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Chap. Corcelles was charged with organising the revolt in the great and populous city of Lyons.
1820' An accidental circumstance prevented this deeply laid whichfaiu design from being carried into effect. On the day before Aufru}TM', was to nave taken place, an explosion of powder, from fortuitous causes, took place in the castle of Vincennes, and this led to the military and police being assembled in considerable numbers in that important fortress. Their presence led the conspirators to suppose that their designs were discovered, which was really not the case, for they were not fully developed till long afterwards. Information had, however, been given to Government, by some of the officers upon whom unsuccessful attempts had been made, of a plot to overturn the Government, and the whole Ministers, in consequence, were summoned to the Duke de Richelieu's on the morning of the 19th. From the information there laid before them, it was resolved to remove the Legion de la Meurthe, which was most disaffected, from Paris to the frontiers, and the suspected officers were arrested in their barracks early in the forenoon by officers of the police. M. de Latour Maubourg, the War Minister, was himself present when this was done. No resistance was attempted ; the common soldiers were astonished, not irritated; it was their officers, not themselves, who were privy to the conspiracy. Before night, the Legion de la Meurthe marched out for Landrecies in a state of tumult and indiscipline, which recalled the description given by Tacitus of the Roman legions 'gk"^;- in the mutiny which Germanicus repressed. Several of Caplvii.' their officers were arrested on the march. Nan til, iii.'8,9. and the priucipal leaders of the conspiracy, however, made their escape.1
Government acted with the utmost lenity in the proseLenity cutions consequent on this abortive revolt. Lists of the theprose- persons implicated in it had been furnished to the cuuons. Ministry, and they comprised most of the leaders of the Liberal party in Paris. M. Lafayette and M. Manuel were at its head. Ministers, however, recoiled from the Chap. idea of openly coming to a rupture of an irreconcilable IX' kind with the chiefs of a party strong in the Chambers, 1820strong in popular support, strong, as had recently appeared, in the affections of a part at least of the army. It was doubtful how far—however clear the moral evidence might be—the complete measure of legal proof could be obtained against the real but half-veiled leaders of the conspiracy. It was deemed more expedient, therefore, to proceed only against the inferior agents, and even against them in the most lenient manner. They were sent for trial to the Chamber of Peers, by whom a few, after a long interval, were convicted, and sentenced to secondary punishments, and several acquitted. But ten years after- 1 j£ wards, the real leaders were revealed in those who re- vii. 67, e^; ceived the rewards of treason, at a time when none dared 330,'333. call it by its right name.1
While conspiracies so serious and widespread were in ^ progress to overthrow the dynasty of the Bourbons, Pro- Birth of the vidence appeared in an extraordinary manner to have Bordeaux, interposed in their behalf; and an event occurred which, Sept' "0beyond any which had yet occurred, elevated the hopes of their partisans throughout the country. The Duchess de Berri, notwithstanding the dreadful shock received from the murder of her husband, went successfully through the whole period of her pregnancy, and on the night of the 20th September was safely delivered of a son, who was christened Henry Duke of Bordeaux. As by the Salic Law males only can succeed to the throne of France, and the infant which the duchess bore was the last hope of continuing the direct line of succession, the utmost pains were taken to secure decisive evidence of the child really being of the royal line. The moment the duchess was seized with her pains, she desired that Marshal the Duke of Albnfera (Suchet) should be sent for, and she had the courage and presence of mind, after the delivery was over, to insist that the umbilical cord should not be cut till the
Chap marshal with his own eyes had been satisfied with the IX' reality of the birth and the sex of the infant. Several 18-'°- of the Guard, besides the usual attendants on the princess, were also eyewitnesses to the birth. The old king hastened to the apartment on the first alarm, and when the infant was presented to him, said, "Here is a fine Duke de Bordeaux: he is born for us all;" and taking a few drops of the M ine of Pau, which according to old tradition had anointed the lips of Henry IV. before he had received his mother's milk, did the same to his infant descendant. Then taking a glass, he filled it, r73 Lam an<* drank to the health of the duchess. "Sire!" she ^335,336; replied, "I wish I knew the song of Jean d'Albert, 17. 'that everything should be done here as at the birth of Henry IV."1
