and a commission was appointed to consider M. Berard's proposition for a modification of the Charta. On the 7th, the Duc d'Orléans was invited by the two Chambers to assume the crown upon such conditions as the alterations in the Charta, that had been agreed to, then prescribed.

"I receive with profound emotion the offer which you present to me. I regard it as the expression of the national will, and it seems to me conformable to the political principles which I have expressed all my life. Still, filled with those recollections which have always made me shrink from the idea of ascending a throne,—free from ambition, and accustomnd to the peaceful life which I have passed in my family-I cannot conceal from you the sentiments which agitate me at this great conjuncture. But there is one sentiment predominating over every other-it is the love of my country. I feel what that sentiment prescribes, and I shall fulfil its commands."

This was the prince's answer; and on the 9th, amid peals of cannon, and the loud chant of the "Marseillaise," the French people accepted Louis Philippe as King of the French, while the Bey of Titeri was vowing allegiance to Charles X., "the great and the victorious."

On the 16th of August this unfortunate monarch embarked at Cherbourg. On the 30th of July he had left St. Cloud; for a day he halted at Versailles. He halted there amid the recollections of bygone times; every tree had a story linked with far distant days; and melancholy must it have been to have seen him as he looked fondly over those stately avenues—as he lingered (and long, his attendants say, he did linger) upon the steps of that royal palace, which he had known so early, and which he will never see again. When he arrived at Rambouillet it was night. The moon threw a ghastly light on the antique tower, and into the dim court-yard of the old château, as bent with fatigue, and worn by agitation, the old king descended amid the scanty crowd, collected, less from affection than curi

osity. Here he determined to abide. The great body of the troops were bivouacked in the woods and park, and in spite of many desertions, a large force was still devotedly attached to the royal family.

There is something mysterious in the transactions of this period. In a letter, published by the dauphin (1st of August), an arrangement is spoken of as being then entered into with the Government at Paris. Almost immediately after was announced the abdication of the king and the dauphin in favour of the Duc de Bordeaux. This certainly seems to have been the arrangement previously alluded to. Whether the lieutenant-general or the government at Paris had held out any expectations, which they never had the wish, or which, if they had the wish, they had not the power, to realize, must long remain a mystery, because, if any communications did pass, it is improbable that they should have been of that direct nature which leaves the matter capable of a positive decision. But certain it is, that up to the time that the Duke of Orleans accepted the throne, Charles X. believed that it would be given to his grandson. Even the commissioners* did not combat this belief. M. Odillon Barrot said "Votre majesté sentira que le sang versé pour le Duc de Bordeaux, servira mal sa cause-il ne faut pas que son nom, qui n'a pas été encore compromis dans nos débats civils, se mêle un jour à des souvenirs de sang."

Why this language, from a man so sincere as M. Odillon Barrot, if the Duc de Bordeaux was at that time out of the question?

This was on the 3d; already on the 2d the commissioners had attempted to obtain an interview with the king for the purpose of inducing him to withdraw from France, or at all events from the neighbourhood of Paris. They passed through the camp; Charles X. refused to see them. They returned to Paris, and their return was the signal for one of the most sin

M. Schonen, M. Odillon Barrot, Marshal Maison, sent by the government.

[ocr errors]

gular expeditions by which a monarch was ever yet driven from his dominions. The drum beat in the streets: the still excited populace collected:-"Charles X. is coming to Paris!"- "Charles X. will not go away from Rambouillet;" all the women in accents of terror-all the little boys in accents of fury screeched out the name of "Charles X.," -"to Rambouillet !-to Rambouillet !—after Charles X. to Rambouillet!" was the cry-as on a no less memorable occasion it had once been—" to Versailles !"—And to Rambouillet, in carolines and hackney-coaches, in carts, in cabriolets, running, riding, driving, without plan as without preparation, rushed the population of Paris. The Commissioners preceded this incongruous cohort, and to-day they succeeded in obtaining an interview with the king.

