The new King said to himself that his policy was the right one, because, from the moment of his accession, all hatreds were appeased. With the absolute calm enjoyed by France he compared the agitations, plots, violence, the troubles and the fury of which it had been the theatre under the Decazes ministry. From the day the Right had assumed power, and Louis XVIII. had allowed his brother to engage in public affairs, the victory of royalty had been complete and manifest. Charles X. thought then that the results had sustained him; that foresight, virtue, political sense, were on his side. Needless to say, every one about him supported him in that idea, that he believed in all conscience that he was in the right, obeying the voice of honor and acting like a king and a Christian. Any other policy than his own would have seemed to him foolish and cowardly. To hear his courtiers, one would have said that the age of gold had returned in France; the felicitations offered him took an idyllic tone. The Count of Chabrol, Prefect of the Seine, said to him, January 1, 1825, at the grand reception at the Tuileries:—
“At your accession, Sire, a prestige of grace and power calmed, in the depths of all hearts, the last murmur of the storm, and the peace that we enjoy to-day is embellished by a charm that is yours alone.”
The same day the Drapeau Blanc said:—
“Why is there an unusual crowd passing about the palace of the cherished monarch and princes? It is watching with affection for a glance or smile from Charles! These are the new-year gifts for the people moved by love for the noble race of its kings. This glance, expressing only goodness, this smile so full of grace, they long for everywhere and always before their eyes. His classic and cherished features are reproduced in every form; every public place has its bust, every hut its image; they are the domestic gods of a worship that is pure and without superstition, brought to our families by peace and happiness.” The aurora of Charles X.’s reign was like that of his brother Louis XVI. The two brothers resembled travellers who, deceived by the early morning sun and the limpid purity of the sky, set forth full of joy and confidence, and are suddenly surprised by a frightful tempest. The new James II. imagined that his royalty had brought his trials to an end. It was, on the contrary, only a halt in the journey of misfortune and exile. He believed the Revolution finished, and it had but begun.
THE DAUPHIN AND DAUPHINESS
At the accession of Charles X., the royal family, properly speaking, consisted of six persons only,—the King, the Duke and Duchess of Angouleme, the Duchess of Berry and her two children (the Duke of Bordeaux and Mademoiselle). By the traditions of the monarchy, the Duke of Angouleme, as son and heir of the King, took the title of Dauphin, and his wife that of Dauphiness. The Duchess of Berry, who, under the reign of Louis XVIII. was called Madame the Duchess of Berry, was by right, henceforward, called simply Madame, a privilege that belonged to the Duchess of Angouleme before she was Dauphiness. That is why the Gymnase, the theatre under the special protection of the Duchess of Berry, was called, after the new reign began, the Theatre de Madame.