamber, the Viscountess d'Agoult; seven
lady companions, the Countess of Bearn, the Marchioness of Biron, the
Marchioness of Sainte-Maure, the Viscountess of Vaudreuil, the Countess
of Goyon, the Marchioness de Rouge, the Countess of Villefranche; two
gentlemen-in-waiting, the Marquis of Vibraye and the Duke Mathieu de
Montmorency, major-general; a First Equerry, the Viscount d'Agoult,
lieutenant-general, and two equerries, the Chevalier de Beaune and M.
O'Hegerthy.

We shall devote a special chapter to the household of the Duchess of
Berry.

The Count Alexandre de Puymaigre has left in his Souvenirs an account
of the manner in which the court employed the two weeks passed at
Compiegne in the month of October of each year. At 8 A.M., the King
heard Mass, where attendance was very exact except when the King
omitted to come, when no one came. At nine o'clock they set out for the
hunt, almost always with guns. One hundred to one hundred and fifty
hussars or chasseurs of the guard in garrison at Compiegne beat the
field, marching in line of battle, with the King in the middle: he had
at his right the Dauphin, at his left a captain of the guards, or such
person of the court as he was pleased to designate. These were the
three who alone had the right to fire.

Behind the sovereign, apart from some persons connected with the
service of the hunt, came a master of the horse, the first huntsman,
and some persons admitted to the hunt. The King, who used a flintlock
gun, was a very good marksman. About five or six in the evening he
returned to the Chateau. The people of the court were gathered on the
steps, awaiting him. He usually addressed some affable words to them,
and then went to dress in order to be in the salon at seven o'clock.

The captain of the guards, the first gentleman, the first huntsman, the
ladies and gentlemen in waiting of the princesses, the masters of the
horse, the colonel of the guard, dined with the King. The dinner was
choice, without being too sumptuous, but the wines were not of the
first order. The company remained at the table an hour, and each talked
freely with his or her neighbor, except those by the side of the
Dauphin or a Princess. There was music during the repast, and the
public was admitted to circulate about the table. The royal family
liked the attendance of spectators to be considerable. Thus care was
taken to give out a number of cards, in order that the promenade about
the table during the second service should be continuous. Often the
princesses spoke to the women of their acquaintance and gave candy to
the children passing behind them.

After the coffee, which was taken at table, Charles X. and his guests
traversed the Gallery of Mirrors, leading to the salon between two
lines of spectators eager to see the royal family. The King next played
billiards while a game of ecarte was started. The agents for the
preservation of the forests and the pages of the hunt remained by the
door, inside, without being permitted to advance into the salon, which
was occupied only by persons who had dined with the King.

After having had his game of billiards and left his place for other
players, Charles X. took a hand at whist, while the ecarte went on
steadily until, toward ten o'clock, the King retired. He was followed
to his sleeping-room, where he gave the watchword to the captain of the
body-guards, and indicated the hour of the meet for the next day.

"Sometimes we then returned to the salon," adds the Count of Puymaigre,
who, in virtue of his office as Prefect of the Oise, dined with the
King, as well as the Bishop of Beauvais and the general commanding the
sub-division. "M. de Cosse-Brisac, the first steward, had punch served,
and we continued the ecarte till midnight or one o'clock, when we could
play more liberally, the Dauphiness having limited the stakes to five
francs. The Duchess of Berry was less scrupulous. After the withdrawal
of the princes we were glad to be more at ease; the talk became gay and
even licentious, and I will say here that all the men of the court whom
I have seen near the King, far from being what could be called devout
or hypocritical, as was believed in the provinces, were anything but
that; that they no more concealed their indifference in religious
matters than they did their diversity of political opinions, royalist
doubtless, but of divers grades; that no one was more tolerant than the
King; finally, that if an occult power, the existence of which I do not
deny, but the force of which has been exaggerated, acted on the mind of
the King, it had not its seat in what was called the court."

Charles X. was deeply religious, a fervent believer, sincerely
Christian, and this Prince who but for his great piety might perhaps
have given excuse for scandal, led a life without reproach. But as
indulgent for others as he was severe to himself, he forced no one to
imitate his virtues, and his palaces were in no way like convents. As
was said by the Duke Ambroise de Doudeauville, for three years the
minister of the King's household, "his religion, despite all the stupid
things said of it, was very frank, very real, and very well understood."

Rarely has a sovereign given such a good example to those about him. No
mistresses, no favorites, no scandal, no ruinous expenditures, no
excess of luxury; a gentle piety, extreme affability, perfect courtesy,
a constant desire to render France happy and glorious. The appearance
of Charles X. was that of a fine old man, gracious, healthy, amiable,
and respected. Persons of plebeian origin at his court were treated by
him with as much politeness and attention as the chiefs of the ancient
houses of France. His manners were essentially aristocratic, but
without arrogance or pretension. Full of goodness toward his courtiers
and his servitors, he won the love of all who approached him. His
tastes were simple, and personally he required no luxury. Habituated
during the Emigration to go without many things, he never thought of
lavish expenditure, of building palaces or furnishing his residences
richly. "Never did a king so love his people," says the Duke Ambroise
de Doudeauville, "never did a king carry self-abnegation so far. I
urged him one day to allow his sleeping-room to be furnished. He
refused. I insisted, telling him that it was in a shocking condition of
neglect.

"'If it is for me,' he replied with vivacity, 'no; if it is for the
sake of the manufactures, yes.'

"It was the same in everything. He had no whims and never listened to a
proposition by which he alone was to profit. He joined to these
essential qualities, manners that were wholly French, and mots that
often recalled Henry IV. We were always saying to each other, my
colleagues and I, 'If a king were made to order for France, he would
not be different.' What a misfortune for France, which he loved so
much, that he was not known better and more appreciated. This portrait,
I protest, is in nowise flattering; if this poor Prince were still
reigning, I would not say so much of him, above all in his presence;
but he is persecuted and is an exile; I owe my country the truth,
nothing but the truth."

Let us add to the honor of Charles X. that he made of his personal
fortune and his civil list the noblest and most liberal use.

"On the throne," says the Viscount Sosthenes de La Rochefoucauld," he
was generous to excess. In his noble improvidence of the future, he
considered his civil list as a sort of loan, made by the nation for the
sake of its grandeur, to be returned in luxury, magnificence, and
benefits. A faithful depositary, he made it a duty to use it all, so
that, stripped of his property, he carried into exile hardly enough for
the support of his family and some old servitors."

To sum up, all who figured at the court of Charles X. agree in
recognizing that he was not a superior man, but a prince, chivalrous
and sympathetic, honest and of good intentions, who committed grave
errors, but did not deserve his misfortunes. In his appearance, in his
physiognomy, in thought and language, there was a mingling of grace and
dignity of which even his adversaries felt the charm. If posterity is
severe for the sovereign, it will be indulgent for the man.



XI

THE DUKE OF DOUDEAUVILLE


At the time of the consecration of Charles X., the minister of the
King's household was the Duke Ambroise de Doudeauville, father of the
Viscount Sosthenes de La Rochefoucauld. A philanthropic nobleman,
devoted to the throne, the altar, the Charter, and to liberty,
respectful for the past but thoughtful for the future, joining
intelligent toleration to sincere piety, faithful servitor but no
courtier to the King, the Duke of Doudeauville enjoyed the esteem of
all and had at court a high standing, due even more to his character
than to his birth. The volume of Memoirs that he has left does honor to
his heart as well as to his mind. There is grace and gaiety, depth and
charm, wisdom and courage, in this short but substantial book, where
appears in full light one of the most distinct types of the ancient
French society. "My years of grandeur and splendor," this author wrote,
"have passed like a dream, and I have beheld the awakening with
pleasure. I know not what my destiny shall be. As to my conduct, I
believe that I can affirm that it will be always that of an honest man,
a good Frenchman, a servant of God, desiring a Christian close to an
honorable life, the crown of every human edifice."

The details given by the Duke of Doudeauville as to his early years are
very characteristic. He was born in 1765. He was entrusted to the care
of a nurse living two leagues from Paris in a little village, the wife
of a post-rider. His parents, when they came to see him, found "their
eighteen-months-old progeny astride of one of the horses of his
foster-father." Like Henry IV., he was raised roughly, leading the life
of a real peasant, running the day long, in sabots, through the snow
and ice and mud. "My nurse, who was retained as maid," he says, "was a
good peasant, and thoroughly proletarian. Afterwards, transferred to
the capital, she there preserved with her simple cap her frank and
rustic manners, to the admiration of all who knew her, and esteemed her
loyal character and her plain ways. It is to her, and to her alone,
that I am indebted for receiving any religious instruction either in
infancy or youth. Everything about me was wholly foreign to those
ideas; my religion was none the less fervent for that. From my earliest
years, being born brave, I felt the vocation of the martyr the most
desirable means of being joined to our Father which is in Heaven, and I
have always thought that to end one's days for one's God, one's wife
and family, was a touching and enviable death."

The Duke of Doudeauville was still a child, and a little child--in
point of age he was fourteen and a day, in size he was four feet seven
inches--when he was married. He espoused Mademoiselle de Montmirail, of
the family of Louvois, who brought him, with a beauty he did not then
prize, a considerable fortune, the rank of grandee of Spain, and, worth
more than all, rare and precious qualities. Nevertheless, the little
husband was very sad. When his approaching marriage was announced to
him, he cried out, "Then I can play no longer!" When, after the first
interview, he was asked how he liked his fiancee, whose fresh face,
oval and full, was charming, he responded: "She is really very
beautiful; she looks like me when I am eating plums." Listen to his
story of the nuptials. "Imagine my extreme embarrassment," he says, "my
stupid disappointment, with my excessive bashfulness amid the numerous
concourse of visitors and spectators attracted by our wedding. The
grandfather of Mademoiselle de Montmirail, being captain of the
Hundred-Swiss, a great part of this corps was there, and, as if to play
me a trick, all these Hundred-Swiss were six feet tall, sometimes more.
One would have said, seeing me by the side of them, the giants and the
dwarf of the fair. Every one gazed at the bride, who, although she was
only fifteen, was as tall as she was beautiful, and every one was
looking for the bridegroom, without suspecting that it was this child,
this schoolboy, who was to play the part."

Is it not amusing, this picture of a marriage under the old regime? The
little groom was so disturbed when he went to the chapel and during the
ceremony, that, though his memory was excellent, he never could recall
what passed at that time. "I only remember," he says, "the sound of the
drums that were beating during our passage, and cheered me a little; it
was the one moment of the day that was to my taste. How long that day
seemed! You may imagine it was not from the motives common in like
cases, but because I drew all glances upon me, and all vied in laughing
at and joking me, pointing their fingers at me."

The day ended with a grand repast that lasted two or three hours. A
crowd of strangers strolled around the table all the while. Although
the precaution had been taken to put an enormous cushion on the chair
of the husband, his chin hardly came above the table. Seated by the
side of his young wife, he did not dare look at her. For days
beforehand he had been wondering if he should always be afraid of her.

"After this solemn banquet," he adds, "came the soiree, which did not
seem any more amusing; after the soiree the return to my parents' home
was no more diverting; nevertheless, it was made in the company of my
dear spouse, who henceforth was to dwell at my father's house. They
bundled me into a wretched cabriolet with my preceptor, and sent me to
finish my education at Versailles, and to learn to ride at the
riding-school of the pages."

We must note that the marriage thus begun was afterwards a very happy
union, and that there was never a pair more virtuous and more attached
to each other than the Duke and Duchess of Doudeauville.

In 1789, the Duke was major of the Second Regiment of Chasseurs. He
emigrated, though the Emigration was not at all to his liking. "This
measure," he said, "appeared to me in every way unreasonable, and yet,
to my great chagrin, I was forced to submit to it. The person of the
King was menaced, right-thinking people compromised, the tranquillity
and prosperity of France lost; they were arming abroad, it was said, to
provide a remedy for these evils. The nobles hastened hither. Distaffs
were sent to all who refused to rally on the banks of the Rhine. How,
at twenty-five, could one resist this tide of opinion?" When he
perceived, in the foreign powers, the design of profiting by the
discords in France instead of putting an end to them, he laid aside his
arms, and never resumed them during the eight years of the Emigration.
"This resolve," he said, "was consistent with my principles. Always a
good Frenchman, I desired only the good of my country, the happiness of
my fellow-countrymen; my whole life, I hope, has been a proof of this
view. All my actions have tended to this end."

During his eight years of emigration, the Duke of Doudeauville was
constantly a prey to anxiety, grief, poverty, trials of every kind.
Thirteen of his relatives were put to death under the Terror. His wife
was imprisoned, and escaped the scaffold only through the 9th
Thermidor. He himself, having visited France clandestinely several
times, ran the greatest risks. In the midst of such sufferings his sole
support was the assistance of a devoted servant. "At the moment that I
write these lines," he says in his Memoirs, "I am about to lose my
domestic Raphael, the excellent man who, for fifty years, has given me
such proofs of fidelity, disinterestedness, and delicacy; I have
treated him as a friend; I shall grieve for him as for a brother."

Misfortune had fortified the character of the Duke of Doudeauville.
Unlike other emigres, he had learned much and forgotten nothing. His
attitude under the Consulate and the Empire was that of a true
patriot.--Without joining the Opposition, he wished no favor. The sole
function he accepted was that of councillor-general of the Department
of the Marne, where he could be useful to his fellow-citizens without
giving any one the right to accuse him of ambitious motives. Nothing
would have been easier for him than to be named to one of the high
posts in the court of Napoleon, whose defects he disapproved, but whose
great qualities he admired. "Bonaparte," he said in his Memoirs, "had
monarchical ideas and made much of the nobility, especially that which
he called historic. I must confess, whatever may be said, that the
latter under his reign was more esteemed, respected, feted, than it has
been since under Louis XVIII. or Charles X. The princes feared to
excite toward it and toward themselves the envy of the bourgeois
classes, who would have no supremacy but their own. Napoleon, on the
contrary, having frankly faced the difficulty, created a nobility of
his own. Those who belonged to it, or hoped to, found it quite
reasonable that they should be given as peers the descendants of the
first houses of France." The Duchess of Doudeauville was a sister of
the Countess of Montesquiou, who was governess of the King of Rome, and
whose husband had replaced the Prince de Talleyrand as Grand
Chamberlain of the Emperor. Very intimate with the Count and Countess,
the Duke of Doudeauville had some trouble in avoiding the favors of
Napoleon, who held him in high esteem. He found a way to decline them
without wounding the susceptibilities of the powerful sovereign.

Under the Restoration, the Duke of Doudeauville distinguished himself
by an honest liberalism, loyal and intelligent, with nothing
revolutionary in it, and by an enlightened philanthropy that won him
the respect of all parties. When he was named as director of the
post-office in 1822, many people of his circle blamed him for taking a
place beneath him. "Congratulate me," he said, laughing, "that I have
not been offered that of postman; I should have taken it just the same
if I had thought I could be useful." And he added: "It was thought that
it would be a sinecure for me. Far from that, I gave myself up wholly
to my new employment, and I worked so hard at it, than in less than a
year my eyes, previously excellent, were almost ruined. I always
occupied fifteen or twenty places, each more gratuitous than the
others. To make the religion that I practise beloved and to serve my
neighbor, has always seemed to me the best way to serve God. So I
believe that I can say without fear of contradiction that I have never
done any one harm, and that I have always tried to do all the good
possible."

In the month of August, 1824, the Duke of Doudeauville was named
minister of the King's household. In this post he showed administrative
qualities of a high order. In April, 1827, not wishing to share in a
measure that he regarded as both inappropriate and unpopular, the
disbanding of the Parisian National Guard, he gave in his resignation.
"I did not wish," he said, "to join the Opposition. The popularity
given me by my resignation would have assured me a prominent place, but
this role agreed neither with my character nor with my antecedents. I
resolved on absolute silence and complete obscurity; I even avoided
showing myself in Paris, where I knew that manifestations of
satisfaction and gratitude would be given to me." King Louis Philippe
said one day to Marshal Gerard: "Had they listened to the Duke of
Doudeauville, and not broken up the National Guard of Paris, the
revolution would not have taken place."

The great lord, good citizen, and good Christian, who, at periods most
disturbed by changes of regime, had always been as firm in the
application of his principles as he was moderate in his actions and
gentle in his method, made himself as much respected under Louis
Philippe as under the Restoration. During the cholera, he set the
example of absolute devotion and was constantly in the hospitals. He
continued to sit in the Chamber of Peers until the close of the trial
of the Ministers, in the hope of saving the servitors of Charles X. But
when Louis Philippe quitted the Palais Royal to install himself at the
Tuileries, he resigned as Peer of France. He no longer wished to
reappear at the Chateau where he had seen Louis XVIII. and Charles X.,
and in a letter to the Queen Marie-Amelie, who had a real veneration
for him, he wrote: "My presence at the Tuileries would be out of place,
and even the new hosts of that palace would be astonished at it." The
Duke of Doudeauville, who died at a great age, in 1841, devoted his
last years to good works, to charity, to the benevolent establishments
of which he was the president. One day at the Hotel de Ville, he drew
applause from an assembly far from religious, by the words we are about
to cite, because they discovered in them his whole mind and heart: "A
husband would like a wife reserved, economical, a good housekeeper, an
excellent mother for his family, charming, eager to please him--him
only, adorning herself with virtue, the one ornament that is never
ruinous, having great gentleness for him, great strength as against all
others; he would wish, in fine, a perfect wife. I should like to
believe that there are many such, especially among my listeners, but I
should think it a miracle if one of them united all these qualities
without having the principles of religion. A woman, pretty, witty,
agreeable, would like her husband to think she was so, that he should
be as amiable for her, or almost, as for those he saw for the first
time; that he should not keep his ill humor and his brusqueness for his
home and lavish his care and attention on society; that he should
forget sometimes that he is a master,--in some ways a despotic
master,--despite the liberalism of the century and the progress of
philosophy; that he should be willing to be a friend, even if he ceased
to be a lover; finally, that he should not seek from others what he
will more surely find at home. Let this tender wife invoke religion,
let her cause her husband to love it, let her win him to it; she will
get what she hopes for and thank me for the recipe."

Our lady readers will thank us, we hope, for having spoken of a man who
gives them such good advice; and it is with pleasure that we have taken
the occasion to render homage to the memory of a great lord, who doubly
deserved the title, by the elevation of his ideas and the nobility of
his sentiments. Such men--alas! they are rare--would have saved the
Restoration if the Restoration could have been saved.



XII

THE HOUSEHOLD OF THE DUCHESS OF BERRY


We shall now, commencing with the ladies, throw a rapid glance over the
persons who, at the time of the consecration, formed the household of
the Duchess of Berry. The Princess had one lady of honor, one lady of
the bedchamber, and eleven lady companions, of whom three were
honorary. All were distinguished as much by their manners and
sentiments as by birth and education.

The lady of honor was the Marechale Oudinot, Duchess of Reggio, a lady
of the highest rank, who joined a large heart to a firm mind. Attached,
through her family, to the religious and monarchical principles of the
old regime, by her marriage to the glories of the imperial epic, she
represented at the court the ideas of pacification and fusion that
inspired the policy of Louis XVIII. Born in 1791, of Antoine de Coucy,
captain in the regiment of Artois, and of Gabrielle de Mersuay, she was
but two years old when her father and mother were thrown into the
dungeons of the Terror. Carried in the arms of a faithful
serving-woman, she visited the two prisoners, who escaped death. She
married one of Napoleon's most illustrious companions in arms, the
"modern Bayard," as he was called, the Marshal Oudinot, Duke of Reggio,
who had received thirty-two wounds on the field of battle, and who, by
securing the passage of Beresina, deserved to be called the "saviour of
the army." He was wounded at the close of the Russian campaign. Then
his young wife crossed all Europe to go and care for him and saved him.
She was but twenty. She was only twenty-four when Louis XVIII. named
her lady of honor to the Duchess of Berry. Despite her extreme youth,
she filled her delicate functions with exquisite tact and precocious
wisdom, and from the first exercised a happy influence over the mind of
the Princess, who gladly listened to her counsels. Very active in work,
the lady of honor busied herself with untiring zeal with the details of
her charge. She was the directress, the secretary, the factotum, of the
Duchess of Berry. The Abbe Tripied, who pronounced her funeral eulogy
at Bar-le-Duc, May 21st, 1868, traced a very lifelike portrait of her.
Let us hear the ecclesiastic witness of the high virtues of this truly
superior woman.

"She bore," he said, "with equal force and sagacity her titles of lady
of honor and Duchess of Reggio. Proud of her blason, where were crossed
the arms of the old and of the new nobility, and where she saw, as did
the King, a sign, as it were, of reconciliation and peace, she bore it
high and firm, and defended it in its new glories, against insulting
attacks. An ornament to the court, by her graces and her high
distinction, she displayed there, for the cause of the good, all the
resources of her mind and the riches of her heart. But none of the
seductions and agitations she met there disturbed the limpidity of her
pure soul. Malignity, itself at bay, was forced to recognize and avow
that in the Duchess of Reggio no other stain could be found than the
ink-stains she sometimes allowed her pen to make upon her finger. In
her greatness, this noble woman saw, before all, the side of duty."

In 1832, when the Duchess of Berry was imprisoned in the citadel of
Blaye, her former lady of honor asked, without being able to obtain
that favor, the privilege of sharing her captivity. The Duchess of
Reggio to the last set an example of devotion and of all the virtues.
She was so gracious and affable that one day some one remarked: "When
the Duchess gives you advice, it seems as if she were asking a service
of you." When the noble lady died, April 18th, 1868, at Bar-le-Duc,
where her good works and her intelligent charity had made her beloved,
they wished to give her name to one of the streets of the city, and as
they already had the Rue Oudinot and the Place Reggio, one of the
streets was called the Rue de La Marechale.

The lady of the bedchamber of the Duchess of Berry and her lady
companions all belonged to the old aristocracy. The Countess of
Noailles, lady of the bedchamber, a woman full of intelligence, and
very beautiful, a mother worthy of all praise, was the daughter of the
Duke de Talleyrand, the niece of the Prince de Talleyrand, the wife of
Count Just de Noailles, second son of the Prince of Poix.

The Duchess of Berry had eight lady companions: the Countess of
Bouille, the Countess d'Hautefort, the Marchioness of Bethisy, the
Marchioness of Gourgues, the Countess of Casteja, the Countess of
Rosanbo, the Marchioness of Podenas; and three whose title was
honorary, the Marchioness of Lauriston, the Countess Charles de
Gontaut, and the Countess de La Rochejaquelein.

The Countess of Bouille, who at the time of the coronation of Charles
X. was about forty years old, was a creole, very agreeable and much
respected.

The Countess d'Hautefort, nee Maille-Latour-Landry, forty-one years
old, married to a colonel who belonged to the fourth company of the
bodyguards, was a woman of much intelligence, charmingly natural, and
an excellent musician. She shared in 1832 the captivity of the Duchess
of Berry.

Very distinguished in manner and sentiment as in birth, the Marchioness
Charles de Bethisy, married to a lieutenant-general and peer of France;
the Countess of Gourgues, nee Montboissier, married to a master of
requests, a deputy; the Countess of Mefflay, a young and charming
woman, daughter of the Countess of Latour, whom the Duchess of Berry
had as governess in the Two Sicilies, and wife of the Count Meffray,
receiver-general of Gers; the Viscountess of Casteja, daughter of the
Marquis of Bombelles, major-general, ambassador of Louis XVI. at Lisbon
and Vienna, then priest, Canon of Breslau, Bishop of Amiens, First
Almoner of the Duchess of Berry (he died in 1822, and one of his sons,
Charles de Bombelles, married morganatically the Empress Marie-Louise,
in 1833); the Countess of Rosanbo, daughter of the Count of Mesnard;
the Marchioness of Podenas, wife of a lieutenant-colonel; the
Marchioness of Lauriston, wife of the marshal, formerly lady of the
palace to the Empress Josephine and the Empress Marie-Louise; the
Countess Charles de Gontaut, whose husband was chamberlain of the
Emperor, a very young and very pretty woman, remarkable for the
vivacity of her mind; the Countess de La Rochejaquelein, nee Duras, a
very pious and very charitable woman, whose husband was a
major-general. In fact, the circle around the Duchess of Berry was
perfection. The greatest ladies of France were by her side, and the
society of the Petit Chateau, as the Pavilion de Marsan was called, was
certainly fitted to give the tone to the principal salons of Paris.

The Duchess of Berry had as chevalier d'honneur a great lord, very
learned, known for his unchangeable devotion to royalty, the Duke de
Sevis (born in 1755, died in 1830). The Duke, who emigrated and was
wounded at Quiberon, held himself apart during the Empire, and
published highly esteemed writings on finance, some Memoirs, and a
Recueil de Souvenirs et Portraits. He was a peer of France and member
of the French Academy. For adjunct to the chevalier d'honneur, the
Duchess had the Count Emmanuel de Brissac, one of the finest characters
of the court, married to a Montmorency.

Her first equerry was the Count Charles de Mesnard, a Vendean gentleman
of proven devotion. The Count Charles de Mesnard was born at Lugon, in
1769, the same year as Napoleon, whose fellow-pupil he was at Brienne.
Belonging to one of those old houses of simple gentlemen who have the
antiquity of the greatest races, he was son of a major-general who
distinguished himself in the Seven Years War, and who at the close of
the old regime was gentleman of the chamber of the Count of Provence
(Louis XVIII.), and captain of the Guards of the Gate of this Prince.
He emigrated, and served in the ranks of the army of Conde, with his
older brother, the Count Edouard de Mesnard, married to Mademoiselle de
Caumont-Laforce, daughter of the former governess of the children of
the Count d'Artois (Charles X.), and sister of the Countess of Balbi.
The Count Edouard de Mesnard, having entered Paris secretly, was shot
there as emigre, October 27th, 1797, despite all the efforts of the
wife of General Bonaparte to save him. When he was going to his death,
his eyes met, on the boulevard, those of one of his friends, the
Marquis of Galard, who had returned with him secretly. The condemned
man had the presence of mind to seem not to recognize the passer-by,
and the latter was saved, as he himself related with emotion sixty
years afterward.

At the commencement of the Empire, the Count Charles de Mesnard was
living at London, where he was reduced to gaining his living by copying
music, when the Emperor offered to restore his confiscated property if
he would come to France and unite with the new regime. The Count of
Mesnard preferred to remain in England near the Duke of Berry, who
showed great affection for him. The Restoration compensated the
faithful companion of exile. He was a peer of France and Charles X.
treated him as a friend. He had married, during the Emigration, an
English lady, Mrs. Sarah Mason, widow of General Blondell, by whom he
had a daughter, Aglae, who was named a lady companion to the Duchess of
Berry, at the time of her marriage, in 1825, with the Count Ludovic de
Rosanbo, and a son, Ferdinand, married in 1829, to Mademoiselle de
Bellissen.

The Princess had for equerry-de-main, the Viscount d'Hanache; for
honorary equerry, the Baron of Fontanes; for equerry porte-manteau, M.
Gory. Her secretary of orders was the Marquis de Sassenay, who bore,
besides, the title of Administrator of the Finances and Treasurer of
Madame. He had under his orders a controller-general, M. Michals, who
was of such integrity and devotion that when, after the Revolution of
July, he presented himself at Holyrood to give in his accounts to the
Duchess of Berry, she made him a present of her portrait.

There was not a private household in France where more order reigned
than in that of Madame. The chief of each service,--the Duchess of
Reggio, the Viscount Just de Noailles, the Count Emmanuel de Brissac,
and the Count of Mesnard, presented his or her budget and arranged the
expenditures in advance with the Princess. This budget being paid by
twelfths before the 15th of the following month, she required to have
submitted to her the receipts of the month past. This did not prevent
Madame from being exceedingly generous. One day she learned that a poor
woman had just brought three children into the world and knew not how
to pay for three nurses, three layettes, three cradles. Instantly she
wished to relieve her. But it was the end of the month; the money of
all the services had been spent.

"Lend me something," she said to the controller-general of her
household; "you will trust me; no one will trust this unfortunate
woman."

As M. Nettement remarked: "The Duchess of Berry held it as a principle
that princes should be like the sun which draws water from the streams
only to return it in dew and rain. She considered her civil list as the
property of all, administered by her. She was to be seen at all
expositions and in all the shops, buying whatever was offered that was
most remarkable. Sometimes she kept these purchases, sometimes she sent
them to her family at Naples, Vienna, Madrid, and her letters used
warmly to recommend in foreign cities whatever was useful or beautiful
in France. She was thus in every way the Providence of the arts, of
industry, and commerce."

To sum up, the household of the Duchess of Berry worked to perfection,
and Madame, always affable and good, inspired a profound devotion in
all about her.



XIII

THE PREPARATIONS FOR THE CORONATION


The coronation of Louis XVI. took place the 11th of June, 1775, and
since that time there had been none. For Louis XVII. there was none but
that of sorrow. Louis XVIII. had desired it eagerly, but he was not
sufficiently strong or alert to bear the fatigue of a ceremony so long
and complicated, and his infirmities would have been too evident
beneath the vault of the ancient Cathedral of Rheims. An interval of
fifty years--from 1775 to 1825--separated the coronation of Louis XVI.
from that of his brother Charles X. How many things had passed in that
half-century, one of the most fruitful in vicissitudes and
catastrophes, one of the strangest and most troubled of which history
has preserved the memory!

