List Of Contents | Contents of The Duchess Of Berry-Charles X
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altar the sacred vessels in gold, of antique form, the crown in
diamonds surmounted by the famous stone, the "Regent," the other
attributes of royalty on a cushion of velvet embroidered with
fleurs-de-lis; on the front of the altar the royal mantle, open,
not less than twenty-four feet in length; on the altar of green-
veined marble, superb candelabra in gold; on the centre of the
cross of the church, suspended from the ceiling above the choir
and the prie-dieu of the King, an immense canopy of crimson
velvet, sown with golden fleurs-de-lis; at the back of the choir,
toward the nave, about one hundred and fifty feet from the portal,
the gigantic jube with its staircase of thirty steps; upon this
the throne; all around a swarm of standards, those of the five
companies of the King's body-guard, and the flag of his foot-
guards, borne by the superior officers; on the two sides of the
stairway, ranged en Echelon, the flags and standards of the
regiments of the guard and of the line in camp under the walls of
Rheims; a splendor of light, banishing all regret for the sun,
from candelabra at the entrance of the choir, from chandeliers in
the galleries, from chandeliers full of candles suspended from the
ceiling, from tapers on the columns.

The Cardinals de Clermont-Tonnerre and de La Fare, preceded by the
metropolitan chapter, came to seek the King in his apartment in
the palace. The Grand Preceptor knocked at the door of the royal
chamber; the Grand Chamberlain said in a loud voice:--

"What do you seek?" The Cardinal de Clermont-Tonnerre responded:--

"Charles X., whom God has given us for King."

Then the ushers opened the doors of the chamber. The two cardinals
entered and saluted the sovereign, who rose from his chair, bowed,
and received the holy water. The Cardinal de Clermont-Tonnerre
recited a prayer. The cortege was formed, and in the following
order traversed the great covered gallery which had been built
along the right side of the Cathedral:--

The metropolitan chapter; the King's foot-guards; the band; the
heralds-at-arms; the king-at-arms; the aides de ceremonies; the
Grand Master of Ceremonies, Marquis de Dreux-Breze; the four
knights of the Order of the Holy Spirit, who were to carry the
offerings, viz. the Duke de Vauguyon the wine in a golden vase,
the Duke of Rochefoucauld the pain d'argent, the Duke of
Luxembourg the pain d'or, the Duke of Gramont the ewers filled
with silver medals; the King's pages on the flanks; the Marshal
Moncey, Duke of Conegliano, charged with the functions of
constable, holding in his hand his naked sword; the Duke of
Mortemart, captain-colonel of the foot-guards in ordinary to the
King; the Marshal Victor Duke of Bellune, major-general of the
royal guard; the Marshal Marquis de Lauriston, the Count de Cosse,
and the Duke de Polignac, named by the King to bear his train in
the church; then, with his two attendant cardinals, de Clermont-
Tonnerre and de La Fare, one at his right, the other at his left,
the King.

There was a movement of curiosity, attention, and respect. Charles
X. had entered the Cathedral. The moment his foot crossed the
threshold, Cardinal de La Fare pronounced a prayer:--

"O God, who knowest that the human race cannot subsist by its own
virtue, grant Thy succor to Charles, Thy servant, whom Thou hast
put at the head of Thy people, that he may himself succor and
protect those subject to him."

Here, then, is Charles X. in that basilica where fifty years
before, Sunday, June 11, 1775, he assisted at the coronation of
his brother Louis XVI. Then he was seventeen. Ah! what would have
been his surprise had it been foretold to him by what strange and
horrible series of gloomy and bloody dramas he should himself come
to be crowned in this Cathedral of Rheims! What a contrast between
the religious pomps of June 11, 1775, and the sacrilegious
scaffolds of January 21 and October 16, 1793! What a difference
between the royal mantle of the sovereign and the humble costume
of the captive of the Temple, between the resplendent toilet of
the Queen of France and Navarre and the patched gown of the
prisoner of the Conciergerie! What a road travelled between the
hosannas of the priests and the insults of the Furies of the
Guillotine! What reflections might one make who had been present
at both the ceremonies! How much must such an one have been moved
were he the King himself, the brother of Louis XVI., Charles X.!
But the 29th of May, 1825, all hearts inclined to confidence and
joy. Peoples forget quickly, and there were but few to call up
sinister memories. The sovereign appeared in his first costume, a
camisole of white satin, with a cap rich with diamonds, surmounted
by black and white plumes. Despite his sixty-seven years, Charles
X. had a fine presence, a slender form, a manner almost youthful.
State costumes became him perfectly. He wore them with the
elegance of the men of the old court.

