Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

whom he charged with these ordonnances, was not at the Chamber so soon as he was expected. The deputies, when he reached it, had already invited the present king to Paris. M. Thiers, who said, “ Les plus prompts aujourd'hui seront les plus habiles," had already been to Neuilly, and succeeded in obtaining from Mademoiselle Adélaide the promise that she, at all events (the Duc d'Orléans was not to be found), would appear, if necessary, on her brother's behalf. When M. de Sussy arrived, then, the die was cast, and the Chamber refused to acknowledge the sovereign on whose behalf he appeared. Lafayette and the provisional government treated his mission with still greater disrespect; and such was the feeling at the Hôtel de Ville, that M. de Puyraveau, who read the papers that M. de Sussy presented, said, in answer, “ That the French were determined not to have another royal master, and that a republic was better than the government called a constitutional one.

Agitated by different rumours-hearing of embassies from St. Cloud, meetings at M. Lafitte's and at the Chamber, conferences at the Hôtel de Ville—the people, always suspicious, began to murmur, to mutter together in small groups, to speak of treason, of vengeance. An event was only wanting to awaken into a more terrible force those popular elements of trouble which it was so necessary to lull speedily to repose.* Celerity was every thing, inaction was the utmost danger ; not a moment was to be lost; the Chamber sent a deputation to Neuilly with the offer of the “ lieutenance-générale.” It was at night, at the gate of his

* It was attempted to quiet them by a proclamation; and a proclamation now appeared, in which the Parisians were called demi-gods and heroes; « Vive la France, vive le peuple de Paris, vive la liberté, said the provisional government, and the people were less dissatisfied than before. In this proclamation Charles X. was, for the first time, declared to have lost his throne; and M. Périer refused to sign it, because it contained, as he conceived, an act of authority beyond the power with which the provisional or municipal government were endowed.

ment.”

park,* by the pale and flickering light of a torch, that the Duc d'Orléans read the communication so important to his family and to France. He saw the crisishe saw that the time, long perchance looked forward to, was arrived; he lost not an instant : he set off immediately, and on foot, to Paris. Nor were his partisans idle.

On all the walls you might have read, “ Charles ne se croit pas vaincu.”—“ Le Duc de Chartres marche au secours de Paris avec son régi

La république nous brouillerait avec l’Europe.' _" Le Duc d'Orléans était à Jemmapes.”—“Le Duc d'Orléans est un roi citoyen,” &c.

Such was the state of things at Paris ; agitation with the people, indecision with the republicans, -neither courage, energy, nor good fortune with the royalists ; and amid all surrounding doubts, difficulties, and fears, to the empty throne the faction Orléans wound itself ably and rapidly along. The advice of Marshal Marmont to the king at St. Cloud was, “ Take your troops to the Loire; they will there be beyond the reach of disaffection ; summon the Chambers and the corps diplomatique' to your place of residence ; take these measures immediately,—your throne is yet secure.” The king hesitated—the troops deserted. The few moments that should have been spent in adopting some energetic line of conduct were wasted in a violent dispute between the dauphin and the Duc de Raguse.f There was no hope where there was no union, no conduct, no courage.

We are arrived at the 31st.

The succeeding events of the revolution are rapid in their succession. At twelve o'clock, the Duc

* He had returned to Neuilly. + The Duc de Raguse published an order of the day to the troops, which, by inadvertence, he had not shown to the Duc d'Angoulême. This order, moreover, was contrary to the dauphin's opinions. He was furious, rushed upon the Duc de Raguse, and even wounded himself in wresting his sword from the marshal's side. Charles X. succeeded in procuring mutual apologies ; but such a quarrel at such a moment inspired mistrust among all parties, and filled up the fatality of the unfortunate king's fortunes.

d'Orléans, with some affected coyness, accepts the "lieutenance-générale.” The Chamber, assembled at one, receives his royal highness's answer, and publishes a declaration of its proceedings." Almost immediately after this, the new lieutenant-general on horseback, with no guards, escorted by the deputies, visited the Hôtel de Ville. The crowds who lined his passage were cold, doubtful, and as it were embarrassed. They felt they had not been consulted—they did not know whether they had been deceived. All eyes were turned

upon

the Hôtel de Ville-great was its power at that moment, and solemn was the pause when Lafayette—the picture of that venerable man, the

* “La France est libre : le pouvoir absolu levait son drapeau : l'héroique population de Paris l'a abattu. Paris attaqué a fait triompher par les armes la cause sacrée qui venait de triompher en vain dans les élections. Un pouvoir usurpateur de nos droits, perturbateur de notre repos, menaçait à-la-fois la liberté et l'ordre : nous rentrons en possession de l'ordre et de la liberté. Plus de crainte pour les droits acquis, plus de barrière entre nous et les droits qui nous manquent encore.

Un gouvernement qui, sans délai, nous garantisse ces biens, est aujourd'hui le premier besoin de la patrie. Français, ceux de vos députés qui se trouvent déjà à Paris se sont réunis, et, en attendant l'intervention régulière des Chambres, ils ont invité un Français qui n'a jamais combattu que pour la France, M. le Duc d'Orléans, à exercer les fonctions de lieutenant-général du royaume. C'est à leurs yeux le plus sûr moyen d'accomplir promptement par la paix le succès de la plus légitime défense.