Chateaubriand, who, later, in his Memoires d'outretombe, so full of
sadness and bitterness, was to speak of the coronation in a tone of
scepticism verging on raillery, celebrated at the accession of Charles,
in almost epic language, the merits of this traditional solemnity
without which a "Very Christian King" was not yet completely King. In
his pamphlet, Le roi est mort! Vive le roi! he conjured the new monarch
to give to his crown this religious consecration. "Let us humbly
supplicate Charles X. to imitate his ancestors," said the author of the
Genie du Christianisme. "Thirty-two sovereigns of the third race have
received the royal unction, that is to say, all the sovereigns of that
race except Jean 1er, who died four days after his birth, Louis XVII.,
and Louis XVIII., on whom royalty fell, on one in the Tower of the
Temple, on the other in a foreign land. The words of Adalberon,
Archbishop of Rheims, on the subject of the coronation of Hugh Capet,
are still true to-day. 'The coronation of the King of the French,' he
says, 'is a public interest and not a private affair, Publica, sunt
haec negotia, non privata.' May Charles X. deign to weigh these words,
applied to the author of his race; in weeping for a brother, may he
remember that he is King! The Chambers or the Deputies of the Chambers
whom he may summon to Rheims in his suite, the magistrates who shall
swell his cortege, the soldiers who shall surround his person, will
feel the faith of religion and royalty strengthened in them by this
imposing solemnity. Charles VII. created knights at his coronation; the
first Christian King of the French, at his received baptism with four
thousand of his companions in arms. In the same way Charles X. will at
his coronation create more than one knight of the cause of legitimacy,
and more than one Frenchman will there receive the baptism of fidelity."

Charles X. had no hesitation. This crowned representative of the union
of the throne and the altar did not comprehend royalty without
coronation. Not to receive the holy unction would have been for him a
case of conscience, a sort of sacrilege. In opening the session of the
Chambers in the Hall of the Guards at the Louvre, December 22d, 1824,
he announced, amid general approval, the grand solemnity that was to
take place at Rheims in the course of the following year. "I wish," he
said, "the ceremony of my coronation to close the first session of my
reign. You will attend, gentlemen, this august ceremony. There,
prostrate at the foot of the same altar where Clovis received the holy
unction, and in the presence of Him who judges peoples and kings, I
shall renew the oath to maintain and to cause to be respected the
institutions established by my brother; I shall thank Divine Providence
for having deigned to use me to repair the last misfortunes of my
people, and I shall pray Him to continue to protect this beautiful
France that I am proud to govern."

If Napoleon, amid sceptical soldiers, former conventionnels, and former
regicides, had easily secured the adoption of the idea of his
coronation at Notre-Dame, by so much the more easy was it for Charles
X. to obtain the adoption, by royalist France, of the project of his
coronation at Rheims. "The King saw in this act," said Lamartine, "a
real sacrament for the crown, the people a ceremony that carried its
imagination back to the pomps of the past, politicians a concession to
the court of Rome, claiming the investiture of kings, and a denial in
fact of the principle, not formulated but latent since 1789, of the
sovereignty of the people. But as a rule, there was no vehement
discussion of an act generally considered as belonging to the etiquette
of royalty, without importance for or against the institutions of the
country. It was the fete of the accession to the throne--a luxury of
the crown. The oaths to exterminate heretics, formerly taken by the
kings of France at their coronation, were modified in concert with the
court of Rome and the bishops. For these was substituted the oath to
govern according to the Charter. Thus it was in reality a new
consecration of liberty as well as of the crown." The French love pomp,
ceremonies, spectacles. The idea of a consecration was not displeasing
to them, and with rare exceptions, the Voltaireans themselves refrained
from criticising the ceremony that was in the course of preparation. It
soon became the subject of conversation on every side.

Six millions voted by the two Chambers for the expenses of the
coronation, at the time that the civil list was regulated at the
beginning of the reign, permitted the repairs required by the Cathedral
of Rheims to be begun in January, 1825. The arches that had sunken, or
threatened to do so, were strengthened; the ancient sculptured
decorations were restored; the windows were completed; the fallen
statues were raised. It was claimed that even the holy ampulla had been
found, that miraculous oil, believed, according to the royal
superstitions of former ages, to have been brought from heaven by a
dove for the anointing of crowned heads. The Revolution thought that it
had destroyed this relic forever. The 6th of October, 1793, a
commissioner of the Convention, the representative of the people, Ruhl,
had, in fact, publicly broken it on the pedestal of the statue of Louis
XV. But it was related that faithful hands had succeeded in gathering
some fragments of the phial as well as some particles of the balm
contained in it. The 25th of January, 1819, the Abbe Seraine, who in
1793 was cure of Saint-Remi of Rheims, made the following declaration:--

"The 17th of October, 1793, M. Hourelle, then municipal officer and
first warden of the parish of Saint-Remi, came to me and notified me,
from the representative of the people, Ruhl, of the order to remit the
reliquary containing the holy ampulla, to be broken. We resolved, M.
Hourelle and I, since we could do no better, to take from the holy
ampulla the greater part of the balm contained in it. We went to the
Church of Saint-Remi; I withdrew the reliquary from the tomb of the
saint, and bore it to the sacristy, where I opened it with the aid of
small iron pincers. I found placed in the stomach of a dove of gold and
gilded silver, covered with white enamel, having the beak and claws in
red, the wings spread, a little phial of glass of reddish color about
an inch and a half high corked with a piece of crimson damask. I
examined this phial attentively in the light, and I perceived a great
number of marks of a needle on the sides; then I took from a crimson
velvet bag, embroidered with fleurs-de-lis in gold, the needle used at
the time of the consecration of our kings, to extract the particles of
balm, dried and clinging to the glass. I detached as many as possible,
of which I took the larger part, and remitted the smaller to M.
Hourelle."

The particles thus preserved were given into the hands of the
Archbishop of Rheims, who gathered them in a new reliquary.

Sunday, the 22d of May, 1825, the day of the feast of the Pentecost,
the Archbishop of Rheims assembled in a chapel of that city the
metropolitan clergy, the principal authorities, and the persons who had
contributed to the preservation of the particles of the precious relic,
in order to proceed, in their presence, to the transfusion of those
particles into the holy chrism, to be enclosed in a new phial. A
circumtantial report of this ceremony was prepared in duplicate.

"Thus," said the Moniteur, May 26, "there remains no doubt that the
holy oil that will flow on the forehead of Charles X. in the solemnity
of his consecration, is the same as that which, since Clovis, has
consecrated the French monarchs."

The day of the consecration approached. The Mayor of Rheims, M. Ruinard
de Brimont, had not a moment's rest. At the consecration of Louis XV.,
about four hundred lodgings had been marked with chalk. For that of
Charles X. there were sixteen hundred, and those who placed them at the
service of the administration asked no compensation. The 19th of May
was begun the placing of the exterior decorations on the wooden porch
erected in front of the door of the basilica. It harmonized so
completely with the plan of the edifice that "at thirty toises," it
seemed a part of the edifice. The centrings and the interior portieres
of this porch presented to the view a canopy sown with fleurs-de-lis in
the midst of which stood out the royal cipher and the crown of France,
modelled in antique fashion. These decorations were continued from the
portal along the beautiful gallery that led to the palace. The palace
itself, whose apartments had been adorned and furnished with royal
magnificence, was entered by a very elegant porch. The grand
feasting-hall, with its Gothic architecture, its colored glass, its
high chimney-piece covered with escutcheons and surmounted by a statue
of Saint-Remi, its portraits of all the kings of France, was
resplendent. Three tables were to be set in the royal
feasting-hall,--that of the King, that of the Dauphiness, and that of
the Duchess of Berry. A gallery enclosed in glass, where there was a
table of one hundred and thirty covers, had been built as by
enchantment. On leaving the feasting-hall, one entered the covered
gallery, which, by a gentle incline, led to the Cathedral. This gallery
was formed of twenty-four arcades of fifteen feet each, and joined at
right angles the porch erected before the portal. By this arrangement
the King could proceed on a level from his apartment to the Cathedral.

In the middle of the nave was erected a magnificent jube, where the
throne of Charles X. was placed. The cornice of the Corinthian order
was supported by twenty columns. At the four corners there were gilded
angels. The summit was surmounted by a statue of Religion and an angel
bearing the royal crown. This jube, glittering with gold, was placed
about one hundred and fifty feet from the portal. There was a passage
under it to reach the choir, and the ascent to it was by a staircase of
thirty steps. As it was open, the King upon his throne could be seen
from all parts of the basilica. At the end of the choir, to the right
on entering, was the gallery of the Dauphiness and the Duchess of
Berry; to the left, opposite, was that of the princes and princesses of
the blood; lower, toward the jube, and also on the left, that of the
ambassadors and strangers of distinction; by the side of the jube, the
gallery of the first gentlemen of the chamber of the King. There were,
moreover, two rows of galleries on each side of the nave. The sanctuary
was beaming with gold. The pillars, surrounded with wainscoting, were
covered with rich Gothic ornaments. Above each of the galleries was a
portrait of a king of France seated on his throne; still higher,
portraits of bishops and statues of the cities of France in niches. At
the back, a platform had been constructed for the musicians of the
Chapel of the King. The choir and the sanctuary were to be lighted by
thirty-four grand chandeliers, besides the candelabra attached to each
pillar.

Some days before the coronation, which excited the curiosity of all
Europe, the city of Rheims was filled with a crowd of tourists. The
streets and promenades of the city, usually so quiet, presented an
extraordinary animation. There had been constructed a bazaar, tents,
cafes, places for public games, and at the gates of the city there was
a camp of ten thousand men. To visit this camp was a favorite excursion
for the people and for strangers. The soldiers assembled each evening
before their tents and sang hymns to the sovereign and the glory of the
French arms. In the evening of the 22d of May, these military choruses
were closed by the serment francais, sung by all voices. At the words
"Let us swear to be faithful to Charles!" all heads were uncovered, and
the soldiers waving their helmets and shakos in the air, cried over and
again, "Long live the King!"

On May 24th, the King left Paris with the Dauphin. Before going to
Rheims he stopped at the Chateau of Compiegne, where he remained until
the 27th, amid receptions and fetes and hunts.

M. de Chateaubriand was already at Rheims. He wrote on May 26:--

"The King arrives day after to-morrow. He will be crowned Sunday, the
29th. I shall see him place upon his head a crown that no one dreamed
of when I raised my voice in 1814. I write this page of my Memoirs in
the room where I am forgotten amid the noise. This morning I visited
Saint-Remi and the Cathedral decorated in colored paper. The only clear
idea that I can have of this last edifice is from the decorations of
the Jeanne d'Arc of Schiller, played at Berlin. The opera-scene
painters showed me on the banks of the Spree, what the opera-scene
painters on the banks of the Vesle hide from me. But I amused myself
with the old races, from Clovis with his Franks and his legion come
down from heaven, to Charles VII. with Jeanne d'Arc."

The writer, who some weeks earlier had expressed himself in terms so
dithyrambic as to the consecration, now wrote as follows of this
religious and monarchical solemnity:--

"Under what happy auspices did Louis XVI. ascend the throne! How
popular he was, succeeding to Louis XV.! And yet what did he become?
The present coronation will be the representation of a coronation. It
will not be one; we shall see the Marshal Moncey, an actor at that of
Napoleon, the Marshal who formerly celebrated the death of the tyrant
Louis XVI. in his army, brandish the royal sword at Rheims in his rank
as Count of Flanders or Duke of Aquitaine. To whom can this parade
really convey any illusion? I should have wished no pomp to-day; the
King on horseback, the church bare, adorned only with its ancient
arches and tombs; the two Chambers present, the oath of fidelity to the
Charter taken aloud on the Bible. This would have been the renewal of
the monarchy; they might have begun it over again with liberty and
religion. Unfortunately there was little love of liberty, even if they
had had at least a taste for glory."

This is not all; the curious royalist, as if disabused as to Bourbon
glories, so extolled by him, glorifies, apropos of the coronation of
Charles X., the Napoleon whom in 1814 he called disdainfully
"Buonaparte," loading him with the most cutting insults:--

"After all, did not the new coronation, when the Pope anointed a man as
great as the chief of the second race, by a change of heads alter the
effect of the ancient ceremony of our history? The people have been led
to think that a pious rite does not dedicate any one to the throne, or
else renders indifferent the choice of the brow to be touched by the
holy oil. The supernumeraries at Notre-Dame de Paris, playing also in
the Cathedral of Rheims, are no longer anything but the obligatory
personages of a stage that has become common. The advantage really is
with Napoleon, who furnishes his figurants to Charles X. The figure of
the Emperor thenceforth dominates all. It appears in the background of
events and ideas. The leaflets of the good time to which we have
attained shrivel at the glance of his eagles."

Charles X. left Compiegne the 27th of May in the morning, and slept at
Fismes. The next day, the 28th, he had just quitted this town and was
descending a steep hill, when several batteries of the royal guard
fired a salute at his departure; the horses, frightened, took flight.
Thanks to the skill of the postilion, there was no accident to the
King; but a carriage of his suite, in which were the Duke of Aumont,
the Count de Cosse, the Duke of Damas, and the Count Curial, was
overturned and broken, and the last two wounded. At noon Charles X.
arrived at a league and a half from Rheims, at the village of Tinqueux,
where he was awaited by the Dukes of Orleans and Bourbon, the officers
of his civil and military household, the authorities of Rheims, the
legion of the mounted National Guard of Paris, etc. He entered the gold
carriage,--termed the coronation carriage,--where the Dauphin and the
Dukes of Orleans and Bourbon took their places beside him. The cortege
then took up its march. From Tinqueux to Rheims, the royal coach,
gleaming with gold, passed under a long arcade of triumphal arches
adorned with streamers and foliage. From the gates of the city to the
Cathedral, flowers strewed the sand that covered the ground. All the
houses were hung with carpets and garlands; at all the windows, from
all the balconies, from all the roofs, innumerable spectators shouted
their acclamations; the cortege advanced to the sound of all the bells
of the city, and to the noise of a salvo of artillery of one hundred
and one guns. The King was received under a dais at the door of the
metropolitan church, by the Archbishop of Rheims in his pontifical
robes, and accompanied by his suffragans, the Bishops of Soissons,
Beauvais, Chalons, and Amiens. The Archbishop presented the holy water
to the sovereign, who knelt, kissed the Gospels, then was escorted
processionally into the sanctuary. His prie-dieu was placed at fifteen
feet from the altar, on a platform, about which was a magnificent
canopy hung from the ceiling of the Cathedral.

The Dauphiness had entered her gallery with the Duchess of Berry and
the princesses of the blood. The Archbishop celebrated the vespers, and
then the Cardinal de La Fare ascended the pulpit and delivered a sermon
in which he said:--

"God of Clovis, if there is here below a spectacle capable of
interesting Thy infinite Majesty, would it not be that which in this
solemnity fixes universal attention and invites and unites all prayers?
These days of saintly privilege, in which the hero of Tolbiac, and
thirteen centuries after him, the sixty-fifth of his successors have
come to the same temple to receive the same consecration, can they be
confounded with the multitude of human events, to be buried and lost in
the endless annals? To what, O great God! if not to the persistence of
Thy immutable decrees, can we attribute, on this earth, always so
changing and mobile, the supernatural gift of this miraculous duration?"

The Cardinal covered with praises not only the King, but the Dauphin,
the Dauphiness, the Duchess of Berry, the Duke of Bordeaux. He cried:--

"Constantly happy as King, may Charles X. be constantly happy as father!

"May his paternal glances always see about him, shining with a
brilliancy that nothing can change, this family so precious, the
ornament of his court, the charm of his life, the future of France!

"This illustrious Dauphin, the terror of the genius of evil, the swift
avenger of the majesty of kings, conquering hero and peace-maker!

"This magnanimous Princess, the living image of celestial charity, the
visible Providence of the unfortunate, the model of heroism as of
virtue!

"This admirable mother of the Child of Miracle, who restored hope to
the dismayed nation, astonished it by her courage and captivates it by
her goodness!

"This tender scion of the first branch of the lilies, the object,
before his birth, of so many desires, and now of so many hopes."

The Prince of the Church, amid general emotion, thus closed his
discourse:--

"May it be, O Lord! thy protecting will, that if the excess of ills has
surpassed our presentiments and our fear, the reality of good may, in
its turn, surpass our hopes and our desires.

"Condescend that the lasting succor of Thy grace may guide in an
unbroken progress of prosperity and lead to happiness without
vicissitude or end, our King, Thy adorer, and his people, who, under
his laws, shall be more than ever religious and faithful."

After the sermon, the Archbishop celebrated the Te Deum, to which
Charles X. listened standing. Then after having kissed the altar and a
reliquary in which was a piece of the true cross, the sovereign
returned to his apartments in the Archbishop's palace.

Thus passed the eve of the consecration. The same day M. de
Chateaubriand wrote:--

"Rheims, Saturday, the eve of the consecration. I saw the King enter. I
saw pass the gilded coaches of the monarch who, a little while ago, had
not a horse to mount; I saw rolling by, carriages full of courtiers who
had not known how to defend their master. This herd went to the church
to sing the Te Deum, and I went to visit a Roman ruin, and to walk
alone in an elm grove called the Bois d'Amour. I heard from afar the
jubilation of the bells; I contemplated the towers of the Cathedral,
secular witnesses of this ceremony always the same and yet so different
in history, time, ideas, morals, usages, and customs. The monarchy
perished, and for a long time the Cathedral was changed to a stable.
Does Charles X., when he sees it again to-day, recall that he saw Louis
XVI. receive anointment in the same place where he in his turn is to
receive it? Will he believe that a consecration shelters him from
misfortune? There is no longer a hand with virtue enough to cure the
king's evil, no ampulla with holy power sufficient to render kings
inviolable."

Such was the disposition of the great writer, always content with
himself, discontented with others. The crowd of royalists, far from
showing themselves sceptical and morose, as he was, was about to attend
the ceremony of the morrow in a wholly different mood. It had long been
ready with its enthusiasm, and awaited with impatience mingled with
respect the dawn of the day about to rise.



XIV

THE CORONATION


Sunday, the 29th of May, 1825, the city of Rheims presented, even
before sunrise, an extraordinary animation. From four o'clock in the
morning vehicles were circulating in the streets, and an hour after
people with tickets were directing their steps toward the Cathedral,
the men in uniform or court dress, the women in full dress. The sky was
clear and the weather cool.

Let us listen to an eye-witness, the Count d'Haussonville, the future
member of the French Academy:--

"Need I say that the competition had been ardent among women of the
highest rank to obtain access to the galleries of the Cathedral, which,
not having been reserved for the dignitaries, could receive a small
number of happy chosen ones? Such was the eagerness of this feminine
battalion to mount to the assault of the places whence they could see
and be seen, that at six o'clock in the morning when I presented myself
at the Gothic porch built of wood before the Cathedral, I found them
already there and under arms. They were in court dress, with trains,
all wearing, according to etiquette, uniform coiffures of lace passed
through the hair (what they called barbes), and which fell about their
necks and shoulders, conscientiously decolletes. For a cool May morning
it was rather a light costume; they were shivering with cold. In vain
they showed their tickets, and recited, in order to gain entrance,
their titles and their rank; the grenadier of the royal guard, charged
with maintaining order until the hour of the opening of the doors,
marched unmoved before these pretty beggars, among whom I remember to
have remarked the Countess of Choiseul, her sister, the Marchioness of
Crillon, the Countess of Bourbon-Bosset, etc. He had his orders from
his chief to let no one enter, and no one did."

Finally the doors were opened. At a quarter after six all the galleries
were filled. The foreign sovereigns were represented by especial
ambassadors: the King of Spain by the Duke of Villa-Hermosa, the
Emperor of Austria by Prince Esterhazy, the King of England by the Duke
of Northumberland, the Emperor of Russia by the Prince Wolkonski, the
King of Prussia by General de Zastrow. These various personages were
objects of curiosity to the crowd, as was Sidi-Mahmoud, ambassador of
the Bey of Tunis. The rich toilets and dazzling jewels of the ladies of
the court were admired; all eyes were fixed on the gallery where were
the Dauphiness, the Duchess of Berry, and the Duchess and Mademoiselle
d'Orleans, all four resplendent with diamonds. The spectacle was
magnificent. An array of marvels attracted attention. Behind the altar
the sacred vessels in gold, of antique form, the crown in diamonds
surmounted by the famous stone, the "Regent," the other attributes of
royalty on a cushion of velvet embroidered with fleurs-de-lis; on the
front of the altar the royal mantle, open, not less than twenty-four
feet in length; on the altar of green-veined marble, superb candelabra
in gold; on the centre of the cross of the church, suspended from the
ceiling above the choir and the prie-dieu of the King, an immense
canopy of crimson velvet, sown with golden fleurs-de-lis; at the back
of the choir, toward the nave, about one hundred and fifty feet from
the portal, the gigantic jube with its staircase of thirty steps; upon
this the throne; all around a swarm of standards, those of the five
companies of the King's body-guard, and the flag of his foot-guards,
borne by the superior officers; on the two sides of the stairway,
ranged en Echelon, the flags and standards of the regiments of the
guard and of the line in camp under the walls of Rheims; a splendor of
light, banishing all regret for the sun, from candelabra at the
entrance of the choir, from chandeliers in the galleries, from
chandeliers full of candles suspended from the ceiling, from tapers on
the columns.

The Cardinals de Clermont-Tonnerre and de La Fare, preceded by the
metropolitan chapter, came to seek the King in his apartment in the
palace. The Grand Preceptor knocked at the door of the royal chamber;
the Grand Chamberlain said in a loud voice:--

"What do you seek?" The Cardinal de Clermont-Tonnerre responded:--

"Charles X., whom God has given us for King."

Then the ushers opened the doors of the chamber. The two cardinals
entered and saluted the sovereign, who rose from his chair, bowed, and
received the holy water. The Cardinal de Clermont-Tonnerre recited a
prayer. The cortege was formed, and in the following order traversed
the great covered gallery which had been built along the right side of
the Cathedral:--

The metropolitan chapter; the King's foot-guards; the band; the
heralds-at-arms; the king-at-arms; the aides de ceremonies; the Grand
Master of Ceremonies, Marquis de Dreux-Breze; the four knights of the
Order of the Holy Spirit, who were to carry the offerings, viz. the
Duke de Vauguyon the wine in a golden vase, the Duke of Rochefoucauld
the pain d'argent, the Duke of Luxembourg the pain d'or, the Duke of
Gramont the ewers filled with silver medals; the King's pages on the
flanks; the Marshal Moncey, Duke of Conegliano, charged with the
functions of constable, holding in his hand his naked sword; the Duke
of Mortemart, captain-colonel of the foot-guards in ordinary to the
King; the Marshal Victor Duke of Bellune, major-general of the royal
guard; the Marshal Marquis de Lauriston, the Count de Cosse, and the
Duke de Polignac, named by the King to bear his train in the church;
then, with his two attendant cardinals, de Clermont-Tonnerre and de La
Fare, one at his right, the other at his left, the King.

There was a movement of curiosity, attention, and respect. Charles X.
had entered the Cathedral. The moment his foot crossed the threshold,
Cardinal de La Fare pronounced a prayer:--

"O God, who knowest that the human race cannot subsist by its own
virtue, grant Thy succor to Charles, Thy servant, whom Thou hast put at
the head of Thy people, that he may himself succor and protect those
subject to him."

Here, then, is Charles X. in that basilica where fifty years before,
Sunday, June 11, 1775, he assisted at the coronation of his brother
Louis XVI. Then he was seventeen. Ah! what would have been his surprise
had it been foretold to him by what strange and horrible series of
gloomy and bloody dramas he should himself come to be crowned in this
Cathedral of Rheims! What a contrast between the religious pomps of
June 11, 1775, and the sacrilegious scaffolds of January 21 and October
16, 1793! What a difference between the royal mantle of the sovereign
and the humble costume of the captive of the Temple, between the
resplendent toilet of the Queen of France and Navarre and the patched
gown of the prisoner of the Conciergerie! What a road travelled between
the hosannas of the priests and the insults of the Furies of the
Guillotine! What reflections might one make who had been present at
both the ceremonies! How much must such an one have been moved were he
the King himself, the brother of Louis XVI., Charles X.! But the 29th
of May, 1825, all hearts inclined to confidence and joy. Peoples forget
quickly, and there were but few to call up sinister memories. The
sovereign appeared in his first costume, a camisole of white satin,
with a cap rich with diamonds, surmounted by black and white plumes.
Despite his sixty-seven years, Charles X. had a fine presence, a
slender form, a manner almost youthful. State costumes became him
perfectly. He wore them with the elegance of the men of the old court.

Let us listen again to Count d'Haussonville:--

"At the moment Charles X. crossed the nave, clad in a gown of white
satin, opened over a doublet of the same color and the same material, a
general thrill evoked a thousand little cries of ecstasy from my lady
neighbors. With that sensitiveness to grace innate with women, and
which never fails to delight them, how could they help applauding the
royal and supremely elegant fashion in which Charles X., despite his
age, wore this strange and slightly theatrical costume? No one was
better adapted than he, in default of more solid qualities, to give a
becoming air to the outward manifestations of a royalty that was at
once amiable and dignified."

It is half-past seven in the morning. The ceremony begins. Escorted by
his two attendant cardinals, the King reaches the foot of the altar and
kneels. Mgr. de Latil, Archbishop of Rheims, standing and without his
mitre, pronounces this prayer:--

"Almighty God, who rulest all above us, and who hast deigned to raise
to the throne Thy servant Charles, we implore Thee to preserve him from
all adversity, to strengthen him with the gift of the peace of the
Church, and to bring him by Thy grace to the joys of a peace eternal!"

The King is now escorted by the two cardinals to the seat prepared for
him in the centre of the sanctuary, under the great dais, a little in
advance of the first of the steps that divide the sanctuary from the
choir. At his right are the Dauphin, the Duke of Orleans, and the Duke
of Bourbon, their ducal crowns on their heads.

The Veni Creator having been sung, the Archbishop takes the book of the
Gospels, on which he places a piece of the true cross, and holds it
open before the monarch. Charles X., seated, his head covered, his hand
on the Gospels and the true cross, pronounces in a strong voice the
oath of coronation:--

"In the presence of God, I promise to my people to maintain and honor
our holy religion, as belongs to the very Christian King and eldest son
of the Church; to render good justice to all my subjects; finally, to
govern according to the laws of the kingdom and the Constitutional
Charter, which I swear faithfully to observe, so help me God and His
holy Gospels."

The King next takes two other oaths, the first as sovereign chief and
grand master of the Order of the Holy Spirit, the others as sovereign
chief and grand master of the military and royal Order of Saint Louis
and of the royal Order of the Legion of Honor. He swears to maintain
these orders and not to allow them to fail of their glorious
prerogatives. Then his gown is removed by the First Gentleman of the
Chamber, and he gives his cap to the First Chamberlain. He now bears
only the robe of red satin with gold lace on the seams. He is seated.
The Marquis of Dreux-Breze, Grand Master of Ceremonies, goes to the
altar and takes the shoes of violet velvet sown with golden
fleurs-de-lis, and Prince Talleyrand, Grand Chamberlain, puts them on
the feet of the King.

Then the Archbishop blesses the sword of Charlemagne, placed on the
altar in its scabbard:--

"Exaudi Domine," he says, "grant our prayers, and deign to bless with
Thy hand this sword with which Thy servant Charles is girt, that he may
use it to protect the churches, the widows, and the orphans, and all
Thy servants; and may this sword inspire dread and terror to whoever
shall dare to lay snares for our King. We ask it through our Lord Jesus
Christ."

The Archbishop draws the sword from the sheath, and places it naked in
the hands of the King, who, having lowered it, offers it to God and
replaces it upon the altar.

To the ceremony of the sword succeeds the preparation of the holy
chrism. The Archbishop has the reliquary opened containing the holy
ampulla, which is taken from a little chest of gold; he withdraws from
it, by means of a golden needle, a particle which he mingles with the
holy chrism on the patin. Meanwhile the choir chants:--

"The holy Bishop Remi, having received from Heaven this precious balm,
sanctified the illustrious race of the French in the baptismal waters
and enriched them with the gift of the Holy Spirit."

Then the two attendant cardinals undo the openings made in the garments
of the King for the anointings, and escort His Majesty to the altar. A
large carpet of velvet with fleurs-de-lis is stretched in front, and on
this are two cushions of velvet, one over the other. The King
prostrates himself, his face against the cushions. The Archbishop,
holding the golden patin of the chalice of Saint Remi, on which is the
sacred unction, takes some upon his thumb, and consecrates the King,
who is kneeling.

The Archbishop then proceeds to the seven anointings: on the crown of
the head, on the breast, between the shoulders, on the right shoulder,
on the left shoulder, in the bend of the right arm, in the bend of the
left arm, making the sign of the cross at each, and repeating seven
times: ungo te in regem de oleo sanctificato, in nomine patris et filii
et spiritus sancti. Aided by the attendant cardinals, he then closes
the openings in the King's garments.

