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List Of Contents | Contents of The Duchess Of Berry-Charles X
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to lay down his arms.

Bourmont had a passion for the life of the camp. When the royal
troops had laid down their arms, he was ready to fight in the
ranks of the imperial troops rather than not to fight at all. He
distinguished himself in the Russian campaign, contributed to the
victory of Lutzen, made a heroic defence at Nugent during the
campaign in France, and was named general of division by the
Emperor.

During the Hundred Days, General de Bourmont, guilty as was
Marshal Ney, abandoned the cause of Napoleon as the Marshal had
that of Louis XVIII. But there were attenuating circumstances for
their conduct. One could not resist the prestige of the Emperor,
nor the other that of the King. What aggravated the situation of
General de Bourmont was that, after having sought a command from
Napoleon, as Marshal Ney had from Louis XVIII., he deserted three
days before the battle of Waterloo. The royalist, the soldier of
the army of Conde, the "Chouan" had suddenly reappeared under the
General of the Empire. His King had summoned him, and impelled by
a false sentiment of conscience, he had responded to the appeal of
his King. But he was wrongly suspected of having delivered to the
English and Prussians the plans of Napoleon.

One may read in the Memoirs of the Duke Ambroise de Doudeauville:--

"The Count de Bourmont was appointed Minister of War. He had to
meet grave prejudices. It was claimed that, having accepted
service under Bonaparte in the Hundred Days, he had deserted a few
hours before the battle of Waterloo, taking with him a great part
of the troops, and carrying to the enemy the plans and projects of
the campaign. I owe it to the truth to say that this story is
greatly exaggerated. I have it from Marshal Gerard himself--and
his testimony cannot be suspected--that some days before this
battle M. de Bourmont had written him that, summoned by Louis
XVIII., he believed it his duty to go to him, but promised to
guard the most religious silence. He kept his word, went alone,
carried away no plan, and faithfully kept the secret."

The Duke adds:--

"I knew, from Charles X. himself, that he was very greatly
surprised at the accusation of desertion brought against M. de
Bourmont when he appointed him minister. He had not the least idea
that that reproach could be addressed to him, for he knew that the
General had but obeyed the orders of Louis XVIII., his legitimate
sovereign."

Does not this phrase show the illusions of which Charles X. was
the victim? He never even suspected that his choice was a
challenge to the old soldiers of the Empire. Yet the violence of
the liberal press certainly extended the range of insult. "As for
the other," said the Journal des Debats disdainfully, "on what
field of battle did he win his epaulets? There are services by
which one may profit, which may even be liberally paid for, but
which no people ever dreamed of honoring." And, as if the allusion
was not sufficiently transparent, "I see," added the same writer,
"but one kind of discussion in which the minister can engage with
credit--that of the military code, and the chapter relating to
desertion to the enemy. There are among our new ministers those
who understand the question to perfection." As for the Figaro, it
confined itself to quoting this line from a proclamation of the
General during the Hundred Days: "The cause of the Bourbons is
forever lost! April, 1815.--BOURMONT."

Despite the virulent attacks of the journals, General de Bourmont,
who had distinguished himself on so many battle-fields, had
authority with the troops, and the Expedition of Algiers the next
year was to show him to be a military man of the first order. If
Charles X. committed an error in naming him as minister, he
committed a greater one in sending him away from Paris before the
"ordinances," for no one was more capable of securing the success
of a coup d'etat. M. de Chateaubriand remarks:--

"If the General had been in Paris at the time of the catastrophe,
the vacant portfolio of war would not have fallen into the hands
of M. de Polignac. Before striking the blow, had he consented to
it, M. de Bourmont would beyond doubt have massed at Paris the
entire royal guard; he would have provided money and supplies so
that the soldiers would have lacked for nothing."

We are inclined to think, however, that when he took the portfolio
of war General de Bourmont was not dreaming of a coup d'etat, and
that the Prince de Polignac had as yet no thought of it. This
minister, who was so decried, showed at the outset such an
inoffensive disposition that the Opposition was surprised and
disturbed by it.

"The minister," said the Debats, "boasts of his moderation,
because in the ten days of his existence, he has not put France to
fire and sword, because the prisons are not gorged, because we
still walk the streets in freedom. From all this, nevertheless,
flows a striking lesson. There are men who were going to make an
end of the spirit of the century. Well, they do nothing!"

The journals of the Right lamented this inaction.

