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an 20, len
atta pea dor
"L asto the bare
under foot, reiterated shouts, and trampled
He was met near Lyons by a body of less than 100,000 men. The best spirit troops collected for the avowed purpose of seemed to prevail amongst them. They apopposing him. He no sooner discerned the peared devoted to the cause of the king, and dragoons at a distance, than be quitted his eager to meet and repel his antagonist. A carriage, mounted a horse, and, attended by powerful artillery strengthened their posia single aid-de-camp, rushed forward to meet tions. Relying on their numbers, they had them. He advanced, and without one word left the town, the rocks, and the forest of of preface, ordered the regiment to break Fontainbleau, unguarded; preferring the flat into column and follow him. The order was plains of Melun, where the whole of their obeyed with as much precision and regu- army might act at once against the comlarity as if they were on parade.
paratively small band of the invader. Ney, In his progress to Fontainbleau, he endea- whose corps is stated to have amounted to voured to gratify his own passion for display, 30,000 men, had previously communicated and to conciliate the affections of the people, to the court the declaration, signed by the by dispensing his smiles, his caresses, or his whole army under his command, both ofiassurances of favour, and by distributing, cers and privates; in which they stated, with as much profusion as the prince regent “ that they respected him too much to de. of England has lately displayed, the crosses ceive him; that they would not fight for of the legion of honour. He was accompa Louis the XVIIIth. but that they would nied in every stage of his rout, not only by shed all their blood for Napoleon the Great." the most respectable agriculturists of the ad- This declaration did not entirely extinguish jacent provinces, but by a motley and infu- the hopes of the Bourbons. They still relied , riate multitude, whose clamours of applause on the good disposition and numbers of the and enthusiasm immediately subsided, on troops at Melun; and, blinded by the adwaving his hand, or opening his lips. On dresses sent up from many garrisons and prothe 17th of March he entered Auxerre, where vinces, at the very moment of their defection, the 14th regiment of the line welcomed his still thought that their cause would be esunder foot the white cockade, which a few the morning of Monday the 20th, preparashort months before they had sworn to revere. tions were made on both sides for the erHis demeanour to these troops evinced his counter which was expected to take place. uşual adroitness and versatility of address. The French army was drawn up en etages He accosted an old soldier, who was deco on three lines, the intervals and the flanks rated with three medals, and asked him, in a armed with batteries. The centre occupied familiar tone, what was the duration of his the Paris road. The ground from Fontainservice. The veteran replied, “ Twenty-five bleau to Melun is a continual declivity ; so years, sire;" “ Ah, I recollect," interrupted that, on emerging from the forest, you have Buonaparte, “we were together at Rivoli, a clear view of the country before you ; where we took seven pieces of cannon.” whilst, on the other hand, those below can “ Yes, sire.” " I see then," answered Na- easily descry whatever appears on the emipoleon, “ that you are a good soldier, and I An awful silence, broken only at will take care of you."
times by peals of martial music, intended to On the 19th, at night, he turned off the confirm the loyalty of the troops, by repeatgreat road, to sleep at Fontainbleau, deter- ing the royal airs of Vive Henri Quatre, and mined, as he confessed, that the palace which La Belle Gabrielle, or by the voice of their had witnessed his misfortunes, should first commanders, and the march of divisions to receive him in this moment of success. His their appointed ground, pervaded the king's army, during the hours of his repose, ad. army. Al was anxious expectation; the vanced in the direction of Melun.
