In 1833 he started le Musee des Familles, and to get subscribers, he placarded the walls of Paris with monstrous bills, initiating a nuisance which has ever since been used by all kinds of impostors. In 1834 he was elected to the Chamber of Deputies, and a year later he fought his third duel.
In 1836 La Presse was established, the journal with which his greatest fame is connected. In starting this new paper Girardin intended to ruin all the other Paris journals. His plan was to furnish more matter for one-half the ordinary price of a journal than the usual dailies gave to their readers. He made, as he might have expected, bitter enemies out of his contemporaries. They attacked him, and with such unfairness, and in such a personal manner, that he flew to the courts for relief, or revenge. The journalists then accused him of cowardice—of fearing to trust his reputation to public discussion. It was at this time that he had his sad and fatal quarrel with Armand Carrel—a brother editor. Girardin shot Carrel in the groin. He died the next day. Girardin was wounded in the thigh. The loss of Carrel was deeply felt, and his funeral was attended by multitudes of the Parisians. For a time Girardin was exceedingly unpopular in Paris, and his enemies knew well how to make use of his unpopularity. They attacked him with redoubled severity and criticised all his questionable acts. He, however, replied to their fire with so much spirit, and with such terrible bitterness, that they were in the end if not conquered, willing to let him alone.
In his journal Girardin defended the throne, and was generally the friend of good morals. He is accused of signing his own name to all the most brilliant articles which appeared in his journal, whether he was in reality the author or not, for the sake of his reputation. He made enemies in all quarters, but his paper gained an immense circulation. His wife became his disciple, and rendered him great assistance in his literary labors. She has rendered her own name illustrious in France by her writings. She was entirely devoted to her husband, and not only loved the man but espoused his cause and principles. Whenever her husband was attacked she resented it, and often used a bitter and witty pen in his defense. Her verses upon Cavaignac are yet remembered in Paris. When that general arrested her husband, she flew to his house and demanded if she were living in the reign of terror.
“No,” replied Cavaignac, “but under the reign of the sword.”
“Attach a cord to your sword and you will be a guillotine!” replied the intrepid woman.