Among the spectators more than one could recognize himself in the personages of the piece. But the allusions were so nicely made that no one could be offended. Liberals and ultras could, on the contrary, profit by the excellent counsels given them in the little play of the Theatre de Madame.
Let us add, moreover, that Scribe never wished to be anything but a man of letters. There could be applied to him the words said by him of his confrere, friend, and nephew, Bayard:—
“A stranger to all parties, he speculated on no revolution; he flattered no one in power, not even those he loved. He solicited no honors, no places, no pension. He asked nothing of any one but himself. He owed to his talent and his labor his honor and his independence.”
The device chosen by Scribe is a pen, above which is the motto: Inde fortuna et libertas. The Duchess of Berry knew how to understand and appreciate this man of wit and good sense. For his part, Scribe avowed for the Princess a sentiment of gratitude that he never falsified. When the days of ill fortune came for her, he journeyed to bear his homage to her upon a foreign soil.
Dieppe has not forgotten the benefits received from the Duchess of Berry. It was this amiable Princess that made fashionable the pretty Normandy city and made it the most elegant bathing resort of Europe. She made five visits there, of several weeks each, in 1824, 1825, 1826, 1827, and 1829.
The Duchess came for the first time to Dieppe some time before the death of Louis XVIII. She arrived the 29th of July, and left the 23d of August. She conceived immediately a passion for the picturesque town, as famous for its fine beach as for its smiling environs. The enthusiasm manifested for her by the inhabitants touched her. She said to the mayor: “Henri IV. was right when he called the Dieppois his good friends. I shall imitate my ancestor in his love for them.”
The next year—the year of the coronation—Madame returned to her favorite city. She arrived there the 2d of August, 1825. More than twenty thousand persons were awaiting her at the boundary of the district, and her entry was triumphal. The 6th of August, the actors of the Gymnase, come from Paris, gave a theatrical representation in her honor.
Madame made many excursions by sea. There was on her boat a tent of crimson silk, above which floated the white flag. The little flotilla of the royal navy had manoeuvres in her honor, and saluted her with salvos of artillery. The 10th of September, the Princess made an excursion to Bacqueville, where there awaited her a numerous cortege of Cauchois women, all on horseback, in the costume of the country. The 12th, she breakfasted in the ship Le Rodeur, and a recently constructed merchant vessel was launched in her presence. She departed the 14th, promising to return the following year.