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men. Louis Philippe, Lafayette, Lafitte, | adapted to small intellects, because amidst those Casimir Périer, Guizot, Thiers, Odillon sterile agitations, they deluded themselves reBarrot, Manguin, Armand Carrel, and Du- specting the terror which they felt for all depont (de l'Eure,) with many others, are brought out in strong relief. But M. Louis Blanc describes a character mostly by epigrams. This has the advantage of effect, and of producing a lasting impression; with the disadvantage of all epigrams, in sacrificing a portion of the truth to effect. Nothing can be happier than the way he hits off the restlessness of Thiers: 'plus d'inquiétude que d'activité, plus de turbulence que d'audace.' But it is surely too much to talk of Metternich as 'un homme d'état sans initiative et sans portée.'
The portrait of Lafayette may be quoted as a fair specimen of the author's judgment
M. Louis Blanc, in several cases, shows the fatal effects to the republican party of Lafayette's want of audacity. It is certain that this quality, which served Danton instead of genius, is indispensable in revolu tions: as M. Blanc admirably says: 'In times of struggle, audacity is prudence; for in a revolution confidence has all the advantages of chance.'
'L'Histoire de Dix Ans' opens with a preliminary sketch of the state of parties from the return of the Bourbons and banishment of Napoleon to Elba, down to the commencement of the revolution of 1830. This is one of the best portions of the book. The author vividly shows how completely "As to M. de Lafayette, at that time he could the Restoration was the work of the bourhave done every thing and he decided on no-geoisie. Napoleon fell because he wished thing. His virtue was brilliant yet fatal. In to make France military, and the tendencreating for him an influence superior to his ca-cies of the nation at large were commerpacity, it only served to annul in his hands a
power, which, in stronger hands, would have cial. Rome and Carthage have been and altered the destinies of France. Nevertheless will ever be too adverse in principle to be Lafayette had many qualities essential to a com- united; one or the other must succumb. mander. His language as well as his manners Napoleon did not see this, and he fell. M. presented a rare mixture of finesse and bonhom- Louis Blanc takes great pains to exhibit mie, of grace and austerity, of dignity with the cruel egotism of the bourgeoisie throughhaughtiness, and of familiarity without coarseTo the one class he would always have out the calamities which have befallen remained a grand seigneur, although mixed up He points with withering sneers with the mob; to the others he was born one of to every testimony of it, without seeing the people, in spite of his illustrious origin. Hap- that egotism is the vice of the middle class. py privilege of preserving all the advantages of es. They are exclusively bent upon the high birth, and of making them be pardoned! bien être-the 'main chance.' They have Add moreover that M. de Lafayette possessed neither the refinement and the large ambiat the same time the penetration of a skeptical and the warmth of a believing soul; that is to tion of the upper classes, nor the heroism say, the double power of fascinating and con- and poetry of the lower. Their object in taining his audience. In the carbonari meetings life is not to enjoy, but to collect the means he spoke with fiery energy. At la chambre he of enjoyment. They are bent only on was a witty and charming orator. What then making fortunes. The rich think more of did he want? Genius-and more than that, spending their money; the poor have no will. M. de Lafayette willed nothing hardily, Heroism, and its nurse because, unable to direct events, he would have hope of fortune. been pained at seeing them directed by another. ambition; self-sacrifice, generosity, and In this sense he was afraid of every one, but humanity; these are virtues of the higher more than all of himself. Power enchanted, but and lower classes. Of the higher, because frightened him; he would have braved its perils, men need outlets for their activity, and be but he dreaded its embarrassments. Full of cause ambition is a stimulant powerful as courage, he was entirely deficient in audacity. the main chance' of the bourgeois; of Capable of nobly suffering violence, he was in the lower, because want feels for want, capable of employing it with profit. The only head that he could have delivered to the execu- misery for misery, and generosity is the tioner, without trembling, was his own. constant virtue of those who need it in re"As long as he had to preside over a pro- turn. With this conviction that egotism is visionary government, he was competent, he the bourgeois vice, it is somewhat diswas enchanted. Surrounded by a little court, couraging to trace the rapid increasing at the Hôtel de Ville, he enjoyed the boisterous development which that class is taking in veneration which was paid to his age and celebrity, enjoyed it with an almost infantile naïveté. European history. It impresses us the In that cabinet, where they governed by eigna- more strongly with the necessity for doing tures, there was considerable fuss about very lit-all to counteract the narrow-minded utilitle action. This was a situation admirably | tarianism, which is usurping such a throne
in men's souls; and endeavor to make peo- tions every one is justified in asking. No ple fully understand Göthe's profound say-man can read history with confidence who ing: That the beautiful needs every en- has not such authenticity before his eyes couragement, for all need it and few pro- as prevents the suspicion of hasty stateduce it; the useful encourages itself.'
Having brought his preliminary sketch down to the opening of the revolution of July, M. Louis Blanc then commences his history of the ten years, 1830-1840. The first volume is devoted to a spirited and detailed narrative of the 'Glorious Three Days,' with the unparalleled examples of mob heroism, and touching episodes of civil war. The second and third volumes continue the history down to the siege of Antwerp. The accounts given of the St. Simonians, of the cholera morbus, of the various insurrections and abortive conspiracies, of carbonarism, and of foreign poli cy, will be read with universal interest. M. Louis Blanc has not only preceding histories, pamphlets, and newspapers, from which to gain his information; it is apparent throughout that he has had access to unpublished documents, and to the communications of various living actors in the scenes described. Some of these obligations he names; others he leaves the reader to infer. Nevertheless the grave student of history will often demur. He will see conversations reported at length which it is highly improbable, if not impossible, should ever have been authenticated; he will see motives purely inferential ascribed as unquestionable; he will see accounts of ministerial intrigues and royal falsehoods, reported as if the author had been present all the while. Moreover M. Louis Blanc is a young man; he is a journalist; he is a partisan; yet the knowledge he displays, or assumes, implies not only greater age and experience than he can possess, but also astounding universality of personal relations with opposite parties. We mention this as a caution to the reader. We by no means accuse M. Blanc of falsehood, or of misrepresentation; but when we find him reporting at length important conversations held between two people, neither of whom he could possibly have known-neither of whom would for their own sakes have repeated these conversations-when we find this, we confess our critical suspicions are aroused, and we ask, how came these things known? We must again declare that M. Louis Blanc appears to us a perfectly earnest, honest man, and incapable, we believe, of inventing these things. But whence did he get them? Why are not distinct references given? Why are not authorities sifted? These are ques
ment or party misrepresentation.
Let us observe, however, that the suspicion of M. Blanc's accuracy refers only to minor and individual points. There is no error possible respecting the staple of this history, except such as may result from party views. The facts are known to all. The debates are registered. The actors are mostly living, and the friends of the deceased survive. It is the history of our own times; the youngest of us remember its events. Error therefore on the great events is barely possible; and it is only these that have a lasting interest for men.
It is difficult to select passages from a history of sufficient interest by themselves for quotation. The episodes are too long for extract, and any particular event would demand too much preliminary explanation. We shall condense, therefore, the episode of the death of the Prince de Condé as much as possible. The suspicions which attach themselves to persons high in the state, owing to the unfortunate transactions which preceded and succeeded the event; and, indeed, the mysteriousness of the whole incident; give this episode a strong and special interest.
Our readers will probably recollect the name of La Baronne de Feucheres, which recently went the round of the papers. This celebrated woman died, and left an immense heritage to be disputed, and an infamous reputation to be commented on. She was by birth an Englishwoman, one Sophy Dawes: she appeared at Covent Garden Theatre, which she quitted to become the mistress of an opulent foreigner, with whom she lived at Turnham Green. La Baron de Feucheres subsequently mar ried her, and his name served for some time to cover the scandal of her adulterous amours with the Duc de Bourbon, last of the Condés. Her power over the duke was omnipotent. He loved and dreaded her. Gifted with rare beauty and grace, fascinating and imperious, tender and haughty by turns, she had considerable cleverness and no principle. The duke had settled on her the domains of St. Leu and Boissy, and about a million of francs (£4000) in money. She desired more, and was presented with the revenue of the forest D'Enghien. But a secret uneasiness followed her she dreaded lest the prince's heirs might provoke an action, and she lose all that she had so dexterously gained. She conceived
the bold plan of making the duke adopt the | August, 1829, commenced unknown to Duc d'Aumale, son of Louis Philippe, as me, and somewhat lightly by Madame de his heir. The proof of this is in the follow- Feuchères, is infinitely painful to me as ing letter from the Duchess of Orleans to you may have observed;' and he entreated the Baroness de Feuchères. the duc to interfere and cause Madame to
"I am very much touched, madame, by your solicitude in endeavoring to bring about this result, which you regard as fulfilling the desires of M. Le duc de Bourbon; and be assured that if I have the happiness of seeing my son become his adopted child, you will find in us at all times and in all circumstances, both for you and yours, that protection which you demand, and of which a mother's gratitude will be your guarantee."
relinquish her projects, promising at the same time a certain public testimony of his affection for the Duc d'Aumale. The Duc d'Orleans went to Madame, and in presence of a witness whom he had taken care to have called, he begged her to discontinue without at all compromising the prospect her project. She was inflexible. So that of his son, the Duc d'Orleans had all the credit of an honorable and disinterested attempt.
This situation was too violent not to explode in some terrible manner. On the 29th of August, 1829, the Duc de Bourbon was at Paris; and in the billiard-room of the palace, M. de Surval, who was in the passage, heard loud cries for help; he rushed in and beheld the prince in a frightful passion. Only see in what a passion monseigneur puts himself,' said Madame de Feuchères, and without cause! Try to calm him.' 'Yes, Madame,' exclaimed the prince, it is horrible, atrocious, thus to place a knife to my throat, in order to make me consent to a deed you know I have so much repugnance for;' and seizing her hand, he added with a significant gesture: well then, plunge the knife here at once
It must have cost the pious rigid duchess some pangs thus to associate her maternal hopes with such very equivocal advocacy. The Duc d'Orleans, on the second of May, 1829, learned from Madame de Feuchères that she had in an urgent and passionate letter proposed to her lover to adopt the Duc d'Aumale; on this information he addressed himself directly to the Duc de Bourbon. He gave him to understand how sensible he was of the kind solicitude of Madame de Feuchères, and how proud he should be to see one of his sons bearing the glorious name of Condé. At this unexpected blow the Duc de Bourbon was overwhelmed with anxiety, He had never liked the Duc d'Orleans. He had stood godfather to the Duc d'Aumale, but never thought of him as his heir. Yet how could he without insult now refuse that which-plunge it. The next day the prince they assumed him to be so anxious to be stow? Above all, how resist the violence and the caresses of Madame de Feuchères ? Harassed and terrified, the Duc de Bourbon consented to an interview with the Duc d'Orleans. Nothing positive was concluded, but the Duc d'Orleans believed his hopes so well founded, that he ordered M. Dupin to propose a will in favor of the Duc d'Aumale.
signed the deed which made the Duc d'Aumale his heir, and assured the baroness a legacy of ten millions of francs (£40,000).
The revolution of July burst forth; the Duc d'Orleans became Louis Philippe. The Prince de Condé grew more and more melancholy; his manners to Madame de Feuchères were altered; her name pronounced before him sometimes darkened his countenance; his tenderness for her, though always prodigal and anticipating her smallest wishes, yet seemed mixed with terror. He made M. de Chourlot, and Manoury his valet, the confidants of a pro
The baroness became more and more urgent. The prince allowed his anger to escape in bitter reproaches. He had had no rest since this fatal plan had been proposed to him; he could not sleep at night. Vio-ject of a long voyage: of which the strictlent quarrels embittered the day. More than once indiscreet confidences betrayed the agitation of his mind. 'My death is all they have in view,' he exclaimed one day in a fit of despair. Another time he so far forgot himself as to tell M. Surval, Once let them obtain what they desire, and my days are numbered.' At last, in a desperate attempt to escape from Madame de Feuchères, he invoked the generosity of the Duc d'Orleans himself. The affair which now occupies us,' he wrote on the 20th of
est secrecy was to be preserved, especially with regard to la baronne: at the same time dark rumors circulated about the chateau. On the morning of the 11th of August they found the prince with his eye bleeding. He hastened to explain it to Manoury, as having been caused by the table. Manoury replied that that was scarcely possible: the table was not high enough: the prince was silent, embarrassed. I am not a good storyteller,' said he, shortly after, 'I said that I hurt my
self while sleeping: the fact is, that in château. At eight the next morning Leopening the door, I fell down and struck comte knocked at the prince's door. It my temple against the corner.' It is worthy was bolted; the prince made no reply. of remark that the prince afterwards wish- Lecomte retired and returned afterwards ed Manoury to sleep by the door of his with M. Bonnie: both knocked without rebedchamber; and that Manoury having ob- ceiving a reply. Alarmed, they descended served that this would look strange, and to Madame de Fouchères. I will come at that it was more natural for Lecomte, his once,' said she; when he hears my voice 'valet de chambre de service,' to do this, he will answer.' Half-dressed she rushed the prince replied, 'Oh, no, leave him from her room, and reaching that of the alone.' Lecomte was introduced into the prince, knocked, and exclaimed, 'Open! chateau by Madame de Feuchères. open! monseigneur, it is I.' No answer. The alarm spread. Manoury, Leclerc, l'abbé Briant, Méry-Lafontaine, ran thither. The room was burst open. The shutters were shut, and the room dark. A single wax light was burning on the mantel-piece, but behind a screen which sent the light upwards towards the ceiling. By this feeble light the head of the prince was seen, close to the shutter of the north window. It seemed like a man steadfastly listening. The east window being opened by Manoury, shed light upon the horrible spectacle. The Duc de Bourbon was hanged, or rather hooked, on to the fastening of the window sash! Madame de Feuchères sank groaning and shuddering on a fauteuil in the cabinet de toilette, and the cry, 'Monseigneur is dead,' resounded throughout the château.
The preparations for the voyage were nearly completed. For three days the prince had resumed his usual pleasures. After a gay dinner, at which M. de CosséBrissac was present, they played at whist. The prince played with the baroness, M. Lavillegontier, and M. de Prejean. The prince was gayer than ordinary; lost some money and abstained from paying it; saying, to-morrow.' He rose and crossed the room to proceed to his bedchamber; in passing he made a friendly gesture to his attendants, which seemed like an adieu. Was this one of those adieus in which the thought of approaching death shows itself? Or was it the indication of his project of voyage, of exile ?
He ordered that they should call him at eight o'clock next morning; and they left him for the night. It is necessary distinctly to understand the situation of the prince's chamber. It was joined by a small passage to a salon d'attente. This salon opened on the one side into a cabinet de toilette, touching the grand corridor; on the other it opened upon a back staircase, ending at the landing-place where were the apartments of Madame de Feuchères, and Madame de Flassans her niece. The back staircase led from this landing-place to the vestibule; and by a higher landing it communicated with a second corridor, in which were the chambers of l'abbé Briant, of Lachassine, the femme de chambre of the baroness, and of the Duprés, husband and wife, attached to her service. The room of the latter was immediately under that of the prince, so that they could hear when there was talking above their heads. This night the gardes-chasse went their accustomed rounds. Lecomte had closed the door of the cabinet de toilette and taken away the key. Why was this precaution taken! The prince constantly left the door of his room unbolted. Madame de Flassans sat up till two in the morning, occupied with writing. No noise disturbed her. The Duprés heard nothing. All the night a profound calm reigned throughout the
The duc was attached to the fastening by means of two handkerchiefs, passed one within the other. The one which pressed his neck was not tied with a slip-knot: moreover it did not press upon the trachial artery-it left the nape of the neck uncovered-and was found so loose, that several of the assistants passed their fingers between it and the neck. Circumstances suspicious. Further, the head dropped upon the breast, the face was pale; the tongue was not thrust out of the mouth, it only pushed up the lips; the hands were closed; the knees bent; and at their extremities, the feet touched the carpet. So that, in the acute sufferings which accompany the last efforts of life, the prince would only have had to stand upright upon his feet to have escaped death! This disposition of the body, together with the appearances which the body itself presented, powerfully combated the idea of suicide. Most of the assistants were surprised by them.
