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Chap. medical attendants, and illuminated every visage in the 1x' apartment; but the dying man did not partake the illu182a sion, and fearing to augment the sufferings of the princess by the blasting of vain expectations, he said, " No! I am not deceived: the poniard has entered to the hilt, I can 254*267■!' assure you- Caroline, are you there?" "Yes," exMominta claimed the princess, subduing her sobs, " and will never B° UuC329 *1u^ yo11" ^s domestic surgeon, M. Bougon, was sucking *2; iliog! the wound to restore the circulation, which was beginning STTM'to fail. "What are you doing?" exclaimed the prince: "for God-sake, stop: perhaps the poniard was poisoned."1 The Bishop of Chartres, his father's confessor, at length Hu lJt arrived, and had a few minutes' private conversation with moment*" the dying man, from which he seemed to derive much consolation. He asked for his infant daughter, who was brought to him, still asleep. "Poor child!" exclaimed he, laying his hand on her head, " may you be less unfortunate than the rest of your family." The chief surgeon, Dupuytren, resolved to try, as a last resource, to open and enlarge the wound, to allow the blood, which had begun to impede respiration, to flow externally. He bore the operation with firmness—his hand, already clammy with the sweat of death, still clasping that of the Duchess. After it was over, he said, " Spare me any further pain, since I must die." Then caressing the head of his beloved wife, whose beautiful locks had so often awakened his admiration, " Caroline," said he, " take care of yourself, for the sake of our infant which you bear iu your bosom." The Duke and Duchess of Orleans had been in the apartment from the time the prince was brought iu, and the king, the Duke d'Angouleme, and the rest of the royal 2s^26i!' family, arrived while he was still alive. "Who is the ud'to?"' man who has killed me^" said he: " I should wish to see Moments him, in order to inquire into his motives: perhaps it is Belri 45° some one wuom I have unconsciously offended." The Count 6i. ' ' d'Artois assured him that the assassin had no personal animosity against him.2 "Would that I may live long enough to ask his pardon from the king," said the worthy Chap.
descendant of Saint Louis. "Promise me, my father— IX'
promise me, my brother, to ask of the king the life of 1820that man."
But the supreme hour soon approached: all the re- 37 sources of art could not long avert the stroke of fate. His death. The opening of the wound had only for a brief period relieved the accumulation of blood within the breast, and symptoms of suffocation approached. Then, on a few words interchanged between him and the Duchess, two illegitimate children which he had had in London, of a faithful companion in misfortune, and whom both had brought up at Paris with the utmost kindness, were brought into the room. As they knelt at his side, striving to stifle their sobs in his bloody garments, he said, embracing them with tenderness, "I know you sufficiently, Caroline, to be assured you will take care, after me, of these orphans." With the instinct of a noble mind, she took her own infant from Madame de Gontaut, who held it in her arms, and, taking the children of the stranger by the hand, said to them, " Kiss your sister." The prince confessed soon after to the Bishop of Chartres, and received absolution. "My God," said he, at several responses, " pardon me, and pardon him who has taken my life." It was announced that several of the marshals had arrived, eager to testify their interest and affliction. "Ah!" he exclaimed, " I had hoped to have shed my blood more usefully in the midst of them for France." But still the pardon of his murderer chiefly engrossed his thoughts. When the trampling of the horses on the pavement announced the approach of the king, he testified the utmost joy; and when the monarch entered the apartment, his first words were, " My uncle, give me your hand, that I may kiss it for the last time;" and then added with earnestness, still holding the hand, " I entreat of you, in the name of my death, the life of that man." "You arc not so ill as you suppose," answered Louis;
Chap. "we will speak of it again." "Ab!" exclaimed the dying IX' man, with a mournful accent, " you do not say Yes; 1820. say I beseecb you, that I may die in peace." In vain they tried to turn his thoughts to other subjects. "Ah!" said he, with his last breath, " the life of that man would 26^264-' nave softened my moments! If, at least, I could wii?85 86- depart w'tn tne belief that the blood of that man would Deriiiera 'not flow after my death." With these words he expired, du°»ucde and his soul winged its way to heaven, having left the 7%m'64' prayer for mercy and forgiveness as its last bequest to earth.1
