of notice in general history but the budget, which exhi- Chap. bited the most flattering appearances. From the papers

laid before the Chamber, it appeared that the total revenue of the state in 1823 was 1,123,456,000 francs statistics of (£40,120,000), including 100,000,000 (£4,000,000) JuT^! borrowed for the Spanish war, and for 1824, only 905,306,633 francs (£36,800,000), in consequence of the cessation of hostilities. The expenditure in the first year was 1,118,025,169 francs (£40,020,000), and in the second 904,734,000 (£36,240,000), leaving in each year a trifling balance of income over expenditure. The public debt in 1823 was 2,700,726,000 francs'Ann.Hist. (£115,000,000); the army mustered 230,000 combat- 594, eF." ants, the navy 49 ships of the line and 31 frigates.1

During this year Louis XVIII. lived, but did not reign. His mission was accomplished; his work was Reipi 0V done. The reception of the Duke d'Angouleme and his xvin. triumphant host at the Tuileries was the last real act of Jsomj0 his eventful career; thenceforward the royal functions, nominally his own, were in reality performed by others. It must be confessed he could not have terminated his reign with a brighter ray of glory. The magnitude of the services he rendered to France can only be appreciated by recollecting in what state he found, and in what he left it. He found it divided, he left it united; he found it overrun by conquerors, he left it returning from conquest; he found it in slavery, he left it in freedom; he found it bankrupt, he left it affluent; he found it drained of its heart's blood, he left it teeming with life; he found it overspread with mourning, he left it radiant with happiness. An old man had vanquished the Revolution; he had done that which Robespierre and Napoleon had left undone. He had ruled France, and showed it could be ruled without either foreign conquest or domestic blood. Foreign bayonets had placed him on the throne, but his own wisdom maintained

Chap, him on it. Other sovereigns of France may have left XI1' more durable records of their reign, for they have -written l823, them in blood, and engraven them in characters of fire upon the minds of men; but none have left so really glorious a monument of their rule, for it Mas written in the hearts, and might be read in the eyes of his subjects. This arduous and memorable reign, however, so beset His declin- with difficulties, so crossed by obstacles, so opposed by mgdaya. facjj011> was uow (jrawiUg to a close. His constitution, long oppressed by a complication of disorders, the result in part of the constitutional disorders of his family, was now worn out. Unable to carry on the affairs of state, sinking under the load of government, he silently relinquished the direction to M. de Villele and the Count d'Artois, who really conducted the administration of affairs. Madame Du Cayla was the organ by whose influence they directed the royal mind. The pomp of the court was kept up, but Louis was a stranger to it; he sat at the sumptuous table of the Tuileries, but his fare was that of the hermit in his cell. He presided at the councils of his Ministers, but took little part in their deliberations. His only excitement consisted in frequent excursions in his carriage, which was driven with the utmost speed; the rapidity of the motion restored for a brief season his languid circulation. He felt, says Lamartine, the same pleasure in these exercises that a captive does in the presence of the sun. During the summer of 1824 he was manifestly sinking, and he knew it; but no symptoms of appreheusion appeared in his conversation or manner. "Let us put a good face upon it," said he to M. de Villele, "and meet death as becomes a king." The Minister, however, was more aware than he was how much the public tranquillity depended on his life; and to prevent alarm on the subject being prematurely excited, the liberty of the press was by royal edict provisionAug. is. ally suspended, by re-establishing the censure. The people felt the motive, and had delicacy enough to ac

quiesce in silence in the temporary restraint. Soon after, Chap. the influence which now gained possession of the Go

vernment appeared in another ordonnancc, which created Aug18^' a new ministry, that of " Ecclesiastical Affairs," which was bestowed on Count Frayssenous, Bishop of Hermopolis, Grand-master of the University. As he was a ^"jj^1'"'" man of ability, and the acknowledged representative of3oi; iim. the Parti PrUre, this appointment was of sinister augury 312.' for the tranquillity of the succeeding reign.1

