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Emperor, once an exile in America, a prisoner at Ham for five years, then the great ruler of a great people.
But, beyond all this, Camden House is fragrant with memories of a noble boy, the Prince Imperial, whose fate is as pathetic as anything in history. For the birth of no child was there ever more magnificent preparation. Three rooms were filled with his twelve dozen embroidered robes and other wearing apparel. Paris sent a rosewood cradle in the form of a ship, with an eagle of precious stones at the prow, and at the stern a figure in gold, re
of the children. The Emperor and Empress stood godfather and godmother by proxy, to 3,000 born on the same day as their darling son.
No child was ever more idolized by his parents, or returned it perhaps with more obedience, purity of character and devotion. He was generous to the poor, always emptying his pockets if he saw a person in need. Once, at a party of his mother's guests, he passed around his hat for money for a poor woman who gathered sticks on the street. He wept when reproved for discourtesy, and returned the funds, which were soon made up to him.
presenting the city. When his birth was announced the streets were gay with flags, bells rang, 101 guns were fired, the city voted $20,000 for poor infants, and the peasants made the babo a present of $150,000, no person being allowed to give over five cents. As a thank-offering, Napoleon established a society to aid respectable poor, which in five years loaned over a million dollars. His baptism at Notre-Dame reads like a fairy tale, so gorgeous was it, with its hundred bishops, soldiers and state carriages. Three hundred balloons, filled with bonbons, were sent up into the air, to break for the delight
DRAWING-ROOM AT CHISELHURST.
When Louis was five years old, he was presented with a striped donkey from Victor Emmanuel, King of Italy. This he determined to ride up the Tuileries steps and through the palace. The animal stoutly refused, but the prince commanded the servants to lift the donkey's feet, stair by stair. The spirited boy conquered, and rode through the rooms, much to the amusement of his imperial parents, who watched the proceedings from behind a curtain. His playthings were miniature cannon and muskets. At fourteen, he went with his father to the Franco-Prussian War, and at Saarbruck received, as the Emperor wrote back to the Empress, his “first baptism of fire.” Months after, the boy would start in his sleep, as he dreamed of the horrors of war, exclaiming : “The poor soldiers I”. When sent to England for safety, both father and son wept at the parting. Later, when told of his father's defeat, he said, in a manly way: “The Emperor has done his duty, and could not expect a better fate than his soldiers ”; but when alone, he threw himself on a sofa and sobbed aloud. After his mother had safely escaped, and joined him in England, he was sent to Woolwich to receive his military education, Queen Victoria furnishing his rooms at her own expense. There he won the hearts of all by his fair and noble nature. Though unused to the language, he would accept no private examinations, nor receive favors of any kind. When summoned to Camden House, on the illness of his father, he said to an attendant : “Tell me the worst; I can bear it.” His mother fell upon his neck, sobbing : “My Louis my Louis I have no one left but yourself.” After embracing again and again the dead body of his father, he motioned all to kneel, and the boy of sixteen prayed earnestly. After the funeral, as he passed up the walk from the gate, the men shouted, “Wive Napoleon IV.1” but he waved his hand, and said, in a firm voice : “My friends, I thank you, but the Emperor is dead. Let me join you in the cry of ‘Vive la France " " and this was taken up by all. Then, in the drawing-room of Camden House, this boy received the fealty of the, thousands who had come from France to honor Napoleon III. On his eighteenth birthday, when, by his father's last will, he attained his majority, Chiselhurst was again filled with his admirers, 8,000 coming from one station in Paris. A branch of chestnut, brought here from the Tuileries garden, he laid reverently on his father's tomb. In his address, he said: “United to my mother by most tender and grateful affection, I shall unceasingly strive to acquire knowledge, and thus forestall the march of time. If the hour ever arrives when another government shall accord me the majority of the country's votes, I shall be ready to bow with respect to the decision of France. My courage and my life belong to her. May God watch over her and restore to her her prosperity and her grandeur !” After completing his studies at Woolwich, where he graduated with honor in 1875, he remained at Camden House for over three years, studying and writing ; but the quiet life was depressing to his eager and ambitious spirit. His political opponents in France accused him of cowardice and inactivity, which was most cutting to dne who was brave even to recklessness. England—whether justly or not—had engaged in the Zulu War. The whole nation had been stirred by the