The Grand Chamberlain advances, and puts upon His Majesty the tunic and
dalmatica of violet satin sown with fleurs-de-lis in gold, which the
Master of Ceremonies and an aide have taken from the altar. The Grand
Chamberlain places over these the royal mantle of violet velvet sown
with golden fleurs-de-lis, lined and bordered with ermine. Charles X.,
clad in the royal robes, kneels. The Archbishop, seated, with the mitre
on his head, anoints the palms of his hands, saying: ungentur manus
istae de oleo sanctificato. The King then receives the gloves sprinkled
with holy water, the ring, the sceptre, the Main de Justice.

The Dauphin, the Duke of Orleans, and the Duke of Bourbon advance. The
Archbishop, mitre on head, takes with both hands from the altar the
crown of Charlemagne and holds it above the King's head without
touching it. Immediately the three princes put out their hands to
support it. The Archbishop, holding it with the left hand only, with
the right makes the sign, of benediction: coronat te deus corona
gloriae atque justitiae. After which he places the crown on the head of
the King, saying: accipe coronam regni in nomine patris et filii et
spiritus sancti.

Now that the King is crowned, he ascends the steps of the jube, and
seats himself upon the throne. The religious silence, maintained to
that moment, is broken by cries of "Long live the King!" which rise
from all parts of the Cathedral. The ladies in the galleries wave their
handkerchiefs. The enthusiasm reaches a paroxysm. Flourishes of
trumpets resound. The people enter the Cathedral amid acclamations.
Three salutes are fired by the infantry of the royal guard. The
artillery responds from the city ramparts. The bells ring. The
heralds-at-arms distribute the medals struck for the coronation. The
people rush to get them. The keepers release the birds, which fly here
and there beneath the vaulted roof, dazzled, terrified by the shining
chandeliers. The Te Deum is sung. High Mass begins. At the offertory
the King leaves the throne to go to the altar with the offerings.
Reaching the front of the altar, he hands his sceptre to Marshal Soult,
Duke of Dalmatia, the Main de Justice to Marshal Mortier, Duke of
Treviso. Then, after having presented in succession the
offerings,--viz. the wine in a vase of gold, the Pain d'Argent, the
Pain d'Or,--he resumes his sceptre and his Main de Justice and returns
to the throne.

After the benediction, the Grand Almoner goes and takes the kiss of
peace from the Archbishop, and then goes and gives it to the King. The
Dauphin, the Duke of Orleans, and the Duke of Bourbon, laying aside
their ducal crowns, come and receive the kiss from the King.

After the domine salvum fac regem Charles X. again descends from the
throne, and returns to the altar. There he removes his crown and
retires behind the altar to his confessional, where he remains three
minutes. During this time the holy table is prepared. The cloth is held
on one side by the Bishop of Hermopolis, First Almoner of the King, and
on the other by the Grand Almoner. Charles X. kneels on a cushion
before the holy table, which is supported by the Dauphin and the Duke
of Orleans. The King receives the communion in both kinds. The whole
assembly kneels. The great crown of Charlemagne is handed to Marshal
Jourdan, who bears it in front of the King. The Archbishop then places
the diamond crown on the King's head, who resumes his sceptre and his
Main de Justice, while the choir chants the exaudiat, and returns with
his cortege to the Archbishop's palace, passing through the church and
the covered gallery. It is half-past eleven in the morning. The
ceremony of consecration is finished. It has lasted four hours.

Reaching his apartments, Charles X. passes the sceptre to Marshal
Soult, the Main de Justice to Marshal Mortier. The shirt and the gloves
touched by the holy unction must be burned. The great officers of the
crown then escort the monarch to the royal banquet in the great hall.
There he eats under a dais with the Dauphin, the Duke of Orleans, and
the Duke of Bourbon, with their ducal crowns, and he with the diamond
crown upon the head.

The royal insignia have been placed upon the table which is served by
the great officers and the officers of the household. The marshals of
France stand before the sovereign ready to resume the insignia. Around
about are five other tables, where are placed the members of the
diplomatic corps, the peers of France, the deputies, the cardinals,
archbishops, and bishops. The royal banquet lasts half an hour to the
sound of military music. In the evening the city of Rheims is
everywhere illuminated.



XV

CLOSE OF THE SOJOURN AT RHEIMS


After his coronation Charles X. remained at Rheims during the 30th and
31st of May. On the 30th the ceremony of the Order of the Holy Spirit
was celebrated in the Cathedral. The interior presented the same aspect
as the day before. At 1 P.M. the order passed in procession through the
covered gallery as follows: the usher, the herald, Marquis d'Aguessau,
Grand Master of Ceremonies of the order, having at his right the Count
Deseze, Commander Grand Treasurer, at his left Marquis de Villedeuil,
Commander Secretary, the Chancellor, two columns of Knights of the Holy
Spirit. In the right hand column, the Viscount of Chateaubriand, the
Duke of San-Carlos, the Prince of Castelcicala, the Viscount Laine, the
Marquis of Caraman, the Marquis Dessole, Marshal Marquis of Viomesnil,
the Duke d'Avaray, the Marshal Duke of Ragusa, the Marshal Duke of
Taranto, the Marshal Duke of Conegliano, the Duke of LEvis, the Duke of
Duras, the Duke d'Aumont, the Duke of Luxembourg, the Prince of
Hohenlohe, the Duke de La Vauguyon. In the left column, the Marquis of
Talaru, the Duke of Doudeauville, the Count of Villele, the Marshal
Marquis of Lauriston, the Count Charles de Damas, the Baron Pasquier,
the Duke of Blacas d'Aulps, the Marquis of Riviere, the Marshal Duke of
Reggio, the Duke of Dalberg, the Prince de Poix, the Duke de Gramont,
Prince Talleyrand, the Duke de La Rochefoucauld. Then came the Dauphin,
the Duke of Orleans, the Duke of Bourbon, the King.

The vestments of the monarch, of a silver stuff, were covered by a
mantle of the order in black velvet, lined with green silk stitched
with gold. His headdress was also in black velvet, surmounted by an
aigrette of heron plumes. The knights of the order had their mantles
with the Holy Spirit in silver spangles on the shoulder; the grand
collar, the facings of their mantles, caught up in front, were of green
velvet sown with gold flames. They made their entry into the Cathedral
in two columns, which deployed on either side of the altar. The King,
who followed them, seated himself on a throne in the choir and they
arranged themselves in their stalls to the right and left. The
princesses occupied the same gallery as the day before. The clergy
chanted the vespers. Then the two columns formed in a double rank and
the ceremony commenced. There was a long series of obeisances. The King
made twenty himself, eleven before vespers, nine after. The reception
began with the ecclesiastical commanders and the laymen came afterwards.

The solemnity was less imposing than that of the coronation. Count
d'Haussonville remarked it: "The military array of so many marshals and
generals clad in brilliant uniforms, the pomp of the ceremonies to the
slow and majestic sound of the organ filling the vast nave of the
church, had succeeded, the preceding day, in redeeming for the
spectators, and for me particularly, whatever was a little
superannuated in the minute observance of a ritual that had come down
from the Middle Ages. I felt myself, on the contrary, rather surprised
than edified by the character, partly religious, partly worldly, but
far more worldly than religious, that I witnessed on the morrow. Most
of these gentlemen were known to me. I had met nearly all of them in my
mother's or grandmother's salon. I had not been insensible to the fine
air given them by the cordon bleu (worn under the frock coat, usually,
or on great occasions over a coat covered with gold lace and shining
decorations), the traditional object of ambition for those most in
favor at court; but they seemed to me to present a constrained figure,
as I saw them soberly ranged in the stalls of the canons, clad in a
costume of no particular epoch, wrapped in long mantles of motley
color, and following, with a distracted air, the phases of a ceremony
to which they were so little accustomed that they were constantly
rising, sitting down, and kneeling at the wrong time."

The receptions took place as follows: the herald-at-arms of the order
called in groups of four the new members from each column, and escorted
them to the middle of the sanctuary. There the four knights, abreast,
saluted together, first the altar, then the sovereign. Then they
advanced in line toward the throne, and after a second obeisance,
knelt, placed the right hand on the book of the Gospels spread out on
the knees of the monarch, and took the oath. The King decorated each
with his own hand. He passed over their coats, from right to left, the
cordon bleu with the cross of gold suspended from it, placed the collar
on the mantle, gave a book of hours and a decastich to each one, who
kissed his hand, rose, and returned to his place.

By a curious coincidence, M. de Chateaubriand and M. de Villele, two
inveterate adversaries, were one in the column on the right, the other
in that on the left, and the herald-at-arms of the order called both at
once to the foot of the throne. Listen to the author of the Memoires
d'Outre--Tombe:--

"I found myself kneeling at the feet of the King at the moment that M.
de Villdle was taking the oath. I exchanged a few words of politeness
with my companion in knighthood, apropos of a plume detached from my
hat. We quitted the knees of the King, and all was finished. The King,
having had some trouble in removing his gloves to take my hands in his,
had said to me, laughing, 'A gloved cat catches no mice.' It was
thought that he had spoken to me for a long time, and the rumor spread
of my nascent favor. It is likely that Charles X., thinking that the
Archbishop had told me of his favorable sentiments, expected a word of
thanks and that he was shocked at my silence."

The ceremony of the reception of the knights once finished, the King
quitted his throne in the sanctuary, after having made the required
obeisances. The completory was next sung. Then all the members of the
order re-escorted the monarch to his apartments in the same order and
with the same ceremony that he had been escorted to the Cathedral.

After the ceremony, Charles X. held a chapter of the order, in which he
named twenty-one cordons bleus: the Dukes d'Uzes, de Chevreuse, de
Boissac, de Mortemart, de Fitz-James, de Lorges, de Polignac, de
Maille, de Castries, de Narbonne, the Marshal Count Jordan, the Marshal
Duke of Dalmatia, the Marshal Duke of Treviso, the Marquis de la Suze,
the Marquis de Bre'ze', Marquis de Pastoret, Count de La Ferronays,
Viscount d'Agoult, Marquis d'Autichamp, Ravez, Count Juste de Noailles.
By an ordinance of the same day he named to be Dukes, the Count Charles
de Damas, Count d'Escars, and the Marquis de Riviere.

The next day, May 31, the King after having heard Mass in his
apartments,--left the palace at ten o'clock with a brilliant cortege.
Preceded by the hussars of the guard, and by the pages, and followed by
a numerous staff, he was in the uniform of a general officer, on a
white horse, whose saddle of scarlet velvet was ornamented with
embroideries and fringe of gold. He had at his right the Dauphin on a
white horse, and the Duke of Bourbon on a bay horse; at his left the
Duke of Orleans, who wore the uniform of a colonel-general of hussars,
and rode an iron-gray horse. Following the cortege was an open
carriage; at the back the Dauphiness with the Duchess of Berry at her
left, and in front the Duchess of Orleans and Madame of Orleans, her
sister-in-law. The route lay through an immense crowd to the Hospital
of Saint Marcoul. When he arrived there, the King dismounted and
offered up a prayer in the chapel. Then he ascended to the halls, where
were assembled one hundred and twenty-one scrofulous patients. He
touched them, making a cross with his finger on the brow, while the
first physician held the head and the captain of the guard the hand.
The King said to each: "May God heal thee! The King touches thee!" Then
he thanked the sisters who had charge of the hospital for all the care
they gave to the solacing of suffering humanity. The pious sisters
knelt at the feet of the sovereign, and begged his benediction,
according to an ancient custom. The King gave it to them, and allowed
them to kiss his hand. The holy women wept with joy.

Charles X., followed by his cortege, next proceeded to the abbey of
Saint Remi, which dates from the eleventh century, and performed his
devotions on the tomb of the saint whose shrine had been discovered.
Then he remounted and went to review the troops of the camp of Saint
Leonard, under the walls of the city, in a vast plain, along the river
Vesle, on the right of the road to Chalons. In the midst of this plain
rises a grassy hillock, above which was placed the portrait of the
King; below, on a background of soil, was this inscription in bluets
and marguerites,--

    "A moment in the camp--always in our hearts."

Not far from there an altar had been erected under a tent before the
royal tent. All the road from Chalons, opposite the lines, was covered
with a shouting and cheering crowd. Charles X. was accompanied by the
princes and a brilliant staff. The carriage of the princesses followed
him. He distributed to the officers, sub-officers, and soldiers the
crosses of the Legion of Honor which he had accorded to them. The
review, which was magnificent, lasted from noon to 3 P.M. Before
returning to the palace, the sovereign visited the bazaar established
along the promenade of the lawn. He dismounted, and the princesses
descended from their carriage to traverse the shops.

At five o'clock the cortege, which had set out at 10 A.M., returned to
the palace. On each of the four nights that Charles X. passed at
Rheims, the streets of the city were illuminated. It was clear weather,
and by the light of the illuminations, amid the crowd in the streets,
there were everywhere to be seen the generals, the officers of the
King's household, and the great personages of the court in grand
uniform. Charles X. set out from Rheims the morning of June 1, and the
city, after some days of dazzling pomp, resumed its accustomed calm.
Things had passed off well, and the monarch was fully satisfied.

The poets had tuned their lyres. Barthelemy, himself, the future author
of the Nemesis, celebrated in enthusiastic verses the monarchical and
religious solemnity; Lamartine, future founder of the Second Republic,
published Le Chant du Sucre ou la Veille des Armes; Victor Hugo, the
future idol of the democracy, sang his dithyrambic songs. Yet, in this
concert of enthusiasm there were some discordant notes. Beranger
circulated his ironic song Le Sacre de Charles le Simple.

As for Chateaubriand, the most illustrious of the royalist writers, he
was to close his chapter of the MSmoires d'outre-tombe as follows:--

"So I have witnessed the last consecration of the successors of Clovis.
I had brought it about by the pages in which in my pamphlet, LE ROI EST
MART! VIVE LE ROI! I had described it and solicited it. Not that I had
the least faith in the ceremony, but as everything was wanting to
legitimacy, it had to be sustained by every means, whatever it might be
worth."



XVI

THE RE-ENTRANCE INTO PARIS


Charles X. made a solemn re-entrance into Paris, June 6, 1825.
According to the Moniteur, Paris was divided between a lively desire
for the day to come and fear that the weather, constantly rainy, should
spoil the splendor of the royal pomp. At the barrier of La Villette
there had been erected amphitheatres and a triumphal arch. The streets
were hung with white flags and the arms of the sovereign, with the
inscription: "Long live Charles X.! Long live our well-beloved King!"
The Rue Saint Denis, the Rue du Roule, the Rue Saint Honore, presented
a picturesque spectacle. The merchants of these business streets had
converted the facades of their houses into an exposition of the rich
tissues of their shops, and the cortege was thus to traverse a sort of
bazaar. What a pity if the rain was going to spoil so many fine
preparations! By a good luck, on which every one congratulated himself,
the weather in the morning ceased its gloomy look, and a merchant of
the Rue Saint Denis inscribed on his balcony these two celebrated
lines,--

    "Nocte pluit tota, redeunt spectacula mane,
    Divisum imperium cum Jove Caesar habet."

At 1 P.M. a salvo of one hundred and one guns announced the arrival of
the monarch at the barrier of La Villette. The Prefect of the Seine
addressed him an allocution and presented him the keys of the city. The
King responded: "I feel a great satisfaction in re-entering these
walls. I always recall with lively emotion the reception given me
eleven years ago when I preceded the King, my brother. I return here,
having received the holy unction that has given me new strength. I
consecrate it all, and all that I have of life and all my resources, to
the happiness of France. It is my firm resolve, gentlemen, and I give
you the assurance of it."

The cortege then took up its march. It was formed of a squadron of
gendarmerie, several squadrons of the lancers and cuirassiers of the
royal guard, the mounted National Guard of Paris, the staff of the
garrison and of the first military division, a numerous group of
general and superior officers.

The Count d'Haussonville wrote on the subject:--

"I was in the cortege, and as the staff of the National Guard followed
pretty close to the royal carriage, I had occasion to note how far
below what had been hoped was the reception at the gate of La Villette,
where a triumphal arch had been erected. Some groups, plainly soldiers,
after the discourse of the Prefect of Paris and the response of the
King, uttered some huzzas that found no echo. When we approached the
boulevards, the public warmed up a little. The windows were lined with
women, of whom the greater number waved their handkerchiefs in sign of
welcome. Around Notre-Dame, whither the cortege proceeded on its way to
the Tuileries, the crowd was enormous behind the line of soldiers
charged with restraining it. There was nothing offensive in their
remarks; neither was there any emotion or sympathy. The magnificence of
the equipages and the costumes, the beauty of the military uniforms,
particularly of the CORPS D'ELITE, such as the Hundred Swiss and the
body-guard, were the only things spoken of. The spectators sought to
guess and name to each other the prominent persons."

During the passage the King received bouquets offered him by the market
men and women, as well as by a number of workmen's corporations
preceded by their banners. At the entrance of the Cathedral he was
congratulated by the Archbishop of Paris at the head of the clergy. A
te Deum was sung and the Marche du Sacre of Lesueur was played. Then
the King returned to his carriage and directed his course to the
Tuileries.

As the cortege drew near to the Chateau, the welcome grew more and more
cordial. The balconies of many of the houses were draped. Women of the
court, in rich toilet, threw bouquets and flowers to the King. The
Count d'Haussonville says:--

"The untiring good grace with which the King returned the salutations
of the crowd, and by gestures full of Bonhomie and affability,
responded to the cries of persons whom he recognized as he passed,
added every moment to his personal success. In fact, when, June 6,
1825, at evening, he descended from the magnificent coronation coach,
to mount the stairs of the palace of his fathers, Charles X. had reason
to be content with the day. I doubt whether among the witnesses of the
splendid fetes that had followed without interruption at Rheims and at
Paris, there were many who would not have been strongly surprised if
there had been announced to them by what a catastrophe, in five years
only, an end was to be put to the reign inaugurated under the happiest
auspices."

The 8th of June, the city of Paris offered to the King a fete at which
there were eight thousand guests. The sovereign made his entry, having
the Dauphiness on his right, and on the left the Duchess of Berry, who
opened the ball. A cantata was sung with words by Alexandre Soumet, and
the music by Lesueur.

The 10th of June, the King went to the Opera with the Dauphin, the
Dauphiness, and the Duchess of Berry. The back of the stage opened and
showed, in an immense perspective, the most illustrious kings of
France; at the farthest line were the statue of Henry IV., Paris, its
monuments, the Louvre. The 19th of June, Charles X. again accompanied
by the family went to the Theatre-Italien. Il Viaggio A Reims was
played. Le Moniteur, apropos of this work, said:--

"It is an opera of a mould which, under the forms of the Opera Buffa,
presents some ideas not destitute of comedy, in which homage of love
and respect is at times expressed with an art that French taste cannot
disavow. The author, M. Bellochi, has conceived the praiseworthy idea
of introducing personages of all the nations of Europe, joining with
the French in their prayers for the happiness of our country and of the
august family that governs us. The composer is M. Rossini. The Morceaux
are worthy of the reputation of this celebrated master. Madame Pasta
displayed all the resources of her admirable talent. Bouquets of roses
and lilies were distributed to the ladies."

There was an endless series of fetes, receptions, balls at court, at
the houses of the ministers of the foreign ambassador, theatrical
representations retracing the incidents of the coronation. The cities
of the provinces imitated the example of Paris. All this movement
stimulated business, and France appeared happy. But to an acute
observer it was plain that the pomps of the coronation and the fetes
that followed it pleased the people of the court more than the
bourgeoisie. The Count d'Haussonville says, apropos of the nobility at
that time:--

"I had the feeling--educated as I was at college, and provided early
with a sort of precocious experience, the precious fruit of public
education--that the nobility was a world a little apart. I
instinctively perceived how much the preoccupations of the persons with
whom I was then passing my time were of a nature particular, special to
their class, not opposed--that would be saying too much certainly--but
a little foreign to the great currents that swayed the opinion of their
contemporaries. They had their way of loving the King and their country
which was not very comprehensible, nor even, perhaps, very acceptable,
to the mass of the people and the bourgeois classes, who were rather
inclined to remain cold or even sullen in the presence of certain
manifestations of an ultra-royalism, the outward signs of which were
not always at this time entirely circumspect."

To one regarding the horizon attentively there were already some dark
spots on the bright azure of the heavens. The struggles of the rival
classes of French society existed in a latent state. The white flag had
not made the tricolor forgotten. Charles X., consecrated by an
archbishop, did not efface the memory of Napoleon crowned by a pope,
and beneath royalist France were pressing upward already Bonapartist
France and Revolutionary France.



XVII

THE JUBILEE OF 1826


The dominant quality of Charles X., his piety, was the one that was to
be most used against him. There was in this piety nothing morose,
hypocritical, fanatical, and not an idea of intolerance or persecution
mingled with it. Conviction and feeling united in the heart of the King
to inspire him with profound faith. In 1803, before the death-bed of a
beloved woman, he had sworn to renounce earthly for divine love, and
from that time he had kept his vow. The woman by whom this conversion
was made was the sister-in-law of the Duchess of Polignac, Louise
d'Esparbes, Viscountess of Polastron. The Duchess of Gontaut recounts
in her unpublished Memoirs the touching and pathetic scene of the
supreme adieu of this charming woman and of Charles X., then Count
d'Artois. It was in England during the Emigration. The Viscountess of
Polastron was dying with consumption, and the approach of the end
reawakened in her all the piety of her childhood. A holy priest, the
Abbe de Latil, demanded the departure of the Prince. "I implore
Monseigneur," he said, "to go into the country; you shall see the poor
penitent again; she herself desires it, having one word to say to you,
one favor to ask, but it cannot be until at the moment of death."

The Prince, who, even at the time of his greatest errors, had never
ceased to love and honor religion, obeyed the command of the priest. He
awaited in cruel anguish the hour when he should be permitted to
return. It was authorized only when death was very near. The Duchess of
Gontaut says:--

"The doors of the salon were opened. Monsieur dared not approach; I was
near the dying woman and held her hand; it was trembling. She perceived
Monsieur. He was about to rush toward her. 'Come no nearer,' said the
Abbe, in a firm voice. Monsieur did not venture to cross the threshold.
The agitation redoubled; the agony increased. She raised her hands to
heaven, and said:--

"'One favor, Monseigneur, one favor--live for God, all for God.'

"He fell upon his knees, and said: 'I swear it, God!' She said again,
'All for God!' Her head fell on my shoulder; this last word was her
last breath: she was no more. Monsieur raised his arms to heaven,
uttered a horrible cry: the door was closed."

The Count d'Artois was then but forty-five, but from that day he never
gave occasion for the least scandal, and led an exemplary life. As
Louis XIV. had held in profound esteem the courageous prelates who
adjured him to break with his mistresses, Charles X. was attached to
the truly Christian priest who had converted him by the death-bed of
the Viscountess of Polastron. The Abbe de Latil, the obscure
ecclesiastic of the Emigration, became, under the Restoration, the
Archbishop of Rheims and Cardinal. It was not without profound emotion
that the very Christian King saw himself consecrated by the priest who
twenty-two years before had caused him to return to virtue. This memory
was imposed on the mind and heart of the monarch, and under the vault
of the ancient Cathedral, he certainly thought of Madame de Polastron,
as of a good angel, who, from the height of heaven, watched over him,
and who, by her prayers, had aided him to traverse so many trials, to
reach the religious triumph of the coronation.

Charles X. was happy then. Profoundly sincere in his ardent desire to
make France happy, he believed himself at one with God and with his
people, and rejoiced in that supreme good, so often wanting to
sovereigns,--peace of heart. Could he be reproached for having taken
the ceremony of his coronation seriously? A king who does not believe
in his royalty is no more to be respected than a priest who does not
believe in his religion. Charles X. was convinced, as the Archbishop of
Rheims had said in his letter of 29th May, 1825, that kings exercise
over their subjects the power of God Himself, and that they have that
sacred majesty, upon which, in the fine expression of Bossuet, God, for
the good of things human, causes to shine a portion of the splendor of
divine majesty.

This disposition of mind in Charles X. fortified his piety, so that, at
the time of the jubilee of 1826, he seized eagerly the opportunity to
affirm his religious faith, and to return thanks to the God of his
fathers, who at this epoch of his life was loading him with favors.

The jubilee is a time of penitence and pardon, when the Pope accords
plenary indulgence to all Catholics who submit to certain practices and
assist at certain pious ceremonies. The grand jubilee was formerly
celebrated only once in a hundred years; afterwards it took place every
fifty, and then every twenty-five years. 1825 was the time of its first
celebration in the nineteenth century, and it drew to Rome that year
more than ten thousand pilgrims. The Pope had celebrated the close of
it the 24th of December, 1825, but yielding to the prayers of several
Catholic powers, he accorded to them, by special bulls, the privilege
of celebrating the same solemnity in 1826.

The opening of the French jubilee took place February 15, 1826, at
Notre-Dame de Paris. The papal bull, borne on a rich cushion, was
remitted to the Archbishop for public reading. The nuncio chanted the
Veni Creator. Mass was said by the Cardinal, Prince of Croi, Archbishop
of Rouen, Grand Almoner of France. The relics of the apostles Saint
Peter and Saint Paul were borne around the Place du Parvis, in the
midst of a cortege, in which were present the marshals of France, the
generals, and the four princesses. The order of the Archbishop of Paris
prescribed four general processions. The first took place with great
pomp the 17th of March, 1826. The King and the royal family, the
princes and princesses of the blood, all the court, the marshals, a
multitude of high functionaries, peers of France, deputies, officers,
assisted at this ceremony in which appeared the Archbishop of Paris and
his grand vicars, the metropolitan chapter, the pupils of all the
seminaries in surplice, the priests of all the Paris churches with
their sacerdotal armaments. It was a veritable army of ecclesiastics
that traversed the capital. In the midst of the cortdge, the reliquary
containing the relics of Saint Peter and Saint Paul was the object of
the devotion of the faithful. Surrounded by the Dauphin, the Duke of
Orleans, the young Duke of Chartres, the great officers of the crown,
of the Hundred Swiss, and of the body-guard, Charles X., in a costume
half religious, half military, walked between a double hedge formed by
the royal guard and the troops of the line. The Place du
Parvis-Notre-Dame was hung with draperies in fleur-de-lis, and all the
streets to be traversed by the procession had been draped and sanded.
The first stop of the cortege was under the peristyle of the
Hotel-Dieu, where an altar had been erected; the second, at the Church
of the Sorbonne; the third, at that of Sainte Genevieve. The two other
processions had no less eclat, and their pauses being fixed in the
churches of the principal parishes, they passed through the busiest and
most populous quarters of Paris.

The fourth and last procession, that of the 3d of May, was the most
important of all. It was to close by an expiatory ceremony in honor of
Louis XVI., by the laying and benediction of the corner-stone of the
monument voted by the Chamber of 1815, and which still awaited its
foundation. It is at the very place where the unfortunate sovereign had
been executed that the monument was to be constructed. The cortege left
Notre-Dame and directed its course first to the Church of
Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois. The Chamber of Peers, the Chamber of
Deputies, all the functionaries, all the authorities of the Department
of the Seine, followed the King and Dauphin, who advanced, accompanied
by the ministers, the marshals, the officers of their houses, cordons
bleus, cordons rouges. Never since the end of the old regime had such a
multitude of priests been seen defiling through the streets of Paris.
The pupils of all the seminaries, the almoners of all the colleges, the
priests of all the parishes and all the chapels, stretched out in an
endless double line, at the end of which appeared the Nuncio of the
Pope, Cardinals de Latil, de Croi, and de La Fare, the Archbishop of
Paris, and a crowd of prelates. After the station of
Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois, there was a second at Saint-Roch, then a
third and last at the Assumption. When the special prayers of the close
of the jubilee had been said at this last parish, the immense cortege
resumed its march to the place where Louis XVI. had brought his head to
the sacrilegious scaffold. The day chosen for the expiatory solemnity
was the 3d of May, the anniversary of the return of Louis XVIII. to
Paris in 1814, and then a political idea was connected with the
religious ceremony. A vast pavilion surmounted by a cross hung with
draperies in violet velvet, and enclosing an altar, which was reached
on four sides by four stairways of ten steps each, occupied the very
place where, the 10th of January, 1793, the scaffold of the Martyr-King
had been erected, in the middle of the Place called successively the
Place Louis XV. and the Place de La Concorde, and which was thenceforth
to be called the Place Louis XVI.

The account in the MONITEUR says:--

"A first salvo of artillery announced the arrival of the procession. It
presented as imposing a tableau as could be contemplated. This old
French nation--the heir of its sixty kings at the head--marched,
preceded by the gifts made by Charlemagne to the Church of Paris, and
the religious trophies that Saint Louis brought from the holy places.
The priests ascend to the altar. Three times in succession they raise
to heaven the cry for pardon and pity. All the spectators fall upon
their knees. A profound, absolute silence reigns about the altar and
over all the Place; a common sorrow overwhelms the people; the King's
eyes are filled with tears."

In this multitude the absence of the Dauphiness, the daughter of Louis
XVI., is remarked. The Orphan of the Temple had made it a law for
herself never to cross the place where her father had perished. She
went to the expiatory chapel of the Rue d'Anjou-Saint-Honore, to pass
in prayer the time of the ceremony.

