Make your own free website on

List Of Contents | Contents of The Duchess Of Berry-Charles X
< < Previous Page     Next Page > >

immense. The Journal de Paris wrote: "Today all is joy,
confidence, hope. The enthusiasm excited by the new reign would be
far too ill at ease under a censorship. None can be exercised over
the public gratitude. It must be allowed full expansion. Happy is
the Council of His Majesty to greet the new King with an act so
worthy of him. It is the banquet of this joyous accession; for to
give liberty to the press is to give free course to the
benedictions merited by Charles X."

The review was superb. After having heard Mass in the chapel of
the Chateau of the Tuileries, the King mounted his horse at half-
past eleven, and, accompanied by the Dauphin, the Duke of Orleans,
and the Duke of Bourbon, proceeded to the Champ-de-Mars. Two
caleches followed; the one was occupied by the Dauphiness, the
Duchess of Berry, and the Duke of Bordeaux in the uniform of a
colonel of cuirassiers,--a four-year old colonel,--the other by
the Duchess of Orleans and Mademoiselle of Orleans, her sister-in-
law. The weather was mild and clear. The twelve legions of the
National Guard on foot, the mounted National Guard, the military
household of the King, and all the regiments of the royal guard,
which the sovereign was about to review, made a magnificent
appearance. An immense multitude covered the slopes about the
Champ-de-Mars. Charles X. harvested the effect of the liberal
measure that he had first adopted. A thunder of plaudits and
cheers greeted his arrival on the ground. At one moment, when he
found himself, so to speak, tangled in the midst of the crowd,
several lancers of his guard sought to break the circle formed
about him by pushing back the curious with the handles of their
lances. "My friends, no halberds!" the King called to them. This
happy phrase, repeated from group to group, carried the general
satisfaction to a climax. A witness of this military ceremony, the
Count of Puymaigre, at that time Prefect of the Oise, says in his
curious Souvenirs:--

"Charles X. appeared to have dissipated all the dangers that for
ten years had menaced his august predecessor.

"On all sides there rose only acclamations of delight in favor of
the new King, who showed himself so popular, and whose gracious
countenance could express only benevolent intentions. I was
present, mingling with the crowd, at the first review by Charles
X. on the Champ-de-Mars, and the remarks were so frankly royalist,
that any one would have been roughly treated by the crowd had he
shown other sentiments."

The Duchess of Berry was full of joy. She quivered with pleasure.
Very popular in the army and among the people, as at court and in
the city, she was proud to show her fine child, who already wore
the uniform, to the officers and soldiers. She appeared to all
eyes the symbol of maternal love, and the mothers gazed upon her
boy as if he had been their own. As soon as the little Prince was
seen, there was on every face an expression of kindliness and
sympathy. He was the Child of Paris, the Child of France. Who
could have foretold then that this child, so loved, admired,
applauded, would, innocent victim, less than six years later, be
condemned to perpetual exile, and by whom?

Charles X. had won a triumph. Napoleon, at the time of his
greatest glories, at the apogee of his prodigious fortunes, had
never had a warmer greeting from the Parisian people. In the
course of the review the King spoke to all the colonels. On his
return to the Tuileries he went at a slow pace, paused often to
receive petitions, handed them to one of his suite, and responded
in the most gracious manner to the homage of which he was the
object. An historian not to be accused of partiality for the
Restoration has written: "On entering the Tuileries, Charles X.
might well believe that the favor that greeted his reign effaced
the popularity of all the sovereigns who had gone before. Happy in
being King at last, moved by the acclamations that he met at every
step, the new monarch let his intoxicating joy expand in all his
words. His affability was remarked in his walks through Paris, and
the grace with which he received all petitioners who could
approach him." Everywhere that he appeared, at the Hotel-Dieu, at
Sainte-Genvieve, at the Madeleine, the crowd pressed around him
and manifested the sincerest enthusiasm. M. Villemain, in the
opening discourse of his lectures on eloquence at the Faculty of
Letters, was wildly applauded when he pronounced the following
eulogium on the new sovereign: "A monarch kindly and revered, he
has the loyalty of the antique ways and modern enlightenment.
Religion is the seal of his word. He inherits from Henry IV. those
graces of the heart that are irresistible. He has received from
Louis XIV. an intelligent love of the arts, a nobility of
language, and that dignity that imposes respect while it seduces."
All the journals chanted his praises. Seeing that the
Constitutionnel itself, freed from censorship, rendered
distinguished homage to legitimacy, he came to believe that
principle invincible. He was called Charles the Loyal. At the
Theatre-Francais, the line of Tartufe--

    "Nous vivons sous un prince ennemi de la fraude"--

was greeted with a salvo of applause. The former adversaries of
the King reproached themselves with having misunderstood him. They
sincerely reproached themselves for their past criticisms, and
adored that which they had burned. M. de Vaulabelle himself

"Few sovereigns have taken possession of the throne in
circumstances more favorable than those surrounding the accession
of Charles X."