"If the ministerial revolution," said the Quotidienne, "reduces
itself to this, we shall retire to some profound solitude where
the sound of the falling monarchy cannot reach us."

Then, more royalist than the King, M. de Lamennais wrote on the
subject of the new ministers: "It is stupidity to which fear
counsels silence." M. Guizot says in his Memoires pour servir a
l'histoire de mon temps:--

"This ministry, formed to overcome the Revolution and save the
monarchy, remained inert and sterile. The Opposition insultingly
charged it with impotence; it called it the hectoring ministry,
the dullest of ministries, and, for answer, it prepared the
expedition of Algiers and prorogued the Chambers, protesting
always its fidelity to the Charter, promising itself to get out of
its embarrassments by a majority and a conquest."

The Duchess of Berry had seen without apprehension, and perhaps
even with pleasure, the nomination of the new ministers.
Tranquillity reigned in France. There was no symptom of agitation,
no sign of disquiet in the circle surrounding the Princess, and
after an agreeable stay of some weeks at Dieppe, she proceeded to
the south, where her journey was a triumph.





XXX

THE JOURNEY IN THE SOUTH


The journey of the Duchess of Berry in the south of France, in
1829, was scarcely less triumphant than that she had made in the
Vendee the year before. The object of the Princess was to meet her
family of the Two Sicilies, which was traversing the kingdom on
the way from Italy to Spain, to escort to Madrid the young Marie-
Christine, who was about to espouse King Ferdinand VII.--his
fourth wife.

Born October 13, 1784, King since March 19, 1808, Ferdinand VII.
had married, first, Marie Antoinette, Princess of the Two
Sicilies; second, Isabelle-Marie Francoise, Princess of Portugal;
third, Marie-Josephe-Amelie, Princess of Saxony. He had chosen for
his fourth wife, Marie-Christine, Princess of the Two Sicilies,
born April 27, 1806. Sister of the father of the Duchess of Berry,
Marie-Christine was the daughter of Francois I., King of the Two
Sicilies, and his second wife, the Infanta of Spain, Marie-
Isabelle, born October 13, 1784, and sister of Ferdinand II. The
King of the Two Sicilies was escorting his daughter, Marie-
Christine, to the King of Spain, where she was to marry at Madrid
the 11th of December, 1829. Ferdinand VII. had a brother, the
Infante Francois de Paule, born March 10, 1784, who had espoused a
princess of the Two Sicilies, Louise-Caroline-Marie Isabelle, born
October 24, 1804, sister of the Duchess of Berry. From this
marriage was born the Infante Don Francisco of d'Assisi, husband
of Queen Isabelle. The Infante and Infanta Francois de Paule
traversed the south of France, to meet the Bourbons of Naples. We
may add that the Duchess of Orleans, sister of King Francois I.,
aunt of Marie-Christine and of the Duchess of Berry, went with her
husband to the eastern frontier of France to meet her relatives.

The Duchess of Berry, authorized by Charles X. to go to the south
to meet her father, her step-mother, and her sisters, left Saint
Cloud, October 10, 1829. The 17th, she was at Lyons, whither she
promised to return. At Valence, she found her step-brother and her
sister, the Infante and Infanta Francois de Paule, and returned
with them to Lyons, where, October 20, she was greeted by a great
crowd, eager to look upon her face. At the Grand Theatre Their
Highnesses assisted at a performance, in which the actor Bernard-
Leon, Jr., played the part of Poudret in Le Coiffeur et le
Perruquier.

Their Highnesses quitted Lyons, October 23, visited the Grande-
Chartreuse the 24th, and were at Grenoble the 25th, where they met
the Bourbons of Naples, who arrived in that city the 31st, coming
from Chambery. The Duchess of Berry, the Infante and Infanta
Francois de Paule, the Duke and Duchess of Orleans, received them
at their entry into France. Everywhere, from the frontier to
Grenoble, the Sicilian Majesties were met by the authorities, the
mayors, the clergy. Triumphal arches were erected by various
communes. The one constructed by the Marquis de Marcieu, in the
wood of the avenue of his Chateau of Trouvet, was especially
remarked. This arch formed three porticoes, surmounted by the arms
of France, Naples, and Spain. Above were these words, "Love to all
the Bourbons." The grand avenue of the chateau was draped from one
end to the other. Every tree bore a white flag. Garlands of
verdure, mingled with these flags, formed an arbor that stretched
as far as the eye could see. Thirty young girls, clad in white,
crowned with flowers, and holding little flags in their hands,
were ranged in two lines near the arch. They offered to the King
of Naples, to the Queen and the princesses, bouquets and baskets
of fruits. When the cortege arrived before Grenoble, the mayor
said: "Sire, the descendants of Louis XIV. have imprescriptible
rights to our respect, to our love. We can never forget their
origin nor the indissoluble bonds that bind them to our native
land, and still less the virtues and goodness that distinguish
this illustrious dynasty." He added: "Sire, the city of Grenoble
deems itself happy in being the first city of France to present to
Your Majesties the homage of our respects, and to thank you for
the noble present you have made to our land in the person of your
illustrious daughter, Madame, Duchess of Berry. May the future
Queen of Spain long embellish the throne on which she is about to
take her seat, and reign over the hearts of her new subjects as
her heroic sister reigns over ours. Long live the King! Forever
live the Bourbons!"

