The Idler in France eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 349 pages of information about The Idler in France.

The Duc de Guiche has not left his post, near the royal family, since the 26th, except to pass and repass with instructions from the King to the Duc de Raguse, twice or thrice a-day.  He has been repeatedly recognised by the people, though in plain clothes, and experienced at their hands the respect so well merited by his honourable conduct and devotion to his sovereign.  How often have I heard this noble-minded man censured for encouraging the liberal sentiments of the Dauphin; and heard this, too, from some of those who are now the first to desert Charles the Tenth in the emergency which is the result of the system they advocated!

——­ has been here; he tells me that to Marshal Marmont the king has confided unlimited power, and that Paris has been declared in a state of siege.

He says that the military dispositions are so defective, that there is not a young officer in the army capable of committing a similar mistake.  The regiments are crowded into narrow streets, in which even children may become dangerous enemies, by throwing from the windows every missile within their reach on the heads of the soldiers.  He is of opinion that, in twenty-four hours, the populace will be in possession of Paris.  The tri-coloured flag is now floating from the towers of Notre-Dame; while the white flag of the luckless Bourbons, as often stained by the faithlessness of its followers, as by the blood of its foes, still waves from the column of the Place Vendome,—­that column erected to commemorate the glory of the great chief now calmly sleeping in his ocean-washed grave.

The civil authorities seem paralyzed:  the troops have been twelve hours on duly without any refreshment, except that afforded by the humanity of the people, who have brought them wine and bread; can it be hoped that these same soldiers will turn their arms against those who have supplied their necessities?

The royal emblems are destroyed wherever they are found, and the bust of the king has been trampled on.  The disgusting exhibition of the dead bodies has had the bad effect calculated upon, and all is tumult and disorder.  Every one wonders where are the authorities, and why a sufficient military force does not appear, for there has been ample time, since the disposition to insurrection manifested by the people, to assemble the troops.

Every visitor, and, notwithstanding the disturbed state of Paris, we have already had several to-day, announces some fresh disaster, each representing it according to the political creed to which he adheres.  The Royalists assert that the outbreak is the result of a long and grave conspiracy, fomented by those who expect to derive advantage from it; while the Liberals maintain that it has arisen spontaneously and simultaneously from the wounded spirit of liberty, lashed into a frenzied resistance by the ordonnances.  I pretend not to know which of these statements is the most correct; but I believe that the favourite opinion of the worthy Sir Roger de Coverley, that “much could be said on both sides of the question,” might now fairly be urged; for, according to the march of events, it is but too probable that the melodrama now enacting before our eyes has not been an impromptu; and it is quite clear that the ordonnances have furnished the occasion, and the excuse (if such were required), for the performance.

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The Idler in France from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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