him to serve the country which had given him a home, and to show to his own nation that he was no coward. At first his mother tearfully opposed his going, but finally consented. On the day before his departure for Africa, thousands of telegrams came from all parts of France. In answering some of these, making his will and writing letters, he sat up till two o'clock in the morning, and at half-past seven went to receive the sacrament in St. Mary's Church. He lingered so long in prayer at his father's tomb, that a messenger was sent to hasten him. Forgetting to say good-by to the old lady who kept the chapel, he returned, lifted his cap and apologized for the omission. The Empress accompanied him as far as Southampton, and parted from him with the deepest anxiety and sorrow. Although the English authorities requested that the prince be carefully guarded, he seems to have been permitted to go wherever his boyish spirit and bravery led him. He loved skirmishing, but expressed a hope that he might never die that way; but if “in a great battle, if Providence willed it, all well and good.” He was greatly beloved in both hospital and camp, would never occupy a tent better than others, and was the life of every circle, being called “the dear boy" by all. On that last fatal day he had gone out with eight persons to reconnoitre and make drawings. When near some huts, all alighted, and prepared coffee. As he gave the order to mount, a volley rang out on the air, and the Zulus were upon them. The horse of the prince took fright, but he sprang after him, grasped the pommel of the saddle, when the leather gave way ! Then the heroic youth turned and met his foe face-to-face, first using his revolver and then his sword. His comrades had fled for their lives, and he alone was left to the savages. He fell pierced by seventeen assegai wounds. All night long the prince, so tenderly reared, lay in his blood in the rank African grass. When found he was lying on his back, his arms crossed on his breast, one of his mild blue eyes open, the other put out by an assegai, his clothes gone, but around his neck, untouched, a locket with his mother's picture, given on the very day they parted from each other. Her Louis had loved her till the last. No wonder these words were found among his writings: “In France the true order of things is reversed. Children no longer respect their parents; and when parental authority is abnegated that of the law follows. I intend to set the example of honoring and respecting my mother.” The slight form was wrapped in blankets, embalmed as well as it could be, and sent back to the stricken Empress at Camden House. The whole world wept with the heart-broken mother around that coffin from Zululand. All night long, after the body came, the Empress sat or knelt beside it, and in the morning was carried fainting to her room, where for weeks she lay more dead than alive. Again thousands gathered at Camden House. Queen Victoria came and knelt and prayed at the foot of the coffin, and laid on it a wreath of gold laurel-leaves, tied with a white-satin ribbon, and a card in French in her own handwriting. Princess Beatrice—the world believed they loved each other—brought an exquisite porcelain wreath, that it might last for ever. Albert Edward and Alexandra, in their own handwriting, gave a wreath of
butchery at the camp of Isandhlwana, where out of | purple violets and white clematis, “In token of affection. 1,500 only 30 escaped. Many Woolwich officers were to ate regard for the prince who lived the most spotless of start at once for the scene of action, and were anxious for lives and died a soldier's death, fighting for ‘pur cause in the prince to join them. Here was an opportunity for Zululand.” On and around his coffin were over five
hundred wreaths, mostly of sweet-scented violets, roses and immortelles.
Six horses drew the gun-carriage on which was placed the purple velvet coffin, covered with the Union Jack and the Tri-color, and his hat and sword. Then followed the royal pallbearers, the favorite horse of the prince, “Stag,” in crape and riderless, and the vast concourse of people. The muffled drums beat, the minute-guns were fired, bells tolled, and then the coffin, covered with flowers and borne on the shoulders of the cadets who loved him, was laid in St. Mary's, opposite the Scotch-granite sarcophagus of his father, To me there is no place more touching in all England than this grave of buried hopes. I doubt if any have ever stood there unmoved to tears. The saddest memento of all is the wreath of flowers recently placed there, gathered by his mother, in Africa, where her boy's blood wet the sod. Victoria has marked the spot by a cross, with the words, “He fell with his face to the foe.”
On the common, in front of Camden House, with the furze all abloom, is a Greek cross in granite, over thirty feet high, erected by the people of Chiselhurst, with the words:
EUGENE LOUIS JEAN JOSEPH,
Killed in Zululand, 1st June, 1879.
On the opposite side are the lines: “I shall die with a sentiment of profound gratitude for Her Majesty the Queen of England, for all the Royal family, and for the country where I have received, during eight years, such cordial hospitality.”—(Last Testament of the Prince.) And thus ended a beautiful life, whose keynote was the prayer found written by him : “I pray not that Thou shouldst take away the obstacles from my path, but that Thou mayest permit me to overcome them. . . . Grant, O God! that my heart may be penetrated with the conviction that those whom I love, and who are dead, shall see all my actions. My life shall be worthy of their witness, and my inmost thoughts shall never make me blush.” Was his death best for France? Who shall say . We who love a republic hope that at last France is able to govern herself, but Napoleon IV., doubtless, would have been a wise and able ruler. We walked away from St. Mary's silently, the pink roses and yellow honeysuckles, growing among the ivy on her walls, seeming to take away something of the harshness of death ; crossed the meadows so yellow with buttercups that not a spear of grass could be seen ; lingered under the full-bloom horsechestnut and hawthorn trees; heard the cuckoo as she sang plaintively above the quiet churchyard, and went back to busy London thinking that life is a strange drama.
AN ENGLISH CONVENT IN PARIS.
