Chateaubriand's memoirs, XXXIII, 2

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XXXIII, 1 << Chateaubriand's memoirs >> XXXIII, 3


Mémoires d'Outre-tombe


Book XXXIII, chapter 2
Rambouillet



Charles X left in the evening for Rambouillet with the Princesses and Monsieur le Duc de Bordeaux. Monsieur le Duc d’Orléans’ new role gave birth in the King’s mind to the first thoughts of abdication. Monsieur le Dauphin, always in the rear-guard, but never mixing with the soldiers, had what remained of the food and wine distributed to them at Trianon.

At eight-fifteen in the evening, the various corps began marching. There the loyalty of the 5th Light Infantry expired. Instead of following the route, they returned to Paris: their flag was taken to Charles X who refused to accept it, as he had refused to accept that of the 50th.

The brigades were in confusion, their sections intermingled; the cavalry overtook the infantry and made a separate halt. At midnight, as the 31st expired, they arrived at Trappes. The Dauphin slept in a house behind the village.

On the next day, the 1st of August, he left for Rambouillet leaving the troops bivouacked at Trappes. They struck camp at eleven. Some soldiers, having gone to buy bread in the hamlets, were massacred.

Arriving at Rambouillet, the army was billeted around the Château.

During the night of the 1st, three regiments of heavy cavalry set out for their former garrisons. They thought that General Bordesoulle, commanding the Guards heavy cavalry, had surrendered at Versailles. The 2nd Grenadiers also left on the morning of the 2nd of August, after sending their pennants to the King. The Dauphin encountered these deserting grenadiers; they formed line in order to render honours to the Prince and then continued on their way. A strange mixture of disloyalty and ritual! In that Three Day revolution no one was passionate; everyone acted according to his own idea of right or duty: the right won, the duty fulfilled, no enmity remained and likewise no affection, some fearing lest rights carry them too far, others lest duty exceed its boundaries. Perhaps there has never been a time, and will never be another, in which a people has halted before achieving victory, and soldiers who have defended a king, as long as he seemed willing to resist, have returned their standards to him before abandoning him.

The decrees had freed the nation of its oath; this retreat, on the field of battle, freed the grenadier of his flag.