No words can convey an idea of the transports into Universal which the Royalists were thrown over all France by this inTranw. auspicious event; and even those of the opposite parties could not resist feeling the influence of the general enthusiasm. There was something in the birth of the infant —the last remnant of a long line of kings, and who had been born in so interesting and almost miraculous a manner after his father's death—.which spoke to every heart. The general enthusiasm exceeded even that felt at the birth of the King of Rome, ten years before—for Napoleon might have had many other sons—but no one, save this infant, could transmit in the direct line the blood of Henry IV. and Louis XIV. to future generations. It had been announced that twelve cannon-shots should announce the birth of a daughter, twenty-four of a son. When the guns began to fire, all Paris was roused, and in speechless anxiety watched the successive discharges; but when the thirteenth report announced that an heir to the monarchy had been born, the transports were universal. The telegraph speedily conveyed it to every part of France, and the thirteenth gun in all the fortresses and harbours announced the joyful intelligence to the people. One would have supposed, from the universal joy, that France Chap. had but one heart, one soul—so strongly had the ro- IX' mantic and interesting circumstances of the birth wrought 1820upon the public mind. Congratulatory addresses from every part of the country poured in to the king and the duchess, and the grace of her manner and felicity of her answers added to the general enchantment. A protest, in the name of the Duke of Orleans, was published in the London papers, though disavowed by that prince; but he asked the important question solemnly of the Duke of Albufcra—" M. le Maréchal," said he, "you are a man of honour; you were a witness of the accouchement of the Duchess de Berri. Is she really the mother of a boy V "As certainly as your royal highness is father of the Duke de Chartres," replied the marshal. "That is enough, M. le Maréchal," rejoined the Duke; and lie immediately went with the duchess to congratulate the happy mother, and salute the infant who might one day be their king. At the same time, the Duchess de Berri gave proof that she was animated with the sublime spirit of forgiveness shown on his death-bed by her husband, by requesting and obtaining the pardon of two men, named Gravin and Bonton, sentenced to death for an attempt on her life, or that of her child, which she1 m
T i • i • i i 17,19; Cap.
did in terras so touching that they deserve a place even vu. 73,83; in general history.1* Her conduct at this period was 336? 337. so generous and noble, that the Emperor Alexander
* " Siro! comme jo no puis voir le Roi aujourd'hui, jo lui Écria pour lui demander la grace de deux malheureux qui ont été condamnés a mort pour tentative contre ma personne. Je serais au désespoir qu'il pût y avoir des Français qui mourussent pour moi: l'ange quo je pleure demandait en mourant la grâce do son meurtrier, il sera l'arbitro do ma vie; me permettezvous, mon oncle, de l'imiter, et de Bupplicr votre Majesté d'accorder la grâco de la vio à ces doux infortunés! L'auguste oxemplo du Roi nous a habitues a la clémenco; daignera-t-il permettre que les premiers iustants de l'existence de mon Henri, do mon cher fils, du vôtre, du fils do la France, soient marqués par un pardon 1 Excusez, mon cher ouclo, la liberté que j'ose prendre de vous ouvrir mon cœur; dans toutes les occasions votre indulgente bonté m'y a encouragée. Jo supplie lo Roi d'excuser ma hardiesso, et do croire au respect profond avec lequel je suis," &c.—Caroline Duchetse de Berri au Roi de France, 28 Sept. 1820.
VOL. H. Y
Chap. expressed his admiration of it in a touching epistle
addressed with his own hand to the princess.
1820. rplie bij.th of tlie Dul-e de Bordeaux, which afforded
Congratu- so fair a prospect of continuing the direct line of sucfromnthe cession, confirming the dynasty of the Bourbons, and powefs?"1 establishing the peace of Europe, was too important an notions in event not to awake the general sympathy and interest of France. tlie European powers. Congratulations were received from all quarters: that from the Emperor Alexander was peculiarly warm and cordial. The corps diplomatique of Paris expressed a noble sentiment on this occasion in the words, " Providence has awarded the greatest possible blessing to the paternal tenderness of your Majesty. The child of grief, of regrets, of tears, is also the child of Europe—he is at once the guarantee and the pledge of the repose and peace which should follow so many agitations." This expression revealed the feeling of the European powers: it was, that the elder branch of the Bourbons was the sole pledge for the peace of Europe, and that the newborn infant was the bond which was to unite its rulers. The Emperor Alexander wrote to Louis—" The birth of the Duke of Bordeaux is an event which I consider as most fortunate for the peace of Europe, and which affords just consolation to your family. I pray your Majesty to believe that 1 adopt the title of the 'child of Europe,' which the diplomatic body has already bestowed upon him." Promotions, honours, and gratifications were bestowed in the most liberal manner in France: the crown debtors were nearly all 75°%-Lac . liuerated from prison; most of the political offenders i»'17,'19; pardoned; immense sums bestowed in charity; and a 337,338. great creation of the order of the Cordon Bleu attested at once the gratitude and liberality of the sovereign.1
But though these circumstances augured favourably for the stability of the dynasty, and the consequent peace of Europe, symptoms were not awanting of a divergence of opinion, which portended divisions that might prove fatal