The Duchess of Berry and the Court of Charles X eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 211 pages of information about The Duchess of Berry and the Court of Charles X.
to please him—­him only, adorning herself with virtue, the one ornament that is never ruinous, having great gentleness for him, great strength as against all others; he would wish, in fine, a perfect wife.  I should like to believe that there are many such, especially among my listeners, but I should think it a miracle if one of them united all these qualities without having the principles of religion.  A woman, pretty, witty, agreeable, would like her husband to think she was so, that he should be as amiable for her, or almost, as for those he saw for the first time; that he should not keep his ill humor and his brusqueness for his home and lavish his care and attention on society; that he should forget sometimes that he is a master,—­in some ways a despotic master,—­despite the liberalism of the century and the progress of philosophy; that he should be willing to be a friend, even if he ceased to be a lover; finally, that he should not seek from others what he will more surely find at home.  Let this tender wife invoke religion, let her cause her husband to love it, let her win him to it; she will get what she hopes for and thank me for the recipe.”

Our lady readers will thank us, we hope, for having spoken of a man who gives them such good advice; and it is with pleasure that we have taken the occasion to render homage to the memory of a great lord, who doubly deserved the title, by the elevation of his ideas and the nobility of his sentiments.  Such men—­alas! they are rare—­would have saved the Restoration if the Restoration could have been saved.

XII

THE HOUSEHOLD OF THE DUCHESS OF BERRY

We shall now, commencing with the ladies, throw a rapid glance over the persons who, at the time of the consecration, formed the household of the Duchess of Berry.  The Princess had one lady of honor, one lady of the bedchamber, and eleven lady companions, of whom three were honorary.  All were distinguished as much by their manners and sentiments as by birth and education.

The lady of honor was the Marechale Oudinot, Duchess of Reggio, a lady of the highest rank, who joined a large heart to a firm mind.  Attached, through her family, to the religious and monarchical principles of the old regime, by her marriage to the glories of the imperial epic, she represented at the court the ideas of pacification and fusion that inspired the policy of Louis XVIII.  Born in 1791, of Antoine de Coucy, captain in the regiment of Artois, and of Gabrielle de Mersuay, she was but two years old when her father and mother were thrown into the dungeons of the Terror.  Carried in the arms of a faithful serving-woman, she visited the two prisoners, who escaped death.  She married one of Napoleon’s most illustrious companions in arms, the “modern Bayard,” as he was called, the Marshal Oudinot, Duke of Reggio, who had received thirty-two wounds on the field of battle, and who, by securing the passage

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The Duchess of Berry and the Court of Charles X from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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