chiefs, conscious that a moment would decide The number of national guards, volun- the fáte of the Bourbon dynasty; and the teers, and other troops, collected at Melun, troops, perhaps secretly awed at the thought to stop the march of Buonaparte, was not of meeting in hostility the man whom they
had been accustomed to obey. On the side narch, as he descended the steps of the chaof Fontainbleau no sound, as of an army teau. They knelt as he passed through their rushing to battle, was heard. If the enemy ranks, pressed to their lips his hands, kissed was advancing, his troops evidently moved the flaps of his coat, and, conjuring him not in silence. Perhaps his heart had failed him, to depart, declared that they were ready to and he had retreated during the night. If sacrifice their lives in his defence. The king so, France was saved, and Europe free. At endeavoured to calm their emotion, by exlength a light trampling of horses became pressing his belief that he should again reaudible. It approached : an open carriage, turn to the palace of his fathers; while the attended by a few hussars and dragoons, ap- count d'Artois
, deeply dejected, mingled his peared on the skirts of the forest. It drove tears with those of these faithful citizens, down the hills with the rapidity of light- Had this intrepid band of loyal and virtuous ning: it reached the advanced posts individuals been stationed at Melun, instead “ Long live the Emperor !" burst from the of the troops of the line, the enterprise of astonished soldiery." Napoleon! Napoleon Napoleon might have been defeated, without the Great!" spread from rank to rank; for, the expense of blood and treasure, and the bareheaded, Bertrand seated at his right, and exhaustion of national resources that has Drouet at his left, Napoleon continued his since attended his discomfiture, and his se course, now waving his hand, now opening cond exile. The household troops testified his arms to the soldiers; whom he called the sincerity of their zeal by accompanying “ his friends, his companions in arms, whose their monarch in his flight. honour, whose glories, whose country he now The agitation of Louis previous to his de came to restore." All discipline was forgot- parture was so unworthy of his station, and ten, disobeyed, and insulted; the comman of the difficulties which surrounded him, that ders-in-chief took to flight; thousands rushed his port-folio, containing his correspondence his
passage ; acclamations rent the sky. for many years with the duchess of AngouAt that moment his own guard descended leme, was found in his apartment; his draw. the hill-the imperial march was played ers contained the letters of Louis the XVI. the eagles were once more exhibited, and and many important documents, calculated those whose deadly weapons were to have to endanger the safety of many
individuals. aimed at each other's life, embraced as bro- Nor were his humanity and benevolence less thers, and joined in universal shouts. In the conspicuous than his indiscretion. The midst of these acclamations Napoleon passed duchess of Lerment was the favourite of through the whole of the royal army, and, Maria Antoinette, and governess of the placing himself at its head, pursued his course duchess d'Angouleme. Age, sickness, and to Paris.
sorrow, had conspired to enfeeble her body Gloomily arose the morning of the 20th and her mind. She had lately lost her only of March to the royalists of Paris. It was daughter, who was burned to death, and was known that Louis had left his capital at mid now reduced to a state of mental imbecility. night, in consequence of the most urgent With a magnanimity, and spirit of grateful persuasions, and with extreme reluctance. tenderness, which in former kings would He wished to have awaited till the last mo have conferred upon its possessor the attriinent, or rather to have awaited the coming butes of a saint and a hero, he offended the of the invader; and he often repeated the pride, and sacrificed the friendship, of a fanoble and affecting language which he had yourite general, by insisting that she should used at the meeting of the deputies, “Can I be accommodated with his place in the sove.. better terminate my career of sixty years, reign's private carriage. than by ending my life in defence of my During the preceding day, the people of people. No heart was unmoved at the Paris had been agitated by doubt, fear, hope, affecting detail of his departure. The na and anxiety; but the fatal certainty had not tional guard at the Thuilleries melted into reached them. Their king was a fugitive, tears at the sight of their unfortunate mo. and the invader was hastening to fill the va
cant throne. All the authorities were with tempt was baffled by the firmness and intre.
to dispute the entrance of the rebels into it:
exposes our subjects to so many dangers, will At two o'clock general Excelmans arrived soon discover their error, and will find in our. at the Thuilleries, and relieving the national indulgence, and in our affection, the recomguard, tore down the flag of the Bourbons, pence of their return to their duty. and hoisted that of the invader. This was We will soon return into the midst of the signal for greater tumult. The cries of this good people, to whom we shall once more “ the King for ever” were no longer heard, bring peace and happiness. but crowds of the lower classes filled the * For these causes we declare and ordain squares, vociferating “ The Emperor for as follows: ever.” The more respectable classes of citi “ Art. 1. In virtue of the 30th article of zens wese silent spectators, and the national the constitutional charter, and the 4th article guard preserved a melancholy silence. The of the second title of the law of the 14th of inhabitants of the suburbs of St. Marceau August, 1814, the session of the chamber of and St. Antoine, assembled in the Carousal, peers, and that of the deputies, for 1814, are and endeavoured to break open the gates declared at an end.