M. de Vaulabelle makes this curious comparison:--

"Behind Charles X. there knelt his Grand Chamberlain, Prince
Talleyrand, covered with gleaming embroideries, orders, and cordons. It
was the ecclesiastical dignitary whom Paris had beheld celebrating the
Mass of the Federation on the Champ-de-Mars, the wedded prelate who, as
Minister of the Directory, had for some years observed as a national
festival the anniversary of this same execution, now the subject of so
many tears."

Religious people rejoiced at the ceremony that was celebrated; but the
Voltairians and the enemies of royalty complained bitterly at the sight
of the quays, the streets, the squares of the capital furrowed by long
files of priests, chanting psalms and litanies, dragging devout in
their suite the King, the two Chambers, the judiciary, the
administration, and the army. Yet was it not just that Charles X.
should cause an expiatory ceremony to be celebrated at the place where
his unfortunate brother had been guillotined? Was not that for a pious
sovereign the accomplishment of a sacred duty? It matters not; there
were those who reproached him with this homage to the most memorable of
misfortunes. They would have forbidden to Charles X. the memory of
Louis XVI. Yet a king could hardly be asked to have the sentiments of a
conventionnel, of a regicide. In their systematic and bitter
opposition, the adversaries of the Restoration imputed to the royal
family as a crime its very virtues and its piety.

Charles X. was not unaware of this half-expressed hostility. That
evening he wrote to M. Villele, President of the Council of Ministers:--

"In general I have been content with the ceremony and the appearance of
the people; but I wish to know the whole truth, and I charge you to see
M. Delavau, and to know from him if the reality corresponds to
appearances, if there was any talk against the government and the
clergy. I wish to know all, and I trust to you to leave me in ignorance
of nothing."

M. de Villele was not a flatterer. He responded discreetly, but without
concealing the truth:--

"The aspect of the people," he wrote, "permitted the thoughts agitating
its spirit to be recognized. We were following the King at a slight
distance and could judge very well of it. It was easy to read in all
eyes that the people were hurt at seeing the King humbly following the
priests. There was in that not so much irreligion as jealousy and
animosity toward the role played by the clergy."

It might have been asked, in these circumstances, whether the
criticisms of the opposition were just. If a ceremony was to be
observed, such, as the laying and blessing the corner-stone of an
expiatory monument, it must be religious. If it were religious, was not
the presence of the clergy in large numbers natural?

At heart, there was something noble and touching in the thought of
Charles X., and the true royalists sincerely respected it. Prom the
monarchical point of view, a monument to Louis XVI. had much more
raison d'etre than the obelisk since erected in its place, which
represents nothing, and has, moreover, the inconvenience of obstructing
the fine perspective of the Champs Elysees and the Tuileries. But there
were two camps in France, and these processions, expiations, prayers,
which, according to the royalist journals, opened a new era of
sanctity, glory, and virtue, exasperated the Voltairians. The
opposition determined to make of the King's piety a weapon against
royalty.

And yet, we repeat, this piety had nothing about it not worthy of
respect. As the Abbe Vedrenne remarks in his Vie de Charles X., this
Prince "had a perfect understanding of the duties and convenances of
his rank, never refused his presence at fetes where it was desirable,
never seemed to blame or fear what a sensible indulgence did not
condemn; he loved the charm of society, and increased it by his
kindliness, but he was not dazzled by it. He remained to the end the
most amiable prince in Europe, but he was also the severest. A
surprising thing in a convert, his religion was always full of true
charity for others. He excused those who neglected their Christian
duties, remembering his delay in practising his own, without ever
compromising his own beliefs. He sincerely respected the good faith of
those who did not share them. This faith, this piety--a legacy from
love--which he guarded so faithfully, was the consolation of his long
misfortunes and the principle of his unchanging serenity. It banished
even the idea of hatred from his heart. Never did any one forgive as he
did."

It must not be forgotten that the pamphleteers and song-writers of the
Restoration, violent, unjust, and even cruel as they were toward
Charles X., never breathed an insinuation against the purity of his
morals. His life was not less exemplary than that of his son, the
Dauphin, or of his niece and daughter-in-law, the Orphan of the Temple.
Despite the great piety of the sovereign, the court was not melancholy
or morose. Charles X. had a foundation of benevolence and gaiety to his
character. He was not surprised to see committed about him the gentle
trespasses of love, of which he had been himself guilty in youth, and
he had become--the very ideal of wisdom--severe for himself, indulgent
for others.



XVIII

THE DUCHESS OP GONTAUT


The Governess of the Children of France was the Viscountess of Gontaut,
who, as a recompense for the manner in which she had accomplished her
task, was made Duchess by Charles X. in 1826. Here is the opening of
her unpublished Memoirs:--

"January, 1853. To Madame the Countess and Monsieur the Count Georges
Esterhazy. My dear children, you have shown a desire to know the events
of my long life. Wishing to teach them to your children, I yield to
this amiable and tender purpose, promising myself, meanwhile, to resist
the too common charm of talking pitilessly about myself. I shall search
my memory for souvenirs of the revolutions I have often witnessed to
give interest to my tales. One writes but ill at eighty, but one may
claim indulgence from hearts to which one is devoted."

The amiable and intelligent octogenarian had no need of indulgence. Her
Memoirs possess irresistible attraction, grace, exquisite naturalness,
and we are convinced that when they are published--as they must be
sooner or later--they will excite universal interest.

Born at Paris in 1773, the Duchess of Gontaut was the daughter of Count
Montault-Navailles and of the Countess, NEE Coulommiers. All her
memories of childhood and early youth were connected with the old
court. She had seen Marie Antoinette in all her splendor, Versailles
when it was most dazzling, and she was, formed in the elegant manners
of that charm ing world whose social prestige was so great. At seven
she was held at the baptismal font by the Count of Provence (the future
Louis XVIII.) and by the wife of this Prince.

"I had for this ceremony," she says, "a GRAND HABIT and a GRAND PANIER.
I was so proud of them that I caused much amusement at the Queen's,
whither my mother took me after the baptism. Being connected with the
Duchess of Polignac, she often took me to Versailles; there I saw
Madame Royale, younger than I, and the poor, little, handsome,
delightful Dauphin. The Queen, wishing to give them a little fete,
organized a children's spectacle, in which I was entrusted with a part.
The piece chosen was Iphigenie en Aulide. Mademoiselle de Sabran and
her brother, as well as a young Strogonoff, were, it is said, perfect
actors. Armand de Polignac had a little part. Tragedy was not my forte.
But in the second piece I achieved a little success, which the
Chevalier de Boufflers was kind enough to celebrate in a very bright
couplet, sung at the close. He gave me the name of the Little White
Mouse. After that the Queen called me her little white mouse, and
showed me a thousand kindnesses. After the play there was a children's
supper; the princes waited on, us and were much diverted by our
enjoyment; Louis XVI. stood behind my chair for a moment, and even gave
me a plate. The Queen sent me home in her sedan chair; footmen carried
great torches; the body-guard presented arms to us. So much honor
would, perhaps, have turned my head, but for my prudent mother who knew
how to calm it."

The sorrows of exile followed rapidly on the first enchantments of
life. It was in England, during the Emigration, that the future
Governess of the Children of France married M. de Saint-Blanchard,
Viscount de Gontaut-Biron. She was then residing at Epsom, where she
lived on the proceeds of little pictures which she painted. She gave
birth to twin daughters October 9th, 1796. "I nursed them both," she
says, "our means not permitting us to have two nurses in one little
household, and I felt strong enough for this double task. Brought into
the world at seven and one-half months, their frail existence required
my care night and day." In 1797, Madame de Gontaut visited Paris under
a false name, and after this journey, on which she ran many risks, she
returned to England, where she was the companion in exile of the
princes. Monsieur, the Count d'Artois, the future Charles X., was then
pursued by his creditors. The Castle of Holyrood, privileged by law,
sheltered its occupants from all legal process. That is why the Prince
Regent offered its hospitality to the brother of Louis XVIII., seeking
in every way to soften the severity of the old palace.

"But the saying is true," adds Madame de Gontaut, "that there are no
pleasant prisons. The Castle of Holyrood, as well as the park, was
spacious. The governor visited there, and also several Scotch families,
very agreeable socially. Monsieur could not 'leave the limits' except
on Sunday, when the law allows no arrest. He had a carriage that he
loaned to us, reserving it only for Sunday, when he was out from
morning to night. To these excellent Scotch people a visit from him was
an honor, a festival. Our little society comedies amused Monsieur as
much as us; I always had, unluckily, a part that I never knew; I could
never in my life learn anything by heart; I listened, filled my mind
with the subject, and went ahead, to the great amusement of the
audience and the despair of my fellow-players." After a while the suits
against the Prince came to an end, and he could quit Holyrood, his
debtor's prison.

Madame de Gontaut made a very good figure at Louis XVIII.'s little
court at Hartwell. By her wit and her tact, she won the friendship of
all the royal family, and much sympathy in high English society. She
returned to France with Louis XVIII., and no lady of the court was
regarded with greater respect. At the time of the marriage of the Duke
of Berry, she became lady companion to the new Duchess, whom she went
to meet at Marseilles.

The King, Monsieur, the Duke and Duchess of Berry, all showed equal
confidence in Madame de Gontaut, and her nomination as Governess of the
Children of France was received with general approval and sympathy. A
woman of mind and heart, she performed her task with as much zeal as
intelligence, and though strict with her two pupils, she made herself
beloved by them. She especially applied herself to guard them against
the snares of flattery. On this subject she relates a characteristic
anecdote. One day a family that had been recommended to her asked the
favor of seeing, if only for a moment, the Duke of Bordeaux and his
sister. The two children, vexed at having to leave their play, were not
communicative, and nevertheless received an avalanche of compliments.
The visitors were in ecstasy over their gentleness, their beauty. They
admired even their hair. These exaggerations embarrassed the children,
who were full of frankness and directness, and displeased Madame de
Gontaut. She quickly closed the interview. As the visitors were going
out, a half-open door allowed the little Prince and Princess to
overhear their observations. "It was not worth while to come so far to
see so little," said an old lady, in an irritated tone. "Oh, as to
that, no," said a big boy, "they hardly had two words of response for
all the compliments that papa and mamma strained themselves to give
them. You made me laugh, papa, when you said, 'What fine color, what
pretty hair!' She's as pale as an egg and cropped like a boy."--"That's
true," said the old lady, "she needs your medicines, doctor; and then
they are very small for their age."--"Did you see the governess?"
resumed the big boy. "She did not seem pleased when you complimented
her on the docility of her pupils, and I could see that they were
teasing each other." The Duke of Bordeaux and his sister, who heard all
this, were petrified. "They are very wicked!" they cried. "They are
simply flatterers," replied Madame de Gontaut. Little Mademoiselle
resumed: "After having praised us without end, and telling us a hundred
times that we were pretty,--for I heard it all perfectly,--to want to
give me medicine because I was so homely and ill-looking! Oh, this is
too much! I know now what flattery is,--to say just the contrary of the
truth. But it's a sin. I shall always remember it!"

Madame de Gontaut succeeded beyond her hopes in the task confided to
her. Morally and physically the little Prince and Princess were
accomplished children.

The moment was approaching when the Duke of Bordeaux, born September
20, 1820, was about to begin his seventh year. That was the period
fixed by the ancient code of the House of France for the young Prince
to pass from the hands of women to those of men, who were thereafter to
direct his education. On the 15th of October, 1826, the transfer was
made of the Duke of Bordeaux to his governor, the Duke de Riviere, at
the Chateau of Saint Cloud, in the Hall of the Throne, in the presence
of all the members of the family, the first officers of the crown, etc.
The child, brought by his governess before the King, was stripped of
his clothing and examined by the physicians, who attested his perfect
health. When he was clad again, the King called the new governor and
said to him: "Duke de Riviere, I give you a great proof of my esteem
and confidence in remitting to you the care of the child given us by
Providence--the Child of France also. You will bring to these important
functions, I am sure, a zeal and a prudence that will give you the
right to my gratitude, to that of the family, and to that of France."

Charles X. then turned to Madame de Gontaut, whom he had just named
Duchess in witness of his gratitude and satisfaction. "Duchess of
Gontaut," he said, "I thank you for the care you have given to the
education of this dear child." Then, pointing to Mademoiselle,
"Continue and complete that of this child, who is just as dear to me,
and you will acquire new claims on my gratitude." The little Princess
then seized the hands of her governess with such effusion that the
latter could hardly restrain her tears.

That evening the Duchess of Gontaut addressed to the Duke de Riviere a
letter in which she depicted the character of the child she had brought
up with such care:--

"I have always followed the impulses of my heart," she wrote, "in
easily performing a task for which that was all that was needed.
Monseigneur and Mademoiselle believe me blindly, for I have never
deceived them, even in jest. A pleasantry that a child's mind cannot
understand embarrasses him, destroys his ease and confidence,
humiliates and even angers him, if he believes that he has been
deceived. Monseigneur has more need than most children of this
discretion. The directness and generosity of his character incline him
to take everything seriously. When he thinks he sees that any one is
being annoyed, the one oppressed straightway becomes the object of his
lively interest; he will take up his defence warmly and will not spare
his rebukes; he shows on these occasions an energy quite in contrast
with the natural timidity of his character. With such a child, I have
had to avoid even the shadow of injustice. He loves Mademoiselle, is
gentle, kind, attentive to her. I have always carefully shunned for
Their Royal Highnesses the little contests of childhood; however
unimportant they may seem at first, they end by embittering the
disposition."

We commend to mothers and teachers the letter of the Duchess of
Gontaut. It is a veritable programme of education, conceived with high
intelligence and great practical sense. What more just than this
reflection: "The method of teaching by amusement is fashionable, and
appears to me to lead to a very superficial education. That is not what
I have sought. Let the teacher explain readily, but let him allow the
pupil to take some pains, for he must learn early the difficulties of
life and how to overcome them. A child prince, exposed to flattery,
runs the risk of thinking himself a prodigy. To obviate this
Monseigneur and Mademoiselle have often been subjected to little
competitions with children of their age. I have sought by this means to
give them the habit of witnessing success without envy, and to gain it
without vanity." And what a fine and noble thing is this. "I have tried
on all occasions to lead the mind of Monseigneur to the moral teaching
of religion; I have used it as a restraint; I have presented it as a
hope."

The Duchess of Gontaut was proud of her pupil:--

"It will require time," she says, in this same letter, "kindness, and
tenderness to gain the confidence of Monseigneur. His features show his
soul; he talks little of what he undergoes; he has much sensibility,
but a power over himself remarkable at his age; I have seen him suffer
without complaint. The efforts that he has made to overcome a timidity
that I have tried hard to conquer, have been noteworthy. I have been
able to make him understand the necessity, for a prince, of addressing
strangers in a noble, gracious, and intelligible fashion. I have always
sought to remove all means and all pretext for concealing his faults;
bashfulness leads imperceptibly to dissimulation and falsehood. I am
happy in affirming that Monseigneur is scrupulously truthful. I have
believed it requisite, by reason of the vivacity of his disposition,
and the high destiny awaiting him, to constrain him to reflect before
acting. The word JUSTICE has a real charm for him; I have never seen a
heart more loyal."

The woman who wrote these lines so firm and honest, so sensible and
forcible, was no ordinary woman. In contrast with so many emigres who
had learned nothing and forgotten nothing, she had learned much and
retained it. The difficulties and bitternesses of exile were an
excellent school for her. She remained French always,--in ideas,
tastes, feelings. Sincerely royalist, but with no exaggeration, she
took account perfectly of the requirements of modern society. Very
devoted to her princes, she knew how to tell them the truth. She spoke
frankly to Charles X., whom she had known from an early day, and had
seen in such diverse situations.

It is to be regretted that the King did not consult her oftener. She
would have saved him from many errors, notably from the fatal
ordinances which she disapproved. She was a woman not merely of heart,
but of head. Her Memoirs are the more interesting, that not the least
literary pretension mingles with their sincerity. They have a character
of intimacy that doubles their charm. This talk of a venerable
grandmother with her grandchildren is not only solid and instructive,
it is agreeable and gracious, tender and touching.



XIX

THE THREE GOVERNORS


In the space of three years, from 1826 to 1828, Charles X. named three
governors for the Duke of Bordeaux. One, the Duke of Montmorency, never
entered on his duties. The others were the Duke de Riviere and the
Baron de Damas. The Duke of Montmorency was named in anticipation the
8th of January, 1826, although his task did not begin until the 29th of
September. Mathieu de Montmorency, first Viscount and then Duke, was
born in 1766. After having been through the war in America, he had
adopted the ideas of Lafayette, and had been distinguished by his
extreme liberalism. He took the oath of the Jeu de Paume, and was the
first to give up the privileges derived from his birth on the
celebrated night of the 4th of August. The 12th of July, 1791, he was
one of the deputation that attended the solemn transfer of the ashes of
Voltaire, and, August 27th, he sustained the proposition to decree the
honors of the Pantheon to Jean Jacques Rousseau. In his Petit Almanach
des Grands Hommes de la Revolution, Rivarol wrote, not without irony:--

"The most youthful talent of the Assembly, he is still stammering his
patriotism, but he already manages to make it understood, and the
Republic sees in him all it wishes to see. It was necessary that
Montmorency should appear popular for the Revolution to be complete,
and a child alone could set this great example. The little Montmorency
therefore devoted himself to the esteem of the moment, and combated
aristocracy under the ferrule of the Abbe Sieyes."

Mathieu de Montmorency did not adhere to his revolutionary ideas. After
the 10th of August, 1792, he withdrew to Switzerland, at Coppet, near
his friend Madame de Stael. Under the Empire he held himself apart. He
had become as conservative as he had been liberal, as religious as he
had been Voltairian. Under the Restoration, he was one of the most
convinced supporters of the throne and the altar. Minister of Foreign
Affairs in 1821, he showed himself a distinguished diplomat, and during
the session of 1822 made the Amende Honorable for what he called his
former errors.

As he had always been sincere in his successive opinions, the Duke of
Montmorency deserved general esteem. His profound piety, his unchanging
gentleness, his exhaustless charity, made him a veritable saint. He was
the complete type of the Christian nobleman. His name, his character,
the very features of his countenance, were all in perfect harmony. The
adversaries of the Revolution could not refrain from honoring this good
man. On receiving the title of governor to the Duke of Bordeaux, he
felt rewarded for the devotion and virtue of his whole life. But he
regarded this grave employment as a heavy burden, "an immense and
formidable honor, the terror of his feebleness, and the perpetual
occupation of his conscience." This was the thought expressed in his
reception discourse at the French Academy. The Count Daru replied to
him. At the same session M. de Chateaubriand read a historic fragment.
It was the first time since leaving the ministry that the celebrated
writer had appeared in public, and he chose to do so to adorn the
triumph of him whose rival he had been.

The Duke Mathieu de Montmorency died six months before he was to enter
upon his functions as governor to the Duke of Bordeaux. It was Good
Friday of the year 1826, at three o'clock in the afternoon. Before the
tomb in the Church of Saint Thomas Aquinas, his parish, the Duke was
praying like a saint, when suddenly he was seen to waver, and then to
fall. Those near him ran to him, raised him; he was dead. The news had
hardly spread when the church was filled with a crowd of poor people,
who wept hot tears over the loss of their benefactor. On the morrow the
Duchess of Broglie wrote to Madame REcamier, for whom the deceased had
had an almost mystic tenderness:--

"Holy Saturday. Oh, my God! my God! dear friend, what an event! I think
of you with anguish. All the past comes up before me. I thought I could
see the grief of my poor mother, and I think of yours, my dear friend,
which must be terrible. But what a beautiful death! Thus he would have
chosen it--the place, the day, the hour! The hand of God, of that
saviour God, whose sacrifice he was celebrating, is here!"

Father Macarthy said, in a sermon preached in the Chapel of the
Tuileries:--

"Happy he, O God, who comes before Thy altar, on the day of Thy death,
at the very hour when Thou didst expire for the salvation of the world,
to breathe out his soul at Thy feet, and be laid in Thy tomb!"

Lastly, the Duke de Laval-Montmorency wrote to Madame Recamier:--

"I say it to you, my dear friend, I avow it without false modesty, I
never have had any merit or any honor in life, save from action in
common with my angelic friend. He alone is happy; he is so beyond
doubt; from heaven he sees our tears, our desolation, our homage; he
will be our protector on high as he was our friend, our support, upon
the earth."

The death of the virtuous Duke caused Charles X. great grief. He said:
"There are in me two persons, the king and the man, and I know not
which is the most affected."

M. de Chateaubriand desired--and the desire was quite natural--to
replace the Duke of Montmorency in the office of governor of the Duke
of Bordeaux, but the wish was not gratified. In his Life of Henry of
France, M. de PEne makes the following reflections on this point:--

"Chateaubriand lacked neither the knowledge nor the virtue to be the
Fenelon of a new Duke of Burgundy. The eclat of his literary renown,
the political sense of which he had given proof in the Spanish war, the
popularity that surrounded him, were certainly arguments in his favor.
But looking at things coolly, it was clear that an irregular genius was
not suited for the part of Mentor, when he still had all the wayward
impulses of Telemaque."

The choice of Charles X. fell on one of his oldest and most faithful
friends, the Lieutenant-General Duke Charles de Riviere. He was a
soldier of great valor, of gentle disposition, full of modesty and
kindness, believing devoutly and practising the Christian religion, a
descendant of those old knights who joined in one love, God, France,
and the King.

Born the 17th of December, 1763, M. de Riviere had been the companion
and servitor of the princes in exile and misfortune, and they had
confided to him the most difficult and dangerous missions. He was
secretly in France in 1794, and was arrested and condemned to death as
implicated in the Cadoudal case. At his trial, he was shown, at a
distance, the portrait of the Count d'Artois, and asked if he
recognized it. He asked to see it nearer, and then having it in his
hands, he said, looking at the president: "Do you suppose that even
from afar I did not recognize it? But I wished to see it nearer once
more before I die." And the martyr of royalty religiously kissed the
image of his dear prince.

Josephine intervened, and secured the commutation of the sentence, as
well as that of the Duke Armand de Polignac. Napoleon, who admired men
of force, caused to be offered to M. de Riviere his complete pardon,
and a regiment or a diplomatic post, at choice. The inflexible royalist
preferred to be sent to the fort of Joux, where Toussaint Louverture
had died, and remained a prisoner up to the time of the marriage of the
Empress Marie Louise.

Under the Restoration, M. de Riviere, who was Marquis and was made Duke
only in 1825, became lieutenant-general, Peer of France, ambassador at
Constantinople, captain of the body-guards of Monsieur. At the time of
his accession, Charles X. did for his faithful servitor what had never
before been done; he created for him a fifth company of the King's
body-guards. "My dear Riviere," he said, "I have done my best for you,
but we shall both lose by it; you used to guard me all the time, now
you can guard me but three months in the year." The 30th of May, 1825,
the morrow of the coronation and the day of the reception of the
Knights of the Holy Spirit, Charles X. conferred the title of duke on
his devoted friend. "By the way, Riviere, I have made you a duke." It
recalled the words of Henry IV. to Sully in like circumstances.

When he chose the Duke de Riviere as governor of the Duke of Bordeaux,
the King said to Madame de Gontaut: "In naming Riviere, I have
followed, I confess, the inclinations of my heart; I am under
obligations to him; he has incessantly exposed himself for our cause;
he has borne captivity, poverty; I love him, and I am used to him."

The new governor, who was very modest, was frightened at the task
confided to him.

"You congratulate me," he wrote to a friend; "console me, rather, pity
me. An employment so grave must be a heavy burden. I am easy about the
instruction my royal pupil will receive; the wise prelate named by the
King as his preceptor will be a powerful auxiliary for me. But my share
is still too great. It requires something more than fidelity for such a
place,--firmness without roughness, unlimited patience, address,
intelligence. I am frightened at the mission I have to fill. I begged
the King to release me. He insisted. I asked him to make it a command;
he replied: 'I will not command you, but you will give me great
pleasure.' I did not conceal from the King that I should have preferred
to remain captain of his guards; he answered: 'Well, you made that
place for yourself; make this for me.' How could one resist such
language from the lips of such a prince? There was but one choice to
make,--to do all that he wished."

Charles X. named as sub-governors two distinguished military men, the
Colonel Marquis de Barbamcois and the Lieutenant-Colonel Count de
Maupas. He named as preceptor Mgr. Tharin, Bishop of Strasbourg, and as
sub-preceptor the Abbe Martin de Noirlieu and M. de Barande. The Bishop
of Strasbourg was a pious and learned priest, of great benevolence and
extreme affability. But his appointment exasperated the Opposition,
because he had formerly taken up the defence of the Order of the
Jesuits against the attacks of M. de Montlosier. All the liberal sheets
cried aloud. Le Journal des Debates, furious that its candidate to the
succession of the Duke de Montmorency, M. de Chateaubriand, had not
been named, wrote, regarding the appointment of Mgr. Tharin:--

"Such imprudence amazes, such blindness is pitiable. It awakens
profound grief to see this chariot rush toward the abyss with no power
to restrain it."

The Duke de Riviere gave himself up entirely to the task confided to
him. He never quitted the young prince. He slept in his room and
watched over him night and day. In the month of February, 1828, he fell
ill. The princes and princesses visited him frequently. The sovereign
himself, putting aside for this faithful friend the etiquette which
forbade him to visit any one out of his own family, went constantly to
see him and remained long with him. The Duke had no greater
consolation, after that of his religion, than the visit of his King. He
said to his family as the hour of the expected visit approached, "Do
not let me sleep," and if he felt himself getting drowsy, "For pity's
sake," he said, "awaken me if the King comes; it is the best remedy for
my pains." Charles X. could hardly restrain his tears; on leaving the
room he gave way to his grief. The little Duke of Bordeaux, also, was
much saddened.

One day, when he was told that the sick man had passed a bad night, he
said to his sister: "Let's play plays that don't amuse us to-day."

Another day, when it was reported that his governor was a little
better: "In that case," he cried, "general illumination," and he went
in broad day, and lighted all the candles in the salon. The Duke de
Riviere died the 21st of April, 1828; by order of the King, his son
lived from that time with the Duke of Bordeaux, and received lessons
from the preceptors of the young Prince.

The Liberals wished the successor of the Duke to be one of their
choice. They maintained that the son of France belonged to the nation,
and that it had too much interest in his education to permit the
parents alone to dispose of it, as in ordinary families. The ministry
wished to be consulted. Charles X. replied that he took counsel with
his ministers in all that concerned the public administration, but that
he should maintain his liberty as father of a family in the choice of
masters for his grandson.

The King named the Lieutenant-General Baron de Damas (born in 1785,
died in 1858). He was a brave soldier and a good Christian. M. de
Lamartine said that he had "integrity, obstinate industry, virtue
incorruptible by the air of couits, patriotic purpose, cool
impartiality, but no presence and no brilliancy," and that "his piety
was as loyal and disinterested as his heart." He had been Minister of
War, and of Foreign Affairs, and distinguished himself under the Duke
of Angouleme, during the Spanish Expedition. But under the Revolution
and the Empire, he had served in the Russian army, and this did not
render him popular. The Abbe Vedrenne, in his VIE DE Charles X.,
wrote:--

"To watch over the person of the son of France, not quitting him night
or day; to make sure that the rules of his education are followed in
the employment of his time, in the routine of his lessons; to let no
one save persons worthy of confidence come near him; to ward off all
dangers, and notify the King of the least indisposition,--such is the
duty of the governor. It requires more prudence than learning, more
probity than genius. M. de Damas was a royalist too tried, too fervent
a Christian, for his nomination not to provoke many murmurs. His place,
moreover, had been desired by so many people, that there was no lack of
those who were displeased and jealous. There was a general outcry over
his incapacity and ignorance. One would have thought that he was to
perform the task of a Bossuet and a Fenelon, while in reality he filled
the place of a Montausier or a Beauvilliers. Had he not their virtues,
and especially their devotion?"

The Duchess of Gontaut thus relates the first interview of the young
Prince with his new governor: "Monseigneur was a little intimidated,
when the Baron, coming up near to him, made a profound bow, and said:
'Monseigneur, I commend myself to you.' To which Monseigneur, not
knowing what to say, said nothing, and as no one spake a word, the King
dismissed us. When the Duke of Bordeaux learned that M. de Damas had
six or seven boys nearly his age and only one girl, and that the girl
would not be any trouble, his gaiety returned." The little Prince got
used to his new governor, who had the most solid qualities, and who
performed his task with the same devotion and zeal as his predecessor.



XX

THE REVIEW OF THE NATIONAL GUARD


Charles X. was always much beloved by the court, but less so by the
city. In vain, in his promenades, he sought the salutations of the
crowd, and exerted himself by his affability to provoke acclamations;
the public remained cold, and the monarch returned to the Tuileries,
saddened by a change in his reception which he charged to the tactics
of the liberal party and the calumnies of the journals. The
anti-religious opposition went on increasing, and tried to persuade the
crowd that the King was aiming at nothing less than placing his kingdom
under the direction of the Jesuits.

The person of the sovereign was still respected, but the men who had
his confidence were the object of the most violent criticisms. A
coalition of the Extremists and the Left fought savagely against the
Villele ministry, which was reproached particularly for its long
duration.

From 1827, Orleansism, which Charles X. did not even suspect, existed
in a latent state, and sagacious observers could perceive the dangers
of the near future. A review of the National Guard of Paris was a
forerunner of them.