The declining days of this monarch were chiefly spent in conversation, an exercise of the mind in which he took Hugreat the greatest delight, as is generally the case with those TM,'^f whose intellectual faculties in advanced years remaintion* entire, but who are debarred by increasing infirmities from continuing the active duties of life. "His natural talent," says Lamartine, "cultivated, reflective, and quick, full of recollections, rich in anecdotes, nourished by philosophy, enriched by quotations, never deformed by pedantry, rendered him equal in conversation to the most renowned literary characters of his age. M. de Chateaubriand had not more elegance, M. de Talleyrand more wit, Madame de Stael more brilliancy. Never inferior, always equal, often superior to those with whom he conversed on every subject, yet with more tact and address than they, he changed his tone and the subject of conversation with those he addressed, and vet was never exhausted by any one. History, contemporary events, things, men, theatres, books, poetry, the arts, the incidents of the day, formed the varied text of his conversations. Since the suppers of Potsdam, where the genius of Voltaire met the capacity of Frederick the Great, never had the cabinet of a prince been the sanctuary of more philo- 3io,I3n."* sophy, literature, talent, and taste." 2

Though abundantly sensible of the necessity of the support of religion to the maintenance of his throne, and at once careful and respectful in its outward observances, Louis was far from being a bigot, and in no way the Chap. slave of the Jesuits, who in his declining days had got

possession of his palace. In secret, his opinions on

'22? religious subjects, though far from sceptical, were still His reli- farther from devout: he had never surmounted the influpressions ence of the philosophers who, when he began life, ruled d»ji?general opinion in Paris. He listened to the suggestions of the priests, when they were presented to him from the charming lips of Madame Du Cayla; but he never permitted themselves any nearer approach to his person. As his end was visibly approaching, this circumstance gave great distress to the Count d'Artois and Duchess d'Angouleme, and the other members of the royal family, who were deeply impressed with religious feelings, and dreaded the king's departing this life without having received the last benediction of the church. They could not, however, for long induce him to send for his confessor; and to attain the object, they were at last obliged to recall to court Madame Du Cayla, who had found her situation so uncomfortable, from the cold reception she experienced from the royal family, that she had retired from the palace. She came back accordingly, and by her influence Louis was persuaded to seud for the priest, and after confessing received supreme unction. "You alone," said he, taking her hand and addressing Madame Du Cayla, "could venture to address me on this subject. 314,394. ' I will do as you desire: Adieu! We will meet in another world. I have now no longer any concern with this."1 o At length the last hour approached. The extreHis d'ekth. mities of the king became cold, and symptoms of morsept. 16. tification began to appear; but his mind continued as distinct, his courage as great as ever. He was careful to conceal his most dangerous symptoms from his attendants. "A king of France," said he, "may die, but he is never ill;" and around his deathbed he received the foreign diplomatists and officers of the national guard, with whom he cheerfully conversed upon the affairs of the day. "Love each other," said the dying monarch

to his family, "and console yourselves by tbat affection Chap.

for the disasters of our bouse. Providence has replaced . 1_

us upon the throne; and I have succeeded in maintain- m' ing you on it by concessions which, without weakening tbe real strength of tbe Crown, have secured for it the support of the people. The Charter is your best inheritance; preserve it entire, my brothers, for me, for our subjects, for yourselves ;" then stretching out his hand to the Duke de Bordeaux, who was brought to his bedside, he added, "and also for this dear child, to whom you should transmit the throne after my children are gone. May you be more wise than your parents." He then received supreme unction, thanked tbe priests and his attendants, and bade adieu to all, and especially M. Decazes, who stood at a little distance, but whose sobs attracted his notice. He then composed himself to sleep, and rested peaceably during the night. At daybreak ^j"^''.'on the following morning tbe chief physician opened the A?n^i6tcurtains to feel his pulse; it was just ceasing to beat. 30a: Cap. "The king is dead," said he, bowing to the Count d' Ar- 383. '' tois,—" Long live the king !"1

Louis XVIIL, who thus paid the debt of nature, after having sat for ten years on the throne of France, during character the most difficult and stormy period in its whole annals, xvuT.' was undoubtedly a very remarkable man. Alone of all the sovereigns who have ruled its destinies since the Revolution, he succeeded in conducting the Government without either serious foreign war or domestic overthrow. In this respect he was more fortunate, or rather more wise, than either Napoleon, Charles X., or Louis Philippe; for the first kept his seat on the throne only by keeping the nation constantly in a state of hostility, and the two last lost their crowns mainly by having attempted to do without it. He was no common man who at such a time, and with such a people, could succeed in effecting such a prodigy. Louis Philippe aimed at being the Napoleon of peace ; but Louis XVIII. really was so,

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