Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

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 saw the national colours—everywhere you heard the notes of the too famous “ça ira” swelling the soft breezes of a luxurious summer eveningand 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 past.”

DRYDEN's Threnod. Aug. The 1st of August was a day of rest, a day of Jubilee. On the 2nd of August came the abdication of Charles the Tenth and of the Dauphin. On the 3rd 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, and a commission was appointed to consider M. Bérard'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.

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 tricolore. Liberté, égalité et ordre public, fut toujours ma devise, je lui serai fidéle.

“ 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 accustomed to the peaceful life which I have passed in my familyI 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, amidst peals of cannon, and the loud chaunt of the Marseillaise,' the French people accepted Louis Philippe as King of the French, while the Bey of Titeri was vowing allegiance to Charles the Tenth, “ 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 amidst 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 avenuesas he lingered (and long, his attendants say, 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 chateau, as bent with fatigue, and worn by agitation, the old King descended amidst the scanty crowd, collected, less from affection than curiosity. 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 the Tenth believed that it would be given to his grandson. Even the Commissioners* did not combat this belief. M. Odillon

* M. Schonen, M. Odillon Barrot, Marshal Maison, sent by the Government.

sang versé

Barrot said—“ Votre majesté sentira que le

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 3rd ; already on the 2nd 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 the Tenth refused to see them. They returned to Paris, and their return was the signal for one of the most singular expeditions by which a monarch was ever yet driven from his dominions. The drum beat in the streets—the still excited populace collected :-“ Charles the Tenth is coming to Paris !”—“ Charles the Tenth 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 the Tenth,"—“ to Rambouillet -to Rambouillet ! -after Charles the Tenth to Rambouillet !”

cry—as on a no less memorable occasion

was the

« VorigeDoorgaan »