Each year the 12th of April, the anniversary of the re-entrance of
Monsieur to Paris in 1814, the National Guard alone was on duty at the
Tuileries. This privilege was looked upon as the reward of the devotion
it had then shown to the Prince, whose sole armed force it was for
several weeks. In 1827, the 12th of April fell on Holy Thursday, a day
given over wholly by the sovereign to his religious duties. In
consequence, he decided that the day of exceptional service reserved to
the National Guard should be postponed to Monday, the 16th. The morning
of that day, detachments from all the legions, including the cavalry,
assembled in the court of the Chateau, and were received by Charles X.
He received a warm welcome, such as he had not been used to for a long
time, and the crowd joined its shouts to the huzzas of the Guard.
Charles X., filled with delight, said to the officers who joined him as
the troops filed by: "I regret that the entire National Guard is not
assembled for the review." Then the officers replied that their
comrades would be only too happy if the King would consent to review
the whole Guard. Marshal Oudinot, Duke of Reggio, who was the
commandant-in-chief, warmly supported this desire, and the sovereign
responded by promising for April 29 the review thus urged.

Charles X. believed he had returned to the pleasant time of his
popularity. He wished to confirm it by withdrawing a law as to the
press, proposed in the Chambers, and vviuch, though called by the
ultras a "law of love and justice," encountered bitter opposition even
in the Chamber of Peers. The law was withdrawn April 17, the very day
that the Moniteur announced the promise given the day before for the
review of the 29th. On learning of the withdrawal of the unpopular law,
the liberals uttered cries of joy and triumph. Columns of working
printers traversed the streets with cries of "Long live the King! Long
live the Chamber of Peers! Long live the liberty of the press!" In the
evening Paris was illuminated. A victory over a foreign foe would not
have been celebrated with greater transports of enthusiasm. The
ministry was disquieted by these wild manifestations of delight, which,
in reality, were directed against it. It tried in vain to induce the
King to countermand the review of the 29th. M. de Chateaubriand wrote
to Charles X. a long letter to beg him to change his ministry. It
contained the following passage:--

"Sire, it is false that there is, as is said, a republican faction at
present, but it is true that there are partisans of an illegitimate
monarchy; now these latter are too adroit not to profit by the
occasion, and mingle their voices on the 29th with that of France, to
impose on the nation. What will the King do? Will he surrender his
ministers to the popular demand? That would be to destroy the power of
the State. Will he keep his ministers? They will cause all the
unpopularity that pursues them to fall on the head of their august
master." Chateaubriand closed as follows:--

"Sire, to dare to write you this letter, I must be strongly persuaded
of the necessity of reaching a decision. An imperative duty must urge
me. The ministers are my enemies. As a Christian I forgive them, as a
man I can never pardon them. In this position I should never have
addressed the King, if the safety of the monarchy were not involved."

All this urging was futile. Charles X. did not change his ministry, and
the review took place on the Champ-de-Mars on the day appointed.

It is Sunday, April 29th, 1827. The weather is magnificent. The
springtime sun gives to the capital a festive air. All the people are
out. The twelve legions and the mounted guards--more than twenty
thousand men--are under arms awaiting the King on the Champ-de-Mars. An
enormous crowd occupies the slope. At one o'clock precisely, Charles
X., mounted on a beautiful horse, which he manages like a skilled
horseman, leaves the Tuileries with a numerous escort, including the
Dauphin, the Duke of Orleans, the young Duke of Chartres, and a number
of generals. The princesses follow in an open caleche. Everything
appears to be going perfectly. The National Guards have pledged
themselves to satisfy the King by their conduct. A note has been read
in the ranks in these words: "Caution to the National Guards, to be
circulated to the very last file. The rumor is spread that the National
Guards intend to cry 'Down with the ministers! Down with the Jesuits!'
Only mischief-makers can wish to see the National Guard abandon its
noble character."

A general movement of curiosity on the Champ-de-Mars is noticed.
Charles X. arrives. He has a serene brow, a smile upon his lips. It
hardly seems possible that before the end of the year he will be a
septuagenarian; he would be taken for a man of fifty, powdered. An
immense cry of "Long live the King," raised by the National Guards, is
repeated by the crowd. The monarch, radiant, salutes with glance and
hand.

He passes along the front of the battalions. Here and there are heard
cries of "Hurrah for the Charter! Hurrah for liberty of the press!" But
they are drowned by those of "Long live the King!" Everything seems to
go as he wishes, and Charles X. feels that the review, which his timid
ministers regarded as dangerous, is an inspiration. So far it is for
him only a triumph. But suddenly, as he appears in front of the Seventh
Legion, he remarks the persistence with which a group of the Guards is
crying, "Hurrah for the Charter!" The monarch perceives a sentiment of
unfriendliness. A National Guardsman ventures to speak:--

"Does Your Majesty think that cheers for the Charter are an
outrage?"--"Gentlemen," responds the King in a severe tone, "I came
here to receive homage, not a lesson." The royal pride of this response
had a good effect. The cries of "Long live the King!" are renewed with
energy. The face of Charles X. again becomes calm and serene. Seated in
his saddle before the Military School, the sovereign sees file by the
twelve legions, with unanimous cheers. The review closed, the King says
to Marshal Oudinot, commandant-in-chief of the National Guard: "It
might have passed off better; there were some mar-plots, but the mass
is good, and on the whole, I am satisfied."

The Marshal asks, if, in the order of the day he may mention the
satisfaction of the King. "Yes," replied Charles X., "but I wish to
know the terms in which this sentiment is expressed."

The sovereign returns on horseback to the Tuileries, while each legion
goes to its own quarter. When he arrives at the Pavilion de l'Horloge,
he is received by his two grandchildren. Mademoiselle throws herself
upon his neck: "Bon-papa, you are content, aren't you?"--"Yes, almost,"
he answers. The Count de Bourbon-Busset, who is in the sovereign's
suite, says to the Duchess of Gontaut, his mother-in-law, that all has
passed off well. The Duchess of Angouleme, who has just alighted from
her carriage, as well as the Duchess of Berry, hears this phrase; she
cries: "You are not hard to please." The two princesses are as agitated
as the King is calm. At the moment of their return they have been
greeted with violent cries of "Down with the ministers! Down with the
Jesuits!" It is even said that there was a cry of "Down with the
Jesuitesses!" The clang of arms rendered these violent clamors more
sinister. The daughter of Louis XVI. and the widow of the Duke of Berry
believed themselves doubly insulted as women and as princesses. The
Duchess of Angouleme, with intrepid countenance, but deeply irritated,
trembled with indignation. It seemed to her that the Revolution was
being revived. The scenes of horror that her uncle Charles X. had not
beheld, but of which she had been the witness and the victim, arose
before her again,--the 5th and the 6th of October, 1789, the 20th of
June, and the 10th of August, 1792.

While the Dauphiness gives herself up to the gloomiest reflections, the
Third Legion of the National Guard is passing under the windows of the
Minister of Finance in the Rue de Rivoli. The minister, M. de Villele,
has passed the day at the ministry, receiving from hour to hour news of
the review. The blinds of his windows are closed. At the moment when
the Third Legion files through the street, the band ceases to play, the
drums stop beating. Cries of fury break from the ranks: "Down with the
ministers! Down with the Jesuits! Down with Villele!" The guards
brandish their arms; the officers themselves make menacing gestures;
the tumult is at its height. M. de Villele, on the inside, follows from
window to window the march of the legion, and so traverses the salons
to the apartments occupied by his old mother and her family, whom he
wishes to reassure by his own calm. Opposite the ministry, a great
crowd fills the Terrasse des Feuillants, without taking part in the
manifestation. But the clamors of the National Guards increase. They
continue their march, enter the Rue Castiglione, reach the Place
Vendome, where the Ministry of Justice is situated, and recommence
their cries: "Down with the ministers! Down with the Jesuits! Down with
Peyronnet!"

Invited to dine by Count Opponyi, ambassador of Austria, with all the
ministers, M. de Villele waits to the last moment before going to the
Embassy, still believing that he will be summoned by the King. As his
waiting is in vain, he goes to the house of Count Opponyi and takes
part in the dinner. At dessert, a messenger of Charles X. glides behind
his chair, and says to him in a low voice: "The King charges me to tell
you to come to him immediately." M. de Villele takes leave of the
ambassadress, and sets out for the Tuileries. He finds Charles X.
there, very calm, quite reassured, and having called him only to give
expression to his confidence and sympathy. The minister exerts himself
to make the sovereign see the situation in a very different light. He
represents the incident of the Minister of Finance as secondary, but
insists on the facts occurring at the Champ-de-Mars, notably the shouts
around the carriage of the princesses. "It is a fact," replies the
King. "I did hear them complain. Well, what do you advise me to do?"
The minister responds: "This very evening, before the bureaux are
closed, dissolve the National Guard of Paris; order the marshal on duty
near your person, to have the posts held by the National Guard occupied
at four o'clock in the morning by the troops of the line; to resort to
this measure of force and justice to forestall the consequences of the
most audacious attempt at revolution since the commencement of your
reign. To-morrow, there are to arrive at Paris fifteen thousand men to
replace the fifteen thousand of the actual garrison. It suffices to
retain these latter, and thirty thousand men will be enough to hold the
factions in check if they have the least intention of rising."--"Very
well," resumes Charles X.; "go and consult your colleagues, and return
after the soiree that I shall attend with the Duchess of Berry."

This soiree is a concert given by the Duchess at the Tuileries. The
music is but little heard. The incidents of the review are the subject
of all conversation. The courtiers wonder whether, to please the King,
they should take a dark or a rose-colored view of things. The optimists
and pessimists exchange impressions. Charles X. seems to lean to the
former. "Apparently," he says, with his habitual bonhomie, "my bad ear
has done me a friendly service, and I am glad of it, for I protest I
heard no insults." Plainly it costs the sovereign pain to dismiss the
National Guard. It gave him so brilliant a welcome in 1814. He was its
generalissimo under the reign of Louis XVIII. He has liked to wear its
uniform, the blue coat with broad fringes of silver that becomes him so
well. But the ministers, except the Duke of Doudeauville and M. de
Chabrol, pronounce strongly in favor of disbandment. Their idea
prevails. After the concert Charles X. signs the decree, which appears
in the Moniteur on the morrow, and is enforced without resistance. "The
King can do anything!" cries the Duke de Riviere, with enthusiasm; and
May 6th M. de Villele addresses to the Prince de Polignac, then
ambassador at London, a letter in which he says: "The dissolution of
the National Guard has been a complete success; the bad have been
confounded by it, the good encouraged. Paris has never been more calm
than since this act of severity, justice, and vigor." The monarchy
thinks itself saved; it is lost.



XXI

THE FIRST DISQUIETUDE


There were still great illusions among those about Charles X., and the
Duchess of Berry had not for a single instant an idea that the rights
of her son could be compromised. They persuaded themselves that the
Opposition would remain dynastic and that the severest crises would end
only in a change of ministry. Nevertheless, even at the court, the more
thoughtful began to be anxious, and perceived many dark points on the
horizon. Certain royalists, enlightened by experience of the Emigration
and Exile, had a presentiment that the Restoration would be for them
only a halt in the long way of catastrophes and sorrow. They mourned
the optimist tranquillity in which some of the courtiers succeeded in
lulling the King. There were courageous and faithful servitors who, at
the risk of displeasing their master and losing his good graces, did
not recoil from the sad obligation of telling him the whole truth. From
the beginning of his reign, Charles X. heard useful warnings, and later
he blamed himself for not having listened better to them. This justice,
however, must be done him, that if he had not the wisdom to profit by
such counsels, he never was offended at the men of heart who dared to
give them to him.

In this number was the Viscount Sosthenes de La Rochefoucauld, son of
the Duke of Doudeauville, son-in-law of Mathieu de Montmorency, charged
with the department of the fine arts, at the ministry of the King's
household. In publishing the reports addressed by him to Charles X.
from his accession to the Revolution of 1830, he writes:--

"These are respectful and tender warnings of which too little account
was taken, and which might have saved the King and France. I put them
down here with the gloomy predictions contained in them, which have
been only too completely realized. They are not prophecies after the
event. We saw in advance the misfortunes of the King, the fall of the
monarchy, the ruin of legitimacy. Each page, then each line, and soon
every word of this part of my Memoirs will be a cry of alarm: 'God save
the King!' Alas! He has not saved him. One is always wrong if one
cannot get a hearing and make one's self believed. It is then, with no
pride in my previsions, but with bitter regret, that I could not get
them accepted, that I recall this long monologue addressed to Charles
X."

From the beginning of the reign, as he foresaw that one day the Chamber
would sign the Address of the 221, and that M. Laffitte would be the
banker of the revolution of July, the Viscount wrote to the sovereign
in December, 1824:--

"The King has two things to combat for the glory and strength of his
rule, the encroachments of the Chamber of Deputies, and the power of
money in Europe. Four bankers could to-day decide war, if such was
their pleasure. Sovereigns cannot seek too earnestly to free themselves
from the sceptre which is rising above their own. The triumph of
moneyed men will blight the character and the morals of France."

M. de La Rochefoucauld added (report of January 31, 1825) this
prediction, which shows to what length his frankness went in his loyal
explanations with his King:--

"We are between two rocks, equally dangerous: revolution with the Duke
of Orleans, and ultraism with the good Polignac. The by-word now is:
'These princes will end like the Stuarts.' Madame de--, who is
agitating against the laws now under discussion, has said: 'Yes, it's
the second throne of the Stuarts.' The Left compare the Archbishop of
Rheims to Father Peters, the restless and ambitious confessor of King
James. It is not easy for me to write thus to the King, and I have
assumed a hard task in promising myself to conceal nothing from him.
Sometimes my heart is oppressed and my hand stops; but I question my
conscience, which seems troubled, and the indispensable necessity of
telling all to the King, that he may judge in his wisdom, decides me to
go on."

How many sagacious warnings given by the brave courtier, or, better, by
the faithful friend, during the year 1825, the year of the coronation:
"The good Madame de M-- of the Sacred Heart was saying the other day:
'We had a King with no limbs, and with a head; now we have limbs and no
head.' It is unheard of, the trouble taken in certain circles to make
out that the King has no will. The future must give to all a complete
refutation; the future must teach them that the King knows how to
distinguish those that betray from those that serve him." (Report of
March 1, 1825). "Does the King wish to run the chances of a complete
overturning by throwing himself into the hands of the ultras? That
would be to fall again under the blows of the Revolution, which counts
on these to push the monarchy into the abyss always held open at its
side."

From 1825, criticism of the King began. He was accused of giving
himself up too much to the pleasures of the chase. The time was
approaching when his enemies would say of him--a cruel play on words:
"He's good for nothing but to hunt," and would translate the four
letters over the doors of houses M. A. C. L. (Maison Assuree Contre
l'Incendie) by this phrase: Mes Amis, Chassons-le.

The 17th of June, 1825, M. de La Rochefoucauld wrote:--

"I must tell all to the King. I have prevented the giving of a play at
the Odeon called Robin des Bois (Robin Hood), because it is a nickname
criminally given by the people to him whom they accuse of hunting too
often, an accusation very unjust in the eyes of those who know that
never did a prince work more than he to whom allusion is made. When the
King takes this distraction so necessary to him, why hasten to make it
known to the public? All news comes from the Chateau, and the
Constitutionnel and the Quotidienne are always the best informed."

He returned to the same subject October 6:--

"I am in despair at seeing the journals recounting hunt after hunt. I
know the effect that produces. I wanted to get at the source of these
mischievous reports, and M-- communicated to me confidentially that
these reports came to him from the court, and at such length that he
always cut them down three-fourths. In this case, it is for the King to
give orders."

Let us put beside this report the following passage from the Memoirs of
the Duke of Doudeauville:--

"I must justify Charles X. in this passion for the chase, so bitterly
laid up against him in that time when malice and bad faith seized on
everything that could injure him. Five whole days every week he
remained in his apartment, busy with affairs of state, working with the
ministers, examining by himself their different reports with a
sensitive heart, much soul, and more intellect than had been believed;
he had much reason and a very sound judgment. We were often astonished
at it in the Council, over which he presided, and which he prolonged
two, three, four, and five hours, without permitting himself the least
distraction or showing any sign of weariness. Often, in the most
difficult discussions, he would open up an opinion that no one had
conceived, and which, full of sagacity, smoothed every difficulty.

"Twice a week, and often only once, when the weather permitted, he went
hunting, perhaps gunning, perhaps coursing. It will be conceded that it
was a necessary exercise after such assiduous toil and occupations so
sedentary.

"I certify that this was the extent of the hunting of which calumny, to
ruin him, made a crime. Every time he went hunting, the Opposition
journals did not fail to announce it, which persuaded nearly all France
that he passed all his time in the distractions of this amusement."

The tide of detraction of the sovereign steadily rose. The Viscount de
La Rochefoucauld perceived it clearly. He wrote to the King, 13th
October, 1825:--

"The interior of France, as regards commerce, agriculture, industry,
wealth, offers a most striking spectacle. Let Charles X., as King and
father, rejoice in his work; but let him reflect that the lightest
sleep would be followed by a terrible awakening."

The 12th of January, 1826, when his father-in-law, the Duke Mathieu de
Montmorency, had just been named governor to the Duke of Bordeaux, M.
de La Rochefoucauld again wrote to the King:--

"Shall I thank the King for the nomination of M. de Montmorency? Six
months ago, it would have been useful. To-day, it is merely good. But
alas, how far is that interesting Prince from the crown! and what
shocks and revolutions he must traverse first. If ever--God watch over
France; the Orleans are making frightful progress."

The signs of the coming storm accumulated in the most alarming manner.
Read this other report of the Viscount de La Rochefoucauld (August 8,
1826):--

"Indifference to religion, hatred of the priests, were the symptoms of
the Revolution. God grant that the same things do not bring the same
results. The unfortunate priests no longer dare to go through the
streets; they are everywhere insulted. Three days since, a well-dressed
man, passing by the sentinel of the Luxembourg said to him, pointing to
a priest: 'Never mind; in a year you'll see no more of all these
wretches.' The poor Cure of Clichy was in real danger, surrounded by
two or three hundred madmen, who cried; 'Down with the black-hats!'
Every day there is a scene of the same sort."

The popularity of Charles X., so great at the beginning of his reign,
was dwindling every day at Paris. M. de La Rochefoucauld did not fear
to declare it to him.

"By what inconceivable fatality is it," he wrote, February 6, 1827,
"that the king amid all the care he takes to ensure the happiness of
his people, is losing from day to day in their love and affection? At
the play--and it is there, to use an expression of Napoleon, that the
pulse of public opinion is to be felt--the most seditious and hostile
allusions are eagerly caught up. Saturday last, verses, of which the
sense was that kings who have lost the love of their people encounter
only silence and coldness, were greeted with triple applause and
furiously encored."

The report of May 12,1827, was like an alarm bell:

"Circumstances are so grave that the calmest minds betray fear
regarding them; there are now but one opinion and one feeling,--doubt
and fear. It is said openly, as eight years since: This branch cannot
keep the crown; it is impossible; who will succeed it? How many things,
great Heavens, done in eight years; how many things forgotten!"

Exposed to an outpouring of enmities and of incessant intrigues, taken
between two fires,--the extreme Right and the Left,--M. de Villele no
longer had the strength to govern. His ministry was about to come to an
end. Later, in retracing in his journal this phase of his career, he
wrote:--

"All that took place was of a feebleness destructive of all government,
and disheartening for him who bears all the responsibility for it, with
the weight of affairs besides. But he was not, and did not pretend to
be, the Cardinal Richelieu. He had not his character, nor his ambition,
nor his superior gifts. He did not even envy them. Had he been quite
different in this regard, to repress and annul his king, to oppress the
daughter of Louis XVI. and the widow of the Duke of Berry, to exile
from France the new Gaston d'Orleans, and his numerous family, to bring
down the heads of the court pygmies,--more dangerous, perhaps, with
their influence over the King and his family and their vexatious
intrigues in the Court of Peers than the Montmorencys and the
Cinq-Mars,--this was a rele to which he never aspired and would not
have accepted."

Charles X. sacrificed M. de Villele, who, however, had his sympathy,
and replaced him with a liberal minister, perhaps with a mental
reservation as to a ministry, before long, from the extreme Right. The
retiring minister wished to remain in the Chamber of Deputies, to
defend his acts. For their part, his successors, fearing his influence
in that body, wished his transfer to the Chamber of Peers, where, in
their judgment, he would be less dangerous. At the last Council of
Ministers attended by M. de Villele, the King passed to him a note in
pencil, announcing that he had called him to the peerage. The statesman
declined, in a note also in pencil. "You wish then to impose yourself
upon me as minister?" wrote the King once more. M. de Villele appeared
moved, and passed to the sovereign this response: "The King well knows
the contrary; but since he can write it, let him do with me what he
will." The next day the Martignac ministry entered on its duties, and
the Duchess of Angoule'me said to Charles X.: "It is true, then, that
you are letting Villele go? My father, you descend to-day the first
step of the throne."



XXII

THE MARTIGNAC MINISTRY


Mde. Martignac, who succeeded M. de Villele in the Ministry of the
Interior, was a man of merit, honest, liberal, and sincerely devoted to
the King. Born in 1776, at Bordeaux, he was at first an advocate at the
bar of that city, and at the same time made himself known by some witty
vaudevilles. On the return of the Bourbons, he entered the magistracy,
became procureur-general at Limoges, was elected a deputy in 1821, and
distinguished himself in the tribune. He was Minister of the Interior
from January, 1828, to August, 1829, and his name was given to the
ministry of which he was a member. He had for colleagues enlightened
and moderate men, such as Count Auguste de La Ferronnays, M. Roy, Count
Portalis. He tried to reconcile the different parties, and to preserve
the throne from the double danger of reaction and revolution. Taken
between two fires, the extreme Right and the extreme Left, he was
destined to fail in his generous effort.

The royalist sentiment was becoming constantly more feeble. The 24th of
January, 1828, some days after the formation of the Martignac ministry,
the Viscount Sosthenes de La Rochefoucauld wrote, in a report to the
King:--

"In going to Saint-Denis, the 21st of January (the anniversary of the
death of Louis XVI.), and seeing the lightness with which the court
itself conducted itself there, it was impossible for me not to make
many reflections on the futility of an age in which no memory is
sacred. And by what right can the people be asked to have a better
memory when such an example is given to them? No cortege, no coaches
draped, none of the pomp that strikes the imagination and the eye. Some
isolated carriages, passing rapidly over the route, as if every one
longed to be more promptly rid of whatever is grave and mournful in
this day of cruel memory."

The ultras were thinking much less of the real interests of the
monarchy than of their own spites and their personal ambitions.

These pretended supports of the throne were digging the abyss in which
the throne was to be swallowed up. Charles X., blinded, was already
thinking of calling the Prince de Polignac to power, and regarded the
Martignac ministry as a provisional expedient. To the despair of the
members of this ministry, he maintained relations with M. de Villele,
whose fall he regretted. After the opening of the session, he wrote to
his former minister, February 6, 1828:--

"What do you think of my discourse? I did my best; but as it was a
success with some persons of doubtful opinions, I am afraid that it is
not worth much. Everything appears to me so confused, that I know not
what to count upon. The eulogies of the Debats and the Constitutionnel
make me fear I have said stupid things. Yet I hope not, and I shall
continue to arrest with firmness what may lead to dangerous
concessions."

On the other hand, if there were among the liberals some sincere and
well-intentioned men, who meant to remain faithful alike to the throne
and the Charter, there were others who already masked treachery under
the appearance of devotion to the King. Those who two years later were
to boast of having labored during the entire restoration for the ruin
of the elder branch,--actors in the comedy of fifteen years, as they
called themselves,--gave themselves out, in 1828, as partisans and
enthusiastic admirers of Charles X. At the commencement of the session
a deputy of the Left, having affected to say in the tribune that the
King had not a single enemy, the Right permitted itself some
exclamations of doubt. One of its members, M. de Marinhac, cried: "As a
good prince I believe that His Majesty has no enemies, but as King, he
has many, and I know them," added he, looking at his opponents. The
entire Left was indignant, and caused the orator to be called to order.
M. Dupin thanked the president, and said in an agitated voice: "It is a
calumny, an insult, that we cannot endure. Nothing wounds us more than
to hear ourselves accused of being the enemies of him whom we adore,
cherish, bless."

The tactics of the Opposition were to flatter the King, but to disarm
him and to make him look on those who were really revolutionists as
ministerialists. M. de Martignac was a man of good faith, but many who
boasted of supporting him were not so, and perhaps M. de Villele was
right when he wrote to Charles X. in June, 1828:--

"I could serve Your Majesty only with the light and the character God
has given me. It would have been, it would be, impossible for me to
believe that authority can be maintained by concessions and by leaning
on those who wish to overthrow it."

Meanwhile there were still some fine days for the old King. His journey
in the departments of the east, in 1828, was a continual ovation that
recalled to him the enthusiasm of the beginning of his reign. Setting
out from Saint Cloud the 31st of August, he arrived at Metz the 3d of
September. All the houses of this great military city were hung with
the white flag adorned with fleurs-de-lis. After having visited some of
the fortifications, Charles X., following the ramparts, came to an
elegant pavilion erected on the site of the ancient citadel. Long
covered seats were arranged for the ladies of the city; a prodigious
number of spectators occupied the ramparts. In the presence of the
sovereign a regiment made a simulated attack on a "demi-lune" and a
bastion.

On September 6, Saverne arranged a very picturesque reception for the
King. All the cantons and all the communes sent thither, together with
their mayors and their richest farmers, their prettiest village girls
in Alsatian costume. Five hundred peasants, clad in red vest and long
black coat, the head covered with a great hat turned up on one side, a
white ribbon tied about the left arm, were on horseback at the place of
meeting. The young girls, bearing flags and garlands, were brought in
wagons, each containing a dozen or sixteen. In other wagons were the
musicians. The pretty Alsaciennes presented the monarch with a basket
of flowers; then he breakfasted with the authorities, and, at a signal,
fires were lighted at the same time on the plain and on the surrounding
mountains.

The 7th of September, Charles X. entered Strasbourg in triumph. At a
league from the city, on a height from which it was to be seen, and
whence the wooded hills of the Black Forest were visible, he was
awaited by a crowd of young girls in Alsatian costume, in three hundred
wagons, with four or six horses to each. There were also twelve hundred
horsemen, divided into squadrons, the mayors with their scarfs at their
head and carrying the fleur-de-lis standards. The royal cortege passed,
under arbors of verdure and flowers, amid this long file of vehicles
and horsemen, who escorted it to the walls of Strasbourg. Delighted
with the enthusiasm of which he was the object, the sovereign proceeded
to the Cathedral, where a te deum was sung. In the evening the spire of
this marvellous church was illuminated: it was like a pyramid of stars.

The King of Wurtemberg, the Grand Duke of Baden, and his three brothers
came to greet the King of France in the capital of Alsace. He showed
them at the arsenal sixteen hundred pieces of ordnance on their
carriages, and arms sufficient for a hundred thousand men.

"Sire, and gentlemen," he said with a smile, in which kingly pride
mingled with perfect urbanity, "I have nothing to conceal from you.
This is something I can show to my friends as to my enemies."

Yes, France was great then, and no one could have predicted for Alsace
the fate reserved for her forty-two years later. The army was the
admiration of Europe. The navy had just recaptured at Navarino the
prestige and power of the time of Louis XVI. Charles X. said to Mr.
Hyde de Neuville:--

"France, when a noble design is involved, takes counsel only with
herself. Thus whether England wishes or not, we shall free Greece.
Continue the armaments with the same activity. I shall not pause in the
path of humanity and honor."

And at the moment when the very Christian King was greeted by the
German Princes in the Alsatian capital, his victorious troops were
completing in the Morea the enfranchisement of Greece.

Charles X. returned by Colmar, Luneville, Nancy, and Champagne. At
Troyes he found himself surrounded by all the liberal deputies, and he
decorated Casimir PErier. Everywhere he had an enthusiastic welcome. On
his return to Saint Cloud he was warmly congratulated by all his court.
Nevertheless, as the Duchess of Gontaut said to him:--

"Sire, you must be happy."--"What do cheers signify?" he answered, not
without sadness. "These demonstrations, all superficial, should not
dazzle--a friendly gesture of the hand, a prince's, a king's,
expression of satisfaction will obtain them."

Despite this philosophic reflection, Charles X. was triumphant. If his
ministers wished to credit their liberal policy with the ovations he
had received in the east, he called their attention to the fact that he
had been not less well received the year before under the Villele
ministry at the time of his visit to the camp of Saint Omer. In the
enthusiasm manifested by the people, he saw an homage to the
monarchical principle, not to the policy of one or another ministry.

"You hear these people. Do they shout hurrah for the Charter? No, they
cry long live the King!" Still confident of the future, he wished to
persuade himself that the obstacles piled up before his dynasty were
but clouds that a favorable wind would scatter soon. "Ah, Monsieur de
Martignac," he cried, with deep joy, "what a nation! what should we not
do for it!"

At the moment that Charles X. traversed the provinces of the east in
triumph, the Duchess of Berry was making in the west a journey not less
brilliant than that of the sovereign.



