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

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of the camp of Saint Leonard, under the walls of the city, in a
vast plain, along the river Vesle, on the right of the road to
Chalons. In the midst of this plain rises a grassy hillock, above
which was placed the portrait of the King; below, on a background
of soil, was this inscription in bluets and marguerites,--

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The account in the MONITEUR says:--

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

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

M. de Vaulabelle makes this curious comparison:--

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

Father Macarthy said, in a sermon preached in the Chapel of the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He returned to the same subject October 6:--

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

"In going to Saint-Denis, the 2lst of January (the anniversary of
the death of Louis XVI.), and seeing the lightness with which the
court itself conducted itself there, it was impossible for me not
to make many reflections on the futility of an age in which no
memory is sacred. And by what right can the people be asked to
have a better memory when such an example is given to them? No
cortege, no coaches draped, none of the pomp that strikes the
imagination and the eye. Some isolated carriages, passing rapidly
over the route, as if every one longed to be more promptly rid of
whatever is grave and mournful in this day of cruel memory."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

In the face of the wind, which was blowing with force, Madame
ascended to the highest point of the chateau, the platform of the
lantern called Fleur-de-Lis at the end of the famous double
balustered staircase. From there her glance wandered over the vast
extent of the park, with a circumference of eight leagues, and
enclosing, besides six or seven thousand acres of woodland,
twenty-three farms, whose buildings, cultivated fields, and
scattered flocks, animated the view in all directions. On
descending, she said: "I should like to mark my name here; I shall
love to see it again when I come to visit the Duke of Bordeaux."
And with a stiletto she cut these words: "18th June--Marie
Caroline." Some young girls presented her with lambs white as
snow, decorated with green and white ribbons, and with a tame roe,
on whose collar was engraved: "Homage of the people of Chambord."
The same day she paid visits at their chateaux to Marshal Victor,
Duke of Bellune, and to the Duke d'Avaray. In the evening she
returned to Blois. Madame left there the 19th of June, after
examining the Salle des Etats, the room in which the Duke of Guise
was assassinated, and the tower where Catharine de' Medici used to
consult the astrologers. The 20th, she attended at Saumur a
brilliant tournament given in her honor by the Cavalry School. The
2lst, she entered Angers amid shouts and cheers. The 22d, she
visited the chateau of Count Walsh de Serrant. Her carriage passed
under vaults of verdure adorned with flowers and banners.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On the morrow, at a grand ball offered to her by the city, Madame
was seated upon a platform that was surmounted by a fine portrait
of her son. Eight hundred women, crowned with white plumes,

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