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about to shift his berth into another county. But all the lookers-on, both English and French, were excited to fever-heat the while. At length the Allies entered Paris, the Cossacks bivouacked in the Champs Elysées, Napoleon was black-balled, and Louis became LE DESIRE! On his consequent triumphant departure from Hartwell (April 20th 1814), in passing the town-ball of Aylesbury, he was greeted with the sight of the white flag waving on its summit; and a large concourse of people from all the adjacent parts made the air resound with hearty cheers. Many gentlemen of the local yeomanry cavalry escorted him along the London road to Stanmore, where he was met on the steps of the Abercorn Arms hôtel by the Prince Regent of England, and they shook hands most cheerfully. This salutation was highly exhilarating after the gloomy crisis which Europe had just surmounted: but for a Wordlsworth perhaps it was less interesting than the contrast afforded by the interviews of Gustavus the Fourth and Louis at Hartwell, when the two ex-kings ranged the park together, and ministered condolence to each other.
The Prince Regent had arrived there at the head of an illustrious cortége to attend the solemn entry of Louis into London ; and they left Stanmore with six royal carriages, besides the state-coach drawn by eight cream-coloured horses, in which were the King of France and the Prince Regent, preceded by one hundred gentlemen on horseback, and a numerous party of Horse Guards. The enthusiasm was general, and the rejoicings most cordial: about four miles from town the procession was met by a line of vehicles exhibiting splendour, fashion, and beauty, which preserved, even so far, an unbroken continuity to town. The villas on each side were decorated, scaffoldings raised, the Bourbon flags waving at every gable, and even the trees hung with the flag of the lilies. On arriving at Hyde Park Corner, a countless multitude awaited him, and nothing could exceed the cordiality with which the late exile was received into the British metropolis.
On the 23rd, at about eight in the morning, liis Most Christian Majesty, the Duchesse d'Angoulême, the Prince de Condé, the Duc de Bourbon, and a splendid suite, accompanied by the Dukes of Kent and Sussex, left London for Dover, where every preparation had been made for their reception. The Prince Regent had already preceded thither to be in readiness to receive his Majesty, and to remain with him till his final departure from this country. The Duke of Clarence, as Admiral of the Fleet, hoisted the Union at the main on board the Jason frigate, to escort the Royal Sovereign yacht to the opposite coast, attended by a squadron of frigates and sloops-of-war. When the tide served, this memorable and triumphant escort weighed, and the Prince Regent, taking an earnest leave of the King, the Duchess, and the French princes, left them, and was landed at the pier-head.
As soon as the Prince Regent had quitted the yacht, the standard of England and the Admiralty flag, which had been flying, were struck; and the royal standard of France, surmounted by a British pendant, was hoisted at the main, under a salute of twenty-one guns from the castle, the batteries, and every ship of the squadron. The Royal Sovereign then stood out to sea, followed by the other yachts in which the nobles and suite were embarked ; and as they passed the outer pier, the Prince Regent, who had taken a station at the very extremity, gave the signal for three British cheers, which was obeyed with ardent enthusiasm by the immense concourse of spectators of all classes who thronged every part of the shore. It would be difficult to describe the feelings to which so novel and impressive a scene gave birth.
Nothing could exceed the beauty of the weather and the admirable order of the squadron. On arriving off the French coast, the Royal Sovereign hove to, when the Duke of Clarence, in the Jason, passed her, fired a royal salute, gave three cheers, and bore away; and his example was followed by each of the men-of-war. In two hours and fifteen minutes from leaving Dover, the royal yacht entered the harbour of Calais, where a continued roar of cannon welcomed her arrival, and France received from the British navy the descendant of the Capets, Louis le Désiré, amidst universal enthusiasm ; while loud acclamations of “ Vive le Roi!” • Vivent les Bourbons !” “ Vive Louis dix huit!” and “ Vivent les Anglais !” from that mutable people, rent the air.