Charles X., even as a young man, wanted personal courage. He had been accused of this weakness in the court of Louis XVI. Years had not invigorated his spirit. His nerves were shaken, and his mind unstrung by the quick succession of adventures and calamities that had so rapidly followed one another during the last few days. He received the deputation in a state of great agitation.

[ocr errors]

"Qu'est ce qu'ils veulent? me tuer!" was his address to Marshal Maison.

He then asked advice of the Duc de Raguse. What can you say to a man who at the head of a gallant army asks what he should do?

There were that day at Rambouillet twelve thousand infantry, three thousand five hundred cavalry, and forty pieces of cannon. The Royal Guards were on foot, at the head of their horses, one hand on their pistols, one foot ready to put into their stirrups! A prince of courage, wisdom, and resolution might still have extricated himself from the difficulties surrounding Charles X.; but in these difficulties such a prince would never have been involved. Alarmed by an exaggeration of the numbers of the approaching multitude; fatigued with the toil of thinking and planning

[ocr errors]

which he had already undergone; and incapable of a new mental effort to meet the new crisis; flattering himself that the Duc de Bordeaux would still, as the best political combination, be named to the throne; conscious that blood spilled even in victory might endanger the peaceful establishment of this prince, in whose favour he had himself already abdicated; swayed in some degree, doubtless, by these considerations, but urged more especially by his fears and his irresolutions, Charles threw away the sword where others might have thrown away the scabbard, and resigned himself quietly to the destiny which doomed his exile. The soldiers of the hackney-coaches returned to Paris, and the late King of France set out for Maintenon, where, reserving a military escort, he bade adieu to the rest of his army.

His journey was now made slowly, and under the delusion that all France would yet rise in his favour. Betrayed, and left by many of his courtiers, his hopes remained by him to the last; and perhaps still remain, alone faithful in sorrow and in exile.



The two parties among the Royalists and the Liberals-The wishes and ideas of each-Young Napoleon and a republic, or Henry V. and the monarchy the two best combinations-Reasons why not adopted-Having formed the existing government, it is wise to maintain it-Astonishment to the hostility shown by those who put the present king on the throne to the natural consequences of his accession-What Louis Philippe's system must be-Louis Philippe named Philippe I. and not Philippe V.-Triumph over the more moderate party-Constitutional changes caused by the


To any one who has followed the events of this revolution, there will seem to have been on the side of the people, as on the side of the king, two factions.

The Royalists were divided into the friends of the ordonnances and the ministry, and the friends of the monarchy without the ordonnances.

The liberal deputies also were divided. There were those who, without any personal affection for the reigning family, wished for the old form of government, popularly administered (M. Guizot and M. Sébastiani). There were those (M. Lafitte, Laborde, Mauguin*) who wished for a new dynasty and new institutions. M. C. Périer seems to have been between the two parties, and General Lafayette to have gone beyond them both. To M. Guizot, and those who thought like M. Guizot, Henry V. ought to have been more acceptable than the Duc d'Orléans--by M. Lafitte the Duc d'Orléans, even if not personally recommended, would have been preferred to Henry V.-To M. C. Périer the claims of the one, whom circumstances most favoured, were likely to appear the best-To M. de Lafayette the American republic was the dream of a long life.

In the nation, if it could have been polled, the liberal nobility would probably have been for Henry V.; the bourgeoisie for the Duc d'Orléans; the old army for young Napoleon; the masses for a republic. If the Duc d'Orléans was selected, it was because, while his accession promised the least to any particular party, it promised something to all, and was least likely to offend any one party. "The multitudes would have been passionately opposed," say many, "to the legitimate line of the family they had been fighting against." The army would have despised, and the bourgeoisie dreaded the red cap, which had presided over the confiscations and proscriptions of the Comité de Salut Publique. M. Guizot and his friends accepted the Duc d'Orléans as a Bourbon; M. Lafitte and M. Mauguin as a member of the opposition during the time of the Bourbons; General Lafayette as the soldier of Jemmapes, as the aid-de-camp of Dumourier. Besides,

It is these two parties that have formed the government and the apposition of Louis Philippe's reign.

[ocr errors]
« VorigeDoorgaan »