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Makers of History

LOUIS PHILIPPE

by

JOHN S. C. ABBOTT

With Engravings







New York and London
Harper & Brothers Publishers
1904

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871, by
Harper & Brothers,
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

Copyright, 1899, by Susan Abbott Mead.




[Illustration: LOUIS PHILIPPE AT THE HÔTEL DE VILLE.]




PREFACE.

It would be difficult to find, in all the range of the past, a man
whose career has been so full of wonderful and exciting vicissitude
as that of Louis Philippe. His life covers the most eventful period
in French history. The storms of 1789 consigned his father to the
guillotine, his mother and brothers to imprisonment, and himself and
sister to poverty and exile. There are few romances more replete with
pensive interest than the wanderings of Louis Philippe to escape the
bloodhounds of the Revolution far away amidst the ices of Northern
Europe, to the huts of the Laplanders, and again through the almost
unbroken wilds of North America, taking refuge in the wigwams of the
Indians, and floating with his two brothers in a boat a distance of
nearly two thousand miles through the solemn solitudes of the Ohio
and the Mississippi from Pittsburg to the Gulf.

Again we see the duke, on the recovery of a large portion of his
estates, enjoying the elegant retreat at Twickenham, fêted by the
nobility of England, and caressed by the aristocracy of Europe.

Again the kaleidoscope of changeful life is turned. The Empire falls.
The Bourbons are restored. Louis Philippe returns to the palaces of
his fathers. In rank, he takes his stand next to the throne. In
wealth, he is the richest subject in Europe. At one moment he is
caressed by Royalty, hoping to win his support, and again he is
persecuted by Royalty, fearing his influence.

There is another change. The throne of the Bourbons is overthrown.
Louis Philippe finds himself, as by magic, King of the French. He
exchanges his ducal coronet for a royal crown. He enters the regal
mansions of the Tuileries, Versailles, Saint Cloud, and Fontainebleau
the acknowledged sovereign of thirty millions of people. All the
proud dynasties of Europe recognize him as belonging to the family of
kings. Eighteen years pass away, crowded with the splendor, cares,
toils, and perils which seem ever to environ royalty. During this
period the adventures of the Duchess de Berri to regain the throne
for her son, the Count de Chambord, presents an episode of
extraordinary interest.

There is another change. The tocsin of insurrection tolls its dismal
knell in the towers of Paris. Through scenes surpassing fable, the
king and his family escape to the hospitable shores of England. Here,
in obscurity and exile, he reaches the end of life's journey, and
passes away to the unknown of the spirit-land. Such is the wonderful
story which we have endeavored to compress within the limits of these
brief pages. Every event here narrated is sustained by documentary
evidence beyond the possibility of a doubt.

JOHN S. C. ABBOTT.

_Fair Haven, Conn._




CONTENTS.


CHAPTER PAGE

I. ORIGIN OF THE HOUSE OF ORLEANS 13

II. THE EXILE 45

III. WANDERINGS IN THE OLD WORLD AND THE NEW 76

IV. THE TOMB AND THE BRIDAL 109

V. THE RESTORATION 136

VI. THE DEATH OF LOUIS XVIII. AND THE REIGN OF
CHARLES X 168

VII. CHARLES X. DETHRONED 204

VIII. THE STRUGGLES OF DIPLOMACY 241

IX. LOUIS PHILIPPE'S THRONE 279

X. THE ADVENTURES OF THE DUCHESS DE BERRI 306

XI. THE FINAL STRUGGLE 349

XII. THE THRONE DEMOLISHED 379




ENGRAVINGS.


PAGE

LOUIS PHILIPPE AT THE HÔTEL DE VILLE _Frontispiece._

EXECUTION OF LOUIS XVI 27

STORMING THE BASTILE 40

FLIGHT AND IMPRISONMENT OF LAFAYETTE 50

SAINT GOTHARD 71

NORTH CAPE 80

LOUIS XVII. IN PRISON 113

LOUIS XVIII. LEAVING PARIS 147

NAPOLEON ENTERING THE TUILERIES 151

MARSHAL NEY 162

ASSASSINATION OF THE DUKE DE BERRI 171

PALACE OF ST. CLOUD 222

CHARLES X. AT VALOGNES 234

THE PALAIS ROYAL 275

THE BARRICADE 312

ST. HELENA 353

LOUIS PHILIPPE LEAVING FRANCE 391




LOUIS PHILIPPE.