XXIII

THE JOURNEY IN THE WEST


Never was a princely journey more triumphal than that of the Duchess of
Berry in the provinces of the west in 1828. Madame, who left Paris June
16, returned there October 1, and there was not a day in these three
months that she was not the object of enthusiastic ovations. In a book
of nearly six hundred pages, Viscount Walsh has described, with the
fidelity of a Dangeau, this journey in which the mother of the Duke of
Bordeaux was treated like a queen of a fairy tale.

The 16th of June, the Princess slept at Rambouillet, where two years
later such cruel trials were to come to her. The 18th, she visited
Chambord, where she was received by Count Adrien de Calonne, the author
of the project of the subscription, thanks to which this historic
chateau became the property of the Duke of Bordeaux.

In the face of the wind, which was blowing with force, Madame ascended
to the highest point of the chateau, the platform of the lantern called
Fleur-de-Lis at the end of the famous double balustered staircase. From
there her glance wandered over the vast extent of the park, with a
circumference of eight leagues, and enclosing, besides six or seven
thousand acres of woodland, twenty-three farms, whose buildings,
cultivated fields, and scattered flocks, animated the view in all
directions. On descending, she said: "I should like to mark my name
here; I shall love to see it again when I come to visit the Duke of
Bordeaux." And with a stiletto she cut these words: "18th June--Marie
Caroline." Some young girls presented her with lambs white as snow,
decorated with green and white ribbons, and with a tame roe, on whose
collar was engraved: "Homage of the people of Chambord." The same day
she paid visits at their chateaux to Marshal Victor, Duke of Bellune,
and to the Duke d'Avaray. In the evening she returned to Blois. Madame
left there the 19th of June, after examining the Salle des Etats, the
room in which the Duke of Guise was assassinated, and the tower where
Catharine de' Medici used to consult the astrologers. The 20th, she
attended at Saumur a brilliant tournament given in her honor by the
Cavalry School. The 21st, she entered Angers amid shouts and cheers.
The 22d, she visited the chateau of Count Walsh de Serrant. Her
carriage passed under vaults of verdure adorned with flowers and
banners.

The Princess arrived the same day at Saint Florent, which, in 1793, had
given the signal for the war of the Vendee, and where the Vendean army
had effected the famous passage of the Loire, comparable to that of the
Berezina. There the aged witnesses of the struggles described by
Napoleon as "a war of giants," had assembled near the tomb of Bonchamp
to await the Duchess of Berry. All the neighboring heights were
bristling with white flags. From afar they were seen fluttering on the
church-towers, on the chateaux, over cottages, on isolated trees. They
were to be seen even above the graves in the cemeteries. A son had
said: "My father died for the white flag; let us plant it on his grave;
the dead should rejoice, for Madame comes to honor their fidelity." The
example was followed, and the tombs bore the rallying sign of those who
rested there. When on the borders of the Loire, the Princess paused a
moment, struck with the majesty of the scene. The cannon mingled their
noble voices with the acclamations of fifteen thousand Vendedans. The
stream was covered with a swarm of boats, dressed with flags. A
magnificent sun lighted up this fete.

It was ten o'clock when Madame arrived at Milleraye, opposite Saint
Florent. It was there that General de Bonchamp, one of the heroes of
the Vendee, had given up his soul to God. The cottage where the
soldiers had laid him to die was shown. His widow awaited the Duchess
of Berry. What contrast between the festivity of Saint Florent and the
consternation of the days of grief and misfortune, when, in October,
1793, its people fled to the right bank of the Loire, leaving their
houses a prey to the flames! The cries of distress and despair which
sounded along the banks of the stream in that fatal year, were now
replaced by shouts of joy. Madame embarked amid cheers. Her boat was
escorted by a great number of others, six of which contained Vendeans
bearing flags torn by bullets in the battles of Fontenay and of Torfou,
of Laval, and of Dol. Grouped on the hill-slopes of Saint Florent, more
than fifteen thousand spectators followed with their gaze the flotilla,
in the midst of which they saw the Duchess of Berry, standing, visibly
agitated. She landed upon the plateau of Saint Florent, and ascended on
foot the hill that led to it. When she reached the summit, she found
herself in the midst of a camp of five thousand Vendean soldiers who
had taken part in the war of 1793 or in the arming of 1815. There it
was that Cathelineau, as in the time of the crusades, cried: "It is
God's will. Let us march!"--"Oh, what a people!" said the Princess.
"What fine and honest faces! What an accent in their cries of 'Long
live the King!' Yes, plainly they love us." She proceeded to the church
of Saint Florent, where, kneeling beneath a canopy, she heard Mass. She
regarded with attention the tomb of Bonchamp, and said, as she beheld
his statue: "He looks as if he were still commanding."

On leaving the church, she went to see the place where Bonchamp is
buried, and, under a tent, partook of a repast offered her by the
Countess d'Autichamp. She had recounted to her in detail the celebrated
passage of the Loire, the disastrous period when all the city of Saint
Florent was burned by order of the Convention, and the only house left
standing was the one occupied by the republican General LEchelle as his
headquarters.

At three o'clock in the afternoon, Madame embarked anew on the
steamboat awaiting her at the point of Varades, and proceeded in this
way to Nantes. The inhabitants from the two banks of the stream greeted
her upon her passage. The red aprons and white caps of the women
contrasted, in the landscape, with the sombre, costume of the men. That
she might be better recognized by the crowd, the Princess, clad in a
simple robe of brown silk, with a long chain of gold at the neck,
separated herself from her suite, mounted to the highest point on the
boat, and greeted with voice and gesture all these faithful people. The
men waved banners and standards. The women raised their little children
in their arms and said: "Look at her well; it's the mother of the Duke
of Bordeaux."

The people seemed to walk upon the water to get a nearer view of
Madame. Not a rock pushing out into the stream that was not occupied.
Where the Loire was too wide for the features of the Princess to be
seen from the shore, the dwellers on the banks had, so to speak,
brought them together, by forming in the middle of the stream streets
of boats, with their flags and their triumphal arches. At a league from
Saint Florent a rock juts into the water of the Loire. Here was an aged
Vendean, all alone, his white hair fluttering in the wind. Erect upon
the rock, he was holding a white flag, and at his feet was a dog. It
was, according to the Moniteur, a symbol of faithful Vendee.

The same day, June 22, at seven in the evening, the Princess reached
Nantes. She passed on foot from the Port Maillard to the Prefecture,
and had difficulty in getting through the innumerable multitude. The
next day she was at Savenay, where, on leaving the church, she paused
to contemplate the monument raised to the memory of the victims of the
battle of the 23d of September, 1793. The 24th, she went to Saint Anne
d'Auray, a pilgrimage venerated throughout all Brittany, and visited
the Champ des Martyrs, the little plain where thirty-three years
before, the EMIGRES taken at Quiberon had been shot, despite their
capitulation. When Madame appeared on the consecrated field, the crowd
cheered her, then became still, and amid solemn silence, sang the de
Profundis.

The 25th, the Princess was at Lorient, and there laid the corner-stone
of the monument erected to Bisson, the lieutenant of the navy who, in
the Greek expedition, October, 1827, being charged with the command of
a brig taken from the Turks by Admiral de Rigny's fleet, blew up the
vessel, with the crew, rather than surrender. After visiting Rennes,
she returned to Nantes, the 28th of June. A triumphal arch had been
constructed on the Place des Changes, with this inscription: "Lilies
for our Bourbons. Laurels for Henry. Roses for Louise." The flower and
fruit girls had written on their arch of verdure: "Our flowers, our
fruits, our hearts, are Madame's." The 29th, the Duchess attended a
magnificent ball given by the city. The next day she visited the
Trappist Convent at Melleray. It was difficult to persuade her to go
away. "Where shall I find more happiness than here?" she said.
"Elsewhere there are pleasures and distractions, but none here. Since I
make them happy, I would remain; and I am very well pleased."

The 30th, at evening, Madame arrived at Tremiciniere, at the house of
the Countess de Charette, the sister-in-law of the famous Vendean
chief. July 1, she entered Bocage. From there no more wide roads, no
more cities of easy approach; bad ways, long distances without relays,
obstacles of all sorts. Clad in a green riding-habit, with a gray felt
hat and a gauze veil, Madame galloped between Madame de la
Rochejaquelein and Madame de Charette. At her arrival at Saint Hilaire,
the Marquis de Foresta, Prefect of La Vendec, said to her: "Madame does
not like phrases; La Vendee does not make them; it has but one
sentiment and one cry to express it: Long live the King! Long live
Madame! Forever live the Bourbons!"

The peasants never wearied of admiring her intrepidity. When her horse,
excited by the cries and the beating of the drums, pranced and reared,
they were heard to say: "Oh! the brave little woman; she is not
frightened." A villager exclaimed: "I have never regretted my old
father so much as today; one day like this would have repaid him for
all the hardships he suffered."

Madame passed the night at the Chateau of Lagrange, the property of the
Marquis de Goulaine. On entering her chamber she found by her bed a
night-lamp, with this motto: "Rest tranquilly; La Vendee is watching."

On the 3d of July, she visited the Champ des Mattes, where in 1815 the
Marquis Louis de La Rochejaquelein was killed at the head of the
Vendeans in insurrection against Napoleon. The same day she was at
Bourbon-Vendee. The 5th of July, at the crossing of the Quatre Chemins,
in sight of the roads from Nantes, from Bourbon, from Saumur, and from
La Rochelle, she laid the first stone of a monument to perpetuate the
memory of the Vendean victories. She returned afterward to the Chateau
de Mesnard, the property of her first equerry, the one who traced so
well the itinerary of her journey. All the inhabitants of the bourg of
Mesnard had taken part in the great Vendean war, and, their cure at
their head, marched as far as Granville. The mother of the first
equerry, then a widow, and whose two sons were in the army of Conde,
had followed her former peasants, with her daughter, and died at
Lagrande at the time of the disastrous retreat. Madame de la
Rochejaquelein, in her Memoirs, speaks of the sad state in which she
saw her. In memory of so much devotion, Madame wished to open a bal
champetre with a veteran of the bourg of Mesnard.

That night the Princess slept at the Chateau of Landebaudiere,
belonging to Count Auguste de La Rochejaquelein. Everywhere the
villagers came to the gates of the chateaux to enlist in their joys as
formerly they had enlisted in their combats,--Lescure, La
Rochejaquelein, d'Elbee, Charette. The 6th, Madame visited the field of
the battle of Torfou. A former officer of the army of La Vendee, noting
that she wore a green riding-habit, said to her: "We were always
attached to our uniform, but we cherish it more than ever to-day, when
we see that we wear the colors of Madame."--"Gentlemen," replied the
Princess, "I have adopted your uniform." She breakfasted in the open
air, amid the Vendeans under arms.

Madame continued her journey on horseback. Nothing could stop her,
neither oppressive heat nor rain-storms. When she was spoken to of her
fatigues, "It is only fair," she responded, "that I should give myself
a little trouble to make the acquaintance of those who have shed their
blood for us." Most of the time she took her repast in the open air.
The peasants strolled around the table and fired salutes with their old
muskets; for in Vendee there is no fete without powder. Then to the
sound of the biniou and of the veze they moved in joyous dances in
which the daughter of kings did not disdain to take part. On entering
every village she was greeted by the cures of the parish and the
neighboring parishes. Nearly all were old soldiers whose hands had
borne the sword before carrying the cross.

Near the boundaries of the department of La Loire-Inferieure Madame
alighted. "Here is a farm," she said; "let us knock and ask for some
milk." The doors were not closed. On entering the room of the
farm-wife,--who was absent,--the Princess found only a very little
infant asleep and swaddled in a cradle. Then she seated herself on a
stool, and after the fashion of the country, set herself to rocking,
with her foot, the babe of the poor peasant-woman. The 6th of July, at
nine in the evening, she reached Beaupreau. The city, built in the form
of an amphitheatre, was illuminated; an immense bonfire had been
lighted. The next day Madame laid the corner-stone of a monument in
honor of d'Elbee, and saluted at Pinen-Mauges, the statue of
Cathelineau. The 8th of July, she was at the Chateau of Maulevrier,
whose owner, M. de Colbert, had erected a monument to the memory of
Stofflet, the heroic huntsman. The same day, at Saint Aubin, she laid
the first stone of another monument raised to the four heroes of La
Vendee,--Dornissan, Lescure, Henry and Louis de La Rochejaquelein.

The 10th of July, the Princess was at Lucon, the 11th at La Rochelle,
the 12th at Rochefort, the 13th at Blaye, the 14th at Bordeaux. The
"faithful city," as the capital of the Gironde was then named,
distinguished itself by its enthusiasm. A little girl of eight years,
Mademoiselle du Hamel, surrounded by her young companions, daughters of
members of the municipal government read a welcome to the mother of the
Duke of Bordeaux as follows:--

"Madame, while our fathers have the honor to offer you their hearts and
their arms, permit us, children, to offer to you the flowers and the
prayers of innocence. In choosing me as their interpreter, my young
companions have doubtless wished to recall to you an angel who is dear
to you; but if alone of them all I have the fortune to count the same
number of years as Mademoiselle, we all rival each other in cherishing
you, we all repeat with an enthusiasm rendered purer and more simple by
our age, Long live the King! Long live Madame!"

In the evening the "Mother of the Little Duke," as the Bordelais called
the Princess, went to the chief theatre, where she was received with
frenzied applause. The statue of the Duke of Bordeaux, supported by
soldiers under a canopy of flags, and crowned with laurels, was brought
to the front of the stage, while a cortege formed by a detachment of
troops of the line, and by all the company of the theatre, filed by,
military music resounded. Then a cantata was sung.

On the morrow, at a grand ball offered to her by the city, Madame was
seated upon a platform that was surmounted by a fine portrait of her
son. Eight hundred women, crowned with white plumes, flowers, and
diamonds, cheered her. The 18th, she slept at Pau, the native place of
Henry IV. The mountaineers, descending from their heights, banner in
hand, with their Basque costumes, came to meet her. The next day she
visited the castle where was born the Bearnais, whose cradle, formed of
a great tortoise-shell, she saw: it was shaded by draperies and white
plumes. The following day she visited the environs. To descend into the
valley of Ossun, she donned the felt hat and the red sash worn by the
peasants of Bearn. As she was looking at the spring of Nays, a
mountaineer offered her some water in a rustic dish, and said naively:
"Are you pleased with the BEarnais, Madame?"--"Am I not pleased!"
replied the Princess, eagerly. "See, I wear the hat and sash of the
country!"

The 24th, she was at the Ile des Faisans, famous in the souvenirs of
Louis XIV.; the 25th, at Bayonne, where she assisted at a military
fete. In all her excursions, Madame carried her pencils with her, and
almost every day sketched some picturesque site. Eight Bearnais, with
an amaranth belt and hats of white and green, served her as a guard of
honor. She passed all the month of August and a part of the month of
September in the Pyrenees. The mountaineers never wearied of admiring
the hardihood, the gaiety, the spirit, shown by her in making the most
difficult ascensions. The 9th of September, she quitted Bagneres-de
Luchon to return to Paris, passing through Toulouse, Montauban, Cahors,
Limoges, and Orleans. It was one long series of ovations. The 1st of
October, Madame returned to the Tuileries. She had been accompanied all
through her journey by the Marechale Duchess of Reggio, lady of honor;
by the Marchioness of Podenas, lady companion; and by Count de Mesnard,
first equerry.

The Duchess of Berry returned enchanted. Could she suspect the
reception that awaited her, four years later, in the places where she
had just been the object of veritable worship? When she was received at
Nantes as a triumphant sovereign, could she believe that the time was
approaching when, in that same city, she would have hardly a stone on
which to lay her head and where she would seek a futile refuge in the
chimney-piece--mysterious hiding-place--of the house of the Demoiselles
Duguigny? At Blaye could she imagine that the citadel, hung with white
flags, whose cannon were fired in her honor, would so soon become her
prison? Poor Princess! She had taken seriously the protestations of
devotion and fidelity addressed to her everywhere. They asked her to
promise that if ever the rights of her son were denied, she would
defend them on the soil of La Vendee, and she had said to herself: "I
swear it." The journey of 1828 held the germ of the expedition of 1832.



XXIV

THE MARY STUART BALL


No society in Europe was more agreeable and brilliant than that of the
Duchess of Berry. The fetes given by the Princess in the salons of the
Pavilion de Marsan at the Tuileries were marked by exceptional elegance
and good taste; the Petit Chateau, as her vivacious social staff was
called at that time, had an extraordinary brightness and animation. At
the carnival of 1829 Madame organized a costume ball, which, for its
brilliancy, was the talk of the court and the city. All the costumes
were those of one period,--that at which the dowager queen of Scotland,
Marie of Lorraine, widow of James V., came to France to visit her
daughter, Mary Stuart, wife of the King, Francis II. It was decided
that Mary Stuart should be represented by the Duchess of Berry, and the
King, Francis II., by the oldest of the sons of the Duke of Orleans,
the Duke of Chartres, who was then eighteen and one-half years old, and
who was, the next year, to take the title of Duke of Orleans, on the
accession of his father to the throne. The apartments of the Children
of France in the Pavilion de Marsan were chosen for the ball, and the
date was fixed at Monday, March 2, 1829.

The King, the Dauphin and Dauphiness, the Duke and Duchess of Orleans,
appeared at the fete, but not in costume. Charles X. came after the
hour of giving out the general orders. The Dauphin, the Dauphiness, and
the Duke of Orleans arrived at 8 P.M. The entry of the four queens,
Mary Stuart, Marie of Lorraine, Catharine de' Medici, Jeanne d'Albret,
was announced by the band of the bodyguards which preceded them. The
cortege was magnificent, the costumes of the princes and their ladies
resplendent. To increase its richness, the Dauphiness had lent not only
her own jewels, but a part of those of the crown. The invited guests
not taking part in the cortege occupied places already assigned them.
They wore a uniform costume of silver gauze and white satin. This
coolness of tone produced a charming effect when at the arrival of the
cortege all rose. In the ball-room a platform had been prepared with a
throne for Mary Stuart. The Duchess of Berry, as the famous queen, wore
with great grace a dazzling toilet--crown of diamonds, high collar,
blue velvet robe with wide sleeves, front of white satin bordered with
ermine. The Duke of Chartres, a handsome boy and brilliant cavalier, as
King Francis II., wore a cap with white plumes, and a dark blue velvet
doublet with ornaments of gold. His brother, the Duke of Nemours,
fourteen years old, was in the character of a page to the King, with a
white satin doublet, and recalled in his features the youth of Henry
IV. The Duchess of Berry, playing to perfection her role of queen,
advanced to the throne. The Duke of Chartres gave her his hand to
ascend the steps. Then she made a sign to be seated; but the young
Prince remained standing. Placing himself behind the throne, and
removing his cap with white plumes, he bowed low and said: "Madame, I
know my place." The Duchess of Gontaut spoke to the Duchess of Orleans,
and asked her if she had remarked the tact of her son the Prince. "I
remarked it," replied the Princess, "and I approve of it."

The ball commenced. There was present a great Scotch lord, the Marquis
of Huntley, who belonged to a very illustrious Jacobite house. In his
youth he had been what was then called a beau danseur, and had had the
honor of opening a fancy dress ball at the Chateau of Versailles with
the Queen Marie Antoinette. Charles X. remembered it and wished that
the Marquis, then nearly eighty, should open the ball with little
Mademoiselle, who was but nine. Still a beau danseur, the old
Englishman had not forgotten the pirouettes of Versailles; all the
court admired, and the young princes were greatly amused.

The ball was a marvellous success. It was a revival of the beautiful
fetes of the Renaissance. The sixteenth century, so elegant, so
picturesque, lived anew. A painter, who was then but twenty-nine, and
who had already a great vogue, M. Eugene Lamy, perpetuated its memory
in a series of twenty-six watercolors, which have been lithographed,
and form a curious album. (A copy of this album is in the National
Library, in the Cabinet of Engravings.) It contains, besides, four
water-colors, representing one, the ascent of the stairway of the
Pavilion de Marsan by the guests; another, Mary Stuart seated on the
throne; a third, one of the dances of the ball; a fourth, the entrance
of the Dowager Queen of Scotland twenty-two reproductions of the
principal personages at the fete. At the left are the arms of the
historic personages represented, and at the right those of the
representative. Then above the portrait of the Duchess of Berry there
are at the left the arms of Scotland and France, and at the right those
of France and the Two Sicilies, and above the portrait of the Duke of
Chartres at the left the arms of France, at the right the ducal blazon
of Orleans.

Here are the names of the twenty-two persons who figure in the album of
M. Eugene Lamy, with the personages represented:--

1. The Duchess of Berry (Mary Stuart).

2. The Duke of Chartres (Francis II.).

3. The Duke de Nemours (a king's page).

4. Lady Stuart de Rothsay (Marie de Lorraine). Daughter of Lord
Hardwicke, she was the wife of Lord Stuart de Rothsay, ambassador of
England at Paris.

5. The Marquis of Douglas, since Duke of Hamilton (the Duke de
Chatellerault), a finished type of the great Scotch lord; he married in
1843 the Princess Mary of Baden, and under the reign of Napoleon III.
added to his titles of Hamilton and of Brandon in Scotland and England,
the title of Duke de Chatellerault, in France, which had formerly
belonged to the Hamilton family.

6. The Marchioness of Podenas, NEE Nadaillac (Catharine de' Medici).
Lady companion of the Duchess of Berry, she was one of the brightest
women of the court.

7. The Count de Pastoret, married to a de Neufermeil (Duke of Ferrara).

8. The Marquis de Vogue (the Vidame de Chartres). Married to a
Mademoiselle de Machault d'Arnouville; his son was the diplomat who was
ambassador under the presidency of Thiers and of Marshal Macmahon.

9. Count Ludovic de Rosanbo (Duke de Guise). He was one of the
handsomest men of his time. He had married the daughter of the Count de
Mesnard, lady companion to the Duchess of Berry.

10. The Countess de La Rochejaquelein, daughter of the Duke de Duras (a
lady of honor to the Queen). She was honorary lady companion to the
Duchess of Berry.

11. Miss Louise Stuart (a page to the Queen-Mother of Scotland).

12. Miss Pole Carew (Mary Seaton, maid of honor to the same queen).

13. The Count de Mailly (Rene de Mailly, officer of the guard to Mary
Stuart). The Count was the son of the Marshal de Mailly, defender of
the Tuileries on August 10, who paid for his devotion on the scaffold
of the Revolution. Aide-de-camp of the Duke of Bordeaux, and
lieutenant-colonel; he was a brilliant officer who had received
glorious wounds in the Russian campaign. He was married to a
Mademoiselle de Lonlay de Villepail.

14. The Countess d'Orglandes, NEE Montblin, one of the prettiest women
of the court (Louise de Clermont-Tonnerre, Countess of Crussol).

15. The Duchess de Caylus, NEE La Grange, a great beauty, remarried
afterwards to the Count de Rochemure (Diane de Poitiers).

16. Mademoiselle de Bearn, a charming young girl, married afterwards to
the Duke of Vallombrosa, and dying so young and so regretted (a maid of
honor to Mary Stuart).

17. Count de Mesnard, peer of France, field marshal, first equerry of
the Duchess of Berry, aide-de-camp of the Duke of Bordeaux (Admiral de
Coligny).

18. Marquis de Louvois, peer of France, married to Mademoiselle de
Monaco (Count Gondi de Ritz).

19. The Duke of Richelieu, nephew of the President of the Council of
Ministers of Louis XVIII. (Jacques d'Albon, Marshal of Saint Andre).

20. The Baron de Charette (Francois de Lorraine). He had married a
daughter of the Duke of Berry and of Miss Brown. His son was the
general of the Papal Zouaves.

21. Countess de Pastoret, NEE Neufermeil (the Duchess of Montpensier).

22. The Countess Auguste de Juigne, NEE Durfort de Civrac (Jeanne
d'Albret).

Among the pages were the Duke de Maille, who carried the banner of
France, and Count Maxence de Damas.

Eugene Lamy, at the age of eighty-seven, exhibited in 1887 a charming
water-color, of which the subject was "A Ball under Henry III." He has
the same talent, the same brightness, the same freshness of coloring as
when, fifty-eight years before, he painted the water colors of the Mary
Stuart ball. The Duke de Nemours, one of the last survivors of the
guests of this ball, could recount its splendors. Even in the time of
the old regime no more elegant ball was ever seen. If such a fete had
been given in our time, the detailed accounts of it would fill the
papers; but under the Restoration the press was very sober in the
matter of "society news," and the dazzling ball of 1829 was hardly
mentioned. On the morrow, the Journal des Debats said:--

"PARIS, 2d of March.

"The ball given at the Pavilion Marsan, in the apartments of the
Children of France, was honored by the presence of the King, M. the
Dauphin and Madame the Dauphiness. Mgr. the Duke of Orleans and his
family arrived at eight o'clock.

"Tomorrow there will be a play at the Court Theatre; the actors of the
opera will play La Muette de Portici."

Beside the persons who figure in the album of M. Eugene Lamy many
others were to be noted. Let us mention the Countess Hemi de Biron, the
Marchionness Oudinot, the Countess de Noailles, who represented
Margaret of Savoy, Claude Duchess of Lorraine, the Princess de Conde,
the Princess of Ferrara; the Count A. de Damas, as Lanoue Bras-de-Fer;
Monsieur de San Giacomo, as Francois de' Medici; the Countess de
Montault, as Countess de Coligny; the Marchioness de Montcalm, as the
Duchess de Bouillon; the flower of the English aristocracy,--Lady
Aldborough, Lady Rendlesham, Lady Cambermere, Lady Vernon, Lord
Ramlagh, Captain Drummond, Lord Forwich, Lord Abayne, Miss Caulfuld,
Miss Thelusson, Miss Baring, Miss Acton, and, lastly, the Counts de
Cosse de Biron, and de Brissac, representing the three marshals of
France whose names they bore.

In donning the costume of the unfortunate queen whose sorrows could
only be compared to those of Marie Antoinette, the Duchess of Berry
proved how free her mind was from all gloomy presentiments, forgetting
that the family of the Bourbons had already had its Charles I., and not
foreseeing that it was soon to have its James II., the amiable Princess
hardly suspected that in the course of next year, she would be an exile
in Scotland in the castle of Mary Stuart.



XXV

THE FINE ARTS


From 1824 to the end of the Restoration, the department of the Fine
Arts, connected with the ministry of the King's household, was confided
to the Viscount Sosthenes de la Rochefoucauld, son of the Duke de
Doudeauville. He was then at the head of the museums, the royal
manufactures, the Conservatory and the five royal theatres,--the Opera,
the Francois, the Odeon, the Opera-Comique, and the Italiens.

From the point of view of arts and letters the reign of Charles X. was
illustrious. The King encouraged, protected, pensioned the greater
number of the great writers and artists who honored France. What is
sometimes called in literature the generation of 1830 would be more
exactly described as the generation of the Restoration. This regime can
claim the glory of Lamartine, as poet. A body-guard of Louis XVIII., he
was the singer of royalty. He published, in 1820, the first volume of
his Meditations Poetiques, in 1823 the second, and in 1829 the
Harmonies. His literary success opened to him the doors of diplomacy.
He was successively attache of the Legation at Florence, Secretary of
Embassy at Naples and at London, Charge d'Affaires in Tuscany. When the
Revolution of 1830 broke out, he had just been named Minister
Plenipotentiary to Greece.

Victor Hugo published his Odes et Ballades from 1822 to 1828. "La
Vendee," "Les Vierges de Verdun," "Quiberon," "Louis XVII," "Le
Retablissement de la Statue de Henri IV.," "La Mort du due de Berry,"
"La Naissance du duc de Bordeaux," "Les Funerailles de Louis XVIII.,"
"Le Sacre de Charles X.," are true royalist songs. Alexandre Dumas,
FILS, in receiving M. Leconte de Lisle at the French Academy, recalled
"the light of that little lamp, seen burning every night in the mansard
of the Rue Dragon, at the window of the boy poet, poor, solitary,
indefatigable, enamoured of the ideal, hungry for glory, of that little
lamp, the silent and friendly confidant of his first works and his
first hopes so miraculously realized." Who knows? without the support
of the government of the Restoration the light of that little lamp
might less easily have developed into the resplendent star that the
author of La Dame aux Camelias indicated in the firmament.

The author of Meditations Poetiques and the author of the Odes et
Ballades were sincere in the expression of their political and
religious enthusiasm. These two lyric apostles of the throne and the
altar, these two bards of the coronation, obeyed the double inspiration
of their imagination and their conscience. Party spirit should not be
too severe for a regime that suggested such admirable verses to the two
greatest French poets of the nineteenth century--to Lamartine and to
Victor Hugo.

