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List Of Contents | Contents of The Duchess Of Berry-Charles X
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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,

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