No words can convey an idea of the impression which immra'se the death of the Duke de Berri produced in France, whfehit Coming at a time of increasing political excitement, when produced. tlje minds of men were already shaken by a vague disquietude, and the apprehension of great and approaching but unknown change, it excited a universal consternation. The obviously political character of the blow struck magnified tenfold its force. Levelled at the heir of the monarchy, and the only prince from whom a continuance of the direct line of succession could be hoped, it seemed at one stroke to destroy the hopes of an heir to the throne, and to leave the nation a prey to all the evils of an uncertain future and a disputed succession. Pity for the victim of political fanaticism, admiration for the magnanimity and lofty spirit of his death, mingled with apprehensions for themselves, and a mortal terror of the revolutionary convulsions which might be expected from a repetition of the blows of which this was the first. The public consternation manifested itself in the most unequivocal ways. All the theatres—and that, in Paris, was a decisive symptom—were closed. The balls of the carnival were interrupted; and it was decreed by the Government, with the general consent of the people, that the opera-house should be removed from the spot where the execrable crime had been committed, and an expiatory monument erected on its site. But these changes did not adequately express the public feelings. They exhaled Chap. in transports of indignation against the rashness of the
ministries whose measures had brought matters to such a 182°* point, and the incapacity of the police, which had per-, Um Ti mitted the crime to be committed: and it was loudly s64- ?.6e„; proclaimed, that an entire change or government and 369; Bio?. measures had become indispensable, if the monarchy was 86. to be saved from perdition.1
"The hand," said Chateaubriand, "which delivered
the blow is not the most guilty. Those who have really ci»te»uassassinated the Duke de Berri are those who, for four w"r<u "n years, have laboured to establish democratic laws in the 0' monarchy; those who have banished religion from our laws; those who have recalled the murderers of Louis XVI.; those who have heard, with indifference, impunity for regicides discussed at the tribune; those who have allowed the journals to preach up the sovereignty of the people, insurrection, and murder, without making any use of the laws intended for their repression; those who have favoured every false doctrine; those who have rewarded treason and punished fidelity; those who have filled up all employments with the enemies of the Bourbons, and the creatures of Buonaparte; those who, pressed by the public indignation, have promised to repeal a fatal law, and have done nothing during three months, apparently to give the Revolutionists time to sharpen their poniards. These are the true murderers of the Duke de Berri. It is no longer time to dissemble; the revolution we have so often predicted has already commenced, and it has already produced irreparable evils. Who can restore life to the Duke de Berri, or give us back the hopes which love and glory had wouud up with his august perBon? Surprise is expressed that a poniard should have been raised; but the real subject of wonder is, that a thousand poniards have not been levelled at the breasts of our princes. During four years we have overwhelmed with rewards those who preach up an agrarian law, a
Chap. republic, and assassination; we have excited those who IX' have nothing against those who have something; him who
is born in a humble class against him to whom misfortune has left nothing but a name: we have permitted public opinion to be disquieted by phantoms, and represented a i^b.*u?ub" part of tue nation as set on re-establishiug rights for ever "1820—h abolished, institutions for ever overturned. If we are ****' not plunged in the horrors of external or civil war, it is 29i.' not the fault of the administration which has just expired." 1
When language so violent as this was used in the midst General of the crisis, by so distinguished a writer as the Viscount Bgiifst Il" Chateaubriand, it may be supposed that inferior authors Decazes. were more impassioned in their strictures. The clamour became so violent that no ministry could stand against it. An untoward incident, which occurred while the Duke de Berri yet lived, tended to augment the public feeling on the subject. Entering the room in which Louvel was detained, M. Decazes was seized with a sudden suspicion that the dagger might have been poisoned ; and thinking, if so, an antidote might be applied, and possibly the life of the prince saved, he had whispered in his ear, "Miserable man! a confession remains for you to make, which may save the life of your victim, aud lessen your crime before God. Tell the truth sincerely to me, and me alone—was the dagger poisoned 1" "It was not," replied the assassin coldly, with the accent of truth. The words spoken on either side were not heard; but the fact of M. Decazes having whispered something to Louvel, during his first interrogatory, became known, and was seized upon and magnified by all the eagerness of faction. It was immediately bruited abroad that the minister had enjoined silence to the assassin, and thence it was concluded he had been his accomplice. So readily was this atrocious calumny received in the excited state of the public mind, and so eagerly was it seized upon by the vehemence of faction, that next day M. Clausel de Cous