Let us recall also that in Victor Hugo it was not only the royalist
poet that Charles X. protected, it was also the chief of the romantic
school; for the government, despite all the efforts of the classicists,
caused Hernani to be represented at the Francais, a subsidized theatre.
When the Academy pressed its complaint to the very throne to prevent
the acceptance of the play, the King replied wittily that he claimed no
right in the matter beyond his place in the parterre. The first
representation of Hernani took place the 25th of February, 1830, and
the author, decorated, pensioned, encouraged by Charles X., did not
lose the royal favor, when, on the 9th of March following, he wrote in
the preface of his work: "Romanticism, so often ill-defined, is
nothing, taking it all in all--and this is its true definition, if only
its militant side be regarded--but liberalism in literature. The
principle of literary liberty, already understood by the thinking and
reading world, is not less completely adopted by that immense crowd,
eager for the pure emotions of art, that throngs the theatres of Paris
every night. That lofty and puissant voice of the people, which is like
that of God, writes that poetry henceforth shall have the same matter
as politics! Toleration and liberty!"

The first representation of a work that was a great step forward for
the romantic school, Henri III et sa Cour, by Alexandre Dumas, had
already taken place at the Francais, February 11, 1829. The 30th of
March, 1830, the Odeon gave Christine de Suede, by the same author.

In 1829, Alfred de Vigny had represented at the Francais his
translation in verse of Othello. It was from 1824 to 1826 that the poet
published his principal poems. It was in 1826 that his romance of
Cinq-Mars appeared. Victor Hugo published Les Orientates in 1829;
Alfred de Musset, Les Contes d'Espagne et d'Italie in 1830. It may be
said then that before the Revolution of 1830, romanticism had reached
its complete expansion.

Note, also, that the government of Charles X. always respected the
independence of writers and artists, and never asked for eulogies in
exchange for the pensions and encouragement it accorded them with
generous delicacy. It named Michelet Maitre de Conferences at the Ecole
Normale in 1826. It pensioned Casimir Delavigne, so well known for his
liberal opinions, and Augustin Thierry, a writer of the Opposition,
when that great historian, having lost his eyesight, was without
resources. It ordered of Horace Vernet the portraits of the King, the
Duke of Berry, and the Duke of Angouleme, as well as a picture
representing a "Review by Charles X. at the Champ-de-Mars," and named
the painter of the battles of the Revolution and the Empire director of
the School of Rome.

From the point of view of painting as well as of letters, the
Eestoration was a grand epoch. Official encouragement was not wanting
to the painters. Gros and Gerard received the title of Baron. There may
be seen to-day in one of the new halls of the French School at the
Louvre, the pretty picture by Heim, which represents Charles X.
distributing the prizes for the Exposition of 1824, where Le Vaeu de
Louis XIII. by Ingres had figured, and where the talent of Paul
Delaroche had been disclosed. In the Salon Carre of the Louvre, the
King, in the uniform of general-in-chief of the National Guards, blue
coat with plaits of silver, with the cordon of the Saint Esprit, and in
high boots, himself hands the cross of the Legion of Honor to the
decorated artists, among whom is seen Heim, the author of the picture.

Ingres, chief of the Classic School, and Delacroix, chief of the
Romantic School, shone at the same time. In 1827, the first submitted
to general admiration l'Apotheose d'Homere and Le Martyre de Saint
Symphorien. The same year Delacroix, who had already given in 1824 Le
Massacre de Scio, in 1826 La Mort du Doge Mariano Faliero, exhibited LE
Christ au Jardin des Oliviers, acquired for the Church of Saint Paul;
Justinien,--for the Council of State; and La Mort de Sardanapale.

When the Musee Charles X. (the Egyptian Museum) was opened at the
Louvre, the government ordered the frescoes and ceilings from Gros,
Gerard, Ingres, Schnetz, Abel de Pujol. M. Jules Mareschal says:--

"The right-royal munificence of Charles X. was not marked by
niggardliness in the appreciation of works of art any more than in the
appreciation of the works of science and letters. But, as is known, it
is not by interest alone that the heart of the artist is gained and his
zeal stimulated. They are far more sensitive to the esteem shown them,
to the respect with which their art is surrounded, and to the taste
manifested in the judgment of their productions. Now, who more than
Louis XVIII. and Charles X. possessed the secret of awakening lively
sympathy in the world of artists and men of letters? Who better than
their worthy counsellor seconded them in the impulses of generous
courtesy so common with them? Thus from this noble and gracious manner
of treating men devoted to art and letters, which marked the royal
administration of the Fine Arts under the Restoration, sprang an
emulation and a good will which on all sides gave an impetus to genius,
and brought forth the new talents."

In theatrical matters, the Viscount Sosthenes de La Rochefoucauld
exercised a salutary influence. He loved artists, and wishing to raise
their situation, moral and social, he deplored the excommunication that
had been laid on the players.

Speaking of the stage, he wrote in a report addressed to Charles X.,
June 20,1825: "I perceive that I have forgotten the most essential
side,--the moral, I will even say the religious side. What glory it
would be for a king to raise this considerable class of society from
the abject situation in which it is compelled to live! Sacrificed to
our pleasures, it has been condemned to eternal death, and a king
believes his conscience quiet! For a long time I have cherished this
thought; we must begin by elevating these people, as regards their art,
by reforming, little by little, the swarming abuses that awaken horror,
and end by treating with Rome in order to obtain some just concessions
that would have important results."

In another report to the King, dated October 21, 1826, M. de La
Rochefoucauld wrote, apropos of the obsequies of Talma:--

"A profound regret for me is the manner of the great tragedian's death.
Sire, would it not be worthy of the reign, the breast, the conscience
of Charles X., to draw this class of artists from the cruel position in
which they are left by that excommunication that weighs upon them
without distinction? Whether they conduct themselves well or ill, the
Church repels them; this reprobation holds them perforce in the sphere
of evil and disorder, since they have no interest in rising above it.
Honor them, and they will honor themselves. It is time to undertake the
reform of what I call a pernicious prejudice. The clergy itself is not
far from agreeing on these ideas."

In his relations with authors, artists, directors of theatres, the
Viscount was courtesy itself. We read in one of his reports (June 17,
1825):--

"Rossini is the first composer of Europe; I have succeeded in
attracting him to the service of France; he had before been tempted in
vain. Jealous of his success, people have cried out that he was an
idler, that he would do nothing. I secured him by the methods and in
the interest of the King; I can do with him as I will, as with all the
artists, though they are most difficult people. They must be taken
through the heart. Rossini has just composed a really ravishing piece;
and, touched by the manner in which he is treated, he wishes to present
it to the King in token of his gratitude, and wishes to receive
nothing. He is right, but the King cannot accept gratis so fine a
present; I propose that the King grant him the cross of the Legion of
Honor and announce it himself to him to-morrow--which would be an act
full of grace. All favors must come always from the King."

Great tenacity was needed in the government of Charles X. to get the
Chefs-d'Oeuvre of Rossini represented at the Opera. A little school of
petty and backward ideas rushed, under pretext of patriotism, but
really from jealousy, systematically to drive from the stage everything
not French. For this coterie Rossini and Meyerbeer were suspects,
intruders, who must be repulsed at any cost. The government had the
good sense to take no account of this ridiculous opposition, which
refused to recognize that art should be cosmopolitan. Before seeing his
name on the bills of our first lyric stage, Rossini required no less
than nine years of patience. All Europe applauded him, but at Paris he
had to face the fire of pamphleteers rendered furious by his fame. The
government finally forced the Opera to mount Le Siege de Corinthe. Its
success was so striking that the evening of the first representation
(October 9, 1826), the public made almost a riot for half an hour,
because Rossini, called loudly by an enthusiastic crowd, refused to
appear upon the stage.

The maestro gave at the Opera Moise, March 26, 1826; Le Comte Ory,
August 20, 1828; Guillaume Tell, August 20, 1829. (At this time the
first representations of the most important works took place in
midsummer.) The evening of the first night of Guillaume Tell, the
orchestra went, after the opera, to give a serenade under the windows
of the composer, who occupied the house on the Boulevard Montmartre,
through which the Passage Jouffroy has since been cut. The 10th of
February, 1868, on the occasion of the hundredth representation of the
same work, there was a repetition of the serenade of 1829. The master
then lived in the Rue Chaussee d'Antin, No. 2. Under his windows the
orchestra and chorus of the opera commenced the concert about half an
hour after midnight, by the light of torches, and Faure sang the solos.

The government which secured the representation of Guillaume Tell was
not afraid of the words "independence" and "liberty." A year and a half
before, the 20th of February, 1828, there had been given at the Opera
the chef-d'oeuvre of Auber, La Muette de Portici, and the Duchess of
Berry, a Neapolitan princess, had applauded the Naples Revolution put
into music.

The government of Charles X. protected Meyerbeer as well as Rossini.
Robert le Diable was only played under the reign of Louis Philippe, but
the work had already been received under the Restoration.

During the reign of Charles X. the fine royal theatres reached the
height of their splendor: the Francais and the Odeon were installed in
their present quarters; the Opera in the hall of the Rue La Peletier,
excellent as to acoustics and proportions; the Italiens in the Salle
Favart (where they remained from 1825 to 1838); the Opera Comique in
the Salle Feydeau, until the month of April, 1829, when it inaugurated
the Salle Ventadour. Talma, Mademoiselle Duchesnoir, Mademoiselle Mars,
triumphed at the Francais; Mademoiselle Georges, at the Odeon; Nourrit,
Levasseur, Madame Damoreau, Taglioni, at the Opera; Sontag, Pasta,
Malibran, and Rubini at the Italiens.

The Viscount de la Rochefoucauld wished in every way to raise the moral
level of the theatre. He forbade subscribers, even the most
influential, the entree behind the scenes of the Opera, because these
persons had not always preserved there the desirable decorum. Thence
arose rancor and spite, against which he had to contend during his
entire administration. He wrote to the King, July 29, 1828:--

"A cabal is formed to deprive me of the direction of the theatres; and
by whom and for what? It is a struggle, Sire, between good and evil. It
is sought to maintain, at any cost, the abuses I have dared to reform.
They throw a thousand unjust obstacles in my way. Gamblers are mixed up
in it too; they wish to join this ignoble industry and the theatres. It
is a monstrous infamy. The opera must be reached at all hazards, the
coulisses must be entered; these are the abuses that must be revived.
How can it be done? By removing the theatres from troublesome authority
... Sire, Your Majesty shall decide, and must defend me with a firm
will in the interest, I venture to declare, of order; you must defend
yourself also in the interest of morals and of art, and of a great
influence of which it is sought to deprive you."

M. de La Rochefoucauld had the last word, and remained at the head of
the direction of the Fine Arts until the close of the Restoration. To
the credit of his administration there must still be added the creation
of the school of religious music, directed by Choron, and the
foundation of the concerts of the conservatory with Habeneck, and a
little against the wishes of Cherubini. The chefs-d'oeuvre of German
music were brought out as well as those of Italian music. The Viscount
performed his task con amore, as they say on the other side of the
Alps. He wrote to Charles X. January 12, 1830:--

"How many reflections must have come to the King on regarding the
picture of the Coronation! I divined the thought that he did not
complete, and my eyes filled with tears. Oh, how much I feel and
imagine all the ennui given to the King by these barren and unfortunate
politics! I detest them more even than the King detests them.
Ungrateful offspring of the times, they fly away, rarely leaving even a
memory. How much I prefer the arts!"

This was also the feeling of the Duchess of Berry, who, during all the
Restoration, fled from surly politics to live in the region, radiant
and sacred, of art and charity. The taste of this Italian lady for
painting and music was a veritable passion. She was forever to be found
in the museums, the expositions, the theatres. She caught the melodies
by heart and was always interested in new works. An expert, a
dilletante, was no better judge of pictures and operas; the great
artists who shone in the reign of Charles X. received from the amiable
Princess the most precious encouragements. Nor did she forget to
encourage the efforts of beginners. "Who, then," she said, "would buy
the works of these poor young people, if I did not?"



XXVI

THE THEATRE OF MADAME


One of the most agreeable theatres of Paris, the Gymnase, owed its
prosperity, not to say its existence, to the high protection of Madame
the Duchess of Berry. Our old men recall its vogue, at the time when
they used to applaud Ferville, Gontier, Numa, Leontine Fay, Jenny
Verspre, and when they used to gaze at the greatest ladies of the
court, the most fashionable beauties; and they remember that on its
facade, from the month of September, 1824, to the Revolution of 1830,
there was this inscription in letters of gold: "Theatre de Madame."
Placed under the patronage of the Princess, this fortunate theatre was
a meeting-place of the most elegant society of Paris. It had the same
audiences as the Opera and the Italiens, and they enjoyed themselves as
much in the entr'actes as during the acts. The spectacle was in the
hall as well as on the stage.

The origin of the Gymnase goes back to 1820. According to the privilege
accorded to the new stage under the Decazes ministry, it was to be only
a gymnase composed of the young pupils of the Conservatoire, and other
dramatic and lyric schools, and was authorized only to present
fragments from the various repertories. But from the beginning it
transgressed the limits set for it. Not content with simple pupils, it
engaged actors already well known. In place of borrowing debris of the
repertories of other theatres, it created one of its own. At first the
authorities shut their eyes. But when M. de Corbiere became Minister of
the Interior, he tried to enforce the regulations and to compel the new
theatre to confine itself to the limits of its privilege. The Gymnase
asked for time, was very meek, prayed, supplicated. It would have
succumbed, however, but for the intervention of the Duchess of Berry.
Scribe composed for the apartments of the Tuileries a vaudeville,
called La Rosiere, in which he invoked the Princess as protectress, as
a beneficent fairy. She turned aside the fulminations of M. de
Corbiere. The minister was obstinate; he wished the last word; but the
Princess finally carried the day. The day after he had addressed to the
director of the Gymnase a warning letter, he was amazed to hear the
Duchess of Berry say: "I hope, Monsieur, that you will not torment the
Gymnase any longer, for, henceforth, it will bear my name."

The minister yielded. The Gymnase was saved. It kept its company, its
repertory; it gained the right to give new pieces. From the first days
of September, 1824, it took the name of Madame the Duchess of Berry.
After the death of Louis XVIII., the 16th of that month, the Duchess of
Angouleme having replaced her title of Madame by that of Dauphiness,
and the Duchess of Berry taking the former, the Gymnase was called the
Theatre de Madame.

The programme of the Gymnase was constantly being renewed. Scribe,
whose verve was inexhaustible, wrote for this theatre alone nearly one
hundred and fifty pieces. It is true that he had
collaborators,--Germain Delavigne, Dupin, Melesville, Brazier, Varner,
Carmouche, Bayard, etc. It was to them that he wrote, in the dedication
of the edition of his works:--

"To my collaborators: My dear friends, I have often been reproached for
the number of my collaborators; for myself, who am happy to count among
them only friends, I regret, on the contrary, that I have not more of
them. I am often asked why I have not worked alone. To this I will
reply that I have probably neither the wit nor the talent for that; but
if I had had them I should still have preferred our literary fraternity
and alliance. The few works I have produced alone have been to me a
labor; those I have produced with you have been a pleasure."

Eugene Scribe was born December 25, 1791, at Paris, Rue Saint-Denis,
near the Marche des Innocents. His father, whom he lost early, kept a
silk store, at the sign of the Chat Noir, where he had made a
considerable fortune. Eugene commenced his career as a dramatic writer
in 1811. From that time to his death (February 20, 1861), he composed
alone, or with associates, and had represented on the various stages of
Paris, more than four hundred plays. M. Vitel said, at the reception of
M. Octave Feuillet, at the French Academy, March 26, 1863:--

"There was in Scribe a powerful and truly superior faculty, that
assured to him and explained to me his supremacy in the theatre of his
day. It was a gift of dramatic invention that perhaps no one before him
has possessed; the gift of discovering at every step, almost apropos of
nothing, theatrical combinations of a novel and striking effect; and of
discovering them, not in the germ only, or barely sketched, but in
relief, in action, and already on the stage. In the time needed by his
confreres to prepare a plot, he would finish four, and he never secured
this prodigious fecundity at the expense of originality. It is in no
commonplace mould that his creations are cast. There is not one of his
works that has not at least its grain of novelty."

On his part, M. Octave Feuillet, a master in things theatrical, said in
his reception discourse:--

"One of the most difficult arts in the domain of literary invention, is
that of charming the imagination without unsettling it, of touching the
heart without troubling it, of amusing men without corrupting them;
this was the supreme art of Scribe."

They are very pretty, very alert, very French, these plays of the
Theatre de Madame. They have aged less than many pretentious works that
have aimed at immortality. There is hardly one of them without its
ingenious idea, something truly scenic. We often see amateurs seeking
pieces to play in the salons; let them draw from this repertory; they
will have but an embarrassment of choice among plays always amusing and
always in good form.

Scribe said, in his reception discourse at the French Academy (January
28, 1836):--

"It happens, by a curious fatality, that the stage and society are
almost always in direct contradiction. Take the period of the Regency.
If comedy were the constant expression of society, the comedy of that
time must have offered us strong license or joyous Saturnalia. Nothing
of the sort; it is cold, correct, pretentious, but decent. In the
Revolution, during its most horrible periods, when tragedy, as was
said, ran the streets, what were the theatres offering you? Scenes of
humanity, of beneficence, of sentimentality; in January, 1793, during
the trial of Louis XVI., La Belle Fermiere, a rural and sentimental
play; under the Empire, the reign of glory and conquest, the drama was
neither warlike nor exultant; under the Restoration, a pacific
government, the stage was invaded by lancers, warriors, and military
costumes; Thalia wore epaulettes. The theatre is rarely the expression
of society; it is often the opposite."

Scribe was an exception to the rule thus laid down by him. The Theatre
de Madame is an exact painting of the manners, the ideas, the language
of the Parisian bourgeoisie in the reign of Charles X. Villemain was
right in saying to Scribe, on receiving him at the Academy:--

"The secret of your success with the theatre lies in having happily
seized the spirit of your century and in making the sort of comedies to
which it is best adapted and which most resemble it."

The world that the amiable and ingenious author excels in representing,
is that of finance and the middle classes; it is the society of the
Chaussee d'Antin, rather than that of the Faubourg Saint Germain. His
Gymnase repertory is of the Left Centre, the juste milieu, nearer the
National Guard than the royal guard. The protege of Madame the Duchess
of Berry never flattered the ultras. There is not in his plays a single
line that is a concession to their arrogance or their rancor; not a
single phrase, not one word, that shows the least trace of the
prejudices of the old regime; not one idea that could offend the most
susceptible liberal. It is animated by the spirit of conciliation and
pacification. We insist on this point because we see in it a proof that
a Princess who took under her protection a kind of literature so
essentially modern and bourgeois, never thought of reviving a past
destroyed forever.

The 28th of June, 1828, when the struggles of the liberals and the
ultras were so heated, Eugene Scribe, in connection with M. de
Rougemont, wrote for the Gymnase a piece entitled Avant, Pendant,
Apres, historical sketches in three parts. Avant was a critique of the
view of the old regime; Pendant, a critique of those of the Revolution;
Apres an appeal for harmony under the Charter and liberty. This piece
seems to us very curious, as a true programme, a faithful reflection of
the ideas of the haute bourgeoisie of Paris a little before 1830.

The principal personage is a great liberal noble, the General Count de
Surgy, who has served gloriously in the armies of the Republic and of
the Empire, and at the close is named as deputy to represent an
intelligent and wise royalism. By the side of the General is a certain
Viscount, who has lived in a savage island since the wreck of La
Perouse, and who, more royalist than the King, finds himself among
strangers and is utterly dumfounded on beholding the new France. Let us
cite some fragments of this piece in which there is more acuteness,
more observation, more truth, than in many of the studies called
psychologic or historic:--

"THE GENERAL. Ah, do not confuse Liberty with the excesses committed in
her name. Liberty, as we understand her, is the friend of order and
duty; she protects all rights. She wishes laws, institutions, not
scaffolds.

THE MARQUIS. Alas! of what service to you are your courage and your
wise opinions? You are denounced, reduced as I am, to hiding, after
shedding your blood for them.

THE GENERAL. Not for them but for France. The honor of our country took
refuge in the armies, and I followed it there. I have done a little
good; I have hindered much evil, and if the choice were still mine, I
should follow the same route.

A VOICE (in the street). A great conspiracy discovered by the Committee
of Public Safety.

THE GENERAL. Still new victims.

THE MARQUIS. They who did not respect the virtues of Malesherbes, the
talents of Lavoisier, the youth of Barnave, will they recoil from one
crime more?

THE GENERAL. Decent people will get weary of having courage only to
die. France will reawaken, stronger and more united, for misfortune
draws to each other all ranks, all parties; and already you see that
we, formerly so divided, are understanding each other better at last,
and love each other more than ever.

THE MARQUIS (throwing himself into the General's arms). Ah, you speak
truly."

This scene passes in the midst of the Terror. The conclusion, the moral
of the piece, is as follows:--

"THE GENERAL. My friends, my fellow-citizens, we who, after so many
storms have finally reached port, and who, under the shelter of the
throne and the laws, taste that wise and moderate liberty which has
been the object of our desires for forty years; let us guard it well,
it has cost us dear. Always united, let us no longer think of the evil
done, let us see only the good that is, let us put away sad memories,
and let us all say, in the new France, 'Union and forgiveness.'"

Among the spectators more than one could recognize himself in the
personages of the piece. But the allusions were so nicely made that no
one could be offended. Liberals and ultras could, on the contrary,
profit by the excellent counsels given them in the little play of the
Theatre de Madame.

Let us add, moreover, that Scribe never wished to be anything but a man
of letters. There could be applied to him the words said by him of his
confrere, friend, and nephew, Bayard:--

"A stranger to all parties, he speculated on no revolution; he
flattered no one in power, not even those he loved. He solicited no
honors, no places, no pension. He asked nothing of any one but himself.
He owed to his talent and his labor his honor and his independence."

The device chosen by Scribe is a pen, above which is the motto: Inde
fortuna et libertas. The Duchess of Berry knew how to understand and
appreciate this man of wit and good sense. For his part, Scribe avowed
for the Princess a sentiment of gratitude that he never falsified. When
the days of ill fortune came for her, he journeyed to bear his homage
to her upon a foreign soil.



XXVII

DIEPPE


Dieppe has not forgotten the benefits received from the Duchess of
Berry. It was this amiable Princess that made fashionable the pretty
Normandy city and made it the most elegant bathing resort of Europe.
She made five visits there, of several weeks each, in 1824, 1825, 1826,
1827, and 1829.

The Duchess came for the first time to Dieppe some time before the
death of Louis XVIII. She arrived the 29th of July, and left the 23d of
August. She conceived immediately a passion for the picturesque town,
as famous for its fine beach as for its smiling environs. The
enthusiasm manifested for her by the inhabitants touched her. She said
to the mayor: "Henri IV. was right when he called the Dieppois his good
friends. I shall imitate my ancestor in his love for them."

The next year--the year of the coronation--Madame returned to her
favorite city. She arrived there the 2d of August, 1825. More than
twenty thousand persons were awaiting her at the boundary of the
district, and her entry was triumphal. The 6th of August, the actors of
the Gymnase, come from Paris, gave a theatrical representation in her
honor.

Madame made many excursions by sea. There was on her boat a tent of
crimson silk, above which floated the white flag. The little flotilla
of the royal navy had manoeuvres in her honor, and saluted her with
salvos of artillery. The 10th of September, the Princess made an
excursion to Bacqueville, where there awaited her a numerous cortege of
Cauchois women, all on horseback, in the costume of the country. The
12th, she breakfasted in the ship Le Rodeur, and a recently constructed
merchant vessel was launched in her presence. She departed the 14th,
promising to return the following year.

Accordingly, Madame left Paris for Dieppe the 7th of August, 1826. The
morrow of her arrival, she assisted at the inauguration of a new
playhouse that had been built within six months. The mayor presented
the Princess with some keys, artistically worked--the keys to her loge
and to her salon. The prologue of the opening piece, entitled La Poste
Royale, was filled with delicate allusions and compliments. The 17th of
August, there was a performance offered by Madame to the sailors and
soldiers of the garrison. From his place in the parterre a subordinate
of the 64th regiment of the line sang, in honor of the Princess, some
couplets expressing the sentiments of his comrades.

The 19th, there was a visit to the ruins of the Chateau of Arques,
immortalized by the victory of Henry IV. An agreeable surprise for
Madame was a comedy for the occasion improvised by the actors of the
Vaudeville. When the Princess presents herself before the Chateau, a
little peasant girl at first refuses her admittance. She has received
orders, she says, from her father and mother to open to no one, no
matter whom. But the air Vive Henri IV. is heard, and straightway both
doors are opened wide to the Princess. An old concierge and his wife
sing piquant verses about their first refusal to open to her. From here
Madame is guided by the little peasant girl to the entrance of an
ancient garden, where she perceives the whole troupe in the costume of
gardeners and garden girls. She is offered bouquets and escorted to a
dairy at the extremity of the ruins. The band of the guard plays for
her her favorite air, Charmante Gabrielle. A young milk-maid--the
pretty actress Jenny Colon--offers her a cup of milk and sings couplets
that please her greatly. Then comes the husband of the dairy-maid and
recounts to the grand-daughter of Henry IV. the victory won by her
ancestor over the Duke of Mayenne. A little later, Madame is conducted
to the foot of an ancient tower, whence there is a view of immense
extent. Here she is arrested by the songs of an ancient minstrel, whose
voice is accompanied by mysterious music hidden in the hollows of the
ruins.

Going from surprise to surprise, the Princess trav erses a long arch of
verdure where she reads on escutcheons the dates dear to her heart. At
the end of this long avenue, she again finds the entire troupe of the
Vaudeville, who re-escort her to the gates of Chateau, singing a
general chorus of farewell, amid cries of "Long live the King! Long
live Madame!" the effect of which is doubled by repeated salutes of
artillery.

Some days later, the 7th of September, the Duchess of Berry learned,
during the day, that a frightful tempest threatened to engulf a great
number of fishing-boats which were coming toward port. Instantly she
countermanded a ball that she was to give that evening. She proceeded
in all haste to the point whence aid could be given to these
unfortunates. Clinging to a little post on the jetty, which the waves
covered from all sides, she directed and encouraged the rescue. The
Dieppe correspondence of the Moniteur said:--

"What has been seen at Dieppe alone, is a young Princess, braving all
the dangers of a wild sea, re maining on the end of the jetty to direct
the succor of the fishing-boats that were seeking refuge in the harbor.
She seemed placed there by the Deity as a protecting angel, and the
sailors who saw her took courage again."

She withdrew from the dangerous place, which she called her post, only
when all the barks had entered port. One man only had perished. Before
even changing her clothing the Princess sent relief to his widow.

By her kindness, her charity, her grace, Madame won all hearts. Her
protection revived at Dieppe the commerce in ivory and laces. She gave
two brevets, one in her own name, the other in that of Mademoiselle, to
the best two manufacturers in the city, and made considerable
purchases. She founded at her expense, under the direction of the
Sisters of Providence, a manufactory of laces where a large number of
young girls obtained at the same time the means of living and the
benefits of a Christian education. Between the Princess and her good
city of Dieppe there was a constant exchange of delicate attentions and
proofs of sympathy. When she was spoken to of preparations for
departure, "Already?" she said sadly. She left the 19th of September,
1826, and returned the following year.

The 6th of August, 1827, Madame made an entry to Dieppe by the hamlet
of Janval. A great crowd went to visit her, and greeted her with
enthusiastic cheers. The 13th of August, the city offered her a great
ball, at which more than twelve hundred persons attended. On the 16th,
the portrait of the Princess was unveiled at the Hotel de Ville. At the
moment that the veil was raised, the band of the fifth regiment of the
royal guard played the air of Vive Henri IV. amid long applause. The
mayor of Dieppe, M. Cavalier, pronounced a discourse in which he
expressed the gratitude of the inhabitants, and promised that the
cherished image should be surrounded, age after age, by the veneration
of a city whose history was one of constant devotion to its Kings. In
the evening Madame gave a soiree at which the hereditary Princess of
Hesse-Darmstadt was present. Rossini was at the piano and sang with his
wife and with Balfe; Nadermann played the harp.

The Duchess of Berry made numerous excursions by sea, even in the worst
weather. One day, at least, she was in some danger. The sailors admired
her good spirits and her courage. "Oh," they said, "she is indeed a
worthy descendant of Henry IV."

The 4th of September, 1827, Mademoiselle, with her governess, the
Duchess of Gontaut, came to join her mother at Dieppe. The little
Princess was to be eight years old the 21st of the month. A formal
reception was given her. Her arrival was announced by the noise of
cannon and the sound of bells. The Baron de Viel-Castel, sub-prefect of
the city, made a complimentary address to her. She responded in the
most gracious manner, "I know how much you love my mother, and I loved
you in advance."

Madame, who had gone to meet her daughter at Osmonville, three leagues
from Dieppe, took her in her carriage. The horses proceeded at a walk,
and the people never wearied of admiring the gentle little Princess. On
the morrow, Madame received the homage of the functionaries. The mayor
said to her: "Your Royal Highness is in a country filled with your
ancestors, in a city honored by Henry IV. with special benevolence,
which Louis XIV. rewarded for its fidelity by calling it 'his good
city,' which your august aunt, Madame the Dauphiness, deigned to choose
for her return to France, and which received her, triumphant and
adored."

An elegant breakfast service in ivory, with her arms, was presented to
Mademoiselle by a group of very young people. She next received a
deputation of the fisherwomen of Du Polet, the faubourg of Dieppe. They
came in their picturesque costumes,--a skirt falling a little below the
knee, men's buckled shoes, a striped apron of white and red, an
enormous head-dress, with broad tabs, and great ear-rings. They sang
couplets expressing a lively attachment to the family of the Bourbons.
In their enthusiasm they asked and obtained leave to kiss the little
Princess.

