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owed the Bourbons nothing but the fealty of a subject, and that he had taken every previous opportunity of deriding and abjuring. In fine, he was the President of the Society Aide Toi.

The Commissioners arrived; and this time, by the exertions of the eminent lady, and the other hollow friends, who had succeeded in alarming the King, they were admitted. Odillon Barrot, with his usual talent, did not fail to alarm the royal family with the announcement that an armed mob of eighty thousand infuriated Parisians, composed of the most desperate and ferocious characters, were in full march from Paris to Rambouillet, and at the very moment he was speaking must have already passed Versailles. He entreated the King, in an impassioned tone, for the preservation of his own life, for the preservation of all that were dear to him, and especially for that child destined one day to secure the happiness of France, to yield to the entreaties of his faithful Commissioners, who would answer for his royal life if he would instantly consent to accompany them to Cherbourg.

Charles, confident that Henry the Fifth was King of France, and that the Duke of Orleans was his champion and Lieutenant-General, decided on withdrawing from Rambouillet ; but

before he communicated his assent, he requested a private interview with Marshal Maison.

This took place at the interview. “Upon your honour,” said the King, “ as a Frenchman, and as a marshal of France, am I to credit what has been communicated to me by M. Barrot; am I to believe that an armed mob of eighty thousand Parisians are in full march to Rambouillet ?”

“ Upon my honour as a Frenchman, and as a marshal of France," answered Maison, “ there is an immense mass of people - I have not counted them, but it is really immense.” The jesuitical marshal was correct. He had not counted them, for they had not even assembled before his departure.

At this moment the King was surrounded by ten thousand devoted men with forty-two pieces of artillery. What could eighty thousand rapscallions, in full field, effect against such a force ! But when, as I pledge myself, and, indeed, as is now universally confessed, for M. Odillon Barrot exults in his successful falsehood, which he styles diplomacy, — when we remember that there were scarcely six thousand who finally arrived at Rambouillet in their hackney coaches, wearied, intoxicated, undisciplined, and ill-armed, and that a single regiment and two pieces of cannon were

sufficient to have utterly demolished them, we may admire the good luck of the intriguers. But the King was unwilling to occasion further bloodshed; and now, as he imagined, without an object; for the only question presented to his mind was, whether he should leave France instantly or at his convenience ? since he never supposed, that Henry the Fifth was not King of France, and the Duke of Orleans not his appointed LieutenantGeneral. Had Charles the Tenth, which he ought to have done, instantly arrested and shot the three Commissioners, and annihilated the caravan of ruffians, what would have been the effect upon Paris, and especially upon those intriguers who were at the very moment fabricating a new throne ?

142

PRIVATE MEETING OF THE

DEPUTIES

AT THE HOUSE OF M. CASIMIR PERIER.

I HAVE said that on the 27th, while the Ministers assembled at the hotel of M. de Polignac, an assembly of deputies was simultaneously held in the same street, at the house of M. Casimir Perier. Many who attended the latter meeting considered it held in a rather unexpected locality. Of late the opposition of M. Casimir Perier to the Court had lost much of its original fire. He was known to be rather a favourite of the King, and his friends did not hesitate to express their belief, that in the event of the King being forced into the hands of the Liberals, M. Casimir Perier was the individual on whom his Majesty would rely for guaranteeing him the minimum of attainable Liberalism.

The rumour of a meeting of the deputies at M. Perier’s soon spread, and attracted a numerous crowd, chiefly of young men, round his house. About one o'clock a brigade of gendar

PRIVATE MEETING OF THE DEPUTIES.

143

merie entered at each end of the street, which is strait and short. The crowd grew very insolent, and at last violent. The gendarmes charged, but gently; and avoided, as much as much as possible, hurting any one; most of the crowd escaped: but those who were in the middle of the crowd could find no point of refuge, and endeavoured to find safety in the court-yard of M. Perier. That gentleman, roused by the shouts, immediately came down, and ordered the servants to lock the gates, and allow no one to enter. About eighteen young men were, in consequence, trampled upon and wounded, and were carried to the corps de garde of the Foreign Office. I do not mention this as any blame to M. Perier, but it was a little hard that those who were attracted by his popularity should have been the first victims of his prudence. If they had not, as it seems, relied on the protection of his gates, they would have retreated with their more fortunate companions down the sides of the streets, where the cavalry good-naturedly allowed them to pass.

Great precautions were taken to prevent any but deputies from attending at M. Perier's. Every one was obliged to send up

his name.

The attendance might be called numerous. Old Labbey de Pompières, since dead, was called to the chair.

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