THE oldest British institution in Paris has celebrated its fifth jubilee. The Augustinian Convent of Our Lady of Sion was founded in 1634 by the exertions of Pinkney, alias Carr. During a long period it received, as nuns or pupils, members of the leading English Catholic families. During the Reign of Terror the nuns were prisoners in their convent, the inmates of two other English nunneries being lodged there with a throng of French women, about a dozen of whom only left the building for the scaffold. The adjoining Scotch College, where the brain of James II. was last year discovered, was likewise full of
political prisoners. During the Consulate, and the First Empire the pupils were necessarily French ; and a little later on George Sand (whose grandmother and mother had both been prisoners here) passed three years in the convent, which she has graphically described in her memoirs. The pupils are still mainly French, numbering seventy to eighty, one attraction to parents being the facilities for learning French.
HOW THE “ARABIAN NIGHTS’ WAS WRITTEN.
THE “Arabian Nights” is as much the work of a single mind as the Book of Proverbs. Instead of being a story, emanating, as is commonly supposed, from one person, it is doubtless a title on framework for a vast collection. It is a vehicle for many tales told by various story-tellers with very different degrees of ability. Many of the stories in the Rich MSS. present a remarkable similarity to Western anecdotes. Nor will any reader be surprised at this who remembers how closely connected is the old history, first told by Galland in a Western tongue, of Schahriar and Schahzenan with that of Astolfo and Giocondo in the twenty-eighth canto of Ariosto's “Orlando,” or the Genie imprisoned in the brazen vessel, in the story of the “Fisherman,” with the Diablo Cojuelo in a vial of Luis de Guevara, or the “Sleeper Awakened." with the induction to “The Taming of the Shrew,” or the “Enchanted Horse” with Chaucer's “Steed of Brass,” on which Pierre carried off the fair Maguelone, afterward imitated by Cervantes.
LOST COUNTRIES FOUND BY COINS.
IN citing the historical information derivable from coins, the geographical facts we acquire from them are of equal importance. A case was stated some time ago how an island of the Ægean, which had been lost, was disdiscovered by means of a coin (the piece not bigger than a half-dime), and how recent soundings proved the existence of this isle. There was a lost city which owes place to a coin. For over a thousand years no one knew where Pandosia was. History told that at Pandosia King Pyrrhus collected those forces with which he overran Italy, and that he established a mint there ; but no one could put their finger on Pandosia. Eight years ago a coin came under the eye of a numismatist. There were the letters, Pandosia, inscribed on it, and what is still better, there was an emblem indicative of a well-known river, the Crathis. Then everything was revealed with the same certainty as if the place had been an atlas, and Pandosia, the mythical city, was at once given its proper position, Bruttium. Now, a coin may be valuable for artistic merit, but when it elucidates a doubtful point in history or geography its worth is very much enhanced. This silver coin, which did not weigh more than a quarter of a dollar, because it cleared up the mystery of Pandosia, was worth to the British Museum $1,000, which was the price they paid for it.
THE FRENCH LANGUAGE.
MANY persons imagine that French is the language of France. It is the language of books and newspapers, but the great mass of the people cling to their old patois. In many parts of Brittany the priests still preach to their congregations in a Celtic dialect. The Iberian tongue is
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A DAY AT CHISELHURST.-MORTUARY CHAPEL IN MEMORY OF NAPOLEON 1.- SEE PAGE 412. Consta ntly; dialect, and
reprove them south of the Loire the peasants still speak the various , earnestly, but not in anger. In the forcible language Provençal dialects of Poitou, Dauphiné, Limousin, Sain- of Scripture, “Be not bitter against them.” “Yes, tonge, Périgord, Gascony and Languedoc, besides the they are good boys,” I once heard a kind father say; Provençal Maillane and Orange, which has remained the “I talk to them pretty much, but I do not like to beat least corrupt, and which is the basis of the language my children—the world will beat them.” It was a good written by Mistral and Maillane. This Provençal ver- | thought. There is not one child in the circle round the nacular threat
table, healthy ens a sort of re
and happy as vival, an associa
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SEKRETARIATET This is the
wither, sickness speech which
may fade, a cold Dante thought of
world may adopting for his
frown; but, amid epics, but finally
all, let memory decided in favor
call them back of the Italian.
to a home where It is the lan
a law of kindguage of the
ness reigned troubadours,
where the moth. and used to be
er's reproving the language of
eye was moistenall Frenchmen
ed with a tear, south of the
and the father Loire, and which
frowned “more is still spoken in
in sorrow than various dialects
in anger.' by 14,000,000 people from the
BELIEVEDOLoire to the Pyr.
thing against enees, and even
another but on beyond the Pyr
good authority; enees in Cata
nor report what lonia. For the
may hurt anlanguage is the
other, unless it same in spite of
be a greater the differences
hurt to another of color, of acA DAY AT CHISELHURST,- TOMB OF NAPOLEON III.
to conceal it.