CHAPTER I.

ORIGIN OF THE HOUSE OF ORLEANS.

1669-1793

Louis and Philippe. - The regent. - Louis de Valois. - Louis le
Gros. - Pride of royalty. - Birth of Egalité. - Fortune of the Duke
of Orleans. - Democracy of the Duke of Orleans. - Wealth of the
Duke of Orleans. - Banishment of the duke. - Popularity of the
Duke of Orleans. - Assembling of the States-General. - Commotion
in Paris. - Flight of the nobles. - Petition of the Duke of
Orleans. - Domestic discord. - Flight of General Dumouriez. - Arrest
of the Duke of Orleans. - Execution of Egalité. - Birth of Louis
Philippe. - His daily journal. - Educational influences. - Mental and
physical training. - Testimony of Madame de Genlis. - Demolition of
the Bastile. - The Duke of Chartres joins the Jacobin Club. - His
affability. - Noble sentiment.


The origin of the House of Orleans is involved in some obscurity. The
city of Orleans, from which the duke takes his title, was the
Aurelium of imperial Rome. The first Duke of Orleans with whom
history makes us familiar was Philip, the only brother of Louis XIV.
Louis XIII., the son and heir of Henry IV., married Anne of Austria.
Two children were born to them, Louis and Philippe. The first became
the world-renowned monarch, Louis XIV. His brother, known in history
as Monsieur, enjoyed the title and the princely revenues of the
dukedom of Orleans.

Monsieur married, as his first wife, the beautiful Henrietta Stuart,
daughter of the unfortunate Charles I. of England. Her mother was
Henrietta of France, the daughter of Henry IV., and sister of Louis
XIII. She died in the bloom of youth and beauty, of poison, after the
most cruel sufferings, on the 27th of June, 1669.[A] Philippe took as
his second wife Elizabeth Charlotte, daughter of the Elector Charles
of Bavaria. By this marriage he left a son, Philippe, who not only
inherited his father's almost boundless wealth and princely titles,
but who attained wide-spread notoriety, not to say renown, as the
regent of France, after the death of Louis XIV., and during the
minority of Louis XV. The regent was a man of indomitable force of
will. During his long regency he swayed the sceptre of a tyrant; and
the ear of Europe was poisoned with the story of his debaucheries.

[Footnote A: See Abbott's History of Louis XIV, p. 223.]

He married a legitimated daughter of Louis XIV., Marie Françoise de
Blois, a haughty, capricious beauty. His scandalous immoralities
alienated his duchess from him, and no happiness was to be found
amidst the splendors of their home. Dying suddenly, at the age of
fifty-one, his son Louis succeeded him in the vast opulence, the
titles, and the power of the dukedom of Orleans. The following list
of his titles may give some idea of the grandeur to which these
ancient nobles were born. Louis de Valois, De Chartres, De Nemours,
and De Montpensier, First Prince of the blood, First Peer of France,
Knight of the Golden Fleece, Colonel-general of the French and
Foreign Infantry, Governor of Dauphiny, and Grand Master of the
Orders of Nôtre Dame, of Mount Carmel, and of St. Lazarus of
Jerusalem.

Born, as this young man was, in the palace of splendor, and
surrounded by every allurement to voluptuous indulgence, two domestic
calamities opened his eyes to the vanity of all earthly grandeur, and
led him to enter those paths of piety where his soul found true
repose. The death of his father, cut down suddenly in the midst of
his godless revelry, and the decease of his beloved wife, Auguste
Marie Jeanne, a princess of Baden, in her twenty-second year, so
impressed him with the uncertainty of all terrestrial good, and left
his home and his heart so desolate, that he retired to the Abbey of
St. Geneviève, and devoted the remainder of his days to study, to
prayer, and to active works of Christian usefulness.