There was certainly a little matter to add per contra. Most of the English officers and visitors seemed surprised that no deputation to receive the King had arrived from Paris. A cause, however, was assigned for this; namely, that it was not exactly known where he would land, some supposing that it would be at Dunkirk, others at Boulogne. Some Buonapartist militaires evinced impatience, and seemed to view this extraordinary scene with a sullen aspect, as savouring too much of British management: and even some of the quasi-moderates thought Louis would have acted more politicly, if he had accepted of the French line-of-battle ship that was sent over from Cherbourg, to convey him back to France. These feelings, however, were in reality but as a cat'spaw on the surface of the ocean in a calm, scarcely making even an evanescent impression on the general joy and exultation.
Such was the wind-up of the deadly struggle between France and England, which had continued, with the exception of the hollow truce of Amiens, for twenty-one suffering years ; and 1814 must ever be regarded as the era of a respite from the greatest evils with which the civilized world had been afficted in modern times, It is true, the return of peace was at first more efficacious in reviving the spirits of the English, than in alleviating their burdens; but the unexampled final exertions of the coalesced powers, clapped a stopper upon a war expensive beyond all former precedent both in blood and treasure. The moderation of the conquerors was a pre-eminent feature, for, though Paris was at their feet, the integrity of the nation was granted; the foundation of the subverted system of European policy was laid afresh; and a King was restored, whose reign afforded France the only portion of tranquillity and rational liberty which she had enjoyed since the commencement of the Revolution, -or is likely to enjoy, till sense and principle shall guide her manufactory of constitutions. When the votaries of those jarring ingredients—military rule, espionage, universal equality, and the wildly visionary notions of property—are in council, a copy of Wordsworth's sonnet should be placed before them
* The good people of Calais expected that their newly-recovered King, and the British Admiral, would exhibit themselves at the theatre on the evening of their arrival, agreeably to a then very usual practice. They therefore resolved to have our national anthem sung, in its native tongue, and with a pointed compliment to the Royal Duke: “ so that happy people,” says my worthy friend S.R.M. ( Gloucesteriensis !) “who can do everything in no time, furthwith prepared an additional verse," — which they printed on the back of the play-bills. And here it is, as accurately as he can remember it
God save noble Clarence,
God save Clarence;
God save Clarénce !
I grieved for Buonaparte, with a vain
A few words, and we have done with this eventful history. Writers have often to follow the hero of a tale of vicissitude into his retreat: here, on the contrary, the world finds him seated on the throne of a powerful kingdom.
When the royal family returned to France, various little actions shewed that they retained grateful and agreeable recollections of their late verdant retreat; as may have been remarked by those who were introduced to Louis the Eighteenth at Paris, or who visited the “ Jardin à la Hartwell” at Versailles. In a letter written by the Duchesse d'Angoulême to a friend in Buckinghamshire,
. that princess says,—“ Je n'oublierai jamais les témoignages d'attachement des habitans d’Ailesbury pour ma famille et moi pendant notre séjour parmi eux:” and most of the members of the suite expressed similar sentiments. Even the public caught the sentiment, and views and descriptions of "Le Château d'Ilartwell” were published in abundance. On the 24th of August, 1816, a comedy was acted at the “ Théâtre du Vaudeville” for the first time, which had a prosperous run: it was called, "La Rosière de Hartwell,” and, while it complimented Louis, it represented some of the English under a caricature which gratified the flighty Parisians at that extraordinary moment: for the gaiters of the King, the little English bonnet worn by the duchess, and the gaucheries of some of our countrymen, consoled them for their capital being in possession of our army. The principal personages after the French in this comedy are a certain Milord and Miladi Splinn (Spleen), Sir Scott, Miladi Scott, and a merchant's family. Sir Scott being the representative of British manners, is therefore a mighty drinker of Chambertin, Côte-Grillée, Chablis, vin d'Orage, and Champagne; and he enters exclaiming,—“ Godem! ... n'arrêtez point moi.” The main incident of the piece, and that which, in technical language, “ brought down the house,” was this :- La scène se passe dans le Parc du Château de Hartwell. Deux charmilles ferment le fond du théâtre,
