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List Of Contents | Contents of The Duchess Of Berry-Charles X
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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 The law was withdrawn April 17, the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
follows:--

"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,
1792.

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
Peyronnet!"

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

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