He became a proficient in the fine arts, an accomplished scholar, and
a patron of all those literary men whose works tended to benefit
society. He founded hospitals and literary institutions; established
a college at Versailles; endowed a professorship at the Sorbonne for
expounding the Hebrew text of the Scriptures, and translated, from
the original Greek and Hebrew, the Epistles of Paul and the Psalms of
David. At the early age of forty-eight he died - cheerfully fell
asleep in Jesus, rejoicing in the hope of a heavenly inheritance. Few
men who have ever lived have crowded their days with more kind,
useful, and generous actions.

His son, Louis Philippe, acquired the sobriquet of _le Gros_, or the
Fat, from his excessive corpulence. His unwieldy body probably
contributed to that indolence of mind which induced him to withdraw
from nearly all participation in political life. Louis XV. was one of
the vilest of men, and by a portion of his subjects was thoroughly
detested. Exasperated by an act of gross despotism, the deputies from
Brittany offered to furnish Louis Philippe with sixty thousand men,
completely armed, to overthrow the reigning dynasty, and to establish
in its place the House of Orleans. The prince received the deputation
courteously, but decidedly declined embarking in the enterprise,
avowing that he had not sufficient energy of character to meet its
demand, and that he was too much attached to his relative, Louis XV.,
to engage in a conspiracy against him. He was an amiable, upright
man, avoiding notoriety, and devoting himself to literary pursuits.
Being of the blood royal, the etiquette of the French court did not
allow him to enter into marriage relations with any one in whose
veins the blood of royalty did not flow. His first wife, Louise
Henriette de Bourbon Conti, was a princess of royal lineage. Upon her
death he married Madame de Montesson, a beautiful woman, to whom he
was exceedingly attached. But the haughty Court of France refused to
recognize the marriage. Notwithstanding his earnest solicitations, he
was not permitted to confer upon her the title of Duchess of Orleans.

Even when he died, in the year 1785, court etiquette would not allow
his widow to assume any public demonstrations of mourning. "The blood
of a Capet," it was said, "is too pure to admit of a _recognized_
alliance below the rank of royalty."

Such, in brief, was the character and career of the first four dukes
of this illustrious house. We are thus brought down to the exciting
scenes of modern history - to scenes in which the house of Orleans
has acted a part so conspicuous as to attract the attention of the
civilized world.

The fourth duke of whom we have spoken, and his first wife, Henrietta
de Bourbon Conti, had a son born on the 13th of April, 1747, at the
Palace of St. Cloud. They gave their child the name of Louis Philippe
Joseph d'Orleans. During the life-time of his father he bore the
title of the Duke de Chartres. No expense was spared in his
education, his parents providing for him teachers of the highest
eminence in all the branches of knowledge. Though the young prince
developed much energy and activity of mind, he was not fond of study,
and did not make any remarkable progress in book-learning.

Surrounded by flatterers, and in the enjoyment of almost boundless
wealth, as the appetites and passions of youth grew strong, he
plunged into the most extravagant excesses of dissipation. He is
described at this time as a young man of handsome features and
graceful figure, above the average size. His skin was remarkable for
its softness and whiteness, and a very sweet smile generally played
upon his lips. Though simple in his ordinary style of living, upon
all state occasions he displayed grandeur commensurate with his
wealth and rank. Immense as was the fortune to which he was born, it
was greatly enhanced by his marriage with the Princess Marie Therese
Louise, only daughter of the Duke of Penthièvre, the most
richly-endowed heiress in Europe. Thus he attained wealth which made
him the richest subject in Europe, and which enabled him almost to
outvie the splendors of royalty. But, notwithstanding this vast
wealth, he plunged so recklessly into extravagance that his pecuniary
affairs became much embarrassed.

His father died in the year 1785, just as the storms of the French
Revolution were beginning to darken the horizon. The Duke of Chartres
then took the title of the Duke of Orleans, and rushed into the
tumult of revolution with eagerness and energy, which caused his name
to resound through all Europe, and which finally brought his neck
beneath the slide of the guillotine.