“ Le Duc d'Orléans est devoué à la cause nationale et constitutionnelle. 'Il en a toujours défendu les intérêts et professé les principes. Il respectera nos droits, car il tiendra de nous les siens. Nous nous assurons par les lois toutes les garanties nécessaires pour rendre la liberté forte et durable;

“Le rétablissement de la garde nationale avec l'intervention des gardes nationaux dans le choix des officiers;

“L'intervention des citoyens dans la formation des administrations départementales et municipales ;

** Le jury pour les délits de la presse; la responsabilité légalement organisée des ministres et des agens secondaires de l'administration;

“L'état des militaires légalement assuré ;
“La réélection des députés promus à des fonctions publiques;

“Nous donnerons enfin à nos institutions, de concert avec le chef de l'état, les développemens dont elles ont besoin.

• Français, le Duc d'Orléans lui-même a déjà parlé, et son langage est celui qui convient à un pays libre : "Les Chambres vont se réunir,' nous dit-il ; elles aviseront aux moyens d'assurer le règne des lois et le maintien des droits de la nation. “La charte sera désormais une vérité."

arbiter of the troubled hour, whom Virgil has so beautifully described his aged head crowned with the character of seventy years—appeared in the same balcony where he had been so conspicuous nearly half a century before, waving in one hand the flag of the old republic, and presenting in the other the candidate for the new monarchy. Then, and not till then, burst out the loud, hearty, and long-resounding shouts of a joyous and trusting people; then, and not till then, the nation that had been fighting for its liberties, and the party that had been plotting for their prince, understood one another, and felt that their common object was to be found in their common union. It is useless to dwell on the conversations which are stated to have taken place on this day, and which have been so frequently recounted and disputed. Their wording is of little import ; their spirit could not be very different from the proclamation published at the same period, and which said nearly all that the wildest demagogues could desire. But who wants to know that in a moment of popular triumph the parties investing themselves with power must have made popular professions ?*

* CONVERSATION OF M. LAFAYETTE AND Louis PHILIPPE “Vous savez, lui dis-je, que je suis républicain, et que je regarde la constitution des Etats-Unis comme la plus parfaite qui ait jamais existé.”—“ Je pense comme vous, répondit le Duc d'Orléans, il est impossible d'avoir passé deux ans en Amérique, et de n'être pas de cet avis; mais croyez-vous, dans la situation de la France, et d'après l'opinion générale, qu'il nous convienne de l'adopter ?"__"Non, lui dis-je; ce qu'il faut aujourd'hui au peuple Français, c'est un trône populaire entouré d'institutions républicaines, tout-à-fait républicaines.”—“C'est bien ainsi que je l'entends," repartit le prince.

PROCLAMATION OF GENERAL LAFAYETTE."La réunion des députés actuellement à Paris vient de communiquer au général en chef la résolution qui, dans l'urgence des circonstances, a nommé M. le Duc d'Orléans lieutenant-général du royaume. Dans trois jours la Chambre sera en séance régulière, conformément au mandat de ses commettants, pour s'occuper de ses devoirs patriotiques, rendus plus importants et plus étendus encore par le glorieux évènement qui vient de faire rentrer le peuple Français dans la plénitude de ses imprescriptibles droits. Honneur à la population Parisienne!

“C'est alors que les représentans des colléges électoraux, honorés de l'assentiment de la France entière, sauront assurer à la patrie, pré. alablemeni aux considérations et aux formes secondaires de gouverne. ment, toutes les garanties de liberté, d'égalité et d'ordre public, que réclament la nature souveraine de nos droits, et la ferme volonté du peuple Français.

The Provisional Government was now superseded by the lieutenant-general. We are come to the 1st of August; it was a Sunday. The weather was beautiful; the streets were crowded with that idle populace so peculiarly Parisian--the churches open, the Quais thronged, and the people dancing and everywhere you heard, everywhere you saw the national colours—the notes of the too famous “ ça iraswelling the soft breezes of a luxurious summer evening—and all Paris seemed one large family.

“Men met each other with erected look,
The steps were higher which they took,
Friends to congratulate their friends made haste,
And long inveterate foes saluted as they pase'd.”

Deyden's Threnod. Aug.

The 1st of August was a day of rest, a day of Jubilee. On the 2d of August came the abdication of Charles X. and of the dauphin.

On the 3d the Chambers met, and the lieutenant-general opened them with a speech. On the 4th the Chamber of Deputies verified the powers of its members, and the Chamber of Peers, which had hitherto kept aloof, nominated a commission to reply to the opening speech of the lieutenant-general. On the 6th, M. C. Périer was named president of the Lower Chamber,

Déjà sous le gouvernement d'origine et d'influences étrangères qui vient de cesser, grace à l'héroïque, rapide et populaire effort d'une juste résistance à l'aggression contre-révolutionnaire, il était reconnu que, dans la session actuelle, les demandes du rétablissement d'administrations électives, communales et départementales, la formation des gardes nationales de France sur les bases de la loi de 91, l'extension de l'application au jury, les questions relatives à la loi électorale, la liberté de l'enseignement, la responsabilité, devaient être des objets de discussion législative, préalables à tout vote de subsides ; à combien plus forte raison ces garanties et toutes celles que la liberté et l'égalité peuvent réclamer doivent-elles précéder la concession des pouvoirs définitifs que la France jugerait à propos de conférer! En attendant, elle sait que le lieutenant-général du royaume, appelé par la Chambre, fut un des jeunes patriotes de 89, un des premiers généraux qui firent triompher le drapeau tri-colore. Liberté, égalité et ordre public, fut toujours ma devise, je lui serai fidéle."

« VorigeDoorgaan »