Let us listen again to Count d'Haussonville:--

"At the moment Charles X. crossed the nave, clad in a gown of
white satin, opened over a doublet of the same color and the same
material, a general thrill evoked a thousand little cries of
ecstasy from my lady neighbors. With that sensitiveness to grace
innate with women, and which never fails to delight them, how
could they help applauding the royal and supremely elegant fashion
in which Charles X., despite his age, wore this strange and
slightly theatrical costume? No one was better adapted than he, in
default of more solid qualities, to give a becoming air to the
outward manifestations of a royalty that was at once amiable and

It is half-past seven in the morning. The ceremony begins.
Escorted by his two attendant cardinals, the King reaches the foot
of the altar and kneels. Mgr. de Latil, Archbishop of Rheims,
standing and without his mitre, pronounces this prayer:--

"Almighty God, who rulest all above us, and who hast deigned to
raise to the throne Thy servant Charles, we implore Thee to
preserve him from all adversity, to strengthen him with the gift
of the peace of the Church, and to bring him by Thy grace to the
joys of a peace eternal!"

The King is now escorted by the two cardinals to the seat prepared
for him in the centre of the sanctuary, under the great dais, a
little in advance of the first of the steps that divide the
sanctuary from the choir. At his right are the Dauphin, the Duke
of Orleans, and the Duke of Bourbon, their ducal crowns on their

The Veni Creator having been sung, the Archbishop takes the book
of the Gospels, on which he places a piece of the true cross, and
holds it open before the monarch. Charles X., seated, his head
covered, his hand on the Gospels and the true cross, pronounces in
a strong voice the oath of coronation:--

"In the presence of God, I promise to my people to maintain and
honor our holy religion, as belongs to the very Christian King and
eldest son of the Church; to render good justice to all my
subjects; finally, to govern according to the laws of the kingdom
and the Constitutional Charter, which I swear faithfully to
observe, so help me God and His holy Gospels."

The King next takes two other oaths, the first as sovereign chief
and grand master of the Order of the Holy Spirit, the others as
sovereign chief and grand master of the military and royal Order
of Saint Louis and of the royal Order of the Legion of Honor. He
swears to maintain these orders and not to allow them to fail of
their glorious prerogatives. Then his gown is removed by the First
Gentleman of the Chamber, and he gives his cap to the First
Chamberlain. He now bears only the robe of red satin with gold
lace on the seams. He is seated. The Marquis of Dreux-Breze, Grand
Master of Ceremonies, goes to the altar and takes the shoes of
violet velvet sown with golden fleurs-de-lis, and Prince
Talleyrand, Grand Chamberlain, puts them on the feet of the King.

Then the Archbishop blesses the sword of Charlemagne, placed on
the altar in its scabbard:--

"Exaudi Domine," he says, "grant our prayers, and deign to bless
with Thy hand this sword with which Thy servant Charles is girt,
that he may use it to protect the churches, the widows, and the
orphans, and all Thy servants; and may this sword inspire dread
and terror to whoever shall dare to lay snares for our King. We
ask it through our Lord Jesus Christ."

The Archbishop draws the sword from the sheath, and places it
naked in the hands of the King, who, having lowered it, offers it
to God and replaces it upon the altar.

To the ceremony of the sword succeeds the preparation of the holy
chrism. The Archbishop has the reliquary opened containing the
holy ampulla, which is taken from a little chest of gold; he
withdraws from it, by means of a golden needle, a particle which
he mingles with the holy chrism on the patin. Meanwhile the choir

"The holy Bishop Remi, having received from Heaven this precious
balm, sanctified the illustrious race of the French in the
baptismal waters and enriched them with the gift of the Holy

Then the two attendant cardinals undo the openings made in the
garments of the King for the anointings, and escort His Majesty to
the altar. A large carpet of velvet with fleurs-de-lis is
stretched in front, and on this are two cushions of velvet, one
over the other. The King prostrates himself, his face against the
cushions. The Archbishop, holding the golden patin of the chalice
of Saint Remi, on which is the sacred unction, takes some upon his
thumb, and consecrates the King, who is kneeling.

The Archbishop then proceeds to the seven anointings: on the crown
of the head, on the breast, between the shoulders, on the right
shoulder, on the left shoulder, in the bend of the right arm, in
the bend of the left arm, making the sign of the cross at each,
and repeating seven times: ungo te in regem de oleo sanctificato,
in nomine patris et filii et spiritus sancti. Aided by the
attendant cardinals, he then closes the openings in the King's

The Grand Chamberlain advances, and puts upon His Majesty the

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