After the signing of the treaty of 1841, which restored the entente cordiale between France and England, and satisfied the other European Powers, Louis Philippe and his family were probably in the plenitude of their prosperity. The Duke of Orleans had been happily married; and although his wife was a Protestant, - which was not wholly satisfactory to Queen Marie Amelie, - the character of the Duchesse Helene was so lovely that she won all hearts, both in her husband's family and among the people.

On the occasion of the fetes given in Paris at the nuptials of the Duke of Orleans, in 1837, the sad presage of misfortune that had accompanied the marriage festivities of Marie Antoinette was repeated. One of the spectacles given to the Parisians was a sham attack on a sham citadel of Antwerp in the Champ de Mars. The crowd was immense, but all went well so long as the spectacle lasted. When the crowd began to move away, a panic took place. The old and the feeble were thrown down and trampled on. Twenty-four persons were killed, the fetes were broken up, and all hearts were saddened both by the disaster and the omen.

One part of the festivities on that occasion consisted in the opening of the galleries of historical paintings at Versailles, - a magnificent gift made by the Citizen King to his people.

I have spoken already of the storming of Constantine. No French success since the wars of the Great Napoleon had been so brilliant; yet the Chamber of Deputies, in a fit of parsimony, reduced from two thousand to eleven hundred dollars the pension proposed by the ministers to be settled on the widow of General Damremont, the commander-in-chief, who had been killed by a round shot while giving orders to scale the walls. At the same time they voted two hundred and fifty thousand dollars for the year's subsidy to the theatres of Paris for the amusement of themselves and their constituents.

Algeria proved a valuable school for soldiers; there Lamoriciere, Changarnier, Cavaignac, Saint-Arnaud, Pelissier, and Bugeaud had their military education. Louis Philippe's three sons were also with the troops, sharing all the duties, dangers, and hardships of the campaign.

By the end of 1847 Abdul Kader had retired to a stronghold in the mountains, where, seeing that his cause was lost, he tendered his submission to the Duc d'Aumale, then governor of Algeria. The offer was accepted. Abdul Kader surrendered on an understanding that he should be conducted to some Mohammedan place of refuge, - Alexandria or St. Jean d'Acre. But this stipulation was disregarded by the French Government, whose breach of faith has always been considered a stain on the honor of Louis Philippe and his ministers. The Duc d'Aumale vehemently remonstrated, believing his own word pledged to the Arab chieftain. Abdul Kader, his wives, children, servants, and principal officers were taken to France, and for five years lived at Amboise, where some of the subordinate attendants, overcome by homesickness, committed suicide. In 1852 Louis Napoleon, who possibly had a fellow-feeling for captives, restored Abdul Kader to liberty, who thereupon took up his residence at Damascus. There he subsequently protected a large number of Christians from massacre, sheltering them in his house, and giving them food and clothing. He afterwards removed to the island of Ceylon, where, as everywhere else, he won "golden opinions" by his generous behavior.

Meantime, while France was in some respects in the full tide of prosperity, great discontent was growing up among the working-classes, reinforced by the worthless class, always ready for disturbances. In May, 1839, Barbes led an emeute in Paris which might have proved formidable. His attempt opened with a deliberate murder, and there was considerable fighting in the streets for about twenty-four hours. Barbes was condemned to death. The king was desirous to spare him, and yielded readily to the prayers of his sister, for whom an opportunity of interceding for him was obtained by the good offices of Lamartine.

The emeute of Barbes was regarded with disfavor by more experienced conspirators, but secret societies had introduced organization among the workmen. Moreover, they were led by the bourgeoisie with a cry for parliamentary reform, which at that period was the supposed panacea for every kind of evil.

The king was not popular. He was not the ideal Frenchman. He was a Frenchman of the epicier, or small grocer, type. As a bon pere de famille he was anxious to settle his sons well in life. They were admirable young men, they deserved good wives, and as far as grace, beauty, and amiability went, they all obtained them; but up to 1846 not one of them had made a brilliant marriage. This good fortune Louis Philippe hoped was reserved for his two younger sons, - D'Aumale and Montpensier.

