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

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

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





XII

THE HOUSEHOLD OF THE DUCHESS OF BERRY


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Very distinguished in manner and sentiment as in birth, the
Marchioness Charles de Bethisy, married to a lieutenant-general
and peer of France; the Countess of Gourgues, nee Montboissier,
married to a master of requests, a deputy; the Countess of
Mefflay, a young and charming woman, daughter of the Countess of
Latour, whom the Duchess of Berry had as governess in the Two
Sicilies, and wife of the Count Meffray, receiver-general of Gers;
the Viscountess of Casteja, daughter of the Marquis of Bombelles,
major-general, ambassador of Louis XVI. at Lisbon and Vienna, then
priest, Canon of Breslau, Bishop of Amiens, First Almoner of the
Duchess of Berry (he died in 1822, and one of his sons, Charles de
Bombelles, married morganatically the Empress Marie-Louise, in
1833); the Countess of Rosanbo, daughter of the Count of Mesnard;
the Marchioness of Podenas, wife of a lieutenant-colonel; the
Marchioness of Lauriston, wife of the marshal, formerly lady of
the palace to the Empress Josephine and the Empress Marie-Louise;
the Countess Charles de Gontaut, whose husband was chamberlain of
the Emperor, a very young and very pretty woman, remarkable for

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