The court, under Louis XVI., in consequence of its arbitrary
measures, about the year 1789, was brought into collision with the
ancient Parliament, which remonstrated, and even refused to register
the royal edicts. The Duke of Orleans headed the party opposed to
the court. At his magnificent mansion, the Palais Royal, nearly
opposite the Tuileries, the leading men in the Opposition,
Rochefoucault, Lafayette, and Mirabeau, were accustomed to meet,
concerting measures to thwart the crown, and to compel the
convocation of the States-General. In that way alone could the people
hope to resist the encroachments of the crown, and to claim any
recognition of popular rights. The people, accustomed to the almost
idolatrous homage of rank and power, were overjoyed in having, as the
leading advocate of their claims, a prince of the blood. The court
was greatly exasperated. It was determined that the high-born leader
of the revolutionary party should feel the heaviest weight of the
royal displeasure. This severity, however, did but augment the
popularity of the duke among the people.

Louis XVI., through his advisers, ordered the Parliament to register
a loan, thus compelling the people to furnish the money it
despotically demanded. The Opposition in vain urged that the
States-General should be convened, as alone competent to impose
taxes. The royal measure was carried, notwithstanding the Opposition.
As the keeper of the seals, amidst the most profound emotion of the
Parliament, read the decree, the Duke of Orleans rose, and, with much
agitation of voice and manner, inquired:

"Is this assemblage a _lit de justice_, or a free consultation?"

"It is a _royal sitting_," the king answered, somewhat sternly.

"Then," replied the duke, "I beg that your majesty will permit me to
deposit at your feet, and in the bosom of the court, the declaration,
that I regard the registration as _illegal_, and that it will be
necessary, for the exculpation of those persons who are held to have
deliberated upon it, to add that it is by _express command_ of the
king."

This bold act announced to all France that the Duke of Orleans was
ready to place himself at the head of the opposition to the court,
and that he was endowed with the courage and energy which would be
found essential to maintain that post. The wealth of the Duke of
Orleans was so great that a former loan of twenty-five million
dollars he had taken up himself. Immediately upon the withdrawal of
the king from the Parliament, the Duke of Orleans presented and
carried a resolve declaring the action which had taken place as
illegal.

The king, who was quite under the influence of the stronger mind of
his wife, Maria Antoinette, was deeply offended. The duke was
banished from Paris to his rural chateau of Villers Cotterets, and
his leading friends in the Opposition were exiled to the isles of
Hières. The indignation of Parliament was roused, and very vigorous
resolutions of remonstrance were adopted, and presented to the king.
In these resolves it was written:

"The first prince of the royal family is exiled. It is asked
in vain, What crime has he committed? If the Duke of Orleans
is culpable, we are all so. It was worthy of the first prince
of your blood to represent to your majesty that you were
changing the sitting into a _lit de justice_. If exile be the
reward for fidelity in princes, we may ask ourselves, with
terror and with grief, What protection is there for law and
liberty?"

In allusion to the universal impression that the king was urged to
these severe measures by the influence of Maria Antoinette, the
Parliament added, "Such measures, sire, dwell not in your own heart.
Such examples do not originate from your majesty. They flow from
another source. Your Parliament supplicates your majesty to reject
those merciless counsels, and to listen to the dictates of your own
heart."

The plea was unavailing. The agitation throughout France was rapidly
increasing - the people everywhere struggling against the
encroachments of the crown. From all parts of the kingdom the cry
arose for the assembling of the States-General. The Duke of Orleans,
maddened by his banishment, and exasperated to the highest degree
against Maria Antoinette, whom he considered as the author of his
exile, was intensely engaged in plotting measures of revenge. During
his banishment he won the affections of the peasantry by the kindly
interest he seemed to take in their welfare. He chatted freely with
the farmers and the day-laborers - entered their cottages and
conversed with their families on the most friendly terms - presented
dowries to young brides, and stood sponsor for infants.

This course rapidly increased the popularity of the duke among the
people, and the Parliament was unceasing in its solicitations for his
recall. The court became embarrassed, and at length gladly availed
itself of the opportunity of releasing him, in response to a petition
from the Duchess of Orleans.