It seemed as if the great problem of the conciliation of order and
liberty had been definitely solved. The white flag, rejuvenated by
the Spanish war, had taken on all its former splendor. The best
officers, the best soldiers of the imperial guard, served the King
in the royal guard with a devotion proof against everything.
Secret societies had ceased their subterranean manoeuvres. No more
disturbances, no more plots. In the Chambers, the Opposition,
reduced to an insignificant minority, was discouraged or
converted. The ambitious spirits of whom it was composed turned
their thoughts toward the rising sun. Peace had happily fecundated
the prodigious resources of the country. Finances, commerce,
agriculture, industry, the fine arts, everything was prospering.
The public revenues steadily increased. The ease with which riches
came inclined all minds toward optimism. The salons had resumed
the most exquisite traditions of courtesy and elegance. It was the
boast that every good side of the ancien regime had been preserved
and every bad one rejected. France was not only respected, she was
a la mode. All Europe regarded her with sympathetic admiration. No
one in 1824 could have predicted 1880. The writers least favorable
to the Restoration had borne witness to the general calm, the
prevalence of good will, the perfect accord between the country
and the crown. The early days of the reign of Charles X. were, so
to speak, the honeymoon of the union of the King and France.



The funeral solemnities of Louis XVIII. seemed to the people a
mortuary triumph of Royalty over the Revolution and the Empire.
The profanations of 1793 were expiated. Napoleon was left with the
willow of Saint Helena; the descendant of Saint Louis and of Louis
XIV. had the basilica of his ancestors as a place of sepulture,
and the links of time's chain were again joined. The obsequies of
Louis XVIII. suggested a multitude of reflections. It was the
first time since the death of Louis XV. in 1774, that such a
ceremony had taken place. As was said by the Moniteur:--

"This solemnity, absolutely novel for the greater number of the
present generation, offered an aspect at once mournful and
imposing. A monarch so justly regretted, a king so truly
Christian, coming to take his place among the glorious remains of
the martyrs of his race and the bones of his ancestors,--profaned,
scattered by the revolutionary tempest, but which he had been able
again to gather,--was a grave subject of reflection, a spectacle
touching in its purpose and majestic in the pomp with which it was

Through what vicissitudes had passed these royal tombs, to which
the coffin of Louis XVIII. was borne! Read in the work of M.
Georges d'Heylli, Les Tombes royales de Saint-Denis, the story of
these profanations and restorations.

The Moniteur of the 6th of February, 1793, published in its
literary miscellany, a so-called patriotic ode, by the poet
Lebrun, containing the following strophe:--

    "Purgeons le sol des patriotes,
    Par des rois encore infectes.
    La terre de la liberte
    Rejette les os des despotes.
    De ces monstres divinises
    Que tous lea cercueils soient brises!
    Que leur memoirs soit fletrie!
    Et qu'avec leurs manes errants
    Sortent du sein de la patrie
    Les cadavres de ses tyrants!"

[Footnote: Let us purge the patriot soil--By kings still
infected.--The land of liberty--Rejects the bones of despots.--Of
these monsters deified--Let all the coffins be destroyed!--Let
their memory perish!--And with their wandering manes--Let issue
from the bosom of the fatherland--The bodies of its tyrants!]

These verses were the prelude to the discussion, some months
later, in the National Convention, of the proposition to destroy
the monuments of the Kings at Saint-Denis, to burn their remains,
and to send to the bullet foundry the bronze and lead off their
tombs and coffins. In the session of July 31, 1793, Barrere, the
"Anacreon of the guillotine," read to the convention in the name
of the Committee of Public Safety, a report, which said:--

"To celebrate the day of August 10, which overthrew the throne,
the pompous mausoleums must be destroyed upon its anniversary.
Under the Monarchy, the very tombs were taught to flatter kings.
Royal pride and luxury could not be moderated even on this theatre
of death, and the bearers of the sceptre who had brought such ills
on France and on humanity seemed even in the grave to vaunt a

< < Previous Page     Next Page > >

Other sites: