Monday, April 17, 2006

Duchesse de Berry

Rome, Jan. 3rd, 1834.—I have picked up here some more strange particulars about the extraordinary history of the ci-devant Duchesse de Berry. I had been astonished, with many others, at the manner in which she was received here. I had heard that the Pope* had deputed Cardinals to welcome her, had assigned her a guard, and had given a sanction to the sort of Court which she attempted to keep up.

Yesterday, Mr. ——, the brother-in-law of Cardinal Weld, cleared up this mystery. It seems that the present Pope, then a Cardinal, was really the person who first introduced Deutz to her notice. He therefore considered himself as the innocent cause of her ruin, and as bound in conscience to reach out a strong hand to save her from utterly sinking. It seems now the universally received opinion that Deutz is the father of the child which is just dead. Whether Lucchesi Palli has any right to that which is to be born, seems very doubtful.

The infatuation of the unhappy woman seems perfectly incredible; she might in so many ways have averted the open disgrace of the catastrophe. There can be no doubt that the French Government would have been too happy to allow her to escape quietly. One of her own near friends told Miss A-—— (from whom I heard it) that the Queen of the French wrote to her frequently in the kindest manner and strongly urged her to escape.

In one of the Queen's letters was the following striking expression — 'Dans tous vos malheurs, rappelez-vous que vous n’avez pas a porter cette couronne d’epines qui me pese.' Any one of those ladies, so fondly, so firmly devoted to her cause, would have taken upon herself the child of disgrace: it was not the first nor the second even, and all had been quietly managed before.

It seems perfectly clear that, if Deutz was not the father, it must have been a married man, or one who could not be passed off as her husband. Then when they were to buy one, one should think they might have found a better than Lucchesi Palli, who was known never to have left the Hague for twenty-four hours during the fourteen months which preceded the birth of the child.

* Gregory XVI


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