The Duke of Orleans was the most popular of the king's sons. Handsome, elegant, accomplished, and always careful in his toilet, he was a thorough Frenchman, - the approved type of an aristocrat with liberal sympathies and ideas. He was born at Palermo in 1810, and did not come to France till he was four years old. He had an excellent tutor, who prepared him for his college. There he took his place entirely on a par with other boys, and gained several prizes. All Louis Philippe's sons were sent to public schools.

The duke afterwards prepared for and entered the Polytechnic, which is said to demand more hard study than any other school in the world. He made his first campaign in Africa in 1835, and afterwards served with distinction in the early part of that one which resulted in the retreat from Constantine; but before Constantine was reached, a severe illness invalided him. He was a liberal in politics, the sincere friend of the working-classes, and was on intimate terms with men of letters, even with Victor Hugo, in spite of his advanced opinions. He was a patron of art and artists. Some beautiful table-pieces that he had ordered, by Barye, are now in the gallery of Mr. W. S. Walters, of Baltimore, they not having been completed when he died. His wife charmed every one by her good sense, grace, and goodness. They had had four years of happy married life, and had two little sons, when, in July, 1842, the duchess went for her health to the baths of Plombieres, in the mountains of the Vosges. Her husband escorted her thither, and then returned to Paris, on his way to attend some military manoeuvres near Boulogne.

As he was driving out to Neuilly to make his adieux to his family, the horses of his carriage were startled by an organ-grinder on the Avenue de Neuilly. The duke, who was alone, tried apparently to jump out of the carriage. Had he remained seated, all would have been well. He fell on his head on the pave of the broad avenue, breaking the vertebral column.

He was carried into a small grocer's shop by the way-side, where afterwards a little chapel was erected by his family. Messengers were sent to the Chateau de Neuilly, and his father, mother, and sisters, without bonnets or hats, came rushing to the spot. He lived, unconscious, for four hours. A messenger was despatched at once to bring his wife from Plombieres. She had just finished dressing for dinner, in full toilet, when the news reached her. Without changing her dress, she started instantly for Paris, but when she reached it, her husband was in his coffin.

When his will was opened, it was found to contain an earnest exhortation to his son that, whether he proved "one of those tools that Heaven fits for work, but does not use," or ascended the French throne, he "should always hold in his heart, above all things, love to France, and fidelity to the principles of the French Revolution."

Here is the poor Queen Amelie's account of the death of her son, written to a dear friend four days after: -

"My Chartres,[1] my beloved son, he whose birth made all my happiness, whose infancy and growing years were all my occupation, whose youth was my pride and consolation, and who would, as I hoped, be the prop of my old age, no longer lives. He has been taken from us in the midst of completed happiness, and of the happiest prospects of the future, whilst each day he gained in virtue, in understanding, in wisdom, following the footsteps of his noble and excellent father. He was more than a son to me, - he was my best friend. And God has taken him from me!... On the 2d of July he and Helene left for Plombieres, where the latter was to take the baths. He was, after establishing her there, to come back and spend a few days at the camp of St.-Omer, there to take command of an army corps, which was intended to execute great military manoeuvres on the Marne, and which had been the object of his thoughts and employments for a year past. Accordingly, on the 9th he returned from Plombieres, and came to dine with us at Neuilly, full of the subject of the elections, and talking of them with that warmth of heart and intellect which was apparent in all he did. Next day - my fete day - he came, contrary to his usual custom, with an enormous bouquet, telling me it was given in the name of the whole family. He heard mass, and breakfasted with us. He was so cheerful. He sat beside me at dinner. He got up, drank my health with much vivacity, and made the band play a particular tune, - in my honor, as he said. Who would have thought that this was the last time this dear child was to show me so much affection! On the 11th he again returned to dinner with us, much occupied all the time with the camp and the elections....

[Footnote 1: It was his first title before his father came to the throne. His mother always continued to use it.]

"On the 12th he arrived about four o'clock in his country suit. We conversed together about the health of Helene, which was a subject of anxiety, about Clementine's marriage, which he earnestly desired; about the elections and many other subjects, the discussion of which he always ended with the refrain: 'In short, dear Majesty, we finish as usual by agreeing in all important particulars.' And it was very true.

