The 19th, there was a visit to the ruins of the Chateau of Arques, immortalized by the victory of Henry IV. An agreeable surprise for Madame was a comedy for the occasion improvised by the actors of the Vaudeville. When the Princess presents herself before the Chateau, a little peasant girl at first refuses her admittance. She has received orders, she says, from her father and mother to open to no one, no matter whom. But the air Vive Henri IV. is heard, and straightway both doors are opened wide to the Princess. An old concierge and his wife sing piquant verses about their first refusal to open to her. From here Madame is guided by the little peasant girl to the entrance of an ancient garden, where she perceives the whole troupe in the costume of gardeners and garden girls. She is offered bouquets and escorted to a dairy at the extremity of the ruins. The band of the guard plays for her her favorite air, Charmante Gabrielle. A young milk-maid—the pretty actress Jenny Colon—offers her a cup of milk and sings couplets that please her greatly. Then comes the husband of the dairy-maid and recounts to the grand-daughter of Henry IV. the victory won by her ancestor over the Duke of Mayenne. A little later, Madame is conducted to the foot of an ancient tower, whence there is a view of immense extent. Here she is arrested by the songs of an ancient minstrel, whose voice is accompanied by mysterious music hidden in the hollows of the ruins.
Going from surprise to surprise, the Princess trav erses a long arch of verdure where she reads on escutcheons the dates dear to her heart. At the end of this long avenue, she again finds the entire troupe of the Vaudeville, who re-escort her to the gates of Chateau, singing a general chorus of farewell, amid cries of "Long live the King! Long live Madame!" the effect of which is doubled by repeated salutes of artillery.
Some days later, the 7th of September, the Duchess of Berry learned, during the day, that a frightful tempest threatened to engulf a great number of fishing-boats which were coming toward port. Instantly she countermanded a ball that she was to give that evening. She proceeded in all haste to the point whence aid could be given to these unfortunates. Clinging to a little post on the jetty, which the waves covered from all sides, she directed and encouraged the rescue. The Dieppe correspondence of the Moniteur said:—
"What has been seen at Dieppe alone, is a young Princess, braving all the dangers of a wild sea, re maining on the end of the jetty to direct the succor of the fishing-boats that were seeking refuge in the harbor. She seemed placed there by the Deity as a protecting angel, and the sailors who saw her took courage again."
She withdrew from the dangerous place, which she called her post, only when all the barks had entered port. One man only had perished. Before even changing her clothing the Princess sent relief to his widow.
By her kindness, her charity, her grace, Madame won all hearts. Her protection revived at Dieppe the commerce in ivory and laces. She gave two brevets, one in her own name, the other in that of Mademoiselle, to the best two manufacturers in the city, and made considerable purchases. She founded at her expense, under the direction of the Sisters of Providence, a manufactory of laces where a large number of young girls obtained at the same time the means of living and the benefits of a Christian education. Between the Princess and her good city of Dieppe there was a constant exchange of delicate attentions and proofs of sympathy. When she was spoken to of preparations for departure, "Already?" she said sadly. She left the 19th of September, 1826, and returned the following year.
The 6th of August, 1827, Madame made an entry to Dieppe by the hamlet of Janval. A great crowd went to visit her, and greeted her with enthusiastic cheers. The 13th of August, the city offered her a great ball, at which more than twelve hundred persons attended. On the 16th, the portrait of the Princess was unveiled at the Hotel de Ville. At the moment that the veil was raised, the band of the fifth regiment of the royal guard played the air of Vive Henri IV. amid long applause. The mayor of Dieppe, M. Cavalier, pronounced a discourse in which he expressed the gratitude of the inhabitants, and promised that the cherished image should be surrounded, age after age, by the veneration of a city whose history was one of constant devotion to its Kings. In the evening Madame gave a soiree at which the hereditary Princess of Hesse-Darmstadt was present. Rossini was at the piano and sang with his wife and with Balfe; Nadermann played the harp.
The Duchess of Berry made numerous excursions by sea, even in the worst weather. One day, at least, she was in some danger. The sailors admired her good spirits and her courage. "Oh," they said, "she is indeed a worthy descendant of Henry IV."
The 4th of September, 1827, Mademoiselle, with her governess, the Duchess of Gontaut, came to join her mother at Dieppe. The little Princess was to be eight years old the 21st of the month. A formal reception was given her. Her arrival was announced by the noise of cannon and the sound of bells. The Baron de Viel-Castel, sub-prefect of the city, made a complimentary address to her. She responded in the most gracious manner, "I know how much you love my mother, and I loved you in advance."
