“This ministry, formed to overcome the Revolution and save the monarchy, remained inert and sterile. The Opposition insultingly charged it with impotence; it called it the hectoring ministry, the dullest of ministries, and, for answer, it prepared the expedition of Algiers and prorogued the Chambers, protesting always its fidelity to the Charter, promising itself to get out of its embarrassments by a majority and a conquest.”
The Duchess of Berry had seen without apprehension, and perhaps even with pleasure, the nomination of the new ministers. Tranquillity reigned in France. There was no symptom of agitation, no sign of disquiet in the circle surrounding the Princess, and after an agreeable stay of some weeks at Dieppe, she proceeded to the south, where her journey was a triumph.
THE JOURNEY IN THE SOUTH
The journey of the Duchess of Berry in the south of France, in 1829, was scarcely less triumphant than that she had made in the Vendee the year before. The object of the Princess was to meet her family of the Two Sicilies, which was traversing the kingdom on the way from Italy to Spain, to escort to Madrid the young Marie-Christine, who was about to espouse King Ferdinand VII.—his fourth wife.
Born October 13, 1784, King since March 19, 1808, Ferdinand VII. had married, first, Marie Antoinette, Princess of the Two Sicilies; second, Isabelle-Marie Francoise, Princess of Portugal; third, Marie-Josephe-Amelie, Princess of Saxony. He had chosen for his fourth wife, Marie-Christine, Princess of the Two Sicilies, born April 27, 1806. Sister of the father of the Duchess of Berry, Marie-Christine was the daughter of Francois I., King of the Two Sicilies, and his second wife, the Infanta of Spain, Marie-Isabelle, born October 13, 1784, and sister of Ferdinand II. The King of the Two Sicilies was escorting his daughter, Marie-Christine, to the King of Spain, where she was to marry at Madrid the 11th of December, 1829. Ferdinand VII. had a brother, the Infante Francois de Paule, born March 10, 1784, who had espoused a princess of the Two Sicilies, Louise-Caroline-Marie Isabelle, born October 24, 1804, sister of the Duchess of Berry. From this marriage was born the Infante Don Francisco of d’Assisi, husband of Queen Isabelle. The Infante and Infanta Francois de Paule traversed the south of France, to meet the Bourbons of Naples. We may add that the Duchess of Orleans, sister of King Francois I., aunt of Marie-Christine and of the Duchess of Berry, went with her husband to the eastern frontier of France to meet her relatives.
The Duchess of Berry, authorized by Charles X. to go to the south to meet her father, her step-mother, and her sisters, left Saint Cloud, October 10, 1829. The 17th, she was at Lyons, whither she promised to return. At Valence, she found her step-brother and her sister, the Infante and Infanta Francois de Paule, and returned with them to Lyons, where, October 20, she was greeted by a great crowd, eager to look upon her face. At the Grand Theatre Their Highnesses assisted at a performance, in which the actor Bernard-Leon, Jr., played the part of Poudret in Le Coiffeur et le Perruquier.