"After dinner we took a turn in the park, he and Victoire, Clementine, D'Aumale, and I. Never had he been so gay, so brilliant, so affectionate. He spoke to me of his arrangements for the troops, of the time when the king was to go with us to Ste.-Menehoulde, of the time that he would spend there, and of his own daily occupations. He looked forward to giving his father a representation of the battle of Valmy. I gave him my arm, saying: 'Come, dear prop of my old age!' And the next day he was to be alive no longer!

"We returned to the drawing-room a little late. A great many people had arrived. He remained with us talking until ten o'clock, when on going away he came to bid me good-night. I gave him my hand, and said: 'You will come and see us tomorrow before going away?' He replied: 'Perhaps so.'

"On the next day, July 13, about eleven o'clock, we were about to get into the carriage to go to the Tuileries. As I followed the king to the red drawing-room, I saw Troussart, the commissary of police, with a terrified countenance whispering something to General Gourgaud, who made a gesture of horror, and went to speak in a low voice to the king. The king cried out: 'Oh, my God!' Then I cried: 'Something has happened to one of my children! Let nothing be kept from me!' The king replied: 'Yes, my dear; Chartres has had a fall on his way here, and has been carried into a house at Sablonville.' Hearing this, I began to run like a madwoman, in spite of the cries of the king and the remonstrances of M. de Chabannes, who followed me. But my strength was not equal to my impulses, and on getting as far as the farm, I was exhausted. Happily the king came up in the carriage with my sister, and I got in with them. Our carriage stopped. We got out in haste, and went into the cabaret, where in a small room, stretched upon a mattress on the floor, we found Chartres, who was at that moment being bled.... The death-rattle had begun. 'What is that?' said the king to me. I replied: 'Mon ami, this is death. For pity's sake let some one fetch a priest, that my poor child may not die like a dog!' and I went for a moment into a little side room, where I fell on my knees and implored God from my inmost soul, if He needed a victim, to take me and spare so dear a child....

"Dr. Pasquier arrived soon after. I said to him: 'Sir, you are a man of honor; if you think the danger imminent, I beseech you tell me so, that my child may receive extreme unction.' He hung his head, and said: 'Madame, it is true.'

"The cure of Neuilly came and administered the sacrament while we were all on our knees around the pallet, weeping and praying. I unloosed from my neck a small cross containing a fragment of the True Cross, and I put it into the hand of my poor child, that God the Saviour might have pity on him in his passage into eternity. Dr. Pasquier got up and whispered to the king. Then that venerable and unhappy father, his face bathed in tears, knelt by the side of his eldest son, and tenderly embracing him, cried; 'Oh that it were I instead of thee!' I also drew near and kissed him three times, - once for myself, once for Helene, and once for his children. I laid upon his lips the little cross, the symbol of our redemption, and then placed it on his heart and left it there. The whole family kissed him by turns, and then each returned to his place.... His breathing now became irregular. Twice it stopped, and then went on. I asked that the priest might come back and say the prayers for the dying. He had scarcely knelt down and made the sign of the cross, when my dear child drew a last deep breath, and his beautiful, good, generous, and noble soul left his body.... The priest at my request said a De profundis. The king wanted to lead me away, but I begged him to allow me to embrace for the last time my beloved son, the object of my deepest tenderness. I took his dear head in my hands; I kissed his cold and discolored lips; I placed the little cross again upon them, and then carried it away, bidding a last farewell to him whom I loved so well, - perhaps too well!

"The king led me into the next room. I fell on his neck. We were unhappy together. Our irreparable loss was common to us both, and I suffered as much for him as for myself. There was a crowd in that little room. I wept and talked wildly, and I was beside myself. I recognized no one but the unhappy Marshal Gerard, the extent of whose misfortune I then understood.[1] After a few minutes they said that all was ready. The body had been placed on a stretcher covered with a white cloth. It was borne by four men of the house, attended by two gendarmes. They went out through the stable-yard; there was an immense crowd outside.... We all followed on foot the inanimate body of this dear son, who a few hours before had passed over the same road full of life, strength, and happiness.... Thus we carried him, and laid him down in our dear little chapel, where four days before he had heard mass with the whole family."