On the 6th of September, there was a fete at the ruins of the Castle of
Arques. From seven in the morning the crowd gathered on the hillside of
Saint Etienne, at the edge of the coast between Martin-Eglise and the
village of Arques. It is a magnificent site, which, towering above the
valley, is surrounded on all sides by grim hill-slopes, while in the
distance is the sea, along the edge of which extends the city of
Dieppe, like a majestic dike. A mimic battle took place in the presence
of Madame and her daughter, on the ground where Henry IV. had delivered
the famous battle of September 21, 1589. Numerous strokes on the flags
of different colors indicated the lines of the Bearnais, and
circumscribed the enceinte occupied by his troops. An obelisk had been
placed at the highest point of this sort of entrenched camp; in the
centre was a post tent, under which a rich breakfast had been prepared
for the two princesses. During the repast, both put their names to a
subscription to erect a monument commemorating the victory of their
ancestor.

The 14th of September, the city offered a ball to Madame and
Mademoiselle. The little Princess danced two quadrilles. The 15th, she
offered lunch to a great number of children of her own age, and
afterward went with them to the theatre. The 18th, at the close of the
play, some scenes were represented before Madame, mingled with verses,
expressing the regret of the city at the near departure of Madame. The
next day, the Princess and her daughter left Dieppe, between double
lines of troops and National Guards.

The journey of the Duchess of Berry in the West, in 1828, prevented her
from going that year to Dieppe. She came in 1829, but it was for the
last time. She arrived the 6th of August, with her daughter. The next
day she danced at a subscription ball given by the city and by the
visitors to the baths; the 8th she received a visit from the
Dauphiness, who passed three days with her.

For every fete there was a corresponding good work. The Princess said:
"I wish that while I am enjoying myself the poor may also have their
share." The 18th of August, she visited the bazaar opened for the
benefit of the indigent. Mademoiselle had conceived the idea of writing
her name on little objects of painted wood, which were bid for at their
weight in gold. The 24th, Madame gave a concert, at which the Sontag
sisters were heard and some stanzas of the Viscount of Castel-bajac
were recited. The 25th, the city offered a ball to Mademoiselle, at
which the grace of the little Princess, her tact, and her precocious
amiability, excited surprise. The 9th of September, the inauguration of
the monument commemorative of the victory of Henry IV. took place in
the presence of Madame and her daughter. It was a column indicating the
point where the army of Mayenne debouched to surround the King's
troops, when, the fog rising, the artillery of the castle could be
brought into play, and threw into disorder the ranks of the Leaguers.
The inauguration interested the Duchess much. The troops of the line
and the National Guard had established bivouacs where the princesses
read with joy such inscriptions as these: "The young Henry will find
again the arquebusiers of Henry IV.--The flag of the 12th will always
rally to the white plume!--Two Henrys--one love, one devotion."

A table of forty covers had been arranged under a pavilion draped with
flags. After the repast Madame and Mademoiselle danced several
quadrilles on the grass. The fete was charming. An expression of joy
was depicted on every face.

At the time of her various sojourns at Dieppe, the Duchess of Berry
went to visit the Orleans family at the Chateau d'Eu, She manifested
toward her aunt, Marie-Amelie, the liveliest affection, and had no
courtier more amiable and assiduous than the young Duke of Chartres,
whom, it is said, she wished to have as husband for Mademoiselle. The
9th of September, she had been at the baptismal font, with the Duke of
Angouleme, the Duke of Montpensier, the latest son of the Duke of
Orleans. She was very fond of her god-son, and nothing was more
agreeable to her than a reunion at the Chateau d'Eu, where Mademoiselle
was always happy, playing with her young cousins.

The Duchess of Berry and her daughter returned to Saint Cloud the 16th
of September, 1829. On leaving, Mademoiselle said to the Dieppois: "My
friends, I will come back next year, and I will bring you my brother."
Neither she nor her mother was to return.



XXVIII

THE PRINCE DE POLIGNAC


At the very moment that the Duchess of Berry, happy and smiling, was
tranquilly taking the sea-baths at Dieppe, an event occurred at Paris
that was the signal for catastrophes. The 9th of August, 1829, the
Moniteur published the decree constituting the cabinet, in which were
included the Prince de Polignac as Minister of Foreign Affairs; Count
de La Bourdonnaye as Minister of the Interior; and as Minister of War,
the General Count de Bourmont. The next day the Debats said:--

"So here is once more broken the bond of love and confidence that was
uniting the people to the Monarch. Here once again are the court with
its old rancors, the Emigration with its prejudices, the priesthood
with its hatred of liberty, coming to throw themselves between France
and her King. What she has conquered by forty years of travail and
misfortune is taken from her; what she repels with all the force of her
will, all the energy of her deepest desires, is violently imposed upon
her. Ill-fated France! Ill-fated King!"

The 15th of August the Debats reached a paroxysm of fury:--

"If from all the battle-fields of Europe where our Grand Army has left
its members, if from Belgium, where it left the last fragments of its
body, and from the place where Marshal Ney fell shot, there arise cries
of anger that resound in our hearts, if the column of the Grand Army
seems to tremble through all its bronze battalions, whose is the fault?
No, no; nothing is lacking in this ministry of the counter-Revolution.
Waterloo is represented. ... M. de Polignac represents in it the ideas
of the first Emigration, the ideas of Coblenz; M. de La Bourdonnaye the
faction of 1815 with its murderous friendships, its law of
proscription, and its clientele of southern massacres. Coblenz,
Waterloo, 1815, these are the three personages of the ministry. Turn it
how you will, every side dismays. Every side angers. It has no aspect
that is not sinister, no face that is not menacing. Take our hatreds of
thirty years ago, our sorrows and our fears of fifteen years ago, all
are there, all have joined to insult and irritate France. Squeeze,
wring this ministry, it drips only humiliations, misfortunes, dangers."

The Abbe Vedrenne, historian of Charles X., wrote:--

"How is the language of the writers of the Debats, who called
themselves royalists, to be understood? Was not Charles X. at Coblenz?
Did not Chateaubriand emigrate with the King and the princes? Did he
not follow Louis XVIII. to Ghent? Was he not in his council at the very
hour of the battle of Waterloo? They might as well have stigmatized the
white flag and demanded the proscription of the King's dynasty. But
such was their blindness that they feared nothing for it. 'The throne
runs no risk,' said Chateaubriand, 'let us tremble for liberty only.'
Yet the nomination of the Polignac ministry was an error. It appeared
to be a provocation, a sort of defiance. Charles X. doubtless only
wished to defend himself, but in choosing such ministers at such an
hour, he appeared to be willing to attack."

From the debut of the new cabinet, the Opposition, to use a recent
expression, showed itself irreconcilable. It raised a long cry of
anger, and declared war to the death on Prince Polignac.

"It is in vain," said the Debats, "that the ministers demand of Time to
efface with a sweep of his wing their days, their actions, their
thoughts, of yesterday; these live for them, as for us. The shadow of
their past goes before them and traces their route. They cannot turn
aside; they must march; they must advance.--But I wish to turn
back.--You cannot.--But I shall support liberty, the Charter, the
Opposition.--You cannot. March, then, march, under the spur of
necessity, to the abyss of Coups d'Etat! March! Your life has judged
and condemned you. Your destiny is accomplished."

The man who excited hatreds so violent was Jules de Polignac. He was
born at Versailles, May 14, 1780. As the German historian, Gervinus,
has said: "His past weighed upon him like a lash of political
interdict. He was the son of the Duchess of Polignac, who had been the
object of so many calumnies, and who had never been pardoned for the
intimate friendship with which she was honored by the unfortunate
queen, Marie Antoinette, a friendship that had evoked against her,
first all the jealousies of the envious courtiers, and then all the
aversion of the people. It was believed that a like favoritism could be
recognized in the relations of the son of the Duchess with Charles X.
To this unpopularity, inherited from his mother, was joined another
that was directed against the person of the emigre."

After having been one of the courtiers of the little court at Coblenz,
he had taken service for some time in Russia, and then passed into
England, where he had been one of the most intimate confidants, and one
of the most active agents of the Count d'Artois. Sent secretly into
France, with his elder brother, the Duke Armand de Polignac, he was,
like the latter, compromised in the Cadoudal conspiracy. Their trial is
remarkable for the noble strife of devotion, in which each of the
brothers pleaded the cause of the other at the expense of his own.
Armand was condemned to death. His wife threw herself at the feet of
the First Consul, who, thanks to the intercession of Josephine,
commuted the penalty of death to perpetual confinement. Jules was
condemned to prison, and shared the captivity of his brother. Confined
at first in the castle of Ham, then in the Temple, then at Vincennes,
they obtained, at the time of the marriage of Napoleon with Marie
Louise, their transfer to a hospital. There they knew the General
Mallet, but the part they were suspected of taking in his conspiracy
was never proven. When the allied armies entered France, they succeeded
in escaping, and rejoined the Count d'Artois at Vesoul. They penetrated
to Paris some days before the capitulation, and displayed the white
flag there the 3d of March, 1814.

Peer of France, field-marshal, ambassador, the Prince Jules de Polignac
was one of the favorites of the Restoration. On the proposition of M.
de Chateaubriand, then Minister of Foreign Affairs, he had him named,
in 1823, ambassador to London, where he had shown a genuine talent for
diplomacy. The example of England made him think that in France the
liberties of the constitutional regime could be combined with the
directing influence of an aristocracy. That was his error and the cause
of his fall. Some weeks before his accession to the ministry, he had
solemnly affirmed in the Chamber of Peers, that he considered the
Charter as a solemn pact, on which rested the monarchical institutions
of France, and as the heavenly sign of a serene future. But the
liberals did not believe his word, and accused him of striving to
re-establish the old regime.

Even at court the accession of the Prince de Polignac did not fail to
cause apprehension. Charles X., having announced to the Duchess of
Gontaut that he was going to appoint him minister, added: "This news
must give you pleasure; you know him well, I believe." The Duchess
replied: "He has been absent a long time. I only knew him when very
young." The King resumed: "Do not speak of it; it is my secret as yet."
Madame de Gontaut could not keep from smiling, for she held several
letters from London in her hand, among others one from the
sister-in-law of the Duke of Wellington, announcing the news. Charles
X. wished to see the letters. "He is good, loyal," they said, "loving
the King as one loves a friend, but feeble, and with bad surroundings.
It is doubted whether he can ever rise to the height of the post in
which the King wishes to place him."

Charles X., wounded by the indiscretion of the Prince, and also by that
of the Duke of Wellington, who divulged what he himself was keeping
secret, returned the letter to Madame de Gontaut, and remarked:--

"It is very thoughtless in Jules to have spoken of it so soon, and in
the Duke to have published it." The Duchess of Gontaut, who was used to
frank talk with the King, said: "In the circumstances existing, I long
for, I confess it frankly, and at the risk of displeasing Your Majesty,
yes, I long for the Martignac ministry."

Then, adds the Duchess in her unpublished Memoirs, the King, more
impatient than ever, turned his back on me, and took his way to his
apartment. I had had the courage to tell him my thought and the truth.
I did not repent it. When we saw each other again the same day he did
not speak to me again of it.

One of those most devoted to the elder branch, the Duke Ambroise de la
Rochefoucauld-Doudeauville, also says in his Memoirs:--

"The King sincerely wished for the Charter, whatever may be said, but
he wished for the monarchy; he, therefore, decided to change ministers
who had made promises that seemed to him fatal, and to replace them by
others whose principles suited him better. He was not happy in this
choice, it must be agreed. He took as Minister of Foreign Affairs and
President of the Council the Prince de Polignac. For a long time public
opinion had foreseen this choice, and dreaded it. At the commencement
of the Restoration M. de Polignac for more than a year had refused to
recognize the Charter and to swear fidelity to it, which made him
regarded as the pronounced enemy of our institutions. Was this
antipathy real? I do not think so. He had for a long time lived in
England, as ambassador, and was thoroughly imbued with principles at
once very constitutional and very aristocratic, after the English
fashion. His devotion was great, as well as his personal merit, but his
resources as a statesman were not so much so; he took his desire to do
well for the capacity to do well, and he mistook."

When he assumed the direction of affairs the Prince de Polignac was
wholly surprised at the systematic and obstinate opposition that he
encountered. As M. Guizot said, "he was sincerely astonished that he
was not willingly accepted as a minister devoted to the constitutional
regime. But the public, without troubling itself to know if he were
sincere or not, persisted in seeing in him the champion of the old
regime and the standard-bearer of the counter-Revolution."

Although he had passed a part of his life in England, first as emigre,
then as ambassador, and had married as his first wife an English lady,
Miss Campbell, and as his second another, the daughter of Lord
Radcliffe, the Prince de Polignac was French at heart.

No Minister of Foreign Affairs in France had in higher degree the
sentiment of the national dignity. Yet this is the way the Debats
expressed itself, the 16th of August, 1829, about a man who, the next
year, at the time of the glorious Algiers Expedition, was to hold
toward England language so proud and firm:--

"The manifesto of M. de Polignac comes to us from England. That is very
simple. We have a minister who scarcely knows how to speak anything but
English. It takes time to relearn one's native tongue when one has
forgotten it for many years. It appears even that one never regains the
accent in all its freedom and purity. In fact, the English have not
given us M. de Polignac; they have sold him to us. That people
understand commerce so well."

Despite all the violent criticisms, all the implacable hatreds by which
he was incessantly assailed, the Prince de Polignac was a noble
character, and no one should forget the justness of soul with which,
from the commencement to the end of his career, he supported misfortune
and captivity. The Viscount Sosthenes de La Rochefoucauld, afterwards
the Duke of Doudeauville, says, in his Memoirs:--

"The purest honor, the loftiest disinterestedness, the sincerest
devotion, are not everything, there is needed a capacity for affairs, a
knowledge of men, which experience alone procures and which even the
strongest will cannot give. M. de Polignac had all the qualities of the
most devoted subject, but his talent did not rise to the height of his
position. If it had been necessary only to suffer and to march to
death, no one, surely, could have equalled him; but more was requisite,
and he remained beneath the level of the circumstances he thought he
was overcoming; the fall of the throne was the consequence. How he
developed, though, and grew great when in duress, and who should
flatter himself that he could bear up with a firmness more unshaken
against the severest trials? If M. de Polignac is not a type of the
statesman, he will at least remain the complete model of the virtues of
the Christian and the private citizen."

The Prince de Polignac was mistaken, but he acted in good faith. No one
can dispute his faults, but none can suspect the purity of his
intentions. Unfortunately his royalism had in it something of mysticism
and ecstasy that made of this gallant man a sort of illumine. He
sincerely believed that he had received from God the mission to save
the throne and the altar, and foreseeing neither difficulties nor
obstacles, regarding all uncertainty and all fear as unworthy of a
gentleman and a Christian, he had in himself and in his ideas, that
blind, imperturbable confidence that is the characteristic of fanatics.
In a period less troubled, this great noble would perhaps have been a
remarkable minister of foreign affairs, but in the stormy time when he
took the helm in hand, he had neither sufficient prudence nor
sufficient experience to resist the tempest and save the ship from the
wreck in which the dynasty was to go down.



XXIX

GENERAL DE BOURMONT


The new Secretary of War awoke no less lively anger than the Prince de
Polignac. He was a general of great merit, bold to temerity, brave to
heroism, and a tactician of the first order. But his career had felt
the vicissitudes of politics, and like so many of his
contemporaries,--more, perhaps, than any of them,--he had played the
most contradictory parts. Equally intrepid in the army of Conde, in the
Vendean army, and in the Grand Army of Napoleon, he had won as much
distinction under the white flag as under the tricolor. The Emperor,
who was an expert in military talent, having recognized in him a
superior military man, had rewarded his services brilliantly. But it is
difficult to escape from the memories of one's childhood and first
youth.

General Count de Bourmont, born September 2, 1773, at the Chateau of
Bourmont (Maine-et-Loire), amid the "Chouans," had shared their
religious and monarchical passions. Officer of the French Guards at
sixteen, and dismissed by the Revolution, he followed his father at the
beginning of the Emigration, lost him at Turin, then went to join the
Count d'Artois at Coblenz. He took part in the campaign of 1792, until
the disbandment of the Prince's army, served as a simple cavalryman in
the army of Conde, then threw himself into La Vendee in the month of
October, 1794. He was second in command of the troops of Scepeaux. The
Vendean insurrection of 1799 recognized him as one of its chiefs.
Victor at Louverne, he seized Mans the 15th of October, and was the
last to lay down his arms.

Bourmont had a passion for the life of the camp. When the royal troops
had laid down their arms, he was ready to fight in the ranks of the
imperial troops rather than not to fight at all. He distinguished
himself in the Russian campaign, contributed to the victory of Lutzen,
made a heroic defence at Nugent during the campaign in France, and was
named general of division by the Emperor.

During the Hundred Days, General de Bourmont, guilty as was Marshal
Ney, abandoned the cause of Napoleon as the Marshal had that of Louis
XVIII. But there were attenuating circumstances for their conduct. One
could not resist the prestige of the Emperor, nor the other that of the
King. What aggravated the situation of General de Bourmont was that,
after having sought a command from Napoleon, as Marshal Ney had from
Louis XVIII., he deserted three days before the battle of Waterloo. The
royalist, the soldier of the army of Conde, the "Chouan" had suddenly
reappeared under the General of the Empire. His King had summoned him,
and impelled by a false sentiment of conscience, he had responded to
the appeal of his King. But he was wrongly suspected of having
delivered to the English and Prussians the plans of Napoleon.

One may read in the Memoirs of the Duke Ambroise de Doudeauville:--

"The Count de Bourmont was appointed Minister of War. He had to meet
grave prejudices. It was claimed that, having accepted service under
Bonaparte in the Hundred Days, he had deserted a few hours before the
battle of Waterloo, taking with him a great part of the troops, and
carrying to the enemy the plans and projects of the campaign. I owe it
to the truth to say that this story is greatly exaggerated. I have it
from Marshal Gerard himself--and his testimony cannot be
suspected--that some days before this battle M. de Bourmont had written
him that, summoned by Louis XVIII., he believed it his duty to go to
him, but promised to guard the most religious silence. He kept his
word, went alone, carried away no plan, and faithfully kept the secret."

The Duke adds:--

"I knew, from Charles X. himself, that he was very greatly surprised at
the accusation of desertion brought against M. de Bourmont when he
appointed him minister. He had not the least idea that that reproach
could be addressed to him, for he knew that the General had but obeyed
the orders of Louis XVIII., his legitimate sovereign."

Does not this phrase show the illusions of which Charles X. was the
victim? He never even suspected that his choice was a challenge to the
old soldiers of the Empire. Yet the violence of the liberal press
certainly extended the range of insult. "As for the other," said the
Journal des Debats disdainfully, "on what field of battle did he win
his epaulets? There are services by which one may profit, which may
even be liberally paid for, but which no people ever dreamed of
honoring." And, as if the allusion was not sufficiently transparent, "I
see," added the same writer, "but one kind of discussion in which the
minister can engage with credit--that of the military code, and the
chapter relating to desertion to the enemy. There are among our new
ministers those who understand the question to perfection." As for the
Figaro, it confined itself to quoting this line from a proclamation of
the General during the Hundred Days: "The cause of the Bourbons is
forever lost! April, 1815.--BOURMONT."

Despite the virulent attacks of the journals, General de Bourmont, who
had distinguished himself on so many battle-fields, had authority with
the troops, and the Expedition of Algiers the next year was to show him
to be a military man of the first order. If Charles X. committed an
error in naming him as minister, he committed a greater one in sending
him away from Paris before the "ordinances," for no one was more
capable of securing the success of a coup d'etat. M. de Chateaubriand
remarks:--

"If the General had been in Paris at the time of the catastrophe, the
vacant portfolio of war would not have fallen into the hands of M. de
Polignac. Before striking the blow, had he consented to it, M. de
Bourmont would beyond doubt have massed at Paris the entire royal
guard; he would have provided money and supplies so that the soldiers
would have lacked for nothing."

We are inclined to think, however, that when he took the portfolio of
war General de Bourmont was not dreaming of a coup d'etat, and that the
Prince de Polignac had as yet no thought of it. This minister, who was
so decried, showed at the outset such an inoffensive disposition that
the Opposition was surprised and disturbed by it.

"The minister," said the Debats, "boasts of his moderation, because in
the ten days of his existence, he has not put France to fire and sword,
because the prisons are not gorged, because we still walk the streets
in freedom. From all this, nevertheless, flows a striking lesson. There
are men who were going to make an end of the spirit of the century.
Well, they do nothing!"

The journals of the Right lamented this inaction.

"If the ministerial revolution," said the Quotidienne, "reduces itself
to this, we shall retire to some profound solitude where the sound of
the falling monarchy cannot reach us."

Then, more royalist than the King, M. de Lamennais wrote on the subject
of the new ministers: "It is stupidity to which fear counsels silence."
M. Guizot says in his Memoires pour servir a l'histoire de mon temps:--

"This ministry, formed to overcome the Revolution and save the
monarchy, remained inert and sterile. The Opposition insultingly
charged it with impotence; it called it the hectoring ministry, the
dullest of ministries, and, for answer, it prepared the expedition of
Algiers and prorogued the Chambers, protesting always its fidelity to
the Charter, promising itself to get out of its embarrassments by a
majority and a conquest."

The Duchess of Berry had seen without apprehension, and perhaps even
with pleasure, the nomination of the new ministers. Tranquillity
reigned in France. There was no symptom of agitation, no sign of
disquiet in the circle surrounding the Princess, and after an agreeable
stay of some weeks at Dieppe, she proceeded to the south, where her
journey was a triumph.



XXX

THE JOURNEY IN THE SOUTH


The journey of the Duchess of Berry in the south of France, in 1829,
was scarcely less triumphant than that she had made in the Vendee the
year before. The object of the Princess was to meet her family of the
Two Sicilies, which was traversing the kingdom on the way from Italy to
Spain, to escort to Madrid the young Marie-Christine, who was about to
espouse King Ferdinand VII.--his fourth wife.

Born October 13, 1784, King since March 19, 1808, Ferdinand VII. had
married, first, Marie Antoinette, Princess of the Two Sicilies; second,
Isabelle-Marie Francoise, Princess of Portugal; third,
Marie-Josephe-Amelie, Princess of Saxony. He had chosen for his fourth
wife, Marie-Christine, Princess of the Two Sicilies, born April 27,
1806. Sister of the father of the Duchess of Berry, Marie-Christine was
the daughter of Francois I., King of the Two Sicilies, and his second
wife, the Infanta of Spain, Marie-Isabelle, born October 13, 1784, and
sister of Ferdinand II. The King of the Two Sicilies was escorting his
daughter, Marie-Christine, to the King of Spain, where she was to marry
at Madrid the 11th of December, 1829. Ferdinand VII. had a brother, the
Infante Francois de Paule, born March 10, 1784, who had espoused a
princess of the Two Sicilies, Louise-Caroline-Marie Isabelle, born
October 24, 1804, sister of the Duchess of Berry. From this marriage
was born the Infante Don Francisco of d'Assisi, husband of Queen
Isabelle. The Infante and Infanta Francois de Paule traversed the south
of France, to meet the Bourbons of Naples. We may add that the Duchess
of Orleans, sister of King Francois I., aunt of Marie-Christine and of
the Duchess of Berry, went with her husband to the eastern frontier of
France to meet her relatives.

The Duchess of Berry, authorized by Charles X. to go to the south to
meet her father, her step-mother, and her sisters, left Saint Cloud,
October 10, 1829. The 17th, she was at Lyons, whither she promised to
return. At Valence, she found her step-brother and her sister, the
Infante and Infanta Francois de Paule, and returned with them to Lyons,
where, October 20, she was greeted by a great crowd, eager to look upon
her face. At the Grand Theatre Their Highnesses assisted at a
performance, in which the actor Bernard-Leon, Jr., played the part of
Poudret in Le Coiffeur et le Perruquier.

Their Highnesses quitted Lyons, October 23, visited the
Grande-Chartreuse the 24th, and were at Grenoble the 25th, where they
met the Bourbons of Naples, who arrived in that city the 31st, coming
from Chambery. The Duchess of Berry, the Infante and Infanta Francois
de Paule, the Duke and Duchess of Orleans, received them at their entry
into France. Everywhere, from the frontier to Grenoble, the Sicilian
Majesties were met by the authorities, the mayors, the clergy.
Triumphal arches were erected by various communes. The one constructed
by the Marquis de Marcieu, in the wood of the avenue of his Chateau of
Trouvet, was especially remarked. This arch formed three porticoes,
surmounted by the arms of France, Naples, and Spain. Above were these
words, "Love to all the Bourbons." The grand avenue of the chateau was
draped from one end to the other. Every tree bore a white flag.
Garlands of verdure, mingled with these flags, formed an arbor that
stretched as far as the eye could see. Thirty young girls, clad in
white, crowned with flowers, and holding little flags in their hands,
were ranged in two lines near the arch. They offered to the King of
Naples, to the Queen and the princesses, bouquets and baskets of
fruits. When the cortege arrived before Grenoble, the mayor said:
"Sire, the descendants of Louis XIV. have imprescriptible rights to our
respect, to our love. We can never forget their origin nor the
indissoluble bonds that bind them to our native land, and still less
the virtues and goodness that distinguish this illustrious dynasty." He
added: "Sire, the city of Grenoble deems itself happy in being the
first city of France to present to Your Majesties the homage of our
respects, and to thank you for the noble present you have made to our
land in the person of your illustrious daughter, Madame, Duchess of
Berry. May the future Queen of Spain long embellish the throne on which
she is about to take her seat, and reign over the hearts of her new
subjects as her heroic sister reigns over ours. Long live the King!
Forever live the Bourbons!"

The Duchess of Berry accompanied her relatives to the Pyrenees. The
journey was a long series of ovations. Marie-Christine, who was about
to ascend the throne of Spain, never ceased to admire the riches and
beauty of France. "Ah, my sister," said the Duchess of Berry to her,
"do not contemplate it too much. You would not be able to quit it!"
During the entire passage--at Valence, Avignon, Montpellier, Nimes--the
people rivalled the authorities in making the welcome as brilliant as
possible. Perpignan was reached the 10th of Novemher. The King and
Queen of Naples, the Duchess of Berry, and the future Queen of Spain,
journeyed together in an uncovered caleche. Madame accompanied her
relatives to the frontier at Perthus, where she bade them adieu, the
13th of November. The French troops from the foot of Bellegarde flanked
the right of the road. At the first salute fired from the fort, an
immense crowd of French and Spanish, who occupied the heights, greeted
with harmonious shouts the appearance of the royal carriage. On an arch
of triumph, erected on the Spanish side of the frontier, floated the
flags of the three peoples placed under the sceptre of the Bourbons.
That of France was in the middle and seemed to protect those of Spain
and Naples on either side. Thus was indicated the mother branch of the
three reigning families. The adieux were made with effusion. The
Duchess of Berry fell at the feet of her father, who hastened to raise
her and embrace her tenderly. The two sisters threw themselves into
each other's arms. Then they parted.

While the Bourbons of Naples were entering on the soil of Spain, the
Duchess of Berry returned to Perpignan. She left there the 14th, and
the ovations were renewed along the route. The 16th, she passed through
Montpellier, where she admired the promenade of the Peyrou, whence are
perceived the sea, the Pyrenees, and the Alps, and saw the foundations
prepared for an equestrian statue of Louis XIV. The 17th, at Tarascon,
she breakfasted with the Marquis de Gras-Preville, and was present at
the games instituted by good King Rene,--tambourine dances and the
races of the Tarasque. The 18th, at Arles, she visited the Cloister of
Saint Trophime, and the Roman circus. About eighteen thousand persons
were crowded on the ancient benches. The galleries resounded with
military music which, borne from echo to echo, spread beneath all the
arches. In the evening the entire city was illuminated. From a balcony,
the Princess assisted at a pegoulade, a sort of torchlight promenade of
five or six hundred young people, who bore pieces of tarred rope
lighted at one end. She desired to see again these bizarre and
picturesque effects of light, this joyous procession, this clamorous
animation, and she had the enthusiastic cortege file a second time
under her windows. The 21st, she visited the Roman theatre at Orange,
one of the most curious ruins of the world. The 23d, she passed again
through Lyons. The 28th, she was at the Tuileries for dinner.

The Duchess of Berry returned enchanted with her journey. Never had the
throne of the Bourbons seemed to her more solid, never were the
advantages of the family pact revealed in a more brilliant manner. The
Moniteur wrote: "The Princess Marie-Christine has heard her name
mingling in the air with that of her whose son is one day to be King of
France. Happy the new Queen, if her presence shall deliver Spain from
the factions that still divide it, and if, finding beyond the mountains
the same order, devotion, prosperity, as in our provinces, she can cry,
'There are no longer any Pyrenees.'"

The Duchess of Berry had not found the inclinations of the south less
royalist than that of La Vendee. Everywhere protestations were made to
her, verging on lyrism, on idolatry; the idea of suspecting such
demonstrations never crossed her mind. She persuaded herself that
France loved her as much as she loved France.





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