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fayette and his Aides-de-camp were the sole government. M. Lafayette was the only person in whom the populace had confidence. They were well aware of the cowardice of the deputies during the struggle; and they feared their intrigues after it. And who can blame them? M. Casimir Perier we have already noticed : during the three days M. Lafitte was in hourly communication with the Duke of Orleans; and, except M. Mauguin, there was not a member of the municipal commission who was not busy in some intrigue.
At ten o'clock on Friday, there was another meeting at M. Lafitte's. Almost every deputy in Paris attended. They were odd looking heroes for a revolution : but it was all over. The battle was done, and all came to have a share in the plunder.
Now, for the first time, the Duc de Broglie made his appearance.
There was a great deal of animated, but desultory, conversation.
66 What shall we do ?”
“ Gentlemen,” said M. Lafitte, “ there is only one way to prevent it, we must proclaim the Duke of Orleans."
This name, hazarded for the first time, was very
differently received. But the party was strong; all was previously arranged; there were many organs; and M. Dupin made a powerful address. Suddenly there was a rumour that the Duc de Montemart had, at length, come to life, and was about to make a communication. “ The devil !” exclaimed a deputy ;
we must hear what the King
M. Lafitte (with decision). 66 Charles X. has ceased to reign in France.
The people have for ever decided on his dethronement. Evil to us if we endeavour to propose any other of this dynasty !”
Another Deputy. - “But we really must hear what M. de Montemart has to say."
Muny Deputies. — “ Certainly ; certainly.”
M. Audry. « Our answer has already been given at the Hôtel de Ville; and, if that be not sufficient (raising his voice), the people —"
M. Mauguin. - “ It is useless to speak of Charles X., unless you wish us to be massacred.”
De Laborde. — “Certainly: there is too much blood between him and us.
A Deputy (with timidity).-“ But his familyit would perhaps be as well — that is, I think ”
M. Mauguin. - " No more. They are all
banished. The thing is done. The iron has rankled in the wound for fifteen years. We have extracted it with violence. M. Lafitte is right. A curse upon him who shall endeavour to replant it.”
The same Deputy. — “ I have not proposed that: I only said, that, as it appears M. Montemart has a communication to make, it might be as well
M. Lafitte (interrupting him). — “Gentlemen, it appears to me that we are scarcely in our place here. The question now is the constitution of a government. Let us resume our places in the Chamber."
Many Deputies. — “ And then we will give an audience to M. de Montemart.”
M. Lafitte. — “ We shall see.”
M. de Montemart was anxiously expected. The general feeling, there is no doubt, was in favour of the family of Charles X.; but M. de Montemart never appeared. When the Orleanists perceived that this envoy did not appear, they again brought up the subject of an address to their own Chief. They made, however, no converts: the discussion was without any enthusiasm ; and it was with difficulty they came to a resolution to offer to him the lieutenant-generalship of the kingdom.
All yielded, however, to the energy of M. Lafitte. Although he could barely walk, and his leg was enveloped with bandages, he himself headed the deputation to the Duke at the Palais Royal; and, after having read the address, he added, in a low voice, to his correspondent of the previous nights :
Monseigneur, what I hold in my hand is extremely beautiful; it is a crown. But do not look at my feet” (his leg was half uncovered); “ I will not say that a sans-culotte offers it to you; but I fear that it is something like it."
The Duke was quite delighted with this bon mot, and repeated to every one of the deputies, “ I am a Republican, gentlemen; I assure you
I am a Republican, and I have always been one."
It was now necessary for Louis-Philippe to obtain the most important recognition that he had yet supplicated — the recognition of M. Lafayette. For this purpose he hurried to the Hôtel de Ville. His progress was not unattended with difficulty; but the Duke, being a Republican, was doubtless consoled for his occasional detention. The crowd was immense; and shouts of Vive la République ! Vive Lafayette ! rose from all quarters. In a short time, however, although they arrived rather too late, came a mob of several hundred
persons, lustily crying, Vive le Duc d'Orléans ! in concert. This band had first been organised by little M. Thiers; and the trick was so evident, that every body laughed. At the foot of the staircase of the Hôtel de Ville, the Duke gave his arm to M. Lafitte, and took that of General Lafayette; and, under this double protection, he contrived to reach the Grand Hall, where he was proclaimed Lieutenant-General. The balcony scene I have already noticed. He was introduced to the populace, as the best of Republics; and it was the general impression, for some days, of all the uninitiated in Paris, that they were, at last, living under a republic, and, at last, guided by a president.
We should not forget that it was on this day, in showing to his Royal Highness the Place de Grève, full of armed men and artillery, flowing with blood, and guarded by barricades, that General Dubourg said to him, “ Monseigneur, you know our wants and our rights : if you forget, we shall remind you.”
Certainly; certainly;" responded the Lieu'tenant-General, in a state of the most nervous agitation; “ I am quite a Republican ; I have always been so."