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The Duchess Of Berry/Charles X by Imbert de St-Amand

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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

"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



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

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

"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

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.



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

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

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-

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.



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

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.



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

"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

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

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

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.



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

"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

"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

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

"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

"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.



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

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

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

"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

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

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.



After his coronation Charles X. remained at Rheims during the 30th
and 3lst 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

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