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wield had already fallen from his hand; as much from indolence as impotence, he had for years renounced the hope of governing an undivided people, and consented to a system which he had the wisdom to comprehend, but not the force to resist. On the 6th of September 1824, Louis XVIII. terminated an existence which his sufferings rendered wretched, and of which it is too probable that his excesses shortened the duration. He may be said to have reigned for ten years, and the greatness which he had shown in his misfortunes had been at times perceptible during his power. Never was crown so difficult to wear as that which, in the right of hereditary superstition, foreign hands had placed upon this King's head.
By what party was he to support himself? From what elements could the government be formed which would assure him a prosperous and peaceful reign ? The armies that escorted him to the Tuileries had marched over the prostrate legions of defeated France; the sovereigns who gave him a kingdom were the successful enemies of the people whose interests he was come to cherish.
He could not rely upon his army then, for he was the friend of the stranger; he could not rely upon his allies, for he was the sovereign of France.
There was a party who had followed his fortunes, of gallant lineage —of tried fidelity; they had a hold upon his prejudices, a right to his affections, and they claimed to be the counsellors of the monarch whom they had obeyed and honoured as the exile. But this party, in following the fortunes of the King of France, had stood for twenty years opposed to the fortunes of the French people; they were aliens in the country they wished to govern: a deluge had swept over all things since their departure; and in vain they sought for the ancient world, which they found everywhere altered, and which they wished to find everywhere the same. There were other parties : there were the parties of the Revolution; the parties of the Empire; there were the parties that had stormed the Tuileries on the 10th of August, voted the death of Louis XVI. on the 21st of January (1793), assisted Bonaparte on the 18th of Brumaire (1799), and vowed allegiance to his empire on the 2nd of December (1804); there were the Republicans by principle, the Imperialists by gratitude, habit, and interest. Could the royalists be employed ? Could the republicans be gained ? Could the imperialists be trusted? There was universal division, even where there was the appearance of universal
content. The emigration rejoiced at the idea of a court which would breathe life into the forgotten memories of Versailles; the more liberal of the old assemblies and the senate equally rejoiced at the substitution of a constitutional King for a military Despot; and the high dignitaries of the empire imagined for a time that their services would be remembered and their origin forgotten.
The momentary force of the restoration was in its giving hopes to all; the permanent weakness of the restoration was, in the necessity of its giving disappointment to all. The satisfaction was immediate; it surrounded the horse of the Comte d'Artois, and applauded his graceful air; it followed the coach of the royal exile from Hartwell, and in spite of the bonnet of the Duchesse d'Angoulême,* and the Englishified aspect of the Duc de Berri, remarked the wit of Louis's conversation, the dignity of his manner, and the benevolence of his countenance. The satisfaction was immediate the dissatisfaction gradually developed itself — until each party had assaulted the system which each
Nothing, however, tended, at the time, more to add to the dislike, and to increase the contempt with which a certain portion of the Parisians regarded the royal family, than to find them—so ill-dressed.
party had expected to control. The military were the first to feel disgusted at the change. The veterans of the 'vieille garde' of the
grande armée,' could little brook the insolence of those favoured troops, who, reviving the old names, the old uniforms, the old prejudices of a by-gone system, considered it their principal distinction to have escaped the contaminating victories of an usurper. Offended at the loss of their eagles, passionately fond of their ancient colours, the soldiery received a provocation in the order to change the numbers of their regiments; and obeyed, with illsmothered indignation, the command which severed them from the last of their military recollections. And, if the soldiery considered themselves aggrieved, so also did the generals and the marshals of the empire deem they had their causes of complaint. The recent genealogies of the camp lost their illustration before the ancient chivalry of the court. Trusted with high commands, the great officers of Napoléon were treated with little respect; while their wives— long accustomed to the homage of that ardent and warlike youth who passed with alternate passions from the battle to the ball — long accustomed to have their charms undisputed and adored—now galled by the contempt
of a new race of rivals, now disconcerted by the formal hauteur' of the old courtier and the supercilious disregard of the young noblefilled the salons' of the Queen Hortense, listened with sparkling eyes to the vivacious sallies of Madame Hamelin,* and sighed for the graceful confidences of Josephine, and the splendid days of Marie Louise. The army then was the first to be disgusted ; —the battle of Waterloo decided that the wishes of the army could not be obeyed.
Nothing could have happened more fortunate for the Bourbons than the events of the hundred days; those events had alarmed the civil part of the nation at the power which the military part possessed ; they had rendered the nation jealous of the army - they had dispersed and dispirited the army itself; they had shown France that she could only obtain a change by a war with Europe, and that for such a war she was too weak; and more than all this, they had furnished a comparison be
* The hundred days might fairly be called “ the revolution of the women ;” and among the ladies engaged in the intrigues of the time, the most conspicuous for her talents, her conversation, her energy, her charms, and the confidence of Bonaparte, was that lady whom I have just mentioned !