The Duchess of Berry accompanied her relatives to the Pyrenees.
The journey was a long series of ovations. Marie-Christine, who
was about to ascend the throne of Spain, never ceased to admire
the riches and beauty of France. "Ah, my sister," said the Duchess
of Berry to her, "do not contemplate it too much. You would not be
able to quit it!" During the entire passage--at Valence, Avignon,
Montpellier, Nimes--the people rivalled the authorities in making
the welcome as brilliant as possible. Perpignan was reached the
10th of Novemher. The King and Queen of Naples, the Duchess of
Berry, and the future Queen of Spain, journeyed together in an
uncovered caleche. Madame accompanied her relatives to the
frontier at Perthus, where she bade them adieu, the 13th of
November. The French troops from the foot of Bellegarde flanked
the right of the road. At the first salute fired from the fort, an
immense crowd of French and Spanish, who occupied the heights,
greeted with harmonious shouts the appearance of the royal
carriage. On an arch of triumph, erected on the Spanish side of
the frontier, floated the flags of the three peoples placed under
the sceptre of the Bourbons. That of France was in the middle and
seemed to protect those of Spain and Naples on either side. Thus
was indicated the mother branch of the three reigning families.
The adieux were made with effusion. The Duchess of Berry fell at
the feet of her father, who hastened to raise her and embrace her
tenderly. The two sisters threw themselves into each other's arms.
Then they parted.

While the Bourbons of Naples were entering on the soil of Spain,
the Duchess of Berry returned to Perpignan. She left there the
14th, and the ovations were renewed along the route. The 16th, she
passed through Montpellier, where she admired the promenade of the
Peyrou, whence are perceived the sea, the Pyrenees, and the Alps,
and saw the foundations prepared for an equestrian statue of Louis
XIV. The 17th, at Tarascon, she breakfasted with the Marquis de
Gras-Preville, and was present at the games instituted by good
King Rene,--tambourine dances and the races of the Tarasque. The
18th, at Arles, she visited the Cloister of Saint Trophime, and
the Roman circus. About eighteen thousand persons were crowded on
the ancient benches. The galleries resounded with military music
which, borne from echo to echo, spread beneath all the arches. In
the evening the entire city was illuminated. From a balcony, the
Princess assisted at a pegoulade, a sort of torchlight promenade
of five or six hundred young people, who bore pieces of tarred
rope lighted at one end. She desired to see again these bizarre
and picturesque effects of light, this joyous procession, this
clamorous animation, and she had the enthusiastic cortege file a
second time under her windows. The 21st, she visited the Roman
theatre at Orange, one of the most curious ruins of the world. The
23d, she passed again through Lyons. The 28th, she was at the
Tuileries for dinner.

The Duchess of Berry returned enchanted with her journey. Never
had the throne of the Bourbons seemed to her more solid, never
were the advantages of the family pact revealed in a more
brilliant manner. The Moniteur wrote: "The Princess Marie-
Christine has heard her name mingling in the air with that of her
whose son is one day to be King of France. Happy the new Queen, if
her presence shall deliver Spain from the factions that still
divide it, and if, finding beyond the mountains the same order,
devotion, prosperity, as in our provinces, she can cry, 'There are
no longer any Pyrenees.'"

The Duchess of Berry had not found the inclinations of the south
less royalist than that of La Vendee. Everywhere protestations
were made to her, verging on lyrism, on idolatry; the idea of
suspecting such demonstrations never crossed her mind. She
persuaded herself that France loved her as much as she loved
France.




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