Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Saint Cloud

On November 2nd 1826, Sir Walter Scott is touring Paris and it environs, directly experiencing source material which would be published as "The Life of Napoleon Buonaparte".  From Scott's journal:

November 2 [1826] - Another gloomy day—a pize upon it!—and we have settled to go to Saint Cloud, and dine, if possible, with the Drummonds at Auteuil. Besides, I expect poor W.R. S[pencer] to breakfast. There is another thought which depresses me...

We went to Saint Cloud with my old friend Mr. Drummond, now at a pretty maison de campagne at Auteuil. Saint Cloud, besides its unequalled views, is rich in remembrances. I did not fail to revisit the Orangerie, out of which Bon. expelled the Council of [Five Hundred]. I thought I saw the scoundrels jumping the windows, with the bayonets at their rumps. What a pity the house was not two stories high! I asked the Swiss some questions on the locale, which he answered with becoming caution, saying, however, that "he was not present at the time." There are also new remembrances. A separate garden, laid out as a playground for the royal children, is called Il Trocadero, from the siege of Cadiz [1823]. But the Bourbons should not take military ground—it is firing a pop-gun in answer to a battery of cannon.

And, from Scott's Life of Napoleon:

'This hostile Council [The Council of Five Hundred] only met at ten o'clock on that memorable day, when they received, to their surprise, the message, intimating that the Council of Ancients had changed the place of meeting from Paris to St. Cloud: and thus removed their debates from the neighbourhood of the populace, over whom the old Jacobinical principles might have retained influence. The laws as they stood afforded the young Council no means of evading compliance, and they accordingly adjourned to meet the next day at St. Cloud, with unabated resolution to maintain the democratical part of the Constitution. They separated amid shouts of " Long live the Republic and the Constitution!" which were echoed by the galleries. The tricoteuses and other more zealous attendants on their debates, resolved to transfer themselves to St. Cloud also, and appeared there in considerable numbers on the ensuing day, when it was evident the enterprise of Sieyes and of Bonaparte must be either perfected or abandoned.'

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