The sources from which I have drawn the materials for this book are various; they come largely from private papers, and from articles contributed to magazines and newspapers by contemporary writers, French, English, and American. I had not at first intended the work for publication, and I omitted to make notes which would have enabled me to restore to others the "unconsidered trifles" that I may have taken from them.
Liberty is fatal to the house of Bourbon; and as regards myself, I am resolved to avoid, at any price, the fate of Louis XVI. My people obey force, and bend their necks; but woe to me if they should ever raise them under the impulse of those dreams which sound so fine in the sermons of philosophers, and which it is impossible to put in practice. With God's blessing, I will give prosperity to my people, and a government as honest as they have a right to expect; but I will be a king,--and that always!"
Charles X. was on the throne six years. He was a fine-looking man and a splendid horseman,--which at first pleased the Parisians, who had been disgusted with the unwieldiness and lack of royal presence in Louis XVIII. His first act was a concession they little expected, and one calculated to render him popular. He abridged the powers of the censors of the Press. His minister at this time was M. de Villèle, a man of whom it has been said that he had a genius for trifles; but M. de Vill&egrav