Madame, who had gone to meet her daughter at Osmonville, three leagues from Dieppe, took her in her carriage. The horses proceeded at a walk, and the people never wearied of admiring the gentle little Princess. On the morrow, Madame received the homage of the functionaries. The mayor said to her: "Your Royal Highness is in a country filled with your ancestors, in a city honored by Henry IV. with special benevolence, which Louis XIV. rewarded for its fidelity by calling it 'his good city,' which your august aunt, Madame the Dauphiness, deigned to choose for her return to France, and which received her, triumphant and adored."
An elegant breakfast service in ivory, with her arms, was presented to Mademoiselle by a group of very young people. She next received a deputation of the fisherwomen of Du Polet, the faubourg of Dieppe. They came in their picturesque costumes,—a skirt falling a little below the knee, men's buckled shoes, a striped apron of white and red, an enormous head-dress, with broad tabs, and great ear-rings. They sang couplets expressing a lively attachment to the family of the Bourbons. In their enthusiasm they asked and obtained leave to kiss the little Princess.
On the 6th of September, there was a fete at the ruins of the Castle of Arques. From seven in the morning the crowd gathered on the hillside of Saint Etienne, at the edge of the coast between Martin-Eglise and the village of Arques. It is a magnificent site, which, towering above the valley, is surrounded on all sides by grim hill-slopes, while in the distance is the sea, along the edge of which extends the city of Dieppe, like a majestic dike. A mimic battle took place in the presence of Madame and her daughter, on the ground where Henry IV. had delivered the famous battle of September 21, 1589. Numerous strokes on the flags of different colors indicated the lines of the Bearnais, and circumscribed the enceinte occupied by his troops. An obelisk had been placed at the highest point of this sort of entrenched camp; in the centre was a post tent, under which a rich breakfast had been prepared for the two princesses. During the repast, both put their names to a subscription to erect a monument commemorating the victory of their ancestor.
The 14th of September, the city offered a ball to Madame and Mademoiselle. The little Princess danced two quadrilles. The 15th, she offered lunch to a great number of children of her own age, and afterward went with them to the theatre. The 18th, at the close of the play, some scenes were represented before Madame, mingled with verses, expressing the regret of the city at the near departure of Madame. The next day, the Princess and her daughter left Dieppe, between double lines of troops and National Guards.
The journey of the Duchess of Berry in the West, in 1828, prevented her from going that year to Dieppe. She came in 1829, but it was for the last time. She arrived the 6th of August, with her daughter. The next day she danced at a subscription ball given by the city and by the visitors to the baths; the 8th she received a visit from the Dauphiness, who passed three days with her.
For every fete there was a corresponding good work. The Princess said: "I wish that while I am enjoying myself the poor may also have their share." The 18th of August, she visited the bazaar opened for the benefit of the indigent. Mademoiselle had conceived the idea of writing her name on little objects of painted wood, which were bid for at their weight in gold. The 24th, Madame gave a concert, at which the Sontag sisters were heard and some stanzas of the Viscount of Castel-bajac were recited. The 25th, the city offered a ball to Mademoiselle, at which the grace of the little Princess, her tact, and her precocious amiability, excited surprise. The 9th of September, the inauguration of the monument commemorative of the victory of Henry IV. took place in the presence of Madame and her daughter. It was a column indicating the point where the army of Mayenne debouched to surround the King's troops, when, the fog rising, the artillery of the castle could be brought into play, and threw into disorder the ranks of the Leaguers. The inauguration interested the Duchess much. The troops of the line and the National Guard had established bivouacs where the princesses read with joy such inscriptions as these: "The young Henry will find again the arquebusiers of Henry IV.—The flag of the 12th will always rally to the white plume!—Two Henrys—one love, one devotion."
A table of forty covers had been arranged under a pavilion draped with flags. After the repast Madame and Mademoiselle danced several quadrilles on the grass. The fete was charming. An expression of joy was depicted on every face.