The peers and the de which separate that square from the courts of puties shall forthwith separate. the palace, resolving to level the late resi “ 2. We convoke a new session of the dence of Louis with the ground. Their at chamber of peers, and the session for 1815
216 of 30.0 10,0
hast con his e polit sme as hia
The appens avoid
of the deputies. The peers and the deputies newspapers, which on the preceding day had of the departments shall meet at the soonest strenuously advocated the cause of Louis, possible period, in the place which we shall were printed with the stamp of the eagle, point out as the provisional seat of our go- and proclaimed in the most pompous style vernment. Any assembly of either chamber the entry of Napoleon into his capital. Tuheld elsewhere, without our authority, is mult and disorder prevailed in the streets, from this moment declared null and illegal. which were soon filled with newly arrived
“ 3. Our chancellor and ministers are each, troops, and the soldiers and populace were in what concerns him, charged with the exe alike decorated with a bunch of violets. cution of the present proclamation, which Thus was accomplished a great and extrashall be communicated to both chambers, ordinary revolution, which more resembled published and posted up in Paris, and in the a theatrical illusion than the actual occurdepartments, and forwarded to all the pre rence of real events. The journey of Buonafects
, sub-prefects, courts, and tribunals of parte from Cannes to Paris is without pathe kingdom.
rallel in history, and much beyond the limits “ Given at Paris, the 19th of March, in of probable fiction. Every soldier sent against the
year of our Lord 1815, and the twena him joined his forces. Where resistance tieth of our reign.”
seemed for moment to be threatened, it
was disarmed by the sound of his voice. The It must be observed, that Louis XVIII. ascendancy of a victorious leader over sol-dates his accession from the death of the diers, the talent of moving armed multitudes Dauphin.
by a word, the inextinguishable attachment On perusing the journals of the 20th and of an army to him in whom its glory is con21st of March, we seem to read the history centrated and embodied, were never before of two different nations, In the former so brilliantly and tremendously exemplified. 30,000 national guards, 3000 volunteers, and Civilized society was never before so terribly 10,000 students of all classes, join in uttering warned of the force of the military virtues, cries of rage and hatred towards the invader; which are the greatest civil vices. In twenty in the latter they all rejoice at his appear- days he found himself quietly seated on the ance. The very individuals who, two days throne of France, without having spilled a before, had professed to Louis the most fer- drop of blood. The change had no resemvent attachment, and unalterable fidelity, blance to a revolution in other European hiastened from Paris to meet the emperor, to countries, where great bodies of men are incongratulate him on his arrival, and to form terested in the preservation of authority, and his escort. He declined their services with where every such body takes some interest politeness, and continued his journey in the for or against political changes. It was a same vehicle, and with the same attendants, bloodless and orderly military sedition. In as had accompanied his route from Lyons. the levity with which authority was transThe day closed, and Napoleon had not yet ferred it bore some resemblance to an oriental appeared. He had lingered on the road to revolution, but the total absence of those avoid the pressure and the familiarity of the great characteristic features, the murder and multitude. At nine o'clock he entered the imprisonment of princes, destroyed the likecity in his travelling carriage, attended by ness. It was, in fact, an event of which the an escort of twenty men, and was not recog scene could have been laid, even by the most nized till he had reached the Thuilleries, fanciful romance writer, in no other time and where he was received by the populace with country than France, at the commencement their accustomed enthusiasm. His compa of the year 1815. nions forced a passage through the crowd, After arranging their respective shares in and bore him to the state apartments, where the partition of Europe, the confederate mohis sisters Julia and Hortensia, the officers of narchs had declared their intention to depart his household, and other adherents, were as from Vienna, and their time was intended to sembled to receive him. In the morning the be passed, during the remainder of their re
sidence, in superb entertainments and luxu. but it was still more probable that he had
În conformity with these impressions, they
all their efforts, that the genehim to abdicate, and they had reason to fear al peace, the object of the wishes of Europe, that, successful in this enterprise, he would and the constant purpose of their labours
, disregard the treaties by which Louis was may not again be troubled ; and to provide bound, which had rendered France no longer against every attempt which shall threaten to an object of terror and suspicion, and that replunge the world into the disorders and the result of all their deliberations would be miseries of revolutions. endangered or destroyed. They were as yet " And although entirely persuaded that unacquainted with his professions of regard all France, rallying round its legitimate sove, to liberty, and his concessions to the people: reign, will immediately annihilate this last he might have been corrected by adversity, attempt of a criminal and impotent delirium,