The authorities arrived; the state and disposition of the corpse were noted down; an inquest was held, in which it was concluded that the duc had strangled himself. Indeed, the room, bolted from within, seemed to render assassination impossible.
who made the bed, to push it to the bottom of the alcove; their custom had not been departed from on the 26th. Who then had moved the bed a foot and a half beyond its usual place? There were two wax-lights extinguished, but not consumed. By whom could they have been extinguished? By the prince? To make such complicated preparations for his own death, had he voluntarily placed himself in darkness?
Madame de Feuchères supported the idea of suicide. She pretended that
In spite of many contradictions, it was believed that the duc had committed suicide. Nevertheless, this belief became weaker and weaker. It was proved that the bolt was very easily moved backwards and forwards from outside. The age of the prince, his want of energy, his well-known religious sentiments, the horror he had always testified at death, his known opinion of suicide as cowardly, the serenity of his latter days, and his project of flight these all tended to throw a doubt on his suicide. His watch was found upon the mantel- the accident on the 11th of Angust, was piece, wound up, as usual; and a handker- but an abortive attempt. She trembled chief, with a knot in it; his custom when when they spoke of the duc's projects of he wished to remind himself of any thing voyage, and hearing Manoury talking free. on the morrow. Besides, the body was ly of them, she interrupted him: "Take not in a state of suspension. The valet de care! such language may seriously compied, Romanzo, who had travelled in Tur- promise you with the king." But it seemkey and Egypt, and his companion, Fife, ed strange to all the attendants of the an Irishman, had both seen many people prince, that upon the point of accomplishbanged. They declared that the faces of ing so awful a deed, he had left no written the hanged were blackish, and not of a dull indication of his design, no mark of affecwhite; that their eyes were open and blood-tion for those to whom he had always been shot; and the tongue lolling from the so kind, and whose zeal he had always remouth. These signs were all contradicted cognized and recompensed. This was a by the appearance of the prince. When moral suicide, less explicable than the other. they detached the body, Romanzo undid A discovery crowned these uncertainties. the knot of the handkerchief fastened to Towards the evening of the 27th, M. the window-sash; and he succeeded only Guillaume, secretary to the king, perceivafter the greatest difficulty; it was so clev-ed, in passing by the chimney, some fragerly made, and tightened with such force. Now, amongst the servants of the prince, no one was ignorant of his extreme maladresse. He could not even tie the strings of his shoes. He made, indeed, the bow of his cravat for himself, but never without his valet bringing both ends round in front of him. Moreover, he had received a sabre cut in the right hand, and had his left clavicle broken: so that he could not lift his left hand above his head, and he could only mount the stairs with the double assistance of his cane and the banis-lowing remained:
ments of paper which lay scattered on the dark ground of the grate. He took up some of them from underneath the cinders of some burnt paper, and read the words Roi ... Vincennes . . . infortuné fils. The procureur-général, M. Bernard, having arrived at St. Leu, these fragments, together with all that could be found, were handed to him. "Truth is there," he exclaimed, and succeeded in recomposing the order of sense (according to the size of the pieces) of two different letters, of which the fol
"Saint Leu appartient au roi
gens. On vous a égarés
Certain other suspicious circumstances Philippe began to be commented on. The slippers ne pillés, ni ne brulés which the prince rarely used, were always le château ni le village. at the foot of the chair in which he was ne faite de mal à personne undressed was it by his hand that they ni à mes amis, ni à mes were that night ranged at the foot of the bed? the ordinary place for slippers, but not for his. The prince could only get out of bed in turning, as it were, upon himself; and he was so accustomed to lean on the side of the bed in sleeping, that they were obliged to double the covering four times to prevent his falling out. How was it that they found the middle of the bed pressed down, and the sides on the contra-ni ry raised up? It was the custom of those On vous a égarés sur mon compte, je n'ai que
Saint Leu et ses dépend appartiennent à votre roi Philippe; ne pillés ni ne
urir en aiant cœur le peuple et l'espoir du bonheur de ma patrie.
le village mal à personne es amis, ni à mes gens.