The current of the revolution was now beginning to flow with
resistless flood. The hostility between the court and the people was
hourly increasing. Famine added its horrors to the general tumult and
agitation. A winter of unparalleled severity - the winter of
1789 - terribly increased the general suffering. The Duke of Orleans
was profuse in his liberality, opening a public kitchen, and
supplying the wants of famishing thousands. The duke, having thus
embarked, without reserve, in the cause of the people, added to his
own popularity and to the exasperation of the court, by publicly
renouncing all his feudal rights, and permitting the public to hunt
and shoot at pleasure over his vast domains. His popularity now
became immense. The journals were filled with his praises. Whenever
he appeared in public, multitudes followed him with their acclaim.

On the 4th of May, 1789, the States-General, or National Assembly,
met. The duke, followed by about forty others of the nobility,
renounced all his aristocratic privileges, and took his place as an
equal in the ranks of the _tiers état_, or third estate, as the
common people were called. The clergy, the nobility, and the people
then constituted the three estates of the realm.

The French Revolution was now advancing with rapid strides,
accompanied by anarchy, violence, and bloodshed. The court party was
increasingly exasperated against the popular duke, and many stories
were fabricated against him to undermine his influence. The situation
of the king and royal family became daily more irksome and perilous.
He endeavored to escape, to join the armies of Austria and Prussia,
which were marching to his relief. He was arrested at Varennes,
brought back to Paris, and held as a prisoner in the Tuileries. The
question was now discussed of deposing the king and establishing a
regency under the Duke of Orleans.

The first National Assembly, called the Constituent, which was
convened to draw up a constitution for France, having completed its
work, was dissolved; and another assembly, denominated the
Legislative, was chosen to enact laws under that constitution. The
allied armies of foreign dynasties were on the march to rob the
French people of their constitution, and to impose upon them the
absolute despotism of the _old régime_. Fearful riots ensued in
Paris. The palace of the Tuileries was stormed. The king, with his
family, fled to the Legislative Assembly for protection, and was
imprisoned in the Temple. On the 20th of January, 1793, he died upon
the scaffold.

The National Convention, which speedily succeeded the Legislative
Assembly, brought the accusation of treason against the king - tried,
condemned, and executed him. The Duke of Orleans, a member of this
Convention, voted for the death of the king. The abolition of
monarchy and the establishment of a republic immediately followed.
The question was with much interest discussed, whether the republic
should be federal, like that of the United States, or integral, like
the ancient republics of Greece and Rome. The Duke of Orleans
advocated the concentration of power and the indivisibility of
France. Fanaticism usurped the place of reason; the guillotine was
busy; suspicions filled the air; no life was safe. The Duke of
Orleans was alarmed. He sent his daughter, under the care of Madame
de Genlis, to England. The nobles were flying in all directions.
Severe laws were passed against the emigrants. The duke, who had
assumed the surname of Egalité, or Equality, excited suspicion by
placing his daughter among the emigrants. It was said that he had no
confidence in the people or in the new order of things. To lull
these suspicions, the duke sent a petition to the Convention on the
21st of November, 1792, containing the following statement:

[Illustration: EXECUTION OF LOUIS XVI.]

"Citizens, - You have passed a law against those cowards who
have fled their country in the moment of danger. The
circumstance I have to lay before you is peculiar. My
daughter, fifteen years of age, passed over to England in the
month of October, 1791, with her governess and two companions
of her studies. Her governess, Madame de Genlis, has early
initiated them in liberal views and republican virtues. The
English language forms a part of the education which she has
given to my daughter. One of the motives of this journey has
been to acquire the pronunciation of that tongue. Besides
that, the chalybeate waters of England were recommended as
restoratives of my daughter's health. It is impossible, under
these circumstances, to regard the journey of my daughter as
emigration. I feel assured that the law is not applicable in
this case. But the slightest doubt is sufficient to distress
a father. I beg, therefore, fellow-citizens, that you will
relieve me from this uneasiness."

But by this time the Convention began to look upon the Duke of
Orleans with suspicion. Rumors were in circulation that many of the
people, tired of republicanism - which was crowding the prisons, and
causing blood to gush in an incessant flow - wished to reinstate the


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Online LibraryJohn S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) AbbottLouis Philippe → online text (page 1 of 18)