« VorigeDoorgaan »
The Provisional Government was now superseded by the lieutenant-general. We are come to the lst 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 66
ça ira” swelling the soft breezes of a luxurious summer evening—and all Paris seemed one large family.
“Men met each other with erected look,
DRYDEN'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,
réclament la nature souveraine de nos droits, et la ferme volonté du peuple Français.
“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 raisou 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 géné. raux qui firent triompher le drapeau tri-colore. Liberté, égalité et ordre public, fut toujours ma devise, je lui serai fidéle."
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 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 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
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.
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 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.
“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
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.
REVIEW OF THE REVOLUTION OF 1830.
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 revolution.
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.