At the time of her various sojourns at Dieppe, the Duchess of Berry went to visit the Orleans family at the Chateau d'Eu, She manifested toward her aunt, Marie-Amelie, the liveliest affection, and had no courtier more amiable and assiduous than the young Duke of Chartres, whom, it is said, she wished to have as husband for Mademoiselle. The 9th of September, she had been at the baptismal font, with the Duke of Angouleme, the Duke of Montpensier, the latest son of the Duke of Orleans. She was very fond of her god-son, and nothing was more agreeable to her than a reunion at the Chateau d'Eu, where Mademoiselle was always happy, playing with her young cousins.
The Duchess of Berry and her daughter returned to Saint Cloud the 16th of September, 1829. On leaving, Mademoiselle said to the Dieppois: "My friends, I will come back next year, and I will bring you my brother." Neither she nor her mother was to return.
THE PRINCE DE POLIGNAC
At the very moment that the Duchess of Berry, happy and smiling, was tranquilly taking the sea-baths at Dieppe, an event occurred at Paris that was the signal for catastrophes. The 9th of August, 1829, the Moniteur published the decree constituting the cabinet, in which were included the Prince de Polignac as Minister of Foreign Affairs; Count de La Bourdonnaye as Minister of the Interior; and as Minister of War, the General Count de Bourmont. The next day the Debats said:—
"So here is once more broken the bond of love and confidence that was uniting the people to the Monarch. Here once again are the court with its old rancors, the Emigration with its prejudices, the priesthood with its hatred of liberty, coming to throw themselves between France and her King. What she has conquered by forty years of travail and misfortune is taken from her; what she repels with all the force of her will, all the energy of her deepest desires, is violently imposed upon her. Ill-fated France! Ill-fated King!"
The 15th of August the Debats reached a paroxysm of fury:—
"If from all the battle-fields of Europe where our Grand Army has left its members, if from Belgium, where it left the last fragments of its body, and from the place where Marshal Ney fell shot, there arise cries of anger that resound in our hearts, if the column of the Grand Army seems to tremble through all its bronze battalions, whose is the fault? No, no; nothing is lacking in this ministry of the counter-Revolution. Waterloo is represented. ... M. de Polignac represents in it the ideas of the first Emigration, the ideas of Coblenz; M. de La Bourdonnaye the faction of 1815 with its murderous friendships, its law of proscription, and its clientele of southern massacres. Coblenz, Waterloo, 1815, these are the three personages of the ministry. Turn it how you will, every side dismays. Every side angers. It has no aspect that is not sinister, no face that is not menacing. Take our hatreds of thirty years ago, our sorrows and our fears of fifteen years ago, all are there, all have joined to insult and irritate France. Squeeze, wring this ministry, it drips only humiliations, misfortunes, dangers."
The Abbe Vedrenne, historian of Charles X., wrote:—
"How is the language of the writers of the Debats, who called themselves royalists, to be understood? Was not Charles X. at Coblenz? Did not Chateaubriand emigrate with the King and the princes? Did he not follow Louis XVIII. to Ghent? Was he not in his council at the very hour of the battle of Waterloo? They might as well have stigmatized the white flag and demanded the proscription of the King's dynasty. But such was their blindness that they feared nothing for it. 'The throne runs no risk,' said Chateaubriand, 'let us tremble for liberty only.' Yet the nomination of the Polignac ministry was an error. It appeared to be a provocation, a sort of defiance. Charles X. doubtless only wished to defend himself, but in choosing such ministers at such an hour, he appeared to be willing to attack."
From the debut of the new cabinet, the Opposition, to use a recent expression, showed itself irreconcilable. It raised a long cry of anger, and declared war to the death on Prince Polignac.
"It is in vain," said the Debats, "that the ministers demand of Time to efface with a sweep of his wing their days, their actions, their thoughts, of yesterday; these live for them, as for us. The shadow of their past goes before them and traces their route. They cannot turn aside; they must march; they must advance.—But I wish to turn back.—You cannot.—But I shall support liberty, the Charter, the Opposition.—You cannot. March, then, march, under the spur of necessity, to the abyss of Coups d'Etat! March! Your life has judged and condemned you. Your destiny is accomplished."
The man who excited hatreds so violent was Jules de Polignac. He was born at Versailles, May 14, 1780. As the German historian, Gervinus, has said: "His past weighed upon him like a lash of political interdict. He was the son of the Duchess of Polignac, who had been the object of so many calumnies, and who had never been pardoned for the intimate friendship with which she was honored by the unfortunate queen, Marie Antoinette, a friendship that had evoked against her, first all the jealousies of the envious courtiers, and then all the aversion of the people. It was believed that a like favoritism could be recognized in the relations of the son of the Duchess with Charles X. To this unpopularity, inherited from his mother, was joined another that was directed against the person of the emigre."