[Footnote 1: Marshal Gerard was then mourning for his son.]

The death of the Duke of Orleans was the severest blow that could have fallen on Louis Philippe, not only as a father, but as head of a dynasty. The duke left two infant sons, - the Comte de Paris and the Duc de Chartres. The former is now both the Orleanist and Legitimist pretender, to the French throne.

In the early part of 1845 Louis Philippe, who had already visited Windsor and been cordially received there, was visited in return at his Chateau d'Eu by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, accompanied by Lord Aberdeen, then English Minister for Foreign Affairs. The king's reception of the young queen was most paternal. He kissed her like a father, and did everything in his power to make her visit pleasant. Among the subjects discussed during the visit was the question of "the Spanish marriages."

The unfortunate Queen of Spain, Isabella II., was just sixteen years old; her sister, the Infanta Luisa, was a year younger. Isabella was the daughter of a vicious race, and with such a mother as she had in Queen Christina, she had grown up to early womanhood utterly ignorant and untrained. One of her ministers said of her that "no one could be astonished that she had vices, but the wonder was that she had by nature so many good qualities." Jolly, kindly, generous, a rebel against etiquette, and an habitual breaker of promises, she was long popular in Spain, in spite of a career of dissoluteness only equalled by that of Catherine of Russia.

In 1846, however, she had not shown this tendency, and in the hands of a good husband might have made as good a wife and as respectable a woman as her sister Luisa has since proved.

There were many candidates for the honor of Queen Isabella's hand. Louis Philippe sent his sons D'Aumale and Montpensier to Madrid to try their fortunes; but England objected strongly to an alliance which might make Spain practically a part of France. The candidature of the French princes was therefore withdrawn.

A prince of the Catholic branch of the Coburgs was then proposed, - Prince Ferdinand, who made subsequently an excellent king-consort in Portugal; but to him France objected, as too nearly allied to the English Crown. Finally the suitors were reduced to three, - the queen's cousin Enrique (Henry), a rough sailor of rather radical opinions and turbulent ways; the Comte de Trepani, a Neapolitan prince, a man of small understanding; and another cousin, Don Francisco d'Assis, a creature weak alike in mind and body, whom it was an outrage to think of as fit mate for a young queen. England was willing to consent to the queen's marrying anyone of these princes, and also that the Duc de Montpensier should marry the Infanta Luisa, provided that the queen was first married and had had a child. All this was fully agreed upon in the conference at Eu. But Christina, the queen-mother, who had been plundering the Spanish treasury till she had accumulated an enormous fortune, offered, if Louis Philippe would use his influence to prevent any inquiry into the state of her affairs, to further his views as to the Duc de Montpensier.

It seems more like a scene in the Middle Ages than an actual transaction in our own century, that at midnight, in a Spanish palace, a dissolute Italian dowager and a French ambassador should have been engaged in coercing a sovereign of sixteen into a detested marriage. As morning dawned, the sobbing girl had given her consent to marry Don Francisco, and the ambassador of Louis Philippe, pale from the excitement of his vigil, left the palace to send word of his disgraceful victory to his master. The Duc de Montpensier, who was in waiting on the frontier, soon arrived in Madrid, and Isabella and Luisa were married on the same day; while M. Guizot, who was head of the French Government, and Louis Philippe excused their breach of faith to the queen of England by saying that Queen Isabella was married before her sister, though on the same morning.

Isabella at once banished her unwelcome husband to a country seat, and flung herself headlong into disgraceful excesses.

Queen Victoria was greatly hurt by the treachery displayed by Louis Philippe and his minister, and doubtless, as a woman she was deeply sorry for the young queen. Louis Philippe not only lost credit, popularity, and the support he derived from the personal friendship of the Queen and the Prince Consort of England, but he obtained no chance of the throne of Spain for his son by his wicked devices; for Queen Isabella, far from being childless, had three daughters and a son. The latter, subsequently Alfonso XII., married, in spite of much opposition, his lovely cousin Mercedes, daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Montpensier. She died a few months after her marriage, so that no son or grandson of Louis Philippe will be permitted by Providence to mount the Spanish throne.

