Thursday, March 19, 2015

Bourbon's flee

The Royal Family. From left to right: Charles, Count of Artois, Louis XVIII, Marie Caroline, Duchesse of Berry, Marie Thérèse, Duchesse of Angoulême, Louis Antoine, Duke of Angoulême and Charles Ferdinand, Duke of Berry.

Small incidents sometimes sway great events.  Just as James II of England is reputed to have decided that his cause was hopeless when he overheard one of his sentries whistling "Lillibullero" -- the marching song of William of Orange's rebels --- so the Bourbon Government noted with growing concern the signs of popular alienation.  In addition to humorous lampoons, grimmer slogans of Jacobin origin appeared overnight on the walls of Paris: "Down with the Priests!  Down with the nobles!  Death to the Royalists!  Bourbons to the scaffold!"  Exacerbated by the hard conditions of economic inflation, the Paris mob and metayers were once agani becoming restive.  Serious rioting in the streets of the capital was not calculated to cheer the heirs of St. Louis, already hypnotized by Napoleon's seemingly inexorable advance, and on March 19 the Royal Court decamped from Paris and fled for the Belgian frontier and renewed exile.  Over one hundred days were to pass before they regained their capital.

~ D. Chandler, The Campaigns of Napoleon, page 1012

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