After having been one of the courtiers of the little court at Coblenz, he had taken service for some time in Russia, and then passed into England, where he had been one of the most intimate confidants, and one of the most active agents of the Count d'Artois. Sent secretly into France, with his elder brother, the Duke Armand de Polignac, he was, like the latter, compromised in the Cadoudal conspiracy. Their trial is remarkable for the noble strife of devotion, in which each of the brothers pleaded the cause of the other at the expense of his own. Armand was condemned to death. His wife threw herself at the feet of the First Consul, who, thanks to the intercession of Josephine, commuted the penalty of death to perpetual confinement. Jules was condemned to prison, and shared the captivity of his brother. Confined at first in the castle of Ham, then in the Temple, then at Vincennes, they obtained, at the time of the marriage of Napoleon with Marie Louise, their transfer to a hospital. There they knew the General Mallet, but the part they were suspected of taking in his conspiracy was never proven. When the allied armies entered France, they succeeded in escaping, and rejoined the Count d'Artois at Vesoul. They penetrated to Paris some days before the capitulation, and displayed the white flag there the 3d of March, 1814.
Peer of France, field-marshal, ambassador, the Prince Jules de Polignac was one of the favorites of the Restoration. On the proposition of M. de Chateaubriand, then Minister of Foreign Affairs, he had him named, in 1823, ambassador to London, where he had shown a genuine talent for diplomacy. The example of England made him think that in France the liberties of the constitutional regime could be combined with the directing influence of an aristocracy. That was his error and the cause of his fall. Some weeks before his accession to the ministry, he had solemnly affirmed in the Chamber of Peers, that he considered the Charter as a solemn pact, on which rested the monarchical institutions of France, and as the heavenly sign of a serene future. But the liberals did not believe his word, and accused him of striving to re-establish the old regime.
Even at court the accession of the Prince de Polignac did not fail to cause apprehension. Charles X., having announced to the Duchess of Gontaut that he was going to appoint him minister, added: "This news must give you pleasure; you know him well, I believe." The Duchess replied: "He has been absent a long time. I only knew him when very young." The King resumed: "Do not speak of it; it is my secret as yet." Madame de Gontaut could not keep from smiling, for she held several letters from London in her hand, among others one from the sister-in-law of the Duke of Wellington, announcing the news. Charles X. wished to see the letters. "He is good, loyal," they said, "loving the King as one loves a friend, but feeble, and with bad surroundings. It is doubted whether he can ever rise to the height of the post in which the King wishes to place him."
Charles X., wounded by the indiscretion of the Prince, and also by that of the Duke of Wellington, who divulged what he himself was keeping secret, returned the letter to Madame de Gontaut, and remarked:—
"It is very thoughtless in Jules to have spoken of it so soon, and in the Duke to have published it." The Duchess of Gontaut, who was used to frank talk with the King, said: "In the circumstances existing, I long for, I confess it frankly, and at the risk of displeasing Your Majesty, yes, I long for the Martignac ministry."
Then, adds the Duchess in her unpublished Memoirs, the King, more impatient than ever, turned his back on me, and took his way to his apartment. I had had the courage to tell him my thought and the truth. I did not repent it. When we saw each other again the same day he did not speak to me again of it.
One of those most devoted to the elder branch, the Duke Ambroise de la Rochefoucauld-Doudeauville, also says in his Memoirs:—
"The King sincerely wished for the Charter, whatever may be said, but he wished for the monarchy; he, therefore, decided to change ministers who had made promises that seemed to him fatal, and to replace them by others whose principles suited him better. He was not happy in this choice, it must be agreed. He took as Minister of Foreign Affairs and President of the Council the Prince de Polignac. For a long time public opinion had foreseen this choice, and dreaded it. At the commencement of the Restoration M. de Polignac for more than a year had refused to recognize the Charter and to swear fidelity to it, which made him regarded as the pronounced enemy of our institutions. Was this antipathy real? I do not think so. He had for a long time lived in England, as ambassador, and was thoroughly imbued with principles at once very constitutional and very aristocratic, after the English fashion. His devotion was great, as well as his personal merit, but his resources as a statesman were not so much so; he took his desire to do well for the capacity to do well, and he mistook."