The affair of the Spanish marriages, the quarrel it involved with Queen Victoria, and the loss to Louis Philippe of personal honor, had a great effect upon him; he became irritable and obstinate, and at the same time weak of will.

Troubles multiplied around him. Things with which he had nothing whatever to do increased his unpopularity, and the secret societies kept discontents alive. Everything that went wrong in France was charged upon the king and the royal family.

One of the great families in France was that of Choiseul-Praslin. The head of it in Louis Philippe's time was a duke who had married Fanny, daughter of Marshal Sebastiani, an old officer of Napoleon and a great favorite with Louis Philippe. The Duc de Praslin had given in his adhesion to the Orleans dynasty, while so many old families stood aloof, and was in consequence made an officer in the Duchess of Orleans' household. The Duc and Duchesse de Praslin had ten children. The duchess was a stout, matronly little woman, rather pretty, with strong affections and a good deal of sentiment. Several times she had had cause to complain of her husband, and did complain somewhat vehemently to her own family; but their matrimonial differences had always been made up by Marshal Sebastiani. The world considered them a happy married pair.

After seventeen years of married life a governess was engaged for the nine daughters, a Mademoiselle Henriette de Luzy. She was a Parisian by birth, but had been educated in England, had English connections, and spoke English fluently. She was one of those women who make a favorable impression upon everyone brought into personal contact with them. Soon the children adored her, and it was not long before the duke had come under the same spell. The duchess found herself completely isolated in her own household; husband and children had alike gone over to this stranger. The duchess wrote pathetic letters to her husband, pleading her own affection for him, and her claims as a wife and a mother. These letters no doubt exasperated the duke, but we read them with deep pity for her whose heart they lay bare.

It is to be understood that there was apparently no scandal - that is, scandal in the usual sense - in the relations between the duke and Mademoiselle de Luzy. She had simply bewitched a weak man who had grown tired of his wife, and had cast the same spell over his children; and she had not the superiority of character which would have led her to throw up a lucrative situation because she was making a wife and mother (whom doubtless she considered very unreasonable) extremely unhappy.

At last things came to such a pass that Madame de Praslin appealed to her father, insisting on a legal separation from her husband. The marshal intervened, and the affair was compromised. Mademoiselle de Luzy was to be honorably discharged, and the duchess was to renounce her project of separation. Mademoiselle de Luzy therefore gave up her situation, and went to board in a pension in Paris with her old schoolmistress. Madame de Praslin went to her country house, the magnificent Chateau de Vaux, where she herself undertook the education of her children; but in their estimation she by no means replaced Mademoiselle de Luzy, whom from time to time they visited in company with their father.

In the middle of the summer of 1847 it was arranged that the whole family should go to the seaside, and they came up to Paris to pass one night in the Faubourg Saint-Honore at the Hotel Sebastiani. Like most French establishments, the Hotel Sebastiani was divided between the marshal and his daughter, the old marshal occupying one floor during the winter, the duke and duchess, with their family, the one above it, while the servants of both establishments had their sleeping-rooms under the roof. The house was of gray stone, standing back in a yard; the French call such a situation entre cour et jardin. The duke had been in Paris several times during the previous week, and had occupied his own rooms, where the concierge and his wife - the only servants left in the house - had remarked that he seemed very busy.

It was afterwards reported in the neighborhood, but I do not think the circumstance was ever officially brought out, that the police found subsequently that all the screws but one that held up the heavy tester over the bed of the duchess, had been removed, and the holes filled with wax; it is certain that the duke partly unscrewed the bolt that fastened the door of her dressing-room.

On the evening of the family's arrival in Paris, the father and children went in a carriage to see Mademoiselle de Luzy. She told the duke that she could get a good situation, provided the duchess would give her a certificate of good conduct; and the duke at parting promised to obtain it for her.

