Abbildungen der Seite

We are, with the most profound respect, Sire, your Majesty's most humble and most faithful subjects, (Signed) The President of the Council of Ministers,


The Keeper of the Seals, Minister of Jus-
tice, Secretary of State,

The Minister of Marine and Colonies,

The Minister of the Interior, Secretary of

The Minister of Finance, Secretary of

The Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs and
Public Instruction,

COUNT DE GUERNON RANVILLE. The Minister of Public Works, Secretary of State,





When I repeat that the President of the Council neglected the most obvious measures to insure success, it is with a conviction that he had at his disposal a force sufficient, if properly employed, to have maintained his system. On the best mode of employing that force there will be a diversity of opinion; and mine is of very little value on such a point; but I believe that, if Prince Polignac had assembled his troops round Paris, instead of distributing them in the quarters of the city, his ordonnances would have been obeyed without resistance. But what was the nature of his actual position ? The populace knew, to a man, the force of the troops; and the Government were entirely ignorant of the number and the resources of the populace.

The ordonnances were decided on eight days before the 25th of July : their publication was retarded by the delay of some elections in the departments, the result of which had not arrived. The ordonnances, as well as the report of the Minister of Justice, were presented to the King in the council of the 21st; on the same day they decided on the ordonnance that gave the command of the 1st military division to the Duke of Ragusa. These acts were not, however, signed until the council of the following Sunday, the 25th.

With regard to the Duke of Ragusa, he was the last man in the world, in my opinion, that should have been selected for this affair. His former career, his involved circumstances, and his connections with the hostile party *, all tended to paralyse his action. I am far from accusing him of treason; and, in citing a few facts, I shall leave the reader to decide upon his position. One circumstance, rather extraordinary, should not, however, be passed over; because it occurred since the strange metamorphosis of M. Casimir Perier, from a gentleman who advances money on diamonds into a prime minister. The other day, at a dinner with which the liberal successor of the Prince de Polignac regaled his intimates, the conversation, among other matters, fell by chance upon the people, invariably styled by his Excellency “la canaille.

* The Duchess of Ragusa is a daughter of Perigeaux, a former partner of the house of Lafitte, and is herself a sleeping partner in the same establishment.


“ The ungrateful beasts !” exclaimed the chief of the Revolution, “ see how they try to crush that poor Ragusa! and yet we all know how much we are indebted to that unfortunate and excellent man. Without him, we should not have been here.” A piquant revelation !

Placards, accusing the Marshal of betraying Paris to the foreign armies in 1814, were posted in every street. The unhappy state of his finances occasioned him to meet creditors in every group of the revolters, who availed themselves, without delicacy, of this facility of approach. He was a great projector, and had many schemes on the tapis at the period of the Glorious Revolution. The leaders of the revolt sent these partners in his speculations to negotiate with him. Adroit tactics! The poor Duke, under all these circumstances, was in a cruel position; and he lost his head. The very privates murmured at his positions ; and, finally, the more than extraordinary retreat from the Tuilleries, and the flight from Paris, almost indicated insanity. One example:- On the 29th, when the Tuilleries were attacked, the cavalry were locked up within the gates of the great court, and the infantry were posted without ! Every one is aware of the intimacy that subsisted between the Marshal and the

principal agitators. He could not be blind or deaf to all their intrigues and urgent representations. On his arrival at St. Cloud, a violent and almost tragic scene took place between him and the Dauphin.

On the 25th of July, 1830, the ordonnances had been signed; on the 26th they were published This was Monday. They produced an immense effect, not so much from their tenour, as because no one had given the Minister credit for sufficient courage to produce them, and because the secret had been inviolably kept. Not only were the whole diplomatic body ignorant of the ministerial intentions; but even that remarkable man - Le premier Baron Juif who piques himself on being privy to the secrets of all cabinets, was for once baffled. In vain the Parisian Croesus directed his inquisitive eloquence to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister affected an easy air, as if he had no secret to keep, which quite foiled the enquirer, who, failing with the Prince, ventured on an equally useless interview with the Princess. One morning the Princess de Polignac observed upon her mantelpiece twenty-five bank notes, of a thousand francs each. Remembering that she had been honoured that morning by a visit from Baron James de Rothschild, and believing that no other visiter

« ZurückWeiter »