et laissent aperçevoir le château.” Towards the close of the drama, the two charmilles open, and disclose a small triumphal arch of verdure, bearing a bust of Louis the Eighteenth crowned with lilies, on the base of which is inscribed, —“Ac SAGE DE HARTWELL.” Delight is vociferously expressed, while a Monsieur Lefranc says,
A son regard, à son air de clémence,
Previously to crossing the threshold of Hartwell House for the last time, the King most kindly pressed Sir George Lee to visit him at the Tuileries; an invitation which the worthy Baronet did not avail himself of until some time afterwards. But on his arrival in Paris, having announced himself to the proper officer of the court and solicited a private audience of his Majesty, Sir George was desired to call the next day for an answer. The next day he called accordingly, but he found the officer unprepared with any reply for him, and he and his attendants hastily passing to and fro in confusion ; which the Baronet considered to imply preparations for a fête, and became confounded also, being perplexed in his attempts to account for his awkward reception. It was not long, however, after his return to his hôtel that the occasion was sufficiently known. Tidings were arrived and spread that Buonaparte had escaped from Elba and landed in the south ; and Sir George Lee was thus painfully frustrated in his design of congratulating the King on his accession to the throne of his ancestors: the poor monarch, in an infinitely more painful strain, was bustling to quit his palace at a moment's warning, and to flee for refuge to the frontiers. At such a crisis, and under the circumstances, perhaps a visitor from Hartwell had been the least acceptable witness of the transaction. On his return from Lille, Louis expressed great regret at this most mal-à-propos occurrence, and repeated his invitation; and in 1817, he sent Sir George his portrait, as mentioned on page 117.
Another English visitor was more fortunate. On his journeys to and from the metropolis, Louis had been in the habit of changing horses at the King's Arms inn, at Berklampstead, the landlord of which had several daughters, with the eldest of whom, a very sensible young woman, he was fond of chatting, and became highly pleased with her sprightly freedom of manner. On the triumphant journey to London, she flew out to congratulate him on his restoration, an attention which he received with great pleasure, and good-humouredly invited her to visit him at Paris ; whither she went a little before Sir George Lee's ill-timed call, and was provided with an apartment in the Tuileries. At her first interview with Louis, she took the liberty of asking whether “his Majesty did not feel himself more comfortable in the retirement of Hartwell than amidst the toilsome parade of the Parisian Court?” According to what Sir George heard, the reply of the King is stated to have been,—“Madam, I have always felt it my duty to make myself comfortable in
every situation to which I am called.” On this occasion Louis treated his fair guest with great
* This was before the Constitution-mongers had established the weighty difference between a King of France and a King of the French.
respect; but scandal and envy suggested to some Mrs. Grundy, that the monarch's attentions were dictated by a warmer motive than civility or friendship inspired. On the lady's return from
. France, when the calumnious report reached her ear, she addressed a letter to the Hertford newspaper, asseverating its falsity; and she pleasantly observed, that the only King's arms she was ever in, were the King's Arms at Berkhampstead.
In closing this account, it may be proper to state that, among other relics of the Bourbon residence preserved in Hartwell House, are the prie-Dieu chair of Louis the Eighteenth ; the prieDieu of the Duchesse d'Angoulême, and her work-table; the altar in the chapel; Sir William Lee's chair converted into a confessional by the addition of a grating and kneeling-step; a fine missal which belonged to the Archbishop of Rheims; and a bronze reading-grade used in the chapel during divine service, the desk-plate of which is engraven with the sacred monogram over three nails in the centre of a radiated circle, with a cherubim at each angle of the plate. There are, moreover, various articles of furniture, and several portraits of members of the royal family, together with some books, manuscripts, and prints; and a clock, a barometer, and two or three
a thermometers which belonged to the King.
It is now high time to take leave of the Bourbons; and as to the balance of power-rights of legitimacy-indemnity for the past-security for the future—and other halcyon visions of our political quidnuncs, were they not attempted on a soil where neither true authority nor rational liberty appear to be capable of taking root! were they not cast to a class imbued with that
immoralité Qui joue avec les lois, les peuples, la science, Comme avec l'or; qui joue avec la vérité Au sort, après les dès jette sa conscience; Aussi foible, aussi faux, qu'il paroit effronté. Et qui, toujours joueur, n'a trouvé dans nos chartes Qu'un moyen de jouer, et de brouiller les cartes!