The whole family went to bed early, that they might be ready to start for the seaside betimes upon the morrow. The children's rooms were in a wing of the building, at some distance from the chambers of their father and mother. The concierge and his wife slept in their lodge. Towards one o'clock in the morning they were awakened by screams; but they lay still, imagining that the noise came from the Champs Elysees. Then they heard the loud ringing of a bell, and starting from their bed, rushed into the main building. The noise had proceeded from the duchess's chamber. They knocked at the door, but there was no answer, only low moans. They consulted together, and then roused the maid and valet, who were sleeping in the attic chambers. Again they knocked, and there was no answer. The valet then went to the duke's room, which looked upon the garden and communicated with the dressing-room of the duchess by a balcony and window as well as by the door. The duke opened the door of his chamber. He was in his dressing-gown. When he heard what was the matter, he went at once through the window into the duchess's chamber. There a scene of carnage unparalleled, I think, in the history of murder met their eyes. The duchess was lying across her bed, not yet quite dead, but beyond the power of speech. There were more than forty wounds on her body. She must have struggled desperately. The walls were bloody, the bell-rope was bloody, and the floor was bloody. The nightdress of the duchess was saturated with blood. Her hands were cut almost to pieces, as if she had grasped the blade of the knife that killed her. The furniture was overturned in all parts of the room.[1]

[Footnote 1: We were then living near the Hotel Sebastini. The excitement in the neighborhood the next morning is indescribable.]

At once the valet and the concierge ran for the police, for members of the family, and for a doctor. The duke retired to his dressing-room. One of the gentlemen who first arrived was so sickened by the sight of the bloody room that he begged for a glass of water. The valet ran for the nearest water at hand, and abruptly entered the duke's dressing-room. He had a glass with him, and was going to fill it from a pail standing near, when the duke cried out: "Don't touch it; it is dirty;" and at once emptied the contents out of the window, but not before the valet had seen that the water was red with blood. This roused his suspicions, and when all the servants in the house were put under arrest, he said quietly to the police: "You had better search the duke's dressing-room."

When this was done there could be no more doubt. Three fancy daggers were found, one of which had always hung in the chamber of the duchess. All of them were stained with blood. The duke had changed his clothes, and had tried to wash those he took off in the pail whose bloody water he had thrown away. Subsequently it was conjectured that his purpose had been to stab his wife in her sleep, and then by a strong pull to bring down upon her the heavy canopy. The bolt he had unscrewed permitted him at dead of night quietly to enter her chamber.

The police were puzzled as to how they ought to treat the murderer. As he was a peer of France, they could not legally arrest him without authority from the Chamber of peers, or from the king. The royal family was at Dreux. The king was appealed to at once, and immediately gave orders to arrest the duke and to summon the peers for his trial. But meantime the duke, who had been guarded by the police in his own chamber, had contrived to take poison. He took such a quantity of arsenic that his stomach rejected it. He did not die at once, but lingered several days, and was carried to prison at the Luxembourg, where the poison killed him by inches. He died untried, having made no confession.

His son, who was very young at the time of his parents' death, married an American lady when he grew to manhood. It was a long courtship, for the young duke's income went largely to keep in repair his famous Chateau de Vaux, where Fouquet had entertained Louis XIV. with regal magnificence. Finally a purchaser was found for the ancestral seat; and relieved of the obligations it involved, the duke married, and retired to his estates in Corsica.

As to Mademoiselle de Luzy, she was tried for complicity in the murder of the duchess, and acquitted. There was no evidence whatever against her. But popular feeling concerning her as the inciting cause of the poor duchess's death was so strong that by the advice of her pastor - the Protestant M. Coquerel - she changed her name and came to America. She brought letters of introduction to a family in Boston, who procured her a situation as governess in Connecticut. There she soon after married a Congregational minister.

It seems hard to imagine how such a tragedy could have borne its part among the causes of Louis Philippe's downfall; but those who look into Alison or Lamartine will see it set down as one of the events which greatly assisted in bringing about the revolution of February. Mobs, like women, are often swayed by persons rather than by principles.

It was believed by the populace that court favor had prevented the duke from going to prison like any common criminal, and that the same influence had procured him the poison by which he escaped a public execution.