Charles X. is not alone in being deprived of his rights in his tomb; the Duke and Duchess of Angouleme and the Count of Chambord were so, and also Napoleon III. The second Emperor and Prince Imperial, his son, sleep their sleep in England; for the Bonapartes, like the Bourbons, have been exiled from Saint-Denis. By a decree of the 18th of November, 1858, the man who had re-established the Empire decided that the imperial dynasty should have its sepulture in the ancient necropolis of the kings. Napoleon III. no more, realized his dream than Napoleon I. He had completed under his reign the magnificent vault destined for himself and his race. But once more was accomplished the Sic vos non vobis, and no imperial corpse has ever taken its place in the still empty Napoleonic vault. The opening situated in the church, near the centre of the nave, is at present closed by enormous flagstones framed in copper bands; and as there is no inscription on these, many people whose feet tread them in visiting the church do not suspect that they have beneath them the stairway of six steps leading down to the vault that was to be the burial place of emperors. “Oh, vanity! Oh, nothingness! Oh, mortals ignorant of their destinies!” It is not enough that contending dynasties dispute each other’s crowns; their covetousness and rivalry must extend to their tombs. Not enough that sovereigns have been exiled from their country; they must be exiled from their graves. Disappointments in life and in death. This is the last word of divine anger, the last of the lessons of Providence.
Born at Versailles, the 9th of October, 1757, Charles X., King of France and Navarre, was entering his sixty-eighth year at the time of his accession to the throne. According to the portrait traced by Lamartine, “he had kept beneath the first frosts of age the freshness, the stature, the suppleness, and beauty of youth.” His health was excellent, and but for the color of his hair—almost white—he would hardly have been given more than fifty years. As alert as his predecessor was immobile, an untiring hunter, a bold rider, sitting his horse with the grace of a young man, a kindly talker, an affable sovereign, this survivor of the court of Versailles, this familiar of the Petit-Trianon, this friend of Marie Antoinette, of the Princess of Lamballe, of the Duchess of Polignac, of the Duke of Lauzun, of the Prince de Ligne, preserved, despite his devotedness, a great social prestige. He perpetuated the traditions of the elegance of the old regime. Having lived much in the society of women, his politeness toward them was exquisite. This former voluptuary preserved only the good side of gallantry.
The Count d’Haussonville writes in his book entitled Ma Jeunesse:—