28th.—The Duchesse de Guiche was exposed to considerable danger to day, and evinced a courage nearly allied to temerity in speaking her sentiments on the occasion. Alarmed for the safety of her eldest son, she was proceeding to his college in search of him, when she was stopped by a vast crowd of people assembled around the house of one of the tradespeople of the royal family, over whose door were the arms of France.
The frightened tradesman was in the act of removing this badge, of which only a few days previously he had been so proud, when the duchesse, seeing him so employed, remarked aloud, that “after having so often solicited permission to place the royal arms over his door, he ought to have had the courage to defend them.” The populace, enraged at this reproof, hissed and yelled; but seeing that she remained unmoved, the greater number cheered her, exclaiming “that young woman is as courageous as she is beautiful; let us shew her that we know how lo value courage, and protect her to her home,” They placed themselves around her, and with every mark of respect, escorted her, to the gate of her dwelling.
A person among the crowd who witnessed this incident, told me that never had he seen the Duchesse de Guiche look so dazzlingly beautiful, as when she was reproving the tradesman—her tall and majestic figure elevated even above its usual height by the indignation she experienced at the insult offered to the royal family, to whom in these their days of trial, she is even more chivalrously devoted than when they reigned with undisputed sway, and thousands of those who now desert, professed to worship them.
Before the duchesse regained her abode, she encountered several skirmishing parlies in the streets who were absolutely fighting, and probably owed her safety lo the protection afforded her by those whom her courage had won to be her champions.
The intelligence reached us two hours ago, that the populace had attacked the hotel of the Duc de Guiche, and placed two pieces of cannon before the gate. My terror may more easily be imagined than described, for the duchesse and her youngest children are in the house, and the duc is with the royal family. I hardly knew whether to be thankful or sorry, that her brother Count Alfred d’Orsay was not at home when this news reached us, for he would certainly have proceeded to her house, and would probably have, by his presence and interference, rendered her danger still greater.
Fearful of compromising the safety of her children, the duchesse left the hotel by another gate, opening into the Rue de Montaigne, and is, I trust, ere this, safe on her route to St.-Germain, where her father-in-law, the Duc de Gramont, has a residence.
How like a troubled dream all this appears! Would that it were but a dream, and that those whom I so much love, were not exposed to pay dearly for their fidelity to a sovereign, whose measures their enlightened minds are the last to approve, but whose misfortunes, if they cannot ameliorate, they will at least share!