When he assumed the direction of affairs the Prince de Polignac was wholly surprised at the systematic and obstinate opposition that he encountered. As M. Guizot said, "he was sincerely astonished that he was not willingly accepted as a minister devoted to the constitutional regime. But the public, without troubling itself to know if he were sincere or not, persisted in seeing in him the champion of the old regime and the standard-bearer of the counter-Revolution."
Although he had passed a part of his life in England, first as emigre, then as ambassador, and had married as his first wife an English lady, Miss Campbell, and as his second another, the daughter of Lord Radcliffe, the Prince de Polignac was French at heart.
No Minister of Foreign Affairs in France had in higher degree the sentiment of the national dignity. Yet this is the way the Debats expressed itself, the 16th of August, 1829, about a man who, the next year, at the time of the glorious Algiers Expedition, was to hold toward England language so proud and firm:—
"The manifesto of M. de Polignac comes to us from England. That is very simple. We have a minister who scarcely knows how to speak anything but English. It takes time to relearn one's native tongue when one has forgotten it for many years. It appears even that one never regains the accent in all its freedom and purity. In fact, the English have not given us M. de Polignac; they have sold him to us. That people understand commerce so well."
Despite all the violent criticisms, all the implacable hatreds by which he was incessantly assailed, the Prince de Polignac was a noble character, and no one should forget the justness of soul with which, from the commencement to the end of his career, he supported misfortune and captivity. The Viscount Sosthenes de La Rochefoucauld, afterwards the Duke of Doudeauville, says, in his Memoirs:—
"The purest honor, the loftiest disinterestedness, the sincerest devotion, are not everything, there is needed a capacity for affairs, a knowledge of men, which experience alone procures and which even the strongest will cannot give. M. de Polignac had all the qualities of the most devoted subject, but his talent did not rise to the height of his position. If it had been necessary only to suffer and to march to death, no one, surely, could have equalled him; but more was requisite, and he remained beneath the level of the circumstances he thought he was overcoming; the fall of the throne was the consequence. How he developed, though, and grew great when in duress, and who should flatter himself that he could bear up with a firmness more unshaken against the severest trials? If M. de Polignac is not a type of the statesman, he will at least remain the complete model of the virtues of the Christian and the private citizen."
The Prince de Polignac was mistaken, but he acted in good faith. No one can dispute his faults, but none can suspect the purity of his intentions. Unfortunately his royalism had in it something of mysticism and ecstasy that made of this gallant man a sort of illumine. He sincerely believed that he had received from God the mission to save the throne and the altar, and foreseeing neither difficulties nor obstacles, regarding all uncertainty and all fear as unworthy of a gentleman and a Christian, he had in himself and in his ideas, that blind, imperturbable confidence that is the characteristic of fanatics. In a period less troubled, this great noble would perhaps have been a remarkable minister of foreign affairs, but in the stormy time when he took the helm in hand, he had neither sufficient prudence nor sufficient experience to resist the tempest and save the ship from the wreck in which the dynasty was to go down.
GENERAL DE BOURMONT
The new Secretary of War awoke no less lively anger than the Prince de Polignac. He was a general of great merit, bold to temerity, brave to heroism, and a tactician of the first order. But his career had felt the vicissitudes of politics, and like so many of his contemporaries,—more, perhaps, than any of them,—he had played the most contradictory parts. Equally intrepid in the army of Conde, in the Vendean army, and in the Grand Army of Napoleon, he had won as much distinction under the white flag as under the tricolor. The Emperor, who was an expert in military talent, having recognized in him a superior military man, had rewarded his services brilliantly. But it is difficult to escape from the memories of one's childhood and first youth.
General Count de Bourmont, born September 2, 1773, at the Chateau of Bourmont (Maine-et-Loire), amid the "Chouans," had shared their religious and monarchical passions. Officer of the French Guards at sixteen, and dismissed by the Revolution, he followed his father at the beginning of the Emigration, lost him at Turin, then went to join the Count d'Artois at Coblenz. He took part in the campaign of 1792, until the disbandment of the Prince's army, served as a simple cavalryman in the army of Conde, then threw himself into La Vendee in the month of October, 1794. He was second in command of the troops of Scepeaux. The Vendean insurrection of 1799 recognized him as one of its chiefs. Victor at Louverne, he seized Mans the 15th of October, and was the last 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.
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.