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

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

The Marquis came promptly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





VIII

THE ORLEANS FAMILY


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marie-Amelie, Duchess of Orleans, was the sister of the Prince
Royal of the Two Sicilies, Ferdinand, father of the Duchess of
Berry, and the niece was very fond of her aunt. The two Princesses
were united by other bonds than those of blood. During all her
infancy the Duchess of Berry had lived with her aunt at Palermo
and Naples. Both were descended in direct line from the great
Empress, Maria Theresa. Both had greatly loved the Queen Marie-
Caroline, of whom one was the granddaughter, the other the
daughter. Both professed great admiration for the Martyr-Queen,

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