Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Dream of the Duchess de Berry

A few months after the death of the Duke, the Duchess had a dream, or vision as they called it, which made a great noise at the time. Lithographic engravings were made of the scene: verses were published before we arrived at Paris in the month of July. It was about this period that the Nuncio gave to Mme (La Comtesse) Macnamara the paper, of which the following is a copy:—

'Voici le Reve de Mad. la Duchesse de Berry, tel qu'il a ete conte par cette Princesse a Mons1' 1'Eveque d'Amiens, de qui je le tiens:
'Vous connoissez le salon vert de l'Elysee Bourbon. J'y entrais. Je vis centre la cheminee qui est en face de la porte une grande figure blanche qui me fit peur, quoiqu'elle n'eut rien de terrible. Elle etoit enveloppee d'un manteau parseme de fleurs de lys, et je connus que c'etoit St. Louis. Mad. de Gontault etoit aupres de moi, tenant deux enfans qui etoient les miens: l'un etait ma fille agee de cinq ans, et 1'autre etoit un fils un peu plus jeune que sa soeur. Mad. de Gontault les poussoit vers la figure blanche, et moi je faisais au contraire tout ce que je pouvois pour les retenir. Cependant elle l'emporta sur moi, et mes enfans se trouverent tout aupres de St. Louis; qui posa une couronne sur la tete de ma fille. Je pris cette couronne et la mis sur la tete de mon fils, disant que c'etoit lui qui devait etre couronne. St. Louis reprit cette couronne, et la mit sur la tete de ma fille, mats il en mit une seconde sur la tete de mon fils et je m'eveillai.'

This dream produced so strong an effect upon the mind of the Duchess, that the royal family, who at first rejoiced in her deriving consolation from any circumstance, began to grow uneasy at the confidence with which she spoke of all that she would do with her son, just as if he had been actually there.* Monsieur thought it his duty to speak to her most seriously on the subject, and to prepare her for the too probable disappointment of her high-raised expectations.
The only reply he obtained from her was, 'Ah! Papa, St. Louis en salt plus que vous.'
Editor’s note
* The Duc de Berry was born in the September following.

1 Comments:

Blogger Natalie Bennett said...

This seems to have followed the murder of her husband, the Duke.

The Duchess was painted soon after by Vigee Le Brun.

The son she posthumously bore the Duc was Henri, comte de Chambord.

2:39 PM  

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